Archive for October, 2009

Graduate Student Library Workshop

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Find the articles and journals that you need. Know where to go to find theses and dissertations already published, which will help ensure you do not duplicate research that has already been done. Learn which databases will direct you to the most relevant articles. Discover how to look for books not in the Library’s collection.Come and discover the great resources and services available to you, including how to request a book through the Interlibrary Loan Services.

This workshop is open to all graduate students and advanced researchers in the ISU community.

Where: Library Room 212 (2nd floor, across from the restrooms)

When: Monday, Nov. 2nd from 4-5 pm

And Tuesday, Nov. 3rd from 5-6 pm

And Wednesday, Nov. 4th from 2-2:50 pm

To sign up for a workshop:

Register now

Call: 282-3152
Visit: The reference desk on the main floor of the library.

Openings are limited, so we recommend that you sign up as soon as possible.


Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700 – from the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War. From the first book published in English through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare, this incomparable collection now contains about 100,000 of over 125,000 titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave’s Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640) and Wing’s Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700) and their revised editions, as well as the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661) collection and the Early English Books Tract Supplement. Libraries possessing this collection find they are able to fulfill the most exhaustive research requirements of graduate scholars – from their desktop! – in many subject areas, including: English literature, history, philosophy, linguistics, theology, music, fine arts, education, mathematics, and science. It will be available for approximately the next four weeks, and can be accessed through either the alphabetical database page, or this link:

Associate University Librarian Jim Teliha forwarded this information to Library News–be sure to let him know what you think of this resource.

H1N1 Flu Information @ the Library

Monday, October 19th, 2009

If you’re home sick wondering if you have the H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and how to treat it, here are some links you will find helpful. Also if you don’t have it, but want to be prepared with the supplies that you need so you don’t have to rush to the grocery store while you’re sick, there is some information and a list of supplies also. This is not a substitute for medical information from your doctor, just supplemental information.

The Idaho Health Sciences Library (IHSL) is part of Oboler Library and has links to a great deal of health information resources. right on the front page it has a link to This page contains information about prevention and treatment, includes a blog, FAQ page, and a lot more. IHSL also has a link to MedlinePlus, the consumer health information service (under databases.) Searching “swine flu” or “H1N1″ yields many results, a lot of helpful information.

ISU’s Student Health Center has also worked on getting a lot of information out. They have a big orange link to their seasonal and H1N1(Swine) flu page right on the front page. It covers symptoms, prevention, and helpful links about the flu.

One of the most helpful items I found and used on preparing for the H1N1 Flu came out on News and Notes and I am reprinting it here. I used the supply list to prepare my home so I have items on hand when I need them, and don’t need to rush to the grocery store when I’m sick.

“ISU Student Health Center offers tips for preparing for flu season
Here are some items ISU Student Health Center recommends keeping on-hand:

Tylenol and ibuprofen
Fluids such as PowerAde and Gatorade
Soups and other foods of choice
Masks—available at hardware stores—if you desire

Protocols to follow:
Establish a “flu buddy”—someone to check on you and bring you supplies.
Wash hands frequently.
Clean flat surfaces with disinfectant regularly—include keyboards, phones.
Stay 6 feet away from sneezers and weezers.
Cover your cough preferably with your sleeve, not your hands.
Don’t shake hands as a social greeting.
Stay home if you are ill with a fever—until fever free for 24 hours without Tylenol and ibuprofen.

Call the Student Health Center before coming into the health center—most ill students will not need to be seen.
If you are having chest pain or difficulty breathing, go to a local care center or the Student Health Center right away.

Get your seasonal flu shot – they are now available at the Student Health Center.
Get the H1N1 flu shot, when available.
Call the Student Health Center at ext. 2330 with questions.”

Good luck with getting over the flu quickly if you get it, and not infecting others.

The Power of Information That is Freely Available

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Spencer Jardine, our Coordinator of Instruction and Reference Librarian, does a blog, Information Literacy at ISU, and gave me permission to reprint his latest blog entry when I asked him if he had anything about October being named National Information Literacy Awareness Month. See our Instructional Services and Research Guides pages for more information.

“A colleague from my library-school program shared this on Facebook, and I thought it would be useful to post here: Effects of introducing Internet at a village public library in Ukraine. President Barack Obama officially announced October to be National Information Literacy Awareness Month now. Take a look also at the National Forum for Information Literacy.

The power of information is immense, and the ability to access, evaluate, apply, and share information ethically is even more powerful.”

Searching Tips: Limiting or Reducing Your Results

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Searching Tips

The next time you Google information, try using the “+ Show options…” feature. After you have conducted a search it returns thousands or millions of results, look for a link that says “+ Show options…” A menu bar will appear on the left-hand side with options to limit your search to various mediums (videos, news, blogs, books, forums, & reviews), time periods, different views (wonder wheel, timeline, or related searches), as well as options for fewer or more shopping sites.The wonder wheel lives up to its name; it’s pretty cool. Choosing it will take you to a spider-web graph with links that allows you to choose among various subcategories of the topic. At any time you can select a hyperlink to web pages listed along the right side. For someone interested in history, the timeline option looked interesting as well.

Various databases, including library catalogs, have incorporated built-in functions to limit searches into their interfaces for many years. It has been one thing that I have faulted Google for in the past. Most searchers find it useful to utilize prompts that show how they might sift out the wheat from the chaff. Library catalogs sometimes allow users to limit their results to specific time periods, locations within the library, publishers, languages, formats, mediums, places of publication, etc.

More Tips
Many databases also offer limiting options, such as full-text articles, newspaper articles, scholarly articles, time frames, subject categories, author, title, etc. Did you know you can search more than one database at once? Within any of the EBSCOhost databases, select “Choose databases…” to find other databases that might be useful for your search (it’s a link above the basic search box). Not sure which databases will be best? Look at the little quotation balloon or look at the “Resources by Subject” pages. Each database indexes a different set of journals, newspapers, and other sources.

Of course, the old standbys for limiting a search should not be forgotten. Adding more keywords to a search and using the Boolean AND will also reduce results. A search on the ubiquitous “gun control” topic could be limited to a specific geographic or demographic population, such as Idaho or Caucasians respectively. Searches can be limited by time period with a keyword such as “nineteenth century” or “Reagan era,” for example.

It seems that many college students have not seen many of these search options, so at present it seems like a good thing to point them out, so they can benefit from using them.

This article was contributed by Spencer Jardine, from his blog Information Literacy at ISU

Banned Books Belated Display

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

This year the library ordered some new material for Banned Book Week. Unfortunately the material arrived after Banned Book Week was over. We went ahead and put the display up anyway.

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So, if you’ve been wondering what the book banners on the first floor near the new book area are all about, this is it. There is corresponding text about why the book was banned on the new bookshelf beside the posters.

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New Displays in the Library

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Thief Steals Books from Library!, 2009 ISU Reading Project, Intellectual Freedom and Freedom of Speech, the ISU Financial Wellness Center, the Library of Congress Classification System, Autumn, and Research at IHSL are the new or continuing subjects of displays up in the library now. Jennifer Moore has her art exhibited in the Current Display Art Area.



First Floor:

thiefDisplay case 1: Thief Steals Books from Library! Find out how a thief was caught, and how a librarian’s sleuthing helped find him. This is a real-life library mystery–true crime! This display includes a timeline of events, list of books stolen from the library, and more information. Some of the stolen items were even from our library, and have been returned. Read the Smithsonian Magazine story here.

TeabookThe 2009 ISU Reading Project is the topic of display case 2. This display discusses “Three Cups of Tea, has a list of the events, includes other information and pictures. Check out the Reading Project home page for online information. This display case has been moved closer to the new book area near the reference desk for easier viewing.

banned 3Display Case 3 has a display on Intellectual Freedom and Freedom of Speech. If you’ve ever wondered about who the library is named after, check out this display It has quotations about freedom of speech and Banned Books. Eli Oboler was well known for his work in this area and the display includes two of his books, Defending Intellectual Freedom and To Free the Mind, as well as other books about this topic.



The nearby Current Display Art Area has work by Jennifer Moore, an ISU graduate with a major in art, who has shown at Oboler Library before. See her bright, cheerful, and colorful paintings with abstract themes: Creation, Think, Storm, Dark, Diamond, Haze, Down, and more. They will be up through the end of October.




Second Floor:

wellfDisplay Case 4 has information about the “ISU Financial Wellness Center”. It covers determining whether you are financially fit or in financial danger. You can learn more about personal finance and find out ways to save money and surviving on a student budget. Most of all, find out more about the ISU Financial Wellness Center and preview the new “Cash Course” link on their web page.

lcongThe Library of Congress Classification System is the subject of display case 5. What are those numbers and letters on books? J includes political science, L= Education, D = History, R = Medicine, etc. Find out how the books are organized into 21 categories, and learn about the history of the Library of Congress system, developed by James Hanson.

Third Floor:

autDisplay case 6 is on Autumn. See autumn decoration, colors, and books with autumn titles, including: Beneath the Second Sun: a Cultural History of Indian Summer, Autumn Music, Autumn Sonata, Another Kind of Autumn, Autumn Manoeuvres, The Autumn Garden, and Autumn Light.

IHSLHealth Science display caseResearch at IHSL. The Idaho Health Science Library, located on the 3rd floor of the library, offers many research services, including EbscoHost, MD Consult, A-Z journal list, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, PubMed, Cinahl, Cochrane Library, StatRef, and more. This display offers more information on some of the services, with beautiful fall colors adding to the enjoyment.

American History in Video Free Trial

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Alexander Street’s one month sneak peek of American history in video has been announced:

“Since launching in April, American History in Video has grown to include more than 1,500 titles and 500 hours. It will continue to grow to include more than 5,000 complete titles and 2,000 hours of rare newsreels and important documentaries from leading producers such as PBS, The History Channel®, Bullfrog Films, and California Newsreel.

Freely access the entire collection on the Web now through Sunday, November 15th.”

No username or password required—enjoy!

“Based on content, design, and price, this product is a solid ten. It tops any other similarly themed resource in its field and, at this price, is an amazing deal. . . . This is a product I wish every library in the United States could make accessible to its researchers, from elementary-school children to history scholars, and everybody in between. Resoundingly recommended.”—Library Journal

Electronic Resource Librarian Regina Koury forwarded this information–be sure to let her know what you think of this resource.

Three Cups of Tea

Friday, October 9th, 2009

The events schedule for Three Cups of Tea, the 2009 ISU Reading Project book, has been announced by the group sponsoring the program. Copies of the book may be available for check-out at the Oboler Library Reserve desk, or you can buy a copy at the ISU bookstore. You can find the extensive schedule of events on their web page under November Events; they have eight interesting events scheduled! Be sure to mark the ones you want to attend on your calendar. They also have an essay contest where five winners each receive a $100 award. Friday Oct. 30th is the deadline, so hurry with your submission.

How Can I Find Book Reviews?

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

While at the reference desk today, someone called and asked for help in finding book reviews. As a librarian I was a bit embarrassed to suggest first. It came to mind first, because I use it frequently in my collection-develop- ment duties. There was a book review for the title she needed; however, it was not lengthy enough or fit her criteria.

Next, I thought to search for the New York Times Book Review in our A-Z Journal List, so we searched within EBSCOhost’s Academic Search Complete, but not book review could be found for her book.

As a last result, and somewhat reluctantly, I suggested we conduct a Google search. By placing quotation marks around the words in the title, plus the words “book review” we succeeded in finding at least one book review that satisfied this particular student’s needs. Interestingly enough, the first result was link to the Amazon entry we had looked at first, but the second looked more legitimate as it had a .edu domain.

Anyway, it should not surprise me that book reviews are freely available on the internet, since book sellers want people to find out about their titles to increase sales.

Out of curiosity, I searched our Library’s website to find out if we had a guide for finding book reviews. We do. With the straight-forward title “How to Find Book Reviews,” you can find out which resources in the Eli M. Oboler Library system contain book reviews. Print titles are mentioned, such as Book Review Index [Reference Collection: Z1035.A1 B6] and Book Review Digest (which we only have in paper copy [Ref. Coll.: Z1219 .C96], but a lot of the full-text reviews are in materials that we can get to with our A-Z Journal List). A colleague of mine tells me that when she was in MFA school, they were the standard references/indexes for finding quality book reviews and citations, and she still uses them on occasion. Additionally, they also relied on Contemporary Literary Criticism (Ref. Coll.: PN771 .C59).

Still, the internet seems to be the easiest way to find book reviews. Where they come from and how useful they may be is a different question, though.

Posted By Spencer to Information Literacy at ISU