home Cycle of Success, Ellis Library, Gateway Carousel, Government Information Knowledge of Sailors’ Wages Enhances Tours of Only Above-Water Whaleback Ship Museum

Knowledge of Sailors’ Wages Enhances Tours of Only Above-Water Whaleback Ship Museum

This guest post is written by Martin Karpa, Volunteer with the Superior Public Museums in Superior, Wisconsin.

My first job after graduating high school was on a ship sailing the Great Lakes. I worked the freighters for four seasons, hauling iron ore, coal, grain, sand and limestone from Duluth, MN, to Buffalo, NY, and numerous ports in between.

It was just within the last two years that projects around the home were winding down, freeing up more time for interests. With a sailing history and fondness of said, I took an interest in the Superior Public Museums, Superior, WI, of which one of the museums is the last-in-the-world above-water whaleback steamship S.S. Meteor. Volunteer efforts with the museums started out with their annual Volunteer Work Weekend held every last weekend in April when people come from across the Upper Midwest to preserve and prepare the Meteor for guests who tour the ship and learn about its history, sailing in the 1890s, the conception of its unique design and the influence this design has had on the present day shipping industry.

The first work weekend on the Meteor only piqued my interests and I wound up volunteering to come every couple of weeks or so to help out with routine seasonal maintenance on the ship. One thing leads to another, and this role in maintenance has now expanded to also being a volunteer tour guide not only for the Meteor but also at another of the museums, Fairlawn Mansion.

My opinion: dedicated tour guides are not given enough credit. These individuals put themselves out there before the general public and are expected to be the resident authority of what they are teaching, able to field any question thrown at them. Guides will learn the tour script, of course, but many will go above and beyond, gleaning all the facts they can about their particular expertise in order to answer even the most unpredictable question as best they can.

Marie Concannon

One such question was, “What were the sailors’ wages at the time?” (referring to sailors in the 1890s). I didn’t know, said so, and spent some time with the individual after the tour trying to find an answer on the internet without satisfying success. This lead to a more extensive internet search later at home, also without much concrete success. Now, I am not an idiot, but doing such specific research is not in my educational background. All of the clicking around on the net somehow lead me to Marie Concannon‘s contact information as the University of Missouri Libraries’ Head of Government Information. With mounting frustrations over negative search results and no better idea as to where to go with this question, I fired off an email to Marie last August, knowing it was a crapshoot . . . a roll of the dice . . . and I hit the jackpot!

Marie responded promptly, and a very pleasant correspondence followed, impressing me with her passion and dedication to her work. It was obvious even across the internet that she is enthusiastic about researching an issue and my hat is off to her. Information provided by Marie has now been adopted and fit into my personal script when giving tours of the S.S. Meteor, giving those interested in this aspect of our nation’s industrial history a better understanding of daily life at the end of the Victorian Era, beginning of the Gilded Age and into the Progressive Era. Being able to offer more detailed information to guests of the museum also gives them a fuller experience, which in turn helps spread an even more positive review of their visit.

Cycle of Success is the idea that libraries, faculty, and students are linked; for one to truly succeed, we must all succeed. The path to success is formed by the connections between University of Missouri Libraries and faculty members, between faculty members and students, and between students and the libraries that serve them. More than just success, this is also a connection of mutual respect, support, and commitment to forward-thinking research.

Although the Cycle of Success typically focuses on the relationships among the Libraries, faculty, and students, the Libraries also contribute to the success of all the communities Mizzou serves. The Libraries are an integral part of Mizzou’s mission “to produce and disseminate knowledge that will improve the quality of life in the state, the nation and the world.”

If you would like to submit your own success story about how the libraries have helped your research and/or work, please use the Cycle of Success form.

TAGS:

Jennifer Gravley

I am a Research and Instruction Librarian with a background in creative writing.

home Cycle of Success, Ellis Library Collaboration Builds Collections

Collaboration Builds Collections

The story of how Mizzou Libraries came to be one of the few libraries with a nearly complete set of Bildende Kunst, a visual arts journal from the former German Democratic Republic, began with an email but involved many hands. In Leipzig, Germany, on research leave, Assistant Professor Seth Howes contacted his subject librarian, Anne Barker, to ask about access to the journal after he returned to Mizzou. Without microfilm or online versions and with the closest complete set of the journal located in New York, Anne determined that access would be very difficult.

In the end, Seth considered not only “here’s why this is important to me” but also “here’s how important this is to me,” contributing some of his funds for research materials, matched by library funds, towards the purchase of additional issues.

Seth’s research focuses on the literature and experimental music and film of East Germany in its final fifteen years of existence, and Mizzou Libraries already had full print runs of the other two critical journals for his research, covering literature and music. Bildende Kunst can be translated as “Visual Art” or as “Educating Art or Art that Educates,” Seth explains. Because it reproduced art otherwise unavailable to East Germans, Bildende Kunst served as an educational magazine as well as a trade journal aimed at professionals.

Anne Barker

“One of the things that I think is very cool about having this in our collection now,” Seth says, “is that as a research institution with the teaching mission that comes with being a land-grant institution, we always need to think about how we can translate our work into teaching, and that is to a great extent what that journal did.” He plans on scheduling sessions with Special Collections in his courses so he can show students how these ideas were debated: “Can we have socialist art that looks like this? Is it not distracting or alienating to paint a worker in this way? Shouldn’t we just take recourse to 19th century realist painterly techniques?” Seth finds that students who are visual thinkers connect in a more meaningful way with a richly illustrated journal than ones that require greater language fluency to decode “communists arguing with each other.”

Anne says, “I was excited by this opportunity to enhance our research and teaching collections, but also because this adds to regional resources, making this important publication much more accessible to scholars in Missouri and surrounding states. I’m grateful for Seth’s initiative and willingness to invest his personal research funds to make this acquisition possible.”

Seth suggests that students and faculty think of “the library’s existing strengths as a jumping off point for our imagination of how to make strategic additions or strategic developments in new directions.” Despite budget challenges, he has found that “there is a will to grow the library’s resources for research and teaching, and everybody here is obviously working like mad to make resources available to students and faculty.”

Special Thanks

Many Mizzou Libraries staff members in addition to Anne played vital roles in getting the journal issues onto our shelves:

  • Corrie Hutchinson, Head of Acquisitions, identified and worked with the German vendor, determining costs and handling payments
  • Libby Myre, Senior Library Information Specialist, identified and worked with the German vendor, determining costs and handling payments, and input the journal’s information into the catalog
  • Michaelle Dorsey, Senior Library Information Specialist, with assistance from her preservation assistants, created containers to store the journal in its original format
  • Bette Stuart, Senior Library Information Specialist, input the journal’s information into the catalog
  • Kelli Hansen, Interim Head of Special Collections, provided space for the collection

Cycle of Success is the idea that libraries, faculty, and students are linked; for one to truly succeed, we must all succeed. The path to success is formed by the connections between University of Missouri Libraries and faculty members, between faculty members and students, and between students and the libraries that serve them. More than just success, this is also a connection of mutual respect, support, and commitment to forward-thinking research.

If you would like to submit your own success story about how the libraries have helped your research and/or work, please use the Cycle of Success form.

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home Cycle of Success, Ellis Library International Students Find More than Books at Ellis Library

International Students Find More than Books at Ellis Library

Before becoming an instructor in the University of Missouri’s Intensive English Program (IEP), Liza Armstrong taught a little further from home, such as at Al Akhawayn University, located in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Now she helps the Center for English Language Learning fulfill its mission of “providing high quality English language instruction to non-native speakers of English to prepare them for university-level studies, professional endeavors and community engagement.” Liza’s interests are in the development of second language reading and writing skills, information technology, and reading assessment, and she recently presented about text analysis tools in the development of IEP reading exams at the TESOL Convention.

My favorite part of the library session was I saw rooms that looked like a prison for graduate students who would like to concentrate more for reading.

Word of Mouth

Liza first began bringing her advanced reading classes in for library instruction based on the recommendation of Barbara Leonhard, an advanced communication instructor. At that time, emerita librarian Goodie Bhullar taught the research sessions. Liza says, “Goodie, who had been an international student herself, seemed to have an instant rapport with the students and was interested in learning students’ names, where they were from, and what their research interests were.”

Goodie’s lesson made an impression. Students didn’t just learn about the quality resources Mizzou Libraries make available to them and how to run better searches. They also got hands-on practice searching library databases to find quality sources. “Nearly every semester since then,” Liza says, “I have taken my IEP classes to the library so that students understand that at MU they have access to a huge amount of high-quality information and plenty of help in finding it.”

The Tradition Continues

I enjoyed finding book of the library session. I practiced looking for a book and felt a sense of accomplishment in Ellis library.

Today, Cindy Cotner continues to deliver the invaluable instruction that helps Liza’s reading-writing students navigate the library and become comfortable with academic research: “Cindy gave students a physical tour of the library, explaining how the circulation desk worked and where students could scan books, find resources like books and videos, study, and even grab a coffee.”

Then the work of learning how to find those suitable resources began. Students not only received the usual instruction on how to search library databases but also participated in a scavenger hunt. Cindy distributed cards with a book title and call number, and students worked in pairs to find the book on the shelves. Liza says they “enjoyed winding through the stacks of books and felt victorious when they found their books.”

Cindy also shared information about Library Workshops for International Students (LibWIS), giving students further opportunities to learn about advanced research strategies, citation management, and more.

When Liza saw her students’ essays, she was delighted to find that many had used library databases to find quality sources. Liza notes, “Many of them also indicated that they appreciated the citation tool, which helped them to write their APA reference pages more quickly and accurately.”

My favorite part was the way to make an APA citation format of books on MU library website.

Be Brave

Liza’s best advice for international students is “to be brave and ask librarians and staff questions.” She also recommends attending library workshops, especially those with a focus on international students. By learning how to use the library early in their academic careers, students can save time in the long run, create higher quality assignments, and build better study habits. “Students may think that using library databases and tools is intuitive,” she says, “but there is always new information, and library systems often change and are updated.”

In fact, Liza confesses that she herself learns something new each time her classes visit the library!

Cycle of Success is the idea that libraries, faculty, and students are linked; for one to truly succeed, we must all succeed. The path to success is formed by the connections between University of Missouri Libraries and faculty members, between faculty members and students, and between students and the libraries that serve them. More than just success, this is also a connection of mutual respect, support, and commitment to forward-thinking research.

If you would like to submit your own success story about how the libraries have helped your research and/or work, please use the Cycle of Success form.

 

home Cycle of Success, Ellis Library Mizzou: Where I Belong

Mizzou: Where I Belong

As a high school student in “the tiny town” of Callao, Missouri, Autumn McLain was torn between two quite distinct potential majors–physics and English–but she knew Mizzou was her “best option in order to get a wide array of higher quality classes and degrees.” She hopes to work in publishing after graduating in May with degrees in English and linguistics as well as a minor in philosophy.

Autumn credits her training as an English major for her formal writing skills. She won second place in the 2018 University Libraries Undergraduate Research Project Contest for a paper on Jonathon Swift, which she describes as “a lot of fun to write.” She’s now enrolled in the second of a pair of courses that will earn her Departmental Honors for her degree, writing “an even more research-intensive thesis on The House of the Seven Gables.”

She says that for most of the papers she’s written here at Mizzou, “the library resources available to me as a student have been pivotal. Good research papers are often dependent upon outside sources and research, information which is made available by the library.” Even more than the information itself, though, she recommends current and prospective Tigers take advantage of librarians’ assistance to find quality sources.

Getting a quality education is every Tiger’s main focus, but as Autumn says, “There’s a lot more going on than classes, and those extra things can be just as impactful!” Over her four years at Mizzou, she’s taken advantage of many extracurricular opportunities, from joining clubs and campus organizations to attending lectures and other special events.

Being a part of the close-knit English and linguistics departments also helped Autumn connect to fellow students and her professors, whose enthusiasm for their fields of study was contagious. Connecting to her community has been her favorite part of her Mizzou experience. “I couldn’t have foreseen how much Mizzou would come to feel like a place where I really belong,” she says, “but somehow, I’m even more excited to go out and see what I can do with what I’ve learned here!”

 

Community is Key

For chemical engineering student Ashley Anstaett, a strong sense of community is what attracted her to Columbia, the Mizzou campus, and ultimately the Engineering Library and Technology Commons. “Mizzou has a beautiful campus, and Columbia itself is an ideal spot for me… for its size, the cultural events in Columbia are not lacking and one of my favorite parts of the year is the True/False Film Festival where people come from all over to share their passion for film, music, and art.”

Ashley currently works as a chemistry research assistant in the plant science group at the Missouri Research Reactor. “We are looking at improving the zinc and iron content of corn through the use of bacteria that occur naturally in the soil. ” She says her interests are in the environmental aspects of engineering, but her dream is to work in the fragrance industry. “I’ve collected all kinds of fragrances since I was a little kid and love smelling things!”

Ashley Studying

When Ashley is not working or in class, you can quite often find her at the Engineering Library and she notes that “I don’t know what I would do without the Engineering Library!” The reference materials and textbooks are essential to her for her studies. Most importantly, she says, it is the community fostered by the library space that is key. “I know I can go to the Engineering Library anytime it is open and find someone working on the same thing as me, willing to help, or work together. Even if we are all stuck, it provides a great space for commiserating, drinking some coffee, and enjoying good company.” She also loves interacting with the staff. “It’s nice to see a friendly face every day and know that they are there and willing to help.”

The Engineering Library also supports Ashley’s more leisurely interests. “One of my favorite things about the Engineering Library is that they let me have all of my comics, books, and movies sent there. Using MOBIUS and ILL, you can get pretty much any book or movie you could ever imagine. As a delivery option, you can choose to have them sent to any library on campus you want. I don’t even have to leave Lafferre Hall. I look forward to going to the library each day to see if something I ordered arrived. It’s like retail therapy, but it’s free!”

Dinosaurs

It’s no surprise then that one of Ashley’s favorite Mizzou memories happened at the Engineering Library. “I was studying intently, heard some commotion, and looked up to see a bunch of folks in T-Rex costumes roaming the library. They were dancing and also maybe … studying?”

 

 

 

home Cycle of Success, J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library Interlibrary Loan Delivers for Doctors in a Time Crunch

Interlibrary Loan Delivers for Doctors in a Time Crunch

Ever wonder who is behind the magic of Interlibrary Loan? At the Health Sciences Library it’s Katy Emerson.

She’s the one who receives your requests, scans what you need, and emails it to your inbox, all in the matter of a few hours.

If you search for an article and are hit with a paywall or told the library doesn’t have access, don’t worry! You can request it and Katy will work her magic.

Not only will she find articles the library doesn’t have access to, she will often scan items we have on site to save you the trip to your library.

“What I like most is getting to deliver articles to clinicians. It feels good knowing that the work I do could be having a positive impact on patient care.”

Last year, Katy and the Health Sciences Library’s Interlibrary Loan department borrowed close to 4500 articles and delivered another 1800 articles we had available on site all at no cost to our users. Interlibrary Loan is a free service for Mizzou.

To request articles and books, click on the Findit@MU button if it’s available or you can always fill out a request form.

 

 

 

Cycle of Success is the idea that libraries, faculty, and students are linked; for one to truly succeed, we must all succeed. The path to success is formed by the connections between University of Missouri Libraries and faculty members, between faculty members and students, and between students and the libraries that serve them. More than just success, this is also a connection of mutual respect, support, and commitment to forward-thinking research.

If you would like to submit your own success story about how the libraries have helped your research and/or workplease use the Cycle of Success form.

Save

home Cycle of Success, Ellis Library Asking the Right Questions Pays Off

Asking the Right Questions Pays Off

Mizzou has made its mark on Nikolaus Frier, a senior mechanical engineering major from St. Louis, and he will leave his mark on Mizzou as well. For his field of study, Nik had a couple of in-state options but chose Mizzou, which he says “seemed beautiful and big” and where he knew he’d have many options for getting involved.

Extracurricular activities have in fact brought Nik unanticipated opportunities. He was a member of the 3D Printing Club during the time when the service was transitioning from being student led to being hosted by Mizzou Libraries. “I was losing hours at another campus job,” he said, “so I sent out my feelers and asked if the library would need any additional help running this service.” After demonstrating his knowledge of 3D printing to Ernest Shaw, Manager of Information Technology for the Libraries, Nik found himself employed by Print Anything.

Nik worries that his favorite Mizzou memory “might be a little cheesy,” but going to the midnight barbeque the first week of his freshman year was life changing. He met his girlfriend there, and they celebrated four years together in August.

His second favorite memory is yet to come. As project lead for Make Mizzou, a project of the 3D Printing Club, he’s overseen the design of a 3D campus map for the quad. “We have the 2D kiosks around campus, right?” Nik asks. “We wanted a 3D one so visually impaired students would be better able to navigate campus.” The 3D campus map is currently in the prototype finalization stage and will be installed in the fall.

“Getting involved is the right step into learning about your resources here at Mizzou,” Nik advises his fellow Tigers. “As soon as you’re part of a club, you realize you need this thing done. Well, how would I get that done? Then you start asking the right questions.” Nik is proof that asking the right questions pays off.

Nik plans to work as an engineer after graduation but also is confident that he has learned the necessary skills to open his own model-making company. Either way, he won’t miss what he foresees as his second favorite Mizzou memory: the groundbreaking of the 3D campus map in the fall.

home Cycle of Success, Ellis Library Libraries Are Where You Go When You Run out of Ideas

Libraries Are Where You Go When You Run out of Ideas

Research Enriches Undergraduate Writers’ Creative Nonfiction

Julija Šukys, Assistant Professor of English and creative nonfiction writer, says, “Libraries are one of my great loves. I’m a huge champion of libraries.” Much of her work is deeply researched, including her most recent books. Epistolophilia: Writing the Life of Ona Šimaitė is an unconventional biography of the Lithuanian librarian whose heroic actions saved an untold number of lives during the Holocaust, while Siberian Exile: Blood, War, and a Granddaughter’s Reckoning, published in October, investigates her own family’s complicated history.

Julija introduces her advanced undergraduate students to the pleasures of combining research and creative work by incorporating a library research day into all of her nonfiction workshops. She finds that sometimes students at this level are “starting to tell the same stories over and over again,” and research is “a way of showing them how you break out of that, how you break out of writing the same narratives. It’s a way of showing them that there’s a bigger world and to look up, to look out, and to learn something as you write. Writing is a way of actually understanding the world better.”

Example Research Topics: the history and evolution of pinball, Berlin nightclub culture, narcissistic personality disorder and marriage, personality formation in fraternal versus identical twins, the hemp industry in the United States, the link between ear infections in children and the development of speech disorders, the influence of anxiety and depression on memory formation, the history of women in cycling, and American mobility and student mobility across the countryStudents begin by drafting personal essays and then are instructed to ask themselves, “What’s the piece that I could crack open with the help of research?” At this point, Julija sends Anne Barker, her subject librarian, their list of research questions. Because the topics arise out of students’ personal stories and interests, this list can be quite quirky.

By the time students show up at the library, Anne has gathered resources appropriate to the various topics. These workshops meet for weekly for two and a half hours, so one class session can accommodate both instruction and practice. During the first half of the session, Anne introduces them to library databases and also demonstrates search strategies that facilitate research “in the broadest terms.” Julija says, “We search really wide-ranging stuff, both scholarship as well as how to find things on Google Books, how to find movies, how to find video clips that are going to be interesting and useful. Students learn that there’s this enormous world that’s available to them.”

Then during the second half of the session, students begin their quest to find two sources for their essays. They have time to run searches, ask questions, and find books in the stacks. Julija reports that students often have their first experience requesting books through MOBIUS or interlibrary loan, or as she calls it, experiencing “the pleasure of having books sent to you from other places in the world.” Some of her students end up using maps or newspapers or doing genealogical research. “What I really want them to learn,” Julija says, “is how to work in a library and how to think about resources and for them to discover the pleasure of working both with archival materials and with books.”

This assignment brings what Anne calls her “detective instincts” to the forefront. She says, “I enjoy working individually with the students to think of different angles to pursue and different types of materials that could augment their research and then seeing them return with the things they’ve discovered. It’s like opening a treasure chest whose contents they can continue to explore for a long time.”

Anne Barker

In addition to helping students find new possibilities in their writing, Anne’s instruction helps Julija accomplish her mission of teaching her students how to use libraries. “Libraries are good places to work, and libraries are places for solace,” she tells them. “Libraries can be this place where you go when you’ve run out of ideas.”

Julija advises other instructors interested in incorporating library instruction into their classes to “plan it in advance and contact the subject librarian early.” She has also found that giving students concrete tasks helps them be able to put what they’ve learned to immediate use, and another recommendation is to “give students class time to do the hands-on work.” Conducting their own research with a librarian available gives students an appropriate balance of independence and support. “It’s very individualized, and on the other hand they’re learning transferable skills.”

Julija’s advice to students is simple: “Talk to a reference librarian because they have skills you can’t even imagine.”

Cycle of Success is the idea that libraries, faculty, and students are linked; for one to truly succeed, we must all succeed. The path to success is formed by the connections between University of Missouri Libraries and faculty members, between faculty members and students, and between students and the libraries that serve them. More than just success, this is also a connection of mutual respect, support, and commitment to forward-thinking research.

If you would like to submit your own success story about how the libraries have helped your research and/or work, please use the Cycle of Success form.

TAGS:

Jennifer Gravley

I am a Research and Instruction Librarian with a background in creative writing.

home Cycle of Success, Engineering Library Congratulations Noel Kopriva, Head of Engineering Library & Technology Commons

Congratulations Noel Kopriva, Head of Engineering Library & Technology Commons

The University Libraries are pleased to announce that Noel Kopriva has been appointed as Engineering Librarian and Head of Engineering Library & Technology Commons!

Noel has earned a Bachelor’s in English and two Master’s degrees in Library and Information Science and English from the University of Missouri. She has been working for the University of Missouri Libraries for over three and half years as the Librarian to Textile and Apparel Management and to the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. She previously served as the Agriculture Librarian at West Virginia University for seven years.

This past year, Noel has been serving as the Interim Head of the Engineering Library & Technology Commons and we are happy to have her continue her work in a permanent position.

Congratulations, Noel!

home Cycle of Success, Events and Exhibits Congratulations to the 2018 Undergraduate Research Project Contest Winners!

Congratulations to the 2018 Undergraduate Research Project Contest Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 University Libraries Undergraduate Research Project Contest!

Beckie Jaeckels won first prize and a $500 scholarship for her paper “Written in Stone: A Critical Look at the Nation’s Dealings with Racial Discussion in 2017.” Her paper is structured around her work with Dr. Berkley Hudson as a Discovery Fellow. Dr. Berkley describes the paper as an exploration of “the twists and turns that have led to today’s debate about the role and the legitimacy of monuments dedicated to the Confederacy and its Lost Cause and those connections with enslavement and with contemporary racial strife and brutality.” Beckie cites a wide variety of 38 primary and secondary sources, from traditional print sources to tweets.

Beckie Jaeckels
Autumn McLain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn McLain won second prize and a $250 scholarship for her research paper “Jonathan Swift, Misanthropy, and ‘The Voyage to The Land of The Houyhnhnms’.” Autumn began her research with primary documents, Swift’s correspondence around the time when he was drafting Gulliver’s Travels, before delving into secondary sources. Her course professor Dr. Stephen Karian says that this strategy “allowed her to foreground her own words and ideas and to prevent them from being subsumed by those of other scholars–something that many undergraduates struggle with when writing research papers.”

The winners’ papers are archived in MOspace, MU’s digital repository, and linked above.

Thanks to the Friends of the University of Missouri Libraries for sponsoring these awards.