News & Notes

By: Lindsay Miller on: December 07, 2010 1:43 pm | mille234

In a recent survey, focusing on satisfaction of library services, the Libraries ranked high in service, physical space and accessibility of online resources.

LibQUAL is a user opinion survey offered by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) that libraries use to assess service quality. In 2003 and 2007, the Miami Libraries used the LibQUAL instrument to track and understand patron expectations and satisfaction. Last fall, a shorter version of the survey, LibQUAL +® Lite, was administered. A sample size of 4,059 people was used, which included a mix of undergraduate and graduate students and full-time faculty. Comments were also collected in addition to the data.

Echoing previous years, the Libraries ranked high in service. The survey found that patrons are very satisfied with staff and librarians who are “consistently courteous” and have a great “willingness to help users”.

Patrons view the Libraries as comfortable and inviting despite the fact that they feel there is not enough study space. The survey indicated that our users are satisfied with the quality of the space. In addition, 63.49% of the LibQUAL+® Lite survey participants physically visit the Libraries at least once a week.

MU users are very satisfied that the Libraries’ electronic resources are accessible to them even when they are out of our buildings or are off campus. Patrons commented on struggling with finding information through our online resources, but some of this was due to the launch of a new library website around the time of the survey. We are continuing to look at out catalog and website and make improvements.

Overall, the Libraries scored well on the survey and did well among comparable and benchmark institutions. Library staff is currently putting measures into place to improve and communicate changes to our services and facilities as a result of the survey.

By: Lindsay Miller on: December 07, 2010 1:44 pm | mille234

Like other units at Miami and libraries at many other colleges and universities, the Miami University Libraries are contending with a difficult budgetary environment. At the time of writing, Miami has reduced its annual budget by $20 million and is currently planning additional reductions in excess of $40 million.

The Libraries continue to serve our students and faculty, although with significant reductions of staff (around 20%). Over the past year, we have looked for ways to realize efficiencies by combining service points and even eliminating and reducing some services. While some of these changes have been transparent to our clientele, others have been noticeable.

The most prominent adjustment has been eliminating overnight hours in King Library on Friday and Saturday; the Libraries now close at 10 p.m. Although these late weekend hours were the least heavily used hours, the Libraries have heard a significant outcry from individual students and from Miami’s Associated Student Government. Unfortunately, budget cuts have real consequences.

Although we have sustained relatively small cuts to books and journals to date, additional cuts appear likely for the Libraries and for our statewide consortium, OhioLINK, which provides us with access to many e-journals and research databases.

Thankfully, the MU Libraries do not do it alone. We are grateful to each of you who serve as advocates for library funding and as our donors. Your generosity has helped the Miami University Libraries to weather the budgetary storm and forestalled more dramatic reductions.

I look forward to continuing to work with you so that we can continue to provide Miami’s students and faculty with the library services and resources they deserve.

Again, thank you,
Judith A. Sessions
Dean and University Librarian

By: wallerjl on: November 29, 2010 2:45 pm | wallerjl small twitter logo@@jenniferwaller

Through December 31, 2010 Miami University students, faculty, and staff have access to a trial version of The International Studies Encyclopedia (use the proxied link here if you're off campus). Access the encyclopedia's content through the "Table of Contents" link on the left side of the page.

Published in association with the International Studies Association (ISA), this resource provides instant access to the most up-to-date resources in international studies. The encyclopedia allows full access to 400+ fully-searchable peer reviewed essays, links to archives, datasets, cases, pedagogical aids, a live discussion forum, and other relevant materials.

Between now and December 31 I would greatly appreciate any feedback you have about this resource. I’m looking for informal evaluations, although reasons why it works well (or doesn’t work well) are most useful. Please send feedback about The International Studies Encyclopedia to Jen Waller, International Studies Librarian, at

By: Jason Paul Michel on: November 23, 2010 9:46 am | micheljp small twitter logo@jpmichel

The Dalai Lama's visit was a wonderful event in the history of Miam University. If you were unable to attend the talks you can now watch them on the web!. Check them out!
By: tzoce_2 on: November 15, 2010 6:22 pm | tzoce_2

The 3rd Social Justice Read-In will take place this Wednesday, November 17th from 2 to 4pm in King Library Room 320. Everyone is welcome to read or listen to others read. Readers can bring their favorite book or pick one from the display at the Read-In. A set of posters from the Student Action Center will be on display as well.
To learn more about this event or to register to read, visit the Read-In's website at:

The Read-In is part of the seventh annual Human Rights and Social Justice program at Miami University. A complete list of events on campus is available at:

By: Jason Paul Michel on: November 09, 2010 2:34 pm | micheljp small twitter logo@jpmichel

Do you know the difference between an impact factor and an Eigenfactor? Do you know how to find out which journals in your field are considered the most influential? If not, then you might want to come to an upcoming workshop called "Journal Citation Reports and Other Tools for Preparing Your Dossier". This workshop is designed for faculty and graduate students who want to learn more about the citation tools available to help them. We'll cover the basics of Journal Citation Reports, discuss the useful tools in Web of Science, and realizing that not all journals are covered in JCR and WoS, we’ll also cover tools such as SciMago, Publish or Perish, Google Scholar, and WorldCat Identities.

By the end of the session we hope you’ll have gained:

• Awareness of the different tools available
• Understanding of the value of these different citation analysis tools
• Ability to select the best tool for any given task
• Understanding of vocabulary like impact factors
• Skills to gather citation information and include them in their promotion documents

This workshop is designed to be informative for all disciplines at Miami, and will be jointly led by a Humanities Librarian and a Science Librarian!

Where: King 110
When: November 16th from noon-1:00pm

Register here

By: Katie Gibson on: October 15, 2010 9:22 am | gibsonke

The Nobel prize for literature has been awarded to Mario Vargas Llosa "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat".
Vargas Llosa, a peruvian and part of what has been called the “Boom” generation of writers from Latin America, is a prolific author of novels, essays and plays. He has also been involved in Peruvian politics, unsuccessfully running for president.

To learn more:
Find books by Mario Vargas Llosa-,%20Mario,%2...

Find books about Mario Vargas Llosa-

Read the Nobel announcement:

By: Jason Paul Michel on: October 06, 2010 4:43 pm | micheljp small twitter logo@jpmichel

The Tibetan Plateau is one of the highest and youngest regions on earth, encircled by mountain ranges, with the Himalayas making up its southern border. The high altitude and humid air from the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal allow for the formation of many glaciers. The melt water from these glaciers is the source for many of Asia’s most important rivers.

  1. A December 2009 science brief from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies named global warming as one of two major factors for the alarming rate of glacier retreat on the Tibetan Plateau. What was the other factor and how does it contribute to glacial melt?

  2. What is the name for the field of science that studies the movement, distribution, and quality of water throughout the Earth? Hint: Think Greek.

  3. In southwestern Tibet, there is a mountain (pictured below) that sits near the source of four major rivers in central Asia- the Indus, the Brahmaputra, the Karnali and the Sutleg. This mountain is considered sacred by four religions and is therefore one of the holiest places on Earth. Pilgrims make the journey to the mountain in order to walk the 32 miles around its base, as scaling the peak is forbidden out of respect to the religions that worship the site.

  What is the name of this mountain, and what are the four religions that consider it to be holy?
Hint: Use “AND” in your search if you are having trouble.

Send your answers to

By: Ken Grabach on: October 04, 2010 2:00 pm | grabacka

The visit this month of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, raises interest in his homeland and current place of residence. I would like to feature some maps in our collections about Tibet and the Himalaya region.
* Himalaya is a folded map of the area, by a Munich publisher.
* Two large format maps by GiziMap, based in Budapest, Tibet and Xizang = Tibet focus on the entire Autonomous Region of Tibet.
* Xizang Zizhiqu lü you di tu is a tourist map produced in China.
* Tibet : Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Himalaya, the roof of the world, and Himalaya, Tibet, Bhutan, Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim are excellent tourist maps published in English.
* Amnye Machen Institute, Dharamsala, India, is a center for Tibetan studies in the home in exile for the Dalai Lama. The Institute’s Tibet and adjacent areas under Communist China's occupation showsTibet and adjacent areas of China where Tibetan language and cultural practices are found.

The ancient Tibetan capital is featured on two maps. Lhasa City = Lha-Sa Groń Khyer, by the Amnye Machen Institute, is accompanied by a booklet with text in English and Tibetan describing the city and a detailed index to buildings and sites on the map. The Lhasa map : Traditional Tibetan architecture and townscape has a larger scale map focusing on the city center area. Additional maps on the reverse provide plans of significant sites, including the Potala Palace complex, as well as elevation drawings.

Other maps feature special places.

* Dharamsala, McLeod Ganj uses satellite imagery to portray the city in Himachal Pradesh, India, that has served as the home of the Dalai Lama. McLeod Ganj is the name of the portion of the city where the temples, monasteries, and study centers are located.
* The high route around Manaslu focuses on a mountain and surrounding region in northern Nepal. This is a conservation area, with villages of indigenous populations. It is the focus of a graduate study project by a Miami student.
* Kailās, Mānasarovar, and Kailash : trekking map focus on a sacred mountain in western Tibet and northwestern Himachal Pradesh. At the base of the mountain are monasteries. Nearby is a lake regarded as the source of the Indus River, one of several major rivers that have their source in the Tibetan Plateau and the northern Himalaya.

These maps convey some of the wonders of this region that fascinates the western world, providing useful information for study. They also reflect a diversity of cartographers, based as they are in Germany, Hungary, Canada, Nepal, and India at the home of the Dalai Lama.

By: Jason Paul Michel on: September 24, 2010 9:57 am | micheljp small twitter logo@jpmichel

Music faculty, students and classical music lovers: is a fantastic new free resource for classical musical recordings and sheet music. From their about page:

Listen to Fur EliseMusopen ( is a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on improving access and exposure to music by creating free resources and educational materials. We provide recordings, sheet music, and textbooks to the public for free, without copyright restrictions. Put simply, our mission is to set music free.