News & Notes

By: hartsea on: May 24, 2011 9:52 am | hartsea

We have a new reference book called The Routledge Concise Compendium of the World's Languages. The call number for this book is P371 .C37 2011, and it can be found in the Reference section on the first floor of King. Features of this book include morphology descriptions for all languages, statistical data on topics such as the number of speakers of a language, illustrative text samples, a glossary of technical terms, comparative tables of the numerals 1-10 in all languages covered, an appendix of scripts (with the alphabets of different languages), an extensive bibliography, and classification by genetic relationships of all languages covered. Entries include the following sections: introduction, phonology, script, morphology and syntax, and the sample of the written language. Though this reference book is mostly meant for students and scholars of Linguistics, it has interesting information for anyone fascinated by languages. For example, did you know that Hausa (the major language of West Africa) is spoken by over 25 million people? How about the fact that French is the second most commonly taught second language in the world (after English)? All of these facts can be found in this compendium!

By: johnsoj on: May 06, 2011 10:00 am | johnsoj

The passing of Miami President Emeritus Dr. Phillip Shriver marked the end of an era at Miami University. In memory of Dr. Shriver, the staff of the University Archives has put together a small exhibit featuring personal items donated over the years. Exhibited materials include a pair of toy drumsticks from Shriver’s childhood, notes and exams from classes taken with leading American historians Arthur Schlesinger and Allan Nevins, and a draft syllabus and exam from Dr. Shriver’s Miami History course. The exhibit is located in the reading room of the Miami University Archives

The Archives is located in the old Withrow Court locker area, directly across from McKie Baseball Field. There is a single, outside entrance on the north side of the facility. The archives is not directly accessible from the Withrow Court building.
Beginning May 7, the Archives summer hours will be 8am-4pm Monday thru Friday, and by appointment. Everybody is welcome to visit! If interested in visiting or have a research question contact Bob Schmidt, University Archivist at or 513.529.6720

By: hartsea on: May 06, 2011 10:48 am | hartsea

As we finish finals week, you may be starting to think about finding some fun books for the summer. May I suggest checking out the King Leisure Reading Collection on the first floor of King Library? You can browse the collection or look up a specific title in our catalog.

Here are a couple of recent titles in our Leisure Reading Collection:

Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag. King Leisure Reading | PS3558.O333 S43 2011

I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson. King Leisure Reading | PR6116.E17 I23 2011

Bossypants by Tina Fey. King Leisure Reading | PN2287.F4255 A3 2011

The President's Vampire by Christopher Farnsworth. King Leisure Reading | PS3606.A726 P74 2011

Sing You Home: A Novel by Jodi Picoult. King Leisure Reading | PS3566.I372 S56 2011

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith. King Leisure Reading | PR6063.C326 S37 2011

Toys: A Novel by James Patterson and Neil McMahon. King Leisure Reading | PS3566.A822 T69 2011

Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan. King Leisure Reading | PS3563.C3868 G48 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future by Michael J. Fox. King Leisure Reading | PN2308.F69 A3 2010

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. King Leisure Reading | PS3553.H4367 R46 2010b

If you're planning on doing any traveling this summer, you might like to check out some of our travel books.

For those who are going home for the summer and live in Ohio, you might want to check OhioLINK for libraries close to your house. You might also be interested in checking out the Ohio eBook Project for titles.

For those who don't live in Ohio, try WorldCat to find a library near you.

Now let's just hope this weather finally warms up enough to sit outside with a good book!

By: gundyj on: May 06, 2011 10:48 am | gundyj

The branches and agencies of the US Government produce a wealth of information. Here are a few of the newest titles accessible through the Miami University Libraries and the internet.

Recent events in Pakistan may have you interested in international geography. If so you may want to check out the most recent Central Intelligence Agency produced maps of Pakistan. These maps cover geography, administrative divisions, and physiography and are available at the Science Library and Online. For general information on Pakistan and any other country the best place to start is another CIA title, The World Fact Book (MU Libraries / online).

Some recent Congressional Hearings focusing on international cooperation, US involvement in other nations and post conflict reconstruction:

For some reading on historical events and conflicts there is the new title Engineers at War by Adrian G. Traas from the US Army Center of Military History.

For some quieter reading try Rain Gardens: Capturing and Using the Rains of the Great Plains (.pdf), available online from the US Natural Resources Conservation Service.

If none of these titles are of interest but are something you wouldn't have thought would be produced by the United States Government, you can browse all of the Government Information & Law Department's newest acquisitions through the library catalog.

By: gundyj on: May 06, 2011 10:47 am | gundyj

NASA recently announced that Voyagers I and II are now at the edge of Earth's solar system and moving outward into interstellar space.

The Miami University Libraries Government Information and Law Department has several NASA publications from and about the Voyager Project covering it's more than 30 year history.

In addition to expanding humanities knowledge of the outer planets of our solar system, Voyager I and II both carry gold records containing images and sounds of life on Earth. Designed by a team lead by Carl Sagan, the "murmurs of Earth" include:

"...118 photographs; 90 minutes of music; greetings in 55 human languages and one whale language; an audio essay featuring everything from burbling mud pots to barking dogs to a roaring Saturn 5 liftoff; a remarkably poetic salutation from the Secretary General of the United Nations; and the brain waves of a young women in love."

The records were intended to be an introduction from the human race to any alien species that could find and decipher them. Neither of the Voyager probes will pass by another star for about 40,000 years, making it incredibly unlikely that an alien race would find them any time soon (unless of course one of them decides to come home). Carl Sagan wrote the book Murmurs of Earth : the Voyager interstellar record (available in the MU Libraries) detailing the creation of the records. The full contents of the golden records can be found on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory website.

By: presnejl on: April 26, 2011 11:07 am | presnejl

Many Miamians have memories of Dr. Shriver during his long tenure here at Miami. Aside from his presidential duties from 1965-81, he also taught the history of Miami course for many years. He always loved to tell Miami history stories, not just in class, but for many other types of gatherings as well. The university libraries have 3 interviews of Dr. Shriver in our online collections. They were conducted by Dr. Curtis Ellison as part of the Miami Stories Oral History Project for the University’s bicentennial in 2009. The interviews include Dr. Shriver and his cabinet, an interview solely with Dr. Shriver, and an interview with both Dr. Shriver and Mrs. Shriver . Also available is an audio recording of "Mysterious Happenings at Miami,”one of Dr. Shriver’s many lectures. You may also want to read Dr. Shriver's personal history of Miami. See: Shriver, Phillip R., and William Pratt. Miami University: A Personal History. Oxford, Oh: Miami University Press, 1998. (King Reference, King Library, Hamilton, Middletown, University Archives and Special Collections)

By: hartsea on: April 25, 2011 3:43 pm | hartsea

Water for Elephants is in theaters starting today (4/22). If you are interested in reading the great book that this movie is based on, Miami University Libraries owns several copies. All of our copies are of course checked out right now, but you can click here to request a copy to read as soon as one becomes available for check out. You might also want to try the Oxford Lane Public Library to see if they have a copy to check out or get on their waiting list.

You might also want to check out Sara Gruen's more recent book, Ape House, for another poignant examination of human-animal interactions. When I recently looked it up, our copy was still available. You can find it on the second floor of King at PS3607.R696 A86 2010.

If you're interested in reading other stories of human-animal interactions, you might be interested in some of the following books:

Animal Crackers by Hannah Tinti. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3620.I56 A83 2004

Timothy, or, Notes of an Abject Reptile by Verlyn Klinkenborg. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3611.L565 T55 2006

The Elephant's Journey by Jose Saramago. King Library (2nd floor) | PQ9281.A66 V5313 2010

The story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. King Leisure Reading | PS3623.R63 S76 2008

If Water for Elephants has piqued your interest in other fictional accounts of circus life, here are a couple of titles:

The Aerialist by Richard Schmitt. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3569.C5166 A68 2000

Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter. King Library (2nd floor) | PR6053.A73 N5 1985

The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3604.A985 C57 2004

By: hartsea on: April 25, 2011 3:44 pm | hartsea

The 2011 Pulitzer Prize Winners have been announced. The LA Times has an article that outlines the prizes that were given in the arts and literature.

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan won for Fiction. NPR has an interesting article about her music writing, and the Huffington Post has an interview. If you are interested in reading this book, we do own it (though you may find yourself on a waiting list for it). The call number is PS3555.G292 V57 2010, and it's located on the second floor of King. We also have several other books written by her:

Look at Me: A Novel. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3555.G292 L66 2001

The Keep. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3555.G292 K44 2006

Emerald City: Stories. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3555.G292 E44 1996

Kay Ryan won the Poetry Award for her collection The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, which we own. The call number is PS3568.Y38 B47 2010, and it's on the second floor of King. We have several of her other collections as well:

Say Uncle: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3568.Y38 S29 2000

The Niagara River: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3568.Y38 N53 2005

Bruce Norris won the Drama Prize for his play Clybourne Park. We don't currently own a copy of this book (though we will soon). We do have a couple of his other plays though:

Purple Heart ; and The Infidel: Two Plays. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3614.O768 P87 2005

The Pain and the Itch. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3614.O768 P35 2007

The Unmentionables: A Play. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3614.O768 U66 2009

By: gundyj on: April 25, 2011 3:45 pm | gundyj

Monday, April 18th is the last day to file Federal Income Taxes this year. If you prefer to use paper forms the Government Information & Law department at King Library still has the basic forms, though at this late date you may want to file electronically.

If you are interested in just where your Federal tax dollars go you should take a look at the White Houses' 2010 Tax Receipt page. By entering your 2010 information you can get a break down of how your Federal tax dollars were spent.

If you'd like to know more about tax law then you should visit the library.

The Internal Revenue Code of the United States is spelled out in Title 26 of the United States Code (being the general and permanent laws of the United States). The IRC has seen plenty of revision over the last 80 years. If you are interested in the history of tax law reform over the course of the 20th century the Miami University Libraries have publications of the major revisions of the tax code. The library also has the current edition of the United States Code if you would like to take a look at the current tax laws (the current edition being published in 2006). If you would prefer to look up the USC in electronic format it is available in a verified version from the Government Printing Office on

If you do use the code on line for legal research it is still good practice to verify your findings by the current printed version, as noted by the GPO on the USC page of

The USC is the official codification of the laws of the United States and is compiled every six years from laws passed in each session of Congress, called Slip Laws (referring to how they are printed). Slip Laws are compiled after each session of Congress into the US Statutes at Large (MU Libraries /, and every six years these laws are entered into the new edition of the USC. While Slip Laws are just as legal as any passed law, it is still good practice to check the USC if the law you are looking for has been compiled.

The USC is the law, but it isn't the absolute final word in how laws are enforced. The Code of Federal Regulations (MU Libraries / contains the regulations passed by the Federal Executive Agencies which are broadly responsibly for determining how the laws in the USC will be enforced.

Both the USC and the CFR are organized into 50 titles each of which correspond to each other (title 26 of the USC is the Internal Revenue Code with title 26 of the CRF being the regulations stemming from those laws). If you are researching taxes, you'll want to check both the laws and regulations.

By: gundyj on: April 13, 2011 3:15 pm | gundyj

April 16-24, 2011 is National Parks Week in the United States. During this week you may want to take advantage of special programs and free admission to some of our National Parks, including those right here in Ohio.

The Library might not be the first place you would think to look for information on national parks. Sure, if you were doing some historical or sociological research on parks of the National Parks Service, you'd be wise to start with our catalog and vast array of electronic resources. But what can the library do for you if you want to visit a national park or if you want to learn more about the agencies and people who are responsible for our nations protected historical and natural areas?

Fortunately for you, the Miami University Libraries are part of the Federal Depository Library Program. King Library receives publications directly from the Government Printing Office, the official publishing body of the United States Government. We have handbooks, maps, and other official publications of the National Parks Service and the Department of the Interior.

As a part of the Federal Executive Branch of the United States Government, the Department of the Interior (DOI) is responsible for the U.S. National Park Service. Both agencies publish official government documents about the history, services, organization, and features of our national parks system as well as have works published about them by other areas of the government.