Library faculty join students at JUMP for Invent Idaho event

Students from the Creative Technologies Association (CTA), Space Broncos, and the Boise State Microgravity Team were invited to be a part of Invent Idaho's SW Regional Competition event on Saturday, January 30th at Jack's Urban Meeting Place (JUMP). Creative Technologies Association faculty advisors, professors Deana Brown and Amy Vecchione from Albertsons Library, joined the group of Boise State students in engaging with over 1,000 inventors of all ages.

Professors Amy Vecchione and Deana Brown - CTA faculty advisors,
Scott Schmader - CTA President,  Ann Delaney - CTA member

Students showcased their skills by organizing and designing a variety of interactive emerging technology stations. Two of the stations utilized Makey Makeys, a technology available for check-out from the library that allows you to easily turn any conductive item into a button. Bananas, foil tape, and playdough were turned into piano keys run by the visual programming language, Scratch. The Makey Makeys were also used to run giant game controllers that students designed and made in Albertsons Library’s MakerLab. Other interactive stations sparked conversations about virtual reality, serious games, microcontrollers, 3D printing, music, circuits, outer space, engineering, and so much more! It was a great opportunity for Boise State students and faculty to show young inventors the opportunities they will have to invent and explore in college.

Attendee playing on the game controllers


Blind Date with a Book is Back!

Remember the idiom “you can’t judge a book by its cover?” We bet you do. So come on, take a chance and check out one of these special, wrapped up mystery reads. You just might be compatible with your mystery read, and develop a lasting relationship with an author's works.

Laura Coleman, Cat Bullock, and student employees in Access Services assembled a special group of “Blind Date Books” that are on display at the Circulation desk and just waiting for a chance to meet the right reader. Have fun.

Audrey Williams,
Access Services


1st Thursday Coffee and Donuts

The research community is invited to 1st Thursday Coffee and Donuts on February 4, 2016 in the MakerLab space in the Albertsons library on the first floor.

Donna Llewellyn, executive director of the Institute for STEM and Diversity Initiatives, will be at Coffee and Donuts to talk about how the Institute can help to support your research. Whether you’re interested in getting involved in educational research projects or studying the impact of your work on under served and under represented students, come to get connected and learn more about the Institute’s programs.

9 - 10 a.m. – Open forum to mingle

10 - 11 a.m. – Special Presentation by Donna Llewellyn

Also, be sure to invite your colleagues for donuts and coffee to chat during the social hour about opportunities to collaborate on projects like INFEWS, Biomolecular Research Center work, Great Basin or Rocky Mountain CESUs, or other consortia.

You can also sign up for a one-on-one with the Research Computing Services Department’s programmer, system administrator, or cyberinfrastructure engineer to learn more about research computing tools and resources.

Michelle Armstrong,
Associate Professor, Head, Scholarly Communications and Data Management


ScholarWorks display in Special Collections and Archives

The ScholarWorks unit, in conjunction with Special Collections and Archives (SCA), has created a display showcasing many different types of Boise State scholarly outputs.

Both ScholarWorks and SCA are concerned with curating the scholarship of Boise State University, as such many of the collections presented have a physical component that is housed within archives and displayed alongside the more digital quality of ScholarWorks content.

The exhibit includes information about Boise State’s first e-Journal BOGA Basque Studies Consortium Journal, which just released its 4th issue. Several articles in BOGA discuss materials in the SCA collection, such as the Nor-Nun book which is also on display. Cabinets and windows feature books and other series written or produced by Boise State, which SCA collects and many are available to read online from the ScholarWorks website.

The purely digital nature of ScholarWorks presented a distinct challenge to create a physical display, which required collaboration with SCA and Library IT. Jim Duran, Cheryl Oestreicher, and Gwyn Hervochon from SCA helped find materials which would complement each window display, as well as provided tips to arrange and present the objects and information. Bill English from Library IT creatively found ways to incorporate digital components in the exhibit.

The unique aspect of this display is it is interactive with iPads and headphones provided to allow visitors to listen to the Idaho LGBTQ Oral History Project. Additional iPads are available for visitors to browse the ScholarWorks website to learn more about the collections on display. The library IT department also used Raspberry Pis to run a slideshow of art images on a 32” monitor.

The items selected for this display were chosen to showcase the wide variety of research from not only faculty and staff, but also students (undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels), and sometimes even the Boise community in relation to Boise State. Since 2009, ScholarWorks has been working to make Boise State’s scholarship openly accessible.

The largest collection is faculty publications and all of the collections combined have been downloaded over 1.5 million times from people all over the world. We hope this display helps provide you the viewer with more context as to what ScholarWorks is, does, and provides.

You can visit the display on the second floor of Albertsons Library anytime the library is open during the Spring 2016 semester, and checkout ScholarWorks online at scholarworks.boisestate.edu. We are also happy to answer any questions you may have in person (Library 217), on the phone (208-426-2581), or through email (scholarworks@boisestate.edu).

Kimberly Holling and Amber Sherman


Diaries: A Great Primary Source

Take a walk in someone else's shoes through the diaries of people throughout history, and the diaries of fictional characters. Diaries can be entertaining, educational, or an excellent primary source for research. 

Laura Coleman, Access Services, has created a display of some of our diaries in print, but Albertsons Library offers many different media formats. Here is a sampling of some of the items you can check out.

Diary of a wimpy kid: the last straw http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/862083207

The Diary of a Superfluous Man: And Other Stories http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/769343968

Great Expectation: A Father's Diary http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/297117445

From Beacon Hill to the Crystal Palace: The 1851 Travel Diary of a Working-Class Woman http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/56109548

Audio Books: 


Audrey Williams,
Access Services


New Workshops for Spring 2016!

 We're very excited to be offering a number of new workshops this semester! Workshops are:
  • FREE!
  • Only an hour
  • Everyone is welcome, no experience is necessary
  • All materials are provided

A listing of current workshops is available below, and on the MakerLab's Workshop page.

NEW Starting with Python Picking a programming language can be difficult, especially when there are so many languages and so many different applications out there. Not only is Python easy to learn and faster to program with, it is the first choice of organizations like Youtube, Reddit, and Industrial Light & Magic. This workshop will take you through the essentials of programming and get you started writing and editing your own programs. Register now for Friday, 2/12/2016, noon or Thursday, 3/17/2016, 11am. NEW Scientific origami Making origami can be fun and functional, but did you also know it can be scientific? Gain a whole new understanding of DNA by creating a 3D model with paper, while learning about DNA research being done by the The Nanoscale Materials and Device Group. Register now for Friday, 4/29/2016, 2:30pm.
NEW Knitting as code
Get your knit on while discussing the similarities between knitting instructions and a variety of coding languages. All materials provided, and no experience necessary. Register now for Friday, 1/29/2016, 3pm. NEW Paper Baskets Desk Set
Are you constantly misplacing your keys? Need something to corral your pens? Don’t spend a fortune buying something, make it out of paper! Learn how to use the library’s Silhouette cutter and let your imagination go wild. Register now for Thursday, 3/10/2016, 1pm. Lean, Mean, Green Screen Machine
Your imagination is the only limit when learning to create your own images to superimpose. Use lighting and camera techniques to take an effective green screen photo! Using equipment available to everyone at the library, you can use a DSLR and the library’s green screen to learn. Register now for Wednesday, 3/2/2016, 1pm. Getting in Touch with Your Arduino
Have you ever thought about learning to code? Many people want to learn, but never do because they can’t see how it could fit into their everyday life. This workshop will teach you the basics of Arduino coding, electronics and breadboard prototyping. By using capacitive touch sensors, you can interface the Arduino with objects all around you! Register now for Saturday, 1/23/2016, noon or Friday 3/4/2016 noon. We even have a new type of unworkshop for those who don't have more than a few minutes to spare. Pop-up events! No registration required. NEW Pop-up Event: Carrot piano
Have you heard of twinkling the ivories? Well, you can twinkle carrots instead! We'll have the MakeyMakey piano set up to play a few notes. Take a quick break and play for a minute, or borrow one from the front desk to make your own piano at home! NEW Pop-up Event: Numbers and blinks with Arduino
Have a quick look at an Arduino microcontroller and see if you can make the light blink slower or faster. How about a fade? Take a quick break and play for a minute, or borrow one from the front desk to make your own piano at home! NEW Pop-up Event: Play with a Sphero ball
We'll have the Sphero ball all charged up and rolling in the library. Take a quick break and stop by and play for a minute.

Win a gift card

In coordination with the Campus Read, Matt Richtel’s A Deadly Wandering, this stuffed car is traveling all over the library and you might be surprised where it can be found.

If you find the car, bring it to the Circulation Desk. You will receive a ticket to fill out as an entry into a drawing for a $10 Starbucks gift card.

Find the car as many times as you can--entries will remain in the box till the end of the scheduled drawings.

The drawings will take place on Jan. 29th, Feb. 19th,  Mar. 18th, and Apr. 15th. Winners will be notified via email, and need not be present to win.

Good luck!
Audrey Williams,
Access Services