August 2008 Archives

MNCat Plus: The New Library Catalog

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Did you notice that MNCat, the library catalog, has been looking a little different lately?


The libraries have upgraded our catalog—we’re calling it MNCat Plus. Here are some new features:
• Google-style Searching
• Real-time Availability Features
• Reviews and Tagging—Add your thoughts
• Easy saving to RefWorks and

For more information here’s a link to the campus-wide library blog’s entry on the new features. If you prefer the older version of the catalog, it’s still available (We’re calling it MNCat Classic). If you have any questions or comments, let me or another librarian know.

Library Support for Your Labs

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As we come to the beginning of the semester I just wanted to let you know that the libraries are also happy to support your labs and research groups.

(Photo provided by Stacina via Flickr CC

If you have new students joining your lab or want to provide some skill refreshers for your returning staff, I can offer instructional support in:

• Database searching
• An overview of Google Tools
• RefWorks
• EndNote

If you’re interested in scheduling a session, setting up a series of handouts on different topics, or the creation of tutorials, feel free to get in touch, I’d be happy to help.

New Books From June

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Shigley pic.jpgbruus.jpgsystems.gif

We've just posted a list of all of the new books that the Science and Engineering Library received in the month of June. We received a few new titles (some print, some electronic) for the Mechanical Engineering Department. To view the entire list click here.

Web of Science Workshop

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One more workshop coming up this week at Walter that might be of interest: Research Made Easy: Discover the Web of Knowledge. Tomorrow (Tuesday August 19, 3:30-4:30) Lisa Johnston will be teaching an introductory workshop to this great resource.

If you don’t know, Web of Science is a huge article database that covers a wide variety of science and technology-related topics. It indexes over 8,000 international journals.

In this workshop Lisa will cover:
• Search Strategies
• Getting Articles
• Journal Ranking
• Exporting Citations

If you’re interested, save yourself a seat and register here.

Enhance Your Googling

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Next Wednesday (August 20) we’ll be offering another workshop to help get you ready for the upcoming Fall Semester. This workshop is called Google for Researchers and it will be team taught by Lisa Johnston, the Astronomy, Geology,Geophysics and Physics Librarian, and me.

This workshop will quickly go through a variety of Google search tools (Google Scholar, Google Books, etc.) and productivity tools (Google Docs, iGoogle, etc.). We’ll show you how you can use these tools effectively to make your research process flow even smoother.

(image provided by Keso via Flickr CC)

You can expect to learn:
• How to connect Google Scholar to library resources such as our online print subscriptions and RefWorks.
• How to use Google Docs to easily collaborate with colleagues all over the world…for free!
• How to locate physical copies of the books you find search Google Books.
• How to personalize you iGoogle page to maximize it’s efficiency

All that and much, much more. It’s a fast-paced, hands-on workshop that should be a good time.

Once again the date: Wednesday, August 20. 1:00-2:00 Walter 310.

Save yourself a seat--Register here. Email me with any questions.

Getting Published Workshop

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Are you just starting to publish in your field? The Physical Sciences and Engineering Library wants to help. Math Librarian Kris Fowler will be offering a workshop for scholars just starting the publishing process.

(Photo comes from Gonzalo Barrientos via Flickr CC).

In this workshop Kris will discuss:
• Identifying appropriate journals to submit your work to
• Managing your rights when signing publisher contracts

There will be time to share your questions and ideas with other emerging authors on campus.

The workshop will be held Tuesday, August 19 from 2:00-3:00 in Walter 310. Save yourself a seat by registering here

Research More Efficiently

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On Monday, August 18 at 2 p.m. Jan Fransen and I will be offering a workshop on getting started with RefWorks. RefWorks is an online citation management system that makes storage and organization of your research more efficient and accessible. Have you ever sat down to start a paper only to realize that the you’ve left your list of important citations back at your apartment? Or have you experienced not being able to remember in what notebook you jotted down that great article you found in Google Scholar last week?


RefWorks can make those problems obsolete. AND it can format your bibliographies and in-text citations in a matter of seconds.

Here’s what Jan and I will be covering:
• Setting up accounts
• Importing Citations
• Organizing Your Research
• Formatting your bibliography and in-text citations
• Collaborating with your colleagues

If you’ve got a free hour next Monday register here for the class. If this class time doesn’t work for you—send me an email or give me a call. I’m happy to meet with you individually to get you set with a RefWorks account as well.

Looking for Funding?

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Let the library’s help! Next week (Thursday, August 24, 9:00-10:15 a.m.) librarian Jody Kempf will be offering a workshop on searching grant databases to locate sources of funding for your research projects. Knowledge of these resources will help you throughout your academic and post-academic career.

Money pic.jpg
(image provided by Yersinia via Flickr CC)

Jody will give demonstrations and searching hints for the following resources:
Community of Science (COS)
Sponsored Program Information Network (SPIN)
Illinois Researcher Information Service (IRIS)
Foundation Directory Online

You will also learn how to set up alerts to get notifications of funding opportunities sent directly to your email account.

If you’re interested you can register for the class here:

Are You An EndNote User?

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In two weeks (August 21) we’ll be offering an introductory EndNote workshop at the Science and Engineering Library. The workshop will cover the fundamentals of EndNote. Topics that we’ll cover are:

1.) Setting up a library
2.) Customizing your library
3.) Adding citations
4.) Formatting a bibliography and in-text citations
5.) Using EndNote Web when you’re away from your computer
6.) The new features of version X2

If you’re just starting to use EndNote and you think this workshop would be helpful, please feel free to sign up here.

Coming up in October (October 2nd) we’ll have an instructor from EndNote visiting campus to give a Question and Answer session on more advanced EndNote topics.

If you have questions about the upcoming workshop please let me know. If you have a pressing EndNote question, EndNote’s website offers great customer support.

Course Lib Pages

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I just put together Course Lib pages for all of the course being offered by the Mechanical Engineering Department for the Fall 2008 semester. On these pages I tried to match students with relevant library resources for their classes. Resources such as article databases, the library catalog, and online reference materials.

ME ex.png

(Example Course Lib Page)

The pages can be found at Each course’s page has its own url that you can link to, bookmark, or include on handouts. If you’re offering or taking a course and you don’t see a page, let me know and I can make one (I tried to be thorough, but a class or two may have missed my notice).

Also if you’re using a page and have suggestions for additions just let me know…these pages are easy to update.