Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good Luck with the Exams and Happy Holidays!

Toward the end of the semester, everyone must be extremely busy. SLIS library and computer lab provide you with a space to study and relax. However, please remember to check our hours before you come. The SLIS library will have special hours for the exam week and winter interim, and the SLIS Computer Lab will still open 15 minutes later and close 15 minutes earlier than the library. The library hours will be:

Exam Week, December 14 (Sunday) - December 19 (Friday):

  • Sunday: 12:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Monday - Thursday: 8:00am - 8:30pm
  • Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Winter Interim, December 20 (Saturday) - January 19 (Monday):

  • Saturday and Sunday: Library Closed
  • Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 12:00pm

You can also refer to our websites:

SLIS Library (
SLIS Computer Lab (

Monday, December 8, 2008

Who is Helen C. White?

Everyone knows that the big concrete monolith on the corner of Observatory Drive and Park
Street, the home of SLIS, College Library, and a variety of other departments and
programs, is named after Helen C. White. But who, you ask, is Helen C. White? Why does
she have a building named after her? Read on and find out!

Born in 1896, Ms. White displayed an early interest in reading and writing, which served her well in her early academic career. She attended Radcliffe College, where she received a Bachelor's Degree in English in 1916 and a Master's Degree, also in English, in 1917.

Not long after, Ms. White began her illustrious career at UW-Madison. From 1919-1925 she
was an instructor in the English department and a PhD candidate. During this time, Helen
gained a reputation as a tireless educator, reaching out to help students, which at times
conflicted with her PhD research. After she earned her PhD in Letters and Science in 1924,
Ms. White continued to work her way up at UW-Madison.

First Helen worked as an associate professor, then 1936 she became the first woman to
earn the rank of full professor in the UW's College of Letters and Science. She attained
another "first" in 1955 when she became the first woman to chair the UW-Madison English
Department. She stayed at the UW for her entire career, only briefly leaving to take on
visiting professor duties at Barnard, Columbia, and Harvard. At the time of her death in
1967, Ms. White was serving (again) as chairperson for the English department at UWMadison.

Aside from her education career, Helen C. White was successful on many other fronts. Her
list of achievements runs pages and pages long, but suffice it to say, she kept busy in a
wide range of pursuits. She chaired professional, educational, and cultural organizations.
She served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Defense, speaking about women in the
armed service. She even became an expert on global education, traveling abroad and
speaking on behalf of UNESCO.

If that's not impressive enough, consider the fact that while Ms. White was a busy educator
and all-around professional, she's also an accomplished author. She wrote a number of
highly-regarded books, ranging from critiques of renaissance literature to award-winning
novels. For a link to view her writings in the UW-Madison catalog, click here.
And one more thing. Her middle name was Constance.

Thanks to the College Library web site for information regarding Helen C. White.
Image courtesy of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Some of you may have noticed a Second Harvest Food Bank box in the SLIS Library last week. The SLIS Library took part in a Food Drive for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin. The Food Drive took place November 12 – November 24 and was very successful. We filled many boxes of food! The food will be delivered to Second Harvest before Thanksgiving. A special thanks to Peter Wehrle, who heard that the Second Harvest Food Bank was struggling this season and decided to organize the SLIS Food Drive. And of course, thank you to all who donated!

This week the SLIS Library will have special hours for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Our hours for the week will be:

Monday: 8 am – 8:30 pm
Tuesday: 8 am – 8:30 pm
Wednesday: 8 am – 5 pm
Thursday: Closed
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Monday, November 17, 2008

Book Sale Cart

Check out the book sale cart in the SLIS Library, new books were added last week and ther are many more books that will be added over the coming week. Hardbound 50 cents, Paperback 25 cents. Also check the website for our holiday hours both for the week of Thanksgiving and the holiday break between Fall and Spring semesters.

Libguides: The library staff is currently working on library guides that will be added to the library webpage. Keep checking for these and other new items.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Plea on Plugs in the Library

As most of you have noticed, we do now have power at the wall tables by the Cat Lab door and over in the "Quiet Alcove." To make it easier to plug in, we've plugged in short corded power strips and put them on the table tops. Please do not remove these to use the other wall outlets by the lake windows. We do have extension cords you can borrow to use other outlets in the library comfortably, but we need to NOT leave extension cords plugged in to them. Theses outlets have not been upgraded and we have code issues with such behavior. Thanks for your help with this. Also--The table neared the video/DVD shelving is purposely kept shoved over away from the outlet a bit further than works for most computer cords. We have a leak problem and I'm trying to save the table from further damage. We are in line for a roof repair.... Please ask to borrow an extension cord if you need one to use your laptop there.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Two BIG Upcoming Events

Depending on your personal perspective, there are two big events coming up next week. The presidential (and other offices!) election is on Tuesday, Nov. 4. Also, starting on Tuesday, November 4, and running through Friday, November 7, there is the Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conferenceat the Marriott West in Middleton.

Both of these events are important in their own ways and, at first blush, may seem completely unrelated. But consider that ALA's latest survey of 2007 grads referred to in Library Journal's "Library Salaries and Jobs: Overview", only 29% of the respondents listed their new jobs as being in the private sector. That means that over 70% of the positions are in the public sector. The people making the public sector budget proposals and decisions that effect everything from building upkeep to employee payroll and benefits are often governmental bodies of elected officials (with the help of dedicated civil service administrators). So, having a voice in who is elected can effect Library and Information Studies professionals in a very direct way. Of course there are so many other ways that elected officials and politics effect our profession, such as the role politics can play in legal issues surrounding censorship and copyright.

Since politics, and by extension government, play such a big part in our professional world, be sure your voice is heard this election! If you need information on where to vote in the Madison area, look no further than the city of Madison's Office of the City Clerk's website. This site has information on how to vote early via absentee ballots that can be mailed to you now and up until Oct. 30. Right now, (today if you'd like!), you can vote in person via absentee ballot at the City County building located just off the square near the State Capitol. By voting early you can avoid the possible long lines or other problems that may impede your voting on election day. All absentee ballots are counted just like regular votes. If you still need to register to vote, you can do it in person at the City County Building or register at your City of Madison polling place on November 4. If you are not voting in Madison and need advice on voting absentee in another municipality, please visit the "Can I Vote?" website for assistance.

Also, since politics and government play such an important role in our profession, professional associations like WLA are integral to our well being. Not only does WLA organize great events like their Annual Conference, which provides us with numerous development opportunities we might not have otherwise, they are also an organization that spends countless (and sometimes thankless) hours giving librarians a voice in the political arena through their lobbying and public relations work. If you want to learn more about WLA and their work in the political arena, check out their website, but also consider attending the state conference. At the conference you can meet librarians in the field who will be chocked full of advice on how be active politically in the profession, as well as how to go about landing a job once you graduate. WLA offers special rates for students to attend the whole conference or just one day. It is not too late to sign up to go, so what are you waiting for?

Monday, October 20, 2008


Anyone with a class or a computer need this week will discover that the library elves have been up to their mischief in the computer lab. READ posters now glitter the walls like dewdrops on fresh morning leaves! Perhaps you would like to admire them, or maybe you'd like to know a bit of Read poster history? Well, READ on!

Posters promoting reading and libraries date back to 1919 when the Children's Book Council produced the Children's Book Week posters (more word on these from SLIS later...). Following, the first National Library Week poster was created in 1958 under the direction of the publishing community.

The American library community finally decided to take matters into their own hands and promote, promote, promote. In the mid-70's, ALA hired a big Chicago public relations firm and a Chicago advertising agency. ALA's first promotional poster, produced in 1980, featured Mickey Mouse and a simple message: "Read". After Mickey came another poster with the same message, this time depicting a controversial yet alluring Miss-Piggy-turned-Marian-the-librarian, standing atop a stack of books whilst shelving.

Suddenly, the library world was creating quite a stir for itself. Posters of Annie, Yoda, and Snoopy followed shortly after. In 1985, ALA got the hook-up to sign on some live stars-Bette Midler, Sting, and Bill Crosby. And the rest is history. It's interesting to know that each ALA READ poster features an original illustration or photograph, and not one celebrity has demanded to be compensated for their time or image.

Interested? READ more about it! To find out about READ posters, I found a great article in American Libraries' May 2003 issue called "Mickey Mouse, Miss Piggy, and the Birth of ALA Graphics." The article is written by Peggy Barber, who was on the original ALA staff when READ took off. She shares the history of the promotional campaign and the lessons she learned about libraries, marketing, and celebrities. To see today's line-up of celebrities reading, visit the ALA store at

It seems you haven't made it in this world unless your face is on a READ poster. And today, yours can be! ALA now produces CD's with the software and graphics necessary to customize your own READ poster image-already a hit with public library summer reading programs!

If you'd like, you can e-mail ALA Graphics with poster and product suggestions at

-BW, 10/19/08
Imagine from:
Barber, Peggy. "Mickey Mouse, Miss Piggy, and the Birth of ALA Graphics."American Libraries. 34, 5 (May 2003): 60.

Monday, October 13, 2008

SLIS Library Workshops

In August and September, we offered some workshops on RefWorks, LIS databases, MadCat, MyWebSpace, and Web Basics. We have some more workshops in October and November. You are welcome to drop-in any of these workshops. All workshops will be held in the SLIS Library Computer Lab. Please give us feedback on the evaluation after each workshop. We hope to provide workshops that are really helpful to you! For more information, please check the schedule out at

Workshop Schedule

Google for Academic Research

  • Instructor: Pamela O'Donnell
  • Wednesday, October 22, noon


  • Instructor: Ian Benton
  • Tuesday, October 28, 4:00pm
  • Jing is a free screen capture utility for capturing an image or a video. Also, you can add text, arrows, or highlights on the image.


  • Instructor: Peggy Cruse
  • Monday, November 10, 1:00pm Monday, November 17, 1:00pm
  • Write-N-Cite is a small utility program that makes RefWorks work with Word processor.

SLIS Library Computer Lab after remodeling

The SLIS library computer lab has been remodeled this summer. The brand new computer lab is now open for SLISers to use! There are computers, scanners, and LIS applications in the lab for teaching and workshops. SLIS students are welcome to use the resources in the lab whenever there is no reservation. The reservation status is updated on the website (,30)). And the hours are basically the same as the SLIS library, except that the lab opens 15 minutes later and closes 15 minutes earlier than the library. Also, there are basic instructions for printing and scanning. You can follow the instructions near the printer and the scanner step-by-step. If you have any questions or suggestions about the lab, or if you notice some problems with the lab resources, please e-mail lab PA at ttsai5 AT wisc DOT edu, or leave a message on the sheet which is attached to the computer desk in the back of the lab. We will get back to you soon.

Anyway, welcome to the brand new SLIS library computer lab! You can explore more on the computer lab website (

Monday, October 6, 2008

Where's my bus?

As someone who works at an Academic Library reference desk but has an interest in Public Library reference, I sometimes get a little dizzy from learning all the separate terminologies and procedures for these two similar, yet different institutions. Which is why it’s nice when the two areas overlap.

One thing that public library and academic library patrons have in common is they all need to get somewhere. And as gas gets ever more expensive, more and more students and academic staff, as well as city residents and tourists, are turning to mass transit as their primary means of transportation. In Madison, this means people are riding the Metro Bus.

What does this mean for the reference desk? No matter what type of library you’re in, chances are, you'll get frequent inquiries about Metro routes, schedules, and arrival information. In Madison, up until now, this has been a dicey proposition, since bus departure and arrival times are notoriously unreliable due to traffic, weather, construction, and other such annoyances.

Reference staff need not worry though. With the arrival of the Madison Metro's "WebWatch" software, you can get real-time Madison Metro bus information via the Internet. In case the link doesn't work, use this URL:

Here are the main features of the site:

  • Real-time bus stop arrivals: You will need to know your bus' route number and direction, as well as the stop number for the location at which you are waiting. (Click "View Live Stop Times" for this info

  • Stop information for Smart Phones: If you have an Internet capable Smart Phone (Blackberry, BlackJack, etc) you can even view stop information right on your phone. (Click "Accessible Text Live Stop Times" for this info)

  • Real-time bus location: Perhaps the coolest feature of the site, Metro's GPS network allows you to view real-time bus location over Google Maps and Google Earth. When combined with the bus stop arrival info, you can know exactly where your bus is, as well as when it will get to your stop. (Click "View Map- Virtual Earth" OR "View Map- Google Maps" for this info)

Hopefully, with this information in hand, SLIS students can be not only more informed Metro riders, but also more knowledgeable and helpful Librarians!

NOTE: Users of the site should be aware that this is a Beta version of the program, so there may be occasional glitches, delays, and crashes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The SLIS Library is having a Game Show night!

Friday, Oct. 3, 6-8 pm

It's going to be a great way to bond with your fellow SLISers and anyone else in libraryland who wants to join us, have fun, and maybe learn something zany about the wonderful world of libraries.

The Games:

Who Wants to Be a Librarian? Contestants will be tested on how much they know about library and SLIS trivia. They'll get lifelines from the audience.

Match Game: We'll have a panel made up of celebrity librarians. Players will get points for every answer that matches a celebrity's.

Here's a clip to show you how the original Match Game worked. Check it out:

We'll also have plenty of board games. Feel free to bring games to share.

Pizza will be provided, and there will be fabulous prizes!
Following the games we'll head out for cocktails and more bonding.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Banned Book Week

Start getting ready! September 27 through October 4 is Banned Books Week! Banned Book Week's theme this year is "Celebrating the Freedom to Read." The ALA offers many suggestions on how to celebrate banned books - this week and year round. Here are just a few:

Most importantly, have fun reading a banned book!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Class of the Week, Workshops, and More

Hi All! Check out the New Students Display outside the library and get to know your new peers by site. Also, look for the class of the week book display over the catalog computers near the reference desk. Keep your eyes open for your class’ week and some great print resources to accompany the topics of your class.

Don’t forget to sign up for the Web Basics workshop. It will be offered September 24th at 4 pm and again on September 30th at 3:15pm. The sign up sheet is available on the circulation desk in the library. The workshop schedule for October will be up shortly and will include workshops for LibGuides, Google for Academic Research, Jing, and More. Keep checking back for more information.

Friday, September 5, 2008

SLIS Library Workshops

We have many great workshops coming up over the next few weeks. Below is a list of some upcoming ones. For the most part, these workshops are drop-in and no pre-registration is required, but please note any that ask for pre-registration. (We just want an idea of how many people will attend when we ask for pre-registration. Registration is at the library circ desk.) We hope you can make it to one or more of the workshops. Feel free to give us feedback if you attend and also let us know what other kinds of workshops you'd like to see in the future. All workshops are in the SLIS Library Computer Lab.

Workshop Schedule

  • Workshop Friday on September 5!

  • RefWorks
    • Instructor:Peggy Cruse
    • Friday, September 5, 3:00pm
  • ProQuest
    • Instructor:Peggy Cruse
    • Friday, September 5, 4:00pm
    • Proquest is a large vendor -- we can access 45 of their databases. The workshop will offer an overview of the Proquest interface and search features.
  • Workshop this Saturday, September 6!

    • 10:00 Refworks
    • Introduction to web citation management software.
    • 11:00 Madcat
    • Finding books and more for your UW-Madison research.
    • 12:00 Ulrich's Periodical Directory
    • Overview of a great database with detailed information on serials published throughout the world.
    • 1:00 My WebSpace
    • Primer on the web-accessible file storage system provided by the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) to all UW Madison students.
    • 2:00 Library Literature & LISTA
    • Learn about two key library and information science bibliographic databases that index articles, book reviews and more, and includes some full-text coverage.

September 9th and beyond:
  • RefWorks
    • Instructor:Peggy Cruse
    • Tuesday, September 9, 3:00pm
  • ProQuest
    • Instructor:Peggy Cruse
    • Friday, September 12, 1:00pm
  • CSA Illumina
    • Instructor:Peggy Cruse
    • Tuesday, September 16, 3:00pm
  • CSA Illumina
    • Instructor:Peggy Cruse
    • Monday, September 22, 1:00pm
  • Web Basics (pre-registration)
    • Instructor:Sheilah Harrington
    • Wednesday, September 24, 4:00pm
  • Web Basics (pre-regstration)
    • Instructor:Sheilah Harrington
    • Tuesday, September 30, 3:15pm

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Welcome All Students!

The SLIS Laboratory Library staff extends a big welcome back to all new and returning students! We hope everyone had a great summer and is ready for an exciting and productive fall semester. Here at the library we are almost ready and are putting (with our incredible IT staff's help, of course) the finishing touches on the newly remodeled computer lab. We hope everyone will enjoy the new equipment and more seats that are the result of this project. We've also spent some time this summer trying to spruce up the library a little bit. We hope you'll find our efforts pleasant and useful. Always feel free to let us know what you think about our little library.

We are planning several workshop sessions over the next few weeks of the semester. Some sessions are still being scheduled so stay tuned for those dates and times. We do have a stupendous, blow out, Saturday Workshop session on the calendar for September 6. Feel free to attend one or all of the sessions on this day. The sessions will be held in the SLIS Lab Lib computer lab. (Did we mention it was redone this summer?) Here is the schedule for that day:

10:00 Refworks. Introduction to web citation management software.

11:00 Madcat. Finding books and more for your UW-Madison research.

12:00 Ulrich's Periodical Directory. Overview of a great database with detailed information on serials published throughout the world.

1:00 My WebSpace. Primer on the web-accessible file storage system provided by the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) to all UW Madison students.

2:00 Library Literature & LISTA. Learn about two key library and information science bibliographic databases that index articles, book reviews and more, and includes some full-text coverage.

As other workshops get scheduled, we'll post fliers around the library and update this space with information, so be on the lookout.

Again, welcome and have a wonderful semester!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pardon our dust!

The SLIS Laboratory Library computer lab is being upgraded! The lab will be closed the rest of the summer. Apologies to those of you for whom this may be a surprise. The good news is we'll have more seats and much updated equipment for the fall.

Thanks in advance for your patience. It will be rewarded! Besides the improved lab, the upgrade allows us to shift furniture from the lab into the library and -- when we can get a circuitry upgrade and some wires pulled -- we'll have improved laptop space in the library.

Remember that until our lab is back online, there is a large computer lab on the second floor of College Library.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Library Associations Pages Online

It's the end of the semester and all the work is done - what's to be done with all that newly found free time? Spend some of that time looking at our new LIS Associations pages! Check out various LIS associations and organizations by location, library type, and by topic. See what's really out there for professional organizations - there's a lot more out there than just ALA. Happy browsing!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Extended hours this weekend!

It's that time again - the end of the semester where everything is due all at once. And, typically, the weekend is the time to get those assignments done. The SLIS Library will be extending its hours this weekend (5/3-5/4) for those that need those extra hours to finish those final projects! We will be open from 12pm to 9pm both Saturday and Sunday. Good luck with the semester's end!

Image: "Making History" by NRGthedude via Flickr

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Celebrate National Library Week by bidding and filling out a survey!

It's that time of year again - time to celebrate National Library Week April 13-19! The SLIS Library has two ways you can celebrate:

1. Bid at the annual Silent Auction! We have everything from books to bags to bottles to printers (wait- that didn't start with a "B"...) and everything in between. Bidding starts after setup on Friday the 11th and goes until 5:30 pm on April 17th. All proceeds go the the SLIS Library.

2. Take our biannual survey! Tell the library staff what you think about us by taking our short survey at . The survey closes on April 25th, so don't delay. Your feedback helps us (the library) better serve you!

Have a happy National Library Week!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Son of Workshop Saturday - April 5th

Here is the schedule for Son of Workshop Saturday:

Cat Lab:
11 am-
"Storytime Bag of Tricks" Activities to focus the group
12 pm- Resume Swap
1 pm-
Easy Hardware - Computer Basics
2 pm - 2:20 pm- Mini-workshop - Jing

Computer Lab:
11 am- Readers' Advisory Tools
12 pm -
Searching Boot Camp Part 1 - How to Find (SLIS) Stuff: MadCat and More
1 pm-
Searching Boot Camp Part 2- ProQuest ABI/Inform

See you all Saturday!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How do you find stuff?

UW-Madison libraries want to know! Take the short survey (5-10 minutes long) and tell the campus library staff how you find information. The survey ends April 1st.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring Break and more!

Spring Break is almost here! Library hours for Spring Break:
    Monday - Friday: 10:00am - 2:00pm
    Saturday, March 15 - Sunday, March 16: Closed
    Saturday, March 22 - Sunday, March 23: Closed
Also, keep Saturday April 5th clear for Son of Workshop Saturday! Workshops planned for this round include:

Readers' Advisory,
Searching MadCat and more,
Computer hardware,
Mini-workshop - Jing, and
The popular resume swap!

Stay tuned for more details. Have a good Spring Break everyone!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


If you have been sitting on the comfy couch or chair near the windows, you've probably noticed our zine collection. However, perhaps you haven't had a closer look to see what was all there. The SLIS Library has now posted the contents of the Library Workers Zine Collection online. See for yourself what zines are all about and how they relate to libraries and librarians. Also check out the Featured Zine Section where we review a title from our collection. The first featured zine, The Journal of Books & Wenches, covers the exciting, dangerous, and fast paced world of UW-Madison SLIS. Check out the zines page and have fun!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Workshop Saturday

If you haven't heard already, February 16th is Workshop Saturday! We have a very full slate of workshops to present to all of you, taking up both the Computer Lab and Cat Lab:

Cat Lab Schedule

10-10:45 Podcasting
11-11:45 Copyright Basics
12-1 Lunch
1-2:45 Resume Swap (2- 1 hour sessions)
3-3:45 Impromptu Group Management

Computer Lab Schedule

10-10:45 Working with Wikipedia
11-11:45 Readers' Advisory Tools
12-1 Lunch
1-1:45 Excel Basics
2-2:45 MyWebSpace/Learn@UW Refresher
3-3:45 Bloglines for Job Hunting

Descriptions of these workshops are at the front desk of the SLIS library. You can also email me at yoose AT wisc DOT edu if you wish to receive an electronic copy. We hope to see you February 16th!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Welcome Back

Hi everyone! Hope everyone stayed warm and had a good winter break. The SLIS Library will be doing workshops and adding new content to the website (including a huge list of library associations worldwide), so keep your eyes on the blog for updates.

Speaking of workshops, we heard from many of you that we should offer weekend presentations of our workshops. In response, we are organizing Workshop Saturday on February 16th. Keep that date in your calendar clear! More information will be posted (and emailed) closer to the event.

Good luck this semester!