News & Notes

By: weavered on: February 19, 2017 7:16 pm | weavered

Congratulations to Beyonce's "visual album" Lemonade, winner of Amos Music Library's 4th annual Album of the Year poll. It is available now in the library's Spotlight collection. We extend a "thank you" to all who voted.

Our past winners:

2013 : Lorde - Pure Heroine
2014 : Taylor Swift - 1989
2015 : Adele - 25

Based on your feedback, you can also expect the library to add albums by Anderson .Paak, A Tribe Called Quest, Bon Iver, and Sturgill Simpson (his prior album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, is in our collection; follow the link to request a hold).

By: weavered on: February 12, 2017 4:48 pm | weavered

Singer-songwriter and musician Prince had been one of the last holdouts and had not allowed his albums to be streamed on platforms like Spotify; as of today, though, that's changed, and his discography is now available to stream.

However, there are still some noteworthy and popular albums that are not available on Spotify. Here are a few of those titles that ARE available on CD in the Amos Music Library collection. Note that each of these albums can be requested to be delivered to your preferred Miami library circulation location.

​Of course, this is only a starting point. There are more albums not available streaming, and the library is regularly acquiring more titles.

Also, a reminder: our Album of the Year poll is currently live. It closes this Wednesday, 2/15, so vote soon.

By: vonnahee on: February 10, 2017 4:51 pm | vonnahee

This week, we celebrated one year of Zine Tuesdays at 2 by hosting our February workshop at Kofenya Coffee. 

With the help of Kofenya staff, we whipped up a pop-up crafting space full of everything you'd need to make a zine (plus coffee and scones because creativity needs fuel, right...and we're not above bribing people). Miami students and faculty as well as few curious community members stopped by to try their hand at making a zine and perused the traveling collection for inspiration. 



zine collection on the go


Interested in integrating zines into your classes and/or your assignments? Let us know! We can talk about how and when to consider using these low-cost, versatile teaching and learning tools for creating art and scholarship in the classroom and beyond. 


Yours in folding and cutting and pasting,
Carly, Lori, Sean, and Erin 

By: crosbylm on: February 09, 2017 10:36 am | crosbylm @LMBirkenhauer

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this month’s shipment of leisure reading books includes a new title by the queen of the young adult, vampire romance novel (Stephanie Meyer, The Chemist), memoirs by two beloved actresses (Anna Kendrick, Scrappy Little Nobody; Lauren Graham, Talking as Fast As I Can) and never-before-published poetry about love and pain (Johnny Cash, Forever Words: The Unknown Poems). For a full list of what’s new in February, see our list below:

Boat Rocker by Ha Jim

Book of Joy by Dalai Lama XIV

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Buffering by Hannah Hart

Chemist by Stephanie Meyer

Darktown by Thomas Mullen

Forever Words by Johnny Cash

Home by Harlan Coben

Lucky Bastard by Joe Buck

Our Revolution by Bernie Sanders

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Talking as Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham


Stay up to date with new titles in the Leisure Reading Collection by following our Pinterest board.

By: friedevt on: February 08, 2017 1:00 pm | friedevt @ohiyote

Where are you originally from? What's your educational background?
I am originally from Muncie, Indiana; however, I have lived in Oxford for the past five years. I graduated from Ball State University with an undergraduate degree in general studies, but focused in elementary education and library media and computer education. I am currently studying to get my MLIS and MS in information architecture from Kent State University.

What's your title? How would you describe your position at the Miami Libraries? (roles/responsibilities as you know them so far)
I am a Senior Library Technician at King Library. My job entails desk duties, such as answering patron questions, locating books and articles, directing phone calls to the right extension, as well as many others. I make the schedule for the desk, as well as help clean the computers when there is downtime. 

What drew you to work in a library environment? Why did you choose the Miami Libraries?
I have been working in libraries for the past six years. My previous experiences have been with public libraries, working in both circulation and as a shelver. I have always had a fascination with reading and a passion for learning. The Miami Libraries allow me to stay relatively close to my family and friends, but I have also enjoyed the atmosphere while coming in as a patron.

What's the best part of working in a library?
The best part of working in a library is the constant knowledge adventure. I always refer the process as "having to put my Sherlock hat on." I never know what question I might have to answer. 

What's one thing you wish college students knew about using a library?
Academic and public libraries are different in how they classify their books. If you are looking for a particular author or title and you don’t know the LC call number, you can’t browse the shelves as easily. Please ask for help or use the catalog. 

What's your favorite book? What book character would you most like to be?
My favorite would have to be The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The world building is amazing. I've read this at least once a year since high school. Sabriel, from Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series, would probably be a choice for one of my favorite book characters. I like strong female leads. 

Any hobbies?
My hobbies include the librarian standby of reading (with most selections being young adult), but I also enjoy horseback riding and crafting.

What's something people don't know about you that might surprise them?
I come from a large extended family, where Christmas can end up being over 70 of us there. Family reunions are even larger, with closer to 150. The great thing is that we all get along well. 

By: mulfordj on: February 09, 2017 3:52 pm | mulfordj

Workshop Dates

3D Printing - 2/14 5-6pm (Laws 116)

Know Your News - 3/7 4-5pm (AIS)

Poster Prep and Design - 4/19 4-5pm (AIS)



3D Printing

2/14 5-6pm (Laws 116)

Interested in 3D printing but don’t know where to start?  Have an idea for printing but aren’t sure what software to use or where to go for help?  Please join us for this workshop on beginning 3D printing at the Miami Libraries.

This workshop is designed to walk you through the steps of 3D printing, from designing your project and making decisions on the structural components to submitting your project to print at one of the library’s 3D printing locations.

This workshop will benefit you if:

  • You are interested in learning more about 3D printing
  • You have an idea for a print and aren’t sure where to start
  • You have a file to print and want assistance getting it started

We are here to help! Library technicians that run the library’s 3D printers will present an hour-long workshop on the basics of 3D printing.

Know Your News: Locating Reliable Reporting in the Age of Social Media

Are you unsure if the news you’re reading on social media is real or fake? Do you wonder where to turn for reliable reporting? If that sounds like you, please join us for the Learning Center workshop "Know Your News."

This workshop has been designed to provide you with resources and strategies for locating and evaluating news sources while attending Miami University.

The workshop will benefit you if:

  • You are unsure how to tell the difference between real and fake news
  • You are worried about accidentally citing fake news in your academic writing
  • You don’t know where to find dependable news resources

We can help! A librarian specializing in journalism and mass communication will present an hour-long workshop to help you combat the fake news phenomenon by learning to locate reliable reporting.

Poster Presentation and Design

Are you creating a poster for the Undergraduate Research Forum, a conference or a class, but unsure how to get started? Do you wonder what an academic poster is supposed to look like? Nervous about presenting your research? If that sounds like you, please join us for the Learning Center workshop "Poster Presentation and Design.”

This workshop has been designed to provide you with strategies for the successful design and presentation of your research poster.

The workshop will benefit you if:

  • You have never created a research poster before
  • You are unsure or anxious about the poster design process
  • You are worried about presenting your poster

A librarian with experience evaluating Undergraduate Research Forum posters and presenters, and a background in teaching best practices for both, will hold an hour-long workshop on strategies for successful poster design and presentation.



By: weavered on: February 06, 2017 9:07 pm | weavered

Amos Music Library would like to hear from the Miami community about their favorite 2016 albums. The winning album of this annual poll is added to the library's circulating CD collection. The poll is available here. The nominees were selected from among the best-reviewed and best-selling popular albums of 2016.

Our past winners:
2013 : Lorde - Pure Heroine
2014 : Taylor Swift - 1989
2015 : Adele - 25

This year's nominees:

  • Anderson .Paak - Malibu
  • Angel Olsen - My Woman
  • Beyonce - Lemonade 
  • David Bowie - Blackstar
  • Drake - Views
  • Nick Cave - Skeleton Key
  • Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
  • Rihanna - ANTI
  • Solange - A Seat the Table
  • A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It from Here ...
  • or write in your own choice

Vote here. The poll closes Wednesday, February 15th.

Not familiar with the nominees? Check out our Spotify playlist (including tracks by Frank Ocean, Kanye West, and Chance the Rapper, whose recent albums were not released on CD and are therefore not eligible for the poll). 

By: mulfordj on: January 24, 2017 3:03 pm | mulfordj

Submission dates announced for Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence

By Vince Frieden
Strategic Communications Coordinator, University Libraries

Undergraduate students who are conducting research using the Miami University Libraries are eligible for special recognition and a cash prize through the Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence (LAURE).

A partnership between the University Libraries and the Student Library Advisory Committee, LAURE seeks to recognize undergraduate students who demonstrate excellence in library research conducted in support of student projects. First place earns a $1,000 cash prize, with additional prizes awarded for second place ($500) and honorable mention ($100).

Submissions for the second Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence (LAURE) will be accepted Feb. 13 – March 17. 2017. To learn more about the award, evaluation criteria and how to submit an entry, visit the University Libraries’ LAURE webpage.

“Our Miami University Libraries have always existed to support the scholarly excellence of our students, and nowhere is that more prevalent than in the advancement of student research,” Dean and University Librarian Jerome Conley said. “We are excited to promote and celebrate the research achievements of our undergraduate students while emphasizing the University Libraries’ role in strengthening student research at Miami.”

The University Libraries presented the inaugural Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence in 2016. Then-senior history major Mahaley Evans, now a graduate student at Indiana University, earned first place for her project, entitled “The Discourse of Women’s Experiences Under Communism.”  Evans’ faculty sponsor was Erik Jensen from the Department of History.  The entries represented students from a breadth of disciplines, including biology, French, architecture, history, graphic design and even craft beers.

Winners will be announced at the Sunday, April 23, Miami University Libraries Student Recognition Dinner. The award-winning entries will be preserved in the University Libraries’ Scholarly Commons

By: friedevt on: December 19, 2016 8:16 am | friedevt @ohiyote

By Vince Frieden, Strategic Communications Coordinator

Jim Bricker does not have big retirement plans. For the time being, he only wishes to spend some time lost in the clouds.

“I remember a day this past summer when I’d just finished mowing and was sitting in a chair watching the hummingbirds and deer and looking up at the clouds,” Bricker recalled. “It was just a perfect moment of contentment – nowhere to be, nothing to do. That and being able to spend time with my wife are what I’m looking forward to the most.”

A native of the Celina, Ohio, area, Bricker began working while still in high school and earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Wright State University. His job prospects upon graduation were not promising.

“In 1971, a bachelor’s degree in history qualified you to work in a factory,” Bricker said.

While his job at Goodyear Tire and Rubber was not all he had hoped for, he had the unexpected pleasure of meeting his wife, Connie, there. In 1978, he followed her to Lansing, Mich., where she did her postgraduate work at Michigan State University. Her career in electron microscopy later led them to the University of Vermont.

In 1986, Connie accepted a job in Miami’s botany department, relocating the couple closer to their families. Bricker, who had been a welder in Michigan and a warehouse worker in Vermont, found work as an assistant carpenter in Oxford.

His break came in January 1987, when a half-time position opened up in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections. He interviewed with Helen Ball, Frances McClure and Elizabeth Brice and was offered a paying job he would have gladly done for free.

Bricker’s entire Miami career was not spent in the special collections, though. He reached full-time status in 1988 by taking on an additional half-time role in interlibrary loan, which became full-time. A man of many hats throughout his life, Bricker later took on responsibilities at the information desk and in circulation, leaving him, at one point, trying to coordinate vacation between three different supervisors.

In 2005, Janet Stuckey, then head of special collections, encouraged him to apply for an opening back where his Miami career began. He finishes his career in that same position next month.

“I have this sense that I am blessed,” Bricker said. “There has not been a day since I came here when I didn’t want to get up and go to work. I get to look at Shakespeare folios and leafs from a Gutenberg Bible. And, it’s the people. Wherever I’ve worked here has been a fun environment.”

He has many favorite moments. During the Dalai Lama’s visit in 2010, he curated a special collections exhibit on Buddhism and still treasures a photo taken with him and a pair of visiting Buddhist monks. He also has thoroughly enjoyed working with and getting to know former NBC executive and Miami alumnus Rick Ludwin, who developed and advocated for Bricker’s favorite television show, Seinfeld.

Perhaps his greatest source of pride comes from the fact he has had the privilege of working for every Miami head of special collections, from Helen Ball to Bill Modrow.

When reflecting on his career in the Miami Libraries, Bricker recalls a defining moment in the early 1990s when he was taking library science classes and pondering his future.

“There was this moment where I realized what I really loved was just working in the library,” Bricker said. “I knew then that I had what I wanted, and anything else was going to complicate it. There’s a freedom to that. I’ve worked with the best people in the best place, and I’ve never regretted that.”


By: friedevt on: December 19, 2016 8:17 am | friedevt @ohiyote

By Vince Frieden, Strategic Communications Coordinator

Anyone looking for an engaging conversation can find a willing partner in Ken Grabach.

Grabach, who retires this month after 30 years in the Miami University Libraries, is a people person with an unquenchable curiosity, ranging from the natural world to international affairs and, of course, maps.

“I’m glad I don’t have to apply for continuing library borrowing privileges,” Grabach said. “I like to know at least a little about any topic. I love learning. I love reading. People are still going to see plenty of me around the Miami Libraries.”

The son of a protestant minister who moved frequently during his youth, Grabach considers his home Flint, Mich., where he attended high school and later the University of Michigan-Flint. After earning his master’s in library science from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, he served five years as a librarian for the U.S. Army before deciding he wanted to try the academic sector.

He arrived at the Miami Libraries 30 years ago in government documents and never left. He enjoyed his initial position, particularly when the Miami Libraries became a depository for the European Union, affording him opportunities to participate in conferences, including a week-long event in Brussels, Belgium.

But maps have long been a passion.

“I remember when I was eight years old our family got a world map,” Grabach said. “I would spread that map out on the living room floor and spend hours just looking at it or studying sections of it.”

He leapt at the chance to become the half-time maps librarian at Miami, a position that would later evolve to become full-time and to include liaison responsibilities with the departments of geography, geology and mathematics. To a man with collections of map ties and t-shirts, he was in his element.

“I’ve been getting paid to play with and buy maps,” Grabach said. “When we moved the Kuchler Vegetation Maps from Hughes to a welcoming home in special collections, I referred to them as ‘my children.’”

Supplementing that enjoyment are the many relationships he has formed with students and faculty. He recalls on Sept. 11, 2001, talking with one of his student workers, who arrived hours early for his shift just to talk to Grabach about the day’s happenings. He treasures those relationships and the opportunities he has had to touch lives.

“Moments like that are very personally rewarding,” Grabach said. “I wouldn’t have had those opportunities if I had not chosen academics. I’ve really enjoyed our students and faculty.”

The collective impact of Grabach’s work came full circle for him during his last Miami finals week.

In observing presentations from two student teams with whom he had worked closely on a client-based project, he shared pride in their hard work and saw the realized potential of his extensive efforts, along with those of Eric Johnson, to digitize much of Miami’s map collection. He also felt honored that one of his articles was cited in one of the presentations and appreciated that one of the closing slides thanked him and congratulated him on his retirement.

For Grabach, retirement with his wife, Patsy, and big, red cat, Clifford, will not mark a significant slowdown.

“I tell people that I’ll be able to sleep in until 7 a.m. now,” Grabach said. “I’m very excited about the Institute for Learning in Retirement and am already looking at a class in the spring. I also have a budding interest in photography. I still very much see myself as a student.”