April 2009 Archives

Great place for Undergrads to start research

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The library homepage can often be overwhelming and confusing for new researchers. We created the Undergraduate Virtual Library as a great starting place for undergrads. It includes a search box and links to Research QuickStart, the Assignment Calculator, Full Text finder and more.

Here is the link: http://www.lib.umn.edu/undergrad/

A little news on the Libraries

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In conjunction with the celebration of the Award of Excellence yesterday there is also a story about the Libraries from the University news entitled, "A big kudos for University Libraries: Getting 'in the flow of the user' brings national award".
Read it at:

New: Dictionary of Literary Biography

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Featuring comprehensive literary biographies written by recognized literary scholars and critics, you'll find profiles of more than 143,000 past and present authors, historians, journalists, screenwriters, publishers, and playwrights. The biographies discuss the lives and careers of the literary figures profiled, along with the critical response to their works.

Go to http://www.lib.umn.edu/get/15807.

Do your students use Wikipedia?

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Do you think your students use Wikipedia? Do you tell them not to use Wikipedia? Do you talk to them about how to use it correctly?

What do you think?

Student confessions to librarians

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confessional.jpg This article from Inside HigherEd written by Mary George, a librarian at Princeton, contains a couple of jewels which we librarians here all the time at the reference desks--from students at all levels first year to grad student and all disciplines from engineering to the humanities. Here are a few of my favorites:
* I’m confused about the difference between a primary and a secondary source.
* I’m afraid I’ll be cheating if I take references from someone else’s bibliography.
* This journal/magazine isn’t digitized, so I guess we don’t have it and I can’t get it.

I also like the questions George starts the story with:
* When professors assign a library project to undergraduates, just what do they expect students to learn from the research part of the experience?
* What do professors think students are doing to come up with the sources in their papers?
* If there is a discrepancy between pedagogical intent and actual student research behavior, how do faculty members address it?
* Or do they care, especially since they may not spot a student’s research problem until the end of a course and may well not see that student again?
* Does the end of a well-written, well-supported argument justify whatever means a student uses to acquire sources?"

These sort of real life confessions should help to convince instructors both in first year writing and across campus the need to teach, re-teach and reinforce research skills.

Cupcakes in the Library?

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cupcakes.jpgJoin us for the 2009 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award Presentation Ceremony!

The University of Minnesota Libraries are celebrating after winning this year's prestigious Excellence in Academic Libraries Award. We have received the award, a national tribute to a library and its staff, in recognition of our success integrating our expertise and resources into the life of the campus.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
3:00-5:00 p.m. (Award Presentation at 3:15)

Walter Library Great Hall
117 Pleasant Street SE
Minneapolis, East Bank campus

Sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries (a division of the American Library Association) and Blackwell’s Book Services, the award comes with $3,000 and a plaque, to be presented by ACRL President Erika Linke to Provost Tom Sullivan and University Librarian Wendy Pradt Lougee.

Join us April 23rd for a talk with Ntozake Shange

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shange.jpg In this series, host and moderator Alexs Pate, University of Minnesota professor and author of Amistad, takes you on a journey into the consciousness of luminary writers.

Ntozake Shange is author of the play For colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf: a choreopoem, which won an Obie and was nominated for Tony, Grammy, and Emmy awards. Shange has also published four novels including Pen-Faulkner nominee Indigo. Her poetry collections include: A Daughter’s Geography, Nappy Edges, Ridin the Moon in Texas, and The Space Love Demands.

Thursday, April 23, 2009
7:00 p.m.
Cowles Auditorium
Hubert H. Humphrey Center
University of Minnesota
222 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Tickets: $10; Complimentary
tickets for U of M students and
members of the Friends of the
University of Minnesota Libraries
(limit two)

Learn more

Video + Article= Video-Article

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jove.jpgA fellow librarian shared JOVE: Journal of Visualized Experiments...a journal with video. I am intrigued!

1.) What sort of things do we need to teach students to publish in such a journal?

2.) How does this change science and technical communication?

What do you think?

Library Help at 2 a.m.!

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Please remind your students that librarians are available 24/7 to help with any research questions from starting to find information on a topic, to finding a peer reviewed article, getting the full text, and much more.

Go to: http://infopoint.lib.umn.edu/

p.s. Why not try it yourself...

Powerful use of writing

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I saw this on the Presentation Zen blog I read and wanted to share it. I think it is a great example of digital writing--of course there was probably a team of writers working on it. I wonder if this could be adapted to be a digital writing assignment....talk about the importance of word selection and order. Also this simple use of animation and speech is very effective in its simplicity.