Thursday, November 29, 2007
Also, another student suggested that while the directions about how the new copy machine works are good, having them on top of the lid of the copier makes it difficult to remember what needs to be done. (Once the lid is up, you can't read the instructions.)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The student was looking for historical spot commodity prices for oil, silver and gold going back many years.
Before I had a chance to get the student onto the designated terminal to use Thompson DataStream (which has historical commodity prices), Prof. Jiao stepped up and showed us a user-friendly print copy of the CRB (Commodity Research Bureau) Commodity Yearbook which allows you to look up commodities by name (like gold) and find historical data trends going back many years without having to construct a query. The student was pleased.
Later I came across a pathfinder via the Portland State College Library which links to a nice web-based Guide to Understanding the Commodities Market. The guide also has a Glossary.
I hope this information is of some help. It was for me. Thank you to Prof. Jiao!
The choices are:
U.S. Housing Act of 1937. I have learned that this act established permanent public housing in the U.S. Also sometimes called the Wagner Housing Act of 1937, or the Wagner-Steagall Act.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This act reauthorized some educational programs, established standards to be met, and gave more emphasis to improving reading, among other things. (I don't think there will be any problem with this one.)
The Hart-Celler Act of 1965. (It is misspelled as Hart-Cellar on the assignment, and in a number of references found on Google. Emanuel Celler was a New York representative from Brooklyn who served many terms.) This act is also known as the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. It ended the national origins quota system.
Social Security Act Amendments of 1965. These amendments established the Medicare/Medicaid program.
The students are to use books, scholarly journals, reports by research institutes or (to a small extent) articles from major news outlets.
My student was working on the Medicare/Medicaid program question. Although not exhaustive, the following are suggested possible resources. (Barbara Carrel reminded me of several of the sources listed below.)
CUNY+ for books--using keywords. Books about the presidential terms of Franklin Roosevelt (1937), Lyndon Johnson (1965) and George W. Bush may also provide some insights as these reforms were major ones.
U.S. Code and Congressional News would have some legislative history. Our subscription starts in 1967 but earlier years are available at NYPL-SIBL.
JSTOR, PAIS International, America History & Life, Medline Lexis-Nexis and Westlaw for articles. (The students should probably check to see if the professor considers law review articles scholarly resources.)
Policy File for studies and reports.
The encyclopedias available on Gale Virtual Reference database could provide background information.
The historic versions of the WSJ and the New York Times would be resources for interest groups, etc.
The student and I tried some searches in Facts on File, also good for background,and CQ Researcher (didn't go back far enough for the 1965 passage of legislation.) We also expanded the searches beyond the immediate years of passage of the legislation so that some perspective could be found.
I hope that these suggestions are helpful.
Some of the questions that they are expected to answer are:
Why and how did the issue that the policy addresses get onto the agenda?
Waht was the intended goal of the policy? Was that goal guided by a search for a public good?
Which publics were heard on the issue, in the sense of having their views addressed and supported in the policymaking process. Which publics were ignored or excluded?
What tools of policymaking were used in the policy formation process?
What constraints did policymakers face as they constructed the specifics of the policy?
What was the outcome of the policy process? That is, what did the policy actuall mandate?
Did the policy attain the intended goals, and/or address the issue that originally motivated the policy process?
What were the unintended consequences of the policy as enacted? Etc.
I have tried unsuccessfully: Websites: Indpend. Budget office (NYC), Brooklyn Community Board 6, fedstats, uscensus, nystate gov
Also tried multiple database searches in hopes of finding pr's from agencies/foundations, etc.
It is a fee based service, with charges for searching (if you don't do it yourself) and page fees. (These charges help support the system.) The Pacer Service Center web site is http://www.pacer.uscourts.gov/. The system is used by attorneys and others working in, or writing about, the cases.
Because of some inquiries, I contacted the librarian at Fordham Law School Library.
She sent me the following information:
"We only received the information about this program last week. We are in the process of writing policies for the public use of the PACER terminal. I will send you the finished policies as soon as they are finished. Please note that each user must come in person to Fordham Law Library to use the PACER terminal. We are not allowed to give the password and login to anyone outside Fordham."
I'll let you know the policies when they are received.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Some are looking for financial filings by the companies prior to the beginning of the SEC's Edgar system. (For some companies, this was 1992, for all companies, it was 1994.) Some of the companies which had audit failures were not publicly traded. The questions the students are being asked to answer for these companies do not focus on the financials.
Among the sources available are:
If the companies were in the Fortune 500, microfiche on the 3rd floor.
Lexis-Nexis Academic. Click sources. Enter AICPA in the search box on the right.
This brings up a listing of the AICPA's financial information for companies. Individual years may be selected, or all years. Then, one can search for the company. The results are the financial statements and footnotes from the companies' filngs.
Older Moody's manuals and ValueLine, the call numbers of which may be found through CUNY+.
A number of our database, such as Thomson Research, removes filings if the company is no longer publicly traded.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Online access is only available through CCH Accounting Research Manager. There is a limit of two users at a time.
If they want explanatory information, I would suggest either searching CUNY+ for books on international accounting standards, such as Miller Accounting Standards Guide, or going to Books 24x7, which has made books on international accounting standards. Once they do a keyword search for those, they could limit their searches to IAS 16.
They are also asked to prepare their answer in a memo format. I am suggesting that they check out the information about memos in The Little, Brown Handbook, or again Books 24x7, which has many books on business corrrespondence. Limiting those results to memos worked better than "memorandum."
They are also to include journal entries. I don't know what the journal entries should be. The Miller International Accounting Standards Guide and the other sources might have some examples.
Although I have received a number of requests for individual meetings, this is all I know to tell the students.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Minority Data: presenting data for the comparative analysis of analysis of issues affecting racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States. This is a great place to get data on the study of immigration, place of origin, ancestry, ethnicity, and race in the United States.
International Data Resource Center:
Access to international data housed at ICPSR, including such topics as war and peace, economic issues, electoral systems and political behavior, environmental data, health data and more.
Terrorism and Preparedness Data Resource Center: has data collected by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and researchers about the nature of domestic and international terrorism incidents, organizations, perpetrators, and victims; governmental and nongovernmental responses to terror; and citizens' attitudes towards terrorism.
You can get a pdf of their annual summary report, or better yet, you can click on an individual mineral which will bring you to a page for that mineral. You'll get a definition of what the metal/mineral is (in case you want to know the difference btw Titanium Sponge Metal and Titanium Dioxide), and links to the pdfs in the annual report which include data on amount produced, average market price, imports, exports, consumption, employment, etc. There are links on this page to another report called the Minerals Yearbook, which provides a nice narrative overview of the industry in pdf AND there are excel files with data for all the number crunchers out there.
Monday, November 26, 2007
- search for materials in LEO, CATNYP, NYPL Digital Gallery, NYPL web site, and more all at the same time (here's a sample search for "many are the crimes," which is a book by Ellen Schrecker on McCarthyism)
- a drop-down list of libraries (old site required a few clicks to get a specific branch)
There are a few good places to go. A number of agencies and institutions produce profiles of neighborhoods or community districts, where they compile data from several sources into one document. These are good sources if a patron wants a lot of different information about one area - a profile. These are NOT good sources if a patron needs one piece of data for many areas (a list of all neighborhoods ranked by total population, for example) in a format that's friendly for data processing (spreadsheet).
Good sources for NYC neighborhood profiles:
Common question - a lot of the census data is from the year 2000 - is there anything more recent? You can get estimates for states, counties (boroughs), and cities from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. You cannot get more recent data for more detailed levels (census tracts, blocks, zip codes, or neighborhoods). Period. The Census Bureau does not compile data for these areas in non-census years (yet).
Oh OK - there is one source that is more current - The NYC Housing and Vacancy Survey, conducted by the Census Bureau and the city every three years or so. The link will take you to their main page where they have city-wide stats from the survey, but nothing for neighborhoods. There is another site that provides some neighborhood data from this survey, but it's scary and not for the faint of heart. I'll tackle this one in a future posting.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Here's what the student reported in chat and on the phone when asked about where the problem was cropping up:
- she connected via the Databases page and successfully passed through our remote access authentication screen asking for a Baruch username and password
- when Westlaw Campus loads, she is prompted in the database itself to type in a Westlaw client ID and password (which she, of course, is not able to successfully get past)
- other databases do work for her at the moment; it's only Westlaw giving her trouble
When this issue is resolved, please add a new post to the blog or add a comment to this blog post.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Here is a summary:
An analysis of upstate New York’s foreign-born residents suggests that they contribute to the region’s human capital in important ways. This population boasts a greater concentration of college graduates than either the region’s native-born population or immigrants downstate. While some immigrants upstate may compete with U.S.-born workers for jobs, the more highly educated appear to be entering skilled occupations--in medicine, science, and research particularly--that complement those of native-born residents. Read the full article:
The students' assignment gives details on to whom the memo is to be directed.
Also, ask a few questions. Ask if they have a research question that you can answer. The student may have a reference question that could be answered by the librarians scheduled at the reference desk. (Sometimes students ask for a specific librarian only because that librarian presented to their class or has worked with them in the past.) Of course, if the student insists on speaking with a specific librarian, then advise them to contact the librarian via email or phone to make an appointment.
- American National Biography
- If a student needs a bio of a (dead) American, I often send them to this sprawling set. Not only are the entries well-written (they are often composed by the leading biographer for that person), they are of a sufficient length to lend depth (a longish essay) but not so much so that the reader is overwhelmed and they usually feature excellent bibliographies.
- Encyclopedia of New York City
- I once foolishly believed I could read this thing from A-Z (I have my own copy at home). I've found this is a great source for journalism students who are doing neighborhood stories and need background info, as well as for the obvious history assignments.
Friday, November 16, 2007
The Community District Needs-- a series for NYC's five boroughs, published by the Department of City Planning. It provides census information for the community districts as well as identifying quality of life issues for the district, including among other things, police, parks, and economic development. Program needs for youth and senior citizens are addressed, as well as housing and other needs. The identified needs could be used by either public affairs students with an assignment to design a new service agency, or for entrepreneurs looking to start new businesses. Or, they could be used by funders to confirm claims made in applications for grants.
For example, if someone were seeking to expand after school programs, the community district needs might support this need.
U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News--has new laws passed by Congress, and executive orders issued by the President, which can be found elsewhere (in print and online).
What is really helpful is the legislative history that is provided, which is sometimes difficult to find elsewhere and a popular names act table.
So, if you know an act by the name "Child Nutrition Act of 1966," you can learn the statutory number and name, and find the text of the act.
West's Encyclopedia of American Law. This encyclopedia gives basic background information.
For example, it explains what an affidavit is, and provides an example. Need a quick legal history of animal rights laws and need to know the leading cases? Read the summary of animal rights.
The International Motion Picture Almanac. I will confess to not using this annual publication as much as I did when I was a public librarian. In addition to being a source of information about films, and biographies of those involved in films, it offers production services for those in the industry, professional organizations, the world market for films, and lists of award winners.
Until the LACUNY Blog problems are resolved, I am going to switch the sidebar content so that it displays links to the latest posts from ARCLog, which is the main blog from ACRL and regularly features posts by Steven Bell (he gave the keynote at the 2007 LACUNY Institute) and others whose commentary and insights are invaluable.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Printer 2 needs ink.
This is a serial publication, only available by subscription. Since we don't subscribe to it, I searched the NYPL catalog and found it to be available online at SIBL http://catnyp.nypl.org/record=b8857774/ The student headed over there to use it...I needed a nap!
Foreign companies listed on U.S. exchanges will be able to choose between International Financial Accounting Standards (IFRS) or U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), for fiscal years ending on or after Nov. 15.
I am sure that there will be many news stories about this decision. News about it is on Factiva and other databases.
Prior to this decision, foreign companies trading on U.S. exchanges had to use U.S. accounting standards, which added to the expense of being listed in the U.S. So, to be able to choose will be helpful to the companies. Will it be confusing to students and others? Probably. It will be interesting to see what the vendors do.. I imagine that some will convert the non U.S. GAAP filings to U.S. GAAP.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I asked Ester Ramos, and these are suggested procedures:
You can check the availability of the item on CUNY+.
Or, you can refer the caller to the circulation department, 646-312-1660.
In any event, the caller should submit the request on an approved ALA interlibrary loan form. If they don't already have a form, links to the forms are at:
The form should be faxed to 646-312-1661. (A fax number at circulation)
Cost is discussed at circulation.
If you're not familiar with Meredith Farkas, you might want to consider:
- subscribing to her blog, Information Wants to Be Free (get the RSS feed here)
- reading her monthly columns in American Libraries
- checking out her recently published book on social software in libraries (disclosure: at her request when she was writing the book, I answered a number of questions about how social software is being used here in our library)
- catching up on her presentations (which are plentiful in number and rich in content).
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Please let me know if you would like to look at the them.
Included are large format brochures from exhibits at the The Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives of Queensborough. They are entitled:
Sosua, the Dominician Republic: A Refuge from the Holocaust in the Tropics
Diplomats of Mercy
A State of Terror: Germany 1933-1939
Where Have All the Children Gone? Jewish Refugee Children During the Holocaust
To Save One Life: The Story of Righteous Gentiles, also in Spanish
Ships to Nowhere
The Nangjing Massacre: Genocide and Denial
Janusz Korczak's Warsaw
(Korczak was the author of very influential books, How to Love a Child, and "The Child's Right to Respect.") He ran a progressive orphanage in Warsaw. He could have saved himself, but he and the children were all killed at Treblinka. If you saw the movie "The Pianist," for which Adrian Brody won an Academy Award for best actor in 2002, the scene in the rail station includes Janusz Korczak and the orphans. There is also a documentary "Korczak" that was made a few years ago.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Second Floor, Print Room - 2 copiers, card operated
Third Floor - 2 copiers including one color copier, card operated. Plus 1 card/coin operated
Fourth Floor - 1 copier, card operated
Sixth Floor - 1 copier, card operated
There is also a card operated copier on the 2nd floor of the Newman Vertical Campus.
Old copy cards cannot be used with these copiers. Buy new copy cards in the copy room on the third floor.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
"In every issue of the Harvard Business Review, case studies are printed. If you have a database that indexes the Harvard Business Review (like ABI Inform) or if you have a database that has the Harvard Business Review full text (like Business Source Premier) you can search for a particular case study title within the journal - just like searching for an article title. If the case study happens to have been published in the journal, then you can get it.
I tell my students to search the online site for the Harvard Case Studies, get the title of the case study, then search within the journal HBR to see if the case study was published in the journal."
I tried the reverse...I tried a search on Business Source Premier, limited to the Harvard Business Review, and searched the keywords case study. More than 500 results came up of case studies published in the Harvard Business Review, and Executive Summaries, which summary the articles in the issue, including the case studies. I selected one, "Take the Money and Run," from 2004, and read through it on Business Source Premier. At the end, it gave a reprint number, R0411A, which was listed for sale on the HRB case studies site. (There were several other versions of the case available on this site.)
So, using Business Source Premier for some Harvard Business School case studies is possible.
The article can be read at:
Jones, D. Y. How Much Do the "Best" Colleges Spend on Libraries? Using College Rankings to Provide Library Financial Benchmarks. College & Research Libraries v. 68 no. 4 (July 2007) p. 343-51
Wikipedia launched a beta site called Veropedia, where it plans to move the most stable, expert articles on Wikipedia. According to the FAQ, "articles must meet very strict criteria of our own. There can be no cleanup tags, no "citation needed" tags, no disambiguation links, no dead external links, and no fair use images. In addition, each article will be given to recognized academics and experts to review. These experts can either provide their stamp of approval or make suggestions as to how the article can be improved further. In that way, users will know that the article is reliable."
The Veropedia beta only has about 4000 articles. I am guessing from info on the beta site that a group of Wikipedia contributors pulled their articles for the Veropedia and these articles will eventually be reviewed by experts. At this point some are "blue" and some are "green." They say: "If an article has already been "verofied" and is in our database, it will appear as a green link. If an article has not yet been "verofied," it will appear as a blue link, and direct you to the current Wikipedia version." For more see their FAQ.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
a woman arrived to retrieve a lost umbrella after having phoned the reference desk (1PM ish)and being told it had been given to security
I couldn't find the umbrella and she said security did not have it
it is a long umbrella---gold, in a black case
Should it be changed back to the previous default, which I believe was the Search screen?
If students start their research with a particular industry/product they want to export and they are trying to identify the best trading partner for that product, a good place to start is with the Industry Sector Analysis Reports that are available in the National Trade Data Bank. The NTDB is part of Stat-USA (Access it from our database page). Industry Sector Analysis Reports are about 10 pages long and in addition to the industry overview the best reports will include:
Table of market trend data over the last several years with projections
Graph of the key importing countries and their market share
Profile of U.S. share of the import market
Ranking of the leading importers - companies and their brands
List of trade magazines, trade associations and the Commercial Advisor at the U.S. embassy
If you want to see a good example of one of these reports, read about the earth moving equipment market in Argentina. Note that not every industry in a country will be covered. Reports are written about markets that have the best potential for U.S. exports. The U.S. Commercial Service updates these reports through International Market Insight (IMI) Reports. The IMI Reports are posted daily. They are briefer than the Industry Sector Analysis Reports and can announce trade fairs or cover general trade issues. Not all IMI Reports are industry surveys.
To find these reports, connect to Stat-USA and from the home page choose "Globus and NTDB." Many "Market and Country Research" reports are listed (in the right hand column); click on the Industry Sector Analysis Reports or the IMI Reports. You can browse through the reports by country or by industry. Choose either list from the dropdown menu that’s marked "Browse Location."
By 12 noon, Alfredo or I will bring out the day's schedule of appointments to the reference desk in case students have forgotten who they are meeting with or what room they need to go to. For those of you who have research consultation appointments today, I'll give you a copy of this schedule too by noon. I'll also be giving you this packet of materials:
- the blue "Reference Desk Referral Form" (fill out for the student you meet with as needed)
- the student survey form
- the librarian summary report
For those of you who have appointments on Thursday or in the coming weeks, I'll get you your packet of materials in the next day or so. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
There is an organization called the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB), where stats people from each denomination meet to pool their numbers on religious adherents in order to create a Census of Religion for the US called the Religious Congregations Membership Study, published every ten years. City College and the Grad School of Journalism have copies of it in their reference sections.
The latest data can be accessed online from the Association of Religious Data Archives (ARDA) at http://www.thearda.com/. You can generate stats on adherents at the state, county, and metro levels, and they also have summaries for nations and some basic mapping capabilities. The number of adherents in some cases is based on actual counts, and in other cases they are estimates. The quality of the estimates varies based on how thoroughly the clergy of each faith count their adherents. There is also a collection of survey data for various religious topics, everything from attitudes towards moral issues to belief in angels and life after death (there's even a question for belief in monsters!)
Here's a sample county report for New York County aka Manhattan.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
We finally turned to Vault.com, a "career information" site, that is useful for examining the corporate culture of a company. The site includes employee surveys that can help prospective employees assess work environments. Students have free access to extended versions of answers to employee surveys using this link http://www.baruch.edu/careers/students/vault.com. When the student enters their email address on the Vault.com link here, they are sent a password that gives them access to the site. Thanks to Aisha for pointing this out.
Check out the title list (on the top tool bar) for a list of reference titles included--it's quite extensive and impressive. Some of my favorites are: Encyclopedia of Religion (15 vol.), Business Plans Handbook (10 vol.), Countries and Their Cultures (4 vol.), Dictionary of American History (10 vol.), Encyclopedia of Food and Culture (3 vol.), Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America (3 vol.).
The search engine is not as fab as the list of titles. Try an advanced search and select the Document Title field (advanced search) and/or narrowing within a selected Subject area.
Now, in 2007, everyone can map their own illness on the web! whoissick.org is a self-reporting sickness site. You can report your own maladies (anonymously) and see where other people around NYC, and the country, are ill. At this point this is more of a novelty than a reliable source of info. But it serves as a good example of what is possible with web mapping technology.
It also gives hypochondriacs out there more to worry about.