Category Archives: Research

“OUT is IN”

Park & Recreation

It all began in 1985. That is how long we have celebrated July as the nation’s official Park and Recreation Month. This year’s theme is, “OUT is IN.” The focus is on making this the year that people go outside, change their outlook, and get involved in their community through parks and recreation.

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5 ‘Blogging Basics’ for Images, Videos and Audios

Photo Credit: Anirudh Koul via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Anirudh Koul via Compfight cc

On April 15th, I co-presented with my library colleagues for a workshop called “Blogging Basics.” My portion focused on media and it began with the question “why add media?” Next, I discussed locating, selecting, editing, uploading and the placement of images, videos and audios in your blog post. If you did not get to attend our presentation, let me give you a run down on part of what you missed. We will also post our slides to Slideshare for your viewing pleasure. Continue reading

Library Materials Most Used by Outreach Students

Bellevue University Library considers students who do not attend class on the Bellevue campus to be “Outreach” students. This definition includes those who attend Bellevue University online, at the Lozier Center, or face-to-face at the remote satellite locations in Grand Island, Lincoln, McCook, North Platte, Sioux City and Sioux Falls. As Document Delivery Coordinator, one of my chief responsibilities is to e-mail or ship, as rapidly as possible, requested library materials to these students, and the faculty and staff who serve them. In September of this year,  I e-mailed a brief needs assessment survey to over 100 online and Lozier Center students, staff, and faculty members who have used Outreach Services in the past. Of our surveyed audience, 14% responded, and these were their answers when asked this question:

What types of library material have you used/will you use? (Please check all that apply).

student resources 2

Their answers show that two of the top three formats used are electronic journal articles and eBooks owned by Bellevue University Library. Once the students are comfortable with the steps to locate and retrieve these items, they can access them on their own.

The second most requested material is the CLEP and DSST study guides. Students seek to gain 1,3, or 6 college credits by passing an equivalency exam rather than taking a face-to-face or online course. The number of Outreach students taking these tests has diminished significantly over the past three years. This could indicate that more students are taking core classes at another location, then transferring them to Bellevue University when they are ready to begin their accelerated program.

From my experience, the statistic that is the most deceptive response from the survey is the number of interlibrary loan articles that are requested. In fact, for the last two years this has been the most requested format from Outreach patrons. The students who have requested ILL articles in the past two years are evidently not those who replied to the survey.

Needs assessment surveys are meant to solicit the opinions of users and customers in order to provide services that best suit their needs. As a member of the Bellevue University community, an Outreach student, or one who attends class on campus, what is your experience? Which one or two of these formats do you use the most? How should the available funds be divided to give you the maximum assistance on your educational journey?

“Finding Family Military Information” Workshop Held on October 29

One of the many library databases available free of charge to all members of the Bellevue University community is Ancestry Library edition, affiliated with Barbara Haney and Allie O’Connor moderated an autumn genealogy workshop, held in the library classroom the afternoon of October 29. The purpose of this workshop was to introduce the participants to some of the sources that are available on this database to aid individuals who are searching for military records of their ancestors.


We began by showing the Bellevue University faculty and staff members who attended where in the 1930 Census to verify whether or not your ancestor was a veteran, and in which war he served. The next step was to show how the more than 480 featured data collections on this topic can be alphabetized and made much easier to access. From the alphabetized list, we used soldiers from Allie’s family who served in four different wars to delve into some of the military data collections and see what information can be gathered on each individual.

Three of the data collections that contain a wealth of information are:

U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.  The World War I registration cards are a treasure trove, for each one gives you the man’s complete birth date, address, whether he is a native-born or naturalized citizen, his closest relative, occupation, signature, and physical description (height, build, eye color, and hair color). Also, this is the one collection that gives you the information whether or not your ancestor served in the military. All male citizens between 16-40 needed to register with the local draft board, whether they served in World War I or not.

U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. For Union veterans of the Civil War, the pension index tells the dates applications were made, whether they were made by the veteran or his widow, and the widow’s name if she is the one who applied.

U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem) Death File (1850-2010).  This data collection will verify the name, birth date, death date, branch of service, enlistment date, and release date of  U.S. veterans who served in the past 160 years.

During the workshop we demonstrated at least six other locations where family military information can be found. Barbara and I welcome you to join us for the spring genealogy workshop, which will be in late April.



The internet is a massive and constantly growing web of information. Net-Scope shines a light on lesser known resources for educational and research purposes. 



Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature

The Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature exists to support the study and dissemination of work in Midwestern literature, art, film, and scholarly study. An annual symposium takes place each May, offering a venue for the work of contemporary creative artists: students, scholars, creative writers, and filmmakers.

Digital Dialects

Digital Dialects gives you free access to online tutorials for over 50 languages that teach basic vocabulary and verb use through audio lessons and interactive games. Learn phrases, numbers, useful words, spelling, verb conjugation and alphabets in Spanish, French, German, English, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian and many more.


Howcast is an extensive online video library of how-to videos. Some examples include: how to write a resume, how to play the bass guitar, and how to improve your focus, how to score big at yard sales. Howcast has also developed free applications for the iPhone, iPad, and Android-powered phones to allow mobile searching and viewing of Howcast videos.

Shape Up America!

The mission of Shape Up America is to educate the public on the importance of the achievement and maintenance of a health body weight through the adoption of increased physical activity and healthy eating. With the ultimate goal of stimulating behavior change, Shape Up America encourages small lifestyle changes that provide immediate health dividends. Shape Up America is committed to disseminating these messages to men, women, and children of all ages, regardless of their ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

Find A Grave

Find A Grave is a free genealogical tool that contains listings of cemeteries and graves from all around the world. Individual grave records contain some or all of the following data fields: dates and places of birth and death, biographical information, cemetery and plot information, photographs and contributor information.

*This article has been altered for the blog post.  To view the original article visit: Vol. 16, No. 3, pg. 8. *

Global Libraries: Services Around the World

The month of June will highlight what the library offers beyond books.  This particular article discusses the differences in library services in three foreign countries.  A note: This article was published first in 2000 and may contain information that is no longer accurate.

Global Libraries
Services Around the World

     From the clay tablets originating in the second millennium, to the electronic databases of today, libraries have been in existence.  Throughout time, as printing and storage technologies have evolved and as literacy rates have risen, the role of libraries has grown to meet the needs of modern society. While the variety of services provided is not uniform for all countries, the existence of libraries is found in every location throughout the world.  With the growth of transportation and communication technology, the world has become a smaller planet.  In this time of global thought how do libraries reflect the congruency of modern society?

In the interest of brevity I have chosen 3 countries for comparison to the United States.  I chose these countries from the availability of interview subjects, otherwise known as the circulation staff.  We are privileged to have 3 international students working in the Bellevue University Library; Thomas from Kenya, Chie from Japan, and JDell from Bahrain.

In Bahrain the public libraries began as research centers for historic documents in Arabic.  Since the 1970′s, the Bahrain library system has expanded from one central library established in 1946, to 8 branch libraries.  Currently the library carries materials printed in Arabic or English, in children’s, reference, special, and Braille collections.  Two books can be checked out to any Bahrain citizen or resident for two weeks and may be renewed one time.  The library has 15 PC’s on a Local Area Network with one Internet PC and 1 PC for CD-ROM usage.  The public library does use the Dewey Decimal System for the majority of library materials.

In Kenya, a nation steeped in tribal traditions, the illiteracy rate of the population is 14.4% for males and 30.9% for females (1995).  This makes the role of the public library all that more important. Due to economic hardship in Kenya the library system has trouble finding funding to support the needs of the population. The Kenya National Library system was founded in 1965 and has grown to include 23 branch libraries with a total of approximately 700,000 books. Two books are lent for two weeks with one renewal.  Also, there are 8 bookmobiles and 2 camels (yes the kind that spit), mobile units.  The camel mobile units are used to bring library services to regions of Kenya not accessible by motorized transportation.  In each unit three camels are used to carry 300 books, a tent, and floor mats for setting up a temporary library branch.

In Japan the public library system is similar to that found in the United States. They have a National Library Association with a code of ethics and list of principles.  Japan has 67 libraries in Perfectures, 1,506 in Cities, and 850 village public libraries.  The one difficulty Japanese libraries face is finding a catalog automation system to support multiple languages and different character systems in the Japanese language itself. As a technologically advanced society the Japanese libraries reflect this in their availability of electronic resources.


*This article has been altered for the blog post.  To see the original article please visit: Vol. 16, No. 2, pg. 1.*

The Way We Were: 20 Years at the Bellevue University Library

The month of June will highlight what the library offers beyond books.  This particular article discusses the changes the library has gone through from 1978-1998.  A note: This article was published in 1998 and contains dated information concerning the library’s collection.

“The Way We Were”
20 years at the Bellevue University Library
By: Robin Bernstein, Library Director


It is hard to imagine that 20 years have come and gone; it seems like yesterday a naïve, young, student eager to start College walked through the doors of the F. Hoyte Freeman Library! The year was 1978, and the library’s holdings consisted of approximately 46,000 volumes, 50 current print magazine titles, 1 professional librarian, 1 paraprofessional, 2 part-time clerical support staff, and 2 work study students.

By 1983, the library’s collection expanded to 80,000 volumes, 150 journal titles, and part-time staff were upgraded to full-time. In addition, there were over 18,000 patrons served by the library. As a result of the rapid growth of the college the Emma Lozier Addition opened December 4, 1983, and the official name of the Bellevue College Library became the Freeman/Lozier Library. The building was equipped with a computer user room for DIALOG staff-assisted searches. The first PC did not arrive at the library until 1987 in the form of an OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) terminal.

“Can it be that it was all so simple then…”

1990 was a pivotal year for Bellevue College, it was the year we integrated computers into our everyday routine. We still only had one terminal; however, by 1993 we had upgraded to 6 computers including 4 for patron use. The patron computers were used to access CD-ROM and software programs. We were certainly now a part of the information age phenomenon, or so we thought…

1994 was the year that stands out most in my mind. This was the year that Bellevue College became Bellevue University, I received my Master in Library Science and was promoted to Library Director, and the computer explosion began. In addition, this year also experienced the conversion and discarding of the library’s card catalog in favor of an automated system and the addition of many more computers for both student and staff use.

“It’s the laughter we will remember…”

Today, the Freeman/Lozier Library consists of 129,000 volumes, 2,161 current magazine titles in all formats (print and electronic), 5 professional librarians, 1 paraprofessional, 2 full-time clerical support staff, 2 part-time clerical support staff, and 4 work study students. The library serves over 78,000 patrons and circulates more than 19,000 books yearly. The computer count for students is 13 with a total of 21 in the library. The CD-ROM collection consists of over 40 different databases/programs.

The library is also now equipped with a classroom for both formal and informal instruction and outreach services have increased to a full-time position. Perhaps the library’s biggest acquisition to date is the WEB access to ProQuest Direct, a full-image, full-text database of articles within all disciplines. To say we are growing in “leaps and bounds” would be too mild of a statement. Instead, we are proof that progress works, and it can succeed when you have the opportunities and the support which the Freeman/Lozier Library has experienced over the past 20 years.

*This article has been altered for the blog post.  To see the original article written by Robin Bernstein please visit: Vol. 1 No. 4, pg. 1.*

The RDA Experience

The month of June will highlight what the library offers beyond books.  This particular article discusses the technology behind organizing books within the library’s computer.


The RDA Experience

      Picture it—you are sitting in front of the computer and want to find a copy of your favorite Tolkien story, The Hobbit, in a library’s catalog. You have typed Tolkien and Hobbit into your search and hit enter. Your search results are less than helpful as it returns a slew of titles in various versions, languages, formats, and publication years. Now you are faced with the task of scrolling through the titles to find what you really wanted. Wouldn’t it be easier if the titles where organized in a way so that you could rule out unnecessary formats, languages and dates? Enter FRBR, Functional Requirement for Bibliographic Records, and RDA, Resource, Description and Access.

FRBR introduced a theory by which a user could more easily find a “work” such as The Hobbit in the live-action “expression” which was actually “manifested” into a DVD and Blu-Ray by New Line Cinema in 2013, and is now available as an “item” sitting on the shelf in their local library. Work, expression, manifestation and item, called WEMI in the library world, only make up a small part of FRBR but WEMI makes important distinctions for users locating an item in the catalog by specifying which manifestation the item is.

The newest organizational structure on the block, RDA, even has some national backing to it.  The Library of Congress has introduced a cut-off date of March 31, 2013, for creation of bibliographic records in the old AACR2 standard and will start solely creating records in the new content standard of RDA. As many US libraries, including ours, follow the Library of Congress in practices and standards, we know that we must gear ourselves, our catalog and our users for these changes. Knowing this, it is our goal to make the search experience more efficient and fruitful for our users and ourselves. We have spent hours educating, updating and inquiring about RDA and FRBR and its impact at our meetings. Moreover, we wanted to share our experiences and what we have learned.  And even though some librarians are retiring because of the introduction of RDA, we are excited for the ride and happy to know that RDA does not mean “retirement day approaching” for us.


*This article has been altered for the blog post.  To see the original article written by Casey Kralik please visit: Vol 16, No. 2, pg 1.*

Facts at Your Fingertips

FACT: The first credit card charge was made on February 8, 1950, by Frank McNamara, Ralph Schneider, and Matty Simmons at Major’s Cabin Grill in New York City.  The event is still known as the “first supper.” The credit card was Diners Club, developed by McNamara and Schneider.
FROM: The 100 Most Significant Events in American Business: An Encyclopedia, p. 186. (REF HF3021.S57 2012)


FACT: Howard Pyle, a prolific American illustrator, writer and inspirational teacher, regarded as the father of American illustration.  The leading representative of a school of illustration that came to be known as the Brandywine School.
FROM: The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Graphic Design and Designers, p. 198.  (REF NC997.L54 2012)


FACT: In the language of elections, the phrase whistle stop means to campaign by making brief appearances in many small communities.  It originated with President Harry S. Truman’s nationwide campaign by train in 1948.
FROM:  Elections A to Z, p. 672. (REF JK1976.T37 2012)


FACT: Corn has been a food source for humans for at least 2,000 years.  It is a food plant that can be grown in almost all warm and humid agro climatic regions and at elevations ranging from sea-level fields to those sown above 10,000 feet. Corn offers the highest yield per acre of any grain crop now sown.
FROM:  Food and Famine in the 21st Century, p. 72-73.   (REF HC79.F3F66 2012 V.1)


FACT: Edward Hidalgo a successful attorney with a long and distinguished career in government service, most notably as an expert in naval intelligence and later in diplomatic work, Hidalgo became the first Hispanic to serve as the secretary of Navy when President Jimmy Carter appointed him to this post in 1979.
FROM: Great Lives from History: Latinos, p. 459.   (REF E184.S75 G75 2012 V.2)