Monday, June 16, 2008

Meet Some Board of Governors Members, Friends of the Alexander M. Bracken Library

Board of Governors of the Friends of the Alexander M. Bracken Library plays an important role in helping the University Libraries achieve their objective for providing the best resources for research, teaching, and learning. Meet some of our board members:

Marilyn Carey’s experience of serving on community boards includes 12 years with Muncie Community Schools and two terms as a trustee member of the Muncie Public Library. She was a media specialist at Muncie Central High School and had the distinction as “First Lady” of Muncie for eight years while the late Mr. James P. Carey served as mayor. Her hobbies include looking for treasures at antique sales and auctions. Mrs. Carey’s term is 2007-2010.

Dr. Nicole Etcheson, Alexander M. Bracken Professor of History in Ball State’s Department of History, considers Bracken Library to be the most essential building on campus. “The staff in Interlibrary Loan Services have been exceptionally helpful and efficient. I couldn’t do my work without them. All of the staff at Bracken that I’ve worked with from circulation, projection services, maps, and archives have been very professional and gone out of their way to be helpful.” Dr. Etcheson teaches Civil War and Reconstruction, Indiana History, the U.S. history survey courses, and graduate courses with expertise in 19th century U.S. She is working on a book about the Civil War home front in Putnam County, Indiana. Dr. Etcheson’s previous book, Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era was a History Book Club selection in 2004. Dr. Etcheson’s term is 2006-2009.

Dr. Carol A. Flores, Department of Architecture at Ball State University, brings students to Bracken Library during her Symbolism and Meaning in Architecture class (ARCH 495). There are early publications and some primary architectural texts in the Archives and Special Collections unit which Dr. Flores shares with the class. She also visited the area frequently while writing Owen Jones: Design, Ornament, Architecture, and Theory in an Age in Transition.

“I enjoy being on the board because it is a great opportunity to meet other people who are interested in improving education and some of the services we deliver,” she said. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the members and I like the vision that the board is taking.” Dr. Flores’ term is 2007-2010.

Hank Milius, President and Chief Executive Officer of Meridian Services Corporation, worked with personnel in the Archives and Special Collections to prepare for an exhibit focusing on the 30th anniversary of the company. He was pleased that he found everything he needed for the exhibit. Meridian Services is a private, not-for-profit behavioral healthcare system. After the exhibit, he was asked to join the FAMBL board by John B. Straw. Hank and his wife, Terri, have four grown sons, two of whom are married and twins who recently graduated from Purdue University. He enjoys fly fishing in his spare time. Mr. Milius’ term is 2007-2010.

The Honorable Marianne L. Vorhees, a circuit court judge, joined the board in 2007. Her friend, Nancy Turner, former head of Archives and Special Collections at the Ball State University Libraries, encouraged her to get involved because of Marianne’s passion for libraries. “I really enjoyed the recent annual dinner and Andrew Dale’s program about his father’s fight against the Klan,” she said. Marianne and her husband, Skip, have three children: a daughter who will be a sophomore at Ball State, and sons in middle school and high school. Her term is 2007-2010.

Dr. Thomas H. Spotts, Associate Professor in Ball State’s Department of Technology, joined the board in 2007. He is the coordinator of the graphic arts management program at Ball State and currently teaches introduction classes and a printing management course. He often brings his Introduction to Graphic Arts class to the Archives and Special Collections for a presentation on early books. Dr. Spotts’ term is 2007-2010.

Additional members of the Board of Governors will be profiled in future issues of The Library Insider during 2008.

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Libraries' Program Goals for Academic Year 2008-09

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 to be recognized by students, faculty, and other members of the University’s academic community as a destination for research, learning, and friends. This statement reflects our strategy for the libraries’ programs, services, and collections.

Our fundamental service objective is to support students’ pursuit for academic and scholastic success and faculty endeavors in the creation of new knowledge, classroom instruction, enhancement of academic outcomes, the use of information technologies, and greater personal awareness.

The main characteristics of the Libraries’ programs, services, collections and technologies are the following:
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 students and faculty to pursue learning and research projects
Computers, software, and information technologies for students to complete classroom assignments and for students, faculty, and scholars conducting research and creative projects
Individual and collaborative spaces for study and group learning
Great hours for library access and scholastic achievement

The University Libraries’ Strategic Goals, 2008-2009
Our strategic goals identify the focus and outcomes that our professional and paraprofessional personnel strive to achieve in providing a wide range of sophisticated library and information services to our students, faculty, and other members of our academic community. These goals include the following:

Provide uniformly gracious services in a user-friendly environment that supports learning, research, and classroom instruction
Increase access to information resources at the desktop for students and faculty
Expand the University Libraries’ digital initiatives and facilitate development of emerging media opportunities for learning, research, and classroom enhancement
Provide a broad range of computer-based learning resources, applications, and services to enhance student learning and that support an undergraduate research culture, and expand technical training opportunities for faculty and staff, and training opportunities for students
Increase diversity within the University Libraries’ workforce and expand programming in the academic community to promote awareness of diversity

The following 12 objectives are key elements of the Libraries’ Business Plan for fiscal year 2008-2009:
Creation and deployment of a Libraries’ Materials Request/Notification System to notify faculty, administrators, and others when an item they have recommended for purchase is available for check-out
Creation of Web-based mini tutorials for library instruction
Distance education outreach through Web page design and online chat with librarians
Expansion of the Libraries’ ability to provide library services in Second Life, a 3-D virtual space
Expansion of intensive computing tools to provide students and faculty with greater access to emerging media resources and for data analysis, gaming, video editing, and animation rendering
Exploration and acquisition of a federated search utility, and expansion of the Libraries’ link resolver technology for increased use of our academic databases and access to full-text resources
Increase in the number of Libraries’ sponsored conferences, workshops, and campus events
Libraries’ programming to include an Emerging Technologies Speaker Series
Outreach to students who are living in University housing
Licensing to allow BSU’s alumni to access some or all of the Libraries’ academic databases
Targeted immersive learning opportunities using the Archives and Special Collections, including data storage
Virtual Press and Cardinal Scholar digital repository expansion to include publications by faculty, students, alumni, and other academic organizations

Contemporary Chairs Added to Bracken Library

Bracken Library’s first floor has taken on a bold look with the addition of 30 new upholstered arm chairs in the public seating areas. According to Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, “The new chairs are replacing some of Bracken’s long-time familiar blue oak chairs which have been a signature of Bracken

The new lounge chairs are manufactured by Sauder Education Company, Archbold, Ohio, as part of their Moment Series. The series provides the necessary durability for high volume seating experienced on Bracken’s first floor.

The chair’s design takes advantage of modular renewable construction so that components can be easily replaced on site if they become warn or damaged. Similarly, the chairs feature removable upholstery that facilitates easy cleaning, repair, or replacement. Seat cushions are made of crush-resistant high-quality foam that provides students and faculty with plush comfort. Each chair has English oak wood feet adding to the arm chair’s contemporary look.

These new arm chairs, along with the recently acquired outdoor furniture on Bracken’s north and south plazas, are part of the continuing transformation of the University Libraries to create an inviting, friendly, useful space for students and faculty — a destination for research, learning and friends.

LSTA Innovative Library Program Grant Supposrt Second Life Library Project

An LSTA Innovative Library Program Grant award in the amount of $5,400 will be used to create a virtual reference area and exhibit. These will serve as a test bed for experimentation and innovation centering on provision of digital content and library services for the expanding user population participating in Second Life,, a 3-D virtual world. The prototype reference area will provide access to subject specialists and interactive exhibit modules focused on the University Libraries’ rich resources documenting Muncie, Indiana as “Middletown,” a representative American community.

The project will allow librarians to develop the skills necessary to provide rich library resources and services using state-of-the-art new media in this emergent digital environment. The University Libraries will support the work of students and faculty in Second Life while developing best practices for the provision of library services in virtual worlds for the benefit of libraries statewide.

Second Life is a compelling 3-D virtual world where library users can meet and interact in an immersive and collaborative environment. Participants access the world using a computer and are connected in the virtual environment where they create an avatar, a virtual representation of themselves, that they can control in the same manner that one might control a video game character.

Ball State University faculty and students are increasingly using the Second Life world as a virtual classroom. Lectures are conducted and group projects are being undertaken in it. There is great potential for Second Life to become a vehicle for distance education, allowing students to interact in virtual classrooms and library spaces.

For the project, Archives and Special Collections and the Center for Middletown Studies will collaborate to develop content for the exhibit. The central purpose of the exhibit will be to provide an overview of Muncie as Middletown, a representative American community. There will be a core module that will provide an introduction to the Studies. Additional modules will present the six subject areas covered by the Middletown Studies. The modules will include interactive elements such as click-through PowerPoint presentations and hyperlinks to external resources and streaming media such as oral histories and film clips.

The reference area will include a desk and a “drop box.” The desk will be staffed on a scheduled basis and by appointment for the provision of reference services. The “drop box” acts as a mailbox allowing visitors to leave messages and questions for staff when they are absent from the desk or to schedule reference interviews with an archivist.

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

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University Libraries Awarded LSTA Grant from Indiana State Library

An LSTA Digitization Grant award in the amount of $21,194 will be used to create a Middletown Women’s History Digital Collection to provide online access to archival materials documenting the experiences of women in Muncie, Indiana, from the 1880s through the 1930s. The resources will illuminate women’s history in the six areas of the seminal Middletown studies conducted in Muncie as a representative American community beginning in the 1920s: Getting a Living; Making a Home; Training the Young; Using Leisure; Engaging in Religious Practices; and Engaging in Community Activities.

Through increased access to diaries, correspondence, scrapbooks, and other records of women and women’s organizations, the resource will expand research opportunities in women’s studies, women’s history, U. S. history, sociology, and other disciplines. It will provide fresh historical perspective and new areas for investigation focusing on women in Middle America.

Items to be digitized include:
Altrusa Club of Muncie, Inc., Records, 1923-45
Cassady/Nelson Family Collection, 1887-90, 1926
Grace Arthur School Memory Book, 1926-32
Louise Carey School Memory Book, 1915
Mae Evans Papers from the Fred and Penny Prow Collection, 1916-31
Marsh/Ryan Family Collection, 1902
McRae Club Records, 1894-1950
Mina McCormick Becket Diaries, 1933-34
Muncie Business and Professional Women’s Club Records, 1919-62
Reticule Circle Club Records, 1927-40
Riverside Culture Club Records, 1913-34
Unitarian Universalist Church Records, 1894-1942
Women’s Club of Muncie Records, 1876-1942
Women’s Franchise League of Muncie Records, 1912-19
YWCA – Muncie, Indiana Branch Records, 1911-38

Ball State’s Center for Middletown Studies and the Women’s Studies Program will be partners in the grant project. The resources will be part of a Web-based teaching tool under development by the Center for Middletown Studies in partnership with Archives and Special Collections. Ball State’s Women’s Studies Program will provide two student interns to assist with transcription of selected hand-written items and will promote the resource through their Web site and publications. Students from the program will also utilize the materials for classes and assignments.

Over the past several years, Ball State University Libraries have utilized more than $75,000 in Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants to create digital collections. These collections have ranged from U.S. Civil War documents to oral histories to an historic anti-Ku Klux Klan newspaper.

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University Libraries Upgrade Desktop Computers in Scholar Carrels

A primary and essential objective of the University Libraries is to make available the best possible technology to our students and faculty for accessing information resources at the desktop. One of the ways that we are accomplishing this is by providing the latest computer technology and software throughout the University Libraries.

This includes expanding and upgrading the desktop computer equipment we provide in each of Bracken Library’s 48 Scholar Carrels that are located on the east side of the third and fourth floors.

Bracken Library’s Scholar Carrels are unique, distinctive workspaces that are designated for individual scholarship. Each room provides about 40 square feet of space. In general, these spaces are reserved by the semester and are renewable for up to three consecutive semesters. They afford graduate students and faculty with a private, secure environment to focus on research and pursuit of academic achievement.

This upgrade includes installing faster desktop workstations that have large hard drives, a LCD flat-screen monitor, an optical mouse, and keyboard.

These systems provide our scholars who use the carrels with convenient access to the Libraries’ online academic databases and information resources using the University’s award-winning WiFi network that is fully accessible throughout the Libraries. In the past, only those scholars who brought their own laptops had a computer available for their use in their Scholar Carrel.

Of course, users can also use their own laptops in these carrels instead of the desktop or they can use it in addition to the workstation in the carrel.

Each PC workstation is equipped with the Microsoft Office 2007 suite and other productivity software such as SPSS, EndNote, and the major instant messaging clients (AIM, MSN, Yahoo!). This equipment and software allows each scholar easy access to the Libraries’ academic resources, and it provides a state-of-the-art academic achievement environment for discovery and writing.

For more information, contact Bradley D. Faust, University Libraries’ Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services,, 765-285-8032.

Marketing Communications Manager Speaks about Marketing Libraries

Susan G. Akers, Ball State University Libraries’ Marketing Communications Manager, spoke at the May 30, 2008 Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) Conference held in Indianapolis, an event attended by 130 people. The focus of her talk was how to apply the 4 P’s of marketing, created in the early 1960s for use in business models, to the library environment.

Susan explained the value and use of the 4 P’s — product (librarians, collections), price (time), place (library), and promotion (communication, outreach) when transferred to a non-business environment.

An important take-away from Susan’s talk was that marketing in a library refers to everything the librarians do to promote the library. This includes service delivery, how phones are answered, an inviting atmosphere, developing and improving consistent customer service, relationship building, and looking for creative ways to promote the librarians and resources to the user community.

Susan identified several important benefits and outcomes from raising awareness about library programs, services, and collections. These include:

Create and maintain a relationship between the library and its user community
Create and reinforce the library’s brand to students, faculty, and administrators through information dissemination about the library’s programs, services, and collections
Create demand among user community members for the library’s programs and services
Provide awareness about services accessible through the library that support the college’s or university’s core mission for teaching, learning, and research
Provide a consistent message to students, faculty, and administrators about the library to build behavior that results in increased library utilization

Part of Susan’s presentation focused on performing a SWOT analysis as a first step in formulating a communication/marketing plan. The concept of using a tagline to assist in branding the library was also discussed.

Ken Gibson, Director of Duggan Library at Hanover College, said he and a colleague jotted down several creative taglines that could be applied to Hanover’s library system and that he could see further application from the presentation in promoting the PALNI consortium.

Hand-outs included an article on how good signage contributes to a positive library experience and “40 Marketing Tips for Academic Libraries on a Shoestring Budget (aren’t we all!)” available at the May 28, 2008 blog entry on

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

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Danny L. Taylor, Libraries’ Periodical/Reserves Assistant, Nominated for Fifty over 50 Award

Danny L. Taylor, who has been employed by Ball State University Libraries for 37 years, was honored on May 15, 2008, by Ball State’s Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology and the Community Center for Vital Aging during its annual Fifty over 50 awards ceremony.

The annual recognition dinner recognizes 50 people over the age of 50 who are selected from community nominations and who can be characterized as “ordinary people

Danny was nominated by Judi E. Egbert, Assistant Professor of Social Work, at Ball State University. In her letter of nomination she writes: “Danny is the ambassador of friendliness and service for Muncie. He earned his bachelor degree at Ball State about 30 years ago, and soon thereafter went to work with the University Libraries. He has been a stalwart processor of reserve materials that have served thousands of students, and he has trained and supervised dozens of students so they could help pay their way through college.”

Professor Egbert noted a key avenue of Danny’s service is the many panels on which he has served that focus on educating students about disabilities. Students comment about how much they learned from his upbeat, can-do attitude.

“Were we all so congenial and determined as Danny, our community would have a more enriching air,” she said.

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Membership in Consortium Saves Money for the University Libraries in Obtaining Databases

The Ball State University Libraries offer an impressive selection of electronic resources, including journals and academic databases. Our Libraries’ personnel continually strive to enhance the Libraries’ collections to meet the information needs of students and faculty while keeping pace with the ever-rising cost of scholarly resources and the tremendous increase in publishing activity.

The Academic Libraries of Indiana (ALI), a consortium of 73 academic libraries, is a partner in helping its members to achieve savings in subscription costs to academic databases. This past spring, as part of its initiative for eResources, ALI signed an agreement with the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET) that will result in ALI member libraries being able to save money when subscribing to selected academic databases.

For the University Libraries, for example, when we renew our subscription, this agreement will produce immediate savings for the LexisNexis Academic databases, a service that includes nearly 5,000 publications spanning business and financial, environmental, legal, medical, and news.

ALI’s agreement with SOLINET brings 200 existing product offerings and 50 publisher and vendor relationships to the partnership, and SOLINET will also undertake specific negotiations on behalf of ALI and its member libraries as needed.

The University Libraries anticipate that this is only the beginning of other favorable deals to come from being an ALI member. According to an ALI Resource Advisory Committee report, “… this relationship will offer ALI member libraries a broader range of electronic resources through a single agent, at optimum pricing, with management information available to each ALI member library for resources that they have acquired.”

Ball State University Libraries’ participation in the ALI-SOLINET partnership will help enhance our students’ pursuits for academic success and will help to increase faculty endeavors for knowledge creation, research, and classroom instruction.

This initiative between ALI and SOLINET represents a significant development in cooperation among ALI libraries to increase the range of resources provided to the students, faculty, and communities that they serve while making the most of available fiscal resources. According to Dan N. Bowell, Chair of ALI’s Database Licensing Task Force and University Librarian at Taylor University’s Zondervan Library, “It provides a strong complement to the resource sharing, including direct borrowing, that exists among ALI libraries.”

For more information, contact Hilde M. Calvert, University Libraries’ Head of Collections Development and member of the ALI Database Licensing Task Force,, 765-285-8033.

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John M. Ditsky Collection Donated to the Libraries to Enhance Steinbeck Research

Thanks to the generosity of Mrs. C. Suzette Ditsky, students, faculty, and researchers studying the life and work of Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck will have access to the papers of renowned Steinbeck scholar Dr. John M. Ditsky.

Mrs. Ditsky donated her late husband’s books and papers to Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections where they will join the papers of fellow Steinbeck scholars Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi and Roy Simmonds as part of the Libraries’ outstanding Steinbeck Collection.

Dr. John Michael Ditsky (March 9, 1938 – May 15, 2006) received his Ph.D. from New York University in 1967 and was Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Windsor, Canada, from which he retired in 2003 after 37 years of teaching. Prior to his tenure at the University of Windsor, he taught at the University of Detroit and Wayne State University. During his career, he served as vice president of the International Steinbeck Society, president of the New Steinbeck Society of America, and Chair of the Editorial Board of the Steinbeck Quarterly, and more recently of the Steinbeck Review.

In addition to his work as a Steinbeck scholar, Dr. Ditsky was an active poet, poetry editor, and music critic. He served as poetry editor of the University of Windsor Review for many years. He published four poetry collections, five critical volumes, and over 100 critical articles, essays, and book chapters on a variety of literary subjects. His vast publishing output and the many outstanding academic achievements of his career are reflected in his papers.

According to his long-time friend and colleague Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi, Dr. Ditsky “was first and foremost a passionate and dedicated scholar, teacher, and mentor.” The collection of his books and papers available to students and researchers in the Ball State University Libraries will continue Dr. Ditsky’s “… legacy of extending a helping hand to emerging Steinbeck scholars.”

According to John B. Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections, the addition of the John M. Ditsky Collection “… strengthens the reputation of the University Libraries as one of the premiere Steinbeck research collections in the world. The resources available at Ball State attract international scholars.”

In 2007, Mrs. Ditsky made a significant contribution to support the use of the Libraries’ Steinbeck collections when she established the Steinbeck Research Fund in honor of Dr. Distky. The fund is used to bring Steinbeck scholars to conduct research in the Archives and Special Collections. The first two recipients of the Ditsky Award were Dr. Kyoko Ariki, Shujitsu University in Japan, and Ms. Kay Bosse, University of Dayton, in 2007. The John M. Ditsky Collection will be a great resource for future recipients of the Ditsky Award to use in their research.

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OCLC and Google Partnership Facilitates Research at University Libraries

In May, OCLC, a nonprofit computer library service and research organization with over 9,000 member libraries, reached an important agreement with Google Inc. to share data that will allow click-through linking between Google Book Search and local library catalogs.

This agreement means that Ball State students and faculty who are users of the Google search service will be able to move seamlessly from Google Book Search results to records in CardCat, the University Libraries’ Web-based online public access catalog (OPAC). This breakthrough will facilitate the discovery of the Libraries’ rich resources for teaching, learning, and research.

Under the terms of the OCLC/Google arrangement, OCLC member libraries who are participating in the massive digitization Google Book Search project will share their WorldCat metadata with Google. WorldCat is the searchable OCLC catalog of 1.2 billion items held by its member libraries. Of the 20 academic, national, and civic libraries involved in Google Book Search, 16 are OCLC members. Included among the Google partners are premier institutions such as Princeton, Harvard, Oxford, and New York Public Library.

While Google Book Search provides users with digital access to over one million full-text books through the Google interface, the OCLC agreement will powerfully assist users searching for books without online full text. Though Google is aggressively digitizing books indiscriminate of copyright, users can only read the entire text of books that are either in the public domain, books published before 1924 that are no longer protected by copyright law, or books that are made available through special access arrangements with the author or publisher. For Google Book Search titles with limited or unavailable online text, Google Book Search users will be routed to local library collections through OCLC’s WorldCat, collapsing the cumbersome research layers formerly necessary for locating books and other materials in the local OPAC.

The innovative partnership between OCLC and Google will serve the international library community by increasing the visibility of unique institutional collections. Even more importantly, the linking utility brings us strides closer to the reality of the digital dream of a library without walls, where the world’s knowledge resources are discoverable and accessible to global users.

For Ball State students and faculty, this functionality will simultaneously widen the research scope, allowing our students and faculty to locate relevant resources anywhere in the OCLC network, and it will efficiently empower all users to directly pinpoint locally accessible materials available through the significant collections of the University Libraries — our students and faculty’s ultimate destination for research, learning, and classroom enhancement.