Thursday, December 18, 2008

Grant-Supported Projects Build Digital Resources for Learning, Teaching, and Research

The Ball State University Libraries have received several Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) digitization grants over the past five years to develop digital resources to support the academic pursuits of Ball State students and faculty. These grants have made it possible for the Libraries to provide 24/7 access to rich research materials for the citizens of Muncie, the state of Indiana, and scholars around the world.

As a result of the current LSTA digitization grant, the University Libraries have acquired a BookDrive DIY scanner that is being used to digitize deteriorating minute books of women’s organizations and diaries of local women as part of the Middletown Women’s History Digital Collection project.

This high performance book scanning platform allows personnel to scan the fragile pages of the volumes in a safe manner that protects the historical documents and provides a high quality digital image.

The scanner is like a double copy stand with two digital cameras set at 90 degree angles so that books can be photographed in a cradle rather than laid flat like they would be with a traditional flatbed scanner. This “cradling” protects the spines of fragile books by putting less stress on them.

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Highlights from Ball State University Libraries (November 2008)

Enhanced Library Materials Request online form now available for use by academic departmental library representatives and others who select materials for the Libraries’ collections

French Revolution Pamphlet and Fisher WWII Scrapbook collections in the Digital Media Repository expanded with another 40 and 279 digital images, respectively
800 metadata records for the DMR’s Museum of Art Collection enriched and standardized

The exhibit Native America at the Crossroad: Resources Celebrating Native American Heritage Month officially opened on November 12. The display is a collaborative project among Archives and Special Collections, Educational Resources Collection,

Author Stan Huseland donated audiotapes of interviews with 29 prominent Indiana political and business leaders, including former governors Otis Bowen and Edgar Whitcomb, Lt. Gov. John Mutz, and current U. S. Sen. Richard Lugar. These interviews will be digitized, transcribed, and made available in the Digital Media Repository for learning, teaching, and research

Dr. Kenan L. Metzger, Assistant Professor of English at Ball State, spoke on Indigenizing the Academy: A Call to Move from the Eurocentric to En’owkin

Created electronic copyright permission forms for use with online course reserves

Borrowed 2,153 items for BSU students and faculty and loaned 2,502 items via Interlibrary Loan

Answered 562 questions via Ask A Librarian: Live Chat, a 60% increase in live chat use over November 2007

Conducted 53 course-related library instruction sessions, including outreach sessions to student groups from Delta, Blue River Valley and Eastern Hancock high schools

Provided access to the RapidWeaver Web site editing software on the Libraries’ Mac computers

Installed Archivists' Toolkit, an open source software application, on staff workstations in Archives and Special Collections for evaluation as a means of enhancing management and manipulation of archival resources and increasing access through production of Encoded Archival Description finding aids that meet national standards

Released an updated Citation Linker to provide easier access from citation information to online full text available from the University Libraries

University Libraries Update the CitationLinker

The University Libraries unveiled an updated version of CitationLinker in early December. Designed to work seamlessly with FindIt@BSU, CitationLinker, an ExLibris product, allows students and faculty to locate available online full text using citation information. The new version is available at¶m_perform_value=citation.

The new CitationLinker features a more streamlined appearance than the previous version. Additionally, the form accommodates Digital Object Idenitifers (DOIs) and PubMed IDs (PMIDs). These unique numbers have grown in use and acceptance in the past few years, and users who have a DOI or PMID (used in PubMed databases) do not need any other citation information to find their articles. If users do not have a DOI or PMID, they can still enter other citation information to use the form.

Another key feature of the updated CitationLinker allows users online to locate FindIt-enabled journals or eBook titles either by title or by subject category. Searching by title is much easier with the AJAX Auto-Complete feature. As users type titles, a preview list of results appears, which they can use to select a title or to get ideas for other searches. The category tab also features subcategories, and encourages exploration of journal and eBook titles.

New Library Materials Request Form Improves Communication with Faculty Members

Acquisitions Services and Library Information Technology Services (LITS) personnel have collaborated over the past several weeks to enhance the current Library Materials Request System (LMRS). In response to faculty requests to have more communication from the Libraries regarding the status of materials they have requested, Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, tasked the group with developing new notification functionality within the LMRS.

The newly revised LMRS form will automatically pull information from the Sirsi/Dynix Symphony integrated library system and present it via e-mail messages. Each requestor will receive weekly e-mails when their requested titles have been ordered and when their requests are received and are available for use. In addition to informing requestors of the status of their items, departmental library representatives will receive a monthly e-mail that will summarize the items ordered using their departmental library allocations and items that were received and are now ready for use.

Included in the enhancements is the ability to notify requestors more efficiently and quickly of requested materials that are already held by the University Libraries. This will provide speedier feedback allowing funds to be re-deployed for other requests from the department. Another enhancement expedites the Acquisitions Department’s handling of submitted requests.

The new LMRS, implemented at the beginning of December, already is proving to enhance communication with faculty and increase the effectiveness of Acquisitions Services. The new form is located on the Acquisitions Services’ Web page at

For more information regarding the LMRS, contact Michael W. Twigg, Assistant Head of Acquisitions Services,, 765-285-8030.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Campus Community Experiences Diversity at Bracken Library

The Ball State University campus community enjoyed the sights, tastes, and sounds of other cultures on Friday, November 7 at Bracken Library during the International Festival. Sponsored by the Rinker Center for International Programs, international students from 25 countries decorated tables in Bracken’s lobby with items from their homelands, offering students, faculty, staff, and community visitors a chance to visit with them about various customs from around the world.

The annual celebration of cultures at Ball State has been a tradition for more than 50 years. Its purpose is to raise awareness about the diversity of international students attending Ball State.

Participants said that the turnout and interactions with American students were positive. The all-day event was attended by more than 600 people, including classes from Burris Laboratory School and community visitors.

Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, said that the Libraries’ were happy to host this event for the second consecutive year to promote international awareness and to help campus community members learn about the customs and traditions of Ball State’s international students.

Kue Ziao, a graduate student from China, said the international festival is a window to all international students through which we can see and experience different cultures. He said that each year he meets new friends and learns something new at the festival.

Inasi Nilanka, a graduate student from Sri Lanka agrees. “Most people do not know about Sri Lanka, and I am proud to be a Sri Lankan,” she said. “The International Festival is one of the best opportunities to tell about my country's culture and beauty, and I also learn about other countries!" Inasi’s presentations resulted in many people saying they were interested in visiting Sri Lanka someday.

Visitors to the library sampled tea from Japan, coffee from Iraq, chocolates from Germany, a meat dish from Russia, and rice from India, to name just a few. A fashion show held at noon highlighted both modern and traditional dress from several countries.

From the Rinker Center for International Programs, Debra L. Goens, Interim Director of International Student Services, and two graduate students, Ramia S. Badri from Iraq and Vijay Mandadi from India, organized the event. The event was co-sponsored by University Program Board and Bracken Library.

For photos:

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Bracken Library is 'Second Home' to Students During Finals Week

Ball State University’s Final Examination Week is in progress and the whole campus feels different. For the past few weeks, students are busy in the Library completing term papers and group projects, meeting in study groups to review notes and quiz each other, finalizing research for creative projects, and also taking online final examinations.

It is very satisfying as a librarian and administrator to see our students and faculty using the Libraries during finals as well as throughout the semester. This activity 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.

OVERHEARD ON CAMPUS:Recent Quotes about the University Libraries Reported in The Ball State Daily News

I always come to the library throughout the semester, and then during Finals Week everyone comes and takes all my spots. There are so many people it’s like a social occasion. It’s like they think it’s Club Bracken.

(Luke M. Boggess, junior, responds to the question, “What stresses you out the
most about Finals Week?” Dec. 12, 2008, pg. 9).

It’s coming to that time of the semester where everyone is living at their second home, Bracken Library.

(Anonymous student letter to the editor, Dec. 10, 2008, pg. 4).

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University’s President Selects Vice President for Information Technology

Philip C. Repp accepted the position of Vice President for Information Technology, a position which encompasses providing leadership for the Teleplex Services (including Indiana Public Radio-National Public Radio and WIPB-Public Broadcasting Station), University Computing Services, and the University Libraries. The Vice President is also a member of President Jo Ann Gora’s cabinet.

Mr. Repp, who was recently recognized by Campus Technology magazine as one of its 2008 innovators of the year for the development of Ball State's Digital Corps, has held a variety of administrative positions at Ball State, including interim Vice President when Dr. H. O’Neal Smitherman vacated the position 13 months ago, and Associate Vice President for Information Technology prior to that beginning in 2002.

He joined Ball State in 1981 in the Department of Art. He has served the University as department chairman, associate dean of Sciences and Humanities, and director of the Visualization, Animation and Imaging Lab.

Mr. Repp was a contributing author of two digital technology grants from the Lilly Endowment totaling $40 million. He now will help oversee implementation of a new $17.7 million Emerging Media Initiative meant to focus and accelerate the university's expertise in the field while spurring economic development through innovation, technology transfer, and the enhanced skills of a 21st century workforce.

Dr. Gora commended Mr. Repp for his work with the David Letterman Distinguished Professional Lecture and Workshop Series, which will help bring nationally recognized media professionals to Ball State. He assisted with the Emerging Media Initiative, which stemmed from a $17.7 million Lilly Endowment grant and will go toward improving media programs at Ball State. He also led the university's digital media storage project in collaboration with Network Appliance, which received an award from InfoWorld as an example of outstanding enterprise, innovation, and information technology leadership. As well, he spearheaded the campus-wide strategic planning process for the Office of Information Technology.

Mr. Repp said that he looks forward to advancing the university’s new technologies and emerging media missions and facilitating the use of advanced technologies in teaching, learning, and research.

Among his accomplishments during 2008, Mr. Repp assisted the University Libraries in obtaining a large donation for the Helen B. and Martin D. Schwartz Special Collections and Digital Complex which will be completed in 2009 at Bracken Library, purchase of technology for public areas of the Libraries, and he has supported expansion of the Archives and Special Collections through renovation of facilities.

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Chat Widgets Increase Number of Reference Questions at the Libraries

by Stacy B. Chaney-Blankenship, Information Services Librarian

In an effort to provide better services to our students, faculty, and staff, Information Services librarians at Ball State University Libraries have placed chat widgets on the Web site.

Chat widgets are a way for students and faculty to send instant messages directly from a Web page. Widgets do not require an account with a chat service provider nor do they depend on chat software being installed on the user’s computer station. Rather, chat widgets are put in place by the Web page creator. The user, who is assigned a “guest” account by the chat service provider, can interact with the widget provider directly from that page. In this case, personnel at the reference desk are contacted by students and researchers from the Libraries’ Web page.

The ever-popular chat service provides an easy way for users to get help from a librarian, and widgets can increase chat use by putting the service directly within the context of the Libraries’ Web site and making it easy for users to ask research questions.

The Ball State University Libraries have Wimzi widgets on the main Ask a Librarian page at, on the Libraries’ Articles and Databases page at, within the Libraries’ online subject guide system at, and on the Libraries’ MySpace page.

It did not take long for students and others to begin using the widgets. The University Libraries’ statistics on chat use increased immediately following implementation. The first widget went live on the Ask a Librarian page in late August 2007, and the following month showed a 33% increase in chats overall.

Another chat widget on the Articles and Databases page has accounted for 5% to 10% of all chat sessions received at the Bracken Library Reference and Information Desk since the widget’s introduction in September 2008.

In November 2008, sessions that originated from chat widgets accounted for 68% of the more than 400 total chat sessions overall. These chats are received at the reference desk in conjunction with other chat questions being sent from the users’ own AIM, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo chat accounts to our chat accounts, all with the username BSULibrarian and managed at the desk using Trillian software.

For more information, contact Stacy B. Chaney-Blankenship, Information Services Librarian,, 765-285-1101.

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Ball State Librarians Contribute to Book on Digital Scholarship

James A. Bradley, Head of Metadata and Digital Initiatives, and John B. Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections, contributed chapters to a new book entitled Digital Scholarship, published by Routledge as part of their Studies in Library and Information Science series.

The book presents ten original essays by librarians and archivists detailing both challenges and proven solutions in establishing, maintaining, and servicing digital scholarship in the humanities. The authors report progress and problems, examine new business models, new forms of partnerships, and new technologies and resources.

Bradley’s chapter, “The Russian Doll Effect: Making the Most of Your Digital Assets” explains that digital artifacts will find themselves repurposed and repackaged several times over for a variety of environments, gateways, and diverse user types. He demonstrates that careful attention to metadata in the project planning stage will yield extremely flexible digital objects. His findings are illuminated using specific examples drawn from Ball State University’s Digital Media Repository.

Straw’s chapter, “Digital Partnerships: Collaborating to Build Digital Resources” explores issues of digital project collaborations including advantages and disadvantages, politics, pitfalls, potential partnerships, project management, communication, resource sharing, written agreements, and promotion and publicity. Examples are cited from Ball State University Libraries’ experiences in developing a Digital Media Repository ( and specifically from a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) digitization grant project involving multiple partners.

The volume editor is Marta M. Deyrup, Associate Professor at Seton Hall University Libraries, South Orange, New Jersey. [Publication Information: Deyrup, Marta Mestrovic, ed. Digital Scholarship. Routledge Studies in Library and Information Science Series. New York: Routledge, 2009.]

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Ball State Librarians Present at Indiana Library Federation’s Annual Conference

Diane L. Calvin, Head of Information Services, participated in a panel discussion called Let’s Chat about Chat. She described University Libraries’ success with a live chat reference service as usage continues to grow for this service.

Stacy B. Chaney-Blankenship, Information Services Librarian, presented a session entitled Virtual Pathfinders and LibGuides. She discussed options for updating online library subject guides, including the University Libraries’ use of the LibGuides system.

Maren L. Read, Archivist for Manuscript Collections, and Amanda A. Hurford, Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer, presented Not Just Old News: Virtual Access to Historic Newspapers through Digitization. They discussed the steps to make the Muncie Post-Democrat Newspaper Collection available to a global audience, including preparing the collection, digitization, Optical Character Recognition, metadata creation, and online display.

Scott R. McFadden, Head of Serials Cataloging, presented The CONSER Standard Record: A New Approach to Serials Cataloging. The session explained the CONSER Standard Record, a minimum standard for cataloging serials, recently introduced by CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials program).

Matthew C. Shaw, Collections Development Librarian, presented Please Visit our Google Branch: Supplementing Traditional Collections with Google Book Search Project to an audience of 70. He discussed practical ways for academic, public, and school libraries to take advantage of the digitization of millions of books by Google Inc.

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