Top 10 DePaul University Library Stories of 2018

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 look back on 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 a busy 2018.

Special Collections and Archives in the John T. Richardson Library on DePaul's Lincoln Park Campus contains more than a dozen books officially designated as rare by an international project titled “Preserving the World’s Rarest Books.” One book, Oratoriae Partitiones, which was printed in 1539 in Paris, is the only known copy in the world along with 13 other books from the DePaul collection that have five or less known copies in the world. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

(10) The “World’s Rarest Books” – several books held in DePaul University Special Collections and Archives were included as part of a global initiative to identify the “world’s rarest books” led by the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. A gallery of images taken from these works, including a 1539 edition of Cicero’s Oratoriae partitiones, is available through Newsline.

(9) New Spaces for Teaching and Learning – following the “soft launch” of the renovated spaces in the John T. Richardson Library in late 2017, new spaces continued to be made available for use by students and faculty in early 2018, including the Studio 1581 media studios, usability studio, and green screen suite.

(8) DePaul Joins BMRC and DPLA – a hallmark of our work as part of Vision 2018 was the establishment of new partnerships across campus, around Chicago, and as part of the broader library community. With powerful and productive community partnerships now in place with Chicago Collections, HathiTrust, and the Catholic Research Resources Alliance, the library continued to pursue new opportunities in 2018 by joining the Black Metropolis Research Consortium and contributing content for the first time to the Digital Public Library of America.

(7) Place(s) of Protest – along with libraries, archives, and museums across the City of Chicago, the DePaul University Library contributed to community discussions of the history of protest movements in the city as part of the 50th anniversary recognition of the events of 1968. In addition to contributing to the Chicago Collections digital exhibit, “Place of Protest: Chicago’s Legacy of Dissent, Declaration, and Disruption,” library staff in Special Collections and Archives prepared a new exhibition on the history of the Young Lords Organization in Lincoln Park, acquired important primary source material documenting the underground press in the city, and  made new material available for the first time on the Division Street Riots of 1966. With continually growing use among our students and faculty with primary source materials for the study of local history, the library continues to be a center for the innovative teaching and community engagement initiatives at the heart of DePaul’s strategic plans.

Maker Hub

(6) Maker Education – a recent study conducted by the EDUCAUSE Center for Analytics and Research documented how “[increasing] student access to 3D technologies [and other emerging technologies] encourages student experimentation, provokes innovative interdisciplinary applications of these technologies and may support larger institutional … goals and initiatives.” With the launch of the Maker Hub and growing partnerships with campus colleagues as part of the DePaul Makes community, the DePaul University Library has been a leader in providing increased (and universal) access to 3D printing and other technologies that foster innovative interdisciplinary teaching, learning, and scholarship across the university and provide new opportunities for co-curricular learning for students, professional development for faculty, and community discussions about technology and society..

(5) Media Literacy – led by the library, DePaul University was one of 11 institutions of higher education in the United States to contribute to the landmark study of “how students engage with news” conducted by Project Information Literacy and released in Fall 2018. Seeking “to understand how students see the role of news in their lives, in their learning and social communities, and in a democracy at a time when personal beliefs may carry more weight than objective facts, information platforms fuel endless debates, and the authority of traditional media is falling away,” this study provides a critical foundation for information literacy, media literacy, and community engagement initiatives at the heart of a mission-centered, liberal arts education.

(4) Movement Toward Open Educational Resources Grows – in collaboration with the Student Government Association, the DePaul University Library initiated new programs to educate students and faculty about open educational resources (including open textbooks) and ways in which the library can support faculty wishing to adopt OERs as part of DePaul’s commitment to access and educational affordability. Student and faculty surveys were conducted in Spring 2018 to collect data for the first time on the challenges that the costs of educational materials present to students and the ways in which the library can provide additional support to faculty wishing to discover and make use of open educational resources (or other resources that require no additional financial investment by students). Services informed by these data (and by initiatives that DePaul librarians are helping to lead at the state level) will be expanded in 2019 as part of the university’s strategic commitment to an environment “where affordability and value for students are paramount.”

(3) Transfer Student Services – DePaul has been a destination of choice for transfer students for many years, and has made a strategic commitment to transfer student success through initiatives such as the DePaul Admission Partnership Program (DAPP) and the Harper College University Center. While the DePaul University Library has developed partnerships with librarians through each of these programs, 2018 saw the launch of new programs for transfer students based on a high-level review of information literacy among our transfer students and opportunities for the library to collaborate with campus colleagues in new ways to support transfer student success.

(2) New Undergraduate Learning Outcomes – as part of the university’s review of undergraduate learning outcomes through the Center for Teaching and Learning, the DePaul University Library established a new set of undergraduate learning outcomes designed (for the first time) to support an integrated approach to teaching and learning programs offered throughout the library, including information literacy instruction, primary source literacy instruction, and instruction for data literacy and the use of emerging technologies.

(1) Digital Scholarship Partnerships and Programs Continue to Grow – since the creation of the Scholar’s Lab in 2013, the DePaul University Library has been a key partner in the growth of digital scholarship programs across the university, including the establishment of the Studio CHI Digital Scholarship Center, which moved into the John T. Richardson Library as part of the 2017 renovation. With continuing engagement between the library’s Digital Scholarship Services team and faculty and students working in these areas, 2018 saw continuing external support for ongoing projects like Reading Chicago Reading, as well as new student projects, faculty development programs, and community-building initiatives such as Transcribathon, Frankenweek, and the “Research Meet-and-Greet” series.

Digital Storytelling Workshop Participants

Thank you for being part of the DePaul University Library community in 2018! If you’d like to look back and where we’ve been, you can also re-visit the Top 10 Stories of 2017. 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 2019!

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