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Title: 5 Cool Research Tools
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Abstract: The AU Library wants to make your research easier and more rewarding. Here are five of the terrific tools that we offer to make your academic life a little simpler.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 04/11/2014
Content:

We are on a mission to make your research easier and more rewarding. Below we've listed five terrific tools that we offer to make your academic life a little simpler.

  • Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote

    1. Free Citation Software

    Programs like EndNote, Mendeley, and Zotero make it simple to grab citations throughout your research process and format them as needed. These citation managers can retrieve citations as you research, generate a bibliography, and help you maintain your own database of citations used throughout your academic career.

    Check out our Citation Style Guide to learn more and find the best program for you!

  • Poster Printer

    2. Poster Printer

    Our large format printer is perfect for creating professional looking posters for presentations, fairs, or projects. We have compiled a selection of helpful poster creation resources, including websites with downloadable templates, poster dos & don’ts, and design tips. Visit the Library website to explore these resources. You can also email us at autechservices@gmail.com to make an appointment for printing or request more information.

  • LibX

    3. LibX

    LibX American University Edition browser extension provides direct access to your Library's resources. This allows you to search our collections through an adaptive, configurable search box. LibX offers a “magic search” feature, which locates electronically available and accessible copies of articles through Google Scholar. Take LibX for a test drive on our research page and then scroll down to “other research tools”.

  • 3d printed model

    4. 3D Printer

    Create scale models, small props for films or photographs, or generate design prototypes with 3D printing at the library. Now located on the Lower Level, directly across from the Technology Services Desk, this is an inexpensive and fun way to test out your ideas. Let your imagination run wild and then email us at autechservices@gmail.com to make a reservation. For more information, visit our website.

  • BrowZine

    5. BrowZine

    This app can turn your tablet (or one checked out from Technology Services) into a bookshelf of your most-used journals! BrowZine works by organizing the articles found in Open Access and subscription databases, uniting them into complete journals, then arranging these journals on a digital newsstand. The result is an easy and familiar way to browse, read, and monitor scholarly journals across the disciplines. BrowZine is available for free download from the App Store or Google Play Store. Once downloaded, select American University and login with your credentials.

Want more great tips about our resources and tools? Stop by to talk to one of our Reference and Research Assistance Librarians today!

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Title: See What We Have to Offer at the Music Library
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Abstract: The AU Music Library is home to a range of materials and services available to all students. With a collection that includes musicals on DVD; over 10,000 CDs; scores; and music magazines, we have something for everyone.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 04/08/2014
Content:

Everyone already knows that the AU Library is the place for DVDs, reference help, comfy chairs, and printing. BUT, did you know that the AU Library also has a Music Library?

Across Massachusetts Ave. from main campus in the Katzen Arts Center, the Music Library is worth the walk for anyone with even a casual interest in music.

Our collection includes thousands of scores for you to look through and borrow, so if you’re starting to learn to play an instrument, we can find music appropriate for any skill level. If you haven’t touched that trumpet since high school band, and are looking to get back into it, we have a terrific selection of Popular, Classical, Jazz, and Musical scores. With practice scores for all ability levels, we can help you refine your already polished technique—or take a stab a teaching yourself how to play. No, you don’t need to be a music-major or even be taking classes in the Department of Performing Arts—if you go to AU, you can borrow from us.

The Music Library also has over 10,000 CDs. We know you stream stuff and YouTube things. (We do too!) But sometimes CDs are great—for sound quality, for album artwork and notes, and for having the whole thing. We have a lot of classical and jazz CDs, as well as classic rock, hip hop, pop, world, and folk. You can borrow up to 5 CDs at a time, keep them for a week, and return them to us or the borrowing desk in Bender Library.

Our music collection is only the tip of the iceberg. We also have DVDs of musicals (borrow for class or for fun), selected scripts (find the perfect monologue for your next audition), and computers with specialized software including Finale. We have a selection of magazines, from mainstream music industry big-hitter Billboard to the UK’s premiere experimental music magazine, The Wire, plus a comfortable reading area for relaxing in between classes.

Our greatest asset, though, is our staff. We’re all into, and love to talk, music—styles, bands, records, and more. There’s tons of music out there, clickable and in your face, but sometimes it’s nice to just talk to someone about music and what you’re into. That’s where we come in. 

Curious? You are always welcome to visit us in Katzen First Floor. During the semester, we’re open Monday–Thursday 9am–8pm, Friday 9am–5pm, and Saturday 11am–4pm.

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Title: AU Alumni and Friends Meet Up for Fun, Games, and Scholarship
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Abstract: Library friends and donors enhanced our Game Design & Persuasive Play collection at our recent Gaming with a Purpose fundraising event. This new collection will support the new MA in Game Design & Persuasive Play’s program in the School of Communication.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 04/02/2014
Content:

Donors, alumni, faculty, and students all came together to support the new Master of Arts in Game Design at Gaming with a Purpose, a fundraising event hosted by the Library on March 18. This event featured game materials that donors could choose as a gift to the Library in support of this new initiative. All of the event proceeds from the event will be used to support development of this collection.

American University's Master of Arts in Game Design in the School of Communication and College of Arts and Sciences is a unique, multi-disciplinary program focused on game design, play theory, and game engagement strategies intended to influence non-game contexts and challenges. The program is designed to develop the intellectual capacity of students as designers, developers, consumers, and games administrators. This is the only degree in persuasive play in the United States. Students who graduate from the program will be prepared to for a wide variety of jobs utilizing next-generation media engagement to change people’s interests, activities, and opinions.

Lindsay Grace, Director of the Persuasive Play Initiative, is a game designer and researcher. His game designs have received awards from Games for Change Festival, Meaningful Play, Advances in Computer Entertainment, and Gamescape. He has published more than 25 papers, articles, and book chapters on games since 2009. Grace describes AU's concept of gaming with a purpose as "games that go beyond entertainment—pursuing how games can change people’s behavior and how to produce socially responsible games.”

To support this initiative, the Library needs to build a collection of materials relevant to the field. To that end, we have been purchasing scholarly books in this field and speaking with faculty members about their instructional needs. They requested a substantial number of games—and we are pleased to fulfill this request.

The games that we acquired through the generosity of our donors include classic games, which can be used to teach the fundamentals of game development; vintage games, which can be used to increase our understanding of a specific era; war games, which simulate the complexity and strategy of combat situations; games based on real-world scenarios, such as a pandemic outbreak, which illustrate the theories of persuasive play; and others. The materials that we have acquired to support this program aid faculty to create a framework for discussion in their classrooms. Adding games to the curriculum is an ideal way to give students a hands-on understanding of the theory and mechanisms of game design and persuasive play.

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Title: Not Just Words: Symposium on Language & Endangered Alphabets
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Abstract: Languages and alphabets are not just historical artifacts—they also shape our cultures and perceptions of the world. This symposium will explore the importance of language and what happens when languages and writing systems die out.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 04/01/2014
Content:

Language and alphabets are critically connected to culture and help shape how their users view the world. Today, many languages and alphabets are considered “endangered.” What does that mean for the remaining speakers of these languages and for the cultures that created them? Our upcoming Symposium on Language & Endangered Alphabets explores the loss of global cultural diversity that occurs when languages and writing systems disappear.

The opening workshop, “Language Matters: Change, Choice, and Consequences” will be led by faculty from American University: Naomi Susan Baron, Professor of Linguistics in the Department of World Languages and Cultures (CAS) and Executive Director of the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning, and Chip Gerfen, Professor and Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures (CAS). They will focus on why language, which we often take for granted, is so important, including the social, political, economic, and cultural forces that shape language usage. The discussion will draw on examples of change in spoken and written languages, both historical and modern.

Following this workshop, special guest Tim Brookes will discuss his Endangered Alphabets project. The director of the Professional Writing program at Champlain College, Professor Brookes, founded this project in 2009. As part of the project, he has created carved texts in more than 25 of the world's 30+ endangered writing systems. Exhibited throughout the United States and around the world, his work draws attention to the issue of endangered alphabets and their influence on cultures. Currently, Professor Brookes and his students are raising money to publish books in the languages of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. Providing texts published in these languages to schools will help more students, who may not speak the national language of Bangla, further their education. More information about this and other initiatives in the Endangered Alphabets project can be found on the project website www.endangeredalphabets.com.

Carvings from the Endangered Alphabets project will be on display during the reception. Professor Brookes will also have a few copies of his book, Endangered Alphabets; additional copies will be available to order. Several carvings will remain on exhibit on the Lower Level of the Library through mid-May 2014.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and neighbors are welcome to attend all or part of the symposium. There is no cost to attend, but RSVPs are appreciated for the reception.

Symposium on Language & Endangered Alphabets

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Bender Library, Mud Box (Lower Level)
Participants are invited to attend all or portions of the event.

3–4pm: Language Matters: Change, Choice, and Consequences with Naomi Susan Baron & Chip Gerfen

4–5pm: Endangered Alphabets with Tim Brookes

5pm: Reception and Viewing, Endangered Alphabets carvings

This event is part of the new AU Library Presents series. It is co-sponsored by the American University Library; University Honors Program; American University World Languages & Cultures; Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning; and the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center.

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Title: Take the Tension out of Presentations with the Kogod Center for Business Communications at the Library
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Abstract: The Kogod Center for Business Communications joins the Library through April 25 to help you with professional communications. Drop in or make an appointment for help with public speaking, presentations, and business writing.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 03/27/2014
Content:

The Kogod Center for Business Communications now offers a Professional Communications service in Room 1 of the Research Commons at Bender Library to provide help with presentations, public speaking, and business writing.

This service is available to all AU students, so no matter what your major is, come by for personal assistance with your professional communications!

The service runs March 25–April 25, 2014, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 3:30–5:30 p.m. and Fridays 12–2 p.m. Appointments are preferred, but drop-ins are accepted as space allows. Make an appointment online or by calling 202-885-1920.

Visit Professional Communications to

  • Practice a presentation or speech and receive supportive, insightful suggestions
  • Overcome public-speaking jitters
  • Improve the clarity and organization of your slides or poster papers

Professional Communications also provides help with all types of business and workplace writing—including reports, memos, emails, and cover letters—at every stage from first draft through revisions and on to the polished final product.

Prefer a workshop approach? Kogod Center for Business Communications Director Bonnie Auslander will be giving a workshop on Thursday, April 3 at 4pm in the Library Training & Events Room (115). “Speak Up” will cover public speaking skills for any situation from academic presentations to wedding toasts.

Don’t delay! It’s not too late to improve your presentation or public speaking skills this spring, and Professional Communications can provide the help you need.

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Title: Streamline your Research Paper Process with the Library
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Abstract: Research, citation, and review are all critical phases in the research paper process—and the library is here to lend a helping hand. With resources to assist you at every stage of the process, we may become your favorite study partner.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 03/14/2014
Content:

It is that time of year again—Research Paper Time. No need to feel stressed, because the library has all the tools you need to handle research, citation, and review.

Phase 1—Research

Start with a visit to the library website to explore our Subject Guides. Here, you will find a selection of research guides, arranged by subject, to help you hone in on the best resources for your topic. Our librarians locate some of the most useful databases, journals, and collections for each subject area, taking the guesswork out of that initial hunt for sources.

Make a research consultation appointment with a librarian to meet in person and discuss your research plans and questions. It is easy—just visit our Ask a Librarian page and click on “Email a Research Question.” Once we know more about your project, we will match you up with a librarian who has expertise in the subject you are researching.

Phase 2 – Citation

Check your citations from the couch with our Citation Style Guide. A number of these styles guides are available in full text online, including the Chicago Manual of Style and the AP Stylebook.

For versions not available online, the Citation Style Guide offers links to other online resources. You may also visit the library to use these style guides. We have updated copies of the MLA Handbook on every floor of the building, and copies of less frequently used guides, such the CSE Manual, available on Ready Reference.

Learn more about EndNote, a useful citation software program by checking out our EndNote Subject Guide. From here, you can download the program, access online tutorials, see our schedule of free drop-in classes, and look at FAQ from other users.

Phase 3 – Write & Review

Now you are ready to polish and refine your finished product. We have a few options to help you with this stage of the paper writing process. Make an appointment at the Writing Center (located on the 1st Floor of the library) for a free, personal coaching session with a student consultant for helpful feedback at any stage of your writing process. Just call 202-885-2991 to set up your session.

If you are ready for another round of edits, book one of our collaborative workrooms for a peer review session with your fellow classmates. Rooms must be reserved at least one hour in advance—and you can stake your claim at the Library Information Desk or by calling 202-885-3232.

This semester, make the library your Research Paper Headquarters!

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Title: Take a DIY Staycation this Spring Break
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Abstract: Recommendations for fun DIY projects, all supported by our library collections.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 03/12/2014
Content:

If you are staying local for Spring Break, consider taking on a DIY challenge for the week. Kick off your DIY Staycation with a trip to the library to find some inspiration!

Go Bill Nye meets MacGyver with Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things: How to Turn a Penny into a Radio, Make a Flood Alarm with an Aspirin, Change Milk into Plastic, Extract Water and Electricity from Thin Air, Turn on a TV with your Ring, and Other Amazing Feats by Cy Tymony (TK9965 .T9324 2003) or the self-explanatory How to Do Absolutely Everything: Homegrown Projects from Do-It-Yourself Experts, available as an e-book.

Give your apartment a make-over with pointers from How to Organize Just About Everything: More than 500 Step-by-Step Instructions for Everything from Organizing your Closets to Planning a Wedding to Creating a Flawless Filing System by Peter Walsh (TX147 .W2756 2004). You can even green your lifestyle with how-to books that offer tips on reducing your environmental impact, such as Green Guide: the Complete Reference for Consuming Wisely (GE195 .G73 2008) and Ready, Set, Green: Eight Weeks to Modern Eco-living from the Experts at TreeHugger.com (GF78 .H55 2008).

Start planning your community garden plot with Homesweet Homegrown: How to Grow, Make, and Store Your Own Food, No Matter Where You Live by Robyn Jasko, another e-book. Or get inspired by the stories told in the documentary A Community of Gardeners (DVD 10136). This film takes a look at seven different community gardens in urban areas and explores the history of the community garden concept.

No matter what your skill level, you can get your craft on with our knitting e-books. Teach yourself how to knit with our e-book Basic Knitting: All the Skills and Tools You Need to Get Started from Leigh Ann Berry or take your needle skills to the next level with an e-book all about felting those knit projects, Picture Yourself Felting Your Knitting: Step-by-Step Instruction for Perfectly Felted Crafts by Sarah E. White.

Trendsetters may want to consider a quirky craft that hasn’t yet taken off, in the very retro Complete Book of Straw Craft and Corn Dollies by Doris Johnson and Alec Coker (TT876 .J64).Your roommates may be delighted to return from spring break to find corn dollies in every room!

No matter where you plan to spend your Spring Break, make a stopover at the Library to check out some books, movies, or music to make the most of your time off!

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Title: Librarian Profile: Nobue Matsuoka
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Abstract: Music Librarian Nobue Matsuoka has expertise in a range of subjects, and is an ideal resource for students in the music program, students interested in librarianship, Japanese studies, or other forms of performing arts.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 02/27/2014
Content:

Music Librarian Nobue Matsuoka takes her role at American University seriously. A scholar, author, and accomplished percussionist, she has lectured on Japanese culture and performing arts for students in AU’s Department of Performing Arts, as well as performing music on campus and throughout the region and presenting her research at conferences. While Nobue is our resident music expert, she can also be a terrific resource for students interested in studying the language or culture of Japan.

Where can you find her?

Nobue’s office door (Katzen 224) is “always open” when she is not working in the Music Library, located on the first floor of Katzen Art Center. She can also be found performing faculty demos at the Applied Music Performance Lab (AMPL), which is a requirement for all music majors. Nobue thoroughly enjoys these opportunities to practice as a performer and share her insights on public performance with students.

Why she loves her job

Being able to work with music every day is a source of joy for Nobue, as is the chance to regularly collaborate with both students and faculty. She sees her role as the Music Librarian as a chance to “curate a community” among music lovers at AU. Consequently, the Music Library is a place where students and faculty can exchange ideas about music, find deeper resources for their research, and expand their musical tastes. For Nobue “the most exciting part of working with students is sharing new ideas with them and seeing them make discoveries as a part of the academic experience.”

In the Community

Nobue has given public performances with some of her DPA colleagues, including Professorial Lecturer Benjamin Albright, a trumpet player in “The President’s Own” United States Marine Corps Band, and Instructor Todd Baldwin, a trombone player in the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.”

Some of the talented composers within DPA have collaborated with Nobue too. She has performed pieces by Fernando Benadon, Chair of the Department of Performing Arts Chair, and Paul Oehlers, Director, Audio Technology Program.

In February, Nobue played in the United States Army Band Chamber Music Series at Fort Meyer in Arlington, VA.

Whether you catch one of her performances, stop by the Music Library for some recommendations, or make an appointment for a research consultation, Nobue’s expertise and talent will shine through.

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Title: Add these Titles to Your Roster
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Abstract: AU Library has a robust collection of sports books and films, ranging from documentaries to popular television shows and academic treatments of the athletic world to fictional page-turners.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 02/04/2014
Content:

With football season coming to a close and the Winter Olympics on the horizon, it is a great time to fit even more sports into your life! Come by the Library to check out our collection of sports films and books.

42 (BLU 4622) tells the story of Jackie Robinson breaking the baseball color line as the first African-American to join the Major League. This powerful film explores Robinson’s first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and stars Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford.

The documentary film Senna (DVD 9023) delves into the life story of three time Formula One world champion, Aryton Senna. Employing a mix of home video and archival race footage, Senna won awards at a number of film festivals, including Sundance. 

From the ESPN Films documentary series 30 for 30, You Don’t Know Bo (DVD 7913) will take you inside the athletic career of Bo Jackson. Named the ”Greatest Athlete of All Time” by ESPN in 2013, Jackson is the first and only athlete to be an All-Star in two major American professional sports—baseball and football. 

Nine for IX (DVD 8530) is also from the ESPN 30 for 30 series. This set of nine films was created to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX and tells the stories of outstanding female athletes. From in-depth looks at individual athletes such as Venus Williams and Sheryl Swoopes to the achievements of entire teams—like the 1999 World Cup victory by the U.S. women’s national soccer team—these critically-acclaimed films are an inspiration for both female and male athletes.

If you would prefer to curl up with a good book, we have plenty to offer. Get a deeper look at the industry with Sports on Television: The How and Why behind What You See (GV742.3 .D44 2012) or Sports Fans, Identity, and Socialization: Exploring the Fandemonium (GV715 .S68 2013.) Written by Nate Jackson, a former NFL tight end, Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile (GV939.M29 J33 2013) shares an insider’s take on the game.

Soccer fanatics and SIS students alike may enjoy This Love is Not for Cowards: Salvation and Soccer in Ciudad Juárez (GV944.M6 P69 2013), a book that surveys the ties between sports and community in one of the most dangerous cities in the world. How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization (JZ1318 .F64 2010) examines the interconnectedness between soccer and political/ economic systems with fascinating conclusions.

History buffs may gravitate towards Baseball in the Garden of Eden: the Secret History of the Early Game (GV863.A1 T458 2011), while students of literature may want to take a look at The Peerless Four (PS3616.A886 P44 2013), a period novel about female Olympic athletes competing in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.

Looking to unwind with something a little lighter? Former pro tennis player, Monica Seles, recently released Game On (PZ7.S456918 Gam 2013), the first in a series of YA novels. Set at the Academy, an elite boarding school and training facility for teen athletes, this book follows gifted tennis player Maya as she navigates her new surroundings. Full of drama, romance, and cut-throat competition, this novel is ideal for some mid-semester escapism!

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Title: The Haves and Have-Nots
Author: Gregg Sangillo
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Abstract: AU professors discuss President Obama’s latest push on income inequality.
Topic: Government & Politics
Publication Date: 01/24/2014
Content:

At the upcoming State of the Union address, President Barack Obama is expected to highlight income inequality as a grave problem facing the nation. Since Obama and Democrats began their recent push, income inequality has been heavily debated by economists and pundits in newspaper editorials and blog posts. Examining the haves and have-nots is not new. Class conflict animated the pages of Charles Dickens before dominating the storylines of “Downton Abbey.” But current alarming numbers are giving the issue newfound salience. “We are at the highest levels of inequality since 1929,” says Jon Wisman, a professor in the Economics Department at American University.

A number of AU professors have studied the implications of income inequality. In addition, Elizabeth Crowe, a PhD candidate in the Department of Public Administration & Policy, was recently named the 2013 winner of an endowment award for the study of productivity, income, and poverty in the United States.

A Stronger Labor Force

In the view of AU economics professor Robert Lerman, the damage caused by income inequality has been “a bit overstated.”

“The content of the inequality, or the meaning of it, is very different from what it was 100 years ago,” he says. A vast majority of low-income Americans own cars, for instance. “The difference between owning a Rolls-Royce and owning a Hyundai is very high in terms of dollars. But I’m not sure that it’s nearly as high in terms of meaning of consumption.”

Lerman would rather focus on expanding worker training to fit the current labor market. “I think the key problems are more people in lower-income and lower-middle incomes having the adequate resources to live on an everyday basis, to participate in the economy.”

Economists have argued intensely about what is driving inequality, with everything from globalization to family structure singled out as leading causes. What’s not in dispute is that inflation-adjusted wages and salaries haven’t kept pace with productivity growth since the 1970s. Stagnant wages for millions of Americans is a major factor contributing to inequality, according to a 2013 New York Times analysis.  

Lerman believes that wages will increase for low-income workers if you make them more skilled and valuable. “You can try to increase wages by mandate, but if you do that without doing anything on the productivity side, there will be fewer workers,” he says. To build a stronger labor force, Lerman has promoted apprenticeships and founded the American Institute for Innovative Apprenticeship.

“You can get maybe six weeks of training to become a simple welder. Or you can have a serious apprenticeship program that gradually moves you into robotic welding and programmable stuff that makes people much more valuable,” he explains. “Just as you can be a cook at McDonald’s or move into a higher value-added culinary activity.”

Politicians in both parties promote Pell grants and community colleges to assist young people. While Lerman doesn’t oppose that, he says elected officials should also consider public investments in apprenticeship programs. “Many [Pell grants] are going for people to attend community colleges, or private career colleges, in narrow professional areas where dropout rates are extremely high. Where there’s not this close match between what they’re learning and jobs, as in the case of apprenticeships,” he says.

Thorny Politics

In the past, many Democrats have been reluctant to talk about income inequality, fearing Republican charges of divisive politics and class warfare.

School of Public Affairs professor Jan Leighley recently co-authored the book Who Votes Now? Demographics, Issues, Inequality, and Turnout in the United States, which examines voter turnout trends in presidential elections from 1972-2008. Wealthy people are much more likely to vote than poor people. Notably, the authors found that voters are significantly more conservative than nonvoters on issues related to redistribution of the wealth.

“Individuals in the lowest-income quintile—the poorest 20 percent of the population—see increasingly less of a difference between Republican and Democratic candidates,” she says in an interview. “If this segment of the population doesn’t see that there’s a choice, we’re not surprised that at this time of increasing inequality, rich people continue to vote between 70-80 percent of the time, and poor people are down at 20-25 percent.”

However, some party activists and hardcore liberals—the types of voters who could turn out for the 2014 midterm elections—are energized by the populist rhetoric of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. But Leighley argues that building a midterm campaign strategy around tackling inequality carries risk.

“It could get you some votes, but again, you’re going to have to play that off against [the question], ‘Are you going to lose some votes among independents and moderates?” she explains.

Reliving History

Wisman identifies historic forces that increased inequality and provoked backlashes against it. After sizable increases in inequality following the Civil War, a populist movement sprang up around the turn of the 20th century and sparked key Progressive Era reforms. The Great Depression led to progressive legislation that, in his view, increased the welfare of the working and middle classes. Stagflation in the 1970s helped delegitimize Keynesian economics, opening the door for lower taxes on the rich and less public welfare spending. “Over this period of 30 some years, this creates just massive inequality that people are suffering from today,” he opines.

So are we on the precipice of another public outcry? Will Obama help jumpstart a new Progressive Era?

“A couple of years ago when the Occupy Wall Street movement began, it suggested that it’s now going to happen again….But it just fizzled out,” Wisman says. “There is dramatically increasing concern with the issue of inequality. Whether that will actually generate some kind of political movement for us to do something is an open question.”

Tags: College of Arts and Sciences,Economics,Economics Dept,Library,Media Relations,School of Public Affairs,University Library,Public Administration,Public Administration & Policy
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Title: Librarian Profile: Martin Shapiro
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Abstract: This first article in a new series of librarian profiles focuses on Humanities Librarian Martin Shapiro. With expertise in a range of subjects, Martin is able to provide excellent reference service—especially for Literature and Spanish students.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 01/10/2014
Content:

Humanities Librarian Martin Shapiro has been helping students and faculty at the American University Library since 1990. A poet, art enthusiast, and former science librarian, Martin’s range of expertise allows him to support students across a variety of disciplines.

As a proficient Spanish speaker, Martin is an ideal resource for students preparing for a semester abroad, studying the language, or exploring Latin American literature. Martin’s experience as a writer means that he can provide helpful guidance to anyone interested in creative writing or literature as a career or course of study.

Where can you find him?

Although he can often be found at the Reference Desk offering walk-in research assistance, Martin also provides in-class research instruction for Creative Writing and Literature. Want more in-depth help? Make an appointment for an individual subject consultation.

Why he loves his job.

As an educator, Martin’s favorite part of the job is “getting to the heart of a question” while working with students. “The most wonderful thing is exploring and finding another path to the information, when one way is blocked. It is terrific to see the look on a student’s face when they have a break-through in their research.”

Another gratifying responsibility is determining which materials would be needed to support proposed and new programs. Martin’s recent work to support the growing Arabic Studies major at AU has been both challenging and rewarding, as he helps the Library track down hard-to-find books that can only be ordered from publishers and book sellers in the Middle East.

In the community.

Martin also brings his talents as a writer to the University and the DC community, through his organization of a monthly writing workshop, his attendance at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and his poetry. Although he does not limit himself to a single genre or school, Martin treats poetry as a daily discipline.

Martin brings that same energy and enthusiasm to his work with collections, instruction, and reference assistance. Working with the Research, Teaching, and Learning Division at the Library has been “revitalizing” for Martin and he enjoys being “surrounded by students and a part of a dynamic, rapidly changing environment.”

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newsId: ABACDBE2-E596-5F18-F92DB16341021FE7
Title: Movies at the Mud Box
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Abstract: For the price of a movie ticket, you can provide a fun, free, safe, on-campus study break for students! Support Movies at the Mud Box through the new American University UFUND.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 12/20/2013
Content:

It’s no secret that American University students are among the most engaged and active college students around. AU always makes (and often tops) lists of politically active student bodies. 88% of undergraduates participate in an internship and 58% study abroad. Students’ daily calendars are packed with exciting speakers, meetings, and events, not to mention classes and homework. Yet even such busy students need some time to unwind!

Unfortunately, as the number of undergraduate students living on-campus has grown, opportunities for on-campus fun and entertainment have not. For the last several years, the University College (UC) Critical Approach to Cinema program has hosted a spring film series in the Mud Box, a popular café space located on the library’s Lower Level. In considering students’ needs for on-campus entertainment, we quickly realized that the UC program could be expanded to offer a wider range of films over a longer period of time and thus the Movies at the Mud Box idea was born.

Movies at the Mud Box will feature popular movies, including recent releases, to be screened on select Fridays, supplementing the offerings already available from UC. By providing popcorn and free movie screenings, students will have an opportunity for a relaxing study break without ever leaving campus. However, since the initiative is an addition to our planned programming, we need your help to make it a reality.

We have partnered with the American University UFUND to launch this program. The initiatives and projects in the new UFUND program have the potential to make a big impact on the quality of students’ experience at AU—and the fundraising goals are achievable.

For the price of a movie ticket, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of AU can help provide a fun, free, safe, on-campus study break for students. We only have until January 27, 2014 to make our UFUND goal—so consider giving a gift to Movies at the Mud Box today! Gifts of any amount are appreciated. 

Follow the progress of our campaign on social media using #AmericanUFUND and #MoviesattheMudBox.

Tags: Alumni Relations,Office of Campus Life,University College,University Library,Library,Library Advancement & Development (UL),Library Events and Outreach Programming,Library Services
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Title: Stay Warm and Well-Fed this Winter with our Cookbook Collection
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Abstract: Introducing our new cookbook collection! This collection supports a variety of academic programs, including College Writing, Chemistry, and American Studies—and provides new, fun ideas for your weekend baking extravaganza.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 12/20/2013
Content:

If your list of wintertime essentials includes butter, sugar, and vanilla extract, then our collection of cookbooks might be your new favorite section of the Library! Spend your next snow day warming up the kitchen by whipping up a batch of delicious cookies, cupcakes, or brownies with one of our many baking-focused cookbooks. 

Vintage food photographs are half the fun of Betty Crocker's Cooky Book (TX772 .C76 2002), which includes retro recipes from the 1880s to the 1960s—perfect for your next theme party. Food blog fans can flip through books from Smitten Kitchen (TX714 .P443 2012), Pioneer Woman (TX715.2 .S69 D793 2012 & TX715 .D7785 2009), and Joy the Baker (TX771 .W477 2012). Cake Pops Holidays (TX771 .B336 2012) lets you recreate the irresistibly cute cake-pop creations of Bakerella for Instagram-ready sweets!

The celebrity-obsessed can find cookbooks from Gwyneth Paltrow (TX715 .P184 2011) and Jessica Alba (RA776.9 .A43 2013)—or try out the Banana ba-ba-ba Bread recipe from Cookin' with Coolio (TX714 .C672 2009). You can even test out Oprah’s favorite brownies, featured in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking (TX765 .L67 2008).

And who needs to wait in line at Georgetown Cupcakes, when you can make your own from their cookbooks, Cupcake Diaries (TX771 .K35 2011) and Sweet Celebrations (TX771 .B467 2012)? Our collection also includes cookbooks from other local favorites like CakeLove (TX769 .B838 2012 & TX771 .B8785 2008) and Sticky Fingers (TX837 .P5134 2012).

Special diets are covered too, with selections like Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef (RM237.86 .A338 2010) and Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry (RM237.86 .A48 2013).

Happy Baking!

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Title: Test Your Knowledge with the Herbert E. Striner Collection Crowdsourcing Challenge
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Abstract: Test your ability to identify photographs of locations, plants, and people from around the world taken between 1945 and 1999.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 12/11/2013
Content:

Are you a history buff, an amateur botanist, or a would-be globe-trotter? Take the Herb E. Striner Collection Crowdsourcing Challenge and test your ability to identify photographs of sites, plants, and people from around the world taken between 1945 and 1999.

The goal of the Striner Crowdsourcing Challenge is to identify people, places and things featured in the images. To participate, just visit the Striner Collection set on our Flickr page and share your knowledge in the comment fields associated with these images. Our main objective is to assign a location to each of the photographs, but any relevant information is welcome.

Former Dean of Kogod (1975–81), Herb E. Striner donated his extensive collection of photographs to the American University Library in 2007. Striner’s passion for photography began during World War II, when he was an infantry officer in the U.S. Army. He purchased his first camera while waiting to be sent home from the China-Burma-India Theater of War and went on to take the 9,000 plus photographs featured in this collection.

Striner has many fond memories of the time he spent at American University and said of this donation: “What I am most hoping for with this gift is that those whose interests in the history of the years spanned by the work, 1945–99, from whatever perspective—artistic or otherwise—will gain insights and a broadening of horizons that will contribute to their lives, as well as the lives of others.”

In addition to sharing these images with the American University Community, Striner has shown his photographs in both exhibitions and publications. Recently, he has begun to digitize his black and white images, for the purpose of creating abstract art pieces with his photographs.

The Striner Collection is extensive and has something for everyone - from images of Washington, DC to famous places in the US and around the world. The collection includes images from World War II and the China—US table tennis matches in April 1972, as well as photographs of local sites, such as Glen Echo and the National Cathedral.

Begin the challenge here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aulibrary/sets/72157634664527565/

Or view the identified photographs here: http://www.aladin0.wrlc.org/gsdl/collect/striner/striner.shtml

For more information about the Striner Collection, or to request copyright permission to use images, please contact Susan McElrath, University Archivist, at mcelrath@american.edu.

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Title: Food for Fines at the Library Borrowing Desk, Nov 18–Dec 20
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Abstract: Information about the Food for Fines program.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 11/15/2013
Content:

For more than fifteen years, we have partnered with the AU community to provide canned and other food for those in need, while giving you a break on your library fines. This year we are partnering with Capital Area Food Bank's Back Pack Program.

You can pay up to $20.00 of your AU fines with donated food. The Food for Fines offer does not extend to other consortium libraries. Food for Fines ends on December 20, so take advantage of this opportunity while you *ahem* can.

The list below details what food items will be accepted for this program. You may also request a copy of this list in-person at our Borrowing Desk or by contacting the Borrowing Desk by email, circulation@american.edu, or phone 202-885-3221.

Food for Fines items accepted in 2013:

Canned food

  • Canned fruits (without corn syrup)—8oz or larger 1 can = $1.00 off fines
  • Canned vegetables—8oz or larger 1 can = $1.00 off fines
  • Canned beans (black or kidney)—8oz or larger 1 can = $1.00 off fines
  • Soup (especially chicken noodle or tomato)—8oz or larger 1 can = $1.00 off fines
  • Canned tuna—6oz or larger 1 can = $1.00 off fines
  • Canned chicken—6oz or larger 1 can = $1.00 off fines

Boxed/dry food

  • Boxed rice dishes—1 box 7 oz or larger = $1.00 off fines
  • Plain rice—1 bag 32 oz or larger $1.00 off fines
  • Boxed mac and cheese—1 box 7.25 oz or larger = $1.00 off fines
  • Granola or cereal bars—1 box 6ct or more = 4.00 off fines
  • Single Serving Snacks—1 box 8ct or more = $4.00 off fines
  • Peanut butter (no hydrogenated oils/trans fats)—1 jar 18oz or larger = $4.00 off fines
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Title: Your Feedback Makes the Library a Better Place
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Abstract: The Library shares revised results from last year’s campus climate survey and reminds students about opportunities to provide feedback and improve the Library.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 11/14/2013
Content:

We would like to thank the grad students for their complimentary feedback in the 2013 Campus Climate Survey! Each year, the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment collects data on student usage and opinions of campus services. The most recent survey found over 90% of responding graduate students use the Library both in person and online. More excitingly, more than 89% of these graduate students ranked the quality of our research assistance as good to excellent, and more than 95% of rated our customer service as good to excellent. 

We know how busy AU students are, and we are tremendously grateful for the time that so many students take to provide feedback and suggestions. Last year, we held focus groups for undergraduate students to provide feedback on the Library. Last spring we also asked students of all levels to draw their designs for a renovated library—we got some amazing ideas! Over the summer, we worked with consultants from Brightspot, a library space design firm, to consider how we might change Library space and services. Earlier this fall, Brightspot returned for a town hall discussion with AU students to talk about how the library can better meet student needs.

Student feedback is a critical part of designing our Library of the future—we could not do it without you! For students who are eager to share more ideas with us, we are holding focus groups for graduate students throughout the semester on Thursdays from noon to 1pm. All participants will receive a $10 Amazon gift card. Please email showell@american.edu to RSVP. 

We pay close attention to your comments on Facebook and Twitter, as well as your submissions to our Suggestion Box. There are many ways to let the AU Library know what is on your mind—we look forward to hearing from you!

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Title: Poster Printing Service Available at the Library
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Abstract: Information about the large format printing services.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 11/14/2013
Content:

Give your presentation an edge!

Now that we are past the semester halfway point, your thoughts may be turning to that big final project, the one that counts for 20% of your grade. The content is critical, but the presentation is too—so put down the glue stick and poster board! 

The large format poster printer at the library can turn out a slick, polished presentation aid in a matter of minutes. Since we introduced this printer, students have produced more than 650 posters and the feedback has been terrific. Staff appreciate printing appointments, but can also accommodate walk-in requests when available. You can find this service on the Lower Level, right across from the Reserves & Technology Services Desk.

We have put together a selection of helpful poster creation resources, including websites with downloadable templates, poster do's & don’ts, and design tips. Visit the library website to explore this list! You can also email us at autechservices@gmail.com to make an appointment or find out more.

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Title: Library Honored with Bowles Endowment for New Research Competition
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Abstract: American University Library is very pleased to announce the Vincenza and W. Donald Bowles Endowment for the Study of Productivity, Income and Poverty in the United States.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 08/30/2013
Content:

American University Library is very pleased to announce the Vincenza and W. Donald Bowles Endowment for the Study of Productivity, Income and Poverty in the United States. The endowment will provide an annual award of $1,000 to an undergraduate or graduate student conducting research or other scholarly or artistic efforts to understand the relationships between productivity, income, and poverty. As Dr. Bowles states, “Widening income disparities and deep inequalities of wealth holdings highlight a classic source of friction in our democratic republic—namely, the need for continual reassessment of balancing collective government efforts to improve the human condition relative to private efforts toward the same end. How to achieve this appropriate balance is a question dating to our very founding as a nation.” AU Library has a rich collection of resources in economics, American studies, and other disciplines that students can apply to the study of these issues.

Learn more about the competition and award.

Professor Bowles received his MA in Economics and the Certificate of the Russian Institute at Columbia University in 1952. His appointment as Research Fellow at the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base in 1955–1957 permitted completion of his PhD dissertation on the Soviet economy at Columbia. He joined American University as an Instructor in 1957. He was named Chair of the Department of Economics in 1961 and became Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1965. Four years later he was appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs, where he remained until 1973. At that time he received a one-year fellowship at Columbia University’s Institute on Communist Affairs. In 1974 he returned to full-time teaching, and retired in 1993. He moved in 2001 to California with his wife to be near family.

Professor Bowles views this endowment as an extension of his teaching career at AU. Dr. Bowles determined that the University Library is best suited to administer the award because it offers support for a student conducting research on poverty through any discipline or across multiple disciplines. As Acting Associate University Librarian Gwendolyn Reece, explains:

“The library is the one academic unit on campus that supports every academic field equally. A topic such as the problem of poverty cannot be fully understood from within the confines of a specific discipline. Often the most innovative work on the urgent and significant issues we face as human beings arises from combining approaches from multiple disciplinary discourses and their epistemologies ranging from the physical sciences to the arts. As such, the library is ideally situated to support this type of holistic research.”

The University Library is honored to receive this endowment which supports the library’s mission of enabling student success and pleased to provide a competition that builds on the success of the library’s other annual undergraduate student awards.

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Title: Top Ten Things Every Student Should Know About the Library
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Abstract: The library has many services and resources for students.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 08/28/2013
Content:

10. GenEd texts
One copy of every General Education (GenEd) textbook is on reserve at the Course Reserves and Technology Services desk on the lower level of the library.

9. Printing
The library has a new printing center on the lower level. You can send print jobs from any library computer and any laptop (configure wireless printing first). Every full-time student gets a new printing allocation of 500 pages (250 sheets) each semester; part-timers get 250 pages (125 sheets).

8. Tech Support
After the Tech Fair ends on August 30, OIT’s Technology Support desk is open throughout the year. They are located across from the Reference and Research Assistance desk.

7. Super Desk
The Course Reserves and Technology Services desk on the lower level is also known as the “super desk.” Why? Because they lend laptops, headphones, power cords, laptop locks, Nooks, and Kindles.

6. Movies
Media Services lends about 7500 different movies, tv shows, etc. Pop “home use” into a catalog keyword search to see the list.

5. Music
The Music Library in Katzen may be the best-kept secret on campus—lots of streaming music is available. Meet the baby sheep!

4. Free Walk-in Classes
We teach free walk-in classes about library research, about making movies, and much more. See the schedule on our website, including classes offered by our campus partners. Every time you attend a class, you can enter our annual prize drawing with great prizes, including a sheep.

3. Ask A Librarian=Research Help
Which of the nearly 400 databases should you use? Librarians are available 7 days per week to discuss your research and which of our. Ask a librarian in person, in chat, by phone, by text, or in email. Or use our FAQ or subject guides.

2. Social Media
Our library is no. 1 in the country for social media. Follow us on Twitter and Pinterest and like us on Facebook to help us stay on top and more importantly, to keep up with all the library news. And if you have suggestions for us, fill our Suggestion Box.

1. Online Learning
Our fabulous new “information literacy” online tutorial will make you an expert researcher! Find it on the lower left corner of our subject guides page.

0. Hours
The library’s 24/5 hours start September 8! Watch the website for special openings and closings throughout the year. (Yes, we cheated).

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Title: Extreme Makeover: Printer Edition
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Abstract: AU Library has created a new print center on the lower level. Black and white printers and new color printer will be accessible through wireless connections and any library computer, including six new “quick print” computer workstations.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 08/21/2013
Content:

During the summer, the library has worked to improve the efficiency of our printing services and make the experience easier and faster. We now have a new, centralized printing center on the lower level of the library, located between the Mud Box Café and the Course Reserves and Technology Services desk.

Our techs have focused on ways to reduce the number of printer errors and to decrease your wait-time. The new printing center will have four black and white high-efficiency (fast!) printers available for your printing needs, as well as a new color printer. The Print Center will also include six “quick print” computer workstations to launch your print jobs.

Has anything besides location changed?

Don’t worry! You use the same process. Just find any open computer in the library, including one of the six “quick print” computers in the new center, upload your document, and print! You just send your document to the all-inclusive “Library BW Printers - Lower Level.” and click the “Print” command. Then give your document a name you can remember. Head over to the release station and swipe your card. After choosing your document, it will be sent to whichever printer is free at that time. This means less wait for you! Check at the printers to collect your document.

I like to print from my laptop. Do I have to change anything?

Yes! If you had previously downloaded wireless printing function to your personal laptop, you will need to update. After you remove the old printing function on your laptop, you can download the new print driver here. Or visit the Tech Fair in the library August 17-August 30. After Tech Fair is over, you can still get help with set-up for wireless printing by visiting the computer-help spot, the Technology Support desk open all year in the library on the first floor near the Reference and Research desk.

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Title: IT Innovations Stem From Campus Climate Survey Responses
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Abstract: The Office of Information Technology has instituted a number of innovations that address specifically some of the feedback and common themes that were received in the Campus Climate Survey responses.
Topic: Technology
Publication Date: 08/21/2013
Content:

Throughout the year, students, faculty, and staff are asked to participate in numerous surveys and offer their opinions on everything from academic experiences to parking issues to the quality of on-campus dining. So is anything done to address the critical feedback that is sometimes received? The answer, in a word, is “yes.” In fact, just since the Campus Climate Survey that was conducted during the spring semester, the Office of Information Technology has instituted a number of innovations that address specifically some of the feedback and common themes that were received in the survey responses.

Some common themes that were expressed by the AU community regarding the wireless infrastructure included:

  • Having to download software such as SafeConnect Policy Key and XpressConnect repeatedly;
  • Dropped connections;
  • Being prompted to log in repeatedly;
  • Weak signals in parts of campus, such as on the quad or in the residence halls;
  • Complexity of getting connected;
  • Confusion between the old eagle-secure and WirelessSetupAU networks; and
  • Password change frequency.

In response to the issues that were raised by many survey respondents, OIT created a cross-functional team to work to improve the wireless network. Working through the summer, the team reconfigured the wireless network and simplified wireless access by:

  • Removing the "SafeConnect" computer health check system from the wireless network;
  • Removing the "Wireless SetupAU" network from the wireless infrastructure;
  • Removing the "XpressConnect" tool from the wireless network;
  • Installing two new Aruba Networks ClearPass appliances for the new wireless authentication;
  • Creating a new network called "eagle-secure" for simpler network access;
  • Implementing a new notification system to send email reminders prior to users’ password expiration, so that they can change it proactively before the system restricts the ability to log on;
  • Creating video tutorials for each operating system to show how to connect to eagle-secure; and
  • Introducing a new password policy option that allows for a 16-character password that only has to be changed annually, and allows users to specify a pass-phrase using natural language. (Research shows that using pass-phrases like sentences is easier to remember and type, as well as more difficult to hack. It also makes it easier to connect to wireless network via multiple mobile devices).   

Additionally, OIT conducted a comprehensive site survey to identify the location of poor wireless coverage, weak signals, and blind spots in residence halls, academic and administrative offices, and outdoor areas. For better coverage and signal strength, wireless access points (AP) were installed or relocated throughout campus, including:

  • Relocation of 302 APs in Letts, Anderson, Centennial, Hughes, McDowell, and Leonard.
  • Repositioning of 54 APs in Bender Library, Mary Graydon Center, Ward, Katzen, and Butler.
  • Installation of 20 more APs in some of the academics and administrative units.
  • Installation of new model APs – 90 in Cassell, and 52 in the new Nebraska Hall wing.

Director of Network Operations Hassan Marvi explained, “We are now in the process of installing seven outdoor APs on the roofs of Bender Library, Mary Graydon Center, Battelle, Kay, Hurst, and Leonard to provide better wireless signal strength and coverage for the quad and Woods-Brown Amphitheatre. As a result of the changes and improvements we’ve made during the past few months, we witnessed more than 1,700 wireless clients connected to the new wireless network in less than three days (August 17 to August 19) without any issues.”

The changes that have been implemented are a direct result of the feedback OIT received from the biennial Campus Climate Survey, and the department’s dedication to meeting the technological needs of the AU community as well as its overall commitment to providing the most reliable and secure information technology infrastructure possible.

Tags: Office of Finance & Treasurer,Office of Information Technology
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