January 2015

JAN 27, 2015 by Daniel Cruz

Articles In This Issue

theNETWORK: a Library Research Social and a New Approach to Student Engagement
Library Lunchtime Learning Series Returns for Spring 2015
Journey Stories Exhibit Opening Set for February 17th
UTPA Library Now Has Dragon Speech Recognition Software
Learn the Basics About US Patent Law
Research on the Run
Instruction Services Offered for Spring 2015
Embed Librarians into your Blackboard Classes
Database Gem: Texas Reference Center
UTPA Library Welcomes New Librarian Billy Cryer
Library Display Pillars Complete
UTPA History: President R.P. Ward
Life at the Library Photo Gallery
Credits
Upcoming Library Events

theNETWORK: a Library Research Social and a New Approach to Student Engagement

by Stefanie Lapka

This year, the University Library is excited to host theNETWORK: a library research social, an experimental technique meant to reinvent what it means to work with a university library as a networked college student tapping into a research hub.

theNETWORK is the first event in the Composition Conference series, or CompoCon. Began in 2012 by faculty members in the English Department’s Transitional & First Year Reading/Writing Program (WP), the semester-long series is designed to align with important stages of the research process and experiment with “student engagement”: how it’s defined, how it’s created, and how it was happening in English 1302 Rhetoric classes.

Now in its third year, CompoCon, is getting larger and gaining momentum, involving about 1,000 students at each iteration. The University Library became involved for the 2014 research event portion of the conference, a partnership that will continue this spring with theNETWORK: a library research social.

Planned for February 2nd through 6th 2015, the goals for this event are to introduce students to the library as a space/place and to the people who make research strategic and enjoyable. Styled like a conference, theNetwork will feature sessions scheduled throughout the week and organized around different topics. By offering a variety of sessions, we are hoping to strike a balance where students feel comfortable using the library as a space, become familiar with basic library tools and search techniques, and begin to think about new ways to conduct research.

For more information please contact Stefanie Lapka (956-665-3331 / lapkasa@utpa.edu) or Carl Nelson (956-665-2753 / cnelson@utpa.edu).

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Library Lunchtime Learning Series Returns for Spring 2015

by Peter Cortez


The Library is pleased to announce the return of its Lunchtime Learning Series, offered throughout the month of February, 12pm to 1pm in Library Classroom #1. Section listings and specific dates are:

Information Literacy and Word – February 5th

Back to Basics: The Library Catalog – February 12th

Fair Use & Copyright – February 19th

Organizing Research & Life With Evernote – February 24th

Advanced Searching – February 26th

 

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Journey Stories Exhibit Opening Set for February 17th

by Virginia Haynie Gause

Journey Stories Poster

Journey Stories, a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution, will open February 17, 2015 at The University of Texas – Pan American Library and will be on display in the Shary Room through March 27th. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held February 17 from 4-6 p.m. The exhibit will be open to the public Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. UTPA is one of only six places in Texas that the exhibit will travel to this year. The Library is also pleased to have this event coincide with FESTIBA 2015.

The theme of the exhibit is immigration, migration, and transportation. A short video explaining what the exhibit is about can be found here:

We hope this exhibit will encourage students to create journey-inspired projects relating to a variety of topics, whether the students are in history, art, literature, creative writing, music, or other programs.

In conjunction with “Journey Stories,” the Library is hosting a speaker series. Several faculty members and local historians will make presentations while the exhibit is here.

The following is a schedule and list of presentations:

February 17, 6-8 p.m. UTPA Ballroom.
Book Launch for Living the Dream: new immigration policies and the lives of undocumented Latino youth.” Dr. Jessica L. Lavariega Monforti

February 19, 12-1 p.m. Schilling Room (Library 2.101).
“We Were Here First: Early Indians of the Rio Grande Valley” Dr. Russell Skowronek

March 10, 12-1 p.m. Schilling Room (Library 2.101).
“Orphan Trains” Dorothy Lund Nelson

March 12, 12-1 p.m. Schilling Room (Library 2.101).
“Poems About Travel” Emmy Perez

March 24, 12-1 p.m. Schilling Room (Library 2.101).
“Travel Writing:  Sharing Your Journey Stories with Others” Dr. Phil Zwerling

March 26, 12-1 p.m. Schilling Room (Library 2.101).
“Songs About Travel” Dr. Andrés Amado

Journey Stories has been made possible at UTPA by the Texas State Historical Association. The exhibit is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

For special accommodations or for more details, contact Virginia Haynie Gause, media and marketing librarian, at (956) 665-2303 (vgause@utpa.edu).

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UTPA Library Now Has Dragon Speech Recognition Software

by Peter Cortez


The Library is pleased to offer its users Dragon Speech Recognition Software. This software is available on several computers found in the Library’s 3rd Floor Media Department. Working with UTPA’s Office of Disability Services, the Library’s installation of Dragon, the world’s best-selling speech recognition software, allows users to dictate documents, search the web and more, all by just using your voice. It’s easy to use and is widely recognized for its speed and precision. For more information about the software or using a computer with this software, please contact the Library’s Media Department at (956) 665-2763.

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Learn the Basics About US Patent Law

by Kelly Leu


Patent Field

This semester, the Library will once again offer a “Patent Basics” Workshop. This self-paced workshop is conducted primarily online via Blackboard with occasional synchronous chat meetings. While the workshop can be completed in as little as 4 weeks, students have until May 29, 2015 to complete all of the work. Content consists of readings, discussion questions, live chat sessions, and weekly quizzes. The online format means that this workshop can work around busy schedules.

Register now and join us for a valuable opportunity that will provide you with practical knowledge that can help you in your academic and professional career. These workshops are open to the entire UTPA community.

Additional details about this series are available at: http://utpa.libguides.com/CAP. For more information, please feel free to contact the workshop instructors: Kelly Leu or Janette Garcia.

Image credit: “Looking out for Bilski: software patents v. FOSS” by opensource.com, used under CC BY-SA.

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Research on the Run

by Carl Nelson


“Research on the Run” is a new initiative that launched in Spring 2015 at the University Library. It allows easy access to reference librarians to help students, faculty, and staff identify and locate resources. Funded by a grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, librarians and staff members will be roaming the Library during the busiest hours to help patrons with their research or with general information questions.

Reference services will still be available at the reference/instruction desk on the second floor but keep your eye out for librarians roaming the library looking to help you with your information needs!

Spring 2015 Research on the Run hours are as follows:

Monday Noon to 2 p.m.

Tuesday Noon to 2 p.m.

Wednesday Noon to 2 p.m.

Thursday Noon to 2 p.m.

Friday Noon to 2 p.m.

To find out more about Research on the Run, click here.

 

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Instruction Services Offered for Spring 2015

by Carl Nelson

The Reference and Instruction Department reminds everyone that the UTPA Library offers library orientations and database classes for both undergraduate and graduate programs here at The University of Texas Pan American. If you would like to set up a class for your students please contact Stefanie Lapka (956-665-3331 / lapkasa@utpa.edu) or Carl Nelson (956-665-2753 / cnelson@utpa.edu). You can also use the Library’s Instruction Request Form by clicking here.

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Embed Librarians into your Blackboard Classes

by Carl Nelson


Do you want library help for your students at the point of need? The Reference and Instruction Department at the UTPA Library is offering faculty and instructors teaching on Bb Learn the option to embed librarians in their classes. Embedded librarians offer students a new way to get library help through Blackboard. It provides a unique way for students and faculty to access a UTPA Librarian. For further information please contact Stefanie Lapka (956-665-3331 / lapkasa@utpa.edu) or Carl Nelson (956-665-2753 / cnelson@utpa.edu).

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Database Gem: Texas Reference Center

by Carl Nelson


Texas Reference Center is a repository of electronic articles and eBooks covering subjects dealing with the Lone Star State. It has materials from newspapers including the Austin American Statesman and 79 other Texas publications. The coverage goes in some cases as far back as 1980. The database also has numerous eBooks that cover varying topics of history and culture of the Lone Star State. This resource will be useful for individuals seeking literature and information on Texas. One advantage is that most of the materials within this electronic resource are available full text. Another is that it offers some materials in Spanish.

Texas Reference Center is an EBSCOhost database and it is very similar to Academic Search Complete. One key difference is a lack of scholarly peer reviewed resources. Like Academic Search Complete the Texas Reference Center is very easy to use. It uses simple search procedures to produce quick results. The electronic resource is capable of understanding combined terms and informal language making it a good research tool for first time users. All they have to do is enter search terms and the electronic resource will do the rest of the work. Texas Reference Center is a well-designed database and offers an easy way to find materials on the Lone Star State especially for individuals studying the culture and history of this region of the country.

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UTPA Library Welcomes New Librarian Billy Cryer

by Peter Cortez


Our New Digital Librarian - Billy Cryer

The Library is pleased to welcome Billy Cryer, Digital Projects Librarian, to UTPA. Billy’s excited about his new position and is looking forward to the challenges that await him in the area of digital preservation. “Technology continually allows for more and more remarkable ways to preserve and allow access to archival and other cultural heritage material”, said Billy when asked about his new responsibilities. He went on to say that his new role, “…allows [him] to be a part of this rapidly evolving flux of technology.” He recalls being a kid and reading the cyber punk science fiction novels of William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, and Nick Sagan, and can’t help but marvel at how many of the speculations on technology that were developed in the science fiction novels of the 80s and 90s—such as virtual reality, cloud computing, etc.—are now full-fledged realities. Billy is currently working with a number of faculty members to digitize various things to make available through the library’s website. The materials include old photographs, literary journals, and very old film. He is also looking forward to working, “…with so many treasures hidden away in the library and making them available online so that people all over the world can discover them.” Billy stressed the important role libraries and archives play in preserving our culture for the future. The endless possibilities for libraries and preservation are among those things he finds truly remarkable. When asked why he became a librarian, Billy’s reply was simply, “The library has always been my favorite place to be. What’s more to say?”

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Library Display Pillars Complete

by Peter Cortez


The pillars in the Library’s main lobby have undergone a makeover of sorts to complement their new surroundings. Glass panels and shelving were incorporated into the pillars along with special lighting to showcase any materials that will be on display for all to see. The pillars and shelving are among the final touches added to the Library lobby as part of a major renovation that now offers a light, airy, and contemporary feel to both users and passersby. For more information on the display cases, please contact the Library’s Administration office at 956-665-2755.

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UTPA History: President R.P. Ward

by Janette Garcia


This year the Library’s Special Collections department is highlighting a series of short website slideshow articles on this history of the university.

Our university grew out of the Edinburg Independent School District (EISD) as a two year regional college established in 1927 to later become a four year college with an international focus in 1952.  R. P. Ward was a major influence for that growth. Ward began working for the EISD as a junior high school principal in 1923. When Edinburg Junior College was established in 1927, Ward became the first Dean of the College. He left in 1928 after the “odor of fast deals and old boy network”[1] drove him off. He was asked to return after H. C. Baker, the Superintendent of Schools and President of the College resigned in 1930. Ward was the longest running president with a total of 27 years of service. The college grew quickly under his guidance through a series of measures he undertook to increase funding, student enrollment and the number of buildings and the size of campus.

During the Great Depression when funding was critical, Ward began adding the word ‘Junior’ to the college’s name in 1933 to allow the college to obtain state aid for junior colleges. After World War II in 1948 Ward discovered another provision in Texas law which would allow the EISD to establish a legally independent college district, which in turn would allow the region to create a new separate district-wide tax. The proposal was voted upon locally, and Edinburg Regional College was created. Beginning in 1950 Ward worked with several others to draft a law allowing for a public vote of the citizens to expand a public college district to include a senior division with the authority to award bachelor degrees. The bill passed, local elections were held, and the college was officially severed from the school district, and in 1952 Pan American College was created with Ward as the first president of the new college.

Despite having to deal with decreased funding during the Great Depression in the 1930s and rationing and low student enrollment during World War II (1939-1945) the college grew and expanded during Ward’s leadership. Students from throughout the region enrolled in college classes. Ward provided school buses to bring students to campus and he increased cooperative programs and offered evening and weekend classes in nearby towns. During World War II students, faculty, and President Ward participated in the war effort. Many, including President Ward, served in the military. No male students graduated in 1944 and student enrollment dropped by just over half from 249 students enrolled before America entered the war, to a low of 122 students at the height of the war. As early as 1954 President Ward and leaders of the community began looking for ways to expand. Funds were raised and lands purchased which would eventually become our current campus.  Ward resigned in 1959.


1.  Raymond Welch,  Struggle and Progress in the history of Pan American University: 1927-1987.  (Edinburg, Tex. : Pan American University, 1987), 14.

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Life at the Library Photo Gallery

Click on first photo to enlarge and start the slideshow and press Esc to exit.

Carl Nelson teaching a group of students at CompoCon 2015Stefanie Lapka leading a group of students at CompoCon 2015

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Credits

Editor:  Peter Cortez

Writers:  Stefanie Lapka, Virginia Haynie Gause, Kelly Leu, Carl Nelson, Peter Cortez, Janette Garcia

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Upcoming Library Events

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