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Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Uncategorized

UST Libraries Successful in Promotion of Voter Registration

Over the course of 4 days (16+ hours) library staff/students registered 430+ voters. Today, October 16, was the last day to pre-register.

Look for a display on November 5th-6th, reminding patrons to vote, provide sample ballots, assist with locating polling places, and info regarding same day registration.

Special thanks go to Nathan Wunrow (O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library circulation supervisor and reserves coordinator) and all who participated and supported this initiative.

Additional reading:


Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Political Science, Recently Read, Uncategorized

Where do you get your news?

It seems like, increasingly, we live in bubbles populated by people who agree with us.  Our friends post their opinions on our Facebook pages and, if we’ve picked our friends carefully, it turns out we like everything they have to say.  Most Americans say that they want to get their news from a source that has no political bias, though our sources for news and information tend to be from those who we’ve grown to trust, and the political slant of any publication is a matter of opinion.  My “objective” source might be your “big liberal media.”  Curious to know where OSF library users get their political information, we used our “white board conversation” method,  and asked OSF Library users about their news diet last week. Our question was “Where do you get your political news?” and about 75 library users posted their answers on Post-it notes on the board. Obviously this is not a scientific survey, but interesting, nonetheless. (For more scientific data on this question, you should look at the Pew Research Center’s recent report on the news landscape.  In fact, our results were very similar to what Pew found, especially for the young demographic of our library.)

Popular answers included:

– Fox News (13 mentions, though two people specifically said “Not Fox”)
– Daily Show/Colbert Report/SNL: 10
– Reddit: 6
– MSNBC or Today Show: 3
– CNN: 3
– Huffington Post: 3
– Wall Street Journal: 3

Other sources mentioned: New York Times, Washington Post, Drudge Report, GoogleNews, MinnPost, Facebook and Twitter.

Let us know where you get your news!



Database Highlights & Trials, Uncategorized

Direct Export to RefWorks from Gale Databases Temporarily Not So Direct


If you are running into problems trying to export citations into RefWorks, check to see if you are using a Gale database.

If you are using one of these databases, chances are you seeing one of two things.

Experience #1

In CITATION TOOLS, you choose REFWORKS, hit EXPORT, and see this:


Lucky you! You get the super easy fix! Just click on the hyperlinked RefWorks and you are on your way.




Experience #2

In CITATION TOOLS, you choose REFWORKS and it asks you to download an .RIS file.














Go ahead and save this file somewhere on your computer. You are going to need it to finish the process. The next step is to log in to RefWorks. Once there, choose IMPORT found under REFERENCES.



Next, change the DATABASE to RIS FORMAT; then, browse to your saved file under SELECT TEXT FILE; and finally, click IMPORT.



Gale has been made aware of these problems, so hopefully exporting from these databases into RefWorks will soon once again be direct. Until then, these few extra steps should get you where you need to go. If you encounter any other problems, just remember, we are here to help you!

Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Uncategorized

Telos Project Noon lecture series begins Sept 13: Hear Dr. John Boyle, Theology Professor

Theology Professor, Dr. John Boyle

This Thursday, September 13, marks the first in a semester-long series of open discussions between St. Thomas faculty and students. This inaugural meeting features Dr. John Boyle of the theology department. Sharing with students the importance of his area of expertise, Dr. Boyle will also give his perspective on why a liberal arts education is important.

The Telos Project is an effort to bring a renewed focus on a crucial aspect of the University of St. Thomas’ commitment to the pursuit of truth: the integration of knowledge across disciplines. It is the purpose of The Telos Project to re-introduce to the St. Thomas community the dialogue and discussion that is essential for any intellectual community.

Meetings are scheduled to take place on Thursdays, from Noon to 1pm, in the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library. Each week a professor from a different department will give a brief but provocative presentation on (a) what his/her discipline is, (b) what attracts him/her to it, and (c) why the larger UST community should care. The meetings will take place in the O’Shaughnessy Room, (Leather Room/Rm 108) and will follow this format:

•12:00 – 12:15: Introduction by professor to his/her discipline and area of expertise.
•12:15 – 1:00: Discussion and conversation among/between students and faculty.
All students, staff, and faculty are invited to participate in discussion this Thursday, September 13 at Noon.

Database Highlights & Trials, Uncategorized

Core Curriculum – Literature & Writing

Everyone here who gets a bachelor’s degree has to first get through the core curriculum.  Think of it as spinach.  Remember how as a child you hated spinach but your mom said you had to eat it cuz it’s good for you?  And now as an adult you willingly eat spinach.  Well, when you’re sitting through that class that you had to take cuz it fulfills your core curriculum requirement, just remember that it’s good for you.  And that down the road you’ll appreciate it.  UST is just like your mom.  It wants what’s best for you – and in this case, it’s taking a few courses that will make you a well-rounded, educated individual.  Trust me, it’s good for you.

That said, I’m going to offer up a few blog posts devoted to helping you through those core classes.  I know not everyone forced to take biology is interested in it (trust me, I remember linguistics.  No. Interest. Whatsoever).   So for the next few posts I’ll give some short-cuts to resources in each of the core curriculum requirement starting with Literature & Writing.

For most of your literature needs, you can use Literature Resource Center.  It offers

  • overviews of works (in case you’re not sure what you just read or prefer spoilers before you start)
  • topic overviews (which are themes across several works – i.e. racism in literature, motherhood in 19th century literature)
  • literary criticism (which are articles written by other people about a work that will lend ideas or weight to your paper)
  • author biographies

Blackwell Literature is a collection of hundreds of encyclopedias, both broad and specific, about all things literature: fiction, poetry, literary criticism, theater, theory,short stories, novels, it goes on and on.  This is for background info – gives you idea of what to expect on a topic.

If it’s just articles you want – and you didn’t find them in Literature Resource Center, use MLA.

We have many, many more resources used for all English and writing classes.  Or check out the research guides.

Political Science, Uncategorized

Facts on File World News Digest

I’ll admit it, I’m a geek. I love data and Facts on File World News Digest provides me with mounds of data. By the time you read this, the 2012 London Olympics will be in the history books – or in the World News Digest chronological timeline which gives you such data as the number of visitors – from 380,000 in 1896 (not too shabby) to 6.5 million in Beijing.  I could calculate the increase but you can tell it was a big increase.  It also tells you how many countries participated – from 14 at the Athens olympics in 1896 to 204 in Beijing. The feminist in me wanted to see what percentage of the athletes were women. The change is astounding. In 1896, the first modern olympiad, there were only 241 athletes – none of them were women. In 2008 there were 10,946 athletes and 42% were women.  For the US, title 9 changed everything for women’s sports. I wonder if that has spurred other countries to change their funding mechanisms too so that they can be competitive with the U.S. women.

But this is a scintilla of the information available. There is a searchable encyclopedia and almanc and then in depth articles and information on elections. The curriculum tools will help you choose a subject for a paper and then provide timelines to use to follow your topic. The research topics go from Abortion to Supreme Court nominations. 

There are country profiles, too. And the information goes back to the 1940’s. 

 And includes editorial  cartoons like this one. But not only the cartoon, oh no. It includes discussion questions on the cartoon. Try it out. Worth your time. From Universal


News & Events, Uncategorized

“I Love My Librarian” Awards 2012

Is there a librarian in your life that made a big difference? Well, now you have a chance to nominate that person for the “I Love My Librarian” award. Make your day brighter and a librarian’s too!
Nominations for the 2012 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times “I Love My Librarian” Awards are open through September 12.
10 librarians each will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a $500 travel stipend to attend an awards reception in New York. In addition, a plaque will be given to each award winner’s library.
Recognize the accomplishments of your exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarian. http://atyourlibrary.org/ilovemylibrarian
I remember very clearly the librarian who gave me my first library card. She wanted to make sure I had my mom’s approval so I had to get a hand written note from Mom. The librarian gave me the card and told me to print my name very carefully. She smiled at me very kindly. Now, as a librarian who has worked in public libraries I too have given out library cards to children and I only hope I smile as sweetly as that first librarian did for me.


How much do YOU trust the internet?

Okay, everyone, it’s time to admit it: we ALL (librarians included!) use the internet to find information on a regular basis.  Google, Wikipedia, and even Twitter have become seemingly indispensible sources for anything and everything.  I mean, where else are you going to quickly find out that answer to a crossword puzzle, why there is a protest going on across the street, the hours for your favorite coffee shop, or even why Olympic long jumpers are allowed so many attempts?

But the question remains:  with so much information out there, how do we know what to trust?  Where can we go to get valid information?  A recent article (and I’ll be the first to admit that there are getting to be so many of these published  that I’m starting to question even their validity) published this chart about the perceptions of trust-worthiness that most of us have about various kinds of websites out there.

But, as we all know, perception is not always reality  (as the new Bourne Legacy movie forces us to consider).  And this whole dilemma makes the prospect of gearing up for research paper season again all the more daunting, doesn’t it?

But, ladies and gents, guess what?!  It doesn’t have to be!  This  is where your friendly UST librarian comes into play.  We are all more than happy to help you figure out if that “perfect” source you found online happens to be as good as you really think it is.  Heck, we even have a whole section of our website geared towards helping you figure it out yourselves if you’d like (in librarian-ese, this whole topic is called “information literacy”).

Check it out, and feel more comfortable in your search.  You can even brag to your friends that you are positively “search-savvy!” (and if that isn’t cool, I don’t know what is!)

News & Events, Uncategorized

Academic Fraud – Exposes the Flaws of the Peer Review Process

We tell the students who we teach about using library resources that they should limit their research to peer reviewed journals for many topics. Particularly in the sciences. Many of our databases, Academic Search Premier, Expanded Academic and our mega-search tool, Summon, limiting to peer reviewed scholarly resources is a choice.  The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting on an incident that took place in 2001. GlaxoSmithKline paid a ghost writer to write a paper that was accepted for publication in the peer review,  Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol. 40, (7) 2001 762-772. GlaxoSmithKline admitted its guilt and has paid 3 BILLION dollars, yes BILLION with a B. According to the Chronicle article, Paxil made over 11 billion dollars ust between 1993 and 2007.

The purported 22 authors were not from Podunk U (apologies to Podunk). These were people from Brown (who will not comment); University of Pittsburgh; UCLA;  New York University; Dalhousie University;  University of Pennsylvania; State University of New York at Stony Brook; Center for Health Research, Portland, OR; University of Texas; Washington University, St. Louis (my alma mater, tsk tsk); Grace-1WK Hospital, Halifax;  University of Toronto; Oregon Health Sciences University; New York State Psychiatric Institute; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The list reads like the who’s who in major research universities. And nothing is happening to the researchers who have gone on to have prestigious positions at major universities, holding named positions, editors of journals and publishing in large quantities. Nothing is happening to this ‘prestigious’ journal NOR is the article being retracted. Did you know there is a Medical Subject Heading for Retracted articles? AND something allegedly did happen to the children who took this drug when it is not recommended for people under 18. Suicide.  That’s  the real tragedy here.

Cover image from AmazonIn 2008 the book Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial by Allison Bass was published. There are two copies in CLICnet. It documents this event.

For me, having been an academic medical librarian for 26 years prior to going to general academic libraries this admission does more than just put this article and these people into doubt. It puts the process into doubt.  If they thought they could get away with this, and they did for 11 years, it must be rampant in the scientific community. Oh, we’ll just let the drug maker write it up for us! We’ll get the credit, it will support our advancement and tenure documents, we’ll get more government grants.  It makes me feel that a Wikipedia article gets more scrutiny than a journal article in a prestigious journal. OK, kids, just go to Wikipedia. Watch out for the article by Keller, et. al.  (That’s more warning than any article that cites that 2001 article gives.)