Library Student Resource Group

May 20 2013

Present: Adreanne Breton, Allison Demes, Chris Dunlap, Charlie Kargman, Evan Kuehn, Samantha Lee, Wilson Miu, Julia Sizek
From the Library and University:Judi Nadler (chair), Barbara Kern, Rachel Rosenberg, Rebecca Starkey, Andrea Twiss-Brooks, James Vaughan, Robin Weiss (RCC),  John Kimbrough

The Research Computing Cluster (RCC) and Data Visualization

In April 2012 the Data Visualization Laboratory opened in Crerar Library. The Laboratory is a partnership between the Library and the Research Computing Center at the University, and provides researchers with access to high-quality data visualization resources, including a stereoscopic 3D projection system. Robin Weiss of the RCC demonstrated some of the visualization techniques for the LSRG.

The John Crerar Library: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Andrea Twiss-Brooks and Barbara Kern, co-directors of the Library's Science Libraries Division, spoke about the history, present, and future of the John Crerar Library, the University's library for the physical and biological sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine. Crerar was originally an independent research library open to the public, established in 1890s through the bequest of John Crerar, a Chicago industry magnate (and all-around stand-up guy) who left the bulk of his fortune to found a library on the south side of the city. The Crerar trustees, after consulting with the Chicago Public Library and the Newberry Library, decided that the Crerar would aim to become a world-class library resource in the sciences, medicine, and technology. (This decision freed the Newberry to focus on arts and humanities, and the Newberry ultimately sold much of its existing collections in the sciences to the Crerar.)

For many years the Crerar Library was located downtown at the corner of Randolph and Michigan, now the site of the Crain Communications Building (aka "the diamond building"). In the 1950s, the Crerar moved south to the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology, where it remained until the late 1970s. At that time the Crerar began exploring a merger with the University of Chicago, which (at the time) was thinking about building a new science library that would bring together the disparate collections of the physical and biological sciences, much in the same way that Regenstein had centralized the campus collections in the humanities and social sciences. The merger and construction of a new science library building was completed in the early 1980s, and the new John Crerar Library opened its doors in 1984.

Today the Crerar Library's core constituents are the students, researchers, and faculty of the PSD, BSD, and the UC Hospitals (both research and clinical). Mindful of Crerar's long tradition as a city-wide resource for science research, we also have relationships with other area hospitals (such as Jackson Park Hospital) and are open to members of the public doing scientific or medical research. We continue to focus on science, medicine, and technology, and work closely with our colleagues in other campus libraries to ensure assistance for patrons doing interdisciplinary research.

Crerar Library Usage

Have LSRG members used Crerar? For what purpose?

Crerar and E-Books

In the sciences (especially), we aggressively pursue electronic acquisitions. We have transitioned almost all of our journal subscriptions to electronic, and are buying an increasing number of e-books. While we value the print collections and the historical information found in them, we are also looking to explore new technologies and delivery methods. One application we're evaluating is Browzine, an app that allows you to read scholarly journals in a common interface on your iPad.Browzine syncs well with Zotero and Dropbox.

Presentation Technology at Crerar

Crerar has a variety of AV equipment available for checkout and use in Crerar's group study rooms, including projectors and a HD video camera, and we're considering designating one of the group study rooms at Crerar as a presentation practice room. Any thoughts on how to best publicize this service? LSRG members suggested a door posters or Facebook postings.

John Crerar Foundation Science Writing Prize

The Library and the John Crerar Foundation sponsor an annual prize for undergraduate science writing (first prize $1500, second prize $500). Each year the Library chooses a topic and encourages submissions from students. Although the topic is always science-related, the competition is open to all undergraduates. We would like to encourage more submissions; does the LSRG have any ideas on how to advertise the Crerar Foundation Science Writing Prize? LSRG members suggested reaching out to current BSD/PSD instructors teaching classes with a research paper component and asking departments to send out a blurb about the prize as a departmental announcement (with a note saying "open to non-science majors") and listing past winners and topics, to give prospective applicants an idea of what a winning essay looks like.  Other possibilities include partnering with the Institute of Politics or other departments.

Monitors for Students and Faculty to Use with Laptops

The Library is considering placing some monitors out on the first floor for patrons to use with their laptops. Any thoughts or reactions about this proposal? LSRG members suggested:

LSRG Service Recognition

At the end of this meeting, the LSRG recognized and thanked Allison Demes, Julia Sizek, and Chris Dunlap, who are all departing the group due to graduation or commitments abroad. In keeping with LSRG tradition, the Library selected a book for the collections in honor of each member's service. (Allison's book, Julia's book, Chris's book)

Next Meeting and Future Topics

The next LSRG meeting will take place in Autumn Quarter 2013 (date TBD).

Please send Rebecca any suggestions for future topic ideas. If you have suggestions, or further comments on any topic discussed today, feedback can be sent to our list: lsrg@lib.