Wednesday, October 31, 2007

question about access to Bloomberg workshops --based on wrong information from another CUNY college

A student came to the reference desk asking about the Bloomberg workshops. I found that one is scheduled for tomorrow, but it is "closed," which I am assuming means that enrollment is closed. She said she was not a Baruch student, but a City College student, and she said she was told by her career office that she could come to Baruch's workshops to learn about Bloomberg.

I said I believed she had been misinformed, and showed her the Subotnick site that limits enrollment to Baruch students, faculty and staff.

She was also under the impression that if she went to www.Bloomberg, that was the same as searching Bloomberg. I explained that they were different, and that the Bloomberg terminals were a separate entity.

I don't know if anything can be done about the misinformation that she said she was given. But at least tomorrow she will not come a long way with an expectation of attending the workshop.


Question about student discount to Wall Street Journal

An MBA student came to the reference desk inquiring about how does the library help with a discounted subscription to the Wall Street Journal? She wants her own personal copy. (We explained that access was available via Factiva and also in print at the circulation desk.)
Several weeks ago a student had a similiar inquiry and I saw him later and he said that the professor for whom he is a graduate assistant was able to arrange for something.

On, there is a student discounted offer for 15 weeks.

If you know of anything else, please post to the blog.

Thanks, Rita

SMP - Security Management Practices -- TRIAL

We have an on campus trial to SMP until 11/15/07.

Security Management Practices (SMP) is an expert resource on the Web for learning about how to confront and manage organizational risk, plan for disruptions, deploy network security appliances, employ biometric technologies, safeguard intellectual property, establish security best practices, protect and train students, staff and much more.

TRIAL -- Early English Books online (EEBO)

We have an on-campus trial of EEBO until 11/30/07.

Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700 - from the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War.

Ebrary access

Ebrary is working. HOWEVER, some records are in CUNY+ that should not be there, so they will link to Ebrary and say they "Document Unavailable". This is currently happening because every month Ebrary sends a new batch of records, some to be added, some to be deleted. Liborio from Central Office was the person who uploaded these records, and as was announced on CULIBS, he unfortunately passed away. Olga assured me someone else will deal with this, but it may take them a bit to get it together.

If you come across any records that end up with the "Document unavailable" message, please feel free to send them to me so I can check on them when the new file is uploaded.

Thank you for your patience.

Ethnic Newswatch: no access

We (and CUNY) seem to have lost our access to Ethnic Newswatch. I am investigating.

FARS 2007 CD isn't working on reference computers

The 2007 FARS CDs need to be installed by someone with administrative privileges on the reference computers. I emailed a help desk request/inquiry yesterday about this. So, in the meanwhile, please tell the accounting students to search on either RIA Checkpoint or CCH Accounting Research Manager. (This is for Prof. Nurnberg's assignment.)

At this point, if the students haven't looked at the tutorials and help on Blackboard, I am telling them that I will help them after they have looked at this material. Their assignment makes it clear that these materials are to be consulted by them.


price histories

Can anyone lead me to sources for NYC price histories from the late 70s -- early 80s.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New FARS CD for 2007 has arrived

The 2007 Financial Accounting Research System (FARS) CDs from the FARS have arrived.
Two will be kept at the reference desk and used in the reference desk computers.
The other is available in reserve for one day loan.

I will check with Saad to make certain that the CD works on the reference desk computers. (Administrative rights are needed for the initial installation.)

The same literature that may be searched on the FARS CD (current as of Sept. 1, 2007) may be searched on CCH Accounting Research Manager and RIA Checkpoint-Accting, Auditing & Corporate Finance. The CCH and RIA databases are update daily.


Accessing GIS Software

Following the Intro to GIS Presentation, I received a few questions about how to get GIS software. Here are some answers:

1. CUNY has a site license with ESRI, the makers of ArcGIS. You can put in an IT Help Desk ticket and request to have ArcGIS installed on your machine. You can then sign-up for one of the free online courses to learn how to use it. I would suggest the The 15-Minute Map: Creating a Basic Map in ArcMap, if you just want to get your feet wet.

2. If you're not up to getting the full ArcGIS, with everything and the kitchen sink, you can try downloading ArcExplorer, which is a free, light-weight data viewer and mapping application made by ESRI. Since this is an application, you will need administrative permissions in order to install it at work. You could try it at home if you have a Windows operating system.

3. If you're a Mac or Linux user (or a Windows user who wants to try a non-ESRI product), you can try Quantum GIS (or QGIS for short). It is a free, open source, and relatively simple GIS program. You can work with many of the same datasets (shapefiles, imagery, etc) that you can use in ArcGIS.

Check out the GIS Subject Guide for places to download data to use with these GIS programs.

Happy mapping!

- Frank

Standard & Poor's Industry in Focus: The Future of E-books

While searching Standard & Poors NetAdvantage, I noticed the Industry in Focus is the Future of e-books.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Specifically nonspecific searching in ABI

Librarian Donna Slawsky pointed out an interesting search function in ABI Inform that allows you to search for articles related to companies without having to actually name one.

This comes in handy when a student asks: "I'm looking for case studies about how companies handle the training and development of their employees," but the student doesn't have a particular company they want to focus on.

Rather than just searching "training and development" by subject and wading through lots of theoretical articles about training and development, you can find articles about cases of actual training and development occuring in real companies.

Use ABI's classification codes to do this. The codes are toward the bottom of the search screen. To browse these codes, click on the hyperlink that says "Classification Codes." Next, drill-down to the section called "Document Treatment."

Here you can pick the classification code "Company Specific" (9110), as well as a number of other codes to help you get as specifically unspecific as your heart desires.

In any case, thanks to Donna for pointing this out.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


It's Sunday and Ebrary is down. I have notified Mike.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Printer problems at the reference desk_problems fixed

I have put in a help desk request that at the present time it appears only the computer on the right side of the ref desk (as you face out) is sending things to the printer and a print results.
Printing guest log ins from the left computer, or anything else, is not working.

The problems have been fixed. Rita

National Academies Free Online Books and Podcasts

You may want to view the free online books and podcasts (Sounds of Science podcasts) available from the National Academies site. They cover current issues and topics and could be great resources for students, especially in COM 1010 or ENG 2100. You can search the site or browse by subject areas. Some example books/podcasts that may be of interest to librarians:

Some books have a price, but don't worry, you can also read them for free. (Either look for the icon in the shape of an eye that says "Read Free Online", or click on the book title and scroll down the record until you see the "Read" section and click on "Fulltext" to access by chapter.)

The site also includes the coding to include the book on your site (just cut and paste the code). This is great for instructors that want to imbed the book on a site. Just find the book image that says "Display this book on your site".


Thursday, October 25, 2007

About Prof. Nurnberg's accounting assignment using FARS (or equivalent databases)

Accountancy professor Hugo Nurnberg distributed a two- part assignment to his upper level accounting class this week in which they are to use the Financial Accounting Standard Poor's FARS CD (available at the reference desk) or the RIA Checkpoint or CCH Accounting Research Manager databases.

I have discovered that the 2007 FARS CD has not yet arrived (it was released later than usual) so I would encourage you to suggest to the students to search RIA Checkpoint or CCH Accounting Research Manager. I don't know if the answer to the assignment is so timely that the 2006 FARS CD would not have the most up-to-date information that would be correct, but the RIA Checkpoint and CCH Accounting Research Manager are updated daily.

Prof. Nurnberg put on his Blackboard site the tutorials and handouts that have been developed to help students search this literature. If the students have not yet looked at these handouts before they try to search, please suggest that they do so. (One student told me that she didn't think it mattered what she searched. I learned she had not looked at the handouts, and I encouraged her to do so.)

Prof. Nurnberg encourages the students to consult background information, such as the Miller GAAP Guide. On Lexis-Nexis this is now referred to GAAP Levels A, B, C, D. The easiest way to locate it is to search "GAAP" in Sources, and look for it. Some of the interpretative literature on CCH's Accounting Research Manager is labeled "Miller Interpretations," which I am assuming is based on the Miller GAAP Guide, although I couldn't find anything in the database stating that.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks, Rita

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tips for Research assignment for Tax 9863

Darryl Steinberg, who teachers Tax 9863, Principles of Federal Income Taxation, is assigning his 85 graduate students to do research papers on one of the following three topics:

Homeland Reinvestment Act : Section 965
Limitation on Tax Deduction for Executive Compensation over $1M: 162(m)

Comparison of US Current Federal Income Tax System, Flat Tax Proposal and National Sales Tax.

I did a brief presentation of the tax related resources last night. These topics, he said, will be covered more in the secondary resources-journals, policy studies, law review articles, the WSJ, etc. I provided the students with an extensive handout. I also posted it on the shared Numan drive under the IS Division, Instruction, Instructional Materials and the folder Class Assignments.

Steinberg, who is the tax counsel for Lehman Brothers, told the students he thought CCH Tax Research Network was used by practioners more for the primary materials and RIA Checkpoint for the secondary materials and commentary and analysis.

To give you some heads up, the Homeland Reinvestment Act, section 965, was part of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, also known as Pub. Law. 108-357. This is a brief explanation of the IRS Code section 965:
As part of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-357), Congress provided U.S. multinational corporations with a temporary reduction in the U.S. tax imposed on certain dividends repatriated from their foreign subsidiaries. The stated reason for the tax benefit
was to stimulate the U.S. economy by triggering the repatriation of foreign earnings that would otherwise have remained abroad.

Relating to the executive compensation topic, in general:

For purposes of both the regular tax and alternative minimum tax, a publicly held corporation cannot deduct compensation (remuneration) to a covered employee to the extent the compensation exceeds $1 million per tax year (Reg. §1.162-27 There are some exceptions, explained in the code, cases and commentaries. One of the exceptions includes "golden parachutes." There is a division of opinion on whether this deduction should be increased or decreased, and policy questions in general about the deduction.

For the third, about the present U.S. federal tax system, and alternatives such as a national sales tax or a flat tax, there are many articles and studies on these alternatives. (These alternatives were proposed in a study prepared for President Bush that was done in 2005 by the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform.

In the indexing of articles in ABI Inform Global, alternative names for a national sales tax are VAT (value added tax) and consumption tax.

The Congressional Research Reports, available on CCH Tax Research Network, have a number of studies on these topics. Other studies may be found in CIAO, NBER and SSRN. The tax treatises on RIA had information on these topics also. These taxes have been considered in other nations, and some countries have enacted them. The European Union has a VAT tax.
International tax treaties are available through the CCH database.

These topics all have many different stakeholders so there should be a wealth of research available.

Please let me know if you have any questions. The students just received the assignment and they will be working on the papers that are due at the end of the semester.

Congressional Research Reports 2003-2007 available in CCH Tax Resources Network

In preparing for a workshop, I discovered that the full-text of Congressional Research Reports 2003-2007, and other reports, relating to a broad range of present, or proposed, federal tax policies on business issues (compensation of executives, incorporating or doing business outside the U.S., flat tax, or national sales tax) are now available on CCH Tax Resource Network.

Click on the Federal Taxation tab, scroll and look in the Tax Legislation section, and the CRS Reports and other studies are listed in the right column. There are 12 pages of reports, arranged by date issued.

Jin wrote about the Congressional Research Reports earlier this year. They can be a valuable research source.

Database slowness

I am not sure if this is affecting any of our databases, but if a database is very slow it could be that they it is going through the California area that is burning. RefWorks seems to be affected based on the traffic on the RefWork list, but there may be others.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Should Surveyor Client be on my computer?

When I started my computer this morning, Surveyor Client was downloaded. Should it be?
If I should have it, could someone explain why? Thanks, Rita

Friday, October 19, 2007

WorldCat Collection Analysis call numbers

Thanks to Brian who found out that if you mouse over a category after expanding it, you will get a little window with the LC and Dewey corresponding.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Link to GIS Course Page

Some have suggested (rightly so) that the link to the free ESRI GIS courses that I posted previously seems buried within the geography subject guide. So, a link to the course info has now been added to the library services page to increase the visibility of this resource.

Video on the information revolution

Thanks to a post by Nicole Engard, a librarian who blogs at What I Learned Today (you may have met her at Library Camp last August), I learned that the Kansas State University professor who made the video I mentioned earlier today also made a few others worth checking out:

Information R/evolution

The Machine is Us/ing Us

There's a nice little library of videos about the quickening pace of technology and how it is affecting the world on the Moving Forward site.

Forrester site offers some free research reports

For a lecture I did yesterday for some MBA students in CAPS, I was asked by the professor,prior to the session, if the library had access to research from Forrester. (A NYT article that the class was assigned referenced a Forrester Research report on computer game playing in companies.) I learned that the Forrester web site offers some free studies. A free individual registration is needed. The site had some free current reports on social networking and marketing, which the students were also assigned. Gartner and FAITS were also helpful.

Preview new home page for NYPL

A post on the NYPL Labs blog offers a screenshot of the home page that will go live sometime soon.

Reference Desk Computers

I have notified Systems that the computers at the reference desk are continually being hijacked by some program that wipes out all our library links and installs MSN as the default screen. This may have had something to do with the problem Paul reported about access to SDC last night.

Using Ref. Desk Referral Form in Class Lectures

I decided to use the Reference Desk Referral Form as a handout for a few class lectures (ENG 2100, SOC 4900, ANT 3085). Instead of giving students a handout listing databases and etc., I thought they could write down the database names and what they are used for as a reinforcement technique. Also, I found explaining the handout and how to use it has helped with demonstrating the research process. It was encouraging to see the students use the keywords grid while doing a class exercise and on their own during the hands-on time. I received positive feedback about the form from instructors as well. One even asked if she could have an electronic version so she could use it for future classes.

America's Best Graduate Schools Ref. Book

Has anyone seen America's Best Graduate Schools? (Reference Desk 2nd Floor Ref LB 2371.4 .A64 2007) It hasn't been on the shelf for a few days ... or for who knows how long.


Video about the lives of our students

David Lankes alerted me in this blog post to a cool video from Kansas State University that captures some of the feelings of today's students about what it is like to be in college.

Link to video on YouTube

No remote access to JAMA

I was unable to get into JAMA from off campus just now. I used the link available from a Serials Solutions search and then got this error message:
EZproxy Server Error
Please tell your server administrator to check
ezproxy.msg for a MaxVirtualHosts error

Credo Reference (formerly Xrefer) not accessible remotely

I just failed to access Credo Reference from home (please note that this database was formerly known as Xrefer). After going through our EZ Proxy authentication screen, I was given a Credo home page that asked me for user name/password info, which I shouldn't see if authentication worked.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

SDC, part II

Got it. I logged her into the other work computer. So, the one that works okay is on the south side of the desk.


I'm trying to log a student on to the sdc at the ref desk work computer, and after booting up, it remains stuck on the "connection status" window....

Using LexisNexis for Accounting

The reference practicum discussed accounting databases at our meeting this week. The new LexisNexis interface hides the accounting search. Here's how to find it. Clicking on the "Business" tab defaults to the Company Dossier, but on the right of the screen various "Business Searches" are available including accounting. The LexisNexis accounting library includes both the Wiley GAAP series and the GAAP Guide Levels A, B, and C (the former Miller GAAP Guides). GAAP Guides discuss the FASB standards and give practical examples of how to apply specific accounting principles.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

student printer 1 not working

STudent printer 1 is continually jamming and the message is to clear the paper on the right side door. I did this about 20 times and it is jamming. I called Annette about it.


New Students Library Tutorial Instructions

Some students who are in the Learning Communities did not receive instructions for taking the quiz. I have put the instructions in the file cabinet at the reference desk.

Intro to GIS for Librarians

I will be giving a presentation entitled "Introduction to GIS for Librarians and Information Professionals" that is open to all Newman Library faculty and staff who are interested in learning about Geographic Information Systems. The presentation will be held in Room 135. You can choose from one of two dates:

  • Fri Oct 26th from 1pm to 2pm

  • Tue Oct 30th from 10am to 11am

  • Please email me to let me know which session you would like to attend:

    Friday, October 12, 2007

    Student Resource

    Guidelines for Illustrated Presentations

    An excellent set of guidelines for students--and possibly faculty--presenting illustrated lectures is now on the web as a short (ten minute video). See Philip Bourne, “Ten Simple Rules for Making Good Oral Presentations.” SciVee. (Accessed October 11, 2007).

    Ulrich's down on Sat-Sun Oct. 13-14

    Per Proquest, Ulrich's will be down from Saturday, October 13, 3pm EST to about 3pm Sunday October 14.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    Proquest Newsstand

    Our access to Proquest Newsstand/Newspapers is gone - it was originally a trial that was never turned off, and the price to keep it was prohibitive.

    Friday, October 05, 2007

    UC Berkeley offering classes on YouTube

    The San Francisco Chronicle reports that over 200 clips have been uploaded representing 8 semester-long classes.

    The article can be found at:

    The videos:

    Unfortunately you can't any course credits!

    Free Online GIS Courses Now Available

    As part of CUNY's license agreement with ESRI, the producers of ArcGIS software, current memebers of the CUNY community are entitled to take a number of online, self-paced, and free GIS courses offered through ESRI's Virtual Campus network. I have received permission to act as an administrator for these courses for the Baruch community.

    Current students, faculty, and staff members of the Baruch community can get information about the requirements and procedures for registering for the courses, as well as a list of available courses, from the ESRI Virtual Campus Courses at Baruch page on the library's website. Feel free to refer interested Baruch patrons to this resource.

    To take the courses, you would create an ESRI training account on their website and then follow the instructions on the Courses at Baruch page for requesting courses from me: I will email the course codes so you can register through the ESRI training website. To take take the courses, you need access to the ArcGIS software (students can access it from several labs on campus) and media for storing the data files used in the courses.

    For more information on GIS at Baruch, and resources for GIS education and data, visit the recently updated Geography and GIS Subject Guide.

    - Frank

    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    Background info on world cultures

    In a workshop for one of the sections of the Learning Communities, I pointed the students toward a reference set called the Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life to help them in their research on traditional clothing of various groups. There are entries on over 500 groups from around the world. Each 2-3 page entry has the same sections:
    • introduction
    • location and homeland
    • language
    • folklore
    • religion
    • major holidays
    • rites of passage
    • interpersonal relations
    • living conditions
    • family life
    • clothing
    • food
    • education
    • cultural heritage
    • work
    • sports
    • entertainment and recreation
    • folk arts, crafts and hobbies
    • social problems
    • bibliography
    To give you a sense of the depth of cultures covered, here's a list of some of the entries from the volume on Asia and Oceania:
    • Acehnese
    • Afghanis
    • Ahirs
    • Ainu
    • 'Alawis
    • Ambonese
    • Andamese
    • Andhras
    • Anglo Australians
    • Anglo Indians
    • Asmat
    • Assamese
    • Australian Aborigines
    • etc.

    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    Have you tested WARC?

    We have a trial to, a database used extensively by advertising agencies, market research companies and media agencies. Peggy Teich has worked with the database and wrote a nice summary of its features. I'll post some of her general comments here but be sure to look for her full report on the shared drive in the "Databases" folder.

    Unique Content: WARC contains information not available elsewhere. Examples are transcripts and reports from advertising research organization conferences from Europe (ESOMAR - World Association of Opinion and Marketing Research Professionals, formerly European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research) and the United States (ARF or Advertising Research Foundation). Also included are transcripts and reports from related advertising associations such as POPAI (Point of Purchase Advertising International). In addition, numerous periodicals, many of them British, are available in the full text here and unavailable elsewhere.

    All Subjects Index: Allows employment of drill down technique and is, in many cases, the most effective use of the database. This may be the best search method when looking for broad or conceptual information (like advertising effectiveness or the long or short term effects of advertising, for example).

    Case Studies: Click "find a case study" - allows selection of criteria by industry, by medium, target group and by advertising technique. Example: How have food companies targeted children on the internet? This search will yield information on companies that have effectively advertised and what that campaign entailed (medium used, frequency of advertising, length of campaign, etc.)

    Classics: WARC will allow you to search for classics or alternatively, will denote on the results page which articles are classics.

    D&B Million Dollar Database

    It's back on.

    D & B Million Dollar Database Down?

    The D & B database is "misbehaving." I reported the problem to Michael Waldman a few minutes ago leaving a message on his telephone machine.

    He's resolving the matter now.

    Monday, October 01, 2007

    Problem with searching for databases by subject & type

    **This seems to be resolved now. (10/1/2007) **

    When using "Search for a Database by Subjects & Type" on the databases page, you may be directed to a fake Google-looking page (Coooqle) promoting prescription drug Tramadol-- instead of a getting a list of Newman Library databases. I placed a Helpdesk request.

    This happened to me during a workshop on Sunday. I assumed it was fixed since it was working fine earlier today, but it is happening again.