University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

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September 28, 2016

Dr. Kate Sekula, one of our music faculty at USAO, has started a new blog, Bonus Tracks, where she will be featuring vinyl from our collection! We have thousands of vinyl records available to be checked out, and we're going to be getting record players for the Music Pocket Library soon so you can listen to records in the libray. Dr. Sekula has a Ph.D. in music theory and history from the University of Connecticut, and we are looking forward to learning from her about the music in our collection! We have such great faculty here at USAO! Here's a look at her first post about Béla Bartók Playing His Own Works: Excerpts from 'Mikrokosmos':

Bonus Tracks blog with image of record cover and description of Béla Bartók Playing His Own Works: Excerpts from 'Mikrokosmos

To make it easy to find the blog, we have added a link to the blog on our homepage. It's in the social media box midway down the page. The red arrow in the image below is pointing to the link:

USAO Nash Library homepage with red arrow pointing to link to Bonus Tracks LP vinyl blog
August 29, 2016

We have been rearranging some things in the library, and we want to let everyone know what we've done.

We have our fantastic donation of LPs and CDs. We want to put them on the carts in the music pocket library.

stacks of LP records and CDs

So, we had to move something off the carts. We decided on the DVDs. They are not all music DVDs anyway; many of them are movies, tv shows, and plays.

empty media carts in music pocket library

We put the DVDs in plastic boxes next to the course reserves books in the lobby.

White shelf with DVDs in plastic boxes

To do this, we had to move some of the reserve books. We realized that many of the reserve books are for education classes, and most education majors prefer to study in Nash 301, where the children's books and school curricula are kept. So, we moved the course reserves for education classes up to Nash 301. Here they are on this red cart.

Books on a red cart in Nash 301
August 23, 2016

ETA: As of 8/24/2016, we've corrected the hours of the event; it runs from 6 pm to midnight, not 6 pm to 2 am.

In response to the great success of our Spring 2016 Long Night at Nash, we have scheduled a Fall 2016 Long Night at Nash for Thursday, November 17, from 6:00 p.m. to midnight! Mark your calendars for a great night of studying!

For all the new students and those who missed out last year, Long Night at Nash is a fun event at Nash Library and a great opportunity to get a lot of work done at once before finals. We host it in cooperation with the Student Success Center, the Writing Center, and the Math & Science Tutoring Center, who have tutors there to help the entire time. The event was suggested by Jennifer Long (who thinks we named the event after her) after reading this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. It doesn't matter what kind of studying, writing, or creative work you're doing--every student is welcome (unless you plan to practice singing or playing an instrument. That would be better accomplished in Davis Hall). You can write your goals for the night on a community bulletin board when you arrive, and when you leave, you'll write down what you've accomplished.

The night will be full of studying with regular breaks with games, activities, snacks, and dancing to refresh your brain. There will also be prizes, but we can't tell you what they are yet. You can stop by for just a little while or stay the whole 6 hours. Library Assistant Nicole McMonagle will bring her amazing dog, Beau, to provide comfort to students. After last spring's event, so many students told us how much they wanted the dog to come back! Faculty members who want to attend and help students are welcome (and greatly appreciated!); you may stay as long as you would like.

August 23, 2016

We will be hosting our annual (or thereabouts) book sale on September 15th & 16th (Thursday & Friday)! The sale runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Books start at 50 cents apiece on Thursday. We may gradually drop the prices of the unsold books throughout the course of the sale, but if you want the best selection, your best bet is to shop early! We always have a wide assortment, which ranges from academic texts to popular fiction to children's books to school curricula.

book sale books on carts

Here are some of the books! Plan to stop by the sale with a general topic in mind, or just browse and see what looks serendipitously interesting!

August 19, 2016

As our new freshmen enjoy their first day on campus (Welcome, Class of 2020!), we're looking back to freshman traditions in our past. You may not know that USAO started as a women's college, the Oklahoma Industrial Institute for Girls, in 1908. This name was unnecessarily confusing; an Oklahoma judge, assuming "industrial institute" actually meant reform school, sentenced a young woman to serve time here! The school's name was thus changed to Oklahoma College for Women. We were Oklahoma College for Women until 1965, when the college became fully co-educational and was renamed Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts. With the name change, we also acquired a new mission: among all the public colleges in Oklahoma, we were to be an experimental college with a unique, challenging interdisciplinary program. That is still our mission today as University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma; we became a University in 1974 because the state decided that all 4-year institutions of higher education should have "University" in the name.

Now that we've shared a little bit of college history, we'd like to look back on a venerable Oklahoma College for Women tradition: the freshman beanie.

in Nash Library room 301, a green felt beanie atop a stack of four Oklahoma College for Women yearbooks

Beginning in the 1920s, OCW had an annual Freshman-Sophomore week of competitions, including sports games, capture the flag, tug of war across the pond (so the losers fell in!), and a parade. The competition was fierce but good-natured. During the week, Freshmen wore these green felt beanies (produced by one Collegiate Manufacturing Company of Ames, Iowa), and Sophomores wore derbies. Whenever a Freshman met a Sophomore, the Freshman was supposed to take off her beanie and bow, saying, "I am but a lowly frosh. I bow to you, oh mighty soph." This hasn't been done since the 1960s, but we still have a box in the archives full of beanies!

cardboard box full of green felt beanies from Nash Library archives

Collegiate Manufacturing Company did a great job on the beanies; they are in remarkably good shape, and they came in multiple sizes measured at 1/8" increments! Whatever can we do with a box full of vintage beanies? If we ever do an OCW history display in the library, we can at least include a few!

June 23, 2016

As of July 1, 2016, we will no longer have access to the following databases/electronic resources due to the state's ongoing budget crisis and the cuts summarily absorbed by Nash Library. These are annual subscriptions we have decided to discontinue. We based these decisions on a number of factors including usage, cost-per-use, number of USAO students in the discipline(s) targeted by a given resource, and accreditation requirements.

We have some electronic resources that we own outright because we made one-time purchases. These are sources that are never considered for cuts because there's no major annual expenditure to cut--all we have to pay is a nominal access fee. These include ABC-CLIO Ebooks, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Biological Abstracts (backfile), Literature Resource Center, and a few more.

If you look at the list of all electronic resources that Nash manages, you might wonder why a number of K-12 and consumer-level resources weren't "cut." The answer is that the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) pays for a lot of K-12 resources for teacher education and for a number of consumer-level resources. We receive these from the state at no additional cost to ourselves. However, depending on the developing state budget situation, many of these resources provided by ODL might disappear after October 1, 2016.

There are also a few resources on the list that are not considered for cuts (e. g., GreenFile, LISTA) because one of our major vendors, EBSCO, provides them at no cost to all libraries.

We have been negotiating prices on our resources in order to keep as many as possible, and we have worked to minimize the impact the cuts will have on our academic programs. We still will have a strong core collection of databases covering the wide variety of subject areas studied at USAO. Even if we don't have immediate access to an article, book, or other source you need, we can usually get it through interlibrary loan. Just fill out an Interlibrary Loan Request, and we will see if we can borrow the item from another library. In most cases, we can get articles within a couple days, and often within 24 hours. Books, because they come through the mail, may take a couple weeks.

June 3, 2016

We are very happy to announce that we have received a very generous gift: a collection of operetta and musical theatre materials including LPs, books, CDs, and posters!

wooden pallet with 14 cardboard boxes wrapped in plastic

This pallet has 14 very heavy boxes, packed full of materials! We took this picture just before we started unwrapping the boxes and taking them upstairs.

14 cardboard boxes in a work room

Now we have to inventory the items so we know exactly what we have, and then we can start to process them. Before an item goes onto the circulating library shelves, it has to be cataloged, added to our online systems, and labeled with a call number. Special collections items aren't labelled like circulating items, but they still have to be thoroughly cataloged. Once they're ready to go, we will add them to the Music Pocket Library.

bookshelf and LP and CD cart in Music Pocket Library

There are some uncommon materials in the collection, and as we unpack them, we'll be sure to let everyone know what we find! This is a really great addition for us; we've been working to improve our music collection and services through the Music Pocket Library, and this collection will make us an even better resource for music and theatre students! From an interdisciplinary perspective, popular theatre, like operetta and musical theatre, can tell us a lot about the society that produces it. We see what words they used, what situations they found funny, what pop culture figures and current events they satirized...there's a lot to learn, but it all has to be understood in the context of the music and theatrical performance! We're so excited that we have this collection available to our USAO community!

April 29, 2016

This is our new ScannX machine! It's going to replace many of our copier's functions in a cheaper, more environmentally - friendly way! You just scan your document in the flatbed scanner, and then you select whether you want to email it to yourself or save it to a flash drive. The ScannX is on the main floor where the copier used to be. We still have the copier in case you need paper copies; it is now in the basement.

desk with flatbed scanner on left connected to computer monitor on right

It's a very intuitive setup, but we're working on a set of instructions with some tips for getting the best scans. We will post them on the website when they are complete!

April 7, 2016

On Monday, April 11th, we'll be hosting Long Night at Nash, an evening of studying, games, and fun before finals! The t-shirts and squeeze balls we'll be giving away just arrived, and we are really happy with how they turned out!

gray t-shirt with green screen printed logo showing a weightlifting brain with text saying I like big brains and I cannot lie. Above the t-shirt, there is a gray squeeze ball shaped like a brain with printed green text on it that says I flexed my brain at Nash Library

The color isn't quite right in this picture; the t-shirts and squeeze balls are both light gray in real life. Given the anticipated demand for this most excellent shirt, we won't just give them away to everyone who walks in the door; you actually have to stay here and study to get one! Everyone in the library will receive a ticket on the hour, and once you have four tickets, you can pick up your shirt!

There will also be prizes given away throughout the course of the evening; some will be awarded to the game winners, while others will be awarded by chance. Again, everyone gets a ticket on the hour, every hour. Every couples hours, we'll draw a few more tickets and give away a few more prizes. The longer you stay, the more chances you will have to win!

March 31, 2016

We now have Chromebooks available for checkout! Thank you to everyone who participated in the poll on our homepage asking whether people were interested!

metal cabinet with chromebooks in vertical slots

Here they are all ready to be checked out!

These can be checked out for six hours at a time, and they can only be used in the library. The battery life is about six hours. To check one out, go to the front desk and ask to check out a Chromebook (ring the bell if there isn't a worker at the desk).