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Messages - sarahmorehouse

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January 10, 2020 Council Meeting @ FIT / Empire
« on: January 06, 2020, 04:56:01 PM »
Our big news is that we have been re-organized again. The Library is now supervised by Frank VanderValk, Interim Dean of SUNY Empire Online. We are now side by side with the Instructional Designers in that part of the Organizational Chart. In that function, Frank reports to Provost Meg Benke, so our grand-boss is the same.

We anticipate cuts to library resources, based on what the budget analysts from the President's Office have told us informally.

Because of the re-org, many projects we had anticipated starting, finishing, or moving along towards done-ness have had a bit of a pause this December, so we don't have much other news.

September 20, 2019 Council Meeting @ SUNY Geneseo / Re: Campus Updates
« on: September 17, 2019, 04:57:56 PM »
Empire State College has a new president, Jim Malatras. He's shifted some things around in college operations, but not in Academic Affairs so far. Dr. Malatras not only comes to us from leading the Rockefeller Institute of Government; he brought it with him.

Our Interim Provost is now our provost-Provost. This is great - she's been much more invested in the library than any of her predecessors.

Dr. Lisa D'Adamo-Weinstein, Dean of Student and Academic Services and the direct supervisor of the four librarians (a number unlikely to increment up in the coming year) has been allowed to focus more on the library, to good effect on the morale and operations.

Some SUNY Office of Library and Information Services personnel are now housed at Empire State College facilities, which has been fun and interesting, and promises to foster neat collaborations. I hope that by next SUNYLA Conference, I can talk about that in some detail.

Alma is live! That was pretty epic. We had a last minute hangup with a minor technical detail while the relevant IT staff were on vacation, but we launched a few days after planned and things went perfectly.

March 15, 2019 Council Meeting @ Onondaga / Empire
« on: March 15, 2019, 08:44:28 AM »
The library participated in OER week this year, offering a webinar on Monday in conjunction with Mike Daly from FMCC.

We have two separate OER projects funded by SUNY grants this year - another set of McKnight Fellows who are converting individual courses to be >51% OER, and the entire MALET grad program (Masters in Learning and Educational Technology)!

Heather Shalhoub is leading our Alma/Primo conversion adventure.

The college's Open Access/Repository working group is starting to gather momentum, and the library has secured a place at the table for the decisions that need to be made.

November 2, 2018 Council Meeting @ Delhi / Re: Campus Updates
« on: October 29, 2018, 01:23:39 PM »
Empire State College has a new interim Provost, Meg Benke. The library reports to Lisa D'Adamo-Weinstein, the Dean of the Department of Student Affairs, and Lisa reports to the provost. Signs are good that Meg is a very library-minded provost, since she has already been asking questions about Alma, the Open Access mandate, etc. She's also iniated contact with Carey Hatch on her own, which I consider hopeful.

Enrollments took a bit of a dive, and the college is going to experience budget cuts across the board. Since the library has been operating on a flat budget with adjustment for inflation, the best we can hope for is another year of that. However, Lisa, the Dean we report to, is still pushing for our empty fifth line to be filled. Still no clerical staff.

We have joined the honorable society of SUNY libraries informed by the Office of the State Comptroller that using deposit accounts is Very Naughty Indeed, and we may have to work with the college's procurement specialist for Ebook Central because we spend so much on it.

The library is proportionally heavily represented on the college's Middle States accreditation committee.

On a positive note, the librarians have noticed an uptick in Really Good Reference Questions from both students and faculty, showing that our instruction is reaching people and they're retaining it.

January 27, 2017 Council Meeting @ FIT / Empire
« on: January 25, 2017, 05:27:38 PM »
Nothing to report. Stay tuned. We're busy; we're just not ready to report anything.

November 18, 2016 Council meeting at Albany / Empire
« on: November 16, 2016, 10:08:20 AM »
As part of the new division of Academic and Instructional Services, Empire State College Library had been part of a search for an Assistant Dean, who would be in charge of both the library and the instructional designers. That search failed and will not be re-run until the position description and responsibilities have been retooled. In the mean time, the librarians report directly to Dr. Lisa D'Adamo Weinstein, the Dean of Academic and Instructional Services.

Heather Shalhoub and Sara Hull have been named as members of the Academic and Instructional Services Leader Team.

At the Academic and Instructional Services two-day retreat in October, the librarians invited Mark McBride to talk to us about SUNY OER Services, and we started the discussions and arrangements for how the library, instructional designers, academic support directors, accessibility services, and faculty training personnel can foster and support the adoption of OER.

Sarah Morehouse has been on the road a lot, presenting about the library at the college's Rochester location, and about Open Educational Resources at the college's Fall Academic Conference and Digital Day event. All of the librarians represented the college at the Fall Academic Conference, and Heather Shalhoub took part in the Student Academic Conference.

Dana Longley is piloting a Personal Librarian program with our Nursing Program, in which she will encourage both faculty and students to contact her directly for specialized help. She's created a student-facing page - - to guide students.

Sarah Morehouse is in the process of taking over the library budget, surveys and other paperwork. It is like Franz Kafka, with a little bit of Martha Stewart. Her desk frightens her now.

September 23, 2016 Council meeting at Geneseo / Empire State College
« on: September 21, 2016, 11:09:51 AM »
Heather Shalhoub, Sara Hull, and Sarah Morehouse have been promoted to SL3 (Instructional Support Technician) and received the internal title change from Information Resources Coordinator to Librarian.

Lisa D'Adamo Weinstein took over as Dean of Academic and Instructional Services, which encompasses the library, instructional designers, academic support, disability services, and faculty professional development for online teaching.

The search for an Associate Dean who will be in charge of the librarians and instructional designers together continues and we hope to hire SOON. Dana and Heather are both on the search committee. On site interviews are taking place early next week. The focus really seems to be on the instructional designers, who are suffering much more without a director than we are. This will be interesting.

We are in the first steps of looking into reducing our reference hours. We currently cover 64 hours a week with 4 people, and we have Ask Us 24/7. We will probably maintain that schedule September through November and February through April, and cut them other times of the year. (Our students don't have finals, and we run six overlapping terms, so we have December/May LULLS unlike the rest of the world.)

I'm the co-chair of an ad hoc OER committee. Our first goals are to spread awareness about OER, address fears, catch and magnify any enthusiasm, and develop an inventory of what is being done and a directory of who is doing it. We also really want the college to join SUNY OER Services but we need to get our act together and get the suits to say yes.

One of the things the new Dean (Lisa) is doing is encouraging us to look for and apply to grants and do PROJECTS. She is also vastly more travel-friendly than we're used to. And she encourages experimentation within reason. This is so new to us... our reports may start getting much more interesting.

Dana Longley, Assistant Director for Library Instruction and Information Literacy, has published a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, titled "Demand Driven Acquisition of E-books in a Small Online Academic Library: Growing Pains and Assessing Gains" (link to abstract:

Jan. 17, 2013 Council Meeting @SUNY New Paltz / 1st VP's report
« on: January 16, 2013, 01:53:56 PM »
We have a new delegate from Cortland - Sara Quimby, who has stepped in while Dan Harms is on sabbatical. Thank you, Sara, and welcome!

Call for nominations for officer positions will be soon. Be thinking about:
* Treasurer - Greg is willing to run again but he has to take a sabbatical this summer, so the position is open if you have a good candidate.
* Conference chair - we are hoping to have the 2014 conference in Albany, and it helps if you're a local. But it's not necessary.
* 1st VP - Mark McBride is running. Does anybody want to run against?
* President - I'll stand for nomination if there isn't anybody else. But honestly, my supervisor wants me back at home more.

Attended the NYSHEI summit with Rosanne - see her report for details.

Have been working with Tracy Paradis from Geneseo on the fundraiser. As a reminder/update, we are coming up with designs for swag (bags, mugs, buttons, shirts, etc.) to be purchased from Cafe Press. We will talk more about this at the meeting and welcome feedback and ideas!

I've been working with Logan Rath on the Innovative Library Services through Technology certificate program through SUNY CPD, and with Mark McBride on the OER101 course through Open SUNY.

Nov. 16, 2012 Council Meeting @SUNY IT, Utica / 1st VP's report
« on: November 08, 2012, 06:25:27 PM »
Logan got the form to include a spot for adding a donation to the Professional Development fund, and showed me how to pull a report of all the people with unpaid dues. I sent out emails to them. In the process I've discovered a handful of people who have retired and don't want to be contacted again, so Wendy is removing them from the database. Also some (more) confusion from people who paid in May and thought their membership would last until next May. And some out of date email addresses. Another issue that's come up - if you've moved from one campus to another, both your old and your new delegate can find out your member number for you.

Some emails bounced. I am going to be trying to get up to date contact info for those people.

No new delegates this quarter.

EDIT: I would like to have a conversation about setting up a fund raiser to restore a nice cushion to our bank account. I was thinking bake sales to coincide with and Spring Semester finals might work because it is pretty simple to set up and gives us plenty of lead time. What do you think?

Sept 21m 2012 @SUNY Empire, Saratoga Springs / 1st VP's report
« on: September 13, 2012, 06:42:02 PM »
Nothing to report in my capacity as 1st VP. Mostly I have been reading up on things that pertain to SUNYLA and SUNY libraries, but I intend to live up to my membership responsibilities this fall.

Regarding the SUNYLA 2012 conference, we have an issue of a bill from FIT housing that we were not anticipating. The summary is that I thought we'd paid for the whole thing; they billed us for more (because "more people had singles.") More about this from Rosanne and Greg, as my math disability disqualifies me from saying whether the numbers look right or not. I can however say that when we left FIT on the last day of the conference, I paid the small amount required for lockouts and cleanup. Then specifically asked if there would be another bill, and she said NO.

Vendor contributions so far: >$13,000. WOW. Go Carol Anne!
We may squeeze a little more from vendors who wanted to do a presentation but hadn't yet ponied up.

Event insurance:
FIT requires it. Does not share their own campus's policy with us like other SUNYs do.
NJ Wolfe (local arrangements, FIT Library director) is taking care of it. More news to come.

Dinners will be dine-arounds, both Wednesday and Thursday. Group coordinators will have to arrange to split the bill or collect cash from people. Registration should remind people to bring sufficient cash.
Friday lunch is fend for yourself.
Snacks are just beverages (hot and cold) plus sweet treats.
I am guessing that we will roll the cost of snacks and cocktail hour into registration, but let people sign up for breakfasts and lunches in the registration form.

There are MASSIVE kitchen and labor costs, and I am trying to negotiate them down, so I don't have numbers yet.

Wednesday Lunch - Traditional Sandwich Collection (cost to Attendee = $14.99)
Wednesday afternoon snack (cost per head is $6)
Wednesday dinner - off site (dinearound)
Wednesday evening social - off site
Thursday Breakfast - Hot Breakfast (cost to Attendee =$16.99)
Thursday morning snack (cost per head is $6)
Thursday Lunch (the big keynote and general meeting luncheon) - Executive Buffet  (cost to Attendee = $27.99)
Thursday afternoon snack (cost per head is $6)
Thursday afternoon cocktails - DOES NOT INCLUDE ALCOHOL - (cost per head is $22)
Thursday dinner - off site (dinearound)
Friday Breakfast - Hot Breakfast (cost to Attendee = $16.99)
Friday morning snack (cost per head is $22)

For cocktail hour, we can pay them to provide alcohol, or we can take alcohol donations. As far as I've learned, they don't charge a corking fee, so we could probably save by doing this.

Alumni Hall. Air conditioned and so forth.
Was going to be CoEd Hall, and that's what was on the contract, but then they revealed we might not have A/C there. So we complained until they switched us to the more expensive Alumni Hall without raising our rates.
No one may stay earlier than Tuesday night or later than Thursday night. I have to be personally in those dorms all the nights that any SUNYLA people are there, since I am the "group leader."
The sign-in desk needs to take care of giving people their keys, etc. Otherwise there would be an additional housing fee for having FIT Summer Housing handle it.
Price per night for single: $95.00
Price per night for double: $59.00
Additional fee (not per night): $15
Deposit (based on 100 individuals staying in the dorms) of $6770 was paid.
Another payment of $6770+ (plus whatever extra due to more people staying in the dorms, and some people staying Tuesday night) is due in May.

Housing - Waiver/Financial Responsibility for Damages:
Most SUNY campuses expect people staying in campus housing to sign a statement that they will pay for any damages they cause. FIT does it differently. WE have to sign a statement that WE will pay for any damages caused by our group. This means that we have to build some kind of statement of financial responsibility into our registration form, so that our members will compensate us if we have to pay on their behalf.

Housing - Linens:
The "We have an arrangement with Kmart for a linens package" thing fell through. We have two options at this point:
1. Everybody has to bring their own linens. Period.
2. We put up some money for me to order the items separately. I have found fleece sleeping bags, travel pillows, and towels online at decent prices with cheap shipping. I have permission from Sumintra to have them delivered to campus if I can make them arrive the week of the conference and put the packages together myself. (Ugh.)
We need to decide on this now, because it will be an option on registration.

For the first time in living memory, we got way too many submissions, most of them at the last moment. And they were GOOD submissions! Bonnie Swoger, Stephanie Herfel, Rosanne Humes, and I have been working on the sessions and the schedule. Once that is set, we can move forward with the program and the registration.

We had so many submissions in the Technology area that we're going to have a TED Talks like format (called "Tech Lightning Rounds"). Big room, 20 minute time limit, one right after the other.

There is no big deal welcome session or plenary on Thursday. Just the keynote.

Costs for the keynote:
honorarium: $750
travel, room, and board (she lives in southern NJ, so figure based on that): $???

Rooms for sessions:
We currently have 4. We will need 6 or 7, and some of them will need to be computer labs.
FIT will not allow us to reserve additional rooms until the end of April. They ASSURE me there will be no trouble getting additional rooms.

Logan and I are meeting about the registration system Thursday evening (after the meeting.)

Is anybody really excited about doing layout and design on the program? If not, I'm going to beg NJ to find somebody down there to do it.
NJ's people have the expertise and equipment to print it.

Several people have suggested fundraising. Ideas:
Selling SUNYLA swag through CafePress.
Selling swag through CafePress that was branded with SUNYLA logo but also had neat graphics or photographs contributed by members
Silent auction of craft items and baked goods and NYC fun things donated by members and friends
Online auction/sale of craft items donated by members and friends

Heather Shalhoub (ESC) did the design and NJ had some FIT graphics people make it shiny and digital.
See attached

Decide on registration price
Decide on whether we'll offer a linens package
Decide on whether we'll hold a fund raiser and what kind.
Kissane, Sylvia Chu, and Friend of SUNYLA awards
Do we want to pay FIT to do the booze for cocktail hour, or take donations of alcohol?

Nov. 16, 2011 @ FIT / Re: 2nd VP Report
« on: November 14, 2011, 04:02:01 PM »
Keynote Update:

We have approached Mary Madden (of Pew Research Center Internet and American Life fame). We will know Wednesday whether she can confirm. (She wants to but may not be in the country.)

Nov. 16, 2011 @ FIT / 2nd VP Report
« on: November 14, 2011, 04:00:15 PM »
I hate to write this report today (even as late as it is) because I know that as soon as I meet with NJ (Wednesday after the SUNYLA meeting) I will have MUCH more information.

Our conference theme: The Library of the Future (and the future of libraries.) We wanted it to be broad enough that people don't have to shoehorn their topics of interest around it, but we also want to provoke discussion. We have a logo (designed by Heather Shalhoub, another ESC Librarian.)

Call for presentations is ready to go out. (Thank you Stephanie Herfel!)

Keynote (Thursday at lunch): We hit a snag with our first choice. Mr. Lanier charges $10k and up per appearance! I will update this post when I hear back on whether we secured our second choice!

We are still hammering out details of housing. At the moment, FIT is holding firm on the $80-something a night figure, and that's for a shared room. They are also holding firm on the fact that they won't supply linens. I am looking into getting an outside linens service and finding a vendor who will sponsor that! I am pretty sure that if people are coming in on trains and subways, they will not be thrilled about having to carry a pillow, towel, and sleeping bag in addition to all their other stuff.

We have some fantastic ideas for fun things, like an ice cream social - sponsored by vendors. Carol Anne Germain is an idea dynamo!

Along the same lines, a few years ago there was a conference (SUNYLA? CIT?) that had a knitter's lounge. Would a crafter's lounge be something people would be interested in? IDS often has a game lounge. Would that be more to people's liking? The dorms have all the space in the world for us to do that kind of thing, if you think people will go for it.

We are interested in hearing your opinions on setting up panel discussions on topics of interest, and salting them with big idea people both from around SUNY and outside it. Feedback please!

NJ is hoping to draw many CUNY people by having a single-day registration. He also wants to use his position in SCLD to get more directors to come, which he hopes will be appealing to vendors. Also on that line, Carol Anne suggested selling program space to vendors who can't/won't do a table in person.

December-February should be a more active period, what with the call for proposals going out. We will be coming up with our tracks, plus the various "extracurricular activities." And I will have more information soon, especially once I've got all the local arrangements stuff sorted with NJ.

Sept. 23, 2011 @ Cortland / 2nd VP Report
« on: September 19, 2011, 11:41:10 AM »
We are asking for $5000 in seed money for the upcoming SUNYLA conference.

SUNYLA 2012 is going to take place at the Fashion Institute of Technology, June 6-8. (The earlier date gives us better options for facilities use, because FIT runs a shortened week later in the summer.)

I've been working with NJ Wolfe at FIT, and we have found and reserved spaces for the conference itself. We can't reserve particular classrooms yet, but we will as soon as we are able. As for housing, the Kaufman residence hall is air conditioned and has many other amenities. NJ is working to negotiate a lower price with FIT's housing people. Right now, the price is set at $81 per night per person, for a double.

People who want to help with local arrangements should contact NJ ( People who want to help with any other aspect of the conference should contact me ( Right now I'm just compiling a list of names, but we will have things to do very soon.

I've created a conference blog/web site at, and a number of people have posting access. It will start to become active shortly.

November 19, 2010 @ Onondaga / Re: Campus Updates
« on: November 16, 2010, 02:52:05 PM »
Big news! Heather Shalhoub and Ian Hertz are joining the library full-time starting on December 1! Ian was hired as a librarian but got absorbed by the helpdesk. Heather is a librarian who was originally hired for the helpdesk. Now the Empire State College Library has five full-time librarians, and we're pleased as punch.  8)

Other things are brewing, but mostly we are in the lull between the launch of our Information Skills Tutorial ( and the next big projects, which will probably be winter-spring things. In the mean time, we have completed our fall cycle of webinars called @Home Library Workshops. They were better-attended this year than last, and have been very well received. We have an intro to library skills webinar, an intro to citing webinar, and a variety of shorter ones. Also, our resource sharing arrangement with UB has grown so fast that we're thrilled to be budgeting more for it the coming year.

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