Chapter 6 - Standard VI: Physical Resources and Facilities

Introduction

The GSLIS Organizational Goal 5 and related Objectives 5.2 and 5.3, discussed in Chapter 1, are directly related to Standard VI, and are offered here as the basis for the evidence that the GSLIS meets Standard VI.

GSLIS Organizational Goal 5

The GSLIS strives to ensure a sustainable institutional environment. The school is proactive in securing appropriate institutional and administrative resources to adequately support its needs.

The school regularly takes stock of its immediate and long range needs in the areas of personnel, physical infrastructure and technology, in order to better advocate for institutional resources.

GSLIS Organizational Objectives 5

5.4.            GSLIS has voice on college wide budgetary, political and administrative matters.

5.5.            GSLIS needs for facility upgrades, IT support and IT capability are assessed on an annual basis.

5.6.            QC and CUNY administration understand and support the administrative, faculty, student and physical resource needs of the school and devote sufficient funds for its ongoing maintenance.

As both described and supported through the following evidence, GSLIS meets this Organizational Goal and the relevant Objectives (5.2, 5.3) by providing the physical, library and technological resources students, staff and faculty require: on campus; remotely through facilities offered by the Queens College and the City University of New York; and, by taking advantage of the enormous variety of resources of New York City.

Standard VI.1

Standard VI.1

A program has access to physical resources and facilities that are sufficient to the accomplishments of its objectives.

Resources and Facilities to Support GSLIS Organizational Goals and Objectives

Details of the physical resources and facilities available to the GSLIS are discussed in response to Standard VI.2, below. Here, we briefly summarize the overall structure and conditions of GSLIS physical plant, pointing out that, at present, it is sufficient, if just barely, and describing plans for enhancement.

With its current size, faculty office space is sufficient, although somewhat awkward, with three faculty offices located outside of the main GSLIS office suite. At the present time, GSLIS faculty and students have access to adequate lab facilities within GSLIS and across campus for teaching and learning purposes. Within the GSLIS, recent improvements to student and teaching labs have been made, including smart boards, surround sound, and other recent enhancements discussed under Standard VI.2.

In the GSLIS 2011 Program Presentation, space needs of the GSLIS were highlighted as a central concern and this remains the case. Queens College , administration is working with GSLIS to remedy this situation. As discussed under Standard VI.5, plans to relocate the GSLIS to the former site of the CUNY Law School, Queens Hall, were put on hold in 2013 due to renovations in Kiely Hall. The renovations in Kiely Hall will be completed by January 2015, and, at that time faculty and QC administration will discuss the relocation of GSLIS to Queens Hall, or renovation of the current location of GSLIS in Rosenthal Library.

Standard VI.2

Standard VI.2

Physical facilities provide a functional learning environment for students and faculty; enhance the opportunities for research, teaching, service, consultation, and communication; and promote efficient and effective administration of the School’s program, regardless of the forms or locations of delivery.

Physical Space Occupied by GSLIS

The GSLIS is located on the ground floor of the Benjamin Rosenthal Library building, providing easy access to the Library’s collections and facilities. The School’s central physical facilities include a suite of offices for faculty and staff, a dedicated GSLIS student lounge, two labs, and two classrooms. Three additional faculty offices are located in Rosenthal Library, near the GSLIS office suite. The office suite includes workspace for three administrative assistants (two full-time, one part-time work-study), eight faculty offices, a Director/Chair’s office, a small seminar/meeting room, a faculty/staff lounge, and faculty/staff restrooms. Faculty offices are equipped with wired Internet connections as well as wired printing connectivity. Faculty members share a printer located in the faculty/staff lounge. The Administrative Office includes common space with three workstations as well as spaces for required records and files for the department. Office administrators all have access to internet and printing capabilities. The student lounge is equipped with student mailboxes and kitchen facilities as well as study space that offers Internet access. The Director/Chair’s office is directly adjacent to the office suite and easily accessible to students. Student seating is available in various spaces. The area is large enough to accommodate student conferences. Problems include:

The scattered configuration of offices has posed some inconvenience for students. Those meeting with faculty with offices in Rosenthal Library must leave the GSLIS second floor space and then enter the Library proper through the main third floor entrance before proceeding downstairs to the back of the second floor of Rosenthal. A significant space issue for GSLIS faculty concerns the lack of an adequate faculty meeting locations, resulting in faculty meetings being held in the GSLIS student lounge.

As noted above, GSLIS has two classrooms in our immediate space. One (Rosenthal 257) is equipped with a permanent technology console including a computer with an Internet connection as well as a full complement of audiovisual capabilities connected to fixed speakers and a ceiling mounted permanent projector. The second classroom (Rosenthal 258) relies on portable technology setups that similarly include a combination of computer and projector. Within Rosenthal Library, GSLIS has full access to a new smart classroom, the Tannenbaum room 300i, named after its donor.

GSLIS maintains two computer labs. One (Rosenthal 240) can be divided; it contains thirty-five dual boot iMac computers as well as access to two printers. A second lab (Rosenthal 256) includes thirteen dual boot iMac computers and an instructor station. Over summer 2014 this lab was completely overhauled with a new smart board console, front and rear 60” monitors, and surround sound speakers. Students also have access to additional computer labs located throughout the college campus.

The physical facilities of GSLIS are ADA compliant. See Appendix VI.1 for information regarding ADA compliance.

Additional Physical Space Available to GSLIS

In coordination with the College Librarian, GSLIS has arranged for the adaptation of existing archival space to serve as a combination Special Collections storage area and a learning lab. This lab space provides students with fellowships in the Department of Special Collections and Archives with established workspaces for the duration of their fellowships.

Rosenthal Library Special Collections recently added a new classroom on the 3rd floor of Rosenthal Library. This classroom — designed specifically for close study of Special Collections materials and practices — includes technology for the examination of primary materials in a seminar environment, as well as space for small classes of Special Collections Fellows to engage in advanced archival practices.

Queens College makes carrels available to faculty members who require a quiet and secure area in order to work on advanced research. These spaces are available for one year, are free of charge, and turnover is based on an established waiting list. At present the GSLIS has use of two carrels. One is being used by Queens College Special Collections Fellows to work on archival materials; the other by a faculty member conducting individual research.

Off Campus Facilities

GSLIS offers three off campus locations where classes are regularly taught:

Classes taught by GSLIS full-time and adjunct faculty are regularly offered at the Murphy Center. The CUNY Law School is being used for the first time in fall 2014, with the offering of LBSCI 788, Law Librarianship. Core courses are offered at Stony Brook and are taught by faculty at that institution. Through a collaborative arrangement between GSLIS and Stony Brook, these core courses transfer credit to the GSLIS programs. (Discussed in Chapter 2)

Standard VI.3

Standard VI.3

Instructional and research facilities and services for meeting the needs of students and faculty include access to library and multimedia resources and services, computer and other information technologies, accommodations for independent study, and media production facilities.

Faculty Research Facilities

GSLIS faculty in general, do not engage in research that requires specialized facilities or dedicated lab spaces. Support services for faculty research, discussed in Chapter 3, include computers and software for data analysis, which is conducted within faculty offices, and the use of carrels in Rosenthal Library. In addition, all of the resources of the Queens College Libraries, and support from GSLIS and Social Science Divisional IT staff, and the staff and resources of the Office of Converging Technologies (OCT - the Queens College central IT support unit) are available to faculty to support their research..

Library Collections and Services             

Rosenthal Library contains an extensive collection of both print and non-print material (Appendix VI.13). Over the last three years the Library has spent more than $25,000 each year for library and information science-related books, monographs and other materials (Appendix VI.20). The library holdings contain over 800,000 books, 92,000 unique journal titles, online access to 258 online databases, and online access to 230,000 e-books. The Library also includes a Media Center and a depository for U.S. government publications. A dedicated Art Library on the sixth floor contains over 70,000 books; 5,000 bound periodicals; and 110,000 slides, pictures, and exhibition catalogs and pamphlets. The Queens College Music Library, located on two floors of the Music Building, houses over 35,000 scores, 30,000 books and 20,000 sound recordings, making it the largest music collection in the CUNY system. The Library also offers Research Guides to support students and faculty. Of particular interest to GSLIS is the Library Science Research Guide (Appendix VI.14).

Rosenthal Library maintains an extensive collection of library materials and resources consistent with the requirements of a master’s level LIS graduate program. This collection consists of print, periodical and electronic resources, and is continually updated. To assure a consistent and updated subject specific collection, Rosenthal Library conducts an annual self-study of its Library and Information Studies Collection using the Library and Book Trade Almanac’s “Librarians’ Bookshelf” as a benchmark against which to measure the breadth and depth of its holdings.

The GSLIS has at its disposal two special funds for acquisition of LIS materials. One is the Irwin Piskin Memorial Gift Fund for acquisition of Library and Information Science Materials; the other, the Dr. Louis Coburn Endowment for Library Science Books. Appendix VI.16 lists the 50 volumes that were acquired through the Piskin fund during the 2010-2014 academic years; Appendix VI.17 lists the 46 volumes acquired through the Coburn Endowment during the 2009-2014 academic years.

In total, Rosenthal Library provides valuable resources combined with an inviting atmosphere of study, both in its physical accommodations and technical resources. These include Twomey Lounge for laptop use, extensive computer and group facilities on the second floor of the Library, photocopy services, Art and Music Libraries, Juvenile Collection, art exhibits in the Art Library, and a Multimedia Commons, all in various locations. Additional services are available through the Library website such as Interlibrary Loan (ILL), laptops for loan, e-reserve, and CUNY Libraries Inter-Campus Services (CLICS).

Students taking core classes at the School of Professional Development at SUNY Stony Brook have access to the Stony Brook University Libraries, which own over 2.1 million items and provide access to over 60,000 electronic journals. An overview of the Stony Brook University Libraries can be found in Appendix VI.15.

Online Library Materials and Services Available to GSLIS

Queens College Libraries provide access to an extensive collection of online databases, which can be accessed both on and off campus (Appendix VI.2). These are valuable resources both for distance learning students and for students taking traditional face to face classes on campus but conducting research off campus. The Library also provides access to a large selection of electronic journals and other online resources, the CUNY+ online catalog, as well as various tutorials, research guides, and other services (Appendix VI.3). These materials and services are available to all students registered with the college. The library has a Systems Department which maintains the computer servers on which these databases are operated. A summary of Queens College Libraries resources and services for distance learning and independent study is presented below.

The CUNY Library Services, which provide university-wide online database access, as well as access to the online catalogs of all of the CUNY colleges, are a useful complement to the holdings and services of the Queens College Libraries. All students, staff and faculty at constituent colleges can access these resources through the CUNY Portal (see Appendix VI.4, and below). Distance education students registered in the system are also covered. Several library systems, including New York Public Library (NYPL), Queens Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, Nassau Library System, and Suffolk Library System are remotely available with a local library card. All GSLIS students in the metropolitan area can obtain library cards for these systems, and thereby access their catalogs and online databases. Example library resources and services available to GSLIS students include:

Computer and Information Technology Resources

GSLIS Information Technology Resources

As noted in Section VI.2, GSLIS has two proprietary computer labs for the use of students in the GSLIS program. These labs have iMac desktop computers with Mac/Windows dual boot operating systems (OSs), so that both Apple Mac applications and Windows applications can be deployed, depending on which OS is selected. In support of the program’s advanced technology course offerings all of these lab computers have been uniquely configured with specific application and productivity software that are essential to this facet of the curriculum. As a result of this set-up, technology training in the areas of digitization, digital archives, database design and creation, advanced web authoring and multimedia production is being effectively implemented and managed. The equipment in the two labs is as follows:

These computers are upgraded on a four or five-year cycle funded by the Student Technology Fee. Room 240 has an overhead projector and a retractable screen; Room 256 has a fully functional teacher station as described under Standard VI.2. The department also maintains carts for delivering additional computers to this room

GSLIS labs have specialized software specific to courses taught in the program, including:

In addition to the two labs, GSLIS Room 257 has a fully functional teacher station with DVD/VHS, an overhead projector and a retractable wall screen. Again, this teacher station technology is used for presentation software and/or audiovisual needs.

Please see Standard VI.4, below, for discussion of faculty and staff GSLIS information technology resources and support.

Queens College Information Technology Resources

The college network, often referred to as QC Network or QC Net, is a broadband network that connects all computers on the campus. It connects to Cuny.net and the CUNY portal (see below) via a one Gigabit Ethernet with a 100 Megabit backup. QC Net is both hard wired and wireless. The wireless component was installed in 2000 and allows faculty and students to access teaching and learning material on the network without going to the office or lab. The following description deals with the hard-wired portion of the network. The network is administered by the Office of Converging Technologies (OCT). This office manages the QC website which allows faculty and students to access online teaching and learning information resources while on campus. It also provides software in the computer teaching labs located throughout the campus as follows:

The number of computers in these labs ranges from 26-40. These are shared labs used by all faculty and students on campus, and GSLIS classes are often assigned to these labs. All labs have individual computers for students and a teacher station. All these labs are equipped with Genesis, a classroom management program which allows the instructor to broadcast teaching material displayed on his/her computer to all students in the class. The instructor can also monitor student performance and send individualized information to a particular student’s computer.

With regard to software, all these labs have Microsoft Windows Suite installed. OCT will install upon request specialized programs for which they have a site license, but which are not used regularly. For instance, if a GSLIS instructor teaching research methods wants SPSS to teach data analysis, it can be installed on request. Other programs are freeware downloadable from the Web. OCT can install freeware programs from the Web for classroom use, in both these, and the GSLIS labs. Among such programs is Seamonkey, the Composer feature of which is regularly used for website construction In LBSCI 700. OCT has often installed such programs into the labs on request for use by GSLIS faculty teaching a particular course.

Other Queens College and CUNY technology resources available to GSLIS faculty, staff and students include:

CUNY Information Technology Resources and Services

The CUNY Portal is the university-wide hub that controls access to vital educational software such as Blackboard (Appendix VI.5). The Portal is on Cuny.net, a regional proprietary computer network that connects all 25 colleges and schools of The City University of New York. Most of the faculty at GSLIS use Blackboard Educational Suite for its basic functions such as: distribution of syllabi, assignments, mass e-mail, posting PowerPoint lectures, readings, and grades. Discussion fora and blogs on Blackboard are used in some courses for encouraging student online participation. As noted above, the Portal also provides access to a wealth of online content, such as full text databases, that complement content accessible through the Queens College Library. Such content is vital in teaching information resources courses in humanities, social sciences, and science and technology.

The CUNY Academic Commons is a wiki/blog/social networking site which began in 2009. It is “designed to support faculty initiatives and build community through the use(s) of technology in teaching and learning” within the City University of New York system (Appendix VI.12). The site is open to all CUNY faculty and graduate students and enables the formation of both public and private groups and blogs. At this writing there were approximately 240 groups on the Commons, on topics ranging from Creative Commons & Copyright, the Digital Humanities Initiative, to the CUNY Games Network.

Standard VI.4

Standard VI.4

The staff and the services provided for a program by libraries, media centers, and information technology facilities, as well as all other support facilities, are sufficient for the level of use required and specialized to the degree needed. These facilities are appropriately staffed, convenient, accessible to the disabled, and available when needed, regardless of forms or locations of delivery of the school’s program.

Technology Support

GSLIS Faculty computers are upgraded on a revolving five-year schedule, depending on the date of hire. Faculty members are given their choice of platform (Windows or Mac) as well as laptop or desktop. All faculty computers are loaded with the same version of MS Office as used in the GSLIS labs. Faculty may request specialized software as required by their teaching or research needs. There is one shared printer.

GSLIS Administrative Office staff computers are upgraded every five years. As appropriate, they also are upgraded with current versions of MS Office and other relevant software (including CUNY-specific applications). The Office staff share one local printer. In spring 2014 the GSLIS office received a new copier.

The GSLIS computer labs are updated as described under Standard VI.3. They are administered by a support staff which currently includes one member of the Division of Social Sciences IT support staff at 50% (to be increased to 100% in the near future), and three part-time staff. The part-time GSLIS IT staff are scheduled so that some staff are available at all times that the labs are open, in order to offer assistance to students and faculty. The GSLIS computer labs are open for use beginning at noon, and close after the last evening classes are over. The computer labs are ADA compliant.

Serving Students with Special Needs

The Office of Special Services (OSS) is Queens College’s central service for students with disabilities. Accommodations and supportive services are provided depending on the disability and the level of support each student needs. For example, if a student has dysgraphia or cannot write notes due to a learning or physical disability, the OSS will assign the student a note taker. If a student is visually or hearing impaired, the Center will provided a laptop with the software that supports the particular disability, such as enlarging text, voice control, and organizational planning such as inspiration.  Information on accommodations and supportive services that the Office of Special Services provides for students with disabilities is available in Appendix VI.18. The OSS administers the Assistive Technology (AT) Lab, located in Kiely Hall. This facility is dedicated to ensuring accessibility to technology for students with special needs or disabilities. Its facilities are available during the following hours: Monday to Thursday from 8a.m. to 5 pm; Friday 8am to 4:00pm; Saturday, 9am to 2 pm. The Lab offers numerous technologies to assist students with disabilities, some of which are listed below:

Additionally, some assistive technology equipment is available in Rosenthal Library for student use.

Standard VI.5

Standard VI.5

The school’s planning and evaluation process includes review of the adequacy of access to physical resources and facilities for the delivery of a program. Within applicable institutional policies, faculty, staff, students, and others are involved in the evaluation process.

Planning and Evaluation of Physical Resources and Facilities

As discussed in Chapter I, Standard I.2, section on Organizational Goal and Objectives 5, the GSLIS planning process includes annual review of its physical resources and facilities. The Director/Chair, in collaboration with the IT manager and the faculty as a whole, conducts an annual inventory of faculty computer needs and an evaluation of lab spaces, and an assessment of GSLIS student and office facilities. The results of these reviews are used as the basis for planning and action, both within the GSLIS itself, and in collaboration with the Queens College administration. The Director/Chair is responsible for taking GSLIS concerns and plans to the Queens College administration. This process has resulted in 2014 in: faculty computer upgrades and teaching lab redesign in 2014; a half-time IT manager dedicated to GSLIS as of spring 2014; and, physical space improvements to the main office in summer 2014. Discussions are continuing with respect to expansion of the physical space available to GSLIS, either through moving to another building, or within and near its current location.

Students are also involved in evaluating and planning for our physical resources, primarily through the opportunity to comment on physical resources in their Exit Interviews and in Alumni Surveys. Examples of such comments include requests for enhanced computer teaching labs, and the need for more classes to be offered off campus. In response to these, computer lab facilities have been upgraded, the Law Librarianship course is now being offered at the CUNY Law School, which is easily accessible from Manhattan, and course offerings have been increased at the Murphy Center in Manhattan.

As described in the Introduction to this chapter, at one time it was anticipated that the GSLIS would be relocated to the former CUNY Law School building, Queens Hall. Two years ago the faculty reviewed prospective floor plans for the department’s projected space in that facility, and developed a plan for utilizing the space that would meet the current and projected GSLIS needs. It was expected that this recommendation would address and rectify the physical resource challenges the department faces. These plans were disrupted by the renovation of Kiely Hall, which houses the Queens College central administration, who were moved to Queens Hall during that renovation. When renovation of Kiely Hall is complete, discussions about GSLIS physical plant will resume between the faculty, Director/Chair and Queens College administration. Although the plans for a GSLIS move to Queens Hall are already in place, an alternate solution, reconfiguration and expansion in and near its current location, is also possible. In the meantime GSLIS has improved the overall appearance and environment of its current venue. This includes painting offices and hallways, replacing furniture, and installing new flooring.

If the GSLIS remains in its current location, further attention to climate control issues will be needed, to remedy problems of excess humidity and moisture in faculty offices. In addition, the GSLIS faculty conference room is inadequate in size to hold the full faculty. The GSLIS student lounge and the faculty kitchen will need carpet and equipment replacement if the school remains in place. These renovations have already been brought to the attention of Administration and building plans for kitchen and office have been drawn up. (Appendices VI.19)

Summary

The evidence presented demonstrates that the physical resources and facilities available to the GSLIS meet the requirements of Standard VI, and that the GSLIS planning process insures that its Organizational Goal and Objectives with respect to physical facilities are fulfilled. Although there are certainly areas in which things could be improved, in particular with respect to the physical space occupied by the GSLIS, the current facilities (just) adequately support the Mission and Goals of the School. Plans for alleviating the space issue are well developed, and there is strong evidence of understanding of, and desire to address this problem on the part of the Queens College central administration. This evidence is intended to make clear that the GSLIS continues to plan broadly and cooperatively with the college to address ongoing needs for improvement, as well as to successfully address the challenges of the changing information environment.