Friday, September 28, 2007

Oxford African American Studies Center - trial

Another trial from ERAC, it lasts until October 31. This is a comprehensive collection of scholarly reference resources focused on African American and African history and culture.

Academic Search Complete -- Trial

Academic Search Complete is non-embargoed version of Academic Search Premier, so it may be of interest (and please test that this is actually true!). This is being looked at for ERAC, and the trial runs until October 31.

America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts

You may have heard that Ebsco bought America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts from ABC-CLIO. For now, we have access to these databases from both platforms. To get to the EBSCO platform, go to the EBSCOhost listing. If there is a strong preference to switch platforms now, let me know. I suspect we will eventually have to move to EBSCO.

The Nation Archive - Trial

Thanks to ERAC, we have a trial to the Nation Archive, recently published by EBSCO. It is on the EBSCOhost platform. The trial goes on until October 31.

Trial reminder: CQ researcher with Archive

Just a reminder that we have a trial of the CQ Researcher with Archive going back to 1923. This is being considered by ERAC.

Primo at U. of Iowa

The University of Iowa just launched their new search interface, Primo, also from Ex-Libris. In addition to letting users search a variety of sources (at Iowa, their SmartSearch lets users search their Catalog, the Iowa Digital Library, E-resources, E-books, E-journals and even journal articles), it also allows users to tag records with their own terms. It suggests additional search terms and topics, and places the subjects within LC and subject contexts.

Envelope left at reference desk for student

I have left an envelope for Marvin Lau to pick up at the reference desk. I put it in the "to be picked up" black plastic holder on the right side. He said he will stop by during the lunch hour but I will be teaching workshops at that time.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

TRIAL -- Oxford Language Dictionaries Online

This is an ERAC trial to the Oxford Language Dictionaries Online. The database allows you to translate words, find useful phrases and learn more about the language. Currently there are 4 languages available: French, German, Italian and Spanish. They plan to include more languages in the future. Comments would be appreciated.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Website Design at Mina Rees Library

The Mina Rees Library at the Graduate Center has redesigned their website. Have a look. They prominently feature Worldcat along side CUNY+. Send any comments, observations, or other ideas you may have about the new site to Kevin Reiss, the library webmaster, at

Interesting Restricted Wiki - Ency. of Earth

The Encyclopedia of Earth ( is an interesting restricted wiki-based resource about "the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society". It is "a free, fully searchable collection of articles written by scholars, professionals, educators, and experts who collaborate and review each other's work." Content creators are restricted to preserve the credibility of the resource. Read the "About" and "FAQs" section for more information.

This may be a good example when discussing wiki-based resources in a class. Plus, articles are written in non-technical language, so it may be a good supplement to Columbia Earthscape, also.


Freshmen Learning Communities (FRO) - Quizzes

You should know that freshmen, who are part of the Freshmen Research Orientation (FRO) Learning Communities, are required to take two quizzes located on their Blackboard account. The quizzes are Newman Library Orientation and Newman Library Resources. These students will be picking up library handouts 1 - 3 from the service area in the library. Handout 4 is on the 'Ask the Librarian' page. These handouts provide information needed to take the quiz.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lexis Nexis has more "webair" training available

I have received the following announcement about web-based training available from Lexis-Nexis. It is possible for one librarian to register and then share with others, via a classroom setting, etc. (Some librarians are doing this elsewhere. If it is of interest to anyone here, please let me know and perhaps we can arragne some "group" times.


This is the Lexis-Nexis announcement:

Dear Colleagues,

We have updated the registration page for our web-based training with all the sessions scheduled through the end of November. Librarians and teaching faculty are invited to join us for these free training sessions; they last about an hour and require a telephone as well as your Internet browser. All of the classes are led by our professional trainers.

There are multiple sessions offered on three topics for LexisNexis Academic:

LexisNexis Academic – General Introduction

LexisNexis Academic - Business Research

LexisNexis Academic - Legal Research

There are also sessions on the LexisNexis Congressional Research Digital Collection.

For dates, times, and the online registration form, please go to

Best regards,

Alistair Morrison | Product Manager, LexisNexis Academic
LexisNexis, 7500 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 1300, Bethesda MD 20814
Telephone: 301-951-4529 | Switchboard: 800-638-8380 | Fax: 301-652-1273

Product Information:
Web Subscription Support:
Join Our ListServ:

GIS and microfinance

GIS is so multi-layered---when is the demo? It is easy to understand the geographic uses but the $$$ related uses (except for marketing) less obvious to me.
Poverty quiz: 7/10

New Subject Guides

Three new subject guides have been posted to our website. Jennifer Santomauro compiled Election 2008, an update of the election guide regularly produced by Michael Waldman and Jerry Bornstein. Look for new coverage including links to blogs and internet video. Frank Donnelly has written a guide to Geographic and GIS Resources. If you want to get up to speed on this topic the guide includes resources for "Learning about GIS." New York state, New Jersey and New York City resources are featured. Finally, the subject guide to Microfinance was written for students in the Learning Communities who are working on project panels on this subject. Take the Poverty Quiz developed by Accion International to find out why microfinance is such a hot topic today.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Copy card dispenser is empty

The copy card dispenser in the 3rd floor copy room is out of cards. We have blanks at the reference desk that you can give to students.

3rd floor copiers not working

Annette has been notified. Copiers on 2nd, 4th, and 5th floors are working.

PAIS: working again

PAIS: currently not working

I am working with the vendor to solve this problem.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Faceted search interface in JSTOR

I just stumbled across JSTOR's beta for a faceted search interface, which was made available on May 31. I haven't played around with it extensively yet, but after a quick glance at the main page I found some notable things:
  • there are articles with color images in JSTOR (scroll down the search interface to the "Articles with Images" set of facets)
  • you can browse articles by the number of times they've been cited within the JSTOR database
  • you can scan the number of articles in each of the major disciplines covered by (our subscription to) JSTOR; the biggest ones are:
    • History (n=417K)
    • Language and Literature (n=365K)
    • Business (n=325K)
    • Sociology (n=235K)
I didn't see anything on the JSTOR site about when or if this search interface may replace the current one, but there is a way you can send your comments about it to JSTOR.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Business Week includes interview with recent CIS grad and reports on 95 Best Places to Launch a Career

Thanks to Eric for telling me that the Special Report (Sept. 13) of Business Week has an article on the 95 best places to launch a career. Accounting firms are the "head of the pack." Also featured is an interview with an intern turned new hire at Deloitte, recent Baruch grad Edouard S. Roland, a CIS major. He was in my Freshmen Seminar Fall 2001, served as VP of student government, and used the library a lot for studying, and also worked a lot too. They picked a great guy to feature.

New York Times and Proquest Newspapers

We have lost our access to Proquest Newspapers/Newsstand for the moment. I have been working with the vendor to figure out what is going on. The worst is that that is how we got access to the New York Times (from Proquest). Currently, one can get an index to the NY Times but not the full-text. Please use other databases for current access to the NY Times for the time being, until this issue is resolved.

SSRN database mentioned at the Zicklin faculty meeting today

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) was mentioned by Dean Elliott several times today at the Zicklin faculty meeting. This is a database where international faculty members post their research papers (working papers) and you can download most of them for free as pdf files. If the paper is later published in a journal, sometimes the journal citation is available. The number of downloads is a matter considered in rankings. (I can't log on right now to double check the professor's name, but one Baruch professor ranks no. 15 in downloads among 5,000 professors in his field.)

Before we had access to SSRN campuswide through the library I know that the accounting faculty had a department access. It is an excellent database to check for current and recent research in the broad fields of socials science research--accounting, finance, entrepreneurship, management, and social responsibility in business, among others. (These may not be topics you first think about in social science research.)

S&P Industry survey for Apparel and Footwear written by Baruch graduate

For those teaching workshops next week that may involve demonstrating Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage, I thought I would let you know that the Apparel & Footwear industry survey is written by an analyst, Marie Driscoll, who is a Baruch graduate. I have spoken briefly with her at some accounting department events...she excused her self once because she needed to talk to someone who knew something about the GAP (the clothing store chain.) I thought this information might be of interest to students. The industry survey is a popular one. Ms. Driscoll is quoted a lot in the press, based on a Factiva search that I did.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Emerald: access restored.

SCOPUS: trial ended

The trial has ended.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Event of possible interest--free screening of "An Inconvenient Truth"

When I attended the Waste Management Seminar sponsored by New York State Senator Liz Krueger this morning, I learned that the senator, Saint Bartholomew's Church and Environmental Advocates of New York are sponsoring a discussion and free showing of "An Inconvenient Truth" (the Oscar winning film by Al Gore), with singer Kathy Mattea and New York State DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis.

Date and time: Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m. Where: Saint Bartholomew's Church, Park Ave. at 51st St.

I have some notices, printed on 100% post-consumer, recycled paper with soy ink, if you want.

Try Google Docs for collaborative projects

If you are working on a document with a group of people and are getting bummed by email attachments as the main way to share your work, you might want to try Google Docs, a free service that lets you create, share, and collaboratively edit text documents, spreadsheets, and (as of today) slide presentations.

Want to know how it works? Check out this video from Common Craft:

Proquest newspapers: has disappeared

Proquest Newspapers has disappeared from our Proquest menu -- I have contacted the vendor to resolve the issue.

Emerald: trouble with access

We are having trouble accessing Emerald journals. I am in contact with the vendor to resolve this situation.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New York Times frees its content (mostly)

As announced today, the New York Times will begin making the following content freely available from its web site and no longer locked by behind a paywall:

  • content published from 1851-1922
  • content published from 1987-present

This change in policy will become effective after midnight this Tuesday (September 18). The Times states that it realized it could make more from advertising revenue than from people paying for content.

Change Blackboard Password

While roving, a student asked if I could help him change his Blackboard password. He had checked the CUNY portal and was unable to find a link. I also checked and suggested he go to 'My Profile' but there was no password information on that page. I suggested he check/call the Help Desk.

After he left, I continued to try to find the password and below is how to locate it:
At the CUNY portal and select My Profile
On the next page above 'my profile' there are tabs, select view page
On the next page select the link, 'Administration' to change password.

New NBER report of possible interest

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), among the library's databases, offers the following study, which was recently announced.

Ranking Affects the Financial Resources of Public Colleges
Ginger Zhe Jin and Alex Whalley

"College quality ranking information leads to increases in expenditure in public colleges, most of which are funded by more state appropriations per student. State appropriations per student are more responsive to USNWR rankings exposure if a state has more citizens who are politically active, care about higher education, and buy USNWR from the newsstand.""

Why Mergent Horizon?

Stephen asked, "What's unique in Mergent Horizon?" Here are a few things that they do that I haven't seen in other databases.

1. The 360 degree look at the competition. Mergent mines 10-K reports to find out who the company names as its competitors. It also names other companies who list it as a competitor.
2. Identification of suppliers, customers and partners of the company. The relative revenues from each are given. The detail in the supply chain will help answer questions like "How much revenue does ABC company get for selling through Wal-Mart?"
3. The detailed Product/Service hierarchy. Mergent uses their own industry classification scheme that can go up to eight levels deep. Analysis of a peer-group or searching for competitors can be done at the product level. Mergent also includes tradenames. You can search on a tradename and link to the company.
4. Detailed revenue stream data. Company revenue data is provided at the industry subsector or product group level. Companies are labeled as Pure Play (100% of reenues from one sector) or Focused (over 50% of revenues from the sector).
5. M & A Scenario. Compare two companies to identify overlapping or complimentary products/sectors, dependent suppliers , key customers, and overlapping or new competitors.

Factiva eTopics

Factiva has expanded its learning programs with a great little series of online tutorials called eTopics. All are very brief, under five minutes, and are narrated by Factiva specialists. Their metadata librarian shows how to build searches in a session called "Using Factiva Intelligent Indexing to Build Targeted Searches." Other eTopics include: Finding Industry News, Searching by Specific Author, and Using Search. To see the eTopics, click on the "Support" button from the top of any page and then open the "Learning" tab.

Blogs: More than Library News

Many academic business libraries have blogs that focus on news about library services and resources. See the University of Michigan, Vanderbilt, Ohio University, and the University of Buffalo. Two others, the Jackson Library at Stanford and the Winspear Library at the University of Alberta, are using blogs for current awareness, featuring articles from business, economics and management journals and news and policy papers from associations and research institutes.

Mergent Horizon Demo Today

There will be a demo of a new database, Mergent Horizon, today at 12:30 in Room 135. Please join us.

Mergent Horizon maps companies to their core products to answer the question: Where does the revenue come from? It captures the companies' relationship and exposure to their suppliers, partners, customers and competitors.

With Mergent Horizon you can:
Analyze a company's business at the product level
Find competitors by product or tradename
Identify competitors using a 360 degree view (Who they name; Who names them)
Identify a company's customers, suppliers and strategic partners (and their relative revenues)
Screen companies based on financial variables
Create custom reports on Companies or a Competitor Profile.
Run a Mergers & Acquisitions Scenario Report
See the FDA Approval Decisions pipeline for a company

Mergent Horizon covers all companies actively traded on the NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ exchanges including ADRs.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis announces economic newsletter written for librarians on the latest economic topics

I recently received this announcement and found the resources to be extensive.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is pleased to announce the Liber8 Economic Newsletter, written for librarians, on the latest economic topics.

"Subprime," the inaugural issue, was released today and is available at This issue discusses the current problems in the subprime mortgage market, provides links to articles with more detail, and lists the major sources of data for researchers interested in housing and mortgages. RSS and email subscriptions are available for the newsletter (

The two-page newsletter will be published 9 times per year, January through May and August through November, to coincide with the academic calendar.

More on Liber8:
The Liber8 Economic Information portal ( provides a single point of access to the economic information that the Federal Reserve System, government agencies, and data providers have to offer.

Liber8 also offers the International Economic Statistics (IES) database ( with links to individual economic indicators for countries worldwide.

Yahoo! MapMixer

I just ran across this map, which superimposes a map of New Amsterdam over a current map from Yahoo! The Yahoo! MapMixer site allows you to take your own images and float them (to scale) over Yahoo! maps. Here are some other interesting examples:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Beach Boys + Clash

= "Andy Will Know"
Thanks for the song---some memorable lines and it is nice to be appreciated by young rockers.

Conference Room Key is at reference desk for 7 p.m. meeting tonight

The key to 415 (the conference room) has been left at the reference desk.
Mike Waldman called me to ask that I get it and leave it at the reference desk for a group that is meeting at 7 pm. tonight. (Mike remembered it earlier today and called me.)

A pop song for reference librarians

The indie band SNMNMNM has a song called "Addy Will Know" about a real reference librarian.
This fun bit of fluff has been bouncing around the biblioblogosphere and Twitterverse for the past week.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Book for Arthur Ainsberg has been left at the reference desk

There's a book in an envelope at the reference desk for Arthur Ainsberg. A messenger service will pick it up for him on Thursday. Nothing more needs to be done--just give it to the messenger.

I realize this is not the normal procedure but this was what was easiest to work out for the parties involved.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Rita

Update: His assistant, who is named Korenne,emailed to say she will pick it up tonight (Thursday). She is a Queens College student who was coming to the library to get a book she needs.

Availability of some SEC publications on CCH Business & Finance

Yesterday I received a question from Dean Elliott asking if we subscribed to a Westlaw product that includes specific SEC publications. We do not have access through Westlaw (we have the a
academic version). But we have access through CCH Business & Finance to the publications included in the Westlaw product. In case this comes up, here's where the information may be found:

Log onto CCH Business & Finance.
Click Securities tab.

Under Federal Securities-Reporters and Primary Material, three of the publications are:

SEC No Action Letters
SEC Staff Comment Letters (the Westlaw product refers to Staff Review Letters)
SEC Telephone Interpretations Manual

The other Westlaw product is SEC Official Forms

To access forms via CCH,

Scroll down further, to the SEC Accountants' Module,
Practice Manual is listed. If you click on it, one of the choices is Forms, which can be drilled down further. For example, if you select Form 10-K (after several clicks), you will see in the explanatory material, a hyperlink to a blank Form 10-K that can be filled out for submission to the SEC.

A faster way to retrieve the form, if you know what you want, is to Select the Practice Manual, then use Find by Citation at the top. You can enter the form number that you want, and it is retrieved.

(You could also use Find by Citation as soon as you select the Securities tab, although if you do, you will receive a very long list of possibilities, and you need to scroll down to the Practice Manual to see the choice for Form. If you select Practice Manual first, the choices are narrowed to four, of which Forms is one choice.)

As with other CCH searches, these sources may be searched individually, or combined. You may also select the sources and do key word searches. For example, if you wanted to see what the SEC Staff Comment Letters and SEC Telephone Interpretations Manual had on "debt equity swaps", you could select the sources, and enter a keyword search. Another example might be that you want to see references in these SEC sources to FASB statement 123R, which has to do with stock options.
You can type 123R in as a keyword.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Rita

Guidelines for renewals

Today, I received an email from Hunter letting me know that a book I had borrowed was overdue. The body of the email detailed renewal policies that I was not aware of (or had reason to look up). The gist of those policies is that you may renew online if all three conditions below are met:
  1. you have less than $5 in fines CUNY-wide and
  2. the item borrowed is less than 21 days overdue and
  3. the item borrowed has not been requested by another person
I have updated the Renewals page in the reference wiki to include this information.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wilson databases are back

Guess it was just a temporary problem on their end. Who long as they're back.

Wilson databases down

Not sure why but I can't get in to any Wilson databases at the moment. Anyone know why?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Social networks and reference services

The next meeting of the Virtual Reference SIG (hosted by the Metropolitan New York Library Council) will discuss how reference services are being offered via social networks (particularly Facebook and MySpace). This event is free and open to all. Please RSVP to me ( or to Scott Johnston ( to let us know if you'd like to attend. Here are the details about time, date, etc.:
November 28, 2007
10 am - 12 pm
To be held at the offices of Metro (57 East 11th St., 4th floor, NY, NY)
For more information, see our SIG's wiki.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Books on Greek and Latin roots of English words

Stanton Biddle passed along a request from George Hill in the Dept. of Fine and Performing Arts that we be prepared for students asking for books that featuring Greek and Latin roots of English words. Aside from traditional dictionaries, which would offer origins of specific words, we don't have any of the kind of "vocabulary builder" books that might feature lists of common Greek and Latin roots. Until we can acquire some books like this, I'd like to share this list of books I made in Please note that many of the books on this list can be found at local public libraries as well as other CUNY libraries. (FYI: If you create an account at, you can create your own list of books and share them publicly or keep them private.)

Next week, I'll try to find some web sites that might also meet this info need.

Lost intermediate accounting book turned into security

Thursday night when Stewart and I were working, a student brought an intermediate accounting book to the reference desk and said that another student had left it by a computer.
There wasn't a name inside. I turned it into the security personnel at the 2nd floor station.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Students with e-Permits and printing privileges

ePermit is an online system for requesting approval to take a course at a CUNY college other than one's home college. (It is accessible via the CUNY portal, after logging in and scrolling down.) Students registered for Baruch courses via e-Permit do have Baruch usernames and passwords, but they do not have printing privilges. (Their home campus receives tuition and tech fees.)

Baruch FAQ for e-Permit
CUNY News Release about e-Permit

Please hold off on FRE sign ups

Please refrain from signing up electronically for FRE sessions for the moment.
In order to assure equitable workload distribution, I have been visiting people in their offices to sign up for sessions.
So the authoritative list is the hardcopy I am using.
Please hang on until I get to you.


Distributing Workshop Week Flyers at Ref Desk

In order to assure the success of workshop week (Sept 27-30), reference librarians should give a Workshop Week flyer to each student patron at the reference desk. Please suggest to students that they register online for workshops.

We will continue this practice through Sept. 24.

Thanks for your cooperation.


Kurzweil Reader not Working

The Kurzweil reader behind the reference desk is not working.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

IRS warns against e-mails scams

Today I released from "proofpoint" messages one that appeared to be from the IRS, and learned that I have a refund coming. It seemed suspicious, so I checked out the IRS official site, and learned they are again warning against e-mail scams. It is best to delete the message without opening it, according to the IRS. The IRS states it does not use email to initiate contact with taxpayers.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Reference desk stapler is broken

The stapler at the reference desk is broken. I asked Alfredo to see if a replacement is available but I think he is at lunch.


Computer problem reported

Computer 2061C is frozen and nothing I did worked so I have submitted a help desk request.
This is the third computer in the row near the index tables (to the right of the reference desk as you look out)