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Batts, Q., Flynn, K., Stevens, E., & Vedantham, A. (2020). High school students in paid internships at academic libraries. College & Research Libraries News, 81, 450.
Vedantham, A. (2020). Student-Centered Libraries: Changing both expectations and results. In The Routledge International Handbook of Student-Centered Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Routledge.
Sewing machines, ice cream, slam nights and hot-glue guns. Today’s libraries can be surprising places. The word “library” may bring to mind dark wood bookshelves, high ceilings, Gothic architecture and deep silence. In addition to such traditional reading rooms, today’s academic libraries include presentation venues, video studios and spaces that welcome food, naps, social collaboration and mobile phone use. Librarians are no longer gatekeepers of knowledge; they play nuanced roles in guiding effective use of information for scholarship. In this chapter, we consider three theories from psychology: self-efficacy, stereotype threat and growth mindset, and the role of libraries as “the third place” set apart from work and home. We explore triggers for changes to library services: insights about how humans learn; the increasing diversity in the demographics of college students; the risks of information overload from search platforms moderated by corporations; increasing use of active and online pedagogies; and changes in perception of expertise, bias and validity. We consider campus tensions faced by academic libraries in terms of competition for budget, space and student attention. We share specific examples of spaces, collections and services that prioritize diversity, inclusion and belonging. We discuss how understanding the need for metacognition and self-management affects how libraries represent themselves to students.


Cabot Science Library has transformed from a traditional collections-based science library into an innovative hub for collaborative learning support. This chapter examines how a well-designed space and technology promotes effective learning and documents how Cabot functions as a smart learning environment. The interplay between a physical and digital environment at Cabot Science Library emphasizes learner mobility and engagement, collaboration, and discovery, enabling knowledge creation and sharing.


Vedantham, A., & Porter, D. (2018). Spaces, Skills, and Synthesis. In Digital Humanities in the Library: Challenges and Opportunities for Subject Specialists (pp. 177-198). ACRL. Publisher’s Version: Spaces, Skills, and Synthesis
We describe the evolution of support for digital humanities work at the University of Pennsylvania through the library’s adaptation of spaces, facilities, technical support and faculty advising. We begin with the Weigle Information Commons (WIC) in 2006 which provides broad support for educational technology, including multimedia authoring in the Vitale Digital Media Lab. In 2013, we added the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts (Kislak), with the Vitale 2 Lab focused on the digital humanities. We have integrated space, technology and facilities with the provision of professional development opportunities and support for informal experimentation. Techniques include: helping librarians to articulate and expand their repertoire of digital tools, strategically including staff with non-traditional skillsets, using library space to facilitate and host peer-learning opportunities for faculty, showcasing the creations and perspectives of students, and providing customized support for teaching and research experimentation.


This case study describes the creation process for a mixed methods study from 2009 to 2011 examining for the first time gender differences in how undergraduate students create videos for online platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. I conducted this research for my doctoral dissertation at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education under the supervision of Dr. Laura Perna. The case describes my research design process, development of a conceptual framework, narrowing focus of research questions, collection of data, sampling and survey design, data analysis and dissemination. The case describes the process of building on personal reflections on software use and video creation, through a traditional literature review, to create a robust theoretical framework that can outlast the technologies (cell-phone cameras, video-editing tools, etc.) under study. I created a conceptual framework that builds on four theories: Self-efficacy theory, the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), stereotype threat theory and learned helplessness theory. I collected surveys to far exceed the required sample size, and managed focus group and interviews for qualitative data to complement the logistic regression analysis. My research revealed significant gender differences in video creation that were explained by the conceptual framework. Results inform design of school projects with required video creation, and supports for video skills acquisition. Concepts include perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and comfort with social risk.

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Karasic, V., & Vedantham, A. (2015). Video Creation Tools for Language Learning: Lessons Learned. In Researching Language Learner Interactions Online: From Social Media to MOOCs (Vols. 13). CALICO. Publisher’s Version: Video Creation Tools for Language Learning: Lessons Learned

Video creation tools—from Skype to PowerPoint to iMovie—have become increasingly popular conduits for foreign language teaching and learning. In flipped-classroom and blended-learning models, video enables faculty to move routine language concepts (i.e., grammar and vocabulary) outside the classroom, leaving more in-class time for live engagement with teacher and classmates. This chapter discusses lessons learned and new data collected at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries’ Weigle Information Commons on video’s effectiveness in various language learning contexts. Data collected includes reflections on several years of course observations, interviews with language faculty members, and a campus-wide survey to gauge student perspectives on video’s role in the language learning experience. Themes that have emerged include the range of video tools available to perform a given task, perceptions of tool usefulness and ease of use (depending on faculty and student technology comfort levels), and the role of the library as a central resource for technology support and course integration. Our study contributes to the scholarly conversation by providing a taxonomy of current tools used, their efficacy in our context as a measure for other contexts, and skills recommended by faculty and staff for effective incorporation of video tools in the language classroom.

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Key Takeaways

  • Academic libraries are increasingly adding multimedia production facilities and other technology- and service-oriented spaces as part ofoverall structural renovations.
  • Although such remodeled spaces offer tremendous opportunities tosupport an institution's pedagogical objectives and its faculty's desire for innovative course assignments, how these opportunities can be realized is seldom discussed.

As examples from two institutions show, academic libraries can both spur and support innovation in pedagogy and curriculum by actively linking these innovations with library spaces, technologies, services, and staff members.

This quantitative study explores gender differences in experiences of first year students attending a highly selective research university in online video creation for YouTube and Facebook. The conceptual framework proposed incorporates theories of self-efficacy, stereotype threat, learned helplessness and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). Regression analyses reveal significant gender differences in video creation that are explained by the conceptual framework. Men report more participation in video creation and in creating videos for required school projects. No gender differences emerge for activities that are simple, quick or require minimal training. Results inform design of school projects with required video creation, and supports for video skills acquisition. Concepts include perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and comfort with social risk.


Narum, J. L. (2013). Penn Libraries’ Commons. In The LSC Guide: Planning for Assessing 21st Century Spaces for 21st Century Learners. Learning Spaces Collaboratory. Publisher’s Version: Penn Libraries’ Commons

This is a guide for planning for assessing spaces for learning, developed under the auspices of the Learning Spaces Collaboratory with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). It is designed to spark broader and more informed dialogue—on individual campuses and within national communities of stakeholders—about the relationship between the quality of learning and the quality of spaces for learning in the undergraduate setting. It is designed to encourage deeper attention to questions planners should ask in developing new and reshaped spaces that better inform the process of assessing how such spaces impact learning. 

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Vedantham, A., & Shanley, C. (2012). iPads in the Classroom Pilot Project. Penn Libraries.

The Penn Libraries’ Weigle Information Commons (WIC) launched the iPads in the Classroom pilot in June 2011. This report describes the design process, specific classroom projects and survey results.

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Online video creation for YouTube and Facebook is a newly popular activity for college students. Women have explored social networking technologies at about the same level as men, but have expressed less interest in computer programming and multimedia design. Online video creation includes aspects of both social networking and programming / multimedia design and provides an interesting forum for examining gender-related differences. This mixed methods study uses questionnaire data from 31% of the population of first year students attending a highly selective research university. The study explores how online video creation varies by gender after incorporating theoretical concepts of confidence, self-efficacy, attitudes toward computers, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, social influence and demographic variables such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, immigrant status and high school size. The theories of self-efficacy (Bandura), stereotype threat (Steele) and learned helplessness (Abramson) and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) inform the conceptual framework. Using descriptive and multivariate regression analyses as well as qualitative inquiry, the study finds significant gender differences in creation of online videos and roles played with video editing. Men report more participation in video creation and editing, as well as more participation in creating videos for required school projects, a notable finding for policy and practice. Attitudes toward computers and TAM explain observed gender differences. The Mac computer platform is associated with greater likelihood of video creation. Study results inform academic support interventions to promote media literacy, computer confidence and consistent perceptions of ease of use of video technologies for all students.

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Today’s undergraduates are clearly comfortable as consumers of technology and new media—purchasing ring tones for their cell phones and tunes for their iPods, text-messaging from handheld devices, scanning and tinkering with photos, keeping up with their Facebook friends and watching viral YouTube videos, sometimes all simultaneously.  We share examples of classroom assignments integrated with library support services that engage today’s undergraduates with academic materials in a variety of course context. We discuss how specific arrangements of library learning spaces and alignment of space and staffing can help undergraduate students succeed with new media projects for class assignments.


Penner, J., Lister, D., & Vedantham, A. (1999). Chapter 9: Aircraft Emissions: Current Inventories and Future Scenarios. In Aviation and the Global Atmosphere: A Special Report of IPCC Working Groups I and III. Cambridge University Press. Publisher’s Version: Chapter 9: Aircraft Emissions: Current Inventories and Future Scenarios
This report assesses the effects of aircraft on climate and atmospheric ozone and is the first IPCC report for a specific industrial subsector. It was prepared by IPCC in collaboration with the Scientific Assessment Panel to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, in response to a request by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) because of the potential impact of aviation emissions. These are the predominant anthropogenic emissions deposited directly into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Aviation has experienced rapid expansion as the world economy has grown. Passenger traffic (expressed as revenue passenger kilometers) has grown since 1960 at nearly 9% per year, 2.4 times the average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate. Freight traffic, approximately 80% of which is carried by passenger airplanes, has also grown over the same time period. The rate of growth of passenger traffic has slowed to about 5% in 1997 as the industry is maturing. Total aviation emissions have increased, because increased demand for air transport has outpaced the reductions in specific emissions from the continuing improvements in technology and operational procedures. Passenger traffic, assuming unconstrained demand, is projected to grow at rates in excess of GDP for the period assessed in this report.


Vedantham, A., & Oppenheimer, M. (1998). Long-term scenarios for aviation: Demand and emissions of CO2 and NOx. Energy Policy, 26(8), 625-641.

This study presents a dynamical systems model for long-term scenarios of demand in the aviation sector and resultant emissions of CO2 and NOx. We analyze the dynamics of demand growth for aviation, particularly in the emerging markets of developing nations. A model for subsonic aviation emissions is presented that reflects the consequences of industry forecasts for improvement in aviation fuel efficiency and emissions indices as well as projections of global economic and population growth over the next century. (Emissions of commercial supersonic aircraft are not modeled here.) The model incorporates a dynamical system of logistic growth towards a time-dependent capacity level. Using the long-term model, we present a set of projections of demand for aviation services, fossil fuel use, and emissions of carbon dioxide (C02) and nitrogen oxides (NOx through the year 2100; previous forecasts have not extended past 2040. We briefly discuss expectations for the distribution of NOx emissions over altitude and latitude.

Postprint version. Published in Energy Policy, Volume 26, Issue 8, July 1998, pages 625-641.


Sparrow, J., & Vedantham, A. (1995). Inner City Networking: Models and Opportunities. Journal of Urban Technology, 3(1), 19-28. Publisher’s Version: Inner City Networking: Models and Opportunities

Information technologies are fast becoming an essential part of most sectors of the American economy. Today, more than half of the nation's work force uses computers on the job. Having begun as internal systems in large corporations and universities, computer networks have been embraced by small businesses, individuals, and the non-profit sector. Community organizations have been able to use the new technologies in innovative ways to meet some of the social challenges present in today's inner cities. In the process of adopting these technologies, community organizations have changed the ways they are used and perceived, integrating them into their work in creative and non-traditional ways.

Reprinted with permission. Published in Journal of Urban Technology, Volume 3, Issue 1, April 1995, pages 19-28.
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NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Anu Vedantham was affiliated with National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

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Explains the need for quality educational technology in our schools and notes the contributions of existing technology in improving education. Describes the potential that telecommunications network technology holds for revitalizing American education. Out‐lines the major federal programs that provide policy guidance and funding assistance for educational institutions to access and contribute to the evolving National Information Infrastructure (NII), and summarizes federal activities to date. In particular, describes the relevant experiences of the first year of the Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP) which is part of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the Department of Commerce. Contact information for all federal programs is provided as well.


Emissions from airplanes and their potential global effects on the atmosphere have become the subject of intensive study by scientists, and are now drawing the interest of governments. Global fuel consumption has risen much faster for aviation than for other energy-use sectors. Concerns have focused on the contribution of nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon dioxide (C02), water vapor (H20) and other engine effluents to the buildup of the atmosphere's greenhouse effect. Future aircraft emissions also may affect the stratosphere's ozone layer. This report describes an effort to develop long-term scenarios for emissions from aviation in order to provide a basis for assessing their potential environmental impact throughout the 21st century. Carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides from the current and projected subsonic aircraft fleets are the main focus of this study. The scenarios in this report were produced by a model that builds on technological and operational assumptions made by industry and government for the period through 2015. It is important to state from the outset what this report is not about. It is not a detailed examination of the environmental effects of aviation. It is not an assessment of the potential for technological or operational changes that could reduce emissions from expected levels. It does not set forth a comprehensive and detailed policy prescription for limiting emissions from aviation. This report does not analyze the potential emissions of a vastly expanded fleet of supersonic aircraft, such as the proposed High-Speed Civil Transport (HSCT), although its possible environmental impacts are discussed briefly.

Copyright Environmental Defense Fund. Used by permission. Aviation Report, 1994, 77 pages.

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Vedantham, A. (1990). Network resource allocation for bursty ATM traffic sources. In Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Publisher’s Version: Network resource allocation for bursty ATM traffic sources

Thesis (M.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 1990. This study investigates the memory and bandwidth needs at a single switching node in an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) communications network. Matrix analysis and computer simulation methods were used, and their results compared and contrasted. Three types of switching architectures (input buffering, output buffering, and shared output buffering) were analyzed in the computer simulation method, and the output buffering architecture was analyzed with matrix methods. The two network resources considered were packet loss probability and packet transmission delay. The traffic sources were modeled with a Markov process describing correlated bursty packet arrivals. The model produced bursts of packets alternating with silences, and allows specification of two moments each for the burst and silence length distribution; it also allows variation in the correlation between packets within a burst. The parameters of the traffic model were varied in different combinations, and their relative impacts on resource needs were evaluated. Results showed that the shared output buffering architecture allows far better performance than the other two architectures. However, vital dependencies emerge between the burst length of traffic sources and the performance of all three switch architectures. The two methods produced almost identical results on a common example, validating the accuracy of the computer simulation method.

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Telecommunications in Zimbabwe. (1990). African Technology Forum, 6-7.

Telecommunications in many African countries is several years, perhaps decades, behind the state of the art in developed countries. In 1982, nine out of ten people in the United States owned a telephone line; in Africa, only five out of 100 did. Often, telecommunications investments are put on a lower priority at national planning levels in favor of other technologies such as electrification; advances in telecommunications are not often seen as a crucial factor in economic development. However,as the world becomes increasingly dependent on telecommunications for international economic trade and information transfer, the need for modem telecommunications capability becomes more urgent.

Reprinted with permission. Reprinted from African Technology Forum, November 1990, pages 6-7. 

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