News from the Director: Daniel M. Soref Learning Commons Opens Doors to New Era of Student Success
We all acknowledge that these are challenging times for our university. We are asking ourselves, "How do we support our student and faculty needs during times of constraint?"
While we certainly have challenges, we also have had great successes and we need to celebrate those while not disregarding the difficulties. Let me first highlight our newest achievement, described thus by one of our students:
"The library improvements are absolutely fantastic. It's quite clear the designs were made with students/faculty in mind. I am now even more proud to be a student at UWM. Thank you!"
For two years, during the planning and construction of the new Daniel M. Soref Learning Commons in the first floor west wing of the library, we have been predicting an amazing transformation.
Now that the project has been completed, the prediction has proved true. Thanks to the generosity of the Daniel M. Soref Charitable Trust, students at UWM now have a stunningly beautiful and expansive learning space in support of their quest for academic success.
Designed by The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc., the open and flexible area provides a wide variety of group study and collaborative project spaces, comfortable seating, 200 computers, two classrooms for library instruction, and an expanded coffee shop.
The new main desk provides Circulation and Interlibrary Loan service points, and staffing by UITS employees offering technical assistance to computer users.
Another new and exciting feature is the Campus Connection arch, where campus partners who focus on student success-including the First Year Center and PASS (Panther Access to Student Services, previously TARC) -will provide support.
PASS will also expand its tutoring services to the first floor east wing (in addition to its area in the lower level of the library). The Writing Center's satellite will continue to be in a very visible location in the east wing.
Other peripheral changes include the creation of a silent study area in the former campus computer lab (now integrated with the Learning Commons) on the second floor east, in response to many requests.
The Learning Commons will be a very busy and engaging space, with activities and teaching planned throughout the semester. In order to coordinate these activities as well as facilitate collaboration with our partners, Molly Mathias has been appointed as the Daniel M. Soref Learning Commons Coordinator.
Molly has worked as reference librarian and instruction coordinator in our Research and Instruction Support (RIS) Dept. for the last five years, and brings a wealth of knowledge about our campus to the position.
The project's success is due to a great many people. From the Libraries, Jim Lowrey, Lisa Weikel, Kim Silbersack, and Dick Schwartz were involved in almost every aspect of the planning and implementation. Without their diligence and creativity, this project would not have been possible.
I want to thank the UWM administration for their support, including Chancellor Santiago and Provost and Vice-Chancellor Rita Cheng, who provided an early challenge grant.
I also want to acknowledge the project architects, Mike Garber and Josh Wadzinski, for their wonderful design, and Titan Building, for making that design concrete.
Claude Schuttey and Chris Gluesing, from UWM's Office of Architects and Planning, and John Jensen, Project Manager, Division of State Facilities (DSF), Wis. Dept. of Administration, were immensely helpful as they guided the project to completion.
In addition to the gift from the Daniel M. Soref Charitable Trust and state funding, generous contributions came from the Friends of the Golda Meir Library Renovation Task Force and the entire Friends Board.
And I want to thank the Libraries staff and the university as a whole for their patience and understanding during the renovation.
A comprehensive article on the new commons is available at http://www4.uwm.edu/news/features/details.cfm?customel_datapageid_11602=1538025
And now to acknowledge the realities of the economic impact of ongoing inflation on our resources. As many of you are aware, we are cancelling journals. This is an unfortunate and nearly universal problem facing universities.
We have provided our campus and community with an outstanding learning environment but the challenge that now faces us is providing access to resources. In spite of the fact that we are cancelling print titles, we are taking advantage of electronic access and supporting new areas of research.
Again, there are some bright lights due to special funding opportunities. We have been able to add health and nursing related titles thanks to support from the campus Sloan Grant. And we are about to announce access to two thousand new journals across a wide array of disciplines; this increased online access is due largely to support from student technology fees.
Also thanks to Department of Public Instruction for expanding access to many vital databases [see article in this newsletter, "Access to Electronic Resources Expanded"].
The Friends of the Golda Meir Library have committed $90,000 over three years to provide access to digital resources. And we continue to collaborate with all UW System Libraries on shared electronic databases.
Please be assured that we understand the impact of the cancellations and that we are working hard to provide alternate access.
If you have not yet seen the new Learning Commons, I invite you to stop over, and I welcome your comments and suggestions.
Korean National Treasure Identified in AGS Library
In 1895 the American Geographical Society (AGS) of New York purchased several maps, an atlas, and forty-three photographs of Korea from the father of American diplomat George C. Foulk. For more than one hundred years, the significance of these materials went largely unrecognized.
In December 2008, researchers from the Korean Consulate in Chicago visited the UWM Libraries' AGS Library, accompanied by UWM School of Information Studies faculty member Wooseob Jeong. The researchers quickly recognized that one of the maps from Foulk's collection was the Daedong yeojido, or Territorial map of the Great East-a map designated a National Treasure in Korea.
Inspired by the researchers' enthusiasm over this map, AGS Library staff set out to learn more about the significance of the Foulk materials.
The Daedong yeojido was produced in 1861 by the great Korean geographer Kim Jeong-ho. The map, at a scale of about 1:162,000, is a wood block print that includes two inset maps of Seoul, texts and diagrams. It is a single map on twenty-two folded sheets and when displayed open, measures nearly thirteen feet wide and twenty feet in length.
It is believed Kim walked the length and breadth of Korea several times gathering data for the Daedong yeojido. In the 1860s, Korea was in a state of alarm over a potential Western invasion, and the high level of detail and the extensive publication costs of Kim's map suggest it was made in preparation for war.
Kim was jailed in 1864, some scholars speculate, because a new government thought he had compromised national security through the release of this detailed and accurate map.
Very few complete copies of the Daedong yeojido survive. In the United States, only the AGS Library and the University of California-Berkeley own the 1861 version. The AGS Library map includes a hand drawn index sheet.
George C. Foulk was born in 1856 and graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1876. His early career took him on travels to Asia and Siberia, and in 1883 he was appointed to a position as a librarian in Washington, D.C., where he pursued Japanese and Chinese studies.
That same year a Korean mission traveled to the United States. This was the first recorded Korean diplomatic visit to the West and Foulk was the only person in government service qualified to serve as an interpreter. Though Foulk wasn't fluent in Korean, he communicated in Japanese and quickly picked up the Korean language.
Foulk accompanied the mission back to Korea as a U.S. Naval attach� and undertook a 900 mile journey of the country by sedan chair in September and October 1884, during which time he kept a detailed journal, took photographs, and may have used the Daedong yeojido.
Photographs from the Foulk collection include images of Korean officials, the residence of the U.S. Legation, scenes from Korean daily life, Puk-Han Mountain Fortress and its Pleasure Palace, Buddhist rock carvings, Korean drum dancers, views of Seoul and King Kojong's palace and grounds.
Foulk left Korea in 1887 and spent his last days in Japan as a professor of mathematics at the missionary-run Doshisha College, now Doshisha University. He died in 1893, at the age of 37, while hiking with his Japanese wife and friends.
In addition to the Foulk materials, the AGS Library holds other materials that offer researchers a rich understanding of 19th century Korea, including Life in Corea (1888) by William Carles, the British Vice Consul in Shanghai; E. Oppert's A Forbidden Land: Voyages to the Corea (1880); and Percival Lowell's Chos�n, the Land of the Morning Calm: A Sketch of Korea (1886).
All 43 photographs and two of Foulk's maps (though not the Daedong yeojido) are available for viewing at the UWM Libraries Digital Collections: http://www.uwm.edu/Libraries/digilib/agsl/index.html
1884. Photo by George Foulk Pleasure Pavilion in the Puk-Han Mountain Fortress.
All images collection of American Geographical Society Library.
Unique Photos of Invasion of Poland Discovered
A set of unique photographs documenting the Nazi invasion of Poland in September of 1939 was recently discovered in the American Geographical Society Library at the UWM Libraries. The images are part of the extensive Harrison Forman Collection that was donated to the American Geographical Society Library in 1987.
Harrison Forman (1904-1978), a Wisconsin native, was an adventurous journalist, photographer, and explorer. He worked as a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, London Times and NBC, and undertook several expeditions to northern Tibet and China in the 1930s.
UWM Libraries have created several digital collections featuring his images of Afghanistan, Tibet, and China, which are available at: http://www.uwm.edu/Library/digilib/
While conducting research on the Tibetan images, UWM librarians Krystyna K. Matusiak and Susan Peschel came across references to Forman's photographs of World War II in Poland in his scrapbooks.
Locating the Poland images, however, was not easy since the Forman collection consists of over 98,000 images, mostly film negatives and slides. In addition, Forman's film negatives of the Warsaw bombing were accidently misfiled by the company that appraised his collection before it came to the Libraries.
Eventually the librarians identified about 90 unique images, documenting the beginning of World War II in Poland. Forman had arrived in Warsaw in late August 1939 and was able to capture images of the city just a few days before World War II broke out.
Many buildings featured in his photographs, such as the National Theater, were destroyed during the September bombings.
Forman remained in Poland during the first weeks of the war and documented the Nazi invasion, the desperate efforts of the Polish military to defend the country, and the fleeing of the civilian population from the bombed villages and cities.
Forman evacuated from Poland at the end of September through Romania and managed to bring some of his photos with him. He was also able to use Polish government couriers and pilots to fly out some of the film rolls.
According to his estimates, about twenty percent of the images did finally reach the U.S. Some of his photographs appeared in the American press in 1939, but many of the photographs discovered in the Forman collection at the AGS Library were probably never published, since corresponding prints could not be identified.
Forman's photographs of the Warsaw bombing in September of 1939 are particularly valuable because a considerable amount of the Polish archival documentation was destroyed during the war.
The AGS Library images were scanned from film negatives this summer and are published as a separate collection available online at: http://www.uwm.edu/Libraries/digilib/pol/index.html
Warsaw bombing, September 1939. Photo by Harrison Forman.