Student use of Milne Library: What you told us and what we’re going to do about it

Last fall, Milne Library staff distributed a survey on library tables asking students why and how they used Milne Library spaces. We also asked students for suggestions about how the spaces could be improved. We are grateful to those of you who took the time to fill out the survey and turn it in – your responses will help us plan future improvements to the library.

General thoughts:
We received 456 responses, pretty evenly distributed among the three floors of the library.

Overall, students are hard at work in our library. Students spend their time doing homework, studying, writing and working on projects. Smaller numbers of students are visiting with friends, eating lunch or passing time on the internet (mostly in association with more serious endeavors).

Students choose seats based on their particular studying needs. While many students indicated that they need to concentrate (and selected spaces on the third floor as a result), others needed to be around people or needed space to spread out.  In some cases, students selected space out of necessity – it was the only spot available. Some students suggested that the comfortable seating was great for naps, while others used the comfy chairs for intense reading.

Power:
One of the biggest complaints (in certain areas) was the lack of power outlets. As we renovate new areas, we will endeavor to add power. This isn’t cheep, however, and requires extensive prior planning. Our 50 year old building wasn’t equipped to handle modern power demands, so most additional power outlets require upgrades to our electrical network.

The survey responses provided us with several locations where additional power outlets would be appreciated the most.

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Students also identified areas where outlets or study carrel lights weren’t working, and we are working hard to make the necessary repairs.

Suggestions and changes:
We got some great feedback on the type of tables students like. With a few dissenters, students really don’t like the new Y-shaped tables on the main floor.  A few even tried to explain why:

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We won’t be buying more of those.

Students also recommended filling spaces with a variety of table sizes, in order to avoid problems when one person takes up a table intended for six. We intend to remodel some spaces on the lower level of Milne this summer, and we are taking these suggestions into account when ordering tables.

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In areas where students had access to whiteboards, they expressed how much they like them. As a result, we will be looking for places to add additional whiteboards (as money allows).

There were a few suggestions that we won’t be able to accommodate.  We won’t be adding a fourth floor or getting a new building any time soon (unfortunately). We will not be adding a hot tub, an open bar, a bouncy castle or a taco bell. While turning the library into a TARDIS (bigger on the inside) would help with our not-enough-space issues, our technical staff (while extraordinary) have not quite figured out how to do this. Sorry.

Fotor0212112725

 

Getting the Most From Google Scholar, or, Squirrels are Friends, not Food

Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by Geneseo senior and Milne Library intern Margaret Craft.

I’m sure when you think of Google, you think of fuzzy dogs, craigs list, and the strange questions Google helpfully fills in for you, including

and the deepest most applicable question lingering at our core:

when can you eat squirrel?

which a truly desperate college student on Geneseo’s campus might start to wonder, as the meal plan dwindles and you keep losing staring contests. (Vegans: it’s okay. Keep reading, it gets better, maybe.)

Squirrel

Day after day, eventually you start to wonder what you couldn’t eat those little buggers on. Pizza? Other squirrels?

This might require some research. For all you know, studies at Geneseo may have found a significant portion of squirrels have secret identities and should therefore be protected, not baked.

Superhero squirrel

What you, the savvy Geneseo student, would thus benefit from using is the mind-bogglingly awesome part of Google devoted to this need, sneakily hidden under products. Yes, indeed this grail of searching is none other than GOOGLE SCHOLAR, a versatile research tool that looks for your search terms in articles, patents, and book citations.

On the homepage it tries to be modest and say it only looks for articles, but it will search for books as well. Such results will appear with a [BOOK] designation at the beginning of the citation.

Once you’ve typed a search term in, such as “squirrel,” you’ll be shown a master list of all results.

Google Scholar search results

You may note that the third result on the list concerns movement representations in squirrel monkeys, which, while adorable are not a viable food source on Geneseo’s campus and thus not your concern.

To get rid of squirrel monkey results, you can exclude the word “monkey” in the advanced search. Clicking on the arrow next to the search box pulls up the advanced search functions.

Advanced search

To get rid of squirrel monkey results, you can exclude the word “monkey”:

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You can further narrow results down by using the exact phrase option:

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and now the top result (no superhero squirrel research in sight, sadly) based on my choice to sort by relevancy  is:

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Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 12.31.59 PMBummer. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a not so fun thing where your brain degenerates through infection by proteins called prions. Apparently it is possible to contract the disease through eating the brains of squirrels that are infected with these prions. However, when I look at more recent results by asking Google to only look for results in the last 14 years, I get this article, which is directly available for free through the link for Springer at the right:

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It concludes that it is unlikely that infectious prions will appear in red squirrels. Whew. But maybe we have gray squirrels…

Underneath the citation and excerpt, you can see how many times it has been cited, none in this case, and how many websites have the full text available (All 11 versions). The link for “Related articles” at the far left will show related materials that includes others more recent than this article, these may include other types of squirrels. There is also the option to cite the article directly or save it to “my library,” which is a personalized memory bank that will keep track of citations you’re interested in.

Now the varied danger of eating squirrel brains is corroborated by another article that talks about more than just red squirrels:

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It has been cited by 11 other more recent articles, which could be useful for further research into the topic. Additionally, there is no link to a free version to the right of the citation, meaning none of the 8 versions showed are available for free download. Boo.

You could cry, but wait! There should be, if you are on Geneseo’s wifi network or using an on-campus computer, a “Get It” link to the right of all articles. It may also be listed under “More” under the citation as well. This will take you to the glorious IDS request page, which should get you the article within 48 hours! REJOICE PEOPLE.

And if you are not on-campus, there is an alternative. Click “Settings” on this menu:

Google Scholar settings

What will appear is this:

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Type, as I have, SUNY Geneseo and hit search.  Check the box next to “Milne Library, SUNY Geneseo – Get it”.

Now hit “Save” and you will return to your search.  Now when you look to the right of a citation, you should see the Get It next to it, or More below the citation itself.

Happy searching*!

*Just remember to research before you eat. You never know.

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*Vegans: it’s okay. Keep reading, it gets better.

Scholarship Opportunity For Education and Library Science Students

3Ts scholarship_blogWe are offering scholarships to undergraduate or graduate students to attend the upcoming 3Ts 2014: At the Core of Teaching, Technology and Transliteracy at no cost.

Conference attendees will engage in workshops where presenters highlight their dynamic teaching collaborations and/or model their instructional technique.

Workshops will include meaningful integration of technology and teaching used to support the growing number of literacies students need for learning and succeeding in today’s information-rich academic and professional worlds. It will give students the opportunity to network with educators in the field while attending workshops geared toward authentic uses of technology in the classroom.

To apply for a student scholarship:

Please complete the application form, which includes a brief essay (250-300 words) highlighting why attending the 3Ts conference will benefit your professional development and/or how the scholarship might help alleviate financial hardships.

Deadline for scholarship application is February 10, 2014
The 3Ts scholarship committee will announce awards by February 14, 2014

For further questions, contact:
Justina Elmore
Business & Data Librarian
Milne Library, SUNY Geneseo
Geneseo, NY 14454
(585) 245-5193
[email protected]

Milne Launches Scholarship & Publishing Services Website

Milne Library is pleased to announce the launch of its new Scholarship & Publishing Services website! Stop by to learn more about our recently-released books, such as Bob Dylan’s Career as a Blakean Visionary & Romantic, or journals, like our undergraduate literary magazine Gandy Dancer. You can also explore digital editions of Waldenalso launched today – filled with commentary from the world’s leading Thoreau scholars, such as Geneseo’s own Walter Harding.

Interested in publishing? Our website also includes advice on salient aspects of the publishing process such as identifying highly-ranked journals and publishers, the ins and outs of author contracts, managing data, and tips for broadening your readership.

For more information about our scholarship and publishing services, visit our website or contact your library liaison.

 

Scholarship Publishing Services Blog Promo

Where to find tax forms

Photo credit: flickr user Images_of_Money

Photo credit: flickr user Images_of_Money

It’s tax season again…  Unfortunately, real life isn’t as simple as advancing past “go” and collecting our $200. Instead, we’ll be dusting off our calculators and filling out those forms.

You can find both Federal Tax Forms and New York State Tax Forms online.

Or check out these five great places to get tax forms or file online.

Join Us to Celebrate!

GandyTicketCome celebrate the publication of Gandy Dancer, Volume 2, Issue 1 with a brunch buffet and readings by contributors.  Print copies, cool T-shirts, and mugs will be available for $10-12.

Thursday, December 12th
10 am-noon

Harding Lounge (Welles 111)

Gandy Dancer is the SUNY-wide online literary journal edited by students in English 288/Editing and Production Workshop.  Our new issue includes work from Binghamton, Geneseo, Old Westbury, Oneonta, New Paltz, Potsdam and Stony Brook.

For more information, check us out at gandydancer.org or contact Rachel Hall, faculty advisor at [email protected]

Gandy Dancer Ball

Birth of an Online Literary Journal

 

Milne Hours for Finals

We’ve extended our hours for Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday of next week so that you can keep working, but once finals are over, the Library will be closing by 4:00 PM instead of our usual times.

Happy Studying!

Finals

Study here, study there….

studyMilne is hopping these days, what with finals and the semester’s end looming prior to Winter Break. Hopefully you’re able to find the space you need for studying, but just in case you’re unable, there are some other options for a quiet place to study.

Try the InterFaith Center: 11 Franklin St (just past Lauderdale Health Center). They have quiet Study Space & space for groups to meet. There’s free wi-fi and snacks are available (donation appreciated.) FREE COFFEE, ice water, hot water for tea, cocoa or Ramen noodles. Questions?  Contact [email protected]

Here are their hours:

Tues Dec 10    8pm – 8am
Wed Dec 11     8pm – 8am
Thurs Dec 12    8pm – 8am
interfaith

NO HOURS -  FRIDAY DEC 13
NO HOURS -  SATURDAY DEC 14

Sun Dec 15     5pm – 8am
Mon Dec 16     8pm – 8am
ENDS  – Tues Dec 17 @ 8am

cramjamOf course, there’s also tonight’s first Cram Jam event where the MacVittie College Union is open ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Cram Jam will help you study for finals by having free coffee & food, quite study rooms, & access to computer labs with printers! Looking for a way to relax & get your mind in the game before finals? Cram Jam will have free massages from 10pm-2am, board game rooms, & the Corner Pocket will be open all night long!

8th Edition of Turabian

turabianHold the presses! Students writing papers using Turabian citation style (and the faculty grading such papers) should be aware that there are changes in the conventions recommended by the new edition of the Turabian manual.

The devil is in the details. The 8th edition of A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (commonly knows as Turabian) was published in March 2013. Some of the changes involve how you cite web pages and articles you read online. For instance, the new edition flips the URL of a web page with the access date.

The older editions have you doing it like this:

“Breast Cancer Disparities.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/DataStatistics (accessed December 6, 2013).

But the new 8th edition recommends this:

“Breast Cancer Disparities.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed December 6, 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/DataStatistics.

Small change, but one that could elicit points off if the student doesn’t know the new form (or might cause the professor who doesn’t know the new form to grade incorrectly).

Another change involves the use of DOIs (digital object identifiers) instead of URLs when citing a journal article read online, or a web page. DOI’s are more stable than URLs, and usually shorter. Another 8th edition recommendation: “If no suitably short and direct URL exists, you may substitute the name of the database for the URL.” So if you have a URL or DOI, you do not need the name of the database.

Talk about it with your professor! Keep in mind that there are many professors who deviate from the Turabian manual in the way they want you to cite an article that you read in PDF form. They feel that if you read a journal article as a PDF (either downloaded from the web or via IDS), you can cite it as though you read it in print, since it is an exact copy of what appeared in the journal. There are many optional recommendations in the Turabian manual (for instance, there is a chapter recommending an author-date style of citation reminiscent of the APA and MLA style manuals), so it is really important that students and professors talk about exactly which chapters of the Turabian manual should be followed!

Short cuts don’t always work. Many citation generators or online citation guides still have not updated to the new 8th edition changes, so be wary when using “Cite This!” in a database or citation manager. And don’t forget, you can always stop at the Reference desk to ask a librarian for assistance with your citations.  “A Review of Turabian 8th Edition Changes from Turabian 7th Edition”Turabian Quick Guide 

Scholarly Publishing Across the Disciplines: Interviews with Geneseo Faculty: Faculty value of scholarly collaboration, communications, and output

Scholarly Publishing Across the Disciplines: Interviews with Geneseo Faculty

Part IV: Faculty value of scholarly collaboration, communications, and output

SCPublished.SliderThe fourth part of Milne Library’s ongoing series about Geneseo research and publishing practices is now available (PDF). Faculty value of scholarly collaboration, communications and output documents faculty collaborations in research and publishing; faculty’s publishing motivations and influences; and the scholarly communication and output practices amongst the Geneseo faculty interviewed.

About the series:

The Milne Library Scholarly Communications team and librarian liaisons for the campus academic departments interviewed 87 faculty members in one-on-one conversations during the academic year 2010-11 and part of academic year 2011-12.  The results of these interviews were analyzed and documented in a series of reports which are on schedule for release from September 2013 – February 2014.

The interviews conducted with Geneseo faculty members were intended to be a survey of the current research and publishing practices on campus, giving us a glimpse of the issues affecting Geneseo faculty, including the changing scholarly publishing environment, digital and online scholarship, peer review, publishing with undergraduate researchers and open access.

The first three reports in the series document the issues and responses surrounding faculty and undergraduate students involved in research and publishing; the quickly changing environment surrounding digital scholarship and its value on campus and in the disciplines; and faculty participation in open access endeavors such as publishing in open access journals and self archiving of work. In particular, we look at ways in which the library may be able to meet the needs of new initiatives on campus.

To read the reports, please visit the Milne Library Scholarly Communication’s webpage at http://libguides.geneseo.edu/AcrosstheDisciplines

We welcome your feedback about the reports.  Send any comments or questions to Kate Pitcher at [email protected] or by phone at 585-245-5064.