Friday, August 17, 2007

Profile: Michele Walsh, Acquisitions Receiving Assistant

What began as a temporary position for Michele L. Walsh in the Ball State University Bookstore led to a full-time position with the University Libraries as Acquisitions Receiving Assistant.

Michele orders and receives books, unpacks shipments of print and non-print materials and places them in the proper place to be handled by those in Collections Development, Cataloging, and Educational Resources Collection.

Michele enjoys the variety of duties associated with her job, as she currently completes her tenth year. She also enjoys talking to vendors regarding orders.

“I like the different tasks and that I’m not always doing computer work,” she said.

Technology is the biggest change in the past 10 years, Michele noted. The type of software and the databases used to order material has changed three times in Acquisitions from Innopac to Classic Workflows to Java Workflows.

“Michele is an enthusiastic and valued member of Acquisitions Services,” said Michael Twigg, Assistant Head of Acquisitions Services. “She constantly strives to learn new things and adapts well to our varied work environment.”

Michael estimates that, during the past 10 years, Michele has received about 130,000 new items to add to the Libraries’ collections--books, DVDs, CDs, maps, CD-ROMs, kits, slides, puppets, 3D models for study, games, and costumes.

As our only print and non-print monograph receiving assistant, Michele is responsible for receiving between 1,000 and 1,500 items every month.

Michele and her husband, Dave, have two grown sons and a playful 10-year-old cat, Reggie. The Walshes enjoy nature and taking long walks.

Program Goals and Marketing Plan for The Ball State University Libraries

The Ball State University Libraries serve to support the vision and mission of Ball State University as a national model of excellence for learning-centered academic communities to advance knowledge, improve economic vitality, and enhance the quality of life.

The vision of the University Libraries is recognition as a destination for research, learning, and friends. This statement reflects our strategy for the libraries’ technologies, programs, services, and collections. Our fundamental service objective is to support students’ pursuit of academic success and faculty endeavors in the creation of new knowledge, classroom instruction, enhancement of academic outcomes, and greater personal awareness.

The University Libraries’ Goals for 2007-2008
Our goals identify the outcomes that our professional and paraprofessional personnel strive to achieve in providing a wide-range of sophisticated library and information services to our students and faculty. These goals include the following:
Increasing access to informational resources for students and faculty
Maintaining and enhancing a student-faculty friendly, comfortable environment supportive of teaching, learning, collaborative student endeavors and research
Continual improvement of information technology service levels for student learning
Maintaining and expanding the Digital Library Initiative
Providing increased customer service for the Ball State community
Enhancing technical training opportunities for faculty and staff, and providing training opportunities for students

Technologies, Programs, Services, and Collections of the University Libraries
Librarians and other specialists to help students and faculty with research projects and papers
Access to rich digital and print content for scholarship and research
Physical and digital space for pursuing research and learning projects
Computers, software, and other technology for completing classroom assignments and conducting both research and creative projects
Individual and collaborative spaces for study and group learning and great hours

Elements of the University Libraries’ Business Plan for Increased Emphasis, 2007-2008
Distance education outreach through webpage design and online chat with librarians
Establishment of a presence in Second Life, a 3-D virtual space
Greater collection access through enhanced graphical interface
Implementation of an online reservation system for study and conference rooms
Incorporation of facilitators into discussion groups for books, films, readings
Intensive computing for data analysis, gaming, video editing and animation rendering
Outreach to students who are living in University housing
Providing academic database access for alumni
Targeted immersive learning opportunities using the Archives and Special Collections, including data storage
Virtual Press expansion to include publication by faculty, students, alumni, and other academic organizations
Web-based video tutorials for library instruction

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Google as Personal Information Management Suite

The July 2007 issue of The Library Insider featured a new iGoogle gadget that allows library patrons to access WorldCat from their iGoogle homepage. This month we are featuring iGoogle as a personal information management suite. Students, faculty, and staff can use iGoogle to craft a personal homepage by selecting content in the form of gadgets and RSS feeds of personal interest.

Google gadgets, like the WorldCat gadget, allow you to access tools and information available from other websites from within your iGoogle homepage. Some popular websites that offer iGoogle gadgets include MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, the Weather Channel, and the Babelfish language translator.

There are also gadgets available that will serve up daily quotes, Garfield comics, or themed images to spice up your homepage. Other popular gadgets include videogames, map services, free iTunes store downloads, and IM chat clients. Google also offers a range of gadget templates that allow you to create your own gadgets that you can share with friends and family.

Getting Information through RSS Feeds

iGoogle allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds that will serve periodically updated content to your homepage from blogs and other serial websites. You can select information sources that interest you to develop an iGoogle homepage that allows you to scan large amounts of information in a short period of time. Whether you are interested in basketball, English Literature, or knitting there are a wide variety of blogs and websites targeting you as an audience that are available via RSS feed.

The Ball State University Libraries offers a list RSS feeds, see, that will help you to keep up to date with recent developments in the libraries and librarianship.
To learn more about RSS feeds and how to make use of them, visit the Libraries’ page, FAQ about RSS,,,42833--,000.html.

Google offers several web-based software applications that can be integrated into the iGoogle environment, including the following:
· Google Calendar allows you to set appointments, remember birthdays, and check event locations from any internet connected computer
· Google Notebook lets you take notes and organize them so that they can easily reference them later
· Google Docs & Spreadsheets is a web-based word processor and spreadsheet application that uses an interface similar to that offered by the popular Microsoft Office Suite of applications

Documents that are created in the Google applications are stored on Google’s servers and can be designated as private, shared with the world, or shared with a select group of peers. Sharing documents allows you to work collaboratively and track one another’s calendars to facilitate coordinating schedules.

Integration of E-mail Services

iGoogle supports the integration of email services such as Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, and Google’s own Gmail. If you have several e-mail accounts, you can have all of them forwarded to one Gmail account and set up filters to keep the different accounts sorted under distinct “labels,” which are similar to folders in other e-mail clients. Use of one e-mail account also allows you to keep all of your contact information in a central location.

One of the major advantages of the iGoogle interface is that it allows you to easily create a tabbed environment. Your homepage content can be separated into distinct tabs that organize the information into thematic categories. A Ball State student’s homepage, for example, might include tabs such as School, Work, Play, and Friends. The ability to quickly tab between contexts makes multitasking in the digital world all the easier.
With this in mind, iGoogle provides an environment where user and context specific information can be quickly organized and digested.

Creating a Google Account

Remember, to create an iGoogle homepage you must have a Google account. To create a Google account, visit, click on “Sign In” in the upper right hand corner and then click on “Create an account now” in the lower right hand corner. If you already have a Google account, you can just click “Sign In”. You then return to and can begin adding content by clicking on “Make it your own,” which is locted under the search box.

Some privacy advocates caution against too liberal a use of services such as those offered through the iGoogle interface. Users should be aware that a security leak could expose data that they publish to the Google servers to hackers. In addition, information stored on the Google servers is subject to discovery, i.e., legal subpoena of the data to support civil or criminal proceedings.

For more information about the iGoogle interface, contact Philip James Deloria, Assistant Archivist for Digital Projects and University Archives,, or call (765) 285-5078.

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The Ball State University Libraries Begins to Explore Second Life for Its Promise as a Virtual World of Opportunities for Learning, Research

In the July 2007 issue of the Ball State University Libraries’ newsletter, The Library Insider, Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, reported about a Working Group to explore a Library foray into the multi-user virtual environment of Second Life. A recent continuing education session for library staff provided an overview of companies, organizations, and libraries with a presence in this multi-user virtual environment.

Consider, for a moment, the possibilities that engagement with a virtual world could afford the Ball State University community. Imagine an interactive special collections exhibit featuring rare and archival materials that is available 24/7/365. The exhibit explains the scope and content of the collections and how to use the materials to conduct research and create new knowledge.

Interactive displays link to external web pages and digital resources, and they serve as portals to an expanded universe of information. In-world avatars act as docents and reference assistants to orient patrons to what they encounter there. Professors and instructors lead virtual field trips to the exhibit and assign coursework supported by the archival materials made available in this virtual environment.

The exhibit area would act as a meeting place, classroom, and digital repository. Learning opportunities like this and more are possible in Second Life, allowing libraries to reach their users no matter where they might be in the physical world.

The University Libraries are working to offer reference and instructional services and to mount virtual exhibits in Second Life. The Information Services unit is developing a reference area, promotional displays, interactive tutorials, and an instructional environment. Much like the Reference Desk and library classrooms in Bracken's physical space, these areas will serve the users of University Libraries' virtual resources.

Archives and Special Collections are working on a Middletown Archives & Library that will provide access to digitized archival materials documenting the use of Muncie (as Middletown) as a representative American Community. Some of the digitized resources to be made available include photographs, maps, newspapers, and oral histories.

Through development of such resources, the University Libraries hope to explore the role of academic libraries in the virtual environment. Several questions arise regarding this role, including:
Who are our patrons in such an environment, targeted and unexpected?
How are reference and instructional services to be delivered to avatars?
How do those transactions differ from real life reference and instructional transactions?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of delivering library services to avatars?
How do librarians promote teaching, learning, research, and public service in a virtual environment?

The University Libraries are actively seeking students and faculty as partners to collaborate with University Libraries’ personnel to create opportunities such as those outlined above.

For more information or to express an interest in participation in this project, contact Philip James Deloria, Assistant Archivist for Digital Projects and University Archives,, (765) 285-5078.

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Marketing/Communications Conference for Academic and Public Libraries Hosted by Ball State University Libraries on September 25, 2007

On September 25, Ball State University Libraries will sponsor Design a Blueprint for Communication Strategies that Work!

The conference will provide attendees with information and strategies for creating a communications plan, using research data to determine an audience’s needs and wants, improving customer relationships, designing attractive adult programming, developing a library’s brand, creative marketing tactics, and more.

“We are expanding our communications and outreach and this conference sounds like it has the type of topics I need to create a comprehensive plan,” said Janet S. Fore, Director, Cushwa–Leighton Library, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana.

Visit or contact Susan G. Akers, Ball State University Libraries’ Marketing Communication Manager, or call (765) 285-5031.

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Renovation of the Science-Health Science Library at Ball State University

I overheard one student describe the Science-Health Science Library (SHSL) as one of the best-kept secrets on campus. The reason for this student’s observation is that the SHSL provides a unique, quiet study atmosphere, an availability of key resources for learning and study, and a full-service circulation point on the west side of campus making it a favorite of students and faculty.

Occupying nearly 1,500 square feet, the SHSL is a distinctive learning space located in the exact center of the lower level of Cooper Science Building. It is surrounded by offices and classrooms, a large two-story electronic classroom and lecture hall, and hallways. And it is off the beaten path. Yet, over the past five years and without any additional space, the SHSL has undergone a number of changes that have increased the functionality of its space to serve more students and faculty in a more effective and efficient manner.

Our enhanced service has been accomplished by selectively re-prioritizing the collections, which has increased its efficiency and impact. Refocusing of the collection has included relocating many of the less circulated books and some bound journal volumes to Bracken, the University’s main library. Many journal print titles, only available when the SHSL is open, have been replaced with convenient, 24/7 online access. The stacks that were previously used for these print materials have been repurposed to provide services for students and faculty who come to the library. This has not gone unnoticed.

Professor Nagia S. Ali, School of Nursing, remarks that the SHSL is “Beautiful. It will encourage people to come in and find articles, sit and have a nice place to study. It’s always a quiet place to study.”

A comfortable and inviting décor of tables and soft-chair seating has been added to support collaborative and individual study. These improvements have increased the area’s seating capacity to 29. According to turnstile counts, traffic in the area has experienced an accelerating growth pattern from 32,723 during fiscal year 2004-2005 to 42,064 at the end of this past fiscal year 2006-2007 that ended June 30, evidencing an increase of 28.5% over a two-year period.

Beginning in early June 2007, the library’s space underwent another renovation that was focused on streamlining the library’s floor plan. This was undertaken to make better use of the space through additional seating and access to more public PC workstations.

The library’s circulation counter was replaced and a new one was positioned opposite the library’s entrance and visible from the hallway whereas the former counter was located adjacent to the entrance and not visible from the hallway. Changing the location and size of the counter opened a large amount of space that has been used for making available additional PC work stations and seating. The SHSL now offers 34 seats and 12 PC workstations.

“I love this library. You’ve got lots more room but can still find things easily. I can see the current periodicals now. It looks so smashing,” said Fresia E. Steiner, Research Associate, Public Health Entomology Lab, Department of Physiology and Health Science.

The new location for the circulation desk also means that library personnel are able to monitor the front area of the library better. This allows the staff to provide better and more timely service to our users. Visual relief will be further enhanced by replacing a full-sized range of shelving with a 36” half-size section of shelving with a counter top to house reference materials, making these items more accessible and usable to everyone. “Very nice,” says Professor Scott E. Pattison, Department of Chemistry. “Much more room. The students will certainly benefit.”

Professor James C. Eflin, Chair, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, commented that the SHSL is “… very open — much more inviting for students entering the library.”

An additional heartening comment about the SHSL renovation comes from Cheryl H. Kellogg, Instructor of Biology, Indiana Academy for Mathematics, Science, and Humanities. Cheryl relates, “I love this place. When I die and go to heaven I want it to be like the Science Library.”

SHSL services include providing course reserves (paper and electronic), research consultation, a public copy machine, color scanner, instruction on finding and evaluating information and its sources, and online resources at the library’s website,

For more information, contact Kevin E. Brooks, Ball State University Libraries’ Science Librarian, (765) 285-5079 or

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Graphic Captures the Spirit of the Ball State University Libraries’ Technologies, Programs, Services, and Collections

An article in the July 2007 issue of the Ball State University Libraries’ newsletter, The Library Insider, invited everyone from the Ball State University community and beyond to create a robust, engaging, and aesthetically pleasing graphic for the University Libraries that could be used in both print and electronic media.

The goal was to develop a unique graphic that symbolizes and defines the University Libraries’ technologies, programs, services, and collections.

This graphic element selected, shown above, was created by Robert L. Seaton, Ball State University Libraries’ Web Developer.

Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, said that he likes this graphic because the “cardinal red” silhouette in the background is representational and reminds one of Bracken Library’s bookshelf shape. The two students in the foreground exemplify an integral part of the University Libraries’ vision to be recognized by our students as a destination for research, learning, and friends.

“This graphic is an excellent example of visual rhetoric,” Dr. Hafner said.

As a hot spot for its wireless connectivity throughout all five floors, Bracken Library serves as a third space for students, a term used among college architects and administrators to denote spots where communities naturally tend to gather, connect, interact, and socialize.

To comment about the graphic, please contact Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Ball State University’s Dean of University Libraries,, (765) 285-5277.

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Changes to Public Services in the Ball State University Libraries

Ball State University Libraries' personnel have been busy improving facilities, resources, and fine-tuning services in preparation for the start of the new academic year 2007-2008.

Students and faculty will note a new alcove in the 1-East area of Bracken Library, an area now devoted to group or individual study. The space, measuring 26’ x 30’ or 780 square feet, is conveniently located near the Periodicals/Reserves Desk and features plenty of natural light from north-facing windows. Additional electrical outlets have been added to the area for students and faculty who use laptops or other mobile devices for research and learning.

People seeking current news in a traditional format may browse from a number of newspaper subscriptions on nearby racks. Soft chairs have been added for persons seeking a relaxed study environment away from the dorm, office, or research lab. Photocopiers, including color, and a laser-printing station are nearby, and the Bookmark Café is just around the corner adjacent to the Circulation Desk.

This space is a great addition for Bracken Library, which is generally accepted as a regular destination for students and faculty on campus for research and learning. Even during July 2007, traditionally one of the more quiet months, there were over 46,000 visits to Bracken — an increase of more than 8% over the previous year.

Renovation of the area was made possible from the conversion of many periodical subscriptions from print to online full-text holdings. Increased accessibility is another benefit to this format change. Online journals and periodicals are available 24/7/365 both on and off-campus.

Fans of print periodicals may still find plenty to interest them with the approximately 2,000 current print subscriptions in the area. Those interested in still more can find many thousands of bound back issues on Bracken 2-W and in remote storage.

Thanks go to many library personnel for the renovation of this space, most notably to Access Services’ Jan A. Vance, Jeff R. Koenker, Lajmar D. Anderson, Jennifer N. Criss, Christy A. Groves and several student employees.

In commenting on the project, Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, said, “This was a large undertaking that included layout design and planning, dismantling and assembling of shelving, and moving periodicals to their new homes. Thanks also go to Suzanne S. Rice, Assistant Dean for Public Services, members of Support Services, and Ball State University Carpenter Ray Kinder for his significant contribution to this project.”

Library staff have been engaged in many projects this summer to enhance support for research, teaching, and learning at Ball State University. Many will be featured in this or future issues of The Library Insider. Among those completed or underway in Public Services are the following:

Music Collection — Audio streaming for course reserves for PCs and MACs
Science-Health Science Library — Renovations to increase study space and pubic workstations
Access Services — Renovations to the microfilm viewing area, including adding new equipment
Information Services — The creation of online, interactive tours and tutorials
Educational Resources Collections — Refurbishment of equipment to maintain the circulating media collections and the addition of more circulating technical equipment such as a SmartBoard, headphones, PC power supplies, etc.
Architecture Library – Pursuit of licensing arrangements to increase the number of images available digitally

For more information, contact Suzanne S. Rice, Ball State University Libraries’ Assistant Dean for Public Services,, (765) 285-1305.

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Bracken Library’s Bookmark Café Offers Espresso and Blended Frozen Drinks

Beginning August 13, 2007, the Bookmark Café @ Bracken Library will add espresso and blended frozen drinks to its menu. During the week of August 6, Café employees received barista training from Starbucks, training on how to make coffee and espresso and some other important coffeehouse skills. They will use the same brand of espresso machine that is used in all Starbucks globally — Saeco’s patented Verismo 701.

"We will be prepared to make all of your favorites like cappuccino and lattes," said Lucas Miller, manager of menu development and Ball State's test kitchen. "We will also serve creamice to help beat the heat."

Creamice is a blended frozen drink similar to Frappuccino. It will come in four flavors: latte, mocha, raspberry and mango.

The Bookmark Café is a popular and favorite spot for students and faculty who are studying or working on a research project at Bracken Library or who are just meeting up with friends. The Café offers a range of “grab and go options” including bottled beverages, Seattle's Best brewed coffee, sandwiches, soups, salads, and breakfast items.

During the academic year, the Bookmark Café is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and on Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed on weekends.

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Selected Original Artwork of Nana Ekow Maison on Displays at Bracken Library

Students, faculty and staff who visit Ball State University’s Bracken Library are encouraged to view the artwork of Nana Ekow Maison that is on exhibit on 1-West in Bracken’s Reference Learning Center. The artwork will be at Bracken Library through fall semester 2007.

Artist Ekow Maison was born in Ghana and received his bachelor’s degree in Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa, concentrating in painting and drawing. He earned a Master of Fine Art at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Maison’s extensive résumé reflects his experience in solo exhibitions, group exhibitions, and his involvement in lectures at various campuses across Illinois and Massachusetts. He has taught at Bradley University, the Peoria Art Guild, and at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa.

Maison uses the technique of pointillism, which is the practice of placing small dots on canvas so they appear to form a larger image from a distance. He also utilizes symbolism in his art, incorporating both traditional Ghanaian symbols and icons that hold specific significance to him.

“True to my African nature, I do not feel a need to indulge my art for the sake of sensationalism,” he said. “In my creative process, I try to be more innovative, intuitive and spontaneous than technical. However, no sign is arbitrary, no color is applied by chance, and no image is fanciful. They are all real forms of a certain reality. The traditional art forms I use are no exception.”

His current body of work is multi-layered with various principal shapes, particularly spidery silhouetted human figures interacting with symbols, all anchored within a neatly defined pictorial space expressed with the weaving of color in an obsessive urge similar to pointillism.

Maison resides in Muncie with his wife, Barbara, and their 19-month old son, Nyamedze. Barbara is working on a master’s degree in public relations at Ball State. Visit for more information about artist Nana Ekow Maison.

For more information, contact Susan G. Akers, Ball State University Libraries’ Marketing Communications Manager,, (765) 285-5031.

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Preserving and Digitizing Veterans History

Newscaster and author Tom Brokaw called them the Greatest Generation, the valiant men and women who fought in World War II. Preserving the stories of their service, accomplishments, and sacrifices for future generations is an important and timely project for historians, librarians, archivists, and all of us who owe them so much.

Archives and Special Collections is a partner in the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project to collect the memories, accounts, and documents of the nation’s war veterans. We have established a Veterans History Collection that includes audio and video interviews, letters, diaries, photographs, scrapbooks, and other materials documenting the lives of veterans.

To see a guide to World War II research resources held by Archives and Special Collections, view

As they are collected, the resources will be digitized and made available globally in the Ball State University Digital Media Repository (DMR), a project of the University Libraries. The DMR,, currently includes World War II films produced by the U. S. Government, 200 World War I posters, U. S. Civil War letters, diaries, and other materials, and audio and transcripts of oral histories. Here are some examples of a recent donation and a new project:

Scrapbook Documents Veteran’s Experiences
Joseph Morton Fisher of Muncie, Indiana, was inducted into the U. S. Army at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis on December 23, 1942. Three days later, he was sent to Camp Hood, Texas, for basic training. He was assigned to the 607th Tank Destroyer Battalion where he remained throughout World War II. Fisher received the European ribbon with five battle stars for action in Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe. He was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received on April 21, 1945.
Fisher’s experiences are well documented in a scrapbook compiled by his mother, Vanchie Dell Fisher, from letters and other items that she received from her son while he was in service. The thick volume includes letters and other materials that he accumulated along the way from his first day of service until a few weeks before he was honorably discharged on December 2, 1945 with the rank of sergeant. It is a rich resource on the life of a World War II soldier.

The 376th Heavy Bombardment Group

These soldiers contributed to victory in World War II by bombing enemy targets in North Africa and Europe. They flew 451 missions and received three Distinguished Unit Citations and 15 campaign awards. The 376th was credited with downing 220 enemy aircraft. They suffered 1,479 casualties and 169 aircraft were lost over almost four years.

Archives and Special Collections and University Libraries are pleased to participate in a new project to record and make available the memories of the members of this courageous group of veterans. The project is being conducted by Dr. David Ulbrich of the Ball State History Department in conjunction with the University Teleplex, History Department, and University Libraries. Dr. Ulbrich’s father, Richard, was lead bombardier in the 512th Squadron.

At the group’s reunion in Wisconsin in September 2007, Dr. Ulbrich and University Teleplex personnel will videotape interviews with members of the bombardment group. Those tapes will be preserved in Archives and Special Collections as the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group Oral History Project Collection. The Teleplex will provide digital copies to be made available in the Digital Media Repository and library personnel will create metadata to make them accessible and searchable.

To help the veterans understand the importance of preserving their memories through this project, Dr. Ulbrich and John Straw, Director for Archives and Special Collections, taped a video for viewing at the reunion. The message was simple: Ball State University is pleased and proud to collect, preserve, and make available the memories of the Greatest Generation.

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The University Libraries’ Photo Galleria as Visual History

There is educative value in depicting student life for all to see. Photographs capture reality and establish information about people, places, and events. Photographs are visual history.

The University Libraries has embraced this idea and contributes to these concepts by capturing digitally how students use various library spaces. A unique webpage, called Photo Galleria, is part of the University Libraries’ homepage, and it is dedicated solely to this endeavor:

Currently, the University Libraries’ Photo Galleria consists of over 300 photos depicting the various activities that occur regularly in Bracken Library and demonstrably shows how students are actively engaged in using Bracken in a variety of ways for individual and group study spaces as well as for meeting spaces. The Photo Galleria consists of thumbnail images. When an image is right clicked, the display shows a fuller-sized image. Please visit the University Libraries’ Photo Galleria to see pictorially how the University Libraries impact teaching, learning, and social life.

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New Library Standard Aims to Simplify Resource Discovery for Researchers

The information explosion of recent years, evident not only in volume but also in an ever growing variety of formats, the expectation of global access to information, and the development of international bibliographic cooperatives, such as OCLC, have motivated librarians to find simpler ways to organize and describe materials for inclusion in bibliographic databases and library catalogs.
The goal is to facilitate discovery of information resources for the student and researcher by bringing together under one record what is essentially the same intellectual or artistic content represented in different versions, editions, or media, so that the user can easily see what is available and choose what he or she wants. This will be good news to you if, for example you have encountered any of the following circumstances:

  • You have looked for something in the library’s catalog that exists in many versions
  • You have experienced confusion over the multiple choices that you are presented with when looking in the catalog
  • You do not care if you get the paperback or the hardback of an item yet you do not want the audiobook or a foreign language translation of the item

Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records (FRBR), popularly pronounced Ferber, is trying to end that frustration by providing the means for a better organization of displays of various versions of the same work in library catalogs. The FRBR final report was published by The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in 1997 and is available online at

FRBR is an example of the library cataloging community’s movement towards more rigorous data models and promises to hold many benefits for seekers of popular works that exist in many versions, such as Romeo and Juliet or the Harry Potter books. FRBR talks about four levels of information, view,
The Library of Congress has developed a FRBR display tool, see
Some library catalogs, such as VTLS, have begun to implement FRBR-inspired displays. Although the University Libraries’ catalog vendor SirsiDynix has not yet implemented a FRBR-based interface, some records in our catalog, such as records for architecture slides which combine access for many views from many sources of the same site or work, use principles similar to those of FRBR to increase ease of use.
The library cooperative OCLC has also worked with FRBR-based analyses of their database in order to develop a FRBR work-set algorithm that automatically clusters catalog records at the work level, This is used in their Open WorldCat,, and Fiction Finder,, interfaces to condense all the versions of a given work, such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, into a single initial display. Keep up with FRBR-related developments by reading the FRBR blog,, or subscribing to the FRBR email list,
For more information, Contact Kelley C. McGrath, Cataloging and Metadata Services Librarian (Audio/Visual), Ball State University Libraries’ Collections Resources Management,, (765) 285-3350.

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Ball State Digitization Workshop Held at the Indiana State Library

On July 18, 2007, several members of the Ball State University Libraries’ Metadata and Digital Initiatives Unit (MADI) conducted a workshop at the Indiana State Library entitled Digitization, Metadata, and CONTENTdm for Compliance with the Library Services and Technology Act and the Indiana Memory Project. The session was arranged by Connie Rendfeld, LSTA Consultant for the Indiana State Library.

The one-day event was filled to capacity and was taught in three sections by Jonathan M. Brinley, Metadata and Digital Initiatives Developer, Amanda A. Hurford, Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer, and James A. Bradley, Head of Metadata and Digital Initiatives.

Workshop sessions were designed to provide vital information on artifact digitization, metadata production, and content management — specifically tailored to the archival standards of the Indiana Memory Project and to organizations receiving Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Digitization Grants.

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

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Ball State University Libraries Uses an Online Tutorial that Provides Better

Mention the term jump-start and one generally thinks of setting in motion a stalled or sluggish system or process, such as a car battery connected by booster cables to a fresh battery. The librarians in Information Services are similarly providing a new spark to student research through the use of a new interactive tutorial called Research Methods JumpStart.
This online research tutorial is designed to help students learn to locate, evaluate, and use information resources. JumpStart will be used by Ball State University students taking English 104 as a supplement to classroom instruction in research.
JumpStart has three modules designed to help students search, locate, and evaluate the information they need to complete research projects. Students learn a variety of skills, including identifying the best place to start research, searching the Libraries’ research databases, and evaluating the appropriateness of information for their research needs. Quizzes and interactive games help to make for a more interactive and effective learning experience.
JumpStart is based on an open-source tutorial created by librarians at the University of Texas, Austin. In the spirit of adaptation intended for open-source works, the librarians at Ball State University Libraries customized the content to fit the needs of Ball State students and to emphasize the resources of the University Libraries.
JumpStart and other online tutorials to support research, learning, and classroom instruction are available from the University Libraries website at
For more information, contact Lisa J. Jarrell, Ball State University Libraries’ Instructional Services Librarian,, (765) 285-5356.

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Ball State University Libraries’ Musical Instrument Collection is the Newest Addition to the Digital Media Repository

The Ball State University Libraries’ Musical Instrument Collection is the newest addition to the Digital Media Repository (DMR). It is another example of how digital collections can expose students, faculty, and researchers to robust resources in the Libraries’ collections.
This collection can be viewed at or browse the Educational Resources Collections at
This collection uses digital photographs, streaming audio files, and 3-D rotating videos to represent the wide assortment of musical instruments available for checkout for two week loan (with option for renewal) in the Libraries’ Educational Resources Collections.
The collection of physical instruments has been growing since 1938. The earliest instrument represented online is a shepherd flute, a wind instrument made of bamboo. To discover their physical location and availability, click on the “Locate This Item in CardCat” link in the document description view in the DMR.
The online artifacts in the Musical Instrument Collection provide examples of a wide variety of instrument types, such as percussion, stringed, and wind instruments. The instruments also represent numerous cultures from five continents. The collection can be used in research of those various cultures, and the instruments themselves can be implemented in displays that illustrate the culture to which they are indigenous.
This collection of musical instruments is valuable to educators and students, as many can be used in the classroom for the instruction of music skills. There are numerous percussion instruments, including several multi-player sets that are perfect for hands-on student activities. Autoharps and various other instruments can also be used by student teachers to teach music in the classroom.
The flexible functionality of the Digital Media Repository, backed by CONTENTdm, allowed Metadata and Digital Initiatives (MADI) staff to package multimedia items for each instrument together in one compound object. These digital objects are essentially portfolios of each instrument that include digital photographs, streaming audio files, and 3-D rotating videos.
Working with laptops and microphones, MADI staff built a modular recording studio. Most of the instruments were played and recorded, and the sound files were then transferred to audio workstations for mixing. The intent for the recordings is to provide sound clips that students, faculty, and researchers can use to learn how an instrument sounds, particularly for some of the more obscure items like the West-African rattle-like instrument called axatse.
In addition to sound samples and still images, MADI personnel created QuickTime virtual reality videos of many of the instruments. Items were photographed from several angles and then compiled into a movie file, which allows the user control over how he/she views the object. The movies present the viewer with a more complete view of an object that cannot be captured in merely still images.
For more information about the Musical Instruments Collection in the DMR, contact Amanda A. Hurford, Ball State University’s Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer,, (765) 285-3349.

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