Category Archives: Library News

There’s an Elephant in the Library!

HATHI Trust Digital Library, a permanent repository of the collections of major research libraries —

The HathiTrust is a growing partnership of libraries — including the University of Michigan — that are pooling their resources to create the library of the future, for the future.   Nearly 11 million volumes from their combined collections are already available digitally, and millions more will be added in the coming years.

Pronounced “Hot – Tea,” the Hindi word for elephant, the mission of the HathiTrust is to contribute to the common good by collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge.

An elephant, so they say, never forgets.

The ambitious goals of the HathiTrust are:

 — To build a reliable and increasingly comprehensive digital archive of library materials converted from print that is co-owned and managed by a number of academic institutions.

To dramatically improve access to these materials in ways that, first and foremost, meet the needs of the co-owning institutions.

— To help preserve these important human records by creating reliable and accessible electronic representations.

— To stimulate redoubled efforts to coordinate shared storage strategies among libraries, thus reducing long-term capital and operating costs of libraries associated with the storage and care of print collections.

— To create and sustain this “public good” in a way that mitigates the problem of free-riders.

— To create a technical framework that is simultaneously responsive to members through the centralized creation of functionality and sufficiently open to the creation of tools and services not created by the central organization.

Through their combined efforts, the participating research libraries hope to ensure the long-term preservation of the collections they have worked to assemble over centuries of time.

Providing as much access to the materials as legally possible is a key part of the preservation strategy.

Legally possible? The majority of works are currently protected by federal copyright law.  These works cannot yet be freely accessed in digital format.

Most works published prior to 1923 will be in public domain, and can be accessed full text if included in the HathiTrust Digital Library collection.

The HathiTrust collection provides full-text search capability to locate otherwise unknown materials,  Acrobat downloads of public domain publications,  and unprecedented access to damaged or lost materials online.

The over 70 institutional members of the HathiTrust Digital Library — including the University of Michigan Library System — are building a collection for the digital knowledge base of the future.



Find and Use HathiTrust Database

HathiTrust Database


  •   HathiTrust database can be searched through the library online catalog, Mirlyn


  •   Search HathiTrust directly —


Public Domain:  Items published before 1923

Public domain publications will display full text via HathiTrust.

Copyright protected items  (NOT in public domain)  may be search-only.   (Full text NOT available for copyright protected items.)

Any item not available in full text may be ordered via use of InterLibrary Loan (ILL) through the library.


ThinkLab Opens in Library

(Click any photo to enlarge)


The new ThinkLab made it’s debut in Thompson Library on March 5th and has seen daily use ever since.

What is the ThinkLab?

It is a newly outfitted room that will allow student groups the freedom to work on any assignment or project that requires collaborative work utilizing the equipment available in the ThinkLab.

It is a room equipped with the latest technology (thanks to funding of $35,000 from several sources) where student group/collaborative work can be done effectively.

The ThinkLab room is packed with high tech equipment to facilitate group projects, including linked computer/cell phone/display monitors (Mediascape), a SmartBoard (Eno), Skype (real time telecommunications) and A/V recording, a high-def digital projector and multiple surfaces (including an entire wall) of whiteboard writing space.


Mediascape uses “pucks” to link laptops, tablets or phones to the large screen display monitor. The Eno smart board is 3-D capable with it’s HD projector, and gives teams the ability to instantly flip from digital whiteboard to web and back.



It is the result of a collaborative effort by several parties, including Student Government, Thompson Library, Office of the Provost, College of Arts & Sciences, Academic Advising & Career Services, Division of Student Affairs, the Michigan Times and the Office of Student Life.

How to gain access to the new ThinkLab?

Register your group to use the room by accessing the online scheduling calendar from the Thompson Library homepage.

The link to the scheduling calendar is found at the top/right of our website, under

LATEST NEWS —> Reserve the Thompson Library ThinkLab

The link allows you to select a date from the calendar display, then a time (or block of hours).

After the date and time has been selected, use “continue” to then enter your name, the number of people in your group, and their names.

Finally , “Submit” to confirm your scheduled time.

To use the ThinkLab, go to the Thompson Library building and stop at the Circulation Desk (entrance, 3rd floor) to pick up the ThinkLab room key and equipment controls. You will need to have your UMID with you (library card number on reverse of card) to check out the room.

A brief description of the equipment and how to use it will be available soon from the Thompson Library website near the scheduling calendar. (Watch for online updates!)

(See also: M-Times March 5, 2012 article about the new ThinkLab.)

Volume I, Issue I — Introducing Tolle Lege Newsletter

              Tolle Lege* …

                            ―   Take and Read!!

We appropriated for our title Augustine’s  famous phrase.  It captures what we in academic libraries are about:  Linking people with ideas.  Universities run on the fuel of ideas, of recorded knowledge. Whether hardcopy or digital, libraries will continue to be the institutions tasked with acquiring, organizing, making accessible, and preserving that knowledge, the ongoing Great Conversation of human culture.  In this newsletter, we’ll tell you some of the things we’re doing to preserve and broaden access to the Conversation of human culture.  In this newsletter, we’ll tell you some of the things we’re doing to preserve and broaden access to the Conversation.

In this issue, we alert you to our new, Google-like search too, Summon.  Summon simplifies searching by enabling you, with a single search, to reach across and into our hundreds of databases.  You can restrict your search to pee-reviewed journals or broaden it to go beyond our licensed resources.

Librarian Emily Newberry links people with ideas through her work with visiting Winegarden Professor Dr. Kenneth Waltzer, and his undergraduate course on the Holocaust.

A unique-in-the-nation project, Ken’s students are doing original research using the Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive database — a digital resource not available on most campuses.

In future issues, we’ll tell you about the Hathi Trust digital repository initiative — the mechanism that research libraries have established to ensure that our collections will be available in perpetuity (there’s no guarantee that GoogleBooks will be around into the next Century).

We’ll report on our ThinkLab project, a joint Student Government Council-Thompson Library initiative to develop media-rich group-study spaces.

Look also for a piece on the GetThis project, the rapid delivery system that has afforded Flint users rapid access to Ann Arbor’s seven million print volumes — and also made Flint a net-lender to Ann Arbor.  Check out other pieces about the Thompson Library on our blog(The Upper Shelf)  and Facebook.

Our shelves and our digital portals preserve and enable the ongoing Conversation that is the substance of the academic disciplines and of general education.

We’ll be reporting to you at regular intervals on what we’re doing to keep you linked with the ideas, both perennial and new, on those shelves and in those portals.

Meanwhile, whether it’s these pages or others, tolle lege . . .

By:  Robert Houbeck, Director —  Thompson Library

          University of Michigan-Flint

Suggestions or questions may be sent to

Newsletter editor by email to:




 Student comment to Reference Librarian:

The library has so many databases full of indexes to journal articles and facts, I don’t know where to start.   I like the “Search by Subject” drop-down box; it helps me narrow down the number of databases I should search for information on my topic, but it’s still too overwhelming.  

“Why can’t you just get a database to search all the databases?”

 The good news?    


SUMMON   is here, and can make your initial search through our library resources fast and easy.


  • SUMMON — It’s simple. It’s fast.   It’s our new default search option.


  • SUMMON is not a new database — it’s a tool that searches through many of our major subscription-based databases.


  • SUMMON — Not only does it search most of our subscription databases all at once,   it also allows you to use common limiters you’re probably already familiar with, such as “scholarly journal/peer reviewed,” or “full text” — even by language  in which an article is published, or by the date of publication.


  • SUMMON — Even better, it provides suggestions for specific database selection, enabling more focused searches (the top databases from which SUMMON located the majority of titles returned as results).   The names of the suggested databases are provided above the results list,  just one clickable link away.


  • SUMMON — Where is it?   It is now the default search mode on our home page. Go to the Thompson Library site and look under “General Search”.   Type your search (index words, please — no sentences) and hit “enter”.


  • SUMMON  — or just click directly under the General Search box to access the advanced search option in SUMMON.


  • SUMMON  —  it will make your library research faster, easier and more productive.



Find the  SUMMON  search box
at the top/center of the
Thompson Library website.



LibGuides are Coming! LibGuides are Coming!

—   Library to Roll Out New Website Organization Software —



Yes, we’re very excited about the coming of—LibGuides!

What are LibGuides?

Officially it is a subscription-based online service that allows us to organize our resources by subject, including multiple formatting options along with the ability to provide specific lists and commentary.

Doesn’t sound all that exciting, does it?

But it is — or will be when we launch LibGuides for Thompson Library, on or before this fall semester.

What will we be able to do with LibGuides?

LOTS!   More specifically, our current “Search by Subject” drop-down box on the library home page will be replaced by a subject navigation Libguide that will allow users to see and jump to any of the multitude of more specific LibGuides available.

Each of our librarians will have the ability to create a subject-specific “portal” — a gateway to the resources available through our library.

Each subject guide can includes sections listing the recommended data and index databases useful for research within that subject, lists of reference books on the topic or lists of recommended books from our main collection.

Perhaps it would also list blogs or foundations/research facility web sites to expand research beyond our library resources.

Plus our librarians will be able to invite teaching faculty to contribute specific course guides, assignments or syllabi to a specific topic guide as well.

The possibilities are limited only by the imagination!

LibGuides are coming, and they will change forever how our students conduct research!



Winegarden Professor Collaborates with Library

The Myron and Margaret Winegarden Visiting Professorship enables the University of Michigan-Flint to bring scholars of national and international reputation to our campus.

This year our Visiting Professor is Dr. Kenneth Waltzer, an internationally renowned historian at the James Madison College of MSU where he has served as dean, assistant dean and Director of General Education.

He and is currently the Director of MSU’s Jewish Studies Program.

A welcome reception was held in Thompson Library last November for Dr. Waltzer, who’s campus office is located in room #218 of the Thompson Library.

Dr. Waltzer will conduct seminars at both graduate and undergraduate levels (“Human Behavior Beyond Extremity: Holocaust Narratives”) plus an interdisciplinary faculty seminar on “New Directions in Study of the Holocaust.”

To facilitate the research activities of Dr. Waltzer, his students and our campus, one of the Thompson Library’s own, Emily Newberry, worked with fellow librarians from Ann Arbor campus to obtain access for the Flint campus to the online site of the Shoah Foundation Archives.

Steven Spielberg established the nonprofit organization, Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, in 1994, shortly after the filming of Schindler’s List.

The original mission of the Foundation was to document the experiences of Holocaust survivors.

To this end, the Foundation set out to collect and record the testimonies of 50,000 survivors and other witnesses.

To date, the Foundation has gathered nearly 52,000 testimonies in 32 languages from 56 different countries.

The Foundation is interested in making these testimonies available to the public for educational purposes in an effort to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry.

The University of Michigan was the first public university to partner with the Foundation, ensuring that an even greater number of individuals will have access to these important testimonials.

The USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive makes available via internet access over 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors.

Now, thanks to the work of Emily, the Thompson Library has partnered with Dr. Waltzer to provide access to this invaluable historical resource.

To locate and access the link from the Thompson Library home page , find Shoah using the Search by Subject drop-down box (HISTORY), or using the alphabetical list, select   “S” and look for Shoah.



Holocaust Memorial Exhibit Currently on Display in Library

.  .  .   Traveling Exhibit in Thompson Library Atrium until May

Holocaust Exhibit moves to University of Michigan-Flint Thompson Library providing first-hand accounts of survival

Recounting Memory:

Flint-Area Holocaust Survivors & Youth Dialogue with History 

The oral history project, Recounting Memory: Flint-Area Holocaust Survivors & Youth Dialogue with History, has been installed in the atrium level of the University of Michigan-Flint Thompson Library and will be open to the public during regular library hours through March 12, 2012.

Visitors will find stories and photos of survival on a large scale in this oral history project that brings together area students and Holocaust survivors .

One aspect of the exhibit that differs from others that address the Holocaust is the focus on survivors who were young children from the former Soviet Republic, especially during the initial Nazi invasion called Operation Barbarossa.



Jane Barclay Retiring after 18 Years of Library Service


Library Reserves Desk staffer,

Jane Barclay,

retires after 18 years of service to 

UM-Flint campus.

Having joined the Thompson Library staff in 1994 (while it was still in it’s “temporary” location on the 5th floor of French Hall) on February 14, Jane will retire from library service on February 17th.

She plans to move back to Iowa to be near her daughters and grandchildren.

Jane began her career at our library in the Tech Services Department and eventually moved to Circulation Desk as night supervisor.

In 1998 she switched from working the night shift to days and took on the challenging position as Reserved Readings supervisor.

Procedures for processing Reserve Readings have changed over the years, but Jane was there to assist both faculty and students, making it easier for instructors to place materials on reserve and simple for students to find and check them out.

Jane has trained dozens of student assistants over the years and has fond memories of many.

She says she will miss most of all the many friends she has made on our campus while working here at the library.

Library staff are planning a farewell celebration for Jane in the library on February 16.


Jane Barclay