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The Magazine of James E. Walker Library Fall 2015 | Vol. 3, No. 1

Artists in Residence

Walker Library’s recent wave of student design workers consists of a handful of wildly talented artists

JEWL The Magazine of James E. Walker Library

Middle Tennessee State University Fall 2015 | Volume 3, No. 1 DEAN Bonnie Allen EXTERNAL RELATIONS Kristen Keene UNIVERSITY EDITOR Drew Ruble DESIGNER Micah Loyed DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE AND VISUAL SERVICES Kara Hooper UNIVERSITY PHOTOGRAPHERS Andy Heidt, J. Intintoli CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Darby Campbell, Bill Fisher CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kristen Keene, Gina K. Logue, Vicky Travis UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT Sidney A. McPhee UNIVERSITY PROVOST Brad Bartel VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Andrew Oppmann 1,000 copies, printed at Lithographics, Nashville, Tenn. Designed by Creative and Visual Services

0815-2026 – 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 against any other legally protected class with respect to all employment, programs, and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries related to nondiscrimination policies for MTSU: Assistant to the President for Institutional Equity and Compliance. For additional information about these policies and the procedures for resolution, please contact Marian V. Wilson, assistant to the president and Title IX Coordinator, Institutional Equity and Compliance, Middle Tennessee State University, Cope Administration Building 116, 1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132;; or call (615) 898-2185. MTSU’s policy on nondiscrimination can be found at http://


About the Cover Current JEWL student worker Sarah Growden illustrated the cover of this edition of JEWL Magazine. The senior graphic design major in the College of Liberal Arts won three Addys at the 2015 Nashville Student Addy awards. She also studied printmaking in Peru in 2014. According to her website, Growden currently spends most of her free time kissing her puppies and making sandals. Read more about her on page 13.

7 4 6 10 14 18 22

Southern Places

JEWL’s digital collection brings Southern History to the public

Where Credit is Due

The value of libraries in helping students learn how to learn too often gets taken for granted

In Her Own Words

Bonnie Allen, Dean of Walker Library, discusses the role of the modern university library in student success

Artists in Residence

Walker Library’s student workers have included a handful of wildly talented artists

Dynamic Duo

Two JEWL librarians well represent the many motivated and skillful Walker Library staffers enhancing the student experience


News and notes from inside Walker Library

Fostering Student Success

By donating to the Library, you support every student on campus

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The value of libraries in helping students learn how to learn too often gets taken for granted from staff reports


he Master Plan survey given to MTSU students in spring 2015 identified Walker Library as the first choice of students for study and collaborative work. The Library sees the equivalent of the entire student body every three or four days, with an additional 1.1 million uses of the website. Last year alone, the Library instruction program taught 326 classes to better prepare students for college-level research and use of information. The Library continues to make MTSU scholarship more visible through its Digital Initiatives (see the related article on the Southern Places collection on page 7). In the year since the launch of JEWLScholar, the Library’s institutional repository, more than 4,300 articles and reports, including all MTSU dissertations, have been collected. The Library has continued to expand its access to collections with the addition of more than 2.5 million streaming audio tracks and 3,000 streaming videos. Walker Library also just opened a listening room for its 3,500 vinyl albums.

A National Shift in Dialogue Despite those kinds of numbers and credentials, university libraries like Walker Library are often overlooked for the primary role they serve in helping students learn how to learn, and also as crucial ingredients for student success in terms of retention and graduation. However, professionals in the field are quite aware of the important role of university libraries. A January 2015 report by the Association of College and Research Libraries, Academic Library Contributions to Student Success: Documented Practices from the Field, found that “academic librarians are increasingly participating in the national dialogue about higher education effectiveness and quality. They are contributing to higher education assessment work by

creating approaches, strategies, and practices that document the value of academic libraries to advancing the goals and missions of their institutions. By demonstrating the variety of ways that libraries contribute to student learning and success, academic librarians are establishing connections between different aspects of the library (e.g., instruction, reference, space and facilities, and collections) and numerous academic success factors (e.g., student retention, The Library persistence, GPA, sees the engagement, graduation, and career preparedness).” equivalent

of the entire More than 70 highereducation institutions student body across North America every three completed team-based or four days, assessment projects for that study, which details with over 1.1 the important relationships million uses between libraries and of the website. student learning and success. A few examples of the project findings include the following: • library instruction builds research confidence; • library instruction contributes to retention and persistence, particularly for students in first-year experience courses and programs; • students who receive library instruction get higher grades and demonstrate better information literacy competencies than students who don’t receive course-related library instruction; • a library’s research and study space fosters social and academic solidarity among students; • library instructional games engage students, enhance information literacy skills, and increase positive attitudes toward the library and its staff; • the library’s use of social media promotes awareness of the library and builds an academic community among students; • multiple library instruction sessions or activities in connection with a course are more effective than once-only instruction sessions; and • collaborative instructional activities and services between the library and other campus units (e.g., a writing center or study skills and tutoring services) promote student learning and success.

Entrance of James E. Walker Library photo by James Brummett (see page 12)

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IN HER OWN WORDS JEWL Magazine recently met with Bonnie Allen, Dean of Walker Library, to discuss the role of the modern university library in student success. What are your thoughts on the evolution of the modern library in our information age? Historically, access to information was synonymous with having information on the shelf. As publishing expanded and paper indices grew, access took on the additional meaning of learning how to get to information. Anyone over the age of 20 has some memory of long rows of Readers’ Guide in the reference collections and working with a librarian to master the art of research using such resources. Libraries began teaching the use of indices, which allowed students to get to the information using a developed and systematic process. Just as libraries adapted their services to the needs and circumstances of the past, today’s libraries have continued their educational mission to provide access to information regardless of form. Today, for many, this is the technology that enables access, the know-how, and the information itself. The phrase “digital divide” refers to those who do not have the financial or technical resources to access the Internet. Libraries, providing access to whole communities, bridged this divide. What are your thoughts on the modern library’s role in connecting us? Equitable access to the technologies demanded by modern society has often been through libraries. Today, we live in an information age with occupations in the knowledge industry. The importance of information access and effective use is key to a successful work life and personal life. In this new landscape, libraries are not dead. Far from it. In the late 1990s, with the leap to the Internet, the death of libraries was pronounced. The Internet was seen as the source of anything anyone wanted to know. Instead, libraries quickly changed with the advances of the Web, embracing electronic collections and reinventing services, as well as instructional programs, making effective use of emerging, Internet-based technologies.


Remarkably, it has only been 20 years between Readers’ Guide on long reference tables in libraries and Internet access built into your watch or a pair of glasses. As devices evolved in sophistication and availability, we saw expansive growth in the amount of information and the ease with which anyone adds information to the Web. We have moved rapidly from amazement at the access to the frustration of sifting through a lot of stuff. Through this time, libraries changed and continued to assist us through the change. Instruction in the effective use of information is key to continued growth and success of our graduates. Talk about JEWL’s role in connecting the University to information and teaching students how to seek and evaluate information as they learn. In part, we teach our students the technology but, most importantly, we try to help them develop critical thinking as they pursue their research, analyze, and use the information. Walker Library’s instructional program is guided by national standards for information literacy and research in effective instructional practices. Also, the Library faculty researches and publishes the results of their successes and experimentation. We change our methods and our emphases as technology and the demands of 21st century workplace dictate. A look at the Walker Library website under “help” provides a sample of the range of methods and ways we assist our students. There is a variety of group and individual, face-to-face, and remote methods of getting help: reference service, one-on-one research appointments with a librarian, classes for the freshmen to acquaint them with college-level research skills, and introduction of the resources available to them. We partner with faculty members to provide subject-specific guidance to support students in their research. We have phone, email, chat services, and online guides in every subject to help students. We take our work seriously and recognize the importance of learning how to learn. We assess our effectiveness in preparing students through surveys, focus groups, and data collection of grade changes. National research on student-toemployee transitions is closely followed, so we continuously improve our programs. What do you see as the library’s role in preparing students to think for themselves? For our highly information-intensive and technologydependent society, the library plays a critical role in preparing students to find and effectively use information not only for their work but also for their lives. Most specifically, librarians instruct students in the types of information available, the critical questions to ask to evaluate the bias and authority of information found, and then to synthesize and apply information to their understanding of a topic. Students apply this method in writing their term papers in college and take that skill to the workplace. The learning-how-to-learn process promotes a lifetime of professional and personal growth. Thanks, Dean Allen.



Hackney Chapel built in 1899 by the African American community of Unitia.

Collaboration between the Center for Historic Preservation and James E. Walker Library makes Southern History available to the public Written by Gina K. Logue Photos by Carroll Van West, courtesy of the Center for Historic Preservation.


‌inston Churchill once said, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” But people who never intended to make or write history are also a part of history, and the Southern Places digital collection in James E. Walker Library makes that clear. The ever-growing project, truly a work in progress, contains approximately 2,500 photos, audio clips, texts, and other artifacts that are accessible online. (See, and click on Southern Places.)

Places Dr. Carroll Van West, director of the Center for Historic Preservation (CHP) at MTSU (and Tennessee’s state historian), said he wanted the collection to be public. “It [pulls from] 30 years of historical materials gained by the Center for Historic Preservation from its intense, direct involvement with Southerners and their communities,” said West. “Then, by way of the Internet and the Library’s digital humanities program, this invaluable material becomes available to everyone, scholars and communities alike, for further dialogue about the meaning and significance of Southern history and culture.” The collection includes multimedia on churches, cemeteries, farms, houses, railroad stations, schools, and even the old analog equipment at WSM’s radio transmitter in Nashville. Yet, because these structures are part of routine existence, they sometimes don’t carry historical weight with the people who are closest to them. (continued on page 8)

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SOUTHERN PLACES (continued from page 7)

know a couple of people, they’ll kind of introduce you around and you kind of build this network of people.” Another facet of Southern Places is the documentation of Rosenwald Schools, built for African-American education in the early 20th century by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald in partnership with Booker T. Washington. The Rosenwald Schools show how local history can illuminate national history.

Class photo fr in 1912. Hist om a Unitia School in oric photo

courtesy of

Many of these buildings, which were built as a response to the underfunding of black public education under Jim Crow laws, have since been turned into community centers. The program established an independent office in Nashville, and historically black Fisk University houses an information database about the schools.

front of Hac kn

the Center

for Historic

ey Chapel

Preservatio n.

The Library’s digital collection is changing that. “Just giving a place for these photographs and documents becomes a point of pride for these communities,” said Brad Miller, a master’s candidate in the Public History concentration who has been working on Southern Places. “A lot of times . . . they don’t see it as history. They just see it as their lives.” Abby Gautreau, a postdoctoral research fellow with the CHP, has been expanding the reach of the Southern Places collection by documenting historic places in Selma, Ala., covering the period from 1865 to 1972. Her goal is a submission to the National Register of Historic Places, but she said that her work encompasses much more than that. “The National Register is a fairly specific document, and . . . there’s a lot of material that we collect that’s not necessarily doing to fit into a nomination . . . but is still useful for people and should be documented,” Gautreau said. Acquiring relevant materials is not as simple as some might think. Developing personal relationships is essential to getting information from residents in areas where historical artifacts have often been claimed by those with personal agendas. “Having worked with the civil rights community in Selma, there’s a great deal of concern and mistrust about outside scholars who come in and interview people, talk to people, document things, and then take that information and leave and go use it for their own gain,” said Gautreau. “But once you kind of get to


“People contacted others to come and talk with us,” said Susan Knowles, digital humanities research fellow with the CHP. “Several people brought in things that are not in any archives anywhere.” Fisk isn’t the only source helping the investigations behind Southern Places. MTSU’s Albert Gore Research Center and off-campus resources are also consulted as part of the historians’ work. “In Tennessee, we have a really well-established county archive system that the Tennessee State Library and Archives oversees, and a fair number of those people are volunteers,” Knowles said. It all comes together at the epicenter of the project: James E. Walker Library. “I’m not sure that other institutions could pull this off as well as we have here at MTSU,” said Ken Middleton, digital initiatives librarian at Walker Library. Technology is key. MTSU uses ArcGIS computer software that helps create digital museum panels alongside maps and locations to explain items on the website. Walker Library helps students build digital collections but also provides the technical infrastructure and ensures the preservation of such work. “The use of GIS [Global Information Systems] is starting to become more widespread with the Library in the lead,” said Knowles. “Now you can do


a National Register nomination completely electronically, which you couldn’t do five years ago. Five years ago, you still had to print out 5x7” black-and-white photographs and attach them.” “Digital history is the direction that it’s going,” Gautreau said. “More and more positions, whether they’re inside the academy or not, are looking for people who have digital history skills.” MTSU’s program is particularly unique because there are so many organizations and centers on campus that are able to connect to real-world initiatives and programs. To make sure that Southern Places truly is southern, Georgia, Mississippi, and Kentucky are also represented in the collection, with other states to be included as the project grows. “It’s kind of rare to make these things public and for the public to see historic photographs . . . of buildings, some of which are no longer there,” said Knowles.

The Digital F


Walker Libra ry has rows an d rows of boo ks on shelve s, but they onl y make up ab out half its entire collection— the other ha lf is accessed through a ke yboard or a smartphone . Beyond its o wn materials , the Library partnered w has ith other acad emic units (li CHP) to mak ke the e some of th e University’s intellectual ho p riceless ldings availa ble electroni cally. Walker Libra ry has becom e a hub for hu research. Muc manities h more than a warehouse the Library is for books, an online po rtal to a world of informatio n.

Cleburne Jersey Farm

Bronze statues of the Clinton twelve by sculptor William Duffy.

est. 1872.

lden Statue in Go , ry te e m e C Hill orate the first corp d by e n w o ss e n busi cans ri e m A African . e ill sv rk la in C

Visit and search “Southern Places” for more on this collection. FALL 2 0 1 5 9

Artists in Residence Walker Library’s student workers include a handful of wildly talented artists by Kristen Keene (‘01) Walker Library hires more than 200 student workers every year. That is the equivalent of roughly 25 fulltime staff members. Simply put, Walker Library may never be able to hire 25 more staff, and it couldn’t operate without student workers. Student workers arrive first thing in the morning to help open up. They are there at 2 a.m. to help close

John Edmonson, (above in cap and gown), from Clarksville, worked in the Library from August 2012 to May 2013. He graduated with a B.F.A. in Art (Graphic Design) in 2013. He worked as a Web developer for a company in Murfreesboro and recently moved to Portland, Oregon, with his new bride, fellow alum Melissa Grabiel, to start a new job. In Walker Library, Edmonson was the first student designer to help boost the brand and image of the Library, which helped him develop a portfolio of work. He improved the design of the Library’s Stall Wall News (a weekly informational flyer that is posted in the stalls of Library restrooms). Edmonson also created new orientation signage that the Library still uses. Edmonson helped “hip up” the Library a little, enabling it to communicate better with students in a visual language that made more sense to them.


down. They help by staffing the desks and checking out books. They are the workhorses shelving books and guiding fellow students. 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, work in the Writing Center, and help students in countless other ways. The student workers profiled below also lend their creativity to produce the photography, marketing, and design that has elevated the visual and cultural appeal of the Library in recent years.


Charles Riley Jones, from Chattanooga, worked in the Library from May 2014 to May 2015. He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Media and Entertainment. He recently moved with his wife, Ginnie, to St. Louis, where she began seminary and he is freelancing in graphic and Web design. Jones designed the zombie party art that the Library used during its Week of Welcome celebration at the start of the fall 2014 semester. That art was also used on the cover of the fall 2014 edition of JEWL Magazine (pictured above). At MTSU, Jones completed a design internship at Just Love Coffee Roasters and was a social media intern for the Murfreesboro Center for the Arts. An avid volunteer for disaster and humanitarian relief and causes for children, his hobbies include “playing music and drinking coffee.” Regarding his time at the Library, Jones said, “It was a great experience. While there, I was able to grow and sharpen my graphic design skills, get experience working in an office environment, and have fun designing projects for the Library that directly helped students. And the staff makes it a great place to work.”

(continued on page 12)

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ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE (continued from page 11)



Digital Repository




Center for Historic Preservation Faculty Research

Undergraduate Research






Graduate Research


Albert Gore Research Center MTSU Publications ImagesJournals

James E Walker Library JEWLScholar@MTSU Thesis

Farms of Cannon County

Scholar’s Week



Scholarly Material

Shades of Gray and Blue


History Design

Journal Hosting




Center for Popular Music Scholarship CONTENTdm Open Journal Systems Stones River Battle Field Historic Landscape


James Brummett has worked in the Library from May 2014 to the present. He will graduate in December 2015 (Magna Cum Laude) with a Bachelor of Science in Media and Entertainment. He was awarded the Outstanding Senior in New Media prize in spring 2015. His images have appeared in the last two issues of Collage: A Journal of Creative Expression, the literary and arts publication produced semiannually by the University Honors College. He also had an image featured in the national publication Photographer in a forum called “Best of College and High School.” Currently the media officer for the Photo Society at MTSU, he has also had work shown in First Look, an exhibition of student work geared toward industry professionals in electronic media communications, and he produced a gallery show in the McFarland Building Student Gallery in spring 2015. Brummett assisted Harold Baldwin, former MTSU professor, in assembling a photography book of Baldwin’s documentation of the Grand Ole Opry relocation from the Ryman Auditorium to the Opry Mills complex, and he filmed Walker Library orientation videos for 2014 and 2015 Week of Welcome events. He plans to move to Portland, Oregon, in 2016 to pursue professional opportunities.


Sarah Growden, a senior studying Graphic Design, has worked in the Library from May 2015 to the present. She plans to graduate in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Art. She won three 2015 Nashville Student Addy awards for her “No One Likes a Prickly Lady” poster series (pictured here), winning gold, the Judge’s Choice award, and the Rising Star Scholarship. In summer 2014, she studied printmaking in Peru and currently interns at Isle of Printing in Nashville. She was awarded the Ken Shipp Scholarship to attend MTSU. (Coach Shipp, a 1947 graduate and former professional football coach, established the scholarship to benefit eligible high school students from Rutherford County.) Growden said she wants to be a “graphic design queen,” travel the world, and have a really cute dog. Find out more about Sarah at FALL 2 0 1 5 13



MIC DUO by Vicky Travis

Two JEWL librarians—Karen Dearing and Ashley Shealy—well represent the many motivated and skillful Walker Library staffers enhancing the student experience

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‌ith 250,000 square feet and four floors, Walker Library can be a bit intimidating. That, mixed with hesitation about asking questions, can stop a new student in his or her tracks.

“A search might pull up 3,500 results, and students may only look at the first three,” said Shealy. “But the perfect source might be number 26.”

That’s where librarians step in.

Dearing and Shealy try to teach patience and perseverance.

“How they get help is to walk in the door,” said Bonnie Allen, Walker Library Dean. She often tells parents worried that their children might fall prey to this state of paralysis, “We’ll take it from there.” Strapping college freshmen in for a successful academic ride is a passion for MTSU librarians Karen Dearing and Ashley Shealy. “We want them to do well, to succeed,” said Dearing. “Along with all the changes going on freshman year, it’s so vital that they form a skill set to carry with them for rest of their college careers.”

“This is a learned skill,” said Shealy. “We’ve heard so many students start by saying, ‘I know this is a stupid question, but . . .’ And I stop them right there and tell them, ‘There are no stupid questions, only ones that are not asked. What’s your question?’”

. . . teaching new students how to discover depth and understanding of subject matter beyond a Google search. . .

About 14 librarians, including Dearing and Shealy, teach freshmen information literacy as part of English 1020 (Research and Argumentative Writing) or Communications 2200 (Fundamentals of Communication). That’s 175 classes each fall, teaching new students how to discover depth and understanding of subject matter beyond a Google search—and how to think critically about information.

Dearing and Shealy also keep in mind that no one is born knowing how to find a peerreviewed article.

“With a typical incoming freshman class of 3,500 students, we reach at least two-thirds of them,” said Allen.

“College is the perfect time to practice how to find something, evaluate it, and ask for help,” Shealy said.

The classes give librarians a precious opportunity to impart more sophisticated research concepts and also to show students that the Library is accessible and friendly. (The Starbucks just inside the front door doesn’t hurt.)

Shealy and Dearing practice what they preach regarding finding, researching, evaluating, and learning about new tools. There’s no better example of that than when a little nugget in a library science professional journal about the topic of experimental online teaching modules caught Dearing’s eye last year. Sensing the initiative could pay huge dividends for tech-savvy college students, she started thinking about steps that could be taken to bring a similar project to MTSU.

“Students find libraries to be a very neutral place,” said Allen. “We’re Switzerland. There are no grades here. We’re here to help them be successful.” James E. Walker Library user-services librarians answered 16,000 directional, technical, and reference questions in person between July 2014 and June 2015. That doesn’t include thousands of instant messages or email questions. Dearing, who has been at MTSU for four years, noticed trends in those questions and in the questions that emerged in the classes she taught. For example, she found that students sometimes lose patience because they live in an age of immediacy in which Web searches take them from one piece of information to the next without focus. “It blows up like a mushroom cloud, and sometimes they’re left standing covered in the dust wondering what just happened,” said Dearing.


When Shealy joined the Library staff in October 2014, Dearing asked her to collaborate on the development of online teaching modules. Shealy was immediately on board. The two proposed the project to Dean Allen in spring 2015. Allen approved it, recognizing it as something that held great potential to directly support student success. In concert with an outside company, the modules have been created and embedded in the online course shells of a handful of Communication classes this fall, who can use it for assignments or as supplemental material.


Karen Dearing (left) and Ashley Shealy (right) photo by J. Intintoli

The module includes more than 70 videos, tutorials, and interactive lessons that teach research concepts, source evaluation, citations, ethical and social issues of information, and more. After viewing them, students answer questions that show them immediately whether they understand the concepts or not. Professors can then view the results to see what stuck and what didn’t, or perhaps what needs more explanation. One of the most exciting aspects of the project is that its content can be customized to be specific to MTSU. The initial rollout was limited to 500 students. However, after testing and tweaking, the online

module could potentially be made available to all students for use on the Library’s website. “Ashley and Karen have experience and the passion to dig in,” said Allen. “We can learn how students learn. It’s about a methodology.” Whether helping students adjust to college life, helping them learn to research and study at a college level, or cultivating tech-savvy approaches to work in the Library, Shealy and Dearing are just two of the motivated, skillful Walker Library staffers making a difference at the epicenter of the MTSU academic experience.

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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. Unattributed photos courtesy of James E. Walker Library.

James E. Walker Library photo by Andy Heidt

Canine Therapy Leah Chism, a sophomore from Murfreesboro, gave students who were working long hours in Walker Library a break from midterm and final exam stress last fall. She brought Canyon, her two-year-old, purebred Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, to the Library. Canyon is certified as a therapy dog trained by New Jersey–based Therapy Dogs International. Calm and loving around all kinds of people, he was a big hit with students, many of whom had to leave their pets at home when they enrolled in college. Canyon made such an impression on students and faculty that he was invited back for the spring 2015 semester to help alleviate midterm and finals stress, and even more students took a moment to pet this calm and friendly dog. 1 8 JEWL M A GA Z I N E


Dance amid the Stacks Hundreds of students peered over the balconies of the Library’s four-story atrium to see a dance performance of Loie Fuller’s La Me this past spring. Staged by dance historian/reconstructionist Jessica Lindberg, the piece was brought to life with support from the Distinguished Lecture Committee. Students from the Women in Dance course performed the full piece March 26–28 in Tucker Theatre as part of the Theatre and Dance Department’s spring concert.

Quoth the descendants, ‘Evermore’ Authors Harry Lee Poe and George Poe gave a well-attended and fascinating gallery talk about their ancestor, Edgar Allen Poe, in Walker Library Special Collections in April 2015. Students and faculty were enthralled to hear stories of the life of one of America’s earliest purveyors of the short story. On display were items from the two men’s personal collections. The lecture was part of the Honors College SymPOEsium on Place, which included dozens of lectures, panels, and displays across campus. Author Harry Lee Poe and selections from his family’s Poe collection

Supporting Vet Success In celebration of Veterans Day 2014, the Library partnered with BRAVO (the Blue Raider American Veterans Organization), a student group for veterans in and out of the military that offers networking, organizes social and service events, provides veteran-specific services, and advocates on behalf of student veterans. The partnership culminated in a display showcasing military history at MTSU since its beginnings. It also showcased student-veteran organization BRAVO’s many campus activities.

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Good Exchange Hundreds of students gathered in Walker Library’s atrium last fall to see Tianyi Wei, an MTSU exchange student studying Actuarial Sciences, perform a short concert on the guzheng (pronounced “go jin”), a traditional Chinese instrument. Wei started learning the instrument at age 6 and has been performing ever since. She said she enjoys playing for the peace and tranquility it brings to her and to others. The guzheng, a zither-like instrument, has 18 or more strings and movable bridges. The picks used by guzheng performers are called “DaiMao” and are often made out of the shells of hawksbill turtles.

Celebrating Women Walker Library hosted the kickoff to Women’s History Month, sponsored by the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students. The event, which took place in the Library atrium, included a student spoken-word event, a poster display of some of poet Maya Angelou’s most famous works, a jazz performance, and a performance by the MTSU Gospel Choir. The event was one of many celebrating Women’s History Month across campus, including a keynote lecture in the Student Union Building by journalist Lisa Ling. Santeia Taylor speaks at JEWL’s National Women’s History Month event

Spotlight on Scholars Each year, the Library partners with the Scholars Week Committee to display the work of first-place Scholars Week research poster winners. The week is a celebration highlighting the research, scholarship, and collaboration of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. The Library’s participation allows the work of MTSU’s best student-scholars to be seen by the campus community. Research this year ranged from College of Basic and Applied Science students who studied the effects of traditional Chinese herbal extracts on breast cancer cells to videos and short films about animation made by students in the College of Media and Entertainment.



Not Fiddling Around Acclaimed musician Matt Brown performed a short concert in the Walker atrium for hundreds of students on Thursday, April 9, 2015. In partnership with Center for Popular Music director Greg Reish, Brown was at MTSU to host an old-time fiddle workshop and open jam session.

Back to the Future Walker Library once again hosted a Week of Welcome event at the start of the fall semester. The second annual Library Party was ’80s-themed and featured a dance party, a retro arcade with ’80s video games, a buffet, a photo booth stocked with ’80s props, and other period-related games and activities. This year, 428 students attended. The purpose of Week of Welcome events campus-wide is to offer students a chance to get to know the campus and each other. An underlying purpose of the annual Library party is to introduce students to the Library and find some friends along the way. At Walker’s first such party for incoming freshmen last fall (a zombiethemed extravaganza), over 500 attended, making it the most attended Week of Welcome event on campus.

Worldwide Update The Library’s website has been updated, and its most popular resources and services are now much easier to find. The Library has continued to improve its search tools, especially with JEWL Search, a central reference for books, articles, media, and more. The Library’s Web presence and recent changes to the classic catalog make browsing and searching the Library’s’s physical collection even easier. See it all at


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Fostering Student Success By donating to the Library, you support every student on campus by Bonnie Allen, Dean


ames E. Walker Library opened in 1999, coincidental with the emergence and widespread use of the Internet, which brought about a sea change in the way students obtain information. Understandably, library services and collections have been redefined by the use of technology since then. Walker Library has always responded quickly and effectively to the challenge of change while remaining focused on supporting students as they work to complete their education. Today, Walker Library is the learning hub of the campus. Students and faculty make more than one million visits to the Library each year, either to do research, study with other students, complete assignments, or get expert assistance from a librarian. However, use of the Library’s collections is no longer confined to the building. Walker’s online catalog and its electronic collections can now be accessed digitally from wherever and whenever needed. When you combine the foot traffic at the Library with this open, virtual access to its electronic library, you begin to understand the Library’s continued relevance and importance in ensuring a quality academic experience. As students advance in their studies, their needs for collections and services change. Undergraduates make use of our reference and research coaching services to support their learning and to use computers, specialty software, equipment, and study rooms for collaborative work. Faculty and graduate students require comprehensive collections for their research and quiet spaces for solitary work. The bottom line? Donor support is vital if Walker Library is to meet the ongoing needs of MTSU.

Middle Tennessee State University campus photo illustration by J. Intintoli


Strategic Priorities At press time, MTSU is in the final stages of its ambitious Centennial Campaign, the largest fundraising effort in the history of the University. Walker Library has several initiatives as part of that campaign that still need your support, even after the official campaign concludes.

Innovation: The creation of a digital scholarship laboratory as a shared resource for campus archives and Walker Library. The development of the Digital Scholarship Laboratory at Walker Library is the result of a collaboration between the Library and various campus archives: the Center for Popular Music, the Gore Research Center, and the Center for Historic Preservation. The Digital Scholarship Lab brings together needed technology and expertise so that MTSU’s most valuable collections can be digitized and made available to researchers through the Library’s digital collections portal. Graduate students conduct their research and publish using a variety of technological methods. The resources of the Digital Scholarship Lab enable these scholars to integrate video, images, and sound recordings into their research and create a dynamic data environment to illustrate change under different conditions. The lab also serves as a place for crossdisciplinary work between graduate students and faculty to learn new techniques and disseminate their research.

Collections: The development of a comprehensive research collection for current and proposed graduate programs. MTSU has an ambitious academic agenda, which includes expanding its graduate studies offerings. Funding will enable the Library to rapidly expand its research collections to keep up with academic development. Maintaining a strong collection that supports the advanced researcher as well as the incoming freshman requires not only funds to purchase the content but also the technology


James E. Walker Library photo by James Brummett (see page 12)

to organize and manage electronic databases, journals, and books. The advantage of an increasingly electronic and media-rich collection is the ready access and timesaving search features available to researchers.

Students: The development and support of a learning enrichment program for the undergraduate experience. The undergraduate student experience is one of expanding horizons and exposure to new ideas. Walker Library has developed a series of experiential learning opportunities that enrich that experience. For lecture series and displays, more funding would support travel and honorarium costs for visiting lecturers and shipping costs for traveling exhibits that would engage students in new topics and allow them to learn from national and international experts. Walker Library has been successful in presenting lecture series such as the Science and Spirituality Forum. Traveling exhibits support classroom instruction and present resources from beyond the University to expand learning opportunities.

Funding for paid internships for undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of graphic design, marketing, Web development, and technology applications provide students with rĂŠsumĂŠ-quality work experience in their areas of study while supporting Library operations. An annual goal of $1,000 is the minimum to award $500 prizes to one outstanding undergraduate and one outstanding graduate student each year.

Staff: Maintain a knowledgeable and trained workforce. Changes in the use of technology and developments in instructional best practices, learning styles, and library services require an engaged workforce to sustain a contemporary library. Ongoing training for faculty and staff can ensure that MTSU will maintain excellence in its academic support. Investment in Library faculty and staff also helps provide development opportunities in the form of research projects, skill advancement, and professional growth. Thank you for your recognition of the Library’s crucial role in student success and the vitality of our academic community. To support Walker Library, visit

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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 E. students the incorporation of technologically-rich spaces, an James Walker through Library delivers exceptional services in an environmentstudy that inspires learning andwriting interaction, bridging intellectual and social of our university. interactive center, morethe than one million paperaspects volumes, and 200 carefully selected databases for online research. 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) foror more information. Visit to make your898-5376 online gift, contact Kristen Keene at or (615) 898-5376 for more information.

JEWL Fall 2015 Vol. 3, No. 1  

Inside: A look at some of Walker's library's multitalented student worker/artists, two librarians blazing a trail in digital education, and...

JEWL Fall 2015 Vol. 3, No. 1  

Inside: A look at some of Walker's library's multitalented student worker/artists, two librarians blazing a trail in digital education, and...