News & Notes

By: Lindsay Midkiff Miller on: April 25, 2010 11:43 pm | mille234

The Libraries hosted the Digital Literacy Contest on March 24. This fast paced contest (30 minutes, 20 questions) tested students cognitive ability and prowess in finding information on the internet.

A total of $400 in total cash prizes and free food was offered for attendees. Correct answers earned points, and incorrect answers were penalized and the highest score was declared the winner. Questions included finding information on internet websites and library databases. Funding assistance for this event was provided by the Miami University Special Events Fund.

More information about the contest is available at

By: Lindsay Midkiff Miller on: April 25, 2010 11:40 pm | mille234

In January 2010, the Libraries opened the door to our new Gaming Lab, housed on the ground floor of King Library. The gaming lab is open to students who are currently enrolled in the new gaming curriculum offered at Miami. The Digital Game Studies Minor offers a series of courses on digital game design, analysis and application presenting a collaboration between the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Fine Arts, the School of Education, Health, and Society and the University Libraries.

This minor introduces students to the foundations of game design and implementation, the design of art assets for digital games, developing critical and cultural understandings of digital games, and the relationship of digital games to important trends in learning and literacy. The equipment in the room was obtained via a successful proposal to the technology fee competitive funding program. Students and faculty vote on proposals and the Libraries Gaming Lab was awarded monies to equip the room.

There is a Wii, Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation, a gaming computer and many popular games of all types. Students and faculty can check out the entire room including all the games and gaming consoles.

By: Lindsay Midkiff Miller on: April 25, 2010 11:27 pm | mille234

3D scanning

Photo from NextEngine
The Center for Information Management (CIM) now provides three-dimensional (3D) scanning for patrons. 3D scanning is the process of digitizing objects into computer file formats to allow users to incorporate physical characteristics of real world objects into a virtual setting.

The process of digitizing objects is a delicate operation and since every object is completely different in size, shape, and color, the settings must be adjusted for each object. Trained CIM staff can assist with step of the process. Each item can take up to an hour to complete. The scanned files can be edited with 3D design software in over 20 different file formats for using with various other applications.

Quick Response Codes

The libraries have begun to use QR (Quick response) codes to serve many of our patrons who always have their cell phones handy. The codes allow mobile users to quickly access information (URLs, text, or numbers) by scanning the matrix code with their camera phones.

Codes are in all the study rooms and other places that allow students to get to the library's mobile help page directly. There are others in the public computer areas that give information on the kind of software on the computers in the particular area and some which send patrons to the library's mobile website. More codes will be added in the future.

By: Lindsay Midkiff Miller on: April 25, 2010 11:06 pm | mille234

A new manuscript has been acquired by the University Libraries and is now part of the Walter Havighurst Special Collections. The manuscript documents the purchase of land that encouraged settlement in southwest Ohio, by John Cleves Symmes of New Jersey, who served in the Continental Congress. Within the purchase was designated a one square mile tract of land to establish an academic institution. The handwritten 8-page document details the Symmes Purchase, also known as the Miami Purchase, and subsequent events.

The Symmes Purchase includes an area of land in Ohio in what is now Hamilton, Butler and Warren Counties. In the original act, an academic institution would have been established near Lebanon, OH; unfortunately that plot of land was sold. A year later, in an amendment of the law enabling Miami University, chartered by the State of Ohio in 1809, the location of the school was “moved” to Oxford, Ohio.

Symmes was the father-in-law of the ninth U.S. President, William Henry Harrison. Symmes Hall on East Quad was named in Symmes’ honor in 1949. The manuscript has been encapsulated, which will protect it as it is examined to minimize wear and tear on the document. It is being transcribed and digitized and will be added to the Libraries’ online Digital Archive which will enable it to be accessed world-wide by students and researchers.

This manuscript complements the copy of the Act enabling Miami University and the subsequent amendment in 1810 and a copy of the Survey of the Symmes Purchase already held in Special Collections. The Symmes Purchase manuscript will be on display in the Special Collections during Alumni Weekend, June 17-19, 2010.

By: Lindsay Midkiff Miller on: April 25, 2010 11:00 pm | mille234

One hundred years ago the Alumni Library, now Alumni Hall, was dedicated on Miami University’s campus. In honor of its Centennial, the Libraries have launched the Alumni Library Centennial Digital Collection.

Alumni Library was dedicated on commencement day, June 16, 1910 and remained Miami's main library until King Library was completed in 1972. The building was renovated in the early 1990s; today, it is the home of Miami's Department of Architecture and the Wertz Art & Architecture Library.

The Alumni Library Centennial Digital Collection contains the original blueprints of the building, historical documents, photographs, postcards, letters of alumni and other supporters, and a timeline of the history of libraries at Miami.

We invite alums and anyone with memories of the building to add your own stories and recollections about Alumni Library, the first building on campus solely dedicated as a library.

Also planned are two exhibits that will open Alumni Weekend, June 17-20, 2010. One in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections in King Library and another in Alumni Hall Cage Gallery outside the Wertz Art and Architecture Library on the first floor of Alumni Hall.

By: Arianne Hartsell-Gundy on: April 14, 2010 4:53 pm | hartsea

The Theatre Department is putting on a production of The Arabian Nights (By Mary Zimmerman and directed by Lewis Magruder) this April. The dates will be April 15th-17th and April 22nd-25th. You can buy tickets here, as well as watch a short video about the production.

If you decide to go, you may want to read up a bit on The Arabian Nights. Here are a couple of titles you might want to check out:

The Arabian Nights Reader by Ulrich Marzolph. King Library PJ7737 .A735 2006.

The Arabian Nights: A Companion by Robert Irwin. King Library PJ7737 .I79 1994.

The Arabian Nights: A Play by Mary Zimmerman. King Library PS3576.I66 A73 2005.

The Art of Story-telling: A Literary Study of the Thousand and One Nights by Mia Irene Gerhardt. King Library PJ7737 .G4.

The Arabian Nights translated by Husain Haddawy. King Library PJ7715 .H33 1990.

The Arabian nights: Tales from the Thousand and One Nights by E.J. Detmold. Special Collections PJ7716.A1 D486 1925

The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia

By: Arianne Hartsell-Gundy on: April 14, 2010 4:47 pm | hartsea

We now have the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary with Additional Material from "A Thesaurus of Old English" in our reference collection. The call number for this source is King Reference PE1591 .H55 2009. It was 45 years in the making, and some are calling it the last great reference book.

The thesaurus is two volumes and contains over 800,000 meanings. The first volume is the thesaurus itself. It’s arranged semantically instead of alphabetically. The three major categories are the external world, the mental world, and the social world. Each of those categories are then further subdivided into categories. For instance the mental world includes categories like mental capacity, emotion, philosophy, etc. Each individual entry then lists words with similar meanings in chronological order. The second volume is the index for the work, which is an alphabetic list that helps you locate specific words in the first volume. If you're interested in finding out more about how it works, this article might be helpful. It includes a short video that walks you through it.

Just as the Oxford English Dictionary is more complex than a regular dictionary, the Historical Thesaurus is more complex than a regular thesaurus. It's meant to be a historical analysis of how meanings of words have changed over time. You can find out when a specific word began to mean one thing, and when another word began to have the same meaning. In addition to being a useful tool for academic research, it's a tool that could be used by a writer of historical fiction who wants to make sure his or her dialogue is realistic. Also, it can be fun to look up slang terms and insults. For instance the next time you have a friend do something rude, you can tell them they are being unbene (1375), ingenteel (1658-1787), or blowzy (1851)!

By: Jason Paul Michel on: April 12, 2010 4:06 pm | micheljp @jpmichel

The 2010 Pulitzer Prizes were announced recently. Come to the library and check out some of the winners:

Winner in Biography: The First Tycoon : The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles.

Winner in History: Lords of Finance : the Bankers who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed.

Winner in Fiction: Tinkers by Paul Harding.

Winner in Poetry: Versed by Rae Armantrout.

Winner in General Non-fiction: The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Hoffman.

See the complete list!

By: Jennifer Bazeley on: April 08, 2010 2:55 pm | bazelejw @@jwbazeley

From April 12-18, 2010, ProQuest is offering free, open access to some of their most popular online resources at

A few of the offerings include:
CultureGrams: explore the world's cultures with local experts that document the history, customs, government, and daily life in multimedia reports on over 200 countries.

eLibrary: this easy to use resource brings together content about in-demand subjects from millions of multimedia-rich, global resources.

ProQuest African American Heritage: brings together records critical to African American family history research and connects users to a community of research experts.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers - Black Newspapers: experience history firsthand via continuous runs of the following full-image titles: The Baltimore Afro-American, Chicago Defender, Los Angeles Sentinel, and New York Amsterdam News.

Visit to access these resources and more, during National Library Week.
No user name or password needed!

By: Arianne Hartsell-Gundy on: April 05, 2010 1:35 pm | hartsea

King Library will have a display up in the foyer of the first floor in honor of National Poetry Month for the month of April. This year's theme for the display is performance poetry and other kinds of poems that are read aloud (partially inspired by the 2009 Summer Reading pick Taylor Mali).

If you've never seen any poetry performances, here are some YouTube videos to inspire you!

If you're interested in reading about performance poetry, here are a couple of titles to get you started:

Eleveld, Mark. The Spoken Word Revolution: Slam, Hip-Hop & the Poetry of a New Generation. King Library, Ground Floor, IMC | PS615 .S65 2003.

Foley, John Miles. How to Read an Oral Poem. King Library (2nd floor) PN1341 .F65 2002.

Glazner, Gary Mex. Poetry Slam: The Competitive Art of Performance Poetry. King Library (2nd floor) PS615 .P629 2000.

Olson, Alix. Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution. King Library (2nd floor) PS589 .W77 2007.

Wheeler, Lesley. Voicing American Poetry: Sound and Performance from the 1920s to the Present. King Library (2nd floor) PN4151 .W47 2008.

Finally if you're interested in reading some poetry, here's some suggested poetry books.

National Poetry Month