“Being a library staff member teaches students the skills necessary to succeed in their future careers," says Cullen Zimmer, a student who has worked at the Libraries since his freshman year. Zimemr is graduating this December with a double major in mathematics and statistics. Adding to his aptitude for figures and formulas, Zimmer’s work at Wilson Library helped him develop soft skills, he says.
With the help of the U of M Libraries, Margaret Root, Associate Dean for Education in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, wrote “Veterinary Preventive Medicine,” an e-textbook available to all at no charge, including students. “Having this resource for free is awesome,” says Logan VerMeer, first-year student in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Nearly eight centuries of library experience and expertise is leaving our Libraries as more than 20 staff took part in the University of Minnesota Retirement Incentive Option. These staff leave behind an extraordinary legacy. While we will definitely miss them, we wish them well on a job well done.
“The thing that really motivates me is being able to have an impact on how easily or how comprehensively or ... how well a library user can get to the resources that they need,” says Stacie Traill, Metadata and Discovery Analyst for the University of Minnesota Libraries. She belongs to the team that strives to improve the technical side of the Libraries on behalf of users. What drives her?
School of Architecture Associate Professor Greg Donofrio co-founded the Heritage Studies and Public History graduate program, which strives to add diverse perspectives to conversations about history and preservation. The longtime lover of libraries is a member of the U of M Friends of the Libraries. “There’s no point in creating knowledge if you can’t disseminate knowledge. And that’s part of what libraries do is hold and disseminate knowledge.”
Student life this year is a very different experience than last year. The transition from quarantine life back to school and work life has been difficult. Online classes, social distancing, and limited in person campus events make this year completely new. It is easy for me, Maddi Burch, a third-year student studying chemical engineering, to focus on the aspects of life last year that I miss, but the new normal this year has actually provided some blessings in disguise.
Recently, Music Librarian Jessica Abbazio released a statement that begins: “The University of Minnesota Music Library is committed to expanding our collections beyond the composers of the traditional Western canon. ..." The opening to this statement began with a simple request. Piano student Jared Miller asked her about locating scores for a trio by the Mexican composer Manuel Ponce for his master’s recital. It was not in the Music Library. nor was it easily found elsewhere.
Guiding graduate students toward research calls for an introduction to the Libraries. “As a faculty member,” says Matthew Russell, Associate Professor of Forest Resources and Director of Graduate Studies for Natural Resources Science and Management, “I think it’s critical for grad students in their early stage to learn about the services that the Libraries offer.” In one session, they learned about some important, but lesser used resources.
African people first arrived in North America as enslaved persons in 1619 and the 400 years since have been marked by pain and suffering. When father and son artists Jerome W. Jones, Jr., and Jeromyah Jones decided to capture this history, however, they also chose to include portraits that inspire in their “I AM 400” The African Journey in America, 1619-2019. That “I AM 400” artwork, printed on a 12-foot banner, now is on display in Walter Library.
The charmingly named Birds of a Feather break-out sessions were one way that the organizers of the Nov. 5-6 Upper Midwest Digital Collections Conference aimed to bring people together in less formal ways — in an effort for them to learn and ultimately better support their users.
Helping first-year students develop information literacy skills needed to succeed in college and beyond is the broad goal of the First Year Writing Course. As the program has evolved over the last few years, the partnership between University Libraries staff and writing instructors has also evolved to ensure that students are learning these critical thinking skills.