Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's National Library Week-- Do you know where your librarian is?

Since 1958, the nation has designated a week in April as National Library Week. Since we're in the midst of it now, I thought I'd talk about one relatively new aspect of the UMass Libraries-- the Peripatetic Librarian.

As more library resources become available electronically, some people think they don't need librarians to get the information they need. Of course, that's not true. Nevertheless, some people avoid coming to the library for help. Librarians being who they are, then, ride out to the rescue.

At UMass, I'm aware of four outside-the-library places where you might find us waiting for your questions, or maybe just reminding you by our presence that you have a question.
  • Mike Davis, Library Liaison to the Isenberg School of Management, holds office hours there in Room 212 every Tuesday from 10:30am to 12:30pm.
  • Barbara Morgan, Liaison to Legal Studies, Political Science, STPEc, and Steve McGinty, Liaison to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, as well as Sociology, SDPPS, TEC, Economics, Educational Policy, and Research & Administration (whew!) can be found just outside the Thompson Cafe each Wednesday and Thursday from 11:30am to 12:30pm.
  • Maxine Schmidt (that'd be me), Liaison to Biology, Environmental Sciences, Geosciences, and Resource Economics-- in the Blue Wall every Wednesday from 10am to noon.
  • Madeleine Charney, Liaison to the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and Landscape Architecture, is currently on maternity leave, but normally holds hours in Hills.
So stop by one of these outposts and say hi sometime, and look for more of us in more places outside the library. Of course, you're always welcome in the Good Ole Library too!

Friday, April 11, 2008

New Subject Guides

The UMass Library subject guides are getting a makeover! We are using an application called LibGuides that gives us a lot more flexibility with content and style. We can include rss feeds from blogs and news sources, embed videos and even a chat widget, so you can "chat" with us live when we're online. You can also comment on the guides and their contents. The guides we have up so far look really good, and we'd love your feedback. Check them out at
There are four ISEL-related ones at present. You can also find some at the appropriate pages on the new Research Database Locator

New Journal Ranking Source

BioMed Central's blog has a piece on "SCImago – a new source of journal metrics offering a wealth of free data on open access journals." The importance of a specific journal is of interest to anyone publishing their research - obviously, one would prefer to publish in a journal with the greatest impact. Thomson Scientific, as the first to create this metric using Citation Indexing with their Journal Citation Ranking (JCR), has long had the dominant role, but many have criticized their methodology, and been frustrated by their slowness to include new journals. Also, this service is costly.

A few companies have challenged Thomson Scientific's monopoly (Scopus and Google Scholar, for example) and now SCImago has joined the fray. It uses data from Scopus, and gives weights to the citations based on their sources - a citation from a lesser-read journal will have lower impact on the rating than one from Nature or Science.

Thanks, to Jim Craig for bringing this to our attention.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Two-sided printing available at ISEL

In response to numerous requests from our patrons, printing on both sides of the sheet is available from public workstations.

Two points:

Send the print job through as a two-sided print request - you cannot choose it after sending it the printer. This means you shouldn't just click on the printing icons that send the print job directly to the printer without bringing up a dialog box. In the printing dialog box, select Properties; this usually brings up Printing Shortcuts, where you can chose Two-Sided Printing.

The cost is the same as whether you use one or two sheets of paper to print two sides. The only benefit to you is that it uses less paper.

Any questions, please ask the library staff.

Wireless access vastly improved at ISEL

Recently, new nodes for wireless network access were installed and activated by OIT. We now have much better signal strength on all four floors, though perhaps the best signal is on the first, second, and third floors. There are no actual nodes in the basement, but you can get signal there from the 1st floor nodes.

Come and check it out!