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.)