The Missouri Library Association’s Outstanding New Librarian Award recognizes an early-career librarian who has made a significant contribution to the improvement and advancement of library and information services in the state of Missouri. Grace Atkins, the Outreach & Open Education Librarian for the University of Missouri Libraries, has been chosen for this year. She received her Master of Science in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin School of Information in May 2015. At the iSchool, she specialized in Academic Libraries and Digital Libraries. She entered into the position of User Engagement Librarian at the University of Missouri in August 2015, and worked to improve the user experience in Ellis Library. Over the two-year period she has been at Mizzou, her role has evolved into outreach for all nine libraries on campus. This past year, Grace has focused on outreach, communication, and marketing to reach library users. She worked with the marketing and social media teams, and collaborated on creating a library newshub, which provides a way for library staff and users to share information about updates on services, collections, staff, workshops, and other events. As the liaison for student outreach, she established a University Libraries Student Advisory Council, which has greatly improved communication between library administration and student leaders. In Spring 2017, she partnered with MU’s Student Affairs office to pass a student fee in which a portion of the funding goes toward student-focused library services, such as keeping the main library open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Grace is also a campus coordinator for a UM system Affordable & Open Educational Resources (AOER) initiative, which is working to create a more equitable learning environment for students by significantly reducing the cost of textbooks and other course materials. As a new MOBIUS system leader for the Open Textbook Network, she will be providing training to librarians throughout the consortia on how to use the Open Textbook Library.
If you are interested in regional news coverage, consider taking a look at the University of Missouri Libraries’ trial of ProQuest Historical Newspapers: St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Search the contents of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 1874-2003, including news articles, photos, advertisements, classified ads, obituaries, cartoons, and more. The easily searchable interface will lead you to first-hand accounts from the time, reporting on politics and other events, and tales of local society.
Sept. 22 1– 2 p.m.
It is your responsibility as a news consumer to be critical and skeptical. This session will share fact-checking and verification techniques to assist you in determining whether what you are reading online is fact or fake.
Sandy Schiefer, Missourian Newspaper Librarian
Workshop is offered simultaneously in two formats:
Face-to-face in Rm. 213 Ellis Library and live online.
To Register: tinyurl.com/MULibrariesworkshops
Today, Friday September 15, 2017, David C. Novak donates $21.6 million for the Novak Leadership Institute.
The Journalism Library supports the Novak Leadership Institute with library resources and a new and inviting space for all to use and enjoy.
If your research interests include mass media, communications theory, linguistics, organizational communication, phonetics, or speech pathology, you may be interested in the University of Missouri Libraries’ trial of Communication Source. Developed from the merger of Communication & Mass Media Complete and Communication Abstracts, this resource includes nearly 700 full-text journals and indexes more than 1,000 core titles, with coverage dating back to 1915. Search journals, magazines, conference papers, conference proceedings, and trade publications.
Although University Libraries had planned for a $1.3 million reduction in its collection expenditures for 2017-2018, these cuts will not go forward this year. Because of the huge impact this cut would have had on researchers at MU and the other campuses, the University administration has agreed to cover the Libraries’ collections fund deficit. The Libraries are thankful that this decision was made, and we will continue to make every effort to provide the resources that are most critical to the work of our faculty and students.
This year’s projected $1.3 million cut reflected a reduction in the campus budget and expected journal inflation costs. A cut this large in the Libraries budget would have left us unable to afford journal package deals from major academic publishers, and we would have had to start negotiating the purchase of individual journal titles with reduced collection funds. These actions would have affected all UM system libraries due to cooperative buying agreements between the campuses.
Budget shortfalls of this magnitude have been an ongoing problem for the Libraries. Last fiscal year, the Libraries had a $1.2 million collection cut. This led to a 20% cut to the collection funds of all subject specialists. We also negotiated all of our journal packages down, so that we are receiving fewer journals, primarily in the sciences. In addition, the number of journal titles we rent instead of own was increased. Consequently, we continue to work with faculty and students to maintain access to needed resources through Interlibrary Loan service and increased use of open access.
We are happy to report that our collections will be minimally affected by this year’s budget. Some packages will be re-negotiated, and to balance journal cuts to the sciences made last year, the book funds for the humanities and social sciences are being reduced 20%. However, because the increasing cost of journals is an ongoing issue for the Libraries, the subject specialist librarians will continue to communicate with and ask for input from the faculty and students in their areas. Thank you to everyone who has already provided input on collection decisions and please contact your subject librarian with any questions or concerns.
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 provide all Missourians the benefits of a world-class research university.” This summer, students in the Missouri Scholars Academy reaped those benefits.
The Missouri Scholars Academy brings 330 gifted rising high school juniors from around the state to our campus. Ben Batzer, one of 2017 instructors, described how this residential program benefits Missouri’s most gifted high school students: “They take intensive classes in the fields of their choosing, attend a lecture and speaker series, and learn ways they can become engaged citizens in their schools and community.”
Ben’s students were researching late twentieth-century topics that related science to science fiction. Rachel Brekhus, Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian, guided the students by giving them a tour of Ellis Library and showing them how to find primary historical sources and secondary scholarly sources. She demonstrated how to use online databases to find scholarly information and historical newspapers.
“My students worked with Rachel in conducting periodical research,” Ben said, “which allowed them to pursue queries of their own choosing in order to better understand the historical and cultural influences that bear on literary production. For many students, this project was the most sustained research they had ever conducted.”
Here are a few of the many positive remarks students had about their experience working with Rachel:
- Thank you for being so passionate about what you do.
- Thank you for guiding us through the magical world of the library!
- I’ve spent a lot of time in that library and I probably would have gotten lost if it wasn’t for you!
- Thank you for sharing your passion for research and your love of the library with us!
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.
Join us on September 25th at 1 pm in Hulston Hall 7 for the next event in our series about this year’s One Read Program pick, Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II by Richard Reeves. Dr. Jacqueline Font-Guzmán, a professor of Law at Creighton University and a certified mediator and arbitrator by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, will present. Her research explores healthcare disparities, law, and conflict engagement in addition to how marginalized individuals create counter-narratives to address institutional injustice.
Snacks will be provided thanks to the Friends of the University of Missouri Libraries.
The One Read Program, which promotes conversations regarding diversity, inclusion, and social justice through students, faculty, and staff reading a particular book together, is sponsored by Mizzou Law and Mizzou Libraries. For more information, see this guide or visit the exhibit through September 29. Copies of the book are available for checkout.
Once a year during Staff Recognition Week, the Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award is given to one person in each of four job categories. The award “represents those who best reflect honor upon the University and the community through a combination of job performance, job-related personal qualities, relationship with their associates, and the ability to relate their work to the missions and values of the University.” Considering the number of employees currently employed at MU, this is a great honor. Ellis Library is lucky enough to have an amazing staff member who won the Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award this year, Michaelle Dorsey, head of our physical processing/preservation unit.
Tell us a little about your background and experience?
I have a BFA in painting and a BA in English Literature from Truman State University. In May 2017, I earned my Master of Arts Degree in Information Science and Learning Technologies with an emphasis in Library Science (what a mouthful!). While at Truman State University, I was a student assistant in the physical processing unit at Pickler Library. I started at Ellis Library in 1994.
What’s the most arduous task you have?
Hands down, the most arduous task is disaster recovery. Disaster recovery is mentally and physically exhausting. In addition, for library staff, damage to the physical collection and the building elicit strong emotions that last well into the recovery process. During the 2011 fire, it was difficult to work against the clock, directing the salvage of physical library materials, finding resources needed to continue the effort, acting as mediator between areas with different priorities while dealing with the emotional and psychological ramifications of the vandalism. After the initial recovery effort, library routine goes back to normal but recovery of damaged library materials is an ongoing process for Technical Services staff long after the initial event.
Is there any task you enjoy doing personally, rather than delegating?
There are many parts of my job that I enjoy. However, I’m happiest when performing preservation and conservation treatment. As my responsibilities as a manger grow, I have less time to personally repair library materials. This is sometimes hard for me to reconcile. I derive great satisfaction from working with my hands, knowing that through my efforts, library resources continue to be available for scholars, students, and researchers. However, I remind myself that the more skills I pass along to those I supervise, the more impact we can have on the state of the MU Libraries Collection.
Now that you’ve completed your Master’s degree, what are you working on?
The MU School of Information Science and Learning Technologies doesn’t offer a conservation component so I focused on digital preservation and digital libraries. I’m currently apprenticing with James Downey, a local conservator. Mr. Downey and I are working with MU Special Collections to identify RARE items in our collection that need conservation treatment. The plan is for me to begin performing conservation treatment in-house.
You currently work on preservation, but are still learning conservation. What is the difference between the two?
Preservation treatment and conservation treatment require similar hand skills but the decision-making, purpose, and philosophy differ. Preservation prolongs the life of library materials in the general collection, allowing them to remain viable to the user with the idea that they are not currently rare and can be replaced or are owned by a large number of other institutions. Conservation is performed to prolong the life of the item for a benchmark of 300 years (as long as it is kept in the proper environment) with an eye towards retaining the content and the historical significance of the physical object, and as much of the original materials and structure as possible. The idea is to do only as much as is necessary to keep the material stable using materials and processes that will not increase deterioration and are reversible if needed.
Ellis Library will be open from noon on Sunday until midnight on Friday and from 8 am until midnight on Saturday starting Sept. 5.
Students have consistently asked for longer hours, and thanks to the Enhance Mizzou Student Fee the hours have been extended to meet student needs.
- Only students, faculty and staff with a valid Mizzou ID will be allowed in the library from midnight to 7 am.
- Library users will have access to all floors of the library during the extended hours.
- Service hours, such as check-out and reference, will not be extended, but the self-checkout machine is always available.
- At certain times of the evening only the West entrance (by Speaker’s Circle) of Ellis Library will be open.
For a complete list of all library hours, including around holidays and intersession, please visit library.missouri.edu/hours.
If you have questions or concerns about using the library overnight, Pat Jones, Head of Library Security, and Dana Houston, Senior Security Officer, share security information and safety tips.
What security measures are in place?
During the overnight hours, there will be three security officers inside Ellis Library, one stationed at each entrance and one roving officer, meaning that officer will be walking throughout the building.
Approximately 18 security cameras will be added to the outside of the building soon. More and better lighting outside the building is also in the works. There are already approximately 20 security cameras throughout the inside of the building.
All security officers are Red Cross certified, and the library has a defibrillator. MU Police Department officers will arrive within 3-5 minutes if they are needed at any time.
What is the number one complaint library security officers receive?
Talking in the quiet areas!
Do you have any safety tips for students who plan to use the library overnight?
- Intoxicated students will not be allowed entrance. The library is a place to do research and study.
- Any time you feel unsafe or are being bothered by another individual, go to a security desk or tell the roving officer.
- If you can, stay at the security desk to talk to the officer and answer a few questions. Additional details can help the officer solve the problem.
- You can request an MU PD escort to an on-campus location by calling 573-882-7201. Escorts are done on foot.
- Use the buddy system if possible. If not, call someone to say when you’re leaving and what route you’re taking.
- Always walk in lit areas after dark.
What is the number one thing to know about safety in the library?
Again, any time you feel unsafe for any reason or are being bothered by another individual, tell a security officer.