How to Expand 300,000 Volumes into 8 Million with the Click of a Button!

It’s not that uncommon to have students approach the Reference Desk in our library and ask the librarian where Hatcher library is located. Usually when it is pointed out that only the Thompson Library is in Flint they become very depressed; a 60 mile drive just to get a book???

But the librarian can cheer them up instantly. How? A quick explanation of the GET THIS feature does the trick.

Instead of driving to the Ann Arbor campus, just use GET THIS. Login to Mirlyn with uniqname and Kerberos password, then search for a book.

If a book is in a library in Ann Arbor but not in Flint, it can be requested by using GET THIS. (Be sure to select FLINT as the pick-up location from the drop-down box!)

If you are requesting a book from an Ann Arbor library, it will be delivered to Flint the following Monday or Wednesday and available for pickup the next day. Requesting a Flint book? Same procedure! That means any item requested will be on the Hold Shelf in Thompson Library quickly, usually within two days or less.

The benefit to Flint students, faculty and staff? Over the past five years, use of materials from the Ann Arbor campus has increased to upwards of 2,000 books (plus) per year — without having to drive to Ann Arbor.

This expands our access to research materials from the approximately 300,000 books held in Thompson Library to nearly 8 million books available in the various libraries on the Ann Arbor campus — a tremendous boon to researchers!

Does Ann Arbor equally benefit from access to the Flint collection? Surprisingly, yes.

We are a net lender to Ann Arbor. Why? Because our library has a strong basic collection. And since we’re smaller, we order and catalog books much faster than Ann Arbor libraries. We also have a high percentage of unique materials not found in the Ann Arbor collections. In fact, about 44% of our total collection consists of books that are not on the shelves in any of the Ann Arbor libraries, completely unique to Flint campus.

And there’s more; approximately 25 percent of all transactions using GET THIS have been Flint patrons requesting Ann Arbor books. That means that approximately 75 percent have been Ann Arbor researchers requesting books owned by Flint. The benefit is definitely reciprocal.

This can benefit the faculty on the Flint campus in another area as well. Our faculty may request a book from any Ann Arbor campus library and have it placed on RESERVE in the Thompson Library (allowing all students in a given class quick to a book otherwise unavailable).

Want to read a book, but the item is already checked out? Request it using GET THIS and be placed in the queue. When it returns, the book will be placed on the Hold Shelf for you (date of request determines place in queue for a popular book which is in high demand).

Next time you need a book from Flint or Ann Arbor, try using the GET THIS feature. An email notifies you when the book is waiting for you on the Hold Shelf. Come to the library and ask at the Circulation Desk (3rd floor near entrance).


A great new feature; login to Mirlyn to try it soon!




Social Library

Thompson Library is taking full advantage of the various social media outlets to help us distribute quality research information as well as useful links to information our researchers need.

For example, the Thompson Library FACEBOOK page provides links to online assistance in citation help in many <ahem> formats!

We have installed links to various online sites that offer assistance in the use of several individual format styles.

There are links to the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) and their online guides to MLA Formatting and Style, APA formatting style and the Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed).

Here can also be found a direct link to the library-provided online citation management software, RefWorks. (Watch for more about RefWorks in future issues!)

Search boxes have been created and installed on our Facebook page to allow users direct access to search WORLD.CAT,   ProQuest,  Academic OneFile  AND  Mirlyn (the University of Michigan catalog of items owned by the libraries — searches titles for books, DVDs, CDs and journals).

We have installed several instructional videos (created by our own Emily Newberry) walking through how to use several of our library services and databases.

Picture11And best of all, our Thompson Library Facebook administrators (and our loyal followers) frequently post all the hot new doings in the library — along with terrific helpful suggestions — on our Facebook WALL.


Please be sure to LIKE us on Facebook so that you can stay connected to the library. And please recommend to students that they join us on Facebook as well. It’s a fast and very easy way to get information — whether current, posted or by inquiry — from your library.

twitterbirdsWant more ways to stay in touch with your librarians?     Follow us on TWITTER,  where you’ll find notices about new databases or even databases we’re testing (short term trials) and considering for purchase (subscription).

Emily5FourSqUse FOUR*SQUARE on your smartphone? The library is not only a FourSquare site, but several places inside the library are also designated as check-in site locations (such as ALL our study rooms!).

The check-in sites make it quick and easy to connect with people or groups you might be meeting in the library, or just to let your friends know where you are. So if you’d like to be the Mayor of Thompson Library — you can! Just tag us when you come in, and come in often!

Love our new newsletter and want to read more about library happenings?   Check out our blog, the Upper Shelf for regular postings.

Have a quick (and very, very short, 140 character) question? Text a librarian  (810.407.5434 ).    (Sometimes the reply may be, “call us for more extensive explanation,” but we WILL reply!)

Need more in-depth assistance?    Call the Reference Desk (810 / 762-3408), or email a reference librarian ( or even try online live chat with a librarian.

For contact information access points, check the library website under Ask A Librarian.

Social media?

We’ve got you covered!

Instant access to a librarian or library information when you need it an via the method you find most convenient.

And yes,  SOMETIMES  you can even get a live answer in the wee hours of the morning.

Bu t only IF  a  librarian happens to have insomnia!




New Databases Available from Thompson Library

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

  • Advertising — Information about advertising agencies specializations; their key personnel, accounts, associated brands, and corporate hierarchy. For other commercial firms, it includes information on how much a firm spends on advertising, an extensive list of executives, including those in marketing; its advertising agencies with contact information; and the firm’s brands.
  • ACerS NIST Phase Equilibria Diagrams Online —- Source of phase diagrams for oxides, salts, carbides, nitrides, borides, compound semiconductors, and chalcogenides. Phase Online functionality includes: * Search commentaries and diagrams by chemical system, published author’s last name, volume, language, publications year, and figure number. * View diagram’s chemical system, figure number, figure notes, references, commentary and footnotes. * Manipulate diagrams with zoom in/out, lever rule, curve follow, mirror, Mol% to Wt% or Wt% to Mol% and built-in calculator.
  • KennedyCQ Historic Documents — 1972-present. Approximately 100 documents covering the most significant events of each year, ranging from presidential speeches, international agreements, and Supreme Court decisions to U.S. governmental reports, scientific findings, and cultural discussions.
  • GreenFile — Articles, books and government documents on global warming, environmental protection and renewable energy.
    GBI Research: Global Business Intelligence —- Market research in chemicals, clean technology, medical equipment, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, power, and semiconductors.
  • NBER Working Papers — Documents published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit economic research organization.
  • ProQuest Sociology — 1985-present. Covers journal articles in sociology and social work.
  • Synthesis Digital Library — 2005-present. Morgan Claypool Synthesis Digital Library provides information service for the research, development, and educational community in engineering and computer science.



—    Biology Specialist Librarian    —

—     Technical Services Specialist Librarian      —

—     Talented Crafter     —


—      Devoted Kitty Mom!      —


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Annie3Another Flint area native — one of many among our staff — Beth Annie Szuch was born in Lapeer and raised in Attica where she grew up on a farm in the country. This may have influenced her choice of majors, but her choice of schools was natural; her father also attended UM-Flint where he obtained a teaching degree.

It was during her undergrad years at Flint campus that she met the young grad student Ernie Szuch during a field trip. She claims she was clueless as to why the handsome grad student followed her everywhere and arranged to pair off with her for cooking duty and… almost everything.  Ernie Szuch 40 years of service award   Until, of course, the moment during a private nature walk when he turned to her and planted a big one on her lips!
Ernie and Annie married; Ernie picked up his masters in biology while Annie chose UM-Ann Arbor library school for her masters in library science . The young couple found an old house in Davison, a fixer-upper that gave them many years of fixing-upping.   It should come as no surprise that they opted to build their dream home — a lovely, log home (NOT the log cabin of history!) — as a completely finished “turn-key” constructed. No more fixing upping! Instead they spend their free time on nature excursions doing research.
Annie and Ernie (now an instructor in the UM-Flint Biology Dept) have taken students on study trips and done independent research to some of the most beautiful spots on earth, including marine biology studies in the Caribbean (the students snorkeled the reefs), camping in the Great Northern Woods and several — such as their upcoming trip — to southeastern United States.

Annie4This spring Annie and Ernie will be hunting for salamanders in the Smoky Mountains.   Salamanders?   Ask Annie.   She enthusiastically describes these colorful creatures and their wide range of habitats. Precursors of lizards, salamanders occupy an important niche in our wild environment, and Annie can easily describe size, color and locale of several species.  Yuck?   NO!   Lovely, wonderful and very interesting creatures.    Sure, Annie…

We were lucky that Annie had so many ties to the Flint area as she returned to Thompson Library in 1977, assigned to work with Ingrid in Technical Services. At that time Annie processed serials (incoming journal issues and outgoing volumes sent to bindery, maintaining journals on shelf and in the card catalog).

Over the years Annie has done almost every job in Technical Services.   But she’s also worked regularly as one of our Reference Librarians, manning shifts throughout the week on the Reference Desk and fielding questions that are specifically in the field of biology.

Annie has also accepted, reviewed and processed all donated materials to the library for several years, no small feat.   Each item donated must be checked against our current holdings for duplication or obsolesces due to newer editions.   Items selected to be placed in the collection must then be cataloged, a call number assigned, a spine label created and applied, the cataloging record placed in the library catalog (no more card catalogs — Mirlyn is digital and fully online today).   Then the item is placed on the “New Book Shelf” so people can catch all newly processed materials before it is finally placed on the shelf in the main collection.

All of this was good preparation for Annie’s latest duty assignment.   Our long-time head of Technical Services — Dave Hart — retired last year after 30 some years working in Thompson Library.   Annie was the logical choice for the job.

With the slow erosion of personnel in our Technical Services division, Annie is now the sole cataloger in our library.    Along with Ahn Thach (serials),  Annie places all new item orders via the library Acquisitions module of the library management software (ALEPH) located in Ann Arbor and of which Thompson Library is a part.

Once new orders arrive in our building,  Annie oversees the labeling (printing the correct call number on a special labeling machine)  and bar coding  (bar codes must be placed in specific locations inside each item and recorded into the online cataloging module of Aleph)  of each item, then sends them to thAnnie2e New Book Shelf for use.


Please stop in soon and visit with Annie to learn about Smudge, Petunia and Gracie the cats, her log home, her spinning and knitting volunteer work — or to ask her a library question!









Honors Awards Event held in Library Atrium Friday, April 6th

Honors Department Celebrates Student Achievements During Awards Event in Thompson Library

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On the evening of April 6, the Honors Dept celebrated with scholastic awards students who had demonstrated remarkable achievements.

Director of UM-Flint HONORS PROGRAM, Dr. Maureen Thum, and our own library Director, Bob Houbeck, distributed the awards to several honors students.

Honors Awards April 2012 Maureen & Bob Small


Honors Awards April 2012 Laura Small

Honors Awards April 2012 Buffect2 SmallHonors Awards April 2012 Podium - Copy





Honors Awards April 2012 Cords Small




NEW! Thompson Library “BROWSING COLLECTION” Opens!

Browsing Collection offers latest titles from best seller lists.

Shorter check-out allows everyone an opportunity to “take and  read” the hottest new titles!

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Recently added is a set of beautiful oak wood stacks that very closely match the interior furnishings which were custom made for our library.

These bookshelves were acquired for a very nominal fee from Borders Book Store when it closed.

Now housing our BROWSING COLLECTION (on the 3rd floor), the stacks have been recycled into new life.

Browsing Collection 1









The Browsing Collection features recent best sellers and allows ready access to these popular titles by limiting the check-out period to one week, only.

Browsing Collection 2


Stop by and check the new titles (we update this a bit more often than the general collection).

If you need a good read, here’s where to find it!




Library Quotations

The library is not a shrine for the worship of books. It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one’s devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual. A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas – a place where history comes to life .

— Norman COUSINS (1915- 1990)