Library Services, Fall 2014: The College in Historical Context
In past posts on the semester’s library services activities, I’ve made an effort to use images, many from our digitized Historical Photographs collection (all of which can be found in our online archive PocketKnowledge), to put current developments in the library and the College in context from a historical standpoint.
This remains an attractive idea to me, I remain a sucker for these great old photographs, but I may have at the moment run out of (attempted) insightful meditations on the nature of library services that can be illustrated or substantiated via pictures from TC history.
Therefore, I’ve decided in this post to use photographs of what the neighborhood looked like in the very early days of the College’s residency in Morningside Heights. It does seem to me that these pictures help put our current occupancy of this piece of Manhattan in some perspective, and in general it’s never a bad thing to be reminded of how radically landscapes, especially urban landscapes, in this city, country, and elsewhere, have changed in the course of a century and a quarter, or less.
Here then, accompanied by scenes, a few wintry, from the old nabes, are some figures summarizing research and information services the library provided to its users during Fall 2014:
- From September through December, Services responded to a total of 1,479 in-person and telephone reference queries.
- Library Services staff members received and responded to 839 queries of various kinds submitted via the library’s Support Request (ticketing) system.
Services librarians provided 83 research consultations to individuals or small groups over the course of the fall.
- Services team members presented 25 course-specific library information sessions, either in the courses’ regular classrooms or in the library, for a total of 612 students.
- At the beginning of the semester, research and information services librarians provided 8 library orientation tours for a total of 136 new students.
And these are some notable areas of research about which we consulted with students seeking information or guidance:
- How hospital mergers affect nursing management and staff;
- Racism in education and its impact on African American males in grades K-12;
- Math mistakes: looking for general statistics at the national or state level that report on proficiency levels of high school students in math, whether math mistakes are tracked nationally, number of students that graduate high school with math honors/or upper division math classes, number of minority students in math careers, math classes, or are math-proficient; basically, any national or state statistics that report on how students are doing in math classes, and if there is a breakdown by gender, race, and ethnicity;
Literacy, parent decision-making process on child’s education, mothers and child health in Guatemala;
- Empirical research article studies that get at the questions: Does racism exist in the American immigration process? How do immigrants in America come to understand racism (particularly Black history)? What is the impact of racism in America on immigrants, and everyone involved in the immigration process?
- Student Voice from both the counseling psychology and education perspective;
- Effects of student ethnicity and level of participation on teachers’ perception of student effort and engagement in mathematics;
- Inequalities in access to education/educational opportunity in America (articles in peer-reviewed
- Reconciliation education in Rwanda;
- Higher education reform in China;
- How African American history is taught in secondary schools in the United States, and what resources we have on the subject in the library;
- Family socioeconomic disadvantages related to material hardship (e.g., housing, clothing, electricity) for Mayan peoples in Guatemala;
- Social-emotional learning in education in emergencies;
- Schizophrenia and cognition;
How non-heritage second graders learn Chinese as a foreign language (including information on how a second language taught in the US; general information and studies on second languages and on how children acquire a second language; survey articles on the Chinese language itself; the history of teaching Chinese language in the US; and culturally relevant pedagogy when it comes to teaching foreign languages);
- Learning preferences-based teaching alternative to CREDE (University of Hawaii) model;
- How professionals in financial services support functions learn to balance their dual roles of “technical expert” and “business partner”: seeking research that helps support the fact that the expert model of working is becoming obsolete/is changing;
- Public psychiatric hospital care: interested in finding resources related to the cost and quality of
- History of the program for Education for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing at Teachers College;
- Racial discrimination in employment/the hiring process: determining whether racism occurs in a particular institution, and what the cost is to society (not just to the victims of the institutional racism);
- Education issues in Honduras; statistical information related to education policy;
- The internationalization (i.e. globalizing) of the American liberal arts undergraduate curriculum;
- critical periods for language development in hearing impaired children;
Measures for variables, including peer rejection, depressive symptoms, and self-worth, for a research project;
- Dyslexia and intervention;
- “How does art live in the life of single mothers?” Seeking help with researching journals about women and art, women and work, emotional labor in the workforce, motherhood, and more;
- Ethnographies of primary/secondary schooling in Latin America, in particular with a focus on the Dominican Republic;
- How visual distraction can capture some of the limited space in working memory;
- Dissertation research on Robert Kegan and John Heron’s work, centering on storytelling: women’s
return to the workforce after the most recent recession. Is the glass ceiling as a concept still relevant today as it was in 1986?;
- Research relating to the history of art education opportunities in high need urban environments; on some of the first people to suggest using art to influence at-risk youth positively; whether the arts be an effective positive outlet for at-risk youth; and Who some of the people are who have been advocating for this;
- Women art educators, and specifically Jane Addams and the Hull House and how they impacted art education;
- The impact and effect of colors, paint, and music on infants, and relatedly the impact of technology on infants and children;
Information about the educator Friedrich Froebel relating to the historical foundations of art education: looking to see what research has already been done about him, and more specifically, about his “gifts”;
- The history of or research on art education or art classes (from infant to age 11) in the Museum of Modern Art and other museums;
- The brain functioning of adult bilinguals and second language learners;
- Immigrant heritage languages;
- Korean art education, and how Japanese rule impacted Korean education generally;
- What children see when they close their eyes, and whether they have the ability to do a representational drawing of what they see when they close their eyes;
- How early imitation as bodily expression in pre-verbal infants is important as it relates to artistic development;
- Embodied activities (interpretive bodily activity such as dancing, making sounds, and poetry in response to art works) in art museum education;
- The Henry Street Settlement, specifically focusing on what the curriculum and teaching was originally
like and its evolution up until now; the teachers and students and the roles they had; research on Lilian Wald, the founder, and why the arts became involved in the Henry Street mission;
- The artist Agnes Martin’s time at Teacher’s College in the late 1940s and early 1950s;
- Relationships between art education and therapeutic practices (art, music, speech, occupational, etc.) and how the two disciplines have connected over time;
- The ongoing implications of a sociological theory (the correspondence theory) in sociology of education, and whether its influence has declined over time.
Actually, to revisit what I said at the outset, it’s never a bad thing to be reminded of how radically intellectual, social, and political (as well as geographical) landscapes have changed in the course of the College’s 125 years, and if one thing emerges from the odd juxtaposition of historical TC photographs and the topics our students sought help with this Fall, it’s a sense of how members of the first generation of students and faculty here would likely find nearly unrecognizable our students’ present-day research concerns; and this leads me to think that a future post might explore, to the extent that it’s recoverable, what the first students here were seeking to take away from their Morningside educational experience, what they brought here, and from where, and where they went next, and beyond.