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Notes from 8/27 meeting

August 27, 2013 in

I’ll be writing up the official minutes based on these notes. Please feel free to make additions and/or corrections here. —Alevtina

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Baruch Library, Room 320A

Attendees: Kimmy Szeto (BB), Stephen Francoeur (BB), Slava Gurgov (BC), Helena Marvin (CC), Yoko Inagi (CC), Stephen Klein (GC), Stephen Zweibel (HC; co-chair), Robin Davis (JJ; co-chair), [Jean Boggs?] (KB), Ann Matsuuchi (LG), Benjamin Franz (ME), Alevtina Verbovetskaya (OLS; co-chair), Christine Kim (QB), Jean Amaral (QB), Nancy Foasberg (QC)

  1. Introductions
    1. The co-chairs introduced themselves and welcomed everyone to the reinvigorated committee.
    2. Attendees were asked to introduce themselves and briefly discuss a project they’re working on this semester.
    3. Stephen Z. went over the goals of this committee, stating that the new focus of the group will be on teaching and learning. He reiterated how it’s important that everyone participate as this is an opportunity to teach each other as well as learn from one another (in formal settings, such as workshops, and in less formal ones, such as brown bag lunches). Robin followed up by saying that the committee would also like to work toward a big end-of-year event, a la “Computers and Crowds” of May 2013.
  2. Old business
    1. Recap of content farm event from May 2013.
      1. Review of the event is available at
    2. Recap of Stephen Z.’s web API workshop from May 2013.
      1. Notes from the workshop are available at
  3. New business
    1. The co-chairs are really excited to offer a series of workshops this year and are seeking input from all committee members. The group started a shared Google spreadsheet that includes topics discussed at this meeting as well as solicits input from interested parties. The group also expressed an interest in rotating venues but recognized the difficulty of hosting hands-on workshops in library computer labs (because of lack of administrative rights and ability to install required software). The Google spreadsheet will have a separate tab for locations/venues that will identify potential sites of interest and include relevant information (such as seating capacity, availability of computers, etc.).
    2. CUNY Central web group is going to work on the CUNY app again. They’re seeking suggestions for content. They are not able to provide services such as Blackboard or CUNYfirst but the current app does provide a CUNY Catalog search so they’re eager to get more input from the libraries. Alevtina is soliciting ideas on this group’s behalf.
      1. Helena suggested some kind of mapping functionality, whether it is as broad as “take this subway to get to this college” or as specific as helping users orientate themselves on campus (e.g., buildings, rooms, etc.). This would require assistance/cooperation from the individual colleges.
      2. Stephen F. suggested a way to organize all of the library hours into one place but recognized the difficulty of this task. The committee discussed ways of overcoming this hurdle, such as maintaining a master Google Calendar of everyone’s hours. Alevtina mentioned that library hours are maintained in Aleph but that this is not an ideal solution as the hours information in Aleph is very limited (and not easily extracted from the ILS).
      3. Stephen F. also suggested a way to find out which library has access to a specific database. (For example, faculty member at QB will find out that Factiva is available at BB so she will travel to Baruch to get access to it.) This can be modeled on the annual ERAC survey, which gathers information about each campus’s databases & journal packages. Alevtina expressed concern that this sounds like a project for OLS and not the CUNY web group so it will not be brought up in discussions of the CUNY app.
    3. Jean A. requested a way to have a master list of CUNY librarians and their technological expertise so that we all know whom to ask for help when we run into trouble. Stephen F. suggested that it be searchable. Slava brought up LinkedIn and suggested that, in a pinch, we can search by institution (i.e., CUNY) to identify staff/faculty with specific skills.
  4. Administration
    1. Given the number of topics everyone is interested in teaching and/or learning about, the co-chairs are optimistic that workshops can be held on a monthly basis.
    2. Based on input from the committee, it was decided that the committee should only meet a maximum of two times per semester (in order to schedule events, discuss previous workshops and get feedback, etc.). All other work can be done online (via the group site on the CUNY Academic Commons, for example).
  5. Closing
    1. The co-chairs thanked everyone for coming and expressed excitement for the committee’s future.