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ZSRx Mini-MOOC is a Great Success!

In March and April, the Z. Smith Reynolds Library conducted a successful mini-MOOC (massive, open, online course) for 700 Wake Forest University parents and alumni. ZSRx: The Cure for the Common Web was designed as a free, open, online course for the external Wake Forest University community. The course engaged participants in a fun, collaborative, learning environment by exploring tools and techniques for using the web to increase personal productivity, strengthen search habits and sharpen evaluation skills. Four weekly modules included these topics: basic search strategies, advanced searching, privacy and filters, and tools for information management.

Kyle Denlinger, eLearning Librarian at ZSR, designed the course as a low-barrier entry into the world of online education, knowing that participants would have many other commitments. He invited classmates to consider it less as a traditional class with deadlines and boundaries and more as a starting point for exploring and connecting to a larger community of learners. ZSRx used Google Sites as the course platform, while Google Groups and Google+ served the community as discussion spaces. Interaction was rich and deep, with participants commenting freely on each other’s posts.

Participants ranged from members of the class of 1954 to the class of 2012 and according to post-course evaluations, they enjoyed it immensely. One participant said, “Kudos to you and Wake for doing this, and I hope you will offer other courses in the future.”

Read Kyle Denlinger’s article for more details. Contact Kyle to suggest topics for other classes.

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Meet the New Director of Special Collections & Archives

Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Director, Special Collections & University Archivist

Tanya Zanish-Belcher in her own words…

I am so pleased and proud to join the ZSR Library as Director of Special Collections & University Archivist! My professional career path has led me to Winston-Salem after 17 years as Head of Special Collections at Iowa State University. I look forward to sharing my experiences from there with Special Collections here – and to focus on sharing library collections with members of the Wake Forest campus community and broader public. Special Collections collects the rare and unique, and it is crucial to recognize their importance and value, and to guarantee their permanent preservation. At the same time, however, administering a department like this requires a delicate balancing act between preservation and access. Access can mean many things, and can include a visit to see the original, or going online to see a digital version of the original. Our audiences should realize that Special Collections has resources, not only collections but also expert staff, waiting and willing to assist with a myriad of projects! Special Collections means Sharing, in my rare book.

As an undergraduate History major, I struggled with what career to pursue, until a professor recommended the Public History program at Wright State University. At the time, WSU was the only university in Ohio offering any kind of programming in this area, and I followed a dual archives/museum track. From the moment I took my first class, I knew I had found my calling in life. Archives offers a unique opportunity to combine a number of elements – the study and comprehension of the complexity of history, the sharing of these unique resources with the public, and, lastly, it requires the management of people, time, and other resources. The management component has allowed me to face the challenge of evaluating these available resources and match them with the needs to both preserve and access rare and unique materials. In addition, working with archives provides a physical challenge as well – there are always boxes to move, books to re-shelve and items to shift. My 20 years of experience as an archivist have also helped me to view my professional career as part of a continuum, in what I can contribute to my institution – I am one of many, and my role is to ensure that collections are safe and secure for the next generation.

However, and this is the critical issue for special collections and archives, there is no point in preserving material if you do not make it available for someone to use.

For additional information regarding my previous publications and vita, please see my website.

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Relax this Summer in the Outdoor Reading Room

This spring, two outdoor reading “rooms” opened on campus. One is just outside the east (Starbucks) entrance to the library. The other is located on the patio near the south side of Reynolda Hall. ZSR Library sponsors the collections in both locations. Each reading room features a selection of books (mostly fiction) as well as current magazines and newspapers.

These rooms are part of a larger initiative whereby WFU commissioned the Biederman Group to enliven outdoor spaces on the Reynolda Campus. Biederman’s most famous project is Bryant Park in New York City. In addition to the reading room, the Reynolda Campus quads now feature an outdoor piano, board games and other fun enhancements. Take a break this summer and relax in the sunshine with a good book or magazine.

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Highlights from the Fourth Annual Senior Showcase

At the most fundamental level, how are humans defined? What stories are being told within the musical compositions of great composers? How are unions and businesses reacting to legislation addressing collective bargaining? How do fish locomote on land to capture prey? Representing a rich array of research across disciplines, four Wake Forest students addressed these questions during the fourth annual Senior Showcase, held in the library auditorium on April 23.

Nominated by their faculty advisers, the honorees were selected to present their research before an audience comprised of fellow students, faculty and staff, and family members. The Senior Showcase was founded in 2010 upon the suggestion of a former student who desired a campus-wide forum to highlight student research achievements. Each year, the Showcase has grown in both the number of nominees and the distinct departments they represent. Building upon sustained growth, the Showcase expanded this year to include a $1,000 award for each honoree, in additional recognition of their efforts and merit.

The 2013 Senior Showcase honorees were:

  • Jonathan Barker, Philosophy, for “Animating Animalism by Eliminating Eliminativism,” nominated by Patrick Toner;
  • Liu “Nick” Cheng, Music, for Piano Performance of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and Prokofiev Masterworks, nominated by Peter Kairoff;
  • Lani Domagalski, Politics & International Affairs, for “Wisconsin and Michigan Collective Bargaining and Breaking the Unions,” nominated by Charles “Hank” Kennedy; and,
  • Alexander Pronko, Biology, for “The Novel Kinematics of a Water-Land Transition in Mangrove Rivulus (Kryptolebias marmoratus),” nominated by Miriam Ashley-Ross.

Following the presentations, and a lively question and answer session with the audience, honorees and attendees enjoyed a reception sponsored by the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Center.

L to R: Nick Cheng, Alex Pronko, Lani Domagalski, Jonathan Barker

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Database News

Please consider how you and your students might use these new databases to benefit your work.

  • ARTstor – Database containing over 1.5 million searchable, high-resolution images in the arts, architecture, humanities and sciences. ARTstor images may be used for educational or scholarly purposes, including presentations and printed handouts, but may not be otherwise distributed or publicly displayed.
  • Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM) – Streaming audio from independent record labels and sound archives. Includes essays and original liner notes.
  • Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database – Information about children’s books and other children-focused media, with critical reviews, information about awards, reading measurements, etc.
  • Cabell’s Education Directory – Also known as Cabell’s Directory of Publishing Opportunities in Education, provides publishing information to assist in preparing manuscripts for publication.
  • Roper Center Public Opinion Archive – A leading archive of social science data, specializing in data from surveys of public opinion. Covers a broad range of topics including social issues, politics, pop culture, international affairs, etc.

Databases on the move

Statistical Abstract of the United States, the statistical summary of the social, political and economic conditions of the United States, was discontinued by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2011 as a cost-reduction measure. Two commercial publishers have since combined forces to resurrect the publication.

L’AnnĂ©e Philologique has moved to the familiar EBSCOhost platform. Please update your bookmarks.

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Let Me Hear from You

If you ever have comments, complaints or kudos about the library and its services, please let me know.

For ways to support the library and its mission, please see Giving to the Library.

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