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April 26 – May 1  ALA Preservation Week
April 29   Expanding the Assessment Toolbox: Blending the Old and New Assessment Practices (NISO webinar)
May 6  Engaging with the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Webinar
May 14  NISO webinar follow-up session: exploring SUSHI-COUNTER



2015 Preservation Week

I Will Go to the Ball
One of the most popular exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., is The First Ladies.  This exhibit explores the changing role the Presidential wives played throughout history and features gowns from more than 2 dozen First Ladies.  Preserving old fabrics is complicated by the additional materials—lace, metals, trims, buttons—used to create beautiful gowns.  This short video gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the National Museum of American History’s First Ladies exhibition, featuring Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown designed by Jason Wu.  If you ever get a chance to visit the Smithsonian, and want to visit this exhibit, it is located in the National Museum of American History.  This fascinating museum also houses many famous artifacts, including the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, Julia Child’s kitchen from her home, and President Lincoln’s carriage.  Imagine the wide-ranging preservation issues these items can present!

2015 Preservation Week

The Great Flood of 1966
The Arno River in Florence, Italy, surged over its banks on November 4, 1966, killing 101 people and damaging or destroying millions of masterpieces of art and rare books. It was the worst flood in the city’s history since 1557. With the combined effort of Italian citizens and foreign donors and committees, or angeli del fango (“Mud Angels”), many of these fine works have since been restored.  However, even decades later, much work remains to be done. The flood affected so many valuable works of art and important libraries and archives that the massive response from the international community became the foundation for modern book conservation and disaster recovery methods. If you want to read more, this article gives a short summary of the event.  The scope of the restoration challenges can be seen in this 1968 film about book restoration from the flood. Don’t be deterred by the slow start of the video.


The memorial service for Professor Emeritus J. León Helguera, a longtime friend of the library, is scheduled for this Friday, May 1, at 1:30 at the University Club.

2015 Preservation Week

Cezanne BOGO?  Dr. Albert C. Barnes founded the  Barnes Foundation in 1922 to promote the advancement of the fine arts and horticulture.  The Barnes post-impressionist and early modernists art collections became one of the world’s finest.  Paul Cezanne’s works were among those heavily collected.  In January 2014  22 works were sent to the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia for treatment, with two Cézanne watercolors among them.  During the conservation of the watercolors some acidic brown backing paper was removed and two unknown Cezanne sketches on the back sides of the watercolors came into view.  The conservator at CCAHA and the Barnes Foundation curator both believe that Dr. Barnes never knew he had gotten  2 for the price of 1 (twice) when he bought the watercolors from Leo Stein in 1921.  For more details of this unexpected discovery that happened because of conservation concerns, click here for an article published in the Philadelephia Inquirer.

The Assessment Committee invites you to a live NISO webinar: Expanding the Assessment Toolbox: Blending the Old and New Assessment Practices

WHEN:  Wednesday, April 29, 10am-4pm and Thursday, May 14, 12-1:30 pm

WHERE:  Central Library Room 418A

Staff interested in exploring and learning about innovative ideas and techniques in assessment are invited to join us for a webinar. A follow-up session exploring SUSHI-COUNTER will take place on May 14, from 12:00-1:30 pm. Please feel free to come for just a few speakers, or the whole webinar – depending on your interests! Times below have been edited to reflect CST.

Every day libraries and publishers are asked to demonstrate the value of the content they provide through quantitative metrics and assessments. Existing metrics, such as the Journal Impact Factor, and tools, such as COUNTER and SUSHI, have proven their worth in providing useful data. But as both the forms of content and the way content is used evolves, alternative forms of assessment are also needed. Data at the container level, e.g., the journal, is no longer sufficient. Downloading full text in a PDF file is no longer the only (or even primary) way that users access content. Citation alone is not sufficient to capture all the new social media ways that content is shared. Traditional assessment techniques are being modified, completely new measures are being developed, and both old and new need to be blended in a meaningful way that creates a trusted system. Both the creation of these new or blended metrics and the information the metrics provide are generating new services and products.

This Virtual Conference will examine some of the innovative ideas and techniques that are being employed in the never-ending struggle to measure how content is accessed and used. It will include discussions related to usage statistics, altmetrics, gaming the numbers, and open access. NISO’s Alternative Assessment Metrics Initiative will also be discussed.


  • 10:00 – 10:10 a.m. – Introduction
    Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO
  • 10:10 – 11:00 p.m. Keynote Address
    Megan Oakleaf, Associate Professor of Library and Information Science, iSchool at Syracuse University
  • 11:00 – 11:30 p.m. Value in Numbers: Shared Approach to Measuring Usage & Impact 
    Jo Lambert, Project Manager, JISC
  • 12:00. – 12:35 p.m. Lunch Break
  • 12:35 – 12:45 p.m. Preview of May 14 Training: Implementing SUSHI at your Institution 
    Oliver Pesch, Chief Product Strategist and Senior Vice President, EBSCO Information Services
  • 12:45 – 1:15 p.m. Assessing Game-Based Library Initiatives
    Kyle Felker, Digital Initiatives Librarian, Grand Valley State University Libraries
  • 1:15 – 1:45 p.m. Brace for Impact: Using Assessment Evidence to Communicate the Value of Your Library SERs
    Amanda B. Albert, Distance Learning Librarian, Horace W. Sturgis Library, Kennesaw State University
  • 1:45 – 2:00 p.m. Afternoon Break
  • 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. ‘Good Enough’: Applying a Holistic Approach for Practical, Systematic Collection Assessment 
    Madeline Kelly, Head of Collection Development, University Libraries, George Mason University
  • 2:30 – 3:00 p.m. E-Journal Metrics: Exploring Disciplinary Differences
    Katherine Chew, Research/Outreach Services Librarian, Health Sciences Libraries, University of Minnesota & Mary Schoenborn, Subject Liaison Librarian, Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
  • 3:00 – 3:30 p.m. NISO Altmetrics Project: Update from 3 Project Working Groups
    • Development of specific definitions for alternative assessment metrics 
      Mike Showalter, Product Manager, Plum Analytics – NISO Altmetrics Project Working Group A Co-chair
    • Definitions for appropriate metrics and calculation methodologies for specific output types
      Mike Taylor, Senior Product Manager, Informetrics, Elsevier – NISO Altmetrics Project Working Group B Co-chair
    • Development of strategies to improve data quality through source data providers 
      Martin Fenner, Technical Lead PLOS Article-Level Metrics, PLoS – Chair, NISO Altmetrics Project
  • 3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Roundtable Discussion: Presenters from the day return to answer questions in an open format discussion
    Moderated by: Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO


2015 Preservation Week

Why Preserve a Derelict Nashville Building?  Quoted from a Feb. 24, 2015 Tennessean article by Tony Gonzales…”Mike Wolfe has made a career out of rescuing old and dilapidated things. The creator of the American Pickers TV show often sees the charm that others overlook. But in all his pickings, he’s never taken on a project like the one consuming him now in Nashville. Wolfe bought a crumbling 1898 brick building on Jo Johnston Avenue, a block from his Antique Archaeology store, after several years of driving past it. He wondered about it. And he worried about missed chances he was hearing about, across Nashville, to preserve historic buildings. As happens in his line of work, Wolfe got more than he bargained for. “This is the worst building I’ve ever bought,” he said while showing off the partially gutted interior.”  Watch this video to find out Mike Wolfe’s reasons for preserving a non-descript commercial building in Nashville.

2015 Preservation Week

Sutton Who?    On a small hill above the river Deben in Suffolk, England, is a strange-looking field, covered with grassy mounds of different sizes. For several hundred years what lay under them was a mystery.

In 1938, an archaeologist named Basil Brown at the request of the landowner started digging under mounds 2, 3 and 4, where he found a few, mostly broken, Anglo-Saxon objects which had been buried alongside their owner’s bodies. Sadly, grave robbers had taken most of what was there. Then he started digging on the biggest mound, Mound 1.

He did not know that the treasures under Mound 1 would turn out to be the most amazing set of Anglo-Saxon objects ever found.  Now known as the Sutton Hoo site, Brown found a buried ship containing the remains of a high ranking Anglo-Saxon man surrounded by treasures.  Preserving  this 1,000 year old site and its contents was complicated by the fact that the discovery occurred amidst the World War II bombings.

To view some of these treasures and to learn about the site, click here.   If you’d like to watch a video about the excavation and the finds, you have a choice of two videos on the Sutton Hoo Society site.

Kitty Porter has indicated her plan to retire from the Science & Engineering Library on May 1, 2015.  Kitty began her career as a Bibliographer/Reference Librarian (Chemistry Librarian) with the Science & Engineering Library on September 1, 1998.  Quoting from Tracy Primich, former Director, Science & Engineering Library, “Kitty pushes us all to be better, to continually strive, to be optimistic, and to value scholarship.  She is always offering ideas and contributing in small and large ways.  She is a consummate team player.”  If Kitty puts as much effort into enjoying her retirement as she has all the years she’s been working at the University Libraries, her retirement will be truly amazing!  She will be missed by her colleagues at the Science & Engineering Library and across the system.

We wish Kitty all the best in her retirement!

Interim Dean Joseph D. Combs, Jr.

2015 Preservation Week

2015 Preservation Week

Preservation of History  The 6th annual ALA Preservation Week is coming the last week of April. Our local theme for 2015 is the role preservation plays in keeping the past alive.  Between April 27-May1 watch for a daily article in the Library’s Staffnews highlighting the preservation and/or conservation of historically significant artifact(s).

Questions answered next week:

  • What was one of the 20th century’s greatest archeological finds?
  • Why save a run-down building in Nashville?
  • How could someone buy 2 Cezannes and end up with 4?
  • What catastrophic event resulted in the development of modern disaster response techniques?
  • Who could have danced all night at the Presidential balls?

In addition, ALCTS will once again sponsor free webinars on April 28 (Moving Image Preservation 101) and April 30.( Digital Preservation for Individuals and Small Groups).  Both webinars are approximately an hour in length and will be begin at 1pm.  Click on the webinar title to register for that webinar.  ALA Preservation Week webinars from previous years are also available here.


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