Thursday, February 21, 2013

e-Books at TWU Libraries

A recent report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project states that ownership of e-book readers among adults in the United States nearly doubled (from 10% to 19%) between mid-December 2012 and early January 2013.  Smartphone and tablet apps have likewise expanded the use--and demand for--books in electronic form.  The TWU Libraries have a few ways to help the TWU community address their needs for these electronic resources.

1)  The TWU Libraries E-Books page provides a list of sources to search for e-books (TWU students and faculty and staff members can access these sources using their TWU Pioneer Portal username and password.)


2)  Two of the largest and most popular collections of e-books can be found in the E section of the TWU Libraries Databases A-Z List (ebrary (electronic books) and eBook Collection (EBSCOhost).)

E
brary (electronic books)
provides full access to thousands of e-books from trusted publishers across a broad range of academic subject areas including business, education, art, history, literature, medicine, science and the social sciences.


E
brary’s powerful research tools allow you to:
  • Browse for e-books by subject area;
  • Search by keyword across the full text of the collection;
  • Print and copy limited portions of text from e-books;
  • Download limited portions or entire books with a free personal account; and
  • Bookmarkhighlight and take notes with a free personal account.
View the ebrary Quick Start Guide to help you begin.

An overview of download options from the Ebrary Support Center includes instructions on downloading a specific chapter or page range to view on your computer; and downloading an entire document as an e-book in Adobe Digital Editions.  You can also use Bluefire Reader or ebrary’s iOS app to view downloads on your iPhone or iPad. 

eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) is a growing subscription package which contains a large selection of multidisciplinary e-book titles representing a broad range of academic subject matter.  Search the text for key terms or browse the table of contents and read a book online.

How do I view e-books from eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) on my computer?

  1. Titles can be viewed in your browser by clicking the eBook Full Text link.
  2. You can download an e-book title from eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) for offline reading by clicking Download on the search results page or from within the detailed record.
  3. Select your preferred checkout period and click on Checkout & Download.
  4. The e-book is then downloaded and viewable via Adobe Digital Editions on your computer.  This free software can be installed from the Adobe website if necessary.
How do I download e-books from eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) to my compatible portable device?
  1. Download an e-book title from eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) by clicking on the Download link on the search results page or from within the detailed record;
  2. Select your preferred checkout period and click Checkout & Download;
  3. Drag and drop the title icon to your portable device; then
  4. Read your e-book on your portable deviceIn order for a portable device to be used with e-books from eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), it must be compatible with Adobe Digital Editions.
How do I learn more about eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In a World of Information, Literacy is Key

In the age we live in--with its rapidly snowballing technological advances and access to massive amounts of information--students have, in theory, a world of information at their fingertips.  Internet and other electronic resources, social media, databases and other library resources, print and digital resources and so much more comprise the vast stores of information at the disposal of today's student researcher.

Overwhelming?  Unmanageable?  It might be, were it not for a learnable set of skills known as information literacy (IL).  IL is the key to making effective use of available information for the purpose at hand.


Which information literacy skills are particularly useful to today's college student?

Finding and locating scholarly materials
Using the internet for class research
Evaluating source material
Finding government and statistical information
Locating and analyzing book reviews
Finding primary sources

Locating information on a specific topic in a variety of formats
Using information to support an idea or point of view
Paraphrasing
Using information legally and ethically . . . and more

What would it mean if every student were equipped with these basic research skills?  Instead of haphazardly approaching their research, hoping for the best
, they could:  1) focus on the substance of their assignments; 2) critically explore relevant subject matter; and 3) feel confident they have the research skills they need to successfully meet their course objectives.

Information Literacy is a necessary group of skills for today's
student.  Graphic courtesy of Beloit College at beloit.edu.
How can the TWU Libraries help students improve their information literacy skills?
R
esearch instruction is available through the TWU Libraries in three formats--lecture, hands-on, and online tutorial. 


Lecture and Hands-On Research Instruction
Faculty members can request library workshops (held in the classroom or at the library) tailored to a course’s specific research requirements.

Online Research Tutorials
For library research instruction with the utmost in flexibility and convenience, the TWU Libraries' online research tutorials teach all of the basics of library research in four widely-accessible 20- and 40-minute sessions, available 24/7.  Together, these tutorials (Understanding Information Sources; Finding Books and Journal Articles; The Internet for College Students; and Avoiding Plagiarism) provide the viewer with a solid overview of the research process (content specifics and running times can be found on the Doing Research: Tutorial webpage.)

The TWU Libraries stand ready to help students build the foundation of research skills they need to succeed in today's classroomFor questions or more information, reach us at reference@twu.edu or 940-898-3702
.

We look forward to hearing from you.

~Sandy Cochran and Connie Maxwell

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Collaboration and the Classroom

The TWU Libraries are committed to continuous improvement--in the resources we make available to our patrons and in the services we provide.  Our collections' print and electronic resources change often.  An assignment developed by a faculty member one semester--because of database or other library resource changes--can often be augmented by new and exciting resources the next.  How, then, can TWU faculty members arrange to expose their students to the latest in electronic and print resources?  The Collaborative Assignment Program, or C.A.P.

WHAT IS C.A.P.?
Through C.A.P., Reference Librarians at TWU partner with faculty members to develop library assignments and classroom activities that incorporate the latest applicable resources the libraries have to offer.  As a result, students benefit.  They are introduced to the latest in electronic and print resources, and at the same time become familiarized with increasingly complex research concepts and activities.  They strengthen their research skills--making them stronger researchers, more efficient library users, and better students.

HOW TO GET STARTED
C.A.P. is available on the Denton, Dallas and Houston campuses of TWU.  To get started--or to learn more--faculty members are invited to contact:

On the Denton campus
Annita Owens (AOwens@twu.edu or 940-898-3795)

On the Dallas campus
Eula Oliphant (EOliphant@twu.edu or 214-689-6585) or Shelly Burns (Sburns1@twu.edu or 214-689-6586)


On the Houston campus 

Marilyn Goff (MGoff@twu.edu or 713-794-2481)

~Annita Owens and Sandy Cochran

Monday, February 18, 2013

Who's on F.I.R.S.T.?: A Research Support Team for Faculty Members

The libraries on the Denton and Dallas campuses of Texas Woman's University--and the ARC on the Houston campus--provide a broad range of services for students and other members of the TWU community.  A part of these services specifically geared toward faculty members, the Faculty Information and Research Support Team (F.I.R.S.T.) has as its singular goal the support of faculty members' research initiatives.

WHO'S ON F.I.R.S.T.?
F.I.R.S.T. is composed of librarians in the Reference Department of TWU Libraries.  When faculty members register for this service they are assigned a personal librarian familiar with research/resources in their field of study.

I'M A FACULTY MEMBER.  WHAT CAN F.I.R.S.T. DO FOR ME?

Faculty participants' personal librarians are available to provide research expertise, and assist with custom information needs, regarding:
  • Publications;
  • Presentations;
  • Grants;
  • Course Creation or Updates;
  • Professional Development;
  • Database Searches;
  • Table of Contents Alerts;
  • Keyword/Phrase Search Alerts;
  • Access to materials;
  • Interlibrary Loan order generation;
  • Bibliography or reference list checks; and 
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education (daily email delivery of summary contents for the current issue, plus email delivery of full-text articles of the faculty member's choosing.)

HOW DO I GET F.I.R.S.T. WORKING FOR ME?

To register for the program, simply contact Connie Maxwell, Assistant Dean of Libraries for Reference Services, at cmaxwell@twu.edu; the Reference Department at reference@twu.edu; or any of the Subject Librarians.

WHAT IF I WANT TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT F.I.R.S.T.?
 
Connie Maxwell and the Reference Department are also available for any questions you may have regarding F.I.R.S.T.

~Sandy Cochran

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Year, New Books

Now that the spring semester is in full motion--and the introductory portions of new classes are over--you are most likely making your way to your campus library on a regular basis again.

The TWU Libraries added 174 new resources to their collections during January, so there are plenty of exciting new options to borrow--either for class-related reasons or pleasurable reading (or viewing--don’t forget about our videos!).

The Browsing Collection alone includes quite a few intriguing new choices, including The Fine Color of Rust by P.A. O’Reilly and The Heart Broke In by James Meek.

While creating the list of new titles, I noticed some of you have already been busy checking them out. Everyone at TWU Libraries is glad to know you are enjoying our new acquisitions. If you have utilized one of the resources from January’s new titles list, comment below and let us know what you thought!

Enjoy.

~Aubrey James

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Love Your Library in Dallas

The TWU T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences-Dallas Center (IHSD) Library will be conducting its annual Love Your Library event February 11-27, 2013 during regular library hours

Students, faculty members and other members of the TWU community are welcome to attend and learn about IHSD resources and services.  Feedback, as always, is welcome and appreciated.


~Janet Bickel-Burton

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler, Library Style

A sea of purple, green and gold:  Part of the Mardi Gras
display at the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus,
available for viewing in the first-floor lobby during
regular
library hours.  Photograph by Sandy Cochran.
"I kinda likin' dis here library, mon!": Pardi Mardi, the library
lobster, leads the Mardi Gras display on the first floor of the
Blagg-Huey Library.  Photograph by Erik Martin.
Laissez les bons temps rouler: Blagg-Huey Library staff members stand behind the Mardi Gras display they created.  L-R Grace Smart, Kristin Wolski, Lisa Galleta, Roy Lynn Tardif, Erik Martin, Stephany Compton and Jimmie Lyn Harris.  Photograph by Sandy Cochran.
Students, faculty members and other patrons of the libraries at Texas Woman's University instinctively turn to us for academic research, studying and all things course-related.  Less obvious?  Your libraries at TWU in Denton and Dallas--and the Houston ARC--are hubs of information you can use for job hunting, holidays, keeping fit, family histories and so much more.  The TWU Libraries are here not only for your research, coursework and studying--we're also here for your life.

An exampleMardi Gras '13 is on Tuesday, February 12thDid you know the libraries' collections include Mardi Gras children's books and Cajun cookbooks; books and other resources on New Orleans, Mardi Gras, Jazz, Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras parties and Cajun food; and a veritable parade of other electronic and print information? 

For Mardi Gras or any other part of your life, turn to TWUniversal (think of it as library Google), type in what you're looking for--and laissez les bons temps rouler, TWU Libraries style.

~Sandy Cochran

Friday, February 1, 2013

Get on Board: We're Listening

On the first floor of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus (next to the printers),
a white board stands ready to accept students' opinions, suggestions and other input.  
You have something to say about the libraries at Texas Woman's University--an opinion, a suggestion, an awesome idea. Somebody should hear it--but you're not sure who.  We can help you with that.

The libraries at TWU (and the ARC on the Houston campus) want to provide services and resources important to the TWU student body. Students have a lot of valuable input to give to the libraries. To bring everyone together, the libraries have made it simple for any TWU student to tell us what's on his or her mind.

For TWU Students in Denton
Next to the printers on the library's first floor, a white board for student comments hangs on the wall. It's big, colorful and packed with writing--in other words, hard to miss. The next time you're waiting for a print job--or just passing through--pick up a marker, get on board and tell us what you think.  If there's a topic or question, don't let that limit you. Talk about whatever it is you want the library staff and administration to know. Comments are logged and passed on to appropriate staff members--so if you want us to hear you, tell us what you think.

For TWU Students in Denton, Dallas or Houston  The Library Suggestion Box stands ready 24/7 to accept your comments, suggestions and other input. Stay anonymous--or include your name and email address for a response.

However you choose to tell us what's on your mind--
we're listening.

~Sandy Cochran