teaching & learning

Newspapers accessible through ProQuest Historical Newsapers

Newspaper articles accessible through ProQuest Historical Newspapers

Once again, Ken Burns has created a series which re-invigorates interest in an aspect of history that is uniquely American.  If you have been following his most recent series on the National Parks, the pictures and fact-checking which support the fascinating narrative are the result of academic research through lots of primary resources. 

Marvel at Muir?  In a lather about Mather? Awed by Albright? 

Check out our Historical Newspapers collections and discover history as seen though the eyes and reports of the people who lived through it!  Or search through personal letters and journal entries compiled in biographies or autobiographies of the Park heroes  themselves.  They are available in many formats: electronically, in print form, and in microform.   Perform a catalog search for the author,  and use the links on the left-hand side to narrow your search.

We noted in a prior blog entry that Open Access Scholarship got a boon in early 2009, when Harvard faculty decided to make their scholarship available in Institutional Repositories.  It marked a point where one of the premiere US Institutions of higher learning explicitly recognized that access to scholarship shouldn’t be limited to those Universities which  can pay increasingly prohibitive costs for access through publishers and vendors.  Six months later, and on the other end of the access spectrum,  Harvard Business Publishing is trying to charge Universities even more to deep-link to articles for which most University Libraries have already paid both the publisher and the EBSCO vendor.

open lockAcademic librarians have long questioned the economically voracious model of publishing in academia — Cornell’s public break with Elseivier is probably the most widely known rallying point, and they in turn are vocal and active proponents of OA Scholarship.   The recent buzz around making NIH-funded research publically available helps bolster the argument for Open Access among academic publishers.  Like government-funded publications, most University research is  funded, at least partially, by the  University itself, in addition to private or public grants.  The traditional commercial publisher model charges that author’s University Library a large subscription rate to have print access and then works with vendors to charge libraries for the convenience of electronic access to that research. Generally a publisher justifies the price by saying that they add value through editing, through sponsoring the peer-review process, and through volume printing costs.  With OpenAccess publishing (along with Open Journal systems that can automate peer-review work-flows for scholarly presses), these “added values” are becoming less valued.  

The basis, if any, for charging more to have a deep-link to an article, when the professor can aways link to the Library’s vendor-provided abstract (with PDF link or full-text-search link)  is unclear.  While HBP’s desire to charge for deep-linking to the article in EBSCO doesn’t exactly parallel the motives behind another linking-suit filed  against Georgia State University by Oxford, Cambridge and Sage, it appears that they are both related to lost revenue on Course Packs.   In the latter suit, the 3 presses claimed that Georgia State University made electronic versions of articles available in  online course reserves without proper permission. Ostensibly, their suit was based on the fact that access was not behind a password protected course-page; however, in the course of subsequent statements, they questioned whether “Fair Use” extends to electronic copies hosted on CMS and Library e-reserves (which would both be behind password protections and could be linked to vendor-database links).

The Magna Carta, the Diaries of Anne Frank, the League of Nations Archives, and the Library of the Cistercian Abbey of Clairvaux are among the 35 new items which have recently been added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.

 The Memory of the World Register features documentary heritage identified by the International Advisory Committee and endorsed by the Director-General of UNESCO as corresponding to the selection criteria for world significance. 

To see detailed information on new inscriptions and the photos of collections, please click here.

We are lucky enough to have the Magna Carta “visiting” us in New York City starting September 15th at the Fraunces Tavern Museum, (where our Outreach Librarian, and fellow LIBlogger, Caroline Fuchs, is a docent).    The exhibition will last through December:

“MAGNA CARTA and the Foundations of Freedom” will also reveal how the roots of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and more all reach back to Magna Carta. It will also trace the freedom struggles of the diverse peoples making up the American social fabric.

For more on the Magna Carta and its impact on Democracy in America, check out the National Archives page dedicated to the Magna Carta.

Now in Session: The Library of Congress on iTunes U

Interior of Library of Congress

Interior of Library of Congress

In an ongoing effort to make its digital educational, historical and cultural resources available to web users across a broad spectrum of platforms, the Library of Congress today launched “The Library of Congress on iTunes U.”

At its inception, the Library’s iTunes U site includes historical videos from the Library’s moving-image collections such as original Edison films and a series of 1904 films from the Westinghouse Works and original videos such as author presentations from the National Book Festival, the “Books and Beyond” series, lectures from the Kluge Center, and the “Journeys and Crossings” series of discussions with curators.

It also includes audio podcasts, including series such as “Music and the Brain,” slave narratives from the American Folklife Center, and interviews with noted authors from the National Book Festival; and classroom and educational materials, including 14 courses from the Catalogers’ Learning Workshop.

ttlogoThe previous blogpost, covering YouTubeEDU is a fairly recent development on videohosting, emphasized the focus on Higher Education. Those who focus on K-12 education might be interested in TeacherTube which has been around a while: it also has a search box and is browsable by subject and channel.

Following up on Google Books Settlement & Orphan Works: According to an Online Media Story, New York Law School’s Institute for Information Law & Policy is arguing, because of Orphan Works, “federal antitrust authorities should weigh in on the case before the court decides whether to approve the settlement.”

Complications of Copyright in a digital age: While you are there, check out another Online Media article talking about the possible copyright violations associated with giving the gift of a pre-loaded iPod … the gift that President Obama recently gave the Queen.

Thanks to Bernie Sloan for directing us to the Google Update.

youtubeu Think of it as “GoogleScholar” for Google & YouTube Videos. YouTube EDU‘s interface allows you to search for informational videos by University, topic or most viewed. There is some overlap with iTunesU without the need for the iTunes Software to be downloaded to your machine. Additionally, YouTubeEDU has the advantage of offering direct “links” and “embed scripts” to integrate the resource in your course pages.

not_equal1While a number of previous LIBlog entries have emphasized the impact that social-web tools have had on the authority of web-based resources, this blog entry from Britannica.net  “Is Britannica Going Wiki?”  is a good example of why opening a reasource up contributions does not automatically devolve into Wikipedi-mania.

…[T]rend-spotters of the media and blogosphere detect a harmonic convergence between the two antipodes of the encyclopedia world, and they were happy to proclaim, almost as one:  Britannica, Wikipedia, each becoming more like the other.  How perfectly symmetrical. The truth, as usual, was far more complex. 

unlock1While LIBlog has discussed the role of Scholarly Repositiories and Open Access publishing before, we also know that some courses still need to rely on textbooks and journals to provide timely information for students.  Because textbook prices remain prohibitively expensive for some students,  the libraries continue to partner with faculty and the book store to  suggest ways of supplying salient course materials at low- or no-additional-costs to students.  E-reserves and deep-linking* to articles in a coursepage allow a student to have access to both open-access and proprietary-database articles, as well as subscription e-books.  Our recent switch to LibGuides also allows us to work with indivdual faculty members to create a “resources by subject” page at the individual course level.  If you are interested in finding more about deep-linking, finding public domain and open access resources, or would like to work with a librarian to create a dynamic course resource page, ask your subject specialist or email one of our Instructional Services Librarians.  If you are interested in working with the libraries to propose a plan for lower-cost print texts or e-text-books , please contact our Outreach Librarian.

For more about Open Resources, check out the mini-course developed by Judy Baker, covering open access courseware systems as well as copyright, public domain texts, primary resources, etc.

Baker, J. (2007, May 5). Introduction to Open Educational Resources. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/col10413/1.2/

* Deep-linking offers direct access to a database article by adding the libraries’ proxy-prefix (http://jerome.stjohns.edu:81/login?url=) at the very start of the PURL or at the start of the URL in the address box.

header-apple-photoUniversity of Washington’s iSchool, has launched Project Information Literacy,  a large-scale research project which “investigates how early adults on different college campuses conduct research for course work and how they conduct ‘everyday research’ for use in their daily lives.”  Their first progress report came out earlier this month. The report analyses 11 discussion groups held on 7 college campuses in Fall of 2008 (Schools enlisted were Harvard University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Mills College, Diablo Valley Community College, University of Washington, West Valley Community College, and Shoreline Community College).  The initial report, entitled Finding Context: What Today’s College Students Say about Conducting Research in the Digital Age,  indicates:

…that no matter where students are enrolled, no matter what information resources they may have at their disposal, and no matter how much time they have, the abundance of information technology and the proliferation of digital information resources make conducting research uniquely paradoxical: Research seems to be far more difficult to conduct in the digital age than it did in previous times.

A PDF of the 1st progress report and a video of some of the research groups are available on the Project Information Literacy site.


If you are a student or faculty member who is interested in joining this program as part of  St. John’s project effort, please contact Prof. Kathryn Shaughnessy, Instructional Services Librarian.

Thanks to John Garino and our colleagues at WALDO/KOHA  for directing us to this report.

openeducation2MIT’s Vijay Kumar (Senior Associate Dean & Director, Office of Educational Innovation and Technology) talks about the next step in the “open” movement in a short interview with Mary Grush in this month’s Campus Technology. [Beyond Access: What’s behind quality education?]

Open education, according to Kumar, goes beyond open content and open standards and is the sharing of “practices and pedagogies that underlie the content and resources.” The result is a process that can improve pedagogy through collaboration and input from many parties.

Some existing examples that have started to move toward open education are MIT’s Open CourseWare, the OpenCourseWare Consortium, and MERLOT. There are also some projects beginning to share pedagogy along with content – Carnegie Foundation’s KEEP Toolkit, Rice University’s Connexions, and the Open Univeristy’s OpenLearn.

Fundamentally, open education relies on and is made possible by combining open knowledge/content/resources with Web 2.0 technologies.  Kumar concludes by saying “We’re facing a climate that requires a re-0rientation of practices and a rethinking of operational models, to deliver relevant eduation…By sharing pedagogy, critically reviewing it, and making that work much more visible, we can bring the practice of research into education and move collectively toward better practices and educational transformation.”

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