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Check out books and eat them too… Edible Books Festival, April 1

The University of Iowa Libraries invites faculty, staff, students, and the community to celebrate the annual International Edible Books Festival April 1 by crafting a delicious book to share and, of course, eat.

To participate, follow two simple rules: entries must be edible, and they must have something to do with books as shapes and/or content. Edible books will be displayed on April 1 in the Main Library Learning Commons, Group Study Rooms1103 and 1105 in the South Lobby from 3:00-4:30 p.m., followed by a book tasting.

Prizes will be awarded in multiple categories including Best Book Structure, Best Literary Allusion, Judge’s Favorite, Audience Favorite, and Best Tasting. Entries will be judged by the Iowa City Press-Citizen’s Michael Knock, University of Iowa Center for the Book’s Emily Martin, and University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections Librarian Colleen Theisen.

For more information or to submit an entry, please contact Brett Cloyd via email at or by telephone at (319) 335-5743, and bring your entry to Room 1103 between 2:00-2:45 p.m. on April 1.

The International Edible Books Festival is an annual event held on April 1 around the world. The event unites bibliophiles, book artists, and food lovers to celebrate the ingestion of culture and its fulfilling nourishment. Participants create edible books that are exhibited, photographed, and then consumed. Information and inspiration can be found at


Takedown Notices from Publishers: What are your rights?

Chris Diaz, Residency Librarian, Scholarly Communications & Collections
Karen Fischer, Collections Analysis Librarian

You may have read in the Washington Post or the Chronicle of Higher Education that users of have had their research papers taken down from their profile pages. Elsevier, the largest publisher of journals in the Scientific, Technical, and Medical fields, has been sending takedown notices to third-party websites, like, hosting research articles published in their journals. As the copyright holder, Elsevier is within their rights to do this because publishing agreements often give them the exclusive right to sell and distribute the article, thus prohibiting sharing of those articles by the author or anyone else.

The University of Iowa Libraries offers a number of options to support and encourage the permissible posting of research articles online. As the author of an original research paper, you can decide how you want your findings to reach your audience. By publishing in an academic journal, you are within your rights to negotiate for terms that suit your needs. One way to do this is to attach the University of Iowa’s Author’s Addendum to your next publishing agreement. This addendum preserves your right to share your work online through a personal website or Iowa Research Online, the University’s open access archive for scholarship. Iowa Research Online is a free resource for making scholarship available online and preserved in perpetuity by the Libraries. In addition to hosting and preserving research articles, Iowa Research Online accepts conference proceedings, presentations, and multimedia to meet the diverse methods by which scholars share their work.

If you have received a takedown notice from a publisher or have any questions about copyright or publishing agreements, please contact your librarian for assistance. To learn more about the University Libraries’ publishing services, please visit our informative guides on Scholarly Publishing issues and Copyright. We look forward to helping you in your scholarly endeavors.


Millions of Titles to Borrow

Amy Paulus, Head of Access Services

Looking for books not available or not owned by the University Libraries?  Try UBorrow! A book found in UBorrow will be delivered quickly from one of 15 research libraries (Big Ten Universities plus Center for Research Libraries, University of Chicago, Maryland, and Rutgers), arriving within one week of request.

You can use these materials for 12 weeks, a much longer loan period than a traditional interlibrary loan, without the fear of having it recalled from you. A four week renewal is also an option. If you discover materials through UBorrow that are not available, the interlibrary loan option is presented and staff will request from other libraries. To further simplify, these requests can be tracked and managed along with the rest of your interlibrary loan requests through the ILL system:  To ensure your request will be submitted automatically, you should log-in to the ILL system before performing searches in UBorrow.  For further information, instructions, tutorials, and a link to UBorrow, see the UBorrow libguide at


Research Resources Your Students Need in Subject Specific Guides

Ericka Raber, Research & Instruction Librarian

With the wealth of information resources available, students often need help finding the information they need for research projects and papers. Libguides are selective lists of subscription databases, books, journals, and other resources available through the UI Libraries.

Libguides are easily accessible from the Libraries’ website and ICON course pages. ICON’s “Library Resources” link leads to the subject libguide for each department so, for example, students in Political Science courses are guided to:

Librarians can also develop course-specific libguides to help students locate quality resources for class assignments. These guides can help students at various stages of the research process, from developing a topic to citing their sources in perfect APA style. Libguides can also include dynamic features such as Twitter streams and RSS feeds.

Some recent course-specific libguides:

Libguides are available for a variety of resources, including Dissertations, Newspapers, Evidence Based Practice, Mobile Device Resources, and Citation Formats.

Usage reports provide data on how libguides are being used and which libguides get the most traffic. Statistics can also help editors refresh the guides to better meet research needs.

То learn more about using a libguide for your class, contact your librarian.



LC Late Night – this Wednesday!

Join us for LC Late Night on Wed. Oct. 2nd from 10p-2a in the Main Library Learning Commons.

  • Catch a movie in the Librarian Film Series
  • Learn tips and tricks for using social media to promote your organizations or causes
  • Make an animated GIF
  • Get creative at the craft table
  • Do some gaming with EPX Studio []
  • “Ask the Sexperts” a question
  • Grab a late-night snack.
  • Sample a smoothie at the Food for Thought Café between 10-11p

We hope to see you here!


Pick up your copy of the U.S. Constitution, Sept 17

September 17th marks the 226th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. If you haven’t read the Constitution, now is your chance to get your very own copy to celebrate Constitution Day.
Thanks to Representative Dave Loebsack, you can pick up a pocket-sized copy at the following locations tomorrow – while supplies last:
  • Main Library Learning Commons Service Desk
  • Java House, Washington St.
  • T’Spoons, Old Capitol Mall

Although the U.S. Constitution is a fairly short document, it is the defining outline of the United States government and the source of rights, freedoms and responsibilities of citizens. The Constitution is the highest law in the land and all other laws must comply with its mandates.

If you want to learn the basics of U.S. constitutional research take a look at this research guide:


Learning Commons Open House: September 18th, 11am-2pm

Learning Commons Open HouseYou are invited to the

Learning Commons
Open House

Wednesday, September 18th

11:00am – 2:00pm



The Learning Commons project is a collaboration of the Provost’s Office, UI Libraries and ITS to create an intellectual hub for undergrads at the University of Iowa.


Congratulations to Stephen Sturgeon

Congratulations to Stephen Sturgeon, who has been appointed adjunct assistant professor in the English Department! Needless to say, this is quite an honor, and an indication of the high esteem in which he is held by the faculty. Kudos, Stephen!



Learning Commons completed


UI Libraries opens new 24-hour, tech-filled study space as academic year begins

By Mary Geraghty Kenyon for Iowa Now

When the new academic year begins Monday, Aug. 26, the University of Iowa will open the new Learning Commons in the Main Library, a tech-infused, 24-hour, comfortable study space and one-stop academic help center…with good coffee.

The 37,000-square-foot space is the product of a partnership involving Information Technology Services (ITS), University Libraries, and the Office of the Provost.

Incoming students participating in On Iowa! will have a preview of the new space on Sunday, Aug. 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., including the opportunity to meet tech and research geniuses, test their UI and library trivia knowledge, and take on new University Librarian John Culshaw in a Wii challenge.

Features of the project include 18 group study spaces, 100 desktop and laptop computers, a 45-seat TILE (Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage) classroom with glass walls and sliding doors, printers and scanners, TVs and projectors, and multimedia resources.

In addition:

  • A consolidated service desk will be at the hub of the learning commons. Library and technical staff will be able to answer common academic questions and quickly facilitate expert-level assistance for academic and research issues.
  • Collaboration technology and high-speed wireless connectivity will be available through the commons. Commons staff will be at the ready to help with technology issues as well.
  • The Food for Thought café will offer an expanded menu that includes made-to-order sandwiches, fruit smoothies, and other snacks, as well as espresso and gourmet coffees.

The space will be open all day and night with the exception of Friday and Saturday nights, in direct response to students’ ongoing requests for 24-hour study space on campus.

Construction on the new space included the addition of a new library entrance on Madison Street starting Aug. 26. This and the south entrance, which had been closed during construction, will both be open while the library’s north entrance will close to facilitate the next phase of library renovations. During phase 2 of the renovation, the north entrance will be transformed into a lobby space that leads directly into the Learning Commons.


Culshaw named University Librarian

John P. Culshaw, senior associate dean of libraries at the University of Colorado, Boulder, has been named university librarian for the University of Iowa, effective Aug. 1.

Culshaw joined the university libraries at CU-Boulder in 1991 as central reference librarian. From 1996 to 2008, he oversaw the libraries’ Systems Department, providing leadership and direction for information technology, media, and web services. In 2008 he was appointed associate director for administrative services. His position was renamed senior associate dean of libraries in 2011.

As senior associate dean, Culshaw provides administrative and budgetary leadership for libraries that have an annual budget of $20.9 million and staff in six physical locations. Responsible for all aspects of library facilities planning, he played a key role in the design and construction of a 16,000 square foot learning commons that opened in CU-Boulder’s Norlin Library in 2009.

Over the last year, he collaboratively led efforts to develop and implement a new organizational framework designed to help the university libraries move forward effectively while embracing the changing role of the research library nationally. He was a member of the 2011-12 cohort of the Association of Research Libraries’ Research Libraries Leadership Fellows program.

“I am excited about the future for research libraries,” Culshaw says. “The library must maintain its prominent place as the academic heart of the campus. Research libraries face multiple challenges in the coming years, particularly related to changing scholarly communication patterns, data management, and evolving instructional models. Libraries can turn these into opportunities by becoming more flexible service organizations. I am delighted that I will have the opportunity to contribute to that important, ongoing work at the University of Iowa.”

“John will be an excellent advocate for the university libraries at Iowa,” says UI Executive Vice President and Provost P. Barry Butler. “His collaborative leadership style, a strong vision for the future of the libraries, and a deep appreciation for and commitment to maintaining our unique, exceptional strengths make him a great fit for the position.”

Culshaw will succeed Nancy Baker, who has served as university librarian since 2000. Between July 5 and August 1, Paul Soderdahl, associate university librarian for information technology, will act as interim university librarian.

Culshaw’s appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. His salary will be $225,000.

Culshaw was one of four finalists interviewed on campus in April by a search committee co-chaired by Steve Fleagle, associate vice president and chief information officer, and Richard Fumerton, professor of philosophy and past president of the UI Faculty Senate.

“The search committee worked hard to identify candidates with a demonstrated commitment to scholarship and research, and to serving students and faculty,” says Fleagle. “Mr. Culshaw’s on-campus interviews confirmed how strongly he holds those commitments, and also showed his ability to connect well with a wide range of internal and external constituents.”

As university librarian, Culshaw will provide leadership for University Libraries, one of the largest libraries in the United States. Its Main Library, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, five branch libraries, and off-site storage facilities offer access to more than five million volumes, extensive rare books and archives, time-based media collections, and digital content.

In fall 2013, a 37,000-square-foot Learning Commons—a unique partnership among Information Technology Services, University Libraries, and the Office of the Provost—will transform the first floor of the Main Library to provide flexible study spaces, a new TILE classroom, services and support, and more.