You may notice some changes on the MU Libraries homepage. Over the summer, our team of electronic resource specialists implemented a new discovery tool: a simple and fast search engine that helps you find relevant information on any topic from the University of Missouri Libraries’ collections. Results contain citations for scholarly journal articles, books and e-books, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, dissertations, and many more resources. Give Discover @ MU a try, and if you have any questions, please contact the Ellis Library Reference Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Want to be more productive, research more effectively, and be more innovative in your teaching? Your Libraries can help with that! Add these three steps to your to-do list, and let us help you and your students on the path to success.
Put your subject librarian on speed dial. Did you know you have a dedicated consultant to help you with your research and teaching? Subject librarians and specialists teach students and faculty about research resources, help you find information, answer your teaching and research questions, and select books and journals purchased by the MU Libraries. They are also available for personal appointments to discuss research projects or problems. Find your subject specialist.
Register for a workshop. Our Fridays @ The Library workshop series covers resources and tools that can make your academic life easier. It works on your schedule, too. You can sign up for face-to-face sessions in the library, or participate online from anywhere via Blackboard Collaborate. Browse workshops.
Schedule a library instruction session. Librarians can help you teach students the skills to find, evaluate, and use quality resources for your research assignments. You can bring your class to the library for a customized instruction session or have us visit your class, in person or online. More information about instruction services.
The University of Missouri Libraries are creating the library of the future as a partner in the HathiTrust, an international community of research libraries committed to the preservation and availability of the cultural record. By digitizing and curating rare, fragile, and valuable scholarly materials, the University Libraries are helping to build an open access digital library available to scholars all over the world. The HathiTrust Digital Library is online at https://www.hathitrust.org/.
Among the University of Missouri’s contributions to the project are seven volumes of the Vetusta Monumenta, a landmark publication held in fewer than twenty libraries worldwide. Vetusta Monumenta provides important historical and cultural documentation of British antiquities, including the first published accounts of important single artifacts such as the Rosetta Stone, as well as visual evidence of monuments that have since been damaged or lost. The Libraries’ high-resolution scans of this lavishly illustrated, large-format work reveal the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century copperplate engravings in minute detail. Dr. Noah Heringman, a professor of English, collaborated with the Libraries on this project and is currently using the scans as the basis for a new scholarly edition of the work.
Although not all of our June numbers are in yet, we've topped our previous year's reference and instruction statistics yet again. We led about 180 class sessions and tours with over 1,900 total participants. We provided over 5,000 items from the collection for researchers and class use – an increase of almost 50% over last year. And we also answered over 1,300 reference questions!
Thanks to all our students and faculty for helping us to make this a great year. We're looking forward to continued service in 2016-17.
Actually, this post should be called "The Last Two Weeks in Special Collections," since we're changing to a biweekly format for summer. Campus and Ellis Library have been pretty quiet during intersession. We're taking advantage of the lull to catch up on projects throughout the department, including featuring more about Special Collections on Tumblr. We have lots of interesting materials waiting in the queue to share with you this summer, including a weekly series on comic supervillains, occasional peeks into the stacks, in-depth looks at our newest acquistions, videos, fore-edge paintings, forays into the field of digitization, and more.
Here are a few highlights from the last two weeks.
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.
The highlight of this week was our presentation on teaching diversity with material culture at the Celebration of Teaching, along with our friends at the Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Museum, the Museum of Art and Archaeology, the State Historical Society of Missouri, and the Mizzou Botanical Garden. If you'd like to incorporate objects, artifacts, documents, and landscapes into your teaching, let us know! We'd be happy to help, and we're always ready to team up with other collecting institutions on campus.
This was the final week of the semester! We saw lots of students wrapping up projects and putting finishing touches on papers, and we can't wait to share some of their research with you over the coming weeks.
Check out the Libraries! New Services and Resources
May 18, 10:00-10:50 am, room 30, Cornell Hall
Grace Atkins and Judy Maseles will be presenting on learning management systems and open educational resources. The Libraries can now deliver customized library landing pages with subject-specific LibGuides, Databases, E-Reserves, and subject-expert librarians right inside your Blackboard or Canvas platform. High-quality, peer-reviewed, Open Educational Resources can also be found all over the open web. But which ones are the best for MU instructors and their courses? Learn about all of the work that is happening on campus to support instructor use and creation of OERs and how you can incorporate library resources within your courses.
Diverse Objects, Diversity Discussions: Teaching Strategies with Material Culture
May 18, 3:00-3:50 pm, room 44, Cornell Hall
Museums, libraries, and archives are places where students can meet the world’s many cultures and explore ethnic and gender diversity in their own communities. In this interactive session, participants will be encouraged to craft their own strategies for teaching using artifacts and primary sources from several collections on the University of Missouri campus. Professionals from several different campus collections will also offer their perspectives on teaching and assignment strategies, and the types of collection materials available. This session may be a first step for faculty interested in setting up consultations with librarians, archivists, or curators who can contribute to their courses.
We also hosted our last three class sessions of the semester: a work session for an English class who has been visiting us all semester (you'll hear more about them in the next few weeks) and two sections of English 1000. Finals week starts next week!