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December 19, 2007

Enjoy the Winter Break

Today is the first day of Intersession -- we at the Dewey Library wish you a restful and enjoyable Winter Break. During the break, we will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00am -5:00pm. We will be closed weekends, as well as the December 24 and 25, January 1, and January 21 holidays. Librarians will continue to be available during this period for one-on-one appointments as well as for brief consultations in person, e-mail, and phone (442-3691).


December 17, 2007

Locating Tests and Measures -- a Challenge?

Many Social Welfare researchers and students are required to locate various assessment instruments, tests, and measures; either to utilize or to analyze and evaluate. However, many times, the keyword searches we commonly use in Google, the Research Databases or Minerva do not provide us with the instrument itself. This can pose quite a research challenge. The Dewey Library has many resources at your disposal which can help. A good starting point is the Social Welfare “My Research Subject��? page -- it has several sources to help you. Under the subcategory "Internet Resources in Social Welfare" you will find a section of websites specifically dealing with tests and measures, here are some examples:

  • A website known as Tests and Measures in the Social Sciences lists the 10,000 measures found in full in 97 books.

  • A complementary site, SDSU (San Diego State University)TestFinder lists more books with tests and measures and many citations to those included in journal articles.

  • Testlink from Educational Testing Service offers more than 20,000 educational and psychological tests and measurements. Some tests can be downloaded free or for a fee from the site; others must be ordered.

These are only a sample of what may be found under this category of the Internet Resources in Social Welfare page. Check to see if there is anything useful to you.

In addition to Internet sites, University at Albany has its own School of EducationTest Library (from the Division of Educational Psychology and Methodology). This website lists tests, books, hours for the library and more. The Test Library is located in Education B-11 on the Uptown Campus.

In the Dewey print collections,we also have Tests in Print [Dewey Library Reference LB 1131.5 B8], a guide to tests including how they may be ordered/purchased.

Librarians are happy to help you with any of these sources or any other research issues. Contact the Reference Desk and we will be glad to be of assistance. If you have questions specific to Social Welfare, please contact Mary Jane Brustman to set up an appointment. You may e-mail her or call her (442-3517).

December 12, 2007

Reference Review - Oxford Handbook of Public Policy

The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy. Edited by Michael Moran, Martin Rein, and Robert E. Goodi Oxford. New York : Oxford University Press, 2006. [Location: Dewey Library / Reference: H 97 O88 2006]

The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy is part of a 10 volume series collectively known as The Oxford Handbooks of Political Science (use Minerva to find other volumes by selecting the option “Series begins with…��? and then typing “Oxford Handbooks of Political Science��? in the search box).

Some of the issues covered by the Oxford Handbook of Public Policy include: policy persuasion, practice, constraints, and change. The editors have focused on aspects that limit “ambitious��? policy making as well as the impact, causes and effects of more moderate effots. This is beneficial because it helps to avoid redundancy and it raises issues a researcher may want to further explore.

The categorizations used in the Handbook make the volume user-friendly for researchers and cover historical background, policy analysis models and various aspects of policy making such as how it is created, implemented, or constrained. If one has a general topic in mind he or she can readily see if it is covered in this work. The book also provides guidance as to some of the divisions of study for researchers who do not have a clear view on divisions of the general subject of public policy.

The Handbook has two indexes that are extremely useful to researchers. The Name Index includes all referenced authors and organizations. Even more useful for researchers is the Subject Index. This index references all subjects covered and breaks them down in a manner that helps one to find the specific subject and aspect(s) of that subject he or she is looking for. This index allows one to either narrow his or her search or expand it. Someone with a general idea of the topic is given more specific breakdowns. A user with a more focused subject term is given other topics that could be relevant to his or her research.

This volume functions both as a good starting point for research and a source for more in-depth and focused research. The Handbook is both scholarly and easy to follow. The authors break the subjects down into subdivisions when necessary. Each chapter also ends with a list of references used by its author. All of these elements make this set valuable to users.

Come take a look at this or other titles in the Dewey Reference Collection -- you may be suprised at the great information you are quickly able to find! And don’t forget -- if you are working on a project in the area of Public Administration/Policy, Subject Specialist Dick Irving is here to help. You can always e-mail or call him (442-3698) to set up an appointment.

Blog post created by David Phillips.

December 10, 2007

Dewey Workshops, Seminars and Tours: Week of 12/10 -12/14

Dewey Graduate Library offers short seminars, workshops and tours that can help you become more familiar with the library and help you get started on your research. Sign up in advance, either online, in person at the Reference Desk, or by calling 442-3691.

The following sessions are scheduled this week:

2:00 PM: Social Welfare Research Seminar

December 3, 2007

Dewey Workshops, Seminars and Tours: Week of 12/3-12/7

Dewey Graduate Library offers short seminars, workshops and tours that can help you become more familiar with the library and help you get started on your research. Sign up in advance, either online, in person at the Reference Desk, or by calling 442-3691.

The following sessions are scheduled this week:

11:00 AM: Introduction to Federal Public Policy Resources

4:00 PM: Conducting Research from Home