Author Archives: Julia Eisenstein

In Memory of Derick Nelson

dereckNormally, the Research Blog describes library resources that might be useful to students and faculty. However, today we are departing from that mission to recognize Betty Nelson’s son Derick who was killed two years ago today. Today’s blog is a reprise of a blog posted that summer.


It happens everyday. Everyday you watch the news and there is another story about a senseless shooting in some part of Detroit. If you pay any attention at all, it’s only to shrug and think to yourself what’s wrong with this city? Another anonymous casualty. But on May 9, 2015 a member of the library family, the UDM family, became the victim. Betty Nelson’s (Head of Circulation at the McNichols Campus Library) only child, Derick, was gunned down in the parking lot of his gated community apartment.

Derick6.1Derick earned his Bachelors in Computer and Information Systems and Masters in Information Assurance from UDM. He worked in the library during the years he was attending school here and was well known and well liked by many among the UDM community. Derick was a brilliant, creative and giving individual. He was the kind of person who would do anything for you. That may sound cliche, but in his case it was the truth.

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to lose your only child so suddenly and so egregiously. There will be no peace for anyone who loved Derick until whomever took this amazing soul away from his family and friends is caught. At Derick’s funeral, Pastor Alphonso Coleman said, “We thank God for the justice while we wait for it to manifest”.

Derick’s story was featured on Fox News and WDIV. Two years later, Derick’s killer has still not been arrested. Crime Stoppers is looking for tips as to who might be responsible and offering a reward.

Here at UDM, thanks to the generosity of those who donated, a tree was planted in Derick’s honor and scholarships for three students within University College were provided in Derick’s name.

derick1Knowing Derick’s penchant for computers and technology, Pastor Coleman said, “Derick downloaded something in all of us.” He certainly did and no bullet can change that.

The Library Catalog: One Stop Nonstop

catalog3Searching the Library Catalog shouldn’t prove to be difficult. Anybody who is used to finding information on any major type of search engine will be able to use it. You’re associated with an institution of higher education that has strong admission standards. You can do this.

A bigger question is, why bother? When any random search on Google retrieves umpty-gazillion responses, why restrict yourself to the few hundred thousand available through the Library collections?

One answer lies in the quality and relevancy of those collections. Materials are selected by Librarians who are professionally trained and experienced in selecting resources and often have additional degrees in the areas where they work. In addition, they work closely with Detroit Mercy faculty to identify and select materials recommended by the professors who teach your courses.

Besides the brick-and-mortar stuff on the shelves, the Library Catalog is important as a guide to find books and journals available online. Currently, access is provided to over 125,000 electronic books and thousands of electronic journals.

catalogIt’s easy enough to find the Library Catalog: just google “Detroit Mercy Library Catalog”. Or, even better, go to the Library Re:Search page at Use the search box labeled Find Journals, Books, eBooks, DVDs and MoreAll electronic books will have a direct link, allowing access regardless of whether the Library building is open or not.

In the interest of full disclosure, the Library Catalog does not yet provide access to all of the available electronic journals. We’re working on it. For now, using the “Browse Databases +eJournals”  tab on the Re:Search page is the most comprehensive way to find these.

Still, enough are available in the Library Catalog to provide one more strength: its ability to provide links between similar materials. Every Catalog entry contains descriptive terms (“Subject Headings“)  which are used consistently. These enable you to quickly link to materials on similar topics, something which can be very handy when you’re just starting your research and have no idea where to go next.

The Library Catalog has been designed to provide one-stop shopping, 24/7, to important materials selected for the Library’s Collections. Whether you are browsing a subject area or searching for a particular known-item, it is designed to make your process as efficient as possible.


David Moody, Librarian

Dynamic Catholic: Be Bold. Be Catholic.

dynamicAs a Catholic and the Catholic Studies librarian for the University, I am exposed to many Catholic resources that fill both the scholarly and spiritual needs of the Detroit Mercy community. In the past year I have become excited about a relatively new organization called Dynamic Catholic. Founded by Matthew Kelly in 2009, the mission of Dynamic Catholic is “to re-energize the Catholic Church in America by developing world-class resources that inspire people to rediscover the genius of Catholicism”.

According to the 2014 PEW Study of Religion in America, 20.8% of Americans consider themselves Catholic. Twenty percent of those attend mass either seldom or never and 28% do not believe the scriptures are the word of God. A 2015 PEW study found that 52% of U.S. adults raised Catholic have left the church. Some of those returned, but 40% had not.

From the Dynamic Catholic web site:

“Growing numbers of Catholics are disillusioned, questioning their faith, and filled with doubts about the modern relevance of Catholicism. Dwindling Mass attendance, scarcity of vocations, and Catholic school closures are just a few of the signs.

The sad truth is that most Catholics have never really been shown the genius of Catholicism and how it could animate their lives.

Business as usual will not turn the tide. In fact, business as usual will not even stem the tide. We need to start thinking on a whole new level. We need game-changers.”

Dynamic Catholic is providing  the “game changers”.  Kelly and the members of the Dynamic Catholic Institute take aim at the heart, soul and intellect (and yes, even the funny bone) of all Catholics in simple but profound and often humorous ways in order to re-engage, re-focus, and re-energize us into the life of the Church and reinvigorate the Church itself.

catholicismIf you are interested in learning more about about the significance of Catholicism in today’s world or you feel your spiritual life is in need of resurrection, I invite you to come to the library and check out Matthew Kelly’s book Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living With Passion and Purpose. Or visit Avail your self of the free resources. I highly recommend you pick up Matthew Kelly’s CD The Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality.  It will expand your view of Catholicism, provide ways to make Catholicism more relevant for your life and make  you laugh at the same time. Or sign up for Best Advent Ever 2016. From the first Sunday of Advent to Christmas Day, you will receive, by email, inspirational videos, tips and music to contribute to a meaningful holiday season.


Let’s face it. It’s tough to be Catholic in this day and age. It’s not popular. But I’m not Catholic because of what the Pope or the bishops or the priests or the mainstream media says or does. I’m Catholic because of what Christ said and did. Dynamic Catholic gets that and provides the resources to help all Catholics see Catholicism in a whole new light. You might even find yourself proud to admit your Catholic. You might find your home again.


From the Research Desk: Welcome Freshmen!

Welcome-in-various-languagesThe UDM librarians are happy to welcome you to the library website.  Here is some news you can use about the library.

Phone numbers:

Check-out Desk: 313-993-1795

Research & Information Desk 313-993-1071


Our regular hours are:

Monday-Thursday    8:00am – 10:00pm
Friday                      8:00am – 5:30pm
Saturday                 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday                   12:30pm – 7:00pm
Hours may vary during holidays, breaks and finals. Check the library website.

Fast Facts About the Library:

The Research & Information Desk is staffed with librarians every hour the library is open.


Chat with a UDM librarian online from 15 minutes after opening to 15 minutes before closing. Use the chat box after regular hours for 24/7 service.




The library has Wi-Fi Internet access: bring your laptop. No laptop? No problem. The library has over 50 computers for use.
All registered students are allocated 400 free pages of printing for the academic year. Color printing is available.

Keep this in mind. You are going to need a scantron eventually. The library has them for 50¢ per sheet. Blue books are $1.00.

Earbuds and flashdrives are available for purchase for your convenience.

Cafe A La Carte is in the lobby of the library for your food and beverage needs.

Electronic Resources and Remote Access

Databases, full text journals and electronic books are accessible through the library portal:

For off-campus access, begin your search at A login screen will appear when you try to access the electronic materials. Login as you would for your Blackboard or TitanConnect account: UDM email name and password. Or, click the Re:Search Portal link at the upper right corner of the Blackboard after you have logged in.

If you experience access problems, call the Research & Information Desk at the number listed above during library hours. At all other times, send an email to

Borrowing materials

The loan period is 28 days for books and 1 week for DVD’s. You must have your student ID to check out materials. You may renew once by phone or through your “My Account” in the online catalog (no DVD renewals). Use the Renew Books link on the home page. Sign in with your TitanConnect account login and password.

Course Reserve materials are at the Check-out Desk (in library use only).

For Your Entertainment

The library has music CD’s, Audio Books and movies and television shows on DVD for your down time.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Come in, say hi and find out what else the UDM library has for you. We can’t wait to meet you and start you on the path to achieving your academic goals.

Resources For Your Metro Detroit Experience

Welcome-in-various-languagesWelcome to our new and returning students!  I know these first few weeks of classes will be busy ones for you – figuring out how to pace your study schedule vis-a-vis your other responsibilities, getting a head start on your term papers. (Seriously, don’t wait until the week they’re due to consult with us librarians!)  But once you’ve established a good groove, feel free to check out these Facebook groups for resources to help make your experience here a good one! (Some of these sites may require you to log in to Facebook.)


Free (or Almost) Things to do in Metro Detroit

Fun Things to Do in Detroit (Athletic and Non-Athletic)

Pokemon Go: Metro Detroit





Historical Detroit Area Architecture

art toursDetroit Art Tours


Dine Drink Detroit [I’m not endorsing consumption of alcohol by those under 21]

Detroit Food Snobs [Includes links to other “snob” groups]

I NEED A DAM JOB! [Yes, this is how it’s spelled on the page.]

There are many more local Facebook groups, in areas that might be of personal interest to you.  To check them out, click on the “Groups” icon in the toolbar on the left of your Facebook timeline.  When the page that shows the groups to which you already belong pops up, click on “Discover” at the top of the page.


Kris McLonis

Associate Librarian

Introducing One Stop Searching

PrimoOver the last few years we’ve gotten requests for a library catalog that not only searches for books and DVD’s, but will search the databases for journal articles at the same time. The UDM Library is proud to announce that a catalog with that capability is coming. It’s called Primo and UDM Library staff and our consortial partners at Dalnet have been working diligently for months to prepare the new catalog for implementation. Over time, you will notice changes on the library’s portal page to accommodate the new catalog.

Primo has many of the same features you are used to. You will still be able to search for a book or DVD, find its call number and determine if it’s available for check out. You will still be able to access your account and renew your checked out items.

But Primo has some new and fabulous features to make research easier than ever. One of the best things about Primo is you will be able to search for books and journal articles at the same time. Primo will make it easier to obtain more precise search results by using straightforward “facets” (limiters).

Another new feature is the Virtual Browse, which displays a virtual bookshelf and enables you to see what items are on the shelf before and after the item you searched for. An example below shows what items are on the shelf before and after The Film Sense by Sergei Eisenstein.










You will be able to export citations directly to RefWorks.refworks

Primo provides properly formatted citations in APA, Chicago/Turabian or MLA style.







personalizeYou will be able to personalize your search results by choosing your preferred discipline(s) to rank material related to that discipline higher in your results list.


linkerFor those occasions when you have a citation to a book or a journal article or you just want to know if we have a particular journal, the Citation Linker will take you right to the item if UDM has it.

These are just a few of several new features the new catalog has to make locating resources easier than ever.

As of today, Primo is up and running to search for books and DVD’s. The database portion will be set up in the very near future.

So there you have it. One stop searching to access a wealth of print, electronic and digital resources.



Two Places At Once – OR – Get Out Your Phasers!

Candolim_Beach_GoaThe first blog of Summer! A reminder of those glorious days spent at Aunt Gertrude’s tea party instead of down at the beach wishing you hadn’t forgotten the SPF-30. People have always thought it would be useful to be in two places at once, and the same goes for information.

Unfortunately, you can’t do this unless you have a clone, and with your luck, it’s the clone that will always get the beach assignment. Same for information. Unless there are multiple copies of a book, it can be found in only one place. There may be different ways to access it such as the stairs or the elevator, but it’s always in once place.

Now, librarians do try to help by classifying like materials together, so often related material can be found by browsing around the area. But what happens when a book can logically be put into two or more different subject areas?


There was an example in my last blog with The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, a classic work dealing with the psychology of religion. Should it be classified with the books on psychology, or with religion? Both are important areas of study, and would be delighted to have such a high-class work gracing their shelves.



phaserIn such cases, librarians often employ a strategy called Phase Relations. (Don’t worry about the jargon, just the principle.) When a book covers two major concepts, determine if one is influencing the other. If so, classify under the subject being influenced rather than the one doing the influencing. Thus, The Varieties of Religious Experience studies the effect of psychology on religion, so it goes in the religion section.

Need a more down-to-earth example? OK. Remember the kerfuffle last year when Kim Kardashian posted a photo which attracted so much attention that it “Broke the Internet”? If we ever receive a book about the incident – and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least — we will probably use the phase relations principle to classify it. Is it about how a single post was able to disrupt the entire Internet? Then it will go in the technology section. Or, is it a book about the role played by the Internet in Kim Kardashian’s career? In that case, it will go to the area for entertainment celebrities.

There are other principles of classification. For instance, a book like Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! will probably wind up in a general number for animals. But, really, the classification is not as important as the relation between various subject areas studies in the book. An important step in research is finding information about these subjects, wherever the book might be shelved.

Browsing on the shelf is nice, but limited. The advantage of using the catalog is being able to use the subject heading links found in catalog records to locate other related material throughout the library’s collections.

Using subject headings in the catalog is the next best thing to a book being in two places at the same time. There may be only one copy, but there are many different ways to get there from here.


David Moody, Associate Librarian

Environmental and Social Justice Organizations, Near and Far

As part of my continuing efforts to increase awareness of organizations dealing with environmental/social justice issues, here are more links!

energyEnergy Freedom Coalition

This is the URL for the Facebook page of the Energy Freedom Coalition.

greeningThe Greening of Detroit

Something more local.  The mission statement on the main page of this organization state: “Our focus at The Greening of Detroit is to enhance the quality of life for Detroiters by repurposing the land to create beautiful and productive green spaces. We involve Detroiters in the process through community engagement, education and jobs.”

restorativeDetroit Area Restorative Justice Center

“[A]  group of individuals working collectively to encourage accountability and respect within ourselves, our Corktown neighborhood, and our Detroit community through building relationships, offering resources and training, and repairing of harm that has occurred between people in order to promote peace, transformation, and healing.”

peercorpsPeercorps Detroit

A year-long mentorship program for Jewish teens and B’nai Mitzvah students.

I’d love to hear about other local organizations and individuals who are doing creative and positive things for our community! Please email me ( if you know of any; and you may see your contributions in a future blog!


Kris McLonis, Associate Librarian

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