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


American Cemetery in NormandyRecently, Sue Homant, Head of Reference Services at the library, discussed her trip to Normandy, France with Cameron Pierson, library intern. Her experiences (and pictures) had them thinking about D-Day and the part librarians played in World War II. So, they dug a little deeper. 


American Cemetery, Normandy, France


    72 years ago, on 6 June 1944, the Allied Forces landed on Normandy in an event that would become known as D-Day. This was a major turning point in the war, contributing to the eventual defeat of the Axis Powers. Now, in 2016, most of us know of these events, either from our grandparents, school, or the History Channel. Yet, what is lesser known are the efforts undertaken by the American Library Association to insure that our men in uniform, no matter where they were in the world, would still have access to reading material.

German bunker2

    The Victory Book Campaign (V.B.C.) was a program that worked to maintain and enhance library services to those in the Army, Navy, and the Marines. Such services were spurred by the previous World War and laid the groundwork for continued library support, even to this day. Initiated by the leaders of the American Library Association, the campaign itself is said to have had mixed results as it worked within a war-time backdrop. Nonetheless, the program was able to collect in excess of a million books which were used by soldiers for continued education, technical support, and even leisure – something fundamental to morale.

German bunker, Normandy, France


Remnents of floating harbor     The program coordinated with many organizations (both public and private) to obtain donations from the American people. The books collected and later deemed suitable were an effort to support the mental and emotional wellbeing of the soldiers during such a horrific war. This type of undertaking is astounding even by today’s standards. It serves to remind us of the democratic function of libraries. In appreciating this lesser known piece of history, one cannot think about libraries without also thinking about those democratic values so central to free societies.

Remnents of Allies Mulberry, a floating harbor on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France



Connor, J. (1942). On to victory with the Victory Book Campaign. ALA Bulletin, 36(9), 552-554. Retrieved from

Passet, J. E. (2007). [Review of the book Books and Libraries in American Society during World War II: Weapons in the War of Ideas, by Patti Clayton Becker]. New York: Routledge. Retrieved from

Weeks, L. (2015, July 4). When America’s librarians went to war. NPR. Retrieved from

Written by Cameron Pierson, Wayne State University LIS practicum student.  Photos by Sue Homant.

It’s Summertime!

Laughing Whitefish FallsOne week the weather goes from highs in the fifties, the next week into the eighties. It’s Michigan! For those seeking to escape from boredom, or wish to take a break from studies, there are plenty of activities in not so far away places.

Huron-Clinton Metroparks:
Thirteen parks in southeastern Michigan featuring all sorts of outdoor activities.
Farther afield, explore Michigan’s excellent state parks and campgrounds, but be advised, many require reservations for campsites.

For those looking for indoor activities, Michigan has many museums, large and small:

has an extensive list to choose from.


Gardner HouseGull Rock

In the Aftermath of Violence


At times events unfold that reveal the true nature of violence. Whether it be sanctioned and justified, or punished and condemned, few would argue that the aftermath is complex and full of emotion.

There is room for understanding realities vastly unfamiliar to our own, but it means that we will be uncomfortable. It means being forced out of our comfort zone and into the realms of the unfamiliar where it may seem as if there is little to go on, little to fall back on, little to hold on to to keep our bearings. It’s in this place of unfamiliarity, discomfort, and awkwardness that we must rely on and trust in the words, instincts, feelings, and intuitions of those that we may have felt, or assumed were “others”. We must trust in their experienced realities. We need to hear their hearts fully and empathize with them.

This is the context in which the documentary film P.S. I Can’t Breathe was created and the context in which it should be watched. Rather than seeing the death of Eric Garner as an isolated incident it should be viewed within the framework of longstanding tensions with the New York Police Department due to allegations of misconduct and brutality towards African-American communities. It’s an incident that highlights the stark divide between those who are oppressed by the various sociopolitical rules, regulations, and institutions that uphold white supremacy and those who benefit directly from the status quo.



Mental Measurements Yearbook and Tests in Print

MMY2Produced by the Buros Center for Testing, an independent non-profit organization within the University of Nebraska, the Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY) provides users with a comprehensive guide to testing instruments. The current edition, the 19th, contains a bibliography of 183 available tests and 350 critical test reviews. The MMY contains information essential for a complete evaluation of test products within such diverse areas as psychology, education, business, and leadership. All MMY entries contain descriptive information (e.g., test purpose, publisher, pricing), references and critical review(s) written by leading content area experts. The MMY does not contain the full-text of the tests but reviews of the tests only.

TIPAlso produced by the Buros Center, Tests in Print (TIP) serves as a comprehensive bibliography to all known commercially available tests and serves as an index to all editions of the MMY. TIP provides vital information to users including test purpose, test publisher, in-print status, price, test acronym, intended test population, administration times, publication date(s), and test author(s). TIP is a comprehensive volume describing every test that is currently available for purchase. Not all tests and measures are reviewed in MMY and there are somewhat firm requirements that tests must meet to be featured in MMY. Therefore, TIP is necessary to identify and locate tests which are available and in print, but not widely popular or used enough to be featured in MMY.

Why use MMY/TIP? Maybe you are beginning to think about your Masters thesis or dissertation and you want to know what tests are available. Maybe you need information on a particular test to fulfill the requirements of an assignment. Maybe you read a scholarly article that used a particular test and you want more information about it.

MMY with TIP is accessible at UDM through Ebsco. Subscribers are entitled access to the MMY content included in Volume 9, 1985, to     the current volume, volume 19 and the TIP content included in the current volume, Volume VIII. MMY volumes 1-8, 1938-1978, and TIP volumes I – VII are available in print at the McNichols Campus Library.
articles tab
To access MMY and TIP, go to the library portal page, Click on the third tab,  Article, Journals + Databases. Under Find databases by title, select the letter M. Scroll down until you see Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print (Ebsco) (about 2/3 of the way down the page). You may also access MMY/TIP through the Tests and Measures tab of the Psychology LibGuide. Once you have accessed the database, and begin your searches, note that you will be searching both MMY and TIP at the same time. You do not need to select one or the other.

BeckWhen you know the exact name of the test you are looking for, type in the name in the search box and select the field TI Test Name. Click on search. Here’s a tip: if you click on HTML Full Text, all you will get is a review (or reviews) of the test. If you click on the title of the test, you will get the review(s), and the test entry data that TIP provides (e.g., authorship, test category, pricing information, etc.) If you are not sure of the exact name of the test, but you know part of the name, type in what you know and select the TI Test Name field.

depressionMaybe you want to see what tests are available for a specific disorder. For example, depression. Type that into the search box and select the PU Purpose field.

Perhaps you don’t know the name of a specific test and you are not researching a particular disorder. Each test is classified into a searchable category. The categories are:

Adjustment/adaptive functioning
Alcohol and substance abuse
Behavior assessment
Business education and relationships
Criminal justice and forensic
Driving and safety
English and language
Family and relationships
Fine arts
Foreign languages
General miscellaneous
Health and physical education
Intelligence and general aptitude
Learning disabilities
Philosophy and religion
Record and report forms
Social studies
Socio-economic status
Speech and hearing
Test programs

So for example, if you want to see what tests are categorized under personality, type in personality and select SU Test Category as the search field.

There may be a number of reasons why you can’t find a particular test in MMY/TIP. To be included in the MMY, a test must be commercially available, be published in the English language, and be new or revised since it last appeared in the series. An older test, no longer in publication, may no longer be indexed in TIP.

Whether you are working on your Master’s or dissertation, fulfilling an assignment or just want to learn more about a particular test, MMY/TIP is the perfect resource.

As always, if you have any questions, contact a librarian.



Coffee may kill you. Or your dog. Or not.

coffee prohibitedGot your attention?

There’s no shortage of news about health and medicine.  Everyday there’s something online or on TV claiming that everyday activities or foods may be life saving or can do irreparable harm.   Often the words  “a new study has shown…” is featured in the story.

Your first thought is often “Huh?”  or something similar.

How to know what to believe?  What’s credible?  There’s a good bet that a website more known for celebrity gossip may not have peer reviewed medical information.

Health News Review provides info to the general public to  critically assess health & science claims.  To find out who’s behind this site check the about us link, a good idea for any website you’re not familiar with.  Check out the section Tips for Understanding studies.


Clinical researchers need to publish.  Press releases are sent out by medical journals and professional organizations hoping the mainstream media will pick up the story.  Often video is included with identification info deliberately vague so the local TV new can suggest the white-coated physician is at a hospital  “in your area”.   Websites  have unlimited space to fill  &  need to drive traffic to their pages  likely you’ll find something like this.


The public radio show On the Media recently devoted an entire program to  health news and what to be listen for. A check list from Health News Review lists Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook: Health News edition.  Beware of the words “breakthrough” and “miracle”.  Studies on mice are not always applicable to humans.
The fake news HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver had a recent segment on Scientific Studies. 

And there’s Snopes the fact checking site that’s been around since 2005 and although it is supported by advertising now it’s a good place to check out news stories that are more urban legends. No, Nutella isn’t “toxic”;   another  word that is often used incorrectly in an alarmist way.

Science & medicine are important and so is the way they’re reported to the non-technical audience. Critical thinking is important in all media.


CookeryI like to cook and eat.  To me, it’s one of life’s basic pleasures.  I gain a certain amount of satisfaction when I see my family and friends eating and enjoying something I’ve made.  There are health benefits to cooking as well.  CNN recently wrote about learning to cook and it’s health benefits.  I also enjoy the creative process of cooking and looking for new recipes to inspire me.  When I get stuck in a culinary rut, I like to browse the Gale Culinary Arts Collection: The Culinary Arts Collection includes 250 major cooking and nutrition magazines, including thousands of searchable recipes.  I can find creative and challenging recipes from cooking magazines like Saveur, Bon Appetit, and Gourmet. Or sometimes I just need a quick and easy recipe from a magazine like Good Housekeeping , O. The Oprah Magazine , or Real Simple.  Whatever your level of cookery skill, I hope you find something that inspires you to cook and that you’ll enjoy eating.

Systematic Reviews: not just for the health sciences

1024px-Generic_forest_plotWhat is a systematic review? Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (Oxford University) defines it as “the application of strategies that limit bias in the assembly, critical appraisal, and synthesis of all relevant studies on a specific topic. Systematic reviews focus on peer-reviewed publications about a specific health problem and use rigorous, standardized methods for selecting and assessing articles.”  But that’s just it… systematic reviews need not only be health related.


There are basically 5 steps in the process:

  • identify all relevant published and unpublished materials
  • select studies for potential inclusion
  • assess the quality of each study or report; exclude the poor quality studies
  • synthesize the findings from individual studies or reports
  • interpret the findings, present an unbiased summary of the findings, report any flaws in the evidence

How does a systematic review differ from a literature review? To start, a systematic review is conducted by a team; it helps to distribute the tremendous amount of work that goes into a systematic review, and it also helps to reduce selection bias. Secondly, a systematic review requires a thorough search in multiple sources looking for as much evidence on a topic that can be retrieved both published and unpublished; it helps to reduce publication bias. Typically a literature search does not include unpublished materials or an all-out resource search. Finally, the goal of a systematic review is to present the best available evidence on the topic/question of interest. A literature review aims to summarize a topic.

So what’s so great about a systematic review? The power of a systematic review lies in the synthesized evidence of a topic. For example, at one time it was common practice to place post-menopausal women on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). As a result of a systematic review on the harm and benefits of HRT, researchers found that although HRT had its benefits, it also increased the incidence of stroke and the risk of venous clots and breast cancer. HRT is no longer administered routinely.

Systematic reviews do not need to be medicine, nursing, or dentistry based. A systemic review can be conducted with non-medical studies as well. The following are resources that can be used to search for systematic review examples:

Cochrane Library and PubMedHealth – for medicine, dentistry, nursing, addictions, psychology

CINAHL – nursing, allied health

Campbell Collaboration – crime and justice, education, international development, and social welfare

The following library resources, although healthcare related, are available for assisting in conducting a systematic review:

Boland, A., Cherry, M. G., & Dickson, R. (2014). Doing a systematic review : A student’s guide. London: SAGE. (Print Book)

Eden, J., & Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Standards for Systematic Reviews of Comparative Effectiveness Research. (2011). Finding what works in health care : Standards for systematic reviews. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press. (EBook)

Holly, C., Salmond, S. W., & Saimbert, M. (2012). Comprehensive systematic review for advanced nursing practice. New York: Springer Pub. (EBook)


Forest plot image by James Grellier (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

April is National Poetry Month

poetry month

Take a few moments this month to relax with some of your favorite poems, or to discover some new ones.  Stop by the UDM McNichols campus library to pick up volumes of recent Pulitzer prize winners including Gregory Pardlo’s Digest, Vijay Seshadri’s 3 Sections, and Tracy K. Smith’s Life on Mars.  For something closer to home, check out Roses and Revolutions, by Dudley Randall, who served as a poet-in-residence in 1969 at what was then the University of Detroit.

The library also offers online poetry, such as The New Anthology of American Poetry, or, if you are pressed for time, how about some online haiku?  You could also subscribe to the digital poem-a-day poetry series, or take a look at A Work Day in Hard Times, a blog by UDM’s own Fr. Staudenmaier, which includes daily poems and mic

Finally, if you would like to listen to local poets or work on or share your own poetry, make sure to visit the Grounds coffeehouse on campus on Sunday, April 17th from 3:00pm to 6:00pm for the Broadside Lotus Press Poets’ Theatre.  The afternoon will start with a poetry workshop, followed by an open mic session from 4:30-6:00.


Jill Spreitzer, Librarian




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