Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New wiki page on periodical holdings info

I just added a new wiki page to explain the vagaries of holdings info in CUNY+ for periodicals: Holdings Info for Periodicals. Please help me edit it to make it better, as I have a feeling it might be a bit long-winded or contain some gaps. If you've forgotten the password to login, just let me know.

On a related note, I created a central Periodicals page to pull together all the wiki pages that talk about this topic in some way.

Newsweek article for Psy class has different title in online edition

This morning I helped a student in Psy 3151 class locate a Newsweek article by Daniel McGinn. The student said he had been unable to find it. The title differs from tha on the student's handout, which might have been used on Newsweek.com. The student also said he had been unable to fin the article on Newsweek.com

In Factiva, the headline is Testing, testing; found a company that's hiring? Prepare yourself for more quizzes than you had in high school math. It was in the June 9 2003 issue. A search on Factiva limited to Newsweek and Mcginn testing testing should find it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

THOMAS needs help

A new web site, OpenCongress, intends to shine a brighter light on the workings of Congress than THOMAS does. The site says it "brings together official government data with news and blog coverage to give you the real story behind each bill." OpenCongress might be another tool to use when researching legislative actions.

Read more about it on this post from Boing Boing.

Library home page restored

It's back now.

Wikipedia discussion

At the next IS Division meeting (March 12), there will be a discussion of Wikipedia that I'd love to participate in but won't be able to, as I expect to be out on family leave by then. I'd like to put in a few quick thoughts about how I use Wikipedia and how I teach students about. But first, let me offer this link to the index of all previous posts about Wikipedia on this blog.

I find myself referring to entries in Wikipedia fairly often, but I do so with my eyes wide open about the shifting nature of the content and the quality issues that are much discussed. It's worth noting here that several years ago, content from my Teaching Librarian web site was plagiarized on Wikipedia in the entry there on "digital reference." I wrote about that on my blog a while ago:
Those two posts remain the most popular ones on my blog.

One way that you can easily demonstrate the fluid nature of content in Wikipedia is via this great screencast by Jon Udell on the "umlaut heavy metal" entry (warning: the screencast shows the page being vandalized at times with language that may offend some). Although two years old, Udell's screencast is notable for its sped-up footage of how pages in Wikipedia evolve over time.

Keeping in mind the quality issues and changing content issues in Wikipedia, I still find myself using the site regularly. One of the better features of the entries are the references at the end of many entries. If I'm searching for a web site (particularly for an organization or institution that I think may exist but I don't know any particular names), I'll do a search in Wikipedia for entries that might contain references to the kind of web sites I'm looking for. Such an approach turns Wikipedia into a glorified subject directory of web sites, along the lines of the Librarians' Internet Index.

As librarians, Wikipedia offers to us the opportunity for many teachable moments with our students. We can discuss it (in formal instruction in the classroom or less formal teaching opportunities that crop up regularly in reference interactions). Many students are unaware that anyone can edit entries; revealing that to them that the "hive mind" (here's a nice discussion of that term from an article in Newsweek) is at work opens up the chance to discuss who gets to be an author, what is an authority, and how information is shaped and refined.

For an interesting philosophical take on the limits of the mass construction of knowledge online, see Jaron Lanier's essay from last year, "Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism" and all the great responses to that essay.

After the March 12 meeting, I hope that someone will post a message to this blog summarizing the discussion, as I'll want to read it (and perhaps the adjuncts who work at the desk may also).

Library home page down

Although the library's home page is down this morning, the rest of the web site seems to be working. If you want to get to the databases page on the web site, in the address bar on your browser just type "/search" at the the end of the URL for the library web site:


MarketResearch.com: Remote access may be down

Last night, while checking on chat reference sessions over the weekend, I noticed that it had been reported by a student there was no remote access to MarketResearch.com. I tried it myself from home last night (while also watching the Oscars, of course) and was unable to get in. The page I got asked for a username and password, which you shouldn't be getting normally.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

IS Division E-Mail Update No. 2

1. Reminder. The professional development session with Marie Radford is Friday, March 2.
The following is required reading to prepare for the session. Click on the link to the fulltext in Academic Search Premier.

"Approach or Avoidance? The role of nonverbal communication in the academic library user's decision to initiate a reference encounter." Library Trends, 46(4), 699-717. (link to online text)

2. Attendance Sheets. Please turn in attendance/statistics sheets for workshops and course related lectures in the reference office. Joanne has created a bin in the cubicle nearest Aisha’s office. The sign above it says,”Attention all workshop and course-related lecture attendance sheets are placed here.” You can’t miss it.

3. Academic Integrity Comics. By now most of you have seen the academic integrity comic strips at the reference desk. These were developed by the Academic Integrity Committee and a recent graduate/graphic artist as a means to raise issues of integrity and build interest in the upcoming Academic Integrity conference. Reference librarians should offer these to students stopping at the desk. There are three ongoing story/plot lines with multiple installments, so the comics will change each week.

4. Academic Integrity Conference. Please register for the Academic Integrity Conference. This is an important professional development opportunity on a critically important topic, a chance to network and do outreach with faculty in other departments, and it is located in this building. You need to register in advance for this conference. Here is the link for the registration.

Academic Integrity Conference at Baruch. Friday, March 9, 9:00-3:15, 151 E. 25th Street (Newman Library Building), Room 750. Faculty members, students, and administrators are invited to a CUNY-wide Academic Integrity Conference to discuss a wide range of issues in open forums, break-out sessions, and in response to our keynote speaker Lawrence Simon (Baruch BBA ’65), Vice Chairman, Ivy Asset Management Corporation and a trustee of the Baruch College Fund. Please encourage students to attend.
  • Provisional program is available online
  • Register online (username = your last name)
  • Questions/Comments: aiconference@baruch.cuny.edu

5. Information Literacy Conference March 16th at LaGuardia. LACUNY has taken the lead in organizing another important professional development opportunity on March 16th focused on information literacy across the disciplines. We need at least three or four people to attend and report back on the discussions to the rest of the division. Please register as soon as possible.

The Role of Information Literacy Across the DisciplinesThe LaGuardia Community College Library Media Resources Center, the LACUNY Instruction Committee and the CUNY Office of Library Services are proud to present Dr. Betsy Barefoot, Co-Director for the Policy Center on the First Year of College, Brevard College, NC. Of interest to all faculty and administrators involved in curriculum matters, assessment, and/or teaching, this colloquium will feature a keynote speech by Dr. Barefoot on the importance of information literacy in general education. A panel discussion will follow.

Friday, March 16, 9:00-12:00 (light breakfast at 8:45), The Little Theater LaGuardia Community College

For details on the event, contact Charles Keyes at 718-482-6018 or ckeyes@lagcc.cuny.edu

6. Next IS Meeting. Monday, March 12, 2:00-3:30 pm. Save the date and time.
We will schedule a policy discussion on use of the wikipedia as a research and reference tool. Several readings will be sent to everyone for background reading in preparation for this discussion.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ulrichsweb downtime: Feb.23, 6pm to Feb.24, 2pm

According to CSA, Ulrichsweb.com will be down at the times above.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wilson Databases: offline 12am-3am Feb.23/24

Wilson sent a message that their databases will be offline from Friday February 23rd midnight until approximately 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Saturday, February 24th.

IS Division Email Update

As mentioned at the last IS Division meeting, this is the first of our routine announcement emails. We will keep announcements to a minimum at Division meetings.

Next IS Meeting: Monday, March 12, 2:00-3:30 pm. Save the date and time.
We will schedule a policy discussion on use of the wikipedia as a research and reference tool. Several readings will be sent to everyone for background reading in preparation for this discussion.

Update on 10 Millionth Student

An email just received from recently-retired Diane DiMartino reports that Sandra Younger, our 10 millionth visitor, was a student in her LIB 1016 course!

Reminder – Time is running out to register for Academic Integrity Conference

Thus far only four Baruch librarians have registered for the Academic Integrity Conference, scheduled for March 9th in the 7th floor conference center in this building. It is important for librarians to participate in this event. The ethical handling of information is a critical aspect of information literacy and we have a vital role to play regarding the development of anti-plagiarism materials, including revised and new tutorials. The conference will provide an opportunity for librarians to meet and network with faculty in other departments.

The conference announcement from Dennis Slavin is reprinted here:

Academic Integrity Conference at Baruch
Friday, March 9, 9:00-3:15, 151 E. 25th Street (Newman Library Building), Room 750
Faculty members, students, and administrators are invited to a CUNY-wide Academic Integrity Conference to discuss a wide range of issues in open forums, break-out sessions, and in response to our keynote speaker Lawrence Simon (Baruch BBA ’65), Vice Chairman, Ivy Asset Management Corporation and a trustee of the Baruch College Fund. Please encourage students to attend.
Program: A provisional program is available at http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/facultyhandbook/aiconference.htm
Register: http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/asset/survey?id=217774 (username = your last name)
Questions/Comments: aiconference@baruch.cuny.edu

Write Your Own Term Paper site. Please take a look at the anti-plagiarism website that Jerry’s been working on with a grad student designer from the Direct and Interactive Marketing Lab.
We have registered the url www.writeyourowntermpaper.com
which redirects users to an address on the college's website:

The site uses vernacular language and humor to spoof termpaper mill sites and to focus on academic integrity.
While the site is up and publicly accessible, there has been no major publicity about it yet--students in the Marketing lab are devising a promotional strategy as we speak.
Any feedback will be welcomed.

Professional Development on Reference Work:
Friday, Mar. 2 10:00-2:30 Marie Radford, guest speaker
Room 135. Lunch will be provided. This is a rare opportunity for a serious professional development event in the library—perhaps the most important one since Randy Hensley was here. It is crucial that all librarians who work the reference desk, whether members of IS Division or not, participate in this session.

Reminder to sign up for ENG 2100 FRE sessions.

As Aisha reminded us yesterday, there are seven sections left of ENG 2100 classes that no one has signed up for yet. If you have not signed up, please do so. To access the sign-up form go to Numan\shared\Divisions\IS\FRE\SignUpFRE.
English 2100 Classes
0739DG24A TTH 08:40am10:20am 4120VC FRANK X3984
0747JM24A TTH 10:45am12:25pm 30323 FRANK
0751JM35B WF 10:45am12:25pm 140223 PARKS X3950
0753PS13A MW 12:50pm02:30pm 130423 KNEZEVIC X3957
0754RU13A MW 01:40pm03:20pm 132223 RILEY X4021
ENG 2100T
0757EL13A MW 09:05am12:00pm 6150VC SEGAL X3967
0758TZ13A MW 02:30pm05:25pm 71023 TURNER X3949

Sign up for Research Consultation Sessions.

The schedule for this spring's research consultation program has been finalized.
- Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 1-3 pm
- Thursday, April 12, 2007, 1-3 pm
- Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 1-3 pm
- Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 3-5 pm
- Thursday, April 19, 2007, 1-3 pm
- Tuesday, April 24, 2007, 1-3 pm
- Wednesday, April 25, 2007, 3-5 pm
- Thursday, April 26, 2007, 1-3 pm

Please use the Excel spreadsheet in the "Research Consultations" folder in the IS Division folder to sign up for two or three of the hour-long shifts (they don't need to be consecutive shifts).

Here's the location of the file:
Shared on Numan >> Divisions >> IS >> Research Consultations >> Schedules >> Research Consultations--librarian sign up

Soliciting Announcements for Division Report for Department Meeting

If you have any professional announcements to be included in the upcoming division report for the March 7 department meeting, please email to Jerry by March 1.

Jerry Bornstein

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Students using laptops having trouble logging on to network

This morning (9-10 a.m.) students reported having trouble logging onto the library's network when they were using their own laptops. The trouble is being looked into.
It is also taking a very long time for librarians to log on (several minutes).


Friday, February 16, 2007

Sociology: A SAGE Full Text Collection: Remote access working

I just tried it and was able to get in, so hopefully it was a temporary problem.

Sociology: A SAGE Full Text Collection: No remote access

A patron coming in via chat reference reported this evening that remote access doesn't seem to be working for Sociology: A SAGE Full Text Collection. I just tried it here from home and got the same error message after typing in my library ID number at the EZ Proxy authentication page:

EZproxy Server Error

Please tell your server administrator to check ezproxy.msg for a MaxVirtualHosts error

I was able, though, to access other databases remotely just now.

Migration Policy Institute Data Hub

This might be of interest for global immigration data:

The MPI Data Hub builds upon and expands research and data tools previously located on the Migration Information Source, which compiled to-date stock, flow, citizenship, asylum, and historical data for 17 countries, as well as extensive data from the US Census Bureau and Department of Homeland Security that cover numbers and characteristics of immigrant populations residing in and arriving to the United States every year.

There are lots of data and graphs.

All Baruch computers will be linked to one server

The library is in the process of converting all terminals to Windows XP in order to become apart of the "one server" initiative planned by BCTC. In this way, all Baruch computers will be linked to one server throughout the college.

From time to time at the reference desk terminals, you may be prompted to have a "serverlet program" downloaded. Until the library technology group converts all our terminals to Windows XP, you must CANCEL and disallow this download from happening.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Posts from the LACUNY Blog republished here

As an experiment, I thought it might be interesting to use a free web widget call Grazr that allows you to publish on your own web site posts from any blog. If you check out this blog now, you'll see on the left a box that displays recent posts from the LACUNY Blog. If you click the post title, you'll see in that sidebar the full text of the post. If instead you click the little arrows at the end of the post title, you'll be taken to the full text of the post on the LACUNY Blog site itself.

My intent with this experiment was to find a way to share some of the content that appears elsewhere in the world of LIS blogs. Please let me know what you think of this.

Chat reference link working again

The URL just needed to be updated. It's working now.

Link problem to Chat Reference

The link to the Chat Reference is not available
- "The page cannot be displayed"

SPA Week - E-Reserves

SPA is scheduled for the week of March 19. Readings are on electronic reserve under Course paf0000.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007


The vendor had detected spider activity but has unblocked the IPs with the problems, so they should all be working.

New York Times Select

The New York Times does not allow for a library to sign up for the NYTimes Select, even though we have a paper subscription to the newspaper. The articles in Times Select are however available through our databases.

Remote access problems with AnthroSource

A student has reported a problem with accessing AnthroSource off-campus. The problem has been reported to Mike Waldman. Please note that AnthroSource can be accessed on-campus.


MLA is back up.

Problems logging onto SDC

An accounting professor was unable to log onto the SDC database from either ref desk computer on Saturday and she also had problems after 6 p.m. last Thursday. I have sent a help desk request to Saad in case the problem is with our computers.
Is there something else that should be done?

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Infoshare is back up.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Printing problems on public PCs in the library

I'd like to add my two cents to Rita's post yesterday about a student's printing troubles.

If a student tries to print on a public PC and never sees the window that asks for the Baruch user name (it appears after the student clicks "Print" on the print window), one solution that sometimes works is to reboot the computer. My theory (and I can't vouch for the validity of it) is that somehow the computer has gotten itself disconnected from the networked printer. Many of the machines get all kinds of error messages or freeze up throughout the day--they get a lot of (ab)use--and it may be that over time a machine's connection to the printer disappears. Rebooting the machine often restores that connection. Another solution is to try another machine.

I don't have any theories about why the document printed out so poorly at the reference desk printer, which had been reported here on this blog earlier this week in regard to reserve materials for another class (ENG 3720).

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Printing problem for e-reserve article for ANT 3085 -Bellamy

Thursday night a student using a computer on Index Table 6A, with the bar code 67961 had problems printing the e-reserve pdf file for an article Religion, Religions, Religions, by Smith, Jonathan Z., for ANT 3085 (Bellamy) to the student printer. Apparently she tried this many times, but the box for her web mail address never appeared. A fellow student tried to help her.

I learned of this when a third, older student, came to the desk to complain that when she had asked them to lower their voices as she was trying to study, she was told she should go to the fifth floor. She didn't want to do this as the library should be a quiet place. I learned of the printing problem from the student, and offered to try it at the reference desk computer (right side). It printed out as gibberish on the reference desk printer, even after I tried the possible solution (Clicking advanced_ that Theresa recommended earlier in the week. The article printed out fine from the computer on the lower left side of the reference desk. But the student had left for class upset that her efforts had been unsuccessful.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lehman Brothers' Report on The Business of Climate Change

Lehman Brothers issued on a report February 2 "The Business of Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities" that has received wide-press coverage. In case there are inquiries, I have a pdf file of the 145-page report. It was received from another librarian.


Infoshare informs us that their server appears to have been "attacked" and it is currently unavailable.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

MLA International Bibliography

Our access to MLA has temporarily been severed. Users can get to the Literature Resource Center, but there is no link to MLA.

Currently, we can get around this by going to the listing of Gale databases (http://infotrac.galegroup.com/menu), but Gale may close this "back-door" as well. The MLA directory of periodicals link seems to have disappeared as well.

Accessing CMR AD$pender

In the event, students need access to this database on advertising expenditures for products and brands in 11 different media from 1997-2001, you will have to set them up at the reference desk much like the FARS database. Access to this CD-ROM is no longer available from the Newman Library homepage. The database is now only available at the side reference computer terminal (left side if facing copy room) as a stand-alone set-up.

Librarians at the reference desk should locate the CD-ROM in the file drawer and insert this into the computer drive. On the desktop, you will find an icon for this database. Simply double click on the icon to activate the program.

Students needing help in using this product should make use of the manual located at the reference desk.

I do not suspect there will be much demand for this product, but you should be aware of this change in access.

Nature.com experiencing problems

Nature.com has sent an alert saying they have been experiencing periods of instability over the past few weeks due to an increase in traffic to the site, which has caused their server to, at times, not recognize legitimate site license customers (Baruch accesses Nature through a CUNY-wide license). If this happens to you, they suggest trying later, and contacting customer service at:
E-mail: institutions@natureny.com
Tel: +1 888 331 6288

E-reserve articles for which there are printing problems-a suggestion

I spoke with Ester about the printing problem at the reference desk for the English 3720 reading of Chaucer's "The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale." Since I was able to print it out from my office computer/ref suite printer without problems, she suggested that I put in a help desk request for the ref desk printer.

I will be happy to do so, but I also wondered if there are other e-reserve articles that have posed problems for the reference desk printer (or the student printer) so far this semester. If so, could they be added to the blog for the next day or so, and then a help desk request might help resolve them. (Or at least eliminate one possible source of the problem.) I know that sometimes we try to print something out at the reference desk if the student has repeat problems with the student printer.

When I came to the reference desk yesterday, there were four copies of one page, which was probably from either the reference desk or student printer, that were all half gibberish. It appears to be part of a book chapter on America's schools or child rearing and it mentions Bruno Bettlehim's the Children of the Dream. It looks like page 256. I don't know what class this is for though or the title of the chapter. Does anyone?

Last Chance to Take Library Trivia Quiz

Today is the last chance for students to take the Library Trivia Quiz and have a chance to win an iPhone.

Please encourage students to take the quiz. There are "last chance" flyers at the reference desk and the table by the bulletin board near the pillar.

The ceremony celebrating the 10 millionth visitor is scheduled for Thurs. Feb 8th. The 10 millionth visitor will receive the $1,000 gift certificate and iPhone visitors will be announced.


RIA and CCH are having some technical difficulties

RIA and CCH are both having some technical difficulties this morning. They hope to have the problems cleared up soon. The problems are not just limited to here at Baruch. But as the complaining student said, he could read the paper waiting for pages to load.

Students auditing classes do not have student printing accounts

Yesterday I tried to help a senior aged student who is auditing a literature class.
Many of the readings are posted on e-reserve. But, as such students who are auditing classes don't pay the student tech fee, they don't have student printing accounts.
The student and I have been able to locate most of the readings in books here at the library. Otherwise, the use of a copycard would be needed. (The student doesn't have a computer at home.)

Prof. Frank's English 2100 assignments are on e-reserve

The essays assigned for Prof. Frank's English 2100 class are all posted on e-reserve. Yesterday I tried to help a student whose handout said they were all on JSTOR, but the publications were not included. An e-mail from Prof. Frank cleared this up.

Problem with printing The Wife of Bath's Prologue from e-reserve for English 3720

Yesterday I alerted Ester Ramos that there is a problem with printing The Wife of Bath's Prologue, which is on e-reserve for English 3720. The pages were just gibberish when I tried to help a student. There were other pages left at the reference desk that led me to conclude other students were unsuccessful at this.
Other librarians realized that this is part of Chaucer's Caterbury Tales, and we have several copies in the stacks, PR 1867 .H53 1981. I will check with Ester to see if perhaps the pdf file could be redone.

SimNet practice tests

I recently spoke to Christian Keck, the Director of Student Computing at Baruch, about the change last fall in the way that students take SimNet practice tests. If a student asks at the desk about where to take a SimNet test, please say to the student something along these lines:
If you want to take the SimNet practice test, the only way to do so is to purchase the SimNet CD-ROM from the college bookstore. Once you have that CD-ROM, you can then access the practice tests in two ways. First, you can go to the computer lab on the 6th floor of this building and click the SimNet icon on the desktop of the PCs there. You'll be prompted to type the login information, which you should find on the packaging of the CD-ROM you bought from the bookstore. Once you enter that info, you'll be able to do the practice tests. If you have any problems, stop by the BCTC Help Desk or call them (646-312-1010).

The other way to do the tests is to install the CD-ROM on your own computer (laptop or desktop). After you do that, you'll need to go to the web address printed on the front of the CD-ROM (http://baruch.simnetenterprise.com) and login there to access the practice tests. At some point, you'll be prompted to enter "Baruch" as the server name. If you need help installing the software, contact the BCTC Help Desk (646-312-1010). You will not be able to install the CD-ROM on any computers in the library (including the laptops we loan).

There is a separate book that is recommended as a study guide, too. That book is kept in the library in the course reserves collection. The title is Microsoft Excel 2002: Introductory, the authors are Haag and Perry, and the call number is HF5548.4.M523 H3 2002.
I've put this information into the wiki on the SimNet page.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

10 Millionth Visitor Update

On Saturday, February 3 we identified the 10 millionth visitor without fanfare. We need to wait until Monday morning when the college's administrative offices open to confirm the person's eligibility. In the meantime, you can share this information informally and unofficially with patrons who inquire. Please do not post any type of announcement yet. We should be able to issue a press release on Monday.

Friday, February 02, 2007

About the calculators we loan

Here's a quick overview of the different kinds of calculators we lend:
  1. Graphing calculators. We have 300 calculators that students may borrow for the entire semester (they're all gone now) and one that can be borrowed for use in the library for 2-hour loan periods.
  2. Financial calculators. There are 10 calculators that are specially designed to do number crunching for financial problems. These have a 1-day loan period.
There are pages in the wiki for graphing calculators and for financial calculators.

New wiki page on upcoming workshops, meetings, conferences

At Lisa Ellis' suggestion at this morning's ISD meeting, I created a new page in the wiki where we can add a list of workshops, meetings, and conferences that might be of interest to library staff. Please help me add them to the wiki. If you're unsure about how to edit the wiki, just call me at x1620.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Correction: There are still calculators to borrow

I'm afraid I was misinformed this morning by someone. There are indeed still some graphing calculators left to be borrowed for the semester. They are being distributed now from the 3rd floor service desk on a first-come, first-served basis.

UPDATE: As of February 2, the calculators are all gone.

Sleep MultiMedia CD-ROM

Students in Professor Engle-Friedman's Psych 3054 may request to access the Sleep MultiMedia CD-ROM. This resource can only be accessed from the two side Reference Desk computers. The desktop icon reads "Sleep MultiMedia." Please follow procedures as outlined in the wiki under Reference Desk Computers.

Graphing calculators all gone for the spring

Last night, the last of the graphing calculators available for semester-long loans were distributed.

CORRECTION: There are still calculators as of 12:30 PM, Thursday, Feb. 1. See this blog post from later in the day for an update.