Sunday, September 28, 2008

Finding Pro and Con Articles

Quality research often involves looking at an issue from many perspectives and using logic and evidence or data to formulate a conclusion, support a thesis statement, or present an analysis. How can you find materials that address a topic from differing viewpoints? The Empire State College online library offers some research databases that can make your search easier:
  • CQ Researcher is a database of reports that offers in-depth, non-biased coverage of political and social issues, with regular reports on topics in health, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the U.S. economy. Each report includes an overview of the topic, assessment of the current situation, tables and maps, pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions, and bibliographies of additional key sources.
  • Gale Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center is a one-stop source for information on social issues. This database includes viewpoint essays, full-text newspaper and magazine articles, statistics, primary documents, and web links on dozens of controversial issues. Topics cover a wide range of issues, including medical ethics, pollution, prisons, censorship, animal rights, welfare reform, and others.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Library Workshops Information

Information about the new pilot program of Research @ the Library Workshops, including upcoming workshop dates, descriptions, and how to sign up, are now linked from the library home page, under the Get Help section.

The "Research @ the Library" Workshops are two hour, hands-on classes delivered by the college's librarians. Workshops are offered at many Empire State College regional office locations and delivered virtually to the computer labs at participating regional locations using the Elluminate Live! virtual classroom.
Questions? Ask a Librarian

Friday, September 12, 2008

New & Improved Subject Guides

The Library is proud to announce the launch of it's newly updated and expanded Subject Guides, which organize the library's research resources and select web resources according to topic. These Guides are hosted on an interactive, Web 2.0 platform with many new features:
  • rate resources
  • post your comments and feedback
  • search all Guide content from a single search box
  • search for articles and books directly from the Guides
  • keep up with the latest news and research via RSS feeds
  • share useful resources with classmates and friends on social sites like Facebook and Delicious
  • access multimedia resources such as podcasts and videos
  • browse content by keyword using the visual tag cloud
  • subscribe to receive an e-mail whenever a Guide of interest to you is updated
  • print an entire Guide in print-friendly format with a single click
The Subject Guides are a work in progress, so please check them out and use the rating and comments options there to let us know how we can improve.
Questions? Ask a Librarian

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Issues with accessing WorldCat are resolved

If you were experiencing difficulties accessing through the Library and Learning Resources website, you should be fine now. We have corrected the link.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Visit the College's Constitution Day 2008 Web Site

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The United States Constitution established our country as a federal republic in which citizens choose who among them will lead the country. Together with the Bill of Rights, the Constitution secures for Americans a variety of rights and liberties. As citizens and patriots, we are responsible for exercising those rights and liberties for the good of all, and in order to prevent tyranny from taking hold, as it has in so many times and places throughout history.

For that reason, we celebrate Constitution Day on September 17. On this day, we honor the document that founded our nation, and affirm our duty to know it and preserve the rights and freedoms that it guarantees. We invite you to use the resources at to learn more about the Constitution.

Constitution Day was established in 2005 by an act of Congress, which mandates that educational institutions receiving Federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year. Read the original Federal Register announcement authored by the Office of Innovation and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education.
Questions? Ask a Librarian

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Using an Asterisk as a Wildcard when Searching

Have you ever had problems when preparing a search trying to think up all the possible variations and endings of a keyword? For example, how do you insert the various endings of "invest," such as invested, investing, investor, investment and investments into your search? By using a wildcard operator (sometimes called truncation), you can do this and more.

A "wildcard" is a search operator that can be appended to the root of a word (e.g., invest*) and substitute for all the possible endings used in conjunction with it. In most search interfaces, including Google and most, but not all, of our research databases, the asterisk (*) serves as the wildcard.

  • "Ab* Lincoln" - will retrieve: Abe Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln.
  • digital and comput* - will retrieve anything containing both digital and anything with the "comput" root, such as: computer, computers, computing, computation, etc.