What does a Data Services Specialist do?


PILLARS: New Relationships with Disciplinary Faculty and Robust Research and Scholarship

As you will have noticed, Eugenia Kim and Jake Carlson are the Purdue University Libraries’ data services specialists. These positions were determined priorities by the Planning and Operations Committee to help strengthen the Libraries capacity to support e-Science at Purdue (e-Science is usually defined as research which uses digital technology and thus encompasses almost all research today). The positions were designed to “develop scalable, sustainable and domain-appropriate services in data curation, digital repository service and data management in support of research.” In plain English, that means to assess needs by talking to faculty about their research; identify problems that library science can help address (such as organization for, discovery of, access to or dissemination of research outputs) and develop solutions to problems by creating resources, tools or approaches that others can use to help address similar needs.

This is a strategic priority to address the changing landscape of scholarly communication. We’ve talked here about research data before — as a new type of collection that librarians are trying to understand more about; as it relates to the Purdue University Research Repository (PURR) which is being built as a collaboration between the Libraries, ITaP and the Office of the Vice President for Research; and as it relates to the Data Curation Profiles. All of these areas started out as explorations, for which the Libraries have been widely acclaimed as being leaders in this area. Now we want to put wheels under these explorations to develop services which become as familiar as acquisitions or cataloging.

But this is not solely the territory of Eugenia and Jake. Other librarians are also engaging in e-Science and research data issues, such as engaging in reference (e.g., where to find data standards, repositories and discipline specific resources) and exploring learning opportunities (for a lab, class or course). And while Eugenia and Jake will lead the effort to turn activities (assess, plan, carry out and support for data access, curation and management) into services, it is likely that someday in the not too distant future we all will participate in data-related library activities.


CIC and shared storage: it's finally happening! The CIC Shared Print Repository (SPR)


PILLAR: Scholarly Communication

CIC logoFor several years now, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Library Directors have discussed the possibility of a shared print storage capability across the CIC libraries. Earlier this year a group of CIC libraries, including Purdue, agreed to participate in a shared print storage project and move forward with a first phase, using high-density storage space at Indiana University (IU) to store approximately 250,000 volumes over the next five years. Ten CIC libraries have now signed on to participate.

Goals for this collaboration include: 1) reducing the costs of duplicative print retention across multiple libraries; 2) ensuring that print copies of CIC legacy holdings will be accessible to future generations of scholars; 3) consistent disclosure of holdings in such a way as to integrate CIC archived collections into an emerging national infrastructure for print retention; and 4) developing a service framework so that CIC users can readily discover and access needed copies of print works.

Library Deans and Directors have charged three Working Groups for this project, on Collections, Technical Services and Public Services, to review options and make recommendations for how the project might best proceed. Late this spring the Working Groups shared their ideas with a Steering Committee in anticipation of the spring CIC Directors meeting. The Steering Committee is made up of CIC Library Directors, Brenda Johnson from Indiana University, Carol Diedrichs from Ohio State University, and Paula Kaufman from Illinois University.

Some of the questions the working groups are addressing include:

  • What represents an adequate facility for storing CIC-SPA collections?
  • What procedures must be in place to assure that the shelf-life of these resources is maximized?
  • What procedures can be developed to fill in gaps in holdings or replace/note incomplete or damaged volumes?
  • What onsite services should be available to accommodate potential readers?
  • How would digital scans of SPA content be prepared, conveyed and stored?
  • How will this program interact with other CIC storage commitments (e.g., Iowa/Wisconsin/Iowa State; OhioLink; PALCI/Penn State)

Representatives from all groups met at ALA in New Orleans, to put together the project. The Public Services Group is looking at policies for access and interlibrary loan. The Technical Services Group is looking at workflows, processing, and discovery issues. The Collections Group has recommended starting with Elsevier, Wiley, and Springer journals thru 2010. Approximately one-half of the initial content will come from Indiana University’s collections. First step is to move that content into storage at IU and note it as part of the CIC-SPR, to have policies and procedures in place, and to open up the process to gather content from other member institutions to fill in to get the other half of the content into storage at IU.


2011 CIC Conference "What's in Store: Collaborative Strategies for Managing CIC Collections"


PILLAR: Scholarly Communication

The annual two-day Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) conference took place at Michigan State University (MSU) this year and began with a keynote session by MSU’s Provost, Kim Wilcox. As a Provost, his priority is to stress the importance of cost savings and collaboration and to look for the long-term benefits. He understands libraries are important (politically) for academics and the libraries’ contributions support the core industry of academe. This means that the long term health of the CIC is not just about the books.

John Wilkin, executive director HathiTrust, spoke about HathiTrust, how print storage is about building on the digital core overlap profiles which differ by library. Plans are underway to extend the holding database with a new cost model. Partners will be able to register comments, establish definitions, build in cost sharing with the more unique lower cost for print/credit based on storage and overlap determined by holdings in Hathi database. A draft proposal final version will be done by late summer.

Ivy Anderson, director of Collection Development and Management at California Digital Library, spoke about the California Digital Libraries collaborative approaches to print and how their program consists of policies/strategies/project with the goal to achieve space savings and cost avoidance of print where digital is preferred.

Ross Housewright, senior analyst at Ithaka S+R, discussed faculty comments about print collections and stated that the need for our library or some library keep print collections is declining with the access of journal backfiles. Ebooks are increasing in the next five years but not so prevalent to eliminate hard copies. The trend is for library directors to cut print journals in half and move 31% of print to digital. At Purdue, we need to ask ourselves what the goals are of the print collection management?

Constance Malpas, program officer at OCLC Research, shared print represents strategic externalizations and enables a redefinition of the library. Core library operations are moving outside of the institutional boundaries (cataloging). Outsourcing campus services is a high preference for campus strategies. Shared print is not about getting rid of the books but redistributing costs and creating a strategy that is sustainable. Private university presses are more concerned about the decline of support for the humanities than public university presses  66- 56%. CIC can maximize value of shared print storage by leveraging investments in HathiTrust. HathiTurst is a digital preservation tool which scales balance between libraries and e-resource vendors. 

Paul Courant, librarian University of Michigan, encouraged participants to think of the university and library as conservatories and collect someplace with reliable access; library space is a “chip” for the Provost. Collections will be there if we share.

Judy Russell, dean of University of Libraries of Florida, discussed Florida’s statewide storage task force participation. Gold titles were validated and revalidated when they come back to the repository. No other titles are validated at the title level.

Wes Boomgaarten, preservation officer, discussed the new Thomson Library at Ohio State University.

Mark Sandler reported that government documents are the first shared collections for the CIC schools; through aggregation we secure and preserve collections. It is important to realize the economies of scale and the opportunity the shared print collections can provide. Sandler also reported the first phase is to secure STM (science, technology and medicine) journal backfiles in a central CIC facility (IU) volumes of contents ingested from other CIC members (see CIC Shared Print Repository story). The working groups and steering committee will tackle issues of term of commitment, ownership, archival security vs. user access and how much investment should be made in validation replacing damaged copies filling in gaps and upgrading records.

Brenda Johnson, dean of Indiana University Libraries, discussed IU’s ALF storage facility which contains 3 million volumes and will be the first host site for CIC shared print collections.


Successful staff transitions

PILLAR: Infrastructure

Veterinary Medical Library

My first job at Purdue in 1999 was Circulation/Student Supervisor in the Psychological Sciences Library (PSYC) and Priscilla Geahigan was my supervisor. She wanted her staff to constantly be developing new skills, so after I had gained a firm grasp of PsycINFO, she decided I should cross train at Consumer and Family Sciences Library (CFS). Wow, the stress I felt being asked questions about Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) resources but it didn’t take too long before I felt comfortable and even proud of what I had learned. However, my comfort was short lived because the next year I was asked to work at the Hicks Undergraduate Library (HIKS) circulation desk — talk about out of my comfort zone. Not only did I not know their resources, I didn’t even know their staff. Priscilla and I talked about it and she won the debate, so off I went to HIKS every week. After a training period, I realized most things were similar to procedures I was already using in PSYC and CFS. The staff, which I had built up in my mind as some scary group of strangers, were all quite nice. As a matter of fact, as I got to know them, they were fun to work with and I began to enjoy my time at the HKS circulation desk. I’m thankful for the opportunity to make many friends with the HIKS staff and I treasure them today.

I should have known not to get too comfortable though because Priscilla proposed another learning opportunity for me: learn and work at the HIKS reference desk.  I cannot explain the utter panic that I felt at the thought of trying to help students from engineering, management and chemistry find resources for their classroom assignments. All I knew was PsycINFO, Web of Science, Social Sciences abstract and a few HTM resources. I had poked around in a few other databases but I didn’t know them and I felt unprepared to answer any question in any field other than psychology. But once again Priscilla and I debated the issue and I lost so off to HIKS reference desk I went. I’m sure that I must have been sitting in a pool of sweat and tears praying that no patron would come to the desk as John Fritch walked up and introduced himself to me. He was so kind to pretend he did not notice I was shaking uncontrollably. We talked and he showed me around the reference desk and their resources. When the first patron came to the desk he took care of them with me watching, taking both mental and physical notes. The next patron was mine, but John was right there and helped me ease into the transition. I appreciated his kindness and support, yet it did not take me long to realize that since I had a good grasp of how to do a search in PsycINFO and other social sciences databases, that this knowledge could be easily transferred to help anyone with other databases.

These changes and growth opportunities, as Priscilla liked to call them, gave me a foundation that has carried me through my reference in PSYC, HIKS, Veterinary Medical Library and Digref. The confidence I gained through these challenges and experiences and the wonderful people I have met at other Libraries have made these transitions a valuable experience.

After seven years of working at PSYCH library it was closed. The year prior to that was filled with anxiety as I wondered where I would work. My emotions ranged from grief to anger and panic, but I knew that no matter what job I was given I would learn it and do it to the best of my ability. Not long before PSYC closed I accepted a position offered to me by Gretchen Stephens and Betty Brown at the Veterinarian Medical (VETM) Library. The transition went smoothly as the job I was doing in VETM was similar to my job in PSYC. As I was getting to know people and settling into a routine Betty Brown retired. Although Betty was a delight every day to work with and I miss her, the library has been blessed to add Jane Yatcilla to its staff. I had not had the opportunity to get to know her and as with all staff changes there is always some anxiety, but since her arrival at VETM I have enjoyed her wonderfully positive attitude and found her to be a fun and genuine addition to our Library.

This past year Monica Kirkwood became our Library Operations Coordinator. Any time I get a new supervisor I have anxiety because I know that there are bound to be changes in procedures and expectations. Yet, I’ve found this change to be like a fresh breeze. I’ve had the opportunity to look at things in a new way, and processes have been streamlined freeing up some of my time. Old problem areas are being cleaned up. It is remarkable the positive change that has taken place since her arrival and I look forward to the future changes in the library knowing they will only serve to make VETM a better, more efficient library.

Along with the changes in staff, I was also asked to expand my work responsibilities. There are projects that I have been asked to work on in addition to my usual duties. The past four years I’ve had the opportunity to create an index for a VETM School Periodical, work on the barcoding project in Hicks Repository and am currently working on the theses cataloging project. All of these projects have provided valuable contributions to the Libraries and the patrons we serve, yet they have also provided me personally with a greater knowledge of cataloging procedures, Voyager and other professional development. Although new projects are not always easy to fit into my regular work week it gives me personal satisfaction to know that my daily efforts contribute to the success of the students working to receive an education.

So what have I learned? Change is inevitable, sometimes it just happens and I have no control over it. What I do have control over is how I let it affect me. I’ve decided I can let it be a constant source of irritation or I can embrace it and allow the change to help me grow. So, although for me transitions are rarely comfortable, most of the time I have found them to be beneficial and worth my effort.

Editor's Note: Over the next several months you will be reading about Libraries staff members who have made successful transitions into new jobs or those who have added new roles and responsibilities to their current job duties. If you'd like to share your experience, please contact Teresa Brown at tmabrown@purdue.edu.


What's happening in B848?


PILLAR: Reconfigured, Relevant, Strategic Space

HIKS B848 room changesConfess. Some of you may still call it the Bookstall. It’s that room in the lower level of Hicks (HIKS) with the low slung, burnt orange chairs from the eighties where we have the Libraries all-staff meetings. If you’ve been down there recently, you may have noticed the journals are all on carts and the shelves are empty. An exciting transformation is taking place in this space. Beginning this fall semester, it is to become classrooms for AGEC 203, PSY 120, CE 355 and MA 154, and these classes won’t be taught in the conventional, anonymous lecture style of entry level courses. They are part of IMPACT (Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation), a program that has as its goal over the next three years to incorporate in up to sixty courses an enhanced student-centered approach to learning with the aim of increased student success and retention. Tomalee Doan, head HSSEB Division, has served on the IMPACT steering committee, and it is through her knowledge of learning spaces that B848 has been selected as a classroom for IMPACT courses.

As part of the active learning and innovative teaching and technologies that will be integral to the IMPACT courses, new furniture, including thirteen round tables that seat nine and three high tech projectors with accompanying mobile Smart Boards will be brought into B848. The periodicals currently in B848, most of which are now accessible online, are being transferred into Hicks Repository (HKRP). HIKS will retain subscriptions to the more popular titles, and they will be displayed in a new location near the main entrance where they will be easily visible to the increased traffic that the IMPACT classes will bring. These students will also find many of the reserves items they need right at HIKS along with work stations, collaborative and individual study spaces, and hopefully not most importantly, the UnderGrounds café. Also, in the planning stages for evenings in B848 is supplemental instruction offered through SATS (Student Access, Transition and Success Programs). When the classroom is not in use it will be available for general use. And, yes, we’ll still be having the all staff meetings — be on the lookout for a new location.



  • What does a Data Services Specialist do?
  • CIC and shared storage: it's finally happening! The CIC Shared Print Repository
  • 2011 CIC Conference "What's in Store: Collaborative Strategies for Managing CIC Collections"
  • Successful staff transitions — Tonya Wichterman
  • What's happening in B848?
  • Off the Shelf
  • Announcements
  • Libraries in the News
  • Copyright in the News
  • Graduating Seniors Honored
  • Libraries Staff A-Z
  • What's Cooking?



Continuing Vacancies

  • Business Information Specialist (Faculty)
  • Library Digital User Experience Specialist (Faculty)
  • Libraries Assistant IV, LIFE/ENGR (University Posting #1100892) (Clerical)

To view all Purdue job postings visit the Purdue employment page. If you have additional questions, contact Julie Hillgrove or 49-42903.



Tour the Zoo with LCSSAC
Wednesday, July 27
6 p.m.
Columbian Park Zoo
Main Entrance
Dinner at Arni's or Frozen Custard

Soaring to New Heights: Purdue Women in Aviation
Archives and Special Collections Exhibit
June 11-August 31
HSSE 4th floor

Libraries Distinguished Lecture Series
Featuring Ruth Reich
"Eating Our Words"
October 18
7 p.m.
Fowler Hall



Purdue Today, July 14
Two staff development programs recognize new graduates; Bryan Shaffer graduate of Council for Manager

Lafayette Journal & Courier, July 17
Campus Notebook: Open Access Award, pg. C6

Purdue Alumnus, July-August 2011
Letters - Great Women of Purdue, Angie Klink, Purdue Press author, pg. 4
Purdue Ink, Press Books: Just Call Me Orville and Hugo von Hofmannsthal and the Austrian Idea, pg. 67

UNS Press Release, July 26
'Just Call Me Orville' book celebrates 'King of Popcorn's' Purdue roots; published by Purdue University Press



The Google and publishers settlement discussions have been extended once again. Both parties returned to court for the July deadline but were not ready to present to the Court another amended agreement. They asked for more time to continue the negotiations. Judge Chin granted them an extension until September 15. The Judge indicated that if Google cannot figure out a way to legally proceed with the book project by the September 15 deadline, then he will issue a final ruling. Do stay tuned.

If you have questions or comments contact Donna Ferullo at ferullo@purdue.edu



These 2011 graduating seniors were recognized by Dean Mullins for their dedicated service to the Purdue Libraries.

Erika Callahan (Veterinary Medical Library)
Kathryn Flush (Digital Initiatives)
Rachel D. Kim (Interlibrary Loan)

A book, in recognition of their service to the Libraries, will be plated from the library in which they worked. Graduating students from other departments will have a book plated from HSSE’s collection.

Each graduating student received a duplicate bookplate of the one to be placed in a book in their honor and a Purdue Libraries mug.



Life Sciences Library
Circulation/Reserve Assistant and Evening/Weekend Student Staff Supervisor

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
A. I especially enjoy working with the students, instructors and other patrons.

Q. How long have you worked in the Libraries and at Purdue?
A. 15 years.

Q. What is one unforgettable experience that has happened to you or your coworkers while working in the library?
A. When I began working here in 1997, we had only one very slow computer that at least five staff members shared. This was to be our primary means for communication; however it was more time efficient to walk a few steps to verbally give a message to a co-worker than to wait for computer usage. Within a couple of years, we each received our own personal computer which was very exciting.

Q. What’s your favorite book, Web site, movie or database?
A. Raising four children (two boys and two girls) as a single parent, there hasn’t been much time for reading or movies. Following their school activities, sporting events, etc. and working long hours to get them through school and college was about all I’ve had time for. Since my youngest son is now a student at Purdue, movies and reading may be something to dream about for the future. I remember watching and enjoying “Gone with the Wind” and “Ghost.” I like to keep current on business news, markets and world events.

Q. Coffee, tea, water or soft drink?
A. Coffee or tea

Q. What do you like to do for fun?
A. Having eight grandchildren adds a lot of fun to my life.

Q. Feel free to include any information about yourself that you would like to share with the staff?
A. When I first came to Purdue many, many years ago, I gave baton lessons in central Indiana and Illinois for college income. Eventually I had 80-100 students including a drum and bugle corps that traveled and performed in parades and events throughout the state. Several times while working at the library, I’ve had current Purdue students stop by, see my name tag and ask me if I taught their mother baton lessons. My daughters taught classes while in college and now I enjoy watching my granddaughters twirl the baton.



Sweet Corn and Vegetable Chowder
Visit the Libraries Intranet site for this recipe.

Send recipes to Teresa Brown.






Copy for the August 10 issue is due by August 8. Send to Teresa Brown.