Nominate a librarian for UI Libraries Benton Award for Excellence


The University Libraries is seeking nominations for the Arthur Benton University Librarian’s Award for Excellence. Funded by a generous endowment, this prestigious award acknowledges a library staff member’s professional contributions in the practice of librarianship, service to the profession, scholarship, or leadership which has had a significant impact or innovation to the operations of the Libraries or the University of Iowa.

The $1,500 award may be used to support professional development activity expenses for conferences or workshops in support of research projects and publications related to services, or it may be taken as a cash award.

Any member of the University of Iowa community may make a nomination, or self-nominations are accepted. The nomination form is available at: .

Jennifer DeBerg, Users Services Librarian at Hardin Library, won the award in 2012.

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Kick-Start That Project!


Creative Kick-Start

Hey students!
Are you interested in giving your idea, project, or invention a kick-start?
Want to make that project a reality?

A new program, Kick-Start, has been developed for engineering students (undergraduate and graduate) to request funding to pay for prototyping and/or finishing projects using the services offered through the Creative Space, Engineering Electronic Shop (EES) and the Engineering Machine Shop (EMS). There will be ten $500 awards!! How exciting is that!?

There are a limited number of Kick-Starts to be awarded this year – so this is a competitive process! Make sure you check the Kick-Start webpage to get complete details!

Briefly, any student (graduate or undergraduate) may apply for a Kick-Start award. You come up with an idea, find a faculty or staff sponsor, complete an online application form (available soon), attend an in-person workshop (approximately an hour), and present your project in April!

There are a few requirements which include (but aren’t limited to) keeping receipts and a record of all expenses (a budget spreadsheet template will be be provided). A post-project survey of the Kick-Start program will also be required.

You are strongly encouraged to visit the Hanson Center for Technical Communication for assistance with writing your proposal before it is submitted. We also suggest you fill out a page and use it to post regular, substantial updates on the status of your project. Each update should include photos – of your project, notes or sketches – and text explaining your progress.

There are a few restrictions, one of which is you may not already be receiving funding for this project from any other source. There can only be one idea per submission and a student may only be the primary investigator on one Kick-Start per year.  Students may be co-investigators on more than one project. Be sure to check the Kick-Start webpage for more information.

So what else do you need to know?

The idea for the project is yours, and may be a finished product or a prototype. You maintain ownership of your idea and anything you build during the project. For inspiration check out United Nations Global Problems.  A team may work on the project together, but one student must be designated as the primary investigator. A primary investigator may be a co-investigator on another project.

You may keep any materials you purchase for your project, but tools purchased should be returned to the Creative Space for use by future makers. This can be a gray area, so please direct any questions about what should be returned to The $500 award may only be used in EES and EMS for materials, tools, and labor, etc. Any unused funds will revert back to the program and will go toward helping another future maker build their idea.

You are required to have a sponsor who will review the requirements of the Kick-Start program and review your application before it is submitted. You will meet with your sponsor a minimum of 3 times during the course of the Kick-Start program. The sponsorship officially ends with the presentation in April, but the sponsor and student are free to continue to work on the project if they so choose.

Remember that ‘failure’ is part of the creative process. The important thing is you learn from these failures and therefore are better prepared for future projects. You will still be required to present your project in April – your presentation can deal with what went wrong, how it could be fixed, what you would do differently, what you learned. As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that  won’t work.”

Ellis mitre band saw in the Engineering Machine shop (EMS).

Ellis mitre band saw in the Engineering Machine shop (EMS).

One of the Modeling Stations available in the Creative Space.

One of the Modeling Stations available in the Creative Space.

There are so many resources to help you complete your project! Our Creative Space is a great place to begin! Two collaboration tables, each with a quad-screen monitor will help your team work together to imagine your project. There are 4 modeling stations with Leap Motion controllers, Wacom drawing tablets and the high-powered software you need. 3D cameras, a 4400 Dell computer with a video card, Leap Motion controllers and an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset can help you manipulate your project in virtual reality.  EES and EMS have the equipment you need to take your project from virtual reality to reality! EES provides circuit board fabrication, dye sublimation printing, PC board prototypes, laser cutting and etching and 3D printing (among other things!). EMS has sheet metal tools, power hand tools, computer controlled machine tools (among other things!) Staff in both EMS and EES are happy to answer questions and provide guidance!

We have the resources and the support needed to help bring your idea to reality! So, what are you waiting for? Kick-Start your project now!!

Here’s video of the new Creative Space Open House!

Fall 2016 Workshops

sciences-library-workshop-series-1The following workshops will be offered at the Sciences Library during the Fall semester. Our workshops are open to everyone and there is no need to register. They will be held in 102 SL, the classroom on the first floor of the Sciences Library. If you have any questions, please contact Sara Scheib.

EndNoteWednesday, September 12 at 1:30 – 2:20 PM
In this workshop you will learn to use EndNote to import references from popular databases, organize and share your references, use tools to automatically format in-text citations and bibliographies, and use Microsoft Word add-ons to include pre-formatted citations in your paper.

MendeleyWednesday, September 28 at 2 – 2:50 PM
Mendeley Reference Manager is a popular tool used to save, organize, and cite references from journals, books, and other sources. In this workshop, you will learn how to use Mendeley for your research and writing.

Staying Current – Thursday, October 6 at 3:30 – 4:20 PM
How do you keep up with the news and research in your field? Would you like to learn how to use technology to find new information? Join us for a Staying Current workshop, and learn how to use RSS feeds and other alert options to keep up with blog posts, news, and scholarly articles.

Scholarly Publishing and Open Access – Wednesday, October 19 at 2 – 2:50 PM
Have you ever wondered how the scholarly publishing process works? Have you heard the buzz about open access and wonder if/how it changes things? Are you worried about predatory publishers? This workshop will provide an overview of traditional scholarly publishing and how the open access movement is changing things. Participants will also learn more about the UI Libraries Open Access Fund and how to identify predatory publishers.

Data Management – Monday, November 7 at 2 – 2:50 PM
Are you confused about funding agencies’ new data management and sharing policies? Or do you need some help managing your research data? You’re not alone, and we can help! The purpose of this workshop is to explain research-data management and its importance, help identify some common data management issues, and learn about best practices and resources that are available.

Scholarly Impact – Thursday, November 17 at 3:30 – 4:20 PM
In this workshop, participants will learn how to use tools such as Ulrich’s, Journal Citation Reports, Web of Science, and Scopus to determine the impact that journals, articles, and authors have had on a particular field. Topics such as impact factors, Eigenfactors, and H-indices will also be discussed.

If you’re interested, but unable to attend these workshops, private appointments are available. Contact Sara Scheib for more information.

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Find results faster with PubMed! | Free workshop Wed. September 21, 2-3pm


PubMed is the National Library of Medicine’s index to the medical literature and includes over 26 million bibliographic citations in life sciences. This one-hour session will show you how to improve your search results by using subject headings (MeSH) and advanced keyword searching techniques.

Our sessions this Fall:

  • Wednesday, September 21, 2-3pm  pubmed2
  • Tuesday, October 4, 1-2pm
  • Wednesday, November 16, 1-2pm

Register online.  Free and open to all!

Basic searching in PubMed tip sheet from Hardin Library

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Learn to find records not in PubMed with EMBASE | workshop Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 10am

embase square
EMBASE is a biomedical and pharmaceutical database containing bibliographic records with abstracts. Although there is overlap with records from PubMed, there are also many unique records.  This hands-on session will show you how to conduct basic searches using EMBASE’s quick search box, how to conduct searches using EMTREE subject headings, and how to use subheadings for drug and disease topics.
Register online.  No time for a workshop?  Use our tipsembase square
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