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Library Workshops in April

April is the cruelest month? We beg to differ, Mr. Eliot. Join us for any of our workshops and we’ll help you put the muddy, rainy early spring in a whole new light. Plus, Earth Day! Some highlights:

And of course, rain or shine, questions big or small, we’re here for you–just ask a librarian!

Bear and Owl Say: “Get the Most Out of Your Library”

Hey students, what can the Library help you with during a hybrid semester at Cornell? A lot! Just take it from the bear and the owl—who’ve stepped us as stars of our comic strip series, created to fill you in on all the ways you can make the Library work for you.

Our newest installment outlines all the goodies (books, study spaces, printing services, loaner laptops and other equipment) that on-campus students and researchers can find at the Library. We present it side-by-side with our earlier issue—also not to be missed!—featuring tips on getting the most out of the library from a distance—whether with a device (computer, tablet or mobile phone) located here in Ithaca or from a perch anywhere else in the world. One way or the other, virtual or in-person, the Library is here for you when and where you need us. Bear and owl are here to tell you exactly how that works.

More eBooks & Electronic Resources Than Ever Before!

We are really pleased to announce that in response to the urgent challenge of COVID-19 mitigation, Cornell University Library is presently able to offer a significantly extended level of access to online resources. This is happening several ways: 


1. Extended open access to large collections of high-quality digitized literature is being made available for the COVID-19 emergency period via

2. The Library now also has temporary free access to over 85,000 additional e-books available through our existing subscription to ProQuest’s eBook Central library through mid-June. This almost doubles the number of e-books that Cornell faculty, students and staff can access from eBook Central via the Library catalog – and each title has unlimited access. If you’d like to get a sense of some of the titles involved, check out this page of the library catalog.


3. Finally, also extremely helpful have been the publishers who have stepped up to offer free access directly to the materials that they have released in electronic format. Publishers who’ve joined this line up that may be of particular interest to CALS and CHE faculty include:

  • JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) video collection
  • ScienceDirect textbooks
  • World Scientific
  • MIT Press
  • Burleigh Dodds Science ebooks
  • Emerald ebooks (includes business, accounting, social sciences)
  • EBSCO (ebooks now allow unlimited user access)
  • ALEKS (mathematics, accounting, statistics, and chemistry)

Up-to-date information extended access to materials can be found at Published Free” libguide. (Please note, publishers are generally providing extended free access is only for the duration of COVID-19 mitigation period, so access rules are subject to change over the coming months).


For further information about ebooks available through the Cornell University Library—including tips on how to find available ebooks most efficiently — check out our ebook libguide. 


Still can’t find an ebook version of the book you need via a search on the Cornell University Library catalog?  You can recommend a purchase here and we’ll get on it to see if we can’t order it fast for you! 


As always if you end up with questions or need further assistance from a librarian, you can get in touch with us multiple ways, including:

One way or the other, we’ll be there for you when you need us—don’t hesitate to reach out.

Getting Your Course Reserves Right for Remote Teaching

Along with the rest of the Ithaca area, the Cornell campus is doing a great job of the social distancing required to mitigate coronavirus-19 transmission successfully. And with that—as much as we love you all, and as much as the Library doesn’t feel like a library with all this distance between us—Mann also remains closed to physical access for both staff and the public. But rest assured, we’re still 100% here for our patrons. As Cornell faculty start finalizing their preparations for successful rest-of-semester remote teaching, we want to make sure everyone is fully informed of the support and resources available for getting their course materials all set up. 


To begin, when it comes to organizing course reserves for your remote students, the first and probably most important general resource for Cornell faculty to keep in mind is this web page: bit.ly/course_reserves_guidance. It’s part of the Cornell University Library’s Support for Remote Teaching Libguide and it gives a comprehensive overview of all the different things to keep in mind as you finalize your course reserves line-up.

And just to pluck out just a few of the key points:

  • Students will be accessing electronic reserves under the “Course Reserves” menu link on their course’s Canvas site.
  • To get started on (or for questions about) making course reserve materials accessible to your remote class, CALS and CHE faculty should contact: mann_reserve@cornell.edu
  • Electronic items, including items found in course packets, must meet copyright or have the permission of the copyright holder for this type of use, and the library staff will work with you regarding permissions. One nicely positive thing to keep in mind here: Faculty will likely be relieved to know that Cornell Copyright Information Center is recommending that scanned course material may be made available to students in amounts that may exceed customary fair use limits under normal circumstances. Fair use provides somewhat greater flexibility during these exigent circumstances. For full info on this, see: NEW COPYRIGHT GUIDELINES FOR COVID-19.
  • Faculty (and their students!) will also likely be happy to know that students can gain access to online course materials. The Cornell Store has partnered with VitalSource and leading publishers to launch VitalSource Helps, a program offering free access to ebooks for students. A student can use their cornell.edu email address to freely borrow up to seven (7) now through May 25, 2020. For more detailed instructions about this, please refer back to the CUL course reserves info page noted above.

We think that covers the main scoop on course reserves in the time of COVID-19 for now. We’ll update this page with any changes that come up. And as always, if you run into any questions or problems that you could use some one-on-one help with, please don’t hesitate to contact your Mann Library research support team or email us at mann_outreach@cornell.edu. We’ll get back to you right away. Stay safe and well, friends!

The Library Is Open Virtually

Over the past week, Cornell University Library staff have been working hard to make sure that Cornell libraries can continue to support teaching, learning and research at Cornell as we transition to virtual environments and remote work. The urgency of COVID-19 mitigation requires that all Cornell libraries stay closed to physical visits by the public until further notice. In compliance with the “New York State on Pause” Executive Order presently in effect, there are currently no library staff on site on the Cornell campus. However, we continue to operate a strong virtual presence to meet the needs of our faculty, staff and students.


We will be more posting detailed updates and guidance about available services and resources on the Mann Library news page over the coming days and weeks, but for now, we offer a broad overview, especially for faculty.


Access to library materials
All Cornell libraries are currently closed for physical visits by patrons and no staff are on site until further notice. Book paging and pick up as well as scanning services are also suspended for now. But Cornell University Library’s online collections are extensive, and although we are, at this time, unable to obtain physical materials or supply scanning services for items held in the Cornell Library, we are still able to supply many chapter or article scans electronically to active Cornell faculty, students and staff. Please first use the library catalog to identify resources that are available to you online. If you find you cannot get electronic access to the resource you need via the catalog, you can ask the library to purchase an ebook via the online purchase request, or you can contact library staff in a variety of ways, including via a Zoom session with a Mann librarian, and we will help you get to what you need. If you wish to connect with your favorite licensed resources directly, please remember to use Passkey to get through the paywalls.


Research support
We have a strong online help presence through the Ask-A-Librarian service, including e-mail reference and chat reference; chat services currently are available 24/7.

Library support for remote teaching
Cornell librarians stand ready to help Cornell faculty teach remotely successfully.  
  • We have created a library guide providing a host of information for faculty preparing to teach remotely. Please check out Library Support for Remote Teaching Guide to check out the info we have there (and if you see anything missing, let us know!)
  • As you identify materials that need to be moved into digital format, please use your usual channels to place requests including email to culreserves-l@cornell.edu or contacting your liaison.
  • Guide to working off-campus provides helpful tips for anyone digging into work from an off-campus location.
  • Recommend a purchase can be used to obtain electronic versions of books that you find to be unavailable at Cornell. This may not be possible with all titles, but as Cornell Library has significantly increased its e-book purchasing capacity in response to the current situation, you may well find an e-version of your requested book can in fact be made available.

As everyone is likely keenly aware, the COVID-19 situation remains fluid and quickly changing. To stay as up-to-date as possible on any changes in services and resources that we are able to offer to Cornell faculty, students and staff, please check the Cornell University Library COVID-19 Library Services Update page. And please be in touch and let us know what questions and concerns you have, as well as your suggestions for moving forward: mann_outreach@cornell.edu

OER Tools Help Faculty Teach and Students Learn More Affordably

Interested in lowering textbook costs for your students? Or perhaps you’re working on creating a new learning resource to help students get a better grasp of class material? We have some nice news with you in mind!

 

Faculty at Cornell and across the world are joining the Open Education Resources (OER) movement to save students money, take control over course materials, and improve learning. OER includes e-books, online learning modules and other course content created by teaching faculty across the world that is openly licensed and can be reused by other instructors that are hoping to assign high-quality low-cost or no-cost options to their students.

 

To start exploring OER repositories and learn more, check out the new OER LibGuide that Cornell librarians have created. Whether you’re interested in adopting OER into your class or in creating a new resource to share with others, the guide offers you helpful sources, tools and tips as well as contact info for getting further assistance. 

Downsizing the Big Red Pawprint @ Mann

Drawing of bear wavingRecycling Rules​April is around the corner, and with that comes the prospect of all the great Earth Day celebrations that happen at Cornell each spring (which, after all, was named one of the top 20 “Coolest Schools,” by none other than the Sierra Club in 2018!). For the spring semester, Mann is getting an early start on celebrating green-minded thinking with a series of special activities focused on reducing the waste “pawprint” made here at the Library.

 

Why the waste focus? Most members of the Cornell community have probably heard: A decades-long boom in the market for recyclable paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and metals—driven by the flow of over 40% of American recyclables to China just a few years ago—took a sudden nosedive as China announced its 2017 decision to stop taking recyclable materials from the U.S.. The key reason for the new policy: The problem of contamination (food residue, wax, often also hazardous substances) plaguing American recyclables, which seriously gummed up the recycling process in China and in some cases made it dangerous. The key impact: A steep drop in the market for American recyclables and a corresponding hike in the cost of recycling for U.S. towns and cities. Where towns like Ithaca may have once actually seen an income stream from the recyclables gathered by their residents, in many cases they are now facing growing net costs. Faced with a 50% drop in the price it can garner for recycling materials, the Tompkins County Recycling and Materials Management Center has issued some new guidelines for our area.

 

So what’s the implication for us here at Mann Library, where a considerable amount of trash piles up in both the recycling and the trash bins located on all floors of the library? The way we see it, it’s an opportunity for us to work with our library users to do better—both in terms of recycling correctly and, even more importantly, reducing what gets thrown away in the first place.

 

With that in mind, here’s what we’ve been up to and what we have in store for the weeks ahead:

  1. New reusable mugs (covered ones, so they’re OK to use in the Library) have gone on sale at the Mann Service Desk—Between their low cost ($10 a piece) and the discount you get at Manndible Café for bringing your own mug, you’ll very likely recoup the full cost of one of these beauties within the year!
  2. A display of interactive booths in the Top Shelf Gallery through 3/23, created by Ecology House, Student Assembly Dining, the Cornell Society for Natural Resource Conservation (SNRC), Epsilon Eta and Cornell Sustainability Consultants to raise awareness about about how waste can be more sustainably managed on the Cornell campus;
  3. New signage all around the library is guiding our users in proper recycling practices to minimize contamination;
  4. Earth Week program activities to include:
  • Monday 4/22 & Thursday 4/25: Reusable snack bag making sessions in the mannUfactory makerspace
  • Wednesday 4/24: A one-day-only fire sale of reusable Mann mugs ($5 per mug–get ’em while they last!)
  • Thursday, 4/25: A fun craft activity re-using old glassware to create some very cool drink-&-lunch jars, in collaboration with Manndible Cafe and the mannUfactory makerspace (all children and parents on campus for Bring a Child to Work Day welcome to join us for that activity too);
  • Friday, 4/26: Look for our table at CALS Day on the Ag Quad–for tips and prizes to promote recycling awareness.

With these initiatives, Mann hopes to do our part towards a smaller waste stream on our beloved Cornell campus—and we hope to have a little fun doing it. We’re pretty sure good old Touchdown is game. Are you?

Go Reusable! New Mann Mugs Now Available

Back of Mann reusable mugMann Library is pleased to announce that new Mann Library mugs are now available for purchase at the Mann Service Desk. Every year, mountains (truly!–you’d be shocked at the number!) of disposable coffee and other beverage cups make their way into the Cornell campus waste stream. Wondering how you can do your part to reduce that serious landfill load? Going reusable is a great way to start! Our classy new (now teal-colored) porcelain mugs—they come with a cover, so you can also use them IN the Library—are available at $10 / piece, while supplies last.

 

And don’t forget: Cornell’s Recyclemania contest is on through March 30th this year. In the spirit of helping to shrink the waste stream at Cornell Mann Library will be focusing on some reduce-reuse-recycle programming over the next couple of months. Stay tuned for more info, fun challenges, and hands-on activities coming up!