WSU Library System News

News & Updates in the Libraries


New screenshots available of Libraries’ Google Glass app “Wayne State Campus Explorer”

Monday, December 15th, 2014

The Wayne State University Libraries recently completed their first custom app for Google Glass called “Wayne State Campus Explorer,” a discovery app that allows users to wander the campus while getting information on the places around them. As the user draws closer to a location, the app displays other information like building hours and other points of interest. Currently, all of the libraries are plotted in the app as well as major campus buildings. The new screenshots show even more locations and features than the initial release.

Earlier this year, the Libraries began experimenting with Google Glass, a wearable computer with an augmented reality visual display. The computer frame comes with or without lenses and displays information in a prism projector located just above the right eye. It has the ability to take photos and HD video and allows the user to access the internet, weather, Google Hangouts, email, news and integration of specific apps. Users can use voice commands to initiate Google Glass or access a touchpad located on the side of the Glass, allowing users to control the device by swiping through a timeline-like interface on the screen.

“This is just the first step in experimenting with what the Glass can do,” said Elliot Polak, Wayne State University Libraries Assistant Director for Discovery and Innovation. “There are limitless applications not only for the libraries but for all areas of the university.”

Polak and his team are already looking into further developing the app to have more library-specific mapping and wayfinding abilities. The app has potential to guide a user directly to a book in the stacks that he or she is searching for. The app could send alerts to users when they get close to a new feature or special collection that the library would like to highlight. Patrons could walk up to a room to discover when the room can be reserved and make the reservation from the Glass. Someone could walk by a library and check to see if there are any computers available for use.

“We’re really interested in what people would like the Glass to do to enhance their Wayne State Library and campus experience,” said Polak. “Those ideas will drive us in developing further applications.”

In addition to use in the library, Google Glass can be a valuable tool in the classroom. Instead of looking down at notes or a screen, faculty can use Google Glass to read their notes from the display while maintaining eye contact with the classroom. In distance education, instructors could give real-time video tours of campus, virtual field trips and other applications where a distance student would benefit from being embedded in the experience. Google Glass also has the ability to provide real-time language translation of foreign texts both visually and through audio. The capability of voice translations also allow users to speak to others in their native languages. At the campus level, the Google Glass can be an asset to orienting new students and employees as they take tours of campus. Without having to look down at a smartphone, Google Glass offers a safer alternative by allowing users to keep their heads up and aware of their surroundings.

Dec. 15-19 | Help children in need and get your fines removed through Food for Fines Program

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

From December 15 to December 19, patrons will have a chance to have their outstanding fines reduced or expunged while contributing to a worthy cause that supports the Wayne State community. For every one non-perishable food item donated to the Library System $1 will be waived from your outstanding fines. For example, if you have $5 in fines, and you bring in five non-perishable food items, your $5 in fines will be removed from your record. To participate in Food for Fines, bring your items to the circulation desk in any of the five libraries, including the Oakland Center. Items must be new, unexpired and never opened, with the label intact. Items must also be free from dirt, rust or dents. Only food items will be accepted.

All items collected will go to Orchards Children’s Services. Orchards Children’s Services has been a beacon of hope for children and families for over 50 years. Orchard’s seeks to protect and nurture children and youth by providing shelter, sustenance, life and educational skills and opportunities. More information is available at

This offer may not be tax deductible and the receipt you receive will be for the fines waived from your account only. Library staff will offer no verification of goods donated. Items donated now cannot be used as credit against future fines. The library reserves the right to reject any donation that does not fit within the acceptable criteria (see below for list of terms).

Canned food:
• Items can be no larger than 20oz
• Cans/boxes must be sealed and unopened
• Must not be rusted, dented, and label must be clean and intact
• No expired items

Dry goods:
• Crackers, dry cereals, pastas, flour, sugar, etc. will be accepted;
• Items must be sealed and unopened
• Container must be in store-bought condition

The library will not accept
• Any non-food items
• Breads, chips, candy or snack foods

Public computing unavailable on the first floor of the UGL beginning December 17

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Beginning Wednesday, December 17, public computing and printing will be unavailable on the first floor of the Undergraduate Library to allow for the installation of new carpet. Computing and printing will still be available on the second and third floors of the Undergraduate Library and in the Purdy/Kresge Library.

Computing services on the first floor of the UGL will be restored by mid-January 2015.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Library service interruptions during the holiday break

Friday, December 5th, 2014

During the University’s 2014-2015 Holiday season the following library services will be suspended:


MeLCat will be suspended from December 17, 2014 – January 2, 2015. Full service will resume on January 5, 2015.

Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan

Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan will be suspended from December 17, 2014 – January 3, 2015. Requests may be placed beginning January 4, 2015. Full service will resume on January 5, 2015. There will be NO delivery of requested material to the University Extension Centers after December 19th.

Storage Requests

Storage requests will be suspended from December 22, 2014 – January 2, 2014. Requests may be placed beginning January 3, 2015. Full service will resume on January 5, 2014. There will be NO delivery of requested material to the University Extension Centers after December 19th.

Get It! Paging Service

“Get It” Paging service will be suspended beginning December 23, 2014. Requests can be placed beginning January 4, 2015. Full service will resume on January 5, 2015. There will be NO delivery of requested material to the University Extension Centers after December 19th.

If you have received a notification of delivery, please pick up your materials by 11am, December 24, 2014.

Clinical care emergencies should contact Shiffman Medical Library at

Effective immediately: E Cigarettes not allowed in Libraries

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

According to an interpretation from the Vice President General Counsel, the existing Wayne State University no smoking policy applies to e-cigarettes. Effective immediately, no cigarettes of any kind are allowed in any of the Wayne State University Libraries. Thank you for your cooperation.

1. In accordance with section 2.1 of the University “Smoke-Free Campus Policy (Second Release)”* e-cigarettes are considered a “lighted smoking device” and therefore banned for use in any University Library facility.

2. In accordance with section 5.5 of the “Smoke-Free Campus Policy (Second Release)” anyone “… who violates this policy will be subject to the Student Due Process, as well as warnings and ticketing by Public Safety.” Student Due Process charges will fall under sections 4.14 and 4.15** of the Student Code of Conduct. Non-WSU affiliated visitors could be banned from entering any WSU library for a period of time.

Placing donation boxes in the libraries during the holiday season

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

As part of the Wayne State University Library System’s broad commitment to community engagement, we welcome the opportunity to work with campus groups to help address the needs of those less fortunate. However, due to the overwhelming number of requests to host donation boxes during the holidays, the Library System must limit the number of boxes allowed in the library buildings. Library System initiatives will be given first priority. In order to avoid duplication of donation types and alleviate space issues and accessibility concerns, we will allow one box from each of the following categories in each building on a first come, first served basis:

1. Food/pantry items
2. Toys
3. Winter clothing (hats, gloves, coats)
4. Children’s books
5. Toiletries

Once each of these categories is filled, no additional boxes will be allowed unless a box from that category is removed.

Thank you for your cooperation.

“Dictatorship and Democracy in the Age of Extremes: Spotlights on the History of Europe in the Twentieth Century” exhibit at UGL through November and December

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

In cooperation with the Wayne State University history department, the Wayne State University Libraries will be hosting the exhibit “Dictatorship and Democracy in the Age of Extremes: Spotlights on the History of Europe in the Twentieth Century” throughout November and December in the atrium of the Undergraduate Library. The exhibit portrays Europe’s twentieth century as a dramatic history of the struggle between freedom and tyranny, democracy and dictatorship. Inspired by the year 2014, it invites viewers to take a historical pulse of the past century. The exhibition presents almost 190 photographs and images from numerous European archives.

The Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, Deutschlandradio Kultur and the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship are jointly sponsoring an exhibition in 2014 about the history of democracy and dictatorship in 20th century Europe. The occasion for this is the upcoming series of major anniversaries that illustrate the linkages among national histories during the “Century of Extremes“: the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I takes place in 2014. 75 years will have passed as well since the beginning of World War II, 25 years since the peaceful revolution of 1989, and 10 years since the eastward enlargement of the European Union.

The authors of the show are Prof. Dr. Andreas Wirsching, the director of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, and his colleague Dr. Petra Weber. The exhibit was translated by Wayne State history professor Andrew Port.

Wayne State University Libraries welcome new director to Reuther Library

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Wayne State University has appointed Erik Nordberg as the director of the Walter P. Reuther Library and Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs.

With more than twenty years of archival experience, Nordberg comes to Wayne State from the Michigan Humanities Council in Lansing, Mich., where he served as executive director. Prior to his position with the Council, Nordberg was the university archivist and head of archives at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich., where he played a pivotal role in creating the Keweenaw Digital Archives, a grant-funded, searchable database of digitized historical photographs documenting Michigan’s historic copper mining district. The digital collection continues to grow, more than doubling in size since its establishment in 2005.

Nordberg received a bachelor of arts in combined humanities from the University Of Ulster at Jordanstown in Northern Ireland and a master of philosophy in Anglo-Irish literature from the University of Dublin, Trinity College in the Republic of Ireland. He completed a master’s degree in library and information science at Wayne State University and is currently a doctoral candidate in the program of industrial heritage and archaeology at Michigan Technological University.

“We’re very excited to welcome Erik Nordberg back to Wayne State,” said Sandra Yee, dean of the Wayne State University Library System. “His archival experience and interest in industrial, labor and metro Detroit history will fit in perfectly with the mission of the Reuther Library and be a great asset to Wayne State.”

The author of numerous grants, presentations and articles, Nordberg has research interests in Michigan mining history and a pro-active stance on born-digital records in archives. “It’s important that we carefully select records and provide an environment that we can trust not only preserve the records, but allow them to remain authentic,” said Nordberg.

Nordberg looks forward to collaborating with campus partners and promoting Wayne State thorough the Reuther Library. “As part of the Library System, it’s wonderful to work among people with a shared interest in libraries and archives,” said Nordberg. “But I’m also very excited to work with students and faculty—even if they aren’t history majors, there’s still so much the Reuther can add to their studies and research.”

The Reuther Library is the largest labor archives in North America and is home to the collections of numerous unions and labor-related organizations. Its collection strengths extend to the political and community life of urban and metropolitan Detroit, the civil rights movement in Michigan and nationally, and women’s struggles in the workplace. The Reuther Library is also the home of the Wayne State University Archives which houses the University’s official files, records, and documents.

Detroit Artists Workshop 50th Anniversary Display at UGL through November

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

The Artists’ Workshop Society was an artist-run collective founded on November 1st, 1964 by John Sinclair, Magdalene Arndt (a.k.a. Leni Sinclair), Charles Moore, Robin Eichele, George Tysh and ten others, who rented a house at 1252 West Forest for use as a gallery and performance space near Wayne State’s campus.

Free poetry and jazz performances were featured every Sunday afternoon. They also produced their own books, journals and workshops, and introduced avant-garde poets, artists and musicians to Detroit, many for the first time.

This small, fiercely independent and interracial group was the first to inspire a cultural revolution in Detroit and beyond. The threads of this influence stretch from jazz to rock, psychedelia to heavy metal, noise and other experimental music, as well as poetry, politics, the Cass Corridor art movement and the growth of Detroit’s alternative presses.

This commemorative display includes selections from the personal collections of Detroit Artists Workshop members, including photographer Leni Sinclair, and documentarian Cary Loren, as well as books from the WSU Libraries’ Special Collections.

Additional DAW materials are located in the adjacent display ”Cass Corridor Culture,” which also features artworks from the James Duffy gift to the University Art Collection.

For additional information on DAW, visit the website:

12/9 | Collecting Past Radicals and Rebels: The Resonance of Resistance and the Persistence of Injustice: a presentation with Dr. Francis Shor

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 4:30 p.m.
Reuther Conference Room, 2nd Floor
Walter P. Reuther Library
3401 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202

December 2 marked the 50th anniversary of an iconic moment in the free speech movement: the 1964 student protests and sit-in at the University of California, Berkeley campus. 52 years before that, another significant free speech fight embroiled San Diego in a six-month confrontation between police, vigilantes, and the Industrial Workers of the World. Labor activist Joe Hill escaped the violence of San Diego only to succumb to anti-union violence in Utah in 1915. “Collecting Past Radicals and Rebels: The Resonance of Resistance and the Persistence of Injustice,” will be an illustrated presentation that will explore the role of IWW rebels Joe Hill and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, not only highlighting the meaning of their radicalism to their times, but also recognizing how their work (and the persistence of social injustices) helped to inspire free speech, civil rights, and resistance movements through the 1960s and into our own times with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. This event is sponsored by the Reuther Library and the University Library System. Donations will be accepted at the event to increase access, awareness and digitization of the Industrial Workers of the World Records held in the Reuther Library.

More information at 313-577-4024 / /