Teaching & Learning

Library launches new residency program

Kaitlin Springmier joins UChicago as Resident Librarian for Online Learning

The University of Chicago Library launched a new residency program this fall that will expand staff expertise in new and rapidly developing areas of librarianship. The program is designed to bring top recent graduates of library and information science programs and relevant graduate programs to Chicago for two-year residencies focused on particular areas of expertise.

“This new residency program provides up-and-coming librarians and information specialists with an exciting opportunity to share new skill sets while collaborating with experienced colleagues to advance the development of twenty-first century library services,” said Brenda Johnson, Library Director and University Librarian.

Kaitlin Springmier

Kaitlin Springmier, Resident Librarian for Online Learning

The first resident in this new program, Kaitlin Springmier, joined the Library in September as Resident Librarian for Online Learning. She came to Chicago from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she completed a Master of Library Science and worked as an Instruction Assistant at the UW -Madison Memorial Library. She has experience creating interactive e-learning tutorials and using new instructional designs, including embedded librarianship in online courses.

“We’re delighted that Kaitlin has joined the Library,” said E-Learning Librarian Julie Piacentine. “She is familiar with key research on developing online learning and has experience designing modules that achieve specific learning outcomes.”

Springmier will work with reference librarians and subject specialists to develop, implement, and assess multi-media e-learning tools, resources, and services that support research, teaching, and learning at the University. High priority projects include development of a mini-course on tracking citations and creating bibliographies, as well as more specialized tutorials designed to meet the needs of students working in specific disciplines.

“This residency will help us increase the amount of self-service help that’s available whenever students need it,” Piacentine explained.

This first residency was made possible by generous gifts from Library Visiting Committee members Preston Torbert and Diana Hunt King, who saw the value of educating students in how to navigate complex and rapidly evolving online research environments.

Visit youtube.com/user/uchicagolibrary to see the latest online tutorials offered by the Library.

Growing the Residency Program

The Library has developed a set of possible residencies that could allow it to offer additional services in a wide variety of areas, as funding becomes available. Among the proposed positions are a Bioinformatics Resident Librarian who would support students and faculty who collect and analyze complex biological data such as genetic codes. A Data Services Resident Librarian would help students and faculty to use statistical databases, geographic information systems, data visualization, and other tools for field research, such as software for processing interviews and ethnographic field notes. A Digital Archivist Resident Librarian in the Special Collections Research Center would work with the University Archivist and the Archives staff to plan and implement a strategy for systematic transfers of electronic records to the Library Digital Repository. A Clinical Law Programs Resident Librarian would help to provide law students with legal research skills training that supports their work in experiential clinical programs in areas such as environmental law, international human rights, corporate law, civil rights, employment discrimination, and juvenile justice.

The residency program is expected to change over time as funding for new positions is obtained and the needs of the Library evolve.


PhD student interns gain new perspectives at the Library

When the call went out for summer internship ideas for the University of Chicago’s Graduate Global Impact program, librarians on campus recognized a dual opportunity. PhD students could develop new perspectives on scholarship by working with librarians on important projects, while the work they accomplished could enhance the Library’s offerings for its many users.

Special Collections Intern Ellen Ambrosone with blueprints

Special Collections Intern Ellen Ambrosone with blueprints (Photo by John Zich)

Four interns—Rafadi Hakim, Ellen Ambrosone, Marco Torres, and Eric Phillips—were hired for summer 2015. Through their internships, they gained new insights into the local and global impact of librarianship and scholarship.

The skills these interns developed in the Library can help them in a wide range of environments in the future. “The primary objective of the internship program is to provide graduate students with flexible training that can help them prepare for careers in academia, nonprofits, government, and industry,” said A-J Aronstein, Associate Director of Graduate Career Development and Employer Relations. “The kind of skills that one develops in the Library—including digital skills, coding, and archival research—are just as vital for jobs on the tenure track as they are for jobs in other fields.”

Digital South Asia Library Intern Rafadi Hakim

A PhD student in Anthropology, Rafadi Hakim, was hired to help expand and enhance the presentation of data and texts in the Digital South Asia Library (DSAL). His projects ranged from writing a grant application with librarians to adding digital facsimiles to the DSAL website.

Hakim jumped at the chance to be involved in the digital humanities. “Sometimes as a student, I feel I’m spending so much time fine tuning small parts of my own paper for just a few people,” he said. But, when working on the DSAL, he explained, “It’s not just about this exclusive circle. It’s massively helpful to people in different countries.” His work this summer required thinking about how to best serve students, scholars, and others with varying degrees of fluency in South Asian languages and varying amounts of Internet bandwidth.

Hakim also appreciates the new perspectives on scholarship that he gained from working with James Nye, Bibliographer for Southern Asia, and Laura Ring, Cataloger and Assistant South Asia Librarian.   “It’s nice to get some mentoring from people in addition to the faculty in your own department,” he said.

Rafadi Hakim

Rafadi Hakim examines an image that will be added to the Digital South Asia Library. (Photo by John Zich)


Special Collections Intern Ellen Ambrosone

Over the last several years in particular, Special Collections has received an enormous influx of architectural drawings. “They’re hanging on racks; they’re in drawers; they’re in archival boxes,” said Kathleen Feeney, Head of Archives Processing and Digital Access. “Our best estimate is that there are 117,000 of them. We know we have them from the entire history of the University, from landscape drawings to electrical plans, but when we hired Ellen, we didn’t have a strong inventory.”

Ambrosone, a PhD candidate in South Asian Languages and Civilizations, welcomed the opportunity to participate in the first phase of a multi-year project to preserve and make these drawings accessible. She began the compilation of an inventory of the drawings, so that researchers can more readily understand what is available.

Processing Archivist Ashley Locke Gosselar, who helped to direct Ambrosone’s work on the project, emphasized its importance. “Our campus—and the city at large—is renowned for its architecture. What Ellen is doing is helping to preserve that legacy.”

Ambrosone expects to use the skills she developed in her own work, and to share her knowledge with others. “Having a working knowledge of archiving and processing the collection makes me a more well-rounded scholar,” she said. “I’m thinking about how I can incorporate this experience into my teaching to show students how the work scholars do is often built on work done by library professionals.”

Citation Analysis Intern Marco Torres

History PhD candidate Marco Torres joined the Library this summer to analyze citations used in recent UChicago Latin American studies dissertations. “One of the goals of the project is to help us make decisions about what resources should be purchased in the future based on the type of materials PhD students are using,” explained Ellen Bryan, Reference Librarian and Head of the Dissertation Office.

Torres’s own dissertation proposal was approved shortly before his internship began. He plans to go to Mexico City to do research on the labor movement in the late 1930s and its role in Mexican politics. He particularly valued the opportunity to discover the kinds of sources recent graduates used in studying Mexico.

“A lot of what we do as scholars is to look at bibliographies and see patterns in them,” Torres said. “Getting that recent bibliography is not so easy, sometimes.” One unexpected trend he observed was that recent political science bibliographies cite trade publications outside the social sciences, in fields such as medicine.

ACASA Intern Eric Phillips

History PhD student Eric Phillips first met June Farris, the Library’s Bibliographer for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies, when consulting the Library’s Archives of Czechs & Slovaks Abroad (ACASA) for a seminar paper on the transformation of Pressburg into Bratislava, the capital of the Slovak half of newly independent Czechoslovakia in post-World War I Europe. He is studying the Czech language and preparing to write his dissertation on the economic history of interwar Czechoslovakia and Austria.

Eric Phillips

ACASA Intern Eric Phillips (Photo by John Zich)

Farris mentioned to Phillips some time ago that ACASA needed to be reorganized. New materials were waiting to be integrated into the original schema devised by early collector Zdenek Hruban, and old materials needed to be rehoused to make room for them. During his internship, Phillips immersed himself in this project. He was delighted to be the first to go through Professor Hruban’s papers and fascinated to see a copy of the Nuremberg testimony of Petr Zenkl, a mayor of Prague, who was sent by the Nazis to Buchenwald concentration camp.

“For the last two summers, I’ve been going to the archives in Prague and trying to navigate them. It’s been a challenging experience,” Phillips said in August. “Now I’m on the other side, learning how archives are organized.”

“Being a historian, archival research is the ultimate goal, so the more you do of it, the more competent a researcher you are, and the more it can help you develop themes in your area,” said Farris.

Hakim, Torres and Phillips’s internships were sponsored by the Division of the Social Sciences Emerging Leaders Initiative. Ambrosone’s internship was sponsored by UChicago GRAD.

All About Endnote (Desktop Version), Thursday, October 15, 12-1 PM

Endnote imageLocation: Crerar Library Computer Classroom.

Learn how to use the bibliographic software EndNote.  Topics covered include creating and managing libraries, importing references from online databases, importing and managing PDFs and creating formatted bibliographies and citations in Microsoft Word. Registration is required.  Register for this section.

Finding your course reserves

The University of Chicago Library is dedicated to helping students achieve academic excellence. A primary way the Library does so is by providing course reserves. This service allows instructors to make books and other items in the Library’s collections such as articles, CDs, and DVDs available for your class. Course reserves may be available online or in one of the campus library locations.

To learn more about accessing your course reserves, please watch this short tutorial or visit the guide on finding course reserves.

Data Data Everywhere: Introduction to Data Management

Crerar Library: Kathleen A. Zar Room, May 13th, 4-5pm

You are collecting it, but are you managing it? If you were asked to provide data from research done last year, would you be able to find it? What about two years ago? Join us for this session where you will learn more about the basics of data management for your research. We will discuss best practices for file naming and structure, metadata, storage and back ups, as well as provide an overview of funding agency requirements. Register

Dissertation Procedures for Students: workshop

When: Thursday, April 9, noon – 1 p.m.
Tuesday, April 14, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: TECHB@R Regenstein Library, Room 160
Description: Are you a Ph.D. student planning to graduate in Spring 2015? Doctoral candidates use the ProQuest ETD Administrator, web-based interface for online submission, review, and publication of dissertations. In this session, we will review the procedures for submitting your dissertation electronically. Please feel free to bring your questions to the session. If you would like to review the ETD interface, visit: http://www.etdadmin.com/uchicago.
Register: https://training.uchicago.edu/course_detail.cfm?course_id=731
Contact: Dissertation Office
(773) 702-7404
Tag: Workshops, Meetings, Student Events Calendar, Graduate Students, Training
Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance.
Information on Assistive Listening Device

Postponed: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: University of Chicago Library Edition


A new date will be announced soon for this event.

Saturday, March 28, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: Regenstein Library, The Special Collections Research Center
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Description: On March 28, the University of Chicago Library will host a Wikipedia edit-a-thon in the Special Collections Research Center, the subject focus of which is great women in University of Chicago history. Experienced Wikipedia editors and new users alike are welcome to participate.

This event provides an opportunity to learn how articles are built and maintained using the Library’s primary source collections, databases, and one-on-one assistance from reference librarians in navigating these sources. New users shouldn’t shy away from attending.

The day-long event begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Coffee and pastries will be provided in the morning and lunch will be served in the afternoon. Come for all or part of the day. Registration required, please RSVP by 3/25 to specialcollections@lib.uchicago.edu.

Participants are asked to bring their own laptop and power cord.

Contact: Joseph Regenstein Library
Tag: Arts, Graduate Students, Research, Student Career Development, Free Food, Innovation/Entrepreneurship, Volunteer Opportunities
Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance.
Information on Assistive Listening Device

Writing – Creating Value III: GSA workshop

When: Tuesday, March 10, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Regenstein Library, Room A-11
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Description: Writing – Creating Value III – This workshop will examine some different techniques for adapting your writing to different audiences. In some cases, a piece of writing can be taken as valuable in multiple contexts, but more often than not, the rhetorics of value differ for different readers. This session is about those differences. Limited to 20 participants. Advance registration required; register here.
Cost: Free
Contact: Graduate Student Affairs
More info: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/writing-workshop-creating-value-iii-registration-15836461282
Tag: Graduate Students
Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance.
Information on Assistive Listening Device

R Statistics: Introductory Tutorial: TECHB@R workshop

When: Thursday, March 5, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Where: TECHB@R Regenstein Library, Room 160
Description: The Introductory tutorial to R will give you a broad understanding of the basics of using R and R Studio as well as some programming insight for this mathematical-statistical software. In this 90 minute tutorial, we will go over some useful commands to import, analyze, graph and present output in a professional way. Previous experience with R is not required but attendees are highly encouraged to bring their own laptops and download R and R Studio in advance. In case you need help setting up, please come to the Techbar at least 15 minutes before this workshop and our staff can help.

There is no fee for this tutorial, but registration is required. Seating is limited, so sign up soon! Click on the link below to register!

Contact: Academic Technologies
More info: https://training.uchicago.edu/course_detail.cfm?course_id=1600
Tag: Graduate Students, Staff, Training, Student Career Development, Workshops
Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance.
Information on Assistive Listening Device

Spend College Break Day at RegFest, February 13

Elevated view of the Regenstein Library, from the University of Chicago architectural guidebook titled Building Ideas, published summer of 2013. (Photo by Tom Rossiter)

Regenstein Library (Photo by Tom Rossiter). Spend your College Break (February 13) at RegFest, a day of programs highlighting fun and unique ways to use the resources available at Regenstein Library.

Spend your College Break at RegFest, a day of programs highlighting fun and unique ways to use the resources available at Regenstein Library. 

Programs will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the TECHB@R, Regenstein Library, Room 160.

  • Trace your family history
  • Lean more about the equipment and services at the TECHB@R
  • View a selection of acerbic letters from Ezra Pound in the Special Collections Research Center
  • Track down your (or your professor’s) citations
  • Create your own UChicago-themed Valentine’s Day cards
  • Play UChicago trivia
  • And more!

Snacks will be provided at our lunchtime and closing programs. Enter our drawing for an Amazon gift card, and increase your chance to win by the number of RegFest sessions that you attend.

Short on time? Feel free to drop by anytime with your friends for our Regenstein photo booth!

View the complete RegFest schedule and RSVP today!

RegFest is a joint University of Chicago Library and IT Services Academic and Scholarly Technology Services event.

Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact Rebecca Starkey at rstarkey@uchicago.edu or 773-702-4484 for assistance.