Friday, April 25, 2014

Preservation Week

In the world of libraries, we often think about the preservation of materials we hold in our collections. We want to ensure that special and unique materials are handled carefully, stored properly and are available for many years to come.

But how often do you think about preserving your own memories for future generations? From prom tickets and postcards to grandmother’s quilt and handwritten letters to boxes of photographs taken decades ago, all of these items have a special place in our hearts. While we can scan a letter and save a photo online, there’s something precious about holding the “real thing” in our hands.

April 27 thru May 3, 2014 marks National Preservation Week, sponsored by The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (a division of the American Library Association). Preservation Week highlights ways “to connect our communities through events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections.

For more information check out the Preservation Toolkit which includes: Caring for Your Documents and Works of Art on Paper, Caring for Your Photographic Collections, Resources in Other Languages, and Resources for Military Families.

Additionally, these free webinars are available to everyone. No prior preservation experience is needed:
Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 11 am, Low Cost Ways to Preserve Family Archives
Thursday, May 1, 2014, 11 am Preserving Scrapbooks
Previous National Preservation Week webcasts also available include:

Posted for Trisha Aurelio, Technical Services Supervisor at Armacost Library.

Monday, April 21, 2014

2014 Armacost Library Undergraduate Research Award

Photo by Tommi Cahill

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!  
2014 ALURA selection committee and awardees. Bill Kennedy, Lua Gregory, Dr. Scott Randolph, Dr. Scott Stevens; Mounika Parimi, Shana Higgins, Tommi Cahill, Dr. Joanna Bieri, and Michelle Hahn

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 2

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.