Page 1

Fall 2016 | Vol. 4, No. 1

Walker Library’s new Makerspace unlocks creative potential for all MTSU students

JEWL The Magazine of James E. Walker Library

Middle Tennessee State University Fall 2016 | Volume 4, No. 1 DEAN Bonnie Allen EXTERNAL RELATIONS Kristen Keene EDITOR Darby Campbell DESIGNER Micah Loyed DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE AND VISUAL SERVICES Kara Hooper UNIVERSITY PHOTOGRAPHERS Andy Heidt, J. Intintoli CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Drew Ruble, Carol Stuart CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kristen Keene, Alissa Miller, Patsy Weiler UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT Sidney A. McPhee INTERIM UNIVERSITY PROVOST Mark Byrnes VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Andrew Oppmann 1,000 copies, printed at Falcon Press, Nashville, Tenn. Designed by Creative and Visual Services

1016-3515 / Middle Tennessee State University does not discriminate against students, employees, or applicants for admission or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or any other legally protected class with respect to all employment, programs, and activities sponsored by MTSU. The Assistant to the President for Institutional Equity and Compliance has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies and can be reached at Cope Administration Building 116, 1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132;; or 615-898-2185 The MTSU policy on non-discrimination can be found at

on the cover: 3D print by Joshua Taylor Cook photo by Darby Campbell


Tell us what you LOVE about the Walker Library on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. James E. Walker Library @walkerlibrary @mtsulibrary #ilovewalkerlibrary In the 2016 Spring semester, the Walker Library embarked on the Love Your Library Campaign, a faculty and staff giving campaign to encourage employees to start or increase their philanthropic giving to Library scholarships. Since students always tell us they LOVE the library, we asked students WHY they love Walker Library. Here are the “love notes” from students to James E. Walker Library.

5 4 10 12 14 16 18 22

Space to Create

Walker Library’s new Makerspace unlocks creative potential for all MTSU students

Dean’s Letter Prepping for the Big Test

Walker Library helps students cross the finals finish line

Portal to the Past

Digitalization of student newspaper’s past issues shows how JEWLScholar is preserving and telling the University story

New Acquisitions

Assessment and Discovery Services hirings elevate Walker Library’s user-friendliness

Drawing Attention

Erin Porter’s eye-catching displays educate through art


News and notes from inside Walker Library

Awards and Scholarships

Walker Library gives monetary awards for student and faculty excellence

FALL 2 0 1 6 3


From the Desk of Dean Allen In previous issues of JEWL Magazine, I have written about the “evolving” library, which refers to the many ways libraries—the Walker Library most specifically—steadily change to meet the needs of our students and faculty. These changes are often accomplished with little or few new resources and are successful because of creativity and dedication of the library faculty and staff. In this issue, I am excited to announce the addition of a Makerspace as an expansion of the Digital Media Studio, our multimedia lab. The article explains the “how” and “what” of a Makerspace, but my “why” is to provide an interactive learning space in the library for student of all disciplines. I wanted a space where students could collaborate and have experiences with new technologies, which allows not only innovation but also the development of skills they will need in the workplace. This service is the first of its kind in Tennessee higher education but has models in larger research institutions such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, the University of Virginia, and the University of North Carolina. As we launch new services, we continue to improve our existing programs. The library remains an integral partner in campus programs to support the success of our students until graduation through our partnerships in classroom instruction, workshops, and attention to the whole student experience. The “Prepping for the Big Test” article on reducing student stress reports on our many campus partnerships. Our instruction program has undergone a summer-long seminar series to adopt new pedagogies in library instruction. The featured student in the “Drawing Attention” article is an ongoing initiative of the library’s Curriculum Collection serving teacher education programs. Our Curriculum Collection services area held a day-long continuing education opportunity to area teachers in K–12 to introduce and invite them to use the resources of our education collection. This was such a success we expect to expand this program next summer.


Each issue of the magazine has featured a digital collection that we have produced in our Digital Initiatives program. The “Portal to the Past” article is a case study illustrating how paper collections acquire a new life when digitized and become discoverable on the web. The article features Sidelines, the MTSU student-produced newspaper. I hope through this case study that our alumni and friends will better understand the methods and the impact of our development of a digital scholarship lab. We are publishing MTSU-produced scholarship for the world to use. As our services evolve into new areas and we continue to update our existing services and technologies, we identify new staffing skills needed for ongoing support and development of these services and technologies. I was fortunate to be able to redefine two open faculty positions and recruit faculty with these new skills. We are pleased to announce the addition of Jason Martin, associate dean for Assessment, and Denise Quintel, Discovery Services librarian. Dr. Martin will be instrumental in the collection and analysis of data needed to evaluate the effectiveness of our services and collections and inform future developments. Professor Quintel has as her first priority the integration of software tools to assist our users in finding information contained in the thousands of electronic databases and books in the collections. Financial support from our friends is an increasing necessity for Walker Library to remain at the forefront of services and collections for the MTSU community. To assist in our fundraising efforts, I am working with the MTSU Foundation to recruit a development officer to direct fundraising for Walker Library. I look forward to making an announcement of this new hire in the very near future. I hope you enjoy this latest issue of JEWL Magazine and share my pride in the library’s accomplishments.


Walker Library’s new Makerspace unlocks creative potential for all MTSU students When the do-it-yourself movement meets advances in technology, ideas come to life. That is the essence of a “makerspace.” As the term implies, individuals make things with the help of technologies of all kinds. Computeraided design, 3D printers, and headsets for virtual reality are but some of the tech tools that can now be found in Walker Library. Because of this new service, MTSU students are able to experiment with these technologies, develop prototypes for their classroom projects, and learn to work with technology that they will likely use in their work life.

Sam Remedios photo by James Brummett

FALL 2 0 1 6 5

Kristin Denny using the 3D resin printer

SPACE TO CREATE (continued from page 5) The relevance of such technologies to future work lives is becoming apparent. A scan of news reports reveals how 3D printers are recreating historic artifacts destroyed by war, designers use 3D in high fashion, engineers can make customized or small parts for machinery and prototypes of robotic equipment, and marketers can create a “proof of concept” for new products faster and cheaper with these tools than ever before. Even dentists are using computer-aided design and manufacturing to make a replacement crown in a couple of hours, all done in the office in one visit. The emergence of such an innovative space in Walker Library is in keeping with the library’s campus reputation for rapidly responsive services for students. The recently opened Makerspace is another indication of MTSU’s evolving library. As an interactive and collaborative space, the service expands on the Digital Media Studio, which opened in 2010. The overall space provides students with the technology and assistance to create a multimedia project, whether it consists of 3D images or objects, a virtual reality experience, or creative video.


photo by James Brummett

New services such as these develop from paying close attention to the changing environment inside and outside education. The emergence of makerspaces can be seen in elementary schools and public libraries with a young audience in mind. Major universities have developed these innovative spaces to support curricula as well as present students with the wherewithal to innovate, create, and develop a higher level of problem-solving. In most cases, these projects are highly collaborative ventures that make use of teams with a wide range of skills from aesthetic design to robotics. The message is “if you can imagine it, you can make it.” The process at Walker Library began with asking the question: what is next for the Digital Media Studio? It was time to take it to the next level. MTSU is advancing its curricula with Mechatronics Engineering and Animation, and the fashion and art programs have been experimenting with a range of 3D printers. The library had been an early adopter of a 3D printer, demonstrating its use to students for a couple of years. Following research, the concept of a makerspace in an academic library

WHY THE LIBRARY? Bonnie Allen, dean of the Walker Library, believes it is well worth the investment. “The addition of fabrication technologies in the Makerspace extends our ability to support research and learning,” Allen said. “Students now have the opportunity to experiment and incorporate the use of technology and design to s olve problems.” Walker Library acts as the great equalizer, providing access on campus to materials and technology to students of every discipline. After the phenomenal success of the Digital Media Studio set the stage by providing multimedia software needed by students for presentations and projects, the addition of the Makerspace was a natural next step to bring into the space.


emerged with success stories. The Makerspace at Walker Library is the first one in a Tennessee university library, although others are in preliminary stages now.

Computer model

Print in process

Finished print

As planning progressed over the past year, student groups such as the MTSU Makers club were brought into the conversation, departments were contacted, and announcements were made across campus to expand our plans. Several programs are already working to incorporate use of the technology into their curricula, including Art, Computer Science, Theatre, Education, Engineering Technology, and Textiles, Merchandising, and Design. As an example, College of Education students can familiarize themselves with LittleBits kits, which

children in grades 3–8 are using. The result is our Makerspace— equipped with several 3D filament printers, a 3D resin printer, a laser etcher, CNC machine, a vinyl cutter, virtual reality kits, and kits full of parts that can be used to build just about anything one can imagine. MTSU is at the forefront of libraries making cutting-edge technology available.

Students Are Key Stakeholders

One cross-discipline, student-led group already utilizes the Makerspace twice a week to come together and create. MTSU Makers’ MyMT page describes its group focus like this: “We learn about technology through interacting with it and building projects surrounding it. If you want to learn introductory robotics, we’ll

“Students now have the opportunity to experiment and incorporate the use of technology and design to solve problems.” provide the tools, and you provide the willingness to research and experiment. We interact with both hardware and software, building electronic components, as well as the programs that drive them.” Its current project is creating a game to play, using the virtual reality kits available. All levels from beginner to expert are welcome, with the group asking only that you bring a healthy dose of creativity and curiosity to explore. “The equipment looks complicated because it may be unfamiliar,” MTSU Makers vice president Aldair Nieto said about newcomers to the group. “Once they give it a try, they will realize it is actually somewhat simple to use. All they need is a good imagination and to be willing to take a chance at trying something new.”

URECA recipients and Mechatronics Engineering students Aldair Nieto, Chris Secrest, and Brad Hobbs in the Makerspace

Nieto is a good example of the connection the new library service has to campus academic programs. Nieto, who also works as a student programmer in the library, is utilizing the Makerspace with fellow Mechatronics Engineering majors Chris Secrest and Brad Hobbs for a robotics research project. The three

FALL 2 0 1 6 7

SPACE TO CREATE (continued from page 7)

“The addition of fabrication technologies in the Makerspace extends our ability to support research and learning.” Usage policies and charges The Makerspace is limited to MTSU students, faculty and staff. At this time, there is no charge to use the equipment, but users will be charged for consumable supplies (resin) and will be required to bring their own supplies for equipment such as the laser etcher, CNC machine, and vinyl cutter. For more information, contact the Digital Media Studio/ Makerspace help desk at 615-904-8526 or Valerie., or go to makerspace.php.

students earned an Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activity (URECA) grant, where MTSU offers financial support and research funding through a competitive grant application process to encourage undergraduate students to conduct scholarly activities. This is only the beginning. As technology rapidly changes, Walker Library will continue to evolve to meet student needs. “We know there is a demand,” said Neal McClain, director of Library Technology. “We feel like we’ll get a good deal of use out of this space as people learn about it.”

Learning to Make It

The placement of the Makerspace in the Library makes creative technology accessible to any MTSU student, staff, or faculty member who takes the time to go through the training to operate the machines safely and appropriately for their projects.

McClain puts his master’s degree in Computer Science and his whimsical joie de vivre to good use in this incubator of creativity. “It’s to give students a place to challenge themselves, to come in and try to take an idea and prototype it and bring it to fruition,” McClain said. “It’s a place where they can work together with students from other disciplines.” Many of the projects are very serious— prototypes and pieces for projects. Learning projects are frequently simple and a form of play— printing Pokémon, fantasy characters, and animal figurines. While these projects look like toys, students are testing the limits of design and technology as well as their abilities: How much detail can I produce? How smooth of a surface can a scaled-down replica give you? What happens when you change filament colors mid-process? The vision for the Walker Library Makerspace service is to provide an active-learning experience for students to use technology as a tool and to make it accessible to students of every level of technical expertise.

Joshua Taylor Cook, student technology assistant for Technology Services



Laser etching on wood

EQUIPMENT • Laser etcher • Vinyl cutter • Filament 3D printer • Resin 3D printer • Computer Numeric Control (CNC) router • Makeblock parts • Soldering station • Oculus Rift Virtual Reality (VR) kit • Vive VR kit • Meta 2 augmented reality headset • Raspberry Pi3 and Pi touchscreens • Arduino kits Sample of objects printed and etched in the Makerspace

(interactive prototype platform)

• Odroid C2 (processor)

FALL 2 0 1 6 9

Calming (caffeine-free) teas Chocolate! Educational materials handed out by volunteers ready to talk about strategies for dealing with stress Water to help students stay hydrated Coloring pages to help reduce stress Tactile objects like Stressballs or Bubblewrap to work out finals frustrations!

Potpourri or candle with a soothing scent 1 0 JEWL M A GA Z I N E

The Health Promotion Office and its student-led Raider Health Corps offer Finals Survival Kits to students each semester during exams to help students maintain their sanity during these sleepless and stressful times.


Animation student Kelsey Hoggard with Canyon the Therapy Dog photo by J. Intintoli

Over 25,000 students use the library each week. Walker Library has the resources, technology, and help that students need on a daily basis: the books, articles, and databases students use for class research; the quiet zones where students can get away from noisy roommates and study for their Chemistry test; the reservable rooms where students can rehearse and film themselves practicing their big presentation for an entrepreneurship class; librarians at the reference desk assisting students to find a research database for their Cultural Geography class; the University Writing Center helping undergraduates improve their English papers; helping students all semester long is what the Library does. However, a few years ago librarians noted that at mid-terms and finals, when the number of students really swells in the building, people seemed to need something different than the excellent help they get every day. To help students during these stressful times prep for the big test, the library developed a finals toolkit. A website was developed five years ago and is updated each semester, pulling together all the quick help students seem to need during finals. There is a chat box where you can talk to a librarian directly. Students can see which rooms are available for checkout and where there are computers available on each floor. There are citation tools and help with copyright issues and avoiding plagiarism. Librarians pulled together links to some of the most popular databases and statistics students need. There are also links to all kinds of other help available across campus.

relievers during mid-terms and finals. The Student Government Association joined with the library to offer free waters, protein bars, and Scantrons to students during finals. The Health Promotion Office and its student-led Raider Health Corps offer Finals Survival Kits to students each semester during exams to help students maintain their sanity during these sleepless and stressful times. One of the most popular de-stressing events is Canyon the Therapy Dog. The library has partnered with Therapy Dogs International and one of its handlers, senior Leah Chism (College of Basic and Applied Sciences), along with her dog Canyon. Canyon, a 4-year-old purebred Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, and Chism volunteer their time in the library offering students a moment to take a break from studying and exam stress. After undergoing weeks of training, Canyon was certified as a therapy dog. He is calm and loving around all kinds of people and has been a big hit with students, many of whom had to leave their pets at home when they enrolled in college. The library continues to offer this programming and hopes to add more during finals to help students prep for the big test.

What librarians also noticed was that students were stressed. The clothes they were wearing were now pajamas, and hair seemed a little messier. So, over the years, the library has partnered with departments across campus to offer stress FALL 2 0 1 6 11

PORTAL TO THE PAST Digitization of student newspaper’s past issues shows how JEWLScholar is preserving and telling the University history

Sidelines, the student-produced newspaper, has a new sense of permanence and usefulness due to the digitization efforts of the library at Middle Tennessee State University. The James E. Walker Library’s technology, coupled with the expertise of digitally skilled librarians, has made the newspaper easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Digitized collections are one way the library works with campus scholars to publish materials of academic and historic significance. Sidelines in digital form can illustrate the same academic value, as well as reveal personal relevance between alumni and our University. The student news source has been used by students and other researchers as part of an academic pursuit of understanding campus culture during different times in our history. In 2010, the library digitized several issues of Sidelines that were a part of the library’s Special Collections. Though the print copies of the student-produced newspaper were accessible via a physical trip to the library, they were not being utilized as frequently and deeply as they are today. As a result, a team of digital initiatives librarians and 1 2 JEWL M A GA Z I N E

by Alissa Miller

archivists created the library collection, MTSU Memory, which was curated for MTSU’s centennial celebration in 2011. Sidelines was initially digitized to be a significant part of this MTSU Memory collection since it helps document the University’s history from the student perspective. Later the library’s Digital Scholarship Initiatives team, made up of digitization, catalog, and systems experts, moved the Sidelines collection to JEWLScholar when the library created an institutional repository in 2014. JEWLScholar, a digital repository for publications unique to MTSU, currently has nearly 5,000 items within important collections such as theses and dissertations, faculty articles, department and University publications, Scholars Week exhibition posters, and more. Digital copies of former Sidelines editions consist of a nearlycomplete run from 1938 to 2011. The benefit of Sidelines now being in the library-managed JEWLScholar is the access and discoverability of a former print-only collection. Now online, they are not only accessible, but highly read. In the April 27, 1949 issue we can see that MTSU (then called Middle Tennessee State College) had a feature story

FEATURE STORY of its largest graduating class to date–192–compared to the 2,383 students that graduated in the spring of 2016. We have come a long way, and there are quite a few stories in this newspaper collection documenting how we got here. Looking at news stories by student journalists from more than 60 years ago makes one reflect upon that time. But newspapers, preserved like this, can offer even more than a walk down memory lane for its alumni. It is also a resource for current students and faculty. JEWLScholar collections like Sidelines are used to uncover local histories, complete homework assignments, and at times, give graduate students hands-on experiences in creating a digital collection themselves with the assistance of Digital Scholarship Initiatives faculty in our fully equipped Digital Scholarship Lab. Public History graduate student Taylor Stewart, who researched women at MTSC during World War II, illustrates how the library’s archived collections have academic value. Stewart used the archived issues of the Midlander yearbook and Sidelines to determine how women’s rights and their perceived roles changed on campus during and after the war. She said the digital archive of Sidelines was “incredibly useful for finding information that I think people don’t realize they’re leaving behind—tidbits about daily life on campus that students at the time didn’t think were particularly important, but provides insight into the cultural climate.” Sidelines issues are cited in over 30 theses and dissertations that we know of, and this number grows each year. Not only is the MTSU newspaper archived, but because it is preserved in this manner, it allows future generations to continue their research and further the impact of campus scholarship. JEWLScholar collections also are indexed in search engines like Google, databases, and library catalogs, making items like Sidelines discoverable online. This has created an impressive worldwide readership, expanding MTSU’s reach beyond our campus. The historical newspaper is able to be shared with the Blue Raider community and beyond because it is the library’s mission to preserve the scholarship of MTSU. By considering the way Sidelines is being used, it is easier to understand how our digital collections have enabled researchers and students to access histories of the South and connect alumni with memories of the past. The methods and technology we use make MTSU discoverable while documenting the success of our community and paving the way for our future. Visit to access the library’s Digital Scholarship Initiatives at MTSU. Editor’s note: Alissa Miller is an assistant professor and digital scholarship librarian in Walker Library


The institutional repository of Middle Tennessee State University is a digital publishing platform managed by the James E. Walker Library. It gives faculty, staff, and students an open access avenue to publish their work.

Number of current authors:

How does it work?



Deposit your works Conference Proceedings Published Articles Annual Reports Dissertations Newletters


Walker Library provides


searches from researchers around the world




Number of current titles. This number increases with author submissions.

Benefits from JEWLScholar

Long term


Increased visibility

in popular and scholarly search engines

Linkable URL

with usage statistics

Access Maintenance

Open Access Hub

authors build + share research


library service at no charge

Library Lands National Grant Award Walker Library received a $28,230 grant from the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area for work on the collaborative project Digital Humanities Interpretation: Preservation of Tennessee Heritage. The Walker Library’s Digital Scholarship Lab is the home base for this project, where a team of content and technical experts design, disseminate, and preserve University scholarship. Although all three principal investigators are library faculty, other collaborators come from across the state and MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation. The project, Trials, Triumphs, and Transformations, will be completed by April 2017 and includes various themes involving the Reconstruction era in Tennessee. This includes rare images and audio from this period aided by data visualizations, scholarly essays, and lesson plans, all built on a mobile-friendly website. The first phase of the project is online at, and much more content will be added over the coming months. FALL 2 0 1 6 13

New Acquisitions Assessment and Discovery Services hirings elevate Walker Library’s user-friendliness by Patsy B. Weiler Two new, vibrant chapters are being written in the history of the James E. Walker Library this fall with the hiring of Dr. Jason Martin, associate dean for Assessment, and Denise Quintel, Discovery Services librarian. Both arrived at MTSU in time for the beginning of the 2016–17 academic year and bring solid backgrounds in librarianship. Jason Martin has more than 14 years’ experience in academic libraries. Most recently, he served as head of Public Services at the duPont-Ball Library at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. Interestingly, Stetson was the first university in the Sunshine State to hire a full-time librarian in 1888. JEWL Dean Bonnie Allen said Martin will establish his own tradition of firsts in Tennessee at the Walker Library. Jason Martin

“He is our first associate dean and the library’s first hire devoted to Assessment,” Allen explained. “His work will provide the data to guide the library in making decisions that will improve our services to the campus community, as well as substantiate the high value the library delivers to MTSU.” A Florida native, Martin earned his Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida. His research interests include leadership and organizational culture. Martin’s interest in MTSU increased after hearing “only good things about MTSU,” he said. “The campus and library are vibrant and growing, and I really like the direction the University and library are headed.” His focus at MTSU will be to work with Allen, the librarians, and library staff “to ensure that the services and programs the Walker Library offers are meeting the needs of the MTSU community and to investigate and assess what services and programs we could start offering,” he said. Away from his work, Martin is fond of growing his eight bonsai trees and likes cooking, photography, and nature walks. He said he was looking forward to exploring the Wat Lao Buddhist Temple in Murfreesboro and Grimey’s new and vintage music store in Nashville. At the time of this interview, Martin was reading Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction by Maia Szalavitz. If Martin could hang out with any past author, he said it would be Ernest Hemingway. “We could just sit around and talk about life,” Martin said with a laugh. “Maybe he could show me a few boxing moves.”



Denise Quintel

Denise Quintel comes to her new position at MTSU after being the web applications librarian for more than two years at the University of Alabama. In many ways, Quintel is returning home by taking a position at MTSU. She is a Nashville native who received her Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from Northeastern University and Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Tennessee. During her graduate program, Quintel was a Walker Library User Services practicum student, so she was “already familiar with the great MTSU community,” she said. “I’ve always been a user-centered librarian, and I saw the same type of dedication in the faculty and staff at Walker Library. I was thrilled to return to an institution that is so driven by the success of their students.” According to Quintel, her new responsibilities include making sure searching for information from the library website is an efficient and effective experience and that all users have easy access to its electronic resources. “Walker Library is an incredible place with so many fantastic resources, and I believe that the improved discovery, access, and delivery of those resources can improve and enrich the research experience,” Quintel said. “Library patrons should expect an even better experience.” For Allen, the library’s expansive and growing collection is one of its top priorities, making the hiring of Quintel another important first.

“No matter what we have in our collection, it isn’t useful unless our users can find it,” Allen said. “This isn’t often easy to do given the expansion of the scope of our collection. We use much more than our online catalog to bring together the result list to a search. “As our first Discovery Services librarian, Professor Quintel brings the right mixture of technical and user expertise and will join a team of librarians that will work their magic to simplify the discovery and delivery of information when a student or faculty member enters a search.” The mother of two young daughters, Quintel and her husband, Ryan, look forward to exploring the beauty of outdoors in the Tennessee State Parks system. She enjoys live music and is a bit of a foodie who loves to bake, “with pies being my specialty,” she said. At the time of this interview, Quintel was reading Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia BolzWeber. If she could hop in a time-travel machine and visit with any author, F. Scott Fitzgerald is the writer she would most want to meet. “Not only because he’s an all-time favorite author of mine,” Quintel said, “but I’m sure the music, the drinks, and the conversation would be entertaining!” The quest to ensure student success at Walker Library most certainly continues to unfold in positive ways with the addition of such stellar talent as Martin and Quintel. FALL 2 0 1 6 15

Erin Porter’s eye-catching displays educate through art by Patsy B. Weiler

Erin Porter


STUDENT PROFILE Congratulations to our former student graphic designer, Sarah Growden (B.A., Art, 2016), on winning two Gold Awards, a Silver Award, and a Judge’s Choice at the Nashville Student ADDY Awards in the spring. After graduation, Growden started working for GS&F Advertising Agency in the Gulch in Nashville. “I used to say I only went to MTSU because it was free, but it became so much more than that,” she said. “I had some amazing teachers that I would not be who I am without. David Jon Walker, Kathy O’Connell, Noël Lorson, Meena Khalili, and Sheri Selph pushed me out of my comfort zone. Kristen Crawford Keene hired me and gave me the best student job a graphic designer could ask for and was a constant cheerleader. I loved school and the challenges that came with it, but it was mainly because of all of them. I got lucky.” Erin Porter’s love of books and art is regularly displayed at the James E. Walker Library, where she is starting her second year as a student worker. When the 22-year-old senior was searching for an on-campus job last year, she was initially drawn to the MTSU library because “I like books, sorting things, and I had heard the staff was very flexible in the amount of hours you had to work, which sounded absolutely perfect for me,” Porter said. Soon she was asked to interview for a position in the Curriculum Collection—an extensive resource of books, creative tools, and manipulative materials for educators, in addition to housing a representative selection of books typically found in an elementary or secondary school library. Porter, an Art Education major who plans to teach visual arts classes in a Tennessee public middle or secondary school after graduation, was thrilled at the thought of “getting to be around this awesome resource.” Her excitement level soared to ecstatic when Porter learned she was being hired to use her art to showcase the collection. “I didn’t even know the job of making educational displays existed when I applied,” said Porter, a Mt. Juliet native. “When I plan a display, I try to create mini lesson plan overviews. I have learned a lot about planning lessons and pairing them with literature.” The first step in the design process is for Porter to meet with Karen Reed, Education Librarian, about specific topics she has in mind. From there, the creative wheels start turning. The budding teacher looks up how educators are teaching the topic represented and the state standards that would be covered. Then, she moves on to finding books in the collection about the theme, and the sketching of ideas begins. “Erin is a fantastic student and her level of work is outstanding,” Reed said. “She has taken her skills and made these wonderful

and informative displays, which showcase the Curriculum Collection and her art talents.” Porter says she enjoys working in all sorts of media and thinks art draws people’s attention and “is the best way to communicate information to a large number of people.” When not in the library, the future educator is doing her student teaching at a high school in Murfreesboro and, as her time permits, participating in the National Art Education Association MTSU student chapter activities. Her work is displayed on the library’s third floor. Some of the topics have included:  .T.E.A.M.—learning based on science, technology, S engineering, and mathematics, plus art, which drew a lot of patron attention. It featured Caldecott Medal winner David Macaulay’s book Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction and used a black-and-white line drawing of a floor-to-ceiling cathedral to illustrate how teachers could use the structure to teach physics. SCIENCE OF ANIMAL CAMOUFLAGE (pictured above) —a fun presentation in a hide-and-seek format based on the book Where in the Wild: Camouflaged Creatures Concealed . . . and Revealed, by David M. Schwartz. It was made of three, 4-foot circular panels of cut paper and paint which had colorful depictions of biomes with hidden animals drawn or painted on the display. HISTORICAL SCIENTISTS—the most current display, featuring portraits of Marie Currie, George Washington Carver, Gregor Mendel, and others painted on a collage of colored papers with whimsical touches throughout. Currie’s information, for instance, is placed in a puff of smoke coming from a beaker. Several different books on scientists were used in this project.

FALL 2 0 1 6 17

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’s a look at a few recent events. Photos courtesy of James E. Walker Library James E. Walker Library atrium

Pop-Up Show The brilliantly whimsical world of pop-up books was on exhibit in the Special Collections area of the Walker Library in Summer 2016. “Virtuoso: The Art of Robert Sabuda,” was a dazzling display of imagination for all ages. For the past 25 years, Sabuda has created 3D versions of timeless stories that literally spring to life as the reader turns each page. His pop-up renditions of classic tales include The Movable Mother Goose, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In addition, his pop-up stylings of America the Beautiful, The White House: A Pop-up of Our Nation’s Home, and Sea Island Pops Up help put the beauty of the United States into children’s hands. The library decided to focus an exhibit on Sabuda because “he’s both very widely known and probably the very best pop-up book artist in the world,” said Alan Boehm, Special Collections librarian. Sabuda, who calls his work “paper engineering,” has expanded his repertoire into designing pop-up greeting cards and paper-doll houses. He uses materials like Mylar, foil, and string, in addition to paper.



Talents on Display An exhibit of art, called “Environmental Puppets,” was created by students in 2-Dimensional Design, Drawing I, and Drawing II classes for display in the Walker Library. These classes are a part of the Art Department’s Foundations program. The students at this introductory level usually do not have an opportunity to display their work. With this show in the library, they got experience mounting and marketing a show in a large public space.

Black History Cultural Exhibit To celebrate Black History Month 2016, Walker Library partnered with the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs and the Center for Popular Music for displays that show resources from collections all over campus highlighting amazing African-American authors and musicians. Parts of the display from Walker Library’s music collection were interactive and included a QR code. Students could scan the code with their smartphone and instantly listen to a track that was being highlighted in the display cases.

FALL 2 0 1 6 19

Opera Appetizer Students from Stephen Smith’s class held a lunch-time concert in the Walker Library’s atrium to give other students a preview of the Spring 2016 performance of Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land opera in Tucker Theatre. The library has hosted many lunch-time performances to give students a quick chance to see what else is going on all over campus in the near future. Previous performers have included fiddle players, student dancers, a gospel choir, singer-songwriters, throat singers, guitarists, and more.

The Art of Book Jackets Another exhibit in the Special Collections area of the library, “Lightly Worn: The Dust Jacket in Britain, 1920–1960,” highlighted commercial book design from the early 1920s to the late 1950s. Guest curator Kyle Stoneman, a lecturer in the Department of Art, also hosted a gallery talk in April. “All these books used to be very cheap and are now worth hundreds of dollars each,” Stoneman said. The private collection included book covers for the works of distinguished authors such as Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf, and T.S. Eliot. “These were authors who had an interest in visual culture,” Stoneman said. “They were intimately connected with their own aesthetic.” The designs were created by such artists as Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Rex Whistler, and Cecil Beaton. Many were members of the so-called Bloomsbury Group, a loosely knit, influential collection of avant-garde authors and artists who grew up between World War I and II. Stoneman said their works had a modernist, whimsical quality. “In many cases, they haven’t been realized as works of art,” Stoneman said. “Now people are starting to realize how wonderful they are.”

Stocking the Student Food Pantry The Walker Library partnered with a group from Chemistry Professor Judith Iriarte-Gross’ Contemporary Issues class to have a collection drive for the on-campus Student Food Pantry. Eleven boxes of food were collected in a few short days. This was the fourth annual food drive at the Walker Library.



Registering New Voters The Walker Library joined with MTSU’s American Democracy Project chapter to host a table in the atrium for a few hours, leading to 126 True Blue students registering to vote! Students were reminded of deadlines and encouraged to register to vote and participate in the 2016 elections.

Workshops for Grad Students The Walker Library has offered Research and Writing Workshops for graduate students writing theses and dissertations the last few years, in partnership with the College of Graduate Studies and the University Writing Center. Dozens and dozens of students get help at two different sessions, which continue this year.


James E. Walker Library

Library’s Blue Carpet Welcome Walker Library participates in dozens of New Student and Transfer Student Customs sessions during the summers. MTSU hosts 20 orientations held over two days for each group. Introducing them to what will become their second home, the Walker Library, is the job of librarians like Jason Vance, information literacy librarian, and Grover Baker, visual art librarian.


@walkerlibrary FALL 2 0 1 6 21

Awards and Scholarships Walker Library gives monetary awards for student and faculty excellence The library is the intellectual center of the University. Its strength is a reflection of the University’s commitment to education and research. With that commitment to excellence and research, the Walker Library recently awarded one faculty member and three students monetary awards for their work. When you donate to the library, you support our students.

Literacy Curriculum Integration Grant Mary Beth Asbury, assistant professor of Communication Studies and Organizational Communication, was the 2016 recipient of the Walker Library’s new Information Literacy Curriculum Integration Grant. This $2,000 award is given to support MTSU faculty who purposefully integrate library research and information concepts into a course. Asbury, working with assistant professor Sharon Parente, revised her Organizational Communication Analysis (ORCO 3750) course for the Fall 2016 semester. More information on the library’s Information Literacy Curriculum Integration Grant can be found at or by contacting Jason Vance at Dean Bonnie Allen, Mary Beth Asbury



R. Neil Scott Undergraduate Research Award Justin Farr

Megan L. Smith, Dean Bonnie Allen

Two students, Justin Farr (B.A., History, 2016) and Megan L. Smith (B.A., English, 2016) submitted research projects eligible for the R. Neil Scott Undergraduate Research Award. The award recognizes outstanding students’ documented research projects in an undergraduate class. Projects must demonstrate thorough, effective, creative, and ethical uses of research materials. The R. Neil Scott Undergraduate Research Award is named for the late professor and User Services librarian who was the Walker Library’s primary research coach, helping students conceptualize and develop research projects. Rupert Neil Scott was born in Montgomery, Alabama, and grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. He earned a B.A. in English from the University of South Florida, an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Florida State University, and an M.B.A. from Stetson University. Scott came to Walker Library in 2004 with an extensive background in administration and management. He was responsible for heading up the library’s circulation operation and later provided individualized reference assistance to students. For more than seven years, Scott was known to his colleagues at the MTSU Library as a superb reference librarian, an effective supervisor, and a kind and gentle soul. A recognized Flannery O’Connor scholar and an active author, he was a generous mentor of younger faculty. Scott honored the research process and worked effectively with students to enhance their understanding and use of library resources in research projects.

David G. Robinson Student Award Stephanie Ellis (B.A., English, 2016) was presented with the David G. Robinson Student Award. The award is named for the former Systems librarian who was instrumental in establishing the Walker Library’s technological presence. From humble beginnings in a makeshift office in the former Todd Library building, Robinson helped lead the growth of library technology from an early catalog system and a handful of computers to an integrated library system, over 500 desktops, 100 laptops, and an active library presence on the web and in social media. David Glen Robinson was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and earned degrees from the University of Mississippi and the University of Alabama. Robinson made significant contributions to the MTSU library during his 25 years of service. He was beloved by his colleagues, respected for his expertise, and recognized for his patience and wit. Robinson particularly valued the students who worked for him whom he fondly referred to as “student flunkies.” He knew the Library was indebted to these key employees who balance school, work, and social dimensions to contribute to the library’s role in student education.

Stephanie Ellis, Neal McClain

To give, visit

FALL 2 0 1 6 23

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit 169 Murfreesboro, TN

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


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 1 million paper volumes, a Makerspace, 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.

JEWL Fall 2016 Vol. 4, No. 1  

Space to Create: Walker Library's new Makerspace unlocks creative potential for all MTSU students