Monday Memo from the University Libraries

Monday Memo from the University of Minnesota Libraries

Monday, March 30, 2015

For items to be included in the Monday Memo, please send all announcements to: before 12:00pm the preceding Friday.

Libraries as trusted partners, trusted resources
Staff Kudos
Trainings & Workshops
Events & Exhibits

Libraries as trusted partners, trusted resources

An initial effort of our Strategic Planning Steering Committee is an identification of our values and also our assets – the latter being the areas where we have strength or unique resources or expertise to offer.  One of the draft values statements the Committee shared recently referenced our value as a “trusted partner.”  In my brownbag talk last week about the Association of Research Libraries planning, I noted that one of the essential roles identified for research libraries was as a “knowledge trust.”  How do libraries build trust –- as a provider of trusted knowledge resources and trust in our expertise around these resources? This is a useful and important question for our consideration.

Other information agencies claim to be in the “knowledge trust” business too – e.g., Google’s initiation in 2012 of its Knowledge Graph (the facts and links that are displayed to the right of search results).  Google is also conducting research about new algorithms to rate the trustworthiness of search results. Cornell University Librarian Anne Kenney recently shared with me her commentary around Google’s work to build a “knowledge-based trust” and metrics to rate “trust.” With her permission, here are some excerpts from her message to Cornell Library staff: 

Knowledge-based ranking
Several weeks ago, some Google wunderkinds published a paper in arXiv entitled “Knowledge-Based Trust:  Estimating the Trustworthiness of Web Resources”. Their paper argues that in the future, searching could be based on two things “factual accuracy” and “trust.” Taken together these two would be used to compute a Knowledge-Based Trust score (KBT).  A trusted source would be defined as one that has few factual errors in it.  Facts would be defined as information that is verifiable through trusted sources. This may seem a bit circular, and it’s not clear how Google determined the set of facts that they were using to test their assumptions. The authors did rely on a list of sources they deemed trustworthy, including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.   

The main idea is that if you check resources for known facts  (e.g., Obama’s nationality) and if the source indicates he is an American, the KBT score for the site would receive a boost.  Replicating this by “billions” of facts and millions of websites, according to the authors, results in a score that measures reliability.  There are some concerns with this approach, not least of which are false inferences.  An article may score high on facts but draw conclusions that are not supported by those facts or basic logic. For instance, “Obama is an American, therefore he thinks like a Republican.”  And an article may be chockfull of “facts” but its opinions may be off-the-wall. Nonetheless, the approach seems promising when compared to link metrics. The issue of “trust” in this approach may provide an opening for library-vetted resources to be more heavily weighted than other resources for certain issues (including the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal!). It also gives rise to the old saw “Trust, but verify,” again offering a role for libraries as authorities…. 

One ironic twist:  in reporting this story, Metro, a UK-based e-publication that covers news, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, attributed the article to Cornell University Library (we host arXiv, but we don’t produce its content).  Anne Kenney, March 23, 2015

News from Around the Libraries

Deadlines Approaching for the Outstanding Library Student Employee Award!
Reminder: applications for the Outstanding Library Student Employee Award are due by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1! Find more details on the application process here:
-Lanaya Stangret, Friends of the Libraries Coordinator

Contribute to Linda's Memento Book
If you would like to contribute to Linda DeBeau-Melting’s memento book, please e-mail your thoughts to Sarah Segura before April 1.
-Sarah Segura

Curious about the DMCI? FAQs for Library Staff available on the Staff Wiki
You asked, we answered! In December 2, 2014, the R&L/HSL Division Meeting invited each of the four library initiatives to present to division staff. Following small group discussions, attendees could write down their questions and comments, such as:

  • What’s the role of adjuncts, can they use our services and deposit to DRUM?
  • But wait! [My department] has a sophisticated platform for data sharing in their own discipline. Why would they need us?
  • How would data management services play out in the realm of video management?
  • Could we ask that college grants coordinators refer data management plan proposals to their library subject liaison?
  • How do we share information with colleagues from the contacts we make?
  • How does an individual library staff member get trained in data literacy? I want to be able to talk intelligently about better data formats and subject specialization?  

Today the DMCI members have posted an FAQ to the questions submitted on the DMCI staff wiki page > DMCI FAQs. Please take a look and let us know if there is anything more we can address!

-Lisa Johnston on behalf of the Data Management and Curation Initiative (DMCI)

Volunteers Needed for Poster Selection at the UROP Symposium, April 22.
Help support undergraduate student research at the University of Minnesota by talking with students at this year's Undergraduate Research Symposium and helping to select posters to be displayed in the Libraries.  

You will be given a brief list of criteria for poster selection and on the day of the symposium you will visit with the students and learn about their research and their research process.   It's a fun way to learn about the impressive research at the University of Minnesota and how our undergraduates contribute to the work being done.  

The Symposium is on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 in  the Great Hall at Coffman Memorial Union.  There will be three shifts: Session 1 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm), Session 2 from 1:15 pm to 2:45 pm, and Session 3 from 3 pm to 4:30 pm.  We need volunteers from all subject areas.

If you're interested in volunteering, please email ( or call (626-1676) me and let me know which shift works best for your schedule.  Learn more about the Undergraduate Research Symposium here.
-Jody Kempf

Food Drive Update
A big Thank You! to all who have contributed so far to the Neighborhood Food Drive.
We have gotten several bags contributed from all over the library.  St. Paul and Bio-Med are leading the pack!

The last day for our drive is pick-up on Tuesday, March 31st. (please have everything in the boxes/barrel by 10:00 a.m.)  It needs to be picked up that morning to make it as part of the March Drive.

The Clerical workers, Local 3800 will have barrels around campus until April 3rd if you want to contribute more.
Thank you!
-Jody Ebert

Strategic Planning Update
Wendy’s engaging presentation at the Brown Bag last Monday was timely and thought-provoking as we consider the strategic plan for the Libraries through FY18.  ARL’s design methodology reframed the roles for research libraries in “layered contexts” and created a “System of Action”—a series of interrelated initiatives and necessary capacities to advance strategic direction.  If you missed it or would like to review again, here’s the link.

Since many members of the Strategic Planning Team were at ACRL last week, activity slowed which gave us an opportunity to reflect on the many thoughtful comments staff made in the Values Statement Survey.  We will use your feedback to strengthen the statements in the second draft. The four Working Groups are refining their first drafts of strategic goals and strategies.  Staff will receive the draft following the AUL Panel; it will be discussed at a World Café event on April 10.  

Once again, we appreciate your interest and engagement in the process and hope to see you at the next scheduled events:

  • Panel Discussion with AULs
    • Monday, April 6, 2015  •  120 Elmer L. Andersen Library  •  9:00 – 10:30  
    • Coffee will be provided
    • RSVP Here
  • NEW EVENT: World Café for Working Goals
    • Friday, April 10, 2015  •  120 Elmer L. Andersen Library  •  1:00 – 3:00
    • Refreshments will be available 
    • Seating is limited; RSVP Here
  • Talk by Tom Fisher, Dean/College of Design:  Multi-Modality and its Impact on Higher Ed
    • Wednesday, April 15, 2015  •  120 Elmer L. Andersen Library  •  3:00 - 4:00 (NEW DAY AND TIME)
    • Coffee and lemonade will be provided
    • RSVP Here

Steering Committee co-chairs
Jason Roy &Linda Greve

Staff Tidings and Kudos

Jody Ebert Elected as Union Officer
Jody was elected treasurer of AFSCME Local 3937 on March 18. This follows her election as co-chair of the Local’s Negotiations Committee in February. The union negotiates biannually for labor pay, healthcare and other items. Since this is a negotiating year, labor will be sitting down with University management later this year to discuss contract issues. Prior to those discussions, union representatives meet with members of the Local to get input from them. Jody is also the labor representative on the University’s Benefits Advisory Committee. This group meets with health care vendors, providing them with feedback on their services and also advises the President on their findings. Jody has been an active member in the union since it was organized in 1994. 
 -Betsy Friesen

Training Sessions & Workshops

Also see Libraries Master Calendar

Results from the DMP Review (2011-2014)
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Wilson S30B
Add to Your Calendar

Carolyn Bishoff and Lisa Johnston will present the results of our project titled: Review of Data Management Plans (DMPs) from Successful National Science Foundation Grants from the University of Minnesota, 2011-2014. 

The University Libraries conducted a local study of Data Management Plans (DMPs) included in successful National Science Foundation grant applications from January 2011 - June 2014 in order to better understand the ongoing needs of campus researchers for managing and sharing their research data. Participation in the study was opt-in by U of M principal investigators (PIs) on the grants and, thanks to support from our liaisons for soliciting participation, the libraries collected 182 data management plans for our study, accounting for 41% of the total number of plans available in that period. Overall, the College of Science of Engineering accounted for the majority of plans, accounting for 70% of the plans included in the review. The results of this study will inform the development of robust and targeted data services, both from the libraries and our campus partners, that aim to increase the impact of research produced at the University of Minnesota. 

-Lisa Johnston, on behalf of the Data Management and Curation Initiative (DMCI)

Student Library Employee Resume Workshops
Do you work with or supervise student library employees? Please pass on this opportunity!

We are offering workshops to student library employees for all of our students who are getting ready to graduate or who want to know how to best apply their library experience on a resume. Students can bring a resume for feedback or come with their questions! The sessions will include general information about resume building and resources from Career Services, as well as tips on utilizing all of their varied library experience. Two sessions are being offered this week:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
S30C Wilson

Friday, April 3, 2015
310 Walter

Students should RSVP here. Refreshments will be served!
-Jessica Mattson

Microsoft Excel Workshop
Monday, April 6, 2015
2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
310 Walter Library
Add to Your Calendar 

Do you ever feel like Microsoft Excel uses you rather the other way around? Turns out, knowing just a few features in Excel will put you back in control. Join Jan Fransen and Amy West for a hands-on session in Walter Library on April 6 to learn how to combine columns, calculate fields, look up and compare cells, filter, make pivot tables and create charts using libraries datasets like website usage, ebook downloads and reference desk activity. Also, if you’re interested in general, but the time/date/location is an issue, please use the RSVP form to let us know that as well.
-Amy West

Unwanted Attention/Harassment Training
Monday, April 6, 2015
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
120 Andersen Library

Next Monday Kate Eichele, the director of the Aurora Center, will be giving a presentation about unwanted attention/harassment. UM Connect will be available--go to this link on April 6 to access the presentation:

All library staff are welcome. Please contact me with any questions.
-Matt Bowers

Approaches to Making Dynamic Data Citable Webinar
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
9:00 - 10:15 a.m.
S30C Wilson Library

The DMCI is sponsoring a group viewing of this upcoming webinar and would like to invite staff to join us in learning more about the challenges and solutions to citing dynamic datasets based on the work of the Research Data Alliance's Data Citation working group. 

Being able to reliably and efficiently identify entire or subsets of data in large and dynamically growing or changing datasets constitutes a significant challenge. In order to repeat an earlier study, to apply data from an earlier study to a new model, we need to be able to precisely identify the very subset of data used. Furthermore, we need to be able to handle situations where new data gets added or existing data gets corrected or otherwise modified over time. Conventional approaches, such as assigning persistent identifiers to entire data sets or individual subsets or data items, are thus not sufficient.

Andreas Rauber, Vienna University of Technology
-Alice Motes

Collection Management and Preservation Open House
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Room 27 and 30 Wilson Library (Head past the coffee shop and the restrooms on the basement level, and walk through the double doors at the end of the hallway.)

Interested in learning more about the Collection Management and Preservation department and what it does?   Please join us for a CMP Department Open House!    You'll have the opportunity to meet our staff, check out our space, see examples of our work, try your hand at making a miniature "book", and enjoy some refreshments in our binding area. 

Our own Laurie Jedamus will be teaching a short, 20-minute class on constructing miniature books using sticky notes as a text block.  If you'd like to participate in the class, please RSVP to to help us ensure that we have adequate space and materials. 

We look forward to seeing you there!  
-Mary Miller

Somali Cultural Awareness Workshop
Monday, April 13, 2015
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Andersen 120
Register here

We all interact with Somali people, whether they're our neighbors in Cedar-Riverside or University students who need research help. Come to this session to learn more about Somali culture with a special focus on awareness for Libraries staff. 

Please join the Diversity Outreach Collaborative at our second Somali Cultural Awareness Workshop. Salma Hussein from the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence will be leading this 2 hour workshop.
-Jody Gray

You Down with D-M-P? Yeah You Know Me!
(Not Just Another Data Management Training)

Friday, April 17, 2015
10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
STSS 312

Data management plans are growing in importance across all disciplines with federal funding agencies such as NSF, NIH, and NEH now requiring these materials for some applications. This workshop will provide an overview of the questions to consider when assisting a researcher creating a data management plan. Attendees will participate in discussions, work through each of the data management plan sections, and evaluate real data management plans from a variety of disciplines via group and paired activities. This workshop is primarily intended for library staff engaged with faculty and researchers who are interested in writing DMPs. 

We’ll have doughnuts, coffee, and fun with data management plans.

Please fill out this brief survey to let us know you plan to attend.

Hope to see you there!
-Amy Neeser, Caitlin Bakker, and Natalie Reynolds, on behalf of the Research Services Coordinators

Announcing a Financial Literacy Event!
"Demystifying Debt"
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Walter 101
Light refreshments will be served!

Some of you may be familiar with ALA’s Money Smart Week programming. This year the University Libraries is hosting an event. The target audience for this event is undergraduates, but graduate students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to attend. 

The first hour of this event will feature a four person panel.
Sarah Naranjo, One Stop, Live Like a College Student
Joyce Serido, Family Social Science/Extension
Heidi Cederstrand, TCF Bank
Dung Mao, Family Social Scienc

The second portion of this event will be an opportunity to rethink currency and apply creativity in Design your own Dollar. We will be providing craft supplies. A prize will be awarded for the best dollar. There will also be money-themed music during this part of the event.

Go here for event information as well as links to apps and games.

Bonus! Check out the campaign to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. NPR: It's All About The Benjamins And Jacksons — But What About The Women?
-Amy Riegelman & Kim Clarke


Events & Exhibits

Complete schedule and more info via continuum

Event Highlight

First Fridays: ‘Empowerment’ and children’s literature and the YMCA
April 3, 2015, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Elmer L. Andersen Library, Room 120
Join us for two presentations in the 2014-2015 First Friday Series, which explores the theme of power, a force that drives, changes, and challenges society:
Children’s Literature: A Case for Empowerment
Presented by the Children’s Literature Research Collection
Empowerment and the YMCA
Presented by the Kautz Family YMCA Archives
More information:

—Libraries Communications Office

Exhibit Highlight

Magna Carta, 800 Years: Rights and the Rule of Law
On view through December 15, 2015
Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center, the Law School – Walter F. Mondale Hall
Magna Carta, a world treasure and among the richest symbols of individual rights and government limited by law, enjoys its 800th anniversary this year. Signed by King John of England in June 1215, Magna Carta’s historic guarantees have echoed down the centuries and remain at the very heart of our legal tradition.  
The University of Minnesota Law Library is celebrating Magna Carta’s anniversary with a special exhibition, Magna Carta, 800 Years: Rights and the Rule of Law, at the Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center. Drawn from the Library’s outstanding collection of historical law books, the exhibition traces the history of Magna Carta from its signing, to its influence in early modern England and colonial America, to the constitutional frameworks that it shaped
More info:

—Libraries Communications Office
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