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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 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.