Friends of the Old Dominion University Libraries

January 2007

"Sports Writing: More than a Game"
Should sports writers be fans and boosters of local teams? Is protecting anonymous sources worth going to jail over a sports story? Do young athletes or women athletes merit deferential treatment by sports writers?

On February 6 at 7 p.m., the Friends of the Library will sponsor a panel of sports writers discussing these and other ethical questions of sports journalism. Moderated by Joe Cosco, Associate Professor and teacher of sports writing at ODU, the panel participants will be Bob Molinaro, Jim Ducibella, and Paul White, all sports writers for the Virginian-Pilot.

The program will be held in room 102, Mills Godwin Building at 7 p.m. on February 6. This event is free and open to the public.

Baskets for Books
A shootout continuing the Baskets for Books tradition was held at half time of the December 2nd game against William and Mary. Nick Halda, of ESPN Radio 1310 competed against Norfolk Sheriff Robert J. McCabe. The radio station contributed $25 to the Friends of the Library for each basket made by either competitor for a total contribution of $425. ODU defeated James Madison by a score of 70 to 57.

Service Opportunity
Are you looking to help with a fun project? The library’s Digital Services is in need of people to help transcribe recorded interviews. The most recent recordings have been of members of the Virginia Symphony League. The transcription machine is easy to use, and the transcriptions are typed into Microsoft Word format documents. If you enjoy listening to what interesting and “famous” people in the Hampton Roads community have to say and you can type, we need your help. For further information about this project, e-mail Karen Vaughan, Digital Services Coordinator, at or call 683-4184.

Board Member Wins iParenting Award
The Mermaids and Yellow Jack, A NorFolktale, written by Friends of the Library board member Lisa Suhay, has won an iParenting Media Award. Designated as one of the greatest products of 2006 in the category of books for ages 5-11, the book is an historical fiction account of Norfolk’s yellow fever epidemic, called Yellow Jack.

REPORT: Membership Survey
The Friends of the Library membership committee surveyed current members in November to solicit input about programs and services that members would find beneficial. The most popular additional services were these:

* A discount at the University Book Store
* Advance notice of and/or reduced fees for members at ticketed FOL events.
* Workshops for special interest groups such as art, history, science, writing, etc.

The survey requested comments, too, and received some specific requests for services. The Newsletter asked Virginia S. O’Herron, University Librarian, about the feasibility of these requests. Her responses follow.

Can Friends members use interlibrary loan and reciprocal borrowing privileges from other Tidewater Consortium member libraries?

University Librarian: Interlibrary loan is an international system of agreements among libraries to share research materials to students and faculty only. ODU’s continued access to the system requires that the library observe these terms of the agreement. Consequently, the library cannot extend the service to Friends members.

Could scanners be made available at the library for people with laptops to allow them to scan journal articles?

University Librarian: Most journal articles available through the library’s databases can also be e-mailed. Library staff suggest that Friends members locate articles of interest, e-mail them to themselves, and print them from your home computer.

Would it be feasible for regular FOL library users to buy semester or annual parking passes for the adjacent lots?

University Librarian: The library office can make parking passes available to Friends for periods of up to two weeks at a time. See Fern McDougal in the library’s administrative office (683-4141).

The ability to reserve a study/work area at the library would be desirable.

University Librarian: The library has only four group study rooms, and they are in high demand among the university’s students and faculty. The high level of construction around campus has resulted in space limitations in other buildings, so need for the library’s group study rooms is greater than usual.

Spotlight on Cynthis Swaine

Cynthia Swaine serves as Instructional Services Librarian for the University Libraries. The newsletter interviewed her recently about her work and professional life.

Newsletter: How does the instructional services program advance the mission of Old Dominion University?

Swaine: Certainly it supports the research and scholarship aspect of the mission by offering workshops, classes and online learning tools for both faculty and students who are involved in research and writing. Additionally, the program focuses on that aspect of the mission that addresses the development of students’ capacity for critical reasoning. We emphasize the importance of critically evaluating sources, whether they be traditional – such as books and journal articles – or Internet resources.

Newsletter: What are the most exciting opportunities available right now to address this mission?

Swaine: A new course, titled Research in the Information Age, has just been approved, and the library will teach it beginning in the Fall 2007 semester. The 300 level eight-week accelerated course will be offered through the College of Arts & Letters, where a lot of interest already is being shown by departments throughout the college.

Newsletter: How do the current advances in instructional technology contribute to your ability to reach students effectively with this course?

Swaine: The course is designed as a “hybrid” course, which is taught mostly online with some sessions presented face-to-face in the library. Although a group of librarians has already identified course objectives and created a proposed syllabus, the Center for Learning Technologies will be assisting us in developing the course, and all of the capabilities that the Center possesses are available to us.

Newsletter: Are there any obstacles to providing the kind of instructional service you would like to offer?

Swaine: We are able to offer only one section of the course initially. Eventually we would like to expand to more sections, as well as to develop discipline-specific versions of it, such as Social Sciences Research in the Information Age, Health Sciences Research in the Information Age, and so forth. To do this we would need additional librarians and support staff. The teaching mission is very important to us, and it is hoped that librarians will soon become involved to an even greater degree in teaching Old Dominion students.

Newsletter: What in your background and experiences prepared you for this work?

Swaine: Teaching is my calling. I taught in the public schools before becoming an academic librarian. I earned both an M.S. in Education and an M.L.S. before coming to ODU as the Education Reference Librarian. Later I became the Instruction Services Librarian and have been involved in teaching workshops and classes, as well as designing tutorials, guides, and instructional media products for many years.

Newsletter: What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Swaine: I am most proud of the variety of approaches (face-to-face, televised, print, video, and Web) we have taken in helping the university community make effective use of library resources. We have tried to address the needs of first-year students, graduate students, international students, returning students, faculty members, distance learners, and others by offering many kinds of assistance to groups and individuals. The most recent SACS accreditation report praised our program of library instruction, and that made us proud as well.

On a more personal level, I designed a particular tool, which I named the Idea Generator, several years ago; I continue to add new topic ideas into it. The Web-based tool helps students to select topics for papers or other assignments. It has been featured in at least two editions of a communication textbook as an example of an “idea generator” – the title of the product having now become a generic term. I originally created it with our distance learners in mind, but the tool is being used in high school assignments, too.

Donations from Personal Collections
Are you moving your office and your professional collection? Weeding your personal library? Have you identified books from your own collections that must find a new home? Consider the Old Dominion University Libraries as a worthy recipient for materials you can no longer keep.

A university as youthful as ours depends on donations from serious readers to fill in gaps in our library collections. The ODU library has needs in all disciplines, from all periods of scholarship. When the library receives donated books, they are reviewed for “goodness of fit” with the programs of the university and the needs of the library. Those that are appropriate are added to the collections, and the rest are contributed to the library’s book sale. All gifts are acknowledged.

If you have only a few boxes of books to give to the library, drop them off at the Perry Library circulation desk (left of the entrance). For help in transporting larger collections, contact Debra Bell, 683-4152.

FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY NEWSLETTER is produced by the Publicity Committee of the Friends of the Old Dominion University Library; members are:
Donna Bausch
Jean A. Major, Chair
Peter Schulman
Susan Weaver