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CRRA Update Spring 2014

CRRA Update
Spring 2014
please see the PDF for
the more visually rich version

In this issue:

From the Board: Getting Ready for 2014-15
Tyrone Cannon, Chair and Dean, University Libraries, University of San Francisco

At the June 18th Board meeting, the Board took the actions listed below to put the 2014-15 year in place.  I want to thank the entire Board for their excellent work this past year. Special thanks are due to two departing Board members – Janice Welburn, past Board chair, and Evelyn Minick, chair of the hard-working Membership Committee. I enjoyed serving as chair and look forward to continuing in the role of past chair.  Board actions were:

  • Adoption of the FY15 budget
  • Allocation of one-time funds for program needs this year: part-time manager for the Catholic Newspapers directory and digitization projects; expanding digital content; and managing the CRRA website
  • Election of Laverna Saunders, University Librarian, Duquesne University and John Buschman, Dean of University Libraries, Seton Hall University, to three year terms on the Board
  • Election of Darren Poley, Outreach Librarian, Villanova University, to a second one year term on the Board
  • Election of Steve Connaghan, University Librarian, The Catholic University of America, to vice-chair/chair-elect
  • Determination that the proposed revision of the CRRA Bylaws were ready to go to CRRA official representatives for review and voting
  • Adoption of the Annual Strategic Plan: Goals for 2014-15

Accomplishments and Priorities for 2014-15
Diane Parr Walker, Chair and University Librarian, University of Notre Dame

On behalf of the Board, I am very pleased to thank the many talented and dedicated committee members and CRRA staff whose accomplishments truly move us forward in providing enduring access to Catholic resources in the Americas. We know from the website analytics that in one year (mid-Feb. 2013 to mid-Feb. 2014), over 21,000 unique individuals visited the CRRA website for a total of over 26,000 visits.  About 27% of users of the site searched the Portal, with the most popular search strings being “Catholic parishes,” “Book of Genesis” and “Canon law” (CRRA Update Winter 2014).

Our priorities for 2014-15 build on this success.  They are 1) to build a critical mass of digital content available through the portal and the Catholic Newspapers Program, and 2) to inform prospective users of this rich content.  Our mission is all about faculty and students searching the portal to find and use Catholic resources in their teaching, learning and research.  The CRRA Strategic Plan: Goals for 2014-15 is on our website (click on the tab “About CRRA,” then click on annual strategic plan).  During the year, we will share progress through webinars and the Updates, but I hope you will take a few minutes now to learn more about our goals for the coming year.

From the Membership Committee: Welcome to St. John’s University, New York City
Evelyn Minick, Chair and University Librarian, Saint Joseph’s University

The Membership Committee was delighted to welcome three new members and partners this last year - Avila University, Kansas City, MO; Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dubuque, IA and the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN.  In the next CRRA Update, we will welcome St. John’s University, New York City, as the 40th institutional member of CRRA.

From the Digital Access Committee (DAC): Harvesting Digital Content from Member Institutions
Demian Katz, Chair, and Systems Librarian, Villanova University

DAC worked closely with Diane Maher, chair, and the Collections Committee on two initiatives to harvest CRRA member metadata records from digital repositories and load the records, with links to the digital content, into the portal.  Rob Behary (Duquesne) and Rose Fortier (Marquette) identified records from the Spiritan collection and articles from the journal Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education respectively, for harvesting.  These records are now available for viewing in the portal.

Kudos and thanks to Duquesne, Marquette, and DAC for advancing CRRA goals to increase digital content accessible via the portal and for adding to the critical mass of materials on two portal themes – Catholic Men’s Religious Orders and Catholic education.

Following the successful ingestion of  BePress (Marquette) and CONTENTdm (Duquesne) content into the Catholic portal, the Digital Access Committee is looking for additional members interested in adding digital content to the online index.

Rob Behary of Duquesne has provided instructions to help other CONTENTdm users make their collections available <> , and DAC is also willing to work with members using other platforms.

If you are interested in working with DAC to expose your institution’s digital content in the portal, please contact Demian, Pat, or any member of the Digital Access Committee.

Upcoming CRRA Webinar on LibGuides
The Subject Guide to the Portal Subcommittee, chaired by Felice Maciejewski (Dominican University), is sponsoring a webinar to review the newly developed LibGuides to the portal.  The guides describe the kinds of materials found in the portal and provide tips on searching and full-text availability. A special announcement via the CRRA listserv will go out with date, time and sign-in information.

A Mystery Collection
Jennifer Younger, CRRA Executive Director

Thanks to Ann Kenne, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, St. Thomas, for her close reading of the CRRA Update Winter 2014 in which I mistakenly stated that the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN held the files and archives of the National Office for Black Catholics (NOBC). A search query for “National Office Black Catholics” returns 31 hits but the records do not appear to describe a collection of files and archives from the National Office for Black Catholics. I do not remember where I read about this collection.  Can you help solve this mystery?  Does such a collection of records exist? Where does it exist?

Opportunities for Professional Service and Development in CRRA
There are many CRRA committees, groups, and task forces doing important and interesting work to advance our mission to provide enduring global access to Catholic research resources. Information about the various groups is viewable on our website at: .

If you or someone at your institution is interested in sharing time and talents through CRRA committee service, please contact Pat, Jennifer, or the committee chair.  Committee members often find the opportunity for meeting and working with CRRA colleagues to be a rewarding experience.

In addition to serving on committees, there are other opportunities to help CRRA achieve its priorities and goals. We describe very broadly below some areas of opportunity but we know from experience that members always have excellent suggestions. We welcome your ideas and participation.  Please contact Pat or Jennifer to explore how your interests and CRRA’s program needs could result in a professional service opportunity for you.

  • Are you a creative or technical guru? Help make the CRRA website a more dynamic, inviting and informative site for users and members. We have excellent recommendations from graduate students at The Catholic University of America on ways to enhance our website and are working with committees to implement these recommendations in the fall.   We are looking for one or more individuals to help implement these changes and going forward, to update the website with new and changing program information, news and events, and other features.
  • Do you like to share the news? Help enhance CRRA communication with its members, partners and other organizations with shared interests to be more useful in networking and developing shared initiatives between or among members and others. We are looking for one or more individuals to help us get the word out. This could include editing the CRRA Updates on a quarterly basis, compiling special updates, writing or soliciting content for Updates, creating a fresh and visually appealing newsletter look or enhanced functionality to enable searching across issues and archiving the content.
  • Are you data driven? Are you interested in putting data to work in improving services? There is a lot of analytics data on use of the CRRA website which we have only begun to analyze.  We are seeking individuals who would like to analyze and parse this data, and report out to committees and members with recommendations for improving the website and our programs.

Positions Available
Head of Archives & Special Collections at Santa Clara, University Library
Santa Clara University Library seeks applications and nominations for the position of Head of Archives and Special Collections. The selected candidate will be an imaginative and innovative leader who articulates a clear vision for a unit that includes the university archives, special collections, and digital initiatives. Since 2009 the unit has grown in personnel and resources and increased its visibility and prominence throughout the campus community and beyond. The focus of Archives and Special Collections are on areas relevant to the University's roles, primarily as a Jesuit, Catholic university in the heart of Silicon Valley, and as the oldest institution of higher learning in California, with a history integrally connected to Mission Santa Clara. The collections also help support the primary resource needs of faculty teaching courses in the University's curriculum.

The full position announcement and application instructions may be viewed at

Applications received by July 25, 2014 will receive first consideration.

Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offering its 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's, Ph.D., and law degrees.

Santa Clara University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, committed to excellence through diversity and inclusion, and, in this spirit, particularly welcomes applications from women, persons of color, and members of historically underrepresented groups.  The University will provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with a disability.

CRRA Update is an electronic newsletter distributed via email to provide members and friends with an update of CRRA activities.  Please contact Pat at 574.631.1324 or email [email protected] with your questions, comments, or news to share.

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