Student assistants play an important role to the success of the University of Missouri Libraries. In fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017), the University Libraries employed 244 students. Those 244 students worked in over 30 units throughout Ellis library and the all of the specialty libraries and off-campus locations. Students assist in everything from helping patrons checkout books and answering reference questions; to working behind the scenes to shelve, catalog, and digitize materials. Every aspect of the operations of the libraries are affected and aided by our student workforce. Our student assistants contributed over 45,000 hours of work time to the mission of the Libraries; upholding the values of Access, People, Service, and Stewardship.
Summer classes are in session and that means it's time for you to take part in the Scavenger Hunt at Ellis Library. Almost 2000 students have already completed it. Now it's your turn!
Get on your feet and go explore Ellis Library with this interactive challenge. On your way, you will become better acquainted with library spaces and services while decreasing your library anxiety, all at your own pace. Come with friends or come alone. It will be waiting for you!
You can join the hunt using your smartphone or mobile device. Go to http://library.missouri.edu/ScavengerHunt to begin!
Green Screen Rooms are now available in 2E21 and 3E21 located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of Ellis Library. To reserve these rooms for up to 2 hours, go online to the room reservation calendar on the library’s homepage.
You can use the green screen wall to replace the background of your photography and video projects with different settings. Then, use Adobe Photoshop or Premiere on one of the Mac computers in the Digital Media Commons Lab to edit your work.
Equipment is available for checkout at the Circulation Desk with a student ID. We have cameras, camcorders, tripods, microphones, portable green/blue screens, and many other items that will help you complete your project.
Go to https://libraryguides.missouri.edu/DigitalMediaCommons to learn more!
Come join the Scavenger Hunt at the Ellis Library. Almost 2000 students have already completed it. It is your turn!
You will quickly be aquainted with library spaces and services while decreasing your library anxiety, all at your own pace. Come with friends or come alone! It will be waiting for you!
Bring a Smartphone or a tablet and start here: http://library.missouri.edu/ScavengerHunt
For this Staff Spotlight, we sat down with Amy Spencer. Amy recently graduated with a double major in linguistics and theatre design and a minor in Russian, and she's been our Special Collections undergraduate assistant for four years. She's moving on to new adventures at the end of next month, and we will miss her!
What are your plans after graduation?
Spend the summer in Columbia, working with the MU Theatre Department, then off to the University of Illinois in the fall to start grad school for Library and Information Science.
What type of work do you do in Special Collections?
I do a lot of different things around the department. I do a lot of reshelving of materials after patrons and classes use them. I answer questions at the desk and occassionally write posts for our blog. Every once in a while I'll design a display for our reading room, but mostly I just help out with whatever needs done that day or what the librarians need me to do to help them. [Editor’s note: The librarians would like to suggest that Amy’s job has been to come up with new and inventive solutions for any and all vexatious problems that have come up during her tenure here.]
What is a typical day like?
I usually start off my shift at the reference desk in our reading room. While I'm there, I'll do some blogging or another computer-based project. Once I'm off the desk, I'll do something like reshelving or pulling books for a class. Recently my big project has been going through our Spec-M collection and straightening items on the shelf and pulling things that need re-housed. So that's something I've put a lot of time in on when nothing else needs done that day.
What has been your favorite project since you've been here?
A couple of years ago, the annual display we do in conjunction with the Life Sciences Symposium was themed "The Science of Superheroes," and I got to help with a big part of that display since I like comics so much. It was a lot of fun to get to help with that and really get to dive into our comics collection.
Today is the 175th anniversary of the founding of the University of Missouri on February 11, 1839. We're joining in on the celebrations by sharing the very first University of Missouri catalog, one of the oldest items in the University of Missouri Collection. It wasn't issued until 1843 – that's the first year the university had a senior class – but it's an important piece of our history and shows just how far we've come over these 175 years.
As you can see below, the first senior class was made up of five students – two of whom were named Robert Todd. If you've been around Columbia for a year or two, you may recognize some of the other last names on buildings and street signs around town.
There were no majors back then. Everyone took the same course of study, which was divided into three sessions per year.
"The University of Missouri having been permanently organized by the Board of Curators, and being now in successful operation, invites the candid attention of the public to its claims for general patronage."
For more on the history of the university, check out the digital exhibits available through the University Archives.
Fall is in the air, and students are everywhere! As we welcome members of this record-breaking freshman class, it may be interesting to see how their predecessors dealt with the first weeks of classes at MU twenty-five, fifty, and even 100 years ago.
100 Years Ago
The Savitar yearbook published a fictitious freshman's diary in 1911, which describes in humorous and exaggerated terms the experiences of a bumbling new student from rural Hemlock, Missouri. He describes his first sight of the Quad, and the now-defunct tradition of freshman beanies:
The schoolhouses are all set around just like the town square at Hemlock except that there are six pillars covered with vines in the middle. As soon as I came up on the walk on the square, some fellows grabbed me and made me shine shoes. There are big signs pasted all over telling the freshmen to buy caps. They tell me that I'll have to wear a red one but I won't do it because my hair is red. [see source online]
The university bulletin for 1911 records a total enrollment of 2,956 students in the Columbia campus. One hundred years later, enrollment at MU is more than ten times that number.
50 Years Ago
The current student newspaper, the Maneater, was in publication by 1955. In the first week of classes in 1961, it reported that the new Arts and Science Building was nearing completion and would be in use later that semester. The new building would feature a language laboratory, increased classroom space, a public address and intercom system, and a special classroom equipped with closed-circuit television. And – perhaps most importantly – air conditioning.
The Arts and Science Building was home to the departments of English, History, German and Russian, and Romance Languages when it opened in 1961. Classrooms and office space for these departments had previously been in Jesse Hall.
25 Years Ago
During the first week of classes in 1986, the Maneater documented registration delays. Long lines of students snaked through the stairwells and corridors of Brady Commons, and the newspaper commented:
Director of Admissions Gary L. Smith said when the first online computers were used for registering students in April of 1985, approximately 40 to 50 students could be registered in five minutes. But things were going a lot slower this week at Brady.
Student registrations were taxing the processing power of MU's relatively new computer network, causing the slowdown. Over the past 25 years, various computerized registration systems have made waiting in line at Brady Commons obsolete – and Brady itself has become part of the new Student Center.
Want to Know More?
Records of of past student life, including documents, publications, photos, and memorabilia, are at the University Archives. Special Collections also holds the student publications mentioned above, and over 100 years of the Savitar (1891-2000) are available in the University of Missouri Digital Library.