New E-Readers Support Elementary Education Students

Five Kindle Paperwhites loaded with 58 children's literature titles are now available for checkout at Michener Library. The Kindles support student proficiency in using technology in teaching.

Kindles with children's books
Kindle with children's books

Cheese & Chat

Guests mingle at the Cheese & Chat reception at Michener Library held on September 5, 2013.

Guests mingle at Cheese and Chat
Guests mingle at Cheese and Chat

Windows Upgrade for the Music Library

The Howard M. Skinner Music Library windows received an upgrade in 2013. A film was added to the south-facing windows that blocks the glaring light and heat that builds up during the warm months in Colorado.

Music Library window
Music Library window

Michener Gardening Crew

The Michener Library Garden Crew: L-R standing, Jessica Hayden, Jane Monson, Naomi Johnson, Patty Chapman, Sarah Vaughn, Linda McCammon-Whalen, Paula Franks, Peggy Schneider; L-R kneeling, Joan Lamborn, and Annie Epperson.

Michener gardening group
Michener gardening group

Game Night at Michener Passes Go, Collects 120 Students

Game Night grand prize winners hold up Settlers of Catan game UNC students at the moustachery Students receive suspect sheets for the library clue game Suspect sheet for library clue game

Students enjoy games and activities at Game Night.

Hoping to inform incoming freshmen about the University Libraries staff and services, Sara O'Donnell, User Experience Reference Librarian and Webmaster, Kendra Spahr, Business Reference Librarian, and William Cuthbertson, Instructional Services Librarian, spent time over the summer brainstorming a new kind of activity for the Libraries. Combining their love of board games, fancy dice, and of course, library living, the three came up with a variety of game-themed events designed to "open the stacks" to new students and ensure that freshmen know the Libraries is an essential part of campus life. The result was the first-ever Game Night at Michener Library, hosted on Sunday, August 25, 2013.

With support from UNC Student Activities, the Haunted Game Cafe in Fort Collins, the Friends of the UNC Libraries, and library volunteers, the event was a huge success. Participation was estimated at 120 guests, with new and returning students enjoying a "moustachery" (where students were encouraged to make their own construction paper moustaches), Xbox and Wii video games, and dozens of board and card games provided by library personnel and the Haunted Game Cafe. In a Clue-like library-wide event to discover the identity of the "Michener Miscreant" (also a clever way to get students to tour the library) saw over 100 entries, and five successful sleuths won drawings for custom t-shirts, library swag, and a donated copy of Settlers of Catan: Merchants of Europe. The students were also thrilled with the custom dice offered as a door prize. This event was a memorable one for UNC students!

Libraries Sponsors Schulze Speaker

John Willinsky

Dr. John Willinsky, Khosla Family Professor of Education at Stanford University

The University Libraries co-sponsored the first installment of the 2013-2014 Schulze Speaker Series with a visit by Dr. John Willinsky, Khosla Family Professor of Education at Stanford University. Dr. Willinsky, an advocate of the open access movement in scholarly publishing, has published numerous books, including Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship. He gave a public lecture on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, entitled "The Public Good of Research and Scholarship: The Long View from Medieval Monastery to Modern University." To an audience of roughly 200 attendees, Willinsky spoke about the history of scholarly publishing and argued for increased access to publicly-funded research. The following day, he expanded on the topic at an invitation-only luncheon for around 30 faculty and graduate students. Additionally, Willinsky visited two graduate-level classes and met with various groups of faculty and administrators to discuss methods for promoting open access on campus.

University Libraries Receives Gift of Photochroms

The University Libraries received a generous donation of more than 750 photochroms made by William Henry Jackson, one of the most renowned 19th-century landscape photographers of the American West. The prints, originally produced by the Detroit Publishing Company, were a gift from Howard Gottlieb of Chicago, Illinois.

Photochroms, which are colorized prints created from black-and-white photographic negatives, were popularly used as postcards during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Detroit Publishing Company was the top producer of photochrom postcards in the United States, reportedly selling over seven million prints in one year. The company purchased the entire stock of Jackson's negatives, and Jackson himself went to work for the company in 1898. The recently donated Gottlieb Collection focuses primarily on the American West, but also includes images from throughout North America. Please contact the Archival Services Department if you wish to view any of the images.

New Student Spaces

The University Libraries received a $6,000 grant from the Kenneth King Foundation to provide furnishings and technology for the Michener Library first floor Adaptive Technology Room and a newly created group study room. The grant enabled the Libraries to equip the newly constructed space to provide better support for students including those with disabilities. New height-adjustable tables, refreshed technology, and access to specialized software were acquired for UNC students with this generous grant.

Libraries Aims for Continuous Improvement

Libraries Assessment Committee Completes a Decade of LibQUAL+

The University Libraries Assessment Committee administered the nationally-normed LibQUAL+ survey to campus constituents during the spring 2013 semester, thus completing a ten-year span of implementation. First administering LibQUAL+ in 2003, the Libraries collected data with this instrument again in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2013. In 2013, over 1,500 students, staff and faculty participated via email and laptop stations. The survey, which includes quantitative and qualitative data, yielded positive scores across all populations. Overall, undergraduate students are pleased with the services, collections, and facilities provided by the University Libraries. Graduate students and faculty were also generally satisfied. Qualitative data will be examined to identify areas for improvement. Please visit the Libraries website for more information on the LibQUAL+ survey and previous Assessment Committee activities.

Instruction Faculty Awarded Assessment Mini-grant

William Cuthbertson, Instructional Services Librarian, and Andrea Falcone, Head of Instructional Services, were selected in June of this year to receive a 2013 Assessment Mini-grant from the UNC Office of Assessment. Their project, entitled "Student Perceptions of Active Learning," seeks to determine whether students' perceptions of active-learning activities affect their achievement of student learning outcomes. A group of twenty-four students will participate in focus groups and two different in-class activities to gauge their expectations for and enjoyment of active-learning and traditional modes of instruction. The application was reviewed by three members of the University Assessment Council, who "strongly endorsed their proposal." Student participation in this project is key, and grant monies will support participant incentives.

Focus on Student Learning

Over the next two years, a small team of University Libraries faculty will be participating in the UNC Assessment Leadership Institute (ALI). The ALI is a faculty development program designed to equip faculty with the knowledge and skills necessary for effective and meaningful student learning outcomes assessment. During the first year, the team will attend monthly workshops about student learning assessment and design a program-level project during the second year. While the Libraries has a variety of instructional initiatives, the focus will be on library sessions conducted for courses in departments across campus. An overarching goal will be creating a culture of continuous improvement with regards to teaching library research concepts and skills. One-time grant monies in the amount of $2,500 were awarded to help facilitate further faculty development regarding assessment.

Assessment in Action Project Underway

Annie Epperson, Head of Reference, is leading a research team consisting of colleagues from across campus as part of the inaugural year of the Association of College & Research Libraries Assessment in Action project. One of 75 libraries selected to participate in this national-level initiative, the University Libraries team is focusing on the impact of Michener Library spaces on student success. Team member James Henderson, Director of Student-Athlete Academic Success, is particularly intrigued by the motivation that brings students to the library, while Evan Welch, Associate Dean of Student Life, seeks to explore a relationship between co-curricular engagement, use of the library, and academic success. The multi-faceted project aims to understand the role of library space, including quiet study areas and group gathering spaces, in the academic success of students. One early phase of the project was a survey of furniture use within select areas of Michener Library. The team also received a 2013 Assessment Mini-grant from the UNC Office of Assessment to purchase an iPad to streamline data collection in the project. The project is currently in the planning stages, with data collection scheduled for spring 2014. Findings will be presented at the annual conference of the American Library Association in June 2014, as well as at the UNC Assessment Fair in February 2015.

Celebrate your FREADOM!

During the week of September 22, 2013, which coincides with national Banned Books Week, students at the Michener Library engaged in an interactive exhibit about banned, censored, and challenged literature, music and films. From Dante's Divine Comedy to Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic, students could view the wide range of literature through time that has moved people into action against the words of an author. This year students were asked to comment on which banned books they had read, take a banned books quiz for a chance to win a Bear Bucks Card that can be used on campus, and sign a wall supporting intellectual freedom. Over 100 students participated in the quiz, and over 200 students commented on banned books they had read. Jeraldine Kraver, Professor of English at UNC, organized readings of banned books in Michener Library on September 24, 2013.

Captain Underpants cover The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian cover Thirteen Reasons Why cover Fifty Shades of Grey cover And Tango Makes Three cover Kite Runner cover Looking for Alaska cover Scary Stories cover Glass Castle cover Beloved cover

Top ten banned and challenged books of 2012.

According to the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association (ALA), the top ten challenged books of 2012 include:

  • The Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
  • And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Look for Alaska by John Green
  • The Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz
  • The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison

The ALA website offers information concerning the reasons for book challenges, titles and authors of books challenged over the last two decades, and much more.

University Libraries Participate in Public Engagement Activities

Creating Community Logo

The University Libraries recently participated in two community-building events in support of UNC's three-year plan to strengthen and formalize its relationship with the community. The first event was "Creating Community: Connecting Northeastern Colorado Librarians Conference" held at Michener Library on August 2, 2013. It was co-sponsored and planned by Aims Community College, High Plains Library District, and University Libraries. The event brought together a diverse group of more than fifty academic, public, and school librarians from northeastern Colorado. The conference program was strategically designed to enhance community connections. Keynote speaker Jamie Larue, Director of the Douglas County Libraries, spoke about the communitarian conference theme and explored what is possible when librarians work together. Breakout sessions included a diverse slate of topics, ranging from preparing high school students for college-level research to the digitization projects of the Northeastern Colorado Heritage League. Conference attendees were also treated to performances by youth from the High Plains Young Chautauqua Program, accompanied by their mentor Tannis Bator. High points of the conference were the morning and afternoon networking sessions enabling attendees to meet new colleagues and begin building alliances throughout northeastern Colorado.

Game at Community Fest Community Fest volunteers stand next to a Diary of a Wimpy Kid cutout

Booth at Homecoming weekend Community Fest provides fun and games.

The second event took place during Homecoming weekend, September 28, 2013. The pre-game "Community Fest" event was both festive and interactive. The University Libraries and High Plains Library District shared a booth and distributed flyers that highlighted the unique resources and services offered by each library system, as well as commonalities. The public librarians were a hit with the young people, who loved the "Wimpy Kid" life-size cardboard figure, bookmarks, and bean-bag tossing game. University Libraries personnel offered a challenging "match the celebrity to the library memory" game. Also featured at the booth was a display board for posting of favorite library memories. Several alumni shared their fond memories of time spent at the University Libraries.