LibGuidesOne of the hardest parts of researching can be figuring out where to start. This past August, Van Wylen Library added a new tool to help you find the library sources that are most relevant to your topic: LibGuides.

LibGuides are electronic guides that feature easy access to research information. Though the exact material on a LibGuide varies from guide to guide, LibGuides can include many different sources, including books from HopeCat, databases for article research, lists of high quality websites, RSS feeds, and even YouTube videos. They also often provide tips on using these tools. In addition, all guides include contact information for the librarian who created the guide, so that you can get in touch with him or her if you have questions.

The librarians at Hope are excited about the many ways in which LibGuides help their teaching. According to Todd Wiebe, a reference librarian: “In the past I have printed off paper handouts containing library research information for specific courses. Thankfully, LibGuides have put a long overdue halt to this practice. LibGuides are more dynamic and have the ability to link students directly to relevant library resources. Last but certainly not least, online library guides saves trees!”

One of the particularly convenient things about LibGuides is their availability. “It gives students a quick and easy way to remember and go back to the things they learned about,” Jessica Hronchek, Reference Librarian, said.

Another benefit of LibGuides is that they can be updated at any time. Dead links can be easily removed and new information can be placed on a guide as it becomes available: all things that aren’t possible on a printout.

If you haven’t had a class with a library session, LibGuides can still be very helpful. All of the major subject areas offered at Hope have their own general LibGuide, which can provide you with a starting place for subject research. Class-specific LibGuides are also available to students not enrolled in that particular class. For example, one of the classes with a LibGuide is Religion 345: The Reformation. If you needed to do research on the Reformation for another class, you can still access the Religion 345 LibGuide, where you can find research help for general information, books, articles and primary sources.

Right now, the library is continuing to increase the number of guides available. In the future, they would like to include more topical guides, such as student publishing, the annual Critical Issues Symposium, and other events on campus.

— Bethany Stripp, Library Student Blogger

New JSTOR Collections Added

jstor_logoOne of the research databases Hope College subscribes to is JSTOR. This nonprofit organization began in 1995 with the intent of preserving scholarly writing in digital and print form. By making this information available on the Internet, libraries would be able to save space, keep information constantly available to everyone with no risk of loss, and give smaller schools such as Hope access to large collections.

“JSTOR is very useful to Hope students, faculty and staff because the collections provide highly reliable access to scholarship published in over one thousand highly respected academic journals across all of the academic disciplines,” said Gloria Slaughter, Technical Services Librarian at Van Wylen. “Because of JSTOR’s pricing model, a small institution like Hope College can afford to provide access to hundred of years of scholarly literature. The research, teaching and learning needs of our Hope students, faculty and staff are greatly facilitated by providing access to these interdisciplinary and historical collections.”

Recently, Hope gained access to the Arts and Sciences VI and VIII collections. The Arts and Sciences VI collection will include a minimum of 120 titles once the collection is complete in 2010 from subject areas such as economics, education, linguistics, and political science. Economics and political science journals such as The World Bank Economic Review and the World Policy Journal address global economics and relations, while education journals such as Phi Delta Kappan focus on education policy. The Arts and Sciences VIII collection, which will be complete in 2011, will contain a minimum of 140 titles in history, language and literature, art and art history, and education. Some of the literature and history journals to be added include international titles such as English in Africa and the Scottish Historical Review. It will also include rare 19th and 20th century American art periodicals from places such as the Brooklyn Museum.

— Bethany Stripp, Library Student Blogger

EasyBib Trial

Update: The library has subscribed to EasyBib, which is now available on our Citing Sources page.

Hope College Libraries are exploring new options for assisting students and faculty with their citations. Here is an interesting option that you might like to explore.

For the next month, the library has a trial to a service called EasyBib. This website allows you to enter your citation information into a form, which then creates the citation in the standard style of your choice (APA, MLA, Chicago). Current to the most recent editions of each style, you can create citations for a wide variety of materials. It also has the ability to save lists of citations, export them to Word, and create footnotes and parenthetical references from a citation. My personal favorite feature is its ability to use the ISBN number for a book to auto-fill the citation fields.

To try out EasyBib, simply register for a user account and enter in the trial coupon “hopebib.” We would appreciate any feedback that would help us decide if this is a resource we should add to our library services.

Christmas Media

christmas_mediaLooking to get in the holiday spirit? The library has many Christmas music CDs available. You can check out sound recordings of every Vespers since 1993 and DVDs of Vespers since 1991. There are also many other Christmas CDs available, ranging from A Bach Christmas to Silly Christmas Songs. The library has several classic Christmas movies in its collection as well, including It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th St., and The Santa Clause.

If you’d like to listen to music while at your computer, the library has access to two streaming music databases where you can access holiday music: DRAM and Naxos Music Library. By searching for Christmas music, you will be able to access a wide variety of CDs that include traditional carols, classic Christmas songs, and Christmas songs from around the world.

— Bethany Stripp, Library Student Blogger

Newspapers at Van Wylen

newspapersJournalism and newspapers have been called the “fourth branch of the government” by some because of their importance to self-government. In reporting on decisions made by government leaders both at state and national levels, the press allows citizens to make informed choices regarding those in office, a necessary aspect of democracy. However, with the rise of the Internet and decline of the newspaper, some are concerned that effective democracy will no longer be possible. Though much news is available online, not all news, such as CNN’s iReport, is fact-checked before publication like newspapers are. Additionally, many political or news websites tend to be highly partisan, which can lead to problems, especially if readers only visit and read sites with which they agree.

Keeping up with current events is an essential part to being an informed citizen. Van Wylen Library has access to dozens of newspapers, both in their electronic and print forms. The newspaper section of the library’s website has links to international newspapers websites from Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, including Die Tageszeitung from Germany, El Tiempo from Colombia, Independent Online from South Africa, the St. Petersburg Times from Russia, and several other international sources. The library also has links to national papers, ranging from the Los Angeles Times to the Washington Post. Local papers such as the Grand Rapids Press and Holland Sentinel are also linked.

If you need to access older news articles, the library has several resources available. Lexis Nexis allows you to search U.S. and world newspapers, news wire services, blogs, TV and radio transcripts, and web publications for articles from the 1980s to the present. Articles from as far back as 1849 are available from the Chicago Tribune; Hope has the Times of London from 1785-1985, and the New York Times can be found either from Proquest (1851 to three years ago) or from Gale (1995 to the present). In addition, the library has select older runs of several newspapers in microform.

newspapers2If you prefer to read a print copy of a newspaper, Van Wylen has many available. On the north side of the first floor, you can find print copies of The Anchor, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Detroit Free Press, the Grand Rapids Press, the Grand Rapids Times, The Guardian, the Holland Sentinel, the Jerusalem Post, Le Monde, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Village Voice. Past print issues of these newspapers are also available on the shelves directly behind the rack where current issues are kept. Feel free to pick up an issue and catch up on what is happening in the world around you!
— Bethany Stripp, Library Student Blogger

Recent Additions to Credo Reference

Credo Reference is one of the many online reference sources Van Wylen Library subscribes to. This source allows users access to over 3 million full-text entries from nearly 500 titles by either searching for a certain topic or phrase within the whole database or by searching or browsing within a specific book. The database is constantly updated with new books, so you can always find current information. Students from any major will find Credo to be useful for their research.

Arts & Humanities

Interested in popular music? Want to know more about the government’s role in music development? The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World: Locations is exactly what you need. This encyclopedia will provide you with an in-depth look at popular music across the globe.

Ever get the feeling that the lion in the book you’ve been assigned to read for your English class is more that just a lion? Confused as to what the author really means when he mentions an owl? Look no farther than the Dictionary of Literary Symbols to have all your symbolic questions put to rest. This dictionary uses many cross-references and quotations to explain even the most obscure of symbols found in literature.

Natural and Applied Sciences


Interested in medicine, but confused by all the symbols? Jablonski’s Dictionary of Medical Acronyms and Abbreviations can help interpret medical shorthand that is commonly used today. With over 28,000 entries, this dictionary is a useful resource for anyone hoping to get into the medical field.

The study of science is full of theories and discoveries, but have you ever wondered exactly who developed those theories or where the discoveries came from? The Hutchinson Dictionary of Scientific Biography can help you. This dictionary covers scientific topics ranging from astronomy to zoology and includes information about both the people who have had influence in the scientific world and the concepts they put forth.

Social Sciences

Wish that you could predict what’s going to happen next in our economy?Credo Reference recently added Guide to Economic Indicators to their collection. This book provides statistical data on the U.S. economy to help you understand exactly what’s going on. The book also provides jargon-free explanations of macroeconomic indicators so economics majors and non-majors alike can be enlightened.

Interested in the politics of the world, but overwhelmed by all the information out there? World Politics Since 1945 aims to help you. This recently updated edition breaks down global politics by area and now includes information on political changes that have taken place in the past ten years, such as wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sudan, political developments in Latin America, and the expansion of the European Union.

— Bethany Stripp, Library Student Blogger

Creating links to Databases and Online Articles

“How do I create links to electronic journal articles,” is a common question asked by faculty. There are two parts to this. First, it is necessary to identify the correct link to use, and second, the link may have to be modified to work for off-campus users.

Identifying the link

In some databases, it is possible to right click on the full-text link and use the URL provided. For example, in CSA databases such as PsycARTICLES you can right click on the full-text PDF link in the Record View screen. From the menu that comes up, choose “Copy Link Location” (FireFox) or “Copy Shortcut” (Explorer), and paste the link into Moodle or wherever else you want to create a link to the article.

In other databases, it is necessary to have the database generate a URL that can be used to link back to an article. Gale databases, such as OneFile, offer a “Bookmark this Document” link. Clicking on this link will open a new browser window with a stable URL that can be copied and pasted.


Linking for Off-Campus Users

Nearly all of the databases available through the library require a Hope Internet address to use them. This creates a problem for off-campus Hope users who need to be able to access a database. The solution is to use another computer (a proxy server) that makes the user appear to be on-campus. In order for this to work, the URL to the database or article needs to modify slightly.

If this is the regular URL for a database:

the off-campus version would be:

Two items need to be added to direct the link through the proxy server. First, the0- after the http:// and then afte the domain (com).

With this kind of a link, on-campus users will go directly to the resource, and off-campus users will get an authentication screen (library barcode/PIN) before getting to the article or database.

If you enter a database through the Off-Campus Databases, General, or Subject web pages, the links will usually already be configured to work for off-campus users.

If you need help in creating links to a database or online article, please contact a librarian.

Enhanced Search Results with OneFile PowerSearch

The beginning of classes brings a powerful new search option to the arsenal of databases available through the Hope College Library. The OneFile PowerSearch option is a federated search engine that combines search results from InfoTrac OneFile, the new Academic OneFile and the Gale Virtual Reference databases. The OneFile PowerSearch link is available from the Library | Databases for Research | General Research web page.

Many Hope users are familiar with the Gale InfoTrac OneFile database (now called General OneFile). It is the database that students learn first in FYS and English 113 classes and is the most heavily used database on Hope’s campus. Now with the OneFile PowerSearch link, the number of resources searched is expanded to included more full-text scholarly journals and full-text reference sources. Some of the reference titles included are the World of Sport Science, the World Mark Encyclopedia of Nations, The Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism and Encyclopedia Judaica. The scholarly journals drawn from the Academic OneFile database are published world wide across all disciplines.

The PowerSearch interface includes a number of enhancements just released this month. Users can set up search and journal alerts and RSS feeds. Improvements have been made to navigation including the creation of document tools (print, email, cite, download and translate) that appear in a visible box on each document. Users can get better results with new enhanced limiting and search-within-results features.

The biggest noticeable change may be in the way results display. Results now appear under tabs by type of material: Magazines, Academic Journals, Books, News, and Multimedia. Reference books appear under the Books tab, and Multimedia includes the transcripts and audio from National Public Radio broadcasts.

Enhanced Search Results with OneFile PowerSearchThe PowerSearch interface can also be used to combine searches in 40 separate Gale databases including specialized academic collections like the InfoTrac Communications and Mass Media Collection, the InfoTrac Diversity Studies Collection, the InfoTrac Environmental Studies and Policy Collection, etc.

Whether searching small subsets of the database or doing federated searching across several databases, the OneFile PowerSearch interface gives users a lot of access to full-text journals. If you have questions about the PowerSearch interface, contact a Reference Librarian at x7904.

Library Aquires Citation Database

The library has acquired Web of Science, a unique citation search database covering all disciplines. The Web of Science provides seamless access to current and retrospective information from approximately 8,700 of the most prestigious, high impact research journals in the world. Web of Science also provides a unique search method, cited reference searching. For example, the 1,307 entries for Hope College authors have been cited 10,344 times. Web of Science consists of Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index with back-files to 1977. Users can set up citation alerts to receive email when particular authors are cited or table of contents alerts when new issues of a journal are published.