Library Changes Ahead

July 15, 2019

The University of Rochester Libraries will be upgrading our current library system, Voyager, which powers the “Library Catalog” tab on the library website. When we first implemented Voyager in 1996, it represented state of the art technology. Now, it is an aging platform that is no longer being updated by the vendor and cannot handle a significant portion of the data that modern research libraries work with today.

The shift to a new system is essential: Voyager, our current catalog system, is now twenty-two years old and is no longer updated by the vendor. In order to continue to serve the University of Rochester, we must upgrade this critical system. 

Before the end of this month, we will introduce a new set of tools to search for library materials. New, but not so new to us; the software that powers the current “Articles and Books” tab on the library website will be used as the foundation for our new library search interface.

Please rest assured that connecting our community with library materials is indeed the primary purpose of our search systems. While some elements of search will be different in any new system because of the evolution of search technologies and tools over the last twenty-two years, the core principles, connecting library patrons to the resources available to them, remain the same.  

Our choice of systems is not unique: in selecting these tools, we are joining the likes of Harvard, Brown, Columbia, Case Western, Boston University, Princeton, UNC Chapel Hill, University of Toronto, Northwestern, Yale, Rutgers, Temple, UC Davis, Irvine, Riverside, and Santa Barbara, University of Pennsylvania, and many others. We are lucky to have many peers and colleagues to connect with to help us build a great search system for the University of Rochester Libraries, and we are excited to do so. 

One thing to note is that any current links you may have to books that come from Voyager (library catalog) will need to be updated after the new system is implemented. These links will start with ‘catalog.lib’ or you may notice they direct you to Voyager (library catalog). The process of updating links cannot be completed until the new system is in place. We will communicate to you once that happens. You can view screenshots of where you can locate these new links:

We have also created a guide to help you learn all the exciting new features of this system which will be located in the Subject Guide section of the Miner Library website once our new system goes live. On here you can learn more about the tools within our new search system that will help you discover the results you need.

If you have any questions please reach out to us. We want to ensure that you feel supported through this transition and we are happy to help and provide answers you may have about this. 


Miner Library 

Upcoming Classes by Miner Library

July 3, 2019

Classes at Miner Library

Here are the classes offered by Miner Library for the upcoming month:

For a full list of Miner Library’s classes, visit our Classes page.

Have a question? Contact Miner Library’s Answer Desk @ 585-275-3361.

New York State Parks

June 28, 2019
Letchworth State Park, the Grand Canyon of the East

Did you know that the Monroe County Libraries offer Empire Passes? These passes get you access to the wonderful and magnificent parks around New York State for free. That includes parks like Letchworth.

Take a look at some of the State Park information below. New York is a big state with a lot of cool places and things to see!

New York State Parks

Finger Lakes Region State Parks

49 New York State Parks Within a 2-hour Drive of Rochester

Follow on Twitter for more information @NYstateparks

Summer Reading 2019

June 21, 2019

Miner Library has a small browsing collection that everyone is welcome to, well, browse. In case you are in the market to read something beyond this small shelf, we thought we would put together a list. Since many other places do this, we decided to point you all to several suggested reading lists.

New York Times Summer Reading

“Dive in! Here are 75 of the latest and greatest books to keep you company as temperatures climb and days grow long.”

NPR’s Code Switch Book Club, Summer 2019

So, Fam: We asked you to suggest good summer reads, and boy, did you respond! Big thanks to everyone who sent thoughts on books we need to get to.”

The Washington Post’s The 20 Books to Read This Summer

“A look at the novels and nonfiction worthy of your precious suitcase space.”

NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday

“Need summer book recommendations? From new novels, to classics, to nonfiction, here are our suggestions.”

NPR’s Librarian Nancy Pearl Picks 7 Books For Summer Reading

“Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl shares her under-the-radar reading recommendations with Morning Edition’s Steve Inskeep. This year’s picks include mysteries, nonfiction and a fantasy story for young readers.”

The Mental Floss Summer Reading List: 27 Books to Read in Summer 2019

“With summer officially upon us, the Mental Floss team—like so many of our readers—has got books on the brain. Nothing completes a lazy summer day in the sun or week spent on the beach quite like a great book. And while the term “beach read” often brings images of fluffy fiction to mind, it doesn’t have to be that way.”

O Magazine’s 28 of the Best Beach Reads of 2019

“Whether you’ll be lounging at the beach or poolside during your next vacation, you’ll need a good book to keep you company. From contemporary romances like The Wedding Party and When We Left Cuba to young adult novels like Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire on High to non-fiction works like Rachel Hollis’s engrossing self-help guide, here are some of the best beach reads of the year—including a few recommendations from Goodreads—that are perfect for relaxing on a warm summer night.”

Esquire’s Escape the Heat With the Best Books of Summer 2019

From transformative novels to true crime and enlightening non-fiction, here’s what you should read in the months ahead.

Harper’s Bazaar’s The 17 Best Summer Reads of 2019

“Whether you’re into linguistics, historical fiction, or family sagas that span countries, there’s a title that’s tailor-made for your beach bag.”

Elle’s The 30 Best Books to Read This Summer

“Swimsuit? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Three books, because you couldn’t choose just one? Check. From multi-generational fiction that plumbs emotional depths to thrillers that will slot perfectly into a beach bag, here are the 30 books to put on your summer reading list.”

Refinery29’s The Hottest Beach Reads Of Summer 2019

“Ah, the summer beach read. It’s a classic literary sub-genre, a category typically made up of books written by and for women — books labelled with the dreaded “chick lit” tag. They’re usually light, breezy, and full of romance. And you know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I read those books year-round. I’m a firm believer that a stereotypical “summer beach read” should be enjoyed any time, and that they have the potential to be as smart, funny, and page-turning as any other book. That said, sometimes on a hot summer day, all you want to do is curl up on a dock or lay out on a towel in the sand with a book that makes you feel good, makes you laugh, or makes you want to fall in love, or a book that’s so thrilling not even the call of the ocean or a calm lake could make you put it down.”

Vox’s The 10 most anticipated books of the summer, according to Goodreads

“New York showgirls and murderous smart homes: your summer reading, chosen by Goodreads.”

While not an exhaustive list, this should give you some great ideas. If they’re bad, we’re sorry. Remember, we didn’t create the lists, just passed the suggestions along. Happy reading!

Applying to MLIS Programs

May 24, 2019
Jaimi Miller, Library Assistant at Bibby Library (center), is starting graduate school in the fall at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing and Information.

When I was asked by my colleagues to write a blog post regarding my application process to library school, I was thrilled. I have always liked the idea of blogging and having the opportunity to share what I’ve gained from my various experiences.

After attending the Rochester Institute of Technology, taking a year off and graduating from Monroe Community College within four years, I entered Nazareth prepared to complete my bachelor’s focused, determined… And quite broke. I walked across campus to the library after a dance class one evening early in the semester, asked if they were still hiring and was immediately brought to the back to fill out the paperwork. After a course credit battle with my department, I dropped out and was forced to resign from my library position since I was no longer a student. That hiatus led me to the University of Rochester, serving as the library assistant at Bibby Library for the past 3 years and beginning my graduate studies this fall as a fellow at the University of Pittsburgh.

So how does this all connect? How is my experience so much more helpful than a Google search on applying to library school? Here is what I gained from the application process and my own life that I believe anyone looking to enter this field, or applying to graduate school at all, should keep in mind.

  1. Take your time: Even if Sallie Mae is banging down your door; even if your parents are on you to get out of the basement, don’t leap into this, or any higher education decision, because it seems like an easy choice. Take a semester, a year, as long as you need to reflect on the direction you want to take your career. Consider the job market, your longevity in the field and what one of my heroes, Marie Kondo, recommends- what sparks joy.
  2. Think outside the box: Librarians are so much more than women in glasses with a ruler shushing people from behind a desk. I have yet to find an undergraduate degree that a master’s in library science will not compliment. I was committed to the idea once I realized I could use my arts background with library science to work in theaters, music libraries such as our own Sibley Music Library at the Eastman School of Music, and even with orchestras like our own RPO. Whether public, academic, or in the background with policy, I found there is a specialty for everyone. The same applies for other degrees- did you major in biology but change your mind on medical school? Perhaps consider law school for environmental policy or nursing. A change of course is not a failure.
  3. Ask yourself the hard questions: Yale is great, but are you sacrificing the perfect program at Stony Brook to be a Bulldog? Do you want the warmer climate UCLA offers? Do you have a family and need to go online, or the flexibility of a hybrid program? If you know your concentration, is a dual master’s worthwhile, standard for your field, and affordable? How was your undergraduate performance? Should you consider taking a couple extra undergraduate courses to boost your GPA? 

These are all questions I pondered when choosing schools. One of the biggest factors for me was the GRE. I am graduating in June with a cumulative GPA well over a 3.5, was anxious to start in the fall of 2019 with no time to study for the test, nor will to take time off to prepare for it. This eliminated a couple of options I thought I really liked at first glance. But for me, the time spent studying for a $300 test that assessed my aptitude when I am still a student successfully enrolled in a graduate-level courses seemed redundant. For some degrees this is inevitable but, if it is optional then by all means, consider your options.

The path to my decision to pursue a library science degree was littered with indecisiveness, late nights and many years just working to sort it out. The interest on my loans might be a little higher (who checks that stuff anyways) but I thoroughly believe it was necessary and contributed only positively to my work and school life. Good grades or bad, first career or your fourth, whether you are considering library science, medical school or any other graduate studies, the best lesson I took away from this process was to strike a balance between looking at your options logically and trusting your gut. I hope I was able to offer a glimmer of insight as one of my final task at the University.

            Meliora, comrades. 

Post by Jaimi Miller.

May 2019 Classes by Miner Library

May 1, 2019

Classes at Miner Library

Here are the classes offered by Miner Library for the upcoming month:

For a full list of Miner Library’s classes, visit our Classes page.

Have a question? Contact Miner Library’s Answer Desk @ 585-275-3361.

Need a Cure for Consumption? How about Cannabis Sativa?

April 25, 2019

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, consumption was rampant and there was no cure. Patients and families were desperate for any type of treatment to cure the dreaded disease or to lessen its symptoms.  Many patients went to sanatoriums, some went into caves trying to be cured and others turned to remedies that they could use at home and that were sold in their local town or by mail.  It was unknown in the late 1880s whether or not consumption was contagious.  However, poor sanitation, spitting in the streets, and living in a home with an infected patient all contributed to its spread.

 In Rochester, a businessman by the name of W. A. Noyes hopped on the remedy bandwagon and began selling his consumption curing remedy, Cannabis Sativa, not only in Rochester, but through the mail to patients all over the country.

His office was in the Powers building in downtown Rochester and was one of 2 high rise building in the city. The Powers building still stands today.  Noyes’ remedy was advertised as The Home Treatment for consumption, bronchitis, asthmas, and other lung conditions. 

What was in this remedy that promised healing for so many lung conditions?  The full list of ingredients are not known, but they included Cannabis Sativa.

Cannabis Stevia is a species that is part of the Cannabis family of plants.  Sativa simply means that it is a cultivated plant.  Its main psychoactive ingredient is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and it is still used today as medicinal and recreational cannabis.

From all across the country, patients and families would order Cannabis Sativa from Noyes and they would often write back to him and share with him how well it worked.  Noyes published the flyer below in Rochester in 1897 to advertise the great healing properties of The Home Treatment and it included positive reviews from patients.

Other than his remedy for consumption and other lung conditions, not much else is known about W. A. Noyes.  The bacillus that causes consumption (tuberculosis) was discovered in 1882 but it wasn’t until 1946 that streptomycin was developed to provide a cure.