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November 2016

Did You Know…???

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The University Library features two service desks at the entrance, the Library Information Desk and the MediaTech Desk.

From The Archives: The Fulton/Howe Collection: November

By Heidi Benedict, University Archives


The Archives would like to share a newly discovered item from the Fulton/Howe Collection. We have found many unpublished writings, including diaries, school work, commonplace books and copy books written by several family members. Marshall N. Fulton’s father, William Jewett Fulton, Sr., wrote this piece on the history of political parties. Unfortunately, the remainder of the document has not yet been found, but we do have additional notes he prepared on the subject.


I’d also like to highlight some significant family events that happened in November:


  • Herbert Marshall Howe and Mary W. Fell were married on November 28, 1871. Howe established Ferrycliffe Farm in 1877.
  • Mary W. Fell’s father, Joseph Gillingham Fell, was born on November 14, 1816.
  • William Jewett Fulton Sr. died on November 14, 1919.
  • Mary Howe DeWolf Fulton died on November 27, 2006.


For more from this collection: click here

Biennial Library Assessment Conference Held

By John Schlinke, Architecture/Art Librarian

How do you effectively measure a library?  Every other year since 2006 the Library Assessment Conference (LAC) has brought people together who are engaged in answering this question.  Sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and the University of Washington, this year’s conference was held in Arlington, VA at the end of October.  Approximately 640 people attended to discuss and debate the many ways that librarians and others seek to assess the varied aspects of libraries.

Some traditional library data like book counts, gate counts, checkouts, and others have long been used as professional assessment measures.  These important data focus on measures of quantity and use but they can only provide part of a complete picture.  Responsibilities of current academic libraries typically include library instruction, exhibits and programming, research support, development of local collections, community outreach, digitization, preservation, and many others.  As libraries’ responsibilities have evolved, assessment practices have also needed to evolve in order to measure library effectiveness.

To accurately measure an academic library is to assess all of its facets and see how those measures correlate with achieving the goals of the institution with which it is associated.  Assessment across the spectrum of library responsibilities requires a critical eye to select appropriate measurements, a variety of data collection methods (quantitative and qualitative), and a variety of data analysis techniques.  The Library Assessment Conference provided an opportunity to see concrete examples of how libraries are doing this work, as well as how they are presenting their findings to their communities in ways that are understandable and approachable.

After preparation and editing, the proceedings of the 2016 conference will be made be available via the Library Assessment Conference website.  In the meantime, the proceedings of the five previous conferences are currently available on the site.

OER Faculty Fellow Marcella Recher on incorporating OER into sustainability studies

by Marcella Recher



Sustainability courses are interdisciplinary in nature; they involve looking at interrelationships among contemporary environmental, social and economic problems.  Consequently, it is difficult to find a textbook that covers all these topics. It becomes necessary to rely on multiple books/resources when teaching sustainability studies courses. This past summer I looked for OER materials to include in a digital course pack for the SUST 101 Intro to Sustainability Studies course. I also sought out case studies to use in class to help students develop a more comprehensive understanding of how individual topics fit into the “big picture”.

Equipped with information from the OER workshop, I found several excellent sources for case studies on contemporary sustainability topics. I incorporated a number of case studies into the SUST 101 curriculum. I also created an OER course pack comprised of articles, websites, audio tracks, TED talks and excerpts from books maintained in the RWU online library. With the help of the IT instructional design staff, I made the course pack available to students on Bridges. As current events unfold, I will be able to easily add updated news and articles.

To date, I have received some favorable feedback on the case studies from students and plan to do more in-depth assessment of whether the students feel the OER materials supports their class work.



Marcella Recher Bio: After receiving her Ph.D. in Environmental Management from Vanderbilt University, Marcella spent close to a decade in industry consulting with Fortune 500 companies on a wide range of sustainability initiatives. She joined RWU as an Adjunct Faculty member of the Sustainability Studies program in Spring of 2016.


Source of image: adapted from the case Global Climate Change: Evidence and Causes  found at http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/collection/detail.asp?case_id=478&id=478

Description: The United States Capitol Building in Washington DC, framed with the Supreme Court columns.

Author: ©Michael Shake Source: Dreamstime.com, ID: 11882582 Clearance: Licensed royalty free.


Did You Know…???

Question mark with books - search answer concept

There are 6 full time librarians located in the University Library and 1 librarian in the Architecture Library.  If you want to know which librarian is the liaison to your major, the list is available online at http://library.rwu.edu/lib/library-info/people/liaisons.

Innovation in Teaching 2016 – Session 2


Meet The Learning Commons: Advising and Peer Mentorship – Where exploration and supported self-advocacy happens!

Written by Morgan Cottrell, Associate Director, Advising and Peer Mentorship Office

Did you know that 75% of undergraduate students change their majors at least once?  Did you know that RWU has an entire office ready to help students make the right decision about their major?  A student’s choice of course of study is ideally based on personal interests, skills, values and future goals.  At the Advising and Peer Mentorship Office, professional advisors and a team of Peer Mentors meet regularly with students who are deciding their major or considering changing majors to guide them and ensure that helpful resources are readily available.  Students at RWU are uniquely positioned to be exploratory learners.  What does that mean?  It means students can graduate with job ready skills and be prepared for a meaningful career no matter the major, so taking the time to explore your options is very important!


Here are some interesting facts related to major choice

  • Only 27% of college educated people currently in the workforce are employed in jobs directly related to their college major.
  • This data supports that no matter the major, you can use your college experience to gain the skills that employers desire.
  • What are those skills? They are teamwork, communication, critical thinking and a good work ethic.
  • A 4 year degree has value regardless of major. Among all majors, the median income difference between someone with no education and someone with a 4 year college degree is $17,500 per year. Statistically, it is clear that after working several years, a college education will offer a solid return on investment no matter the major.
  • Many folks have the misconception that certain majors offer drastic differences in income. While this is sometimes true, incomes across majors begin to even out over time and with professional experience.  Research based on recent census data shows that many mid-career professionals with a liberal arts degree surpass the income level of their peers who have professional degrees.

What does this all mean?  It means that students can and should use their 4 years in college to explore.  It also means that students shouldn’t let the pressure of employability and projected income be the sole or primary determining factor in their choice of major.  A job is something adults spend most of their waking hours doing, so it needs to be something that is enjoyable, fulfilling and draws upon a person’s natural strengths and interests. Students at RWU are uniquely positioned to change their mind about their major and take the time they need to make the right decision.  Students can be a philosophy major, a writing major, a business major (and many others) and still gain the valuable competencies that will support a long and rewarding professional career after graduation.


Let the Advising and Peer Mentorship Office help you by visiting us on the 2nd floor of the library, or calling us for an appointment at 401-254-3456.


The office also supports students in the following ways:

-Every new student at RWU is provided a trained and experienced Peer Mentor.

-Professional staff meet with students about maintaining academic good standing and/or meeting scholarship requirements.

-Professional advisors meet with students to educate them about available resources on campus and to help them navigate university policies, systems and processes.

-Professional staff field concerns from faculty and staff about students who need academic assistance and reach out directly to students to provide support.

-Professional advisors help students navigate warning grades and prepare for registration and advisement.

-Sometime it is appropriate for students to consider taking time away from college.  Students in this situation should visit the office to speak with an advisor.

Did You Know…???

Question mark with books - search answer concept

The library is open until 2am Sunday through Thursday.

Behind the Scenes at the Library: Migrating to a new Library System

By John Fobert, Electronic Resources Librarian


As you are probably aware, the library is transitioning from the Innovative Library System to the OCLC WorldShare Management System (WMS).  In July, the user interface or what we call the “discovery” component was launched.  Instead of searching only HELIN holdings, we can now search libraries worldwide.  But there is so much more going on behind the scenes.

Our first step was to move all of our bibliographic (catalog) records to the new system.  This involved mapping fields and codes to the appropriate fields in the new system.  This can be thought of as translating the code from one system to another. WMS will allow our staff to order and catalog from the same system which will streamline workflows while increasing the accuracy of the online catalog.

Another significant part of the transition was our transfer of patron records into the new WMS system.  Every library patron has a patron record which enables the borrowing of tangible resources as well as access to electronic resources.  Our legacy library system required the user to enter their library barcode as a password to access electronic resources and their library record.  WMS presents us with the opportunity to authenticate users directly from the University database.  This means that users can now use their University ID and password to access electronic resources.  In January 2017, users will be able to sign into their library record the same way.  The barcode will only be used for the check-out of books and other items from the library.  This will be beneficial to our users as it will be one less password to remember.  The library would not have been able to accomplish this without out the help and collaboration of the RWU Information Technology Department.  Special thanks goes to Laura Masterson and Scott Lopes, and their teams.

The transition will be complete in January 2017.  The library seeks your cooperation by notifying us of any concerns or issues you find accessing the online catalog or electronic resources.  We have been notified by some faculty already of concerns regarding the relevancy of book searches.  We are presently in touch with the vendor, OCLC, to ask for modifications to the searching algorithm.  You may forward you comments to John Fobert, Electronic Resources Librarian, at jfobert@rwu.edu.  Also, we are always happy to hear what you like about the new system.  On behalf of the RWU Transition Team, we thank you for your patience and cooperation in this move to a better and stronger library system.


New and Improved RefWorks

by Susan McMullen, Professor – Research Services & User Engagement Librarian

Whether you are a RefWorks user or not you will want to check out the new RefWorks that is currently available to all RWU students, faculty and staff.

The updated version of RefWorks offers users the ability to collect, manage and organize their research papers and documents quickly and easily.  With RefWorks you can:

  • Import citations and documents from library databases
  • Organize your citations into folders for managing your research
  • Collaborate with classmates or colleagues by sharing folders
  • Import PDF documents for reading and annotating within RefWorks
  • Use the Save to RefWorks feature to capture research from websites
  • Quickly create bibliographies in any stylesheet format
  • Format your paper with in-text citations and footnotes

To sign up for a RefWorks account simply go to http://refworks.proquest.com and click on create account. You must use your RWU email to create an account.  If you are creating an account from off campus, you will need the RefWorks Group Code.  Please email us at libref@rwu.edu or call 254-3375 for that group code.

If you already have a Legacy RefWorks account, all you need to do is login and click on the small link at the top of the screen and you will be prompted to create a new RefWorks login.


After your new RefWorks account opens, simply click on the + icon and import your legacy RefWorks references.

To help you learn how to use RefWorks, please refer to our Libguide found at http://rwu.libguides.com/refworks.  Here you will find information and tutorials on getting started with RefWorks, using and sharing folders, importing citations and pdfs, creating a bibliography and formatting your paper.