July 12, 2013

July 14-19 Power Outages Will Affect Minitex-Hosted Websites

From Sunday, July 14 through Friday, July 19, the Minitex office will be without power between the hours of 11:30 PM and 6:30 AM (Central Time) as University of Minnesota Facilities Management staff performs electrical work on the Andersen Library building. This will cause all Minitex-hosted websites and some other services to be unavailable during these time spans. In addition to this website, service interruptions will also affect MnKnows, Minitex Electronic Document Delivery (MEDD), Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM), AskMN, Minnesota Digital Library (MDL), and Research Project Calculator. Please contact us if you have any questions.

December 5, 2012

December Reference Notes

The December issue of Reference Notes is available.

In this issue, learn how adults discover information online and what adults think the Internet is doing to kids' attention spans. You may then be doubly inclined to learn of a new source for information literacy lesson plans. Or to consider the impact of embedding a chat widget within your databases to support your researchers when they need it most. You'll find info on both of those things here.

You'll also find a report on a STEM conference we recently attended and a save-the-date for another upcoming one we're excited about.

If you're interested in statistics, you'll find some on ELM searches (statewide), ELM instruction (by Minitex ROI), and AskMN. If you're looking for news, you'll find a story on the 3M Cloud Library at St. Paul Public and another on a new version of a Britannica database for K-12ers. If you're seeking answers, consider these questions: What would Walt do? (related: Who in the world is Walt??) What is the impact of an ice cream social? Find the answers you seek via WebJunction MN.

And seek out new questions in the full TOC:

  • ROI Exhibits at Annual STEM Summit
  • STEM Day Conference 2013
  • Sixth Annual Library Technology Conference
  • Library Journal Star Libraries
  • DIY History
  • ELM Spotlight
  • Ebooks Crash Course, Via the OECD
  • NISO and NISO/DCMI Series
  • Reaching Patrons Using an Embedded Chat Widget
  • AskMN FY12 Annual Report and FY13 Update
  • Contextualized Exploration and Discovery of Information Trumps Friends
  • Extending Our Spans of Attention
  • Lesson Plans for Online Researchers
  • 3M Cloud Library at St Paul Public Library
  • WebJunction MN Webinars
  • The MN Digital Library and the Digital Public Library of America
  • New Teacher Guides Available for Minnesota Reflections
  • What the iPad Mini Will Mean for Libraries

Thanks, as always, for reading.

And here's to you for another year of helping Minnesota students and researchers find exactly what they need via their libraries. Have a lovely holiday season and the best new year yet.

Recommendations for the Book-Lovers on Your List

...and for those that you'd like to convert to the reading way of life. A number of lists from RUSA provide book guidance this gift-giving season.

Notable Books List

"Since 1944, the goal of the Notable Books Council has been to make available to the nation's readers a list of 25 very good, very readable, and at times very important fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books for the adult reader."

Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

"The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction were established in 2012 to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. the previous year."

The Reading List

"Established in 2007 by the CODES section of RUSA, The Reading List seeks to highlight outstanding genre fiction that merit special attention by general adult readers and the librarians who work with them."

The Listen List

"Established in 2010 by the CODES section of RUSA, The Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration seeks to highlight outstanding audiobook titles that merit special attention by general adult listeners and the librarians who work with them."

The Sophie Brody Award

"The Sophie Brody Award was first awarded in 2006 [and] ... is given to encourage, recognize and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish literature."

November 5, 2012

November Reference Notes

The November issue of Reference Notes is now available.

In this issue, you'll find highlights from a number of recent professional gatherings, including a raft of write-ups on MLA's annual conference and Library Journal's "Digital Shift" online ebook summit. You'll also find a crowd-sourced neighborhood history tool. And you'll find fodder to smack down your Uncle Frank's yearly "kids these days" rant, too. Now wouldn't that be invaluable?

Also invaluable:

  • Turns Out Young People Read

  • Visit to Sanford Middle School

  • MLA 2012 Annual Conference

  • Regional Conferences Summary

  • AskMN FY12 Report

  • ELM for History Day

  • Historypin

  • Geek the Library Campaign Growing

  • The Digital Shift

  • How Media Specialists Support Teaching and Improve Learning

  • WebJunction MN Webinars

  • Minitex/MnLINK Conference November 15th

Thanks for reading!

October 16, 2012

October Reference Notes

The October issue of Reference Notes is now available.

In this issue, we look at STEM programming in school libraries, research project support for students and teachers, and how to avoid death by PowerPoint. Wouldn't that be a bad way to go?

As always, there's a lot more in the full TOC:

  • New Director for Minitex
  • STEM Education & the School Library
  • Making PowerPoint Presentations Memorable
  • Librarians and the Common Core
  • Ready, Set...
  • New Site to Support History Day Research in MN
  • Share Your ELM Stories
  • ELM Vendor Webinars
  • AskMN is Growing in Questions and Libraries!
  • The Future of Libraries, the MNLFI, and You
  • CPERS at the 2012 NDLA Annual Conference
  • WebJunction Webinars and Funding News
  • Digital Delights

Thanks for reading!

September 12, 2012

New Minitex Director

Posted on behalf of Wendy Lougee, University Librarian, University of Minnesota.


I am pleased to share the exciting news about the successful search for a new director of Minitex. Valerie Horton, Executive Director of the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC), will assume the role in early December.

Ms. Horton brings an extraordinary portfolio to the Minitex leadership position. As the founding director of CLiC, she has developed robust programs of resource sharing, as well as open source library systems and continuing education. Earlier appointments as a library director (Mesa State College), systems and budget officer (New Mexico State University), ALA International Library Fellow, and systems librarian (Brown University) round out her rich record. Her commitment to collaboration is evidenced in her lead roles in the open access journal Collaborative Librarianship and in conferences around the challenging topic of delivery and in her extensive contributions to our profession.

The search process has been expansive. The search committee, with representatives across the various sectors of the Minitex community, did a stellar job, bringing us an exceptional pool of finalists. The engagement of our communities was significant, with well over 150 individuals online watching the public presentations. Feedback from participants was equally strong, with abundant commentary from individuals across the region. I want to thank the search committee, particularly the chair Linda DeBeau-Melting, for managing this inclusive process. And thank you to all who contributed to this important search.

Valerie hopes to visit Minnesota in the months before her official start, and looks forward to working with the fabulous Minitex staff and deeply committed library communities across Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Wendy Pradt Lougee
University Librarian, University of Minnesota

September 11, 2012

September Reference Notes

The September issue of Reference Notes is now available.

This issue includes some exciting ELM-related announcements, including a new mobile-friendly ELM website, AskMN embedded within many ELM databases, and a new slate of ELM webinars. We also have two guest authors, who share information on a teacher instruction initiative in the metro area and a summer reading program in southeastern MN, respectively. And if you've ever fantasized about your favorite book set to a soundtrack, you are a natural-born librarian you can see the beginnings of that fantasy come to life here, too.

Plus, much more:

Design Thinking for Educators: Re-Imagining the School Library
Libraries in the News
Little Free Libraries
Teaching Simple Machines at LaCrescent Public Library
AskMN Now Embedded in ELM Databases
ELM Spotlight
What is MILI?
CPERS Column
Watch for ROI at MLA, MEMO, & Education Minnesota
Lead the Change
Topsy: An Aggregator of Social Networks

Thanks, as always, for reading!

ERIC Database - Update on PDFs

ERIC has just released a first wave of more than 20,500 downloadable PDFs online following a period of suspended downloading capability affecting all ERIC full-text materials. Access to the full-text collection was disabled due to privacy concerns identified in some ERIC documents. At the present time, materials available for download include all peer-reviewed full-text documents and journal articles. ERIC full-text alerts can be monitored at http://eric.ed.gov/
[From OCLC]

August 23, 2012

August Reference Notes

The August issue of Reference Notes is now available.

This issue has news and information gathered at the recent ALA Annual conference in Anaheim. No single human librarian could possibly take in everything at ALA, so we harnessed the awesome power of collaboration to bring you reports from a number of contributors. We still might not have covered everything, but we got pretty close. Find out about: trends in e-reading and the role of libraries; demand-driven acquisition of ebooks at the consortium level; social justice in the digital age; succession planning and talent development; and many more topics. Read our brief summaries to spot broad trends in the profession and to find links to delve deeper on your own.

But this issue doesn't stop there. Read on to discover new tools: the ELM Learning Center, Guides to MN Reflections, Digitized Index Cards to Minneapolis Newspapers, and a little thing called Bundlenut. And all of that only gets you started on the full TOC:

  • ALA Annual 2012
  • ELM Spotlight
  • AskMN Fiscal Year 12 in Review
  • Digitized Index Cards to Minneapolis Newspapers
  • Minnesota Libraries and the Civil War
  • Minnesota Historical Society Returns Artifacts to Bois Forte
  • Bundlenut: Bundle the web. Share it.
  • CPERS Column
  • "Guides to MN Reflections" Continue to Expand
  • WebJunction MN
  • eLearning Summit 2012

Thanks for reading!

July 10, 2012

July Reference Notes

The July issue of Reference Notes is now available.

And it is full of surprises. For example, new research indicates that students learn more from static web pages than video tutorials. Surprise! A library gains community support through the promise of book burning. Surprise! Most people don't know that libraries lend ebooks. Surprise! Meebo Messenger is shutting down. Surprise!

Well, after all of this surprise, you'll find it nice to read some calm, methodical stories as well. Check out the report from a Colorado library about their well-planned and well-executed embedded librarian reference program. See how ELM can give you some professional you-time this summer. And check out new WebJunction online courses.

  • Minitex, a Successful Experiment
  • Innovation in Instructional Software
  • Bookawocky: A Celebration of Summer Reading
  • Reverse Psychology Library Advocacy
  • Libraries, patrons, and e-books: Pew Research Study
  • Tech Tools - Storage & File Sharing
  • Grant Opportunity for Public Libraries
  • Google Buys Meebo: Meebo Messenger Shutting Down
  • Community Reference and Embedded Librarians
  • Some Professional You-Time
  • ELM on Facebook
  • MN Digital Library Annual Meeting
  • New MN Reflections Collection
  • WebJunction Minnesota Webinars: From Grant Writing to Telling Your Library's Story

Thanks for reading!

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