Friday, December 15, 2006

Visual Search in the EBSCO databases

Need to find more synonyms for a research topic? Not sure how your research topic applies to other related aspects? Just wanna find out about a topic in general?

Try using the Visual Search tab in any EBSCO database. Type in your subject and watch the grokker-powered search engine do its thing! It is interactive so you can click as deep or as shallow as you wish. The window on the right opens to the article you have chosen to examine. From that window you can print, save, or email the article.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It is Microsoft Word, Folks!

Yes, monopoly or not...Microsoft Word is the standard word processor for sharing files with others and for printing in public labs. Several times this week, I have had to disappoint students when I tell them we only have Word.

Can't afford it? (It is SPENDY!!!!!!) Here are some inexpensive in FREE!

Zoho Writer is an online word processor that stores your files for you in the sky somewhere so that you can move from computer to computer with impunity.

OpenOffice is the complete suite that produces compatible files with Word and the other parts of the suite.

Not free, but somewhat manageable:

ThinkFree is $49.95 and is also available for online access.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Color Commentary-Stay REALLY local!

Need color copies? This reporter can tell you that you will find a bargain by getting color copies made in our Bookstore! It is $.69 per 8.5 by 11 inches paper. There are larger sizes that increase in cost. ( costs more downtown.)

Just bring your document on a flash drive into the Copy Center at the Bookstore and Mac will help you! And emergency on your part does not constitute one for their part. In other words, don't wait until the last minute!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Google Notebook! Now I can study anywhere!

This is what geeks do at Thanksgiving.....they sit around burping turkey and talking about RSS feeds, coding language, and Google anything! I learned about Google Notebook. It has changed this grad student's life! I can highlight something online and by right-clicking, add it to my online Google notebook. I can organize the notebooks by topic, and organize them within the notebook into sections. I can search them (where was that stat on user searches using word cloud software?) I can access my notebook from any internet-connected computer so my notes are with me whereever! Go to Google and sign up for the free gmail account and get started today!

On a similar can customize your homepage to add content like news, comics, reference name it. You can organize all the content under tabs along the top!!!! VERY COOl!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Be careful on the road! Here are links to the cameras on top of Cabbage Hill and Ladd Canyon! Be safe and see you on Sunday. We are open from 2 PM until midnight as we approach Tenth Week and Finals. Best of luck to all of you!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Solidarity! I am SOOOOO with you students!

I earned the worst grade of my graduate school career (another Masters and this one!) yesterday on an assignment. I went into a psychological tailspin and felt pretty crummy. I moped and whined for a day about it. I probably lost friends who are tired of it all! But....I did what I needed to to make myself feel better...played bass in a bar last night. Nothing like singing the blues to cure them!

My point...I DO empathize with your struggles. It will make me a more understanding worker in the library as I assist you.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Practice that test for free!!!!

Need to practice a test looming in your future? Like the TOEFL, nursing, real estate, name it---we got it! Go to and follow the links to eShelf and Research, then Magazines and Databases and Learning Express Library is toward the bottom of the page. You will need a username and password. Call me at 962.3780 or drop by your local public library for a bookmark with the information printed on it. This is offered through Pierce Library and the Union County Library District Demonstration Project with funds from their LSTA grant of the Oregon State Library. Your tax dollars at work to make you a more successful citizen! Try Learning Express Library!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Library Thing!

Maybe this is a library student/librarian thing but.....I have a need to know what is in my personal library at home. I want to be able to search through my books and see if I already own that used knitting book I saw at Powell's. I am also searching for away to catalog my CDs. So, I found this thing called Library Thing and if you have less than 200 items, it is free! It takes the title you input (they even sell barcode readers!) and compares it to databases of your choice and returns the record back to you into your library. People even contribute cover art if the database you chose does not list that title with cover art. It is very cool!!!!! You can even check your holdings remotely if you have wireless internet access with your cellphone or PDA. Just plain ol' bibliographic fun!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Library Toolbar

I KNOW most of you are as busy as me! I see you frantically searching for just the right article to make your paper stellar, the best quote to use for a flyer, the website you need to see that baby picture of Barack Obama!

Wouldn't it be cool to have a library toolbar that was specific to Pierce? You could search the catalog, find out about your ILLs, use a search engine, renew your books, and find out about new materials in the library! (Plus a whole lot more.)

Check out what Harris County Public Library (TX) is doing!

Monday, October 23, 2006

I'm Baaaaack!

And it feels good!!!!! What a wonderful day I had working with patrons and just finding my desk!!! Thank you all for your patience and numerous kindnesses! I am, as in TheTale of Two Cities--"recalled to life!"

Thursday, October 05, 2006 brought to you by Google

Remember playing in the sandbox when you were little? Well, so do the people at Google. They have their very own, very expensive one at

At this website, they are experimenting with ways for the search engine to deliver results and are toying with the way the pages expands to show you more results, includes images on your topic, and who knows what by tomorrow? If you want to check out some of their ideas, go look!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Welcome Back!

Ooooh, I missed you all today! It was the first day of classes and my favorite time of year. Sure, it will take some adjustment to get into the internet now with your email username and password. Yeah, you will have to turn over your student ID to retrieve your barcode. Those little bumps in the road will not keep you from discovering all the print and electronic resources at Pierce and better yet...the fine Pierce staff who are dedicated in making your school year as successful as possible. Stop by and introduce yourself!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Three Particular Things We Do Right!

I have been visiting a lot of libraries this past two weeks. There are so many to visit in this area and I am picking up ideas. However, in my poking around I discovered three particular things that we do at Pierce that I am really proud of:

1. We give access to our databases and OPAC to guests. Some libraries offer these resources to their patrons only.
2. We have a printer server in the ERC. This is a huge benefit that I took for granted until I had to plow through several other patrons' documents to find the articles I printed out. It is also a matter of privacy. I don't want to know what Joe Cool is reading or writing!
3. This is huge-customer service! We are just downright more friendly than other libraries. I am REALLY proud of us for being interested in our patrons and smiling at them.

Later....I am off to discover more! (Radiation is going well but I am getting sore and a bit more tired.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do at the Library

Tasha, clever thing!, discovered this article outlining some new services offered by libraries. While we don't offer them all, we come close! We still want to see faces in here, though! Come visit...we are so nice here! We will bend over backwards to serve you!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

On the Road-Whitman College's Penrose Library

Wow! What a pretty place to study. I love oak so the decor is extremely pleasing to me. I visited the IT department to set up using my laptop here in the library. I got a bookmark from them that helps their students access their personal space on the campus servers. I will make one up for us. All is a go so here I am posting! It is quiet. So far, I found all that I need but will be scrambling more when my classes start next Tuesday. Like finding out how to secure a copy card, ILL, etc.

I got a library card from the public library today. They were friendly and very helpful and I even got the business card from a library worker who is getting her MLS online, too. She is attending Drexel. We are going to meet and compare notes regarding our classwork. Fun!

There is wireless in the Herring House where I am staying across from the hospital. I am set! Radiation started yesterday and I asked a lot of questions and learned a lot of science. Fascinating!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Pardon the personal nature of this post. I don't use this forum for my personal story very much but.....I will be absent from the desk in the ERC for 7 weeks to have radiation therapy in Walla Walla. This luxury is all thanks to the generous contribution of my classified staff colleagues who donated their vacation time to my recovery. The daily four hour drive to Walla Walla (plus the gas prices today) was not something we were looking forward to as a family. Staying in Walla Walla relieves both of us from being exhausted from the driving. I pushed very hard during chemo so this time to heal is quite a gift. I again thank them for their care and support! You may see me playing music in bands around town and environs during this time. That is the best medicine of all for me!

In the meantime, our student assistants will be here to answer questions and help you. Theresa, the reference librarian, will be on hand to assist you in your research. She is awesome!

I hope this all works out as everyone says-"It will be over before you know it." Now, if the hair would just grow back as fast!

Here's a link to news from the new Cancer Center at St. Mary's Hospital in Walla Walla. Not that I wish to EVER have chemotherapy again, the new facilities will be a lot more comfortable for new infusion patients. (And there are TOO many of them!)

Catch you on the flip side! I have a laptop-- so write!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Sally strolled by my desk this morning and in one quality minute she set me straight on the Groupware distribution list option in Contacts! Yes! I now have my groups set up in the email system. Life is good!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

La Grande Public Library is moving!

The NEW!!!!!! La Grande Public Library is opening on September 19th! Town patrons are starting to wander in here in the interim. They are welcome to use our OPAC (online catalog) and our databases but internet access is restricted to students and faculty/staff at EOU. The students here pay a hefty technology fee and all our computers were paid for out of that budget. They were not financed by public funds.

We have our materials arranged using the Library of Congress classification system. This system does not have a fiction section that is popular in the Dewey Decimal classification scheme found in public libraries. Therefore, browsing for fiction is not easy unless you know the author or title of a book. Libraries are arranged to accomodate the patrons that they serve so there are understandable and necessary differences between public and academic libraries.

Groupware ....gotta love it!

Okay...I am as smart as the average bear but forgot how to make a distribution list out of my Contacts list. Yikes! I accessed the Help menu and it was vague. Guess I will humble myself by asking the IT folks.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Gearing up! Even the weather speaks 'fall'

I don't know about you but I am gearing up for Fall 2006. At Southern Connecticut I am taking Public Libraries, Library Management, and Cataloguing. Full course load and full-time worker! When my textbooks arrived, I started to get excited. The cataloguing class will be my Waterloo! Should be interesting.

We are starting to see students drift back. Some from the soccer team, some from other schools on their way to their own institutions. We got trained in our new Groupware software last week and that will be a fun thing to learn. Getting it to talk to my Axim handheld is a struggle. The Axim will talk to Groupware but I haven't figured out how to get the Groupware to talk to the Axim.

I will be in Walla Walla for radiation treatments when school starts here at Eastern. I am very sorry about that. It is the busiest, most fun, time of the year! I will miss meeting the new students and greeting students from last year. I have developed a fondness for many of them and will enjoy hearing about their summers. The new access to internet procedure will be tripping up some at first. The barcode and PIN issues will be an issue for the distance students. Oh, well. When I get back I will work hard at getting re/acquainted!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Color Printing-Upstairs in the Computer Lab

Since our color printer died, we often get asked for access to color printing. There is one upstairs in the Computer Lab. They charge 10 cents a page to print copies. The cost is not for actually using the printer but for the paper they use for that printer. It is a special dustless paper that aids in not clogging the printer. Maybe, that is why ours bit the dust!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Heartaches! Save attachments first!!!

Sometimes a person will send you a document attached to an email for you to revise or to have for your own. We have seen so many students lose work by editing that document without saving it first. When you open a document from the email system, it is a temporary file. You must SAVE it to your hard drive, or thumb drive (key drive, flash drive, etc.) and then edit it as yours. It breaks our hearts to see good work go down the drain in a temporary document that is not retrievable later.

Save it as yours first. Then, edit away!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Change in plans! Username and Password

Effective July 5th, 2006, Pierce Library will provide electronic access to our library online catalog and databases to all patrons on campus. Access to the Internet will be extended to students, faculty, and staff to meet the University's mission and limited resources. We will be using your username and password that you use for your university email acount to access the internet.

If you are not sure about that username and password, you will want to visit the Computing Center in Inlow Hall. Here is the link to the student email page for help online:

Bottom line: if you are an EOU student, faculty or staff member, you will have access to the internet in the ERC. Town patrons will be directed to the La Grande Public Library on Penn Street (soon to open at their new digs on Fourth Street on September 19th!!!!!)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Wise Up to the Web- Internet Detective

Ever wonder who is REALLY writing the web site youa re getting ready to use in your research? What about improving the quality of your internet searches? Don't know a URL from a WMD?

Try this one-hour tutorial at:

When you master this material, you are set for any class research project!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Spend some time with your barcode!

Summertime is an excellent time for memorizing your barcode. We are planning to have authentication (What? Verifying that you are a student or faculty/staff person) on the computers in the library. The verification will likely include knowing your barcode. So, as soon as you ace those exams--start memorizing!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It Ain't Always Easy! Using your USB Drive in the ERC

Sometimes, a key/thumb/USB drive will try to install software on the computers in the ERC in order for it to work. The manufacturer has set it up that way to automatically install software on the host computer. This does not work in here because the work stations do not extend administrative privileges to users. So, if that happens and you get an error message, you are out of luck. You will have to then find a computer that extends privileges to load that software onto the computer to get the key drive to run.

Consumer beware: Purchase key/thumb/USB drives that are "plug 'n play" requiring no software to be installed to run them.

Friday, May 19, 2006

What do YOU want?!

On our Pierce Library home page, we have a link for you to recommend books and videos for purchase. That is not just for faculty and staff----students have thoughts, too! And they are valued. Just click on the "Suggest Title for Purchase" (see below) and let us know your ideas.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Playin' Around

Uptight about a test? Just finished a humungous project? Just plain not focused? Well, there are chess sets and a mah-jongg outfit ready for service in the Reading Room. They are over by the windows on the bookcase. Have at it!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Thinking about graduation? Checklists!

A student was looking for graduate requirements this morning. I wasn't sure where to look-probably by department. But no! She found them at: and there are checklists of the majors and minors on campus in pdf or Word format. How cool is that????

Friday, May 05, 2006

Looking for what magazines we hold?

When using the OPAC to find a periodical (magazine) title, you are confronted with a long list of choices that has the name of the periodical in it. For example: let's try Newsweek Magazine. Here is what the first screen brings us as a result of searching by title:

I would choose the second entry as it has the word "magazine" as part of its title. If I choose entry #2, I get this screen:I can then see in what form the periodical is available in (print, microform, online) and what years that form covers.

Someday, we are hoping that changes in cataloging rules will make these screens more useable for you.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Don't get spacey on us!

When entering your barcode to access your library account or to use a database, do not use the spaces in the number as they appear on your student ID. Just enter the number, one digit after another.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Heads up! Thumb drives can walk away!

Yesterday, a student walked away from a computer in the ERC and when she realized she had left her thumb drive (Gizmo, Lexar, whatever you call them!) she returned promptly to find the device gone. We searched high and low to no avail. Someone had simply taken it.

When library staff find them left in our USB drive ports, we secure them in the safe. Too bad more people aren't so nice.

Just a heads up!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Save Your Bacon!

A student just saved her bacon by using a federated search through the "Database by Subject" link to the databases in Business off the Pierce home page. She clicked on the "EBSCO Business Search" and found that by searching several databases at once, she was able to pull up some articles that were alluding her by searching into each database separately. It also worked a lot faster! Just a thought! There are several federated searches available and they usually start with EBSCO as the first part of the title.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Temporarily-No color printing available

The color printer bit the dust! It coughed out its last green breath last week. In one way, I am not sad. It jammed a lot and when it started its error-message mode--look out! It was seriously evil. We are looking for an affordable replacement and it will likely have a verification system to ID you as a student before copying is allowed. After all, it comes from Tech Fee dollars that you pay for! Watch this space for further developments.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

As you trot off to the beach....(farm, city, apartment, dorm----fill in the blank!)

I am wistful seeing you all float away to lives empty of tests, papers, finals, and studying for a week. We will be here catching up on projects that we often can't do when you are here needing help. I am working on a project in the Archive, trying to finish some tutorials, and work on my ERC procedures manual. I never run out of things to do. Go, have fun, and be safe! We want you back soon!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hot off the Presses?

Just read a book that made you want to tell everyone about? Know of a book that you think we should have that was recommended in a reading for class? Hear an author being inteviewed on the radio? Whatever the reason, there is a way to make yourself heard. There is a link to a form you can fill out online. It is on the library home page at at this location. The link is "Suggest Title for Purchase." We would like to know what you think!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Try a three-dimensional life!

I'm with Paul Rowan, Director of Information Technology, in his letter to the editor of The Voice. I have noticed a significant increase in students using university bandwidth to check on their virtual relationships in Face Place or My Space. I wonder what would happen if they spent that time actually cultivating their real three-dimensional lives? That might leave more bandwidth to spend for those of us who are actually working productively. It is annoying to have to wait even one nanosecond longer to access databases so that Harry can see Sally's last Saturday night's escapades or to hear Joe's latest rap pick. Give it a rest....go visit your friends in real time and space.

Research 'R Us!

The heat is on! Fingers are flyin', tempers are flaring, and a whole forest has been consumed in paper this week. I have noticed that several times (more than five) this week, students are writing papers on the research computers in the ERC.

Repeat after me:

Computer Lab=Writing

Students tie up the ERC machines for too long writing papers. Thanks for being respecful to your fellow students by writing upstairs.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I'm Baaaaack!

Wow! It is great to be back! Students look really busy getting projects finished up. The Quiet Zone has been packed almost all day! Best wishes for a good week of studying. Again, it is wonderful to be back amongst all the fun!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

From a distance-Bette and Me

I hate the song as much as I do but it alludes to my situation for another week. Struggling to even type the sentence I formed in my narcotic-filled brain, I am longing for normalcy. I had BIG surgery last week (see photo except my surgeon was a female!) and have another week to get myself together before getting back to work. I miss you guys but am hardly good company as things stand! My husband watched me take one-half hour to unpeel a flap on a caramel wrapper. The next half hour, I got the next flap undone. Yes! I did get to eat the caramel as a reward. I even tried to knit. Holy Cow! I couldn't remember from one stitch to the next where I was. I tried to go it alone without the pain meds but Wow! Slammed -- as with a ball peen hammer, freight train, Mack truck…you get the picture.

My point is that in the last half-hour before the next pain med and the first half-hour before it kicks in, I have a lucid hour to do homework for my reference class. This week's focus is on ready reference sources. I long to answer my questions in the Reading Room, running from First Facts to The Statistical Handbook of the U.S. but having to work "at a distance" I have to confine myself to online resources. I found two cool ones in our list of databases: Brittanica Online and World Almanac. They have a database search box like the other databases and you can choose the focus of the search to just World Almanac but also Funk and Wagnall's Encyclopedia. Once again, Pierce's ERC resources save my bacon! Bye! Pain meds R making me Zzzzzzz.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Who's your Daddy?

Busy morning! There was more searchers than neurologists looking for Britney Spears' brain! This got me to trying a few search engines and coming up with such differing results. Sally, the Boolean logic queen, has skills to tame the most unruly search engine but still gets frustrated. Ken and I had a discussion about which search engine to use and we decided that if you rely on one search engine to do your business-think again! Like Google Scholar, for instance. How do you know what resources they are pulling from? How do you know how comprehensive it is? How can you be sure that any search engine is not serving up yesterday's lunch or just corporate sites that have paid to be there? How can you trust anything you read on the internet? This left me with the thought...who's your daddy? You are! You decide what to trust by teaching yourself to look for trustworthy sites of integrity. Here's a site to start with that: Evaluating Internet Sources

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Bring your own popcorn!

Lisa just hooked movie tutorials to some of our database titles in our list of databases on the library webpage. I don't know about you, but some of the databases have many elements to choose and it is bewildering to me. I have listened to the tutorials and they are illuminating. Here's what one (Academic Search Premier) looks like in the listing of the databases:

Academic Search Premier Large database of scholarly and popular journals covering variety of academic subjects; includes full-text journals back to 1985, abstracts back to 1984, peer-reviewed articles and some newspapers. Click here for a tutorial

Try it! Just click on the link and learn all about it!! Pass the popcorn!

My secret wish for cellphones in the library!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Leaping Literature!

We have a new database! It is called Literature Resource Center and is found in our database list at You can search by using the author's name, by type of author (nationality, ethnicity, genre, theme, and literary movement. You can search by document type and title of a work. This is one-stop shopping for information on literature and 120,00 authors! It has timelines so that you can place an author into historical perspective, bibliographies of the author's works and about the author, reviews of their has it all! Oh, except the paper you have to write. We'll leave that to you!