Saturday, September 30, 2006

Using ebrary

The visit this week from the ebrary account consultant, Kerry O'Day, was especially useful because it cleared up the most frequently asked question from our students, "How many pages of the book can I print?" The answer is five pages at a time or a maximum of 40 pages per browser session. If the student is copying text the 40 page limit also applies but only one page of text can be copied at a time and images cannot be copied. Of course, students can close their browser and start a new session if they need to print or copy additional pages.

Kerry also answered some access questions. Ebrary allows unlimited simultaneous multi-user access. All links (to books or chapters) are persistant links and can be used in Blackboard and accessed from off-campus.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Expanded index to this blog now visible

This morning, I did some tinkering with the way the index of blog topics and subjects is displayed. In the past, the home page of the blog showed about a dozen key index entries. As an experiment, I've now decided to make the whole index visible on the right side of the blog. My hope is that this change will open up the archives of blog posts more and make older posts more findable.

In case you were not aware of my humble indexing efforts, I tag each blog post with 1-5 different subject terms. If you click on one of the tags in the index (such as technical problems) you can see all the posts that are on that topic (additional tags added to each post detail other facets of what that topic is about). We are now just shy of 700 blog posts since we launched the blog over two years ago; each of these posts has been tagged.

Please leave comments to this blog or contact me directly to let me know your thoughts about this change.

RefWorks now available

CUNY centrally purchased a subscription to RefWorks. We can now access it from the Databases page on our library web site. Once you enter RefWorks for the first time, you'll need to set up your own account.

Follow up to waiters in Manhattan question

A number of you e-mailed me in response to my blog post where I asked for help finding the number of waiters in Manhattan. I have pulled together your responses, added in my notes about them, and posted them all on an updated version of that earlier blog post.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

ABI/Inform login problem (computer at reference desk south)

When trying to connect to ABI/Inform at the reference desk computer (south corner), I got an error message "Authentication error 1011". All other tested machines log into ABI/Inform properly. A message has been sent to Saad and Mike.

No access to Simmons Choices III

We seem to be unable to connect from any PC to Simmons Choices III. Lisa and Saad are aware of this problem. In the meanwhile, Lisa recommends that in many instances, MRI+ might actually be a more useful database for some marketing research (unless the student is looking for psychographics of consumers, in which case Simmons Choices III is the better option).

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Number of waiters in Manhattan

To follow up on a tricky chat reference question this week, I've been searching databases trying to find an article that happens to mention the number of waiters working here in Manhattan. Nothing has been looking terribly promising so far. If you have any recommendations for sources to consult, please add a comment to this blog post or contact me directly.


UPDATE 9/28/06: I am amazed by how quickly my colleagues here responded and how helpful they were. Thanks to Rita, Diane, Sandy, and David for providing the following suggestions:
  • Contact the Waiters Association
  • Check the web site of the New York State Restaurant Association (here's the best link on their site that I found) and consider contacting them directly
  • Look at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (this is the best page I found)
None of the resources I was able to find specifically indicated how many waitpersons are in Manhattan alone. The data I found either gave me the number in the NY metro area (from the BLS) or the number of all people (chefs, waiters, busboys, etc.) employed in NYC by the restaurant industry (NY State Restaurant Association). I recommended to the patron that he contact the two associations to see if they had the more specific data he needed.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

SEC to Transform EDGAR

Yesterday the SEC announced that they are awarding a contact to modernize the EDGAR database to use "interactive data". The announcement is the SEC's first step toward requiring companies to file reports in XBRL- Extensible Busines Reporting Language. With XBRL investors will not only be able to view reports but also download and analyze the financial data without re-keying. To keep up-to-date on the SEC's Interactive Data inititative see the Spotlight section of their homepage. To use current SEC reports filed in XBRL use our EDGAR Online I-Metrix database.

Business Week Online Edition

Articles from Business Week Online as well as articles from the print edition of Business Week are included in Business Source Premier. They are not in ABI-Inform. I discovered this while trying to track down an article that I found on Google.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Web Mail Problem

On the main college home page the drop down menu under "Computer:" "Web Mail" is hanging and ultimately leading to an error message. I reported this to BCTC for correction a few minutes ago.

Short Story Index

Per Wilson, Short Story Index is unavailable (you will not see it in the Wilson list of choices) but should be back tomorrow 9/26.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

No remote access to Euromonitor

There continues to be no remote access to Euromonitor GMID. Access does work here on campus, though.

Friday, September 22, 2006

How to use ebrary

To read ebooks in ebrary, it is necessary to download and install the ebrary reader. A link for the ebrary reader can be found on the main ebrary page in the section labeled "Getting Started."

If the user wants to save any notes or highlighting in books he/she has viewed, he or she should first click the purple "Sign In" button in the upper left corner of the screen. On the Sign In page, the first-time user will want to click "Do you need to create a new bookshelf?" to get to a page where they can set up a free, password-protected account that will allow them to build their own, customized "bookshelf" of titles they have annotated, highlighted, or bookmarked.

Due to copyright restrictions, there are varying limits set on how many pages may be printed at a time (and sometimes even how many pages may be viewed at a time). Here's how ebrary states these restrictions:
  • You are not allowed to print out or copy the entire book.
  • There are limitations on the number of pages you may print and copy.
  • Some publishers also place limitations on the number of pages that can be viewed.

For more details on how to use ebrary, see this help guide (PDF).

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Remote access to LexisNexis is back

I just checked here from home.

Posting to blog using reference desk user name

If you are at the reference desk and want to write a post for this reference blog, it is preferable to sign in to Blogger with the user name and password assigned to you. If can't remember that and just want to get the post published ASAP while at the desk, you can use the generic user name and password created for that purpose (the user name/password combo can be found in the reference wiki on the "Passwords" page). When using the generic user name and password to compose a blog post, though, please remember to always add your name at the end of the blog post (you don't need to do this if you've logged in with your personal Blogger account).

Sunday, September 17, 2006

No remote access to LexisNexis

Over the weekend, our remote access to LexisNexis went down. I noticed it today (Sunday) after a number of students logged in to our chat reference service asking why they couldn't get in. I just tried myself from home here and can't get in. After getting past our EZ Proxy authentication screen, I get a LexisNexis page asking for a LexisNexis ID and password.

UPDATE (9/19/2006) Remote access seems to have been restored (I just checked from home).

Friday, September 15, 2006

Access to Choices 3 and MRI Restored

Students can access Choices 3 and MRI from workstations behind the Reference desk.

LACUNY Program Today

Today's LACUNY program "Instructional Technology from the Reference Desk to the Classroom" will be held in Room 656 from 2 pm to 4 pm. (Please note this is a room change.)

Dr. Sylvie Richards from the School of Professional Studies and Prof. Beth Evans from Brooklyn College are the featured speakers. Dr. Richards presentation is titled: "Blackboard Building Blocks - Blogs, Wikis, Journals, Podcasting and the New CUNY Online BA." Prof. Evans will talk about "MySpace, Facebook and Academic Libraries."

A few seats are still available. Let me know if you would like to attend.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Known Glitches

The workstations behind the reference desk are experiencing the following problems which are in the process of repair:

1. Once the bluesocket (logout) window is closed, it may not load again even when clicking on the login/logout icon on desktop. You may need to reboot in order to logout.

2. Simmons Choices 3 is not loading. You will receive a "forbidden IP" error message. Refer students to the three workstations to the right of the reference desk where Choices 3 does load. The database is also accessible from reference desk terminals.

3. Students are logging off the system completely by going to "start" then "log off." Terminals are then left with logon screens. Simply reboot workstation in order to return to bluesocket login screen.

Simmons Problem

As of approximately closing time last night 9/13 we were experiencing login problems to Simmons from a few of the computers at the reference desk and to the east of the desk. First thing this am I reported the problem using the Tech form on our web site.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

An interesting student encounter

Although all student encounters at the reference desk are interesting, this morning I helped a student get on to the CUNY portal so he could blog for the assignment. The student, who was born in 1919, is auditing a course. He said he had used a computer for word processing but everything else was new. He shows you are never too old to learn new things or worry about getting assignments done. After two calls to the BCTC helpdesk, he was on his way.

ABC-Clio and EBSCOhost partnership

According to this Library Journal story, full text links to EBSCOhost contents appear in ABC-Clio's databases, America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts. Both ABC-Clio databases already feature direct links to JSTOR and Project Muse; adding EBSCOhost links is a nice addition.

Having just run a search in America: History and Life, I see that the links are already appearing (they are labeled as "Ebsco.")

Fitch Credit Ratings

Does anyone know if we have access to the credit ratings from Fitch? I'm trying to follow up on a question about them received in our chat reference service recently.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Important Information About SIMNET

Important Information About SIMNET
A new version of the Simnet exam will be available at the end of September 2006. Practice materials for this exam will not be available before Monday, September 18, 2006. In order to be fully prepared for the exam it is highly recommended that students purchase the Simnet Enterprise Edition CD, which is available at the Baruch College Bookstore. Once you login using your individual passcode you will be able to access learning modules and practice exams (after Monday, September 18, 2006) for the Simnet exam (Excel) and several other important Microsoft Office 2003 applications. This CD is highly recommended for Freshman Seminar, Freshman Learning Communities and new transfer students. This CD serves as a pre-test practice and review guide, as a post-test study guide for those who need to retest, and as an excellent reference for learning and practice other Microsoft concepts (e.g. Access 2003 Basic, Fundamental Computer Concepts, PowerPoint 2003 Basic, and Word 2003 Basic) throughout your college career.
Book used up to now has been I-series Excel 2002 Introductory, by Stephen Haag and James T. Perry, available in Reserve. HF5548.4.M523 H3 2002 Diane

ISBNs to have 13 digits beginning in January

When answering a question about an ISBN number for a student this morning, I learned that beginning Jan. 1, 2007, ISBNs will have 13 digits starting in Jan. 2007. For details, please see transition information from

Friday, September 08, 2006

Library signs: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Check out this Flickr slideshow of library signs, which is intended to be a source of good as well as bad ideas.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

BCTC workshops now included on library sign-up form

The workshop signup form on the library web site now includes BCTC workshops, too. Users can sign up for library workshops and BCTC ones at the same time.

Factiva News Page

When going to Factiva News Pages, please notice that there are 2 options on the top left of the News Page: Group Pages and Factiva Pages.

The default is lately sometimes coming up as Group Pages, with the message: "You have no Group News Pages assigned to you. Please contact your administrator."

Just go to the Factiva News Pages, where the news will appear.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Context and Comparisons

Context and Comparisons, A Student Guide to the Great Works Courses (Eng 2850) can be found at Newman's digital collection page. is the actual link.

We're checking to see if it can be linked through E Reserve.

Searching Euromonitor GMID

The default search screen for GMID is by geography and category (industry/product) and retrieves the full market reports. I was helping a student search for company data and the easier way to find company profiles is the Keyword Search (from the tabs at the top of the home page). It is also possible to use the "Browse Reports" tab but this pulls up a very long alphabetical list of companies.

If you haven't used "Browse Reports" yet, it is the best way to find Euromonitor's special reports. Consumer Lifestyle reports have data on disposable income, expenditures, eating and drinking habits, health and home ownership. Future Demographics reports include projections of the population by age group and market segment out to the year 2020. Global Reports are world surveys of industries but also include reports covering trends in marketing, retailing and demographics (this is where you find the reports on the baby boomer generation).

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Graphing calculators all gone

As of 5 PM, all the graphing calculators for the fall semester have been loaned out.

CUNY Online BA Student ID Card

A message from Curtis Kendrick, University Librarian:

Attached is a sample of what the identification cards look like for the CUNY Online BA students. The ID cards are issued through the School of Professional Studies and are picture-less but there should always be a current semester validation sticker. Students will be expected to produce a photo ID along with their CUNY Online BA ID card.
Please brief your front-line staff about the new ID to help ensure that the CUNY Online BA students are afforded a proper welcome when they arrive at your library. Thank you.

[Note from A.D.: If a holder of this card does not provide a matching photo ID, access should not be granted. Please let Security make the determination.]

Bus 9100 E Reserve Problem (Prof Schepers)

Prof. Schepers and his Bus 9100 classes are having trouble accessing articles through E-Reserves from off campus. Please advise anyone who asks you that we are working on trying
to resolve the problem.

Today's (9/5) Reuters Workshop still OPEN

The workshop registration for this afternoon's Reuter's workshop says "closed" on it. That is in error. There are still many open sits. Saad is trying to resolve this. In the meantime, if students ask, please encourage them to attend. 1pm-2:15pm, SFSC.

Nearly 50 graphing calculators left

As of 10 AM today, there are about 50 graphing calculators left for semester-long loan. Students should get their library accounts validated at the circulation desk before proceeding up to the 3rd floor service desk to borrow a calculator.

UPDATE: As of 5 PM, they are all gone.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Printing E-Reserves Documents -- Some Problems

Some articles on E-Reserves are not printing properly. (The printout is indecipherable, only part of the page prints, etc.) It is either a problem with printer setups or the version of Adobe on a computer. One of the articles for a STA9708 class sent to the student printers and to the Reference desk printer was indecipherable, but printed fine using the Circulation Desk printer. A Helpdesk request was sent.

Re: Reber 1976 article for Experimental Psy class about implicit learning

A student last night had an inaccurate citation from the professor for the following article:

Reber, A.S. (1976). Implicit learning of synthetic languages: The role of instructional set.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 2, 88-94. It is available in print and we have the journal on the 3rd floor. However, I looked at the copy this morning and it is in very poor quality and has been taped back together with parts of a paragraph missing. It isn't available in electronic format.

I will let the professor (Hosie) know about the citation and the poor quality of our copy.
Ester has said she will order a better copy for electronic reserve. The professor is Hosie and the course is Psy 5020.


Databases page working again

The database of databases that operates behind the scenes of the Databases page is now working again (sorry for the excessive use of the word "database" in this sentence).

Reminder: How to check if someone's library ID is valid for remote access

I thought it might be good to post this message that Saad provided by e-mail several years ago.
I tried it last night and it worked.

Jus a reminder, you can check if someone's library ID is valid for remote
access using the following URL:


What to do when the toner in the alumni room printer is low

I learned from Theresa and Stanton this morning that when the toner in the alumni room printer is low and needs to be replaced, one should call the Baruch College Alumni Association at 646-660-6080. (Don't call Alumni Relations and don't place a help desk request like I did yesterday.) The Baruch College Alumni Association is responsible for the toner for the printer.
When I called, the person said she will come over during her lunch hour today as she has no one else in the office today.