Cycle of Success: Steve Friedman

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.

Steve Friedman

Steve Friedman is the Senior Editor within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Steven manages the preparation and editing of manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals, grant applications, and various presentations. Steve contacted Diane Johnson, Assistant Director at the Health Sciences Library, to help with an issue they ran into with a manuscript that was accepted back in May 2015. With a final proof sent in, they were waiting for the journal to publish their article. Knowing it was a quarterly published journal, the team knew it would take some time to see the published article, but the journal's last issue came out in April/June 2016, with no indication of any future issues. With no response from the editorial team, Steve asked Diane for her assistance. 

Diane Johnson

"I contacted Diane Johnson in January to see if she had heard of this journal either having troubles or if she knew of a better contact. Her persistence paid off, in that we were able to get the most responsive contact from Wolters Kluwers to date. The lead author emailed this contact and we found out a day later that the journal would release us from copyright obligations due to a prolonged contractual dispute. We have moved on, and just sent this paper to another journal. But we would still likely be stuck in limbo if Diane hadn't followed through with her great service. I am consistently impressed with the library's attention to service. Thank you!" 
 

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. 

Taira Meadowcroft

Taira Meadowcroft is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Missouri. She focuses on quality improvement, emergency medicine, and social media for the health sciences library.

Judy Siebert Maseles Retires from the Engineering Library

Judy Siebert Maseles, Engineering Librarian and Web Administrator, retired last week after working for the University of Missouri Libraries for 36 years. Her retirement party was held this past Monday at the Engineering Library. The party, filled equally with library collegues and Engineering faculty and staff, celebrated her long and successful career at the University Libraries.

Judy started her career at MU as a science librarian in 1980. From the beginning, she took an interest in technology which shaped her career moving foward. In 1988 she moved to the Engineering Library as Head of the Science Branch Libraries and in 2007 she took on the role as Web Adminstrator for the University Libraries.

In addition to her librarian responsibilities, Judy was involved in a number of projects. In 1999 she helped form ET@MO, MU's organization to improve teaching and learning using technology. In 2006, she combined the DoIT computing lab with the Engineering library to create a multifunctional study space. Later on she added two large screen TVs to the study rooms. This past month, those TVs were replaced with four LCD TV screens with easy HDMI hookups for laptops. As Web Adminstrator, her and the web advisory group published several website redesigns. She also helped roll out E-Reserves, LibGuides, LibAnswers and most recently the LibCal calendar all of which are vital to the functions of the library.

Judy's work and presence in the libraries will be greatly missed.

See below for some photos from her retirement reception! Congratulations Judy!

Student post: Satan, Twitter, and the Significance of Sick Burns

This post is by Alec Stutson, a student in Dr. Megan Peiser's English 2100 class. Dr. Peiser brought her class to Special Collections several times over the course of the semester to work with materials illustrative of the history of books and reading. Alec worked with a collection of American and British pamphlets related to the musical Hamilton.  He can be reached on Twitter at @padawanovelist.

Culture is a constantly shifting and hard to define concept. Changes in language, styles, and the ever-tumultuous nature of world news and politics leads to cultures that are constantly in flux, reacting and incorporating new elements. When it comes to literary theory, culture plays a large part in how literature is interpreted and discussed. In Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide by Lois Tyson, Tyson outlines a particular school of thought, called Cultural Criticism, which deals directly with the ways that a culture interacts with, reacts to, and interprets not only literature, but real-world events. Cultural Criticism believes that “human history and culture constitute a complex arena of dynamic forces” and that “individual […] selfhood develops in a give-and-take relationship with its cultural milieu: while we are constrained [by our culture …] we may struggle against those limits and transform them.” This means that through the lens of Cultural Criticism, we may analyze works not only on their own merits, but how they influence and pull from the culture in which they were created. Of all the popular works of literature in recent memory, none lend themselves as well to this theoretical approach as Hamilton, the hip-hop musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda about America’s “Ten-dollar Founding Father,” Alexander Hamilton. In Miranda’s smash-hit musical, he tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, from his unlikely upbringing to his early death at the hands of his lifelong frenemy, Aaron Burr. However, Miranda doesn’t do this in the usual, song-and-dance show-toon fashion. Instead, he tells the story through Hip-Hop. Think less Les Misérables, more Jay Z. Further more, modern pop-culture has taken the language and references of Hamilton, and incorporated them, where they have taken on a life of their own as memes and inside-jokes on social media platforms like Tumblr and Twitter. Let’s take a look at how the issues facing Alexander Hamilton were interpreted by his contemporary culture, how Lin-Manuel Miranda told those stories through Hip-Hop, and how modern internet culture has embraced the musical, and injected it into its own vocabulary.

The conflict underlying the first example is the fierce debate that raged between the Federalist and Anti-Federalist parties. During the foundational years of the US, there was much debate over how the country should be structured and run into the future. It is easy for us moderners to forgot that the laws and inner working of our country were not always so set in stone. America started out as a great experiment, it took many years and heated cabinet meetings to lay the groundwork that allows our country to survive and thrive. The Federalists, headed by Alexander Hamilton and George Washington, were mostly urban citizens, who believed that there should be a powerful central government that focused on economic regulation. Hamilton was a particularly strong supporter of a central bank. The Anti-Federalists on the other hand, were mostly rural, and wanted the states to operate as independent bodies who should handle their money and economies as they saw fit. This movement was mostly lead by Thomas Jefferson, whose disagreements with Alexander Hamilton were infamous, and are the groundwork for the next three items I’m going to analyze.

This is a political cartoon originally published in 1793, titled “A Peep into the Antifederal Club”. An attack cartoon against the anti-federalists, who were Alexander Hamilton’s political enemies, it depicts party leader Thomas Jefferson, rallying a rag-tag group of undesirables, including Satan himself. “What a pleasure it is to see one’s work thrive so well,” the devil says, looking at the group. Other members depicted include an obese drunk who damns the federal government, and a greedy money-counter sitting underneath Jefferson. All the while, Jefferson looms over like a cult leader, spouting mock-shakespearian prose about knocking over the federal government. At this point in history, this debate was imminent. It’s easy to look back at the values of both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, and see what worked and what didn’t. But in 1793, this was a battle for the soul of the country. Both sides believed that America would live or die based on what policies were enacted.

This cartoon gives a lot of insight into the values of the culture at the time, especially by looking at the charicatures that are presented. The most notable inclusion in the Antifederal club is that of Satan. The late 18th century was a deeply religious time in US History, with the majority of political players and voters being Christian. Portraying Jefferson and his cohorts as Atheistic or even worse, Devil-worshipping, was a massive character asassination. The artist goes so far as to say that the work of the party is the work of the devil himself. The american people at the time were so deeply religious, this would be comparable to satire today comparing the president to a terrorist leader. The inclusion of satan not only exposes the vitriol present in the political discourse at the time, but leads insight into the core values of American society at the time.

Up next is an excerpt from “Cabinet Meeting #1” in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton.  In it, the debate between Hamilton’s Federalist beliefs and Jefferson’s Anti-Federalist beliefs rage on in the form of a good ol’ fashioned Rap Battle, complete with mediator George Washington, and rowdy reactionary crowd made up of the other cabinet members. This retelling of political debate is a fascinating stylistic choice, and one of the many reason why Hamilton is so brilliant. Miranda takes policy debate about taxation and economics, which could easily have been boring or glossed over all together, and makes it into a highpoint of the musical, both lyrically and in terms of character development. Miranda weaves real-world allusions, such as Britain’s controversial tea taxation, and Hamilton’s proposed taxation of whiskey, into a catchy burn delivered by Jefferson. By translating a cabinet meeting into a rap battle, a concept brought into popularity by the movie 8 Mile, and the mega-popular YouTube channel “Epic Rap Battles of History”, Miranda not only engages the audience, but he translates the significance of these debates at the time into a language that is understandable by modern audiences.

Rap battles are confrontational by nature. Two rappers are pitted against one another and tasked with assaulting each other with insults that are both effective and lyrically clever. This contentious and adversarial nature mimics the passion with which Hamilton and Jefferson debated during the cabinet meetings. While this Intensity can often be lost in textbooks and history classes, Miranda makes it tangible through his interpretation. Additionally, rap battles have a winner and loser, decided by the crowd’s response and occasionally a judge. This ties into the nature of politics at the time as well. In the Federalist and Anti-federalist debates, one side had to emerge victorious, and it was up to Jefferson and Hamilton to not only convince Washington (the judge of the battle), but also to convince the other members of the cabinet to back them with votes (represented by the crowd’s reactions to the rappers insults). If Hamilton had a particularly compelling argument, Miranda portrays that as a clever and savage rhyme. If it gained a lot of traction with other cabinet members, that is shows through their reactions on stage. By translating this discussion to battle-rap format, Miranda is effectively able to convey important concepts and draw parallels, without losing any of the catchy-ness or wit present throughout the musical.

The final example to consider is this tweet by Twitter user @Cadyphippsie. This tweet is a step further removed from the federalist and anti-federalist debate that inspired Miranda, but it still offers an interesting look into the way that the internet incorporates concepts and other media into its own vernacular, and combines them using its own unique language, symbols, and implied meanings. From an outside, perspective, the tweet might not make a ton of sense. Sure, it can be assumed that the crowd is reacting to something, and that the smug looking character in the middle is the center of attention, but there is actually a little bit more going on behind the scenes.

The gif is taken from this sketch-parody YouTube video uploaded in 2013, called “The Rap Battle”. At the time of writing, the video is sitting pretty at over 13 Million views. The video is of a rap battle, where on participant is barely rapping, bur receives extremely exaggerated reactions from the crowd, while his opponent, who has some solid bars, can barely hold their attention. The video is funny, and gained a lot of traction based on its humor alone. However, the above gif was lifted from it, and began to see a rise in popularity as a reaction image: an image of gif used to express a reaction. Reaction images often have some sort of connotation associated with them, and they often serve as internet inside-jokes. The clip from Rap Battle became synonymous with a sick burn or savage insult. That’s precisely how it comes into play within the context of this Hamilton-related tweet. 

Not only is @Cadyphippsie acknowledging Miranda’s lyrical genius, but the gif almost serves as an endorsement of the message. The fact that these lyrics were chosen shows how they have resonated with modern audiences. While researching this post, I found numerous tweets and posts that were about “Cabinet Meeting #1”, and these particular lyrics condemning Thomas Jefferson’s use of slave labor popped up often. The gif has turned not only into shorthand for “look at this sick burn”, but by extent it reflects the agreement with the sentiment of the lyrics. On the Genius.com page for “Cabinet Meeting #1”, Miranda himself comments on these particular lyrics, saying “This line actually feels like we’re in a time machine and we actually get to speak truth to the real Jefferson — things that we could never say to him. […] He really participated in this brutal system. So this moment is really cathartic.” Miranda felt a sense of catharsis and gratification in writing these lines, and that obviously resonated with internet-savvy listeners. But rather than saying “I agree with Lin-Manuel Miranda”, Twitter users endorsed it in their own way, using a language of memes and instant-sharing that only could be communicated on the internet. In this way, the reaction image becomes more than a joke, and in a way reflects the values and mindset of modern society.

Thus, the battle between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists still sees attention and humor even today, although in a different form. As I said mentioned at the beginning, cultures are complicated, and the way they interact with media is incredibly complicated, and ever-changing. Whether it was religious symbolism, Hip-Hop throw-downs, or animated gif reactions, three complex cultures reacted to two complex men in their own special way that gives insight into their cultural values, traditions, and interests. And while many “classical” scholars might dismiss a meme or cartoon as low-brow and unworthy of analysis, cultural criticism shows that even these things can provide insightful analysis, and are worthy of attention and critique. It just goes to show that Satan, Rap Battles, and Twitter might have more in common than you might think.

Grace Atkins and Kelli Hansen Present at the Electronic Resources & Libraries Conference

Grace Atkins, User Engagement Librarian, and Kelli Hansen, Print Collections Librarian, Rare Books & Special Collections, gave a presentation on the News Hub at the Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) Conference on April 3rd. Both Grace and Kelli attended the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin, where the conference was held.

Immediately following their presentation, Grace presented #TheStruggleIsReal: How to Maintain Positive Social Media Engagement with Your Community Even When They're Saying Things You Don't Want to Hear with Allyssa Guzman, Digital Scholarship Librarian at the University of Texas at Austin. The two discussed using social media as a way to engage with library users, not simply to advertise.

The turn-out for Grace and Kelli's presentation, Library News Hub: Centralizing Marketing for Decentralized Outreach, demonstrated that lots of libraries are struggling with managing marketing and communications. The audience had questions about how to implement similar systems at their libraries.

Grace and Kelli started working on the News Hub in the summer of 2016. They didn't want to simply create another blog but to create a true content management system. With the help of testing conducted by the library's usability committee, they created a centralized system to compile announcements, post to social media, and create engaging emails and newsletters. Now they are focusing on the New Hub's ability to foster better communication with and among library staff. The News Hub's primary function is to be an anchor for distribution of marketing content across all of MU Libraries' digital communication channels.

Looking forward, Grace and Kelli see lots of possibilities for further use of the News Hub. In June, the marketing team will discuss what's working and what needs improvement at their annual retreat. They look forward to providing more personalized training for staff to become comfortable using the News Hub and surveying subscribers to the newsletters.

 

 

Jennifer Gravley

Reference and Instruction Librarian

Grace Atkins and Kate Wright Win Scholarships to Association of College & Research Libraries’ Annual Conference

Grace Atkins, User Engagement Librarian, won an Early-career Librarian Scholarship and Kate Wright, Library Specialist Sr. at the Engineering Library, won a Library Support Staff Scholarship to the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) annual conference in Baltimore, MD, March 22-25. This was Kate's first national conference and Grace's second time attending ACRL (she previously attended as a student).

Conference Highlights

Winning scholarships presented Grace and Kate with extra networking opportunities. They attended a breakfast for scholarship winners and were able to meet members of the scholarship committee. Business cards were exchanged at each table, with a twist. Each person wrote answers to two questions on the back of the card, allowing everyone a chance to get to know a little more about the others, both professionally and personally. Kate says it was a nice conversation starter.

Dr. Carla Hayden's keynote address was a "huge highlight" for Grace because she "worships her." Because of her scholarship, Grace was also able to attend the preconference workshop Running Effective OER and Open Textbook Initiatives at Your Academic Library. Grace says she tweets during sessions and connects with others who attended the session in person afterward. The conference events felt like "a reunion" to Grace because she was able to connect with librarians she attended graduate school with and meet the professionals they know.

Both Grace and Kate enjoyed ACRL because it is a large national conference–and yet focused at the same time.

Exploring Baltimore

Both Grace and Kate were able to attend a reception sponsored by the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) at the National Aquarium. Grace visited Edgar Allan Poe's grave, and Kate enjoyed exploring the Inner Harbor and the amazing restaurants, including this incredible French Dip.

Tips for Scholarship Success and Attending a National Conference

First, apply for scholarships, always! Grace recommends looking at the theme for the conference and tying that into your application. It needs to be clear that your interests connect with the theme of the conference. Kate recommends "getting over your fear" of showing your application essay to other colleagues. Having several people look over your materials helps you make sure that they are personalized. Sending a generic essay usually isn't successful.

As far as attending a large conference, be sure to download the conference app, if available. When it comes to scheduling your time, Grace recommends having a tentative schedule for each day but being flexible; for example, continuing a conversation with a knowledgeable colleague can be a valuable reason to alter your schedule. When making her schedule, Grace tries to balance sessions related to her current projects with her personal interests. This allows her to gain tools in areas where she is building her expertise while learning more about social justice within the profession. Grace also recommends asking yourself whether you are interested in a practical session about a particular tool or a session about theoretical approaches to a particular problem.

Choosing which sessions to attend can be a learning experience in and of itself. Kate recommends the career-oriented sessions for students on the job market. She attended several sessions relating to her current position, such as designing LibGuides and encouraging faculty to use open resources in the face of rising textbook costs. Kate also learned that it's okay to (politely) skip out early on occasion if you need to get to another session.

Jennifer Gravley

Reference and Instruction Librarian

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse with Special Collections and Government Documents

Emilee Howland-Davis’ English 1000 classes spent this semester reading the post-apocalyptic novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, which is presented as a series of first-hand accounts of the social and political implications of the zombie outbreak.  To provide a real-world perspective to this work of science fiction, they also studied materials related to disaster and survival in Government Documents and Special Collections. Materials the students considered included:

The students presented historical and rhetorical analyses of the materials in Ellis Library. Kudos to them for their hard work, and hats off to their innovative instructor for making such great use of library resources!

Cycle of Success: Gwen Gray, Kate Anderson, and Supporting Entrepreneurship

Gwen Gray
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.

Gwen Gray, Business, Economics & Public Poloicy Librarian, spearheads the libraries’ involvement with a variety of programs. Through her work with Entrepreneurship Alliance students, Gwen promotes the libraries as an integral resource for teaching and research. Greg Bier, Director of the Entrepreneurship Alliance, indicates her positive impact. “I just wanted to thank you for working with my Entrepreneurship Alliance students Tuesday,” Bier said. “I think it is very important that they understand the tools right at their fingertips on campus. Unfortunately, not many of them think of Ellis as one of them. I also think you change their opinions. Thanks for being a great help!”

Gwen strives to integrate library resources and services into MU’s entrepreneurship programs. One such program is the Biodesign & Innovation Program. Through her work, Gwen assists Biodesign Fellows as they seek out information and research. The Fellows she works with speak highly of the assistance she provides. “Our Biodesign Filtering presentation tonight was a great success,” one Fellow said. 

Kate Anderson

Kate Anderson is the head of the Zalk Vetinary Medical Library and works with Gwen on a number of projects, including that Biodesign Program and the Coulter Translational Partnership. In Coulter boot camps, teams of physicans and engineeers build their case for funding from the Coulter Foundation. The goal of the Coulter Foundation is to accelerate the translation of biomedical innovations into products the improve patient care.  

Because entrepreneurs need expertise and resources from multiple disciplines, Gwen and Kate collaborate extensively. The biodesign fellows and the boot camp participants often acknowledge Gwen’s and Kate’s teamwork.

  • “I wanted to say a big ‘THANK YOU!’ to both of you for getting us all the information we needed in such a short period of time. You both made the success of [our] presentation possible!”
  • “Thank you so much for checking in with us. It really means a lot to know we have your support!"
  • “Many thanks for your kind help in award.  Really appreciate [Gwen’s] help and Kate’s timely support.”
     


This active collaboration enables the Libraries to have a positive impact on the biotech entrepreneurial climate not only on campus but in the greater mid-Missouri region as well.


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

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Taira Meadowcroft

Taira Meadowcroft is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Missouri. She focuses on quality improvement, emergency medicine, and social media for the health sciences library.

Congratulations to the Undergraduate Research Contest Winners!

The University Librareis Undergraduate Research contest seeks to recognize and reward outstanding research conducted by undergraduate students at the University of Missouri.

In First place, and the recipient of a $500 scholarship, is Victor Topouria, a junior in journalism. His paper is titled, “The fabric road to power: geography of the textiles trade along the new Silk Road and China’s path to geopolitical dominance through the textiles supply chain”. Dr. Joseph Hobbs, professor of Geography, supported his submission saying, “Victor provided exceptional insight into the ways in which China is re-shaping the economics and geopolitics of Asia (and the world) through the medium of textiles.”

The Second place winner and recipient of a $250 scholarship is Samuel Mosher, a sophomore in history. His paper, “The suppression of the African slave trade in The Illustrated London News explored how The Illustrated London News, the world’s first weekly illustrated periodical, reported on Great Britain’s suppression of the African Slave Trade from 1842 to 1869. Dr. Domingues da Silva, Assistant professor of African History, supported his submission saying “Rarely have I seen another freshman student make such a complete use of the libraries’ resources to write a research paper. The paper’s quality and originality are beyond question.”

Special  thanks to the Friends of the University Libraries for their support of this award.

Federico Martinez-Garcia Presents on Diversity Standards

Federico Martinez-Garcia, Head of Access Services, co-presented a roundtable discussion (with Tarida Anantachai of Syracuse University) at the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) annual conference in Baltimore, MD, on March 23rd. Both are members of the ACRL Diversity Committee, which is in the process of revising the ACRL Diversity Standards.

Resteering the Standards: Revisiting the ACRL Diversity Standards & Cultural Competencies offered attendees insight into a 2015 survey, which highlighted issues missing from the current standards. Questions the roundtable considered included possible implications of revisions as well as the need for new concepts and terminology. Participants also discussed personal experiences regarding institutional commitment to and changing campus climates regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

Jennifer Gravley

Reference and Instruction Librarian

Noel Kopriva Presents on 4-H Digitization Project

Noel Kopriva, Agriculture Librarian, presented a poster at the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) annual conference in Baltimore, MD, on March 23rd. Bringing a Piece of 4-H History into the Twenty-First Century: Creating a 4-H Circulars Digital Collection at a Land-Grant Library was a collaboration between Noel and Felicity Dykas, Head of Digital Services. The poster introduced attendees to scope of the collection as well as the work done to make these items accessible to the public. Noel manages the project, and Felicity and her team digitized and cataloged the circulars.

In 1922, the Missouri Extension Service published its first circular aimed directly at children, the Boys' and Girls' 4-H Club Circular. Published into the 1960s, the circulars cover a wide variety of topics, including food and nutrition, music appreciation, livestock, gardening, sewing, posture, and more. The 4-H Circulars collection includes all the issues in the MU Libraries' collection (almost 200, housed in Special Collections and Rare Books) and is freely available in MOspace.

Jennifer Gravley

Reference and Instruction Librarian