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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The UCLA Library is a campus-wide network of libraries serving programs of study and research in many fields. In addition to its extensive and varied print collections, the Library provides access to a growing collection of electronic resources and collaborates with UCLA faculty and staff on a variety of digital projects.

Cover page of User Engagement - A Matrix Reorganization

User Engagement - A Matrix Reorganization


The User Engagement division was established during a recent reorganization aimed at bringing together public-facing library services under one associate university librarian (AUL). This affected thirty-five academic and career staff across several libraries, including the Arts Library, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, Eugene and Maxine Rosenfeld Management Library, Music Library, Powell Library, Science and Engineering Library, and the Charles E. Young Library Humanities and Social Sciences Division; each of these libraries had differing existing administrative structures and norms. The establishment of User Engagement required those staff to combine and divide units as well as workflow processes in order to successfully integrate and scale public services for patrons. A year later, John Kotter’s eight-step model of change provides an excellent framework to analyze the successes and ongoing challenges of the reorganization.

Tipping points: cancelling journals when arXiv access is good enough


Slides presented at Engineering Libraries Division Lightning Talk session of the 2019 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference in Tampa, FL.

Abstract: UCLA recently cancelled two subscriptions to long-standing and expensive physics journals due to declining usage of the publisher versions of record and open access availability of the same articles through arXiv. The script, which uses the Crossref Rest and Unpaywall Rest APIs to analyze the number of legal open access versions of articles for a given journal's ISSN and year, was employed to help inform the cancellation decisions.

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Data Lake: Promoting a Mega-Tool for the Assessment Lifecycle


A recently created Library Strategic Plan at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) identified the need to integrate a culture of assessment throughout the organization in order to encourage more data informed decision-making processes. Our Assessment for Change Team (ACT) was formed and charged with spearheading this cultural evolution. This case study will discuss the development of a home-grown tool that assists with assessment brainstorming, and acts as a central repository for assessment products – the Data Lake.

The UCLA Library consistently ranks among the top academic libraries in the United States serving 45,000 students in125 majors. It employs approximately 100 librarians and 350 full-time staff working in more than a dozen library locations all over campus. Library units report to the University Librarian through her four Associate University Librarians and management staff.

Data Lake is an enterprise wide collaboration platform used for managing change and an assessment culture within the Library. First, a guided questionnaire assists with brainstorming and planning of assessment ideas while invoking dynamic reports and notification of resource managers at critical points within the assessment lifecycle. Next, the platform enables abstracting, indexing and storage of raw data and assessment tools while supporting dynamic visualizations, reports and dashboards. Finally, connections with service tickets and project plans are promoted as assessment plans morph into reports and data informed decisions to launch or change projects.

We see our greatest challenge as managing and maintaining one solution as an organization's assessment systems and data holdings expand. As much data is sensitive and subject to privacy issues and access restrictions, it is necessary to ensure a data management policy is in place and being followed. Management and governance of data assets requires oversight and maintenance of permissions and data retention policies as well as addressing the technical debt of maintaining connections and policies with external systems such as BOX for use as a true large data repository.

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Promoting a Culture of Assessment throughout the UCLA Library Organization


A recently created Library Strategic Plan at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) developed by all staff, identified the need to integrate a culture of assessment throughout all levels organization to encourage data informed decision- making. The Assessment for Change Team (ACT) was formed to spearhead this cultural evolution. This case study discusses how we create an assessment culture in a large, complex institution. The UCLA Library ranks among the top academic libraries in the United States serving 45,000 students in 125 majors. It employs over 100 librarians and approximately 350 full-time staff working in more than a dozen library across campus. Library units report to the University Librarian through four Associate University Librarians and management staff. ACT reaches out to the campus community units close to the university administration whose primary jobs employed assessment. We make campus ties to create an environment that influences and is influenced by the university's efforts. In conjunction with creating these ties, we offer workshops to all stakeholders that introduce assessment as a form of change management in a judgment free environment. We use online templates that guide assessment-motivated and administratively supported teams to work toward goals that are future-oriented. The workshops create a common vocabulary that guide people in a shared understanding and common course of action using methodologically sound research. Concurrent with the use of complex, dynamically-generated templates, ACT conducts individual sessions that influence changes in its template designs. The templates evolve iteratively, which improves their quality and stakeholder buy-in. Finally, we accelerate the buy-in of assessment for change by illustrating the impact of using these tools in decision-making that results in improved effectiveness, efficiencies, and better resourcing. We continue working with administration to ensure their support, mutual understanding of group goals, and affirmed understanding of the process of goal-setting and data-informed decision making. While ACT members assist staff with planning as consultants, we do not participate in projects unless we are members of the teams or groups who have formulated an assessment. The tool we use, called Data Lake, is an internally built dynamic set of templates using Confluence that includes a guided questionnaire for planning assessment, a repository of tools, indexed connections to raw data sets, and reports on assessment projects. We see our greatest challenge as developing a sustainable environment that enables the continuation of our efforts over time and that impacts our organizational culture. ACT members are librarians and library staff with numerous other responsibilities in their respective units who can rotate in and out annually. All leaders need to keep the topic of assessment in the forefront of interest and attention among staff, many of whom feel have competing obligations and are resistant to the time commitments necessary for proper assessment.

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Relieving Libraries’ Culture-Data Tension with a Data Lake


Discusses how to create a data-informed, decision-making culture in a large, complex academic library by sharing strategies to obtain administrative support, promote data-savvy and staff buy-in, and translate assessment into action using centralized insights from an enterprise wiki, which supplies performance metrics, tools, reports, dashboards, and user stories.

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Taking the Carpentry Model to Librarians


Library Carpentry is a growing community of instructors and lesson developers whose mission is to teach librarians the tools, techniques and best practices around working with data and using software to automate repetitive tasks. Using the pedagogical practices of live coding, pair programming, discussion and exercises, Library Carpentry creates a safe and collaborative space for important concepts in computing and data, including data manipulation and organization, using the computer to repeat things and the importance of text pattern matching. We teach these concepts using the Unix shell to repeat commands over text and data, regular expressions to match and operate on text strings, and OpenRefine to clean and standardize datasets. Not only do these skills help librarians create reproducible workflows and repeated operations for data-centric tasks, they give librarians a common language with researchers that can lead to a better mutual understanding of data issues and it paves the way to greater collaboration between the library and research departments. In the last two years, Library Carpentry has held two sprints to improve the lesson materials that included over 100 people at 13 sites worldwide. The California Digital Library (CDL) has been awarded a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services that funds a two year, full-time North American Coordinator for Library Carpentry and discussions are starting about integrating with Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry. Currently, Library Carpentry instructors are trained and certified through Software Carpentry, and lessons for all of the Carpentries are created and maintained in Github, using the same templates. In the next year, Library Carpentry will map out an infrastructure of the growing community, formalize lesson development processes, expand its pool of instructors, and create more instructor trainers to meet the demand for Library Carpentry workshops around the globe.

  • 1 supplemental PDF