Tag Archives: Crerar Kiosk

Opening a GIS Hub at Crerar Library

Location is important. Tracking the movement of contagious disease helps contain its spread. Demographic geography influences access to financial and retail services. Virtualized medieval cities provide opportunities to explore the contexts of historical events. Each of these phenomena can be studied with GIS.

GIS and Maps Librarian and students with map of Chicago on monitor

GIS and Maps Librarian Cecilia Smith (center) discusses mapping tools and resources with (from left) students Paul Gilbert, II, College ’20, and Emil Sohlberg, College ’20. (Photo by Joel Wintermantle)

Geographic information systems, or GIS, is used to analyze locational information across disciplines such as public health, environmental science, sociology, economics, policy, history, and many more. Faculty and students are increasingly integrating GIS into their research, and opportunities to learn the technology are growing at the University of Chicago.

Thanks to a generous gift from the Kathleen and Howard Zar Science Library Fund and support from the Library Council, the University of Chicago Library is developing a GIS Hub at the John Crerar Library to enable geospatial research and learning activities on campus. The Hub will be located in Crerar’s Kathleen A. Zar Room, named in honor of the late director of the science libraries. Brenda Johnson, Library Director and University Librarian, sees the new Hub as critical to supporting research on campus. “The GIS Hub at the Library will provide faculty, students and staff from every discipline at UChicago with access to important technology and resources and, very importantly, the ability to consult with a GIS Librarian with expert knowledge,” she said.

Eight workstations in the Hub will offer GIS software, including QGIS, GeoDa, and ArcGIS. Large, high-resolution monitors will allow detailed visualization work. The GIS Hub will facilitate individual and collaborative work. Instructional technology will also provide a venue for geospatial workshops and demonstrations.

As the new GIS and Maps Librarian, I will support faculty and students through consultations on gathering and exploring geospatial data, spatial literacy, and visualizing geographic information.  I will also offer workshops on working with GIS data and getting started with the software. At Chicago, I will build on my recent experience as a Clinical Assistant Professor and the Geospatial Librarian at Texas A&M University Libraries, where I collaborated on research projects with faculty from geography, sociology, anthropology, history, urban planning, and ecosystem science. The Early Modern Shipwreck project at modernshipwrecks.com is a good example of one of my collaborations with faculty where I provided geospatial expertise.

The GIS Hub opens to the campus community in Fall 2018, located with the new Media Arts, Data, and Design Center on the first floor of the newly renovated Crerar Library. The Media Arts, Data and Design Center will open in early Winter Quarter.  This co-location is an exciting opportunity for faculty and students to access technological and maker resources for interdisciplinary research and learning.

For questions regarding GIS resources at the Library, please contact me at ceciliasmith@uchicago.edu.

Featured Library technologist: Emma Boettcher

Emma Boettcher is the University of Chicago Library’s User Experience Resident Librarian. She has a Master of Science in Information Science from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and joined the Library in 2016 as part of a residency program that brings top recent graduates to Chicago.  Denizens of Regenstein may recognize Boettcher as the librarian who frequently conducts user testing in the lobby. Elisabeth Long talked with Boettcher about how her work enables faculty and students’ research in a changing environment.

Q: Tell us about a project you’ve worked on that has affected a website or tool that faculty and students are using today.  What was your role?  How did you contribute to the final product?

Emma Boettcher

Emma Boettcher (Photo by John Zich)

A: This past spring we launched a new streamlined process for requesting a book through Interlibrary Loan. We knew that this new service would address many of the frustrations our patrons experienced when requesting books through our legacy Interlibrary Loan services, but we also knew that it would represent a major change in patrons’ workflow.  My role was to do testing that would inform the design of the service so that these changes would be easy for patrons to understand. This included everything from labeling to page organization to visual cues that guide the patron toward the best option.

Our designer put together a set of prototype options, and I developed several research scenarios that linked the prototypes with live data so that I could watch testers try to accomplish some common tasks and see where they ran into problems, took circuitous routes, or performed actions that we weren’t expecting. The findings were used by the development team to make the service easier to navigate.

Q: What is one of your favorite projects, and what did you like about it?

A: I am currently working on a wayfinding project to study the maps and signage in Regenstein.  We are concentrating not just on how a patron finds a book in the Library Catalog but also on how they then go about finding the book itself, whether it lives in the bookstacks, a reading room, or in a reference collection.  What I like about this study is that it shows that user experience testing is not just about online experiences. It covers the much wider context of all the things people might be doing in our library.

Q: What are you working on now? 

A: Although a lot of my work focuses on faculty and students’ experiences of our library services, librarians themselves are also major users of our library systems. I am currently involved in a national and international open source project to develop a next generation library management system.  I use my user experience skills to study how different librarians across the project want the system to function.  It is fascinating to see where librarians from UChicago, Duke, and Germany, among others, have different ideas about workflows they need to support and where their needs converge.  I work with librarians from across the partnership to define specific interactions, such as what actions need to happen when a book is checked out to a patron, and then my job is to act as the translator between them and the developers who are building this open source system.

This interview is the first in a series on Library technologists.  Watch the Library News site for more such interviews.

“Library Adventures in a Digital Age,” a history of medicine pop-up display

Library Adventures in a Digital Age

Join Dr. Mindy Schwartz, Professor of Medicine and Associate Program Director for Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago, in the Special Collections Research Center for a special pop-up display of rare medical history collections.

Library Adventures in a Digital Age:
Chicago Connections
Friday, October 26, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Special Collections Research Center
Regenstein Library, 1st floor

View a selection of books and objects from our collections that enhance our understanding of the history of science and medicine, and learn how they can be used for research and teaching. A resource guide will be available.

For more information about the event, contact the Special Collections Research Center.

Apply for the Library Student Advisory Group

Mansueto and Regenstein

Mansueto and Regenstein libraries (photo by Tom Rossiter)

The Library Student Advisory Group serves as a formal channel of communication between students and the Library administration. The group discusses matters related to all six campus libraries, including collections, spaces, and services, along with issues relating to the present and future needs of the student community.

The Library Student Advisory Group meets once a quarter and representatives serve for two-year terms with an option to renew.

We are looking for student representatives from the following schools and divisions:

  • College (Class of 2022)
  • Biological Sciences Division
  • Booth School of Business
  • Harris School of Public Policy Studies
  • Physical Sciences Division
  • Pritzker School of Medicine
  • Social Sciences Division
  • School of Social Service Administration.

Please complete our online application by October 26, 2018.

For more information about the Library Student Advisory Group, or the application process, please contact:

Rebecca Starkey
Librarian for College Instruction & Outreach
773-702-4484
rstarkey@uchicago.edu

ChemDraw Prime software annual renewal

University of Chicago users of ChemDraw Prime may now download the most recent version of the software for use.  The process requires use of an @uchicago.edu email address and an in-software activation using a code provided to registered users.  Instructions for download and activation are available on the Chemistry LibGuide as a PDF file .  Users encountering any difficulties in downloading or activating the software may contact Andrea Twiss-Brooks, atbrooks@uchicago.edu or 773-702-8777 for assistance.

ChemDraw Logo

Crerar Librarians

Crerar reference librarians are now temporarily located in the 3rd floor of the renovated Crerar Library.   Deb Werner is in 315 and Jenny Hart in 313.  We will be here until our new office space is constructed on the north side of the first floor.

Our phone numbers remain the same.  If you have any questions feel free to give us a call or email us.  We are happy to set up an appointment to meet with you!

 

The Scholarly Environment at the University of Chicago Library

Welcoming, Comfortable, Respectful to All

Welcome to the University of Chicago Library.  As the new academic year begins, we would like to greet all new and returning faculty, students, and staff.

The Library’s mission is to provide comprehensive resources and services in support of the research, teaching, and learning needs of the University community.  We hope that you will get to know some of the many librarians who are here to help you and to take full advantage of our offerings.

The University of Chicago Library is the heart of a University that seeks to enrich human life through the growth of knowledge. For the pursuit of knowledge to flourish, the Library is committed to maintaining an environment for users that is supportive of study, research, reflection, and scholarly collaboration; welcoming; safe; respectful of all; and comfortable, with spaces for quiet individual study, research, and reflection and designated areas for collaborative work.

In the past year, there has been graffiti found on Library walls that has been drawn to our attention and has disturbed some members of our community.  We ask that you join us in creating and sustaining a scholarly environment at the Library by notifying Library staff when you find such graffiti so that it can be removed and by reading and acting upon our complete statement of User Rights and Responsibilities for Creating and Sustaining a Scholarly Environment, and our policy on Maintaining a Scholarly Environment below.

Please contact us at scholarly-environment@lib.uchicago.edu if you have any questions about these policies or our scholarly environment.

Creating and Sustaining a Scholarly Environment

Library users and staff share responsibility for creating and sustaining an environment supportive of scholarship. To ensure this environment,

  • You have the responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect.
  • You have the responsibility to refrain from engaging in behavior that creates a disturbance, interferes with the right of others to use the Library for research and study, or otherwise detracts from a scholarly environment.
  • You have the responsibility to learn about and comply with Library policies for maintaining this environment.

These responsibilities come with the following rights:

  • You have a right to ask others to end conversations, lower their voices, or maintain an environment supportive of scholarship.
  • You have a right to request and receive assistance from a Library staff member in maintaining an environment supportive of scholarship.
  • You have a right to expect that in addressing problems, Library staff will take measured steps to restore a scholarly environment.

Maintaining a Scholarly Environment

All Library users and staff share in the responsibility for maintaining an environment supportive of scholarship. These responsibilities include the following:

  1. Exhibiting conduct appropriate to research and study by
    • maintaining quiet in all individual study areas and in the stacks
    • conducting group study and quiet conversations only in Library-designated areas
    • refraining from loud or boisterous behavior
    • silencing cell phones, laptops, and electronic devices when in Library spaces
    • restricting cell phone conversations, with care taken to avoid disturbing others, to Library designated spaces

2. Helping to preserve library collections by

    • following the Library’s Food & Drink Policy
    • not writing in, underlining, highlighting or otherwise damaging library materials

3. Helping to sustain the library’s physical spaces by

    • not smoking inside, or within 15 feet of entrances of, Library buildings (in accordance with University policy and City of Chicago ordinance); including not using electronic cigarettes or other such delivery systems
    • not bringing animals into the Library, except service animals assisting those with disabilities (in accordance with University policies for Service Animals and Assistance Animals)
    • securing bicycles only to official racks outside of the Library
    • not using scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, skates or other conveyances (except those assisting persons with disabilities), within the Library or near Library entrances
    • not posting signs, notices, or other material except in designated locations or with special permission, in accordance with the Library’s Policy on Promotional Activities

4. Creating a comfortable and supportive environment for other Library users and staff by

    • wearing clothing, including shirts and shoes
    • not exposing others to pornographic or obscene images
    • using Library spaces only for the purposes for which they are intended

5. Complying with Library and University policies, which ensure a safe and respectful community for all by

    • presenting appropriate identification when asked to do so by Library staff or University officials who have also identified themselves
    • leaving Library spaces at closing
    • not entering Library staff areas without permission
    • closely supervising children brought with you to the Library
    • not taking photographs of others for personal use without permission of the individual(s); not filming or taking photographs of Library spaces and users for publication or commercial purposes without permission of Library administration
    • not soliciting or conducting surveys without advance Library approval
    • not using Library space for political fundraising or any other partisan political campaign activities, in accordance with University policies regarding political activity

Prohibited actions that are illegal, endanger safety or are considered serious violations include:

  1. Engaging in criminal activity, including theft, battery, or assault
  2. Vandalizing or defacing of Library material, equipment, collections, furniture, or facilities (including creating graffiti)
  3. Stalking, harassing, or making unwanted sexual advances
  4. Engaging in sexual activities or indecently exposing oneself
  5. Violating the University’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct (including but not limited to sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking) or denigrating individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any protected classes under the law
  6. Bringing firearms of any kind, explosives, or other dangerous objects or materials into the Library
  7. Violating the University’s Drug and Alcohol Policies
  8. Violating the University’s Policy on Information Technology Use and Access or the Library’s Policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources

The above lists of responsibilities and prohibited actions are not to be taken as exhaustive.

Crerar renovation update

The John Crerar Library’s Access and Circulation Desk has reopened in its newly renovated home on the Lower Level, next to the bookstacks.  The new space houses staff and services such as circulation, Scan and Deliver, search requests, and course reserves.

Crerar Library exterior including entry area

The John Crerar Library (Photo by Kathy Zadrozny)

Also located on the Lower Level is a new study space that is open for University of Chicago-affiliated users, as well as approved visitors, researchers, and guests. The main quiet study space features new furniture with seating for 100 people in a beautifully lit space, with a glass wall on the east side and a window on the west side providing natural light during the day. Additionally, two group study rooms will be available for University of Chicago students, faculty, and staff to reserve via Book a Room. Each group study seats up to 8 people and features a whiteboard wall.  Just outside the quiet study space, PCs will be available for use. The PCs provide standard Library software, as well as Geographic Information System (GIS) tools. Copy/print/scan stations will be in a room just north of the quiet study space.

As we move into our new space, the area of the first floor where these services were previously located will be closed for renovation as we partner with our colleagues in Computer Science, the Humanities Division, and UChicago Arts to create additional space to support design, GIS, gaming and media arts.

Thank you for your patience as this part of the construction nears its end, and we look forward to seeing you in our new location.

 

Meet new GIS and Maps Librarian Cecilia Smith

Cecilia Smith joined the Library as the GIS and Maps Librarian.  Cecilia comes to the University of Chicago from Texas A&M University where she was the Geospatial Librarian, Clinical Assistant Professor at the Evans Library. At Evans Library, Cecilia developed the GIS program, including services, spaces, and support.

Cecilia Smith

Cecilia Smith, GIS and Maps Librarian

Cecilia has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an M.S. in GIS and Spatial Analysis in Archaeology, with honors, from the University College London and a B.A in Archaeology, Boston University.

Barbara Kern interviewed Cecilia to find out how she plans to work with faculty and students, and what she sees as emerging trends in GIS and Map Libraries.

Cecilia can be reached at ceciliasmith@uchicago.edu, 773-702-8761, Regenstein Library Room 371.

Q: What originally got you interested in Maps?

A: I became interested in maps when I realized how powerful they are—a map can show the shifting boundaries of the Roman Empire, explain the progression of a cholera outbreak, or get you safely home from your hike. They give you the ability to see the world and manage to do it using a single piece of paper.

Q: What originally got you interested in GIS?

A: I learned about geographic information systems (GIS) as an undergraduate researching the development of Mediterranean residences of the Bronze Age. It was a challenge to organize the many variables related to the structures’ location, orientation, and layout. GIS solved my need for a geographic database, and turned out to be so much more. I quickly developed an interest in using the technology to help with spatial analyses and to create visualizations of research results.

Q:  How have you worked with faculty at Texas A&M?

A: I worked with faculty at Texas A&M in three ways: collaborating on research, providing consultation on GIS related projects, and sharing resource information with their classes. The Early Modern Shipwreck project (http://modernshipwrecks.com/) is a good example of one of my collaborations with faculty in which I provided geospatial expertise.

Q: How will you work with faculty and students in your role?

A: I will focus on providing services and resources that enable faculty and students to discover, explore, visualize, and curate geospatial information. Geospatial information can take different forms, such as traditional paper maps or GIS files. I will offer consultations and workshops on how to work with different data types.

Q: If you could summarize your PhD research in a few sentences, what would you say?

A: My PhD research focused on changes to indigenous Philippine economies during Spanish colonization. I used GIS technology to analyze archaeological survey and excavation data in the Bacong Municipality of Negros Oriental. I found that the rugged geography of the study area significantly contributed to the indigenous populations’ ability to thrive while Spanish forces focused their resources on more accessible ports.

Q: You previously lived in Chicago.  What do you enjoy most about the city?

A: It’s hard to choose just one thing! I love the great food and the lakefront. One of my favorite places is the Lincoln Park Conservatory. I was also a researcher at the Field Museum, so Museum Campus is a favorite, too.

Safari Ebooks replacement

The library is replacing our Safari ebooks subscription with individual ebooks.  Ebooks formerly available through Safari will be available through our catalog only: https://catalog.lib.uchicago.edu.

As we make this transition, some books may be temporarily unavailable.  If you are unable to find the ebook by searching our catalog please contact us at crerar-reference@lib.uchicago.edu.