News & Notes

By: mille234 on: November 23, 2009 12:41 pm | mille234

As we approach the end of the calendar year and the mid-point of the school year, we’re looking back at recent changes that promote efficiency and innovation and looking forward to more changes to come in 2010.

Even in a time of economic uncertainty, the Miami Libraries has been continuing its commitment to high quality service and technological innovation. This semester we’ve unveiled some new and exciting online initiatives as well as the redesign of many of our existing services. We are also continuing our commitment to connect with students and faculty that are new to the university through our various fall orientation events.

This year is Miami’s Bicentennial, but the Libraries also had a milestone of its own to celebrate. This year we celebrated 100 years as a Federal Depository Library – an official collector of government publications to ensure their availability to the public. I look forward to another semester of helping to forward the university’s mission by providing excellent library and information services to our patrons.

We’re continuing to move forward with several projects. One of the most notable is the renovation of Laws Hall, recently vacated by the Business School. We currently anticipate opening a new library facility on the lower floors of Laws which will serve Science, Engineering, and Business in 2011. We look forward to the opportunity to offer updated services and technology to our faculty and students in a location in close proximity to the classroom and office space for these academic disciplines.

We are currently reviewing results from LibQUAL Lite, a national survey which benchmarks perceptions of library services. In previous iterations of this survey, we’ve received wonderful feedback as well as suggestions that can help us to develop new services and enhance existing ones. Even in these difficult economic times, we are continuing to perform well in meeting and sometimes exceeding expectations. I look forward to sharing more fully the results of this survey, and the enhancements that it makes possible, in a future newsletter.

Wishing you a happy holiday season.

Judith A. Sessions
Dean and University Librarian

By: mille234 on: November 23, 2009 12:14 pm | mille234

Government publications have been received by Miami since the 1850s, and have always been a cornerstone collection of the Miami University Libraries. On Friday Nov. 13, the Libraries held an event celebrating our Centennial as an official Federal Depository Library. The celebration included the presentation to Dean Judith Sessions of a plaque from the Government Printing Office commemorating this rare milestone.

The event was open to all members of the Miami University community as well as to the general public. Newly retired Government Document Librarians Jean Sears and Peggy Lewis were also in attendance. As part of the celebration two exhibits were installed in King Library – a collection of government documents from the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and Government-published World War II propaganda posters lining King Library's main staircase.

One of the WWII era posters on display in King Library

Because of the popularity of the posters they've been placed online for easy and free access. You can view and download the collection of World War II propaganda posters from this page.

By: mille234 on: November 23, 2009 11:58 am | mille234

Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Information Services Librarian and Eric Resnis, Information Literacy Coordinator have been named American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders for 2010. With only 100 people chosen each year, library staff from across the country to participate in project planning workgroups, networking with peers, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers.

For more info on the Emerging Leader program and for a full list of this year’s leaders: Click HERE.

We've also welcomed a new staff member into the Libraries. Jennifer Bazeley is the new Electronic Resources and Serials Librarian. Jennifer previously worked as the Technical Services Librarian at the Field Museum in Chicago.

By: mille234 on: November 23, 2009 11:42 am | mille234

The Libraries held several orientation events this fall to welcome and introduce our services and collections to groups of individuals new to the university.

On August 17, librarians and more than 35 new faculty members came together for the Libraries New Faculty Orientation. Faculty met with librarians in their discipline, attended workshops and information sessions and participated in tours of the different libraries on campus.

Faculty and librarians at the New Faculty Orientation lunch

New graduate students were introduced to the library system on August 27 and 28. They had the opportunity to meet informally with their liaison librarian, learn about library resources specific to graduate students and mingle with other new students attending the event.

For the second year, a collaborative event with the Howe Writing Center and the Center for International Education was held for new international students. On August 10, around 150 first year students from around the world attended library tours, info sessions and a special dinner in King Library.

Students at a station during the Brill Science Library orientation on Sept. 18

Later in the semester, Brill Science Library hosted an orientation event for students in the sciences. The event, held September 18th, had a theme celebrating Charles Darwin's 200th birthday. Over 250 students visited stations throughout Brill and learned everything from how to get help at the library to genetic engineering and facts about Darwin. Dr. Nicholas Money gave a talk about Darwin's theory of evolution as part of the event.

By: mille234 on: November 23, 2009 11:10 am | mille234

As part of a campus-wide celebration the Libraries has created a new online resource to ensure scholars and students have access to materials from Freedom Summer, an important historical event in U.S. and Miami University history. Freedom Summer, which started in June 1964, was a campaign to register as many African American voters as possible in Mississippi, which up to that time had almost totally excluded black voters. Two one-week orientation sessions for the volunteers were held at Western College for Women (now part of Miami University) from June 14 to June 27.

Letters and other writings from students and civil rights leaders training at Western College are held in the Western College Memorial Archives, part of the Miami University Libraries. These documents have previously been only available in paper format and were not easily accessed by scholars, especially those outside of the university.

Volunteers at Freedom Summer. Photo courtesy of George Hoxie.

The new resource, "The Digitization of the Mississippi Freedom Summer Collection” is a collaborative effort between Jacky Johnson, Archivist, Western College Memorial Archives and Elias Tzoc, Digital Initiatives Librarian and was made possible through funding from the Ohio Humanities Council. The digital collection allows users to search for both print and video resources including video interviews and letters from participants as well as newspaper articles with accounts of the events.

Other Freedom Summer events held this semester include a national conference and reunion on October 9-11 that honored the 45th anniversary of the Freedom Summer Project with scholars, leaders and volunteers who had participated in the events of 1964. In addition, Miami has commissioned a play addressing Freedom Summer titled “Down in Mississippi” presented on October 1-10 by the Department of Theatre.

Explore the Freedom Summer Digital collection here:

By: mille234 on: November 23, 2009 11:19 am | mille234

Many of the services in King Library’s first floor lobby and surrounding area have been restructured due to changes in student staffing and to continue to give outstanding customer service to patrons. The information desk and research help desk have been combined, now two librarians are available at the information desk until 10pm Sunday-Thursday and until 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Patrons contact this desk for questions about research help, printing, finding library resources and any questions about the library or the university. Librarians are available in person, online and via phone.

Because of service changes at IT Services, equipment from Audio Visual (AV) Checkout Services once held in Gaskill Hall has been dispersed with a few items coming to the Libraries. The items have been added to the existing equipment available at the Circulation desk for loan to students, staff, and faculty. Projectors, portable PA systems, tripods, projection screens, digital cameras, video cameras, and audio recorders are available on a first-come, first-served basis with a loan period of 24-hours.

Visit Items for checkout for an updated list of equipment available.

Another new area in King Library is the Power Inn – a bank of extra tables and seating that provides over 35 power outlets for students to charge any electronic equipment while in the library. The Power Inn was built from materials salvaged from another facility on campus undergoing renovation. This sustainable solution is very popular with students looking for places to study and charge laptops and iPods and adds about 20 more study spaces to the library.

By: mille234 on: November 23, 2009 10:38 am | mille234

A Miami University visitor blogged about her recent experience in King Library on her blog, Library Scenester. An excerpt:

I’ve been in Ohio for the past few days visiting a friend from college who is teaching and working on her MA in English at Miami University (OH, not FL). Fall has struck hard here and the leaves are perfect. Yesterday I had a chance to visit King Library, the main library on campus. Ho-ly-cow. It’s beautiful!! Wonderful facilities, great interior design, and an excellent variety of spaces.

* Clear, clean and creative signage. I was very impressed with their stacks signage, something that I’ve been thinking about lately with our upcoming renovation at Millersville. The large sign above the Circulation desk was also really well done, with all of their major services available at that desk listed (Reserves – Laptops – Study Rooms – Check Outs). I didn’t see any 8.5″ x 11″ pieces of paper stuck up with tape. Most signs were of high quality (engraved/etched) and anything that was printed seemed to be laminated or in a clear plastic holder.

* Natural accents. I also noticed that they used a lot of natural wood, for shelf end-caps, tables, etc. It really does a lot to brighten the place up compared to darker woods. They also utilized natural lighting which makes everything more inviting, and lots of strategically placed plants.

* Functional, appealing furniture. Instead of placing book carts around the stacks for books students are done with, they have small tables. It looks really classy! And it can’t be that much more work, because the staff can just push a cart around and collect the items instead of grabbing all those carts. It looks clean and cute, and you could probably get similar ones from Ikea (and cheap!). I loved all the curvy s-shaped couches – with footstools! The footstools are key, having them makes it soo much more comfy, especially with a computer on your lap.

Because I felt so comfortable with the surroundings, I would certainly feel confident approaching a service point with questions or if I needed help. Although I could have probably experienced similar spaces on campus with the same look and feel, the library should (and in this case does) have more investment in creating positive spaces. Why? Because if students feel comfortable there, if the space is meeting all of their needs, that confidence will spill over into their interactions with librarians as well as information. Creating a more beneficial experience for everyone, no?

To read the entire post, with pictures visit the Library Scenester:

By: mille234 on: November 23, 2009 10:20 am | mille234

Text a librarian
Updates to virtual research help services have made it easier than ever to ask for help by texting questions to librarians. Patrons can now text a question to this number: 513-593-9114, and a librarian will answer the same way they would respond to question sent via instant message. While any type of question is acceptable, the service aims to help with quick questions about library resources and research.

Reference librarians are available via text and IM during these times:

Monday through Thursday 10am-10pm
Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 1-5pm, Sunday 1-10pm

Send library information to phone
Another new service allows users to text message information about library resources to their phone. When a patron is searching the library catalog and finds a book, video or other resource they are interested in they simply click "Send info to phone" and will quickly receive a text message with the title and call number of that particular resource. This environmentally-friendly service is up and running and has received positive feedback from students who always seem to have a phone but never a slip of paper and a pen.

New mobile website
The Libraries are also launching a mobile-phone friendly version of the library website and catalog. This mobile site allows users to access a site customized specifically for iPhones and other devices. The site is a pared down version of the full library website and offers a quick and easy way to search for library information on the go.

By: mille234 on: November 23, 2009 10:06 am | mille234

Without the loyal support of our donors, Miami University Libraries would not be the invaluable resource it is to Miami’s students, faculty and community members. Funds will be used to support staff development, training, new technology, and Special Collections and digital initiatives projects.

If you would like to make a campaign commitment in support of Miami University Libraries contact Heather Kogge, Director of Development at 513-529-5217 or

Make a donation online at

By: mille234 on: November 20, 2009 11:16 am | mille234