Screen shot of DP.LA Home page featuring Primary Resource Sets

DP.LA – Digital Public Library of America offers new curated Primary Resource sets (from over 11.5 million items)

An exciting new development in the growing treasures made available through the Digital Public Library of America.  DPLA, in conjunction with educators, librarians and historians, have started to develop curated sets of primary resources to help faculty encourage engagement with primary resources and cultural heritage items. Selected sets cover the Visual Art During the Harlem Renaissance, women in World War II, Transatlantic slave trade, and more.

“DPLA Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills by exploring topics in history, literature, and culture through primary sources. Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. “

Additionally, DPLA offers a video of their November 3rd Workshop “Using DPLA for Teaching and Learning” to help faculty and students in finding and curating collections that are pertinent to their own work.

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:



If you are using RefWorks for the first time with a new computer (either using your new laptop, or using a lab or home computer for the first time to connect to an existing RefWorks account) you may encounter an “untrusted connection” certificate error.

In general it is a good idea to heed the certificate warnings, but as long as you are accessing RefWorks (or any database) from the Databases A-Z LibGuide or from a Resources by Subject LibGuide,  it is a trusted connection.

Note: If you click on Firefox alert screenshot (above & right), in the larger picture you will see the URL has the database name refworks and the library server name in the URL, in this case the library is providing the assurance that Refworks is a trusted site, rather than an “impersonating” site.

If you need help getting around the certificate error, this video tutorial will provide more information.

EBSCOhost recently launched a mobile app for Android and iPhone, making it much easier to find and read articles on those devices. The app is fairly intuitive, and reproduces many of the features of the regular version, including saving and e-mailing articles, and limiting to a specific journal or date range. By default, the app searches all of EBSCOhost’s databases simultaneously, so users who are looking for information from a specific discipline may want to limit their search to a specific database, a list of which may be found by clicking on settings, at the bottom of the page.

Users should be aware that the EBSCOhost app does not use natural language, meaning you will not retrieve useful search results if you simply enter a string of search terms. For example,

mitt romney south carolina retrieved only 42 articles

mitt romney and south Carolina retrieved 711 articles

There are a couple of minor flaws in this app – the autocomplete feature under settings does not seem to work, for example. Neither does the button for re-sorting search results by publication date.

Nonetheless, the EBSCOhost app is a welcome development, and is far preferable to using the regular version of EBSCO on your smart phone.

To install the EBSCOhost app on your Android or iPhone, go to any EBSCO database through the SJ Libraries home page, such as

Academic Search Premier

Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click New! EBSCOhost iPhone and Android Applications. This will prompt you for your e-mail address, to which EBSCO will send a key and instructions for downloading the EBSCOhost app.

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.”

The recent  article from 8/31/2010 issue of CHE takes up a new wrinkle in the Google Books project.  The article “Google’s Book Search: A Disaster for Scholars” recounts the issues surrounding the big-buzz question “what will Google do with the books once scanned” and goes on to another practical question: “Can Google possibly live up to the professed goals of the ‘Google Books Library’ project?”  If Google scanned all the scholarly-library-donated-books in order to facilitate  discoverability of  lost treasures, the metadata needed to facilitate a scholarly search needs to be reliable and standardized enough (think library cataloging by subject specialists) to help the researcher find the relevant material across the database objects.

But to pose those [research-based] questions, you need reliable metadata about dates and categories, which is why it’s so disappointing that the book search’s metadata are a train wreck: a mishmash wrapped in a muddle wrapped in a mess.

Jon Orwant, the person responsible for metadata in the GoogleBooks project has posted his own thoughtful responses in the comments area of Nunberg’s  “illustrated” version of the article (and in keeping with web-2.0 publication vagaries, the illustrated version and comments are dated 8/29!)

Of course, while library catalogues and databases try to be slaves to consistent metadata, we often work with whatever we can get in order to make sure that our researchers have access to their needed information in as many venues as possible.  Thus, we note with some pleasure that the earlier Google Scholar project — which deals primarily with scholarly articles and citations from scholarly bibliographies — does not suffer as much on the metadata end, but this is because the basic-but-standard bibliographic metadata is generated by the authors themselves, and therefore tend to be more reliable (as reliable as scholars are careful!) .

Libraries have also worked with Google Scholar to facilitate Check for full text linking to a patron’s “home” university library for full-text access to cited articles (in the preferences options).  St. John’s Libraries and WorldCat are automatically added to  GoogleScholar results if you are using computers in the labs, but if you would like to add this “Check  for Full Text” feature to your work or home computer, and find a way to add GS citations to your RefWorks folder, use this tutorial.

Here’s hoping that the GoogleBooks efforts are fruitful and that we can look forward to Google’s transparency and co-operation with libraries and librarians — who have been their precursors and constant companions in the effort to  promote wider-access-to and reliable-metadata-for the information people seek to improve their research or their lives.

If you are looking to get a little research done over the break, please check your campus library’s Hours of operation!

Please also note a recent revision to the Queens library schedule for Easter Break. The last day of on-campus service at the Queens Library, prior to the break, is Wed March 31.  The St. Augustine Library building will be open and staffed until 11pm. Overnight hours (on the first floor only) will be 11:00pm – 6:00 am, and the first floor will be cleared at 6 am on Thursday April 1. (no foolin’!)

EASTER BREAK library hours:
On Thursday, April 1, the Queens St. Augustine Library will be CLOSED due to repair work. The building will remain closed from Fri 4/2 – 4/4. The library building opens, and services will resume again, on April 5, (Easter Monday), from 10:00am – 6:00pm. Extended first-floor hours also resume on Monday, April 5th at 6pm.

Of course, our NetLibrary ebooks, electronic databases and resources by subject are accessible, on and off-campus  24/7.   You can also take advantage of the AskUs service for help from a librarian via chat and email!

To all our RefWorks users, you may have noticed a “certificate error” message recently, even if you have been visiting RefWorks on your computer before. The “good news” is that RefWorks upgraded their server, and is a “trusted site.” As long as you have accessed RefWorks from either (a) our library website, (b) one of our databases, or going directly to “” you can continue the process with confidence.

If you are using Internet Explorer 6, IE 7 or Safari, use the images below to guide you through the process.  Firefox, it is a little trickier, follow the guides on this document:

Refworks Certificate error as displayed on IE6

Refworks Certificate error as displayed on IE6 - Click "Yes" to proceed

Certificate error on IE 7 -- Click on "Continue to this website"

Certificate error from Safari Browser

If you are using Safari: Click on CONTINUE

Welcome to the first of a four-part blog about ARTstor, an image database licensed by the university library for the St. John’s University campus community.  In each post, I’ll present tips and tools for using ARTstor, highlighting features that should help you integrate ARTstor’s images into your current practices as well as to consider new ones.

The ARTstor Digital Library currently has over 1 million images in the arts, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences, including historic events and people.  With all of these images to look through and lectures and papers to prepare, how can you find the ones you need – and fast?

A simple keyword search, from the main search box will get you started.  You might search for keywords like  ‘odysseus’ or ‘kimono’ or ‘advertisement’.  ARTstor will then search across the entire data record to return any images that match your search term.  To narrow your results, you can refine your search using the keyword box at the top of the page and choosing “Within current results” from the dropdown menu.  Another way to narrow results is to use quotation marks around a two or more word phrase, such as “civil rights” or “olympic games”.

When searching for specific images, you may find the Advanced Search to be more useful.  This search allows you to specify where your keywords are found:  the Title or Creator fields only.  You can also choose a date or date range and geographic locations by broad region or country name.  Lastly, ARTstor has identified unique keywords or phrases that will restrict your search to specific collections of images if the image you need is from a certain collection.  To see these search terms, find the collection on our list of collections and click to view the information page.  The search terms are at the bottom of each page.

If you have already found an image and need others like it, ARTstor has linked together images that have been saved in image groups by other instructor users of ARTstor.  You may find that some of these associated images are useful for your work.   Images with such associations are identified by an icon below the thumbnail image ().  To display the related images, click the icon.  Another icon you may encounter on the thumbnail page identifies images with related duplicates and details, ().  Clicking this icon displays any other copies of the work among ARTstor’s holdings, along with any details.  The image with the icon is the one we’ve identified as the best representative of the work, often a very large image allowing you to zoom in very far.  If this image detail is better than one of the related details, download the zoomed-in detail instead.  Once you have the detail displayed in the image viewer, click the Download Image button at the lower-right corner to get the area you are currently viewing.

Kimberly Henrikson is the Senior Support Services Manager of the User Services team at ARTstor and plays a developmental role in establishing support models and related materials for institutions licensing the online digital image library. She is responsible for managing the training and support services for more than 1,200 ARTstor institutions. She also designs ARTstor’s online and instructor-led training programs and facilitates the rollout of major software updates.

Prior to ARTstor, Kim provided client relationship management, training and technical support at several for-profit companies including Yahoo! HotJobs, a Texas based printing company, and a New York-based fashion design house.  She has also worked at MB Modern art gallery in New York and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution.  Kimberly received her BA in Art History from Penn State University and is currently pursuing an MA in art history from Hunter College.

Kim will be blogging this month about ARTstor, how it can be used in the classroom and for assignments, and its application to disciplines other than art and art history. Welcome, Kim!

Next Page »