Thursday, February 22, 2007

Program Explores Women's Roles, Lifestyles from Victorian Era through Early 20th Century Progressive Era

Before Middletown: Using Historical Archaeology to View Victorian Muncie is a program scheduled for Tuesday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Bracken Library’s Forum Room, BL-225.

The free program is open to the public and is being sponsored by the Friends of the Alexander M. Bracken Library and by the Center for Middletown Studies.

Professor Christina L. Blanch, Ball State’s Department of Anthropology, will discuss the Victorian Period’s rapid social change, growing industrialization, and the transformation of gender roles that were taking place in Muncie, Indiana and throughout the country.

She will explore a brief history of Muncie, Indiana, the history of the Moore-Youse home and occupants, and the influence of the Victorian period on gender roles in the 19th century. In her archaeological research at the Moore-Youse house, Professor Blanch examines changes in women’s roles from the Victorian period through the early 20th century progressive era. This research will contribute toward a more complete view of the history and culture of the Victorian period in Indiana and the Midwestern United States.

For more information or to join the Friends, contact John B. Straw, Executive Secretary for the Friends and the Alexander M. Bracken Library and Ball State University Libraries’ Director for Archives and Special Collections Research Center,, (765) 285-5078.

Technology Training Offers more than Workshops to Ball State Faculty, Staff

Advancing and promoting technology fluency on campus is the mission of University Libraries’ Technology Training Support Services (TTSS) unit.

To accomplish this, training specialists Linda Putman, Barbara Wills and I continually offer workshops, consultation, and support to the Ball State community. In addition, we are frequently invited to be a part of technology-related projects around campus. Through such projects, we discover, learn, and make additional contributions to the University's mission as a dynamic learning community.

Content Management System for Ball State Web Site. Barbara Wills has been involved in planning the re-launch of Serving as our designated Vignette trainer, Barbara is very familiar with Ball State's Web site and Vignette, the content management system (CMS) that powers it. When the University made the decision to migrate to a new CMS, Barbara joined the project team. Working with a consulting firm and gathering input from the University community, the team has narrowed their selection and are now in the process of testing one product. When the selection process is complete and various departments migrate their Web content to the new CMS, Barbara will offer relevant training sessions.

Promoting Faculty Talents. I am working in partnership with Teachers College’s Technology Director Michael Modesitt to facilitate the Laptop Study Group. This group, made up of Teacher Education faculty from various disciplines, is exploring creative ways for using laptops in the teacher education curriculum at Ball State. Our objective is to publish a book of individual projects that highlight faculty and student experiences with technology. Interested readers can follow along the project's progress at

Best Practices Conference. On Friday, February 16, 2007, Ball State will host the first Technology Enhanced Distance Education Conference. I am co-chairing this conference with John Burton of Extended Education. The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum where Ball State faculty can share their expertise in this area with University colleagues. The conference will have valuable presentations, demonstration of collaboration technologies, and distance education services. Afternoon panel discussions will deal with issues such as student assessment and sharing of the "… good, bad, and ugly of distance education" by experienced faculty. Learn more about the conference at

Technology Training Support Services personnel find that training and teaching are closely intertwined, and we enjoy our interactions with mini-course and workshop attendees. Working in partnership with colleagues around the University in special projects also keeps our Technology Training Specialists close to see first-hand how faculty are using technology in the classroom.

For more information, contact Yasemin Tunç, Ball State University Libraries’ Director for Technology Training Support Services,, (765) 285-5902.

The Public Broadcasting Core (PBCore) Metadata for Digital Video Encoding

High Definition (HD) television sets were the top selling item of this past holiday season. A few well-researched consumers seemed to navigate the new technology with ease; yet, many of us were left silently pondering the difference between aspect ratios, debating 1080i against 1080p, and contemplating the merits of LCD versus rear projection, or versus plasma.

The digital television revolution has begun, and unlike other revolutions, this one has a definite end date: TV stations serving all U.S. markets are airing digital television programming today, although most will continue to provide analog programming through February 17, 2009. At that point, full-power TV stations will cease broadcasting on their current analog channels, and the spectrum they use for analog broadcasting will be reclaimed by the F.C.C. and put to other uses.

With digital television comes the need for digital storage. No longer will television stations be maintaining and storing programs on tapes. Digital video will instead be stored electronically, creating the need for a method of encoding for search and retrieval — the traditional point of expertise of the librarian.

In 2003, at WGBH-TV in Boston, librarians and information scientists from Rutgers University, the Department of Defense, and other notable institutions, combined efforts with broadcasting professionals from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The goal was to create a data set that would satisfy the needs of a television broadcaster while also remaining compatible with existing international library standards. The end result of this initial two-year project was the development of the PBCore (Public Broadcasting Core Data Elements), a metadata set specifically created to manage digital video assets, view the PBCore metadata set at

The PBCore is built on the foundation of the Dublin Core (ISO 15836), an international standard for resource discovery. It has been reviewed and approved by OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Usage Board. Additionally, following initial development at WGBH-TV, a 2005 test implementation phase at KET (Kentucky Educational Television), proved the PBCore provided sufficient data for video asset management at a working television broadcast station.

The PBCore is now an established information standard and is being recommended by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for PBS stations migrating to digital television and for purely digital video asset storage and retrieval purposes.

In the particular case of Ball State University, we here at the University Libraries are working with three key units to ease the transition from analog to digital television:

· University’s Teleplex Services,
· Department of Telecommunications (TCOM), College of Communication, information, and Media,
· WIPB-TV Public Broadcasting for East Central Indiana,

The most likely candidate for our virtual toolbox will be the PBCore metadata set.

For more information, contact James A. Bradley, Ball State University Libraries’ Head of Metadata & Digital Initiatives,, (765) 285-5718.

Ball State's Fourth Annual Copyright Conference Earns CLE Credits

The Fourth Annual Copyright Conference sponsored by the Ball State University Libraries will be held at the Alumni Center on Wednesday, April 11, 2007. This year’s Conference is entitled Digital Trek: To boldly explore copyright in teaching and learning.

The Conference will include nationally-known copyright and intellectual property experts:

· Dwayne K. Buttler, J.D., Professor, University Libraries, Evelyn J. Schneider Endowed Chair for Scholarly Communications University of Louisville
· Michelle L. Cooper, J.D., attorney in the Education Law Group at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP
· Kenneth Crews, J.D., Samuel R. Rosen II Professor in the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis and in the IU School of Library and Information Science
· Donna L. Ferullo, J.D., Director of the University Copyright Office at Purdue University and Associate Professor of Library Science
· Carl Johnson, Director of the University Copyright Licensing Office at Brigham Young University
· James R. Williams, J.D., attorney at DeFur Voran LLP, Ball State University's legal counsel for education law

For the second consecutive year, the Conference has been granted Continuing Legal Education Credits by the Indiana Supreme Court’s Commission for Continuing Legal Education. This year, the Conference has been approved for 5.7 CLE credits for practicing lawyers. The granting of these CLE credits is an acknowledgment of the quality of the qualifications and expertise of the Conference speakers.

Digital Trek will include presentations on the copyright concerns of Fair Use, The TEACH Act, a group case study, Google, and iTunes University. For additional information on the Conference, please visit the homepage,

For more information, contact Dr. Fritz Dolak, University Libraries’ Copyright and Intellectual Property Manager and Special Assistant to the Dean, University Copyright Center,, (765) 285-5330.

Oxford African American Studies Center Debuts at Ball State University Libraries

The University Libraries recognize the panoramic diversity of research, learning, and teaching at Ball State University and have recently acquired access to the Oxford African American Studies Center (OAASC), a multimedia database focusing on African American and African history.

This interdisciplinary resource offers students and faculty 24/7/365 desktop access to some of the most respected titles in African American and African study available from Oxford University Press, including full-text access to works like the complementary Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 and Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the present along with the highly acclaimed five-volume Africana.

The much-anticipated African American National Biography is also part of the OAASC, offering nearly 6,000 biographies. The multifaceted database also includes over 1,000 images, maps, and primary source documents available for download and licensed for academic use.

The University Libraries’ introduction of this rich learning and teaching resource coincides with the national celebration of Black History Month, presenting our students and faculty with a timely opportunity to investigate the rich African and African American heritage and historical contributions. The OAASC enhances the depth of the University Libraries’ digital collections and expands the horizons of knowledge discovery tools brought to the Ball State University academic community by the University Libraries.

For more information, contact Matthew C. Shaw, Ball State University Libraries’ Electronic Resources Librarian,, (765) 285-1302.

Issues of Physical Culture Magazine Donated to Archives for Access through Ball State University Digital Media Repository

A recent donation to the Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections Research Center from a faculty member and a student organization provides a resource for students and scholars in many disciplines including health and physical education, art, history, and journalism.

Physical Education professor David Pearson and the Ball State University Student Chapter of the National Strength and Conditioning Association presented the Archives with a collection of 40 issues of Physical Culture Magazine, dated between October 1917 and December 1939. The issues will be digitized and made available for study through the Ball State University Digital Media Repository, a project of the University Libraries.

Physical Culture Magazine was first published in March 1899 by Bernarr Macfadden. With the slogan, “Weakness is a crime; don’t be a criminal,” the magazine promoted the virtues of healthy diet, exercise, and natural healing. It included articles, fiction, advice columns, testimonials, and a wide range of advertisements. Macfadden wrote much of the content under various male and female pseudonyms and illustrated it with photographs of men and women in “classical poses” to demonstrate the health and beauty of a good physique.

The magazine’s circulation grew rapidly, from 5,000 in 1899 to 100,000 in 1901 and 500,000 readers in 1919. In 1941, Macfadden gave up Macfadden Publications and the new owners renamed the magazine Beauty and Health. Macfadden was outraged over the fate of the publication though and bought it back in 1943 to be published in a smaller format. He changed its name to Bernarr Macfadden’s Health Review in 1950. It ceased publication with his death in 1955.

Professor Pearson spoke of the importance of this historical collection for research, saying that “Bernarr Macfadden was a true visionary and his Physical Culture Magazine may be one of the most important publications of its time as it was the first to market the idea of health and fitness to a mass audience. To be able to help start a collection of these magazines with the help of our student NSCA organization has been very exciting for me. This publication was also the first to promote exercise to women. Not only will our exercise sciences students benefit from this collection, but others in art, marketing, and women’s studies will find a rich history with them.”

Dr. Pearson acquired the collection of these hard-to-find magazines via the Internet. More issues will be donated to the Archives as they become available.

For more information, contact John B. Straw, Ball State University Libraries’ Director for Archives and Special Collections Research Center,, (765) 285-5078.

Cardinal Scholar Selected as Name for Ball State University Institutional Repository

Cardinal Scholar is the name selected for Ball State University’s Institutional Repository, a utility designed for housing and making accessible digital materials created by students and faculty.

'Cardinal' is taken from the University’s athletic teams, which are part of the NCAA Mid-American Conference. 'Scholar' is chosen to convey the scholarly nature of the works that will be made available to members of the University community through this new digital resource.

The vision for Cardinal Scholar is to:
· Provide access to scholarly works produced at Ball State University
· Promote Ball State University’s intellectual capital to a worldwide audience
· Advance open scholarly communication

Cardinal Scholar will serve as an accessible digital archive by providing a user-friendly mechanism for uploading new materials, providing Internet access to the uploaded materials, and making them searchable. It will support a variety of formats, provide for varying levels of access, e.g. access restricted by group, depending on user needs, and it will ensure long-term preservation of scholarly works.

Formats of materials posted to Cardinal Scholar may include Access, Adobe Flash, CSV, Excel, JPG, Microsoft Word, MP3, PDF, Powerpoint, TIFF, TXT, WMA, WMV, among others.

Watch for Cardinal Scholar to be added to the University Libraries’ Digital Commons on the Libraries’ homepage in the coming months,

Monday, February 19, 2007

Students at Bracken Library Take Time to Watch Super Bowl XLI

It's not unusual to find lots of students gathering at Bracken Library to do research or to meet and work on projects together. Yet, February 4, 2007, on Super Bowl Sunday, there was something special for students to do during their study break – watching the Indianapolis Colts play the Chicago Bears on television.

Many students were in Bracken Library, an ideal place to watch the game since Bracken is a “home away from home” for so many of the regular students who study there. This is because Bracken Library offers a comfortable, friendly, safe environment as well as a variety of refreshments from the Bookmark Café.

On Sunday night, several Bracken Library television sets were tuned to the big game, giving students and other watchers a chance to cheer for their favorite team. And there was plenty to cheer about, too.

The Chicago Bears led in the first quarter when Devin Hester returned the opening kick-off for a touchdown — the first time that has happened in a Super Bowl. The Bears crept within 22-17 in the fourth quarter, but Indy’s Colts’ little-known second-year cornerback Kelvin Hayden intercepted a Rex Grossman pass and ran it back 56 yards for a clinching touchdown — the first of his NFL career.

The Colts won Super Bowl XLI with a score of 29-17. This was the Colt’s first Super Bowl title since 1970 when they played for Baltimore.

“There was a lot of excitement about the Super Bowl because of Indy Colts and Chicago Bears. We knew students would be interested in this big game and would want to cheer for their favorite team,” said Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries.

“Making the game viewable at Bracken Library was a huge convenience for students and allowed them the opportunity to study and also socialize while catching the Super Bowl game.”

Dr. Yuko Murakami from Japan's National Institute of Informatics Visits Ball State University Libraries

Yuko Murakami, Ph.D., Associate Professor by Special Appointment, Research and Development Center for Scientific Information Resources, National Institute of Informatics, Chiyoda-Ku, Japan,, visited the Ball State University Libraries on January 31, 2007 to exchange information on the development of institutional repositories.

After attending a conference in Texas on open resource systems and a few days meeting with colleagues at Indiana University, Dr. Murakami came to campus to learn more about the Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository and the University Libraries’ experiences in developing digital resources.

The National Institute of Informatics is a Tokyo-based organization under Research Organization of Information and Systems, Interuniversity Research Corporation, a Japanese national agency. The organization was founded in April 2000 to advance integrated research and education in the field of informatics and promote the cyber science infrastructure.

As part of her visit, Dr. Murakami delivered a talk in Bracken Library’s Forum Room on “Institutional Repositories Under the Framework of Cyberscience Infrastructure in Japan.” In the presentation, she explained the Japanese governmental policy on scholarly information infrastructure to disseminate the accumulation of research information in Japan inside and outside the country and support digital archiving of scholarly journals.

Dr. Murakami said that, as a result of a 2005 project by the National Institute for Informatics, there were 17 institutional repositories in Japan with over 62,000 items available as of June 28, 2006. The next phase of the project has funding of approximately $2,600,000 for the period of August 1, 2006 through March 31, 2008. This phase involves 57 universities, selected from 77 applicants, and has 22 research and development projects.

Dr. Murakami further said that there is no fair use concept in the Japanese legal system as there is in the United States, only limited academic use. She commented that there is often no documented contract in the publication process so that publisher policies are “… unclear, even if they exist.”

During her visit, Dr. Murakami met with members of the Digital Media Repository Working Group and learned about the University Libraries’ development of that resource for research, learning, and classroom enhancement. She also had an opportunity to meet with Dr. O’Neal Smitherman, Vice President for Information Technology at Ball State, to exchange information about digital developments here and abroad.

For more information, contact John B. Straw, Ball State University Libraries’ Director for Archives and Special Collections Research Center,, (765) 285-5078.

Ball State University Libraries' Deployment Strategy for Microsoft's New Vista Operating System

Ball State University was one of two universities selected by Microsoft as Vista Technology Adoption Program (TAP) sites. Several desktop support technicians in the University Libraries’ Library Information Technology Services participated in this program.

Participation in TAP provided the University Libraries with valuable, first-hand experience that will be pivotal in the decision-making process about deployment of Vista for the Libraries’ 500+ staff and public workstations.

Vista’s system requirements are considerably higher than for previous versions of Windows. The basic system requirements for all editions of Vista include an 800 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, and a 20 GB hard disk with 15 GB of free space. However, to support Windows Aero, the new interface/ “user experience” of Vista, the system requirements include a 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 40 GB hard disk with 15 GB of free space, a graphics card with 128 MB of graphics memory that supports DirectX 9, WDDM driver, Pixel Shader 2.0, and 32 bits per pixel. Since Windows Vista comes on a DVD, a DVD drive is required for installation. Internet access is required for activation and registration.

While nearly all of the University Libraries’ PCs meet the minimum requirements, without Aero, many of them barely do so. Microsoft’s general rule of thumb is that systems purchased in the last two years are generally able to run Vista. On older machines, system performance is a concern for us that will require more testing. System memory upgrades are inevitable on many of our machines if we move forward with Vista in the near future. While Windows Aero certainly provides many visual feature, which some characterize as eye candy, they are not essential in our personnel production environment nor on student workstations, so support for it is not a high priority at this time.

Ease of installation is always a primary concern for information technology personnel. In our experience, the installation process for both clean installs and upgrades was very straightforward, smooth, and relatively quick. On several different machines that we tested, all hardware devices were detected properly and drivers installed automatically. We also witnessed first-hand how Vista handles machines that meet the minimum system requirements but not the Windows Aero requirements.

Vista is a truly scalable operating system in that it automatically analyzes the hardware and enables only its features that can be supported. In our testing, Windows Aero was noticeably visible on some machines, and absent on others. On one machine on which Aero was not enabled, we upgraded the memory to 1 GB and installed a supported graphics card. Upon the next boot up, Vista automatically detected the hardware changes and enabled Aero. Microsoft reports that Aero can be manually enabled or disabled despite minimum hardware support, although this option is not easily accessible.

Imaging, also called ghosting or cloning, should not be a problem with Vista. While we have not yet tested this, several sources confirm that imaging with products such as Symantec Ghost work well with Vista. Furthermore, the Vista DVD itself is a compressed image rather than a traditional software installer. This new installation method will reportedly offer new options in customizing installation packages for enterprise deployment.

Despite all of Vista’s new features and enhancements, Windows Vista is still an operating system. The productivity of users is predicated much more heavily upon applications installed on one’s computer, such as the Microsoft Office productivity suite, Web/graphic/layout design studios such as Adobe products, library specific programs including OCLC applications and ILS clients such as SirsiDynix WorkFlows, and a host of other specialized applications.

This means that software compatibility and performance issues are certainly at the forefront of any discussion regarding if or when to upgrade to Vista. We initially discovered several compatibility issues regarding software we use regularly. However, version updates and patches have since addressed and corrected most of these problems, and we expect that there are more to come now that Vista is available for general release. However, there are still a few problems with applications that are key to our library environment for which we will have to wait for fixes.

Other features and enhancements of Vista will prove to be useful for many users, but their value in our library environment may be marginal. The auxiliary applications included with Vista will be a welcome benefit for home users who do not want to purchase software to perform simple tasks such as creating home videos, editing and sharing photos, managing calendars and contacts, and so forth. However, in an academic library environment, we necessarily use higher-end applications of a more professional caliber. These include products such as Adobe applications and Microsoft Office including Outlook, etc.

Similarly, the enhanced security of Vista is not much of an added benefit to us for several reasons. New security features such as Microsoft Defender, which is anti-spyware, and Internet Explorer 7 are also freely available for XP. Like many colleges, universities, and corporations, Ball State University also provides the Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition for all workstations, virus scanning for e-mail at the server level, and many network level securities. Therefore most security threats are minimal compared with a home or small business environment.

For more information, contact Kirk VanOoteghem, Microcomputer/Systems/Network Analyst, Library Information Technology Services,, (765) 285-8032.

Discovering More Information about CONTENTdm Users by Using W3C Format or Google Analytics

If you are hosting your own CONTENTdm in a Windows-based server, chances are you don’t know your users very well. At the Ball State University Libraries, we recently switched how our server records users’ visits by changing the server’s log format.

With the old format, NCSA log, we relied on the CONTENTdm Report Generator and Google Sitemaps to determine how popular a collection was. A lot of other information was buried in the log files and required effort to dig out. Examples are users’ platforms or browsers, crawlers, busiest time for use, most popular search engines keywords that direct users to our site, where our users are coming from, etc. Some of the information above is impossible to dig out from the NCSA log format because it is simply not recorded. Using a commercial log files analyzer did not help us much either.

After considering the advantages and disadvantage of both NCSA and W3C formats, we decided to switch our log format to W3C Extended and sacrificed the CONTENTdm Report Generator.

We gained two major advantages:
1. We now know better which search engines drive the most traffic to our site, which allows us to assign keywords more efficiently to our collections.
2. We now can identify other entries, such as the users’ platforms and browsers down to their versions, referrer, crawlers information, etc.

Those sites that rely heavily on CONTENTdm Report Generator are not completely out of luck at learning the above information. This is because Google offers a service that can provide valuable information about your site’s visitors, and best of all, like most of the services Google has been providing, this one is also free!

Google Analytics provides some of the data you would expect from commercial log processing software. Examples of the data are Daily/Monthly/Weekly visitors, entry/exit pages to/from your site, referring URLs, browser types, search engines, geographics, keyword suggestions, error reporting, and a lot more.

To take advantage of Google Analytics, you need only to manually add six lines of code to each page that you want to track.

To get started, register your site at,

For more information, contact P. Budi Wibowo, Ball State University Libraries’ Head of Digital Libraries and Web Services,, (765) 285-8032.

Microsoft's Vista Operation System and Office 2007 Available to Students, Faculty, Staff

Ball State University students, faculty and staff have a unique opportunity to download and use Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system and the full version of Microsoft Office 2007 productivity suite through the Microsoft Campus Agreement. There is no charge to download and install this software.

This program provides Ball State University community members with the strategic advantage of using the latest software and using technologically advanced, next generation applications for research and learning.

Microsoft’s Vista Ultimate and Microsoft Office 2007 will be available on Ball State’s secure Microsoft Download page for the campus community. The University Libraries’ Library Information Technology Services unit is evaluating when and how to deploy both of these powerful new applications on public access workstations and for personnel who work in the University Libraries.

Ball State University Libraries' Digital Commons Provide One-Stop Access for Research, Learning, Teaching

Students, faculty, and others using the University Libraries Web page,, can now find a vast array of digital resources for research, learning, and classroom use with just one click on the Digital Commons graphic.

The Digital Commons, which premiered on January 31, 2007, provides “one-stop” access to digital photographs, videos, audio, documents, books, scholarly journals and articles, geospatial resources, databases, and more. These resources were described in detail in Ball State University Libraries’ The Library Insider, page 2 of the January, 2007 issue

Work has already begun on developing Phase II of the Digital Commons that will leverage powerful search technology and Web interface design to simplify searching, improve access, and personalize results for learning and research. Dean of University Libraries, Arthur W. Hafner, has formed the Digital Commons Phase II Working Group. Members are Andy West (Library Information Technology Services), Matthew C. Shaw (Electronic Resources Librarian), Stacy B. Chaney-Blankenship (Information Services Librarian), and Bradley D. Faust (Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services). Brad Faust will serve as chairperson.

The Phase II Working Group will strive to accomplish the following tasks:

· Develop a framework for a single back-end database for the Web resources, articles and databases, and e-journals
· Add Web links and metadata for digital assets in the virtual reference resources, images, digital video, electronic theses and dissertations, GIS resources, and Ball State Virtual Web pages
· Construct a simplified, functional search interface that aggregates results from the various Digital Commons elements in a single result
· Develop an interface to build dynamic subject guides

Everyone is invited to take advantage of the new Digital Commons for their learning, teaching and research needs. Watch for the enhanced version in the near future.

Steinbeck Research Fund Established in Honor of Dr. John M. Ditsky

Thanks to a generous donation from Mrs. C. Suzette Ditsky, emerging Steinbeck scholars will be able to utilize the outstanding Steinbeck resources of the Ball State University Libraries.

The Steinbeck Research Fund has been established in the Ball State University Libraries in honor of her late husband, Dr. John M. Ditsky. The fund will be used to support research in the Steinbeck Collection of the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections Research Center.

Dr. John Michael Ditsky passed away on May 15, 2006. A world-renowned Steinbeck Scholar, Dr. Ditsky received his Ph.D. from New York University in 1967 and was Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Windsor, Canada, from which he retired in 2003 after 37 years of teaching. Prior to his tenure at the University of Windsor, he taught at the University of Detroit and Wayne State University. During his career, he served as Vice President of the International Steinbeck Society, President of the New Steinbeck Society of America, and Chair of the Editorial Board of the Steinbeck Quarterly. In addition to being a Steinbeck scholar, Ditsky was an active poet, poetry editor, and music critic.

Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi, a long-time friend of Dr. and Mrs. Ditsky, said of Dr. Ditsky that he “was first and foremost a passionate and dedicated scholar, teacher, and mentor.” He said that the Steinbeck Research Fund was “established to honor Ditsky’s long-established legacy of extending a helping hand to emerging Steinbeck scholars.”

According to the guidelines, recipients of the Ditsky Award are required to spend a minimum of 5 days doing intensive research using the Steinbeck Collection in Archives and Special Collections and other materials from the Ball State University Libraries. The research project should result in publication in a professional, scholarly Steinbeck-related journal, a scholarly paper to be presented at a Steinbeck conference, congress, convention, or a lecture at a university.

John B. Straw, Director of the Archives and Special Collections Research Center, and a committee, including Dr. Hayashi, will review applications for the award, with input and advice from Mrs. Ditsky. Applicants should submit 2 copies of a one or two-page, double-spaced, Steinbeck-related research proposal, a curriculum vita, and a completed application form to John Straw, Archives and Special Collections Research Center, Bracken Library room 210, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306.

For more information or an application form, contact John Straw,, (765) 285-5078. The application form will be made available on the Archives Web site in the near future,

Contributions to the Steinbeck Research Fund in Honor of Dr. John M. Ditsky may be sent to the Ball State University Foundation (include Fund No. 5112 on the check) or by contacting John Straw.

Bracken Library Adds Three iScan Stations

The University Libraries, in partnership with University Computing Services and the Ball State Office of Information Technology, have added three additional iScan Stations in Bracken Library. These iScan stations have been installed in the following locations:

· the Educational Resources Center
· on Bracken Library 2-West near the photocopiers
· on the north end of the Bracken 3rd floor lobby near a photocopier

Placing the iScan stations near the photocopiers and the bound periodical collection is convenient and gives students another opportunity to capture journal content for research and learning.

The University Libraries now has four iScan stations. The locally-developed touch screen application allows a Ball State student or faculty member to scan a print document directly to his or her iLocker disk space. The process could not be simpler. Anyone in the Ball State community can swipe his or her BSU identification card using the attached carder reader. The easy-to-use touch screen display prompts the user to choose scan quality.

The next step is to place the 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.

As a convenience to students and faculty using the Libraries’ public workstations, the University Libraries provide easy access to iLocker, a data storage solution with free access to 2 GB of storage for their use. For additional information, view

For more information, contact Bradley D. Faust, Ball State University Libraries’ Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services,, (765) 285-8032.

Papers of Otis Bowen Now Available at Ball State University Libraries' Archives and Special Collections Research Center

Students and scholars in many different disciplines now have available a rich resource for the study of political issues, U.S. health policy, and Indiana history in the Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections Research Center. Acquired as a result of the enterprising work of Ball State political science professor Raymond Scheele in collaboration with Archives staff, the papers document former Indiana governor and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Otis Bowen’s extensive career in public service.

Born near Rochester, Indiana on February 26, 1918, Bowen studied medicine at Indiana University and served in the Air Corps of the United States Army during World War II. His involvement in Republican Party politics began in the late 1940s. He served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1956 to 1958 and again from 1960 to 1972 and he was speaker of the House from 1967 to 1972.

After an unsuccessful campaign in 1968, Bowen was elected governor of Indiana in 1972. He served two terms, working on important issues such as property tax reform and medical malpractice law. Following his tenure as governor, he accepted a position on the teaching faculty of the Indiana University School of Medicine. In 1985, President Reagan appointed Bowen as the fourth U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. He was the first medical doctor to serve in this position.

As evidenced in his papers, many important issues dominated his time as U.S. Secretary, including the early years of the AIDS epidemic, catastrophic health care reform, medical malpractice and liability, and teen pregnancy. His papers include correspondence files, publications, and newspaper articles on diverse topics from his tenures as governor and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The collection also includes personal papers, hundreds of photographs, campaign memorabilia, and correspondence with important political figures of the 1970s and 1980s.

The Archives and Special Collections Research Center will present an exhibit on the life and career of Otis Bowen beginning March 19, 2007. An exhibit of materials will also be on display during the Bowen Institute for Political Participation at the Ball State Indianapolis Center on March 23, 2007. An online exhibition and finding aid will be made available on the University Libraries’ Web site.

For more information on the Otis Bowen Papers, contact Maren L. Read, Assistant Archivist for Manuscript Collections, at, 765-285-5078.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Rotating Monthly Map Display is Popular Feature on Bracken Library’s Second Floor

The Ball State University Libraries’ Geospatial Center and Map Collection (GCMC) is an integrated GIS lab and map collection, which contains a wide range of geospatial materials, including over 145,000 paper maps, atlases, and GIS data. The University Libraries are a depository for maps from the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Defense Mapping Agency, U.S. National Ocean Service, and Indiana Geological Survey.*

Each month, Melissa S. Gentry, Map Collection Assistant, creates a window display by using the large glass wall that encases the GCMC. These monthly rotating displays tie into a special interest feature or a national commemoration. A staple display is “Map of the Month.” These are additional maps featured on a relevant theme or current event. Melissa says people often stop in to compliment the interesting map displays. These rotating displays have introduced many students to the fascinating and interesting world of maps and geospatial media tools.

To visit the GCMC on the Web, view

A sampling of the displays include:

January: The State of the World on January 1, 1000 A.D. This world map displayed the types of food, construction, different religions, and other cultural factors represented at that time.

February: Harlem Renaissance. This map featured authors and artists popular during the Harlem Renaissance. The display commemorated Black History Month. Also displayed in February were maps showing Olympic venues in Torino, Italy and a display of all the maps donated by former Ball State President Richard Burkhardt, which commemorated Presidents’ Day.

March: Travelers’ Map of Ireland. This map celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day. Also shown in March to commemorate Women’s History Month were maps showing the home states of female members of Congress.

April: Titanic Reference Map. This map described the fateful voyage of the British luxury passenger liner Titanic on April 14-15, 1912, and a map marking the birthplaces of all of the Kentucky Derby winners, an event since 1875 held at Churchill Downs in Lexington, Kentucky.

September: World Terrorism Reference Map. This map showed locations of terrorist activity around the world.

November: The Grand Exchange Map. To mark Thanksgiving, this map describing the exchange of products and crops between the Americas and Europe was displayed. For National Geography Awareness Week, the theme was “Celebrate Africa,” so a display featuring several maps of Africa was presented.

For more information, contact Melissa S. Gentry, Ball State University Libraries’ Map Collection Assistant,, (765) 285-1097.

*More about the map collection: The collection of international maps includes Defense Mapping Agency topographic maps, road and tourist maps and city plans, thematic maps from governmental and commercial sources, CIA general reference maps, and national topographic map series of Canada. The collection of world maps includes topographic, aeronautical, and nautical maps, National Geographic Society maps, and historic urban plans for major cities. All of these types of maps are of interest to students who check them out for class presentations about the environment, sports, natural disasters, and other academic or leisure topics.

Ball State University’s Bracken Library Reorganizes First Floor Newspaper Area to Promote Quiet Study

The reorganization of Bracken Library’s First Floor area of current newspapers is just in time for the opening of the Bookmark Café @ Bracken Library.

For many students, faculty, and others, hot beverages such as tea or coffee go hand in hand with reading the newspaper and/or studying. Over the past few years, many print newspaper subscriptions have been migrated to online electronic format and are available now to students and faculty through Access World News, a searchable and browseable full text database that provides on/off-campus access 24/7 to over 1,730 national and international titles. For example, the resource features Muncie’s The Star Press, Marion’s Chronicle-Tribune, and Indianapolis’ The Indianapolis Star and nine other Indiana newspapers.

Over time, the University Libraries have reduced the number of paper subscriptions since they are available through Access World News. In an effort to optimize the square footage of the Current Newspapers area, the Periodical/Reserve/Microforms staff recently modernized the space to include updated newspaper racks and reconfigured the area to include several more comfortable chairs and tables.

“We wanted to provide a comfortable and quiet place for students and faculty to catch up on news of interest to them,” says Jan Vance, Periodical/Reserve/Microforms Supervisor. The Current Newspapers area is located just north of the Current Periodicals shelves and provides a less-trafficked space for quiet reading, study, and/or contemplation.

Ball State University’s carpenters built the wooden newspaper racks. These attractive racks hold 35 daily print newspapers that are provided on wooden sticks to keep loose sections together and are arranged alphabetically with informative signage.

The Current Newspapers print titles include a number of international newspapers for those interested in maintaining current awareness abroad, particularly international students. For example, in addition to titles of local interest such as The Indianapolis Star, The Indianapolis Recorder, and The Ball State Daily News, there are newspapers from China, Germany, Korea, and France, among others. Older issues of the current newspapers back to three months are displayed on the metal shelves directly behind the University Libraries New Books and Bestsellers. All are within a few paces of the comfortable chairs and tables.

For more information, contact Christy A. Groves, University Libraries’ Head of Access Services,, (765) 285-3330.

Elaine Nelson Enjoys Challenges, Changes in Interlibrary Loan Services

When Elaine S. Nelson, Interlibrary Loan Supervisor, began working for Ball State University Libraries in October 2000, articles were printed out by personnel, and students and faculty would come to the Interlibrary Loan Services desk for them.

Elaine says that interlibrary loans continued to be handled this way until Dr. Arthur W. Hafner came to Ball State University as Dean of University Libraries.

“One of the first things the Dean did when he came to the Libraries was to upgrade our equipment and software and he began the steps for implementing electronic delivery so that articles could be downloaded directly to the requestor’s desktop computer at home or work,” Elaine said. “It made a very positive impact on staff work flow.”

“I love my job, helping students and faculty to find what they need for their research and learning,” she said. “I like using new technology related to my job.”

Elaine also enjoys the challenge of locating a difficult-to-find item and being able to obtain it through interlibrary loan for the customer.

Before coming to Ball State, Elaine worked in manufacturing in a variety of positions including sales, accounting, and payroll. When her daughter was small, she chose to stay at home, and then re-entered the work force part-time at the local school system when her daughter enrolled in school. Eventually, Elaine began working full time in the school’s office until she took a position at Earlham College Library (Richmond, Indiana) where she worked in Interlibrary Loan Services for 10 years. About library work, Elaine says, “I got hooked. I loved it.”

Elaine continues to learn more about changes in interlibrary loan services by attending workshops and participating in online seminars. She monitors three listservs, ILLiad, ILL and INCOLSA and converses with colleagues in various institutions on job-related issues and stays in contact with students who have obtained MLS degrees and are working in libraries.

Elaine likes to visit used books stores and antique shops looking for items to add to her various collections at home.

“You never know when you will find that treasured title you’ve been looking for,” Elaine said.