libraries and information technology

OSU Libraries forms sister relationship with Nigerian university library

CORVALLIS, Ore. -  Oregon State University Libraries has forged a connection with a university library in Nigeria that will make it one of only a small group of existing “sister” university library relationships.

The collaboration will take place with the Federal University of Agriculture’s Nimbe Adedipe Library, in Abeokuta, Nigeria. It will establish an ongoing collaboration between librarians and staff at both universities, including exchange of library staff, joint research activities, participation in virtual seminars and academic meetings, and the exchange of library materials and other information.

“There are many benefits for OSU Libraries to seek out an international sister library relationship,” said OSU librarian Laurie Bridges, the coordinator of the OSU side of the project. “It helps raise awareness of issues and needs facing libraries internationally, it helps us share techniques and technologies to solve problems, and it increases the information, resources, and expertise between both libraries. It also increases the diversity of interaction between professionals.”

Bridges said the initiative also meets one of Oregon State’s strategic goals, which is promoting international education, research and engagement.

The Federal University of Agriculture is a public university in Nigeria consisting of nine colleges, with about 60 percent of majors focused on agriculture. It has about 19,000 students.

"Myself and my colleagues are most excited about networking with our new friends and colleagues from Oregon State University Libraries," said Fehintola Nike Onifade, a librarian from Nigeria. "This will help us to track trends and keep up with changes in librarianship and information science. In fact we are hoping that the relationship will lead us to best practices in library and information science service delivery."

OSU officials have signed a formal letter of understanding with FUA, formalizing the relationship between the two universities. A small group will be formed within the library to start working on outreach and exchange possibilities with FUA. 

Media Contact: 

Laurie Bridges, 541-737-8821

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New software will help OSU patrons access millions of books, articles

Oregon State University Libraries and Press will make it easier for patrons to utilize resources in academic libraries in Oregon, Washington and Idaho by providing them access to more than 9 million books, journal articles, and other materials.

Starting Dec. 1, OSU will transition to a new library system for finding books, articles and more. It also will change the way library staff acquire, catalog and circulate materials.  The 37 academic libraries of the Orbis Cascade Alliance Library Consortium, of which OSU is a member, are implementing this new system.

While transition to the new system begins over Thanksgiving break, a manual circulation system will be in place so users will still be able to check out materials. 

“A longer term advantage of the shared system is that the libraries will be able to share and streamline acquisitions, cataloging and resource sharing processes among the participating libraries,” said Cheryl Middleton, associate university librarian for learning and engagement. 

For example, each year a package of thousands of electronic books is purchased for all members of the alliance. Each of the 37 libraries has been responsible for adding catalog records for books into their local collections. With the new system, the records only have to be entered once and they’ll appear in the catalogs of every participating library, as well as a central catalog shared by the alliance, called Summit.

After OSU makes the transition, some things will look and work a little differently.

  • Users will see changes in how the 1Search search box works. They’ll be able to broaden their search beyond OSU’s collections to include materials from all of the libraries in the consortium. Or they can continue to limit a search to locate OSU items or journal articles only. The new search interface will search 9 million books and journal articles, audiovisual materials and more.
  • The current version of the library catalog will be going away and the functions of the old catalog will be rolled into 1Search.  
  • OSU's Interlibrary Loan and resource sharing services will remain the same; users will just access them from a different system. 
Media Contact: 

Cheryl Middleton, Cheryl.middleton@oregonstate.edu; 541-737-8527

OSU joins new education technology consortium

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has joined several leading research universities to create an education technology consortium called Unizin that will provide new ways to create and share digital educational content.

Unizin is a university-owned and operated national collaboration to provide a common infrastructure for educational content and empower faculty with a new suite of tools to create and share digital learning materials.

“As a founding member of the new Unizin consortium, Oregon State steps up to a leadership role nationwide to help guide the next generation digital learning,” said Lois Brooks, vice provost for Information  Services and chief information officer at OSU.

Oregon State has been involved in the development of the new Unizin consortium for the past year. Colorado State University, University of Florida, Indiana University and the University of Michigan signed on earlier this year. Now Oregon State, University of Wisconsin and University of Minnesota join them as founding members of Unizin, to provide leadership in higher education for the new wave of digital learning technologies and strategies sweeping college campuses.

By the end of this year, Unizin founding membership is likely to grow with several additional leading research universities working toward full membership.

“That three more world-class institutions joined Unizin further validates our strategy and gives us the momentum to have greater impact on teaching and learning,” said Amin Qazi, chief executive officer of Unizin. “The participation of these institutions will greatly extend our reach and strengthen the services Unizin provides to its members.”

Under Unizin, OSU faculty will be able to create and share digital content with faculty at other Unizin institutions as well as universities around the world who subscribe to standards for open educational resources, giving students access to more and better digital course materials.

“Over the past few decades, higher education has been evolving from a traditional lecture format to more digital-based interactive learning,” said Dave King, OSU’s associate provost for Extended Campus. “The next step in that evolution is to provide richer digital material across a full spectrum of learning opportunities – credit courses, professional programs, open educational resources and especially important to OSU, Extension programs.

“Unizin helps us open the door to many people who otherwise would not have access to higher education.”

One faculty proponent for the move is Kevin Ahern, a professor of biochemistry and biophysics who already offers free online courses and books.

“What I like about Unizin is that it is a way for many more people across OSU to participate in sharing as I have done,” Ahern said. “Open Educational Resources is going to rapidly become the biggest movement in higher education and I am delighted to see OSU participate in this process. Unizin is a credible, meaningful effort that will benefit students across the country – and OSU is showing important leadership by joining the conversation.”

The lexicon of 21st-century education can be intimidating – MOOCs, badges, flipped classrooms, digital platforms, and professional short-courses. What they have in common is expanding the reach of higher education to meet the needs of students, industry, and other professionals.

This fall, for example, Oregon State is offering its first MOOC – massive open online course. Karen Thompson, an OSU education faculty member, is teaming with the Oregon Department of Education and Stanford University on a course to help K-12 teachers work better with English language learners in their classrooms to meet new standards. It is potentially open to thousands of educators throughout the country.

“The potential for these types of courses is enormous,” King said. “You could offer a course on climate change, or earthquake hazards, or watershed enhancement. It could be offered free, or it could be underwritten by an agency or organization, with universities maintaining both intellectual property and quality control.”

Through Unizin, faculty will also be able to analyze ways in which students best learn and tailor their courses accordingly. Access to these kinds of analytics is becoming a required management tool for universities which are focusing on improved learner and student success like Oregon State is under its newly revised strategic plan.

The technology revolution goes well beyond traditional distance learning, OSU officials say. Many OSU resident students take online courses as well, and creative faculty members are incorporating new technologies into their classroom lectures.

“Twenty years ago many of us were involved in the development of Internet2 to provide universities the network Internet access that has changed the trajectory toward success of higher education,” said Brooks. “Our collaborative approach to Unizin offers the same path toward success for digital and online learning. The potential to use technology to enhance the learning environment for all learners is enormous.”

Media Contact: 

Dave King, 541-737-3810, dave.king@oregonstate.edu;

Lois Brooks, 541-737-8247, lois.brooks@oregonstate.edu

Amber fossil reveals ancient reproduction in flowering plants

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A 100-million-year old piece of amber has been discovered which reveals the oldest evidence of sexual reproduction in a flowering plant – a cluster of 18 tiny flowers from the Cretaceous Period – with one of them in the process of making some new seeds for the next generation.

The perfectly-preserved scene, in a plant now extinct, is part of a portrait created in the mid-Cretaceous when flowering plants were changing the face of the Earth forever, adding beauty, biodiversity and food. It appears identical to the reproduction process that “angiosperms,” or flowering plants still use today.

Researchers from Oregon State University and Germany published their findings on the fossils in the Journal of the Botanical Institute of Texas.

The flowers themselves are in remarkable condition, as are many such plants and insects preserved for all time in amber. The flowing tree sap covered the specimens and then began the long process of turning into a fossilized, semi-precious gem. The flower cluster is one of the most complete ever found in amber and appeared at a time when many of the flowering plants were still quite small.

Even more remarkable is the microscopic image of pollen tubes growing out of two grains of pollen and penetrating the flower’s stigma, the receptive part of the female reproductive system. This sets the stage for fertilization of the egg and would begin the process of seed formation – had the reproductive act been completed.

“In Cretaceous flowers we’ve never before seen a fossil that shows the pollen tube actually entering the stigma,” said George Poinar, Jr., a professor emeritus in the Department of Integrative Biology at the OSU College of Science. “This is the beauty of amber fossils. They are preserved so rapidly after entering the resin that structures such as pollen grains and tubes can be detected with a microscope.”

The pollen of these flowers appeared to be sticky, Poinar said, suggesting it was carried by a pollinating insect, and adding further insights into the biodiversity and biology of life in this distant era. At that time much of the plant life was composed of conifers, ferns, mosses, and cycads.  During the Cretaceous, new lineages of mammals and birds were beginning to appear, along with the flowering plants. But dinosaurs still dominated the Earth.

“The evolution of flowering plants caused an enormous change in the biodiversity of life on Earth, especially in the tropics and subtropics,” Poinar said.

“New associations between these small flowering plants and various types of insects and other animal life resulted in the successful distribution and evolution of these plants through most of the world today,” he said. “It’s interesting that the mechanisms for reproduction that are still with us today had already been established some 100 million years ago.”

The fossils were discovered from amber mines in the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar, previously known as Burma. The newly-described genus and species of flower was named Micropetasos burmensis.

Media Contact: 

George Poinar, 541-752-0917

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Ancient flowers

Ancient flower

Pollen tubes

Pollen tubes

OSU Press releases new book on wolves in Oregon

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The reappearance of wolves in Oregon and the impact this apex predator has on people from ranchers to conservationists to attorneys is the subject of a new book by the Oregon State University Press.

“Collared: Politics and Personalities in Oregon’s Wolf Country” was written by Aimee Lyn Eaton, a former science communicator at OSU who also has worked as a free-lance writer for the New York Times, National Geographic and other publications.

Eaton describes her experience in seeing wolves first-hand, and meeting many Oregonians most affected by their return. She takes the reader to the State Capitol in Salem, to town hall meetings in rural northeastern Oregon and beyond.

Tom Booth of the OSU Press said the book encourages “a deeper, multi-faceted understanding of the controversial and storied presence of wolves in Oregon.”

Four events are scheduled for the author in Portland and Corvallis next week:

  • Portland: A reading and signing event on Monday, Oct. 7, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Powell’s, 3723 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.;
  • Portland: A book signing session on Tuesday, Oct. 8, during the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association conference at the Airport Holiday Inn. More information on the conference is available at: www.pnba.org/show.htm
  • Corvallis: A reading and signing event on Tuesday, Oct. 8, beginning at 7 p.m. at Grass Roots Books & Music, 227 S.W. 2nd St.;
  • Corvallis: A reading and signing event on Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the third floor of OSU’s Valley Library (bring you own lunch).

“Collared” is available in bookstores, online at http://osupress.oregonstate.edu, or can be ordered by calling 1-800-621-2736.




Note to Journalists: Review copies of “Collared” are available by contacting Micki Reaman of The OSU Press at 541-737-4620.

About the OSU Press: The OSU Press plays a vital role in the cultural and literary life of the Pacific Northwest by providing readers with a better understanding of the region. The press specializes in scholarly and general interest books about the history, culture, literature, environment, and natural resources of the state and region.

Media Contact: 

Micki Reaman, 541-737-4620

OSU acquires archives of ‘the founding father of American craft beer’

CORVALLIS, Ore. — The papers of renowned beer journalist and historian Fred Eckhardt have been acquired by the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives at Oregon State University’s Valley Library.

The Eckhardt collection provides a record of the craft brewing industry dating to the 1970s. It should be open to researchers by spring.

Few in the brewing world had Eckhardt’s influence on the history of beer in Oregon and home brewing nationwide, and his collection covers a broad range of topics related to craft beer as well as sake and wine making. Eckhardt, who died in 2015, was an advocate, critic, educator, mentor and historian, and has been called the founding father of craft beer.

“This is a cornerstone collection for the archives and a real treasure for the history of craft and home brewing in the Pacific Northwest and beyond,” said Tiah Edmunson-Morton, an archivist at Valley Library and the curator for the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives. “It’s a researcher’s dream that someone would keep all of this and an archivist’s dream that it would be this well-organized.”

Eckhardt became prominent in the brewing community with the publication of “A Treatise on Lager Beers” in 1970, the first modern American book on home brewing.

As breweries opened across the country in the 1980s and 1990s, Eckhardt travelled to visit with brewers and owners, take photographs, keep detailed records, and write for industry publications like Celebrator Beer News and All About Beer. He served on the American Homebrewers Association’s board of advisors for many years, and was one of the founding members of the Oregon Brew Crew homebrew club in Portland, where many professional brewers started.

More information about the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives at OSU’s Valley Library is available at scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/ohba.html.

Media Contact: 

Tiah Edmunson-Morton, 541-737-7387, tiah.edmunson-morton@oregonstate.edu

Historic Corvallis newspapers now available online

Corvallis newspapers from a 46-year period more than a century ago can now be accessed online, for free.

A collaborative effort of Oregon State University’s Libraries and Press, the Benton County Historical Society and Museum, and the University of Oregon’s Knight Library has digitized Corvallis newspapers from 1863-1909. Anyone can go online at oregonnews.uoregon.edu and see issues of the Corvallis Times or Corvallis Gazette.

Prior to 1909, the Gazette and the Times were separate newspapers. The recent microfilming and digitization of Corvallis newspapers from this period adds to the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program, which totals more than 700,000 pages of Oregon newspapers. The collection’s online holdings are primarily from 1922 and earlier because these are in the public domain and may be freely copied.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the availability of online digital newspapers,” said Irene Zenev, executive director of the Benton County Historical Society and Museum. “This is a powerful resource for researchers, genealogists and historians, not to mention students of all ages. We are proud of the fact that the bound volumes of the Gazette and the Times that we collected and preserved were of use in this important project.”

The time period covered by these newspapers was important for both Corvallis and Oregon State University, said Larry Landis, director of Special Collections and Archives Research Center at OSU Libraries and Press.

“Having this content available online will be a boon to many researchers, especially as OSU moves toward its 150th anniversary in 2018,” he said. “Students at OSU have already used the online newspapers for research papers on OSU history.”

The digitization relied on original newspapers in the collections of Oregon State’s Valley Library and the Benton County Historical Society and Museum. The digitization was supported by funding received by the University of Oregon from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Media Contact: 

Larry Landis, 541-737-0540 or larry.landis@oregonstate.edu

CALYX, OSU Libraries and Press receive grant to support feminist literature

CALYX Press and Oregon State University Libraries and Press have been awarded a grant of $96,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize at-risk literature published through CALYX Press.

This grant enables important literary works from the last 50 years of the feminist movement to be transformed into openly licensed e-book formats. CALYX, founded in 1976, is one of the nation's oldest feminist presses, and has published diverse authors including Julia Alvarez, Chitra Divakaruni, Barbara Kingsolver, Sharon Olds, Linda Hogan, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

The project goal is to foster wider readership and a renewed interest in the impact of the small independent press on national and international feminist movements. Taking advantage of contemporary e-book technology, the project will digitize and distribute out-of-print texts by authors now central to contemporary feminist literature.

“Feminist presses of the last 50 years, including CALYX Press, have been a fundamental part of the cultural discourse,” said Alicia Bublitz, managing editor of CALYX Press, “and we are dedicated to preserving those voices in a digital world.

 “The work of these presses is disappearing, and maintaining their foundational texts is essential for scholarship, history and art,” she said. “This project is an acknowledgment of our great debt to these often controversial, always passionate, and incredibly powerful leaders.”

 According to Korey Jackson, the Gray Family Chair for Innovative Library Services, and Jane Nichols, OSU instruction and emerging technologies librarian, the work was a great connection between CALYX’s independent lens and feminist literary connections, and the library’s dedicated infrastructure and support for open access.

 “Our hope is to inspire new audiences and foster new readers of feminist literature by making these texts openly available,” Jackson said.

Media Contact: 

Daniel Moret, 541-737-4412 or daniel.moret@oregonstate.edu


Jane Nichols, jane.nichols@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-7269; Korey Jackson, korey.jackson@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-6384; Alicia Bublitz, director@calyxpress.org, 541-753-9384

Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives seeks crowd-funding support

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Lovers of beer and history now have an easy way to support the preservation of Oregon beer history.

The Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives at Oregon State University Libraries and Press has launched a crowd-funding campaign to help expand their hops and brewing collection at OSU’s Valley Library in Corvallis.

Begun in 2013, the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives preserves the story of hop production and the craft brewing movement in Oregon. It’s the first archive in the United States dedicated to preserving and telling the intertwined story of hops and beer, documenting all facets of the craft brewing industry, and uniting the social and cultural aspects of brewing with the sciences of OSU.

“We are really proud of all the work we’ve already done highlighting OSU’s archival collections,” said OHBA archivist, Tiah Edmunson-Morton, “ learning more about OSU’s talented scientists, hosting researchers, working with the public, meeting with the community, and attending a wonderfully wide variety of events and conferences.”

The launch of the crowd-funding campaign will help support the work of OHBA, and organizers hope to meet a $5,000 goal by the end of October.

The Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives has been able to attract state, national and international attention and been featured in publications as varied as Draft Magazine and Library Journal, as well as on radio programs such as “Think Out Loud” and “Beer Radio.” More information about OHBA’s crowd-funding effort is available at bit.ly/fundOHBA

Media Contact: 

Daniel Moret, 541-737-4112 or Daniel.moret@oregonstate.edu


Tiah Edmunson-Morton, 541-737-7387 or tiah.edmunson-morton@oregonstate.edu

Building Oregon website offers architectural photos of Oregon

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new mobile-friendly website developed by Oregon State University Libraries highlights the architecture of the Pacific Northwest and offers a wealth of photos and information about historically significant buildings in Oregon.

Buildingoregon.org is a digital library that includes a collection of images of more than 5,000 cultural and historic properties. The site makes Oregon’s architectural heritage accessible on smart phones and tablets.

“This grant project is a terrific example of ongoing collaboration between Oregon State University and the University of Oregon,” said Faye A. Chadwell, Donald and Delpha Campbell University Librarian and OSU Press Director. “It leverages our respective strengths within each library to enhance access to important cultural content.

“I am especially pleased with OSU’s development work on this project as we’ve created an open technical framework for other cultural heritage entities such as museums, archives and presses to use to reach wider audiences.”

OSU Libraries developed the website, which makes the University of Oregon’s “Building Oregon: Architecture of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest” collection accessible to users on smart phones and other mobile devices. Building Oregon uses a map-based interface to allow people to search for buildings by location and to retrieve related images and information.

Many photos in the collection represent cultural heritage sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mobile website has potential to inform and inspire educators, students, architecture buffs, historians and tourists.

The development of the Building Oregon website was supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services Technology Act and administered by the Oregon State Library. The open source code for this application is available via GitHub.

Information about Oregon State University Libraries and Press and their collections can be found at osulibrary.oregonstate.edu. More information about the University of Oregon Libraries and their collections can be found at library.uoregon.edu.

Media Contact: 

Daniel Moret, 541-737-4412


Margaret Mellinger, 541-737-9642, margaret.mellinger@oregonstate.edu

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