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News and events from DePaul University Libraries

DePaul Special Collections and Archives Supports the Chicago Metro History Fair

by Jamie Nelson 2/28/2014 11:57:00 AM

DePaul Special Collections and Archives deepened our commitment to the Chicago Metro History Fair this season, starting in December through collaboration with the Chicago Metro History Education Center (CMHEC). Our involvement has continued in our Reading Room with research assistance to area high school students, and will culminate in judging and feedback of student projects later this spring. 

The Chicago Metro History Fair is how Chicago students participate in National History Day, which is a nationwide history contest for junior high and high school students.  Chicago students begin with the Chicago Metro History Fair, and have a chance to advance to state and national levels.  The last few years, DePaul Special Collections and Archives have promoted our archival collections to area teachers at the Chicago Metro History Fair kickoff event at the Newberry Library, talking with teachers and providing them with information about our collections.  This year, Special Collections and Archives increased our involvement by partnering with Lisa Oppenheim of the CMHEC to offer a session specifically for teachers, focusing on Latino collections that could be used to examine this year’s theme, “Rights and Responsibilities in Chicago History.”

One evening in early December, teachers from nine schools gathered at the Richardson Library to hear Lilia Fernandez, Associate Professor at The Ohio State University and author of Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2012) talk about her own research in DePaul Special Collections and Archives.  Dr. Fernandez gave examples of the process, information content, and insight gained by working with primary sources in general, but with specific examples out of DePaul’s collections.  

Jamie Nelson and Liz (at teacher session)Teacher-Participants then moved to the Special Collections instruction room where Morgen MacIntosh Hodgetts and Jamie Nelson gave a brief, interactive session on locating and using primary source materials.  Each teacher then investigated at least one of the featured collections, using prompts designed to assist them in their exploration of the materials, and to model the kinds of questions they could use to help their students analyze and properly cite primary source materials.  The collections selected for the evening, and featured on handouts and brochures distributed at the kickoff and on the web, included the Teresa Fraga Papers, Latino Institute Records, Latino Policy Forum Records, Mujeres Latinas en Accion Records, Young Lords Collection, Lincoln Park Conservation Association Collection, and DePaul University Archives.

Morgen and Liz (In teacher session)The event was a success, as evidenced by teacher feedback, with survey responses to “Best features of this activity were:”
•    “So glad for this partnership and the support DePaul is giving our students.”
•    “Such great resources and great supportive staff.”
•    “It was awesome, I wish I brought more teachers with me.”
•    “Hands on activity and lecture from Dr. Fernandez as well as Morgen and Jamie being available for questions.”
Ten History Fair students from four schools have traveled to our Reading Room to use our materials, and students from two additional schools have made contact for future visits.

 Linda and Ruben (teachers)Anyone with an “appreciation for student effort, an interest in history, and a commitment to quality education” can support the Chicago Metro History Fair by becoming a volunteer judge. There are a wide variety of project types (documentaries, performances, exhibits, websites, or research papers) and various dates and locations to volunteer, including DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus on April 5th.  For more information about the Chicago Metro History Fair, please visit

For more information about DePaul Special Collections and Archives, please visit If you’d like to learn more about Special Collections instruction for DePaul classes and students, please email Jamie Nelson at

The Library and the City

by Scott Walter 2/28/2014 11:57:00 AM
If you havScott Walter, University Librariane been at DePaul for any length of time, you know that we take pride in the fact that “the city is our classroom” and in the many academic programs that take advantage of the opportunities the city provides for teaching, learning, and research. The DePaul University Library has been a long-time partner to academic programs that, in the spirit of our strategic plan, aim “to deepen the university’s distinctive connection to the global city of Chicago.”

For example, many of you know that we contribute to the “Common Hour” instruction that takes place as part of first-year program’s “Chicago Quarter” courses (and are currently assessing the impact of that contribution as part of a research grant funded by the Association of College & Research Libraries). For classes conducting Chicago-centered research, librarians also provide specialized instruction and research consultations that promote more informed use of popular and scholarly sources documenting the life of the city. We also provide specialized service for those wishing to learn more about the city through our Chicago Collection and our Chicago Research Guide(s). We collect rare books, manuscripts, and other materials as part of our Chicago collections in the Department of Special Collections and Archives and are active partners in the Lincoln Park Community Research Initiative. Finally, and most recently, we have established active partnerships with colleagues at our nearest neighbor in the cultural heritage community as part of DePaul’s partnership with the Chicago History Museum.

But, these existing initiatives represent only one part of our commitment to “deepen” our connections with libraries, archives, and museums across the City of Chicago, and to ensure that DePaul faculty and students have access to the resources needed to live, work, and study in the city. DePaul faculty and students have access to the collections of a number of Chicago libraries through the I-Share program, and DePaul faculty have access to additional libraries through the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program. DePaul is also a founding member of the Chicago Collections Consortium (CCC), a group of libraries, museums, and archival repositories dedicated “[to increasing] public and scholarly interest in, and study of, the Chicago region's diverse history and culture.” Finally, both individually and alongside CCC colleagues, the DePaul University Library has also been active in engaging the K-12 community in Chicago this year, including providing professional development opportunities for teachers at Gordon Tech High School and working with students and teachers from Walter Payton High School, Chicago Academy High School, George Westinghouse College Prep, and Solorio Academy High School as part of the Chicago Metro History Fair.

Teaching, learning, and research at DePaul is enhanced by our partnerships with individuals, groups, organizations, and companies around the city, and Chicago’s libraries, archives, and museums are some of our most important partners in ensuring that you have access to the resources and the expertise you need to do your work. Nascent programs like our partnership with the Chicago History Museum and, more broadly, with the members of the Chicago Collections Consortium, build on a distinctive commitment in the DePaul University Library to our role as an urban university library, and we look forward to the opportunity to work with you to see how we can help you to learn more about the city and to deepen your connection with the City of Chicago.

Practicum Student Provides Subject Expertise

by Alexis Burson 2/28/2014 11:12:00 AM

When visiting the DePaul Library, you've likely run across students pushing carts, shelving books and checking out material to patrons.  Perhaps you’ve received research assistance from one of our Peer-Research Tutors in person or late at night on our instant messaging service.  In Autumn Quarter 2013, we had the pleasure of adding a library science candidate to our team of students.

Hosting practicum students is just one of the ways the Library can support efforts to build the University’s strength and education excellence and ensure the greatest return on investment in library facilities, resources, and materials for the University community.  Enhancing our partnerships with local and regional Library and Information Science (LIS) graduate education programs helps us to identify and provide short-term field experience opportunities that can provide targeted support for library initiatives. 

Books top left to right: Margins; Spring Fire; A Boy's Own Story; The Danish GirlElizabeth Hermans joined us during her last semester of graduate school at the nationally top-ranked Library and Information Science program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Before her stint at Illinois, Elizabeth received a PhD in English at Purdue University with a focus on American women’s and lesbian-themed literature 1880-present.  In addition to helping students with research, Elizabeth used her expertise to build an LGBTQ Literature Research Guide

Books top left to right: Confessions of a Mask; A Gathering of Spirit; A Single Man; ZamiThe LGBTQ Literature Research Guide links to DePaul Library and select Internet sources and offers a thorough bibliography of LGBTQ poetry and fiction.  The bibliography is particularly helpful in locating LGBTQ fiction as these items aren't always labeled as such in library catalogs making them difficult to find.  Please share the guide with students and colleagues should it relate to your area of study. 

It was a great pleasure to collaborate with Elizabeth and all of the many students who work in the DePaul University Library. We couldn't do it without them!

Promoting Student Scholarship on Via Sapientiae

by M Ryan Hess 2/28/2014 11:11:00 AM
DePaul’s institutional repository, Via Sapientiae, supports student scholarship as faculty across the university begin to see the opportunities for teaching and professional development offered by this library-administered publishing platform.

Built on the Digital Commons online publishing platform and administered by the University Library, Via Sapientiae supports the open access publishing needs of DePaul University. But what makes the platform so remarkable is its ease of use while still providing powerful and customizable publishing and review workflows. The platform also boasts Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which means that anything going into Via will rise to the top of search engine results.

Student Journals

The faculty-edited Journal of Religion and Business Ethics and Vincentian Heritage Journal were early adopters of Via Sapientiae, but lately, it is the sphere of student scholarship that is growing the fastest. Mille-Feuille Magazine Littéraire, a student poetry journal, began publishing on Via Sapientiae in 2011, when Director of the French Program, Pascale-Anne Brault Ph.D., wanted a way to showcase the work of her students, who produce an annual collection of poems in French. In addition to producing an annual collection, as of  2014, Professor Brault has also retrospectively published 19 years' worth of student poems, with their 20th edition going online this year.

Two more student journals are preparing to go online in the very near future.


In the College of Science and Health, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development Mona Shattell, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, working with Associate Professor and Chair of Environmental Science and Studies, Judy Bramble, Ph.D., are preparing to publish DePaul Discoveries this May, a journal of original student research.


The student-run DePaul Law Review is making plans to move to Via Sapientiae this year, and will include several years of back-issues. Associate Dean of Technology and Library Services, Allen Moye is working with the student editorial board and their Faculty Advisor, Professor Max Helveston, to facilitate this transition. “Many law schools have already moved their publications to a digital format, and using the repository platform, with its ease of functionality and SEO just makes sense,” says, Moye. He added, “We hope to add more of our specialized journals from the College of Law in the coming years.” Moye and the College of Law’s Communications Director, Kortney Moore, are also considering publishing conference proceedings using Via.

Student Projects

Another area of activity is the publication of student projects, from a number of courses and programs. One of the first student collections in Via launched in 2010, when visual artist and Associate Professor of Art, Media and Design, Laura Kina, MFA, approached the Library with an idea for putting her students' work online. Three years later, the Asian American Art Oral History Project now contains interviews with 68 artists along with a gallery of 214 images.

Having enjoyed her experience with Mille-Feuille Magazine Littéraire, Professor Brault of the French Program, created another collection of her students' Napoleon Translations, which include historical broadsides, pamphlets and memoirs, all drawn from the Library's Special Collections and Archives.

Our most recent additions of student scholarship come from Associate Professor and Chair of the Geography Department, Euan Hague, Ph.D. and Professor Julie Hwang, Ph.D., who wanted to migrate their Community GIS and Map of the Month collections to Via. They are currently putting the final touches on their site and will officially launch soon.

Other Services and Content Available on Via

Via has much more potential and we are noticing a significant increase in requests for new collections, journals and other community sites. In fact, Via can handle many kinds of scholarly work, including managing seminar and conference proceedings and publishing e-books.

If you have an idea for a collection, you can contact M Ryan Hess, Library Web Services Coordinator in the Library to get your student scholarship online. Available @ the Library

by Jim LeFager 2/28/2014 11:07:00 AM

The library has added 3 kiosk stations to the John T. Richardson and Loop Library that are available to current DePaul students, faculty and staff.  These kiosk stations provide access to the full catalog of tutorials, an online subscription library that teaches the latest software, creative and business skills through high-quality instructional videos. offers users the ability to learn new technology and software and stay current with updates and new releases through video tutorials and exercise files that users can download and work through along with the tutorial, or on their own.  With more than 2000 courses taught by industry experts, and over 100,000 available videos, is designed for all levels of learners.  

Check out the latest releases to see what is available. 

Some of the highlights of the courses include:  

  • Adobe Creative Cloud Training (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign)
  • Audio Courses including ProTools, Apple Logic, Reason and Adobe Audition
  • Video Editing Courses including courses on Adobe Premiere and Apple Finale
  • Courses on current and previous versions of Microsoft applications including Access, Excel, Word, & Windows
  • Web Design courses for beginners and advanced users including courses on HTML, javascript, and css as well as courses on Ruby on Rails, jQuery and mobile developmentand more. 

You can view the entire listing of courses offered by subject or by the name of the software

Reserving a Kiosk  

Users can access any tutorial from the kiosk stations, which include 2 stations in the Learning Commons located in the Richardson Library, and 1 stationin the  Loop Library in room DPC10024.  When not reserved, these Kiosk stations are available on a first come first serve basis, but users can reserve a kiosk ahead of time using our Room Reservation page.  

  • Users may book up to 4 hours at a station in a 24 hour period.
  • Most tutorials are several hours but are broken into multiple chapters.
  • Each Kiosk is intended for one user at a time.
  • We recommend bringing headphones, but headphones are also available for checkout from the Circulation Desk at either campus. 

Digital Humanities Support in the Scholar's Lab: The English Capstone Experience

by Megan Bernal 2/28/2014 11:06:00 AM
Faculty hoping to incorporate digital humanities tools and methods into their teaching and research may find recent use of the Library's new Scholar's Lab for a senior English capstone course of interest.  Winner of the 2013 Thomas and Carol Dammrich Faculty Innovation Award and entitled Literature in the Age of Intelligent Machines, this unique course was co-taught by Associate Professor of English John Shanahan and myself with the goal to explore the creation and interpretation of narratives from printed codex to current ebook and Twitter feed form through theoretical readings and technical skills training.
To help meet this goal, librarians with expertise in database design, data curation, programming, digitization, metadata, digital archiving, and digital publishing were tapped to provide hands-on activities using specialized tables designed for small group work in the Scholar's Lab.  One foundational activity involved teaching students how to use scanners and optical character recognition (OCR) software in order to transform a printed text into a digital object, thus making it fulltext searchable and "database ready" for new types of inquiry and analysis using search algorithms and visualization tools.  Another activity that addressed newer, "born digital" literary genres leveraged Google Fusion Tables to mine and archive real-time data feeds from Twitter.  Students kept all the digital objects they created, and, by the end of the course, learned how to self-publish their own scholarly or fictional work in a standardized file format used by major ebook distributors like Apple and Amazon.
The depth and breadth of active technology learning components in the course was rigorous and challenging for a group of students, who, in many cases, had not been formally exposed to such tools or techniques during their college careers, but several important steps were made by Prof. Shanahan and the library team to remedy this. First, students were provided with Web-based supplemental technology training for major course components using a low cost solution callled lyndaClassroom from the popular technology training service  A lyndaClassroom academic license allowed us to choose up to 5 topics for independent study by students anywhere, any time on the Web, including downloadable exercise files and certificates of completion for tracking purposes.  Second, librarians provided in-person and remote email support for group activities and projects during and after class in the Scholar’s Lab.  
Ultimately, it is people with expertise and interest and not just digital tools or technology alone that support digital humanities endeavors and the library welcomes opportunities to experiment with and subsequently learn further how complex academic computing software and systems like Adobe Creative Cloud or might be used to support future digital humanities programs and coursework.  Since opening its doors to Literature in the Age of Intelligent Machines students in Fall 2013, the Scholar's Lab has shown itself to be a flexible and powerful space where DePaul community members from any discipline or department can gather to explore new models for teaching, learning, and research, whether as a capstone course, interest group, or research project in need of technical support.  
I welcome your inquiries and requests to use the Scholar's Lab space and associated resources.  Visit the Scholar's Lab web page here for more information about available technology and services or contact me via phone or email any time.



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