The MSU Libraries have established a new collection of children's literature, now available in the Main Library on 1-East, near the Browsing Collection.
The collection is especially targeted to the needs of education students, but everyone is welcome to use it!
The focus of the collection is diversity-related children's literature. The library received a $20,000 grant from MSU’s Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives to start the collection of diversity-related children’s literature to support students in teacher education.
“Teaching about diversity and tolerance are becoming more important in the elementary school curriculum,” explains education librarian Jill Morningstar, “and children’s literature, rather than textbooks, is especially important in this topic area.”
The East Lansing Public Library has been a valuable partner in the MSU library’s service to education students, and our InterLibrary Services department has filled hundreds of requests for children’s books by borrowing from public libraries around the state. But, having an on-site collection in this genre will be more convenient for students, and will also allow us to be more responsive to faculty purchase requests.
Several faculty members and graduate TAs are already using the new collection greatly in assignments for students to evaluate diversity, multicultural, and international literature.
Below: Education librarian Jill Morningstar with our children's book collection.
As part of MSU's yearlong Project 60/50, the MSU Libraries are showing an exhibit in the Main Library: Bearing Witness: Voices from the Global Conversation on Human Rights and Civil Rights, and publishing a related collection of student writing.
The exhibit was developed by librarian Ruth Ann Jones. It explores a full range of opinion about civil rights and human rights issues, and the ways people around the world have 'spoken' on this topic: not only through public speeches but through poetry, photography, economic action, songs, and graphic art as well.
The library will also be publishing a collection of student writing on topics related to civil rights and human rights. Students are asked to use an item from the exhibit as a starting point for discussion in their submission.
The anthology will be printed on the library's Espresso Book Machine and published in August, with submissions accepted up to June 30.
The 2014 Winter Olympics start today! If you're not traveling to Russia for the Games, how about participating via MOOC?
MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are a high-tech learning option for millions of students. MSUglobal has offered several pilot MOOCs, and a new one has just started -- Mega Events: Inside the Winter Olympics.
Three MSU faculty are co-teaching the free course, including librarian Lisa Robinson. There are video lectures and online discussions to help participants see beyond the public spectacle, into the complexities of a short-term festival that has long-term social impacts on the host city.
The lead instructor for the MOOC is Mark Wilson, professor of urban and regional planning in the School of Planning, Design, and Construction, assisted by Robinson and by Eva Kassens-Noor, assistant professor of urban and transport planning.
At right: Lisa Robinson.
This month marks the 35th anniversary of the MSU Libraries’ affiliation with the Foundation Center of New York, the world’s leading source of information on philanthropy, fundraising, and grant programs.
Back in 1979, the Foundation Center tracked 21,500 foundations – and of course, their publications were distributed in print. Today, the database Foundation Directory Online Professional tracks more than 100,000 organizations, including private foundations, corporate foundations, corporate giving programs, and community foundations.
A second valuable database, Foundation Grants for Individuals, makes the funding world more accessible for students seeking educational support. (Because of licensing restrictions from the Foundation Center, these two databases are accessible only at the Main Library.)
Our affiliation with the Foundation Center became the basis for a dedicated collection on grants and fundraising, the MSU Libraries Funding Center, managed by librarian Jon Harrison. The Funding Center includes e-resources from a variety of publishers, and a print collection in the Main Library on 1 East.
Harrison offers frequent training sessions on funding graduate study, funding for nonprofits, and funding for academic research. To request a training session, contact him at 517-884-0855 or email@example.com. He also maintains an extensive website on sources of funding information.
The MSU Libraries take seriously our responsibility to make resources available to all users, including those with disabilities. We have a wide range of assistive technology, such as video magnifiers and a scanning-and-reading workstation. Our Web Services team has designed the library website with close attention to accessibility issues.
But electronic resources such as ebooks, online journals, and databases, are a critical part of the library collection. These resources are licensed from hundreds of publishers and vendors, and accessed through web interfaces designed by those companies. Not all of those interfaces are well-designed for users with disabilities.
Our answer? MSU is one of the few libraries in the country with an active effort to assess the design quality of online resources from the point of view of visually impaired users. Ranti Junus, our Electronic Resources Interface Librarian, has been working for two years with Katie Kelel, a senior in International Relations who is also blind.
Ranti and Katie focus on how well our licensed resources function with a screen reading program, an assessment that goes far beyond checking to see that image tags include an alternative text. At a presentation for library staff last week, they demonstrated the process of searching an article database, selecting an article and opening it with the screenreader program JAWS®.
The demo included both successes and frustrations. The successes, of course, were searches which could be conducted efficiently, and articles the screenreader could read aloud. The frustrations included interfaces where important commands were hard to locate, and articles the screenreader couldn’t interpret. The most common reason for an unreadable document is that it was converted to PDF before the point when the PDF format began to incorporate a text layer along with the image layer.
Katie was also able to show the critical importance of a relatively simple design element. Screenreading software includes a command to review only the headings on a page, which enables the user to scan more easily. But paragraphs or lists of links presented without headings have to be read through word by word – a real time drain for a busy student.
After testing an interface with Katie, Ranti shares the findings and recommendations with the vendor. “Taking the time to evaluate these sites with a user who has visual impairment,” she says, “means we can give our vendors expert feedback, and contribute to improving the resource for everyone.”
Below: Ranti Junus (standing) and Katie Kelel demonstrate how screenreading programs work.
|<< <||> >>|