National Poetry Month Is Here!

What better way to bring in April than with National Poetry Month? Established by the Academy of American Poets, this month celebrates the enduring legacy and ongoing work of American poets and encourages us to support poets and poetry.

Wondering how you can join in the fun? Sign up for Poem-a-Day at poets.org, and you will receive a brand new, previously unpublished poem in your inbox every day. Check out today’s poem, “Agatha” by Dorothea Lasky.

If you’re interested in getting involved on campus, look no further than the Babel Poetry Collective, which is a collection of spoken word poets, musicians, vocalists, and emcees.

Another way to celebrate poetry is to share your favorite poem with a friend. Here, I’ll start: check out “Onset” by Kim Addonizio. Now, it’s your turn!

Our Staff Recommends: Reading Essentials for Spring Break

Spring Break is right around the corner! Looking to take a break from studying and stretch out with a good book? Read on for recommendations from our library staff on what they are reading right now and what you just can’t miss. We hope you find your new favorite book!


I recommend The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst. I’m still reading it, but to summarize I’d say it’s about a family torn apart by and attempting to come back together after Hurricane Katrina. It brings to life the other worldly, apocalyptic post-storm horrors as experienced by different family members.

–Kathy Lehman, Supervisor, Circulation and Reserve

 

Two Faces of American Freedom by Aziz Rana argues that American freedom in the form of Republican self-rule was predicated on the domination of subordinate populations, both internally and externally. The book explains how this dynamic has played out in the course of American history, and is relevant today in thinking about contested positions on immigration. This book is also available online. 

–Fred Rowland, Reference Librarian, Classics, Economics, Philosophy, and Religion

 

 

I loved The Unseen World by (Temple Liberal Arts writer-in-residence!) Liz Moore. The novel follows protagonist Ada Sibelius as she decodes the clues of her father’s past. It’s part family mystery, part computer science history, part coming-of-age story. I couldn’t put it down. Moore did a reading for us in the fall and the crowd loved her as much as I do. 

–Sara Curnow Wilson, Library Outreach and Communications Administrator

 

 

First is Elizabeth Tova Bailey’s The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, which my daughter gave me for Christmas. It’s an utterly absorbing personal narrative of the way a debilitating illness is lightened and enriched for the author by intimate daily observation of a common garden snail in a terrarium – a gift given to the author by a visiting friend during that illness. In spite of the odd subject, it is a profoundly intimate and moving book. We don’t hold it but you can get it from the Free Library.

[Editor’s Note: See bottom of this post for other borrowing options!]

Second is Robert Hass’s A Little Book on Form: an exploration into the formal imagination in poetry. For anyone of a literary bent, it is an utterly readable and entertaining jaunt through many possible ways of understanding “form” as a dimension of poetry in the English and American traditions from the Renaissance to the present. That may sound dry, but Hass has such a lively and personal voice that it’s fun to read and consistently provides new insights into the many ways poems work. Especially of interest to aspiring poets.

Finally, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. It’s hard to describe this patchwork of prose poems that is one of the most probing and troubling investigations of race in contemporary American experience. It is somewhat dense and demanding but it is worth the effort. The section on Serena Williams is itself worth the price of admission.

–Joe Lucia, Dean of Libraries

 

 

 

I’d like to recommend The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. I’m only halfway through this book but it’s already unlike anything I’ve ever read! It follows two generations of Chinese scientists as they grapple with the future of humankind. The narrative of The Three-Body Problem weaves together a huge range of subjects including the Cultural Revolution, virtual reality games, nanotech, aliens, and theoretical physics, and still somehow manages to have a suspenseful storyline.  

–Sarah Jones, Science & Engineering Librarian

 

I recommend Lila by Marilynne Robinson. It’s a beautiful rendering of character and place, set in rural Iowa. If you are interested in studying the craft of fiction writing, Robinson shows you how to weave seamlessly from thought to memory to present. It’s astonishing, and the characters stay with you long after you finish the book.

–Beckie Dashiell, Editor

 


One final tip: Temple doesn’t hold a copy? You can borrow from other libraries using E-ZBorrow or ILLiad and pick up at your Temple library!

 

 

Future Proofing Civic Data

Exploring the challenges of preserving open civic data for the long term

This past year, Temple University Libraries received a Knight Foundation Grant, “Knight News Challenge on Libraries,” to lead an exploratory research project, Future Proofing Civic Data, investigating the challenges of long-term preservation for open civic datasets.

Open civic data portals, such as OpenDataPhilly in Philadelphia, have been a growing trend in cities, states, and national governments over the last decade. Many governments and other civic partners began developing open civic data initiatives in order to make data originating from governmental agencies and civic organizations easily accessible online for immediate consultation, as well as for data reuse. Datasets can include anything from election results to operating budgets to an inventory of all the trees in a city. The hope is that these portals can help bridge the gap between citizens and government and stimulate civic engagement by making data of relevance to citizens easily accessible online.

However, portals do not always have fully formed or fully implemented plans to ensure the long-term preservation of those datasets, and best practices are yet to emerge in that domain.

The Temple Library project team interviewed over a dozen stakeholders about their use cases and needs and looked at several open civic data initiatives in Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh, to compare practices and examine real-life examples. We wrote up our findings in a white paper where we explore ten important factors that need to be taken into consideration, if we are to tackle long-term preservation of civic data successfully. We also look at how libraries could take the lead, or at least participate in the process.

Please see the full white paper for more details.

The project team was comprised of Joe Lucia (PI), Rachel Appel, Delphine Khanna, Chad Nelson, Margery Sly, and Gretchen Sneff.

Dear Temple, Welcome Back! Love, the Libraries

It may be a new year and the start of a new semester, but the Libraries are here, as always, to help you learn and succeed, with materials, resources, and a whole slew of free academic and cultural programs.

Paley Library, photo courtesy Chris Kendig

For example, did you know you could save money and borrow your course textbooks right here in the Libraries? Check out Course Reserves and see if your instructor has placed any of your course materials on reserve.

From bottom left: Librarians Sarah Jones, Latanya Jenkins, and Urooj Nizami share information about library resources with students. Photo courtesy Chris Kendig.

As a member of the Temple community, you also have access to the Libraries’ vast collection of databases for your research, including Nexis Uni, which is back by popular demand!

Not sure where to start? We have comprehensive Research Guides for each of your course subjects, as well as our How Do I…? guides for help with basic tasks and services.

And don’t forget about the Libraries’ Beyond the Page public programming series, where you can find a variety of free programs, concerts, workshops, and more to keep you intellectually engaged this semester.

Here are a few more tips to help you start the new year off right!

  • Check out our Media Services, where you can borrow DVDs, audio and camera equipment, Chromebooks, iPads, and more.
  • Use the newly streamlined Library Search to discover books, ebooks, articles, and much more.
  • Discover who the Subject Librarian is for each of your courses and use our Ask a Librarian service to get in touch.
  • Explore all the cool things you can do at the Digital Scholarship Center, including 3D printing!
  • The Libraries are here for all your Printing needs.
  • This story from a fall issue of Nutshell has even MORE tips!

A workshop in the Digital Scholarship Center, photo courtesy Brae Howard

Extended Saturday Hours at Paley!

From December 8–19, the Libraries go 24/7 for final exams. But we’re sweetening the deal! Leading up to December 8, we’re extending our Saturday hours and staying open until 10:00 PM (instead of 7:00 PM). So whether you’re working on a group project or a research paper, we’ve got you covered during the end of the semester crunch.

Remember you can book a study room ahead of time, and stay tuned for information about snacks, activities, and therapy dogs coming at you during reading days and finals period.

 

*Please note that normal Saturday hours (9:00 AM–7:00 PM) will apply on the Saturday that falls over Fall Break (November 25).*

Preparing Paley Library Collections for the New Library: Managing Our Print Journal Collection

As progress is made on Temple’s new central library, our staff continues to prepare the collections for the move. The migration, like any move, provides an opportunity to reevaluate our current collections and create space for other materials, including our ever-expanding archives and special collections.

With this in mind, the library administrative team has made the decision to deaccession a selection of print journals that we receive in digital form. This change will result in no loss of access. All selections—approximately 1,000 titles constituting approximately 80,000 volumes, the large majority already stored offsite—will continue to be available online via stable providers and in print through one of our library partners.

Completing this undertaking now will reduce the time and expense involved in moving our collections to the new library building. The process of deaccessioning becomes more complicated once materials have been added to the automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS).

While preservation of the scholarly record remains a central tenet of Temple Libraries’ mission, this is accomplished collectively with our many library partners.  In today’s world of ready online access to journal content and robust sharing agreements among libraries, it is not necessary for all libraries, even research libraries, to maintain hundreds of volumes of seldom used print journal archives.

Please feel free to contact Dean of Libraries Joe Lucia, at joe.lucia@temple.edu, with any questions or concerns about this process.

Back to School with Temple University Libraries

Jasmine, Cynthia, and Urooj at the Libraries’ Temple Fest table on Wednesday, August 23, photo courtesy Sara Curnow Wilson

Welcome to Fall 2017 at the Libraries! Whether this is your first semester or your last, we invite you to explore the variety of resources, services, materials, and programs the Libraries offer every day.

For undergraduates who are looking for a refresher or introduction to services, our Undergraduate User Guide is a good place to start!

We also have information about services for graduate students, faculty, alumni, and visitors.

Here are a few highlights to get you started:

  • Check out our Media Services, where you can borrow DVDs, audio and camera equipment, Chromebooks, iPads, and more.
  • Use the newly streamlined Library Search to discover books, ebooks, articles, and much more.
  • Discover who the Subject Librarian is for each of your courses and use our Ask a Librarian service to get in touch.
  • Explore all the cool things you can do at the Digital Scholarship Center, including 3D printing!
  • Don’t forget, the Libraries are here for all your Printing needs.

Visit us at Temple Fest on Wednesday (8/30) for even MORE information and goodies. As always, we send you best wishes for a great semester.

Beckie and D’Era at the Libraries’ Temple Fest table, Thursday, August 24, photo courtesy Kaitlyn Semborski

Important Update to the Library Search

The Library Search will be updated this weekend in order to remove groupings that merged together “multiple versions” of a work in the search results. This will significantly impact the search results in the Library Search, improving the discovery of different formats and editions. 

This update will kick off on Friday July 28th and should be complete before Monday July 31st. There will likely be incremental changes over the course of the weekend, but throughout this process, you will still be able to access all of our records in the Library Search.

If you have any questions, please contact asktulibrary@temple.edu. 

The Library Search is now live!

On July 3, 2017, the Libraries, under the leadership of Director of Library Technology and Knowledge Management, David Lacy, launched the Library Search, which replaces Summon and Diamond. The new search is now your gateway to discover books, journal articles, and much more.

Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for more information and check the Libraries’ website over the summer for further updates.

Graduates: Learn About Your Alumni Privileges at the Libraries!

Congratulations new Temple grads! Did you know that your access to the Libraries doesn’t end here? As an alum, you can continue to use the Libraries as your gateway for lifelong learning.

Alumni services include:

  • Borrowing Privileges
  • Entry to Programs and Events
  • AskALibrarian Reference               Services
  • Use of Electronic Resources While On Campus

Find out more about other services and apply for your Alumni Borrowers Card.

Stay in Touch
Connect with the Libraries on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and sign up for our mailing list to receive updates and information about upcoming programs. Email byndthpg@temple.edu to add your name to the list.