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Month: October 2018

“Information Anthropology” Final Report Now Available

“Information Anthropology” Final Report Now Available

BearWorks screen shotThe Scholarly Information Seeking Habits and Behaviors of MSU Faculty, popularly known as our first “information anthropology” report about the information creation, seeking, and usage behaviors of members of the MSU campus community, is now included in BearWorks under MSU Libraries Reports.  The report is also linked from the MSU Libraries website under About the Libraries (Homepage>About>Mission).  

This report is the combined efforts of the Information Anthology group, consisting of Jan Johnson, Lynn Cline, Bill Edgar, Scott Fischer, Grace Jackson-Brown, and Andrea Miller. The group conducted an ethnographic study using direct observation and semi-structured interviews of a sample of MSU faculty members to gain knowledge about faculty scholarly information-seeking habits and behaviors to provide insight into the following research questions:

  • What information sources and technologies are used by MSU faculty members in their scholarship?
  • Where do faculty members conduct their research?
  • With whom do faculty members consult for research, writing, and information seeking assistance?
The YouTube Channel of the MSU Libraries is Popular

The YouTube Channel of the MSU Libraries is Popular

Last week the MSU Libraries achieved a milestone: Over 1,000 subscribers to our YouTube Channel. Our primary YouTube Channel current has over 1,100 subscribers. We’ve gained 235 since September 1, 2018, with almost daily comments received about the Shannon County documentaries. Some of those documentaries have received over 100,000 views.

Photo of an Ozark Jubilee mugCategories of content include:

  • Gordon McCann Ozarks Folk Music Collection
  • Route 66 Oral Histories
  • “Country Classics: The Stories Behind The Songs” radio programs by country music disc jockey John Henderson
  • Shannon County Film Series from the 1980s
  • MSU Libraries Tutorial Series: Video tutorials that demonstrate how to use library services
  • Ozarks Voices: Interviews with people from around the Ozarks
  • School of Anesthesiology Interviews
  • MSU Historical Films
  • Speakers and Events

In March of 2017 we created a separate YouTube Channel just for the digitized recordings of the Ozark Jubilee. In a year and a half, some of the recordings have been viewed over 5,000 times.

Winning Novels of the Great American and Great Ozarks Reads

Winning Novels of the Great American and Great Ozarks Reads

Dust cover art of the novel To Kill a MockingbirdThe “Grand Finale” episode of The Great American Read aired on PBS (Ozarks Public Television) on Tuesday evening (October 23rd at 7 p.m.). The winning book was To Kill a Mockingbird, a 1960 coming-of-age novel by Harper Lee about racism and injustice. The other top vote-getters were Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series about a time-spanning love, J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” wizard tales, Jane Austen’s 200 year old comedy of manners, Pride and Prejudice, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” fantasy saga.

For a number of weeks, The Great American Read has explored and celebrated the power of reading, as viewed through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels. Over the course of several months, America’s readers have voted to select their favorite books from the list of one hundred novels chosen in a national survey. The series (and the local events that have surrounded it) have encouraged viewers to spend more time reading. In addition, The Great American Read has promoted the valuable resources that our libraries represent in the communities they serve.

In addition to The Great American Read, another literary poll has been underway on a local level. Ozarks Public Television (OPT), the MSU Libraries, and the MSU Department of English partnered with several public library districts in southwest Missouri to facilitate a regional poll: The Great Ozarks Read. The results of this vote have been tabulated and they reveal the Ozarks region’s favorite novels from The Great American Read book list.

Here are the voting results for The Great Ozarks Read:

1st Twilight – Written by American author Stephenie Meyer. The first book in this series of novels was published in 2005. The saga has enjoyed popularity within the categories of romance, fantasy, and young adult fiction.

2nd Harry Potter – Written by British author J.K. Rowling, the first in this series of novels was published in 1997. The books have received world-wide acclaim.

3rd To Kill a Mockingbird – Written by American author Harper Lee and published in 1960. This tour de force won the Pulitzer Prize.

4th The Sun Also Rises – Written by American author Ernest Hemingway and published in 1926. Written in only a few months, this novel is often cited as the greatest work of this Nobel Prize winning author.

5th A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Written by American author Betty Smith and published in 1943. This novel was immensely successful and was even distributed in a portable edition for American troops serving overseas during the Second World War.

6th Little Women – Written by American author Louisa May Alcott and published in 1868. The book proved to be so popular, the artist was compelled to write two sequels that were also acclaimed by the public.

7th The Chronicles of Narnia – Written by Irish author C.S. Lewis, the first book in the series was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe which was published in 1950.

8th (3-way tie) Outlander – Written by American author Diana Gabaldon. The first book in this popular series was published in 1991.

8th (3-way tie) Gone With the Wind – Written by American author Margaret Mitchell and published in 1936. This widely-read novel won the Pulitzer Prize.

8th (3-way tie) Anne of Green Gables – Written by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery and published in 1908. The beloved book was followed by a number of sequels.

9th Pride and Prejudice – Written by British author Jane Austen, and published in 1813. The much-admired novel has spawned numerous dramatic adaptations.

10th The Book Thief – Written by Australian author Markus Zusak and published in 2005. This historical fiction novel has been very popular since it appeared.

Rising Costs Challenge the Libraries’ Operating Budget

Rising Costs Challenge the Libraries’ Operating Budget

Photo of Duane G. Meyer Library at MSURising costs in several key areas of operations for the MSU Libraries are putting significant strain on the current FY19 operating budget. Costs for OCLC services, MOBIUS membership and services, and MSU Networking and Telecommunications services all have risen.

The biggest challenge, however, is posed by the rising costs for electronic content, including e-journals and online databases. Annual subscriptions to these types of e-resources now consume nearly all of the Libraries’ information materials budget of $2.26 million. When the annual inflation rate for the e-resource subscriptions to which the MSU Libraries subscribes is 6% — common for the past several years — the annual loss of purchasing power is over $135,000 per year.

The MSU Libraries continues to work on several fronts to contain costs and explore new methods to gather, disseminate, and archive information. We have launched BearWorks, an Institutional Repository (IR) where MSU faculty, students, and staff can place their own scholarship, such as theses, papers, and journal articles, for discovery and use by students and scholars worldwide. The “Intellectual Access and Assets Management” (IAAM) Committee of the MSU Libraries is actively exploring current and emerging alternatives to some of our core systems, including Integrated Library Systems (ILS), E-Resource Management (ERM) systems, and other IR platforms. We also are working with other university groups, as well as with other member libraries in the MOBIUS consortium, to explore and implement Open Educational Resources solutions.

Meet Our Newest Testing Center Employee: Mariah Turner

Meet Our Newest Testing Center Employee: Mariah Turner

Photo of Mariah TurnerMariah Turner from Nixa is our new Administrative Assistant II in the MSU Testing Center, a service from the MSU Libraries, located in the Lower Level of Duane G. Meyer Library. She began working here yesterday, Wednesday, October 24, 2018. Welcome Mariah!

She has a BA degree in Psychology from MSU. While she was a student here she worked for the Departments of Psychology and Computer Sciences.

Mariah also is a professional artist. Since 2012 she has owned and operated her own business, Because 42.


Man Booker Prize Goes to the Milkman

Man Booker Prize Goes to the Milkman

Photo of Anna Burns with her book, MilkmanOn Tuesday officials of the Man Booker Prize announced this year’s winner from the six books (and authors) that had been “shortlisted” as the finalists:

  1. The Overstory, by Richard Powers (being cataloged) Nine strangers are summoned by trees to save what little is left of North America’s virgin forests.
  2. Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan (being cataloged) George Washington Black, or “Wash,” an eleven-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is terrified to be chosen by his master’s brother as his manservant.
  3. Everything Under, by Daisy Johnson (ordered 9/21/18) A lexicographer who grew up on a houseboat receives a phone call that causes her to think back on childhood occurrences and adapt to radical change.
  4. The Long Take, by Robin Robertson (ordered 9/21/18) A Nova Scotian veteran of D-Day, suffering from PTSD, wanders across the United States and learns about the darker side of life in this country but also the nobler part of his own existence.
  5. Milkman, by Anna Burns (ordered on 9/21/18) Middle sister, the protagonist, does everything in her power to escape attention, but is challenged when she suddenly becomes noticed.
  6. The Mars Room, by Rachel Kushner (being cataloged) A woman is facing two consecutive life sentences, and what seems to be the beginning of a long, dreary existence suddenly changes.

The winner is: Milkman!

This international literary prize is open to any writer of any nationality who is writing in English and whose book is published in the UK and Ireland. Prize is 50,000 pounds sterling.

Employee of the Month for October: Mark Arnold

Employee of the Month for October: Mark Arnold

Wood carving of a dragon by Mark Arnold
Another of Mark’s interests is woodcarving. He’s been carving since high school and enjoys working with different types of wood. This photo depicts the progression of one of his most recent projects; a dragon carved from mahogany.

Mark Arnold, Library Systems Administrator/Support Specialist, is the MSU Libraries Employee of the Month! Mark has been a part of the University Libraries family since 1993. We talked with Mark recently in relation to this prestigious honor. Here’s what he had to say:

What originally attracted you to library work?

“I’ve been excited about libraries for as long as I can remember. When my mom wanted to encourage me to do something I really didn’t want to do, she would bribe me with the promise of a trip to the Topeka library. A bribe that was readily accepted. I never really gave much thought to working in a library, however, until the opportunity came along. Needless to say I jumped at that chance as well. Computers and books! What could be better?”

Is there a library resource you’d like to highlight? Something you think is underutilized?

“Considering the stats I’m looking at, I can’t really say the room booking system is an under-utilized resource, but it is one I’m particularly interested in. Developing the system has been challenging (in a good way–most of the time) and it is one way that I think my work directly connects me with the success of our students.”

What book, author, artist, music, movie, show, etc. are you into right now? (Persuade us to like it too (or tell us why we shouldn’t!))

“My reading taste tends to be somewhat eclectic. I recently finished reading Kory Stamper’s Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries. (If you haven’t read it yet, you should. Where else could you find that the words virulent, virus, weasel, ooze, and bison are all related? You’ll have to read the book to find out how.) I have three e-reading apps on my tablet. Currently one is splitting time between reading about Laravel (a PHP programming framework) and Angular (a Javascript framework). Another has Hans-Rudolf Wenk’s Minerals: Their Constitution and Origin open (a bit of a tough slog, but I’m a glutton for punishment). The third app I’ve been using to re-read a bunch of Luke Short novels that have recently been released as e-books. I’m also working my way through Brooks Blevins’ A History of the Ozarks, Volume 1: The Old Ozarks. This is another must read. And the maps are great, too. Not surprisingly since they were provided by Jim and Amy of our Maps and GIS unit.”

Student Employee for October: Della McEntire

Student Employee for October: Della McEntire

Mountain photo of Della McEntireKudos to MSU Libraries Student Employee of the Month, Della McEntire. Della is a senior Global Studies major working in the Research & Informational Services unit of Duane G. Meyer Library. Della is known for consistently providing excellent customer service with a positive attitude.

All-Time Favorite Book: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Della says, “If you’ve only ever watched the movies, you’re missing out!”

One Thing Students Should Know About the Libraries: The online chat feature, Ask A Librarian. Have a research question? Want to know more about services offered by the library? You can use your laptop to send a message through our chat service, or even text your question in! It’s a great resource you can access no matter where you are.

MSU Libraries Collaborates with League of Women Voters

MSU Libraries Collaborates with League of Women Voters

Vote 411 information cardOnce again, this election year the MSU Libraries is collaborating with the Southwest Missouri Chapter of the League of Women Voters to facilitate a voter education and participation campaign.

Free voter education pamphlets, as well as quick-info cards, have been placed on the First Level of Duane G. Meyer Library — on the table next to the stairs, and on the RIS research help desk.

Lisa McEowen, a Library Associate III in Special Collections and Archives, is facilitating this effort.

Joshua Lambert to Present at Brick & Click Conference

Joshua Lambert to Present at Brick & Click Conference

Logo of the Brick & Click academic library conferenceJoshua Lambert, a tenured member of the Library Science faculty at Missouri State University, will present on Friday, November 2, 2018 at the annual “Brick & Click” academic library conference in Maryville, Missouri.

His talk will focus on “Key Performance Indicator Tracking Using Google Forms.”

An excerpt from the abstract: “Key performance indicators (KPIs) can help libraries make informed decisions, but they can take a significant amount of time to track and analyze. Using a network of Google Spreadsheets, the Missouri State University Libraries employees can submit data and check the progress of those KPIs. Over ten people submit monthly data for twelve KPIs through Google Forms and divide that data between twelve spreadsheets.”

Congratulations, Joshua.