September, 2005

Newsletter Archives

The electronic newsletter of the University Library, University of South Alabama,
published irregularly as a service to the University Community.

Table of Contents
The Faculty
The Collection
The Teaching Library
The e-Library

The Databases

scifinder scholar icon

Amy Prendergast, Science and Technology Librarian

The University Library is now providing access to SciFinder Scholar, the end-user online version of Chemical Abstracts. SciFinder indexes more than 9,000 scientific journals with coverage dating back to 1907. Chemical aspects of such fields as life sciences, engineering, geology, medical sciences, and physics are included, as well as all aspects of chemistry. Databases searched by SciFinder include CA Plus and Medline as well as CAS Registry, which contains detailed information about 26 million organic and inorganic substances.

To use SciFinder, special software must be installed on the user's computer. To obtain this software go to the University Library webpage, SOUTHcat Plus (, and
choose "Articles, Indexes, Databases." Scroll down the list of Indexes/Databases Listed by Title to see the link for SciFinder Scholar. Clicking on the link will bring up the login screen for the Library's proxy server; type in your last name and library barcode or last four digits of your Social Security number as directed and click "Submit Query." This will bring up a page with a link and instructions for downloading and installing the SciFinder software.

SciFinder may only be used by currently enrolled USA students, faculty, and staff. Access is on-campus only. Keep in mind that we have access to only a limited number of "seats" or simultaneous users. If you are denied access, try again later, perhaps at a different time of day. When you finish using SciFinder please log out by clicking the "Exit" button at the top of the page to free up a seat for another user.

Interactive SciFinder tutorials for General Chemistry, Biology, and Chemical Engineering may be found at: Please call Amy Prendergast at 460-7025 or e-mail her for help with SciFinder or if you have any questions or comments.


Kathy Wheeler, Electronic Services Librarian

The University Libraries recently switched our serials management vendor from Serials Solutions to TDNet. What this means is that when you choose "Our Journal List" to look up a journal title, you will see a much different look.

TDNet provides links to any electronic content to which the University Library subscribes, and it also provides links to our print holdings as well. Journals can be searched by title, publisher, issn or vendor.
Two unique features of TDNet are My TDNet and Search TDNet. My TDNet can be customized by journal, keyword or both so that you are sent an email containing citations for new articles in a field or in a journal. Search TDNet allows you to search the tables of contents of electronic journals. The search only goes back approximately 18 months, however; so you would need to use the databases for older material.

Subscribing to TDNet provided the University Library with an opportunity to take advantage of a link resolver; software that allows us to link as closely to the full-text article as possible. You’ll see this implementation not in TDNet itself but in our databases. When you do a database search, you’ll see an icon that will link you to the full-text of the article, if the University Libraries have a subscription to the journal.

As always, contact the Reference Department at 251-460-7025 or if you have questions about or need help with TDNet.

eric image

Jerry Wright, Humanities and Education Bibliographer

ERIC, the major education database, recently announced that 2004 and 2005 content was made available to all of the database vendors with whom ERIC has an active agreement.

When the ERIC digital library opened in September 2004, the collection consisted mainly of journal and non-journal literature selected by ERIC 1966-2003. ERIC’s mission is to provide a comprehensive and searchable internet-based bibliographic and full text database that complies with the requirements of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002.

Our vendor, EBSCO, announced that an additional 6,788 records are now available that includes journal articles and documents published in 2004-2005.

EBSCO is now providing links to full text from the ERIC database, although some content is still embargoed from one to two years.
Monthly updates are promised.

From the Dean

Journal Review Information

Richard J. Wood, Dean

Many of our readers are aware that the University Library has been conducting a major review of our print subscriptions for the past three months. We requested the input of faculty through the deans of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Computer and Information Sciences, Education, and Engineering. [Other colleges participated in a similar review by the Biomedical Library last academic year.]

Most of our peer academic institutions conduct such reviews every few years because of changes in the curriculum, faculty complements, and budgetary reasons. What distinguishes the current review from past reviews, however, is that the libraries also have gained access to the content of thousands of unsubscribed journal titles through many full-text databases. USA faculty and students have unprecedented access to journal articles through our licensed databases.  The access to these full-text databases has been stable and reliable. Most of the articles are available in the .pdf version which mirrors the image of the original. Users can save the articles to their hard disks and print-them at their convenience. Because full-text databases provide access to the articles in the journals electronically, or through the Internet, this mode of access is strongly preferred by the vast majority of users. These advantages, though, make it extremely difficult to cost-justify continuing a print subscription unless a hard copy is highly used or necessary for some other reason. The primary intent of the current serials review, therefore, is to “not renew” as many print subscriptions as possible because we have access to the articles in those journals through the Internet. These non-renewals (effective January 2006) will result in not only a savings of the subscription cost, but also binding, shelving, and shelf-maintenance costs. All savings will enable us to sustain the costs of the full-text licenses for 2006. This is important because those costs are also subject to the same inflationary increases of the print subscriptions.

Finally, I wish to thank all of the deans and the faculty who provided input and their support during the review process. If you have any questions, please do let me or member of the University Library know. Thank you

The Public Space

University Library Events Schedule

Current Art Exhibits-3rd Floor North

Conserving and Enjoying
Alabama's Coastal Resources
Excellent art work by local 4th and 5th graders.

Alabama's Dirt Project

turtles painted with dirt


On Second Floor-Government Documents
hurricane chart

This excellent display in the Documents area by Nancy Pugh gives data on all of the Atlantic storms we have experienced-- so far. There is also some valuable information on hurricanes and hurricane preparations, in general. Come check it out on 2nd floor, South.


The Faculty

Gene Sullivan Retires

gene sullivan

After 36 years at the University Library, the "institutional memory" of a very personable and accomplished librarian will be sorely missed. Eugene "Gene" Sullivan retired as a Senior Librarian in the position of Coordinator of Collection Management in June. He was appointed to this administrative level position in 2000 to oversee the acquisitions, cataloging and processing of library materials, including gift books. In 1998 and 1999, Gene served as Acting Director of the University Library. Originally hired in 1968 as the Serial Records Librarian, Gene became the Acquisitions Librarian in 1972. In these "technical" library roles, Gene saw literally hundreds of thousands of books, bound volumes, audio-visual and other materials being added to the collection. This collection development experience was invaluable to the many collection assessments he provided or oversaw for SACS accreditations and new program proposals.

During his years at USA, he has published a number of book reviews and served on many USA committees including the Library Committee, the Academic Affairs Committee, the University Research Committee, and the Educational Policies Committee. He was appointed to the rank of Associate Librarian in 1980 and Senior Librarian in 1981 when he became Head of the Acquisitions Department.

Prior to working at USA, he was a cataloger at the Mobile Public Library from 1965 to 1968. He was graduated in 1966 with the Master of Science of Library Science from Louisiana State University and went on to get a Masters in Counseling at USA. Gene's happy to finally have the opportunity to spend time with his family, especially the grandkids.

Archivist Retires-Archivist Arrives

Carol Ellis and Elisa Baldwin

Elisa Baldwin joined the Libraries' faculty in November 1989 after completing her MLS at the University of Southern Mississippi. She had done contract work--exhibits, grants, darkroom work, etc.--at the archives for ten years prior to her formal appointment. Lisa found that one of the most enjoyable aspects of her job was working with the student assistants, several of whom have gone on to become archivists. "I am very pleased that one of these former students, Carol Ellis, is the new archivist at USA."

Carol Ellis was born in Bad Herschfeld near Frankfurt, Germany. The daughter of a career military father, she graduated from the University of South Alabama with a B.A. in history in 1999 and a M.A. in history in 2002. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Her areas of interest include the modern civil rights era, twentieth-century history, and religious social movements.

New Cataloger

Muriel Nero

Muriel D. Nero joined the Collection Management department of University Library on June 1, as the new Monograph Cataloger. A resident of Baldwin County, Ms Nero was previously with the Daphne Public Library in Daphne, Alabama, as the audiovisual cataloger. While working there, she received a Master of Education in Educational Media from the University of South Alabama and then went on to obtain a M.L.I.S. degree from the University of Alabama. Ms. Nero said she is enjoying the change from public libraries and looking forward to exploring new opportunities as an academic librarian.

The Collection

Instructional Media Center


Libby Jones

The Instructional Media Center continues to grow with approximately 550 media items added to the collection since January. These items include documentaries on history, earth sciences and physics as well as film noir, classic horror and silent films. The collection was also enhanced by donations from library faculty and staff. A great big kudos to Vicki Tate, Kathy Wheeler and Jason Wilhelm for their donations to the library’s feature film collection. We also placed our audio CD collection on the open shelves so patrons can easily browse our classical music and Great Courses CD’s. The conversion of documentaries to LC classification is coming along with DVDs completed and about half of the videocassettes done. The VHS and DVD numbers of those items already assigned LC call numbers still appear in SOUTHcat in the note field. Once this whopper of a project is complete, the documentaries will be browsable by subject area – a feature much requested by patrons.

The Teaching Library

Library Instruction

Jan Sauer

Room 305-classroom

Library Instruction now has a bigger, quieter classroom on Third Floor, South--the old Government Documents area. The 12 computers previously in Room 128 have been moved so we can still accommodate 24 students with two at a computer for hands-on instruction. We also have a brighter LCD projector for better viewing during database and Internet instruction.

Instructors can call or e-mail me to schedule a session in this room or in a department classroom. We will help students understand the quantity and quality of information that the library provides both in the building and through subscriptions to general and disciplinary online databases, and the techniques that will make their searching productive and efficient. We also use the Library auditorium for teaching larger classes.

Library Blog -- "almost" daily information about current Library events and information issues of all kinds.

The E- Library

Wireless Network

Laptops with wireless cards can now access the Internet on the Fourth Floor, both North and South. Access will soon extend to both sides of the Third Floor. The areas closest to the west side(lake side/restroom side) of the building will have a stronger signal. This network called "Open" will be outside the firewall of the library and therefore cannot access our TRACcard printing system.


Room 128

This room on the Ground Floor, previously used for Library Instruction, is now available for library research. These 12 computers are printer-networked, but as with all the library computers, have no wordprocessing or other production software. They are Internet -connected and are intended for academic research.

Documents CD/DVD Workstation

Vickey Baggott, Documents Librarian

The Documents Department has a brand new computer workstation which is available for accessing government information currently available only in disc format. On the desktop are icons for accessing CDs and DVDs by type and direct links to the NOAA and Stat-USA websites. In the Business folder, we have economic and trade data and OSHA Regulations. For each of the Econ97 disks, you must use the “Click Me to Start” button in order to access their data. The General folder contains income data. The Census folder has Census 2000 Redistricting data and software programs for creating demographic maps. The Index folder has links to US Foreign Affairs, The Presidential Papers, Justice statistics, and the US and AL Codes on disc. This workstation is located in the office directly behind the Documents Information Desk on the Second floor, South. The staff member on duty will be happy to assist you.

Newsletter Archives

SOUTHcat Plus
University Homepage

call (334) 460-6045 or e-mail Jan Sauer.
Last updated:9/23/05
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