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Libraries committed to supporting Miami faculty

Partner in exceptional education

As buzz continues to build ahead of a new academic year, the Miami University Libraries invite faculty – both new friends and longtime friends – to connect with the University Libraries’ services and our subject liaison librarians.

All faculty members are encouraged to collaborate with the University Libraries throughout the year to enhance the educational experience they provide for their students and advance their own research. Following are four great places to start:

  • Explore our faculty resources: Our faculty lib guide offers an overview of all the services and resources available to faculty. Bookmark it today!
  • Get to know your subject librarian: Your subject librarian is your portal to everything libraries. We build collections in your subject areas, work with you to develop research and critical thinking skills in students, and connect you to the most appropriate resources. Check out our subject and course guide for your respective area to find your subject librarian.
  • Integrate research skills into your classes: We have a wealth of resources available to support your classes, including information literacy modules designed for Canvas, instructional videos, class-specific research guides, and guidance as you design research assignments.
  • Let us know what you’re working on: The Libraries actively support faculty in their research. From our own rich collections to those we can tap into throughout Ohio and across the globe, we can find the scholarly resources you need. We also offer digital and data support through our Center for Digital Scholarship.

Six ways the Libraries can make grad school life easier

So, you're a new grad studentAs the start of the fall semester nears, the Miami University Libraries are excited to play an integral role in the scholarly success of our new graduate students.

For a complete primer on getting the most from the University Libraries during your time in graduate school, bookmark our comprehensive online LibGuide on graduate student resources.

To get you started, here are six ways the Libraries can make your grad school life easier:

  1. Your subject librarian: Need guidance on an advanced research project? We’ve got your expert. Each department features a subject librarian who knows your area of study and can assist you with everything from narrowing your research topic to finalizing your thesis. Have a quick general question between 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.? We offer a variety of options to just ask us.
     
  2. Technology: From technology basics for checkout and pay-for print services to state-of-the-art 3D printing services in our B.E.S.T. Library, the University Libraries ensure you have the tech tools you need to do your best work. The Center for Digital Scholarship can help you get started on digital projects and the Center for Information Management computer lab offers the software and hardware to complete a variety of projects, including movie production and poster creation.
     
  3. 24/7: King Library is open 24/7 during the fall and spring semesters to accommodate your prime working hours. The Libraries’ website also creates access to more than 500 online databases, many accessible anytime from anywhere.
     
  4. We can get it: If an article or book you need is not in our collection, we can track it down statewide through the OhioLINK consortium or worldwide through our Interlibrary Loan program. It is free for you and faster than you might expect!
     
  5. Take your time: There is no need to balance all those due dates in your hard-working mind. As a graduate student, you get to check out books for an entire semester at a time.
     
  6. A space that suits you: In addition to our open study spaces, which range from semi-social coffee shop to absolute quiet, the Libraries offer a variety of study and meeting rooms that can be reserved. As a graduate student, you also have exclusive access to the Polk Graduate Reading Room (King 230), which offers a focused place to get work done and lockers to secure your research sources. Check with the King Library circulation desk for access.
     

Alia Levar Wegner begins role as digital collections librarian

Alia Levar WegnerWith a rich background in information science, exhibit curation and collection digitization, Alia Levar Wegner joined the Miami University Libraries as digital collections librarian on May 14.

In her role, Wegner will work as part of the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives team to manage the processing, digitization, organization and access of special collections and university archives materials. Her role is an integral piece of a larger University Libraries’ effort to digitally preserve the culture and history of the university and the Libraries’ collections.

Wegner holds a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University, a master’s in book history and material culture from the University of Edinburgh and a master’s of science in information from Florida State University. She also has completed coursework in digital humanities from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Professionally, Wegner spent nearly three years as a rare book collection assistant in UNC’s Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. More recently, she was a full-time collections specialist in the University of South Florida’s special collections and metadata departments. Other experiences include time working in a law library, the Florida Holocaust Museum, and the American Dance Festival Archives.  

Wegner’s work in the digital sphere includes two years as an editorial assistant with the William Blake Archive, where she assisted with the textual transcription, illustration markup and color correction of digital copies of Blake’s illuminated books. She is currently exploring data mining applications of digitized special collections and continues to develop the longstanding project, Augmenting Special Collections, which applies augmented reality technology to special collections materials.

“I enjoy looking at historical materials in new ways, and digitization offers new avenues to make those materials accessible, learn more from them, and increase student engagement,” Wegner said. “The Miami University Libraries have great collections, and I’m excited to help expand our digital collections so that more faculty, students and community members can interact with our materials.”

The Walter Havighurst Special Collections are located on King Library’s third floor. Wegner can be reached at 513-529- 0462 or wegnera3@miamioh.edu.

Barbour earns Libraries' Distinguished Service Award

 

Heather Barbour, senior library technician, was honored Thursday as the Miami University Libraries’ 2018 Distinguished Service Award Winner.


One of 15 University Libraries’ staff members nominated by peers for the Distinguished Service Award, Barbour joined the Libraries in 2013. In her behind-the-scenes role, she helps make Libraries’ print and electronic resources available to the Miami community through a variety of roles ranging from processing and repairing items to collecting data on usage. Barbour also is a fixture on committees planning University Libraries’ staff events as well as on the Libraries’ broomball and curling intramural teams.

A familiar face on campus, Barbour serves the university as an usher on home football and ice hockey game days.

The three nominations for Barbour emphasized her uplifting attitude, efforts to build community within the University Libraries staff, and willingness to always pitch in. “Heather makes everyone feel at home and welcomed,” said one nominator. “Her energy is high, her smile infectious, her attitude is always the best. In short she is an excellent ambassador of the Libraries!”

Dean and University Librarian Jerome Conley, who is in his 25th year of service to the university and University Libraries, also recognized the following:

- Susan Hurst, business librarian, for 25 years of service;

- John Burke, director of the Gardner Harvey Library, Miami University Middletown, for 15 years of service;

- Jody Perkins, digital scholarship librarian, for 15 years of service;

- Jennifer Smith, senior library technician, for 15 years of service;

- And Elias Tzoc and Jacqueline Johnson for their appointments to principal librarian.

The event drew attention not only to staff service but also to the considerable creative and scholarly accomplishments the Miami University Libraries team has contributed over the past year.

The 2018 nominees for the Libraries Distinguished Service Award gather for a group photograph with Dean and University Librarian Jerome Conley

The 2018 Miami University Libraries Distinguished Service Award nominees gather for a group photograph during Thursday's Celebrating Our Own ceremony.


The University Libraries Distinguished Service Award and Celebrating Our Own event are in their fifth year. Nominations for the Distinguished Service Award come from Libraries staff and are reviewed by a committee consisting of previous winners and the Dean. The full list of 2018 nominees follows.

2018 University Libraries
Distinguished Service Award Nominees

- Kris Abney

- Heather Barbour

Jennifer Bazeley

Laura Birkenhauer

Lori Chapin

Tiffany Dogan

Vince Frieden

Susan Gray

Susan Hurst

Kevin Messner

Carla Myers

Masha Stepanova

Thomas Tully

Eric Weaver

John Williams

April 11 lecture explores campus memorial design


Robert Keller '73Miami University architect emeritus Robert Keller '73 closes out the Miami University Libraries’ spring lecture series Wednesday, April 11, with his presentation entitled "Defining campus memorials by their design concept.”

The lecture begins at noon in King Library 320 and will be available via Facebook Live through the University Libraries’ Facebook page.

Keller was university architect and campus planner at Miami University for nearly 25 years. Among his responsibilities were overseeing long-range capital planning and all phases of design and major construction for Oxford and the regional campuses. Now retired, Keller remains active as architect emeritus, leading special design projects and guest lecturing.

He has been instrumental in designing a number of prominent campus icons, including the Freedom Summer Memorial, the Great Seal within the Armstrong Student Center, and the recently completed Western College for Women Legacy Circle.

Using examples of built and unbuilt memorial and tribute designs, Keller will discuss the importance of site selection, defining intent, finding the best design concept, and integrating symbolism into the creation of a monument that fits within the uniqueness of the campus environment.

Sponsored by the Walter Havighurst Special Collections, university archival collections and the Western College Alumnae Association.

Entries accepted for LAURE through March 16

Undergraduate students who are conducting research using the Miami University Libraries are eligible for special recognition and a cash prize through the Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence (LAURE).

A partnership between the University Libraries and the Dean of the Libraries Student Advisory Council, LAURE seeks to recognize undergraduate students who demonstrate excellence in library research. First place earns a $1,000 cash prize, with additional cash prizes awarded for second place ($500) and honorable mention ($100).

Submissions for the third Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence (LAURE) are being accepted through March 16, 2018.


To learn more about the award, evaluation criteria and how to submit an entry, visit the University Libraries’ LAURE webpage.

Libraries announce changes, additions, upgrades for 2018

New for 2018: Libraries announce changes, additions, upgrades

Reconfigured B.E.S.T. ground level and new graduate reading room location among changes

By Vince Frieden, strategic communications coordinator, Miami University Libraries

A new year has brought some exciting new changes, additions and upgrades to the Miami University Libraries.

 
  1. King Library has adopted a new one-stop service strategy at its main circulation desk. Patrons can now direct in-person inquiries to the same circulation desk where they make checkouts. Librarians remain on call to support the new service format, and, as always, are accessible via online chat, text, phone or email. The former information desk is now a self-service station for study room reservations and self-checkout
     
  2. The Polk Patterson Graduate Reading Room has moved from its previous location on King Library’s third floor to the former Hill Faculty Reading Room (King 230). The move and decision to transition to one faculty reading room, approved by the faculty senate, places the graduate reading room in a more private space amid the book stacks and quiet study area. The space is receiving a general modernization, including new furniture.
     
  3. The ground-level of B.E.S.T. Library, damaged by flooding in the fall, has undergone a minor renovation, including fresh paint, new carpeting and a reconfigured and relocated seating/study area.
     
  4. The Libraries digital collections have welcomed seven new online databases, creating 24/7 access for students and faculty to thousands of articles, videos,  periodicals and other documents and teaching tools. Learn more.

  5. Miami University’s One-Button, formerly the One-Button Studio, is new and improved, featuring a more user-friendly interface and better quality picture. The improvements were made using student and faculty feedback gained since the concept was initially piloted in 2016. It will be tweaked and tested throughout Spring Semester 2018, so keep the feedback coming!
     
  6. Wertz Art & Architecture Library has upped its drawing tablet game, adding six Wacom Intuos Pros and four iPad Pros with the powerful digital illustration app procreate. The Intuos Pros are available for three-hour or overnight checkout. The iPad Pros can be checked out for up to 24 hours at a time.
     
  7. King Library installed upgraded HD digital display technology in 11 study rooms.
     
  8. The Kamm Electronic Instruction Room (King 110) is piloting a new configuration during spring 2018 to improve viewing angles for instructional purposes.

Investigating How Chinese Students Conduct Research

The Miami University Libraries are seeking volunteer Chinese students to participate in a study exploring how Chinese students perform research in relation to classroom assignments.

The study seeks to explore and better understand the information needs of Chinese patrons, so Libraries’ services can be enhanced to better meet those needs.

Participation is strictly voluntary, and those interested must be at least 18 years old. The study involves a 30-minute one-on-one interview, and participants have the freedom to stop the interview at any time or skip any question(s) they do not wish to answer. Anonymity is guaranteed, and only the research team will have access to participant responses.

If you would like to participate in this study or have any questions about the study, please contact one of the following librarians:

In addition, you may contact the Research Ethics and Integrity Office at Miami University, 513-529-3600 or humansubjects@MiamiOH.edu, if you have questions about the rights of research subjects.

Staff Spotlight: Gabriel Neff

Gabriel Neff joined the Miami University Libraries in November 2016 as a library technician and the evening circulation desk supervisor at King Library. He grew up in Cincinnati, graduated from Northern Kentucky University and began working in the library environment as a student worker during his college days.

Where are you originally from? What's your educational background?

I grew up in Mason, Ohio. After attending Archbishop Moeller High School, I was a student-athlete (football) at Seton Hill University for two years. I hold a B.A. in organizational leadership from Northern Kentucky University.

What's your title? How would you describe your position at the Miami Libraries? 

I am a library technician as well as the evening Circulation desk supervisor. I help ensure that everyone who comes to the circulation desk has a positive experience as well as connecting students to the resources they need. 

What drew you to work in a library environment? Why did you choose the Miami Libraries?

I first started working in libraries as a student employee at NKU. I found that I liked helping my fellow students and enjoyed the benefits of working on campus. I ended up completing my internship at NKU's Steely Library, working primarily in circulation and stack maintenance. A couple years later I moved to Morgantown, West Virginia, with a former college roommate and started working at West Virginia University. I was at WVU for two years, working in facilities management and residential education. Miami's excellent reputation as an academic institution, competitive pay and benefits, as well as the opportunity to come back home to Southwestern Ohio were all major factors in choosing the Miami University Libraries.

What's the best part of working in a library?
Being involved in the Miami community, helping students, patrons and guests. 

What's one thing you wish college students knew about using a library?
That library staff is always there to support them in any way. Never hesitate to ask for help.

What's your favorite book? 
"The Mind's Eye" by Oliver Sacks

Any hobbies?
Spending time with my fiancée. Hanging out with family around Oxford. Playing on the Libraries' broom ball team. Watching Bengals, Reds, Blue Jackets, Miami and WVU games. 

What's something people don't know about you that might surprise them?
I played the clarinet and viola as a kid.

Staff Spotlight: Nate Floyd

Where are you originally from? What's your educational background?
I am originally from Chesapeake, Ohio. I have BAs in history and political science, and MA’s in journalism and library science.  I am currently at work on my dissertation, where I focus on the development of journalism education in the United States. 
 
What's your title? How would you describe your position at the Miami Libraries?
I am an academic resident librarian for Information Services at King Library. At Miami University, I lead instructional sessions for first-year students and serve as the subject liaison for the department of media, journalism and film, and the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies (AIMS). 
 
What drew you to work in a library environment? Why did you choose the Miami Libraries?
I like to work with students and faculty, and I enjoy supporting their research. Miami University has an excellent reputation for both teaching and undergraduate research, and I wanted to be part of that tradition.
 
What's the best part of working in a library?
The best part of working in a library is being exposed to fresh ideas and new perspectives. We help students and faculty with their research needs, but they also help us stay current on research trends and new areas of interest. 
 
What's one thing you wish college students knew about using a library?
I wish college students knew how eager librarians are to help them with their work.  They just have to ask. 
 
What's your favorite book?
My favorite book is Herzog, written in 1964, by Saul Bellow. 
 
Any hobbies?
I enjoy live music, and outdoor activities. 
 
What's something people don't know about you that might surprise them?
I was on PBS’s Reading Rainbow as a kid. No, I did not get to meet Levar Burton.