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Jan 20 2021 - 04:11 PM
In Review: Materials Report, Fall 2020

In a recent article for Deem Journal on cooperative housing and cities, author Joal Stein opens with a quote from Belonging: A Culture of Place by bell hooks: “a true home is the place —any place— where growth is nurtured, where there is constancy”. Many find a home in libraries, among the stacks, while surfing library materials in the catalog, having conversations with each other and library staff, learning something new and exciting, building connections between people and ideas. Providing constancy in hybrid spaces has provided a unique challenge and opportunity to continue nurturing, growing, and learning from each other despite the many changes and adjustments we’ve faced along the way. We are delighted to continue serving the community both remotely and on-site, and look forward to reuniting on campus in the future. This review includes the work areas of library acquisitions and materials through the Fall 2020 semester, the extraordinary work of Usa Ungsunan, Simone Schloss, and many collaborations with the library team and TC community.

End of year subscription renewals and collection assessments

Our second renewal season takes place at the end of the calendar year. Preparations for renewing database and journal packages included compiling and reviewing usage statistics, negotiating for flat renewal prices, and reviewing updated terms. Heavy emphasis on electronic serials and resource access remained in place, pausing print magazine subscriptions until further notice. Refreshing our print cafe subscriptions will be an exciting project once we return to campus.

We untangled agreements related to SpringerLINK and Sage subscription packages, with an eye towards rethinking them in the coming year to ensure that Gottesman Libraries continues to offer high quality and frequently used scholarly resources to the community. This work opened up new avenues for exciting conversations with our colleagues at Columbia University Libraries, and granted a better understanding of the origins of our electronic resource agreements. 

Alongside this review, we continued to refine our system for organizing, tracking, and communicating collection development acquisitions and renewals. A combination of Google Suite products provide the infrastructure for library acquisitions while we work to implement formal integrated library systems software. This work includes the organization and processing of invoices, agreements, contracts, and statements for electronic serial subscriptions, database subscriptions, print and electronic monograph orders, film acquisitions, and interlibrary loan, among others.

New workshops

A 30 minute introduction to ATLAS workshop was provided for faculty in the Office of Teacher Education, and recorded for later use. 

Professional development

Professional development sessions included the Digital Library Federation annual conference, and the November Wikidata Institute. A review of sessions attended at the DLF Forum can be read here, and my experiences participating in the Wikidata Institute are detailed here. I’m incredibly grateful to Wiki Education for featuring my work with the Cradle tool in the blog post “School Data For The World” by instructor Will Kent, linked here. I continue to attend monthly Wikidata Affinity Group meetings and working hours with colleagues from institutions around the world.

I also attended a Metropolitan New York Library Council community call, held on December 15th. METRO has decided to leave their office space in midtown Manhattan and is now a remote-first organization, hoping to connect more widely with partner institutions in New York state while reconfiguring services to meet the demands of member institutions currently serving patrons remotely.

Library systems

Our formal onboarding process for migrating our library systems to Ex Libris’ Alma, Primo, and Leganto kicked off this fall. Bi-weekly meetings prepare us for more intense migration work starting this spring. A review of our current integrated library system, library policies, acquisitions policies, and related workflows continue to take place. With the support of TCIT, we continue to work out the mechanics of automating many manual data and technical processes. These adjustments will grant us more time to develop new programming, work more efficiently overall, and provide more consistent service to the community.

Cataloging and metadata review

Alongside systems and policy reviews, much time was spent this fall analyzing our catalog records for potential clean up projects prior to migration. A small portion of ebook catalog records underwent a name reconciliation process against the Library of Congress Name Authority File by using OpenRefine and MarcEdit to transform and edit bibliographic metadata according to national standards. Given the scope of clean up needed, conversations with Backstage Library Works continue. Currently, we are reviewing reports for automated catalog cleanup to address inconsistencies across our bibliographic records. These improvements will positively impact the community’s ability to locate and use library resources.

📸 A Semester Snapshot

1,826 requests for library resources 

91 Spring 2021 course list requests received

414 new ebooks ordered and catalogued

21 films were renewed, licensed, or purchased

118 articles borrowed through Interlibrary Loan with Digital Article Exchange

Top Journals August through December, 2020

We continue to acquire available ebooks, and digitally borrow articles and chapters from partner institutions. To request library materials, please click here. Questions? Email us at

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Posted in: ReportsLearning at the Library|By: Kalliopi Mathios|591 Reads