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!