Andrea Koeppe – St. Thomas Libraries Blog
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Andrea Koeppe

News & Events

Extra library hours and events for students during finals week

While this is an exciting time of year, it can also be a stressful time for students with the end of the semester and upcoming finals. As the St. Thomas community prepares for finals, the library is here both physically and virtually to help students ace their finals.

Leading up to finals, the O’Shaughnessy-Frey library will remain open until 10 PM on Friday, December 15th and Saturday, December 16th with normal library hours for the rest of the week.

Along with some longer hours, the Libraries sponsor special events during those weeks to help students relax while they work.

One of our most popular events is when we invite trained therapy pets into the library for students to cuddle and play with. While the last therapy pet night is on December 14th, the library sponsors this event a few times throughout each semester, and always during finals week. Something students can look forward to in the spring.

Focus on Finals is an annual event where the library, along with the Center for Student Achievement, provides a cozy environment for students to study and enjoy seasonal treats. This year Focus on the Finals will be on Sunday, December 17th in the library from 7:00-9:00.

And as always, the librarians are on hand until the very end of the semester for any last-minute research needs 24/7 via Ask a Librarian Chat, and scheduled consultations in person, email, or Zoom.

The entire campus is closed from December 23, 2023 until January 2, 2024. The University Libraries re-open on Wednesday, January 3, 2024, with regular hours beginning at 7:30 AM. See you in 2024!

News & Events

Students can access daily national newspapers through the Libraries

It’s a well-known fact that students have access to online library resources which contain the full text of scholarly and popular resources, articles, books, and book chaptersWhat’s noteworthy is that the libraries have recently acquired subscriptions to the digital, web-based versions of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. In the past, students could access these newspapers, but they were presented in a static format without images that did not allow students to browse headlines.

The new arrangement allows students to easily browse headlines and read complete articles on their phones or laptops. Furthermore, they can explore additional content from these newspapers’ websites, including videos, podcasts, puzzles, and games.

For those who seek more analysis of current news stories, the libraries now subscribe to the web version of The Atlantic Monthly, a highly respected journal with a rich history of covering politics, foreign affairs, the economy, culture, the arts, technology, and science. Additionally, for an international perspective on news, business, and politics, the libraries maintain a subscription to the web version of The Economist.

Accessing these news sources is free, but some may require you to create separate accounts, which are also free. You can find detailed instructions for setting up these accounts on our website. Additionally, our friendly librarians are here to help via Chat, Zoom, or in-person to answer any questions you may have.

We’re excited to provide students with access to these valuable resources and are eager to assist with all their research needs throughout the year.

News & Events

Libraries inspire curiosity outside of the classroom


The O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library caters to a variety of needs and interests for students on campus. It provides traditional library spaces where students can find a quiet environment to read, relax, and explore the extensive book collection across four floors. These conventional library activities remain relevant even in today’s technology-driven era.
Additionally, the library offers spaces for social interaction. The first floor encourages conversation and group work, with multiple computers available, and there’s even a coffee shop serving a wide range of hot and cold gourmet coffee drinks and light treats. Moreover, students can utilize the podcast studio in the library that is equipped with necessary tools and software, allowing them to access multimedia resources for class-related projects or personal endeavors.
And when students do need to focus on writing papers or using library resources, the library staff will be readily available to assist them. More on that next month.
As an academic library, OSF aims to promote curiosity and motivate users to explore diverse subjects, expanding their knowledge beyond the classroom. By integrating both traditional and modern elements, the library creates an inclusive and dynamic environment, enhancing the overall learning experience for students.

Database Highlights & Trials, Political Science

New database trial in October – Trends & Policy: U.S. Healthcare

The St. Thomas libraries are excited to trial a new database that focuses on U.S. Healthcare policy. Trends & Policy: U.S. Healthcare provides a single location to connect U.S. Government policies with statistics and news showing the results of those policies.

Trends & Policy is a series of in-depth primary source collections such as public laws, Legislative branch reports, and Executive branch reports and data. Currently, researchers must use multiple disparate tools to find all of the essential executive and legislative content related to a policy. Statistical data can often be difficult to find, extract and use in research and in reports. The focus of these collections is not only on their respective topics, but also brings together primary source content relevant to U.S. policy with statistics and data.

If you type in keywords or phrases related to your topic, results are organized by Topic Pages that give context and pathways into research on a topic, Government materials such as public laws, commission reports, and hearings, Newspaper articles, and Statistical tables.

Trends & Policy: U.S. Healthcare cuts a wide swath into many disciplines aside from the obvious audiences of political science and nursing students. MBA students can learn about health maintenance organizations, (HMO’s) educators can read about the effects of school bullying on mental health, and students of history can compare pandemics from the past to the present.

You can access the Libraries’ trial of Trends & Policy: U.S. Healthcare here.

Please contact Andrea Koeppe with any questions or feedback you have about the database trial by October 31st.

News & Events

Celebrate National Library Week with UST Libraries April 3 – 9, 2022

 

The theme of this year’s National Library Week campaign is ‘Connect with your Library,’ whether it be to things like broadband, classes, communities, books, videos, or to each other.  And it doesn’t matter if it’s an academic library, public library, or school library, this is what happens on a daily basis. Usually this week is a pure celebration, but it feels different this year since it takes place during a time of increasing challenges to books in libraries and bookstores across the country.

Books have been challenged in schools and libraries for a very long time, but along with the mounting number of challenges, a bill proposed in Oklahoma would allow parents to collect $10,000 for each day a challenged book remains on library shelves.  A proposed bill in Iowa would make it illegal school and public librarians to spread “material the person knows or reasonably should know, is obscene or harmful to minors.”

This year has proven that it is wrong to consider book bans as a relic of the past. It is easy to believe that getting a book is as simple as a one-click at an online retailer, but book bans harm vulnerable communities who don’t have access to finances, time, or transportation to acquire a book no longer available to them in the places where they are: classrooms or libraries.

Libraries are powerful and they unequivocally protect the First Amendment and intellectual freedom outlined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Judith Krug, librarian and freedom of speech advocate said it best, ‘librarians are trained as librarians; we have absolutely no training or expertise in being censors. Our job – and yours – is not to limit the horizons of a child, be he six or twelve, ten or twenty.”

The good news is that there are plenty of organizations and resources that fight for libraries and the freedom to read.  And even better news is that there is an eye-catching display of challenged books in the rotunda of the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, along with a white board where you can chime in with your favorite banned book.  There is also a UST Library Week website with fun pictures, online library-centric jigsaw puzzles, a link to fantastic media and music sources within the library, and most importantly, a daily trivia contest with real prizes every day.

Business & Economics, Database Highlights & Trials, New Materials

UST libraries will cancel Nexis Uni, and replace it with Westlaw Campus Research

 

The University of St. Thomas Libraries subscribe to databases and electronic materials based on curricular needs and faculty requests.  We are continually watching for products that address these needs with relevant, easy-to-access content.  One long-standing need is legal information for students who are not in law school.  For example, students studying business or social work may require primary and secondary legal information on a variety of topics in their disciplines.   Lexis Nexis, now known as Nexis Uni, has long been our database for that type of legal information, as well as providing national and international news sources and public company information.  However, this database has never been easy to search or navigate, so we have been looking for another database that can provide the same information.  We have finally found one, Westlaw Campus Research.

Westlaw is a reputable database, and a staple in law libraries across the country.  The Westlaw Campus Research is designed for academic research across the disciplines.  Along with legal materials, it also contains thousands of full-text news sources, and information about public companies.  The decision to cancel Nexis Uni and replace it with Westlaw was made after careful consideration and a trial of the database during which librarians gathered feedback from students and faculty. The response to Westlaw was positive, especially around the interface and ease of searching.  We understand that this is a big change and are committed to working with you to make that transition as easy as possible. Our subscription to Nexis Uni will end on July 1, 2018.  Access to Westlaw Campus Research is expected to begin by June 2018, so you will have some time when both are available.  And for current local and international news sources updated daily, the UST libraries subscribe to Access World News and ProQuest Global Newsstream.  Both databases provide access to thousands of news sources that can be searched by topic, Access World News can also be searched by regionIf there is anything that your subject librarian can do in order to assist you in using these databases, or to understand the materials in Westlaw, please let us know.

 

Libraries

Nexis Uni vs. Westlaw Campus Research

We at the library work to keep up with new products and resources that make your research more productive.  Lexis Nexis had been a staple of our electronic collection seemingly since the dawn of databases.  Even though they changed their name to Nexis Uni, and gave themselves a completely new look, the same extensive legal, news, and company information remains in tact.

 

Now there is a new product from another well known and well respected company that piqued our curiosity.  Westlaw is a staple of the UST Law library, and law libraries across the country. Their new product is Westlaw Campus Research, a database that covers the same topic areas as Nexis Uni.  The primary strength of Westlaw Campus Research is its collection of legal materials, cases, statutes, regulations and articles from legal journals.  It also contains detailed company and financial data, as well as state, national, and international journals and newspapers.

 

 

For the next few weeks the libraries are running a free trial of Westlaw that is open to everyone in the UST community.  The link to Westlaw is here.  During the trial we encourage comparisons and critiques of content, ease of searching, or any other feedback you have about one or both products.  You may give any UST librarian your comments or you may send them directly to Andrea Koeppe

 

News & Events

Trial for Plunkett Research available throughout the month of February

‘Back in the day’ when I first started as a UST business librarian, Plunkett’s industry profiles in print was a staple of our business reference collection.  It provided a clear and concise snap shot of an industry and was a great resource for students first learning about a specific industry.  Now, just as about everything else that used to be a staple in our print collection, this resource is online.  Just as the print version, the online version of Plunkett provides vital data for Market Research, Business Development and Strategic Planning.

Searching Plunkett’s is very easy from their main page

Users can search industry data either by choosing from a list of industries,  industry codes, or with keywords.  Users can also search by general topics such as “internet of things” or “sharing economy”  Users can also use a company name for information, or create a list of companies by searching with location, industry, or company size.

To try Plunkett’s on your own you may follow this link.

Please get any and all feedback to me, Andrea Koeppe, by the end of this month.

Happy Searching!

Business & Economics

Harvard Business Review removes full access to selected articles

It has become a depressingly common question this semester at the reference desk. I am asked why a permanent link to an article is coming up with an error message, or a user sees this message on an article she wants for a class.

harvard

 

I look at the citation and sure enough the answer is staring at me right in the face. The Harvard Business Review is a long standing, respected publication, that covers a wide range of business topics and articles are assigned readings in many undergraduate and graduate classes. Business Source Premier is the only database at UST that provides the electronic access to the Harvard Business Review starting from 1922 up until the present issue. I remember very clearly in the early 2000’s when the UST libraries decided to to make the switch from our then full text business article database, ABI INFORM to Business Source Premier from the vendor Ebsco.  The librarians debated the merits of both products, we conducted surveys, and finally one of the main reasons we switched was because of the full text access to HBR that we knew our users wanted.

Fast forward to August 1st 2013 when the publishers of HBR started to block full access to their most popular articles like the one you see above.  Professors can no longer link to these articles from their Blackboard page, and while users can view the articles when they find them in Business Source Premier, they can no longer print or save the articles in front of them.  There is no established list of these 500 articles, users will have to just cross their fingers when they click on an article from HBR that the article they want is not on that mysterious list.

This issue with Harvard goes beyond UST, and it is not going unnoticed.  The Chronicle of Education published a very comprehensive article describing the circumstances and potential impact of this situation, while business and reference library associations issued their own response to Harvard’s policy.   Recently I shared an article with an OCB faculty member who was not able to link to an HBR article and she replied ‘I would not want to be on the wrong side of librarians.’  I was very flattered by her response and gratified that she perceived librarians as facilitating access to information.  So when this access is denied for whatever reason, then yes, you do not want to be on that wrong side.