Library Gazette

During October 2010...

Theater Actor Prints & Photographs Now Online!

Friday, October 29, 2010 12:59 pm

We are proud to announce the Theater Actor Prints and Photographs Collection, representing early stage and film actors and actresses, performers, directors, and royalty from the 1880s through the 1930s. The collection includes engravings, etchings, prints, cabinet photographs, cartes-de-visite, postcards, and other photographic materials from England and the United States. The collection includes actors such as H.B. Irving, Fanny Davenport, Lillian Russell, and John Drew.

Images are from the Harold Seton Collection (MS578), the Harold Tedford Collection (MS580), the G. Sykes Collection (MS579), the Clarence Herbert New Papers (MS577), and the library’s collection of theater actor prints (MS581).

[Cross-posted to the Special Collections & Archives blog.]

Liaisons: Your Link to the Library

Friday, October 29, 2010 6:51 am

Each academic department and many interdisciplinary programs have an assigned library liaison. Your liaison strives to make your experience using library services as easy as possible.

For faculty, this means

Buying Materials. Each liaison manages the materials budget for their assigned departments. E-mail any specific book or video requests to your liaison, and they’ll see that it gets ordered. Liaisons also collect requests for new journals and databases, which are funded centrally. They also communicate with you about any changes that may affect the collection in your subject, for instance, storage decisions or trials of potential new database subscriptions.

Class Visits. Liaisons can visit your class to instruct students on how to find information for completing research assignments. Each lesson plan is tailored to your course assignments, and may also include a webpage specific to your class. You can schedule sessions lasting from 15 minutes to two entire class periods. Sessions can be held in your classroom or in a library classroom. We strongly encourage faculty to invite us to visit FYS courses.

Single Point of Contact. We hope you have time to meet all the wonderful staff who can put materials on reserve, give instructional design advice or check out a video camera for you. However, we realize that, sometimes, you don’t know where to start. If you just remember to contact your liaison, they can connect you with the appropriate library service point.

For students, this means

Personal Research Sessions. You can schedule an appointment to meet with a librarian one-on-one or with a small group to work on any step of the research process, but especially finding sources. If you would like a Personal Research Session with a librarian, the liaison that corresponds to your subject area will meet with you.

LIB200 series. Students who have already declared a major or minor can take one of the LIB200 courses. Each one-hour elective course is tailored to a different broad discipline area and is taught by one or more liaisons in that area.

  • LIB210 Social Science Research Sources & Strategies
  • LIB220 Science Research Sources & Strategies
  • LIB230 Business & Accounting Research Sources & Strategies
  • LIB240 History, Politics & Legal Research Sources & Strategies
  • LIB250 Humanities Research Sources & Strategies

Volunteering at Wake Forest

Thursday, October 28, 2010 10:36 am

Volunteer at Wake Forest Exhibit

I assembled a group of books from the ZSR Library collection about service and volunteering for different causes. There are a number of WFU News Service pieces about WFU students performing service-so I thought this exhibit would be timely. I printed two accounts of current students and their service projects and placed the accounts in the exhibit.

Greg Mortenson Exhibit

Thursday, October 28, 2010 10:21 am

Greg Mortenson Exhibit

Greg Mortenson speaks in Wait Chapel on November 12. On his national tour for the paperback release of his bestseller, “Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace Through Education in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” which he co-authored, Mortenson will speak at 6:45 pm. His first book, “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time,” was a #1 New York Times bestseller.

Pomp and Circumstance

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 1:56 pm

I just returned from Raleigh where I had the honor of serving as Wake Forest’s official delegate to the installation of the new Chancellor at North Carolina State University. As you know, I love to dress up in academic regalia and march in medieval style. It was a grand occasion and I was glad to be there. Read about it here.

ZSR in Five Words

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:51 am

Earlier this fall the ZSR Marketing Committee solicited Wake Forest students, faculty, staff and friends to tell us the five words they think of when they think of ZSR. We received over 100 entries and 500+ words. We took the words that were submitted and created a word cloud from the most popular words that shows just how people think about us. We were so thrilled with the results, that we now have the word cloud hanging in our light box by the front door! Thanks to all who submitted words! ZSR in Five Words Word Cloud

W. J. Cash Inducted into the North Carolina Writers Hall of Fame

Monday, October 25, 2010 3:19 pm

A graduate of Wake Forest, who also attended the WFU Law School before turning to journalism, Cash is most well known for his Mind of the South. We have his papers, some of which form part of the Wilbur J. Cash digital collection. For more information, see our W. J. Cash post in the Special Collections blog and the Charlotte Observer article.

Special Collections Visits Data Chambers

Monday, October 25, 2010 11:48 am

[See Audra’s post for video]

Well, my first thought was, as I began traipsing the miles of tall, dim, heaped and variously deployed chambers that make up DataChambers conglomeration of spaces, “What a great place for the climactic shoot out in a seedy thriller.” Lots of places to hide; lots of twists and turns; strange spaces.

Our little video is certainly not a thriller, but the visit did confer an up beat mood among us. A chief source of our rising spirits was the realization that dozens and dozens — perhaps as many as 200 — of boxes contained multiple copies of Howlers. Soon these will all be digitized, leaving us only with the problem of finding a respectful method of divesting ourselves of the boxed duplicates. Space found can feel like “Paradise Found.”

The lion’s share of our boxes contained the personal and working papers of Kyle Hayes, a Wilkes County attorney who lost the 1956 Republican gubernatorial nomination. Maybe our excellent reference staff can help me figure out why Kyle merits so many linear feet in our storage facility (I have not found much ). At the very least, we can certainly shred some of the many files of debt collection suits that seem to have been the bread and butter of his law practice.

We also found several dozen boxes of sports films, entire games, mostly football, going back to the late 1940s or early 1950s (e.g. 1956 Wake vs Duke). These are deteriorating quickly. If anyone knows sports fans, historians, or marketing folks that might have a burning interest in paying for the digital rescue of these films, I’d appreciate knowing.

In shor,t there were no really ugly surprises or complex mysteries, amid our storage stash, and some reason to hope that we can reduce its volume in the near future.

Afterwards we went to Estrellas on Silas Creek and everyone ate fish tacos with relish.

Special Collections visits DataChambers

Friday, October 22, 2010 11:20 am

Last Thursday, Katherine, Vicki, Rebecca, and I visited DataChambers for a tour of special collections materials being stored there. We brought along an inventory of boxes by location and started hunting for treasures. Take a look at the video for a peek at some of the things we found.

As you can see, our sampling helped us discover that most of the unmarked boxes were already in existing collections (mostly Howlers and large collections) and that we have a good number of audiovisual materials (including early football games) in storage. Lots to think about as we work toward the move to the new off-site facility!

Lib100 and Webex pilot

Thursday, October 21, 2010 7:26 pm

A recent scheduling conflict required me to be out of the office for my first two Lib100 classes this semester. Rather than canceling them I decided to partner with our Cisco Fellow, Gretchen Edwards, to hold the classes online using a system called WebEx.

WebEx is a real-time online collaboration tool that includes a suite of video conferencing, screen sharing, and polling features. The key features include multi-person audio discussion, chatting, personal video, polling, document sharing, application sharing, desktop sharing and distributed control. In our first two classes we only touched on a few of these features but wanted to take a moment to write up our initial experience.

What we did

Gretchen and I talked through a lot of options for approaching the first two classes. We discussed different interaction options (discussion time, polling, student sharing of video and PowerPoint) and decided to focus on a few simple interactions. In our first class we got folks oriented to the system and did a quick poll to find out how they have used information and the web up to this point. The second class involved listening to a news piece, a poll, a lecture and discussion time. We finished up each class with a Google poll to find out what they thought about each class.

The WebEx platform allowed us to share our video, chat with students and guide the class using a number of tools. The screen shot above shows video streaming with our PowerPoint slides on the left. In both the first and second classes Gretchen took a few minutes to introduce WebEx concepts (video streaming, chatting, muting/un-muting, document sharing) with the class.

The second class started out with students listening to a piece on NPR and answering a poll on what they thought about the piece. As I went through the lecture for the day I was able to use answers pulled from the poll on specific slides. Gretchen and I worked on getting audio to stream through WebEx but found that the best option was to have students listen to the piece on their own computer.

We finished each class with a survey asking students to reflect on what they learned and to ask any outstanding questions. The second time we asked some direct questions about what they thought about WebEx and asking what other classes they thought might work well on WebEx.

What we found

Not surprisingly, several students really liked the idea of attending class from their dorm room :). A few commented on technical issues and indicated that WebEx should be used sparingly (e.g. Lecture time only) but nobody in the class indicated that we should stop using it entirely. In contrast, some students advocated for either a blended or 100% online experience.

I found that having a structured power point document with speaker notes up on a separate device (see below) helped keep me on my talking points during the class. This can be difficult in WebEx as you do not see speaker notes when sharing ppt slides. I also found that it took about 2 hours of preparation to create the polls, setup the class in webEx and run through timing and interactions. Unlike a face-to-face class, keeping track of time and cues from the students takes a bit more effort.

Clearly organization was a big deal and having Gretchen there to handle all of the technical issues that students were having as well as participate in the class instruction time was really helpful. Most of the students had never taken an online class before so we needed to take time to make sure everyone was comfortable using the system. In both classes however we had all of the students successfully connect and interact.

So what did we learn? Here are a few tips:

1. Preparation! – It helped to do a short talk through video to share with Gretchen so that we would both be on the same page when class happened. I did this by creating a 4-5 minute screencast of a demo WebEx session and sharing it. While probably overkill, it made me feel better about what would happen during the class. Some other pre-class preparation that we did was pre-create poll questions, put the WebEx event on student’s Gmail calendars and identify one or two key ‘learning moments’ or interactions to focus on.

2. Have technical support – The first class required a lot of work. Tech support both for the instructors and the students is a good thing.

3. Be prepared to wait – You are in essence talking to yourself the entire time, ask students for queues and feedback (e.g. raised hand, verbal comments, chat comments) or use short polls to get interaction going. Getting everyone to talk is tough but breaking up a lecture with short interactions not only keeps it fun it helps you understand what students understand or do not understand. In our second class we showed students how to control their microphone muting and during discussion time the interaction felt very much like an in-person discussion would. As always, it took a good minute for someone to make the first comment though!

4. Have fun – WebEx is a new experience for everyone and there was a bit of excitement just in how things were happening. Building on that sense of fun and excitement is well worth the effort.

What’s next?

Gretchen and I are going to look at the student feedback forms from the first few weeks and I am going to chat with students about how many more sessions they would like to do online. While WebEx takes more prep than an in-person class (at least for now), from my experience it helps create just as good a classroom environment.

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