Patrick Coleman’s love for Minnesota history started early — he was already collecting books on the subject while at the University of Minnesota. “It feels like I was born to do this job” of Acquisition Librarian at the Minnesota Historical Society. But it might not have happened without the University Libraries.
Marshall Mabry, a junior in the College of Liberal Arts who works at the John R. Borchert Map Library, and Tyler Christianson, a graduating senior majoring in Information Technology Infrastructure, within the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, who works at the Libraries' Toaster Innovation Hub, were chosen by the Friends of the Libraries as this year's Outstanding Library Student Employees.
It started as a pilot — the Minnesota Interlibrary Teletype Experiment — and became Minitex in 1971. In its early days, staff searched card catalogs and transported books in painted wooden beer cases via Greyhound. Now Minitex is a sophisticated hub connecting libraries and Minnesotans. “Minitex really brings the state’s research collections to the people,” says University Librarian Lisa German.
Over the many years that Emi Ito, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has been teaching critical thinking to her students, she has moved her group projects from posters to PowerPoints to video presentations. To help guide students through the process of becoming videographers this semester, she has relied on a team of four — “I call them project mentors” from the Libraries and the Center for Writing.
On Earth Day, April 22, three researchers will talk about their work with Minnesota endangered species. Eye-opening presentations on plants, rusty-patched bumble bees, and piping plovers will be offered by Curator of Endangered Plants for the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum David Remucal, Extension Educator and Bee Researcher Elaine Evans, and Professor of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Francesca Cuthbert, when they gather online Thursday, April 22, at 4 p.m., to highlight Minnesota endangered species.
Librarian Kim Clarke has received many thank you’s from faculty and from students. In the mix of departments that she serves — Communication Studies; Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies; Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development; and Curriculum & Instruction — Clarke says she works with relatively high-touch students. “I really want people to know that what I do is not mysterious, and it is something they can learn, too.” She wants to inspire people.
In 1984, what was then the Minnesota Jewish Historical Society was founded by local community leaders concerned that, with the passage of time, stories and materials were being lost. They began to collect both items and oral histories. By the late 1990s, however, they were running out of space. Then in 2000, former Gov. Elmer L. Andersen invited the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest to place a portion of their collection in the Archives and Special Collections at the University Libraries.
Amelious Whyte, Director for Public Engagement in the U of M College of Liberal Arts, joined the Friends of the Libraries board in 2015 and, starting in June, will become its chair. Whyte is very intentional, believing he is here — in Minnesota or on Earth — for a reason. “I have a vision statement that I created years ago. It’s to be a positive influence on the lives of others. That’s what I strive to do.” And he’s clearly succeeding.
From her “amazing approach” to providing interlibrary loan services during the pandemic, to her work with her colleagues in the Big Ten Academic Alliance, to presenting at international conferences, Melissa Eighmy Brown has made a mark in her field. For these accomplishments, she recently received the Virginia Boucher Distinguished ILL Librarian Award sponsored by OCLC, a global library cooperative.
Lacie McMillin discusses Yaa Gyasi's Transcendent Kingdom, with Lisa von Drasek, on this installment of Read This Book from the University of Minnesota Libraries. Transcendent Kingdom us a novel about faith, science, religion, and love, centered on a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief. It's Gyasi's followup to her acclaimed national best seller Homegoing.
For their Entrepreneurship in Action course, four student teams met virtually with their advisory group March 8 to present their proposed companies. This Carlson School of Management course gives undergrads hands-on experience in launching a new company — including interacting with attorneys, bankers, and other professionals, as well as Carlson faculty and experienced entrepreneurs. Another key profession to help them along the way: Librarians.
An impactful Libraries exhibit, "A Woman's Place: Women and Work," is now online. Curators Kate Dietrick, Linnea Anderson, and Caitlin Marineau decided at the start of this labor-intensive project that they wanted it to have a second life as an online exhibit. After it was taken down, they didn’t return all the materials immediately but instead had a student worker scan them all.