High-tech initiatives move forward


PILLARS: Robust Local Collections (Digital & Print) & Infrastructure

Technology, digital initiatives and metadata are part of every pillar of the strategic plan. Many of our efforts to engage in new initiatives and increase our impact involve taking advantage of technology in developing new services and resources. There are numerous examples of exciting new efforts in these areas taking place throughout the Libraries and Press, but I would like to highlight a few of these.

Digital Initiatives Steering Committee — The Digital Initiatives Steering Committee (DISC) is developing policy to guide Digital Initiatives in the Purdue Libraries. These include policy and procedure for requesting new scanning projects. The members of the group are Jan Addison, Paul Bracke, Charlotte Erdmann, John Fritch, Mark Newton, Carl Snow and Elizabeth Wilkinson.

New Digital Collections — There are several new collections being digitized. Vicki Killion and Carl Snow are leading the digitization of public domain issues of Indiana Farmer, with the support of an LSTA grant from the Indiana State Library. In partnership with the Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP) in the School of Civil Engineering and Lyrasis, Charlotte Erdmann and Lil Conarroe have been preparing for the retrospective digitization of JTRP Technical Reports.

Discovery Layer Taskforce — POC has just launched the Discovery Layer Taskforce to evaluate options for moving to a next generation of Megasearch and increasing the impact of our collections. Vendors will be invited to campus for presentations in December and January, so keep an eye out for invitations.

DataCite — The Purdue Libraries are playing an international leadership role in setting standards for data citation. We have been actively discussing business models with our partners, both domestic and international, and developing a pilot DOI registration service.

URM — Our work as development partners in the next generation of the Voyager Integrated System continues. We have just entered the second phase of testing, which will be the first in a series of testing phases over the next year leading up to full beta testing.


Libraries reel in film preservation grant for Gilbreth collection


Frank GilbrethPurdue University Libraries will save 13 films in its archives that were produced by early 20th century motion study pioneers Frank and Lillian Gilbreth thanks to two grants from the National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF).

“These unique Gilbreth materials are only available at Purdue” says Elizabeth M. Wilkinson, processing and public services archivist and acting head for Purdue University Libraries Archives and Special Collections. “Thanks to this grant, they are now accessible to researchers and scholars where they weren't before due to their deterioration.”

Lillian GilbrethThe Gilbreths were renowned as “the Father and Mother of Modern Management” and their motion study work continues to interest and attract researchers. The Gilbreths' research introduced using photography and motion pictures to study and improve the efficiency of industrial workers and minimize worker fatigue.

The couple also raised twelve children together and the story of their family life has been recounted in numerous journal articles, books and films, notably Cheaper By the Dozen.

Frank Gilbreth died in 1924, and Lillian Gilbreth continued the work they had started together. She became a professor of management at Purdue in 1935 and later donated many of her husband’s papers and belongings to Purdue Libraries.

Among Purdue’s collection are laboratory records, the couples’ personal library and artifacts used in their time and motion studies. Additional gifts from the Gilbreth family over the years have included correspondence, certificates, photographs, motion picture films and memorabilia.
Purdue’s Gilbreth collection contains information on the early principles of scientific management and the psychology of management, which revolutionized the industry of their time, Wilkinson said. A consortium of engineers, academics and management specialists, The Gilbreth Network, hosts a forum relating to the couple’s work. Libraries also receive frequent requests to use papers contained in the Gilbreth Library of Management at Purdue for exhibitions, scholarly texts and other purposes, she says.

“As a result of the increased research interest shown in the Gilbreth materials, we are attempting to preserve and digitize as many of the films as possible to make them better accessible to researchers,” Wilkinson says.

The 13 films that the Libraries most recently chose to preserve with the film foundation's funds were identified as the ones most in need of preservation due to their poor condition and probable research value.

In all, 45 motion picture films created by the Gilbreths were donated to Purdue Libraries with permission from the donors to share the films to onsite researchers and the public.

This is not the first time the film preservation foundation found value in preserving the Gilbreths' work. In 2005, the NFPF provided matching funds for preservation work on three of the films in the Gilbreth collection, which are now available to researchers, and frequently used.

In 2009, NFPF provided additional funds for the preservation of five films currently being preserved and will be available to researchers.

The 2010 grant will preserve seven more of the Gilbreths' films with titles and subjects such as Odds & Ends #1 (1944), Woman packing can #1 (undated), Woman packing can #2 (undated), Man with box of small white objects (ca. 1940s), Woman with box of materials (ca. 1941), Principles in motion economy in the home #1 (1952) and Iowa skills study (1960).

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America's film heritage. We support activities nationwide that preserve American films and improve film access for study, education and exhibition.

Project Information Literacy


PILLAR: Campuswide Information Literacy

Project Information Literacy 2010Project investigators from the University of Washington iSchool selected Purdue University as the location for the announcement of the results of the 2010 Project Information Literacy (PIL) study. Dr. Alison Head led a day-long symposium on October 27 in Stewart Center. Forty invited members who attended included representatives of the PIL Board, Board of Directors of the National Forum on Information Literacy, members of the Libraries Information Literacy Council and Operations Committee, Libraries faculty and Purdue faculty.

Dr. Head presented findings from her study, How college students evaluate and use information in the digital age. Purdue undergraduate students participated in this phase of her study. Dr. Head reports, “Overall, the findings suggest students use an information-seeking and research strategy driven by efficiency and predictability for managing and controlling all of the information available to them on college campuses, though conducting comprehensive research and learning something new is important to most, along with passing the course and the grade received.” (http://projectinfolit.org/pdfs/PIL_Fall2010_
) A panel of experts responded to the results, and Susan Gilroy, head of reference and instruction services at Harvard College Library, gave a presentation on how her library incorporated findings from previous phases of PIL to improve services to undergraduate students. Then, Dr. Head discussed issues related to the design of a large-scale multi-phase research study.

The PIL web site has the full report of these findings, past reports, short video clips of the results, and interviews with industry leaders about information literacy: http://projectinfolit.org/.

On the day before the Symposium, Dr. Hilary Hughes, visiting Fulbright Scholar from Queensland University of Technology in Australia, met with members of the Libraries faculty to discuss her research and to learn about information literacy at Purdue.


Celebrating 40 years at Purdue: staff highlights

PILLAR: Infrastructure

On December 14, 201, the Libraries staff will have the opportunity to congratulate and thank Carolyn Laffoon (EAS) and Connie Smith (ITRS) for each of their 40 years of service to the Libraries. Read their stories below about their experiences and successes below.


Connie SmithWho would have thought that when I graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1970 that I would embark on a 40–year journey with the Purdue Libraries? I graduated on a Friday night and began working the following Monday in the Cataloging department. I was pretty proud of myself — my guidance counselor at school said that I wouldn't be able to get a job in the Purdue Library because they only hired professional librarians and the wives of graduate students. But, I had worked in the Tippecanoe County Public Library as a student and decided that I would like to be at Purdue, so I applied and was hired!

On Monday, June 8, 1970, I went to work for Robert Farris in the Cataloging /Card Prep department typing original cataloging cards, photocopying them and then filing them in the central catalog. My original office space was in STEW 264 with about a dozen women with the catalogers next door in the current Business Office space. It was tight quarters and could get chaotic, but it was fun. You really had the opportunity to get to know your coworkers.

Over the years I worked with four supervisors: Robert Farris, Rachel Road, Bill Corya and Pat Kantner; four personnel directors: Miss Darr, Katie Markee, Tom Haworth and Julie Hillgrove; four library directors /deans: John Moriarty, Joseph Dagnese, Emily Mobley and Jim Mullins; and many great coworkers.

I have made some very good friends over the years and it continues to be one of the main reasons for my being here so long. There is such a diverse group of folks whom I have had the opportunity to work with. We’ve had bowling teams, volleyball teams, attended ball games together, traveled together and just have had many good times with each other. I’ve learned a lot about several ethnic cultures that I probably would not have had the opportunity to experience had I not been working here.

When I think about how my job and how the Libraries have changed over the years it doesn't surprise me that we have become more streamlined and efficient. We have a reputation for taking hold of new and innovative ideas and making them work for us and that is what makes my job interesting, challenging and fun. I’ve had many memorable moments over the years but really the most memorable thing about my job is the people and friendships I’ve made along the way.

In my free time I am an active member of Smiles Unlimited, clowning around as Harmony. For 25 years, I have spent time as a camp counselor for Lafayette Urban Ministry, enjoying the children who attend the summer camp. It is especially rewarding to see some of them come back in later years to serve as camp counselors.

A little Libraries trivia: I am Cindy Smith's (MEL) sister. Cindy began her Purdue career on October 6, 1986. And, Marilyn Rogers (VETM) is our stepsister, who began her Purdue career on December 1, 1989. We like creating our own family traditions.



Carolyn LaffoonOn February 2, 1970, walking into the Math Library for my first day as a Clerk Level II, had someone told me then that someday I would be running two departmental libraries for Purdue Libraries, I would have told them they were crazy. Here, 40 years later, looking back at how things came together, with the people that crossed my path who literally changed my life, I realize that God had a much better plan for me than what I could have ever hoped or dreamed. How humbling! 

Richard Funkhouser, my first supervisor, chose to hire this young mother of two toddlers. Without his encouragement and support, I would never have achieved my goals. While in Math, the lead supervisor, Gwen Rasmussen, refused to accept any of my excuses for not taking a class. Ten years later, after taking classes part-time while working full time, a BA was in hand! After the first year in Math Library, I transferred to a position that opened in the Geosciences Library with Mr. Funkhouser still as my boss. The Department of Geosciences was located in what is now known as Schleman Hall of Student Services. The Library was at the end of the first floor, with our windows overlooking the fountain on the Mall in front of Hovde. Amazing view! The library, along with the department, moved into the new facilities in 1988 in the new wing of Civil Engineering and revised their name to Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. The university’s two map collections were merged into one in the new facilities.

In January, 1984, before moving to the new facilities, Mr. Funkhouser encouraged (more like threatened) me to get an MLS. The conversation went something like this: RLF: “You really need to get an MLS. You got it in you. You can do it!” CJL: “But I hate school!” RLF: “If you don’t get an MLS, we will bring someone in with an MLS to be your boss when you move to the new building.”  CJL: “I’ll think about it.” One week later, anxious to get it over with, I was sitting in class at IUPUI prior to being accepted into the school. Twenty months later, the MLS was completed, all the while working full time, raising two kids alone, and working a part-time job on the side to pay for the gas to drive to Indy and Bloomington, Needless to say, I rarely saw much of my girls that last 20 months. Finishing grad school the same time that my younger daughter graduated from high school, I suddenly had time to spend with them, and they were off to college!

The EAS faculty and staff, as well as many alumni, are like family after 40 years! I believe I work in the BEST department on campus! Attending the Purdue Alumni Reception at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting each fall gives us a chance to catch up with each other. Having just attended the last one in Denver in October was a bittersweet experience. The chance of meeting up with the attendees, i.e., the Purdue Geosciences alumni as well as the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS) members, will likely not happen again considering this was my last year to attend with retirement pending next May 31. Being a GSIS member has vastly expanded my knowledge of the field of geosciences librarianship. Meeting with the other geology librarians and attending the technical sessions, etc., at the conference kept me abreast on the latest breaking news in the field. I shall be eternally grateful for all they taught me and for the friendships built through my affiliation with this wonderful society.

The chronology of my supervisors: Richard Funkhouser, Martha Bailey, Dennis Parks, Scott Brandt, Robert “Pat” Allen, and last, but not least, Michael Fosmire, or “the boss from heaven,” as I tell everyone. I owe so much to my supervisors. In the summer of 2009, Michael asked me to supervise the Physics Library in addition to EAS. Three afternoons a week are now spent in Physics. When I was young, becoming a librarian never crossed my mind. Back then, girls were taught that their lot in life was to get married, have kids and stay home. (Those of you from that era know what I am talking about!) Ladies going out and establishing a career was rare and challenging back then. Times sure have changed, and it has been an exciting adventure! If I had it to do over again, I would not change a thing! What an amazing ride!

Upon retirement, I plan to catch up on my reading. My time will be open for lunch, dinner or just hanging out, so feel free to contact me. Stop by anytime! (I hope you are not allergic to cats.) I may send you home with one of my rescues.

The Kite Runner Trivia contest grand prize winner!


PILLAR: Campuswide Information Literacy

Abu Zafar Shahriar, a graduate assistant in the MEL Library correctly answered all of the trivia questions. He was awarded a gift bag containing a gift certificate to the Blue Nile, a DVD of The Kite Runner and a copy of Khaled Hosseini's book "A Thousand Splendid Suns."

Round three questions and answers:

1. In which state do Baba and Amir end up in the United States? — California
2. What does Amir decide to study in college? — Creative writing (Major in English)
3. From what does Baba die? — Cancer: Oat Cell Carcinoma

Thank you to everyone who participated and watch for more announcements on the next selection for Purdue's Common Reading initiative

For more information on the Common Reading initiative, check out: http://www.purdue.edu/sats/


  • Libraries reel in film preservation grant for Gilbreth collection
  • Project Information Literacy
  • Celebrating 40 years at Purdue: staff highlights
  • The Kite Runner trivia contest grand prize winner
  • Off the Shelf
  • Libraries in the News
  • Announcements
  • United Way update
  • Staff Publications
  • Purdue University Press book release
  • Libraries Staff A-Z
  • Connect with Purdue Libraries
  • What's Cooking?



Continuing Vacancy

  • Head, Division of Archives and Special Collections and University Archivist
  • Marketing Associate, AP

To view all Purdue job postings visit the Purdue employment page. If you have additional questions, contact Michelle Conwell, 494-2899.



Library Journal, November 11, 2010
Open Data, Open Minds Highlight SPARC Digital Repository Meeting; Mark Newton a presenter

American Libraries Magazine, November 16, 2010
An online course for sharpening supervisory skills; Beth McNeil book

UNS Press Release, November 22, 2010
Second edition of tree identification book offers new features; published by Purdue University Press

ARL: Transforming Research Libraries, November 22, 2010
What This Means for Libraries: Bridging the Space between Librarians, Researchers, and Data (NSF Data Management Requirement)



Annual Faculty & Staff Recognition
Arts & Craft Show and Sale
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
STEW 279

Purdue’s Bellwether of Diversity: The Life and Legacy
of Dr. Cornell Bell

Archives & Special Collections
September 23–December 22, 2010
HSSE 4th floor



The Libraries raised just over $12,861 for United Way. We were one of 12 out of 19 departments that raised funds beyond our campaign goal.



Weiner, Sharon A. Editorial: "On Information Literacy in the Library Workforce." Serials Review 36 (2010): 203-204.



An updated guide for identifying trees in Indiana and surrounding states is available from Purdue University Press.

The revised and expanded second edition of Native Trees of the Midwest: Identification, Wildlife Value, and Landscaping Use includes a new chapter on common exotic species that cause problems in the Midwest. 

The book includes color photographs and descriptions explaining how to identify each species. It also shows how each species can be used in landscaping and as an ornamental. Hard-to-find information on the value of tree species to wildlife also is detailed. Some species descriptions also have been revised and updated from the first edition. 

For more information or to order the book, call Purdue University Press at 765-494-2038 or visit http://www.thepress.purdue.edu/titles/native-trees-midwest and select the revised and expanded second edition.



Hicks Undergraduate Library
Reference assistant clerk IV

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
A. My coworkers. We have a great working team and help each other.

Q. How long have you worked in the Libraries and at Purdue?
A. Next September I believe it will be 30 years. All of them in the library system: HSSE Bib.Unit, Cataloging and Hicks Undergraduate and a few years as a student employee in the former Psych Lib.

Q. What is one unforgettable experience that has happened to you or your coworkers while working in the library?
A. Some years back all of the UGRL staff went to the east side Dog-N-Suds for lunch, riding on the Boilermaker Special.

Q. What’s your favorite book, Web site, movie or database?
A. It’s hard to place one book at the top of a list: Fiction: Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Non-fiction: The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise by Michael Grunwald. Favorite movie: Haunting (1963). Database/Web site: Stop you’re killing me at http://www.stopyourekillingme.com

Q. Coffee, tea, water or soft drink?  
A. Coffee, I would love a cup of good Cuban coffee right now.

Q. What do you like to do for fun? 
A. Road trip! Read and relax when I get a chance, meet with friends, tent camping and exploring new places.

Q. Feel free to include any information about yourself that you would like to share with the staff?
A. Did someone say Jimmy Buffett?



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Fluffy Cranberry Mousse
Visit the Libraries Intranet site for this recipe.

Send recipes to Teresa Brown.



Copy for the December 8 issue is due by December 6, 2010. Send to Teresa Brown.