Western Libraries - Winter 2012 Issue 2

3Things header image

Here's what's in this issue of 3 Things. Learn how the Western Libraries' growing e-book collection is putting the latest information at your fingertips - all the time, any where! Google vs. the database; how and why these are both indispensible research tools. And, did you know the Libraries wants to show off your creativity in one of our galleries? Details below...

  Something New!

Thousands of E-Books Here & Now

You’ve been reading reports and hearing news about how popular title e-books are outselling traditional print copies by a significant margin at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online vendors.

Until recently that trend seemed less apparent among academic publishers. But now, with buzz everywhere about e-books, e-book readers, and apps for tablets that enhance e-book access it appears we’ve reached a tipping point in academia and, more particularly, on our campus where more and more faculty are asking the library to purchase e-book editions whenever possible.

Example of an available EbookBut also, over the last several months your library has been quietly participating in a very successful pilot program with our Summit partners to make thousands of e-book titles instantly available to you. Of the 36 partners that kicked in cash to start this project use by Western’s students and faculty ranks 4th - just behind the "bigs" like UW, and the U of O.

The coolest thing about all these recently published titles is that there is no limit to the number of simultaneous users that can have access to these books. In essence they are never checked out and always available to you! 3 a.m. and you’re hammering away at that paper? No worries. Always available!

Here are a few tips on how to locate this content in the catalog: 

Let’s say you need something current in the field of psychology?  From Western Libraries Home...

  • Click on the "Library Catalog" link.
  • At the "Advanced Keyword Search" page jump down to "Material Type" and click "e-book"
  • Up above enter your search parameters (maybe "psychology") and click!Ebook logo
  • Results? Wow! On the first page alone I get nearly 50 e-books matching my search with publication dates of 2010 & 2011!
  • Click the link called "Connect to this title online," follow the verification process and you’re reading.
  • Click button below to see an example title:

    Read Online button

There will be more on the Western Libraries’ expanding e-content in future issues. But if you have questions now, let us know!

  This Issue's Great Tip

Google versus the Database

Is Google better than a library database? Sometimes; sometimes a library database is better than Google.

Elizabeth Stephan

I’m not going to tell you never to use Google or that Google is evil. I like Google. I use Google. I encourage others to use Google. I also tell people to understand what Google is and what Google isn’t. Google isn’t a database of all knowledge. It isn’t the index to everything. While it can find a lot, it can’t find everything. 

Remember, Google wants to personalize your Google experience. It does this through Google products that require you to login. Google can and will alter your search results based on both your previous searches and what it knows about you (location, gender, interests, etc.). What this means is that search results for one person may be different for another.

To better understand the evolution of Google, I recommend Eli Pariser’s book, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You

Databases, like EBSCO’s Academic Search Complete, can’t find everything either, but it does contain sources geared towards academic research (like scholarly and trade journals). It doesn’t personalize its results. It will produce results based on your search not on who it thinks you are.

Filtering EBSCO resultsAlso, EBSCO can help you narrow your search. When you do a search in almost any EBSCO database, the column on the left of the screen can be used to narrow your search by type of resource (scholarly, newspaper, trade journal, etc.).

Use the "Subject: Thesaurus Terms" and "Subject Terms" selections to narrow your search. If I do a search for a broad topic like interpersonal communication, I get 6,166 results. Under Subject Thesaurus Term I can select the phrase "Oral communication" to filter out the articles relating to oral communication. This takes my results down to 250 - a more manageable number.

Elizabeth Stephan - Coordinator of Instruction & Library Liaison to the College of Business & Economics

  Did You Know?

Need Gallery Space? Imagine what you could do...

You’ve probably noticed that your library has lots of walls, but you may not have known that some of them have become gallery spaces over this last year. With the Learning Commons bringing in more and more students to our second floor, we have centered two of our six galleries within sight of all the hustle and bustle. And you also probably don’t know that these exhibit spaces are not limited in purpose to showing only fine art. Got an idea? We welcome the entire campus community to use our gallery walls as a place to display creative projects of many kinds.

Photo of a woman holding a flag  Painted silhouette of a tree
Images above are examples from recent and current Art Exhibits

Are you a faculty member looking for a place to show off a class project? Are you a student working in multi-media looking for a venue to call your own? Do you know a struggling Whatcom County artist looking for a high visibility space to hang a small showing of their work? Are fragile or 3-D objects part of the plan? Not a problem.  Various display cases are available for use in conjunction with Gallery 1, which is just off the Sky Bridge.

Western Libraries encourages creative and unusual uses of the library galleries. If you or someone you know are interested, a member of the Western Libraries’ Art & Exhibits Team would be thrilled to help work through the details. Begin the process by submitting an exhibit proposal form and one of the team will be in touch. Forms can be found at the Gallery & Exhibits web site along with a list of our gallery sites, photos from previous shows and more. Questions? Leslie.Hall@wwu.edu

Questions / Comments about 3 Things

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  RSS Feed  Flickr

WWU logo