Doctor Discovers Librarians Are On Her Research Team

Dr. Elizabeth Malm-Buatsi didn’t know where to turn when she wanted to improve her standing as a researcher. As the only pediatric urologist at MU HealthCare, and often called away for surgeries, she had no built-in research team she could lean on. After flying solo for a few months, she found herself on the verge of abandoning projects she was passionate about, frustrated by the research process and unsure how to proceed. Luckily, a colleague suggested she contact Diane Johnson at the Health Sciences Library. Dr. Malm-Buatsi says that initial meeting was absolutely lifechanging

When she first contacted Diane, Dr. Malm-Buatsi was creating an educational flyer to give to parents about newborn circumcisions. In order to provide this vital information to parents about the process, she needed to find the best evidence-based research, but she already conducted a literature search and found no information after several hours of searching. Diane, however, was able to find the information in the matter of minutes, at least that’s how Dr. Malm-Buatsi describes it. “Ever since meeting Diane, my outlook on research projects has changed,” she says, “and I’ve learned to enjoy the process. She makes sure to keep me on track, makes the process easier, and helps me think critically about what I’m working on.”

Diane Johnson

Diane’s assistance wasn’t limited to the patient education project. Dr. Malm-Buatsi was also in the midst of applying for an internal grant related to the urinary microbiome. Diane conducted literature searches and created an EndNote Library, not only adding relevant articles, but also pointing out the most relevant sections of information. “Diane was able to cut the time I would’ve spent on researching in half.” Dr. Malm-Buatsi says the grant proposal was recently accepted, and she expects Diane will still be an integral contributor of the project. Diane has also found several additional grant opportunities for Dr. Malm-Buatsi to pursue.

Two projects wasn’t enough for Dr. Malm-Buatsi, though. She also wanted to assess residents’ satisfaction with and the perceived usefulness of an online surgical training system, including a pre-surgery assessment that allows the residents to set goals and view videos before surgery. They determined the best way to capture these qualitative results was developing a survey. Caryn Scoville, Information Services Librarian, consulted with Dr. Malm-Buatsi, designed the survey in Qualtrics, and distributed it to the residents. Dr. Malm-Buatsi and her colleagues submitted an abstract about their system, and although it hasn’t been accepted yet, she is positive it will, in large part because of Caryn’s behind-the-scenes work.

Caryn Scoville

Looking to strengthen your own research profile? Dr. Malm-Buatsi suggests consulting with your librarians from day one of your project and learning how they can contribute to your research process. “They are so open and I feel I can bounce my ideas off of them,” she says. Dr. Malm-Buasi has also discovered an unanticipated benefit: “Now that I am in their minds, I often receive emails with suggestions or pieces of information related to my projects.Their help has had a huge impact on my career.”

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, Gateway Carousel Two Student Employees Help Preserve Ellis Library’s Collection

Two Student Employees Help Preserve Ellis Library’s Collection

Behind the scenes at the University Libraries, there are quite a few things that go into making a book shelf-ready. Occasionally, the physical processing department, in the ground floor of Ellis Library, has to repair books before they can go on (or back on) the shelves for users to check out.

Thankfully, physical processing is staffed with employees who want to teach, and great students who are eager to learn. The physical processing staff is now able to hand more and more work over to dedicated students, giving the students great experience, and freeing up the employees for other projects, such as conservation and preservation.

Two such students are Lydia Dysart and Megan Potter, both student employees in the physical processing department. As you can see from the “before” photo, books often come to physical processing looking . . . less than great. But as you see from the “after” photo, a lot can be done to fix a book. From start to finish, these students were able to complete the project.

When a book is in poor shape, you can’t simply glue it back together. The books that are repaired rarely look like they have been repaired (see the “after” photo) thanks to detailed work. When walking around the physical processing work space, you will see streamers hanging from the wall in all different shades.  This is paper used to repair the books, and they want the repair to match the book as closely as possible. It’s intricate work that takes training and detail-oriented people. Thankfully, both Lydia and Megan were up to the task.

As you can see in the before and after pictures, the students have to fix breaks in the book block using rice paper. Then they replace the spine, and, lastly, consolidate and repair the covers. Lydia and Megan did all the spine and cover repairs in the finished repair pictures.

We all appreciate the students who work at University Libraries, and are happy to be able shine a spotlight on some great work!  Thank you, Lydia and Megan, for helping to preserve our library’s collection!

home Cycle of Success Welcome to Steven Pryor

Welcome to Steven Pryor

The University of Missouri Libraries are also pleased to welcome Steven Pryor, who has been hired as a the digital scholarship librarian in the research, access and instruction services (RAIS) department. Steven has a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Southern Illinois University. Steven previously served as head of information and technology services (ITS) operations for the University of Washington Libraries. Before that he served as the ITS special projects librarian. Other previous positions include director of digital initiatives and technologies at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and technology manager for Saint Louis University Libraries.

home Cycle of Success, Ellis Library Institutional Support Models Could Revolutionize Open Access Publishing

Institutional Support Models Could Revolutionize Open Access Publishing

In addition to “producing grammatical descriptions and dictionaries for four varieties of the Luyia language cluster in western Kenya,” Michael Marlo is an Associate Professor of English and Linguistics and a member of the editorial board of the Language Science Press‘s Contemporary African Linguistics series. Language Science Press is an open access publisher of peer-reviewed linguistics books, including textbooks, and neither readers nor authors pay fees under the Knowledge Unlatched model, which instead relies on financial pledges from institutions and libraries to fund open access projects.

Michael’s editorship originally grew out of a desire to find a financially reasonable publishing outlet for the proceedings of the Annual Conference on African Linguistics. When researching potential publishers for book projects related to his National Science Foundation project, Structure and Tone in Luyia, he had also made note of their African Language Grammars and Dictionaries series.

“One of the major obstacles to the development of the field of linguistics is access to research results,” Michael says. For example, access to the digital version of the most prestigious publisher’s grammar series costs $10,000 plus annual fees for updates. A single book costs $200. Despite the prestige, Michael doesn’t intend to pursue publication through a press with such a prohibitive pricing model because that would limit his audience to those few whose libraries can afford access. He says, “While I recognize that there are still problems of access with publications that are primarily available as PDF downloads online, due to the fact that not everyone has internet access, having my work available for anyone to download is a major improvement in access over most other publishing options, which are either too expensive for readers or require a large subvention from the author, or both.”

Anne Barker

Last summer, Michael learned that Language Science Press was pursuing the institutional support funding model and asked Anne Barker, his subject librarian, if Mizzou Libraries could contribute. He was “thrilled” to learn that some funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities were able to be put toward the initiative. Michael says, “I believe [this model] has the chance to revolutionize publishing in my field, and possibly by extension many other fields in academia.”

Anne confirms, “Librarians have long been concerned that the commercialization of scholarly communication restricts access for individuals and strains library budgets. Changing the traditional publication funding model to provide for more open access is complex and challenging, but the Knowledge Unlatched model is promising. Mizzou Libraries is glad to be able to join this endeavor.”

Michael encourages students to use MOBIUS and Interlibrary Loan to access books outside of our collection. He also encourages students to find their subject areas in the stacks and look around. “There’s a lot of great stuff in there that you won’t easily find just by searching online databases!”

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, J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library Welcome to Christina Pryor, Coordinator for NNLM

Welcome to Christina Pryor, Coordinator for NNLM

The University of Missouri Libraries are pleased to announce that Christina Pryor has been hired as the new Missouri coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine in the Midcontinental Region. Christina has a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Missouri and a Bachelor of Journalism from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She is coming to us from the University of Washington Health Sciences Library in Seattle where she served as the assistant director and community health education coordinator. Her previous positions include consulting and education services manager for Amigos Library Services, reference manager for the St. Louis County Library System, and medical research librarian for Covidien/Mallinckrodt. Christina is currently serving as the conference chair for the Library Marketing and Communications Conference, which will be held in St. Louis this fall.

home Cycle of Success, Ellis Library, 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?”