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September 30, 2008

Knovel University Challenge

Could you use a Nintendo Wii or a new iPod? Check out this contest, via Jon Jeffryes:

The online reference book website Knovel is putting on a contest, the Knovel University Challenge.

The contest begins today and goes through November 7th. It's open to all UMN students. All you have to do is enter via the widget below and get three answers correct using Knovel Ebooks.

If you get three correct answers you will be eligible for Knovel's drawing. They plan to give away 2 Nintendo Wiis, 3 iPod Nanos, and 6 iTunes Gift Cards.

You'll be able to familiarize yourself with this great reference resource and may just win a prize. For more information about rules and regulations, click here.

September 25, 2008

All about Airfoils

Are you (or your students) looking for information about NACA airfoils? You can find the classic reference book on the topic, Theory of Wing Sections by Ira H. Abbott and Albert F. von Doenhoff, in the Reference Room on the second floor of Walter Library (call number TL672 .A2). The Google Books preview below will give you a pretty good idea of what you can find there. Or look at a full screen preview here.

If you want to see the data for NACA's original wind tunnel tests on a number of NACA airfoils, take a look at this report published by NACA in 1933:

Jacobs, Eastman N.; Ward, Kenneth E.; and Pinkerton, Robert M.: The Characteristics of 78 Related Airfoil Sections from Tests in the Variable-Density Wind Tunnel. NACA Rep. 460, 1933.

Like most NACA and NASA technical reports, you can find it online at the NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS). Click on the report's title to see a link to a PDF.

September 24, 2008

Librarian Redirect

Are you a librarian?

Thanks for following the link from the AP List email! For many more examples of what a liaison librarian might write about, I'm going to send you over to the blogs of my colleagues Jon Jeffryes and Lisa Johnston. They're both great about keeping their blogs fresh, and I learn from them every time I read their posts.

September 8, 2008

Off Topic: If you liked Quicksilver, you might like...

For the most part, I'll be using this blog to tell you about library "stuff": Workshops, Web-based tools, new books and journals. But I'm going to play "public librarian" just for today.

There are some authors whose books seem to resonate with engineers and computer scientists, and Neal Stephenson is one of them. I'm a big fan of Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, and Diamond Age, and Quicksilver (along with the rest of the Baroque Cycle) is taunting me from my bedside table. Stephenson's latest, Anathem, is due in bookstores this week.

If you want a signed copy, Stephenson's book tour will take him to the Barnes & Noble at the Galleria in Edina on September 26.

Want the shortest-possible synopsis? The librarian cartoon Unshelved published their Anathem book talk on Sunday.

September 3, 2008

Keeping Track of Your Research

Tired of keeping long lists of citations you might need later in a Word document? Or worse, a stack of notecards?

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To make your life easier, University Libraries subscribes to RefWorks, an online citation management tool. Refworks helps students, faculty, and staff by making it easy to save citations (usually without transcribing anything), sort or filter them, and format them into bibliographies. You can create as many RefWorks accounts as you need, making it an ideal tool for sharing citations with your research group.

Want to get started? Jon Jeffryes and I will be teaching an hour-long RefWorks Basics workshop on September 9 at 2:30. For more information or to register, click here.