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STL Special Libraries Spotlight: American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) July 21, 2009

Posted by Cynthia in Library Stuff.
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A few other students have written about the Special Libraries class visit to the American Association of Orthodontists, so I won’t go into describing the library and it’s collection for you (see July 20 and July 21st posts for some great descriptions of this interesting library). What I am going to discuss instead is some of the great insight about librarianship that Jackie Hittner (the library services manager and our gracious host) shared with us while we were there. She was speaking to us as library students but I think the information might be interesting to other St. Louis librarians.

Jackie spoke about the importance of joining professional organizations, the help they can provide and the connections they can help you make. She talked about the importance of showing the value of your library to the institution it’s housed in and gave us links to calculators that can help a library put their services and collections into tangible values that non-librarians can understand. And finally, she talked about the importance of caring about your work, your patrons and your library and how that makes the difference when times get hard in libraries (as they do…and I’m sure currently are).

I talk about what Jackie told us, not because she was the only one to share such information, but because it made me think about how much we as students get from meeting librarians with experience in the profession. The librarians we’ve met this summer have shared with us more than their library space and information about their collections, they’ve shared their experiences and knowledge and for me as a student that’s been the most valuable part of this class!
sb

STL Special Libraries Spotlight: U.S. Courts Library 8th Circuit July 21, 2009

Posted by Cynthia in Library Stuff.
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A few weeks ago, the Special Libraries class visited the U.S. Courts Library for the 8th Circuit which is located in the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse  downtown. Circuit Librarian Ann Fessenden, past President of the American Association of Law Librarians, gave us the tour which included stops at the Blackmun Rotunda and the En Banc Courtroom.

Although the library is open to the public, it services mainly the federal judges and their staff members.  In addition to providing research services, the library maintains a news blog, a bi-monthly newsletter, and provides a clipping service. The librarians coordinate Lexis and Westlaw access and training, purchase books for the judges’ chambers, and answer reference questions.  Typical reference questions include lots of statisitcs, legislative history, items for judge speeches, and perhaps most interestingly, medical questions for death penalty and abortion cases.  The library also has archival material on every judge that has served the 8th Circuit.

The aesthetics of the library and the views from the 22nd floor are enough to warrant a trip.  Add to that the knowledgeable staff, wonderful resources, and educational exhibits and now you have the truly impressive U.S. Courts Library that everyone should take the time to visit.

EC

STL Special Library Spotlight: American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) July 21, 2009

Posted by Cynthia in Library Stuff.
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The AAO was established in around 1900 by Edward H. Angle in St. Louis. He is considered the Father of Modern Orthodontists since he opened the first official school for orthodontics around the same time. The library was formally established in 1971, but was not overseen by a librarian with a MLS until 1984. It is a closed library with only members, staff and other libraries having access to the collection.
The collection consists of theses, books, journals, programs from AAO annual meetings from 1900, and copies of the Bulletin put out by the AAO. In 2004, the current librarian overseeing the collection, Jackie Hittner, was hired and inherited quite a project in tidying up the collection. In the five years she has been with the library, she has created a holding list for journal titles, cataloged 1000 of the many book titles, and organized the theses titles. She has also planned for future projects to digitize theses for easier access for members and to start digitizing the many journal titles.

Em

STL Special Library Spotlight: American Association of Orthodontists Library July 20, 2009

Posted by Cynthia in Library Stuff.
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The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) headquarters is located in St. Louis on North Lindbergh Blvd. and houses the world’s largest orthodontic library. The association began in 1900 and its library officially started in 1951 with an AAO member as the librarian. The first librarian with an MLS, instead of a degree in orthodontics, was hired in 1984. In 1991, the association moved into its current location, which was originally a bank. The Charles R. Baker Memorial Reference Library is located in the entrance hall of the building, with a fountain in the middle of the collection and a large dome skylight above. The library holds orthodontic journal, books, and theses. Since beginning in 2004, the current solo-librarian, Jackie Hittner, has done a lot to organize the AAO’s library collection. One of her first projects was to inventory, create a holdings list, and box all of the journals. In 2006, the librarian began cataloging the book collection and, as of June 2009, has cataloged the collection’s 1,000th book with many more books to be cataloged in the collection. The AAO Library offers services to all AAO members across the country, including literature searches, interlibrary loan, and loaning of the library’s books by mail. Directly above the library, there are displays of orthodontic artifacts. Many of the artifacts are from around 1900 and include handcrafted appliances, instruments, and furniture that you would see in an orthodontist’s office in 1900. It was very interesting to tour this unique library.  JM

STL Special Library Spotlight: Missouri History Museum Research Library and Archives July 20, 2009

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The MoHist Research Library is in a building separate from the actual museum. It is in an old Hebrew school and the reading room has a gorgeous domed ceiling with very intricate artwork. The room is also climate controlled for all of the books lining the walls, so bring a sweater since it can be a bit frigid! The main collection consists for books, pamphlets, serials, newspapers, business catalogs, and there is even a collection of old menus. Besides being a library, it also functions as the archives for the Museum. We were given a brief lesson the archival process by our host Emily Jaycox. And given a behind the scenes look at the cataloging and processing part of the library.
The collection is mainly built around donations and gifts from the public which is quite different than most libraries. The acquistions budget tends to be a bit smaller since so much of the material is donated. But that is to be expected since the parent organization is the Missouri History Museum.
One of the most innovative projects the library is doing now is putting part of their image collection online using Flickr and Pictopia. It has brought more traffic to the website and allows a wider audience to view this collection.
Em

STL Special Library Spotlight: US Courts, 8th Circuit Library July 18, 2009

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The Special Libraries class recently visited the U.S. Courts, 8th District Library. What impressed me about this library is its role in organizing and creating exhibits. This is a great way to educate the public and court staff alike about the history of the courts. The library is responsible for permanent exhibits throughout the building as well as those located within the library. Within the library there are small display cases that rotate out monthly, as well as a standing exhibit which can be shipped out to the other court libraries in the district.
In the building one of the more striking displays is the Blackmun Rotunda. On the top floor, the exhibit chronicles the life of Justice Blackmun, who served as an 8th Circuit judge before going to the Supreme Court. The library staff selected the materials for display such as the photographs and did research for and wrote all the text. The exhibit for Judge Theodore McMillian, the first African-American judge of the 8th circuit, was notable as well. It includes clippings, photographs, and one of his robes. Both of these exhibits are well worth a visit in this stunning building.
JA

STL Special Library Spotlight: Missouri History Museum Library & Research Center July 16, 2009

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On our recent visit to the Missouri History Museum Library & Research Center, we saw a rather forward-thinking look at history. The center houses a variety of materials, including books, maps, photographs, textiles, furnitures, equipment, and an archive. In a recent effort to get their materials where the people are (social networking sites, for example), instead of waiting around for the people to come to them, they have begun posting images on sites like Flickr and Pictopia (the librarian noted this decision was spurred by the Library of Congress’s success at the same task). Additionally, each of the 7 members of the library staff spend some of their time on digitization efforts.

While some materials have been digitized and are publicly accessible via their website, much of the collection is still “hidden.” An estimated 80% of materials in the general collection (books) have been cataloged online, while an estimated twenty percent (and this is a generous estimate) of the rest of the collection (non-book materials) are cataloged in their OPAC.

The library is part of the St. Louis Research Libraries Consortium (SLRLC), along with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Saint Louis Art Museum libraries, and share a catalog.

pdc

STL Special Libraries Spotlight: Missouri History Museum Research Library & Archives July 16, 2009

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Yesterday evening the Special Libraries class visited the Missouri History Museum Research Library and Archives. Our host, Emily Jaycox treated us with a tour of her wonderful library, which is located in the former United Hebrew Synagogue along South Skinker road.  As with all of our visits this summer to various libraries, the presentation was excellent and very informative. One thing that particularly stood out for me was the information on how the library does it archival and preservation work.  As a relatively new student in library science who has not had any real exposure to this subject,  this part of the trip filled in some conceptual blanks for me relating to the processes that goes on to preserve library materials.  As I was an Anthropology student in my undergrad years, I found the historical collections as well as the work that the library is doing to preserve and digitize the materials in their care captivating. The fact that this library is housed in a reconstructed piece of history from the 1920’s makes this one of my favorite visits so far!
CJS

STL Special Library Spotlight: Kranzberg Art & Arch. July 15, 2009

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Last week our class had the pleasure of touring the Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library at Washington University. We were told of its recent move into a new building that was designed by Fumihiko Maki. The space was airy and well planned. The collection of 105,000 items is unfortunately divided because of a lack of shelf space, with a third of the collection being located in off-site storage.

We were able to view some of their more rare items, including books from the 16th century. We also learned that the library is still actively adding to the rare book collection. I think that aspect of working in this library would be the most interesting and pleasurable.

The library has an extensive outreach program. The staff attends faculty meetings to promote its resources. They also attend art functions on campus, present to classes, have office hours in the art department, and are integrating studio visits for students as well. KH

Special Collections in Special Libraries July 13, 2009

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Many of the libraries we have visited have had rare books and special collections. We have viewed some of these items at Covenant Seminary, the US Courts 8th District Library, Mercantile Library, and Logan Chiropractic College. However, the first time we really were allowed to interact with rare items was at the Kranzberg Art and Architecture Library at Washington University. It was amazing to get to read and touch these pieces of history, whether it was travel plates or French political cartoons. Rare books and pictures really serve to remind us in large part why libraries and collections exist – to preserve art and information for future generations to experience. I was so grateful that Kaisa Leousis, one of the reference librarians at Kranzberg, was so generous in allowing us to view the library’s materials. GN