Posts on March 2022

Lost in Translation: An Exploratory Study on Non-English Catalog Searching

Screen shot of Library Catalog Search results, and interview participant and interviewer.

The University of Michigan Library is home to a vast collection of materials representing dozens of languages. U-M Library Catalog Search, however, can cause difficulties for users searching for materials in languages other than English. In Summer 2021 we conducted an exploratory study on the experience of searching for non-English materials within U-M Library Catalog Search in order to better understand challenges users face, how they overcome them, and what we can do to mitigate the problem.

Matrix by Lauren Groff

Cover of Matrix by Lauren Groff

Matrix is a beautifully-written historical novel by Lauren Groff about the medieval abbess and poet Marie de France. Marie is cast out of the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine, her sister-in-law, because she is considered unmarriageable, and sent to a remote abbey, where she eventually becomes the abbess and creates a utopian community of women, while struggling against harsh conditions and opposition from the church authorities. Groff writes in a poetic style that draws you into Marie's...

The World of Maria Gaetana Agnesi by Massimo Mazzotti

Cover of The World of Maria Gaetana Agnesi by Massimo Mazzotti

This is a fascinating biography of a female mathematician in 18th century Italy, Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799). A child prodigy, Agnesi received an education that was usually reserved for boys. She wrote one of the first textbooks on calculus, and was appointed to a university professorship, although she was unable to accept the position because of illness. Her later life was devoted to helping the poor, and educating the impoverished children in her neighborhood.

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