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Dan Gjelten

CLICsearch, News & Events

Announcing CLICsearch

Dan Gjelten, Director UST Libraries

Dan Gjelten, Associate Vice Provost, UST Libraries

The UST Libraries’ strategic plan includes this goal: “Provide greatest access to a variety of print and digital content with reliable and robust discovery systems to support the university’s strategic goals…” Maximizing the value of all the Libraries’ collections to support twenty first century research and teaching practices – global, interdisciplinary and interconnected – is a priority for our Libraries.

In light of that, we (and our CLIC consortial partners) are migrating to a new library management system (what you might think of as “CLICnet.”) On May 31, we will cut over to the new system (called CLICsearch) and pull the plug on the old CLICnet, which we have been using since 2000 (a long time in technological years!)

Over the last three decades, the online library catalog has evolved from an electronic version of the paper card catalog to a system which managed most of the library’s “business” and user activities in a module format: acquisitions, cataloging, searching and circulation. That traditional system became supplemented over the years by additional services which helped us to manage the rapidly growing collections of electronic content.

Our new system moves beyond those moduled silos and is a true example of a “next generation” integrated library system. It takes the library’s technology another step forward by not only connecting library resource management workflows, but by communicating and exchanging information with other campus systems, including course management, identity management, student information, the institutional repository and other data sources. As a cloud-based system, updates and new developments can be handled quickly and remotely by the vendor; and advanced analytics will allow for better-informed, evidence-based library decision-making (in the area of collection development and user services).

CLICsearch logo

The new CLICsearch logo

While the Libraries’ new system provides improved management of acquisitions/purchasing and the inventory control functions that many library users never see, it also includes a very sophisticated search function – the main interface for library users who seek to discover the information they need. We know that today’s library users have no problem finding information, but may have problems finding the right information. CLICsearch attempts to address that need for efficient and effective discovery in an environment of abundant (and largely digital) information. It differs from previous library systems, in part, due to the ways that library collections have evolved in the last decade. While traditional library catalogs have been designed to search and find print materials primarily, CLICsearch is a discovery layer that searches nearly everything (print and electronic) that the Libraries own and manage, regardless of format, including e-books, electronic journals, individual chapters and articles, streaming content, audio and video resources, content in our institutional repository, our digitized special collections, and more. This “unified resource discovery” system is intended to more effectively enable students, faculty and researchers to discover and obtain needed information by connecting the searcher directly to the content, whether in our local collections or owned by our colleagues in CLIC or beyond.

As we roll out CLICsearch, there will likely be bumps (this is a very sophisticated system) but we hope you’ll start to work with it and let us know of any problems you are having. The UST Libraries have three staff who are certified administrators in the new environment and we hope to be able to address any issues fairly quickly. In addition, and significantly, many of the other academic libraries in the state (including the University of Minnesota, St. Olaf, and Carleton) will be on the same system, and we hope that efficiencies, knowledge sharing and collaboration will result in that environment.

Future developments include the more efficient delivery of course materials to students through integration of our course management system and CLICsearch, and that we’d be able to leverage library content for use in courses with the goal of improving student success, not to mention saving them money and saving faculty time.

We are very excited about the implementation of this system, which we think is another example of the ways in which the academic library often leads the way in educational technology. We look forward to the coming years in which as other campus systems get upgraded to “next gen” systems, the UST Libraries and our collections and services will be more deeply integrated into the academic mission.

If you have any questions regarding this development, please contact me at or use our CLICsearch feedback form.


Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Director of UST Libraries Shares Results of LibQUAL Satisfaction Survey

Dan Gjelten, Director UST Libraries

Dan Gjelten, Director UST Libraries

In fall 2014, the UST Libraries contracted with the Association of Research Libraries to conduct the LibQUAL survey, a well-regarded measure of the satisfaction of users of academic libraries. The findings of the survey will help the libraries as we develop strategic directions in support of university’s strategic plan.

LibQUAL is designed to assess the extent to which our library services are meeting the needs and expectations of our users. Answers to 27 questions in the areas of services, collections and library as place document our users’ perception of actual and desired level of quality.

Since 2000, more than 1,200 libraries nationwide have participated in LibQUAL; this is the second time that the UST Libraries have conducted the survey (it was previously done in 2008). Because the libraries conducted the same survey in 2008 and because comparable academic libraries around the country also have conducted the survey, we are able to measure changes in user perceptions over time and with our peers.

This year, we sent the survey to all UST students, faculty and staff, and received valid responses from 1,455 library users (including 693 undergraduate students, 446 graduate students and 172 faculty). The data we received can be analyzed by user group, discipline, library most used and other variables. In addition to the raw data we received nearly 500 comments from various users, all of which are being analyzed and classified by theme. We will continue to analyze all of our findings over the coming months.

Our initial findings show that the libraries are exceeding user expectations in a number of areas including “giving users individual attention,” providing “multimedia collections users need,” “making me aware of library resources and services” and “providing information resources reflecting diverse points of view.” Because users identified their role, we are able to look at results by user group, and learn where our constituencies have the highest expectations. For example:
◦Undergraduate students seem to place a high value on the library as place and want comfortable and inviting spaces to study.
◦Graduate students are most interested in accessing library resources from their home or office.
◦Faculty seem to be happy with library staff services and library spaces, and have the highest expectations for us in the area of electronic resources availability and a website that enables them to locate information on their own.

In terms of changes between 2008 and 2014, we learned that overall satisfaction with library services increased for all user groups during the six-year period. When we compare findings from our survey with LibQUAL results from comparable institutions (Marquette University and Santa Clara University both conducted LibQUAL in 2014) we’ve learned that the UST libraries rate higher in overall quality and library support for learning, research and teaching than either of those university libraries.

While we are happy with many of the findings from this survey, we also acknowledge that there are areas where we can improve. We’ve learned there are some frustrations with finding the best resources using the libraries’ Web page. One comment captures what we think too many of our users experience when interacting with library: “Excellent resources, but it seems more difficult than it should be to get the resources, and oftentimes the information can be overwhelming.”

In fact, the UST libraries, having been well-supported by the university for many years, do offer great treasures in electronic content to our users. Given that we live in a time of information abundance rather than information scarcity, it is a challenge for the libraries to help our users navigate and effectively use that information in their work. The libraries currently are developing strategic objectives for the coming years, and this challenge will remain a high priority for us. As the University of St. Thomas strategic plan states, it is a goal for us to “provide innovative education that develops the skills necessary for success within an increasingly complex contemporary world, where information is readily available but wise use of that information is critical for human flourishing.”

The UST Libraries take seriously our role in helping to achieve that strategic objective.

Other areas where we will look to improve the libraries include updating library furnishings and addressing space issues in the Minneapolis campus library.

UST Libraries would like to thank all of you who responded to our survey and assure you that what we’ve learned with your help will make library services even more effective in the coming years.

– Dan Gjelten

Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Help us improve by taking the 2014 LibQUAL survey

Dan Gjelten

Dan Gjelten

On Monday, October 27, students, faculty and staff will receive a link to a library satisfaction survey (known as LibQUAL)  via UST email.  Please help us out by taking a few minutes to complete the survey.  Those who respond will be eligible for a drawing for several Amazon gift certificates.

In 2008, the UST Libraries conducted the LibQUAL survey for the first time.  LibQUAL has been conducted by over 1,200 libraries at institutions all over the world and helps libraries understand user perceptions of collections and services.  The feedback from LibQUAL helps us develop a culture of excellent service and collections, improve programs and innovate, compare our library to peer institutions and, generally, to better communicate with our users.  We are conducting the survey again this fall and the data we obtain will be compared against the 2008 benchmark so that we’ll be able to see the areas of the library enterprise that have changed.  (More on what we learned in 2008.)

LibQualThere are three major areas of the library enterprise that will be covered by the survey: “information control” which measures the extent to which users can find the information they need; “affect of service” which measures the quality of service and interactions with library staff; and “library as place” which concerns the physical library environment.  The survey also gives users a chance to comment in their own language on the library.

This year, as the university and the Libraries engage in strategic planning, we again want to learn more about our users’ expectations and experience with the libraries at St. Thomas. Conducting this highly regarded survey again will allow us to benchmark ourselves against the 2008 findings as well as UST’s comparable institutions.

When you receive the email link to the survey, we ask that you please take the time (10 – 15 minutes) to let us know about your experiences with the UST Libraries. Your responses will influence the direction of the libraries in the near future. Visit the LibQUAL web site if you would like more information about the survey.

Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

The OSF Library White Board Question

more sticky notes2



For the last couple of years, the staff in O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library have been posting a question on a big white board near the entrance. Sticky notes are provided for anyone to respond to the question.   We’ve asked questions like:

–  What would you tell a prospective student about the library?
–  Books – print or digital, which do you prefer?
–  What’s the best discovery you’ve made in the library?
–  What’s your favorite political movie?
–  What are you thankful for?
–  What helps you get to sleep?
–  What is your best study tip?
–  What are you working on right now?
–  What are you most excited about this semester?
–  How do you get your political news?

Our goal with the white board is to create a conversation with the people who come into the library, and to, we hope, learn more about them. We will ask a mix of lighthearted, social questions as well as more serious questions about your use of the library and our resources.
The answers to our latest question ‘What was the high point of your summer?’ demonstrates how interesting our users are. All the answers (necessarily brief, since the sticky note is small) suggested stories behind our users’ lives:

–  People travelled to Peru, Chile, England, Spain, Italy, Vietnam, Brazil, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and South Africa as well as many points in the U.S.
–  The Iowa State Fair!
–  More than one attended the Bonnarroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee
–  People worked at a number of jobs, volunteered, coached, and took classes
–  The usual Minnesota summer activities were represented – boating, camping, laying in the sun, hanging with the family, hiking up north
–  And one person won a lot of money in Las Vegas!

We’ll keep putting up questions throughout the year – and hope to continue to learn more about you!

Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

O’Shaughnessy-Frey to Shift its Books and Periodicals Collections

puzzleSuggestion and allure: Collection shift in OSF

“Education is not furthered by secreting books in which the university has invested funds…displayed to possible readers, the collection becomes alive with suggestion and allure.” So declares an old (1970) book called University Library Administration sitting on my office shelf (mostly for looks, and, honestly, for its ironic value.) I took a look at it today when I was thinking about a big project that we are undertaking – the rearrangement of the books and periodicals in O’Shaughnessy Frey Library. Our goal with the project: move ALL bound journals to the sublevel of the library and rearrange the books on the rest of the floors. We want to make our print collections easier to access, and since the bound journal collection is actually shrinking, consolidating it on one floor is now realistic.

A project like this is major and will involve touching nearly every volume in the library. It is kind of like the sliding tile puzzle pictured above. We’ll be compressing collections on the sublevel, opening up space on level four, and then beginning the shift of the books, finally ending back on the sublevel, to which we’ll move the rest of the bound journals. Our hope is that we can complete the shift in 12 – 18 months, using mostly student labor, under the supervision of library staff. We do not expect that any books will be “out of circulation,” though there will be work going on at some place in the stacks as the books are moved.

At the end of the project, we’ll have opened up some good spaces which we will redesign for student use and we’ll engage the community in the design and development of those new spaces. More on that in the future! We’ll keep you informed on the progress of the big shift as it moves forward.

If you have questions or comments about this project, please let us know.

– Dan Gjelten, Director of Libraries


Media/Music Collections, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Media Resources Collection Now Open in New Location

If you haven’t been to the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library lately, consider stopping in to see our Media Resources Collection, now featured in a prominent location at the north end of the Reference Room on the first floor (across from Coffee Bené).

The University Libraries provide access to 32,000 video resources for the students, faculty and staff of the University.  Of those, about two thirds are available anytime/anywhere via the internet to UST users in streaming formats.  The rest (nearly 10,000) are DVD and VHS formats which have been collected over the years and which have been in O’Shaughnessy Frey Library’s collection since 2002.  This popular and high quality collection, all of which is cataloged and searchable via the Media web page, continues to be heavily used by faculty and students for scholarly purposes (and for fun).

The collection has moved a couple of times in an effort to make it more visible and to make access as easy and quick as possible.  During the fall semester of 2013, we created a new space for the collection to give it prominence on the first floor of OSF.   The walls of the new space are glass and do not extend to the ceiling of the room – creating a quality of visibility, natural light and openness.  It is also relatively easy to alter, if, in the future the need for a collection of physical objects becomes less critical.

This first floor location was possible for the video collection since much of the print reference collection has diminished in size due to the availability of online subject encyclopedias and other reference content.  The first floor will continue to have plenty of space for students to study, for the new books and leisure reading area, and of course, the coffee shop at the south end of the room.

Having this collection on the first floor of the library also makes it possible for us to use our staff more efficiently, given that our service points are now concentrated on one floor.  Looking for efficiencies in staffing and organizational structure continues to be a one of the libraries’ most important goals.

It is also a high priority goal for us to design and develop spaces throughout the library for student learning, study and community, and to address needs for both individual and group work, quiet and more active space, social spaces, nooks and crannies, and all the varieties of needs our users have. There is enough room in this wonderful building to accommodate people, books, periodicals, events, hot coffee and videos – stay tuned as we continue to create the academic library of the 21st century!

Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Political Science, Recently Read, Uncategorized

Where do you get your news?

It seems like, increasingly, we live in bubbles populated by people who agree with us.  Our friends post their opinions on our Facebook pages and, if we’ve picked our friends carefully, it turns out we like everything they have to say.  Most Americans say that they want to get their news from a source that has no political bias, though our sources for news and information tend to be from those who we’ve grown to trust, and the political slant of any publication is a matter of opinion.  My “objective” source might be your “big liberal media.”  Curious to know where OSF library users get their political information, we used our “white board conversation” method,  and asked OSF Library users about their news diet last week. Our question was “Where do you get your political news?” and about 75 library users posted their answers on Post-it notes on the board. Obviously this is not a scientific survey, but interesting, nonetheless. (For more scientific data on this question, you should look at the Pew Research Center’s recent report on the news landscape.  In fact, our results were very similar to what Pew found, especially for the young demographic of our library.)

Popular answers included:

– Fox News (13 mentions, though two people specifically said “Not Fox”)
– Daily Show/Colbert Report/SNL: 10
– Reddit: 6
– MSNBC or Today Show: 3
– CNN: 3
– Huffington Post: 3
– Wall Street Journal: 3

Other sources mentioned: New York Times, Washington Post, Drudge Report, GoogleNews, MinnPost, Facebook and Twitter.

Let us know where you get your news!



New Materials, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Try media:scape at the Library

One of the goals for the UST Libraries is to introduce students to the kinds of technology that they may encounter as they graduate to the workplace (and the world) of the 21st century – an information and technology rich environment that requires a high level of “literacy” in the use of information as employees, parents, citizens and consumers.  As we evolve into a largely digital library, we are also creating spaces in our buildings for group work and collaboration, hallmarks of both learning and working in the new century.

mediascapeOur latest effort in this area is to provide a new kind of workspace for the UST community.  We’ve undertaken a trial installation of the “media:scape” product from Steelcase.  media:scape is a combination of furniture and technology that allows easy sharing of information in a small group.  Room 110 in the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library is now (and for the next month) equipped to accommodate at least four users with laptops that can be linked to a large flat screen monitor.  Users can easily plug in their computers and view what is on their monitor on the large screen.  It is very easy to go from computer to computer, making the sharing of ideas very convenient.


If UST users (we invite students, faculty and staff to use the room) find this an effective solution for collaborative teaching, learning and working, we will consider equipping more group study spaces in the library in this way.

walkstationIn addition, we’ve installed a “Walkstation” in the OSF Library.  The Walkstation allows users to walk as they work – on a slow moving (2 mph) treadmill that allows the use of a computer at the same time.  There is research (most notably from the Mayo Clinic) that suggests that movement improves brain function, ease of learning and reduces anxiety and depression in addition to providing the physical benefits associated with physical activity.  Since scholarly work can be highly sedentary, we are curious to know whether providing this option in the library would be welcome as well as beneficial, both intellectually and physically.  The Walkstation will be in the library for the next few weeks and we invite anyone to give it a try. 

In both cases, we’ll be asking users to provide us with feedback on these new products.  Thank you for helping us as we re-imagine the library of the 21st century! 
(take the feedback survey if you’ve tried the product)

–Dan Gjelten, Director, UST Libraries