Book Sale The Fine Print  
Murphy Library University of Wisconsin - La Crosse N. 36 Fall 2005

Classroom Modernization Grants Enhance Information Literacy Instruction

Recent improvements to the library’s information literacy instruction classroom have significantly expanded classroom instruction options in our information literacy instruction program.

Room 30

The room 30 Murphy classroom has been redesigned, remodeled, and equipped with updated technology as the result of two class classroom modification grants, one for $28,755 in 2004 and one for $17, 941 in 2005 to complete the work. When the library first designated room 30 for our primary classroom in 2002, it was a large room that had most recently been occupied by IT staff members displaced by the Wing remodeling project. We began using the room for instruction after equipping it with borrowed and cast off equipment and an assortment of leftover tables and chairs.

Room 30

The classroom modernization grants funded not only remodeling costs, furniture and equipment but also a Turning Point Student Response System software/responders and a Sympodium ID 250 system. The room is uniquely designed to accommodate both individual and collaborative learning. Furniture was designed by Stefan Smith and Jim Jorstad specifically to accommodate group learning.

These modifications will dramatically improve the capability for instruction in the room including the capability for immediate assessment and interaction using the Student Response System.

Inside this issue:

Library Hours
Telephone Directory
Support Opportunities

Printable Copy (pdf)
Past Issues


Special Collections/Area Research Center Hosts Noted Women’s Studies Author for Archives Week Lecture.

The Special Collections/Area Research Center at the Murphy Library Resource Center and the La Crosse Public Library co-sponsored a lecture at Murphy Library on Thursday, October 20 by noted women’s studies professor and author, Dr. Genevieve G. McBride.

Dr. McBride is the Director of Women's Studies and an Associate Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A Milwaukee native, she teaches women’s history and is the author of the award winning book, On Wisconsin Women: Working for Their Rights from Settlement to Suffrage, honored by the Council for Wisconsin Writers and by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Her latest book is Women’s Wisconsin: From Native Matriarchies to the New Millennium. It is an anthology of women’s history sources in which Dr. McBride provides contextual commentary and analysis. She introduces readers to dozens of compelling Wisconsin women, including Lavinia Goodell, Nellie Sweet Wilson, and Ho-poe-kaw, and is a celebration of the important roles women have played throughout Wisconsin’s history.

Dr. McBride’s talk was entitled “On Wisconsin Women’s Lives in Historical Archives.” It focused on the archival repositories and primary sources, including women’s letters, reminiscences, and oral histories, that she used in writing Women’s Wisconsin: From Native Matriarchies to the New Millennium. She entertained her audience with anecdotes of her research travails and successes. The audience included faculty, staff, community members, and students including women’s history students.

Dr. McBride’s talk was in conjunction with Wisconsin Archives Week, an annual event sponsored by the Wisconsin Historical Society to highlight archival collections and repositories. The Archives Week theme this year was “Wisconsin Women” so the presentation by Dr. McBride on the research for her new book was a most appropriate event. Murphy Library and the La Crosse Public Library feel most fortunate to have co-sponsored such an event and thank Dr. McBride for her appearance.

Today’s Academic Library

Murphy Library Reference AreaDominated by lively activity, Murphy Library is reminiscent of Chicago O’Hare. Weekday mornings at 7:35 am, students gather outside the library’s doors anticipating the 7:40 opening. From this moment until close, keyboards and mice click rapidly as students conduct research, write papers, or create presentations. Groups cluster around tables with books and papers, or around computers to collaborate on projects.

Consider that the library doors swung open 48,125 last month – nearly 8,000 more times than in September 2004. In 2004/2005, the library acquired more than 10,000 books (yes, we still have them!), while our 218 subscription databases were searched more than 2 million times – or more than 250 searches per student!

At the reference desk, librarians answered more than 9,000 e-mail, phone, or in-person reference questions last year. Furthermore, 5,192 students participated in Information Literacy Instruction sessions that focused on how to find and evaluate information so that UW-L students would better know how to use library tools for their academic success.

In addition to helping conduct research, we spend many hours digitizing materials for online access, determining the best books, government documents, maps, and journals to support UW-L academic programs. Furthermore, we negotiated with database vendors and journal publishers, edited license agreements, and implemented software like GetTeXt and CrossSearch to help connect all of our online resources in one place.

Beyond these numbers and observations are the poignant words of students, who, in our Spring 2004 survey, told us what they think of today’s academic library:

“I think that the library staff does an excellent job working with individual classes, teaching students how to use the library's resources. I came in with both a CST110 class and a MIC 100 class, and I now feel much more confident gathering research material. Thanks!”
- Undergraduate

“The library serves very meaningful purposes for my education here at UW-L.”
- Undergraduate

“It would be great to have more journal sources available with full-text online.”
- Graduate Student

“I have really gotten a lot of use out of the Murphy library even though this is only my first year of attendance at UW-L. The main reason why I felt so comfortable with this system is the tutorials that were offered through my courses. I think they were very helpful.”
- Undergraduate

“The library needs more group studies. They are always full at night!”
- Undergraduate

“In general I think Murphy Library is the best place to study and find reference books for our courses. To be frank the service provided by the library staff is exceptional. The only concern I have is regarding in sufficient books...”
- Graduate Student

Tracking State Legislation
Tracking legislation through the Wisconsin state government requires a basic familiarity with the legislative process.

The legislative branch of the state government of Wisconsin is made up of two elected bodies, the Wisconsin State Senate and the Wisconsin State Assembly. A proposed new law may be introduced into either body and is known as a Bill, either an Assembly Bill or a Senate Bill. Murphy Library receives Bills they are introduced into the legislature, and these are made available in the Government Documents Reference section in the Murphy Library basement (current session only). Bills are also available online from the Wisconsin State Legislature home page, from 1995 to the present.

Once a Bill has been passed by both the Assembly and the Senate it is considered Enrolled and is forwarded to the Governor for signature or veto. If a Bill survives this step, it becomes law and is republished as an Act. Wisconsin Acts are available in the Government Documents Reference section (current session only). Wisconsin Acts are also available online at from 1969/70 to the present.

After the conclusion of the legislative session Wisconsin Acts are bound into final book form, known as the Laws of Wisconsin and/or Wisconsin Session Laws. Our holdings of Laws of Wisconsin go back to 1853 at call number Z 5: in the Wisconsin Documents section in the basement.

Finally, the Wisconsin Revisor of Statutes Bureau maintains a codification of all the laws currently in effect in the state, arranged by subject. This is known as the Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations. Current and earlier versions of the Wisconsin Statutes are online at back to 1969/70. Murphy Library holds the Wisconsin Statutes back to 1898 in the Wisconsin Documents collection at call number Z 5/2:. We also maintain a much more user-friendly, commercial edition called West’s Wisconsin statutes annotated in the Government Documents Reference collection.

The entire process is summarized in a nice publication called How a Bill Becomes Law: the Wisconsin Legislature, Wisconsin Documents Z 6/4: or online at
The Fine Print
We hope you enjoy this electronic version of the Murphy Library Fine Print Newsletter. The Fine Print is being made available primarily as an electronic publication.

Paper and pensFor those people who prefer to read their newsletters on paper, a simple, printable copy is also available.

What do you think about this format? Please let us know.

The Fine Print is published fall and spring terms for UW-La Crosse faculty, staff, students, and friends of Murphy Library.  
Stefan Smith

Paul Beck
 Department Chair

Anita Evans, Library Director

Murphy Library
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
1631 Pine Street
La Crosse, WI 54601

UW System & Local Library Collaboration:
Success Stories

UW System Libraries have had a strong and long tradition of cooperation. One of the success stories has been the development of a System-wide digital collection which has opened up the vast richness of the UW Libraries collections to faculty, students and the Wisconsin community. In the UW Libraries Strategic Directions for 2001-2003, one direction identified was to “implement goals entailed in the Report of the CUWL Committee on Strategic Directions for Digitizing UW Library Collections.” From this beginning, the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections (UWDC) emerged. Collection projects have been solicited and coordinated by an Advisory Committee, and technical aspects handled by at the UWDC Center based at UW Madison. Murphy Library Special Collections staff, in partnership with UW-L faculty, have contributed images and descriptive data for a number of collections included in the UWDC: the Taylor Brother Photographs is one. This fall the UWDC has reached an impressive milestone as it celebrates the addition of the one-millionth image, Lois Ireland’s 1944 oil on canvas “Harvest Time.” The rolling hills and farm scene, which resonates with all who have traveled Wisconsin country highways, is collected in John Rector Barton’s Rural Artists of Wisconsin.

The UWDC is just one in a list of collaborative UW Libraries projects which have represented intensive work on the part of Murphy librarians and staff and their System counterparts in recent years—efforts from patron initiated check-out at System libraries, Universal Borrowing (UB) to ILLiad/Odyssey for desktop article delivery. These endeavors have greatly facilitated student and faculty research and maximized scarce resources. This fall the launch of CrossSearch allows students to identify resources in multiple databases with one search. The default CrossSearch database set includes the Library’s catalog which too often is overlooked by students who want quick access to electronic articles. Another System initiative, a pilot of Yankee Book Peddlar’s GOBI database by Acquisitions and Collection Development staffs, will explore using technology to identify duplicate ordering practices and how we can limit unnecessary multiple copies to build more diverse collections across UW System libraries.

Concurrently, cooperation is fostered at the local level. Librarians now are consulting with colleagues in the La Crosse area to revise policies and improve publicity regarding various patron groups and their check out privileges at other area libraries. Each year, Murphy Library Special Collections staff develop programming and resources for National History Day and Archives Week in concert with staff in the Archives at La Crosse Public Library.

The culmination of two years work by William Doering and Paul Beck, Murphy Library and Anita Taylor-Doering and Kathy Kabat of La Crosse Public Library is “La Crosse History Unbound,” a website covering La Crosse’s culture, history and environment. One excellent subcollection highlights the La Crosse River Marsh. A digitally preserved 1913 downtown La Crosse parade film (the digitization was funded from the Library’s Endowment) is another resource featured. This inter-institutional team and project will be honored at the Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference at the end of October as the winner of the 2005 prestigious WLA/Highsmith Award. The award recognizes a “library's achievement in planning and implementing an exemplary program or service that has had a measurable impact upon its users.”

Local collaboration also has been much in evidence this past year as the Wisconsin Conference Planning Committee composed of representatives from Murphy Library, La Crosse Public Library, Viterbo University, WWTC, Gundersen Lutheran Health Resources Library, the La Crosse County Libraries, and the Winding Rivers Library System have been involved in intensive planning for the WLA Conference. Over 900 conference attendees and library exhibitors will be in La Crosse October 24 – 27 for the Conference, an event which will not only benefit the participants, but will have a significant impact on the local economy. Collaboration has many rewards.

Former Library Assistant on Cover of Library Journal
Nicole BrownMurphy Library staff members were pleased to learn this month that Nicole Brown, a former library student assistant and 1999 UW-L graduate, was featured on the cover of the October 15th issue of Library Journal. Nicole is currently employed as Instruction/Reference Librarian at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.

The accompanying article focused on the path which led Nicole to her current position including Nicole’s experiences as a student assistant on the Murphy Library Reference Desk and in the Periodicals Department. While she worked at Murphy Library, Nicole was involved in many projects including updating the Periodicals Holdings List and editing instructional materials. Nicole went on to receive her degree from the School of Library and Information Services at the Pratt Institute in New York City in 2004.

Nicole’s experience as a student assistant at Murphy Library is mentioned in the article as “her first library job.” The fact that all ten of the librarians at Murphy Library who worked with Nicole on the Reference Desk nominated her for a scholarship which enabled her to attend her first professional library conference in 1997, was influential in her career decision.

The complete article is available at Library Journal.

The UW Digital Collections Center (UWDCC), located at Memorial Library, UW-Madison, assists with the creation of digital collections from UW System libraries. Since its foundation in early 2000, the UWDCC has worked collClick to view the one-millionth picture digitized by UWaboratively with UW System faculty, staff, and librarians to create digital resources that support the teaching and research needs of the UW community, uniquely document the university and State of Wisconsin, and provide access to rare or fragile items of broad research value. In September 2005, the UWDCC digitized and published online, its one-millionth digital image. Anita Evans, Murphy Library Director, was a member of the UW System-wide ad hoc committee that selected the 1,000,000th image. The committee was looking for an image that epitomized the Wisconsin Idea of extending the boundaries of the campus to the borders of the state.

The image the committee selected was “Harvest Time,” a colorful painting by Lois Ireland of a Wisconsin farm scene featuring picturesque rolling hills and rustic barns. The painting appeared in John Rector Barton’s book Rural Artists of Wisconsin. The book, published in 1948, documents artwork displayed in the 1940s by the Rural Art Committee in an effort to highlight non-professional rural artists throughout the state. The overarching goal of the exhibits was to promote greater interest in the cultural treasures of Wisconsin. “Harvest Time” and the entire contents of Rural Artists of Wisconsin are available as part of the Arts Collection at

On a local level, the UWDCC has digitized photographs and historical documents from the Area Research Center at Murphy Library. The Taylor Brothers Photograph Collection, located at , features early 20th century photos that document the small-town and rural like in Adams County, Wisconsin.

Letters and diaries of early Wisconsin settlers are available at the Wisconsin Pioneer Experience

You are invited to learn more about the 100,000,000th milestone image and about digital resources at the University of Wisconsin in general by visiting

Eroding Library Collections

The Bowker Annual: Library and Book Trade Almanac (2004), reveals healthy expansion in the number of academic monographs, databases, and journals. Unfortunately, healthy growth has also meant healthy price inflation of these resources. Journal costs inflate on average 8% per year. Book prices have increased. Electronic databases consume more funding each year. Combine the steadily escalating costs of obtaining library resources with the fact that University of Wisconsin System (UWS) of libraries has had no funding increases since academic year 2000-2001, and it is easy to understand why fewer resources are being added each year to our libraries. It is this reccurring purchase erosion that jeopardizes our local and System-wide ability to build collections of both variety and depth, which ultimately threatens the creation of new knowledge by library users.

One way to counter this vampirical pricing trend is to acknowledge the realities of a changing library world where providing access to resources (as opposed to ownership) and increasing collaborative collection development activities between UW campus libraries are both becoming the normal modes of operation. Research emphatically shows “that access is more cost-effective for infrequently used titles, while ownership is more effective for frequently used items” (Nisonger, 2001, p. 13). Wisely, the Council of UW Libraries, or CUWL, adopted the concept of “One system, One library” to more adroitly address the issue of shared resource access.

UW libraries jointly spend $22.4 million dollars on their library collections ($6.9 million on print and electronic books, over $14 million on print and electronic serials, and $1.5 million on a shared collection of core electronic resources). In order to amplify collection spending, libraries should avoid buying the same items, unless local use or curricular need warrants. Relying on Universal Borrowing (UB), which annually delivers almost 700,000 items to UWS campuses and/or interlibrary loan for less frequently used items is a more cost-effective alternative than ownership. To further aid this process, librarians at Murphy Library have begun identifying items recommended for purchase that are already owned in multiple UWS libraries. When staff identify such an item, it is no longer automatically purchased. Rather, a notice is sent to the department that recommended the purchase explaining that the item is already available at multiple UWS locations. Departments are asked to re-evaluate the purchase. If the item is still needed, departments are required to justify the purchase as being: essential or core to their programmatic needs, of high use/high demand (or heavily circulated), needed for reserve, or for the reference collection (non-circulating).

Annual periodical reviews are also being regularly performed. Library staff target low use and high cost journal titles. Interlibrary loan and commercial document delivery costs have proven considerably less than the cost to maintain a low use/high cost subscription (approximately $30.00 per article multiplied by five requests, equals only $150.00, and a substantial yearly savings). To counteract the effects of losing local access to individual journals, a “Last Copy” policy has been instituted in the UWS, which means that in order to cancel a journal, there has to be at least one campus in the UWS that retains a subscription to that particular title (to satisfy interlibrary loan needs).

Savings from reducing unnecessary resource duplication can be realigned towards maximally expanding the depth and breadth of UW library collections both at the local level and the state level. Better utilization of existing system-wide resources can eliminate funding erosion, save space, and reduce overall costs.

Support Murphy Library Support Murphy Library

La Crosse in Light & ShadowLa Crosse in Light & Shadow

Edited by Ed Hill and Douglas Connell

Available for $40.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling.

Proceeds for the book go to the Murphy Library Endowment Fund.

For more information and purchase instructions, visit Murphy Library Special Collections

August Moon PaintingAugust Moon by Michael Blaser

This magnificent oil painting, commissioned for Murphy Library, hangs in the library’s Special Collections area.

Limited edition prints are available for sale.

More information is available through Murphy Library, (608)785-8511, and at the library's August Moon Website  

Support Murphy Library Support Murphy Library

Murphy Library Endowment Fund Makes a Difference!

Maintaining the level of excellence expected in our academic community creates challenges for today's university libraries.

In 1989, Murphy Library at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse established an endowment fund to support and enhance the special needs of the Library. Help make a difference in the 21st century!

For information and donation instructions, visit the library Endowment Fund website


Fredricks Memorial Endowment Fund in Oral History

The Fredricks Memorial Endowment Fund was established in 1994 in honor of history professor and oral historian Howard Fredericks. The fund supports the university's oral history program, which is an active and useful primary resource for the region.

Contributions are greatly appreciated and may be sent to:

UW-L Foundation-Fredricks Fund
Murphy Library Resource Center
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1631 Pine Street
La Crosse, WI 54601-3792

Library Hours
Regular Academic Year Hours
Monday - Thursday 7:40 a.m.– Midnight
Friday 7:40 a.m.– 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday Noon - Midnight
Reference Desk (Regular Academic Year)
Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Saturday 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Area Research Center (Regular Academic Year)
Monday - Friday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sunday Closed
Intersession hours as posted
Finals Weeks and Holidays

Thanksgiving Recess: The library will close at 4:30 on Wednesday, November 23, and remain closed until noon on Sunday, November 27.

Finals Week: Special Hours are in effect. Visit the Hours link on the library home page for more details.

Finals Week: Reference Service will be available 10:00 – 3:00 p.m. Intersession hours as posted at the Hours link.

Finals Week: The Extended Hours Study Room will be open until 2:00 a.m. during the days posted at the Hours link

Library Contacts
Acquisitions 785-8395 Hours 785-8808
Administrative Office 785-8520 Gov. Documents 785-8513
Systems & Technology 785-8399 Interlibrary Loan 785-8636
Cataloging 785-8638 Instruction 785-8637
Circulation & Reserves 785-8507 Outreach 785-8396
Collection & Res. Dev. 785-8567 Periodicals 785-8510
Curriculum Center 785-8651 Reference Desk 785-8508
Electronic Resources 785-8738 Special Collections 785-8511