Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Remote access: new IDs vs. validating IDs

With the start of a new semester, it seems like a good idea to make sure there's no confusion between having a Baruch ID card validated at the circulation desk and being able to get remote access to databases and course reserves. There is in fact no connection between card validation and remote access. If a student is reporting that they are unable to remotely access our databases, the most likely reason is that the student has a new ID card (for others, see the wiki entry on Remote Access.)

On a regular basis, the ID card center downstairs provides us with a file that lists all the currently valid Baruch ID cards (for students, a valid ID card indicates that they are enrolled at the school). The ID card sends a new file periodically becuase the list of students changes over time (students graduate, dropout, re-enroll, etc.) The library then takes that file from the ID card center and adds the list of library ID numbers to the EZ Proxy system that the library uses to manage remote access. If a student has a new ID card, it may take a little while for the latest file from the ID card center to be sent to the library. We get the file from the ID card center frequently during the first few weeks of class, but then only once a month on the first Monday of each month. So if a student got an ID card in the past 3-4 weeks, it may not be until the first Monday of the following month that he or she will have remote access. In the meantime, students may use the databases available through the CUNY OLS website.

Validating an ID card at the circulation desk, though, can be done as soon as the student has been issued the card. Having a card validated at circulation allows the student to:
  • borrow materials from any CUNY library
  • access the "My Account" feature in CUNY+
  • use the CLICS system to request books
It does not, though, give the student remote access to databases or course reserves.

Validating Student ID's

If students want to borrow a laptop or a calculator, they need a valid ID card. Ester tells me that student records will be updated this Friday February 2nd. So until that happens all students (not just transfer students or new students) will need to go to the circulation desk to validate their ID before going to the service desk to borrow laptops/calculators.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Problem accessing SDC at Reference Desk

Last night, a student had difficulty logging on to SDC. We tried unsuccessfully using the two side terminals at the reference desk. We then decided to contact SDC support to find out if they could assist us. Evidently, they established that "Port 23" is closed at these workstations and needs to be open in order to facilitate access to the telnet connection.

Please note that I have placed a help desk request to our systems team about this matter which I expect will be resolved in a few days.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Reporting SFX and Serials Solutions problems

If you find a problem with SFX, it should be reported to Eric Neubacher. If it's a problem with Serials Solutions, contact Mike Waldman.

Errors in Serials Solutions and SFX

A reference question asking about online access to 1995 issues of the journal Research in Higher Education revealed an error in Serials Solutions about how far back our access actually goes. Here are the results for a Serials Solutions search for Research in Higher Education:
  • from 03/01/1973 to present in MetaPress Complete
  • from 01/01/1997 to present in SpringerLink Contemporary (1997 - Present)
  • from 02/01/1997 to 1 year ago in Academic Search Premier
The entry for MetaPress complete is actually wrong, as our access begins with the 1997 issues.
I'm posting this message here not so everyone can remember this specific error but to point out that you sometimes have to follow the links in Serial Solutions search results to the journal page in each database to verify access.

For the sake of comparison, it's worth noting here the results that from SFX. Using the Citation Linker tool from SFX, I got the following results for a search for online access to Research in Higher Education:
  • EBSCOhost Academic Search Premier. Available from 1997. Most recent 1 year(s) not available
  • Springer Standard Collection. Available from 1997

No mention in SFX for MetaPress Complete, although it does indeed give you access to issues from 1997 on.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New reference intern: Bonnie Cohen Lafazan

Today is the first day for our new intern, Bonnie Cohen Lafazan. She is currently a student at Pratt SILS and will graduate this May. Bonnie will be reporting to Louise, who will be taking Bonnie around to meet everyone when she gets back to work.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Changes to our digital reference services

Several weeks ago, Lisa Ellis and I were able to switch the email reference service over from the Baruch staff mail account to QuestionPoint, which is the same system that we also use for our chat reference service. In practical terms, this means that those of you who are doing email reference will no longer log in to the staff mail account to see if there are new questions; instead, you'll now log in to the QuestionPoint web site. To get people familiarized with the QuestionPoint interface, I've been training people one-at-a-time on the days that they've been scheduled to monitor email reference. If you have any questions about this new service, you can ask Lisa Ellis (who remains the administrator for our email reference service) or me.

As we switched to QuestionPoint for email, Lisa and I decided to get the email reference form revised, which if you take a look at it is more streamlined than the old form. Thanks to Saad Abulhab and his staff for building the form for us.

There's also a notable change to our chat reference service. Beginning yesterday, our shared subscription to QuestionPoint for chat reference was activated. If you are monitoring chat reference, you will now begin to see questions coming in from patrons at Hunter College, Brooklyn College, and the CUNY Graduate Center. The librarians at these schools will soon begin monitoring chat reference during hours of the week that Baruch librarians aren't, thereby increasing the odds that Baruch patrons who log on to chat will get connected to a CUNY librarian. Another compelling reason for sharing the subscription is that the annual cost to Baruch for using QuestionPoint has gone down dramatically.

Here at Baruch, I remain the administrator for our chat service. I am also now the group administrator for the CUNY subscription group (Baruch, Brooklyn, Hunter, and Grad Center). The local administrators at the other schools are:
  • Brooklyn College: Beth Evans and Stephanie Walker
  • CUNY Graduate Center: Polly Thistlethwaite and Michael Adams
  • Hunter College: Lauren Yannotta
To aid communication between our four institutions, we've created a wiki for librarians who are staffing the service: QP at CUNY.

Let me know if you have any questions about chat reference. FYI: I've updated the wiki pages on chat reference and email reference to reflect these new changes.

Syndetics Solutions

You may have already noticed that in many of the records for books in CUNY+, cover art is now available. On the left is a screen shot of the record for Fast Food Nation. If you click on the cover art, you'll see the image that is captured in next screen shot. CUNY recently started its subscription to Syndetic Solutions, a service that adds bibliographic content into online catalogs.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

American Chemical Society Journals remote access restored

I'm not sure when exactly we got remote access back, but it's there again.

Access problem with Value Line

When connecting to Value Line, the following message appears "You have tried to log in to a premium area of this Web site and based on the user ID and Password you have supplied our records indicate that you do not subscribe to this service." Mike W. has been contacted.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Workshop registration

Registration for workshops is currently unavailable. We hope to have it working by the end of today. Advise students to try later--tomorrow, 1/18, or 1/19, just to be on the safe side. Saad and staff are instituting a module whereby students will not be able to register for workshops (Library, Subotnick Center/Reuters and BCTC) until it is 4 weeks before the date of the workshop. This, we hope, will limit "no shows".


Edgar Online

Is back on.

Science Direct downtime and upgrade

Science Direct will be upgraded on Saturday January 20th and will be unavailable from 2:30 pm for approximately 6 hours.

What this upgrade will bring can be found at:

New interface coming for THOMAS

The beta version of THOMAS won 't be launched til this spring. Details on the beta here at InfoToday's NewsBreaks blog. now known as

The main search engine for federal web sites, has been renamed recently to In case you haven't used this site in the past year, you may want to note that search results are clustered (more details about this technology can be found on my Feb. 1, 2006, post about

via Librarian in Black

Guide to citing unusual sources

While looking online for an example of how to cite a Harvard Business School case study, I ran across this excellent citation guide (PDF) put out by the Harvard Business School itself. The guide is based on the 15th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. In addition to instructions on how to cite the more commonplace items like articles and books, there are dozens of examples of how to handle trickier formats, such as:
  • advertisements
  • analyst reports
  • annual reports (printed and online)
  • bond prospectuses
  • cases (printed and online)
  • email
  • government documents
  • interviews
  • legal cases
  • marketing reports
  • news web sites
  • press releases
  • SEC documents (printed and online)
  • television programs
  • working papers (printed and online)
There is also a nice section detailing how to cite sources or data found in databases, such as:
  • Bloomberg
  • Compustat
  • CRSP
  • Euromonitor GMID
  • Gartner
  • Hoover's
  • ISI Emerging Markets
  • OECD
  • Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage
  • SDC
  • Thomson Research

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Remote access restored

Patrons should now be able to access e-reserves and databases from off campus.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Correction: Proxy server is not down

Responding to my post earlier today about the proxy server, Arthur notified me today to let me know that the proxy server is not actually down. The issue is that a network switch has failed, which "has blocked access to some services from off campus and other services from on campus." Until this can be fixed, remind our patrons that they can access a subset of our databases from off campus using the CUNY proxy server at

EZ Proxy down; no remote access to databases or reserves

Today (Sunday) I noticed on chat reference a number of patrons complaining over the past few days that they couldn't get into e-reserves or the databases. I just checked myself from home and see that EZ Proxy doesn't seem to be working at all. If you try to connect to a database or e-reserves, you get an error message without even seeing the login screen where you are asked to type your library ID number.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Bypassing the Home Page to CUNY+

To get to CUNY+ at the moment of the home page error, input an external URL, particularly WorldCat, then search WorldCat for an especially common item, e.g, Charles Dickens, we're sure to have. Click on the item then click on our copy of the item. This brings you into CUNY+, which you can use and reuse time and again.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hamid and SCD

Hamid Rashidzada is working on his honors thesis and I gave him permission to use SDC at the reference desk during the January intersession even after the ref desk closes for the night. Louise Klusek 1/09/07

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Vendor Printer

A little while ago I reported a frozen--despite rebooting--Vendor Printer to our help desk.

Naxos Music Library cancelled

Mike recently informed me that we canceled our subscription to Naxos Music Library due to lack of use.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Wilson Web Interface enhancements starting today

The Wilson databases have some enhancements, including:

A new search results page that includes the handy relocation of all icons within the record for both Brief and Full citations displays. It also includes new coloration and record separators that are designed to make reviewing search results much easier for users.
· Now, PDF Full Text records can be emailed as an attachment, if desired. Please be sure to allow for WilsonWeb's domain name ( any filtering system you might have employed on your computer to ensure seemless delivery of attached emails.
· Users will also enjoy the newly improved Search History screen.
· Now records can be cited in the Chicago/Turabian style format, if desired.

For more details about the new enhancements, please see the following:

Friday, January 05, 2007

Off campus access to CUNY-wide databases

Roland Samieske posted this on CULIBS today:

There is a technical problem with off-campus access servers run by the Office of Library Services.

This includes access to the CUNY-wide licenses listed at as well as the proxy servers we run for the Law School, Hostos CC, KBCC, NYCCT, Medgar Evers, Graduate School of Journalism, and York. These servers are down until further notice.

At present, CIS staff is working on solving this problem and we hope to have the service back up soon.

Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Cornell student research of interest

To follow up on my earlier post today, I checked out Galdwell's comment in his New Yorker article that Cornell grad students, using SEC filings and doing ratio analysis, had very early recommended a SELL on Enron, and this recommendation was available on Cornell's web site. The report dates from 1998, long before the company failed. They are posted on the Parker Center Johnson Center site at Cornell, and the Enron research is among those available at

The disclaimer notes, among other things, that the report is intended to solely serve as an example of student analytical work, and it is based on information available to the public, and the report is not intended to provide investment advice.

I didn't know of these reports. I think they could serve as an example to show our students as they incorporate business and industry, accounting and financial analysis and valuation, and comparable company valuation.

Self Checkout machine - PC

The Self Checkout machine is not working. A PC will be placed behind the reference desk in order for repairs to be made on the machine.

New Yorker article of interest re the use of information

I found Open Secrets by Malcolm Gladwell in this week's New Yorker an interesting read on the use of information relating to a number of events, including Enron and Iraq. I liked this paragraph: "Mysteries, though, are a lot murkier: sometimes the information we’ve been given is inadequate, and sometimes we aren’t very smart about making sense of what we’ve been given, and sometimes the question itself cannot be answered. Puzzles come to satisfying conclusions. Mysteries often don’t."

I think his explanations of special entities, and the complex nature of many business transactions, as well as mark to market accounting are easy to understand (At least I think I understand them.)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Student printing accounts during January intersession

Saad contacted Christian Keck, the Director of Student Computing, to get some details on student printing accounts for the January intersession. Here are Christian's comments:
Those students who are registered for a course or courses during the January term can print as of yesterday morning. They must be registered for a course and have paid their bill. There have been a lot of students coming to the help desk yesterday that have confused January intercession with Spring semester which also starts in January. Some students also think that since they had a balance left over from the Fall semester that this would still appear. We start fresh and all old accounts are removed so the new accounts for each term can be updated. The account started yesterday morning at 8:00 AM and are good through Thursday January 25 at midnight. If the students are having problems are questions they may come or contact the help desk for assistance.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

question about student printing accounts for the January term

Could someone please provide the details of the student printing accounts for students taking courses this January term? A student just told me he received an error message when he tried to print the syllabus for his January class. Thanks.

Wall Street Journal Changing Today

The Wall Street Journal is making major changes to its print edition starting today. The size of the paper is shrinking and more content, notably breaking news and market statistics, is going to the online edition. A recent letter from the publisher outlined "What is Changing -- and What Isn't -- In the Wall Street Journal."

A key change is the launch of a Markets Data Center that will be available free in and will feature downloadable data, interactive charting, and mutual fund and ETF screening. There will be more emphasis on exclusive news and analysis in the print edition. Librarians should note that the "Marketplace" section has a daily index to People in addition to its index to Businesses.

To introduce the changes, the Wall Street Journal Online is free today at It is worthwhile to take the tour and read the "Help: A Guide to Finding Tables" found in the Markets Data Center.