Author Archives: Scott Walter

Stephanie Davis-Kahl Named University Librarian

Stephanie Davis-Kahl, currently Collections and Scholarly Communications Librarian, and Professor, The Ames Library, has been named University Librarian and Copyright Officer, effective July 20, 2020. Ms. Davis-Kahl will succeed Scott Walter, who has been named Dean of Library and Information Access at San Diego State University.

A member of the library faculty since 2004, Stephanie is an active researcher in the field, drawing inspiration for many of her projects, including her two co-edited collections, Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Case Studies and Best Practices (2017), and Common Ground at the Nexus of Information Literacy and Scholarly Communication (2013) from her work with faculty and students at IWU. She has served on Curriculum Council, the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Council for University Programs and Policies, and the Undergraduate Research Committee. She coordinated efforts to collect and archive exemplary student research and faculty scholarship in Digital Commons @ IWU, earning the “IR All Star Award” from bepress in 2013. She is active in the Association for College & Research Libraries, her professional home, and received the “Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian” award from the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Education and Behavioral Sciences Section in 2014.

Over the past several weeks, Stephanie has provided leadership for the strategic acquisition of digital content designed to support IWU faculty and students as they have adapted to the “online-only” model for teaching and learning during the coronavirus crisis, and is leading the planning and coordination to re-open the Ames Library for public services at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester.

New Library Catalog (and More) Launched

With help from our colleagues at the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), we have completed our migration to the new Ames Library catalog, I-Share catalog, and article databases, also known as “MegaSearch.” Launched on June 24th across the state, our new system provides enhanced searching, requesting, and delivery options for library users, and new tools for management of library resources for library faculty and staff.

While requests for materials from other library collections, both through I-Share and interlibrary loan, remain limited owing to the impact of the coronavirus on library services across the world, you can still use the new MegaSearch to discover and gain access to materials in the Ames Library collection (including curbside delivery, beginning July 7th), and to access digital resources including electronic journal articles, e-books, and streaming media. If you would like an introduction to the new system, please review this tutorial.

The migration to the new library catalog has been ongoing for over a year, and would not have been possible without the concerted efforts of library faculty and staff preparing materials, updating records, and trouble-shooting data and workflows. We look forward to introducing you and your students to the new system in the Fall. If you have any questions, please contact your liaison librarian.

Breezeway Pickup Begins July 7th

Beginning July 7th, we will offer “breezeway pickup” of books, music scores, DVDs, and other physical items from the Ames Library collection. To request an item for curbside delivery, please:

  • Search for an item in the Ames Catalog (available on the library home page)
  • Choose a record
  • If you are not logged into the system, choose “Sign In” and enter your IWU NetID and password
  • Select “Get It” from the navigation options
  • Click the “Request” link next to the option to “Request for IWU curbside pickup”

Please note that our catalog interface has recently changed. If you would like an introduction to our new system, please watch this video.

Once your item is charged to your account and ready for pick-up, you will receive an e-mail from a library staff member asking you to set up an appointment for pick-up. At your scheduled time, a library staff member will meet you at the entrance of the library with your materials. Please note that, per campus guidelines, social distancing measures will be in place and you will be required to wear a face mask when you arrive. Pick-up policies may evolve based on demand, staff availability, and any changes in campus plans for return to the workplace during the summer. Please continue to look for updates in the library’s FAQ.
If you have not received an e-mail confirmation of the availability of your requested materials within 2 business days, please contact the Library Services Desk at Please note that library staff are not available during weekends during the summer.
Items returned to the library will be placed in quarantine for 3 days following their return, and will not be available for further circulation until the quarantine period has ended.
Curbside delivery will be available Mondays through Fridays, between 8 am – 2 pm. The Ames Library is currently scheduled to return to broader availability of library services on August 10, 2020. Further information on library re-opening plans will be announced here, and as part of the university’s Fall 2020 re-opening plans.

Ames Library Catalog, I-Share, and MegaSearch Changes in June

In partnership with our colleagues across the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), the Ames Library will update our public-facing and internal library systems to provide a better user experience and more seamless discovery of our print and electronic materials. This new integrated library system (Alma) will “go live” on June 24th, and customizations will continue as needed.

On the library home page, you will still see our MegaSearch search box and you may use this for searching either our print and electronic (full-text) holdings, Ames Library Catalog, and/or I-Share.

We are excited to share with you the following enhancements and search features and hope to roll out more soon.

Enhancements include:

  • Log into the system with your University NetID and password
  • Easier access to I-Share resources due to shared system records
  • Email notifications when you check out or return an item
  • Longer and more consistent loan periods for some of our physical items
  • Real-time updates to records making the availability of materials more timely

New search features include:

  • Improved known-item searching
  • Print and electronic holdings display on one merged record
  • Quick searching based on Title, Subject, Author, etc.
  • Virtual Browse feature for print books to see related books by subject area

Finally, please note that the library catalog does not reflect new purchases made after May 1st. After June 24th, all new purchases will be added to the catalog, and availability will also be updated to reflect a book’s status. Access to electronic resources, such as ebooks, streaming video through Kanopy, Swank, or Alexander Street Press, electronic journals, and online databases, will not be affected by this change.

We do not yet know when borrowing through I-Share will resume. All fines and due dates have been suspended for items borrowed through Ames or other I-Share libraries.

More information on the “Alma and Primo VE migration” project is available at:

If you have any questions, please contact your liaison librarian or access Virtual Consultations Tuesday through Friday between 1 pm – 5 pm. We will have more information, including online tutorials, after June 24.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate this transition!

Bringing IWU Scholarship to the World

As we have become ever more dependent on access to digital scholarship during the coronavirus pandemic, it is worth celebrating the long-time commitment that the Ames Library has shown to promoting open access to the scholarly and creative work completed by Illinois Wesleyan’s students and faculty, especially through our institutional repository, Digital Commons.

Launched in 2008, Digital Commons provides open access to scholarly and creative work produced by members of the IWU community, including journal articles, book chapters, conference presentations, undergraduate honors research, undergraduate research journals, and records of the university.  On May 27, 2020, we recorded the 4,000,000th download of IWU content from Digital Commons, for an average of more than 333,000 downloads by users around the world each year. This is an extraordinary achievement for a small liberal arts college, and evidence of the global impact of the research conducted each year by members of the IWU community.

The 4,000,000th download, Adnan Filipovic’s “Impact of Privatization on Economic Growth” (2006), is a study of “the relationship between growth and privatization from an incentives perspective,” and has been downloaded more than 7,000 times since 2008. The article was originally published in IWU’s Undergraduate Economic Review, an open-access, peer-reviewed, undergraduate research journal. While many IWU undergraduate research journals feature the work of our own students, the UER features the work of students from around the world, and is peer-reviewed and edited by IWU students under the faculty mentorship of Professor Michael Seeborg (Economics) and Professor Stephanie Davis-Kahl (The Ames Library). IWU students also have the opportunity to publish their own research through the Park Place Economist, another open-access undergraduate research journal available through Digital Commons. On the role that publishing opportunities such as these play in undergraduate education at IWU, Undergraduate Research Advisory Committee Chair Todd Fuist (Sociology) said: “We pride ourselves on providing the kind of innovative and transformative research experiences for students that help them grow their skills and build their credentials. This milestone is illustrative of the caliber of work we help to guide students through as they conduct research at IWU.”

The 4,000,000th download was to a Digital Commons user from the University of Cambridge in England. On the importance of open access to scholarly work in Economics, Professor Seeborg said: “Open access publishing is a significant part of the economics program. We incentivize quality undergraduate research by allowing students to participate in the editorial process and submit their papers for publication …. I firmly believe that the best way to learn economics is to do economics. Our partnership with the Ames Library, and Digital Commons, promotes an active learning environment and is very important to the economics program.”

The Undergraduate Economic Review, and other undergraduate research journals, are available through Digital Commons. If you would like to learn more about open-access initiatives or library publishing, please contact Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Collections and Scholarly Communications Librarian.

COVID-19 Library Services Page Now Available

We have collected information related to the current provision of library services on a new COVID-19 Library Services Update page. This page will be frequently updated with information on library services, as well as other services provided through the Ames Library, e.g., technology assistance, tutoring.  Please visit this page regularly for new updates or contact your liaison librarian with any questions.

Ames Library Closed to the Public (March 17 – 29)

Following continuing review of our response to the coronavirus epidemic, the university has made the difficult decision to close the Ames Library to all members of the community, as of its scheduled closing at 4 pm today. The Ames Library will remain closed to the public until March 29th, with a review of future plans to be conducted in line with campus decisions regarding the return to in-person instruction on the Bloomington campus. We understand the challenges this places on our students, faculty, and staff, as they prepare for the transition to online learning.

As of March 17th, all library services will be delivered digitally, and there will be no provision of library services on-site, including circulation of print materials, media materials, or technology.

Access to the library’s robust collection of digital content, including journals, databases, media, and research assistance continues, and can be easily accessed through the library’s guide to remote library resources and services. Please note that the extraordinary challenges we are currently confronting means that some services, including any circulation or interlibrary lending of physical materials, are not currently available. The library will be open limited hours (March 17-20), by appointment only, for faculty members seeking assistance in moving their courses online.

Additional details of library services available during our closure will be available on the library web site tomorrow. If you have questions before this resource is posted, please contact your liaison librarian.

Please watch the library home page and Twitter account for ongoing updates to library resources and services.

Thank you for your help, flexibility, and understanding during this extraordinary event. While we understand the challenges these changes present, we believe it is the best way to ensure the health and well-being of our library faculty, staff, and students, as well as the campus and Bloomington community. We look forward to returning to normal library operations as soon as possible.

Changes to Library Access and Services – Update

Following the March 15th communication from university leadership, access to the Ames Library is currently “limited to faculty who need to use resources to move their instruction to an alternative mode and to a select group of staff for cleaning.” Currently, this plan is in place through March 29th, but may evolve with changing circumstances. Additional information on availability of specific library resources and services will be made available as soon as possible.

All IWU students, faculty, and staff, are strongly encouraged to observe CDC guidelines regarding social distancing and to make use of our rich collection of digital resources, services, and tools, as an alternative to visiting the library in person.

We appreciate your flexibility during this challenging time, are available to assist you by remote means, and look forward to welcoming you back to the Ames Library as soon as we can.


Adjusted Hours and Access for March 14 – 29

Following the university’s announcement of an extended Spring Break and a move to online-only instruction following the break, the Ames Library has adjusted its service hours and access policies for the period affected, March 14th – 29th. During this time, we will be limiting access to the Ames Library to current IWU students, faculty, and staff, and to current students, faculty, and staff at CARLI member libraries. Access to the Ames Library will be by card-swipe or by presentation of a current ID card from a CARLI member library.

We will review these hours and access policies as more information is made available about the university’s plan for resuming on-campus instruction (or extending the period of online-only instruction) after March 29th. Please visit the library’s Hours page for the most up-to-date information about library hours, and watch this space for any additional changes to library services during this time.

New Guides to Digital Resources Supporting Teaching and Learning

In response to the continuing expansion of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Illinois and across the United States, the Ames Library and Information Technology Services are working in close collaboration with university leadership and our campus partners to provide resources that will make it easier for our students, faculty, and staff to make use of a wide array of resources and services that we provide to help you to teach, learn, and conduct research in the online environment.

As you return to your classes, please take a moment to explore our new guide to accessing library resources, services, and assistance from a distance, as well as the ITS guide for faculty members making use of the university’s online teaching platforms. While these guides will be useful in a number of situations (e.g., leaves, breaks, study abroad), we believe they will be especially helpful as part of the coordinated response across the university to ensure the health and well-being of our campus community.