| Library website
Although the library's home page has had the same look now for the third year in a row, we keep updating and expanding the resources behind that web site front door. For instance, a recent addition (through the efforts of Sue Hemp, part-time librarian) is a compilation of government research and statistical databases. The range of topics covered by these databases is broad, including agriculture & environment, art, biology, business & economics, criminal justice, education, history, law & political science, medicine & public health (a major section), performing arts, science & technology, and social science.
Each of the linked databases in turn is quite sizeable, such as the National Gallery of Art site which allows you to see more than 100,000 images of objects in the gallery's collection, or the Library of Congress' American Memory site which offers primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States, showing more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections.
One of our many continuing compilations is the Reference Resources page. Here you will find links to some resources that we subscribe to, such as the Britannica Online encyclopedia, and some that the Secretary of State provides, such as the Digital Sanborn Maps (1867-1970) that provides access to historical maps of Illinois. The Reference Resources page also provides links to other Staley Library compilations, including our Internet Reference Shelf and our pages of web page URL's in many academic disciplines.
Susan Avery, Jen Masciadrelli and I share in the responsibility for creating (the fun part) and maintaining (dust bunnies grow on the web too) the whole library site.
Every month we send a selection of Choice Magazine review cards for monographs in the respective academic disciplines to academic department chairs, for them to share with their faculty members and to use as one basis for making collection development recommendations to the library.
For too many months these cards have been mostly teasers, in that we have had almost no money to spend on monographs. However, in that we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to buy some monographs and videos this year, we are encouraging faculty to once again let us know if any of these titles would support the curriculum. We cannot guarantee purchases, but we can promise serious consideration!
Meanwhile, we update the "New Books" list every month. Many of these titles are gifts, some are annual volumes or other longer-term commitments, and the September 2003 list reflects also the last of the Women's Studies funds. (The link is in the heading above.)
Shilling Hall Cornerstone:
contents & exhibit
The contents of the original Shilling Hall cornerstone are currently on display in the exhibit cases in the library, to the left of the staircase as you enter the library. The cornerstone was opened earlier this year as part of Millikin's centennial celebration. Photographs of the laying of that cornerstone in 1902 are also in the display. An online version of this exhibit is available as well.
"We should all hope to look so good after being sealed in a copper box for 100 years!" notes Susan Avery, University Archivist, who with Catie Parish, Archival Associate, put together both the display and the web page.
More changes: No sooner did we think that we were actually at full staff than Jeff Hancks received an unsolicited offer that he simply could not refuse and which I could not as a colleague encourage him to refuse. Thus we are once again involved in a search to fill a librarian position. We have had a good pool of (so far) 24 candidates, and have just reduced it to six semi-finalists with whom we will conduct telephone interviews in order to select two or three finalists to bring to campus. I will keep you posted.
It's a good thing however that the librarians have their heaviest teaching load in the spring this year! But I lost my Swedish language practice buddy...
Presentation: On October 10, 2003, Susan Avery and Jen Masciadrelli were co-presenters for a session at a conference entitled Brick and Click Libraries: the Shape of Tomorrow, sponsored by the Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO. Their session was entitled Weaving our Common Threads: Developing Librarian/Faculty Collaboration and was described as follows: "Do faculty view your library instruction as course integration or interruption? How can we begin to build positive working relationships with faculty? This session will focus on building the faculty/librarian relationship to the advantage of the student. Successful strategies from the trenches will be at the center of this session."
Student staff: As in earlier years, I have put together a page of pictures of our wonderful student staff in order to help me to know them as well as to help them to know each other. In addition to assisting with information and service at the Circulation Desk, their most visible task, the students also have other responsibilities including significant stacks maintenance, backstage work with periodicals, cataloging, and interlibrary loans, and even keeping our library plants flourishing. We would have a hard time managing without them.
And by the way, four of those students recently performed in the Millikin Opera Theatre's student production of Little Red Riding Hood, an operatic version of the classic children's tale. Chris Nelson sang the the role of a "hungry wolf with a very sensitive stomach", Catherine Huggins was both the mother and the grandmother, while Lyndsay Brault and Emily Sites tippy-toed as scenery-changing sheep. What fun!