The Fine Print is published fall and spring terms for UW-La Crosse faculty, staff, students, and friends of Murphy Library.
Murphy Library University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
1631 Pine Street La Crosse, WI 54601
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how many words would it take to describe 24,257 photographs? This is the impressive number of steamboat and river-related images from the UW-La Crosse Historic Steamboat Photograph Collection that have been digitized so far by Murphy Library and the University of Wisconsin Digitization Center (UWDCC). This joint project began in the fall of 2007 with the goal to digitize the majority of the extensive collection of images of North American, inland-river steamboats held in Special Collections. It was anticipated that due to sheer number of images and the complexity of the project that it would be a multi-year project. Sure enough, four years later, we are pleased to report that this project is nearing its conclusion.
There were numerous steps in managing this process and multiple personnel were involved at both institutions. Here at Murphy Library, procedures had to be created to manage the intellectual content of the images. Subject headings, thesauri terms, and metadata fields were created and defined. Procedures and safeguards were established for the physical transfer of negatives and prints within Murphy Library and then for shipment to the University of Wisconsin Digitization Center (UWDCC).
To begin the process, librarians in Special Collections went through the entire 40,000 plus images in the Historic Steamboat Photograph Collection to select which images to digitize. A huge side benefit of this process was the opportunity to correct misfilings, eliminate duplicates, and make corrections in the identification of steamboats. Once selected for digitization, the images, in the form of 4 x 5 inch negatives or photographic prints, were sent to Murphy Library catalogers for metadata input. The metadata included such information as physical characteristics of the image, the subject(s) in the photo, the date of the photo, and the photographer, if known. Next, the images were sent back to Special Collections for a quality control check. The images were then packed up and sent to the UWDCC in Madison, Wisconsin to be digitized. After digitization, the images were sent back to Special Collections, where they were checked back in and refiled.
What can you expect to see and find in the Historic Steamboat Photograph Collection? Here is the blurb from the "About the Collection" section at the website:
The UW-La Crosse Historic Steamboat Collection consists of photographic images of steamboats on the inland waterways of the United States, primarily the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri rivers and their tributaries. The photos depict steamboats in every phase of their life span - from construction to destruction - and every aspect of their daily operations from the 1850s to the present. The photos show steamboats in all sort of settings - on the water; going through a lock, at a city's waterfront or levee, tied up at shore - as they went about their everyday business of hauling freight and passengers and towing barges and rafts. For some steamboats, especially the bigger excursion boats, there may be over a hundred photographs to view; for other boats, there might be only a single photo to document its existence. Besides steamboats, other types of images in the collection include steamboat captains, engineers, pilots, passengers and crews; city and town waterfronts; levees; locks and dams; and river-related activities such as fishing, swimming and clamming.
The collection has seen steady use. Since going live with first batch in 2008, the UWDCC has registered over 73,000 searches on the Historic Steamboat Images website as of Oct 2011.
Have we "wetted" your appetite to take a look yourself? To access or cite the collection, go to:
If you have any questions about the collection or the digitization project, please contact Special Collections, Murphy Library at 608-785-8511 or email@example.com.
Hello, I’m Heather Jett, and I came to Murphy Library as access services librarian on July 1, 2011. I moved to La Crosse from North Carolina in 2006 when my spouse accepted a position in the UW-L English department. In addition to the master's in library science, I hold a master of arts in English and have taught writing and literature courses at the college level in three states.
At Murphy Library, I am the general supervisor for approximately thirty staff and student workers who maintain your library records, help you locate and use resources in the library, and keep items moving through the library system. My favorite place in the library is the reference desk.
My research interests include equity of access for underserved populations and activism in public libraries. I have an affinity for old houses and historic preservation and restoration, the craft of pottery, and woodblock prints. Although I most often read contemporary fiction, I am particularly fascinated by collections of letters.
If you stop by my office, you will probably find me—somewhere else! But you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-8943.
For starters, the name “Access Services” might be new to you. That’s the new moniker of the “Circulation Department,” a name we hope conveys our desire to provide access to the library and its resources to the largest possible number of the UW-L community. We are going way beyond books! These days, you can check out laptops, Flip video cameras, I-pads, headphones, and all sorts of things that will help provide access to the resources available at Murphy Library and help people succeed at UW-L. In addition to new resources, we also have a couple of new staff members: Heather Jett, access services librarian, and Kevin Dinsmore, early morning supervisor (LSA-A). Along with new permanent staff, we have a fantastic group of new and returning student workers who are waiting to help you get what you need from Murphy Library. Come see us!
New Faces at Murphy Library
periodicals staff, started work at Murphy Library in April, 2011.
Where are you from? Suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio.
What is your favorite part of the job? I enjoy the colleagues I get to work with on a daily basis and the campus environment at UW-L.
What do you do when not at work? Running marathons, horseback riding, bike touring, swimming, camping, salsa dancing - sometimes all in the same day!
What have you read/viewed/listened to, etc. recently? Straight Man, Richard Russo - a must-read for anyone who has worked in academia.
What might surprise us about you? I have a twin sister who lives in New York City. We are very different from each other, but we have a lot of fun when we are around each other.
Kevin Dinsmore, circulation, interlibrary loan and public services staff, started work at Murphy Library in August, 2011
Where are you from? I was born in St. Paul, MN.
What is your favorite part of the job? Working in an environment dedicated to learning.
What do you do when not at work? Cook, listen to music, read, take long strolls, eat jellied eels and think distant thoughts.
What have you read/viewed/listened to, etc. recently? Read: Platform by Houellebecq, Books in my Life by Miller Viewed: Currently making my way through the Fellini filmography Listened: Cosmic Surgery by Neat Beats (just bought the vinyl), Louvin Brothers-Various Albums, traditional Greek music, and as always the Smiths.
What might surprise us about you? Precious little, I suppose.
Recent Transitions at Murphy Library
The last couple of years have seen many personnel changes at Murphy Library, mainly due to retirements. Approximately 1/3 of all library positions have been affected.
Recent retirements/resignations include:
Recent and ongoing hires include:
Mike OlsonMike Olson, cataloging staff, started work at Murphy Library in August, 2011.
Deb Alexander-Friet, cataloging staff, began working at Murphy Library in August, 2011.
Where are you from? I am originally from the Kickapoo Valley area in Vernon County.
What is your favorite part of the job? I appreciate the challenge of creating cataloging records; almost every resource is different and unique. It is also fun to see the new items coming into the library.
What do you do when not at work? I have a ten year old…skateboarding lessons/competition every Saturday, two traveling basketball teams throughout the winter, traveling baseball team in the summer, choir, guitar, hunting, fishing, camping…
What have you read/viewed/listened to, etc. recently? Pat Brown The Profiler: My Life Hunting Serial Killers and Psychopaths; Erle Stanley Gardner's The case of the lucky legs.
What might surprise us about you? I have a salt & pepper shaker collection that consists of about 500 sets (give or take).
Dana WallaceDana Wallace, interim reference and instruction, began working in fall of 2011.
The following are several of the more substantial works added to the Murphy
Library reference collections in recent months.
Encyclopedia of Modern China / David Pong, editor in
Charles Scribner’s Sons/Gale, Cengage Learning, c2009. Ref DS755 .E53 2009 (4 volumes)
This important work provides a comprehensive collection of nearly 1,000 authoritative articles on facets of the world’s most populous country. Already a popular title in the reference area!
The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology [electronic
resource] / edited by Irving B. Weiner, W. Edward Craighead
4th ed. John Wiley, c2010. 4 online volumes.
The latest edition of this core psychology resource offers over 1,500 articles covering the full spectrum of the latest knowledge and understanding in the discipline.
Book Review Index [electronic resource]
Gale, 1965 to present
Long a staple print index at Murphy Library, we are very pleased to offer this title as an online database. With listings of more than 5.6 million reviews on more than 2.5 million titles, there is simply no more comprehensive and authoritative source available for identifying reviews of books.
ProQuest Congressional Hearings Digital Collection
ProQuest, 1824 to present
This treasure-trove of United States history (complementing our recently-added U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection) is the only one of its kind, because it includes not only all Congressional hearings published by the U.S. government, but also all those otherwise unpublished hearings that were only published by the private Congressional Information Service. Historians rejoice!
OECD iLibrary [electronic resource]
Contains all the publications and datasets released by OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), International Energy Agency (IEA), Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), OECD Development Centre, PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), and International Transport Forum (ITF) since 1998.
Also, we have transitioned several more major, traditional reference directories, long held at Murphy Library, to an online format as part of the Gale Directory Library reference database. Titles include: Statistics Sources, Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources, Brands and Their Companies, and Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media. The new format requires some adjustment, but feedback has been positive overall!
Finally, we are offering some new ways to keep up with the latest additions to the reference collection. You can visit our new online guide, “Reference: New Resources” at http://libguides.uwlax.edu/reference-new-sources. When there, take note that you can take advantage of the “RSS Updates” link to be notified of all the latest additions in reference via your favorite RSS reader!
Group study rooms are high-demand spaces in Murphy Library. Many weekday evenings, when it is common to see 350-500 people in the library, all available rooms are full of students engaged in group projects. These spaces have become even more popular destinations as technology has been added in recent years, including wall-mounted and mobile LCD monitors.
This summer, Marcie Wycoff-Horn, interim director, School of Education [SOE], approached the library about setting up a SMART Board in the library, and a large group study room was converted for that purpose with the assistance of Information Technology Services [ITS]. Murphy Library librarians and staff from Access Services and from Systems and Emerging Technologies departments were involved in developing a scheduling system and policies, and the room was set up to accommodate 20 students.
Murphy Library room 25 is now available for SOE and other faculty trained in SMART Board use, who can schedule the room during weekdays until 6:00 p.m. for specific class sessions requiring a SMART Board. In the evenings and on the weekends, students familiar with SMART Board can use the room without a reservation. The SMART Board tool packet and laptops with SMART software are available for checkout at the library reserve desk. A reservation request form for faculty, a calendar showing when the room is scheduled and more information can be found here:
More information can be found on the Library Facilities FAQs page under Smartboard and Tools.
If you have questions about use of the room, you may also call Kevin Dinsmore at 5-8637. ITS also has developed a SMART Board resource page.
The standard library tour has been refreshed! Now students can use their cell phones to learn more about the library. Kate Russell and Rachel Slough developed a tour using QR codes and mobile devices for UWL 100. The self guided tour takes students around the library to learn about various areas, resources and services. Students are prompted to complete an objective at each location before moving on to the next QR code. Objectives include finding a book, taking a photo of a favorite magazine and looking for a photo in Special Collections.
A general tour is also available for anyone interested in learning more about the library. Look for the pale yellow QR codes located at high interest points in the library.
Historical Wall Street Journal
The campus community now has access to The Historical Wall Street Journal, a true digital archive of the entire newspaper, with coverage from July 8, 1889 – December 31, 1993. The library and the entire campus community thank UW-L students, who recognized the value of this archival collection and funded it through UW-L's academic initiatives program.
The Historical Wall Street Journal provides a true digital reproduction of each page and each article that originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal. It provides page maps in PDF format while also threading together into one image stories that originally spanned multiple pages. In addition to the printed stories, the database provides charts, stock tables, graphics, and illustrations.
Users of The Historical Wall Street Journal will be able to:
Films on Demand
The campus community now has access to Films On Demand, a web-based digital video delivery service that provides access to over 8,000 educational videos and over 95,000 video clips. The over 4,800 hours of video may be projected in classrooms or watched on computers, iPads and smartphones.
Murphy Library’s subscription to Films on Demand is intended for the academic market and includes a wide array of topics including health, medicine, science, mathematics, business, economics, humanities, social sciences, and archival films and newsreels. Films are produced by companies such as Nova, BBC, the History Channel, Arts & Entertainment, PBS, Cambridge Educational, and many more.
Special features allow users the ability to search and browse, organize and bookmark clips, share playlists, personalize folders, and generate citations in APA and MLA styles. The license allows unlimited, simultaneous access to all videos both in and out of the classroom, and from off campus. Faculty and staff may also embed HTML code directly into content management systems such as D2L to allow authenticated direct access to specific videos.
Early American Newspapers Series 1 – 7, 1690-1922 (Newsbank)
America’s Historical Newspapers, including Early American Newspapers Series 1 – 7, 1690-1922, allows users to search more than 1,000 U.S. historical newspapers published between 1690 and 1922, including titles from all 50 states. America’s Historical Newspapers enables researchers to explore virtually every aspect of America during the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.
Provides access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience. This collection features papers from more than 35 states—including many rare and historically significant 19th century titles.
Features more than 170 wide-ranging periodicals by and about African Americans. Published in 26 states, the publications include academic and political journals, commercial magazines, institutional newsletters, organizations’ bulletins, annual reports and other genres. These diverse periodicals—which have shaped, and in turn been shaped by, African American culture—will enable new discoveries on lives of African Americans as individuals, as an ethnic group and as Americans.
An index to European works that relate to the Americas created by EBSCO Publishing, in cooperation with the John Carter Brown Library, from “European Americana: A Chronological Guide to Works Printed In Europe Relating to The Americas, 1493-1750,” an authoritative bibliography. The database contains more than 32,000 entries and is a comprehensive guide to printed records about the Americas written in Europe before 1750.
Murphy Library Student Bloggers
Are you interested in student perspectives of Murphy Library? If so, visit some of the Murphy Library student blogs, where students share their thoughts on exploring, using, and even working at the library.
The library maintains a permanent link to the blogs on the left sidebar of most library web pages. The direct link to library blogs is: http://www.uwlax.edu/murphylibrary/socialmedia/index.html
Student blogs include:
Books, Brains, and Brawn by UW-L student and library worker Kyle Vara.
Kim's Library Blog by Viterbo student and Murphy Library intern, Kim Wrobleski.
The Murphy Explorer by UW-L student Carly Frerichs.
Not So Stern Librarian former UW-L student Brianna Marshall
Recent blogs include information about favorite study spaces; some book reviews; profiles of "hall librarians;" the library's voting resources pages; a photographic glimpse of "behind the inner workings of Murphy Library;" using a library iPad to take a physical and virtual tour of the library; finding a great cookbook in the library; and understanding "Type-A library student syndrome."
The library invites everyone to read and comment on these student blogs.
Change Comes to the Periodicals Department: New Staff, New Responsibilities, New Offices
2011 has been a year of great change for the staff of the Periodicals Department. Bonnie Daines retired after 37 years in January. We hired Sloan Komissarov in April. Sloan has a strong library background and comes to us with an MLS as well as a second masters degree in Art History. It is never easy to replace someone who has been in a position for a long period of time, but Sloan has transitioned well and has helped us to review our workflow and make positive changes.
Our next big change is that in addition to my role as
periodicals librarian, I have now taken over managing e-resources as well. For
many years now, the workflow of managing periodicals (the vast majority of
which are now electronic) have resembled the workflow for managing other e-resources,
especially article databases. When Galadriel Chilton left Murphy Library
this past July, it seemed like a logical jump for periodicals staff to take
over the management of the library’s other electronic resources. I am
excited to take on this exciting new challenge and am thrilled to have two
full-time staff members, Ginny Kreyer and Sloan Komissarov, to help in this
And finally, perhaps the biggest change is that the Periodicals Department has moved from its familiar home on the south side of the library to its new home in the middle of the technical services area. The changing nature of periodicals means that we no longer have a large physical collection on the first floor, we need fewer students to help us with the check-in and binding of print periodicals, and have little need for the vast space available in the periodicals department offices. Our new location offers many advantages, including proximity to our colleagues in both collection development and cataloging, and an opportunity to share student help with other departments.
We welcome visitors to our new offices and retain our open-door policy.
The Karin Sandvik Leisure Reading Collection was created in the spring of 2001. The collection’s purpose is to provide timely materials for enjoyment/recreational reading and to promote the culture of the book. Award winning and bestselling authors delve into various areas of knowledge and interest, including but not limited to, inspirational, mystery, romance, science fiction, horror, westerns, historical novels, travel literature, general fiction, classic fiction, biographies, and popular foreign titles. This separate collection, located on the second floor of the library (near the clerestory), makes it easy for all to take a break from class assignments or the rigors of teaching and quickly become transported away to a different locale. Over the past decade, the collection has grown slightly in size, been weeded several times, and still remains heavily used. Many of the books have recorded double-digit use. The two tables (one from 2001-02 and one for the entire decade) reveal titles that are popular reads to campus users.
High Use Items
High Use Items
As part of the library's outreach to residence halls, in which each residence hall gets its own personal librarian, participating librarians have adopted superhero personas. Click on the super hero flyers below to see a larger image.
Support Murphy Library
Edited by Ed Hill and Douglas Connell
Available for $40.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling.
Proceeds for the book go to the Murphy Library Endowment Fund.
For more information and purchase instructions, visit Murphy Library Special Collections
This magnificent oil painting, commissioned for Murphy Library, hangs in the library’s Special Collections area. Limited edition prints are available for sale.
More information is available through Murphy Library, (608)785-8511, and at the library's August Moon Website
Support Murphy Library
Maintaining the level of excellence expected in our academic community creates challenges for today's university libraries.
In 1989, Murphy Library at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse established an endowment fund to support and enhance the special needs of the Library.
Help make a difference in the 21st century! One way to make that difference is honoring someone with a book plate in a newly purchased book. For more information and donation instructions visit the
Honor with Books Program website.
For general information on other options for giving to the Endowment Fund, please visit the library Endowment Fund website
The Fredricks Memorial Endowment Fund was established in 1994 in honor of history professor and oral historian Howard Fredericks. The fund supports the university's oral history program, which is an active and useful primary resource for the region.
Contributions are greatly appreciated and may be sent to:
UW-L Foundation-Fredricks Fund
Murphy Library Resource Center
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1631 Pine Street
La Crosse, WI 54601-3792