Extended Hours in the Library for Fall 2014 Finals

During Finals, many wish for just a few more hours in the day to squeeze in one more rewrite of a paper or to study one more chapter. And while the Salmon Library has very little power to add hours to the age-old day-night cycle, we can do our part and extend those existing hours of the day which we are open.

A 16 hour clock

From November 30, a Sunday, through December 9, a Tuesday, we will have extended hours. We will open on the normal times, but our closing times for those days are changed:

  • Sunday through Thursday: We’re open until 2am.
  • Friday: We’re open until 10pm.
  • We do not have extended hours on Saturdays.

The extended hours will include services such as the Info Arcade being open; printing, photocopying, and scanning; being able to check out study rooms and laptops; and of course the quiet study on the second and third floors.

The following calendar shows the extended hours and the Finals ReCharge events in case you want to plan around them:

Extended hours for the library, combined with finals recharge events. A visual representation of this and the Finals ReCharge posts.

As a note, as you are planning out your studying/writing/etc for Finals, the Student Success Center is now located in the Salmon Library, on the first floor, in the Charger Commons. If you need tutoring or writing help, they are a great resource!

If you want more information about the Salmon Library Hours, see our Hours Guide.

OneSearch at UAH is now set to search full-text by default: what this means for you.

Today, we made a change to the back-end of OneSearch so that it now when you search, it limits results to full-text by default.

OneSearch: Dozens of databases, thousands of sources, millions of articles. One Click.

Why did we do it? Many of our patrons using OneSearch are wanting something tangible and to dive into the information right away. While some are wanting a wider look at the field, most are wanting to see primarily what is in our collection. If the majority of our users are always clicking to turn the full-text limit on, then it makes sense to work with how our users search.

What does this mean? That the results you get will automatically be filtered to include only those for which you have immediate access. Rather than a mixed page of abstracts and full-text, you will have only those in full-text right away.

How will this impact your searching? If you are the kind of person who just wants to get a few articles that are immediately available – in PDF or HTML – then it speeds up your process by cutting out those articles for which we only have abstracts. If you are a little more of a power-searcher, and want to see all of what is available, or if you are searching for a topic where the articles are a little more obscure, you may need to turn off the “Limit to full-text” option to get a wider view.

OneSearch screen with the new options highlighted on the left side: Full Text and Library Collection

How do I turn these options off? See the graphic above. Click on the little blue/white Xs after “Full Text” and “Available in Library Collection”. This will remove those options and show you also articles without immediate full-text.

Will this affect other databases? For right now, the plan is to keep the other databases in their current configuration. Those going to databases like CINAHL or Business Source Premier are driving down to slightly more precise information, so the idea is that those users are more likely to want to powersearch. With that being said, keep in mind that databases like JSTOR and SpringerLink are already set to default to showing our collection.

Is this change permanent? We’ll keep an eye on usage and make sure people are getting what they want. If it turns out that this is not how people want to search, then of course we will change it back.

Whom should I contact if I get articles that show up in full-text searches but there is no full-text attached? You can call us at the reference desk at (256)824-6529, or email us at erefq@uah.edu. Or see http://libanswers.uah.edu for more options.

[a tad bit late, but] A Brief Write-up for From Lovecraft to the Thing from Outer Space: Science and Science Horror

This was meant to come out nearly a month ago, but here is a write-up of a talk I gave back on October 21, 2014: From Lovecraft to the Thing from Outer Space. It was a fun little talk, meant to combine a bit of Halloween fun with a serious discussion about the persistent bias against scientists in a particular flavor of science fiction and science horror.

Why did I want to talk about it (outside of the fun Halloween factor)? There has been a long series of events, generally kind of minor, where I would be reading some story or watching some show/movie, and the scientist type character would be just that tad more easily bent by the forces of evil than the noble military they were working with. Or the nerd would be dangerous element that lets down the team of good, wholesome jock types. Not in every case. I have not done a precise tally to see if it is even the majority – though I suspect so – but in many cases.

It came to full bear when I was doing some research on Lovecraft’s science and philosophy for a roundtable discussion on those things with the guys from the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast. At the time, I was struck by the contradiction in Lovecraft’s personal philosophies about knowledge – complex as his personal stance might be on many things – and the way that knowledge and curiosity and reading always seemed to have negative consequences. An early version of the talk was entirely to focus on Lovecraft. Though I realized quickly into the process that it wasn’t just Lovecraft. There was a certain fascination with scientists as characters throughout pulp 20th century fiction and there was a continued notion of them as just a bit crazier than the average person, a bit more likely to bring about the end of the world, and even a bit dumber, if by dumb you mean “unable to realize the outcome of their own actions”.

This talk came out of that. As said at the thing, this is something more like a preliminary examination of the phenomenon. While some slides are less serious than others, the conclusion towards the end is something I would like to prove or disprove through further research. Have we created a fictional scientist archetype – and then applied concepts of a particularly virulent monastic archetype to it – and if we have, how far does this concept go? I have some ideas, and plan to start that next stage very soon.

Before I get to the slides, there are two things. First, I want to share a quote from James Turner’s introduction to Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, [still one of the best many-in-one collections of stories about the extended mythos involved in Lovecraft's fiction], which is good to keep in mind as we examine some of the conflicts of science and science horror:

With…developments in relativity, quantum mechanics, subatomic particles, and the like, the universe no longer seemed so comprehensible. Just as Copernicus and Galileo had wrenched humanity from the center of creation, so too had modern man come to realize that not only is he not at the center of the cosmos, but that he is a singularity in the cosmos. The universe with its neutron stars and quasars and black holes is strange to us, and we are a stranger in the universe.

Secondly, what took so long to getting this up is because the slides used in this talk (and there were quite a few) were only part of the story. There was a lot of commentary and references. I mean a lot. It was a very full hour. There was also some active feedback and commentary of which I wanted to try and make note. Had it been fewer slides, I might have tried a list of slide notes. Instead, I took advantage of Google’s Spreadsheets note function and have added a note to roughly half or more of the slides. What this means is that as you view them, to get the full experience, you need to view the slides with slide-notes turned on. It’s not the best interface, but it is worth going through at least with them to see what’s up.

I have been asked if I will be repeating this talk. Likely not in its current form. While I can talk about Lovecraft (and his writings) for hours, and while I am seriously concerned about prejudices and biases towards and against scientists, this was sort of a wide-net approach to two topics that are not quite the same – Lovecraft’s love and “hate” of science is not necessarily the general public’s. Bits of this talk might show up again – there seems to be a ripe place for several of its sub-themes – just not this one. It was a joyous passion project, now comes the time to shape it to something a little more solid.

Finals ReCharge is Here, Again! or, The Fall 2014 Events

Finals time are approaching UAH, again (just in case you need,  you can see the schedule on this semester’s academic calendar). Which means that here at the Salmon Library, we are once again having Finals ReCharge: our varied events designed to help you relax as you study. As usual, we are going to be having a few old hats with a few new tricks.

Here is our schedule of events for this semester.

On December 1, through December 12, the Graffiti Wall will be going up. Never played with it before? We put a few huge sheets of white paper and then provide you with markers and let you write out your thoughts and ideas. Click the link, above, for some previous images. This will run the full time of Finals and tends to lead to rather…interesting…discussions.

Then, on the Study Day, Wednesday December 3, we will have Self-Serve Coffee. It is free, just stop by the library from 9am-12pm and pour yourself a cup. As a note, we might light this run for as long as supplies last, so keep an eye out for it even if you stop by to study even after noon.

This will be followed the next day, Thursday, December 4, from 10am to 12pm, by the Therapy Dogs. Come by and visit the dogs and pet and hang out with them. Therapy dogs provided by Therapy Partners. Again, click the link, there, to see some past pictures. These are always a big hit. [Note: Earlier versions of this post had the Therapy Dogs being from 10am-2pm. This was a typo.]

December 5th, from 9am to 11am, we will have Free Coffee and Donuts. Stop by and pick up some in the lobby and visit with a librarian (who will be serving them).

This wraps up the first week. The second will will have another round of Self-Serve Coffee on Tueday, December 9, again from 9am to 12pm.

The second week will also introduce our big new event: Games Blast! On Monday, December 8 and Wednesday, December 10, from 11am to 3pm. We’ll set up some games consoles and bring in a few board games and anyone wanting to stop by and participate can play for a bit. Snacks will be provided. More details coming very soon.

Finals ReCharge Fall Flyer

Note, from the later post about extended hours at the Library for finals, I’ve included this handy calendar to combine the hours and the events of Finals ReCharge:

In the Stacks: A. J. Baime’s Arsenal of Democracy

A. J. Baime’s 2014 book The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War is a work of historical non-fiction, highlighting one specific aspect of the development of the US military industrial complex during the second World War: the efforts by the Ford Motor Company to build B-24 Liberator bombers.

Arsenal of Democracy bookjacket

SPOILER ALERT:  Ford Motor Company provides the setting for Baime’s book, starting off with the story of Ford as an early leader in automobile production, and efforts under new management (Edsel Ford, son of founder Henry) to expand into the burgeoning aviation market – efforts which were initially unsuccessful.  A central tenet of this book is the importance of military airpower during World War II and in the pre-war years (and the need to increase production for military aircraft); the author hails heavy bombers – specifically, the B-24 Liberator – as the key to winning the war.  Thus, the war provides Edsel with an opportunity to try again.  In the early years of the war, Edsel & his team propose a plan to construct B-24s by applying assembly-line manufacturing processes, and they set the audacious goal of turning out one bomber per hour.  Their efforts (including the construction of the mammoth new Willow Run factory in Michigan) reveal the naiveté of the initial goal, and the challenges of both meeting that goal & overcoming the doubts of other people.

 

It may sound trite, but this book has something for almost everyone.  This is not a traditional military history, although there is an engaging description of Operation Tidal Wave, to bomb the oil fields in Ploesti.  (If you expect this to be the same as Rick Atkinson’s Liberation Trilogy, you may be disappointed.  Perhaps a better comparison is to Michael Beschloss’ The Conquerors, which provides perspective on the wartime presidents Roosevelt & Truman.) This is not a work of historical drama, although the book depicts the complex relationship between automotive icon Henry Ford and his only son Edsel.  This is not a history of the civil rights movement or of labor relations, although the book paints a picture of the growing industrialization of Detroit, tells of the influx of transplanted workers from rural America, and describes the painful (and sometimes bloody) multi-sided labor conflicts at the Ford factories.  It tells a story set during wartime – and the war cannot be ignored.  The appearance of several unexpected cast members (thugs of questionable authority, suspected Nazi sympathizers, and even Charles Lindbergh) all serve to keep the reader engaged.  Scholars will appreciate the comprehensive endnotes and index.

 

This is a lease book at the UAH Salmon Library, and the UAH copy can be found with the call number HD 9710 .U54 B35 2014 in the coffeeshop reading area of the first floor.  You can see more information on the Goodreads page for the Arsenal of Democracy. That page has reviews and links to buy a copy if you want.

 

Spotted a book that should be in a future In the Stacks feature? Just tell us at doug.bolden@uah.edu and/or ron.schwertfeger@uah.edu, and we’ll look into it. Questions about this book or any of the others we have?  You can also email us (or the reference desk at erefq@uah.edu).

This Is The EndNote / introductory session (Refined Researchers Series)

We are happy to announce the third event in our Refined Researchers series of workshops this fall. (Missed that memo?  See our earlier blog post here.)

Refined Researcher Endnote Flyer

Refined Researcher Endnote Flyer

On October 6th, I will lead a short, hands-on workshop on the EndNote citation management software (see the Thomson Reuters webpage here).  EndNote – like other types of citation management software – can be used to store & manage your citations as you work on your academic research, including adding those references to your papers & assignments.  This session will focus on the “full” version of the EndNote software (available for a free trial period, and for a cost after that), but we will also discuss of features that are available through the online interface http://myendnoteweb.com

Please tell me if you can join us; more information about the session (& my email address for an RSVP) is available on the library calendar of events.

 

Classroom Copyright Caper – Slides and Workshop Highlights (Refined Researchers Series)

This past Tuesday, as part of our Refined Researchers series, I gave a workshop on copyright with an emphasis about how it interacts with the classroom (and some other ideas, all generally meant to help with knowing how to best use it and ask about it). It was a good time from my presenter’s viewpoint, with plenty of attendees from all walks of campus life – faculty, grad, undergrad, and guests – asking good and interesting questions and I hope they enjoyed themselves and learned something. It was a fair number of slides, 90+, with information ranging from copyright history to getting permission to use something, so it would be hard to sum up here. Instead, I am going to include the slides below as a slideshow, and you can download the current draft as a PDF (note, right at 10mb). I am releasing the whole thing Creative Commons 4.0 “With Attribution”, so if you would like to use any of the information or my top-notch fancy drawings in a class, or wherever, feel free. Did I say fancy drawings? Sure did, here’s a quick sample for you:

Try and not be too amazed. Due to something like a fluke, I ended up using a blue trapezoid to represent copyrighted work, with a red one to represent transformed versions, and green circles to represent uses by others. Hopefully simple iconography will help. If any of the diagrams are confusing, though, just email me and I’ll explain a little bit better.

The version below is slightly different from the version presented. There were some attendee submitted questions (and a couple of frequently asked questions) that I had worked into the slides as answer prompts. Those have been omitted due to them needing full context. I’ve made sure to double check a few facts, and have worked in a few attributions better. I have included a section on Distance Learning that had to be cut. I’ve also cleaned up a couple of bits of confusing language, and changed, slightly, the slide order to make sub-sections a little more consistent. As a heads up, there are a few slides where the slideshow makes the formatting funny. I am unsure why, but most are still readable even with the unexpected line breaks.

Classroom Copyright Caper PDF (note, this resizes it to smaller than Google Drive’s method, which makes it several times larger)

You can also access it as a Google Slides document if you think you would like to see it as such. You should be able to save it to your Google Drive account or download it as PPTX file and edit it (you can also click the gear icon on the slide show above for some of these options).

Just reminder, there are currently four Refined Rearchers workshops left in this semester. Click that link to learn more.

So, Just What IS a Roving Reference?

Next week, and for three more weeks planned so far for the Fall semester, some of the reference librarians will be out in other buildings, sitting behind a-table-made-into-a-desk, and calling it the “Roving Reference Desk”. What’s that about?

Well, it is pretty simple. We are the librarians for the campus as a whole. Our resources, ranging from old classic books to cutting edge pre-print research papers, are for the entire UAH community. While our base of operations is the Salmon Library, off slightly to the North side of the campus, our function is serve each and every student, faculty, staff, and guest at UAH by answering questions, helping with research, helping with resources, and generally trying to connect whoever asks us for it with the information they need. And while you are always more than welcome to visit us, we appreciate that classes and meetings and clubs and homework and jobs all take time and sometimes there isn’t enough of it in the day to have more destinations. For a few weeks in the Fall, we’ll do the best we can to help, by being in some of the buildings where you go to class or grab lunch, and hopefully in the Spring we can be in even more places.

You can stop by and talk to us in person. Ask us about library resources. Ask about finding information about [you name it]. Talk to us about what you think of the library. As we say, ask us anything.

This is on top of the various ways you can talk with us via digital and more traditional reference: we have chat, email, phone (256.824.6529), or you can catch us on Twitter or Facebook. Any of those ways. OR, you can visit us at the library. OR, you can stop by on the dates below and talk to us at the Roving Reference Desk. Whichever works best for you.

The first two weeks will be
September 15 through 18 and
September 29 through October 2

We will be in Morton Hall on Mondays,
in the Business Building on Tuesdays,
in the Shelby Center on Wednesdays,
and in the Charger Union on Thursdays.

These will be 11am to 1pm. More specific details, and further sessions, to be announced.

Come and join us for our new Refined Researchers workshops, open to all!

As part of a new initiative, the Salmon Library will be hosting six workshops on a variety of topics throughout the Fall 2014 semester. The focus of the workshops is on information and using information, as well as the way information is observed and used and manipulate [in one], with a mixture of hands-on demonstrations and fun lectures. While I cannot guarantee that there will be no math, don’t worry about any pop-quizzes. These are entirely designed around you being able to relax and learn something useful.

These workshops are open to everyone: students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests. No RSVP is required, but it can helpful to have a rough judge of potential headcount, so one is appreciated. You can either contact the individuals below, or the reference desk at {(256)824-6529 | erefq@uah.edu}. Also feel free to contact us if you have suggestions for future workshops (or would like to request a different time of day, we’re trying out a couple of time slots now but are game to expand this to more as it goes on).

The Workshops

As you can see, we have a range of workshop topics, with most of these initial six based on a mixture of requests we’ve received and personal interest.

The Mark of Zotero (event page)
September 10, 2:00pm-2:45pm. Library 214.
Ron Schwertfeger will guide you through using the free and useful Zotero citation management software in a hands-on workshop. Of special interest to those who have to handle a lot of references for a big project. Since Zotero is free, you can show up and learn about it and then be using it that very night.

The Classroom Copyright Caper (event page)
September 23, 5:30pm-6:30pm. Library 111.
Doug Bolden will talk about copyright and fair use and how they impact the classroom and the campus environment as a whole and where specific numbers rule the day versus general guidelines.

This Is the Endnote (event page)
October 6, 2:00pm-2:45pm. Library 214.
Ron Schwertfeger is back, this time looking at Endnote, one of the premier commercial citation management programs. He will talk about its many features—from sharing with other users, backing up data, and auto-importing information—and the free web version. Again, this one will be hands-on with practical training.

From Lovecraft to the Thing from Outer Space (event page)
October 21, 5:30pm-6:30pm. Library 111.
Doug Bolden, in something a little different, is going to do an overview of science horror from the 20th century and the way that it took advantage of scientific advancement while painting science as ticking time bomb (often, literally), starting with pro-science but narratively anti-information H.P. Lovecraft, and moving forward.

We Need to Go Deeper (event page)
October 23, 2:00pm-2:45pm. Library 214.
Seth Porter will be teaching you how to find a wealth of free information about business and demographics using just a web-browser and publicly available sites, information already out there but somewhat hidden from casual searches.

OneSearch to Rule Them All (event page)
November 13, 2:00pm-2:45pm. Library 214.
Michael Manasco will finish off our first semester by looking at the OneSearch front end for Ebsco’s Discovery Service. He will show you to get the most out of it, with tips on advanced searching and Ebsco accounts and ebooks and getting primary sources and a whole toolbag of tricks.

Special note: The original date of the EndNote session was October 9. It is now October 6.

In the Stacks: Edogawa Ranpo’s Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination

Our In the Stacks this time is similar to our last in that it is a collection of mystery stories written in tribute to another writer, but while Solar Pons is largely a Sherlockian pastiche that took off on a life of his own, Edogawa Ranpo’s collection of somewhat Poe inspired stories, Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination, is a classic of psychological mystery.

Ranpo, born Hirai Tarō, took his pen name in tribute to Poe (as you say Edogawa Ranpo, note that it is a phonetic play on Edgar Allan Poe) and some of his stories definitely fit into Poe’s elements of gothic sensibilities, psychological underpinnings, and a sense of puzzle and play. Ranpo, though, largely avoids the floridness that was one of Poe’s greatest strengths and weaknesses, making him quite readable while retaining the thrilling energy of old estates and city streets and people who sneak around in the night [how much this is owed to James B. Harris, the translator, is unknown to me but fans of the original language version can feel free to comment below].

Tales of Mystery and the Imagination Cover

Notable stories in Japanese Tales include

  • “The Human Chair”, about a man who hides out in a fancy chair feels – note, this is exactly as it sounds – and listens in [and eventually falls in love] with the people who sit on him;
  • “The Psychological Test”, about a Raskolnikov-wannabe who is overcome partially by his own sense of superiority; and
  • “Two Crippled Men”, about a man who has dealt with a fear of his sleep walking and the horrors he had done, not knowing that other forces might be at play.

Most of these are about the psychology of the crime more than the crime itself. A couple, “Hell of Mirrors” and “The Traveler with the Pasted Rag Picture”, are actually closer to weird fiction more than mystery, but make for some nice spice in the mix.

Our copy is up on the third floor, north side, with the call number, PL826 .D6 J3 1956. It is the sixth printing of the 1956 Tuttle edition. You can see more information on the Goodreads page for Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination. That link has reviews and some edition notes and links to buy a copy if you want.

As a note, his pen name is most often romanized as Ranpo, now, but earlier romanizations (including the one on the cover of the book, though not the book’s record) is Rampo, with an “m”.

Spotted a book in our stacks that you think is worthy of being brought up in a future In the Stacks feature? Just let me know at doug.bolden@uah.edu and I’ll look into it. Questions about this book or any of the others we have, then email me or the reference desk at erefq@uah.edu.