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WorldCat Reaches the 2 Billion Mark

May 8, 2013

We’re very proud of the fact that we are able to get over 99% of the interlibrary loan requests you submit, but we couldn’t do it without our WorldCat partners. Just last weekend, the University of Alberta Libraries entered the 2 billionth item. It was an ebook called Evaluation of the City of Lakes Family Health Team Patient Portal Pilot Project: Final Report.

So far this year we have borrowed 1565 items — 506 books and 1060 articles. Most of them were borrowed from other WorldCat libraries. We got 330 from the Kansas City Library Consortium, another important partner.

We lend items, too. This year we sent out 2490 books and 221 articles. A thousand of those were lent to WorldCat libraries.

Discover Lexis/Nexis all over again

April 15, 2013

As is usual this time of year, we take a look at our current holdings and try to evaluate whether we are getting the most value for our expenditures.  Among some of the statistics that cross our desks are the numbers of searches performed in each of our databases. Some databases are super stars, returning thousands and thousands of searches over the year. Others are less productive, either because of their limited subject coverage, or perhaps because folks just don’t remember they’re there.  In that context, I’d like to remind you of a super database that could be a work horse, but isn’t getting its tires kicked as often as it should. Let me call your attention to Lexis/Nexis. (http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic/)

For those of you that have never used it, or don’t know what it does…….Lexis/Nexis is a multifunctional database. In the area of news, it provides the full text of more than 350 newspapers from the U.S. and around the world, along with the full text of thousands of periodicals. Also included are transcripts from radio and t.v. news programs, blogs, and wikis. Heard a story on NPR and want to discuss it?  Get the transcript from Lexis/Nexis. Taking a French class and want to put your knowledge to the test?  Try reading a newspaper written in French.

In the area of law, it contains both federal and state statutes, codes, and regulations. On top of that, it covers federal and state cases, including landmark cases from the Supreme Court.  Next time you’re writing a report about Brown vs. the Board of Education or Roe v. Wade, don’t forget the full cases are in Lexis/Nexis.

Finally, Lexis/Nexis covers a full range of company information, both national and international. Company Dossier is a tool that collects information from multiple sources and compiles it into a comprehensive report on a targeted company. Want to know if your company is involved in any patent infringement cases? Lexis/Nexis is your place.

One of the newer enhancements is featured on the Lexis/Nexis landing page. On the bottom left of the screen, you’ll find a list of Hot Topics links. These are timely topics covering general categories of news. Want to follow what’s happening with the new Gun Control measures? Here is an easy way to see lots of articles in one place. There is even a link for Today’s front page news gathered from hundreds of newspapers. Don’t walk around uninformed. Become a walking newsflash!

Library Blog Hot topics

Another new enhancement is the addition of Web news to the Results Screen. When you do a search on a topic, the Results page will feature two tabs. One features links to regular sources, and the other tab returns links to websites. Lexis/Nexis has vetted 300-350 websites that you can trust to give you accurate information. Some of the news sources include videos, as well.

library Blog Web News

Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the abundant resources gathered together in one place. Need more help? Contact us and let us help you expand your stores of knowledge

Library Blog Contact Info

New EBooks in the Catalog

April 9, 2013

Every month several thousand ebooks are added to our collection. I thought we might highlight some of this month’s additions. Many of these books are appropriate for students and faculty who don’t have access to the physical library in Baldwin City. Ebooks in business and education:

• Accelerating lean Six Sigma Resultys, by Terence T. Burton. (J. Ross Publishing, 2011)
• Accounting Ethics (2nd ed.), by Brenda Shay and Ronald F. Duska and Julie Anne Ragatz. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011)
• Advertising and consumer psychology : handbook of brand relationships, by Deborah J. MacInnis, C. Whan Park and Joseph R. Priester. (ME Sharpe, 2009)
• Academic research and researchers, by Angela Brew and Lisa Lucas. (McGraw-Hill, 2009)
• After “Brown” : the rise and retreat of school desegregation, by Charles T. Clotfelter. (Princeton, 2011)
• Advancing the culture of teaching on campus : how a teaching center can make a difference, by Constance Cook, Matthew Kaplan, and Lester P. Monts. (Stylus, 2011)

The entire list is available at Ebrary. You’ll notice that all the titles in my lists begin with “A” – that’s all the further I got into the list! But you can do a subject search on either broad or narrow subject headings. I found 32 new books on “Biology” and 115 on “Education.” Most of the books were published within the last two years, but I noticed Derek Bok’s Beyond the Ivory Tower, from 1985 on the list.

Here are a few more titles to entice you:
• Ai Weiwei’s blog : writings, interviews, and digital rants, 2006-2009. (MIT Press, 2011)
• Android application development for Java programmers, by James C. Sheusi. (Cengage, 2012)
• Agricola and Germany, by Anthony Birley. (Oxford, 1999)
• A series of books by Burton Fisher on operas – Les Troyens, Maria Stuarda, Parsifal, Francesca da Rimini (2012)
• Arte Povera and the Baroque : building an international identity, by Laura Petican. (Peter Lang, 2011)
• After Empire : the conceptual transformation of the Chinese state, 1885-1924, by Peter Zarrow. (Stanford, 2012)
• ALPH : Good Dragons are rare : an inquiry into literary dragons East and West, by Fanfan Chen and Thomas Honegger. (Peter Lang, 2009)
• Actor within : intimate conversations with great actors, by Rose Eichenbaum and Aron Hirt-Manheimer. (Wesleyan, 2011)
• Amherst Series in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought : Imagining new legalities : Privacy and its possibilities in the 21st century, by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Umphrey. (Stanford, 2012)
• Anatomy of Harpo Marx, by Wayne Koestenbaum. (California, 2012)
• Antimatter, by Frank Close. (Oxford, 2009)
• Animal osmoregulation, by Tim Bradley. (Oxford, 2008)

Annenberg CPB Videos Available for Free Viewing

April 2, 2013

In the process of deciding which of the library’s VHS tapes to replace with DVDs, I was introduced by Sara Crump to http://www.learner.org which hosts the Annenberg CPB series. If you don’t know about these video sets, take some time to look them up.

Nine series are owned by the library and five are among our most heavily used videos.
• Voices & visions which explores the work of 13 poets, including Hart Crane, Langston Hughes and Sylvia Plath;
• Discovering psychology
• Against all odds : inside statistics
• Planet Earth
• Unseen life on earth : an introduction to microbiology
Economics U$A, originally made thirty years ago, was updated in 2012 as were Ethics in America and Discovering psychology.

A caution: most of the series are available via video streaming and may be used for free in classrooms using “a regular computer screen or projection screen.” (from their FAQ) You can even link to them from your website, but they must be licensed for use in a learning management system like Moodle.

Global Business at your fingertips

March 4, 2013

Whether you are taking a class that covers international business or you are planning a trip outside of the United States, you’ll want to take advantage of A to Z WorldBusiness database, which is currently on trial at the Collins Library.  A to Z WorldBusiness is a comprehensive country-by-country resource that consists of 100 countries, covering 108 topics.

Each guide offers an overview of the country along with a myriad of information on culture, communications, investments, security, taxes, trade, and travel info. For those doing research on the issues covering business topics, each guide will cover the demographics that may drive your marketing plans. In addition, you can find out the country’s major industries, their regulatory issues, the government’s attitude toward foreign investments, and how disputes may be settled.

The benefits for the casual traveler can’t be overlooked. How nice to know the local customs, greetings and courtesies, and gift giving practices. Answer questions like, “How much should I tip,”, “Do I need a visa”, and “What kind of diseases and immunizations are necessary before attempting to enter the country”. You can’t leave home before having a cell phone dialing guide, along with information about Internet access. It never hurts to have an overview of the crimes and threats to safety in any particular location.

Our trial ends on April 1, 2013. Take advantage of this resource and let us know how you liked it.

Speed up your search for the perfect statistic with the new ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States

January 2, 2013

Can you find the most recent reliable data to answer the following questions?

  1. What percent of firearm permit denials by the FBI are due to mental illness?
  2. How has the rate of male childhood obesity changed over the last 40 years?
  3. What percentage of Americans spend leisure time filling in Sudoku puzzles?
  4. How many households  with an income under $20,000 own a bird?
  5. What is the projected population of Africa in 2050?

One place you might want to start your search for any statisticalStatistical Abstract question is the Statistical Abstract of the United States.   Formerly a publication of the United States Census Bureau, the Statistical Abstract is a compilation of statistical data from federal, state, local and over 130 private sources.   The new database version of the publication provides a variety of features not accessible in the print publication, including:

  1. Searching, browsing, and limiting by different aspects (such as geography, subject, date, and source).
  2. Tables will be updated throughout the year as new data becomes available, rather than an annual publication.
  3. Data can be downloaded in excel for easy editing and, in some cases, extended statistic information prior to the print table is provided.
  4. Additional capabilities such as links to data sources, emailing, printing, relevance searching, bibliographic information, etc. (some of these features will be rolled out in the next few weeks).

The database is accessible from the databases tab under various stat-abssubjects in the dropdown menu, by clicking on the “S” to browse by alphabetical listing, and as a link in the reference tab of the library homepage.  While the product is setup to be user friendly, detailed help resources can found on the ProQuest LibGuide for the product.

And now the answers:

  1. In 2009, 1.4%
  2. In the late 1970’s the rate was 5.5% whereas in 2009/10 the rate was 19.7%
  3. In 2011, 11.1%
  4. In 2006, the 4.4%
  5. The2013 projection for 2050 is 2,270,000,000

 

 

 

 

“It looks like a search engine and acts like a search engine….”

November 26, 2012

A new search engine that has been getting increased attention is DuckDuckGo. It probably won’t compare to the market share that Google has realized, but the site has experienced significant growth during the past year. The reason why may be simple – it is purely a search engine and does not attempt to multitask (no email, blogs, image searches, news, calendar, etc.) All it does is return results for searches that feel useful while stripping away the extras. Since it works with a much smaller index of sites than Google, its results seem to return more useful sites minus the spam. To refine searches, the creators delete results from specific sites they consider low-quality content farms (sites that pay writers to write articles that purposely rank high in Google’s algorithms). That leaves you with potentially fewer but better sites that will save you time.

Here are some key differences:

Zero Click Responses: For most searches, DuckDuckGo will offer you an instant, no-click answer displayed in a shaded text box at the top of the page. Typically, the source is from Wikipedia and other similar sites.

Privacy: DuckDuckGo keeps no search history and does not track users. Nothing searched on the site will be sold to advertisers. This has legal as well as personal advantages for users.

NoFilter Bubbles: “Filter Bubble” is a term coined to describe a filtering technique employed by many search engines, especially Google. This is the process of using algorithms to sites the search engine “assumes” the user may prefer to view. This assumption is based on factors such as the individual’s browser and search history, click history, location, social networks, and other modifiers. Certain websites get pushed up or down in your search as a result. For example: Searching “benefits of higher education” in Google, the IRS publication on Higher Education Benefits comes up on the fourth page, as  #40. In DuckDuckGo, the same item comes up on the first page as #5.

Some folks think that Filter Bubbles may skew the results and limit the amount of information a user can access. For example, in Google,  two users can conduct the same search and get vastly different results. DuckDuckGo does not use these filters, and two different users will view identical results.

There are times when both Google and DuckDuckGo will agree on the results. Try typing the term “industry norms” in both search engines. As you can see in the examples below, the Baker subject guide on finding industry norms comes up as the first result after the D&B paid advertisement. It comes up in the third spot after the paid ad in DuckDuckGo. That’s pretty close and we laud both search engines for recognizing a quality site!

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