Pass It on . . . Preservation Week 2012

Posted April 13, 2012 by Maggi
Categories: From the Archives

Preservation Week 2012April 22 to 28th is Preservation Week, sponsored by the American Library Association. The week’s focus is on family preservation issues. Two free webinars will be offered. The first is Taking Care: Family Textiles on April 24. The second is Preserving Personal Digital Photographs on April 26. Although the webinars are free and open to the public, they do require pre-registration .

This is good opportunity to learn about caring for your family’s treasures.


The Future of Libraries/Libarians

Posted March 23, 2012 by Maggi
Categories: General Information, Knowledge Management, Uncategorized

Are libraries a thing of the past? Are they dinosaurs that can be drastically cut to save both public and institutional costs? In the future will we still need librarians? For that matter, what’s a librarian for besides checking out books and shushing folks? Did you know you had an information expert on your side?

Check out the display case on the second floor of the Saint Paul Library and the quotes below, then join the discussion by adding your comments.

What Librarians Are Saying

Richard Rubin talks about all of the negative terms that people use when they talk about the abundance of information available today, words like overload, flood, and explosion. He goes on to say that librarians are among the few professionals who are “devoted to helping people find their way among the bewildering variety of information sources.”

In a lecture on “Breaking the Barriers of Time and Space: The Dawning of the Great Age of Librarians,” Scott Plutchak says “In the digital age, physical libraries are becoming less relevant to the communities that they serve. Librarians, however, are more necessary than ever in helping members of their communities navigate the increasingly complex information space.” He talks about his objection to saying things like “the library does . . .” Libraries, Plutchak  says, “don’t do anything—people do.” This change in phrasing can be as hard to adjust to as changing to inclusive language for God—we have to break old habits.

David Lankes begins his Atlas of New Librarianship with a mission statement, “The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.” You can see his diagram of librarianship in the library display.


Lankes, David, The Atlas of New Librarianship, (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2011).

Plutchak, T. Scott, “Breaking the Barriers of Time and Space: The Dawning of the Great Age of Librarians,” in Journal of the Medical Library Association 100 (1), January 2012.

Rubin, Richard, Foundations of Library and Information Science  (New York : Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2004)

Tune in to New Developments from JSTOR!

Posted March 6, 2012 by Logan
Categories: Databases, Information Discovery, Internet Resources

At this point, some of you may be wondering what JSTOR is. It’s an online Journal STORage company that sells access and content to libraries and individuals. It’s a competitor to EbscoHost, which many of you will have used.

Development # 1: “Early Journal Content” ( In September 2011, JSTOR began offering free access to over 300 of its journals published prior to 1924. As you may know, 1923 is the most recent year for printed material in the public domain. Check out the following link to an excel spreadsheet ( if your research interests gravitate to this older material. Online access to these titles is an important benefit to researchers because the print form of it is so scarce and in many cases so fragile. A few of the titles to arouse your curiosity: Advocate of Peace through Justice; International Journal of Ethics; The American Journal of Theology; Hebraica; The Journal of Negro History; and, Mnemosyne.

Development # 2: “Register and Read” ( Just announced, this new initiative allows any individual who registers for a free MyJSTOR account to view page images of 1-3 articles from 75 of JSTOR’s in-copyright titles for a minimum of 14 days. Registered users may remove and replace an item from their “bookshelf” by waiting for 14 days or by buying a downloadable pdf of the article. The current title list ( will be growing in the future using this iTunes-like sales model.

Check out JSTOR at and follow these and other developments via Facebook and Twitter!

Controlled Access Library Resources

Posted February 27, 2012 by John
Categories: Databases, General Information, Information Discovery, Internet Resources, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Uncategorized

In my last blog I discussed “open access” research materials – resources freely accessible to anyone with an internet connection and a browser. At the opposite end of the spectrum are library resources with tightly controlled access. These resources are very valuable to you and the owner of the resources. They are rarely owned by the library. EBSCOhostCopyrights are usually retained by the original publisher. We purchase a user license to gain access to the electronic book, full-text article, or bibliographic information through a vendor who owns the “search platform” (like EBSCOhost).

Controlled access resources are valuable to you for a few reasons. First, our subscription databases are designed for academic use. The resources are vetted and selected by librarians, scholars, or other information professionals dedicated to providing the most credible research resources available. The databases also target subjects most useful for the fields studied at Saint Paul School of Theology (SPST). Finally, the search platforms feature robust search and storage tools to facilitate extended periods, or even a lifetime of study.Proxy Server Login

You will need to pass through the proxy server via the “Database Login” under the Library dropdown on the SPST home page to gain access to our controlled resources. Your username is your last name and your PIN is the 13-digit number below the barcode on your SPST ID card.

Three major controlled access resources you may find helpful are EBSCOhost, ATLA Logothe ATLA Religion Database with Serials, and the ebrary electronic book collection. Our EBSCOhost search platform offers 24 databases. The ATLASerials database is hosted on the EBSCO search platform. ebrary LogoFollow the ebrary link to access our electronic book collection containing over 70,000 academic titles covering a broad range of subjects. In my next post I will talk about the fuzzy world of “limited” access resources.

Not a New Preaching Resource

Posted February 13, 2012 by Lee
Categories: Internet Resources

Day1 is a radio broadcast which began its history in 1945 as the Protestant Hour featuring sermons from some of the best preachers of the mainline denominations.  Today it is affiliated with the ecumenical Alliance for Christian Media and has a website with blogs, podcasts and videos at

Open, Controlled, and Limited Access

Posted January 24, 2012 by John
Categories: Catalog, Databases, Information Discovery, Internet Resources, New Books and Resources, Uncategorized

What does all this mean?

As Catherine pointed out in her last blog post, we’re not even close to everything being on the internet. However, because of the internet, we do have unprecedented access to books, journals, and a multitude of other information materials. Many of these resources we could never have seen or even found without the internet. Perhaps describing internet resources more specifically will help us to better evaluate and understand their usefulness for our research.

One way of classifying internet resources is by their accessibility. Internet resources may have open access, controlled access, or some form of limited access. A prime example of open access is our online catalog.

MOBIUS Library Catalog

Anyone with internet access can see, manipulate and explore the SPST, Kansas City Cluster, and MOBIUS catalogs free of charge, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The cost of these catalogs is paid for by the member schools of the MOBIUS library consortium.

Another type of open access information is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). This is a collection of 7437 journals (and growing) intentionally published online, and for which there is no charge. There are 81 journals dedicated specifically to religious studies. Directory of Open Access JournalsDOAJ is where you will find Methodist Review, Homiletic, and the Journal of Religion and Society. Only 1351 of the 7437 journals are published in the US. Many, if not most, of the journals are published in English as well as the source language. Of course, the scholarly practice of critical review that applies to all materials is important when evaluating open access materials. Just think of the breadth of new thought the internet is enabling us to reach! Take a look and explore how these journals might impact the quality of your research.

Stay tuned for more on controlled and limited access resources and their role in your research.

The Hollows of Kansas City

Posted January 16, 2012 by Maggi
Categories: From the Archives

The history of the Kansas City National Training School for Deaconesses and Missionaries and its intersection with Kansas City history is fascinating. I’ve been reading A City Divided: The Racial Landscape of Kansas City, 1900-1960 by Sherry Lamb Schirmer (University of Missouri Press, 2002) hand-in-hand with The Kansas City Deaconess, November 1909. Both sources, written nearly a century apart, tell about the horrible living conditions in the steep ravines called “hollows” of Kansas City.

Kansas City at the turn of the 20th century was an ugly place with stockyards, soap factories, rail yards, and other industries polluting the air and water in the prone-to-flood West Bottoms. Brambles and shanties covered the bluffs that rose to the east. The wealthy built on the high places surrounding themselves with parks and boulevards. But the poor lived in the poorly developed hollows that riddled Kansas City. Schirmer writes:

 … housing in the hollows was cheap … Unfortunately, it was also ramshackle. Landlords jammed flimsy frame structures onto the hollows’ unpaved streets and alleyways. Sanitation facilities were scant, and just a fifth of the buildings were connected to city water mains, so that householders often drew their water from contaminated cisterns or carried it home from nearby saloons. (Schirmer 2002, 37)

Belvidere Hollow in the North End was an enclave of mostly black households, whose residents had moved there to “escape the dreary West Bottoms” (ibid). In The Kansas City Deaconess of November 1909, a visit to Belvidere Hollow is described:

… we descend a flight of seventy steps and find ourselves in Belvidere Hollow, or the North End … We are not real sure about the street number, so by mistake go up the wrong street. At the last house we stop, thinking it to be the place we are to visit. We enter the house, going into the front room. The first thing we notice is that the plaster is mostly off; the windows no longer have glass, but old shades are nailed over them to keep out the cold. In this small room is a bed, an old cot, a small stove, a trunk, and a few old chairs. (November 1909, 4).

The story in The Kansas City Deaconess doesn’t do the scene justice. That would take a video and a scratch-and-sniff book. Two young women, dressed in long black dresses, walk down steep stairs into an overgrown, muddy, smelly hollow. They then find their way along unpaved, neglected roads, possibly through open sewers, to a desperately poor home. In the first home they don’t even know the people, but they go in and finding an old woman and her orphaned granddaughter, they set to work doing what they can to help. The woman’s son is at work, but they learn he has tuberculosis, so the deaconesses put contacting the local health nurse on their “to do list.” Leaving that home and retracing their steps, they find the house they were looking for, only to discover no one home. The return trip takes them back on the bad roads, but as they approach the flight of stairs, they see a couple on the stairs “drinking from a jug” (ibid) so they decide to go another way. After cutting across a yard, they go up another stairway out of the hollow.

The 1908 Class of KCNTS

Current projects in the Saint Paul library include applying for a grant to get The Kansas City Deaconess scanned and online.