Trinity and Open Education Resources

Open Education ResourcesCollege students today face high costs in more than just tuition–increases in textbook prices have far exceeded the rate of inflation. This puts an unnecessary burden on students, and Trinity is looking for ways to ease that burden. You can learn more about the issue in this Tripod article, contributed by Matthew Boyle ’19. The Dean of Faculty and Information Services are sponsoring a pilot project for faculty to investigate available open resource textbooks which would be free or very low cost for students to use. With funding from the Dean’s Office, seven faculty have applied for and been given OER grants:

 

Harry Blaise, Engineering

Clayton Byers, Engineering

Stefanie Chambers, Political Science

Carol Clark, Economics

Jack Dougherty, Educational Studies

Troy Helming, Economics

Todd Ryan, Philosophy

 

We thank the Dean and these faculty for their support of this program, and we hope it will only be the start of more programs like it at Trinity in the future.

 

New Improved and Faster Interlibrary Loan Service

The CTW Library Consortium (Connecticut College, Trinity College, Wesleyan University) recently joined RapidILL, an interlibrary loan network of libraries committed to sharing resources and fulfilling requests more quickly.

RapidILL was founded in the late 1990s by Colorado State University Libraries and now includes libraries from around the world.  The majority of members are in the United States and Canada, but others are in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

At Trinity, Library interlibrary loan specialist Marcelino Velez has worked on learning the new system and getting us started in the program. The integration process began in late Fall 2018 and was completed in January 2019.  The first requests trickled in before spring semester began but the libraries are now at full speed, handling both lending and borrowing requests for articles and book chapters on a daily basis.  The libraries plan to add full book requests to the Rapid setup this coming summer.

The primary benefits of RapidILL are being part of a very large and diverse sharing network whose members are committed to fulfilling lending requests within 24 hours.  This quicker turnaround is possible because requests are sent to libraries that own the item electronically first.  This means many requests are fulfilled automatically without staff intervention.  So despite a higher volume of requests coming into the CTW libraries, the staff time needed to handle these requests should stay the same.

Best of all, it’s a win-win situation for faculty and students.  Most of your requests for articles and book chapters should arrive faster and there’s nothing new to learn in terms of placing requests from non-CTW libraries. Rapid is completely integrated with our existing interlibrary loan software (ILLiad), and everything is handled completely behind the scenes. There is nothing new you need to do, but you should see an improvement in time to delivery of the requested material.

Information Services Desk Update

Merging the help desk and circulation desk operations has proven to be both challenging and rewarding, but we are finally getting into the groove of things and feeling like a single unit at the Information Services Desk! Many may know us as staffed by team members whose previous expertise was limited to either library circulation or help desk services, but that is changing as we continue to cross-train and hire new team members.

The newest employee to join our team is Catherine Simpson, who fills the role of Public Services Specialist here at the Information Services Desk. Catherine performs a variety of tasks, working collaboratively with staff and students, and providing excellent, friendly service. Together, our unit continues to strive for overall improvement of services, and we are constantly evaluating the ways in which we operate day-to-day. Our main goal is to assist Trinity community members in every way possible, and we aim to achieve this goal by offering excellent customer service, building a great team of students and staff, continuously learning and being the best we can be. Feel free to stop by our desk to say hello, meet our new team member, Catherine, or just to challenge us with any questions you may have!

Resist Newsletters join Digital Repository

 

Repository News:

Nearly 50 years of Resist, Inc. bi-monthly newsletters are now available in the Trinity College Digital Repository as text-searchable PDFs, soon to be joined by documents from Resist steering committee meetings. Part of a large archive recently donated by Resist, Inc. to Trinity College’s Watkinson Library, the newsletters provide a window into activities of the organization and into broader national and international resistance efforts as well.
Founded in Boston to support and promote resistance to the Vietnam War and draft, Resist authored “The Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority,” published 9/28/1967 in the New York Review of Books. Primary signers of this first “Call” included intellectuals and scholars such as Noam Chomsky, Dr. Benjamin Spock, William Sloane Coffin Jr., Dwight Macdonald, Allen Ginsberg, and Rev. Robert MacAfee Brown, and Trinity College’s Paul Lauter. The “Call” asked for universities, religious institutions, groups and individuals to “raise funds to organize draft resistance unions, to supply legal defense and bail, to support families and otherwise to aid resistance to the war in whatever ways seem appropriate” (“Call to Resist,” 1967). Monies received by Resist from monthly contributions and other sources were primarily channeled into grants for petitioning organizations, and much of the monthly steering committee meetings was dedicated to accepting or denying these numerous grant applications.
See the Paul Lauter ‘Sixties Archive in the Watkinson Library for related materials, and see also Trinity Tripod issues dated 1968-1970.

SGA Provides Textbooks for Reserves

Thanks to support from the Trinity Student Government Association, the library has added these textbooks to the reserve collection:

  • Calculus by Laura Taalman, 17th edition
  • Starting Out with Java: Early Objects by Tony Gaddis, 6th edition
  • Starting Out with Python by Tony Gaddis, 4th edition
  • Economics- Principles, Problems, & Policies by Campbell McConnell, 20th edition
  • Physical Chemistry by Thomas Engel, 3rd edition (coming  soon)

 

These books, and others, are available for 3 hour check out from the Information Services Desk. The SGA, faculty, Dean’s Office and the Library all recognize that the cost of textbooks are a challenge for students, and are increasing support to make more texts available at reasonable prices. Several classes should happen in the fall with open education resources used as texts as well, further helping to mitigate costs. If you have ideas about other ways the library can help we’d like to hear from you!

Finding Film Content in OneSearch

Overview of video content offered by Trinity Library

Trinity Library offers a vast selection of films for teaching and learning. In addition to a rich DVD collection, the Library subscribes to several subscription packages of film content. These include:

  • Kanopy – Over 2,000 educational and feature films from major producers including California Newsreel, Criterion Collection, Green Planet Films, Kino Lorber, and others.
  • Films on Demand – Over 30,000 educational and documentary videos from Films Media Group and content producers such as news broadcasting networks , HBO, NOVA, BBC, National Geographic and more.
  • Swank –  A small but growing collection of feature films.

Any title  from the above subscription packages can be conveniently provided to students in a course by embedding a direct link into a course Moodle page. Please see this post for tips. Additionally, the Library can provide streaming video access to DVDs via Moodle by faculty request.  Visit this page for more information on Kaltura streaming video services.

Discovering content in OneSearch.

The most effective way to search in OneSearch is to begin with a title or keyword and then apply filters on the results screen.

The screen shot below shows the results of a keyword search for “marriage.” To find video content, select Trinity College under Institution, and use the additional filters on the left side in the following ways:

 To Find Apply the Filters
Films in Kanopy, Films on Demand, or Swank Under Resource Type, click “Show more” and select Audio and Video (Streaming). Note this will also include audio.
 DVDs Under Resource Type, click “Show more” and select Video (DVD/VHS).

 

For additional assistance finding film content or using it in classes, please contact your instructional technologist or a research librarian.

Welcome back students and faculty!

Newly Combined Services The ITS Help Desk and the Library Circulation Desk are now located together on Level A forming the Information Services Desk. All ITS and Library support is now provided from this central location. Please note that all help desk requests should now be submitted at http://ishelp.trincoll.edu.

Reminder for Faculty: Please submit course viewing /reserve requests as soon as possible. All course reserve requests, including for streaming video, should be submitted through the IS ticketing system at ishelp.trincoll.edu​. Course reserve guidelines are available here.  This fall we will begin using Kaltura instead of Trinflix to deliver streaming video – please allow additional processing time for your request.

Open Education Resources (OER) Faculty Stipend Program and October 2 Common Hour

Studies suggest that, over the past thirty years, the average cost of college textbooks has risen more than 800%, and more than 60% of students report that they will skip purchasing a textbook at some point in their academic careers due to costs.   Trinity students are not immune from the pressure rising textbook costs cause and have asked for help with this issue. We aim to explore whether we can help control textbook costs through the adoption of low-cost or no cost textbooks and other resources available through the Trinity College Library collection and the Watkinson Library and Archives collection

Open Educational Resources are openly licensed textbooks, documents and media that may be used for teaching and learning. Open licensing means that material in OER texts can be modified and shared without fear of copyright restrictions or exorbitant charges. OER texts are usually online, but frequently offer print formats as well. OER texts usually have little or no cost for students who use them.

There is a growing body of OER materials available from other institutions and their partners. Perhaps the best known examples include: Rice University’s launch of OpenStax College, MIT’s OpenCourseWare, and the University of Minnesota’s Open Textbook Library. Other resources are available through the libraries at Trinity, such as Springer eBooks, which allow students to buy print copies of any etext in their collection for $25. With these resources available, we believe that some faculty will be able to find the high-quality resources they need among OER collections. We recognize that significant time and effort would be needed for any faculty who wanted to adopt OER. Therefore we have created a new program offering support and stipends to Trinity College faculty interested in exploring OER in their classes.

For further reading and resource links on OER, see http://courseguides.trincoll.edu/oer .

“Open Education in Practice: How Open Educational Resources Can Benefit a Private Liberal Arts College”

Please join us for a Common Hour panel discussion on October 2, 2018 in the Raether LITC room 181. A panel of faculty and students from Trinity College and the University of Hartford will introduce the main features of OER, share some advantages of their use on small, private campuses, and explain how they incorporate these materials into their syllabuses. Light lunch will be served.

Faculty Stipends

Trinity College invites applications for its 2018-2019 OER support stipends. The purpose of the stipends is to assist faculty in the examination and potential adoption of OER for Fall 2019 classes. The $1500 stipend is divided into two parts: Selected applicants will receive a $500 stipend for the Spring 2019 semester. Successful applicants will work with Information Services staff during the Spring 2019 semester to identify and review potential OER texts for a Fall 2019 class. By May 10, 2019 the faculty member will notify the committee in writing that they have either 1) selected a text, with the name of the text or 2) not selected a text and provide a brief written explanation as to why no available text seemed appropriate. Those applicants who opt to continue and use an OER text in class will then receive the additional $1000 stipend.

Application Process:

Faculty may apply using this brief OER stipend application form.  A maximum of six applications will be selected. Applications are due November 1, and decisions will be made by December 4.

Selection Criteria:

We will select up to six courses with two each from humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Preference will be given to:

  • Required courses
  • Courses with large numbers of students
  • Courses currently using an expensive textbook
  • Course where the text(s) proposed to be covered by OER text(s) or resources from the library represent the bulk of textbook costs for the class
  • Applicant will teach the course in Fall 2019

Applications are due November 1. Decisions will be made by a committee comprised of a representative from the Office of the Dean of Faculty and two representatives from Information Services. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by December 4.

 

 

 

Trinity Welcomes Christina Bleyer, Director of Special Collections and Archives at Watkinson Library

Cristina Bleyer at the Watkinson. Photograph by Julie Bidwell.

Information Services is very excited to welcome Christina Bleyer, the new Director of Special Collections and Archives at the Watkinson Library. Christina brings to Trinity a wealth of knowledge and experience managing special collections.   Most recently she was the Head of Special Collections and Senior Archivist for the Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas, Austin.  Her notable achievements include securing grants to make collections discoverable through digitization, and the creation of a “virtual museum” to showcase archival material.  She is the principal investigator on a Latin American Materials grant “Digitizing the Los del Valle Oral History Collection,” and a Latin Americanist Research Resources Project “Illuminating the Genaro Garcia Collection through Digital Preservation Metadata Collection.”

In 2011 Christina was awarded a PhD in Philosophy by the University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale, where she then worked until 2016 managing their special collection. She  received undergraduate degrees in Philosophy from Loyola and Russian Language and Literature from Tulane. She is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and German, along with reading knowledge of Latin and French.

In a field that included several outstanding candidates, Christina impressed the search committee with both her passion for her work and her warm personality. We are thrilled to have her here and know that she will help write the next great chapter in the development of the Watkinson.

10,000 Pre-WWI Postcards Available Online

The Digital Collections and Services Department recently completed digitization of the George Watson Cole postcard collection in the Watkinson Library, now publicly available online in ArtStor. The collection consists of over 10,000 European postcards depicting pre-WWI England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, and Belgium; there are also included several hundred American postcards, primarily of everyday life in Southern California and Native Americans in the Southwest.

George Watson Cole (1850-1939)  was a librarian and bibliographer, friend and contemporary of famous librarians Melvil Dewey and Charles Cutter. Born in Warren, CT, he became librarian in Fitchburg, MA and enrolled in the first class of Melvil Dewey’s library school at Columbia University. He received an honorary doctorate from Trinity in 1920, and donated the European portion of his extensive postcard collection to the Watkinson Library. He put his librarianship to good use in organizing and labeling his postcard collection.

In the early 1900s, Cole embarked on travels throughout Europe and the United States and collected every postcard he could find at various stops in towns, cities, museums, and landmarks. Cole believed in postcards’ value as historic records of how things appeared in the past. Further, he believed that keeping these visual representations should be a constant action that tracked changes over time. The images in the postcards are a slice of life: people, streets, maps, monuments, art museums, and churches as they appeared at the turn of the century and before two world wars devastated Europe.

Toward the end of his life, in 1933, Cole decided to donate the his personal papers, books, and postcard collection (which he estimated contained over 25,000 postcards) to the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Mass. As the AAS only collects American materials, Robert Vail the AAS librarian accepted Cole’s gifts of his personal papers and American postcards, but declined the European half of the collection (Source: Postcards in the Library: Invaluable Visual Resources edited by Norman D. Stevens).

And whether by accident or not, Cole left about 500 Californian postcards along with his European collection to Trinity. The California postcards depict everyday life from the Southern California area — Avalon, Mount Lowe, Los Angeles, Orange County, Long Beach, Venice, and Santa Monica. A small number of American postcards in the Trinity collection also depict Native Americans in New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

They are a testimony to how so much has changed — but also to what has not.

Click on the postcards below for a larger view!

“Nothing in print is more universal than the postcard.”

— Postcards, the world in miniature; a plan for their systematic arrangement, with an index (1935) by George Watson Cole.

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