Main | February 2006 »

January 27, 2006

Web page for library statistics

I recently found out about a web page that's useful for getting statistics about libraries and to compare libraries (if someone wants to know where we stand among other academic libraries in collection size, for instance). The first time I used one of these NCES tools it was a little hard for me to figure out how it worked so I'm including a sample search as well. Here's the URL:

Click on Academic Libraries.
Click on Compare Academic Libraries Tool.
Click on Begin Search.
Enter Library Name - I put in University of Michigan and then I put Ann Arbor and Michigan in the city and state boxes and hit Continue.

When the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor came up on the next page, I marked the entry and hit Continue.

On the next page I clicked on the link to choose similar libraries.

On the next page I went down to Size of Collections and chose Books, Serial Back Files, Other Paper Materials

On the next page I chose Method 1 and left the percentage at 20%. Then I clicked on Continue.

On the next page I chose the column that said # of Lib. and clicked on the number below.

Posted by mfreelan at 10:51 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2006

Library Workshops for Social Scientists

The University Library sponsors a number of workshops on information management that might be of interest to social science researchers. For example, on March 9th there is a session on the Web of Science for Social Sciences and on February 2nd graduate students might want to attend Conducting the Literature Review in the Social Sciences. Click on over to for a complete list of all workshops. Check listings under University Library and under the Digital Dissertation Series (for graduate students).

Posted by dpn at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2006

60% of Students Pass on Expensive Textbooks

Textbook prices have been rising at double the rate of inflation for the past two decades, according to a Government Accountability Office study. As a result, some students decide to go without. The National Association of College Stores recently found that nearly 60% of students nationwide choose not to buy all the course materials. Read the Washington Post story. The full GAO report is available at

Posted by kfolger at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2006

Literacy of College Students

The American Institutes for Research (AIR) have released the results of a study of literacy among college students. While some students are graduating with only basic skills, the AIR study found there is no difference between the quantitative literacy of today's graduates compared with previous generations, and that current graduates generally are superior to previous graduates when it comes to other forms of literacy needed to comprehend documents and prose. Other findings from the study include:

Posted by kfolger at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

Reprints of Library's Historical Books Available via Amazon

The University Library, through its Scholarly Publishing Office, has entered into an agreement with BookSurge, an Amazon-owned book printer, to make trade paperback reprints from the Library's Making of America and Historical Math collections available on

All of the books in these collections were published in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The Making of America collection includes many titles pertaining to American social history and is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The Historical Math collection consists of books selected from the University of Michigan's remarkably rich mathematics collection.

These titles debuted in Amazon at the beginning of January. Prices are based on page count, and range from $11.99 to $44.99. Currently, a search using "Michigan Historical Reprint Series" as the author will pull up all 6,405 available titles. 3,000 more titles will become available in the coming months.

For the past two years, SPO has been offering hardcover reprints of University-owned titles as well as unbound, spiral, or tape bound "reading copies" through the Michigan Business Services Copy Center. An e-commerce system allows direct ordering online using a credit card. While this ordering method will continue, the books availability in Amazon will give readers an easy way to purchase paperback versions.

To date, some of the Library's bestsellers include:

The origin of all religious worship
The liturgy, or forms of divine service, of the French Protestant church of Charleston, S.C.
Projective geometry; A system of intellectual philosophy
Adventures in the wilderness; or, camp-life in the Adirondacks
Lectures on revivals of religion
The marine steam-engine
Illustrations of masonry
Lullaby land
Fifty years among the Baptists
Biblical researches in Palestine
The history of the town of Dorchester, Massachusetts
Treatise on natural philosophy
A manual of photography.

Posted by kfolger at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2006

Symposium on Mass Digitization

The University of Michigan University Library and the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science are sponsoring a national symposium on March 10-11, 2006 to discuss the impact of mass digitization projects on libraries, universities, government, information policy, publishing, and education.

Entitled, “Scholarship and Libraries in Transition: A Dialogue about the Impacts of Mass Digitization Projects,? this two day symposium will provide an opportunity for faculty, students, librarians, publishers, information specialists, policy makers, and the broader academic community to discuss the changing information environment.

The symposium will be held at the Rackham Auditorium at the University of Michigan. Attendance is free but registration is required. Please register at the symposium website

Keynote speakers include Tim O’Reilly Founder & CEO, O'Reilly Media, and Clifford Lynch, Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI). Twenty national and international panelists will engage the audience in conversation and share various perspectives about the impacts of mass digitization initiatives.

Posted by kfolger at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

Welcome to the blog!

Welcome to Social Sciences Headlines and Highlights, affectionately known as Sshh! A group blog of the social sciences librarians at the University of Michigan, Sshh! will be used to communicate with the campus and beyond about events and happenings of interest to academic social scientists.

Posted by kfolger at 03:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack