Pride Month Resources + Trivia Night

In honor of Pride month, the Libraries invites you to explore LGBTQIA+ history through our online resources, starting with a newly acquired resource – the Gale Archives of Sexuality and Gender. This collection spans the sixteenth to the twentieth century, and features primary source documents relating to the history and study of sex, sexuality, gender research and gender studies research. Documents covering social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) communities around the world are included, as well as rare and unique books on sex and sexuality from the sciences to the humanities. For more resources, see our LGBTQ Studies guide.

In addition to your studies, put these resources to use for fun and join the Center for Culture, Equity, and Empowerment and the Alumni Association on Thursday, June 17 for a virtual trivia night. Test your knowledge in the following categories: Pride history, LGBTQ+ icons, Movies and Television, Music, Art, and Mason facts. Show your Mason spirit and get ready for some friendly competition! Read more and register here.

Access changes for National Center for Biotechnology Information

As of June 1, 2021, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at National Library of Medicine will require federated, third party login credentials. Current NCBI users will need to link the NCBI account to ORCID, eRA Commons, Google, or institutional access. 

Mason users can link accounts to a current Mason ID/password.  More information is available here. For questions or assistance please contact Health Sciences Librarian, Kathy Butler

New report available on journal article access

As the Libraries revisits our subscriptions in light of our Sustainable Collections goals, we will be sharing available data on journal article access in regular Journal Article Access Reports. Our first report, covering January to March 2021, or the first three months of our changed Elsevier contract, is now available. The report includes data on our InterLibrary Loan service and the LibKey Discovery tool we have implemented to streamline article access for our users.

Our first quarter report, and all future reports, will be published on the Journal Article Access Reports page of our Sustainable Collections site. We welcome your questions and comments on this report or other aspects of the Libraries’ work in the area of sustainable collections.

FRAME II awarded $1,175,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

“Federated Repositories of Accessible Materials for Higher Education II” awarded a $1,175,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

By law, any material required for the education of a disabled student must be made accessible for them in a timely manner. In the United States, the legal obligation to provide accessible learning materials falls on individual educational institutions, and universities and colleges across the country are scrambling to meet their responsibilities to students with special information-access needs. The staff of disability services offices (DSOs) spend a great deal of time and effort remediating printed texts, transforming them into a variety of electronic formats to improve access for students with print disabilities. Because many of the same texts are commonly assigned at multiple institutions, the result is a wasteful duplication of effort as the DSO staff at each independent university must start the remediation work over again.

For the last two years, the University of Virginia Library has led a multi-institutional project to address this problem. With a two-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, University Librarian John Unsworth initiated an effort to create a web-based infrastructure allowing DSOs to share remediated texts, in order to reduce their nationwide duplication of effort, and thereby make it possible for the staff in these offices to achieve better outcomes for students in higher education.

That collective effort, known as “FRAME,” will now continue for another two years and expand to include new partners, thanks to a grant of $1,175,000 from The Mellon Foundation for a second phase dubbed “Federated Repositories of Accessible Materials for Higher Education II.” Representatives of the DSO and library staff at Ohio State University will join their counterparts from George Mason University, Northern Arizona University, Texas A&M University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Virginia, along with a development and project management team based at the UVA Library. Much of the group’s work will concentrate on expanding and improving EMMA (Educational Materials Made Accessible), a membership-based secure repository for remediated texts, and developing workflows wherein librarians and DSO staff will cooperate in uploading texts to the repository.

“For too long, most academic libraries have left accessibility to their colleagues in disability services, even though it is all about providing information resources for teaching and research. The FRAME project seeks to establish a partnership between libraries and disability service offices, to ensure that remediated content is preserved, organized, and made discoverable for re-use, reducing the duplication of staff effort in order to improve service to students (and faculty) with disabilities,” states Unsworth, who is continuing his role as principal investigator from the first FRAME grant.

Also continuing to support the project will be three major digital repositories: Bookshare, HathiTrust, and the Internet Archive. Through a federated search interface, these repositories provide EMMA users with texts that have already been remediated for users with print disabilities or that are machine-readable and suitable for further remediation by DSO staff — a big advantage over having to scan a printed book. Benetech, the parent company of Bookshare, supplied much of the search infrastructure for EMMA in the first phase of the FRAME project and has committed in the second phase to sharing certain cutting-edge technologies to automate parts of the labor-intensive remediation process. In the second year of FRAME II, an additional repository will join the collaboration: the Accessible Content e-Portal sponsored by the Ontario Council of University Libraries.

Another important element of the project is the cooperation of the university presses affiliated with six of the participating universities: George Mason, Illinois, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and Wisconsin. As publishers of texts that might be used in higher education, the presses have all committed to contributing machine-readable versions of their publications to EMMA or one of its federated repositories.

John Unsworth is joined by FRAME II co-principal investigator J. Stephen Downie, Associate Dean for Research at the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences. Professor Downie will lead a new educational initiative, developing curricular materials for professional education in library schools. The materials created by Downie and a team of expert collaborators will train library and information professionals in the information needs of students, faculty, and other library users with disabilities. Professor Downie states, “It is truly inspiring to be working with all the project partners at Illinois, Virginia and beyond to realize the promise of the FRAME II vision.”

Read more about the project’s beginnings in 2019 and Mason’s involvement.

New Indigenous Peoples and African American primary sources available

The Libraries is excited to announce that Virginia’s Academic Library Consortium (VIVA) has acquired a number of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion-focused e-resources, thanks to support from SCHEV’s Fund for Excellence and Innovation. Our Mason community now has access to the following resources.

From Gale:

Indigenous Peoples of North America – a comprehensive collection of primary source documents from American and Canadian government sources and institutions, tribal publications, and documents from Indian-related organizations, including a selection of indigenous-language materials. 

Diversity Bundle Ebooks collection – a custom list of 57 titles, many of which are reference resources and all of which have publication dates of 2017 to the present. 

From Readex:

African Americans and Reconstruction, 1865-1883 contains nearly 1,400 fully searchable printed works from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of Jim Crow.  It includes documents related to African Americans and citizenship, voting rights, literacy, land rights, employment, and more, including the gaps between written law and practice.

 African Americans and Jim Crow, 1883-1922 contains more than 1,000 fully searchable printed works from the beginning of Jim Crow to post-World War I. These works provide insights into African American culture and life during this period of segregation and disenfranchisement and include such topics as African American identity, relationships with peoples of other nations, and literature.

Should you have any questions about the above resources, please contact your subject librarian.