Monday, April 21, 2014

2014 Armacost Library Undergraduate Research Award

The Sixth Annual Armacost Library Undergraduate Research Award Reception was held on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 in the Library.  This year's award was split between two recipients. We celebrated the student scholarship of Michelle Hahn, a History major completing her junior year and Mounika Parimi, a double major in Biology and Music, graduating this year. 

Michelle Hahn with faculty advisor Dr. John Glover (History)

Michelle Hahn received the award for her essay, "The Usage and Remembrance of History: Pseudohistory and its Damaging Effects in Apartheid South Africa."  Her essay demonstrated a clear convergence of evidence and argument, and addressed significant historical questions.  Michelle's research strategy essay traced a particular research interest by making connections between several courses, from multiple disciplines.  Additionally her research strategy essay indicated a strong understanding of historiography, and of mining the secondary literature for references to primary sources.  Well done!  

Mounika Parimi with faculty advisor Dr. Katherine Baber

Mounika Parimi received the award for her essay, "Musical Mixes of 'Classical India and the West: Exploring Novel Styles."  In her research strategy essay, Mounika describes research as an "opportunity to learn" and as an iterative process of developing a focus, finding and winnowing source material, managing disappointment, and seeking help.  Mounika collected and made use of a rich variety of primary and secondary sources in her wide-ranging project. Bravo!  

The 2014 ALURA selection committee: from left, Bill Kennedy (Library), Lua Gregory (Library), Dr. Scott Randolph (Business), Dr. Joanna Bieri (Mathematics), Tommi Cahill (Art), and Dr. Scott Stevens (Director, Writing Program).

Many thanks are due to all the people that made this year's ALURA possible: the students who submitted their work; the selection committee; Director of Armacost Library, Gabriela Sonntag; amazing faculty across the curriculum encouraging their students to independent thought and exploration; and our talented Armacost Library faculty and staff.

Learn more about the Armacost Library Undergraduate Research Award.  

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Using mobile devices for library research, part 2a

With finals and the end of the spring semester in sight, now is a good time to consider how you can get the most out of your research time at Armacost Library. In the first part of my blog post on how you could use mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets in your research process, I offered some general tips about finding sources, managing sources and citations, and developing your thinking. In subsequent posts, I will be sharing more specific advice about four tools particularly helpful for mobile research:

  • Mobile-friendly library databases based on responsive design principles
  • Evernote for developing research projects
  • Zotero or Mendeley for managing citations

So let's get started by looking at mobile-friendly databases!

Finding articles in an Ebsco database

Most of Armacost Library's article databases are now mobile friendly by default. You don't need to download a special app to use them; just click the link from our Article Databases web page!

In the early days of mobile computing, software developers argued whether it was better to create a new app for each mobile device, or design one website that would look good and work well regardless of which device was used to display it. The latter strategy is winning out, thanks to the development of responsive web design principles. [1]

For example, here is a sample search conducted in one of Armacost Library's databases. The interface changes its appearance depending on whether you are viewing it on a phone or a tablet. You can revise your search results and download PDF files to your device just as if you were using a desktop computer.

Listening to music in the Naxos Music Library

As a pianist, composer and general classical music fan, the Naxos Music Library is one of my favorite library databases. I've been a longtime user of their free app (see the iPhone and Android versions). The iPhone app is a little awkward to use on a tablet, but all the functionality is there.

This year, Naxos upgraded its player to use responsive design principles. Simply follow the link from the Armacost Library website, search the Naxos catalog of over 95,000 classical and jazz CDs, and you will be able to listen to the streaming audio over your phone or tablet. Up to 15 students can listen to recordings simultaneously.

In the next post in this series on mobile devices and library research, I'll share how you can use Evernote to help you organize your thoughts during longer-term research projects. Until then,

Sanjeet Mann
Electronic Resources Librarian
University of Redlands


1. Many authors have offered basic definitions of responsive web design. For example, see web developer John Polacek's visual introduction to responsive design, or library consultant Aaron Schmidt's article introducing the concept to a general librarian audience.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Student Sculpture Exhibit - Plaster and Rope

This Spring, the Introduction to Sculpture class has prepared two different types of artwork, one using rope and one using plaster.

An exhibit of the students' work is on display in the Armacost Library through April 16th.  A Reception for the Artists, open to all, will be held on April 2, 2014 from 10:00-10:45 a.m. in the second floor library lobby.

Repetition, Rhythm, & Rope

Students, working with partners, worked together to create a sculpture that uses the principles of repetition and rhythm as a focus. Additionally, the use of rope as their main material created special problems, which needed to be solved according to the ideas and developed forms.  Each group encountered problems that were structural and aesthetic, coming to solutions and decisions along the way. The resulting pieces reflect patience, innovation, perseverance, problem solving and excellent craftsmanship.

Rope Sculpture by: Carrie Jo Caffrey and Daniel De la Torre

Planar Sculpture Artwork

Students cast and carved plaster sculptures with several goals in mind; to learn to cast plaster keeping the integrity of the material so as to be able to carve a blank form and create a single sculpture of well developed planes, to make a piece considering the relationship of forms as they develop around the sculpture, and to work towards excellent craftsmanship. This is the first piece of the semester and represents students that are both non-art majors and art majors in an Art Studio Foundation Class.

ART 145 Introduction to Sculpture
Professor Renée Azenaro
Spring 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Libraries Going Green

There are many ways nowadays that libraries are improving upon their sustainability methods, from reducing unnecessary waste to bringing indoor plants into the picture to improve indoor air quality. In the Armacost Library we have been making an effort toward a more green environment. Taking a look at other academic libraries has been a helpful way of doing so. Here are some of the ways other libraries have been making an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and improve other aspects of their library with environmentally friendly features.

photograph by Nicole Loughan, 2013

Natural Light:  Skylights and a larger amount of windows have been common additions to new libraries being built. This helps to conserve both energy and money as the lights have to be turned on less often. Recent studies have also shown that students feel less tension and anxiety when spending long periods of time next to windows and with natural light as opposed to solid walls and indoor lighting.

photograph by Alice Dubin, 2013

Indoor Plants:  Plants are being used indoors more and more commonly to reduce carbon dioxide and other common harmful compounds in closed buildings. Plants indoors can also help people inside to feel less stressed and more productive.

Reducing the Use of Unneeded Resources:
  • Printing is often a necessity in academic libraries. Many schools, including our own, have made efforts to reduce the amount of paper we use by turning in papers electronically or assigning homework online.
  • Energy efficient lighting and motion sensors for both lighting fixtures and water faucets have been popular installations to conserve common resources.
  • Many academic libraries have cafes for students. One way that has been very successful for reducing the use of plastic cups around schools is asking them to bring their own reusable mugs.

For more information, please visit these resources:

- posted by Sara Frank

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nutritionist and Author Marion Nestle Visits Redlands

Book CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook Cover

On Wednesday, March 19th, the University of Redlands will host an evening with special guest speaker Marion Nestle, which will take place at 7:00 P.M. in the Orton Center. Marion Nestle is the Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and is Professor of Sociology at New York University. Throughout her career, Marion has published several articles in a variety of professional publications, and has authored and/or co-authored nearly a dozen books that primarily address issues concerning nutrition, health and food politics.

Marion Nestle's research examines scientific and socioeconomic influences on food choice, obesity and food safety while emphasizing the role of food marketing. The lecture that Marion Nestle will be giving on Wednesday evening will no doubt incorporate her research findings, and the best way to become acquainted with her research is to read some of the work that she has published over the past years. The Armacost Library, which is located on the University of Redlands campus, carries several of Marion Nestle’s books, including her most recent work, titled Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics.

Posted for Travis Upshaw, Night Supervisor at Armacost Library

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Women's History Month 2014

It wasn't until the 1970s that women's contributions to history and culture in the U.S. began to be celebrated and recognized.  In 1981, a congressional resolution officially established a “National Women’s History Week,” and in 1987 the National Women's History Project lobbied for expanding the celebration to the entire month of March.

The theme for 2014 is "Women of Courage, Character, and Commitment." The theme "honors the extraordinary and often unrecognized determination and tenacity of women. Against social convention and often legal restraints, women have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibility for generations to come. They have demonstrated their character, courage and commitment as mothers, educators, institution builders, business, labor, political and community leaders, relief workers, women religious, and CEOs. Their lives and their work inspire girls and women to achieve their full potential and encourage boys and men to respect the diversity and depth of women’s experience."   

The 2014 honorees include:

Chipeta (1843 – 1924) 
Indian Rights Advocate and Diplomat

Anna Julia Cooper (1858 – 1964)
African American Educator and Author

Agatha Tiegel Hanson, (1873 – 1959)
Educator,  Author, and Advocate for Deaf Community

Katharine Ryan Gibbs (1863 – 1934)
Women’s Employment Pioneer

Frances Oldham Kelsey (1914 – Present)
Pharmacologist and Public Health Activist  

Roxcy Bolton  (1926 – Present)
20th Century Women’s Rights Pioneer

Arden Eversmeyer (1931 – Present)
The Old Lesbian Herstory Project, Founder

Carmen Delgado Votaw (1935 – Present)
International Women’s Rights Activist

Ann Lewis (1937 – Present)
Women’s Rights Organizer and Women’s History Advocate
Jaida Im (1961 – Present)
Advocate for Survivors of Human Trafficking
Tammy Duckworth (1968 – Present)
Member of Congress and Iraq War Veteran
Lisa Taylor (1974 – Present)
Civil Rights Attorney
Explore this year's honorees, the issues for which they advocated, and other courageous and committed women in the Armacost Library.  Just a few of the books and DVDs available listed below.  Ask us what else is available @ mylibrarian

Anna Julia Cooper, Visionary Black Feminist: A Critical Introduction 
Feminist, Queer, Crip
Negotiators of Change: Historical Perspectives on Native American Women
Trafficking Women's Human Rights


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Using mobile devices for library research

Armacost Library's mobile website
Armacost Library's mobile website

At Armacost Library, we've been working hard to make our virtual library more inviting to you if you use a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. If you've used Armacost Library's mobile site recently, you probably already know you can use it to find out when the library is open or quickly look up a call number or course reserve reading in the library catalog. But did you know that you can use mobile devices in various ways throughout the entire research process? Based on my work as a librarian and experience using a tablet as my primary non-work computer, here are some ideas for how you could take advantage of a mobile device while working on an assignment involving a research paper or presentation:
  • When you are picking out your topic, try finding background information by looking up books, encyclopedias and other trustworthy sources in the library catalog. If you find something useful, click the Save icon in the catalog record to add it to a list, which you can email to yourself for the next time you're visiting the library. 
  • Use outlining or mind mapping apps to organize your thoughts into an outline or cluster. This can help you develop your topic into a focused research question, and figure out where you need additional sources to add evidence and strengthen your argument.
  • As you're reading a source, you can use popular note taking programs like Evernote to take notes and organize your thoughts on your research project. You can add PDF articles found from a library database, maintain a running list of subject terms, scan handwritten notes, or perhaps take a photo of a whiteboard during a brainstorming session for a group project. Evernote offers more suggestions for college students on their blog.
  • You may prefer to type your paper at a desktop or laptop computer with a full sized keyboard and mouse. Some word processing apps allow document syncing so you can write parts of your document on your mobile device at a convenient place, then pick up where you left off when you return to your traditional computer.
  • As you continue to find sources, it's important to keep them organized so you can easily cite them and create your bibliography. Zotero, Endnote, Mendeley and Refworks are well known tools for managing citations that you may already use. With these programs, you can automatically gather citations from a library catalog, article database or Google Scholar and export them to a bibliography (though you still must proofread the results using an official style guide). Depending on the citation management program that you choose, you may be able to interact with your citation library on a mobile device by logging into a website, or via an app natively written for your device's operating system.
Hopefully you will find some of these tips helpful. In a follow up post, I'll share more tips for using specific apps and Armacost Library databases on a mobile device.

In the meantime, I have a question for you. Do you use your mobile device for research? Why or why not? Share your comments below!

Sanjeet Mann
Electronic Resources Librarian, Armacost Library