Thursday, January 29, 2009

Warshin' Yer Harse

Explore your linguistic background, practice your Detroit accent, or simply feel superior to others in your region because of your remarkable pronunciation abilities. Whatever your motivation, the Speech Accent Archive, created by the good folks at George Mason University, is hours--no, really it is--of academic fun.

"Each individual sample page contains a sound control bar, a set of the answers to 7 demographic questions, a phonetic transcription of the sample, a set of the speaker's phonological generalizations, a link to a map showing the speaker's place of birth, and a link to the Ethnologue language database."

What that means is that you can hear speakers from all over the globe reading the same paragraph in English about Stella's rather unusual trip to the grocery store (blue cheese, snow peas, a plastic snake, a toy frog--oh my!).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


As I’m sure everyone who has visited the Library in the past few years has noticed there have been a lot of changes taking place; entrances opening, entrances closing, MMC closing, KC opening, and books, books, books moving. If you are frightened, fed up, or find yourself in your PJ’s at 3am in need of The reproductive rights reader : law, medicine, and the construction of motherhood (2008) here is one of our many services that can make your life a bit easier.

The Marriott Library pull service allows you to place requests online and pick up the materials at your convenience. Current students, staff, and faculty can place a pull request from any computer with internet access and like magic the book will be delivered to the level thee reserve desk and a handy e-mail will be sent out to let you know it is available for pick-up.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Global Science Gateway. Go Beyond the Surface!

Are you getting enough information from the surface web? Popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo are great at showing you top level pages on the web, but there's more to be found. searches scientific databases from around the world and brings back results that Google and Yahoo don't.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lost and FOUND!

The Library is a great place to find things. We have skilled researchers who can assist you in topics from Aerospace Studies to World History and over 2,884,692 books you can peruse. But sometimes the best finds aren’t the books, but what gets left in them. If you are like me and crave the mysterious page marker that reads … “plp & Denz @ 6:30” or the to-do list written on scratch paper and tucked in the back of a copy of Gorky Park that includes milk, dowels, GREENCARD, and nylons. It’s time you checked out FOUND! Magazine. Not only do we have Found : the best lost, tossed, and forgotten items from around the world (2004), but you can get your FOUND! fix anytime at

If you are feeling especially adventurous I recommend checking out Dirty FOUND!

What have you FOUND at the Marriott Library?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What's new in Zoo?

Working with animal-specific research? A great database to try is Zoological Record that will have animal related journals, books (even conference proceedings) talking about, biochemistry, behavior, ecology, evolution, genetics, and so on. In conservation circles, there's always a relation between people and animals. I did a search, "congo and war and gorilla*" (the star catches 'gorilla' and 'gorillas') and found a great reference to my topic in a longitudinal view over decades of war and relative peace in the region ( Gorillas in the Crossfire: Population dynamics...Over the Past Three Decades. ) While we at the Marriott Library don't have full-text access to this particular article, don't forget that Inter-Library Loan almost always does and can get it to you in just a few days!
See this database at: > article databases & more > Z > Zoological Record

Friday, January 16, 2009

Inauguration, News, and Newspapers

You may have been hiding under a rock lately, or you may have been kidnapped by aliens, or maybe you just don't have access to any kind of news or internet sources--wait, then you wouldn't be able to read this--but in case you've not heard the news, the U.S. will be swearing in its first African American president, Barack Obama, on January 20th.

I decided to see what information I could find on inaugural events that are going on.

If you didn't know, the Senate actually puts on a parade and balls for the inauguration. I did a quick Google search and found their website with all the cool events well as a list of contraband people can't take with them to the actual inaugural speech.

Check it out:

But to give you a little more information about who and what the news is buzzing about for the inauguration, I decided to check out one of the libraries newspaper databases, Proquest Newspaper. This is a large database with both large national and international newspapers as well as local coverage. It seemed like a good way to get a broad look at all the views about the inauguration.

I went over to the library's website and clicked on Article Databases & More to get to an alphabetical list of the library's database. Click on "P" for Proquest got me to the right page where I could select the database I wanted to search.

I did a quick search for 2009 inauguration...

And got 26 articles about my topic from everywhere from England to New York, Washington, North Carolina, and many more. All of them reporting on slightly different opinions and ideas about the inauguration.

Lots of fun reading, and not as time-consuming as a book.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

See the New Marriott Library!

The biggest part of our renovation is complete! Please drop by and see the new spaces. The furniture is comfy, the computers fast, the wireless available everywhere, and the views from virtually anywhere on the 3rd floor are breathtaking! The University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library's final phase of construction will be completed in June.

See more pics at one of our librarian's sites at

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Care for some dissert with that?

For grad students, finding an original research topic can be a great deal of work. One database that can make the literature review process a little easier is "Digital Dissertations" which allows you to search through full text of virtually all North American universities dissertations published from 1997 and onward. You can also access abstracts of dissertations before that time as well. Just to test an old standby, I searched for "basket weaving" (putting the search in quotes forces the database to look for that phrase instead of separate keywords). The results were fantastic: you get the dissertation text (in a huge .pdf file), illustrations (which weren't scanned with the greatest of care -your results may vary), and even a scan of the faculty who signed off on the research -wonderful! The key feature for any literature search, however, is the lengthy list of references at the end. Pure gold!

See this database at: > article databases & more > D > digital dissertations

Monday, January 12, 2009

Welcome Back! Let’s work on foreign languages, shall we?

This is the first day of the semester (in a lot of places) and you may be asked in the coming term to place global points-of-view into perspective. If you look at a lot of global sites, the language barrier can be a problem –thus there are ‘english versions’ and other translation tools. Unfortunately, not everyone translates pages into English, and I sometimes wonder if we get to look at the same news the locals do when it is presented this way.

Back in the internet dark ages, when I would get 75 hits a day on my sports television commentary (I really did; I'm still amazed!), Babelfish and a handful of other translation pages were available. These could translate words or clumps of text into English. Unfortunately most of them were for latin-based languages and had limited scope.

Today Babelfish is a lot more extended, but I would like to highlight yet another Google-related tool if only for its ease of use. Google Translate (Beta, of course) has translation bits a pieces that we're used to, but you can save a bookmark in your browser's toolbar that will translate many pages into your favorite language. Go to the Tools tab in the Translator and follow the easy instructions under "Get 1-click translations from your browser's toolbar". While the translations aren't wonderful, there are many language options to help you get the gist of what is going on in China, Arabic speaking regions, the Ukraine and more (no Swahili yet, drat!).