Newsletter Archives

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

September, 2007

Ellen Wilson

ellen wilson's photo

Ellen Wilson packed up and moved from Boston to Mobile to take her dream job as Instructional Technology and Reference Librarian at USA. Before coming to USA, she was a student at Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science, where she received her M.S. this May. It was through her involvement with the technology lab at Simmons that she discovered her love for instruction.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Earth and Planetary Science from Washington University in St. Louis and a graduate certificate in Professional and Technical Communication from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Among her past work experiences she counts volcano monitoring at Alaska Volcano Observatory, substitute teaching in a struggling urban school district, managing several departments of the Harvard Coop, one of the largest college bookstores in the country, and assisting with a retrospective cataloging project at the Social Law Library in Boston.

In her spare time, Ellen enjoys playing around with new and emerging technologies, reading, knitting, and the extreme emotional highs and lows that come with being a diehard Red Sox fan.

Project Muse

Jan Sauer
Instructional Services/Reference

The Libraries are delighted to announce the acquisition of a subscription to Project Muse's Standard Research Collection, containing current, full text issues of approximately 290 humanities and social science journals.

“Every journal is heavily indexed and peer-reviewed, with critically acclaimed articles by the most respected scholars in their fields. MUSE is also the sole source of complete, full-text versions of titles from many of the world’s leading university presses and scholarly societies.”

Because Muse partners with the Johns Hopkins library, the indexing is done by experienced catalogers. By limiting a search to the Subject Headings field, a searcher can find the most relevant articles efficiently—a convenience missing from JSTOR--speaking of which . . . .

For those who use JSTOR frequently, you will be happy to find that the two databases share 25 journal titles which can be searched and accessed from either database. Just check the box that says “Include articles from JSTOR back issues.”

The articles in Project Muse are perfect for e-reserve or links on an online syllabus because they have stable URLs. If you have a journal that is particularly important to your research, you may consider subscribing to an RSS feed to that journal giving you instant notification of a new issue. These online journals are often available before print issues are even released.

For a list of the journal titles and dates of coverage in this “Standard Collection” go to:

Beverly Rossini

Beverly Rossini photo

Beverly Rossini is working in the library as an intern from the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies. Rossini has completed her coursework and will graduate with a Masters in December 2007.

Mrs. Rossini has taught high school language arts and public speaking, drama, reading, and journalism electives. She is a past fellow with the Mobile Bay Writing Project, an alumni of the Association of Newspaper Editors' Summer Journalism Institute at the University of Texas in Austin, and a current recipient of the Marie Drolet Bristol Endowed Scholarship.

Her home for the past twenty-five years has been Mobile. She and her husband have two grown sons. In her free time Rossini enjoys exploring new technologies, reading, stitching needlepoint, and working in the yard.

Wiley Earth and Environmental Sciences Backfiles Collection

Amy Prendergast
Science and Technology Librarian

The University Library is now providing access to the Wiley Earth and Environmental Sciences Backfiles Collection. This collection includes the backfiles of 25 journals, some with access beginning as far back as the 1960s. This is a significant increase as for most of the Wiley journals we only have access back to 1997. Included are journals on environment, remediation, conservation, hydrology, geology, and meteorology, among others.

To browse the titles in the Earth and Environmental Sciences collection, go to SOUTHcat Plus and choose “Articles, Indexes, Databases”. Then look under Multidisciplinary Collections, choose “Wiley Interscience,” and click on “Collections” on the Wiley home page. Click on “Earth and Environmental Sciences Backfiles” then choose “Titles”. The backfiles, along with all Wiley journals, can also be searched – if you choose “Advanced Search” from the Wiley homepage you can limit by Product Type, Subjects, and Date Range.

We hope you will find extended access to these Wiley journals useful and convenient. Please call (460-7025) or email Amy Prendergast if you have questions or comments.

LexisNexis Overhaul

Deborah Harrington
Business Librarian

You may be familiar with the LexisNexis database and have used it in the past for news, company information, cases, etc. The search interface has recently been redesigned and will require a few changes in the way you search for information. This database can be accessed through "Articles, Indexes, Databases" on the Library homepage or the Business Library database list.

Getting started:
Choose from the 2 tabs at the very top of the screen 'Search' OR 'Sources'
Most users will leave the screen on the default 'Search' category unless they have a need to search a specific title such as ... the 'American Demographics' magazine for demographic information. Directly under those 2 tabs, you will notice a submenu of 5 category buttons: General, News, Legal, Business, People

For cases, law reviews, and tax research, choose Legal. For company information or SEC documents choose Business. Each category screen [general, news, legal, business, people] will look different and will have differing search forms, sources and search options. It's worth your time to look thoroughly around the screen before beginning your search. To the right side, notice the search categories. Click on the one that fits your research need. Review options on the search form going from the top of the page to the bottom. For help in learning the new interfaces or the types of searches you can conduct from the screen you are looking at, refer to the bottom of the right menu. Under 'Related Links' see various help sheets. You may also want to click on the link 'Tutorials'. They are flash tutorials that review the basics with you.

I wanted you to be aware of the new redesign, give you a couple of strategies/tips for coping, and offer further assistance if you have specific questions about the type of research you are working on.

Microform Machines Become Technology Compliant

photo of two people using the microfilm scanner

By Paula L. Webb
Government Documents Librarian

Almost everyone who has used a microform machine has fumbled with loading the film just right, attempted to get the document they want to appear on the viewer and had to hunt down dimes for printing. In this computer age, shouldn’t this complicated process improve?

Due to the efforts of Doug Wilcox, Assistant Dean, University Library Systems, and Vicki Tate, Head of Documents/Serials, the University of South Alabama now has available two microform scanners. The machines easily scan documents on microfilm or microfiche and transfer them to .PDF format using Photoshop Elements. In this new format, the patron can do many things with the scanned document. If they bring their own flash drive or CD, they can save the document and take it with them anywhere without printing it out.

“We decided to get the microform scanners because people were asking for them, we wanted to get away from the dime situation and we wanted to keep up with technology. In the future, the library hopes to have printing capabilities using the TracCard.” stated Vicki Tate. In addition, the microform scanners have an easier loading capability and better screens for viewing. One of the machines is capable of scanning documents in the 11 x 14 format. The larger format is perfect for scanning newspapers and other large publications.

The popularity of the new microform scanners has already begun as students and professors have chosen them over the regular microform printers. It is no surprise the librarians expect the usage of the microform scanners to only increase.

Others Places to Check Out

Alabama Mosaic- a repository of digital materials on Alabama's history, culture, places, and people. Its purpose is to make unique historical treasures from Alabama's archives, libraries, museums, and other repositories electronically accessible to Alabama residents and to students, researchers, and the general public in other states and countries.

ACRL Webcast: Understanding Author's Rights -- Do you really have to sign the first contract a publisher offers in order to get published? Thoughts on copyright, digital repositories, personal use and other complexities of authorship.

The Library Blog-University Library news, as well as occasionally useful and often weird website links.

PETAL's September Newsletter

Paula Webb

paula wilson's photo

After much begging and pleading from her parents, Paula Webb finally decided to move back to her home town of Mobile.

Paula will be working for the USA Library as the new Reference and Electronic Resources Government Documents Librarian. Her job title alone should give you an idea of how busy she will be!

Before coming to USA, she was the Head of Serials and Interlibrary Loan at Delta State University, home of the Fighting Okra, and a Law Library Assistant at Balch & Bingham LLP. She has a MLIS from the University of Alabama, BA from Judson College and an AA from Faulkner State Community College.

Paula dabbles in all forms of artistic expression, including gardening when it is not a 110 degrees outside, landscape photography, painting with oil based media and charcoal based drawings.

Rob Gray

Rob Gray Photo

Robert Gray and his wife (Kim) and children (Liam, 10, and Emma, 7) have come down to Mobile from Birmingham for Rob to take the directorship of PETAL (The Program for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning). While he’s not a librarian, the library would like to welcome him anyway because, despite that glaring and unfortunate shortcoming, he still seems to be a pretty cool guy.

Before coming to USA, he was the Director of Education Research at Outcomes, Inc., and has also served as the Director of the Instructional Media Group at the UAB School of Public Health, as an Academic Services and Instructional Design Consultant for eCollege, and as Instructor of English at Troy (State) University. He holds a BA and MA in English from the University of Alabama and is finishing his PhD in Instructional Technology, also from the University of Alabama.

Mr. Gray is best known for being almost good at writing poetry, designing web sites, singing, playing bass guitar, cooking, and keeping his hair combed.

EBSCO Education Complete

Ellen K. Wilson,
Instructional Technology & Reference Librarian

The library has subscribed to EBSCO’s Education Research Complete. According to the publisher, this database offers the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of full-text education journals. It contains scholarly research and information relating to all areas of education, from early childhood to higher education, as well as to administration, policy, funding, and related social issues. Education Research Complete contains indexing and abstracts for more than 1500 journals, and full-text for more than 750 journals. It also includes full-text for more than 100 books and monographs, as well as numerous conference papers.

Education Research Complete is similar to ERIC and Professional Development Collection in its search interface; however, each database uses a different thesaurus or index of subjects. For example, Education Research Complete uses the term “Absenteeism,” whereas in ERIC the thesaurus term is “Attendance.” In Professional Development Collection, the subject term is “School attendance.”

One feature Education Research Complete offers is a citation index. This allows you to search for articles which cite a certain article. To access this search, click on “Cited References” in the green header from either the Basic or Advanced Search Tab.

To access Education Research Complete, click the Articles, Indexes and Databases link from the library homepage, then select EBSCO, and finally Education Research Complete. From this page you can also access the list of included titles.

ProQuest Newspapers - Newsstand Database

Deborah L. Harrington
Business Librarian

The University Library has subscribed to the ProQuest Newsstand database which provides the full-text of 350 full-text newspapers with coverage from 1980 to the present with many more indexed. For a complete list of the newspaper titles included review the title list.

The core of the database is the Major Newspapers collection, which includes national and leading regional papers such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, The New York Times, USA TODAY, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal- Constitution,The Boston Globe, The Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Washington Post. Many titles such as the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s have not been available in electronic full-text at USA until now. Online access promotes the sharing of newspaper titles among all the libraries on campus and furthers distance education initiatives.

Browse your favorite newspapers or search for coverage of popular events by clicking on the link to ProQuest Newspapers from our Newspaper Database List or the aphabetical list of databases on the Articles, Indexes, Databases link on the homepage. Although all articles are indexed, graphics and some other data may not show up. Print or microfilm copies of a few titles are available at the University Library or the Mitchell College of Business Library. Verify holdings by searching the SOUTHcat Catalog by Journal Title. Membership in the Network of Alabama Academic Libraries (NAAL) helps us achieve a significant cost savings for this and several other databases, rare in today’s electronic environment. Try it out and let us know what you think.

New “Materials Purchase Request”

Paul G. Haschak
Coordinator of Collection Management

It is easier than ever to recommend the purchase of new academic materials for the University Library. Use the new “Materials Purchase Request” form available now on the Library homepage.

You may recommend books, videos (dvd and vhs), music, music cds, magazines, and journal titles, as well as electronic (online) resources such as databases--or other items you feel the library should purchase. Recommendations are evaluated in accordance with the University Library’s “Collection Development Policy” from suggestions by the Library’s subject specialists, the academic faculty, staff, students, and others. The University Library’s selection criteria states that the “quality of the content, its relevance to the fulfillment of the academic curricular needs of the University, and our student’s and faculty’s learning, teaching, and research needs are the basic criteria against which any potential purchase is evaluated.” Note, because of budgetary limitations, the purchase of new materials is not guaranteed. Please note, also, the University Library does not purchase current course textbooks.

Art Gallery News

Richard Wood
Dean of the Libraries

USA's own Dr. John Strange (professor, College of Education) has agreed to extend the date for his and Jeannine Griffin's framed photography show until September 27, 2007 so that new USA students can see this show on the first floor of the University Library. Many of these photographs were taken in Italy and are all quite colorful images they took on recent trips.

photo of wine bottles on a shelf

There are multiple shows in the University Library's third floor gallery. The main show contains the framed watercolor "sketches" by Vicky Nix Cook; they show many scenes from Fairhope, Alabama and are meant to be a tribute to her father, Jim Nix, former mayor of Fairhope for seven consecutive terms and a current member of USA's Board of Trustees. Eight of the display cases on third floor tell the story behind the book: Fairhope Watercolor Sketches [Fairhope: Nall Printing, 2004. ISBN 0-9762584-0-4]. It features the art work by Ms. Cook and words of Suzanne Hudson. This show will be available through the end of September.

Four display cases contain batik works by an Alabama native, former teacher, and an internationally acclaimed artist, Jean Schulman. Her batik works are made on antique linens, cotton, marbleized paper, and raw silk using dyes obtained exclusively from colored clays. Her research has taken her throughout the Southeast to dig clay and to discover rich colors ranging from blues, greens and pinks to brown and rose tones. Franklin County is still her richest source with about 20 different colors in a 100 yard area. Some of her artwork is part of the permanent collection in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History and Technology in Washington, D.C. and is in more than one hundred private collections throughout the United States. Schulman is registered to be a charter member of the National Museum of Women in Fine Arts and has been accepted into the museum's database of accomplished women artists. Her show will be available through September 27, 2007.

yellow  rose

In Warmest Memory of

Tiffany Harris


Eugene V. Sullivan


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Last updated:9/11/07
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