Thursday, December 4, 2008

Two weeks to go...

Only two weeks to go until we see the end of our 2008 Fall Semester! Hard to believe (as always!) how fast the weeks have slipped by... Students here are busy with final projects, last minute papers, and registering for the next semester which starts on January 12, 2009.

Continuing from the last blog posting, I am happy to share a photo of me holding our new grandson, Braden Andrew. So, this is what a new grandma looks like - and I couldn't be more delighted!

The Library continues to be a hub of activity... We have a new Art Gallery display installed, this time the featured artists are students enrolled in Mesabi's "Digital Photography" class and the "Drawing I" and "Drawing II" classes. Here's a sample of the wonderful works of art produced by our students this semester... These works will be on display in the Library Art Gallery until January 30, 2009.

The Digital Photography class is taught online by instructor Talicia Lerfald, and the Drawing I and II courses are taught on campus by instructor Richard Saukko. These classes will be offered again this coming Spring semester. Unleash your creative talents and enroll in one of these great classes!! You can contact Enrollment Services at

The Library will also be hosting a Reading Open House on Tuesday, December 9 from 2pm - 4pm. This session will feature students in Carmen Seppa's Writing I (ENGL1511) class reading some of their best personal essays written this semester! Drop in anytime during the reading session and listen to some excellent essays while enjoying coffee and treats!

Mesabi's Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is undertaking a extremely worthwhile project in collaboration with the Library and with BetterWorld Books, a social-profit agency. Starting next week (December 8) PTK will be conducting a book drive, collecting unused and unwanted textbooks, fiction books, children's books, and other books from students, faculty and staff.
This book drive comes just in time to capture the textbooks that often fall into the Dumpster when students are trying to sell their books at the end of the semester, only to find that the book-buyers have no market for them. Instead of ending up in the trash, these textbooks, and all other materials gathered, will be collected, screened, sorted, boxed and shipped to BetterWorld Books. BWB in turn sells the most "sales worthy" books, with our PTK group receiving a portion of the profits for their service group. Other books are sent to BWB for distribution to our "literacy partner" Room To Read, which provides books to schools and libraries in several southeast Asian countries.
Here are the PTK members, gathered in the Library, to plan the strategy for their BetterWorld Books book drive...

Books not acceptable for the BetterWorld Books program will be collected and delivered to the AAUW group at Hibbing Community College, and sold at their annual Book Sale next February. Proceeds from the AAUW sale also go toward literacy programs.

If you have books that are in good condition and would like to donate them to this wonderful project to support world literacy, please bring them to the Mesabi College Library anytime before February 1, 2009!
This Blog may be a bit neglected next semester, as I have been granted a sabbatical for Spring 2009! I have lots of projects I want to tackle, catch up on the professional reading I never have time for, and do some traveling to other college libraries. Of course, I'll leave plenty of time for snuggling that new grandbaby!
Enjoy the Christmas season!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Busy Semester...

Well, October, and again, the month of November are proving to be busy months for the Mesabi Range College Library! Here are some of the highlights...

October 27 - The Library hosted a CTL (Center for Teaching & Learning) reception for four Irish students and their three instructors. These students are part of an exchange program partnership with Mesabi, the U of M (Duluth), and a Northern Ireland college system (SERC), focusing on Education and Educational Assistant programs. Eight students and three instructors were here for 2 weeks to observe childcare centers and primary grade classrooms in our area. The girls were delightful and I had the wonderful opportunity to host two of the students, Emma Stewart and Leigh Finlay, in my home.

As part of this exchange program, Mesabi Range College will facilitate a second trip to Ireland in May. If you are interested in an Education or Educational Assistant program, please consider this extraordinary educational opportunity! Contact Judith Blyckert, program director, via email at or read about our Education programs on our website at
November 4 - Election Day!! I was thrilled that, just the day before, our wonderful Maintenance and IT staff managed to mount, cable and fine-tune the Library's new 32" flat screen TV. The Library hosted an "Election Reception" with coffee, goodies and day-long TV coverage of the election results. Our Library offers the only "public" space on campus for TV viewing, and the election was a grand kick-off for getting faculty, staff and students into the Library. I consider the addition of the new TV to be yet another aspect of "information literacy" in the Library...

November 6 - Library Art Gallery reception for Jacob Rosandich (see previous posting). Jacob is a former MRC student and we are happy to support his success as an artist!
As more and more students and faculty become familiar with the new Library space, I find an increase in the use of the Library as a classroom! Today Carol Helland's College Writing class came into the Library to work on a group project. Here's the group hard at work...

And on a personal note, November 6, 2008, will be an especially memorable day for me and my husband, as we await the imminent birth of our first grandson, Braden Andrew Lemieux! He should arrive by the end of this day, and here is one new grandma that can't wait to spoil her new grandbaby with lots and lots of BOOKS! (and, of course, other stuff too...)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A new semester at Mesabi Range - Fall 2008

It's been a while since the last post, but the abscence has not been for lack of news! As always, lots of activity on our wonderful campus as a new semester begins again... here are some of the highlights of the year so far!!

The Library is looking better and better - the final work of re-carpeting the Library is now complete, with the new rampway as the finishing touch...

This is the start of our "re-imaging" of the Mesabi Range College Library. It will take lots of time and money, but we are now moving in the right direction. My ultimate goal is to incorporate the concepts of Library 2.0 and the Information Commons to make this a user-friendly, technology-friendly learning environment for our students, faculty, staff and college community members...

Our college Library is home to the Library Art Gallery, where new shows are installed every few months. The Gallery hosts works from local artists and art groups. Past shows have included paintings, drawings, fiber arts, and ceramics. The newest show features the works of local artist Jake Rosandich. The Art Gallery will hold a reception for Jake on Thursday, November 6, 2008, from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to stop by to view his work, meet the artist and enjoy refreshments in our lovely Gallery!

...And on the serious side of this business, our campus is preparing for the college's 10-year accreditation visit from the Higher Learning Commission. At Mesabi Range College, we take our Mission, Values and Goals to heart, and everyone is contributing to the work at hand. We have one year to complete our preparations for the October 2009 visit by the HLC Accreditation team. We have every confidence that we will once again pass the scrutiny of the team with flying colors. The Library too will be deeply involved - my task will be to contribute to the documentation on student learning and resources, as well as assembling and arranging all the information the team needs in a Resource Room, set up especially for this visit. We look forward to impressing the HLC team with all we've accomplished in the years since their last look at Mesabi Range College!
The past summer break raced by, as always, and I had some great adventures during those brief months - What did YOU do on your summer vacation?? And what adventures are you looking forward to in this year to come?

Monday, May 12, 2008

End of Spring semester...

It's hard to believe that our Spring 2008 semester has come to an end already!! At least for me, once we get past Spring Break in March, it's all downhill from there! I did get two very significant Library projects completed in these last few short weeks however. First, checkout the NEW and IMPROVED Library webpage at Many thanks to our Web-genius Kim Johnson for implemeting my somewhat vague ideas and using her talents to create a "leaner, cleaner" Library webpage for our patrons! Plese feel free to post your opinions about the "new look" for the Library Web page - I am always interested in your feeback and your suggestions! My goal is to have a Library Web page that is "user friendly", logically arranged and interesting to view.

My second accomplishment was to complete the "Course QuickStart" project, which can be viewed from the Library Web page address above. If you are a student, click on the "CourseQuickstart" link to see if a course you are taking is listed there. Just click on the name of the course and you'll then see a comprehensive list of all the BEST resources the MRC Library has to offer for that particular class, including books, movies, newspaper & magazine articles, and more. Plus, you'll find other helpful links such as an Assignment Caluclator to help you plan your term papers or other homework projects; a link to help you with those pesky MLA or APA citations; and links to research Web sites and Web pages. If you do NOT see your class listed on the Course Quickstart page, please give a strong hint to your instructor that he/she can contact the Librarian and I will happily create a page for that course too! Again, if you have ideas on how I can improve this research tool, please post them to me...

If you are browsing the MRC Library shelves, you might notice that there seems to be more empty shelf-space than before. That's because I am now involved in doing some "extreme weeding" ! The strength of a collection does not lie in the sheer number of books on the shelf - a big collection does not equal a valauble collection. So I am slowly weeding the Library collection and getting rid of old, outdated, damaged, irrelevent, never-circulated books to created a more valuable, more relevant collection for our patrons. However, for those of you who are book-lovers like I am, please note that "getting rid of" books does NOT mean they are going to the Dumpster - instead, any "de-accessioned" volumes will find good homes. Most will be sent to the Better World Books program in which the books are sold and part of the profits go to our "literacy partners" such as "Books for Africa". Some will go to the personal libraries of our faculty and students. The remainder will be donated to the AAUW Book Sale where more book-lovers will buy our cast-offs for their own collections and the proceeds will go to charitable causes.

So, how did YOUR school year go? What were the highlights of this year for you? What were your best accomplishments? And what are your plans for this summer? Just keep in mind that the MRC Library is open Monday through Friday until 4 p.m. even during the summer, and we'd love to see you again! Stop in and find some good "summer reading" or check out the video & DVD collection for those cool & rainy or hot & muggy days :) Enjoy your summer and hope to see you next fall!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Well, now that I'm involved in the "23 Things on a Stick" project, I've been spending a little time exploring all the cool new tools that are out there! Turns out I'm not as much of a geek as I thought I was, because I am managing to work my way down the list of "23 things" , and I'm learning more and accomplishing more than I thought I could!

Here is an image I found while scrounging around Flickr! I've discovered that Flickr is an awesome tool and I can't wait to find ways to incorporate it into our new Library 2.0 concept! This happens to be the carousel located near by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. If you haven't guessed, Paris is my most favorite city on the planet, and the next time I go to Paris I am going for a ride :)

Credits for this image go to the photographer "bratan" at

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Moving forward...

Here we are weeks later, and there are some new developments in the MRC Library! Most noticable is the brand new carpet that was put in over the Christmas break - the ugly old, dingy, worn, cut-up ratty orange carpet is gone! and in its place is lush, green carpet with a distinctive copper border. I'm quite happy with the design element I created for the rampway leading down to the main Library. Next, we need to complete the project by running new carpet all the way up the ramp... Our carpet layers are coming in next week to evlauate that last bit of work.

Also, a new look to the Library Art Gallery! The watercolor works of Keith Thompson are on display for the month of February. His work has garnered lots of attention and many request for a "price list" - so obviously folks are wanting to take home an original watercolor for their very own... and I have already picked out my favorite as well...

A busy few weeks in the MRC Library as high school Concurrent Ed classes are coming in by the busful for a Library Instructions session for their College Writing II course. These students are the cream of the crop and it is a joy to spend the day with them doing research on various topics and projects. We hope to see some of these bright faces back again next year as MRC Freshmen.

That's all for now... Stay tuned for more news updates!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Welcome to the First MRC Library Blog Posting....

Well, the MRC Library is moving into the new world of "Library 2.0" with the creation of this "Library News & Views" blog!! Welcome to the first posting... I hope you find some news of interest here and I invite all comments, responses or critiques that will help to improve this Blog.

My primary purpose in posting to this Blog is to let everyone know about some of the wonderful new resources we have in the MRC Library. I welcome your comments, reviews or other observations about the books (or DVD's) highlighted in this Blog. So please don't be afraid to jump in and add your "two cents worth" or "get on your soapbox" and participate in the conversations you find here!