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Did You Use the Library in '95-'96? A Look at Measures of Library Use

Measurement in libraries is an inexact science, to say the least. You can't measure the use of library facilities and resources in the same way that you measure water temperature or global circumference. While libraries have historically concentrated on measuring inputs, there is a new interaction of users with the library. With this in mind, let's look at how the Drew community used its library during a typical month--April 1996.

If you are like most Library users, April was a busy month for you. Over 10,000 items circulated during April - 10,181, to be exact - out of the 91,507 items that circulated during FY 95-'96. Our users don't limit their borrowing to books; the count also includes CD-ROMs, phono discs and video cassettes.

The ever-popular LAN

Since the Library does not use a gate counter, we don't know for sure how many people set foot in the Library building. But automated statistics tell us that, in April 1996, 1198 different students, 119 faculty and staff, 27 alumni, and 34 local residents borrowed Library materials. It is not surprising that students, being the largest part of the Drew community, are also the largest category of borrowers, and the large percentage of students borrowing materials (approximately 70%) affirms the central role of the Library on campus.
Looking at April's circulation by Dewey class number, we gain more insight into the use of Drew's collection. If you have borrowed materials in the 200s (Religion), 300s (Social Sciences) or 800s (Literature), you've been reading the Library's "best sellers." And if you've ever read a book called The Research Craft: an Introduction to Social Research Methods, you're in good company. This book, in the 300s, has circulated more often than any other since the Library went online in 1989.
In April, the Interlibrary Loan department borrowed 702 books and journal articles for students and faculty. In just a two week period in the same month, reference personnel answered 857 questions. There are other pieces to the use picture that we don't have as yet, such as the use of individual CD-ROM titles on the LAN. Journal use is also hard to measure, since these are noncirculating items. The Internet provides yet another potential opportunity to learn how our users interact with the Library through Library web page visits, use of Britannica Online and the Project Muse journals, and government depository databases. As we continue to collect information on circulation, use of services such as interlibrary loan and reference, and use of electronic tools, we gain a fuller snapshot of how students, faculty, and staff use Drew's library resources and services.

Pamela Snelson
Assistant Director for Automation and Public Services 

Treasures of the Library

John Smithson's bequest, which funded the Smithsonian Institution, stated the institution "should be for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." The original board of directors understood that the printed word was the most powerful means of diffusion in the middle of the 19th century. Accordingly, they provided ways for researchers to publish and encouraged them to do so. The first program created the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, a quarto publication which appeared periodically from 1848 until 1916. The Drew Theological School Library acquired these thirty-five volumes as they appeared, and they are housed in the Drew Library's Government Documents Collection today.

As described in The First Hundred Years of the Smithsonian (also in the Government Documents Collection), "valuable papers in practically every branch of science appeared in the Contributions, the only requirement being that each should constitute a positive addition to knowledge, based on original research. Many of the papers formed monographic summaries of the existing knowledge in various fields, and others stand as announcements of important new discoveries." They have extensive plates and illustrations and probably would not have been published without the Smithsonian funding.

Jan Wanggaard examines a Smithsonian volume.

The papers do indeed come from practically every branch of science. Many deal with astronomical or meteorological observations made over a long period of time. There are anthropological descriptions of native peoples in the Americas, Asia and Africa. There are grammars and dictionaries of native languages, as well as studies of relationships between groups of languages. Ornithological studies describe observations in specific areas and many include lovely engravings. Paleontology, icthyology, entomology, mathematics, anatomy and physiology--all were considered appropriate topics. Writers of the papers vary from professors in the various institutions of higher education, to doctors, engineers and other lay persons who had the interest to study a topic in great detail. Works were submitted to a committee and had to meet standards to be accepted for publication.

Interestingly, Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Institution, decided this material should not be copyrighted. He said: "The knowledge which the Smithsonian Institution may be instrumental in presenting to the world should be free to all who are capable of using it. The republication of our papers ought to be considered as an evidence of their importance, and should be encouraged rather than prohibited." No record is made of the authors' reaction to this decision!

Although the Contributions ceased to be published in 1916, the Smithsonian has a long history of publishing. To continue its mission into the 21st century, a new online web magazine, called Increase and Diffusion has been created.

Jan Wanggaard
Reference Librarian for Government Documents 

Reflections: Notes from the Director

As you use the Drew Library this year, you will be seeing some changes for the better. Proud though we are of our library, the faculty and staff decided, a year ago, that we could make some improvements. Last October, we invited Richard Dougherty, a respected library consultant, to lead us in a two-day workshop to clarify needs and directions. As a group, we agreed on the need for action in three major areas: making our library more "user-friendly," supporting faculty teaching and research more comprehensively, and using technology more effectively. Library staff and faculty have taken active roles to set up committees and make changes in these areas. Working since February, the committees have already accomplished many of their goals.

When you walk into the Library, you may notice that the public areas are becoming more usable, inviting, and comfortable, thanks to the efforts of the Communication and Service Committee. The committee has improved signs in the Library and, with help from the University Art Curator, the Library's presentation of public art. And the committee has proposed a new security system; if the 1997/98 budget permits, Library users will no longer have to wait to have their bags checked.

The Faculty Outreach Committee is working to improve library services to faculty. This committee will be interviewing each department in the College, using a structured set of questions, to learn what faculty need from the Library, both for their students and for their own research. The committee will review the information from these interviews, and make decisions on changing or expanding services.

The Technology Committee is working to help all the Library staff use technology more effectively. Committee members answer the staff's technology questions through the in-house weekly calendar. And, as you can see, you can now access the Library's new web page, which the Committee has made available through the Drew home page

So far, we have been able to implement these changes without special budgeting, thanks to tremendous positive commitment on the part of the Library staff. We are pleased with the improvements we have been able to make, and hope that our efforts will pay off in improved service to all of our users.

Jean Schoenthaler

Upcoming Events

March 1 - March 4 1997
Annual Booksale
Titles in all subjects, including some new books.
Library Lobby 

April 1997
Faculty Publications, 1996
Books and journal articles written by Drew faculty.
Library Lobby 

May 1997
Exhibit on the Countess of Huntington, supporter of John Wesley and spiritual leader of 18th century women.
Methodist Center Lobby 

Spring 1997
The General Commission on Archives and History will present an exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Evangelical Brethren.
Methodist Center Lobby 

ONLINE! with Project Muse

The more than 40 prestigious scholarly journals published by Johns Hopkins University Press will be available online from anywhere on campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the Library's subscription to Project Muse.

Project Muse is a pioneering initiative that enables worldwide access to the Johns Hopkins University Press's scholarly journals via the Internet's World Wide Web. Launched by Hopkins Press, the University's Eisenhower Library, and its academic computing center, this unique venture is a model for making scholarship widely available within university communities by using online technology to produce affordable electronic journals.

From any computer connected to the new campus network, faculty, staff, and students have simultaneous, unrestricted access to Project Muse journals without having to worry about passwords or special hardware or software. (Access to the Internet using Netscape on the campus network is all that's required.) There is no limit to the non-commercial usage of material within the campus community. Even "on demand" unrestricted paper printing of individual articles for coursework, reserve research, and personal use is permitted, so long as all articles are used on campus for the non-commercial research needs of faculty, students, and staff without external distribution of any kind.

In addition to receiving the straight text of the print journals, Project Muse offers a wide range of added value in terms of searching and multimedia features, e.g. hypertext links; Boolean searches; the capability to create "hot lists" of frequently used files; and the ability to search by full text, article, author, or key word, either in a single journal, among specific journals, or across all journals. Extensive keyword indexing has been provided using Library of Congress classifications. Project Muse is committed to maintaining an online archive of the text. With online versions of journals available sooner than their print counterparts, as well as text designed for on-screen reading and enhanced graphics (including color), Project Muse promises to be an invaluable and user-friendly research tool.

As of November 1996, 25 scholarly journals can be accessed online with another 22 presently under consideration for early 1997. To access Project Muse, go to Research Resources.

Good Reading

One True Thing
by Anna Quindlen

This is the first novel published since the former New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Anna Quindlen, resigned to become a full-time novelist. It is about Ellen Gulden, a Harvard honors graduate whose father, a college English professor, asks her to leave her job with a major magazine in New York, to return to her suburban New Jersey home to care for her mother, Kate, the "one true-thing," just diagnosed with terminal cancer. Narrated by Ellen, this superb novel (Random, 400 pages), is the study of a young woman who discovers that not only has she never truly known either parent, but never known herself. By the time Kate has died, Ellen has made surprising discoveries about all three; by the end, when she has become a psychiatrist, she has made even more discoveries.

Joan Steiner,Professor of English 

Sing a New Song
by Jon Michael Spencer

Jon Michael Spencer, Associate Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, attempts to shake the church into a radical reappraisal of the texts that it sings. He examines traditional hymnody through the lenses of gender, race, and class. Much of his analysis is more of an engagement of biblical texts than of specific hymns. It is through these forays into biblical exegesis that Spencer makes his point -- that Christians need a radically new and transformed hymnbook if congregations are to incorporate new theological visions into their thinking. The book (Fortress Press, 231 pages), is written specifically about the Black Church, but it has wide implications for the hymnody of the whole church. I especially appreciated Spencer's examination of the issues of feminism and the Black Church. 

Anne Yardley, Associate Professor of Music 

Great Books
by David Denby

At the age of 48, David Denby, New York magazine's film critic, returned to his alma mater, Columbia University, and re-enrolled in two famous required courses in Western classics. He had first taken these courses as a freshman in 1961. His purpose was to rediscover himself and what he believed in. The resulting book, Great Books: My Adventures with Homer, Rousseau, Woolf, and Other Indestructible Writers of the Western World (Simon and Schuster, 492 pages), is filled with classroom anecdotes, personal reminiscences, and broad philosophical reflections. It is difficult to see how any educated person would not be stimulated by Denby's account and resolved to extend his or her appreciation of the richness of the Western canon.

Ashley H. Carter, Adjunct Professor of Mathematics and Physics 

Changing Enemies: The Defeat and Regeneration of Germany
by Noel Annan

This memoir (Norton, 288 pages), offers history without hindsight--a sobering contrast to the usual run of "How-I-won-the-War" books. Lord Annan recalls his work with British military intelligence during the Second World War and his assignment to occupied Germany immediately after. Historians have since subjected Allied wartime strategy and postwar diplomacy to detailed second-guessing, but Annan shows how complex the judgment calls were at the time. Yes, the codes of the German Enigma machine had been broken, but the information gleaned was fragmentary and difficult to interpret. (If you think otherwise, try to guess the significance of a late 1944 order to U-boats in the Atlantic to make regular weather reports.) And given that most skilled German managers were at least nominal members of the Nazi Party, how far could postwar "denazification" proceed without paralyzing the already devastated German economy? On all the controversies swirling around the war in Europe, Annan offers remarkable insights and no glib answers.

Jonathan Rose, Associate Professor of History 

Visions' Symbol Explained

Rose is the term used to describe a round cathedral or church stained glass window with a design that radiates from the center like the flower. A sketch, drawn by Kelly Dougherty C 94, of the rose window installed at the entrance to the Drew Library is used as a symbol for Visions.

Drew's rose window, which has a nine and a half foot diameter, originally hung in the west end of the Cornell Library, Drew's first library built in 1883. Mrs. Cornell presented this work of art to Drew in lasting tribute to her husband, John B. Cornell, trustee of Drew Theological Seminary. The window was removed and placed in storage when that building was razed in 1937 to make way for the new Rose Memorial Library. 

No formal records were kept of the window's whereabouts, and in 1978, when the plans for the new Learning Center were almost finished, a search began for the dismantled window. Fortunately, University staff rediscovered it in a crate in the Hall of Sciences' attic. Gordon Henderson, a stained glass craftsman, reconstructed the window with the help of his son, Todd. Because there was no original copy of the design, it took them six months to piece together the small stained glass parcels.

Click here to see the rose window. It will open in a new browser window. 

A letter from the window's designer, Henry Holiday, dated April 10, 1888, gives a fascinating explanation of its symbolism. In the center is seated Theology, knowledge of God as the focus of all knowledge. She is seated upon a globe which symbolizes her domain, and the nimbus around her head indicates her spiritual character. The dove on her shoulder symbolizes the voice of God, and before her kneel two angels symbolizing wisdom. The motto for this central panel is Isaiah 55:9: "As the heavens are exalted from the earth, so are my ways exalted from your ways." At the feet of Theology sits another female figure, Humility, leading a child toward Theology. The motto for this panel is Psalm 25:9: "He shall teach the lowly his ways." 

Above the figure of Theology are the three cardinal virtues: Faith (fides), Charity (caritas), and Hope (spes). Faith's text is from Hebrews 11:3: "By faith we understand that the ages were fashioned by the word of God." Hope's text is from Romans 8:25: "If what we do not see we hope for, we await it in patience."

To Theology's right is a panel for Philosophy (philosophia), shown with her foot on a pile of books, symbolizing knowledge, and History (historia), shown lifting a veil to symbolize her "retrospective search." Holiday almost omitted her but then included her "because we study the relation of God to Man through his dealings with mankind."

To Theology's left is Science (scientia), symbolizing the study of the structure of God's universe: earth science (the globe), astronomy (the telescope), botany (the flowers), and theoretical sciences (the book). Art (ars) accompanies Science "to recall that the beauty of the Universe no less than its marvellous structure must be studied." 

The summary passage on the outer circumference is I Corinthians 13:10: "When what is perfect has come, the imperfect will pass away."

Examples of Holiday's window art can be found in Salisbury Cathedral, Children's Hospital (Toronto), St. Luke's Hospital (New York), the General Lee Memorial Window in St. Paul's Church (Richmond), and, of course, at the Drew University Library.

Gifts to the Library

Prayer Book Collection

The Library received a gift of 91 rare books, most of them 17th-, 18th-, and 19th- century editions of The Book of Common Prayer, from California collector John Prinster. Valued at almost $29,000, the collection also contains histories of saints and popes, a hymnal in Latin, religious and prophetic treatises, bound sermons, and volumes with one-of-a-kind bindings. The oldest prayer book dates from 1636. Graduate and theological students studying liturgical studies, theology, the history of books and binding, and church history will benefit from this collection. This gift joins nearly 225 volumes given by Frederick and Mary Louis Maser and makes Drew's collection of The Book of Common Prayer among the five or six most significant in the nation.

Alumni Honor Library

According to the Development Office, 39 alumni chose to honor the Library through their donations to the 1995/96 Annual Fund. The donors' names have been added to the ever-expanding Friends of the Library which now includes over three hundred donors. The Endow-a-Book Fund, initiated by the Friends, continues to grow, and donations to this fund are always welcome. The interest from this endowed fund is intended to supplement, but not replace, the University's support for the purchase of library materials. The fund enables the Library to acquire special materials it would not otherwise be able to obtain.

Local Donors

The Library received a collection of books from the Philippines, particularly strong in literature and the social issues, from Ms. Marcelline Plemmons of Madison.

The Estate of Denison L. Burton of Chatham donated a collection of Italian belles lettres including works by the major 20th century Italian novelists.

Friends Sponsor Gifford Lecture

"Journal! I'm not honest with you! I find it next to impossible to be so. Never more than twice have I written out my heart any where. [sic]"

Frances Willard entered these lines in her journal of October 1861 at the age of twenty-two. In her new book, Writing Out My Heart, Selections from the Journal of Frances E. Willard, 1855-96, Carolyn DeSwarte Gifford has presented the inner voice of Frances Willard, revealing the most private thoughts of the woman who became one of the most powerful and well-respected leaders of the women's reform movement during the nineteenth century.

On November 7th, Drew welcomed Dr. Gifford at a lecture co-sponsored by the Drew University Women's Studies program and the Friends of the Drew Library. For many years Willard's diaries were thought to be lost. They were rediscovered in 1980, hidden in a cupboard at the national headquarters of the Women's Christian Temperance Union in Illinois. Through her ten years of work on all fifty volumes of journals, Dr. Gifford has made material available to scholars and interested readers, providing insight not only into Willard's personal life, but into the social environment of many white, Christian women of similar economic background during this period of American history. 

Dr. Gifford is no stranger to Drew. Many present at the lecture remembered her from the General Commission on Archives and History, and from The Women's Project of New Jersey. Since her departure from Drew, Dr. Gifford was a Research Fellow in Religious Studies at Harvard, and is currently an associate editor of the Historical Encyclopedia of Chicago Women.

Dr. Gifford's valuable work offers a deeper understanding of Willard, her growth into a significant, influential figure, and her contribution to the history of women, reform, and the church. It is not often that history affords a look at the formative thoughts of accomplished historical personalities. Willard's journals through adolescence to womanhood give access to this process. Dr. Gifford presented an overview of this fascinating material and received numerous questions at the finish of her talk, which continued at a champagne reception held in the Wendel Room at Mead Hall.

Lynn Harris Heft, President
Friends of the Drew University Library

About Visions


Jean A. Schoenthaler
Drew University Library, Madison, NJ 07940
(973) 408-3322

CONTRIBUTORS: Heather Craven, Eleanor Rawitz, Pamela Snelson

A complete online archive of past issues of Visions
can be viewed at:

VISIONS is a semi-annual publication.
© Drew University Library

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