Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Time-Saving Benefits Provided for Students and Faculty by the University Libraries

· Bookmark Café – No need to leave the Bracken Library building for a sandwich, cup of soup, coffee, soda, tea, and more
· Instant Messenger Reference Service – Librarian help via live chat from wherever you are, using popular chat systems such as AOL, MSN, Yahoo!
· Research Consultations – Individual meetings with librarians to help students and faculty find the best resources for a topic
· Full-text Articles – Reliable, scholarly resources available on demand 24/7/365 through the Internet on or off-campus
· Interlibrary Loan Services – Borrow materials from other libraries free; no road trip necessary; convenient desktop delivery for most journal articles
· Research and Study Guides – Tips on top resources and starting points for a variety of subjects, topics
· Laptop and Desktop Printing – Free laser printing of documents, articles, reports, and more
· E-Reserves – Get course material readings online 24/7/365
· FindIt @ BSU – One-stop searching for journal articles online
· Helpful Staff – Answering your questions in-person, over the phone, and online

Another 10 Ways that the Libraries Save People Time

· Equipment Loans – Borrow laptops, iBooks, digital cameras, DVD video players, and many other hi tech items from Bracken’s Educational Resources Collections
· Group Study Rooms – Work on a project or practice your presentation without relocating
· Desktop Software – Libraries’ workstations offer easy access to all of the popular software used in classes
· Media Finders – Online access makes it a snap to find music, movies, and more
· Instructional Services – One-hour sessions on effective use of research tools can save hours of aimless searching on the Web
· Technology Training for Faculty and Staff – Save time and keep your frustration level down by obtaining assistance from helpful knowledgeable technology training specialists on learning about various types of software
· Online Renewals – Renew materials online or over the telephone without coming into the Library
· CardCat Only Workstations – Zip in the library and out with the citation you need
· E-mail-A-Librarian – Send a question and get an answer online
· Late-Night Hours – If you need to stay up to finish a project, we’re here Sunday through Thursday nights until 3 a.m.

Yet another 7 Ways that the Libraries Save People Time

· Video Conferencing – High quality worldwide video and audio conferencing capability to anywhere around the globe for courses, lessons, tutoring, virtual field trips, professional activities, interviews, and more
· iScan Stations – Capturing print resources in digital format for saving directly to your iLocker
· Color Copying – From Bracken’s workstations for 25¢ per copy
· U.S. Mail and Campus Mail Drop Box – Convenience for mailing a letter or sending something through departmental campus mail
· The Student Virtual Library Page – Essential resources for students for research and learning
· Royalty Free Music – Free resources for presentations and electronic portfolios
· Notary Public Services – Have documents notarized in Bracken Library for free

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Technique and Low-Cost Way to Make the Availability and Accessibility of Your Libraries’ Digital Assets Known Globally

If you are reading this article, chances are you or your institution is involved in the library world. Most likely, with the widespread interest in digital assets these days, you are either thinking of digitizing content or are already involved in a program of digitizing.

A topic that is at least as challenging as digitizing materials, perhaps even more so, is figuring out how to make the availability and accessibility of your digital materials known to others. It is one thing to have a valuable digital collection that is perfect for research and learning and another for potential users, both inside and outside of your institution, to know about them.

The powerful techniques that I am about to describe utilize technology and are low-cost. They do not require you to purchase anything. They have been successfully used by the Ball State University Libraries and are recommended to you.

The first step to make your digital resources known to a global audience is for the various search engines, e.g., Google, Yahoo!, Windows Live Search (previously MSN), and others to “crawl” your website’s pages to index the site’s contents. The reason for alerting the search engines about your site, rather than waiting for them to eventually crawl the site, is that your resources become indexed faster. You can accomplish this notification in various ways:

Register your site with search engines, a selective listing of which is provided below. Some search engines do not support manual registration. The best way to find out whether you can register your site with an engine or not is to visit the engine’s website and find information related to webmaster on the Help or About pages.
○ Windows Live Search:
Register your site and information about your site with the Open Directory Project, Google retrieves information about a site from the ODP.

Since registering your site with various search engines does not guarantee that your newly created content will be crawled, there is more to do. In explaining this, I will focus mainly on an approach using Google Sitemap services because, from my experience, Google is the search engine that has been trying the hardest to gather as much information as it can about our digital content. The approach for other search engines is similar.

A sitemap is comparable to a book’s table of contents. That is, the book’s table of contents contains information about a topic, and it identifies where to find it, such as a page number. It directs readers to an exact location containing the information for which they are looking without requiring the person to read the book to find it. A sitemap works the same way.

A site map contains every link to the digital objects you have on your site. With this information, the search engine knows where to crawl on your website to find the digital assets that are to be indexed. Without this information, the search engine likely will not crawl the site.

Because the site’s webmaster knows the site best, Google involves the webmasters to help them build a list of links on the site and submit it to them so that their crawlers will most efficiently go about their task of indexing the digital assets. They build the keywords to the site after the webmaster has provided information about the location of the assets – the page number in the table of contents metaphor.

There are two ways to create a sitemap before submitting them to Google:
Automatically, by using a sitemap generator, such as
Manually, by building your own macros to generate and control the content of the sitemap

The latter method is more difficult to accomplish, although it results in a more accurate and reliable sitemap. There is a protocol, and you must adhere to it when creating a sitemap, see You can also find a way to validate your sitemap there.

Building a sitemap for a CONTENTdm collection is possible. The time consuming part is generating the list of URLs in a collection without having to spend time copying and pasting. Information needed to create sitemap URLs for CONTENTdm collections is stored in system files. A CONTENTdm system administrator has access to the files containing the necessary link components for each collection.

The following steps can be used to create URLs for assets (not including compound objects) in CONTENTdm collections:

· Make a copy of the CONTENTdm system file and open it in Microsoft Word
· Create two macros and name them “findDMRecord” and “makeURL”
· Copy and paste the code for the macro from www.bsu.edulibrarieswikiindex.phptitle=URL_Creator_for_Google_Sitemap
· Run the “findDMRecord” macro and change the code accordingly
· Clean up the document after the macro has completed
· Run the “makeURL” macro
· Create your sitemap based on the URL generated in the step above

In my next article, I will discuss more about other methods that can be applied to further identify and promote your digital objects to the world. Using the available search engine tools to expand awareness of valuable, local digital assets is a low-cost, effective process.

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

Student Assistants Value Employment at the University Libraries, Citing Excellent Work Experience and Flexible Scheduling

The Ball State University Libraries employ approximately 170 students part-time during the regular academic year, making the Libraries one of the top employers of students on campus. Over the summer sessions, there are about 80 student assistants.

There are always several projects in various stages at the University Libraries — and student assistants are a valuable resource in completing these projects or in serving the students and faculty who use the programs, services, and collections of the Libraries.

Student assistants who work at the University Libraries report that they value the experience, saying the work contributes to their professional and personal growth.

“This job has taught me how to quickly adapt to many different situations,” said Jonathan A. Byrd, a graduate student from Muncie. Currently, Jonathan works in the Education Resources Collections (ERC) and helps people to find materials and check out the items from the ERC. He also works on projects that improve the unit’s programs, services, and collections.

“I appreciate my supervisors who provide a good work environment and understand the scheduling demands placed on students,” he said. Jonathan plans to obtain a doctorate degree in English and teach at a university.

Holly C. Hampton, from Anderson, is another student assistant who works in the Educational Resources Collections. She is enrolled in Ball State’s elementary education program. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in elementary education or school psychology. In the course of a day, Holly works on a variety of tasks, such as shelving material, equipment inventory, and answering the telephones. She also assists students and faculty at the ERC circulation desk by retrieving material they need for research and learning.

“Working in Educational Resources has been very helpful for my elementary education major because I am exposed to children’s books, textbooks, videos, and realia items that I can use in lesson plans and unit plans,” she said. “I have also learned valuable customer service skills through workshops and interactions with patrons.”

Holly says working at the University Libraries has provided her with a better understanding of the importance of always greeting people with a positive attitude and helping them get their questions answered as completely as possible.

“Customer service is really about taking that extra step to make sure that a patron finds what he or she needs and has a positive experience in the Library,” Holly added.

“This is so much more than a job to me. It is a valuable opportunity to work with other motivated students in an educational environment,” she said. “This job has really helped me feel like a connected, contributing part of the Ball State community. Bracken Library is the central location on campus where learning and social interaction take place and it is rewarding to be part of that on a daily basis.”

Abby J. Foltz, a junior student from Greenville, Ohio, works in the University Libraries’ Dean's Office. Abby performs office tasks such as filing, making folders, organizing, running errands, and various computer tasks.

“Most of the students on campus complain about their jobs, but my job has taught me that work doesn't have to be a pain! I'm very fortunate,” she said. “Working at the Library has proved to be beneficial to me because I have become acquainted with all the resources it has to offer, and it has helped me do well in school!”

Abby is in the speech pathology program and plans to attend graduate school to prepare for employment in a hospital or rehabilitation center to work with those who have traumatic brain injuries.

Kylee B. Younts, a student assistant in Access Services, helps students, faculty, and staff as they check out materials. She also handles searches, organizes carts of materials to be re-shelved, and sometimes answers questions from library visitors.

“Ever since I was seventeen, I’ve been working in customer service, so I’ve understood the value of hard work, service, and working with others. However, from working at Bracken Library, I’ve come to a complete understanding of working with others. It’s important to have a professional and friendly relationship with your coworkers,” she said.

Kylee is from Centerville, Indiana, near Richmond, and she is majoring in elementary education with a concentration in kindergarten. After teaching a few years, Kylee says she may attend graduate school for a degree in library science or return to Ball State for a degree in nursing.

“Working at the library has been a wonderful opportunity, and it’s given me a chance to meet amazing people. This job works well around my schedule and gives me a few extra dollars in my pocket!”

Amanda D. Hunt, a student assistant in Archives and Special Collections, said that she has learned a lot about archival practices, and this fits perfectly with her long-term goals to become an archivist. Amanda, who is from Vincennes, Indiana, is working toward a degree in history and plans to obtain a master’s degree in library science some day.

“I’m growing more confident in what I am able to do and am more willing to try new projects,” Amanda said. “I’m always learning how to do something new.”

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Harriet Whitney Frishmuth’s Sculpture Scherzo Helps Beautify Bracken Library and Expose Thousands of Students Daily to Fine Art

Bracken Library proudly exhibits one of Harriet Whitney Frishmuth’s first and most popular garden fountains, Scherzo. The title refers to a playful musical composition, which perfectly describes the figure’s reaction, in dance-like movement, to having her toes splashed with cold water. Pipes emerge from the mouths of the five fish circling the base of the eighty-one inch bronze sculpture, which was designed for use as a fountain at the Foshay Tower in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The sculpture, one of six editions, is enjoyed by thousands of visitors daily at Bracken Library. Located on the main floor near the north entrance, the statue remains on loan from The Ball State University Museum of Art.

American sculptor Harriet Whitney Frishmuth (1880-1980) was known for her work in bronze and was interested in depicting stylized movement, especially of the female figure, as exemplified by Scherzo.

She studied briefly with Auguste Rodin at the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) in Paris. From Rodin, she said she learned two important things: first, always look at the silhouette of a subject and be guided by it, and secondly to remember that movement is the transition from one attitude to another. It is a bit of what was and a bit of what is to be, someone once said.

Frishmuth studied for two years with Professor Cuno von Euchtriz in Berlin and then at the Art Students’ League in New York before setting up her own studio around 1908. Her first commissioned piece was in 1910 from the New York County Medical Society. Frishmuth’s early pieces, such as ashtrays, bookends and small figures, are highly sought after by collectors. Her large bronzes often grace elaborate garden settings.

Frishmuth’s skillful rendering of the female physique is especially evident in the subtle definition of the figure’s muscles and ribs. The model for this 1917 statute was a Belgian girl named Janette Ransome. Dancer Desha Delteil modeled for the second edition. Both bronzes were among the sculptor’s most popular works during the 1920s, a period of heightened vogue in America for garden sculpture and fountains.

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Ball State University Libraries Collaborate on Immersive Learning Educational Experience for Students

The development of University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections as a teaching archive continues to expand, providing a new partnership opportunity for an immersive learning experience for 24 students from the Teachers College.

Archives’ personnel are working with Dr. Mark Malaby, Dr. Jon M. Clausen, and graduate student Mr. Chia-Kun Lee on a new and exciting way to prepare pre-service teachers to enter the profession with a broader understanding of factors that affect schools, teachers, and students.

Students in the Educational Foundations 420 class being taught by Professors Malaby and Clausen, and Mr. Lee are taking part in this new immersive concept for the course during the first summer session. The professors intend to continue the concept with two more sections in the fall.

Learning Objectives Involve Muncie’s Community Schools
In addition to Archives and Special Collections, the Center for Middletown Studies and the Muncie Community School system are partners in the endeavor. Dr. Marlin B. Creasy, Superintendent of Muncie Community Schools, and the assistant superintendents for instruction and elementary education are enthusiastic in their support of the project. Data from the research conducted by the students will be used for staff training, to satisfy certain requirements of the No Child Left Behind program, and to recruit teachers.
The goals established by the professors for the class are
· To help understand the social, historical, and philosophical perspectives of people who live and work within the Muncie Community School district
· To provide students an immersive experience, offering a model for actions they should take into their future teaching communities
· To increase teacher education students’ understanding of the potential for meaningful teaching and community engagement
· To inspire more Ball State University students to apply for jobs within the Muncie Community School district
· To model and use technology effectively in both the teaching of the course and the artifacts developed by the students

The school chosen for the summer class is Garfield Elementary School. Course activities include researching materials in the Archives and Special Collections to understand ways in which the neighborhood and school district has been constructed, a school tour, interviews with school personnel and community members, exploring the neighborhood, and guest speakers including the Director of the Center for Middletown Studies and the Director for the Archives and Special Collections.

Students Using Digital Resources as Part of Learning
The students are utilizing digital resources from the Ball State University Digital Media Repository, a project of the University Libraries, They are producing digital stories about the school and neighborhood and creating a multimedia artifact that will incorporate archival data, photographs, audio, interview data, and secondary textual sources.

“The oral histories, photographs, and other digital materials generated by the class will be made available in the Digital Media Repository, a project of the University Libraries,” said Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries. “Providing access to these types of resources is an important role for the University Libraries for facilitating and strengthening new developments in teaching and learning at Ball State University.”

In addition to interacting with Archives and Special Collections personnel and using archival and digital resources, the students are able to take advantage of many other services and resources of the University Libraries to make their projects successful. These include
· Geospatial Resources and Map Collection personnel who are helping them with neighborhood information and mapping
· Library Information Technology Services personnel who are providing students with access to external hard drives and server space for working on their projects
· Metadata and Data Initiatives personnel who provided forms for compiling metadata so that the student products will be searchable in the Digital Media Repository

The role of the Archives and Special Collections and other units of the University Libraries in this innovative, immersive class is an example of a holistic approach to the educational experience, where the convergence of the traditional archives, the teaching archives, and the digital archives is a key element.

Dr. Malaby and Dr. Clausen are to be applauded for their vision in providing this experience to their students. Archives and Special Collections and the University Libraries are pleased to be a part of the experience.

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Profile: Danny L. Taylor, Ball State University Libraries’ Periodical/Reserve Assistant

Muncie’s own Danny L. Taylor, Periodical/Reserve Assistant, is well known on the Ball State campus and has a longer history than almost anyone at the University Libraries. Thirty-six years ago, he began working part-time in Periodicals. At that time, Periodicals and Reserves were separate units. They merged in 1984.

In Danny’s job, he creates reserve records for the permanent reserve current periodicals so that they can be checked out by students and faculty. After a certain period, Danny removes the reserve records from the permanent reserves system and prepares the items for processing in serials cataloging. Danny said one of the joys of his job is being around students and working on the computer.

“Like a lot of people, at first I was afraid to work on a computer,” he said. “But over the years, I have learned how convenient it is and now I’m comfortable with it.”

“Danny’s enthusiasm for and dedication to his job, Bracken Library, and Ball State University are absolutely unparalleled,” said Christy A. Groves, Head of Access Services. “He always has a smile for everyone he meets.”

After graduating from Muncie Central High School, Danny obtained a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Ball State. He says that he enjoys cultural events and sports. He is a regular at the local civic theater and Main Street Studio Theatre as well as Ball State’s women’s basketball and volleyball games.

This summer Danny plans to again participate in Ball Memorial Hospital’s therapeutic recreation program, just as he has for the past 12 years. This is an important event to Danny because he has cerebral palsy, a medical condition that results in reduced control of movement and posture. The three-day adaptive water skiing clinic is held in Cicero, Indiana and is conducted by the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana Sports Program.

Danny enjoys water skiing, a sport he can enjoy through the use of custom-made extra-wide skis that allow those with disabilities to enjoy the thrill of gliding across Morse Lake.

Danny’s younger brother, Scott, is a Doctor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He accompanies Danny to the event. Speaking about his brother, Danny said, “My handicap inspired him to become a doctor.”

“Dan is one of the most active people I know,” said Jan A. Vance, his supervisor. “He is the true spirit of live strong.”

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University Libraries’ Public Workstation Keyboards Regularly Cleaned

The University Libraries are high-traffic locations with an average of 4,600 visitors daily during the academic semesters. Many visitors make use of the 345 computers available throughout the facilities during the 120.5 hours each week that the Libraries are open. The chatter of clacking keyboards underscores the active research environment.

In an effort to maintain an inviting atmosphere, personnel in Public Services strive to keep computer equipment in good working order by engaging in a regular cleaning schedule. Light dusting of tabletops and monitors happens daily in some areas. The comparatively quieter times that accompany holiday and semester breaks provide the time necessary for thorough cleaning and sanitizing, particularly of each computer mouse and keyboard. During these times, one hears the sounds of mini-vacuums, compressed air, and other cleaning equipment.

These activities, and other work performed by Facilities custodial crews, insure that Bracken Library, the Architecture Library, and the Science Health-Science Library present a clean and welcoming environment for library users.

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Intellectual Property Issues in Higher Education: Faculty Academic Ownership

The basic, bottom line rule in the U.S. Copyright Law is that the person who creates an original work is the owner of the work. With ownership come rights guaranteed by law. For example, our U.S. Copyright law gives both immediate and automatic protection for any original work, including text, audio/visual materials, photographs, web pages, podcasts, vodcasts, music, lyrics, art works, and other types of creative works. The law even covers an original boat hull design.

There are two requirements for this automatic copyright protection:
1. The work has to be an original work of authorship
2. The creation has to be fixed in a tangible medium

Copyright Law provides automatic protection to these works, even without the use of a copyright notice, i.e., ©. Further, the work does not need to be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. However, an advantage to having a work officially registered is a larger sum for infringement and having your attorney’s fees reimbursed if you win in court.

Classroom educators who provide face-to-face instruction and distance educators are involved in creating new works for their courses and/or their scholarly work. These typically include syllabi, course descriptions, course notes, online course enhancements, and all of the other various works that faculty create to meet instructional objectives and learning outcomes. Published articles and books are owned by the faculty member producing them as well.

Distance educators typically have multiple contributions made in their online classes by college or university support staff such as instructional designers, graphic specialists, technical personnel and the like. The completed distance education course then might be a collaborative effort with multiple claims on content in the same course; in other words, joint authorship may be involved. However, another doctrine in the Copyright Law might be in play with distance education courses, e.g., work-for-hire.

Joint ownership might be obviated by the work-for-hire doctrine for the non-teaching aspects of the course if the contribution to the distance education course was made as part of the contributor’s employment. If that is the case, then the university might be a joint author. In this case, joint authorship may be resolved by an agreement – or assignment – between the instructor and the university. This written agreement between the distance ed instructor and their institution should be made detailing how the instructor and the university can use the work. For example, these uses might include how the university can use the course if the instructor obtains employment elsewhere and whether or not a derivative work of the course can be made. A derivative work is one that is recast, transformed, or adapted from the original, including such modifications as making editorial revisions, condensing it, adding to it, or translating it, among others.

This article only covers a small part of faculty academic ownership of intellectual property. Ownership issues are usually important for the faculty creating new works and also for the dynamic life of the university itself.

For additional information or to have your questions answered, please contact The Copyright and Intellectual Property Office,, (765) 285-8032.

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New Software — Online Staff Availability Program — Replaces Marker Board in the Libraries Information Technology Services Unit (LITS)

One of the challenges in a busy office environment is to know who is at his or her desk. This comes up often when telephones are answered by a receptionist and calls are routed to the person’s desk. Multiple rings are noisy in the environment and annoying to the caller if the person is not available. It is also a problem when the person is needed by a manager or co-worker to answer a question or help to solve a priority problem.

A great convenience and time saver would be if the receptionist or co-workers could determine at a glance who is in or out of the office. To help solve this problem, we created a piece of software, The Online Staff Availability Program (OSAP).

Last Fall 2006, LITS student assistant R. Scott Morford, a junior, developed a client-side software program, Offline Staff Availability Program (OffSAP). This tool provided students working at the LITS reception desk, who are responsible for handling a high volume of incoming telephone calls, with the ability to provide faster service to callers.

By knowing at a glance when one of the 10 LITS staff members is in or out, questions are routed more quickly and calls handled more easily and professionally. This solution was particularly helpful because the seating is in cubicles where it is difficult to determine if a staff member is at his or her desk.

If a staff member is away from the workstation, the receptionist uses the program to send an e-mail to the staff member about a missed call with any additional message information.

In August 2006, shortly after LITS began using OffSAP, it became clear that sharing access to the information among all LITS staff and student workstations would be valuable. The challenge was to migrate Scott’s single client program to an online environment. In April 2007, LITS’ student assistant Tony S. Helvey, a junior, took on the project. Tony accomplished this task using PHP and MySQL on the University Libraries’ Microsoft IIS web server. The code base will also run on an Apache web server.

By mid-May 2007, Tony completed a working model of OSAP along with an administrative interface to add and remove names from the system. The interface also provides fields for the staff member’s name and e-mail address. The program is designed to accommodate any number of names. Staff availability information is keyed into the system in one of two ways, either by the staff member at his or her own workstation, or by the receptionist at the office’s front desk. Staff are each assigned one of the following eight status options: In, Stepped Out, Meeting, Lunch, Out for Day, Out for Week, Vacation, and Out.

Using OSAP in the LITS unit has improved awareness among the LITS staff about who is away from his or her telephone at a particular time. It has reduced noise from ringing telephones and has improved customer service by not keeping callers online if the person with whom they wish to speak is not available. It has also increased the efficiency and accuracy of leaving messages for the staff member, since the receptionist can include a brief message or calling information in the e-mail that is sent.

The University Libraries are testing this program in other areas. Some improvements have already been identified and will be implemented. The Libraries hope to make copies of the software available to other libraries that are interested in using it.

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

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Ball State University Libraries Unveil New Homepage

Visitors to the University Libraries’ homepage,, noticed a completely new page design and look and feel this month. The new homepage, and five associated secondary pages, went live on Wednesday, May 23, 2007. Users’ reactions have been favorable.

The Web Development Working Group (WDWG) planned and designed the pages based on weeks of analysis of user needs and research into upcoming library trends and web-usability principles.

The biggest difference from the previous homepage, which was introduced last summer 2006, is the concept of “secondary pages.” Rather than trying to include every useful link on the homepage, the WDWG included more links on separate pages to serve users better.

There are five secondary pages:
· Find, featuring links to search for books, articles, digital images, and more
· Help, with links to different help topics and frequently asked questions
· About, featuring general information, links to the Libraries’ collections and service areas
· Resources, which lists links to targeted information for students
· New and Notable, which highlights new services and features, including links to articles about the University Libraries

The WDWG’s objective for these new pages was simplicity of design and text. The homepage describes what kinds of things are on each secondary page, rather than listing every item on those pages. Text is kept brief and simple. White space is utilized to direct the user to the central choices.

The homepage and secondary pages will be evolving over the summer. As Dr. Arthur W. Hafner says, “We are always in beta. Our website is in continual development.”

The WDWG plans to conduct usability tests, using students as testers. Changes will be implemented based on the results of those tests and user comments. After seeing the pages in production, some design changes might be made to the secondary pages as well.

Other developments slated for the summer include an A-Z Index of all pages, additional rotating graphics for the top of the homepage, and improvements to the Student Virtual Library page, view

The WDWG welcomes comments about the University Libraries’ new homepage and secondary pages. Comments may be submitted online at,,--2051,00.html.

For more information, contact Katie M. Bohnert, Library Enterprise Service and Systems Support Analyst, Library Information Technology Services,, (765) 285-8032.

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Bracken Library Provides Space for Meetings, Conferences, Receptions, Even Small Weddings

Bracken Library, located at the heart of Ball State’s campus, provides space for a variety of occasions, such as meetings, conferences, receptions, seminars/workshops, musical performances, readings, video conferencing, and even small weddings.

Bracken Library offers state-of-the-art equipment and technology for all types of conferences and meetings such as a sound system, CD player, computer projector, DVD player, high-speed Internet access, overhead projector, podium, slide projector, and TV/VCR. An event can be videotaped or video-cast live from Bracken to an audience anywhere around the globe. Bracken’s Forum Room is an attractive space that accommodates up to 90 persons, and it allows for a wide range of food and beverage options through University Banquet and Catering.

Bracken’s main floor is beautifully tiled and perfect for a small wedding ceremony and dance floor. The area is easy to decorate and the impressive spiral staircase makes for a dramatic entrance by the bride. Ceremonial events such as this would be best scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings when Bracken closes early.

Convenient parking is available at the Emens parking structure which is located behind Bracken Library.

For more information, contact Denise W. Kinney, Ball State University Libraries’ Secretary to Library Assistant Deans,, (765) 285-1307.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Graduate Students and Faculty Report Favorably on PC Workstations Provided in the University Libraries’ Scholar Carrels

Beginning Spring Semester 2007, the University Libraries initiated a pilot program to provide computer workstations and selected software applications in study carrels assigned to graduate students and faculty in Bracken Library.

With all 33 available computers being placed in service, the pilot proved very popular. In addition, one individual opted for equipment to supplement a personal laptop. The purpose of the program is to increase the productivity of graduate students and faculty who may not have a personal laptop available to them when using the study carrel. The workstation provides access to common software such as Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint, among others. Because the computer is connected to Ball State’s powerful network, the person also has access to files and records. Of course, the person can also print documents from the study carrel.

Jerry White, a graduate student in Educational Leadership, was among those who participated in the program. “I could not begin to count the hours this service saved me,” he said. “When my computer monitor died, the staff was quick to respond. I give your staff an A+.”

Response from students and faculty underscored the benefits of the computer loans to their research and productivity. The pilot period also gave libraries’ staff opportunities to fine-tune operational procedures and guidelines for the continuation of the program.

Demand for individual study carrels almost always exceeds supply. There are plans to add computers to several more carrels this summer.

For more information, contact Denise W. Kinney, Ball State University Libraries’ Secretary to the Library Assistant Deans,, (765) 285-1307.

Providing Customer Service at the Ball State University Libraries

Good customer service is a cornerstone of any successful enterprise. This tenet is repeatedly cited in business surveys, commercial workshops, and management texts. In addition to expert opinions, personal experience tells us that positive customer experiences contribute to creating a satisfied and loyal clientele.

The University Libraries’ mission to support the teaching, learning, and research needs of the Ball State academic community are well-served through the application of basic customer-service principles, including:
· Caring about customers and their needs. The University Libraries’ staff focuses on providing individual service. When speaking to library personnel about their career choices, invariably their responses include something akin to “I find great satisfaction in helping people.”
· Knowing what the Libraries have to offer. Information professionals devote significant amounts of time to learning about new resources and research tools so they can make the best matches to meet user needs. Library staff are also well-versed in building layouts, operational procedures, equipment use, and other useful information.
· Providing quick and reliable service. Experienced staff are a key component to providing timely and knowledgeable responses. So, too, are a variety of access methods such as multiple service counters, phones, e-mail, and live chat connections.
· Maintaining convenient service hours. Bracken Library is open 120.5 hours weekly, (until 3 a.m. five days a week, Sunday through Thursday), which includes staffing of Bracken’s major service points and providing librarians who are able to assist students and faculty with informational needs early in the morning, late at night, on weekends, and during holidays.

Good customer service does not happen by chance. It stems from a commitment to quality by the University Libraries’ personnel that includes seeking and hiring staff who have a positive service orientation, building customer service elements into training programs for new employees, providing workshops to keep staff apprised of new resources and technological advances, and using task teams and working committees, such as the Services Excellence Working Group, to encourage development of service skills.

The results take a variety of forms. In the University Libraries, quality service can be most broadly interpreted as efficiently providing excellent resources in a comfortable setting to those who need them for research, learning, and discovery. More specific examples include library instruction sessions tailored to meet class needs, one-on-one research consultations, providing reliable technology such as computers and software for all library users, and more.

Little things count, too. For example, a staff member who responds to a phone call from a library user by going to another floor in the library to retrieve a flash drive left in a computer, or an evening staff member who takes time to help a frustrated student decipher a video formatting problem for a presentation due the next morning, or a librarian who forwards information from a new Web site to a faculty member who has ongoing research interest in that area.

Far from random acts of kindness, these are the sorts of daily activities that combine to create both user satisfaction for those who visit the University Libraries for their research and learning and job satisfaction for those professionals and paraprofessionals who work in the University Libraries.