The New Guy in the Langsdale Library

Rumeal Mosley
Major: Business Administration/Marketing
University of Baltimore '15
     Hello, my name is Rumeal Mosley. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD where I have acquired a blue collar work ethic in combination with a corporate mentality. I've attended and received my high school diploma from the Boys' Latin School of Maryland located on Lake Ave. approximately 15 minutes from UB's campus. Throughout my brief career, I have held several employed positions relative to customer service, sales and management. I've completed a Retail Management internship for JC Penney at one of their largest stores in the U.S. in Buford, GA in the Summer of 2013 and I've most recently worked as a Retail Marketing Intern for Volkswagen Group of America at their corporate headquarters in Herndon, Va prior to the Fall 2014 semester.
     I am overjoyed to assist the Langsdale Library in marketing. As a graduating Senior, I have been a frequent visitor of the library throughout my four years at UB for various research assignments and group projects. There are so many helpful resources and services offered to help students achieve academic success here at Langsdale. It is my task to make UB students aware of upcoming events, relevant library news and the benefits of the Langsdale Library; a task I am really excited to take on. The team here at UB is a wonderful! I am grateful for the opportunity to both work and learn from the awesome employees here at the Langsdale Library. It's going to be a great semester!


Special Collections Highlight: Baltimore Voices Company

Today we are highlighting a collection from the Library’s Special Collections Department (offices and Research Room can be found on the 4th Floor of the Learning Commons): the Baltimore Voices Company Collection

Formed in 1979, the Baltimore Voices Company (BVC) was the Baltimore Theatre Project's contribution to a larger, multi-faceted local history initiative known as the Baltimore Neighborhood Heritage Project (or BNHP, another archival collection held here at Langsdale Library). In order to create a theatrical production that was performed throughout the city in 1980, company members utilized existing BNHP oral histories and conducted their own tape-recorded interviews. The BVC's interviews were organized around specific themes, including labor, education, and community organizing. The collection at Langsdale contains oral history tapes, transcripts of interviews, biographical sketches, financial documents, publications, posters, photographs, brochures and more. For digital copies of some of the audio and documents, please see the digital exhibit.

<<Siobhan Hagan, AV Archivist


Arrr, how ye be getitng ye textbook?

So, let's get this straight right off the bat - I am in no way asking you to self incriminate in any way.

That said, however, I do wonder what hoops you have had to jump through in order to get access to the required textbooks for your class? If this recently published study is to be believed, you might have been like one of the 25% of surveyed students who resorted to illegally downloading a copy of an eTextbook.
"Study Indicates College Textbook Piracy is On The Rise, But Fails to Call Out Publishers for Skyrocketing Prices."

Here in the library we are directly impacted by those rising costs as well, which is why we can not possibly have on hand a copy of every textbook used on campus; we could spend our entire annual budget on textbooks and only buy a fraction of them you need. And, unlike those in the survey (perhaps unfortunately), our professional code forbids us from resorting to piracy. This leaves us with the question - how do how do we work together to get you access to the textbooks you need without breaking either of our banks or the law?

Though I am sure my colleagues in our Book and Document Delivery department, specifically those who work on providing reserves, might have more to say on this than I do, there are a couple things that come to mind. One, perhaps more long term solution is to support open access projects like Open Access Textbooks. They are a grant funded organization, based in Florida, that is working to set a model for states around the nation for Creative Commons licensed textbooks.

Another might be to call out publishers for their predatory pricing practices, as @techdirt mentions in the above tweet. But again this is more of a long term solution. And, while encouraging faculty to author more open access textbooks, and publishers to reign in their tactics, might be fine goals, they're not particularly helpful for you today.

Another strategy that might help more quickly, is to encourage your faculty to partner with the library to provide the textbooks you need on reserve. Talk to them about the very real impact the skyrocketing cost of course materials is having on you, and refer them to us. We have policies and procedures in place to help them provide you with the materials you need in your classes.

And, in the meantime, what other solutions have you found to this problem?


Upcoming Local (Un)Conference

Image credit: View of the Battle Monument, John Rubens Smith (1775-1849), 1828. Library of CongressLC-DIG-ds-01545.

Love Baltimore? Interested in local history and culture? If so, check out the upcoming Bmore Historic Unconference, October 10th at the Maryland Historical Society. Registration opens soon and is just ten dollars for students.

According to the unconference website:
Bmore Historic is an annual participant-led unconference for scholars, students, professionals and volunteers who care about public history, historic preservation and cultural heritage in the Baltimore region. Bmore Historic is an opportunity to connect with local historians, humanities scholars, preservation advocates, museum professionals, archivists, and anyone interested in exploring the vital intersections between people, places and the past in Baltimore and Maryland. We’re bringing people together and you set the agenda.


There are books and then there are books...

Need a break from the library? Of course you don't -- going to the library IS a break. But the Book Festival will be open just a little bit later. When the library closes and you still haven't finished getting your book fix, try visiting Baltimore's Inner Harbor on Sept. 26, 27 and 28 for the annual Baltimore Book Festival. It's something you don't want to miss!


A bookless library isn't an oxymoron

“I have long contended that a room full of books is simply a closet but that an empty room with a librarian in it is a library.”   R. David Lankes, The Atlas of New Librarianship

A bookless library doesn't need shelves.
Florida Polytechnic University is a brand new University that has opened with what has been referred to as a bookless library.   I am not sure bookless is an accurate term to use because the library does provide access to ebooks, it is just that there are no dead tree versions of books (or journals) housed in the library.  While eschewing print may seem like a radical move, in fact many libraries are moving more and more of their collections to electronic and using the physical library space as a “commons” area.  At Florida Polytechnic, they are embracing this idea, trying to embed the library seamlessly into the fabric of the university.  For example, librarians are in classrooms teaching about plagiarism, and faculty spend time working in the library. 

With the planning for the renovation of Langsdale Library underway, we have been thinking a lot about the future of library buildings. While we don’t have plans to remove the print collection entirely, the vast majority of our content is already in electronic form, and we have been able to devote more and more room to the provision of varied and flexible learning spaces.    The results of thinking about our collections and space in this way can be seen in the layout of our current location on the 3rd and 4th floor of the Learning Commons.   

What should the renovated library look like and what services should it provide?  It is hard to say for sure, but I think the key is to stay flexible.  Even if we decide we want a “commons”, there is no one learning commons model  that is right for every university, plus we don’t know what future trends might come down the pike.  I would like to think that one thing librarians have learned over the past few decades is how to adapt to a changing environment.   So whatever the future may hold, we’ll be ready for it. I hope.