Welcome to the spring 2006 edition of CUA Libraries Online. As the 2005-2006 school year draws to a close, we encourage you to make the most of our library resources, such as our new Instant Messaging reference service. Please direct comments, questions and suggestions about the newsletter to us via the contact form. .
CUA Libraries now offer an Instant Messaging (IM) Reference Service named IM@theLibrary. Use instant messaging to do your library research: Ask a question via a live IM session and a librarian will gladly help you find the information you need. This service is only open to current CUA enrolled students, staff, and faculty.
Service hours (for Spring 2006) are as follows*:
We can answer IM questions from AIM, MSN, ICQ, and Yahoo IM software.
What kinds of questions are best suited for IM Reference?
If you would like to use this service and don't have instant messaging software, we suggest AOL Instant Messenger as it requires no download.
For more information about the service, including screen names, go to: http://libraries.cua.edu/about/IM.html or contact reference librarian Anne Marie Hules: .
Do you have a suggestion for the CUA libraries? Perhaps you have an idea that could improve the libraries' services or maybe there is a current service that you highly value. Submit your comments to the Suggestion Box located in the lobby of Mullen Library.
Some of you have already done so: Several students asked that the Library remain open later in the evening; some asked that we designate the reading rooms for quiet study, quiet talking or group study; a couple people asked for clocks, and several others requested that we improve maintenance of the microform reader-printers and photocopiers.
Suggestions have led to such actions as placing clocks in the Reference Reading Room and MERIC computer area and placing signs throughout the library to clarify which areas are appropriate for quiet study, quiet talking or group study.
You can read all the suggestions that we've received along with our responses in the notebook on the table next to the Suggestion Box.
Library research has been greatly aided by the advent of article databases, and librarians and experienced searchers have come to rely heavily on them. But despite their eminent usefulness, even the most respected database may contain a small number of errors. These errors, however few and far between, can sometimes cause great consternation on the part of library patrons and librarians.
Recently, a patron came to the Mullen Library Information Desk with a puzzling citation. He needed an article from Journalism Quarterly called "Attribution of Dogmatism to TV Characters." He had found the citation for this article in the ERIC database, which indicated that the article could be found in the Spring 1977 issue of the journal in Volume 14, Issue 9. Because the article was not available in full text online, he looked in the library's catalog for the print version of the journal. He did find that Catholic owned the journal, but as a savvy and experienced library user, he noticed a discrepancy between the catalog record and his original information. According to the catalog, the volume number for 1977 was 54, not 14 as indicated by ERIC. Because the 1977 volume of Journalism Quarterly was at the WRLC Storage Center, he knew that he would have to request the article and that the request would not be successful without a correct volume number.
Having reached this impasse, he came to the Information Desk for help. The librarian at the desk suspected one of two problems: either the citation in ERIC was incorrect, or there was a completely different journal named Journalism Quarterly, one that was not in the library's catalog. First, she searched the WorldCat database to check the records of other libraries; this search confirmed that there was only one journal by this title.
The librarian concluded that the citation in ERIC must be incorrect. However, the problem remained: How could the correct citation be located? The librarian checked several databases to no avail-it appeared that ERIC was the only CUA Libraries database with this particular citation. Not giving in to frustration, the librarians wondered if another WRLC library might have access to the journal citation through a database not available at Catholic. The librarian clicked on "e-journals in WRLC" to find out. She searched for Journalism Quarterly and found that George Mason University had online access to the journal from 1975 to 1994 through a database called Communication and Mass Media Complete. As a virtual reference librarian, she had access to George Mason's databases and logged in to check the citation. After a quick article title search, she found that the ERIC database was in fact wrong: "Attribution of Dogmatism to TV Characters" could be found in Volume 54, Issue 1 of Journalism Quarterly on page 14-the ERIC database had listed the page number as the volume number. The information found in Communication and Mass Media Complete agreed with the catalog record for the print journal, and the library patron was able to use the correct information to request the article from the WRLC Storage facility.
Whether they are answering questions at the Information Desk, typing replies to virtual reference patrons or at the front of the classroom leading an instruction session, CUA Libraries' Reference and Instructional Services team helps library users make the most of library resources and find the information they need.
The core Reference and Instructional Services staff consists of five professional librarians and two full-time paraprofessionals, both of whom are graduate library science students. Reference and instruction are also provided by professional librarians and paraprofessionals in the campus libraries, and, at Mullen, several graduate students assist with reference part-time.
While most reference transactions occur at the Information Desk, questions are also answered over the telephone, via e-mail and, until the end of the 2005-2006 school year, through the Washington Research Library Consortium's cooperative virtual reference service, Ask a Librarian. To make reference service even more accessible, Reference and Instructional Services recently began to offer the Instant Messaging reference service IM@theLibrary. As Ask a Librarian chat reference is phased out, IM@theLibrary should prove to be a fast, convenient way for the CUA community to connect with CUA librarians.
Students will also encounter Reference and Instructional Services staff during library instruction sessions held each semester in Mullen Library's MERIC classroom, and the department's handiwork can be found on instructional guides and handouts throughout the libraries and on the Library Research Guides web page.
The Information Desk on the first floor of Mullen Library is staffed any time the library is open and reference experts are always ready to answer questions, from the most simple and straightforward to the most complex and research intensive. For especially in-depth research needs, consider making an appointment with a subject specialist.
As exams approach and final papers and projects come due, consider contacting a reference specialist - in person, using the phone, by e-mail or through chat reference or IM - to help you find whatever you need.
The Semitics/ICOR Library has been welcomed as a partner institute of APIS, the Advanced Papyrological Information System. According to the APIS Web site, "APIS is a collections-based repository hosting information about and images of papyrological materials (e.g. papyri, ostraca, wood tablets, etc) located in collections around the world." Descriptions, English translations, and digital images of the library's Coptic and Greek ostraca and papyri will begin to be added to APIS over the next two years.
Dr. Monica Blanchard, Curator, Semitics/ICOR Collections; Anne Marie Hules, Reference Librarian for Library and Information Science; Emilie Krut, Reference Librarian for Instructional Services; Anne Lesher, Reference Librarian for Reference Services; Tina O'Grady, Library Assistant, Nursing and Biology Library.
Content editor: Ashley McCall, Library Assistant/Graduate Library Pre-professional
Web editor: Jonathan M. Smith, Electronic Resources (MERIC) Assistant