Friday, September 15, 2006

Bracken Library’s Network Infrastructure Enhancements Improve Desktop Application Performance for Students and Faculty

In late August 2006, work began to increase the number of network ports in Bracken Library by 178. When the project is completed, these new data drops will bring high speed network connectivity to all areas in Bracken, including those areas that formerly relied on the WiFi network to support public workstation technology.

Wired network connectivity provides students and faculty using Bracken Library with immediate access to significant network resources at workstation logon, such as faster authentication, iLocker storage access, and many shared network resources.

Behind the data lines will be new, high speed CISCO units to dedicate switched, 100Mbps full duplex network connections to each and every public workstation. These and similar network enhancements are part of the Office of Information Technology’s strategic plan to optimize technology utilization for teaching, learning, research, and service.

President Gora Allocates Additional Collection Development Funds

President Gora has approved the University Libraries’ request for an additional $200,000 for University Libraries’ Collections Development.

Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, requested the funds to allow the University Libraries to provide each academic department with more money to acquire books and other resources for their graduate teaching and research. In his request, he stated that the funds would allow the University Libraries to collaborate with the academic deans and departments to restore a balance between the purchase of subscription and non-subscription items.

Dr. O’Neal Smitherman, Vice President for Information Technology and CIO, confirmed that the University Libraries will work with the Provost’s Office using the regular distribution process for library collection development moneys.

“I am appreciative to President Gora who has found these moneys in a time of tight budgets,” said Dr. Hafner. “I also appreciate the efforts of Dr. Smitherman and several faculty campus leaders who expressed the concern for additional library collection moneys.”

When news about the allocation became public, it was very favorably received the college deans, department heads, and department library representatives, and faculty. Dr. Hafner mentioned that librarians were very pleased, too.

University Libraries Participate in Welcoming New Faculty

Personnel from the University Libraries were part of the Alpha Day activities on August 17. New faculty enjoyed a luncheon together where President Gora spoke and where the dean of each college introduced new faculty to the group. Following the luncheon, faculty gathered information about services at BSU.

“Most of the faculty I spoke with were interested in having their students come for library instruction or were interested in using library resources for their own research. They seemed pleased by the Research Consultation option and just knowing that a librarian would sit down with them since they are new to the campus,” said Brenda Yates Habich, Information Services Librarian.

Yasemin Tunç, Director for Technology Training Support Services, discussed Blackboard and technology training with faculty. Fritz Dolak, Copyright and Intellectual Property Manager, discussed various aspects of the Copyright Center.

Copyright Conference Planning Meeting Convenes for 2007 Program

On August 10, 2006 the Planning Committee for the Fourth Annual Ball State University Copyright Conference met at the IU-Indy Law School at IUPUI. Attendees are (l-r)

• Fritz Dolak, Copyright & Intellectual Property Manager and Special Assistant to the Dean, Ball State University
• Donna L. Ferullo, J.D. Director of the University Copyright Office at Purdue
• Kenneth Crews, J.D., Ph.D., Samuel R. Rosen II Professor in the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis and Associate Dean of the Faculties for Copyright Management
• Dwayne K. Buttler, J.D., Professor and Evelyn J. Schneider Endowed Chair for Scholarly Communication, University of Louisville

Joshua Sullivan, IUPUI Copyright Management Center attended the planning meeting and took the photo, so he is not in the picture.

This year’s conference theme is Digital Trek: To boldly explore copyright in teaching and learning.

Hosted by the Ball State University Libraries, the hands-on conference features outstanding nationally recognized intellectual property experts who will speak on intellectual property and copyright issues that have a direct impact on teaching and learning. The conference has time built in to allow attendees to ask questions specific to their institutions.

The conference will be especially helpful for educators, media specialists, librarians, IT specialists, administrators and all who are interested in how to use someone else’s intellectual property correctly.

For information, contact Fritz Dolak, Copyright and Intellectual Property manager, at or call (765) 285-5330.

University Libraries’ Turnstile Counts for July and August, 2006 Show Increases

During August 2006, the University Libraries saw 86,148 persons pass through its turnstiles, an increase of 9,373 persons or 12.2% over the same month a year ago. Similarly, during July 2006, there were 42,754 persons who passed through the turnstiles, an increase of 1,989 persons or 4.9% for the same month a year ago.

Reference Desk Open Morning, Noon and Night

Bracken Library’s Reference/Information Services Desk is staffed to provide students and faculty with in-person reference and information services 113 hours a week! It is conveniently located on the first floor not far from the circular staircase. The desk is open:
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Monday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

In addition, reference assistance is also available via live chat, email, and telephone. Call the Reference Desk at 765 – 285-1101 for more information, or visit the “Ask a Librarian” page on the Libraries’ website.

University Library Offers Workshop for Parents during Ball State’s Move-in Days

The University Libraries offered two workshop sessions in mid-August for parents while students were moving to Ball State for fall classes.

A Workshop for Parents: Research How-to’s focused on the services and resources available at the University Libraries. Attendees learned about Bracken Library’s hours, the number of books and databases available in the libraries and online, opportunities for interlibrary loan, and research assistance services provided by the librarians.

The workshop sessions were inspired by results from a March 2006 survey conducted by College Parents of America to learn about current college parent experiences. The survey revealed that 74% of parents talk to their college student children at least two times a week. Nearly 20% of those communications likely dealt with students’ academic concerns.

University Libraries Support Student Art

Each year the Department of Art showcases artwork by student artwork at an annual juried exhibit. This year’s 71st Annual Student Art Show included more than 120 works. An oil on canvas work entitled “Faces” by senior Whitney Lechlitner stood out to personnel from the University Libraries.

The artwork was purchased and currently graces the east wall in the Educational Resources Center. For information on how to exhibit artwork in Bracken Library, visit the Libraries’ homepage and click on “About Us.”

University Libraries Welcome Graduate Assistants for Academic Year 2006-07

The Ball State University Libraries welcome welcome the following graduate assistants:

Rachel Baumgardner works in the Government Publications unit which is part of the University Libraries’ Information Services. She verifies online holdings and creates various lists as part of collections development. Rachel is a graduate student in English.

Jessica Elston works in the Information Services unit. She updates the University Libraries’ shelf list, participates in collection development tasks, and answers questions at the Reference Desk. Jessica is a graduate student in journalism.

Matthew Gilkey works in the Archives and Special Collections Research Center. He processes archival collections and provides reference information for students and faculty. Matt is a graduate student in history.

Sarah Haynes works in the Archives and Special Collections Research Center. She provides reference service to students and faculty and processes archival collections. Sarah is a graduate student in mental health counseling.

Tae-Hoon Lee works in Library Information Technology Services. He provides support on web-related projects and application development for various University Libraries’ online services. Tae-Hoon is a graduate student in accounting.

Navid Mamaghani works in Library Information Technology Services. He provides desktop technology and troubleshooting support for the University Libraries’ public workstations. Navid is a graduate student in natural resources and environmental management. Congratulations to Navid who became a U.S. citizen on September 7, 2006.

Neelima Narla works in Library Information Technology Services. She provides web-related application and web-editing support for selected projects in the University Libraries. Neelima is a graduate student in Architecture.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shifting Focus from Text to Visual in Presentations

A paradigm shift is in the making for catchy presentations. TTSS staff member Linda Putman attended a training program at Arizona State University in May, in order to bring Ball State faculty and staff the latest ideas and tools in creating engaging presentations. Since her return, Linda has shared her enthusiasm about this new way of creating presentations with a number of faculty members during the University Libraries’ Summer Faculty Enhancement Series and the New Faculty Training Program in August.

The idea behind this new technique is to make your slides more attractive to the eye by providing visual cues relating to your topic rather than the traditional bullet points. The communications company who is spearheading this movement, Aspire Communications, claims that the visuals serve two purposes: (a) they act as memory aids in recollection of points made during a presentation; (b) they allow the audience to pay attention to the speaker instead of reading from the slides.

Another dimension to this new wave of presentation technique is linking several presentations together so that you have a whole array of slides available to you and will be able to adapt to the needs of your audience as you are presenting your material. This relational presentation mode outdates the old linear slide presentations and creates a much more dynamic and audience driven environment.

To view the fall schedule of classes offered by the University Libraries, please visit or call (765) 285-5902.

Embedded Librarians Reach Students Through Technology

Today’s students prefer using the Internet as their first, and often only, research venue. Capitalizing on this preference, the University Libraries have begun using “embedded librarians” to better connect students with library resources and services to meet their classroom information needs.

Following the model of journalists placed in military units to provide the public with timely reporting on news events, “embedded librarians” are linked through Blackboard with selected university classes. Their ability to view course outlines and assignments and to participate in discussion lists gives the librarians new opportunities to provide relevant and timely research assistance. Resulting email exchanges and research consultations create personalized service with direct benefits to students.

Sample exchanges include information on searching CardCat, choosing appropriate databases, interpreting bibliographic citations, using interlibrary loan services, evaluating web resources, and locating materials in Bracken Library.

Selected classes from the areas of Nursing, Education, and English are involved in a pilot project using embedded librarians. Brenda Yates Habich, an Information Services Librarian participating in the project, notes these connections have had a positive impact on the students’ use of library services and resources. “They realize I know what the assignments are and it brings a sense of confidence for them to ask for help,” she said.

For more information, contact Diane Calvin, Head of Information Services, at (765) 285-3327 or

Students Enjoy Bracken's Plazas

During the academic year, the doors of Bracken Library are in constant motion. It is at the library that one can get a snapshot of life on campus.

Indoors or out, Bracken Library is at the heart of the BSU campus. With more than 1,000 square feet of open space on both the south and north plazas, there is plenty of space for students to enjoy fresh air and a myriad of activities.

20 Things to do on Bracken’s Plaza

Study for a test
Wait for a friend
Sketch an assignment for art class
Exercise your First Amendment rights
Play four-square
Sit on the lawn and discuss a project with classmates
Work on an assignment or research project using a laptop or mobile device
Throw a Frisbee
Play Hacky-sack
Practice a presentation
Listen to the birds
Read a chapter in the latest bestseller
Sit on a bench and make a phone call
Study how the light changes on the building and take a series of photographs
Take a nap
Spread a blanket on the grass and enjoy a picnic
Have some quiet time
Park your bicycle on either plaza
Listen to music students practice playing their instruments

Full-Text e-Journals Increase by 4.7 Percent at the University Libraries

University Libraries now receive 10,272 full-text e-journals available 24/7/365 to support teaching, learning, and research at Ball State University. Many of these titles include substantial back-files. An analysis dated December 6, 2005 showed 9,774 titles. The addition of 458 titles represents a 4.7% growth in the e-journals collection.

The large increase in the number of electronic journals can be widely attributed to University Libraries’ recent acquisition of two additional JSTOR collections: Arts & Sciences IV and General Science.

The number of unique electronic titles will continue to show minor fluctuation because aggregated databases add and remove titles as part of their business operations.

Visit to view the University Libraries’ e-journal list for titles A to Z.

The University Copyright Center Aids Distance Educators

The University Copyright Center is a unique service that the University Libraries’ Dean’s Office provides for intellectual property education, information and concerns at Ball State. It is a copyright service that not only assists Ball State University faculty, staff and students, but also is a service that both instate and out-of-state interested parties have used as an intellectual property resource.

One of the many resources that the Copyright Center offers is a way for faculty to take advantage of the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act [T.E.A.C.H.]. T.E.A.C.H. pertains to the legal transmission of performances and displays of copyrighted materials. The T.E.A.C.H. Act, like anything Congress does, is loaded with requirements and conditions. These involve administrative, technical, and educator compliance. Ball State University complies with or assures both the administrative and technology requirements, but those of the educator must be guaranteed by the instructor of the class. The Copyright Center developed and provides the Compliance with the T.E.A.C.H. Act Clearance Form that allows our faculty to easily comply with the “mediated instructional activities” exemption as defined by T.E.A.C.H. The Center’s Clearance Form redacts the complicated requirements into a faculty-friendly tool in order to comply with the Copyright Law: Young University is now using an adapted version of the Center’s T.E.A.C.H. Act Clearance Form for their distance education program. Speaking of the Clearance Form, Carl Johnson, Director, Copyright Licensing Office at Brigham Young University, has stated that the Center’s “…approach and design greatly simplifies and streamlines what can be for some, a very complicated and confusing process.”

The Ball State University Copyright Center continues to expand its national recognition.

African-American Newspaper Available in Digital Media Repository

The headline on January 10, 1991, simply read, “A newspaper is born.” This was the first issue of The Muncie Times. According to that first editorial, Muncie was joining “that elite group” of cities that “boast African American newspapers.”

Now students, faculty, and other researchers can access digital copies of this rich resource on local African-American life, history, and culture through Ball State’s Digital Media Repository at The first two years of The Muncie Times are currently available and more years will be added on a regular basis until all back issues and current issues are accessible.

According to Bea Moten-Foster, founder and publisher of the Muncie Times, the bi-monthly newspaper has “provided an avenue and platform for African-Americans to share information in their communities.” When it celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2000, Ms. Foster said, “The Times has outgrown its original mission of simply reporting the news and is now a social force in the African-American community.”

Students exploring African-American history will find articles on national topics, such as “A Special Tribute to Martin Luther King,” “Gulf War Could Produce Many Black Casualties,” and “Black History Month.” In addition, the newspaper is a source of information on local issues. Feature articles include such subjects as “Munsonians Who Made a Difference” and a calendar of African-American history events. The publication contains many photographs that can now be searched through the Digital Media Repository.

The Muncie Times currently reaches several thousand residents of East Central Indiana each month. The Muncie Times digital collection provides access to this valuable resource to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

World War II Film Collection Featured on CONTENTdm Website

A selection of more than 100 World War II films in the Digital Media Repository is a “featured collection” on both the CONTENTdm main homepage ( and the customer’s index ( This collection consists of short films and news clips, primarily in black and white, documenting Allied operations and activities during WWII.

In addition to footage of campaigns in Europe and in the Pacific, the films document activities on the home front, including the efforts of African-American colleges and farmers, the relocation and internment of Japanese civilians, and the victory garden program sponsored by the U.S. Office of Civilian Defense.

University Libraries’ Personnel Participate in the Freshman Common Reader Program

Fall Semester classes began at Ball State on Monday, August 21. On the day before, freshmen assembled in groups to discuss this year’s Freshman Common Reader, First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung.

Group leaders were volunteers drawn from faculty and staff, including six librarians and one paraprofessional from the University Libraries.

The whole idea behind the Freshman Common Reader is for new students to have a common topic as a group for discussion. Reading and discussing a book also serves as a focal point for subsequent campus activities. Later this fall semester, for example, programs will feature a campus visit by the book’s author, a stage production of Twilight, and a screening of the 1984 film The Killing Fields.

Students who participate in some or all of these activities have the opportunity early on to gain an awareness of the richness available as members of the Ball State academic community.

This year’s common reader is a harrowing tale of survival. It recounts the flight of Loung Ung’s family’s from their home in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh during the city’s evacuation in April 1975. It provides insight into life under Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge and describes how disease and murder ultimately claimed the lives of Ung’s parents and two sisters. The author also tells about her eventual escape to the United States shortly after the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979 at the hands of Vietnamese occupying forces.

One of the values of reading this work is to expose students to past and current world events, to challenge preconceptions and viewpoints, and to open students’ thinking for greater diversity of thought – in the context of respecting students’ belief systems.

Eric Fisher – Information Services Evening Librarian
The common reader discussion groups are very much like book clubs that meet in many libraries ... By the end of the session, we were talking about immigration issues and question of how we decide political asylum for refugees to the U.S.

Amy Trendler – Architecture Librarian
I had a good discussion about the book with my group ... I was impressed with the students’ participation. I think reading a common book was a good way for students to begin their academic careers and to develop a sense of community.

Kathleen Pickens – Access Services Evening Supervisor
I was really excited to lead a Freshman Connections group discussion, particularly because the author’s experiences as related in the book generate so many diverse themes. Mingled with my excitement was a degree of apprehension about whether or not the students would share my enthusiasm ... By the end of our time together, the students were voicing their opinions that the ultimate reason human beings need choices and the freedom of expression.

Jim Hammons – Head of Library Enterprise Services and Systems
I have lead discussion groups twice before. This year's group was the most involved. The students’ sentiment was that the book was "too depressing to read during the summer," but they still felt compelled to read it and cared enough to discuss it seriously. This book was shortlisted the two years I was on the book selection committee, and I’m glad it finally made it.

Keith Cochran – Music Librarian
Our group discussed how individuals and society suffer under totalitarian rule. We talked about how the Khmer Rouge affected the author’s life and Cambodian society. I read several passages from the book that dealt with these issues.

Alida Pask – Information Services Librarian
Despite a crowded room, the 38 students were eager to share their thoughts and opinions. Several students expressed interest in attending the upcoming Loung Ung public lecture, and they are ready with questions to ask about her life and the beliefs she holds now. By participating in the freshman common reader program, I was able to meet a few new students and promote the University Libraries’ programs, services, and collections.

For more information about The Freshman Connections program, view the website at

Dean Arthur Hafner's Welcome to New, Returning Students and Special Greetings to Members of the Class of 2010

Today is the first day of classes, August 22, and I am delighted to welcome new and returning students. I hope I will see you often in the University Libraries and that you will find the University Libraries to be a destination for research, learning, and friends.

I especially welcome members of the Class of 2010. I congratulate you for successfully completing high school and for your decision to pursue your academic studies at Ball State. You have made many people proud. You are now ready to begin the next chapter of your life as a student and future Ball State graduate.

For members of the Class of 2010, I would like to share a few thoughts about how you might benefit from the next four years to gain all that you can from your university experience. I encourage you to add suggestions to this short list by speaking with faculty, advisors, and other university personnel who champion your success. Discuss these ideas with your parents and other loved ones, too, since you have many people who stand with you as you prepare for your tomorrow. There is greatness within you.

Your next four years at the university span about 1,460 days. Envision each of those days as one page in a book that contains 1,460 blank pages whereon you write your daily academic progress on a new page. This book about your life at Ball State University has a first page, much like your first day at the University, and it has a last page, where you write about your graduation. You are the author of all the pages that record your daily successes and accomplishments. You, and only you, are personally responsible for your academic success.

Attending a university is about learning, gaining new experiences, and discovering opportunity. A starting point is to join and participate in activities like clubs, dormitory life, fraternities/sororities, athletics, writing for the Daily News, student government, studying abroad, earning money through work-study programs, volunteering your time to help others, and attending receptions and parties. Also, take full advantage of the University’s programs and resources such as music concerts, the Museum of Art, live theater, poetry readings, and other special events. Of course, be mindful to budget your time with your academic obligations, which must always be your first priority.

As a university student, you have come through a door. Your past is behind you and the shaping of your future is in your hands. You will probably never again be asked about your high school ranking or grades. Yet, in your future, you will always be asked about your university grades and will have to provide your transcript, even 20 or 30 years from now when you will have long been away from the university. Guard your academic performance and strive to excel in your academic pursuits.

I invite you to come to the University Libraries often to utilize its personnel, informational materials, and technology as an important part of your academic success plan.

Providing Care and Protection for Optical Discs

Most of us use some kind of optical disc in our daily activities, such as CDs (compact discs), CD-ROMs (compact disc read-only memory), CDIs (compact discs interactive), DVDs (digital video discs), and soon-to-come Blue Ray storage discs. These are all optical media that use laser beams to read information for data retrieval.

Each of these media has a clear coating that protects the discs’ data section. When scratches occur, the damage is not to the actual data section; rather, the damage is to the clear coating. The best way to repair a damaged disc is to polish down the scratches to remove them.

Lasers write to only one side of a CD whereas a DVD can be written and read from both sides. Unlike vinyl records or tapes, CDs and DVDs do not wear from friction because there is no physical contact with the disc in the area that the laser accesses, and there is no degradation of magnetic storage. CDs and DVDs are durable media and have a long life expectancy if they are handled carefully.

Extending a Disc’s Life
• Handle CDs and DVDs carefully, generally by the edges or the hold to avoid touching the shiny surface (signal side) since finger prints, smudges, or scratches attract dust and moisture that interferes with the laser reading the disc’s data
• Keep discs in a cooler and lower humidity environment
• Protect discs from airborne contaminants by housing them in individual storage containers and stored upright to prevent bending
• Avoid writing on the disc with a sharp pen, pencil, marker and avoid using affixing adhesive labels

Cleaning a Disc
• Blow off dust by using an air puffer
• Use a soft cotton cloth to wipe a disc, wiping from the center straight to the outer edge and not in a circular pattern around the disc
• Avoid touching the disc with paper products such as lens papers or with abrasive products or solvents to clean the disc
• Remove a heavy accumulation of dirt by first rinsing the disc with water

Handling Scratches
• First inspect your disc, cleaning it so you can see where the scratches are. Holding the disc by its edges, wash it with mild soap and water and then examine the disc under good light. Slight scratches will most likely have little effect on the laser’s ability to read the disc. Large scratches, however, can affect the disc’s readability beyond the ability for error correction. If scratches are very deep, data cannot be read or repaired.
• Scratches on the label side of the CD can be serious. Any slight indentation or pinhole in the metal from a scratch, pen, pencil, or fine marker will destroy reflectivity of the metal in that area on the other (laser reading) side, and this damage cannot be repaired.
• If problems persist when trying to play the media, check the disc player to determine if the laser reader is working properly or if the lens needs to be cleaned.

In Bracken Library’s Educational Resources Center, we use Paulmar’s CD/DVD polisher to eliminate severe surface scratches on discs that interfere with playback, allowing us to save many damaged discs that would otherwise have to be discarded.

iScan Service Simplifies Scanning and Saving

The University Libraries, in partnership with University Computing Services and the Office of Information Technology, offer a new scanning service on Bracken’s First Floor West.

iScan, a locally developed touch screen application, allows a Ball State student to scan a print document directly to iLocker. The process couldn’t be simpler. Anyone in the Ball State communication can swipe his or her BSU identification card using the attached card reader.

The easy-to-use touch screen display prompts the operator to choose scan quality. The next step is to place a document on the flatbed scanner, and touch the scan icon. In just a few seconds, a JPEG image of the document is stored in the iScan folder in the user’s iLocker account.

The University Libraries provide easy access to iLocker, a data storage solution that provides students, faculty, and staff with free access to 2 GB of storage of personal use. View for information.