The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lasting imprint on the York College community. From the abrupt shift to online courses, to the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 recession, to the racially unequal health outcomes, York College has felt the impact. While York College Library cannot undo the years of systemic racism that led to this gap in health and economic outcomes, we will do our best to invest in the kinds of online services and resources to serve the needs of York students and to help dismantle inequalities in education.
With that said, we invite you to our Fall issue of LibWire, where we discuss strategies for coping, surviving, studying, and maybe even thriving during these challenging times.
York College Library in 2020-2021
Chief Librarian Njoki Kinyatti
To our students and faculty, both returning and new, welcome from the Library to the 2020-2021 academic year. In these unprecedented times York College Library remains committed to supporting the academic pursuits of our community even if we are not currently able to do so in the physical space of the campus. Library faculty and staff have been working through the summer to expand and improve electronic components to all of our services. If you have any questions, or need assistance, reference librarians and circulation staff will be available Monday to Saturday through the chat function we introduced last March. For the first time, this service now includes a screensharing capability that will help us more effectively teach successful navigation of our resources. In addition, over the summer we permanently retired the traditional catalog and have now fully migrated to a new library management system and the use of OneSearch, CUNY’s main discovery tool. This dynamic new platform will provide our students one place from which they can search across our permanent collection and annual subscriptions. We have significantly expanded our collection of e-books and have curated an extensive collection of scholarly journals available online.
The Library faculty’s commitment to meet the research needs of the college’s growing and diverse population of graduate and undergraduate students remains strong. The Library’s Information Literacy instruction program has fully transitioned to support remote learning and is very active. Information Literacy is the set of skills required to identify, retrieve, organize, and analyze information and are critically important for success in research and beyond. the Library will continue to collaborate with other departments to continually monitor how we can best use our resources to make a positive impact on student success.
Thank you to all of the departments that continue to support and help us serve the students better, including Academic Affairs, Public Safety, Buildings and Grounds, and Campus Planning. Our partnership with Information Technology (IT), Student Development, and the Student Government Association (SGA) remains very strong and is more important than ever. We are grateful for your continued support and we know that it is because of your collective, dedicated efforts that we truly are One York. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Library faculty and staff for the tireless and invaluable work that they continue to do. Particularly commendable is the spirit of teamwork seen throughout our Library personnel. Please know that I truly appreciate your dedication. May we all have a safe and productive academic year.
Open Science in Times of COVID-19
The World Health Organization, the United Nations, and many other international agencies promptly responded to this unprecedented threat to global health. The Wellcome Trust called on scientists, publishers and funders to share rapidly and openly research findings and data in agreement with the principles of 2016 Statement on Data Sharing in Public Health Emergencies. Signatories to the statement committed to make research findings, relevant to the COVID-19 outbreak, immediately open access via pre-print servers and make sure that interim and final research data are shared immediately together with protocols and data collection standards.
Many publishers provide free access to their products during the pandemic. Elsevier’s Novel Coronavirus Information Center provides free expert peer-reviewed research information on SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus) and COVID-19 (the disease) for scientists, clinicians, and patients. The 1Science Coronavirus Research Repository currently includes more than 120 million scholarly multilingual papers from all countries. The journal Lancet has created a Coronavirus Resource Centre providing free access to all COVID-19 related content to help health workers and scientists. Their example has been followed by other publishers, too: Springer Nature, Wiley, NEJM, BMJ, American Society for Microbiology, American College of Cardiology, Chongqing VIP Information, and many others. The full list is available at LitCovid, an open-resources literature hub for curating the latest early-stage research information.
Research institutions across the globe partnered to create platforms with openly-licensed information from different sources facilitating public access to relevant and accurate information on the novel coronavirus. One example, CURE (COVID-19 Universal Resource), is a join effort of the Indian Statistical Institute and Redalyc in Mexico. In the US, the National Institute of Health meets the information needs of the public by posting Open-Access Data and Computational Resources to Address COVID-19, a guide to resources provided by federal agencies, public consortia, and private entities. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention posted on their website a COVID-19 Research Guide to research articles and downloadable databases.
Are we on the brink of Open Science revolution? I wish I could give an affirmative answer to this question, but the truth is that we are not there yet. Today more than ever we need transparent and open science communication, laboratory log books, shared research and data in order to create new scientific knowledge to find a cure and deal with the global health crisis. In addition, given that the pandemic caused widespread school closures, OER (Open Educational Resources) became a crucial supplement to online classes and provided learning content via desktop and mobile platforms. Many academic institutions and private publishing companies have already opened up their learning resources so students in quarantine may keep engaged at home. One can envision the progress we can achieve if we extend the Open Science model across all disciplines beyond health and medical field. Open Science is not an utopia but a question of survival and the only way information can be disseminated rapidly enough to overcome the pandemic. Academic institutions have always been at the forefront providing scientific content, priding themselves for being accomplished experts in their fields. But are we, the academics, good learners, too? Will this lesson be enough to make Open Science a reality or not?
image credit: CDC Public Health Image Library #23312
What to do when you're on pause for several months: Imagination
Except for the addition of a computer and a cat in place of the dog and turtle and having to still work online as a librarian I'm using the same exact skills I used back in the 70’s to get through this pause without going crazy or being too lonely. I want to share those with you:
When the pause is totally over, and you can go visit friends, family and neighbors. You just stop
doing this then go back to dealing with the real people. Imagination is a wonderful tool at this time, so don't forget the work you're doing at school or in the library is helping to cure the coronavirus!
Researching and Writing During a Pandemic
When the coronavirus shutdown happened, I was already waiting to hear the decision from a journal editor about an article I had submitted. But when I was advised to revise and re-submit, I faced the task of having to travel to campus – because I had not brought anything home with me when the campus was shut down, all of my research files were in my office. Who would have thought that the shutdown would have lasted so long? So I put in a request to visit campus to retrieve my files, wore a mask, and then revised and re-submitted my article, which was accepted and is available on the publisher’s website ahead of publication in the scholarly journal Sport in History.
For faculty, however, research is ongoing. What does one do when libraries and archives are closed to in-person visits? Does one even need to visit libraries anymore? Isn’t everything available online? Well, that’s a myth: even though there is a wealth of historical information available on the web (including archival materials), that is just a small percentage of the wealth of materials that are housed in archives. So what is one to do when those places are closed and their staff are working from home and unable to copy documents for you?
The current project I am working on is biographical, so I have been able to utilize a lot of databases courtesy of York College and CUNY, the New York Public Library, and the New York State Library. (It’s good to have more than one library card.) And I have tried to undertake qualitative research, attempting to track down and interview former graduate students and/or colleagues of my biographee, which is somewhat difficult since the person died almost forty years ago.
Although I still have more research to do, I sketched out a draft of the biography, with some notable gaps, based on the information that I currently have, to see what I’ve got, what I need, and if I found a hook to the story yet. So instead of simply saying that you can’t do any research because you can’t travel to the National Archives because of the pandemic, try to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to you. It was either that or watch reruns of “Match Game.”
York Library is open online for Fall 2020. But what does it mean, exactly, to be open online? That's a clever way to say that the library space itself is not open, but that (almost) everything you need from the library is still there for you.
The databases, for a start: all of the databases you use for research articles are still available. You just need to click the link, sign in with your CUNY login, and it's like being on campus. Ebooks, too. All you have to do is search a title or keywords using OneSearch, and use the Resource Type on the sidebar to select "books" if you want to see what we have online for you. We've been adding databases and ebooks since March, knowing that you need them now more than ever. We don't have as many as we'd like, but you can always look to your public libraries or the Internet Archive's Open Library for more online options. If you don't have a library card for Queens Public Library, New York Public Library, or Brooklyn Public Library, you can get them online. I have all three, and it really helps.
Open online also means that you're not alone in your search. Even though the library space itself is not open, the librarians and library workers are available to help. We answer emails, and we're available to chat during our normal hours. We've added a chatbox to the main library page so you can reach us during the day. If you're browsing a database and a little box pops out asking if you need help? That's not a bot, it's really us. We can answer quick questions, or you can ask for a longer appointment where we can share screens and literally talk you through your research questions. If it's late at night, we aren't online. But you can try our FAQ and submit a question -- we'll see it in the morning. Don't be shy -- we'd love to hear from you.
Whether you're working from home or not, we also think you need a break sometimes. The New York Times At Home has had a lot of great reads, activities, and recipes -- and you have free access through York if you sign up at nytimes.com/passes with your York email. We created a short list of activities to do with kids, gathered from around NYC's libraries and museums. There's lots more out there, but we wanted to give you a good place to start. We've added some video streaming options, too: some academic, some more fun. We have 14 films you can watch on Kanopy. Additionally, the Academic Video Online database has over 66,000 film titles. Along with the more educational content, this database also has collections like:
We know the chat is not the same as stopping by the reference desk. We miss seeing you in person. But we hope that if we can do this for a little longer, we can meet back up on campus soon.
Alma and Wikipedia: Where is the Link between an Apple and an Orange?
“You know, the root of the word Miller is a Greek word. Miller comes from the Greek word, ‘milo,’ which is mean ‘apple,’ so there you go. As many of you know, our name, Portokalos, is come from the Greek word ‘portokali,’ which mean ‘orange.’ So, okay? Here tonight, we have apple and orange. We all different, but in the end, we all fruit.”
If you have watched the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, probably you were touched by these plain but profound remarks that Mr. Portokalos delivered at his daughter’s wedding. However, if you do cataloging work, you will know immediately that the broad term in taxonomies plays a trick here. In CUNY, Alma, the cloud-based library service platform has gone alive after migration was completed this August; in some colleges, Wikipedia has found its root in information literacy classes as a pedagogical tool. So the question is, “Are Alma and Wikipedia like apples and oranges?” or “Is there any similarity between Alma and Wikipedia?” If you want to seek the origin of these two words in Greek vocabularies like Mr. Portokalos did, probably you won’t find anything interesting.
In his article “Wikipedia Knows the Value of What the Library Catalog Forgets,” published in Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, volume 57, issue 2-3, Kris Joseph resonated a sense of loss of librarianship and bemoaned his observation that current library catalogs were incapable of keeping the history of revisions and updates of cataloging records, leaving no trace of alternation. Based on his observation, just like Wikipedia’s “View History” that shows the chronological order where edits have been applied, an ideal library system could provide librarians with a space that the evolution of a cataloging record could be stored. By so doing, revision information would be kept intact and then tracked implicitly when a need emerges. Therefore, no extra labor would be required from catalogers to take notes or prepare documentations.
Now, with the new library system Alma, the loss and nostalgia in Kris’s outcry will be put to an end. Alma offers functions that not only streamline cataloging operations, but also provide notable features that keep versions of a cataloging record. In Alma’s Metadata Editor, one will find a facet named “List Status,” which show records fall into different stages of job categories: Processing, Being Prepared and Complete. (Fig. 1) If one goes to the Tools menu and select “View Version of Original Record” from the dropdown list, one would be directed to a separate panel that offers a space where the history of of a cataloging record is tagged under “Versions.” (Fig. 2) This “Versions” tag in Alma is like “Edit History” in Wikipedia. One can find updates and changes through exploring different versions. To quote my own argument in “Passion of a Young Cataloger,” “Cataloging can be personal, too. Catalogers do not always accept the work done by others. Sometimes we would not even accept our own works in the second day after the cataloging is done!” So now, if one is not satisfied with the current bibliographic records and wants to restore one of the previous versions, Alma offers basic visions as a control feature.
Alma manages structured metadata; Wikipedia preserves the content of universal knowledge. Their outlooks put them apart with distinct differences like an apple and an orange. However, the sophistication how the evolution of history is valued within the individual systems link them together.
Library Technology Refresh: Latest Hardware/Software Upgrades
New refreshes for the Library:
For the Academic year of (2019-2020) — IT Computer Technology Project, the library department didn’t receive any additional computers. However, we’re excited to announce that a total of 170 PCs were refreshed thoroughly. These include different types of desktops; (65 Computers - Dell OptiPlex 7060) & (105 Computers - Dell OptiPlex 7070), all of which were refreshed across various locations — from public areas, to all the information literacy classrooms in the library. This refresh includes the latest version of Microsoft Windows 10 Operating System, which also upgraded “Office” applications to “Microsoft 365” (latest as of now). Additionally, four workstations for the circulation & two workstations for the reference desk was replaced with newer, high-performance computers (Dell OptiPlex 7070.)
ILLiad Client and Web servers:
For the Academic year of (2019-2020) — OCLC ILLiad components have received an update from version 8.7 to Version 184.108.40.206 for the ILLiad web servers. Additionally, ILLiad Client 220.127.116.11 has been installed for the library faculty & coordinator of the library's Interlibrary Loan.
Web-based Applications — included with Microsoft Office 365:
“Microsoft Office 365” is a subscription-based service which includes access to Microsoft’s Office applications such as — Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and 1TB (1000 gigabytes) of cloud storage via OneDrive. The City University of New York (CUNY) provides Microsoft Office 365 Education to students of CUNY colleges via Microsoft's 365 Education program. In order to utilize it, click on the windows start menu located in the lower-left corner, then select “Office 365” — a pop-up menu will appear on the screen, now select “Work or school account.” This is where you type in your CUNY Yorkmail Address. After successfully signing in, you will have full access to Microsoft 365. With Microsoft 365 via Yorkmail — students can access and sync files across multiple computers & mobile devices in order to work from virtually anywhere. Students can also auto-save their valuable work & store them in the cloud via OneDrive to safeguard assignments & have easy access online. For more information about this application, don’t hesitate to contact me.
You can also find more info regarding applications included with Office 365 Subscription at the Microsoft site.
OneDrive is highly integrated into Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS (operating system) and Office applications. It’s already included with the Microsoft 365 subscription package which also features various Office apps.
OneDrive with its 1TB storage enables you to specify the files and folders you want to create & back up, alongside auto-syncing in the cloud — allowing you to work from other computers & mobile devices where OneDrive is installed.
Dropbox is one of the first companies to envision a future without USB or SD-cards. CUNY provides Dropbox as an additional cloud storage to all students for FREE. Dropbox fits seamlessly into Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS, keeping your files backed up to the web and sync across multiple devices while also providing tools for sharing files, collaborate on projects. Dropbox also features “Paper” — enabling you to share & work on documents with other people. Everyone at CUNY will also have access to features such as; task lists, timelines, and previews of images, spreadsheets, presentations, and PDFs within the same document. Dropbox also includes a file transferring tool called “Dropbox Transfer” for shifting large files.
The Dropbox app for mobile & tablet has similarly clean layout and slick functionality as its desktop version, so you can have access to all your files and folders easily, as well as upload files from phones and tablets. Students will receive an invitation from CUNY with a link to activate their Dropbox account.
You may go to Dropbox directly to claim your free Dropbox account with your CUNY Login (@Login.cuny.edu) email & password to activate the account. For further details on how to activate Dropbox, please visit CUNY's Dropbox site.
Applications for Online Computing & Conference
The most highly anticipated computation system to the modern cloud environment. Mathematica interactive notebooks provide the power to work directly in your web browser — with no installation or configuration required — seamlessly share computational documents and resources in the cloud. With Mathematica Online, you can go to any web browser and immediately perform manipulation, 3D graphics and other interactive functions or any form of computation directly in your browser.
Mathematica features instant sharing — with few clicks, allowing any document accessible to anyone you designate. Then there's a permission controller — lets you specify who can read, write, run and interact with your documents. With the addition of cloud drive — Mathematica enables storing data in the cloud and retrieving it from anywhere to any devices you have, while the auto-save feature protects all your Mathematica notebooks by continually saving them in the cloud. Finally, if Internet connection is unavailable — Mathematica Online lets you download any cloud notebook for use in Mathematica on the desktop.
For more information, follow this series of tutorials, which provide step-by-step instructions to get you started with Mathematica Online.
If you have difficulties with connection, installation & require additional assistance or guidance — please contact Mr. Sarwar or the IT help desk.
Virtual & Remote Solutions for Faculty & Staff
Installation of VMware Horizon — Virtual Connection
Online & distance learning — becoming the primary focus of fall 2020 semester due to COVID19. Not all students however, have access to the library computers for utilization of special applications required with some courses. Fortunately, CUNY understands the complexities & has possible solutions — 1st is Virtual Computing. Simply by installing the VMware Horizon Client on personal computers; students get connected to York’s library computers virtually to utilize special applications required for all of your courses, anytime from anywhere. VMware Horizon enables students to connect with the VM server for Virtual Machines (VM) in order to launch applications such as; ArcGIS, SPSS, SAS, Mathematica, Maplesoft, Matlab, and more from their home computers & utilize all of their features from this convenient all-in-one virtual platform offered by CUNY.
Before starting — be sure to install the VMware Client from Virtual Desktop Installation page.
Below are three steps to get started with CUNY Virtual Machine on your personal computer:
Installation of GlobalProtect — Remote Connection
Remote work is now on top of everyone’s mind for keeping productivity consistent during the COVID-19 lockdown & any future unexpected events — requiring a working environment beyond our office to enable us to work securely from home. Advances in cloud technology, affordable hardware, and the widespread availability of fast, reliable Internet connection — allows faculty and staff to perform their job duties outside of the office via to work-from-home options: IT department campus-issued laptop which they can take home or use a personal computer (requires Internet connection with at least 25 Mbps download speed — minimum speed for “broadband” Internet defined by the U.S. government.)
This brings us to the 2nd solution for employees affected by COVID19 — Remote Work. The old VPN software “Pulse Secure” has been replaced with a new VPN software — Palo Alto’s “Global Protect” service in order to access restricted York campus resources. Supporting a larger number of clients on the York campus network from off campus through a secured Internet connection. York college faculty and staff who’s working from home can install and configure GlobalProtect Client with VPN to join remote desktop connections & fully control their work computer’s data software applications. There are five steps below to connect a work computer remotely via GlobalProtect Client.
Before using Remote Desktop Connection off-campus, you need to ensure your computer name; your network account & LAN/ power are active. Follow these steps below:
If you have difficulties with connection, installation & require additional assistance or guidance — please contact Mr. Sarwar or technical support team at the IT Service Desk.
FCC changed the definition of Broadband - Micah Singleton:
Faculty Scholarship 2019-2020
Diao, J. (2020). Are we represented as who we are? An assessment of library faculty online profiles within The City University of New York. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 46(2), 8 pp. doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2020.102128
Diao, J. (2019). How to find editorial articles. Retrieved from http://libguides.york.cuny.edu/Editorial
Diao, J. (2019). How to find peer-reviewed articles? Retrieved from http://libguides.york.cuny.edu/Peer_Reviewed_Articles
Diao, J. (2019). How to write a literature review. Retrieved from http://libguides.york.cuny.edu/literature_review
Diao, J. (2019). Library resource identifiers: Call number, barcode, ISBN, ISSN, DOI and persistent link. Retrieved from http://libguides.york.cuny.edu/identifiers
Diao, J. (2019). Media stances and bias. Retrieved from http://libguides.york.cuny.edu/mediastances
Diao, J. (2019). Popular resources vs. scholarly resources. Retrieved from http://libguides.york.cuny.edu/Popular_Scholarly_Resources
Diao, J., & Tzanova, S. (2019, December). Dr. Vincent DiGirolamo's “Making Sense of Newsboys” and Horatio Alger Jr.’s “Luke Walton, Or, The Chicago Newsboy”: with an exhibition of books on journalism and fake news [Library exhibit]. York College Library, Jamaica, NY.
Drobnicki, J. A. (2020). A day at the races in black and white: How an 1898 horse race led to a whipping, a lawsuit, and a 1901 arrest. Sport in History. Advance online publication, 27 pp. doi.org/10.1080/17460263.2020.1778074
Drobnicki, J. A. (2019). Latimer, Lewis Howard (1848-1928). In R. M. Lawson & B. A. Lawson (Eds.), Race and Ethnicity in the United States: From Pre-Contact to the Present (Vol. 2, pp. 121-122). Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood.
Drobnicki, J. A. (2019). Mills Brothers (1924-1981). In R. M. Lawson & B. A. Lawson (Eds.), Race and Ethnicity in the United States: From Pre-Contact to the Present (Vol. 3, pp. 147-148). Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood.
Drobnicki, J. A. (2007- ). Faculty book display (Ongoing) [Library exhibit]. York College Library, Jamaica, NY.
Kinyatti, N. (2019). Discrimination toward Hispanic (Latino) Americans. In R. M. Lawson & B. A. Lawson (Eds.), Race and Ethnicity in the United States: From Pre-Contact to the Present (Vol. 4, pp. 80-83). Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood.
Kinyatti, N., Powers, M., Simpson, T., Su, D., & Tzanova, S. (2020, January 22). Welcome to the York College Library. Presentation to new faculty at Professor 101. York College, Jamaica, NY.
Peach, J., Powers, M., & Simpson, T. (2020). Black history month [Book display]. York College Library, Jamaica, NY.
Powers, M. (2020). Anti-racism & BlackLivesMatter resources. Retrieved from http://libguides.york.cuny.edu/anti-racism
Powers, M. (2020). Help from home library resources. Retrieved from https://libguides.york.cuny.edu/help
Powers, M., & Simpson, T. (2020). Together-apart during COVID-19: Connecting students to the library. Institute of Museum and Library Services: $179,798 requested.
Sheidlower, S. (2019). Harlem renaissance. In R. M. Lawson & B. A. Lawson (Eds.), Race and Ethnicity in the United States: From Pre-Contact to the Present (Vol. 3, pp. 98-101). Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood.
Simpson, T. (2020, March 26). No library is an island: How a consortium of academic libraries transitioned to a remote-only service model. Paper presented at the 12th Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries International Conference, Barcelona, Spain.
Simpson, T. (2020). Peer reviewed two articles for the journal Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries.
Simpson, T. (2019). Selections from the collection in honor of Toni Morrison [Book display]. York College Library, Jamaica, NY.
Su, D. (2019, August). NYSSMA manual revisited. CUNY Academic Works. Retrieved from https://academicworks.cuny.edu/yc_pubs/243/
Su, D. (2020). Peer reviewed two articles for the American String Teacher journal.
Tzanova, Stefka. (2020). Revolution by evolution: How intelligent tutoring systems are changing education. In M. K. Habib (Ed.), Revolutionizing Education in the Age of AI and Machine Learning. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 50-74.
Tzanova, S. (2020). Changes in academic libraries in the era of open science. Education for Information. Advance online publication, 19 pp. doi.org/10.3233/EFI-190259
Tzanova, S. (2019). Humboldt, Alexander von, journeys in New Spain. In R. M. Lawson & B. A. Lawson (Eds.), Race and Ethnicity in the United States: From Pre-Contact to the Present (Vol. 2, pp. 98-100). Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood.
Tzanova, S. (2020, April 24). Changing roles of academic librarians in the era of open science. Presentation at Towards an Open Future 2020 Symposium, Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, NY.
Tzanova, S. (2020, June 22). OER in STEM disciplines. Workshop for CTLET, York College, Jamaica, NY.
Tzanova, S. (2020, June 11). OER: Nuts and bolts. Presentation for CTLET’s OER Active Learning Workshop. York College, Jamaica, NY.
Tzanova, S. (2019, November 12). OER: Nuts and bolts. Presentation for CTLET’s OER Active Learning Workshop. York College, Jamaica, NY.
Tzanova, S. (2019, November 26). OER: The problem, the solution, the challenge. Presentation for CTLET’s Active Learning Workshop. York College, Jamaica, NY.
Tzanova, S. (2019, August 22). Welcome to the York College Library. Presentation for Occupational Therapy Department, New Students’ Orientation. York College, Jamaica, NY.
Tzanova, S. (2020). COVID-19. Retrieved from http://libguides.york.cuny.edu/COVID-19
Tzanova, S. (2020). Systematic Reviews. Retrieved from http://libguides.york.cuny.edu/systematicreviews
Tzanova, S. (2019, December 11). Occupational Therapy Department Appreciation Award, York College, Jamaica, NY.