Top 10 DePaul University Library Stories of 2016

While 2015 saw us help to launch Chicago Collections and 2017 brings us the promise of another library renovation, no-one at the DePaul University Library lacked for opportunities to contribute to teaching, learning, and research at the university during 2016. Here’s a chance to revisit our top stories of the year as we get ready for more in the future.

(10) To Err is Human; To Forgive Divine
– for the first time in 20 years, the DePaul University Library offered a fine amnesty to its students in order to encourage the return of long-lost materials. Although nothing came home that had been away as long as some returns we’ve received, the amnesty program was a success. Almost 200 items were returned to the library during the one-week program, and approximately $10,000 in fees were forgiven.

(9) Teaching and Learning in Special Collections – staff in the DePaul University Library Department of Social Collections and Archives continued their efforts to design, deliver, and assess student learning using primary source materials, as well as rare books. With mission-centered collections and public programs such as the exhibition on the bicentennial of the Vincentian arrival in the United States, and continuing collaboration with the DePaul Art Museum, DePaul is becoming known as an innovator in collection-centered teaching, learning, and scholarship, and in instruction for “primary source literacy.” We were able to show off some of that innovative spirit in August, when DePaul co-hosted the Information Literacy Satellite Conference for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.

(8) One Million and Counting – early in 2016, the DePaul University Library recorded the one-millionth download from Via, our institutional repository. Home to a wide variety of scholarly materials produced by DePaul students and scholars, including electronic theses and dissertations, undergraduate research journals like DePaul Discoveries, law reviews like the DePaul Journal of Health Care Law , and peer-reviewed journals like the Journal of Religion and Business Ethics, Via is also a platform for faculty members to share their expertise with a global community through their Selected Works profiles. A recent article in the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication suggests a relationship between the use of institutional repositories like Via and institutional commitments to social justice, and this is a connection we may wish to explore further at DePaul.

(7) Wikipedia in the Library – throughout 2016, the DePaul University Library collaborated with campus and community partners to promote the use of Wikipedia in the library and the classroom, and to enhance the quality of the information found through the 5th-most popular web site in the world. With the addition of a “Wikipedian in Residence” at DePaul in 2017, the library will be even better prepared to work with faculty to integrate Wikipedia into their courses and assignments.

(6) The Expert in the Library – DePaul University librarians have been pioneers in information literacy instruction for years, as evidenced by their work to revise undergraduate learning outcomes in information literacy in Chicago Quarter, WRD 104, and other courses, as well as by their contributions to the Teaching Commons. 2016 saw that expertise recognized more broadly when DePaul University librarian Heather Jagman (along with her co-editor, Troy Swanson of Moraine Valley Community College) received the Association of College & Research Libraries Instruction Section’s “Publication of the Year” award for their collection, Not Just Where to Click: Teaching Students About Information (2015).

(5) Reading Chicago Reading – DePaul librarians collaborated with faculty and with librarians from Chicago Public Library to develop a successful research project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. With the addition during 2016 of a new Digital Scholarship Librarian, and with the approval of new spaces and services to be included as part of the next phase of the Richardson Library renovation, the library will be in an excellent position in 2017 to scale up support for digital scholarship initiatives such as this.

(4) Chicago Collections Continues to Grow – Fall 2016 saw the first anniversary of the public launch of Chicago Collections, the unique collaboration across libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and others across the City of Chicago for which DePaul has provided leadership. In the year since we launched the EXPLORE Chicago Collections digital portal, over 58,000 visitors from 150 countries around the world have used this service to explore Chicago history and to connect with experts from libraries around the city. With new programs, public lectures, and community engagement planned for 2017, Chicago Collections promises to be an even more powerful resource for our faculty and students in 2017.

(3) DePaul Joins HathiTrust – DePaul became one of the newest members of HathiTrust in 2016, a worldwide partnership of more than 100 libraries and research institutions “working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future.” With enhanced access to more than 5,000,000 titles available in the public domain, and with new access to tools designed to allow research across its entire digital corpus, DePaul faculty and students will be able to make use of Hathi resources for teaching, learning, and scholarship across the curriculum.

(2) DePaul Joins Open Textbook Network to Promote Educational Affordability – as part of its ongoing efforts to support innovation in teaching and educational affordability, DePaul became the first academic library in Illinois to join the Open Textbook Network. With the foundation of an ongoing initiative put in place, the library will develop a new gateway to open educational resources (OERs), including open textbooks, in 2017.

(1) Third Phase of the Richardson Library Renovation Approved – The Board of Trustees has approved the third phase of the Richardson Library renovation, which began in 2011, and included the creation of the Information Commons in 2013. The next phase, scheduled for completing during Summer 2017, will extend the open-plan technology  found in the Information Commons onto the second floor of the library, and will bring new technology for multi-media content creation and a maker space into the library. The library will be partnering with the Cross-College Collaboration Task Force and Studio CHI to extend the work conducted in the Scholar’s Lab since 2013 to transform the library into a hub for innovation in teaching and learning across the curriculum at DePaul.

Thank you for being part of the DePaul University Library community in 2016! We were proud to have multiple library initiatives included, once again, in the annual report from the Office of the President on progress toward the university’s strategic goals. If you’d like to look back and where we’ve been, you can also re-visit the Top 10 Stories of 2015. If you would like to know more about any of the stories above, please contact your liaison librarian. We look forward to working with you to write new stories in 2017!

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