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Archbishop Ireland Library, Kudos, News & Events, Science, Special Collections and Archives

Chemistry Department & Libraries Work Together to Preserve Books

More Books with Spew

We all know that UST Libraries have a wonderful collection of rare and archival materials. Sometimes, however, taking care of so many old books can be a challenge, especially when they are discovered to be growing things they’re not supposed to. Who knew that we had a real-world chemistry problem sitting right here on campus!? 

Books with SpewBooks with SpewWhen Mr Curt Le May, Director of the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library, approached the Chemistry department for help in identifying white film forming on the surface of leather bound 300-year-old books, Meghan Talbot, chemistry major and a research student under Dr. Marites Guino-o, was glad to help.

Meghan Talbot

Meghan collected the white film/powder by using a spatula and carefully scraping off the residue found on the surface of the leather bound book, “Histoire des variations des églises protestantes.”  Through a combination of three characterization techniques (FTIR, Mass and NMR spectroscopy), she deduced that the white film/powder is a spew (or speu). A spew is a combination of carboxylic acids that originated from the leather itself, and leather dressing used to increase the leather’s preservation and flexibility.

“Being able to work on a project such as this was a great honor. It was a very interesting experience to be able to work with a book that was evidence of a time in which I had learned about in previous history classes. I am glad that the work that I was able to do has the ability to help the library preserve books, such as this one, as they are such a crucial connection to our past.” ~Meghan Talbot

We at the library are grateful to Meghan for helping us find out what the white substance was, so we could find a way to safely remove it and keep these books for future Tommies. Cooperation across the campus can certainly be a great thing!  

Database Highlights & Trials, Music

Dylan Represents!

Did you catch Bob Dylan’s concert last week?  According to a list just published on Buzzfeed, he is the most critically acclaimed rock star ever to come from Minnesota.  I think his album cover definitely makes Minnesota stand out on this map, don’t you?

image source:

Buzzfeed cited a study from Acclaimed Music, “a website that crunches and compiles best-of lists to determine critics’ general consensus.” I liked reading through their list, but I have to admit I felt a little clueless about some of the bands.  And as I sat there scratching my head thinking about where to find more information about them, I realized: the library has entire Biography subject guide filled with great resources for finding information about your favorite musician/film star/historical figure/you-name-it. Awesome!

The guide has information about how to  articles, books, and more.  Although I know you may be thinking that Wikipedia is better, humor me for a  moment and think of this: EVERYTHING on the subject guide is from a reliable source your professor would be more than happy to let you use for your next research paper.  Even more awesome!

We have quite a few options for biography research, but my favorite library resources for finding info about musicians are the following:

Have fun searching! I’m off to listen to some music…

Database Highlights & Trials, New Materials

Now Available! BrowZine Journal Browsing App

BrowZineLogo-FINAL COLORBrowZine is a tablet application that allows you to browse, read and monitor  content from the library’s academic journals just as you would any other ejournal.


UST’s subscription currently includes over 3,000 UST-owned titles, browsable by general subject area.  BrowZine is a free app — by Third Iron — for accessing and reading content from academic journals on the iPad and Android tablets. The app allows users to

  • select academic journals from a “shelf” display
  • browse complete journal issues,
  • read individual articles,
  • collect favorite journals on a shelf of one’s own,
  • save favorite articles,
  • and perform additional tasks with journal content.


To get started, search for “BrowZine” in the App Store or Google Play store and download the app for free; when initially launching BrowZine, select the University of St Thomas from the drop-down list, use your UST credentials to log in, and start browsing.

BrowZine is growing fast and will continue to expand, adding new titles and features as time goes on. Work is progressing to include RefWorks integration, as well as content from many more publishers.  If a favorite title isn’t available now, it is very possible it might become available in the near future!

More information about the UST libraries’ subscription is available on the library website. You can find more information about BrowZine in general – along with an introductory video – on the Third Iron website.

Please let us know what you think!  Send any comments or questions to Laura Hansen.

Kudos, Libraries, News & Events

Welcome, Dr. Sullivan!

We at UST Libraries are excited to welcome our President-Elect and share with her our tradition as “the intellectual and technological crossroads of information resources, teaching, and learning at UST.” 

To get started, here are some highlights we hope Dr. Sullivan will find helpful and interesting as she transitions into her new position (and that we thought you library-lovers out there might like to check out, too!):

Our Newly-Designed Website and Online ResourcesNew site screenshot

Providing easy-to-use mini research portals to through our Google-like Summon search engine, catalog, research Subject Guides, and more.  Read more about it here.

Great Scholarship


UST Research Online, our online reseach repository, is a wonderful place to familiarize yourself with the work being done by faculty and students

Virtual Tours and Histories of  St Thomasarchive_photos 

University Archives Photograph Collection contains a fascinating array of images related to the school’s history

Historic Walking Tour of the Saint Paul campus is a great way to get oriented with the history of the campus – can you find the pictures of Lake Mennith?

Written Histories of St. Thomas and the Saint Paul Seminary:

stpaul academyThere have been many books written about UST.  Here are two of the most popular:  

More can be found in the University Archives.  


*For more information about our President-Elect, Dr Julie Sullivan, please visit the St Thomas Newsroom.


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!)

Database Highlights & Trials

RefWorks Classic says, “Farewell forever”; RefWorks 2.0 says, “Oh, were you still here?”

Attention all you old schoolers out there: RefWorks Classic has at last bid its final adieu! After months of hanging around as an optional click back into familiarity, POOF! It has gone off to sunnier climes.

Have no fear! RefWorks 2.0, which has been the default since last summer, is still there to gather, organize, store, and share all types of your reference information and is just waiting to instantly generate your citations and bibliographies.  Watch the video below to discover where all your favorite features have gone off to, and don’t be shy about discovering the new ones. Can I just say, “drag and  drop?” Yes, please!

Now to all of you who I can hear… “Say what now? Ref….Woooorks?”  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it is your lucky day! Your information gathering will never be the same again. RefWorks is an online research management, writing, and collaboration tool that will allow you to easily save your citations as you do your research, which will allow you to not only find them again, but will format them for you to instantly generate your citations and bibliographies.

RefWorks has its own channel on YouTube and is a great way to get started.  Also, UST libraries has a very helpful guide (in the process of being updated for the new interface), and RefWorks offers its own guide. And of course, our super duper librarian friends are never too far away!


Business & Economics, Database Highlights & Trials

Happy Valentine’s with Euromonitor Passport!

Welcome to Spring Semester, business researchers!

We’re less than one week away from Valentine’s Day, and I thought it was a good time to share some interesting Valentine’s-themed nuggets of note our vendor has shared with us that will (hopefully) help you to fall in love with one of our favorite market research databases: Euromonitor Passport GMID!

First, the Dashboards in Euromonitor Passport GMID reveal that the US is the largest market in the world for chocolate confectionery.  Good news for chocolate lovers, but growth in this market has declined since 2009.


Secondly, Mars is the dominant player in the confectionery market after overtaking The Hershey Company in 2008 (I’m excited to see Lindt and Ferrero on this list, personally).

And finally, if jewelry is more your style this Valentine’s Day, new data available for Passport Industrial reveals that Tiffany’s is the largest producer of jewelry in the US.

Continue Reading

News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

UST Librarians share findings from their feeder school librarians and UST faculty on library skills

Donna Nix, Marianne Hageman and Talia Nadir – reference librarians from the UST Libraries –   presented “Information Literacy: Turning the Page From High School to College,” this past Oct. 28, 2011 at the American Association of School Librarians conference in Minneapolis.

Their session focused on data gathered from parochial high school librarians (feeder schools) on the information literacy skills of their seniors, as well as UST  faculty perceptions of the information literacy skills of undergraduate students enrolled in their introductory research classes.  

If you would like to learn about their findings, please feel free to follow up with them.

Database Highlights & Trials, News & Events

Welcome students

I’d like to welcome all new and returning students to the library. We’re really happy to have you back on campus.  It’s always a much livelier place when you’re around.  I just want to welcome you to campus in general and to the library specifically.  Here are a few things to help speed and ease your library experience this year:

  • Research Guides Let’s say you’re looking for library resources on a topic and you don’t know where to start.  Has that ever happened to you? Well now you know where to start cuz I’m telling you a good place to start… Research Guides. We’ve got guides for subject areas, guides for specific classes and database guides.
  • Summon Summon is like Google for scholarly articles. Wait, you say, isn’t Google Scholar basically Google for scholarly articles? Yes it is and I encourage you to use Google Scholar (using this link will get you to the full-text of journals the library owns if the full-text isn’t freely available in GS). But I also encourage you to use Summon if you’re looking for a few articles from scholarly or peer-reviewed journals, magazines, newspapers or if you’re looking for books or ebooks on a topic.
  • Ask a Librarian. I implore you (cuz when’s the last time you were implored?  Or impaled, for that matter? I know that vampires are all the rage these days, so I thought I’d ask about the impaling.  Also, imploring made me think of impaling, so there you go.  And now, my new little kittens, you’re getting a glimpse into how I think and what to expect from this blog for the next year).  Where was I? Oh yes, I implore you to not waste time.  If there’s one thing there’s just too little of -other than love, according to Jackie DeShannon it’s time. [Did you check out that choreography?  Yikes!  How in the world did all those back-up singers learn it? So complicated! ] So if you spend more than 5 minutes looking for something in the library and you don’t see it, please, please, please ask us.   You can ask in person, via email, via texting through IM or SMS or just call us.  I implore you!
Libraries, New Materials, News & Events

Research Guides Re-imagined

Not sure how you can find those “peer-reviewed” articles your prof wants you to use in that research paper?  Don’t know where to find the definition of “heteroscedasticity” for that econometrics assignment? Trying to trace the first usage of ‘Google’ as a verb? Wondering how the heck you’re supposed to find books on ‘Cosmopolitanism and the geopolitics of feminist rhetoric’?

Try the Libraries’ Research Guides!!

The Research Guides, accessible from the library home page or via this direct link are authored by our liaison librarians and will give you specific suggestions of appropriate sources (e.g. scholarly library subscription databases, book catalogs, vetted free web sites, etc.) by format, subtopic, etc. This summer, we completely rebuilt this portion of our website, using a new software product called Libguides.  The new system offers a number of advantages over the old web pages, including:

  • Tabbed layout for understandable organization and easy navigation (see screen shot below)
  • More engaging visual layout, easier integration of images, audio and video content
  • More dynamic content with automatically updated lists of new books, feeds of relevant news and article content, etc.
  • Easy access to your librarian’s contact info for follow-up, plus integrated chat reference service
  • Ability for users to comment on and rate the resources
  • Ability to be notified if changes are made to a guide



Note to faculty members:

Many professors have linked to our old web pages on their Blackboard or other course web sites: if you have done so, please update them by finding the appropriate links from the subject listings.  You may also want to review our web page that demonstrates how to link a Research Guide to a Blackboard course.

Instructors wishing to have a new guide created to address research assignments in their specific courses, or who would like resources added to an existing guide should contact their Liaison Librarian for assistance.