Libraries catalog starts beta testing

Beta CatalogLast week, staff in Information Technology and Resource Services (ITRS) launched a beta version of the Libraries catalog search interface, powered by the open source project VuFind. Patrons now have the option to “Search Classic” or “Search Beta” when using the catalog.  Staff members in ITRS have spent considerable time and effort extending and customizing VuFind, which is being used at several other institutions, to meet the needs of the Purdue Libraries environment.

During the beta process, ITRS is keeping track of every search conducted and replicating failed searches to determine any bugs that might be present. Sometimes, failed searches point to missing or inaccurate information in MARC records, which are being corrected as issues arise.

The new search interface offers faceted searching, or options for users to narrow their searches by format, author, or even library, among other categories. This brings the search function on the Libraries’ site more in line with popular site search tools, like those at

Users can submit feedback on the beta catalog through a tab on the left side of the screen in the search interface. ITRS has already received both positive comments and specific issues to resolve.

The customization Purdue Libraries is implementing with VuFind will help other institutions who are already using or are planning to use the open-source product in the future. There is no specific timeline on the beta process at this point, but ITRS will be providing periodic updates on the project. In the meantime, staff are always encouraged to test the new search interface to help identify issues, and to encourage patrons to try the beta search as well.


Graduating seniors honored

These graduating seniors were recognized by Dean Mullins for their dedicated service to the Purdue Libraries.

Bradley K. Billman (ITRS)
Suyog Chhetri (LIFE)
William Kummer (ENGR)
Se-Rah Kwon (HSSE)
Sergio Merino (PHYS)
Ronak Patel (ENGR)

Books will be ordered in each student’s area of study and placed in the coordinating library. Each book will bear a name plate honoring that student.



Thank you


I have thoroughly enjoyed my years with Purdue Libraries. From the very beginning I hoped to be able to stay a long time. Everyone I met was friendly, but more importantly they also seemed happy working here. When Jim became our new dean and I was fortunate to become his assistant I was thrilled. It was challenging learning both about the university and about the Libraries, but also very rewarding. I had only vague ideas of the meanings of many terms that I needed to learn to use every day. To me, for example, a professor was someone who taught a class, but I had no idea about the work required to achieve that status. And what is a scholar? Are all professors scholars (I think they’re supposed to be) and are all scholars professors (definitely not)?

Thank you to everyone who helped me, who taught me, and who smiled and said hello to me. I will miss you!

Jane Taylor's Retirement

Pictured with Jane are her son-in-law, Mike Piggott, her daughter
Loretta Piggott, her husband Phil, and Dean Jim Mullins.


Thank you


Matt Bejune send offI am pleased to say in my time at Purdue I have had the opportunity to get to know and work with so many Libraries staff. Between my Digital Reference Services Coordinator duties and service on over twenty committees, councils, and teams, I have worked with a substantial majority of the people who work in the Libraries. To all of you I say thank you. I appreciate the relationships we have developed and I am a different, no doubt better, person as a result of meeting and working with you. Though I am departing from Purdue, many fond memories of Purdue will travel with me.

I wish you all the best.  Hope to stay in touch. 



Online Biology tutorial series update


MicroscopeIn Spring 2009, the Department of Biological Sciences and the Life Sciences Library collaboratively released a series of seven online tutorials to teach biology students how to search scientific literature. The collection of tutorials, ranging from 5 - 15 minutes each, were created using Adobe Captivate software. They feature voiceover instruction by library staff, evaluation embedded throughout the tutorial, and on-screen demonstrations of various types of searches. These tutorials can be used as a basis for constructing discipline specific tutorials for your departments. If you would like access to the Captivate files, contact Maribeth Slebodnik, biomedical sciences information specialist and assistant professor of library science.

The current tutorials, which will be updated in Summer 2010, can be found at


GIS Day 2009

GIS Day 2009

GIS Day was hosted by the Libraries on November 23 with a poster session and presentations.  The international event highlights GIS research applications and how they can be applied to a wide variety of research.  This year’s participants were from a variety of campus and community departments, centers, and interdisciplinary research teams.

A geocaching treasure hunt using GPS devices was also held. The first place winner was engineering education graduate student, Melissa Dyehouse, with second place going to local resident Jay Casey.


Festive winter scene

Lafayette Riehle Plaza Depot

Photo by Patrick Whalen, HSSE


Green Tambourine

BY JIM DERRINGER, Guest Columnist

Planning for an energy efficient retirement house

A friend and I often talk about how we want to fix up our retirement homes when the day comes. As I look for land to buy out in the country, preferably along the Wabash or perhaps the Wildcat, I consider the following energy efficient ideas that my friend already has in place.

His home is totally electric and has a small windmill that can be utilized in case of a power outage. His setup consists of an all-weather storage shed housing 10 large truck commercial batteries, which he obtained for free simply by asking for them since most places have a policy of replacing their batteries every 18 months. These batteries are linked with cable to each other and to the windmill, as well as to the house circuit breaker.

This setup lets him run his house like normal, so long as he doesn’t try to have the television, the microwave, and the oven running while his wife is in the shower. There is enough electricity stored up in the batteries to run the house for three days should he lose power, but of course the windmill instantly replenishes the electricity as it is turning in the wind.

If there is no wind, which might happen during the “dog days” of summer and sometimes during January or February where it is very bright, sunny and cold but no wind, my friend has two solar panels on the south end of his roof. He even has a small tracking device that turns the panels to follow the sun. From there the cable runs from the panels to the battery storage box just like the other cable from the windmill. In this way he is generating power from two sources at the same time.

If there is no sunshine or wind, he fires up a small generator, and it takes about 15 minutes to recharge the batteries for another three days, using less than a cup of gasoline in the process.

I can’t wait to build a house with the above features and also, sky lights, bay windows, a large garden, a variety of fruit trees, different types of berry bushes, and a green house. And I would learn how to can. I have more ideas, but these are the main energy, as well as money saving, features I look forward to.


Share your favorite holiday recipe

Please send your favorite holiday recipe to Teresa Brown by December 15th. All recipes will be included under "Holiday Recipes 2009" on the Libraries intranet for the December 22 issue of INSIDE.

You are also invited to visit the intranet and add your recipe at any time.

  • Graduating Seniors Honored
  • Thank you from Jane Taylor
  • Thank you from Matt Bejune
  • Online Biology tutorial series update
  • GIS Day 2009
  • Festive winter scene
  • Green Tambourine
  • Share your favorite holiday recipe
  • Off the Shelf
  • Libraries in the News
  • Announcement
  • Tippy Update
  • Libraries Staff A - Z
  • Connect with Purdue Libraries
  • What's Cooking?


Off the shelf

New Staff

  • JoAnne Carow, Secretary IV, University Copyright Office

To view all Purdue job postings visit the Purdue employment page. If you have additional questions, contact Tom Haworth, 494-2903.


libraries in the news

Purdue Today, November 20, 2009
Purdue Libraries to hold event for GIS Day

BoilerBytes, November 23, 2009
Alumnus among spacewalkers to service Hubble telescope; Andrew Feustel interview filmed in Archives

Associated Press, November 20, 2009
Library group offers text search to 4.6M books

WBAA, November 20, 2009
Weekend Magazine 11-21-09, interview with Charles Watkinson

Lafayette Journal & Courier, November 29, 2009
Santa's image changes through the years; Judy Nixon article and photo

UNS Press Release, November 30, 2009
Purdue Libraries to extend hours as students prep for finals
Also appeared:

ExLibris, December 1, 2009
Purdue University Libraries Joins the Ex Libris Next-Generation Library Framework as the Fourth Development Partner
Also appeared:

UNS Press Release, December 2, 2009
Purdue Libraries to help develop management system



Annual Staff Recognition,
Welcome New Staff
and Arts & Craft Show

Thursday, December 17, 2009
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
STEW 279

Lunch & Learn Series
Anthony Cawdron
"Eat, Drink & Be Wary: Business and Special Etiquette"

Monday, January 25, 2010
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
MEL Corporate Study Room
Register Here


Tippy update

USAIN cow Tippy in Archives & Special Colletions

Tippy checking out the J. C. Allen Exhibit in Archives and Special Collections. Photo by Marianne Bracke.

Check USAIN Conference for more
information about the conference to be held at Purdue in May 2010.

Have a Tippy photo? Send it to Marianne Bracke. View other Tippy photos here.


Libraries Staff a - Z

Library Clerk

Q.  What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
A.  Helping someone locate material they need or couldn’t find.

Q.  How long have you worked in the Libraries and at Purdue?
A.  20 years

Q.  What is one unforgettable experience that has happened to you or your coworkers while working in the library?
A.  A coworker having a heart attack in the lobby.

Q.  What’s your favorite book, Web site, movie, or database?

Q.  Coffee, tea, water, or soft drink?
A.  Tea

Q.  What do you like to do for fun?
A.  Making Native American regalia and showing others how to do it.

Q.  Feel free to include any information about yourself that you would like to share with the staff?
A.  There is nothing as meaningful as helping others, after all, if not to make life less difficult for others then why are we here? To perform a Wedding Ceremony for a young couple or a couple in their 70s is special; or to perform what most people would call a baptism for a newborn is a very special feeling and privilege you never forget.


Connect with Purdue Libraries

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Follow us on Twitter: @PurdueLibraries



Blackened Fish
Visit the Libraries Intranet site for
this recipe..

Submit your recipes to Teresa Brown.


Copy Deadline

Copy for the December 22 issue is due by December 18, 2009. Send to Teresa Brown.