Wednesday, February 24, 2010

University Libraries Provide a New Look for e-Journal Access in the Online Catalog

Users seeking electronic journals through the University Libraries’ online catalog, CardCat, have undoubtedly noticed a change in the way their search results are presented. Formerly, it was common practice to find a record on which multiple formats, print and electronic, were consolidated. Current searchers will discover separate entries for multiple formats, with e-journals now having a record of their own. These records are often identified by the presence of the word “Online” in parentheses following the title.

An even more significant improvement is within the bibliographic record itself. Now each record for an e-journal contains a single, convenient link to the University Libraries’ familiar MultiLink interface. MultiLink searches the Libraries’
e-collections for available full-text and will display multiple options for full-text access when available. Rather than seeing a list of various electronic links, users can now click one easily identified link to take advantage of the complete range of electronic full-text options offered by the University Libraries.

This results from the University Libraries’ relationship with SerialsSolutions, Inc., a Seattle-based e-resource access and management service provider. SerialsSolutions provides the University Libraries with the MultiLink and MultiSearch services. Bibliographic records in CardCat have been integrated into these services. From a user perspective, this results in a unified presentation of e-journal information. Whether users are searching for e-journals through CardCat, Citation Linker, the e-journals list, or MultiSearch, the results are displayed in the same way.

As a result of this integration, there are significant benefits to both users and librarians. All of the University Libraries’ e-journal services are now driven by the same underlying database that is maintained by SerialsSolutions, Inc. Rather than maintaining a separate database of electronic access points within CardCat, serials cataloging personnel can now perform all necessary maintenance within the SerialsSolutions database itself. This kind of “one-stop shopping” dramatically increases the efficiency of e-journal management and should greatly improve users’ success in obtaining electronic full-text.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Significant Gift to the Libraries Supports Classical Guitarists

Ball State students studying classical guitar now have greatly expanded access to repertoire due to a generous gift by Dr. Peter A. McAllister.

Dr. McAllister, formerly Director of the School of Music in the College of Fine Arts, was a virtuoso guitarist before he moved into music education and administration. He gave concerts in both the U.S. and Europe, always to high acclaim, and premiered over 30 classical guitar compositions. He recorded professionally on Carleton Records and with Donald Wilson as a duo-guitarist on the Fanfare label.

The gift is Dr. McAllister’s private library of guitar music. Numbering nearly 400 items, it is mainly pieces for guitar solo, with some guitar duets and a sprinkling of technical exercises. The collection contains the works of the acknowledged Spanish and Italian masters of the guitar and also composers from all over Europe and the western hemisphere – a virtual who’s who of guitar composers. The collection is also rich in transcriptions for modern six-string guitar of pieces originally for similar earlier instruments: lute, the five-course baroque guitar, and the Spanish vihuela. Harpsichord music, especially that of J.S. Bach and Domenico Scarlatti, transfers well to guitar, and these types of pieces appear in the collection as well.

Once the gift arrived, the next step was to make it available. All 400 pieces were cataloged, folded into the regular work of two music catalogers. Since the pieces are typically only a few pages long, each was then protected by a slim, rigid binder and labeled. As Dr. McAllister intended, his library has now joined the Libraries’ Music Collection on the lower level of Bracken Library, for use by guitar majors and all interested in classical guitar.

“The legacy of music that Dr. McAllister so wonderfully donated to Ball State is quite extensive,” said Paul Reilly, professor of guitar. “A good deal of the music is material that has gone out-of-print and is therefore difficult to obtain. I will use this gift to the benefit of the Ball State guitar students as soon as possible.”

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Expanded GIS Services Available at the University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection

Students, faculty, and staff visiting the University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library, will find the space has been rearranged and transformed. Many important changes allow the facility to provide more access to GIS resources for the entire Ball State community, positioning the GRMC to meet campus needs for increased GIS-enabled research and instructional space.

The University Libraries have increased the amount of space devoted to the GIS research area. There is now nearly 1,200 square feet equipped with 28 high-end Lenovo ThinkCentre computers with dual 22” widescreen monitors. The units provide students and faculty with access to the type of software required for any GIS or mapping project, including the following:

• Adobe Design Premium CS3
• Autodesk AutoCAD 2009
• ERDAS Imagine 9.3 and
• ESRI ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1
• ESRI ArcPad 8.0
• Google Earth
• Google SketchUp
• Intergraph GeoMedia 6.1.6
• Rhino 4.0

Two LG 55” widescreen LED monitors and an ELMO projector are connected to an instructor station, facilitating the use of the equipment for workshops and classes. GRMC staff plan to offer workshops and tutorials and to facilitate instructional sessions in the space.

Ball State faculty and students who require GIS and other related geospatial software for instructional purposes can reserve the area. The space is also available for use by students and faculty for group and individual learning. A certified GIS staff member is available to answer questions and help users with their projects.

GIS-enabled computers are also available throughout Bracken Library since the software is deployed on more than 140 public workstations throughout the building. Visit the University Libraries’ Software Locator Web site to find these public access stations:

The GRMC also provides users with access to a broad collection of over 145,000 print maps.

The GRMC provides members of the campus community with access to wide-format plotting and lamination services, both of which are offered at a modest cost.

For more information or to reserve the GIS Research Area for group projects, contact Angela Gibson, University Libraries’ GIS Specialist,, 765-285-1097.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ball State’s Digital Media Repository Receives New Public Interface:

The Ball State Digital Media Repository (, a project of the University Libraries, now has a new look. Students, faculty, and other researchers who use this online repository, which currently consists of 89 collections and almost 200,000 digital assets, will find many improvements, ranging from a new design to enhanced searching capabilities.

Some of the highlights to the new public interface for the DMR include these:

• Faceted and improved collection search options
• Improved navigation and browsing
• Implementation of Web 2.0 social networking tools
• An interactive media viewer on the homepage

One highly visible change is the use of cooliris media viewer to allow researchers new to the DMR to browse selected resources in an interactive environment. AddThis, a social bookmarking tool, lets users easily share DMR content on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Users will be able to search content by subject, location, format, contributor, and individual collections directly from the browse pages in the new interface.

A DMR Public Interface working group has been evaluating and designing the new look since September 2009. The working group consists of Eric B. Fisher, Information Services Librarian; Amanda A. Hurford (co-chair), Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer; Carolyn F. Runyon (co-chair), Archivist for Digital Development and University Records; Amy E. Trendler, Architecture Librarian; and Budi Wibowo, Head of Digital Libraries and Web Services.

The working group conducted user surveys, analyzed use statistics, and surveyed other repositories to identify and select effective ways to enhance the usability of the DMR through the public interface. The new interface will provide better ways for students and faculty to select and utilize the rich digital resources available in the DMR for teaching, learning, and research.

Watch for an article with more descriptive details about the new interface in next month’s newsletter. And visit the new and improved DMR soon.

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