Friday, January 25, 2008

New GIS and Map Tutorials Available on the University Libraries’ Geospatial Resources and Map Collection Web site

Interested in learning about the basic parts of maps? Need to brush up on some geographic skills? Or are you interested to learn about the newest GIS software tools available for use in the classroom and for research? New resources are now available online through the Geospatial Resources and Map Collection (GRMC) Web site,

Students and faculty interested in learning more about GIS software can now access BusinessMAP Basics, a tutorial on the GRMC Web page. BusinessMAP 4.5 software is geared toward business and marketing tasks and was recently installed in the GIS lab in the GRMC to supplement existing GIS software.

The BusinessMAP Basics tutorial guides users through the basic functions of this new software and is supplemented by specific subject-oriented video tutorials created by ESRI that illustrate the tools being used in a project environment. Marketing and business faculty and students could use this tutorial to enhance classroom projects.

Users seeking information about geography can also access new online map tutorials. These tutorials are of particular value for students for review, teachers for classroom instruction, and others who want to sharpen their map skills:

· The Elements of a Map is a tutorial that teaches about the main geographic features found on every map, such as the legend, scale, and directional indicators. The tutorial features colorful examples of elements of maps from the Map Collection.
· Topographic Maps is a tutorial that teaches users how to read topographic maps and how the maps are used in industry and development projects.
· Map Projections teaches users about how maps are created using different map projections and provides examples of each type using maps from the Map Collection.

Social studies teachers can also enhance their classroom lessons by using the online tutorial Using Maps and Atlases in Social Studies Lessons. This tutorial provides examples of maps and atlases used in specific lessons for students in elementary through high school classrooms. Some of the lessons are collaborative and will also be relevant to science and English teachers.

The GRMC is currently producing three tutorials that will be available online in the coming months. These are GIS tutorials on Creating Maps for Projects and Downloading Census Data for GIS Analysis and a new online tutorial in the maps and cartography series, Using Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. The Sanborn Maps tutorial can be used in collaboration with the Muncie Digital Sanborn Map Collection that will soon be available in the University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository,

These online resources are available under the GIS and Maps and Atlases sections of the main GRMC Web page, After completing the tutorials, users are asked to provide feedback, including suggestions for topics of future tutorials. GRMC staff can also create customized tutorials for faculty and students upon request.

For more information on these and other resources, contact Angela S. Gibson, GIS Specialist,, and Melissa Gentry, Map Collection Assistant,, 765-285-1097.

Ball State Libraries' Staff College Builds Personnel Knowledge, Skills

During winter break, a majority of the University Libraries’ employees continued their education by attending in-house training sessions, which were offered December 17, 2007 through early January 2008. Through “Staff College,” nine topics were offered. To accommodate work schedules, most sessions were held twice.

“These sessions are an investment in our personnel. They are interesting and well-attended,” said Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries.

Are Books Dead? was moderated by Jason A. Fields, Information Services Librarian. He engaged participants in lively discussions of the recent Newsweek cover story entitled, The Future of Reading by Steven Levy. Conversation covered topics from proprietary e-book formats and usability issues to collection development to one’s attachment to books as physical objects. The personnel in attendance agreed that, while the format of books may change, books as a medium are certainly not dead.

"My goal as moderator was to get people talking about a pertinent, timely issue that is related to our profession,” said Jason.

Citation Style Basics was moderated by Lisa J. Jarrell, Instructional Services Librarian. She spoke about the large number of resources that are available to help students with citations.

Databases: Strategies for Success with Erin S. Gabrielson, Information Services Librarian. Erin addressed some issues and opportunities for assisting students with the University Libraries’ most popular databases, such as Academic Search Premier, PsycINFO, and CQ Researcher. The session was designed for paraprofessionals and personnel who do not use databases everyday.

A Day in the Life of …” This popular session was the third in a series. Its purpose is to provide attendees with an overview of the services and activities of various units within the University Libraries.

Geospatial Resources and Map Collection (GRMC) was presented by Melissa S. Gentry, Map Collection Assistant. Melissa’s approach was interesting in that she used a slideshow featuring images and statistical information about the GRMC called “8,” which refers to an eight-hour day and was based loosely on the television series “24.”

Educational Resources Collections (ERC) was presented by Diane E. Hill, Media Librarian. Diane gave an overview of the resources available in the collection and distinguished between them and the educational materials in the general collections. She also reviewed the multi-faceted content related to the unit’s Web pages.

The Acquisitions unit was presented by Cheryl O. Shull, Periodicals Assistant. Cheryl reviewed section activities and responsibilities for monographs, serials, fiscal control, and binding. During Cheryl’s PowerPoint presentation, she shared some of the humorous situations they have encountered, such as a few years ago when they ordered a DVD of the Academy Award-winning movie, The Pianist, only to receive a “… rather racy-looking version of a different Pianist.”

Intro to LibGuides was moderated by Stacy B. Chaney-Blankenship, Information Services Librarian. She covered the new Libraries’ new subject guides that are being developed for use during spring semester 2008.

Macintosh OS X Presenter was taught by Barb R. Wills, Technology Training Support Specialist. As part of her presentation, Barb provided a detailed handout as a reference tool for those who work with students and faculty and others who are experiencing Mac issues while studying in University Libraries.

Photocopiers Demystified was presented by Roberta J. (“Bobbie”) Pearson, Business Support Services Supervisor. Bobbie provided on-site demonstrations, showing how to copy back-to-back, perform trouble-shooting techniques, such as handling paper jams, and how to report problems and handle refunds. “I was pleased with how well it went and received positive feedback from attendees,” said Bobbie.

Understanding International Students as Clients and Employees with Debra Goens, Rinker Center for International Programs Foreign Student Advisor/Immigration Specialist. Debra’s session focused on how to effectively communicate with international students as clients or employees. Debra commented on the challenges facing international students, including lack of familiarity with both local language practices and cultural expectations.

VendPrint Demystified with Mark “Andy” West, Microcomputer/Systems/Network Analyst. Andy spoke about the Libraries’ public printer solution. He discussed VendPrint, its wireless counterpart PrinterOn, where public printers are located and how they work, as well as how to deal with the most common problems

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Taking a Closer Look at Ball State University Libraries

by Arthur W. Hafner, Ph.D., M.B.A., Dean of Ball State University Libraries
The Alexander M. Bracken Library, the main library located in the heart of the campus, serves an average of 4,400 students per day.
Since early 2003, the focus of the University Libraries has been to develop and implement a strategic plan that transforms the Libraries into a 21st century, service-oriented, innovative and educationally involved organization.

A distinguishing characteristic of our growth strategies for the Libraries is to continually improve the Libraries’ programs, services, and collections in order to provide outstanding and uniformly gracious, friendly services to our students, faculty, staff, and other community members.

To accomplish these objectives, our professional and paraprofessional personnel are engaged in an ambitious effort to create, develop, adapt, and implement a wide range of innovative and creative technologies, original products, and highly personalized services that support our students and faculty who are committed to research, learning, and classroom instruction.

Actualization of our growth strategies have measurably fostered an undergraduate culture that promotes and facilitates learning and research. This reality has further supported Ball State University’s move toward national prominence in teaching, research and service.
In addition to providing a range of academic library and information services, the University Libraries are actively engaged in the management and organization of complex data sets, data mining, and the digitization of traditional analog resources in order to create Web accessible information systems that innovatively advance research and learning.

These newly created learning materials constitute a resource that facilitates new forms of rich contextual enquiry. To create these digital resources, data are aggregated from a broad array of information stores, contextualized, and presented in a manner that allows for new questions to be asked and for answers to be represented in fresh ways to provide a better understanding of the data.

Some of the University Libraries’ newest digital products that support the academic community are
· Cardinal Scholar, Ball State’s Institutional Repository providing storage and global access to faculty and student work-product, making it an integral element of the University’s research publishing distribution strategies
· Digital Commons, providing links to digital resources available locally, regionally, globally
· Digital content produced by the University Libraries from analog data
· Digital Media Repository, providing a centralized, coordinated, and user-focus for digital media resources owned or created by the University Libraries, Ball State University, and community partners
· Specialized Web pages for copyright and intellectual property information, digital video collections, distance learning support including online chat and blogging, images, wireless laptop printing solutions, and more

In addition to the digital products mentioned above, the Libraries have long been engaged in producing other important products to benefit students and faculty learning and research:
· Ball State University Virtual Press
· CardCat, the Libraries’ online catalogue
· Course reserves (acquiring and organizing for class-specific assignments)
· Databases (e.g., e-journals, CD/DVD/VHS’s)
· Library Insider, a monthly newsletter for enhanced communications
· Media Finders as interfaces to CardCat to help users find materials in specific formats or genres, such as music, movies, or novels)
· MySpace page
· Resource guides, pathfinders
· Software, such as a room scheduler, staff scheduler
· Student produced library videos
· Tutorials for library instruction
· Web pages with data and information as part of our mass communication outreach to students, faculty

The University Libraries’ primary directive is to support the University’s mission of teaching, scholarship, and public service, provide an intellectual environment for exploration and discovery, and to support academic learning and research through a range of proactive library and information services. Through our growth strategies, we confidently engage our tag line, “… a destination for research, learning, and friends.”
For more information, contact Arthur W. Hafner,, (765) 285-5277.


University Libraries Premiere Cardinal Scholar Institutional Repository to Provide Global Access to Ball State Faculty and Student Work

Cardinal Scholar, Ball State University’s institutional repository, is now ready for business at A project of the University Libraries, Cardinal Scholar serves as a means for faculty and students to make their intellectual and creative work globally accessible. The vision for Cardinal Scholar is to

· Promote open scholarly communication
· Preserve access to scholarly work produced at Ball State University
· Promote Ball State’s intellectual capital to a worldwide audience

By achieving this vision, Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, says that “Cardinal Scholar has the potential to be a key element in the University’s research and publication distribution strategy.”

Materials deposited in Cardinal Scholar are made available through the system’s interface, search engines like Google, and other indexing tools. This broad accessibility has been proven to increase the number of citations of such work.

Cardinal Scholar includes both published and unpublished articles, lectures and other presentations, reports, papers, and other research or scholarly work that faculty and students choose to make available. Supported formats range from text to video to maps to photographs of artwork and more.

Faculty and administrators can easily add annual reports, meeting minutes, and other documentation. Students can add their work and link it to their portfolios. Student works sponsored by faculty will be openly accessible to a worldwide audience to demonstrate the positive impact and contribution of the faculty’s teaching and guidance.

All members of the Ball State community are welcome and encouraged to add materials to Cardinal Scholar through the easy-to-use interface. Helpful pages like Getting Started, Guidelines, FAQs, and Help are available on the site. The site also includes specific information for administrators, faculty, students, and publishers. To begin using the system, go to the “Getting Started” page on the Web site. The University Libraries are pleased to offer assistance in using Cardinal Scholar.

For information, contact John B. Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections at, or Philip J. Deloria, Archivist for Digital Projects and University Records, at, or call 765-285-5078.

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New Media Finder Pages Make Locating Online References Easier

For students, faculty, and staff who are looking for online reference sources at Ball State University Libraries, there are now two new search pages, which make it easier to access online versions of many popular reference works, such as Credo Reference, Gale Virtual Reference Library, and Oxford Reference Online, as well as some important discipline-specific sources, such as Grove Music Online and Literature Resource Center.

View the Libraries’ Media Finders at this URL:

The “Search Online Reference Sources” option provides quick and easy location of online reference titles. The other option, “Browse for Reference Sources (Print & Online)” makes browsing easier when one wishes to locate reference materials by general discipline, e.g., architecture, history, and astronomy, or by geographic area or type of resources, e.g., language dictionaries, encyclopedias, style manuals.

We offer several hundred online sources that cover a wide range of subject areas, such as

· A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art, and Collins French Dictionary Plus
· Encyclopedia of Business and Finance
· Encyclopedia of Food and Culture
· Gale’s Great American Court Cases
· Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary
· The Oxford English Dictionary

For more information, contact Kelley C. McGrath, Cataloging and Metadata Services Librarian (Audio/Visual), Ball State University Libraries’ Collection Resources Management,, 765-285-3350.

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