Friday, June 19, 2009

New Home for Reference at Newman Library

Early next week (around June 22 or June 23), you will want to keep your eyes open for a message in your email inbox inviting you to join the Reference at Newman Library blog. Over the past month, I have been setting up our reference blog on a different blogging platform. Instead of using Blogger, as has been the case for nearly five years, we will be using WordPress. Our blog will be locally hosted here at Baruch, which will give us much greater control over the look and feel of the site and end our being at the mercy of Google, which owns Blogger.

As soon as you have clicked the link in the email to accept the invite and set up your WordPress account, you may want to customize your profile in WordPress so your real name and not your user name appears on the blog posts:

  1. While logged in to WordPress, click on your name in the top right corner where it says, "Howdy, [your name]."
  2. The page that opens will be the "Profile" page where you can type in your first and last name and select from various name display options where it says "Display name publicly as."
  3. Click the "Update Profile" button on the bottom of that page to save your changes.

The old site will not be taken down or altered in any way. The new site will still have an index of blog posts; from this point on, that index will list posts by topic from both sites. There is also be a search feature on the new blog that will search both sites at the same time.

If you'd like to take a peak at the new blog, you can find it at:

There are still some areas on the new site that are being developed. The pages for "Baruch Blogs" and "LIS Blogs" will feature headlines from notable blogs. I'm still working with Luke Waltzer from the Schwartz Communication Institute to figure out the best way to present republished blog posts (I have something in mind that looks like what Factiva does with its "News Pages.")

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

guest login down

The guest login was down starting 7:30pm, Thursday, June 18.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Key for Cabinets in Printing Room

I'm working the 6-9 shift and the key for the paper supply cabinets is not in the drawer, Cabinet #1. (It is 8:20pm now.)

Does anyone know where it is? Can we make sure it is always in the drawer?

[June 18 Update] The key is now on a small, silver, metal key chain. (It is no longer on the large wooden block.) It was found underneath the drawer organizer.

If the key is not in the locked cabinet #1, look in the unlocked drawer to the right. If you still don't see it, perhaps it is underneath the organizer.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

FASB announces free webcast about upcoming Codification transition

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has announced a free webcast on June 22, that will be archived, to help prepare for the upcoming transition July 1 to the Codification. This is a very major change. I would encourage you to watch it, either live or the archived version.


A patron told me that the elevators will not stop on the 4th floor. I went and checked and was able to enter the elevator on the 4th floor (someone was exiting). But once inside, the elevator would stop at every floor except the fourth. It also stops at the third floor of the library, regardless of whether or not someone has pushed the button. Jennifer put in a work order so someone will come to look at it.

In the meantime, patrons unable to use the stairs might not be able to get to the fourth floor. They can be directed to circulation and can use their elevator.

Printing in the Summer

The BCTC Help Desk just assisted me in answering a question I wasn't sure about. A student taking a class only in the first summer session and not the second session asked if her printing account would still be available to her in the second session. The answer is no, it will end when the first summer session ends.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

GIS Intern for the Summer

We have a GIS intern for the summer session. Originally from West Texas, Clint Newsom is currently working on his M.S. in Information at the University of Michigan and will be spending his summer here working on some census-related GIS projects. He took some GIS courses as part of his degree program and wanted the chance to test and expand his skills. He has a Master's in Anthropology, lots of web development experience, and some library experience working at the University of Austin in Texas.

Clint will be here all day on Mondays and Tuesdays and on Wednesday mornings - he's spending the other half of his week as an intern at the American Museum of Natural History. He'll be stationed in the Chief Librarians office suite on the 4th floor, and will be putting in a few hours a week at the reference desk. Please welcome Clint to Baruch!

Every Nasdaq Firm Gets a Report

That was the title of a story in today's Wall Street Journal. Nasdaq is teaming up with Morningstar to provide research profiles of every Nasdaq-listed company regardless of size. That means more than 3,600 companies. The reports will be 4 to 5 pages and consist of a company profile and data sheet. Morningstar will not provide earnings forecasts or make a buy/sell/hold recommendation.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Marc Antony's speech from Julius Caesar

A student came to the desk confused as she said her communications professor had said "Just Google It" for Marc Antony's speech. She knew it was Act 3, Scene 2 but she didn't know it is from Julius Caesar. It's quite famous...we did find print versions and we found it on

Friday, June 05, 2009

What LibGuides Look Like

If you haven't heard yet, we are looking into using LibGuides to create subject guides. Here's a seven-minute video that gives an overview of the product.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Elevators Out of Order

The elevators are not working this morning. Jerry said that the problem is being worked on and they may be back in service in a couple of hours. In the meantime, patrons unable to use the stairs should be referred to the circulation desk and can be escorted by their elevator upstairs.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Guest Login System Down This Morning

The guest login system has been mostly down all morning. As of 11:57 am, it's still down. The Help Desk gave me a ticket number for this: 116568.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Datastream Navigator Available Again

The Datastream Navigator (the tool for searching for the mnemonic codes for series within the application) is again available. [It was not available last week due to a change in the embedded url which Theresa and I just updated.]

Friday, May 22, 2009

Map of Manhattan from 1609

Connected to the 400th anniversary of the first European contact with the Hudson River and the area that now makes up New York City, the Wildlife Conservation Society has launched an amazing mapping system of Manhattan that gives you a glimpse of what the land probably looked like here at the time the first Europeans were arriving.

The Mannahatta Project allows you to enter in a street address and see what that location may have looked like in 1609. You can then click on the virtual thumbtack on the map and get a popup window (like this one for 151 E 25th St) that will detail:
  • what wildlife probably lived there (common names and scientific names are provided)
  • any uses of the land there by the Lenape
  • what the topography was like
  • what the area is like now (you get a link to the OASIS map for the location; here's the link provided for 151 E 25th St)
You can drag the map around on your screen, zoom in and out, and even overlay the modern street grid.

Full text list

Serials Solutions is experiencing some sort of problem and our Full Text list page has temporarily lost all its customization. This is happening to libraries across the country. The search functionality is working fine however.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Serials Solutions records in CUNY+

Because Serials Solutions has changed the format for sending their e-records, the central office has had to reload all electronic serials records. Therefore the current changes are not reflected in the records currently in CUNY+. This would be a problem if we have canceled a title or if it was dropped from a database. Please double check with the Full Text list (which is updated) if you find something that CUNY+ shows we have but does not work. As always, feel free to email me if something is strange.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ebrary now allows exporting to RefWorks and EndNote

ebrary just announced the new feature added to the QuickView menu.

Users must go to My Settings on the top right, where they have a choice to allow for the RefWorks and/or EndNote buttons to appear. Once you do that, after you have a book open, click on InfoTools and you will see the option to export to those softwares.

This is a user-driven option, so each user has to do this for themselves.

Monday, May 18, 2009

WNYC's On the Media critiques two new search engines

WYNC’s On The Media featured a segment this weekend on search engines. The segment discusses two savvy search engines, Wolfram Alpha and Cuil, but also is a good commentary on the current state of Search. Danny Sullivan from was interviewed.

  • Wolfram Alpha
    Wolfram Alpha is a new search engine that functions more as an “answer machine” in that it specializes in finding statistical facts. Some sample searches that yielded seemingly correct answers:

    Marshmallow AND Calories
    Lake Superior AND Average Depth
    Afghanistan AND Population
    United States AND Trade Deficit
    Ford AND 2008 AND Revenue
    Distance AND Moon AND Earth

    Interesting and fun, but I think the manner in which it displays the results is lacking. It is not exactly clear where the information came from so there’s no way to gauge the validity and reliability the information. The “Sources” link leads you to the formulas that calculated the results.
  • Cuil
    The article also discussed Cuil which indexes and crawls more pages than Google. Cuil’s results rely less on popularity of pages for search results and more on the presence of related words within the search page.

“Holy Grail 2.0.” On The Media. WNYC. May 15, 2009.

Friday, May 15, 2009


At today's Tech Sharecase, I demo'ed Zotero, an open source citation manager that works within the Firefox browser. If you want more info about Zotero, you may want to check out the LibGuide on Zotero that my friend Jason Puckett, a librarian at Georgia State University, put together for the students and faculty at his school.

If you do set up Zotero and set up your account to be saved on the web as well as on your computer, feel free to friend me in Zotero. Even if you don't set up Zotero, you can check out my library of citations (wkich I haven't really organized much into folders and subfolders yet).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Company History

At the last practicum we discussed an assignment about company histories. An entrepreneurship class has to find out about the history, management and strategy of a company before it went public. They need to answer the question: why did the company go public? To get the basic facts about who was the founder or CEO and when the company went public, the best source is the International Directory of Company Histories which is available in our reference collection (HD2721 .I54) and online in the Business and Company Resource Center. BCRC also includes Notable Corporate Chronologies.

Students that I worked with found the best information came from Business Source Premier using some creative searching. Interviews with the CEO’s had great information (Use the CEO’s name or ‘Executives’ and the subject term ‘Interviews’). You can also search BSP with the index term ‘Going Public (Securities).’

If the CEO was a well known figure (we were looking at Dave Thomas of Wendy’s) the Biography Reference Bank was useful since it had profiles from Current Biography and links to current articles. The Biography Resource Center includes Business Leader Profiles for Students which is simple but helpful for chronologies.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Student printing accounts end May 26 at midnight

A student inquired, and after calling the help desk, we learned that student printing accounts for the semester will terminate May 26 at midnight.

Sources for Advertising Metrics

A couple of patrons came to the desk this morning looking for advertising metrics for audience reach including CPM (Cost Per Thousand). The following sources will have data on advertising audiences and reach:
  • TVB (Television Advertising Bureau) Online Go to Research Central and choose Ad Revenue Track.
  • TV dimensions 2009. - Stacks, non-circulating - HE 8700.8 .T917
  • SRDS Media Solutions. In addition to television, other mediums like radio, newspapers and outdoor advertising are also covered.

Also, today I received another question today from a patron about the advertising revenues for the top newpaper/magazine publications.

  • Advertising Age. This information is found in the Data Center online, but we do not subscribe to the Data Center. But it's also available in the print version--Advertising Age Annual 2009. We have this issue on microform.
  • Magazine publication advertising revenues are available from the Magazine Publishers of America.

These sources and more are available from Peggy Teich's comprehensive Advertising Subject Guide. Let me know if you'd like me to make you a copy.

XBRL Update

Baruch held its 5th annual XBRL conference yesterday and there is some news to report. We are only 33 days away from the first large scale filings of 10-K’s and 10-Q’s in XBRL format. The SEC requires that all companies with a market cap over $5 billion (about 500 or so companies) begin filing in XBRL for their fiscal quarter ending June 15th. Other large accelerated filers, about 1200 companies, must begin filing in 2010 and small cap companies in 2011.

Companies must make the filings available on their web sites as well as filing with the SEC. David Blaszkowsky, the director of the SEC’s Office of Interactive Data, reported that 26 companies have already filed, even some small and mid-cap companies that are not yet required to use XBRL. The SEC rules require that all 10-K’s, 10-Q’s, 8-K’s or 6-K’s that revise or update financial statement data, as well as Registration Statements be filed in XBRL.

Our students can access the reports through the database EDGAR Online or use IDEA, the SEC’s new EDGAR filing database. Reports filed in IDEA are clearly identified with a format label saying either ‘document’ or ‘interactive data.’ The financial statements filed in XBRL can be downloaded to Excel.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Analyst Reports

I just want to point out the places to find analyst reports now that we no longer have Investext.

The best source is Thomson One which students can access from the Reuters terminal at the reference desk or any of the terminals in the Subotnick Center. This is the most comprehensive collection in terms of its global coverage, the types of reports (equity, fixed income and economic), and the number of contributors. It is also the most frequently updated and offers the best indexing and search features.

Analyst reports are also available from Bloomberg. To find reports for a company, type in the ticker symbol, the EQUITY key, the letters 'ANR', and then press the GO key.

Business and Company Resource Center also offers research reports but they do not include reports from any of the top ranked banks or independent research firms. (See my previous post for more detail).

NYPL adds Mango online language instruction

The New York Public Library recently added the Mango online language instruction collection. You need to enter your NYPL library bar code to access the collection. However, sample lessons for each of the languages may be accessed without a card. Lessons for English speakers include Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, German, Greek, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian and Russian. There are English courses for speakers of Spanish, Polish and Brazilian Portuguese.

New CPA exam review series available: Gleim

Acc 5400 students of Prof. Paquita Davis Friday will likely be asking for the Gleim version of the CPA exam review book for Auditing. She has recommended that they use that to review for their final exam which is Monday. Through Prof. Friday's work the library received a copy of this four volume (with a business supplement) CPA exam review series for free from Gleim. They were recently added to the library's reserve collection.

The books are in reserve, under Ref 000

Here are the call numbers:

Gleim, Irvin N. CPA review. Auditing / 2008 Book Baruch Reserve HF5661 .G543 2008

Gleim, Irvin N. CPA review. Regulation / 2008 Book Baruch Reserve
HF 5661 .G544 2008

Gleim, Irvin N. CPA review. Business / 2008 Book Baruch Reserve
HF 5661. G542 and HF 5661.G543 Supp.

Gleim, Irvin N. CPA review. Financial / 2008 Book Baruch Reserve
HF 5661. G541

Students using CUNY+ may locate them by a keyword search Gleim and auditing (for example) if they forget the exact title of CPA review Auditing.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

RefWorks Remote Access

I got a call from a student being asked for a group code for RefWorks after trying to access it from our DB page. This happened also back in November....I never learned how or if it was resolved. The patron also tried to find out what to do through chat (I think after she spoke to me and I was unable to help her). I've left the chat transcript up in QP so that someone can get back to her that way.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

New MLA Guides

The new MLA guides are here, and I will put them at the reference desk. As Stephen mentioned in his post the other day, there are some big changes that you will want to look at.

The new guides come with online access. The username and password are not for public use. If you would like to see the online version of the book, or show it to students, I will post more information on the wiki. We should not give the username and password out to students, according to the terms of use.

Reports from the Schwartz Communication Institute Symposium

Jerry, Stephen and I attended the 9th Annual Symposium on Communication and Communication-Intensive Instruction here at Baruch last Friday. Videos from the symposium are being posted on the Schwartz Communication Institute blog, Cac.ophony. The first video online is Gardner Campbell's workshop on "Speaker, Listener, Network: The Concept of Audience in Web 2.0 World." He speaks about the global conversation we can connect to with Twitter apps. To quote Luke on the blog, "His interest is in exploring the broad, rich ideas generated by these new methods of communication." Campbell, from Baylor University, also writes an EdTech blog called Gardner Writes.

Journal Citation Reports from Web of Science

The Graduate Center has added Journal Citation Reports to their Web of Science subscription. Data is available for 2007. Data for 2008 will become available this summer. More detail can be found in the post on the Minna Rees Library News blog.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Summer Reading List

The current issue of The Ticker has a recommended summer reading list of books suggested by the business editor, Emmanuel Onyenyili. It has both current classics like The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness as well as standards like The Intelligent Investor and A Random Walk Down Wall Street. Onyenyili says, "From an early stage in my college tenure I realized how critical it was to read books that enhanced my level of knowledge of finance and broadened my vision."

Chat Reference in May

For much of May, I will be on research leave. If you have any trouble with the QuestionPoint software or the service itself, please speak with Louise Klusek about it.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Judaic Library CD

I have had a couple of requests at the desk over the past few days for Bar Ilan's Judaic Library. It is a CD on reserve. Yesterday Professor Ruth Adler called the desk and said her students have been unable to use it. Apparently the disc requires some set up and a password, but she didn't know how it worked; the record says there is a user's guide with it, but the Cd and guide were checked out. I am not sure if anyone else has had this issue--I didn't see that it was loaded on a reference computer.

Monday, May 04, 2009

New MLA citation rules

Today, I posted an entry on my Digital Reference blog about some of the key changes in MLA guidelines for citations, which were updated this spring in the just-released seventh edition of the MLA Handbook.

No Access to MLA Intl. Bibliography or Literature Resource Ctr.

This afternoon I noticed that I couldn't connect MLA International Bibliography or Literature Resource Center. Oddly, I could get to Literature Criticism Online, which is also from Gale. I'll notify Mike about this.

Student sends thanks for report re diaper industry

Last Wednesday night a student came to the reference desk looking for information about the infant diaper industry as he has an idea for a new type of diaper. He had done research on some of our databases but needed more. We found a report that he later emailed me and said thanks as it had all the information that he needed. The report has quite a bit on the use of cloth v disposable diapers.

Friday, May 01, 2009

guest login problem

Today before the reference desk closed at 4:50 we had problems with generating guest logins. I called the help desk and they said the system had to be restarted. At 7:30 p.m. a student just asked for a guest login as the circulation desk (still open) was also unable to generate the passes. Hopefully this will be resolved by Saturday morning.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New entry under Jobs 2009 in e-reserve

Jobs, Internships and Volunteer Positions for Arts Administration, Performing Arts and Museums, a listing of NYC area organizations and contact information has been added to Job 2009 in e-reserve. This guide was prepared last month at the request of the Starr Career Development Center. Some of the internships are for college credit. Some of the internships also have early deadlines and of course are of possible interest to many. (I learned that the Morgan Library has paid internships for CUNY undergraduates.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Finding Maps Online - Energy Resources

We had a question at the desk the other day from a student who wanted to find a map of Russia that showed the distribution of fossil fuel resources - oil and gas fields, coal deposits, etc, to include in a powerpoint presentation. Sometimes you can get lucky doing a Google Image search, but sometimes not.

One good source for maps is the University of Texas Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection. They've scanned a good deal of their paper collection and provide it online and you can search or browse by place or topic. If they don't have what you're looking for, they have an extensive collection of links to other sites, also by place and topic. In this case I was able to find a few decent maps, but they would not translate well into powerpoint given their size and scale.

I was working with Peggy, and she approached it from the topic - she went to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which is the federal government's site for energy stats. There is a lot of good info there, particularly profiles and reports for energy resources for each country. The country analysis report page for Russia had a lot of data, and in a menu on the right of the page was a link for maps. The maps came from a variety of sources (EIA, CIA, and the U Texas Map Library) and were perfect for the powerpoint. The bad news is that there is no easy way to get to them - there isn't a maps page or gateway, you have to go through a number of clicks via individual country reports. There was a general maps portal, but this gave you the ability to create thematic maps of the world (countries shaded a particular color based on type or amount of reserves), and not reference maps (showing the location of actual fields and deposits).

The gist of this post - try the University of Texas Perry-Castaneda Library Collection for maps and the Energy Information Administration for energy related statistics, data, and maps.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Miniworkshop tomorrow for career information is at 5:30

The Thursday mini-workshop to help students prepare for Career Day will be at 5:30 Thursday. Originally it was posted at 12:45, but we learned that the Starr Career Services Center had a workshop scheduled at the same time.(Abbott Labs is coming to talk to students.) When a later library workshop was suggested, the Starr Career Center thought it was a great idea, so we'll see how it goes.

May 5 Workshop on Chat Reference

On May 5 in the afternoon here at Baruch, Susan McGlamery from QuestionPoint will be leading a discussion about best practices for chat reference. Susan normally charges for such workshops but graciously offered to do this for free (it was her idea to do the workshop, too!) The exact time in the afternoon is yet to be determined, but if you are interested, please email me to let me know that you may be attending.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Job 2009 guides on e-reserve to help students prepare for Spring Career Day

Job 2009, which offers some quick individual guides to finding information 35 of the companies and organizations that will be at the undergraduate Career Fair on Friday, has been posted to e-reserve with the help of Access Services. These companies were provided to me by Career Services. Others have since been added but individual guides are not available. Students wanting to learn what companies will be at the Career Fair on Friday may consult the Starr Career Development Center website.

A mini-workshop today at 12:45 p.m. drew 24 students. Another workshop will be given on Thursday, April 23, at 5:30 p.m.

Monday, April 20, 2009

When Internet Is Down, Use LC Classification to Find Books

Last Friday, when we had no internet connection, it was challenging to help students find books on the shelves. One strategy we used was to thumb through the Library of Congress Subject Headings books, which frequently feature call number ranges for various headings. Another strategy is to use the Library of Congress Classification Outline, which allows you to drill down fairly deeply into call number ranges.

Depending on the question, the LC Classification Outline can often be the better tool for locating known items or books on a subject. When a student asked for a copy of a novel by Albert Camus, I knew that his books would be in the Ps somewhere, grouped with other French fiction writers of the 20th century. If I had had the outline handy, I could have identified the call number range quickly (PQ2600-2651). As I learned after checking with Janey and Jin last Friday, you can't find this call number range in the LC Subject Headings books. They were able, though, to look up the range in the multivolume classification schedules that they have in their offices on the 5th floor.

I've saved a copy of the classification outline, which is a condensed version of the more formal classification schedules that catalogers use, in the IS Division folder (look for the folder therein labeled "LC Classification"). If the local network is down, too, as it was on Friday, you won't be able to access this folder, so I have also printed out the outline and will have it available at the reference desk in a three-ring binder.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Requests for Theses

Just a quick reminder to use the "Request for Paged Materials" form for theses requests.
  • The "Request for Paged Materials" form is available at the Reference Desk in the filing cabinet
  • Fill in the title, author, call number from the catalog, and name of patron
  • The patron gives this form to Circulation/Reserve
  • Requests can take 24 hours to be filled; may not be immediate

Please note there are some digital copies of Honors Theses for years 1986-2001. They are on the library web site in the "Digital Collections" page (in the "Search & Find" section).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lost calls in QuestionPoint Chat

Please do not assign the resolution code of "Lost Call" if the patron you were chatting with provided an email address when they logged in to chat. Instead, use the resolution code of "Followup by Patron Library." The code "Lost Call" is only to be used when a patron disappears AND that patron never provided an email address that could be used for followup purposes.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Spring Break Update

During the period when both Louise Klusek and I are away during the break, Stephen Francoeur will serve as acting head of reference. We anticipate it will be quiet, but if there are any problems, please contact Stephen at extension 1620. In case of absence or lateness, please be sure to leave a message at Stephen's extension.

Have a good break.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Information / Data Preservation

For those of you interested in information preservation (I took every course about this topic that I could while in library school), a few items of interest:

  • Should You Worry About Data Rot? - a NY Times article based on an interview with the curator of the computer history museum that discusses the potential short-life spans of digital media formats vs older analog formats.

  • Retro Media: Memory (and Memories) Lost - an online exhibit hosted by the SUNY Buffalo Library that explores the history of media formats for audio media, photographs and images, audio-visual media, and computer data. Also discusses data migration as a preservation strategy.

Basically, if you think you're saving information for posterity by migrating it from analog to digital formats, think again. You have to continue to migrate data from media to media and file format to file format as these formats change, and you should hold on to your analog copies as they may have a longer shelf-life.

Speaking of obsolescence, Encarta, Microsoft's online and software-based encyclopedia, is biting the dust and will be gone by the end of this year.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Upcoming likely summer event- FASB's codification project to be launched

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) will likely officially launch their codification project July 1. This codification is a major restructuring of the FASB literature, but not the meaning of its content.

So, in short, what does this mean?

From the media release: the Codification is expected to officially become the single source of authoritative nongovernmental U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), superseding existing FASB, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF), and related literature. After that date, only one level of authoritative GAAP will exist. All other literature will be considered non-authoritative.

"When the Codification goes live on July 1, 2009, U.S. GAAP will be completely reconfigured in a way that will vastly improve the ease of researching U.S. GAAP issues, superseding existing authoritative literature- including FASB's Original Pronouncements," states FASB Chairman Robert Herz. "Preparers and auditors of financial statements need to familiarize themselves with the changes so that they are ready for the switch."

The Codification reorganizes the thousands of U.S. GAAP pronouncements into roughly 90 accounting topics and displays all topics using a consistent structure. Also included is relevant Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidance that will follow the same topical structure in separate sections in the Codification.

To prepare constituents for the change, the FASB has provided
(1) online tutorials available on the Codification
(requires a free registration

(2) a Notice to Constituents that includes a significant amount of background (also at, and

(3) numerous presentations. In addition, the FASB has participated in various webcasts, including a webcast available in the FASB Webcast Series at (also requires free registration).

The Codification does not change GAAP; instead, it introduces a new structure-one that is organized in an easily accessible, user-friendly online research system.

Troy, the student worker who wants to be an accountant, and I went through the brief tutorials this morning. His comment is one that I would agree with, the tutorials assume some knowledge of the existing accounting literature/language.

The CPA Journal has a published this helpful article:
A Guide to Using the Accounting Standards Codification by
Michael C Toerner. The CPA Journal. New York: Feb 2009. Vol. 79, Iss. 2; pg. 20, 6 pgs, available through ABI Inform Global. (Feb. 2009 articles are not available on the free CPA Journal archives at this moment.)

This is a big change that will require some basic understanding. Troy and I learned that everything about Income Tax is under 740, which is then subdivided into subcategories, much likely a cataloging system.

I would encourage you to view the four short tutorials.


New Reference Titles

Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior (REF QL750.3 .E53 2004)
The preface to this three volume work begins by saying “This is an exciting book.” I think so too. The essays (signed) cover the field of animal behavior from many disciplines including biology, anthropology, psychology and philosophy. There is an article on “art and animal behavior” and one on “animal abuse.” There are many articles on cognition covering not only cognitive theories but cognition in dogs, grey parrots, macaques and chimpanzees. All articles have short bibliographies, many are illustrated.

International Directory of Company Histories

The latest volume of this standard work announced that for the first time they are including coverage of companies in Brunei and Uzbekistan. Each volume has a geographic index and a quick look shows the growing global coverage, for example, there are over 25 Russian companies and ten companies from Thailand listed.

Statistical Abstract of the United States

Reference Desk and REF HA202 .A4 2009
The new edition of the Statistical Abstract is out and the list of “New Tables” added this year is here.

TV Dimensions 2009
(REF HE8700.8 .T917 2009)
This title is all about television and advertising with data on viewer demographics, revenues, reach, and viewer engagement. This year new data has been added on product placement and ROI. Short essays introducing most tables, explain the significance of the data and report on trends.

United Nations. Demographic Yearbook
(REF HA17 .D45 2006)
Since the mid-nineties this yearbook has focused exclusively on population, mortality and natality statistics. Special population characteristics of language, religion, ethnic group and education (formerly only available on CD-Rom) are now on available at the UN’s Demographic Yearbook Special Census Topics web site.

Meanings of background colors in CCH Accounting Research Manager

An accounting student inquired yesterday about the meaning of the green document background in results after a search in CCH Accounting Research Manager. Green means the document is from the Securities and Exchange Commission. A white background means it is authoritative and beige means it is interpretation.

The student also wanted to know if the SEC documents are part of GAAP. As this is part of understanding Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), she was directed to check the FASBs standard, FAS 162 of the hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, a reference and link to which was provided in a handout. FAS 162 may also be found on RIA Checkpoint and CCH Accounting Research Manager. (Searching FAS 162 for SEC, Securities and Exchange Commission or regulatory agencies will provide the answer.)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Green Consumer Profiles

A couple of students were looking for profiles on the "green consumer" this evening. Although it would seem like it should be simple to find reports on this market segment, we had some trouble finding market information for the segment. We finally came up with the following: has a report entitled: Green Living - US by Mintel International Group Ltd. This comprehensive report covers 8 sectors of this market, trends, future, and demographics.
Warning: I searched for "green" when the student was at the desk, and this report didn't come up in the results. I only discovered it by seeing it mentioned in another reference. (!)

The primary source for this data seems to be LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability)
From the web site:
"The LOHAS movement focuses on educating and providing resources for businesses and individuals on the market of healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Many businesses don’t know how to market to the LOHAS consumer nor to consumers know which companies are authentic in their branding as it relates to LOHAS values. LOHAS serves as the central hub for education, business resources, updated news, and annual business to business gathering of those fostering the LOHAS movement. The LOHAS shares information and innovative business practices that further promotes the LOHAS lifestyle beneficial to the future of our planet."

LOHAS breaks down the green consumer into market segments (see the "about" page link above) and give the size of each segment in US dollars. The data is from 2005. LOHAS also has a weekly newsletter that tracks the business and consumer trends in the green marketplace. Other sources are listed on the "about" page.

We also found a source on the Web at Green America's Green Business Network for consumer market research in their "Guide to the Green Marketplace" The page lists reports that are available for sale from various organizations. They're quite costly, although some site references to data in press releases and data available for free from previous years.

Other sources:
eMarketer report from 6/23/08: Green Consumer Demographics
Business 1/25/2008: Are you targeting the correct green consumers?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Popular Cultural Universe trial

ERAC is sponsoring a trial of Popular Cultural Universe lasting until 4/21/09. It is available on campus only.

It's worth checking out, if nothing else for the "pop" interface!

Please email me your comments on this resource and its potential usefulness to our curriculum.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How libraries can remain relevant in the digital age

Article of interest pertaining to NYPL and how libraries can remain relevant in the digital age. Booz & Co. did some consulting work with the NYPL in 2008 and published some of their findings in the Spring issue of Strategy + Business. It focuses on the challenges research libraries are facing and provides “Seven imperatives for Library Leadership.”

It’s an interesting perspective given it comes from the minds of consultants and not from the library community.

See "
The Library Rebooted" in Strategy + Business, Spring 2009.

ARTFL Project

This database used let us search for free but now requires a subscription. It will be removed from the database list.

Gale Virtual Reference and the Catalog

The problems relating to linking from CUNY+ to Gale Virtual Reference e-books have been fixed. You should now be able to find link from CUNY+ to the e-book in GVRL seamlessly. This is working both on campus and remotely.

Please let me know if you experience any other problems.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Johannes Britz Presentation in Room 620 at 12:30

We may have attendees from across campus coming into the library today at 12:30 for the presentation by Johannes Britz. The actual location is room 620 in this building.

If you are attending and have time, you may want to read this article by Britz that is available online:

Britz, Johannes J. "Making the Global Information Society Good: A Social Justice Perspective on the Ethical Dimensions of the Global Information Society." Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 59.7 (2008) 1171-1183. link

Friday, March 20, 2009

Psychology Midterm Assignment

Dear Colleagues:

Last night on the reference desk two students asked essentially the same set of questions related to a psychology 4000 level class midterm. Moreover they seemed unsure how to phrase their question or understand exactly what they needed. After some discussion I realized that they need information related to the "scientific method."

While the assignment did not use the broader rubric of the "scientific method" the students were trying to answer questions related to components of this research thought process such as hypothesis, theory, testing and etc. Among other questions they were expected to compare the validity of theories in psychology. The students did not understand the issues ranging from basics such as meaning of words to the more complex conceptual questions of determining the validity of a theory in psychology or the application of the "scientific method" across an array of the sciences.

Consequently to undertake this assigment I suggested a surprisingly wide range of readily used research tools. Begin with such elementary reference works as a dictionary, paper or Oxford Referrence Online, to understand word meanings e. g. hypothesis, theory, scientific method etc. Quickly move on to an encyclopedia searching for meanings and concepts of these same words. With an understanding of this go to one of the databases in psychology to find (a) full text article(s) to compare "theory." With the collection and understanding of these parts, then see which theory is best bolstered by evidence to compare the validity as required.

For those who have much more time CUNY+ has as many as 100 books on the scientific method. These books will provide yet more background.

I hope that this is helpful.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Vendor Card Dispenser Is Out of Order

Annette Ruiz posted this message on BBLIBS today, which everyone may not have seen:
The card dispenser is down. A student tried to get his dollar bill back from the dispenser and only half of the bill came out. Unfortunately I could not get the rest of the bill out, so I had to take the dispenser out of service. Felix, the Continental supervisor has been called and he will come in tonight at about 6:00pm or so. In the mean time I have placed a note on the dispenser telling students that the can go to run 420 if they need a card. The note also lets them know that they can add money to a copy card on machine number one. When I leave today I will leave a few cards at the Reference desk and the Service counter on the 3rd floor. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Also both machine #4 and the microfiche/microfilm machines will be serviced today. Again if you have any problems please let me know.

Gale Virtual Reference and the Catalog

We are experiencing continued problems when trying to access Gale Virtual Library titles from CUNY+. When one does, one gets a page asking for login information.

Please access any such titles directly from the Gale Virtual Reference from the Databases page.

Saad and I have been working with the Central Office and Gale to try to get it resolved and will keep you updated.

DealScan Database Only Works in Internet Explorer

News to me: the DealScan database only works in Internet Explorer. I'll ask Mike Waldman to put a note in the database description to that effect.

New Interface on Factiva

Have a look at the new interface on Factiva. The search interface is much the same but the big changes are in the results page. It now displays the discovery pane from Factiva's Search 2.0 alongside the standard results list. This means you can now focus your search results with any one of the discovery options: company, industry, keywords, news clusters, subject, source or date. Tabs at the top of the results page give access to another Search 2.0 option: news from the Web, pictures and multimedia. If you want to see your results without the discovery pane, you can click and turn it off.

Research Consultations at Newman Library

The library will be launching our new Research Consultation program next week. The new program will be offered year-round and will be open to all Baruch students. Students can register online for individual or group appointments. We are advising students that the research consultations are best for in-depth assistance with complex research assignments. Specifically, they will be able to learn how to focus their research topic, plan research strategy, identify relevant sources of information, and find and evaluate sources of information.

You can already see links to the registration form on our website in the “Featured in the Library” space and the rotating banner at the top of the page. Watch for a press release next week. Marketing materials will be sent to all departmental liaisons to share with their faculty.

Stephen Francoeur will continue to coordinate the program. Thank you to the committee who worked on the design of the new program: Lisa Ellis, Linda Rath, Joe Hartnett and Stephen Francoeur.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Consider Phoning Users in E-mail Reference

Users submitting their question using the e-mail reference form at the Newman Library website, are asked to provide a telephone number. This information was obtained in order to give librarians the option for replying by phone to user queries which may be a more timely manner for response than responding by e-mail.

I would like to encourage use of this form of “reference hybridization”(as defined in a submitted scholarly article I wrote), as it may be appropriate and allow for a quicker response time to a reference transaction initially begun in e-mail mode.

Please note that if you elect to respond to an e-mail query by phone, please be sure to follow the simple steps to “close” the question noted in the E-Mail Reference Policy Manual at \\Numan\Shared\Divisions\IS\E-Mail Reference .

In addition to a brief note about how the question was handled, it would be helpful to know what time you phoned the user to see if this in fact leads to a more timely response. Overall, this information will help us keep track of how e-mail questions were handled for statistical purposes.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Small firm effect" article by Banz wanted and found

A student came to the desk today and said everyone was looking for Banz's "small firm effect" article; she was unable to find it but "everyone quotes it." She knew it was published in 1981. Through finding some citations, we learned it is the following article, which is available through Science Direct:

The relationship between return and market value of common stocks
Journal of Financial Economics, Volume 9, Issue 1, March 1981, Pages 3-18
Rolf W. Banz

expatriate compensation in Mexico

I got an email reference about expatriate compensation in Mexico. It was referred from chat.

The student needs to research on expatriate expenditure, and it is the senario. "I am a Human Resource manager who needs to send a senior executive to Mexico as an expat. I need to know the salary, living expenses, and other compensation I need to provide (numbers or approximate amounts)."

I've tried a few databases, web sites, and references and found articles that discuss strategic planning about expatriate compensation, but not the compensation statistics or the amount of expenditure. Would any corporation reports may show the expatriate expenditure? Please let me know if you may recommend any sources for the question.


Aicpa code of professional conduct and reserved section 400

Last night an accounting professor forwarded a question from a student who was trying to access the AICPA code of professional conduct and Section 400 relating to responsibilities to colleagues.

The student thought that "reserved" meant that there was a charge to access the information. Not in this case.."reserved" means "something saved for future use." Currently, there is no material in Section 400.

She was asking about Section 400 in relation to an audit failure case of 20 some years ago. The online code is only the current version of the code. There may have been a section 400 at one time, or the responsibilities to colleagues might be covered elsewhere. Searching CUNY+ for prior editions of the code, or journal articles in publications such as the Journal of Accountancy, the official journal of the AICPA, and the CPA Journal, the New York chapter's publication, might provide information on responsibilities to colleagues.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

CCH Tax Researcher

IS working both from on and off campus.

Monday, March 09, 2009

some suggestions for intepreting the meaning of a poem--"Fishhawk" also known as Guan ju

A student asked for help tonight in understanding a poem she said was "Fishhawk" (the English title for what she said was an old Chinese poem.) I have since learned that this is a very famous poem and that many commentaries say osprey, rather than fish hawk. (Poetry and birds are not my strong suits.) The student didn't offer any other information.

I tried the literature databases without much success using fishhawk. When I tried wikipedia, I learned that there is an article Guan ju, that the title of the poem comes from the first line Guan Guan ju jiu, "which evokes a scene of ospreys calling on a river islet. Fundamentally the poem is about finding a good and fair maiden as a match for the young noble." This article has a number of references, of which I checked CUNY+ and we have several of the books:

Chinese approaches to literature from Confucius to Liang chʻi-chao /

Baruch - Stacks - PL2272.5 .C5327

The Columbia history of Chinese literature /

Baruch - Stacks - PL 2265 .C65 2001

Anthology of Chinese literature : from early times to the fourteenth century /

Baruch - Stacks - PL2658 .E1 B522 1967

I hope that this is helpful.

Help in finding CPA exam review materials

Some students are apparently having trouble locating the most recent review materials to help them prepare for the various sections of the CPA exam. Since 2004, the exam has been given only at designated computer centers. There are four sections to the exam, and students register for the section or sections that they want to undertake.

The review materials are cataloged as serial records. Listed below are the materials that we own and students can use. These materials are kept in reserve. (Some vendors, such as Becker, Gleim and other offer review courses, which are not available through the library.)

Series: Wiley CPA exam review 2009
--this has four separate title entries for each individual review guide.

Auditing and Attestation HF 5661.C675 2009 2nd floor Reserves
Business Environment & Concepts HF 5661.c7230 2nd floor Reserves
Financial Accounting & Reporting HF 5661.C669 2009 2nd floor Reserves
Regulation HF 5661.C670 2009 Reserves

Wiley CPA exam review Fast Track--one volume, has materials on all four sections of the exam, but not as detailed as the individual volumes.
HF 5661 W 49 2008 2nd Floor Reserves

Wiley CPA exam How to master simulations HF 5661 W49 2008 2nd floor Reserves

For some parts of the exam, students need to identify sections of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) (available electronically) to answer some questions. This book helps students prepare for these questions.

Wiley CPA exam review focus notes--also available in four separate titles. These are similar to detailed flash cards that are bound together in a spiral bound book.

Accounting and Attestation HF 5661 .A54 2008 2nd floor Reserves
Business Environment and Concepts HF5661 .A56 2008 2nd floor Reserves
Financial accounting and reporting HF 5661.A57 2008 2nd floor Reserves
Regulation HF5661 .A58 2008 2nd floor REserves

2 copies of Computer file available from Wiley:

Whittington, Ray, 1948-:
Wiley CPA exam review practice software 13.0[electronic resource] : complete set /
New York : John Wiley & Sons, Inc., [2008].

1 CD-ROMs ; 4 3/4 in.
Baruch Media - Reserve 2nd Floor - Computer file 240

The two copies of this software are available for one day loan. (The newest edition, available this month, is be ordered.) This "complete set" includes provides hundreds of multiple choice questions and solutions and includes AICPA simulation questions. In addition, guidelines, explanations, tips, and diagnostic feedback covering the CPA examination are included.

Another publisher of print materials: Bisk
Bisk also offers a series of four separate titles to help prepare for the exam

title is listed in CUNY+ as CPA review.Auditing & attestation.
Tampa, FL : Bisk Publishing, c2003-, but the other volumes have slightly differences with the titles and publishers, based on prior years.

For 2008/2009:

Auditing and Attestation HF 5661.C6722 2008/2009 Reserves 2nd floor
Business Environment & Concepts - HF 5661 .C6772 2008/2009 Reserves 2nd floor
Financial accounting and reportsin- HF 5661 .C7245 2008/2009 Reserves 2nd floor
Regulation HF 5661 .C6735 2008/2009 Reserves 2nd floor

Please let me know if you have any questions. Rita

Past issues of these serials are also available and in reserves.

Collecting Reference Statistics

Because of the snow last Monday, we are going to continue collecting reference statistics today and substitute today's count for last Monday's. Please deposit all data sheets in the box in the reference office.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Database issue on Sunday, March 8th

We had problems with quite a few database on Sunday. I reported these to Michael via email, but wanted to alert you in case they come up on Monday:

1. Ebrary - Unauthorized Access screen appears whether accessing through CUNY+ or through the databases page
2. Value Line - When you click on 'connect'you get a page asking you to check whether you agree or not with the terms and conditions. If you click on 'yes' it asks for a user name and password. If you click on 'no' you can get to the home page. However, you can't get to the Value Line Survey Page for companies. When you enter a ticker symbol, it takes you to a summary, but when you click on the PDF link, it asks you for a log in again.
3. - is asking for a user name and password
4. Standard and Poor's Net Advantage - takes you to an error page when attempting to connect
5. Philosopher's Index - the link for this database in the browse databases list takes you to the Ebscohost list of databases. Philosopher's Index however, isn't on the list.


-- Donna

Saturday, March 07, 2009

access difficulty with S&P Net Advantage and Thomson Reserarch at the ref desk

Posted by Rita on behalf of Stewart:

When trying to access Thomson Research and Standard & Poor's Net Advantage at the ref desk this afternoon, log in information was asked for NetAdvantage and Thomson Research. However, access, without log in information, was possible on my office computer. He has provided me screen shots of the error message from S&P and unrecognized login from NetAdvantage.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Remote Access May Not Work for CCH Tax Research

I just left a message for Mike Waldman and submitted a help desk request (ID# 3276) to report a possible problem with remote access to CCH Tax Network. A student called the reference desk today and said that she got past our EZ Proxy remote login page but then could not get past the next page from CCH that asked for her email address.

Missing Dictionaries

Please keep your eyes peeled for any of the six missing dictionaries that are normally stored in the dictionary stands. This morning, I walked all the floors of the library, checked the stacks on the 5th floor and the reference collection on the 2nd floor, looked in sorting rooms, etc., and still failed to turn up any of the following:

3rd Floor
4th Floor
5th Floor
If we have no luck this month tracking them down, I'll just order replacement copies.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

student asking advice on best places in the library to use the wireless network

A student asked what areas of the library are best for using the wireless network. Anyone have suggestions?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

New Reference Titles

Almanac of New York City (REF F128.3 .A455 2008)
Claims to be the first ever data book for New York City. Includes coverage of population, housing, public health, crime, business, arts, sports, politics, transportation, education, environment, religion and social services. Many historical tables but also rankings (of largest foundations and law firms, for example) and lists (public housing developments and principle bridges).

AICPA. Audit Risk Alert series
These reports provide an overview of industry developments for auditors and cover recent economic, regulatory and professional (auditing and accounting) developments. Students looking at risk factors in an industry would find these useful as they cover things like audit risks arising from current economic conditions; recent legislative and regulatory developments; industry trends and developments. Industries covered in 2008 include the Health Care Industry (REF HF5667 .A786) and Depository and Lending Institution Industry (REF HG1707.5 .D468)

American Generations: Who They Are and How They Live (REF HC110 .C6M545 2005)
This is one title in a series from New Strategist that profiles the generations in data and charts based in large part on Census statistics. Data covers ten areas including education, health, living arrangements, labor force participation, income, housing, population, spending, time use and wealth. The American Generations Series includes: The Millennials: Americans Born 1977 to 1994; Generation X: American Born 1965 to 1976; The Baby Boom: American Born 1946 to 1964; and Older American: A Changing Market.

Census Atlas of the United States (REF G1201 .E2U5 2007)
“The first comprehensive atlas produced by the Census Bureau since the early twentieth century.” Full color maps from the Census 2000 and earlier censuses are presented in topical chapters grouped into three themes: who we are, where we come from and what we do. Chapter 7 on Migration visualizes net flows of population. Chapter 8 on Language includes maps of New York and other large cities.

Housing NYC: Rents, Markets, and Trends 2008 (REF HD7288.85 .U62N7 2008)
A collection of reports from the New York City Rent Guidelines Board that includes their Housing Supply Report, Mortgage Survey, Income and Expense Study, Income and Affordability Study, and a Price Index of Operating Costs. This is an invaluable collection of data for anyone studying the rental real estate market in NYC.

Securities Law Handbook (REF KF1439 .B544 2008/09)
Annual update of new rules and regulations from the SEC as well as results of significant securities litigation during 2008.

Monday, March 02, 2009

New Census Data for NYC Neighborhoods

We frequently get questions from patrons who are interested in finding demographic data for neighborhoods in New York. Finding this data can be tough, as the census does not issue data for neighborhoods - you have to take the levels of geography they use (census tracts, zip codes) and force it to fit neighborhood boundaries. The NYC Department of Planning has done this and they've issued profiles for each neighborhood / community district in the city.

The problem is that this data is from the 2000 Census and is fairly old. The Census Bureau does provide recent data through the American Community Survey (ACS), but the data is limited to large geographic areas. However, the ACS has begun to release three year averaged estimates for areas called PUMAs, which are aggregations of census tracts. And the NYC Dept of Planning has done it again - they've created a whole series of profiles for each community district within the city based on PUMAs.

The 2005-07 ACS PUMA data are currently the most recent census figures at the smallest geographic level possible within the city, and are the closest thing we have to neighborhood data.

The profiles are available in pdf format on the NYC Dept of Planning's ACS page, and are listed under the Community Districts column. The data includes demographic, social, economic, and housing profiles. Each pdf file contains profiles for every single community district, sorted by borough and community district number. This isn't exactly ideal, as you have to do a lot of scrolling to find the district you want. Just above the table is a link to a busy map of PUMAs and Community Districts (the two areas don't line up exactly). Use the map to identify the part of the city you're interested in, note what the community district number is, and then open up a report and page through by borough and district number. This may not seem ideal, but is a million times easier than trying to build your own neighborhood geography and profiles using the American Factfinder.

Next year, the Census will update the averages by dropping the oldest year and adding the newest one (so we'll have 2006-2008 estimates). The estimates are three-year averages rather than annual numbers due to the small sample size. The estimates have a confidence level of 90% and each number has a margin of error associated with it. NYC Planning provides an overview (in pdf at the top of the profile page) of what the ACS is and they explain how and why they use it to create the profiles.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

What's New At The Library? Financial Advice

NPR's Weekend Edition reported on Saturday, February 28 featured an interesting story on a number of libraries around the country are getting grants to train librarians and set up programs to teach people about investing through a collaboration between FINRA and the American Library Association. John Gannon, president of the FINRA investor education foundation, says his organization turned to libraries because libraries have the ability to reach large numbers of people who may need help with their money.

Go to to read the details.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Wiki Now Requires New Login Procedure

Today, you may see in your Baruch email inbox a message with a subject line like this: has invited you to join their wiki, newmanlibrary
Please save this very important email. As of this morning, you will now have to login to the reference wiki in a new way. The URL for the wiki remain the same but the login procedures will change. You will now be able to login using your email address and a password of your own choosing (the shared password we had long been using will no longer work).

To get started, follow these steps:
  • Go to the email you received from
  • Click the “log in here” link in the body of that email
  • You’ll be taken to a special page in where you will type in your email address and create a personalized password.
Once you’ve done (1) – (3), you’ll be able to log in to the wiki using your email address and personal password, which is as always at this address:

If you have any problems, please let me know.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mini-Workshops at the Reference Desk

I'd like to share Jerry Bornstein's quick summary of the two mini-workshops he did at the reference desk yesterday:
The IS Division is continuing to experiment with mini-workshops, which present in abbreviated format the curriculum normally included in our full-length, 75-minute workshops. Minis usually run 12-15 minutes. Tuesday, Feb. 24, we presented two sessions titled, "The Heck with Google: Find Information on the Web without a Search Engine." With regard to learning goals for the session, it was planned that after attending this session, students would be able to:
  • Formulate effective search statements in search engines using:
    • Boolean operators (AND in google by default)
    • Phrase searching (use of quotes around phrases)
    • Field searching (intitle)
  • Directly access most likely information producer sites without using a search engine
Twenty students attended the 12:45 session; 8 attended at 1:15.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Changing login procedures for reference wiki

The PBwiki software that we've been using to host our reference wiki is being upgraded on March 9. Prior to that upgrade, the way we all log in to the wiki will change. Instead of having a shared password, we'll each create a PBwiki account. Once you set have set up the account, you'll need to click a link on the login page (just once) to request permission from the wiki administrator (that's me) to have access to the wiki. Once approved, your PBwiki account will allow you to login and edit or view pages as before. One nice aspect of this new login system is that you will no longer have to remember the shared password but instead one that is more meaningful to you (i.e., you get to pick your own password when you set up your PBwiki account).

In the next few days, I'll change the settings so that we'll be using the new login system. As soon as I do, I'll notify everyone again here via the blog. If you have questions or problems, let me know.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Announcing: LACUNY Scholarship and Awards

LACUNY is calling for applicants for the Library School Scholarship. One Scholarship grant of $500.00 and one year LACUNY Membership will be awarded annually to one student registered in an accredited MLS Program, currently doing a part-time job or internship in a CUNY Library. Proposals will consist of three parts: personal data, essay, and transcripts. Essays will be reviewed by the Scholarship Panel (four members) appointed by LACUNY’s Executive Council.

Proposal Deadline: March 15, 2009

Award Announced: June Membership Meeting

The three-part proposal consists of the following:

Page 1: Cover Letter with the following information:

Name – Home address – Telephone number – E-mail address
CUNY College Work/ Internship - Address and phone number – Title – Years at CUNY
Library School – Number of credits completed in MLS program

Page 2: Essay

One-page essay on how the applicant’s present position and their MLS will give them a unique perspective on their chosen profession.

Page 3: Transcripts

Copy of most recent accredited library school transcript

Proposals must be e-mailed or postmarked no later than March 15, 2009 and addressed to ONE of the Co-Chairs of the Scholarship Committee:

Maria Isabel Fernandes
Assistant Professor
Faculty Outreach Librarian
Kurt R. Schmeller Library
Queensborough Community College
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, N.Y. 11364-1497


Danielle Becker
Assistant Professor
Web Librarian
Hunter College Libraries
Hunter College
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Long's hours in the library

Long, Kin's colleague, will assist the Reference Desk with technical support, on the following days:

Mon. 12:30-2:30pm
Tues. 12:30-3:30pm
Thur. 12:30-3:30pm
Fri. 11:30-3:30pm
Sat. 12:30-5:30pm

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wireless woes today

Tam told me that the wireless network is having trouble right now. Although laptops can pick up a signal from our wireless network, they can't actually then connect to the internet. Our systems staff is working on this issue at the moment.

Recession or Depression?

A student recently sent our Ask a Librarian service a question about how to compare the current credit crisis to the Great Depression. There are so many ways to research this question and I suspect lots of resources that a student could use. Two things that I have found are:

The Conference Board in January published a 7 page report, A Crisis of Confidence, that examines data from their Coincident Economic Index (CEI), a measure of business cycles, to ask “Are we in a recession or a depression?” This report can be downloaded from the Conference Board Research Database.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has A Great Depression web site for educators. What’s especially interesting in the guide is their links to Historical Documents that include the annual reports of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board between 1933 and 1951 whose job it was to “facilitate refinancing of homes to stem the tide of mortgage foreclosures, to make mortgage loans more affordable, and to provide supervisory and regulatory oversight for thrift institutions.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New NBER paper re commercial real estate

Newly added to the NBER database is the paper Understanding Commercial Real Estate: Just How Different from Housing is It? authored by Joseph Gyourko.

Printing Problem with Westlaw

We had a problem printing a case from Westlaw today. Clicking on the print icon only resets the page, it does not format it to print. The student was then not able to send it to the student printer.
I am contacting Mike W. about this.

Until then, students can email the case to themselves.

UPDATE: This problem is related to Pop-ups. When you first connect to Westlaw, you need to allow pop-ups. In IE, you need to choose "Always allow pop-ups" to print. In Firefox, you actually need to edit the pop-up window. You need to add/type in "" The instructions are on the connection page. However, are students allow to do this on the student computers?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Be Able to Talk About the Credit Crisis

When Rita mentioned today that the Starr Career Center is advising students that they should be prepared to talk about the credit crisis during job and internship interviews, I wanted to mention a video lecture I listened to this weekend. Alan Blinder of Princeton talks for about 90 minutes on "The Origins of the Financial Mess." Any student wanting to understand the issues, the causes, and the players would find it useful. You can find the video in the collection of lectures on Academic Earth, a new platform for video lectures from top universities and think tanks. Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and MIT are participating universities.

Zoom In/Out on Webpages with Firefox

If you are using Firefox, you can easily zoom in or out on webpages to increase/decrease text and/or images by using Ctrl + or Ctrl -. To reset it back to the normal size, use Ctrl 0 (that is a zero). If using the menus, choose View, Zoom, and then Zoom In, Zoom Out, or Reset.

  • This is most helpful when demonstrating a library database during course sessions to a large classroom or for those with visual impairments.
  • You can change options for only the text to enlarge/decrease, in case you don't want images to increase & decrease. (Choose View, Zoom, and then Zoom Text Only)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

MIT Sloan Teaching Innovation Resources offers free case studies, industry, business and country overviews

MIT Sloan Teaching Innovation Resources last week started offering for free some case studies, course syllabi, and industry, business and country overviews through their Open CourseWare site. Sustainability, industry evolution and global entrepreneurship are covered.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


I've cut and paste the following description of a problem logged over a year ago because a student came to me today with the same problem. I've left her e-mail address in the pen drawer next to the south ref. computer, with a note "westlaw problem" so that someone is able to get back to her. (Obviously, the problem is off-campus access)

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

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Faculty Laptop Loan

Faculty who are interested in borrowing a laptop can request one at the Circulation Desk. There are five laptops available. The loan period is a maximum of seven days. (They no longer make arrangements with library systems.)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Welcome our LIS Intern

Danielle McGurran who will be our reference intern this semester started her internship this week. She is in her last semester at Queens College Graduate School of Library & Information Studies. Her BA is in Media Studies from Fordham and she worked for several years in positions including research editor and art production manager for various consumer magazines. Danielle will be here at Baruch on Mondays and Thursdays.

Tech Support at Reference

Kin is back and will be working with us on tech support this semester on Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30 to 7:30 PM and on Monday and Wednesday from 10 AM to 2:30 PM

Graphing calculators are all borrowed now

Ester Ramos says that all the calculators are now loaned out for the semester. If a student wants to be on a waiting list (in case any calculators are returned early), circulation will take the student's email address.

Student with purchased ebook (textbook) on own laptop and inability to print in library

Monday I helped a student at the reference desk who had purchased and downloaded on his own laptop the ebook version of the textbook Small Business Management for an entrepreneurship class. He wanted to print some pages from it, while here in the library, which he was uable to do. Due to the restrictions on downloading the book, he could not send the pages he wanted to print to his email and print using the student printing account. This was the first time I had encountered a student using an ebook textbook for a class. We do have a print copy of the book on reserve but the student did not want to pay for photocopying what he thought he would be able to print (from his laptop.)

The student told me that he purchased the ebook from ichapters. I checked and the hard copy price is $149.99 from the publisher, which offers an ebook version for $88.49, which ichapters does also.

With a $60 price difference, I imagine that in the future more students will have ebooks as their textbooks. Perhaps the ability to print might vary with the restrictions for each ebook. Perhaps this is an issue that might be considered from both technical and student use aspects, as well as the cost of the textbooks.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Textbook Rentals

While helping a student find a web site for used textbooks I discovered a site where students can rent textbooks for a semester. According to the site, students can save 65-85% off the list price. It's still not cheap, but can save students a lot of money for books they'll only need for one course. They have a chat service on the site as well.

Here's an example from their FAQ:
With Chegg there are no monthly subscription fees or hidden charges. Each textbook has a specific rental fee, which is dependent on the ISBN. Shipping fees are dependent on the shipment method chosen. The average rental price on Chegg is 60% lower than the list price!

Biology (7th Edition) is listed at $158.67. Rent it on Chegg for $71.40 - 56% savings!
Calculus (5th Edition) is listed at $180.95. Rent it on Chegg for $62.09 - 66% savings!

Monday, February 02, 2009 for special events in NY during 2009

The year 2009 notes the 400th anniversary of the voyages of Henry Hudson, who led (for the Dutch) the first European expedition to sail up the river that now bears his name, and that of the Frenchman Samuel de Champlain, the first to gaze upon the waters of the namesake lake. To celebrate these simultaneous Quadricentennials – as well as the 200th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s maiden journey up the Hudson River on the first successful steamboat, the there are many events, as well as resources, posted on the web at

A replica of Henry Hudson's ship the Half Moon, and information about the New Netherland Museum is available at (I volunteered to led tours on the Half Moon once last year and it is a very interesting ship to visit. It sometimes docks in New York City.)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

printer #3

The #2 drawer in this printer is not functioning properly--it always jams--and so we've left it empty all day.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Math students may have trouble logging on to WebWork2

While on the desk this afternoon we tried to help a student, in Math 2207, log on to Webwork2 at He was unsuccessful. A call to the help desk informed us that if the students registered for the class after Jan. 20, they are not on the list. They should contact for the username and password to use. As the student said he wasn't the only one having trouble getting on (there is homework posted on the site) I emailed Prof. Wong on his behalf. The student, a new transfer student, thought he had registered prior to Jan. 20.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New practice room in the 6th floor computing lab

Baruch students who need a room to practice presentations in can now go to the circulation window and ask for the key to the practice room on the 6th floor (room 636). The room has a podium, a projector, a computer, and chairs. I've added an entry about this new room in the reference wiki.

President Obama signs first legislation of his term --Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

President Obama signed the first legislation of his presidency today. Among the attendees at the signing were Lilly Ledbetter

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act extends employees’ opportunity to challenge allegedly discriminatory pay practices under Title VII and other anti-discrimination statutes.

What's important about this Act?

Under the new Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, each allegedly discriminatory paycheck triggers a new 180- or 300-day statute of limitations, thus extending employees’ opportunity to sue to the entire duration of their employment.

It basically reverses the result of a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving Ms. Ledbetter. The decision stated that employees were required to file an EEOC charge within 180 or 300 days (depending on the state) of the first time an allegedly discriminatory pay decision was made.

(Ms. Ledbetter, a 20-year employee of Goodyear Tire Co. for 20 years, had sued her employer in 1998 after she discovered she was paid less than her male counterparts for similar work. She had not learned of the possible discrimination over the years years because Goodyear employees were not allowed to discuss their salaries.
Although a jury awarded Ms. Ledbetter more than $3 million in damages, the Supreme Court overruled that decision because it said she waited too long to file her case.)

I found this information on the White House site, in news articles in Factiva, and was alerted to it through a listserv.

IMF on financial stability

The IMF has developed a section of their website to put together resources that deal with the analysis and assessment of key financial stability issues, in a global, regional, or country context.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Copyright and Harvard Business School Press Case Studies

Given the somewhat frequent requests we get for Case Studies from Harvard Business School Press, I thought you might want to read about the various ruses the publisher has come up with to control access to print and electronic editions. The author of the post, Jonathan Rochkind, is a systems librarian at Johns Hopkins University, and is currently one of my favorite blogging librarians.

Helping with student printing accounts

With Christian Keck's permission, I am reposting an email he sent to Saad today about student printing accounts and why some students are unable to print. Saad forwarded the message to our BBLIB listserv, but I thought it would also be useful to share here, too.

Please keep in mind just because a student can log into the computers, does not mean they can print.

If the student has not paid their bill; or just paid their bill; or is not taking classes at Baruch this semester they will not be able to print. If they just paid their bill they can come to help desk and we can activate their account after verifying that they paid their bill. 75% of the calls/walk ins to the helpdesk have been that they forgot
their password and the rest of the calls have been they did not pay their bill or just paid their bill and they were not taking classes this semester.

The other issue if they have forgotten their password they will receive the message log in failed and they will need to come to the help desk to have their password reset.

The other item we have observed if the file is extremely large it will take some time to print. We have the same issue upstairs here with students as well and is not a
unique issue to the second floor.

Capstone research subject: 25 pages on Madonna

I helped a student this morning who said her capstone class is requiring a 25-page paper on different aspects of Madonna (the singer). She said Madonna and her producers was already taken. She didn't know what aspect she wanted to research. I showed her some of our databases and Bearcat search and also suggested the NYPL Library for the Performing Arts. Madonna's original surname was Ciccone, which is helpful in searching some of the databases.

Re: Prof. Victoria Stone's Anthro 1001 reading assignment

I helped a student in Prof. Victoria Stone's Anthropology 1001 class who was looking for an article that the syllabus said was on e reserve. Perhaps the professor meant in our databases as no listing for Prof. Stone was found, and we also searched the other Anthro classes to see if the article was listed and it wasn't. The article is available through JSTOR. The article is in American Anthropologist Second series, (1956) Vol 58, No. 3, pages 503-507. It is by Horace Miner and the title begins Body Ritual.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NYT announces API for best sellers' book lists

The New York Times today launched an Application Programming Interface (API) for the books that have appeared on the publication's best sellers' lists since June 2008. In future months the NYT plans to add lists going back to 1930. Information currently available includes ranking information and links to NYT reviews and excerpts, according to the announcement.

New York Academy of Medicine changes its access policy

Users are now being requested to call ahead for an appointment. No one will be turned away. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 212-822-7315 or emailing the library.

Syllabus for Spanish course given to security

I turned into security the syllabus that a student in Prof. Cuesta's Spanish class left at the reference desk. I emailed Prof. Cuesta who responded that she will notify the student.

Testing email forwarding of blog posts

Please ignore this test post. Just checking how email of blog posts is working these days.

Baruch Geoserver Provides GIS Data

The library now has a server to provide GIS datasets, static maps, and information about GIS facilities and educational opportunities on campus. All academic libraries that seriously provide GIS services have sites or repositories similar to this one, to provide data and information. The server can be accessed anywhere on campus from machines that are hardwired to the network (it cannot be accessed via wireless or from off campus). While the datasets can be downloaded from anywhere on campus, patrons will need access to GIS software to actually use them. The site provides a list of locations on campus where patrons can find the software.

The Baruch Geoserver is listed on the library's databases page, and can also be accessed on campus at http://gserv. The site also has an RSS feed that users can subscribe to for news and updates. The feed is available from on or off campus.

Most of the information on the geoserver supercedes the content of the Geography / GIS subject guide. The subject guide will be pared down significantly and there will be a link from the guide to the geoserver.

Please pass the news along to anyone who may be interested. I have already contacted about twelve faculty members who use GIS or demographic datasets to let them know that this resource is available. Feel free to contact me or post to the blog if you have any questions.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Library Journal evaluates e-business resources

The article looks at ABI/Inform, Business Source Complete, EconLit, Mergent Online, Proquest Entrepreneurship, and briefly goes over a few others.

LJ, v.134, no. 1, Jan. 2009, s16-s22

Trial: Guide to Reference

Formerly Guide to Reference Books, this new online edition incorporates online resources as well. The trial runs until March 26, 2009 and requires a username and password, which are on the database page. The trial is available on campus only.

Please post any comments you may have.

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) at Hunter College

If faculty inquire about journal rankings (impact factor) within a discipline, please let them know about the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) module available within Web of Science at Hunter College. I have confirmed this is available with a librarian at Hunter. Unfortunately, we do not subscribe to the JCR module at Baruch. They will be able to use the computer terminals at the Hunter Library (they are not required to ask for a username/password).

New Reference Titles in Demography

We've received two new reference titles in demography. Both are handbooks / encyclopedic type works that cover concepts and issues in demography, such as: statistic sources and collection, types of stats (counts, estimates, surveys, projections) population distribution (age, gender, race, ethnicity), components of population change (natality, mortality, migration), and health and education.

The Methods and Materials of Demography, 2nd ed. Siegel and Swanson. Ref HB 849.4 .M484 2004

Handbook of Population, Poston and Micklin. Ref HB 871 .H3447 2006

Both books are available in the reference section, 2nd floor.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Calculators will be distributed next week, the first week of the semester, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:30 am and 6:30 pm at the third floor service desk.

Help desk request filed for Quicktime 6 installation on reference desk computers

I have made a help desk request, #3205, regarding the need to have QuickTime 6 installed on the reference desk computers in order to launch media such as Accounting Cycle One in the Digital Media Collection. Some students have been asking about these accounting tutorials and currently they can't be launched from the reference desk computers, although it used to be possible.

question about Executives on Campus and printing

While I was working the reference desk this morning an Executive on Campus asked for a guest log in, which I gave him. (These are Baruch alums who volunteer their time on talks, meeting with students, etc.) He didn't need to print anything, but that may me wonder what to do if he had something he wanted to print. Sending him up for a vendor printer card didn't seem like a good thing under the circumstances. I don't know if this has occurred before. He asked if the guest log in could be issued for the semester and I explained it couldn't be. Perhaps he is new to the program.

What would be good to do?

Question about Bronx Community College Middle States report

While on the desk this morning someone called and said she had been told that the Baruch library had a copy of the Bronx Community College Middle States Report and wondered where it was. I couldn't find it on our website or in CUNY+ for either school. I called the Bronx Community College library and spoke to the chief librarian who said as far as she knew the report, in draft form, was on the Bronx Com College institutional research department's web page with restricted access since they are still working on it. The phone number of this department is 718 289 5156.

Unfortunately, my pen went dry when I was talking with the person and I don't know whom she was. (I did call John Choonoo and let him know.) So, in case the person calls back, this is the information.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Forthcoming New York Review of Books article re Google and the future of books

A friend sent me the following:
I read this today in the 12 February 2009 New York Review of Books in an article by Roger Darnton called "Google and the Future of Books":

"One of my colleagues is a quiet, diminutive lady, who might call up the notion of Marion the Librarian. When she meets people at parties and identifies herself, they sometimes say condescendingly, 'A librarian, how nice. Tell me, what is it like to be a librarian?' She replies, 'Essentially, it is all about money and power.'"

The article is not yet available friend must read the print version.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chat reference schedule for spring 2009

Beginning next week (the first of the new semester), a new chat schedule will be in effect and it will look like this:
  • Monday: 2 pm - 4 pm
  • Tuesday: 12 pm - 2 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm
  • Wednesday: 2 pm - 4 pm
  • Thursday: 2 pm - 4 pm
The new hours mean that we are more likely to be there for our users when they are asking for help and we can contribute our fair share of coverage to the QuestionPoint academic cooperative. Baruch students have been increasingly using our service. During 2008 we received 1,890 chat requests from Baruch students. Students from the all six of our schools in CUNY that share this QuestionPoint subscription (John Jay, Brooklyn, Hunter, BMCC, Baruch, and the Grad Center) asked over 6,200 questions during this period.

ebrary gets new interface

As previously announced, ebrary launched its new interface today.

Here's a flash demo to get to the details of the new interface:

Let me know if you have any comments.

Locked Drawer Problem with Student Printers


This morning, as I was replenishing the new student printer paper supplies, I noticed that both machine #2 and #3 drawers (both drawer no. 3) cannot be locked. You can easily open them.

I placed a Systems Helpdesk request, job #3201.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Problem with copy machine and printer problem reported by student

On Saturday, a student reported he lost a $1.00 bill in the first photocopy machine (nearest the door) in Room 309. He said that the machine is accepting coins without problems.

In Room 309 and the second floor student printer room there are no envelopes for students to request refunds for losses. Could we please get some?

A Baruch student reported that she was able to print without problem some word documents using the student printers in the library, but when she sent some jpeg files to the printer, she received the notice that they were sent to printer HPLG 950. Paul and I were unable to locate where this printer is located. Is there a printer with this number, or was this an error. (The student said that the jpeg files had personal information about she and her family, including Social Security numbers. I told her that if the printouts are located, they will be destroyed.)

I will alert Annette about the copycard problems and the need for envelopes and I will ask Saad about the printer problem.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Known-item searches and acquisitions

I'd like to thank Lisa and a few other folks who periodically let me know of specific books in my subject areas (English and philosophy) that students asked for in reference interactions and that we were unable to find in our collections. If you can pass along to me the details on those known-item searches that yield no results or where the item is marked as lost or reported missing, I can look into buying copies of those books.

Would anyone else want to participate in this kind of a reference/acquisitions feedback loop for their subject areas?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Charlie Rose interviews outgoing Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott

Last night Charlie Rose interviewed outgoing Wal-Mart President & CEO Lee Scott, who is reducing his time with Wal-Mart over the next two years. Since Wal-mart is frequently researched by our students this interview might be recommended to them as many issues relating to Wal-Mart and being an executive of a major corporation are discussed. Sustainability and how Wal-Mart and retailing have changed are among the topics covered.

One moment in the interview provides an example of what information is required to be reported by a public company and what isn't. Rose asked Scott how many stores Wal-Mart had in China and he replied, "about 200." Rose then asked, "And they generate how much revenue?, to which Scott quickly replied, "I don't believe we report that....but good try."