Serendipity

23
Oct13

IRis, Northeastern’s Digital Archive, Reaches Milestone: 1 Million Downloads!

Posted by: Hillary Corbett

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When the Northeastern University Libraries launched IRis in 2006, the idea of an “institutional repository” was still fairly new. Universities were starting repositories to share their intellectual and administrative output – faculty-authored articles, dissertations and theses, student-run publications, university-created reports, and other documents. Seven years later, many more colleges and universities around the world have digital repositories of open access materials created by their faculty, students, and staff. These repositories often also host open-access journals and other publications – at Northeastern, IRis has hosted the Annals of Environmental Science since 2007, and also provides access to faculty-authored and -edited books.

IRis began with only a few collections in 2006, but has grown exponentially since then. Today, IRis contains over 6,000 items, and as of Tuesday, October 15, 2013, these items have been downloaded one million times!

Although it’s not possible to determine which one item received the lucky one-millionth download, we know that on that day, 649 items were downloaded 1147 times. Here’s a breakdown of the types of materials downloaded that day:

Here are top downloads in each category, for October 15, 2013:

As you can see, slightly more than half of the items downloaded were dissertations or master’s theses. An important contributor to the growth of IRis has been the university’s transition to an Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) program in the 2007-2008 academic year – instead of depositing print copies of dissertations and master’s theses in the library’s archives, graduate students now submit their ETDs to ProQuest and an open-access copy is made available through IRis. Both undergraduate and graduate research output is very popular in IRis – in fact, almost every month our most highly accessed collection is the Honors Junior/Senior Projects!

In the coming months, we will be expanding on the success of IRis with DRS – Northeastern University’s Digital Repository Service. The DRS will offer even more functionality for users and depositors, such as more flexible sharing options, the ability to manage permissions, and options for curated and noncurated collections.

Posted in: Library News and Events, Research Online, Scholarly Communications, Serendipity

12
Dec12

Co-op Reflections: Our Time at Snell

Posted by: Jen Anderle

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As the semester comes to an end, so do two co-ops in Snell Library. I have been working as the marketing and events planner, and Brittany Tassone has been working in the Digital Media Commons Studio. We have taken some time to think back on our experience here and offer advice to the new co-ops that will take our place in January. 

Thank you to Snell Library and our co-workers for two great co-op experiences. - Jen

Jen:

As the marketing and events co-op I planned Meet the Author events, assisted library staff with many other projects and events, and used Snell’s social media pages to promote library happenings and communicate with the Northeastern community. I gained a lot of marketing experience from this co-op. The Northeastern community is very diverse, and it was valuable for me to have to promote events and campaigns to such an audience. As a Northeastern student, I benefitted from working with different academic departments and student groups, and I feel much more connected to my university as a result.

I was not sure what to expect at an on-campus co-op, but it turned out to have been an incredible advantage. I was able to have more freedom and work on a wide range of projects at Snell, and was never stuck with boring or repetitive tasks. My favorite things about this job are that that I did something different every day, gained such a wide spectrum of experience, and got to work with a great group of people.

My advice to the next Marketing and Events co-op is to get the most that you can out of working in this position. If you have a good deal of experience when you start, then take on a bit more and come up with new ideas for events and promotions. Also, stay organized and be confident!

 

Brittany:

My co-op experience at the DMCS definitely was a good fit for me professionally. I was able to use my creative skills and design some unique promotional material, motion, and website graphics, but I was also able to assist in other student’s project, providing them with help that was crucial for it to be the best itcould be. I did experience some trials during my work, and learned that in the business of customer service you definitely need a lot of patience, and willingness to help. Those are qualities that I feel I possess, making my position here definitely a benefit for the DMCS. Having people that don’t necessarily speak English, or don’t have a large knowledge base about design software could be frustrating at times, but working with different types ofpeople is a lesson that I feel everyone should learn. It was beneficial for me because I know in the future I will definitely have to work with all types of different people to create designs for the intended audience.

The best part about working at the DMCS would have to be the great atmosphere my superiors and co-workers created for me. I was able to work on my designs without a huge rush on time, making the transition into my first co-op comfortable for me. My advice to future co-ops would to be to practice using the design software like Adobe Suite, Final Cut, and the iLife suite, as much as possible. It will be very helpful when answering questions in the future.

Posted in: Digital Media Design Studio (DMDS), Jobs, Library Memories, Serendipity, Staff Interests

10
Dec12

Congratulations to Keaton Zavis, our iPad winner!

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian

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Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer our survey about technology in Snell Library. In addition to ten lucky winners of Dunkin Donuts gift cards, we raffled a new iPad which was won by Keaton Zavis, shown at left today receiving his iPad from Dean of University Libraries Will Wakeling.

Congratulations to all our winners, and to all of the over 100 people who took the time to participate in the survey, we’ll be sure to publish the results on this blog. Your feedback will help us make Snell even better in the new year!

Posted in: Library News and Events, Serendipity

13
Nov12

How Children Succeed: A conversation with author Paul Tough

Posted by: Jen Anderle

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Author Paul Tough

By Emily Huizenga

Journalist Paul Tough visited Snell Library November 8th to discuss his latest book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character.

Emily Mann of the Human Services department gave Tough a brief introduction, describing his book as “one with humor and substance, one that questions conventions.”

Tough began his discussion of How Children Succeed with the suggestion that parents and educators have been emphasizing “the wrong skills and activities in the cognitive development of kids.” He described his travels around the country when writing the book: talking to researchers, educators, and students at both private academies and inner-city schools, studying everything from chess players to lab rats.

Ultimately, he concluded that “character education,” not just test scores, may be key to children’s success. He laughed, admitting that when he wasn’t doing research for his book he couldn’t help but think of his own son, then just an infant, as “a little experiment subject.”

Tough

Tough emphasized one discovery that he said even he found surprising. He said, “If we want children to succeed, we must first let them fail.” He explained the stress-response system, which children develop at infancy. While “too much damage can last a lifetime,” some conflict and stress is necessary so kids can develop what researchers are now calling “grit.”

Tough likened the idea to the difference between exercising on a treadmill and exercising by climbing a mountain: both will get you in shape, but only one has the added stress of the possibility of failure. This, he said, is key to fostering seven character strengths some educators are now deeming important to success: optimism, zest, curiosity, social intelligence, gratitude, self-control, and grit.

“What we have in this country is an adversity gap,” Tough said, explaining some kids need more chances to fail, more “inner strength,” while others need more nurturing, more care. In both cases, Tough said, the common denominator is the caregiver.

Read more in the e-book of How Children Succeed in the library’s collection here.

 

We would like to thank Human Services for bringing Paul Tough to campus, and a huge thank you to Paul Tough for such an engaging author talk!

 

Posted in: Serendipity

9
Nov12

Touring the DMC on Parents’ Weekend

Posted by: Kristina Lopez

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Students in the Digital Media Commons

Students in the Digital Media Commons

With the appearance of Hurricane Sandy, this year’s parent’s weekend was even more eventful than usual! Many different programs and events happened all across campus but one of the most exciting was a presentation in 246 Snell.

The Library ran a few programs during Parents Weekend: on Friday, tours were given of the newly renovated Digital Media Commons. On Saturday the main event was at 1pm, where Associate Dean of Libraries Patrick Yott gave a presentation where he discussed the many exciting new additions to the second floor as well as what can be expected in the coming years. Both parents and students were equally impressed with the new space; a parent even noted that this was not “her Mother’s Northeastern”.

An overview of the space was followed by a question and answer portion where parents were able to ask a number of questions about the new technology and space.  After the question and answer time tours were led by Nina Shah and Tom Urell of Snell Library. Parents and students alike were treated to an in depth look at the new areas of the DMC, from the moveable-wall “tents” that surround computer stations to the recently opened Room-5, with 3-way projection and surround sound.  The space truly lived up to what AD Yott called a space that encourages serendipity.

A peek of the new printing rooms gave students something to look forward to as they are scheduled to open soon! For more info check out @ClubSnell on twitter or stop by the DMC!

Posted in: Serendipity