2018 Student Survey: Library Spaces

At the end of February 2018, the University Library administered a survey to a random sample of 5,000 Georgia State students currently enrolled at all campuses. This post is one in a series that highlights a survey trend and the library’s response. We welcome your feedback anytime.

A major theme in the survey results was space: Students want more space generally, more quiet spaces, and more spaces for individual and group study. Each campus library was constructed with a particular student population in mind, and with continued population growth on each campus, the libraries feel crowded. In January 2018, we rolled out a master plan for the Atlanta Campus Library, Library Reimagined. In the near term, the Atlanta campus library will realize additional space, in addition to a new entrance from the “greenway,” by converting the parking area under Library North into a new flexible learning space. Longer-term plans include more group study rooms, more natural light, a graduate student center, and better access to the expertise of librarians. We recognize the need for more library space at Alpharetta and are examining ways to accomplish this. We are looking for ways to rethink underused space in the Clarkston library and are partnering with Technology Services to offer a makerspace in the Dunwoody library. As we compile ideas and prepare our next steps, we would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions related to the library master plan.

Check out the complete survey summary report for more details.

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Library Employees Earn Degrees

Library personnel are constantly striving to serve the needs of the GSU community through personal and professional development. Today we celebrate several of our own who have pursued and attained additional degrees while also working at the downtown campus University Library. Congratulations to the following people on their graduations this spring:

Library technical assistant O’Neilia Francis earned her Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Kennesaw State University. O’Neilia works for the library’s User Services & Technology Support department, so you might see her helping patrons at the service desks on the first and second floors.

Policy studies librarian La Loria Konata earned her Juris Master degree in Intellectual Property from Emory University School of Law. Her legal studies supplement her subject work with Criminal Justice, Economics, Public Management & Policy, and Social Work. Read La Loria’s “Meet a Librarian” profile here.

La Loria Konata at orientation and graduation.

Library assistant Dana Marseille earned her Master of Library and Information Science degree from Valdosta State University. Dana works with the library’s electronic reserves collection and provides technology, circulation, and reference assistance for patrons at both public service desks.

Dana Marseille at her MLIS graduation ceremony.

Our new Quantitative Data Specialist Dr. Raeda Anderson earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Sociology with a minor in Survey Research and Methodology from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her knowledge and skills facilitate the development and implementation of quantitative research methods used by faculty, staff, and students within the social sciences.

Raeda Anderson in doctoral regalia.

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June 2018: GLBT Book Month

GLBT Book Month, American Library Association, below a book with rainbow pages

June is the American Library Association’s GLBT Book Month, a nationwide celebration of the authors and writings that reflect the lives and experiences of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.

Each week this month, one of our librarians or archivists will post about library resources for researchers and readers in the GSU community who want to dig into our rich and diverse GLBT collections.

A few of the recommended GLBT book titles you’ll find in the Library’s collection:

GSU Library is proud to support GLBT research and reading this month and every month.

For more titles, visit:

Stonewall Book Awards List

2018 Rainbow Book List

2018 Over the Rainbow Book List


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The Public Library of Science: Openness and Integrity

Image from: Sliwoski G, Schubert M, Stichel J, Weaver D, Beck-Sickinger AG, Meiler J (2016) Discovery of Small-Molecule Modulators of the Human Y4 Receptor. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0157146. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0157146

With 17 years of progress behind them, the Public Library of Science (PLOS), continues to prove that it is possible to change the nature of scholarly publishing practices for the better. PLOS publishes highly regarded, peer-reviewed journals. Its business model continues to flourish with openly licensed content, a host of open practices, and innovative solutions for scientific communication.

Content in PLOS is  freely available for the public to distribute, reuse and remix providing the opportunity to teach and research openly and freely. Easy features for downloading, printing and sharing are provided. Figures within articles are even downloadable to power point slides. Just be sure to provide appropriate attribution.

Take a look at a few PLOS  journals:

PLOS isn’t just concerned with providing open content. PLOS is committed to improving the nature and process of scientific communication and advocating for open across the scholarly community. Take a look at some of PLOS’ challenges and progress here.

PLOS states:

Open is no longer just about free and unrestricted access to research, it’s also about open data, transparency in peer review and an open approach to science assessment.

Open is a mindset that represents the best scientific values. One that focuses on bringing scientists together, to share work as rapidly and as widely as possible, to advance science faster and to benefit society as a whole.

PLOS provides some tools to help improve communication and openness. Some innovations in this area include the The PLOS Blogs Network and PLOS communities such as PLOS Neuro, PLOS Synbio, PLOS Ecology, PLOS Paleo, and  PLOS ECR Community.

With its commitment to open, PLOS content provides the opportunity to teach with open practices. If you need access to open articles, open data, or other open content for your course, PLOS may be a viable option for you. If you don’t see what you need in PLOS, hundreds of open repositories and other options for affordable content exists.

Learn more about open content and open practices on the GSU Library’s Open Education Guide. Or, contact Denise Dimsdale, Affordable Learning Georgia Library Coordinator, at the GSU Library. The GSU Library is happy to assist instructors with locating open educational resources, open data, library resources, and other course content that provide affordable options for students and pedagogical flexibility for instructors.

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2018 Student Survey: Library Furniture

At the end of February 2018, the University Library administered a survey to a random sample of 5,000 currently enrolled Georgia State students. This post is one in a series that highlights a survey trend and the library’s response. We welcome your feedback anytime.

A number of survey respondents noted that library furniture has seen better days, and we couldn’t agree more. Perimeter College libraries are getting 300 new chairs to be distributed throughout the five libraries, so look for those by the start of the fall semester. Some of the Atlanta library furniture is original to the 2007 library renovation, so over a decade old at this point. Combine that statistic with the fact that the Atlanta library gets about 11,000 visits from 7,000 people on its busiest days of the week, and you get a high-use facility with some worn-out furniture.

The Atlanta library is in the process of allocating Library Fee funds to replace and reupholster seating in heavily-used, well-worn areas, concentrating mainly on the upper floors. We have purchased over 100 task chairs to replace the seating in group study rooms and at the computer workstations on Library North 3 and Library North 4. All lounge chairs on the 4th and 5th floor links–28 total–will be reupholstered, and an additional 100 chairs at the group tables will get new seat cushions. We hope you’ll enjoy these additional furniture upgrades which should be in place by the start of fall 2018 semester. Just before spring semester final exams, we were able to upgrade the seating at the group tables on Library North 3, which, based on our observations, was well received by students.

Check out the complete survey summary report for more details.

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Meet a Librarian: Nedda Ahmed

Who is Nedda?
Nedda is the librarian for the College of the Arts and Department of Communication. She has the unique pleasure of working both with “creatives”–filmmakers, designers, artists, musicians, actors, etc.—and with scholars who study, analyze, and write about the arts. Nedda feels that she has a pretty cool job! And she especially loves teaching students in the creative fields how to use research to enhance their own practice, whether it’s painting or playing the tuba.

Nedda’s Educational Background:
Nedda was an art student as an undergrad. This early training taught her how critical the relationship is between research and creative practice. After college, Nedda moved to New York City and went to cooking school! She worked as a chef for about three years, but got bored. Nedda finally decided to get a Master’s degree in Library Science when she saw a job ad placed by an archaeological expedition that was looking for a librarian to go to Egypt and catalog objects discovered on a dig. She thought it sounded like an amazing career with a lot of potential for intellectual stimulation. Although she hasn’t ever been employed as part of an archaeological expedition, she is happy to report that her initial impressions of librarianship have been spot on. As a librarian, Nedda learns something new every day.

Quick Facts about Nedda:
• Favorite subject in school: Art! But she also really loved Latin, and has found one phrase in particular to be useful in her line of work: De gustibus non est disputandum. If you don’t know what that means, look it up! (or ask a librarian)
• What Nedda Wanted to be When She Grew Up: nothing boring. That was pretty much her only criterion.
• What Does Nedda Still Want to Learn: She’d really love to learn Arabic. Her father was from Iraq, but she and her brother never learned the language—she thinks her parents found it too convenient around holidays and birthdays to have their own “secret code!”
• Standard Coffee Order: Hazelnut Soy Latte, iced if it’s over 70 degrees outside. Because she’s fancy.

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Data & Research Computing Workshops this Summer

Summer time is the right time for brushing up on your data and research computing skills!  Below are relevant workshops being offered by the Library’s Research Data Services Team and the GSU Advanced Scientific Computing Support Group at Research Solutions this summer.

Introduction to Advanced Scientific Computing Infrastructure at GSU – Thursday, May 24, 2018, 10:00am-1:00pm, 58 Edgewood Ave SE, Room 365 – REGISTER HERE

R Workshop # 1 – Introduction to R & Jupyter – Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 1:00pm-4:00pm, 58 Edgewood Ave SE, Room 365 – REGISTER HERE

R Workshop # 2 – R Programming: Loops, Conditionals, and Functions – Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 1:00pm-4:00pm, 58 Edgewood Ave SE, Room 365 – REGISTER HERE

Creating Web Maps using ArcGIS Online – Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 10:30am-11:30am, Atlanta Campus, Classroom 2 (Library North, 2nd floor) – REGISTER HERE

Tableau Data Visualization: Getting Started – Monday, June 25, 2018, 2:00pm-3:30pm, Atlanta Campus, CURVE (Library South, 2nd floor) – REGISTER HERE

NVivo 1 for Windows: Getting Started – Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 10:30am-12:00pm, Atlanta Campus, Classroom 2 (Library North, 2nd floor) – REGISTER HERE

NVivo 2 for Windows: Exploring Your Data -Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 10:30am-12:00pm, Atlanta Campus, Classroom 2 (Library North, 2nd floor) – REGISTER HERE

SPSS 1: Getting Started – Thursday, July 19, 2018, 10:30am-12:00pm, Atlanta Campus, Classroom 2 (Library North, 2nd floor) – REGISTER HERE

SPSS 2: Analyzing Data – Thursday, July 26, 2018, 10:30am-12:00pm, Atlanta Campus, Classroom 2 (Library North, 2nd floor) – REGISTER HERE


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Meet a librarian: Denise Dimsdale, Education Librarian

Who is Denise?

I am the Education Librarian working primarily with the College of Education and Human Development. In this role, I teach users how to locate, use, and evaluate information. I also cover topics such as reference management software, scholarly metrics, and much more. My main service oriented projects revolve around support for open educational practices. My work in this area addresses concerns such as college affordability through openly licensed course materials, equitable access to information, and innovative and effective pedagogies through the use of open content and technologies.

What kind of education do you need for that?

Denise has a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from GSU and a Master of Library and Information Science from Valdosta State University.

Did you always want to be a librarian? What got you started in libraries?

As a young person, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, librarian did not come to mind. My young answers to that question were more along the lines of artist, gymnast, poet, and ninja warrior. I started working full time in the GSU library when I was working on my Master’s degree in music, and I just never left. I enjoyed working in the library so much that I eventually got my Master’s in Library Science so that I could move from opera singer to librarian. I enjoy working with people, so as a librarian, I have always worked in public services.

Tell us about your choir singing.

I sang in the Atlanta Opera chorus for many years. I also sang lead roles with smaller companies in the Atlanta area during much of that time. I don’t sing opera anymore, but I still hold a staff singing position at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church here in Atlanta.

Who’s your favorite author?

My favorite author at the moment is Haruki Murakami.

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Meet a Librarian: Joe Hurley

Joe Hurley, GIS and Data Services Librarian

Who is Joe?

Joe Hurley is a GIS and Data Services librarian. He’s also the subject librarian for the Department of Geosciences and the Urban Studies Institute. He provides support for GIS data and digital mapping applications as well as demographic data applications. He’s involved with creating digital resources that support the study and teaching of urban change in the Atlanta region. He considers himself to be highly fortunate that his position allows him to combine his interest in urban history, urban studies, digital projects, and digital mapping. He especially enjoys sharing and teaching about our unique Atlanta-focused digital collections and projects with students, faculty, and the community.

He has a BA and an MA in history and an MLIS. He’s also working on another graduate degree in the History and Sociology of Technology and Science at Georgia Tech.

Fun Facts about Joe:

He’s a supporter of alternative transportation and regularly rides his cargo bike to work with his son, who goes to the GSU daycare center. He’s a co-founder of the Decatur Bicycle Coalition, a group that advocates for a network of protected bike lanes throughout Decatur and beyond. The group strongly believes that riding bikes should be safe for everyone, from school-aged children to elderly residents. If you don’t see him riding his orange cargo bike to work, he’s probably riding on the train.

It’s a good thing that he rides his bike to work, because he has a soft spot for pastries and can’t pass up a good bakery. Luckily his wife is from Germany, and he gets to satisfy his pastry cravings every year in Germany because there is a bakery on almost every German street corner.

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Panel to Discuss M.H. Ross: Labor Leader and Coal Miner’s Advocate

M.H. Ross (right) with textile worker Ernest Jones during the Southern Summer School for Workers, undated [L2001-05_113]

The Life and Work of MH Ross.

Please join us for our upcoming panel discussion on M.H. Ross. Professors Kenneth Fones-Wolf (West Virginia University) and Robert Woodrum (GSU’s Perimeter College Decatur Campus) will join Jane Ross Davis, daughter of M. H. Ross, to discuss his life as a union organizer, progressive political hopeful, advocate for coal miners, and family man.

Where: Georgia State University Library, Atlanta Campus, 8th floor of Library South (Special Collections and Archives). 

When: Thursday, May 3rd, 3:00-5:00 pm. 

Visit here for RSVP and Directions. 

Contact: Call Special Collections and Archives at 404-413-2880, or email us at archives@gsu.edu


A labor union political march [L2001-05_079]

Who is M.H. Ross?

Attending the Southern School for Workers at the age of 19 sparked M. H. Ross’ interest in and involvement with the labor movement. Throughout his career, Ross worked with unions, including the United Mine Workers, the Mine, Mill, and Smelter workers, and the United Furniture Workers, as an organizer or arbitrator.

Interested in politics, he ran for public office twice: once in 1940 for a seat on city council on the People’s Platform in Charlotte, North Carolina, and again in 1948, for United States Congress on the Progressive Party ticket in North Carolina. Later in life, Ross founded the Fairmont Clinic, a group practice in Fairmont, West Virginia, which had the mission of providing high quality medical care for coal miners and their families.

The Ross Papers

The Ross papers are part of the Southern Labor Archives in Georgia State University Library’s Special Collections and Archives, are being digitized with grant funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Official NHPRC logo


You can read more about M.H. Ross here and here.

We hope you can attend and please contact us if you have any questions!

-Special Collections and Archives


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