Thursday, January 31, 2008
and has announced the following:
We are pleased to introduce a new section on the Microsoft Investor Relations website, Investor Central, located at www.microsoft.com/msft/IC/default.aspx.
Investor Central is intended to help shareholders better understand Microsoft's business strategies and our financial results. Please take a tour around the site and send us any feedback that you might have at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I went to the new page, I learned that to view the financials, I need to download Microsoft Silverlight. Due to the popularity of this company for student assignments, and general interest, should Silverlight be downloaded on the public computers?
One feature that will be helpful for students is Analyze This Stock, with four components: company value, peer comparison, risk assessment and company news. An interactive overview is available.
To reach the interactive stock reports, S&P provides these instructions (from their monthly newsletter):
To use this service, go to your S&P NetAdvantage database, and:
* select a company by ticker or name,
* select "Interactive" in the left-hand column listed under
* Once the "Interactive" report is open, select from the
left-hand column to move through a step by step
process of analyzing that company (Each link the user
selects opens a new on-screen review of how that
factor influences the analyst's evaluation of that
In a a different vein, I think the recent student panel also debunked some of the assumptions about young people and technology. While the students on the panel were comfortable with search engines and had grasped the importance of using the library databases, many of them were unfamiliar with some of the other technologies - they didn't known about RSS feeds or micro blogs, they didn't write their own blogs, they didn't use blackberries, and they weren't sure what a social networking site was until we mentioned a few examples by name (myspace, facebook). While these technologies are promoted by technophiles in the media and other circles, they aren't being embraced by all young people as a matter of course.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Here is my mental model that I've pieced together of how Bearcat Search works:
- User goes to search box on our Bearcat web page that is hosted by Serials Solutions and types in query for a selected set of databases (for discussion's sake, say it's ten databases).
- Query is passed on to Serials Solutions servers, which then use custom built connectors (more on that later) to translate my query into a formats that can be understood by each of the ten different database vendors.
- Those translated queries are passed by Serials Solutions on to the servers for each of the ten databases.
- Each database returns its results Serials Solutions (not the complete set of results, just the first 50, 100, 125 hits depending on the database).
- Serials Solutions analyzes the first batch of results, removing duplicate records (sometimes but not always), and then passes them on to the web page that the user is on.
- If the user pages through all of the first batch of results (say 200 out of 5,297 found), then when the user clicks to see the results for 201 and on, Serials Solutions goes back to the ten database vendors to get another set of results; steps 4 and 5 above are repeated if the user continues to page through the end of a given batch of results.
The concept of what a connector is a good thing to understand. There's a great blog appropriately called the Federated Search Blog that offers a nice, short overview of what a connector is and how federated search vendors (like Serials Solutions) have to custom create each one for each library. I also recommend reading the following four posts on that same blog that explain how it is that federated search tools connect to the databases they are aggregating:
- Content access basics - Part I - screen scraping
- Content access basics - Part II - XML
- Content access basics - Part III - OpenSearch
- Content access basics - Part IV - SRU/SRW/Z39.50
For anyone who has ever noted varying response times from Bearcat Search, this post, "How fast is federated search" offers some valuable insights.
Please stop me in hallway or add a comment here to let me know if any of this is useful.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
We had trouble finding them by the titles listed on the syllabus. Perhaps the titles were varied on the online or print editions.
on Factiva--we found this article after a keyword search. The syllabus title lacks Politics and Economics
Politics & Economics: Foreign Companies Slowed Capital Spending in U.S.
The Wall Street Journal, 21 April 2006, 872 words, (English)
Rather than Crackdown in trade, the title on Factiva for the second is:
Kuwait Times: Crackdown on trade in illegal software.
Kuwait Times, 10 April 2006, 472 words, (English)
KUWAIT: Authorities in Kuwait have launched a crackdown in the trade of illegal software by raiding two computer stores and seizing two personal computers loaded with pirated software. The Government of Kuwait in recent years enacted ...
Hope this helps.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Interestingly, I noticed this information at the bottom of a case study that is available in the HBR that "Harvard Business Review and Harvard Business School publishing content on Ebscohost is licensed for individual use by authorized Ebscohost patrons at this institution and is not intended for use as assigned course material." So, they really want students to purchase the case studies.
re: The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Tradition : a brief introduction to its life and spirituality
I heard from the Brooklyn College library about the hours for their special collection.
BB students can make an arrangement with Special collection (718) 951-5346 and use the book at any time convenient for them. Regular hours of Special collection are 9-5pm M-F.
I hope this helps to accommodate the students somehow. The book is part of the Hess Collection. Hess was one of the BC presidents and left a huge donation to the library (his book collection and money gift). His research was on the African countries from the Horn of Africa and Special collection continues collect books on these countries.
FYI, we have long had online access via several databases to issues from 1993 on.
A few weeks ago, I heard rumors about the possibility of WSJ.com opening itself up to, much as the New York Times did last fall. It seems like the business model of relying on advertising revenue instead of online subscriber fees is winning out.
CFA Institute offers free online sources to understand financial reports, hedge funds and pension funds
From the Certified Financial Analysts's web site, the following information is available:
These webcasts will explain important accounting terms and practices, comment on corporate disclosure practices and potential accounting manipulations, and answer frequently asked questions—all from the perspective of professional financial analysts and portfolio managers who analyze financial statements and potential investments.
* How to Read a 10-Q Like an Investment Professional: Sequel to Wal-Mart Analysis Webcast
* How to Read and Understand Earnings Releases Like an Investment Pro (Case Study: Wal-Mart)
* Seven Investment Habits Every Investor Needs to Know — A Story Idea for the Press
* Buried Treasure: Finding Information Nuggets in 10-Ks and 10-Qs
* How to Read and Understand Earnings Releases Like an Investment Pro
* Hedge Funds 101: What Every Financial Journalist Needs to Know
* Defined-Benefit Pension Plans: What Journalists Need to Know
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Economic Impact of Private Equity, by Josh Lerner and Steven J. Davis, which was announced Friday at the World Economoic Forum in Davos. The study runs more than 180pages and is available as a pdf file. Webcast and podcast are available. (As are other sessions from this major forum.)
Private Equity Council's American Jobs and The Impact of Private Equity Transactions. This report was released a week ago by the lobbying group.
Some faculty and students may inquire about the studies.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Update: VITA service to start Feb. 1 Link to information about Baruch's VITA Program for assistance in preparing income taxes
Them Tran returned my email as he is the Program Coordinator for VITA this year. He wrote : We start on February 1st at Baruch. Rita
You're welcome, Professor.
It was fun and I actually learned some stuff to look out for (USB drive
availability and RSS feeds available through some of the databases.) It
is really nice to know how much the faculty cares to hear us out and work
to improve our already extensive resources.
I think ALL the departments should do this.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
For those who don't know, Prof. Bodner is the Associate Chief Librarian there –that is, when he isn't working at the reference desk here at Baruch.
We heard tales of disputed books, perilous ferris wheels, roller skating clerks, secret doors, clandestine carrels and problematic periodicals. As if this wasn't enough we also got crash course in the workings of the Billings classification system (unique to NYPL research library). Who knew?
Many thanks to Prof. Bodner for his time and generosity.
I've been sending them up to BCTC on the 6th floor, where they are able to convert the files to the old format. When you create files in Word 2007, you do have the ability to save them in the old format, but of course the default is the new format.
2. Adriana in particular was very precise in how she thinks chat reference is most useful -- for quick, directional questions. Also, I believe she observed that books age very quickly and the Find It feature is cumbersome for students to use.
3. Kenneth made the profound observation that "there is nothing 'common' about common sense."
4. The number one problem in the library was student noise. This confirms various survey data and raises questions about what we can do about it.
5. Transfer students are really out of the loop in terms of library orientation.
6. We need greater publicity and promotional efforts to make students aware of existing services and resources.
7. Professors need to be encourage to model research strategies to students and to emphasize the importance, value of the library.
8. Clubs are an important, underutilized venue for communicating library information and instruction.
9. Students need more instructional opportunities linked to advanced level classes (perhaps we need to publicize the possibility of student-initiated requests for niche-workshops.
Just a few miscellaneous observations from the "Serious Students" panel that I wrote down:
Students use the library as a quick stop between classes, to study in the evenings and for group projects on the weekends.
They think databases can be "pretty intimidating." They learn about databases "by hit or miss."
They use Google as a topic filter to see if there is information on what they are researching.
They understand that they need to evaluate Web sources but are not too clear about how this is done.
They would like more help from their professors not only in recommending databases but in helping define the scope of the assignment and preparing a workable thesis. They mentioned several times that professors assume students know how to do research.
International students have grown up with different experience of libraries, one that is more print and book based.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Felicia R. Lee at the New York Times wrote up a review of the program, which you can read here. I'll try to remember to tape it tonight, as I doubt I'll have a chance to watch it during the broadcast; if you miss it too, ask me for a copy of the tape.
MySpace. YouTube. Facebook. Nearly every teen in America is on the Internet every day, socializing with friends and strangers alike, "trying on" identities, and building a virtual profile of themselves--one that many kids insist is a more honest depiction of who they really are than the person they portray at
home or in school.
In "Growing Up Online," FRONTLINE peers inside the world of this cyber-savvy generation through the eyes of teens and their parents, who often find themselves on opposite sides of a new digital divide. From cyberbullying to instant "Internet fame," to the specter of online sexual predators, FRONTLINE producer Rachel Dretzin investigates the risks, realities and misconceptions of teenage self-expression on the World Wide Web.
Monday, January 21, 2008
I thought I would see if other CUNY libraries have news blogs and there are a few.
The Harvard Business Review is available in Business Source Premier. The article, "The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy," is in the January 2008 issue on pages 79 to 93.
Friday, January 18, 2008
There are other interesting videos and podcasts on the Library Channel. The ones I want to listen to are five podcasts in a series called Faculty Team-up where librarians and faculty talk about their discipline-based information literacy programs.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
"A certain lady of quality carried her purity so far, as warmly to rebuke her librarian for putting the male and female authors together on the same book shelves."
(American Periodical Series, "Extracts," The Philadelphia Album and Ladies Literary Portfolio, June 21 1834, p.199.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
After I reported the printing problem to Systems, Tam rebooted the PC connected to the vendor card printer and the lost print job magically started coming out of the printer. I've put the print job in a folder at the reference desk and placed the folder in the "Hold for Pickup" box by the poinsettia plant.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
We will have either 4 or 5 simultaneous users for each module. (It's being worked out.)
Government accounting and auditing, and nonprofit accounting, which follows much of government accounting (from what I understand) is becoming more important in Baruch's curriculum, and elsewhere, both in business schools and the schools of public administration.
The Government Module includes standards from:
GAO - Government Accountability Office
GASB - Governmental Accounting Standards Board
GFOA - Governmental Finance Officers Association
HUD - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
OMB - Office of Management and Budgets
PCIE - President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency
and CCH's interpretations and examples through a Governmental GAAP Practice Manual, Governmental GAAP Guide and Local Government and Single Audits.
Previously, the GASB standards and some interpretative literature were available only through accessing RIA Checkpoint. This access will continue.
In Internal Controls, you have access to standards from the COSO,(Committee of Special Organization of the Threadway Commission),the AICPA, the PCAOB (which is now in charge of audit standards, the SEC and the Institute of Internal Auditors reference works, which includes some audit check lists, as well as CCH's interpretations and examples for SOX 404 for small, publicly held companies; information technology audits, Auditor's Risk Management Guide, and Audit Committees.
These guides should be helpful to students, as well as faculty.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
I'll get the descriptions updated for the website.
If there's great demand for the missing links to reference sites, then we can began building a new one. If that's your feeling, then add a comment to this blog post.
The articles are:
Labelle, Patrick R. 2007. Initiating the Learning Process; A Model for Federated Searching and Information Literature. Internet Reference Services Quarterly, Vol. 12, 3, 237-252.
Lampert, Lynn and Katherine Dabbour. 2007. Librarian Perspectives on Teaching Metasearch and Federated Search Technologies. Internet Reference Services Quarterly, Vol. 12, 3, 253-278.
Robbins, Sarah and Cheryl McCain. 2007. Federated Searching; Instruction and Promotion on ARL Libraries' Web sites. Internet Reference Services Quarterly, Vol. 12, 3, 279-296.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
The reason I ask is I tried a computer in Room 135 just now, and when I clicked on Firefox, I received a message asking if I wanted to download the updated version, which would take a few minutes. I wouldn't want to take time during a workshop to do this, and also I didn't know if it would take administrative rights.
I showed them how to search on CUNY+ for census and 1950 and also suggested and explained the Statistical Abstract of the United States and how they could check the index for tables. I also reminded them that it takes several years for some statistical data, particularly the census, to become available, so for 1950 they might want to start with the 1953 Statistical Abstract.
Some of the students said they had not used the library before. This is a junior level class. Some students said they were transfer students.
One student expected me to find the information to complete their chart but I explained it was their assignment. One student said that they had found some sites in which they could purchase the 1950 census information for $8. I advised against doing this.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
The new form was announced after public comments were received on a draft. Guidestar was among those commenting. The Form 990 had not been revised since the late 1970s, when the nonprofit world was smaller in many ways. According to the IRS web site and some articles, the new 990 forms will help people better understand the workings of charities and no- profits and help the IRS find people and organizations violating not-for-profit laws and regulations.
There may be some Public Affairs and other students asking about this new form and the changes. Although the IRS has some information, some law firms' newsletters are offering some explanations, and the changes are being covered in articles such as from the The Chronicle of Philanthropy, on January 10, 2008 Thursday
IRS Unveils Final Version of New Informational Tax Form for Charities, available through numerous library databases.
If anyone would like to have an email of a Minneapolis law firm's general take on the new form, please let me know. (I was once a legal assistance at the firm, which does a lot of nonprofit work, and I'm on their email newsletters list.) A financial scandal in the late 1950s involving officers and directors a charity that provided help to polio victims helped launch Minnesota's non-profit laws and the political career of Walter Mondale.
It is also important to consider 990 forms for searching information about for-profit businesses as you can determine what companies and corporation foundations are providing funds to organizations,and also, through looking at expenses, sometimes how much specific companies are being paid for their services/products by the charity (such as pr firms, etc.)
Guidestar and the Foundation Center provide information about the 990s.
1) Thanks to the to the Committee for all their effort and being able to explain things.
2) I think Bearcat Search's greatest value will not be so much as meta-search engine, but as a tool to expand student knowledge of the vast array of database resources available to them. It will help them identify which databases have greater coverage on their topics. Students can then go directly into the best databases and take advantage of the precision searching protocols that don't work in the federated search engine. Librarians should push this approach at the reference desk and in instruction sessions.
3) Based on what we saw in the hands on searching, I strongly suggest that we remove Lexis/Nexis from Bearcat Search because a) phrase searching with quotes doesn't work -- gave zero hits; b) searches seemed to default to the basic search mode which searched only two years back in the news library -- leaving out older records, and legal, business, and reference records) c) Lexis/Nexis has a limit on how many results can be retrieved (I think it's still 1,000 hits), which gives error message.
This creates a situation where students will too often get no results for L/N or incomplete information. I think it would be better to include Lexis/Nexis in the alphabetical list of databases with the notation that it is not included in Bearcat and a link to search the database directly, as we saw with the accounting database.
What do other people think?
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Please note that this is not duplex printing, but shrinking the pages down so more than one can fit on one side of the paper (to save money and paper).
I will follow up when Systems lets me know if this can be done.
UPDATE: Vendor printer options now allows page scaling (multiple pages per sheet).
(Thanks to Systems for quick response.)
designed to keep you informed on the activities, services, programs, and governance of ACRL. Here you will find out about ACRL publications, events, conferences, e-Learning opportunities, podcasts, etc. and gain some insight into the governance of ACRL.
As part of its new Thursday night MOJO Money Night programming block, MOJO HD will premiere Start-Up Junkies January 24 at 10p. This new hi-def financial series airing over eight 30 minute episodes will spotlight entrepreneurs as they launch a new company and nurture it through various stages. Start-Up Junkies, produced by Screaming Flea Productions, joins Wall Street Warriors and Bobby G: Adventure Capitalist each Thursday night. [As announced on Cynopsis, http://www.cynopsis.com]
MOJO HD is on Time Warner and Cablevision. (By the channel name, it obviously targets men, also high income.)
Monday, January 07, 2008
- Students are often not aware that they cannot print if they are not registered for Jan, so they will come to the desk and simply say the printer isn't working. Problem 1 is figuring out if it's because they're not registered, and then explaining the vendor card option.
- Problem 2 is they're trying to use the vendor printer and it's not working - because they are hitting print and the default printer is the student printer. So tell them to go to file - print - and select the vendor printer.
- Problem 3 is the vendor printer still isn't working because they are not getting the dialog box to enter a user name and document description. This is happening because the computer has somehow become disconnected from the print server (?) The solution here is to turn the machine off, turn it on, and try again, and it will work. I have had to do this EVERY SINGLE TIME someone has had to use the vendor printer today.
Friday, January 04, 2008
Thursday, January 03, 2008
This online resource provides a variety of tutorials designed to help data users with using ICPSR data, using SPSS/SAS and related resources. Moreover, they have help in a variety of formats -- video, audio and print out instructions.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
With the Executive Compensation Reader investors can quickly glimpse the total annual pay as well as dollar amounts for salary, bonus, stock, options and company perks. They can instantly compare those executive compensation figures with other companies by sorting according to industry or size (market cap or revenue). The new tool includes direct links to companies' proxy statements, including footnotes and the companies' explanation of their compensation decisions. Selected comparisons can be depicted in both table and graph form and data can be downloaded into Microsoft Excel. (Quoted from the Press Release)