News & Notes

By: grabacka on: December 10, 2009 2:54 pm | grabacka

The recently announced policy for the conflict in Afghanistan returns this region to the front of international news. Recent maps help make more comprehensible the complex physical and cultural geography of the region. Here are few items recently added to the Libraries map collections.

Afghanistan-Pakistan : central border area
Science Map Coll G7631.F2 2008 .U5
is a recent publication from the Central Intelligence Agency. It shows the provinces and districts on both sides of the border between these countries. This includes Pakistan's Northern Areas, the Northwest Frontier Province, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Regions frequently in the news include the agencies of Northern and Southern Waziristan, the province of Nangarhar, home of the Tora Bora Hills. The names resonate with old and modern history; they will continue to be in our news.

Afghanistan-Pakistan administrative divisions
Science Map Coll G7631.F7 2008 .U5
This another CIA map, showing all of Afghanistan and a wider area of Pakistan. Kandahar, Balochistan and other areas also in the news appear. Shaded relief on this and the map above show the terrain.

Natural-Color Image Mosaics of Afghanistan: Digital Databases and Maps
Philip A. Davis and Trent M. Hare

Science Map I 19.121:245/DISC.1-3/DVD is a data set of three DVDs of imagery of the terrain and other subjects

The Northern Area of Pakistan is a pair of maps, by a Pakistan-based publisher. They portray the provinces and agencies in larger scale. They include maps and texts describing history and cultural aspects of these isolated areas.
Map one (Science Map Cabinet G7643.N62 2004 .M2), covers the agencies of the Northern Areas. Map two (Science Map Cabinet G7643.N6 2004 .M2), covers the Northwest Frontier Province.

Finally, a set of maps from The Survey of Pakistan shows several of the major cities. Several of these appear in the news as well as the territories named above. All of these are in Science Map Coll.

Islamabad, G7644.I8 2002 .S93, Peshāwar, G7644.P45 2003 .S8, and Rawalpindi, G7644.R37 2003 .S9 are the major cities of the area. Others cover Karachi, Lahore, and Hyderābād.

By: stepanm on: December 10, 2009 2:54 pm | stepanm

It’s true. The woolly mammoth hair, ostrich egg, fossils, bags of rocks and other interesting items in the Curriculum Materials collection at IMC are now joined by a life-size (and weight) lump of fat. The yellow blob measures about 6.5” x 4” x 3” and weighs one pound. Need I say this is the coolest, grossest thing the cataloging department has seen since the inflatable man spilling all his little detachable, inflatable guts?
QM565 .L541 2000z (IMC CurrMat)

By: hartsea on: December 10, 2009 2:55 pm | hartsea

Yes, you read that right. When Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977, he left an unfinished novel called The Original of Laura (Dying is Fun). Despite Nabokov's explicit instructions that his penciled index cards for this novel be destroyed, neither his wife nor his son could bring themselves to do it. Now his son Dmitri has published perforated fascimiles (if you check out our library's copy, please don't tear them out!) of these index cards along with typeset transcriptions. The book includes an introduction by Dmitri that explains his decision to publish this work. It's a beautifully done book. It's fascinating to see Nabokov's smudges and examine what he decided to cross out and change. You can see images of some of the index cards here. You can also read an interesting review here. Finally you can check out the book at King Library (PS3527.A15 O75 2008), though you'll have to wait for me to finish it first!

By: gamsbymk on: December 15, 2009 11:51 am | gamsbymk

When you're eating your Thanksgiving dinner, you probably don't think about chemistry. I didn't either... not until this year. I found this blog entry today from the American Chemical Society's ByteSize Science blog.

The video talks about the following Thanksgiving topics:
• How does the pop-up timer in a turkey work?
• Why do muffins rise, even when made without yeast?
• Which antacids neutralize the most stomach acid?

Thanksgiving and Chemistry: What's the connection? from ACS Pressroom on Vimeo.

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: http://digital.lib.muohio.edu/fs/

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.