College & Research Libraries is a scholarly research journal published by the Association of College & Research Libraries.

Current Issue: January 2023

Cover: College & Research Libraries volume 84, number 1, January 2023

Professional Service: A Few Perspectives

Christopher Cox, Sarah Rose Fitzgerald, Kristen Totleben, Bradley Warren

An ongoing topic I continue to think about is what professional service means to others and to myself. Considering many facets of professional service, such as internally to the library, university-wide, to service in professional organizations on local, regional, national, international levels, I’m sure there are other types of professional service I haven’t even thought about. I have found professional service essential to understanding how to do my job, developing new skills, to making lasting connections with colleagues that have become close friends and collaborators. ...

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Making and Using AI in the Library: Creating a BERT Model at the National Library of Sweden

Chris Haffenden, Elena Fano, Martin Malmsten, Love Börjeson

How can novel AI techniques be made and put to use in the library? Combining methods from data and library science, this article focuses on Natural Language Processing technologies, especially in national libraries. It explains how the National Library of Sweden’s collections enabled the development of a new BERT language model for Swedish. It also outlines specific use cases for the model in the context of academic libraries, detailing strategies for how such a model could make digital collections available for new forms of research, from automated classification to enhanced searchability and improved OCR cohesion. ...

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Book Stories: 20 Years of Library Book Plate Celebrations

Kate McDowell

Using storytelling as a framework, this study analyzes a faculty promotion book plating ritual through the lens of a twenty-year corpus of faculty-created and library-gathered data. The sources for this analysis are faculty reasons for book selection, or “book stories,” which are part of an annual book plating ritual at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign library to celebrate promotion and tenure. Findings include increased personal information sharing over time. Libraries in the midst of pandemic reinventions should consider sustaining, reviving, and innovating new forms of storytelling to extend the impact of the library as the bedrock of academic community. ...

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Correlation Between Library Instruction and Student Retention: Methods and Implications

Mary K. O’Kelly, Jon Jeffryes, Maya Hobscheid, Rachael Passarelli

Eight years of data from Grand Valley State University Libraries show a positive correlation between in-class library instruction and student reenrollment the following fall semester. Using consistent statistical methods over time, controlling for confounding factors, and using a large population (N>16,000 annually) and strict protocols that restrict library employees from having access to individual student data ...

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The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Rapid Shift to an Exclusively Online Format: Tracking Online Instructors’ Utilization of Library Services Over a Year of Virtual Learning at the University of Memphis

Jessica McClure

At the beginning of the Spring 2020 semester, academic institutions in the United States shifted rapidly to virtual instruction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This shift forced the libraries associated with these institutions to create innovative ways to reach faculty, staff, and students in an online mode. At the University of Memphis, librarians enhanced many existing online services and developed new ones. This study tracks the utilization of these services by online instructors during the span of one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The methods were mixed, involving a survey soliciting information from online instructors using both qualitative and quantitative methods and follow-up interviews conducted privately and virtually with teaching faculty and staff. ...

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What’s Good: Notes on Rap and Language

Reviewed by Craig Arthur

What’s Good: Notes on Rap and Language is a studied, well-researched, critical, and loving exploration of the wit, humor, nuance, intelligence, meaning-making, truth telling, occasional hyperbolic absurdity, and craft of the MC and, in turn, Hip Hop culture. Becker approaches the topic with the care, competence, and appreciation of a lifelong Hip Hop aficionado and, as a result, What’s Good is a remarkable achievement that deserves a place in any Hip Hop studies collection, just as it enjoys a spot on Virginia Tech Digging in the Crates: Hip Hop Studies’ True School Studios’ already crammed bookshelf. ...

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