University of Iowa alumna Mildred Wirt Benson — journalist, pilot, amateur archaeologist, ghost writer, and the original author of the Nancy Drew mystery series — was born on this day in 1905. To mark the anniversary, we’re featuring a gallery of her book covers, from the iconic to the unintentionally terrifying, on our Iowa Digital Library Pinterest account. View even more digitized artifacts at the Mildred Wirt Benson Digital Collection.
David Larsen of the University of Chicago Library and Anne Beaubien of the University of Michigan accepted the award on behalf of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation—a consortium of Big Ten member universities plus the University of Chicago. The award comes with a $1000 stipend and honors individuals or institutions for changes they have made to improve users’ access to information through resource sharing in their library, consortium, state or country.
The University of Iowa was one of 5 pilot libraries that tested and implemented UBorrow in late 2010/early 2011. Amy Paulus, Head, Access Services at the Main Library worked closely with these libraries as a member of the implementation team.
UBorrow allows University of Iowa faculty, students and staff to borrow books from other CIC institutions, which typically arrive on campus within a week and can be checked out for 12 weeks, with an option for a 4-week renewal. Visit the UBorrow Library Guide to learn more about using this service.
In the fall of 2013, University of Iowa students will discover a tech-infused, 24-hour, comfy study space and one-stop academic help center…with good coffee.
Designed with significant student input, the new Learning Commons will provide an “intellectual hub” with room for 500-plus students. The 37,000-square-foot facility in the Main Library is the product of a unique partnership among Information Technology Services (ITS), University Libraries, and the Office of the Provost.
“The Learning Commons is focused, first and foremost, on furthering the academic success of students,” says Nancy Baker, university librarian. “The staff will provide students with a ‘concierge’ experience. They’ll answer common academic, library, and technology questions and point students to the resources they need to succeed, like help with their research, writing, or tutoring.”
“Our design team spent a lot of time watching how students study, and particularly noticed how much they leveraged technology in their daily work habits,” says Chris Clark, ITS learning spaces director. “This space, with its multimedia resources, collaboration technologies, and wall-to-wall wireless, reflects the way today’s students integrate technology into their lives.”
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.
The design team also considered students’ stomachs, because students can’t concentrate on their studies when they’re hungry. The Food for Thought café will offer an expanded menu that includes hot panini sandwiches, fruit smoothies, and other snacks, as well as espresso and gourmet coffees.
“We want to create an ambience that welcomes students,” Clark says.
According to Beth Ingram, associate provost for undergraduate education, the most important feature of the space is its flexibility.
“The Learning Commons is many different kinds of study spaces and services rolled into one,” she says. “With technology, information, and expertise combined in one location, it’s a space where students can study with a group or by themselves; where they can have a coffee with friends and then go to a workshop on stress management; where they know they can get answers to questions about information resources, technology, or tutoring services.”
Of course, part of the challenge in creating such a massive space for students is minimizing the impact the construction process will have on daily student life. Hope Barton, associate university librarian, says the impact on current study spaces will be minimal, since the area being remodeled was office space.
“This will really be a fantastic resource for University of Iowa students,” Ingram says. “We’re excited to see the project come to completion so students can start making the most of the new space.”
With almost 13,000 pages completed, our crowdsourcing volunteers are wrapping up their efforts to transcribe the UI’s collection of Civil War diaries and letters in order to make them easier to search and browse. But it turns out that that finish line is a moving target, since publicity from the project has attracted new Civil War donations to the Libraries. This week we added a handful of these recent acquisitions — totaling over 1,000 newly digitized pages ready for transcription — to the digital collection: Turner S. Bailey diaries, 1861-1863; Philip H. Conard diary, 1864-1865; and Wilkerson letters, 1863-1865.
In a Cedar Rapids Gazette article last fall, donor Pamela Lee attributed the choice to house her family papers at the UI to the crowdsourcing effort, describing it as “my Christmas list of everything that I thought should be done with the letters.” Read more, or just jump in and start transcribing, at the links below.
Hands-on experience with Civil War history: The University of Iowa is seeking public help with transcribing Civil War history
Letter after letter, week after week, Sarahett Wilkerson pleaded with her husband.
“I wish you could come home,” she wrote to Jesse Wilkerson, who was drafted in November 1864 to serve with the 13th Iowa Infantry in the Civil War.
After five months alone on the couple’s farm in Hamburg and three months caring for a new baby, Sarahett Wilkerson on April 2, 1865, penned another desperate behest of her husband.
“The baby is three months old day before yesturday,” she wrote, her spelling off on some words. “I want you to send her a name.”
In the letter, among 29 that Wilkerson’s descendants recently donated to the University of Iowa Libraries cataloging Jesse Skinner Wilkerson’s Civil War experience, his wife updates the 33-year-old soldier on their children and how much they miss him…
Pamela Lee, 60, of Pullman, Wash., is the great-great-great granddaughter of Jesse Wilkerson and said her family gave the documents to the UI as a way of preserving the material and making it relevant…
“We are so happy that the letters are back in Iowa,” Lee said. “It’s exactly where they should be.”
Many of Main Library staff on the first floor will be moving to renovated space on the fifth to make room for Learning Commons. The fifth floor space has been under construction since early spring and today the furniture is being moved in.
The movers will be using the southeast elevator (D) to transport the furniture upstairs. Please use the other elevators or stairs in the building. Thanks.
Join Bill Fuhr from the Davenport Patents and Trademarks Resource Center for a Patents and Trademarks workshop.
Wednesday, June 27
10:00-11:30am, Engineering Library Computer Classroom (2001C SC) (focus on Engineering and Sciences)
1:00-2:30pm, Main Library, (1015A) (focus on General Research)
- Overview of P&T: types of Patents (Utility, Design, Plant), components of a patent, structure of classification system, trademark searching, when should you seek legal advice
- Demonstration / examples (topics will differ according to session attended)
- Electronic application discussion
- Comparison of interfaces between USPTO and other search mechanisms (Google, etc)
- Resources at Davenport P&T Resource Center
Register for this FREE workshop today.
This afternoon the software that manages interlibrary loan requests will be undergoing a system update and will be unavailable between 2-4p. If you have a request during that time, please try again later.
Join Nixon, Brownie Scouts, and the Women’s Army Corps at the Iowa Digital Library beach party, happening over at our Pinterest account:
Beginning Thursday, May 24, workers will start to replace the doors in the southwest stairwell of the Main Library. They are starting at floor five and working their way down. Please try and avoid stairwell areas during this time.
Also begining next week, the southwest elevator will be unavailable, as it is being modernized. The project will continue through the end of July.