Undergraduate Research Day was held at MD Anderson Library recently, featuring the work of UH undergraduates who have participated in independent research and faculty-mentored projects over the past year. UH Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards, in collaboration with the Honors College, coordinates the annual event with support from the Office of the Provost and Division of Research.
UH librarians were in attendance to highlight a variety of research services open to all UH scholars. UH librarians are available to assist at any stage of the research process, including:
- scoping a research project
- conducting literature reviews
- finding and analyzing data
- sharing and publishing research
- learning about research methods and tools in the Digital Research Commons
University of Houston Libraries is accepting applications for the OER Creation Program, a new initiative that advances the use of open educational resources (OER) to make higher education more affordable and accessible for UH students.
The OER Creation Program provides professional development and financial support for faculty to create high-quality OER that will be used as required course material in a UH course or program and that fills a gap in existing OER content. Materials should be free to access, share, and customize.
Applications must consist of two to four project team members. Selected teams will receive a stipend ranging from $5,000 to $10,000, participate in the Textbook Success Program (TSP), a year-long professional development program facilitated by the Rebus Community, and publish their completed OER on Pressbooks and in the UH Cougar ROAR repository.
TSP is a professional development program that equips faculty, librarians, administrators, and managers with the tools they need to make great OER. The program is one year long and comprises two phases:
- Phase 1: 12 weekly themed sessions with a cohort to give faculty an overview of the open publishing process
- Phase 2: Hands-on stage where the team works on OER projects, with a mix of group check-ins with the cohort and 1:1 support sessions with a facilitator
Participants will join a group made up of project teams from UH and potentially teams from other institutions. The TSP is facilitated by OER publishing professionals and program alumni, and is built with community, collaboration, and engagement in mind.
The deadline for proposals is April 8, 2022. Interested applicants are encouraged to attend an upcoming information session to learn about the OER Creation Program. Ariana Santiago, open educational resources coordinator, is available by appointment to discuss implementing open textbooks in the classroom and the support provided through the program.
With the Spring 2022 semester underway, Coogs are busy leaning into new schedules, new interests, and new goals. UH Libraries locations, including MD Anderson Library, Architecture, Design, and Art Library, Health Sciences Library, and Music Library, are the best places on campus to find books and print media, plus plenty of study space, but did you know that you can check out equipment, browse unique digital collections, or visit a virtual pop-up library?
This semester, explore something new at UH Libraries. Whether you’re on campus or studying remotely, you can:
Borrow a heart
Or a brain, available at Health Sciences Library, along with other anatomical models. Art and design students can check out basic tools, sculpting sets, and brushes. For those musically inclined, we have headphones, cameras, and mics. Also projectors, laptops, a laser cutter station, Raspberry Pi kits, dry erase markers, and much more equipment to borrow — just bring your Cougar Card for check-out or reservation.
OK, not really. But our revamped Digital Collections repository is home to an immersive assortment of digitized historical documents, images, video, and audio representing various locales and time periods. You can experience a vintage University of Houston from midcentury, early 20th century architecture of Rome, or DJ Screw’s recording sessions, to name a few.
Find out what your instructor means by “literature review”
Our librarians have compiled course guides and info lit videos that will help you zero in on scholarly resources and knock out that research paper.
See what’s new in collections from afar
Remember the thrill of book fairs? This is like that, only it’s online and free. Architecture, Design, and Art Library hosts virtual pop-up libraries that feature beautiful, engaging books from our collection that are available for check-out (access last semester’s pop-ups here).
Let us know how we can help you have an outstanding Spring 2022 semester. Contact us
A new community in Cougar Research Open Access Repositories (ROAR) allows University of Houston faculty to deposit and share open educational resources (OER).
Open Course Materials gathers openly licensed course materials generated by instructors at UH and creates long-term access to those materials for UH students, including archived resources that would otherwise only be available in Blackboard, the application for online learning.
The UH Institutional Repository, or Cougar ROAR, provides open online access to the research and scholarship produced at the University. By aggregating content reflecting the scholarly, educational, and administrative output of UH from faculty, students, staff, and campus units, the repository preserves and provides global access to the legacy of UH research and scholarly communication.
OER at UH is a student success initiative sponsored by the Office of the Provost that promotes the creation of teaching and learning resources in the public domain or licensed in such a way that anyone may freely use and re-purpose them. OER refer to any tools or materials used to support learning, including full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, lesson plans, streaming videos, tests, and other digital resources. UH instructors directly support student success by implementing an open or alternative textbook in their courses, with the purpose of eliminating textbook costs and ensuring UH students have free and immediate access to course materials.
“Cougar ROAR is a great resource for anyone who is developing a new course or enhancing or updating an existing course,” said Arlene Ramirez, instructional assistant professor in the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. “Being able to review materials others have found successful in the classroom is beneficial in the design process. More time can be spent on the methodologies that may be used to teach the materials and less time on developing artifacts to solidifying comprehension of the content. Another consideration is that the material on Cougar ROAR provides a different perspective on a topic, and this is especially helpful when one is immersed in developing a course or material. Using open resource materials also allows for expanding materials found on Cougar ROAR or using only specific portions. The flexibility is a great benefit.”
Instructors who are new to teaching will find Cougar ROAR to be a valuable tool in learning how to develop accessible course material. Sharing knowledge is a large part of what makes Cougar ROAR beneficial for faculty.
“The adage ‘sharing is caring’ is true when considering Cougar ROAR,” Ramirez said. “Developing material that can help others in their courses, or using contributions from others that can help in my courses, reflects how much the University cares about providing the best resources to faculty and the best education to our students. Faculty are proud of what they develop to help our students achieve success and sharing that is a way to not only give back but to also help in the professional development of faculty.”
Instructors are encouraged to explore options for creating OER and for making those resources widely available online. UH faculty who have created OER and want to make it accessible in the Open Course Materials community in Cougar ROAR may contact Ariana Santiago, open educational resources coordinator at UH Libraries, to get started. Requests will be processed in the order in which they are received.
University of Houston Music Library has a sleek new look. Research, relax, refine, and recharge at the transformed study space located in the Moores School of Music.
Sharing Stories from 1977: Putting the National Women’s Conference on the Map, a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Collaborative Research Grant, highlights a multi-year, multi-state, multi-institutional effort, led by Moores professor of history Nancy Beck Young and associate professor of history Leandra Zarnow, to document and analyze the experience and impact of thousands of delegates and observers of the 1977 National Women’s Conference (NWC). The goal of the project is to create an open source digital archive that spurs quantitative and qualitative scholarship as well as public engagement.
An online preview of this project is now live.
The preview introduces the project in anticipation of a debut of the full site on November 21, 2021. On that date, visitors will have access to research on the Texas delegates and presidential appointed commissioners with the remaining research to roll out quarterly starting in late spring 2022. An initial data set will showcase the dynamism of what Sharing Stories from 1977 will grow to be when the project is completed in 2027. Over 1000 UH students, as well as pilot crowdsourcing partners at colleges and universities in Indiana and California, contributed to the project.
The site’s November 21 launch will include:
- Why NWC Matters: featuring a historical timeline and interpretive essays on topics pertaining to the NWC
- Discover NWC Stories: showcasing biographies and oral histories of NWC participants
- Mapping the NWC: presenting searchable demographic data on the lives, advocacy work, and careers of NWC participants
- How to Contribute: featuring resources for NWC participants, students, researchers, archivists, educators, and the general public
“The NEH has recognized Sharing Stories from 1977 as an innovative space for students to do historical research that builds their critical thinking and writing skills while also contributing to our digital public square,” Zarnow said. “Documenting the stories of dynamic and diverse women active in communities across the United States makes clear not only that the 1970s was a high point of civic engagement, but also that the issues advocated for then from child care to LGBT rights continue to matter today.”
The Sharing Stories project received funds from the UH Libraries Digital Research Commons and the Libraries Sponsored Projects program, which offers grants for digital research projects at various stages of development. The DRC cultivates interdisciplinary research and builds communities of practice around digital research methodologies.
Additionally, the Sharing Stories project received funds from the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, partnered with UH Special Collections Carey C. Shuart Women’s Research Collection, and is a flagship project of the UH Center for Public History.
University of Houston Libraries Digital Research Commons (DRC) invites all UH graduate and professional students to submit an application for participation in the Spring 2022 Digital Research Institute, a multi-day intensive experience aimed at building the foundational skills and knowledge needed to generate a piece of digital research.
The Institute will take place on Zoom over five days, March 14 – 19, 2022, the week of Spring Break, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm daily. It is aimed at those who are in the beginning phases of digital research that is intended to form the basis for part of an article or a thesis/dissertation. The 4-6 students who are best positioned to benefit from the experience will be offered a seat in the Institute along with a $500 scholarship, provided by the UH Graduate School and UH Libraries, to be received after successful completion of the experience.
Participants must attend all five days of the Institute plus a virtual interview with DRC staff and “Getting Started” cohort discussion to be scheduled the week before the Institute. Participants will be assigned individualized pre-work and readings that will give them the theoretical and conceptual grounding needed to undertake the work of the Institute and exit the experience with the tangible beginnings of their digital research as well as next steps. Over the Institute, they will attend 3-5 sessions per day delivered by Digital Research Commons staff and other digital research practitioners, each targeted at building technical skills and offering individualized mentorship.
To apply, fill out this form by Friday, November 19, 11:59 pm.
Questions? Contact the staff in the Digital Research Commons: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Houston community is invited to check out the UH Libraries Makerspace. Located on the first floor of the MD Anderson Library within the South Computer Lab, the Makerspace offers tools and support for anyone working on projects, making objects, or building electronic devices. All students on the UH campus, regardless of major, are encouraged to explore the space and the opportunities it presents for discovery and collaboration.
In-person workshops are happening this semester on topics such as Arduino and sewing. Have an idea for other Makerspace workshop topics? If you represent a student or faculty organization that is interested in collaborating to create a workshop, contact us.
The Makerspace is seeking volunteer instructors or sponsors on the following workshop topics:
- Introduction to AI on PyTorch
- Introduction to Machine Vision on OpenCV
- Raspberry Pi Retro Gaming
- Introduction to Soldering
- Making Origami with a Laser Cutter
- Beginning Embroidery
- Using a Oscilloscope 101
Kit check-out is a popular service available for all UH students and faculty. The Makerspace provides educational kits for learning electronics and microprocessors, including Ardunio, Raspberry Pi, Intel Edison, Beaglebone Black, and most Texas Instruments microprocessors. The kits are perfect for building prototypes and applying electronics concepts. View kit inventory
The UH community has access to Makerspace equipment and technical expertise in fabricating components. One-hour reservations are available for:
- Glowforge laser cutter station
- Electronics workstation
- Sewing/serger station
Spiderbot is an Arduino-controlled autonomous robot that wanders around the MD Anderson Library. Throughout the month of October, Spiderbot is filled with the Halloween spirit and features a pumpkin stuffed with candy for students to enjoy.
University of Houston Libraries Digital Research Commons and UH Special Collections are collaborating with UH Honors College and UH Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards on a new program that facilitates project-based experience in the digital humanities for undergraduates.
The Research for Aspiring Coogs in the Humanities (REACH) program is an introductory research program for students in the humanities supported by a grant from the Cougar Initiative to Engage. REACH participants receive a $1,500 scholarship to carry out undergraduate research and contribute to an existing project at UH during the 2021 – 2022 academic year.
Created to give undergraduates first-hand research experience, REACH projects range from community activism to archival preservation to drafting biographies and conducting oral histories. REACH participants will develop research skills with the help of a mentor and through related programming offered by UH Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards, and will present their research at Undergraduate Research Day in April 2022.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors in humanities disciplines are invited to apply by September 7.
University of Houston Libraries welcomes the UH community for the start of the fall semester. As a reminder, the University strongly encourages everyone to wear masks in public indoor settings, including MD Anderson Library, Architecture, Design, and Art Library, Health Sciences Library, and Music Library.
Beginning Monday, August 23, UH Libraries will expand hours of operation for all locations. UH Special Collections Reading Room is available by appointment. Additionally, the 24 Hour Lounge located at the front of MD Anderson Library will be accessible to students after our regular hours of operation.
Students are strongly encouraged to bring their Cougar Card when visiting MD Anderson Library. Swiping or tapping a physical Cougar Card at the turnstiles is the fastest option for entry. At certain times, card access will be the only option for entry. In addition, the Cougar Card serves as a library card for book and material check-out, and allows students to release print jobs from library printers. Students without a physical Cougar Card will be asked to present their digital Cougar Card on the UH Go app to the security officer for access.
New Self-Service Lockers
MD Anderson Library now offers users an additional pick-up option for library materials. The remote locker system, located in the 24 Hour Lounge, allows users to pick up requested materials easily with just the swipe of a Cougar Card. When placing a request through the online catalog, users can select the remote locker delivery location and have their items placed in one of the 18 available lockers. Materials can be retrieved at the user’s convenience any time day or night. Users will have up to 7 days from notification to pick up items. Planned enhancements for fall 2021 include 24 additional lockers, 12 of which will be stocked with supplies and technology (such as a marker kit or graphing calculator) for users to check out on demand.
Spaces, Services, and Resources
Popular Libraries services and resources, including remote access to digital items, librarian consultations, interlibrary loan, and printing and scanning, will continue to support UH student success. High demand spaces, such as computer labs, group study rooms, and multimedia studios, will also be available. Floors 5, 7 and 8 of the MD Anderson Library Blue wing are under construction and will re-open later in the fall semester. All other public areas of the library will be open and available.
“The Libraries team warmly welcomes new and returning Coogs to the library,” said Athena Jackson, dean of UH Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair. “We’ve enhanced our spaces, services, and resources during this transformative time to engage and empower the UH community, and more improvements are on the horizon. Please stay safe and Cougar Strong!”