Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Enjoy the Library Butterfly Garden in Bloom!

Members of the Baron-Forness Library Butterfly Garden Committee have been tending to our garden in front of the library. The garden contains shrubs, perennials and annuals that are attractive to butterflies either for their nectar or as food for larva. Plants are donated by our gardeners. Butterflies are beautiful pollinators that are losing habitat with the American emphasis on grass lawns. Anyone interested in creating a Butterfly garden should check out resources on the topic available at the Baron-Forness Library or Erie County Library, or talk to one of our committee members the next time you see us in the garden!

Monday, August 11, 2014

New ebooks and streaming videos added to library catalog

The Baron-Forness Library has greatly expanded its selection of online books and videos. Edinboro University students, faculty and staff can now choose from almost 25,000 ebook titles and 15,000 streaming video files. All titles can be found in the library's catalog and through Discovery Search.

K-12 Textbooks Refreshed and Reclassified

Over the summer the Baron-Forness Library faculty and staff added many new titles to the library's K-12 textbook collection for Education majors. In addition, the entire collection was switched to the Library of Congress classification system, the same one used for the rest of the books. They are still shelved in the library's curriculum materials room. So, for example, if you are looking for mathematics textbooks for your student teaching, you can now find them with the call number beginning with QA, just like the college-level math books.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Some new Web tools you might find useful for research

New & old tools on the Web for better searching
Finding good sources on the Web while conducting research is always difficult; often it seems that any web search will yield millions of hits, and it's difficult to sometimes determine what's useful and what's useless.

Some new & interesting tools can simplify that quest; some others have been around but perhaps you have not searched them of late  Here are some recent finds that you might find useful.


We live in a world of "big data," have you heard?  

From the Sciences to the Social Sciences to the Humanities, both government and private and public organizations produce some kind of 'data' that we think will be valuable for our research needs. But the question has always been where to find it?  Most people will still say "google it" which has become a verb now. 

Enter Zanran.  This search tool searches data sources; it often has data in excel or other kinds of spreadsheets.  It retrieves both government and other sources of information.  It also offers a preview of the data source by hovering your mouse pointer over the image on the left column. Zanran isn't Google or anyone else; at least so far. 

First time users will have to register an email address to download the data.  Zanran claims it will not give out your address, nor does it use it to send you anything.  So why do they want it?  Maybe they are collecting data too!  Give Zanran any address you wish.  After that, you'll be able to download the results you find.


Everyone knows that Google retrieves millions of results.  Do you ever go past a few pages before giving up?  Millionshort promises you it will remove up to the first million of results of a Google search.  Does that mean you will behold websites you have never encountered?  Keep in mind that when Google searches, thousands if not more retrievals are from the same site, just different pages.  Try the two next to each other and compare results.  It all depends on what you are looking for, of course, but millionshort is worth trying.

DOI Resolver

The Social Sciences know that the APA style for citation is pushing the use of a DOI as a replacement to listing a database source; DOI (digital object identifier) is gaining ground in the publishing industry.  Popular databases may display a doi in a reference, but not always.  There are still problems with uniqueness, but doi's are making headways into the citation rules.  If you are a Chrome user, you can download a "doi resolver" right on your toolbar.  Copy and paste a a doi you find, and the resolver contacts crossref.org to deliver a citation.  It's too bad that it is not delivered in proper format for APA, but then the world is not yet ready for that.  Are you a Firefox user?  There's a doi extension there that is available to you by simply right-clicking the web page you are on.  Search for it in your extensions under 'tools' and you'll be on your way.

Archive Grid

There's a place.... where to find an archive that might hold collections, papers, historical, scientific, etc. of all kinds of topics.  Archive Grid, part of the Online Computer Libraries, or OCLC, has made Archive grid free for searching.  Use it to identify a collection that you might want to visit later; unless the library has virtual access to materials, you will likely find Archive Grid helpful for simply identifying a collection which you will have to contact or visit later.

Re-Fresh Yourself! Refresh your browser if Chat is not available

Got a question?  You're working on a computer and you need help.

Look on the library's homepage in the upper right; does it say "Sorry chat is offline"??

Re-fresh yourself!  

Refresh your browser; we may be changing who's monitoring the chat service.  If we are on, a refresh will reload the page and the chat service will be live again.

It's quick, as quick as we can be.  Just start typing
your question; you don't have to put a name in.  We monitor the chat during regular academic hours in the fall
spring and summer.  We will respond as quickly as we can; sometimes we're busy and
sometimes we are switching who's monitoring the service.

Re-fresh Yourself!  

We monitor chat from 8AM to 7PM Monday thru Friday, Saturday 9-4:30PM, 
and Sunday 1:30-9PM during fall & spring terms.