Thursday, August 21, 2008

All Indiana Libraries Become Group Affiliate Members of SOLINET Library Cooperative

On July 7, 2008, the Indiana State Library made an important announcement that it had provided Group Affiliate membership for all Indiana libraries in the not-for-profit library cooperative, the Southeastern Library Network, Inc., familiarly known as SOLINET. Established in 1973 and located in Atlanta, Georgia, SOLINET has grown from 99 charter members to more than 3,400 members in 2008, its 35th anniversary, making it one of the world’s largest library partnerships.

Through the leadership and vision shown by the Indiana State Library, this membership brings over 1,350 Indiana multi-type libraries into the SOLINET consortium, including about 80 academic and 32 institutional libraries, 238 public libraries, over 1,000 K-12 libraries, museums, archives, and dozens of special libraries in companies, organizations, and other groups.

Membership in SOLINET will strengthen and support the Ball State University Libraries by positioning us better to facilitate and accomplish our strategic plan. Through our SOLINET membership, we can avail ourselves of a wide range of exemplary benefits, including accessing cost-effective programs and services at deep discounts, increasing our buying power for digital and other informational resources, being able to attend SOLINET’s nationally recognized classes for training and professional development, as well as the potential to participate in the SOLINE interlibrary loan network.

To view a 15-minute presentation about SOLINET and its benefit for Indiana’s libraries, click on

New Fund Established to Expand Facilities for the Archives and Special Collections

A new fund has been created to expand the facilities for the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections. And your help is needed.

As many students and faculty will attest, the shelves in the Archives and Special Collections are filled with signature collections and rich research materials for researchers to explore and use to achieve academic success or just for personal growth. In fact, the shelves are almost at total capacity, leaving little space for new collections that would benefit students and scholars for generations to come.

Converting these valuable resources to digital format for improved accessibility and increased use is a primary objective of the University Libraries’ strategic plan for digital initiatives. Because of the unique and sometimes rare characteristics of special collections, retaining the original documents is essential. So even though digital use copies are created, the issue of storage space for original documents is not necessarily solved.

While some of the donated materials that come to the Archives are either born-digital or digital surrogates, the vast volume of documentation is still in paper format when it arrives. In order to continue to acquire research materials that can be digitized and made available globally through Ball State’s Digital Media Repository, it is necessary to house the original materials to be digitized.

In addition, we have an ethical responsibility to the donors of the materials to preserve their original records. While some hard decisions are often necessary concerning acquisitions and donations, de-accessioning gifts from donors is a much more complicated process from ethical and often legal aspects than the typical weeding process that a library conducts with its book, journal, and media collections.

So with space running out and a responsibility to acquire important new collections to support learning, teaching, and research, where does Archives and Special Collections go from here? That is where the new Archives and Special Collections Facilities and Development Fund comes in. It is also how you can help us to achieve our vision of expanding our facilities.

Financial gifts to the Archives and Special Collections Facilities and Development Fund (#5114) will support construction expenses to renovate about 1,100 square feet of space to make it part of the Archives and Special Collections. We estimate a cost of about $140,000 for this important project.

Dr. David J. Ulbrich, formerly of the Ball State History Department and soon to begin in the History Department at Ohio University, recently made the initial gift to establish the fund. Additional generous founding contributions have been made by Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, Sharon A. Roberts, Assistant Dean for Collection Resources Management, and John B. Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections.

Dr. Ulbrich has worked with the Archives and Special Collections on grant projects to record and preserve veterans’ oral histories, including a project to establish the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group archives at Ball State. That collection is an example of the historically significant materials that the Archives and Special Collections can add to its holdings to support the academic pursuits of students and faculty if the unit’s storage space can be increased.

The newly established fund will support renovation of about 1,100 square feet of space that is immediately adjacent (to the west) of the Archives and Special Collections. Your support is vital. Please contact John B. Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections,, 765-285-5078.

New Link on Libraries’ Webpage Highlights Artwork Featured in Bracken Library

The University Libraries proudly exhibit original artwork, particularly pieces created by students and faculty. We receive artwork by purchase, through donors' gifts, by long-term loan from the University’s College of Fine Arts and the Ball State Museum of Art, or by loan directly from the artist.

Artistic works include paintings, watercolors, sculpture, drawings and sketches, photography, posters, mixed media, prints, 3-D models, and other creative output. Creators include Ball State students, faculty, staff, and alumni. In addition, we have works from local Muncie and regional artists, and from artists who have national and international recognition.

Several of our artworks are Libraries’ Purchase Awards directly from student artists who have entered their artwork in the juried Annual Student Art Show. This Show is held at the Ball State University Museum of Art. Similarly, the Dean’s Purchase Awards are acquisitions that have been made by the Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Dr. Robert A. Kvam, who has generously loaned these works to the University Libraries.

Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, said, “Our purpose in displaying artworks is to beautify the physical environment of the Libraries and to add color and interest to the study spaces. We also seek to expand the liberal arts education of our students, faculty, and visitors by exposing them to the artistic creativity of others.”

A link which categorizes artwork by floor is The link provides the name of the piece, the artist’s name, medium, and a digital image of the work.

Students have commented to personnel at the Libraries how much they appreciate seeing the variety of artwork on Bracken’s walls. We are delighted to have the opportunity to share the work and creativity of many artists with a wide audience.

Web of Science Improves Research Process for Ball State’s Students and Faculty

The University Libraries provide access to the Web of Science, a powerful multidisciplinary database that includes Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index. Responding to high faculty demand for the Web of Science, the University Libraries have purchased content back to 1987, replacing the cumbersome print citation indexes, which were difficult to use and interpret. With the excellent online alternative, which is available 24/7 from your desktop, using this valuable tool for research and learning is easy.

The purpose of citation indexes is to allow researchers to locate references cited by the authors of articles covered by the index, and Web of Science helps users move seamlessly through scholarly literature, analyzing citation data for articles and their authors. Web of Science includes information from approximately 8,700 high impact research journals, and over 500,000 newly cited references that are added weekly to the database.

Unlike the print predecessors of the Web of Science, the database offers enriched research information including selected article abstracts, author affiliations and contact information as well as advanced citation analysis tools such as configurable and customizable citation bar graphs and citation maps, which graphically display the citation relationships between an article and other articles. Users can also create Web of Science accounts in order to create personal research profiles with citation alerts, compile and manage lists of citation records, and save searches.

Additionally, the functionality of Web of Science is enhanced with
Find It @ BSU, the Libraries’ full-text linking utility, which offers point-and-click routing to full-text articles that exist in the rich electronic collections available through the Ball State University Libraries.

The University Libraries continue to offer our students and faculty the very best tools for scholarly research. Web of Science is a significant resource for evaluating and locating the very best scholarship in a wide variety of disciplines. It maximizes knowledge discovery potential and streamlines the research process, supporting classroom instruction, individual learning, and successful educational outcomes for Ball State University students and faculty.

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Loan Period for DVDs and Circulating Equipment Extended

The Educational Resources Collections offer an array of materials to support student and faculty endeavors. Borrowing resources from two of the most popular collections –DVDs and circulating equipment – has gotten even better with a recent extension in loan periods.

DVD/VHS media now circulates to members of the BSU community for four days. Digital equipment circulates for six hours or until the library closes, whichever comes first. In addition, users have the option to renew these items online or by phone up to two times.

Laptops, iBooks, camcorders, data projectors, headphones, microphone kits, tripods, power adapters, DVD players, video converters, and more are available for loan from the digital equipment collection.

The DVD collection, numbering over 23,000 items, is a diverse collection of documentaries, popular features, foreign films, television series, animation, live concerts, and more.

The Media Finders on the Libraries’ home page are a convenient way to search for items in the collection, easily customized to search by genre, date, awards received, language, etc.

Visiting Scholar Examines Development of 1920s Ball State and Its Relationship to Muncie as Part of Dissertation

The Ball State University Libraries have a wealth of resources to support the research of visiting scholars.

LaDale C. Winling, a Ph.D. candidate in Architectural History and Theory from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, spent the month of July 2008 conducting research in the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections and the Geospatial Resources and Map Collection. Winling’s research was funded by Ball State’s Center for Middletown Studies.

Winling is currently working on his dissertation, tentatively titled Post-Industrial Plans: Universities, Students and the Politics of Urban Space. He chose Ball State University, along with the University of Texas-Austin, University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Chicago-Hyde Park/Woodlawn, as part of a chronological case study in the changing relationship between cities and institutions of higher education.

Dr. James J. Connolly, Director of the Center for Middletown Studies, said, “Dale is here to explore connections between the development of the community and the growth of Ball State between the world wars. His study will add an interesting dimension to research on Middletown, since the school’s role in the city was all but ignored by the Lynds in their first book, as well as to the history of higher education in the United States.”

While at Ball State, Winling used a variety of resources from the Archives and Special Collections to examine the development of Ball State Teacher’s College in the 1920s through the papers of former president Lemuel A. Pittenger, college building and planning files, the Ball State Daily News, and real estate and planning records for Muncie and Delaware County. He also took advantage of the collections and GIS resources available in the Geospatial Resources and Map Collection.

Speaking of his visit, Winling said, “Researching the role of Ball State in Muncie during the Middletown years would not be possible without the rich resources on administrative activity and student life available at the university archives. Combining that with the mapping capabilities of the Geospatial Resources and documents in the Map Collection, I hope to make a significant contribution to the scholarship on Muncie.”

For more information, contact Maren L. Read, University Libraries’ Archivist for Manuscript Collections,, 765-285-5078.

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University Libraries Host Indiana SirsiDynix Users

Bracken Library was the gathering point for nearly 40 library staff from around the state on July 25, 2008. The day was filled with presentations by SirsiDynix representatives and members of the user community who use the Symphony and Unicorn integrated library systems (ILS) provided by SirsiDynix Corporation.

There were special interest group discussion sessions centered on specific ILS modules also. User presentations focused on topics such as text messaging catalog search results, managing holds and recalls with Demand Management, implementing patron self-checkout, and using label printing tools.

The day was an opportunity for fellow system users to network and learn about innovative ways to use the system.

Lisa J. Jarrell, Information Services at Ball State University Libraries, attended Peter Konshak’s session on text messaging and said, “I see some students storing call numbers in their phones rather than writing them down. This makes me think students would really love this idea.”

Michael W. Twigg, Acquisitions Services at Ball State University Libraries, said the Cataloging Round Table session was interesting as he learned more about open source developments and some problem-solving approaches.

The Indiana SirsiDynix Users Group was formed in 2003 to provide a common forum for users in the state. This is the first year for Ball State University Libraries to host the annual conference. In hosting the event, there were two objectives: to help the organization by providing a centrally-located conference site and to showcase our campus and state-of-the-art library facilities.

Attendees from other libraries were duly impressed with Bracken Library, the campus, and presenters. Presenters such as Peter Konshak and Lisa Dick from Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, Indiana, expressed delight with Bracken Library’s presentation rooms and equipment.

Next year’s conference is tentatively planned to take place at the Wells County Public Library in Bluffton, Indiana.

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Garnett Mystery Collection Comes to Ball State's University Libraries

A collection of almost 3,000 women-authored mystery novels was recently donated to Ball State University LIbraries. The Garnett Mystery Collection was originally donated to the Women's Studies Program in 1999 where it was housed in the Women's Studies Resource Center in the Burkhardt Building on the Ball State University campus.

Julee L. Rosser, Interim Director of the Women’s Studies Program, said, “The Garnett Mystery Collection offers unique research value. The members of the Women’s Studies Program are thrilled to share this resource with the community. We are thankful to the people at Bracken Library for all their work in transporting, cataloging, and everything else they are doing to make the collection available. We are also very grateful to the donor.”

When cataloging is complete, the volumes will be shelved together in an area on first floor of Bracken Library.

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

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