Wednesday, August 09, 2006

University Libraries Finish a Great Year, FY 2005-2006

Since the end of the second summer session, I, like many University Libraries’ personnel, have been moving a research project forward, taking some vacation time, and preparing for the coming fall semester.

Already many faculty are back on campus and the University Libraries’ personnel are busy helping them to arrange for e-Reserves, preparing streaming music reserves, verifying class reading lists, and preparing library instructional materials for use in classes.

Along with meeting with academic department heads and college deans about the University Libraries’ programs, services, and collections, I have been reviewing data and our activities over the past year. One highlight from the data shows that for fiscal year (2005-06) our turnstile count was 1,269,412 which is an increase of 11.6% over the same period a year earlier. This count shows that students and faculty choose the University Libraries as the place for their research and learning. It shows, too, that the University Libraries are actively and increasingly contributing to the academic life of the campus since this is the third year in a row for a double-digit percentage increase.

To provide better services, we strive to learn about our students, faculty, and staff by capturing and collecting data through observation, extraction from various databases, and the use of electronic equipment and devices.

In particular, we analyze our circulation records and data about who logs into the public computer workstations and who prints documents on the public printers in the University Libraries in terms of our users’ classification, (e.g., freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate, postgraduate), faculty (full-time, contract, adjunct), staff (full-time, temporary), emeriti (faculty, staff).

During Spring Semester 2006, the data show 48.2% [or 1,602 of the enrolled freshmen] borrowed something from the University Libraries.

Other data shows that these 1,602 freshmen checked-out 16,630 items, which we also analyze as part of collection development to determine what it is that freshmen students are borrowing. By comparing it to data from earlier periods, we are able to measure the impact of efforts to attract underserved groups by increasing awareness about programs, services, and collections.

New Collections Enhance the Digital Media Repository for Teaching, Learning, and Research

The University Libraries are committed to providing rich digital collections that meet the teaching, learning, and research needs of Ball State students and faculty and, whenever possible, the broader research community.

An example of this commitment is the Digital Media Repository’s U.S. Civil War Resources for East Central Indiana Collection, a digital gallery of letters, photographs, diaries, government documents, and artifacts residing in institutions in East Central Indiana and now available worldwide over the web to students, historians, K-12 teachers, and Civil War enthusiasts at all levels.

Shown in the montage are copyrighted digital images of artifacts from the Henry County Historical Society.

Creation of the Civil War collection, made possible through a Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) grant, has been a year-long effort involving several University Libraries’ units working with partner institutions, including the Muncie Public Library, Henry County Historical Society, and the United States Vice Presidential Museum at the Dan Quayle Center.

Two recent additions to the collection complete the grant-funded portion of this initiative:
• The Philander Smith Papers, containing resources such as a 96-page diary, government documents, and several letters

• Photographs of Civil War realia from the Henry County Historical Society

Future additions to this valuable collection of unique Civil War materials are planned as resources are identified. Two other new collections are
• The Commencement Collection, consisting of video-recordings of Ball State’s commencement ceremonies, 1997-2004
• The Library Insider Newsletter Collection, consisting of all issues of the University Libraries’ newsletter since its first issue in August, 2003 at the following URL:

As always, thanks to the University Libraries’ personnel whose efforts and work make possible these and other collections.

The Buzz of Summer

During July 2006, over 38,000 persons visited the University Libraries, almost 5 percent more than last year. More than 800 people participated in library instruction sessions, including members of the freshman class.

With the end of Summer Sessions, personnel in every unit of Public Services are busy updating or creating new resources to assist students and faculty with the research, teaching and learning.

Some of the projects underway include

• Access Services – An improved interlibrary loan system
• Architecture Library – Newly revised website
• Educational Resources Center – Painting and refurbishing of two e classrooms and individual/group viewing booths
• Information Services – Live chat reference help via AOL, MSN and Yahoo
• Music Listening Center – Audio streaming
• Science Library – New digital resources

This list just touches the surface of our summer efforts. Wikis, blogs, podcasts, and much more are in development. Look for details in future articles

Tribute with Books Offers Unique Opportunity to Honor, Celebrate Others

A strong library directly contributes to the university’s environment and the academic success of students and faculty. With an average of 4,600 visitors daily, the demand on the University Libraries’ collection is both rewarding and challenging. Books on a myriad of subjects are constantly in use and are periodically evaluated. Collection specialists determine what is needed to continue building a strong library at Ball State.

You can help make a great library even stronger by participating in the Tribute with Books program. Honor a special person or celebrate an occasion while strengthening the Libraries’ collection for as little as $50. Your contribution can acknowledge an accomplishment or provide a lasting tribute to a friend, family member of favorite professor.

Notification of the gift can be sent to the honoree or the honoree’s family, and a handsome bookplate will be placed inside the book’s front cover. The University Libraries will endeavor to fulfill any preference regarding subject matter for books purchased.

Those interested are invited to go online to and select the Tribute with Books link on the library’s home page or select “Giving to the Library” on the left side of the homepage. There a link to a secure site on the Ball State University Foundation’s website which links you to the Tribute with Books program. For convenience, a form is provided below asking for relevant information. Please note Account #5111 in the memo line of the check.

For more information about this or other opportunities for giving to the University Libraries, contact Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, at or call (765) 285-5277.

Bracken Library’s Lower Level Offers New Gathering, Snack Space for Students

Students and faculty who visit Bracken's lower level will notice a new vending area. The location is perfect for providing students with additional gathering space in Bracken for eating, studying, meeting others, relaxing and chatting.

The new vending space is already proving to be a popular location. It sports four vending machines with beverages, sweet and salty snacks, and a microwave, and four tables with chairs.

Beginning in September, a wall-mounted television will air local programmingthat includes student-produced videos, and news feeds from NewsLink Indiana and the Student Government Association.

Architecture Librarian Reaches Out to Younger Users, Different Audiences This Summer

In July, Amy Trendler, Architecture Librarian, hosted a group of high school students in the College of Architecture and Planning for a library visit. Amy introduced the 68 workshop participants to the Architecture Library’s resources and publications in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning.

As part of their session, students had time to peruse a number of current periodicals, reference works, and books on designers, styles, and building types.

“They were interested in everything from Bauhaus to sustainability,” Amy said. “I think they enjoyed seeing some of the works published on these topics.”

In June Amy spoke with 30 junior and senior Girl Scouts who were earning their Architecture and Environmental Design badge. Using the Architecture Images collection in the University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository, she showed the scouts American architectural styles.

“I asked them to look closely at pictures of houses and describe some of the things that stood out. Then we talked about different architectural styles, such as Italianate, Greek Revival, and Prairie Style, and I noted some of the major characteristics of each style,” Amy said. “All of the Girl Scouts were curious about the architecture especially when the recognized some Indiana houses among the examples I showed.”

Based on feedback during and after the sessions, some participants appeared to be setting their sites on a college degree at Ball State University. If so, the University Libraries will again be available to offer support for the learning interests.

University Libraries’ Community Development Website Offers One-stop Solution

Information Services Librarians Stephen K. Duecker and Brenda Yates Habich created a research tool that will help people who are involved in making communities develop and grow, Community Development Resources and Tools, at

This one-stop solution offers an excellent array of links related to community building and development, such as
• government and state information
• emerging issues
• demographics
• grants and jobs
• public safety
• technology
• urban and rural planning

The professionals who will benefit from using the site include
• urban planners
• strategic planners
• community renewal specialists
• political scientists
• legislators
• town/city government developers
• business retention experts
• business development specialists
• scholars, students, and others

In tandem with schools, businesses, and health services, libraries help to revitalize, strengthen, and build communities. The Ball State University Libraries seeks to serve those on campus, in the community and beyond.

University Libraries Adds Rare Copy of 1942 Ostland Atlas to Collections

The University Libraries recently added a copy of the rare 1942 Ostland Atlas to its Archives and Special Collections Research Center.
Published in 1942 by the Nazis, the atlas was created for the civil administration for the German occupied eastern territories. Ostland is the name given to the occupied Baltic States that included Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus in 1941. The rare atlas includes 57 folded, color maps showing the occupied administrative area, its climate and vegetation, population demographics, agricultural status, industry, energy and economic features, traffic and roads, foreign trade in 1938, and history of the area to 1943.
Paul Stout, emeritus map librarian, said that he acquired the atlas in the 1990s from a colleague who probably overlooked, as did he, its value because it was in another language and its container was ragged and falling apart. The atlas was put in storage until it could be evaluated for completeness and context.
When reviewing materials, Map Collections Assistant Melissa Gentry found the rare atlas safely wrapped and waiting to be appraised. It was promptly cataloged and added to the collection.
According to World Cat, three libraries in addition to Ball State University have an original copy of this publication: the Library of Congress, the University of Oxford, and the University of South Carolina.

BSU Librarians Reflect on Experiences at ALA 2006 Conference

Recently, several librarians from the Ball State University Libraries joined over 17,000 librarians, vendors, and national/international visitors at the American Library Association’s Annual (ALA) Conference which was held in New Orleans June 22-28, 2006. This was the first conference held in the beleaguered city since Hurricane Katrina on August 29.

Mayor C. Ray Nagin said that libraries became a focal point for distributing information to residents and were “center points for bringing our community together.”

First Lady Laura Bush, a former librarian, gave the keynote address to School Libraries Work: Rebuilding for Learning, a national town hall meeting sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians and Scholastic. Local and national government officials, educators, and business leaders from across the United States joined conference attendees to address the critical role school libraries play in restoring learning and reuniting community in times of crisis.

Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State, gave remarks during the Opening General Session.

CNN's Anderson Cooper, host of Anderson Cooper 360°, was on hand to share remarks during the Public Library Association President’s program.

Cokie Roberts, who is chief congressional analyst for ABC News, senior news analyst for National Public Radio, and a bestselling author, delivered the closing session.

Some observations and experiences from BSU librarians follow:

Kelli Keclik, Information Services Librarian
At the conference I learned that BSU Libraries are ahead of the game in terms of reaching independent users, both distance learners and millenials. We are already using blogs, rss feeds, instant messaging and other forms of social software, like Myspace, to reach our users. Ball State University Libraries really are cutting-edge cool. I returned to Ball State more eager than ever to connect our users with high-quality information and the love of lifelong learning.

Eric Fisher, Information Services Librarian
During the workshop “Library Website as Branch Site,” the presenter stressed that website developers need to involve library users during the planning stages of web development and to keep their library customers’ needs in mind. At another workshop, the topic information literacy instruction was debated.

I think there is a lot to be said for ALA holding the conference in New Orleans. Librarians are a group of people who are dedicated to the building of communities, traditionally through local library services but also, as this case illustrates, through our patronage, our donations, and our determination to help.

Stacy Chaney, Information Services Librarian
The American Library Association’s 2006 annual conference provided many opportunities for professional development. I attended several interesting sessions including a presentation by Google, a review of college students’ use of technology and their related habits, and a look at how to transform teaching with new technologies.

Informal conversations with colleagues over “po’ boys” and jambalaya led to some interesting discussions about how we might implement these new ideas in the library I also learned a lot about the region by talking with the New Orleans locals regarding their experiences and efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. In my four days in New Orleans for ALA 2006, I found that everyone, from the bus driver to the conference presenter, had a piece of inspiring information to share.

Matthew Shaw, Electronic Resources Librarian
I spent a good deal of time in the exhibits scouting for new online products and services. I attended a session called “Digital Rights Management and Institutional Repositories,” which focused primarily on the need for institutions to accentuate copyright awareness when creating a repository of digitized faculty and student product.

I also attended a workshop on the future of print and online journal pricing. Scholarly communication continues to struggle to keep information affordable and accessible. Publishers are increasingly requiring some subsidization from authors, and this has the potential to harm the quality of academic information in the future. Many publishers continue to emphasize online products, and some journals are migrating to an online-only format. Unfortunately, this does not necessarily represent a savings for subscribing institutions. Online subscriptions are often marginally more expensive than print.

If the news about pricing futures was disappointing, the growing array of online information sources and services was impressive. Vendors and publishers continue to create diverse collections of online information, and many are selling retrospective products that will replace older print equivalents and offer greater 24/7/365 access to information that was formerly available only in non-circulating and microform collections!

While the convention center and surrounding area were in relatively good condition, our visit to this area of the city was an eye-opening firsthand experience of the disastrous conditions still existing nearly a year after Katrina. The service was an inspirational look at the perseverance of some New Orleans residents in the face of extreme loss and personal difficulty.

Course Reserves and Streaming Audio Strike Chord with Music History Students

During the second summer session, students enrolled in Dr. Heather Platt’s Introduction to Music class, were able to hear streamed music anytime, anywhere from the University Libraries’ web site. The result of a collaborative project between the Music Listening Center (MLC) and Video Information Systems (VIS), the pilot for streaming audio yielded fantastic results that will likely be expanded to other courses this fall. Keith Cochran, Music Librarian, sees an opportunity to increase access to the Music Listening Center’s rich holdings of musical resources.

Keith met with Professor Platt to discuss testing the new reserve option in her class. Soon they selected the repertoire and recordings to be used for the course. A total of 15 tracks were then given to James Whiteman, Technology Coordinator for VIS, to digitize. The streaming audio reserves were then accessed through a website designed by Jason Smith, MLC Coordinator.

The project complied with copyright law by restricting access to students enrolled in the course, requiring them to log in using their Outlook username and password, and suspending physical circulation of the materials for the duration of the semester. The streaming audio enables students to listen to the recordings whenever they need to, instead of having to wait for another student to finish. Many students also like to study for their listening tests while doing other homework. With this new means of access, they can now listen to their required pieces in the middle of working on another project that might require them to use resources found elsewhere in the library.

Streaming audio for course reserves provides more mobility and efficient use of resources for the students as well as providing a way to use our resources that poses no possibility of damage to the original source. It creates a great option not only for the students but for the faculty, staff, and areas involved.

Recording Memories: Workshop Prepares Volunteers to Conduct Oral Histories

“In fact, the key to understanding the past
may be in the anecdotes and stories told in a taped interview.”

That statement on the significance of oral history is from Ellen Epstein and Jane Lewit in their book Record & Remember: Tracing Your Roots Through Oral History. The authors’ words rang true to many attendees at an Oral History Methods Workshop presented by Dr. Michael W. Doyle, Associate Professor of History at Ball State, at the Alumni Center on July 20.

The workshop was sponsored by the University Libraries, in collaboration with the Center for Middletown Studies, as part of the $25,125 Library Services and Technology grant that the Libraries received from the Indiana State Library for 2006-07. The grant funds a project to create a Middletown Digital Oral History Collection in the University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository
This new digital resource will include audio and transcripts from three African-American, two Jewish, and three Catholic oral history collections.

Attendees at the workshop included volunteers from the Catholic parishes in Muncie who will be participating in the grant project, volunteers from the local Unitarian Universalist Church who will be conducting oral histories for that congregation’s 150th anniversary history, and a couple of recent Ball State graduates from northern Indiana who are preparing to work on church oral history projects in their communities. The volunteers include community members and Emerti faculty from Ball State.

Dr. Doyle has over 29 years of experience recording oral histories, first as a community-based public historian in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and later as an academic historian. He has conducted hundreds of hours of interviews over the years and also supervised 2 community oral history projects. He was trained in oral history by Dale Treleven, who was then coordinator of oral history services at the Wisconsin Historical Society. A past president of the Oral History Association, Treleven is currently director of the Oral History Program at UCLA.

Tips for Doing Oral Histories

In the workshop, Dr. Doyle covered the elements of conducting an oral history interview, including tasks performed before, during, and after the recorded interview. For the pre-interview, he advises doing extensive research, preparing a list of topics, arranging a pre-interview session to establish rapport with interviewee, and showing the interviewee a list of general topics but not specific questions to maintain spontaneity.

For anyone considering conducting an oral interview of a family member, for a project, or for any reason, here are some of the steps that Dr. Doyle outlined for the interview process:

• Start by asking an easy personal background question that will elicit an expansive answer
• Ask short questions, one at a time, and avoid yes/no questions
• Avoid interrupting interviewee
• Strive to keep yourself and your opinions out of the interview
• Encourage interviewee with constant attentiveness
• Take notes during interview, as a reminder for later questions and clarifications
• Allow for pauses
• Write down proper names in notes to clarify spelling later
• Probe! Always ask why and how, elicit opinions and feelings
• Do not challenge interviewee’s veracity
• Conclude interview with a summative wrap-up question

When the interviewing is over, be sure to permanently label the tapes or, if a digital recorder is used, save the audio file on a permanent storage medium. And don’t forget to send a thank-you note to the interviewee.

Transcription is an important step in making the oral history accessible to researchers and others. But verbatim transcription is very time consuming and therefore can be expensive. One option is a tape log that provides a time count in one column and a brief description of the interview content in another column. For the LSTA project, University Libraries personnel will be preparing verbatim transcriptions to be available with the audio.

The University Libraries are grateful to Dr. Doyle for sharing his extensive experience on conducting oral histories. Books about oral history can be found in the University Libraries and more information is available in the Archives and Special Collections Research Center.

University Libraries’ Access to ILLiad Services via ILLiad Restored, Enhanced

The University Libraries are pleased to announce all online features of the ILLiad Interlibrary Loan system are fully available to members of the campus community following the completion of technical system improvements.
In addition to increased security, users of this popular service for interlibrary loan services will notice improved response time during the user authentication process.
The University Libraries thank students, faculty, and staff for their patience while a new computer server for ILLiad was being stalled on campus. We invite everyone to try the new service at
For more information, please contact Elaine Nelson, Interlibrary Loan Supervisor, at 765-285-1324.

Librarian and Educator Frederick G. Kilgour, 1914-2006

Fred Kilgour passed away on July 31, 2006 in Chapel Hill, NC, at the age of 92. Many of us are familiar with his significant contribution to librarianship as founder of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, applying computer technology to library processes, and using computer networks to increase access to information in over 55,000 libraries and institutions around the world in over 110 countries. Today, the database he developed in 1971, WorldCat, contains over 70 million entries. To view the press release provided by OCLC,

Interlibrary Loan Services: Delivering the World’s Resources to Your Desktop!

Need an article or material not available online or at the University Libraries? Request it through Interlibrary Loan Services. Accessible online 24/7 to Ball State students, faculty, staff, and students, the Interlibrary Loan system, ILLiad, allows requests for resources from the convenience of one’s office, dorm, or home.

Providing access to worldwide resources, Interlibrary Loan is a valuable extension of the University Libraries collections.

“This service expands the library so that almost every research need is within the faculty’s reach,” says Dr. Lee Spector, Associate Professor, Department of Economics.

Interlibrary Loan staff quickly processes requests, with over 17,500 items borrowed from other institutions and over 31,100 loaned to other institutions during FY 2004-05. When we borrow an item, the time between placing a request and the item’s availability is typically 3 to 10 days.

“Those of us who do research are very lucky to have a very efficient and friendly staff operating the Interlibrary Loan department for they make our lives so much easier,” said Dr. Spector.

A popular component of the user-friendly ILLiad system is full text access to requested journal articles, which allows you to read the article from any computer. A courtesy notification, including a direct link to ILLiad, arrives in your email when the article is available. Each article is accessible for up to 30 days.

ILLiad is also conveniently linked via SFX to the FirstSearch databases, such as WorldCat. When viewing records in these databases, you will see a link, “Request via Interlibrary Loan.” Clicking on this link takes you to the ILLiad login. After login, most of the ILLiad request form is automatically populated from the specific resource’s record.

An equally vital component of Interlibrary Loan Services is our own lending. University Libraries loans its materials to libraries worldwide, fulfilling the research needs of those institutions’ users. Ball State University Libraries is the second largest lender in Indiana.

“For the size of the collection, Interlibrary Loan at Ball State loans a lot of material to state institutions,” said Collette Mak, Directory of Library Products at Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority (INCOLSA).

To request material, go to the Interlibrary Loan web page, Enter your Outlook username and password to access ILLiad. First time users must enter their registration information. Request forms display after entering ILLiad. Select the form for the type of material desired and input the data in the appropriate field. Once items are available, you will be notified via email.
Available articles will be accessible via the link in the email notification. Resources are normally obtained at no charge. Please contact the Interlibrary Loan staff at (765) 285-1324 or with questions. The friendly, helpful staff in the Libraries’ Interlibrary Loan Services are eager to assist students, faculty and staff to locate materials for teaching, learning and research.

The Indiana Writing Project Summer Institute Comes to the Library

Recently, Bracken Library hosted participants in the Indiana Writing Project -- most of them public school teachers from across the state -- for bibliographic instruction. All are participating in the IWP's Summer Institute.

So, what is the IWP and the Summer Institute? According to the website,, IWP “… is an organization committed to promoting the best possible writing instruction in Indiana's elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools.”

The Summer Institute is a program administered by Dr. Linda K. Hanson, Professor of English. It lasts four weeks during the summer, and it is a time of intense work focusing on writing and the teaching of writing.

When I asked Jenny, one of this year’s participants and a high school English teacher, why she decided to spend her summer taking the Institute, she replied, “I want to find more effective ways to teach writing for my at-risk students.”

Her research interests were on motivation, transactional writing, and finding real audiences where her students can write for real purposes. In searching for these audiences, Jenny explained that one of the biggest realizations was that she found a new audience for her students -- each other.

Students are able to read and comment with each other, students teaching students. This method is reflective of the model used by the Summer Institute of having teachers instruct teachers. Each of the participants came to Bracken Library with specific research interests, such as:
 how to get students to use critical thinking skills
 how to integrate technology
 how to reach the reluctant writers

All of the participants were able to find information using databases like Communication and Mass Media Complete, MLA International Bibliography, and ERIC (EBSCOhost), among others.

In answer to how the experienced helped her, Jenny shared while the technology was a lot for one session, she felt that learning how she could access the resources from home meant that she would spend more time finding additional resources.

University Libraries Offer More Software Selections at Public PC Work Stations

Students and faculty using public PC workstations at the University Libraries will find exciting new applications on the computers. The additions include the following:

• AutoCAD 2007 and the AutoCAD DWF viewer application
• Improved Minitab 14 implementation
• ArcGIS 9 on workstations located on Bracken One East
• GeoMedia 6.5 on workstations in the Architecture Library
• Microsoft Windows XP security updates
• University Libraries Internet Toolbar for Internet Explorer and Firefox
• Student Virtual library start page for Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers
• Automatic mapping to iLocker space and desktop icon for easy iLocker access

The Microsoft Office Productivity Suite, Adobe Creative Suite 2, Macromedia Studio 8, popular messaging clients, and high-speed Internet access round out the University Libraries’ public workstation configuration.

These and other enhancements make the University Libraries second only to the classroom for learning and discovering.