Creative Conversations: Winter Quarter Recap

Creative Conversations is the library’s new speaker series that highlights scholarly and creative work begin done by members of the SPU community. We continue to focus the program on the creative processes that go into their work with the aim of stimulating conversations about these processes among students, scholars, and others at SPU.

This quarter Rob Wall and David Nienhuis started us off by presenting their work on their new book A Bite-Sized Introduction to the Whole Bible, a collaborative work that will ultimately include most of the Theology faculty. Each chapter in the book will focus on a different book or collection of books of the bible and will be written by a different faculty member. Slated for becoming a new textbook in the core curriculum, the aim is to provide a book for students (and edited by students) that provides a foundational big picture look at the whole biblical story.

Executive editor of Image Journal, teacher, and author Suzanne Wolfe presented the following week, sharing from her latest novel in progress, The Iron Ring: The Confessions of St. Augustine’s Concubine. She talked about her research process – including her adventures abroad, the process of seeing characters come to life, and the ups and downs of being a writer. Suzanne read the finished epilogue which was rich and beautifully written and is very promising of things to come.

We welcomed Myrna Capp as our third speaker, a gifted pianist who also teaches piano at SPU. Myrna and her husband spent a significant amount of time in Namibia, during which she conducted a great amount of research on Namibian music and musicians. Her book, Namibian Soundscapes: Music of the People and the Land, gives us a glimpse into a fascinating culture so different from our own, and an introduction to a musical people committed to keeping that culture alive.

Don Yanik rounded out this quarter’s Creative Conversations with a talk on scene design. Don has designed sets for a prolific amount of plays in his time, at SPU and outside of it. He shared a little about the process of design as a process that includes collaboration between the director, designers, and actors. It is a process that creates a world for the play to live in and not detract from it. It accomplishes a purpose. To show his work, Don brought along to-scale models of the stage at SPU.

After a successful Winter quarter, we’re excited to welcome Dr. Kimberly Segall, Dr. Jennifer Maier, Dr. Kevin Watson, and the alumni behind SHEP Films in the Spring. Times and dates to come!

New Library Discovery System for 2014

Dear Members of the SPU Community,

Beginning January 1, 2014, we will have a new search tool for finding materials in the SPU Library and Summit libraries. Our library is one of the 37 Summit libraries transitioning to this shared system, which will enhance the discovery and sharing of resources within the Orbis Cascade Alliance.

The new interface is similar to our current SPU WorldCat system and other search tools you may have used before: you search for books, articles, and more using a single search box and then select from various options to filter your results.

Here are some key changes to be aware of once the new system is live:

  • The “Classic Catalog” and SPU WorldCat will be replaced by the new system after December 31. Learn more here.
  • Signing in with your SPU username and password will maximize your search experience. Learn more here.
  • You will see new “Get It” and “View It” tabs under each title to help you access and request items. Learn more here.
  • Journals A-Z will become eJournals A-Z. Learn more here.

Additional information and guidance is available here.

If you have questions or feedback, please speak with the liaison librarian for your area or any member of the library staff.

Michael J. Paulus, Jr.

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

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.

Campus Closure on Monday

On Monday, all campus offices are closed and classes are canceled in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, 2013. However, the Library will be open from 3 – 11 p.m.

If Memorial Day has sparked your research interests and you are looking for something to read during the extra day, take a look at some of the related resources that our Library currently owns.

The SPU Library hopes all its patrons enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend.