On break? Need to renew books? Here’s how.

If you have library materials that are due during the break, but you don’t want to come to campus, you can renew your books one of two ways:

1. Call during open library hours (8 am to 5 pm Mon – Fri during recess week). The circulation desk number is 734-973-3429.

2. Renew online by using the “My Account” function within the library catalog. Choose what you would like to do: Review My Account, Renew My Materials, or User PIN change. Use your WCC ID number (all nine characters, including the @ symbol and zeroes), and if you have never changed your library PIN, use CHANGEME as the PIN. You can change your PIN after you log in for the first time. (This PIN only applies to your library account). Follow the instructions on the screen.

Reminder: most items can only be renewed once, and some items can’t be renewed. If you have questions or problems, call the circulation desk during open library hours.

February is Black History Month

Bailey Library has a display of books available in our collection on Martin Luther King, Jr. in the freestanding display cases just inside the entrance to the library. If you see something that interests you, ask the circulation staff for help and they will open the display case for you. The Library has recent titles on many aspects of the African American experience and topics, including African American poetry, entrepeneurship, history, and biographies. Search the Library Catalog or ask a reference librarian for help either in person or virtually.

WCC has a series of events celebrating Black History Month — to see what’s on offer and for more information, check the hot topics link on the WCC home page.

The Library of Congress
has a series of web exhibits and resources, including African Americans at War: Fighting Two Battles from the Veteran’s History Project. The American Memory Project at the Library of Congress has extremely rich web resources about slavery, abolition and the civil rights movement, including digitized books, photographs, and first person narratives. Some special projects include From Slavery to Civil Rights: A Timeline of African American History, Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938, and audio narratives and songs at the Voices From the Days of Slavery collection. Other digital page images of pamphlets , papers and books are in the special presentations devoted to the African-American Odyssey.

Ypsilanti District Library has a Tribute to Jazz page with links to resources in celebration of African-American History Month; Ann Arbor District Library is screening PBS’s Slavery and the Making of America on Monday, Feb. 13th at 7 pm in the Downtown Library. Check their website for more details.

More web resources:

In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience from the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Selected African American Artists at the National Gallery of Art.

Columbia University Library’s excellent list of African Studies resources.

Iowa State University’s recommended websites for African American studies.

James Madison University Libraries and Educational Technologies African & African American Resources.

Library User Survey Results

Bailey Library, with the help of the Office of Institutional Research, recently sent out a student survey asking respondents about their use of and satisfaction with the library (we specifically excluded the second floor Computer Commons from questions). 1500 randomly selected current students received the survey; 17 % responded (260 students). At the end of the month, we’ll post the entire survey results in PDF format on the blog, after all the librarians have had a chance to discuss the survey. Here are some highlights (and lowlights):

71% of respondents have used Bailey Library in the last 12 months.

45% of student users were very satisfied with what the Library currently provides; 49% were satisfied. Only 6% were somewhat dissatisfied. 0% chose the category “not satisfied at all.”

As with all surveys, the open-ended comments were the most illuminating. Many people think of books when they think of libraries (see the recent OCLC nationwide survey on Perceptions of Libraries), and plenty of students wished that Bailey Library had a more extensive print collection (so much for the death of the book). Respondents had nice things to say about the staff; they would like to be able to check out DVDs and videos; no one likes having to go upstairs to access Blackboard or use Word to write a paper; and cell phone use in the library is a distracting, noisy irritant to people studying.

Some suggestions will take time to address; but we can address the cell phone problem quickly. We’ll be posting signs, handing out reminder cards, and requesting that conversations be moved outside to the GM Lobby in the very near future.

Four Color Map Theorem

Bailey Library patrons may already have noticed that some of the group study rooms have been painted. Why those colors? Apart from our feeling that any color would be more inspiring than the current gray (which has been described by various people as “corpse gray,” “old mushroom gray” and just plain boring gray), Judith Hommel, Executive Associate to the President, and Victor Liu, Dean of the Library, are framing a collection of historical maps donated to the Library by me (Gwen Evans, Director of Access Services). The colors of the rooms were chosen to complement the maps that will be hung in each room.

The maps come from a Midwestern research university which deaccessioned older maps in 2002-2003. Hundreds and thousands of maps were given free to anyone who wanted them. I was working in the library at the time, and like many other staff and students, fell victim to what we called “map sickness” — many of us ended up with hundreds of maps. Read on to learn more about the maps themselves.
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