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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Welcome Cherise Smith

University Libraries welcomes Cherise Smith to the position of User Services Coordinator. Ms. Smith has joined the User Services Department and will be assisting library users with a wide range of library services, including finding library resources, answering inquiries, and troubleshooting technical and account issues. The User Services Department is a large team of over 40 staff and students who support all library service desks in Waldo, Swain, and Maybee libraries.

Ms. Smith brings considerable library experience and a strong dedication to providing excellent service. She has been with University Libraries since 2007, first as an Access Services Student Assistant and then, starting in 2016, as a temporary User Services Assistant. Prior to joining Western Michigan University, Ms. Smith was a library aide at the Kalamazoo Public Library.

She earned a Bachelor of Science from WMU in 2015 with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. In addition to her public services skills, Ms. Smith is experienced with Alma, Primo, Ares, and LibChat, and has spent the past year and a half processing and reporting on physical course reserves. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Education Library Seminar for Chinese Scholars

A large group of visiting Chinese Scholars enjoyed training on where and how a research project starts using University Libraries search tools. From the field of Human Performance and Health Education, the professors are visiting through a program in the College of Education and Human Development. This is one of 14 seminars and activities in their year-long training.

The WMU Human Performance and Health Education (HPHE) Advanced Visiting Scholar Training Program is the first structured HPHE training program in US. The program started in 2016.

The group will take advantage of Western Michigan University libraries databases and other resources in their work at WMU. This session was led by the head of the Swain Education Library, Bradford Dennis, in the computer classroom of the education library.

 Tours of the Education and Waldo Libraries were included in their orientation to American academic libraries.

Dr. Yuanlong Liu, Chair of the Department of Human Performance and Health Education said, "All the participants will work with WMU faculty to do collaborated research and keep the research partnership for years to come after they return. The participants would have the following roles when they finish their study in WMU and go back to their country: WMU ambassadors, alumni, promoters, student recruiters and research collaborators."

Friday, February 23, 2018

Exhibit of Early Medical Illustrations

A new exhibit on first floor, Waldo Rotunda from Special Collections and Rare Books

From Hellenistic Greece to the early Arab empire, we have the first era of illustration. The earliest medical illustrations recorded in history are Islamic, where body parts were represented as geometric shapes accompanied by descriptions of their functions. Very early on when humans transitioned from scrolls to codices, medical illustration was very crude and favored being aesthetically pleasing rather than accurate. Fortunately, coming into 300 BC, there are the first medical examinations on human cadavers in Alexandria, Greece, which helped to improve drawing skill. The bodies were also depicted wearing Greek style clothing well into the 15th hundreds, where modern dress as implemented. However, the posing of the body and its individual parts tented to lack a natural look, as there were depicted as squatting. The middle ages attempted more realistic-to-life posture, as well as adopting the zodiac into its medical terminology. Humanity has improved and perfected the art of anatomical illustration since then, but the history behind this practice is rich and full of insight to the past.

Included in the exhibit:

World War II era German booklet on health and military hygiene. Containing five separate views, the plastic anatomical views were used to educate soldiers.

A facsimile of a publication from the early 18th. It came with a packet from the publisher describing John Browne, who was a sixth generation surgeon who served in the royal navy as a doctor.

A book specializing in muscular placement in action. The illustrations and plates are clean and exact, with both images of the muscles exposed and the human figure to demonstrate how the muscles work.

Another charming little book on the anatomy of the brain is 7th edition in a series exploring all different areas of the body.

Andreas Vesalius of Brussels was famous for his medical illustrations. Living in the 1500s, his drawings were incredibly popular and numerous. He worked hard to make art that could be accessible to the general reader, and not just for scholars. His illustrations are the standard of popular posing in medical illustration. The bodies were stood up in action, often being the ones to peel back their own layers and expose themselves.

A history of medical illustration translated from German: It provides a detailed history of not only medical illustrations, but also scientific illustrations in general. Tracking artwork from the BC era through the Renaissance. The open page contains illustrations by Leonardo Da Vinci. 

A German facsimile contains medieval illustrations of medical procedures and ailments. At this point in time, it was quite common not only to draw the afflicted in their sickbed, but also illustrate as many injuries as possible. Rather often, people would be depicted with swords, clubs, arrows, and even tree branches jutting through them. It was less so to demonstrate what to do in case of emergency, but to serve as covers of books or chapters to illustrate what sort of things the text would covering. 

The exhibit will be on display several weeks.

History Hullabalooza

What is History Hullabalooza at the Zhang Legacy Collections Center, Archives and Regional History? Part of an educational program that brings students together with local, state and national history. The Historical Society of Michigan chooses and a theme and school children are encouraged to conduct research. Here they are assisted by WMU student library/archives employee, Suzanne Grimmer a member of Phi Alpha Theta. On a recent Saturday they learned how to explore archives, museums and oral history sources and then interpret their findings into a presentable project. One of the goals is to be able to present their project at the state level on Michigan History Day.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

GRAND Opening of Virtual Reality Lab in Waldo

It will be grand with extra VR set-ups, inspiring words and food! Thursday, Feb. 15, 5 - 7 pm. Lower Level, Waldo Library.

Set up as a place of exploration for this popular new technology, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to try out the virtual reality games and immersive software - over 20 titles available.

Typically associated with gaming, virtual reality (VR) also offers significant potential in the areas of teaching, learning and research. The VR Lab provides a space to explore this revolutionary technology. It is a joint project of the WMU Office of Information Technology and University Libraries. Additional hours each week are listed here:

Monday, February 5, 2018

Bestiary. How do you know this?

Special Collections and Rare Rooks Room reveal that the perceptions you probably already have about animal attributes are from Bestiaries. The common characterization of animals like foxes being deceptive or elephants being afraid of mice, originate from Bestiaries.

An exhibit of Bestiary in books is now available in Waldo, second floor, rotunda, into mid February.

What is a Bestiary?
Made popular in the medieval time, a traditional bestiary is a compiled selection of information and illustrations of not only ordinary creatures, but often mythical creatures.

As a part of the portrayal of each animal, it is commonplace that there are religious correlated messages and ideas worked into the text where moral truths based on Christianity are revealed. In fact, even many of the beasts from the Harry Potter series arose straight from bestiaries, as do many other mythical creatures from early and modern authors, so you are most likely already familiar with much of the information contained in bestiaries.

Exhibit depicts: traditional medieval bestiary - the open page contains a phoenix with attributes; another book for children shows a unicorn; a modern pop-up book unfolds a bloomworm; and a super modern bestiary is a compilation from many artists with new creatures. Photos here are in this order.

Friday, February 2, 2018

WMU Librarian helps bring Latvian Celebration to Campus

Two art exhibits on WMU’s campus are a part of Latvia’s 100th anniversary as a country. The Richmond Center just had openings for the Sniedze Janson-Ruņģis: Altars & Myths and the Rita Grendze: Signs for Those Seeking Light shows.

Maira Bundza, the ScholarWorks Librarian at Waldo Library and a strong advocate for her heritage country helped secure funding from the Latvian government and associations to help make this happen. The photos show her speaking at the opening event. Exhibit information.