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January 30, 2009

Ph.D. Due Date is today.

Today is the winter fixed due date for Ph.D. candidates. If you are a Ph.D.candidate and have material due on this day, you must return or renew it. Please call the Circulation Desk at 442-3693 for more information.

Come Warm Up in the Library!

winter 09 small.jpg

Dewey Library would like to welcome returning and new faculty, staff, and students.

We hope you'll brave the cold and snow to visit us, like these people!

Photo credit: Morris Stilson

January 29, 2009

Your Turn: Website Redesign

You may have noticed that the main library website (http://library.albany.edu) has been redesigned. We hope you find the layout more intuitive and are better able to find the resources you need. The University Libraries provides a great deal of information on its library website, and we want to know how YOU feel about the redesign. Do you like the look of the page? Can you find what you need on our site? What do you think of the navigation, images, and content?

If you have an opinion on the website redesign, please leave a comment on this blog to let us know your thoughts. We are always interested in your feedback, and we look forward to hearing from you!

January 28, 2009

Saturday is Due Date for Ph.D. Candidates

A reminder to all Ph.D. candidates that the winter fixed date for returning or renewing books is this coming Saturday, January 31, 2009. Ph.D. students are able to renew books a maximum of 8 times, and this can be done through your MyMinerva account. This fixed due date applies to Ph.D. candidates only. If you are a master's level student or other type of borrower, please view our circulation loan policy for applicable lending periods.

If you have any questions about loan periods, overdue fines, or renewing books, please contact our Circulation Desk at 442-3693.

January 27, 2009

Did you know that our Science Library maintains the ONLY National Death Penalty Archive?

The University at Albany’s libraries and the Capital Punishment Research Initiative, part of our School of Criminal Justice, jointly established the National Death Penalty Archive (NDPA) in August of 2005. This collection is housed in the M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives located in the Science Library. This archive is the first of its kind in the nation that is exclusively dedicated to the history of the death penalty in the United States. The archive specializes in collecting primary source documents (letters, reports, unpublished writings, personal papers, and other related materials) written and/or owned by anyone touched by the death penalty (death penalty activists, lawyers, family members, etc.) The archive also includes interviews featuring death penalty activists and professionals involved in death penalty abolition efforts and related work.

In the University Libraries we have other sources of information on the death penalty with the Library of Congress subject heading of the Death Penalty. We also have access to any available government documents electronically through the NCJRS (National Criminal Justice Reference Service) Abstracts database and the Bureau of Justice Statistics website.

Included in our collection are books written by a few of the leading death penalty experts. These experts and their books include:


  • Wounds That do not Bind: Victim-Based Perspectives on the Death Penalty edited by our own CPRI Professor James Acker along with David R. Karp and Jarrett B. Warshaw can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8694 W68 2006

  • America’s Experiment with Capital Punishment: Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of the Ultimate Penal Sanction by our own James Acker and Hindeland Center volunteer staff associate Charles Lanier, and Robert M. Bohm can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 A746 1998

  • Killing as Punishment: Reflection on the Death Penalty in America by Hugo Adam Bedau can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 B43 2004

  • Capital Punishment Clemency Petitions by William Bowers can be found in the Special Collections/ Archives manuscript collection MSS APAP-214

  • Condemned : Inside the Sing Sing Death House by Scott Christianson can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 C4 2000

  • The Death Penalty: An American History by Stuart Banner can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U 5 B367 2002

  • Deathquest II: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Capital Punishment in the United States by Robert M. Bohm can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 B65 2003

  • America without the Death Penalty: States Leading the Way by John F. Galliher can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 G35 2002

  • Dead Man Walking by Helen Prejean can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 P74 1993

  • The Abolition of the Death Penalty in International Law by William A. Schabas can be found at Dewey Library / K 5104 S33 2002

  • A Comparative Analysis of Capital Punishment: Statues, Policies, Frequencies and Public Attitudes the World Over by Rita J. Simon and Dagny A. Blaskowich can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 S55 2002

  • The Hangman’s Knot: Lynching, Legal Execution, and America’s Struggle with the Death Penalty by Eliza Steelwater can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 S72 2003

  • The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment by Franklin E. Zimring can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 Z563 2003

If you are interested in research on the death penalty or other criminal justice topics, please make an appointment with Mary Jane Brustman, our Bibliographer for Criminal Justice. She can be reached at 442-3517 or by e-mail at mbrustman@uamail.albany.edu.

Blog post created by Judith Mueller

January 25, 2009

Take a Tour Today!

An orientation tour of the library can be a very helpful way to familiarize yourself with library resources, materials, services, and equipment. You will gain a basic understanding of where everything is located in the library, learn about our services, and find out how to get help when you need it.

There are two orientation tours this week, one today (Monday) at 9:30am, and one tomorrow (Tuesday), also at 9:30am. To sign up, call the Reference Desk at 442-3691, drop by the Reference Desk, or fill out our online registration form.

January 23, 2009

Photo of the Week

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Here are some great reference books full of information on the Office of the President.

Much of the trivia from the inauguration post came from these and similar books.

Photo credit: Morris Stilson

January 21, 2009

Orientation Tours Available

Come learn about the Dewey library's collections, where they are located, and the services we provide at one of our Orientation Tours being held this week and next week. This tour will help acquaint you with the location of many library resources such as reference materials, new books, and the circulating collection, as well as show you where to find the group study area, a place to go for assistance with your research questions, and the microfilm reader. This quick overview of what the library has to offer will save you time down the road when you need to locate important resources for that research paper, thesis, or presentation.

Orientation Tours will be held on the following dates:

Thursday, January 22: 3:30pm
Friday, January 23: 3:30pm
Monday, January 26: 9:30am
Tuesday, January 27: 9:30am

You can sign up for a tour at the reference desk, by calling 442-3691, or register online. You can also view our workshop schedule for the spring semester online, or pick up a print copy at the reference desk.

January 20, 2009

Recommended Seminars for Social Welfare Students

The Social Welfare program has an information literacy component which requires students to take two library seminars during the course of their studies. Many students have questions about which seminars are appropriate for their course of study. Here is an overview of some useful seminars and who might most benefit from taking them.

All Social Welfare students must take the Social Welfare Research Seminar. We suggest that you take this before you take the elective seminar. In this class we cover basic library services such as Document Delivery and Interlibrary loan, and highlight pertinent social welfare databases, encyclopedias, internet resources. Topics covered include test and measurement resources, statistics, and citing sources in APA format. This class will provide you with a general orientation to beginning social welfare research using materials in the library.

Once you take the Social Welfare Research Seminar, you have your choice of topics for the advanced seminar.
The topic may differ, depending on your academic concentration. Here is some assistance in making this choice:

Recommended for all students:

* MINERVA, UA Libraries' Online Catalog : advanced skills in using the Library Catalog and locating and accessing library materials
*Introduction to Research Databases: learn how to effectively search for articles using databases
* Conducting Research from Home : an overview of research resources that can be accessed from outside the libraries
* Using EndNote: EndNote software helps organize sources and produce bibliographies

Recommended particularly for direct practice students:

* Library Resources for Evidence-Based Practice: learn how to find and evaluate research information for clinical social work practice

Recommended particularly for MACRO students:

* Introduction to Federal Public Policy Research: resources for finding the legal authority for polices, constructing a legislative history and evaluating federal public policies
* Introduction to Westlaw Campus: how to find statutes, regulations, cases, and other legal information
* Non-Profit Organizations: Information Sources: print, online and Internet sources for information regarding non-profit organizations

Recommended particularly for students with a concentration in Gerontology:

* Resources in Gerontology: this seminar covers specialized reference materials, databases and other resources that focus on social gerontology

Because some of these classes are in high demand, we strongly suggest that you register for a class as early as possible. The Social Welfare Research Seminar in particular fills up very quickly. Each week's offerings are posted on this blog each Monday. In addition to the online registration, you may also register in person at the Dewey Reference Desk or call us at 442-3691.

January 12, 2009

When Do I use a DOI?

When using online journal articles you may have noticed that they sometimes include a DOI number, and wondered as to its significance. Here are some Q & A about DOI’s and what they are used for.

Q.: What does “DOI��? stand for?
A: DOI stands for Digial Object Identifier. This is essentially a persistent identification number for digital content.

Q: What does “persistent identification number for digital content��? mean in plain English?
A: Essentially what this means for academic researchers is that an electronic document (say, an online journal article) is given a unique ID number that will enable anyone to find the document on the web.

Q: Why not just use a URL or web address?
A: Sometimes the location of a document changes on the web – the URL changes, for example, or the publisher of the journal changes. Even if the location or other information about the article (metadata) changes, the DOI remains the same and the article can still be located through that number.

Q: How do I use the DOI?
A: One easy way is to enter the number into Google. Google will recognize the number and will take you right to the material (or information on where to find it).

Q: What if you need a paid online subscription to access the journal?
A: The DOI will not provide you with the full text, but will provide you with the publisher’s site or other citation to the article. You will still have to check Minerva http://minerva.albany.edu to see if we subscribe to the journal.

Q: Do I have to include the DOI in my bibliography or list of references?
A: APA format stipulates that one include the DOI in a citation when it is available. For assistance with this, Ask A Librarian. Here is an example:

Goddard, J. and Barrett, S. (2008) Guidance, policy and practice and the health needs of young people leaving care. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 30(1), 31 – 47. doi: 10.1080/09649060802124760.

Q: Are DOI’s used just for journal articles?
A: No, DOI’s are used for a wide range of electronic documents and content. For more information, see http://www.doi.org/.

January 7, 2009

Inauguration Festivities and Foibles

President Elect Barack Obama officially takes office on January 20, 2009. There is much discussion about the inaugural preparations: the parade, the balls, the pomp and circumstance. Many presidents have put their own personal stamp on the inaugural ceremonies, and no doubt Obama will have his own distinct celebratory events. Here are some fun facts about past inaugurations:

Much of the inaugural activities are prescribed by tradition: the only stipulation for the ceremonies in the United States Constitution is that the president must take the Oath of Office. Traditionally this has been done by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Justice John Marshall administered the oath more than any other chief justice, for a total of nine times in his career.

The inaugural date was originally March 5, but was changed in the 1930s to January 20th. This was because Roosevelt thought that November through March was too long of a “lame duck��? period for the outgoing president. This change was done by constitutional amendment – the 20th amendment. When George Washington was to be inaugurated, the House of Representatives did not have enough members to call a quorum for counting the electoral votes, making the first inauguration six weeks late.

Since it is in January, the weather has sometimes played a role in inaugural celebrations: Ronald Reagan cancelled the parade on his second term for the first time in history due to the cold weather. In 1873, the champagne froze at Ulysses S. Grant’s inaugural reception. At John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, large crowds turned out despite the 22-degree temperature, 19 mph winds and 8 inches of snow. President William Henry Harrison died a month after his inauguration, and this was attributed to his not wearing an overcoat or hat during a rainy inauguration ceremony (and also due to giving the longest inaugural speech in history – one hour and forty minutes).

The crowds have sometimes gotten out of hand at inaugurations: Andrew Jackson had a party at the White House which anyone could attend, and people came in droves, destroying furniture and breaking windows. At Abraham Lincoln’s party, the crowd stole food, silverware, and parts of the draperies from the White House. Contrast this with the security at George W. Bush’s second inaugural ceremonies: the 9/11 attacks had just occurred, so the government brought in 6,000 police officers from both within and outside of Washington DC.

There are many balls and parties after the inauguration and the president traditionally attends all of the official parties. Despite attending all of the inaugural balls, Bush was home by 10:00pm the night of his second inauguration. Clinton was criticized for the 12 balls that were held in his honor – it was felt this was too many. The cost of both George W. Bush’s inaugural ceremonies was about $40 million, whereas Bill Clinton’s cost $25 million in 1993 and $42 million in 1997.

There are many other interesting facts about past inaugural ceremonies as well as the presidency in general. Check out these and other books in the Dewey Library Reference Collection:

Kalba, Deborah, et.al., eds. State of the Union: Presidential Rhetoric from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush. Washington DC: CQ Press (2007). University Library Reference: J 81.4 S73 2007

Levy, Leonard and Louis Fisher, eds. Encyclopedia of the American Presidency. Vols. 1 & 2. New York: Simon and Schuster (1994). Dewey Reference JK 511 E53 1994.

Nelson, Michael, ed. The Presidency A to Z 2nd ed. Washington: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. (1998). Dewey Reference: JK 511 P775 1998

Nelson, Michael, ed. Guide to the Presidency, 4th ed. Vols. 1 & 2. Washington, DC: CQ Press (2008). Dewey Reference JK 516 G83 2008

United States, President. Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States from George Washington to Bill Clinton. Champagne Ill.: Project Gutenberg, Boolder Colorado: Netlibrary (199-?). ONLINE through NetLibrary.

For assistance in researching the presidency, stop by the reference desk or make an appointment with Richard Irving (ririving@uamail.albany.edu).