WSU Library System News

News & Updates in the Libraries

Class of 2016-2017 Library Resources

January 28th, 2015

Visit the Shiffman Medical Library Years One & Two Timesaver to access an extensive collection of electronic textbooks, mobile apps and resources such as Case Files and Self-Assessment material in AccessMedicine, 3D models and visualizations in Anatomy-TV and view recorded experiments in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).

Click here and don’t forget to bookmark the site to quickly access:

Shiffman Medical Library
Wayne State University
Mazurek Medical Education Commons
320 E. Canfield St.
Detroit, MI 48201
1-313- 577-1088

February 18 | Discover your digital library! eFair and used book sale, UGL atrium

January 17th, 2015

On February 18, the Wayne State University Libraries will be holding its first-ever eFair, a library service expo that will introduce users of the library to some of our major digital, online and “e” resources, as well as new innovations in technology. Users can collect giveaways at each station and those who visit all 5 stations will receive a Library System tote bag—make sure to pick up a punch card at the first station that you visit! See the flyer below for more details.

Used Book Sale
Due to student feedback and popular demand, we’ll also be holding a winter used book sale alongside the eFair. This sale will be a slightly smaller version of the large used book sale that we normally hold in the fall. Find anything from textbooks to fiction at prices even college students can afford: $2 for hardcover books and $1 for paperback books. We’ll also be offering a special collection of unique books at various price points. Cash only.

New Year Brings New Updates at the UGL

January 9th, 2015

During the holiday break, the David Adamany Undergraduate Library underwent many improvements in preparation for the new semester.

The new carpet throughout the first floor and the Community Room is the UGL’s most noticeable improvement. We’ve also removed and repositioned existing furniture and added new furniture on the second floor near the Wayne State University Presidents Portrait Gallery. In addition, the desk that previously stood to the left of the UGL entrance has been removed and will soon house kiosks for users to perform quick searches of the library’s website and internet. In the Extended Study Center, the older iMacs were replaced by 32 new Dell pc computers and we added 24 electrical and USB outlets throughout the first floor. Finally, based on feedback from the Student Senate, the first floor lounge area was completely reconfigured to include booths, a bar-style counter against the back wall and fresh paint.

Have a look at the before and after photos below and stop by to check it out in person!

The Revolutionary E-Book That Never Got a Chance To Be Read

January 9th, 2015

From Mental Floss (

In 1972, two scientists excitedly announced the development of a new technology that, according to a New York Times page one story, caused a “sensation in…publishing circles.” It was predicted to perhaps “revolutionize the publication of books,” and an information-processing specialist for the Navy said it could “eliminate central files in large bureaucracies” and “‘re-make’ the information handling industry.”

The magic technology was a new kind of microfilm, and it didn’t do any of those things. However, the devices that did manage to successfully conquer the publishing industry and revolutionize the way we handle information wound up looking pretty similar to this gadget from the early ’70s.

The microfilm, which was invented by Adnan Waly and George J. Yevick, stored 625 pages of text per sheet and could be displayed one page at a time on a portable device. This machine, which looked somewhat like a modern e-book, was “powered either by a portable battery unit or by plugging into an electric outlet.”

The process of uploading the books to the microfilm sheets involved photographing the pages through thousands of tiny lenses (like a “fly’s eye”), and, had the reader hit the market, each sheet would have cost around 25 cents to buy. The inventors imagined cigarette machine-like dispensers placed around the planet that would sell books for use on their little handheld reader. Waly and Yevick hoped that it would become a “people’s technology” and make the world’s information “cheap enough for almost any human being” to access.

The invention also had an advantage over plenty of modern tablet computers. According to one of Waly and Yevick’s original patents, “this projection display device has proved to be surprisingly immune to image wash-out by ambient light” based on tests performed in brightly lit rooms. (Their technology would later be cited in patents for early LCD displays.)

The microfilm and corresponding reader never caught on, and the invention faded away after that first major story on the front page of the New York Times. The parallel development of early personal computers by companies like XEROX overshadowed Waly and Yevick’s little machine and likely prevented it from ever getting off the ground.

Even the most clever technologies that perfectly predict the flow of modern development often wind up as footnotes to footnotes in the stories of other inventions, barely even allowed the opportunity to be made obsolete.

Wayne State Word Warriors release annual top 10 words worth reviving

January 7th, 2015

In May, the words “hashtag,” “selfie” and “tweep” were among 150 new words and definitions added to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, proof of how our culture continues to expand our communication.

Still, we think some old words deserve a bit more love.

As part of its initiative to draw attention to some of the English language’s most expressive — yet regrettably neglected — words, Wayne State University has released its annual list of the year’s top 10 words that deserve to be used more often in conversation and prose.

Now beginning its seventh year, Wayne State’s Word Warriors series promotes words especially worthy of retrieval from the linguistic closet.

The Word Warriors’ extensive list is composed of submissions from both administrators of the website as well as the public; logophiles worldwide have seen their favorite words brought back from the brink of obsolescence at New entries are posted there, as well as on Twitter and Facebook, each week.

“The English language has more words in its lexicon than any other,” says Jerry Herron, dean of WSU’s Irvin D. Reid Honors College and a member of the website’s editorial board. “By making use of the repertoire available to us, we expand our ability to communicate clearly and help make our world a more interesting place. Bringing these words back into everyday conversation is just another way of broadening our horizons.”

And now, the Word Warriors’ 2015 list of eminently useful words that should be brought back to enrich our language:

A shrill howling or wailing noise.
As the storm raged on, the caterwaul from the wind as it whipped through the trees kept me from getting any sleep.

The skillful and harmonious arrangement or fitting together of the different parts of something.
As the choir sang in the vast cathedral, I couldn’t help but marvel at the concinnity of Handel’s “Messiah.”

His talk show was a collection of flapdoodle about politics and conspiracies.

A roguish or mischievous act.
His presidency was founded on malice, lies and knavery.

A mixture of different things.
Her painting was a melange of colors and shapes that dazzled the eyes.

To walk about.
During our vacation, my wife and I would wake up early and obambulate around the empty beach.

A person who begins to learn or study only late in life.
Uninterested in anything intellectual for most of his life, my father turned into an opsimath after retirement, attending lectures and always carrying a book.

A person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts, or who has no understanding of them.
Ever the philistine, my dad never understood the joy I found in foreign films and classical music.

A mischievous person.
April Fools’ Day was better than Christmas for the young rapscallion.

Monotonous urban sprawl of standardized buildings.
As the city grew outward, our charming small town became a subtopia overrun with franchise pharmacies and strip malls.

Taken from:

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

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.

Library service interruptions during the holiday break

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

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

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

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.