Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blackboard Embedded Librarian Pilot Program Starting Spring Semester 2009

10 Miami University faculty members teaching 19 sections of 13 different courses will be participating in the Spring 2009 Blackboard Embedded Librarian Pilot Program through the Gardner-Harvey Library, Miami University Middletown. This faculty-librarian collaboration to address the information literacy needs of students enrolled in Blackboard courses, whether online, off-campus, or the traditional classroom is currently being implemented nationally and internationally at public, private, and for-profit colleges and universities. The pilot program represents the first Miami University partnership. Once the faculty member and librarian agree upon the specifics of their instructional collaboration, the embedded librarian has the opportunity to interact with students directly. The embedded librarian is able to offer students much more than the typical fifty minute instructional session permits by creating course-specific links to electronic reference sources, full-text databases of scholarly articles, authoritative Web sites, digital media, and promote electronic tools like RefWorks to manage bibliographic citations or Reference Universe to locate reference essays. Further, the embedded librarian will address students’ individual research concerns; suggest search terms and strategies, and appropriate electronic resources. Better research projects and papers with less frustration on the student’s part are the expected outcome. It’s a win-win approach to learning in the 21st century.

Information Literacy Forum Starting in January 2009

Participants will interact with a series of articles, podcasts, and digital videos on information literacy and its impact on teaching and learning. Reading, listening and watching will introduce key concepts in a way that mirrors the 21st century information environment. Dialogue will take place during spring semester 2009 in two face to face meetings, at the start and conclusion of the project, and on a blog in between. The intended outcome is to increase awareness of the current state of students’ information literacy and research skills. This enlarged understanding may alter expectations of students’ abilities and classroom instruction methods to better meet students at their current level and introduce them to efficient academic research methods and resources. Today’s information problem solvers benefit greatly from knowing how information is produced, organized, distributed, searched, and accessed at no charge through academic libraries as opposed to other information channels. These skills are learned and not intuitive. Miami University Middletown faculty/staff, please consider joining the Gardner-Harvey librarians by contacting either or by January 20, 2009.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Get it Together in the STAR Lounge

With all our announcement of the Wii, we really haven't fully mentioned the STAR (Space for Technology, Academics, and Recreation) Lounge on its own this year.

The Lounge is equipped with:
- a 47" LCD TV
- a DVD player/VCR unit
- cable TV
- a Nintendo Wii gaming system
- a computer with a wireless keyboard and mouse
- work tables by the TV
- a small round table
- a 4' x 6' white board
- six chairs (and more are available to bring in)

The Lounge may be used to:
- watch a DVD, a videotape, or a live TV program with a group
- create a presentation of write a document or work on software with a group
- practice a presentation before giving it in class
- work with a small group for training or group review of information using the computer and TV or the white board
- have a meeting using the white board, TV, or just talking to one another
- play a game on the Wii (see the list)
- record a podcast (using one of our digital voice recorders, or a microphone and Audacity)

We have some ideas about how you can use the room. How will you use it? Take a look today and imagine how it might work with your study group or class or ?

The room may be used for two hours at a time. We are also happy to reserve it for you ahead of time. Be sure to check in at the InfoDesk before using the STAR Lounge.

Attention All Music Fans!

Have you heard of Pandora Internet Radio?
If not, keep reading!

Pandora Radio is an internet radio player which allows users to create, blend, and share stations based on the music they like. From the Pandora main page, users have the option to type in the name of a favorite song or artist; Pandora then generates an internet radio station by compiling songs with similar musical qualities. Users can create as many stations as they like for free, or browse Pandora’s selection of genre stations. While listening, users can indicate whether they like or dislike a particular song to hear it more often, less often, or never again on a specific station. By creating an account, users can listen to their stations any time or place they have internet access. Stations can be blended for more diverse listening or shared with friends through email.

Pandora is based on the Music Genome Project, “the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken.” The project studies various elements of music such as “melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics ... close to 400 attributes!” Using this information, Pandora connects listeners to the music they love and helps users explore a wide variety of related new and lesser-known music.

What does this have to do with the library, you ask? Librarians are always looking for ways to share good information with our users and improve the overall library experience. This site is just FUN and we thought you would enjoy it. Stop by the library for a demo, or to ask for help navigating the site. We provide headphones, so you can listen while using the library computers for homework, research, or just surfing the net!

For more information, check out

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

New Materials for November

The November new materials list is now available. We added 99 books, DVDs, and other items over the last month, thanks to the impressive efforts of our faculty selectors and the library staff.

You can find our current and previous new materials lists on the left hand side of our web site under "New Materials Lists."

Have a suggestion of something to order? Email one of our staff members or drop by the library. Thanks!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Library Services Delivered to Distance Users

If you are or will be teaching off-site, online, or VOALC courses, consider collaborating with an information specialist who will bring library resources and services to you and your students.

We would like to collaborate with you to empower your students and enable them to undertake academic research effectively and efficiently. We are searching for ways to partner with you in order to provide library services to Miami students enrolled in off-site courses, at the VOA Learning Center, and in online courses.
You expect university students, upper division and graduate students, to know how to undertake research papers and projects using academic resources specific to your discipline. Librarians find students are unfamiliar with today’s electronic resources and services and do not know how to proceed:
• to locate authoritative academic resources, print and electronic

• to understand copyright issues & cite sources properly using APA or MLA

• to narrow a topic and select search terms best suited to the research topic

• to utilize full-text databases, eBook collections, and digital media

• to understand the difference between popular and scholarly sources

• to evaluate Websites

Typically most instructors assume these information literacy skills are in place and do not take class time to teach students how to search for information. Sadly, many students do not possess these essential information literacy skills, although they surf the WWW, download music, and text wonderfully well. Moreover, the information world is ever changing. New tools are released such as Reference Universe, new database interfaces are released as was the case of for all EBSCOhost databases in July 2008, and then specialized, subject-specific databases are available about which students know next to nothing.
Students become anxious and overwhelmed by research assignments, but may say little to you, the Professor. Who wants to admit such things to one’s professor? We librarians see these students at the library, wondering and wandering.
Gardner-Harvey librarians are adopting a proactive approach to information literacy for students who may never walk through the doors of our Library. We are offering MUM Faculty who are teaching off-site, online, or VOA courses a suite of library services to strengthen student achievement. See the list below and determine which ones would work best in your class. Then contact one of GHL Librarians to create the services selected. Let’s work together to ensure your students have the research skills they need to succeed.

1. We will come to your classroom and provide information literacy instruction, customized to your student research project or paper. Typical sessions last from 45-75 minutes.
2. We will create research guides listing research strategies, full-text databases, and citation tools to assist students in completing research assignments for Nursing, Botany, Computer Info Tech.
3. We offer individual research consultations by appointment, using an online form
4. We have built a series of brief screencasts covering essential information literacy concepts and skills which you may link to from your Blackboard course.
For example: “The Ins and Outs of Searching for Information
5. We will build new Captivate screencasts if one is not already available.
6. We will post reference works and authoritative Websites relevant to a specific course on See one example for Nursing 105
7. Pilot Program: Embedded Librarian in Blackboard, Spring Semester 2009
Because Gardner-Harvey librarians teach credit courses using Blackboard, we are able to work with students in your Blackboard course as an instructor or course builder. We will partner with you during the research component of the course or throughout the semester if you prefer, by answering students’ questions dealing with research in the discussion board, blog, announcements, or email. We will suggest sources, research tips, and new ways of working efficiently. We are eager to connect your students with the many and ever-expanding collection of electronic resources available to Miami University students.
To ensure January 2009 Library Services are in place for your course and students, contact the Gardner-Harvey Librarians now to discuss the most effective suite of library services for your course requirements.

Blackboard Embedded Librarian Pilot Program

What is a Blackboard embedded librarian?
An embedded librarian partners with faculty members in the Blackboard environment as an instructor or course builder. One of the Gardner-Harvey librarians will assist with your class research endeavors. These research efforts may include links to library resources, methods of narrowing a topic, explaining how to identify search terms, or using RefWorks to manage bibliographic citations. Today’s students possess technology skills, but may feel uncertain when embarking on the “Research Voyage” alone. A knowledgeable, available navigator may be welcomed to address students’ questions and concerns. Through the Discussion Forum, Blog, Email, Announcements, Library Resources Button, or FAQ the librarian will interact with individuals or the class as a whole. In this way the librarian may comment on the student’s selected research topic, suggest relevant academic resources, and provide strategies of solving information problems, explain confusing concepts like intellectual property and plagiarism, administer online information literacy quizzes, and generally encourage academic scholarship among your students. You remain the subject expert but collaborate with a professional librarian versed in current academic research methods.

Why would I want an embedded librarian turning up in my Blackboard course?
Academic librarians are passionate about instructing students in information literacy. We want to develop these essential 21st century skills in your students so they become effective, efficient researchers. These skills are learned and cannot be assumed to be in place. Sometimes students survive on a slim set of research skills. When they encounter the semester term paper, the capstone project, or the graduate thesis, which all require subject specific resources and research strategies previously unknown, they falter. So many sources of information; so many questions… Enter the librarian, proposing this joint venture with you.

How long would this relationship last?

Gardner-Harvey librarians are willing to engage your students during the research component of your Blackboard course for several weeks or throughout the entire semester. If you prefer, we will assist at start-up only to spotcheck your research assignment from a research perspective, to build a library resources page customized to the course to include reference works, databases and collections, authoritative Web sites, supply controlled vocabulary and subject headings, links to screencasts teaching core skills we have created or endorse, and our contact information. You tell us which collaborative arrangement best fits your needs.
Contact us by December 15, 2008 to set this working relation in motion so as to be ready for the January 2009 Pilot Program.
Gardner-Harvey Library, Miami University Middletown
John Burke, Director 73293
Beth Tumbleson, Assistant Director 73232
Sarah Frye, Public Services fryesm@muohio 73291

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What College Faculty Say Freshmen Students Don't Do

At a recent state-wide conference for academic librarians, I was introduced to the following list titled “What College Faculty Say Freshmen Students Don’t Do.” This list highlights many skills which librarians at the Gardner-Harvey strive to teach Miami University students. Take a look at the list – if you are a student, do you think that this list accurately describes your skills abilities? If you are faculty or staff, do you think this list accurately describes your students or even yourself?

Librarians revel in sharing their knowledge on these topics and at GHL we eagerly seek opportunities to work within the campus community to debunk lists of things which students “Don’t Do.” We encourage you to challenge yourself! If you notice unfamiliar terms or concepts in this list, stop by the library and see what your librarians can do for you!

Albert Einstein said it best: “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it? :o)

What College Faculty Say Freshmen Students Don’t Do

- Know what they don’t know
- Know who to ask for research help
- Understand library jargon, ex. “full text”

- Follow research process steps, ex. information literacy model
- Estimate time required for research, ex. Interlibrary loan
- Define a research question or topic that’s not shallow or ‘pop’

- Find different formats of information
- Understand that web search engines rarely locate college-appropriate information
- Distinguish between OPACs and online databases
- Conduct effective searches using
o Keywords, alternate search terms
o Boolean terms, ex. AND, OR
o Controlled vocabulary, subject headings
o Field searching, ex. author, title

- Interpret search results
- Find full text of articles
- Find books using Library of Congress (LC) classification, not Dewey
- Use reference books in the library
- Regroup when first attempts to find resources don’t work, ex. try a different database

- Weed through search results to find adequate and accurate information
- Evaluate information using standard evaluation criteria
- Distinguish between popular and scholarly articles
- Disregard inadequate or inaccurate information

- Synthesize, communicate, and argue a thesis using evidence
- Analyze data and statistics
- Represent, analyze, and critique the ideas of others ethically
- Write without plagiarizing (accidentally or otherwise), ex. use in-text citations - Cite sources properly using multiple citation styles, ex. Citation Builder

P. Owen & M. OakleafUsing Evidence to Bridge the 12-13 Gap OELMA 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New materials for September/October

The September/October new materials list is now available. We added 123 books, DVDs, and other items over the last two months, thanks to the impressive efforts of our faculty selectors and the library staff.

You can find our current and previous new materials lists on the left hand side of our web site under "New Materials Lists."

Have a suggestion of something to order? Email one of our staff members or drop by the library. Thanks!


Watch out! Library video tutorials

The library has added a new way for you to learn about our services, discover how to search databases, and find guidance on information fluency concepts: screencasts! Screencasts are brief video tutorials that you can watch to review searching concepts or other information prior to working (or while you work) on library research.

Each screencast is fairly short (3-6 minutes). Our current list of screencasts includes several that we produced and a number that have been freely shared by OhioLINK, other academic libraries, and database producers. You can see them here.

Special thanks on the development of our screencasts goes to assistant library director Beth Tumbleson for her efforts on the project. Beth was able to take part in a faculty learning community sponsored by the Center of Online Learning (CoOL), and the work of that group toward the development of online Nursing classes provided the impetus for our screencasts. We are grateful to CoOL and the Department of Nursing for their assistance/motivation.

This is a great way to gain a quick overview of library concepts. We would be happy to have faculty members link to appropriate screencasts from their Blackboard classrooms or other sites. If there are screencasts you would like us to develop on specific resources or research areas, please let us know.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Want to create some visual interest in your classes?


If you missed the sessions, there are some extremely helpful resources for learning to use ARTstor on your own at See the PDFs of session outlines and handouts for the materials presented on the 8th. You may also find brief video tutorials for ARTstor on YouTube.

Join a representative from the database ARTstor on Wednesday morning, October 8th, for a series of training sessions on this digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences. Here’s a link to the database:

Thanks to our library colleagues in Oxford, the Gardner-Harvey Library will host three sessions on ARTstor between 9:00 and noon. Each session has a distinct focus on the database, but if you can only attend one the trainer is flexible about fitting each one to people’s specific needs or interests (she will be happy to give a general overview as a part of each session). Here are the times and topics:

9:00-10:00 - Introduction to ARTstor: introductory session on what ARTstor can do, basic navigation, etc

10:00-11:00 - Teaching with ARTstor: how to incorporate ARTstor into coursework. Creating image groups, instructor’s settings, etc.

11:00-12:00 - Presenting with ARTstor: how to use the offline image viewer, etc.

All sessions will be held in the library’s Learning Lab (GRD 111) so that there can be an opportunity for hands-on work.

You may wish to consider the possibilities of using this resource in courses from various disciplines. ARTstor has prepared guides for using its resources in fields such as anthropology, medieval studies, theater, women’s studies, music history, history, foreign languages, and more!:

If you’d like to see what ARTstor could provide for you and your students, please stop by one of the sessions on Wednesday. Be sure to invite interested students as well! Light refreshments will be available.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wii want to play . . . and learn

The library has recently purchased a Nintendo Wii. It is available for your gaming pleasure in the new STAR Lounge, with a selection of games to choose from. This gaming device offers a unique combination of physical inputs (i.e., you don't sit on the couch to play it; you have to move around) and social interactions (the games encourage multiple players). You can see a list of the games and controllers we have available here. Most games are available for library use only, but a rotating selection of titles will be available for one-day checkout for those with Wiis at home.

Why a Wii? Well, we're interested in exploring this technology not only for its recreational possibilities but its potential as an educational tool. A recent Educause document details the 7 things you should know about the Wii. Our student assistants have replicated the experiments with the Wiimote controller shown here. A forthcoming study from the American Library Association will explore the possible connections between gaming and literacy. We hope that you will join us in these investigations, sharing this resource that we have purchased for all of us to use in common.

So whether you want to practice your bowling, or try out the WiiFit on your lunch hour, or experience Star Wars The Force Unleashed or MarioKart, come by the library and check out the Wii!

Library Open House

Fall semester is in full swing! The Gardner-Harvey Library staff has been hard at work creating new resources and services for the 2008-2009 academic year. We would like to invite all members of the campus community to the Library to learn more about what we have to offer – we think that you will be surprised and delighted with what you find. Meet and greet the librarians, enjoy refreshments (yes, you can eat in the library!), take part in our Nintendo Wii tournament (yes, we have a Wii!), take a break on our new outdoor terrace, attend brief information sessions highlighting our new services, and have your name entered into a drawing for a prize give-away.

Mark your calendars -

3:00-5:00 pm on Wednesday, September 24th
1:00-3:00 pm on Thursday, September 25th

We hope you'll join us! Stop by for a few minutes between classes and meetings or stick around and relax at the library for the afternoon.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Personalized Research Help

Does the information universe seem vast and mysterious? Do you find research assignments frustrating? Have you ever wished for a guide to help you search for and find information? Well, now you can request a consultation with a Gardner-Harvey librarian! Consultations are an opportunity for you to work one-on-one with a librarian who can suggest research strategies, search terms, and print and electronic resources. Librarians can also show you tools for citing sources. Learn more about this service and make an appointment by filling out the online form on the Library’s website at:

Or, stop by the Library and fill out a purple request form at the InfoDesk. A librarian will contact you within 24 hours to set up a time and you’ll be on your way to receiving unhurried, personalized help with your research questions.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Textbooks Collection Gains Donation and Grows

Thanks to a tremendous donation of funds from Robert and Nita Driscoll, the library's Textbooks on Reserve collection has expanded. Robert was an active member of the Middletown community and a patron of the Gardner-Harvey Library for many years. Mrs. Driscoll made this gift to the campus in memory and continuation of his efforts to support education. Textbooks have certainly not become cheaper, and this gift extends our reach to serve students.

We've added 38 new books to the collection, updating a number of changed editions and adding books for ten new courses: (ACC 221, ACC 222, ART 111, ART 121, ART 186, CJS 125, EDP 209, MBI 111, MKT 291, MTH 125). We now offer textbooks for more than 85 Miami courses.

Be sure to check the list at to see if textbooks are available for your course. And keep your donations of used copies or extra desk copies coming! We are always eager to extend this program to help students have access to the learning materials they need.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What's New @Your Gardner-Harvey Library

While you were away this summer, library space was renovated to heighten your learning and recreation!
For the outdoor-type, sit at the new cafe tables on the back terrace. Read, study, and chat while gazing on the green hillside. For the indoor-type, explore the STAR Lounge (Space for Technology, Academics, and Recreation). Here you may practice PowerPoint presentations, watch DVDs with a group, connect to cable TV, or game with Nintendo Wii. New signage should help direct you to these library areas.
While here, grab a copy of Navigating the Information Universe, our Fall Semester 2008 newsletter to update the Miami University Middletown community on library developments, services, and resources available to Faculty/Staff and Students. The information world is ever expanding.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Materials for July

The July new materials list is now available. We added 215 books, DVDs, and other items last month, thanks to the impressive efforts of our faculty selectors and the library staff.

You can find our current and previous new materials lists on the left hand side of our web site under "New Materials Lists."

Have a suggestion of something to order? Email one of our staff members or drop by the library. Thanks!


Monday, July 14, 2008

New Materials for June

The June new materials list is now available. We added 250 books, DVDs, and other items last month, thanks to the impressive efforts of our faculty selectors and the library staff.

You can find our current and previous new materials lists on the left hand side of our web site under "New Materials Lists."

Have a suggestion of something to order? Email one of our staff members or drop by the library. Thanks!


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Three New OhioLINK Libraries

Please join us in welcoming OhioLINK's newest member institutions: Ohio Christian University (located in Circleville), Saint Mary Seminary & Graduate School of Theology (located in Wickliffe) and the University of Northwestern Ohio (located in Lima). Records from St. Mary Seminary and the University of Northwestern Ohio were recently loaded into the OhioLINK Library Catalog. Ohio Christian University's records will be loaded soon. The three new libraries will have PCIRC training in July and should be live and able to place and receive requests in August.

These newest additions bring the total number of OhioLINK member institutions to 90, including 16 public/research universities, 23 community/technical colleges, 50 private colleges and the State Library of Ohio.

(from Candi Clevenger at OhioLINK)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sarah Frye joins GHL staff!

We are happy to welcome Sarah Frye to our staff today. Sarah is our new Public Services Librarian, and will provide reference and instructional services for the library and the campus. She will also handle interlibrary loan requests. Sarah joins us from the staff of the Vogel Library of Wartburg College in Waverly, IA. Be sure to welcome her when you see her around campus.

Database Changes for July 1

Beginning July 1, several OhioLINK databases will be replaced with new resources. The affected databases are funded by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, which is administered through the State Library of Ohio, and are available to all Ohioans through Libraries Connect Ohio (LCO). LCO is a collaborative effort of OhioLINK, OPLIN, INFOhio, and the State Library of Ohio. Libraries Connect Ohio is constantly striving to provide the strongest portfolio of research resources possible to serve the diverse lifelong learning needs of all Ohioans, within budgetary limitations.

What’s Changing?

(The following links are somewhat unstable at the moment -- they will be linked from the University Libraries' Indexes & Databases page when they are fully up and running)

* Biography Reference Bank will replace American National Biography. Biography Reference Bank provides biographical information on approximately half a million people, from antiquity to the present, along with thousands of images.

* Consumer Health Complete (an EBSCOhost database) provides convenient access to easily understandable health and medical information including medical encyclopedias, popular reference books and magazine articles.

* Science Online will replace AccessScience. Science Online presents a broad range of scientific disciplines through extensive definitions, essays, diagrams, biographies, and experiments.

* World Book Web (includes World Book Dictionary, World Book Atlas, World Book Advanced, World Book Kids, and Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos) will replace Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, Encyclopaedia Britannica School Edition and Enciclopedia Universal en EspaƱol. World Book Web is a suite of online research tools that delivers encyclopedia articles, primary source collections, educator tools, student activities, pictures, audio, and video, complemented by current periodicals and related Web sites.

In addition, OhioLINK will not be renewing its subscription to Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals and Bibliography of the History of Art. Some OhioLINK member libraries may continue to subscribe some of the canceled resources individually (Miami is continuing with American National Biography at least; more news as it develops). Please let us know if you have any questions.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Journal Articles Now in

Library online catalogs used to contain the catalog or bibliographic records for books, movies, sound recordings, and journal titles to which the library subscribed. But never articles published in magazines and journals! So researchers looking for periodical articles typically start in a full-text, subscription database made available through libraries.

Change has come! Two long established publishers and database vendors H.W. Wilson, 1898- and Modern Language Association, 1883- have negotiated an agreement with OCLC, a worldwide library consortium, to make available “article-level records” in

This means researchers may search a single, vast catalog for books and more than fifty million articles from such databases as MEDLINE, ERIC, British Library, GPO Monthly Catalog, and OCLC ArticleFirst. Once the article is located in, the article will be cross-linked to the full-text database in one’s local library when you click on "Find a Copy." Print holdings of periodicals held by your local library or Miami University Libraries will also be listed. Integrated searching of authoritative journal articles has just gotten a little easier.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Readers To Gather & Discuss

The Last Lecture. Randy Pausch. Hyperion. 2008. 206 pages.

Life is short. So is The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, Professor of Computer Science, Husband, Father, and Cancer Patient.

What dreams do you hold dear? Are you walking “The Road Less Traveled”? Come discuss what matters most when the clock is running down, as it is for each of us.

When: Thursday, June 26, 2008. 12:00-1:00 P.M.
Where: Gardner-Harvey Library, Blue Chairs Circle
Who: Everyone is welcome, even those who plan to read the book!

Read it. Be Here!
The GHL Story Squad

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

100 Best Technology Products of 2008

Given that a person only has so much time and money, why not use the best available products to enhance productivity and quality of life? PC World has once again created a winning one hundred list of amazing Web sites (music & video, e-mail & social networking, finance, news, and travel) browsers, laptops, smart phones, cameras, MP3 Players, GPS, games, software, and more. Products were ranked by overall quality based on design, functionality, performance, and impact. Check it out; there's something here for you!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Textbooks on Reserve Wrap-Up

The Textbooks on Reserve (TOR) program has been in place at the Gardner-Harvey Library since Fall Semester 2006. I thought it would be a good idea to let you know how the program has been used during the past academic year (2007-2008) and what changes and additions lie ahead.

TOR started as a collection of textbooks that covered about 40 courses at Miami Middletown. We now offer textbooks that serve as the main text for over 70 courses, along with supplementary materials that accompany several texts.

Use of the program has grown steadily over the last two years. This fall (2007) we tallied 232 items being checked out for use, and that was exceeded in the spring (2008) for a total of 369 checkouts. As of May 12, 2008, the textbooks included in the program have been checked out 793 times since the inception of TOR. Just last week we passed the 800 checkout mark, meaning that items held in the program have circulated an average of nearly 8 times each.

The ten most popular textbooks used by students at MUM are the following (listed with their total lifetime checkouts):
  • Elementary and Intermediate Algebra (MTH 101/102) - 98
  • Panorama (SPN 101/102) - 77
  • Prealgebra (MTH 002) - 74
  • Materials and Processes in Manufacturing (ENT 152) - 55
  • Engineering Materials (ENT 151) - 48
  • Hole's Human Anatomy & Physiology (ZOO 171) - 35
  • General Chemistry (CHM 137/141) - 34
  • New Perspectives on Microsoft Office 2007 (CIT 154) - 29
  • Psychology (PSY 111) - 28
  • Microbiology, a Systems Approach (MBI 111/161) - 23

Panorama had been our most popular book for four straight semesters, but Spring 2008 uses pushed the MTH 101/102 book ahead.

The numbers only tell part of the story. Each checkout represents a student who needed to use a given book; perhaps for just two hours, perhaps overnight. Students have taken books to class, studied them in the library, and worked on problem sets at home. The stories that we hear as we interact with these students has continued to motivate us to build and maintain TOR.

In building this collection of textbooks we have benefited tremendously from the donation of textbooks by faculty members and students, funds provided by Miami Middletown Student Government, the use of department library acquisitions funds to purchase textbooks, and the library funding we are provided by the campus. In the year ahead, we will receive further funding for TOR from a donor (more on this later) which will help us keep up our current coverage of courses and expand that reach.

So, we head into summer with the goal of buying new texts, replacing changed editions, and looking for more needs we can meet. One thing we would like to work on this year is a Textbook Donation Program at the end of each semester. Students might decide to donate their used texts to the library for TOR rather than keeping them or selling them back. Again, more on this later.

Thank you to everyone who has supported TOR and helped us spread the word among students! We greatly appreciate your help.


New Materials for May

The May new materials list is now available. We added over 380 books, DVDs, and other items last month, thanks to the impressive efforts of our faculty selectors and the library staff. There is truly something here for everyone, from Nietzsche to hiking, six-word memoirs to running 5ks, Euler to toothpicks. Well, it seemed like there was something for everyone. Like motherhood, and sex, and water detectives, and germs, and immigration, and blogging, and . . . well, you get the idea. Check out the list!

You can find our current and previous new materials lists on the left hand side of our web site under "New Materials Lists."

Have a suggestion of something to order? Email one of our staff members or drop by the library. Thanks!


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Playaways update

If you've enjoyed using our Playaway digital books, you're in for a treat. All right, if you haven't used them before, you should be excited, too.

We have just added 22 more titles to the collection (with many thanks to Cathy Bishop Clark for her recommendations - hey, you could suggest titles, too!). You can quickly browse the whole list of 130 titles here (most of the new ones are at the top of the list).

You can also browse them in person right in front of our circulation desk in our new rotating Playaway display stand. We're populating the stand now, but it will be ready for your browsing pleasure shortly.


New Materials for April

We have just posted our new materials list for April, and it's a doozy. Over 240 books, DVDs, and other items have been added to the collection this month. A new feature of this month's list: a (hopefully) clearer division of the items into subject areas.

You can find our current and previous new materials lists on the left hand side of our web site under "New Materials Lists."

Have a suggestion of something to order? Email one of our staff members or drop by the library. Thanks!


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What does the lawsuit against Georgia State mean?

Here's a well-written explanation of the recent lawsuit filed by the American Association of Publishers against Georgia State University over its use of an electronic reserves service (and perhaps also involving faculty members posting class readings in the university course management system).

NUL Copyright: What does the lawsuit against Georgia State mean?

Libraries have long provided access to materials on reserve in support of faculty members and their students. Section 108 of Title 17 of the United States Code, AKA the "Copyright Law of the United States of America" specifically guarantees the right for libraries to hold copies of works for the use of students in a given class for the duration of that class.

This case questions the ability of Section 108 to apply in a digital environment. Along with many other academic libraries, Miami University Libraries offers electronic reserves services -- see our guidelines here. We will be carefully watching this case and will post updates as they occur.

KnowItNow Academic: Virtual Reference Service

Got information woes? Need a little help with a research question? Far from a library? Turn to a new, free statewide virtual reference service known as KnowItNow Academic. The program, piloted from January to March 2008 through the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services grant has now become a permanent service available from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Fridays until 5:00 p.m. Academic librarians from 12 OhioLINK libraries provide reference assistance in subject queues in which they possess expertise: business, government documents, foreign languages & literature, genealogy, general, history, literature & film, music & art, science & technology, and social sciences. Outside these hours, questions are answered by the regular KnowItNow channels staffed by public librarians and After-Dark librarians, independent librarians organized by the Northeast Ohio Regional Library System so that Ohio residents have 24/7 access to reference service. Give KnowItNow Academic a try the next time you are far from your favorite physical library.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

National Library Week

In celebration of National Library Week, April 13-19, 2008, Gale is offering FREE ACCESS to 21 Databases most of which are unavailable through Miami University Libraries. This is the week to work on research papers, projects, and presentations. Explore such extensive, authoritative electronic resources as Health & Wellness Resource Center, History Resource Center U.S., History Resource Center World, Nursing Resource Center, Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center: Critical Thinking, Science Resource Center, Small Business Resource Center, etc.

In addition, FREE ACCESS to Books & Authors, a new online readers' advisory resource is available throughout all of April. Build your summer reading list now of favorite authors, genres, expert picks, or award winners. Take a book along wherever you travel.

Chinese-Language Arts and Humanities Journals

OhioLINK member institutions now have access to 257 Chinese-language arts and humanities journals in the China Online Journals collection from Wanfang.

You can access the COJ journals via several links:

Browse the database:

Quick Search:

Advanced search: or

This resource has been added to the OhioLINK list of databases under China Online Journals and as "also recommended" under all subject areas. It will be added to the Miami University Libraries Indexes and Databases list shortly.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

New Materials for March

We have just posted our new materials list for March. These are the items (books, DVDs, etc.) that were added to the collection during this month. We are awaiting a large number of items from earlier orders that should come in during April.

You can find our current and previous new materials lists on the left hand side of our web site under "New Materials Lists."
Have a suggestion of something to order? Email one of our staff members or drop by the library. Thanks!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Searching for a Career Direction?

An information specialist by any other name would inform and teach. Despite the long-term image management issues, librarians do more than books. In 21st century academic circles, they build Web sites, databases, repositories, and online courses; customize search engines; tag sources; provide 24/7 access to electronic resources; and create wikis, blogs, and research tools. They study up on the shifting sands of plagiarism, copyright, and digital rights management. They share resources around the university, state, and world in print and electronically. They read and write and compute and communicate. They are wizards of multitasking and problem-solving. Above all, the knowledge managers I know are intelligent, creative, and witty. They go to bat for the tentative researcher and are service-minded. In honor of who they are and what they do, take a whimsical YouTube moment and listen to: “The Librarian Song” and view “This is My OhioLINK” by Eric Rieper, OhioLINK video contest winner.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

April 1: Eric Melbye Reads From Tru

The Gardner-Harvey Library and the Miami University Middletown Campus Bookstore are proud to present a reading by Eric Melbye of his novel Tru.

The event will be held on Tuesday, April 1, 2008, from 12:00-1:00 on the main level of the Gardner-Harvey Library.

Read a description of Tru here.

Eric will share some selections from Tru, take questions from the audience, and sign copies of his book (which will be available for purchase at the event). Light refreshments will be served.

Please set an hour aside for this opportunity to experience literature with a talented author and to celebrate his work.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

In the lap(top) of luxury

Well, that might be overstating things a bit, but we are very happy to let you know the array of laptops that are available to Miami Middletown students, faculty, and staff thanks to a partnership between Technology Services and the library. With our combined financial support, we can now offer the following equipment for use:

For students:
  • 4 laptops are available for three-hour loan
  • 3 laptops are available for one-day loan

For faculty and staff members:

  • 5 laptops are available for seven-day loan
  • 2 tablet PCs are available for seven-day loan

We hope that these machines will assist students who would like to use a laptop anywhere on campus (given our campus-wide wireless network) or who need to take a laptop home for overnight use. Faculty and staff who need to travel and present or who need a laptop for use on campus can also benefit.

Checking out a laptop requires your Miami University ID and the one-time completion of a laptop loan form. Please let us know how we can assist you with these devices.

Let me also add that the library, thanks to Technology Services, also has on library reserve the manuals for Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Entourage for Mac OS X 2004 (five copies of each, available to students, faculty, and staff).

March 11: Book Discussion

The MUM Book Discussion Group will next meet on Tuesday, March 11, from 12:00-1:00 to discuss Eric Melbye’s novel Tru. We are so excited to have a chance to read and discuss this work by Middletown’s own notable author. We’ll meet in the reference/current periodicals area for our usual round of discussion, brown-bagged lunches, and a dessert of some sort. Please join us for this exciting event!

Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement of a campus reading/book signing by Eric which will come later in March. We may raise some questions on the 11th that Eric can solve for us at that later event. Thanks!

(see the Book Discussion page at

Friday, February 15, 2008

Academic Research Made Easier

The “Google Generation” tends to be impatient in research, according to a study by the British Library and Joint Information System Committee. “Knowledge Now,” might be their motto. Today’s researchers desire integrated or federated or one-stop-searching. So how do faculty and librarians lead students into the maze of reference works and noteworthy books in the library collection?
With this end in mind, Miami University Libraries invites you to use Reference Universe by Paratext. Search reference materials at the index level rather than the usual title or subject heading level. Go to Input search terms in one search box to locate numerous articles and essays in Miami University Libraries’ reference collection, both print and electronic in addition to its electronic book collection. Results will lead you to either a book with library and call number or link you to the electronic resource itself. Try it and let your partners in research @ your library know what you think. Have your students do the same!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Materials List for January

We are trying something new here (or something old done in a new way). We have created a list of items that we purchased and received between the start of December and the first week of January. They include books and DVDs. Take a look and see what's new on our shelves. Be sure to click the title of any items to see more information about them or to request that they be held for you at our front desk.

Here's the link to the list:

Let us know if you find this useful. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Book Discussion for January

We have switched our book choice for January's discussion. We are now reading Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. We'll meet on January 28 from 12:00-1:00 in the reference/current periodicals area of the library.

Indeed, the recent controversy regarding this book and its appearance in play form at Lakota East High School piqued our group’s interest. The book’s original title (and its initial replacement) are quite clearly racist, as is the “nursery rhyme” which is central to the movement of its plot. We have heard it’s a good mystery story, though, and we’d like to approach it as such. More information on the book is available at and further information on the title is available at Copies of various editions of the work are available through OhioLINK at the following link:

So, please feel free to join us for discussion and refreshments. And remember, in February we’ll be reading and discussing Eric Melbye’s Tru (more details forthcoming). Thanks!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Pssst! Need a textbook?

If you need to take a look at a textbook for one of your classes, the library just might have it. We have assembled a collection of Textbooks on Reserve for over 60 Miami Plan courses offered at the Middletown campus.

Textbooks can be checked out for two hours at a time. If you check one out within two hours of our closing time, you can keep it overnight (it's due back at 9:00am the next morning).

See a full list of the courses for which we have textbooks at We have updated the collection for spring semester and added texts for the following courses:

EDP 201
EDT 181
PHL 105
PHY 172
PHS 242
ZOO 114

So the textbooks are here for you. Let us know if we can be of any assistance.