Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ball State University Libraries Complete Another Excellent Semester

Ball State University’s Final Examination Week is in progress and the whole campus feels different. Students are everywhere in the University Libraries — completing term papers and group projects, meeting in study groups to review notes and quiz each other, and finalizing research for creative projects.

As an academic library administrator, it is very satisfying for me to see so many students and faculty using the University Libraries not only during Finals but throughout the semester, too. This shows that the University Libraries are a destination for research, learning, and friends. The constant use of the University Libraries’ extensive resources (personnel, collections, technology, spaces for studying, meeting rooms) reassures our Libraries’ professional and paraprofessional personnel of the value and importance of our fundamental service objective to support students’ pursuits of academic success and greater personal awareness as well as our faculty’s endeavors for the creation of new knowledge, classroom instruction, and enhancement of academic learning outcomes.

During Finals, the University Libraries are open additional hours and our librarians and technical specialists are very busy with helping students with their papers and research, answering reference questions in person and online, handing out fact sheets about APA, MLA, and other citation styles, and making sure that the Libraries’ 350 desktop computers are in working order along with all of the common software used on campus that is made accessible by the Libraries. We are making sure, too, that our laser printers are fully operational to handle the volume of documents that students are preparing and that students have maximum access to fast wireless connectivity throughout the University Libraries.

A Selection of the University Libraries Fall 2007 Accomplishments
Over the past three months, University Libraries’ personnel have completed a large number of important projects that benefit our students and faculty. This is a small, representative selection:

Public Services
· Renovation of public space, including revamping of the Science-Health Science Library with the addition of several PC computers and a new circulation counter; the addition of study space in Bracken Library on 1W through the removal and relocation of shelving, expansion of casual study space in the Educational Resources Collections, relocation of shelving from the first floor to the second and third floors to ease space constraints
· New outreach efforts including library instruction workshops in selected residence halls, Scheidler Apartments, for transfer students, expansion of the library liaison program, and additions or enhancements to social networking vehicles such as blogs, live chat, and wikis
· Expansion of online independent tutorials and research assistance, including tutorials created with Camtasia and Mediasite and the addition of upgraded and/or new research guides using LibGuides, which provides a contemporary look and powerful organizational tool to aid students in independently researching popular topics

Collections Resources Management
· Provided access to new electronic resources, including JSTOR’s Arts and Sciences V Collection, Westlaw Campus, and additional Web of Science backfiles (back to 1987); identified and established online access to nearly 1,000 open access journals
· Created over 40,000 digital objects for the Digital Media Repository, Ball State Virtual Press and other online collections
· Enhanced access and ease of browsing to the Educational Resources’ realia and picture collections through the addition of over 4,000 thumbnail images to records in the public catalog, CardCat
· Added Ball State’s symbol to OCLC records for over 158,000 items held by Ball State University Libraries that were not accessible in WorldCat given that the online cataloging was generated by commercial vendors in order to facilitate interlibrary loan and collection analysis functions
· Initiated bar coding of cataloged materials in Archives and Special Collections, applying 12,250 barcodes and linking over 8,100 items in Sirsi, the University Libraries’ integrated information system

Library Information Technology Services
· Updated the University Libraries' Public Access Computer (PAC) configuration to include Adobe Creative Suite CS3 (Acrobat Pro 8, Contribute 8, Designer 8, Dreamweaver CS3, Flash Pro CS3, Illustrator CS3, InDesign CS3, Photoshop CS3), and Microsoft Office 2007, and supported updated versions of SPSS, Minitab, Mathematica, and popular instant messaging programs
· Installed and configured the LIBGUIDES service to provide better access for students and faculty to information resources through dynamic subject/research guides
· Prepared a system platform to support the launch of Cardinal Scholar, the Ball State University Institutional Repository
· Identified and implemented eight changes to the public online catalog, CardCat, to facilitate easier use and greater access to the Libraries’ informational resources

Archives and Special Collections
· Increased the number of instructional sessions by 28% (27 classes) and increased the number of students reached through instructional sessions by 40% (538 students) in fall 2007 compared to fall 2006
· Participated in two new initiatives to promote scholarship on Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck and thereby increased the use of the University Libraries’ nationally recognized Steinbeck Collection
Premiered an enhanced Web site with several new resources, including an alumni resources page,
· instructional sessions information and scheduling forms, an Ask an Archivist link, and direct links to digital collections

Digital Initiatives & Institutional Repositories
· Increased by 10,648 the number of digital objects in the Digital Media Repository and added seven new digital collections in fall 2007
· Digitized issues of the Muncie Post-Democrat, an anti-Ku Klux Klan newspaper from the 1920s through the 1950s by means of a Library Services and Technology Digitization Grant (LSTA)
· Developed Cardinal Scholar, the Ball State institutional repository, as an important element of the university’s research publishing distribution strategies
· Created a presence in Second Life’s virtual world in order to explore ways to provide access to information resources and reference assistance to students and faculty within this virtual world

Technology Training Support Services
· Taught 193 training sessions attended by 283 faculty and graduate students and by 256 staff, covering topics such as Microsoft Office Productivity, instructional technology, media and design, and campus utilities
· Provided 116 one-on-one consultation sessions for faculty and staff and 24 student training workshops at faculty request for digital portfolio development, Web site creation, creating instructional brochures

Geospatial Resources and Map Collection
· Increased the number of instructional sessions to 21 classes, up 133%, and increased the number of students reached through the instructional sessions by 47% compared to the same period a year ago
· Added a number of new GIS and online resources, including Business MAP software, Delaware County oblique aerial photography, three new online map tutorials, an online Google map of visitors to the University Libraries, and an online resource on the history of the White River

Copyright and Intellectual Property Office
· Created the Copyright for Distance Educators homepage
· Expanded the Ball State Virtual press with new faculty and student audiovisual content

Commitment to Providing High Quality Services
These accomplishments, along with several others that I have not mentioned and those that will be completed between now and the end of the fiscal year in June 2008, are evidence of the commitment by the University Libraries’ professional and paraprofessional personnel to continually improve the Libraries’ programs, services, and collections to provide outstanding and uniformly gracious, friendly services to our students and faculty.
By creating, developing, adapting, and implementing innovative and creative technologies, products, and services that support the research, learning, and classroom engagement, the University Libraries support Ball State University as it moves toward national prominence in teaching, research, and service.

I wish everyone happy holidays and good health and prosperity for the coming year 2008.

Ball State University Libraries’ Innovators Share Knowledge at Local Conference

Several librarians represented the Ball State University Libraries’ commitment to technology at a conference entitled Reaching Digital Natives and Immigrants: Library 2.0 on November 2, 2007 at the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library. The program was hosted by Indiana Online Users Group (IOLUG),, a local professional organization that aims to further the use of online systems, databases, computers and telecommunication systems in libraries. The conference was attended by 81 information professionals from around Indiana.

As a member of the IOLUG Program Committee, Amanda A. Hurford said that several librarians from the University Libraries brought a special dimension to the program by speaking about their Library 2.0 activities and social networking tools.

Jonathan M. Brinley, Metadata and Digital Initiatives Developer, presented a hands-on breakout session about creating a library wiki. Information Services Librarians Jason A. Fields and Eric B. Fisher and Amanda A. Hurford, Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer, participated in the Blinded Me with Library Science Fair, a free form, high energy gathering in which conference attendees visited booths managed by librarians demonstrating specific implementations of Library 2.0 technologies.

Jonathan provided hands-on experience for participants regarding several popular open-source wiki software packages, including MediaWiki, TiddlyWiki, DokuWiki, and PmWiki. He assisted participants through the process of creating a wiki using the MediaWiki package, the same software used to power the University Libraries’ wiki. You can learn more about wiki administration from the MediaWiki wiki,, or by contacting Jonathan M. Brinley,, 765-285-3341.

Wikis for Project Management
As attendees approached Amanda's booth, they were welcomed by informational posters describing how the Ball State University Libraries’ wiki helped to manage the Middletown Digital Oral History Project. Amanda also used a laptop to demonstrate how the wiki works and the kind of information that is organized there.

Participants learned how wiki technology allows a large group of people working on a project to collaborate and communicate their ideas in organized, centralized, and searchable forum. Amanda explained that the wiki used for the Middletown Digital Oral History Project is open to the public and retrievable by a simple Google search, so other institutions embarking on an oral history project can benefit from University Libraries’ documentation.

To view the Oral Histories page on the Ball State University Libraries’ wiki, visit

Second Life
The crowd that gathered at the Second Life booth watched as Jason maneuvered his avatar, Phenyks Winx, through the multi-user virtual environment. His demonstration, called Avatars, Objects, and Islands, included a tour through several Second Life landmarks such as Ball State's own Middletown island, Vassar's recreation of the Sistine Chapel, and Alliance Library System's Information Archipelago.

Observers received a brochure with supplemental information explaining the function of an avatar, a Second Life user's virtual representation, and the objects with which they interact while in-world. The brochure also touched upon concepts such as virtual land, currency, and the nature of library service, and there was a listing of references and informative Web sites. To view the complete brochure, visit For more information about University Libraries’ Second Life Initiative, contact Jason A. Fields,, 765-285-3326.

After their brief tour of some of the locations in Second Life, attendees visited the MySpace booth to see how Ball State University Libraries are using this popular social networking site to connect with students, authors, and other libraries. Visit

Eric demonstrated the University Libraries’ public profile as well as the user page where the profile owner can control the content of the public profile. He then showed the audience how different features such as the MySpace bulletin feature, public calendar, event manager, and blog can be used for promoting a library’s programs, services, and collections. He also presented how images and videos could be loaded onto the profile page.

A list of resources on social networking sites that were provided to conference participants is also available online at For more information about Ball State University Libraries’ MySpace page, or to ask about promoting a library event or program on MySpace, contact Eric B. Fisher,, 765-285-3338.

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Student Videographers Capture Aspects of Ball State University Libraries’ Mission

The creative energies and talents of student videographers are put to test to create digital stories about the University Libraries.
The project, begun by Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, originated as a student video news magazine about the University Libraries.

“Today, the activity is more to create promotional material about the Libraries that speaks to students in a student voice,” said Dr. Hafner.

“The videos, which are viewable from the Libraries’ Web site, are loaded to YouTube, and they are shown on Channel 57 in Ball State’s residence halls,” said Susan G. Akers, University Libraries’ Marketing Communications Manager. The programs are also shown on the large plasma screens in Bracken Library.

Akers works with the students, sometimes supplying story and content ideas and making sure that they have the materials they require. The students often suggest ideas for stories, too. They then develop story boards and scripts, find actors, videotape, add music, edit, fine-tune the sound for the video, and make certain that fair use is for the use of any copyrighted materials. The students have access to the Libraries Canon XL 1S video camera and editing software.

This semester, Lamar Clark-Gainous, is serving as the University Libraries’ student videographer. He is a senior in the telecommunications program with an option in production. His idea for a recent video, which highlights the Libraries’ large DVD movie collection, came from watching movie trailers.

“I wanted to capture the attention of the viewer and keep it for 60 seconds in order to promote the DVD collection,” he said. See his two videos,

Lamar said the opportunity at the University Libraries has helped him to develop his skills as a cameraman and editor while allowing him to use creativity in a project that actually benefits people. His next project will be a video on customer service at Bracken Library and how to find books within the Library of Congress classification system.

Former student videographers include Sam M. Day, who led the team that won first place in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual Student Academy Awards competition. Day worked with Robert C. Chandler on videos for the University Libraries during spring semester 2004. Jon Nicholas Doub, a graduate assistant, produced four videos during the academic year of 2004-2005. To see a selection of video projects produced for the University Libraries, view

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Cultural Activities Held in November at Bracken

Visitors to Bracken Library enjoyed two performances in the lobby recently. On Thursday, November 15, 2008, a sneak preview of the Department of Theatre and Dance's Indiana Choreographers Dance Concert featured dance styles such as ballet, modern, clogging, jazz, and samba. Lou Ann Young, Assistant Professor, worked with Audra Sokol, Stacy Pottinger, and Michael Worcel to choreograph the program.

On Wednesday, November 28, the University Libraries showcased Mozart's one-act pastoral opera, Bastien and Bastienne, as performed by Early Music Muncie. The group features Ball State University undergraduates, graduates and doctoral candidates. Thanks to David Zimmerman in his role as Bastien, to Kerri Lyn Francini who portrayed Bastienne, and to the Libraries’ Music Collection Coordinator, D. Jason Smith, who played the part of Colas. Barbara Briner-Jones accompanied the performance on piano.

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Digital Policy Institute and Ball State University Libraries Partnership in Strategic Information Initiatives

Ball State University Libraries, with support and cooperation from the Digital Policy Institute (DPI), contribute to the strategic information initiatives of the University, as President, Dr. Jo Ann M. Gora, recently observed, "… [a] new strategic planning process … will increase the momentum the university has generated and will set a course by which the university can become truly distinctive."

The fundamental strategy for achieving the University Libraries' programs, services, and collections is that the Libraries not only partner for success but also serve the University community as a destination for research, learning, and friends. Both success and service are an integral part of the Libraries’ involvement in the Digital Policy Institute.

The DPI was formed in 2004 with a Provost Initiative Grant that was written by Dr. Dominic G. Caristi, Dr. Alan R. Richardson, both of the Department of Telecommunications, and Dr. Robert E. Yadon, Center for Information and Communication Sciences. Since its inception, the DPI has enjoyed statewide recognition in its role of telecommunications reform in Indiana through its input on House Enrolled Act 1279. This act eliminated the monopoly of cable providers, giving most Hoosiers a choice in video service. In February 2007, the DPI released a study stating that Hoosiers could save a total of $262 million on their cable bills annually as a result of new choices.

The Digital Policy Institute serves the 21st century Ball State University academic community as an interdisciplinary association of faculty with a collective research interest. These interests include the structure of, and competition within, electronic communications industries and includes the public policy issues of digital creation, storage, transmission, reception, consumption and legal intellectual property protection of information including written, voice, data, still images, video and computer graphics.

The DPI acts as a vehicle for faculty research in the areas of law, regulation, economics, and technology as these relate to public policy issues of local, state and national interests. The University Libraries act as an adjunct in this service and fully supports and enhances these state-wide initiatives.

The DPI consists of a Board of Directors of three University deans:
Dr. Rodney E. Davis, Dean, Miller College of Business
Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean, University Libraries
Dr. Roger M. Lavery, Dean, College of Communications, Information and Media

Since the DPI's inception, Fritz Dolak, Manager of the Copyright Office, has served as one of the Research Fellows. The complete list of DPI Research Fellows include:
Dominic G. Caristi, Associate Professor of Telecommunications
Cecil E. Bohanon, Professor of Economics
Jay E. Gillette, Professor of Information and Communication Sciences
Michael L. Hanley, Assistant Professor of Journalism
Stephan S. Jones, Director of CICS, Professor of Information and Communication Sciences
Alan R. Richardson, Professor of Telecommunications
Barry D. Umansky, J.D., Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Professor of Telecommunications
Robert E. Yadon, Professor of Information and Communication Sciences, Director of Applied Research Institute
Ryan R. Wolfgang, Research Associate

The University Libraries contributes to Ball State University's strategic information initiative through an active, collaborative, and collegial participation with the Digital Policy Institute that is truly distinctive.

For additional information about the DPI, including its White Papers, articles, audio interview and more, view

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Ball State University Libraries’ Ongoing Collaboration with Center for Middletown Studies Promotes Learning, Teaching, and Research

Ball State University Libraries seeks to support the learning, teaching, and research missions of Ball State University through collaboration with academic units.

One long-standing example of this type of collaborative work has been the relationship between the Center for Middletown Studies and the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections.

Archives and Special Collections personnel serve as ex-officio members of the Advisory Board for the Center for Middletown Studies. At the fall meeting of the Board on December 10, 2007, evidence of the ongoing collaboration between the two units was highlighted in several ways.

Philip James Deloria, archivist for digital projects and university records, gave a presentation on a project to establish a University Libraries’ presence in Second Life, a multi-user virtual environment. The goal of the collaborative project with the Center for Middletown Studies is to create a Middletown Library and Archives, which will consist of an exhibit space and reference area showcasing Middletown Studies resources from Archives and Special Collections.

Deloria presented a tour of the virtual world of Second Life for Board members. He provided examples of compelling educational applications of the technology to present resources for students, faculty, and researchers in this virtual environment. A front page article on the University Libraries’ Second Life project appeared in the Ball State Daily News on the same day as the meeting.

Maren L. Read, archivist for manuscript collections, and John B. Straw, assistant dean for digital initiatives and special collections, reported on activities, acquisitions, outreach, and use related to Middletown research in Archives and Special Collections.

Middletown and local history materials accounted for 26% of the total use in Archives and Special Collections from June through November 2007. Two Educational Foundations classes used these resources for an immersive learning project on Washington Carver and South View elementary schools. Fourteen significant collections related to Middletown and Muncie history were added to Archives and Special Collections in the last six months.

Several new collaborative initiatives are planned between the University Libraries and the Center for Middletown Studies for the new year, including grant proposals to create a multi-dimensional Middletown Digital Teaching Archive.

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Ball State University Libraries’ Archives Create Web Pages to Showcase Digital Resources and Services for Alumni

Are you a member of the alumni community who would like to revisit your time spent as a student at Ball State University? Would you like to browse photographs, videos, and documents that recall some of your campus days?

To provide additional library services to our alumni community, the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections created an alumni home page as part of its Web site. Browsing these pages, alumni can view the extensive resources that the University Archives maintain to document the history of the university and the lives of the university community members. These new alumni pages can be reached at

Digital Resources
The new alumni pages present easy access to digital collections likely to be of interest to former Ball State students. Many of these resources are made available through Ball State University’s Digital Media Repository, a project of the University Libraries.

The Ball State Campus Photograph Collection, commencement videos, and materials documenting significant campus events, such as Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 Ball State visit, may be of particular interest to alumni.

The site features direct links to Web-based exhibits, such as those that feature Beneficence (also known as Benny), student life, past University presidents, the College of Architecture and Planning, and the Alexander M. Bracken Library.

The E-Archives is a collection of Ball State University electronic publications, meeting minutes, and other recent documents. Alumni can visit the E-Archives to read the President’s Perspective, view the University’s Strategic Plan, or browse departmental newsletters. The University Archives’ FAQ page is where alumni can learn about University history using timelines that highlight notable events, the erection of Ball State buildings, and more.

Future Digital Resources
The University Libraries are in the process of digitizing more materials. We have copies of the student newspaper dating back to 1922 and yearbooks spanning the period between 1913 and 1996. Look for these materials to become accessible online in the future. Additionally, the Campus Photographs Collection, which currently contains primarily documents from the 1960s and 1970s, will be expanded with additional documents, including photographs from subsequent decades.

On-Site Resources and Services
The site also showcases the University Archives’ physical collections. Physical materials that will be of interest to alumni include yearbooks, Ball State directories (also known as the B-Book), student newspapers, course catalogs, faculty papers, photographic prints and negatives, and the records of some student organizations. The University Archives’ personnel are available to assist persons between the hours of 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Alumni may also contact us with reference questions concerning University history or the use of our resources.

If a member of the alumni community needs course descriptions from the course catalogs to support transfer of credits to another institution, they can be requested via telephone, 765-285-5078, or email,

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