Ask A Librarian

Monsters in the Library

Posted by Admin.
October 3rd, 2005

The Dominion Post Oct. 3, 2005
Eric Slagle, Reporter

WVU library opens monster-themed display in time for Halloween

WVU students considering creepy costumes for the quickly approaching Halloween season can visit the ground floor of the university’s downtown library for suggestions.

That’s where library staff has assembled four display cases of horror-related reading.

The theme of the exhibits actually is monsters, both in literature and film. Titles in the arrangement include classics such as “Jaws,” “Frankenstein,” and the “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.”

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Book Lovers Road Show Returns to WVU

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 3rd, 2005

Norma Whitaker possesses the most important attribute for book collecting, according to Jack Walsdorf, antiquarian book collector and appraiser. She loves books.

She joined a crowd of more than 60 people standing in line at the Charles C. Wise Library to have their books appraised by Walsdorf, who returned to Morgantown on Sunday with his Book Lovers’ Road Show.

Whitaker enjoyed the afternoon, even though Walsdorf failed to assess either of her books as unearthed treasures.

“I just thought it would be interesting to see what really constitutes the value of a book and what detracts from making one valuable,” Whitaker said. “Maybe I can get some knowledge in case I want to try my hand at it.”

photo of jack

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Downtown Campus Library Upgrading Computers

Posted by Admin.
August 2nd, 2005

The WVU Libraries are in the process of upgrading all 180 desktop computers in the Downtown campus Library with new models boasting faster processors, larger monitors, but no disk drives – diskette or zip. Instead, users will save their work on CDs, DVDs, and thumb drives.

~ Mountaineer Spirit July 28, 2005

Why aren’t there disk drives in the new library computers?

Floppy disks are obsolete. Diskette drives don’t come standard on computers anymore. This change is for the better, since these computers are new, they reflect this market/technology change. The libraries would not want to waste the students’ technology money on purchasing obsolete equipment (floppy drives).

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New E-Titles from CQ

Posted by Admin.
July 27th, 2005

Congress-watchers, political junkies, and researchers will find 4 new library resources to satisfy their need for current, unbiased information.

CQ Weekly, a non-partisan news magazine, provides comprehensive legislative news and analysis.

Two special collections, CQ Supreme Court Collection and CQ Public Affairs Collection, provide access to primary source documents, reports and analysis.

The CQ Researcher is an excellent starting point for undergraduate research papers or debate topics. It provides analysis and background information on current social and political issues.

All 4 CQ resources are available via the Web to WVU students, faculty and staff.
Access them on our web site at

-Penny Pugh

Changes in Libraries Computer Log-On

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 24th, 2005

Students and faculty will start using new user names and passwords to sign on to computers at the WVU Libraries on Friday, July 1. This change comes as the University makes the switch to the new Mountaineer card.

For students, the user name is the first portion of their MIX account address. For example: If an address is, the user name is jjones4.

The password is a person’s birthday plus the last four digits of his WVU ID number. For example: If someone’s birthday is July 4 and WVU ID number is 700-12-3456, his password would be 043456.

Students needing help finding their WVU ID number can ask for assistance at the reference desk or access services desk in the library.

For faculty and staff, the user name is their WVU employee number. The number can be found at the Human Resources web site. As with students, they will use a combination of birthday and the last four digits of their WVU ID number for a password.

To prepare for the change, the Downtown Campus, Evansdale and Health Sciences libraries will open at 9 a.m. July 1.

Book Lovers Roadshow Returns

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 3rd, 2005

Forget the old adage. Jack Walsdorf regularly judges books by their cover, and the practice often brings broad smiles to those listening to his judgments.

He’s quick to point out if The Old Man and the Sea is a little weathered and dog-eared or if Huck Finn is dirty and looks like he’s taken a few knocks. Such flaws could be costly, Walsdorf is sure to comment. But he is just as quick to declare when The Great Gatsby appears clean and well-kept. The result could mean a fortune.

Walsdorf will share his opinions on books this summer when he returns the WVU Libraries with his Book Lovers’ Road Show. The WVU Libraries will host the book appraiser and collector at 2 p.m. July 31 in the Robinson Reading Room of Wise Library.

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Writing Headaches?

Posted by Admin.
May 23rd, 2005

At the Downtown Campus Library, we are happy to offer the Term Paper Clinic this summer for students in undergraduate research-writing courses.

The objectives of this service are to help students:
— choose a focused research topic that fulfills the scope of the assignment
— formulate a research strategy, focusing on the selection, use, and evaluation of appropriate research materials and resources
— organize gathered information into a structured research paper
— document and cite sources properly.

The Term Paper Clinic will be held during Summer I (May 23rd – June 30th) and Summer II (July 5th – August 11th) Sessions. We will be open Monday through Thursday from 2:00 – 3:00 PM.

At this time, we are accepting students on a drop-in basis. Please note that we are not able to provide proofreading.

If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Diamond – .

-Kelly Diamond

New Summer School Course!

Posted by Admin.
May 6th, 2005

“Women’s Studies Research in the Information Age” is being offered in Summer 1. The course addresses the interlocking topics of women and information. It is designed to help you be an active member of the information society.

You will learn theory and develop applications to solve your information needs. You will acquire knowledge about the scope of the information environment by and about women and its components including: proprietary databases, libraries and their contents, people resources, the Internet, the invisible web, and how to harness your own curiosity.

Upon completion of this course (which will include a mixture of active learning assignments, readings, lectures, oral presentations, class discussions, and guided hands on activities) you will find yourself equipped to make decisions about the selection and application of information now and in the future.

Registration Information:

Register: WMST SPTS 493G, CRN 50955; or MDS 493P 51005

Time: M,T,W,Th 3-4:15pm Summer 1, 2005

Instructor: Carroll Wetzel Wilkinson, Women’s Studies Bibliographer
and Access Services Librarian at the Downtown Campus Library

Where: Room 136, Downtown Campus Library (Instruction Classroom) near
Media Services, lower level

-Carroll Wilkinson

141 New Electronic Journals Added

Posted by Admin.
May 2nd, 2005

The WVU Libraries continually add new titles to the electronic journals delivered to your desk top. Just this year, we added 141 new titles to the existing collection of over 15,000 e-journals. Some examples of titles added include: American Journal of Sports, Behavior Modification, Comparative Political Studies, Economic Development Quarterly, Gender and Society, International Journal of Music Education, Journal of Composite Materials, Semiotica, and Written Communication.

The journals come from a variety of sources. For example, journals published by Sage Publications were purchased in electronic format for 2005, and all ACM and IEEE journals be added to the electronic journals list in 2004. The Health Sciences Library is making good progress on an ambitious plan to convert all of its journal titles to electronic format, either as collections or on a title by title basis.

Researchers can access all WVU Libraries electronic journals through the Full Text Electronic Journals List .

-Linda Blake

Read Lecture Notes at the Pool!

Posted by Admin.
April 18th, 2005


Sign up for MDS 103 (Introduction To Library Research); it’s entirely online!
Read Lecture Notes at the Pool!
Do Assignments in a Hammock!
Take a Quiz at the Beach!

What you need to know to register:
Course: MDS 103
Name: Introduction to Library Research
Session: Summer I (Begins May 23rd and lasts 3 weeks)
Section: 7D1
CRN: 51044
Credit Hours: 1

Also available in Summer II!
What you need to know to register:
Course: MDS 103
Name: Introduction to Library Research
Session: Summer II (Begins July 5th and lasts 6 weeks)
Section: WEB 001
CRN: 71330
Credit Hours: 1
Instructor: M. Yancey

-Kelly Diamond

How Satisfied Are You With The Libraries?

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 12th, 2005

The WVU Libraries are participating again in a national research project that measures student and faculty perceptions of library service. LibQual is a survey tool developed by the Association of Research Libraries to measure how satisfied users are with library resources and services.

Almost 5,000 students and faculty selected at random from MIX and GroupWise e-mail accounts will receive an e-mail inviting their participation in the online survey.

“The goal of LibQual is to help us understand how our users see our services. The feedback we received from the 2003 LibQual survey was extremely useful,” Libraries Dean Frances O’Brien said.

O’Brien encourages everyone who receives the e-mail invitation to complete the survey. This year, two people who complete the survey will be chosen in a random drawing to receive an iPod.

The online survey consists of 45 questions, and includes a section for comments. Participants are asked about their desired, perceived, and minimum expectations of service from the WVU Libraries.

Two years ago nearly 4,700 students and faculty participated in the campus’s first LibQual survey. The feedback guided the WVU Libraries in enhancements to their electronic journal web pages and other services. More information about LibQual will be available this week in the Downtown, Evansdale, and Health Sciences Libraries. Promotional materials for WVU LibQual were designed by Eryck Webb, a graphic design student.

The survey closes April 29.

Something for Everyone @ WVU Libraries

Posted by Admin.
April 11th, 2005

To celebrate National Library Week, take advantage of one of the many services and collections available through your campus libraries. We’re not just for studying! The Libraries offer millions of books and journal articles to support research, but many other treasures await you@your library.

Here are some things you may want to try:

1. Leisure reading collections – latest suspense, science fiction, and more…
2. Music to go – blues, jazz, classical – check out a CD from the Evansdale Library
3. Surf the Web – on library computers or your own – wireless or ethernet
4. Expert assistance from reference librarians – for all your research questions
5. Study late – till 2 AM in the Downtown Campus Library
6. Free DVD loans – from our extensive collection of international and classic films
7. Quiet study nooks, desks, comfy chairs, or group study rooms
8. Online help – with email and chat reference services – we’re virtual!
9. Digital senders – scan journal articles and send them by email – it’s free!
10. Term paper help – a clinic for those last minute term paper woes
11. Win $1,500 – imagine the future and win the contest!

Library records deleted to protect users

Posted by Admin.
February 22nd, 2005

Library records included in Patriot Act provisions; librarians respond with systematic purging

Civil liberties have become an issue of much debate and concern in recent years due to the passing of the USA Patriot Act in 2001. Library records are an important topic in that debate.

Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act reads, “The director for the FBI, or a designee of the director, may make an application for an order requiring the production of any tangible things (such as books, records, papers, documents and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

Frances O’Brien, dean of West Virginia University Libraries, said libraries should be a place where students can come and find information on any subject they want and not be questioned about it.

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WVU Libraries Answering Online Government Info Inquiries

Posted by Admin.
February 10th, 2005

WVU Libraries are among 31 institutions across the nation participating in a pilot program to provide virtual reference services to people seeking government information.

The Government Information Online service allows researchers to go online and ask questions or seek information about state and federal government. Patrons access the service through a link on the WVU Libraries webpage or directly at From this site, users can e-mail a question or engage in a real-time chat session with a librarian.

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WVU Libraries observe Banned Books Week

Posted by Admin.
September 29th, 2004

Banned Books Display

Sophie Bogdanski (right), Monographs Unit Librarian for the WVU Libraries, explains Banned Books Week to Shelia Shurina, an education junior, at a display in the Downtown Campus Library Alumni Lobby.

Banned Books Week, a national event that runs from Sept. 25-Oct. 2, has two goals. First, the annual observance is a celebration of the freedom to read. It is also a chance to educate people about the library’s responsibility to collect, provide access, and archive materials on all points of view and on any given topic without censorship.

“The library is a bias-free zone,“ Bogdanski said. “This freedom is essential on a university campus where students, faculty, and staff need to research both sides of controversial issues such as cloning.”

In spite of differing opinions about what is written in a book, people still have the right to read it. This right is embedded in the First Amendment of the Constitution.

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WVU Libraries add electronic journals to online catalog

Posted by Admin.
September 27th, 2004

Research may be a few steps faster and net greater results for many WVU Libraries users. Mountainlynx, the libraries’ online catalog, now includes electronic journals in its listings.

Until now, someone searching for a mix of resources to research a topic had to check Mountainlynx to find books, films and microfilm, then look elsewhere on the Libraries’ Web site to find available electronic journals.

It’s now one-stop shopping.

“If students and faculty know to go to Mountainlynx, then they can find the electronic journals they need,” said Linda Blake, electronic journals coordinator and science librarian.

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WVU students, faculty find a new home in old Wise library

Posted by Admin.
September 30th, 2003

CONTACT: Monte Maxwell, WVU Libraries, 304-293-4040 ext. 4004

(MEDIA: WVU will rededicate the Charles C. Wise Jr. Library at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 4. The event will include a brief program in the Milano Reading Room, tours of the renovated facility and an unveiling of a Wall of Honor recognizing library supporters.)

An exam fast approaches and a West Virginia University student quietly studies in the James V. and Ann Pozega Milano Reading Room. No computer is near, just a stack of books, notes and a Craftsman-style table lamp illuminating the pages.

The light is new, but the table and chair where she’s sitting are original to the Charles C. Wise Jr. Library. The addition is part of an extensive, one-year renovation project focused on preserving the traditional appearance of the 70-year-old library while making it functional for today’s students.

Based on the crowds who began flocking to the space when the doors opened in January 2003, the results have been a success.

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‘Do you know what this book is worth?’

Posted by Admin.
July 17th, 2003

CONTACT: Frances O’Brien, Dean, WVU Libraries, 304-293-4040, ext. 4000

Pick up an old book at a yard sale for 25 cents and think you found a treasure? Have a cherished volume your grandfather passed on to you? Curious what they’re worth?

If it’s a signed first-edition of Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, it could net up to $1,000. Other signed volumes by Papa Hemingway could fetch between $2,000 and $3,000.

Such a find is rare, hence the lofty price tag. But similar jewels can be found on bookshelves and in boxes everywhere. Just ask Jack Walsdorf, an antiquarian book appraiser and collector, when his traveling book show hits campus.

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Visiting Chairs

Posted by Admin.
June 29th, 2003

Photo – Bob Gay/The Dominion Post

photo of chairs

Mark Wagner of Indiana-based Jasper Seating Company, of Indiana, loads temporary chairs from the WVU Library onto a truck for shipment after delivering a new load of seats recently. The company had loaned a large number of chairs to the library while they were building the actual order and Wagner was performing the seat swap.

WVU Libraries Seeking Input Through Online Survey

Posted by Admin.
March 27th, 2003

Mountaineer Spirit


The WVU Libraries are seeking input from students, faculty and staff on the services they currently provide and what they should provide.

In a few days, about 4,000 randomly selected individuals will each receive an email requesting they participate in LibQUAL+, an online library service quality survey that takes place during the first two weeks of April.

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