Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Library News- Sept. 2002

The Staley Library staff welcome you 
to the new academic year!
(more about us here)

New labels in the stacks, on the new* and old oak end panels
(*part of the furniture from Illinois Wesleyan's old library)

As always during the summer months, the library staff during the summer of 2002 accomplished a number of projects aimed at further enhancing the services we provide for the Millikin community. We now have new online catalog (MILLINET), there is a new look for our principal databases, we have five new and eight upgraded library research work stations, we offer five wireless laptops for student and faculty use within the library building, we have installed oak end panels on 82 stacks (for looks and stability) and directional signs on even more of them - and we are installing a soda machine at the bottom of the stairs leading to Media Services! Also, the Writing Center is now in the library, in the second floor seminar room.

We were fortunate to have been awarded state grant money specifically to buy five wireless laptop computers for Millikin University students, faculty and staff to use in the library. These computers will provide access to campus productivity software (word processing etc.) as well as to personal network files (your h: drive). The laptops will allow students to more easily accomplish both group and individual academic work in the library, right next to the resources needed to do that work. Laptops can be checked out at our Circulation Desk using a current MU ID.

Ben Gardner
Research Assistant

Sue Hemp
Librarian (part-time)

For the new academic year we are resuming full-time staffing of our Research Assistance desk. Some of the time you will find Ben Gardner, Research Assistant and a 2001 Millikin graduate, at that desk to help you define your questions and then either directing you towards a start of your research or else recommending an appointment with one of the librarians. At other times you may find one of the librarians staffing that desk. At all times, library staff members are happy to work with you in navigating the many possibilities for meeting your library research needs.

Look at our Trial Databases page from time to time, to see what we offer on an occasional basis.


The MU Writing Center moved from Blackburn to the library during the summer, into the second-floor seminar room next to the student art exhibit area. The Writing Center staff and tutors will now be available to you during most hours that the library is open. For more information about their schedule and services, visit their web page at 

lLLINET Online, the statewide academic library online catalog that we have been using since 1980, has been updated with a search engine that more closely approximates the look and functionality of other web-based search engines such as those for our periodicals databases. At the same time, the new online catalog retains the traditional functions of your being able to borrow from other libraries using your Millikin ID, and also your being able to initiate interlibrary loans yourself from the online catalog. We have named this new catalog MILLINET Online.

This change-over was our principal summer 2002 project. Fortunately, most of us on the library staff already had considerable prior expertise and experience with such major computer system migration. Still, there was a mountain of data decisions and conversions to be accomplished, new workstation-specific software (client modules) to install and configure, not to mention learning the specifics of new software for all day-to-day computer activities. Some highlights:

Two of our librarians, Jen Masciadrelli and Susan Avery, served on different statewide committees working on perfecting and customizing the new system. They each put in many hours on this work, in conference calls and intermittent visits to Champaign. 

All of our bibliographic records and associated we-own-it records were loaded into the new system (some 300,000 records total); and then Linda Chitwood, our Cataloging Associate, quality-checked those records against our pre-selected representative records. 

Linda Rash, Periodicals Associate, worked with several other staff members to create about 900 grids for recording ongoing daily receipt of periodicals subscription issues. Using those grids, we make sure that we are actually receiving the periodicals we should be receiving; and we will also be displaying that same information in the public catalog.

Marsha Leach, Acquisitions Associate and Office Manager, implemented our revised library materials fund structure and also created about one hundred (so far) vendor and publisher records, this in the service of ordering materials and keeping track of what we spend on various categories of materials. 

The Circulation Desk staff (Cindy Dothager, Circulation Desk Supervisor, and Gavena Dahlman & Ben Gardner, Circulation Associates) reviewed the accuracy of the newly transferred borrower address records (approximately 5,000) as well as attendant loan records (what people have borrowed and not yet returned). 

Jen Masciadrelli continues to be our project coordinator in the library, making sure that all the implementation details are being attended to.

The system is not yet quite fully implemented, with the Universal Catalog (the records from all 45 participating libraries) and Universal Borrowing (which draws on the Universal Catalog) still being perfected. However, it is now the most up to date record of what we own, and is the catalog that you will be using from now on.

Signature Karin Borei
University Librarian

Last year's issues of this newsletter can be found here.

Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL