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Attention TSEM Faculty: Nominate Your Best Student Paper for our Information Literacy Award!

tsemawardwinners22016Are you a faculty member who is teaching one or more sections of the Towson Seminar this semester? Are your TSEM 102 or TSEM 190 students writing a research paper as part of that class?

If you answered yes to both of these questions, you should nominate one top paper from each of your sections for Cook Library’s Towson Seminar Information Literacy Award.

What is the award?

Albert S. Cook Library wishes to recognize emerging research and scholarship with an award for Towson Seminar students.

Instructors may nominate one outstanding paper from each section of their Towson Seminar per fall and spring semester. If an instructor has multiple TSEM 102 or TSEM 190 sections, only one top paper from each section may be nominated. Please note that research papers produced by groups will be evaluated as a composite work rather than individually authored sections.

One student winner will be chosen each fall and spring semester. Instructors and students will receive recognition at an annual award ceremony, an individual award plaque, a $50 prize, and a nameplate on the commemorative plaque kept at Albert S. Cook Library. The winning entries will be placed in an institutional repository to be shared with students, faculty, and staff at Towson University.

What are the award criteria?

Winning papers will be evaluated based on the use of information literacy skills, as well as the quality of research, clarity of writing, and adherence to citation standards.

80% of the evaluation will be based on Information Literacy skills and award-winning papers will demonstrate many of the following qualities:

  • Paper is accurate and sources are well-documented.
  • Shows analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of sources.
  • Incorporates a variety of research sources, including authoritative works from many different areas.
  • Places topic in wider disciplinary context.
  • Research is balanced, including varying opinions, source types, authors, and levels of scholarship.

20% of the evaluation will be based on the clarity and formatting of the student’s paper and award-winning papers will demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Paper is original, transitions are logical, narrative is clear, appropriate, organized, and well-presented.
  • Text is clear, grammatical, and spelling is correct; entry is neatly prepared.
  • Uses citations in the text and as a bibliography; follows correct citation style.

How does the nomination process work?

Faculty members can nominate a paper by doing the following:

  1. Completing this form
  2. E-mailing a pdf of the student’s paper to

We ask that faculty please submit their nominations no later than one week after the last day of exams (Tuesday, December 27, 2016).

Upon receipt of a nomination, a librarian will then notify the student author and give him or her the chance to opt out of the contest.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

Please e-mail with any questions you may have.

October 24, 2016 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

Open Access Webinar


In the run up to Open Access Week, Cook Library is hosting a group viewing of a webinar presented by Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and author of the seminal book, Open Access. During the webcast, Peter will answer questions submitted in advance and live on the advancement of Open Access and the future of the movement.

The webcast will be held Tuesday, October 18 at 1pm EDT and the group viewing will be in Cook Library Room 507.

October 17, 2016 at 9:59 pm Leave a comment

Check Out a Book From Our Human Library!


Are you interested in learning more about the diversity that is Towson University? We invite you to check out a Human Book at Cook Library’s Human Library events in October!

What is a Human Book?

A Human Book is a person who has volunteered to challenge prejudice through respectful conversation with members of the public, who borrow them. They will have a title that relates to their experience of prejudice and/or discrimination.

What is a Human Library?

The Human Library is a concept created by Ronni Abergel, Dany Abergel, Christoffer Erichsen and Asma Mouna of the Danish youth organisation Stop The Violence in 2000 and it is now operational on five continents. It is a library of human beings, individuals, that each represent a group in the community that are somehow exposed to stigma, prejudice and/or discrimination.

The Human Library™ aims to establish a safe conversational space, where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and hopefully answered by the Human Book on loan. It was developed to challenge societal prejudices wherever and for whatever reasons they occur, and to help people form a better understanding of those with whom they share their communities.

The Human Library™ encourages patrons to become readers, by taking a person out on loan for a conversation on the topic/issue, that they represent. i.e. the Police Officer would talk about stereotypes and prejudices that police officers meet in their job and answer any question the reader may have about this topic. Conversations are offered to a duration of thirty minutes and is not just a storytelling session, but rather an experience sharing with Q&A encouraged. The outcome of the session and direction of the talk is dependent on what the reader/s asks about. And it is the privilege of both parties to end the conversation at any point they may wish.

The Towson University – Albert S. Cook Library and Center for Student Diversity joins a long and growing list of organizations interested in promoting understanding and compassion between people where prejudice and stereotyping have created misunderstanding and division.

How can I participate?

The Human Library events will take place:

  • Sunday, October 9th from 12PM-6PM in Cook Library, Room 507
  • Tuesday, October 11th from 10AM-4PM in UU Potomac Lounge

To be a Human Book, to volunteer, or for more information, visit:

September 19, 2016 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment

Writing Center Hours Return to Cook Library!

Notebook0046Students can once again get help from a Writing Center tutor at Cook Library! The hours are:

  • Mondays – Thursdays from 6pm to 9pm
  • Sundays from 2pm to 9pm

To make an appointment to get help with crafting a paper or presentation, stop by the Writing Center’s main location (LA 5330) or call them at 410-704-3426.

September 13, 2016 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

More Group Study Space Now Reservable!

spotlightgroupstudypngSince the pilot of a room reservation system last spring was so successful, Cook Library has made even more group study spaces reservable.

The 10 group study spaces at the back of the library’s 2nd floor are now reservable.

Who can reserve the rooms?

  • Only groups of 2 or more can reserve a room
  • You must use a valid Towson University email address to reserve a room

When can I reserve a room?

  • The rooms can be reserved between the following times:
    • Monday-Thursday: 8am-10pm
    • Friday: 8am-8pm
    • Saturday: noon-8pm
    • Sunday: noon-10pm
  • Rooms must be reserved at least 24 hours in advance
  • Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance
  • Rooms can be reserved for up to 4 hours per day

How can I reserve one of these rooms?

  • Visit, select the time slot in the room you want, and then complete the reservation form
  • You will receive an email confirmation when you book or cancel a group study room
  • You must have a print or electronic copy of your confirmed reservation when occupying the room

What happens if my group is late for our reservation?

  • If your group does not arrive within the first 15 minutes of your reservation, you will forfeit your right to the space and the room will be open on a first come, first served basis until the next reservation.

Anything else I need to know?

  • When not reserved or occupied, group study rooms are open on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Library staff reserve the right to cancel any room reservation. You will receive email notification of the cancellation

September 9, 2016 at 11:43 am Leave a comment

Join Our Student Advisory Board!

IMG_1172Are you interested in helping the library meet the needs of the student population? Want to help our students better take advantage of library services, resources, and facilities?





The Albert S. Cook Library recognizes the importance of student contribution to library policies, services, facilities, resources, and programming. The Cook Library Student Advisory Board (CL-SAB) is a student led group that works to advise as well as actively lead initiatives in these areas.

What does CL-SAB do?

  • advise library administration and committees on library policies, services, facilities, resources, and programming
  • actively promote library resources, services, and programs to greater campus community
  • plan and execute an annual fundraising activity to fund the CL-SAB
  • make decisions on how to spend the CL-SAB fund for library resources or programs
  • plan and execute student centered programming and/or services

What is the time commitment?

Two to three all-member group meetings (a meal or snacks with be provided) per semester, plus additional committee meetings as required. Events as required.

How is the group structured?

The board will have a maximum of 10 student representatives (undergraduate and graduate students) and 3 Albert S. Cook Library Leadership Institute (A-LIST) students. The current subcommittees include:

  • Library user experience – advises and seeks general student feedback on library related experiences as directed by the library committees and administration. Will work to improve the library for students
  • Outreach and marketing – will work to promote library resources, services, and programs to greater campus community
  • Fundraising and event planning – leads annual fundraising events and coordinates any board sponsored student programs

A Librarian will serve as board advisor and will work with the A-LIST students in developing meeting agendas.

How long is the term?

The term is 1 academic year, renewable with permission of the librarian advisor.

How can it help me?

  • this is an opportunity for students to grow their leadership skills and give back to the university community.
  • students will have the ability to influence and create meaningful changes within the library to benefit themselves and their classmates
  • students in this founding cohort will help to shape the trajectory of this group

Email: for more information.

August 26, 2016 at 5:49 pm Leave a comment

Library Renovations Update

DeskConstructionIt has been a busy summer in Cook Library with three areas under renovation. We wanted to give you an update on where these projects stand and what you can expect during the fall semester.

  1. Circulation and Interlibrary Loan: The circulation and interlibrary loan services and staff areas have moved and are now located on the right side of the main floor.
  2. Starbucks: The expansion is ongoing, and they are expected to reopen in October.
  3. 24/7 Space: The construction of this area adjacent to the expanded Starbucks is expected to start in January.


Also please note that as part of these renovations, Cook Library instruction classroom 317 has moved to room 208, and the Leisure Reading Collection has moved to the 2nd floor.

If the construction noise is bothersome, please don’t hesitate to stop at the Research Help Desk for a complementary pair of earplugs.

August 24, 2016 at 10:34 pm Leave a comment

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