Just a few short years ago, Thompson Library opted to add mobile whiteboards to the Library.
It began with the study rooms. Each study room has a large whiteboard mounted to the wall, with a steady supply of marker pens of assorted colors (available upon request from the Circulation Desk near the entrance) as well as whiteboard erasers.
But students aren’t limited to studying only within the confines of the study rooms. Students use the entire space of the 3 story building utilized by the Library. Students, in short, study everywhere.
Sometimes being near the stacks is useful for an individual or group. They have quick access to a subject area they may need to refer to frequently.
Or perhaps they will use the large tables on the first floor with their direct access to natural light as supplied by 3 story tall windows facing the Flint River Falls between the Library (south bank) and the White Building (north bank). It’s a quiet, relaxing place to study, after all, very serene and tranquil. The absolute perfect place to catch up on reading. (Even in the evening, when night blankets the Atrium and soft lighting continues to create a serene place to read and study.)
Or students may gather at large tables on the first or second floor away from the Atrium in small groups where they can discuss their subject in depth. Perhaps they enjoy the ambience of the third floor, with more activity, and an easier location for groups to discuss their topic of study without worry about disturbing other researchers.
Wherever our students go to read and study, we find they want to diagram, list, itemize, draw, or create visually. And the whiteboards are the perfect medium to express those needs, as well as sharing visually with others in a group.
So, with a little research on the part of the librarians, we located moveable whiteboard and purchased a quantity of them. These boards where placed all around the Library, on all 3 floors, where we have noted students congregate to study in groups.
The whiteboards have a large surface area, and are double sided (with a useable end panel as well). As with the wall-mounted whiteboards in the study rooms, these are also supplied with a variety of colors of marking pens and erasers (again, available on request at the Circulation Desk, 3rd floor).
Over the years, we’ve monitored the boards to see how they were used.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that our University of Michigan-Flint students have used them to very good purpose. The creativity and originality of some of the uses did surprise us, however, and we began documenting the various uses to which the whiteboards have been put.
From years past, here are a few examples of our student’s work. We hope you are as amazed as we at what we have found.
The Mott-Warsh Collection maintains a revolving display of art work by celebrated black artists. They are on loan to University of Michigan-Flint for a limited time to provide our community with an opportunity to view items from this renounced private art collection.
Located on the 3rd floor of Thompson Library, just across the room from the Main Entrance to the Library, the display hangs on the west wall, easy to locate and easy to view.
This summer, we currently host a display of works by the artist Hale Woodruff (1900-1980). Selections are from his “Atlanta” period from the 1930s era.
Each new display will also have a flyer available nearby which contains information about the various pieces as well as the artist who created them.
The seven works currently on display are titled (respectively):
a. African Headdress
b. Old Church
c. Returning Home
f. Trusty on a Mule
g. Sunday Pomenade
The artist, Hale Woodruff, was born in Cairo, Illinois in 1900 and began as a self-taught artist drawing cartoons in his youth. He later attended college at the John Herron Art Institute of Indianapolis and Harvard University’s Fogg Art Museum. He spent four years in Paris studying at the Academie Scandinave e Academie Modern before returning to the United States and a teaching position at Atlanta University. He taught at New York University from 1945 through 1968 before retiring as an active member of the art world until his death in 1980.
Woodruff’s woks are included in major collections in many of our greatest institutes, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, and the Smithsonian Institute.
To learn more about Hale Woodruff, and to spend some time enjoying a selection of his early work, please visit Thompson Library on the University of Michigan Flint campus.
For more information about the Mott-Warsh Collection, visit them at http:www.m-wc.org or check out their page on Facebook.
Over the past three years we have completed our project to digitize our graduate students’ final theses and dissertations. 2018 marks the first year where all our legacy works have been uploaded to Deep Blue.
The following data includes all uploaded works and download counts as of December 2018.
Deep Blue by the Numbers
Total number digitized works: 757
Works downloaded at least once: 448 (59%)
Total downloads: 114,329
Open Access works: 345 (46%)
Open Access works downloaded at least once: 345 (100%)
Open Access downloads: 114,052 (99.8%)
Works accessible only on UM campuses: 412 (54%)
Works accessible only on UM campuses downloaded at least once: 103 (25%)
On campus downloads: 277 (0.2%)
Top 10 Downloaded Theses
The download amounts in the following list reflect the all time totals, not just those downloads that occurred in 2018.
“Libraries are simple. I can figure this out all by myself.
Wait — How do I get to the library website? And where are the databases I’m supposed to use?
I thought there was only one university research database. Just how many databases ARE there? Which one am I supposed to use?
I don’t know what to do, or where to look or who to ask. If I ask for help, will they think I’m stupid? I don’t want anyone to think I’m stupid.
I’ll just use Google . . .
This is a common reaction by new students beginning their first research paper at university.
If it’s been a while since they visited their local public library, they may not be aware of the vast changes in how libraries collect, store, index, and provide access to information. Or they may not be aware of the very real and immediate need to ask a librarian for assistance when faced with so many options.
It is often assumed that all libraries are identical. They aren’t familiar with the specialized services an academic library provides to students and faculty researchers.
Plus they are often overwhelmed by the technology involved in using library resources — such as databases — resources which index and provide access to such varied sources of information as books, ebooks, scholarly journal articles, or even statistical data.
Few expect to find over 1,000 subscription service databases available to them.
Selecting the specific database they need to begin a research project is the first major hurdle students face. Frustration often drives them to return to their old friend, Google, when they don’t know how to find or use Library resources. Google is not a reliable source of scholarly, or even accurate, information. This helps no one.
The data libraries provide as part of their standard service today cannot be matched by search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Search engines can only access materials that are available for free through open access on the internet. Any service, such as newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals or data services that require a subscription to get access are not available to any search engine. They are blocked from these resources, the very materials to of greatest value to researchers.
These are the very services that libraries DO provide.
As an example of the extent of this problem, Google can only provide access to approximately 17% to 25% of the resources an academic library makes available to its researchers. Worse — Google can only provide that much because a small portion of what libraries offer IS open source materials.
Think Google Scholaris able to get around that? Nope. Google Scholar simply re-directs it’s student users back to their own library, but without the ability to use multiple index search words, or limiters that allow users to select for things such as full text articles, peer-reviewed articles, or articles published in English language (all actual limiters available in most library databases).
Check the settings options in Google Scholar, and select for Libraries to see where it is redirecting.
Libraries organize a wide variety of online resources, including such things as useful statistical or data which governments and organization sites (that don’t require subscriptions) provide and are freely available for online access and use by anyone.
But Google can’t get at the scholarly journal or other databases the library pays for through its annual subscription The databases and other resources provided by the Library are far better choices to find and use research materials.
But — with over 1,000 current subscription databases available through Thompson Library, how does a researcher find which databases to use for any given research project or question?
That very dilemma is the reason Thompson Library uses —
The LibGuides help our librarians create a selection of Guides for specific areas of study (as well as for specific courses, or topics of interest, when needed).
For each teaching department on our UM-Flint campus, our librarians have created a general Guide that organizes all databases of use to a researcher within that discipline.
Each Guide offers tabs to different pages that further organize the resources needed by researchers.
And in many cases, several specialized Guides are created within a discipline that focus on those resources useful to a specialized branch of study.
Let’s look at some examples of Guides and how to find them.
FINDING the Guides:
To find a LibGuide for any of the major subject areas at UM-Flint, a researcher must navigate first to the Thompson Library website.
Find Thompson Library Website:
From UM-Flint page, use top toolbar for ACADEMICS; the drop-down options include LIBRARY. Use the “click here” option to navigate to the Thompson Library website.
Scroll down the library website; find the box in the center of the page labeled, “NEED HELP GETTING STARTED?“
This page presents an alphabetical list of the major discipline LibGuides. Scroll down the list to find the one you need. Click to open.
Each Guide starts with an OVERVIEW page. This page lists the librarian who created the Guide and how to contact them on the far right of the screen. The center of the Guide will offer links a short list of the most frequently used databases.
Along the lower left may be a list of related Guides that could prove useful to your search.
Each Guide has a tab-list of pages within the Guide along the far left side.
Each page provides links to library resources (databases, books, etc) as indicated on the tab.
Let’s look at a Guide.
From the alphabetic list of subject Guides, let’s select NURSING.
Click on the Guide for Nursing, found in the alphabetic list.
The landing / OVERVIEW page tells you this Guide was created by librarian Laura Friesen and provides her office address, office phone number, and email. It gives a few “quick links” back to useful Library information, such as the hours the Library is open. It also provides a link to the CHAT feature.
CHAT is a real-time way to ask a librarian for help. Click CHAT to type your question and have an online discussion with a librarian. This is a great way to get a quick answer to a simple question.
Under the center FREQUENTLY USED DATABASES is a short list of those databases used most often by students and instructors in the Nursing Program at UM-Flint.
Each database includes the name of that database as a clickable link, and below the name, a brief description of what kind of information is found within that particular database.
DO NOT assume that the short list of databases found on the Overview page is all the library offers for researchers in this subject. Nope. Check the tabs on the left and look for an A-Z List of Databases; click to open.
The A-Z list in the Nursing Guide is not a list of all Library databases. It IS a list of all databases useful to those researching topics in the field of Nursing and Medicine — a great way to narrow down the over 1000 databases the Library offers to just those useful in THIS, the current research project.
It is wise to remember that they are NOT listed by usefulness or relevance, but simply alphabetically.
Choosing the first database in a list may not be a good way to select a database. Check the description found below every database link to understand the contents of that particular database. With that information, it is easier to determine which database is more likely to provide the information sought by the researcher.
Do not, for example, use a database that lists and describes current drugs (such as the Merck Index Online) when searching for an index to journal articles. For journal articles, a better database choice may be Nursing & Allied Health or CINAHL.
Some Guides will offer additional tabs to group a large list of databases by narrower topics. Look for those to help you narrow down which database to use.
So you select a NURSING database, say the one named CINAHL,but find it a bit confusing to use. To make it easier to figure out, the Library included a tab in this Guide with short videos that explain how to use some of the databases found in this Guide.
This video walks a new user through how to find, open, and use the CINAHL database both effectively and efficiently.
When the current research project is finished and the research paper written, there’s even help from the Library Guides for doing a References page.
Find the tab for APA STYLE, again, from the Page list on the far left side of each library Guide, for assistance.
Each subject Guide will vary a little based on the type of information is needed for that particular subject and the resources available through the library in that discipline. But the basic organization of each Guide is similar. Learn one and have no problem using the others.
But that’s not all. There are additional Guides to help for other research projects as well. Want to learn about The Flint Water Crisis? We have a Guide for that! It organizes a wide variety off resources available to a researcher, including print and online sources of background information about the Flint and what happened.
But that Guide is NOT in the list by subject we just looked at. The “extra” Guides can be found using the FULL List of Guides.
The link to the FULL LIST of Library Guides can be found on the far left of the Thompson Library website, directly under the “Frequently Asked Questions.”
The List defaults to a “major categories” list, but by clicking either of the other options at the top, a user can change to ALL GUIDES to see the complete list, or OWNER, to see all those Guides created by any one of our librarians.
Or, if the exact title of a Guide is known (such as The Flint Water Crisis), that can by entered into the search box to zero in on a single Guide quickly.
– There are plenty of options to find and use any of the Guides.
– Using the Guides is easy as they are all organized similarly.
– The Guides are extremely useful because they organize links to databases and online documents needed to research a specific subject.
– The Guides make finding and using a database — and other resources — much easier.
– In short, the best way to begin any research project at the Thompson Library of University of Michigan-Flint is to start with the Guides.
Choose a Guide based on the type of subject to be researched. Browse through the contents of a Guide to select a database (resource) to use.
Get to the best resource for each search faster and with less effort. Get the research started and completed quickly.
Subject Guides — Helping UM-Flint researchers find and use the best library database (or other resource) to meet their needs quickly.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Need more help?
Don’t forget the BESTresource in any library are it’s librarians!
If you are a UM-Flint student, staff, or faculty, this is where you find help with your research needs.
Contact a UM-Flint Thompson Library LIBRARIAN for help.
Our project to digitize the legacy collection of UM-Flint’s graduate theses and dissertations has come to its end.
Since our last update, 292 theses were deposited in Deep Blue in May. They were a mixture of legacy theses (dating from 1980 – 1995) and recent graduates’ work. We are currently in the final stages of record clean-up and author contacting.
Going forward we will continue to deposit newly authored works by our growing number of graduate students. We will also continue to track the number of Deep Blue downloads.
Deep Blue by the Numbers
Only the download data through April 2018 were available, the following numbers are based on that data.
452 theses have been added to Deep Blue from July 2015 to April 2018. (The May 2018 deposit brings the total number of digitized theses to 744).
292 of the 452 theses (65%) have been downloaded at least once.
46,081 downloads have occurred since July 2015.
208 of the 452 theses (46%) are designated as open access.
206 of the 208 openly accessible theses (99%) have been downloaded at least once.
244 of the 452 theses (54%) are only accessible on UM campuses.
86 of the 244 on campus theses (21%) have been downloaded at least once.
45,888 of the 46,081 total downloads (99.6%) were for the openly accessible theses.
193 of the 46,081 total downloads (0.4%) were for the theses only accessible on UM campuses.
We have continued to track how many times the theses have been downloaded from Deep Blue, the University of Michigan’s institutional repository. The following information is a break down of some of the statistics.
Deep Blue by the Numbers
452 theses have been added to Deep Blue from July 2015 to December 2017.
285 of the 452 theses (63%) have been downloaded at least once.
26,494 downloads have occurred since July 2015.
204 of the 452 theses (45%) are designated as open access.
203 of the 204 openly accessible theses (99%) have been downloaded at least once.
248 of the 452 theses (55%) are only accessible on UM campuses.
82 of the 248 on campus theses (26%) have been downloaded at least once.
26,322 of the 26,494 total downloads (99%) were for the openly accessible theses.
172 of the 26,494 total downloads (1%) were for the theses only accessible on UM campuses.
Beginning in 2015, the Frances Willson Thompson Library has taken steps to preserve and make more accessible UM-Flint’s graduate theses and dissertations.
Since our last update we have continued to work on the project by adding theses to Deep Blue as students graduate and by reaching out to the remaining authors. We have now contacted all the authors for whom we were able to find contact information. In the end, we sent out over 700 letters asking for authors’ permission to allow the full text of their work to be made available to a larger audience than the three UM campuses.
We have also continued to track how many times the theses have been downloaded from Deep Blue, the University of Michigan’s institutional repository.
Deep Blue by the Numbers
411 theses have been added to Deep Blue between July 2015 and June 2017; the bulk of the theses (375) were added in May 2016.
239 theses (58% of the 411) have been downloaded at least once.
10,901 downloads have occurred since July 2015 when the first few theses were added.
184 of the 411 theses (45%) are designated as open access, meaning they are freely available to anyone on the internet through Deep Blue and search engines, like Google Scholar.
179 of the 184 openly accessible theses (97%) have been downloaded at least once.
60 of the 227 theses (26%) that are only accessible on UM campuses have been downloaded at least once; only 4 of these theses have been downloaded more than five times.
10,772 of the 10,901 total downloads (99%) were for the openly accessible theses.
129 of the 10,901 total downloads (1%) were for the theses only accessible on UM campuses.
Thompson Library open Monday am; closes Thursday pm
The Frances Willson Thompson Library will open at 8 am on Monday, April 17th and will remain open (24 hours per day for 4 days!) until midnight on Thursday, April 20th this spring (2017).
—-> See below for complete schedule of library 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thompson Library will have:
Adult COLORING BOOKS available.
AND … the THERAPY DOGS will again be visiting!
Therapy dogs will be in the library on Thursday, April 20th between 11:30 am and 2:00 pm. Come by and get a little canine cuddling to help steady those exam nerves.
In 2016 the Frances Willson Thompson Library took steps to preserve and make more accessible UM-Flint’s graduate student theses and dissertations.
Since our last update we have continued to work on the project and track how many times the theses have been downloaded from Deep Blue, the University of Michigan’s institutional repository. We also helped Graduate Programs set up a work flow to capture newly submitted theses digitally and make them available to a wider scholarly audience more quickly. The process was implemented in the Fall 2016 semester and so far ten theses have been successfully submitted this way.
Deep Blue By the Numbers
391 theses were added to Deep Blue between July 2015 and December 2016.
159 theses (41% of the 391) have been downloaded at least once.
3,223 total downloads, half of which were downloaded between October to December of 2016.
123 of the 159 theses (77%) are designated as open access, meaning they are freely available to anyone on the internet through search engines like Google Scholar.
119 of the 123 openly accessible theses (96%) have been downloaded at least once; and all of the top ten downloaded theses are open access.
3,134 of the 3,223 total downloads (97%) are for the openly accessible theses.