If you visit the MRS Lab on the second floor of Cook Library, you will notice some major changes in the listening / viewing area. The service desk in the Media room has been closed, and all patrons are now being directed to the Circulation Desk on the third floor for services. The CD and DVD/VHS collection is now a paged collection: you request your items at the Circulation Desk on the third floor of the library, and a library staffer will bring your items to you for checkout at the main desk. The listening/viewing stations have all also been moved to the third floor and are located by the large windows overlooking the power plant (just to the right of the Circulation Desk).
If you need items for a class you are teaching, you can still request them via the normal channel of using the online form on the library’s web page. If students need to view a particular video for a class assignment, instructors should notify the Circulation staff so that we do not loan that same video out for viewing for another class.
The media computer lab in the MRS area is still open for student use. The CD reserves had already moved to the main Circulation Desk two semesters ago, so that procedure remains in place.
New for the fall semester will be a series of research oriented workshops which focus on sharpening specific skills. Whether you need help on formatting a paper and footnotes in CMS style or you have no idea how to do a in-text citation in MLA style, spend an hour with selected Cook Library librarian faculty members this semester and become research savvy in a snap. Look for further information about these exciting workshops as the Fall semester approaches. I will be teaching three in October: CMS Citation Style, MLA Citation Style, and Using Images in Humanities Research.
In a move which brings more space for the print music collection at Cook Library, the M materials have been shifted just a few shelves so that they are now at the very end of the call number range on the fifth floor. This means that the exact spot where you were used to finding the score for Debussy’s Images has now been moved by an aisle or two. Yes, you will have to re-orient yourself to where your favorite sections are shelved, but the good news is that the collection can spread out a little bit to encourage browsing. You may have also noticed that the library is now retaining those colorful, attractive book jackets to entice readers to peruse books which may have formerly gone unnoticed. This translates to many exciting books in the ML area which can be displayed within the stacks. There are comfy sofas right by the M section, so as you are finding your way around the section, grab a biography or music history book and sit a spell. Remember the Quarto M’s now reside at the very end of the section. Folio M’s are still by the window, but will be spread out over the two wooden bookcases.
Just this week while listening to WBJC on the radio, I was reminded that the station’s website hosts blogs by many of their commentators. In addition to the very nifty links and feature stories, the blogs allow radio personalities and listeners to share stories and gain insights to upcoming musical events, performing artists, and more. A recent scan of Dyana Neal’s blog reveals a link to listen to her interview with TU’s own Carl Schmidt, Poulenc scholar and featured speaker at the recent all-Poulenc concert at Center for the Arts on March 12th. Judith Krummeck’s recent blog post described her encounter with the late Van Cliburn as well as her reminiscences of another of my favorite pianists, South African Steven DeGroot. I loved reading the comments made by listeners as they shared their own experiences. Copies of the current as well as past newletters are also available online for viewing on the web page, and you can sign up to receive other news items by email. If you have not taken a look at the station’s website recently, you are missing out on some interesting exchanges about music, both on the local scene as well as on the international stage. The general website can be found at this link: www.wbjc.com – be sure to check out the “Blogs” dropdown menu on the upper right corner of the page.
If you have a burning question concerning music copyright guidelines, the preservation of music materials, or other music research related topics, take a look at the newly launched MLA Blog at: http://blog.musiclibraryassoc.org/. The blog provides a forum for users to pose a question for answer by experts within that field. Your question will be posted on the blog and beyond the specific expert’s answer, other MLA members are able to comment on your post and engage in a scholarly discussion. As the blog has just been established in March, currently there is only one post, but I am sure that (if the activity on the MLA listserv is any example), there will be much discussion to come as the blog becomes popular.
If you have never taken a look at Grey House’s annual compendium of performing arts venues, programs, and resources, you will need to make a detour to the Reference section of Cook Library and check it out. Newly arrived is the 2013/2014 edition of Grey House’s Performing Arts Directory (REF PN1561.G74). Entries range from contact information for venues by classification (dinner theatre, opera, etc.), to performing organizations/companies by speciality focus, to information resources for students, performers, and event planners. Performance categories include Dance, Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, Theatre, and Series & Festivals listed by state and city. Additional listings include performing arts venues listed by state, as well as the names of executives of performing arts organizations. This is a perfect resource to use in career planning for both students and professionals. Don’t miss the Information Resources section which includes annotated entries for associations, newsletters, databases, and web resources in the performing arts. For more details, use the link from the publisher’s website which includes sample pages and the complete table of contents: http://www.greyhouse.com/performing.html.
As the sign says, back by popular demand…. I will be starting my research help hours in CFA starting on Tuesday, March 5th. This is a little later start than I had hoped for, but due to a commitment which has popped up for February 26th, I had no choice but to push the start date back a week. Every Tuesday, I will be in CFA in the cafe area, armed with my laptop and ready to answer any and all questions from students, faculty, and staff. Whether you are trying to figure out the call number of a book, need help formulating your thesis, or don’t know where to go to get journal articles on a topic, feel free to swing by and chat for a bit. I will be sitting at a small table by the stairs on the second level, and my tell tale tabletop sign will announce my presence. Hours run from 11:30 Am to 1 Pm, and if that time is not convenient, I am happy to meet with you privately at a mutually agreed upon time.
If you have visited the M stacks recently, you will see that there is some shifting going on and the carts and piles of materials may look in disarray. This is a temporary situation as the M area expands with some much needed additional room. The M Quartos are now at the end of the M stacks area; they are directly across from the sofas and the rear elevator on the fifth floor. The section is spreading out abit to better accomodate newer materials. Please bear with us as we move items and establish new signs. All your beloved materials are still there, but the Quartos have just shifted to the end of the section, rather than the beginning.
When you log into either Dance in Video, Theatre in Video, or Opera in Video from our Subject Gateways, you will notice that the header that used to announce the specific performing arts video database title is gone and now replaced with Alexander Street’s new VAST: Academic Video Online logo which is being used for all its video streaming products. The actual product that was called by the exact name as listed on our database listing and in our subject gateways is now subsumed into the larger VAST database. Because the products no longer have those specific titles, the subject gateways will soon list VAST in the streaming databases block, with a note that the product can be limited to just search streaming videos for the above disciplines. My assumption is that Alexander Street is trying to compete with Films on Demand, but the problem with that database is the abysmal search engine, which, now, I fear, we will suffer with VAST.
As a result of this change, some of the browse features which were unique to each of those products have now disappeared (very annoying), and if you wish to limit your search to just a specific artistic discipline, you can choose from the subsets of opera, dance, or theatre, and presumably, see the same items that were formerly separated as separate databases. You can click on “Browse” and limit to your discipline, then search and refine within the result list, but the nice browse features that allowed you to search by choreographer or ensemble or theatrical venue are now gone. When logging in from off campus, if you use the Research Databases link with the A to Z listing of databases, you will need to go to the “V” listings and choose Vast, rather than look specifically for Dance in Video under the “D” listing.
Playlists have remained, so if you created a playlist in past semesters, you can still search the playlists and look under your name to find these. The other positive outcome? We now have unlimited simultaneous use of all VAST products, so gone are the four person user limits. Still, the workload of changing course documents and to reflect this change will be a big job. Also be sure to check links in Blackboard that you may have had from previous semesters to make sure they are still working and valid.
Alexander Street Press, the vendor for our Theatre in Video database has lost the license to stream the BBC Shakespeare productions. The North American license holder has now given Ambrose Video the rights to stream the productions, and Cook Library has opened a subscription with this new vendor to provide you with uninterrupted access. To access the plays, go to the Subject Gateway for Theatre Arts, and scroll to Streaming Video, but now select BBC Shakespeare Plays/Ambrose Video rather than Theatre in Video. Click on the link to access the Shakespeare play collection, and you will see a dropdown menu that provides you with quick access to each act of all of the plays. We have unlimited simultaneous access and still have the ability to imbed links to specific productions within Blackboard or other course related documents. All plays come with close captioning which users can turn on if desired. I guess alls well that ends well, right?