Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Two times last week, students lost files using the ERC computers. They worked so hard on assignments and left them on our hard drives, expecting to retrieve and print them out on Monday. Every evening, our computers dump all documents so the files were gone. Even using a data recovery program was not successful. Heartbreak reigned. I would recommend using your iPod as a hard drive or a flash/thumb/gizmo USB drive to backup your data. It will be the best $40 or so you ever spent! They sell them at the bookstore on-campus. A the very least, email a copy of your files to yourself.

The university provides storage space for your files at http://www2.eou.edu/myfiles/
Follow the directions on that page to pull-down the server you are interested in: staff/faculty or student and then enter your account name. The account name is the part before the @ symbol in your EOU email address. Example: This " jdewey@eou.edu" email account would yield "jdewey" as the account name. This service does not extend to off-campus work but will serve as a keen place to backup your files as you move around the buildings and labs here at EOU.

Forewarned is forewarmed. It will save on Kleenex, too!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Let's Get One Thing Straight!

Yeah...the Vendacoder card! It needs to be on an even plane to work properly in the machines. This Vendacoder is old and cranky. The company who makes it is out of business so we are babying it to make it last as long as possible. When you pull out your card, look at it BEFORE you booger up the machine! If it is creased, has a split in it, looks like it may have survived the Korean Conflict, we will replace it for you! Do not insert it into our curmudgeonly machine to jam the sucker up until staff (me) returns for the next work day.

Last term, a student got his card stuck in the copy machine and instead of asking for help, convinced his buddy that it would be a great idea to stick HIS card in as well. Everyone knows that two stuck cards are better than one, right? Luckily, I was here with my handy toolkit.

So, go easy and get it straight!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Speaking of Lost!

Two wallets were lost in the library this past week-both returned to grateful owners. They were turned in by honest folks. Aren't we lucky to have such a community here at EOU? Unfortunately, it is not ALWAYS like that. I got my wallet stolen in Portland at the Portland State university hotel by going from my booth in the restaurant to the buffet table 10 feet away to get orange juice. I did not notice the wallet missing until I started to pay the bill. Backtracking across the parking lot to the car, retracing my steps to the hotel room, and then back to the restaurant (we always think it is our action that has misplaced an item) yielded no wallet. Circling back from the parking lot I spied my wallet behind a trashcan by the restaurant entrance. The cash was gone but all the credit cards were intact. People say I was lucky. It is sort of sad to consider yourself "lucky" to just have the cash stolen. The police dutifully wrote up the report. I am sure in Portland the range of crimes and their severity puts my issue pretty low on the roster of "things to follow up on." I kicked myself all the way back to La Grande. I mean, I am a person who locks the doors when I am in the house. I lived in Cincinnati for 17 years and learned a lot about being "city smart." Here at Pierce, we do all we can to assure your safety but do not use me as an example. Be aware that you are not in your living room. Our Lost and Found items are at the Circulation Desk and valuables we secure elsewhere. Ask me for those in the ERC.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Lost in Space (in my head!)

I started back to school yesterday-carrying nine graduate hours. Giddy with possibilities for projects, I could hardly sleep. I must get things mapped out and get super-organized. Lisa says it is the key to survival. Working on a proposal for cataloguing the archives that would require a mentor. Ken?

I feel much empathy for our students who are working and balancing school and some even have families. YOU are awesome!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Google This (way)!

Sure I use Google. I use Teoma and MSN.com, too! I sometimes use Vivisimo as my search engine. I am an opportunistic searcher. Whatever works best for the search topic I am going for, that's the one I use. Love the one you're with, I say. (Or was that CSN and Y?)

Most folks are using Google these days. It's even a verb. In the Advanced Search mode, there are some hidden cool features to help you narrow down (enhance your precision-in librarian terms!) your search results. In the Advanced Search mode in Google, you can simply master the domain (No, this isn't Seinfeld!) and eliminate the .com sites from a scholarly search. No more cellphone ring tone ads cluttering up your searches!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Fruitful Federation!

Of course you are too young to remember Carmen Miranda but I have included a photo of her so you can see what you missed. Maybe you think wearing fruit on your head a bit eccentric but her joie de vivre lives to this day in some of us. I often want to break out of the "goldfish bowl" and don the fruited chapeau! In an effort to make your searching in the databases more fun and fruitful (Ah, yes! There is a connection here!) we have added federated search capabilities to our database list.

Off our main webpage here at Pierce, there is a heading labeled "Find Journal/Newspaper Articles." Below that is a link "By Database Subject." Once you have clicked that link, you will encounter a long list of disicplines. Let's click on "Literature" and that click results in a list of specialized databases for literature. Halfway down, there is a link to one called EBSCO Humanities Search (see illustration below.) This is a federated search tool that enables you to search six or so databases in one swell foop! Very handy. As you search other disciplines you will find other federated searches amoung them. They all begin with EBSCO, our happy vendor who supplies us with this capability.

Try it! You'll like it! Now don that banana hat! Let's mambo!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Company You Keep

We have a new database here at Pierce that gives you info on practically any company you are interested in finding out about. Mergent Online provides the usual information about a company but also includes the history, officers of the company, property owned, balance sheets, and more! An interesting feature is the historical pricing and the graphs that show longitudinal revenues. Mergent Online can be found at http://0-www.mergentonline.com.eos.eou.edu/compsearch.asp
Now you can find out what kind of profit is being pocketed when you buy a pair of Nikes!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Lateral (Paper) Pass!

I know squat about football but I do know that a lateral pass or a backward pass in amateur play is a pass from teammate to teammate that is not used to advance yards. It serves as a maneuver to gain advantage on the field of play. This comes to mind when I see students printing a half ream of handouts at the beginning of the term. It is SOOOOOO convenient for professors to post their syllabi, handouts, assignments, etc. online now. Posting online assures that the materials are available wherever there is a computer. This is a tremendous advantage for the students, for if you lose a handout, you can retrieve another one.

However, here's the rub. The cost of printing has been passed to the student. Departmental budgets are not used as much for copying. Students pony up for paper and the library (supported with tech fees) ponies up for the ink and maintenance. Does this work for you? Do the advantages outweigh the cost for you?

New term!

Why does the new term make me wish for new notebooks full of empty sheets of paper ready to be filled with my class notes? Even though I don't start back to grad school until January 23rd, I am anxious to get going. I paranoically checked my textbook list to make sure I had the right ones ($300 worth!!) and then thumbed through them to get an idea of what was in store. Until the syllabi are posted, it is a guess. Like our students, I am trying to squeeze lots of fun activities into the time I have left, knowing that when the curtain falls on the vacation, a different energy is required. I hope our students feel engaged in their term they are starting today. I love the increase in traffic here in the ERC. Coffee bar begins tomorrow!!!! Yippee!

Friday, January 06, 2006

New Student Orientation Today!

We participate in the new student orientation today! I can't wait to meet the new students over in Hoke at noon and then we have the library tour at 3 PM. We have a drawing after the tour for a flash drive. The winner must be present to be awarded the prize! Fun! We have brochures to give out listing all our contact and staff info and a map of Pierce LIbrary. I hope we see these guys often!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

PIN the tail on the Barcode!

Yes, yes...the PIN calls are beginning to come in. Distance students are gearing up and students not yet back from vacation are accessing Electronic Reserves. If you have never used your PIN before, just make one up. If you already made one up and you forgot it, after we finish laughing at you (kidding!)- we just delete it from your record and you can make up another one.

No problema! Call us at 541.962.3780 or Yahoo IM us at pierce_erc or email us at sporter@eou.edu Name your mode of communication---we are there! (Oh, except podcasting-but we are thinking about it!)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New ERC!

As advertised!! We have revamped the ERC area to allow for the addition of more computers. It looks so open and inviting compared to the steel file cabinet decor we had before! (See blog on December 8th, 2005) Goodbye, Battleship----Hello, Feng Shui!