Archive for September, 2009

History of ISU and Oboler Library

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

A co-worker in Technical Services showed me a check out slip from 1927 today, and we pondered the history of ISU for a moment. I thought of the Special Collections ISU Scrapbook page–if you haven’t looked at it, check it out! It has some amazing photos of ISU from when was the Academy of Idaho (1901-1915) to present time. ISU has gone through five name changes. It was Idaho Technical Institute (1915-1927), Southern Branch of the University of Idaho (1927-1947), and Idaho State College (1947-1963). You can see pictures of many of the people campus buildings have been named after in the scrapbook.

You might also want to experience the history by taking the History Walk. The Alumni Association completed this project for the ISU Centennial, and the previously mentioned page has numerous details about ISU history.

Oboler Library has some pages about the library and the person whom the library was named after, Eli M. Oboler. The Oboler Library Building page includes links to short and long biographies of Eli M Oboler, a bibliography, quotations, and more.

Since this is Homecoming Week, celebrate by learning something more about the history of your university and library!

Interactive Map of Book Bans and Challenges

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Banned Book week makes one wonder about recent challenges, and our Government Documents Librarian, Beth Downing, found an interactive map of Book Bans and challenges, 2007-2009, which I’ll share with Library News readers. It’s interesting to look at and see where/what is challenged. Give it half a minute for the page to load.

Comm. 101 Workshops in the Library

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Are you taking a Speech Class this semester? Do you need some help finding facts and information to support your speeches and research papers? Come to the Library’s Speech Workshop. Each workshop will take place in Library Room 212 on the second floor across from the restrooms.

Day 1
Monday, September 28th
8:30-10 a.m.

Day 2
Tuesday, September 29th
8:30-10 a.m.
3:30-5 p.m.

Day 3
Wednesday, September 30th
3-4:30 p.m.

Day 4
Thursday, October 1st
1:30-3 p.m.

Day 5
Friday, October 2nd
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Day 6
Saturday, October 3rd
10-11:30 a.m.

Day 7
Monday, October 5th
8:30-10 a.m.
3:30-5 p.m.

Day 8
Tuesday, October 6th
8:30-10 a.m.
3:30-5 p.m.

To sign up for a workshop:
Call: 282-3152
Visit: The reference desk on the main floor of the library.

Openings are limited, so we recommend that you sign up as soon as possible. An attendance sheet will be passed around at each workshop and then sent back to the department.

Free Access for Hispanic Heritage Month

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

September 15 is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico declared independence on September 16, Chile on September 18, and Belize on September 21.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 through October 15, Alexander Street is offering free access to select full-text, online collections for libraries. Explore poetry, short stories, folk tales, novels, memoirs, non-fiction, and plays in both Spanish and English from Latino writers around the world.

Access these collections now through October 15:
Latino Literature
Caribbean Literature
Latin American Women Writers

Username: eviews
Password: hispanicheritage

Banned Books Week

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Have you heard of Banned Books Week? It occurs Sept. 26 through October 3, 2009. This is the 28th year of the observance. According to American Library Association:

Banned BooksBBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.”

The Library has two Banned Books Week displays up: one in the new book area on the first floor and the other on the second floor. There are some free bookmarks, buttons, and pens for Banned Books Week at the Circulation desk. There is also a special intellectual freedom presentation, Government and Science, on Sept. 22.

If you would like to learn more about this observance, check the American Library Association Banned Books Week page.

For a list of some previously challenged or banned books, click here. You may be surprised at some of the popular books that are on the list.

They also include a page of quotations related to banned books. For example:

“The Library is an open sanctuary. It is devoted to individual intellectual inquiry and contemplation. Its function is to provide free access to ideas and information. It is a haven of privacy, a source of both cultural and intellectual sustenance for the individual reader.

Since it is thus committed to free and open inquiry on a personal basis, the Library must remain open, with access to it always guaranteed.”–Robert Vosper

Slide Presentation on Kittie Wilkins Sept. 26

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Idaho Humanities Council Research Fellow Philip A. Homan, a scholar-librarian and an associate professor at Idaho State University’s Eli M. Oboler Library, will give the slide presentation “Queen of Diamonds: Kittie Wilkins, Horse Queen of Idaho, and the Wilkins Horse Company” at the Marshall Public Library on Saturday, September 26, 2009, at 1:00 p.m., in the Dr. Minnie F. Howard Community Room. The program is made possible in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The boss of the Wilkins Horse Company in the Bruneau Valley of Owyhee County, Idaho, and owner of 10,000 range-bred horses, all branded with the famous Diamond brand, the Queen of Diamonds was the only woman at the turn of the twentieth century whose sole occupation was as a horse dealer. The Wilkins herd was the largest owned by one family in the American West.

wilkins ranch

Idaho State Historical Society (GR 62-50.59)

Kittie Wilkins sold horses by the carloads in the livestock markets of the Midwest. Newspapers in cities along the Union Pacific announced her arrival at the stockyards with headlines such as “The Only One of Her Kind,” “Is Consistent Womanhood,” and “She Is a New Type,” and papers throughout America spread the word about the Idaho girl who was making a fortune selling horses.

The San Francisco Examiner first introduced Wilkins in 1887 as the “Idaho Horse Queen,” and the interviews in the Denver, Sioux City, Omaha, Kansas City, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Chicago newspapers were re-run in papers across the country, such as the Boston Advertiser, New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore American, Washington Post, and Atlanta Constitution. Most of the over 500 newspaper articles Homan has identified so far about her, her family, and her friends and associates are news reports, feature stories, and interviews from newspapers in 37 of the lower 48 states, as well as the District of Columbia, plus Canada, England, Scotland, and New Zealand.

Homan believes that Wilkins—who made Idaho a household word across America—was the most famous Western woman of her generation, becoming for Americans the very model of the West.

In fact, Kittie Wilkins made the largest horse sale ever in the West. In 1900, she sold about 8,000 head in a single sale to Erwin, Grant & Co., of Kansas City, Missouri. In August of that year, 540 horses in 21 cars were shipped from Mountain Home, Idaho, to Kansas City—the first of a regular twenty-car train of around 520 horses to be sent every two weeks. The following June, a shipment of 30 carloads was made from Mountain Home to Kansas City to complete the transaction. Great Britain was shipping the Diamond-brand horses from New Orleans to South Africa for soldiers in the Boer War of 1899 to 1902. According to statistics, Wilkins supplied over ten percent of all the American horses sent to South Africa for the Boer War.

homanDescended from early settlers in Owyhee and Twin Falls counties, a fourth-generation Idahoan, and a Magic Valley native, Homan earned the BA in 1984 and the Master of Arts degree in 1987 from Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington, and received the Master of Library Science in 2002 from St. John’s University in New York City, where he worked for The Bronx County Historical Society. He is a member of the Idaho Library Association Executive Board, a presenter at library conferences, and a contributor to Idaho Magazine.

Homan is writing the first biography of Wilkins. His research has also been supported with grants from Nevada Humanities and Colorado Humanities and is featured in a display in the Eli M. Oboler Library at Idaho State University through September.

Choosing Your Major

Friday, September 18th, 2009

What’s Your Major Mojo is an upcoming program (Wednesday Sept. 23, noon to 4) about the variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs at ISU, and planning your career. This fair is designed to assist students in making informed decisions related to their college majors and future careers. Read the entire story about the program here.

Oboler Library can also assist you in your career decision making. If you’re thinking about a career area, check our Resources by Subject page to find the important journal databases, reference books, and websites in your field. Do a subject search on your field in our catalog, and browse some of the books in your career area. Will you find the courses interesting and enjoy studying your field?

You can also look up professional associations in your field. The Reference Desk has a good reference book for this, Encyclopedia of Associations, or you can just search your field name and “professional associations” on the internet and find the sites. These associations often have a section for career information in their field. For example, here’s the career page for American Psychological Association.

Occupational Outlook Handbook online has a wealth of information about careers, including training and education needed, earnings, expected job prospects, what workers do on the job, and working conditions. Two other very useful web sites are the ISU Career Center and the ISU Advising Center.

When you’re starting to look for a job, take a look at this Job Searching audio tutorial : Job Searching audio tutorial. In the tutorial you will find a few websites, databases, tips and recommendations, as well as campus centers that can assist the job seeker in conducting a more fruitful job search.

Finally, if you’re having trouble finding the information you need on this or any other topic, ask at the Reference Desk. You can also call (282-3152–find the reference desk hours here) when the reference desk is staffed, or e-mail (Ask a Librarian). See the Reference web page for more information.

ISU on Social Software

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Earlier in the year Library News did a couple of articles on Facebook. Since then I’ve had a few questions from people about how to quickly find all the different ISU sites, which are on the ISU home page and frequently mentioned in other articles.

Here is a quick summary of the university and library pages on various social software sites. If you’re reading this, it’s from the library’s blog, Library News. The library offers social software workshops–watch Library News to see when they are offered again.

Idaho State University on Facebook

Oboler Library on Facebook

Twitter for Idaho State University

YouTube for Idaho State University

New Displays in the Library

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Kittie Wilkins, Heroes and Superheroes, Banned Books and Freedom of Speech, What is a Banned or Challenged Book?, Things to Do at ISU, in Pocatello and in Idaho, Edgar Guest: Poet of the People, and Research at IHSL are the new or continuing subjects of displays up in the library now. Daav Corbet has his art exhibited in the Current Display Art Area.


First Floor:

wilkinsDisplay case 1: Kittie Wilkins: Horse Queen of Idaho. Kitty Wilkins lived from 1857 to 1936. She was known as the Horse Queen of Idaho and spent many years on the Diamond Ranch in the Bruneau Valley in Owyhee County, Idaho. Read her exciting biography and see the interesting historical photos on this display. Philip Homan, Catalog Librarian, has been doing extensive research, writing, and speaking on Kittie Wilkins, and did this display. Be sure to attend the presentation at Marshall Public Library on Sept. 26 if you are interested in this subject.

HeroesHeroes and Superheros is the topic of display case 2. This display discusses and shows books related to heroes and superheroes. It includes a list “Why do Americans Love their Heroes and Heroines,” as well as books about heroes and some action figures.

banned 3Display Case 3 has a display on Banned Books & Freedom of Speech. If you’ve ever wondered about who the library is named after, check out this display It has quotations about freedom of speech and Banned Books. Eli Oboler was well known for his work in this area and the display includes two of his books, Defending Intellectual Freedom and To Free the Mind, as well as other books about this topic.

The nearby Current Display Art Area has work by Daav Corbet. See his bright and colorful paintings, abstract and natural themes. They will be up through the end of July, or later.



Second Floor:

Banned 4Display Case 4 has information about the topic “What is a Banned or Challenged Book?”. It discusses Freedom of belief, freedom of speech, reasons why a book gets banned. Examples of some books that have been challenged are included.

case 4Things to Do at ISU, In Pocatello, and in Idaho are the subjects of display case 5. It contains activity and movie calendars, maps, local attractions, scenic driving ideas, historic Pocatello walking tours, and birding trails. Tourist brochures and maps are courtesy of Greater Pocatello Information and Visitors Center, 2645 S. 5th Ave, 234-4636. If you’re looking for something to do in the perfect late summer and fall weather, check here!

Third Floor:

poetDisplay case 6 is on Edgar Guest: Poet of the People. Edgar Guest was Michigan’s poet laureate. For 30 years he wrote a poem a day in the Free Press. Come by and sample some of his cheerful poems.

IHSLHealth Science display caseResearch at IHSL. The Idaho Health Science Library, located on the 3rd floor of the library, offers many research services, including EbscoHost, MD Consult, A-Z journal list, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, PubMed, Cinahl, Cochrane Library, StatRef, and more. This display offers more information on some of the services.

Open Graduate Workshops

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Spencer Jardine will be giving two open graduate workshops this week.

Tuesday, Sept. 15th at 4 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 16th at 1:30 pm

“Find the articles and journals that you need. Know where to go to find theses and dissertations already published, which will help ensure you do not duplicate research that has already been done. Learn which databases will direct you to the most relevant articles.

Come and discover the great resources and services
available to you, including how to request a book through the Interlibrary Loan Services

This workshop is open to all graduate students and advanced researchers in the ISU community.”

Sign up: At the Reference Desk in the Library
OR Call: 282-3152
OR Email:

All of these workshops will be in Room 212.