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March 30, 2011

Laptop Lending Service

Laptops can be a very convenient tool for research within the library, allowing you to access the Internet, take notes, or even start writing your paper without being tied down to a single location. Want to wander among the stacks while you browse the online catalog, Minerva? Easy as pie. Want to spread out your resources on a study table, or find a comfortable chair to work at? Consider it done.

Don’t have a laptop? Problem solved.

Laptops loaded with Windows XP Pro are available at the circulation desk free of charge for a rental period of four hours. The laptops include a DVD/CD read/write drive, mouse, power cord, battery, USB port, and internal wireless card. Files must be saved to a removable external drive, but CD-R and DVD-R disks can be purchased at the University Library. You can also set up a free digital storage account online to save any files you create.

For additional questions, please ask at the circulation desk or visit the University Libraries' Laptop Lending Service webpage .

March 29, 2011

Financial Literacy and Poverty Resources

In the National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2011, financial literacy is defined as “the information, education, and tools that [individuals and families] need to make good financial decisions in an increasingly complex U.S. and global financial system.��? Some say that the on-going financial crisis illustrates the importance of financial literacy, which can be a barrier not only to personal prosperity but also to communities as a whole. Although financial literacy is being promoted by the government and various not-for-profit agencies – including the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, which has created a set of national standards for financial education – it remains unclear how financial education will be conducted within our communities. Will it be funded by the state or federal government, which both face budget crises? Or can the financial industry be expected to pick up the slack – even though it might not always lie in their best interests to educate their customers []? Will financial literacy truly help the current economic crisis, or is this a “blame the victim��? sort of reasoning?

With all of these controversies and more, financial literacy is definitely a hot topic in the social welfare field today and UAlbany Libraries have a great selection of resources for those interested in learning more. Government documents are a great place to start for more information about the government policies and committees currently in place, and many are available online through the Minerva catalog:

Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. (2010, July). The federal government's role in empowering Americans to make informed financial decisions. (S. Hrg. 111–665). Retrieved from http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111%5Fsenate%5Fhearings&docid=f:58401.pdf

Financial Literacy and Education Commission. (2009, April). Progress made in fostering partnerships, but national strategy remains largely descriptive rather than strategic. (GAO-09-638T). Retrieved from http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS113494

Financial Literacy and Education Commission. (2006). Taking ownership of the future. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED496720.pdf

House Committee on Financial Services. (2008, April). Financial literacy and education: The effectiveness of governmental and private sector initiatives. (Serial No. 110–105). Retrieved from http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-110hhrg42717/pdf/CHRG-110hhrg42717.pdf

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2005). Improving financial literacy: Analysis of issues and policies. Retrieved from http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/download/fulltext/2105101e.pdf?expires=1299172286&id=0000&accname=ocid41020973&checksum=A8D1441D9AE7D8A431D92C21D5DD426F

For more online resources, try checking out the new eDiscover service Trustworthy websites with a wide variety of resources include:

AICPA. (2010). 360 degrees of financial literacy. Retrieved from http://www.360financialliteracy.org/

Financial Literacy and Education Commission. (n.d.). MyMoney. Retrieved from http://www.mymoney.gov/

Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. (2007). The National Standards in K–12 Personal Finance Education. Retrieved from http://www.jumpstart.org/assets/files/standard_book-ALL.pdf

NavPoint Institute for Financial Literacy. (2010). National benchmark standards: Adult personal finance education. Retrieved from http://www.navpointinstitute.org/pdfs/NationalStandards-Adult.pdf

For a full list of the online and print resources available to you on this topic, you can check out the display and extended bibliography located in the Dewey Library. If you need some feedback or tips for your own research on this topic, please make an appointment with Elaine Lasda Bergman, the social welfare bibliographer here at Dewey. You can email her at ebergman@uamail.albany.edu or call (518) 442-3695.

Blog post created by Lauren Stern

March 27, 2011

Dewey Workshops: 3/28 - 4/1

We here at the Dewey Library, to be frank, we’ve got "class"-- maybe "classes" would be a better way to say it! These classes will help you become familiar with the library and all it has to offer as far as resources and services. There are different classes each week, so be on the lookout for topics you are interested in or need help in, we’ve got you covered.

We have a few ways for you to sign up; you can pick whichever is easiest for you. Come ask about classes at the reference desk, call us at 442-3691, send us an email at dewclass@albany.edu, or sign up online .

Below are the classes available this week:
- Introduction to Information Resources for Gerontology: Wednesday, March 30th, 3:30 PM

Blog post created by Benjamin Knowles

March 25, 2011

Photo of the Week: Services for Persons with Disabilities

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The scanner station in the back of the main floor of the Dewey Library has several assistive technologies for people with disabilities, including software that enlarges text on the screen. For information about assistive technology at Dewey contact Lindsay Van Berkom .

March 23, 2011

Form: Not A Four Letter Word

When you think of forms you may remember your last trip to the DMV and you may have already stopped reading this and ran from your computer. Don’t make for the hills quite yet, we are talking about a different kind of form, the ones the library has to help you! The library has a variety of E-forms to help you to get the most out of the services provided for you at the library, don’t believe me? Here’s all the info, you be the judge.

To get to the libraries’ page of forms, start at the library home page ] and towards the top of the screen you will see an option that says “Library Services." Place the mouse over it and a drop down menu will appear. Travel down to the “Forms��? tab, and now it is safe to click. You have now reached the page that will give you links and information on all of the forms and services available through the University Libraries.

One of the most helpful resources offered by the library is the UA Delivery service; it allows you to request articles and books to be sent between libraries. You will need to register for UA Delivery, but trust me it’s all basic information. After that you are set to begin requesting items to be sent to your closest library. There are a few restrictions], so make sure you are aware of these.

If you are like me you want to be the first in line at the movies to get the best seats, or first to buy the newest video game title. You can also be first in line to get the newest items available at the library! Sometimes you will come across items in our catalog which have arrived at the libraries, but haven't been put on the shelves yet. These will have the status of "On Order" or "In Processing". To speed up the system and receive these items ASAP, just fill out the form titled On Order/In Processing Request Form, and as soon as the item is available we will let you know and it’s all yours!

Back in 1990 a group named Snap! released a song called “The Power��?, (don’t lie, you know the one I’m talking about!) Think of a woman singing “I’ve got the power!��? and a video with men sporting some early 90’s flat tops. Well, like the members of Snap! you now have the power… to recommend that the library purchase certain items! Fill out the Recommendation for Library Purchase form and your request is on its way!

The University Libraries have a variety of forms that will help you to utilize the various services they offer. Check out the above mentioned, and many others and you will find that form will never be four letter word in your vocabulary again!

Blog post created by Benjamin Knowles

March 22, 2011

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 Internet Resources ��?guide on the Social Welfare Research a Subject page, as it has several sources to help you. In the Dewey online collection we have Mental Measurements Yearbook and Tests in Print which is a guide to tests including how they may be ordered/purchased.

The Dewey Library also has extensive print holdings dealing with tests and measures. Here are a few of the newest texts owned by the library:

• “Measures for Clinical Practice and Research��? is a resource devoted to finding the correct psychological test for a variety of situations. (Dewey Reference BF 176 C66 2007)

•“Encyclopedia of Psychological Assessment��? is a reference to help you know which test or assessment is correct based on the client or situation. (Dewey Reference BF 176 E53X 2003)

•“Dictionary of Psychological Testing, Assessment, and Treatment��? helps you find the correct test as well as treatment for a wide range of situation in the field of psychological assessment and measures. (Dewey Reference BF 176 S78 1995)

•“Guide to Early Psychological Evaluation: Children & Adolescents��? by Ray W. Christner. (Dewey RJ 499.3 G85 2010)

•“Tests: A Comprehensive Reference for Assessments in Psychology, Education, and Business��? (6th Edition) by Taddy Maddox. (Dewey BF 176 T43 2008)

•Handbook of Psychological Assessment by Gary Groth-Marnat. (Dewey BF 176 G76 2009)

•Assessment scales in child and adolescent psychiatry by Frank C. Verhulst and Jan Van Der Ende. (Dewey RJ 503.5 V47X 2006)

In addition to these sources, the University at Albany has its own School of Education Test 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.

If you have any questions about locating tests and measures, please contact Elaine Bergman, the Social Welfare bibliographer. She can be reached by email (ebergman@uamail.albany.edu) or by phone (442-3695)

Blog post created by Benjamin Knowles

March 20, 2011

Dewey Workshops 3/21 - 3/25

Attention all Students, Faculty, and Staff, your library is here to help! The library offers classes every week to help you use all of the resources and services we have to offer. These classes cover many fields and subject areas and are designed to help you get the most out of your library, so sign up today!

We have a few ways for you to sign up for the classes, so no excuses, get to it! You can visit us at the reference desk, call us at 442-3691, email us at dewclass@albany.edu, or do a quick online registration].

Here are the classes we are offering this week:
- Social Work Research Seminar: Thursday, March 24th, 3:30 PM

Blog post created by Benjamin Knowles

March 18, 2011

Photo of the Week

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Color printing is available in the Library Information Commons for 50 cents per page.

Photo credit: Morris Stilson

March 16, 2011

Midterm Madness: Tips for Staying Sane During Crunch Time

Midterms can be one of the most stressful times of the year, you may be asking yourself “Am I going to make it?��? The answer to that question is of course yes, you will make it, and once again your library is here to help you through this rough patch. Below you will find an exhaustive list of things to help relieve your stress and carry you through mid terms and on to the end of another semester. So read on and find out how to keep yourself in the zone and out of the psych ward!

1. Start off Right! - Beginning with a positive attitude is the first step to having a stress free middle of the term. Instead of starting of your midterm worrying about all your assignments, begin by getting organized and process your assignments one by one. You will find yourself staying positive and believing that you can complete everything on time and to the best of your ability.

2. Make Use of Quiet Spaces!! - All of the University libraries have areas for you or your group to get together and enjoy a quiet study session. There are some rooms available for reservation in the Main and Science libraries, you will find all of the information here. In the Dewey Library the bottom floor is designated for group and quiet study. So make the most of these areas and get your assignments or group projects done in a quiet, and more importantly, stress free environment.

3. Attend a free Research Seminar at the Dewey Library - These seminars are free and you can sign up by stopping by the reference desk, giving us a call at 442-3691, sending us an email at dewclass@albany.edu, or for you high tech people, online registration is available. There are weekly classes (available classes) and they can help you to improve your research skills or get you more acquainted with the library. This will save you loads of time when you are ready to research because you will already know how to access everything. Check one out and see your research stress melt away!

4. Get Yourself Together - Organization is a key to reducing your stress level. Make sure you have all of your assignments in order and that you have all of the materials necessary to complete them. Keeping all of your notes, assignments, and other materials in one place can help to minimize the search for them later on. This does not mean putting all of these items in one bottomless pit of a folder with no order, but rather in a binder, or file that can be organized according to assignments, notes, etc. This will save you time, and will eliminate the 11th hour email to your professor for another copy of your midterm assignment!

6. Get in contact!- There are tons of ways to contact the reference desk at the Dewey Library to get help, and there will always be a person just a call or click away. There is the old fashion visit to the reference desk, but for you new age users here are a few of the other ways to contact us. Give us a call at 442-3691, send us an email through the Ask-A-Librarian service, instant message with a librarian, even text us a question at 265010 and make sure to start your message with ualibraries: (include the colon). So give us a call, an IM, a text, the possibilities are endless!

7. Time to Catch Some Z’s - Sleep is essential to proper brain function and in turn the reduction of stress on the body. You should get 8 hours of sleep a night and remember there is nothing wrong with a 20 minute power nap in the afternoon! When you do not get enough sleep your concentration is effected as well as information processing and short term memory. Also avoid the variety of caffeinated friends available to you to keep you wake. Caffeine can give you small boosts of energy but it also wears off and can wreak havoc on normal sleep if ingested after 3 PM. So don’t skimp on the sleep and you will find yourself alert and ready for anything school throws your way!

8. Use the “Buddy System��? - Many people find it beneficial to create study groups, especially around midterms and finals to relieve some of the work load. If your professor has not already created these groups it’s time to strike out on your own and buddy up! Try to find people with similar schedules, and ideally those who either live near you, or are able to commute to meet on a regular basis. Look for motivated individuals and not those who are looking for a “free ride��? to a good grade. So go forth, share ideas, and maybe make a friend or two in the process!

9. Let Us Do the Leg Work - The UA Document Delivery Service can save you a trip between the uptown and downtown campus! Sign up for the delivery service on the information page[http://library.albany.edu/services/uadelivery] then follow the simple directions to request an item. You can find articles as well as books that we can then transport between campuses for all of your research needs. So save yourself time and gas, make sure to plan ahead to get all of your items in time for your midterm paper or assignment.

10. Do Something for You! – Leisure activities or hobbies are proven stress relievers and in the process you have fun and do something you enjoy. Whatever you do as far as hobbies or activities, make sure to schedule time to continue to do these things in the midst of your midterm studies. Get out there and have a little fun, you will be amazed the effect that it can have on your stress level and overall performance.

Blog post created by Benjamin Knowles

Scholarly Authors and Copyright

Until we assign the copyright or license the copyright to someone else in a formal contract, we as authors own the copyright to our work. Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 6 of the copyright law describes the rights we have:

§ 106. Exclusive rights in copyrighted works

Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:
(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;
(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and
(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

We do not have to formally register our work to protect it under the copyright law. If we are submitting an article to a publisher, they may ask us for the exclusive copyright of our work within an agreement form that we must sign before publication. When we sign such an agreement it is a legally binding agreement regarding the rights listed above.

Any journal publisher only needs a few of the rights above in order to publish and distribute our work in a journal issue, so a good question to ask is: exactly which rights should the publisher have and which rights should scholarly authors retain over their work? It might be a very good idea to retain rights over all derivative works. It may be a good idea to retain rights to put the work on a personal website or in an open access repository. It may be a good idea to retain the right to distribute the work for all teaching purposes.

Retaining certain rights may mean that an author will alter the copyright agreement and negotiate with the publisher before signing. Check out the Columbia University Copyright Advisory Office for web pages that deal with publisher agreements and negotiating for rights.

This may be helpful as you consider how you want to approach managing your copyright ownership as a scholarly author.

Blog post created by Lorre Smith

March 15, 2011

Public Policy Research Spotlight: CQ Resources

For public policy, political science, and social welfare students conducting research, the suite of Congressional Quarterly (CQ) resources available through the UA Libraries is a great way to get an overview of congressional activity presented in an easy to understand style. These resources are available online (with the exception of the CQ Almanac, which is available at the Dewey Library and in the reference area of the University Library) by doing a title search in our online catalog, Minerva. or through the links provided in the “ Guide to Federal Public Policy Research. The CQ resources can be are referenced in the Historical development section of the guide.

CQ Researcher is a great periodical for getting an overview of public policy topics. Although it doesn’t provide cutting edge news, you can use this resource to get an introduction, background, pros and cons, timeline, bibliography, and other features on a topic. Let’s check out a topic currently in the news by doing a keyword search at the top of the page. When I searched for gay marriage, the result “Gay Marriage Showdowns��? looked relevant and was updated recently. After clicking on the article, you can use the tools on the right to find related reports and related topics in order to broaden the search and find other resources; you can also use the Bibliography and Contacts sections at the bottom of the article for additional resources. On the left, a table of contents is available that will guide you to the most relevant portions of the article. In the Pro/Con section you can read arguments both for and against gay marriage written by experts. If you’re more graphically inclined, check out some of the maps and graphs. Citing any information in the article is as simple as clicking the CiteNow! button at the top of the page.

Once you have a general overview, you might want to check out Congress and the Nation (for four-year overviews available up through 2008) or the CQ Almanac (for annual overviews available up through 2009) to gain historical/congressional perspective on an issue. You can find out what parties were for and against public policy decisions in either resource. To trace the evolution of an issue, take advantage of the wider scope of Congress and the Nation; for a more specific look at particular events, use the more narrowly focused CQ Almanac.

Still stumped on your research topic, or need help getting started with CQ resources? Stop by the reference desk, or email the Public Policy, Political Science, and Law Bibliographer Richard Irving to set up an appointment for individualized help.

Blog post created by Lauren Stern and Richard Irving

March 13, 2011

Dewey Workshops 3/14 - 3/18

Question: How can I learn about using the services and resources at the library for my classes and spend less time looking in the wrong places for information in my field?

Answer: By signing up for one of the weekly instructional seminars at the Dewey Library of course! These seminars will speed up your research and help you find all the right information using library resources and stop you from looking in the wrong place. You will find all of the information you need to sign up for these classes listed below.

Make sure to sign up in advance as these classes fill up on a first come first serve basis. To sign up either visit us at the reference desk, give us a call at 442-3691, send us an email at dewclass@albany.edu, or simply register online.

Below are the classes available for this week:
- Evidence Based Practice: Tuesday, March 15th, 3PM
- Non Profit Organizations - Information Sources: Wednesday, March 16th, 10 PM
- Non Profit Organizations - Information Sources: Friday, March 18th, 10 PM

Blog post created by Benjamin Knowles

March 9, 2011

Free Stuff that Rocks: Zotero

I love writing papers. Really long ones! I like switching back and forth between my web browser and a text document to take notes or – better yet – hand-writing everything on little note cards and then typing everything out afterwards (or maybe just losing the note cards altogether and flying into a blind panic [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6Q9uJCN-nQ]). I have a bumper sticker on my car that says “I <3 parenthetical citations and bibliographies.��?

… Just kidding. What I do love is Zotero, a free add-on for Firefox. You can take notes from within your web browser, save and organize pdf’s and websites, and store them all for remote access from the Zotero server. Did I mention free? There’s even more free. You can get a free toolbar for Microsoft Word or OpenOffice that will generate both your works cited list and in-text citations – in any format you could ever want – with the click of a button.

For more information, watch a video , check out the UAlbany Library's Zotero Guide , or browse the Zotero forums.

Blog post created by Lauren Stern

March 8, 2011

Librarians in the Field: An Interview with Trudi Jacobson

The Dewey Library Blog is happy to announce a series of interviews with librarians in the field today. The professional that we'd like to introduce you to today is Trudi Jacobson, the head of the Information Literacy Department at the University Libraries. She is a recent recipient of the Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian of the Year Award, and we are very lucky to have the opportunity to pick her brain.

Q: I understand that you're a proponent of active learning and hands-on computer work. Would you please explain what that means, and why it's so integral to information literacy classrooms?
A: I strongly believe that students don’t necessarily learn by observing or listening—they actually have to work with the material and make it their own. One of my favorite sayings, adapted from a statement by Eric Sotto in his book When Teaching Becomes Learning [University Library / LB 1025.3 S68 2007] is: Can you learn how to ride a bicycle or how to kiss from a lecture? Probably not, or at least not well! Students have to really engage in activities connected to what they are learning. I think this is especially true of information literacy, for a couple of reasons. First, it is practical—there are skills involved. It isn’t highly theoretical. It can be lots of fun to design ways for students to really delve into discovery and application exercises. Second, many students take information literacy courses to fulfill a general education requirement, or come to a course-related instruction session because their teacher requires it, not because they are inherently interested in the topic. We need to show them how very applicable this knowledge and these skills are to both their assignments and to lifelong learning.

Q: Your book Teaching the New Library to Today's Users [ Dewey Library / Z 711.2 T43 2000] provides recommendations for interacting with and teaching a number of minority groups, including international, GLBTQ, older, and at-risk students. In light of today's diverse campuses and schools, what advice would you give to a librarian just starting out?
A: Become aware of diverse learn
ing styles and traditions of education. There are many good sources in both the education and the library literature. Talk with experts on campus or in your school district to gain more background information. In the classroom, use inclusive examples (of searches, of resources shown). But ultimately, treat each student as an individual who has his or her own needs and styles of learning. In brief classroom encounters, such as during a single, course-related instruction session, you probably won’t have the opportunity to learn much about each student. But in this case, if you include several different types of activities during class, and encourage students to give feedback and to ask questions (as can be done with free-writing exercises), you will be making a good start.

Q: You've mentioned that you use team-based learning here at SUNY Albany. How has it changed your role as a teacher, and the role of your students?

A: Dramatically! While I was never the type of teacher who spent much time lecturing, I do almost none now. But the revolutionary thing about team-based learning (TBL) isn’t the small shift in my role (which would be much more dramatic for someone who does spend more time lecturing), but rather the incredible transformation in the role of the students. They truly are accountable for their own learning, both individually and in their teams. Before we start a new section of the course, I assign readings. They are then tested on this new material, before it is ever introduced in class! They take the test both individually and then as a team, and it quickly becomes clear to them that the combined knowledge of the team is very important to successful learning. Once the tests are done, they engage in activities that promote learning and team development. I am both amazed and delighted by how much TBL changes the atmosphere in the classroom. If you happened to eavesdrop on team conversations, I think you would be impressed in how engaged they are with the material! I provide structure and guidance, but so much of this happens behind the scenes, in topic and readings selection and in construction of the tests and exercises. But in class, the teams are the focal point, not me. And I think that is exactly how it should be. For those who are interested in learning more about TBL, I’ve put together a guide on the subject
Q: What sort of motivational techniques do you use in the classroom?
A: TBL’s structure inherently introduces all sorts of motivation for students. When I am teaching course-related sessions, where TBL isn’t possible, I try to relate the content of the instruction to student needs. This is a key element of John Keller’s ARCS model of motivation: Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction (1987).

  • Attention: Try new approaches, varied activities, and changing the environment when possible

  • Relevance: Ask students to share their goals, which can affect the instruction. Use familiar examples and invite learners to impart their own experiences and expertise

  • Confidence: If possible, design learning activities to match the different skill levels of students. Let learners know what is expected of them and that they have the means to control their success.

  • Satisfaction: This often comes from application opportunities
    Motivating Students in Information Literacy Classes [Dewey Library / ZA 3075 J33 2004] (Jacobson & Xu, 2004) provides lots of practical ideas.

    Q: How would you define information literacy, and why is it so important for today's learners to possess it?
    A: Until recently, I would have used ALA’s definition of information literacy: “To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information.��? And it still has great merit. But rapid changes in technology have changed the information landscape dramatically. I have been working with Tom Mackey, Interim Dean in the Center for Distance Learning at Empire State College (formerly a member of the IST department) on raising awareness of the need for information literacy to be conceived broadly, in order to reflect these changes. In our recent article in College & Research Libraries ("Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy"), we argue for a framework for information literacy that “integrates emerging technologies and unifies multiple literacy types��? because of the transient and collaborative nature of social media environments.
    It is critical for today’s learners to be information literate because they are constantly producing and sharing information as well as consuming it. Involvement with social media tools such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Wikipedia is so common, and this trend of easy publication will probably only increase. At the same time, people are trying to sift through all the information others are producing. It is imperative to have the tools to do so effectively.

    Q: Assessment is a hot topic in libraries today, and you wrote a chapter for Developing Web-Based Instruction [Dewey Library / Z 711.2 D5 2003B] about using assessment in online classrooms. If you could tell graduates from the MSIS program just one thing about assessment, what would it be?
    A: Don’t be afraid! There are all sorts of ways to start small described in the literature. A fabulous source of easy to implement, easy to adapt ideas is Angelo and Cross’s book, Classroom Assessment Techniques [University Library / LB 2822.75 A54 1993].

    Q: To wrap things up, is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
    A: Teaching can be extraordinarily rewarding, as I am sure many readers will know. There is also great demand for it in connection with public service positions in libraries. If you’ve not thought about gaining skills in teaching before, you might want to consider it.

    For more information about Ms. Jacobson and her work at UAlbany, please visit her bio. The Dewey Library Blog would like to extend a sincere thank you to Ms. Jacobson for sharing her knowledge with us all.

    Blog post created by Lauren Stern

March 6, 2011

Dewey Workshops 3/7 - 3/11

One of the many services offered to you through the Dewey Library is classes meant to inform you on various resources within the Library. These classes are offered every week throughout the semester to help you to use all of the resources and services available in the library. Below you will find all the information you will need about these classes, so sign up and knock your next assignment out of the park!

Registering in advance for these classes is always recommended. You can always stop by the reference desk, give us a ring at 442-3691, email us at dewclass@albany.edu, or register online from the comfort of your own home.

Here are the classes we are offering this week:

- Evidence Based Practice: Monday, March 7th , 10 AM
- Introduction to Research Databases: Wednesday, March 9th, 2 PM
- Non Profit Organizations - Information Sources: Wednesday, March 9th, 4:30 PM
- Introduction to Research Databases: Thursday, March 10th, 3 PM
- Non Profit Organizations - Information Sources: Thursday, March 10th, 4:30 PM
- ICPSR, Data and Statistical Resources: Friday, March 11th, 10 AM

Blog post created by Benjamin Knowles

March 4, 2011

Photo of the Week: Computer Help from ITS

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If you have research questions, a librarian is your best bet for assistance, but if you are having computer issues, please visit our ITS Assistant who is located by the Uniprinter on the main level of the library. He or she will be glad to help you with those technology challenges!

March 2, 2011

Free Stuff that Rocks: Dropbox and Evernote

Cloud computing is a techie buzzword right now, but what does it mean? It’s actually a metaphor for Internet computing, which has evolved from basic email applications to remote server storage for businesses who don’t want to pay to purchase, maintain, and provide security for their own hardware. But cloud computing isn’t just for businesses, and there are some great free applications out there for students. Digital storage and portability of information are two big issues for students that can be addressed handily by cloud-based webware, and two applications that every student should download are Dropbox and Evernote.

Dropbox runs in the background of your computer, automatically backing up all of the files you save to a designated folder and storing a copy remotely as long as you have an Internet connection. Need to do some research at the library? Log into your account at dropbox.com, download the file you want to work on, and upload the changes when you finish. Dropbox is compatible with Macs, PCs, and even some smartphones, so you can transfer files across operating systems without an issue. Your local computer will automatically detect changes made to your Dropbox files and update them (with no further input from you required). There are a lot of advanced Dropbox “hacks,��? but the portability and automatic back-up are indispensable. The free accounts provide 2gb of storage, which is more than sufficient for most student work, but people with more demanding storage requirements – those who want to back up their entire music collection, for instance – can upgrade to a paid account.

Evernote requires more active participation to save items, but it provides the same convenient access-anywhere digital storage and has a great drag and drop interface. While Dropbox is more commonly used to store files already on your computer, Evernote can be used to grab text, tweets, pictures, and pdf’s directly from the web – or from the world around you. You can snap a picture with your cell phone, send it to your account, and organize it later. Versatility is key: Evernote recommends using their service for everything from compiling shopping lists to taking notes and doing research.

Dropbox and Evernote are great multimedia tools for channeling the streams of data that surround us. Use them to save information in “the cloud,��? sort it in a meaningful way, back it up, share it, and retrieve it on multiple devices.

Blog post created by Lauren Stern

March 1, 2011

Obama, what have you done for me lately? Researching Current Criminal Justice issues

Books are wonderful resources, but when researching current events periodicals like journals and newspapers are often going to be your best bet. Picking up journals and newspapers at random usually isn’t a very efficient way of researching a specific topic, so let’s look at some UAlbany databases that would be helpful. As an example, we’ll try to find out what major laws, bills, and initiatives Obama has undertaken that affect the criminal justice field.

Start by visiting the UA Libraries website, then click Research by Subject from the left. For this topic, both the Criminal Justice and Public Administration and Policy pages might be useful. You can select the link under Databases / Electronic Resources in either of these categories to view the relevant resources, but we’ll go ahead and use the one located on the Criminal Justice page.

LexisNexis Academic and Westlaw Campus are both great resources for viewing legal and newspaper documents. For this topic, the “Search the News��? and “Look Up a Legal Case��? sections of LexisNexis are going to be the most useful. I started by doing a search for “Obama and criminal justice��? in the Search the News box. That’s a pretty general search, so I retrieved a very large number of results. To narrow down my search I clicked on the Subject link at the left. I could use this to get a more specific focus for my research (like “torture,��? which had only 23 results, or “criminal law,��? which had 258). At the top of the results, I can also choose to sort by relevance or by date; once we’ve narrowed down our search, sorting by date will help us start with the most recent news first.

Let’s check out Westlaw Campus next. You can click on either tab at the very top of the page – “News & Business��? or “Law��? – to decide whether you want to look for legal cases and proceedings or news periodicals. I repeated my search by typing “Obama��? in the first box, and then typing “criminal justice��? into the second box. If you click the drop-down button next to the second search box, you will see options for AND and OR – these are called operators, and help you narrow (AND) or broaden (OR) your search. We’re using the AND operator to include both “Obama��? and “criminal justice��? in our searches, just like we did in LexisNexis, but this time we’re using two search boxes and the operator AND is being provided for us. Under categories, I would also recommend clicking the box by Legal & Justice to narrow the search on this first page.

Try these searches for yourself. What options do you see in each database to narrow down your topic? Do you find one database easier to use than the other?

If you have questions about these or any other databases, please stop by the reference desk. For special assistance with your criminal justice topic, you can make an appointment with the Criminal Justice Bibliographer, Mary Jane Brustman, by emailing her at mbrustman@uamail.albany.edu or calling (518) 442-3540.

Blog post created by Lauren Stern