Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Libraries + Flickr = Amazing Stuff

If you don't know what Flickr is, its a photosharing website, like Photobucket or Picasa. You log in, upload photos, share them or make them private, tag them, group them, post them on your blog or your Facebook page or whatever you want to do with them.

The Library of Congress (the big poppa of libraries, you may have seen it in National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets) has uploaded approximately 171,000 photos to Flickr and asked the public to view, tag and comment on them. The results are fascinating, and you can see it, for free, here:

To view a webcast created by the LOC, visit this link: Opening the Photo Vaults: A Web 2.0 Pilot Project to Enhance Discovery and Gather Input for the Library's Photograph Collections" (presented Jan. 29, 2008).


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Writer's Conference!

Like to write? (You know I do!) Today at 11:00 there is a Writer's Conference in the Playbox Theatre. Two authors, Lionel Bascom and Alice Bernstein will be speaking, answering questions and signing their books. Bascom is the author of The Last Leaf of Harlem, Selected and Newly Discovered Fiction by the Author of "The Wedding," Dorothy West and Bernstein will be speaking about her book The People of Clarendon County—A Play by Ossie Davis with Photographs and Historical Documents, & Essays on the Education That Can End Racism.

Here's the schedule:

11:00- 12:40 Reading, Q&A, book signing PLAYBOX
1-2:30 Lunch ($10, RSVP required)
2:30-4 Open Mic- Cafe West
Writer's Workshop- Playbox

Hope to see you there!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Breaking the Silence

Tonight at 6:30 the Human Services Club is hosting an event called "Breaking the Silence Against Sexual Assault" in the Fine Arts building on Level 3, in the Ruth Ann Leever Atrium. The keynote speaker is your very own Miss Connecticut, Dana Daunis, and there will be speakers, tips from law enforcement on staying safe, and self defense demos. And it's free!

If this is a topic of interest to you, please visit the library for more information. Doing a keyword search for "sexual assault" or "rape" will bring up a list of books the library has on the topic. The results are in order by relevance, choose "Publish Date Descending" on the "Sort Results by:" drop down menu on the left to get the most recently published books.

If you're looking for a certain aspect of the impact of sexual assault, such as the psychological or legal effects, the electronic databases are also a good place to search. Always check the full text box to make sure your results are full text and therefore readable/printable.

If you need assistance with the library, contact us. If you need help, call the Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury Hotline at 203-575-0036 or visit their website at

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Choosing a database for your research paper

When you get a paper assignment, your teacher might say to you, "Go to the library and get three sources for your paper from the electronic databases." When you go there, though, there is a pretty long list of databases, most of which have academic sounding names that don't tell you anything. For example, MasterFILE Premier or Academic OneFile. Huh? And how would you know what CINAHL means? (It means Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, in case you're wondering.)

Well, here's a brief explanation. The databases listed under "General Magazine and Journals" are all large collections of general subjects- they have some of everything. Some of them have a focus- like Opposing Viewpoints and SIRS Knowledge Source, which focus on hot button issues like global warming and gun control. Some are owned by the same company, like MasterFILE Premier and Magill On Literature, so you can search them at the same time.

The databases under "Health and Science" are just that- health and science journals. If you're writing a nursing or psychology paper, look under this heading. Some, like PsycINFO and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, are owned by the same company and you can search them at the same time too.

Then there are newspapers. So, if you want a new article from the New York Times or the Hartford Courant, it makes sense to go right there and search for it. The other databases might get it, but they might not have the most up to date articles. For example, Opposing Viewpoints gets current access to the New York Times, but as of 8:54 on April 15th, they only have articles from yesterday listed. The NYT database has today's paper already listed.

As you research and write papers, you get better at knowing which database to use. And you can ALWAYS ask your librarian (obviously).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wikipedia is awesome. You still can't use it.

This school year I've heard a lot of students saying how they can't use wikipedia for their papers. This is what I have to say about Wikipedia.

Everyone uses it. How could you not? It's always in the top three results if you Google something, and most of the time, it pretty much explains what you need to know. For example, I read a lot of blogs, and people were always talking about trackbacks. I didn't know what a trackback was, so I googled it, and the Wikipedia article explained it. Done.

That being said, Wikipedia is not an academically acceptable source for a college-level research paper. How do I know? Because it says it on Wikipedia.

In all academic institutions, Wikipedia, along with most encyclopedias, is unacceptable as a major source for a research paper. [link]

That doesn't mean you can't look things up on Wikipedia. In fact, at the bottom of each entry, there are usually a list of External links that can be very useful- and in some cases, you COULD use those for your paper. You need to see who wrote the information, when it was written, and why they wrote it, and then double check with your professor, but there are often great resources in the External links list. Ask your librarian if you need more information.

Finally, there is a 45 minute movie called "The Truth About Wikipedia". It's posted on YouTube right here. You might want to check it out!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Can you tell your friends?

I really want people to participate in the new CD selections (see next post for list). I made flyers for the library computers, and am waiting to hear if I can hang up posters around the school. So, in the meanwhile, could you pass it on?

Monday, April 7, 2008

CDs? CDs! CDs.

Many students don't know that the library has popular CDs for check out. Recently we added Keyshia Cole, Just Like You, and Alicia Keys, As I Am to the collection, as well as some classic jazz. But we want to add more- and that's where you come in. I'm going to post a list of CDs I picked out for us, and if you want them, don't want them, or want to suggest something else, post a comment. Be anonymous! Here's my list:

Arctic Monkeys- Favourite Worst Nightmare
Erykah Badu- New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
Sara Bareilles- Little Voice
Blonde Redhead- 23
Donnie- The Daily News
Foo Fighters- Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Gnarls Barkley- The Odd Couple
Herbie Hancock- River: The Joni Letters (won the Grammy for best album of the year)
Leona Lewis- Spirit
Little Brother- Getback
Mars Volta- Bedlam in Goliath
One Republic- Dreaming Out Load
Panic at the Disco- Pretty. Odd
The Raconteurs- Consolers of the Lonely
Spoon- Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Justin Timberlake- FutureSex/Love Sounds
Kanye West- Graduation
Amy Winehouse- Back to Black


***ETA*** Mariah Carey- E= MC2 (I heard the first 8 tracks on the radio this morning, and it was [gasp] good. )

Friday, April 4, 2008

Cacti and Succulents

This weekend, NVCC is hosting the 25th Annual Show and Sale of the Connecticut Cactus and Succulent Society. The event will be in the cafe (we have a busy cafeteria- a blood drive, a health expo, and now cacti! I even heard someone singing karaoke one day) on Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 10-4. More information can be found here:

NVCC has a fantastic
horticulture program that offers an A.S. in Horticulture and Certificates in Horticulture or Landscape Design. In addition, if you complete an A.S. here, you will automatically be accepted as a transfer to the UCONN Bachelor's Degree in Horticulture program. And in case you haven't noticed, NVCC is a lot cheaper than UCONN. A LOT.

Since we've got such a fantastic program here, we've also got the library resources to support it. The database Science Reference Center has horticulture publications, as do the general databases such as Academic OneFILE. To quickly narrow down your search, choose Subject Guide Search and enter Horticulture. Then you can search within those results for your topic.

Obviously we've got lots of books, and we also subscribe to several magazines, including Garden Design, and my personal favorite, Organic Gardening.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Health Expo 2008

Every year NVCC sponsors a Health Expo, a showcase of community experts in many different facets of health and wellness. I'm particularly excited about this year's expo because I actually get to go- I started working here full time last May and could never make it to the Expos of the past. Anyway, the Health Expo will feature all kinds of free testing, information about alternative healing, getting health insurance, donating things like blood and organs, and something called "Fatal Vision Glasses" that sounds interesting but scary.

If something piques your interest, the library has lots of health materials that you can use to find out more. For health databases, we subscribe to the nursing databases CINAHL and Health Source: Nursing, and a database called Health & Wellness Resource, which is like WebMD, only MUCH better. Click
here to take a look.

For books, we buy academic materials on health topics, but we also have many popular titles, such as What to Expect When You're Expecting, Food synergy : unleash hundreds of powerful healing food combinations to fight disease and live well, and Kids healthy lunchbox: over 50 delicious and nutritious lunchbox ideas for children of all ages (in case you brown bag it at school). We also subscribe to Health magazine, if you want to stop by and read a little between classes.

But the best part of all is our DVD collection- we've got yoga, pilates, cardio- even bellydancing workout DVDs that you can check out, for free, for a week!

So stop by the library after you hit the Health Expo! See you then!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How to know if the library has access to a certain magazine or journal

The library has access to thousands of magazines and journals, either in print form or via the electronic databases. If you ever need to know how to find a specific title, this is how to do it!

On the library homepage, click the link for Serials Solutions. It is the last link under the Research Tools heading. Type in the title you are looking for. Check your spelling! It won't correct it for you like Google does.

If the journal is available, it will list all the databases that offer access, and for what dates. Here is an example:

Journal of psychology (0022-3980)

from 01/01/1975 to present in Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition and Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection
from 01/01/1984 to present in MasterFILE Premier
from 01/01/1993 to present in Expanded Academic ASAP, General OneFile and General Reference Center Gold

As you can see, the library has access to the Journal of Psychology through six different databases. The coverage goes up to the present issue, but if you look at the starting dates, they are different. So, if you need an article from 2002, you can choose any database listed, but if you need an article from 1976, only Health Source: Nursing and Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection have it.

Here's another example:

Science (New York, N.Y.) (0036-8075)

from 1/6/1995- to present in NVCC Periodical Collection
from 01/01/1983 to 12/01/2004 in Professional Collection
from 01/07/1983 to 12/24/2004 in General OneFile and General Reference Center Gold
from 01/06/1984 to 12/24/2004 in Expanded Academic ASAP
from 01/03/1997 to 12/31/2004 in Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, MasterFILE Premier and Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection

For this journal, the databases only have access through December of 2004, but the library receives print copies. If you need an article from 2006, you will have to come to the library and photocopy the article from the actual journal. Photocopies are 15 cents, or 12 cents if you buy a copy card.

Clicking on the links for the database names will bring you to the record for that journal. From there you can search within the publication for your article, or browse by issue. Clicking on the link for the NVCC Periodical Collection will bring you to the online catalog.

And of course, you can always ask a librarian for help, either in person, on the phone (203-575-8244) or via the IM box we have on the blog.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ew, blood.

NVCC is hosting a blood drive today in the cafe from 9:30 to 2:45. Stop by to make an appointment or walk in to donate blood.

The library likes blood, too. We've got books on blood circulation and phlebotomy, such as The Circulation of the Blood, by William Harvey (at left).

If you're looking for something a little
lighter, we've also got some great bloody movies. Blade II and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for example, have vampires in them. I'll bet you never knew your college library was so cool.