There’s a lot of exciting change coming to the library this summer. If you’ve been in Snell Library, you’ve seen the construction work taking place on the 1st floor, which will provide wonderful new individual and group study spaces for the Northeastern community.
Another major change will occur on July 1 as our legacy NUCat library catalog is replaced by a sophisticated new research tool called Scholar OneSearch. Using Scholar OneSearch, you will be able to search the library collections, articles and more from one search box. Or, if you prefer, you will be able to limit your search to just the library collections as you did formerly with NUCat.
This fall, the Digital Media Commons at Snell Library will be home to a new studio with 3D printers, 3D scanners, and more. 3D printing, or “additive manufacturing,” is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital model. The technology involves using additive processes where objects are created from adding layers of materials and is being used to make all kinds of products in different fields, from medicine to engineering to retail.
The new 3D studio will be accessible to everyone across campus, too, so you’ll be able to learn about 3D printing and try it out for yourself. More information on how you’ll be able to do that is coming soon.
Another Northeastern 3D project, called ANA, is particularly interesting. ANA prints physical 3D objects that store information via alphanumeric text. You can type text into ANA’s website and the text is coded into the printed object, making the object a storage tool for information. The result of a capstone project, ANA was created by visiting professor Janos Stone who partnered with Sia Mohammadalipoor, a mathematics PhD candidate; Michael Godlewski, an undergraduate senior in Digital Art and Interactive Media; Stephen J Elliott, an undergraduate senior in Programming and Computer Science; and Hooman Javaheri, a PhD candidate in Computer Science.
As you might be able to tell from the varying backgrounds of the ANA creators, an important part of 3D printing at Northeastern is the emphasis on interdisciplinary applications. At the new Snell Library 3D studio, 3D printing, as well as other new technologies, will be woven not only into engineering and the sciences, but design and the arts as well. This is one of the reasons the facility at Snell Library will be unique–it will be a resource for everyone on campus and not be restricted to a particular major or grade level.
Looking beyond Northeastern, universities around the world have started to use 3D printing to do a number of cool things. Computer scientists at Harvard are conducting research on how to make 3D printing useful for artists and animators, and in one case, developing software for printing 3D action figures from digital animation files. They’re basically creating a software tool that translates 3D animations into fully articulated action figures(!).
Case Western Reserve University has opened a space for the new technology called Think[box]where 3D printers, laser cutters, and other tools are available for students’ use, and Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand also opened a 3D Model Workshop equipped with metalwork and woodwork machines.
Over the course of the summer and into the fall semester we’ll have more information up about what will be available in the 3D studio at Snell and how you can get involved, but the first step is to think up ideas for what you want to 3D print—what will you create?
This is to let you know that the Northeastern Libraries’ participation in NExpress has come to an end. We had been preparing an announcement in our forthcoming newsletter, but our vendor for the NExpress system has disabled our access prematurely, and so effective immediately, borrowing books from other libraries through the NExpress system is no longer available.
If you have outstanding NExpress requests and they are still “in the pipeline” awaiting fulfillment, they will be filled and you’ll be notified when you can pick them up.
If you have NExpress books in your possession, you may continue to use them. However, no new requests–or requests to renew NExpress books–will be accepted after today.
If you need to make new requests from today forward, please use one of our existing interlibrary borrowing systems, WorldCat Local or ILLiad. All of our NExpress partner libraries also participate in those systems, so they will continue to lend to us, and us to them, going forward.
Please return all NExpress items by May 22, 2013 at the latest.
The advantage of ILLiad is that if you already use ILLiad delivery for PDF journal articles, it may be convenient to have your books, videos and other returnable items listed in the same system.
The reason for this change is that the NU Libraries are upgrading our infrastructure over the summer, and the new system we are implementing does not support the NExpress technology. (More about this infrastructure change is also forthcoming.) Furthermore, the NExpress system added complexity to our online environment by requiring users to choose from three different, unconnected systems for interlibrary services.
We know NExpress is a popular service and we apologize for the inconvenience of this short notice. If you have any questions about outstanding NExpress requests, or if you need assistance using WorldCat Local or ILLiad, please contact the Circulation Desk at at 617.373.8778.
The Northeastern Libraries are beginning the process of replacing our authentication system. This is the system where, if you’ve used library resources from home or off-campus, you enter your myNEU username and password to access e-journals, databases, and other online resources.
The good news?
There’s a lot of good news, in fact it’s almost all good. First and foremost, your login will not change and your access to content will not change. The only thing you’ll notice right away, if you’re doing research off-campus, is that the login screen itself looks a little more updated, similar to the university G-apps and Lynda.com login screens.
So where you used to see this:
You’ll start seeing this:
The reason for this change is that is the library is becoming more tightly integrated with the Northeastern authentication system using a new standard called “shibboleth” that facilitates collaboration and identity management across many different organizations. This change is part of a larger upgrade in the library’s technology infrastructure taking place over the summer of 2013.
The benefits to you may seem small at first. The chief one is that if you log in to one of the shibboleth-compliant systems at Northeastern, or licensed by Northeastern, like Lynda.com, you won’t need to log in again to get to others, like library resources during each browsing session. As more e-journal and database publishers become part of the shibboleth standard, you’ll be able to carry your identity with you and move more seamlessly on the web with fewer login requirements and fewer different logins and passwords to remember. For example, you’ll log in once to manage saved citations in our discovery search and won’t need to log in again to manage e-books in eBrary, or saved courses in Lynda.com.
In the long term, the benefits increase as more organizations participate, facilitating inter-institutional collaboration as well as the management of personal accounts and settings with all kinds of content providers.
There is one hangup: The Northeastern-specific URLs that you may have bookmarked for logging in to your favorite library databases and other content are going to change. Between now and July 1 both old and new URLs will work. But after July 1, you’ll need to update bookmarks and other links. We’ll be sure to remind you about this, and we will be able to assist you with updating your URLs. There will also be a self-service tool on our web site to convert URLs into the appropriate format for you.
Finally, the University’s Blackboard support team will help ensure any links to library-licensed course readings in Blackboard are updated for you and your students who are off-campus.
We’re looking forward to this upgrade, and would like also to thank the University’s Identity Management staff who worked with us to make it possible!