news & notes

Graphic of keyboard with keys spelling out PRIVACY

CC Photo courtesy of g4ll4is on Flickr

The recent EU court’s ruling on the “right to be forgotten” is an interesting wrinkle in the debates around privacy and public information in the world of cyber-connection.  Even those who have carefully guarded what information they have “put out there” can find that information related to their name or face exists online and can be mined and redistributed in any number of ways.   While the EU  just forced  Google to institute a procedure for removing items from the “results” for searches originating in Europe ( and, they were not forced to delete those items from their “repositiory” of sites.  Those who were hoping to  have the request option for the US version of Google are out of luck; no court has forced Google to do this for US yet.   However, if you want to clean up your “international image”, Jill Scharr’s helpful blog entry has more info on doing that.

Google does offer a procedure to remove “outdated” content. It may take some following-up with them (as the page suggests, since I guess they can take their time and/or refuse).  You will also need to do this in conjunction with the webmaster of your site (if you are not your own webmaster).

In the short-run, you can delete passages or pages on your site; however, since they were indexed by Google shortly after you “published” them, they would still show up in a google search.  The old/deleted materials will  “sink down” in the search-results as more people click on your more recent materials.   Your best bet in the interim, is to make old content “private”, and use either text-links to let people know that there is a more current page with a link to new info and/or implement a  re-direct URL to the now-current information….an inelegant solution until the google request is acknowledged, but a quick and dirty solution for the time-being.

For more information on privacy and security in relationship to your “online presence” check out our Info Ethics LibGuide

RefWorks LogoThe good folks at RefWorks have notified us that :  “As of December 9th, 2013 RefWorks users will no longer be required to enter a group code when logging in to their RefWorks account(s) off-campus or outside of their institutional IP range.”

Current users should not really encounter any difference regarding this change…except that when you click on ourRefworks  access link from home ( you will encounter one-less-screen before getting to your beloved citations, Hooray!

NOTE: If, in your enthusing about RefWorks, you encourage a friend or colleague to get an account, please note the  those patrons who do not yet have a RefWorks account must be on-campus or using VPN  to create the account …that’s the only big change in the game.   If your biblio-colleagues are not due back on campus for a while, just have them email and we will create their accounts for them.  Once an account is created, anyone can access his/her account from the far corners of the internet-connected planet.

Of course, there are still cases where all users will still need to use the group code:  (1)Using GoogleScholar from off-campus and (2)Using WNC III or earlier versions of WNC.  RefWorks has indicated that when WNC4 comes out, it will not require Group Code either.

For any other questions or updates about RefWorks, please consult our RefWorks Guide:



Just in time for your summer reading pleasure… some of the NEW Arrivals to our McNaughton Collection of Best Sellers. All McNaughton books are located at the Upper Level Reference desk of the Staten Island Campus or behind the 4th floor service desk of the St. Augustine Library on the Queens Campus (check them out on the 3rd floor).   For a complete list do a Keyword Search for >MCNAUGHTON<  in the library catalog

  •   Against All Enemies by Tom Clancy
  •   The Affair by Lee Childs
  •   All I Did was Shoot my Man by Walter Mosley
  •   The angel Esmeralda by Don DeLillo
  •   1222 by Anne Holt
  •   11/23/63 by Stephen King
  •   All My Patients Kick and Bite by Jeff Wells, D.V.M.
  •   Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott
  •   1493 by Charles C. Mann
  •   Another Time, Another Life by Leif G.W. Persson
  •   And Nothing But the Truthiness by Lisa Rogak
  •   Anatomy of Injustice by Raymond Bonner
  •   American Individualism by Margaret Hoover
  •   Acceptable Loss by Anne Perry
  •   America’s Quarterback by Keith Dunnavant
  •   Abyss by David Hagberg
  •   And So It Goes by Charles J. Shields
  •   77 Shadow Street by Dean R. Koontz
  •   Another Piece of my Heart by Jane Green
  •   Along the Way by Martin Sheen
  •   Guest of Honor by Deborah Davis
  •   A Disposition to Be Rich by Geoffrey C. Ward
  •   Manhunt by Peter L. Bergen
  •   The Wealth of Nations by P.J. O’Rourke

St. John’s University is hosting two contemporary Caribbean authors, Diana McCaulay and Yolaine M. St. Fort, for an afternoon of readings, conversation, and book signing. Please join us for this special event on the Queens Thursday, April 19.

Diana and Yolaine will be on the Queens campus at the Belson/Finley Hall Law School Atrium, 4th Floor from 1:45 PM –3:00 PM during the Common Hour for readings, discussion, and book signings of their works.

Lunch is included. Click here to RSVP.  Students can earn 4 MVP points for attendance at this event — remember to bring your STORMcards!

For further information about the event on the Queens campus, contact Mary Siconolfi at 718.990.1869 or email

To complement this event, a special exhibition of “Notable Caribbean Authors” will open on Friday March 30th on the fourth floor of the Queens Campus Library.  It features highlights of the life and works of Diana McCaulay and Yolaine M. St. Fort, along with the writings and edited works of other Caribbean writers, such as Jamaica Kincaid, Michelle Cliff, Merle Hodge and Erroll Hill.

Macaulay’s and St. Fort’s works are available now via reserve for loan at the Service Desk in the Library (St. Augustine Hall).

For more information about the authors or the event, please click HERE.


This event is sponsored by sponsored by The President’s Multicultural Advisory Committee; The Office of the Provost; Division of Student Affairs; Committee for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS); University Libraries; Academic Affairs Committee (SGI); Haraya, the Pan-African Students Coalition; Caribbean Students Association.

In partnership with: Caribbean Cultural Theatre

An exhibition of original children’s book illustrations is on view at the Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery in Sun Yat-sen Hall from now through March 3rd.  The main gallery features notes, sketches and books of eight contemporary illustrators.  This show is curated by Daniel Da Silva of the Fine Arts Department.

An ancillary exhibition draws from the St. John’s University Libraries’ collections and was curated by librarian/archivist Dr. Blythe Roveland-Brenton with the assistance of graduate assistants and interns, Gaetano Bello, Audrey Belanger, Joseph DeLorenzo, and Megan Margino.  The exhibition includes a selection of illustrated books from the Children’s Historical Collection of the Special Collections Department. They range in date from 1807-1923. A facsimile of the first picture book intended for children, John Amos Camenius’ Orbis Pictus (originally published in 1658) is also on exhibit.  The early texts, with their black and white woodcuts and engravings, exemplify the stern tenor of many children’s books before the mid-nineteenth century. By the later 19th century, attitudes toward children changed as did printing technology.  Beautiful and colorful books illustrated by talented artists became abundant.

Also on view as part of the libraries’ exhibition, is a sample of Caldecott Medal winners from each decade.  Since 1938, the American Library Association has honored artists of the most distinguished American picture books with this award.  It is named for the nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott.  One of his books is part of the exhibition in the gallery.  The Caldecott winners on display are from the Libraries’ Youth Collection, housed on the fourth floor of St. Augustine Hall.

If you are wondering why some sites are blacked-out today, or why some sites have blocked out their logos/name, it is in protest regarding bills in congress which are aimed at stamping out piracy / protecting intellectual property (a good goal) but proposing to do it by way of censorship and/or surveillance (a questionable means). There are a number of petitions going around, but for a little more info on why there is such an outcry, here are a couple of quick, reliable resources:

The google graphic shows the variety of people and organizations who oppose the bills and why; and offers the opportunity to add your name to their petition. The American Library Association has put together a quick reference guide to explain the PIPA, SOPA and OPEN Acts (pdf).   It indicates who initiated the bill and where the bill would impact free speech and/or free enterprise.

…the ALA deplores any legislation that would incentivize and likely increase surveillance of online activity promoted by these bills.  These bills, if passed, would likely blanket Internet activity with an immediate chilling effect – on first amendment free speech rights, intellectual freedom and privacy rights, among others.


The Queens campus library is kicking-off “Banned Books Week” with a challenged book exhibit on the 4th floor of St. Augustine Library; the display cases feature the top 10 titles from the most-challenged books of 2010 and a sampling of the 20-most-challenged novels of the 20th century.

Copies of  some of the books that made these lists are also available for check-out as well; see the bookshelves behind the 4th floor information desk (where you will also find our “leisure reading” books, part of the McNaughton Collection.)

Tote and T-shirt, Challenge map and QR code for contest

The Libraries are also hosting a virtual  “Challenged Book Challenge” where we ask you to indicate the reasons why books made it onto these most-challenged lists.  Participants in the challenge can be entered in a drawing for either a “Free your mind, read a banned book” t-shirt or a “I read banned books” tote bag, just provide some contact information on the last question of the challenge (click picture at left for enlarged photo).

We will be posting answers to the challenge questions next week, on our Banned Book/Intellectual Freedom LibGuide,  and hosting discussions on banned books, intellectual freedom and the social justice issues surrounding information access over the following two weeks, so save the dates now: Thursday October 6, from 2-3 pm and Wednesday October 12, from 5-6 pm.   Discussions to be held in St. Augustine Library, Room 305; All readers and discussants welcome!

Caution: The 10 most-challenged books for 2010

Caution: top-most-challenged novels of the 20th century

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