News & Notes

By: Ken Grabach on: January 11, 2010 11:16 am | grabacka

This web site takes a new slant on city rankings.

It shows rankings for major cities based on the ease of use for pedestrians. One can also create a personal ranking based on a particular address. Results will show distances to amenities such as businesses and services. It will display a Google map based on the address with the businesses identified. The intention is to help citizens reduce dependency on automobiles to carry out daily activities.

For those to whom that is important, this an interesting, potentially a useful tool.
However, the nature of the criterion, walkability for a commuter or shopper, is possible more for urban dwellers than for any other group. Another caveat, although it may change, is that distances are calculated 'as the crow flies', that is in a straight line from starting point to destination. Of course, nobody in an urban, suburban, or rural setting, can walk in a straight line to a market, a bank, a library, or whatever. There is false information included in the database (it claims that in my suburban neighborhood, one of my neighbors is operating a Subway shop!). These factors may be minor to some users, may be crucial to others.

One can join a discussion, vote on criteria to improve the algorithm, and participate in other aspects of the site. It is an interesting site that offers urban dwellers, and potential urban dwellers, an additional method to evaluate or to choose a place to live. It also offers the student of urban life an additional tool for that area of study.

By: Jennifer Bazeley on: January 08, 2010 9:49 am | bazelejw small twitter logo@@jwbazeley

James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, has selected 25 motion pictures that will be preserved as cultural, artistic and/or historical treasures for generations to come. Spanning the period 1911-1995, the films named to the 2009 National Film Registry of the Library of Congress range from the sci-fi classic "The Incredible Shrinking Man" and Bette Davis’ Oscar-winning performance in "Jezebel" to the Muppets’ movie debut and Michael Jackson’s iconic video "Thriller." This year’s selections bring the number of films in the registry to 525.

To see the complete list of 25 motion pictures selected for 2009:

To nominate films for the 2010 National Film Registry:

By: Kevin Messner on: January 06, 2010 1:59 pm | messnekr

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) now invites your input on the *management* of policies to deliver public access to the published results of taxpayer-funded research, to be submitted to the online discussion no later than TOMORROW, January 7, 2010.

*All* are urged to respond to this pivotal opportunity and to encourage researchers, students, and others to weigh in. Your input will be critical in helping the administration to form a deep and balanced view of stakeholders’ interest in ensuring public access to publicly funded research.

The questions before us now are:

  • Compliance. What features does a public access policy need to ensure compliance? Should this vary across agencies?
  • Evaluation. How should an agency determine whether a public access policy is successful? What measures could agencies use to gauge whether there is increased return on federal investment gained by expanded access?
  • Roles. How might a public private partnership promote robust management of a public access policy? Are there examples already in use that may serve as models? What is the best role for the Federal government?
  • (See the full post at

    This is the last of the three announced phases of the online discussion. The first two phases focused on public access policy implementation as well as on features and technology. From January 8 to 21, the online discussion will revisit in more detail aspects of the conversation that warrant deeper exploration. To participate, visit the Public Access Policy blog at Comments emailed to are also accepted, but will still be posted to the blog by the moderator.

    General comments, addressing any part of the Request for Information, may be submitted to the Federal Register no later than January 21. See the full notice at for details.

    via SPARC (

By: Jennifer Bazeley on: December 11, 2009 11:06 am | bazelejw small twitter logo@@jwbazeley

Ebrary, a platform for viewing digital content, has created an information center to bring together current information about the H1N1 influenza. The site was created by ebrary employees, in the course of researching H1N1 to protect their families and friends.
While some of the most important information in the world is contained within PDF documents, it is a very difficult format to search, use, and manage online. To enable people to discover valuable H1N1 data, ebrary has created a highly interactive database of PDF documents from government agencies and other authoritative sites (copyrights permitting or with permission).

Access the information center here:

Due to Pandemic H1N1 Influenza (formerly known as Swine Flu) and concerns about the 2009/2010 flu season, the EBSCO Publishing Medical and Nursing editors of DynaMed™, Nursing Reference Center™ (NRC) and Patient Education Reference Center™ (PERC) have made key influenza information from these resources freely available to health care providers worldwide. The information is designed to inform patients and their families and provide information to clinicians to help them with H1N1 diagnosis and H1N1 treatment by making up-to-date diagnosis and treatment information available. The resources being made available will also provide up-to-date information about the H1N1 vaccine.
The editorial teams will monitor the research and update these resources continuously throughout the flu season.

Access the portal here:

By: Ken Grabach on: December 10, 2009 2:54 pm | grabacka

The recently announced policy for the conflict in Afghanistan returns this region to the front of international news. Recent maps help make more comprehensible the complex physical and cultural geography of the region. Here are few items recently added to the Libraries map collections.

Afghanistan-Pakistan : central border area
Science Map Coll G7631.F2 2008 .U5
is a recent publication from the Central Intelligence Agency. It shows the provinces and districts on both sides of the border between these countries. This includes Pakistan's Northern Areas, the Northwest Frontier Province, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Regions frequently in the news include the agencies of Northern and Southern Waziristan, the province of Nangarhar, home of the Tora Bora Hills. The names resonate with old and modern history; they will continue to be in our news.

Afghanistan-Pakistan administrative divisions
Science Map Coll G7631.F7 2008 .U5
This another CIA map, showing all of Afghanistan and a wider area of Pakistan. Kandahar, Balochistan and other areas also in the news appear. Shaded relief on this and the map above show the terrain.

Natural-Color Image Mosaics of Afghanistan: Digital Databases and Maps
Philip A. Davis and Trent M. Hare

Science Map I 19.121:245/DISC.1-3/DVD is a data set of three DVDs of imagery of the terrain and other subjects

The Northern Area of Pakistan is a pair of maps, by a Pakistan-based publisher. They portray the provinces and agencies in larger scale. They include maps and texts describing history and cultural aspects of these isolated areas.
Map one (Science Map Cabinet G7643.N62 2004 .M2), covers the agencies of the Northern Areas. Map two (Science Map Cabinet G7643.N6 2004 .M2), covers the Northwest Frontier Province.

Finally, a set of maps from The Survey of Pakistan shows several of the major cities. Several of these appear in the news as well as the territories named above. All of these are in Science Map Coll.

Islamabad, G7644.I8 2002 .S93, Peshāwar, G7644.P45 2003 .S8, and Rawalpindi, G7644.R37 2003 .S9 are the major cities of the area. Others cover Karachi, Lahore, and Hyderābād.

By: Masha Stepanova on: December 10, 2009 2:54 pm | stepanm

It’s true. The woolly mammoth hair, ostrich egg, fossils, bags of rocks and other interesting items in the Curriculum Materials collection at IMC are now joined by a life-size (and weight) lump of fat. The yellow blob measures about 6.5” x 4” x 3” and weighs one pound. Need I say this is the coolest, grossest thing the cataloging department has seen since the inflatable man spilling all his little detachable, inflatable guts?
QM565 .L541 2000z (IMC CurrMat)

By: Lindsay Miller on: November 23, 2009 12:41 pm | mille234

As we approach the end of the calendar year and the mid-point of the school year, we’re looking back at recent changes that promote efficiency and innovation and looking forward to more changes to come in 2010.

Even in a time of economic uncertainty, the Miami Libraries has been continuing its commitment to high quality service and technological innovation. This semester we’ve unveiled some new and exciting online initiatives as well as the redesign of many of our existing services. We are also continuing our commitment to connect with students and faculty that are new to the university through our various fall orientation events.

This year is Miami’s Bicentennial, but the Libraries also had a milestone of its own to celebrate. This year we celebrated 100 years as a Federal Depository Library – an official collector of government publications to ensure their availability to the public. I look forward to another semester of helping to forward the university’s mission by providing excellent library and information services to our patrons.

We’re continuing to move forward with several projects. One of the most notable is the renovation of Laws Hall, recently vacated by the Business School. We currently anticipate opening a new library facility on the lower floors of Laws which will serve Science, Engineering, and Business in 2011. We look forward to the opportunity to offer updated services and technology to our faculty and students in a location in close proximity to the classroom and office space for these academic disciplines.

We are currently reviewing results from LibQUAL Lite, a national survey which benchmarks perceptions of library services. In previous iterations of this survey, we’ve received wonderful feedback as well as suggestions that can help us to develop new services and enhance existing ones. Even in these difficult economic times, we are continuing to perform well in meeting and sometimes exceeding expectations. I look forward to sharing more fully the results of this survey, and the enhancements that it makes possible, in a future newsletter.

Wishing you a happy holiday season.

Judith A. Sessions
Dean and University Librarian

By: Lindsay Miller on: November 23, 2009 12:14 pm | mille234

Government publications have been received by Miami since the 1850s, and have always been a cornerstone collection of the Miami University Libraries. On Friday Nov. 13, the Libraries held an event celebrating our Centennial as an official Federal Depository Library. The celebration included the presentation to Dean Judith Sessions of a plaque from the Government Printing Office commemorating this rare milestone.

The event was open to all members of the Miami University community as well as to the general public. Newly retired Government Document Librarians Jean Sears and Peggy Lewis were also in attendance. As part of the celebration two exhibits were installed in King Library – a collection of government documents from the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and Government-published World War II propaganda posters lining King Library's main staircase.

One of the WWII era posters on display in King Library

Because of the popularity of the posters they've been placed online for easy and free access. You can view and download the collection of World War II propaganda posters from this page.

By: Lindsay Miller on: November 23, 2009 11:58 am | mille234

Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Information Services Librarian and Eric Resnis, Information Literacy Coordinator have been named American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders for 2010. With only 100 people chosen each year, library staff from across the country to participate in project planning workgroups, networking with peers, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers.

For more info on the Emerging Leader program and for a full list of this year’s leaders: Click HERE.

We've also welcomed a new staff member into the Libraries. Jennifer Bazeley is the new Electronic Resources and Serials Librarian. Jennifer previously worked as the Technical Services Librarian at the Field Museum in Chicago.

By: Lindsay Miller on: November 23, 2009 11:42 am | mille234

The Libraries held several orientation events this fall to welcome and introduce our services and collections to groups of individuals new to the university.

On August 17, librarians and more than 35 new faculty members came together for the Libraries New Faculty Orientation. Faculty met with librarians in their discipline, attended workshops and information sessions and participated in tours of the different libraries on campus.

Faculty and librarians at the New Faculty Orientation lunch

New graduate students were introduced to the library system on August 27 and 28. They had the opportunity to meet informally with their liaison librarian, learn about library resources specific to graduate students and mingle with other new students attending the event.

For the second year, a collaborative event with the Howe Writing Center and the Center for International Education was held for new international students. On August 10, around 150 first year students from around the world attended library tours, info sessions and a special dinner in King Library.

Students at a station during the Brill Science Library orientation on Sept. 18

Later in the semester, Brill Science Library hosted an orientation event for students in the sciences. The event, held September 18th, had a theme celebrating Charles Darwin's 200th birthday. Over 250 students visited stations throughout Brill and learned everything from how to get help at the library to genetic engineering and facts about Darwin. Dr. Nicholas Money gave a talk about Darwin's theory of evolution as part of the event.