Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving, Parades and Library Databases???

Elliot Erwitt 1988
What does Thanksgiving have to do with library databases? I wanted to find out more about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and wondered if an academic library would have any information about this type of cultural phenomenon...

I first began looking for images of the parade balloons in the ARTstor database and located several beautiful photographs like the one shown above. A Google image search produced hundreds of additional parade images!

My research continued with JSTOR --- it's one of my favorite library databases because it is easy to use and has a wide variety of journal topics and titles. I tried a simple search on "Macy's" AND "Thanksgiving day parade" which resulted in 69 article results:

JSTOR search results

I tried the same search terms in the ProQuest database, which produced over 5,000 possible full text articles!

ProQuest search results

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the library databases could provide so much information on a single topic!  I'd better get busy ---  got lot's of reading to do!

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

All That Jazz in the Armacost Library

Louis Armstrong by samkling

Are you interested in jazz? Did you know that the Armacost Library has an impressive music collection, encompassing many genres, including jazz? Whether you’re new to jazz, or a long-time fan, you’re sure to find many recordings that will enhance your enjoyment of this swinging, emotive, and unique form of musical expression in our library.

For a broad overview of jazz, from the very beginning to the 1970s, the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz is a comprehensive anthology spread out over 5 compact discs. For a more detailed listening experience of the beginnings of jazz, you might consider the recordings of Scott Joplin (The Complete Rags of Scott Joplin) and Jelly Roll Morton (The Jelly Roll Morton Centennial: His Complete Victor Recordings), both innovative composers and pioneers in laying the groundwork for what became jazz.

Louis Armstrong, a towering figure in the history of 20th century music, was known as the ambassador of jazz from its early days in the 1920s to his death in 1971. A trumpeter and singer, he probably did more to popularize and bring worldwide attention to jazz, than any other performer. His early Columbia Record recordings from the 1920s can be found on Louis Armstrong and The Best of Louis Armstrong. His recordings from the 1930s through the 1950s are included on The Complete RCA Victor recordings.

Duke Ellington, another titan in the world of jazz, was a composer, pianist, and band leader of jazz orchestras. One of his most famous ensembles, the Blanton-Webster band (named for the bass player, Jimmy Blanton, and the tenor saxophonist, Ben Webster), was active during the early 1940s and many of their best recordings are included on The Blanton-Webster Band. Ellington was interested in expanding jazz beyond the restrictions of the traditional song, and one of his first ventures into writing longer, thematically related compositions was the collection known as Black, Brown, and Beige. One of his last albums, And His Mother Called Him Bill (1967), was recorded after the death of his frequent collaborator, Billy Strayhorn. It is a fine collection of Strayhorn compositions, including one of my favorites, the hauntingly lovely “Lotus Blossom.”

Billie Holiday, one of the most famous jazz vocalists, recorded during the 1930s to the 1950s. Her early work on Columbia Records can be found on The Quintessential Billie Holiday. Vol. 1 and several other volumes in the series. Her middle period work during the 1940s-50s can be found on the compilation Billie Holiday's greatest hits, and her mid to late 1950s recordings are collected on Billie's best.

Ella Fitzgerald, known as the “First Lady of Song,” was (arguably) the most famous of all jazz vocalists. The Ultimate Ella Fitzgerald is a collection of her recordings from the late 1940s through the early 1960s, Love Songs: Best of the Verve Songbooks, highlights her recordings of the great American songbook during the 1950s and 1960s, and Ella and Basie is a delightful album that Fitzgerald made in 1963 with another jazz great, Count Basie.  A wide-ranging overview of jazz vocalists can be found on the anthology The Jazz Singers: A Smithsonian Collection of Jazz Vocals from 1919-1994.

The saxophone has played a prominent role in jazz; two of the early masters of the instrument, Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young are featured on Classic Tenors, a compilation of songs recorded in 1943. Another highly influential saxophonist, Charlie Parker, can be heard on The Legendary Dial Masters, Bop: Bird’s Best Bop on Verve (“Bird” being Parker’s nickname), and The Essential Charlie Parker. John Coltrane was another important horn player and composer who pushed the boundaries of jazz. He collaborated with many famous musicians at the beginning of his career, notably with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, but his first major album as a leader was Blue Train recorded in 1957. Other notable Coltrane albums are Giant Steps (1959), My Favorite Things (1960), and A Love Supreme (1964).

The musicians that I’ve written about and the recordings that I have mentioned are only a small fraction of the world of jazz that is available at the Armacost Library (look for another post in the coming year, there’s so much more to discuss). If you are interested in further resources, including DVDs and books, consult the library’s catalog or ask a librarian for assistance. If you wish to check-out compact discs or DVDs, simply bring a list with the Call Numbers of the titles to the Circulation Desk; the Student Assistant will retrieve the CDs or DVDs for you.

Catch you on the flip-side!

Susan LaRose
Serials Assistant
Armacost Library

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

No game tonight? Read a book!

Cat Basketball Slam Dunk by Adam Rifkin 

Fall and winter are my favorite seasons of the year because there’s college football and basketball and the NFL and the NBA and the MLB World Series! Yippee!

I not only like to watch sports, I like to read about sports. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis. It discusses the art of sabermetrics to determine what bargain player will best mesh with the rest of your team statistically to win. It made watching the movie so much more fun! Oh, and Brad Pitt is in it!

And how about Glory Road: My Story of the 1966 NCAA Basketball Championship and How One Team Triumphed Against the Odds and Changed America Forever by Don Haskins. This coach decided to play the best players regardless of race. Watch the movie too, you’ll get a history lesson.

Currently, I’m reading Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson, the former Laker coach. He discusses his management style and how to manage guys with big personalities. Guys like Kobe, Shaq, and MJ. Don’t forget big personality Dennis Rodman!

On my read-next list is Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales; also, Leagueof Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth by brothers Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru.

Other books I recommend are Advancing the Ball: Race, Reformation, and the Quest for Equal Coaching Opportunity in the NFL by N. Jeremi Duru. This is a true eye-opener about African-American coaches fighting for equal opportunity within the NFL. You might also be interested in knowing that we have Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger and yes, there was a movie, too. And a TV show.

Short on time? Don’t forget, we carry Sports Illustrated, my personal favorite. You can find the most current issue in the Pop section across from the Help Desk, and the older issues can be located in the periodicals shelving area. Don’t know where this is? Come on in, and ask. We’re all friendly folks aiming to “find every book its reader,” one of Ranganathan’s Five Laws of Library Science.

What sports books and movies have you enjoyed? Gotta go, there’s a game on.

Happy reading!

Rebecca Clayton
Acquisitions/Cataloging Assistant
University of Redlands

Monday, November 11, 2013

Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys: House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East

Armacost Library, Campus Diversity & Inclusion, Redlands Peace Academy, and A.K. Smiley Public Library have received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association to host events to highlight Islam and the cultures, histories, and stories of Muslims in the United States and around the world.

At A.K. Smiley Public Library, we will be hosting the third book discussion of the Let's Talk About It: Muslim Journeys series, focusing on the memoir House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid. The discussion of House of Stone will be on Saturday, November 23, 2013, 2-4 p.m.

All book-based discussions are led by Dr. Patrick Wing, Assistant Professor of History. Copies of all the Muslim Journeys books to be discussed are available for borrowing from Armacost Library and A.K. Smiley Public Library. Due to limited space, pre-registration for the book-based discussions is strongly encouraged, but not required. This can be done through the project website (link provided below, through the Let's Talk About It: Muslim Journeys Book Discussions tab), by contacting Melissa Cardenas-Dow at the Armacost Library, or registering in person at A.K. Smiley Public Library.

We will also be hosting several film screenings on campus. All events are free and open to the public.

For more detailed information and online pre-registration, please visit toe project website:

For inquires, questions, and suggestions, please contact Melissa Cardenas-Dow at or x8089.

Let's Talk About It: Muslim Journeys, a reading and discussion series, has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in cooperation with the American Library Association.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys: Maria Khani, guest speaker

Armacost Library, Campus Diversity & Inclusion, Redlands Peace Academy, and A.K. Smiley Public Library have received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association to host events that highlight Islam and the cultures, histories, and stories of Muslims in the United States and around the world.

Maria Khani, chair of the Women's Committee of the Islamic Institute of Orange County in Anaheim, CA will come to the University of Redlands as a guest speaker. She will talk about the basics of Islamic religious practices and how these are different from cultural practices prevalent among Muslim-majority societies. A facilitated question-and-answer session will follow Maria's presentation. This event will be held on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at Gregory Hall, Room 161, from 4 to 5 p.m.

For more detailed information and online pre-registration, please visit the project website:

For inquiries, questions, and suggestions, please contact Melissa Cardenas-Dow at or x8089.

Let's Talk About It: Muslim Journies, a reading and discussion series, has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in cooperation with the American Library Association.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

What's new in the world of electronic resources?

SCELC Product Review Committee meeting at Armacost Library, June 21, 2012

If you're a student or faculty member at the University of Redlands, you might encounter librarians when you come to the library with a question about your research, see them around campus at an event or committee meeting, or find one of them teaching an instruction session for your class. On campus, each of our librarians focuses on faculty and students in a set of related academic subjects (arts and humanities, education, business, interdisciplinary studies, behavioral and social sciences, natural and physical sciences).

Armacost librarians also have functional roles behind the scenes, overseeing different aspects of library operations. Sometimes this work takes us away from campus. For example, as part of my work as Electronic Resources Librarian, last week I found myself traveling to the Bay Area to attend a committee meeting related to the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC).

SCELC is a nonprofit organization representing 110 member libraries in California, Nevada and Texas. It negotiates advantageous prices and user-friendly license terms for e-books, e-journals and databases purchased by member libraries. Partnering with SCELC increases our negotiating power in the market for scholarly information, allowing us to secure significant discounts off the list price of electronic resources, and stretch library funds to acquire a broader range of information. SCELC also educates its members about the economic and technical challenges facing libraries through email listservs, committees and an annual regional conference.

Last week's meeting of the SCELC Product Review Committee (PRC) began with committee members sharing recent developments at their libraries. Several attendees echoed initiatives that we are currently undertaking at Armacost Library, such as creating a new repository for student research, or defining the role of information literacy and library instruction in a new campus plan for general education. Many libraries are investing heavily in e-books, allowing student and faculty research interests to drive the creation of on-demand electronic collections available 24/7. The concept of "resource sharing" also came up frequently. The landscape of scholarly information has become so vast that even the largest research libraries cannot claim to collect "everything". Each library is increasingly connected to the collections of other libraries through mutual agreements and technical infrastructure. If you've placed an interlibrary loan request or obtained a reciprocal borrowing card to check out books at another library in the area, you've experienced two traditional types of resource sharing agreements among libraries. More recent collaborations seek to speed up the experience of lending books and articles between libraries, or create shared archives of older magazine and journal articles to help preserve the scholarly record.

After we all shared the latest news from our libraries, the next item on the agenda was a discussion with representatives from the New York Times. Publishers and database vendors frequently visit the PRC to discuss their newest offerings and better understand the needs of their customers -- libraries and the students and faculty that use them. Librarians use these discussions to influence publishers' business decisions at an early stage of development, and anticipate future trends that might affect our campuses. The meeting with the New York Times reps delved into the economics and business strategy of the newspaper industry, now that people can get news from Facebook, Google News or blogs as an alternative to subscribing to a print newspaper. There are no easy answers to the question of how newspapers like the Times can sustain their operations. One reason their representatives approached a group of academic librarians is that the Times has recognized that partnering with educators is key to helping raise a generation of new readers interested in substantive discussion of current events.

After lunch, the agenda included discussion of how SCELC could help smaller academic institutions support the open access (OA) movement. While mandates at large research institutions or science grants from agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) come to mind most frequently when many of us think of open access publishing, smaller colleges and universities - including many SCELC members - have faculty, students and affiliated researchers interested in OA publishing as well. One committee member observed that many faculty have had success negotiating open access rights with their publisher on an individual basis.

The agenda concluded with discussion of how librarians can encourage database vendors make their resources accessible to library visitors with disabilities. A few years ago the library conducted an accessibility audit in partnership with the University's Working Group on Disability Issues, and the question of how to promote database accessibility has been on our minds since then. Increasing the number of databases that either support assistive technology like as screen readers, or include built-in text-to-speech functionality is a good start. Database vendors are looking to librarians to articulate their users' needs, so I was glad to see the Product Review Committee take up the conversation.

Given the way the electronic information landscape is changing, professional development is crucial for librarians. My colleagues and I learn a lot by attending conferences and participating on committees like the PRC. Now that I'm back at the library, I look forward to applying what I've learned to my day-to-day work with electronic resources.

Sanjeet Mann
Electronic Resources Librarian
University of Redlands

Friday, November 01, 2013

Student Art Exhibit and Reception

The Armacost Library is pleased to host a combined student art exhibit of Two-Dimensional Designs and Sculptures!

All of the artwork will be on display in the second floor of the library through November 14th.  The staircases to the third floor and the library lobby have been used to showcase a variety of Textural Design Studies: Pen on Bristol Board and Planar Sculptures.

Mark Mesrobian
INVITATION: Everyone is invited to attend a Reception for the Artists on Tuesday, November 5th from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in the Armacost Library lobby.

Sculpture: exhibit installation 10-31-13
Reception for Artists 11-5-13

Professor Renee Azenaro
Fall 2013