The St. John’s Libraries Spotlight Exhibits are monthly exhibits produced by the Circulation Department focused on a particular topic or theme. These exhibits seek to call attention to the resources the Libraries have to offer the St. John’s community and educate the St. John’s community on particular topics and themes. Remember that the books used in the spotlight exhibits can be checked out of the library at any time. Each exhibit has a corresponding page on the “St John’s Libraries Spotlight Exhibits” Campus Guide. The corresponding campus guide pages list the works used in the exhibit, with their call numbers, and provide additional electronic resources related to the topic. The goal of the corresponding campus guide pages then is to preserve, and add to, the resource and topical awareness promoted by the exhibits.

Previous Exhibits:

March 2013 Exhibit – Women’s History Month. This exhibit displays a collection of works on women’s culture and history in celebration of Women’s History Month.

From the African American History Month Exhibit

From the African American History Month Exhibit

February 2013 Exhibit – African American History Month. This exhibit displayed a collection of works on African-Americans and peoples of African descent in celebration of African American History Month.

January 2013 Exhibit – Creative Media. This exhibit displayed a collection of works on forms of creative media in celebration of International Creativity Month.

December 2012 Exhibit – Holiday & Vacation Reading. This exhibit displayed suggested holiday and vacation reading from the libraries’ McNaughton Collection.

November 2012 Exhibit – Native American History and Culture. This exhibit displayed a collection of works related to Native American History and Culture in celebration of Native American Heritage Month.

From the Half the Sky Exhibit

From the Half the Sky Exhibit

October 2012 Exhibit – Half the Sky. This exhibit displayed a collection of works related to prominent themes in Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s Half the Sky, a powerful work on the abuses third-world women face that was selected as the 2012-2013 St. John’s Freshman Read book.

September 2012 Exhibit – Comics & Graphic Novels. This exhibit displayed a collection of the libraries’ resources on comics and graphic novels.

Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

Manumission Letter, 1784, St. John's University Special Collections

Manumission letter written by Joshua Pigman and James Argent of Frederick County State Maryland freeing two slaves, James and Frances, once they turn 21 years old. May 22, 1784.

St. Augustine Hall, 3rd Floor

February 15 – March 15, 2013

Co-curated by Megan Margino and Sharell Walker

The St. John’s University Special Collections presents an exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Within Special Collections are a variety of primary and secondary documents related to slavery, the Civil War, and the Emancipation Proclamation. Included in this display are reproductions of original documents in Special Collections such as hand-written letters and documents from people such as Vice President Hannibal Hamlin and other notable figures of the era. There are also rare and first edition books that contain unique perspectives on the historical events leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation.

These documents are available for research by appointment in the University Archives and Special Collections. To make an appointment, please call (718) 990-1465 or email

We have had a recent advisory from JSTOR, but it shouldn’t be too much of a disruption for our JSTOR regulars.  But do note, that if you normally export/email  a number of  articles at a time from JSTOR using  the “save my citations” feature, you will need to adjust during this time-period … you can still export/email articles individually or in bulk by using the “export Citation” link  or “email citation link”

“On Friday, September 9 and Saturday, September 10, JSTOR will be performing site maintenance that requires a “read-only” period for these two days. During this scheduled maintenance, users will be able to search, browse, and access and download PDF files for content in JSTOR. They will not be able to save citations, reset passwords, create or update MyJSTOR accounts, or purchase articles.”

Refworks 2.0 link in upper right corner, next to Home

RefWorks is one of a number of bibliographic management programs that are available to the staunch researcher.  If you are a dedicated RefWorks user, you might want to take a look at the new RefWorks 2.0 interface that launched earlier this week.  The “Classic” interface  will be accessible until the end of the year (so you have an adjustment period), but if you want to review some of the highlights of the new interface, check out this video which highlights the differences between the old and new interfaces.

Also, if you want to play with the new interface before the end of the semester you will see links to access RefWorks 2.0 in the upper, right-hand corner at the log-in stage (pictured left, above)

Additionally, after you are logged in,  there is a link that lets you toggle back and forth between the classic and 2.0 interfaces in the upper, right-hand corner of your account screen (pictured right, below).

Toggle link lets you switch between classic and 2.0 interface

If you are new to RefWorks, you might consider looking into the new interface from the start — this preview video for new users will show you some of the features.

For those who like to learn on their own, but would like some extra help, there are free webinars and tutorials available from RefWorks.

Of course, for those of you who like a hands-on workshop, we offer in-library workshops on RefWorks and Zotero (another, open-source Bibliographic Management system)– among other topics. Register for one today!

Leaf used as a bookmark, CC image courtesy of emrank

"bookmark" CC image courtesy of emrank

In case you haven’t heard the news, this week, two big e-resource-sharing platforms announced changes that may impact (and hopefully improve) your ability to find and share information within the next few months.

About a week ago, Kindle announced that it is finally working with libraries to offer the ability to share/lend books — this is great news, as Kindle was one of the last “holdouts.”  At this point it is working primarily with Overdrive — the main vendor for e-books in public libraries — but we will keep an eye on the efforts to share with academic and special libraries as well.   Using  Kindle would make bookmarking, note-taking and highlighting in a borrowed book easier.

Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced

In other “bookmarking” news, Delicious has been saved from the chopping block!  On Wednesday, AVOS announced that they acquired Delicious from Yahoo.  In order to have your account continue to work after June, you need to “opt in” to the transfer of your bookmarks… loads of details on the delicious transition page.

A new report from Sloan-C takes up authentication and academic integrity in the online learning environment.  While most schools are doing well with compliance on authentication, Sloan-C offers some pointers on Academic integrity for online learning (to combat the ‘perception’ of greater cheating in online course).  Note that the principles offer some sound advice for hybrid and face-to-face pedagogy as well.   The blog entry offers summary points and a link to the ” “Best Practice Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity in Online Education”. …[which] reflects exemplary principles and practices from online instructors and administrators from 170 higher education institutions in the United States in five core areas: Institutional Context and Commitment, Curriculum and Instruction, Faculty Support, Student Support, and Assessment and Evaluation.”  Both are worth a peek!

ARTstor began as a database of images of artworks intended primarily for the use of artists and art historians, contributed primarily by art museums. It has since grown to a repository of more than 1,000,000 images covering a wide range of periods, countries, media, and topics. It’s still entirely made up of visual resources – you won’t find journal articles about art or art history, for example – but you will find images of interest to many fields with interesting interdisciplinary applications. Some examples include:

Whether your discipline is listed here or not, take some time to explore ARTstor, it is a fascinating storehouse of unique images and objects just waiting for you to put it to use!

For those of you who are (or become) ARTstor aficionados, you can keep up with ARTstor by reading the ARTstor Blog, signing up for email announcements, becoming an ARTstor fan on Facebook, subscribing to the ARTstor RSS feed, or watching ARTstor how-to videos on YouTube!

Although Christmas ads have been running for much longer that I think should be permissible, the Christmas season is finally upon us. It is not Christmastime in my world until Santa rolls down 5th Avenue after all those big balloons. A season of generosity and kindness. In these challenging economic times perhaps it is not so easy for us all to be financially generous but it costs us nothing to be kind.

This past Tuesday I was invited to give a presentation to the Wantagh Preservation Society on Long Island. My grandfather liked to use the expression “it went off without a hitch.” Well, this presentation went off but with every available hitch, if that is possible. In other words, the presentation turned out fine in the end but everything that could go wrong on along the way did.

First I lost my USB flash drive with the presentation on it. Lovely. I had to get another one, load the presentation onto it, and race to the library where my presentation was scheduled to take place.

Then my laptop wouldn’t let me login. Yes, that was a spectacular display of panic. Fortunately though, the father of a dear friend of mine works at the library where I was freaking out. He made a quick phone call and my friend was on her way with her laptop.

When my presentation was complete, I went home to find a nice email from a St. John’s student who found my USB flash drive in the school’s parking lot; my contact information was in a document on the flash drive. This very thoughtful, considerate human being brought my flash drive back to me this morning.

With all the kindness that surrounds me, I’d like to use this last blog entry opportunity to promote a little more.  St. John’s offers many opportunities for us to help those in need. One small way you can help is to donate non-perishable food item to our library from now until Sunday, December 13. In exchange for you donation, we will waive an outstanding library fine that you may have. You do not have to have a fine to participate in the Food for Fines program. Help a friend. Bail a professor out. Just give to help those in need.

Perhaps though, you looking for something bigger to do to make a positive difference in the world; a place to volunteer your time and skills or an employment opportunities at non-profit organization. I highly recommend checking out ; a project put forth by a project Action Without Borders, a nonprofit, apolitical, organization working to connect people, organizations, and resources to build a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.

I’d like to thank the LiBlog Committee for inviting me to be the first Guest Blogger in the Guest Blogger of the Month Series. I had a wonderful time sharing my interests and favorite resources on LiBlog. Thank you all for reading and I wish you all a very healthy and happy holiday season.

Genealogy is currently one of the most popular hobbies in the Unites States and one that I have dabbled in for the last 20 years. Even if you have no interest in genealogy, you are probably aware of; the world’s largest online resource for family history. With nearly 4 billion historical records, it provides a wealth of resources for those interested in research their lineage here and abroad.

However, it is not the end-all-be-all of genealogy resources. And it is most certainly not my favorite resource. Oh no no no, not by far.

Genealogy resources exist in every town, county, and hamlet in the world. Anyone interested in conducting any real, in-depth, genealogical research is going to need to contact municipal agencies, places of worship, cemeteries, historical societies, public libraries with local history collections, etc.

My favorite web sites are genealogy resources; the German Genealogy Group and the Italian Genealogical Group. The two groups have worked together to make important records available to all members of the genealogy community. One example of an important database they created is the New York City Death Records, 1891-1948 database. And this is just one of many databases of New York City Vital records they have online.

Over 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island to make this country their home. Many of them resided in New York City for at least a brief time. Whether their descendants stayed right here in the City of New York or up and moved to far off locations, they now have access to these indexes from anywhere in the world FOR FREE because of these two genealogy groups!

Granted, copies of the actual death certificates would need to be obtained online through the New York City Municipal Archives for a current fee of $17 each but access to the indexes is FREE and can be just as helpful as the actual documents.

I <3 the GGG and IGG.

icann_meeting_sel_logoBig news out of ICANN’s recent meeting in Korea, as the ICANN  (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) board approved a process for registering new Internationalized Domain Names using the “Fast Track Process.”   Currently, international countries use Latin characters for country domain extensions  (like .jp for Japan, or .kr for the Republic of  Korea) , the new process  “allow nations and territories to apply for Internet extensions reflecting their name – and made up of characters from their national language.”   Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s President and CEO explains the historic  step this way:  

“This is only the first step, but it is an incredibly big one and an historic move toward the internationalization of the Internet …The first countries that participate will not only be providing valuable information of the operation of IDNs in the domain name system, they are also going to help to bring the first of billions more people online – people who never use Roman characters in their daily lives.”

Although this is just the start of a launch for numerous IDNs, this “first step”  comes at the end of  at least seven years of  research, development and tests conducted by volunteers and ICANN professionals, under the guidance of  ICANN’s  Senior Director of IDNs, Tina Dam.

A neat video explains the importance of this historic decision for ICT literacy and greater access to information around the world;  of course such changes will also have an impact on web-security and web-developers , among others.  Check out the ICANN blog, website, meeting proceedings and the IDN fast-track page for more information

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