Find What You Need With MelCat

MelCat Image

Have you heard about MeLCat, the statewide library catalog that provides access to materials from hundreds of libraries across Michigan? Maybe you already know how easy it is to request a book that you can’t find in one of the UDM libraries? The easiest way to search MelCat is to go to and then from the Michigan eLibrary homepage select MelCat on the right. You can search for books, movies & cd’s, greatly expanding your options for supplemental, educational and entertainment materials.

Once you’ve found an item you want it’s as simple as:

  1. Select the “Get This For Me!” button
  2. In the dropdown menu under “Which library card/account do you want to use?” select University of Detroit Mercy
  3. Enter your full name
  4. Enter you library card number as it appears on your UDM ID – It’s the 14 digits directly under the photo, starting with 217xxxxxxxxxxx
  5. Select the Submit button

The truly beautiful thing about this whole process is that it is relatively fast and doesn’t cost you a thing! You should receive an email in your university account when the materials are available for checkout. Take advantage of this amazing resource!

OER: Open Educational Resources


OER handsOpen Educational Resources are teaching learning and research resources released under an open license that permits their free use and repurposing by others.  OER can be full courses, course materials, lesson plans, open textbooks, learning objects, videos, games, tests and  any other tool that supports access to knowledge.

In other words, free.

Here’s a further explanation:

What are Open Education Resources

They can be a great source for both students and faculty.

You may have heard of Khan Academy It’s a site with videos on many subjects including math, science and humanities. Learn about human anatomy & physiology or differential equations. There are test prep materials for MCAT, GMAT and NCLEX-RN

MOOCs   [Massive Open Online Course] are another type of resource.  Online courses from major universities and colleges they are available in a wide range of subjects.

Open source books are another huge category. Project Gutenberg was established in 1971 and currently has over 49,000 online books in several formats for download to a mobile device or available to read at the website.

Open access journals can be found at DOAJ

Librarians have put together a research guide on Open Educational Resources where you can find lots more info.

And we’ll be glad to assist in any way.

Seeking Michigan!

Seeking Michigan


The Michigan Historical Center provides a unique online collection of Michigan archival material called Seeking Michigan.  Get lost browsing through state census records, death records, civil war documents, photographs, oral histories, sheet music, old maps, and old postcards.   Curious about  how great grandpa Joe died? Was he kicked in the head by his horse? Did he fall into the outhouse? Or was he shot in a shoot out? Put those family rumors to rest and find out in the Michigan Death Records from 1897 -1920.

Civil WarIs the Civil War more your thing? Browse the Civil War battle flag collection.  Check out portraits of Civil War soldiers and even look up volunteer registries and service records of Michigan Infantries.  Maybe your southern relative really fought for the north!

Peruse photographs of Michigan lighthouses and governors and discover idyllic scenes of days gone by in the   Main Streets postcard collection  depicting towns from Ada to Zeeland.

Michigan Postcard1


Step back into Michigan history and have fun exploring its illustrious past!



Sandra Wilson and Julia Eisenstein, Librarian Consultants

Make Your Mark … in a library book … without penalty!

Did you know that you can highlight and make notes in ebrary eBooks just like in a print book … all without incurring a library fine? To take advantage of this eBook functionality, sign in to your account. To sign in to an account within the ebrary eBook collection, click the Sign In link located in the upper right corner of the webpage.

Clicking on the Sign In link will bring up the Knowledge log in screen. Once you have logged in, you can use eBook tools like:

Bookshelf:  Add a frequently used book to a virtual Bookshelf for quicker access in the future.

Find the book you want to add to your virtual bookshelf. Click on the Add to Bookshelf button.

The next time you want to access that book, sign in, then click on the Bookshelf tab in the top left corner of the webpage.

Bookshelf also allows you to create folders for your electronic books so you can keep them organized by class, subject, or specialty.

Click image for how-to video


eBooks can be highlighted just like a print book … but the highlighting can also be removed … unlike a print book. To highlight a particular passage, select it, then click the highlight button above the text. If you change your mind, un-marking the book is just as easy.  Simply click the trashcan icon to the right of the passage you would like to remove.

Click on image to access a how-to video

Create Note:

Once in an eBook, you also have the option of making notes on a passage. Under the Info Tools drop down menu, is a Create Note link. Make your notation, click the OK button, and the note becomes part of your ebrary account.

If you have any questions about how to access or use these ebrary eBook functions, please contact one of the librarians!

Jill Turner, Librarian Consultant

Help for your Hobbies

gardenNow that the semester is winding down, and there are several weeks before classes begin again, it’s a great time to think about relaxing with your favorite hobbies.  Whether you enjoy working on classic cars, cooking up a storm, traveling, or something completely different, the UDM Library has databases with helpful and interesting information on just about everything.

  •  For the classic car enthusiast or anyone who wants to save money repairing their own car, this database includes step-by-step service and repair instructions, vacuum and wiring diagrams, and close-up photos for thousands of cars with makes and models spanning 30 years.

  • Culinary Arts Collection  This database includes recipes, restaurant reviews, and journal articles on cooking and nutrition.   pan

  • Fine Arts & Music Collection  Students and professionals can find fascinating information and articles on drama, music, art history and films by searching or browsing this database.

  • HeritageQuest   Explore your family history by looking through this database, which includes census rolls, slave records, revolutionary war sources, local history books, and veterans records.

  • Home Improvement Collection    This database includes do-it-yourself instructions, tips on selecting tools and materials, and even zoning information for anyone working on a modern or historic home.

  • Pop Culture Collection   This wide-ranging collection covers various aspects of modern arts and culture including sources such as the New Yorker, Billboard, and Film Journal International.

Jill Spreitzer, Librarian


The last blog post about searching the UDM Library Catalog took a brief look at the Advanced Search option, as pictured here.

advanced screen 2

The Advanced Search provides a clear way to search multiple areas of the catalog record, and options to set pre-search limits by location or format.

power searchThe Power Search, as seen here, expands on these capabilities by adding the element of logic. If your screen name is Mr. Spock you will understand this better than I do, but here we go anyway.

The first two columns, with the drop down menus for searching various areas of the catalog record and the blank boxes for search term(s) are familiar. (By the way, we’ll stick to just basic keyword for today.)

It’s that third column, with the drop-down menus containing logical (Boolean) operators that are new. These define certain logical relationships between the search terms. You went over all this in High School Algebra, but since that was probably a whole month ago, a refresher might be helpful.


AND is very familiar whether you know it or not, since it is the basic, default relationship I between any two terms in a keyword search. It simply retrieves entries that match both of the search terms.

For example, let’s say are looking for library materials about both Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton. (Aren’t they up to something again?).  Your Power Search screen will look something like this

Keyword                   Hillary Clinton                     and

Keyword                   Bill Clinton

This search will produce 57 entries. The order of terms does not matter.


OR will include all catalog records containing either or both of the terms. This can produce a more complete list of materials, but the problem is that the list can become too complete. For example, this search

Keyword                   Hillary Clinton                     OR

Keyword`                 Bill Clinton

produces 1417 entries, many of them official documents from Bill Clinton’s terms as President. Again, the order of terms does not matter.

This aspect can be unwieldy, but the OR has another use that can be very helpful. For example, assume you want information on Hillary Clinton’s proposals on healthcare. Or is that health care?  Nobody seems to know for sure. The OR operator can help you search for both terms at once:

Keyword                   Health care              OR

Keyword                   Healthcare               AND

Keyword                   Hillary Clinton

producing 21 entries, with both spellings, in one search.


NOT builds a list of results from the first term, then excludes are entries which also match succeeding terms. As opposed to other operators, the order of terms is critical.

Keyword                   Hillary Clinton                     NOT

Keyword                   Bill Clinton                            = 158 entries.


Keyword                   Bill Clinton                            NOT

Keyword                   Hillary Clinton                     = 1259 entries

This happens because the catalog has many more entries for Bill Clinton, so the list generated from the first term is much larger.


The XOR is known to those who worry about stuff like this as the “exclusive or”. We can just call it “One or the other, but not both”. It’s hard to think of a reason to use this except being so tired from catalog searching that you can handle one Clinton, but not both.

As with AND / OR, the order of terms does not matter. Bill Clinton has 1316 records by himself, Hillary Clinton 158. The search

Keyword                   Bill Clinton                XOR

Keyword                   Hillary Clinton

produces 1360 entries, the same as when Hillary Clinton is used at the first term.

Play around with the Power Search a bit! It’s part of your technology fee, after all, so you might as well have fun using it.



David Moody, Associate Librarian


Summer Blockbuster Movies


Summer time and the livin’ is easy.  Check out (literally and figuratively) our summer blockbuster movies.

JawsJaws. Celebrating its 40th year anniversary! Story of a killer shark that has taken over the waters near a seaside community, and the three men who set out to kill it.


ETE. T. the Extra-Terrestrial. A ten-year-old boy befriends a creature from another planet that has been stranded on Earth.


shrekShrek. A reclusive ogre and a chatterbox donkey go on a quest to rescue a princess for a tyrannical lord.


Ghost bustersGhost Busters. A group of parapsychologists start a ghost removal service.



animal houseAnimal House. Faber College has one frat house so disreputable it will take anyone. The campuses only other frat house is full of white, Anglo-Saxon, rich young men that no one can stand except Dean Wormer. The Dean enlists the help of their fraternity to get the boys of Delta House off campus. The Dean’s plan comes into play just before the homecoming parade.


Lion KingLion King. Simba begins life as an honored prince, son of the powerful King Mufasa. The cub’s happy childhood turns tragic when his evil uncle Scar murders Mufasa and drives Simba away from the kingdom. In exile, the young lion befriends the comically bumbling pair of Pumbaa the warthog and Timon the meerkat and lives a carefree jungle life. As he approaches adulthood, however, he is visited by the spirit of his father, who instructs him to defeat the nefarious Scar and reclaim his rightful throne.


Dark KnightDark Knight. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman raises the stakes on his war on crime and sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker. The Joker, whose eerie grin and laughter characterize his emotional and mental instability, becomes a dangerous adversary that Batman seeks to stop at all costs.

Also use the catalog to find The Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Grease, Independence Day, Marvel’s the Avengers, Guardians, Back to the Future, Die Hard, and more.  Break out the popcorn and enjoy! Popcorn

Sue Homant, Librarian

Copyright Free Images.

Library of Congress

Library of Congress


Including a few images can make a presentation much more interesting.  Several sites come to mind:


The Library of Congress collections are a good source of such material–photographs, and posters such as the one above:


For scientific subjects one can go to:


Note: you should always acknowledge the source of the material even if it is free of copyright restrictions.






Summer Listening

If you love to read, but don’t have time try an audio book!  Here are some from the library’s collection:

Book1Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo.  Annawadi is a settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are filled with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal.



Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson.  On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, and lets out a lusty wail. As she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny?


Book3Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris.  From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler’s experiences. Whether railing against the habits of litterers in the English countryside or marveling over a disembodied human arm in a taxidermist’s shop, Sedaris takes us on side-splitting adventures that are not to be forgotten.


Book4Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King.  Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless– mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the ‘steam’ that children with the ‘shining’ produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Book5The Time Keeper, by Mitch Albom.  After being punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift, Father Time returns to Earth along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.





The Racketeer, by John Grisham.  Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fogletree just became number five. His body was found in the basement of a lakeside cabin he had built himself and frequently used on weekends. When he did not show up for a trial on Monday morning, his law clerks panicked, called the FBI, and in due course the agents found the crime scene. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies, Judge Fogletree and his young secretary. I did not know Judge Fogletree, but I know who killed him, and why. I am a lawyer, and I am in prison. It’s a long story.

Book8Where’d you go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple.  Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears.

For Derick Nelson

Derick3Normally, the Research Blog describes library resources that might be useful to students and faculty. However, today we are departing from that mission. Due to extraordinarily tragic circumstances, this blog posting is dedicated to Betty Nelson’s son Derick.

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. Crime Stoppers is looking for any tips as to who might be responsible and offering a $7,500 reward.

Here at UDM, a memorial fund has been established in Derick’s name to plant a tree in his honor and to provide a scholarship for a student within University College.

If you would like to contribute to the Derick Nelson Memorial Fund, here’s how:

Online Credit Card Gifts

1.    Visit

2.    Enter the donation amount

3.    Under Designation, select Area of greatest need from the drop-down menu

4.    In the Additional Comments box, add Derick Nelson Memorial Fund.

5.    Enter tribute information

Cash or Check Gifts

Gift envelopes are at the McNichols Campus library at the Checkout and Customer Service Desk.

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.


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