African American Studies Center Online

A new online resource titled African American Studies Center is now available. This unique resource is a comprehensive collection of scholarship that focuses on the lives and events which have shaped African American and African history and culture. It includes more than 7,500 articles by top scholars in the field, biographies, primary source documents, images, maps and charts. Each month, a topic of current and historical relevance is featured. This month the feature article is on Twentieth Century Literary Giants.Previous features range from Hip Hop’s Early Influences to Jazz Greats to Black Churches in America.

Looking for primary documents? OAASC includes primary materials ranging from Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address to Martin Luther King Jr.’s Statement on the Vietnam War.

Also check out the Library’s Ethnic Studies resources page which provides access to additional recommended resources for research in ethnic/multicultural studies.

Photo Image Courtesy of National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution/Art Resource, NY.

Check out Credo Reference

The library is running a trial for Credo Reference through September 22. “Credo Reference (formerly Xrefer) is the world’s largest online reference service featuring over 250 full-text reference titles covering all subject areas with over 3 million entries from 57 highly-respected publishers all aggregated and integrated in a robust search engine. Credo Reference has many new unique interactive features such as dynamic table functionality for world state, and county statistics, an interactive world atlas, flash animations, videos, poetry/literature readings, and a data visualization tool called the concept map. Credo Reference also features over 175,000 images, over 200,000 audio pronunciations, and a citation formatter in APA, MLA, and Chicago formats.” (from the publisher)

See what Credo Reference can do and let us know if you think this would be a good addition to our online resources.

Getting In When You Are Off Campus

We would like to remind our off-campus users that if you want to access library resources from home, you need to log in to your library account. Access to subscription databases is limited to current Hope faculty, students, and staff. Therefore, if you are at an off-campus computer (including many cottages) you will need to log into the library proxy server.

It will be easiest to log in before you try to access an online database or journal. Go to https://lib.hope.edu/patroninfo and type in your 13 digit library barcode number (from the back of your Hope College ID card) and PIN . Once you are logged in, you can access the databases via the General Research Databases, Databases by Academic Department or Off-campus Access links. If you need further instruction, view this screencast tutorial or call the Reference Desk for assistance at 395-7904.

Librarians Meet Freshmen

As of this morning, Reference Librarians at Van Wylen have met 770 incoming students as part of their First Year Seminar experience. While questions about using the library will come later in the semester for many, we want students to know that the library is here to support them. The goals of the brief meeting with a librarian are to help relieve library anxiety and increase a student’s comfort level when coming to the library and asking questions. The library and library resources should play a role in every student’s academic experience. We want students to know that there are lots of ways to get help; at the Reference Desk, via phone, ask-a-librarian email, and online chat. Students are also encouraged to make individual appointments. After meeting a librarian students received a certificate, the ever popular Ask a Librarian @ Van Wylen blue pencil and a coupon for a free cup of coffee at the Cup & Chaucer.

Librarians Meet Freshmen

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.

Summer 2007 Brings Changes

Summer 2007 Brings ChangesThe Van Wylen Library staff was really busy this summer making a number of improvements to both the building and collections. Many of the changes were based on information gathered during student focus groups and faculty surveys.

One of the biggest changes is a face lift to the 2nd floor of Van Wylen to create a more open design.

  • The public computers were moved to create more workspace and so that two or three students can work together.
  • The video and DVD collection was moved to make more room for large study tables and casual seating on the 2nd floor. Many popular movies have been added to the collection.
  • The microform for the ERIC collection and the New York Times were relocated to the basement since these collections are now available electronically.
  • The library, CIT and the bookstore collaborated to introduce Copy Works, offering improved and convenient copy services to campus. The Media Services desk on the 2nd floor of Van Wylen will function as an arm of Copy Works, handling color copying and large format posters. Look for new lower prices on color copying. For your convenience several bookstore items will be available for purchase including CDs, DVDs, DV tapes, resume paper and more.

To create more workspace for students, eight project rooms were created throughout the building and equipped with white boards and work tables. Four are equipped with network connections.

The wireless access points were increased and upgraded to make wireless more reliable. Users should now be able to get a reliable wireless connection from most locations throughout the library.

On the 1st floor, the browsing collection was moved to make it more visible. The browsing collection now includes some popular music CDs. We will continue to improve our offerings of popular books, music and videos.

Several new electronic products were added, including the highly coveted Web of Science,as well as two new music databases, DRAM and Naxos.

Several students working at Van Wylen this summer collaborated to create a short video highlighting library services and the advantages of using the library for class assignments. You can view the video from the library’s website (requires QuickTime). Speaking of videos, we produced our first screencast, a brief tutorial on accessing databases from off-campus. Click here to watch this tutorial.

An upgrade to the Library Catalog software was installed and users will see additional improvements in the interface this academic year. You may notice differences in how the catalog searches and displays your results. Keyword searches are now ranked by relevance.

We would like to thank the Physical Plant and CIT staffs for all of their work that made these changes possible.

Library Acquires Book Scanner

Library Acquires Book ScannerScanning and copying large format materials is now possible at the Van Wylen Library using the new Indus book scanner.

The book scanner is different from other scanners and copiers because it scans with the book face up. Books don’t need to be flipped over to turn to the next page. This means that you can copy over twice as fast as a traditional copy machine. With a 17 x 24 inch scan area, you can copy or scan larger materials.

There are several other advantages to using the book scanner. It helps to preserve fragile library materials such as bound journals from the late 19th and early 20th century. Images can be saved to a USB drive or burned onto a CD and later incorporated into reports or presentations. Materials normally too large to scan or photocopy, such as artwork and maps, can now be preserved digitally. The scan software allows users to manipulate the scanned area and therefore create cleaner images and adjust for the curve of thick books.

While images can be printed in either black and white or color, we hope that library users will save paper by scanning images to a digital storage device. The book scanner complements last year’s installation of multi-function printers (MFPs) by giving users another option, particularly for large format materials.

The book scanner is located on the 2nd floor of Van Wylen Library. It is publicly accessible and instructions are posted near the scanner. Users however may want to ask for a quick orientation before using it for the first time.