Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Congratulations to the Class of 2006

And special congratulations to Maria Molestina, Augustin Pena and Daimon Punjabi.

Maria was awarded the Arnold Picker Excellence Award for Modern Languages.

RSS feeds from EbscoHost

You can set up search and journal alerts as RSS feeds from EBSCOhost.
More information at:

Friday, May 26, 2006

Guest login system is down

BCTC Help Desk let me know that they are working on it. For now, there's no way to generate guest logins.

UPDATE June 2, 2006: The system is working now.

Easy to way to receive latest blog posts

If you'd like to receive a copy of new blog posts in your e-mail, you can now do so. Scroll down this page and look for a box on the right side that says "Subscribe to this blog." Just enter your e-mail address and you're all set.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Self-Service Checkout

During a library tour on Friday, Anne Moore from the University of Mass-Amhurst mentioned that they just bought the latest model of our self-service book check out machine from 3M. They experienced a lot of problems with the old model but the new one is great and “indestructible” and the students love it.

The Information Commons and the Apple Store

An article in the New York Times (Friday’s business section) about Apple computer’s new store in the glass cube opening on Fifth Avenue includes a quote from an analyst at Forrester Research, “The Apple Stores are selling digital experiences, not products. Its stores can be seen as solutions boutiques.” He points out that the stores are organized around different uses of technology: organizing music, editing digital photos or movies, creating podcasts and blogs….” If you saw the presentation by Lisa Santucci about the information commons at Miami University, they have a similar organization focused on creating the end product. She opened her presentation by saying that having an information commons means that the question “How are you going to use this information?” becomes part of the reference interview. Their philosophy is that the commons is an extension of the library’s knowledge management function. They even call it the Center for Information Management and staff it with librarians from all the campus libraries.

Split desk shifts if necessary

Diane asked me to remind desk staff that it is OK to split your shift with your colleague at the desk if it is slow.

No toner in ref desk printer

Teresa is already aware of this. No word on when we'll get a new toner cartridge.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Web sites about information commons

In light of today's LACUNY Institute that is focused on the subject of information commons, I thought I'd share a link that I just learned about last night (I forget which blog had first posted it): Information Commons Prototypes. This page, on the web site of the library at Ryerson University, offers links to more than a dozen different pages detailing information commons projects at different academic libraries.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Printing from Baruch Laptops

Please note that the Baruch Dell laptops are the only laptops that can be used to send print jobs to the student printers. Print jobs can not be sent to the student printers using the Baruch Apple laptops or personal laptops. (This was confirmed by Saad.)

Financial calculators

There's a new entry in the reference wiki for "financial calculators." You'll see that (thanks to copy and paste) the content of the entry is the same as Eric's e-mail message to BBLIB today about this new service.

There is also a "calculators" page that serves as a "see" reference to the pages for "financial calculators" and "graphing calculators."

Feel free to edit these entries in the wiki (and any others) as needed.

Source for W. E. B. DuBois essay

A student was looking for W. E. B. DuBois's essay "Damnation of Women" this morning. We found it was originallly published in his book Darkwater (1920). She was going to check that book out. In case of additionally inquiries, I learned it is also in the Oxford W.E.B. DuBois Reader, E 185. 97.D73 A 25 1996.

Annual Reports in Mergent Online

Yesterday I was helping a student search for an old annual report. Mergent Online might be a source you haven’t considered but for many companies they have a good historical collection of corporate filings. Search by company name and then click on "Annual Reports." Reports can date back over the last ten years although the coverage varies by company. The "Annual Reports" link usually includes both the company’s annual report to the shareholders and the 10-K filed with the SEC. The same is true for foreign companies - their annual reports as well as 20-F’s (foreign annual reports filed with the SEC) will be available in both the home language and English, if available. Please note that all reports in Mergent Online are in PDF format only.

For U.S. listed companies there is also a link to "EDGAR’ where you will find the first 25 filings made in the last 90 days. This is not a very useful feature because if insiders have been filing form 4's that might be the only type of report you will find.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Suppliers or the Supply-chain

Diane, Yvette and I were helping some students work on a BPL5100 assignment based on Porter's five forces. They were trying to analyze a company's supply-chain. This type of information is not often made public by companies and the students hadn't found much in news sources. Here are some approaches you might suggest to students doing this type of research:

1. Search in the company's SEC filings and on the company website for the words "supplier" or "supply-chain."
2. Use ThomsonOne Analytics and search the text of analysts' reports.
3. Look at the company's joint ventures or alliances to see if the company is vertically integrated.
4. Make a list of the actual products that go into the supply chain and find out which companies are the key suppliers of those products. Use these companies as proxies for the actual suppliers or
5. Take the names of these companies and search their 10-K's for your company's name. Companies often name their key customers in their filings.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Improving the online catalog

It's fascinating to see how others have been pushing the envelope lately in the realm of public interfaces for online catalogs. For example, the library at the University of Huddersfield (UK) has done some clever things lately. Take a look at this sample item record for a nursing book. Two things really stand out:
  1. "People who borrowed this item, also borrowed" feature
  2. "Floor plans" feature showing shelf location
You may have already heard about the faceted browsing capabilities of the catalog at North Carolina State University, but in case you haven't, take a look at this sample keyword search for "communism". You can read more about how NCSU revamped their catalog on the library's blog post about it.

Finally, the public display of the catalog at the Ann Arbor District Library uses blogging software (in fact, the whole library web site is managed using blogging software). When you view an item record, you can even click a link for "card catalog image" view of the record; try it for the record for Ellen Schrecker's No Ivory Tower. You can even add your own marginalia to the card!

As we acquire new online resources for the library and as we continue to refine the CUNY+ interface, we should keep in mind how other libraries have been retooling and reinventing the look and feel of user interfaces.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Assessment of Student Learning

If you would like to read the texts that were discussed at today's Curriculum Committee meeting, they are available at the reference desk. The titles are:
  • Classroom Assessment Techniques by Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross
  • Hands-On Information Literacy Activities by Jane Birks and Fiona Hunt

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Enron trial transcripts information

An accounting professor's inquiry to see if the trial testimony and cross-examination of accounting expert Jerry Arnold, who testified on behalf of Ken Lay last week in the Enron trial, led me to Mr. Lay's website, where an unofficial (not from the federal court) version of the testimony of Prof. Arnold, and other witnesses appears. I also found a site on which one may order the transcripts for about $700 each, so Mr. Lay's site is providing some valuable information for free. The government's site for the Enron trial is also available. (But it doesn't have the transcripts.)

Staples in reference desk printer

Recently, the reference desk printer has jammed due to staples left in the scrap paper loaded in the paper tray. Please make sure there are no staples left in the paper you load into the printer.

Word Processing

Just a reminder that the BCTC labs are open only to Baruch students. Do not refer other CUNY students to the labs for word processing. This means you need to ask "Are you a Baruch student? before you make a referral.

GMID Usage Statistics

Looks like we have been doing a good job letting our students know about Euromonitor GMID. Our usage stats from a low of 92 in September grew to 538 in February, 1363 in March, and 1769 in April.

Monday, May 08, 2006

LexisNexis now has some PDFs

According to a posting to the LN Academic listserv, there are now 4 publications with fulltext in PDF format.

They are:
Journal of Behavioral Finance "Scholarly Journal
Journal of Mass Media Ethics Scholarly Journal
Journal of Media Economics Scholarly Journal
Journal of Public Relations Research Scholarly Journal"

However, not all 4 seemed to be listed in the source publications and of the 2 that
are there, JBF and JPRR, the blurb doesn't indicate PDF. One sees the PDF tab only when the article is opened. I didn't see any images although perhaps they are there.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Blog for 2006 SLA Conference

...launched today. See it here.

Making Acquisitions From NetLibrary

As a follow-up to my presentation about NetLibrary, the following is a description of the three collection development programs through which new titles can be acquired:

  1. TitleSelect: Titles can be ordered individually from the full NetLibrary catalog. Titles can be selected by searching, by browsing subject areas, or by editing subject collections.
  2. TitleDirect: Libraries can create a profile and a list of library “selectors and reviewers.” Content lists are periodically generated and emailed to selectors and reviewers. After the library review process is completed, preferred titles are ordered.
  3. Patron Driven Acquisition: NetLibrary makes available a large selection of titles meeting the profile determined by the library. As soon as any title is accessed a second time, it is automatically acquired. The library can specify a spending limit.

NetLibrary’s pricing structure is list price + a one-time access fee of 55% for ‘ownership,’ or list price + 15% for annual access. Discounted “subject sets” are also available.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Vendor Card Printer Needs Paper

At 5:20 pm tonight I called Copico and reported that the vendor card printer was out of paper.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Printing at ref desk

Not all computers are printing to the printer at ref desk. Toner is on order.
Theresa is aware of problem.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Reference desk PC not booting up

I just put in a helpdesk request (#4535) about the PC at the front of the reference desk, which won't boot up at all.