Archive for the Library Category
Posted by: ecampus in Library
Now, we don’t want to alarm you, but it’s the fourth week of spring quarter. There’s a very good chance you might be working on some sort of paper. Whether it’s an extensive research paper or not, chances are you’re going to need to do some outside studying to do the best you can. Enter the library.
Not literally. Of course, your local public library is worth a visit every now and then, just to keep it going. But what we’re talking about is the SCAD library and its many resources for students. In fact, if there were a word for how many resources are available to you as a student, it’d be “resourcetastic.” Unfortunately, there’s no such word, so we’ll all have to make do with the phrase “lots and lots of resources.”
We’ve talked a little bit before about some specific databases SCAD libraries offer to students. Specifically, we looked at the big three: JSTOR, LexisNexis Academic and ARTstor. If those names aren’t familiar to you, or you don’t know how to navigate to them, feel free to check out the relevant post at this link.
But the library is so much more than just the databases. It’s people too, real people you can talk to and get help from at virtually any time. Well, maybe not at 11:59 p.m. EST just before the paper is due, but that’s exactly why they’re there at every other time.
And how do you get in contact with a real person? Simple, all you have to do is visit the main SCAD library page and look for Ask A Librarian in the menu bar. You can choose from a variety of different options including IM Chat, email, phone and in-person (if you’re into that sort of thing).
Note that reference librarians aren’t there to help you with your paper’s format/grammar. They’re there to help find sources that work for you. You’re free to come to them with either a general topic or a specific item in mind. Thanks to some strange and mysterious force we can only assume is magic, they’ll be able to find the source that suits your need.
But maybe you already have subject in mind, and maybe even a book, but you just can’t make it to the library? Then prepare to be amazed, because you may just be able to have that book on your doorstep. It’s called Ship-to-Home, and for the eLearning student, it’s one of the most valuable resources SCAD offers.
It goes like this: certain SCAD materials can be shipped or copied and sent to eLearners who are not near any SCAD campus. The key here is to request everything in a timely manner, because the library can’t ship overnight or rush. So yes, while it may be too late for those pesky midterm essays, you can still take advantage of this for finals.
To request Ship-to-Home materials, find the necessary information and forms under Library Services -> eLearning located on the SCAD library page.
The last major resource we’ll go over in this post is the SCAD Digital Image Database. Otherwise known as the art history student’s dream come true. As the name implies, the DID is a large, searchable online database that holds images of works of art available for all SCAD students. And it’s not just your standard visual art. Everything from performing arts and video is represented.
Every artwork you find on the DID comes with the necessary information to help cite it in a paper. With over 100,000 images and growing, there’s more than a good chance that what you’re finding will be on there. And isn’t it better to have all the right information as soon as you find the image instead of wading through Google Image search or taking a chance with Wikipedia?
To access the DID from the main library page, you should go to Library Services -> Visual Resources Center -> SCAD Digital Image Database.
The problem with writing about the SCAD libraries is that there really are too many things to write about. You could spend hours just navigating all the different databases at your disposal. That’s why communication is key.
Take advantage of the Ask a Librarian feature, or keep track of new library developments through the SCAD Libraries new Facebook page. You, your paper, and your professor, will be glad you did.
So you’re working on a project for class, and you need to do research. Luckily, SCAD’s library website offers links to some of the most thorough online databases. This post will go through some of the most popular databases available.
To find the following databases you’ll have to navigate to SCAD’s library homepage. To do so you can either log on to MySCAD and click the Library tab, or go directly to the library website. Both options will lead to the same page, so this step is more of a matter of convenience and ease.
Once you’re on the library’s homepage, you’ll see a row of drop-down menus. The left-most option, titled “Library Services” has a link called “eLearning.” Clicking that link will take you to a page detailing all the different services offered through SCAD’s library system. For now, focus on the section titled “Online Information Sources.” Click on the hyperlinked “Databases” and it will take you to this page. There you can search for databases based on subject, title, and source type (video, image, journal etc.).
If you’re confused by the amount of databases available, here’s a couple that have proven to be reliable and trustworthy.
JSTOR: Arguably the most used journal database, JSTOR features articles from scholarly journals spanning a broad area of subjects. From Finance to Paleontology, there’s something for everyone here. JSTOR’s homepage is simple to use. You can either browse journals by subject, or you can input a specific search term. The results will include all journals that use the term you searched.
Like all databases featured in this post, JSTOR has an advanced search option. It allows you to narrow down your search by language, item type (article, review etc.) and subject. This is probably the better option for those of you that have a clear idea of what you’re looking for.
A word of warning: JSTOR does not, unfortunately, have the most recent journal volumes online. Generally, volumes from two to five years ago are not available.
LexisNexis Academic: Besides boasting a name that would make Lex Luthor proud, LexisNexis is also the go-to database for newspaper articles, legal news and documents and company financial information. In contrast to JSTOR, LexisNexis’s homepage is slightly more cluttered. The upside is that search options have already been divided, meaning you can search for something specific as soon as you enter the site. The amount of searchable material is also very large, including most major newspaper publications (from the 1980s to today) and information from 43 million companies.
ARTstor: Of course, there’s no way to ignore a database for images. This is SCAD after all. ARTstor contains over one million images encompassing nearly the entirety of art history. It’s a pretty broad area to search without a specific term in mind. Much like JSTOR, ARTstor features a simple search option on its homepage and an option to browse artwork by broad categories like area and classification. Additonally, the database offers an advanced search option that allows you to search artworks by geographical place of origin, time period and more specific classification (painting, film sculpture, etc.). There’s no need to worry about using the actual images as sources in your paper. As long as it’s for educational purposes, you’ll be allowed to print or download images from the site.
This is just a small sample of the databases available to you. Though they’re the most popular, they’re by no means the only ones. In order to make your project the best it can be, you’ll have to decide which database bets fits with what you’re going for.
On Friday SCAD’s Learning Resource Hive will present the Materials, Tools, Techniques, and Terminologies workshop. The workshop is comprised of a series of sequenced art-making activities where participants work with a variety of art materials, use different artist tools, apply basic art making techniques, and apply terminology addressed in Foundation level Drawing I and II, Design I and II, and foundation-level Color Theory courses. The drawings and paintings produced in the workshop activities can serve as a learning tool to facilitate understanding of basic drawing and painting assignments issued at the foundation level.
The workshop will be held tomorrow, Friday, February 4, at 10 a.m. EST. For log-in information, go to MySCAD > Resources > eLearning > Events and look for the Materials, Tools, Techniques, and Terminologies workshop.
Next week three online workshops will be held for anyone in the SCAD community who would like to attend.
On Friday January 14 the first winter quarter 2011 Creativity Coaching session will be held. Being an artist also means finding ways to improve your creative process and occasionally experiencing creative blocks. A creativity coach is on board to explore creative possibilities and identify ways to overcome a creative block. Groups are small and attendees must R.S.V.P.
Sunday, January 16, has a workshop that offers guidance about general library use. This workshops gives a brief overview of what a library has, what it can do for you and make you feel more comfortable using it.
SCAD students, faculty, staff and community members who want to quit smoking receive the help and support needed to quit in just four weeks. The program is a four-part series, and participants need to plan on attending all sessions, beginning Friday January 14.
For more dates, online workshops available winter quarter and information about how to attend, go to MySCAD > Resources > eLearning > Events.
The Learning Resource Hive is a tutor resource offered through SCAD where students may book tutoring appointments. It is common for students to book appointments at the beginning of the quarter in advance for finals. You can reserve a spot early in the quarter for trouble spots you anticipate throughout the quarter, or get started with an appointment in your most difficult subject.
Peer tutors are available in many different subjects. To book an appointment, go to the student workspace tab, scroll down to Learning Resource Network and click on the Peer Tutor Connection.
When winter quarter begins and your first research project is due, remember you can instant message to ask a question to SCAD’s reference librarians. Instant message is convenient when you are already at your computer and have a quick question, which is why SCAD Libraries is offering the service.
To contact a reference librarian through IM, go to http://library.scad.edu, log in, then click on “Ask a Librarian.” In the second row you will see the IM service. Now, good luck with your research paper!
Have you ever wondered how to navigate Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, Dreamweaver, or start a blog or apply plugins in WordPress? Lynda.com is a tutorial service that SCAD provides for its students, staff and faculty to help with questions and discoveries regarding software and software-related topics. Lynda.com provides tutorials discussing specific versions of software so you won’t have to guess about your updated – or outdated – version of software.
If you go to the Lynda.com homepage you will find the most recent video posts. For example, currently the most recent posts include Photoshop Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques, Acrobat X Essential Training, Windows Live Movie Maker Essential Training and more.
To access Lynda.com, go to MySCAD > Workspace tab > Look for Lynda.com in the My IM&T section.
SCAD libraries are happy to introduce Safari ebooks, a collection of more than 5,500 online books. This collection includes many current software manuals used in the following majors: photography, animation, visual effects, sound design, architecture, motion media, and interactive design and game design. Also included are manuals for Microsoft Office products, Adobe Creative Suite, Autodesk, Corel, Apple hardware and software, Android, web programming and design and more. To access this collection of ebooks, visit the library Web site at http://library.scad.edu and click the Databases tab. Then click “Databases by Title” and scroll down until you see “Safari Books Online.”
New online workshops and events for Fall quarter are posted on the eLearning site in MySCAD. Online workshops are a great way to take advantage of SCAD college services while studying from home.
Here’s a brief summary of what’s available this quarter:
From SCAD Libraries
Research Survival 101, October 10 and 11
Advanced Research Survival – Library Resources Beyond the Basics, October 10 and 12.
From Counseling and Student Support Services
Creativity Coaching, October 1, 15, 29 and November 12
The Art of Living Well, Fridays starting October 1
The Breakfast/Dinner Club, Fridays starting September 24
Tobacco Cessation, Fridays starting October 1 (Participants must commit to four sessions.)
From Career Services, department of eLearning and Alumni
Networking the Hidden Job Market, October 18, 26, and November 2
Virtual Career Coaching, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
From the office of Off-Campus Programs
Off-campus program overview, September 21, 29, and October 20, 26
From the Learning Resource Hive
Study Techniques = Academic Success, October 13
Survive College by Managing Time Effectively, September 28
Test Anxiety, November 10
To find the full details of events, including times and log-in or R.S.V.P. information, go to MySCAD > Resources > eLearning > Events.
Tonight’s events feature Off-Campus Programs and Virtual Career Coaching.
By: Jennifer Peper, Director of the Writers Studio, jpeper(at)scad(dot)edu, and Heather Koopmans, Reference Librarian, hkoopman(at)scad(dot)edu.
Who me? Plagiarize?
As a SCAD student, you’ve been told again and again, “Don’t plagiarize.” Getting caught plagiarizing could mean a failing grade for an assignment, a whole course, or worse: fates you want to avoid at all costs. But you’re no idiot; passing off someone else’s entire paper as your own is wrong, duh. But you’re also not entirely sure what’s “OK” to use – or how to use it – and who has the time to figure it out? You just want to get through another paper as best as you can.
The authors of this post assist people all day, every day, with writing and research at SCAD, and can assure you that you’re not alone in feeling uneasy about how to use information. Though few students intend to plagiarize, it does happen, and in our experience the typical culprits are misunderstood expectations, stress, lack of time, and general disorganization.
But you don’t need to be Mr. or Ms. Perfect to avoid plagiarizing – all it takes is keeping a cool head when you’ve got a tough paper to tackle. Read on for tips to assist you with this process.
Understand what plagiarism so you can avoid it
Plagiarism is using another person’s words or ideas as your own. Anytime you share information that is not common knowledge, from any source, of any length, without attributing it, that’s plagiarism. For example, you need to cite:
• Information written by unknown or anonymous authors
• Information from the public Web – like Wikipedia, a company Web site, or a blog post
• Information from your professor or classmates – like a discussion post, e-mail or handout
• Ideas you put into your own words (also known as paraphrasing)
• Images and video you append or present in the project
When in doubt – cite it
MLA and Chicago-Turabian, the most popular styles in use at SCAD, both provide guidelines on how to cite a wide range of information in your papers and projects. Writers Studio staff and librarians can both assist with citation formatting questions. Lots of great examples are also available at the Writers Studio homepage on MySCAD – click “handouts” to view them.
Research is stressful – deal with it!
All students are expected to find and use the knowledge of others to support their research – it’s a fact of academic life. But considering the glut of books, journals and Web sites out there, keeping track of it all is tough work, and there never seems to be enough time. Though procrastination is ever-tempting (even for professors, writers and librarians), the best thing you can do is get started on research papers as soon as you can.
Start research projects as soon as you can
Benefits of an early start:
• Baby steps: A few hours each week is much less painful than three overnighters in a row at the end of the quarter.
• The opportunity to get advice when you need it: It’s kind of embarrassing to admit you’re starting on a paper the week before it’s due. And unfortunately we can’t help you out during that 2 a.m. panic attack.
• Improved information sources: Give yourself time to find the best of the best (and it is out there), and you won’t have to limit yourself to “whatever works.” The end result will show it.
• Improved writing: If you have the chance to really think about what you’re writing – by re-reading and revising as you go along – the end result will rock that much harder.
Set a personal “to-do” schedule early on and stick to it. Staying critical, mindful and cool-headed throughout the research and writing process will help you avoid nasty consequences later on.
Find an organization system that works for you
“I know I found this information from somewhere … but I’ve read so much I don’t remember where it came from!” Does this sound familiar? It’s a gripe we hear every day. Keeping your notes, sources and writing organized from beginning to end will circumvent such woes.
But you don’t need to drop tons of money on Post-its and highlighters, or file everything with library call numbers. Staying organized doesn’t mean perfection – it means finding a system that is “just enough” for you. We’re constantly amazed at the creative tactics SCAD students take to keep their research and writing clean:
• When writing the paper in Word, highlight every quote, paraphrase or research bit in bright colors so you can’t miss it later.
• Are you a color lover? Match the highlight colors to the sources you use.
• Quickly note of the author, page and source each time you add info from the readings. Don’t worry about correctly formatting these until the very end – just write it down.
• Buy a cheap 10 cents folder for each individual project or paper (or re-live your childhood with dorky unicorn or Transformers folders). Keep all of your notes and photocopies in there as appropriate.
• Photocopy or scan the title page and relevant pages from any library book you use. If you return the book you’ll still have the information you need.
• Do you have online tools you like to use, such as delicious, Zotero, or Noodlebib? Use them!
What’s your method?
Know that help is available throughout the process
Whether you’re searching for that “perfect” article or struggling with a thesis topic, Writers Studio and SCAD Library staff can help – and you don’t even need to be in the building. We’re here to give you honest advice, free and without judgment. (How often do you see that nowadays?)
• Research help: Ask a Librarian! We can help locate sources, demonstrate the databases and even tell you what’s good (and not so good) on the Web. No appointment necessary. Contact us via the email, phone, IM chat or in person six days a week during the quarters.
• Writing help: Ask the Writers Studio! We can help you brainstorm ideas, filter them into an outline/thesis statement, work through drafts, and help you make sure your citations are presented correctly according to the format you’re using. You can make an appointment with us and we’ll e-mail, meet on SCAD Connect, or even chat on the phone with you. Or, if you just want some info for quick reference, check out our handouts on MySCAD.