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!