Monday, December 11, 2006

Library opens audiovisual collection to OhioLINK

At the beginning of Spring Semester 2007, the Gardner-Harvey Library will change its policy on the lending of audiovisual materials (videos, DVDs, and other media items). While these materials will continue to be available to all Miami University students, faculty, and staff, they will now also be available to all patrons of OhioLINK libraries.

This change is in keeping with the OhioLINK philosophy of shared collections which benefits each of us when the combined libraries of Miami University lack an item we need. We hope that our materials will be used more widely, and, in turn, that as more libraries open up to lending audiovisual items through OhioLINK, there will be many more items available to our library's patrons.

Opening our collection to a wider audience does mean that our audiovisual items may not be on hand when needed. We have five tools at our disposal to help avoid or address these situations:

(1) Individuals may request that items in our collection be held for them at the circulation desk. Using the "Request Item" option in the MU Library Catalog, MU students, faculty, and staff may request that an item be placed on the Gardner-Harvey Library hold shelf. Materials may be requested at any time, and will be held on the shelf for ten days.

(2) Faculty may place items on reserve for class use. Before or at any time during a semester, faculty members may request that an item be placed on reserve for a specific course. These reserve items may not be requested by patrons of OhioLINK libraries.

(3) Items may be "booked" for future use. Faculty members may request that a specific item be booked for use on a certain date or range of dates during the semester. Items that are entered into the booking system and are then checked out must return by the start of the booking period.

(4) Loans of audiovisual items to OhioLINK library patrons are limited to one week with no renewals. This should ensure relatively quick turnaround times for items that leave and are then needed for class use.

(5) Another OhioLINK library may own the needed item. If so, the item may be requested through the OhioLINK catalog, and will be on our hold shelf in 3-4 business days.

Careful preparation for expected needs for audiovisual items will help this process work well. If our library staff can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. Again, we look forward to expanded use of OhioLINK materials for all of us, and we thank you for taking this step with us.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More Computers and Pimp My Bookcart Contest

The close of the semester brings two tremendous announcements regarding library services and activities to you:

(1) With the much appreciated assistance of the Technology Services and Physical Facilities departments, the Library classroom (GRD 111) is now equipped with 16 computers. This space is not only useful for library instruction sessions and other classes which require computer access, but it also provides 16 more public access computers to our patrons when classes are not using the room. That gives us 31 public machines; more than doubling our capacity. The increased computer seating should be helpful to students during these busy weeks.

(2) Inspired by the comic strip Unshelved (see for the cartoon in question), the Gardner-Harvey Library is calling for customizers and augmenters of all kinds to submit their ideas for how we can "Pimp My Bookcart." We have an old bookcart that is in need of some help. Come over to the library, grab an entry form, and give us your ideas on some extra things we can add on to fix up this old cart. The deadline is Friday, December 15.

Help pass the word along to students or enter on your own. The provider of the winning entry in the contest will win a "Pimp My Bookcart" t-shirt, and then the Gardner-Harvey Library mechanics will bring his or her dream to reality. We will then enter the finished product in an international version of the contest.

Best of luck to all as we close out the semester and head into the holidays!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Don't miss our extended weekend hours!

For two weekends, December 2-3 and December 9-10, the Library will be open on Saturday from 12:00-8:00 and Sunday from 1:00-8:00. The march toward finals can be grueling, and our staff will be on hand in these extended times to offer: spots to meet with a group, a place for quiet study, computers to finish up papers and projects, and, of course, our top-notch research assistance. IM, phone, and email reference service will also be available throughout our open hours.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Digital Video Collection: New Titles!

OhioLINK continues to expand its collection of online digital videos, and Miami University Middletown is playing a key role. Recently, the staff of the Gardner-Harvey Library selected 20 new titles to add to the collection, and paid for statewide digital access to them. Miami students, faculty, and staff may now use computers on- or off-campus watch or show any of the following videos:

- E-Commerce in Business
- Problem Solving (Series: Back to the Basics)
- Conflict Resolution and Etiquette (Series: Back to the Basics)
- Clerical Skills for New Employees
- Free Market Economies: The Commanding Heights
- Outsourcing: White Collar Exodus
- eBay: Managing Success
- Daily Cafe Operations
- Key Functions of a Business: A Case Study
- Global Capital Market: Risks and Rewards
- Common Mistakes People Make In Interviews
- Informational Interviewing and Networking
- Computer Worms and Viruses
- Cancer Story
- Incriminating Evidence: Forensic Specialists in Action
- E-mail Alert: How E-mail Becomes E-evidence
- Tillie Olsen: "I Stand Here Ironing"
- Flannery O'Connor
- Henry David Thoreau: In His Own Words
- Langston Hughes: His Life and Times

To access any of the above titles (in addition to the hundreds already in the collection), go to the Digital Video Collection at and search or browse by title, keyword, or subject. Keep in mind that links to individual videos can be placed in Blackboard or emailed.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Access to The Chronicle of Higher Education

Miami University Libraries has just added a subscription to Chronicle Campuswide, which means that the full Chronicle of Higher Education is now available online from any computer on campus. The subscription includes not only the most recent weekly Chronicle and daily online stories, but also an archive of Chronicle content dating back to 1989.

To access The Chronicle from campus, you may either enter "" in your browser or click on the link for "Chronicle of Higher Education" in the alphabetical list of indexes and databases (linked from the Gardner-Harvey Library site. From off-campus, you may also use The Chronicle by clicking on the link in the alphabetical list of indexes and databases, and then entering your Unique ID and password.

The current MIDCHRONICLE email list, which supplies the daily summary of stories posted to The Chronicle site, will continue shortly once our campus subscription issues are solved. You may subscribe to the list at

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Textbooks on reserve at the Library

The Gardner-Harvey Library has just purchased, and placed on library reserve, textbooks for 24 Miami Plan or other introductory courses offered at MUM. Our aim is to assist students who may not be able to afford the textbooks, and to give all students in the courses an opportunity to make use of their required textbook while on campus. Given the rising costs of textbooks, this pilot project is aimed at making these materials for learning as widely available as possible, which is certainly a part of the Library's mission.

A full list of the courses and their textbooks is available at The estimated enrollment among the courses is 1968 students. The average cost of the textbooks purchased is $87.00. For most courses, there is just a single copy of each textbook on reserve. Each textbook may be checked out for two hours at one time. Again, this is a pilot project and we hope to assess the use of the current group of textbooks to guide future selections and usage guidelines.

Courses and textbooks were chosen based on the following factors:
- the nature of the course (in terms of its status as a Miami Plan or introductory course)
- the enrollment of a significant number of students in the course
- the use of a single textbook for all or most of the course's sections
- the nature of the textbook (only required textbooks were purchased; no study guides, lab manuals, workbooks, or other related materials, except where noted)

Please note that the textbooks for MTH007E and SPN201/202 are not yet available (although a copy of the MTH007E textbook is already on reserve thanks to a course instructor). Let me also thank Daphne Eldridge of the MUM Bookstore for her superb assistance in helping us choose and acquire the textbooks. I would also like to thank the many instructors who regularly place textbooks on reserve for their courses (the current group of these reserve items are also listed at the link above). One way that we could continue to build this collection would be through instructor or student donations of used texts, so if you have a current text you could part with, please let us know.

Friday, September 01, 2006

GHL requests, Chronicle updates, and thanks!


I just wanted to make you aware of two library services that you may wish to take advantage of, and pass along a little joy.

First, any Middletown campus patron (students, faculty, staff, or community borrowers) may use the "request item" feature in the catalog to request that a book owned in our collection be held at our circulation desk for pickup. We are happy to retrieve items from our shelves and save your time in this way. You may notice that the libraries at Oxford are offering this service as a pilot program for faculty, and I just wanted to clarify that we have been offering, and will continue to offer, this service to all Middletown patrons.

Second, along with the library's subscription to the paper Chronicle of Higher Education, we also receive a daily email summary of stories in the Chronicle, along with links to those stories on the Chronicle web site. If you would like to receive this email summary, you may either subscribe to the "midchronicle" list yourself at (choose "join or leave the list"), or email me. It is a quick scan of the Chronicle contents, and is sent out every morning.

We are extremely grateful to have the Gardner-Harvey Library back up and operating in our newly renovated building. With some work still to be done, we are enjoying our new roof, ceiling, and perhaps most of all, our entirely new HVAC system. I'd like to thank Chuck Mack and the Physical Facilities crew, Lee Back and the Technology Services staff, and our contractors and subcontractors from Empire for getting us through two moves, our provision of services this summer in temporary quarters in the Computer Center, and a challenging amount of work in the library itself. And thanks to all of you for putting up with major alterations in your library routine. It's good to be back!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Placing class materials on library reserve

The start of classes is not far away, and now is the time to add needed class materials to library reserve!

The Library is happy to keep paper copies of articles or sample exams, books, DVDs and videos on hand for use by students. In addition, University Libraries will also scan articles and other documents so that they may be accessed from on- or off-campus as electronic reserves. Read more about the options for reserve and our policies at

If you have materials you would like us to add (electronic or physical), please be sure to either fill out a reserve request form (a PDF version is available at the link above) or use our online form at

Questions about reserves? Be sure to contact Joanne Howard at or 513-727-3225.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Important Library Logins Change

Starting on Monday, July 10, the method that MU students, faculty, staff, and emeriti use to login for library services will change. Rather than entering your name and Banner # to renew materials or request items from other MU libraries, you will enter your Unique ID and password.

This change furthers the Libraries' plan of making your Unique ID and password the universal login for all library services. We are already using this login for access to library databases from off-campus locations.

For a visual example of the new login screen, please see You will note from this screen that Friends of the Library and Community Borrowers will continue to use their names and library barcode numbers for library services. All other users will make the switch to Unique IDs and passwords.

One important note: when requesting materials from OhioLINK libraries, you will still use your name and Banner # (this will be changed at some point in the future).

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Exciting database changes for July 1, 2006

Miami University Libraries, through its collaboration with OhioLINK, will greatly increase your access to periodical databases and full text periodical articles on July 1. Starting in July, 21 new databases will be available and eight current databases will have their contents significantly enhanced.

In order to accomplish these additions and enhancements, OhioLINK will be cancelling 14 current databases. A full list of the databases involved in these moves is available at I encourage you to especially view the table at the bottom of that document, which explains the cancellations and list the new or current databases which will replace the functions of those cancelled.

In this time of tight higher education and library budgets, OhioLINK has been able to work creatively with our vendors to achieve this feat and remain within budget. If you have any questions about the database changeover or its impact on your research, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Requesting items from our collection

Need a book, video/DVD, or periodical article from the Gardner-Harvey Library? Figure that you're out of luck with the library being closed to the public? Fear not!

The library's collection is accessed twice every day (Monday through Friday) by library staff members: at 10:30am and 2:30pm. We use these times to shelve returned and new items (thanks for using our external book drop or stopping by Room 3 downstairs!) and retrieving requested items for MU students, faculty, and staff, as well as patrons of OhioLINK libraries.

How do you request something?
If you'd like a book or video/DVD from our collection, just look it up in the catalog and click the "Request Item" button. The instructions will say that you cannot request that an item from one library be sent to the same library (please ignore this! - we have always been happy to have you request that items from our collection be brought to the circulation desk). After requesting the item, you will see a "Your request is successful" message. You can then expect the item to be available in Room 3 of the Computer Center shortly after the next time period we are able to go into the collection.

If you'd like an article from a periodical we own, use the Interlibrary loan form. This is the same form that you use to request an article that we do not have electronic access to. Log into the form using your UniqueID and password. Enter the citation for the article (author, article title, periodical title, issue number, volume number, date, pages numbers) and submit the request. Our staff will retrieve the article at the next possible entry time and mail it to you via campus or regular mail.

We hope these methods will help us connect you with the items from our collection that you need. Keep in mind that you are still able to request items from other Miami and OhioLINK libraries (as well as articles from around the world). Be sure to let us know if we can assist you in any way.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Summer Renovation: Library Temporary Site and Hours

The Gardner-Harvey Library will be closed to the public while we undergo a summer-long renovation of our heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system. The Library will be closed and staff unavailable from May 6 through May 14 while we move into temporary quarters. During the summer, the library will continue to offer services from a location on the lower level of the Library building.

Room 3 in the Computer Center will be the home of the Library Assistance Center, where library staff members will continue to assist users with their information needs, check out library materials and class reserve items, and receive and checkout items shipped from other Miami and OhioLINK libraries. We invite you to stop in during the following hours for all of your library needs, starting on May 15:

Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, 12:00 noon – 4 p.m.
Sunday, CLOSED
(additional changes to the library schedule will be posted to our hours page).

Materials from within the Gardner-Harvey Library will continue to be available on a delayed basis. Library staff will retrieve items from the collection twice daily: in the mid-morning and in the mid-afternoon. To request books and audiovisual materials, use the "request iem" feature in the library catalog; for periodicals and individual articles, contact the library staff directly.

For the needs above and any other questions you may have, please do not hesitate to contact the library staff using the means listed at our Contact us page. We appreciate your patience with us this summer.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easier access to library resources from home

Those accessing library databases from home or elsewhere off-campus will notice a change in how this process works. In the past, you were required to configure your web browser to work through the library proxy server.

Now, no configuration is needed: just click on links to library resources from the Gardner-Harvey Library site ( or The Learning Hub ( A login prompt will appear. Enter your MU Unique ID and password, and you will be able to use the chosen library resource.

If you are still using the old proxy server, it will still be available for a while (but it is time to consider changing your settings and using the new method). If you have questions about this or other matters related to off-campus use of library resources, please contact us at the Library (7-3222;; IM: askghl) or see more information at

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Have a question? IM us at askghl!

IM (instant messaging) reference service is now available at the Gardner-Harvey Library! In addition to responding to questions in person, by phone, and in email, the Gardner-Harvey Library welcomes questions using IM software. We are happy to assist you with your research and assignment needs and hope that IM service gives us a helpful way to interact with students, faculty, and staff whether they are on- or off-campus.

Already using IM? The Library may be reached during our hours of operation (see our hours) using AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger, or Yahoo! Messenger. Our screen name is askghl( on MSN). See our askghl IM service page for our online status monitor.

Not using IM? See our askghl IM service page for links to software and more information.

We hope you will find this service useful.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

New Database: Book Review Index Online Plus

The Gardner-Harvey Library has just subscribed to Book Review Index Online Plus. It is an excellent resource for tracking down book reviews and providing many of them in full-text.

Library Resources Still At Risk - Support OhioLINK Funding!

OhioLINK provides a wealth of resources to the Ohio academic community, and all at pennies per search (or less)! The ongoing appropriation situation is described at the Support OhioLINK Funding! site.

State funding has kept OhioLINK running, but increasing electronic resource costs are keeping OhioLINK from adding resources and threatening the cancellation of journal and database subscriptions.

Have you personally benefited from OhioLINK? Tell your story on the site, or read what others have to say.

RefWorks: Creating bibliographies made easy!

Just to let you know, MU Libraries have added RefWorks, a web-based tool for managing citations and creating bibliographies. More information on it is available at and it may be accessed directly for new or returning users at

We hope to put together some instructional sessions on this new tool (I did a brief session on January 31, the PowerPoint for which is linked here). Let us know if you'd be interested in learning more about it or how to use it.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Library Resources Available to All Ohioans

A wide array of library resources are available to all Ohioans, whether you are a college student or faculty member, a K12 teacher or student, a resident, or a state government employee. Links to these resources are available from the Ohio Web Library. See what your tax dollars are providing you with!