Shhhhhh …. !!! The Library Added a QUIET Room!


Need a QUIET place to study?

The Library Has It!


You need to review for your upcoming Econ quiz.  Or maybe you’re working on that English paper that’s due next week.  Study at home, with all those people demanding your time and attention?  Nope.  At the dorm, with everyone involved in their own lives?  Impossible!

Construction116Upon careful consideration of your options, you make the wise choice.  The library!

The tables in the Atrium have plenty of light from the 3 story windows, and that lovely pastoral view of the Flint river and U-M Flint, Andrea Yingervast open lawns …

So relaxing.

It’s a great place to study in peace and quiet.

Our thanks go to this group of students studying diligently at a table in the library for permission to use their image. UM-Flint has the greatest students!

Unfortunately, about a hundred other students had the same idea.

And with the incredible acoustics in the Atrium, the subtle background sounds start gnawing on your nerves.

Then a large group comes in and sits at the table next to you.  And they start whispering.  It’s not that bad.  You can ignore them and immerse yourself in studying.

img_3648A girl giggles.  Someone drops a book.  Somewhere someone is talking on their phone.   You hear the faint sound of music wafting down from the upper level carrels.  Several nearby students start talking about where to go for dinner, what clothes to wear and …

You are about ready to explode!

All you need is a room where you can get some peace and quiet and get your work done.  Why can’t that place be the library?!!!

What you need is a quiet study room.

And Thompson Library has it.  


The Silent Study Room opened early in September, just for you — the img_3618student who needs a quiet, peaceful place to study.

img_3047There are no computers, no TVs, no audio players — just very comfortable furniture, good lighting — and silence.

No reservations needed.

If you need help finding the Silent Study img_3043Room, just ask any library staff (check at the Information Desk near the entrance).

img_3044They’ll be happy to point out the location for you.

(Click any image to enlarge.)


The Rules for using the Silent Study Room?


NO talking!img_3062




NO groups.

NO noise.

Break those rules and be asked to leave.

This room is exclusively for you, the student who needs quiet.

And wants a good grade on that upcoming quiz.


Silent Study Room.

Across from the Circulation Desk on the west wall, 3rd floor.

Room 319,  Thompson Library.

Just for you.



Camp Summer Fun Visited the Library


Camp Summer Fun

UM-Flint Recreation Center and the Flint Cultural Center

  for Summer 2016!
For ages 6 – 11.

Campers benefit from the expertise and quality programming developed with supervision from faculty and students of the UM-Flint School of Education and Human Services. Camp Counselors are Education majors from the University and/or community members with demonstrated experience supervising young people. Education staff members from the Flint Cultural Center organizations are degreed educators in their respective fields.

Campers spend their mornings at the Flint Cultural Center, with Tuesday through Thursday dedicated to the weekly theme.


Every summer, the University of Michigan-Flint offers area youth the opportunity of joining the UM-F Camp Summer Fun.

It’s both an enjoyable and an educational opportunity for children ages 6 through 11 to be on campus and take advantage of the various services and opportunities here, supervised by qualified staff.



This summer, the Campers had a new experience — a Day in the Library — where they selected from a wide range of books they could sit and read — or have a camp staffer read with them.





The campers had a great time walking img_3135through the Thompson Library, listening to a brief presentation by a librarian, and speaking with the Reference Librarian (Micky Doyle), who demonstrated how a librarian img_3130could help them find a book from in our collection on any topic they wanted.img_3129


They had a great time, and we enjoyed hosting them.


Hope to see all of you back again in a few years, Campers.


Next time, as  UM-Flint students!



Library Participated in ‘Be a Tourist in Your Home Town’ Event

On Saturday, July 16, 2016 the Frances Willson Thompson Library was a stop during the Flint & Genesee Convention and Visitor Bureau’s fourth annual Be a Tourist on Your Home Town event. The event ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and “tourists” paid $1 for a wristband that admitted them to many of the cultural and educational institutions in downtown, the campus/cultural, and the Miller Road/Court Street areas. MTA provided free bus routes to get between the various destinations.

Although the library is open every Saturday (with exceptions for intersessions and holidays), we had a few special treats for the event.

In our atrium we had a peek behind the scenes of the CNN broadcast that took place around the Democratic Presidential Debate on March 6, 2016.

We opened the Genesee Historical Collections Center  for the day. The Center’s typical hours are Monday – Friday 1 – 5 p.m., with additional evening hours on Wednesdays until 9 p.m.

Our student worker is ready to answer questions about the Center's collections.
Our student worker is ready to answer questions about the Center’s collections.

On display were some photos from the collection, most notably about the Arab American history of Flint and Genesee County.


Enter the Crapo Room and step into the 19th century.

We also opened the Crapo Room, so that visitors could step into the 19th century. The Crapo Room was created in part to preserve the memory of Governor Henry Howland Crapo, Michigan’s 14th governor (serving from 1865 – 1869) and a Flint industrialist. Most the the furnishings and items in the room have been donated by his descendants, including Frances Willson Thompson, his great-granddaughter and the library’s benefactor.

Musicbox Visitors to the Crapo Room were able to experience some early 20th century entertainment in the form of a music box, which was given to the Nurses Home of Hurley Hospital by William Crapo Durant in memory of his mother Rebecca Crapo Durant (daughter of Governor Crapo) in the 1920s.

(Click on any image to enlarge.)

We enjoyed welcoming our hometown tourists and we look forward to next year’s event!

Graduate Thesis Digitization Update #1

For the past year, the Frances Willson Thompson Library has partnered with the UM-Flint Office of Graduate Programs, UM Library’s Deep Blue, and database provider ProQuest  to digitize the graduate theses of the University of Michigan – Flint.

The library’s collection of UM-Flint graduate theses.

(Click on any image to enlarge.)

A quick recap: in December 2015, we sent 375 theses to be digitized by ProQuest and in May 2016 we uploaded them into Deep Blue.

While the theses were being digitized we have been contacting the authors for decisions on how their work should be distributed through both ProQuest’s databases and Deep Blue.

Since the original news story was published on 25 April 2015, we have gotten a wonderful response from our authors.   Of the almost 400 authors that have been contacted, 190 have responded with their decisions on how their work will be shared with the larger scholarly community.

Most authors have decided to allow the full text of their work to be available in ProQuest’s Dissertations & Theses Global database, a major repository of graduate work from around the world and to which we provide access to current UM-Flint affiliates, and to be openly accessible through Deep Blue, the University of Michigan’s institutional repository.

Mr. Bradley’s donation to the library.

One interesting outcome of the project, has been an addition to the library’s collection by one of our alumni.

Edwin Bradley, M.L.S. 2001 and M.A. 2012, is the curator of film at the Flint Institute of Arts.


After being contacted about his 2001 M.L.S. Master’s thesis American Film Short Subjects and the Industry’s Transition to Sound, Mr. Bradley informed us that he turned his research for the thesis into a book: The First Hollywood Sound Shorts, 1926 – 1931

A book reviewer from CHOICE magazine, a leading source for book reviews that librarians and other academics rely on, said this about the book:

“Bradley’s well-researched compendium describes and puts into context this important and somewhat forgotten era of film history. In the late 1920s, as movies began to talk (or squeak, screech, and otherwise express themselves orally), the film industry was faced with producing products that could quench the film-going public’s thirst for the new medium… One may draw a comparison between the early sound era and today’s world of the Internet/reality TV and find that in media and pop culture, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Then as now, there was a diverse audience with a huge appetite for entertainment and a nascent industry looking to make a quick buck by fulfilling the fickle public’s need for entertainment… Summing Up: Highly recommended.” (Dutka, 2005).

Mr. Bradley has donated a copy of his book to the Frances Willson Thompson Library and it is available for check out.

Currently, the library is working with Graduate Programs to digitally capture the theses of our most recent graduates and to contact the remaining authors.

Later this year, the Library plans to digitize the other half of the theses, most dating from the 1980s to the mid-1990s.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact Liz Svoboda at

Dutka, A. J. (2005). The first Hollywood sound shorts, 1926-1931. Choice, 43(3), 446.

Science in the Library: Icebergs, the Internet and other things that start with ‘I.’


What can a library — and a librarian — teach students about science, scientific investigation, and critical thinking?


On Friday, April 29, 2016, the University of Michigan-Flint hosted Super Science Friday, an event aimed at 7th and 8th grade students to demonstrate various scientific areas of inquiry and encourage them to get involved in scientific research themselves.

Several of our teaching faculty offered visiting students from schools across Genesee county  presentations dealing with a wide variety of topics which illuminated specific fields of scientific investigation.

Students of librarian Laura Friesen's class learn about icebergs, the internet, and scientific investigation. And of course, about recording findings and sharing them with other researchers through publication! She IS a librarian, after all.
Students of librarian Laura Friesen’s class learn about icebergs, the internet, and scientific investigation. And of course, about recording findings and sharing them with other researchers through publication! She IS a librarian, after all. (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

One such presentation was conducted by Thompson Library’s own Laura Friesen, librarian.

Laura titled her presentation, “Science in the Library: Icebergs, the Internet and other things that start with ‘I.’”

Her presentation was designed to encourage students to look beyond the obvious and develop  critical thinking skills and apply those skills to scientific investigation.   Beyond that, Laura demonstrated what working scientist did with the information they gathered through scientific methodology (conducting experiments while observing and recording results).

The students attending her presentation — two groups of 8th graders attending Mt Morris and Genesee Christian Academy — were reminded that scientific investigation done well required careful observation.

The students then had the opportunity to observe and consider the physical traits of a large, rectangular block of ice Laura had brought into the classroom.  Laura explains that she created the block by pouring water into a loaf pan and freezing it.

The block of ice was placed in a deep bucket of water.  Not surprisingly, the block floated on the water.   The block floated in a horizontal position, very little showing above the water line and with a long flat side exposed to air.  The rest of the block of ice sunk under the water line,  “hidden” beneath the water.

Laura changed the parameters of the ice block to observe what would happen.   She tilted the ice block vertically in the water.

Instead of sinking below the water, it stood on-end, with half of the block visible above the water.

Laura released the block.  It flipped back and returned to it’s former LauraFriesenClass1horizontal position, floating with the majority of it’s substance beneath the water, but notably wider from side-to-side than it was  deep.

After observing how the ice block behaved when placed into deep water, the students were now directed to the Internet, where Laura searched for and displayed several photographs of icebergs.

She specifically selected one particular image from those available online and asked the students to think about that image and compare what they saw in the image to what they had learned about how ice behaved as it floated in water.

As the students considered what they had learned doing their experiment and compared it to the image on-screen, they detected a few anomalies.

The image showed an iceberg that was notably longer top-to-bottom than it was side-to-side, thrusting deeply into the water while remaining very narrow (side-to-side) at the surface of the water, even though it was no wider below surface than above.

The students carefully examined the image and compared it against what they had discovered during their experiment, and concluded that the image displayed could not possibly exist in nature.

All students attending the class had ably demonstrated that they could apply knowledge they had gained (information regarding the behavior of large bodies of ice floating in water), to an image found on the Internet.   They used critical thinking skills, dissecting the image and what properties it visually described they believedto be  viable — and which were not.

Using this knowledge, the students declared the Internet image to be pure fakery.

The students were correct.

The image Laura had pulled up from an online website was actually a composite made up of four disparate images:

  1.   one of the sky,
  2.   one of the water as background,
  3.   one of the tip of the iceberg,
  4.   and yet another of another tip of an iceberg turned up-side-down

The image created a psuedo-iceberg that appeared to show the observer both above water and below at the same time.

But appearances can be deceiving!

Without critical thinking skills, anyone looking at that image on the Internet could be lead to believe it was a single image which displayed how an iceberg looked and behaved when floating in the ocean.

The exercise demonstrated to the students why finding the necessary criteria (either through published results of research done by other scientists or by their own experimentation and observations) and applying that information to the situation presented to them is vital in forwarding scientific investigation.

Laura went beyond the basic experiment into the concept of using the observations of other scientists.  This is where the importance of a library was considered — and investigated.

A scientist does not need to begin their research from nothing.  They use the experimentation and observations of earlier scientists to increase their understanding of the universe and how it works.

By using the knowledge (writings) of those that have come before, the new investigators can “stand on the shoulders of giants” to learn what has already been discovered and create their own research projects, then add their observations and conclusions to the body of human knowledge and understandings as valued scientific contributors.

To illustrate this concept, Laura showed the students the first article written by Sir Isaac Newton,  published in 1672.

JSTORlogoThat article is available to all UM-Flint researchers through the  Thompson Library database JSTOR.

Discovery of the Dispersion of Light and of the Nature of Color (1672) in JSTOR//

[Newton, I., & Sarton, G.. (1930). Discovery of the Dispersion of Light and of the Nature of Color (1672). Isis, 14(2), 326–341. Retrieved from]


Laura then broke the students up into teams and had each team read and present to the class information from articles published in either National Geographic or Discover.   This exercise demonstrated the need for scientists to organize their information and present it logically to their peers to help further human understanding.

With a new appreciation for the scientific observations and published writings of earlier scientists to inform and direct the research of a new generation of scientists, the students considered the various presentations they had heard.

As a whole, the class voted on which team of scientific presenters did the best job of interpreting the information from their article to the rest of the class.   The winning teams were awarded a prize — a science book selected by a librarian specifically for this event.  (What else would a librarian consider a prize than a book full of knowledge?!)

The students left Laura’s class with a better understanding of the value of a library and its purpose of collecting and providing access to information compiled by researchers using scientific methodology to gather knowledge and share it with other researchers.

To stand on the shoulders of giants, to gain knowledge collected by scientist and academics engaged in research within a variety of subjects, and to eventually share new information with other researchers — the library is the place to start and the eventual depository for all scientific inquiry.

Scientific investigation and observation, recording and disseminating information, collecting and sharing that information, research skills to find and use the knowledge provided by earlier researchers and furthered by critical analysis thinking skills — teaching these skills are all in a days work for a librarian.

Thanks, Laura!


Library Open 88 Hours


It’s BACK!

STUDY   DAYS    in  the   LIBRARY


—   Thompson Library open Monday am to Thursday pm    —


The Frances Willson Thompson Library will open at 8 am on Monday, April 18th and will remain open (24 hours per day) until midnight on Thursday, April 21st this spring (2016).

—>   See below for complete schedule of hours.

Students needing to study for exams or work on that final paper are welcome to come and take advantage of these special extended hours for this week.


  • Where to Go?   Study Rooms and group areas will be available in the library for those that need to study together, while quiet areas will be strictly enforced for those that need peace and quiet to get that studying in and work on final papers before exams begin.


  • Will it be safe in the Library?   Department of Public Safety officers will be on hand to ensure the library will be a safe environment for those wishing to stay into the wee hours of the morning — or overnight!


  • Need computers?     ITS  lab  inside the library offers over 100   computers (including a few Macs) divided among all 3 floors.       Additionally,  ITS has  3 printer/copier machines  (one on each floor)  inside the library, all connected to the campus print queue.


  • Recharge devices?  There are many electrical outlets  (including under each of the carrels along the edge of the room) for powering devices.


  •  Need a laptop?  Thompson Library even has laptops available to checkout for use within the library.   (Remember; student id cards — the UMID — also acts as your library card using the barcode on the back of your card.)


  • Need to play videos or CDs?    VHS and DVD players are available in each of the Study Rooms.


  • Need headphones?    Check out headphones using your UMID at the Circulation Desk (3rd floor near entrance to library).


  • Need study space?  Study Rooms can be reserved online (check the UM-Flint Thompson Library website) for study groups.


  • Need help using Library?  And as always, our librarians and staff will be here during the entire 88 hours  and will be available to  assist patrons with their research needs.


  • FOOD?!!  Again this spring, Student Government at The University of Michigan-Flint will be providing snacks from 9pm – 1am Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights in the 3rd floor library lobby.


  • Will it be safe walking on campus?  University of Michigan-Flint Department of Public Safety will provide escorts on request all around campus, all night, and will be keeping the UPAV lot and Skywalk open all night to further ensure student safety.


  • Stressed?    Thompson Library will have adult coloring books available again this spring, AND the therapy dogs will be visiting soon, too.






photo (17)photo (18)







Contact Thompson Library for more information at:

Reference Desk:   810 / 762-3408

Circulation Desk:   810 / 762-3400






Beginning Monday, April 18th, Thompson Library will be open during the following hours:


Monday   —  Wednesday :                          Open at 8 am — Open 24 hours

Thursday (21st) –                                            Close at midnight.

Friday (22nd):                                                       8 am to 10 pm

          Saturday (23rd):                                     10 am to 10 pm   

          Sunday (24th):                                          12 noon to 12 midnight


Monday (25th)  —  Wed (27th):                   8 am to 2 am

Thursday (28th):                                                   8 – midnight

Friday (29th):                                                          8 am to 6 pm


        Saturday (30th):                          CLOSED  

        Sunday (1st):                                  CLOSED



          Spring hours begin Monday, May 2, 2016

          and run through the end of summer semester.




—     SPRING HOURS    —-



Monday – Thursday:                                            8 am    to  10 pm

Friday:                                                                          8 am    to    6 pm

         Saturday:                                                         12 noon to 6 pm

         Sunday:                                                             12 noon to 8 pm





























Flint Water Crisis

Information Available from Library


Where?   What?  When?   How?


Confused about the current Flint, Michigan water crisis?

Searching for information to help you understand the issues?

Want to know what is being done to help?

What does Flint — the state of Michigan, or the nation — plan on doing to correct the problems?

Do you have questions about the water in Flint, but don’t know where to look?


Hamilton Dam, Flint River (spring, 2013) Flint, Michigan

University of Michigan-Flint librarians have put together a research guide on the Flint Water Crisis, gathering a wide variety of resources on the topic together in one convenient location.

(click any image to enlarge)


The resources included in this guide were selected on the basis of their impartiality and factual information provided.

Flint River (Flint, MI) View of Thompson Library from north bank of Flint River.

Open to the general public, the guide can be found on the Thompson Library website under “Subject Guides.”   No login is needed to use this guide or the resources included within the guide.



Flint River in spring. South bank, in front of Thompson Library building, University of Michigan-Flint.

For the convenience of our readers, we include a quick-link to the guide here.

Flint Water Crisis Resource Guide






Flint River Display at Archives in Library



          Flint Water Crisis in Historical Perspective



While the current water crisis involving lead pipes and contaminated water is very much in local, national and international news, water has been an issue in Flint for many years.IMG_2601


Water from the Flint River has always been central to our city, for drinking as well as for other purposes.


(Click to enlarge any photo.)

Flint was settled on the banks of the Flint River because of the easy access to fresh water and river transportation it offered, all conveniently located between the settlements of Saginaw and Detroit.


Water continued to be a focus as the logging industry revved up into high gear, with rivers providing quick travel avenues for logs headed to mills to be finished into lumber which would support both shipbuilding and the rise of new cities.


The Crapo lumber mill on the Flint River helped fuel the growth of early industrial Flint.  And the Crapo family, which settled in Flint, went on to bring further industrialization to the area — and the world.



(Click to enlarge any photo.)





As industrialization rose, so did contamination of the very water which drew people to Flint from the beginning.


IMG_2594Controversy arose over whether local citizens should rely on water from their river, or bring water in from Detroit long before the failure of aging plumbing infrastructure.







In addition to concerns over water quality, Flint has faced other threats related to our river, such as fires and floods.IMG_2588





IMG_2589 (002)





(Click any image to enlarge)



US Army Corp of Engineers worked on solutions to the flooding of the Flint River — late 1970s.

How our city handles its current water  crisis will determine the course of its future, but without doubt the interconnection between the citizenry of Flint, Michigan with the Flint River will continue to be intertwined.


Thompson Library (UM-Flint) and Flint skyline as seen from the Flint River today.


CNN Sets Up for Broadcast from Thompson Library

According to our latest update, CNN will begin broadcasting from the campus of the University of Michigan-Flint — from their new stage set up in the Thompson Library Atrium — tomorrow, Friday March 4, 2016.

The new CNN stage and scaffolding for lights, etc, is being erected in the Thompson Library Atrium.

We have journalists from around the world converging on our campus as well.   They are being provided facilities in other buildings on campus.

This morning, our UM-Flint Chancellor, Dr Susan E. Borrego, sent out the following information about the various activities either in progress at this time or so to occur on and around our campus:

“The University of Michigan-Flint is partnering with CNN to host media, dignitaries, and guests from around the world in the coming days as the home for several activities connected to the Democratic Presidential Debate in Flint on March 6.

One of the biggest pieces of this partnership is that the Recreation Center is in the midst of being transformed into a “Spin Room” where approximately 500 journalists will file their stories and hear from campaign officials.

Also of important note is that the Frances Thompson Willson Library atrium is being converted into a set for CNN live broadcasts, which begin on Friday, March 4, and continue through Sunday, March 6.

This is an exciting opportunity to see democracy in action, highlight our campus, and show off our community.

About 60 of our students also are getting unique hands-on internship experience working with CNN and other groups coordinating this large-scale event.

To enable more of the campus community to participate in this partnership, , please consider attending the UM-Flint Debate Watch Party in the Northbank Center Ballroom.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 6. Join the conversation on social media at #UMFlintDebate.

Please also note that the University is not a distribution point for debate tickets, but we are looking forward to an exciting few days.

Thank you and — GO BLUE!”

We in the library will continue to watch the activities and report on events as they transpire.


(click any image to enlarge)

Thompson Library being spiffed up prior to broadcast. Hard not to pity this poor window washer, with temps around 13 degrees!
High tech equipment of all sorts being installed in Thompson Library. The new CNN “anchor desk” is installed. Lighting and sound equipment being placed. It takes a LOT of people to make a network run!









Everyone is scurrying around to get things ready for the on-air personalities to arrive and begin their unique Flint location broadcast!
Lights! Cameras! Action! Never dreamed we’d be working in a television studio. Exciting!







Are those …. BOOKS?!! Yes, the book stacks are directly behind the cameras! This IS, after all, a working academic library. Books, and more.
Crates, cartons and boxes. Oh, my!








HUGE satellite dish just outside the library, on a walkway next to Harrison Street and the Flint River. The White Building (UM-Flint) can be seen in the background, situated on the north side of the river.


IMG_2510 (2)
And so it begins …



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