Wednesday, March 7, 2018

100+ years of Omaha World-Herald Archives accessible through University Libraries

Say hello to the Omaha World-Herald (OWH) Archives. Accessible through Access World News, this database contains content from 1885-present day, giving a glimpse into how Omaha has changed over the last century, as well providing a Nebraskan perspective on local, regional, national and international events and issues.

The archives are not only limited to newspapers, and contain a variety of easily searchable media, including print and online-only newspapers, blogs, newswires, journals, broadcast transcripts and videos. Use it to explore a specific event or issue, or to compare a wide variety of viewpoints on topics such as politics, business, health, sports, cultural activities, and people.

The best part is that the OWH Archives is just one of 5,300 accessible newspapers, from 140 countries, on 6 continents. Check it out here.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons is transforming teaching and learning

The Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons recently celebrated its two-year anniversary. The inviting space with warm light, exceptional research and technology assistance, and its myriad options for study has enlivened the center of campus and transformed how teaching and learning take place.

Over the past two years, the Adele Hall Learning Commons worked with various campus partners to host more than 50 rich and meaningful programs and events, ranging from classical music over the lunch hour to workshops hosted by library staff on research tools and resources.

Last spring, Professor Patrick T. Randolph, Senior Lecturer in the PIESL Department hosted the first international poetry reading and performance night, where he and his students read poems. Randolph says of the space, "I love the positive energy that echoes in spirit of that floor. The natural light coupled with the light sparked by the students, scholars, faculty, staff, and café workers create an energetic peacefulness that inspires the soul to reflect and create."

The Adele Hall Learning Commons is also home to the Big Red Ruckus, an annual event packed with fun and informative activities to welcome new and returning students to campus. Regina Flowers, commons operations manager and the chief organizer of this event says, "The Big Red Ruckus is full of games and prizes, but it has a bigger purpose-to introduce students to the resources available in the library and around campus that support and enrich their academic careers."

The Adele Hall Learning Commons was voted by hundreds of students as the "favorite place to study" in 2016 and 2017 in the Daily Nebraskan's Big Red Choice Awards. Business student Liz Uebele enjoys the open areas, "because I get to interact and work beside students of all majors and backgrounds. The learning commons helps me feel connected to the university as a whole."

University Libraries Dean Nancy Busch visits the Adele Hall Learning Commons nearly every day. She says she sees students and faculty engaged in teaching and learning across the space in different ways. "It's incredible to witness creativity and collaboration. That's why I always tell people to contact us for a tour so they can experience what's happening here firsthand."

The numbers alone indicate the success of the space: the cumulative total visitors for 2016 and 2017 is nearly 1.7 million.  But it's not just the University of Nebraska-Lincoln community that that recognizes the success of the space; institutions from across the country look to it as a benchmark for their own library renovation plans. Flowers reports that she led nearly 20 tours, the majority to other institutions embarking on similar renovation projects, including Nebraska Community College, Wisconsin School of Business, and Kansas State University.

 The Adele Hall Learning Commons has also caught the attention of organizations and experts who conduct research on how college students learn in the digital age. "It's difficult to find any hour of the day when students aren't flocking to the UNL Learning Commons," Dr. Alison Head, director of Project Information Literacy (PIL) said, "the success of this project lies in an unwavering design commitment to building inviting space for collaboration as well as quiet space for reflection." Head is also a Research Fellow at Harvard University's metaLAB, and was the University Libraries' 2017 Visiting Scholar.

The doors opened to the university community on January 11, 2016. To schedule a tour of the Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons, contact Regina Flowers at See more stats about the space here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

University Libraries associate professor featured on national podcast

Kiyomi Deards
University Libraries Associate Professor Kiyomi Deards joined Old Dominion University Librarian Leo Lo on a recent episode of Break Room Chats, a podcast from the American Library Association (ALA).

Lo and Deards dive into a conversation centered on diversity issues and strategies for situations that librarians of color face in today's workplace. Listen to the episode here.
The episode touches on their experiences and insights as persons of color in academic libraries and highlights their motivations to present at the ALA's annual summer conference in June 2017. 

Their presentation, What They Don’t Teach You in Library School: Using Emotional Intelligence to Succeed as Academic Librarians of Color, was featured in the September 2017 Issue of College & Research Libraries News.

Deards and Lo will team up again at this summer's ALA annual conference to share their presentation, Giving to Get Ahead: How to be Generous Without Being a Doormat.

Monday, February 12, 2018

UNL research now available in national database, with free access

PubMed is the nation's largest database of medical and life science research citations, with more than 28 million records linked to scientific publications. It is operated by the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Full-text, however, is frequently not available to public users without subscriptions, so those links often end in frustration for researchers or patients seeking information.

Thanks to a new program initiated in 2017, more than 1000 articles with free public access in UNL's Digital Commons are now linked from PubMed's database, so UNL research can reach a public audience in a free version, linked onscreen right next to the pay version from the publisher.

To qualify, UNL had to find 1000 articles in DigitalCommons that were listed in PubMed but not included in NIH's own free-text archive PubMed Central. University Libraries Professor Sue Gardner did most of the work, combing through our 95,000 articles to find 1000 that met the criteria.

Only a few institutions were able to produce that many, so we are pleased with and proud of the output of UNL researchers and our ability to capture and make it free to all. This is one of the many ways the University Libraries is highlighting and supporting the research done on this campus.

The UNL DigitalCommons brings together the university's research under one umbrella, with an aim to preserve and provide access to that research. Read more about it here.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Explore the Powerful Histories of African-Americans

A new and especially interesting database has been added to the Libraries’ collection, entitled “African American Communities,” that brings together a vast collection of unique primary sources. Spanning the last two centuries, and focusing predominantly on Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, New York, and North Carolina, this collection presents multiple aspects of the African American community through pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, correspondence, official records and in-depth oral histories, revealing the prevalent challenges of racism, discrimination and integration, and a unique African American culture and identity.

Sourced from collections at the Atlanta History Center, Washington University in St. Louis and the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, New York, these include newspapers and official records, as well as interactive maps and in-depth oral and video interviews with a variety of activists, artists and researchers. Also featured is a rich selection of visual material. 

One of these oral histories is that of Betty Welch, a native Brooklynite and activist. Born in 1937, Welch discusses her experience with integration in New York City schools, and the progress she witnessed working in public education through the decades—from elementary schools, to the City University of New York system—in spite of the many roadblocks experienced by African-Americans on the road to equal treatment.  

Thanks to the Big Ten Academic Alliance, you have access to the entire collection of Adam Matthew Databases including:
  • American Indian Histories and Cultures This database sheds light on the personal stories of the colonization of the Americas in the 19th century, through original documents like journals and manuscripts.
  • Everyday Life and Women in America (1800-1920) Pour through thousands of searchable pamphlets, periodicals and more, concerning women’s social, political and economic issues.
  • Perdita Manuscripts Over 230 selected readings from the “Perdita Project,” an effort by the University of Warwick and Nottingham Trent University to rediscover British female authors whose work was lost in the transition away from manuscripts.
  • American West A dynamic resource that tells the tale of the American westward expansion through rare printed books, printed maps and more. 
  • Defining Gender Access five centuries’ worth of literature challenging gender norms from both female and male perspectives.
The vibrant multitude of primary source content found in all of these databases, such as interactive maps, and extensive galleries, makes these research tools an exceptional addition to University Libraries collection, and a vital add to any research paper. Access these databases and more from the Libraries' homepage.