Fiscal Year 2020-2021 began with UHV being in Phase 3 of the COVID-10 recovery plan. Under Phase 3, library hours were expanded to 9am-8pm M-TH, 12pm-4pm Fri, 1pm-5pm Sun. These hours were maintained through the end of FY21. Although many library staff returned to work full-time to cover public services desks, most worked at least 50 percent from home during this time. During FY 21, the jaX Makerspace and the Victoria Regional History Center were open by appointment only, The rest of the library was open to all but maintained social distance requirements and a check in and book of spaces.
*Note - library projects are rarely completed quickly. Intensive record keeping and mindfulness of detail makes every project span at least one fiscal year, sometimes more. Several projects below started in FY20.
Library Access Services
- Radio Frequency Identification Security System (RFID) -
The RFID tagging project for the library collections located in University Commons was completed in December 2020. In Spring 2021, we began the project of placing RFID tags on books located in the storage area at the Northwest Campus. The project is ongoing.
- SignUp! computer authentication -
Delayed by the COVID closures, the library's public computers were migrated to SignUp! session control software in February 2021. The allowed UHV students to log in with their university accounts while still allowing access by library card to VC and non-affiliated users. This tied into the implementation of the Pharos printing system in the library, which allowed UHV students to use their university printing credits in the library instead of having to pay for printing.
- Study Room and Space Booking -
Using the library's CMS app, LibCal, Lori Bryan and Tami Wisofsky zoned the library spaces for safe distancing and, through the app, provided a way for users coming to the library to "book a space" from home so that their study room or desired study location would be available to them when they came to the library.
Web Services/jaX Makerspace
- Glowforge Laser Cutter/Engraver -
The Glowforge laser cutter was added to our makerspace equipment in late March 2020. With limited use of the makerspace during the COVID lockdown, the Glowforge has been used only by a design class.
- Humidity Monitor for Northwest Center storage -
There is an ongoing issue with humidity and temperature at the library storage facility at the Northwest Center. To help us monitor the temp and humidity from a distance, Grant Shaw worked on a remote humidity monitor with an environmental sensor, a raspberry pi and reporting app, ThingSpeak. The sesnsor takes hourly readings and reports via email to us when the temp or humidity goes above set ranges.
- Website redesign -
The most meaningful change to the library's website this year was the presentation of the chat widget, which is powered by the library's CMS app LibChat. Previously the chat window was available only on the library's home page. The web services committee voted to redefine the chat window to a slideout from the right side of the screen if a user is on a page for more than 10 seconds. This change, instituted in June 2021, resulted in the number of chats increasing 141% over the previous year.
Responsive design -
Webmaster Grant Shaw worked with the web services committee to make the library's website more responsive to the screen sizes of smartphones, as we see the use of smartphones increasing in our search analytics.
VRHC website redesign -
Grant Shaw and Brittany Rodriguez, Special Collections Librarian, continued study and planning for the layout, navigation structure, and design.
Victoria Regional History Center (VRHC)
- Move of Archives and Manuscripts to Northwest Center -
The completion of storage space at the Northwest Center in mid-March 2021 allowed us to move the archives, manuscripts, and special collections housed at the Victoria College Library to a permanent home at the NWC.
- Victoria Advocate photograph digitization project -
While working from home, makerspace assistant Eden Gonzalez scanned photographs from the Victoria Advocate photo morgue. Over 3,000 photographs have been scanned and will be added during FY22 into our ContentDM application for public viewing and search.
Storage Facility at Northwest Center -
Since the move, VRHC staff have been taking advantage of the expanded space to reorganize materials - primarily the map collections and the Victoria Advocate archives - to make them easier to access.
- Faculty and Staff Library Information sessions -
At the end of FY20 and the beginning of FY21, we started hosting UHV Faculty and Staff Information Sessions. These sessions were focused on sharing library services and information to our faculty and staff, which we felt was extra important because our shift to the online world due to COVID. We hosted seven virtual sessions, led by the librarian(s) responsible for that area:
Library Instruction (8/20/20)
Course Reserves (8/26/20)
Borrowing and Interlibrary Loan (8/31/20)
Library Materials and Resources (9/8/20)
Jax Makerspace (9/15/20)
Victoria Regional History Center (9/25/20)
UH/UHV Virtual Library (9/28/20)
Grant Funding Workshop -
The library hosted a virtual grant funding workshop with Kristal Johnson as our guest speaker. The topic was grant funding for higher education, with a focus audience of UHV and VC affiliates.
Instruction Videos -
We are continuing to create and publish instructional videos on the UHV Library YouTube channel, with 16 videos added in FY21.
- Sharepoint Transition -
Tami Wisofsky, e-Resources Librarian, has move her department's v: drive files to the cloud-based Sharepoint siste. The project was part of the library's role as a test location for UHV Information Technology Department projects.
- Verification of title access and date coverage of subscribed journal titles listed in Full Text Finder (FTF) -
Staff are verifying the links found within FTF to make sure the links connect to the proper landing page with no errors and that coverage ranges advertised in FTF match the access available. The links and coverage ranges are also compared to those found in our online catalog.
- EZProxy Log parsing -
Tami Wisofsky, e-Resources Librarian, began an ongoing initiative to measure off-campus use of library electronic resources by institution. This allows us to compare UHV usage to VC usage overall and in some cases usage at the database level. Software products to help parse this data were investigated, as it can be over a million lines of data per month. She discovered, at this point it is simplest and most cost effective to use Excel. Monthly, she is compiling the usage logs from EZProxy into a single spreadsheet and manually assigns an institution group by username and then manipulates the data to find out several things.
- Unique users by institution
- Overall page views by institution
- Overall page views during library operating hours
Library Technical Services
- Texas Women's University Library Science Intern -
TWU requires a practicum of all library science master's degree students. UHV employee Anita Strange is attending TWU and asked UHV Library to host her practicum with an interest in technical services. Gail Crockett and JoAnna McCulley supervised her practicum.
Practicum Projects - Anita was able to assist and complete several bibliographic and item record editing projects. She was able to also assist in search for Government Documents in the main book collection.
A major benefit Anita brought to the Tech Services Department was a fresh eye to help evaluate and assess its workflow. The provided JoAnna and Gail much needed insight to what in the process no longer worked. Anita completed her 120 hours of her practicum on April 27, 2021.
- Alcorn Book Donation -
This extensive gift collection has been completely cataloged and added to our library collection.
- Victoria College Book Collection in Online Catalog -
The collections of the Victoria College Library were moved into a separate “Victoria College” location in the online catalog. The object of this project was to make it clear where library materials may be retrieved.
- Post-move cleanup -
Full shelf reading, matching catalog ownership records to the shelf was continued from FY20 to resolve issues with missing volumes and incorrect locations. We expect this project to be finished in the Fall 2021.
Government Documents Collection Review -
This is an ongoing project to review the electronic and physical collections of the UHV Library government documents collections. The purpose is to understand what is in the collections, update them, and enhance the contents, with the expectation that after the porject is complete to increase findability and usage.
Federal Depository Program -
Because of COVID-19, libraries across the nation were shut down. The Government Publications Office sent out email to all federal depository libraries (UHV is one) asking what they had done to maintain services to their patrons during shutdowns. Our library was featured during the 2020 Federal Depository Virtual Conference.