Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Online Community for Faculty and Students
launched mid-August 2010
Have you ever wanted to keep up with someone you met in one of your courses after the class ended? Ever wanted to get together with classmates online to work on a group project, but found it too awkward or difficult to do?

I recently ordered some books from MBSdirect and found a bookmark in one for the Xplana website.  The site is copyrighted by MBS Service Company, Inc.

It took a look at Xplana's introductory pages, read some of their press releases, went to the "Getting Started" guide, and decided to sign up for a free account.  I just wanted to see if it was something that online faculty and students might use to create collaborative learning communities.   It just might be...

Why not set up a free account for yourself and see what you think of it? The online content is indexed. You can share with friends via Twitter, FaceBook, and other social networking sites.  It has its own blog.  I especially liked the InfoGrab section.  Let me know what you think by adding a comment to this post.

OxfordArtOnline Update

Artist: Carlo Crivelli,
"Madona and Child"
in OxfordArtOnline
OxfordArtOnline is the library's "go-to" online resource for your art research projects.  This database provides online access to the well-known Grove Dictionary of Art, a multi-volume print encyclopedia. 

In addition to the Grove Dictionary of Art, the library's subscription includes electronic access to: The Oxford Companion to Western Art, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms.

Oxford University Press is updating this resource in stages.  It has recently updated all of the bibliographies and articles in the Italian Renaissance section.  Check out the OxfordArtOnline home page after you logon from the library's site for more information about featured content and new essay, such as the one on "Science and Contemporary Art."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Search Tips from the Director's Office

Director of Library Services, Brent Short, offers this tip for getting the most out of our library’s subscriptions to Congressional Quarterly (CQ) Press resources once you have logged onto the library's site:
“If you click on the ‘advanced search’ link, the next page shows a link for ‘Search all your CQ Electronic library sites’.  That link will allow you to search all of our CQ resources at once, including CQ Researcher.”

Editors' Picks from CHOICE Reviews Online

Here are some amazing online resources that have been recommended by CHOICE Reviews Online from August through November.  I think you will find them useful and interesting.

·         The World Bank Open Data—This site is an excellent resource for business majors and anyone interested in “economic, social, population, and development data” from the World Bank.  It is an open-data initiative.  You can manipulate World Bank datasets to create your own customized tables.  For more business news and financial information, try Bloomberg’s site.
·         C-SPAN Video Library—Digital copies of more than 160,000 hours of material from 1987 to the present can be accessed free from the site.  The video archive includes links to the Booknotes and Book TV programs.  Subscribe to their blog for additional information.
·         Library and Archival Exhibitions on the Web—The Smithsonian Institution Libraries provides this list of online digital exhibits from all types of libraries.  This international guide provides links to more than 5,800 “exhibits sponsored by noncommercial institutions.”
·         Office of Management and Budget—The site, from the Executive Office of the President of the United States, includes information about the current federal budget, along with historical tables, overviews of the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and how the current budget will impact individual states.  Sign up for the blog and/or RSS feed for more.
·         The Identity Archives Project (IdAP)—Business majors, entrepreneurs, and web designers will enjoy this site.  Developed by Gabe Ruane, the site relies on content added by other graphic designers.  You can search for logos, find contact information, or upload your own designs.
·         Your Food Environment Atlas—The site is a product of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and “promotes research on food choices and diet quality and provides information on community access to healthy food.”  Consumers and researchers can create customized color-coded maps using more than 90 indicators, and the maps can be exported as Excel spreadsheets.
·         Islamic Heritage Project—Funded by a Saudi prince and produced by Harvard University’s Open Collections Program, the Islamic Heritage Project provides digital access to more than 600 primary-source “Islamic manuscripts, maps, and published texts,” is searchable in English, transliterated English, and Arabic (“via a ‘virtual keyboard’ that allows users to type in Arabic”).
·         20th Century American Leaders Database—from the Harvard Business School’s Leadership Initiative.  The site provides 1,000 short profiles of “CEOs and founders of U.S.-based companies" that can be accessed via a simple A-Z list or by last name, company, industry, or era.  To access additional data fields, such as religion and military affiliations, just sign a disclaimer and copyright agreement.
·         United States Courts—from the Federal Judiciary.  The site has been updated with new features. There is even a link to the courts’ You Tube channel.  Faculty can create a widget to add to class websites.  “The site is one of the primary sources of information regarding the structure, function, and operations of the federal court system.”
·         Eurostat—a statistical unit of the EU.  Use the First Visit section under the Help tab on the home page for introductory information on how to use the site.  The publications section provides links to full-text statistical publications from Eurostat. 
·         Petrucci Music Library—from the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP). This wiki-based repository of public domain music scores includes some material uploaded by composers “willing to share their music with the world free of charge.” It currently contains “more than 26,000 works…in more than 66,000 scores and parts.” Some performers have added MP3 recordings of selected scores for download. 
·         DART-Europe E-theses Portal—developed by DART-Europe.  This partnership among European research libraries and consortia is designed to as a “single European Portal for the discovery of Electronic Theses and Dissertations” from some 276 universities in 17 nations.  Subjects are provided by contributors, so be prepared to do a little searching, or browse by author, university, collection, country, or year.