Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Don't Panic!! Logue Library Gets a New Search Interface for PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES and PsycBOOKS

The American Psychological Association (APA) has launched a new search interface called PsycNET*, for use with their databases PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES and PsycBOOKS.

Logue Library has subscribed to the APA databases for years, using the search interface provided by OCLC called FirstSearch. After giving PsycNET a test drive, we feel that the APA's search tool is the better of the two. We've made the decision to switch to PsycNET.

Very soon, you will no longer see the psychology databases in FirstSearch, but don't panic! They aren't gone. They've just moved to PsycNET. If you need help using this new search tool, please come see one of us at the library and we'll give you a tour.
We'll post more information in future blog posts about PsycNET.
*Logue Library's database subscriptions require a student username & password or a library barcode number to access from off campus.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Library Cats Need New Home!

This just in:

Two gray kittens, green-eyed "Melville" and blue-eyed "Dewey" were found outside of Lourdes Library on the campus of Gwynedd Mercy College. Librarian Lianne Hartman rescued them from the extreme heat over the weekend and now they are awaiting new homes.

"One is very cuddly, the other curious," said Hartman of the two little guys.

Cat lovers . . . contact Lianne Hartman at the GMC library at 215.646.7300 ext 484.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Beware the Bogus Student Loan Offer!

An interesting notice landed in my RSS reader late last week from the US Department of Education. There is a publication available called Student Loans: Avoiding Deceptive Offers that is designed to inform students and their families about deceptive practices from private companies.

Among other things, the brochure "offers tips and advice on recognizing questionable practices," including a comparison of logos and images that some companies use that are very close to the federal loan program's seals, and the use of variable vs. fixed interest rates.

It's free and downloadable here:

The release also states that the Department of Education has been working with the Federal Trade Commission for 10 years to educate the public on the issue of scholarship scams. A quick search of the website found this page titled Looking for Student Aid... Without Getting Scammed. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Summer Daze

Ah, the relaxing vision of Summer in the library.... The traditional undergraduate classes are away on vacation. We can kick back and take a breath and enjoy the calm, right?

But wait! It's anything but sleepy around here! We have young summer campers coming and going, the graduate and continuing education schools are in full swing, and our group of incoming first year "Summer Success" students have arrived and are doing research. In addition to that, the college is host to a couple of conferences. When you stop in to do research, you may be surprised to see that the joint is jumping!

Amidst all of the activity, it's a time to get so many projects and plans finalized and ready for the full-scale return in August. We really are working on a number of new things that you can look forward to seeing very soon!

  • The web pages are having a make over. They'll have a whole new look and be more user friendly and intuitive.
  • We've subscribed to RefWorks, a research organization tool that, among other things, automatically imports and manages references needed for bibliographies. (Log-in information will be available soon!)
  • We have three new EBSCO databases... the Three Ns: The Nation, National Review, and New Republic. These three archives include every issue of these magazines since their inception, and because of the individual political slants of each magazine, the full political spectrum is represented in a single search!
  • Many new books arrive every day... check out our list of recent acquisitions.

Of course we always have time for your research questions. Use Meebo to the left, the telephone in your pocket, or stop in and we'll help you in person. Our summer hours are posted.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Spelling & Grammar Checker Blues

I'm a terrible speller. If you've ever attended one of my classes in the library, you've already heard me admit that "I'm the librarian who can't spell." So it's probably no surprise that I think word processing (and blogging) spell checkers are the best invention since the bread-slicer.

California playwright and college English & creative writing instructor Christopher Meeks writes an online column called Write Away, which is rich in great suggestions on how to be a better writer.

Check out this installment called "More Better Writing." In it, Meeks emphasises the importance of correct spelling and grammar use and says, "Not spelling well gives the mistaken notion that you are either dumb or don't care."

Spell checker is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't catch everything. Why? Because in English there are several ways to spell many similar-sounding words. Professor Meeks uses this poem by "Source Unknown" to illustrate his point:

Spell Checker Blues

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rarely ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect in it's weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

I am happy to say that I found that poem funny; I'm not *that* bad of a speller! But it does drive home the importance of not blindly accepting the spell checker's suggestions and re-reading the paper after performing a spell check to be sure something didn't slip past you.

Christopher Meeks' column also points out problems to watch out for with grammar checkers. It's a great heads-up for any writer. Check it out, and note his other columns on the menu to the right of the article.

Happy writing!