ThinkLab Opens in Library

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The new ThinkLab made it’s debut in Thompson Library on March 5th and has seen daily use ever since.

What is the ThinkLab?

It is a newly outfitted room that will allow student groups the freedom to work on any assignment or project that requires collaborative work utilizing the equipment available in the ThinkLab.

It is a room equipped with the latest technology (thanks to funding of $35,000 from several sources) where student group/collaborative work can be done effectively.

The ThinkLab room is packed with high tech equipment to facilitate group projects, including linked computer/cell phone/display monitors (Mediascape), a SmartBoard (Eno), Skype (real time telecommunications) and A/V recording, a high-def digital projector and multiple surfaces (including an entire wall) of whiteboard writing space.


Mediascape uses “pucks” to link laptops, tablets or phones to the large screen display monitor. The Eno smart board is 3-D capable with it’s HD projector, and gives teams the ability to instantly flip from digital whiteboard to web and back.



It is the result of a collaborative effort by several parties, including Student Government, Thompson Library, Office of the Provost, College of Arts & Sciences, Academic Advising & Career Services, Division of Student Affairs, the Michigan Times and the Office of Student Life.

How to gain access to the new ThinkLab?

Register your group to use the room by accessing the online scheduling calendar from the Thompson Library homepage.

The link to the scheduling calendar is found at the top/right of our website, under

LATEST NEWS —> Reserve the Thompson Library ThinkLab

The link allows you to select a date from the calendar display, then a time (or block of hours).

After the date and time has been selected, use “continue” to then enter your name, the number of people in your group, and their names.

Finally , “Submit” to confirm your scheduled time.

To use the ThinkLab, go to the Thompson Library building and stop at the Circulation Desk (entrance, 3rd floor) to pick up the ThinkLab room key and equipment controls. You will need to have your UMID with you (library card number on reverse of card) to check out the room.

A brief description of the equipment and how to use it will be available soon from the Thompson Library website near the scheduling calendar. (Watch for online updates!)

(See also: M-Times March 5, 2012 article about the new ThinkLab.)

LIBRARY PROFILE — Emily Newberry

Emily has spearheaded the design and installation of the new Library “ThinkLab,” and has been instrumental in introducing LibGuides to our Library.

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Our library has been very lucky over the past few decades to benefit from our own UM-Flint campus graduates who went on to obtain a library degree returning to give back to their school by serving as faculty/librarians. Emily is one of our own, graduating from UM-Flint with a degree in both Anthropology and Biology.

Like most librarians, when faced with pursuing a masters degree which would narrow her focus (she had considered forensic anthropology; our very own Dr. BONES!), she discovered her interests were broad and varied, leading her directly to UM Ann Arbor and the School of Information and Library Science.

Today Emily will happily share with you her conviction that UM-Flint campus provides a superior undergrad education to its students (and why!). Returning to our campus has provided Emily with the gratifying experience of working with students who are dedicated to learning and whom she finds to be particularly inquisitive and eager to explore new sources of information.

Emily came to us as an intern while still a graduate student where she also served during the summer months as the sole staff librarian at the UM Biology Station (near White Fish Point in the UP) every summer for 3 years.

For more information on the Biology Station, see:

Emily2Having lived in the Upper Peninsula throughout her childhood before moving to the Swartz Creek area, Emily was delighted at the opportunity to return to the UP and loved her days on the shores of Lake Superior at the Bio Station. She is always willing to share stories and pictures of the station with anyone who is interested!

While still a grad student, Emily spent a brief stint as an intern at the Thompson Library, then upon obtaining her masters degree was hired as a part time librarian here until a full time opening was posted. Emily was selected along with several other applicants to interview for the position. The rest is history.

As do all our librarians, Emily wears many hats. However, she specifically serves as our Social Media librarian. As such, she maintains the library accounts for Twitter, Facebook and our blog, The Upper Shelf.

Many of you have probably noticed that there are numerous instructional videos now available on the library web site. That, too, is Emily (our Camtasia guru)!   Emily believes strongly in multiple access points for information, so you can find those instructional videos on our Facebook page as well.

Not only that, but when visiting the library these days,  you’ll notice several signs posted throughout our building notifying visitors of FourSquare check-in sites (including all of our study rooms).  Emily5FourSq                                                                                                 Emily again!

Those multiple undergraduate subject degrees made Emily a natural for selection as library liaison to the departments of Anthropology and Sociology as well as serving the Genesee Early Collage and Criminal Justice Department, where she assists in collection development (selecting books, media items and other assets for our library holdings).

Emily also provides service to faculty in the form of one-on-one personal assistance for faculty in their research needs AND as a classroom instructor, presenting to students on the tools and methodology of library research and the use of resources provided by the Thompson Library.

Emily3While it doesn’t seem that all that would leave Emily much time, she has an equally rich personal life. She and her husband, Jason Bias (who works at the Genesee District Library) recently purchased a 1940’s home on the Mill Pond in Fenton and are in the process of renovating it. With her own house and a little country property — just perfect for letting her two dogs romp! — Emily is hoping to fulfill her dream of Bee… raising honey bees! She is a terrific source of information about honey, should you be interested.



Emily4Emily and Jason are expecting a new family member to arrive in April.   And of course, the library staff is planning a baby shower.  While they don’t know if it will be a boy or girl, we’re sure that the new baby will spend many wonderful hours being read to by  librarian parents.

Please stop by her office on the 3rd floor of the library soon and say hello to Emily. She’s definitely a great librarian to know!


New Databases Available from Thompson Library


New Databases Available from Thompson Library

— For a complete list, see the — NEW RESOURCES — link on the Frances Willson Thompson Library website. —

  • Opera in Video —- Opera performances captured on video through Opera Videostage productions, interviews and documentaries, Selections represent the world’s best performers, conductors, and opera houses and are based upon the work’s importance to the operatic canon.
  • Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage — Full online access to the last 10 years of information. Includes Market Investment News, Register of Corporations, Directors & Executives, Stock Reports, Industry Surveys, Mutual Fund Reports, THE OUTLOOK, Bond Guide, Earnings Guide, Dividend Record and more. (NOTE the S&P “Industry Surveys!)
  • Factiva — Company and industry financial data and news stories, as well as full text articles in 6,000 trade publications, newspapers, newswires, and magazines.
  • JAMA & Archives — 1998 to present, Journal of the American Medical Association and other journals of the American Medical Association.
  • Scholarpedia — Peer-reviewed open-access encyclopedia written by scholars worldwide.
  • Sports Business Research Network — 1993 to present (Trends); 1997 to present (News). Provides sports marketing information, including market size and demographics, sports participation, licensing, financial and retail trends, international marketing and professional sports trends.
  • Govistics — Database of spending, revenue and employment by local government, including counties, cities, townships and school districts (info from US Census).
  • Translated Texts for Historians E-Library — 300—800 AD, English translations of key historical sources in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Arabic, Georgian and Armanian from the time of late antiquity and the early middle ages.


Honors Scholarship Competition Day, February 11, 2012

Honors Scholarship Competiton Day tour in the Thompson Library


Honors Scholarship Competition 2014 Laura Tour

Each year the UM-Flint Honors Department offers a full scholarship to a deserving young person who will soon matriculate at UM-Flint.

The day of activities include tours of our campus for the competitors and their families.

Again this year, the Thompson Library was included in the tour. Our librarians were delighted to host over 60 students and their families, providing a brief tour and information about our facilities.

Librarian Laura Friesen pictured leading parents of prospective new Honors Program students on a tour of the Thompson Library.



Gerald Ford, Willis Ward and the 1934 UM/Georgia Tech Game

Gerald Ford UM Football Player

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Football fans know the intense emotions generated by their favorite sport and understand that sometimes history is made both on and off the field during a Big Game.

The 1934 game against Georgia Tech played at Ann Arbor went down in the history books, but not for anything that happened on the field.

When the Georgia Tech players refused to take the field opposite a Ford Football Nbr 48team that included an African American player (Willis Ward, jersey #61), one young Michigan player took a stand.   A 20 year old Gerald Ford (jersey #48) decided to quit the team if Ward wasn’t allowed to play. Only Ward himself was able to change his mind.

Did this unknown young man’s protest against inequity make a difference? Perhaps not in this game, but it certainly stamped the people involved.

The Thompson Library has acquired the video DVD (available soon) BLACK & BLUE, a documentary about the ‘34 game.   It includes interviews with Mr. Ward (‘35), who’s education was funded by collections from churches and the black community of Detroit.

The purchase of this video was made through a gift from the Friends of the Thompson Library.   For more information, see our library website.

 DVD will be available soon in Thompson Library.

For call number, search Mirlyn online:

Mirlyn —> Media Collection  —> (title) “Black and Blue”




Volume I, Issue I — Introducing Tolle Lege Newsletter

              Tolle Lege* …

                            ―   Take and Read!!

We appropriated for our title Augustine’s  famous phrase.  It captures what we in academic libraries are about:  Linking people with ideas.  Universities run on the fuel of ideas, of recorded knowledge. Whether hardcopy or digital, libraries will continue to be the institutions tasked with acquiring, organizing, making accessible, and preserving that knowledge, the ongoing Great Conversation of human culture.  In this newsletter, we’ll tell you some of the things we’re doing to preserve and broaden access to the Conversation of human culture.  In this newsletter, we’ll tell you some of the things we’re doing to preserve and broaden access to the Conversation.

In this issue, we alert you to our new, Google-like search too, Summon.  Summon simplifies searching by enabling you, with a single search, to reach across and into our hundreds of databases.  You can restrict your search to pee-reviewed journals or broaden it to go beyond our licensed resources.

Librarian Emily Newberry links people with ideas through her work with visiting Winegarden Professor Dr. Kenneth Waltzer, and his undergraduate course on the Holocaust.

A unique-in-the-nation project, Ken’s students are doing original research using the Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive database — a digital resource not available on most campuses.

In future issues, we’ll tell you about the Hathi Trust digital repository initiative — the mechanism that research libraries have established to ensure that our collections will be available in perpetuity (there’s no guarantee that GoogleBooks will be around into the next Century).

We’ll report on our ThinkLab project, a joint Student Government Council-Thompson Library initiative to develop media-rich group-study spaces.

Look also for a piece on the GetThis project, the rapid delivery system that has afforded Flint users rapid access to Ann Arbor’s seven million print volumes — and also made Flint a net-lender to Ann Arbor.  Check out other pieces about the Thompson Library on our blog(The Upper Shelf)  and Facebook.

Our shelves and our digital portals preserve and enable the ongoing Conversation that is the substance of the academic disciplines and of general education.

We’ll be reporting to you at regular intervals on what we’re doing to keep you linked with the ideas, both perennial and new, on those shelves and in those portals.

Meanwhile, whether it’s these pages or others, tolle lege . . .

By:  Robert Houbeck, Director —  Thompson Library

          University of Michigan-Flint

Suggestions or questions may be sent to

Newsletter editor by email to:




 Student comment to Reference Librarian:

The library has so many databases full of indexes to journal articles and facts, I don’t know where to start.   I like the “Search by Subject” drop-down box; it helps me narrow down the number of databases I should search for information on my topic, but it’s still too overwhelming.  

“Why can’t you just get a database to search all the databases?”

 The good news?    


SUMMON   is here, and can make your initial search through our library resources fast and easy.


  • SUMMON — It’s simple. It’s fast.   It’s our new default search option.


  • SUMMON is not a new database — it’s a tool that searches through many of our major subscription-based databases.


  • SUMMON — Not only does it search most of our subscription databases all at once,   it also allows you to use common limiters you’re probably already familiar with, such as “scholarly journal/peer reviewed,” or “full text” — even by language  in which an article is published, or by the date of publication.


  • SUMMON — Even better, it provides suggestions for specific database selection, enabling more focused searches (the top databases from which SUMMON located the majority of titles returned as results).   The names of the suggested databases are provided above the results list,  just one clickable link away.


  • SUMMON — Where is it?   It is now the default search mode on our home page. Go to the Thompson Library site and look under “General Search”.   Type your search (index words, please — no sentences) and hit “enter”.


  • SUMMON  — or just click directly under the General Search box to access the advanced search option in SUMMON.


  • SUMMON  —  it will make your library research faster, easier and more productive.



Find the  SUMMON  search box
at the top/center of the
Thompson Library website.



LibGuides are Coming! LibGuides are Coming!

—   Library to Roll Out New Website Organization Software —



Yes, we’re very excited about the coming of—LibGuides!

What are LibGuides?

Officially it is a subscription-based online service that allows us to organize our resources by subject, including multiple formatting options along with the ability to provide specific lists and commentary.

Doesn’t sound all that exciting, does it?

But it is — or will be when we launch LibGuides for Thompson Library, on or before this fall semester.

What will we be able to do with LibGuides?

LOTS!   More specifically, our current “Search by Subject” drop-down box on the library home page will be replaced by a subject navigation Libguide that will allow users to see and jump to any of the multitude of more specific LibGuides available.

Each of our librarians will have the ability to create a subject-specific “portal” — a gateway to the resources available through our library.

Each subject guide can includes sections listing the recommended data and index databases useful for research within that subject, lists of reference books on the topic or lists of recommended books from our main collection.

Perhaps it would also list blogs or foundations/research facility web sites to expand research beyond our library resources.

Plus our librarians will be able to invite teaching faculty to contribute specific course guides, assignments or syllabi to a specific topic guide as well.

The possibilities are limited only by the imagination!

LibGuides are coming, and they will change forever how our students conduct research!



Winegarden Professor Collaborates with Library

The Myron and Margaret Winegarden Visiting Professorship enables the University of Michigan-Flint to bring scholars of national and international reputation to our campus.

This year our Visiting Professor is Dr. Kenneth Waltzer, an internationally renowned historian at the James Madison College of MSU where he has served as dean, assistant dean and Director of General Education.

He and is currently the Director of MSU’s Jewish Studies Program.

A welcome reception was held in Thompson Library last November for Dr. Waltzer, who’s campus office is located in room #218 of the Thompson Library.

Dr. Waltzer will conduct seminars at both graduate and undergraduate levels (“Human Behavior Beyond Extremity: Holocaust Narratives”) plus an interdisciplinary faculty seminar on “New Directions in Study of the Holocaust.”

To facilitate the research activities of Dr. Waltzer, his students and our campus, one of the Thompson Library’s own, Emily Newberry, worked with fellow librarians from Ann Arbor campus to obtain access for the Flint campus to the online site of the Shoah Foundation Archives.

Steven Spielberg established the nonprofit organization, Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, in 1994, shortly after the filming of Schindler’s List.

The original mission of the Foundation was to document the experiences of Holocaust survivors.

To this end, the Foundation set out to collect and record the testimonies of 50,000 survivors and other witnesses.

To date, the Foundation has gathered nearly 52,000 testimonies in 32 languages from 56 different countries.

The Foundation is interested in making these testimonies available to the public for educational purposes in an effort to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry.

The University of Michigan was the first public university to partner with the Foundation, ensuring that an even greater number of individuals will have access to these important testimonials.

The USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive makes available via internet access over 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors.

Now, thanks to the work of Emily, the Thompson Library has partnered with Dr. Waltzer to provide access to this invaluable historical resource.

To locate and access the link from the Thompson Library home page , find Shoah using the Search by Subject drop-down box (HISTORY), or using the alphabetical list, select   “S” and look for Shoah.



Thompson Library, UM-Flint — LINKING PEOPLE WITH IDEAS!