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WSU Library System News

News & Updates in the Libraries

Pastoral Paintings Hidden on the Edge of Old Books

October 26th, 2014

Here’s something that will have you bending all the classic books in your house: fore-edge painting, the art of hiding illustrations and paintings on the outer edges of a book. The technique, which is said to date back to as early as the 1650s, was recently brought to the webs attention by Colossal, who shared brilliant examples of the result in GIF form.

The technique works by bending the edges of the book to expose just a small sliver of the page’s face. Drawing or painting from that angle leaves only a small portion of the image on each page – not enough to notice on each individual page, but enough to form an entire scene when bent back to the same angle they were painted from.

The GIFs on Colossal come from Colleen Theisen who helps out with outreach and instruction at the Special Collections & University Archives at University of Iowa, and form a series comprising the four seasons on four books from 1837. Each details beautiful examples of life through the year – in a time where people were far more connected to the land and changing seasons around them.

For visuals and to read more visit

Currently registered Wayne State students are eligible for the Student Advantage program – a free download of Microsoft Office!

October 25th, 2014

Currently registered Wayne State students are eligible for the Student Advantage program – a free download of Microsoft Office!

Available for Macs, PCs, and select mobile devices
Download on up to 5 devices
Fully-featured copy of Microsoft Office – for use as long as student is registered
Keep up to date with the latest version with regular updates
Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more!

Visit to download your copy!

University Libraries release custom app for Google Glass

October 25th, 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.

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.

New Clinical Pharmacology Mobile App Is Available

October 24th, 2014

A new mobile application for Elsevier Clinical Pharmacology is now available for you who use iPhone/iPad and Android devices. The new Clinical Pharmacology Mobile app can be downloaded via the Apple or Android app stores. See download instructions.

Clinical Pharmacology Mobile contains some of the same trusted content you depend on today:

  • Drug monographs both adult and pediatric
  • Indications, including on and off label
  • Contraindications and Precautions
  • Drug Images
  • IV compatibility
  • Drug-drug interactions report

Contact Shiffman Medical Library at (313) 577-1094 or email for further assistance.

Shiffman Medical Library Staff

The 16 Coolest College Libraries In The Country

October 23rd, 2014

Wayne State didn’t make the list but it’s still a great group to peruse!

Undergraduate Library will be CLOSED on Saturday, October 25

October 21st, 2014

Due to unscheduled maintenance, the Undergraduate Library will be closed on Saturday, October 25. The building will reopen on Sunday, October 26 at 11 a.m. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Open Access Week film screening: “The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz,” October 24

October 1st, 2014

As part of Open Access Week 2014, the Wayne State University Libraries will be hosting a screening of the 2014 documentary, “The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz,” on Friday, October 24 at 11 a.m. in the Kresge Auditorium inside of the Purdy/Kresge Library. Directed by Brian Knappenberger, the film follows the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz.

As a teenager, Aaron Swartz was a computer-programming prodigy with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. After emerging as a pioneer of Internet activism, education, and politics, he was indicted on multiple federal charges in 2011 and 2012, setting off a complex chain of events that left the Internet community reeling. Shortly thereafter, at the age of 26, Swartz was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Brooklyn apartment. His family, friends, and supporters immediately blamed the prosecutors of the case, who aimed to put him in jail for 35 years and brand him a convicted felon for life. Swartz was persecuted for the very rights and freedoms for which he stood, and that ultimately broke him.

Weaving together home video footage and anecdotal interviews from his closest confidants, Brian Knappenberger creates a dynamic portrait of a precocious boy who grew up to lead the Internet community into a new age of data sharing and free speech.

Help the Wayne State University Libraries create a tool that will revolutionize self-publishing! Your feedback may help us move forward

October 1st, 2014

Help the Wayne State University Libraries create an innovative new tool that will revolutionize self-publishing! We’re embarking on a new project called the Publishing Preparation Alchemist (PPA) that aims to take away the daunting process of self-publishing. PPA will be a Turbo Tax-style application that will help self publishers put together their content, create metadata and package it into a file structure suitable for software and mobile devices. Instead of worrying about formatting and assembly, this tool will allow authors to concentrate more on their creative vision and empower them to easily share their creations with the world.

If you think this is a great idea that should come to fruition, help us get the funding to make it happen. The Knight Foundation is sponsoring “The Knight News Challenge,” an open contest that funds innovative projects. Groups and individuals from around the world submit their ideas and can be awarded funding amounts of $1000 to $1 million. The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts.

Your feedback will help clarify and better refine our project. As a writer, what is the most difficult part of self-publishing your work? Would an all-in-one app change the way you plan your writing/publishing process? Get involved by applauding us or leaving a comment at

School of Library and Information Science assistant professor part of research team awarded $1.8 million

September 26th, 2014

SLIS Assistant Professor Deborah Charbonneau is part of a research team that was recently awarded funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for the project “eHealth Activity among African American and White Cancer Survivors.”

The research team, led by Dr. Hayley Thompson at the Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine, will receive $1.8 million to study eHealth activities among cancer survivors with the goal of improving survivorship planning and care. The population-based study of racially diverse cancer survivors will identify determinants of eHealth activity in this group, provide deep insight into the role of eHealth in survivors’ overall personal health information management and ultimately inform user-centered design of eHealth tools optimized for survivors.

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, September 21−27, 2014

September 23rd, 2014

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

The Wayne State University Libraries are taking part in Banned Books Week through a detailed guide. Check out the links for more information!

Banned Books tab:

Interactive Timeline of Banned Books:

10 Most Challenged Books of 2013:

Banned or Challenged Classics: