micheljp's blog

Classic Catalog Searching Issues

The Miami University Libraries migrated to a new catalog software in December. Due to this migration, search results in the classic catalog have become unreliable. Call number and keyword searches are particularly bad, and links to our e-resources are not displaying at all in classic catalog record results. These problems have to be resolved on the vendor side, and the vendor is aware of them.

We highly recommend using the “Books and More” and “Journals” tabs on the web page when searching for books, journals, and e-resources. There is a call number option available in the drop-down menu in the “Books and More” tab, which should provide accurate search results.

If you need assistance finding information or materials please contact the Information Desk via chat, txt, phone or in-person.

Please send questions to mlink@lib.muohio.edu.

Thank you for your patience during this time.

(Take Some Books) Home for the Holidays!

Winter is Coming. Winter Break that is. A great time to unwind from the stress of Fall semester, hang out with family and friends and spend some time reading a good book. We encourage you to take some books home with you for the holiday season. To that end some of our librarians have recommended some great books. Take a look and check them out! Remember that you can renew the books on the web.

The Disappearing Spoon : and other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

The periodic table of the elements is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, obsession, and betrayal. These tales follow carbon, neon, silicon, gold, and all the elements in the table as they play out their parts in human history. The usual suspects are here, like Marie Curie (and her radioactive journey to the discovery of polonium and radium) and William Shockley (who is credited, not exactly justly, with the discovery of the silicon transistor)--but the more obscure characters provide some of the best stories, like Paul Emile François Lecoq de Boisbaudran, whose discovery of gallium, a metal with a low melting point, gives this book its title: a spoon made of gallium will melt in a cup of tea.--From publisher description

The Worst Hard Time: the Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan

The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since.

Timothy Egan’s critically acclaimed account rescues this iconic chapter of American history from the shadows in a tour de force of historical reportage. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. --from Publisher description.

The Human Shore: Seacoasts in History by John R. Gillis

Since before recorded history, people have congregated near water. But as growing populations around the globe continue to flow toward the coasts on an unprecedented scale and climate change raises water levels, our relationship to the sea has begun to take on new and potentially catastrophic dimensions. The latest generation of coastal dwellers lives largely in ignorance of the history of those who came before them, the natural environment, and the need to live sustainably on the world’s shores. Humanity has forgotten how to live with the oceans. -- from Publisher description.



The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.





In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations that Changed the World by Ian Stewart

In Pursuit of the Unknown, celebrated mathematician Ian Stewart uses a handful of mathematical equations to explore the vitally important connections between math and human progress. We often overlook the historical link between mathematics and technological advances, says Stewart--but this connection is integral to any complete understanding of human history. Equations are modeled on the patterns we find in the world around us, says Stewart, and it is through equations that we are able to make sense of, and in turn influence, our world. Stewart locates the origins of each equation he presents--from Pythagoras's Theorem to Newton's Law of Gravity to Einstein's Theory of Relativity--within a particular historical moment, elucidating the development of mathematical and philosophical thought necessary for each equation's discovery.

Counterplay: an Anthropologist at the Chessboard by Robert Desjarlais

Drawing on his lifelong fascination with the game, Desjarlais guides readers into the world of twenty-first-century chess to help us understand its unique pleasures and challenges, and to advance a new "anthropology of passion." Immersing us directly in chess's intricate culture, he interweaves small dramas, closely observed details, illuminating insights, colorful anecdotes, and unforgettable biographical sketches to elucidate the game and to reveal what goes on in the minds of experienced players when they face off over the board. Counterplay offers a compelling take on the intrigues of chess and shows how themes of play, beauty, competition, addiction, fanciful cognition, and intersubjective engagement shape the lives of those who take up this most captivating of games. -- from Publisher description.

The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media

The cohost of NPR's "On the Media" narrates, in cartoon form, two millennia of history of the influence of the media on the populace, from newspapers in Caesar's Rome to the penny press of the American Revolution to today.






Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs--yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again. -- From Publisher Description.

In Defense of Food: an Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of food journalist Pollan's thesis. Humans used to know how to eat well, he argues, but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." Indeed, plain old eating is being replaced by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Pollan's advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food." Looking at what science does and does not know about diet and health, he proposes a new way to think about what to eat, informed by ecology and tradition rather than by the nutrient-by-nutrient approach.--From publisher description

A New Birth of Freedom

On this day in 1863 on the Battlefield of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln gave one our country's most enduring and mythical speeches, the Gettysburg Address.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The significance of this speech is varied and far-reaching.  We have several books specifically about the speech as well as over a thousand books, movies and other resources dedicated to President Abraham Lincoln.

Check out some of these resources for Thanksgiving Break!

Ooh and check out this beautiful video honoring the iconic speech:

Help Us Improve our Services and Get a $15 iTunes Gift Card

The Miami University Libraries are currently administering usability tests for certain aspects of the library web site. We are seeking undergraduate & graduate students as well as faculty members to help us with these tests. Participants will be asked to interact with library interfaces and their actions will help us create better user environments. The process will take approximately 30 minutes. We are offering $15 iTunes gift cards for participants. Those interested should send an email to Jason Paul Michel at micheljp@muohio.edu

In Remembrance of 9/11

Today is the 11th anniversary of the 9/11. This tragic event in American history has had wide ranging effects in all facets of our world: politics, economics, psychology, media and more. It is an ideal of libraries to house and curate our collective memories, reactions and analysis of historical events.

To remember this event in our history, come to one of our libraries and check out a few of our nearly 500 books about 9/11.

Our complete collection about 9/11.

Follow our Pinterest board on 9/11 to see book covers of the collection.

Neil Armstrong, 1930 - 2012

Neil Armstrong, American astronaut famous for being the first person to walk on the moon, died Saturday, August 25th, in Cincinnati.  He was 82 years old.  After you've read the news articles and the Wikipedia entry, discover more about his life and work with a few books! 

  First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen

















  One Giant Leap: Neil Armstrong's Stellar American Journey      by Leon Wagener

Books that Shaped America

The Library of Congress released a list of the top "Books that Shaped America" as part of its multi-year "Celebration of the Book."

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington states “It is not a register of the ‘best’ American books – although many of them fit that description. Rather, the list is intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives, whether they appear on this initial list or not.” Below is a list of ten of the books on the list. So, what do you think? What are some of the books that helped shape america or what are some books that helped shape you? Let us know on Twitter.  Or Tweet books that shaped you with the following hashtag: #booksthatshapedme.

Miami University Librarians pass Open Access Policy

Miami University Librarians pass Open Access Policy On Monday, the librarians at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio affirmed their commitment to the principles of Open Access by voting in favor of an Open Access policy. The policy, based on Harvard University's Model Policy, will increase access to librarians' scholarly articles. Librarians will begin depositing their scholarly output in the Scholarly Commons, Miami's institutional repository. Miami University Libraries is the first department on Miami's campus to successfully pass an open access policy. "I am so proud to work at Miami today," said Jen Waller, Interdisciplinary Research Librarian and Chair of the Libraries’ Scholarly Communication Working Group. "My colleagues’ vote in favor of an open access policy allows the Miami University Libraries to be a leader in Open Access on the Miami campus. Additionally, the adoption of this policy will allow librarians here to gain first hand knowledge of howfacets of open access work, which will greatly improve our outreach efforts to faculty on campus."

Miami’s Dean and University Librarian, Judith Sessions, was pleased with the vote, noting that it represented an historic step forward in the services librarians at Miami can provide. “Librarians at Miami have always done an outstanding job of pushing boundaries. In this case, they understand how the culture on Miami’s campus differs from cultures on other campuses. Their ability to move forward in ways that best serve the mission of the university speaks volumes.”

The policy will take effect immediately.

For more information contact:

Judith Sessions

Dean and University Librarian

sessioja@muohio.edu

513-529-2800

We know it’s the B.E.S.T., but what should we call it?

The new B.E.S.T. library in Laws hall is searching for a name for their technology and data visualization center, and you can help! This new service point aims to provide assistance to patrons with software applications available on library public computers, particularly multi media and statistical/analytical packages. Though business, engineering, science and technology programs will be the focus, basic computer questions and general technology help will be available to all Miami students and personnel. Got a great idea for a name? Click here! http://goo.gl/HWufF

Legal Stuff

Your technology center name must be suitable for presentation in a public forum, in the sole determination of Sponsor. The proposed name must be original and the entry may not contain material that violates or infringes any third party’s rights, including but not limited to privacy, publicity, or intellectual property. The entry must not contain or be confusingly similar to any third party’s product names, brand names, or trademarks. The entry must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, tortuous, defamatory, or libelous. The entry must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred, or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age. The entry must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of the laws or regulations in any state where the entry is created.

Come Watch the Movie Glory, Eat Pizza and Popcorn and Drink Soda! Win Prizes!

The Miami University Libraries Civil War Programming Committee and Diversity Cluster are co-sponsoring a film showing and discussion of the award winning film Glory on Thursday, April 19th between 6 and 8:30 in King Library 320. There will be refreshments and door prizes, including DVDs of several popular Civil War documentaries and films! Free and open to the public. It's the last program in our Let's Talk About It: Civil War series. You can see more information about our programs this year on our website: http://libguides.lib.muohio.edu/civilwar

Glory won three Academy Awards in 1989 (best supporting actor, best cinematography, and best sound). It tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first formal unit of the US Army to be made up of African American men, during the Civil War. It stars Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and Matthew Broderick (the guy from Ferris Bueller's Day Off). Please join us for this moving and educational film. Hope to see you there!