Dear MSU Library: The Letter Project

Hey MSU Library, we need to talk…

What’s on your minds, Bobcats? Your library wants to know! Starting on Monday, February 8 and running through Leap Day, February 29th, be on the lookout for letter stations set up around the library. Take a moment to color a heart and write a personal note telling us what makes you happy about your library….or let us know that something didn’t strike your fancy. Your letter might make it into the display case in the front lobby which will be showcasing your feedback through the month of February! You can also submit a letter online.

The Letter Project



Exploding trees at 60 below

The coldest temperature ever recorded in the lower 48 states was measured at Rogers Pass in Lewis and Clark County, Montana, on January 20, 1954. This winter has not reached that extreme, but history marks at least a few times when temperatures came close. I recently found this account from the Montana Historical Society describing what might, in some ways, be referred to as a cold snap. In it, Raymond Holderman discusses life in Fort Peck during the winter of 1936 when the trees began to explode.

R.H.: We had a sawmill setup there, so we would saw all these big cottonwood trees that… Oh, they were 3, 4, 5 feet in diameter. In fact, they were big trees when Lewis and Clark went through 135 years before—they were big trees already. And they would saw those and stack them all winter long….

One winter we got caught in when we saw the thermometer [at] 60 below zero. That, that was cold. That was cold. 

[Interviewer]: How’d you deal with being that cold?

R.H.: Oh, I’m telling you… We were sawing those trees, and the trees were just like cutting ice. They were frozen. And once in a while one of those things would crack because of the water in the cells of the tree. And when that would let go it sounded like a big army rifle going off right alongside your ear. An ought six, I’d say. Because I had one of those big game rifles, and that sounded just like that one went off. You know, you’d just jump when that thing would pop. You didn’t know what happened for a second. Then you’d know that big old cottonwood there split, and it would have a big split in there. Oh golly, that was cold.   

Acoustic Atlas teams with NPS to gather the sounds of Yellowstone

The Acoustic Atlas Yellowstone collection is now available! The collection includes sounds from our partnership with the National Park Service. Read the full press release below. Yellowstone_collection_screenshot

Date: January 28, 2016
Contact: Sandra Snell-Dobert, (307) 344-2015
Contact: Molly Arrandale, (406) 994-5307
Yellowstone National Park and the Acoustic Atlas at Montana State University Library announced today the launch of the Yellowstone Collection, a curated compilation of field recordings and a developing podcast series highlighting America’s first national park.

Through a cooperative project between the Acoustic Atlas and Yellowstone National Park, the growing audio collection aims to create new ways to experience the animals, landscapes, and people of the area, by offering a freely accessible online archive of natural sounds, interviews, and radio stories focused on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

“We could not be more excited to share the sounds of Yellowstone through our archive,” Kenning Arlitsch, Dean of the Montana State University Library, said. “Montana State University Library launched the Acoustic Atlas because there are relatively few natural sound collections at libraries, and even fewer focusing on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.”The Acoustic Atlas was founded in 2013 and includes recordings from throughout the Western United States. The Yellowstone collection builds on its mission to document the sounds of regional ecosystems.

In addition to expanding the natural sounds collection at MSU, the field recordings will be used as a foundation in creating sound-rich, podcast-style audio pieces that tell the stories of research and issues in Yellowstone National Park. The audio stories, which visitors and followers can listen to online, will highlight the rich, but changing, soundscapes of the area, chronicle some of the research taking place in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and spotlight key voices in the region. Project producer and Yellowstone National Park correspondent Jennifer Jerrett says, “It’s kind of like public radio for Yellowstone National Park. I hope these stories build perspective and advance our conversations about science and the complexities of preservation in Yellowstone.”Jerrett continues, “2016 marks the National Park Service Centennial, so it seems fitting to stop and listen—to really listen—and reflect on the meaning of parks and preservation in America. I’m proud to be working on such an extraordinary project.”

The project is supported in part by Montana State University, the Yellowstone Association, the Yellowstone Park Foundation, and by a generous grant through the Eyes on Yellowstone program. Eyes on Yellowstone is made possible by Canon U.S.A., Inc. This program represents the largest corporate donation for wildlife conservation in the park. Audio from the partnership can be accessed through both the Yellowstone National Park and Acoustic Atlas websites.


Acoustic Atlas Yellowstone collection:

National Park Service:

Press release:



1/28 Workshop: Zotero Citation

Free workshop on Thursday, 1/28, from 5-6 pm, in the Innovative Learning Studio of Renne Library.

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension that enables you to collect, organize, retrieve and share your research sources.

Zotero even lets you store web-page snapshots, PDF files, images, links and has a plug-in for Microsoft Office Word and OpenOffice Writer so you can add in-text citations and create a bibliography with over 1,200 styles to choose from, including the most popular APA, MLA and Chicago.

Register and see more library workshops here.

1/27 Workshop: Excel Beyond the Basics

Free workshop Wednesday, 1/27, from 10-11 am in the Heathcote classroom of Renne Library.

Learn more advanced functions of Excel. Topics to cover: using formulas and functions, relative vs. absolute references, referencing cells in formulas, using auto-fill with references, inserting and formatting charts, plotting multiple series on a chart, and printing options.

Registration is recommended but not required. Walk-ins welcome as long as there is room.

Register and see more library workshops here.


Database Trial: Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)


A trial of Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD) is available through ​March 25, 2016. 

The CLCD aggregates and presents Young Adult & Children’s Book Reviews from forty-seven professional sources as well as book information including, awards and lexiles from a variety of sources. Features of this database include linking to our library’s catalog, WorldCat listings for distance education students, and MyCLCD accounts to save research. The CLCD provides one platform from which to search information about Pre K-12 media of all types.

The CLCD is available to unlimited users via networked computers on the MSU campus in Bozeman and via the proxy server at: Please direct questions or comments to Kirsten Ostergaard, Electronic Resources & Discovery Services Librarian, kirsten.ostergaard (at)

1/26 Workshop: EndNote Basics

Free workshop Tuesday, 1/26, from 5-6 pm in the Innovative Learning Studio of Renne Library.

EndNote, one of the most-used reference managers, is now available free for MSU users. Attend this workshop to see how EndNote X7 makes formatting citations and managing bibliographies easy! Learn to search, import records, add notes, find articles, manage PDFs, and format papers using any one of thousands of citation styles. This workshop covers the basics: how to install EndNote, collect and share references, and format the citations in you document.

Registration is recommended but not required. Walk-ins welcome as long as there is room. Bring your own laptop and install EndNote during the workshop or see the installation instructions to load it ahead of time. You can also use one of our laptops which have it pre-installed.

Related Guide: EndNote by Greg Notess


Register and see more library workshops here.


1/25 Workshop: Citation Tools Overview

Free workshop Monday, 1/25, from 5-6 pm in the Innovative Learning Studio of Renne Library.

How do you manage, organize, and cite all the articles you’ve read? Are there tools that can help you  and what to use when creating bibliographies and formatting research papers. This workshop offers an overview to popular tools and advice on which tool might work best for you.

Citation tools help you

  • Format citations
  • Create bibliographies
  • Import citations from databases & websites
  • Make notes when you read articles
  • Store & organize PDFs, screenshots, & other files for your research

Attend this workshop to help you decide which of the other Citation Week workshops to attend!

Registration is recommended but not required. Walk-ins welcome as long as there is room. Bring your own laptop or use on of ours during the workshop.

Related Guide: Citation Tools by Greg Notess

Register here.

1/20 Workshop: EndNote and Citation Tools Webinar

Free workshop Wednesday, 1/20, from 4-5 p.m. This workshop is being offered as an online webinar.

Explore what citation tools are available that can help you with your literature review and research writing. This online webinar will cover a range of tools and delve in more depth into EndNote, one of the most-used reference managers which is now available free for MSU users.

Please register so we can email the webinar link to you. You are well to install EndNote ahead of time using the installation instructions on the EndNote guide.

Related Guide: Citation Tools by Greg Notess.

Register and see more library workshops here.