By Zora Sampson, Library Director
On Tuesday night August 31st, the last night that students had with no classes the next morning, the 2010 Karrmann Library Ball Drop took place at 9:40 p.m. Over 500 students crowded around the libraryís patio on the south side of the building to count down and watch 1250 super balls drop from the 3rd floor balcony onto the 1st floor patio. Three strobe lights accentuated the falling and bouncing motion of the balls. (Next year we plan to use brighter, synchronized strobes.) Five hundred of the super balls glowed in the dark, tracing the path on and off the patio.
The weather had been stormy earlier and rain returned later, but for the drop there was great weather. WSUP 91 FM, our campus radio station, brought a terrific sound system to the event. Visit their web page to find their "listen live" buttons and schedule.
After the drop, around a hundred students came into the library to enjoy a paper airplane challenge and web cam "studying in the library" photos. The paper airplane contest was situated just outside the new location for the Center for Alternative Testing (CAT) office. (Students who register with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities can get help taking tests and notes from the CAT office. Help usually includes the use of assistive technology, extra time, and/or a fellow student or staff memberís helping hands, eyes, or voice.)
In the paper airplane challenge, the longest flight was over 52 feet! The biggest challenge for this game was to keep the airplane going straight down the paper runway.
On the libraryís 2nd floor students enjoyed more rock music with card and board games set up by the UWP Gaming Society. (Students can join more games every Thursday night on the lower level of the Pioneer Student Center.)
Peanuts, candy bars, and water were provided for the crowd, yet there was almost no trash left by our environmentally alert Pioneers. We look forward to more fun library events throughout the year and to a bigger better ball drop in 2011!
By Sarah Miller, UWP Office of Public Relations
PLATTEVILLE Ė At the end of the 2009-10 academic year at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Provost Emerita Carol Sue Butts awarded the UWP Karrmann Library $3,600 from the Opportunity Fund for new materials in the forensic investigation, micro-electro-mechanical systems and nanotechnology, and sustainable and renewable energy programs. The new books and DVDs were chosen by UWP library staff members Charlene Ingebritsen, Regina Pauly and Kay Young, and are available for the fall semester.
Young, a senior instructional specialist, explained that when the library is short of materials for a specific program, staff must rely on the UW Systemís inter-library loan system to meet the need. But when a program is new, other libraries often donít have enough materials in their collections, either.
The Opportunity Fund is a one-time source of funding and is not part of the university budget allocated to the library annually. In their capacity as liaisons to the criminal justice, chemistry and engineering physics, and general engineering programs, respectively, Ingebritsen, Pauly and Young decided to combine their requests into one grant proposal to quickly reinforce each growing discipline.
Ingebritsen, who is part of the libraryís government publications department, said, "In order to support student learning and faculty teaching, we need to have up-to-date materials, and if we canít get them someplace else, then itís very difficult to give the students and the faculty the information that they require."
The trio went through a careful research process for choosing the new materials, which include around 50 new books and DVDs. Along with soliciting input from faculty in each specific department, they read book reviews in industry journals, and considered the needs of the collection for the future.
Pauly, curriculum librarian and director of the Instructional Materials Laboratory located in Doudna Hall, said, "We are really grateful for this funding. Provost Emerita Butts saw the need we have, and she supported it."
"Itís a real windfall for the library, students and faculty to be able to have these resources right at their fingertips, so that they are truly on the cutting edge," Ingebritsen said.
For more information about the new materials or other resources, stop by the Karrmann Libraryís Reference Desk or visit the libraryís web page.
The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education by Curtis J. Bonk
Reviewed by Regina Pauly
Curriculum Librarian and Director of the Instructional Materials Lab in Doudna Hall
(Find a copy of the book on the libraryís 3rd Floor with the call number: LB1044.87 .B66 2009)
Although I do not believe Bonk is truly great at predicting the future, he does present an enthusiastic look at technology and future possibilities. In an acronym he creates, WE ALL LEARN, he posits his belief that instead of making the world more flat, the Web is making it more open by giving education to ordinary people world-wide. He has chapters on e-books, and e-learning where all this information is free and available. He writes about open source and free software in a collaborative and interactive online environment. He discusses the possibility of all learning going online or in blended environments. He appears to know everyone and have been everywhere to spread his canon of free and collaborative interactions where everybody wants to share with no thought of monetary gain. (Note: this book cost $29.95)
So while I donít see this generous nature in all human beings, I did gain valuable insights as to what educators are doing at the cutting edge, and it made me think of an alternative future and how I can become a technology adaptor. One can also check out his web site WorldIsOpen.com to examine some of the resources he listed in this book that demonstrate how technology is being used to educate around the world.
This book is intended for those who want a look at a possible future of education and technology.
Kay Young, Editor