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“Commencement Book” now available for view in Digital Repository

It is sometimes called Bishop Brownell’s Book, or the Commencement Book. Peter Knapp in his Trinity College in the Twentieth Century simply calls it, “The Book.”

Not to be confused with the Matriculation Book, “‘The Book’ is a small, early-19th century record book that all recipients of Trinity degrees touch during Commencement ceremonies,” Knapp states.  The Book remains unnamed due in part to its contents: its pages contain details of the Commencement exercises and degrees, prayers for graduates in Latin, and include signatures from more recent Trinity College presidential inaugurations. It is a curious and important piece of Trinity history, originating from a legendary mix-up during the first Commencement ceremony in 1827. College President Thomas Church Brownell intended for students to place their hands on a Bible during commencement exercises, but either couldn’t find one or realized he didn’t bring it with him to the ceremony, and so he used his personal record book instead.

“By chance, the Book became one of the college’s oldest traditions,” Peter Knapp writes. “The Book’s use at Commencement appears to have been inconsistent in the years following the Bishop’s Presidency, but it can be said with certainty that all Trinity graduates have touched it” since the 1946-47 academic year.

Thanks to the efforts of College Archivist Eric Stoykovich, the Book was recently retrieved for digitization and is now available to view in the Digital Repository. The physical book resides in a safe location on campus in order to ensure its preservation for annual use at Commencement.

Source: Trinity College in the Twentieth Century by Peter Knapp, pages 232-33.

A new way we acquire books

by Lorraine Huddy, CTW Librarian for Collaborative Projects

The libraries at Trinity College and its CTW partners, Connecticut College and Wesleyan University, are now using Evidence-Based Acquisitions (a.k.a. EBA).  We implemented this model with well-known content providers including JSTOR, Project Muse, and most recently, Oxford University Press.

How does EBA work?  The publisher/vendor grants access to a very large pool of ebook titles for one year. At the end of the year, usage reports show how many times a specific title was viewed or downloaded. Using this evidence, the libraries select which titles to purchase. With purchase, the library is given perpetual access to the title.

What a crazy idea, right?  Buy books after they’re actually used instead of forecasting which books might be used, and buying those.  Publishers and vendors literally provide access to thousands of titles and the libraries only buy the ones used the most by our faculty and students?  Sounds like a win-win proposition for the libraries!

What’s the catch?  What do publishers and vendors get out of this plan?   In the EBA model, providers know ahead of time what the financial spend will be.  As part of the contract, the libraries and provider negotiate the financial commitment: how much the library will commit to the EBA program, using these funds to purchase perpetual access to specific titles.  The amount varies by provider but they typically use a spend ratio based on the value of the pool of titles the libraries have access to (i.e. $1 spent for every $15 of value.)  On their end, libraries typically consider how much they’ve spent on a publisher’s titles in past years to calculate what they’re willing to commit to the EBA program.

How’s it working out?  For the most part, so far, so good.  JSTOR ebooks are getting very high use. On the other hand, Project Muse ebooks are not used as much as expected and due to overlap with JSTOR titles, Trinity will withdraw from this program in January. The Oxford EBA program was set up in July 2019 so it’s too early to tell, but the list of titles in this package is very promising.

We are watching these programs closely in case of diminishing returns over time. The number of new titles added each year is small compared to the entire pool of titles – will there be enough new content that is of interest and value to our students and faculty?  Should we commit less to these programs each year as a result of this new vs. old content imbalance?  As with other library resources, the proof to retain is overall usage.  As long as we’re able to identify enough unique title purchases that spend down the annual financial commitment, there’s good reason to maintain these programs.

Wall Street Journal current issues now available

The Library now has a site license for the Wall Street Journal (wsj.com).  All users must create an individual account in order to access the content.  Once they have activated an account, they will have access to WSJ, WSJ+, WSJ newsletters and podcasts.  Users may also download the app for mobile devices.

Any questions may be directed to Jennifer.vansickle@trincoll.edu.

Need Quiet Study Space? – Reserve a Group Study Space Today

Need a quiet study space?

In general, the higher you go up in levels within the library, the quieter the space becomes.

  • Level 3 is designated Silent Space
  • Level 2 is designated Quiet Space
  • Level 1, A and B are Social Spaces
  • Level C also tends to be a quiet space, although seating on this level is limited.

You can, however also book a Group Study Space located on levels 3, 2 and 1 within the library.

The Library provides a variety of spaces and tools to facilitate research and learning in the Library. Group study rooms may be reserved by Trinity College students for groups of two or more for group study or other curricular activities.  Time slots are 1 hour long but one can select up to 2 time slots per day, for a maximum of 2 hours.

Reservations require a valid @trincoll.edu email, and room access requires a current Trinity ID.

Unreserved rooms that are empty after the start of a time slot are available on a first-come basis until the next scheduled time period.  Otherwise room use requires reservations through the web form, linked below.

New library e-book purchases

The Library is pleased to announce a purchase (in progress) of the following e-book collections:

Palgrave e-book archive (pre-2005).

Palgrave e-books 2005-2015

Springer e-book archive (pre-1997, English)

Palgrave publishes in the social sciences and humanities, whereas Springer focuses on math and sciences.   As with our current Palgrave and Springer holdings, these collections are DRM-free and are a one-time purchase with no ongoing payments.

Did you know? As a Trinity faculty member, staff member, or student, you may buy a print copy of Palgrave/Springer e-books on demand for only $24.99 each.  Look for the My Copy icon on the e-book table of contents page.

 

Featured image “ebook” by Jamais Cascio  licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-2.0 .

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!

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!

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.

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