The Library’s New Kaleidoscope
A kaleidoscope can be defined as “a tube-shaped optical instrument that is rotated to produce a succession of symmetrical designs by means of mirrors reflecting the constantly changing patterns made by bits of colored glass at one end of the tube.” Invented in the early 1880s, kaleidoscopes enjoyed a rapid evolution for a century, largely at the hands of scientific instrument-makers. More recently, they were rediscovered by talented artists, who have explored the art form using different mirror systems, object chambers and sculptural forms.
The Consortium Library’s kaleidoscope was donated by Trevor and Sally Bremner, whose guests from down-under last summer, discovered a wave kaleidoscope in a local gallery. Trevor and Sally decided that such interactive art would be a perfect addition to the Library.
UAA Facilities was asked to build a custom stand for the kaleidoscope and they did a skillful job in constructing a wooden pedestal. Installed near the circulation desk, the Library’s new wave kaleidoscope has four tubes for viewing so more people can enjoy the magic. It was designed by Will Smith, an innovative California artist who studied oceanography and fine arts at American River College in Sacramento, and went on to combine his passions in his KaleidoWave© series of kaleidoscopes. Will has taken special care to incorporate UAA’s colors into the decorative glass plate that floats atop the fountain. Will Smith reportedly is very pleased that his kaleidoscope was placed in such a public, much visited space.
The Alaska State Library awarded an additional $52,500 to the Consortium Library’s Digital Pipeline grant bringing the total amount to $ 140,340. The reason for the additional funding is to pay for the surge in demand for the Live Homework Help service. Between July 2011 and January 2012, 9921 online tutoring sessions were conducted. Most of the tutoring sessions were for algebra I and algebra II and 41% were for college courses. This level of service represents an increase of 63% over the same time last year. The Live Homework Help program consistently receives high marks from the students.
Is this service helping you improve your grades? 92% yes
Is this service helping you complete your homework assignments? 96% yes
Is this service helping you be more confident about your school work? 93% yes
Would you recommend this service to a friend? 97% yes
Is this service helping you study for school? 97% yes
Are you glad your organization offers this service? 98% yes
Assistant Professor Megan Friedel is a member of the Library Archives and Special Collections Department. Her recent blog entry on some of the history of Hatcher Pass was reprinted on the Adventure Journal website.
She also reports this topic was on Twitter including a retweet by the indie band Portugal. The Man, which is a group of Alaskan musicians who are currently very popular. And that is not all….reportedly Death Cab for Cutie also used a photo provided by Archives.
The three students who won prizes in the LibQUAL drawing are APU student Whisper Hymer ($100 iTunes) and UAA students, Marcus Duenez (iPad2) and Lori Bogren ($100).
Because of the initiative and skills of the Technical Services Department, the Library’s online catalog continues to expand by adding other UAA collections. Most recently the cataloging records for the Learning Resources Center and Disability Support Services collections were added. Last month, new records were added for 72 titles purchased for the Career Services Center. The Joint Library Catalog also has cataloging records for the collections held at the Small Business Development Center and the Native Studies Program. Last fall the collections of the Confucius Institute were transferred to the Library and these materials were cataloged as well. Because of these efforts, UAA’s specialized resources are more accessible to the university community and to the residents of Alaska.
If you visited the Library’s website in the last couple of weeks, you should have noticed some changes. The Library’s schedule for its hours has been moved to make room for the Library’s social media presence. The News and Events section has a new look linking to a webpage combining news from the Library’s blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all at one convenient location. With the merging of electronic resources in library databases, the separate “Find Books” and “Find Articles” links have been collapsed into “Find Books & Articles.” The new look incorporates more dynamic social content while highlighting the Library’s resources and collections.