One of the two fit desks available on the Third Level of Duane G. Meyer Library recently became so buff that it pulled up stakes and moved down one level, in anticipation of the renovation of the southwest area of the Second Level this summer. The fit desks have proven to be quite popular with library users and employees, but the Space Committee (Jessica Bennett, Tracy Stout, Nathan Neuschwander, and Tom Peters) noticed that, when the two fit desks were side-by-side and one was in use, the other one rarely was. So, the Space Committee, charged with optimizing the use, usability, usefulness, and comfort of the public spaces in the building that are managed by the MSU Libraries, decided to move one of the fit desks. If both fit desks — now separated — prove useful, we’ll investigate getting more.
On April 3rd the MSU Libraries applied for a $5,105 grant from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program of the National Park Service. We proposed to conduct, in collaboration with Ozarks Alive, at least 20 oral history interviews with individuals involved in and/or knowledgeable of the history of the trucking industry along the Route 66 Corridor in Missouri from 1926 to 1985. For example, Campbell 66 Express, a trucking firm based in Springfield, Missouri, was founded in 1926, the same year as Route 66, and filed for bankruptcy in 1986, one year after Route 66 was officially removed from the U.S. Highway System. The impact of commercial trucking along the Route 66 Corridor in Missouri was significant, but has not received much attention to date, compared to recreational travel by family and friends. If funded, the oral history work, matched with in-kind contributions from the MSU Libraries, will be done between October 2017 and August 2018.
Yesterday we learned that the dates for the on-campus visits of the two finalists for the Associate Dean of Library Services have been set. The primary visit dates for the two will be Tuesday, May 16th and Tuesday, May 23rd. Each finalist will fly into Springfield on the respective Monday before, and fly back out on Wednesday morning. In next week’s Library Notes we’ll provide the names of the two finalists, links to their resumes, and the schedules for their visits. At this point, we are planning Monday evening dinner meetings involving the finalists and those members of the search committee who are available. Available unit heads will have an off-campus lunch with each finalist on Tuesday. If this search is successful, we plan to have our new Associate Dean start in early August.
The Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change provides a multi-authored, academic yet non-technical resource for students and teachers to understand the importance of global warming, to appreciate the effects of human activity and greenhouse gases around the world, and to learn the history of climate change and the research examining it. The site includes a Reader’s Guide, with broad subjects like ‘Atmospheric Sciences’ and ‘Climate Models’ that provide links to more specific subjects, an A to Z list of encyclopedia entries, and a Subject Index. There are also links to countries and U.S. states that describe how climate change is specifically affecting them.
The Meyer Library has recently acquired two sets of Google Cardboards as an alternative offering to our virtual reality services at Music and Media. The Google Cardboard is simply a VR viewer that works with a smartphone. If your smartphone is relatively new (Android 4.1 or iOS 8.0), you can view 360 degree videos and photos, interactive maps, explore VR apps installed in your phone. Google has also made the Cardboard specifications open to all, so you can make one of these VR viewers yourself if you have the time, patience, and right resources. To check out a Google Cardboard, visit the Music and Media desk on the Second Level. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can still experience VR using our VIVE VR headset. Learn more about virtual reality on our VR libguide. Make a reservation to use our VR headset, take a break from your desk, and enjoy whale watching under the ocean for a few minutes this week!
Earlier in April the MSU Testing Center, a unit of the MSU Libraries, added ten more test-taking cubicles, bringing the total available seats to 65, including the 3 DRC (Disability Resource Center) accommodation rooms. At present, the new cubicles are being used as additional paper-based exam stations, until additional network access and computers are installed. Once network access and computers have been set up, the Testing Center will be able to accommodate an additional 5 Pearson Vue stations, bringing that total to 15. The Testing Center and RIS (Research and Instructional Services) are collaborating to make optimal use of Room 10B, which is the large instructional room adjacent to the MSU Testing Center, especially in light of the addition of MSU Online Course Test Proctoring services to the service suite of the MSU Testing Center.
A total of $40,000 has been made available this summer for internal, competitive innovation grants. The purpose of the Summer Innovation Grants is to support MSU Libraries faculty and staff members who want to create or improve a service, a body of content, and/or a space (real world, online space, virtual world, mixed reality, augmented reality, etc). All six submitted proposals were funded. Raegan Wiechert will continue her good work enabling users to search by genre terms. Shannon Mawhiney will add equipment to the Digitization Lab to digitize VHS tapes for preservation and access. Jim Coombs will continue digitizing rare maps of the region, ranging in time from the Civil War to the Roaring Twenties. Bill Edgar and the research team working on the “information anthropological” study of MSU faculty will be able to get their interviews transcribed for further analysis. Tammy Stewart will use a portable computer to continue weeding microfiche versions of U.S. government documents. Jan Johnson will lead an effort to expand our cutting edge tech services by adding robots and Microsoft HoloLens headgear.
Travel through time and across the globe with Daily Life through History. This comprehensive collection of primary and secondary sources provides direct insight into the social history of societies ranging from the Australian Aborigines all the way to 21st-century China. This versatile database supports coursework and research in history, literature, cultural studies, and more with its focus on cross-disciplinary historical topics such as work, religion, language, art, food and cooking, clothing, housing, and social customs. In Daily Life through History, students and researchers discover the everyday details about past eras that make historical accounts relevant and meaningful.