Historical Information on Flint’s Big Brothers Organization
In 2015, Robert Ryder of Reston, Virginia, donated the papers of his late father, Joseph T. Ryder (1906-1979) to our University of Michigan-Flint Genesee Historical Collections Center.
These papers have been processed and are now available for researchers to access on-site.
Who was Joe Ryder? Joe was the person largely responsible for Flint, Michigan having a vibrant and successful Big Brother program.
Ryder came from the Toledo area to Flint in 1944 to direct the Flint Youth Bureau, a new program supported by the C. S. Mott Foundation.
For the next 35 years, he led the organization and its successor, Big Brother of Greater Flint, to provide guidance to underprivileged boys who typically were delinquent or had no father at home.
The collection provides ample documentation on the organization’s history, as well as his involvement in community education seminars held around the U.S., and on the national organization of Big Brothers.
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If you would like to learn more about Mr. Ryder and his association with the beginning of Flint’s Big Brothers organization, please contact our Archivist, Paul Gifford.
Better still, drop in and visit Paul at the Genesee Historical Archives to learn more about Mr. Ryder and other people and events which had an impact on our local, state and national development.
Genesee Historical Archives is located in the Frances Willson Thomopson Libray building, 2nd floor corridor (near the tube to UPAV).
Contact information and hours of operation for the Archive are available on the Thompson Library website at:
Did you know you could check this out at the library?
Use your MCard (UMID) at the Library!
In addition to being your ID at UM, it’s also your library card. (Turn it over and see the barcode on the back, along with your library card number. It should begin with 59015—
But WHAT can you get with a library card these days?
Sure, you can use the online library catalog (MIRLYN) to find books in our main collection to check out. There are over a quarter of a million books currently on-shelf in Thompson Library you can check out. (Plus all those books in the Ann Arbor campus libraries, too.)
But did you know you can also use your library card to check out these items from the library?
Headphones — check out headphones at the library. Use on any computer. In-library use, only.
Listen to music or audio files on your computer without disturbing others.
Graphing Calculators & External Disc Drives–
Graphing Calculators — Use for higher math functions, calculus, trigonometry, etc.
External Disc Drives – Use to play DVDs or CDs on computers without an internal disc drive (i.e. the ITS machines)
Laptop Computers —
Laptop Computers — Available to use in library. Check out with your library card (MCard).
Help with English Language — (English as Second Language assistance)An entire collection of materials to help non-native English speakers improve their communication skills in English.
Thompson Library has a small but growing collection of materials to help those learning English as a second language.
Children’s Books —
Children’s literature — Thompson Library has an extensive collection of children’s literature in support of UM-Flint’s School of Education. Standard loan period applies to all books in the Children’s Literature.
Children’s Literature collection is currently housed on the 3rd floor of the Thompson Library. If you need assistance locating the materials, please ask at the Information Desk near the entrance.
Media Collection —
Movies (both educational and entertainment)
Music (all genres)
We have Movies & Music on shelves in the library (3rd floor).
We have movies in both VHS and DVD formats. (Mostly DVD.)
We have non-fiction, educational videos across a wide variety of fields, from Business to Medicine to Shakespeare and more.
We have popular movies, such as Patriot Games, Forest Gump, Marathon Man, Braveheart, Harry Potter, Paint Your Wagon — and many more.
We have music CDs on shelf — LOTSof music CDs on shelf! Plus a wide variety of music (both vocals and instrumentals).
All available to check out from the library.
Browsing Collection —
We also have current and recent best sellers available for yoreading pleasure in our Browsing Collection (3rd floor).
Special Collections —
We frequently put out special collections of books to share current interest or events with everyone.
Atlas Collection —
Plus we have other items of interest nearby as well, such as the current newspapers shelf, and the Atlas Collection of maps.
Study Rooms —
Did you know you can check out a Study Room?
Use the online software from the Thompson Library website to reserve a Study Room. Then pick up the key to the room at Circulation using your library card (UMID) to check it out.
We even have small lockers to store you things while you’re in the library. (They cost a quarter — and are emptied out regularly, so there should be one waiting for you when you need it.)
Blue Books, Scantrons & Pencils —
And if you need Blue Books or Scantrons for an upcoming test in your class, we usually have those available, too. (Ask at the Circulation Desk.) Plus pencils — everyone needs pencils. All available for you right at the Library.
The Library is the best place to find reliable, scholarly information.
The Library is absolutely the best place to do your research.
Early in September, a new and thought-provoking walk-though display was assembled on the 3rd floor of the Thompson Library near the main entrance.
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The display addresses what one person interviewed described as the responsibility to give back to your nation. Various categories of service are listed, all that serve in one aspect or the other as either: Patriot, Peace Maker, or Diplomat.
Brought to us by the Arab American National Museum, this traveling display will be available to experience in the University of Michigan-Flint Thompson Library through December 2016.
The display highlights the contribution of Arab Americans in service to their country from the 1800’s to present day.
First on the list of information available to the viewer as one walks through the display is a simple but perhaps not well known fact; Arab Americans are not a small nor homogeneous group of tight-knit people with an identical ethnicity.
They derive from a very diverse popularion with widely disparate backgrounds, heritages, customs and religions coming from a large area of the globe that consists of many countries and regions. The one thing they have in common is that they all have roots in that geographic area which spans the lands identified as the Middle East and across the length of northern Africa.
Whether they are men or women, Muslims or Christians, old or young, these Americans have a long history of service to their country.
As you walk through the display, you’ll see images of men and women that served in various branches of the United States armed forces.
You can read stories of men and women who served in World War I (nearly 14,000), World War II (over 15,000) and other engagements — many serving with distinction and honors.
Too many gave their country the last, full measure of devotion.
You can read about Rear Admiral Faye Glenn Abdellah, who also served as Deputy Surgeon General (1949 – 1989) — the first nurse and the first woman to hold that position. Descending from both Algerian and Scottish heritage, her theories revolutionized nursing care, altering it from the standard disease-centered care to an improved patient-centered approach.
You can read of the many other officers and soldiers (both men and women) who served the US military along with where and how they served, including the 3,500 Arab Americans currently serving their country today.
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After the infamy that was 9/11, many of these patriots found their loyalties questioned, and as a result the Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in the Military (APAAM) formed to offer support to Americans who, through no other reason than their ethnic origins, came under special scrutiny.
It was one of the first formal organizations for active and veteran Arab American service members, people who — by their beliefs and record of service to their nation — consider themselves Patriots.
Being a patriot does not prevent a person from also being a Peace Maker, however. As you walk through the fascinating display, you’ll see the record of many Arab Americans who served their nation in an entirely different way, through the Peace Corps.
The Peace Corps was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy to promote world peace and provide an international public service. It is a volunteer organization which helps communities around the world understand U.S. culture while helping Americans understand the cultures of other groups and nations.
From the beginning days of the Peace Corps, Arab Americans have served; people such as Donna Shalala (1962), Bill Aossey and Janet Ghattas (1963), and many others have contributed to the success of the Peace Corps program.
The list of volunteers includes many who had previously served in the United States military, such as Antoinette Byda Peters Day (US Army, 1966 – 1970; Peace Corps, 2007 – 2009), proving that Arab Americans can be both PatriotsANDPeace Makers within their lives, contributing both service to their country and service to their fellow man on behalf of their country.
Another way many Arab Americans have combined these two aspects into their lives has been service in the U. S. Diplomatic Corps, many serving in positions in countries around the globe since World War II and in even greater numbers within the past 30 years.
As you wander through the expansive display, you’ll see interesting artifacts, watch video clips, listen to audio descriptions, and even get a chance to learn a few words in other languages.
The historical information is informative, and photos are striking, and it is well worth the time to visit and meander through the display.
But alas, it is only on loan to the University of Michigan-Flint from the Arab American National Museum for a limited time.
We urge you to take advantage of this fascinating and informative display while it is available to our campus.
To visit the display, enter the Thompson Library (University of Michigan-Flint) on the 3rd floor.
The display is easily seen from the entrance, directly behind the INFORMATION DESK.
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!
Upon 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 vast open lawns …
It’s a great place to study in peace and quiet.
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.
A 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 student who needs a quiet, peaceful place to study.
There 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 Room, just ask any library staff (check at the Information Desk near the entrance).
They’ll be happy to point out the location for you.
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The Rules for using the Silent Study Room?
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.
UM-Flint Recreation Center and the Flint Cultural Center
A FUN and ENRICHING CAMP EXPERIENCE
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 through the Thompson Library, listening to a brief presentation by a librarian, and speaking with the Reference Librarian (Micky Doyle), who demonstrated how a librarian could help them find a book from in our collection on any topic they wanted.
They had a great time, and we enjoyed hosting them.
Hope to see all of you back again in a few years, Campers.
On display were some photos from the collection, most notably about the Arab American history of Flint and Genesee County.
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.
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.
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We enjoyed welcoming our hometown tourists and we look forward to next year’s event!
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.
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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 (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.
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.
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.
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 horizontal 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:
one of the sky,
one of the water as background,
one of the tip of the iceberg,
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.
That article is available to all UM-Flint researchers through the Thompson Library database 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 http://www.jstor.org/stable/224679]
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.
— 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.