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June 29, 2009

On the New Books Shelf

Public Administration Bibliographer Richard Irving recommends a new book about collaborative government: Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful. The title may be somewhat misleading; this is not a book that describes how to make a publicly editable wiki page (like Wikipedia) for government. Instead, Noveck uses the term “wiki��? in a more general sense of using Web 2.0 technologies to bring the public into government decision-making processes.

Noveck, the Director of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York University, spearheaded an effort to bring such collaboration into the patent approval process. Instead of having a single reviewer approve and grant a patent, Noveck suggested that the US Patent and Trade Office ask the public to review and provide information about patent applications. The result is the successful Peer to Patent program, which encourages volunteers from the public to join collaborative teams who put together research and information on pending applications.

Noveck then uses the example of the successful patent evaluation program to demonstrate how public involvement and collaborative strategies can be used to enhance citizen participation and democratic involvement in a wider array of government dealings. As Noveck states in her preface, using these collaborative techniques can “strengthen and deepen democracy by creating government by the people, of the people and with the people (xvi).��?

Wiki Government can be found on the Dewey Library New Books Shelf, located behind the slide show monitor and next to the color printer. Check it out today!

Noveck, Beth Simone (2009) Wiki government: how technology can make government better, democracy stronger, and citizens more powerful. Washington, DC: Beth Simone Noveck. [Dewey Library: JK 1764 N68 2009].

June 23, 2009

Adirondacks: Recreation and Regulation

If you’re into camping and exploring the backwoods of New York State, then come check out our new display at the Dewey Library. For the summer months, we are featuring the Adirondack Park and public parks policy. Take a resource handout on the Adirondack Park and other links for hiking and camping in general.
If you decide to visit any of our local or national parks this summer, be safe and have fun!

June 19, 2009

Welcome Milne School Alumni

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The Dewey Library would like to welcome the Milne High School class of 1954 for their 55th reunion this weekend. The Milne High School was located here on the downtown campus, formerly the New York State College for Teachers, and served as a "teacher training environment" for the college students. There is a Milne High Alumni website which includes an informative page about the Milne School's history.

June 17, 2009

Photos of Hawley and the Draper Library

1 Draper Library 1915.jpg

The earliest picture of the library as it existed in the Administration Building, later Draper Hall, 1915.

2 Draper Library 1924 descreen.jpg

Another view of the Library in Draper, 1924.

3Hawley Auditorium lights, 1916.jpg

Hawley Hall as an auditorium, where the weekly student assemblies were held, 1916.

4 Hawley Gym 1915.jpg

The downstairs of Hawley Hall, 1915. Used as a gymnasium, the columns precluded sports like baskeball.

All images courtesy of the University Archives

June 15, 2009

Final Social Welfare Research Seminar of the Summer

The final Social Welfare Research Seminar for the summer will be held Wednesday, June 17th at 3:00pm. Sign up in advance -- either in person at the Reference Desk, by calling 442-3691, or use our online registration form.

More seminars will be scheduled in the fall. If you were not able to take the seminar this June, keep an eye out for the fall schedule which will come out in late August.

June 11, 2009

History of Dewey Library – Part I

This summer, we are running a series of posts and photographs tracing the history of the Hawley Building and the creation of the Dewey Library. Have you ever wondered why our building is called Hawley Hall and yet it houses the Dewey Library? Would you like to know more about the beautiful murals and stained glass windows of our building? Did you know that the Hawley building had other uses before it was a library? We will answer these questions and more in our series this summer.

Early Uses of Hawley Hall

Hawley Hall was first created as an auditorium, and was used for that purpose until Page Hall was opened in 1929. Weekly assemblies were held in the auditorium for all students to attend. The basement of Hawley Hall, where our circulating books and quiet study are now located, was a gymnasium. The library was located in the Administration Building (later named Draper Hall). It was a sparse collection and the room only seated 60 people.

According to Geoffrey Williams, our University Archivist, a college faculty member was a frequent luncheon guest at the Executive Mansion when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was governor. This faculty member would help Franklin and Eleanor practice their French. At some point the faculty member mentioned to the Roosevelts that the college needed a new library. Possibly as a result of these discussions, a request for funding to expand the library, made by college president Brubacher was approved and in 1933, Hawley library was opened. The upstairs was essentially a large study hall with books lining the walls. The downstairs gymnasium had become the Student Commons, where dances were held. The mezzanine, where the Dewey Classroom is now located, was where student groups held their meetings. The lower level became a second reading room for the library in 1951.

In 1966, the new Uptown campus was built, and the Hawley library was abandoned, although it may have been used for various purposes by the Milne School. The library materials for the newly created School of Social Welfare and School of Criminal Justice were located up the road at Alumni Quad. In 1979, the downtown campus programs (Criminal Justice, Social Welfare, Public Administration and Policy, and later Library Science) were organized into the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, and the library was reinstituted in Hawley as the Graduate Library for Public Affairs and Policy to meet the needs of the downtown campus programs.

Next week…. Where did the name “DEWEY��? come from? Hint… it’s not related to the Dewey Decimal System!

Blog post written by Elaine Bergman with significant content from Geoffrey Williams.

June 9, 2009

Alumni: Sharpen your Networking Skills!

The University at Albany is sponsoring a reception for alumni which will also provide tips on how to take better advantage of networking opportunities. This event will be held this coming Thursday, June 11, at Alumni House from 5:45pm - 7:45pm. Online registration is available, or contact the University Alumni Association for more information.

June 5, 2009

Social Welfare Research Seminars

Advanced standing social welfare students, take note: two Social Welfare Research Seminars are scheduled for this week. Monday, June 8th at 11:30am and Tuesday, June 9th, at 2:30pm

These classes fill up rapidly, so sign up in advance -- either in person at the Reference Desk, by calling 442-3691, or use our online registration form.

June 3, 2009

OVID 101: Navigating PsycInfo and other Ovid databases

If you have recently used certain databases, such as PsycINFO or Social Work Abstracts to search for journal articles, you might notice the screens looking a little different than what you were used to. What used to be known as the Silver Platter interface has changed to the Ovid interface. If you’re having difficulty navigating the pages and changes, the following should help you. We'll use PsycInfo as an example.

When you first open PsycINFO, you will see a basic search screen appears:

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A basic search enables you to type in a single term into the search box. This search may be beneficial if you are researching a specifically named topic. The results are ranked by relevancy (according to Ovid's algorithm), as opposed to date.

A simple basic search may yield more results than you might want to sort through. If this is the case, use a multi-field search:

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A multi-field search is like an advanced search used in other databases. Here, you see three search boxes, each with drop down menus to the right and left. The drop-downs to the right allow you to limit your search in various ways, such as by author keyword, conference info and heading word (similar to subject terms). Be aware that you don’t necessarily have to select anything, but doing so will bring make your results more narrow and on target for your research. The drop-down menus to the left are Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT. These operators do exactly as they say. They can search “Search Term A��? AND, OR or NOT “Search Term B��?.
Using the multi-field search, let’s do an example. Suppose you wanted information on media influence on developing anorexia. Putting in the terms “anorexia��? and "media" as heading words, here is the top of the results list:

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Take a look at the first result. You will notice it was published in 2008, so in this case, the most recent results appear first. Also, you will see the article is actually a book chapter by the citation. If you click on “view abstract��?, you will see the abstract pop up:

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Below that, notice the boxes that state “Find Similar��? and “Find Citing Articles��?. As you might have guessed, clicking on either of these will take you to similar articles and/or find where the article is cited. These two boxes serve as more ways to get you the information you need, in particular if your search results aren’t enough to fulfill your research.

Here are some other features of the new OVID interface:

Find Citation: This is a useful tool if you have a known citation but can’t remember all the details to reference it in your paper. Use this form to fill out the information you do know and let the database fill in the rest of the blanks for you by retrieving the entire citation:
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Search Tools: Use this screen to discover new terms to use in your research, by using the Thesaurus for example:
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Search Fields: This screen shows a sample of all fields the database can search when you type in your terms.
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Finally, if you ever need assistance navigating the database, go the the Help menu in the upper right hand corner of the screen:
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As always, for help doing more sophisticated datbase searches or other research, including database searching, Ask a Librarian!

Blog post created by Jill Parsons

June 1, 2009

Social Welfare Research Seminars

Advanced standing social welfare students, take note: two Social Welfare Research Seminars are scheduled for this week. Wednesday, June 3rd at 11:30am and Thursday, June 4th, at 2:30pm

These classes fill up rapidly, so sign up in advance -- either in person at the Reference Desk, by calling 442-3691, or use our online registration form.