Tag Archives: #books

“Where’s Your Fiction?”


Just want to kick back and read a good book this weekend?



Student, faculty, or staff — you are part of the University of Michigan.  You stand among the Leaders and the Best.   You hold yourself to a higher standard.  You are a scholar in the best sense of that word.   You regularly use the library to research topics.  You do your due diligence — digging for facts and verifying your data.

But every now and then, you’d just like to escape into another place, a place populated with cowboys, Jedi warriors, dashing and romantic heroes, colorful pirates, brilliant compassionate doctors or mysterious strangers.

You know the UM library is a great source for facts, figures and academic articles.  But this weekend, you just want a fun read to kick back with, something that will let you get away from the stress of higher education and slip into an exciting world far from your daily existence.  A little creative escapism.

You just want a good book to read over the weekend ...

Good news!   We CAN help!

That’s right.

Thompson Library actually has some great reads, good books just for you to  jump in and enjoy as plain old escapist reading.

Where can you find a fun read in the library?

LOTS of places!

Where exactly will depend largely on what type of item you want.



For instance on the first floor of the library (near the windows in the Atrium), books indexed in the call number “PS” section contain our collection of literature.

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It’s a vast and varied collection ranging from the great classics to works of fiction in nearly every genre imaginable.

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There are even several fiction paperbacks that are included in the literature section of  the Main Collection, PS call number section.

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MIRLYLN online catalog — search page — click to enlarge

Check the MIRLYN library catalog online for your favorite author — or even for a title you’d like to read.  It may already be in the PS section of the library collection.  Find the call number and locate the book on shelf.  Use your UMID to check it out.


MIRLYN online catalog — Results page — click to enlarge



That’s right.

The library will loan you — for free! — good books to enjoy reading  just for fun.




Speaking of paperback books, did you know that Thompson Library has an extensive collection of paperback books, just for the purpose of finding a good read for a quiet afternoon (or before bedtime)?

The Paperback collection is located on the  1st floor near the Oversized Books and Microfilm cabinets.

Paperback Collection Shelves — 1st floor — click to enlarge


They’re directly in front of the elevator when you step off on the 1st floor.  Just keep walking past the row of Oversized books and you’ll find a reader’s delight of paperbacks.

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Paperbacks are organized by genre, so whether you like         Science FictionFantasyRomance, Mystery,    Suspense or Historical Fiction,  you’re likely to find something you’ll enjoy reading.

The Paperback collection is not cataloged in MIRLYN, so it’s “browse the shelves,” only to locate a book you’d like to borrow.  But they’re easily scanned with titles clearly visible on the spine of the books  — and we have many to choose from on the shelves.

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Any book on the Paperback Collection shelves can be checked out for 3 weeks, with the option to renew for an additional 3 weeks.

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Or perhaps you want to read a book that is currently (or was recently) on the Best Seller’s list?

Browsing Collection — FICTION (click to enlarge)


Our Browsing Collection should help you out!  It contains best sellers of a variety of genres.

Browsing Collection — NON-FICTION (click to enlarge)

Located on the 3rd floor (near the Circulation Desk and close to the entrance to the Library), the shelves of the Browsing Collection have books from best seller’s lists in fiction, books of local interest (including books written by local authors) and best selling books on non-fiction.




We even have an extensive collection of Children’s Literature in our library which you may borrow.

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Children’s Literature Collection — click to enlarge

We maintain a quality collection of children’s books for use and education of our future elementary school teachers currently attending our School of Education — but any student, staff or faculty from UM-Flint can check them out.

Children’s Literature Collection — click to enlarge

So if you want a good read for the children in your family, we can help with those books, too.

All items within the children’s literature genre are indexed and searchable in the MIRLYN online library catalog.

Find the call number in MIRLYN and — if you need help — ask one of our Reference Librarians to assist you in locating the book on shelf.





For those who prefer to watch movies rather than read, we have a nice little collection of popular films in several formats, from VHS to DVD to BlueRay to streaming online via subscription service databases


(See list of databases on Thompson Library website to access any of these resources — authentication with UM-Flint credentials required to view any subscription item online.)

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Any item the library owns — including videos and music — can be found by using the MIRLYN library catalog online.  Want to limit results to ONLY videos and music?  Switching the drop-down box for our various collections to limit results to “Media.”

MIRLYN will provide the call number, which can be given to the clerks at the Circulation Desk (where you check out books) to retrieve.  Note that all media items have a 1 week check out loan period.



Want to listen to some music?   We have that, too!

We have an extensive collection of music from classical to swing to rock to jazz — historic or contemporary, we have it!

The music CD collection is near the video collection, and as with everything else in the library, can be found using the library catalog.

Music CD Collection — click to enlarge



Having trouble finding something that interests you?

Ask a Reference Librarian for help.

They can help you find anything we have in the library and beyond,  and will probably be happy to discuss their favorite books or videos with you.

Reference Librarians like to read for fun, too!

Reference Desk — Thompson Library — University of Michigan-Flint (click to enlarge)


No matter what you enjoy reading or viewing, whether doing scholarly research, or just want something to kick back with for a leisurely afternoon, you’ll find it at Thompson Library.

What Can you Check Out at the Library?

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 —img_3631

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–img_3632

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 —img_3633

Laptop Computers — Available to use in library. Check out with your library card (MCard).

Help with English Language —                                                                                  (English as Second Language assistance)img_3628An 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 — img_3621

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.

From Thompson Library’s collection of 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)

img_3624We 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 — LOTS of 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).

img_3629Browsing Collection 1

Browsilng Collection Local Interest 2


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.



Lockers —

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.

But the Library is so much more than that.

Come in and walk through your library.

You’ll be amazed at what you can find.

AND …   At what you can check out!


















Graduate Thesis Digitization Update #1

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.

The library’s collection of UM-Flint graduate theses.

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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.

Mr. Bradley’s donation to the library.

One interesting outcome of the project, has been an addition to the library’s collection by one of our alumni. Edwin Bradley, M.L.S. 2001 and M.A. 2012, is the curator of film at the Flint Institute of Arts.  After being contacted about his 2001 M.L.S. Master’s thesis American Film Short Subjects and the Industry’s Transition to Sound, Mr. Bradley informed us that he turned his research for the thesis into a book: The First Hollywood Sound Shorts, 1926 – 1931

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.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact Liz Svoboda at esvoboda@umflint.edu.

Dutka, A. J. (2005). The first Hollywood sound shorts, 1926-1931. Choice, 43(3), 446.

Extensive Reading with English Language Learners

Liz Svoboda standing next to ELP collection. ©Jolene Jacquays
Liz Svoboda standing next to ELP collection.
©Jolene Jacquays

Since Fall 2014, the Frances Willson Thompson Library has increasingly reached out to the University’s international student population, especially with regard to the English Language Program (ELP) collection. We sat down with Liz Svoboda, the library liaison to the International Center and the ELP, to find out more.

Q: What is the English Language Program collection? What is in it?

A: It’s a small collection of about 400 books that I started in Fall 2014. The collection is mainly devoted to books for the ELP students’ extensive reading program, with some test prep materials for the TOEFL, IELTS, and MELAB language proficiency exams.

Q: Extensive reading program? What is that?

A: Basically extensive reading is reading a lot of English books that are at an English language learner’s level of comprehension. The ELP students try to read as many as they can during the semester; their classes even have a friendly competition to see who can read the most.

Their books are leveled for both syntax (sentence structure) and vocabulary for beginning learners all the way to advanced learners who are about to enter academic classes. The main goal of these books is to be interesting to the students but in language they can understand to build up their confidence, reading comprehension, reading speed, and vocabulary. In essence it helps them practice their reading skills outside of their textbooks.

Q: You said these books are outside the textbook? But we’re an academic library, so are they more for education or for fun?

A: I hope they are both! Who says that learning can’t be fun? Imagine reading the equivalent of the Dick and Jane books in Spanish or Hindi, not all that interesting. But if a book has an engaging story or is a biography about someone you admire or it relates to what you want to study, you are more likely to pay attention to the book, while learning some new vocabulary words and seeing what written English is supposed to be. The books being engaging is especially important to new readers and students who do not normally read for pleasure.

The English Language Program collection on the shelf. ©Elizabeth Svoboda
The English Language Program collection on the shelf.
©Elizabeth Svoboda

Q: How do students know what level of book is right for them?

A: Each publisher has their own scheme, which don’t match each other. So I found a comparison chart from the Extensive Reading Foundation which shows how the different publisher levels correspond to each other, then used colored labels and a lettering scheme I adapted from another ER organization to show which books are easier than others.

The labels are meant to be a guide only; there are syntax and lexical differences between books at the same level from the same publisher. We encourage the students to stop reading a book they chose if it is too hard or not interesting and then to choose another that might be better. It’s not an exact science, but we can’t and shouldn’t stop them from choosing a book that may be too hard but interests them.

Q: You mentioned engaging books? What kinds of books or genres are there?

A: I tried to make the collection as diverse as possible. English language learners are people just like anyone else, so they have diverse interests and tastes, and I want to accommodate that as much as possible. There is about an even mix of fiction and nonfiction. The fiction genres include realistic fiction, mysteries, multicultural or immigrant stories, modified British and American classics, sports stories, and a few science fiction and romance stories. The nonfiction is a lot of biographies and books about to different cultures and the sciences.

Some of the books, both fiction and nonfiction, have an accompanying audio CD, so that students can listen to someone else reading the book as they themselves read it. Listening while reading is supposed to help with pronunciation and word recognition, since many of the students are actually at a higher listening and speaking level than reading and writing, but I’m not sure how many actually do it.

Q: Are these books you can easily get at Barnes & Noble or Amazon?

A: You can probably find them on Amazon, but they are not readily available in commercial stores. The big publishers of English language learner literature are Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Pearson Longman, Macmillian, and Cengage Heinle. So academic publishers, which means you can order them online easily or, in our case, through our book vendor.

Q: How popular is the collection?

A: Pretty popular. Last year (Fall 2014 – Winter 2015) we had a 60% circulation rate. The collection was smaller with just over 200 items (80 of which did not circulate), but had 234 loans over both semesters and pretty even across all levels of the collection. Nonfiction seems to be more popular than fiction, but I’m still waiting to run statistics for this semester.

Some of the books in the ELP collection. ©Elizabeth Svoboda
Some of the books in the ELP collection.
©Elizabeth Svoboda

Q: Any favorite books from the collection?

A: Personally, I enjoyed the biography of Tom Cruise. It’s for an early intermediate reader, so the language is pretty simple, but the opening sentence is something like, “Tom Cruise is a famous star who makes a lot of movies, though not all of them are good.” Cracked me up. But in general I’m impressed by the original stories that English language literature authors write and even some of the nonfiction topics they cover. There’s another book about the artists and filmmakers of Afghanistan who hid the country’s artistic works during the Taliban regime that was incredibly interesting.

For more information about the English Language Program Collection contact Liz at esvoboda@umflint.edu or find out more on the collection’s library guide: http://umflint.beta.libguides.com/extensivereading

New Books Arrive at Thompson Library


Bound for the Browsing Shelf — Books with a Michigan Twist!


With interest high on the new books arriving on our shelves this summer, we offer a new column / category for our readers:  New Books Arrive!

Most of our New Books are going to head to the Main Collection, but a select group will be bound (sorry about that pun!) for the BROWSING COLLECTION, including books that make the best seller lists, both fiction and non-fiction, and books that are about (or authored by people from) Michigan.

Here is the latest collection to hit our shelves.  All books on the Browsing Collection shelves can be checked out for one week.   (Hey, they’re all easy reads and riveting, so you’ll take them to bed with you and lose sleep when you find you can’t put them down!)   Renew for an additional week (if you find you really MUST sleep).

The Browsing Collection is located on the 3rd floor of Thompson Library, on the shelves directly to the north (right) of the Reference Librarian Desk and the wall of windows across the building.  They are VERY easy to find.

If you’re interested in the other new books (the ones associated with research that will be placed in the main collection after their stint on the New Book Shelf), they can be found on the 3rd floor of our library as well, but behind the Reference Librarian’s desk (between the Reference Desk and the back wall).

But — as always — if you need help, just ask.   Reference Librarians are there to answer your questions, from help learning how to use any of our resources, to finding where materials can be accessed on our website, to good old fashion directions within our building.

And hey, all of our Reference Librarians are very friendly, too.   Ask one for help sometime and see them in action.

Librarians.  The Super Heroes of the Information Age!


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Books Michigan Interest
Browsing Collection, New Books for June 2015 — Michigan Interest



New Books Arrive at Thompson Library



Books ordered during the 2014 – 2015 period are beginning to show up on the New Book Shelf.

Items will remain on the New Book Shelf for approximately 2 months unless checked out by someone.  (Returned items are all sent to their final location in the Main Collection.)

The New Book Shelf is located on the 3rd floor of Thompson Library, on the shelves between the Reference Librarian Desk and the back wall.  They are VERY easy to find.

But — as always — if you need help, just ask.   Reference Librarians are there to answer your questions, from help learning how to use any of our resources, to finding where materials can be accessed on our website, to good old fashion directions within our building.

And hey, all of our Reference Librarians are very friendly, too.   Ask one for help sometime and see them in action.

Librarians.  The Super Heroes of the Information Age!


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to enlarge.

Best -Seller Books Available in Library Browsing Collection

Wow!   Books you can read  FOR  FUN !

When the stress of studying and upcoming finals gets to be too much, remember that the Thompson Library can help with more than your research needs.

We have ….   BOOKS !

Not just science, history or business books, but books that can take you away to another world where you can be an expert with a bow and arrow, or the greatest baseball pitcher in the world, or a magician trying to get your kingdom back, or a detective tracking down a terrorist, or a former President of the United States, or former First Lady, or a renowned television and movie comedian, or….

It’s up to YOU!   Hundreds of books to choose from.  Each will transport you to a world of the imagination.

And hey, as an added bonus, reading the works of great writers will improve your brain’s ability to learn, increase your vocabulary and hone your understanding of how to correctly and vividly express yourself in words.

All that by simply stopping by the library and perusing the Browsing Shelf  for a collection of best sellers.

Check out by campus UMID card.   One week loan period.  Renew loan once.

Located in Thompson Library, 3rd floor entrance (near Reference Desk).

Hurry!   Finals are approaching!   Your brain needs this!

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Book -- The Mighty Miss Malone




Book -- Mann -- 1493




Book -- Henry Kissinger -- World Order

Book -- James Patterson -- Hope to Die





Book -- Isaacson -- The Innovators






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Book -- Jimmy Carter -- A Call to Action

Book -- Collins -- Mokingjay



Book -- Michaels -- You Cant Make this Up






Book -- Roth -- DivergentBook -- Kathy Reichs -- Bones Never Lie



Book -- Roth -- Allegiant







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Book -- John Cleese -- So Anyway

Book -- Mark Ridrych -- The Bird




Book -- Jim Abbott -- Imperfect




Book -- Elwes -- As You WishBook -- Gabaldon - Drums of Autumn



Book -- Fannie Flag -- All Girl Filling Station




Book --  Rowling -- Casual VacancyBook -- Cussler -- The Thief






Browsing Collection 2






 [Click any image to enlarge.] Browsing Collection NonFiction 1

Browsing Collection Fiction 2Browsilng Collection Local Interest 2Browsing Collection Fiction 1Browsing Collection 2Browsing Collection Local Interest 1Browsing Collection 3

“A book is a dream you hold in your hand.”  — Neil Gaiman

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“Neverland isn’t a place.  It’s a state of mind.”

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“A book which is left on a shelf is a dead thing.  But it is also a chrysalis; an inanimate object packed with the potential to burst into new life.”  — Susan Hill

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“At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book — that string of confused alien ciphers — shivered into meaning.  Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened up.   You became, irrevocably, a reader.” — Alberto Manguel

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“Books are the perfect entertainment.  No commercials.  No batteries.  Hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent.  What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”  — Stephen King

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 “The more you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you will go.”  — Dr Suess

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 “Books are proof that humans can work magic.” — Dr. Carl Sagan

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