OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

libraries and information technology

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: 
Source: 

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: 
Source: 

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: 
Source: 

George Poinar, 541-752-0917

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Ancient flower


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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.

 

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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: 
Source: 

Micki Reaman, 541-737-4620

Oregon State University yearbooks digitized and made available online

The Oregon State University Libraries & Press has digitized a rich source of OSU history - almost every OSU yearbook - and made them freely available online.

The collection is available at http://oregondigital.org/sets/osu-yearbooks

The website begins with the first yearbook produced in 1894, titled The Hayseed. All of the 109 yearbooks published from then to the 2012 edition are now accessible, and the 2013 and 2014 Beaver yearbooks will be added soon.

Each yearbook provides a unique glimpse into the academic and social life of OSU students through the decades, including such details as students taking train rides to Newport for a beach picnic around 1900, or the fact that tuition was $15 a year in 1909. Even the paid advertisements in the yearbooks have been digitized, giving a unique look at businesses around Corvallis and the mid-valley over the last century.

“The digitization of OSU’s yearbooks has long been a goal for the Special Collections & Archives Research Center,” said Larry Landis, director of the center. “They are one of the most used sources of OSU history, and now students and other researchers have access to them 24/7 via the web. As we move toward OSU’s sesquicentennial in 2018, all sources of OSU history will gain in importance.”

A goal, Landis said, is to have all major OSU publications available online. So far the OSU catalogs dating back to 1867 and all of the Extension and Experiment Station bulletins, circulars, and special reports are available online. Archival versions of the Oregon State alumni magazine and the Barometer student newspaper should be available by 2018.

“The yearbooks are important in that they provide a perspective of OSU from the students’ point of view,” Landis said. “In that sense they almost serve as the students’ annual report of the university.”

The collection will be a major resource for scholarly investigations into the OSU undergraduate experience, helping to chronicle student life, the campus climate, and the evolution of cultural trends, attitudes, and fashions.

The full text of this digital collection is keyword searchable, both across the collection and within an individual volume; online viewing of given volumes is user-friendly; and users can zoom into a page for easy reading.

All of this has been accomplished through the implementation of a new digital collections platform, called Hydra, through a collaboration of three divisions of OSU Libraries & Press staff. 

The school yearbook has variously been titled The Hayseed, The Orange and, since 1917, The Beaver. Two yearbooks were also published, in 1900 and 1905, as souvenir editions of The Barometer. The last-ever edition of the Beaver yearbook was published in 2014.

 

Media Contact: 
Source: 

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

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The Hayseed

OSU Press publishes new book by Portland author Brian Doyle

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Award-winning Portland author Brian Doyle has written a new book that explores encounters with astounding animals and humans through a series of short vignettes that feature sons and daughters, inebriated robins, Charles Darwin and roasting squirrels, among others.

His book, “Children and Other Wild Animals,” has been published by the Oregon State University Press. It is available in bookstores, or may be ordered online at www.osupress.oregonstate.edu/book/children-and-other-wild-animals, or by calling 1-800-426-3797.

Doyle will read from his new book on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at OSU’s Valley Library Rotunda. The reading, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m. The event kicks off the 2014-15 OSU Presss Authors Across Oregon reading series. For more information on the series, visit www.osupress.oregonstate.edu/AuthorsAcrossOregon

Doyle is the editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland. He is the author more than books, including “Mink River, “The Plover” and “The Grail,” with its lengthy but descriptive subtitle, “A year rambling & shambling through an Oregon vineyard in pursuit of the best pinot noir wine in the whole wild world” (OSU Press, 2006). His essays have been published in Best American Essays and Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies.

“Children and Other Wild Animals” combines previously unpublished works with vignettes that have appeared in Orion, The Sun, Utne Reader, and other publications. Doyle’s trademark, quirky prose has been described as “at once lyrical, daring and refreshing; his essays are poignant but not pap, sharp but not sermons, and revelatory at every turn.”

One essay in the new book is “The Creature Beyond the Mountain,” which won the John Burroughs Award for outstanding nature essay. It is, Doyle says, his tribute to all things “sturgeonness.”

Sometimes you want to see the forest and not the trees. Sometimes you find yourself starving for what’s true, and not about a person but about all people. This is how religion and fascism were born, but it’s also why music is the greatest of arts, and why stories matter, and why we all cannot help staring at fires and great waters.”

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Marty Brown, 541-737-3866; marty.brown@oregonstate.edu

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Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle

Valley Library celebrates 15 years

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University is celebrating the Valley Library’s 15th anniversary this month with guided tours led by student employees highlighting the many services and resources the library provides, far beyond books and study space. 

Tours take place between 2 and 4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 16, and run every 15 minutes (the final tour starts at 3:15 p.m.) They meet in the library foyer on the second floor.

Remodeling of Valley Library began in 1996, and was completed in 1999. Former university librarian Karyle Butcher oversaw the completion of the $47 million project, which improved the original Kerr Library. Kerr had been designed to store 750,000 volumes, approximately half of what Valley Library contains today.

The old building was designed long before computers and digital archives moved to the forefront of library technology. Valley Library has continued to adapt to changing technology, offering classrooms that allow for interactive multi-media lessons, like the Autzen, and providing services like 3-D printing.

Valley Library is also home to University Archives & Special Collections, which offers treasures ranging from dated manuscripts to the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers. It also includes many online collections accessible to anyone around the world.

Additionally, the library houses the OSU Press, one of the few thriving university presses in the Northwest, as well as the Center for Digital Scholarship, Oregon Explorer, ScholarsArchive, and Oregon Digital Collections.

To learn more, take one of the tours or visit: http://library.oregonstate.edu/

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Faye Chadwell, 541-737-7300, faye.chadwell@oregonstate.edu

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OSU seeks public’s help to transcribe historic letters from start of the Cold War

CORVALLIS, Ore. – After the atomic attack on Nagasaki at the end of World War II, America’s jubilation at the ending of the conflict turned to fear as the real implications of nuclear war began to sink in. In 1946, Albert Einstein founded the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists to educate the public on the dangers of atomic warfare and the mounting need for world peace.

A portion of the records from that committee are now available in an online exhibit through the Special Collections & Archives Research Center at Oregon State University Libraries and Press, and help is being sought from the public to transcribe the letters in the collection.

The exhibit includes documents and letters to and from the nine scientists making up the committee, including appeals for donations to support the group’s mission of peace.

Though only a portion of the collection has been loaded into the exhibit so far, each letter will be digitized and available for reading within the exhibit. Special Collections is crowdsourcing transcription of the letters, and encourages viewers to help create a full-text database of the letters' contents.

The collection was received at OSU as part of the personal papers of OSU alumnus and Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, who was a member of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists. It includes thousands of letters, and responses to them, reflecting appeals from ordinary Americans. Citizens sent anything from $1 to $10,000, along with letters expressing deep fear about the new world they lived in. In a personal and intimate tone, they wrote to Einstein expressing their distress at the idea of such a powerful and destructive weapon, and lamented the potential for atomic war.

The exhibit explores the work of the committee and illustrates its story through items from Special Collection’s extensive nuclear history collections. It highlights different types of letters received by the committee, including letters of criticism, encouragement, and advice, and closes with a brief look at the impact of the committee’s efforts. 

The exhibit also features maps, timelines, and other interactive features via Viewshare, a platform from the Library of Congress that creates visualizations of digitized cultural heritage collections.

Viewers of the exhibit can also browse a comprehensive list of tags for each letter, showing city, state, and donation amount, as well as the occupation and organizational affiliation of the sender.

The exhibit is of interest to a broad swath of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including the history of science and technology, peace studies, public policy, sociology, political science, communication, and more.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Anne Bahde, 541-737-3331 

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Library receives endowment to fund student research scholarships

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Libraries and Press has received a $100,000 estate gift to endow the Library Undergraduate Research Award.

The annual Library Undergraduate Research Award (LURA) recognizes outstanding research, scholarship, and originality in writing a paper or completing a project. The winning students receive a $1000 scholarship and present their research findings at a formal ceremony. This year’s winners are Brittany Backen, a history major; and Arlyn Y. Moreno Luna, a bioresource research major. Backen’s research paper is entitled “Coed Cheesecake:  The 1959 Wrestling Court and the Politics of the Marriage Market at Oregon State College.” Luna’s research paper is on “The Effects of Xanthohumol on Biomarkers of Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Rats.”

The endowment was created from funds provided by the estate of Gilbert and Marie Cleasby. Marie, a 1952 OSU graduate, majored in home economics and was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She also was a member of the college chorus during her freshman year. She became a master gardener. Gilbert W. Cleasby, M.D., was a well-respected ophthalmologist in the Bay Area.

LURA was created seven years ago as an initiative of the Library Advisory Council. Previous winners have submitted papers on topics ranging from the socio-religious implications of the hijab headscarf to the impact of the grapevine leafroll virus on pinot noir fruit.

“Oregon State University Libraries and Press contributes to student success in many ways,” said Faye A. Chadwell, Donald & Delpha Campbell University Librarian and OSU Press Director. “Funding LURA in perpetuity demonstrates our strong commitment to undergraduates at OSU.”

Previous winning papers are available online in ScholarsArchive@OSU, the university’s institutional repository, at http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/4505.

The Cleasbys’ bequest is part of the $1 billion Campaign for OSU, the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. An important part of the campaign, estate gifts and other planned gifts support programs, faculty, and students throughout the university.

 

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Rhonda Hankins, 541-737-4633

History of hops and brewing chronicled on new OSU archive

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon is at the epicenter of a thriving craft-brew industry, and Oregon State University is helping shape the movement – from creating new barley varieties, to offering courses for home brewers, to its growing fermentation science program, which has a Pilot Plant Brewhouse where student brewers create new beers.

Now, the university is going a step further as it actively preserves the rich history of hops and craft brewing.

Recognizing the need to document the intertwined story of hop production and the craft brewing movement in Oregon, the Special Collections & Archives Research Center at OSU Libraries & Press established the Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives in summer 2013. This month, the official launch of the online archives will be celebrated in appropriate style with “Tap into History” on March 28 at the McMenamins Mission Theater in Portland.

The archive’s goal is to collect and provide access to records related to hops production and the craft brewing industries in Oregon. The first archive in the United States dedicated to hops and beer, it will bring together a wealth of materials in hardcopy and digital formats enabling people to study and appreciate these movements. The work melds the social and economic aspects of brewing in Oregon with the hard science behind the beer research being done at OSU.

The university already has strong collections related to the history of hops, barley, and fermentation research at OSU, but scholars are gathering resources from beyond the campus as well.

“There are valuable items in historical societies, in the boxes of marketing materials in a brewer’s garage, in the computer records of operations at hop farms, on beer blogs, in social media communities, and in the stories that haven’t been recorded,” said Tiah Edmunson-Morton, archivist for the collection.

“While we are interested in adding new items to build the archive, we also want to be a portal to collections through the state, partnering with people in heritage and history communities, state agencies, hops farmers, craft brewers, home brewers, and the general community to think collectively about how to preserve and provide access to this history.”

The free "Tap into History" event at the Mission Theater, which begins at 7 p.m., includes a panel on brewing history in Oregon. Among the topics:

  • Edmunson-Morton will talk about the project and its impact.
  • Peter Kopp, an agricultural historian, will talk about his use of archival materials and the relevance for researchers.
  • John Foyston, an Oregonian writer since 1987 and noted beer columnist, will talk about his work documenting the Oregon beer scene.
  • Irene Firmat, CEO and co-founder of Full Sail Brewing Company, will talk about her work as a female brewing pioneer.
  • Daniel Sharp, a Ph.D. student in the OSU College of Agriculture's Fermentation Science program, will talk about his research and the program.

The event concludes with screenings from "Hopstories," a collection of short videos showcasing breweries in Oregon, and OPB's Beervana, a documentary about the history of beer and the rise of craft brewing in Oregon. The McMenamins Mission Theater is located at 1624 N.W. Glisan St., Portland.

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/brewingarchives

 

 

 

 

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Tiah Edmunson-Morton, 541-737-7387

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Grafting hop varieties