Jerilyn Marshall's blog

What Are You Putting Into That Open Area?

If you’ve visited the library lately you may have noticed that the area north of the reference desk is looking pretty bare – or some would say, wide open!  Some people have been asking us what we will be putting there now that all of the dark brown shelves have been removed.  The library is currently developing a plan to redesign the area as a comfortable, open, flexible learning space that will be both inspirational and practical.

UNI students, faculty, and staff, please watch during fall semester for a survey.  We’d like to know what you would like to see in the new learning and research space.  In the meantime, for the coming academic year we will be equipping the space with a different combination of technology and furniture that we hope will lead to comfortable and productive research.

Watch for more information in the coming months! 

Guides Can Help with Summer Classes

Did you know that the library has over 130 online guides in a wide variety of subject areas? These were created by librarians and library staff; they can help you to find the best and most reliable sources on a topic. Find out the best resources to use for your class assignments, or for research, quickly and easily.

The guides are searchable by keywords, tags, and subjects.  Click here to get started -- and you could save some time, finish assignments more efficiently, and go out and enjoy the summer weather!

If you can think of a new subject guide you'd like to see, please let us know!

New Online Reference Books Added

Recently we have added several dozen reference books to the Gale Virtual Reference Library database.  The titles added include Encyclopedia of Global Health (2008); Women in World History, a Biographical Encyclopedia (2000); and Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural School Psychology (2007).   Student technology fees funded these purchases, allowing the library to better support students in finding information needed for academic papers and presentations.

Subject Guides for Research, New and Improved!

The Library's Subject Guides and Course Web Pages will be taking on a new look over the next few months as librarians and staff convert them to a new interface.  Over 40 guides have been updated already.  Check out the new look and navigation on our LibGuides site. 

We hope that UNI students and other researchers will check the guides for useful information when doing research for their classes and projects.

Who Needs Wikipedia?

Britannica Online is a one-stop resource for basic background information covering many topics that can be used in student research papers, speeches, and other projects.  Students often would like to use Wikipedia, but many instructors will not allow that to be used as a source.  Britannica would make an excellent alternative for many assignments where other encyclopedias are allowed.

Britannica's new and improved site includes many features beyond just the basic encyclopedia articles.  These include

1) Videos and other media related to subjects of articles

2) Links to magazine and journal articles on many topics

3) The ability to compare basic information about two countries

4) World maps; videos and other media related to the articles

5) Definitions of words in the articles, available by double-clicking on any word

Britannica Online is available through the Databases A-Z list, or in UNISTAR, through Rod Library's paid subscription.

Need a Jump Start with Research? We Can Help!

Students, are you finding enough good information for your research projects? Or is there one stubborn research topic that just won't come up with good search results? If you are stuck on a topic-- or even just need one more piece of information to complete your research -- reference librarians are here to help you. We are experts at finding information that is solid and authoritative, just as is required for most class projects. There are many ways to reach the reference librarians -- in the computer area on the main floor of the library; online through chat or email; and through texting (better for short questions). You can even make an appointment to meet for one hour with a librarian to focus on your research needs -- this is called a research consultation. All of the ways to reach us are available through this link: We hope to see you soon!

Where is the Google Scholar link?

Several people have asked how to get to Google Scholar, which is a popular resource for finding scholarly materials.  There are three ways to search Google Scholar from the Rod Library website. 

1) Click on Databases A-Z, scroll down to Google Scholar, and click on those words.  This method is an easy way to get to Google Scholar's Advanced Search features (to be able to specify title, author, etc.).  Click on the Advanced Scholar Search link to find the many search options available.

2) Google Scholar is listed in the dropdown menu in the Articles tab on the Library home page.  Select Google Scholar from the dropdown, type your search in the box, and click Go.

3) The Known Article/Journal Title Search page also has a box for searching Google Scholar, near the bottom of the page.

The benefit of entering Google Scholar from the library home page is that the results will often display a Find It@UNI link that may lead to full-text online content available to the UNI community.

If you have questions on how to use Google Scholar effectively, please click on the Ask Us! link to find many ways to contact reference librarians.

Articles Tab Links Have Changed

We have unveiled a new look in the Articles tab on the Rod Library home page.  The names of several links have changed.  The link that was called "Advanced Search (Panther Prowler)" is now Subjects A-Z (Panther Prowler).  The link that formerly said "View a list of databases A-Z" has been shortened to Databases A-Z.  The link that said "Find a journal or locate a known article" is now Known Article/Journal Search.

Another big change with the Articles tab is that the default search box now has a dropdown menu rather than searching just one database.  The dropdown menu includes broad subject categories from Panther Prowler, and also two individual resources: Academic OneFile and Google Scholar.  Those two resources are both also listed in the Databases A-Z list.

We made these changes to make it easier to find a wider variety of searches to try when looking for information.  Anybody who has questions or needs assistance is invited to click the Ask Us! link and to contact reference librarians or staff through one of the methods listed.

Library Survey Report 2007

In February 2007 Rod Library invited people across the university community to participate in a user assessment survey (LibQUAL+). Many of you responded, and a library committee has been using the results to find out which resources and services are most important to you. We have set up a website to report the results to you. Currently, you can find information on the survey itself, and demographics of participants. We will be adding more information in the coming weeks.

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