IBM Librarian Hooks up with Bay Mills

Sep 15th, 1999 | By | Category: 11-1: 10th Anniversary Issue, Tribal College News

Liz Staples, an IBM software engineer, is constructing a virtual library of Internet-based information at Bay Mills Community College (BMCC) in Brimley, Mich. IBM has assigned her to the college for one year. The Virtual Library collects links to information on the Internet relevant to the college and enhances the collection of books, magazines, videotapes, and audiotapes at the BMCC Library/Heritage Center. The prototype website can be visited at <www.bmcc.org/libtest>

The college virtual library serves the students and staff of the college and will also be available to individuals with Internet access in their home, school, or at work. Users can research topics related to all of the courses offered by BMCC, especially the language, culture and history of the Native American tribes of Michigan. The Virtual Library will also provide electronically a collection of Head Start publications that were previously not available on the Internet. These publications support the BMCC efforts to bring college degree and certificate programs to Indian Head Start workers nationwide.

“My goal is to provide information without spending a lot of money. I want to make it work for people who don’t have state of the art equipment,” Staples said. Her work is technically challenging for that reason. In addition to having access to the Bay Mills Community College library collection, users will be able to search the online catalogs and periodical lists of local libraries. Access to general Internet search engines and indexes, along with guidelines for using them, will be provided. The site will provide tutorials on subjects such as how to use the Internet for research, evaluate the quality of a web site and cite Internet-based information properly in research papers, along with an “Ask the Librarian” service by e-mail.

Staples comes to Bay Mills Community College through the IBM Faculty Loan Program. The goal of this program is to assist in improving the quality of education by granting qualified employees temporary assignments to teach, counsel, or provide professional support to colleges, universities, and other related educational institutions. These IBM employees are involved with programs that support the needs of minorities, women, disadvantaged students, or students with disabilities. Since 1971, IBM has provided more than 1000 employees, each for a full academic year at no cost, to more than 250 institutions.

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