Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Instructional Services Program

Today’s students have access to thousands of resources – more than ever before. Research challenges are often not ones of access but knowing where to start and how to proceed. The University Libraries’ Instructional Services actively provides students, faculty and staff with professional assistance and hands-on experience with library resources in group settings.

Last fiscal year 2005-2006, over 15,000 individuals participated in library instruction during 828 group sessions. Undergraduates, graduates, and faculty from across the curriculum find value in the programs as demonstrated by a glimpse of participating departments during the past few weeks:

Architecture Criminal Justice English Chemistry English Management
Educational Psychology Political Science

Potential university students of tomorrow from regional high schools and home-schooled students also take advantage of instructional programs to introduce research skills and resources. Groups from Jay County High School, Blue River Valley, and Ball State’s Burris Laboratory School are among the recent visitors.

Session content ranges from an introduction to library resources and research services for new undergraduates to custom-made workshops to help upper-level students with specific assignments or subject specialties. Librarian and classroom faculty collaborations insure sessions meet assignment needs and class expectations.

Library instruction participants have opportunities to work with information professionals free from interruption in state-of-the-art electronic classrooms in addition to having the resources of the University Libraries within reach.

Feedback from participants indicate their appreciation for a service that helps students better their research skills and meet their informational needs. A faculty member wrote, “The sessions were very well organized and flexible enough to allow students to get specific information. I plan to bring all my research classes to the training.”

While most instruction sessions are linked with specific courses, Instructional Services librarians also address general topics. Thesis Research In a Nutshell is one such example that is very popular with graduate students.

For those who use the University Libraries’ resources remotely, library instruction and assistance is available through interactive online tutorials, chat sessions, and video clips. Persons seeking individual help may request 30-minute one-on-one research consultations with reference and/or subject specialists through the Reference by Appointment program.

For information on library instruction or to schedule a session, visit the Instructional Services homepage link at or call Jeremiah Kinney, Library Teaching Assistant, at (765) 285-8017. For information on research consultations, visit the Ask a Librarian link on the same homepage or call Diane Calvin, Head of Information Services, at (765) 285-3327.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Improving Customer Service -- Campaign “Saying ‘Yes’ when ‘No’ has been the Answer”

Recently, the University Libraries’ Services Excellence Working Group (SEWG) asked all personnel to keep a record or log about instances and situations where the staff member was not able to comply with a service request from a student or faculty member. This idea was based on an article by Kathy MacMillan published in American Libraries, November 2005, page 48.

The exercise became part of a campaign to explore reasons why the answer to the request was ‘no.’ Examples of such requests are “Can you make these copies for me?” or “Can I check this reference book out?”

The ‘No’ logs turned out to be a good way for our personnel to track customer-service related concerns and to explore how we responded to them. The logs helped in the following ways:
• fostering more open communication and discussion of services and policies
• keeping customer service in the forefront of everything we do
• promoting review and clarification of practices
• revealing patterns in services and service requests

Practical information gleaned from studying the logs can help lead to policy and guideline changes that will help the University Libraries to provide better customer service.

The Sights & Sounds of Ball State University Libraries

During the academic year, the daily turnstile count for the University Libraries is about 7,400. Bracken Library and its two branches (Architecture Library and Science-Health Science Library) are filled with the sounds of collaborative learning.

These sounds are the voices of students asking librarians questions, conversations among students who are working collaboratively on projects, clicks from the keyboards, the whirl of the photocopy machines, the hum of high speed laser printers, and the greetings that people exchange among each other when seeing and being seen by classmates, fraternity/sorority members, acquaintances, and others.

There are sounds from cell phones, too, as students ask each other questions about assignments, make appointments, change their plans, and conduct other business.
Open 357 days during the year, the University Libraries offer students and faculty a wide array of library services 120.5 hours per week during the academic year, with a slightly reduced schedule when the university is not in session.

Students and faculty access the University Libraries’ print and digital collections, seek help from librarians with their assignments and projects, prepare papers and analyses using one of the 350 public PCs, and they print their projects or store them in an iLocker digital storage space – all through the University Libraries. Of course, books, journals, CDs, DVDs and other items are popular for check-out. The University Libraries offer comfortable space for collaborative and individual study and a number of small to large group study rooms for practicing presentations and listening/viewing assigned materials for music and cinema classes.

Over the past four years, the Libraries’ professional, paraprofessional, and administrators have engaged to transform the University Libraries to a “place” for research, learning, and friends.

By emphasizing the University Libraries’ strong customer-oriented student and faculty services, by observing how students use space for collaborative and individual learning, and by introducing sophisticated technology for research and learning, the result is a growth of 151% in traffic as measured by turnstile count for the 5 fiscal years between 2001-2002 (840,766 visits) and 2005-2006 (1,269,412visits).
The University Libraries’ turnstile count continues to increase, showing that students and faculty choose the University Libraries as the place for their research and learning. At the same time, our Libraries’ professional, paraprofessional, and administrators continue our strategic planning to further enhance the Libraries to provide more services, for the University Libraries to actively and increasingly contribute to the academic life of the university.

Approximately the size of seven football fields, Bracken Library offers plenty of space for the quiet and not-so-quiet crowds. For example, the fourth floor is designated as a Quiet Zone.

The hum of students is noticeably low on Bracken’s second floor and on the basement level. Bracken’s first and third floors are known to students as places to see and be seen, where students can work alone – yet welcome interruptions – or collaborate with others on papers and projects. There is lots of space for individual study, too.

The chart shows the average number of persons who entered Bracken Library during the 40-day period between August 22 and September 30, 2006. There were an average of 64 persons who passed through the turnstiles between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 132 persons between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. The turnstile meters are read each hour. Of course, some people were entering and others were exiting. A count of 64 means that 64 persons entered or exited or both.

The data from which the chart was made show that 51,794 persons or 28.2% of the 183,792 persons counted during the 40-day period visited Bracken Library before noon, 49,151 or 26.7% visited between noon and 3 p.m., and 43,923 or 23.9% between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. for a total of 78.8% of visits. This is useful information for offering the Libraries’ programs and services.

Ball State's Copyright Center Manager to be on State Committee

Fritz Dolak, Manager of the Copyright Center at Ball State University, will participate on the Indiana State Library's Copyright and Rights Management Committee. The committee’s charge is to take into account current Copyright Law, case law, copyright policies of other statewide and regional digital libraries and out of these discussions, promulgate guidelines, policies, and recommendations that will consist of intellectual property rights documentation for the infrastructure of the Indiana Digital Library program.

In addition to the manager, the other committee members include:
•Dr. Kenneth Crews, J.D., Ph.D., Samuel R. Rosen II Professor in the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis and in the IU School of Library and Information Science, Associate Dean of the Faculties for Copyright Management, and Director of the Copyright Management Center IUPUI
•Robin Crumrin, IUPUI Digital Library Team
•Donna L. Ferullo, J.D., Director of the University Copyright Office at Purdue University and Associate Professor of Library Science
•Connie Rendfeld, Local History Services, Indiana Historical Society

The Copyright and Rights Management Committee will be instrumental in creating an innovative and comprehensive Indiana Digital Library that will enhance our State’s research and instructional needs for the State of Indiana’s students, instructors, libraries, archives, museums, local governments, and all of its citizens.

Simmonds Papers Added to Steinbeck Collection for Students and Scholars

The papers of noted Steinbeck scholar Roy Simmonds have been donated to Ball State University Libraries' Archives and Special Collections Research Center by his daughter Mrs. Aileen M. Lightfoot. Mrs. Lightfoot, who lives in Spain, closed her parents’ home after their deaths and sorted through her father’s papers.

Roy Simmonds, who was born in London, became an independent Steinbeck scholar after retiring from a career in the British Civil Service. He wrote numerous articles and essays for publication, along with several books. One of his most notable works was John Steinbeck: The War Years, 1939 – 1945, a study of Steinbeck’s writing during World War II. He was a member of several scholarly organizations, including the Steinbeck Society, the Steinbeck Society of Japan, and the Hemingway Society, and was the keynote speaker at the 1990 Steinbeck Festival in Salinas, California.

Simmonds had an extensive Steinbeck collection, including copies of Steinbeck’s letters, articles, journals, and a manuscript of The Pearl. In addition to that material, his collection consists of correspondence, newsletters, scholarly essays by a variety of authors, programs and reviews of Steinbeck films and stage productions, book reviews, research on Steinbeck’s life, comprehensive lists of editions of Steinbeck’s works, and letters and commentary from Elaine Steinbeck.

Renowned Steinbeck scholar and Ball State professor emeritus Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi was good friends with Simmonds and his wife. In giving the papers to Ball State to complement the outstanding Steinbeck Collection that Dr. Hayashi was responsible for establishing here, Mrs. Lightfoot said her father was very fond of Hayashi and would be pleased that his papers were at Ball State along with Hayashi’s papers.

For information on the Steinbeck Collection, visit the guide to the collection at on the Archives Web site.

Architecture Images Collection Strengthen by Donation of Images from Student, Faculty

Digital images from the 2005 CapAsia trip to Southeast Asia are now part of the Architecture Library’s Visual Resources Center’s collection through the Digital Media Repository. Donated by recent Ball State Landscape Architecture graduate Lindsay Bacurin and Urban Planning professor Nihal Perera, the images are an important addition to the collection.
CapAsia is a ten-week field study offered by Ball State’s College of Architecture and Planning. Participants travel extensively throughout Southeast Asia while they complete coursework and collaborate on projects with students at sister institutions. During their travels, CapAsia students and faculty have many opportunities to take photographs. Images from the study trip are now a resource for the entire Ball State community to use in papers, projects, and classroom presentations.
In addition to historic sites and street scenes taken in India, Taiwan, and Thailand, the donated images also document some of the 2005 tsunami damage. After the tsunami surged through Southeast Asia, the CapAsia students and faculty were able to travel to Sri Lanka to see the devastation first hand. While in Sri Lanka, they worked with the residents of Kalametiya, a fishing village, to begin rebuilding some of the homes that were destroyed.
The CapAsia images join other donated works in the Architecture Images Collection, including those from personal collections and the 2003-2004 Polyark/World Tour study trip. All of these images, in addition to purchased images and digitized slides, make the collection a rich resource for Ball State.

University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository Mentioned for Its East Central Indiana Civil War Collection

Ball State’s U.S. Civil War Resources for East Central Indiana are mentioned in the Summer 2006 issue of Microform and Imaging Review (v. 35, no. 3, p. 83).

This unique online collection provides material for teaching, learning, and research about the U.S. Civil War from East Central Indiana. It is intended for classroom instruction by elementary, high school, college/university students, faculty, and the public.

Those interested may examine letters, diaries, photographs, and other documentation from the Civil War, thanks to collections developed by Ball State University, Muncie Public Library’s Local History and Genealogy Center, Henry County Historical Society, and the Dan Quayle Center and the U.S. Vice Presidential Museum. Visit,

Tribute to Dr. Roy S. Simmonds

A Personal Tribute by Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi

Despite his global recognition as a Steinbeck scholar and reputable critic of William March, Edward O’Brien, and other literary subjects, Dr. Roy S. Simmonds (September 10, 1925 – November 10, 2000) was indeed a man of grace, humility, and compassion. Great Britain’s and Europe’s leading Steinbeck scholar, he had been invited often as a keynote speaker or as one of the major speakers to international Steinbeck congresses and conferences, while remaining so incredibly loyal and caring to his friends in the U.S.A. and other countries.

Roy S. Simmonds, a leading Steinbeck scholar in Great Britain and Europe, lived an illustrious life as an independent scholar—an indefatigable and committed researcher, writer, and publishing scholar, a mighty intellectual dynamo who lived quietly with his elegant wife and his family in Billericay, Essex, England, while working for the Inland Revenue Service in London. His sparkling brilliance and his unmatched research instinct and exceptional tireless hard work helped him surpass many university-trained scholars. This resulted inevitably in his winning the highest critical esteem, first in Steinbeck studies and later in William March and Edward O’Brien studies, especially in the United States and Japan, not in his native country. Indeed, he was an exemplary creative scholar who mastered, on his own genius, the art and craft of critical, scholarly research and writing without a college education.

Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi is Editor-in-Chief of the Steinbeck Quarterly
Professor Emeritus of English
Director Emeritus of the Steinbeck Research Institute
Ball State University

Anatomical Models Available for Virtual Study in Digital Media Repository

Ball State students can now view the inner workings of the human body using their computers. The Anatomical Models Collection has been added to Ball State’s Digital Media Repository, a project of the University Libraries.

Through the Digital Media Repository at, students and researchers can access digital images of the human skeletal, nervous, digestive, and muscular systems. For example, multiple views of the human skull, including front, back, profile, and interior, are available for examination.

The current models are from the collection of the Science Health Science Library. Additional anatomical models will be added to the digital collection from the University Libraries’ Educational Resources Center and other sources for the use of students, faculty, and other researchers.

The University Libraries Acquire Interdisciplinary Citation Database: The Web of Science

The University Libraries now provides online access to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Science. This powerful interdisciplinary resource combines citation indexes from the popular Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index into a fully-searchable database.
The database coverage, 1992-present, provides full citation information for over 20,000 journal titles, in addition to patents, books, websites, and conference proceedings. The Web version replaces the University Libraries’ print volumes for these three indexes.
Students and faculty will find that the Web of Science is an excellent tool for locating research citations in a wide array of disciplines and includes sophisticated analysis tools to search for prolific authors and research institutions and to identify collaborators for research projects.
Soon the Web of Science will be enabled with Find It @ BSU, the University Libraries’ powerful tool for connecting citations to full-text articles. This enhancement will add even greater value to this dynamic database.

Murray M. and Edith C. Wise Library Fund Established

The University Libraries are pleased to report the creation of the Murray M. and Edith C. Wise Library Fund through the Ball State University Foundation.
The fund was established with an outright gift of $31,671 from the estate of Edith Croft Wise. The purpose of the endowment is to provide support for the greatest current needs of Bracken Library.
Edith Croft Wise was born in Muncie in 1907. She attended Ball State University, graduated from American University in Washington, and received a Master’s Degree in Library Science from Rutgers University. She worked as a reference librarian at the U.N. Headquarters and later became head of the reference department at New York University Library. After retiring, she took on several library positions, including the New York Port Authority, American Folk Art Museum in New York, and Kirkland Village in Bethlehem, PA.

Instructional Technology for Student Engagement

The University Libraries’ Technology Training Support Services unit is a key resource for faculty to incorporate new and current technology applications as part of their classroom instruction for student engagement.
During the academic year, faculty regularly are informed about new and current learning and productive technologies that are available to them through the unit’s TechLinks monthly newsletter and individual or group consultation sessions with one of the unit’s Technology Training Specialists.
For example, the Blackboard Academic Suite is a powerful technology for faculty to reach and engage students. Training and support for Blackboard is provided by Yasemin Tunç. This year, it is being used by 64% of the faculty, up from 57% last year. Among other features, the software facilitates:
• Secure access to course materials
• Convenient and organized way to collect assignments electronically without involving the faculty member’s Outlook in-box
• Effective collaboration tools such as discussion boards and chat sessions
• Access to Ball State University Libraries’ information resources

Blogging and podcasting are becoming popular technologies to add additional interactivity to courses and to capture valuable communication and content for future reference by both students and faculty. Training and support for these is provided by Barbara Wills.
The testing and surveying tool developed at Ball State University, inQusit, is another technology for engaging students in the learning process. Mini, pre-class quizzes made available through inQsit encourage student participation and enhance learning. Yasemin Tunç provides inQsit training for faculty.
There are also many training sessions provided in group or individual settings for staff that feature the use of productivity software, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access, among others.
For more information, contact Yasemin Tunç at (765) 285-5902 or via e-mail at for a consultation on a variety of these and other teaching and learning tools and their specific uses.

University Libraries’ Information Fair Connects Students with Campus Organization

The lobby in Bracken Library was the site for the second annual University Libraries’ Information Fair on October 4. Eleven organizations connected with students about their programs and services.
“The high traffic to Bracken Library makes this an excellent location for outreach to students,” said James Mitchell, Assistant Director, BSU Career Center.
Just under 2,750 students visited Bracken Library while the displays were set up. Participating organizations were Career Center, Counseling Center, Disabled Student Development, Health Education, Late Nite, Latino Student Union, Learning Center, Recreation Services, Student Life, and Student Government Association, and WCRD-FM 91.3 “College Radio Station on Demand.”

Automated Card Locks are Key to Convenience and Security at Bracken Library

The University Libraries, known for utilizing technology to improve its programs and services, recently installed additional card-swipe locks in Bracken Library. This brings the number of card-swipe systems to six.
“The card-swipe locks help us to improve security and are cost efficient,” said Arthur W. Hafner, dean of University Libraries. “They reduce or eliminate much of the record keeping involved with issuing replacement keys, eliminate the cost involved with re-keying whole areas when keys are lost or stolen, and they simplify the record keeping necessary to track who has access to areas.”
Personnel use their Ball State University identification card to pass through the doors. The ID card is the same that is used to check out informational materials, receive discounts at the bookstore, and do business at the Ball State credit union.
During normal hours of Bracken Library operation, many of the doors that use the card-swipe locks remain open for students, faculty, and staff.
The card-swipe locks are manufactured by Best Access Solutions, Inc. Over the next few years, plans are to extend the use of keyless locks throughout the University Libraries.

Deyang City Delegates from the People’s Republic of China Tour Bracken Library

Members of the Deyang Delegation from Deyang City, Sichuan Province, People’s Republic of China, recently visited Bracken Library as part of a Ball State campus tour. Delegation members will be on campus for two months as visiting scholars.
When visiting Bracken Library’s Geospatial Center and Map Collection, members examined topographic and other maps of Deyang City and the Sichuan Province. At another point in the tour, members also met with Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, for a briefing about the use of technology and customer services for students and faculty.
Thanks to Professor Ming-Ming Kuo, Collection Development Librarian, for helping to welcome the group and to the Center for International Programs and the Center for Organizational Resources for arranging the visit to Bracken Library.