ALERT | Library Service Updates during COVID-19 Crisis

Featured

The Brown University Library buildings are closed with virtual services available at rock@brown.edu, hay@brown.edu, and library.brown.edu.

Read the latest on Brown’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Requests for Library Material – UPDATE ON SCANNING

During the critical period of transition from site-based to virtual instruction, the Library was rotating a small number of staff onsite to scan physical material. However, now that we have made the transition, and in response to Governor Raimondo’s March 29th executive order, scanning of physical items will not be possible after Friday, April 3. This includes scanning requests for Online Course Reserves Access (OCRA).

Any student and faculty member who needs a scan of physical material from the Rockefeller, Sciences, and Orwig Libraries, the John Hay Library, and the Library Annex should submit the request at rock@brown.edu (general), hay@brown.edu (Special Collections), or through the link in the item record in Josiah, the online catalog, no later than noon on Friday, April 3. We will be unable to fulfill scan requests after that time. We can also help you locate digital material that is comparable to physical items.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests for resources available electronically will continue to be fulfilled.

Requests for Library Support

To request research support and inquire about Library services, email the following:

Faculty and Research Support

We are providing virtual services, including research consultations and instruction. Subject librarians can be reached by email and on chat, which will be staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Additional resources:

Checking Out Library Materials

Checking-out of physical materials from Brown University Library, interlibrary loan (ILL), and BorrowDirect have been suspended until further notice. We will reassess all Library services on an ongoing basis and will post frequent updates here. In the meantime, patrons are asked to keep any items now in their possession–including those obtained through Borrow Direct, easyBorrow, and ILLiad– until the libraries reopen. All fines and late fees will be waived.

Note that most Brown books can be renewed indefinitely.

Borrow Direct, easyborrow, and ILLiad

We are not able to fulfill BorrowDirect, easyBorrow or ILLiad requests at this time. While you may submit requests, they will be held for future processing. We will be reviewing this protocol in the coming weeks.

Online Course Reserves Access (OCRA)

Any new requests through OCRA must be made by noon on April 3. No scanning of physical material will be available after April 3. All digital material scanned or uploaded prior to April 3 will remain available. Students can continue to access course reserves through Canvas.

Expanded Access to Digital Content

As a response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, many of the Library’s content providers have expanded Brown’s access to digital content in order to support remote research, learning, and teaching. In addition to the 2 million+ digital books and journals available through the Library’s subscriptions, we are excited to share many addition additional resources from our partners.

University Updates

Please check the University’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus Updates web page frequently for timely information.

Take good care and be well.

Exhibit | Dis/Assemble: Making Meaning from the Minassian Collection

Leaf, Minassian Collection of Persian, Mughal, and Indian Miniature Paintings

Dis/Assemble

Dis/Assemble is a collaborative effort by graduate students from across ten different humanities disciplines to construct narratives around a continuously moving archive: the Minassian Collection of Persian, Mughal, and Indian Paintings and Calligraphies at Brown University. This collection evokes questions of assemblage and disassemblage, from sifting the extraordinary from the ordinary to practices of collecting and taxonomizing. Visitors are invited to participate in the creative act of engaging with fragments and fragmentation as they behold, imagine, and truly see the objects on view.

Opening Reception & Curator’s Introduction

Monday, March 9, 2020
4:30 p.m.
John Hay Library

Discussion

“Making Meaning from the Minassian Collection”
Monday, March 9, 2020
5:30 p.m.
Lownes Room, John Hay Library

Guests

  • Dr. Navina Haidar, Nasser Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah Curator in Charge of the Department of Islamic Art
  • Dr. Maryam Ekhtiar, Associate Curator of the Department of Islamic Art                      The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dates: March 9, 2019 – May 25, 2020
Time: John Hay Library Hours
Location: Exhibition Gallery, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Announcement | Library Innovation Prize & Carney Institute Brain Science Reproducible Paper Prize

The Brown University Library is thrilled to announce a new partnership with the Carney Institute for Brain Science on two prizes for student work that exemplifies research rigor, transparency, replication, and reproducibility.

Library Innovation Prize

Drawing on the rising importance of rigor and reproducibility of research, the Brown University Library will award up to $750 for the creation of a publication, capstone paper, digital project, and/or thesis/dissertation that incorporates innovation in rigor and transparency in any field of research.

See past Innovation Prize-winning projects.

Carney Institute for Brain Science Undergraduate Student Prize

The Carney Institute for Brain Science is offering a parallel but independent undergraduate prize for a capstone paper or thesis within the general area of brain science that incorporates innovation in reproducibility.

Timeline & Registration

  • Friday, March 13 at 2 p.m.:  Informational meeting the Digital Studio Seminar Room (160) at the Rockefeller Library. (Attendance is not required but is strongly encouraged.)
  • Wednesday, April 1, 2020: Deadline for registration for both prizes
  • Saturday, May 2, 2020: Submissions from registered participants are due by 5 p.m.
  • Week of May 18, 2020: Winners will be notified by email

Judges

  • Dr. Jason Ritt, Scientific Director of the Carney Institute
  • Lydia Curliss, Physical Sciences and Native American and Indigenous Studies Librarian
  • Dr. Oludurotimi Adetunji, Associate Dean of the College for Undergraduate Research and Inclusive Science

Innovation in Reproducibility

An example of innovation in reproducibility is linking data, analysis code, and figures/visualizations within a single document file that can be opened, read, and executed by the panel of judges using commonly available, preferably open source applications (e.g., Jupyter notebooks in a generic web browser).

Rigor & Transparency

Projects with enhanced rigor and transparency could include:

  • Curating and publicly sharing a data set
  • Pre-registration and sharing of a protocol
  • Sharing and containerization (e.g., Docker or Singularity) of analysis code and other computing environment related technologies
  • Incorporating an “Annotation for Transparent Inquiry (ATI) Data Supplement” for transparency in qualitative data analysis

More information:

Rules

  • Library prize contestants must be currently enrolled Brown undergraduate or graduate students. The Carney prize is restricted to Brown undergraduates.
  • Projects may be created by individuals or teams. The projects should be new or created in the past calendar year (2019).
  • There are no limits on coding languages or tools to create the reproducible paper.
  • The research must be the contestants’ original work. You may submit original work that you complete for a capstone paper for a course or an honors thesis or thesis at Brown.
  • Winning projects remain the intellectual property of the contestant(s), but the winning contestant(s) will grant a non­exclusive perpetual license to Brown University for its internal, non­-commercial use.
  • A panel of judges selected from faculty and Library staff will determine the winners.

Contact Information

  • For additional information, please contact Andrew Creamer at andrew_creamer@brown.edu
  • For questions on reproducible documents and their implementation, registered participants may contact Dr. Jason Ritt, Scientific Director of Quantitative Neuroscience in Brown’s Carney Institute for Brain Science at jason_ritt@brown.edu. Dr. Ritt will provide general advising up to schedule availability. Advice will be provided as is, with no implication for contest judging or award outcomes.

Announcement | Healthy Library Collections Ecosystem Initiative

Healthy Library Collections Ecosystem Initiative

In January 2019, the Library launched the Healthy Library Collections Ecosystem Initiative for the Rockefeller Library and the Annex. The goal is to improve and develop workflows, processes, and solutions that will ensure healthy and equitable movement of library materials throughout their lifecycle. Findability and browsability will be enhanced, shelf space will be optimized, books and other materials will be suitably placed, and library usage data will be expanded and refined–all resulting in a healthy library environment for patrons, Library staff, and collections materials.

The Shift

A direct response to feedback received through graduate student survey data, the two-year Initiative will conclude in January 2021, when a large shift of materials at the Rockefeller and the Annex will take place. In addition to populating empty shelf space and creating room on overcrowded shelves, the shift will take usage data into account to make sure that items frequently circulated or used onsite will be available in the stacks at the Rock, and that less-used items and digital material available online will be moved to the Annex. We will not be getting rid of books.

System of Healthy Collections Flow

Once the improved processes are in place and the shift occurs, the Library will have identified and established a system of healthy collections flow that will allow for new items to move into the Rock.

Benefits

  • Already, book locator technology has been repaired and improved! 
  • All new books can be shelved within a few days of receipt
  • Books and other materials will live in a healthy shelf habitat
  • Locations in the catalog will align with locations in the Rock
  • All items in a call letter will be located together, so browsing the stacks will be easy, enjoyable, and fruitful
  • Scans from all journals at the Annex can be requested and received in a timely manner 

Process

A cross departmental committee of Library staff is overseeing and conducting the steps of this process, which is akin to having construction zones on campus. Your experience at the Library from now until January 2021 will not change, aside from incremental improvements like small shifts to create more space for overcrowded books. We will continue to provide the same high level of services, facilities, and physical and digital resources throughout the entire process.

Input

In addition to using feedback the Library has already gathered from patrons, we are conducting focus this semester, including faculty and students. 

If you would like to participate in the focus groups or have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please contact us at libraryecosystem@brown.edu.

Committee

  • Nora Dimmock, Deputy University Librarian, Chair
  • Pat Putney, Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources
  • Sarah Evelyn, Director of Academic Engagement for the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • William S. Monroe, Senior Scholarly Resources Librarian, Humanities
  • Emily Ferrier, Librarian for Social Science and Entrepreneurship
  • Bart Hollingsworth, Head of Circulation and Resource Sharing
  • Kimberly Silva, Rockefeller Circulation Manager
  • Michelle Venditelli, Head of Preservation, Conservation, and the Library Annex
  • Paul Magliocco, Head of Annex and Stacks Maintenance Preservation Service
  • Dan O’Mahony, Director of Library Planning and Assessment

Event | John Laudun – “Are We Not Doing Phrasing Anymore?”: Towards a Cultural Informatics

On Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, John Laudon, PhD will give a talk, “‘Are We Not Doing Phrasing Anymore?’: Towards a Cultural Informatics.” Organized by the Data Science Initiative, the Cogut Institute for the Humanities, and the Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship.

Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

“Are We Not Doing Phrasing Anymore?: Towards a Cultural Informatics

Recent headlines reveal the profound suspicion with which statistical methods have been received within the humanities. The pervasive belief is that a chasm lies between statistics and the humanities that not only cannot be bridged but should not be attempted, at the risk of losing the human. And yet slowly and steadily, a growing number of practitioners have not only developed research programs but also pedagogical methods that open up new analytical perspectives as well as new avenues for students to explore their relationship between the subject matter and their own understanding.

This talk offers a small survey of various practices to be found in the digital humanities alongside a few experiments by the author in allowing students to experience how statistical methods in fact demystify the meaning-making process in language and empower students not only to ground their insights in things they can see and count, but also in understanding texts as nothing more than certain sequences of words, opening a path to making them better writers as well.

Working from a broad survey to narrow applications, the talk suggests that concerns about a loss of humanity in the humanities is actually a concern for loss of certain kinds of authority, but that new kinds of authority are possible within which researchers and teachers will find a firm ground from which to offer interpretations and evaluations of the kinds of complex artifacts that have long been the purview of the domain.

John Laudun, PhD

John Laudun received his MA in literary studies from Syracuse University in 1989 and his PhD in folklore studies from the Folklore Institute at Indiana University in 1999. He was a Jacob K. Javits Fellow while at Syracuse and Indiana (1987 – 1992), and a MacArthur Scholar at the Indiana Center for Global Change and World Peace (1993 – 1994). He has written grants that have been funded by the Grammy Foundation and the Louisiana Board of Regents, been a fellow with the EVIA Digital Archive, and a scholar in residence with UCLA’s Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics. His book, The Amazing Crawfish Boat, is a longitudinal ethnographic study of creativity and tradition within a material folk culture domain.

Laudun’s current work is in the realm of culture analytics. He is engaged in several collaborations with physicists and other scientists seeking to understand how texts can be modeled computationally in order to better describe functions and features.

Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Announcement | Brown Library Staff Recognized for Service Milestones on BEAR Day

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Brown University staff gathered for the annual Brown Employee Appreciation and Recognition (BEAR) Day, at which staff are recognized for milestone years of continuous service. With so many employees with impressive longevity, the Library is always well represented at BEAR Day.

Here are the Library staff members who were recognized this year:

5 Years of Service

  • Andrew Creamer
  • Kimberly Silva

15 Years of Service

  • Kathryn Gearon
  • Erica Saladino

20 Years of Service

  • Diane Cazzarro
  • Bart Hollingsworth

25 Years of Service

  • Joseph Mancino

30 Years of Service

  • Deneen Eugenio

30+ Years of Service

  • Karen Bouchard
  • John Boylan
  • Raymond Butti
  • James Chapin
  • Stephen Conlon
  • Paul Cormier
  • Ann Dodge
  • Patricia Dumin
  • Peter Harrington
  • Joanna Katsune
  • Paula Kojian
  • Andrew Pereira
  • Linda Peterson
  • Patricia Putney
  • Robert Rosa
  • Joanne Tandy
  • Virginia Twomey
  • William Wood

40+ Years

  • Charles Flynn
  • Linda Gesualdi
  • Sheila Hogg

Announcement | #LibraryLove Poetry at the Rock

This Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14, 2020, look for 10 posters of poems hanging around the Rock. Written by poets who identify as LGBTQ+ and/or as members of historically underrepresented groups, the poetry offers readers an opportunity to engage with love from different perspectives.

Readers can also vote for you favorite poem of the ten selected, tell us your all time favorite poem and item in the Library, and provide feedback, if you like, for what the Library can do or do better to make all feel welcome and supported.

Vote here

The winner: “Separation” by W. S. Merwin.

Thanks for voting!

The poems on display:

  1. Harjo, Joy. For Keeps by Joy Harjo – Poems | Academy of American Poets. https://poets.org/poem/keeps. Accessed 13 Feb. 2020.
  2. Vuong, Ocean. “In Defense of Dancing.” Guernica, 1 Apr. 2012, https://www.guernicamag.com/in-defense-of-dancing/.
  3. Asghar, Fatimah. “My Love for Nature by Fatimah Asghar.” Poetry Magazine, 13 Feb. 2020, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/90290/my-love-for-nature.
  4. Oberman, Miller. “On Trans by Miller Oberman.” Poetry Magazine, 13 Feb. 2020, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/57983/on-trans.
  5. Jordan, June. “Poem for My Love by June Jordan.” Poetry Foundation, 13 Feb. 2020, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49218/poem-for-my-love.
  6. Lorde, Audre. “Recreation by Audre Lorde.” Poetry Foundation, 13 Feb. 2020, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42579/recreation.
  7. Merwin, Poetry. “Separation by W. S. Merwin.” Poetry Magazine, 13 Feb. 2020, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/28891/separation-56d21285b2140.
  8. Cassarino, Stacie. “Snowshoe to Otter Creek.” Zero at the Bone, 1st ed., New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2009, p. 91.
  9. Larkin, Poetry. “Want by Joan Larkin.” Poetry Foundation, 13 Feb. 2020, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/54384/want.
  10. Limón, Ada. “What I Didn’t Know Before.” The Carrying, Milkweed Editions, 2018, p. 120.

It is the Library’s sincere hope that all members of the Brown community feel welcome and supported in our physical and virtual spaces. We have the privilege and responsibility to steward and highlight works by writers and researchers of all backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Representation is important.

Love comes in many forms. On Valentine’s Day, we appreciate you joining us in a love for poetry and for all the ways in which we can love and support each other, today and every day.

This is YOUR Brown University Library. You belong here.

Announcement | LED Light Bulbs

Energy efficient LED light bulbs are being installed in all light fixtures throughout Library buildings.

This effort to increase our energy efficiency is in direct alignment with Brown’s mission to cut campus greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2025 and to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2040.

The work will begin at the Rockefeller Library on Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

Thank you for your patience while this work is being done.

Announcement | Anthony Helm, Director of Library Digital Technologies

The Library is delighted to announce the hire of Anthony Helm as Director of Library Digital Technologies. His start date is March 2, 2020.

Anthony is currently the Head of Digital Media and Library Technologies at Dartmouth College, directing a team of 16 professionals including web developers, programmers, and librarians. As a member of Dartmouth’s leadership team, Anthony was instrumental in strengthening the school’s digital infrastructure by implementing the Alma Integrated Library System. He also led the planning, design, and completion of a $1.7 million renovation project in the Jones Media Center to create a more contemporary, media-focused learning center. 

Prior to Dartmouth, Anthony was the Academic Technologist for the Arts and Humanities at Clark University in Worcester, MA. 

Anthony earned an M.A. in Japanese Language, Literature and Culture from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Communication Arts—Television/Radio with a minor in Asian Studies from Southern Methodist University.