The University of St. Thomas
News, Events and Musings from the UST Libraries

UST Libraries observe Banned Books Week Sept. 21 – 27

Published on: Friday, September 12th, 2014

BBW2014 for blog     What does the novel Beloved by Toni Morrison have in common with The Hunger Games? Both books top the 2013 list of most frequently challenged books according to the American Library Association’s
State of America’s Library Report 2013.
In order to highlight instances of challenges made to books on local levels, the UST Libraries will join thousands of libraries and bookstores across the nation to observe the 32nd anniversary of Banned Books Week  Sept. 21-27. Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has promoted the idea that while not every book is intended for every reader, each person has the right to decide what to read, listen to or view. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship and celebrates the freedom to read.
Throughout the week the university’s libraries will observe Banned Books Week with displays and events in the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, updates on the UST Libraries Facebook page and an informative
UST Banned Books Week website that will link to other libraries, articles and videos that focus on issues of intellectual freedom.
Also returning is the popular Banned Books Week trivia contest (posted on the UST Banned Books website). Test your knowledge each day of the week with a new question about a famous or infamous work of literature. Each day’s winner will be selected randomly from among those with the correct answers and will receive a $5 gift certificate to the UST Bookstore or a popular banned book.

The OSF Library White Board Question

Published on: Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

more sticky notes2



For the last couple of years, the staff in O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library have been posting a question on a big white board near the entrance. Sticky notes are provided for anyone to respond to the question.   We’ve asked questions like:

-  What would you tell a prospective student about the library?
-  Books – print or digital, which do you prefer?
-  What’s the best discovery you’ve made in the library?
-  What’s your favorite political movie?
-  What are you thankful for?
-  What helps you get to sleep?
-  What is your best study tip?
-  What are you working on right now?
-  What are you most excited about this semester?
-  How do you get your political news?

Our goal with the white board is to create a conversation with the people who come into the library, and to, we hope, learn more about them. We will ask a mix of lighthearted, social questions as well as more serious questions about your use of the library and our resources.
The answers to our latest question ‘What was the high point of your summer?’ demonstrates how interesting our users are. All the answers (necessarily brief, since the sticky note is small) suggested stories behind our users’ lives:

-  People travelled to Peru, Chile, England, Spain, Italy, Vietnam, Brazil, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and South Africa as well as many points in the U.S.
-  The Iowa State Fair!
-  More than one attended the Bonnarroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee
-  People worked at a number of jobs, volunteered, coached, and took classes
-  The usual Minnesota summer activities were represented – boating, camping, laying in the sun, hanging with the family, hiking up north
-  And one person won a lot of money in Las Vegas!

We’ll keep putting up questions throughout the year – and hope to continue to learn more about you!

Happy 129th Birthday St. Thomas!

Published on: Monday, September 8th, 2014



The Administration Building and Lake Mennith, ca 1886

On September 8, 1885, the St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary (now known as the University of St. Thomas) celebrated its opening day.   The five faculty and sixty-two students lived, studied and attended classes in the only building on campus, the Administration Building.  This building sat on what is now the upper quad of the Saint Paul campus. Board and tuition for the year was $180.00 with an addition $20.00 for the washing and mending of clothes.

John Quinlan studying in his room in the Administration Building

John Quinlan studying in the Administration Building, 1906

Unlike the many majors students have to choose from in 2014, the first students of St. Thomas followed a strictly regimented course of study.  Courses in Latin, Greek, German, Mathematics, Natural Science, English and Christian Doctrine were required for all students.  Classes in Drawing, Instrumental Music and French were offered as optional courses.

 For more information on the history of the University of St. Thomas, browse through the Timeline of UST History.




Welcome Back!

Published on: Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Welcome back to campus, everyone! It was so fun to cheer on the class of 2018 as they marched through the arches yesterday, and today it’s great to see the Quad filled with smiling faces as we all reconnect and get geared up for a wonderful academic year.

We hope you had a fun summer! Things were busy around here at the library and, as usual, we have some fun news to share.

As you gear up for your fall research projects, remember to check out our handy Subject Guides - what I like to call handy “mini library websites” geared specifically towards your course and subject content (and I’m not making that up – we  work with your professors to make sure we have what you need to do your assignments!).

We’re also happy to report that Summon, our popular library search engine, has received an upgrade that we hope will make it easy to use.  Some highlights we’ve heard students liking already include: recommendations of subject specialists based on what you’re searching, automatic breakdown of content by type (like Google does), and more.  Check it out and let us know what you think! 

We’ve also added many more online resources, including these favorites of mine:

  • ASTM Standards and Engineering Digital Library - a collection of industry-leading standards and technical engineering information
  • Digitalia Hispánica - database of e-books and e-journals in Spanish and English, with access to some of the most renowned publishers in Spain and Latin America
  • Early English Books Online - primary source collection featuring English-language books, pamphlets, tracts and ephemera printed between 1473 – 1700
  • Literature Online (“LION”) - criticism and reference resources as well as full text of poetry, drama, and prose fiction from the 8th century to the present day
  • Nature - we have expanded our subscription to the journal “Nature” to include archives going back to 1987

And, of course, we have much more!

As I like to joke, you can stick a quarter in me and I’d go on and on about all of the wonderful resources we have here at the UST Libraries, but I know we’re all busy so I’ll stop here.  Instead, make an appointment with your favorite librarian today find out more about what we have to help you with your research today!

Summer vacation fun

Published on: Friday, August 22nd, 2014


Keffer librarian Donna Nix, lover of kids’ books, spent a few minutes with Ramona at the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden in Portland last week.

UPDATE: O’Shaughnessy-Frey to Rearrange its Books and Periodicals Collections

Published on: Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Captu2re While it is commonly thought that academic libraries hibernate in the summer months, this is quite the misnomer for the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library these last few months.

As some of you may have noticed we are in the middle of a massive book and periodical rearrangement in the building. Our goal with the project: move ALL bound journals to the Sub Level of the library and start the book collection on the Lower Level, extending up to Level 4.

As the Fall semester begins in less than two weeks the following book call number ranges will be on these new floors:

Level 4: PQ – Z 

Level 3: HX – PN

Level 2: will eventually hold E – HV, but this will be an ongoing shift throughout the fall semester

Lower Level: will eventually hold A – D, but this will be an ongoing shift throughout the fall semester

Note that Periodicals with titles that begin S – Z have been shifted from Level 4 to Sub Level. 

If you have questions or comments about this project, please let us know.

See the Library’s March 12th, 2014 blog post for more details on the project

Far from campus?

Published on: Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Outside7CountyMetroSummer is wrapping up.  Did you spend time on-campus working towards a graduate education degree and are lamenting that you’ll be far away from campus and easy access to resources for your studies?

If you’re outside of the seven-county metro area, you’re in luck!  UST Libraries offers distant students the following services:

  • Electronically scanning and delivering book chapters and articles from periodicals.  Make a request through ILLiad.
  • Discussing research topics, little and large, via online chat or over the phone, 651-962-5001.
  • Mailing books from our circulating collections free of charge.  Check out the “Interlibrary Loan for Distance Students and Faculty” section here.
  • Plus mailing books other libraries lend to us for us.  This includes CLIC collections in addition to our local region and beyond!
  • And, of course, accessing our ever growing collection of e-books, full-text articles, and online reference works is as easy as logging into your email through the proxy server.

If you are finished with all of your course work and working on your final project or thesis, be sure you are considered active and “on the books” so your access to these resources isn’t cut off!  Each academic department handles this a little differently, so contact your registrar for details.

Best wishes on teaching this fall and on your own studies!

~ Mason M., fellow graduate student and Ireland Library student staff

PsycNET (PsycINFO) not available off campus

Published on: Thursday, July 31st, 2014

UPDATE: 8/8/14 9:37.

I am happy to report that off-campus access to PsycNET (PsycINFO) has been restored. As the post below reads, there was a breach of contract. The database provider suspected excessive downloading from St. Thomas, and indeed, it looks like a bot harvested a great deal of their content. But we’re back up and running with no problems and no breaches.

I will take this opportunity to remind everyone with a UST username and password to please not share that password.

7.31.14  Hey all you industrial psych folks,

I’m sorry to report that PsycNET (also known as PsycINFO) is currently unavailable off campus. There was a breach of contract (we sign contracts that dictate educational use for all of our subscription resources) and we were cut off – but only for those of you working from off campus. If you have a dire need for any of the American Psychological Products (including PsycBooks, PsycTests and anything else that is from the APA), you’ll have to come into the libraries to use them. We feel your pain and apologize for any inconvenience. Hopefully this will be resolved quickly and everyone can return to their regularly scheduled programming.

Special Collections Shelving Project – Phase 2

Published on: Friday, July 18th, 2014

Phase II of the Special Collections compact shelving project is well underway.  The rails on which the shelving will run and the carriages on which the shelving will sit have been installed.  The shelving itself is currently being assembled and attached to the system.

IMG_1485photo 3photo 2

We appreciate our users patience as the Special Collections/Archives reading room will remain closed until the project’s completion.  The department can provide some reference assistance by phone and email.  However, the majority of the collections are in storage and will not be accessible for the duration of the project.  In the interim, we encourage the use of the department’s digitized collections.


Published on: Friday, July 11th, 2014

Last week we experience problems with ValueLine.  The company had a bit of trouble during a platform migration. I’m pleased to announce it’s working again.