Monday, November 19, 2007

Students, Faculty, Community Visiting Bracken Library Experience Cultural Diversity at Ball State's International Festival

Friday, November 9, 2007 was the day when students, faculty, and community visitors could travel around the world without leaving Bracken Library thanks to personnel from the Rinker Center for International Programs.

International students from 35 countries decorated tables in Bracken’s lobby with items from their homelands. Exhibits featured music and food samples to engage visitors and to raise awareness about the diversity of international students who are attending Ball State University.

Visitors could sample tea from Japan, coffee from Iraq, chocolates from Germany, rice from India, and sweets from Kazakhstan, just to name a few. A fashion show held at noon highlighted both modern and traditional dress from several countries.

Flags from the countries adorned Bracken Library’s mezzanine and tables were stationed around the lobby’s exterior. The International Festival is an annual celebration of cultures at Ball State that has gone on for more than 50 years.

“There are 91 countries represented from around the world here at Ball State,” said Martin A. Bennett, Director of International Services. “Having the International Festival at Bracken Library is absolutely the best.” Mr. Bennett began the day dressed in a Turkish vest and hat and made changes throughout the day, wearing a Chinese jacket, an Indian wrap, and an Arab robe.

Leticia Tourn from Uruguay offered visitors a taste of maté, a strong, hot beverage made from tea leaves. A Fulbright scholarship recipient, Leticia is an elementary education teacher who is currently working toward a graduate degree. She has only been in the United States for three months, and she said one of the things she first noticed and likes about Americans is how forthcoming and direct they are when communicating. She also appreciates that in higher education a person can obtain a minor in one area and a major in another area, then can change fields later and choose to diversify the person’s education even further.

Visitors to Bracken were invited to get a “passport” stamped during their stops at tables. This then qualified them for discounts in The Bookmark Café and they became eligible to win prizes provided by the café.

Participants said that the turnout and interaction with American students were great. Bracken Library was chosen as the site for the International Festival because of its central campus location, size of exhibit space, and the large number of daily visitors.

From the Rinker Center for International Programs, Debra L. Goens, Foreign Student Advisor/Immigration Specialist, and two graduate students, Ramia S. Badri from Iraq and Yunxue Ding from China, organized the large-scale event. Other personnel from International Programs welcomed students and helped with various aspects of the event.

To view 111 photos from the day, visit

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Ball State University Libraries Reach out to Transfer Students

Students who transfer to Ball State University usually miss the library instruction sessions provided to freshmen in conjunction with their English 103/104 classes. Transfer students probably participated in similar sessions at their earlier institutions, yet much of the information becomes obsolete since resources and facilities differ from one library to another.

To assist the transfer student with the transition to Ball State University, Information Services personnel, Lisa Jarrell and Brenda Yates-Habich, have created instruction sessions early in the semester targeted specifically to transfer students. These sessions, called Library 411: Important Information for Transfer Students, focus on research skills and library resources needed to help students succeed.

The two librarians also partnered with Yasemin Tunç, Director for Technology Training Support Services, in creating a Blackboard community to provide all transfer students with quick links to frequently used library resources, such as online tutorials, subject guides, interlibrary loan forms, and immediate, live-chat contact with a reference librarian. The Blackboard community will also be used to announce forthcoming workshops and events of particular interest to transfer students.

For more information, contact Lisa J. Jarrell, Instruction Services Librarian, or Brenda Yates-Habich, Information Services Librarian, at 765-285-8017.

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University Libraries’ Outreach to Students in Residence Halls a Success

After students settled into their residence halls at the beginning of fall semester 2007, Ball State University residence hall directors met to consider a series of information literacy workshops, which would be developed by librarians at the Ball State University Libraries.

Based on standards developed by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), workshop topics were identified to include where to find reliable information and how to use information ethically. As part of the proposal, librarians worked with residence hall personnel to adapt workshops according to the needs of student residents.

The first workshop, held in late September 2007, covered the research process and provided information on developing skills for success in college. A reference librarian presented it in a floor lounge of a large residence hall.

Attendees were given handouts outlining steps in the research process, along with a listing of resources about student success in the collections of the University Libraries. The handout and resource list are available at this URL:

The second workshop, held in mid-October 2007, covered advanced searching techniques in popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Students learned about basic search logic using Boolean operators and were provided with a list of common advanced search options, such as limiting searches to file type or internet domain. The 12-slide PowerPoint presentation is currently available at this URL:

Recently, the administrators of Ball State’s Honors College residence halls agreed to host a program regarding thesis research. A version of the University Libraries’ popular Thesis Research in a Nutshell workshop, which is regularly offered to graduate students by the Libraries’ Instructional Services unit, will be revised to meet the needs of undergraduates in the Honors College.

The presentation is set to take place in early November, 2007. Other workshops for Honors College students living in residence halls are currently under consideration and these may take place by December 2007 with sessions extending into spring semester.

For more information, or to share ideas regarding these or other types of residence hall outreach programs offered by University Libraries, contact Jason A. Fields, Information Services Librarian (Distance Education),, 765-285-3326.

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Mozilla Firefox Browser: Must Have Add-ons for Increasing Your Ability to Find Information

In the September 2007 issue of The Library Insider, I explained why the Mozilla Firefox Internet browser is the Internet browser of choice of many of Ball State University Libraries’ personnel. Reasons include tabbed navigation, integrated search features, great performance, and stability of the program. Another reason is because of a broad selection of plug-ins, add-ons, and browser extensions.

Many of FireFox’s add-ons enhance the information finding and research processes by linking users to the valuable information resources provided by libraries based on Web page content. A few of these must-have friendly add-ons are discussed here.

This is a social bookmark manager. With, important and useful web sites can be bookmarked for use from any Internet computer and can be shared with others working on a research project and other group work. In contrast, bookmarks in FireFox and favorites in Internet Explorer are useful only on the machine where they are saved.
The add-on includes toolbar buttons, its own toolbar, a menu bar entry, and tagging support. Existing bookmarks can be imported to More information about is available at this URL:

Ball State University Libraries’ Internet Toolbar

Another very useful Firefox add-on is the University Libraries Internet Toolbar. It was developed by the University Libraries and has been rigorously tested through use on the Libraries’ 350 public access workstations. Access the free download,,,42835--,00.html.

The Internet Toolbar provides a library presence throughout the browsing session regardless of the current Web site in the main browser window. Access to the public catalog, CardCat, is integrated in the Internet Toolbar.

Links to key library Web pages, academic databases, research help, and library services are only a click away on the toolbar, no matter what Web site the student or faculty member visits.

Book Burro is a powerful extension for FireFox that helps the user determine where to find a book title based on information on the Web page. Many academic libraries and online bookstores are registered with the Book Burro service. Open WorldCat is an important library service linked through Book Burro. The Book Burro configuration window allows the user to choose which bookstores, libraries and WorldCat resources are included in the results list.

Book Burro utilizes a book’s International Standard Book Number (ISBN). In a page view that contains an ISBN, the user can highlight the ISBN number, right-click the mouse, then choose the “Book Burro Search” option in the dropdown box that appears. In some installations, Book Burro will automatically detect the ISBN and present the Book Burro pop-up. Book Burro can be used from the University Libraries’ CardCat system.

When an ISBN is highlighted in the CardCat record, the Book Burro box contains a listing of other sources for the book title. Find and download Book Burro from


The final add-on I want to mention is the award-winning LibX. It is a FireFox toolbar add-on that was developed at Virginia Tech University Libraries, and it is being used by about 200 libraries. This powerful add-on’s features includes right-click context sensitive menus, OpenURL support, Google Scholar support, xISBN support, and web localization features.

The LibX-embedded search option provides extended access to the local catalog and local library holdings. Learn more about LibX from the article LibX – a FireFox extension for enhanced library access by Annette Baily and Godmar Back, Library High Tech, v. 24, no. 2, September 2006.

Internet browsers are necessary applications that allow a person to research and access academic library collections, resources, and services. Browser add-ons and extensions offer library users specialized tools to enhance and simplify library access.

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' Chat Services Continue to Grow

The Information Services librarians at Ball State provide a variety of services to library users, including answering questions in-person as well as virtually, through Live Chat instant messaging service.

Chat statistics have risen steadily in recent years as our reference librarians explore new ways to make this virtual reference service more accessible to today’s users. For example, in September 2007, librarians conducted 282 chat sessions, answering a total of 346 questions, up from 190 chat sessions in September 2006. Last year, reference questions answered by chat services experienced an annual increase of 280%.

In an effort to better serve our library customers, reference librarians added several instant messenger accounts to their virtual reference services in June 2006. By creating a BSULibrarian account on instant messenger clients by AOL, MSN, and Yahoo, librarians could connect directly with users on these chat platforms. The three accounts are managed simultaneously by using Trillian, free software from Cerulean Studios.

This platform replaced proprietary software that had been used since the service first begun in 2004. This past summer, reference librarians added the Wimzi widget to their Ask a Librarian Web page, This plug-in allows users to chat directly with reference librarians from that page.

By using the new chat widget, students, faculty, and other users of the service are able to send their reference question through the chat service directly to a librarian without having to first log in to an instant messenger service and then establish a connection to the library’s chat account. The chat widget connects directly to the BSULibrarian account from the webpage, and allows the user to chat with the librarian from within that page. From the librarian’s point of view, the widget works seamlessly with the Trillian chat management software.

During September 2007, the first full month of chat with the Wimzi widget in place, 45% of the chats (128 chat sessions) were from Wimzi widget users. The service saw its peak use that month on Wednesdays, with the majority of chat sessions occurring between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.

For more information, contact Stacy B. Chaney, Information Services Librarian,,765-285-3325.

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Dual Monitors Enhance Student Productivity When Using Computers at Ball State University Libraries

The University Libraries have expanded the functionality of 40 PC workstations on Bracken 1-East by installing a second monitor. The Windows desktop appears over the span of both 19” LCD monitors. In effect, this doubles the amount of computer desktop workspace available for students and faculty who are using these workstations.

In addition to this new display technology in Bracken Library, dual monitor workstations are available for users in the Science-Health Science Library and will be soon in the Architecture Library. And 108 additional dual monitor workstations will be installed in Bracken Library by the end of December. Visitors to the main library’s Geospatial Resources and Map Collection (GRMC) area have been able to benefit from the use of dual monitor systems for several years.

By expanding availability of dual monitor workstations in the Bracken 1 East area, more customers have greater desktop workspace for increased productivity. For example, walking through the area, one may see a student with a Word document and an Excel sheet open, or a student may be editing text from two open Word documents. A student working on a software development project recently commented that she appreciated the increased desktop space since it allowed her to have her development environment open on one display and the result window open in the other.

Use of dual monitors also increases employee work productivity, and this has been evident in various offices in the University Libraries. Staff in the Archives and Special Collections, Library Information Technology Services, Metadata and Digital Initiatives, and Interlibrary Loan areas find value in the dual display workstation. Information Services librarians will benefit from dual monitors later this month when dual monitor systems are installed at their workstations.

Costs to implement this solution are reasonable. Since the Windows operating system automatically recognizes multiple monitors, only a second monitor and an additional video port for the computer are required. Identical monitors are ideal, but not absolutely necessary. In order to upgrade these computers, dual head DVI video cards and 40 monitors were purchased.

The University Libraries are continually searching for opportunities to bring the best technology solutions to students and faculty using the University Libraries. Expanding usability of public access workstations by adding a second monitor is an example of providing technology to increase productivity.

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's Virtual Press

You’ve put a lot of labor-intensive time into your work or your work-in-progress. And now it is now time to authenticate this new intellectual property and begin an initial distribution of it. If this describes your situation in regards to your creative endeavor, you can make it known globally to fellow researchers, students, and faculty by having it indexed by the search engines, Google, MSN, and Yahoo!

The Ball State University Virtual Press is a powerful information dissemination service for members of the academic community. This unique information dissemination utility is hosted by the University Libraries and is located at:

Dr. Arthur Hafner, Dean of the University Libraries, states that, “The Virtual Press offers an innovative paradigm shift in faculty and student publishing. It is one of several integral elements of the University’s research publishing distribution strategies.”

The Ball State University Virtual Press publishing model is an easy and convenient educational vehicle for faculty and students to provide global access to their scholarship and to have their names indexed by the major search engines. Whether your works are video, audio, text, graphics, or a combination of all of these, the Virtual Press can make your works Web accessible.

A sampling of materials on the Virtual Press includes:

· Ball State University All-University Marching Band CD Selections
· Ball State University Library Newsletter, ISSN 1547-7894
· Ball State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble CD Selections
· Bracken Library Matinee Musicale Highlights
· Career Center Publications
· George Wolfe: Unarmed and Dangerous?
· Jane Haynes: A Sea of Her Own: A story of whaling wives
· La Chambre du Roi Trio Selections
· Malina Schust - German Video, Spring 2007
· Mathematics Exchange, a publication of the Mathematical Sciences Department, ISSN 1550-1736
· Mid-American Journal of Business, ISSN 1935-5181
· Office of Academic Assessment and Institutional Research
· Online Art Exhibit: Prof. Marilynn J. Derwenskus
· Online Theatre Exhibit: Dr. Flo Lapin
· Student Burris Laboratory Videos
· Terry Wiedmer: Indiana's State Teacher of the Year
· The Broken Plate, Ball State University English Department’s undergraduate literary magazine, ISSN 1940-6568
· The Teacher Educator: The Official Journal of the Indiana Association of Teacher Educators, ISSN 0887-8730
· The University Libraries’ Copyright Forum, ISSN 1545-777X

There are several advantages for faculty and staff to select the Ball State University Virtual Press for disseminating their scholarship:

1. The Virtual Press does not charge members of the University community to include their scholarly works.
2. Traditional publishers require a time-consuming and possibly expensive proof of Fair Use. The University Libraries’ Copyright Office provides University community members with assistance in making a Fair Use analysis in order to invoke Fair Use.
3. Unless reviewed, traditional publishing may not allow for search engines to capture your name and paper.
4. Traditional publishing often requires you to transfer your copyright ownership of the material to them. The Virtual Press requires only that you provide the Virtual Press with the non-exclusive right to maintain a copy of your work and distribute it via the Virtual Press’s Web page.
5. You can build, add to, and subtract from your materials that are accessible through the Virtual Press since you retain control over your materials.
6. The Virtual Press provides professional personnel to continually update your page with new or revised materials.
7. The Virtual Press assures stable links to your materials and equitable access.
For additional information, or to have any of your copyright and intellectual property questions answered, please contact Dr. Fritz Dolak, The University Libraries’ Copyright and Intellectual Property Office,, 765-285-5330.

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Ball State’s Student Radio Station WCRD Broadcasts from the University Libraries’ Plaza

An unseasonably warm October extended the time for outdoor activities on the Ball State campus. On Tuesday, October 30, 2007, student-run radio station WCRD, 91.3 FM, held part of its daily broadcast on Bracken Library’s south plaza with sunny skies and temperatures in the high 50s.

Jade K. Sullivan, the station’s promotions director, staffed a table on Bracken’s south side while playing music and visiting with students who were heading into the library. She said the live remote broadcast was set up to support Bracken Library and encourage people to read while they listen to the radio. During the day, people could enter drawings for free concert tickets and receive giveaways provided by WCRD.

“It’s great when different organizations work together and connect with students,” said Susan G. Akers, Marketing Communications Manager for Ball State University Libraries. “There is so much going on at the Libraries. We are a learning center in the heart of campus.”

The University Libraries are looking forward to a collaborative relationship with WCRD during the academic year. A production team of students from the radio station has developed a series of 30-second spots which run evenings twice per week during 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

WCRD, also known as "The Bird," broadcasts from the David Letterman Communication and Media Building 24 hours per day providing music, Ball State and local area high school sporting events, and a variety of public affairs and news programs. Music is streamed over the Internet, thanks to The Muncie Music Center. Listen to WCRD at

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

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Libraries’ Physical Processing Staff Demonstrate Book Repair Methods to Media Specialists

Staff members from Ball State University Libraries’ Physical Processing section demonstrated book repair techniques to media specialists from schools in Blackford County on November 5, 2007.

Lisa Anderson, Blackford County Schools director of media services, said the media specialists are usually too busy to repair many books and they were interested in recommendations for supplies and techniques.

“We want to know how to do repairs quickly,” she said.

Ken W. Fadely, physical processing assistant at Bracken Library, showed the group how he uses specialized tapes and glue in repairing torn pages, broken book spines, ripped covers and loose pages. Some of the media specialists brought damaged books to the session from their school libraries for examples and advice. One book could not be repaired because previous repair methods used an unsuitable tape to hold loose pages in place.

The University Libraries’ Digitizing and Physical Processing Supervisor Melanie R. Davis provided the group with handouts which included instructions and helpful supplies for repairing books. The handouts also referenced Web sites that present techniques and advice. She also demonstrated how commercially purchased clear plastic sheets are used to cover books.

Melanie and Ken also offered suggestions for homemade tools and supplies that are convenient and inexpensive.

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Preparing for Next Generation Digital

Digital is everywhere. It is in your ear bud, on your high definition screen. It buzzes through academia, transforming it on demand. Librarians, archivists, and other information professionals are virtually immersed in meeting the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital environment.

Although perhaps arguably, we could say that we have met the challenges of the first digital generation and can claim some successes. But that first generation is graying already. A new front is already forming. Next Generation Digital is coming fast.

The Ball State University Libraries have been proactive in facing the current generation of digital developments. Some of the University Libraries’ digital initiatives in this generation include:
· Development of more than 60,000 diverse digital assets for learning, teaching, and research in the Digital Media Repository
· Centralized access to digital resources through the Digital Commons
· Continuing development of Ball State University’s Cardinal Scholar, a project of the University Libraries, as part of the University’s research and publishing distribution strategies
· Developing and hosting highly attended and successful conferences and workshops on digital issues for information professionals
· Participating in professional conferences, presenting papers, and publishing articles to share and promote the Ball State University Libraries’ digital programs
· Providing an organizational structure and development of units and personnel to meet the developmental needs of a digital initiatives program

As we face the Next Generation Digital, the University Libraries’ digital initiatives are expected to grow and adapt to the changing environment. Already work has begun on exploration of a University Libraries’ presence in the virtual world of Second Life. Advances continue to be made in developing strategies for providing digital information and resources through new delivery devices. Discussions of digital scholarship, digital teaching, and digital learning are underway as Ball State’s Institutional Repository prepares to premiere in early December 2007 and as Ball State’s librarians contribute to new publications in this area. There is more to discuss and more to do in many areas.

For more information, contact John B. Straw, Ball State University Libraries’ Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections,, 765-285-5078.

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