home Cycle of Success, Gateway Carousel, Special Collections and Archives MU Libraries Receives NEH Grant to Renovate Ellis Library West Stacks for Special Collections and Archives

MU Libraries Receives NEH Grant to Renovate Ellis Library West Stacks for Special Collections and Archives


The University of Missouri Libraries was awarded a prestigious $500,000 Infrastructure and Capacity Building Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This funding will be used to renovate the West Stacks in Ellis Library to provide climate-controlled storage for Special Collections and Archives. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2024.

“This renovation will benefit students and researchers by ensuring our distinctive collections are housed in appropriate conditions for long-term preservation,” says Deborah Ward, Interim Vice Provost for Libraries. “We are grateful to the NEH for their support of this project.”

Built in 1936, the West Stacks consists of eight levels of structural stacks that connect the Ellis west addition to the original stacks built in 1915. The renovation will enable all eight levels to house rare and archival collections, which are currently scattered throughout Ellis Library in wings built in 1915, 1936 and 1958 or off-site in a high-density storage facility.

Special Collections and Archives is home to a diverse selection of rare, unique and historic materials across distinct formats: manuscripts, papers, rare books, maps, posters, comic art, architectural plans, photographs and film. Significant collections include the papers of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson, the Gary E. and Janet J. Venable Antiquarian Atlas and Map Collection, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, and the University Archives, including many other collections.

“These materials are valuable assets for secondary and university teaching, and they attract scholars from other universities,” stated MU Provost Latha Ramchand. “In addition, the University Libraries actively participates in digitization projects that allow the collections to be used internationally through such efforts as the Hathi Trust.”

The grant provides a 3:1 ratio matching challenge, which the Libraries will meet by raising 1.5 million dollars in donor funding. For more information and to donate to the project, contact Matt Gaunt, Director of Advancement, at gauntm@missouri.edu.

National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.

home Cycle of Success Nine Years Old and Alone in 1889

Nine Years Old and Alone in 1889

“If a child picked up coal at a Kansas City train yard in 1889, how much money might he get for one bucket”?

This intriguing question was recently submitted to the MU Libraries by Mary Hadreas of Astoria, Oregon. Only after answering the question did we find out why she was asking.

Marie Concannon, Head of Government Information, knew where to find the price of coal in Kansas in 1889. Unfortunately it was expressed in price per ton. She shared the question with Cade McKnelly, a student assistant in the Government Information office. Cade is an Economics major and is great with mathematical questions. He found the volume of a ton of coal and performed the calculations, arriving at an answer: the child might receive one cent for each bucket of coal gathered.

Mary Hadreas

When we sent this result back to Ms. Hadreas, she amazed us by saying that our response confirmed a family legend. According to the stories passed down through an elderly aunt, Shad Houston Whittaker (1880-1964) had left home to make his way in the world at age nine. The statement from his parents was “You are a big boy and it is time to take care of yourself,” and he did. He found his way to Kansas City by following the railroad track. Once there, he earned some money by gathering coal for a penny per bucket. Ms. Hadreas wanted to fact-check this remarkable story before committing it to her family history book. She found us through the “Prices and Wages by Decade” guide on the MU Libraries website.

As for Shad, despite starting out with so little, his was a story of resilience. From gathering coal, he worked his way up in a succession of railroad jobs, ultimately became an engineer!

We want to thank Ms. Hadreas for allowing us to share this inspiring story.

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.

Image of coal wagon: Historic Kansas City Foundation Collection (SC224)

home Workshops Discovery and Access: Researching with the MU Libraries’ Collections

Discovery and Access: Researching with the MU Libraries’ Collections

Date: Monday, April 11, 2022
Time: 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Register for online workshop.

The University Libraries’ collections are expansive: along with the millions of books housed in our campus libraries and off-site depository, we have access to millions of scholarly and popular articles through a multitude of subscriptions to databases and electronic journals.

When engaging with such a complex and multi-faceted body of materials, it’s natural to have questions: How can I tell whether the Libraries have access to a specific journal? Where can I obtain a copy of a book that our Libraries don’t own? And why is that article that I could access yesterday no longer available?

Learn more about the size, scope, and entryways into our collections in this webinar, designed especially for faculty, post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduate researchers.

home Resources and Services No Disruption to MOBIUS

No Disruption to MOBIUS

Good news! The MU Libraries will NOT be losing access to MOBIUS as previously announced. Service will continue uninterrupted. Stay tuned in the coming months for more information about this summer’s system updates!

Please see the UM System Libraries website for more information in the coming weeks.

home Events and Exhibits Celebrate National Library Week!

Celebrate National Library Week!

Come celebrate National Library Week in Ellis Library! National Library Week (April 3 – 9, 2022) is a time to celebrate our nation’s libraries, library workers’ contributions and promote library use and support.

The MU Libraries are using this week to welcome our new peer navigators! Peer navigators are students who can answer your library questions when visiting Ellis Library. If you have a quick question, visit the Ask Here desk in the colonnade to get your answer. If you have a more in-depth research question, the peer navigators can get you connected with a librarian who can help. As an added bonus, this week we will be handing out library stickers and snacks! There will be GoPo Gourmet Popcorn while supplies last.

Grab a sticker and a snack and meet the new peer navigators!

home Hours Spring Break Hours

Spring Break Hours

The Mizzou Libraries will have reduced hours during Spring Break. For a complete listing of all library hours, visit http://library.missouri.edu/hours/.

Ellis Library: Spring Break
March 26 (Sat) 10am to 2pm
March 27 (Sun) Closed
March 28–April 1 (Mon–Thu) 7:30am to 7pm
April 2 (Fri) 7:30am to 5pm
April 3 (Sat) 10am to 2pm
April 4 (Sun) Resume regular hours – Noon to Midnight

home Cycle of Success Marie Concannon Receives Two Awards from National Library Association

Marie Concannon Receives Two Awards from National Library Association

Marie Concannon, head of government information and data archives for MU Libraries, was chosen for two awards by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

Concannon was selected as the 2022 recipient of the RUSA History Section’s Genealogy/History Achievement Award, sponsored by ProQuest for her creation, research and management of the Prices and Wages by Decade library guide as well as her service to the library community and ALA. The award consists of a citation and a monetary award to a librarian, library or publisher, in recognition of professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service, or research librarianship.

In addition, she received the RUSA Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Services Award for outstanding achievement in creating the Prices and Wages by Decade library guide, and for supporting a more informed citizenry by making economic history more easily accessible to all.

The Prices and Wages guide, which helps researchers locate primary sources showing historic retail prices and average wages, links mainly to government reports, but also includes catalogs and newspapers when relevant. The research guide has found fans across campus, the state, and the world since Marie Concannon, Head of Government Information, created it in 2012.

Esteemed research scientist Jay Zagorsky, who collects data for the National Longitudinal Surveys of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is one of the latest scholars to use the detailed lists of resources for prices and wages throughout the history of the U.S. Zagorsky investigated how prices at high end restaurants have changed since 1899 using menus found via the guide.

Jeannette Pierce, associate university librarian for research, access, and instructional services, stated, “We are very excited to see that Marie’s hard work on this guide is being recognized. Marie’s expertise in the area of government information combined with her commitment to providing excellent service to library users makes her the perfect person to receive these awards.”

Laying the Research Foundation

This guest post is written by Dr. Jennifer O’Connor, Associate Teaching Professor and Dr. Becky Largent, Assistant Teaching Professor at the Sinclair School of Nursing.

What do you do with 60+ brand new doctoral students to get them on the right track as they begin their research? Talk to your librarian, of course.

Navigating MU’s Health Sciences Library resources can be overwhelming for new students, particularly those in distance mediated programs, such as nursing. As a part of a week-long intensive orientation, Rebecca Graves, our Health Sciences librarian, provides a two-hour workshop each summer to prepare nursing PhD and Doctor of Nursing Practice students for several years of research activities.

Dr. Jennifer O’Connor

This two-hour workshop focuses on how to perform database searches and use reference management tools. In an interactive process, Rebecca guides our students through the search process with special emphasis on specific search techniques and strategies for ongoing organization of research materials. She has also made herself available to assist faculty whenever we have called. Rebecca has been willing to share her knowledge with students whenever needed, be it in the summer for a large group of doctoral students, via Zoom or in person, or in a variety of one-on-one meetings.

Dr. Becky Largent

Even through the pandemic, she continued to be a valuable resource for those students who were unexpectedly at a distance though individual and group Zoom meetings. As faculty, we count on Rebecca to help lay the foundation necessary for students to understand and implement evidence-based practice strategies. A Review of the Literature is one of the first major assignments in a doctoral program and can be a daunting undertaking—our health science librarian shows the students the path where all they see are tall weeds. “It’s like magic!” one student notes.

Rebecca S. Graves

Rebecca’s interactive style and health sciences knowledge is the blend students need to feel comfortable seeking support from Rebecca while knowing the guidance she is providing is accurate and usable. Many doctoral students have been away from academia for some time. The research and writing components of a doctoral program are typically the most intimidating aspects of seeking a terminal degree. Rebecca breaks down these very daunting aspects of doctoral education and makes them feel manageable and accomplishable.

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.

TAGS:

Taira Meadowcroft

Taira Meadowcroft is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Missouri. She focuses on quality improvement, reference, and marketing for the University of Missouri Libraries.

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Welcome, Peer Navigators!

Welcome, Peer Navigators!

This semester, the Research and Information Services Division of Ellis Library is fortunate to have undergraduate students providing assistance at the “Ask Here” desk in the colonnade on the first floor of Ellis Sundays-Thursdays. Their purpose is to create a more accessible environment for students to ask questions​. They will be giving directions, making referrals, and helping with behind-the-scenes projects. We are so excited to welcome them to the library!

home Resources and Services Books That Pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test

Books That Pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test

Originally written by Danielle Gorman in Spring 2021

From Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, how many books do you know that barely pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test? The Bechdel-Wallace Test is a measurement used to determine the representation of women in media. There are only three requirements needed for a piece of media to pass this test. It must have at least two female characters, they must both have names, and they must talk to each other about something other than a man. While that may seem easy enough, some of the most popular pieces of media are still struggling to pass the test. This month, for Women’s History Month, we are highlighting some books that not just pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test but surpass the three requirements and focus on strong female-led stories by fantastic female authors! You can find these reads available at Mizzou libraries or request through our website.

 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

If you are looking for a classic read to celebrate Women’s History Month, then Little Women is the perfect choice for you. This story follows four sisters—Meg, Amy, Beth, and Jo March— as they come of age during the Civil War. The timeless novel tackles themes such as first love, friendship, grief, and the bond of family; any reader can find themselves hidden inside these pages and characters. Perfect for any age, you’ll leave this story feeling heart-warmed and emotionally invested in this lively story.

 

Circe by Madeline Miller

This bestselling novel takes one of the most infamous Greek figures and turns her story on its head, leaving the reader routing for a newfound hero. Perfect for those interested in mythology and action-packed novels, Madeline Miller weaves a hypnotic and captivating story filled with beautiful language and characters. Circe will leave you attached to Miller’s mastery of storytelling and entranced by the power of a well-written female lead.

 

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

If you haven’t yet gotten the chance to read this highly praised novel, this month is an excellent time to grab it from one of our libraries! The Handmaid’s Tale is an unforgettable, must-read novel that is great for readers looking for a heartbreaking yet eye-opening story. Set in dystopian America, this story follows Offred’s perspective, one of the women forced into the role of a “Handmaid”; women used to help reproduce children for the Republic of Gilead. Atwood’s writing is captivating and devastating. She perfectly crafts a page-turning story that leaves the reader searching for answers on every single page.

 

 

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

The first novel in the four-part series, The Neapolitan Novels, My Brilliant Friend, tells the heartbreaking yet touching story of two young girls growing up in Naples in the 1950s. Elena Ferrante is a master at her craft, perfectly capturing the story of two best friends who come-of-age during a time where it feels like everything around them is falling apart. This novel leaves you aching for these characters’ struggles and places you directly onto the page with them. It is a must-read for those looking for a novel with strong friendships and characters that stick with you long after you close the book.

 

 

Sula by Toni Morrison

In this brilliant novel, Toni Morrison beautifully captures the female experience inside of a short 200-pages. We follow the story of Sula and Nel, two childhood best friends who grow apart in adulthood due to an unforgivable betrayal. This novel shows the unbreakable bond that can last between two women through all the good and bad experiences of life. Sula is a tragic and sometimes upsetting novel that is told with both love and bitterness. Morrison mixes all the messy emotions of life and creates a stunning story that leaves the reader comforted and wounded by its impact. This novel is truly a must-read piece of literature!

By Danielle Gorman / English Intern / Spring 2021
TAGS:

Taira Meadowcroft

Taira Meadowcroft is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Missouri. She focuses on quality improvement, reference, and marketing for the University of Missouri Libraries.