Seek & Find at Falvey Library: Online Exclusives | Villanova Magazine

Seek & Find at Falvey Library:
Online Exclusives

Learn more about the Library's role in the Affordable Materials Project and read enlightening Q&As from the Metrics and Assessment Librarian, Preservation and Digital Archivist, Digital Scholarship Librarian and Scholarly Communications Librarian.

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Not Your Parents’ Library

 Four Falvey Memorial Library staffers share insider insights about the work they’re doing to support the library of the future.

As director of Falvey Memorial Library, Millicent Gaskell, MS, always has her finger on the pulse of the Villanova community’s scholarly needs and her eyes fixed on the future. Over the past six years, she’s worked to create new positions to adapt to the changing landscape of scholarship.

These include Falvey’s first-ever Scholarly Communication Librarian, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Preservation and Digital Archivist, and Metrics and Assessment Librarian. Just how do these positions help to preserve, assess, generate and disseminate scholarly activity and research at Villanova? Here are some insider insights from these experts into what they do and how they do it.

Headshot of Erica Hayes

Let’s Get Digital

Name: Erica Hayes, MIS, MLS, MFA

Role: Digital Scholarship Librarian

Department: Research Services and Scholarly Engagement

My Goal Is To... Inspire researchers to find ways they can create more interactive and engaging scholarship and use technology to enhance traditional methods of research.

Office Space... I’m really excited about Falvey’s new Digital Scholarship Lab, which we’re scheduled to open in Fall 2021. It’s a collaborative space on the newly renovated second floor where I can meet with faculty, students and staff for one-on-one consultations and training sessions. It will also have a variety of software and equipment the Villanova community can use to develop digital projects and learn new technologies.

A Technology Tool I Recommend Is... ArcGIS StoryMaps, a configurable web application by Esri that allows you to combine online maps with text, photos and videos in order to create an interactive storytelling experience and share research online. As the Digital Scholarship Librarian at Falvey, I teach a variety of workshops on digital storytelling and data visualization tools, and this is just one of the tools that I highly recommend to faculty and students of all disciplines.

Headshot of John Banionis

Numbers Tell a Story

Name: John Banionis, MS

Role: Metrics and Assessment Librarian

Department: Resource Management and Description

Metrics Matter Because... The combination of quantitative and qualitative metrics allows Library leadership to make data-informed decisions that place Falvey in the best position to continue to meet the information and learning needs of Villanova now and in the future.

Falvey Is… The University’s steward of scholarly information–fuel for the academic engine.

A Number That Surprises Me... Zero, because I almost never see it in our yearly electronic usage statistics. Previously, I worked for academic publishers and observed that every library has some zero-use resources, which means the library needs to determine if those subscriptions are still useful. I’ve been impressed with our subject librarians’ knowledge of discipline-specific resources and relationships with faculty in identifying resources that are vital—and widely used—for Villanova’s research needs.

Numbers Are Not the Only Story... As different academic disciplines have different library usage patterns, this context is important when reviewing all materials data points, including print circulation, document delivery and interlibrary loan, Special Collections and Digital Library usage, and e-book, e-journal, database and streaming video usage.

Headshot of Beaudry Allen

Meet the Digital Archivist

Name: Beaudry Rae Allen ’13 MA

Role: Preservation and Digital Archivist

Department: Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement.

My Job Is... To preserve University history, physical and digital, that represents the activities of Villanova so that future researchers have access to it.

I’m Excited About... Building Villanova’s digital preservation program from the ground up. Because so much information that’s presented today is digital, libraries need a system to store, preserve and provide access to that digital content.

I May Be the Only Person on Campus Who… Still has a floppy disk reader. We’re always dealing with the threat of obsolescence of physical records, so we extract files from CDs, DVDs and floppy disks and transfer them to a server for long-term preservation.

I Highly Recommend... Our artifact collections, which include the first nursing school uniform, engineering overalls and a small beanie cap called a “dink” (freshmen wore these in the early 1900s to distinguish themselves from upperclassmen).

A Tool I’m Using... Social Feed Manager, an open-source tool for collecting Twitter data. During the pandemic, I have been able to do weekly crawls of tweets about COVID-19 in our area that I will be able to preserve to represent what the day-to-day experience was like.

Headshot of Sarah Wipperman

Decoding the Publishing Ecosystem

Name: Sarah Wipperman, ML

Role: Scholarly Communication Librarian

Department: Research Services and Scholarly Engagement

My Position Requires... That I wear many hats. I study the ways in which scholarship is created, disseminated, reused and shared. My expertise is in copyright, publishing, open access, and how to increase research and researcher visibility.

On a Day-to-Day Basis... I help to provide education around scholarly publishing issues and serve as a point person for scholars in the Villanova community to answer questions, navigate the process of publishing, review publishing contracts, and address copyright concerns. On a larger scale, I provide general guidance on scholarly publishing and advocate for infrastructure and policies to help Villanova researchers publish more and gain greater visibility.

Open Access Matters Because... By providing free and unrestricted access to scholarly materials, it enables us as a society and as individual practitioners to learn from each other and to be able to take scholarship and apply it in our jobs and in everyday life. It makes more scholarly content available so more people can read it without having to pay a subscription fee.

This Past Year, I Was Excited to... Build two new workshops for the Villanova Institute for Research and Scholarship as part of its series on How to Raise Your Scholarly Visibility. The first focused on How to Use Academic Social Media", including how to tweet at work, and the second offered guidance on How to Build Your Scholarly Website.

Falvey’s Vision for Scholarship at Villanova Is to… Create an institutional repository—a place for the University to publish its scholarship where the Library and University take stewardship over it. Institutional repositories give scholars a place to openly share their work with a global audience and let the University showcase the excellent scholarship we produce.

More Affordable Options for All

Villanova’s Affordable Materials Project helps students save money and increase access to the course materials they need to succeed.

Information has become an increasingly expensive commodity—and the price tag on many academic materials, textbooks and subscriptions reflects that. At Villanova, the average cost that students incur for course materials is $940 per year.

To alleviate some of the burden and improve access to course materials, Villanova launched the Affordable Materials Project (AMP) in 2017. Lauren Ward, MEd, the Academic Advancement Program counselor and coordinator for Villanova’s Center for Access, Success and Achievement (CASA), founded the project, which is a campus-wide collaboration between CASA, Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning, and the Office of the Provost.

“AMP focuses on different ways that faculty and students can save on course materials, including e-book matching, electronic course reserves and the promotion of open educational resources,” says AMP member Marianne Watson, director of Resource Management and Description at Falvey. So far, the multi-faceted project has been highly successful.

A Match Made in Falvey

AMP’s E-Book Matching Program, for example, took off quickly. Beginning in Spring 2018, the University Shop started sharing the list of faculty-assigned books with the Library. Each semester, the Library matches these required book titles to electronic books that are already in Falvey’s collection and that allow unlimited simultaneous users, and Falvey staff also identify additional titles that the Library can license. Each matched electronic title gives students the option to save the cost of a textbook.

“In five short semesters, the cumulative potential student savings of the E-Book Matching Program alone has now exceeded $718,000,” says AMP member and Business Librarian Linda Hauck, MLS, MBA. “The total Library cost was less than $43,000—that is a 1670 percent return on investment.”

AMP focuses on different ways that faculty and students can save on course materials.”

Marianne Watson, director of Resource Management and Description at Falvey

Another AMP member, Falvey’s Metrics and Assessment Librarian John Banionis began compiling this purchasing and usage data to demonstrate the program’s value over time. And with each semester, it grows. “From the Library’s perspective, when purchased e-books are reused in courses in future semesters, the return on the initial investment continues to build over time and the number of AMP titles offered per semester grows,” he says.

Collaborating to Cut Costs and Enhance Learning

The E-Book Matching Program is just one of many cost-saving initiatives AMP has implemented and promoted to get the word out to students and faculty that there are plenty of options for affordable course materials without having to sacrifice quality.

More recently, AMP launched the Open Educational Resources (OER) Faculty Adoption Grant, funded by the Office of the Provost and administered by Falvey Memorial Library. The pilot grant is designed to encourage faculty to select free, openly licensed textbooks as their primary course materials. Hauck is hopeful that it will garner equally impressive savings and enhanced learning.

In 2020, five grants of $1,000 were awarded to faculty who revised or designed a course around using open educational resources. These resources are free for students to use, and faculty can customize the content to better suit their educational goals for a course. “These grants will potentially save students over $23,000 during the 2020–21 academic year, a 360 percent return on investment,” Hauck says.

In a recent forum on the OER Faculty Adoption Grant, students expressed appreciation for long-term continued access to open educational resources, and faculty noted that the resources improved class cohesiveness because all the students were using the same materials. “Most importantly, students said using open educational resources made them feel like they belong at Villanova because the University listens to their concerns and takes action to help their families manage costs,” Hauck says. ◼︎



The cumulative potential student savings the E-Book Matching Program has garnered in five short semesters since its launch in Spring 2018

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