Archive for September, 2014

Claudia Frazer’s Sessions for National History Day

Claudia Frazer, Coordinator of Digital Initiatives at Cowles Library, will be teaching four sessions on Primary Sources for the Study of Civil Rights in Iowa with David McCartney, University of Iowa Archivist, as part of the Leadership & Legacy in History: Iowa’s Role in Freedom Summer workshops sponsored by the State Historical Society of Iowa. This two-day event for 6th through 12th graders and their teachers initiates the 2014-2015 National History Day contest season. Professor Frazer’s talks will focus on using primary source materials in research at both Cowles Library and other archives in Iowa.

Professor Teri Koch Named to Lyrasis Academic Advisory Committee

Lyrasis, a non-profit organization of libraries, museums and cultural heritage organizations provides information management, collections and technology primarily focused on digital content.

Professor Teri Koch, Collections Development Librarian, has been selected to serve on the newly created Academic Advisory Committee to provide guidance and advice to Lyrasis as it works with potential vendors, gains a deeper understanding of evolving academic library licensing needs and on future directions for the organization. Professor Koch is widely recognized as a leader in the development of electronic resources, innovative patron driven collection development application, and in establishing a cutting-edge shared collection model among five Iowa private and academic libraries.

The ability of the Library to purchase and license electronic resources is enhanced through participation in a variety of library consortia such as Lyrasis. Find out more about Lyrasis.

“Meeting Our Needs” programming coming to Cowles Library


Cowles Library hosts a look at Food Insecurity from Global, National, and Local Perspectives


Click for details of the panel discussion in Cowles: 7 October at 7 p.m.


Download brochure for all programming



Database Trial: Early English Books Online

Cowles Library announces another database trial: Early English Books Online (EEBO) is the definitive online collection of early printed works in English, and works printed in England, making digital copies of over 125,000 titles from before 1700 discoverable through an interface tailored for early modern scholars.

No other resource for early modern scholarship is as comprehensive as Early English Books Online. Users can explore complete, digitized images of all the works listed in these key bibliographic records of English literature: The Short-Title Catalogue (Pollard & Redgrave, 1475-1640); The Short-Title Catalogue II (Wing, 1641-1700); The Thomson Tracts; and the Early English Books Tract Supplements, as well as original almanacs, pamphlets, musical scores, prayer books and other intriguing primary sources.

The trial runs until 10/18/14. Access is available only from on-campus.

Database Trial: Apartheid South Africa

Cowles Library is pleased to announce a trial for Adam Matthew’s Apartheid South Africa, 1948-1966 archive collection. Due to terms of the trial, this database can only be accessed from on-campus.

Apartheid South Africa 1948-1980

Apartheid South Africa makes available British government files from the Foreign, Colonial, Dominion and Foreign and Commonwealth Offices spanning the period 1948 to 1980.
The launch of National Party apartheid policies in 1948 heralded 40 years of white dominance over South African business, politics and society. Punitive restrictions placed on travel, education, work and political activism instigated the formation of organisations such as the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), saw support increase for the Communist Party and fuelled the growth of international anti-apartheid organisations.

These previously restricted letters, diplomatic dispatches, reports, trial papers, activist biographies and first-hand accounts give unprecedented access to South Africa’s apartheid regime. Files explore the relationship of the international community with South Africa and chart increasing civil unrest against a backdrop of waning colonialism and mounting world condemnation.

This resource is being released in three sections over the next six months: 1948-1966 (available now), 1967-1975 (coming December 2014), 1976-1980 (coming March 2015).

Dean Henshaw Named President of Affinity Academic Libraries Group

Rod Henshaw, dean of Cowles Library at Drake University, is now serving as president for the Affinity Academic Libraries Group—a group of 33 private academic libraries representing master’s level institutions from across the United States. Read More

Piloting – New Approach for Departmental Allocations

Pilot Budget Approach: 2014-15

Cowles Library (in consultation with their Library Liaison faculty) are experimenting with moving away from “set” Departmental monograph allocations.  In so doing, we hope to be both more representative of the curricular needs of the faculty, as well as being more efficient stewards of limited acquisitions resources.  There will be no “budget” for each department per se (but we will still track this; you can track the spending in your department as well! See link below)

How it will work:

  • Departmental liaisons can request “one-time” purchases (e.g., print books, ebooks, media) as always.
  • They can review, at any time, what has been purchased in their discipline year-to-date.
  • Due to faculty feedback: Regular reminders of what the current “allocation” is will continue to be sent to departmental liaisons until the end of 2014. (including the link listed above). In the unlikely event that an individual department goes significantly (guideline = 15%) over its previous “allocation,” then that department may be asked to curtail its spending for the remainder of the FY.
  • If individual faculty members have extraordinary needs (for “one-time” purchases) in a given year to support specific curricular needs, they will work with their Library Faculty liaison and the Coordinator of Collection Development to see if those needs can be met.
  • If, as is hoped, this change results in overall savings, a future Liaison meeting/communication process will determine how those savings might best be used to satisfy unmet library resource needs.

Advantages for the departmental liaison:

  • No monthly emails (unless the liaison wants one!)
  • Daily updated lists of newly-received titles
  • Increased flexibility in responding to specific faculty needs
  • Less dependence on/concern about the budget year cycle for the individual departmental liaison

Obligations / challenges for the individual liaison:

  •  Departmental liaison should communicate this change to the faculty in their discipline, especially in those areas where there are “individual allocations.” Library liaisons will be available to answer questions and attend faculty meetings, if requested.
  • Our ongoing analyses of the collection (and our limited amount of space!) means that it’s important that you continue to order items that you think will be used, as utilization continues to be our core metric for our collection building/retention.


This will be a topic at the September liaison meeting, so please come ready to discuss!

Where can I see what has been purchased in my area (either by Library selectors or by the liaison?)


Statistical Abstracts with downloadable tables available

Manipulate data and add statistical charts to your research papers with resources from The Statistical Abstracts of the United States.  This venerable government source of statistical data from the census bureau and additional government agencies was once available only in print or one long PDF file. Now available through ProQuest with keyword searching. All tables can be exported into Excel or viewed as individual PDF files.

Interlibrary Loan unavailable from 10 am to noon, 9/3/14

Due to a software upgrade, Interlibrary Loan services will be temporarily unavailable between 10:00 am and noon on Sept. 3, 2014. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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