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Message from the Editors

Welcome to the Fall 2007 edition of CUA Libraries Online. After a brief hiatus we are pleased to bring you the latest library news. In this issue we chose to focus on the library's greatest resource: the library staff. We hope learning about our staff is both an educational and enjoyable experience for you!

Is something missing? Any objections? Is there an article you enjoyed? Please direct comments, questions, and suggestions about the newsletter to us via the contact form.

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CUA Libraries Acquires Century-Old Printing Press

(reprinted by permission from the CUA office of public affairs)

The contraption looks a little like an antique metal sewing machine operated by a foot pedal, only it's about three times bigger and 600 pounds heavier. It's the 107-year-old printing press donated a week ago to Catholic University - the kind that requires one to manually find individual pieces of small metal type for each letter, punctuation mark and space, and assemble them onto a form to be inked and pressed against a sheet of paper.

It's essentially the same typesetting technology that Johannes Gutenberg used to print the first book with moveable type around 1450, and that only started to become obsolete in 1886 with the invention of the Linotype machine.

Having the press will prove valuable for teaching the current generation of CUA students who only know one kind of printing: the offset printing that replaced Linotype in the 1970s and '80s.

"My colleagues and I in Media Studies teach an introductory class called Media and History," says Associate Professor of Media Studies Lisa Gitelman. "Having a printing press on campus will be a way to make learning about print culture more concrete. Just seeing how laborious the composition process is - selecting individual pieces of type and putting them in order - can be eye-opening."

The press, which can print the pages of books, invitations and other jobs with page sizes of 11-by-7 inches or smaller, was donated to the university on Sept. 15 by Bernard Willett of Jericho, N.Y.

"Anyone who wants to understand printing processes before the age of the laser printer can benefit from this tool on campus - that would include library students, graphic art majors and disciplines such as English," says Lenore Rouse, CUA's curator of rare books, who oversaw acquisition of the press.

Indeed, professors in CUA's English and media studies departments were especially eager to get the press, partly because a knowledge of printing and the making of books is important to literary and textual analysis. For example, literary scholars in the 1800s couldn't figure out which was the definitive first edition of Shakespeare's plays until they could unravel the intricacies of printing in the 17th century, says Rouse.

In the 1970s and 1980s, many university art departments got rid of their printing presses, but now a lot of universities are wishing they had one again, she says. Letterpress printing [the generic name of the old style of printing] has a lot to offer aesthetically. That's why it's still routinely used to make wedding invitations. The products of such printing look nice and they have a certain cachet that laser printing doesn't.

That cachet - plus the usefulness of such a press in teaching literary and media history - are why some universities are getting such presses again.

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Who let the librarians out?: CUA Libraries' Roving Librarians Program

Library holdings are no longer confined within the four walls of the library. New technologies make reference and research materials available to the user via the web, wired or wireless, pod casts, wireless networks, text messaging and RSS feeds. With this in mind the Roving Librarian program was launched in September to "take our show on the road"

Armed with laptops, reference librarians set out to make library services available in classroom buildings throughout the CUA Campus. Buildings visited include: Marist Hall, the Pryz, Leahy, Caldwell, Aquinas, Crouch and Maloney.

The program goals include:

  • Increase awareness among CUA students, faculty and staff of the library, library services and resources
  • Bring our expertise to the CUA community anywhere the University's wireless network is available (instead of the other way around) to provide "on the spot help". Two or three shifts were covered every week
  • Focusing on "the middle" , i.e. scheduling the program during the middle of the semester when most students are starting work on research projects
  • Utilize the opportunity to familiarize the CUA community with the libraries' best resource: the librarians

During the latter part of the semester, we widened the scope of our program to include the student dormitories. As students and others in the CUA community became familiar with the program they used it more. Faculty. Staff and university administrators are enthusiastic about its value. Next semester we will be expanding the Roving Librarian program to include more library staff. Our aim is to add more shifts and provide more comprehensive assistance. So watch for us the next time you enter a building on campus and remember: the librarians are OUT-to help you!

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A glimpse into the life of a GLP

Picture of G L Ps

(L-R) Linda Todd, Nathan Mueller, Kathleen Mahoney, Sarah New, Maria Koshute, Adam Day

If you've ever heard the acronym "GLP" and crinkled your brow or shrugged your shoulders trying to figure out exactly what that is, then hopefully this article will enlighten you. In a field that is strewn with acronyms, GLPs feel very privileged to have an acronym that is unique to them. GLP stands for the "Graduate Library Pre-professional Program", which enables selected students to gain professional experience while simultaneously earning their Masters of Science in Library Science (MSLS) at the CUA School of Library and Information Science (SLIS). The GLP program allows selected students to earn their degrees in a two-year period through a combination of full-time, salaried work, and part-time studies. These positions include tuition for six credits each semester which is a fabulous scholarship opportunity.

This August, The Catholic University of America Libraries welcomed six new GLPs from several different states. They are:

Adam Day has joined the Mullen Electronic Resources and Instruction Center (MERIC) staff as the Electronic Resources GLP. He graduated from the University of Maine at Augusta with a bachelor's degree in Library and Information Services. Adam is now putting his undergraduate training to use in the MERIC lab by performing such tasks as: identifying and fixing basic hardware problems, installing software, reorganizing microfilm, keeping the photocopiers working, setting up and taking down laptops for library instruction sessions in the MERIC classroom, working at the Information Desk, fixing microfilm readers, and library instruction. After getting his MSLS, he hopes to work in a medical or government library. Adam has learned that, although sometimes painstaking, conducting a good reference interview saves librarians and patrons a lot of time in the long run.

Maria Koshute began working as the GLP for Reference and Instructional Services (RIS) in August. She graduated from the Franciscan University in May 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. There, she worked at the John Paul II Library as a Circulation Desk student worker and advancing to a Circulation Evening Desk Supervisor. Maria is very excited to move onto this next stage in her professional life at Catholic University of America (CUA) Libraries, both as a staff member and as a graduate student. Her responsibilities are varied and include: checking in new serials and reference books, answering suggestion box queries, responding to web form questions, designing the 2nd floor bulletin boards, maintaining the newspapers, shelving reference materials, ordering office supplies, and working at the Information Desk. In the midst of all these tasks, she is learning about all facets of the library: ordering supplies, the cataloging system, effective reference interview techniques, library instruction, and database and electronic resource navigation. Most importantly, she is able to apply what she is learning in school to her work.

The Applied Science and Architecture/Engineering/Math Library welcomes Kathleen Mahoney as their new GLP. Kathleen, an Illinois native, graduated from University of Dallas in Dallas, Texas with a Bachelors of Arts degree in English. Kathleen hopes to one day work in a Special International Library. She says that one of the most valuable things that she has learned in her job so far is "how to manage people", because she is responsible for supervising student workers.

Nathan Mueller of Stafford, VA, is the new GLP for the Religious Studies and Philosophy Library. Nathan has a Bachelors degree in Philosophy from The College of William and Mary and a Master's degree in Philosophy from Virginia Tech. In regards to his specific career plans, Nathan is interested in technology in general and digital libraries in specific, although he doesn't know much about either at this point. In the Religious Studies and Philosophy Library, Nathan's duties include answering reference questions, entering data into a research advisory tool database and processing gift books. Nathan says that his favorite part of being a GLP is the combination of learning about librarianship theory in class and librarianship practice at work. One of the most valuable things that he has learned in the GLP program so far is how important teamwork is at every level within the library.

Sarah New of Bel Air, MD, is the GLP for the Semitics/ Institute of Christian and Oriental Research (ICOR) Library. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a Bachelor's degree in the Classics. Sarah hasn't decided which area of librarianship she'd like to work as a practitioner but she does like working in an academic library because of the atmosphere. Her job duties include: assisting patrons, reshelving books, filling ILL requests, processing new serials and (soon) copy cataloging! She's also working on a database for the Father Jamme collection. Her favorite parts about being a GLP is the camaraderie and getting to put into practice what she learns in class immediately on the job. Sarah also notes that the most important thing she has learned so far is the incredible importance of collegiality in creating a positive work environment! She especially enjoys just watching how her co-workers interact.

Linda Todd of Oneonta, NY, has joined the Technical Services Department as their GLP. Linda is a registered nurse with a Bachelors in Religious Studies and minor in Art History who decided to switch careers. Her daily duties include a variety of different tasks in the Acquisitions Department. She will also gain experience in Collection Management, Serials and the Fast Track Cataloging program. Linda especially enjoys working with books in Gifts and Exchanges and Acquisitions. The most valuable lesson Linda takes from being a GLP is that all areas of the library are important to the others. Technical Services work behind the scenes and Public Services work on the front lines. They work like a stage production. Without the stage crew (Technical Services) the play (Public Services) could not go on.

The GLPs make up their own small "buddy system" within CUA Libraries. They have a built in routine on class days, as they trudge up the mountain to Marist Hall together and help one another stay attuned with various School of Library Science (SLIS) colloquium events and new trends in library science.

~ Maria Koshute, GLP for Reference and Instructional Services (RIS)

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Spotlight on a staff member

In this issue we focus our spotlight on Shanyun Zhang, CUA Libraries' Electronic Resources [MERIC] Librarian. She was born in Beijing, China, during the Cultural Revolution. When she was young, she went to live with her grandmother in Shanghai after her mother was sent to a military camp by the Communist government. Despite the hardships she suffered, she describes her childhood as very happy "because of the love from family and friendship of peers and teachers."

Q: Where in China are you from? Picture of Shanyun Zhang vacationing in Jiuzhaigou National Park in China, summer 2007

Shanyun Zhang vacationing in Jiuzhaigou National Park in China, summer 2007

A: I am from Beijing, the capital of the Peoples Republic of China.
Q: What did you study in undergraduate school?
A: My undergraduate major was Engineering Management.
Q: Where did you get your bachelors degree?
A: I got my bachelors degree from Beijing Institute of Light Industry in 1990. (It merged with another institution, and became Beijing Technology & Business University in 1999.)
Q: Why did you decide to come to the U.S.?
A: I came to the U.S. as a visiting scholar in College of Library and Information Science(CLIS) in the University of Maryland in 1998. I was interested in the information organization and retrieval for the new century.
Q: Where did you get your Masters in Science of Library Science (MSLS)?
A: I got my MSLS at the CLIS, University of Maryland.
Q: Why did you decide to become a librarian?
A: I was an Information Specialist before I came to the U.S. Most of the engineers in my Academy didn't know English or didn't know how to search for information My major work was searching, reading, analyzing, and translating the information related to their projects. I learned many things when I searched for and analyzed the information, and my reports were always well-received, which made me very proud. I think being a librarian is great, because you learn many new things when you help patrons (especially for knee deep reference questions), and you get appreciation for your work all the time.
Q: You wear many hats: reference librarian, researcher, web master, selector in psychology, mom. Which is the most challenging?
A: I think being a mom is the most challenging . A mom doesn't wear a single hat! I am a reference librarian for my son, since I need to answer all his strange questions; I am a researcher, and psychologist (perhaps not a very good one) to monitor and analyze the little one's behavior.
Q: Tell us about the article you wrote that was recently published.
A: At the beginning of 2005, Dr. Tang (former CUA School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) Assistant Professor), Dr. Hsieh-Yee, (SLIS Professor), and I conducted a survey on the MetaLib Combined Search, a federated search system that can search multiple databases simultaneously. We received responses from CUA's students and some reference librarians from four universities in Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC). The article "User Perceptions of MetaLib Combined Search: An Investigation of How Users Make Sense of Federated Searching", recently published in the "Internet Reference Services Quarterly"(vol. 12, issue 1/2), reported our findings from this survey. The full text article can be found through ALADIN (available to CUA users)
Q: What is your favorite book (sorry, I had to ask)?
A: Unfortunately, I don't have a specific book that I like the most. I like to read fictions and biographies. Most of them are in Chinese.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: Fishing, although I have not caught any big fish yet. I also like to play with puzzles and do sudoku.
Q: What's your idea of a great vacation?
A: It doesn't matter where just as long as the whole family enjoys doing it together.
Q: What is your goal in life?
A: A happy family plus a successful career.

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Book Reviews

Carter, Jimmy, Palestine : Peace Not Apartheid. Simon & Schuster, 2006. (DS119.7 .C3583)

Jimmy Carter puts a human face on the Israel-Palestinian crisis in his latest book - Palestine: Peace not Apartheid. Carter first visited the Holy Land in 1973, fulfilling a life-long wish to see the biblical sites he had studied in Bible lessons as a devout southern Baptist.

President Carter describes his successful negotiation of the Camp David Accords in 1978 and his involvement with the many peace initiatives that have occurred since. He continues to visit the area frequently and is saddened to see a thirty-foot concrete wall being erected which isolates Palestinian villages from their families and jobs and sometimes their houses of worship. On the southern slope of the Mount of Olives, for example, the wall cuts through the Santa Marta Monastery property. The church is on the Jerusalem side of the wall and but its parishioners live on the other side. They cannot go to church, because they cannot get permits to cross the wall.

This book is an excellent discussion of the Israel-Palestinian issue, presented to us by an individual whose only agenda for the region is peace.

~ Anne Lesher, Reference Librarian for Reference Services

Peters, F. E. The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, "A new edition". Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004. (BM 157 P47 2004)

The first edition of Peters' book, published in 1982, was widely regarded as "pioneering." Twenty five years later, Peters has completely revised, updated and rewritten the book. Its importance as an introduction to the historical, cultural, and social development of the three great religions of the Western world remains. And at a time when political, geographic and religious conflicts are again centered in the Middle East, its value is particularly evident.

While not "comparative religion for dummies," Peters' work is approachable by the educated layperson. Familiarity with some of the language of theological and philosophical writing is helpful, but not essential. In each of eight chapters, Peters presents one "theme" in the development of the three religions as historical, theological, cultural and social institutions. Chapters deal with topics such as the creation and interpretation of scripture and the Law, worship, exegesis, theological discussion and writings, and the development of asceticism, monasticism and gnosticism. Each chapter presents separate sections discussing the theme within Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but referring to the other two for comparison and contrast. By putting the development of these religious traditions into a historical context - discussing political changes that affected the society of the times, for example - Peters helps the reader understand how they developed. Equally interesting and helpful for understanding is Peters' discussion of the various sects and alternative interpretations that came out of the mainstream, sometimes being excluded as heretical and sometimes becoming part of that central belief system.

Peters stops his historical examination of the development of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the middle ages. He does not attempt to cover the continuing development of thought regarding these religions in the Renaissance and modern times. This is, therefore, a history of the "roots" of Western religions, not a complete history. Understanding the roots, however, is essential to understanding how we got where we are.

The text of Children of Abraham is only 172 pages - quite remarkable considering how much ground is covered. It is followed by extensive notes providing additional information or referring the reader to additional sources for more detailed discussion of the topic being considered. There is also a glossary of Hebrew/Aramaic, Arabic, and Greek terms used in the text, and an index.

~ Kitty Tynan, Assistant Director for Public Services

Wyatt, Neal, The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction. American Library Association, 2007, (Z711.55 .W93 2007)

Neal Wyatt covers the scope of non-fiction, which is wide and varied, as a collection development tool for readers advisory and collection development librarians. The book is divided into chapters and covers categories including:

  • Food and cooking
  • Memoirs
  • Sports
  • True crime
  • Travel
  • True adventure, and
  • History and historical biography

Within each category she covers the types of books, important titles, key authors and a bibliography. There are additional sections on core collections, general non-fiction, and learning about and marketing the collection. Wyatt also explores the nonfiction audience, and provides ideas and hints that will assist librarians in pointing readers in the direction of books that interest them.

The guide also includes a nonfiction bibliography, and key authors. It is of interest to readers' advisory and collection development librarians, library workers, and anyone interested in non-fiction.

Neal Wyatt is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia . She is a former adjunct faculty member of the School of Library and Information Sciences, the Catholic University of America.

~ Anne Marie Hules, Reference Librarian for Library and Information Science

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New Staff

New Staff

(L-R) Meghan Gates, Stacks Supervisor; Kaitlyn Amedio, Circulation Services / Interlibrary Loan Supervisor; David Rice, CLS Coordinator; Alyssa Strouse, Applied Sciences Librarian; Kristen Fredericksen, Acting Head of Serials

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Staff Notes

Rachel Evangeline Barham (Assistant to Music Librarian) married James Edward Rogers on Saturday, October 27, 2007, at the home of friends in Washington, DC. The intimate ceremony featured unaccompanied hymns sung by the guests. Friends and family members (along with the bride and groom) helped prepare an excellent meal of locally-grown food. A second ceremony is planned for Rachel's family in Mississippi in December.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Ms. Barham was also interviewed by The Triangle, the magazine of Mu Phi Epsilon, a professional music fraternity. You can read the article here:

Marianne Giltrude has had three articles published recently.

Two book reviews for Library Journal

Notable Natural Disasters. (6/15/2007)

The New Science of Dreaming. (11/1/2007)

and the following article for ALCTS Newsletter Online

Collecting for Institutional Repositories: All the news that's fit to keep. (vol. 18, no.4)

Nirmal Gomes has had the following editorials published in the CUA student newspaper The Tower:

Festival of Thanksgiving Is Important to America (11/06/07)
Alumnus Gained Valuable Knowledge From CUA (10/5/07)

Look for them here:

Maurice Saylor, Music Librarian just finished writing and recording, with his group - the Snark Ensemble - the music for a four DVD set of the silent films of Harry Langdon. The set is called Lost and Found: The Harry Langdon Collection and will be available on-line and in stores December 26th. The set is being produced by All Day Entertainment and distributed by Facets of Chicago. Here's their link:

A few video clips can be seen here: and at the Snark Homepage at

Shanyun Zhang co-authored an article that appeared in the Internet Reference Services Quarterly:

User Perceptions of MetaLib Combined Search: An Investigation of How Users Make Sense of Federated Searching

The full text article can be found through: ALADIN


The following CUA librarians and staff members were honored for their ten years of service to the University

  • Denis J. Obermeyer- Rare books technician, Mullen Library
  • Mary Agnes Thompson- Coordinator of collection development, Mullen Library

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The editors would like to the thank the following contributors to the Fall 2007 Newsletter:

Maria Koshute, Anne Lesher, Kitty Tynan

Content Editor: Anne Marie Hules, Reference Librarian

Web Editor: Jonathan M. Smith, Electronic Resources Assistant

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