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News and information from the Calvin T. Ryan Library @ UNK

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    Welcome to the official blog for Calvin T. Ryan Library at University of Nebraska-Kearney.

    Read more about the research tools and services available to you at the library, and discover additional information about current events impacting the world.

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Summer transitions for Criminal Justice databases

Posted by sudrland on May 14, 2015

Written by Jon Ritterbush, E-Resources and Serials Librarian

With the launch of LOPERSearch in February 2014, UNK student and faculty researchers have enjoyed an improved search experience across dozens of article databases and the library’s catalog. As of this month, LOPERSearch results are now further enhanced with the addition of two criminal justice-related databases:

Criminal Justice Abstracts – Provides cover-to-cover indexing of over 580 journals related to criminal justice, criminology, corrections, and policing.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts – Thousands of summaries of important law enforcement and criminal justice publications including books, government reports, research reports, journals, and unpublished research.

These two databases – hosted by EBSCO – may be searched individually, together, or combined with other EBSCO databases such as PsycINFO and Academic Search Premier. LOPERSearch users will also see entries from these two criminal justice databases included within their search results. Due to overlapping coverage with these new EBSCO databases, the Library’s subscription to ProQuest’s Criminal Justice Periodicals will be allowed to expire June 30, 2015.

These new databases are linked from the “Articles & Databases” webpage under the alphabetical listings and under the subject of “Criminal Justice.” Please contact Jon Ritterbush, the librarian liaison to Criminal Justice, if you have any questions about this transition.

Posted in E-Resources, Library Info | Leave a Comment »

Preservation Week 2015

Posted by sudrland on April 27, 2015

Written by Laurinda Weisse, University Archivist

Preservation Week Logo
This week is the American Library Association sponsored Preservation Week. Preservation Week began in 2010 as a response to the huge number of items in collecting institutions, such as archives, museums, and libraries, which required immediate attention. The ALA estimated that, “some 630 million items in collecting institutions require immediate attention and care. Eighty percent of these institutions have no paid staff assigned responsibility for collections care; 22 percent have no collections care personnel at all. Some 2.6 billion items are not protected by an emergency plan.”[1] As an archivist, part of my job includes choosing the most appropriate preservation methods for various types of materials. For some items, particularly newspaper and AV materials, digitization is the best way to conserve them. Their physical media suffer from inherent vice and are nearly impossible to preserve over long periods of time. Other, more stable, materials might only need storage in archival boxes, which help buffer them from changes in temperature in humidity.What you can do to preserve your own materials, physical and digital:

  1. Control the environment. Attics, garages, and basements do not make good storage areas because of their extreme fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Stable temperature and humidity will increase the longevity of materials. Check out the Dew Point Calculator. After you input temperature and either dew point or relative humidity, it will give you a preservation evaluation, which can help guide your choice of storage area.
  2. Light is the enemy. It contributes to deterioration of items. If you want to display something, consider making a high quality copy and use that rather than the original. When you do display originals, try to pick somewhere that is out of direct light. Sunlight and fluorescents are particularly damaging to materials.
  3. Make multiple copies of items and store them in geographically distant locations. For digital files, this might include your main computer, a local backup to an external hard-drive, and a cloud service for backup, based outside your own city. For personal papers, consider giving copies to trusted friends or family members.
  4. Label, label, label. As best as possible, identify very specifically the who, what, where, and when around materials. For example, rather than writing “Mom” on a picture, use your mother’s full name.

Want to learn more? The Library of Congress offers guidance on preservation basics for a variety of formats, available on their digital preservation website. ALA also hosts a series of free webinars on specific preservation topics. While I am not able to appraise or conduct conservation treatments on personally owned items, I’m happy to point you to resources to help you care for your historical items. If you have further questions about preservation, I can be reached at or 308-865-8593.


Posted in Archives/Special Collections, News & Events | Leave a Comment »

Buy a Book for the Library

Posted by sudrland on April 21, 2015

Written by Janet Stoeger Wilke, Dean, Calvin T. Ryan Library

Looking for a gift idea for that special graduate?  Want to thank a professor, parents, friend for their help?  Want to let UNK know what a special place it is?Look no further — Buy a Book for the Library.

UNK’s Buy A Book program offers you a valuable way to honor or memorialize a relative, friend, professor or colleague by putting their name in a book in the collection.

There are three levels of giving:

  • $100 contribution – One book
  • $500 contribution – Six books
  • $1,000 contribution – Twelve books

When making the gift enter the name(s) of those you would like to honor and their name will be included both in the book and in the Library’s catalog.

For more information go to:

Posted in Library Info | Leave a Comment »

Poetry Reading – Professor Emeritus Don Welch

Posted by sudrland on April 20, 2015

Image of Don Welch

In honor of National Poetry Month
Calvin T. Ryan Library
is pleased to present
Professor Emeritus Don Welch
reading from his new collection of selected poems
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
3:00 p.m.
Main Floor, Calvin T. Ryan Library
Open to the public
light refreshments to follow.

Posted in Events, Library Info, News & Events | Leave a Comment »

Celebrate National Library Week

Posted by sudrland on April 14, 2015

Written by Laurinda Weisse, University Archivist

This week is National Library Week. Sponsored by the American Library Association, it is “a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support”. Today, we highlight the first librarian here, Anna Jennings, for whom the Jennings Room on the second floor of the library is named.

Miss Jennings started the library at the Nebraska State Normal School. Over her 34 year tenure, she built a 43,000 volume collection from scratch worth more than $100,000 in 1939 dollars, $1.7 million in today’s terms. The library featured open, browsable stacks, which were rare in that era. Most other academic librarians allowed only librarians and assistants to access the book shelves. Under Miss Jennings’s reign, the college became one of the first to offer library instruction, long before the text books on the subject were available. By 1917, each junior was required to enroll in Library Methods, a one credit class in which “’the organization and care of the school library is discussed, and special helps for teachers are given”. While we no longer have such a course, the librarians at UNK continue to teach students how to effectively use available library resources, albeit emphasizing databases and online resources over memorization of call number ranges.

The UNK Archives has most of the booklets written by Miss Jennings for student instruction. These publications feature many gems but also highlight how the core aspect of librarianship has remained stable over time. The 1917 Handbook of the Library emphasizes, “If you cannot find the information wanted, do not hesitate to ask for help; the watchword of the library is SERVICE. Do not forget, however, that the best part of an education is the ability gained through self help”. Today, students can get help from librarians in a number of modalities, all linked from our Ask a Librarian page.

In addition to her guides for students, Jennings wrote extensively on books for rural school libraries. The bulletins are primers on basic librarianship. They include everything from book recommendations broken out by grade level to directions on caring for books and which suppliers are best. Beyond books, Jennings emphasized the importance of music, writing that “music is one of the great social forces in rural community life. Real community music means participation by everyone. Boys and girls singing with their fathers and mothers will establish a common bond and lessen the lure of city life”. To support this, she recommends the purchase of a Victrola along with records from her supplied list.

Throughout her career here, Anna Jennings provided loving service to the college and the community. She participated in the Nebraska Library Association, gave talks to the community about her travels, and influenced numerous students. We have several Special Collections books inscribed to Miss Jennings, describing “happy hours spent under her watchful eye”. She was a remarkable woman who gave the library a strong beginning. We strive to continue what she started.

Posted in Archives/Special Collections, Events, Library Info | Leave a Comment »


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