Friday, January 28, 2005

Library catalogs that provide RSS feeds

Future Tense, a NPR show about technology, just did a short piece on how the Seattle Public Library is planning to allow users to set up customized RSS feeds from the OPAC that they can read in their aggregator software (like Bloglines). You can listen to a Real audio stream of that story (it's under 4 minutes long) here.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Graphing calculators

Info about the graphing calculators is posted on this page on the BCTC site.

Pharos printing problems

Some students are having problems logging in to Pharos. The problem seems to be intermittent. Some students are able to get in, and others are not. BCTC is aware of the problem. They are doing system maintenance to try and remedy the problem. Please do not refer students to the help desk. You might suggest they save their documents to disk, or try to log-in at a later date. BCTC hopes to have the problem fixed by sometime this afternoon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

News about student printing accounts from BCTC

Tony Gross of the BCTC asked me to remind everyone that the student printing accounts for the semester are not active until tomorrow.

I also suggested to BCTC that when they write down a student's webmail and passwords for them that they distinguish between the O's and the zeroes and the ones and the letter l. A student inquired this of me this morning and of course, what we guessed was incorrect.


International Trade and Industry Statistics

I just came across a nicely designed website, International Trade Data System, hosted by the Treasury Dept, that contains extensive links to export and import stats, industry profiles (w association links) tariff schedules, country info and stats, etc.

It is at


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Reference services for users with visual impairments

There's a nice, quick read in the latest issue of C&RL News on reference service to users with visual impairments. Online access to the article via the ALA site is limited to ACRL members. I can make photocopies of the article if anyone would like to read it.

Monday, January 24, 2005

With SFX, it's GIGO

Thanks to the Making Links blog (which focuses on the use of SFX in libraries) for this posting today demonstrating how quickly a bad citation in a database can foul up SFX's efforts to link to a database. It's that old rule, GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out).

BBC is a source for language instruction

For students and others who ask for help in either learning English or another language, the BBC offers some free instruction at their web site.

Problems Encountered with the New Logon Procedure

With the new logon procedures, patrons need to be able to logon to the College's computer network in order to have full access to the Web. This means that non-Baruch patrons, who cannot logon to the system, currently may access only library resources available from the Library's Web site, including databases, links from subject guides, the College's Web site, etc. This access is available from the workstations located on the back wall behind the reference desk for which logon is not required. They can print from these workstations using the vendor printer.

Patrons encountering logon difficulties should be referred to the BCTC Hot Line (646) 312-1010 for assistance. The problem these patrons are having is not a library problem, but a problem accessing the College's computer system.

This applies to:
- Baruch students having difficulties logging on, who may have a problem with their account or their password;
- Baruch graduate students who experience difficulty with the changeover of their accounts from the graduate domain to the new system;
- students from the Baruch campus high school;
- students enrolled in Continuing and Professional Studies (CAPS) programs;
- alumni;
- PCMH, Friends of the Library;
- students and faculty from other CUNY schools who complain or have questions about the lack of access to the Web.


Friday, January 21, 2005

Using Factiva to get to Word

A Brooklyn College student just showed me that one can actually bring up WORD through Factiva. All of its functionality seems to be intact.

Simply pull up an article in Factiva, click on RTF (part of the "save" options) and open file and voila--Word is there!

You can also delete the Factiva header....

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Reference at Newman Library

Simnet Test Available on 6th floor BCTC Lab

Students have been told that a test called Simnet is available in the Newman Library, it is on the 6th floor BCTC lab instead.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Shifting locations of reference books

Gerry Jiao posted a message a few days ago on BBLIB that is worth noting:

Because the multi-volume set of "International Directory of Company Histories" has been published so frequently, it takes more and more space on Index Table 5B, Louise and I decided to move the whole set to the reference shelf from the index table. All 66 volumes are now located at Ref HD 2721.I54. Future volumes will be added there, too.

Another relocation is done. All the college and university guides, directories, Peterson's, etc. that were originally put on Index Table 3B are now located on Index Table 8A (much closer to the reference desk).

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Vendor card printing

The twenty PCs across from the reference desk (the stand-up terminals) and the two public PCs at the reference desk all require users to log in before they can get Internet access. Unfortunately, the software we use for login (Blue Socket), doesn't allow users to print to the vendor card printer; the only printer available on these machines is the Baruch student printer. As long as students have money in their printing account, then this isn't a problem. But if the students have used up all their money in their account, there is no way they can print to the vendor card printer from these PCs.

The eight PCs behind the reference desk and the three across from the reference desk by the men's room that are supposed to be used for research purposes only DO have access to the vendor card printer as well as the Baruch student printer. These eleven PCs do not require login, but they also do not have address bars in the web browser, which limits the kinds of things that students may access and then print.

Finally, the four staff PCs at the reference desk can't print to the vendor card printer but can print to the student printer as well as our staff printer. It would be nice if we could also print to the vendor card printer on these four PCs so that when our users are in a real pinch, there is at least one way that we can help them print to the vendor card printer. I've just put in a helpdesk request to see if this can be done; I hope it can.

IT Pro (Books 24x7)

In helping a student locate books on Linux yesterday, I had nearly forgotten about a great resource for computer books: the e-books that we get via IT Pro (Books 24x7), a database found on the Information Resources page. Given that our computer books on the 5th floor are limited in number and availability, it may make sense to start using IT Pro as a first place to recommend when users ask for help locating books on a specific program or programming language.

Student printing accounts during intersession

If a student was enrolled last fall and did not use up their student printing account, they should still be able to print on that account balance during intersession.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Photographers in the library today

There will be photographers in the library today taking pictures, mostly on the 3rd floor.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Flash Player

At least a few of the general use computers on the second floor do not appear to have the Flash Player installed anymore: when a Flash file is encountered, the user is prompted to download the player (which means that program is not finding the player). I have notified Theresa.

Friday, January 07, 2005

E Reserves currently has no title search

Ester and Systems are working on developing the ability to search by title in the Docutek ERes system.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

SEC annual reports

If anyone is looking for the SEC annual reports, which summarize the activities of the SEC, I have them all in my office for a project. I will be done with them by the end of the day. The call number is HG 4556 .U5 A2 2002.

Student printing accounts

I checked with Saad today about the status of the Fall student printing accounts and he told me that they are still active. I checked because yesterday a student who was trying to print her unofficial transcript had trouble getting it to print using her student account.

Saad asked me to let him know when a student next has a problem with printing using the student printing account. Since I am not on the desk today, I thought I would post this in the event other students have a problem. Please let Saad know if it comes up. Thanks.

The Distant Librarian: Good graphic for the invisible web

A posting on the Distant Librarian blog alerted me to this "good graphic for the invisible web."

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

TIME Magazine Archive

Using the library's subscription number, which can be found on the mailing label for Time, we can now access the full text of all articles from Time using their new
Time Magazine Archive.

Monday, January 03, 2005

New York Times changing their stock tables

You probably saw this notice in the NYT today, but I thought it would good to have posted on the blog. I think this will impact some assignments.

From the New York Times

Headline: About World Business and the Stock Tables,C1 1/3/2005:

Beginning tomorrow, the World Business section and the daily stock market tables will be combined into the main Business Day section. The Times will make its daily financial listings more concise by condensing some tables and eliminating secondary ones.

The shift is a response to the increasing cost of newsprint and the growing use of listings online. It permits the consolidation of each day's entire business news report and statistics in a single section.

The tables for the Nasdaq small-capitalization market, preferred stocks and foreign stocks are being eliminated, as are the tables for active bond issues, stock exchange bond trading, trading in agency and zero-coupon bonds, cash prices for commodities and daily gold prices. The daily futures table will include prices for the active near-month contract only. A table for trading in corporate bonds will be added.

The daily tables for the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq stock market will be consolidated. They will continue to show the 52-week high and low for each stock but will no longer show the daily high and low. A rotating column will list each stock's price-to-earnings ratio, dividend and yield. The P/E ratio will appear on Tuesday and Friday, the dividend on Wednesday and Saturday and the yield on Thursday.

Full information about stocks and mutual funds will remain online at

Comments about the changes may be e-mailed to or telephoned to (212)556-3715.

Posted by Rita