August 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: ILS Coordination Team Report
Michael Norman, Discovery Services Librarian and ILS Coordinator

The ILS Coordination Team wanted to get an email out with an update on the Alma/Primo Library Catalog implementation. We have been live on Alma/Primo for a little over one month. We do think we had a good roll-out of both systems but continue to work on optimizing Alma/Primo now that we are in production mode and working with a live system with daily activity.

Feedback on Alma/Primo: While we have received positive comments about the new Primo Library Catalog as users start to search and use the new catalog, we have also received some complaints and requests to bring back some of the features from the VuFind catalogs, particularly with the My Account options and display of records. We will continue to investigate improvements to the new Primo Catalog; please continue to forward the ILS Team any issues and suggestions you hear from Library users.

Data cleanup work in Alma continues: We are continuing to work on the cleanup projects of the legacy catalog bibliographic, holdings (including library locations), and item-level metadata that we knew would need to be updated to conform to the national standards that Alma/Primo requires now. We are making good progress on those cleanup projects and you should be able to see improvements in these areas daily.

Work Orders and Item Statuses in Alma/Primo: We are still figuring out how to best perform certain tasks in the new systems. Alma/Primo is different from Voyager in many ways and we continue to work through the best setup for certain processes and activities. An area in particular is working through the different Item Statuses that items could be assigned in Voyager including In Process, Withdrawn, At Bindery, Damaged, Being Digitized, etc. Many of these actions/processes are handled using Work Orders in Alma/Primo rather than assigning an item status or associating the item with a processing location. There will be more information coming out in a few weeks about new procedures in working with these previous item statuses and how this will be represented in the Primo Catalog to users. Watch for future emails on documentation on these item processes and tracking of these materials through the various workflow processes.

We appreciate your patience as we work through how best to work with these processes in the new systems.

Future information sessions on Primo Library Catalog: Janelle Sander and I will have several information sessions coming up over the next couple weeks to give updates on working in the new Primo Library Catalog. These Zoom sessions will be:

  • Primo Library Catalog – Searching and navigating in Primo – August 5, 2020, at 10:00am
  • Primo Library Catalog – Requests and the I-Share Automated Fulfillment Network – August 6, 2020, at 10:00am

These sessions will be recorded and links put on the Alma Staff page at
Watch for a separate email soon for the Zoom login information.

Report issues and questions/comments: If you encounter issues or have questions and comments about the Alma and the Primo Library Catalog, contact us through the ILS Hotline at
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Did You Know? A Monthly Factoid from Library Assessment
In a survey conducted in Fall 2018, the library asked 974 undergraduate students to indicate their level of agreement to this statement “When I am in a campus library building, I feel that I belong” using a scale of 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 7 (Strongly Agree). The chart below shows how male, female, and students who did not identify with either gender responded to the question. 

Male students were more likely to support the statement (n=617, median=6) than female students (n=219, median=5). It is unclear how the “Don’t identify with either” subgroup felt about this statement since it had less than 20 participants. However, understanding and acknowledging the differences in perceptions and needs across all student demographic subgroups is essential during the COVID-19 pandemic and the civil unrest. Several studies of college student experiences during the pandemic have found that underrepresented or marginalized student groups are dealing with a higher level of stress and financial or social worries. For example, a study conducted by the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS)* found that non-binary and female college students felt more stressed and worried about paying for rent or food than male students. Another study conducted by Ithaka S+R** revealed a similar trend about non-binary and female students. The Ithaka S+R report also showed that students lacked a sense of belonging and felt socially disconnected.

*HEDS COVID-19 Institutional Response Surveys 
**Student Experiences During the Pandemic Pivot
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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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HR NEWS: Departures

  • Susan Avery, Assoc Prof/UGL Instr Svs Lib – Retired 7/31/2020
  • Karl Germeck, Vst Digtl Preserv Resid Librn – Resigned August 15, 2020
  • Madina Grace, Library Specialist – ACS – Resigning 8/2/2020

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HR NEWS: Filled Positions

  • Megan Pearson – Acquisitions and Cataloging Services as the Visiting Metadata Services Specialist for Illinois Digital Heritage Hub – 7/6/2020

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HR NEWS: Vacancies 

  • Head of the Scholarly Commons – Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor – Closes 8/14/2020
  • Electronic Resources Management LibrarianAssistant Professor – Closes 8/21/2020

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HR NEWS: In Memoriam

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HR NEWS: Updated Onboarding Checklists & Forms
Are you in the process of searching for a new employee? If so, please fill out the Workspace Readiness form to give Library IT & the Office of Library Facilities lead time in case your future employee’s workspace needs repairs or upgrades. This form is available at

And if you recently completed the search process and will have a new Civil Service, Academic Professional or Faculty employee starting soon, please use the updated onboarding checklists to help them have a smooth start in their new role. The checklists are available at

Please be sure to fill out the New Employee Starting form (listed as an item on the supervisor’s version of the checklist) to provide Library IT and Facilities with specific information about your new employee for arranging access, equipment, etc. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to any member of the Library HR team!
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HR NEWS: New Ambassador Program
The Ambassador Program matches newcomers to the Library to an existing employee (“Ambassador”) to help them feel welcome, enable them to more quickly build connections to the community and campus, and learn about Library culture. If you are interested in applying to be an Ambassador, please go to the following URL to review the criteria for becoming an Ambassador and submit your application:
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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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EVENTS AND TRAINING: LibCal Appointments Session
August 4, 1:00pm

Do you use the LibCal Appointments feature to schedule consultations? Join the Reference Management Team for a live demo and troubleshooting session on Tuesday, August 4th from 2 – 3 pm via Zoom. If you are not currently set up for appointments in LibCal and would like to be, please reach out to the Reference Management Team ( before the Zoom session. You need an individual LibCal account to use this feature. 

The Zoom information will be sent via a LibNews Email closer to the time of the event.
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: The Residence Hall Libraries Present: The Great At Home Bake Off

Place: Zoom meeting
Cost: None
Time: Monday, August 10, 7:00pm

You’ve been honing your baking skills while staying at home and binge-watching The Great British Baking Show. Now it’s time to put your skills to the test with the all-important technical challenge! One week before the program, you’ll be sent the recipe and the amount of time you have to bake. Bring your baked good to the meeting and we can talk about the baking process, your triumphs, and how to improve your bakes in the future!

So that a wide range of baking levels can participate, there will be multiple recipe options, so you can try something new or maybe try baking for the first time. Paul Hollywood doesn’t need to know!

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EVENTS AND TRAINING: NISO Two-Part Webinar: Part One – By Faculty and For Students: Supporting Open Educational Resources

Two-Part Webinar: By Faculty and For Students and Open Access Monographs
August 12, 12:00pm

Open Educational Resources (OER) might seem like a win/win for students and faculty alike, but adoption isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. For example, some texts may not lend themselves to being printed out — the subject matter may dictate an interactive design or one that is heavily image-driven. And, while the creation of low-cost textbooks and curriculum support is recognized as important, how is the information community dealing with the challenges of ensuring currency and quality? How do we ensure equal access for all in a world of differing access to technology?

In the first session of this two-part webinar, a panel of experts will address some of the key challenges, including: How can you successfully drive buy-in by your undergraduates? What design elements are most likely to engage them? What indicators of use should you be measuring, how, and why?  How can you support faculty members who are interested in developing these materials?

To request login information or recordings please contact Zoe Revell.
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August 17 – 19

The GA Orientation schedule is now complete and published here: The Library events calendar has been updated for each session; supervisors of GAs should work with their Fall GAs to sign up for the sessions via the events calendar:

Supervisors can sign their GAs up individually, or ask GAs to sign up themselves for these sessions.  Supervisors should advise GAs which sessions to attend based on what type of work they will be doing so that they take sessions that are relevant to their roles.

 As with prior years, all of these sessions are also open to any Library employee (Faculty, Academic Professional, Civil Service) who would like the opportunity for some fun and friendly professional development.
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: NISO Two-Part Webinar: Part Two – Open Access Monographs: What You Need To Know

Two-Part Webinar: By Faculty and For Students and Open Access Monographs
August 19, 12:00pm

A 2019 article in The Atlantic observed that the current disruption in scholarly book publishing might result in the Great Sorting, what the author saw as a beneficial “matching of different kinds of scholarly uses with the right media, formats, and locations.”

In that context, the second session of this two-part webinar focuses specifically on OA monographs. Which stakeholders are currently delivering them and using them? Which current business models are most likely to represent sustainability for those stakeholders? And, with a population of interested readers of these works that may be far larger than their actual revenues, what can publishers, librarians, vendors, and others do to help drive discovery and usage of high-value OA monographs?

Our panel of expert speakers representing all these key stakeholder communities will share their experiences and expertise, as well as answering your questions about OA monographs.

To request login information or recordings please contact Zoe Revell.
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Virtual (OCT) Programs for the 2020 Sweetcorn Festival
August 22, 10:00am – 9:00pm


This year’s 45th Sweetcorn Festival and the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music’s One Community Together (OCT) programming, a late-summer staple of the Urbana-Champaign-University of Illinois community, is canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s virtual programming will take place on Facebook Live ( between 10:00am and 9:00pm on August 22. The music segments will be broadcast on the hour throughout the afternoon and the virtual children’s activities will be presented on the half-hour. Our virtual programming will conclude with the Downtown Get Down session and a special retrospective finale showing images of past OCT performances by the Urbana, Central, and Centennial High School Marching Bands that will be accompanied by Carmen Dragon’s and Jay Dawson’s arrangement of America the Beautiful which was performed by the joined ensembles in 2013.
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If you would like to submit content for the September issue of Library Office Notes, please submit it to Heather Murphy or Tom Teper by August 21, 2020.