Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"It's a wonderful [Cataloger's] life."

Hello everyone,

It is I, Carl, your intrepid cataloger with my final blog post of the school year.  It has been a good school year, filled with the usual challenges and triumphs you would expect of any college librarian. 

Today, I wanted to take a few minutes to write about what at cataloger is and does.  There are still some people out there who believe that librarians sit around and read books all day.  Frankly, that notion couldn't be further from the truth.  The only books I've read from cover to cover on the job are when I'm trying to catalog 36 page children's books, with all of the pretty pictures and such.  [I'm a sucker for children's books, especially now that I have a baby daughter of my own.]  As a cataloger, I must admit that I've had to, at times, skim books to find out what they are about so I can properly describe them in the library catalog. 

In fact, that is my primary job at Lane Library these days.  In essence, I create bibliographies for a living, using special rules [RDA] that are used by libraries around the world.  I, and my student assistants, describe books and create access points so library users can find books on the shelves.  We describe approximately 2,000 books, videos, and other physical items every year.  This can be intensive work when I am assigning authoritative subject and author headings.  I often ask the student assistants when I'm training them; what is the difference between common or similar names, for example:  John A. Behnke vs. John A. Behnke, 1953-.  It turns out that the first John A. Behnke was a professor out East and wrote a book about euthanasia, while the second John A. Behnke was a music professor in Wisconsin and still is a composer.  It is my job to make sure that the proper name is listed in the proper record.  This sometimes requires a lot of research. 

There is much more that I could tell you about what I do, but that would make a very long post.  If you are really curious about my work or are interested in going into the library profession, feel free to come by the library and talk with me.  Of course, if you are interested in the library profession, talk with all of your Lane Librarians.  We love to talk about what we do.

Have a great Summer.

This is Carl Ziebell signing off.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Seeking the right image

Help is at your fingertips when you are looking for the right illustration to use in your research or presentation. Want to have a closer look at a painting or other image from your studies? Need an illustration that you can easily cite and have permission to use in your paper? Spend some time on ARTstor, and you will not be disappointed.

Images from ARTstor. Left: Joseph Byron, Self Portrait. 1909. Right: Desperate Man (Self Portrait). Gustave Courbet. 1843. 
The ARTstor Digital Library database  available through Lane Library contains over 1.8 million high resolution digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with a variety of tools for study, research, and instruction. These images hail directly from some of the world's leading museums, photo archives, exhibitions, and scholars.

You can search by keyword or use the advanced search for additional filters and limits or you can also browse by collection, classification, or geography. While you need to create a log-in to use the advanced features of ARTstor, it is definitely worthwhile in order to save and organize images into groups and folders, or even to export entire image groups in batches through the "export to PowerPoint" feature.

Want to know more? Simply stop by a librarian's office to find out how to use it effectively for your research.  Or if you are looking for online help, ARTstor has a variety of documentation and videos on everything from searching to downloading images into a PowerPoint presentation.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

547 days to home...

Hello everyone,

It is Carl, your intrepid Lane Library cataloger, with another book and collection to talk about.  This time I read a brand new book from the Wisconsin's Own Library (WOL) collection.  This wonderful collection is located in the South Reading Room of Lane Library and focuses on authors from, and topics about Wisconsin.  There is no other library collection anything like WOL on the planet.  It will probably come as a shock to some that Lane Library doesn't own the WOL collection.  It is here on semi-permanent loan through the General Federation of Women's Clubs of Wisconsin.

The book I read is titled 547 days to home : the resurrection of a pastor and a small town church / by Daniel L. Bohlman.  I highly recommend this book.  It is the heartwarming story of a despondent pastor named Ed who has been successively fired from his previous churches.  He is given one last chance by his district bishop to fill out his last 547 days and then retire with a full church pension.  Grudgingly, Pastor Ed agrees to give it one last try.  The congregation he is sent to serve is on its last legs.  They have only a few members left and are not bringing in enough offerings to sustain their congregation much longer.  The congregants are set in their ways and don't like change.  On top of this, there is a local mega-church that is looking to force all of the other churches in the area to close.  Pastor Ed has a huge task ahead of him, should he choose to accept it.  He is faced with a choice to fill out his days at Guernsey Community Church and retire, or make a real difference in the lives of those around him.  How he accepts this challenge covers a range of emotions and lends life and humor to this heartwarming story.  Can this once star pastor save a dying small-town congregation?  Can the people of this congregation save him?  Read 547 day to home to find out.  I'm very happy I read it, and I suspect you will be too.  If you do read it, let me know what you think of it.

This is Carl Ziebell signing off.

Monday, February 2, 2015

New workshops underway at Lane Library

Our Digital Makerspace schedule is up and running for the spring semester, and we have a whole new set of offerings to learn new techniques.  Look them over, and mark your calendars to attend.  The workshops are 30 minute sessions, being offered twice each week on Tuesdays at 4pm and Wednesdays at 12:30pm in the Waitkus Lab of Lane Library.  

Below are some brief descriptions:

Visualize Data
Feb 3 @4 pm/Feb 4 @ 12:30 pm
Got data?  Learn how to make data visually accessible by integrating it with Google Maps.  By taking either your own data or free data sets from government information, find out how to create a map that can tell the data's story.  Using Google Fusion tables, you will find out the techniques to plot a table of locations or create an intensity map.  

Record and Edit Audio
Feb 10 @4 pm/Feb 11 @ 12:30 pm
Have you ever needed to record audio or music, be it for a report, music practice, or even an alternate soundtrack for a movie?  Come and learn about FREE, powerful audio software that will meet your basic recording needs.  Do you have the "Audacity" to attend?

Build and Share Collections Online
Feb 17 @4 pm/Feb 18 @ 12:30 pm
Do you have collection that you want to make more accessible?  Find out what will work best for you and how to transform your collection into a digital exhibition.

Edit Images
Feb 24 @4 pm/Feb 25 @ 12:30 pm
Wondering how to take your photos from good to amazing?  Want to add a little text to your photos?  Come explore our pick of free image editing software, and let your photos have their time to shine.

Create a Screencast
Mar 3 @4 pm/Mar 4 @ 12:30 pm 
Want to create tutorials which can be recorded and viewed later? Find out more about a free tool that can be used to make video tutorials from screenshots in order to illustrate how to do something on the computer.

Analyze Texts with Software
Mar 10 @4 pm/Mar 11 @ 12:30 pm
Learn how to use free text analyzing software to do everything from tracking publication trends over time to doing key word analysis.  Find out what you can do when digital technology and communication meet to create new possibilities in scholarly research.  

Create and Edit Videos
Mar 24 @4 pm/Mar 25 @ 12:30 pm\
Looking for a new twist on an assignment? Stop by to learn the best techniques to create a video using the cameras and iPads available to you through the library.  The iMovie app is also available on our iPads, which means you can make the videos the length you need for assignments or promotional materials for your class, club or sport.

Create a Dynamic Map
Mar 31 @4 pm/Apr 1 @ 12:30 pm
Working on a project that is tied to a place? Learn how to create an interactive map where you can provide your historical, statistical or any other research information tied to a location of your choosing.  

Publish and Share Information
Apr 7 @4 pm/Apr 8 @ 12:30 pm
Learn to create a wiki or webpage for yourself, your student organization or class project.  Find the tips and tricks necessary to navigate and create your own web presence using free tools available to you.

If you have any questions, comments, or any suggestions for future Digital Makerspace workshops, please let us know!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Do you have some Neanderthal in you?

Hello everyone,

Here is another blog post from your Lane Library Cataloger, Carl Z.  Today's topic focuses on Neanderthals.  As you know from previous posts, many books come through my department and there is certainly not enough time in a day to read all of them.  Although, I have been known to check out a book from time to time and take it home.  Recently, a book titled Neanderthal Man : in search of lost genomes by Svante Pääbo caught my attention.  This book centers around how Pääbo researched and mapped Neanderthal DNA.  He tells his story of research and discovery in a generally linear (biographical) fashion.  If you, dear reader, are a science major or just love the art and science of research, here is your opportunity to learn how a cutting-edge scientific researcher thinks.  One of the big questions posed in this book was whether modern humans and Neanderthal humans interbred and if modern humans living today contain some Neanderthal genes.  According to the findings, peoples from Europe, China and Papua New Guinea have some Neanderthal genes.  So yes, somewhere back in history, there was interbreeding between these two species of humans.  If you want to find out more about these findings, I strongly urge you read this interesting and engaging book.  It is available at Lane Library.  Call no:  GN285.P33 N42 2014. 

On a somewhat related note, starting in 1980, Jean Auel began writing a series of fiction books.  Her first novel was titled Clan of the Cave Bear and was about a young orphaned girl who was taken in and raised by a group of Neanderthals.  A campy movie by the same title, starring Daryl Hannah, was also produced, but in my opinion, and Auel's, it didn't quite capture the full scope and spirit of her first book.  Auel went on to write five more books in the Earth's Children series for a total of six.  She, in doing research for her fiction, visited significant archaeological sites in France and other parts of Europe and kept abreast of Neanderthal research.  In her fiction, she wrote about Neanderthals and modern humans interbreeding.  Now we know through science that this phenomenon actually did occur.  I found these books to be a real adventure to read, although I must warn our sensitive readers that there is some violence and sexuality in these books.  These novels by Auel are available at the Ripon Public Library.

So Gentleman, if a friend or your significant other calls you a "Neanderthal," that person might ironically be closer to the truth than he or she thinks.  I'll let you chew on that thought for awhile.

I want to wish you a happy holiday season.  Enjoy your break.

Carl Z.


Jean Auel's website:

Clan of the Cave Bear Movie:

TED Talk by Svante Pääbo:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Films at your fingertips

Direct link through Ripon College Lane Library
Need an academic or documentary style video clip for a presentation or class?  Looking for something interesting and educational to watch on your computer at home or in your dorm room?  We now offer thousands of possibilities to be found in the Films on Demand database.

Ripon College now has access to Films on Demand, the Humanities and Social Sciences collection.  This database provides streaming access to thousands of full length videos, and even more video clips from a wide variety of producers such as American Experience, BBC Films, Ken Burns, Nova and PBS among others.

Any Ripon College student, faculty or staff may access this online video collection on-campus or off-campus through this Films on Demand direct link and by using your MyRipon login and password when off-campus.  (This is the same information that you use to access any computer on campus.)  You can also access Films on Demand through the library's online database list under "databases and journals" at

Search by title or browse by subject or collection to find a video of interest for you.  Once you find a film, you may access it by segments or view the film in its entirety.  Searchable transcripts are also available for most films, as well as closed captioning/subtitles.

If you have any question on how to use this database, please ask one of your librarians or view one of the available tutorials or webinars from Films on Demand.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Scholarship Workshop and Scholarship Materials

Many students are struggling with keeping above water when it comes to financing their education. Often students rely too heavily on loans, not understanding the difference between grants, loans, subsidized, unsubsidized, and how the interest rate affects the future cost of the loan. The far better option is to get a scholarship - a few hundred dollars from various organizations every year over four years of college can save you thousands after you leave.

Finding, applying for, and winning scholarships is terribly daunting. Many students don't even know where to start. Starting next semester, Lane Library will be having a multi-week Scholarship Workshop. During these two-hour workshops, you'll learn about all kinds of scholarships out there, how to find them, and best practices when it comes to winning them. Most importantly, you'll have a set time and place to focus on getting scholarships and others to help you with applying. If a student came to the seven week workshop, spending two hours each week, and earned a $500 scholarship, that's equivalent to earning $35.71 dollars an hour! Quite a pay raise from any campus position! Part of our time will also be set aside for learning about how to manage your finances so you leave college with as much money as possible.

To prepare for this workshop, the library got a few scholarship books, available for anyone to use. So we can be sure many students have a chance with them, they are on the reserves shelf. They circulate for 2 hours, in-library use only.

Information on thousands of scholarships, grants, and prizes is easily accessible in this revised directory and features awards indexed by career goal, major, academics, public service, talent, athletics, religion, ethnicity, and more.

2170 programs offering private, federal, and state money. Over 1.8 million awards including scholarships, internships, loans.
Provides detailed profiles of financial aid awards for higher education, covering such topics as eligibility, number of awards, amount of award, application requirements, and deadlines for applications.
Provides 30 complete winning scholarship essays with analysis of why they were successful, scholarship interview strategies, Q&A with scholarship judges, 12 essays that bombed and an essay-writing workshop that covers selecting a topic, creating an outline, writing and editing
Kristina won over $500,000 in scholarships, enough to get her a PhD, by working very hard and winning a lot of money along the way. She shares her story and explains how you can use her experience to get money of your own.
Cost should never be a barrier to receiving a high-quality education. That's why Peterson's continues to provide students and parents - like YOU - with the most comprehensive up-to-date, and accurate information on how to get your share of the financial aid pie. Peterson's is with you every step of the way. With our resouces for financial aid, education exploration, test prep, and career guidance, you'll be well prepared for success!

More information on the workshop will be emailed out to students as we near the next semester, so keep on the lookout, space will be limited!