Monday, September 28, 2009

Teaching web searching & evaluation

I revised the way I teach this session for the Advertising & PR class.
The students' question/problem=any topic related to (advertising or PR) and GVSU.
Which search engines will give the best results? Are any better than Google or Google Scholar? Set up a blog (in BlackBoard) for students to fill in answers to the questions on worksheet below.
1. Evaluate each website according to Virginia Tech's criteria[ each link in a new tab; work with others sitting at your table; write thoughts under each site below)
a. SolarBotanic :[ - artificial trees]

b. Honeywell Wind Turbine – GVSU Engineering students developed this]
2. Use a search engine [] other than Google to search for wind turbines and colleges or universities.
Compare results with your neighbors.
a. Name of search engine used:
b. Note helpful/useful features of the search engine & quality of results:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The GVSU Libraries have implemented a single box which searches all of the periodicals to which we subscribe and our catalog. I teach several sections of Advertising & PR about database searching. Since Summon is new, I am soliciting their feedback about what features they found helpful in it or the databases (the latter have the advanced search screen as the default), & which they preferred. First, they search Summon with only 1 keyword from each of their ideas, all strung together without Boolean ANDS or ORs. Next, they use the various databases with synonyms & full Boolean. After they have completed their assignment, they will also turn in their worksheet with feedback.

Should we offer a single search box as the database default screen? Should we offer Summon with the advanced screen? Where were the most useful results found?

Friday, September 18, 2009


I went for a brief walk in the woods this afternoon, trying to find some calm by listening inwardly as well as to the forest sounds. I've been wondering what to do about the foreword for the book. When I was on my way back to the office, I met up with a friend who asked me, "What do you want readers to do?" (I.e., take away with them)

Connect to their own spirituality. Be open to people of other churches & faiths. Listen for, discern, & act on God's will.

"You know, I didn't know anything about Quakers before I went to your wedding." My friend's next question was, "Who represents that for you?" Instead of thinking of the marketing value of the foreword, who knows me & would write something that represents my journey? Think more simply, my friend said.

Oh yeah. Quaker simplicity.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

L'Histoire du Soldat

I enjoyed the performance of Stravinsky's "The Soldier's Tale" on Monday night. It was an interesting way to combine the historical piece with contemporary technology--it was performed by a small group of GVSU faculty musicians and dancers, with a student dance ensemble and a guest narrator. Also, various scenes were projected on a large screen at the back of the stage. A little difficult for me to follow all of it (sensory overload) but I'm sure the whole appealed to the students. The program notes put the performance into context--this piece reflected the lack of resources in post-Great War of 1918--being written for a small group and being staged quite simply. And it ties Faust's story of "the man who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for riches, power, youth, wisdom," etc. & the Biblical questions of riches vs. soul by using jazz, tango, & a street band. Stravinsky was an early minimalist in some ways.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Music Resource Room

Today I spent some time with the Orchestra Conductor and 5 student assistants discussing how to list the books, scores (sheet music), & cds held in the Music Resource Room, 1211 PAC, in an excel file. We talked about working from the title page & verso instead of the cover, & included fields for author (compiler/composer/editor), title (skip "a", "an" or "the" as the 1st word), publisher, date (most recent copyright), format/s (book, music, cd), instrumentation (e.g., piano, orchestra, band), copy #, notes (e.g., v.1). For borrowing/circulation, we entered fields for ID #, name, & date due. Items will be filed by author's last name then title, within categories (still to be defined).

This room is different from the room for band music--seemingly aimed at music education more than large ensembles.

LGBT Resource Center Advisory Committee / Palooza

Yesterday the LGBT Resource Center's Advisory Committee met. The center has become one of the most successful in Michigan & perhaps the nation. They received the prestigious Arcus grant last year, have arranged amazing programming, have a good start on their library collection, have staffing which includes: a faculty Director, an administrative professional Assistant Director, a clerical Office Coordinator, a graduate assistant, and undergraduate student workers. They coordinate with Allies & Advocates, Out & About student organization, a graduate student organization, the LGBT Faculty & Staff Association, other GVSU offices/centers/services, & many area community organizations. They provide many useful links, a speaker's bureau for classes, the Lavender Graduation ceremony, film screenings, & a mentorship program for new students.

As a librarian, I have developed policies, advise them on their collection, & keep a wish list for donations. As a senior faculty member, I provide input for various issues and help with strategic planning.

Also, back at Zumberge Library later in the afternoon, I took my turn with helping at the Library Palooza. It's a marketing event that also includes some useful learning objects.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Scholar Works

Yesterday our Collection Development Librarian & I met with the Photography department to discuss putting their senior students' theses in our institutional repository, Scholar Works. While there are some questions to be answered (how to maintain the best control of intellectual property/copyright of the photos--so they can't be stolen--while still providing good quality, and wording for the release form), I think it will be a go. It'll provide a more permanent repository place (url) for the work & be more searchable from both the web & our catalog. Photography will be able to link to the collection without having to provide the server space or risk losing the files when the university's web pages change.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Quaker defamation lawsuit

I am dismayed by a Friend who has chosen to pursue (indeed, re-open) a defamation lawsuit, "seeking justice," which sounds very close to seeking retribution. Yes, Friend Scott Savage was unjustly attacked while suggesting books for the first-year reading list at Ohio - Mansfield. The books he suggested certainly would have provided fodder for discussion & opened up learning opportunities, even if he did suggest them "tongue-in-cheek." Yet it has been reported that no one spoke up about academic freedom (a.k.a. the right to free speech) or in opposition to censorship. All lamentable--all of which OSU faculty & staff need to address. Those who wrote the hate-filled emails should apologize publicly & in written form. Yet Savage chose to take a leave of absence and to resign.

As Friends, we are urged to abstain from lawsuits, and to try to settle disputes by arbitration. We strive to live simply, & to reflect on the ways in which we gain our income. Why would a Plain Friend seek $150,000? I pray that Friend Scott will strive to make his yea be yea and his nay be nay, providing an example for his former colleagues who were not able to do so. Many lawsuits are a type of interpersonal violence. Whereas Friends try to overcome the emotions that lie at the root of violence and instead nurture a spirit of reconciliation and love.

Ohio Yearly Meeting's 2nd Query includes: "Do we cherish a forgiving spirit, and strive to 'walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us'? Is each one of us careful for the reputation of others? Are we ever mindful to love our neighbor as ourselves?" []

Reach out to the other parties in the conflict with courage and love, Friend. Seek an apology, not monetary compensation. Seek reconciliation, answer that of God in thy former colleagues.