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Jun 03 2022 - 11:45 AM
Technical Services Spring Report, 2022

Flower Pot Painting

The Ziegfeld Collection: International Artworks of Adolescents from the 1950s: A Celebration, Department of Arts and Humanities, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1999, Courtesy of Teachers College, Columbia University.


Technical Services Spring Report, 2022

Prepared by


Kalliopi Mathios, Head of Technical Services & Metadata Librarian

Roshnara Kissoon, Reserves & Support Services Librarian

Usa Ungsunan, Acquisitions Specialist, Library Assistant IV

Jackson Healey, Technical Services Library Associate


Introducing the New Course Reserves

This spring the library was delighted to fully implement our new, permanent course reserves platform, Course Resource Lists–powered by Ex Libris’ Leganto (in the same suite of products as the libraries’ discovery platform, Educat+, and the libraries’ administrative platform, Alma). The library worked closely with TCIT Enterprise Applications and DFI throughout the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters, first piloting our new platform with a small group of TC faculty members in November 2021 and finally enabling Course Resource Lists in all active, credit-bearing courses in Canvas in March 2022.


Course Resource List welcome screen viewed from within a course in Canvas

Welcome to Course Resource Lists.


Course Resource Lists integrates Educat+ with Canvas, and the library is excited that the new platform offers several advantages, including:


  • Easy searching and retrieval of library resources for instructors from within their courses in Canvas
  • The ability to retain lists and roll them over to subsequent semesters
  • The ability for instructors to communicate with the library and place course reserve requests from directly within Canvas
  • A central location for students to view library materials, both electronic and print, on reserve for their courses, as well as other class resources (such as Columbia Libraries electronic resources and open access materials)
  • Additional options and tools for adding citations from the web, analytics, and features for engaging students–including Student Discussion sections on each list and individual citation and Public Annotations. The Public Annotations feature, in particular, was tested and implemented in coordination with DFI and, though optional, is currently automatically enabled for any resources delivered via PDF, providing a space for faculty and students to comment and respond to each other while reading a resource.


An example of the Course Resource List Public Annotations feature turned on with PDF article displaying on the left, and comments pane on the right.

Public Annotations in Course Resource Lists.


All Spring 2022 course reserves requests were delivered via Course Resource List links in Canvas; for the semester, the library fulfilled:


  • 106 lists
  • Containing over 2,100 individual citations
  • Resources included Ebooks; electronic journal articles; streaming films; print books; and digitized excerpts of materials only available in print at the library, within fair use guidelines.


Instructor's view of a Course Resource List from within a course in Canvas, with View links circled.

A sample Course Resource List in Canvas.


Throughout the spring semester, the library held monthly introductory Course Resource List workshops for faculty and instructional staff. The library will continue to hold these workshops throughout Summer and Fall 2022, as well as offer individual consultations on an ongoing basis; more information and details to contact us can be found on the libraries’ Course Reserves page.


Expanding Resource Sharing

From the start of the Spring 2022 semester, the library worked to maintain our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services, including uninterrupted physical borrowing for our TC faculty and students. The libraries’ ILL service is used most heavily to borrow individual articles and book chapters, and with a view to strengthening our ILL program, we were pleased to introduce reciprocal lending of digitized excerpts from the Gottesman Libraries circulating collections this spring. More information about Interlibrary Loan services can be found on the Libraries’ Requesting New Materials page.


Other resource sharing highlights for the spring included:

  • Fulfillment of more than 320 ILL requests and inquiries from TC faculty and students
  • The conclusion of an effort to borrow more than 200 children’s textbooks, from 63 different university libraries and lending institutions across the U.S., to assist in a special research project undertaken by Dr. Alexander Eble and his team to measure representations of gender and race in the images and text of children’s textbooks.


Three carts of textbooks with stacks of boxes in the background

Unboxing and receiving textbooks borrowed via ILL.


  • The Gottesman Libraries’ presence in the Columbia Libraries Access Services and Operations Coordination Committee (ASOCC). Membership in the ASOCC allows the Gottesman Libraries to stay current with Columbia University Libraries’ operations, policy changes, and resource sharing options for the benefit of our TC patrons and also to connect and collaborate with our Columbia colleagues more frequently–this term we were pleased to demonstrate some of our work in Alma, and particularly Leganto, to colleagues at Butler Libraries.


Increasing Collection Discovery 

Over the course of the spring semester, projects in the areas of cataloging and metadata centered on making resources more easily discoverable by reviewing and revising resource import profiles, technical specifications with vendors, and identifying areas of need within our collections. Prioritizing based on immediate positive impact to the patron experience, our team began working in several areas to expand and improve the discoverability of readily available resources.


  • This semester, select subscriptions discoverable through CLIO are now also available in Educat+. As an affiliate of Columbia University Libraries, Gottesman Libraries and its patrons receive access to Columbia University Library resources; however, users previously needed to navigate to CLIO or Google Scholar to search and find scholarly content. Gottesman library patrons, as well as affiliate members, may now find select Taylor & Francis ebook subject collections, including Theater and Performing Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Urban Studies, and Social Work, the Harvard Educational Review via Allen Press, the Project Muse Collection, and the Sage Education Journal Collection in Educat+, and increasing the collection by over 7,000 items. This also means that faculty may add these resources to their Course Resource Lists.


  • We identified and corrected inconsistencies in our technical specifications and configurations for API delivery of metadata for physical and digital collections. This included identifying and prioritizing errors as they appeared, adjusting import profiles as needed, and communicating necessary changes in specifications to vendors. The overall result improved workflows and alleviated the amount of manual work, though minimal, required to receive and process new acquisitions


  • The LD4 Wikidata Affinity Group calls covered a variety of topics this spring, ranging from using Wikidata in knowledge panels in Cornell’s library catalog to the University of Virginia Libraries creation of an open dashboard for analyzing open access scholarly output using EuropePMC publication data. Next month, Gottesman Libraries staff will participate in a Wikidata Edit-a-thon hosted by Columbia University Libraries. Planning is also underway for a Wikidata Edit-a-thon that will improve data for diverse children’s books using statistics from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Members of the Technical Services team additionally serve on the LD4 2022 Conference on Linked Data Linking Global Knowledge Planning Committee.


  • In order to ease the circulation and discovery of materials, a new local electronic collection was made for Cambridge Core ebooks. Additionally, we refined an established but unused library location to accommodate our small game collection, and created loan rules and labels for these library use only materials.


  • Over the course of the spring semester, we isolated, organized, and cleaned up the libraries’ Teachers College Record collection. This amounted in the form of metadata revisions for over 600 items that are now entirely accessible via the Gottesman Libraries user-facing Educat+ catalog. The pace of this project was calculated to coincide with the release of TCR on Sage Journals, which went live in mid-May. Further information on this project can be found via the Gottesman Libraries’ blog post “Touring Teacher College Record.”


Shelves of Teachers College Record

Shelves of historic and contemporary Teachers College Record volumes.


  • In order to ease collection use and minimize confusion, we identified books with conflicting spine labels located in the New Teachers College Press and New Faculty collections in the third floor reading room. We covered the sections of call number spine labels that had two locations, which confused library staff and patrons alike. After adjusting the labels, each book was scanned in so that the locations of the items could be reviewed. We double checked the record of every book, 2,148 books in total, and ensured that each book was assigned one location according to our current policy for these collections, maintaining a copy in the archive, the third floor reading room, and the main stacks. We found the most discrepancies with missing archive (TCANA) copies, and re-shelved and assigned these items as needed.


Strengthening Library Services Systems

As we approach our one-year anniversary using Alma and Educat+, we continue to support and strengthen our library systems with a view to enhance and improve the patron and staff experience. Staying abreast of product timelines, release notes, and bug fixes in the Alma, Primo VE, and Leganto environments helped ensure no major service disruptions. In coordination with TCIT and DFI, we were able to integrate data from the Teachers College course catalog to support our work in delivering timely and relevant course resources via Course Resource Lists in Canvas.


  • A significant portion of the spring semester was spent preparing for the full launch of Course Resource Lists, the permanent replacement for the DocDel system which was retired in May of 2020. Integrating the library system Alma with Canvas meant ensuring user role privileges were mapped correctly to roles in Canvas, course data was delivered and optimized to enable the retention and rollover of course lists from semester to semester, and that faculty were able to share and embed resources as expected.


Screenshot of bulk rollover testing notes

Screenshot of bulk rollover testing notes.


  • The Ex Libris Users of North America Conference 2022 concluded on May 25th and covered a wide range of informative sessions. Keynote speaker Todd Carpenter, Executive Director of NISO (National Information Standards Organization) discussed global trends in library technical infrastructure, and discussed how librarians and library professionals may use systems to work more efficiently in a much more collaborative, and open environment. His talk Rising Expectations, Increasing Demands, and More Robust Systems: The Library Infrastructure Requirements of the Future can be watched here. The Conference also highlighted new workflows for Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) in Alma Digital, unveiled new details about Metadoor, a free, open database for record sharing, and product timelines.


  • Regular system maintenance included monitoring regular system jobs for errors or inconsistencies, adjusting loan rules and circulation policies as needed, and configuring the print queue for printing from Alma. Dashboards featuring analytics for circulation, course reserve use, and Educat+ searches were developed and made available for library staff.


  • Documentation for library workflows in Alma continue to be edited and developed in Confluence to support staff.


Coordinated Collection Development

In the spring semester, the library acquired new ebooks, print books, and journal subscriptions. Aligned with faculty subject area recommendations, library staff curated book collections, art exhibits, and patron-initiated requests, these new resources support research and learning, as well as provide starting points for new areas of inquiry. We developed workflows for replacing missing and in demand print copies, and contributed to ARL and IPEDS reports. We updated our electronic resource holdings to reflect renewal changes, and started two new journal subscriptions, Ecopsychology and Journal on Task-Based Language Teaching and Learning. Members of the TC community may request new books using our request form.


  • Usage and collection statistics were provided for the annual Association of Research Libraries (ARL) report, as well as the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) report. Statistics collection started with running relevant searches and reports within Alma and Oracle Analytics. The reports were saved and organized properly for re-use each year, which will afford us more consistent reporting in the years to come. Reporting areas included physical titles and items held, ebooks held, full-text journal usage, regular and federated searching, and interlibrary loan statistics. Due to our system migration, refined methodologies, and hybrid instruction, we reported increases in the areas of full-text usage and electronic circulation.


Screenshot of ARL Statistics By Category

Snapshot of reported ARL statistics for 2020-2021.


  • In preparation for ARL and IPEDS reporting, SUSHI accounts were established for relevant vendors in Alma. SUSHI harvesting protocol allows for libraries to establish connections with vendor usage platforms, and ingest COUNTER Release 5 compliant usage data on a defined schedule. We were able to harvest data prior to 2020, and harvest all available usage data to date. Alma and Oracle Analytics provide extensive reporting options and greatly exceeds our previous platform, Intota Assessment. SUSHI harvesting is scheduled to run monthly.


  • In an effort to address significant delays in the arrival of print material, we met with GOBI Library Services to discuss the status of their warehouse after resuming full in-person operations, and learned about GOBI Rush ordering. GOBI Rush will allow for faster delivery without shelf-ready processing, though this may become a viable option for us. We also began ordering directly from publishers in order to minimize shipping delays. We anticipate utilizing all available options to us as we prepare for the Fall 2022 semester.


  • In coordination with our Children’s and Young Adult Literature specialists, we reinstated our Children’s Approval Plans for award winning children’s literature. This means that each award season, award winning books and honorees will be ordered, processed, and shipped to the library upon announcement. We also included a slips program, which will allow us to hand-select award winning titles for relevant awards. We hope that this shortens delays in the ordering and processing of new award winners. Additionally, we ordered award winners missing from our collection. In the coming months, we look forward to supporting library staff in the assessment and updating of our Juvenile and Curriculum Collections in the second floor reading room, and their investigation into digital options for these collections.


New Children's and YA Books

Recently received Children's and Young Adult Award Winners and Honorees.


  • In coordination with Research and Instruction Librarians, we provided new ebooks in the areas of Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design, Computing in Education, Dance Education, Special Education, Diabetes Education and Management, and Sexuality, Women, and Gender in Psychology.
Posted in: ReportsLearning at the Library|By: Kalliopi Mathios|104 Reads