Thursday, September 18, 2008

Library Participates in Welcome Week

The week prior to the start of fall semester is an exciting time when students move in, buy books, meet new friends, and scope out the quickest route to classes. At Ball State, this time is also known as Welcome Week and is chock full of activities designed to help newcomers settle in and become better acquainted with their peers and life on a university campus.

The University Libraries’ personnel recognize this as an excellent time to introduce freshmen, transfer students, and new graduate students to the many library and informational resources and services available to support academic pursuits. During this time, many of the University Libraries’ personnel actively met students in a variety ways:

Creating a “Welcome Week” display in the lobby of Bracken Library with a variety of the Libraries’ eye-catching brochures, including a Top 10 Things You Should Know About the University Libraries list

Conducting drop-in mini-workshops about the libraries' resources and services

Presenting an overview of relevant services and collections at the Graduate Student Development Conference and staffing an information booth at the graduate student resources fair

Holding an orientation session for new and returning graduate assistants and others associated with the English Department’s Writing Program

Meeting with international students for an orientation and tour of Bracken Library and related services

Hosting a laptop clinic to introduce library information technology programs and services while also providing assistance installing the University’s Symantec Antivirus client and Microsoft Office 2007 applications

Participating as book discussion group leaders for the Freshman Connections Common Reader program.

The Libraries’ outreach and instruction continue throughout the semester in a variety of formats, including sessions tailored to meet the individual needs of academic classes.

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Welcome to New and Returning Students and Special

Ball State University’s Fall Semester 2008 classes began Monday, August 25, 2008. Our librarians, professional personnel, and paraprofessional personnel are delighted to welcome everyone. We hope we will see you often in the University Libraries and that you will find the Libraries to be your destination for research, learning, and friends.

The Libraries are filled with the sights and sounds of learning. These sounds are the voices of students asking librarians questions, conversations about projects, clicks from the keyboards of students preparing papers or finding Web sites, the whirl of photocopy machines or the swishing of scanners, the hum of high speed laser printers, and the greetings exchanged between classmates, fraternity/sorority members, acquaintances, and others.

Students and faculty access the Libraries’ rich print and digital collections, seek help from librarians with their assignments and research projects, prepare papers and analyses using any one of the Libraries’ 351 public PCs or 27 Macs, and they print their projects or store them in an iLocker digital storage space that is provided for free to all students and faculty.

The Libraries are wireless throughout so that students can be anywhere in the Libraries and make use of their own laptops, personal assistants, or other small-screen smart devices.

Of course, books, journals, music CDs, movies and educational presentations in DVD and VHS formats, maps, laptops, and a variety of items in an assortment of formats are popular for check-out.

The University Libraries offer a variety of comfortable spaces for collaborative and individual study and a number of small to large group study rooms for practicing presentations and listening/viewing assigned materials for music and cinema classes. Group study rooms can be reserved online. Bracken Library’s fourth floor is designated as a Quiet Zone. While the sounds from students are noticeably low on Bracken’s second floor and on the basement level, Bracken’s first and third floors are known to students as places to see and be seen, where students can work alone – yet welcome interruptions – or collaborate with others on papers and projects.

The Libraries’ subscription databases of full-text articles, abstracts, and citations can be accessed from anywhere in the Libraries. They can also be accessed remotely from anywhere on campus or off-campus through an Internet connection.

The popular Bookmark Café @ Bracken Library is a place where our students can grab a cup of coffee or tea, talk with friends or colleagues. Students see the University Libraries as a place to develop their skills for scholarship and their soft skills that involve community, communication, and creativity.

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Dr. Luchen Li Receives Ditsky Award for Steinbeck Research at Ball State University Libraries

Through the generosity of donors, the Ball State University Libraries provide opportunities for students and scholars to advance their education and research. An outstanding example is the Steinbeck Research Fund in Honor of Dr. John M. Ditsky that was established by his wife, Mrs. C. Suzette Ditsky of Detroit, Michigan.

Dr. Luchen Li is this year’s recipient of the Ditsky Award. He will visit the University Libraries during the week of September 29 through October 3, 2008 to conduct intensive research on Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck, using the Steinbeck Collection in the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections.

Dr. Li is Associate Professor of Humanities and Communication and Director of the Office of International Programs at Kettering University, Flint, Michigan. He has authored numerous Steinbeck-related publications, including A Critical Companion to John Steinbeck (co-authored with Geoffrey Schutz) and John Steinbeck: A Documentary Volume. He serves as Vice President of the International Programs for the John Steinbeck Society of America.

The topic of Dr. Li’s research is the ethical dimensions of John Steinbeck’s world. Examining Steinbeck’s works, he will focus on the author’s personal ethics and societal ethics concerning business, war, politics, and ethnicity. He will research how Steinbeck offers “a unique set of moral discourses – novels, novelettes, short stories, plays, scripts, and essays – that have helped define much of our own American ethics while providing contemporary insight for negotiating our moral responsibilities to our own fellow human beings, society, and environment.”

The Steinbeck Research Fund established by Mrs. Ditsky in honor of her late husband is intended to assist and encourage emerging Steinbeck visiting scholars and/or doctoral candidates in conducting research in Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections on an appropriate topic related to author John Steinbeck.

Dr. John Michael Ditsky (March 9, 1938 – May 15, 2006) was Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He was a world-renowned Steinbeck scholar, Vice President of the International Steinbeck Society, President of the New Steinbeck Society of America, a poet and poetry editor, a music critic, and Chair of the Editorial Board of the Steinbeck Quarterly.

Dr. and Mrs. Ditsky were long-time friends and colleagues of noted Steinbeck scholar and Ball State University professor Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi who was instrumental in establishing the outstanding Steinbeck Collection in the University Libraries. Mrs. Ditsky recently donated her husband’s papers and books to Archives and Special Collections to augment and strengthen the Steinbeck Collection.

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Friends Program on John Steinbeck by Dr. Luchen Li

Dr. Luchen Li, Associate Professor of Humanities and Communication and Director of the Office of International Programs at Kettering University, Flint, Michigan, will deliver a talk entitled, “John Steinbeck’s View of the American Presidency” in Bracken Library’s Forum Room at 7:30 p.m. on October 1, 2008.

The free program is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Alexander M. Bracken Library and by the Department of English, and is open to the public. 765-285-5078.

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Varga Sculpture Donated to Ball State Libraries

Students, faculty, alumni, and visitors to the Alexander M. Bracken Library are now able to see and study a work of art depicting an important part of the history of the Jewish people and the Holocaust.

Martin D. Schwartz, local businessman and philanthropist, donated a bronze sculpture by Hungarian artist Imre Varga, perhaps Hungary’s best-known contemporary sculptor, entitled Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest. The work is one of nine smaller versions created by Varga from the original work found in Budapest that was erected on a small patch of grass beside a roadway on the Buda side of the Danube River.

Raoul Wallenberg (August, 1912 – July 17, 1947) was a Swedish humanitarian sent to Budpest under diplomatic cover to rescue Jews from being sent to death camps in the later stages of World War II. He issued them protective passports from the Swedish embassy that identified the bearers as Swedish nationals awaiting repatriation.

Wallenberg was arrested on January 17, 1945, by order of Soviet Deputy Commissar for Defense Nikolai Bulganin. In 1957, the Soviets responded to diplomatic pressure and announced that Wallenberg had died of a heart attack in 1947 in Lubyanka prison in Moscow, but that has been disputed.

Sculptor Imre Varga was born in Hungary, November 1, 1923. He served as an air officer in World War II and returned to Hungary from captivity in 1945. He has won many awards for his work over the years and his work has appeared in numerous European museums.

Varga said of the Wallenberg sculpture that it served dual purposes. First it is a tribute to Raoul Wallenberg who Varga said “showed the way of honesty, the way of real heroes.” The other reason was more personal. Varga’s former professor, and later friend, Pál Pátzay, made the first Wallenberg monument and Varga made the second.

The sculpture was given by Mr. Schwartz in honor of his late wife Helen. They acquired the work of art when they were in Budapest around 1987 when the original monument was erected. It resided in their home until he recently gave it to the University Libraries.

The bronze sculpture is 25.5 inches in height by 16.5 inches in width and 12.75 inches in depth. It is currently on display outside of the Archives and Special Collections on the second floor of Bracken Library. When the Helen B. and Martin D. Schwartz Special Collections and Global Digital Complex is completed on Bracken Library’s first floor sometime during Spring Semester 2009, the sculpture will be located in that space.

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Getting to Know the Basics of Copyright Law

Our digital world immerses us 24/7 in intellectual property and it is prudent to know how the Copyright Law applies to these copyrighted materials, particularly to basic questions, such as these:
How long does copyright on an item last?
What is public domain?
What materials are copyrightable?
Is copyright automatic?
Do you need to register at the US Copyright Office?
What does the Copyright Law tell me about ownership?

The answers to these questions can be found at the Copyright Office’s Copyright Basics page,,,14494--,00.html.

For additional information about intellectual property issues, please visit the University Libraries’ Copyright Office homepage,

For more information, contact the University Libraries’ Copyright and Intellectual Property Manager, Dr. Fritz Dolak,, 765-285-5330.

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Cardinals through the Decades: 90 Years of Ball State University on Exhibit in Bracken Library

Beginning September 15 through October 31, 2008, the Archives and Special Collections will feature an exhibit, Cardinals through the Decades: 90 Years of Ball State University. The exhibit will be located on the second floor of Bracken Library.

Showing history and memories of Ball State from 1918-2008, the exhibit will feature memorabilia, artifacts, and historical items. The display includes:
photographs of the dedication of Beneficence in 1937
a glass time capsule from Burris
75th anniversary memorabilia, miniature staff-student B-Book directories
1940’s wooden scrapbook from Lucina Hall
Orient yearbooks, and other historical documents
books exploring the history of Ball State from its beginnings in the late 1800s

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Librarian Liaisons Promote Resources to Faculty

Whether it’s an instruction class, a newsletter, or a subject guide, librarian liaisons seek out many opportunities to encourage and facilitate communication between the University Libraries and the academic departments that participate in the program.

“Being a library liaison offers the opportunity to open lines of communication between the Libraries and teaching faculty,” says liaison Diane E. Hill, Media Librarian.

Diane works with the Departments of Education Studies and Elementary Education. She finds that teaching instruction sessions that focus on the collections in the Libraries’ Educational Resources Collection is a perfect opportunity for working with faculty.
Science librarian Kevin E. Brooks agrees. “The faculty search me out for instruction, research consultation, even help fleshing out courses and assignments,” he said. “The librarian liaison program has given me another avenue to interact with faculty about what we can do for them.”

The University Libraries’ LibGuides offer librarian liaisons an opportunity to create or promote subject guides for the academic departments they serve. To date, over 75 popular LibGuides have been created for subjects ranging from accounting to women’s studies, Librarian liaisons also use Web sites and newsletters to highlight resources.

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Ball State Libraries Reap Benefits from Consortia Participation

The University Libraries are committed to developing exceptional collections of rich scholarly resources and to offering excellent services that support the teaching, learning, and research of our students and faculty at Ball State University. In pursuit of this goal, the University Libraries have established advantageous relationships with a number of library consortia. These alliances help to strengthen and support the Libraries by positioning us to better facilitate and accomplish our strategic plan.

Library consortia typically are cooperative partnerships that facilitate cost-effective services, create and support educational and professional development, facilitate collaboration between and among members, and provide significant subscription savings through pooled purchases, which increase buying power, maximize mutual benefits, and minimize institutional risks.

The University Libraries participate in several consortia:
1. Academic Libraries of Indiana (ALI) consists of 71 undergraduate, medical, law, theological, and research libraries in the State of Indiana. Its mission is “… to enhance and enrich access to the full range of information resources and services required to improve the quality of teaching, learning, research, and engagement in Indiana’s colleges, universities, and seminaries through collaboration, research sharing, and advocacy.”
Members offer free reciprocal borrowing and in-library use for students and faculty among themselves.
Members can receive significant discounts on database subscriptions through ALI’s e-resource licensing program for consortia through SOLINET.

2. Amigos Library Services (AMIGOS) is a network of over 800 libraries and cultural heritage centers that began in the southwestern United States and partners with academic libraries nationwide.
The Ball State University Libraries hold a general membership, providing substantial discounts for several current subscription databases, to take advantage of the Member Discount Program.
AMIGOS provides shared training resources, shared library materials among participating members, and shared purchasing power.

3. Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority (INCOLSA) is an Indiana statewide network.

In October 2008, INCOLSA will form a partnership with the Michigan Library Consortium (MLC) to offer discounts from over 55 vendors and publishers.
INCOLSA provides many professional development workshop opportunities for Indiana Libraries.

4. OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a not-for-profit membership cooperative that includes more than 69,000 libraries in 112 countries and territories worldwide.
Connexion is a Web browser-based cataloging utility that allows the University Libraries’ catalogers to download and edit records from OCLC’s vast database, minimizing the need for extensive, labor-intensive, and costly original cataloging.
WorldCat – Access to the union catalog, which contains all records cataloged by OCLC member libraries. This allows the University Libraries to share their records with the entire OCLC network and facilitates resource sharing and interlibrary loan services through reciprocal borrowing.

5. Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET) is a not-for-profit library cooperative of more than 3,400 members. All Indiana libraries are group affiliate members, thanks to the vision and leadership of the Indiana State Library. The membership provides 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.”

The Ball State University Libraries have realized tangible, favorable outcomes through these relationships, which continue to expand our ability to offer our students and faculty a wide array of resources and services that facilitate knowledge discovery, locally and globally.

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