Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Summary of QuestionPoint panel at ALA

A post on the QuestionPoint: 24/7 Reference Services blog today neatly sums up a panel session at ALA on best practices in chat reference. The session included presentations by Marie Radford and Lynn Connaway; Heather Muller at Washington State University; and Bill Pardue of Arlington Heights Memorial Library. If you staff our chat service, it's worth taking a moment to read this summary.

IMLS Awards Announced

The 2007 winners of IMLS awards were recently posted and one project involves CUNY libraries.

Long Island University Palmer School of Library and Information Science, in partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY), will place 30 specially trained interns in the special collections departments of CUNY over a three-year period to assist with digital projects to expand access to CUNY's historical, cultural, and aesthetic materials. The Palmer School will also expand its curriculum by at least one course to teach up-to-the-minute skills suited to CUNY's needs.

For more information contact: Dr. Patrick McGuire
Associate Professor of Library Science
(516)299-3322; patrick.mcguire@liu.edu

Friday, June 22, 2007

SIBL Wins Center of Excellence Award

The New York Public Library’s SIBL (Science, Industry & Business Library) was the winner of the Special Libraries Association’s sixth annual "Center of Excellence" Award. The award is presented by SLA’s Business & Finance Division. Kristen McDonough, John Ganly and Madeleine Cohen talked about their winning programs at the awards ceremony. They showed a short video clip from a small business owner and client, Sean Sabol, who wrapped up their story nicely when he said, "I got my MBA in research at NYPL."

The press release from SLA said:
In the past decade more than 64,000 people have taken SIBL’s training classes to learn how to locate, evaluate and apply information from its rich print and electronic resources.
SIBL uses carefully cultivated partnerships to fulfill its mission. Groups as diverse as the Workshop in Business Opportunities, Accion, and the Industrial Technology Assistance Corporation refer clients to SIBL who in turn promote Library resources to other start ups. Counselors from the SBA affiliate Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the New York City Department of Small Business Services, provide on-site business advisory services that make SIBL a unique "one-stop-shopping" destination. According to the judges, the Science, Industry, & Business Library of the New York Public Library earned the Centers of Excellence Award for Service for its commitment to service excellence demonstrated by its ability to engage customers and the community-at-large, as well as building strategic alliances with their partners.

To see what SIBL has been doing go to their NYC Small Business Resource Center. Have a look at their videos and podcasts and check out their SBRC Forums, the one on Marketing Research is moderated by a SIBL librarian.

Marquis Who's Who

Now includes Who's who in American Politics. It's on the left side menu.

Google has it all?

Donna Slawsky sent me an e-mail about a new study that found that less than 1% of search results are shared among search engines. The research examined the first page search results from four engines and measured the overlap. Some numbers from the study reported that 69.6% of Google’s results were unique to Google and 79.4% of Yahoo’s were unique to Yahoo. Interesting for those who think that Google has it all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Trial of Internal Controls and Government on CCH Accounting Research Manager

We have a two-week trial of the Internal Controls and Government sections on CCH Accounting Research Manager, two parts for which we currently do not have subscriptions. This was a faculty requested trial. The Internal Controls has documents and interpretations and explanations that can help with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. The Government section includes Government Accounting Standards Board documents (standards for government accounting) as well as CCH's interpretations and analysis, including information on how to prepare and analyze a financial statement of a governmental agency. There has been an increasing focus on governmental accounting.

No password is necessary. Users just need to logon to CCH Accounting Research Manager (for which we have two simultaneous users.)

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, Rita

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ulrichsweb: downtime on Thursday June 21st

From 9:00am EST to 6:00pm EST.

American Heritage: suspended indefinitely

Given the popularity of the magazine, I thought I'd make this announcement public. I will make a note on the CUNY+ record. You can read more in the following article:

Magazine Suspends Its Run In History
May 17, 2007, Thursday New York Times
By CHARLES MCGRATH (NYT); The Arts/Cultural Desk
Late Edition - Final, Section E, Page 1, Column 1, 1399 words

Thursday, June 14, 2007

New database: American Accounting Association Journals

Newly added to our database listing is American Accounting Association Journals.

When you connect, you will find a list of the titles of the journals:
Accounting and the Public Interest,
Accounting Horizons,
The Accounting Review,
Auditing: a Journal of Practice & Theory,
Behavioral Research in Accounting,
Issues in Accounting Education,
Journal of Emerging Technologies in Accounting
Journal of Information Systems
Journal of International Accounting Research
Journal of Legal Tax Research
Journal of Management Accounting Research
Journal of the American Taxation Association
Teaching Notes for Issues in Accounting Education
Teaching Notes for Journal of Information Systems

These journals are also listed separately by title in Serial Solutions.

Why did we get this American Accounting Association collection?

Faculty requests, including from the head of the accounting department, was the primary reason.
Secondly, and this is why the faculty wanted the database:
This is the only way to access the current year of these journals. (Available backfiles vary by title.)
The American Accounting Association, comprised primarily of academic accountants, decided to end their arrangements with outside vendors for access to the current year of their journals. The database was reasonably priced to libraries for campus and remote access.

In the current issue of Issues in Accounting Education, Baruch professors Hugo Nurnberg and Jan Sweeney have an article published on understanding business combinations. There is also a case study on the tax consequences of appearing on reality television. (That "redone" home might increase your taxes, in case you are hoping to be on a show.)

No log in is required to access the database. (If professors are full members of the AAA, they can access some materials with their private passwords that are not available to the public.)

Thanks to Mike Waldman for help in getting this database and providing the information on the library's web page.

Naxos -- TRIAL extended until 6/30/07

The trial was extended until 6/30/07.
Naxos offers access to over 75,000 tracks and more than 5,000 CDs with over 2,500 composers represented. Classical, Jazz, World, Folk and more types of music are represented.

It also offers faculty the opportunity to create playlists with static URLs to share with their students and/or for class assignments. Please contact me if you are a Baruch faculty member and would like to try this feature (it will also expire on 6/30/07).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I always try to attend the College and University Business Librarians (CUBL) section breakfast at SLA. For the past several years they have invited librarians to discuss new programs in academic libraries. Last year I spoke about developing Newman library's tutorial for BUS 1000 and Peter McKay spoke about the Business Subject Guides he developed at the University of Florida Libraries. This year Therese Terry described the Business FAQ at the Penn Libraries. It contains the answers to over five hundred business questions. Although the FAQ database was developed at Penn 19 other business libraries now share the database. The database editing module makes it easy for them to adapt questions and answers to match their collections. The module also reports questions without answers and statistics on the number of hits each question generates. I think it is one of the best working knowledge bases in use. If you want to read more about the project, an article "Providing Reference Service in Our Sleep" describes the Penn FAQ and the HSSE FAQ at the Humanities, Social Sciences and Humanities Library at Purdue. The article appeared in Vol 46, Issue 3 of Reference& User Services Quarterly.

Pedagogical Controversy

Recently two articles about pedagogical practice and theory appeared sure to ruffle the feathers whether you are a traditionalist or embrace many of the new theories and method. One article supports frequent quizzes as a way to improve long term student learning. The other article complains about outcomes assessment. Whatever your stripes in the methods of learning you might wish to read:

1. Laurie Fendrich, "A Pedagogical Straitjacket," Chronicle of Higher Education, June 8, 2007, p. B6-B8;

2. David Glenn, "Research--You Will be Tested on This," Chronicle of Higher Education, June 8, 2007, A14-A17.

A third and interesting but less provocative article: David Glenn, "Why Cramming Doesn't Work," Chronicle of Higher Education, June 8, 2007, p. A17.


Roy Tennant at SLA

Roy Tennant, formerly of the California Digital Library and now at OCLC, spoke about the top trends in digital library services at SLA. As a result of a vote by members of the Information Technology Division, the top trend that members wanted to hear about was the future of the catalog. Tennant announced the demise of the local catalog. He said libraries need an ILS but users need "search" and they want to find everything (not just books) in that search. He predicted that search and discovery will move to the network level with tools such as Google, WorldCat and metasearch engines. He then described library projects that validate this trend. The University of Washington Libraries are beta testing WorldCat Local. Search results are relevance ranked, allow for faceted browsing and integrate articles in the results. OCLC itself is using tag clouds in its FictionFinder and WorldCat Identities projects.

Tennant didn't limit his talk to the catalog. He named other top trends: mass digitalization, better linking, refocusing on user needs and amazing new interfaces. I agreed totally with his frustration with link resolvers. He described a University of Rochester program called GUF - Getting Users to Full-Text - that reduces click through and gives the user full text directly from the linked title. If full text is not available, the user gets the holding record (with a map! ) or a pre-filled-in ILL form. Rochester also puts user's needs first in its CoURse pages like this one for a History course on The Civil War.

Report from the Exhibits Floor at SLA

I spoke with many vendors at the SLA exhibits. Here, in no particular order, are some of the things I found out.

The 2007 print edition of the NAICS Manual has been published but it is not yet available for searching online. Major changes were made in the telecommunications sector as well as significant additions in biotechnology and new classifications for REITS. Details are available at http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/naics.html.

Euromonitor’s GMID database has a new interface. We will be upgrading to the new version sometime this summer.

The Financial Times is offering a new academic package for students and faculty which includes access to the Financial Times in a digital version for the latest news (three weeks) as well as access to the archival version of FT.com. Villanova University describes how the partnership works at their website.

The Economist and Gale are partnering to make available a historical digital archive of The Economist magazine. The product will be launched sometime this fall. Pricing has not been determined.

The World Bank is launching a new database called GEM, Global Economic Monitor, featuring forecasts of country economic data and commodity prices. It will be the first time the World Bank provides online access to their forecasts. They are offering free trials before the launch which is expected at the end of this year. More info here.

ThomsonGale has been working with Groxis and will announce at ALA later this month a new federated search tool built with the visualization, clustering and filtering search features of Grokker.

Friday, June 08, 2007

New Citizens Budget Commission report on NYC's business taxes

The Citizens Budget Commission released a news release and report today comparing New York City's business taxes to other locations.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Biz Ref Desk blog from U of Penn

I just stumbled across Biz Ref Desk, which has been a project of the Lippincott Library at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania since 2004. Posts on this reference blog are very brief, mostly just pointers to notable sites or tips written in telegraphic style.

Grab the Biz Ref Desk blog feed here and add it to your feed reader.

Crowdsourcing the digitization of books

You may be familiar with the Open Content Alliance, which is digitizing books and hosting them at the Internet Archive. As you can imagine, as books get scanned, there is some text on the page that the scanning software (specifically, the optical character recognition software) can't properly recognize or convert. There is a backlog of messily scanned text that humans must look over and correct before it can be added to the library of digital books.

You may also be familiar with CAPTCHAs, which are those squiggly letters you are asked to type on the web before you can register at some sites. CAPTCHAs are put on web sites to ensure that humans, and not spam-producing computer programs, are filling out forms on the web.

Recently, some ingenious folks at the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University have come up with a new CAPTCHA tool that asks users to type in words that come from the Open Content Alliance's backlog of unreadable scanned text. Designers of web sites can now add this CAPTCHA tool, called reCAPTCHA, to a page that needs to be protected from spammers. As users of that page type in the words required in the CAPTCHA, the results are passed on to the Open Content Alliance, thereby chipping away at the backlog of messy text scans. You can read more about reCAPTCHA on the project web site. This is an fascinating example of crowdsourcing (for a definition of this term, see this BusinessWeek article from July 2006).

Monday, June 04, 2007

DealScan and LoanConnector

These 2 databases have been added to our list of databases. They require a username and password, which can be found in the wiki. I have also uploaded some information about the databases to the wiki. We only have a one user license so please logout after using the product.