WSU Library System News

News & Updates in the Libraries

Archive for August, 2013

Can Libraries Survive the E-Book Revolution?

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

To read the entire article, go to

The e-book revolution has overturned the whole infrastructure upon which libraries depended. From 2011 to 2012, the percentage of Americans who owned an e-book reader leapt from 18 to 33 percent, a rapid climb from 6 percent in 2010. Attempting to accommodate this shift, more than three-quarters of U.S. libraries allow their customers to check out digital books, but they’ve encountered fierce resistance in access and pricing from the major publishers. Some won’t even sell e-books to libraries. If libraries are able to obtain mainstream e-books at all, those sales almost always come with onerous conditions and high prices, especially compared to the traditional discounted rates libraries pay for hardcover copies.

The situation has left libraries looking desperately for a way to make e-borrowing sustainable for customers in the future. But they have little negotiating power other than an altruistic appeal to the established relationship between library and publisher, both working toward the goal of a more literate nation. The bottom line is that libraries need to have e-books for their readers to check out, because that’s how people are going to read in the future. If they don’t have the goods, then what will a library be useful for a decade from now?

To read the entire article, go to

New UpToDate Subscription Brings Changes for WSU Users

Friday, August 23rd, 2013


Effective immediately, WSU UpToDate users must register and create a personal username and password to access UpToDate. There is no cost to register. Your new personal registration provides:

  • A free UpToDate Mobile App for up to two mobile devices including iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows phone and tablet.
  • Continued fast easy access to UpToDate from any computer that you’ve come to expect at home, the office, or wherever you are.


Complete the one-time registration by launching UpToDate from the Shiffman Library webpage to take advantage of all of the benefits this new subscription has to offer.
For more information or if you have questions contact Shiffman Library / 313-577-1094.

See instruction on how to register an UptoDate account

Remembering Elmore Leonard, “The Dickens of Detroit” and America’s greatest crime novelist

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Elmore Leonard, the crime and western author called “the closest thing America has to a national writer,” passed away this morning of complications from a stroke he suffered in July. His longtime researcher Gregg Sutter announced the death on Facebook.

Leonard, called “Dutch,” by his friends, after the baseball pitcher, was born in New Orleans in 1925, the son of a General Motors site locator. When he was 9, his family moved to Detroit, where he lived for the rest of his life. He attended the University of Detroit, and after a three-year navy stint, became a copywriter, writing fiction on the side.

His first published story, a western called “Trail of the Apaches,” appeared in 1951 in the pulp magazine Argosy; his first novel, The Bounty Hunters, another western, appeared two years later. For most of the next two decades, Leonard stuck with westerns as he developed and honed the straightforward, anti-authorial style he’d later be acclaimed for. (Hollywood noticed and appreciated Leonard’s gift for storytelling—and easily adaptable dialogue—early: Three movies were made from Leonard stories in the 1960s.)

But by the end of the 1960s, the market for westerns had dried up. In 1969, he published The Big Bounce, his first crime novel; over the next five decades, Leonard would write another 40, many sharing characters (or at the very least, names) and a Detroit setting. As many as half were turned into movies. By the end of his life Leonard was praised by both fellow genre writers and the more traditional literary establishment; called “the Dickens of Detroit,” he demurred: “I was called the Dickens of Detroit. Simply because it was alliterative. I wouldn’t have been the Dickens of Chicago.”

It’s true that Dickens is florid and sentimental and Leonard is terse and impossible to excite, but otherwise it’s not a terrible comparison. Both men understood how important is that serious books also be funny—that humor doesn’t undercut dramatic tension, but supports it and allows it to breathe. Both were masters of characterization (and of great, evocative character names). And both were great urban authors, concerned with and interested in the social relations of cities and settlements, and the movement between and among groups and classes.


August 15: Hidden Treasures of Wayne State University’s Ramsey Collection of Literature for Young People

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Discover the stories behind a little-known collection of rare books that date back to the late 1700s!

Taking place at the Ford House Visitor Center in Grosse Pointe Shores on August 15 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wayne State University Librarian Cindy Krolikowski will share rare treasures from the Ramsey Collection of Literature for Young People, including Lewis Carroll’s 1890 Wonderland Postage Stamp Book. Named for its originator, Eloise Ramsey, The Ramsey Collection is a closed collection of rare books and periodicals related to children’s literature from the late 18th century to the present, and located in the Purdy/Kresge Library on the main campus of Wayne State University. The collection has been expanded over the years with award-winning titles and otherwise outstanding works; whenever possible, recent acquisitions to the collection have been duplicated in the circulating juvenile collection. Books and materials in the collection are listed in the online catalog, but are not available for checkout.

Wayne State Librarian Veronica Bielat will also introduce the audience to fun, free websites that support and enhance children’s literature, and explain how to access Wayne State’s juvenile collection through the Wayne State Libraries’ online catalog.

Admission is $5 for adults and free for students with a valid ID. For more information, visit:

Abandoned Wal-mart is now America’s largest library

Monday, August 5th, 2013

There are thousands of abandoned big box stores sitting empty all over America, including hundreds of former Walmart stores. With each store taking up enough space for 2.5 football fields, Walmart’s use of more than 698 million square feet of land in the U.S. is one of its biggest environmental impacts. But at least one of those buildings has been transformed into something arguably much more useful: the nation’s largest library.

Keep reading and photos at: