The Catholic University of America

CUA Libraries Online
Spring 2005 Issue:
Back to University Libraries Home Page

Message from the Editors

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.

Back to top


Update on the CUA Director of Libraries

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.

Back to top


Checking in with...Access Services

Matthew Tan
Access Services Librarian
Jennifer Allen
Stacks Supervisor
Stephanie Fell
Consortium Loan Service
Leila Massouh
Interlibrary Loans
Traci Perkins
Central Reserves
Netsere Taye
Evening Supervisor

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.

Back to top


Book and DVD Notes

  • Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers by Christian Smith with Melinda Lundquist Denton (New York: Oxford, 2005) [BL 625.47 .S63 2005 in the Mullen Library Stacks.]

    This monograph conveys the initial findings of the National Study of Youth and Religion, based at the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. It was supported by the Lilly Endowment to better understand the spiritual beliefs and attitudes of American adolescents. The associated web site is From 2001 to 2005, researchers conducted a nationwide random-digit-dial telephone survey of more than 3,350 teens and their parents, and subsequent in-depth face-to-face interviews with more than 250 survey participants. The authors believe the project to be the "largest, most comprehensive and detailed study of American teenage religion and spirituality" to date.

    What did they find? That there are a significant number of adolescents for whom "religion and spirituality are important if not defining features of their lives." Despite some popular misconceptions, most teenagers are not "spiritual but not religious" questers, but are oriented toward conventional religious communities, and for the more religious teenagers, religious practices are very important, not simply general affiliation with a particular belief. "Religious practices...seem crucial to vibrant religious faith among American teens." Despite the religious awareness and practice of many teens, however, "there is also a much larger number who are remarkably inarticulate and befuddled about religion." For good or ill, parents and other adults exercise enormous influence over the religious lives of adolescents, whether they realize it or not.

    Other findings: Religious activities compete for time with a plethora of other activities in teenagers' lives, and often lose. Those teenagers for whom religion is important "tend to have religious lives intersect and overlap with other aspects of their lives," rather than a Sunday-morning activity several times a month. In general, for whatever reason, more religiously oriented teenagers appear to have better life outcomes than less religious ones.

    In the study, "Catholic teenagers, who represent nearly one-quarter of all U.S. teens, stand out among the U.S. Christian teenagers as consistently scoring lower on most measures of religiosity"...and "our findings...regarding Catholic teenagers show many of them to be living far outside of official Church norms defining true Catholic faithfulness." One chapter of the book is devoted to explaining the study's interpretation of these findings. The library has also ordered National Study of Youth and Religion: Analysis of the Population of Catholic Teenagers and Their Parents, a further analysis of the study's Catholic data produced by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry in December 2004.

    - Mary Agnes Thompson

  • George G. Higgins and the Quest for Worker Justice: The Evolution of Catholic Social Thought in America by John J. O'Brien. (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 2004.) [HD 6338.2. U5 O24 2005 in the Mullen Library Stacks.]

    John O'Brien has produced a labor of love in which he concisely recounts the history of the American Catholic church in the pursuit of economic and social justice through the writings and deeds of its most articulate and tireless advocate, Msgr. George G. Higgins. O'Brien discusses the movement from civil religion to public theology, the historical development of American Catholic social teaching, and Higgins' work in the social apostolate both as a labor mediator and public commentator. O'Brien presents a careful study of the latter role through analysis of Higgins's syndicated column, The Yardstick, for 1945-1994, and the annual Labor Day Statements for 1946-2001. This study is a fitting tribute to a great man and a great resource for scholars, students, and the general public. The appendices are especially good, though one wishes that a selection of photographs were included.

    - W. John Shepherd

  • Key Buildings of the Twentieth Century; Plans, Sections and Elevations by Richard Weston (New York: Norton, 2004.) [NA2705 .W44 2004 in the Eng/Arch Stacks. 2 Hour Loan]

    From Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art at the beginning of the twentieth century to Rem Koolhaas' Bordeaux Villa at the end, Weston's book contains information about dozens of innovative and important structures from around the world. Included are works by Antoni Gaudí, Le Corbusier, Eero Saarinen, Zaha Hadid and many more. Each building's entry features good quality exterior photos, elevations, sections and floor plans. The text contains brief histories of the buildings and their architects, as well as criticism and information about building materials. Included is a CD with all of the plans, sections, and elevations, which can be opened in graphics programs or CAD programs.

    - Tina O'Grady

  • Out of the Ashes: Recovering the Lost Library of Herculaneum Produced, written and directed by Julie Walker. (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, 2003) [Viddisc. DG70.H5 O87 2003 in the Library and Information Science Library (LISL) Reserve]

    In the year 70 A.D., a volcano eruption (Mt. Vesuvius) buried the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in molten lava. When the lava cooled and hardened, the cities and their civilizations were preserved forever. Also preserved in the hardened lava is the only surviving library in antiquity. This documentary chronicles attempts by scholars over a 250-year time period to unroll and decipher carbonized papyrus rolls found in the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. In the 21st century, new technologies, utilized by the National Library in Naples and Brigham Young University, are successful in revealing text that has not been seen for nearly 2,000 years. The documentary also explores a new question: Since the Villa of the Papyri was only partially excavated, is there another library in Herculaneum?

    - Anne Marie Hules

Back to top


Update on CUA Libraries Syriac Digitization Work

Syriac Digitization Project

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 ( It also was part of a related venture for a Web-based Eastern Christian Reference Library by Brigham Young University (

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.


Back to top


E-Reserves Enumerated

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

For Instructors:

  • To place items on reserve a Reserve Request Form must be completed and returned to the Circulation desk.
  • For E-Reserves the Reserve Request Form must be signed and dated before it is handed into the Circulation desk.
  • Professors must supply photocopies or electronic copies of the articles to the Access Services staff.
  • Photocopies are scanned onto an electronic course page by the Access Services staff.
  • Large files are divided to make it easier to access or print in a timely manner.
  • It is the responsibility of the professor to inform students that course reserve items are in electronic format and to explain which software is required to access those items.
  • The electronic course pages are password-protected with case-sensitive passwords provided and distributed by professors. The library staff does not provide Electronic Reserve passwords to students.
  • Instructors are responsible for providing students with both passwords and usernames.
  • All Electronic Reserve items are deleted after the semester's use.

For Students:

  • To access E-Reserves, log on to the CUA Libraries home page at and click on Course Reserves under the heading Library Services Then, click on Electronic Reserves.
  • Electronic Reserves may also be accessed via the main page of ALADIN. Under WRLC Libraries Collections, click on Electronic Reserves.
  • Once the Blackboard page appears, click on Log In. Do not create a new account.
  • Students are required to use both a username and a password to access e-Reserves via Blackboard.
  • Instructors are responsible for providing usernames and passwords.
  • Library personnel are not permitted to disclose passwords.

Back to top


Stump the Librarian: How Many American Saints?

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)
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821)
Saint John Neumann (1811-1860)
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917)
Saint Katherine Drexel (1858-1955)

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.

Back to top


Locational Resources Relocated

Map caseOnce 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.

Back to top


Troubleshooting Electronic Resources:
EBSCO's ATLA Religion with ATLASerials

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 (

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.

Back to top


The Newly Constructed Engineering/Architecture/Math Library Web Site

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!

Back to top


Research Tips and Aids for Students

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.

Back to top


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) Assistant

Back to top

Back to CUA Home All contents copyright © 2004 - , The Catholic University Of America. All rights reserved.

University Libraries
The Catholic University of America
Washington, DC 20064

CUA Libraries Home Page / Site Map


CUA Home

Search the University Libraries' website