VOLUMe Spring 2017
Purdue Libraries Mission & Vision
“Purdue University Libraries is singular
in more ways than just its name.”
mission: Our mission is to advance the creation of knowledge for the global community through the provision, development, dissemination, curation, and preservation of research and scholarship; the collection and archiving of the historical record of the University; the teaching of information literacy; advocacy for informed learning and open access; the creation of dynamic physical and virtual learning environments; and research in library, archival, and information sciences.
We accomplish our mission through our core values and defining characteristics via a culture committed to:
A learner and researcher focus;
Diversity, equity, inclusiveness, and respect for all;
Creativity, innovation, and risk taking;
Equitable access to information; and
Responsible stewardship of University resources.
vision: Purdue University Libraries will be a national and international model for the 21st-century academic research library.
learning: We contribute to student success and lifelong learning through innovative educational practices. Our research-based information literacy programming empowers Purdue’s diverse communities of learners to use information critically to learn and to create new knowledge. Our learning spaces, both virtual and physical, align with evolving curricula and student learning needs.
scholarly communication: We enhance the spectrum of scholarly communication from discovery to delivery through the provision of information resources, services, research, partnerships, and national and international leadership. We advocate for change in scholarly communication to promote economic sustainability, effective use of copyright, and open access to knowledge for all.
engagement and emerging opportunities: We commit our resources and expertise in Library, Information, and Archival Sciences to advance the profession and contribute to the welfare and economic development of the citizens and state of Indiana, the nation, and the world.
A message from a member of USLAC
Being a part of the Undergraduate Student Libraries Advisory Council (USLAC) has truly been an amazing experience during my time as an undergraduate at Purdue. I was first invited to join the council when I met Dean Jim Mullins while doing yard work for a student organization.
Since then, opportunities to provide input—about everything from what kind of chairs should be used in the Hicks Library to touring other universities’ libraries to gain insight on how the new Wilmeth Active Learning Center (WALC) should be designed—were provided to me and my fellow council members. The results of our shared opinions demonstrate how our input has made, and will continue to make, an impact on campus. I hope current and future Purdue students will find all of our input useful when using the WALC.
In addition to inviting and listening to students’ opinions about the design and resources available in the WALC, Purdue personnel also examined the best design aspects of other universities’ facilities and blended those into the design of the WALC, resulting in a well rounded, highly functional facility. Many of the features students will have in the WALC are a direct result of this due diligence.
My favorite of these features will be reflected in the approach to classroom use in the new building. Once classroom hours for the day have concluded, the classroom space will be available for individual study sessions, as well as group meetings, until classes resume the next day. Long gone are the days of locked and empty classrooms going to waste while students hope to find open study spots in the libraries during finals week. Once the WALC opens, students will be able to make use of all its spaces in the evening and overnight hours, ensuring access to this much needed study space.
My second favorite feature of the WALC is the “maker” space that will be available to students from every college. This space will provide access to software and materials for personal hobbies, as well as class projects, and will even house 3-D printers. It is access to resources like these – resources that formerly were only available to students who belonged to a designated college – that help drive student creativity, curiosity, and innovation.
As a student body, we often joke that the University administration does not care about what we think; however, that could not be further from the truth at Purdue. To be frank, I never would have thought that Purdue personnel would take my advice about a large project such as the WALC. Yet they took my suggestions, and many other students’ suggestions, too, along the way.
When the doors finally open, I am sure that not only will the WALC be a building students find extremely useful, but it also will stand as a reflection of how much members of the University administration listen to the needs of the student body. In time, the WALC’s design is one sure to be emulated by universities and institutions of higher education around the nation and the globe.
Award Winning Attributes
Last August, I joined Purdue University Libraries as the Head of the Humanities, Social Science, Education, and Business (HSSEB) Division. I am proud to be part of this highly acclaimed institution, and I commend the Libraries’ faculty and staff on receiving the coveted Excellence in Academic Libraries Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) in 2015.
When thinking about the Purdue Libraries, several of our institution’s attributes are important to recognize,including the faculty and staff members’ efforts to plan for the present and future, their commitment to teaching and learning, and the opportunities for faculty and staff to collaborate across the Libraries.
My experience providing leadership and direction for innovative programs and services at Indiana University and, most recently, at Cornell University Libraries, leads me to believe that having a clearly articulated plan for the Libraries is essential to channel resources effectively in order to fulfill the mission of the University.
What stands out to me in the Purdue Libraries’ plan is the high level of “collaboration, creativity, innovation, and risk taking” acknowledged by the ACRL award. Collaboration,creativity, and innovation are also identified in the core values and defining characteristics of the institution in the Libraries, Press, and Copyright Office Strategic Plan for 2016–2019. Our plan provides a clear road map for the Purdue Libraries.
Active Teaching and Learning
As we re-envision our goals for the HSSEB Division, I am leading a strong group of Libraries’ faculty and staff members deeply committed to the Libraries’ learning goals and to providing award-winning, innovative teaching. Our classroom learning spaces set us apart from our peers, and in the Parrish Management Library and the Hicks Undergraduate Library, these spaces create unique opportunities to engage students in active and collaborative learning activities through new, educational technology and highly flexible classroom design.
We will continue to explore how to continue to collaborate with our colleagues in other parts of Purdue Libraries, such as with our fellow faculty and staff members. With Publishing and Archives specifically, we share the goal of creating Digital Humanities platforms.In addition, faculty in our Research Data Unit provide data management and curation education, which is of great interest to our HSSEB faculty. Their work lends itself to excellent collaborations.
Empowering Students and Cultivating Success
I find the word “empower” important. As Purdue University Libraries’ Learning Design Specialist, I lead the Libraries’ efforts to empower Purdue students in transition – such as first-year, international, and transfer-experience students –to use information critically and reflectively to learn.
In “Beyond a Deficit View,” an Inside Higher Ed opinion piece (April 2016), Byron White, vice president for university engagement and chief diversity officer at Cleveland State University, states: “let us recognize first [students’] gifts, talents,and contributions, rather than their deficits.”
In my own travels to Maskwacis Cultural College (Alberta,Canada) – with its mission “[t]o educate with discipline and compassion so that Indigenous and other communities will be inspired by creative, intelligent individuals” – I learned, firsthand, the importance of this concept. There is a significant difference between discussing student expectations from a position of strength as opposed to referring to them as “at-risk” or “disadvantaged.”
Students from different backgrounds, who possess varying perspectives about and experiences from the world, enrich our campus community socially, culturally, and intellectually. Nietzsche understood this, noting: “A young man [or woman] can be most surely corrupted when he [or she] is taught to value the like-minded more highly than the differently minded.”
My previous position at Purdue focused on the IMPACT(Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation) program. There, I helped faculty redesign courses to make them more student-centered.
I view my current position as an extension of my previous one – to think, first, about how students will experience using information to learn and succeed at Purdue. Now, as a faculty fellow for the First-Street Residence Halls this academic year, I have the wonderful opportunity to work more directly with students. Not only am I excited to serve as a resource, but I am also delighted to learn from Purdue’s ambitious and intelligent students.
In my current research, I am investigating international students’ academic and information literacy learning needs, active learning spaces, and librarian experiences of the IMPACT program. The goal of all these efforts is to achieve a greater understanding of the factors that influence student learning in a variety of circumstances and contexts.
This is important because many Purdue students face systemic challenges that limit their abilities to succeed. It is my task to address these challenges head on, so that all students at Purdue are afforded opportunities for personal, professional, and academic success.
I feel great pride and meaning in such an endeavor.
Archival Collection Inspires Indiana Legacy Project
The mission of any archive or special collection is to preserve the past and present it to provide access to present and future generations. Within the Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center in the Purdue University Libraries, each day brings forth new insights and information about the history and people of Purdue University and their impact upon the world.
As part of a team of professional archivists, faculty, and staff, we collect, describe, preserve, and make available unique historical content unlike any else in human history—at a place unlike any else in human history. Whether aiding a researcher in our reading room, answering a question originating from another continent, or teaching students in the classroom, our mission is to provide access and education to all. The materials within the Archives and Special Collections inspire us to learn about our own shared past while documenting our present.
Recently, one extraordinary archival collection inspired us to collaborate, along with Fred Whitford, clinical engagement professor at Purdue Pesticide Programs, on the 2016 book, Enriching the Hoosier Farm Family: A Photo History of Indiana’s Early County Extension Agents. Our goal for this book was to explore a lesser-known aspect of Purdue and Indiana state agricultural history. We were fortunate to work with the Purdue University Press to publish this work, now recognized by the state as a Bicentennial Legacy Project.
The book features hundreds of rare, never-before-published photographs that depict agricultural life in Indiana in the 20th century. In 1912, officials from the Purdue College of Agriculture Extension Agent program sent representatives across the state to conduct research, educate farmers, and return their findings to Purdue University. These agents labored in Indiana’s farming communities, and through their work to help create safer work environments and foster continuous improvement of farming operations via local education programs, they helped bring about better economic situations for Indiana families. Integral aspects of rural Indiana – such as 4-H,agribusiness, hybrid crops, and on-site farming demonstrations – all gained prominence through the work of those agents during the last century.
The collection – currently inclusive of all 92 Indiana counties during the years 1913-1972 – remains open and available for any interested party to study and research. The extension agents’ reports and their associated photographs represent a time and place not far from our own. Yet, if these materials had not been preserved within Purdue Archives and Special Collections,the scientific, personal, familial, and institutional challenges and accomplishments of those involved would have been diminished or even lost.
The mission to maintain a continuum of knowledge, experience, and understanding of actions, places, and peoples underpins the importance of archives and special collections. As the authors of Enriching the Hoosier Farm Family, standing we studied one such continuum and feel privileged to contribute new scholarship and highlight the bountiful information preserved within Purdue Archives and Special Collections.
What it Means to be a Manager in Purdue Libraries
In the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary’s online collegiate thesaurus, the word “operation” has many listed synonyms and related words for its various meanings. “Responsibility,” “performance,” “commitment,”“plan,” “supervision,” “leadership,” and “achievement” are among them. And like the dictionary entry, in this round up of Purdue Libraries’ nine operation managers’ duties, each OM describes his or her work with a variety of verbiage that demonstrates the wide range of services and tasks they monitor and maintain, as well as the span of positions, they manage daily.
Diana Grove, Head, Acquisitions: The rapidly changing environment of Acquisitions is a consistent theme with my position; I think often about how traditional acquisition functions can be streamlined and improved. In my position, I am responsible for managing the operations of the Acquisitions Unit to ensure the unit’s goals are met. I work in close collaboration with personnel from other library departments, and I also work closely with vendor-account service mangers and contacts from other universities. I work with the Acquisitions staff to ensure work flows are efficient, that training needs are met, and to initiate cross training.
Gene Ann Fausett, OM, Archives & Special Collections (ASC): I am responsible for security and operations, as well as space allocation and management, and I assist with special projects (e.g., digitizing archival items), recording accessions, and I serve as the unit’s safety representative. A typical day could involve creating a new swipe badge for an employee, retrieving items from an offsite location,discussing the Library of Congress’ XML METS/ALTO standards for digitizing a collection, and describing and recording new donations in our content management system. Frequently, I assist patrons in researching items about our collections.
Amy Winks, OM, Access Services: In my position, I provide operational and administrative leadership to the Access Services department. I also manage the interlibrary loan and centralized circulation operations. I spend most of my time managing and supervising the work of employees and overseeing access-related services. I also consult and collaborate with other Purdue Libraries’ OMs, as well as members of the administration, on Access Services policies, including planning and implementing changes.
DIANA GROVE (top)
GENE ANN FAUSETT (middle)
AMY WINKS (bottom)
Mandi Gramelspacher, Administrative Services Manager: Just by looking at me, you would never know that I am a professional juggler. I do not juggle tennis balls, bowling pins, or flaming batons (although on occasion my job feels just as intimidating!). As the administrative services manager for Purdue Libraries, I juggle tasks, schedules, meetings, deadlines, and priorities. My job is a constant cycle of tracking responsibilities, ensuring they are completed, and hoping that nothing slips through the cracks. I enjoy helping others, and one of my favorite things about my job is the variety of people I support and interact with each day.
Monica Kirkwood, OM, Health and Life Sciences Division: Rapid changes in technology require new training on a regular basis, so staff members are equipped to assist patrons efficiently. As the OM of my division, I am committed to supporting training for each of my staff and student staff members. Frequent training helps to ensure they are familiar with our commonly used databases and electronic resources while maintaining knowledge of our print collections.
Cliff Harrison, OM, Digital Programs (ASC): The Digital Programs unit provides digital reformatting services to faculty and staff in the Libraries and to individuals in the Purdue community. As the operations manager, I oversee all aspects of digitization projects, from planning through the final delivery of digitized collections. In our unit, we are equipped to digitize many kinds of still-image media, including photographs, documents, manuscripts, books, bound journals,scrapbooks, slides, and photographic negatives. We also serve faculty and departments outside the libraries to digitize collections of significant research and historical interest. These external projects have included a large set of documents from Amnesty International, a complete run of the Faculty Senate meeting minutes, and a collection of photographs from the Purdue Bands.
MANDI GRAMELSPACHER (top)
MONICA KIRKWOOD (middle)
CLIFF HARRISON (bottom)
RaeLynn Boes, OM,Humanities, Social Science, Education and Business (HSSEB) Division: My position provides operational leadership and management for HSSEB Division,which includes the Roland G. Parrish Library of Management and Economics, the Hicks Undergraduate Library, and the HSSE Library. In addition to conducting performance evaluations and recommending appropriate personnel actions (such as scheduling, prioritizing of work, hiring, and training), I help set priorities and balance the workload of staff members to maintain high standards of user service.
Amanda Gill, OM, Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Technology (PSET) Division: I am responsible for supervising staff, overseeing projects, and keeping our service points running smoothly. It is my goal to make sure every location under my purview offers the best customer service possible. This means making sure staff members are educated on all policies and procedures, and they are well versed in the various resources and databases that apply to their areas.
Joe Kinzig, OM, Print Repositories: Print Repositories’ three locations are currently experiencing massive changes in order to facilitate the soon-to-be-open Wilmeth Active Learning Center. Our compact shelving, which consists of 22 miles of shelving, has recently undergone a renovation from electric to manual operation. This renovation should extend the life of the shelving another 40 years. Lights and additional bracing are also being installed in our Veterinary Medical Library located in Lynn Hall. Amongst all these changes, we have withdrawn some 300,000 items and transferred-in more than 500,000 items.
RAELYNN BOES (top)
AMANDA GILL (middle)
JOE KINZIG (bottom)
Looking Back, Moving Forward
It has been 32 years since I joined the Purdue Libraries faculty. Recently, I reflected on the Purdue Libraries transformation during that time – especially the markedly different ways libraries and library resources are now used by students and faculty and the dramatically different role of Libraries faculty.
Libraries have always been important for students, not only because they offer collections and knowledgeable librarians, but also because they are great places to study. When the Hicks Undergraduate Library opened in 1982,undergraduate students flocked to it, as they now had a place, away from the distractions of their residence halls, focused on their needs.
Over the years,we have reimagined library space to better support student learning, incorporating both group and individual study space. Food and drink, which had been forbidden in libraries (although not completely absent, as evidenced by a banana peel I once found hidden at the back of a shelf of Biological Abstracts), are now not only permitted, but also increasingly available within the Purdue Libraries.
In the 1980s, finding books in the campus libraries was a challenge since each library had a card catalog of just its own holdings. In the 1990s, THOR, a computerized library catalog covering the holdings of all Purdue libraries was made available,but users had to go to a library in order to search it.
Today, we have grown accustomed to locating easily and quickly both print and online books via the catalog on the website. The website also offers searchable databases that lead the user to journal articles and other publications on almost any topic, no matter how complex or obscure. Available since the 1980s, online databases revolutionized the process of searching for information.
The role of Libraries faculty (librarians) has changed dramatically since the 1980s, when we managed libraries, offered assistance at a reference desk, presented instructional sessions on how to use the library, and built book and journal collections. Today, skilled professionals manage operations of the Purdue Libraries.Our Libraries faculty members are key contributors to undergraduate student learning as instructors for numerous courses, and they are collaborating with colleagues for the integration of information literacy into courses across the curriculum, as well. They collaborate with faculty and guide graduate students in the management of research data, serve as consultants to other universities’personnel seeking to create active learning spaces, and share their research and their practice via publications in professional journals.
The Purdue Libraries will continue to realign and rethink services, spaces, and collections to meet the changing needs of students, faculty, and staff. We’re rightfully excited about the soon-to-be opened Wilmeth Active Learning Center,with its science and engineering library, innovative learning spaces, extensive space for individual and group study, and a café.
As 2017 and subsequent years unfold, I’m certain our Libraries faculty and staff will continue to create learning experiences, services, and spaces that will become significant parts of the Purdue experience for students and the entire Purdue community.
Expanding Information Literacy for Future Engineers
Engineers and technologists need to be skilled in quickly locating and using high-quality information for their work. Making evidence-based design decisions is key to project success, reducing the potential for unnecessary costs and delays. Thus, to best prepare students for the workplace, it is essential that real world, authentic information experiences are incorporated into their engineering and engineering technology curricula.
In my role as the Engineering Information Specialist in the Purdue Libraries, I collaborate with faculty in the College of Engineering and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute (PPI) to develop and strengthen students’ information literacy. I am passionate about my work, which helps to expand the role of information in students’assignments and projects.
A new initiative I lead involves a collaboration with faculty in the schools of mechanical engineering and engineering technology. The project embeds Purdue Libraries faculty as information consultants in mechanical engineering (ME), mechanical engineering technology (MET), and electrical and computer engineering technology (ECET) senior design teams. Early feedback indicates this is a successful approach to facilitate student learning about information sources beneficial for design, such as patents and technical standards.
In addition, I am currently the principal investigator for a grant project funded by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). For the project, “Standards are Everywhere: An Information Literacy Approach to Standards Education,” along with my co-principal investigators, Paul McPherson, visiting assistant professor at the PPI, and Michael Fosmire, professor in Purdue Libraries, we are creating an open access standards education platform. This platform will contain web-based, interactive tutorials, assessments, and digital badge credentialing, all of which will be able to be downloaded and implemented“right out of the box” by any instructor.
Technical standards are information sources heavily utilized in industry; however, they are often neglected, or they are only incorporated on a surface level, in many engineering and engineering technology programs. I am excited that our platform will provide an easy way for instructors to integrate standards education into engineering and engineering technology courses. As a result, students will be able to convey their knowledge to potential employers and other educators through digital badges.
Information Literacy and Improved Health
At Purdue University libraries, I am in the unique position to teach health care providers the information literacy skills that lead to better-informed clinical decisions.
In my role as Health Sciences Information Specialist, I teach the information literacy competencies and evidence-based practices that health care professionals need to recognize and use quality health information. One of my favorite things about my work is teaching students with a range of research experience, from undergraduates, who are just beginning to explore their interests in entry-level nutrition classes, to graduate nursing students, who are able to put what they have learned to use in clinical settings immediately.
Most of my teaching is focused on conveying the link between health information literacy and evidence-based practices. The Medical Library Association defines health information literacy as the set of abilities needed to recognize a health information need; identify likely information sources and use those sources to retrieve relevant information; assess the quality of information and its applicability to a specific situation; and analyze, understand, and use information to make good health decisions. Evidence-based practices complement health information literacy by supporting the integration of clinical expertise, patient values, and current research evidence into the decision-making process for patient care.
Noteworthy projects I have been involved in include a collaboration with the Purdue Discovery Learning Research Center, in which we presented hackathon opportunities that encouraged participants to use open health data. I shared the experience in a recent publication, “Hackathon Planning and Participation Strategies for Non-Techie Librarians.”
I also attended the 2016 Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Immersion Teaching Track Program and am a teaching assistant for the Spring 2017 cohort of IMPACT (Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation) Faculty Fellows. Both opportunities are helping me transform my teaching approach. In addition to instructional design principles, I am exploring how information and data visualizations, such as maps, can be used to convey complicated health information.
Delving into Data
In my position in Purdue Libraries, I draw on my experience gained as an applied anthropologist, as well as from on-the-job training as a Council on Library and Information Resources postdoctoral fellow in data curation (2013 – 2015). Currently, I am an assistant professor with the Purdue University Libraries Research Unit and affiliate faculty with the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WFSS) program. In 2012, I received my Ph.D. in anthropology with a graduate certificate in women’s studies from Temple University.
As part of my role as a research data specialist at Purdue University Libraries, I seek to better understand researcher practices, workflows, data, and information needs. I meet with individual researchers or research groups and collaborate on applied research projects with colleagues locally and abroad.
Specifically, in my current projects, I seek to understand perspectives of those involved directly in confidential information and sensitive data handling within the university-industry partnerships, clinical research settings, and medical archives. I also collaborate with researchers and technology designers at Purdue and other institutions to develop and implement privacy-aware protocols, workflows, and other tools that help facilitate ethical data-sharing practices.
As an instructor, I teach workshops for graduate students through the Graduate Research Information Portal (G.R.I.P.) and present guest lectures on data management and the sharing of human subjects data. I also provide curriculum-development assistance for Purdue instructors who wish to incorporate data management, digital methodologies, and broader data literacy topics into their courses.
As a member of the Data Education Working Group, I am involved with organizing professional-development opportunities for Libraries faculty. Additionally, I currently am developing a pilot workshop series for instructors in the College of Liberal Arts who wish to introduce or further develop data management learning outcomes into their research methods courses. I also participate in this process as the instructor of record for WGSS 68200, “Issues in Feminist Research and Methodology,” offered this spring. In this course, I incorporate feminist approaches to critical information (data) literacy and ethical data management principles.
More information about Research Data services at Purdue can be found at www.lib.purdue.edu/researchdata.
Parsing Patent Information Literacy
Currently, my focus is on patent information literacy. In addition to their value – a recent patent case involving pharmaceutical companies Idenix and Gilead led to a record $2.5 billion-dollar judgment – as intellectual property, patents are rich, complex sources of information with relevance to science and engineering, entrepreneurship, history, and design. Oftentimes, patents are the only public source of information about corporate research and development activities; as an example, I am aware of estimates that assert more than three quarters of the chemicals in the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS)Registry database are discussed only in patents, rather than in traditional scholarly journals.
A student or researcher without some basic patent knowledge could be at a serious disadvantage, even if he or she does not plan to obtain a patent for his or her own invention. Still, many people – even when they do not dismiss patents as purely commercial documents – find patents difficult to use. The legal-technical language used to define inventions formally can be hard to parse.
I am interested in exploring how students and researchers learn about patents, how they interact with patents, and how they exploit patents to inform their work.
Purdue has been at the forefront of patent librarianship for many years. We have collaborated extensively with the United States Patent& Trademark Office’s Patent & Trademark Research Center (PTRC) Program to bring patent programming and resources to campus. Over the course of her career, Professor Emerita Charlotte Erdmann worked with a variety of patent and trademark stakeholders on campus to do just that.
As Purdue’s current representative to the PTRC Program, I am in a position to continue those collaborations and extend them through my own work.
Recently, Assistant Professor Margaret Phillips and I have been looking at how students in an engineering technology class incorporate patents into the engineering design process. Margaret and I have been involved in the course for several semesters; we lead students through patent-searching exercises and observe the students’ discussions of their experiences in their papers and presentations.
While we are still in the process of evaluating our data, we have discerned the students use patents to inform their designs in several different ways. Many students have used patents in a traditional manner – e.g.,to determine the novelty of their designs – but some have found different,creative ways to exploit patent information.
My hope for these efforts is that I can learn what drives patent information literacy, with the goal of improving patent instruction for our students and patent outreach for our community.
For the Love of Libraries & Student Support
I love to talk with people about the Libraries at Purdue! It is wonderful to get them to the moment where they comprehend what is going on inside of these buildings and subsequently understand how the work of the staff and faculty impacts students and researchers.
I first met Dean Mullins when he and his wife, Kathy, moved to West Lafayette. It did not take long for me to get on board with his mission to take Purdue to the top of the field in academic libraries. Winning the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) award in 2015 was proof of that achievement. I am proud to have been a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council in the Libraries during this rise to the top.
I chose to support the Wilmeth Active Learning Center (WALC) early on in that campaign because the facility is a ground breaker, in terms of collaboration between an institution’s library and student learning on a college campus. On our council, we have discussed for years the research that went into the design and use of this facility.
While I am not a Purdue graduate, the teaching and learning that goes on across campus inspires me as a donor. This is the reason – when I made my planned gift to the Libraries – I asked that it go toward student support. The Libraries is the one place that serves all of the students, and the resources and expertise of the Libraries’ faculty and staff make a big difference in their individual learning.
My gift is going to support tuition through the funding of awards and scholarships, and I could not be more excited about that! I am proud to connect my legacy at the University to the Purdue Libraries, and I look forward to seeing it continue to support students at the highest level.
My gift, to support students in the Libraries, is in honor of my mother, Erma R. Matson, an educator and lifetime learner.
My story at Purdue University Libraries spans more than 30 years and has involved significant change and adaption. It is a story that has evolved with the change that computers have brought to libraries. In some ways, though, my job is much the same as it was when I came to Purdue. I still select books and journals, and I still teach students how to do research. In other ways,however, the job has changed almost beyond recognition.
In 1984, when I started as the Consumer and Family Sciences (CFS) Librarian, we were still filing cards in the card catalog. The e-book and the e-journal were barely a dream; yet faculty and staff at Purdue Libraries were on the forefront of providing personal computers for each library.
One of the primary reasons I accepted the position had to do with the promising attributes of the new IBM dual disk-drive personal computer. I need edit for online searching in the Dialog database; at the time, I was not sure how else I would use the “modern” invention.
I soon discovered I could use it to index the journal articles in the hospitality index, a field of study poorly indexed by the commercial indexes. The project lead to a print and an online index used by our students. Shortly thereafter, we were selling it to other hospitality schools in both print and CD-ROM formats.
In 1989, I was recognized with the John H. Moriarty Award for Excellence in Library Service to the Faculty and Students of Purdue University. In 1994, I was honored, too, with the Gale Research Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship. I received the awards, in part, because of the Lodging and Restaurant Index. Personnel in the CFS Library continued to produce the index for more 15 years, until it was taken over by EBSCO and formed the basis of the database Hospitality & Tourism Complete.
After 10 years as the CFS Librarian, I took the position as the Krannert School of Management & Economics Librarian, now the Roland Parrish Library at Purdue University. At the time, management and economics were fields with great demand for electronic access. Besides journal articles, our researchers needed access to electronic versions of financial reports, marketing and economic data, tax law services, and accounting standards, and we had a lot of print material, too. In addition, like other business libraries, we had a huge collection of corporate annual reports (ARSs) used by researchers for the financial data. Using my experience with database development on the hospitality database, I began indexing the ARSs. Eventually, I merged the records for ARS reports from a dozen universities to create a joint index called Annual Reports at Academic Business Libraries, which is accessible via the web.
After another 10 years, I became the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education Librarian. In this position, one major project (that called for computer skills) I tackled involved solving the problem of books shelved in improper locations. To solve this, I developed a process that required the regular scanning of bar codes and then interfaced this data with our online system. In 2009, another significant project (that also required computer skills) involved a major review of periodicals in order to reduce the serial budget by 10 percent.
Since 2009, I have served as the Education Librarian, and again in this position, I have used computers and learned new software products to create online tutorials, some comprehensive and lengthy, and others that are quick “two-minute tips” on specific topics. In my current job, I have had more time for research and have edited two books, Academic E-Books (Purdue University Press, 2016) and Patron-Driven Acquisitions (Routledge, 2011.)
Overall, I would say the major influences on my career as a librarian have been the computer and my ability to learn how to use computing technology to provide the resources our users need. Every new development in the computer world brings some new tools for librarians. I still love to learn the new tools and apply them to the work I do in the Purdue Libraries.
Experiential Learning in the ASC Leads Students to Cultural Heritage Careers
The Division of Archives and Special Collections (ASC) at Purdue Libraries has become more that a repository for the records of Purdue, achievements of alumni, and rare materials. In addition to welcoming thousands of students, faculty, and scholars from all over the world annually, the Archives has become a laboratory in which undergraduate student workers, who have a passion for history, can gain professional skills and be mentored for careers in cultural heritage.
On average, the Archives employs 16 students – with such various majors as computer science, linguistics, history, engineering, and agriculture – per semester. Like all student workers in Purdue Libraries, these students learn to employ professional skills in their everyday interactions with staff and our patrons. For those students with a particular interest in historic preservation, working in the ASC, alongside Purdue archivists, has opened doors to coveted internships, spots in graduate programs, and career opportunities.
Three recent Purdue graduates who have chosen graduate studies and careers in cultural heritage fields are former ASC student archives assistants. They are: Max Campbell (B.A. 2014, M.A. 2016), Katie Martin (B.A. 2015), and Hannah Vaughn(B.A. 2016). In addition, during their studies, each enrolled in one or more courses co-taught with Purdue archivists. These students earned competitive internships at the Smithsonian, and two of them have chosen to enroll in graduate school for Library and Information studies.
Each shared how his or her opportunity working in the ASC served as a life-changing experience.
Katie Martin (left)
As a history and American studies major, I was interested in a potential career in archives and special collections from the beginning, but my student assistant position in the Purdue Archives confirmed my interest. The archives staff members were always highly encouraging and supportive and made me feel validated in pursuing this career. I am forever grateful for the opportunities and will always regard my supervisor, Digital Archivist Neal Harmeyer, as a wonderful mentor.
I loved going to work in the archives because I felt surrounded by so much history all the time – just walking into the vault everyday was an affirmation of my interest in archives. I remember learning about Amelia Earhart’s prenuptial letter to George Palmer Putnam in a class my freshman year, and I was able to hold the actual document in my hands three years later. Nothing compares to thinking of an item’s significance to the course of human history while you are holding it in your hands.
I loved meeting Astronaut Captain Eugene Cernan, a Purdue alumnus, at the opening of his papers, volunteering at the Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan exhibit open houses, and publishing my Amelia Earhart paper in Flight Paths/presenting it at poster sessions.
I am now in the second year of the MLS program at Indiana University and work in the Indiana University Archives, the Modern Political Papers Unit, and the Department of Information and Library Science office. This summer, I also secured my dream internship at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History Library. I owe these great experiences to my foundation in the Purdue Archives.
Max Campbell (right)
While working in the ASC, I grew to love working with collections from astronauts and pilots. Learning about these people from their personal materials created an intimate connection with each person, even though I had never met the individual.
Working in the ASC allowed me to see, firsthand, how important and necessary that archives and special collections are for everyone. The best moment for me was when I found out about the ASC. I was taking classes for a history degree when I joyfully discovered that one of my professors taught a “History of the Space Age” class. Since I was very interested in the history of spaceflight, he recommended I check out the ASC and see if I could volunteer. One thing led to another, and I started a job there, helping with the Flight and Space Archives.
Working at the ASC has been the foundation for my career. I owe my success to the experiences in the ASC. There are, however, specific moments that stand out. One involves the Archives research seminar. This class showed me that not only can you study space history in the archives, but you canal so do this in the archives for a living as an archivist or historian. It was after this class I applied for an internship (for which I was selected) in the Department of Space History at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. I then returned last summer as an intern.
Hannah Vaughn (middle)
Prior to my job at the Purdue Archives, I was unsure about what career path I wanted to take. I had just recently switched my major to history, but I knew that I wanted to work with some form of special collections, whether it be in a museum or library. I had briefly heard of the Purdue Archives, but had no idea what exactly went on there. So, when I started my job at the ASC, I also decided to take a class that incorporated the Purdue Archives into the coursework. The course, “Technology and Culture of Flight”(History 395), was co-taught by a faculty member and my supervisor at the Purdue Archives, Barron Hilton Archivist for Flight and Space Exploration Tracy Grimm. Every day, I was either working in the ASC, or I was there for class, using the collections. Each day was different from the previous one, and there was always something new to learn and discover.
I realized that I had discovered something special to me. And, thanks to the fellow archivists and student workers at Purdue Archives, I heard about the master of library science program at Indiana University, in which I am now enrolled. There, I am specializing in rare books and manuscripts. Not only did my job in the ASC at Purdue open the door to graduate school, but my work there also paved the path to multiple internships, including one at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, where I was able to work with the museum’s loan archive.
Through the cooperation of Purdue professors and library staff, I was able to experience the ASC through the lens of a researcher, and watching my fellow classmates work there, too, made me realize just how important my employment was. I was not only doing my job to preserve materials, but also to make collection materials accessible and understandable to anyone wishing to learn more about a certain topic. Whether it be from a researcher who expressed to me how much he or she enjoyed a collection or when a donor, such as Purdue alumnus and astronaut Captain Eugene Cernan, told me to keep up the good work, it truly was the people who helped foster my passion about ASC and compelled me to choose it as a career.
A Message from the Dean
It is easy to say that the greatest change to libraries – and to our lives – has been the emergence of technologies that have brought computers and internet access into every aspect of our daily lives. The good news is that the academic library that many of us have known is still with us, conceptually and in many ways physically. Nevertheless, the way we manage the information provided by libraries has changed significantly. The tactile nature to information now is only occasionally with us. Like many of us, I still like to read newspapers in print, but I will admit to also gaining a quick summary online. However, I now do nearly all of my professional and pleasure reading electronically. One of the benefits of electronic or digital access over print is that you can adjust the font size and for we baby boomers, that is an incredible plus.
One print publication that I always enjoy reading is VOLUMe. This issue of VOLUMe is our sixth in the past five years. When we launched VOLUMe, our goal was to convey the diversity of knowledge and skills within the Libraries faculty and staff necessary to meet the expectations and needs of a research university the caliber of Purdue. As I have scanned the past issues and, of course, the current one, it has become clear that no one individual, whether it is a Libraries faculty, staff or administrator, makes Libraries what it is today. Our success is the result of the collaborative effort of Libraries’ teams that frequently include colleagues from the colleges and schools at Purdue, as well as librarians from around the country and the world. With each issue of VOLUMe our intent is to provide insight into what motivates, exhilarates, and challenges Purdue Libraries faculty and staff. It is also our opportunity to acknowledge the work and support given by Purdue colleagues, alumni, and donors.
Thank you for reading VOLUMe, and as always, I welcome your comments on how we can make this important publication of the Purdue Libraries even more relevant for you.