Ask A Librarian

Seasons Greetings: Holiday Cards from the WV & Regional History Collection

Posted by btoren@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
December 22nd, 2010

This online exhibit consists of almost 50 early 20th century holiday cards selected from the West Virginia and Regional History Collection at the WVU Libraries.

These are divided into six sections which can be viewed by selecting images from the navigation bar on the left. Select a small image of the card from these pages to display the outside and inside of each card at its actual size.

You can view the exhibit here.

Student Wins $100.00 for Submitting Library Website Survey

Posted by btoren@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
December 16th, 2010

Anthony Larijani submitted a WVU Libraries website user survey and was chosen at random from over eleven-hundred participants to win the drawing for a one-hundred dollar Visa gift card.

The Libraries Web Team ran the survey during October and November. The survey asked the users what they like and dislike about using the Libraries website. The Libraries will use the responses to improve the site for the users.

Larijani is an in-state student from Charleston and the recipient of a PROMISE scholarship, which helped influence his choice to attend WVU. He is a Finance major and enthusiastic follower of the Mountaineers football and basketball teams. Larijani said “I like coming to the downtown library because it provides an excellent study environment. The library provides a place for me to come and study with limited distractions. The libraries website provides access to numerous databases. These databases enable students to use credible sources of information when writing research papers.”

In addition, he appreciates the Libraries efforts to get the students’ feedback about the site in order to make changes and improve library web services: “The libraries survey is a great way to receive feedback from the student community. Students are the most frequent users of the library as well as its website. Their input allows the University to make the necessary enhancements to maintain this great source of information.” Larijani plans “to use the money to do some holiday shopping for friends and family. The extra money really comes in handy this time of year.” He recommends completing library surveys: “Take five minutes out of your day to give the librarians your feedback. You might even be rewarded for your input.”

Libraries Open Extended Hours for Dead and Finals Weeks

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 30th, 2010

The Downtown Campus and Evansdale libraries will remain open for extended hours during Dead and Finals weeks.

For Dead Week, the Downtown Campus and Evansdale libraries will open at 9 a.m. Sunday and remain open until 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10.  They will be open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.

For Finals Week, the Downtown Campus and Evansdale libraries will open at 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, and remain open until 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17.

For more information, check out the Libraries’ calendar: www.libraries.wvu.edu/hours

Libraries Join National Assessment Project

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 29th, 2010

The WVU Libraries are one of five academic libraries from across the nation selected this academic year to participate in a project focused on better assessment of the impact of information literacy programs on student performance.

Carroll Wilkinson, Director of Instruction and Information Literacy for the WVU Libraries, expects a closer examination of what the Libraries’ students are learning about finding and using information following participation in the program. This will in turn help to enhance the academic experience throughout the University.

“Campuses that establish a good assessment plan, including learning outcomes that focus on information literacy, are able to measure learning and prepare for upcoming accreditation reviews. Assessment is a strategic leveraging tool,” Wilkinson said.

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Professor and Librarian Publish Article on Collaborative Success

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 17th, 2010

A WVU professor and librarian have written an article about how their partnership in the classroom enhanced the academic environment for students.

Dr. Tim Warner, a geology/geography professor, and Linda Blake, science librarian, were one of five teams to participate in the WVU Libraries’ Information Literacy Course Enhancement Program, a joint effort between the Libraries and the Provost’s Office, during the 2010 academic year. The program’s goal is to incorporate information literacy concepts into the curriculum.

Their results will appear in the Winter 2010 edition of Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship, an online journal published by the Association of College & Research Libraries, Science and Technology Section.

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Brazilian Professor to Share ETD Expertise Nov. 4

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 28th, 2010

Ana Pavani, an electrical engineering professor at Pontifical Catholic University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will give a presentation about Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) developments in Brazil and Latin America at 2 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Room 104 of the Downtown Campus Library. A reception will follow in the Robinson Reading Room, Wise Library.

Pavani serves on the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations Board of Directors and has been instrumental in implementing the national Brazilian ETD program as well as in development of the Latin American ETD Consortium. At PUC, Pavani has designed and managed the implementation of an institutional repository. The current collection contains ETDs, senior projects, journals, books, articles, and courseware.

Pavani is interested in evolving the Brazilian national ETD program. During her visit, she will seek advice from WVU Libraries faculty and staff regarding implementation of multimedia applications in ETDs as well as preservation methodologies.

Enter to win a $100.00 gift card!

Posted by btoren@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
October 21st, 2010

Take the WVU Libraries website user survey and enter to win a $100.00 gift card! The WVU Libraries Web Team invites survey responses from all library website users. Participants will need to take about 15 minutes to answer sixteen multiple choice questions and five fill in a response questions to complete the survey. Then they will have an opportunity to register for the prize drawing. WVU Libraries employees are welcome to take the survey but are not eligible for the drawing. The survey is available at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/wvulibraries_survey.  The drawing will take place after the November break.

Award-Winning Science Fiction Author James Gunn to Speak at WVU

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 20th, 2010

WVU Today

Whether writing about immortality, space, dreams, death, demons, magic or the end of the world, award-winning science fiction author James Gunn has covered it all.

On Oct. 26, Gunn will visit West Virginia University speak about the contributions of another renowned science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. His presentation, “Isaac Asimov: Science Fiction to Science Fact,” will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair ballrooms. The talk is part of the 2010 David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas.

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Talk to Focus on Open Access and Scholarly Publishing

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 12th, 2010

The WVU Libraries will host a discussion on Open Access and its impact on scholarly publishing from noon-1 p.m. Oct. 19 in Health Sciences Library Computer Classroom, LC-1.

Open-access journals are peer-reviewed and provide free online access to full-text scientific and scholarly material. The articles are available to anyone to download, copy, and distribute for research purposes.

The speakers will be Dr. Harold Varmus, Nobel Prize-winning scientist and Director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and Dr. Cameron Neylon, Senior Scientist, UK Science and Technology Facilities Council. Their presentations will be pre-recorded.

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Libraries Develop Open Source Software

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 16th, 2010

 A professional technologist in the Libraries’ systems department has developed an innovative piece of software, the second to be released through WVU’s open source licensing agreement.

 The software, called EngineAPI, lets users rapidly develop web interfaces. An API, or application programming interface, is an interface implemented by a software program that enables different pieces of software to interact.

 “It takes a lot of the tedious work and puts it behind the scenes, so it’s easier and quicker for a programmer to develop redundant applications,” said Mike Bond, the software’s creator. “It allows me to program a whole application in 15 minutes as opposed to a few days.”

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Improved eReserve Services Launched

Posted by ppugh@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
August 25th, 2010

The Reserve section of Access Services is pleased to introduce new software for processing and delivering eReserve and Reserve materials. While we believe that the new software is faster and easier to use, faculty should notice only minor differences – mainly a change in password log in procedure.

Benefits to faculty:
• Won’t have to provide password/logon information to students – so you don’t have to wait until passwords are issued to finalize a syllabus
• Items can be placed on reserve for a limited time using a time-based system, i.e., if you want sample tests made available to the class from 10/1-10/15, you can tell us that whenever you submit the materials and we can set the calendar so that they are only available during the specified time. You do not need to wait to provide them just prior to the allotted time.
• Should no longer have students contacting you for forgotten passwords
• Please note: submitting materials for eReserves/Reserves has not changed. Use the same form(s), which have been slightly updated, and submit as before. The forms now ask you to provide the CRN and section numbers for each class being added to reserve.

Benefits to students:
• Can log into their reserve materials with the standard library logon (username = Mix logon; password = 2-digit DAY of birth and last 4 numbers of their WVU ID#)
• Will not have to remember a password and logon for each class
• Won’t have to contact faculty to get forgotten passwords
• Every class for which they have reserve materials will be listed when they log on into one place

Library Resources Now Available on Phone

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 20th, 2010

Most people probably already use their smartphones to watch videos, listen to music, surf the Web, and keep in touch with friends. Students can now use it to enhance their academic experience and earn better grades.

The WVU Libraries’ new Mobile Web brings several of the Libraries’ electronic resources to Web-enabled phones. The application enables users to perform library research, find a book, locate an available computer at the Downtown Campus or Evansdale library, and ask a librarian a question.
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E-ZBorrow Upgrade Coming

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
July 16th, 2010

Using E-ZBorrow is about to get easier as software changes will streamline the book-borrowing process.

“Users will appreciate the upgrades that we’ve made,” said Dan Iddings, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc, (PALCI). “The new E-ZBorrow eliminates a few steps and provides an advance search option. Searches will be faster and more effective.”

PALCI, a group of academic libraries with a reciprocal lending and borrowing agreement, developed E-ZBorrow in 2004. The resource, which is a self-serve version of interlibrary loan, enables a user to search the library holdings of more than 50 colleges and universities and then request that a book be sent to a library on his or her campus. The new website, powered by Relais software, becomes operational this fall.
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Rare survey tool owned by president displayed

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 21st, 2010

The Dominion Post

A rare surveying tool that once belonged to George Washington was on display Friday as the West Virginia and Regional History Collection (WVRHC), along with WVU Libraries, celebrated West Virginia Day with “A Rich and Bountiful Country: The Quest for Land on the Trans-Allegheny Frontier.”

This year’s West Virginia Day celebration and exhibit linked Monongalia County’s colonial land-granting and iron production history with the piece of surveying equipment that was recently acquired by the WVRHC.

West Virginia Day is Sunday, commemorating West Virginia’s creation and admission to the Union, in 1863.

compass
Ron Rittenhouse/The Dominion Post
A surveying tool that once belonged to George Washington was on display Friday. At the tip of one of the measures are the initials “GW” and the date “1781.”

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Libraries to Celebrate West Virginia Day on Friday

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 15th, 2010

By Liz Dickinson
WVU Today

A rare surveying tool that once belonged to George Washington will be on display Friday (June 18) as the West Virginia and Regional History Collection, along with West Virginia University Libraries, celebrates West Virginia Day with “A Rich and Bountiful Country: The Quest for Land on the Trans-Allegheny Frontier.

This year’s West Virginia Day celebration and exhibit links Monongalia County’s colonial land-granting and iron production history with the piece of surveying equipment that was recently acquired by the WVRHC. West Virginia Day is Sunday, June 20, commemorating West Virginia’s creation and admission to the Union in 1863.

It is believed Washington presented this surveying tool, known as a circumferenter, to Samuel Jackson, pioneer of the region’s 19th Century iron industry, in 1784 during Washington’s visit to Fayette County, Pa. shortly after the Revolutionary War.
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WVU Libraries Receive Statewide Preservation Grant

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 30th, 2010

Many people have personal experience with deteriorating family photographs or old letters. Libraries and museums have these problems on a larger scale.

A $40,000 grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will enable the West Virginia University Libraries, in collaboration with the Huntington Museum of Art, to help the state’s libraries, art and historical museums, and cultural heritage institutions identify their constraints and needs in caring for their collections.

“We need to be sure that future generations are able to see and use collections that are important to our history,” said Frances O’Brien, Dean of the WVU Libraries. “This planning grant will be the first step in identifying the preservation needs in West Virginia, and working toward the right kinds of care.”
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Libraries Select Information Literacy Participants

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 29th, 2010

The WVU Libraries have selected six faculty members to participate in the second year of an information literacy initiative designed to help faculty to enhance their courses.

The Information Literacy Course Enhancement Program, a collaborative effort between the Libraries and the Provost’s Office, is focused on fulfilling the University’s 2010 Plan for information literacy to become a curriculum component across all disciplines.

“We have learned a great deal this year about designing discipline-specific lessons that address critical research components through active learning,” said Carroll Wilkinson, WVU Libraries’ Director of Instruction and Information Literacy. “I look forward to sharing our learning with the next group of participants in this program.”
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Downtown Campus and Evansdale Libraries Staying Open for Dead Week

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 26th, 2010

Dead Week operating hours have begun. The Downtown Campus and Evansdale Libraries will remain open until 8 p.m. Friday.

The Libraries will be open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday. The Finals Week operating schedule begins at 9 a.m. Sunday, and the Libraries will remain open until 8 pm. Friday, May 7.

For Dead Week, the Health Sciences Library will be open from 8 a.m.-midnight through Friday and from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday. The Library will be open until 1 a.m. May 2-6.

Libraries Employee Receives Leadership Award

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 22nd, 2010

John Hagen, coordinator for WVU’s electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) program, has received the 2010 ETD Leadership Award presented by the Ohio ETD Association.

OETDA President Angie McCutcheon praised Hagen for sharing his expertise in the field and for providing guidance in establishing the statewide organization.

“John’s in-depth knowledge of ETDs has been highly valuable to the Ohio ETD Association,” said OETDA President Angie McCutcheon. “John has been instrumental in assisting the Ohio ETD Association in getting started and in supporting the selection of topics that have been appropriate for our conferences for four years.”
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Project Information Literacy Continues Through Tuesday

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 6th, 2010

Can you Google your way to an A when writing a paper? Do you trust Wikipedia to provide you with sufficient and reliable information? The WVU Libraries want to know.

The WVU Libraries are in the second week of a national study, conducted by Project Information Literacy (PIL), to learn how college students conduct research in the digital age.

Last week, PIL sent an invitation to participate in a Web-based survey to 10,000 randomly selected WVU sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The survey, which takes 10-15 minutes to complete, consists of 22 questions that focus on how students find, evaluate, and integrate research sources used for course-related and everyday life research.
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