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This blog documents news and updates from the OLS Systems department. Expect product updates and tips & tricks for making the most of the systems we support, as well as how-to information to help you achieve certain tasks. Read more about OLS »

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Academic Works Collections Policy

The Office of Library Services is pleased to announce the publication of the CUNY Academic Works Collections Policy. A collaborative effort between the Scholarly Communications Librarian and the OLS Scholarly Communications Committee, this policy formally outlines the collection parameters and priorities for CUNY’s institutional repository and provides guidelines for administrations of those collections. All Academic Works coordinators were asked to contribute to the online draft of the document, as well as participate in an in-person forum held this August. The campuses were well represented by 14 attendees, and the final draft was approved on August 31, 2016. The full text of the policy is available via the CUNY Academic Works Librarian Toolkit.

What to Do When an OLS Managed Service is Not Available

In the event that any of the services OLS provides are not available, and you’ve not received any specific announcements from OLS or CIS, please check the OLS systems status page (http://ols.cuny.edu/) that at a glance will tell you if a service is running or not. There will be cases when a service indicator shows green (available) but from your particular campus or location outside of CUNY the service is unavailable, as a local factor might be the cause. No matter where the problem is experienced, please create a ticket (work order) with the CUNY Service Desk (service.desk@cuny.edu). Always let us know *where* you are experiencing the problem. OLS, CIS, and our primary systems vendors monitor and employ (365x24x7) internal alerting mechanisms for critical processes within CUNY Libraries’ ecosystems (Academic Works, Aleph [GUI/OPAC], Coral, EZProxy, OneSearch, SFX) so in most cases we’re already aware of a problem and are working with our partners to restore services.

To recap, when a system or service appears to be down, first

  • Check for announcements/notifications from OLS/CIS
  • Always check to OLS systems status page: http://ols.cuny.edu/
  • Create a ticket (work order) with the CUNY Service Desk

 

For those of you who have never created a support ticket (work order) to report a service interruption/down system, it’s super easy. Just send an email to service.desk@cuny.

NOTE: We’d also like you to cc: aleph-team@cuny.edu

The subject of your email should contain three parts:

  1. The unavailable OLS service/system (e.g., Aleph, OneSearch, Academic Works, etc.).
  2. Your two-letter OWN code or library name.
  3. A brief summary of your problem, with screenshots and/or the exact text of error message if there is one.

 

Here’s an example.

****************************************************************************************************************************************

To: service.desk@cuny.edu

Cc: aleph-team@cuny.edu

Subject: Aleph: LE – Staff (GUI) Clients not Connecting to Server

Service Desk,

We’re unable to connect to Aleph from the Circulation Desk here at Lehman Library. We’re getting a “connection refused” error message. The PC is connecting to the Internet, however as we’re able to view the library web pages and the Aleph OPAC.

 Thank you,

Lenny L.

 

 

 

Art History Pedagogy and Practice Launches in Digital Commons

Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR), in partnership with the Office of Library Services, is excited to announce the launch of Art History Pedagogy and Practice (AHPP) on Academic Works’ Digital Commons platform. Published by AHTR, a practitioner-led open educational resource for educators who address art history, visual, and material culture, AHPP is the first academic journal dedicated to the scholarship of teaching and learning in art history (SoTL-AH). The result of a two year initiative, AHPP responds to a long-standing need to advance, collect, disseminate, and demonstrate pedagogical research specific to the discipline. The CFP  for the inaugural issue, forthcoming in Fall 2016, is available on the AHTR website.

SoTL in Art History

AHPP results from a two year initiative that sought to examine the ways in which art historians devote time, effort, and energy to classroom teaching, curriculum development, and student engagement. Generously funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, AHTR began preliminary research in 2015, which included a field-wide survey conducted by Randi Korn and Associates and a literature review assessing existing pedagogical scholarship in art history. These findings were synthesized in a White Paper  that demonstrated the need for SoTL-AH to be acknowledged as a legitimate area of intellectual inquiry by the institutions and communities encompassing academic art history. As a peer-reviewed journal devoted to SoTL-AH, AHPP will facilitate this process by providing scholars a forum to share research on pedagogical topics, and by encouraging further academic investigation and discourse around teaching and learning in art history

AHTR

AHPP builds on the success of AHTR as a platform to exchange ideas related to pedagogy in art history.  Founded on dual goals to raise the value of the academic labor of teaching and to provide peer support across ranks of tenured, tenure-track, and contingent instructors, AHTR began as a collaboration between Michelle Millar Fisher at the Graduate Center and Karen Shelby at Baruch College in 2011. Fisher, then a Graduate Teaching Fellow with a background in museum education, and Shelby, then an Assistant Professor of Art History, organized meetings where colleagues shared teaching materials and experiences. These gatherings suggested potential for a digital forum to connect a wider community of practitioners, and gave rise to the arthistoryteachingresources.org website, which launched publicly in 2013.  Since that time, the site has had more than 400,000 hits from over 91,000 educators in K-12, post-secondary institutions, and art museums, and from academic support staff including reference librarians and curriculum designers. AHTR’s administration has similarly expanded to a leadership collective of art historians, ranging in experience from early career scholars to those well established in the field, and an advisory network assembled for expertise and leadership in art history, museum education, and digital humanities, and united by their interest in advancing pedagogical research. The unique relationship between AHPP and AHTR will allow scholars access to diverse resources about teaching and learning, including lesson plans and the AHTR Weekly on the OER, and peer-reviewed articles published in the journal.

AHPP in Digital Commons

In choosing the Digital Commons platform, AHPP is enthusiastic to extend the relationship with CUNY that was first established when AHTR was born out of the Graduate Center’s New Media Lab with support from Baruch Learning and Technology Grants.  In keeping with the site’s origins, AHTR also contracted CHIPS, a New York web development studio known for innovative work with cultural institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Timeline of Art History and 82nd and Fifth, who had redesigned the AHTR website in 2014 to create AHPP’s logo and site design.

The editors, editorial collective, and advisory board of AHPP are excited to join the Office of Library Services in the broader open access movement and for the ways in which contributions to the journal will be utilized in the fields of SoTL, art history, and beyond. AHPP worked closely with librarians at the Office of Library Services to develop editorial policies and guidelines that are transparent to authors and readers.

Urban Library Journal launches in Digital Commons

The Office of Library Services is thrilled to announce the launch of Urban Library Journal on Academic Works’ Digital Commons platform. Published by the Library Association of the City University of New York (LACUNY), Urban Library Journal (ULJ) fills a gap in LIS scholarship by addressing the work of libraries and librarians in an urban setting.

Before it was Urban Library Journal

LACUNY JournalIn 1972, LACUNY launched its first journal, LACUNY Journal, as a means to make “the ideas of CUNY librarians known to each other and to colleagues in other departments of City University.” The Editorial Committee hoped to address a full range of subjects and perspectives – including controversial ones – in order to promote a free and open exchange of ideas and raise the professional goals of its membership. And it did just that. From profiles of CUNY libraries and librarians to articles about the relationship between libraries and open admissions to questioning the role ACRL plays in bringing libraries together, Volume 1, Issue 1 was a platform for the diverse voice, experiences, and perspectives present throughout CUNY Libraries.

In 1981, the LACUNY Journal was replaced by the Urban Academic Librarian, which expanded its scope and the conversation beyond CUNY, to librarians working in an urban academic setting. Michael O’Donnell, Chairperson of the LACUNY publications committee and a librarian at the College of Staten Island, introduced the first issue of this new publication with a call for change:

As the 1980s unfolded, urban academic librarians need to redefine their mission in order to achieve a balance between the academically desirable and the fiscally and physically feasible. By rejecting both the starry-eyed idealism of the Sixties and the “looking-out-for-number-one” cynicism of the Seventies, perhaps we can establish realistic and achievable goals. We hope this journal will help provide a free exchange of ideas.

Launch of Urban Library Journal

IUrban Library Journaln changing the name to Urban Library Journal in 1998, the members of the LACUNY publications committee opened the journal to all librarians working in an urban environment. The city, its institutions, and its people were under attack from politicians, their policies and their budgets. Editor Rolando Perez introduced the first issue under the journal’s new name by addressing the importance of its expanded scope:

“No true American lives in New York City,” commented Ronald Reagan while in office — a comment that though easily dismissed did set the tone for a certain attitude towards our cities. . .

This attitude, though somewhat tempered in the 90s, still domineers a lot of federal, state, and even local politics with respect to our cities. And though no politician today would make the same statement made by Reagan almost twenty years ago, a lot of the legislation that impact upon our cities, does reflect the unstated attitude of our politicians. It is reflected in the way our public education institutions have come under rhetorical and economic attack, it is reflected in the lack of funding for educational programs, and it is reflected in our elected officials’ attitudes towards the very institutions that support the cities, as for instance, our urban libraries.

As former co-editors Beth Evans and Sally Bowdoin note “shortly after the name change [to ULJ] the LACUNY publications committee began to recruit editorial board members outside of CUNY. In 2003, an advisory board of nationally recognized librarians, including E. J. Josey, University of Pittsburgh, James C. Welbourne, Enoch Pratt Free Library, and Neerejana Ghosh, New York School Library System, was established.”

ULJ became an online-only, open access publication in 2007 when it moved to the Public Knowledge Project’s Open Journal System. With this change, all urban librarians could not only submit to the journal, they could read it as well.

Urban Library Journal in Digital Commons

logo for Urban Library Journal

In moving to the Digital Commons platform, ULJ joins the larger Academic Works initiative at CUNY, or, to be more accurate, CUNY joins ULJ in the larger open access movement. It also marks the first journal to be published and supported by the Office of Library Services, a service we hope to grow in future years.

Under the leadership of editor Junior Tidal (City Tech), and with the deft support of web manager Valerie Forrestal (College of Staten Island), archived issues of ULJ dating back to 2007 have migrated to the new platform. As part of this process, Tidal and a LACUNY subcommittee comprised of Margaret Bausman (Hunter College), Mark Eaton (Kingsborough Community College), Charles Keyes (LaGuardia Community College), and Jessica Wagner (Baruch College) selected a new logo as part of a design contest hosted by Logosauce.com.

In addition to the visual redesign, ULJ worked with the Office of Library Services to make its policies and procedures more transparent to its readers and contributors. ULJ and the Office of Library Services thank the  Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication and its editors for providing permission to adapt its documentation.

The Office of Library Services is pleased to support Urban Library Journal as it moves forward, on its new home on Digital Commons.

Analytics: Circulation Activity Comparison Tool

In January, we introduced you to a CUNY OLS dashboard showing usage of our main library systems. That dashboard continues to be updated each month and we recently improved it, giving it in a new look and providing more school-specific detail.

Now we have a fun new offering: the Circulation Activity Comparison Tool!

Circulation Activity Comparison Tool

Circulation Activity Comparison Tool showing 2 fiscal years and highlighting loans

Features

  • Select Date Type to change the view from monthly to display by weekdays or by hours
  • Click on a single Event Type to view only one type of circulation event: Loans, Returns, or Requests
  • The title of each chart will change automatically to display the current selections for that chart
  • Remove all filter selections by clicking Reset at the left under the charts
  • Remove your last filter selection by clicking Undo in the same location
  • Includes data from Fiscal Years 2014, 2015, and 2016 (through March 2016)
  • Filter by a single SubLibrary or an entire Library (select all relevant SubLibraries in the drop-down selection box)
  • Click on the Loans line (or Returns or Requests) to display that line’s transaction counts (as we did in the above image)
  • Fiscal Year and SubLibrary selections are applied to one chart only
  • Select Date Type and other selections are applied to both charts

Using this tool, you can easily

  • Check your library’s peak hours for loans, returns, and requests
  • View your library’s traffic by day of the week
  • Compare 2 Fiscal Years by selecting different years on the left and right
  • Compare 2 Libraries (select all SubLibraries for one on the left and for another on the right)
  • Compare 2 SubLibraries
  • Mix and match

Acknowledgments

OLS is currently using Tableau Public’s free service to bring you this information. Check the Tableau Public Status page if you can’t access our OLS dashboards.

We owe a huge thank you to Jennifer Murray at SUNY Buffalo for sharing not only their Tableau dashboard but also the logic used to create it. This allowed us to build on the work they did and adapt it to our needs at CUNY.  In that same spirit, the logic we used appears below.

Technical Details

The data source is the Aleph Z35 Events table.

The selected fields are: Time Stamp (includes date, hour), Date (formatted), SubLibrary, and Circulation Event Type (groups 1 or more related events together)

Circulation Event Type Criteria

  • Loan: selected loan transactions
  • Return: return transactions
  • Requests: hold request transactions

Other Details

  • Limit to certain transaction types
  • Limit transaction dates to the 2 previous fiscal years plus the current fiscal year (July 2013-current date)
  • The order-by option is not required and merely makes the output easily scannable
  • The output is tab-delimited

SQL

set heading off
set pause off
set pagesize 0
set linesize 2900
set colsep |
select z35_time_stamp || chr(9) || substr( z35_event_date, 5, 2) || '/' || 
substr( z35_event_date, 7, 2) || '/' || substr( z35_event_date, 1, 4)
 || chr(9) || Z35_SUB_LIBRARY || chr(9) ||  ( CASE
WHEN z35_event_type IN ('50','56') THEN 'LOAN'
WHEN z35_event_type in ('61') THEN 'RETURN'
WHEN z35_event_type in ('71','72','73','74') THEN 'REQUEST'
END)
from xxx50.z35  -- where 'xxx' is your library prefix
where z35_event_type in ('50','56','61','71','72','73','74')
and z35_event_date > '20130630'
and z35_event_date < '20160401'
order by z35_time_stamp
;
exit
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