Archive for February, 2009

Reference Books About Marine Mammals

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

This article was contributed by Spencer Jardine, Coordinator of Instruction. He regularly writes about information literacy on his blog.

In many of the instruction sessions I teach, I like to emphasize the importance of consulting reference materials. Reading an article from an encyclopedia can help you know the basics on a given topic. Reference materials generally do not need to be cited, as they often include information that the experts in that field consider common knowledge on that topic. In several places the index finger symbol is used in close association with reference books, and rightly so, because reference books point or refer you to other sources. Near the end of an encyclopedia article a bibliography or list of sources appears, directing you to sources that contain more in-depth research/information.

Here are some more reference books worth looking at:

1. Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships: contains animal rights information, articles on anthropomorphism, and entries about humans and animals in art, biology, economics, film, etc. Useful features include cross references, side bars, list of and references.

Some may find it annoying that major topics may be split among different volumes, so a section on animals in film might start in one volume and conclude in another. Since there is no list of subheadings, consult the index to find specific items of interest. The art section appeared to be rather short.

Call Number: QL85 .E53 2007.
Volumes: 4

Note: The editor of this encyclopedia is Marc Bekoff, a founder of an animal-rights group, so the encyclopedia will be a bit slanted in that direction.

2. Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals provides information on all types of ocean mammals and includes 16 color images toward the beginning of the volume. It has over 1400 pages and includes a useful index.
Call Number: QL713.2 .E63 2002

Entries give specific information on various species, such as their taxonomy, anatomical and physiological feature, population size, ecology, eating or foraging habits, life cycles, behavior, demographic parameters, and relations with humans. Maps portray their habitat ranges, black-and-white photographs give an idea of what they look like, and a list of references point to further information.

General articles talk about marine-mammal fossils, coloration of marine mammals, sociobiology, swimming, and many other related subjects.

3. Marine Mammals of the World: A Comprehensive Guide to their Identification is a newer volume (2008) and includes beautiful color photographs of animals in their aquatic settings. It contains a glossary of terms, an index, references, skull morphology, and a dichotomous identification key.

As the title suggests, this book seeks to aid individuals so they may “more easily identify marine mammals that they may come across during trips to sea, while walking on the beach, or when visiting a museum or other research collection” (xi). By marine mammals they mean “cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), pinnipeds (seals sea lions, and walruses), sirenians (manatees, dugongs, and sea cows), marine and sea otters, and the polar bear. [...] The term marine mammal, therefore, implies no systematic or taxonomic relationship. In fact, the cetaceans are more closely related to camels and hippos than they are to other marine mammals, the pinnipeds have more in common with bears and weasels, and the sirenians are more closely allied to elephants and hyraxes. These differences no withstanding, however, all marine mammals have one thing in common–they derive all (or most) of their food from marine (or sometimes fresh) water” (1). Not surprisingly, this book is organized by these group distinctions.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Did you know that an average pharmacist makes between $80,000 and $100,000 annually? If you like chemistry and math classes this might be just the career for you. Discover what other workers and professionals make from the Occupational Outlook Handbook. This resource also provides informed estimates about those careers that will be in most demand. So you like nature, music, or sports better? Check out this “What Do You Like” website to discover which jobs may be more suited to your interests.

Spencer Jardine, Coordinator of Instruction at Oboler Library, contributed this information brief to Library News

‘Tis the Season for…..Taxes!

Friday, February 20th, 2009

And the library can help with some of the common tax forms. Near the circulation desk there is a shelf for the 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ booklets and forms, plus the Idaho tax booklets. Nearby there is a shelf for some of the other common forms: Schedule 1, Schedule 2, Schedule A, the Education Credits form, and many more.

If this doesn’t provide the all the forms you need, you can also go to the web site and download the form: click on the appropriate link: Internal Revenue Service, Idaho State Tax Commission, and here for other states tax form list, if you were a part-year resident in another state.

Springer eBooks Collection Free Trial

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

“ Between Monday, February 2nd and Thursday, April 30th, Idaho State University has free access to the Springer eBooks collection from any ISU campus location. Springer eBooks trial includes access to all English/International language content from 2005- 2009 as well as book series dating back to 1997. This constitutes close to 12,000 titles. There are over 30,000 eBooks available on SpringerLink, but these also include German titles, as well as book series, and Major Reference Works that go back to the 1900s.

However, the trial does NOT include access to pre-2005 (except for book series content) and German language content. The ISU free trial eBooks are marked with a small green square.

Springer’s eBook Collection uses the portability, searchability, and unparalleled ease of access of PDF and HTML data formats to make access for researchers, as convenient as possible. Springer eBook Collections offer accurate reproductions of high quality Springer print book publications, together with all the added benefits of an online environment, including exceptional search capabilities and bookmarks.”

Springer eBooks cover a variety of subjects including law, economics, history, higher education, physical sciences, computer science, biological sciences, and more.

This article was submitted by Regina Koury, Electronic Resource Librarian.

Women’s History Month

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

March is Women’s History Month and there are numerous activities related to it all over campus, from February through April. Click here for the complete schedule, available through the Janet C. Anderson Gender Resource Center. The theme this year is”Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet.” If the issues discussed lead you to wanting to do some further reading on any subjects, check our catalog for a multitude of resources related to Women’s History Month.

Interesting Reference Books

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Periodically, the librarians who work at the Idaho State University Reference Desk meet together to talk about reference books. It gives us an opportunity to understand what we have in our collection that may be of interest to students and faculty. This post seeks to highlight some of these resources and their strengths. Look in our catalog to verify call numbers and locations.

1. The Worldwide History of Dress includes many color images and descriptions of mostly traditional and non-western clothing. Each of the ten sections focuses on major geographical areas in the world. Images portray brightly-colored costumes with ornate dragons, flowers, animals, etc. Dimensions of the articles of clothing appear next to the images.

Reproductions of historical documents also appear that emphasize the clothing theme of various cultures. Entries also detail basic histories of the peoples who have created the articles of clothing, the materials used to make the clothing, and a little bit about the process required for creating them.

It includes a full glossary of terms, an extensive bibliography, and a lengthy index. You may wish to have a magnifying glass on hand when you consult these appendices.

Students and faculty in the fields of anthropology, theater, dance, and history may be the most interested in this book. Call Number: GT511 .A63 2007.

2. For those who are more interested in contemporary clothing The Complete Fashion Sourcebook may be just what you are looking for. This reference resource shows how styles of clothing changed from year to year in the twentieth century. Unfortunately, it does not cover all of the decades of the 20th century, nor does it show all of the styles, since it focuses mainly on upper-class fashions. For the everyday styles you might have better luck searching through old Montgomery Ward or Sears Roebuck catalogs.

Again, this book shows images, includes an index, and may be most useful to students of anthropology, theater, dance, and history. Call Number: GT596 .P393 2005.

3. The Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion was another interesting resource. Call Number: GT507 .E53 2005. It has three volumes and likely fills in a lot of the gaps left by the previous two resources discussed, while it may repeat some of the same things.

While I had hoped to discuss the other books in this post, it appears I am out of time tonight. Most reference materials turn out to be interesting to me as evidence by my experience tonight. Once I open them up I end up looking at them longer than I originally intended.

This article was contributed to Library News by Spencer Jardine, Coordinator of Instruction at Oboler Library.

Free Trial on Public Affairs Index

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

This just in from Regina Koury, our Electronic Resource Librarian:

We have a free trial to Public Affairs Index for three months:

Public Affairs Index covers all aspects of national and global contemporary public policy issues ranging from public health, the environment, housing, human and civil rights, to international commerce and conflict. Public Affairs Index draws from a diverse array of scholarly journals, conference papers, trade publications and government documents to provide up-to-date information on a broad range of topics of concern to the world today. Coverage of these popular topics is included:

* Government
* Law & legislation
* Ethics
* Politics & elections
* Banking
* Public finance
* Economic policy & taxation
* Energy & energy policy
* Industry & labor
* Emigration & immigration
* Natural disasters
* Poverty
* Humanitarian issues
* Education & education policy
* Transportation
* Social policy
* Criminal justice”

Library Workshops for Speech Classes (Comm 101)

Friday, February 13th, 2009

The schedule is out and ready for you to sign up. Sign up right away if you want to get your first choice for time and date.

Day 1
Tuesday, February 17th
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Day 2
Wednesday, February 18th
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Day 3
Thursday, February 19th
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Day 4
Friday, February 20th
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Day 5
Saturday, February 21st
10:00 –11:30 a.m.

Day 6
Monday, February 23rd
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

To sign up for a workshop:
Call: 282-3152
Visit: The reference desk on the main floor of the library.

Classes are limited to 26 people. We recommend that you sign up as soon as possible. An attendance sheet will be passed around and then sent back to the department.

All classes will meet in Room 212 (2nd floor of the Library)

Library Closed for Presidents’ Day Holiday

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

The Library will be closed on Monday February 16 for the Presidents’ Day Holiday, but will be open as usual the rest of the weekend, with the exception of closing at 7 p.m. on Sunday Feb. 15 (see Library Hours here.)

While the library is closed, you can still do considerable research from home using the library web page: it contains over 212 electronic databases, and access to 76,425 electronic journals.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

What do you want to be when you grow up? If this question still haunts you, consider looking at the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which details average yearly salaries, job duties, qualifications, educational attainment, etc. Accessible online at

Additionally, you can gain a sense for the future growth or decline of a particular career. If you want to know what kinds of jobs are available or preferred by those in specific majors, check out This site provides several career options for each school subject, such as math, reading, science, computers, and even helping people.

Spencer Jardine, Coordinator of Instruction at Oboler Library, submitted this item to Library News.