Library Hours & the Holidays

The Albertsons Library will be open limited hours during the holiday break:
  • DEC. 19: Open 8 am to 5 pm 
  • DEC. 20 thru DEC. 28: CLOSED
  • DEC. 29, 30: Open 8 am to 6 pm
  • DEC. 31 thru JAN. 1: CLOSED
  • JAN 2: Open 8 am to 6 pm
Intersession and semester library hours are available at http://goo.gl/oiMq21

Have a great holiday break!


Stress Relief at the Library

Comics courtesy of Special Collections and Archives

Albertsons Library is helping you squash the stress of final exams starting Dead Week with a collaboration with Advising & Academic Enhancement (AAE). Staff from AAE will have a table in the library to offer study assistance. You may also notice their study tips on bookmarks, slides and Toilet Talk flyers. Here’s what else we have planned during Finals Week:

  • On Monday, 12/15, Special Collections will have comics from our collection on display as well as materials to do your own drawings, and local comics writer/illustrator Al Asker will be on hand to talk about comics from 1-4pm. 
  • Monday at midnight the library will host a Zumba session in room 201C.
  • Tuesday at midnight we will have a yoga session in room 201C.
  • All week, indoor lawn games will be set up, and available for checkout. If you post a picture of your friends playing the lawn games to the library Facebook page, you’ll be automatically entered in a drawing to win a portable power pack!

As usual, Albertsons is also partnering with ASBSU to offer cram snacks Sunday-Wednesday of Finals Week. In addition, we’ll be hosting a knitting hour from 2-3pm Monday through Thursday in the niche where Starbucks’ door used to be. All are welcome, experienced or not. 

More information on knitting and other ways to relieve stress is available on our Stress Relief guide http://guides.boisestate.edu/stressrelief.

Best of luck on your exams and final projects!

Elizabeth Ramsey
Reference & Instruction Librarian


Library Hours for Dead Week & Finals Week

Ready for finals? The Albertsons Library will be open 24 hours a day during Dead AND Finals week starting December 8th. The first and second floors will remain open too, which includes the library's computer classroom (L203) and its 30 additional computers.

Here's the schedule:
  • Monday 12/8: Open at 7 am and close at midnight on Friday, 12/12
  • Saturday 12/13: Open at 10 am until midnight
  • Sunday 12/14: Open at 10 am and close on Thursday, 12/18 at 7 pm
  • Friday, 12/19: Open at 8 am and close at 5 pm
  • Sunday12/20 through Sunday 12/28: all university offices and library closed for Winter Break
During the late night hours staff will be on hand to answer questions and check out first-floor reserve materials. Free coffee and treats will be provided each night (while supplies last!) by the Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU). An officer from the Boise Police Department will be on duty in the library all night and can provide escort service as needed.

Please refer to our calendar for the complete list of library hours. Of course, you can always access our online resources 24/7 at http://library.boisestate.edu/

Best of luck on your finals!


Coffee and Donuts Series

Coffee and Donuts Series
A community event for researchers and graduate assistants


Library Hours for the Thanksgiving Holiday

Flickr photo by BioDivLibrary
The Albertsons Library will be open reduced hours during the Thanksgiving holiday break. The library will be open:

  • Sunday, Nov. 23: 10 am - 6 pm
  • Monday, Nov. 24: 8 am - 6 pm
  • Tuesday, Nov. 25: 8 am - 6 pm
  • Wednesday, Nov. 26: 8 am - 5 pm
  • Thursday through Saturday: CLOSED
  • Regular hours resume on Sunday, Nov. 30

You can find updated library hours at http://goo.gl/Ef7TKu

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving Break!


The Legacy of Miss Ruth McBirney

Figure 1. Ruth McBirney, Evenlyn Evarts (left), and Lois Hansen (right).
Boise Junior College librarians. University archives photo.
A new exhibit celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Albertsons Library is now up! This second exhibit of the year showcases Ruth McBirney, Head Librarian from 1954 to 1977. But, who was this woman? Why is there an entire exhibit on her? Ruth was a key figure that helped transform Boise Junior College into Boise State University. With her strong commitment to education and to Boise State, Ruth worked effortlessly for 23 years to ensure the library kept up with academic needs.

Ruth, a Boise native, was born on January 16, 1918. Graduating from Boise High School in 1935, Ruth attended one year at Boise Junior College. A year later, Ruth entered Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, where she studied French and Music. Ruth graduated from Whitman in 1939, and later received her bachelor’s in Library Science from the University of Washington in 1940. Ruth then returned to Boise where she worked as a librarian for Boise Junior College and the Boise Public Library for two years.

In 1942, Ruth went to New York, where she worked for the Music Library at Columbia University.  Her French degree suited her well as she traveled to France to be a reference librarian in 1947. She later was appointed head librarian. Her experiences in France are well documented and can be found within her files in Special Collections and Archives. Ruth returned to Boise in 1954, when she agreed to step in as head librarian of Boise Junior College while the current head librarian was ill. Ruth would find herself in this position for the next 23 years.

Figure 2. Ruth, Robert Overstreet (Board of Trustees), and a
construction official with the cornerstone of the library, 1963.
University archives photo.
During her 23 years in that post, Boise Junior College became a four-year college and, in 1974, Boise State University. As head librarian, Ruth oversaw the construction of a new library building and built the collection from one of 20,000 volumes to one containing 300,000 volumes.

She was instrumental in bringing the congress classification system you see today. Her efforts in establishing a university archives was tremendous, having donated a few of her own personal books to get it started.

Ruth was a woman of stature and character, but was headstrong and fought for Boise State students. Under Ruth’s leadership, the Boise State library became one of the biggest and most efficient libraries in Idaho, despite its rather secluded location. During her tenure, Ruth became involved with the Soroptimist Club of Boise, served as president of the Idaho Library Association, and attended the First Presbyterian Church. With her busy schedule, Ruth always took time to do what she loved the most, traveling. While at Boise State, and after her retirement, Ruth traveled to distant places. China, France, Europe, Italy, and India are among her many destinations.

Figure 3. Ruth at her desk, 1969.
University Archives photo.
In 1977, Ruth retired from Boise State University. Her retirement prompted many acknowledgments from Boise State employees and even Senator Frank Church.

After her retirement, Ruth donated almost $16,000 to form the Lois and Chaffee Scholarship. This scholarship benefited many students studying Music, History, and English. Ruth McBirney died in Boise, Idaho on March 20, 1991.

For more information on Ruth McBirney, be sure to check out the exhibit! It will be up for the remainder of the Fall semester. Be sure to also check out the permanent exhibit located inside the Ruth McBirney room on the second floor.

All materials from this exhibit can be located in Special Collections and Archives in the Ruth McBirney files (MSS 113).

Arthur Aguilera
Student Library Assistant



The Albertsons Library is going GREEN!

The Albertsons Library now has a total of 10 single stream recycling bins available. They are located on all four floors of the central part of the Library. 

These stations are co-located with a trash can to enable items to be disposed of properly in the correct bin.

 The following is a list of items which CAN be recycled on campus:

  • Cardboard coffee sleeves 
  • Clean Paperboard (non-greasy containers) 
  • Empty Aluminum cans 
  • Empty Plastic cups 
  • Empty Plastic bottles 
  • Empty Soup cans 
  • Plastic lids 
  • Paper 
  • Post-It notes 
  • Toilet paper rolls 
  • Yogurt containers 

Here is a list of common items which CANNOT be recycled on campus:

  • Capri Sun packets and juice boxes 
  • Compostable service ware (composting not available at this time and NOT recyclable) 
  • Condiment packets 
  • Disposable drink cups from the dining areas (Coke cups, coffee/tea cups) 
  • Glass bottles 
  • Plastic utensils 
  • Snack wrappers (chips, cookies, pop tarts) 
  • Straws
Please contact the Circulation desk if you have any questions or let them know if a bin needs to be emptied.


Student Art Books Now on Display

An exhibit of art books by students taking ART 108 is now on display on the first floor of the Albertsons Library. Art books are different from books about art in that they are original artworks in themselves, sometimes in the shape of books, sometimes using parts of the books to convey an artist’s message.

Some of the art books you’ll see in this exhibit are handmade books, while others use books in a variety of techniques including paper-mâché, paper folding, and innovative combinations of books and other materials. The exhibit will be on display through December 2nd.

Elaine Watson
Elizabeth Ramsey


The Esquire Service Club and Memorial Mall

As a member of the Boise State community, you have probably walked past the flagpoles on the Quad dozens of times and not noticed a plaque in the ground directly to the north. The plaque reads, "In Memory of the Idaho Men and Women Who Have Given Their Lives in the Service of Our Country." Before its current location, the plaque stood on one end of Memorial Mall that was in front of the library.

Memorial Mall was the idea of the Esquire Service Club, a group of GIs who raised and lowered the flags each morning. The club began soliciting money in October 1967 for the creation of a memorial with a fountain to honor Idaho men and women who gave their lives for the service of their country. The Esquires successfully raised the $17,800 needed for the memorial, receiving donations from local organizations including the Boise Bench Lions. Other university clubs provided help with the fundraising such as the Rodeo Club, Sports Car Club, Flying Broncos, and Hui O Hawaii. Members of the Esquires also assisted in the memorial's construction whose location was chosen to connect the recently completed library and Liberal Arts buildings.

The mall was dedicated on October 22, 1968, with President John Barnes and Idaho Senator Frank Church speaking. The memorial monument was unveiled by Mrs. Anthony Bellamy who had recently accepted the Silver Star medal awarded posthumously to her husband, the late Major Anthony Bellamy, for his service in Vietnam.

When the mall was removed in 1993 to make way for the expansion of the library, its plaque was moved to its current location in Memorial Plaza, a section of the Quad that houses the university's original flagpoles.

Happy Veterans Day!
Julia Stringfellow Archivist/Librarian,
Special Collections and Archives



You may have noticed announcements about the library celebrating the 50th anniversary of its building, and yet, we have this cornerstone the clearly says 1995. What gives? Discover the answer to this and other library history questions at a brownbag lecture by Boise State’s university archivist, Julia Stringfellow. It’s happening this Thursday (11/13) from noon in LIB201C. Just by attending you’re automatically entered in a drawing to win a portable power pack, useful for recharging on the go.

Elizabeth Ramsey,
Reference Librarian

This blog post is the seventh in a series, produced in coordination with the celebration of Albertsons Library’s 50th Anniversary. #BoiseStLibraryat50


Like Eating Cake?

Well we do too. We also like bragging about all the amazing work that our students, staff, and faculty are doing. To combine these two favorite activities, the library is hosting a celebration in recognition of ScholarWorks reaching ONE MILLION DOWNLOADS!

Designed to showcase Boise State’s research and scholarship, ScholarWorks’ collections include faculty publications, graduate theses and dissertations, undergraduate research and scholarship, university publications, and much more. ScholarWorks has also collaborated with campus groups to publish original works such as the Idea of Nature Lecture Series, the Idaho LGBTQ Oral History Project, the BOGA: Basque Studies Consortium Journal, and the BFA Art Exhibition images.

Started in 2009, the service recorded approximately 15,000 downloads its first year. Now, Boise State’s publications receives more than twice that many in a single month and this summer, ScholarWorks recorded its one-millionth download. What has also been impressive is how extensive its reach is. Every month, ScholarWorks records visits from India, United Kingdom, Australia, Korea, Hong Kong, South Africa, and many more.

ScholarWorks also helps remove the barriers the public faces when trying to access scholarly materials. Students, businesses, government agencies, health care providers, and community members all benefit by being able to access materials traditionally locked behind a journal subscription or other expensive paywall.

Thanks to the support of the Boise State community, ScholarWorks has become an incredible success, showcasing work produced by our students, faculty, and staff. Please join us this Thursday, November 6th starting at noon for a piece of cake and to celebrated ScholarWorks’ One Million Downloads!


Meet Amber, one of our new librarians!

Hello! I’m Amber Sherman, and I’m delighted to be the newest librarian at Albertsons Library. I've always been an East Coaster, so living here will be quite an adventure!

Accepting this position has made me truly realize “it’s a small world” because I have two close friends from Idaho - one was a roommate in undergrad and one in grad school. They both love Idaho and have made me even more excited to make Boise my new home.

I received my BA in History and Sociology from the University of Virginia and my Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. I've worked for academic libraries, non-profits, and even a bank, but all of my jobs revolved around capturing and accessing digital information, which fits in well with my primary responsibility of managing ScholarWorks for Boise State.

I wholeheartedly believe in open access publishing and look forward to working with faculty and students to showcase their scholarly output. ScholarWorks is an amazing service for the Boise State University community, so if you have any questions about the project or what we can help you with, please contact me. Or even better, stop by for a chat and a piece of cake during the ScholarWorks’ Million Downloads Celebration Thursday, November 6th starting at noon! 


Need A Little Quiet?

You now have options. How about a checking out a set of Earmuffs at the Circulation Desk? Check out a set of earmuffs, use them in the library until you are finished.

Or, maybe pick up a set of disposable ear plugs at the Circulation Desk. Earmuffs or ear plugs not your thing? How about trying some white noise apps or ambient music? Here are a few app suggestions to try on an iPad:
  • White Noise Box
  • White Noise Lite
  • Rain Sounds for Sleep and Relaxation Free
There is also Pandora. You could  try out some ambient music or a white noise station. Plus check out the variety of  white noise stations on YouTube.

Audrey Williams,
Access Services


Surviving Cold and Flu Season

Photo by Edgar Antonio Villaseñor González
via Flickr CC (http://bit.ly/1wvM0O2)

Although we’ve been inundated with news about the ebola virus lately, the influenza virus is much more likely to be an issue for those of us in Idaho. TV station KXLF reported the first flu-related death in Idaho more than two weeks ago http://www.kxly.com/news/north-idaho-news/idaho-reports-first-flu-related-death-of-season/29025292 so if you haven’t gotten your flu vaccination, now is the time to do so.

Boise State University’s Health Services has a number of resources including free vaccinations:

Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare offers detailed information about signs of the flu and what to do:

And the CDC also has some pretty good, basic information about protecting yourself and others during flu season:

For more scholarly articles on influenza check out the databases collected on the Health Services library guide

Above all, take care!
Michelle Armstrong and Elizabeth Ramsey


The Golden Anniversary Celebration Continues for Albertsons Library

Boise State Library, c1964/65

Once, the Boise State library was so small that it was part of the Administration Building. Then, in 1963, construction on a new library building began. The new library building had its first open house in 1964, and we’re continuing to celebrate the library building’s 50th anniversary with a series of events. Here’s what’s cooking:

Friday, October 31st: A costume contest sponsored by the library’s Social Committee! Post a pic in your best 1960’s era best to Twitter with the hashtag #BoiseStLibraryat50 by 5pm on Halloween Day. The winner will receive a Starbucks gift card.

Thursday, November 6th: Cake! Cake! Cake! There have been more than one million downloads of Boise State research from our institutional repository, ScholarWorks. Celebrate this astounding success with cake and more, in the library lobby from noon-2pm.

Thursday, November 13th: Take a walk back in time! Boise State’s university archivist, Julia Stringfellow, will present a brownbag lecture on the history of the library at noon in LIB201C.

Each attendee will also be automatically entered in our giveaway for a nifty portable power pack, useful for recharging your phone or other device on the go.

Elizabeth Ramsey
Assistant Professor, Reference & Instruction Librarian

This blog post is the sixth in a series, produced in coordination with the
celebration of Albertsons Library’s 50th Anniversary. #BoiseStLibraryat50


50 Years of The Beatles

By United Press International, photographer unknown
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Is there a certain song that instantly transports you back in time? The melody accompanying a road trip where you watched the familiar melt away, and the new surround you. The song that filled a room full of spinning lights and laughter at a school dance. The tune a family member used to hum while they completed a mundane task. The entire album of the first band you fell in love with that you sang at the top of your lungs, windows rolled down. Memories that can not be separated from their soundtrack.

The Beatles are who I remember playing in the background while we sang and danced along. They were playing while we cleaned the house, while we had a lazy morning, and while we drove down the road to new adventures. Sure, there were plenty of other bands and songs playing in the background, but The Beatles have stuck with me my whole life. Their songs still make me smile, make me tap my fingers on the steering wheel, and make me want to dance. They were one of the few bands that as technology changed, I replaced their albums with the latest format, from vinyl, to tape, to CD, to MP3. The movies they made also represent an evolution in technology, from black and white, to color, to cartoon!

Beatlemania hit the United States in 1964, the same year the Albertsons Library opened. The Beatles performance on the Ed Sullivan Show was undoubtedly the turning point for many of their fans. According to this documentary, not only did the crime rate drop that day, but 40% of the TOTAL U.S. population watched their performance. Go back and read that again, let it sink in. Forty percent! 

One thing about Beatlemania I’ll never understand is, why did all those people buy tickets to hear a band play, but spend the whole time screaming so loud they probably didn’t hear a single song? 

Dig the Beatles? Check ‘em out from the Albertsons Library!

Yellow submarine record, http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/42531861
Help! record, http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/4331454
We're Going to See the Beatles!" ebook  http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/870597460
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band CD http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/15860942
The Beatles Anthology DVD, http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/51961909

Deana Brown,
Reference Librarian


This blog post is the fifth in a series, produced in coordination with the celebration of Albertsons Library’s 50th Anniversary. #BoiseStLibraryat50


Maker Mixer at Albertsons Library

Mingle with makers at Albertsons Library’s Maker Mixer! This is an opportunity to:
  • Connect with interdisciplinary maker faculty and staff
  • Take a sneak peek at the library’s new 3D printer
  • Learn about the maker technologies at the library
  • Enjoy beverages and snacks
If you have an interest in emerging technologies: video creation, design thinking, mobile and web development, eBook creation, but especially 3D printing. Whether you already know about these technologies, or have a desire to learn more, we want you to join us!

Albertsons Library Maker Mixer, Friday, October 17, 2014, 9:30 - 11am, Collaboration Lab (room 109C), first floor of Albertsons Library. We look forward to seeing you there!

#MakerMixer #BoiseState @BSULibrary

Mary Aagard,
Access Services


Boise State's Centennial Amphitheatre

 The Centennial Amphitheatre, located on the Greenbelt east of the Friendship Bridge between Albertsons Library and the Communication building, is a popular outdoor venue for concerts and other events organized by university and community groups. Its location is intentional. It was placed on an undeveloped corner of campus, and it is easily accessible both from Julia Davis Park and the Greenbelt. 

The project to construct the amphitheatre was approved by the State Board of Education in June 1989. The structure was envisioned as more than an outdoor facility for university performances, lectures, and casual gatherings. It was also an enhancement to the Greenbelt and a welcome addition to the Boise arts community. The "Elizabethan Fair" design of the structure looked similar to the Global Theater. It was meant to serve as the culmination of the university's goal of enhancing its indoor performance facilities with an exceptional outdoor theater for special cultural events. The amphitheatre was not envisioned as a "commercial facility, but a cultural bridge to city and region."

Two local businessmen donated the amphitheatre. One was Jim Nelson of Nelson Sand and Gravel who was the Prime Contractor for the project, and the other was Ron Yanke of Yanke Machine Shop. Art Albanese of Zabala-Giltzow-Albanese also donated architectural services for the 16-foot-tall semi-circular structure that could seat 600 people. The amphitheatre was valued at more than $250,000 when it was completed. The landscaping around the structure was created to shield it from surrounding buildings and maximize the natural setting.     

The amphitheatre was completed by the summer of 1990. It was officially dedicated on July 3, 1990. Entertainment for the ceremony was provided by Boise Junior College graduate Gib Hochstrasser and his BSU Alumni Band called the "Little Big Band." The contributions of Jim Nelson, Ron Yanke, and Art Albanese were recognized at the ceremony. The amphitheatre was termed "Centennial" in honor of the centennial of Idaho that was signed into statehood by President Benjamin Harrison as the 43rd state on July 3, 1890. The dedication ceremony was one of the special events held that year to celebrate the state's birthday.

When the amphitheatre opened, it was intended for all agencies on a rental basis, whether it was for academic use, student use, or use by an outside agency. The structure was used annually for SummerFest, a popular festival held along the Boise River in the 1990s. The amphitheatre is currently a frequent host of university and community events.

Julia Stringfellow

Special Collections and Archives