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September 30, 2008

Separate Campaign Hype from Fact

Did Sarah Palin attempt to have books removed from the Wasilla Public Library? Did Barak Obama sponsor legislation to teach comprehensive sex education to kindergarteners? The allegations, whether from the presidential candidates’ campaigns or third parties, are coming fast and furious as we head toward election day. Here are a couple of web sites you can use to check the veracity of the charges. FactCheck.org, http://www.factcheck.org/, is a site maintained by Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. PolitiFact.com, http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/, is a joint project of the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly ( a reputable commercial publisher based in Washington, D.C.). Both of the sites investigate the allegations and provide a report based on reputable sources. As to the allegations referenced above, PolitiFact.com placed them both in their infamous “Pants on Fire��? category.

For more information about researching campaign issues, contact bibliographer Richard Irving: 442-3698 or rirving@uamail.albany.edu.

Blog post created by Dick Irving

September 28, 2008

Sign Up for a Dewey Workshop

Can you believe September is over this week? Just in case you missed some of our earlier workshop sessions this month, take a look at what is available this week at Dewey:

Tuesday 9/30:
Introduction to Federal Public Policy Research: 2:00pm

Wednesday 10/1:
Social Welfare Research Seminar: 2:00pm
Conducting Research from Home: 4:00pm

Friday 10/3:
Introduction to Westlaw Campus: 1:00pm.

Remember to register for these classes online or at the Dewey Reference Desk. You can stop by or give us a call at 442-3691.

Blog post created by Jill Parsons

September 26, 2008

Photo of the Week

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This workstation has a scanner and software for people with visual impairments. Ask at the desk for assistance with this equipment.

September 24, 2008

Services for Disabled Patrons in Dewey Library

The University Libraries offer special services for patrons who are either permanently or temporarily disabled. Students need to first register with the Disability Resource Center located in Campus Center 137. Then, students, faculty, or staff members who need help in the libraries can register with the library online, or by contacting Kabel Nathan Stanwicks (kstanwicks@uamail.albany.edu or 442-3578).

For help with services at Dewey Library feel free to contact Lindsay Van Berkom (lvanberkom@uamail.albany.edu or 442-3696) or a reference librarian for help with the work station reserved for patrons with disabilities. This workstation includes a scanner, microphone, and headphones along with Jaws 7.10 screen reader software, Kurzweil 1000 software which makes printed and electronic text available for those blind or visually impaired. It also has Dragon Naturally Speaking 9.0 speech recognition software.

General access to Dewey Library is through the first floor of Draper Hall. To access the classroom and group study areas on the mezzanine level, you must first alert library staff to unlock the entrance door. Then you can enter through the basement of Draper Hall.

Photocopying and campus book delivery service is provided by UA Delivery. If further assistance is needed, please ask library staff or call (518) 442-3696. For more information, check out our page about Library Services for Persons with Disabilities at all libraries on campus.

September 23, 2008

Getting Started with Criminal Justice Research

For some helpful pointers on doing criminal justice research, go to the My Research Subject…field on the right hand side of the library’s main web page. Select Criminal Justice to display some useful places to start your research.

September 21, 2008

This Week At the Dewey Library

Here is a listing of the workshops at Dewey for the week of 9/22-9/26 2008. There is a great variety of free workshops listed for this week, including how to use Westlaw Campus, as well as classes in criminal justice research. Take a look:

Monday 9/22:
Criminal Justice Research Seminar: 1:00pm
Conducting Research from Home: 4:30pm

Tuesday 9/23:
Introduction to Research Databases: 10:00am

Wednesday 9/24:
Introduction to Research Sources in Information Science: 3:00pm
Introduction to Research Databases: 4:30pm

Thursday 9/25:
Introduction to EndNote: 3:00pm
Introduction to Westlaw Campus: 4:30pm

Remember, you can register for these classes online or at the Dewey Reference Desk. You can stop by or give us a call at 442-3691.

Blog post created by Jill Parsons

September 19, 2008

Photo of the Week

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Reference Librarian Judy Mueller assists a student. Drop by the Reference Desk during Reference Hours, or contact us by phone, text message, IM or e-mail.

Photo credit: Morris Stilson

September 17, 2008

Who is that Person Sitting Behind the Reference Desk?

Why, it’s the Reference Librarian! Perhaps you might be a little timid about approaching a librarian with help. But never fear – we are here to help you with anything you could possibly need for your next big assignment. Whether you’re trying to locate a book on the library shelves or need some great resources for that looming term paper, the reference librarians are here for you every step of the way.
Some things a reference librarian can help you with:

1. Locating resources: Where can I find this book at this call number? How can I access the UAlbany databases? How to I use Inter-Library Loan? Where’s the copier? If ever you get lost finding what you need, just ask a librarian. They can guide you and provide assistance as necessary.

2. Evaluating online resources: Ok, so you’ve located this great website for your research paper. But is it really what you are looking for? Not all web pages are created equal. Is the source of the information authoritative and reliable? Some free web sites provide scholarly information but others may have a bias that is not easily detected. If you’re unsure whether a website is reliable enough to include in a scholarly assignment, a reference librarian will work with you to help you select high-quality websites or materials in the library for your project.

3. Where else to look: Even if you know your databases inside and out, there’s still a possibility that there are even more sources out there to give you more information on your topic. A reference librarian can lead you to anything from print resources, to online databases, to free online sources you might not know about. We can help you discover which ones are right for you.

4. How to use tricky print resources: Just as databases differ from each other, so do print resources. Thesauri and law reporters are just a couple examples of some books that might leave a user thinking “huh?��? But, don’t just put those items back on the shelf because you’re unsure how to use them. Bring them to the reference librarian and we’ll walk you through not only how to use these resources, but how they can help you in your studies.

5. Provide more in-depth research help: Reference librarians can get you started when you have no idea where to start when faced with a daunting assignment or paper. A librarian can help you with those tricky parts in your research when you find yourself stuck. No matter how simple or difficult your questions may be, the reference librarians are up for the challenge of helping you. If you would like more time with a librarian than a quick session at the reference desk, feel free to make an appointment with any of our bibliographers at the Dewey Library.

So, how do you let a reference librarian know you need assistance? You may think you will need to make a special trip to the library to ask a question, but this is not always the case. The University Libraries offer off-campus reference services through email, IM and phone. To use these services, visit the Dewey Library Contact Us page. Of course if it is convenient, feel free to pay us a visit at the desk.

September 16, 2008

Social Welfare Research -- Where to Start?

Are you a new social welfare student?? Check out our library's main webpage at http://library.albany.edu. On the right side is My Research Subject. Select Social Welfare for a good place to start your library research:

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BE SURE TO NOTICE:
Databases & Other Electronic Resources. Search these databases to find research (especially articles) on your topic. Come to our library workshops to learn how to use databases.

Internet Resources for Social Welfare. Use these links to websites to support your research and internships. Websites here are on topics related to the School of Social Welfare curriculum.

Social Welfare Career Resources. Find out about books on social work careers, websites on finding jobs, accreditation and licensing.

Social Welfare: A Guide to Information Resources. Learn all about key information resources (including databases) for social work research.

For more information about important Social Welfare Resources, contact Mary Jane Brustman at 442-3517 or email her: mbrustman@uamail.albany.edu.

September 14, 2008

This Week at the Dewey Library

Here is a listing of the workshops at Dewey for the week of 9/15-9/19 2008. This week, we are highlighting how to use research databases, Minerva and EndNote. There are also specific seminars for those in the Information Science and Social Welfare tracks. Take advantage of these free workshops and get the most out of your research.

Monday 9/15:
Introduction to Research Databases: 4:30pm

Tuesday 9/16:
Introduction to Research Sources in Information Science: 11:00am

Wednesday 9/17:
Minerva: The University at Albany’s Online Catalog: 10:00am
Social Welfare Research Seminar: 4:30pm

Thursday 9/18:
Conducting Research from Home: 10:00am

Friday 9/19:
Introduction to EndNote: 10:00am

Remember to register for these classes at online or at the Dewey Reference Desk. You can also stop by and register in person, or give us a call at 442-3691.

Blog post created by Jill Parsons

September 12, 2008

Back in the Swing of Things

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The student workers suddenly have more books to shelve!

Photo credit: Morris Stilson

September 9, 2008

Help When You Just Can’t Get to the Library

Did you know that if you need reference help and you can’t get to the library, you can contact a reference librarian by phone, email (Ask a Librarian), instant message (IM), and now even by text message (SMS)?

If you need help you can call a reference librarian by phone at 442-3691. The reference librarian on duty will answer your call, or if there is no one available feel free to leave a voice mail which includes your telephone number. Dewey’s Reference Desk is staffed:

Monday - Thursday: 10am - 8pm
Friday: 10am - 5pm
Saturday: 12pm - 5pm
Sunday: 1pm - 7pm

Instant Messaging is available through Meebo – you do not need to download any IM programs to send us an IM. Simply access the Contact Us page http://library.albany.edu/contactus.htm . Please remember to keep your browser window open until you receive a response from the librarian.

You can now send us a text message by dialing 265010 and then beginning your message with ualibraries: (include the colon). Text us if you need a short, factual answer to a question. You can text message or IM a question to a reference librarian during the following hours:

Monday – Thursday: 10am - 9pm
Friday: 10am - 4pm
Saturday: 1pm - 5pm
Sunday: 1pm - 9pm

E-mail us if you have a more in depth question or if it is not essential for us to answer you right away. We strive to answer all e-mail questions within 24 hours.

Of course, when you are able to come to the library, we are also happy to help you in person – drop by during reference hours, or call us (442-3691) to make an appointment!

September 8, 2008

Interested in the Latest Research About Libraries?

If you are interested in reading some of the latest research concerning libraries you might want to check out the Research Reports section of the Information and Library Science area on the library web site. This research currently contains such topics as the future of libraries, library usage, and library perceptions.

These reports are compiled by various library advocacy groups such as American Library Association (ALA), Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Online Computer Learning Center (OCLC). One report (Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources) surveyed library users for their perceptions of libraries and the role they play when doing electronic research, while its companion report (OCLC: College Students Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources) found that while older students were more positive about libraries when seeking information, younger students were less positive.

To find these reports, from the library main web page , go to the My Research Subject Is... field on the right hand side of the page. Then click on the Choose Your Subject menu and select Information & Library Science. Click on the first bullet in the list Internet Resources in Information and Library Science . Then click on Research Reports.

These reports can be especially useful if you need to come up with a topic for a research paper. If you have questions about these or other Information Studies resources, contact Information Studies Bibliographer Deborah Bernnard.

September 7, 2008

Dewey Workshops Help Students With the Research Process

Need help finding information with that first big research assignment? If so, remember to check out Dewey Library’s annual workshops. There are new workshops offered every week, so make sure to check back here for a listing of our upcoming, free sessions. There is an online listing of all the workshops being offered at the library, as well as some helpful research handouts. Printed copies of the workshop schedule are available at the Reference Desk. And, don’t forget to register online, in person at the Dewey Reference desk, or by calling us at 442-3691 to secure your spot!

This week’s classes are as follows:

Monday 9/8:
Introduction to Research Sources in Information Science: 3:00pm

Wednesday 9/10:
Introduction to Research Databases: 11:00am
Social Welfare Research Seminar: 2:00pm
Minerva, University at Albany’s Online Catalog: 4:30pm

Thursday 9/11:
Minerva, University at Albany’s Online Catalog: 3:30pm

Friday 9/12:
Introduction to Westlaw Campus: 1:00pm.

For more information about Dewey Library’s instructional offerings, email Dewclass@albany.edu or call the Reference Desk at 442-3691.

Blog post created by Jill Parsons

September 4, 2008

Photo of the Week

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Our Information Commons has expanded computer facilities, including wireless access on the downstairs level.

Photo Credit: Morris Stilson

September 2, 2008

Make Sure to Always Have Your SUNYCard at the Library!

You already know that you use your SUNYCard to do many things on campus (buying books in the bookstore, purchasing meals in the dining rooms, entering buildings, purchasing munchies, doing laundry, etc.). But did you know that you need your SUNYCard in the libraries as well?

You need to present your SUNYCard in order to borrow books from the University at Albany libraries. Did you know you can also use your SUNYCard to pay for printing and photocopying? You can even use it to pay for any library fines you may owe.

All you need to do is make sure that you have money in your Podium account on your SUNYCard. You can put money into your podium account one of the following ways: by going to the SUNYCard office in the Campus Center (Room B-52), by calling the SUNYCard office at 442-5989, by mailing in a check or your credit card number on the appropriate form, by going to PodiumNet and paying with a credit card, or by using cash at the SUNYCard terminals.

Dewey Library has a SUNYCard terminal near the reference desk. Should you forget your SUNYCard, you can purchase a Podium card for $1.00 but then you will need to add money to the account itself. Also the Podium card simply allows printing and photocopying – you cannot borrow materials with it. To save yourself $1.00, remember to bring your SUNYCard when you come to the library!

September 1, 2008

Primary Elections are Just Around the Corner

September 9 is primary day in New York State. Although there are no elections for statewide positions this year, all House of Representative seats, NYS Senate seats, and NYS Assembly seats are being elected this year. Many of these positions have primary contests. Here are a few key websites and reference resources to help you find out where to vote, which way to vote, and who got elected.

Voting:
The New York State Board of Elections web site has a lot of helpful information regarding HAVA compliance in NYS, NYS election law, enrollment statistics, and links to county boards of elections. The latter can provide helpful information for those planning to vote in the primary election because you can determine the location of polling places which are not necessarily the same as the ones for the general election.

Voting Guide:
C-SPAN: Election Guide-New York, has the names of primary candidates for Congress and the NYS Legislature, and in some cases biographical information and issue statements.

Election Results:
The NYS Board of Elections site has the primary elections results for the 2006 congressional and state legislature races, and some primary results for previous congressional races. America Votes [Dewey Reference JK 1967 A8], is a series which includes the primary results for federal and statewide primary elections. Guide to U.S. Elections 5th ed. [Dewey Reference 1867 C662] has primary results for U.S. Presidential elections (1912-2004), U.S. Senate elections (1920-2004), and Gubernatorial elections (1919-2004). The ICPSR database also has historical data on U.S. primary elections.

Blog post created by Richard Irving