Welcome to the fourth edition of CUA Libraries Online. This spring, in addition to offering our regular features and updates, we are pleased to introduce a new feature to the newsletter. Checking in with... will focus on a department or library in the CUA Libraries system. We hope that it will offer the campus community some perspective on the departments and people working to help you make the most of the campus libraries and their resources. Please direct any comments or questions about the newsletter via our contact form.
In January, we bade a fond farewell to Adele R. Chwalek, who retired as director of libraries. Deborah Ozga, assistant director for public services, is serving as interim director during the search for a new director.
Under Ms. Ozga's direction, CUA Libraries continues to work on partnering with students in the research process, offering classes in research skills, individual research consultations, and drop-in assistance at the Information Desk in Mullen and in the campus libraries. The library system aims to work more closely with students, to ensure that they're aware of the numerous electronic and print sources we have as well as services such as the wireless network and laptop loan program in Mullen. The goals are a successful academic experience at CUA and knowledge of the vast world of information sources.
The library system is also continuing to look at ways to expand our electronic sources (Academic Search Premier is one of our most popular recent additions), bring greater automation to services such as interlibrary loan for graduate students and faculty, and identify collections for digital preservation and access.
Over the next few months, CUA Libraries staff will be working to revamp the Libraries Web site in an effort to make it more user-friendly and more reflective of user needs. To ascertain these needs, the libraries plan to survey members of the campus community.
They make sure books are in their proper places in the stacks and conduct searches for them when they are not. They process requests for items sought through the Consortium Loan Service and Interlibrary Loan, retrieving materials from the other side of town or even the other side of the country for CUA patrons and lending CUA Libraries' holdings to patrons near and far. They place books and articles on central and electronic reserve and check in and check out items including books, laptops and audio-visual material.
They are the employees of CUA Libraries' Access Services and, clearly, their responsibilities are many and far-reaching. As the department name indicates, the emphasis is on access. The Reference & Instructional Services department helps patrons determine where they can find information. Access Services puts the information receptacles in the hands of library users.
Access Services Librarian Matthew Tan describes Access Services as the modern incarnation of the traditional library circulation department. Indeed, circulation is one of four primary areas of responsibility, along with stacks management, course reserves and coordinating borrowing and lending through the Washington Research Libraries' Consortium Loan Service (CLS) and Interlibrary Loan (ILL).
Access Services relies on dozens of employees to meet its varied responsibilities, making it CUA Libraries' largest department. A professional librarian, Tan leads a staff of five paraprofessionals - two of whom are currently pursuing master's degrees in library science - and 40 to 50 part-time student workers.
With such a range of duties and as one of the two most visible departments in the library, the department confronts a range of challenges as well. Among them are misconceptions about what assistance the Circulation Desk offers patrons; it is sometimes mistaken for the Information Desk, Tan explains. Rules and regulations can present another challenge. They exist not to be punitive but to ensure equitable access, Tan emphasizes.
Access Services continues to evolve as it plans to further integrate technology into its services. In the near future, patrons will be able to check on the status of their Interlibrary Loan requests, just as they now can with CLS. The process of requesting a search for a missing item will be automated, and an automated system will give instructors even greater control over placing materials on reserve.
CUA Libraries staff will work with patrons to help them become familiar with the new procedures and resources. After all, access remains the operative word.
This past year The Catholic University of America Libraries, in cooperation with Brigham Young University and Beth Mardutho/The Syriac Institute, digitized some of CUA's Syriac library holdings. This was part of Beth Mardutho's larger venture to establish an Internet digital library of e-books for Syriac studies: eBeth Arké: the Syriac Digital Library (http://www.bethmardutho.org/index.php/library/ebetharke.html). It also was part of a related venture for a Web-based Eastern Christian Reference Library by Brigham Young University (http://www.lib.byu.edu/dlib/cua/history.html).
The following project reports are available in the electronic journal Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies vol. 8 no.1 January 2005
"BYU-CUA Eastern Christian Research Library." By Kristian S. Heal.
"Digitization of Syriac Books and Other Holdings at The Catholic University of America." By Monica J. Blanchard.
CUA Libraries' Course Reserves system aids instructors and students by ensuring accessibility to course-specific materials. Traditionally, placing materials on reserve has entailed physically placing items at the Circulation Desk for short-term student review. This approach continues to be used for books and audio-visual items.
Electronic Reserves operate on the same principle as Course Reserves by functioning as a central depository for course-related articles. E-Reserves offer the additional convenience of providing materials in an electronic format that can be accessed on or off campus. Last fall, CUA Libraries began to rely solely on the Blackboard e-Education platform to support Electronic Reserves. Read on to better understand the Electronic Reserves system via Blackboard. For additional information, log on to http://libraries.cua.edu/access/reserve.html.
After many attempts to find the answer to a question, a woman from Connecticut called the Mullen Library Information Desk in frustration. She had thought her question was simple: How many American saints are there? She felt certain that there must be an official Vatican list in existence. As it turns out, this seemingly uncomplicated question has a rather intricate answer.
The librarian at the desk talked to the caller for a few minutes to clarify the parameters of the question. In this case, "America" meant the United States specifically rather than the North or South American continents. Also, the caller was interested in canonized saints, as opposed to people who had been beatified only.
After a bit of searching, the librarian was pleased to find in the WRLC Catalog the record for a book, American Saints: Five Centuries of Heroic Sanctity on the American Continents, published in 2001, by John F. Fink. Catholic's copy of the book is shelved in the Religious Studies and Philosophy Library's non-circulating collection on the third floor of Mullen Library.
Despite having this seemingly on-target source, the librarian had to do a bit of reading to completely answer the question. In the introduction to his book, Fink confirms that no official list of saints from America exists: "When Archbishop Jose Saraiva Martins, the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, sent me a list of 'Saints and Blesseds of the American Continents,' he said in his letter that it was an 'unofficial list.'" (Introduction, ix).
Using the information found in Fink's book, the librarian found several answers to the patron's question depending on the definition of "American" used. Fink defines American saints as people "canonized by the Roman Catholic Church...who have lived on the American continents" (Introduction, ix). Applying this definition specifically for this country, there are five saints who lived in the United States:
Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769-1852)
If one defines an American saint as a saint who was a citizen of the U.S., only Saint Katherine Drexel, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini would qualify. Although she was born in Italy, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini eventually became a U.S. citizen while Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne (born in France) and Saint John Neumann (born in Bohemia) never changed their citizenship.
If one defines an American saint as a saint who was born in America, the list shrinks to two people: Saint Katherine Drexel and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Saint Katherine Drexel is the only canonized citizen of the United States to be born after the U.S. became a nation; Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was born in New York two years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Although the answer to her question was not a simple list as she had hoped, the caller was pleased to have definitive information about American saints.
Once housed in the Main Reading Room, Mullen Library's atlas collection recently moved to new atlas cases in the Reference Room on the library's first floor. The six cases hold a variety of titles, including specialized works like An Historical Atlas of Islam [DS 35.6 .R6 1962] and Rand McNally Commercial Atlas and Marketing Guide [G 1036 .R18]) and general tools like the Oxford World Atlas [G 1019 .O98 O8 1973]. Consult the Reference Atlas Case List, available in the Reference Room, to locate a particular title. Because not all titles will be shelved in the atlas cases, turn to the WRLC Libraries Catalog or visit the Information Desk for additional information.
Last summer, CUA transferred the ATLA Religion with ATLASerials database (a major bibliographic database containing full text-articles) from OCLC FirstSearch to EBSCO. Since then, Mullen Library's reference staff has received a number of calls from off-campus students and faculty reporting problems downloading full-text articles from this database.
When off-campus users search in ATLA and click on the link &34; Click here for electronic resource,&34; they may get this error message: &34;ATLA was unable to authorize your account. Authorization may not occur correctly for the browser Netscape 6.0 or for Internet Explorer 5.0 (Macintosh version). If you are using one of these browser versions, please try an alternate browser version. For further information on connecting to ATLAS or on recommended browsers, please contact your ATLAS provider directly.&34;
Initially, the message suggested the problem was the browser version that off-campus patrons were using. However, after consulting with the patrons, the electronic resources librarian found that their browser versions met requirements. After contacting the vendor and searching the vendor's website, the librarian determined that a potential cause of this problem is the software installed in the users' computers, such as Norton anti-virus software. Such software blocks referring URLs, which are the authentication methods that vendors and libraries use for off-campus users. If the users have such anti-virus software, they need to pass referrer information to specific Web pages in the software. Please read this page for instruction (http://support.epnet.com/knowledge_base/detail.php?faq=1535).
Another problem is that full-text articles may not be printed well in multiple pages if users are using Netscape 7.1; they can be printed well in Internet Explorer. If there are two links to full text for one article, use the link &34;Linked Full Text&34; to avoid this problem.
Check out the new Web site for the Engineering / Architecture Library! Lots of updates and improvements have been made. Lists of new books that the library has received will be updated regularly, and there are browsable lists of Engineering, Architecture and Math periodicals to which the library subscribes. To get a handle on your library research, take a look at the new online Research Guides for Architecture, Planning, and all five Engineering departments. The site also has information about library hours and policies, and ways to get help from library staff. Faculty can take a look to learn about arranging library instruction sessions for their classes, putting materials on reserve, and requesting books for the library to purchase. Whatever your information need, the new Web site is a great place to start!
The end of the semester is fast approaching, and that means many students are scrambling to complete final papers and projects. The CUA Libraries' print and electronic collections will meet students' research needs, but it can be difficult for many to know where and how to start the research process.
For an overview of how to begin research and what types of resources to consult, check out this guide to General Strategy of Research at CUA. This resource will help students make the most of the libraries and their collections this semester and in semesters to come.
Contributors to the Spring 2005 edition of CUA Libraries Online
Dr. Monica J. Blanchard, Curator, Semitics/ICOR Collections; Kevin Gunn, Coordinator for Religious Studies and Humanities Services; Anne Marie Hules, Library and Information Science Librarian; Emilie Krut, Reference Librarian for Instructional Services; Tina O'Grady, Library Assistant/Graduate Library Pre-professional; Traci Perkins, Central Reserves Coordinator; W. John Shepherd, Associate Archivist, American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives; Matthew Tan, Access Services Librarian; Mary Agnes Thompson, Reference Librarian for Collection Services; Shanyun Zhang, Electronic Resources (MERIC) Librarian.
Content editor: Ashley McCall, Library Assistant/Graduate Library Pre-professional
Web editor: Jonathan Smith, Electronic Resources (MERIC) AssistantBack to top