Building a Student-Friendly Course

June 15th, 2015

Summer may be a welcome respite for students, but it rarely is for faculty! Research, writing articles, attending professional conferences, preparing new programs and courses – a professor’s job is never done.

The library has always been a great tool for professors in teaching their classes. It’s a place to send students to broaden their understanding, and find books and journals that support their arguments. But it can be an asset right from the beginning, in the planning phase of new courses.

Most classes require a lot of material. This is sensible – students have to be exposed to a lot of ideas and perspectives, after all. It follows that they would need to read the work of a lot of authors. But the cost of buying all that can add up quickly – and strain student budgets. Faculty can’t very well respond to this by assigning less – you are doing the right thing by incorporating so much material. But the library can help ease this burden.

The easiest way to make a text widely available is to put it on reserve. We can put any book or video on reserve – whether it belongs to the library or to the professor. The request form is available online here. If you have an extra desk or preview copy of your textbook, consider putting it on reserve.

But what about online students? IU East subscribes to several large ebook collections that have many academic titles. When still in the planning phases of a course, try browsing these collections first to see if there are any materials that are suitable for using as a course textbook – often there are. For example, is there really much of a difference between American Politics and Society by David McKay, a book available through eBrary, and American Politics Today by William Bianco, a book that is not? Or between Justice, Crime, and Ethics by Belinda McCarthy, in EBSCO Ebooks, or Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice by Joycelyn Pollock, which isn’t? When choosing materials, there is often an equivalent item that students can be assigned available in an ebook collection. EBSCO Ebooks even plans to have a mobile app in place by the start of next semester for added convenience.

And what of videos? Again, try a video database like VAST first. For example, if you are connecting course material to this year’s One Book program, you may find a video like Positive Voices: Living with HIV/AIDS, available through VAST, to be just as useful as something like AIDS in America: The Crisis Continues, which is not. Assigning a video in a library database has the benefit of being easily available to a student who is out sick the day the video is shown, or to distance students. Links to these videos can even be included in your course site through Canvas or OnCourse.

vast video

The library can be a great help to you, even in the beginning phases of designing a class. We can make courses less expensive, and material more convenient to access. Your students will thank you!

Any questions? Ask us at!

More from your MUSE

June 8th, 2015

A few weeks ago, we looked at the Humanities Collection of Project MUSE, a newly added database provided by the School of Humanities and Social Science and the Library, which adds significantly to material available for writing, education, literature, social science, and other fields.

project muse logo

But Project MUSE has a lot of parts, and one other part that we have acquired is the Global Cultural Studies journal supplement.  This section adds access to 20 additional full text journals that are relevant to any student of contemporary culture.  This includes American studies, ethnic studies – including Asian, Latin American, African-American, and indigenous studies – women’s and gender studies, disability studies, and more.

One of the new journals is The Global South, which focuses on the literature and culture of the parts of the world that have experienced the most political, social, and economic upheaval. Another is Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, which looks at cultural material by and for children and young adults – including literature, media, toys, digital culture, and more. Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences focuses on theoretical and critical work in the humanities and social sciences, especially those which challenge conventional understandings of reading and scholarship in academia. The Journal of Haitian Studies is the only refereed journal dedicated to scholarship on Haiti and includes material across the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Caribbean Studies includes articles, research notes, book reviews, news, and more about the islands of the Caribbean. And the Journal of Jewish Identities focuses on diverse ideas concerning the formations of, and transformations in, Jewish identities in its various aspects, layers, and manifestations, including empirical and theoretical articles, interdisciplinary research studies, and case studies.

cultural studies journals

The full list of titles in Global Cultural Studies includes:

Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies
British Journal of Canadian Studies
Canadian Ethnic Studies
Caribbean Studies
Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies
The Global South
International Journal of Canadian Studies
Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures
Journal of Austrian Studies
Journal of Haitian Studies
Journal of Jewish Identities
Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies
Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences
Romani Studies
Scandinavian Studies
Serbian Studies: Journal of the North American Society for Serbian Studies
Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Studies in Latin American Popular Culture
Women, Gender, and Families of Color

And the full list of titles IU East now has access to through all of Project MUSE can be found here.

If you have any questions using this new database, ask us at!

Summer Reading

June 1st, 2015

Summer is the perfect time for reading! Although our mental image of summer reading may be entertaining books, perhaps on a beach chair near the ocean, it can take different forms. Maybe you’re a student taking a summer class, filling your days with textbooks. Maybe you’re an adult who treasures this time for indulging in the latest philosophy or self-help or cooking book.

You can also enjoy reading by helping with a summer reading program for youth. There are several local programs – including at Morrison Reeves Library (for adults, teens, and children), New Castle Henry County Public Library, or the Centerville Public Library.

summer reading

IU East participates in summer reading as well, working with Third Grade Academy. This summer reading program is unique and vital in helping students entering the fourth grade to catch up to their reading level, and continue their schooling with the confidence literacy bestows.  If you would like to be involved as a reader, or listener or provide a program (almost any topic of interest to you, hobby, etc.) please contact Library director Frances Yates: There will be 26 third grade students on campus from June 11 through July 10 and they would love to meet IU East students, staff and faculty!

third grade academy 2013 listeners

Contact the Center for Service-Learning for this and more formal opportunities to serve (working with children at IU East will require a background check). Read with a child and open a world of discovery!

Any questions? Contact us at!

Sing, oh MUSE

May 25th, 2015

The School of Humanities and Social Science and the Library have teamed up to add a spectacular new resource – the Humanities Collection of Project MUSE. Project MUSE is one of the major vendors for digitized, peer-reviewed full text humanities and social science content, with a special focus on material created by university presses and scholarly societies (over 120 publishers are represented). In all, you now have access to hundreds of thousands of articles and ebooks, in topic areas including Creative Writing, Education, History, Language and Linguistics, Literature, Social Sciences, and Women’s Studies, Gender, and Sexuality. And all content is stable – once it goes online in MUSE, it stays online, permanently.

muse logo

If you’ve done research with any of our other databases, using Project MUSE will be a breeze for you. You can use simple or advanced searching, depending on how complex your topic is. Syntax is the same as it is for other major databases like ProQuest Literature and Language and MLA International Bibliography – you can use Boolean operators (AND, OR and NOT) between your search words; quote marks for exact phrases and wildcards for variants of words; and you can specify where those words should appear, such as in the title or the name of the author. Refine these results with date ranges, type of material, and more on the left. And many of the other features of our existing databases are here, too. Permanent links to all documents and even to searches you’ve ran can be saved and posted in OnCourse or emailed to yourself or to others. And unlike many other databases, you don’t have to do anything to generate the permalink. Just copy and paste the link as it appears on your screen in the URL bar.

muse search

Content includes a wealth of new full text journals, for all facets of the humanities. You can bolster your papers of professional research with publications like Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies, Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Scandinavian Studies, Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, and Women, Gender, and Families of Color. You can browse the full list of titles in the Humanities Collection here.

MUSE titles

Any questions about this great new tool? Ask us at!

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

May 18th, 2015

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and a great opportunity to experience the accomplishments, culture, and impact of Asian and Pacific Islander influence on American life. May commemorates both the immigration of the first Japanese citizens to the United States on May 7, 1843, and also marks the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869 – a feat accomplished by thousands of Chinese immigrants. But it also celebrates immigrants from anywhere in Asia, Melanesia, Micronesia, or Polynesia. Fortunately, regardless of what culture you want to explore, the library has plenty of resources for any need.


For scholarly databases, the Asian Studies eBook Collection is a great place to start, with coverage for subjects ranging from art to history to religion.  It includes perspectives from China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, and Central, South, and Southeast Asia.  And specific aspects of culture have specialized databases, as well. For economic questions, there’s Asian Business and Reference.  For literary studies, Asian American Drama and South and Southeast Asian Literature are excellent tools.  And for cultural studies, a database like Oral History Online offers an unmediated look at Asian perspectives and personal histories.

Outside the library, there are also lots of materials on the free web. The Library of Congress and the Smithsonian both have an Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month website, which include multimedia information for scholars and special materials for teachers.  Other websites ranging from Asian Nation to the AARP offers tools, statistics, and infographics.

aarp infographic

And of course, if you want books, we have lots of choices there, too. You can choose from titles like Asian America: Semblance of Identity: Aesthetic Mediation in Asian American Literature by Christopher Lee, Chains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian America by Daryl Maeda, Becoming Asian American: Second-Generation Chinese and Korean American Identities by Nazli Kibria, Identity Construction among Chinese-Vietnamese Americans: Being, Becoming, and Belonging by Monica Trieu, Asian North American Identities: Beyond the Hyphen by Eleanor Ty, or Asian American X: An Intersection of Twenty-First Century Asian American Voices by Arar Han.

Any questions? Ask us at!