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Monday, March 23, 2015

Drop-in Sessions for New Library System Announced

Just announced are information sessions where the university community can have a look at the new 'Library Search' interface. It is a completely new library search and discovery system to connect to many resources. Faculty and other researchers are welcome to come and 'test drive' the new Library Search at these drop-in sessions. The more intuitive and comprehensive search engine is in its preparation phase but it is now available to try out.

The following sessions have been scheduled to give faculty, instructors and others a chance to have a look at the new Library Search functionality:

•    Parkview Campus: Thursday, March 26, 9-11 am (2nd floor, B & C Wing)

•    Swain Education Library, Sangren: Friday, March 27, 10:30am-noon
•    Waldo Library:  Monday, March 30, 1pm-2pm (classroom A); 

             or Tuesday, April 7, 3-4pm (classroom B)
•    Maybee Music and Dance Library, Dalton: Thursday, April 9, 9am-11am
•    Schneider Hall: Weds. April 8, 12:30 to 1:15pm 

Please drop in during any of these sessions or contact your library liaison. You are encouraged to bring a colleague and help us all preview this new tool for WMU research.

Kick Off Poetry Month Celebration, April 1

WMU Libraries Celebrate National Poetry Month at 1 pm,  on Wednesday, April 1.  Come share in a new event with interesting authors, readers, and a graduate wind quintet which will make a great kick off. Experience poetry as more than you know. Oh yes, food, too.

Waldo Library Meader Room on 3rd floor. Flyer for April 1

Flyer for all events April 1 - 17 (legal paper)

Friday, March 20, 2015

WMU Librarian co-authors an essay chosen for a experts book on digital humanities

"Digital Humanities in the Library: Challenges and Opportunities for Subject Specialists" is recently published by The American Library Association. Kate Langan, assistant professor at University Libraries wrote chapter 2 with graduate student Ilse Schweitzer VanDonkelaar on the topic 'Moderating a Meaningful Digital Humanities Conversation for Graduate Students in the Humanities'.

 It is a collection of essays focusing on the role of the subject specialists in creating, supporting, and promoting digital humanities projects.  It will be on display at the
Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) conference next week and showcased at the ACRL booth. 

For more details on the book:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lake Michigan and South Haven Lighthouse - Popular Topics in Kalamazoo and Beyond

The new South Haven Michigan Lighthouse Log digital collection at Western Michigan University Libraries contains the first of three books being digitized for public access. Marine historians, lighthouse enthusiasts and others will enjoy the 1872-1880 book that is newly imaged and published in a book-reader format here on the Internet.

The availability of this new resource coincides with the Kalamazoo Public Library Reading Together program whose current book is Dennis's The Living Great Lakes. It is a great program with book clubs, discussion groups and online information for the Kalamazoo area on a very interesting topic. Here is a blog post by a WMU librarian who is also a part of the Reading Together Program. It discusses both resources.

Together they create an especially rich west Michigan - Great Lakes information experience.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

WMU Libraries to Celebrate Poetry Month

April, National Poetry Month, is the time to celebrate WMU arts with the art of poetry. A host of collaborative events will spring up at all 4 libraries; Waldo, Music and Dance, Education, and Archives libraries. It begins with an opening event of music, readings, and refreshments. There will also be 'pop up' poetry readings, a poetry slam, the poetry of music, all-the-time poetry table games, art displays, and more.

Learn about beat poetry, concrete poetry, performance poetry, local poetry, foreign language poetry, erasure poetry, broadsides, book spine poetry, women's poetry, and the WMU Libraries poetry collections.

Come to understand how poetry is so much more than words: "how poetry saved me", an expression of emotion, the benefits to business people, enlightenment, etc.

The schedule is coming together now with some fun 'pop up' events.. Check back here for more information.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Lighthouse log books from South Haven are being digitized at WMU Libraries

A new digital collection is being created by Western Michigan University Libraries. The lighthouse journals from South Haven, Michigan span from 1872 to 1887. The hand written log books will be fully digitized in high resolution and available in a book reader format online in an image database set up by the library. The team of library science professionals is adding complete metadata to the 3 book collection which will aid in searchability and complete data for the scholarly and casual researcher alike.

James Donahue served as the keeper of the South Haven station for most of the period from 1872 to 1887. An earlier keeper, Captain William P. Bryan completed the first entries. The logs have been scanned to provide access to an insight into the daily duties of the light keeper. Donahue provides detailed entries about his daily activities and tasks in the Light Station. He provides information about the temperature, weather conditions, names and owner’s names of some of the incoming vessels, and maintenance of the lighthouse. The journals record commerce and pleasure crafts passing in and out of the harbor. Donahue provided descriptions about shipwrecks, including the name of the ship and the fate of the crew. In addition to accounts of the operation of the lighthouse, Donahue also provided intimate insights into the lives of his family and sometimes community members. He notes deaths in the community and the occasional body washing ashore. He also mentions the lumber trade and other activities associated with commercial shipping. Donahue’s descriptions are particularly rich. The Archives and Regional History Collections branch library at WMU houses the originals.

A sampling of the transcription highlights significant events as well as daily weather and reports on the fuel for the light:

Aug 15 (First notation by James S. Donahue, keeper, Lighthouse, South Haven, MI)

The wether plesent wind modrate very warm and smokey a grate many fires in the Woods. U.S. tender went north

Aug 19 Woods is afire in all directions grate fears of the town beain burndt up

Sep 1 Steamer Gem Capt Bryant sunk in the River this evening with sixty three barrels of lime. She was over loaded cargo all lost.

Sep 4 the steam tug Gem was raised and took up the river

Sep 18 three schooners unloaded soon on the North Pear today

Sep 24 Excursion from Calamazo of the Insain Asilam about three Hundred

Oct 5 I received my pay from Grand Haven today one hundred and thirty five dollars (for three months)

Apr 12 opened the light today two schooners went out one had to run back wind blowing a gale to night

May 11 Thay is a report that the schooner D.G. Wright went ashore in the night and all hands lost twelve miles north of this placed the wind Blowed fearfull from half past Ten to twelve (midnight)

One book has been published online and is accessible through the libraries website at this time. Many groups will be interested in these unique journals from the hand of the light keeper himself. There are few that have survived. Plans are for the next books to become available this summer.

Link to the first book: