On Monday, October 9, 2017, Sammie Hernandez will become our Administrative Specialist II in the MSU Testing Center, located in the Lower Lever of Duane G. Meyer Library. Among her many new duties, she will be scheduling exams, checking in examinees, scheduling and assigning test proctors, and maintaining the Testing Center’s website. Sammie is an alumna of MSU, with a BA in Art History. As an undergraduate student, Sammie served as a student assistant with the MSU Libraries, working in Content Management and Acquisitions. She also has been a grant assistant, working with Dr. Billie Follensbee. Most recently, she has been assisting the Hall Director at Hammons House, one of the student residence halls on the MSU campus. Welcome, Sammie!
Part of a recent donation from Frisco Railroad researcher and collector Louis Griesemer, the Frisco Lab Photograph Collection (M 97) is currently being processed and digitized by Special Collections and Archives staff. The collection contains over 5,000 images and will be digitized in its entirety, with a selection made available online. Images include interiors and exteriors of railroad cars, locomotives, accidents, broken parts examined at the lab, Frisco employees, company events, and more. Once the collection is processed, researchers will also have the opportunity to look through the finding aid online and request additional images to be added to the online collection.
The Frisco Laboratory was in operation as early as the 1920s at the Frisco Shops in Springfield, but a new building dedicated in 1955 increased the operations of the lab. According to a 1991 article in the All Aboard publication, these operations included the “General Analytical Laboratory, for all types of chemical analysis except oil tests; Fuels & Lubricants Laboratory, for testing samples of fuel and lubricating oils, both new and used; Physical Chemistry Laboratory, for corrosion tests, analytical distillations, and similar work; Protective Coatings Laboratory, for testing of paints, roofing compounds, etc.; Physical Testing Laboratory, for testing the tensile and compressive strength of metals and concrete; Spectrographic Laboratory, for spectrographic analysis of materials; Photographic Darkroom, for processing both photographic and spectrographic negatives and plates; Photographic Laboratory, for photographic objects and for drying, trimming, and mounting photographs; Metallographic Laboratory, for microscopic study of metals and for microphotography; and a Water Laboratory, for analysis of water used for various purposes over the Frisco System.” When Frisco and Burlington-Northern merged in 1980, the lab continued to be part of the railroad’s operations; but in 1986 it became part of the Transportation Services Division Inc. of Day & Zimmermann.
On October 16, 2017 Anne Baker, Archivist, will become the new Head of Special Collections and Archives at the MSU Libraries. She has been serving as Interim Head for some time, and she has been with the Special Collection and Archives unit of the MSU Libraries since 2001. Prior to coming to MSU, Anne worked at the South Dakota School of Mines, the Adams Museum in Deadwood, South Dakota, the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Because this is a faculty position, Anne is now a tenure-track Assistant Professor. Her BA degree is from the University of Denver, and her MLS is from the University of Maryland, College Park. Congratulations, Anne!
On September 14, 2017 the MSU Libraries held its first LIVING STORIES event and had great responses from all who participated. The idea of “books that talk back” was new for many; however, everyone quickly dove right into brief but meaningful conversations on different aspects of sustainability, ranging from everyday practices to sustainability in our criminal justice system. Some readers who started with one book ended up renewing or checking out more books. The living books themselves also enjoyed learning about their readers’ passion for sustainability. This successful project was organized by the library’s Public Affairs Committee, who looks forward to renewing the project during Public Affairs Week again next year.
On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, Tom Peters, the MSU Dean of Library Services, was interviewed at the OOIDA Headquarters in Grain Valley, Missouri, about the Trucking on Route 66 Oral History Project, a collaborative initiative between the Missouri State University Libraries and OzarksAlive.com, funded in part with generous support from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program of the National Park Service. OOIDA is the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. The OOIDA radio program, LandLine Now, is broadcast on SiriusXM channel 146. This particular interview was broadcast on Monday, September 25, 2017.
During the week of September 11, 2017, Jessica Bennett, a Reference and e-Learning Librarian at the MSU Libraries, was featured on the Association of College & Research Libraries’ website as the ACRL Member of the Week. ACRL is a division of the American Library Association. Regarding the value ACRL has for Jessica as a young professional, she noted, “It is refreshing to get out of my “bubble.” ACRL has also made the transition to the Framework for Information Literacy much less confusing and stressful.” When asked what she, as an academic librarian, contributes to the campus community, Jessica responded, “My main focus is information literacy. I teach an abundance of one-shot instruction sessions (mostly face-to-face, but I can do them virtually also), which are available to all classes taught at Missouri State University. These sessions are tailored for each class, and usually for a specific assignment in that class. I also teach a for-credit online course that is an introduction to information literacy. As the e-learning librarian, I also make sure services and resources available to on-campus students and our distance students. One thing I am really proud of is launching a virtual research consultation service.” Congratulations, Jessica!
The Lower Level of Duane G. Meyer has several services and collections available to students, faculty, and staff. Assistance on that level was not always easy to find, but now, the Lower Level has a new Help Desk. It is positioned to be easily seen and accessed from either the stairs or the elevators. The alcove, formerly occupied with a collaboration station at the base of the stairs, has become the location for the Lower Level Help Desk. This new service point started providing assistance during the first week of classes in August, but with limited hours until it could be fully staffed, which happened last week. Currently, the Lower Level Help Desk hours are: Monday-Thursday, 9 am-8 pm; Friday, 9 am-5 pm; Saturday, 9 am-5 pm; Sunday, Noon-8 pm. This help desk will be staffed mostly with library student assistants, who are trained to answer basic reference questions, provide assistance with microfilm/fiche and reader machines, and be available to provide directional help on the Lower Level. We are currently keeping statistics on types (direction vs. reference) and number of questions.
Tammy Stewart, Documents Librarian at the MSU Libraries, is the co-author, along with Rebecca Thompson, of an article that appeared earlier this year in volume 45, number 1 of Documents to the People, the official publication of the Government Documents Round Table of the American Library Association. The title of their article is “Missouri Documents Reclassification: A Challenge.” Their abstract states, in part: “The Missouri State University (MSU) Library has been a government documents depository for several decades; the library has been collecting federal documents since 1963, Missouri documents since the state depository began in 1977, and UN documents since 2000. Although there was no official program for Missouri government publications until 1977, previous government documents librarians collected a large number of the documents produced by the state of Missouri. Some were in the catalog, but some were not.” Congratulations, Tammy and Rebecca!
During the morning of Saturday, September 16, 2017, the MSU Libraries held a wide variety of events, opportunities, and refreshments in and near Meyer Library, in conjunction with Family Weekend. Family members of all ages, as well as current MSU students and alumni, enjoyed augmented reality and virtual reality hands-on session, button making, carillon tours, giant jenga, sidewalk chalk, popcorn, sweet tea, and ice water. We also raffled off a VIP study room during the morning, for which over 300 people registered. A VIP study room is an 8 hour block of study room time stocked with snacks, pizza, and soft drinks. All the library faculty members, staff members, and student workers who contributed their time and effort, are thanked, including Jan Johnson, Nathan Neuschwander, Abbey Waterworth, Jaren Newman, Della McEntire, In Young Jang, and Paul Crader. Sarah Mabee, an independent contractor who is helping the MSU Libraries on several events and projects, led the planning and production of this successful cluster of events.
Biological Abstracts is a collection of bibliographic references for life science and biomedical research literature, covering peer-reviewed article abstracts from U.S. and international journals. Biological Abstracts serves as an index to articles in over 4,300 scientific serials from the biological science areas. The database contains nearly 7.7 million archival records from as far back as 1969. Topics covered include biology, biotechnology, experimental medicine, zoology, agriculture, veterinary medicine, botany, pharmacology, biochemistry, microbiology, and evolutionary ecology, genetics, and more. Biological Abstracts provides users with easy access to the latest information from virtually every life science discipline. Additionally, Biological Abstracts is updated twice monthly, adding more than 370,000 citations each year, and is produced by the esteemed Thomson Scientific, Inc.