Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hard at Work in the Library!

Emily Nason, Jackleen Nesheiwat, and Jade-Ashley Thomas making use of the quiet space down in the lower level of the Library to work on their diorama of Plato's Cave for Steven Lee's FSEM:  Education, Justice & Happiness.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Government Shutdown and Research

The campus community should be aware that information from certain federal government websites may be unavailable as a result of the shutdown., American FactFinder and online surveys are offline as well as the Federal Trade Commission's site, the Agriculture Department's and the Library of Congress' site.  Each government agency is deciding independently whether to keep their public websites available.  Click this NPRposting for more information.  

-Michael Hunter, Research and Instruction Librarian

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Superman: The Unauthorized Biography / Glen Weldon

Glen Weldon, National Public Radio’s go-to comics guy, dives into 1938 precedents and origin of the nation’s favorite alien son and most popularly long lasting superhero, detailing his career up to the start of (British!?) Henry Cavill’s 2013 movie incarnation.  Born from the cheerfully geek and extended adolescent minds of Jerry Siegal and Joe Schuster, he was actually first conceived in 1933 as a villain and refined during a long gestation.
Originally representing “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” when we regarded those elements  without much irony, his powers, psychology, approach to doing good, and political orientation have shifted around a bit during our 75 year acquaintance.  Recently, and probably most awkwardly, a storyline had him stand in solidarity with Iranian protesters and renounce U.S. citizenship, although that seems likely to be a momentary bobble.  Weldon’s exhaustive, and sometimes mind-numbing, detailed handling of Superman’s graphic and cinematic evolution across years, parallel Earths, and story lines should be sufficient to solve most fanboy-or-girl controversies without bloodshed.  It would also be an good research starting point for examination of just what the big guy’s life may, or not, say about “the American Way.”

-Joseph Chmura
Assistant Director and Access Services Librarian

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Past & Future

Detail from: Voyages dans la Grande-Bretagne, Dupin, 1821
Detail from: Voyages dans la Grande-Bretagne, Dupin, 1821
“Remember the past, imagine the future.” 

These are the words that adorn the entrance to the Warren Hunting Smith Library, and this summer we took them to heart as we pursued two key improvements.

Looking forward: we have redesigned our webpage, making many of the most used and
requested services more visible and easier to access.  We have also added a new functionality that will allow you to search across not only the Library's physical collections, but also many of our most comprehensive full-text and citation databases.

Looking back: we continue to make improvements in our special collections storage facility, and have been rediscovering some of the great books hidden in our collections’ midst - the first edition of Hobbes’ Leviathan, an atlas from 1676, and an notebook of British military works - to name just a few.  Be on the lookout as we work with faculty to bring these works into the classroom or sneak in a visit to Special Collections the next time you are in the Library.

Wishes for a great semester.

Vince Boisselle, College Librarian

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Try Summon & Search Almost Everything

From a single search box you can now search through almost all of the Library's collections including articles, books, e-books, and more. Summon is a new service that the Library subscribed to this summer. Our hope is that Summon will make it easier to search and access information through the Library's website. Currently Summon is in beta or test mode. Some of the features may not be functioning perfectly at this time. The plan is to have Summon running smoothly for the start of the fall semester. Although there are some kinks to work out, you should be able to successfully access most of what you need through Summon. Comments or feedback about Summon can be submitted here:

Friday, May 3, 2013

What do Michele Bachmann, the Long Tailed Duck, & Free Will have in common?

They were all topics being researched at the HWS Library during the 2013 spring semester. The Research Librarians have pulled together a few of their favorite topics for you to enjoy!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Goodreads and Amazon Combine Forces!

Are you looking for a new book to read? Check out Goodreads.  According to their website: “Goodreads is the most visited social media site built around sharing books. Our mission is to help people find and share books they love. It is a place where you can see what your friends are reading and vice versa. You can create ‘bookshelves’ to organize what you've read (or want to read). You can comment on each other's reviews. You can find your next favorite book”. 

Last week Amazon bought Goodreads and will be incorporating the social book-recommendation site into Amazon sometime in 2013. The Goodreads family will retain their independence and will be managed and operated by the existing staff.  Hugh Howey, a self-published best-selling author described the merger best, "I just found out my two favorite people are getting married. The best place to discuss books is joining up with the best place to buy books.”  To read more about the plans to combine Amazon and Goodreads, read the following New York Times article.

-Emily Hart, Research and Instruction Librarian

Monday, February 25, 2013

New Arrival: Dave Eggers' A Hologram For The King

A couple of years after The Great Recession’s initial wallop, a “post-modern Willy Loman” careens from day to day in Saudi Arabia, leading a corporate IT team hoping to sell a holographic conferencing system to the country’s king.  Spare prose communicates the protagonist’s and other expatriate’s distracted and defensive disconnection, both from the Very Foreign Culture surrounding them and their own lives.  For the American, emblematic problems wait back home as he waits for the king.

Fans of author Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and Zeitoun will find this “Hemingwayesque” prose a departure from those well received works.  A Hologram For The King was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award.

~Joseph Chmura, Assistant Director and Access Services Librarian

Monday, February 4, 2013


The Librarians have created a list of databases that are highly interdisciplinary (not general) in nature.  Please explore these databases, found here and let us know what you find!

Alt-Press Watch showcases voices from grassroots newspapers, magazines and journals. The database features over 670,000 articles from more than 230 publications from 1970 to the present.

American Periodicals Series Online™ (APS Online) includes digitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals published from colonial days to the dawn of the 20th century. Titles range from Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine to popular magazines such as Vanity Fair and Ladies' Home Journal to regional and niche publications and journals like The Dial, Puck, and McClure's.

AP Images is a source for original photographs and graphics from the Associated Press, from the present day dating back more than 100 years.

Credo Reference includes the full text of over 350 different reference works (encyclopedias, dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, biographies, collections of quotations, etc.) containing over 3 million entries. Subject coverage is very broad and includes art, business, geography, history, language, law, literature, medicine, music, philosophy, psychology, religion, science, social sciences, and technology.

LGBT Life with Full Text is a comprehensive index to literature regarding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues and contains full text for more than 130 LGBT journals, magazines and regional newspapers, as well as more than 170 full-text monographs/books. 

Music Online: Listening Package is a streaming audio collection of 140,000 music tracks from Alexander Street Press and includes: American Song, Classical Music Library, Contemporary World Music, Jazz Music Library, and Smithsonian Global Sounds.

VAST has high-quality video content in a broad range of subject areas, such as art, architecture, business, counseling and therapy, dance, economics, education, ethnic studies, ethnography, gay and lesbian studies, health, history, humanities, law and public safety, literature, opera, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, science, theatre, and women’s studies and includes searchable transcripts and the ability to make custom clips and playlists.

Women’s Studies International covers the core disciplines in Women’s Studies up to the latest scholarship in feminist research and includes more than 586,600 records spanning from 1972 to present. This database supports curriculum development in the areas of sociology, history, political science and economy, public policy, international relations, arts and humanities, business, and education. Over 2,000 periodical sources are represented.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"What? Me Worry?"
Each year, the Edge Foundation poses a question to a panel of original thinkers. This year’s question asked: "What should we be worried about?"  There are some wonderful responses here - Bruce Sterling ponders ‘the singularity', while Robert Sapolsky contemplates free will and Kevin Kelly speaks of the 'underpopulation bomb'.
These types of 'big' questions and the creative ways that people have answered them always serves to re-ground me in one of the basic things that we - here in the Library and here at HWS - are all about: asking relevant questions.
But don't worry - the Library is here to help in your quest for answers.  Welcome back.

~Vince Boisselle, Director of the Library