Thursday, November 15, 2018

Joan Latta Konecky Taught Over 1,200 Students in Life Sciences This Semester

University Libraries’ Associate Professor Joan Latta Konecky taught over 1,200 Life 120 & 121 students in just a two-week period this fall. This includes classroom teaching and an online tutorial. This reflects an increase of more than 15% of reported students receiving library instruction over last spring and the trend is expected to continue. Additionally, the course specific library guide Joan created as a resource for the course is one of the most viewed course guides with over 14,000 views during the 2017-18 academic year. It continues to be one of the Libraries’ most heavily used guides. Fundamentals of Biology I (LIFE 120) and II (LIFE 121) are the required classes in the introductory sequence for all life sciences majors across campus. Kiyomi Deards and Dana W. R. Boden assisted Joan and met with four sections of course recitations.

Students pursuing careers in the biological sciences and as health professionals take both LIFE 120 and LIFE 121. As part of the class lecture in LIFE 121, Joan helps students understand the importance of data visualization to ensure that as researchers they will summarize and communicate their findings in a visual format.

Students also learn about information seeking behavior and how to evaluate their results with search strategies that emphasize the importance of key concepts and scholarly communications as the focus. Ultimately, students prepare to become effective researchers and understand that in finding research they learn what is known, what is unknown and where they will need to search next.

Joan said, "understanding the culture of research communication is part of the lifestyle of a scientist: learning how to search for, evaluate and use research information is what transforms a freshman into a budding scientist who develops their own graduate research agenda, and ultimately becomes a practicing scientist, whether in the lab, teaching or out in the field."

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Suping Lu Filmed for Nanjing Massacre Documentary Film Series

Suping Lu, University Libraries’ Professor completed his eleventh book on the Nanjing Massacre. Occurring in Nanjing, China in 1937-38, the massacre was in the former capital of Jiangsu Province. Suping was recently interviewed on camera to be included in one program in a series of documentary films Jiangsu TV produces. This film commemorates the massacre and airs in December only on the Jiangsu network in China with a tentative global release at a later date.
“I enjoy sharing my research and expertise through visual media, in this case television. Usually, I share my expertise through the written word and in communication with students in the classroom.”
During his interview, Suping shared details about the vital role American missionaries played working together with German businessmen to establish a safety zone in the city. They provided shelter, food and protection for the refugees against Japanese atrocities. In addition, five American and British journalists first reported the Nanjing Massacre and four American doctors and nurses worked at the University of Nanking Hospital, the only hospital open to the public.

Suping grew up in a small city just 40 miles East of Nanjing. Prior to his employment at the University Libraries in 1994, Suping’s knowledge of the massacre was minimal. On a museum visit with his father, a brief exhibit near the end of the museum offered his first glimpse into the massacre. Suping attended college in Nanjing and began to study the massacre in 1997. In 1999, he visited the Yale Divinity School Library where descendants of the American missionaries in China had donated essential materials from Nanjing. Because of Suping’s extensive research of these materials, he is now a distinguished scholar of the Nanjing massacre.

Essential to Suping’s successful research for American diplomatic documents is one man, Milton O. Gustafson. Suping met Gustafson at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. As a department of states archives expert, Gustafson was critical to Suping’s ability to access these classified documents. Since the documents were not listed under the name of the massacre or by their authors, Gustafson declassified the documents and offered guidance in locating them.  Coincidentally, Gustafson was a 1969 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In 2000, while on staff for the University Libraries, Suping secured a grant to conduct further research at the National Library in China and returned home to visit both Nanjing and Beijing. During the following years, he secured more grants to conduct additional research on this subject in London, Paris and Berlin.

Suping learned English at an early age so he could become an oil painter. When Suping isn’t researching, he spends his time creating art including the above 2017 self-portrait.

Suping Lu is the author of They Were in Nanjing: The Nanjing Massacre Witnessed by American and British Nationals (2004), and the editor of Terror in Minnie Vautrin’s Nanjing: Diaries and Correspondence, 1937-38 (2008) and A Mission under Duress: The Nanjing Massacre and Post-Massacre Social Conditions Documented by American Diplomats (2010).

Friday, October 26, 2018

Toni Anaya named Faculty Fellow for Student Success

Toni Anaya
Toni Anaya, University Libraries’ Associate Professor and Instruction Coordinator, was named Faculty Fellow for Student Success for office of the Executive Vice Chancellor. As one of twelve fellows, Toni will spend the 2018-2019 academic year learning about student success through discussions of literature and research and analysis of data and trends related to student success. Fellows attend regular meetings with directors of academic engagement programs to become familiar with current student success initiatives taking place across campus."

The EVC Faculty Fellow for Student Success program provides faculty with a better understanding of student success both on campus and nationally. With this information, faculty fellows will also have the opportunity to develop and implement a project that further supports student success at Nebraska.

Toni believes librarians play an important role in student retention and success especially when it comes to teaching about information literacy.
"When we are approachable, students feel more comfortable stopping by and that approachability breaks down barriers and helps students become more confident. I’ve had students visit me for help every week of the semester and that results from the connection we made on day one in a class I taught."
Toni’s current work focuses on student success rates in courses with library intervention and education compared to those courses without.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Digital Commons Now Over 100,000 Items Published and Over 50 Million Downloads

by Jennifer Conway

The Digital Commons of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Libraries,  an online repository of research materials published by University of Nebraska faculty, staff and students, now contains over 100,000 full text items. It has surpassed 50 million downloads and is now the most accessed institutional repository in the nation.

A dedicated team, including Paul Royster, Coordinator of Scholarly Communications; Sue Ann Gardner, Scholarly Communications Librarian/Professor; and Linnea Fredrickson, Production Specialist, has worked diligently to reach this milestone. Several key elements of their work coalesced to reach this turning point. All three individuals possess in-depth knowledge of copyright law which contributes to an excellent record of successfully populating the bepress Digital Commons platform the university has utilized for this purpose since June 2005. Additionally, integral to the bepress Digital Commons platform is their highly effective SEO (search engine optimization) which aids users in accessing information more readily. Royster says, “We owe it all to the researchers, scholars and students who have entrusted their materials to us. We hope they are happy with this global distribution.”

The Digital Commons features an interactive map that shows the downloads of papers while watching it in real-time.

This notable achievement reflects the Libraries vision of a system recognized as a national leader in creativity and knowledge development, offering access to data, information and knowledge in an environment supporting discovery, reflection, synthesis and application.

map from

Monday, August 20, 2018

Harriet Wintermute, Catalog and Metadata Librarian, receives Presidential Citation from ALCTS, The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services

by Jennifer Conway

Harriet Wintermute
Wintermute is recognized here for her exceptional leadership and service over the course of four years on the ALCTS Fundraising Committee. “My overall experience was insightful and rewarding. At first, it may seem intimidating to ask vendors for support (aka money), but many are willing to sponsor events and organizations that relate to their services and products,” Wintermute shared.

This award honors ALCTS members who make significant contributions to the association and to the profession but whose accomplishments do not fall within the criteria for ALCTS' other awards.

Wintermute’s work as a Catalog and Metadata Librarian at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries involves original cataloging, metadata remediation, and workflow efficiency development. 
Read more about Harriet on ALCTS News.