Happy Thanksgiving

By Sarah-Jane Poindexter

This Thanksgiving, don’t get gobbled up by a giant turkey!  Have a restful and joyous holiday.

Best wishes from the Archives and Special Collections


Information Literacy Online

Numerous studies, including large-scale studies conducted by Project Information Literacy, The Citation Project, and ERIAL, have shown that students often struggle with research assignments–whether it’s deciding on a suitable topic, assessing the credibility of a source, or understanding the content of a scholarly article. Surveys of our own UofL faculty conducted by Ekstrom Library’s Information Literacy and Research Instruction Program likewise indicate that students need more assistance with research. In particular, faculty tell us they would like to see their students thinking more critically throughout the various stages of the research process and evaluating the quality of their sources more effectively .

While the Ekstrom instruction program teaches thousands of students each year during face-to-face sessions at the library, we are dedicated to expanding the scope of the program to reach even more students and faculty. To this end, we have turned to online instruction as a viable option for reaching new audiences. One of the most common reasons faculty give us for not bringing their students in for library instruction is that they simply can’t allocate the time on syllabi overcrowded with content. Additionally, some faculty teach very large classes, making it difficult to find adequate space for hands-on research instruction with computers. Online instruction can help solve these problems of time and scale, offering more flexible options.

What does information literacy and research instruction look like in the online realm? Although we have been creating course-specific online guides for many years (often as a supplement to face-to-face instruction), we are now working to develop interactive learning modules that can be embedded into Blackboard course shells. Due to the efforts of librarians Sue Finley, Samantha McClellan, and Toccara Porter, we have already reached more than 1,000 students this past year through information literacy content in Blackboard. Our modules are designed to help students learn to use library resources and evaluate information from a critical perspective. We often incorporate multimedia content, such as film clips and interactive diagrams, to illustrate key concepts. And we can also include short activities that reinforce the material, linking them to the Blackboard Score Center for grading by the instructor (or automatic grading).


In order to take these initiatives to the next level, we have formed an Online Learning Team within the instruction program. Under the leadership of Toccara Porter in her new role as Online Teaching and Outreach Librarian, this team is working to improve instructional offerings for distance students and other online learners. Along with Toccara, members of the team include Kelly Buckman, Sue Finley, Samantha McClellan, and Barbara Whitener. The long-term goal of the Online Learning Team is to build the instruction program’s capacity to collaborate with faculty across disciplines to embed customized online information literacy content into their courses.

If you’re interested in learning more about integrating online information literacy instruction into a class at UofL, please contact us! We will work with you to tailor the content to specific learning objectives and class assignments. And stay tuned for our new website in early 2015!

Today’s Headlines are Déjà Vu

“The New Flood Tide of Immigration”: You’d guess that was a headline from USA Today last month? Actually, it is a headline from 1921 which appeared in the Annals of the American Academy of Political Science. How about the headline “How good are cold and flu shots?” It’s from Science Digest, 1960. “New Hopes for Syria” is an article from 1937. All of these articles and many more that can provide students with a better perspective on today’s headlines can be found in the Reader’s Guide Retrospective database. Comparing coverage of a news story from the past and today can be illuminating to students in many disciplines: history, English, sociology, biology, psychology to name a few. This kind of exercise could be a great class discussion starter or an opportunity for a short paper or project.

This database is the electronic version of the old, green books that comprised the Reader’s Guide, stalwart source for most beginning research. The database covers magazines from 1890-1982. Many of the articles are available via full-text links and others are available in microfilm or even in bound print form in Ekstrom Library. For more ideas about how to incorporate material from this database or any of the other 200+ databases to which the library subscribes, contact an Ekstrom Library reference librarian in your discipline: http://louisville.edu/library/ekstrom/reference/

How to Find Art on UofL’s Campus

If you’ve walked through University of Louisville’s campus, you may have noticed the sculptures situated on our lawns and paintings hung in different department.  These eye-catching art pieces are part of the University’s art collection.  Now you can use a new interactive map to find new favorite artworks!


The Art on Campus tool will let you explore the University of Louisville’s Belknap and the Health Sciences campuses to find geotagged images of art.  Each pin on the map has information about the artist, the materials, and any additional information regarding how the artwork came to be located on campus. The website will work well on different internet browsers, as well as mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones.  There is even a feature that provides you Google Maps walking directions to each piece.

Michelangelo's David sculpture

This map will help you discover hidden gems on campus.  Many of us are aware of Rodin’s The Thinker statue in front of Grawmeyer Hall. However, did you know that a copy of Michelangelo’s iconic David statue sits inside Grawmeyer Hall?

The map also highlights the work of local artists, such as Alma Lesch, a fiber artist who was active in the city during the second half of the 20th century.  Using the information on the map, you can also find out how to further research individual artworks.  For example, the Bridwell Art Library has Alma Lesch’s papers in its manuscripts collection.  More research resources will be added to the Art on Campus page in the future to help scholars research each piece.

Mid-century Louisville

The University of Louisville Libraries’ Digital Collections has a colorful new addition: the Martin F. Schmidt Photos of Louisville, ca. 1956-1966. These 573 color snapshots document buildings in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, in the 1950s and 1960s, before urban renewal and federal highway construction made major changes to the architectural landscape.

ULPA 1998.09.424

609 West Walnut Street, Louisville, Kentucky. Image Number ULPA 1998.09.424 in Martin F. Schmidt Photos of Louisville 1956-1966, University of Louisville Photographic Archives.

The photographer, Martin F. Schmidt (1918-2010), worked in his family’s Coca-Cola bottling business in Louisville before pursuing a degree in library science and applying his interest in local history to positions in the Louisville Free Public Library’s Kentucky Division and the Filson Club (now Filson Historical Society). He also published Kentucky Illustrated: The First Hundred Years (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1992), a selection of prints he collected documenting Kentucky’s first century. Schmidt was also a major supporter of the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort, where a library is named in his honor.

The albums he donated to the University of Louisville Photographic Archives (now part of Archives & Special Collections) include churches, schools, offices, and industrial buildings from the Phoenix Hill neighborhood to Portland and from the Central Business District out to the Russell and California neighborhoods. The saturated color images show late nineteenth century architecture with neon signage, painted advertisements (similar to those documented in our Ghost Signs of Louisville digital collection), mid-20th century automobiles, and pedestrians. Many of the buildings depicted have since been razed.

ULPA 1998.09.288

Martin Rosenberger Wallpaper Co., Miller Automatic Sales Company, and Royal Wallpapers, Inc., 525-19 West Market Street, Louisville, Kentucky. Image Number ULPA 1998.09.288 in Martin F. Schmidt Photos of Louisville 1956-1966, University of Louisville Photographic Archives.

Denny Miller: A Tribute

By Chad Owen.

The Edgar Rice Burroughs Collections lost a dear friend and earnest supporter on September 9, 2014.

Denny Miller photosDennis Linn Miller, “Denny” to his friends and fans, was born in 1934 in Bloomington, Indiana. He was discovered first for his athleticism in high school, where famed basketball coach John Wooden offered him a full-ride scholarship to UCLA, and later on Sunset Boulevard by a talent agent, who signed him to MGM in 1958 as a contract player.

Tarzan leapDuring a long and widely varied acting career, he appeared in episodes of television series almost too numerous to list, including M*A*S*H, Gilligan’s Island, The Rifleman, Gunsmoke, Magnum P.I., and The Brady Bunch. He was best well known as a regular on Wagon Train from 1961-64 as the scout, Duke Shannon, as the face of the “Gorton Fisherman” for fourteen years of television commercials, and of course, he famously played Tarzan in 1959’s Tarzan the Ape Man, which brought him into the fold of Burroughs fandom writ large.

Later in life, Denny showcased his vitality and impish sense of humor in his autobiography, Didn’t You Used To Be What’s His Name? by Denny Miller (aka what’s his name), and a book on obesity and exercise entitled Toxic Waist? Know Sweat! He was a regular fixture at fandom cons, joyfully signing autographs and posing for pictures, and was always happy to talk about his past roles, including his time as Tarzan.

Denny and his wife Nancy were also frequent visitors to Louisville and to the Edgar Rice Burroughs Collections in ASC, and he counted Curator Emeritus George McWhorter among his closest friends.

By all of his fans, as well as by us in Archives and Special Collections, he is … and will be … sorely missed.

Ekstrom 1E Renovation

Pre-renovation photo

Pre-renovation photo

by Bob Fox, Dean of the University Libraries

You may be wondering what’s going on with the first floor of Ekstrom Library! It’s part of an overall plan to update and improve Ekstrom that has been ongoing for a few years. We’ve already upgraded spaces on the lower level in our Special Collections area and outside the Chao Auditorium. Last year, we updated one of our instructional labs and refreshed the fourth floor to create great quiet study spaces. Now, we’ve turned our attention to the older east side of the first floor (1E). We had been hearing comments from our users and staff that the way we offered services on the first floor didn’t always make sense and that the physical spaces were outdated and not set up the way our users need.

To learn more about how to update and change the spaces and our services, we conducted an in-depth six-month study using surveys, focus groups, town hall meetings, message boards, and observations. This study, as well as other information relating to the 1E project, is now available on our website at:


The website details things we have already accomplished as a result of the study and gives a timeline for our next steps. If you take a look at the site, you’ll notice that the collections moving around right now are just the first steps of many we will be undertaking to improve the spaces. We’ve already changed some services too so, for example, you can now check out items at both the east (Media) and west (Circulation) service desks. We’re also making organizational and staffing changes including rethinking some existing positions and creating new positions to address specific concerns we’ve heard and to enhance the user experience.

Over the next year, there will be some service disruptions, some noise, and some dust but in the end, we hope that the long-term improvements we see will be well worth the short-term troubles we’ll encounter.

Please continue to check the renovation website as we will update it throughout this exciting process.


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