Oakland University
Kresge Library

Summer 2020 eNewsletter


Welcoming a New Library Dean


Polly D. Boruff-Jones

Professor, Dean of University Libraries

Effective July 1, 2020, Polly D. Boruff-Jones has been appointed to serve as Dean of University Libraries. 
She brings broad experience in library administration. In her most recent position as Dean of the Indiana University Kokomo Library, Polly Boruff-Jones has been responsible for all aspects of library administration, operations and finance.

REMOTE and VIRTUAL Library Services

The COVID-19 pandemic closed the doors of the Kresge Library building, but it did not slow us down. Everyone adjusted to the circumstances quickly and have been going above and beyond to support each other and our patrons. Library faculty and staff are offering amazing virtual services and electronic resources to the Oakland University community as we work on plans for a phased re-opening of the building.
  • No Late Fees - The first thing Access Services staff did as the pandemic began was to automatically renew all checked-out books and to suspend all late fees. We will continue to do that into the fall semester.
  • Shipping and Scanning - For a week in March before the stay-at-home order took effect, Access Services staff were able to ship books to library users' home addresses and to scan chapters of books and physical articles for electronic delivery. 
  • One-Stop Webpage - Our Associate Dean coordinated the development of a one-stop coronavirus-related webpage with a detailed listing of the remote and virtual ways that our patrons can access all library services and have been updating it regularly. We have been actively promoting our virtual services on social media as well.
  • Virtual Research Help - Library faculty have been offering remote and virtual research help and consultations. We are staying in contact with our patrons over chat, phone, email, and Google Hangouts.
  • Online Library Instruction - Library faculty have transitioned to online instruction and have been offering information literacy sessions embedded into online summer courses. We will continue to expand online offerings into the fall semester and look forward to many opportunities to interact online in synchronous ways.
  • Electronic Additions to our Collections - We have prioritized the acquisition of electronic versions of books and media even in cases when we have the physical versions already, so that we can offer active and timely support of the predominantly virtual access to our materials for courses and research.
  • Free Electronic Materials - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many publishers and vendors are providing free, temporary access to resources to support online teaching and learning. Collections Support Services staff have been monitoring these offerings and have curated a regularly-updated online guide with resources pertinent to OU faculty and students.
  • Electronic Course Reserves - We continue to support OU faculty in placing materials on course reserves for their students as they have been teaching summer courses online.
  • Electronic Interlibrary Loan - Our Interlibrary Loan staff have focused on supporting requests for materials remotely. In many cases, they have been not only locating and delivering electronic materials, but also communicating actively with other libraries to find electronic versions of specific requests from members of the OU community.
  • Remote Technology Support - As everyone moved to remote work, our Library Technology Services staff continued to support their colleagues by retooling quickly and transitioning to offering all of their technology support remotely.

COVID-19 Oakland University Archiving Project

We are asking the public to submit photos, video, audio and stories about their everyday experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. This archiving project, which is spearheaded by Dr. Dominique Daniel, Coordinator of Archives and Special Collections, is seeking materials and stories from everyone in southeast Michigan. You are welcome to contribute! Read the Oakland Press article about this project.

Recent Library Exhibits

Oakland County Bicentennial

Community members, Rod and Susan Wilson are avid collectors of Rochester history memorabilia and members of numerous local and state historical organizations such as the Rochester-Avon Historical Society. In 2019, they generously donated their extensive collection to Kresge Library so that it will be preserved and accessible to the community. Read more about this unique collection from the OU Magazine.
We are honored to feature an online exhibit, The Land of Healthful Delight: Highlights from the Rod and Susan Wilson collection. Special thanks go to Dominique Daniel, Margie Friant, Shawn McCann, and Molly McGuire for all their work in making this project possible.

Digitization Grant Received

As part of the Oakland County Bicentennial celebration in 2020, Kresge Library was honored to receive a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan to help digitize issues of the Oakland Press newspaper collection from the 1950s and 1960s. Digitization to make these issues available electronically helps preserve this local history and make it accessible to the general public for research purposes.

Literature to Film Book Club

On the first Tuesday of every month, we hold a book club discussion at 6pm in KL 225B. During the pandemic, we have been holding book club discussions virtually:
  • April 7, 2020 - The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedma
  • May 5, 2020 - Boy Erased by Gerrard Conley
  • June 2, 2020 - Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
We look forward to seeing you virtually, as well as resuming the in-person book club meetings when it is safe to do so. Please check back on our Lit to Film Book Club web page where we will be unveiling the 2020-21 academic year schedule of books and films.

Reading during the Pandemic

Julie Granthen
Julie Granthen's Reading Recommendations
Julie Granthen -- a member of the OU Libraries Board of Advocacy and Resource Development, a two time OU alumna, and an engaged supporter of the university -- often reads several books at a time with some quick reads interspersed with the longer works. 

As we all began sheltering at home, she started with Doris Kearns Goodwin's The Bully Pulpit and then read books by some of the Gorlin Lecture speakers:  Sylvia Nasar's Grand Pursuit and Carmen Reinhart's This Time is Different.  Several quick reads in between included Lady in Waiting, Barbara Bush's Pearls of Wisdom, and Read My Pins by Madeline Albright - inspired by her recent visit to the OU campus.

Then onto The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan, rereading The Theory of the Leisure Class along with quick reads  Herman Melville's Short Stories, The Money Changers, The Financiers, and Smithsonian American Women - a gift.  And she did sneak in a beach read - Camino Winds by John Grisham.

Next will be Commonwealth by Jeffrey Sachs, another of our Gorlin Lecture speakers, rereading Bowling Alone, and another beach read, The Last Trial by Scott Turow.

Julie has made a dent in her stacks of books and wishes everyone happy reading.

Make a Gift to OU Libraries

When Oakland University announced that courses would be transitioning to online delivery last March, it changed the academic landscape for the vast majority of our students and faculty. OU Libraries' physical location was closed, but the resources and services we provide remained in high demand.

From research guides and streaming media to online journals and digitized archival collections, OU Libraries' faculty and staff work diligently to offer virtual services and electronic materials that meet our users' academic needs.
Your support will ensure that we can continue to meet the emerging needs of Oakland University students and faculty as they navigate the unpredictable landscape of online and hybrid learning. Your help can make a difference.

Give Now

If you would like more information on supporting OU Libraries with a current or planned gift, please contact Lynn Fisher at (248) 370-4313 or by email at lfisher3@oakland.edu.
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