Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vice President O'Neal Smitherman to Leave Ball State

O’Neal Smitherman, Ph.D., has announced that he will leave Ball State University at the end of October, 2007 to accept the position of Executive Vice President for the Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology, Huntsville, Alabama.

For the past six years, Dr. Smitherman, in his capacity as Vice President for Technology, Chief Information Officer (CIO), and Executive Assistant to the President, has served as the head of Ball State’s Office of Information Technology. This is the administrative group to which the University Computing Services (UCS), University Libraries, and University Teleplex report.

During his tenure, the University Libraries benefited from Dr. Smitherman’s support and vision. In speaking about his legacy for the University Libraries, Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, said, “Under Dr. Smitherman’s leadership, the University Libraries successfully integrated substantial additional technology into all of our programs and services for students and faculty.”

Dr. Hafner identified a few of the significant accomplishments during the past five years:
· Modernization of the Libraries’ infrastructure to grow from 125 to 350 public workstations
· Early deployment of high-speed wireless connectivity throughout the University Libraries
· Creation of a digital repository to support student academic success and faculty teaching and research
· The University Libraries’ development of Cardinal Scholar, Ball State’s institutional repository as an integral element of the University’s research publishing distribution strategies
· Modernization and streamlining of the Libraries’ business operations through technology
· Completion of a Program Review that documented the importance and value of having a Library Information Technology Services unit within the Libraries

Dr. Hafner added that another important part of Dr. Smitherman’s legacy was his work to increase the Libraries’ base funding. In 2002, an additional $200,000 in recurring funding was added to the base allocation. More recently, in August 2006, President Jo Ann Gora added another $200,000 in recurring funding. The first moneys were used to purchase core curriculum materials for undergraduates, and the second allocation is used to purchase books recommended by faculty for upper level students, graduates, and faculty research. These additional funds, and the other enhancements to the University Libraries, have helped to increase the role of the Libraries in the academic life of the campus.

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We Listen! Ball State Libraries' Intercept Surveys Provide Valuable Feedback

Students converged on campus six weeks ago and have settled into the routine of classes, projects, and other activities associated with collegiate life. The doors of Bracken Library are in continuous motion.

Centrally located on campus and offering five floors of space — about the size of seven football fields — Bracken Library is known as the place to study, get work done, or as the place to meet friends and grab a quick bite or a cup of coffee.

Administration at the University Libraries values feedback from the students, faculty, and community members who number, on average, about 4,500 daily. We understand the value in obtaining input regarding the services, collections and programs that are available.

Recently, we designed a short intercept survey with open-ended questions which are useful in providing respondents with opportunities to give candid feedback. Consumer intercept surveys, as the name suggests, aim to intercept consumers in their natural environment and deliver a short structured questionnaire on their habits, preferences, perceptions or behavior. The strategic advantages of consumer intercept surveys are the speed with which they can be conducted, their low cost, the ability to poll a large number of people, and the fact that results can be provided in a short period of time.

The disadvantage of the consumer intercept survey method is that it entails "convenience sampling" meaning that, especially in the case of small samples, results may not be as representative as samples developed through random or stratified sampling. However, intercept surveys remain a powerful technique, and in many cases can approach the reliability of much more expensive and objectively selected samples.

Intercept surveys were given in various locations at Bracken Library on September 18, 2007 in the afternoon and again on October 2, 2007, in the morning. A sampling of the responses follows:

1. When you think of Bracken Library, what immediately comes to your mind? One-half of the respondents mentioned studying, followed by research or help with research, good computers and books.
“I love to come here,” said senior Trent McFalls. “It’s my favorite place to be.”

2. If you were describing Bracken to a friend who has not been here, how would you describe it? The answers ranged from fast computers to citing where the quiet study areas are (3rd and 4th floors) to acknowledging assistance which is always available from friendly librarians.

“I would say to spend time at Bracken to prepare for classes,” said Sara Losin, a senior who is majoring in nursing.

“It is a good place to meet with a group because there is a lot of space. You don’t have to go anywhere else to find what you need,” responded Tara Dragoo, a junior in the elementary education program.

3. What do you particularly like about the library services and/or collections? This open-ended question was designed to provoke specificity. The answers were wide ranging and included the technological resources, the ability to check out laptops, the Libraries’ website, the helpful staff, great location, number of computers, books and resources, and even the floor plan.

Junior Molly Poor added that she appreciates receiving overdue reminder notices by e-mail because “… students are busy and often forget when something is due.”

When the respondents asked what could be changed or improved upon, three-fourths of the respondents could not think of a specific answer. One-fourth of the respondents made a suggestion that will be forwarded to the Dean of University Libraries for review.

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

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Family of Greg Johnston Donates Art Collection to Ball State Libraries

In late September, the family of Michael Gregory Johnston generously donated a collection of more than 20 modern artworks to the University Libraries through the Ball State University Foundation. The collection includes limited edition silk screens, acrylic on canvas artwork, photography, and posters.

One of two sons born to Michael and Jackie Johnston, Greg was only 40 years old when he was murdered this year during a robbery in Austin, Texas while on a business trip.

Greg graduated from Northside High School with Academic Excellence in 1985 where he earned several state thespian and art awards. With both an Ellison Scholarship and a Ball State Scholarship, he was admitted with distinction to Ball State University in 1985 and was actively involved as a member of the Student Association, Cardinal Corp, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Mortar Board.

In 1989 Greg graduated with a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science and with honors from the Honors College. In 1994 he completed his advanced education with an MBA from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota. It was during this year that Greg changed careers and moved to Minneapolis with Orion Consulting as a supply chain software integration consultant. Within a few years, Greg started a successful company, HowWhenWhere Technologies, Inc., a supply chain systems integrator serving major global clients.

He was one of a few individuals in the country who provided a specific skill in that field as a consultant to Fortune 500 companies. The most senior employee and protégé has purchased the business and plans to continue the successful business in Greg’s memory.

The first item purchased in this contemporary collection was Icon #1 (Radiant Baby) by artist Keith Haring, which Greg purchased in 1993. Altogether, there is a portfolio of five limited edition silk screens by Haring. Several pieces were purchased from local Minneapolis artists, including Vivacious II, an acrylic on canvas (60”x36”) by Patrick Pryor.

“It is a pleasure to know that the painting has gone to BSU. I am very happy that you have it,” said Mr. Pryor. “Thank you for making art accessible and an important part of student life!”

Marilyn Monroe and Spiderman are depicted on other large-scale pieces. The entire collection of art was donated to Bracken Library to preserve for students to enjoy in Greg’s memory. Greg deeply loved his family and friends and enjoyed traveling, skydiving, the arts and technology. Greg’s father said he leaves a legacy of devotion to family, hard work, humor and a practical and thrifty approach to the good life.

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Kurt Vonnegut Reading Marathon Held at Ball State's Bracken Library

On Thursday, October 4, 2007, nearly 60 visitors to Bracken Library stopped by the second floor conference room where the English Department’s Graduate Student Advisory Board (GSAB) held a Kurt Vonnegut Marathon Reading, called So It Goes … Vonnegut Marathon, featuring 12 solid hours of reading, food, and prizes.

Attendees, who were welcomed throughout the day and into the night, enjoyed readings by over 20 GSAB members from Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Breakfast of Champions.

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) was a Hoosier native born in Indianapolis. He was a world-renown author. His work, which includes 15 novels and scores of short stories, plays, and essays, is characterized by biting wit and wisdom couched in the fantastic, humorous, and violent. Uniquely blending slapstick and subversion, Vonnegut is a keen analyst of the post-war human condition, and his literary pieces reflect his revelatory insights into the alienation of modern life.

The general appeal of Vonnegut’s work, his Hoosier roots, and his recent death in April 2007 made Vonnegut an obvious choice for the reading marathon. “We wanted to celebrate a well-known local author,” said Nikki Caswell, president of the GSAB, “and the library seemed like the perfect location. It is a location that many students, staff, and faculty visit throughout the day and a place with which the community is familiar.”

The location of the event in the Dean of University Libraries’ Conference Room, located at the top of Bracken’s beautiful spiral staircase, afforded the group great visibility, and many passersbys paused to listen outside the room.

Volunteers were scheduled to read in half-hour segments with a roster of back-up volunteers on call should someone not be able to fulfill their time slot. There were 20 community organizations that provided financial donations and door prizes, which were given away every hour. The presentations were punctuated by laughter and applause as a rotating audience of students, faculty, and staff relaxed in the space and enjoyed a cup of coffee or a soda, collected raffled prizes from local sponsors, and participated in the social ambience of the engaging and animated readings.

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Ball State Libraries Collaborate with Business Students on Vera Bradley Project

Students at Ball State are taking advantage of an exciting immersive learning experience with Vera Bradley Designs, Inc., an internationally-known company based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In two 300-level classes at the Miller College of Business, Dr. Rod Davis and Dr. Jennifer Bott are instructing a cohort of 15 students to work with Vera Bradley Designs representatives to design roll-out plans for a signature store grand opening in three new markets including Glendale, Wisconsin, Germantown, Tennessee, and Natick, Massachusetts.

Faculty at the Miller College of Business concluded that working with Vera Bradley Designs would be a great immersive learning experience for their students. They had heard Patricia Miller, co-founder of the firm with Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, speak on campus to entrepreneurship students at an earlier date.

The class is working in three groups of five students. Each team will focus on a particular city and will determine the best way to identify information about competitors and cities.

The assignment requires the students to create a city report, company report, team report, and a presentation, among other outcomes. Students will research the company and the market, and perform a strategic planning analysis, known as a Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) analysis. During an in-class presentation, Stephen K. Duecker, Information Services Librarian, identified the following five databases that the students would find useful in their research, such as Reference USA, Lexis Nexis Academic and Regional Business News.

Angela S. Gibson, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist, also gave a brief presentation to the class regarding the capabilities of GIS and how incorporating demographic GIS data and maps into their research would greatly benefit their project.

Dr. Davis and Angela met to decide on the best way to use GIS for both the students’ self-learning and achieving the project goals. A portion of the project’s grant money was set aside to buy trial licenses of ESRI’s Business Analyst Online, a software package which combines GIS technology with demographic, consumer, and business data to deliver on-demand analysis, graphic reports, and maps over the Web. This map below shows the average driving time from residential areas to a major shopping center.

The newly released Business Analyst Online product helps users understand the lifestyle and buying behaviors of the households in their market and answer questions such as:
· Where to find optimal sites for new store locations
· How to market effectively to specific customer segments
· How to profile their best customers and find more like them
Students from this class are also visiting the University Libraries’ Geospatial Resources and Map Collection to map potential business competitors. To do this, Angela is using a feature called geocoding in the ArcGIS software.

Bradley Designs expressed interest in having the students help them design a roll-out plan for stores in three new markets. According to the class syllabus, students will determine and design pre-opening publicity, the grand opening party, media kits, and after-opening publicity. Teams are responsible for incorporating the Vera Bradley branding image into all materials and are encouraged to be creative in the development of this public relations project.
In order to fund this innovative project, the Miller College applied for a grant with Discovery, a women’s collaborative philanthropic group. They received approximately $25,000 to cover the cost of materials, multiple student trips to Vera Bradley and other costs. These funds will be used for projects over a two-semester period.

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Libraries Team with Student-run Radio Station to Produce Ads

Ball State University Libraries recently purchased ad space on the student-run radio station WCRD at 91.3 FM to raise awareness about the Libraries’ programs, services and collections. A production team of students from the radio station is developing a series of 30-second spots that will run evenings for two months during the hours of 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“This is a great way to reach more students to tell them about the University Libraries,” said Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries. “Working with the radio station also supports a learning opportunity for students since a production team at WCRD is developing the sound and feel of the ads.”

Earlier this year, WCRD's antenna was placed on top of a 200-foot smokestack tower on the campus. This height allows the station’s signal to penetrate the university community, area residents, and the McGalliard Avenue business district.

WCRD, also known as "The Bird," broadcasts from studios located in the recently dedicated David Letterman Communication and Media Building. The last three letters in WCRD stand for College Radio on Demand, in recognition of the station’s programming format. Some students say that the last three letters refer to Cardinal Radio Dave in honor and recognition of its benefactor David Letterman, a Ball State graduate and host of a CBS late night talk show.

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Ball State Libraries Hold Successful Marketing/Communications Conference for Librarians

Design a Blueprint for Communication: Strategies that Work!, a one-day conference on Tuesday, September 25, 2007, hosted by Ball State University Libraries, provided 24 librarians from around Indiana with a unique opportunity to learn more about the hottest marketing and communication topics libraries are facing.

The conference provided six sessions with information relating to strategic planning, using research data, managing the library’s brand, connecting with customers, programming as a marketing tool, and improving print publications.

“The excellent roster of speakers attracted a wide range of librarians from both academic and public backgrounds,” said Susan G. Akers, Marketing Communications Manager, Ball State University Libraries.

Dr. Melvin L. Sharpe, professor emeritus in Ball State’s Department of Journalism, engaged the audience with a discussion on strategic planning and how to use research to determine the needs of one’s audience. Dr. Becky A. McDonald, assistant professor in public relations at Ball State, discussed the difference between public relations and marketing. Susan G. Akers presented information on creating a library’s brand along with a short session on targeted marketing and writing creative copy.

Maria Blake, Director of Communications and Community Relations at Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library (IMCPL), discussed the practical applications of public relations in her talk cleverly entitled, “If You Build it, They will Come—Not!” Many attendees were interested in hearing about the public relations challenges related to IMCPL’s Central Library expansion and building project which ran more than $50 million over budget and ran two years behind schedule.

Emily Hankley, Adult Program and Product Development Specialist at IMCPL, discussed the importance of creative programming in the library and specifically toward connecting with adult visitors. Paula Balensiefer, Community Relations Assistant and Graphic Designer at Anderson Public Library, teamed up with Becky Brewer, who works in information services and adult programming at Jackson County Public Library, to illustrate design do’s and don’ts. Becky holds the distinction of being named as co-winner of ALA’s “Best in Show Newsletter” award last year.

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Doll Collection is Newest Addition to Ball State Libraries' Digital Media Repository

The Ball State University Libraries’ Doll Collection is the newest addition to the Digital Media Repository (DMR). Students, faculty, and researchers can view the dolls and other CONTENTdm-based DMR collections to discover a wide variety of surprising materials in the Libraries’ collections. This collection can be viewed at http://libx.bsu.edu/collection.php?CISOROOT=%2FDolCol

or browse the Educational Resources Collections at http://libx.bsu.edu.

Digital photographs taken from several angles and 3-D rotating videos were packaged together to represent the wide assortment of dolls available for checkout for two-week loan, with option for renewal, in the Libraries’ Educational Resources Collections.

As in other DMR collections, like the Musical Instruments and Miniature Furniture, QuickTime Virtual Reality movies present the viewer with a comprehensive view of an object that allows them to zoom in and manipulate the image as desired.

Many of the dolls in the collection represent characters, both fictional and historical, that we know and love. In that respect, these dolls would be instrumental in bringing a book or history lesson to life. Among others, Sherlock Holmes, Alice in Wonderland, Ben Franklin, and Martha Washington are depicted by these dolls, in assorted material, color, and size.

The dolls range in date from the 1930s to 1990s. Some of the oldest dolls, like many in the collection, represent a wide range of cultures and native costumes. This is a valuable resource to researchers who are interested in a particular culture and their ethnic dress. Some examples are the Polish peasant, Welsh doll, and Eskimo doll.

To discover the physical location and availability of a doll, click on the “Locate This Item in CardCat” link in the document description view in the DMR. Patrons can also borrow doll stands in order to easily display the object.

For more information about the Doll Collection in the DMR, contact Amanda A. Hurford, Ball State University’s Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer, AAHurford@bsu.edu, (765) 285-3349.

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Steinbeck Scholar to Speak at Ball State's Bracken Library

Dr. Mimi Reisel Gladstein, Professor of English and Theatre Arts at the University of Texas at El Paso, will deliver the inaugural Steinbeck Lecture on Thursday, October 25, 2007, at 7:30 p.m. in Bracken Library’s Forum Room (BL-225). Her topic is “John Steinbeck and World War II: Fighting to Serve His Country.”

Dr. Gladstein is president of the John Steinbeck Society of America. Her teaching and research on John Steinbeck have been recognized with the John J and Angeline Pruis Award for Teaching and the Burkhardt Award for scholarship. At UTEP she has received the university's highest honors for both Teaching Excellence and Service to Students.

The Steinbeck Lecture Series was founded by Dr. and Mrs. Tetsumaro Hayashi in honor of Dr. Richard W. and Mrs. Dorothy Burkhardt and Dr. John J and Mrs. Angeline R. Pruis, whose generosity has helped Ball State University to honor internationally prominent Steinbeck scholars and educators for nearly 30 years. Dr. Hayashi is a noted Steinbeck scholar, past president of the Steinbeck Societies of America and of Japan, and the founder of the Steinbeck Research Institute at Ball State University.