Umbreit Library


A Publication of Muskegon Community College

Vol. 3, No. 3 - Jan/Feb 1998

Student Workers

Umbreit Library would not function without the assistance of its student workers. Our 24 students have diverse responsibilities throughout the library. They load the software for the public access computers in the morning, perform inventory on the book and periodical shelves, assist in technical processing, and operate the public services desks--where they assist in check-in and check-out procedures. They also issue library cards to students and guests.

Many of our current student workers have been with us for the past two years. When asked what they like about working at Umbreit Library, some of their responses were,


"It's like a family, we all work really close with each other."

"We help each other and all get along very well."

"It's fun."

Brenda McClain supervises most of these students and the work that they perform. She is responsible for scheduling their hours and ensuring that their work is performed efficiently--which is very important to the smooth operations of the library. Joyce Piggee is their evening and weekend supervisor.

The library staff would like to extend our many thanks to all of our past and present student workers for their dedication and hard work.


Reference Survey

In 1993, with the approval and support of Dr. Greg Franklin, the library instituted an annual reference survey. This survey was developed under the guidance of Professor Durrance from the University of Michigan's School of Information and Library Studies.

The survey was designed to collect data on many variables. Any patron asking for reference assistance during the survey period is asked to complete a numbered form. The anonymous survey asks patrons the reason for the visit, if the patron got the information he or she needed, the resources used to do his or her research, and his or her satisfaction level with a number of items--for example, satisfaction with time spent. The librarian also fills out a numbered survey which details the amount of time spent, resources used, and difficulties encountered.

The data is entered into SPSS and all 60 variables are critically analyzed. By matching the patrons' and librarians' numbered forms we are able to more fully understand the reference interaction and identify any problems.

The 1997 fall reference survey just completed and analyzed found that:


  • 98 per cent of our patrons reported finding the information they needed,
  • more of our patrons were "very satisfied" with the reference interaction than in 1996, and
  • patrons reported using more library resources than in 1996.


Free Magazines Offered

by Brenda McClain

We currently subscribe to over 300 journals and magazines. For research purposes, we need to keep many years of back issues. We keep older issues on microfiche and withdraw the print copies.

Beginning Monday February 2, and continuing through Saturday February 14, our newly withdrawn magazines will be available on a "first come, first served" basis to staff and students. Items will be on a table near the lower level Circulation desk.

Some of the titles include:

  • Machine Design
  • Managing Office Technology
  • Motor Trend
  • PC World
  • Phi Delta Kappan
  • Popular Mechanics
  • Runner's World
  • Smithsonian
  • Tech Trends
  • Washington Monthly
(Journals will be withdrawn and available after the Winter semester.)

For information regarding the periodicals, contact Brenda (x492).


Internet Workshops

Thursday, February 19
Room 138 - 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 19
Room 138 - 2:30 to 3:30 p.m

Our previous workshops have covered searching the Internet to locate Internet documents. However, many of our workshop participants have asked about the journal databases and other research databases. Therefore, our February workshop will cover some of the many databases that are available on the Internet for researchers. A few of these databases include Carl's UnCover, InfoTrac's SearchBank, and the Library of Congress.

The March workshop will be on searching the Internet using the various search engines such as Alta Vista and Northern Light.

To register for these free one-hour sessions, call Carol (x416).


Internet Interchange

In December we began asking for identification from patrons using the public Internet computer stations. This is to help enforce our Internet policies regarding proper usage. We made the decision to require identification after some of our patrons became involved in usage outside Umbreit Library's posted guidelines.

We continue to use the Umbreit Library Internet Guidelines that were established a year ago. This means that the Internet research computers may not be used for "chat" or to send e-mail.

Because our Internet service is provided by Merit Network, Inc., we must adhere to and enforce their guidelines. Our new identification policy will also help ensure that their MichNet Acceptable Use Policy is not violated.


Check These Out!

Selected and annotated by Roger Stoel

Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report. Congressional Quarterly Inc. 1989-

The Congressional Quarterly Service is a non-partisan group based in Washington D.C. Its reports cover all aspects of the federal government, especially the legislative branch.

Published weekly, the report contains all types of data: important roll call votes, the federal budget process and how funds are appropriated, and particular issues that have been before Congress. Numerous charts and graphs are used to demonstrate the variety of issues covered.

Texts of important speeches are included with highlights of various hearings such as confirmation hearings. Much of the data and information contained here is not found in newspapers or periodicals.

Located in our REFERENCE collection:
JK 1 .C66 1989- current date.


* * *

CQ Researcher, Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1992-

This is another publication of the Congressional Quarterly Service. It issues 48 reports on specific topics per year. Each topic selected is one that has been in the news and has generated controversy and discussion.

The CQ articles provide chronological background information for serious research. The topics are comprehensively defined with the use of a variety of sources and extensive bibliographies are provided. Recent topics have included the following:

  • underage drinking,
  • jobs vs. the environment,
  • the homeless,
  • violence in the schools,
  • welfare reform, and
  • physical fitness.
These reports are heavily used by English 101 and Sociology students. They are indexed in Academic Abstracts Full Text on CD-ROM.

Located in our REFERENCE collection:
H 35 .E348 1992- current date.


On-line Spotlight

Contemporary Women's Issues is one of the newest full text databases to be added to FirstSearch. This brings the total databases available on this service to 65.

Contemporary Women's Issues contains

"journals, newsletters, research reports from non-profit groups, government and international agencies, along with fact sheets..."
Topics cover women's issues in over 150 countries. Coverage is from 1992 to the present.

Some of the sources include The Women's Review of Books, Journal of Gender Studies, and Journal of Women & Religion.


College Archives

Umbreit Library maintains the archival collection of College materials. We have old handbooks, minutes, schedules, pictures, news releases and assorted memorabilia from all departments. If you have questions about our archives or have materials pertaining to MCC which you would like placed in archives, contact Paula McClurg-Ziemelis (x493).


On Display

By Barbara Daniell

Science fiction--that combination of fantasy, physical science, and meta-physics--holds a special appeal for a wide variety of readers. What is science fiction - fantasy? horror? technological gadgets? inventions? futurism? From aliens to utopias, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to George Lucas' Star Wars, people are fascinated with reading about the possibilities of "what could be."

Books featuring science fiction writers and their works are on display at the Umbreit Library along with historical material about the genre. Highlighting the display is a selection of Star Trek: The Original Series collectibles.


Winter Semester Hours

Monday - Thursday

8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.



8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.



10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

* * *

Winter Break

(March 2 - March 7)


Monday - Friday

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.



10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Umbreit Library Currents is published bimonthly by the staff of the Allen G. Umbreit Library at Muskegon Community College. It is distributed to faculty, staff and administrators of The College and to area libraries free of charge. It is available in print and electronic formats.

The mission of Umbreit Library Currents is to aid in our goal to keep all Umbreit Library users current about resources, policies, and staff activities.

Carol Briggs-Erickson Carol Briggs- Erickson

Contributing Editorial Staff:
Barb Daniell
Brenda McClain
Roger Stoel
Robert J. Vanderlaan



221 S. Quarterline Rd.
Muskegon, MI 49442
(231) 773-9131

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