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Month: May 2017

Qualtrics is Coming

Qualtrics is Coming

Logo of the Qualtrics CorporationQualtrics is coming to MSU. It’s an experience management platform. According to their website, “Experience management is software for improving the experiences organizations provide to every stakeholder, whether it’s customers, employees, prospects, users, partners, suppliers, citizens, students, or investors.” Quoting from the Wikipedia article, “Qualtrics software enables users to do many kinds of online data collection and analysis including market research, customer satisfaction and loyalty, product and concept testing, employee evaluations and website feedback.” Some cost centers at MSU have been using and enjoying Qualtrics for years.  In May all the cost centers in Academic Affairs, including the MSU Libraries, agreed to pool their resources and provide Qualtrics to the entire campus community. The annual subscription fee has been apportioned based on the annual operating budget of each cost center. When Qualtrics becomes available this summer, staff members in the Library Information Technologies unit of the MSU Libraries will provide training, orientation, and support to current library employees.

Jane A. Meyer Carillon Summer Concert Series

Jane A. Meyer Carillon Summer Concert Series

Photo of the Carillon Tower at Duane G. Meyer LibraryThere will be four Sunday evening free carillon concerts again this summer, beginning at 7:00 p.m. CDT each evening. The MSU Music Department organizes this concert series, and the MSU Libraries is the host. Each concert last about an hour. Carolyn Bolden will be the carilloneur at the July 9th concert. Jerry Chesman will play on two of the remaining dates. The complete schedule is still being finalized. Here are the four dates, always the second Sunday of the month:

  1. June 11
  2. July 9
  3. August 13
  4. September 10
Good Read: “Information Literacy” by Shannon Najmabadi

Good Read: “Information Literacy” by Shannon Najmabadi

In this time when phrases like “post-truth era” and “false news” have entered the vernacular, the concept of information literacy (one of the programs of the MSU Libraries, as well as most other academic libraries) is gaining increasing attention and scrutiny. On February 27, 2017, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article on this topic. Najmabadi reports that a research study conducted at Stanford University and released last November found that many college students “had trouble identifying partisan or paid-for content online and assessing the credibility of sources.” At the U of Albany, part of the SUNY system, “every department has been responsible since 2014 for teaching information literacy.” Another multi-institution study, called the Citation Project, “found that students’ academic papers were often a kind of information dump, she says — quotes sewn together with little analysis.” (Somewhat like this blog post!)

MSU Libraries 2020 Vision Updates

MSU Libraries 2020 Vision Updates

Image of a vision testing chartDuring the 2016-2017 Academic Year now ending, the MSU Libraries made good progress on several initiatives within the MSU Libraries 2020 Long Range Plan. Here are a few of the many advances:

  • Content
    • New Content Areas: BearWorks, MSU’s Institutional Repository, launched in FY17. Several unusual formats are being digitized, including glass plate negative photos, kinescopes, and a carved walking stick. The MOBIUS consortium agreed to provide access to the Open Textbook Network, which will commence in FY18.
    • Digitization Lab: The space for the lab was renovated, the lab has been staffed, Shannon Mawhinney is managing the lab, and various projects are well underway.
    • Multimedia Culture: A Virtual Reality Service launched in FY17 and is proving to be quite popular.
  • Services
    • Liaison Program: Substantial progress was made on implementing a full-service Liaison Program, with a planned roll-out in August 2017.
    • Library Information Technologies:  The Study Room Scheduling System became available to users and has proven to be very popular. The circulatable laptop service has been expanded.
    • Integrated Library System: A campus-wide committee was formed to discuss the future of MOBIUS and MSU’s relationship with the consortium.
  • Spaces
    • Renovations: During FY17 the new Technical Services work areas in the Lower Level were completed and occupied. LIT work areas were moved from the Third Level to the 003 Rooms. Testing Center employees moved into their new offices. The creation of an RIS Commons is almost complete (awaiting the final furniture shipment). The Open Access Computing Lab moved into their newly renovated space on the First Level. Significant planning work was completed for the refurbishment of Second Level SW, which will hold Music & Media, with a large open study space. Planning was undertaken to refurnish the main lobby.
  • Organizational Matters
    • Employee Development: Vicki Evans is now working two afternoons each week in Special Collections and Archives. Lisa McEowen is now working full time in the Digitization Lab. Jeffrey Lawson is working half-time in the Digitization Lab, and half-time in Access Services.
    • Outreach and Development: An MSU Libraries Capital Campaign Advisory Committee has formed and has met several times. The goal of this campaign is to garner private support for the renovations of Duane G. Meyer Library and Haseltine Library.
E-Resource Spotlight: Education Full Text

E-Resource Spotlight: Education Full Text

Logo of the Education Full Text databaseAs its name implies, this full-text database covers key areas of education and related fields of study. Content areas include educational specialties, administration, funding, and more. Education Full Text is an essential source for education research and is ideal for education students, professionals, and policy makers. Education Full Text provides full-text coverage dating back to 1983 and indexing back to 1969. This database also features in-depth coverage of special education, with 30 full-text journals dedicated to this important topic. All of this content makes Education Full Text a leading resource for education research.

Special Collection Spotlight: Route 66 Oral History Collection

Special Collection Spotlight: Route 66 Oral History Collection

Old photo of the 66 MotelThe Route 66 Association of Missouri works to preserve the stretch of the “Mother Road” that crossed Missouri.  Among the organization’s efforts is the Route 66 Oral History Collection (M 67), containing stories of individuals who lived and worked along the Route 66 historic corridor. This collection includes oral histories collected by volunteers, as well as photographs and publications shared by the interviewees.  They share stories of Route 66, including businesses, economic changes, personalities, and noteworthy experiences. With support from a grant, a selection of the oral histories were transcribed in 2012. Part of the collection is available online in the MSU Libraries’ Route 66 Oral Histories digital collection.  More interviews are currently being added to this digital collection as well as to the MSU Libraries YouTube channel.

Space Committee Moves Into Hyperdrive

Space Committee Moves Into Hyperdrive

Photo of Meyer LibraryLast Wednesday morning, May 10th, the Space Committee of the MSU Libraries received permission from the MSU Office of Planning, Design, and Construction (PD&C) to work directly with major furniture vendors, such as Steelcase and KI, to select furnishings, spec them out, bid (if necessary), order, have shipped to MSU, installed, and deployed for use. Prior to this modification of practice by PD&C, the MSU Libraries had had to work through PD&C to select, spec out, and order furnishings, which was delaying the completion of our renovation projects.

Members of the Space Committee of the MSU Libraries are Jessica Bennett, Nathan Neuschwander, Tracy Stout, and Tom Peters (chair).

Progress quickly happened. Before noon on Wednesday the Steelcase and KI reps had contacted us, and the Space Committee met with both reps last Friday morning. The first order of business was to complete the purchase orders for the remaining furnishings for the RIS Commons on the First Level. That project was supposed to have been completed last August. Next the Space Committee began working with the reps to conceptualize new furnishings for the southwest and western portions of the Second Level, where the open access computing lab used to be located, as well as for the main lobby. Our current goal is to completely upgrade the furniture in the main lobby during the Winter Holidays Break (Dec. 15 to Jan. 16). The Space Committee of the MSU Libraries also will work on completing the furnishings of other rooms, such as 107, 120, and 210, as well as a longer range plan for how we can better utilize the public spaces in the building for user comfort and productivity. The Space Committee will seek ideas, input, and feedback from all employees of the MSU Libraries, as well as from other stakeholders, such as students and faculty and staff members from other cost centers.

Updates on Searches

Updates on Searches

Feedback forms for Dr. Jan Figa, the first of our two finalists for the position of Associate Dean of Library Services, who interviewed on Tuesday of this week, should be placed in the box on top of the filing cabinets in the Administrative Offices by Friday, May 19th at 5:00 p.m. CDT. Ms. Rachel Besara, the second finalist, will be on campus next Tuesday, May 23rd. The schedule for her visit will be distributed via email. Initial review of the applicants for the Head of Content Management and Acquisitions, as well as the Head of Special Collections and Archives, will commence at the end of May.

Finals Week a Success!

Finals Week a Success!

As Finals Week for the Spring Semester winds down, various employees of the MSU Libraries have been receiving glowing reports from student-users, thank us for all our efforts to relieve the stress of studying for finals, to refresh and revitalize, and toPhoto of the May 2017 Pet Therapy Session in Duane G. Meyer Library provide interesting, quick alternative relaxation activities. The MSU Libraries do all this to improve the process of studying for final exams, and perhaps ultimately to improve students’ final grades. The distribution of treats on Sunday evening was a hit again this semester. The free coffee during the overnight hours kept many students going. The pet therapy session was a resounding success, and Nathan’s pop-up popcorn breaks were a welcome simple pleasure to many people in the building. The table of sensory experiences in the RIS Commons did wonders, as did the many other efforts made by everyone in the building, including the custodial staff, to make Final Week in the MSU Libraries a huge success.  Thanks, Everyone!

Special Collection Spotlight: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers

Special Collection Spotlight: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers

Image of the cover of an old ledgerThe Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (Ozark Division No. 83) Collection (LA 2) contains material from the very first labor union in Springfield, Missouri. It was awarded a charter in 1871, eight months after the first train arrived on the new extension of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad (which would become the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad, or “Frisco” Line).  The line would have arrived earlier but was delayed by the Civil War.  Because the train depot was built 1.5 miles north of the Springfield city limits at the time, a new town (North Springfield) formed around the budding railroad industry.  The two towns would not be consolidated until 1887. The B.L.E. agitated for an eight-hour workday, improved wages, and better working conditions. Because insurance companies considered railroad work “extra hazardous” and often refused to issue policies to locomotive engineers, the B.L.E. also provided insurance to its members. The majority of this collection consists of minutes and membership dues payment records, all of which have been digitized and are available online.