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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Libraries Help the New Heritage Hall Shine !

The new facility, East Campus alumni center, is a beautiful renovation. There are 2 ways that the Libraries helped make it shine even brighter by telling the WMU story in images. Historical photographs from the Archives line many of the hallways and lounge spaces. WMU artifacts in the displays were also curated at the branch library.

  Selection and scanning of historical photographs from the Archives was a behind the scenes project for many months. Student employee, Michaela Penberthy, scanned about 550 images for consideration by the interior design team. John Winchell and Sharon Carlson selected, researched, and wrote text for hundreds of WMU images that appear throughout Heritage Hall.

Many of the photography groupings are themed to tell special stories of an aspect of WMU student life and touch upon points of pride.  

Photo groupings also depict current student learning and 3 of the Libraries' recent student employees are included as shown in the two later photographs. Kyle Chipps, systems assistant and Nivedita Bhadarka, tech. services assistant are sharing information from a book. Courtney Holsworth, reference assistant, is shown in silhouette in the stacks alongside text about University Libraries. These 2 are by Mike Lanka, photographer, in Waldo Library.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Marker boards at Waldo Library

The white marker boards are used for many learning experiences at Waldo. Now there are more of them.  Here are recent views: 

Mobile marker boards are versatile:

- for use by anyone, anytime
- great for diagrams
- great way to work out a problem
- a visual way to converse on homework
- study/share with your group
- over 8 mobile boards for use
- variety of sizes, heights, gridlines
- markers/erasers
check out at Circulation

University Libraries, Engineering College partner in Embedded Tech Venture

University Libraries is partnering with the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences on an Embedded, Mobile and Real-time Systems Venture program.

Beginning with the spring 2016 semester, undergraduate students in the computer science and the electrical and computer engineering programs can engage in practical projects to gain professional experience developing embedded, mobile, and real-time systems.

Embedded systems underpin the Internet of Things—IoT—where vast numbers of objects and devices embedded with sensors are interconnected over the Internet. These devices can gather almost any kind of data about their surrounding environment, including temperature, light, sound, time, movement, speed and distance. Classes will be held at the engineering college while the systems development will take place in the IoT Lab located in Waldo Library.

"Having our IoT Lab in Waldo Library is an opportunity for better interaction between CEAS and other colleges," says Dr. Ala Al-Fuqaha, a professor in the Department of Computer Science who is leading the embedded systems venture.

"Essentially, Waldo Library will serve as a melting pot for students and faculty from different colleges to meet, discuss ideas, and experiment with IoT solutions," he says.

Dr. Steven Carr, chair of the Department of Computer Science, says "The venture concept is being brought to CEAS to engage students in real-world projects throughout their undergraduate education. The goal is to get students to operate in a business-like environment where they take on different business roles during their time in the venture.”

Students will operate a full-scale consulting and development operation that specializes in IoT systems. It will offer research, design, development and technical documentation services to real world clients. The program provides a simulation of scenarios that students will encounter when they graduate.

“This is another opportunity for the University Libraries to help prepare success-ready students," says May Chang, associate dean of University Libraries.

"With the IoT Lab, we will also be an incubator for new and emerging technologies, and can work on developing and delivering smart IoT solutions for the libraries.”

For more information about this new venture, contact Al-Fuqaha at or Chang at

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Telepresence Librarian in University Libraries

A telepresence robot will soon be roaming Waldo Library, providing mobile research help to patrons. The robot is part of a collaboration between University Libraries and the Communication and Social Robotics Labs (CSRL).

The CSRL were founded in 2013 as a partnership with the School of Communication at Western Michigan University and University of Kentucky. Their research focuses on human-robot interactions, and interpersonal communication mediated by telepresence robots. The robot in Waldo Library will be experimental and aid in research on interactions between students and librarians when mediated by the telepresence robot.

Librarian Pat Vander Meer said, “This collaboration will allow us to learn more about the technology and its use for research and instruction services.”

“Telepresence robots are beginning to show up in organizational and educational settings. These robots can help facilitate social interaction when there is physical distance between people,” said Dr. Autumn Edwards, who is leading the CSRL. She continued, “Libraries are large, intricate, and sometimes intimidating spaces in which having easy access to assistance may really benefit users. We’ll be watching how our 'roaming librarians' and users of the library are able to navigate their interactions with one another.”

In addition, students will have the opportunity to test drive the telepresence robot on weekends. This will allow students to experience the robot firsthand, and understand robotic communication in greater detail.  The test drive sessions are on Saturdays, 1-3 p.m. and Sundays 4-6 p.m., Oct. 10 – Nov. 29, 2015.

May Chang, Associate Dean, Libraries IT, is excited about the collaboration, “We are creating a learning and discovery environment in Waldo Library, and the telepresence robot showcases an innovative technology for communication and mediated interactions.”

For more information, contact Dr. Autumn Edwards (, or May Chang (

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

WMU Libraries; Interviewing for the Next Dean

University Library dean finalist public presentations:

Brad Eden, M.A., M.S.L.S., Ph.D.; Dean of Library Services, Valparaiso University
Public Presentation: Wednesday, October 7, 2 p.m., Putney Lecture Hall, Fetzer Center

Mildred Jackson, M.A., M.I.L.S., Ph.D.; Associate Dean for Research & Instruction, University of Alabama
Public Presentation: Thursday, October 8, 2 p.m., Putney Lecture Hall, Fetzer Center

Lynn Baird, M.P.A., M.L.S., Ph.D.; Dean, University Libraries, University of Idaho
Public Presentation: Monday, October 12, 2 p.m., Putney Lecture Hall, Fetzer Center

Julie Garrison, M.L.I.S; Associate Dean for Research and Instructional Services, Grand Valley State University
Public Presentation: Wednesday, October 14, 2 p.m., Putney Lecture Hall, Fetzer Center

Candidate curricula vitae will be available from the Administrative Search page on the Office of the Provost website at the following link:

We hope you will be able to join us for the opportunity to meet the dean finalists.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Night of the Research Paper Returns

Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 4-9 p.m.

Waldo Library

WMU Libraries wants to help students succeed in their research assignments. "Night of the Research Paper” is a drop-in event on Wed., November 4, 2015 from 4-9 pm at Waldo Library. Don’t be a research zombie! (Getting started early can help quell the fears)

Students will receive help through all or part of the sometimes scarey process of a research project by librarians, Writing Center staff, and other WMU experts. Help will be available on narrowing/defining a topic, finding reliable and/or scholarly information, organizing the paper, and appropriately citing sources. Participants are asked to bring a hardcopy of the research assignment to these one-on-one consultations. “We want to help our students do their best work and learn about the great materials available through the library.” said Sue Steuer,  event chairperson and librarian.

The event is sponsored by University Libraries, Writing Center, and the Friends of University Libraries. 

Entire classes are welcome but prior notice is requested so accommodations can be made.

Also to note: Research assistance and writing help are always available at Waldo Library's ‘Need Help?’ Desk, first floor, 387-5178, and the Writing Center, 387-4615.