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The Libraries is excited to announce the launch of a redesigned website featuring a more organized structure, new library research guides, an increased functionality. This new site will go live on Monday, September 8, 2014 after nearly a year of planning and month of user testing.

The new website, when live, will offer the opportunity to provide feedback and report issues. More general feedback can be provided through the Libraries ongoing feedback survey located at

A glimpse of the new site...













The Ebola virus (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever) has been a very hot topic in the news recently, due to the outbreaks in western Africa. The flow of information about the virus and the outbreaks has been confusing, and often alarmist. Here are some reliable sources that can be relied on for current, accurate information about the virus itself, and implications for travelers or for healthcare workers in the United States.

From the Center for Disease Control:

From the World Health Organization:

From the National Library of Medicine:

From the National Institutes of Health:

And remember that the Drexel Libraries [or your local public library] can always help you find reliable and current information.

Over the past several weeks the Libraries leadership, as with many other campus departments, has had to make difficult decisions about financial allocations that affect the services we offer, our relation to people expecting library support and our employees that hope for security in their workplace.

You can read more about some of the decisions we were faced with and the choices that were made in the August issue of In Circulation. These changes include the times of scheduled staff assistance at Queen Lane Library, options for gathering evidence to reflect the value of an academic library, choosing among tools licensed to help manage citations, or selecting levels of processing of archival records to make documents discoverable. As we craft communications to various audiences about our decisions, we reflect upon the values that distinguish our choices, and principles guiding the processes used to reach some of the tough ones. Insights into a handful of these might offer you a perspective on the Drexel Libraries organization.

We acknowledge we cannot provide it all. Our sense of customer service ranks very high. However, we do not have the resources to meet everyone’s expectations. We make choices that aim to benefit the majority and are for the common good -- access to information sources, spaces for study and reflection and guidance of experts. We are currently reviewing our “collection development” policies for example and hope soon to offer articulation of how we aim to balance access venues with convenience.

We aim to make evidence-based decisions. We are not alone at Drexel to consider how to apply data about the use of spaces, or the number of downloads of e-resources we license to make good judgments. Recent discussions with other librarians will help to improve the processes we use to make decisions.

Gathering data is not always easy. We seek input from students and faculty through our online surveys and in person conversations, we observe utilization of the Libraries space and service and we count transactions, but we don’t always fully understand the context of our community. Our library liaisons are a valued resource to gather the insights about the different college cultures—their research challenges, styles of teaching and need for assistance. These add to the judgments we make.

Perhaps the toughest decision our managerial leaders must make relates to our employees. One of the values the Libraries has championed is that current staff are an important asset. Although we unfortunately did not renew contracts for some of our temporary staff, we have not laid off individuals to recover salary expenses. We chose instead to remove budgeted but unfilled positions. Our other strong driving value is to guard the Libraries capacity to ensure access to authoritative information resources by not cutting the budget allocated to license electronic journals or to purchase books and other formats, and the related staffing to process acquisitions workflows and circulation/ILL services.

We may not always be successful in choices we make, but as an organization, the Libraries takes its responsibilities to support teaching, learning, and research and to advance the University very seriously. Your feedback – through our staff, submissions to the comment boxes and online surveys, and communications to me and other administrators—are welcome and are critical to our continued improvement efforts.

Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD
Dean of Libraries

As the University focuses on efficient operations and effective use of resources, Drexel Libraries continues to review the most effective allocations of its budget to provide a high level of service and access for the Drexel community. Some changes will be made in the staffing of the Queen Lane Library; beginning on Monday, August 11, 2014, the staffed hours of Queen Lane Library will be 12:30 – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The location will no longer provide staff-mediated services in the evening or weekends, but the facility will remain open for use 24/7 when the Queen Lane campus building is open. Steve Bogel, Liaison Librarian for Medicine, and Abby Adamczyk, Liaison Librarian for Life Sciences, remain available for consultation and instruction –in person at Queen Lane by appointment or through email and phone during business hours. In addition, the Libraries’ Online Chat service is available via the website from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and beginning this fall, weeknights as well.

Changing the service hours at the Queen Lane Library, while remaining open during peak times, allows the Drexel Libraries to effectively allocate staff time to more in-demand services. The new schedule was determined after reviewing usage information and through conversations with Drexel staff and faculty at the Queen Lane Campus. The Libraries is also reviewing the lending policies for Reserve materials to ensure optimal access for patrons.

We continue to make improvements to the management of our Libraries resources, but might have overlooked something important to you. Feedback about these changes – or any of the Libraries services or locations - is welcome through the Libraries’ online survey located at: Please don’t hesitate to also let me know if you have any questions.

Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD
Dean of Libraries

The Libraries plans to withdraw its holdings of the National Union Catalog, Pre-1956 Imprints from the collections this summer. The NUC, as it is fondly known, was an important resource for scholars and researchers in the pre-digital era to confirm citations and locate physical publications. With the advent of electronic library catalogs and projects such as OCLC WorldCat, Hathi Trust Digital Library and Google Books, the content of the NUC is less essential to bibliographic research. A study completed in 2008 estimated that at least 75% of the NUC was available in WorldCat, the aggregated database which contains the Library of Congress’ catalog along with those of major research libraries from around the world including Drexel (DeZalar-Tiedman, 2008).

Libraries staff no longer consult this tool and have not witnessed use by faculty in a number of years. It is a static record and thus less reliable for locating difficult to find scholarly items published prior to 1956, which was its unique earlier value particularly for ILL services. Withdrawing theover 700 volumes of NUC from the Libraries’ collections will empty 40 shelves to place newly bound volumes of print journals and periodicals in the compact shelving on the Lower Level of W.W. Hagerty Library.

Please let me or Beth Ten Have, the Libraries’ Director of Academic Partnerships know very soon if you know of any reason for Drexel to retain this printed catalog of catalog records.

Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD
Dean of Libraries

For the past several years, members of the Drexel community have had the option to chose between RefWorks, a site licensed by the Libraries, and EndNote, a site licensed by IRT. Following the University initiative to examine and reduce redundancies on campus, the Libraries will no longer provide a license to the RefWorks tool. Access to RefWorks will end on September 30, 2014.

Current RefWorks users will need to migrate folders and references to a new tool before September 30th. The Libraries staff has prepared a number of guides to assist in the process of evaluating new citation managers and to provide guidance on moving references into a new tool. Staff is also available to assist members of the Drexel community through this transition.

Drexel’s IRT will maintain the University wide site license for EndNote. For more information, please contact your liaison librarian.

Libraries is pleased to announce the availability of the electronic edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. The e-version of the DSM-5 incorporates links to current journal articles and newly published book chapters aligned to the section the DSM-5 being viewed, as well as current content from Psychiatric News. The Drexel site license is for unlimited simultaneous users. Click here to connect to DSM-5.

Two new managers will lead the core programs of the Libraries’ Academic Partnerships group beginning in July 2014: Tom Ipri and Larry Milliken. Tom and Larry already worked within the Libraries as liaison librarians and have been promoted to leadership positions where they will oversee learning engagement and reference & research consultations respectively. Promoting existing staff into manager positions improves the effectiveness of the Library Academic Partnerships group while reducing administrative overhead.

Tom Ipri’s new title will be Manager, Learning Engagement. Learning Engagement is responsible for the Libraries program of instruction and actively engages librarians and faculty in developing students’ abilities to effectively discover and utilize information and data in their work. The program aims to enable learners to explore and develop superior levels of DSLP competencies to identify, evaluate and use authoritative information resources, and to facilitate faculty teaching.

Larry Milliken was appointed Manager, Reference & Research Consultation. Reference & Research Consultation is responsible for the Libraries information finding and reference consultation services that work to deepen Drexel’s connections with scholarship through expert guidance across knowledge communities, authoritative publications, and unique data sources.


While assuming these new managerial roles, Tom and Larry will continue to serve as liaisons to academic units in their respective areas of expertise, Tom to College of Media Arts & Design and Larry to Humanities & Social Sciences.

Article by: Hoang Tran
For the past 4 months, I’ve worked as an archival processing intern at Drexel University Archives. Writing this marks the end of my internship here at the Archives where my primary task was to arrange and describe collections of historic material. Largely I processed materials, which involves arranging, describing, and creating finding aids for each collection—wash, rinse, and repeat. While to some this may sound boring and repetitive, personally, my time at Drexel has only reaffirmed my decision to become an archivist.

As I move forward in my career, I want to take the opportunity to reflect on some of the things that I learned during my internship.

When I first started working at Drexel, I had a difficult time adjusting to the local standards and practices. Before coming to Drexel, I worked on a year-long processing project which required item-level work with ephemera and photographic materials. However, processing a large and complex university collection efficiently required minimal-processing in the spirit of the archival approach known as "More Product, Less Process" (commonly known as MPLP). It was a challenge to change my habits, but this internship has taught me that flexibility is necessary in archival work. My training at one institution is not always transferrable to the next and interning at Drexel has only made my experience and skills much more diverse.

Working at Drexel required me to be vigilant about identifying collections that required access restrictions. For example, some collections contained personnel files or student records which cannot be made available to researchers. As I was working with university records, it was necessary to understand both the legal requirements and institutional policies on how to provide access to the materials. Last but not least, I truly felt fortunate to work with Drexel’s University Archives staff. They provided guidance and constructive feedback, shared professional knowledge and expertise, and supported my decisions on projects. Being an introverted person, I appreciated that the archivists, setup networking opportunities and encouraged me to attend local archivists meetings and events. Broadening my professional network will be a tremendous asset in my future endeavors. Furthermore, working with or alongside the other archives staff and interns was truly amazing, everyone was supportive and friendly; I felt like I was part of an amazing team. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to work at Drexel Libraries.

The Libraries will not renew the subscription to the edition of Encyclopedia Britannica for the 2015 fiscal year. Much of the Encyclopedia Britannica content is available through the wide range of other electronic resources provided by the Libraries. The annual cost of this resource is $12,000 before inflation and its cancellation will provide the Libraries an opportunity to put collection money into acquiring higher priority items.

The Libraries continues to license and provide access and expert guidance to a number of electronic encyclopedias and reference resources. Core reference works can be found in these collections:

  • Credo provides access to over 650 full-text electronic reference works, ranging from general dictionaries and encyclopedias to discipline specific works, such as Cambridge World History of Food, The American Economy: a historical encyclopedia, Aesthetics A-Z, and Springer Handbooks of International Education. You can browse Credo by the individual titles, or search across its full range of content.
  • Access Science is a collection of over 8,400 articles from McGraw-Hill’s science focused encyclopedias and reference works. It provides access to full-text biographies of well-known scientific figures and over 15,000 downloadable images, animations and videos. Access Science also contains ‘curriculum maps’ which are collections of objects (diagrams, articles, videos, animations, tables, equations, etc.) tied to standard topics taught in undergraduate science courses, which can be directly linked to course shells in Drexel Learn.
  • Oxford Reference provides access to over 251 titles from Oxford University Press. This multi-disciplinary collection contains titles such as Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (2ed), Dictionary of Statistics, Encyclopedia of Social Work (20ed), and New Encyclopedia of Birds. Titles can be browsed individually or the collection searched as a whole.

The Libraries purchases and licenses many discipline specific reference works and can help you find the reference work and information you need. Contact a librarian for further assistance.

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