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Bringing Books to Life: Engaging School-Age Students in Book Reviewing

Literacy through active learning practices is important for university students as well as preschool through grade twelve students. The Bringing Books to Life project introduces area educators and librarians to the Cooperative Services for Children’s Literature (CSCL) Children’s Book Center (CBC), a collection of juvenile literature in Bowling Green State University’s (BGSU) Curriculum Resource Center (CRC), of the University Libraries. In conjunction with area school children and students enrolled in BGSU ENG 342 (Literature for Young Children), a substantial number of picture books have been explored, critiqued, and reviewed during an artist-in-residence style series of in-school visits. The CBC is an examination center of newly published, exceptional juvenile literature located on the second floor of the University Libraries. Books representing a wide variety of curriculum-related topics are continually added to the collection by participating children’s book publishers. The publishers want regular reviews of the books supplied to the CRC, and this project is a great beginning to provide them with the feedback they seek.

The Bringing Books to Life project evolved from an ongoing partnership between the CRC and several instructors of ENG 342 at BGSU. Stacey Osborn, Instructor of Children’s Literature in the Department of English, and Sara Bushong, Head Librarian of the Curriculum Resource Center, co-authored a successful BGSU grant to support the project, which was funded by the campus organization Partnerships for Community Action (PCA). This multi-faceted project focuses on five area schools: Fairfield Elementary, Maumee City Schools; Otsego Middle School, Otsego Local Schools; Milton Center and South Main, two Bowling Green City elementary schools; and Glendale-Feilbach, Toledo Public Schools. The instructor will visit the schools in the capacity of a professional teaching artist, conduct an initial planning session with teachers, and bring a book to life in the classroom by involving students in theatre, music, and dance activities based on the themes in a specific picture book. The instructor then will read the actual picture book to the class, making connections to the curriculum and encouraging students to use rich language in describing the book. Finally, the instructor will introduce students to the 2004-05 books from the CRC for their review and use. Reviews by elementary and middle school students will be published in the fall issue of the newsletter Introspective.

The PCA grant allows the CRC to

  • Develop closer ties between BGSU University libraries and area educators and librarians;
  • Engage students in urban, suburban and rural elementary schools in an active learning experience designed to promote the language arts skills of reading, evaluating and responding to children’s books;
  • Heighten awareness of area educators and librarians regarding the collection of materials available in the CBC and through the CRC and how they can use the materials; Bring a professional teaching artist into area classrooms (urban, suburban and rural) in a “bring a book to life” artist-in-residence series;
  • Involve BGSU children’s literature students (ENG 342) in a collaborative book-reviewing project with students from northwest Ohio schools;
  • Publish the work of area school children and BGSU students to the CRC/CSCL’s online book review website, in the CSCL newsletter, Introspective, and encourage students from both sectors to publish their reviews on Amazon.com and other publishing venues;
  • Provide the CRC and CSCL with vital data from participant evaluations regarding the needs of area librarians and educators in researching and developing a future part-time position for a CSCL Outreach Coordinator;
  • Develop a pilot “procedures manual” for a future part-time CSCL Outreach Coordinator based on feedback from participants; and
  • Demonstrate the sustainability and far-reaching effects of a part-time CSCL Outreach Coordinator through comments from grant partners.

During spring semester 2005, BGSU students enrolled in Children’s Literature classes participated in a picture book reviewing assignment using the new books from the CBC. Student reviews included rich language to describe both text and images in picture books. The top BGSU reviews were published in the Spring 2005 issue of the newsletter Introspective. The authors of the top picture book reviews in all classes (BGSU, elementary and middle schools) received a hardbound copy of the book they reviewed; the school libraries also received copies.

The Bringing Books to Life project has successfully promoted reading, evaluating, and responding to children’s book with elementary, middle school, and university students. Project directors are investigating additional funding sources to expand this project to more northwest Ohio schools.

instructor discussing a book for a book reviewbook review discussion with instructor

Project Directors:
Sara Bushong, Head Librarian, Curriculum Resource Center
Stacey Osborn, Instructor, Department of English

Managing Change at the Ogg Science Library

In these days of tightening budgets, reductions in staff, and increasing costs, the University Libraries (UL) more than ever is committed to providing the highest quality service and the broadest access to materials as possible. Because of staff retirements and the need to realign services through reassignments, the UL sadly is unable to provide a full-service branch library with commensurate staffing and hours at the Ogg Science Library (OSL). Effective July 1, 2005, two permanent employees staff the OSL: one full-time classified staff member and one full-time faculty member. With only two employees, hours at OSL have also been reduced and reliance upon student workers has greatly increased. Basic assistance is offered during all hours that the OSL is open, but for in-depth reference assistance an appointment with the Science Reference Librarian is recommended (call 2-2591).

To make up for this decrease in staff and hours, to increase efficiencies and effectiveness, and to reduce costs, some of the daily operations have moved from OSL to the Wm T. Jerome Library (Jerome Library), including OhioLINK and interlibrary loan pick-ups. Planning is currently underway to move more services and collections from OSL to Jerome Library during the coming year. By locating our collections in one physical space, users will have centralized access to these materials for more than 100 hours per week compared to the current 70 hours per week at OSL.

In order for Jerome Library to accommodate materials currently housed in OSL, both facilities are undergoing a transformation. Materials in both libraries receiving little or no use are being identified and transferred to the Northwest Ohio Regional Book Depository (Depository). The Depository is designed specifically for the remote storage of permanently held, important, but little-used materials from the UL collections, and from the collections of the libraries at the Medical University of Ohio and the University of Toledo. Materials housed at the Depository can be requested via email and will arrive within approximately one business day. Additionally, articles requested from periodicals located at the Depository can now be delivered electronically via an email account. The transfer of no- and low-use materials to the Depository will ensure that moderate-to-high-use materials from OSL can be incorporated into Jerome Library with minimal reduction of study space in that building.

The goal for complete incorporation of the services and materials from OSL into Jerome Library is in the summer of 2006. Although it may seem relatively simple, accomplishing this transformation is a major undertaking that will involve nearly every single UL employee. A project manager will coordinate the transfer of materials and supervise the student employees hired to process and move materials. A task force of fifteen library employees is involved in the planning process and meets regularly to set timelines and make recommendations on processes. One of the primary operating guidelines for the task force is to disrupt library users as little as possible. The group is working to minimize the time that materials aren’t available, as well as minimize any noise in study spaces, even as this project involves constructing shelving and moving large numbers of books and periodicals.

After the consolidation of materials from OSL into the collections at Jerome Library, the two permanent employees currently at OSL will move to Jerome Library and students currently employed by OSL and by the project manager will be given priority for filling any other open student positions. UL is working diligently with other units on campus to identify and plan for student-centered uses of the space that will be vacated at OSL.

Kelly Broughton, Interim Associate Dean for Information Technology at University Libraries

What Is This DAM Thing?

Consider for a moment the quantity of “digital objects” (digital photographs, scanned images of documents or illustrations, audio files, digitized video, etc.) that faculty at BGSU have generated over the years to help supplement lecture and classroom instruction. Now add to this figure all of the digital objects generated by various administrative offices, including Marketing and Communications, Instructional Media Services, WBGU, the BG News, and you’ll begin to see the daunting challenge we face to insure access, preservation, and security to a vast amount of data. How many hours have been invested to create these digital objects? How many efforts have been duplicated? How is this all being backed up? Who is insuring access controls are within copyright restrictions?

Certainly, some departments have maintained their own servers (or dedicated PCs) to help manage and deliver digital objects to colleagues and students. However, no coordinated effort to combine these resources by way of a shared Digital Asset Management (DAM) system has yet to be put into production on the BGSU campus. Blackboard, our online course management system, certainly offers a delivery mechanism and access control, but in and of itself, is not the solution to collect, catalog, and permanently store the wide array of digital objects generated by the campus as a whole.

During the last several months, a BGSU committee, with representatives from Information Technology Services, The Center for Applied Technology, teaching faculty, and the University Libraries, has been looking at several key vendors within the DAM market. Each vendor was invited to campus to give a demonstration of their product, and the committee identified some clear strengths, and strong contenders. If all of this sounds a bit vague at this stage, it is only because the discussions with the vendors are still continuing, and confidentiality rules are in play. But, suffice it to say, that a centralized Digital Asset Management solution looks to be on the horizon for the BGSU campus.

Once it begins to take shape, rather than have individual digital collections peppered around departments and administrative offices across campus, the DAM system aims to become the central repository for these objects. As an example of workflow; a faculty member in the Classics could upload into the DAM system several digital photographs from their last trip to Greece. From there, they can add standard meta-data information within a consistent structure. Depending on the access rights that this Classics professor gives to their photographs, it could be possible for an Art History professor to query and view these same images via a web browser and then use them within their own instruction. The potential for collaborative digital collections with an interdisciplinary scope will be one of the many benefits to come out of the new service.

Digital objects, as part of the curriculum and daily administrative tasks on campus, are expected to increase exponentially every year. Fortunately, with the arrival of a Digital Asset Management system on the BGSU campus, we will begin to take better organizational control over these vast amounts of data, streamline access, enhance stability, and extend the impact of campus-wide digitizing efforts. As the library continues to monitor this initiative on campus, along with a similar project sponsored by the OhioLINK consortium (The Digital Resource Commons), we will find ourselves interacting with two Digital Asset Management systems in the very near future, reaping the benefits of both local and state wide collaboration.

P. Scott Lapinski, Library Information Technology Services Coordinator

An Important Reminder About Faculty Proxy Borrowing

Faculty members who have research assistants may complete and submit a Proxy Borrower form in order to authorize the research assistants to conduct library business on the faculty member’s library account. After submitting the completed form to the Circulation Desk at the Jerome Library, Ogg Science Library, or Firelands Library, faculty may have their student research assistants check out material, request OhioLINK items, place interlibrary loan requests, renew items, and return items. Faculty can track their account activity by selecting “Your Library Account” under the Quick Links menu on the main University Libraries Web page at http://www.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/.

To get a copy of the form follow these steps:

  • Visit the University Libraries Web page http://www.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/.
  • Select the “Online Forms” option under the Quick Links menu.
  • Go to “Circulation Forms” and follow the path to the Proxy Borrower form for faculty.
  • Print the form, complete and submit it to the Circulation Desk at the Jerome Library, Ogg Science Library, or Firelands Library.

This service is not available to family members of faculty and staff; however, immediate family members, spouses, and children of current faculty and staff may be issued a fee-waived library courtesy card. For more information, contact the Circulation Desk at 419-372-2051.

Mary Beth Zachary, Head, Access Services Department

Additional Renewals for OhioLINK Borrowing

University Libraries is delighted to announce that students, faculty, and staff at Bowling Green State University and across Ohio can now keep the books they borrow from other OhioLINK libraries for up to 15 weeks, as long as another user has not requested the materials.

“Users statewide have been asking to keep OhioLINK books longer than six weeks,” Tony Maniaci, chair of OhioLINK’s Inter-Campus Services Committee, which sets OhioLINK borrowing policies, said. “But OhioLINK has to carefully balance the needs of researchers who wish to keep an item for an extended period of time with those who have short timeframes to meet a deadline or complete a class assignment. Recent improvements to the software used for online borrowing checks for holds before allowing a renewal. This new functionality allows us to extend the maximum borrowing period for items and better meet the needs of all OhioLINK users.”

OhioLINK books may be checked out for three weeks and renewed up to four times, as long as another user has not placed a hold on the item, for a total maximum borrowing period of 15 weeks. Users can request and renew OhioLINK books and local library materials online via the University Libraries Web site at http://www.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/.

The OhioLINK Library Catalog contains more than 9.6 million unique library items, 58% of which are only available at one of the 85 OhioLINK libraries. BGSU users can request to pick up items at the William T. Jerome Library, Firelands Library, or any other participating OhioLINK library. Items are usually delivered in just two-to-three days. There is no charge for BGSU students, faculty and staff to request OhioLINK items, but late fees are charged for items kept past the due date. For more information contact the Jerome Library Circulation Desk at 419-372-2051.

Adapted from OhioLINK Press Release
Beverly Stearns, Director of Administrative Programs and Services, University Libraries

Hello Document Desktop Delivery: The Transformation from Print to Electronic Access

The Access Services department of University Libraries now offers faster access to articles coming from the Northwest Ohio Regional Book Depository and through Illiad (Interlibrary Loan). With the use of digital resource management, researchers who request articles from the Depository now can choose desktop delivery. University Libraries staff members process the request and Depository staff members scan, rather than photocopy, the article. Once the article has been scanned it is uploaded to a Webpage. Requestors receive the Webpage URL via email, which provides them with direct access to the requested material. As a result of reduced processing time, requestors receive materials faster. Material remains available for patron pick-up for 21 days.

Additionally, Interlibrary Loan service now provides electronic delivery for requested articles. Whenever possible, Interlibrary Loan staff members will request that a lending institution fill a borrower’s request for material with an electronic file. Borrowers are notified that the material is available and can be viewed through the University’s Illiad system. They log onto their Illiad account and select the button that says “View/Download Electronically Received Articles,” which links to their articles. With electronic access, processing time is decreased and borrowers receive their material faster. Following initial notification, borrowers can review their material for 14 days.

Colleen Coughlin, Coordinator of Circulation, Access Services Department

Manage Your Citations with RefWorks!

What would you do if you had a tool to help you electronically collect and organize citations for your research resources and automatically create bibliographies, free of charge? Now BGSU students and researchers can access a Web-based reference citation management service, made available through funding by the University Libraries and the BGSU Chief Information Officer.

RefWorks allows you to import or manually create and track citations that you can use later to create a bibliography, footnotes, or in-text citations in almost any citation style you choose. RefWorks offers citation styles, including Turabian, APA, MLA, Nature, and JAMA. If you are working on more than one project, you can divide your citations into different folders. RefWorks also provides the capability to search your citations. Most of the University Libraries’ research databases allow you to import citations into RefWorks.

To use RefWorks, you must first create a personal account:

  • Connect to www.refworks.com from an on-campus, IP-authenticated computer.
  • Click on User Login.
  • Select “Sign Up for an Individual Account.”
  • Fill in all the User Information boxes.
  • Once you have registered for a new account, you will receive confirmation of account registration via an email containing your username and a group account number. You will need this group account number to access your account from off-campus.

RefWorks provides tutorials, guides, and fact sheets to help the new user. University Libraries has long supported the use of new research tools through one-on-one consultation, technical support, and, for your use of RefWorks, an FAQ: http://www.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/refworksfaq.html. For more information about RefWorks, call the Reference Desk at 419-372-6943, or visit us during available reference desk hours on the first floor of the William T. Jerome Library.

Robin Sinn, Interim Coordinator of Reference Services, Library Teaching and Learning Department

University Libraries Celebrate Dr. Janet Parks’ Retirement and Gift

Dr. Janet Parks, Distinguished Teaching Professor in Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies retired in 2004 from a 39-year teaching career at Bowling Green State University. Touched by the countless meaningful relationships she enjoyed with students and other members of the BGSU community, Janet chose to express her appreciation through a gift to the patrons of the University Libraries. She believed they would benefit as she had from the quality resources and services the Libraries offer. On August 21, 2004, a retirement celebration was held in the William T. Jerome Library to honor Janet and launch her project to raise funds for the construction of student group study spaces and a cyber café on the seventh floor of the Jerome Library building. Janet made a personal gift of $20,000 toward the estimated cost of $40,000 to design and construct two group study spaces (Phase I of the project). Her decision was guided by information she received from Dean of University Libraries Dr. Lorraine Haricombe that students had expressed a strong desire to have space in the William T. Jerome Library where small groups could work together. Students not only will enjoy the space, but also will design and construct the space. In consultation with Assistant Professor Lori Young in the School of Art Graphic Design program, students presented design proposals for subdividing the seventh floor into activity zones beginning with a welcoming, high activity social area where the café will be located, opening into a commons area with casual, comfortable seating, research stations, and small group meeting spaces, and finally leading to the quiet study spaces, including the two enclosed group study rooms. Completion of Phase I, construction of both group study rooms, is planned for April 2005.

Dr. Janet Parks has made a tremendous difference in the lives of BGSU students. Together Janet and her friends have raised more than $45,000, including Janet’s personal gift of $20,000, to fund Phase I of the project. To partner with Janet and her friends in their effort to realize Phase II, construction of the cyber café, please consider making a gift to the Janet Parks Library Fund through the BGSU Foundation, Inc., Mileti Alumni Center, BGSU, Bowling Green, Ohio 43403. Your gift will count toward the BGSU Family Campaign.

Beverly Stearns, Director of Administrative Programs & Services University Libraries

Experience the Uncommon: The Common Reading Experience

Imagine this scenario: two students, one a biology major and the other an education major in the hallway of a residence hall deeply engaged in a discussion about a book they have both read. Because of the Common Reading Experience (CRE), this scenario really happens for many first year students at BGSU. Public libraries and Oprah are more likely catalysts for book discussions, but through their strong commitment to reading literacy a small group of devoted faculty, staff, and students at the University have launched the CRE to encourage reading beyond traditional textbooks, regardless of a student’s academic pursuits. Each December the group begins their reading selection process for the following fall by reviewing piles of books for just the right title that would appeal to an 18 year old: one that is engaging, reader friendly, and relevant to modern day issues.

Initiated as a pilot in 2001 with 450 participating students, the CRE has since grown to include approximately 2500 students. The goal of the committee is to engage all incoming first year students in the reading experience, a likely prospect given the expectation that all students will enroll in a BGX values course in Fall 2005. Even though intended as a program for first year students, the CRE selection is catching on with upper class students, other BGSU community members, and area high school students. In addition to selecting the read, the committee organizes a variety of campus events from panel discussions or theater productions to author visits. For example, this fall students read The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. The author visited campus in October and delivered a riveting talk to a standing-room-only crowd, reaching approximately 1200 faculty, staff, students, and community members.

If you are interested in getting involved with the CRE or recommending a book for the committee’s consideration, contact the CRE committee chair and First Year Experience Librarian, Colleen Boff by phone at 419-372-7901 or by email at cboff@bgnet.bgsu.edu.

Colleen Boff, First Year Experience Librarian

Naxos Music Library: New Access to Streaming Audio

University Libraries have collaborated with more than 40 OhioLINK libraries to make available access to Naxos Music Library‘s streaming audio service. The libraries have joined to establish more than 250 simultaneous logins that are accessible to patrons at participating institutions. Naxos Music Library has been available to the BGSU community on-campus since mid-October; off-campus access will be available in the near future. Although not a replacement for a tangible collection of recordings, Naxos Music Library offers the BGSU community an additional venue for accessing recorded sound. Initial responses, from several music graduate students and library staff, are overwhelmingly positive.

A project of Naxos Music, the online resource includes all recordings issued on the Naxos and Marco Polo labels, as well as content licensed from other companies, including Celestial Harmonies, First Edition, and more. Users may choose several streaming rates depending on the capacity of their internet connections. Specific recordings may be accessed by general browsing, browsing by genre, and by using an advanced search interface. In addition to the sound files, program and biographical notes are available online.

Bonna Boettcher, Chair, Archival Collections and Branches and Head Librarian, Music Library & Sound Recordings Archives

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