News from the Director
This past year the library staff has engaged in a comprehensive strategic process to draft our vision for the coming years for the UWM Libraries. We began the journey by imagining what the campus might look like in five and ten years, and what services the library would need to offer in the future. During our planning, service was a predominant theme.
I would like to thank the hard work of our staff who developed this plan, in particular Jerry Tarrer, who led the Strategic Planning Committee. Other committee members were Karen Jander, Cathy Loomis, Tom Brittnacher, Kelly Wolfe, Linda Kopecky, Lisa Weikel, Michael Doylen, Jim Lowrey, Janet Padway, Michelle Harrell Washington, and student Reagen Thalacker.
I appreciate as well our colleagues who gave us their honest assessment of what they considered important for the Libraries to concentrate on in the coming years. Campus and community input came from Patty Cobb, Cynthia Hasbrook, Bill Lavonis, Bruce Maas, Sarah Patch, Kristin Ruggiero, Judith Kenney, Tom Walker, Ruth Williams, and Friends of the Library President Pat Van Alyea.
We are pleased to announce that, in collaboration with the School of Information Studies, we are initiating an information literacy course, which will provide students with the knowledge and life-long skills needed to gather information from the most appropriate sources, and will give them a competitive advantage in their coursework, graduate studies, and workplace. A pilot section designed for Academic Opportunity Center students is being taught this fall.
We are in the midst of planning the first renovation of the library in 20 years. It will feature a Learning Commons in the West Wing first floor, supporting collaborative learning with group study areas, comfortable furniture and additional support services in close proximity. We are presently working with The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc., translating the wealth of comments we heard during our focus groups and surveys into a visionary plan. The proposed timeline and preliminary plans will be posted on our Web site.
It is clear to us that the Libraries will continue to be the center of intellectual life on campus. With the renovation, we will be able to provide access to information in a more flexible and welcoming space to reflect the needs of students, faculty, researchers, and the community.
We like to say "No one graduates from the library, but no one graduates without it," and that speaks directly to our vital role in educating students. We are crucial to UWM research and teaching, and play a critical role in our students' academic success. As the Chancellor's aspirations for the University expand, the Libraries will adapt accordingly, transforming spaces, growing the collection, and adding new services.
Director of Libraries
Paperless Society: AGSL Digital Maps Becoming Popular Research Source
3D representation of Milwaukee's east side created with GIS software
The American Geographical Society Library houses one of the largest collections of paper maps and atlases in the country. However, many patrons come in seeking electronic geographic datasets as well. The Library holds thousands of these datasets (collections of data) as part of the UWM Digital Spatial Data Clearinghouse, and it is constantly adding to its collection.
Digital spatial data are electronic datasets with a spatial component that relates them to a point, line or plane on the Earth. For example, a vegetation dataset would list types of plants (and perhaps their characteristics) in a given region and note their location within that region as polygons on a digital map. Geographical information system (GIS) software might then be used to compare those polygons to other datasets, such as soil types or state forest boundaries.
Over 6,400 datasets were distributed last year, many to UWM students and faculty for class projects, thesis work and research. Patrons usually come from the Geography, Urban Planning, Architecture, Conservation and Environmental Science, and Civil Engineering Departments. However, other departments are beginning to use GIS as a tool to map everything from archeological digs to diseases. Engineers and urban planners from across the country have also contacted the Library seeking datasets for the Milwaukee area.
The Library collects and archives digital data files from federal, state and local governmental agencies and private vendors. The Digital Spatial Data Clearinghouse has worldwide coverage, with a main focus on the Milwaukee metropolitan area and Wisconsin. Popular datasets include base map information, such as roads, rivers, lakes, parks and city boundaries; the Milwaukee property database (MPROP); property boundaries (parcels); US Census data; land use and zoning; land cover and vegetation; flood plains; and environmental corridors.
The Clearinghouse also contains a wide range of aerial photographs, including older and recent photos of the Milwaukee area, and Landsat satellite imagery with global coverage, along with IKONOS and SPOT satellite images of southeastern Wisconsin. For more information about the Digital Spatial Clearinghouse, please call 414-229-6282 or check out its website at www.uwm.edu/Libraries/AGSL/agsgis/homegis.html
New Databases for Diversity Studies
The Libraries now offers access to these full-text databases: Black Studies Center, a fully searchable gateway to Black Studies including scholarly essays, recent periodicals, and historical newspaper articles; Oxford African American Studies Center, with full-text articles from Africana, The Encyclopedia of African American History, Black Women in America, African American National Biography, and other African American reference works; and ProQuest Historical Newspapers - The Chicago Defender, 1905-1975, with searchable full text.
RefWorks Bibliography Tool Now Available through Libraries Web Site
RefWorks, a popular and useful web-based tool for organizing bibliographic citations and formatting bibliographies, is now accessible through the UWM Libraries web site. RefWorks can convert stored citations into formatted bibliographies; formatting styles include APA, Chicago, and MLA. You can connect to RefWorks from the list of library databases (link on Libraries homepage) or by visiting refworks.com directly. To store your citations, you are required to register with the site; creating an account is free.
Family of Former Staff Member Donates $5000 to Library Renovation
The family of Linda Kopp, a former long-time library staff member who died last year, has given a $5000 gift in her memory toward the upcoming renovation of the library's west wing.
Linda worked for the University for 36 years, most of those years in the library and the last six in university relations. The family gave the gift on Linda's birthday, July 27, to celebrate her life and her many accomplishments.
Laurie Oswald, Linda's sister, noted that Linda loved students and learning. The renovation focuses on creating new learning spaces for students. In addition to the family's gift, over $1,000 was raised by Linda's close friends for special acquisitions for the library.
Outstanding Staff Awards
UWM Provost Rita Cheng presented the UWM Libraries 2006-07 Outstanding Staff Achievement awards at a ceremony in the Libraries Conference Center on August 23. The awards were sponsored by the Janet and Carl Moebius endowment and the Friends of the Golda Meir Library. Pictured, from left, are E.J. Brumder, Friends Vice President; Sarah Kober, student employee awardee; Ahmed Kraima, academic staff award; Provost Chen; and Ewa Barczyk, Libraries Director. Catherine Loomis (not pictured) won the award for outstanding classified employee.
Mid-Century Milwaukee Captured on Film: Dennis Wierzba Collection
The Archives recently finished processing a collection of images taken by Milwaukeean Dennis Wierzba which documents life in Milwaukee in the 1940s and 1950s, particularly on the city's south side. The collection neatly picks up where the Archives popular Roman B. J. Kwasniewski collection of early twentieth-century south side photographs leaves off.
Images in the Wierzba collection, like the Kwasniewski, focus on family and life events, including anniversaries, confirmations, funerals, holidays, parties, weddings, and school. Wierzba photographed parades and religious processions in downtown Milwaukee and on the south side, as well. Images of local businesses, including the Cavalla Tobacco Company, where Wierzba worked as a salesman, are also found in the collection.
Mayor Carl Zeidler (right of flag), Fourth of July, 1940 or '41, Dennis Wierzba Collection, UWM Archives
Access to the Wierzba collection is available in the Archives. For more information, please visit the Archives, e-mail email@example.com, or call 229-5402.