Newsletter Archives


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

September, 2006

Table of Contents

LRC vs LRC by Jerry Wright
New Art Exhibit in the Gallery
by Richard Wood
Notable Government Documents by Vicki Tate
Notes from Collection Management by Vera Finley
New Faculty Orientation by Alla Zakharova
PETAL's Fall Schedule

Science/Technology Shorts by Amy Prendergast
Business Reference by Mary Engebretson
Enhanced Course Reserve by Dennis Guion
Nelda Thornburg Retires by Jan Sauer
The BLOG by Jan Sauer
Scopus by Kathy Wheeler

Literature Resource Center(Gale/InfoTrac)
vs
Literary Reference Center (EBSCO)

Jerry Wright
Humanities Reference Librarian

literature resource center logoThe Literature Resource Center (GaleNet from Thomson Gale) describes itself as a “complete literature reference database designed for both the undergraduate and graduate student as well as the sophisticated casual user.” At its core are reference works I have had occasion to use and respect over the years: the Scribner Writers series, the voluminous and continuing Dictionary of Literary Biography, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, and many other Thomson Gale products that I have used repeatedly. Journal articles once presented in print form only and in excerpts are now available in full text.

lrcebscoThe new Literary Reference Center (EBSCO) boasts having the texts of “over 1000 books and monographs” as well as “hundreds of literary journals.” Reference works include Merriam Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature, the Bloom’s Major Novelist series and Masterplots. Among the elements are the Magill reference works of Salem Press, including Masterplots. As a reference librarian I have not used these works as much or appreciated them as I have the Thomson Gale products. The search engines are comparable. A nice feature of the Literary Reference Center is that search results can be limited to just journal articles or just reference works or other types of reference materials can be singled out. The Literary Reference Center professes its utility to high school students and public libraries as well as to college students.

We are fortunate that our USA patrons have access to both of these tools through "Articles, Indexes, Databases" on the Library homepage.

New Art Exhibit

third floor art gallery
Richard Wood
Dean of the Libraries

The University Library will exhibit the works of the members of Cathedral Square Gallery (CSG) from September 1, 2006 through the end of October. The CSG, an art cooperative of about 50 members, is located in downtown Mobile at 260 Dauphin Street. The name of the exhibit is “West of Cathedral Square Gallery” and will feature water colors, oils, acrylics, sculptures, and jewelry made by the members. The opening reception will be on Friday, September 15, 2006 from 5:00 P.M. to 6:30 P.M.

Notable Government Documents

Vicki Tate, Head of Documents/Serials

For over the past twenty years, Library Journal has published a list of “Notable Government Documents” from Federal, State and International publications, as determined by the Notable Documents Panel from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) of the American Libraries Association (ALA).

The purpose is to recognize excellence in government publications and to identify government documents of distinction. For a publication to be considered it must be prepared by or for an official governmental agency, from the local to international level. Documents may be in any language or format, such as print, CD-ROM, video or web publication. Judging is based on criteria such as: the extent to which the document “contributes to the expansion of knowledge”, or “contributes to enhancing the quality of life or provides information that helps the reader make informed decisions on important issues”, as well as physical appearance, browsability, or whether it is written in a lucid style.

The current winners for 2005, include: “Populations Trends Along the Coastal United States: 1980-2008” (C 55.402:C 63/3);

Selma, Al civil rights melee

“Selma to Montgomery: National Historic Trail, Alabama” (I 29.88/3:SE 4), “Dietary Guideline for Americans, 2005” (A 1.77:232/2005) and “The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the U.S. Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction” (PREX 1.19:IN 8/W 37).

All of this year’s winners for Federal publications are available for viewing in the Government Documents Department. For more information, see the article for the most recent winners in LIBRARY JOURNAL, May 15, 2006, v. 131, no. 9, pg. 52-58 (available in the USA Library’s Current Periodical area or on the web through EBSCO database).

Notes from Collection Management

library of congress logo
Vera Finley
Cataloging Librarian

Collection Management recently began ordering partially pre-processed books from Baker & Taylor. Eliminating a major portion of end processing procedures speeds the delivery of new books to the shelves. The books arrive with targets, date due slips and the paperbacks are laminated (a major time saver). When available, they have call number labels already applied. We still have to stamp the books and barcode them. There were a few wrinkles at the beginning but there are a lot fewer problems now. We are completely caught up with cataloging at this moment!

Collection Management has a recently subscribed to Classification Web which gives web access to Library of Congress classification schedules and subject headings. This will eliminate the need for printed LC subject heading books and classification schedules. Online access will provide more timely and up-to-date information and allow easier and more varied searches. Our contract allows for 1-4 concurrent users.

The search for the Coordinator of Collection Management position continues.

New Faculty Orientation

alla zakharova
Alla Zakharova
Program for the Enhancement
of Teaching and Learning

On August 15 and 16, the Library hosted the New Faculty Orientation once again. Fifty-three faculty members from the cohort of one hundred and twenty-one new faculty employees attended orientation sessions with top administrators, coordinators of the programs, and faculty senators.

The new faculty were briefed on the PAWS system and Student Support services, Risk Management, Sponsored Programs and the Honors program. They went through an overview of the Computer Support services and Sexual Harassment training. The second and third days of the Orientation were devoted to the instructional support services and faculty professional development. Dr. Bill Young introduced the new faculty to the Writing Across the Curriculum program. Dr. Alla Zakharova got them acquainted with the Program for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (PETAL) and engaged them with the discussion of such vital issues as course syllabi, learning outcomes and objectives, student attendance, academic integrity and assessment. Our Reference Librarians took the new faculty on the tour around the Library and informed them of the available resources in their respective fields. By tradition, Dr. Brenda Litchfield wrapped up the Orientation with a four-hour interactive teaching skills seminar at the Terrace on the third day of the event. We welcome new faculty to the University of South Alabama and hope they will enjoy a fulfilling career here.

PETAL's Fall Schedule

Faculty Seminars - reviews of teaching tools and best classroom practices in higher education.

Roundtables - discussions provide a pedagogical forum for professional issues in teaching and learning.

Workshops - designed to assist faculty in the development of their multimedia skills and creation of novel instructional materials.

Science/Technology Shorts

Amy Prendergast
Science/Technology Reference Librarian

SciFinder Scholar (End-User Searching of Chem Abstracts) for Mac Users. Thanks to the Mac expertise of Jan Sauer and the electronic resources expertise of Kathy Wheeler, instructions are now available for downloading and using the SciFinder Scholar software on a Mac OS X operating system. From SOUTHcat Plus go to the “Articles, Indexes, Databases” page and scroll down the list of Indexes/Databases Listed by Title until you get to SciFinder. There are instructions available for PC as well as for OS X. Remember that SciFinder can only be used on campus.

science direct logoScienceDirect Update. ScienceDirect has redesigned its website and made several improvements. The Browse feature for journals is now on the front page for easier access. The Quick Search feature has been improved to allow more sophisticated searching, including by author and journal/book title. If you are a registered user with ScienceDirect (registration is free) and logged in, a Recent Actions section will show recent searches run, fulltext retrieved, and journal or book homepages viewed. There is a Quick Link feature for saved searches and any alerts you have set up within ScienceDirect and also for links out to the Web. To use ScienceDirect and try these and other updated features, from homepage choose “Articles, Indexes, Databases,” then look under Frequently Used Index Collections.

bio one logo BioOne Searching. BioOne includes the fulltext for 72 bioscience research journals and 1 book. In addition to the basic searching available within BioOne itself, there is also a CSA database available, called BioOne Abstracts and Indexes, which links to the fulltext in BioOne. To use BioOne Abstracts and Indexes, from SOUTHcat Plus choose “Articles, Indexes, Databases,” then scroll down the list of Indexes/Databases listed by title. The database will allow searching in the author, title, descriptors, and abstract fields, among others, as well as by keywords. Search terms may be combined using Boolean operators for more precise searching and it is possible to limit by date, look at your search history, and set up alerts to be e-mailed to you. All results found link directly to the fulltext in BioOne.

AccessScience: Unfortunately, as of October 1st, we will no longer have the online reference source AccessScience. It included the complete McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, but is being dropped by the Alabama Virtual Library for lack of use.

If you have questions or comments about the databases mentioned above, or any science or technology related databases, please email or call me (460-7025)

Business Reference -- Print to Electronic

Mary Engebretson
Head of Reference & Coordinator of Public Services
Business Reference Libarian

Over the past years, the University Library has been converting many of our basic business reference sources from print to electronic. There are several advantages to electronic resources. Databases available on the web are available to our faculty and students anywhere on and off campus. Search capabilities are usually more powerful and frequently more comprehensive. Also, the library saves both shelf space and the staff time required to check-in, file, and shelve the print issues.

In addition to LexisNexis Academic, Ebsco’s Business Source Premier, Gale/InfoTrac’s General Business File ASAP and Business & Company Resource Center, the library has subscribed to:

mergent online logo The web version of all those Moody’s manuals and handbooks. This database provides historical information and financial data on publicly-owned companies—U.S. and international.

RIA logo The online version of the United States Tax Reporter, which consisted of 32 loose-leaf binders, occupied 6 shelves, and took 2 to 4 hours a week to file.

Labor and employment law library The web version of BNA’s Labor Relations Reporter. The print version occupied more than 40 shelves and consisted of 560+ bound volumes (going back to 1939) and 20 loose-leaf binders. The weekly updates took at least 2 hours a week to file.

Standard and Poor's Net Advantage We also now have web access to Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage. This database includes electronic versions of their print stock reports, bond reports, industry surveys, and weekly “Outlook” as well as a new company profiles database.

These databases are all available through "Articles, Indexes, Databases" on the Library homepage.

Enhanced Course Reserve

Dennis Guion
Head of Circulation/Reserve/IMC

This Fall the University Library has improved our Course Reserve service with the implementation of DocuTek electronic reserve software. We are now able to provide valuable statistical information to USA instructors.

The University Library began offering electronic course reserve soon after we migrated to Voyager library systems in 2000. By 2003 USA patrons had access to 74 full text articles. This number increased to 85 the next year. By the end of the 2004-2005 academic year, 461 items were retrievable full text from SOUTHcat, our online library catalog. This year by the end of August we have surpassed that number – a seven fold increase.

The articles and chapters the Library receive from instructors are digitized or linked to existing online sources. Copyright compliance is carefully followed. Books, print materials, and electronic files are placed on reserve for the current semester then removed. Only currently enrolled students have access to electronic reserve. Students need to click on the link on the Library's homepage to get to the electronic reserve collection.

Reserve materials (both print and electronic) are processed as they are received. In general five working days are required for circulation staff to process items. Instructors are encouraged to include a syllabus for each class with materials on reserve. Course reserve is a dynamic procedure. Instructors may bring in material at any point during the semester. A detailed electronic course reserve handout is available at the University Library Circulation Desk.

Course Reserves Request Forms
(not AHP, COM, Nursing):
Web submittable form
Printable form
Media Reserve form for DVD, VHS, CD,
Electronic Reserve Guidelines for University Library
Electronic Reserves Guidelines for Biomedical Library
dennis guion photo

Stop by the Circ Desk for a demo any time. Contact Dennis Guion or Mary Ann Graham for details. 251-460-7028

Nelda Thornburg Retires

nelda thornburg photo

Nelda Thornburg retired on June 30th. She had worked for the library since 1967, one of the longest-employed individuals ever to work at the University. She remembers helping move the books into what we now call the "old" side of the building. She plans to volunteer her time doing work for her church, as well as keeping up with the grandkids.

LIBLOG-The Library's Blog

Jan Sauer
Instructional Services & Editor

blog polka dots

If you want to keep up with the changes in the Library as they happen, click on the Blog link on the Library's homepage. The librarians will let you know about new resources and new services when they occur. And when there is nothing new, we will offer you an assortment of websites we find interesting, amusing or just plain weird. js

scopus logo

Kathy Wheeler
Electronic Services & Mathematics Statistics Librarian

Scopus is an indexing and abstracting database for the life sciences, health sciences, physical sciences and social sciences. It provides citations and abstracts for approximately 15, 0000 titles, including journal articles and patent records. Scopus uses TDNet's link resolver to take users directly to articles from databases to which the Libraries subscribe. Scopus also gives the user the ability to set up alerts and create profiles.

The most interesting feature for faculty in Scopus may be the citation tracker. Using this, a user can choose articles and find out how many times those articles have been cited and by whom in which articles.

Scopus results can be exported to citation managers using the Ouput button which allows the user to choose RefWorks direct export (USA does not subscribe to RefWorks), RIS Format (for Procite, EndNote and Reference Manager) and Comma Separated file (for use in a spreadsheet.) A nice feature included in Scopus is the ability to make quick bibliographies from the Output screen; choosing Bibliography allows the user to choose to format the citations using one of nine bibliographic formats, including MLA and APA.

Newsletter Archives
SOUTHcat Plus
University Homepage

call (251) 460-6045 or e-mail Jan Sauer.
Last updated:9/12/06
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