March 2012 Archives

Student Profile: Jade Sanstead

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Jade 1.jpg

It's that time again . . . time for another student profile! Next up is Jade Sanstead, a veteran student worker at Magrath. I've truly enjoyed getting to know Jade over the past year, and I hope you'll join me in wishing him all the best as he leaves the U of M this May for some truly exciting international adventures!

Basic info: where are you from? What year are you in school? What are you studying?
I'm from many places, but all lie somewhere out on the prarie in north-western Minnesota. I'm a senior studying theoretical linguistics and Germanic philology which are fancy words for the scientific study of language and the broader study of Germanic languages from a comparative and historical perspective. I am most interested in historical phonology (sound change in human language) and have a going specialization in Middle Norwegian language history (ca. 1150 to 1500 A.D.). Most of my research involves pouring over beautiful musty old calfskin manuscripts and documents like the early 14th century Norwegian diploma (see below).


Tell us about your year abroad! What was your favorite part about studying outside of the US? What do you miss most about that year?
I went to Reykjavík to study modern Icelandic for a summer as well as documentational linguistics at a summer school at Universiteit Leiden in the Netherlands. Following that I spent a full year in Norway studying and then the following summer devoted to some manuscript work, but mostly hiking, traveling, swimming. My favorite part were the academic opportunities I had. I was able to study Norwegian runology and Old Norse palaeography and therewith to visit thousands of inscriptions and many manuscripts in Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. I even had the opportunity to travel with my professors and fellow students to Gotland in the Baltic Sea, primarily to survey runic inscriptions. I certainly miss skiing most of all. Oslo's 3,000 km of prepared cross-country trails and endless supply of kvikk Lunsj (Norway's official tursjokolade - 'trip/vacation-chocolate') made for a divine winter.

What is your favorite Norwegian food?
Hmmm...hjemmelagde vafler med geitost og jordbærsyltetøy ;-)

What is your favorite shift to work in Magrath and why?
The midnight shifts during finals week, because I like the peaceful walks home late at night.

What's the worst joke you've heard recently?
From Decorah Posten (February 18, 1921)

AND FINALLY: If you were a kitchen utensil, what would you be?
Definitely a coffeepot.

Hold Shelf

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Hey everyone,

We've been having some issues with the hold shelf recently, so I wanted to write this post as a gentle reminder about our expectations.

  • When you check for expired holds, please be especially careful when looking at the ILL books. Be sure to double-check the month the item's hold falls off.
  • Please also make sure that the books on the hold shelf are properly alphabetized. We won't begrudge occasional mistakes, of course, but it's something we appreciate you being cognizant of.

Thank you, as always!


Library Jargon


Thanks to reference librarian Kristen Mastel, I came across this article about what library terms our patrons commonly use/understand.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • "Common correctly understood terms include "find books", "find articles" and other combinations using natural language target words that correspond to the end product the user is seeking."
  • Words that patrons don't commonly understand: "database," "library catalog," "e-journals," "index," "interlibrary loan", "periodical," "serial," "reference," and "resource."

Just something to keep in mind as the public face of the library . . . when in doubt, try to use simple, neutral (non-library specific) language if you have a confused patron.

Here's a link to the article, just in case you're interested:

Happy almost-Friday!


Bustle in Magrath this Tuesday and Wednesday morning

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Just a heads-up for those of you who work this Tuesday and Wednesday morning, March 20 and 21:

FOM is bringing in several contractors -- to prepare for a renovation project taking place this summer -- and accordingly there will be a little bit heavier foot traffic and more noise than we're accustomed to in the morning. They should be here between 8-9 a.m. and will mostly be back by Krista's office. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask Nick, Steve, or Krista!



Filming in the Library

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Welcome back from Spring Break, everyone! I hope you all had a restful, enjoyable time away from school work, and traveled safely, and all that good stuff.

I wanted to take a moment to reiterate the University Libraries' policy regarding videotaping. Over Break here at Magrath we had someone videotaping an interview in the SMART Commons -- the individuals involved were doing it for a project not related to the University Libraries or the SMART Commons. Unless we are notified otherwise, we require all persons wishing to use library spaces for filming to contact us in advance to get permission to use the space. If you are ever unclear about whether someone has gotten prior approval, please be sure to ask Nick or myself.

The Libraries' PR campaign -- encouraging students to make a promotional video -- is now over, so hopefully there won't be too much confusion regarding this situation.

Thanks much!


Hey all,

So I nerded out at one of the candidate's presentations a few weeks ago when she mentioned a great site designed by the MIT Libraries. Several librarians compiled a list of apps that can aid academic performance, broken down into several different categories (including "Productivity," "Library Research," "Writing," and more!)

Check it out here:


Book removal at Magrath

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Hi all,

Just a reminder that the NRL student workers will be removing a bunch of items from our stacks in the upcoming weeks. As Nick mentioned, a significant number of books and journals are coming to us from EFW and Forestry, and we need to make room for them in our shelves.

If a patron needs a book and is not able to find it in the stacks, be sure to encourage them to request the item via GetIt -- that's the best bet of getting the book in a timely manner!

Finally, if patrons are concerned that we're removing books from our collection, please assure them that we're not getting rid of anything that isn't duplicated in the U of M Libraries system (for example, that is present in another library [e.g. Wilson or Walter] or to which we have online access).

Please don't hesitate to ask Nick or myself if you have any questions!

Happy almost spring break!!!


Book theft at BioMed and potential media attention


**EDIT: Please check out the comments of this entry as well!**

Hey everyone,

If you haven't heard/seen already, there is an ongoing investigation regarding several cases of book theft at the BioMed library. Here are some links to the story in the news:

Just in case on the off chance that we get anyone -- from the media or otherwise -- coming to Magrath and asking about this story, please come and grab Steve, Nick, or myself. If we're not around, let the individual(s) know that we are not allowed to comment on ongoing investigations.

Thanks much,


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