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2017 ACRL Conference Calls Librarians to Action

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

The Association for College and Research Libraries 2017 Conference was held in Baltimore, Maryland from March 22nd to the 25th. This year’s conference broke attendance registration records, attracting 3,499 face-to-face library professionals and more than 246 virtual attendees from all 50 states and 31 countries. With its theme, At the Helm: Leading Transformation, the conference offered over 500 programs in a variety of session formats including contributed papers, panel discussions, workshops, lightning talks, and poster sessions. The conference also served as a call to action as American Library Association president, Julie Todaro, urged all participants to reach out to their legislators to preserve library funding.

Library professionals examined current trends and explored new paths forward in areas such as higher education funding and costs, information literacy, competency-based education, digital preservation, data curation, open access, scholarly communication, collection development, assessment and evaluation, planning and designing library spaces, and social justice issues. For those wishing to delve deeply into an issue, six full-day pre-conferences were offered in the areas of assessment, law, information literacy, digital learning objects, and open textbooks.

The conference featured three distinguished keynote speakers.  The opening key note was given by data journalist and information designer, David McCandless. He spoke about the power of data visualization for helping us understand the world and reveal new patterns, connections, and stories.  Many have called data the “new oil“, but David calls it the “new soil” because everything blooms from this soil. As a “data detective”, he usually starts off with a good question and sees what grows out of the data.   Author and cultural critic, Roxanne Gay, read from her new essay detailing what she believes is the “Age of American Disgrace.”  She wants to believe there is “grace beyond this American disgrace” and that to achieve real change we must be willing to think differently and act differently. Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress, delivered an inspirational closing keynote address that was the highlight of the conference.  Nominated for this prestigious role by President Obama, Hayden is the first woman and the first African-American to serve as Librarian of Congress.  In her role as CEO of Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, she famously kept the library open during the riots that followed the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.  In her new role, Hayden hopes to make the Library of Congress’s priceless collections available to everyone.

In the spirit of open access, The Conference Proceedings are freely available at http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/confsandpreconfs/2017/ACRL2017_A.pdf



From The Archives: The Fulton/Howe Collection: Valentine’s Day

by Heidi Benedict, University Archivist

The tradition of sending Valentines is not a new one. Family members, friends, and sweethearts were exchanging notes and gifts as early as the nineteenth century. Among the correspondence to Edith Howe, we found several home-made Valentines from the turn of the century.



Tech News: New Features for Panopto in 2017

 by Linda Beith, Director of Center for Scholarship, Assessment, Learning, Teaching & Technology

The Panopto video creation and streaming system has become a favorite tool for many faculty, students and staff for its ease of use. Anyone can create a narrated video of anything on their computer screen using just two buttons – Record and Stop.


Panopto is constantly improving their software and their latest release this month has some impressive additions including:

  1. INTERACTIVE QUIZZINGOptions include:
    • Inserting interactive quiz questions into any video
    • Allowing learners to retake a quiz
    • Showing learners their grade at the end of the quiz
    • Allowing learners to review correct answers and explanations
    • Prevent learners from watching the rest of the video until they take the quiz

  1. CAPTIONING – Addition of automatic speech recognition technology quickly turns a voice narration into closed captions that can be edited (and the captions are pretty accurate – greater than 70 %)! This allows users to quickly make their videos ADA compliant. Users can also edit the captions and customize the color, position and size of the video captions during playback.
  2. IMPROVED VIDEO EDITING– now includes custom preview images and support for working with slide decks. This means that you can select a custom thumbnail for the preview image for a video.
  3. New SLIDES tab in the editor allows a user to add individual slides to any point in a video.
  4. SMART SEARCH, which allows for a quick search of the narration in a video, has been expanded to include German and Spanish languages.
  5. Webcasting to more mobile devices – live streaming can now reach over 95% of all mobile device platforms with live video.

For more information on these new features, please see What’s New in Panopto 5.3?


If you would like assistance with any of these new features, please contact the CSALT2 /Instructional Design and Technologies team at id@rwu.edu or phone 401-254-3187.


New Library System is Live!

By  Betsy Learned, Dean of University Libraries

The University Library has completed its migration to a new library system, Worldshare Management Services (WMS). WMS Discovery is our library catalog and discovery service.  The tips below should help you learn to navigate your way through the changes. Since you will now be searching and have access to libraries across the country, as opposed to only the HELIN Consortium libraries, you may need help searching specific titles or topics. If so, please contact the Information Desk at x3375 or your library liaison for assistance.

1.   Please search WMS from the library homepage at http://library.rwu.edu or go directly to the Discovery search screen at https://rwulibrary.on.worldcat.org/.  (The former HELIN catalog link will no longer work.) Advanced searching options are available.

2.   In a single search, you can find items at the RWU Library, the HELIN libraries, and libraries beyond – and request those items be sent to RWU for your use. Be sure to use the facets on the left side of the results screen to focus your search. Because you are searching so many libraries, you will need to limit the search through the facets.

3.   Authentication from off-campus is your RWU single sign on—your username plus your domain (i.e. jsmith123@academics.rwu) and your default password.  This is the same login you use for the RWU Portal.

4.   Please let a library staff member know if something doesn’t seem to be working correctly or if you need help using the new system. Contact Us

Developing and Implementing Affordable Excellence with OER

Kelly Donnell from the School of Education, Lindsey Gumb from the University Library and Linda Beith from the Center for Scholarship, Assessment, Learning, Teaching & Technology co-presented at the New England Faculty Development Consortium’s Annual Fall Conference on November 18, 2016 at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. The theme of the conference was Civic Engagement and Service Learning.

The trio’s interactive, 55-minute presentation was entitled: Developing and Implementing Affordable Excellence with OER. The focus was on the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) for both K-12 and higher education institutions to provide meaningful access to effective technology, current, high-quality texts, and Common Core State Standard resources. RWU’s OER Fellows program was introduced with examples of projects underway and OER collections under development.

Meet Dan Neal

by Barbara Kenney, Instructional Services and Campus initiatives Librarian



This fall the library has had the opportunity to host a graduate student from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. Dan Neal, who holds Master’s Degrees in both Religious Studies and History from Providence College, spends 10-12 hours a week in a Professional Field Experience, the goal of which is to learn all aspects of academic librarianship. In a profession that has seen rapid changes, it is important for students in the program to move beyond the classroom and into the environment they hope to join. When designing Dan’s PFE, we built in opportunities for him to teach, participate in librarians’ meetings, interview staff members, and begin exploring areas of scholarship he might pursue.



above: Dan Neal collaborates with Lindsey Gumb, Instructional Technology Librarian


While a PFE offers terrific opportunities for the student, it also provides a new lens through which the librarians can view ourselves and our work. From Digital Scholarship to Open Access initiatives, our ongoing conversations enable us to explore what gaps may exist between the academic program and the front lines of librarianship. The library staff is actively engaged in the education of a new library professional. His questions and insights help us reflect on what we do and how we do it. Collaboration is the foundation of librarianship today. It helps us improve what we do, and in this case, it helps the student gain a better working understanding of the challenges facing academic libraries today. Thanks, Dan, for joining us this semester!


Photos by: Megan Lessard/Roger Williams University Library

The RWU Library is changing systems

by Betsy Learned, Dean of University Libraries



The RWU Library is going to be changing its library software system between now and December 31, 2016.

How does this affect you?

As of July 1st, the interface for searching the library holdings catalog from the Main Library homepage http://library.rwu.edu/ has changed. You will see and have access to the same holdings in the RWU and HELIN consortium libraries as before, but the search interface and the results lists will look different.

If you are off campus, you will also notice that the method of authentication for access to licensed databases and journal articles has also changed. With the new EZ Proxy authentication, you simply sign in with your default RWU Single Sign On username and password — which is your RWU email address and password.

You will likely be able to navigate much of this new interface on your own, but when you have a question, or if you run into something that doesn’t make sense, please contact one of the librarians. Your input will help identify any glitches in the system.

The transition to the new library system begins with the search function, however, until all library data is migrated the search function will not work optimally. The full transition of all library functions will occur before the start of the spring semester.



What are some potential benefits?

Here is a short list of some benefits that you can expect to see once the new system is fully functioning:

  1. The most complete library catalog searching possible (RWU, regional, national, and international libraries) from a single search.
  2. Improved access to digitized materials in the public domain from the various organizations that make these materials available (HathiTrust, Internet Archive, etc.).  More and more materials in the public domain (in the U.S., essentially anything published prior to 1923) are being digitized and made available.  If they are cataloged in OCLC, they will be accessible without having to do separate internet searches.
  3. A return to “true” title searching and subject searching.  It will take some time to adjust to the new interface, but it will offer capabilities that had been lost over time in the previous library system.
  4. You will be able to see a list of all your interlibrary loan requests so you can more easily keep track of them.
  5. After Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, and Bryant University left the HELIN consortium, their library holdings were no longer visible and accessible through the library catalog.  The new system will allow you to see and request their holdings, along with all other regional libraries that have their holdings in OCLC.  This will include the RISD Library, for example, that is not part of the HELIN consortium.

No library system is perfect, but I think this is going to be a significant improvement for the RWU community.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or any of the librarians with questions or concerns you may have along the way.


U.S. Government visits RWU Library

Joe Paskoski, Senior Outreach Librarian from the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington DC, visited the RWU Library which is a Congressional designated federal depository library.  Mr. Paskoski was interested to meet with staff, provide FDLP consultation services and provide guidance in the management of the RWU depository.  He also expressed an interest in our partnership with the Law School Library which provides law students with needed resources.  John Fobert, Depository Coordinator and Electronic Resources Librarian, introduced him to the staff and provided tours of the University Library, Architecture Library and the Law School Library where he met with John Schlinke, Architecture/Art Librarian and Stephanie Edwards, Law School Collection Services Librarian, respectively.  All involved agreed that it was a useful visit as we became aware of new services offered by the GPO.
Pictured from left to right:  Jackie Katz, Electronic Resources Assistant, John Fobert, Electronic Resources Librarian, Joe Paskoski, GPO Senior Outreach Librarian.

Sana Mustafa visits RWU as the first Talking in the Library speaker of the semester













Photos by: Megan Lessard/Roger Williams University Library

From the Archives: The Fulton Dedication and Exhibition

By Heidi Benedict, University Archives
On Saturday, August 27, 2016, following Convocation Exercises, the University dedicated the RWU Bristol campus as the newly renamed Fulton Campus. In 1965, Dr. Marshall N. Fulton and his wife Mary Howe sold over 60 acres of Ferrycliffe Farm, founded by her grandfather, to Roger Williams College. To commemorate their gift, the University unveiled an historic marker and named the main road on campus to Fulton Way.

1900_fultonhowe_homestead 1900, Family “Homestead,” where the University Residence sits today


The current Fulton family members donated their family papers to the University five years ago. The collection documents the history of the Farm and of the family. With correspondence making up the bulk of the collection, it is particularly strong in representing the family members’ personal and professional activities and interests, and demonstrates their affection for learning, travel, and each other. The Library has prepared an exhibit featuring family photographs and selected letters from the collection. The Archives hopes to have the collection completely processed by July 2017, marking the 100th anniversary of Mary Howe Fulton’s birth.


June 1940, Marshall and Mary Howe