Brown Bag Session #5, Wed. February 8, 2017 Take Away Notes

Wed, Feb 1: The Role of Library Instruction  (MIT Recommendation 3): Furthering the library’s mission to equip Mines’ community members with essential skills for effectively using, creating, and disseminating information and knowledge.

9 attendees, including 2 faculty members; 1 CCIT staff member; 1 student; 1 campus architect; 1 member of the Colorado Geological Survey , 2 Trefny Center staff              

Major Takeaways

  • Undergraduate courses don’t involve much library research. Most that do are humanities. More library instruction needed in STEM vs. humanities courses.
  • But HASS courses may be easiest place to further integrate IL since these classes tend to require more research than STEM, and because they are integrated throughout the undergraduate curriculum.
  • Need for scaffolding library instruction to prepare students not only for senior design projects, but also for graduate and doctoral students.
  • Strong need to reach graduate students
  • Information literacy (IL) instruction needs to fit “naturally”. It has to have context and a purpose for students to value it.
  • Library component in CSM101 is optional. Making it a required course component is desirable but difficult.
  • Not enough students know about ILL and options to obtain information sources from other libraries.
  • Idea: Reach senior design students at beginning of semester when they’re researching and brainstorming for projects. Perhaps flipped classroom group sessions, as the library does with EPICS.
  • Let students pick their own topics so they’re interested in them.
  • Disintermediation is an issue – students use library resources via Google Scholar but don’t realize it.
  • Reducing barriers to entry (ease of use) is important to increase use of library resources.
  • Online modules have to be contextual, at point of need. But also useful to physically bring first-year students to the library, so they see it’s a good place to work, see how to connect with reference librarian assistance.
  • Online materials must be interesting and short as well as useful; otherwise won’t be used.
  • For faculty, they won’t need help until they need it, and then you need to reach them right at that point. Difficult challenge.
  • Mines students may be more self-sufficient as high achievers. May not have used a library, or may be reluctant to do so. Seen as a weakness. How to break through that barrier?
  • Need to make research easier, provide help at point of need.
  • CASA, Writing Center, and library are three places where people do ask for help – these units need to partner to connect with students when and where they’re already asking for help.
  • Students may not know they can get help at the library, as they can with CASA, Writing Center, and other places on campus. How to raise awareness? Integrating Libguides throughout Canvas is one way.
  • Ideas for connecting with faculty via Trefny Center.
  • Concern about IL being deemphasized in revisions of ABED accreditation criteria.
  • Library doesn’t currently reach graduate students much. This is partly a limitation of staffing. Offering open workshops on graduate-level topics may be one approach that is efficient with staffing. We’re just starting on this.
  • Graduate students come in with varying IL skills. And some graduate research programs may not involve much academic research. Greater focus on applied research.
  • Librarians need to participate in curriculum committees.

FULL SESSION NOTESwin_20170208_13_04_38_pro

Brown Bag Session #4, Wed. February 1, 2017

Session Notes


Wed, Feb 1: All About Open Access (MIT Recommendations 1, 6, 7): Developing open access platforms, content, and policies to support the producing, using, sharing, and preserving of knowledge (e.g., institutional repository, open educational resources, open access scholarly publishing).

9 attendees (Ye has sign-in sheet and can add/correct): 1 USGS rep; Mines bookstore manager; 1 Student Life staff member; 1 campus architect; 1 undergraduate student; 1 graduate student; 1 CASA staff member; 2 professors; 1 CCIT staff member.

Major Takeaways


  • Faculty concern with open access is hefty fees charged by publishers. Raising awareness of repository permissions options to Mines faculty is one possible approach. Library fund to support open access fees is another option. Many emerging models.
  • Open access policy for Mines will help campus reach consensus on appropriate models.
  • Faculty concern about trustworthiness of open access journals (pay to play). Library can promote vetted lists of reputable OA journals (e.g., DOAJ).
  • Education about open access and copyright can be part of policy, as at MIT. Library can play role here.
  • Not all faculty know about extent of Mines thesis/dissertation coverage in our institutional repository.
  • Faculty present don’t have great concerns about intellectual property protection and open access. Embargo period on IR submissions addresses any concerns they have.
  • Student: If researcher has the choice, it’s okay. Library could help students pursue patents or publish via open access. Library can be an educational resource, would be very helpful.
  • Look to open access policies at other institutions as models for Mines.
  • Faculty interest in open courses
  • Faculty interest in assistance publishing online instructional materials (handouts; pdf’s, etc.). Interest in library support for this.
  • Students very interested in OER textbooks via library due to cost. Even if just a few and then build it.
  • Strong discussion about need for commitment by faculty, library, students, admin for OER initiatives to move forward.



From the Desk of the University Librarian


feb-blog-imageHappy February, all! Much is afoot at the Arthur Lakes Library:

First, a reminder: Many of you have come to enjoy the library’s Annual Book Sale, which has traditionally taken place on President’s Day in February of each year. We know how popular this event is with the campus and community, but after much deliberation the library staff decided to discontinue the event in favor of devoting more time to initiatives that further contribute to creating a 21st-century library for Mines.


In place of the book sale, we have placed a Free Books Giveaway Shelf just inside the main entrance of the library. It’s already proving quite popular, and free books are flying off the shelves each day. Stop in frequently to see what new titles are available!


idigmines_fbprofile_stampFebruary 9 is #idigmines Giving Day, a 24-hour fundraising event that lets you demonstrate your support for the campus causes you care about most. We encourage all to visit the Arthur Lakes Library’s #idigmines page on February 9 and show your love for the library. Contributions can be as small as $5.00 and will help us introduce much-needed study space improvements for our students. The #idigmines cause attracting the most number of donors will earn a $25,000 bonus, so please think of us!

The library continues to introduce innovative new services to improve the digital library experience. If you haven’t yet heard, we now offer Browzine, a platform that lets you browse, read, and monitor the latest scholarly journals in your discipline, either via a web browser or your favorite mobile device. Browzine is a user-friendly way to organize your faBrowZineLogo.jpgvorite e-journals into customized virtual bookshelves, be alerted to new issues, save articles, and read e-journals in a user-friendly environment. To learn more and get started, visit our guide at


And thank you for everyone who has been coming to the library’s series of Brown Bagbrown-bag-series lunches. The sessions have been well attended and we are gathering remarkable insights into how the library can better serve our users, insights that are supporting the development of a strategic plan and are informing plans for a renovated and rejuvenated physical library. These brown bag sessions take place each Wednesday at noon in the Boettcher Room of the library through March 1. Learn more.


The library’s popular Concert Series is already under way. If you missed January’s rousing jazz guitar session, no worries. In February, you can enjoy:dsc_0750_01

  • Friday, February 10:  Colorado Fuel Cell Center Troubadours
  • Friday, February 24:  Melodic Miners, Women’s A Cappella Group



As always, if you have any feedback about how the Arthur Lakes Library can better serve you, please let me know.
Spring is around the bend!
Carol Smith
University Librarian

Brown Bag Session #3, Wed. Jan 25, 2017 – Institutional Publishing

Wed, Jan 25: Institutional Publishing (MIT Recommendations 1, 4): Becoming a trusted vehicle for disseminating Mines’ research to the world.

 11 guests attended this session, including three students, one campus architect, three faculty members, the CIO, the Sr. VP for Research and Technology Transfer, one CASA staff member, and one additional unidentified attendee.


Major Takeaways


  • Many questions about ORCID iD; awareness building is needed but the support and interest is there
  • There is a recognized need for copyright compliance support on campus. The need for expertise, the time requirements involved, and legal concerns were all mentioned. Role seen for library in facilitating copyright compliance.
  • Attendees see value in the opportunity to more comprehensively disseminate research
  • Some faculty maintain Google Scholar profiles, but not all. Faculty recognize the problems and limitations of Google Scholar. Faculty see value in a comprehensive approach managed and controlled by our own institution.
  • Recognition that this is not just about disseminating research and connecting scholars. It’s also about marketing
  • The idea of storytelling as a marketing component resonated strongly with the group. Role seen for library. Stories need to be short.
  • Criticism of Mines web site, but a new one is coming soon
  • Concern about interoperability of various systems (Mines website; library site; institutional repository; future expert system)
  • Students need to better understand importance of keywords to discoverability and access and how to craft appropriate keywords. Library has role.

For the Full Notes on The Brown Bag CLICK HERE

Library Brown Bag Session #2: Wed. Jan 11, 2017 – Session Notes

Brown Bag Session #2, Wed. Jan 18, 2017

Session Notes

Digital Library Resources (MIT Recommendation 5): Expanding the library’s ability to provide the digital content needed to support learning and research.

 Ten guests attended this session, including five student; one faculty member; one CASA staff member; one campus architect, and two representatives from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Major takeaways, summarized:

  • Need more interdisciplinary, “soft” titles vs. just hard STEM titles
  • Need to do better job of communicating/marketing e-resources
  • Students think they can just use Google Scholar vs. library resources
  • Library needs more study space, more group collaboration space, brighter, more open space
  • Several user questions about platforms
  • Desire for property data
  • Faculty not pointing students to library resources, library guides. Need better communication.
  • TAs just point students to Google. Need to connect with and train TAs.
  • Need to better communicate that users can request title acquisitions
  • Need to better communicate ILL as an option
  • Desire for more Nature titles. Budget issue.
  • Perception/reality that graduates need and use library resources much more than undergraduates.
  • Desire for free textbook access. Need to promote OER more.
  • The VPN is a significant challenge for off-campus library use. Need proxy server for authentication.
  • Interest in multimedia resources


Anna Seiffert introduction to the topic:

  • 90% of our collections budget goes to electronic resources (e-resources)
  • 119K e-journals, just 20K in print
  • 180K e-books; a bit more in print
  • Overall 3:1 e-resources : print resources
  • Shift to e-resources
  • Introduces Libguides (new, multimedia friendly research guides
  • Introduces Browzine (new user-friendly tool for browsing and reading e-journals

Question: What does “shift” mean. Answer: transition away from print resources to e-resources

Student: Can we get more books or e-resources that are not just hard science? Had a specific desire for a book on how economics shape science. An interdisciplinary title. Scholarly journal reviewed and discussed the book, but Arthur Lakes didn’t have it. Realized most materials in the library are hard STEM vs. interdisciplinary. Need “soft” titles as well.

  • Discussed how to recommend new titles
  • Discussed how to use ILL
  • Discussed possible return of Prospector for in-state resource sharing
  • Discussed patron-driven acquisition models
  • Carol asked if the student was interested in leisure reading materials. Answer: Not so much.

Student: I thought it was odd that we didn’t have this particular title. “Looked into ILL but we’re not a part of it – she meant Prospector – and it would be great if we could rejoin.


Student: I agree with the shift to more e-resources, but the library needs to do better job of communicating resources to students. He only knows about Mango, and that’s because of the posters. We should similarly market other resources that are just as useful. He doesn’t know what other e-resources we have.

  • We asked: What is the best way to reach students? Answer: Visually (e.g., posters). Not all students come to the library, so posters and fliers in other buildings. It helps make the library “not too imposing”.

Student: In EPICS 1 and 2, and in other classes, we usually focus on just one type of resource (e.g., articles). I thought we could just use Google Scholar and bypass the library. It would be helpful to have a list of resources for that class – a resource guide.

  • Pointed out the new research guides

Same student: I transferred in from a community college –

Same student: I transferred to Mines from a community college that was smaller than Mines. The community college had a smaller library but way more study rooms, more open space. The library was more of a study place but also a group place for collaborating. It had no “twisty, ducking”…it was an open and brighter space.

USGS question: Does the front page library search tool cover all 267 databases?

  • Answer: Most but not all. It’s getting better all the time.

USGS question: Is the interoperability of different library resources improving?

Answer: Yes, Primo helps to integrate resources. Our institutional repository is now searchable. Getting better all the time

USGS question: Is our current platform open source?


Student question: In chemical engineering, we use a lot of data. Physical property data is more important to chemical engineering students.

  • Ye shows that we have a libguide page on property data. Also shows subject guides in chemistry and chemical engineering with property books, data, etc.

Comment: Some kind of communication bridge between librarian and faculty members would probably help use of e-resource. He heard about a website from his professor and used it but didn’t know this (library resource guides) existed. The department doesn’t direct student to library but to external sources instead, but perhaps that’s just a problem with that department

  • Thought: More instruction, better faculty communication needed

Student: I have used these guides, but TA’s just say to Google it.

  • Thought: We need to connect with the TA’s. Need TA training.


Student: But the problem also lies with students. Students are stubborn too.

  • Thought: Resources need to be easier to access and use.
  • Anna: Our resources do connect with Google scholar

Anna: She hears the feedback that we need more interdisciplinary titles, but she isn’t getting any recommendations/suggestions for specific Why – is it because people think we can’t afford the titles? Or is it that they don’t know they can ask?


  • Student: Okay, here’s a specific journal I’d like: Nature Chemistry. Our department publishes in it frequently yet we can’t look it up online
  • Anna: We only subscribe to 3 of the 27 Nature titles. They’re extraordinary expensive and they don’t negotiate. Budget issue.

Student: In terms of reaching out, you need to consider which student body is more likely to use a resource. I think many are more applicable to graduate students, 90% of them could use these, but not as many undergrads will.

  • Brianna has an EPICS research guide geared towards undergrads, with broader subjects.

Undergrad: I didn’t have much need for library research as an undergrad, mostly textbook recommendations.

  • Discussion on need for textbooks
  • Paul Martin: The number of available textbooks will increase as open access electronic becomes more important
  • Library: We promote open education resources (OER) in a STEM libgude
  • Student: Are some textbooks available? This is biggest complaint from students. If they are available for free, most don’t know that…
  • Paul: Students need to be communicating this. Do you want e-book textbooks?
  • Student: If free, yes! Even if they are biased towards print, free is better.
  • Question: Are there areas other than textbooks where print is preferred over e-resources? Discussion of reference resources.

Carol: Do you ever have trouble accessing library resources off-campus?

  • Answer is a resounding YES.
  • Student: The VPN is a problem. We were taught how to use VPN in EPICS. Taught how to use it to get Z drive. But sometimes if using Chrome doesn’t work, you have to turn to a different browser. Why is that? Is it a wifi issue? You have to know that you have to be on the VPN to use the library resources. And it doesn’t always work, especially after campus got a new VPN. It was confusing at the beginning as a new student. Had to download the VPN software many, many times.
  • Anna: And if switching between multiple devices, have to have VPN software on all devices
  • Question: What’s a VPN?
  • E-learning tab with library resources discussion
  • Question: Is the library going to be included in Shibboleth login?
  • Answer: We use it for back-end library work, so we do some interfacing with Shibboleth. But it’s  not universally enabled across our resources. It’s individual at the point of each resource, so not a broad solution for user authentication.


Question: Regarding media types: do you have statistics on how much text resources are accessed vs. newer information formats such as audio and video delivery. Are you seeing a shift?


  • Anna demonstrates streaming media options JOVE and Kanopy
  • Question: is there a shift to this?

Excellent further discussion about open access, and about library’s role in assisting authors (e.g., copyright).

Library Brown Bag Session 1: Wed. Jan 11 Input Received


The Physical Library (MIT Recommendation 2): Redesign the library’s physical spaces to support the way scholars learn and collaborate today.

Seven guests attended this session, including one student; two faculty members; one CASA staff member; two campus architects; one design architect



  • Big tables with room to spread out. “I have favorite spots in the library and they’re all big tables.”
  • Room between tables
    • More space, generally; space is a campuswide concern as well as in the library. “Students have other spaces they go to, but the library is their home, used in a productive way, and you can’t say that about every other building. They think of CASA and they think of the library”
    • “I know lots of students who come to the library by themselves to get a lot done and they don’t like the table next to them having a bunch of people talking and being pretty loud”.
    • “Needs to be bigger. I sometimes walk around the library and can’t find a spot that’s open, so having it be bigger would be beneficial.
    • “Plus it would be able to host more spaces for future growth in the school”
  • Late hours; earlier weekend hours before 11:00am
  • Quiet space
  • More computers
  • More collaborative computers (dual screens) in computer labs – they work together
  • Computers in group study rooms
  • Modular furniture in some “Whether or not students want to push tables around all the time, not sure”
  • 2-3 chair group study rooms are useful
  • Group study rooms should be reservable
  • If flat screens in group study rooms, must be easy to use. There are some elsewhere on campus and students use them.
  • Comfortable chairs; beanbags
  • Would like a social/fun zone for games. A study break space. “I think students would definitely use that.”
  • Plugs!
  • Whiteboards or glass boards with plugs nearby
  • “Having whiteboards is a big thing, very useful, even glass”
  • Better layout of library – currently closed off, confusing
  • Multiple entrances. Have to walk all the way around the building to enter it right now.
  • No small desks
  • “More spread out – I know I keep saying that”
  • Makerspaces are less of a priority – Brown is getting a big one, several across campus. Some are locked up, so you have to be certified to get access.
  • Little need for books (in sophomore year) or research help; mostly uses online library resources
  • Not sure about need for presentation practice space; interview space
  • Likes new food policy; should offer/sell food in library



  • Faculty lounge for interdisciplinary conversation; a social/tea hour space
    • Broader-ranging concept of what type of space could be helpful for the faculty. Informal space for discussion.
    • Cross-campus conversations right now about need for this need for an informal faculty meeting space, a communal space. And they think of the library as a community space. Makes sense to be thinking about this when thinking about space design.
    • Not just specific to faculty. Faculty have students, and faculty and students could also use it to get together.
    • Have also been discussing that other institutions around world have this type of space with traditions. In England, often have tea hour. And it would be every day. Go there for tea, but then during that time, faculty would talk about physics. And with students. A space where ideas could come up, and these types of conversations don’t happen so easy without the space and the time.
    • We’re lucky that this school is still small enough for this to work.
    • Berkeley model for cross-disciplinary exchange
  • Student satisfaction – faculty want happy students
  • More resources, for both student and faculty satisfaction
  • 90% of faculty conversation is about need for stuff, for resources, for journals
  • Textbook library – ask faculty to donate to it

CASA staff:


  • Partnership with the library would be great
  • Making up exams. Currently only have 16 seats, and gave 333 exams
  • Tutoring services and space
  • Supportive learning environmentunnamed

New University Librarian: Carol Smith

Happy New Year from the Arthur Lakes Library!


As the new University Librarian, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me settle in quickly to the Mines community. I met as many people as possible during my first two months here, but I know I still have many more of you to get to know and hope to do so early in the Spring 2017 semester. My door is always open to faculty, staff, students, and community members; feel free to drop by anytime you should find yourself at the library. I also welcome any and all opportunities to schedule a hello visit over a cup of coffee.


Much is underway at the Arthur Lakes Library. Beginning next week, both the library and the CSM Geology Museum will be embarking together on an intensive 12-week process to review and update our mission, vision, and values statements, and to develop ambitious yet achievable strategic plans that align with and contribute to the university’s strategic goals. We will be sharing our respective plans with you at the beginning of April and look forward to the new directions that come out of this process. Among other benefits, the library’s strategic plan will directly inform and guide our campus and design architects as we work with them to envision a renovated Arthur Lakes Library that better serves how scholars research, collaborate, and learn in today’s digital environment.

Brown Bag Schedule 


You can help! As I often like to say, it’s your library – you own it. Your input is essential to help us craft an innovative strategic plan for a 21st century STEM library. Accordingly, the library will be hosting a series of eight weekly themed brown bag lunch conversations, beginning Wednesday, January 9, at noon. All lunches will be held in the Boettcher Room and beverages will be served. Please see the attached flyer for additional details. We encourage you to attend any and all sessions and let us know what you’d like to see in your future library. Input can relate to the session’s primary theme, but we will also allow plenty of unstructured time for you to share any and all ideas you may have. And we’ll use this blog to share your input as we gather it.

We’re not waiting until the library renovation commences, though, to introduce improvements for both our physical and our digital library users. Those visiting the library will now find bean bag chairs, FitDesks, under the table cycles, and other short-term physical enhancements to make for a more comfortable and active study experience. We’ve also relaxed our food policy – we know that you need sustenance to study, so food and beverages (containers with lids) are now welcome anywhere in the library’s open spaces. We just ask that library users clean up after themselves, and cleaning supplies can be found at the circulation desk.

Half of the modern academic library is now electronic, and library users will find several significant improvements to their digital library experience. Our many course and discipline-specific research guides are now powered by a user-friendly, multimedia empowered platform. You’ll also find our A to Z list of electronic resources to be easier to navigate and access.

And of course, more of our popular library music concerts are on the way, beginning with a guitar event on Friday, January 27th – watch for announcements in the Daily Blast!

I wish everyone a successful Spring 2017 semester. If you have any feedback about how the Arthur Lakes Library can better serve you, please let me know.

Stay warm out there!

Carol Smith
University Librarian

Deselection Criteria

For the deselection process, we’re guided by assessment data that support informed decision-making and evaluation by knowledgeable library staff.

Baseline criteria include:

  1. Usage
  2. Availability of other copies (in print or e- format) at Mines
  3. Availability elsewhere within our regional library consortium (the Alliance)
  4. Relevance to campus programs and individuals
  5. Acquisitions date/publication date

Of course, these don’t give the full picture. From there, we evaluate items based on a wider range of factors that could include:

  • User input; feedback from library staff on how the item supports users (reference assistance, instruction, research); subject-specialist input.
  • Degree to which the item supports campus programs; relevance to Mines research activity; multi-disciplinary support.
  • Physical condition; availability of newer versions or alternatives.
  • Characteristics of the literature by subject; the item’s role within a larger subject collection; modern or historical relevance.
  • Degree of availability from other libraries; resource-sharing developments; collection trends in our Alliance partner libraries.

Questions? Post a comment here, or contact Anna Seiffert, our e-Resources Librarian.


Whiteboard Feedback

The latest Whiteboard Feedback: 2016-whiteboard-feedback-01


What do you like? Everything from group study areas to our concert series.











What would you wish the Library offered?

This is an even wider set of comments — from quieter spaces to longer hours to better furniture to food (particularly donuts).















Deselection Begins

Our deselection project for 2016 begins Monday Oct. 31.

What do I mean by “deselection”?  Bluntly, it’s when librarians remove materials from their collections. We deselect items on a continuous basis–it’s business as usual for most academic libraries.

We also implement larger deselection projects for a purpose, again as do most academic libraries. Our purpose this time is to create space for additional student seating, in response to plans for the upcoming renovation.

We’ve been planning for a smaller collection footprint and more student space since 2012. (Did you ever wonder why the Library’s main floor has that big open space in the middle? That’s a part of our 2012 project put on hold due to building code issues.)2016-floor2-interior-a

To follow: How we manage the deselection process.