New Library Books!

It’s summer.

That means new books and media will be arriving in the library soon!

Ever wondered how all those books made it to the shelves in the Thompson Library?

It’s not as simple as you might think.   There are a number of steps through which each item progressed before arriving at its final destination, ready for you to use.

What is the process?   Let’s start at the beginning.

Thompson Library uses a formula developed by UM-Flint faculty many years ago to fairly and equitably divide the library acquisition budget and distribute it between subjects to help ensure the library had timely research materials available in each discipline.

That formula is still used by the library today.

After the budget is determined, teaching departments are notified of amount available within their subject area.

Faculty may select book or media titles using any of several book selection tools such as Choice Reviews, or by working hand-in-glove with their librarian specialist.

When titles have been selected and sent to the liaison librarian, title information is entered into the Acquisitions Module of the central University of Michigan library management system database (ALEPH in Ann Arbor).

The books, media or online services are ordered, either directly from a specific supplier  (such as the American Psychological Association)  or through an aggregate supplier.

When selected materials arrive at our library,  they do not   go directly to shelves.    They go instead to Technical Services,  a unit within the library,  to be processed.

Each item is individually cataloged with a unique  Library of Congress  call number.

Over two thirds of the work in our library is done as  copy cataloging   (finding and using an established LC number).     The balance of the work is done as original cataloging   on-site by our own cataloguers.

Copy cataloging also requires a unique  “cutter number”  be applied to the end of the LC number, so…       lots of time and manual labor is involved in cataloging all new materials.

After cataloging,  the item receives a call number label which is printed and applied  (usually to the lower end of the spine or upper left corner of the front cover).

Next the item has a barcode placed on the inside front cover  (for books).

The 14 digit barcode number is scanned into the computer record along with check-out status,  loan period,  etc.

A tattle-tape is installed and activated.

Lastly,  after progressing through these many steps in Technical Services,  the book is placed on the  New Book Shelf   (located on the 3rd floor, behind Reference desk).

New books are final-processed and sent to their permanent shelf location at the end of each semester.

As soon as an item is ordered, it appears in our familiar old friend MIRLYN,  the online catalog of everything in the library,  as on order.

Still in Tech Services?    It may show the location as at labeling.

When checking a title in Mirlyn,  be sure to verify that the item is listed as   on shelf    to ensure it will be available for use.

It’s a long and complicated path from selection to placement in the final shelf location in the library,  but it’s a process that makes it easy for everyone to locate any book in the library quickly,  efficiently and easily.

And if the library doesn’t own a desired book,  a copy can usually be obtained for any student or employee via  Interlibrary Loan.

— But hey,  that   is a story for another article …

(see next article, Library News, July 2012…)



Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

University of Michigan library system (Ann Arbor) contains nearly 14 million volumes while Thompson Library (Flint) holds well over a quarter of a million volumes.

This makes the University of Michigan Library System one of the largest libraries in the United States.

Still, we don’t own everything which has been printed or recorded.

If something is need which our libraries don’t have,   Interlibrary Loan  can get it for you without charge.    Pick it up at Flint’s THOMPSON LIBRARY location, too!

What Interlibrary Loan is not:

  • An index.
  • A database.
  • A book, journal or
  • A media item in any UM library.

Interlibrary Loan is not a thing,  nor a list of books we own or have access to digitally.

What Interlibrary Loan is:   

  • A service to all University of Michigan library patrons which allows them to borrow materials from outside University of Michigan.

All that is needed to order a book, journal article, book chapter or media item is a citation.

(No, you do NOT have to tell us where a book is located.     We’ll find it for you!)

Not to be confused with   GET THIS     (borrowing from within University of Michigan libraries in Flint and Ann Arbor),  Interlibrary Loan is a free service to all UM currently registered students and current employees which allows them to borrow materials not  found in our libraries.

Interlibrary Loan expands our users research capability from using one of the top ten libraries in the United States by size (among the top 5 academic libraries in the USA) to getting nearly any  item you require from anywhere in the world!

This means that Interlibrary Loan service provides information researchers need,  when they need it — even if we don’t own it.

How amazing is that?!!

ILL    (InterLibrary  Loan)   request form can be found on the Thompson Library website located on the left side of our screen (grey column near bottom).

Login is required.

Login uses your university uniqname and umich  (also called Kerberos)  Ann Arbor password.

Don’t remember your Kerberos password?    ITS can help (810/766-6804).   Best to visit the ITS HelpDesk  (Rm 206 MSB on Flint campus) to have them reset your password.

Be sure to take your student/faculty ID card (UMID) to verify identity when working with ITS Helpdesk.  (Security is one of their prime concerns at all times, after all.)

Once you have logged into ILL, select the type of item you wish to acquire (journal article,  book,  etc)  from the list provided.

Fill out the citation on the form and hit the SUBMIT button.    That’s all that is required.

One caveat; before ordering an item using ILL,  check the list of materials in the library using Mirlyn  (online link at library website, left side of screen, top)  to confirm that no copy of the book you want is in UM Libraries.   Use materials we own first.  

If Mirlyn verifies we do not own it,  use ILL to get it.

ILL can also be used to get a journal article for any journal that is not owned by the Thompson Library collection (either in print or in a full text database) — but note that if we own it or own access to it full-text,  you can’t request it from ILL.

You can verify if Flint campus users have access to a specific journal title by checking it using the Journal Finder, which verifies subscription access.  If we don’t have a subscription, you can use ILL to acquire a copy of an article without getting a subscription.

In the case of journals,  ILL will send you a digital copy even if an Ann Arbor library owns it  (journals are non-circulating; since you cannot check out journals from any UM library, not even by using GET THIS, ILL will be happy to obtain a copy for you).

For any journal article Thompson Library can’t supply, request a copy of the article by using the ILL order form.

The article will be available (full text) within one to three working days.

An email to your campus account will notify you when it’s available.   Login to ILL again and find a link to the full-text copy of your article.

After you open the link, you can print a hard copy, save the file to your computer or just read it online.

If you need to request a book via ILL, be sure to order it early.

Books (unlike computer files) must be shipped overland to our library.

It may take from 3 to 5 weeks to arrive after you place your request with ILL office. An email alerts you when to come pick it up.

Interlibrary Loan — another useful and practical service to researchers from your library!



LIBRARY PROFILE — Desirée Sharland

Desirée Sharland,  Circulation Staff


 (Click any photo to enlarge)


  • Library Staff — Circulation
  •  Former Student Employee
  • Honors Program Graduate
  • Historian and Medievalist
  • Future Librarian


Desi 1This month we highlight one of our dedicated library staff, Desirée Lynn Sharland.

Desirée (aka “Desi”) has been working in Thompson Library for about five years now, though not as a member of our full time staff.   Desi came to us from the Honors Program (solicited directly by the Program Director, Dr. Thum, from her local high school of Goodrich, where she was 3rd in her class).   Desi spent  4 years during her undergrad studies as a library Student Employee at the Circulation Department .

But not JUST Circulation.   She spent some time helping out in Tech Services.   And when the library Director’s secretary needed an assistant, Desi was selected for that position based on her record as a reliable, responsible and very capable employee.

While working in the Director’s office,  Desi handled various tasks, including ordering supplies, creating spreadsheets, filing, answering the phone and other clerical duties.

It was at the Circulation Desk where Desi’s talent shone brightest. She quickly learned and became proficient in the special library management software system, interacted with our library patrons in a highly professional manner and was always eager to take on additional assignments.

Desi 9

Since she demonstrated that she was exceptionally bright and capable, she was selected to work with the head of the unit on several special projects, such as the recent reorganization of the Kresge books to first floor and compacting Flint materials on the second floor.

Desi 5As a UM-F student, Desi progressed through the Honors Program … with honors!    As part of the Program requirement for coursework (off campus),  Desi elected to attend Cambridge University in England where she studied medieval literature, focusing primarily on King Arthur and Robin Hood.

Desi 4

Taking advantage of the unique opportunity afforded her, she spent an additional four weeks touring sites in England related to Arthurian legends and legacy, the subject of her Honors Thesis (“British National Identity and King Arthur”).

Desi 3Side trips to Wales, Scotland and Ireland rounded out her English travels, visiting such sites as Stonehenge, Caernarfon and Goodrich Castles (see photos).

That wasn’t the end of her world travels. In 2010 Desi visited Poland, touring historic sites throughout that country as well.

Desi 2Not surprisingly, Desi would like to pursue her interests in history, literature and languages into an eventual career.

One option she sees as a route to that end is a master’s degree in Library Science, based in no small part on her experience working at Thompson Library.

Desi 6She is also mulling over the possibility of a second master’s in museum studies as well, just to round out her credentials in a field she loves.

For the balance of the summer, though, we have her here at Thompson Library where she now has full staff employee status, working as a supervisor at Circulation and directing the work efforts of the next generation of library student assistants , ensuring that our library runs smoothly and efficiently.

Desi 7

Some of the New Databases Available from Thompson Library

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

New   from  Thompson  Library!

Databases in:

  •  African Writers
  • Engineering
  • International Culture
  • Old English Texts
  • Social Work
  • Statistics (federal)
  • Physical Sciences

         …   and more!


  • ASM Failure Analysis Center —   Over 1000 case histories along with authoritative handbook information on failure mechanisms and analysis methods. The Failure Analysis Center enables you to find specific information to help you quickly solve your own failure analysis or materials performance issues.
  •  ASM Alloy Center   —   Search across ASM property data, performance charts, and processing guidelines for specific metals and alloys. Includes five content areas: Data Sheets & Diagrams, Alloy Finder, Materials Property Database, Coatings Data and Corrosion Data.
  • ASM Micrograph Center  —  Comprehensive collection of micrograph images and associated data. The emphasis of the collection is on micrographs for industrially important alloys. Information captured for each image includes material designation and composition, processing history, service history, metallographic preparation/technique, magnification, significance of the structures shown, selected materials properties data, and other relevant data.
  • CultureGrams   —    Up-to-date cultural information on countries across the globe. It includes four editions: the World Edition (for junior high school and up) and the Kids, States, and Canadian Provinces editions (for upper elementary school students). Includes the following features: images, slideshows, streaming videos, sortable data tables and graphs, interviews with natives from countries around the world, recipes for each country, and more.
  •  ProQuest Statistical Datasets   —   Statistical information produced by U.S. Federal agencies, private companies, and intergovernmental organizations. Create maps and reports on health, crime, population, finance, industry, and marketing. Data is available for the world as a whole or for selected countries. Data for the U.S. are shown by state, often by county, sometimes by census tract and zip code. Time series data may go back several decades.
  • Royal Society Publishing   —   1665-present.     Scientific journals, including seminal works in physical science.



Library Quotations

Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.

             — Thomas Jefferson