Current Engagement Fellow Projects

2019-2020 Projects

Digital Scholarship Graduate Engagement Fellows 

Project Leaders: Anne Cong-Huyen, Maura Seale, Catherine Morse 

The University of Michigan Library seeks to hire two Graduate Research Fellows to lead the research effort to assess needs and opportunities within graduate curricula in the humanities and social sciences for co-curricular digital scholarship education that could be offered by the library. The Graduate Research Fellows will oversee data collection, analysis, and presentation to make recommendations to the Library Digital Scholarship Service Team. The successful candidates for this position should have experience or interest in Digital Scholarship broadly construed. This could include but is not limited to: digital mapping, text mining and analysis, digital storytelling, network analysis, digital exhibitions and publishing, digital pedagogy, working with data. 

Re-Imagining the Plain Language Medical Dictionary Apps

Project Leader: Carol Shannon

The use of “plain language” has been increasingly recognized as vital in many areas of life, such as legal documents and government regulations, so that people can understand difficult or complex concepts.  Nowhere is this more important than in health care, an area where a lack of understanding of commonly used medical terms can have a major impact on people’s lives. To serve this need, the Taubman Health Sciences Library (THL) created an award-winning widget and mobile applications that could be used on websites and smartphones to provide  easy access to definitions of commonly used health terms.

Come help redesign this important – and fun – project! In addition to finding resources to update the database of healthcare and public health terms and definitions, the Research Fellows will 

  • collaborate with THL and other U-M library staff to investigate the use of  anatomical images to illustrate anatomy terms in the mobile apps;
  • research app-creation platforms to find one that fits within our budget and can be used to create apps for both iOS and Android platforms; and 
  • investigate the need for a new tool to replace the widget. 

When the apps have been created, the Fellows will work with the University’s Office of Technology Transfer to have the apps submitted to the iTunes and Google Play stores and will receive credit as part of the invention team.

House Catalog Stories: an exhibit

Project Leader: Rebecca Price

This Fellows Engagement Project will enlist the help of two students to develop an exhibition based on a growing collection of 20th-century house catalogs held in the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library Special Collections. The catalogs, which focus on residential construction in the midwest from the 1910s through the post-war building boom of the 1950s and ‘60s, tell many stories: the historical story of Michigan’s industrial past transitioning from lumber to automobile; an architectural story about changing patterns and arrangements of domestic space; a sociological story of the gender roles within and outside the household; a racial story of exclusion and expectations; an urban story of the development of suburbia, a transportation story of the impact of the family car on city form and road systems; a technological story as appliances were integrated into the home; a materials story from construction to furnishing to decoration; and a communications story in the visual presentation of house plans and their promise. Through their stories the catalogs chronicle and reveal the development of family, home, and community through the twentieth century. Students involved in the cross-disciplinary project will document, interpret and explain the histories afforded by the catalogs.

Research & Evaluation Assistant

Project Leaders: Alex Deeke, Steve Griffes and Karen Reiman-Sendi

As part of a joint partnership between L&T and Operations, the Research & Evaluation Assistants will scope and carry out projects assessing two programmatic areas of the library: 

  • Student engagement programs (e.g. Library Fellows, Library Ambassadors, Michigan Library Scholars, Peer Information Consultants, Mini Grants)
  • Transfer/commuter student library needs analysis

For the engagement program area, assistants will help measure and share the impact engagement programs to the library, campus, and higher education while collaborating with research and assessment staff.

For the transfer/commuter program area, assistants will assess transfer student and commuter students needs in terms of library space and resources as well as bring their voice to future library plans.