Teaching & Learning

Introduction to Zotero, Bibliography Builder: workshop

When: Thursday, April 14, noon –1 p.m.
Where: TECHB@R Regenstein Library, Room 160
Description: Zotero is a free bibliography builder that allows you to save citation information while searching and browsing the Web. With a single click, Zotero saves citations and enables you to create customized bibliographies in standard citation styles, including MLA, Chicago and APA. This workshop will introduce some of the key functions of Zotero such as: installing Zotero, adding citations to your Zotero library, organizing and managing your citations, creating a bibliography, and using the Microsoft Word plug-in to easily insert citations from Zotero into your documents.
Register: https://training.uchicago.edu/course_detail.cfm?course_id=1010
Contact: Joseph Regenstein Library
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Tag: Student Events, Training, Workshops, Graduate Students, Staff
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

EndNote Online or Zotero? Selecting the Best Citation Manager: workshop

When: Friday, April 8, noon – 1 p.m.
Where: TECHB@R Regenstein Library, Room 160
Description: Citation managers are powerful, time-saving tools that help you manage your research. They can also help you format your papers in MS Word by creating bibliographies, citations, and footnotes automatically in the style you choose, such as APA or Chicago.

This workshop will compare how EndNote Online and Zotero – two popular citation managers – allow you to save, share, and cite information. In order to provide a side-by-side comparison of tools, the format of this workshop is demonstration.

Register: https://training.uchicago.edu/course_detail.cfm?course_id=1455
Contact: Joseph Regenstein Library
Tag: Workshops, Graduate Students, Staff, 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

Library partners with CCT & IT Services on workshop series for instructors

The University of Chicago Library, Chicago Center for Teaching, and Academic and Scholarly Technology Services are partnering on a workshop series for graduate students and instructors on improving students’ information literacy skills.

Ruining Google and Wikipedia: Teaching Strategies That Help Students Progress from Knowledge Consumers to Knowledge Producers

In the current age of often unlimited access to information it is important for students, particularly those introductory courses, to learn how to engage with physical and online information ethically, critically, and effectively. This series of three workshops will address pedagogical approaches and considerations that can help students obtain these skills. Each workshop can be taken alone, but we encourage participation in the entire series.

Specifically, each workshop will allow instructors to reflect on the skills students need to read and consume high quality information and build information literacy, to value information and distinguish between their own work and existing work as part of academic integrity, and to engage with information in the age of digital media. Instructors will leave with assignments, resources and strategies that they can use in their classroom.

Feel free to bring your lunch. Dessert will be served.

Session 1: Building Student Information Literacy Skills Through Assignments
April 7, 12:00-1:30pm
CCT Classroom, Wieboldt 310 D/E

Co-facilitated by Rebecca Starkey, Librarian for College Instruction & Outreach and Deb Werner, Librarian for Science Instruction & Outreach and Biomedical Reference Librarian

You’ve created an assignment in the upcoming undergraduate course that you are teaching. Will your students know how to find the types of academic sources you expect for the assignment? If not, how do you help them obtain these skills?  While today’s students are very tech-savvy and have greater access to information than ever before, they often lack the experience needed to find, evaluate, and use scholarly resources. By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Define information literacy and explain its place in higher education
  • Identify Library services that support information literacy instruction in the classroom
  • Articulate learning outcomes that build your students’ information literacy skills for your discipline

Develop strategies for building research skills into your assignments

Session 2: Academic Integrity in the Classroom
April 14, 12:00pm-1:30pm
CCT Classroom, Wieboldt 310 D/E

Co-facilitated by Joseph Lampert, CCT Associate Director and Julie Piacentine, E-Learning Librarian

How can we address academic integrity in our teaching in a way that supports student learning?  In this workshop, participants will consider this and other questions as they reflect on how to understand this central value and think about how to structure their teaching to promote an appreciation for academic integrity among their students.  During the session, participants will:

  • Discuss potential definitions of academic integrity and what they imply for one’s approach to teaching.
  • Develop strategies for addressing academic integrity in their teaching, focusing especially on structuring assignments to support proper citation of sources.
  • Learn about resources on campus that can help instructors and students promote academic integrity.

Session 3: Ruining Google & Wikipedia: Creating Critical Readers
April 21, 12:00pm-1:30pm
CCT Classroom, Wieboldt 310 D/E

Co-facilitated by Cecilia Lo, Academic Technology Analyst and Kaitlin Springmier, Resident Librarian for Online Learning

Getting students to read carefully and reflectively can be a challenge. And it is often difficult to figure out how exactly students are reading and where they may have difficulty. In this workshop, participants will explore online annotation tool and how they may be used to encourage collaborative and reflective reading. We will then extend the discussion to what does it mean to engage students digitally, why, when and how to engage students digitally successfully.

This is a hands-on workshop, please bring a laptop/tablet. Equipment is available for check-out at the Techbar in Regenstein Library should you need one.


Unrequired reading at the Library

Miss reading for fun? Having trouble finding unrequired reading in the libraries’ collections? With over 11 million print & electronic books, it can be hard to browse the library collections to find reading for fun. But have no fear, librarians are here! Read on to learn about specific collections at University of Chicago Libraries dedicated to leisure reading and top tips to find your next favorite fun read.

D'Angelo Law LIbrary Book Display

Books on display at the D’Angelo Law Library

Tip #1: Visit D’Angelo Law Library. The D’Angelo law library collects novels, mysteries, science fiction,  humor, science, history, and biography (Supported by the Alison T. Dunham Memorial Fund). Find authors such as Jonathan Franzen, Chuck Palahniuk, Jennifer Weiner, and many more! The collection is easy to locate and recently purchased titles can be found on display on the fourth floor.

Tip #2: Browse the Reg’s Young Adult Fiction. In 2015, College student Maya Handa won an Uncommon Fund grant to buy young adult fiction for the Reg’s collections. You can view some of the purchased book covers on display next to the dissertation office or browse for yourself by visiting the PZ call numbers on the 3rd floor.

Tip #3: Check out the Class of 2000 Books. As its gift to the University, the Class of 2000 has established a book fund for the purchase of popular fiction and media for Regenstein. The gift is intended to provide students with mysteries, science fiction, other contemporary fiction, and media that would not ordinarily be purchased by the Library.


Tip #4: Search the library catalog. The library has a lot of great books for you to read, but you have to know what you’re looking for. Find new book recommendations by browsing book recommendation engines like:

Selection of Class of 2000 Books

A few books purchased using the Class of 2000 fund. Photo by Rebecca Starkey.

  • Amazon: The online shopping giant pulls purchase histories from users. Usually browsing the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…” section brings up great recommendations. It has allowed readers to review books for over 20 years, making the site a massive resource for book recommendations.
  • GoodReads: Described as the ‘Netflix for Books,’ GoodReads has a recommendation engine that uses a reported 20 billion data points to give suggestions tailored to your literary preferences. GoodReads also allows you to create your own virtual library, connect with friends, and create wishlists.
  • WhatShouldIReadNext: Just type in a book or author you enjoyed and see your recommendations flow in. The site’s recommendation inventory is less expensive when compared to Amazon or GoodReads, but the nice thing about this resource is that you can also browse recommendations by subject. Really enjoyed Americanah? See all other books about Nigeria!

Once you find a book that you want to read, just type it into the catalog to find it in the library. If it’s not here, remember that you can also browse search in Big 10 university libraries and Ivy League libraries through UBorrow and BorrowDirect.

Tip #5: As always, if you are having trouble finding a book in the collections, or have any questions, Ask a Librarian!

Creative Assignments with blogs, wikis, discussion boards, and Google Docs: TECHB@R workshop

When: Tuesday, February 23, – 4 p.m.
Where: TECHB@R Regenstein Library, Room 160
Description: Coming up with creative assignments that excite students and help them achieve learning goals can be a challenge. In this workshop, we will explore how to design creative assignments with technologies such as blogs, wikis, discussion tools, and Google Apps (Docs, Spreadsheet, Forms, Lucidchart, etc.) and foster collaborative learning during and between class meetings. We will consider the characteristics of these collaborative technologies, the type of assignments they are appropriate for and how to use them effectively. We will examine a few examples of effective use of these technologies and we will do a small group hands-on exercise to develop an assignment using one of these technologies. Bring your laptop or tablet for a taste in using technology for collaborative learning.

This course is open to all faculty, instructors, teaching assistants and graduate students.

Register: https://training.uchicago.edu/course_detail.cfm?course_id=1642
Contact: Academic Technologies
Tag: 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

Celebrate Kuviasungnerk with our new Library Guide

Celebrate Kuviasungnerk from the warmth and comfort of the Library, your favorite coffee shop, or residence hall. Our Kuvia Library Guide highlights books and other items from our collections focused on the winter season.  No pre-dawn Kangeiko necessary (but we do like the t-shirt, so good luck to the early risers).

Happy Kuvia UChicago!

A page in the Kuvia Library Guide with archival photos of UChicago in the snow


ProductivityU: Be more efficient with the Library’s help

Librarian Consultation

Experts will be on hand to guide you to the best productivity tools. (Photo by Jason Smith)

Now that you’ve had one quarter of the academic year under your belt, it’s time to reflect on your productivity pitfalls and add new tools to help you overcome these obstacles. On January 15 from noon to five, the University of Chicago Library is holding an inaugural ‘Productivity Unconference,’ where students, librarians, and technologists will be invited to meet to share tips, tricks, and tools to be a more efficient and productive researcher, student, and academic professional. The unconference will have time for consultations, workshops, and presentations on tools like citation managers, social bookmarking apps, and cloud storage as well as tips to stay efficient and productive during the busy academic quarter.

Everyone across campus including students, faculty, and staff are invited to meet with experienced ‘productivity experts’ from across campus to:

  • Learn how to use free web tools such as Evernote, Box, and Google Apps to superpower productivity
  • Practice new strategies in time management
  • Discover innovative ways to stay in-the-know
  • Manage research documents such as course readings, book chapters, and paper drafts
  • Ensure security online and in research documents

Schedule of Events
January 15, Noon – 5:00 PM
Regenstein, Room 122

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Productivity & Project Management Consultations
Members of the University of Chicago community can sign up for 15-minute consultations with librarians, academic technologists, and tech experts to learn about key productivity tools and strategies.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Productivity Tools & Strategies Lightning Talks
Participants present proposed lighting talks on their favorite project management/productivity tools or strategies. The Lightning talks blocked at 5 minutes apiece, and will give an opportunity for peer sharing and presentation skills.

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Productivity & Project Management Consultations & Productivity “In”
Participants can meet with consultants on key productivity tools & strategies. This time also serves as a place for students to have a “productivity-in,” where students can get to work planning and organizing course readings, assignments, and extracurricular duties for the quarter.

Sign up for a consultation today!

Interested in presenting a lightning talk? Fill out a lightning talk proposal.

Don’t want to commit? Feel free to drop in during the event, grab a snack provided by the library, and chat with other people across campus to learn some new tools and share your strategies on staying productive.

Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in a Library workshop or training session should contact Kaitlin Springmier at 773-702-0229.

Star Wars Library Guide

Books on Star Wars

Some items from the Library’s collections about Star Wars. Photo by Rebecca Starkey.

Are finals getting you down? Don’t succumb to the Dark Side. Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens during interim, so take a break and learn about some of the Library’s collections about Star Wars!

The Library has created a Star Wars Library Guide which highlights resources on the films and the phenomena–all available at our campus libraries or online collections.

Remember, the Force is strong within you! Good luck!


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.