Archive for October, 2009

IMLS Grant for the Next Generation Sheet Music Consortium

Friday, October 30th, 2009

The UCLA Library has received a National Leadership Grant of $249,342 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the creation of the “Next Generation” Sheet Music Consortium. The project will be led by the UCLA Digital Library Program in collaboration with our partners at the Indiana University Digital Library Program and will include participation by staff of several units within the UCLA Library, including the Cataloging and Metadata Center and Library Information Technology. Metadata and technical development activities will be divided between UCLA and Indiana University.

During the grant period, – November 2009 to October 2011,-  the UCLA Library and Indiana University (IU) Library will develop tools and services to meet the needs of both data providers (libraries, museums, historical societies, and other curators of sheet music collections) and users of sheet music (musicologists, performers, cultural and art historians, etc.) as identified from several needs assessments carried out during an earlier IMLS planning grant. Tools and services developed in the project will enable institutions with limited technical knowledge (e.g. public libraries, smaller college libraries, museums, etc.) to participate in the metadata aggregation service of the Sheet Music Consortium ( and will provide users with a richer set of services, including the ability to contribute structured metadata to the collection, write annotations, and link to related materials of interest across consortium collections. In addition, cataloging guidelines and tools will be developed to support and encourage standardized descriptive practices and facilitate merging and downloading of metadata records from the consortium’s Web site.

The two main thrusts of the project – the lowering of barriers to participation by organizations with fewer resources, and the provision of metadata tools for both end users and collection builders- have the potential to position the Consortium as a major resource for all types of sheet music users.

About the Consortium

The Sheet Music Consortium is a group of libraries working toward the goal of building an open collection of digitized sheet music using the Open Archives Initiative: Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI:PMH) and the development of a rich set of innovative services as a test bed for digital library development. Current members include UCLA, which hosts Consortium services, Indiana University, Duke University, and Johns Hopkins University.

Undergraduate Fellowship: Jenae Cohn

Friday, October 30th, 2009

I continue my series of posts featuring statements from recipients of the University Librarian’s Undergraduate Fellowship with an excerpt from the statement of Jenae Cohn. Jenae is also a senior in the English honors program; her faculty research mentor is Elizabeth DeLoughrey.

“The university library provides unparalleled resources that have elevated the quality of past research projects and continue to add depth and dimension to my English Departmental Honors undergraduate thesis. The extensive UCLA library collection has guided my initial development of ideas in past projects and, in the future, I intend to continue incorporating library resources into my research for further insight, analysis, and refinement of ideas.”

Thank you, Jenae. We look forward to supporting your work!

Chancellor’s Budget Update

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

UCLA Office of the Chancellor

To the Campus Community:

Across campus, faculty, staff and students are experiencing the consequences of an unprecedented reduction in state support to the University of California system. The effects include larger class sizes, reduced library hours, and faculty and staff salary reductions; student fee increases are looming. These are difficult times, and I am deeply grateful for your patience, understanding and dedication as we make the often painful decisions necessary to ensure UCLA’s continued excellence.

The measures we have taken are helping to close a 2009-10 budget shortfall of more than $150 million. But we still must make long-term, structural changes so that our academic programs and campus operations align with new funding realities. While we continue to advocate strongly for state funding, we must face reality and plan for a future that relies less on volatile state support, which is not expected to improve next year.

Currently, we are conducting a thorough review of our academic programs. Led by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh, working closely with the Academic Senate, the review is intended to streamline majors, reduce unnecessary units and courses, and focus on helping students graduate in a timely manner. Preliminary reports from the deans are due in January. The result will certainly be some shrinkage of UCLA’s academic programs.

At the systemwide level, the Commission on the Future of UC is looking at long-term issues. The commission’s charge is to develop a new vision for the university that affirms its core values of excellence and access while addressing financial challenges from declining state funding.

The issue of student fees is especially emotional. As you know, President Yudof has proposed two fee increases, one effective winter quarter and another effective in fall 2010. The UC Board of Regents is scheduled to act on the proposal at its November meeting at UCLA.

While I don”t like the idea of raising the cost of education, I believe fee increases are necessary to maintain UCLA”s academic quality. Without the additional revenue generated by higher fees, our academic programs would suffer irreparably. It’s important to emphasize that approximately one of every three dollars in new fee increases would go toward financial aid programs to assist the students and families most in need. At UCLA, generating revenue for scholarships and fellowships is our top fundraising priority. The goal of our Bruin Scholars Initiative is to raise $500 million for this purpose by June 2013.

Many of you have expressed frustration, and even anger, about these circumstances, as well as your concern about the future of UCLA. I share your concern; this is a difficult process for all of us. As we work together, it’s important to remember that we all want the same thing – to maintain academic excellence and the access that our mission as a public university requires of us.

I am grateful for the sacrifices you are making to help the campus through this process, and my administration is committed to sharing information as it becomes available and consulting with you during the decision-making process.

As I’ve stated in earlier communications, I firmly believe that UCLA will emerge from this challenging time stronger and of even greater benefit to students and society.

For additional details about the budget challenges we face and the steps we’ve taken, I encourage you to read this new Q&A with Steve Olsen, vice chancellor for budget, finance and capital programs.


Gene D. Block

NOTE: I particularly encourage each staff member to review the links and the question and answer update provided herein.

Undergraduate Fellowship: Michael Benitez

Monday, October 19th, 2009

As I mentioned in my earlier post about the University Librarian’s Undergraduate Fellowship, I want to share excerpts from the personal statements fellowship recipients made in their applications to give you a sense of what they see as the spirit, potential, and promise of this new program.

First up is Michael Benitez, a senior in the English honors program, whose faculty research mentor is Arthur Little.

“I was fortunate enough to gain some exposure to the craft of research at the Charles E. Young Research Library with my Honors Research Seminar, with a few assignments requiring me to complete practice research and to create an annotated bibliography of academic sources for my senior thesis.  …While the research I have done as an undergraduate has not been as extensive as what is required for my senior thesis, I have had some opportunities to present my various findings to classmates in the past. Whether I have received acknowledgement and praise from them or from my professors, I have always gained such a feeling of accomplishment in knowing that I have taught someone something new and I want to continue sharing my work with as many people as I can.”

Thank you, Michael. We look forward to helping you develop and share your work!

Applications Sought for 2010 Thayer Short-Term Research Fellowships

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

The James and Sylvia Thayer Short-Term Reesearch Fellowships ( ) support the use of special collections materials by visiting scholars and UCLA graduate students. Collectiosn that are administered by the UCLA Lbirary Special Collections and available for Thayer fellowship-supported research include materials in the humaniteis and social sciences; medicine, life and physical sciences; visual and performing arts; and UCLA history.

Research residencies may last up to three months between March 1 and December 17, 2010. Recipients receive stipends ranging from $500 to $2,500. Those receiving fellowships are expected to provide a report on the results of their research that can be mounted on the UCLA Library Web site.

United States citizens and permanent residents with the legal right to work in the U.S. who are engaged in graduate-level, post-doctoral, or independent research are invited to apply.

Applications are due December 11, 2009, and should include:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Outline of research and special collections to be used (two pages maximum)
  • Brief budget for travel, living, and research expenses
  • Dates to be spent in residence
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty or other scholars familiar with the research project

Mail applications to:

James and Sylvia Thayer Fellowship Program

c/o Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections, UCLA Library, A1713 Charles E. Young Research Library, Box 951575, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575.

Questions about the fellowships may be mailed to the address above or emailed to:

University Librarian’s Undergraduate Fellowship

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Designed to develop excellent independent researchers, the University Librarian’s Undergraduate Fellowship is a new program targeted at students working on Departmental Honors projects or other comprehensive research projects in art history, classics, comparative literature, and English. Jointly sponsored by the University Librarian and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the program is funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources. Twenty $500 stipends will be given in the 2009/10 academic year: ten at the beginning of the fall quarter and ten at mid-quarter.

The first ten recipients represent a diverse group of undergraduates with majors ranging from comparative literature to creative writing to English. Their research interests include:

  • Victorian and American travel narratives with emphasis on the establishment of cultural identity in an increasingly globalized world
  • Severe bullying in teenagers
  • Negative posthumous images of Elizabeth I through the plays Henry VIII and The Revenger’s Tragedy
  • An exploration of the core concepts of Romanticism
  • Chicano theater
  • An examination of how visual and literary representations of the Zapotec third-gender identity muxe interrogate and/or reinforce heteronormativity
  • Artists’ expressions in literature and the cultural production of writers
  • Pulp fiction in American gay and lesbian literature
  • Stereopsis and the divisional and unitive possibilities of the human mind

Each recipient will work closely with a faculty member who serves as an advisor and with a librarian mentor to use research library resources, including special collections and archives, to complete his or her project. Conversant with research methodologies, information resources, and information technologies associated with specific disciplines, librarian mentors are ideally positioned to collaborate with faculty to meet the information, reference, and research needs of these students.

Each student’s research project will be presented in a Library program, deposited in the Library’s institutional repository, and made available through the Library’s Web site.

In the coming weeks, I’ll share excerpts from the personal statements the students made in their applications to give you a sense of what they see as the spirit, potential, and promise of this new program. I hope you’ll find them as touching and inspiring as I have!