UAH Alumni are invited to attend one of our Workshops designed to show off what the Salmon Library can do for them

I have already written about UAH Alumni having free guest access to the Salmon Library, but I would like to go ahead and do you one better. We will be having a pair of workshops this Summer designed to show our alumni what the Salmon Library can do for them. We will have a short overview of our services, a tour, a discussion of future plans, a chance to meet some of the librarians, time for a Q&A, a couple of door-prizes, and we will even help you to set up your account.*

The time for these events will be about 1 hour, or less, depending on the questions asked and so forth. Things discussed will include library departments, our physical and digital resources, using our catalog to find what you need, using OneSearch, printing/copying/scanning, checking out books, combining our resources with those of the Alabama Virtual Library, and whatever else you are curious about.

We have two workshops currently planned:

  • On June 26, a Thursday, an evening workshop from 5:30pm to 6:30pm.
  • On July 7, a Monday, a lunchtime workshop from 11:30am to 12:30pm.**

You can attend whichever works for you. If neither work for you, but you are interested, then let me know at doug.bolden@uah.edu, and we may be able to hold additional workshops in the future. You can also email me if you have any questions. We will need a rough headcount to let Campus police know about parking on those days, so letting us know ahead of time will be helpful. You can confirm attendance with

http://tiny.cc/LibraryWorkshop2014

Of course, you do not have to attend to take advantage of the free guest access, this is simply a way for us to show off a few of our services and resources to you, and will help you to get a bigger picture of what you can accomplish with the access.

Afterwards, there will be a short video made of the presentation for those who would like a copy. Keep an eye on this blog for that.

For those who need directions, you can see them at http://libguides.uah.edu/directions

* Note: Those setting up the account during the Workshop need to bring their Alumni Association Card and a Photo ID.
** The original date for the midday event has been changed, the new date is July 7. Just in case you saw an earlier version of this post.

The joy of seeing a persistent design shine in the wild of the stacks

The other day, I was walking through our journal stacks on N1 (i.e., the northern bit of the first floor) and I spotted a delightful little oddity, which is best summed up in a picture:

Physical Review D, a persistent spine design throughout the decades

What you are looking at, there, is Physical Review D: Particles, Fields, Gravitation, and Cosmology*, published by the American Physical Society. For as long as we have original-binding print copies (about 20 years from the mid-90s through 2011**), they have persisted with the design choice of that color blue, with each issue being numbered in a bar that has been in the same persistent place so that the issue numbers cascade down.

A slightly closer look at it:

Physical Review D, a persistent spine design throughout the decades

Being the sort of guy who works with design and around design, I can appreciate the rare glory that is a decades maintained design decision. I suspect this is the sort of thing that can exist more so in the world of academic publishing, where relevant regularly published content is literally the point, than in most forward-facing content, which has to invoke a sense of activity to convince people that the the same-old content is relevant (soda, for instance, keeps the same formula for years, but changes the can every year). I personally find it beautiful, and wanted to share.

I wonder if APS has a design bible they consult, a series of Pantone-complaint color sheets? I wonder who started the cascade, and if there have been design meetings about whether to change it?

A lot of book cover talk is aimed at flashy new covers and what they mean (and whether movie tie-in covers are brilliant or anathema) or how sunset-soaked acacia trees show an unfortunate trend in perceptions about Africa, but let us not forget the other side: some book covers are a process that began years ago and represent a simple permanence rather than playing to our expectations (often by feeding our own expectations and desires back to us).


Footnotes and Attributions:

* Impact Factor of 4.691. ISSN: 1550-7998 (print), 1550-2368 (online).
** Our physical range, including all the rebound volumes, goes all the way back to Volume 1 and our online coverage of the title covering the entire run.

The header is a joking reference to the Youtube video “The Expert”, about the design process and appealing to demographics [and ignoring the the expert in the room]. Did you spot the red lines drawn in transparent ink? The line-art kitten is used from http://princessentiafarms.deviantart.com/art/Free-Simple-Kitten-Lineart-289717626, with credit to PrincessentiaFarms. 

A brief tour of our “new” website layout

I was going to start this with the phrase “We have updated our website…” but I suppose I should be honest and say that I have tweaked the layout, so if you have any comments/suggestions/complaints, keep this email address in mind: doug.bolden@uah.edu. Now, with introductions out of the way, let’s take a look at the way the website looks now:

The May Layout of the UAH Salmon Library Website

The current appearance of http://uah.edu/library

The big changes are pretty not-big, mind you, and are more about bringing certain types of information into easier, more-apparent, grasp.

OneSearch, which enables you to jump right into searching for the books and articles and ebooks and primary source documents and all the similar that you need, is now located in the middle of the page. That box might change appearance a bit in the upcoming weeks, but it should stay there. Over on the right, where OneSearch was, the daily hours now shows up. If you want to see more of the hours (for the week or upcoming month or the current semester), click the “see full library calendar>>” link.

There is also a new Library Events feed on the right. This will help keep you informed of planned events, class sessions, important news, and such for the library.

The social media links, and the direction/contact links, that were on the right, are now centered on the page. Social media sites are now sorted by actual interactive use (in which Twitter and then the Blog tend to outperform Facebook, at least for now). This is, of course, subject to change since social media is mercurial.

The buttons directly below the slide show will be tweaked to include a couple of more functions. They are a popular way to access our resources, so care will be taken to not disrupt too much.

Now, this is all in anticipation of the big change (see, it’s in bold, it must be big) coming to the campus-wide website this Fall. I am trying to get a few things prepared so that change will be a delight rather than a “Where’s the links I know and love?!” hindrance [NB: The interrobang is fascinating]. This is partially why we are getting some of the sections more thematically organized with an emphasis on persistent content into the center section and feeds/active-content on the right. The menu will likely stay 99% the same, though after the change it might be a tad different (hopefully in a reasonable way).

If you haven’t visited the website in awhile, I invite you to give it a shot.

Interim Hours at UAH’s Salmon Library

Just a few notes to cover the weeks from May 5 (today) through May 26. UAH is now in “interim” hours, which will impact the library in the following ways:

  • Hours will be from 7:30am to 6pm, Monday through Friday.
  • We will be closed on weekends.
  • Chat reference will be offline.
  • The coffeeshop (Charger Brew) will be closed [for the remainder of the summer].

All of the services are still available – User Services, Reference Desk, OIT Help Desk, Archives, Interlibrary Loan, etc – at their normal hours (excepting Sundays for Reference) and you can still contact Reference through a number of other ways. For those needing snacks, there are vending machines on the first floor and, across Holmes, the bookstore is still open and they have drinks and chips and few other options.

On May 26, UAH will be observing Memorial Day, which means the campus will be closed. The library will be back for summer hours starting May 27, which is also when chat reference will return.

Alumni Guest Access Now Free at the Salmon Library

We are delighted to announce that guest access for UAH Alumni is now free at the Salmon Library. What does this access get you?

  • You can check out up to 5 books at a time for up to 28 days.
  • You can access our Info Arcade PCs and, through them, have access to online digital resources with millions of top tier, authoritative research sources.

Simply bring your Alumni Association Membership Card and a photo ID to the User Services desk any time the library is open. Haven’t got your free Alumni Association Card? Then contact the Alumni Association and they can help you.

You can see our most up-to-date information on library guess access (as well as other levels of access) on User Services guide. Or you can call them at (256)824-6530.

A quickish FAQ:

  • Does Guest Access include remote access to digital materials?
    Unfortunately, our licensing agreements prevent us from offering online access to people not actively associated with UAH. The good news is that the Alabama Virtual Library provides many high quality digital resources you can use from home [if you live in Alabama].
  • Does Guest Access include wi-fi?
    Access to our wireless internet is provided by OIT on the campus at large and so is not the library’s to grant. However, if you are making a special trip in, the Alumni Association can help with temporary access.
  • What about parking?
    Contact the Campus Police’s parking division with your guest card and they can get you a permit for parking during its interim. You can then park in the lot off of Ben Graves Drive.
  • Would this include access to the Reference Desk or the Archives?
    Most definitely. Technically, you don’t need guest access to visit those services, so if you want to stop by and talk to us feel free to do so.

Therapy Dogs rescheduled to April 30

As a part of the Finals ReCharge events at the Salmon Library at UAH, the therapy dogs (from the great folks at Therapy Partners, Inc.®) are returning to UAH on Wednesday, April 30.  They will be at the UAH Library from 11 AM till 1 PM.

therapy dogs(Please note that the therapy dogs were originally scheduled to be at the library on Tuesday; however, with the weather-related changes to the UAH exam schedule this week, we felt that more people would be able to see the therapy dogs on Wednesday.  Thus, their visit was rescheduled.)

Please stop by the Salmon Library between 11 and 1 on Wednesday to see them!

And good luck on your final exams this week!

Want to see the presentations given at ALLA’s 2014 Conference by UAH Librarians? Here you go!

The below presentations were given last week at the ALLA 2014 Conferece – The Crossroads of Information and Literacy – held here in Huntsville.

The first one, “Instruction in a Flash: The Flipped Classroom Incident”, was presented by Michael Manasco and Doug Bolden on Thursday morning. It deals with flipped classrooms, really rapid instructional design, and the ups and downs of the experience.

The second, “A Quickish Glance at Open Source Graphics Design: GIMP, Scribus, and Miscellany”, was a mini-session presented by Doug Bolden on Friday.

Both have been released via Creative Commons 4 “by attribution” license. Feel free to use, share, download, and remix the presentations, just please give us attribution (Michael and myself for the first one, just me for the second).

Now, these are the slides. There were a handful of notes and elements not directly visible here. If you have any questions, you can contact Michael at michael.manasco@uah.edu and myself at doug.bolden@uah.edu.

Finals ReCharge at the Salmon Library From April 25 to May 2

As Spring 2014 finals drawn near, we at the Salmon library are once again hosting a series of events and activities collectively known as Finals ReCharge.

We will have the Graffiti Wall, a Board Game room, and Origami Stations throughout the whole week (April 28 through May 2, with the Wall going up on the 25th). We will also have Free Coffee and Donuts on Monday, April 28, from 9am – 11am and Therapy Dogs on Tuesday, April 29, from 11am-1pm.

Therapy dogs will be in the coffee shop area. The coffee and donuts will be in the lobby (that sounds like we are going for irony, said back to back like that). The board games will be in the art gallery. The graffiti wall will be along the walls lead from the south wing to the central wing on the first floor (again, irony not intended). And the origami stations will be with the board games, and possibly elsewhere, so keep an eye out.

You can see photos from last Spring’s Graffiti Wall and last Spring’s therapy dogs, both via our Imgur account.

This is on top of the other options you have to study here. We have study rooms you can check out with your Charger Card. There are study zones throughout the library floors designated from quiet to semi-Social to social. And we’ve expanded the Charger Commons with new iMacs, media:scape modules for group collaboration, and more social studying space. You can now check out iPads for up to 5 days, or check a laptop for 3 hours here in the library. And you can checkout headphones if you need to listen to a project (or soul-quieting tunes) in the Info Arcade.

Any questions? Contact us at the reference desk.

Free access to Oxford online products April 13-19

In recognition of National Library Week (which is April 13-19 in the US), Oxford University Press is providing free access this week to many of their online resources.  For more information, see the Oxford University Press page here.

Oxford University Press

Please note that these are in addition to several different Oxford online resources that you can already access through the UAH Library (some of which come to us through the Alabama Virtual Library).  Those Oxford online research tools with ongoing access include: