Monday, September 27, 2010

Participate in the New York State Broadband Speed Test

The New York State Center for Technology in Government is building a map of broadband (high speed internet access) speeds throughout the state. Their goal is to find out which regions are being served adequately and which are not, so that service can be improved.

Why is the government getting involved in this sort of thing? Because internet access is crucial to civic participation, economic development, education, career development, health care, home-based business, social networking and it helps reduce the need for expensive and environmentally damaging paper forms and mailings.

If you want to help out, all you have to do is go to Click the blue Take the Speed Test button. Then click the blue Begin the Speed Test button. A box will pop up - click "Run" or "Ok." The whole thing will happen automatically and will take about a minute.

The more people participate, the better an idea they will have about the real internet access situation in New York State, and that can lead to policies, funding and regulations that will help you. So take a minute and do the speed test at

Monday, September 20, 2010

Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center is now Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Opposing Viewpoints is a great resource for getting articles, opinion pieces and primary sources about different sides of controversial issues and contemporary hot topics. The database is making some major improvements and changing its name. How will it affect you?
  • More image, audio and audio-visual content. This content will be more fully integrated in with the text content.
  • Outdated content has been replaced with newer materials.
  • "Expert picks" to guide your reading.
  • Each topic has its own "portal page" with an overview of the issue to contextualize all the resources.
  • Text-to-speech and translate capability
  • Share what you find using Twitter, FaceBook,, digg and a variety of other Web 2.0 tools
As always, whenever you need to, there is the Help button, or you can Ask A Librarian!

Empire State College Library Research Blog
Questions? Ask a Librarian

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 17 is Constitution Day

On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution, establishing the United States under a federal system of government.

The U.S. Constitution was the first written constitution in the world and is the oldest one still in existence.

Congress has established September 17 as Constitution Day to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. In honor of the event, the Empire State College Library has gathered some web resources and articles about the Constitution's history.

Writing the Constitution
Interpreting the Constitution
Reading the Constitution
  • Constitution of the United States (National Archives)
    High-resolution images of the U.S. Constitution, with explanatory notes and transcripts of the Constitution text.
  • Interactive Constitution (National Constitution Center)
    A clause-by-clause explanation of the Constitution, providing access to basic constitutional facts and interpretation, and searchable by key words and Supreme Court cases.

Questions? Ask a Librarian

new Information Skills Tutorial

Do you feel like a complete beginner when it comes to using the library or doing academic research? Have you been managing but still have some pretty big questions? You're in luck - the library just launched the new Information Skills Tutorial.
  • Questions about how to search for your topic in databases? Go to Search!
  • How to decide if a web site or book is "scholarly" enough? Go to Evaluate!
  • How to cite this crazy thing with two titles and no page numbers? Go to Cite!
Do you just want to become an expert, confident researcher once and for all? Start at the beginning and work your way through to the end - it won't take long. We've pared down the information to the essentials and put it in the most clear, concise language we possibly could.

We even spotted most of our typos before the launch! If you have some feedback about how the site could be improved, there is a comment box in the right column of every page.

Questions? Ask a Librarian

Monday, September 6, 2010

improvements to ScienceDirect interface

ScienceDirect, a huge all-scholarly, full-text database in the sciences (no surprise there) and also business topics, is making some important changes. They are launching the SciVerse Hub to integrate content from ScienceDirect and two other sources: Scopus and Scirus.

What does this mean for you? Partly, it means that ScienceDirect won't be an all-fulltext database anymore. There will still be all the full-text articles there were before, but there will also be search results with no full-text in the database. While this is a little bit inconvenient, it also means you'll be made aware of potentially valuable articles that you can find in other library databases or other libraries. (Like we mentioned before, you can use any SUNY, CUNY or New York community college library!)

Do you get assignments requiring you to find an article that talks about a certain research methodology? We know some of you do. ScienceDirect now has a way to search for articles by that criteria! It's called the Methodology Section Search Application. It's a clunky name for a powerful tool. Check it out!

Empire State College Library Research Blog
Questions? Ask a Librarian

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Library will be closed for Labor Day Monday September 6

Due to the holiday, the Ask A Librarian service will be unavailable on Monday, September 6.
Questions? Ask a Librarian