Task Force Authors Report on Costs of Course Materials

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The Reduce Student Costs Task Force has released Reducing Student Costs: A Report on Textbooks and Course Materials. Appointed by the PSU Faculty Senate, the Associated Students of PSU, and the Provost, the Task Force led by Library Dean Marilyn Moody was charged with making recommendations for lowering the cost of course materials for PSU students.

The Task Force’s recommendations focused on five themes:taskforcecover

Theme 1: Expand on the initial investment of the Task Force
The Task Force recommends that PSU pursue a “full environmental scan” of students and faculty in a range of disciplines to address the complexities of the challenge.

Theme 2: Pursue collaboration among all stakeholders
The Task Force encourages collaboration among PSU Library, the Office of Academic Innovation, PSU students, PSU faculty, the state Higher Education Coordinating Commission, local businesses, and more. They recommend that stakeholders support faculty in using open educational resources and pursuing further development of open textbooks.

Theme 3: Develop and incentivize use of open education resources
The Task Force would like to see an investment of time, money, and infrastructure allocated to the development of open education resources (OERs) at Portland State.

Theme 4: Investigate other cost-reduction initiatives
The Task Force suggests an examination of other approaches, including the adoption of open textbooks by multiple sections of individual classes and further investments in the Library for textbook and course material acquisitions as well as to assist faculty in identifying appropriate OERs.

Theme 5: Address challenges of copyright and intellectual property
The Task Force recommends PSU review “current copyright and intellectual property guidelines and policies. Faculty members’ intellectual property rights and copyrights do not provide the latitude and incentives needed for the investment in the creation of OERs.”

The reported was authored by Task Force members Marilyn K. Moody (chair), Shadi Alkhaledi, Chelsey Weinmann, Kathleen M. Steppe, Jill Emery, Kimberly D. Pendell, Joel Bettridge, Karen Bjork, Emily Ford, Vincent Schreck, Berrin Erdogan, Gerardo Lafferriere, and Ralf Widenhorn. Many thanks to Stephanie Doig, PSU Library, for her contributions.

The Task Force report, Reducing Student Costs: A Report on Textbooks and Course Materials, is available online in PDXScholar.

College District Images Show Campus in 1960s

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PSU Library Special Collections & University Archives is pleased to announce a new collection of historic photographs created in collaboration with PSU Capital Projects and Construction. Explore the Portland State “College District” as it appeared from 1962-1966, in the early days of urban renewal and campus expansion, in a series of images in the University Archives Digital Gallery.

Muzak, 1962, a storefront at the site of the current Peter Stott Center.

Compiled by Capital Projects and Construction Archivist Bryce Henry as part of the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Archives, the College District collection includes more than 300 images of single-family and duplex houses, businesses, and other commercial buildings in locations now part of the Portland State campus. Many of the buildings photographed were torn down for large campus construction projects. The collection also includes images of buildings still in use on campus, including Lincoln, Cramer, and Neuberger Halls in various stages of completion.

The notes in the images identify the year the photograph was taken, the location of each building, and, in many cases, information about what buildings are in those locations today.

Photographed in May 1964, this duplex was demolished one month later. The site is the current location of Parking Structure 1.
Photographed in May 1964, this duplex was demolished one month later. The site is the current location of Parking Structure 1.

The University Archives collects, preserves, and provides access to the historical records of Portland State from its beginnings as Vanport Extension Center to the present day. The archives includes documents, correspondence, publications, program materials, photographs, moving images, and ephemera from administrative departments, academic units, student organizations, and faculty and staff.

The University Archives Digital Gallery documents Portland State’s history through more than 11,000 images.

Explore the College District collection in the University Archives Digital Gallery.

Call for Proposals for Open Textbooks

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Portland State University Library recently published five open access textbooks authored by PSU faculty for use by PSU students, as part of a pilot project called PDX Open. In just the first term of use, students saved a combined $23,800.

With the success of these first five textbooks and the support of generous donors, PSU Library is pleased to announce a new round of funding for the development of open access textbooks by Portland State University faculty.

Proposals are due May 4, 2015.

Open textbooks are digital in format and made freely available over the web for students at PSU and beyond. PDX Open textbooks are published in PDXScholar, the university’s institutional repository managed by PSU Library. See examples of open textbooks here.

We seek proposals for texts that are comprehensive works geared toward a specific field of study. Preference will be given to proposals with applicability towards multiple, high-enrollment undergraduate courses taught by faculty in a single department at PSU.

Faculty authors whose proposals are accepted for publication will receive a $2,500 stipend. These funds can be allocated at the faculty member’s discretion, for professional travel, research support, peer-reviewers, accuracy checkers, and copy-editors.

Proposals should include the following:

  • Faculty member’s contact information and current CV
  • Textbook title
  • Description of contents
  • Table of contents with chapter descriptions
  • Estimated length of manuscript
  • Intended audience
  • Sample chapters (preferably the introduction and one or two others)
  • Statement of support from department chair, associate dean, or dean
  • Suggested peer reviewers for manuscript

See Open Access Textbooks for more information and complete submission requirements.

Important dates

Proposals due: May 4, 2015
Responses sent: Late May
Anticipated publication: By January 2016

If you have questions, please contact Digital Initiatives Coordinator Karen Bjork at or 503-725-5889.

Submit your proposal online.

Reduced Hours for Spring Break

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The Library will be on reduced hours for spring break. Please check our website for the complete schedule. 

A student napped outside the Library on March 20, 1974. The large tree in the background is the copper beech that the Library now wraps around.
A student napped outside the Library on March 20, 1974. Photo from the University Archives Digital Gallery.

Friday, March 20
7:30 am – 7:00 pm

Saturday, March 21 – Sunday, March 22

Monday, March 23 – Friday, March 27
8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Saturday, March 28

Sunday, March 29
Noon – Midnight

Monday, March 30
Regular hours resume

Library Hours

Great Books for Spring Break

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Looking to relax your mind around a good book during spring break? Stop by the display on the Library’s first floor, and check out a range of authors and genres: classic fiction, new writers, graphic novels, and much more.


Student-created Plans Digitized

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In collaboration with the Dirce Moroni Toulan Library of Urban and Public Affairs, Portland State University Library has digitized and made available historic student-created planning projects. Planning Workshop Projects, created for local and regional governments and civic sector clients, are the culminating works of teams of Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) students.

MURP Workshop Projects in PDXScholar

Planning projects require the development and evaluation of alternatives and include recommendations for courses of action. They are problem-centered and geographically-focused, and incorporate innovative public involvement efforts. Workshop projects have won fifteen state and six national awards in the past twenty years for the creative problem-solving evident in the products.

The 2011 Portland Mercado Project was completed by students Abigail Cermak, David Ruelas, Bridger Wineman, and Ellen Wyoming for client Hacienda Community Development Corporation. It won the 2012 American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Student Project Award for Application of the Planning Process and the 2012 American Planning Association (APA) Oregon Chapter Student Achievement in Planning Award. This Workshop project outlined strategies to implement a Latino Market in Portland, which is scheduled to open in Southeast Portland this spring.

No Vacancy, a project for the Central Eastside Industrial Council by Becky Dann, Beth Somerfield, Emily Rice, and Briana Meier, won the 2010 AICP Student Project Award for Contribution of Planning to a Contemporary Issue. The team developed a guide to facilitate temporary uses of empty spaces in the area by, for example, arts-related organizations.

Josh Ahmann, Kevin Bond, Warren Greaser, Sarah Selden, Amber Springberg, Kartik Srinivas, and Jon Swae collaborated on the project Going Public! Strategies for Meeting Public Restroom Need in Portland’s Central City for the City of Portland Mayor’s Office. They won the 2006 APA Oregon Chapter Student Achievement in Planning Award.

Other winning projects include:

MURP projects have made major contributions to their clients, and have influenced the practice of planning locally and regionally. Many have drawn the attention of planning academics and local government practitioners from around the country.

The Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree is a two-year, accredited, professional degree program designed for those interested in working as professional planners. The curriculum includes a 43-credit core that focuses on the history and theory of planning as a field, plan making and implementation, analytical methods (including Geographic Information Systems [GIS]), and the dynamics of metropolitan development. Experiential learning is an integral component of the program.

PDXScholar, a service of Portland State University Library, provides open access to a diverse collection of academic, scholarly, scientific, and creative content produced by faculty, students, and staff. PDXScholar increases the visibility of authors’ works, maximizes research impact, facilitates interdisciplinary research, and provides regional and global communities with immediate and permanent access.

View MURP Workshop Projects, and see how PSU MURP student projects have shaped our region.

Extended Hours for Dead Week & Finals Week

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The Library will be open 24 hours starting the night of Monday, March 9, and remaining open until midnight on Thursday, March 19. After 11:30 pm, only PSU students, faculty, and staff may be in the Library building. library_winternight

Branford’s Bean will again provide free coffee, while it lasts, after close when the Library is open overnight. Many thanks to PSU Dining!

The Portland State Board of Trustees has scheduled a meeting to take place on the Library’s 3rd floor on the afternoon of Thursday, March 12. In order to prepare the space and accommodate the meeting, the southwest corner of the Library’s 3rd floor (the carpeted area overlooking the football field and Stott Center) will be closed from the afternoon of Wednesday, March 11 through the evening of Thursday, March 12. We apologize for the inconvenience.

For more information, check out Dead Week & Finals Week at PSU Library. Good luck on finals!


Congratulations to Library Staff Joyce and Allen!

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Congratulations, and many thanks, to library staff Joyce Zimmerschied and Allen Nguyen, who were honored at the PSU Length of Service Award Celebration and Reception on Thursday, March 5.

photo of Joyce Zimmerschied
Photo of Joyce Zimmerschied by Christian Aniciete, University Communications.

Joyce, Preparations Assistant, was recognized for 35 years of service to PSU. As coworker Carolee Harrison commented, “Joyce’s unflagging high standards for her work & the Library have helped make its collections accessible and durable for 35 years.”

Allen, recognized for 20 years of service to PSU, is the Library’s Course Reserves Coordinator. He makes sure students are able to access the textbooks and other course materials that their instructors place on reserve.

So much important work happens behind the scenes in the Library. We are appreciative of all of our employees and especially today thank Joyce and Allen for their many contributions. Congratulations, Joyce and Allen!

Meet Special Collections Research Fellow Erin Goodling

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Toulan School PhD candidate Erin Goodling is the 2014-15 Special Collections Research Fellow. Erin has already made extensive use of the PSU Library Special Collections & University Archives. Her current research focuses on the Willamette River area and the work of the Portland Harbor Community Coalition as a way to examine social and environmental justice activism in the context of the sustainable city. The Library’s Ernie Bonners Papers and Oral History Collection, as well as early editions of RAIN, one of the first sustainability-focused journals, have been excellent resources for her research.
In addition to her research, Erin will be teaching a cross-listed class in Urban Studies and Environmental Science and Management at PSU in spring term. As part of their coursework, her students will conduct historical research using the Special Collections and University Archives as well as other sources, contributing to a multimedia project about the Portland Harbor.

Erin entered the PhD program at the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning in 2011. She holds a graduate certificate in English Language Learning from Stanford University, an MA in teaching from Lewis & Clark College, and a BA in Spanish from the University of Portland.

The goal of the competitive Special Collections Research Fellowship is to encourage deep and meaningful engagement with the unique primary resources held by the Library. The application is open to PSU Honors and graduate-level students in all disciplines. Library friends Corey and Stacey Lohman have generously funded the fellowship for two years. Last year’s recipient, Beth Cookler, drew primarily upon two collections: the Gov. Barbara Roberts Papers supported her thesis on the impact of Measure 5 on Oregon’s public schools; and the Portland Japanese American Citizens League Records were incorporated into a primary resource-based history curriculum that tied local impacts to national narratives. Beth completed her Master’s June 2014 and has returned to teaching history at Sunset High School.

The Library is grateful to Corey and Stacey Lohman for their generosity in supporting student research, and we are proud of the work done by our excellent Special Collections Research Fellows.

Celebrate Will Eisner Week at PSU

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Portland State University Library joins with Dark Horse Comics and the Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation to recognize Will Eisner Week 2015, an annual series of events that celebrates graphic novels, sequential art, free speech, and the legacy of Will Eisner, one of the most innovative figures in the history of comics and graphic novels. This year Will Eisner Week is March 1-7.
Will Eisner Week Poster

Will Eisner Week 2015 marks the 75th anniversary of the 1940 debut of Eisner’s signature creation, The Spirit, which revolutionized comics and established Will Eisner as a giant in the medium.

During Will Eisner Week 2015, the Library has a display of Will Eisner’s books as well as The Spirit figurine.

There will also be a screening of the documentary Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist followed by a brief intermission and a panel discussion of “Eisner’s Legacy,” with participants Matt Wagner, Douglas Wolk, and Susan Kirtley, and moderated by Brian Michael Bendis. The documentary will be screened from noon to 1:45pm, with the discussion at 2pm, on Friday, March 6 in Cramer 53.

Will Eisner (1917-2005) grew up during the Great Depression in the tenements of the Bronx. He was a pioneer in the creation of comics during the “Golden Age” of the 1930s and ’40s, achieving fame with his noir crime-fighting superhero, The Spirit. At one time or another, many comics greats worked with Eisner including Jules Feiffer, Wally Wood, Jack Kirby, Al Jaffee, Mike Ploog, and others. After The Spirit ceased publication, Eisner devoted himself to producing educational and instructional sequential art, a term he coined. In 1978, Eisner once again reinvented himself, and the medium, with his graphic novel A Contract with God. Other notable Eisner graphic novels include To The Heart of the Storm, A Life Force, Last Day In Vietnam, Fagin The Jew, and The Plot. Will Eisner’s graphic novels and textbooks are still in print in 15 worldwide languages. The prestigious Will Eisner Awards, the “Oscars of the Comics Industry,” are presented at San Diego Comic-Con, the world’s largest comics convention.