Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Carmichael Library hours for the holiday

Carmichael Library will be closed from December 17, 2013 until January 2, 2014. 

The Library will reopen at 8:00 am on January 2.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Extended Hours for Fall 2013

Open Neon Sign

Carmichael Library will offer extended hours for students during final exam week. The extended hours will begin this coming Sunday, December 8.

Sunday, December 8th               2:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Monday, December  9th               8:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Tuesday, December  10th               8:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Wednesday December  11th               8:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Thursday, December  12th               8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Friday, December  13th             8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The library will be open for two more days after the end of the fall term:

Saturday, December 14 th              Closed
Sunday, December 15 th              Closed
Monday, December 16 th              8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 17 th              8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The library will be closed for the winter holidays Wednesday, December 18th through Thursday, January 2nd, 2014. Good luck to all students in finals!

Photo Credit: Arlo Bates. Creative Commons license

Monday, November 25, 2013

Library Closed for Thanksgiving Holidays

Carmichael Library will close on Tuesday, November 26 at 2:00 p.m. for the Thanksgiving holidays. The library will reopen on Sunday, December 1 from 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.  Normal hours resume on Monday, December 2 at 8:00 a.m.

Extended late night final exam hours will be posted next week. Have a safe and restful Thanksgiving holiday!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Meet the (Virtual) Reference Books: Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Men and Women in the World's Cultures

Meet the Reference Books introduces noteworthy encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference materials in Carmichael Library's print and digital collections. Blog posts are contributed by Reference Student Assistants.  The first round of books this semester comes from our Virtual Reference Shelf.  

This post is written by John Wilson, a sophomore marketing major.  John introduces the
Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Men and Women in the World's Cultures.  

Just reading the title of this encyclopedia, one might conclude that this is a publication based literally on sex (so did I at first).  But it’s much deeper than just sex. The main purpose of this encyclopedia is to compare different gender issues in society affecting men and women all across the world.

Covering everything from gender stereotypes, to adolescence, to marriage customs in Japan or how homosexuality is viewed in Africa, this encyclopedia is a fully equipped “go to” reference publication for any scholar interested in dabbling in gender studies or learning about male and female interactions in other cultures.

-John Wilson

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Meet the (Virtual) Reference Books: Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins

Meet the Reference Books introduces noteworthy encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference materials in Carmichael Library's print and digital collections. Blog posts are contributed by Reference Student Assistants.  The first round of books this semester comes from our Virtual Reference Shelf.  

This post is written by Cassie Wallace, a senior accounting major.  Cassie introduces the Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins.  

How did the word “abracadabra” come about? Did you even know this was a real word and not just some babble that came off the top of some famous magician’s head? In fact, this term was once used as a charm against fever in the late seventeenth century and was first recorded in an ancient Latin poem around the second century. Words and phrases with histories such as this are in abundance in the modern English language and the meanings and concepts behind them change every day. The Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins makes delving into intriguing information about the language around us a cinch!

In what way could we expect to predict the changes that will be made in the future if we do not first research what differentiations we have from the past? The desire to find out where the wide variety of words in the English language comes from is not a new one and is more easily quenched than you may have realized! In the Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins you will find that much of the work required to ensure the accuracy of the information has already been done for you. This publication is a great place to answer the questions you have been asking for years about things like “What was someone thinking when they named an insect after butter?” or “Who decided that the word pterodactyl needed a ‘p’?”  These questions and many more are discussed in the Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins.

How can you access this wonderful source of wisdom? I am so glad you asked. The Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins is available through the Virtual Reference Shelf any time of day or night on the University of Montevallo’s Carmichael Library website under the subject heading, “Language and Literature Reference Sources.” Have fun!

-Cassie Wallace

Monday, November 11, 2013

Meet the (Virtual) Reference Books: The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine

Meet the Reference Books introduces noteworthy encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference materials in Carmichael Library's print and digital collections. Blog posts are contributed by Reference Student Assistants.  The first round of books this semester comes from our Virtual Reference Shelf.  

This post is written by Jasmyn Walker, a sophomore biochemistry major.  Jasmyn introduces the Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine.  

If you are anything like me, at the first sign of pain you quickly type your symptoms into the WebMD search bar only to find that you are deathly ill with only months left to live (and that there happens to be a sale on Oreo’s at Wal-Mart). However, after hours of fretting over who will get all of your belongings, you realize that all you have is a common cold. (Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us!) The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine is the holy grail for self-diagnosing doctors everywhere.

This encyclopedia includes medical disorders and concepts with an in-depth discussion of causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, procedures, and other related topics. This book was published in 2006, so all the information is pretty up-to-date with modern medical information. While this encyclopedia is great for people who like to diagnose themselves, it is perfect for those with medical-related majors, such as Pre-Med, Pre-Pharmacy, or Pre-Dentistry.

I even picked up a few things myself. For example, the common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory system including the nose, throat, sinuses, Eustachian tubes, trachea, larynx, and bronchial tubes.  Luckily, most colds clear up on their own without complications. Nonetheless, the average person is expected to have up 50 colds in their lifetime!  This encyclopedia rocks and is more than helpful when it comes to your class assignments. But do yourself (and the rest of us) a favor and see a real doctor when you actually get sick.

-Jasmyn Walker

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Meet the (Virtual) Reference Books: A Dictionary of Superstitions

Meet the Reference Books introduces noteworthy encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference materials in Carmichael Library's print and digital collections. Blog posts are contributed by Reference Student Assistants.  The first round of books this semester comes from our Virtual Reference Shelf.  

This post is written by Shannon Skelton, a French major.  Shannon introduces A Dictionary of Superstitions.  

Did you know that in the nineteenth century some people believed that an adulterer could cure warts? Yes, you read that correctly, an adulterer could cure warts. This is just one example of the many interesting entries you can find in A Dictionary of Superstitions, published in 2003 and edited by Iona Opie and Moira Tatem.

Want another one?

To cure whooping-cough, just have a ferret drink some milk and then have the patient drink the rest of it.

This reference book comprises a wide range of folk beliefs, some of which have endured for centuries. The entries recount the significance of colors, animals, and days. Some also tell of rituals which are to be performed at certain times or in certain circumstances to ensure good fortune.  For example, in the 1950s, it was considered bad luck for women to say thank you to someone who picked a dropped object up for them.

If you are ever in need of more information about a superstition, take a look at this book!

-Shannon Skelton

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Meet the (Virtual) Reference Books: Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History

Meet the Reference Books introduces noteworthy encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference materials in Carmichael Library's print and digital collections. Blog posts are contributed by Reference Student Assistants.  The first round of books this semester comes from our Virtual Reference Shelf.  

This post is written by Sara Frye, a senior Interdisciplinary Studies major.  You'll see Sara working all over the library--at the Circulation, Welcome, and Reference Desks!  Sara introduces The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History, published in 2008, touts itself as the first volume of work which comprehensively covers women’s role in world history. The encyclopedia has entries on important women throughout history, as well as significant movements and historical events in which women played a part, such as Abolition and the Anti-Slavery Movement. This reference book is useful for anyone interested in women’s role in history or in women’s rights, and could be helpful for any classes or projects in many disciplines, such as history, English, art, sociology, political science, and likely many more, as it discusses women’s roles in almost every cultural subject.

By browsing this source I learned that while Mahatma Gandhi was involved in the anticolonial nationalist struggle, his secretary Rajkumari Amrit Kaur was strongly involved in the women’s movement and was an important figure in the Women’s Indian Association, the country’s first feminist association. I also learned that while Simone de Beauvoir was considered a key figure in the Second Wave feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s due to the success of her book The Second Sex, she rarely labeled herself a feminist. I encourage everyone to check out this book and discover some awesome women in history!

-Sara Frye

Bringing Day of the Dead to Life

For the eleventh time in 12 years, the library is partnering with Dr. Eric Vaccarella and his students to display their work commemorating Día de los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead. It may sound macabre, but Day of the Dead is a time for the living to participate in a joyous celebration honoring loved ones who have passed away. To learn more about the observance, you may be interested in a recent report on the holiday on National Public Radio.

Dr. Vaccarella at work with his students

The library is currently hosting a showing of ceremonial altars (ofrendas) built by students of Dr. Vaccarella's Spanish Conversation class. This year's ofrendas honor three famous Mexicans:

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (Tejano singer -- 1971-1995)

Francisco “Pancho” Villa (Revolutionary -- 1878-1923)

Frida Kahlo (Painter -- 1907-1954)

Detail of altar commemorating Selena

The public is invited when our students present their work at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 31st. The altars will be on display through Tuesday, November 5th. The library will serve refreshments and offer festive music after the presentations.

This program is sponsored in part by the IL|UMinate grant fund and the Office of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP.)

See more photos from this year's display on our Facebook Page.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Meet the (Virtual) Reference Books: Oxford Dictionary of Media and Communication

Meet the Reference Books introduces noteworthy encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference materials in Carmichael Library's print and digital collections.  Blog posts are contributed by Reference Student Assistants.  We're starting off the series this semester with titles from our Virtual Reference Shelf.  

This post is written by Kaitlee Daw, a Communications Studies major and PR minor.  Kaitlee introduces the Oxford Dictionary of Media and Communication. 

With the addition of the Public Relations minor on campus, students are likely to search far and wide for a resource about mass media and communication. Over 60 students have declared the PR minor, making it the largest on campus. With all these students studying Communications and Public Relations, a Virtual Reference Shelf source is a great asset.

The Oxford Dictionary of Media and Communication is perfect for students studying Mass Communication, Communication Studies, Public Relations or any combination of fields. This reference title has over 2,000 entries on relevant communication terms, including advertising concepts, communication theories, media production terms, and rhetorical concepts.

The Department of Communication encourages students to conduct research, intern and get hands-on experience though departmental projects. The Oxford Dictionary of Media and Communication gives students the resources they need to do that.

-Kaitlee Daw

Meet the (Virtual) Reference Books: Encyclopedia of African American History

Meet the Reference Books introduces noteworthy encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference materials in Carmichael Library's print and digital collections.  Blog posts are contributed by Reference Student Assistants.  This year, we're starting out with books from our Virtual Reference Shelf.  

Our first post comes from Astin Cole, a senior History and Political Science major.  Astin writes about the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to Present.  This title is available digitally through the VRS, but we also hold it in print.  Additionally, there is a companion volume that covers from 1619 to 1896.  

I know what you’re thinking, “this is intimidating," but fear not! Yes, this set of encyclopedias depicts a serious focus in a specific aspect of American history, but that’s a good thing! In average American history encyclopedias, many interesting facts which promote a diversity of views and cultures are typically omitted or understated. Here, the scope is much narrower. It begins in 1896 during the height of Jim Crow, transitions into the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, covers the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s, and describes the overall enrichment of American culture through African Americans since. 

In terms of applicable use, the Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present can be a great source of reference for all social sciences. Through issues such as the bombing in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1920, to the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments between 1932 and 1972, you can impress your professors with your knowledge of controversial events from different periods. Additionally, there is always something new to observe about different cultural movements such as the Jazz Age, Black Nationalism, and the Civil Rights Movement. An example would be the discussion of famous black athletes, musicians, politicians, activists, and writers who gained their recognition because of or in spite of their cultural environment.

The Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to Present is an excellent source of information. By focusing on a particular group of people, a new outlook is created, depicting a rich heritage that exemplifies the strength of diversity in American society.

-Astin Cole

Monday, October 07, 2013

Accessing U.S. Census Data During the "Shutdown"

We're about a week into the government shutdown, and even though the House of Representatives has passed a bill to restore the lost wages of furloughed federal workers, we still do not have access to the U.S. Census database or many other government sources of data. It's almost certain that the House will not pass a bill to retroactively compensate people for their undue suffering when they lose access to SNAP benefits. Similarly, it is unlikely that the House vote to restore the lost learning opportunities the college students that have happened because of the shutdown. I digress.

Fortunately, we do have alternate sources of key U.S. Census data. The Carmichael Library has secured a month-long trial of Social Explorer. Social Exlorer, published by Oxford University Press, is an interactive data and mapping tool. Anyone can create an account, download data from historical censuses, and create visually attractive maps. If you're working on a project that requires you to find demographic or geographic data, this site should connect you with most (but not all) of the information you need.

Even if we did have access to American FactFinder, Social Explorer is a valuable tool to develop GIS projects. Consider this map I made about educational attainment in the U.S.

 This map explores the percentage of U.S. Citizens who have earned a Master's degree and expresses that in terms of a size bubble for each county in the United States. It's easy to annotate the maps you create, develop projects that feature sequences of maps, and share your maps with other people.

Take a look at Social Explorer. If you like it, please let us know by responding to our trial database survey form.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Government Shutdown and research

Government Shutdown Affects Some Library databases

  • Ebsco ERIC vs. ERIC Department of Education site
    The library's subscription to Ebsco ERIC is working and available on the library web page.  Researchers may notice that the full text of some articles is not available.  Any full text articles housed on the government's server will not be available while the government is shutdown. No new content will be added to the Ebsco ERIC database while the government is shutdown.  The ERIC database housed on the US Department of Education website is not available.

    Please ask for assistance from a librarian when in doubt about the availability of full text.
    The following message is posted on the PUBMED site:
    "Due to the lapse in government funding, PubMed is being maintained with minimal staffing. Information will be updated to the extent possible, and the agency will attempt to respond to urgent operational inquiries."
  • AGRICOLA: U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Library
    The library's subscription to Ebsco AGRICOLA, is still available on the library web page but no new information will be added while the government is shut down.
  • To learn more about the status of services during the government shutdown visit:
    USA.gov Government Shutdown

Monday, September 30, 2013

Classical Music Library, American History in Video Databases Temporarily Unavailable

Alexander Street Press - - the provider of two Carmichael Library databases - - has reported a temporary outage with their products. This unexpected downtime only affects American History in Video and Classical Music Library. We'll post to our Facebook Page again when we get an update from our database provider.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Banned Books: Carmichael Library Celebrates Intellectual Freedom

In 2013, most people have formed an idea that the United States is a free country that bears little, if any, resemblance to Ray Bradbury's dystopian landscape in Fahrenheit 451. There's no state police force burning books on the streets, and citizens are free to to read whatever they want. Look closer, though, and you will find countless incidents of literature and content that is challenged or suppressed because of ideological reasons. For instance, a school system in Judson, TX prohibited students from reading Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Allegedly, the Judson superintendent said that parents had complained that Atwood's book is sexually explicit and offensive to Christians. And it's not just books that are being banned. An article in the Huffington Post reports that the government has asked Google to block or remove items from its search results for reasons that are political in nature.

We need to think about the imperative of intellectual freedom. Stop by the Carmichael Library sometime soon to observe Banned Books Week and reflect on this important issue. On the main floor of the Carmichael Library, we've set up a display with selections from the ALA's list of 100 most frequently challenged books of the past decade. Our display is a part of the ALA's Banned Books Week program. Of course, you are encouraged to check out a banned book and read it. You might be surprised to see which books have been challenged on social or ideological grounds.

Let us know about your experiences with banned books in the comments. Did you attend a high school that suppressed certain books or films? Have you read a banned book before and wondered why it has been challenged?

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Fall 2013 Instruction Workshop Series Now Available

The Carmichael Library would like to announce the Fall 2013 Instruction Workshop Series. We've hosted sessions like these in past semesters, and now we introduce an expanded lineup on topics like blogging, using Twitter for information management, crafting online presentations, and more.

Instruction workshops are hands-on experiences where you learn how to create projects or manage information with online tools. You can come and ask questions, work on your own class assignments, or just observe. And because the sessions are informal, there's no need to make reservations. Arrive late or leave early. We don't mind! 

Earn Badges

Some professors may offer extra credit if you attend an instruction workshop session, but more often than not, you may want to come and learn simply because you're interested. However, you may also want to earn badges. If you attend a workshop, you are entitled to earn a badge (see the lineup on the above slideshow), and you may also opt in to our semester long badges competition. Those who accumulate the most badges will receive prizes, which may include print cards to be used in the library. We'll keep track on a leaderboard, which is displayed on the Instruction Workshop Series homepage.

This first session is Informed Blogging this Wednesday, September 11 at 4:00 PM in the EBSCO classroom on the ground floor of the library. If you're in a class that requires blogging, or if you're generally interested in using blogs to organize information or share content with a public audience, you are welcome to come to this workshop. We hope to see you this fall at Carmichael.

Fall 2013 Instruction Workshop Series

Wednesday, September 11, 4:00-5:00 PM Are you taking a class that requires you to write on a blog? Are you interested in writing for an online audience? This workshop will help you understand the Wordpress blogging platform. Andrew Battista will explain the conventions and technical skills needed to blog effectively.

Citation Management with Zotero - Monday, September 16, 5:00 PM-6:00 PM  Zotero is the only research tool that automatically senses content, allowing you to add it to your personal library with a single click. Learn how to use Zotero to organize research, generate citations, and collaborate with other people.

Apps for Research - Tuesday, September 24, 5:00-6:00 PM How can you make the most of your iPhone or iPad to succeed academically? Lauren Wallis workshops some apps and shares ideas on how to increase productivity.

Curating with ARTstor - September 25, 3:30 PM-4:30 PM Catherine Walsh helps us use ARTstor to organize information and image collections for teaching and personal research.

Curating with Twitter - Thursday, September 26, 3:00-4:00 PM In this session, Andrew Battista will demonstrate how to organize and consume information via Twitter, a microblogging platform that limits user contributions to 140 characters. We will cover the skills of attention management and will explore supplementary Twitter apps and platforms.

Building Archives with Omeka - Thursday, September 26, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Omeka is a content management system that allows users to digitize resources and display them in collections. Learn about Dublin Core and other elements of archival creation with Omeka.

Charting History with Timeline JS - Wednesday, October 2, 3:00-4:00 PM Do you want to tell a story about how ideas or things develop over time? Timeline JS is a tool that allows you to display data as a linear, interactive narrative. All you need is a Google Account. In this workshop, Andrew Battista will share ideas about incorporating creative media sources into Timeline JS projects.

Technology for Presentations - Tuesday, October 8, 5:00-6:00 PM Learn how to use free online resources to enhance your next class presentation. Lauren Wallis will demonstrate using Prezi, Glogster, Storify, and Pic Monkey to support engaging presentations.

Developing GIS Projects - Wednesday, October 9, 3:00-4:00 PM GIS projects are visual representations on maps of complex social, economic, natural, and cultural patterns. GIS projects help students form questions about people and places and translate them into a map that represents data that shows some kind of change over time. In this workshop Andrew Battista will explore GIS projects with Google Fusion Tables.

Life after Google Reader - October 22, 4:00 PM-5:00 PM Now that Google Reader is no longer supported by Google, users have to find an RSS alternative. Andrew Battista and Lauren Wallis co-lead a session on mastering RSS readers. We will explore the process of creating journal alerts, following podcasts, and organizing popular publications.

Podcast Editing with Audacity - Monday, November 4, 3:00-4:00 PM  Learn to create and produce audio projects with Audacity, a free editing software. Andrew Battista will facilitate a hands-on editing workshop. You are encouraged to bring your own laptop.

Advanced Googling - November 5, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Explore how to use Google for research. Lauren Wallis will talk about the usual suspects, Google Books and Google Scholar, but we'll also explore keeping current with specialized current events and scholarship through Google News and RSS alerts.

Editing and Producing with iMovie - Thursday, November 7, 4:00 - 5:00 PM Involved in a movie or video project? Mike Price of the Digital Media Lab shows us how to edit videos and produce content with Apple's iMovie software.

Navigating WorldCat Local - Wednesday, November 13, 4:00-5:00 PM  Learn smarter organization strategies and search better with WorldCat Local.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

ARTstor and The National Gallery

ARTstor and The National Gallery, London have collaborated to share images of every painting in the museum’s permanent collection in the Digital Library.

The National Gallery houses one of the greatest collections of Western European painting in the world. Composed of more than 2,300 works dating from the 13th century to the early 20th centuries, the collection encompasses most major developments in Western painting. Highlights include Cézanne’s Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses), Piero della Francesca’s The Baptism of Christ, Rembrandt’s Self Portrait at the Age of 34, Holbein’s The Ambassadors, Uccello’s The Battle of San Romano, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne, van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait, and Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus.

Francesco Botticini | The Assumption of the Virgin | probably about 1475-6| The National Gallery, London | Photograph: ©The National Gallery, London
Francesco Botticini | The Assumption of the Virgin | probably about 1475-6| The National Gallery, London | Photograph: ©The National Gallery, London
This collection includes works by masters such as Fra Angelico, Bellini, Botticelli, Bronzino, Courbet, Corot, Constable, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Degas, Delacroix, Duccio, Anthony van Dyck, Piero della Francesca, Caspar David Friedrich, Gainsborough, Gauguin, Ghirlandaio, Goya, Frans Hals, Hogarth, Ingres, Fra Filippo Lippi, Manet, Mantegna, Michelangelo, Monet, Pissarro, Poussin, Raphael, Renoir, Rubens, Seurat, Titian, Turner, Veronese, Leonardo da Vinci, and Vuillard.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Introducing Credo Reference

Have you ever wished you could have a reference book collection at home (other than that dusty World Book set from 1988)?  You're in luck!  Carmichael Library now subscribes to Credo Reference, an electronic collection of over 600 encyclopedias and dictionaries.

Credo allows you to search for a term in the entire book collection--but it can do a lot more to help you learn about a topic.  If you like to browse the library shelves, try the Find a Book link.  You'll be able to choose a book based on academic discipline like you would in a print reference collection. Many terms have Topic Pages, which are compilations of encyclopedia and dictionary entries, scholarly and popular articles from library databases, related images, and more.  Or if you're a visual learner, you can create a Concept Map to learn more about your term and related topics.

Once you've gotten background information about a topic, Credo helps you launch into the next phase of research.  Choose from the dropdown menu to continue searching your topic in the WorldCat Local Catalog or a library database.

We hope you enjoy researching with Credo Reference!  Please contact Lauren Wallis or Jason Cooper with questions.

Can't get enough of electronic reference?  Find more titles on Carmichael's Virtual Reference Shelf!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Checking out Weird Stuff in the Library

A recent blog post on NPR's The ProtoJournalist lists some surprising and odd things that libraries check out. Books, CDs, DVDs...sure!  But, did you know there are libraries that check out the following:

  • Fishing poles
  • Energy meters
  • Puppets
  • Heirloom seeds for your garden
  • Camping gear
  • Snowshoes
  • Artwork to hang in your home
  • Microscopes, telescopes and life-size human skeleton models.
  • Board and video games

You may ask yourself, does Carmichael Library lend out any "weird" items? Why yes, we do. You can borrow bicycles, digital video cameras, audio recorders, and headphones!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Library Closed Sunday, June 30

Carmichael Hall will be closed on the weekend between the two summer semesters, Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30.

The library will open Monday, July 1 from 8:00 a.m. - 5: 00 p.m., and will return to normal summer operating hours on Tuesday, July 2.

For more details on our hours of operation, check our website.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

WorldCat and ILLiad Issues Resolved

This is a quick post to update the UM community on a systems issue we reported here last week. The linkage between WorldCat Local and our ILLiad system for interlibrary loan has been restored.

In other systems news, we've updated our catalog and proxy software so that recently enrolled students will now have online access to their patron account and our subscription databases.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Temporary Outage Between ILLiad and WorldCat Local

For those who use the WorldCat Local catalog we launched last year, you've no doubt appreciated the ability to initiate an interlibrary loan request without having to key in all of the information manually. Unfortunately, an upgrade performed on our ILLiad system on Friday has temporarily disabled this handy feature. We're working on this problem, and we hope to have it resolved within the next few days. In the meantime, here's all you need to know about the recent upgrade:

  • We’re still processing all incoming interlibrary loan requests. If you've previously bookmarked the ILLiad login page we now have a new address. To save time you may consider changing your bookmarks to https://montevallo.illiad.oclc.org/illiad/logon.html.
  • For the next few days, when clicking from WorldCat Local into the ILLiad system using the request item button (pictured above,) you will need to manually enter the citation information to complete your request.
  • You may contact Jason Cooper with any questions you may have regarding the ILLiad system during this brief transition.
As always, we look forward to assisting you with your interlibrary loan and other service requests.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Less is More: A Leaner Print Reference Collection at Carmichael

This week, Lauren Wallis and I completed a substantial weeding of the print reference collection at Carmichael. Over the course of a year, we evaluated the content of our collection and made decisions about what to keep and what to throw away. When we started, I admit that I wondered what the payoff of this project would be. Does anyone actually read printed, physical, hard copy books anymore? In particular, why would anyone consult with a print reference book in the age of Google?

Crowded shelves in the print reference collection, July 2012
I'm being a little facetious by asking these questions, of course, but I am reacting to touchstone moments in the library and publishing world that perhaps indicate the era of print reference is fading into the distance. Earlier this year, Encyclopedia Britannica announced that after 244 years of appearing in print, the encyclopedia will now be available in an online format only. Other studies in the professional literature indicate that even in the busiest months of the academic cycle, 90 percent of print reference titles aren't used at all. There are many reasons for these trends: shrinking budgets, changes in how information is circulated, shifts in information seeking patterns (especially among students of the digital age), and redistribution of library spaces are just a few that come to mind.

At Carmichael, I think one of the biggest reasons for the under-usage of our print reference collection has been overcrowded shelves. There were simply too many books, and library patrons may have had difficulty separating the proverbial wheat from the chaff (to continue with the agrarian metaphors). Sue Polanka has also recognized this as a problem at her library (Wright State University). When people seek out print sources, they want to know that what they are reading is valuable and unique when compared to other kinds of information that they could find online. In short, we weeded to reaffirm that the print reference has a valuable place in the research process.

We began our weeding process with the dictum of "less is more" in mind. We primarily got rid of things like annotated bibliographies, old almanacs, redundant encyclopedias, and quotation anthologies. These are sources of information that can be better located online or perhaps are products of earlier, unfortunate moments in intellectual history. I kept thinking about the time I read Edward Said's Orientalism or Michel Foucault's The Order of Things when we purged the collection. We took out books like Selwyn Gurney's Racial Proverbs: A Selection of the World's Proverbs Arranged Linguistically (1938), a detestable collection of sayings attributed to Japanese, Irish, and Mexican people (to name a few).

The worst reference book ever.
Books like Racial Proverbs certainly are the residue of knowledge rooted in post-Enlightenment orientalism and should not be in our collection, but our weeding invoked other rationales as well. For instance, we removed an encyclopedia on global weather patterns that was published in 1996 mainly because other, better encyclopedias have been published since then that reflect the latest scholarship from the scientific community on global warming.

Personally examining every book in the print reference collection was a valuable experience for me because it put me in touch with a lot of excellent (and quirky) sources that we own and should be used more frequently by our community. And I discovered that the collection is not without ironies.

The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism is located next to the Encyclopedia of Human Rights.
But in the end, I learned that we have a great deal of excellent print reference resources that contain information students can't find anywhere else. Some of my favorite titles we hold include The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace, Encyclopedia of Hair:  A Cultural History, and the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales. Sources like these provide concentrated windows into scholarship that are valuable and efficient. They organize knowledge in unexpected ways that model for students patterns of making connections of their own.   

Most importantly, we've created room for our print reference collection to grow. True, we won't be buying as many print titles as we have in past years, and we are constantly growing our Virtual Reference Shelf, but we will continue to add the best handbooks, encyclopedias, and companions that are published each year. Now that our collection is leaner and more efficient, we encourage you to check it out. If you are teaching a class, you might want to design a specific session in which you bring students to the first floor of the library and have them work with print reference resources only. And to all of those books that we don't need anymore, I say "good riddance."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mapping Information with Google Fusion Tables

Lately, everyone's been talking about mapping.  A This American Life episode features a series of stories about representing our experiences in the world on maps. Adam Gopnik writes in the forward of a new book about maps and New York that "Maps, especially schematic ones, are the places where memories go not to die, or be pinned, but to live forever."  Not just a record of memories, however, maps are important tools for visualizing data and displaying information that can show how societies organize and change over time. Just about any idea can be mapped, and nearly any kind of information can be represented spatially.

Until recently, those interested in mapping data had to use expensive (and somewhat complicated) software packages such as Esri ArcGIS. Now, anyone can create meaningful and visually-attractive interactive maps with Google Fusion Tables.  Inspired by a talk I heard at THATCamp Vanderbilt in 2012, I created a GIS assignment for Virginia Ochoa-Winemiller's GEOG 231 World Regional Geography class that invited students to design maps of their own and infuse them with information. The assignment was certainly a provisional experience, as Google Fusion Tables is itself in an "experimental" phase. At many points in the semester, students in the class were the ones showing me how to work the program.

With Google Fusion Tables, students can explore any research question they want and represent information they find on a map that shows demographic difference and temporal change. For instance, we took this map of population change by race in Florida's counties between the 2000 and 2010 U.S. censuses as a starting example (the map was designed by reporters at the West Palm Beach Post News). Users can click on individual counties and see population statistics by year and by racial demographic. Similarly, users can look at the entire map's color scheme and see patterns in population change across the state. The map invites questions about which external economic factors, such as property value or mean household income, could have influenced the trends in population change during the 2000s.

Students in GEOG 231 engaged in a similar project. Consider the maps made by Ashleigh Hamm, Kailey Goodwin, Maryann Lee, Michael Sumrall, and Michele Brasher. Their group wanted to examine the relationship between the placement of children's homes in Alabama and poverty across the state. Given their interest in children's homes, it also seemed important to look at the rate of births to unmarried teens in Alabama. Logic would suggest that there would be more children's homes located by areas with higher rates of births to unmarried teens. The group began by finding statistics on teen pregnancy in Alabama from the Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Center. Note that Annie E. Casey defines this rate as "The number of live births to unmarried females aged 10-19 expressed as a percentage of live births to women of all ages."

In the words of the group:
Our guess was that the placement of homes would be near the counties with the most births to unmarried teens. We found that this was completely opposite of the facts. The data showed that Monroe (20.9), Greene (18.5), Dallas (18.3), and Perry (17.6) did not have any children’s homes. There is one in Clarke County which is somewhat in the middle of all of these called Almost Home Children's Center of Clarke County. We found this very strange because we assumed that there would be more in this area because unmarried teens would have a harder time raising a child on their own so they chose to send their baby to a children’s home.
The group also looked at poverty levels in Alabama, divided by the county level, and discovered what we already know: that the wealthiest counties in the state, Shelby and Madison, include the cities with the most capital, Hunstville and Birmingham. Note that their "poverty level" statistics were gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau's poverty threshold scale.

These two maps allow us to see a clear link between poverty level and teen births. The darker colors, blue and black, represent higher poverty rates (and these counties are located in the so-called "Black Belt" that runs throughout the South). By juxtaposing these maps, we can see that there is, in fact, a correlation between people living in poverty and the percentage of births that occur among unmarried teens. Sumter and Greene counties, for example, are ranked in the top five in the state in both categories, while Shelby, the wealthiest county in the state, has the lowest rate of births by unmarried teens. These two maps suggest all kinds of fruitful questions about the connection between poverty and unplanned pregnancies. More importantly, by thinking about the process of constructing the maps, students began to place these questions in context with one another engage in further inquiry about the effect of poverty on community life.

It should go without saying that GIS projects are a great way for students to demonstrate information literacy learning outcomes. According to Michael Howser, Social Sciences Librarian at Miami University, information literacy instruction in libraries needs to "promote numeric, geospatial, technological and information evaluation to provide students with the critical thinking skills that apply to all formats of information." Throughout this project, I saw students seeking reliable data from American FactFinder,  the National Center for Education Statistics, and many other reliable sources that they otherwise wouldn't have encountered. Through the process of collaboration, each of the groups learned how to find information needed to answer a question, evaluate the quality of it, and represent it in ways that make sense to a larger, public audience.

These maps are not all that the group accomplished. The students also created a valuable information source for other people. The map below includes information on every children's home in the state of Alabama. Each pin has information, including the agency's website, eligibility rules, contact information, and physical address.

This sequence of maps is just one example of eight wonderful projects completed in GEOG 232. If you'd like to hear more about the others, don't hesitate to get in touch with me. And if you're interested in having your own students work with Google Fusion Tables in the future, don't hesitate to contact us at the library. I believe that GIS projects will soon become one of the pillars of Digital Liberal Arts learning. They are already being used in Geography, Art, and Social Work classes at Montevallo, and they are a great way to infuse information literacy learning outcomes into the classroom.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Language of Comics

It’s great to be able to work for the university and also be able to attend classes with a dynamic group of students. I confess that when I signed up for English 232: Graphic Narrative with Professor Alex Beringer, I thought that I had it made! Reviewing the syllabus revealed that we would be reading and discussing comics that I had read years before most of the kids in the class had even been born. Did I mention that I had it made? X-Men? Batman? Chris Ware and other more current graphic novels from the last few years? I was in my element! Wrong. Graphic Narrative began to shift my perception about books that “I knew”. I've seen the worlds created by my favorite artists and writers transformed yet again by the knowledge I’ve learned in this class. I mentioned earlier that I work for the university, so I have to play the role of student and University employee. Being a part of the team at Carmichael Library, I became a liaison for this class project: The Language of Comics. I was tasked with assisting students in learning photo editing skills to process images that would be used in the displays. I also assisted the class with cutting and spray mounting the completed posters. Over a couple weeks’ time, two sections of Dr. Beringer’s class came together as a team to create the museum style show that is hanging in Carmichael Library from April 12 thru May 10. With Dr. Beringer’s instruction, my peers and I have created informative and entertaining posters, curated museum display artifacts, and set up digital media displays. This exhibit is a teaching tool that provides UM’s students, faculty, and staff an introduction to graphic novels and comics and the methods used to tell stories within the pages of what we call comics.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Introducing Project MUSE

Carmichael Library is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Project MUSE Standard Collection. Founded as a non-profit collaboration between libraries and publishers, Project MUSE provides access to full-text versions of scholarly journals from many of the world's leading university presses and scholarly societies.

The Standard Collection is an interdisciplinary assortment of high quality, peer reviewed journals designed for institutions offering programs in the humanities and social sciences. The Standard Collection currently contains full text holdings of nearly 350 titles, with new content being added annually.

Examples of titles now held by the Carmichael Library via this Project MUSE collection include:
  • Archives of Asian Art
  • Cuban Studies
  • L'Esprit Créateur
  • French Colonial History
  • GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies
  • Information & Culture: A Journal of History
  • Journal of Asian American Studies
  • Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism
  • Journal of Sport History
  • Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal
  • The Lion and the Unicorn
  • portal: Libraries and the Academy
  • Theatre Topics
  • WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly
Project MUSE is now available via the Carmichael Library web site to members of the UM community. As with our other databases, you'll need to enter your UMID when accessing this database from off-campus locations.

Happy searching!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Celebrate National Poetry Month at Carmichael Library

April is National Poetry Month.  To celebrate, we've made a giant magnetic poetry board!  Come by the library and help us write some poetry--and while you're at it, check out one of the poetry books on display.

Display pictures from lmwallis

Later this month, keep celebrating poetry (and prose) by attending Prints & Poems (4/11 at 5pm in the library) and the Montevallo Literary Festival (all day 4/12).  

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Sunday hours

Carmichael Library hours for Sunday, March 31 are 6:00 pm. - 11:00 pm.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

ARTstor and The New Yorker

ARTstor has reached an agreement with Condé Nast to share 25,000 images of cartoons from The New Yorker, highlights from the Condé Nast Archive of Photography, and selections from the Fairchild Photo Service.

The Condé Nast Collection, containing images dating back to 1892, represents one of the world’s greatest collections of magazine photography, encompassing fashion, celebrity, and lifestyle photography from publications such as House & GardenGlamour, Vanity Fair, and Vogue

The Fairchild Photo Service, comprised of more than three million photos gathered over six decades, is the fashion world’s preeminent image gallery.

The release date is not yet set, but it looks to be in around six months.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Meet the Reference Books: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction

Meet the Reference Books introduces noteworthy encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference materials in Carmichael Library's print and digital collections.  Blog posts are contributed by student library employees as part of our Homegrown Book Reviews initiative.  
This post is written by Shannon Skelton, a French major.  The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction is available in digital format through the Virtual Reference Shelf and in the print reference section (Call Number PN3433.4 .P78). 

Don’t know what a Dalek is?  How about shipping? Do your friends speak in a code that you just don’t understand? Then you need Brave New Words: the Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction. Published in 2007, this book will introduce you to all of those strange and wonderful words that your friends and co-workers use.

Pulling terms from books, television, comics and the Internet, this book will give you a comprehensive overview of the science fiction vocabulary that is used around the world.

So come to the dark side, we have cookies!

by Shannon Skelton

Friday, March 08, 2013

Quick Bib: International Women's Day 2013

In honor of International Women's Day, we present a short list of volumes about the lives of women. All of these items can be found in the library's Reference Collection on the Main Floor.

Gaze, Delia, ed. Dictionary of Women Artists. London: Fitroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997. Ref. N 43 .D53 1997

Harper, Judith E. Women During the Civil War: An Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge, 2004. Ref. E 628 .H37 2004

Havranek, Carrie. Women Icons of Popular Music. Greenwood: Westport, CT, 2009. Ref. ML 82 .H39 2009

Hine, Darlene, ed. Black Women in America. New York: Oxford UP, 2005. Ref. E 185.86 .B542 2005

Krikos, Linda A. and Cindy Ingold. Women's Studies: A Recommended Bibliography. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2004. Ref. HQ 1180 .K75 2004

Love, Barbara J., ed. Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 2006. Ref. HQ 1412 .F46 2006

United States. Cong. House. Committee on House Administration. Women in Congress, 1917-2006. Washington: GPO, 2006. Ref. JK 1030 .W66 2006

On the Web:

Official site. Also on Facebook

Statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Public Information Office

From The Chicago Women's Liberation Union (CWLU) Herstory Website Archive, hosted by University of Illinois at Chicago

Photo Credit: UN Women/Catianne Tijerina

"Opening of the Commission on the Status of Women."
The Commission on the Status of Women opens 4 March 2013 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.