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Supporting Students Through Open and Affordable Course Materials

As we move forward to the semester ahead of fully online classes and the educational community responds to COVID-19, you may be receiving emails from vendors offering limited-time free access to their tools and platforms. We encourage instructors to explore open textbook or library-licensed e-book textbook alternatives during this transition to online teaching, which are always free or affordable. 

Please remember that students may be experiencing greater financial stress than usual if they’re not able to work due to the coronavirus. You might want to consider investing your time in trying resources and tools that will continue to be free to you and your students after the crisis is over. These options will increase first-day access to required course materials and save students time and money during this stressful time. According to our 2017 survey, 72% of FSU students do not purchase textbooks due to cost and 93% prefer a free online textbook over a traditional print option. 

Subject librarians are available to work with instructors to locate open or already licensed content in order to save students money and ease the pedagogical burdens of the current situation. If you are interested in adopting a library e-book for your course, please consult your subject librarian so we can check on the resource license as not all of our e-books are available for multi user simultaneous usage. 

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From Guilia Forsythe, Flickr

Open Educational Resources & Open Textbooks 

Open educational resources (OER) are freely-accessible, openly licensed textbooks, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching and learning. OER can be reused, customized, and widely shared by others. Many courses at FSU already utilize open textbooks including CHM1045. Our top suggestions for open textbooks include:

  • Openstax: Peer-reviewed, open textbooks on introductory topics. Students can buy print copies. See their blog post on Teaching online with OpenStax to support emerging social distancing requirements. OpenStax has quiz banks, slides, and other ancillaries freely available for instructors who sign up with them. OpenStax Allies offer competitively-priced homework platforms that work with OpenStax books, and many of them are waiving costs right now.
  • Open Textbook Library : Read peer reviews and access open textbooks being used across the world.
  • OER Commons: Public library of open educational resources wit platform for content authoring & remixing.
  • BC Campus OpenEd: Search for quality open textbooks offered in a variety of digital formats.
  •  Lumen Learning: Offers a wide array of open content that you can access for free. Their Waymaker and OHM modules are low-cost homework platforms that can be integrated with Canvas

Don’t use a standalone textbook? Many instructors chose to use a mix of open resources to support their curriculum instead of just one open textbook. Sources include TED Talks, online news articles from publications such as The Guardian, government information such as cdc.gov, and other high-quality information available online. Some instructors also use Open Scholarly Monographs as educational resources in their course, which carry the same open licenses.

  • Mason MetaFinder: Search engine that includes a variety of open materials for those looking to mix content and recently added 1.4 million + books from the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library.
  • OASIS: Search tool for open content from 97 different sources and contains 385,629 records of textbooks, modules, videos, podcasts, primary resources and more.

Library-licensed E-books, Articles, and Online Resources for the Classroom 

Library-licensed material expands the amount of materials available for higher-level coursework and complements other OER materials. Many faculty at FSU have opted to adopt e-books, journal articles, videos, images, and other digital resources from our collection. If you are interested in browsing our immense online collection for course materials, here are a couple of our search tools:

OneSearch: Search through many resources at once using our OneSearch tool. Whether you are looking for an e-book or searching broadly by subject or keyword, OneSearch is a great place to start your searching. OneSearch is also a good place to find items by citation – just paste the citation right into the search box.

Databases A-Z List: If you know which database you are looking for, use this list to find the specific database by title.

Databases by Subject List: Our subject librarians have selected the top databases for each subject in this list, helping identify the top resources for each subject.

Journal Search: This tool allows you to find journals by title or subject.

Streaming Media: Showing films in online courses requires some additional planning. We are happy to share that FSU Libraries provide access to multiple video platforms. If you are interested in using our streaming media resources in your online courses, please check out our Streaming Media in Your Course guide for tips on finding streaming resources and streaming models that best suit your course material needs.

FSU Libraries is committed to developing open and affordable solutions that will ease the burden of textbook costs. Affordable course materials are going to be more important to students than ever. Find out more about FSU Libraries Open and Affordable Textbook Initiative.

If interested in exploring open and affordable options for your course, please contact Camille Thomas at cthomas5@fsu.edu or Lindsey Wharton at lwharton@fsu.edu.

A Visit to Panama

By Lindsey Wharton, Extended Campus & Distance Services Librarian, & Michael Pritchard, Distance Services Library Associate

In February 2020, members of the FSU Libraries were hosted by the Florida State University – Panama campus in an effort to strengthen our partnership with the Panama students, faculty and staff. Our visit provided us the opportunity to promote library resources and services as well as learn about the teaching and learning experiences, both academic and culturally, of our students, staff, and faculty abroad. While Lindsey Wharton, the Extended Campus & Distance Services Librarian, had visited the Panama campus previously in 2014 and 2016, this was the first visit for both Michael Pritchard, Distance Library Services Specialist, and Dr. Gale Etschmaier, Dean of University Libraries. This campus visit marked an important occurrence for University Libraries and FSU Panama, as all were excited to reconnect with colleagues, work with the students, and introduce Dr. Etschmaier to the campus. 

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Searching for specific Collections in FSU Libraries

Welcome back and happy New Year!

Did you put “Reading More” on your list of 2020 Resolutions?
The Popular Literature collection is here to help you. Start by looking through the Pop Lit collection to find something fun to read!
If you follow the steps below, you can narrow your search for just one collection in the Library which will make looking for pop lit books much easier.

Go to the main library page and select “Catalog Search” in the top right corner under the Search Bar.

From there you will see a search page. Select the “Advanced Search” option.

 Under the three search bars, you’ll find a “Show Other Search Options” link. Select that to limit your search further.

Limit your search by selecting the Location drop down and select “Strozier, Popular Literature Collection”.

From here you can browse everything offered in the Pop Lit Collection – Or any other Collection offered at FSU Libraries without the noise of everything else.

Let’s make 2020 a year of easy catalog searches!

Taking the Libraries #FSUGlobal: A Visit to London & Valencia

In August 2019, FSU Libraries once again had the opportunity to visit our international study centers as we travelled to London and Valencia to promote our library services and resources and learn more about the teaching, learning, and research experiences of our students and faculty abroad. While Mike Meth, Associate Dean for Research & Learning Services at FSU Libraries, and I had visited London and Florence in the summer of 2018, this was going to my first trip back to Valencia since 2015, and Mike’s first trip since he came to FSU in 2015. This trip was not going to be like any of our previous visits because we were going to experience the full excitement and vivacity of arrivals week. If you are unfamiliar with the workings of International Programs, Arrivals Week is when all the brand new freshman who are part of the First Year Abroad/First Semester Abroad first arrive on their respective campuses. During this week they are assigned flats, see the study center and the city for the first time, and get their first taste of FSU. 

My interest in experiencing Arrivals Week in-person went beyond just wanting to see this annual on-boarding live. I wanted to integrate an introduction to University Libraries and our online services and resources into the carefully planned orientation sessions. It was an opportunity to get students thinking critically about information and about academic research right from the onset of their college career.

Street view of London

London, 2019 Image by Mike Meth

We started our visit at the FSU London study center, a polished and statuesque set of townhouses in Bloomsbury, just a block away from the British Museum, it is an area bustling with tourists and locals alike. Our meetings here included updates and discussions with the entire London staff, brainstorming support strategies with the London Director and Associate Director, presentation and meeting with the London faculty, as well as time spent with the IT/Library Manager and staff. A good amount of our conversations focused on how the Libraries could support the textbook and course material needs of the faculty and students, giving us a chance to promote our Alternative Textbook Grants for International Programs program.. We were also able to speak to the students twice: a quick introduction to all the new students about FSU Libraries and then an orientation session where we were able to provide an hour long overview of University Libraries, our services at the  study center in London, and why using the Libraries is invaluable to students in their studies. It was a whirlwind of planning, exploring, collaborating, and teaching all in truly one of the most magical cities in the world.

Mike & Lindsey in front of FSU Valencia building

Mike & Lindsey at FSU Valencia, 2019 Image by Mike Meth

We arrived in Valencia on a Thursday evening, and as soon as you step out of the airport, the warm, salty sea air transforms you. The study center is located next to one of the old city gates, and the remnants of the ancient city are everywhere, including the dorms, classrooms, and the offices of FSU Valencia. We were able to once again participate in the initial presentation meeting with the new students, and follow-up with a longer workshop for all the new freshman later in the week. Since we hadn’t visited in four years, the campus also organized a training session for the Valencia faculty in order to provide in-depth consultation on our resources and support services for teaching and learning. Mike and I also visited the libraries at the University of Valencia and the Polytechnic University of Valencia and toured the collections and facilities with the library staff. As all libraries become further interconnected and interdependent, exploring these connections and relationships abroad is an exciting new endeavor and we look forward to possible partnerships. FSU Valencia is unique to us because currently it is the only study center without a formal library space or designated library staff member. This requires thoughtful communication and outreach strategies so students and faculty are aware of the library services offered to them from FSU’s Tallahassee campus. 

Old city gate in Valencia

Old city gate in Valencia, 2019 Image by Mike Meth

Our goal was to introduce students to all that theFSU Libraries have to offer, our hundreds of databases, millions of eBooks, our 24/5 chat service, and guidance for students as they embark on this scholarly journey. There are so many resources at our fingertips to further enrich the global experience. Study abroad transforms just as Florida State University transforms. FSU Libraries provides the foundation for our students’ growth into scholars so that they can use all they have learned to transform the future. 

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Flamenco, 2019 Image by Mike Meth

These visits inspire me and my work as a librarian in so many ways. I am captivated by the work of the staff of the study centers – their passion, their long hours and careful planning, their care for the students, their ability to create a home away from home, while providing a taste of what Florida State University has to offer.  All this in a beautiful city. I am awed by the teaching and the faculty – how they use every aspect of the city to provide a completely unique and encompassing learning experience. And I am energized by the students – leaping out of their bubble and all the comforts of the known to embrace and open up to the unknown, growing as scholars, as learners, as people throughout their months abroad. As with any trip surrounded by these type of people, there were so many magical and unexpected moments: fiery flamenco in a small, packed bar, museums so big it makes art feel endless and unfathomable, experiencing the happenings of Brexit in real time, sailing on the perfect blue Mediterranean. But, that’s the point, isn’t it? To experience the things that transform us.

A guide to a successful undergraduate Art History practice: Florida State University

This post is a guest contribution from Stephanie Fischer, a senior in the Department of Art History and current Library Media Collections Intern in the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship. As part of her internship, Stephanie produced this helpful guide for incoming undergraduates in Art History that includes both library resources and her own extensive research into graduate schools, professional training programs, and internships in the field.

This guide is for the incoming art history student curious of what lies ahead. Navigating the field of art history is something that may be very intimidating, especially as a student trying to figure out what their next step is. As a transfer student, I was kind of thrown into this program without knowing much about the expectations of a successful art history student and feel like I have done a pretty good job seeking out opportunities while taking advantage of the ones presented to me. The following outlines what I’ve learned and what I regret not knowing/doing.

Seminars

Here at Florida State, undergraduate art history students are required to take at least two upper-level seminars in order to meet graduation requirements. The way the program is currently set up is that students must complete 12-credits of lower-level art history courses in order to enroll in a seminar class. However, with permission from the professor, anyone can take a seminar, regardless of the amount of art history courses taken so far. Students should take advantage of this opportunity and get into a seminar as soon as they can. These seminars are designed for students to conduct research and make direct examinations of works of art through leading class discussions and writing a developed research paper. The quicker they get enrolled, the quicker they can learn these advanced skills and apply them to their remaining art history courses.

Another way seminars can enhance undergraduate study is by inspiring a topic of research students can use as a writing sample for later internship or graduate school applications. When applying for summer internships at big institutions, for example, it is advantageous for students to have experience in research and project development. Many of these institutions require students to provide a writing sample or personal statement, and this is an opportunity for students to showcase their research areas and skills with written communication. This may sound obvious, but it was something no one told me: when applying for internships, an application is much stronger if it demonstrates tangible experiences with developing and executing research projects. An application will benefit more to focus on academic interests (backed by concrete examples of research done in a given area), and taking a seminar early in your undergraduate experience will allow students more opportunities to pursue such projects.

Honors in the Major

Florida State offers undergraduate students with a great opportunity to complete an honors thesis throughout their junior/senior year prior to graduation. Through the Honors in the Major program, any undergraduate student can apply and propose a thesis to develop over two to three semesters alongside a faculty advisor in their department. By undertaking an Honors in the Major thesis project, art history students will be preparing themselves for graduate-level coursework which will enhance their application for graduate school by providing examples of completed, ongoing, and upper-level research. Many students derive their thesis projects from research done in seminars and further produce it alongside this professor (another reason to get a head start on seminars).

UAHA

The Department of Art History at FSU is one of the smaller departments on campus, but still provides opportunities for student involvement through the Undergraduate Art Historian Association (UAHA). UAHA on our campus serves to connect students and create a community within the department, while also inspiring curiosity in the field of art history. The club organizes bi-weekly meetings covering topics about upcoming events and socials, club merchandise, research opportunities, and provides tools for building great applications for internships, jobs, or graduate school. The club really strives to create a community within the art history department through social events to help students connect to one another.

As I am currently writing this, I serve as a co-vice president for UAHA. It is one of my goals for this school year to elevate the experiences associated with the organization, as I believe past years have lacked the social aspect and the collegial feel to the club. Our team this year is determined to reconstruct the environment of our department by urging students to do more and get everything out of the program that they can. For example, the art history department at Florida State does a wonderful job of organizing a lecture series throughout the semester. Roughly every other week, professors and graduate students present their previous or current research. This program can help undergraduates get a sense of their desired area of study and expose them to other aspects of art history. Attending these events also gives students and professors a chance to get to know each other better. Taking advantage of being apart of a student organization can aid students in giving their feedback to the program in order to make it stronger for future students.

Internships

The study of art history is often focused on research and writing, but students have the opportunity to build more hands-on skills through experiences like internships in museums, galleries, and other cultural heritage institutions. In museum and gallery spaces, students can gain experience in institutional research, art handling, curatorship, and visitor experience. Take advantage of the art community surrounding the university, find a gallery or two, and apply. Utilizing all the resources surrounding the university will impact student resumes and highlight that the student is eager to take charge, which is a great quality to have when applying for jobs or graduate school.

Over the course of the past three and a half years, I have held five internship positions in a variety of different institutions – one at a student newspaper, a national art museum, a local gallery, a public art program, and in digital archives.. Throughout these positions, I have learned skills like copy editing, research, public speaking, art handling, curatorship, administration, and digitization. While museum and gallery experiences are great, students should also consider branching out to other fields of study that can be related back to art history. Art history is not necessarily a skill based field, so I encourage students to look into technology, librarianship, archives, journalism, and even studio positions. Having a collection of diverse experiences can not only help you learn what your enjoy, but also help you become a desirable candidate when applying for jobs and graduate school.

One of my internship experiences was a hands-on, art handling and curating internship in a gallery local to Tallahassee. I held this position for an entire school year to really immerse myself in the setting of the institution. Over the course of over 500 work hours, I did what was expected – installation, deinstallation, and visitor experience. But, I also introduced projects, worked on personal research, and worked double the hours expected of me. You get what you put in. Had I just done the bare minimum, I wouldn’t have built a strong work ethic or a strong relationship with the director, who I can now use as a reference. It’s so important to stand out as best we can in everything we do, especially if we want to be successful in this limited field of study.

That position will likely prove to be one of the most valuable in the course of my career. The director of the gallery was very hands-on, giving interns guidance on learning all the different variables of running an art gallery, she made sure all interns were comfortable doing all of the various tasks. Something that this experience has taught me is how the different positions in the museum or gallery space intersect. While I had a lot of interactions with visiting artists and curators, I realized how important it is for someone who wants to pursue a curatorial career to know how to install a show. Curators should understanding the process of art handling, not just the intellectual aspects of selecting a body of work.

I have consistently tried to challenge myself throughout my academic career by seeking out different intern positions. I typically try to have an internship every year/semester depending on my class load. I have found most of these opportunities through posters or newsletters sent out or posted by an organization or the art history department. Once I come across the advertisement, I will research the organization and compile a list of what I would like to mention in a cover letter. I then finish my cover letter, edit my resume, send off my application, and wait for an email or phone call to schedule an interview. For me, the interview process is the least stressful part of the whole process, I can really showcase my personality and enthusiasm for the position. This gives the employer a sense of how I will perform in the workspace and interact with colleagues, which is just as important as having the right qualifications.

I’ve included a list of internship opportunities local to Tallahassee for the Spring 2020 semester, as of October 2019: Internship Experiences

Graduate Programs

Students should start to research potential graduate programs their Freshman and Sophomore years of college. With a wide variety of Art History-based programs nationally and internationally available to them, students should get an idea of what type of requirements their desired programs may have. For example, New York University offers a dual Masters program in Art History and Conservation. The program is four years, fully-funded, but requires students to have an academic background in both chemistry and art history to even be considered. These kinds of prerequisites are things students should be aware of as early as possible in their undergraduate experience. Knowing exactly what institutions are looking for in an applicant ahead of time will only allow students to be proactive in designing their undergraduate coursework and hopefully increase their chances of getting accepted into great graduate programs.

I have compiled a spreadsheet of current graduate programs in Museum Studies, Curatorial Studies, and Art History that I found interesting: Art History Degree Programs

Library Resources

Florida State Libraries presents students in the College of Fine Arts with a unique opportunity when it comes to research assistance and resource access. I say unique opportunity because not many other universities, apart from Art and Design schools specifically, have a subject librarian in this field. A subject librarian is designated for faculty and students in each campus department and program. While serving as a liaison to the department, the subject librarian teaches classes and individual students how to maximize their use of library resources, particularly for research. Students are able to meet with any subject librarian in order to expand their interdisciplinary studies and use the librarian as a resource. Visual & Performing Arts Librarian, Leah Sherman, says, “Not all our resources are books, but people too.” She suggests students utilize the Art History Research Guide as a starting point for research.

Our campus libraries are some of our biggest resources for young art historians and they offer us dozens of different opportunities to learn new skills to aid us in our research and academic careers. Alongside meeting and interacting with various subject librarians, students should also take advantage of different library events like the events put on by the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship. The Office of Digital Research and Scholarship gives workshops on citation management, academic publishing, copyright, and more. You can RSVP to events here: Event RSVP and Information

If you are interested in meeting with Leah Sherman, you can schedule a consultation here: Consultation Request, or email her at lrsherman@fsu.edu.

Forgien Languages and other fields of study

One small, but important tip, something that will help in research throughout the thesis process and into graduate school: take advantage of the foregin language courses. At Florida State, art history students are required to take 12-credits of a foreign language, but students who continue their language study are better prepared for graduate school. Many art historical resources may need to be translated to English, and reading knowledge of a foreign language related to your course of study, would be very useful in this situation. Plus, if students begin their study early, they have the opportunity to learn more than one language throughout the course of their undergraduate study.

Many students in the art history department take advantage of double majoring or minoring in a different field to make their research and knowledge more interdisciplinary. Within the art history department, students have the opportunity to minor in Medieval Studies or Museum Studies in conjunction with an art history major. These minors are useful for students who are particularly interested in Medieval art or who want to pursue a career in the museum or gallery space. However, students should be open to the full scope of possibilities FSU makes available through its undergraduate curriculum. Some majors/minors that could be particularly interesting being paired with an art history major are Business Administration, majors in STEM (which might align with a career in art conservation), Psychology, or Studio Art, just to name a few. Exploring an additional field of study can help to refine the scope of research interests and familiarize the student with non-art historical areas of research.

There are so many opportunities at FSU that students can take advantage of to further our careers and we should utilize these resources while they are at our fingertips. I hope this guide serves you well in your career pursuit as a starting point to the many opportunities presented to you.

APA Style Guide: What’s New in the 7th edition?

Fall is finally here on the main campus of FSU, and so is the 7th edition of the APA Style Publication Manual! The APA style is one of the most common styles for formatting citations and references, and more than 100 academic disciplines are reportedly using the style for their writing and publishing scholarly works. The APA 7th features two new chapters: Journal article reporting standards (Chapter 3), and bias-free language guidelines (Chapter 5), respectively. It also includes a sample paper for students, with over 100 simplified in-text citations and new reference examples.

A few notable changes in the APA 7th include:

·         One space after a period

·         No location required for book and book chapter references

·         Use of singular “they”

·         Three or more authors shortened to name of first author plus “et al.”

·         DOIs and URLs are now presented as underlined hyperlinks.


For more detail on the changes, watch the recording of webinar, “What’s New in APA Style: Inside the Seventh Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association” from the ACRL Choice.  The APA Style Blog is the best source to get information on the APA 7th. The Blog also provides links to handouts and guides for instructors, such as Reference Quick Guide, and Student Title Page Guide.  In the meantime, contents on the 6th edition APA Style Blog are archived in here.

Six print copies of the APA 7th edition are available at the following locations of the University Libraries:

·         3 Copies at Strozier Course Reserves

·         3 Copies at Dirac Course Reserves

The copies are now available for in-library use only for 2 hours. Unfortunately, eBook copies of the APA 7th are not available for the Libraries.  The Libraries’ Citation Guide to APA will be updated accordingly, and published before Spring 2020. Stay tuned!

Kyung Kim (Social Sciences Librarian) & Kirsten Kinsley (Assessment Librarian)

Preserving VHS Collections @ FSU Libraries Through the Academic Libraries Video Trust

By David Rodriguez

In the era of streaming services like Kanopy and Netflix becoming the norm for how people access video content, it’s easy to forget just how much material is still confined to legacy AV formats. VHS is one such format–one that has played a huge role in academic and public library collections for over 40 years. First introduced in 1976, VHS cassettes were to become the internationally adopted standard for home-video exhibition and recording (but not without a well-known “format war” with the Betamax system). Eventually, the introduction and dominance of digital formats like DVD and Blu-Ray in late 1990s and early 2000s swept the cassette market into relative obsolescence. However, because of the long legacy of VHS and the residual demand for VCR technology, playback equipment was still manufactured until 2016. In the many years that VHS stood as the preeminent home-video format, libraries across the world acquired millions of cassettes spanning educational programs, documentaries, and feature films. They have become a major component of library collections that serve a wide variety of patron needs.

VHS Collections in the basement of Strozier Library.

In considering how to contextualize and prioritize preservation of these collections within the Library, it’s helpful to acknowledge that the stewardship of non-print resources comes with its own unique set of challenges. While the inks and pigments on paper and in books can remain readable by the naked human eye for hundreds if not thousands of years, magnetic media formats like VHS are both inscrutable without technological mediation and subject to a much, much shorter shelf life. How these media are stored, their frequency of use, and the condition of the equipment they have been run through all bear heavily on how long they will remain usable. But even liberal estimates put most library VHS collections in a rather urgent position. With the end of VCR manufacturing and the rate of physical decay inherent to the format, libraries need to act now if they want to ensure these collections are not lost to decomposition and technological obsolescence.


Tapes, tapes, and more tapes covering nearly every subject & discipline.

So what are the available options for libraries seeking to tackle this problem? In the United States, libraries and archives are granted a number of useful rights under Section 108 of the Copyright Act. The statute allows such institutions to create “preservation copies” of collection materials which have become obsolete and for which there is no new, non-obsolete replacement available (for example, a given VHS title has not been re-released on DVD, Blu-Ray, or other digital format). In contemporary practice, preservation copies are created by digitizing the material and migrating the content to a new carrier like a DVD or into digital storage. Of course, this is easier said than done, and this step often prohibits many organizations from capitalizing on the privileges granted by Section 108 due to technological, financial, or other resource limitations. Thankfully, FSU Libraries has done well in retaining and maintaining a good deal of its legacy media technology and is now in the process of systematically reviewing, replacing, and, when appropriate, creating preservation copies of its nearly 4,000 holdings on VHS.

The Library’s humble media lab for digitizing VHS and few other formats.

The work involved is daunting, complex, and requires collaboration across several library divisions. Externally, we are very excited to have joined the Academic Libraries Video Trust (ALVT), a new initiative launched in 2018 by the National Media Market. ALVT provides member organizations with a shared cloud-storage repository and clearinghouse for digitized content created under Section 108. Additionally, it allows FSU to make its collections part of broader efforts to preserve the wealth of magnetic media materials held in libraries and archives all over the country by allowing other member libraries access to its digitized materials. This “sharing” of Section 108-compliant holdings is enormously beneficial insofar as de-duplicating digitization efforts across institutions. In joining ALVT, the Library is greatly increasing the impact and value of its collections while ensuring they will remain accessible to future students, faculty, and researchers. We hope to provide updates and more detailed technical and legal insights as the project progresses in the hopes of helping others interested in these kinds of initiatives.

Let the magic begin!

Open Video Resources – A Few Alternatives to Kanopy and Swank

By Dave Rodriguez

FSU Libraries currently subscribes to a wide variety of streaming video services and databases. Some of these, such as Swank and Kanopy, provide users access to commercial feature films for scholarly analysis, research, and teaching purposes. Others, like Films on Demand, are treasure troves of documentary content–although there’s some interesting feature film collections in there as well!

In addition to these valuable, paid resources, there are a number of open video collections containing narrative, documentary, ethnographic, and historically significant moving-image resources that can and should be utilized by those working in higher education and promoted by the Library. Below is a list with links and collection highlights from five such collections.

More information on how to access audio-visual content can be found in the Film LibGuide. Direct any questions about these or other online media resources to Shelly Schmucker, Electronic Resources Librarian (shelly.schmucker@fsu.edu), and Dave Rodriguez, Resident/Media Librarian (dwrodriguez@fsu.edu).

  1. Public Domain Movies (http://publicdomainmovie.net/)
    • A consolidated site of feature films, shorts, and cartoons that have fallen into the public domain either by virtue of being created before 1924 or the copyright having lapsed for some other reason.
    • Collection Highlights:
    • Search Note: Unfortunately, this site lacks an internal search feature. However, you can effectively search the collection via Google by using the following search command: site:http://publicdomainmovie.net/ “insert movie title or other search criteria between quotation marks”
  2. Snagfilms (http://www.snagfilms.com/)
    • A streaming platform with over 2,000 independent feature films and documentaries. Looks and runs like Netflix but some content contains ads at the beginning of playback.
    • Collection Highlights:
      • Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty and Pierce Rafferty’s documentary indictment of the nuclear age The Atomic Cafe (1982)
      • Lucy Walker’s exploration of Amish youthful transgression The Devil’s Playground (2002)
  3. Library of Congress National Screening Room (https://www.loc.gov/collections/national-screening-room/)
    • An initiative by LoC to make its moving-image collections accessible for streaming and download. Wide variety of titles ranging from silent films by Thomas Edison and D.W. Griffith to feature films and shorts from the 1940s and 50s
    • Collection Highlights:
      • Ida Lupino’s taut, masterfully crafted noir The Hitchhiker (1953)
      • Oscar Micheaux’s landmark work of African American silent cinema Within Our Gates (1919)
  4. Internet Archive’s Moving Image Archives (https://archive.org/details/movies)
    • An old standard at this point but full of great material for those willing to do some digging.
    • Collection Highlight:
      • The Prelinger Collection – Perhaps the the world’s most comprehensive collection of educational, ephemeral, propaganda, and industrial films ever assembled. A crucial repository for studying the culture of the 20th century.
  5. Florida Memory (https://www.floridamemory.com/video)
    • The State’s extensive catalog of moving-image materials offers a vivid snapshot of Florida’s history.
    • Collection Highlights:
      • The Adventures of X-14 (ca. 1963) – A promotional tourist film produced by the FL Development Commission and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce about an alien visitor (disguised as a kitten!) to Florida’s Gulf Coast
      • Julio 26 (1960) – A TV documentary produced by a local Miami news channel chronicling the first six months and 26 days of Fidel Castro’s leadership in Cuba.

Why and How Libraries Should Use Student Data: Two Perspectives

Why (and How) libraries should use student data to measure the relationship between library services, spaces, etc., on student outcomes.

In this conversation, two librarians at FSU share their perspectives and experiences on student data. Why should we use student data? Why shouldn’t we use student data? Below, read Adam Beauchamp and Kirsten Kinsley’s take on student data.


By Adam Beauchamp, Humanities Librarian

“How” should libraries use student data to measure the relationship between library services, spaces, etc., on student outcomes?

In short, very carefully. 

There are two questions, one methodological and one ethical, that I ask myself when considering the use of student data in library assessment. First, do these data actually measure the outcome I want to assess? Second, does the potential benefit to students from using data this way offset the potential harm to students’ privacy or intellectual freedom? 

Libraries collect a lot of transactional data in the course of normal operations, and it is tempting to use these data to demonstrate the library’s value. But the mistake I see often in the library literature is that librarians conflate a student’s simple use of the library with the broadest (and most flawed) measure of student learning: GPA. A high GPA may be indicative of a student who does well in general on tests and class assignments, but GPA doesn’t tell you what or how a student has learned. 

Similarly, counts of library transactions like checking out a book, attending a workshop, clicking on an electronic journal article, or passing through library turnstiles do not tell you how, or even if, those transactions resulted in student learning. In the first example, did our student read the book, fully understand its thesis, and successfully incorporate those ideas into her own thinking and writing? Did she even select an appropriate book for the assignment in the first place? None of these questions are answered by circulation statistics. Asked another way, if learning did not take place in this scenario, is it the fault of the library? If the library cannot be held liable for the student who checks out a book and doesn’t learn, can the library take credit for the same transaction leading to a positive outcome without justifying how?

If library transactional data alone are insufficient measures of student learning, one response is to collect more, better student data. How can we know if the student above learned from checking out a book? Perhaps if we had her entire search history and records of every other book and journal article she had looked at, we could then hypothesize about whether or not she had deployed a logical search strategy and had selected the “right” book for the assignment. But now we have a serious ethical problem. Is it appropriate for libraries to conduct this kind of surveillance of our users? If the student finds out we are scrutinizing her every keyword and mouse click, would she think twice about searching for or reading materials on certain subjects? Are we sharing these data with her professor, who might deduct points for “irrelevant” searches or checking out the “wrong” books? Have we gotten any closer to discovering how the student is or isn’t learning such that we could alter our practices to benefit her and other students?  

In the ALA Code of Ethics we are called to offer the highest quality service, but we cannot let pursuit of that value cause us to trample on our equally important mission to support intellectual freedom, fight censorship (including self-censorship), and protect library users’ right to privacy and confidentiality. Therefore, we must think very carefully before using student data in an effort to connect library use in all its forms to student learning outcomes. We must be sure that such use of student data is a valid measure of the outcome we wish to assess, and that the potential benefits to students outweighs the potential harms to students’ privacy and intellectual freedom at the center of our professional ethics.


By Kirsten Kinsley, Assessment Librarian

My position is for purposes of modeling Critical Thinking and Healthy Discussion–the value of the month and to start the conversation on big data and student privacy:

An example of the data we collect on students:

We collect data on a number of library services, outreach, spaces, and resources/collections as demonstrated by the data inventory completed in the fall. One of the datasets assessment collects is card swipe data for Dirac and Strozier.  From this data we can determine who uses the library, how frequently, and for how long. The data includes student EMPLIDS, a nine digit code identifier that serves to connect individual student user card swipes with the Office of Institutional Research Business Intelligence (BI) data warehouse.  The BI system is used to pull any number of variables about each student who enters the library. Some of the student variables include: major, year of study or status, semester or overall GPA, retention, class load, whether they are an athlete, a part of Greek Life, or a veteran, etc. We pull demographic variables such as age, sex, race, and pre-college variables, such high school GPA, SAT/ACT scores and Pell grant recipients.

We include all these variables about individual students and examine them in the aggregate because theories and research in higher education conclude that a lot goes into what makes a student successful in college and there are many ways to measure that.  Some point to pre-college variables, such as SAT/ACT scores, as factors that contribute to success. Other studies have shown that collegiate engagement in programs like CARE, living-learning communities, athletics or studying abroad play a role in student success. Using statistics, we can also tease out the relationship between library usage and student success.

In order to be thorough, analysis includes as many factors as we can by holding some variables constant (such as high school GPA, which can have a hidden effect on student library usage) while measuring whether something like first year retention rates may be affected by library usage.  We do this knowing that we cannot account for all variables, such as personal motivation.

You might ask, “How do we know that it is not something about a student’s good study habits and not in using the library space itself that makes them successful?”  In other words, good students self-select to go to the library. This is self-selection bias and for this we apply statistical techniques like precision matching to mitigate it. One way to do that is by creating a comparison group by matching each library user’s demographics and characteristics with a non-library user. For example: A student who visits the library physical space is matched with a non-library using student on characteristics like ethnicity, age, year of study, major, high school GPA, SAT score, etc.  What is being compared is the differences of frequency of library visits between them and to estimate the effects it has on first year retention rates. From this a comparison group of library users with a matched group of non-library users is created. We can apply this technique to measure whether the library user group has a statistically significant higher semester-to-semester retention rate.

All the student data that we collect are anonymized and analyzed in the aggregate.  We do not want to know about a particular students’ library participation, but we do want to know what trends there are that relate to library usage in general.  Aside from library spaces, we know that the library provides many important services, configurations of spaces, and resources that help our users. So measuring the impact of as many library variables together as we can will build our case that the library makes a difference. Since this process involves a lot of datasets, we need a secure and safe data warehouse to store it.

Why should we use all that student data do this?: To show that libraries play a role in student success.

To compete for campus funding:

If we don’t hold ourselves accountable and demonstrate our value and impact on student, faculty, and staff success, who can we count on to advocate for us on campus? Others campus divisions and stakeholders , such as the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) and the Division of Student Affairs are and will be vying for dollars by showing evidence of their contributions. [Look at Goal IV & V of the Strategic Plan: Student Success and the focus of those Goals includes student advising initiatives]. FSU’s operating budget includes E&G Funds (44.36%) and the Libraries share a portion the E&G budget with other campus stakeholders. Of those funds, 11.80% comes from tuition and fees, and the remaining 32.56%  percent comes from state support.

Statewide

The Board of Governors (BOG) oversees the distribution of some large sources of funding: Preeminence funding,  Performance-based funding, and National Ranking Enhancements that are distributed to the eleven schools in the State University System (SUS). At FSU, “performance funding currently accounts for approximately 22% of all Education & General (E&G) dollars, the principal source of university operating funds” (Daly PowerPoint 2019) and is based on metrics. Metrics that libraries can contribute to include: four year graduation rate, academic progress rate (2nd year retention with GPA above 2.0), and others. Another source of income that is getting more and more competitive is Preeminence funding. Of the $20 million recurring funds for the SUS–FSU’s portion is $6.1 million.

Nationally:

ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Initiative (2010) was strongly supported with IMLS grant funding projects and programming and continues to be a driving force for the impetus to conduct this research that demonstrates Value and Impact. Currently, they offer grants for up to $3000 for libraries who want to conduct research to demonstrate value.

While funding is not the only reason we should measure our impact on student success, it is clearly a compelling reason.

So, how do we measure the Libraries’ impact on student success, while also honoring our values?

  1. Foster partnerships: By partnering with other campus colleges and departments as we have successfully done in the past and by utilizing high standards of research practice and methodologies, we raise awareness across campus that the library makes a difference in the lives of students, faculty, and staff.  
  2. Adhering to research standards: We ask questions and let the data speak, not the other way around as in data trolling or dredging. For quantitative research we frame our questions supported with theories tested in higher education [for example, for students we could use Astin’s Theory of Student Involvement (1984) or Tinto’s Institutional Departure Model (1975, 1993)]. We don’t give the data to third parties. We do it to show them the value of students’ tuition or tax dollars. We can do all this while still honoring our professional values (e.g., ALA Code of Ethics),
  3. Model good data stewardship: We can be a role model for not only how we adhere to good research practice, but by being transparent to library users that we collect their information to improve their services, spaces, and collections in the aggregate. We adhere to stringent privacy considerations and make sure we are in alignment with campus data governance. We are good data stewards by maintaining high standards of data management practices and protocols–such as how we store, secure, and de-identify data. We do this using the same research standards and protocols of the university.  We develop a privacy statement and a way for users to opt out of library research should they want to.

Summary

We need to be proactive about demonstrating impact and value to the institution and advocate to stakeholders our value.  Aside from competition for campus funds, we need to hold ourselves accountable to measure that what we do matters. If any part of this institution is capable of measuring impact and value with care and consideration of its users, it is the Libraries. Our values and concerns will keep us balanced between contributing evidence-based data and the practices of privacy, and keeping what we measure within the bounds of reason. Let’s not leave it up to the vendors to decide the granularity of data we seek, but let us ask the questions, within the bounds of our values, and conduct sound research practice in good faith knowing that there will never be data that give us certainty and definitive answers, only a compass to point the way.

Note: References provided for my assertions provided upon request.

FSU Libraries Announce Alternative Textbook Grant Recipients

FSU Libraries is proud to announce the winners of our 2018-2019 round of Alternative Textbook Grants. The grant program, launched by the Libraries in November 2016, awards successful applicants with $1,000 to support the adoption or creation of open or library-licensed course materials that are available at no cost to students. These high-quality materials are written by experts and peer-reviewed, ensuring a level of intellectual and instructional rigor on par with expensive commercial equivalents.

Applications were evaluated based on criteria balancing the estimated savings to students, the openness of the proposed materials, and the likelihood of the materials being adopted by other courses at FSU.

Based on projected enrollment figures for the courses in question, the instructors participating in this round of the program are expected to save FSU students up to $167,800 by Fall 2019, and the total projected savings across all grant recipients since the program’s inception are expected to exceed $437,000.

Congratulations to this year’s winners! For more information about the open education movement and related initiatives at FSU, see our research guide on OER, or contact Devin Soper, Director of FSU Libraries’ Office of Digital Research & Scholarship.

 

2018-2019 Grant Recipients

John Bandzuh is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography. His research interests include health geography, political ecology, and vector-borne diseases. This is Bandzuh’s second alternative textbook grant. With his first grant, he used library-licensed journal articles in GEO4930 “Geography of Wine”. This year he plans to adopt an open textbook in his Summer 2019 World Geography course.

Kathleen Burnett is the F. William Summers Professor in the School of Information. Her research interests include Social Informatics, Gender, Race, and Ethnicity and IT, and Information Ethics. Dr. Burnett plans to author chapters for her own open textbook and incorporate online resources and videos in her Fall and Spring offerings of IDS2144 “Information Ethics in the 21st Century”.

Austin Bush is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography. His research interests include GIS, remote sensing, and spatial analysis. In lieu of a traditional textbook, he plans to use online mapping applications, scholarly articles, and videos in the Summer 2019 offering of GIS3015 “Map Analysis”.

Rob Duarte is a Professor in the Department of Art, co-director of the Facility for Arts Research, and Director of REBOOT Laboratory. Professor Duarte will adopt an open textbook for the new course “Interactive Art II: Electronic Objects” in Fall 2019. In the future, he plans to write his own companion to the text focusing on physical computing and electronic art.

Raphael Kampmann is an Assistant Professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the FSU-FAMU College of Engineering. His research interests include multi-axial failure behavior of concrete, construction materials, and destructive test methods. In place of a textbook, Dr. Kampmann will create his own course materials in the 2019-2020 offerings of EGM3512 “Engineering Mechanics”.

Jessica Malo is an adjunct professor of Arabic and Film Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics. Malo recently returned from a year of teaching English as a second language in Lebanon and published her first work of Arabic poetry “لو مشى معي قرص الشمس” (If the Disk of Sun Would Walk With Me). She will adopt an open textbook on Middle Eastern history and Culture in upcoming offerings of IDS3450 “Through an Arabic Lens: The Intersection of Film and Culture”.

Lisa Munson is Teaching Faculty in the Department of Sociology. She studies social inequality and social justice, particularly public sociology – applying sociological knowledge to promote social justice in the community. Dr. Munson was also one of the 2018 Alternative Textbook Grant recipients for a Sociology course taught in Florence in which she used an open textbook. With this grant, she will use an open textbook and journal articles in the Summer 2019 offering of SYP4570 “Deviance and Social Control”.

Alysia Roehrig is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology & Learning Systems. Dr. Roehrig’s research interests focus on issues related to effective teaching, particularly exploring the successes of students labeled at risk for school failure. She will use chapters from two open textbooks on research methods in the Summer 2019 online offering of EDF5481 “Methods of Educational Research”.

Zoe Schroder is Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography. Some of her research interests include meteorology, climatology, and severe weather patterns. In place of a textbook, Schroder will incorporate government climate reports and journal articles in the Summer 2019 offering of GEO4251 “Geography of Climate Change and Storms”.

Michael Shatruk is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. His lab researches photo-switchable molecular materials, intermetallic magnets for magnetic refrigeration and electric vehicles, and low-dimensional magnetic materials such as spin-frustrated 2D magnets and nanomagnets. Dr. Shatruk received two grants this academic year to support the adoption and creation of open course materials. With a grant from International Programs, he will adopt an open textbook for CHM1020 at the Valencia study center this summer. With funding from the Libraries, he and his colleagues will develop an open-access online laboratory manual for a new undergraduate Materials Chemistry laboratory course offered in Spring 2020.

International Programs Grant Recipients

Lydia Hanks is an Associate Professor in the Dedman School of Hospitality. Dr. Hanks’ teaching areas include hospitality accounting, lodging operations, and service management. She will use an open textbook in the Summer 2019 offering of HFT2716 “International Travel and Culture” in Florence, Italy.

Cynthia Johnson is Specialized Teaching Faculty in the Dedman School of Hospitality. Her teaching areas include introductory hospitality, internationals tourism, and club and golf course management. She will adopt an open access textbook and other alternative resources in the Summer 2019 offerings of HFT3240 “Managing Service Organizations” and HFT 2716 “International Travel and Culture” in Nice, France.

Patrick Merle is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Director of the Integrated Marketing Program. His teaching interests include International Public Relations, Political Communication, and Public Relations Techniques. Dr. Merle will adopt open textbooks in PUR4400 “Crisis Communication” offered in Summer 2019 in Florence, Italy.

Anthony Rhine is a Professor in the School of Theatre and Director of the Theatre Management program. Dr. Rhine teaches courses on Audience Development and Arts Marketing, Project Management, and Resource Management. He will use an open textbook and a library licensed e-book in the Summer 2019 offering of MAN3240 “Organizational Behavior” at the Valencia study center.

Jimmy Yu is an Associate Professor of Chinese Buddhism in the Department of Religion. He teaches courses in Chinese religious traditions, with an emphasis in Buddhism and Daoism. Dr. Yu will use library-licensed e-books and articles in the Summer 2019 offering of REL3340 “Buddhist Tradition” at the London study center.