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SU Library News & Events

ProQuest downtime scheduled for Feb. 28th

February 23rd, 2015 by Pamela McLaughlin

ProquestOn Saturday, February 28, 2015, ProQuest will be upgrading its systems infrastructure to improve performance, security, and overall reliability of its products. The window will begin at 10 p.m. and will last for five (5) hours.

During this time, access to the ProQuest products listed below will not be available and users will be re-directed to a webpage explaining the scheduled maintenance:

  • Research databases
    • ProQuest platform (
    • ProQuest Congressional (
    • ProQuest Dialog (
    • Chadwyck-Healey databases (full list available here)
    • CultureGrams
    • eLibrary (all editions)
    • ProQuest Digital Microfilm
    • ProQuest Obituaries
    • ProQuest Research Companion
  • Dissertation publishing
    • ProQuest/UMI ETD Administrator
  • Reference management/Research support tools
    • RefWorks
    • COS Funding Opportunities
    • COS Scholar Universe
  • Bibliographic and catalog enrichment resources
    • Books in Print®
    • LibraryThing for Libraries™
    • ProQuest Syndetic Solutions™

SURFACE repository surpasses one million downloads

February 16th, 2015 by Pamela McLaughlin

SURFACE wheelIn December 2014, Syracuse University Libraries’ SURFACE repository surpassed its one-millionth download, just four years after its launch in October 2010. Items downloaded on that historic day spanned the disciplines and represented ten SU schools and colleges, University Archives, Syracuse University Libraries, the Slutzker Center, and Syracuse University Administration.

SURFACE is a full-text, multi-media online database that provides global, open access to the work of Syracuse University faculty and researchers. Among a number of benefits, SURFACE increases the visibility of authors’ works, maximizes the impact of research conducted at Syracuse University, and facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration. SURFACE is one of over 2,700 open access repositories worldwide.

In an average month, researchers from over 150 countries download materials from SURFACE. Almost half of visits to the repository come from outside of the U.S. The 11,000 plus items in SURFACE have been downloaded more than 450,000 times in the past year alone, a testament to the usefulness and impact of this open access repository.

Isidor Wallimann, a visiting professor at the Maxwell School, is co-author of Genocide and the Modern Age, one of the items downloaded on the day of the millionth download. An expert on social policy, Wallimann has embraced the use of SURFACE to disseminate his work to “areas of the world that have little access to physical books.” He says,

“SURFACE is a great program and I am very thankful for it, since it allows the entire world to partake of knowledge irrespective (almost) of income or wealth.  A real contribution to democratization and treating knowledge and education as a public good.”

Senior Professional Writing Instructor Jonna Gilfus’ dissertation, Political Emotions: Toward a Fresh Perspective on Collective Emotion in Composition Work, was also among the one-millionth group. In explaining her decision to use SURFACE, Gilfus says,

“I really wanted to make my work accessible to anyone who might find it interesting. When I am notified about the number of readers who have downloaded my work, I’m glad to know that it is useful to others, not just sitting on a shelf (or in a microfiche drawer) collecting dust.”

SURFACE can accommodate a wide range of print and multimedia content, including articles, journals, newsletters, books and book chapters, theses and dissertations, conference proceedings, working papers, reports, presentations, reviews, audio and video. Eleven of Syracuse University’s schools and colleges are using SURFACE to disseminate their scholarly output. SURFACE is also the official online source for current SU theses and dissertations.

Members of the Syracuse University community are invited to deposit completed scholarly work, work in progress, and university-created materials into SURFACE. In addition to preserving the item and providing a permanent link to it, SURFACE content is searchable and accessible worldwide.

Interested in contributing material to SURFACE? Email the SURFACE team at for more information.

SU Libraries seeking volunteers for second Human Library event

February 16th, 2015 by Pamela McLaughlin

Human Library-sliderThe Syracuse University Libraries are seeking volunteer “human books” for the second annual Human Library event on Wednesday, April 1, from 2 – 5 p.m. in Bird Library. The purpose of a human library is to promote tolerance, challenge assumptions, and celebrate diversity within our community by enabling participants to engage in conversation with people whom they may not otherwise encounter. A Human Library encourages people from different backgrounds to talk with and learn from each other in a safe environment.

During this event, human books from the SU community representing a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, areas of expertise, and life experiences will share their stories in conversation with individual “readers”. Human books will lead one-on-one or small group conversations for 20 minutes at a time. The event is open to the campus community and no preregistration is required, although there will be an opportunity to reserve a book for a specific time if desired.

Event organizers are accepting applications for human books until Friday, March 6. Faculty, staff, and students can apply at

SU’s Human Library event is part of a regional Human Library program taking place during April, the month in which National Library Week is celebrated, with support from the Central NY Library Resources Council. SU event partners include the Disability Cultural Center, the Office of Learning Communities, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the School of Information Studies, and the Slutzker Center for International Services.

The first Human Library program was held in 2000 in Copenhagen, Denmark (see Since then, similar events have been organized in libraries, schools and other institutions around the world.

For more information, see

Keeping Images Alive, a lecture and workshop in the Brodsky Series

February 10th, 2015 by Julie Sharkey

Gary AlbrightConservator Gary Albright, will present a lecture in the Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation series entitled The Intensification of Photographs: Observations from Recent Research and Practice on March 26 at 5 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons on the first floor of Bird Library. The lecture is free and open to the public, with a reception to follow.

As cultural objects, photographs require special care. They react aggressively to the climate and can suffer from inherent problems as a result of their chemical composition. Albright’s program will familiarize participants with the construction and unique problems of photographs and offer practical advice on their preservation. He will also cover current storage standards and factors to consider when preparing a photographic exhibition. The focus of the sessions will be on black and white, however other aspects of photography will be addressed as time permits.

On Friday, March 27, Mr. Albright will lead a daylong workshop to familiarize participants with the construction of photographs. The workshop is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. To register, contact Barbara Brooker at or at 315‐443‐9763.

Gary Albright is a conservator of paper and photographs in private practice. During his career, he has treated a diverse array of objects, including the Emancipation Proclamation, a Honus Wagner baseball card, Ansel Adams’ photographs, and working drafts of the Constitution of the United States. He is a graduate of the Winterthur Museum/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. He has served as senior paper and photograph conservator at the Northeast Document Conservation Center, Andover, MA, and conservator at the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY, where he taught in the the Advanced Residency Program for Photograph Conservators. Albright has been a visiting professor at the State University of Buffalo, the University of Delaware, and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.


The Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation combines a public lecture with a hands-on workshop. Supported by William J. (65, G68) and Joan (67, G68) Brodsky of Chicago, Illinois, the series offers programs that promote and advance knowledge of library conservation theory, practice, and application among wide audiences, both on campus and in the region.

SU Librarian Barbara Opar receives AASL Distinguished Service Award

February 4th, 2015 by Pamela McLaughlin

oparSyracuse University Librarian Barbara Opar has been awarded the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Architecture School Librarians (AASL). The annual award recognizes an individual member of the library profession who has, over a significant period of time, made an outstanding national contribution to architecture librarianship and to the development of architecture schools.

Michael Speaks, dean at the SU School of Architecture, praised Opar’s achievement, saying, “Barbara’s contributions are essential to what makes our School distinct among others in architectural education and discourse. Her commitment and ceaseless work over the years have been invaluable, as has her understanding of the vital significance of the human element in supporting the work of the School.”

The award is given to an individual who demonstrates achievements in service and visionary leadership to the profession; significant and influential research on architecture school library programs; publication of a body of scholarly and/or theoretical writing; or planning and development of exemplary school library programs through legislative efforts, implementation of models, establishment of guidelines, or the teaching and/or mentoring of future library professionals.

Ms. Opar has been of member of AASL since 1981 and recently served as chair of the Architecture Core Reference Task Force, which produced a comprehensive online guide to architecture research materials.