Although every library would benefit from running usability studies, not every library has a dedicated staff available to conduct those studies. Anecdotally, librarians seem to feel incapable of undertaking usability studies for reasons including time, budget, and expertise.
In the wake of the record-breaking attendance at the January 21 Women’s March on Washington, and sister marches in over 60 cities on all seven continents, social media reported that protesters were abandoning their signs after the event. Not all of those were destined for the recycling bin, however: archivists in several cities came out to collect and preserve them.
On the afternoon of Friday, January 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order placing a 90-day entry ban on immigrants and visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States. Travelers, visa holders, and refugees from those Muslim-majority countries were stopped and detained at airports in the United States and abroad, and in a number of cases sent back overseas. The ban affects U.S. students and professors among others, stranding those traveling abroad. Academic organizations across the country have condemned the order and urged Trump to reverse it, joining the voices of citizen protesters nationwide.
To support the changing needs of faculty and students researching mass media, popular culture, and video games, the University of North Texas (UNT) Media Library, Denton, began developing a game collection in 2009. This collection first included console games and in-house access to gaming PCs and then grew to include tabletop games in 2010. Because virtual reality (VR) headsets and devices are a natural fit, we included VR equipment on our wish list until 2015, when we finally had funding for an Oculus Rift DK2 ($350).
Faculty and students returning to the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston campus for the Spring 2017 semester will encounter a library with resources noticeably reduced thanks to dramatic budget cuts. On November 10, 2016, an email notified the UMass Boston community of budget cuts for Fiscal Year 2017, including roughly 20 percent of the Healey Library’s general operating fund, amounting to approximately $700,000.
What’s the secret to helping your faculty produce academic research that resonates with practitioners, students, policy makers, and other influencers? Think less about theory, and more about practical relevance—that’s the opinion of Thomas W. Kent, Ph.D., professor and chair for the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, School of Business, College of Charleston.