Wednesday, November 29, 2006

SimNet tutorial

According to the 11/20/06 Ticker, the SimNet tutorial will no longer be free and available through the BCTC.
Reasons were not given in the article.

Students will have the option of purchasing a $35 SimNet study guide from the Bookstore starting sometime in the Spring 07 semester. SimNet is an assessment test on Excel that must be passed in order for students to be able to take CIS 2200 or STA 2000. It takes 1 hour 15 minute (max) and is administered all year by the Office of Testing and Evaluation. Students will have the opportunity to take it a number of times, with a 30 day wait period.

I suspect we will see increased interest in Excel (e) books (and BCTC workshops).

Student research and satisficing

Interesting post today by Steven Bell at ACRLog, "Moving Students Beyond 'Good Enough'" that addresses ways that college assignments might be designed to combat the habit of students to follow a satisficing model when looking for information.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

CUNY Policy Documents Site

80th Street has announced a new Web site where CUNY policies are posted:

American Chemical Society Journals

We have unfortunately lost off-campus access to this database again, due to systematic downloading. Saad is investigating further.

SWOT analyses

After the discussion at yesterday's ISD meeting about how to assist students working on SWOT analyses, I stopped by Louise's office to discuss the matter further. I believe we should probably do something other than just direct students to search Business Source Premier (and also Business Monitor Online) to see if there is a SWOT analysis for the company they are researching. (Louise and I agreed that at a future ISD meeting we should have more discussion about whether we point students to the Business Source Premier SWOTs at all, or if we do, how we should frame that recommendation.)

I'd like to share a couple of tips that Louise gave me in assisting students. First, students should always start by reading specific portions of the company's 10-K if the company is public: Item 1 (the "Business" section), Item 7 (the "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" section, and Item 7A ("Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk.")

Then students may want to look for analysts' reports in Investext Plus and industry reports in the usual databases. Once students have the necessary background information, then they are ready to look for articles on specific topics they might include in their SWOT analysis.

If students want in-depth instructions about how to do a SWOT analysis, a good source is Craig S. Fleisher's Strategic and competitive analysis : methods and techniques for analyzing business competition.

I also like to recommend a few notable websites offering instructions on how to do a SWOT analyses:

Rebooting instructors' computers in classrooms

The instructor's computer in 130 had a frozen blue empty desktop screen yesterday. The desktop came back when rebooted. However, it is necessary to hold down the power on/off buttom very firmly, and for several seconds, until it reboots. Saad said that this is often the case with newer machines.

Monday, November 27, 2006

American Chemical Society Journals

Off-campus access has been restored.

Stewart's presentation today on

Here are links to things that Stewart discussed today at the ISD meeting:

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Euromonitor GMID

Should be working from off-campus now.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Factiva now works in Firefox

Until recently, Factiva only worked in Internet Explorer. I just discovered today, though, that the database now works fine in Firefox (previously, Factiva would give you an error message if you tried to load the database in any browser other than Internet Explorer). One more reason to give Firefox a try and start enjoying all the bells and whistles that make it a richer and more efficient way to browse the web.

Roundup of database woes and issues

This post provides a quick update on a number of database access issues that have been reported in the past few weeks and months:

American Chemical Society Journals (ACS): No remote access.

ebrary: Users must download the ebrary reader before they can view an e-book.

Euromonitor GMID: No remote access.

NetLibrary: Baruch students may only access e-books in NetLibrary that are clearly owned by Baruch. There is no way that Baruch students can view e-books that are owned by libraries at other colleges in the CUNY system.

RefWorks: No remote access.

Simmons Choices III: There is no access to this database at all. We are working on a solution. In the meanwhile, students should inquire at the reference desk to see if MRI+ might be able to provide them with the marketing data they need.

ABI INform Global log in problems

Is anyone else having problems logging onto ABI Inform Global? I have alerted Mike.

Update on American Chemical Society Journals: no remote access

Updating my post last night about the lack of access to American Chemical Society Journals, I'd like to note that on-campus access does work. It is only off-campus access that is being denied by the vendor.

Monday, November 20, 2006

No access to American Chemical Society Journals

If you try to connect to the American Chemical Society Journals, you get a long error message from the database vendor indicating that our access has been disconnected. Here's the gist of the message:
Access to ACS Publications has been blocked from this IP Address because of suspected systematic downloading of content from an ACS Journal Web Edition or the ACS Journal Archives.

By my writing this blog post, Mike and Saad will be notified of this problem (they'll automatically get an e-mail version of this blog post).

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ebscohost Down This Saturday

All EBSCOhost databases will be unavailable this Saturday, November 19th, from 6 AM to 2 PM. They are upgrading their power supply.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

New Features to Try in Euromonitor

This past Wednesday, about 9 librarians had the pleasure of sampling some confections and learning some features in Euromonitor of which they may not have been aware from Account Representative, Andrew Collins.

For those of you who were unable to attend, I wanted to highlight some key features that you may want to try or key facts to consider when using the product:

1. Aside from Marketing, Euromonitor has relevant information which would be useful to faculty and students in economics, finance, international business, healthcare and real estate.

2. Despite its name, Euromonitor covers 75% of the world population and 90% of the global GDP. It includes both public and private companies wherein companies may be selected based on their global presence or exposure.

3. Once you select "geography"(country, countries) and "category"(i.e. pet care products), "run search". You can then click on "load all statistical data" or review individual market reports. However, your search may not end there should you decide you want to "covert data" to "per capita" or even view forecast data using "time series". Talk about "pearl growing", you can even view related data in the form of reports or statistical charts. It gives new meaning to the expression, "the world is your oyster"!!

4. To get term definitions like "rsp", go to "Help/About" and then select "FAQ" to perform a text search. You can even type in "methodology" to get a brief overview of Euromonitor's method for gathering and presenting data and reports.

5. Under "Search Options", users can "Save Current Search" and decide who they want to have access such as, "me and colleagues". This is a great way to save a search that is being done for a class assignment and then blog your Newman colleagues about how they can freely access the search for future student encounters in order to save time. Give this a try!!

Hope this helps you to make use of Euromonitor. Let me know if you have any questions.



Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Reserving the Graduate Consultation Lab

Please see my Nov. 14th post about the lab -- which is used for small group consultations/instructional sessions with graduate students.

The schedule and reservation procedures for the Graduate Consultation Lab can be found on the shared drive (Look under Divisions, Graduate) by opening the file called GraduateConsultationLabCalendar. Or you can open the file by clicking here
The file also has a brief description of the room. A link to the schedule can also be found on the Reference wiki.

Reservation procedures: Contact Linda Rath at or at 646-234-3653 to add your consultation/instruction session to the calendar. If the room is needed immediately and Linda is not available to schedule the reservation, feel free to use the room if it is not already reserved. A librarian must always be present in the lab during a session.

Access to the room: Ask Annette Ruiz or a student assistant in room 420 for the key. Please note that room 420 closes at 5:30pm, so please make arrangements to pick up the key before the room 420 closes.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Graduate Consultation Lab

A friendly reminder that the Graduate Consulation Lab (room 445) is reserved for small group consultations or instruction sessions by appointment with a librarian. Please direct graduate students to contact Linda Rath to request an appointment. Of course, any librarian can also arrange to use the lab for consultations (please contact Linda for scheduling purposes). The lab is not an open, drop-in lab. Also, students cannot request keys for the lab at the Circulation Desk. Thanks.

Direct Marketing Lab Open House

The Direct Marketing Lab is holding an Open House this afternoon from 12:30 to 2 PM and this evening for graduate students from 5 to 6 PM.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Instructor's computer in Room 130-help desk report

I wasn't able to get the instructor's computer in Room 130 to boot up properly at noon. The Daily Quick Scan report remains. I entered a help desk report #1986. Rita

Information Studies Minor Open House 11/21

We are having an OPEN HOUSE to publicize our Information Studies Minor in advance of Spring registration. It will take place next Tuesday, 11/21, from 12:30-2:00 pm in room 135. A light lunch will be available. Students who are interested in coming should RSVP by email directly to me, (, or phone me at 646.312.1614, or leave their names and email addresses on a sign in sheet which is at the reference desk. This is short notice but was the only time that this type of event could fit into the schedule. Faculty who teach or who are interested in our program and want to encourage our students to take the minor should plan to attend. And or course, please encourage students to attend. We will be distributing more info in the classes and around the library.

Thanks, Diane (and Jerry) for the Publicity Committee

Friday, November 10, 2006

Aleph installation weekend of Nov. 11

Liborio Campisi posted this today on CULIBS:

As you know we are installing an Aleph "Service Pack" this weekend.Report any problems to the Help Desk (212-541-0981). Gather as much information on the problem as you can and have it available. The exception to this is over the weekend: Either report the problem on this list (culibs-l) or e-mail me.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Accounting" PowerPoints posted

I've posted the two Powerpoint presentations mentioned in recent blogs on the shared networkdrive: Go to Shared at Divisions/IS/Workshops and Course-Related/. These PowerPoint deal with searching the trial ABI/Inform Global for Accounting and Tax Standards, and searching RIACheckpoint for FASB Literature. I broke the RIA Checkpoint Powerpoint up into 3 parts because of the size.

Question about printing problems--what to do?

With several recent printer problems (e-reserve or other articles) not printing correctly at the student printers,and also not printing sometimes at the reference desk, but then fine when printed from my office computer (third time being the charm) I was wondering is there something to be checked on the printer setup that we can do? If so, could some details be provided? If not, is it best to put in a help desk request or follow another procedure? Thanks.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Powerpoint on Searching Trial of Proquest's Accounting & Tax with Standards

To follow up with the announcement earlier today from Mike Waldman that we have a trial to Accounting and Tax with Standards via Proquest, I've done a short PowerPoint demonstration for accounting students. I've printed it out and put in in the drawer with the Powerpoint on searching RIA and other sources for the gift card assignment. If you would like to receive a copy of the most recentPowerPoint online, please let me know and I'll e-mail it to you.

This trial allows you to search the same documents as RIA Checkpoint's Acctg Audit & Corp Finance, including the Current Text of the FASB literature, current as of March 30, 2006 so More current information may be found on the free FASB website and RIA Checkpoint. But, much will be unchanged. An advantage of having this information available on ABI Inform Global is that previously academic access has been limited by FASB to online versions of their literature from private vendors. So, it provides more access for our students.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Thanks, Rita

Monday, November 06, 2006

ILLiad not available from off campus

If you try to click the link to ILLiad from off campus, you won't get anywhere at the moment. I didn't realize that this was an issue until I saw a message about it on the alerts section of the BCTC page (where I went to check the status of Lotus Notes, which today has been unable to deliver our e-mail messages).

Library Room 135

The remote control for the projector in room 135 in the Newman Library will not shut the projector off. I notified the Help Desk a few minutes ago after the morning class. Perhaps the remote needs a battery?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Research Consultations sign-up

Students may now sign up for a half-hour research consultation using a form on the library's web site. The link to the form can be found on the graphic on the right side of the home page. There should soon be a link also in the scrolling message that appears near the top of the home page.

I'll be making a presentation at Monday's ISD meeting about this fall's program. In the meanwhile, you may want to take a look at this press release about it that is currently on the college's home page.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Some additional sources to consider for supplier information

In trying to help a student locate information for the BPL 5100 class about suppliers to a particular company (in this case United Parcel Service), the following sources might be helpful.

This information is difficult to find, as Louise noted in her May 16th post Supplier or the Supply. As the student I was trying to help told me that others were looking into UPS's filings, we tried the following:

Search Business Wire or PR Wire on Factiva for possible new contracts/joint ventures/projects, using phrases like "contract with" or "supplier to". If a company lands a large contract or signs on to supply a major company they may make an announcement about it.

Search ABI Inform, Business Source Premier, Gartner, etc for "company name" and procurement or purchasing.

If a company has a "social responsibility report" or "sustainability report" (an optional report), the report might mention organizations to which the corporation belongs. Sometimes these organizations offer awards, such as for diversity support or "greening" efforts. Sometimes the organizations have publications and they might feature a company either that is a supplier. The announcements of the awards might mention particular companies that supply materials to the firm or organizations. On a site about reducing pollution I found that UPS was working with several other organizations and companies to have cleaner vehicles.

Another librarian suggested a google search +supplies to United Parcel Service would bring up results that could be checked out.