November Library Office Notes





ANNOUNCEMENTS: University Librarian Note 
I’ve temporarily suspended my Dean’s note for LON in light of the communications surrounding our response to COVID-19. Please see for the full list of notes that have come out. We will continue to adjust and respond to circumstances as they change, and I will send out notes on changes in the way we deploy our services and budget implications for the University and Library as the implications become clearer. I am ever grateful for the ways that you have all adapted and contributed to our engagement with the campus during the stay-at-home period, and I look forward to our being back in our library buildings with all of you.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Library Building Project Update – 11/1/2020
Tom Teper, Associate Dean for Collections and Technical Services


As noted last month, the \Library received approval to move ahead with planning associated with the first phase of the Library Building Project – as outlined in our conceptual planning process. That first phase is the initial construction of a facility to support special collections and archives within the existing Undergraduate Library footprint.

F&S posted the program statement on the State of Illinois’ procurement portal on Thursday, October 22, 2020. The posting will remain active until 4:00 PM on Thursday, November 12, 2020. The resulting bids will be used to identify an Architect/Engineer to help translate the conceptual design work into a more concrete reality.

With the initial steps in discussing the project with the campus community well-advanced, communication and outreach efforts will increasingly pivot toward communicating the vision to potential donors. John Laskowski, Heather Murphy, Tom Teper, Kathrine Risor-Heise, and Wendy Wolter discussed options for developing a new, donor-focused website for the next project phase. Wireframes are in process with a goal of posting a final site by January 16, 2021.

Committees and Working Groups – Special Collections Research Center (SCRC)

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) Working Group continues to meet. The working group staffed out subgroups to focus on particular aspects of the project.

The framework under which these and other working groups directly associated with this project will work is posted here:


  • Monthly Updates – Monthly updates about the Library Building Project are distributed via LibNews. These will be posted in a separate section of LON. The intent of both is to ensure open communication of specific information related to the Library Building Project.
  • Website – The Library Building Project has a website located at Here you can read about the vision behind this program, seek answers to many of the Frequently Asked Questions that might arise, and read about upcoming events or project news. You can also submit additional questions to the project team at

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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Alma Squad Report
Michael Norman, Discovery Services Librarian and ILS Coordinator

We have been live on Alma/Primo for over 4 months now. We are continuing to learn and optimize both systems. The Content Access Policy and Technology group created the Alma Squad Team to oversee and manage the setup and configuration of the Alma system and we will be producing regular reports to inform about any upcoming changes or implementation of new features in Alma.

There are three major changes to Alma coming in November:

New Alma UI LayoutStarting on November 1st, there will be a new Alma User Interface (UI). When one logs into Alma, the new UI will appear (see the screenshot below).

The most prominent change will be the functional areas (Acquisitions, Resources (Cataloging), Fulfillment, Discovery, Analytics, etc.) have moved to the left-hand side of the display area. The Advanced Search button has moved to the upper left corner of the display as well.

Each individual will have the ability to switch back to the current Alma layout if desired through March 2021. At that point, the new Alma layout becomes permanent.

There is a short 3-minute video showcasing the new Alma UI here:

New Metadata Editor in Alma – The New Metadata (MD) Editor is now available in Alma production version. The metadata editor has been reconfigured to streamline cataloging workflows, creating new work areas for records and templates, provide more detailed record and editing information, provide better navigation between records, includes more record editing tools, and is always active when one needs to catalog or edit a title/item (see image below of the Metadata Editor).

The new MD Editor can be activated today if one wants to explore the new version by clicking the new MDE button within Alma.

For more information about the new Metadata Editor in Alma, see this 4-minute video at:

New version of Alma Analytics: The new version of Alma Analytics will become available on November 1st as well. The Oracle Business (OBI) instance that Alma/Primo Analytics uses is being upgraded to Oracle Analytics Server (OAS) which includes Data Visualization (DV) options not previously available and the ability to work with larger sets of data.

For more information on the move to Oracle Analytics Server and new options available in the OAS DV version, see this presentation at the IGELU session last month at

The Alma Squad is working to formalize the structure of data analyses and generating reports in Alma/Primo (within both the Alma system itself and utilizing the Alma and Primo Analytics services separately).

Later in November, we will have several information sessions on using Alma to create collection management lists. We will get emails out with the Zoom login information for these sessions shortly.

The dates for these information sessions are:

Creating lists and sets in Alma for collection management purposes
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 – 2 to 3 pm
Friday, November 13, 2020 – 10-11 am
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 – 11 am to 12 pm
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: The Illinois Open Publishing Network (IOPN) New Journals
Two journals with IOPN launched their inaugural issues in October! The Journal of Anime and Manga Studies (JAMS) is edited by library GA alum Billy Tringali. The Journal of Library Outreach and Engagement is edited by U of Illinois librarians Mara Thacker, Matt Roberts, and Sarah Christensen and is the outcome of a Library Innovation Grant proposal. You can read more about the launch of these first issues at the IOPN News blog.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Publicity for Awards/Recognitions/Grants
Our Library employees are winning awards, receiving grants, and earning recognitions. In an effort to help publicize these wonderful accomplishments, and to demystify and streamline the process, please see the following set of guidelines.

  • To initiate a request for publicity, employees (or their supervisors) should submit this Awards/Recognitions/Grants Publicity Request Form including information about the award, recognition, or grant.
  • All submissions are forwarded to the Library’s CCO and a Recognizing Excellence blog post is scheduled. The Recognizing Excellence blog features Library employees (all classifications) and the external awards, recognitions, or grants they’ve received or earned. These blog posts will be shared in the monthly Library Office Notes (not in separate emails via LIB-NEWS as in the past). A link to this blog is also found on the Library’s Faculty & Staff Achievements page. The Dean of Libraries and University Librarian makes the determination if an award, recognition, or grant gets posted to the Library’s News page and/or wider dissemination is recommended.
  • Fall, Spring, and Summer publications and presentations by Library employees will still be featured in the Recognizing Excellence blog. Calls for those go out separately three times a year via LIB-NEWS.

The set of guidelines above has been added to the Communications page on the staff website.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Did You Know? A Monthly Factoid from Library Assessment
In October 2020, the first of two short library satisfaction surveys was circulated among randomly selected undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.  The goal of the survey was to assess the students’ needs and attitudes with respect to the services and resources offered by the University Library during the pandemic.  In the survey, students were asked to rate eleven library services (i.e., study spaces, checkout items, librarian consultation) as easy, neither easy or difficult, or difficult to use.  Students were also given an option to select that they have never used the service.  Of the 215 responses, three of the most used services were e-books or e-journals (72% of respondents have used), checking out books, equipment, or other library items (45%), and consultation with a librarian (44%).  Of those who have used each service, 69% of respondents selected that e-books or e-journals are easy to use, 52% selected that checking out library items is easy to use, and 66% selected that the consultation with a librarian service is easy to use.  The second of this survey series will be sent in November to a different population of students.  The comments from this survey have already revealed key areas of improvement for making the library’s services more easily accessible to students during the pandemic.

Image and text by Library Assessment Graduate Assistant Lindsay Taylor.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Library Tip of the Month
The Library sends a monthly email to new faculty at Illinois during the fall and spring semesters. These emails introduce many of our services and resources to this important audience.

You can view the October LTOTM at

If you have ideas for future emails, please feel free to share them with Heather Murphy.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Collection Development Committee Notes
The most recent meetings minutes of the CDC are posted at:
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Content Access Policy & Technology Meeting Minutes
The meetings minutes of CAPT (including workgroup reports) are posted at:
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Recognizing Excellence

Please forward journal editorships or editorial board membership, elected and invited external service appointments, honors, and awards information to Heather Murphy.
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Facilities News: Update
On behalf of the Library Facilities team, I would like to thank everyone for their patience and flexibility over the last 7 months.  The Facility team has worked through all COVID measures to ensure that all library spaces have met or exceeded guidelines for barriers, social distancing, and PPE requirements.  With the rush of COVID preparations becoming manageable, we are now refocusing our attention back to the multitude of projects that were scheduled prior to the pandemic.

For a complete list of projects in planning and construction, please see
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HR News: Filled Positions

  • Alexander Deeke – Undergraduate Teaching and Learning – Starts 11/16/2020

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HR News: Vacancies

  • SCaRS Software Developer – Closed 8/28/2020
  • Digital Imaging Specialist I – Library Preservation – Closed 10/12/2020
  • Cataloging Coordinator – Acquisitions and Cataloging Services – Closes 11/6/2020

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HR News: Departures

  • Erich Burkhardt – Library Assistant – Preservation – 11/30/2020

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HR NEWS: In Memoriam

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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Staff Events Calendar
To see the most up-to-date staff events calendar, please visit
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September 8 – December 4

On behalf of the Reference Management Team, I would like to invite you to attend Fall 2020 Hub Training. The sessions are included in the Staff Calendar and on the Hub Wiki Training Schedule page (login with your NetID and password).

Sessions will be held on Tuesdays from 2-3 p.m. and Fridays from 3-4 p.m. via Zoom. You can attend either the Tuesday or the Friday session. If you are new to working at one of the Hubs – please attend one session for each of the topics. Others who will be working at a Hub during the 2020-21 academic year – please attend as many sessions as you can. Even if you have learned this material before, your knowledge and experience are essential to making the most of this opportunity to learn from each other. If you are not working at one of the Hubs but are interested in the training topics being presented, you are more than welcome to attend.

Zoom details were emailed via LibNews on August 2nd from Sara Holder. Please contact Sara if you have any questions.
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: The Mystery Recordings of Langston Hughes: A Poet Visits the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
November 5, 12:00 p.m.

A Special Presentation by
Jameatris Rimkus, Archives Program Officer

The University Archives is a repository whose mission is to preserve and document the institution’s story. One never knows what they will find within the boxes of the archives. Each box, each folder, each item is a mystery waiting to be solved and a story to be told. One mystery is a recording of Langston Hughes reading his work to a live audience. The recording contained no documentation other than it was created by WILL Radio. Why was Mr. Hughes at the University of Illinois sharing his work and telling his story? So many questions and very little clues. Sam Spade isn’t available to solve the case, but an archivist can.

Registration Required:
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: 30th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture 
November 16, 12:00-1:30pm CT

30th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture with BBC World Affairs Correspondent, and Presenter Mike Thomson, author of Syria’s Secret Library: Reading and Redemption in a Town Under Siege (Public Affairs 2019)

FREE Online Event – Register at

Mike Thomson is one of the BBC’s most distinguished and experienced World Affairs correspondents. During his career, he has interviewed many military and political leaders including Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, Joseph Kabila, King Hussein, Meles Zenawi, and most recently the Liberian President, George Weah. Read more…

Center for Global Studies through support from the US Department of Education’s Title VI NRC Program
Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Journalism, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Mortenson Center for International Library Programs
School of Information Sciences
University of Illinois Library Urbana-Champaign

Questions? Please email:
Distinguished Lecture Website:
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Task Force for Research Support Forum
November 16, 3:00pm

Research support for Library faculty and academic professionals.
Registration is required for this event. Please register on the Library Staff Calendar.
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: NISO Webinar: Change Management Webinar Series – Team Building
November 18, 10:00am

Over the past few months, everyone has had to become accustomed to meeting in
virtual environments, as well as mastering other technologies that allow us to continue
to work together collaboratively — within and outside our organizations. This roundtable
discussion will address both the fun side of learning new ways of working together and
the deeper issues of setting expectations, accommodating different requirements, and
identifying the constraints that made clear where boundaries would be needed.

Please email for login credentials or recordings.
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Bring Your Own Book+ Club Zoom meeting 
November 18, 6:00pm
Sign up today:

Have you been reading something you can’t wait to share with the world? Are you looking to get book recommendations from other readers? Look no further than Bring Your Own Book Club+! Hosted by the Residence Hall Libraries and the UGL, come together with others and discuss the books you’ve been reading recently. Not into books? No problem! We want to hear about video games you couldn’t stop playing, TV shows you binge-watched, and movies that stuck with you well after they ended!
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If you would like to submit content for the December issue of Library Office Notes, please submit it to Heather Murphy or Tom Teper by November 20, 2020.