Archive for April, 2012

Memorial Library Tackling 2 Projects: A Tunnel and A Faculty Development Center

The Memorial Library at Minnesota State University, Mankato is making significant changes this year. This summer construction will begin on a new Faculty Development Center in the Educational Resource Center, ERC. And planning has already commenced on a tunnel connecting the library and the Centennial Student Union, CSU.

Funding for both projects will not fall entirely on the library. The library is, however, funding part of both projects.

The Faculty Development Center

Planning and preparation for the new Faculty Development Center began over a year ago. The center’s future location in the Memorial Library’s ERC means the ERC’s storage area and service desk must be relocated. In addition, the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Books, a non-circulating collection, will be phased out during the next academic year.

Part of the preparation for the center included finding homes for hundreds of 16 millimeter films. All total, the library found new homes for 500 titles in 8 different places.

“It is a hassle for us to move out and get rid of stuff, but it wasn’t stuff we were using,” Leslie Peterson, assistant to the dean of the library, said. “The positives outweigh the negatives.”

One of the positives of the project is that the construction will also include improvements to the ERC. Three significant improvements will be made to the ERC.

  • a new service desk
  • a new work space
  • a new study room

The ERC will only be closed for three weeks following the end of the second summer session. This time will allow the construction crew unlimited time and access to the ERC.

“For three weeks, they can do anything they want,” Barb Bergman, the ERC Coordinator, said. “If they need to (they can) just go crazy.”

The Faculty Development Center and ERC will be open at the start of the new term in August. The new space will provide faculty members a space with multiple offices and a conference room.

Faculty members will be able to exchange ideas in a central location on campus. Other benefits the space will provide faculty members include:

  • a space to elicit support
  • a space to encourage interaction
  • a space to encourage discussion

Unfortunately, the ERC will lose a significant portion of its space to make room for the faculty center. Still, Bergman and Peterson both agree the project triggered improvements to the ERC. Improvements they agree would not have been discussed without this new construction project.

“The Faculty Development Center is a catalyst for change,” Leslie Peterson said.

The Tunnel

A tunnel connecting the Centennial Student Union and Memorial Library is the newest project the Memorial Library has committed to funding.

As part of President Davenport’s challenge to create ‘Big Ideas,’ he granted $420,000 in funding to the project. The library will contribute $400,000 and the CSU $300,000 to fund the approximate $1.22 million project.

“It is a good project,” Laurie Woodward, the director of the CSU, said. “I think it will be an easy project.”

Woodward and Joan Roca, the dean of library services, have been talking about the possible connection for a few years. The connection will finally cement a strong partnership between two facilities committed to serving MSU students.

Before committing to funding the project, Woodward elicited the advice of the CSU board and student government. Both groups were tremendously positive about the connection.

One of the biggest reasons the two groups were excited about the project was because of the location of the tunnel’s connection to the CSU. The two groups are hoping the tunnel’s connection downstairs will provide more traffic to the Maverick Bullpen.

The project is still in its early stages. While planning and preparation began in March, construction will not commence until April 2013.

And while the project will likely have little effect on the CSU’s operations, the Memorial Library is a different story. The front yard of the library’s single entrance will be ripped apart.

Part of this front yard includes the Tim Smith Memorial Park. This park honors Tim Smith, who worked as a MSU librarian and assistant professor. Unfortunately, the park will have to be relocated to accommodate the construction of the tunnel.

Any construction at the library is difficult because the facility must always stay open for its employees.

“The library is like a moving car that we are trying to change the tire on,” Leslie Peterson said.

Still, both Peterson and Woodward believe students will be happy for the connection during the cold, Minnesota winters.

The tunnel will be handicap accessible. And in the initial plan the space was also to include a studying area with:

  • a skylight
  • electrical outlets
  • chairs
  • tables

If everything runs smoothly, the proposed opening date of the tunnel is September 2013.

For a more detailed outline of both construction projects, review my timeline. And do not forget to voice your opinion in the poll!




Stephanie Benda


Twitter: @Steph_Benda

Steve DiMeglio

Phone: 703-854-6473


Twitter: @sdimegusatgolf


MSU Alumnus Steve DiMeglio to Talk about His Journey at Media Day Presentation

USA Today Sports Writer Steve DiMeglio

MANKATO, MINN.– On Tuesday, April 24, Minnesota State University, Mankato will welcome USA Today sports writer Steve DiMeglio. The MSU alumnus will speak at Media Day on the MSU campus at Ostrander Auditorium from 4 to 6 p.m.

Media Day is the annual scholarship day for the mass media department. Scholarships will be awarded from 3 to 4 p.m. at the CSU with DiMeglio’s presentation to follow at Ostrander Auditorium. His presentation is free and open to the public.

DiMeglio’s presentation “Mickey Mantle’s on Line 1, Steve!” will talk about his journey from MSU graduate to veteran USA Today writer.

As an MSU alumnus, DiMeglio’s presentation begins at MSU where he was a dedicated sports writer for the The Reporter.

“He was absolutely the most dedicated sports editor our paper has ever had, ” Professor Ellen Mrja, his former advisor at the The Reporter, said. “His sports pages were more than scores. They were interesting, informative and consistently outstanding.”

DiMeglio graduated from MSU in 1987 with a mass communications degree. Since he graduated, he has covered the White House, major-league baseball, the Super Bowl, NASCAR and college football.

In 2000, DiMeglio began his career at USA Today. He is currently their Senior Golf Writer.

Media Day is being sponsored by the Nadine B. Andreas Foundation.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Benda at 605-660-1805 or email at


A Lesson in Audio Editing

Audio Editing Basics from Professor Mindy McAdams

For any audio editing beginner, Professor Mindy McAdams’s tutorial “Getting Started in Audio Editing” is definitely a tremendously useful tool. The short video tutorial provides simple step by step basics in audio editing.

In the tutorial, users specfically learn how to edit audio files using Audacity. Audacity is a free, open source program that allows users to record and edit sounds.

The free editing program is relatively simple. It uses most of the same buttons as the standard camcorder including: play, record, pause and  stop.

The actual audio editing process, however, is a little more difficult than just understanding Audacity’s tools. To simplify the process McAdams compares many of the steps in the process to working in Microsoft Word.

McAdams identifies two steps users need to know for basic audio editing.

  • Step 1: Deleting audio
  • Step 2: Moving audio

To delete audio simply select the segment you wish to delete and hit the delete button. Users can open the edit menu and choose to undo or redo the delete if needed.

Moving audio involves a few more steps.

  1. Select the segment you wish to move
  2. Click “Cut”
  3. Position the cursor to where you want the segment to move to
  4.  Click “Paste”

As a final tip, McAdams notes users should clean up the file by shortening silent points.

If the user wishes to upload the audio file to a website, users must also export the file as an MP3. For the best audio quality, McAdams urges users to choose 128 kbps.

The most surprising part about this entire editing process was how much easier it was than I had anticipated. McAdams short step by step tutorial made the once intimidating process much easier to understand. By comparing many of the steps to Microsoft Word, I felt a lot more comfortable working in the editing program.

My only complaint about the tutorial was that I wish she discussed more than just the basics. In order to make an effective news audio piece, journalists need to know a little more than just the basics.

Ideally, I would love to learn more about how to insert additional audio clips into an audio piece. Specifically, understanding how to insert music smoothly into an audio piece would be an especially effective tool.

Audio storytelling provides a different and unique alternative to the standard article. With a good understanding of audio editing, journalists can become effective audio storytellers. And journalists that can produce any form of multimedia are better equipped to reach audiences today.

I definitely recommend any journalist with little audio editing experience to check out McAdams’s tutorial.