Top 10 DePaul University Library Stories of 2017

Each year, we look back on some of the most important projects we’ve pursued at the DePaul University Library, and some of the most significant contributions we’ve made to the strategic goals of the university and the day-to-day concerns of our community. As we move toward the completion of Vision 2018, and look forward to even greater library contributions to the new strategic plan, we are happy to share this look back on an eventful 2017.

(10: Tie) HathiTrust Grant Awarded – the Reading Chicago Reading project, a continuing collaboration between DePaul University faculty associated with Studio CHI, DePaul University librarians, and Chicago Public Library, was awarded an Advanced Collaborative Support (ACS) Program grant by the HathiTrust Research Center. Reading Chicago Reading received a start-up grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2016, and has been an early success in the library’s growing portfolio of digital scholarship services.

(10: Tie) New African-American Studies Collection Now Available – the Arnold and Jane Grisham Collection of African-American Literature was fully processed and made available for students and scholars in 2017, and celebrated with an exhibition (and digital bookshelf) in Special Collections and Archives. Donated by DePaul University Trustee Arnold Grisham, the collection features first editions, signed editions, and other materials documenting African-American literature including poetry, short stories, novels, and other work representing modern literary movements from the Harlem Renaissance to Afrofuturism.

(9) DePaul Makes – as part of the third phase of the Richardson Library renovation, the library launched the Maker Hub, part of a growing network of “maker” resources available to DePaul University students and faculty, both on campus and in the community. As part of the “soft launch” for Maker Hub programs in Fall 2017, we established connections with the Idea Realization Lab and other members of the “DePaul Makes” community, hosted students and teachers associated with the STEAM Lab at DePaul College Prep High School, and launched a “Maker-in-Residence” program provided by Physics Professor Eric Landahl. We look forward to continuing to provide leadership for “The Makerspace Movement at DePaul” in 2018.

(8) Librarians Respond … – DePaul University librarians and staff took part in a number of local and national initiatives in 2017 aimed at highlighting the challenge of “fake news”, threats to freedom of speech, changes to federal information policies, support for scientific and scholarly inquiry, and ensuring equity of access to information in a diverse community. Whether it was the #DayofFacts, the #ScienceMarch, campus programs, or something else, DePaul University librarians and staff were leaders in a national effort to mobilize support for core professional values that are also essential to DePaul’s mission, including equity of access, diversity, equity, and inclusion, intellectual freedom, and social justice.

(7) Librarians Transform … – our librarians, archivists, and technology specialists represent a powerful resource for faculty, staff, and students working to improve their teaching, learning, and scholarship. As part of the American Library Association’s Libraries Transform campaign, we launched a public relations effort focused on highlighting the expertise of our staff and the ways in which they contribute every day to the core missions of the university. Reflecting both the goals of the national campaign and the Vincentian focus on the contributions made by individuals as part of the DePaul community, our #LibrariesTransform program was recognized by ALA as an academic library “success story.”

(6) Digital Scholarship Service Programs Grow – following the arrival in 2016-2017 of librarians with advanced skills and training in digital scholarship and data services, we began to promote greater support for digital scholarship services for DePaul University students and faculty, including those associated with Studio CHI, which re-located to the Richardson Library as part of the third phase of the library renovation. Over 300 DePaul faculty members participated in a “Digital Scholarship survey” conducted by the library in 2017, and data collected through that study will inform ongoing design and delivery of digital scholarship services in 2018.

(5) Active Learning and Community Engagement in Special Collections – the primary source instruction program continues to grow in DePaul University’s Department of Special Collections and Archives, which now hosts more than 70 instructional sessions each year, with classes in English, History, Sociology, Theatre, Women and Gender Studies, and more. Having conducted earlier research into undergraduate student learning using primary sources, our special collections instruction program was revised in 2017 to focus more clearly on the use of active learning. Opportunities to engage with unique, primary-source materials held in Special Collections and Archives were extended to community members, scholars, and K-12 students and teachers beyond Chicago through the development of the Dead Man Walking Teaching Kit, which brings together lessons plans and resources drawn from the Sr. Helen Prejean Collection.

(4) Assessment of Teaching and Learning – DePaul University librarians continue to gain recognition on campus, and beyond, for their work designing, delivering, and assessing information literacy instruction for undergraduate students. Heather Jagman’s co-authored study of information literacy instruction in first-year courses was selected as one of the “Top 20 Articles for 2016” by the American Library Association’s Library Instruction Round Table. Jessica Alverson, Jennifer Schwartz, and Sue Schultz won the Annual Assessment Award given by the DePaul University Office of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment for their revision of information literacy instruction provided in the School for New Learning’s Research Seminar. Alverson and Schwartz published a brief study of their collaboration with WRD faculty to revise information literacy instruction in support of undergraduate student learning outcomes. And, library leadership in supporting faculty use of Wikipedia in the classroom was recognized on campus, and beyond, leading to an invited panel session at the American Library Association’s Annual Meeting and a plenary session at the inaugural meeting of the OCLC Americas Regional Council, which brought together librarians from across the U.S., Canada, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

(3) Library Research Prize for First-Year Writing – as part of an ongoing collaboration with faculty in the First-Year-Writing Program, DePaul University librarians awarded the inaugural First-Year Program Library Research Prize as part of the Writing Showcase. Library Research Prize winners Amanda Stocchetti and William Asztalos submitted research projects that demonstrated excellence in the application of information literacy skills taught as part of first-year programs, use of information tools and resources, and engagement with faculty and librarians in the design and conduct of the research project.

(2) DePaul University Library Featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education – DePaul University was recognized by the Chronicle as a leading example of a “21st-century library” helping students to succeed academically and providing faculty with the resources, spaces, and services needed to adopt new technologies in their teaching and scholarship. Focused on the alignment of library initiatives with strategic goals identified by the university in documents such as Vision 2018, and of library services with broader initiatives such as Foundations for Success, Chronicle reporters spoke with librarians, student affairs professionals, faculty, and students about the ways in which our library has worked successfully to increase awareness of the value of the academic library to the university’s mission.

(1) Phase 3 of the Richardson Library Renovation Launched – the library launched the newest phase of the Richardson Library renovation on September 27, 2017, including the expansion of the Information Commons, new space for faculty development programs provided by Studio CHI and FITS, a maker space, and more. DePaul University President A. Gabriel Esteban praised the renovation efforts across all three phases as having “delivered improved learning support for our students, as well as innovative research tools for our faculty and staff.”

Thank you for being part of the DePaul University Library community in 2017! If you’d like to look back and where we’ve been, you can also re-visit the Top 10 Stories of 2016. 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 2018!

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