online tutorials


The new LibQual survey is coming out soon. We know from the previous surveys that (1) the library atmosphere needs help (renovations are coming this summer) and (2) students are still relying on Google, Wikipedia and other non-scholarly resources for research more than the teaching and library faculty would like.

shamrocksIn the long battle over using Google or Wikipedia, some faculty say “never use them” others say use them wisely, like you would any tool. For those of you who would be willing to do the latter, but need a little help, I have created the following tutorial — based on a help session, which turned out to be the perfect IL storm. It guides the student through Google, Wikipedia, and the cited source in Wikipedia, Online Catholic Encyclopedia, a resource which is also “good for some things, but not for others” (as it is the digitized version of the 1912 edition of the encyclopedia!

If you ever wanted to demonstrate the benefits and deficiencies of these tools, feel free to add this tutorial to your IL-resources quiver, or contact me if you would be interested in re-creating your own IL-storm!

Roosevelt at White House, December 8, 1941Ken Burn’s newest PBS documentary called “The War,” reminds us how primary sources can help us to see the past more clearly, and really make history come to life. If you are watching the Burns series, studying the crash of the Stock Exchange or reading the “Triangle” book for class…check out some of the historical newspapers that covered the incidents when they happened. Keep in mind that newspaper reporters had to write the stories and get it to press, so be sure to search the few days after an event to make sure you get the most coverage (for example: President Roosevelt’s Message regarding “…day that will live in infamy speech” was delivered on December 8th, 1941 and printed in the Newspaper on December 09, 1941.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle covers 1851 to 1902. ProQuest Historical Newspapers [How do I? ] Allows you to search several historical newspapers simultaneously, Including Chicago Defender (1905 to 1975); Christian Science Monitor Historical (1908 to 1993); Hartford Courant (1764 to present); New York Times Historical (1851 to 2001); Wall Street Journal Historical (1889 to 1987); Washington Post Historical (1877 to 1988)

You might also check for audio and video files: Ex: Roosevelt’s “fireside chat” before and after Pearl Harbor. Check out Michigan State University’s Vincent Voice Library http://vvl.lib.msu.edu/findingaids.cfm

Picture: Franklin D. Roosevelt at The White House, 12/08/1941 Public Domain, courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library; The President’s Message. (1941, December 9). New York Times (1857-Current file),1. Retrieved September 25, 2007, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2004) database. (Document ID: 105168402).

Whether you are studying abroad in Salamanca, or studying from home during the Spring break, please keep in mind that the library has a growing collection of e-books, that make off-campus access to book research a little easier. You can search our e-book collection using the provider interface at NetLibrary, or from within the Library Catalog interface. Within our catalog, choose the “Advanced Search” tab and enter your chosen search in the top field/s, but add “NetLibrary” as a keyword search as well. Click here for a demonstration. (Note: Searching via our catalog will allow you to export your references into RefWorks).

Ever had a friend email you a link to a newspaper paper article, only to find that the article became part of the newspaper’s archives by the time you got around to reading or forwarding it? Before you spend money to access the article through that newspaper’s archive, check to see whether you have access to the newspaper though your library databases.

This link offers a demonstration on finding a contemporary New York Times article in the St. John’s Libraries’ ProQuest Newspapers database, using the citation information posted in our last blog entry on “Googlebombs”: Cohen, N. (2007, Jan 29). Google halts ‘miserable failure’ link to president bush. New York Times, pp. C.6

For more on searching St. John’s ProQuest Historical Newspapers, click here.

UPDATE: In September 2007, The New York Times made all sections of their online version of the paper available for free; they also made some archive materails — from 1851 to 1922 and 1987 to the present — available without charge. [They still charge for some material from the period 1923 to 1986]. ProQuest Historical database facilitates a federated, indexed search all of the materials, and offers full-text access for all years.

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