Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spotlight on Refworks: There's still time to sign up for this @Home Library Workshop!

RefWorks is an online tool that stores and organizes your research information, and hooks up with Microsoft Word to manage your citations. Curious about how to use it and what it can do for you?

If so, sign up for our @Home Library Workshop - Getting Started With RefWorks. This live, online class taught by a librarian will get you started with your own RefWorks account. By the end of the hour, you will know how to put references into RefWorks (no more messy notecards!), attach files and other useful information, and insert perfectly formatted citations into your Word documents at the click of a button.

Interested? Click here!

More information on how to participate in the @Home Library Workshops via Elluminate is here.

Questions? Ask a Librarian

Monday, February 22, 2010

Featured database: ScienceDirect

Do you need to do research in technology, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, geology, medicine, or environmental science? ScienceDirect is the first place you should look for articles in technology and the sciences. This database contains all scholarly articles, the vast majority of them available in full-text.

To access ScienceDirect, click the All Databases By Title link on the Library website. Then click the ScienceDirect link and log in with your College login and password. You can also access it directly via this link:

ScienceDirect's search screen is easy to use. Simply type your keywords in and click the Go button.

Once you have your search results, click the PDF icon underneath the desired article to access the full-text. Or if you want to make your results list smaller and more specific/relevant, use the tools that appear in the column on the left side of the page. You can search an additional keyword within the results you already have, or you can check off boxes to specify what you want.
Questions? Ask a Librarian

Monday, February 15, 2010

Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month, so I've pulled out a few Library resources that may be useful for research in African American history, culture, and concerns.

One of my personal heroes is Frederick Douglass. As a little child, when he realized he was a slave, from that moment he became fiercely determined to be free. Through his own cleverness and stubbornness, he managed to become literate, learn a trade, and escape to the North. He quickly became a leader in the abolitionist movement. As a speaker, writer, activist, and later a government official, Douglass worked to end not only slavery and racism but also the oppression of women. Reading his autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom was the beginning of my personal obsession with the history of American slavery and the abolitionist movement. It's a great story and an impressive work of liberal-humanist rhetoric in the tradition of the Enlightenment philosophers and the thinkers of the American Revolution.


Newspaper Content
Reference Resources

Also be sure to search our E-book Catalog and many history, humanities, social sciences, and multidisciplinary databases.
Questions? Ask a Librarian

Monday, February 8, 2010

Celebrating Lincoln's Birthday: Civil War era primary sources

Abraham Lincoln became the 16th president of the United States in 1860. A moderate on slavery, his election nonetheless incited the southern states to secede from the Union because he was the Republican candidate, and the newborn Republican party was determined to break the back of Slave Power (the enormously rich and powerful lobby of the Southern cotton aristocracy.) His term in office was entirely occupied by the war to defeat the Confederate States of America and bring them back as docile members of the Union. As part of his larger strategy to weaken the South, he declared the slaves in the Confederate States free. Lincoln was re-elected for a second term after narrowly defeating the Confederacy, but was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth before he could take charge of Reconstruction.

Lincoln's presidency had a transformative impact on American history. The most significant and laudable was freeing the slaves in the rebellious states, which quickly led to slavery ending in the Union states that still practiced it. Lincoln also began the historical trend of increasing power of the federal government and the "imperial executive." No one is sure what shape Reconstruction would have taken with Lincoln in charge of it, but after he was assassinated, the process of subduing the Southern states and the half-measures taken to enfranchise the former slaves resulted in going on two centuries of racial and regional tension.

In the Library

Primary Sources on the Web

Questions? Ask a Librarian

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a strategy for harnessing the power of lateral thinking, also called "the right brain." It can be used for note-taking, decision-making, and brainstorming.

When you mind map something, you put your starting concept in the middle of the page. From there you let your mind associate ideas out from that central node. Each of those ideas becomes its own node with its own branches and so forth. You can also draw connections among different nodes. You're encouraged to use different colors, sizes, and lettering styles, and be as playful and creative as possible. Ideas shouldn't be spelled out in detail, but represented by a pithy word or phrase. You can even use a symbol, picture, or diagram. Your mind map doesn't have to make any sense to anyone but you. On the other hand, they can be a great collaboration tool.
If you like mind mapping, you may find MindMeister useful. It's an online mind mapping tool that allows you to share and collaborate on mind maps. The free account allows you to have 3 mind maps at a time.

Questions? Ask a Librarian