The View (from Downstairs)

Here is the latest message from Ryan Ingersoll, Head of Library Technology at the SPU Library:

As the Tech Desk continues to evolve, we want to keep you up-to-date on all the new services and products we’ve added.

Last year, the Tech Desk added multiple items for check out including iPod touches, audio recorders, Flip cameras, and MacBook Pros for use within the library. This year, we’ve extended the list to include a Canon Rebel T5i DSLR camera that is available for check out for three days at a time.

In addition, every study room on the Third Level is now equipped with a 46-inch LCD screen that connects to your mobile device (tablet, computer). They are perfect for collaborating on projects where everyone needs to see the screen. If you need HDMI or VGA adapters, they are available for check out at the Tech Desk. Each study room also has mobile furniture – feel free to configure tables and chairs to meet your specific needs.

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Our staff is trained to provide assistance with many of the technology tools we provide, and our knowledge base provides helpful tutorials and tips on these tools also. We are also here if you need help using the new printers (including scanning JPEG images or PDFs), or setting up wireless printing on your Mac or PC.

Visit our website for more information or schedule a one-on-one consultation by emailing librarytechdesk@spu.edu

Q&A with Library Staff: Christina Nofziger

ChristinaChristina Nofziger joins the SPU Library staff as our new Access Services Specialist. Learn a little bit about her below in our Q & A interview:

Tell us a little about working at a Public Library and living in Kitsap County?

I worked for a public library in Kitsap County for seven years before coming to SPU.  Each day, I was privileged to help a variety of people with a variety of different needs. I did everything from baby story time to teaching students how to best use library resources for school projects to helping people track down books they wanted to read with very little information (“The cover was blue and I saw it on the Today Show…”) The library was a community gathering place so I also got to do some fun programming like author readings, Mystery Nights, art programs, and my personal favorite, a Zombie Prom!

I get the most joy in library work helping people find information that could potentially change their life. I’m very excited to be in an academic environment where I can use my passion for research and information to serve students and support SPU’s mission to engage culture and change the world!

Kitsap County is just west of Seattle via a short ferry ride. It’s a really beautiful area with lots of places to hike, camp and kayak. One of my favorite things to do is kayak along the Hood Canal and explore the little coves along the shoreline. For a day trip, Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo are great little cities to explore with lots of quirky shops and fantastic restaurants. Kitsap also gets regular visits from orca and grey whales!

What are some things you are responsible for in your new position?

I am an Access Services Specialist, and will help oversee student workers and the running of the front desk. I will be responsible for inventory and stack maintenance.

Any new book recommendations?

SO MANY! I love to read and I really love helping people find their next book. Feel free to stop by the library and talk to me about what you’ve enjoyed reading and what you would like to read next!

Most recently, I really enjoyed Echoes of Eden: Reflections on Christianity, Literature, and the Arts by Jerram Barrs. Dr. Barrs discusses the importance of culture as part of the human experience and why art appeals to us. Art often reflects what he calls “echoes of Eden” and is part of God’s general revelation: it reflects creation, the fallen world, and the longing for redemption. Creativity is a gift from God, the ultimate Creator, and Barrs makes a wonderful case that imagination and art can be vehicles for truth for image-bearing humans. He presents theoretical and doctrinal issues as they pertain to the arts and then applies these to five authors: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen.

* Photo is courtesy of Camarin Quinn Photography

Interview with a Librarian: Liz Gruchala-Gilbert on USEM and Information Literacy

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What is the Library’s role in the USEM classes?

In the USEM classes, we aim to address the concept of information literacy. Graduates need to be information literate, have critical thinking skills, and be lifelong learners – and the Library works with faculty to make that happen.

USEM is our opportunity to meet all the new students – we probably have interaction with 90% of the first year students through USEM. When they come here we have the opportunity to take them on a tour – it’s a good time for us to introduce the Library to students in a fun way. I like to find out more about their experience with libraries – how they used libraries in high school, or how they use the public library – and then kind of bridge that to how they’re going to use this Library.

That also makes our interaction with new students an introduction to academic culture. They’re spending their first few weeks getting used to being at SPU…but there’s also an academic culture that they’re entering into. When they come here we show them how they’re going to be using more scholarly resources then they ever did before, and some of the nuts and bolts of using the catalog, getting things that are on reserve, and we talk about study habits. We try not to overload them because they’re learning so much in their first few weeks.

What is Information Literacy?

That’s a good question – I don’t know that there’s an agreed upon definition by everybody. First of all, there are different facets to Information Literacy. There’s the technology part where they have to know how to use technology, there’s the tool part where they have to know how to use the catalog, the data bases, and the books. There’s the evaluative part in which students have to know what makes a good source, and why they would be using it. They learn how to make judgments as to when to use the catalog, the databases, google, etc.

Then there’s applying that…how do you take all this data, all this information that you found and actually synthesize it into your paper and then how do you share that. It’s a big process.

Why would you say that Information Literacy is important?

Well on the most fundamental basic level it helps students do their projects and papers better. There are certain requirements that they’re going to have for papers. For example, a student might need five academic journals – so our job is to help the student find those academic journals. Our hope then is that those skills are transferable so that the next assignment the student gets, the student knows where to go and how to get help.

Do you help students figure out which sources are credible and which are not?

Yes. Credibility is incredibly important – sources need to be as credible as possible. Sometimes what I do is I’ll do a google search for a topic and take the first ten results. I divide my class into groups, each group will take one result, look at it, and then report back as to whether they would use it as a source for their paper. Who wrote something, what was their motive for writing it, who published it, is it on the web published by an individual or is it in a book published by a university press, how old is it, does it matter how old it is, who are they citing, are they citing reliable sources, are they citing anyone at all – these questions are all part of the discerning process.

What is your biggest piece of advice from a librarian’s standpoint to freshmen starting classes at college?

It’s so hard, but don’t procrastinate. We all procrastinate, but even little steps of starting early really help. The earlier students start gathering those the better, because it gives them more time to read and understand sources. If someone’s having trouble finding things then, it also gives them time to ask for help.

Books and Crannies: Floor with a View

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The third floor is usually the most lively – and for good reason. Big desks and beautiful views make for lovely study spaces that allow one to settle in for the long haul. The far corners of the floor give you windows and light from two sides, sweeping views of Fremont, the canal, the mountains, and campus, and some indoor foliage to break up the walls and carpet.The far right corner lands you right by the P section – all our literature, poetry, and novels.

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Books and Crannies: The Juvenile Section

The Juvenile section of the library, with its broad tables and big windows, feels like a well kept secret. Study areas are tucked away on the third floor between stacks of childrens books and green filled windows that allow enough natural light in to make the space feel warm, but block enough of campus below to make the space feel private.

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What’s more, the Library heating system decrees that the Juvenile section shall be warmer than all others. With gray, rainy days around the corner, this is always a plus. And, of course, if a study break is called for, titles from The Hobbit to Goodnight Moon and everything in between, are just an arm reach away.

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Any study areas you are excited about?