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Posted on Jun 13, 2017

OneSearch: The New CSU Library Discovery System

OneSearch: The New CSU Library Discovery System

Long Beach, CA – Coming this summer, all 23 of the California State University (CSU) library collections will be integrated into new Library Discovery System called OneSearch.

As a joint effort led by the CSU Council of Library Deans, the primary goal of this upgrade is to enrich the research experience of students while assisting faculty and staff in their scholarly and professional pursuits.

OneSearch features an intuitive, mobile-friendly interface that makes it easy to find, cite, save, and share books, ebooks, ejournals, articles, and streaming video from the CSU Libraries.


OneSearch includes CSU+, a new book sharing system for the entire CSU. Through CSU+, students and faculty will have direct access to over 29 million books held by the CSU Libraries; they will be able to request a book from any other campus to be delivered to their home campus within 2-3 days.

“Many of the libraries are currently using catalogs that are over 20-years old,” said John Wenzler, chair of the Council of Library Deans. “By migrating from these outdated systems, we can improve access for students, faculty, and staff, in a more user-friendly interface.”

Gale Etschmaier, library dean at San Diego State University, said, “This is truly a revolutionary initiative that will transform academic libraries across the CSU. OneSearch is a powerful tool that will advance research, discovery, and academic achievement.”

Gerry Hanley, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Technology Services for the CSU said, “Our big and important goal is to support equity across all campuses so all CSU students, faculty and staff have equally successful, innovative, and powerful library services for learning, teaching, and scholarly activities.”

CSU libraries can expect to see this upgrade in June of 2017. For more information, please see Unified Library Management System.

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Posted on Nov 16, 2016

CSU Council of Library Deans Passes Resolution in Support of Open Access for CSU Faculty Publications

Open access refers to free, online public access to scholarly and scientific works in open access journals (gold open access) and university repositories (green open access). All CSU campuses have open access institutional repositories. Open access resolutions and policies for faculty are currently in place at more than 200 American universities, including a mandatory (opt-out) policy for the entire UC system, as well as resolutions at a small number of CSU campuses.

On October 27, 2016, the CSU Council of Library Deans (COLD) unanimously voted for a resolution in support of Open Access for CSU Faculty Publications. The CSU libraries are committed to increasing equitable access to scholarly research by supporting faculty efforts to publish in Open Access Journals and Repositories.

Full text of the resolution (PDF).

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Posted on Aug 17, 2016

Library makerspaces enhance student learning

Library makerspaces enhance student learning

Makerspaces have become increasingly popular additions to libraries, allowing visitors to learn and apply hands-on creative skills in tandem with traditional scholarship. Several CSU campus libraries have developed maker spaces, adopting maker culture, which values creation as an alternative to consumption. Both makerspaces and libraries provide informal learning opportunities, so it’s not surprising that libraries are serving as facilitators and incubators for the accessible, collaborative culture that makerspaces strive to create, according to Isis Leininger, Coordinator at Oviatt Library’s Creative Media Studio, CSUN.

“Beyond just providing access to innovative technologies, makerspaces are a place to discover those technologies, use them, and in turn cultivate student engagement,” added Jenny Wong-Welch, Director at Love Library’s build IT, SDSU.

Establishing a makerspace

Both the Creative Media Studio at Oviatt Library and build IT at Love Library were among the first mini makerspaces to appear on CSU campuses. “In the beginning we had a more basic makerspace focusing on providing more general, multimedia software and better cameras in response to increased multimedia projects in classes,” Leininger said. “But now we’re going beyond equipment.”

According to Wong-Welch, the makerspace that she helped to found grew out of a personal interest in technology. “Right about the time I started doing 3D printing, I did some workshops, so that became the stepping stone for incorporating my own interest in electronics into helping students actually make things,” Wong-Welch said.

Benefits of a makerspace

From virtual reality equipment to advanced digital editing software, students have access to explore and utilize a variety of tools and platforms. Even in their infancy, the two makerspaces at Love and Oviatt libraries have given students opportunities to grow beyond what they learn in the classroom.

“Students here are really gaining the opportunity to build interdisciplinary skills and go beyond their major. Meeting people from other majors and being in a collaborative environment like this is preparation for their future careers,” Leininger said.

“I think that this learning community helps to build universal digital skills in a newer manner than you would in a class. But you are also building workplace skills and you get a chance to learn about the design process which lets you conceptualize, design, engineer, evaluate, and reiterate,” Wong-Welch added.

Campus receptiveness

Building a community is at the core of the makerspace ethos, and Leininger believes the makerspace she coordinates has been successful at not only attracting students but cultivating a community.

“Students here are engaged and love being here. The recording studio is pretty much occupied all the time. People from all different majors have come together to make this a very popular space,” Leininger said.

Student involvement

Students excited to learn and share new skills become so highly involved with these spaces that makerspaces are able to organically foster student communities and connections, Leininger explained. Oftentimes, students have the opportunity to play larger roles within their makerspace community as student assistants.

“The biggest way to keep a makerspace going is to involve students and give them ownership of their learning community, so that they can call it their own and feel more invested,” Wong-Welch added. “By maximizing student engagement we are also providing internships and work experience that could lead to real jobs.”

CMS student assistants

CMS student assistants, Alyse Kollerbohm, Rose Rieux, and Eva Cohen, training each other on 3D modeling and printing.


Future plans and opportunities

As library makerspace communities grow, staff are actively planning to provide students with greater access to more maker tools and nurture even more creativity across their campuses.

“I think makerspaces will become even more popular and become part of every library. We’re looking forward to expanding and we’re always trying to improve,” said Leininger. “Hopefully if we get enough funding we can start a maker club and get a green screening room next.”

“What I love about the makerspace is that students might have an idea and they know that there is a community where they can actually produce what they envisioned,” Wong-Welch said. “And I believe the library, as a huge social hub of different students, is a great place to foster and help actualize those ideas.”

Maker culture across the CSU

Many other CSU libraries are enhancing their campuses’ learning potential by fostering maker culture. Here are some of the exciting initiatives being implemented.

    • Cal State San Bernardino, launched fall, 2015
    • San Jose State University, launched fall 2015 – fall 2016
      • Creative Media Lab: Students use this lab for high-end video and audio editing, animation and game development
      • 3D Printing: Piloting 3D printing in the library with a TAZ Lulzbot 5, and adding a Lulz Mini and Glow Forge 3D laser printer
      • Maker Technology Checkout: Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, makey makeys, 3D printing pens and Google Cardboards are available for checkout
      • Pop-Up MakerSpace: Converting laptop storage cart into a convertible maker space. It will include the kits listed above, soldering kits, servo kits and a mini 3d printer.
    • San Francisco State University, launched November 2015
    • Cal Maritime, launched September 2014
      • Maker Days: Monthly events, ranging from Arduino and 3D printing to quilling and pumpkin carving.
    • Sonoma State, launched January 2016
      • Innovation Lab: Partnering with SCI220, a science class, the Library piloted an Innovation Lab in January 2016 in a Library classroom. The lab featured 3-D printers, Arduino kits, and other gear. The pilot was deemed successful, and SCI220 will be repeated in the fall of 2016. Additions to the lab for fall 2016 may include a 3D Scanner and Raspberry Pi computing.

At time of publication, still more programs are taking shape across the state. At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Robert E. Kennedy Library is collaborating with the campus’ Innovation Sandbox to expand and move their location to the library. Cal Poly Pomona University Library has allocated a section of their building for a maker space with plans to hire staff. At Chico State, the Meriam Library plans to establish a maker space in the future, and the Sacramento State University Library is in the process of raising funds.

CSU libraries are operationalizing maker culture in a variety of styles, formats, and programs, but their goals remain consistent: provide access to information and technology, teach new skills, and create a safe, welcoming learning environment. These core values have always been at the heart of the libraries’ mission, and the future holds exciting possibilities for maker culture to continue enriching library learning.

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Posted on Jul 1, 2016

New funding for open educational resources improves access to course materials

New funding for open educational resources improves access to course materials

In October Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 798, the College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015, which establishes a $3 million grant fund to be awarded to CSU and community college campuses that demonstrate their commitment to increasing adoption of high-quality, no-cost and low-cost course materials.

Since then at least 17 CSU libraries have collaborated with staff across their campuses to apply for grant funding, which would allow them to more widely adopt affordable learning solutions (ALS) and open educational resources (OER). Each campus may apply for up to $50,000 to fund faculty professional development and technology support.

Faculty adoption of affordable learning solutions

AB 798 aims to reduce costs of course materials for students by providing OER adaptation and adoption support for faculty. For many faculty, time is “one of the most challenging things” about shifting toward OER, according to King Library Sr. Assistant Librarian Ann Agee.

Brian Beatty, Associate Professor of Instructional Technologies and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Operations at San Francisco State adds that “Designing classes and incorporating new instructional materials often requires a lot of major work, additional work that faculty may not have planned for.”

In response to these concerns, both Agee and Beatty hope that grants from AB 798 will make it easier for faculty to make the switch over to more accessible course materials.

“We’re developing a 2-3 hour faculty workshop to help link faculty to OER resources,” Beatty said.

On an institutional level, Agee believes that a tenure process that acknowledges faculty contributions to using or creating affordable course materials could also facilitate faculty willingness to adopt. “The tenure process doesn’t recognize or reward creating open resources,” Agee said. “If the incentive were there, then I think more faculty would make the shift to OER.”

New grants’ potential benefits to more programs

At San Jose State, Agee has noticed that health science, library science, and computer science departments have been the biggest adopters of ALS. For the time being, San Jose is focused on adopting resources for “high-enrollment GE courses,” but other disciplines such as meteorology are also interested in adopting more accessible resources.

At San Francisco State, Beatty has seen interest from the economics, statistics, and English departments. San Francisco State has given all faculty members the opportunity to switch over to ALS, even for courses with small enrollments, according to Beatty. Their grassroots approach capitalizes on faculty enthusiasm for promoting the benefits of ALS. “These early adopters are like case studies for other faculty,” Beatty said. “We rely on these faculty to help tell their story to their colleagues.”

Cultural impacts of AB 798

Beyond the faculty professional development opportunities AB 798 offers, many ALS specialists hope that this legislation will bring about a shift in institutional culture. “We want faculty to think of the cost of instruction from the very beginning so that we can change the culture and attitude toward OER,” Beatty said.

Agee echoed Beatty by adding, “We want to make OER adoption more mainstream and not just a library thing.”

According to Nicole Bohn, Director, Disability Programs and Resource Center at San Francisco State, AB 798 is “helping faculty think in new ways…Anecdotally we’re finding people learning more about accessibility.”

Supporting and expanding future ALS efforts

Looking forward, Beatty hopes this legislation will have far-reaching impacts on student experiences beyond the class sections funded by the first round of grants. “We want to reach as many courses as we can,” Beatty said.

Bohn believes the CSU’s commitment to accessibility will continue to be at the forefront of designing educational content. “My biggest hope is that we continue to be ambassadors in designing accessible courses for everyone,” Bohn said.

For more information about AB 798, participating faculty and courses, and helpful e-textbook reviews, visit

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Posted on May 27, 2016

Vanguard Libraries create CSU-wide Alma sandbox

Vanguard Libraries create CSU-wide Alma sandbox

For the past few months, staff at San Jose State’s King Library, CSU Northridge’s Oviatt Library and Fresno State’s Madden Library have been working collaboratively as “vanguard” campuses to create and share test instances of Ex Libris Alma. The CSU Chancellor’s Office is leading all 23 California State University libraries in implementing Alma as a shared Unified Library Management System (ULMS) platform. Testing the platform on a smaller batch of data is an important stepping-stone towards achieving that goal.

“This is really the first chance to migrate data onto this new platform,” said Madden Library systems analyst María Peña. “By vanguard campuses going first, it gives our sister institutions a peek at what their data will look like in Alma. This will help the CSU libraries streamline the migration process as we make the transition to a unified management system.”

Advantages of a vanguard approach

The three vanguard campuses had the unique opportunity to test the process of migrating to the Alma platform before all 23 campuses migrate permanently in spring 2017. The vanguard libraries are serving as a model for other campuses, troubleshooting problems, and strengthening the CSU’s working relationship with Ex Libris.

“The reason why the vanguard approach is so helpful is that sister institutions get to watch us make mistakes that they can avoid, making them feel more comfortable about the entire migration process,” said Madden Library IT staff member Renaldo Gjoshe.

“The great thing is you get a sense of what to expect from the migration experience,” Peña added. “You know you’re going to have a chance to do it again, evaluate the data and clean things up.”

Because issues within the platform will be ironed out beforehand, the vanguard approach has also made it possible for all 23 CSU libraries to migrate onto this new system at the same time. Previous migrations this size have been rolled out in waves, a more costly and complicated process.

“Historically, we were not able to migrate all 23 campuses to a new model the way we can with Ex Libris,” said King Library associate dean Rae Ann Stahl. “This migration process really changes the way we approach implementation.”

Becoming familiar with Alma

Throughout the process, the vanguard campuses have had the chance to gain a better understanding of Alma and how to work with the software and the Ex Libris team.

“Ex Libris has been very responsive to all of our inquiries which helped us address the problems we encountered very quickly and effectively,” Gjoshe said. “To me, Ex Libris is constantly innovating and constantly building to make Alma better. I hope their level of responsiveness continues as other campuses begin to implement the platform.”

Team effort between campuses

According to the vanguard campuses, this project has strengthened cross-campus working relationships. With the promise of even more collaboration through a unified library management system, teamwork is an important component of the ULMS migration process.

“When we decided to go with Ex Libris, a lot of people came together both on our campus and system-wide to make this migration work out successfully,” Peña said. “That’s what really made it possible — the team effort.”

Setting the standard

The process of migrating 23 campuses’ data all at once will be a massive undertaking, but the vanguards’ hard work proactively solving problems before the full migration occurs should make the process smoother for all involved.

“Hopefully, this will benefit a lot of other campuses and future library systems will learn from our model,” Stahl said.

The CSU system may be blazing a trail for other university libraries with its unified migration model.

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Posted on Apr 26, 2016

Fresno State pioneers collaborative project to digitize aerial photos

Fresno State pioneers collaborative project to digitize aerial photos

Staff at Fresno State’s Madden Library recently partnered with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Kennedy Library for a pilot aerial imagery digitization project to strengthen maps and aerial imagery collections, discoverability, and access across CSU campuses.

“In general, maps and aerial photographs are not easily discoverable by potential users and can require extensive assistance from library personnel to identify and access,” said Fresno’s project members Carol Doyle and David Drexler, and Patrick Newell, who was recently named Dean of CSU Chico’s Meriam Library.

Developing MALT

To address the growing need for accessible aerial images, the group used a wide-format scanner and vacuum wall to photograph delicate images. Project members then digitized thousands of aerial images spanning decades of historic development in the Central Valley. After this initial processing, Fresno State developed the Map and Aerial Locator Tool, or MALT, a map interface able to identify aerial images by year for a given area.

“We had long dreamed of an online, end-user accessible, interactive, map-based locator tool that would facilitate searching for maps and aerial photographs corresponding to a specific user-defined location: one search finding specific location matches across different flights, individual maps or maps series, and collections,” the group added.

Accelerating the process

Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library staff and faculty contributed to MALT’s map-based index by devising novel, time-saving ways to geolocate images in MALT, and the team is currently exploring automated approaches to rapidly geolocate bulk sets of scanned imagery.

Cal Poly’s unique, indexed, and suitable aerial image sets from various years were another reason why the campus was a perfect partner for the project, according to Russ White, Kennedy Library Numeric and Spatial Data Specialist.

“Fresno has the hardware and the expertise to do the scanning, so our role revolved around providing the content and methodology for streamlining this project,” White said.

Expanding the project

By combining digitization capacity, new content, and best practices, Fresno and Cal Poly are motivated to expand this successful pilot to content held in Cal Poly’s Special Collections and Archives, regional local history partners, other CSU libraries, and other organizations with historical images.

“The more collections and collaborators added, the more useful the tools will be.  We have spoken to University of California libraries, public libraries, government agencies, and historical societies about the project and are interested in furthering those conversations,” Fresno State said.

MALT as a model

Ultimately, the team believes this proof-of-concept project can serve as a model for other libraries and agencies to identify, process, and provide access to historical maps and aerial imagery not currently available for web mapping and research.

“Map collections that digitize and share maps online have a large number of overlapping, common needs,” the Fresno State group explained.

Beyond the project

In addition to creating a platform and method for other organizations, this ongoing project aims to develop MALT metadata for eventual inclusion in broader catalogues and searches, such as Open Geoportal.

“I hope to see MALT as something that can eventually be integrated into a larger catalogue or group,” said Jeanine Scaramozzino, Data Services Librarian and a project leader at Cal Poly. “Joining forces and working cooperatively is not always easy to do but I think this is a good example of how CSU campuses can work together.”

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