Library Initiates Twenty-Four Hour Service During Tenth Week and Finals

March 10th, 2013

For the first time, two UCLA libraries will be open twenty-four hours a day during tenth week or finals of the winter quarter:

  • · Powell Library Building: Open around the clock from Monday, March 11, at 7:30 a.m. to Friday, March 15, at midnight and from Monday, March 18, at 7:30 a.m. to Friday, March 22, at 5 p.m.
  • · Charles E. Young Research Library: Open around the clock from Sunday, March 17, at 10 a.m. to Thursday, March 21, at midnight

The circulation desks will be open in both buildings during the extended hours, and book stacks will remain accessible. Reference assistance will be available online. A BruinCard will be required to access these libraries after 7 p.m. on these days.

There will also be a variety of stress-busting activities in a number of libraries, including chair massage, therapy dogs, guided meditation, origami, and yoga. Full details are available on the web page at:


UCLA Library Launches Transformative Broadcast News Platform

March 10th, 2013

Comprising digital recordings of hundreds of thousands of American and international TV news programs from 2005 to the present and featuring capture, search and playback capabilities that go beyond those of other public news archives, the UCLA Library’s newly launched Broadcast NewsScape opens up transformative possibilities for teaching, research and publication.

The technology developed for the platform captures closed-captioning streams, on-screen text and detected visual shapes, along with video feeds, which can be searched or browsed. Now in its initial launch phase, Broadcast NewsScape is accessible at to users on the UCLA campus or those connecting from off-campus via the campus network. Project managers hope to launch the platform to the entire University of California scholarly community in the future.

“This important new resource benefits students and faculty at UCLA and offers a model to educational institutions and libraries worldwide,” said University Librarian Gary E. Strong. “It provides access to media coverage of contemporary events, and its comprehensive capture and search capabilities have the potential to transform scholarship and, through it, our understanding of our world.”

The current contents of Broadcast NewsScape include more than 200,000 recorded news shows from over 100 distinct programs, totaling approximately 150,000 hours, plus more than 1.1 billion words of accompanying closed-captioning text and program listings. All are indexed and time-referenced to enable full-text searching and interactive playback. The platform is continuously updated, and news feeds are determined in consultation with faculty.

The history of this platform began in the early 1970s, when UCLA professor Paul Rosenthal launched a project to tape television news; although the project continued throughout the ensuing years, the resulting archive was not highly used due to the difficulty of searching the contents of the analog tapes.

To address this challenge, in 2005, professors Tim Groeling and Francis Steen in the UCLA Department of Communication Studies began developing a system that captured news programs and saved them in a digital format; this new platform dramatically expands the system’s capabilities and features.

“Broadcast NewsScape makes television amenable to rational analysis and makes it possible to think systematically about everything that’s happening on the screen in terms of all the visual content, as well as the audio,” Steen said. “It allows types of scholarship that have not previously been possible and gives UCLA the capacity to become a center for this type of research, which can revolutionize communications studies.”

Funding from a number of sources was essential in the early stages of this project’s development, including from the UCLA Office of the Dean, Social Sciences; the UCLA Office of Instructional Development; the California Endowment; and the UCLA Common Collaboration and Learning Environment. Development of the technological infrastructure was partially funded by a National Science Foundation Cyber-enabled Discovery and Innovation grant. Support has also been provided by UCLA Social Science Computing and the UCLA Institute for Digital Research and Education.

The UCLA Library’s participation has been supported by the Arcadia Fund to transform UCLA Library collections. The platform’s contents and structure may be relevant to the UCLA Library’s project focusing on ephemeral media of the Middle East, also funded by Arcadia.

New Collection to the International Digital Ephemera Project

March 5th, 2013

A new collection being added to the Arcadia funded International Digital Ephemera Project.  The project is getting closer to the launch of its initial public interface focused on a collection of Tahrir Square documents, materials collected from demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square beginning in March 2011 during the Egyptian uprising.  Our next collection is another related to Middle Eastern Politics focused on the Iranian Green Movement.  The Iranian Green Movement became synonymous with protests that lasted for nearly a year beginning after the contested 2009 Iranian elections.  This collection brings together ephemera instrumental to the planning, promotion and reporting of Green Movement protests.

The collection of social media, underground newspapers and thousands of videos from most protests during the first year after the 2009 elections in Iran directly from activist groups inside Iran. These two collections of digital ephemera offer scholars a new and unique tool for studying the ephemera regarding modern Iranian and Arab political movements.

Along with the Green Movement content the Library welcomes a curator to the UCLA Library, Ali Jamshidi, the founder and administrator of what became one of the most important social media platforms for the distribution of information about the Green Movement and its post-election protests.  Ali founded Tahavole Sabz, one of the most prominent reformist Iranian journalistic outlets and he has collaborated intensively with journalists from other more internationally famous reformist outlets.

The International Digital Ephemera Project is supported by the Arcadia Fund.


UCLA Library Launches Library Apps

February 13th, 2013

The UCLA Library Simul8 Group has released a set of apps that work across web, tablet and mobile devices. These apps are still in beta release but provide new interactions with our extensive article databases, and add to the already existing iOS/Android mobile offerings.

The Simul8 Group is supported by the Arcadia Fund.

Article Search beta

A simple and fast article search for your tablet and mobile device

* Search & view abstracts and articles

* Turns your iPad or Android tablet into an article e-reader

Stashd beta

Helps store and organize research links/clippings on the web. Login with your UCLA ID

* Find useful research online, then click bookmarklet in browser toolbar to save

* Save online content, label, add notes, share links on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

To view in web or tablet browser:

To view on mobile device:

Message from Chancellor Block on Future State Funding

November 7th, 2012
To the Campus Community:
By now, you likely have heard that Proposition 30, the governor’s tax measure on the statewide ballot, has been approved by voters. This is good news, as it lends a measure of sorely lacking stability to state funding.
While UCLA is deeply appreciative of Gov. Brown and all the Californians who turned out to vote for Proposition 30, we all must remember that it does little in the short term to alleviate the effects of past funding cuts and unfunded cost increases. State support has fallen 44 percent since 2000, even as we have absorbed numerous cost increases, such as health insurance premiums, collective bargaining agreements, pensions and utility rates.
To adjust to new funding realities, UCLA has cut expenditures, streamlined operations and developed new non-state revenue streams. The campus-wide search for savings must go on, and I will continue to work with senior administrators, academic leaders and student representatives to protect academic programs. Reflecting that priority, in the past, we have made contingency funds available to ensure that there are enough seats in the high-demand classes that students need to graduate in a timely manner, and that’s something we will again consider.
The disinvestment in public higher education has created a structural problem that can’t be fixed easily and requires long-term strategies. As I explained in a recent Time magazine essay, by chronically reducing funding, California and other states are jeopardizing our nation’s future by forsaking the young minds and the research we need to fuel the economy. In today’s New York Times, Thomas Friedman predicted that preparing the future workforce and ensuring a middle class will be a key issue over the next four years. “The answer to that challenge,” Friedman wrote, “will require a new level of political imagination — a combination of educational reforms and unprecedented collaboration between business, schools, universities and government to change how workers are trained and empowered to keep learning.”
I couldn’t agree more. At UCLA, we have many partnerships with other universities and both the public and private sectors to help prepare our youth and further our research mission. We’re on the road toward a new financial model, ramping up fundraising efforts, bolstering intellectual property licensing, accepting more international and out-of-state students, and taking other actions to increase revenues. But we need leadership from Washington and business leaders if we are to create an aggressive national strategy to save public higher education and preserve our nation’s future.
While I’m discouraged by long-term funding trends, I’m optimistic about UCLA’s future, and the passage of Proposition 30 shows that voters are willing to increase taxes to pay for important programs. We are a vibrant community with inspiring ingenuity and resilience. We will meet these challenges and secure our promising future together, guided by our overriding priority to maintain and enhance the broad excellence, rich student experience and affordability that attract the world’s top students and scholars.
Gene D. Block

UCLA Library Acquires Papers of Campaign Strategist Garry South

October 19th, 2012

Called “the Carville of California” by the New York Times, Democratic political consultant Garry South has donated his extensive campaign archives to the UCLA Library.  

 Offering unique insight into the political process, the collection, which features materials from three of California Gov. Gray Davis’ campaigns for statewide office, testifies to the secretive, arcane art of crafting successful campaign strategies and is thought to be one of the most complete campaign archives in existence. 

 South managed Davis’ campaigns for California lieutenant governor in 1994 and governor in 1998 and 2002; advised on campaigns for Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and Joe Lieberman; and has had an extensive career in Democratic Party politics. For Davis’ 1998 gubernatorial campaign, South was named “Campaign Manager of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants, an honor he shares with Karl Rove, James Carville and the late Lee Atwater. 

 We are honored to accept this unique and timely collection. Broad public knowledge about campaign operations is essential in a healthy democracy, and we look forward to making these materials widely accessible to students, scholars and the general public. The collection is not only significant, but Mr. South has tranferred all rights to the material to the UCLA Library which will provide full access to faculty and students who wish to use the material to study campaigns.

 The collection contains research files, correspondence, campaign materials, poll data and clippings, as well as recordings of commercials, news coverage and debates. Of particular note are extensive research files on Davis’ opponents in primaries or general elections, including Al Checchi, Jane Harman, Dan Lungren, Bill Simon and Richard Riordan.

 South has also given the UCLA Library the copyright to the materials so that they can be digitized and made available for nonprofit educational and informational uses. The collection is housed in UCLA Library Special Collections

 “I am delighted to donate my campaign archives to such a world-class facility as the UCLA Library,” South said. “Too many campaign documents routinely end up in the dumpster or shredder after the election. As someone with a degree in American history, I thought it was important to make these materials permanently available for study by those seeking to better understand the campaign process.” 

 On Wednesday, Oct. 17, the UCLA Library hosted a panel discussion featuring South and UCLA professors Jeffrey B. Lewis, Mark A. Peterson and Lynn Vavreck. The panelists offered inside details on “how the sausage is made” in political campaigns and discussed the importance of public knowledge about campaign operations in a healthy democratic society. Co-sponsored by the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, the Center for the Study of Campaigns, and the Department of Political Science, the event also included comments from The Honorable Gray David, California’s thirty-seventh governor and the Honorable James Brulte, former Republican leader in the California State Senate and Assembly.


The Honorable Gray Davis addresses the gathering.

Strong joins Garry South (left) and James Brulte at the event.

UCLA’s chief financial officer makes sense of budget complexities

August 10th, 2012


State funding for the UC system has been slipping for many years, accelerating in the past four years. Difficult to understand under normal circumstances, UCLA’s budget picture has gained a new measure of complexity because of several factors, including the placement of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 on the Nov. 6 ballot, a UC Office of the President “tax” on campuses to help fund operations in Oakland, and unfunded mandatory cost increases. UCLA Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Steve Olsen is responsible for making sense of this fluid situation and keeping the campus on solid financial footing. In this Q&A with UCLA Today’s Cynthia Lee, he explains how we got here and where we are headed.
Let’s start with some context. Generally, how has state support for UC and UCLA changed over the years?

When the California Master Plan for Higher Education of 1960 was created, the university was envisioned as being primarily state-supported. State funding flows to the UC Office of the President, which distributes it to the campuses.

But over the last five decades, state funds for the university have been substantially reduced, especially during the last 20 years as the state’s financial difficulties have worsened.

Janss Steps fountain

Shapiro Fountain. Photos by Stephanie Diani.

In 1990-91, the state was spending an average of $16,720 per student. (See page 13, Display 6.) That’s dropped sharply over the years. In 2011-12, it was at $6,770 per student, a decrease of 59 percent. At the same time state funding for UC has been falling, student enrollment at UC campuses has risen 51 percent since 1990-91.

At UCLA, state funding has been in a very rapid decline over the last four years. It has gone down precipitously from $642 million in 2007-08 to $380 million in 2011-12. In this fiscal year, it could range between $340 and $389 million, depending on what happens November.

How is state funding utilized?

State support makes up about 7 percent of our total revenues of about $5 billion. But it accounts for more than a quarter of the revenues that pay for our general operating costs, and a good portion of those costs cannot be covered by revenue from other sources. State funds pay for the basic academic program, the operation of academic departments, core administrative needs, the police department, utilities and so forth. In other words, state funds pay for the things required to keep UCLA’s doors open.

So clearly, state funding is essential to the university’s well-being because three-quarters of the revenue UCLA receives through other sources cannot be used to pay for faculty salaries and the general operating costs of the university. Revenue from housing, the medical enterprise, research grants, gifts made for specific purposes, UCLA Athletics, ASUCLA and other sources also cannot be used to pay for these essential needs.
That’s why the university is so reliant on state funds. And that’s why UCLA has had to find other ways to fill this gap.

How have the UC system and UCLA adjusted to these new funding realities?

To maintain academic quality, the regents have had no choice but to increase tuition. Tuition paid by our students now exceeds revenue from the state. But those tuition-generated revenues only cover roughly 50 percent of the cost of educating a student.

students.outsideSo we’ve all had to work harder, doing more with less. To fill the gap in state funding, we have had to generate new types of revenue and increase revenue from existing sources. At UCLA, nonresident tuition, which had been a relatively minor portion of our operating budget, is now contributing more than $100 million a year to pay for UCLA’s core operations. And that must continue to increase if state funding continues to drop. The higher tuition paid by out-of-state and international students helps to ensure that we can continue to deliver high-quality education to students from California, many for whom UCLA receives nothing from the state.

We’ve also established new forms of student tuition for some professional degree programs and certificates. And the campus has slowed hiring and left vacant many positions as well. In 2009-10, more than 100,000 UC faculty and staff endured pay cuts because of a systemwide furlough. Administrative units, including UCLA’s Office of Research Administration, the Graduate Division and Information Technology Services, have been restructured. And we’re ramping up fundraising. UCLA has collected an average of more than $400 million in gifts annually for the past several years. But while philanthropy is critical to UCLA’s future, fundraising cannot replace major cuts in state funding, which covers the university’s general operating expenses. Gifts usually are given by donors with specific goals in mind — whether it’s to support specific research, fund student scholarships or assist faculty members in their teaching and research.

Has UCLA been able to save money by being more efficient?

We have had to consolidate and gain efficiencies where we could, and those strategies have produced millions of dollars in savings. We’ve pioneered improvements in our purchasing activity. UCLA-based Strategic Sourcing initiatives saved the university about $12 million last year. Energy-saving measures will save us $33 million annually once they are fully implemented. We’ve invested in information technology to enhance our overall productivity and reduce our reliance on manual processingin our business operations.

We stopped accepting VISA for tuition payments and began accepting electronic checks, saving $9 million a year in bank fees. We are continuing to look carefully at all aspects of our operation for savings. There’s more for us to do.

 What does our budget situation look like in 2012-13?
In order to understand the challenges we face, we need to look at three components: cuts in state funding, a new tax from the UC Office of the President and unfunded mandatory costs.

UC’s state funding will depend on the voters’ decision on the governor’s tax initiative, Proposition 30. If it passes, UC will receive an increase of $94 million, which will essentially offset last year’s $100 million midyear budget cut. Other UC campuses will benefit more than UCLA from the new funds, so we anticipate a minor loss of state money.

UC’s budget agreementwith the state also would provide UC with $125 million in 2013-14 on the condition that voters pass the governor’s Proposition 30 tax initiative and that UC holds tuition steady for 2012-13.

Powell cupolaIf Proposition 30 fails, UC’s 2012-13 budget would be cut by another $250 million — UCLA’s share would be a $50 million cut. In addition, the $125 million for 2013-14 would go away. So the total impact on UC if Proposition 30 fails is a loss of $375 million.

If voters approve Proposition 30, UCLA and the other UC campuses will avoid a $375 million loss, and students will avoid the 20 percent increase in tuition that UC President Mark Yudof has said would be necessary to cover the loss if voters reject Gov. Brown’s tax initiative.

What is this new tax that will affect UCLA’s budget?

Under a plan devised by the UC Office of the President (OP), campuses will retain more non-state revenue, such as tuition and research overhead costs. But, in exchange, UCLA and the other campuses will have to pay a tax to support UC systemwide operations and programs. The bottom line is this: The fee that UCLA will pay this year exceeds the new revenue the campus would receive by $50 million. It’s a tax on our operations.

Discussions among senior leaders, deans and vice chancellors have been going on since February on how the campus should pay this. I expect we will settle on a strategy within the next few months.

 How will rising mandatory cost increases affect the campus this year?
In 2012-13, these unfunded mandatory cost increases add up to $130 million and will have a larger impact on our operating revenues than either the OP tax or the loss of state funding.

These mandatory costs include faculty merit raises, employer contributions to the retirement plan, increased costs for health benefits, salary increases for represented staff and shortfalls in purchased utilities, among other costs. The campus has no direct control over these costs because they are the result of decisions made and actions taken systemwide.

Currently, there are insufficient funds available at UCLA to pay these annual costs. So they are being absorbed by the departments. And the departments have had to reduce their spending, generate new revenue or both in order to pay them.

 So what’s the bottom line in terms of the UCLA budget for this year and next?
For 2011-12, the year that just ended, are projecting a $57.5 million operating loss in the general fund. In 2012-13, the projected operating loss is $8.9 million. But if Proposition 30 fails, we would have to figure out how to absorb another $50 million cut.

If Proposition 30 passes, we would start to see modest operating gains beginning in 2014-15.

If it is not approved by the voters, our budget challenges will worsen. We won’t have an answer until the dust settles on Nov. 6.

In the meantime, senior leaders will continue to monitor and evaluate our situation and identify strategies that will help us balance the budget and address these shortfalls. We’re confident that we’ll be able to cope with these fiscal problems as we have previously through the years. As always, our primary focus will be preserving UCLA’s academic excellence.

 © 2012 UC Regents

In Memory of Russell Shank

June 30th, 2012

I was saddened to learn that former University Librarian Russell Shank passed away on Monday, June 25, 2012.  He was 86 years old.

Russell Shank served as UCLA University Librarian from 1977 to 1989.  He was educated as an engineer and embraced technology as a means of enhancing service to library users.  During his tenure, work that began with National Library of Medicine grant funding in the Biomedical Library in the sixties under Louise Darling’s management, was expanded to a campus-wide, locally-developed, integrated library system called ORION after the hunter of information.

I came to know and work with Russell during my tenure as California State Librarian.

Russell is survived by his three children, Sue Shank from Virginia, Judy Twist from West Virginia, and Peter Shank from Wisconsin. A memorial will be planned in the future.

A Typical Day in the UCLA Library

June 8th, 2012

What happens on a typical day in the UCLA Library?

One begins to get a picture of the activity from our latest “snapshot” day on June 4th.

  •  19,000 people walked through the doors of the libraries and there were 19,500 visits to the Library’s website.
  • Visitors to the web site viewed 108,069 pages.
  • 6,471 items were checked out of the collections and 462 items were retrieved from the storage facility for use.
  • 86 collections held by Library Special Collections were accessed.
  • The digital library collections were accessed 2,626 times and 1,584 items were retrieved for use.
  • Licensed databases were access 5,580 times and 10,947 items were retrieved for study and research.
  • 540 people asked reference questions in person and another 136 questions were answered by telephone, text message, mail, or the web.
  • 861 people used a library laptop or computer.
  • 804 people used group study or instructional rooms.

It was a busy day, and I can’t help but wonder how many cups of coffee were consumed from Cafe 451.


White House Open Access Petition

May 24th, 2012

The Obama Administration has been actively considering the issue of public access to the results of federally funded research, with an inter-agency working group having recently completed a year-long examination of the issue. The administration is currently considering which policy actions are priorities to be acted upon before the elections this fall.

Currently, only the National Institutes of Health has a public access policy.  To demonstrate the depth and breadth of support for expanding this to all federal science agencies, a coalition of public access advocates has created a petition on the White House’s “We the People” site.  If the petition attracts 25,000 signatures within thirty days, it will be reviewed by White House staff and considered for action.

To sign the petition, go to  Qualified signers must be at least thirteen years old and have a valid email address.

Thank you very much for supporting the crucial effort to expand access to the results of federally funded research.