Tuesday, June 27, 2006

University Libraries Recognized for Outstanding Brochure Design

A panel for the Library Public Relations Council’s annual “Share the Wealth” contest selected a brochure produced by the Ball State University Libraries to be included for display at the 2006 American Library Association conference in New Orleans.

The criteria used for selection included originality, visual impact, effectiveness, and content. Susan Akers, Marketing Communications Manager, worked with Dr. Arthur Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, to create the informational brochure which was sent to BSU faculty in early 2005.

The three-panel brochure, which has an unusual cut and fold, includes 24 bullet points highlighting services and collections of the University Libraries.

The Library Public Relations Council was founded in 1940 and is an international organization that promotes the development of effective public relations skills for library public relations practitioners and other library staff interested in public relations activities. Visit their site at www.libprcouncil.org

Ongoing Improvements for the University Libraries: Inside and Outside of Bracken Library

There are many reasons why students like to spend time in the University Libraries. Some of these are that the libraries provide access to librarians and other paraprofessional personnel who help students with research and technology, the many inviting spaces for individual and collaborative learning, the great technology for writing papers and compiling research data, and the library’s space that is open and clean.

Keeping the University Libraries clean and attractive is an important objective. Students expect it. To accomplish this objective, different cleaning activities take place during the year.

Recently, three students working for the University Facilities Student Custodial Crew spent time in Bracken Library on the first floor both inside and outside of the building to wash windows. At about the same time, grounds crews began landscaping around Bracken Library as part of ongoing campus beautification. Other activities include

• cleaning computers and keyboards
• painting various spaces and e-classrooms in Bracken Library
• cleaning carpets in Bracken Library
• increasing the amount of electrical amperage available at Bracken
• power washing Bracken Library's exterior cement walls

Keeping the University Libraries clean and attractive is one of the many ways in which the Libraries are recognized on campus as a destination for resarch, learning, and friends.

Large Format Plotter in the Geospatial Center and Map Collection Used for GIS, CAD, Line Drawings, and Graphic Design

The University Libraries’ Geospatial Center and Map Collection (GCMC) on Bracken’s second floor provides students and faculty with access to computer workstations, ESRI’s ArcGIS® and Intergraph’s GeoMedia® mapping and geospatial software, and access to geographic data sets. The Center also provides access to Autodesk’s AutoCAD® for conceptual design through drafting and detailing.

Angie Gibson, Geographic Information Systems Specialist, and Melissa Gentry, Map Collections Assistant, are in the Center to help students and faculty to analyze, capture, manage, and display all forms of geographically referenced information or to use any of the GCMC’s 145,000 paper maps. By using AutoCAD® detailed building plans can be imported into GIS software to assign real-world coordinates and improve site planning and modeling processes.

Students and faculty print GIS, CAD, line drawings, and graphic design materials by using the Center’s large format plotter, a Hewlett Packard 1055, capable of 600 dpi color printing on 36-inch wide output. They use these large format black-and-white or color documents at state and national conferences and for classroom presentations. Academic departments use the plotter to create informative display materials and signs.

There is a small fee for printing based on the type of paper used, ink, and maintenance costs, with revenue used to purchase replacement materials. Printing an item 36” and under is $6 with $2 incremental increases every additional three feet.

University Libraries’ Marketing Working Group Completes Term, Marketing Efforts Continue

In mid-July 2005, the Dean of University Libraries, Dr. Arthur Hafner, formed the Marketing e-Resources Task Force to develop a plan for marketing the University Libraries’ diverse e-resources, including online journals, databases, and the Digital Media Repository for teaching and learning.

Charged to explore ways to raise student and faculty awareness about e-resources, Task Force members launched an enthusiastic Fall campaign, adopting the slogan “Anytime Anywhere” to convey ubiquitous access to the rich online research materials available 24/7/365 to our students and faculty. The promotions included developing a Libraries’ screensaver with student models and a distribution of whimsical, ghost-shaped flyers and candy at BSU’s “scramble light,” which is located at the intersection of Riverside and McKinley in connection with Halloween.

In late summer, Dr. Hafner reconfigured the task force into the Marketing Working Group and gave it an expanded charge to “Provide recommendations to the Dean of University Libraries through suggestions about ways and methods to generate and coordinate creative promotional and campaign efforts of the University Libraries’ services and collections through message broadcasts and outreach activities.”

The expanded charge was seminal in recommending other groups of Libraries’ personnel that have since been formed into work groups for a holistic approach to continually improving the services and communication of the Libraries with the university community. These include:
• Services Excellence Working Group, which focuses on customer service and staff training
• Web Development Working Group, which recently implemented an improved site for the University Libraries and designed the Student Virtual Library page, an easy-to-use library interface for students
• Librarian Liaison Working Group, which has extended an earlier pilot program into a broader effort of intercommunication with several academic departments

Members of the Marketing Working Group reviewed marketing literature, followed blogs, and read other academic library newsletters to generate a wide variety of ideas for future implementation, including:
• a student photography contest
• radio and television spots for student stations
• centralized resource center for printing with related equipment and supplies
• faculty author/artist lecture series

Using Social Software to Stimulate Content Engagement with Students in Distance Education Classes

Distance education does not have to be a lonely way to learn. Online social software has revolutionized how a generation of students fraternizes and finds information, and it has the potential to do the same for distance education.

Social software is any kind of computer-mediated communication that, according to a Wikipedia article, “… enables people to rendezvous, connect, or collaborate and to form online communities.” Online social communities, like MySpace, wikis, such as Wikipedia, and blogs are examples of popular forms of social software.

A well-managed blog or wiki can dramatically diminish the time and space barriers inherent in traditional distance education by stimulating student interaction, encouraging scholarly discourse, and establishing class communities. Additionally, 2003 research reported by J.C. Richardson and K. Swain in the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, reveals that social presence in distance education courses correlates with student satisfaction and higher scores on learning outcomes.

Faculty who are ready to try social software in their distance education course need look no further for examples than at their college or university library. This is because academic libraries have a well-established success record for being campus community builders and learning laboratories.

At Ball State’s University Libraries, we use RSS news feeds, www.bsu.edu/library/rss, and MySpace, http://myspace.com/brackenlibrary, and blogs to create online community among our distance education students who are both on and off-campus.

Distance and campus learners also enjoy remote access to a variety of powerful online academic databases, reference service via chat and e-mail, electronic reserves, and online web tutorials, among others.

I invite readers to view my blog post, http://distancelibrarian.blogspot.com/2006/06/online-learning-in-news-social.html or email me at KKeclik@bsu.edu to share ideas about how to incorporate social software in distance education courses.

University Libraries Provide Resources to Enrich Lives, Stir Imagination

It is officially summer, and some of us are thinking about vacation. Thoughts come to mind, such as warm ocean breezes, the feeling of warm sand slipping between our toes, tides rising and falling, and beautiful sunsets.

Vacation time is when we act on our plans to get away from all of the chaos of daily life to retreat to an oasis where time seems to stand still. However, my advice to everyone is to not wait until a planned vacation to relax — explore the University Libraries’ treasure-trove of resources to put more hours in your day, ease your troubled mind, and find the focus that you need to refresh your mind, heart, and spirit.

Last month, I highlighted three target zones for improving personal performance by using training and development materials in the University Libraries’ collections. One of the things I notice about myself and many of my friends is how we try to manage a healthy balance between work and family. Here are some techniques that I have found useful for minimizing stress:

• Get out of the kitchen! Explore the vast variety of national and international cookbooks in the University Libraries’ collection. These are guaranteed to cut your preparation time and increase the variety of food choices without compromising the taste of your cookery. Alternatively, during the summer, escape the kitchen entirely by firing up the grill to enjoy the outdoors while savoring the company of family and friends. Trying a recipe from an international cookbook is guaranteed to be an adventure and taste bud delight.
• Turn off the television and turn on to yoga. One of the benefits of an exercise program is that you will release the body’s natural endorphins that may counteract the effects of stress. Another benefit is the mental focus from pursuing an exercise program that leaves one feeling renewed. The Educational Resources Center has a nice collection of yoga videos that range from beginner to advanced. Additionally, the general collections houses many illustrated books about correct postures. These help a person who wants to have a self-paced routine.
• Stop and grow the roses. Gardening has a therapeutic effect on the human spirit and is a pastime that can be enjoyed individually or by the whole family. Some fun projects are to grow a vegetable or herb garden, dabble in some home landscaping, planting some flowers. There are books about these topics in the collection, too.

The University Libraries’ collections have a large number of resources for personal growth and development, recreation and leisure, and discovery. Exploring these resources can enrich one’s mind, heart, and spirit. Who knows, maybe you won’t even want a vacation? Nah!

Kathleen Pickens' Top Picks for Cook Books and Yoga
Six Ingredients or Less
Cooking to Beat the Lock
All Fired Up! Outdoor and Indoor Grilling
Outdoor Cooking
The Whole World Cookbook
Journey into Power: How to Sculpt Your Ideal Body, Free Your True Self, and Transform Your Life with Yoga

Statistics Show Increasing Use of New Civil War Digital Resources by Students, Faculty, and Researchers

Increasing access to unique and educationally valuable research resources for a broad spectrum of users, including Ball State students, faculty, and other researchers world-wide, is the primary goal for the Digital Media Repository (DMR).

Evidence of success in achieving this goal can be seen in the use of the U.S. Civil War resources from East Central Indiana, http://libx.bsu.edu/LSTA/LSTACivWar.html, that have been added to the DMR since February 2006. These digital resources were made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) digitization grant that the University Libraries received for 2005-2006.

The usage statistics for the first two Civil War collections (available in February 2006)show that the two collections were accessed 5,818 times in February. Most of the use was on campus with 5,007 compared to 811 from off campus. While more collections were added in March and April, the statistics show a slight decline in use for those months. Some of the decline may be attributable to a lack of publicizing the collections while they were being developed.

In May 2006, a dramatic increase can be seen in use to 13,179 hits. Once again, the statistics show the largest number of uses by students and faculty on campus: 12,410 hits. By this time, all of the collections that were available had been publicized, and the resources had been used in some junior high school classes.

Looking at the total use of these research materials from February through May 2006, the statistics show 28,105 hits. When the numbers are divided by the individual collections, Archives and Special Collections materials account for 34% of the use.

These statistics provide evidence that the digital copies of the original Civil War documents in these collections reached a larger number of users in just four months than typically would have been possible in several years if researchers had to visit the various sites in person to examine the items. The availability and ease of access to these materials provided via the Web in the DMR made the increased use possible.

Visit the Digital Media Repository, http://libx.bsu.edu

Documenting Indiana’s Historic County Courthouses

Written by Daniel Hartwig, Assistant Archivist
As public monuments, Indiana’s county courthouses are symbols of their community: politically, socially and architecturally. Often grandiose in size and detail, they document the growth and prosperity of a community, places where marriages, births, wars, deaths, and old-fashioned entertainment can all be linked to the courthouse square. This brief article examines my fascination and interest in documenting these unique symbols.

I initially became interested in Indiana’s historic county courthouses while working in Ball State’s College of Architecture & Planning’s Archive, www.bsu.edu/cap/facilities/archives, where I came across the photos, slides, and other materials donated by the college’s Professor David R. Hermansen, himself an author, photographer, and creator of an exhibit on Indiana county courthouses. It was not until last year, however, following the Randolph County Commission’s decision to tear down its historic 128-year-old courthouse, like Delaware County did in 1966, that I had the idea to begin taking pictures of county courthouses to document these historic structures while they still stood. My goal became to capture all 92 of Indiana’s county courthouses. Since then, I have taken over 800 photos of more than 60 Indiana county courthouses, all of which are available on for viewing, http://dwhartwig.iweb.bsu.edu/myweb3/pages/Architecture/Indiana/Courthouses/map_photos.htm at my website.

As you might imagine, my courthouse treks have taken me all across Indiana, encountering many interesting and unexpected pleasures. Included along the way were the West Baden Hotel, Franklin College, and the cities of Madison, Vincennes, and Lafayette, just to name a few. In addition, I began taking photos of other historic buildings, structures, and homes, capturing Indiana’s architectural wonders. Throughout these journeys, both near and far, I have come to appreciate the quaint beauty and sense of community found within Indiana’s historical downtowns.

As I prepare to leave Ball State University to accept another position elsewhere, I am disappointed that I will not complete my project. Nevertheless, I am proud to announce that I will be donating copies of my photos to the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections Research Center for future incorporation into the Digital Media Repository, http://libx.bsu.edu.

Soon my photos will join more than 500 existing digital courthouse photos to create the Indiana County Courthouse collection, a collection of more than 1,300 images spanning many decades. My hope is that students, researchers, and interested citizens will use these images, learn more about these unique structures, and perhaps become advocates for their continued preservation.

For more information about Indiana’s historic courthouses, two fine resources are available from the Ball State University Libraries:
• The Magnificent 92 Indiana Courthouses (1999) by Will Counts and Jon Dilts [F527 .C86 1999]
• Indiana County Courthouses of the Nineteenth Century (1968), by former College of Architecture and Planning Professor David R. Hermansen [NA4472.I6 H45]
To view existing courthouse photos in the Digital Media Repository, simply do an Advanced Search, http://libx.bsu.edu/cdm4/search.php, for “Indiana courthouse.”

Libraries’ Homepage Undergoes Usability Testing

In early April 2006, the University Libraries inaugurated a new homepage, www.bsu.edu/library, designed to help students and faculty more easily find resources for teaching, learning, and research.
In June, the Libraries’ Web Development Working Group (WDWG) conducted usability testing on the new homepage to gauge user satisfaction and perceptions regarding the site’s design and functionality.
Two independent usability testing methods were used: individual subject testing and the Expert Reviewer Tool, a heuristic tool developed by the Software Testing Institute (STI), which is part of Ball State University’s Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS).
Individual testing sessions employed a script of specific tasks for users to complete, as well as a series of general questions to analyze the organization, navigability, and functional design of the new site. Tests were conducted in a CICS computer lab using Camtasia Studio software, which allows for recording of subjects’ Web browsing behavior and verbal responses, as well as video output for later review.
The following general conclusions and recommendations were made from the task completion portion of the usability tests:
• Students have trouble finding newspapers
Recommendation: Provide a link to newspapers under Find… .
• Some students have a difficult time using the course reserves page
Recommendation: Lessen the text on the page and provide a distinguishable button/graphic to click on to go to electronic reserves.
• Students have trouble marking records within CardCat for printing and emailing
Recommendation: 1. Provide more intuitive way of marking records; 2. Reword error message that appears when no items are selected to clearly indicate how to do such.
• Students do not notice the Student Virtual Library graphic as a link
Recommendation: Add the text ‘Click Here’ to the image and create a separate rollover graphic to better distinguish it as a link. This is also a problem on the Student Virtual Library,www.bsu.edu/library/svl page.
• Students have trouble finding encyclopedias
Recommendation: 1. Provide a link under Find…; 2. Redesign Online Reference shelf and listed pages.
• Students do not generally notice/use the Quick Search Tools drop-down menu
Recommendation: 1. Replace drop-down menu with CardCat search box.
• Students do not notice category headings as links to fuller listings of resources
Recommendation: 1. Provide distinguishing rollover effects to category headings; 2. Add More… links at the top or bottom of the sections; 3. Add alt tags to image headings.
• The Digital Media Repository simple search box is ineffective
Recommendation: 1. Instead of using ‘or’ function, change to ‘and’ function; 2. Add a link in the simple search box to Advanced Search.

In addition, subjects offered a number of helpful comments and suggestions, including:
• Remove “non-research” or “unnecessary” links from the page
• Remove underlining of active links and provide more spacing between links for a more open and less dense look
• Provide CardCat search box on the homepage
• Hard to distinguish between News & Events & University Libraries News
• Provide breadcrumbs or other links back to the main homepage
• Provide Flash banners with active links to units within the Information Technology Group
• Add explanations and/or descriptions for links
Based upon these findings, the Web Development Working Group began implementing a number of practical solutions and is in the process of developing a number of others. These are being put into production as soon as they are available.
Members of the Web Development Working Group are Jim Bradley, Katie Bohnert, Hilde Calvert, Stacy Chaney, Stephen Duecker, Daniel Hartwig, Randy Lewandowski, and Matthew Shaw.

Music Listening Center is Music to the Ears of ARIA Participants

Now that Ball State’s ARIA Summer Academy is underway with about 75 instrumentalists ages 15 to 32, Bracken Library’s Music Listening Center is enjoying its time as a popular hot spot for ARIA participants.

With the help of the new Music Listening Center’s ARIA web page, www.bsu.edu/library/collections/musiccoll/aria, ARIA Summer Academy enrollees are easily finding music scores and CDs to aid them in their practicing and performances of music pieces.

“It has been a very positive experience for the students,” said Mihai Tetel, Associate Professor of Cello at Ball State and organizer of the ARIA Summer Academy.

With Bracken Library opening its resources to the participants and granting them undergraduate circulation privileges, students have more opportunity to immerse themselves in the music pieces they are studying and learning to perform.

ARIA students use the Music Listening Center’s resources to borrow multiple recordings of pieces that interest them. Each recording provides the instrumentalists with an opportunity to hear how different ensembles and players approach the same piece. Students can compare these recordings to their own performances and the performances of their peers.

Students using the Music Listening Center also have access to a large selection of scores, which are integral to learning and performing any piece. The collection of scores came in very handy for pianist Michael Brofman, a participant in ARIA, who forgot some music at home.

“I panicked when I realized that I had forgotten one of the scores that I needed,” he said. Michael was happy to find the score he needed in the collection.

The Music Listening Center’s collection continues to be an incredible resource for Ball State’s regular students and also for music student like those in the ARIA Summer Academy who come to Ball State to broaden their horizons.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

President Jo Ann Gora Portrait on Exhibit in Bracken Library

Presidential Portrait Hoosier artist Doug Daniel recently put the finishing touches on a large oil painting of President Jo Ann Gora. The 38” x 47” painting hangs outside Bracken Library’s Forum Room among the portraits of Ball State University’s 14 preceding presidents.

The painting was funded by the Walter E. and Mary C. Beyer Portrait Trust Fund, which for nearly 20 years has paid for presidential portraits in the state of Indiana.

Artist Doug Daniel resides in Greenwood, Indiana where he owns and operates The Griffith-Daniel Studio with his wife Kelly. They have two children, Isaac and Riley.

Doug is a graduate from the Herron School of Art (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis), class of 1981. He has been commissioned to paint many business leaders, university presidents, and celebrities. He has received awards for his still life and landscape work.

Visit the artist’s website at www.pleasantcreekart.com for more information about the Griffith-Daniel Studio, (317) 882-5887.

Middletown in the Good Old Summertime on Display

Middletown in the Good Old Summertime a new exhibit outside the Archives and Special Collections Research Center, Bracken Library, Rm. 210, showcases summer leisure activities in Muncie from the 1890s through the 1980s.

The exhibit includes historic photographs and other items from the Middletown and Stoeckel collections as well as selected illustrated essays from Bob Cunningham’s series of books, Growing Up in Middletown, U.S.A.
The exhibit highlights popular summertime events:

- Baseball including junior leagues for boys, adult leagues for teams sponsored by local businesses and organizations, and the champion semi-pro Muncie Citizens — kept fans in the bleachers from spring training to fall
- Summer camps sponsored by the local YMCA, YWCA, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts gave hundreds of Muncie children time around the campfire
- The circus came to town with parades through the city streets, exotic animals and sequined performers, and shows in the Big Top
- The Delaware County Fair offered everything from horse racing to 4-H exhibits

People of all ages headed for the great outdoors to bicycle, swim, picnic, relax in city parks, and attend family reunions.

Middletown in the Good Old Summertime will be on display from June 14 to August 15. For more information, contact Jane Gastineau at JEGastineau@bsu.edu or call (765) 285-5078.

Protecting Privacy, Personal Rights

All types of materials come into archives, such as very personal letters, diaries with heart-breaking passages, private thoughts written on the back of envelopes, and documents with sensitive or confidential information. So archivists are acutely aware of the need to protect the personal rights of individuals. Donors trust us with their legacies and depend on our professional ethics in preserving and making available for future use the record of their lives and careers.

In order to handle the historical record that is entrusted to us, archivists must be knowledgeable about laws that govern the rights to privacy and the rights to information. Beyond the possibility of alienating potential donors, and thereby lessening the available human and historical record accessible to future generations, there can be serious legal implications for inappropriate actions concerning providing private information or denying access to information. The balancing act is not always easy.

Documents containing individuals’ Social Security numbers pose particular problems concerning privacy and access. Legislation effective June 30, 2006, categorizes intentional disclosure of a Social Security number as a Class D felony and inadvertent disclosure as a Class A infraction.

Ball State’s Social Security Policy I.2 mandates that “grades and other pieces of personal information will not be publicly posted or displayed in a manner where use of all or part of the BSU ID or Social Security number (including use of the last few digits of the Social Security number) identifies the individual associated with the information.”

From the 1970s and 1980s, Ball State University Board of Trustees' records contain lists of employees and graduating students that include Social Security numbers. The rest of the information in the documents has potential research value, though.

While it is possible to make copies and black out the relevant private information on the user copies of single or a small number of documents in a collection or record series, the Archives is faced with a more difficult situation in handling a large volume of important documents like the Board of Trustees records when they contain this type of information.

So how do we handle it? Working with the University Compliance Committee, a policy was developed, sent through appropriate University channels, and approved.

In accordance with privacy laws, selected Board of Trustees records have been restricted due to the inclusion of individual Social Security numbers. Separation notices have been filed in place of the said records, indicating removal and informing users to consult the Director for the Archives and Special Collections Research Center concerning access to the restricted records.

Depending on the nature of the research and amount of information requested, the Director will determine the appropriate format in which the information will be supplied to the researcher, any costs involved to the researcher, and turnaround time for providing the information. If just a few documents are needed, photocopies with the Social Security number blacked out may be provided. For larger volume requests, the specific information needed from the documents may be extracted and provided to the researcher.

As in all cases with sensitive or confidential material, the Archives will work to provide access to the most complete and useful information needed by researchers while maintaining individual privacy rights and following legal mandates.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

All in a Day’s Work: Cleaning Bracken’s

The University Libraries provide students and faculty access to 347 PCs, including all of the common software that is used on campus.

During Spring Semester 2006, the PC stations were used by 14,196 unique uses, or by 64.8% of the University Community of students and faculty, for a total of 212,810 sessions.

Each day, the area around the public workstation is cleaned by custodial services. During breaks and at the end of each semester, the public workstations are more thoroughly cleaned. This entails using compressed air to blow out dust and debris that lodges on the keyboard, the use of denatured alcohol to remove dirt and grime, and cleaning of the computer table.

Shown in the photograph are Liz Lewis and Jerry Stefancic, student assistants who work in the University Libraries’ Business Support Services unit, cleaning workstations and wiping down the computer tables in Bracken Library shortly after the end of Spring Semester so that the areas would be ready for Summer Session students.

We appreciate the work by all of our student assistants and personnel at the University Libraries who work to make the libraries a great place to research, learn, and study.

Update on Access to the ILLiad

The University Libraries’ access to the public interface of the ILLiad Interlibrary Loan System was suspended April 20, 2006 as a precaution against potential misuse of user information from an off-campus web server.

While no breaches of security were known, and the opportunity for data interception was slight, it was judged prudent to create a system within the university where all activities could continue in the most secure environment.

The Libraries’ Interlibrary Loan Services staff were suddenly faced with the challenge of maintaining high-tech services in a lower-tech environment. Traditional, some might even say old-fashioned, print forms and in-person phone calls have temporarily reappeared. Attempts to keep disruption to library users at a minimum included the creation of mediated online request forms, PDF delivery of journal articles, email notifications, and quite a bit of behind-the-scenes intervention.

Since the closure of the system, some Interlibrary Loan Services staff has processed over 1,200 requests for research materials from Ball State University students, faculty, and staff. Fortunately, the portion of the ILLiad system which addresses lending of materials to other institutions was unaffected, and service to other libraries around the world has continued uninterrupted.

Interlibrary loan, library linking, and resource sharing are services that are highly valued by Ball State’s students and faculty, information consumers, and scholars. We anticipate restoring full, regular interlibrary loan services by mid-June.

Questions may be directed to Elaine Nelson, Interlibrary Loan Supervisor, at ENelson@bsu.edu or (765) 285-1323.

University Libraries Help Distance Learners to Succeed

Julie Rosenbaum, a 12-year employee of the University Libraries, received her Associate Arts degree in General Arts during Ball State’s Spring Commencement Exercises, May 6, 2006. Everyone who knows Julie is proud for her for this accomplishment. What is special is that she succeeded without ever stepping in the classroom.

Julie works full time in the University Libraries’ Business Support Services. She is also the mother of two sons, wife, and a homemaker. For the past 6 years, she has also been a student in Ball State’s School of Extended Education where she has taken all of her classes through distance education over the Internet. She says that using resources in the University Libraries were helpful to her in completing the program. She will continue to use those resources as she pursues a bachelor’s degree.

“I was always short on time. The biggest help was the distance education web page on the Libraries’ web site and the new blog that students can link to,” said Julie. "The site has everything -- an interlibrary loan link, research links, and other services like chat with a librarian.”

Kelli Keclik, Information Services Librarian, has developed a blog to connect with distance education students and has helped to make the research process more accessible. The blog can be found at http://distancelibrarian.blogspot.com
Julie said the e-journals and Academic Search Premiere database for periodicals and books were particularly helpful to her. “It wasn’t always easy to study,” Julie reported.

Click on www.bsu.edu/library/collections/distanceed to view the University Libraries’ web page specifically designed for distance education students.

Libraries' Resources for Self-improvement

The hurried pace of fall and spring semesters has been replaced by the slower Southern drawl of summer in Bracken Library. The pulsating rhythm of conversation and study groups has been reduced to a hushed stillness as students in particular focus on their research needs while finding refuge from the heat outside. The decreased demand for services poses the question: how will you spend your summer?

There are many answers to this question, one of which is to spend your summer learning to love your work and working to learn to expand your skills and opportunities.

Whether you are a recent graduate hoping to make a positive impression as you enter the workforce, or an experienced professional hoping to reignite that spark, Bracken Library has the resources to meet your needs. The key to any successful training is to identify your needs, commit to a plan of action, and to implement what you have learned. And if you are not sure where to start, three good target zones for any level of experience are

- Establishing and strengthening positive relationships with your colleagues
- Embracing changes in technology
- Amplifying customer service skills

Bracken Library’s Educational Resources Center (ERC) circulates a wide variety of DVD/VHS selections to help you perfect your performance. These can be watched on any of the 40 computers in the ERC, or you can take advantage of the ERC’s viewing booths to check out an inspirational video when you have some “down time.” Some great selections to watch are

- The Lily Tomlin Customer Service Training Series, (DVD 1483, Discs 1-4). These programs humorously provide valuable reminders about treating customers as you would like to be treated.
- Developing Positive Listening Skills, (DVD 1544). This program provides useful tips to employ in every aspect of life, focusing on the art of listening as integral to excellent customer service.
- How to Become a Rainmaker is a book, HF5438.4 F69 2000. It helps the reader to understand and learn several strategies for a successful business, including customer service.

Customer service is more than only serving those for whom we work. It also includes serving those with whom we work. There are some interesting and useful programs that help us utilize the skills we learn in our work area so we can foster a more positive environment for everyone. Some of these are

- Attitude: A Little Thing Makes a Big Difference, VHS 18184, offers examples and techniques to help you motivate yourself and those around you.
- Dealing with Employee Discipline Problems, video series 18186-18188, provides insight about employee burnout, how to maintain motivation, and how to delegate work fairly.
- Conflict: The Rules of Engagement, VHS 18183, address how to turn conflict into opportunities for cohesive relationships.

University Libraries Focus on Providing Customer Service

Customer expectations continually change by growing and shifting. Smart organizations pay attention to their customers’ level of satisfaction and expectations.

On Wednesday, May 31, 2006, members of the Libraries’ Service Excellence Working Group (SEWG) and other Libraries’ personnel attended an all-day training program, Focus on Service, sponsored by the Office of Training a Development, a unit of University Human resources.

Training consultants Brenda Bailey-Hughes and Tatiana Kolovou presented a series of fast-paced, informative sessions, covering customer service topics such as why great service matters, identifying one’s customers, knowing customers’ characteristics, and keys to excellent customer service.

The trainers elaborated on a customer service acronym called RATER:

Reliability: being able to deliver what was promised
Assurance: knowing how to deliver what was promised,
Tangibles: ensuring that the physical environment is attractive
Empathy: delivering what is promised with respect and understanding
Responsiveness : delivering what is promised promptly

During the morning session, President Jo Ann Gora addressed the group of 80 attendees, speaking about the importance of customer service and conveying how everyone at the University is the face of Ball State.

“Providing good customer service is part of everyone’s job,” said President Gora in encouraging everyone to take ownership in providing good service.

Kevin Brooks, Manager of the Science Health-Science Library and member of SEWG, said one of the takeaways from the session is how simple things can make a dramatic difference to customers. The group will offer more customer service training at the University Libraries’ Staff College in July. One of the sessions will include examples of simple, but important, details in providing good customer service, such as

- Making eye contact with the customer
- Positive body language, such as having/sharing a smile
- Practicing good listening skills

Kevin commented that it is important to remember that we are providing service to our co-workers, too.

John Straw, Director of Archives and Special Collections Research Center, commented, “I%

Pandemic Influenza “Bird Flu” Planning Checklist for Colleges and Universities

Bird flu is a topic that has been in the news. This infection is caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses.

Indiana, like other states, is planning for the possibility of a pandemic influenza flu that may sweep the nation. Some speculate that up to 30% of the workforce may not be able to work. A copy of Indiana’s Pandemic Influenza Plan, www.in.gov/isdh/pdfs/PandemicInfluenzaPlan.pdf is available in PDF format.
In the event of an influenza pandemic, Indiana’s colleges and universities will have an integral role in protecting the health and safety of students, employees, and their families.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed a checklist as a framework to assist colleges and universities to develop and/or improve plans to prepare for and respond to an influenza pandemic, College and Universities Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist. To download a free PDF copy of the checklist, visit www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/collegeschecklist.html Visit www.pandemicflu.gov for more information on this timely and important topic.

New Desktop Configuration Improves Public Computers

The University Libraries continually seek innovative opportunities to configure public access workstations to best support learning and research. In May 2006, the University Libraries introduced several practical changes to the public workstation configuration.

In addition to applying general Windows and application program updates, the following performance driven changes were implemented:

- Added an Internet Toolbar featuring online library resources and services to Internet Explorer (IE) and Mozilla Firefox Internet browsers. This toolbar is available free at www.bsu.edu/library/article/0,,42835--,00.html
- Arranged Desktop icons in a user-friendly fashion to highlight links library resources, online storage options (iLocker), and grouped similar software together
Added a more dynamic and inspiring image as the desktop wallpaper
- Added a shortcut to the iLocker drive letter mapping to the desktop
- Upgraded Macromedia Studio MX to Studio 8. Includes DreamWeaver 8, Flash Professional 8, Fireworks 8, Contribute 8, and FlashPaper 2
- Installed patches and other minor upgrades for AutoCAD 2006, SPSS, EndNote, and Mathematica

Almost immediately after the new, user-friendly computer build was available on workstations in the Reference Learning Center, a comment from a library customer reinforced our thinking that the adjustments were well founded. A customer wrote, “This is the first time I've used the library computers since the desktop and browser settings were changed around. I just wanted to let you know that I think the changes are excellent. I particularly like the browser toolbar. Keep up the good work.”

The University Libraries provide convenient, comfortable access to over 347 public workstations. Of these, 18 are iMAC G4/G5 systems that include software to support programs in the Teachers College and the College of Communication, Information and Media, among others.

By expanding access to the computer applications students want and need, we strengthen the role of the University Libraries in the academic life of the campus by supporting student pursuits for academic success and faculty endeavors for classroom instruction and knowledge creation. The vision of the University Libraries is that they are viewed as the best place for learning and discovery outside of the classroom.

Librarian Wayne H. Meyer Retires

Wayne Meyer began his career at the University Libraries in 1979 as a Periodicals Reference Librarian. He also served as Coordinator of the Computer Search Service from its inception in 1981 -- a time when searching computer databases was expensive and required highly specialized training. As the service grew in popularity, Wayne moved into a full-time role as Coordinator. In 1988, he gained tenure and added Acting Coordinator of Library Instruction to his existing duties. A year later, Wayne became Architecture Librarian and, in 2001, again demonstrated his adaptability by adding Acting Head of Specialized Services to his list of titles. In 2004, he was appointed to the administrative position of Head of Specialized Services.

Wayne came to Ball State University with a background in English, having taught at Augustana College and the University of Wisconsin. In tandem with librarianship, he maintained his interest in literature, presenting papers and publishing articles ranging from “End users and intermediaries: instructional programs for an evolving online symbiosis” to contributions on Lorine Niedecker and Garrison Keillor for the Dictionary of Midwestern Literature.

Wayne’s good nature, sense of humor, spirit of optimism, progressive ideas, and dedication to public service have earned him the respect and appreciation of colleagues, faculty, and students. His ready smile and spirit of collegiality will be missed. We wish Wayne well as he begins his life as a retiree.

Accomplishments of the University Libraries (2005-06)

The goal of the University Libraries’ are to be viewed as the best place for learning and discovery outside of the classroom. Our professionals and paraprofessionals — supported by student assistants and administrative personnel — are committed to providing programs, services, and collections that are strategic to each student’s academic success and each faculty member’s commitment to classroom instruction, research, and service. We are working hard to make the University Libraries a destination for research, learning, and friends.

Our students and faculty know that they can count on friendly help from our librarians to answer their reference questions and to help them with their research projects. They know, too, that the Libraries provide private and collaborative learning spaces, high technology for exploration and discovery, and strong digital and print resources for study and research. We are open 120.5 hours per week to accommodate student study patterns and faculty research habits.

During the 10-month period between July 1, 2005 through April 30, 2006, the University Libraries had many significant accomplishments. The complete list is available on our Website, www.bsu.edu/library/article/0,,43179--,00.html. Below is an abbreviated listing:

General AchievementsBetween July 1, 2005 and April 30, 2006 the University Library’s turnstiles recorded 1,151,432 persons, an increase of 13,917 visits more than were recorded for the entire fiscal year 2004-2005. We anticipate a fiscal year turnstile count that exceeds 1,250,000 — which shows that students and faculty increasingly view the University Libraries as a destination.

- Extended Bracken Library service hours for the current academic year to 120.5 hours per week to accommodate student study patterns.
- In academic partnership with classroom faculty, reference librarians provided 784 library instruction sessions to 12,648 students.
- Focused on current research needs of students and faculty by answering 30,207 reference and research questions in-person meetings, email requests, and online chat services, representing a decrease of 9.9% over the previous year, and provided answers to 62,878 directional questions, an increase of 38.3% over the same period in the previous year.
- Introduced the Student Virtual Library page, a Web page designed to serve better the research and study needs of BSU’s undergraduates. Visit www.bsu.edu/library/svl
- Planned, created, and implemented the Services Excellence Working Group, a group created by the Dean of Libraries to conduct a continuing series of workshops entitled, “Customer Service 101” for the University Libraries’ student assistants.
- Increased membership in The Friends of the Alexander M. Bracken Library (FAMBL) to over 2,700 members who reside in most of the fifty states and forty other countries. This fiscal year, FAMBL donated approximately $25,000 in support of the University Libraries.

Digital Media Repository (DMR)For content acquisition and access management, greatly increased and expanded the DMR by collaborating with several academic units to develop specialty collections such as the Theatre Costume Collection, anatomical models digital collegian as teaching and instructional aids, and the Student Artwork Collection, among others. The number of digital objects now exceeds 50,000 items in formats such as slides, PDFs, photographs, audio and video files, drawings, paintings, etc. Visit http://libx.bsu.edu

Library Information Technology Services
- Developed and implemented unique browser toolbars with links to University Libraries resources to use on library public stations and for installation on personal computers. Toolbars were developed for both Internet Explorer and FireFox browsers to provide easier access to web-based resources from the University Libraries.
Visit www.bsu.edu/library/article/0,,42835--,00.html

- Received a development license from DiMeMa for CONTENTdm, which allows the University Libraries to perform development work for the Digital Media Repository project without disrupting public access to CONTENTdm.
- Increased the number of PC public workstations to 347 units, including an additional 18 iMACs to support student use of technology in the Libraries for learning and discovery.
- Implemented RSS and blog technology on the University Libraries’ Homepage under the heading “News Gallery,” www.bsu.edu/library, to provide students, faculty, and others on-campus and off-campus about the University Libraries’ programs, services, and collections.

Technology Training Support Services
- Hosted the Third Annual Faculty Technology Showcase, which featured 6 projects with 8 faculty members from 4 colleges in their use of information technology as a teaching tool.
- Offered Best Practices training program for the Faculty Enhancement Series, focusing on using software in the creation of websites, digital animated content, and multimedia.
- Introduced a faculty oriented newsletter, Tech Links. View the issues at www.bsu.edu/techtrain/newsletter

University Copyright Center
Created the Copyright for Students page to help students understand and apply copyright and intellectual property in their academic pursuits. Visit www.bsu.edu/library/collections/copyright/students

Archives and Special Collections Research CenterParticipated with Delaware County Historical Society, Muncie Public Library, Henry County Historical Society, the Dan Quayle Center and Vice-Presidential Museum, and University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections in the planning and successful implementation of an Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant-funded project to make selected East Central Indiana Civil War materials available through the Web for the benefit of educators and researches

Reference Services for the After-Five Crowd: Embed a Librarian in Your

From listening to news, most people have become familiar with the term embedded journalist, a news reporter who is attached to a military unit in order to have better access to events on the ground. Using the embedded journalist an analogy, academic librarians have coined the term embedded librarian to describe a librarian who is attached to a particular course in order to provide students with better access to library services and resources.

Having an embedded librarian is particularly important for distance education courses in which students are seldom, if ever, on campus. Since students are not able to attend traditional library instruction sessions or receive help from a librarian on campus, they are generally less aware of available library resources as are their on-campus counterparts and often feel compelled to decipher library and online information sources on their own. The embedded librarian corrects this by providing distance students with a direct connection to the University Libraries.

An embedded librarian can help to guide students through library research, personalize the University Libraries and the research process, instruct students in leaning how to access and search online databases efficiently, advise students in how use interlibrary loan services for materials not accessible online, and create course specific online tutorials and research guides to help students

This summer, I have been embedded as a co-instructor in a distance education course, Nursing 605: Nursing and Computer Technology. As the embedded librarian for this course, I have done the following types of services to help introduce students to the University Libraries’ varied resources:

* Created a screencast, which is a digital recording of computer screen output with voice narration of the University Libraries’ website
* Responded to questions on the class discussion board
* Assisted the class professor in the creation of an assignment related to blogs and the evaluation of web resources

So far, students seem pleased to find that a librarian is so available to them and have responded favorably to my introductory posts on their discussion board in Blackboard. These are a two of their comments:

“It is nice to meet you Kelli and what a wonderful resource to have available to us! I am amazed at the Ball State Library site.”

“I am so impressed with the library support here at BSU. My undergrad program did not offer much support and we were left to figure things out on our own. I was so surprised to talk with you the other night via instant messenger. Thank you in advance for all of your help. I know I will be contacting you for assistance in the future.”

Following the success of this first experience, I am eager to be embedded in additional distance education courses.

If any of my readers are interested in learning more about embedded librarians or the services they can provide, please e-mail Kelli Keclik at KKeclik@bsu.edu.