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JEWL The Magazine of James E. Walker Library Fall 2013 | Volume 1 No. 1

Welcome to the Future Second-year dean Bonnie Allen leads Walker Library’s evolution into a hub for the digital humanities

Which library was your library?


Well, that depends on when you attended MTSU. Here’s a full chronology of the history of libraries on campus.

The Magazine of James E. Walker Library

1911 Middle Tennessee Normal School opens.

Middle Tennessee State University Fall 2013 | Volume 1 No. 1

1912 MTSU’s first library is on the third floor of Kirksey Old Main, boasting a collection of 75 donated volumes. Betty Avent Murfree is the first librarian.

DEAN Bonnie Allen

1927 The second library opens (where Peck Hall now stands) with 2,000 volumes. It is named for Betty Avent Murfree, librarian until 1945.


1958 Andrew L. Todd Library opens. It is designed to hold 150,000 volumes. In 1970, an addition is built to hold 225,000 volumes. The Library would eventually hold more than 600,000 volumes.


DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE AND VISUAL SERVICES Kara Hooper UNIVERSITY PHOTOGRAPHERS J. Intintoli, Andy Heidt, Darby Campbell UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT Sidney A. McPhee VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Andrew Oppmann CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Michael Burgin, Bill Fisher CONTRIBUTING WRITER Gina K. Logue 1,000 copies, printed at Lithographics, Nashville, TN Designed by Creative and Visual Services

0713-0138 / Middle Tennessee State University is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Executive Director of Institutional Equity and Compliance, Cope Administration Building 220, 1301 E. Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132; (615) 898-2185.

Students in the library: This picture from the 1916–17 undergraduate catalog shows the library that was housed in a room of the Administration Building (Kirksey Old Main) before a dedicated building was erected. Murfree Library: The date of this photo is uncertain but shows the Betty Avent Murfree Building, which housed the library from 1927 to 1958, when the Andrew L. Todd Building opened. It also housed the English department for 10 years. It was demolished to make room for Peck Hall. Photos courtesy of the Albert Gore Research Center. Todd Building: This photo is from the 1970s. The building, dedicated in 1958, was named for Andrew L. Todd, prominent local businessman and state legislator, who helped bring the Normal School to Murfreesboro in 1911. Photo courtesy of the Albert Gore Research Center. Walker Library: The modern library, named for the University’s eighth president, opened in 1999. (Background photo)

Welcome to the Future 1999 James E. Walker Library opens. The modern library supports students and faculty in three primary ways:

• Technology: 400 computers and laptops; printers, scanners, and software; access to unlimited resources in the building and online.

• Space: 250,000 square feet, quiet zones, presentation practice rooms, group study rooms, a Starbucks, meeting places, comfortable chairs, and individual desks.

• Help: Assistance in finding resources for classes and getting started with research; support in finishing up presentations and papers; expert help for students and faculty at all levels throughout any stage of a project.

Walker Library’s evolution into a hub for the digital humanities is ahead of the curve

4 8 Learning’s Hub 10 The Cataloger

Enerel Dambiinyam wields multiple languages to help library students connect

Dean Bonnie Allen discusses progress made and the challenges ahead for JEWL


Signs of the Times

Nathan Perry’s tech savvy helps boosts the library’s profile


16 Centennial Campaign update MTSU’s ongoing $80 million fundraising campaign promises to boost JEWL’s efforts to serve the entire MTSU community

17News roundup Including MTSU alum Dr. James Buchanan’s Nobel Prize medallion going on display at JEWL

Welcome to the


James E. Walker Library and its staff deftly ride the digital humanities wave

by Gina K. Logue and Drew Ruble 4 JEWL Magazine

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Dating back to the third century BC

and the library of Alexandria, the most famous example of an early library in the ancient world, the mission of libraries has been simple: to connect people to information.


n modern times, in a world filled with Web-based media, social networking, and cloud computing, that fact remains true. But today, libraries serve a world extending far beyond bricks and mortar, including anyone with an interest in a particular topic and access to an Internet connection.

MTSU’s Walker Library is a sterling example of a modern library that already offers electronic versions of many or most of its periodicals, books, and collections. As library dean Bonnie Allen points out, “We have rows and rows of books on shelves, but that is only about half of our entire collection—the other half is accessed through a keyboard or your smart phone.” Significantly, though, that pathway to information isn’t limited exclusively to the library’s standard collections. Libraries now acquire collections in electronic formats but are also transforming unique collections into digital collections. Beyond digitizing its own materials, Walker Library has also partnered with other academic units to make some of the University’s priceless intellectual holdings available electronically. In doing so, Walker Library has evolved into a true hub for humanities research in a digital age, becoming less a warehouse for books and more of what Allen describes as a “portal to a world of information.”

Brave New World

Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland (and

associate director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities), has written that while science disciplines have always evolved with new technology, and, in fact, depend on technological advancements, the humanities have remained “largely the same in approach and creation, staying rooted in the so-called ‘analog humanities,’ which consist of printed, physical media.” That’s changing. Engulfed by the digital age, the humanities are, in Kirschenbaum’s words, rebooting. The defining phrase in the library profession today is “digital humanities.” In a recent interview with the Journal of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, Johanna Drucker, a UCLA professor of bibliography, described digital humanities as “work done at the intersection of computational technology and the humanities.” “That means that we use a whole suite of methods, tools, and techniques that make humanities materials available to digital processing,” Drucker added, specifically citing text analysis, data mining, databases, metadata, geospatial encoding, virtualworld building, network analysis, information visualization, interface design, and imaging, among other approaches. “Most of these techniques come from the empirical sciences, statistics, or business applications and have been adopted for use in the humanities. They require structured or formalized presentations of materials—documents, images, sound—in digital formats, which means migrating analog artifacts into a digital format.” In other words, the digital humanities encompass the use of new technology to study what have been historically nontechnological disciplines. And Walker Library is in step with that transformation.

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From Stacks to Cyberspace

Crucial to this new landscape for libraries is collaboration between campus entities—the humanities, computing, and libraries—to take full advantage of digital scholarship. At MTSU, Walker Library serves not only as a catalyst for the creation, management, and delivery of digital content but also as the new focal point for the storage and dissemination of content through a strong and growing web presence of digital text, images, audio, and video. One major initiative in particular illustrates Walker Library’s role as a leader in the digital spectrum— namely, the execution of digitization projects that will preserve the oneof-a-kind, vintage analog materials already in MTSU’s possession for future generations of scholars. To coordinate the work, Walker Library is partnering with three highly regarded MTSU research centers—the Center for Popular Music, the Center for Historic Preservation, and the Albert Gore Research Center—to make what are some of Tennessee’s most precious collections more accessible worldwide. “This started with a meeting more than a year ago where we looked at synergies among our campus collections, our

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expertise, and our space, and realized we had a common mission,” Allen says. “I had just joined MTSU as dean of Walker Library and was accustomed to collaboration with a wide range of scholars, as well as libraries. I knew that MTSU archives and Walker Library had this great opportunity to work together. We all seemed to have the same idea at the same time—it was an easy partnership to form!”

Walker Library is less a warehouse for books and more of what Allen describes as a

“portal to a world of information.” Named the Digital Partners, the partnership is now publishing in digital form what Allen describes as the “hidden collections of MTSU.” Digital Partners marries the technology, expertise, central campus space, and unique collections at MTSU for the electronic benefit of all who are drawn to the collections housed physically on campus. “Each of the partners has been working to establish processes, gather equipment, and initiate training to digitize their most valued collections,” Allen says. “So, for instance, CPM and Gore are visited by researchers who travel to use their special collections. Walker has the foundational collection

of published reference materials that provide the historical context and factual verification on nearly every discipline.” “Each of the partners had also spent time in the trenches learning the standards and the technical tools of digital publications,” she adds. “All had staffers who had experience in the creation of specific digital collections and had collaborated in the production of Web-accessible portions of our collections, were ready to expand, and eager to do this together.” To support Walker Library’s strategic push further into the digital realm, the library has in the past year alone hired various professionals with specializations in metadata or descriptive data for digital publications. It has also expanded its technological staff expertise. Two librarians, Ken Middleton and Mayo Taylor, who had already developed digital collections in recent years, have continued to keep pace with new developments in digital publishing. Behind glass walls on the second floor of the library are the technical tools Middleton and Taylor use to transform images and documents into a rich digital collection used by local schoolchildren, world scholars, and top researchers alike. The Digital Scholarship Lab, which opened in August 2013, includes scanning equipment, computers, and staff and meeting space that encourages and enables more publishing.

cov e r st ory

One major initiative in particular illustrates Walker Library’s role as a leader in the digital spectrum—namely, the execution of digitization projects that will preserve the

one-of-a-kind, vintage analog materials already in MTSU’s possession for future generations of scholars. All copies of the student newspaper Sidelines through 2011 have been scanned. The digitization of Midlander yearbooks was outsourced. These were obvious targets for preservation to chronicle the University’s history and growth. But there’s more to it than that. For example, one project now underway chronicles the effect of Jim Crow laws on the formation of statewide communities in Tennessee. This yearlong project is funded with a diversity grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents and will conclude with both a collection and a website. The digital collections created by Walker Library, including those achieved through collaboration with the Digital Partners, can be seen on the library’s digital collection website ( Allen says the influence of the collections to date is “strongly toward southern history and MTSU’s history.”

Student Success

According to Allen, the implications of the Digital Scholarship Lab include positives for graduate students and departments on campus “to apply a variety of technologies in the course of their research and then publishing a digital format or collection.” Allen adds that Walker is evaluating software for the creation of an institutional repository that will virtually house such items as electronic theses and dissertations, articles, reports, photographs, and

research data from undergraduates through faculty. “This repository will be the searchable electronic archive of works as they are created on campus,” Allen says. Looking to the future, Allen promises that the Digital Scholarship Lab “will be a place for training our students and faculty in the use of technology to better visualize research and publish in an electronic media.” Preparing students and faculty in this way, Allen says, is the truest definition of digital humanities in academic circles. UCLA, the recognized leader in the digital humanities in higher education, states on its website that at its core, digital humanities teaches students “to create and critique media content, to develop the necessary skills and abilities to evaluate this content, to manipulate and transform digital technologies, and to develop the requisite literacy across information environments and media forms, including textual, aural, visual, and digital domains.” One example Allen cites of the future of digital humanities at MTSU is the potential use of geographic information system (GIS) software to better visualize the influence of music across the South and how that is associated with community change or historical events. “It is so exciting to think of the potential for graduate students in the Historic Preservation program working with the Center for Popular Music and specialists in mapping technologies to work together in creating new scholarship,” Allen says.

“We have models among the leading research institutions like UCLA to guide us, but most importantly, the library and archival partnership bring the necessary talent and the collections to provide a rich and innovative learning environment for our students and faculty.”

Back to the Future

Walker Library’s collaboration with the three MTSU centers is symbolic of the interdisciplinary nature of the digital humanities. The Jim Crow laws project is an example of how libraries can facilitate such research using new technologies and working with multiple databases. The total effort, which emphasizes realworld education in a digital age, ties in seamlessly to MTSU’s focus on student success. Clearly the role of the university library in the 21st century is not simply to serve as a repository for books. Libraries have been reinterpreted and redesigned to serve as a vibrant resource for a diverse audience looking for multimedia solutions. But whether content is being delivered off the shelf or online, the modern library’s mission remains the same as it was in the third century—to make reading accessible and learning possible, even as it remains a true community resource. Walker Library has deftly changed with the times to maintain that seminal role at MTSU and beyond.

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The Cataloger by Drew Ruble


nerel Dambiinyam, one of Walker Library’s newest librarians, recently spent a month in her native Mongolia on a prestigious fellowship received through the American Center for Mongolian Studies. Sponsored through a partnership with the Department of Education and the University of Wisconsin– Madison, Dambiinyam worked with the National Library of Mongolia to introduce OCLC, a worldwide library cooperative providing services and research tools to improve access to the world’s information and implementing cataloging standards. Dambiinyam is not your typical collection management librarian. She’s a well-regarded cataloger—the wordsmith who describes books and other library material (in her case, in any of the four languages she speaks) so users can easily understand a book’s contents. For a library to function well, every holding needs to be well cataloged. Dambiinyam’s work is accomplished in a digitized era—quite a change from the days of card catalogs. A graduate of Kent State University, Dambiinyam worked at the Cleveland Public Library from 2004 to 2010. In 2010, she and her husband relocated to the Netherlands. They spent a year there before Dambiinyam landed a job with Walker Library and moved to Murfreesboro. Walker Library staffers are effusive in their praise of Dambiinyam’s abilities. They admire her international status, the fact that she publishes in academic journals on library science, and that she has traveled around the world. But what they mention most is her dedication to students. Dambiinyam volunteers at MTSU’s annual International Student Orientation, helping navigate concerns of foreign students. She is adamant that

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international students “find their place” at MTSU and “get the help they need” when visiting Walker Library. “I guess I can associate with them in terms of how they feel being in a foreign country and going into a big library,” says Dambiinyam. Her attitude is in line with MTSU’s efforts to be more international in scope and its ongoing focus on student success. She says, “That’s how I felt the first time I came to the United States. So I want to ease the transition of that big first year, so students know MTSU is a really nice place and Walker Library, in particular, is a place where you can ask questions and learn things. Plus, I like to interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds and, hopefully, utilize one of my languages.” Dambiinyam’s recent fellowship in Mongolia allowed her, for a month at least, to speak her native tongue. Mongolia is an independent country sandwiched between China and Russia (and which has never been a part of either superpower). In recent years, the country has attracted the world’s attention due to its mining of copper, coal, gold, silver, uranium, and other minerals and its proximity to China, the world’s fastest-growing market for such minerals. Development in the country is increasing. From hotel high-rises to investment banking houses to restaurants and entertainment districts, the country is booming. “People have this romantic notion of Mongolia,” Dambiinyam says. “It’s like they compare it to the Wild West, you know, because it is open country and nomads but now mixed with a lot of development . . . We’re proof that the world is getting smaller.” And needs to be cataloged.


by Drew Ruble

One of MTSU’s newest employees helps keep One ofan MTSU’s newest employees Walker Library orderly helps keep Walker Library an and welcoming place.

orderly and welcoming place.

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Learning’s Hub

by Drew Ruble

Dean Bonnie Allen sets about showing just how modern and crucial a university library can be

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fourth-grade experience set Bonnie Allen, the second-year leader of James E. Walker Library, on her path toward a career in library science. Allen had challenged her teacher on an explanation of a historical event in a class lecture because the young student had read a different explanation elsewhere. Confronted with that opposing view, the teacher told Allen to go to the library and “look it up.” That’s precisely what Allen did, at the town public library, where she researched her topic to prove her point.

“I found what I was looking for and delivered the information to my teacher and my class. It was an important lesson to me in the power of libraries to deliver truth and understanding through their collections,” Allen says. “I also respected my teacher enormously for being open to the challenge and encouraging me to see it through.” Allen grew up in a college town—Bloomington, Indiana—not far from Indiana University. Allen’s father owned a small trucking company, and her mother worked as an office manager for an orthodontist. Neither had a college degree, but Allen remembers being told from an early age that someday she would attend IU because it was “right there.” The first-generation college student considered several areas of study once enrolled at IU—everything from engineering to business to art. She ended up majoring in art history with a minor in French and worked several jobs to pay tuition, including working as a student assistant in the art library. When she received her bachelor’s degree, she began working full time in the acquisitions department of the main IU library. There, she met and worked with booksellers from around the world and discovered she had a knack for the business side of libraries—what makes them work well and the design of their operations, systems, and services. That experience further propelled her in the direction of library administration. She eventually received her master’s from IU in library and information science. After moving west for positions at universities in Arizona and Oregon, she completed an M.B.A. with a focus on finance and marketing at Portland State University in Oregon. She used that business degree to become a marketing and product manager for a technology-based company that provided database services for library online catalogs, and later had a consulting service for small businesses. She also married, started a family, and later divorced. Family responsibilities have always shaped her professional decisions. “I left the corporate world because I had a young daughter and needed to have more predictable time with her,” Allen says. “I returned to working in libraries as a director of a community college library, then as an associate director and university librarian at Oregon State University. My daughter went off to college, and I went off to be dean at University of Montana Library. I came to MTSU to be nearer to my elderly mother in Indiana. She died four months after I started work at MTSU.” Now more than one year into her position as dean of Walker Library, Allen recently sat down with university editor Drew Ruble for a Q&A regarding the opportunities and challenges facing the modern college library. The following is an edited version of that conversation.

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Ruble: What attracted you to this position or to MTSU? As an

outside observer, what did you see as the strengths of MTSU and the Walker library?

Allen: Walker Library’s first impression is the building itself. It is expansive and has a grand style with many beautiful features. Additionally, staff members are dedicated to helping students and are genuinely caring people. After spending three years working with donors to raise funds to renovate the library at Montana, I was very enthusiastic about spending my time in innovation rather than renovation. Ruble: What strides have been made under your leadership? Allen: The first step at MTSU was an intense time of playing catch-up in the staffing and technology applications. While I was completing the recruitments for two key department head positions, we added essential software to aid users in finding articles and books across the library’s paper and electronic collections as well as software to assist us in managing the high volume of license agreements that are the basic contracts for our electronic collections. We changed the way we acquired books and [worked on] more rapidly getting them to the shelves. All this means that our professional staff can spend more time on the more difficult functions of cataloging and acquisitions. I also began to create partnerships with the campus archives with an eye to advancing the campus capabilities to digitize and present our unique collections to our communities. These changes were accompanied with a wide range of procedural and organizational updates. These included increasing funding and opportunities for training and professional engagement to accompany the technology changes and to keep us moving forward. Organizationally, we officially added the video and music library collections that had previously been housed in the College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts. We are taking steps to reach out to the colleges’ faculties to increase our level of responsiveness to curricular and research needs. And in an effort to improve communication internal to the library, I increased the number of all-staff meetings and revitalized the weekly library digital newsletter. Finally, last spring, I contracted with campus consultants in organization design to conduct a survey and series of focus groups to better identify what we needed to work on as a library staff. There has been some culture shock with so many changes so quickly made, but I felt we needed to lay a new foundation for our future.

Ruble: What is your vision for the future of the library? What

still needs to improve to raise the bar for the library in terms of relevance and its ability to innovate?

Allen: Walker Library will be at the leading edge in innovation in service and the use of technology to advance scholarship. 1 2 JEWL Magazine

We will also continue full steam ahead in building the Digital Production Lab, which is the collaboration of all campus archives and Walker Library to digitize and present our unique collections in a digital way. We also want to establish an Institutional Repository as another electronic publishing and collection site for faculty and student work and for University official reports. Eventually, this space will grow into a lab to train our graduate students and faculty in methods of using technology to enhance their research. Importantly, we will be going through a growth spurt to reimagine our learning commons with the addition of a tutoring center. The colleges are on board to bring scattered tutoring sessions done across campus to Walker Library during the next year.

Ruble: If you were speaking to prospective students and families, what would you say about Walker Library to convince them to come to MTSU?

Allen: What I say to parents and students now is the library is and will be a hub for them academically. They will soon discover the many ways that Walker Library is there for them, to help them learn and to support them as they grow in their college careers. It is in our collections, our spaces, and, most of all, in the way the staff and faculty will assist them.

Ruble: How important is the ongoing Centennial fundraising campaign at MTSU and the work to raise private funds for the University as it applies to the work you intend to explore as dean? Allen: Private resources are extremely important for Walker Library. It provides us with the funding to stay current in our training and supports collections and “Baby” technology. It helps us provide services that keep costs down for students and make the difference between a library that barely keeps up and one that leads. Ruble: Tell us something about yourself that other people might not know. For instance, do you have a hobby that is not connected to library science? Allen: Librarians are often asked their favorite books or authors. Like most professions, we are victims of a stereotype and mine seems to be that of a person who is crowded with books all the time and everywhere. Like most academics, I do read a good amount on a fairly wide range of topics. I tend to be a news junkie and most interested in today’s world in politics and technology, as well as art and culture. I love to travel and have discovered that the ideal for me is to carry out some professional work in other parts of the world—it really demands immersion and a different

level of engagement. I currently serve as a board member for a global library nonprofit that meets with librarians from all over the world. In the past, I worked in Tunisia for a month for each of two years as part of a grant. Whenever I travel, I spend most of my time in museums. I’m sure I sound like a real nerd! But my true guilty pleasure has been cars. I have owned some, shall we say, interesting non-mainstream cars. I bought a 1966 Volvo P1800 in 1992 as my only car. This is the type of car that you now see in commercials as the three-million-mile car. Mine was baby blue—hence its name, Baby—the sports model with fins and great style. Small and made of steel—no plastic—it was a little tank. I drove it all over Oregon, Washington, and then some in Montana.

I joined car clubs and did weekend car rallies and took lessons at the Portland International Raceway in safe driving. Granted, their idea was safe driving at high speeds! Prior to my vintage Volvo, I owned a TR7 and an MGB. Needless to say, with my taste in European sports cars, I have learned some roadside mechanics. I recently sold my Volvo to a grad student at MTSU who is in the automotive engineering program. We became acquainted because I needed him to address a problem with my fuel tank. He seemed genius at the maintenance of a vintage car and grew to love Baby. He made me an offer and I decided to sell because Baby would be well loved and cared for. Volvo is reintroducing this line now, so maybe the new Baby is in my future.

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Signs Times by Drew Ruble


alker Library hires more than 200 student workers every year. That is the equivalent of roughly 25 full-time staff people. They arrive first thing in the morning to help open up. They are there at two o’clock in the morning to help close up. They offer assistance by staffing the desks and checking out books. They are the workhorses shelving books and getting fellow students where they need to be. From time to time, they even perform tasks more commonly associated with professional staff—like offering research help. Some graduate students working in the library regularly advise in research and work in the Writing Center, providing critical help to students in all disciplines. Simply put, Walker Library, which could never, ever afford 25 more staff people to help run the building, couldn’t operate without its student workers. One of those students is Nathan Perry. The MTSU graduate in computer science is working on his master’s degree and teaching classes. He spends about 10 hours a week at the library assisting with technology initiatives that include ramping up digital signage efforts and helping fellow students more quickly find computer workspaces. Perry got involved through a reference from the library’s new head of technology, Neal McClain, formerly the lab director in the Computer Science Department.

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of the

“He’s had some good ideas about how he’s wanted to adapt more technology into the library, and when he found a project that he thought would be good for some students to do, he called me and asked if I wanted, for the summer, to come over here and work,” Perry says. “Of course, I said yes. Because I wanted the money!” With assistance from MTSU’s Information Technology Division, Perry started by helping the library write some programming for digital signage. “He just revolutionized the whole process,” says library external relations specialist Kristen Keene. “He wrote all these programs and these feeds, and he’s really updated our signage and image.”

Walker Library, which could never, ever afford 25 more staff people to help run the building, couldn’t operate without its student workers. Keene says Perry well represents the value the library gets from its student workers. “We find out what their skill set is, and they really find their place and are usually able to offer so much more than they originally thought that they could do,” she says.


Nathan Perry helps keep Walker Library a step ahead on the digital frontier

Perry admits he never expected his tech savvy would be so in demand in a library setting. But now he agrees that, particularly for people his age and younger, so-called “digital natives,” the modern library must adapt and be tech-friendly or be left behind by modern students studying in the information age. “I would think it would be frustrating to walk into a library that acted like it was 1980. You’d turn around and walk back out if they weren’t kind of getting with the program,” he says. “It’s very interesting digitizing library standards so the new generation— and the upcoming generation who were brought up pretty much on tablets and smart phones—don’t have a technological gap between the library and what they use.” Perry also played a role in another key initiative—a relaunched digital listing of the locations of open computer stations throughout the library. “We can tell which computers are in use because somebody’s logged into them. So what we’ve done is put that into the digital signage by being able to display how many computers are open or in use and on what floor and which section of the library those computers are located,” Perry says.

There are over 400 computers in the library, but it can be pretty frustrating trying to find an open one. Students used to go to the first floor and look around. If they didn’t find one there, then, of course, they would go to the next floor, and then to the third floor, and then the fourth, until they finally found one. Those days are over. Now, students walking through the atrium of the library can consult a digital board to identify where an open computer is (which floor and general area) so they can skip the lengthy search that would sometimes happen during peak hours and exam week. Keene praised Perry for the work he has done to help the library evolve. “He really saved our bacon because we need to get information out to students in a really fast way, and there’s nothing better for that than the digital signage,” she says. “Kids are cutting through the atrium, so we can immediately put a message up about a service or something changing or something closing or something new. It’s ideal for us to update it immediately.”

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Fostering Student Success W

alker library is dedicated to student success. By donating to the library, you support every student on campus.

Supporting Walker Library provides funds for a wide range of services and the technology that directly supports student and faculty academic achievement. Donations make possible an innovative learning environment with current technology upgrades, collections (books, journals, e-books, databases), space upgrades, and expert help. MTSU is in the middle of a Centennial Campaign with a goal of raising $80 million dollars. Walker Library has several initiatives as a part of that campaign: Establishing and Sustaining a Digital Scholarship (Production) Laboratory. As mentioned in this magazine, Walker Library has formed a partnership with three highly regarded research centers on campus (the Center for Popular Music, the Gore Research Center, and the Center for Historic Preservation) to digitize unique and rare collections and make them available worldwide on the Web for researchers everywhere. This lab is envisioned as a space for faculty and students to use technology and their expertise in the development of research projects. Student Assistant Scholarship Funds. The library hires over 200 student workers each year and could not carry out its mission without them. Scholarships for student assistants are a focus for the library. Walker Library has two scholarships in memory of library faculty. Developing additional scholarships for hard-working students depends upon donor contributions. Staff and Faculty Excellence Funds. Donations are needed to advance training and increase the reputation of library staff, in part through sharing our program development and research at regional and international levels. Collection Development. The library’s collections are increasingly electronic and vast. In order to support student and faculty curriculum, study, and research, the library must continually update its electronic and paper collections and the technology required to support their use. The library accepts monetary donations and gifts of books. To donate online visit and click on “Support the Library.”

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je wl ne ws SPRI N G 2013

The Atrium {Inside Walker Library} With its expert staff, dynamic collections, and electronic resources, Walker Library is the University’s hub for study and research. But the library is also the place where students come to mix and mingle, learn, and discover new ways to work together. The library also has an active exhibit and event program. In partnership with various University departments, student organizations, and local groups, Walker Library displays collections and historical objects and hosts cultural events and concerts. Here are a few recent and upcoming Walker Library events.

Pop-up Book Workshop “Make It Pop-up!” was a do-it-yourself book workshop for kids and parents that offered an exciting, hands-on learning experience in association with the exhibit The Anatomy of Pop-ups, which was a recent display in Special Collections. Kathleen O’Connell, who teaches book arts in the Department of Art, taught young students how to create simple but surprising pop-up books using sheets of paper and some simple cuts and folds.

Spring 2014 Civil War Exhibit In partnership with the Rutherford County Archives, Walker Library will display posters researched and developed by the County Archives staff and MTSU graduate students documenting some of the lesser-known stories of Murfreesboro during the Civil War. The exhibit is traveling around the county during the 150th anniversary celebration of the Civil War.

James M. Buchanan Nobel Prize Medal During a May 9, 2013, celebration of the life of MTSU alumnus and Nobel Laureate James M. Buchanan, in a ceremony held in the lobby of Walker Library, Buchanan’s nephew, Jeff Whorley, presented the University with his uncle’s Nobel Prize Medal and the Bronze Star Buchanan received for his WWII service in the Navy. Both will be on permanent loan from the family. Other memorabilia related to both Buchanan and his grandfather, former Tennessee governor and Rutherford County native John Price Buchanan, are also on display in the library’s Buchanan Reading Room on the fourth floor. The room has become a favorite with MTSU students because of its deep armchairs and ottomans, its quietness, and its stunning views of campus.

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Fifth Annual Earth Day Student Art Installation A student art installation from Erin Anfinson’s Drawing 2 class, Think Before You Print: Stop Feeding the Monster, was developed in response to over 9.6 million sheets of paper used by Walker Library visitors in 2012. That much paper adds up to nearly 1,371 trees! The environmental impact alone is staggering, but the weight of lost library resources also resonated with the students

who designed the project. For the students, the creation of a paper-consuming monster served as a playful representation of this serious problem. The entire installation was made of reused paper from library recycling bins. All materials were recycled at the end of the exhibition.

Scholar’s Week Prize Winners As part of Scholars Week 2013, the library displayed first-place posters created by student researchers. Award-winning students won cash prizes for their research. The library was proud to display their work.

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Tuvan Throat Singers The Alash Ensemble, a group of musicians known for their Tuvan throat singing, a technique for singing multiple pitches at the same time, performed recently to amazed students and faculty in the library atrium. They also played traditional Tuvan instruments, including the igil, a bowed, two-stringed instrument similar to the Mongolian morin khuur; the doshpuluur or chanzy, which is a plucked or strummed three-stringed lute; a large frame drum; and a small plucked zither. The musicians were from the Tuva Republic in Central Asia, north of Mongolia.

Muslim Journeys Collection and Lectures The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf grant was awarded to James E. Walker Library in spring 2013. The purpose of the grant is to present the MTSU community with resources representing diverse perspectives on the people, places, histories, beliefs, practices, and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world by providing books, DVDs, and electronic resources to MTSU. Information and access to these resources can be found at The library also partnered with the Mideast Center to present two programs about MuslimAmerican stories.

25th Anniversary of MT Lambda Experimental Vehicles Walker Library partnered with the Department of Engineering Technology’s Experimental Vehicle Program (EVP) and displayed one of the cars researched, designed, and built by MTSU students. The Formula SAE is a single-seat, track-racing vehicle for a nonprofessional, weekend enthusiast. The EVP is a student-driven, interdisciplinary, hands-on learning experience open to all students attending MTSU. Participating students credited the library as an integral component of their research while developing this vehicle and were enthusiastic about showing it off in the library.

This student organization celebrated its 25th anniversary on campus, at Walker Library. The display included historical objects documenting MT Lambda’s presence at MTSU over the years.

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JEWL Magazine James E. Walker Library MTSU Box 13 1301 East Main Street Murfreesboro, TN 37132

A TwenTy-firsT CenTury LibrAry James E. Walker Library delivers exceptional services in an environment that inspires learning and interaction, bridging the intellectual and social aspects of our university. Support from alumni and friends helps us to provide the most exceptional experience for our students through the incorporation of technologically-rich study spaces, an interactive writing center, more than one million paper volumes, and 200 carefully selected databases for online research.

Visit to make your online gift or contact Kristen Keene at or (615) 898-5376 for more information.

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JEWL Magazine Fall 2013  

JEWL Magazine Fall 2013