Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Sexting" and other very recent language searches

Ok, So I'm teaching a library session for a writing class, and a lot of the language that students use simply doesn't show up in an academic journal. When you're looking for Jessica Simpson and the media focus on her weight, you need more information on the issue before you dive into JSTOR (because she simply isn't there -yet). And how about finding words like "sexting"; (sending nude pics via cell phone). That word seems to have been made up yesterday for all intents and purposes. Newspapers my friend! They've been coining phrases and words for years. They also point to more academic sources, authors and keywords. Here at the library, many of the newspapers (including the ones you see in print), now have an online version. We have several databases that aggregate many newspapers so you can search for very very recent issues across the country and recent years.

Try: ProQuest Newspapers, Global Newsbank
Or Try: All of the newspapers databases we offer
Or Try: The title of a newspaper you happen to know in the library catalog

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I’ve got SPIRIT, how ‘bout you?

Join the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, The Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation, and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in celebrating Will Eisner Week, Match 1-7th.

This first annual celebration is themed "The Spirit of A Legend," examining Will Eisner's seminal Spirit comic, as well as the spirit inherent in his work that has inspired generations of comic readers and artists.

Created to promote graphic novel literacy, free speech awareness, and commemorating the 92nd anniversary of Eisner's birth. Will Eisner Week is an ongoing celebration check out his works in our catalog.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My life in pictures…

Books aren’t the only way to get the information you are looking for from Library resources. This week I am taking a peek at the AP Images (Formerly known as AP Multimedia Archive) Database. With just one search I was able to find all the images the Associated Press was posting on August 10, 1978.

Tom Baker is Doctor Who, Lee Iaococca is the Chairman at Chrysler, Jonestown is a tragedy, Edward Kennedy is still a trim guy, Vijay Amritraj, Bjorn Borg, and Martina Navratilova dominate the world of tennis, Wink Martindale is a celebrity and not just a funny name, Rod Carew plays for the Minnesota Twins, the Leo Tolstoy Museum opens, Mario Andretti wins the 1978 German Grand Prix, Cher has most of her original parts, Spanish surrealist Joan Miro is still alive and kicking, Jon Madden’s hair is red, Pope Paul VI dies, and Arnold Palmer is still a golfer and not just a tasty mix of ice tea and lemonaid.

What happened on your birthday in pictures?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wine Making -Microsoft Style!

Here's a short tutorial on finding resources in the library catalog. If you know nothing about the topic you're interested in, or you want to find all the general categories your subject may have; I give you the subject search feature! Pictured here is the locale of the subject search (click on the pic to go there; try typing in a word and see what you get!). I typed in "wine" and got the ball rolling! Let's see here, biblical teaching, physiological effects, therapeutic use, ah!, here we go!; under wine and wine making -- databases -The Microsoft Wine Guide: Your Essential Multimedia Wine Reference. I'm a (urp!) PC!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

'I never drink...' The Sequel

As you may recall in my last installment I was going lo-tek in search of an answer to the burning question: “Why aren’t there any online copies of the New York Times between August 2nd and November 5th of 1978?”

As I arrived on the first floor where the library houses government documents, curriculum, maps, and microfilm I was directed to the section containing the New York Times and pulled the boxes for 1978. They contained several spools clearly marked Aug. 1978-Nov. 1978. I loaded the microfilm and began to scroll through…

(this is my attempt to build suspense…it really was quite suspenseful at the time)

The last complete paper on the microfilm reel is for August 1st after that there is a notice of a printing strike. On the microfilm publication continues with 8”x10” pages typed containing nothing but articles from the AP News feed and NYT writers. This continues until November 6th when regular publication resumes. Without knowing about the printers strike I had no idea why all my database search results were turning up nil. It certainly takes some sleuthing to discover that the 88 day printers strike is explained in the November 6th edition.

Perhaps Indian Jones said it best:

“Forget about lost cities, exotic travel, and digging up the world. We do not follow maps to buried treasure and "X" never, ever, marks the spot. Seventy percent of all archaeology is done in the library. Research. Reading.”

Moral of the story…don’t be afraid to look to old technology for new answers!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Red wine mouthwash!

Search the database Academic Search Premiere and you may find surprising using red wine as a mouthwash! Check it out:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

‘I never drink...


I can boast about my Hungarian heritage, I can even boast that Dracula himself (Bela Lugosi) ate at my great grandparent’s Hungarian restaurant, but what I can’t boast about are any articles published on my birthday in the New York Times.

Seems like a tenuous link at best to the topic of wine and the New York Times Historical Newspaper Database; however for me it was the beginning of a mystery that needed solving.

New York Time Historical Newspapers is a database the library subscribes to and is hosted by Pro Quest.

“Fully searchable text of the Times from 1851-2005. Find words anywhere in the text, including short items--like stock quotes, broadcast schedules, display and classified ads-- which have never before been indexed. Articles can be displayed in their page context and one can read through an issue page by page.”

The basic search screen includes limiting by publication date and can easily be expanded to the advanced search. When placing a basic search on ‘wine’ I receive 333,099 hits. To narrow it down I summon my Hungarian roots; ‘wine and Hungary or Hungarian’ receives 7,137 hits. I seem to be getting closer and I am truly entertained by the article Diet and Habits of the Hungarians from the Ocotber 14th 1851 edition. But this is more about me than Bella so I decide to browse the August 10th 1978 edition…no results?

Yes, infract there will be no results from August 2nd to November 5th of 1978…what?!

Trust me that it took a lot of looking and asking before I was convinced that it was not human error but in fact a discrepancy and I had to figure out what was amiss. Nothing on the info page mentions a gap in coverage, New York Times Archives (which requires $ for full articles) also mentions nothing about this gap. Flashing back to the seventies the Marriott Library has the New York Times on Microfilm. Our catalog record does not list a gap in publication so I head off to the microfilm

(tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion to “ I never drink, I whine!”)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Books!? Still?

Despite the vast open spaces of the internet, I still believe in the strength of a well edited book. Mind you, the book can be an e-book, if you have recently departed from the physical world of knowledge and information. A really hot hobby these days is digital photography with everything from phones to toasters taking pictures (I'm quite convinced, anyway). Everyone from BBC to CNN are accepting amateur images for news stories and my favorite site is a runaway hit. So how can you can amazing pictures from your $100 camera? Let's check the library catalog (and this will work for just about any library catalog, not just our academic library).

Go straight for the "subjects" button, which refers to categories the book may fall under. Ours are assigned by the Library of Congress and can give you a good collection of materials to look at. Type in "photography" as a subject heading (not subject keyword) and you'll get the complete list of your library's collection. You'll see a lot of subject subheadings, but we want to move ahead a few page listings until we get into Photography -- Digital (in our case, it is Photography -- Digital techniques). Click on that subject, sort your entries by publication date so the newest stuff is showing up at the top of the list, and start browsing. In our library many of these books are e-books and can be seen off campus if you sign into first (just to prove you're one of us!).