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Learn, Study, Discover

Odum Express brings the books to you!

by Ginger Williams on August 26, 2010 in Odum Library

Attention distance students! Do you need a book we have in Odum Library, but you don’t live in Lowndes County? Maybe you live in Alpharetta or Macon.. it doesn’t matter where. If you’re a distance student taking all of your classes online and you live outside of Lowndes County, we will ship our books to you. We don’t offer self-addressed stamped envelopes- you do have to pay for the return postage yourself. The good news is that you’ll save a lot of gas money and avoid a trip to Valdosta. Of course, we always love it when our distance students come for a visit, too!


For information about our Odum Express delivery service as well as the many other great services we offer our distance students, see our helpful Services for Distance Education website here: http://www.valdosta.edu/library/services/distanceeducation.shtml

You can find more on Interlibrary Loan and Odum Express here:

Puppets Available to Check Out

by Maureen Puffer-Rothenberg on August 24, 2010 in Odum Library

If you’re working with children this semester, remember Odum Library has a large selection of hand puppets available to check out.

Ask at the main Circulation Desk to see the puppets. Most are realistic-looking animals.


Our newest addition is this eight-foot-long plush snake.


FACT OR FICTION: Vampires in Odum Library?

by Ginger Williams on August 17, 2010 in Odum Library

Dr. Iva Bitten, a visiting Anthropology professor at VSU, is behaving in a very suspicious manner.  Dr. Bitten is working on an article about vampire culture and is only seen on campus after sunset…

Search the library for clues and use your deductive powers to decide if you think Dr. Bitten has indeed become a vampire.

Join in the mystery.  It’s happening this Friday, August 20th, at 4pm.  Meet in room 1480 on the first floor of the library if you dare.

Dr. Iva Bitten

If you finish the mystery you’ll get free pizza and drinks!  There will also be prizes.  Bring your friends for an afternoon of fun in the library.


by Sherrida Crawford on August 16, 2010 in Odum Library

Welcome back!

Some of our veteran students may notice a few changes with our computer infrastructure since Spring ’10. For those of you who were not here during these changes over the summer, here is a brief explanation to guide you along the way. All of this information can be found at the IT Helpdesk website, but hopefully this blog will help relieve some of the stress from them.

One of the major changes has been our migration from Blazenet e-mail, to LIVE@V-State. Our new e-mail provider is powered by Microsoft, and we still get to keep our @valdosta.edu accounts! The IT Helpdesk has provided a website dedicated to all things e-mail related, and if you have any issues with your email, please visit the IT Helpdesk Email Webpage before calling them.

For users logging in to LIVE@V-State for the first time, please note it is a bit different than your first time logging into the old Blazenet e-mail system.

John Doe is logging into LIVE@V-State for the first time.
He will need the following information:
Year of Birth: 1966
First and Last CAPITALIZED Initials: JD
The Last 4 digits of his VSU ID#: XXXXX1234 *X
*Please note, the last digit on your VSU ID card indicates how many reprints of your card has been made. This is used to verify if that card is the current card in use.

John Doe will now log in with:

*You must use the whole e-mail address.

First time use password is in year of birth, capitalized initials, and last 4 digits of VSU ID# format.

So John Doe’s first time login password is:

If you have any other issues, again please visit the IT Helpdesk Email Webpage, call them at 245-4357, or visit them at the Odum Library, 2nd Floor, next to Circulation.

Again, welcome to all of our new and returning students, and have a wonderful semester!

Text the Odum Library!

by Jeffrey Gallant on August 13, 2010 in Odum Library

If you stumbled upon our Live Chat page recently, you may have seen the new “Text the Reference Desk!” window.  While it may sound too good to be true, you’re not dreaming!  During normal Reference Desk hours, you can now send a short text message question to the desk and get a quick response.  The number is located here: http://www.valdosta.edu/library/ask.php .

Why would you want to send a text message to the Reference Desk?  Well, here are a few examples.

  1. You are most comfortable asking small questions through text messaging. If you wanted to know how late we were open, you could text “When does the library close tonight?”
  2. You want to ask us a quick question about printing, but you’re halfway across campus, away from a computer, and would have to walk all the way here to ask it.  Simply have the number ready in your phone, and send us a text: “Is color printing available in the library?”
  3. You’re at lunch talking with friends, and a small basic knowledge question arises; something like “Wait, what was the capital of Paraguay again?” It’s bugging you, and you would like to consult a trustworthy source, but you’re out and about.  Text that short question to us, and we’ll send you an answer supported by trustworthy library resources.

Of course, text messages need to be short (typically under 160 characters), and depending on your wireless plan, they may cost you money.  Because of that, there are questions that should not be asked by text, especially large research questions that would require a huge amount of text messages.  Here are a few examples of what should be asked by a different method, such as in-person or through email:

  1. “I need to find 15 scholarly articles on the effects of global warming on mating habits of the Tsetse fly.”
  2. “I’m trying to narrow down my research topic and begin searching through databases for my first literature review. Can you help?”
  3. “I’m looking for five books on Chinese e-commerce, but I’ve never used the catalog. Could you guide me through how to find these books?”

It’s our initial semester of doing text reference service, so please pardon our dust as we open up this brand-new service!  If you want to let us know about how awesome or not-so-awesome your text reference experience was, let us know via chat, email, in-person conversation, or phone.

Or just send us another text!

Welcome, distance students!

by Ginger Williams on August 10, 2010 in Odum Library, Services

VSU fountain

The semester is approaching, and fast. Whether you took classes this summer or you’re coming back from a break, we hope you’re as excited as we are that Fall 2010 is about to begin.

While you may not be on campus to witness move-in day and the many different orientations that take place, we want you to know you’re a part of this campus. You have the same concerns about ordering textbooks, making sure you’ve enrolled in the right classes, finding time to study, and graduating. You should have the same access to the great resources Odum Library provides its on-campus users. Here’s the good news: you do!

How does it work?

First of all, you can access journal articles (even those “peer reviewed” articles your professors keep asking for!) through Anywhere Access. Just log in with your BlazeVIEW username and password and you’ll have full access to the GALILEO databases.

Need books? You can check them out from any library in the University System of Georgia. Need one we have at VSU, but not at the USG library close to you? You can have it sent to that library for you to pick up. Read all about it at http://gilexpress.usg.edu/. If you need a book that the USG libraries don’t have you can submit an ILLiad request to have it mailed directly to you.

Maybe you need help from a librarian. You know you need information, but you don’t know where to find it. Just ask! We’re here to help, so contact us by chat, phone, or email at http://www.valdosta.edu/library/ask.php For questions about distance access to library services contact Ginger Williams, the Reference/Outreach Services Librarian via e-mail or call  229-245-3745.

For more detailed information about all the opportunities distance users have to connect with Odum Library, check out the library’s webpage on Services for Distance Education.

Have a great semester!

Browse New Books on Virtual Shelves

by Maureen Puffer-Rothenberg on August 5, 2010 in Odum Library

New Books @ Odum Library links to virtual (Shelfari®) shelves of our latest bestsellers, children’s books, graphic novels and comics , and young adult novels.

New Books also features a shelf of recently purchased kids’ books about wildlife, the outdoors, trees, and dirt.

On the virtual shelves you can mouse over any book cover to see a short description of the book, and beneath that, Odum Library’s call number. Children’s books also display a grade or reading level next to the call number.

We’ll highlight other collections and update these as we add new titles during the Fall semester.

Wynne_Jones_TheUninvitedsolarMiss Finch FC featheredInto the Beautiful Northlivingcolor

Tech Corner: Social Networks and the "End of Forgetting"

by Jeffrey Gallant on August 4, 2010 in Odum Library, Tech Corner

Welcome to the Odum Library’s Tech Corner! This is a blog section written by Jeff Gallant- a Reference Librarian, tech enthusiast, and self-professed geek.

Jeffrey Rosen, law professor at George Washington University, contributed an article to the New York Times recently that defines a big problem with the distribution of information over the Web: when you post your own personal information, the Internet “records everything and forgets nothing.”  The name of the article is “The Web Means the End of Forgetting,” and it’s located here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/magazine/25privacy-t2.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

The article does give mention to the most obvious hot topic in this subject area, the major privacy changes that Facebook have made largely without asking its users.  It’s also about other social networking tools – including photo-sharing applications or even the online forum, now seen almost as an ancient predecessor to current social networks.  It also mentions a book that deals with this issue, “Delete: the virtue of forgetting in the digital age,” which is currently being ordered for the VSU library: http://gilfind.valdosta.edu/vufind/Record/654957

These two sources paint a picture of a new global “society” of sorts, where privacy is being whittled away in favor of sharing as much information as possible, and it can be frightening in many ways.  There are already stories about people losing jobs due to a social networking picture post (both sources above talk about the “Drunken Pirate” situation), and there are even more stats about Human Resources departments profiling applicants through Google for publicly-available information.

However, what are the alternatives when one wants to share information?  You can impose anonymity rules on your social networking site, but anonymity is a double-edged sword:  you can feel free to express yourself without repercussions, sure, but there is no accountability to what an anonymous poster says.  Therefore, companies like Yelp are rewarding their users for sharing personal information, such as a name and picture, in order to make posters to the site a bit more accountable and therefore make the information there more authoritative (meaning it’s more trusted, it has more authority – this is a term librarians often use for the more trustworthy research materials at the library).

Blizzard, the company responsible for World of Warcraft, famously tried to impose a RealID system on its forums, where all users displayed their full name.  One person who worked for Blizzard advocated for the change by posting his full name, and immediately found his personal life, along with the names of his children and wife, displayed for all to see. Blizzard later rescinded on their decision to implement RealID, at least for now. http://www.examiner.com/x-12491-Dallas-PS3-Examiner~y2010m7d9-Blizzards-Real-IDs-flaws-already-exposed

While libraries have always valued making as much information as possible accessible, this information was commonly published, scholarly, or entertaining – not necessarily personal.  However, an experienced researcher knows the value of visiting the Archives and reading “commonplace” unpublished correspondence (mostly letters/telegrams) from a historical figure being researched, and he or she will probably talk about how it’s a window into the life of someone, aside from the professional image the person conveyed in public.  Without personal information being shared, many biographies would be incredibly impersonal and “cold” books that wouldn’t allow you to relate to the person being researched.

Personal information is necessary for these purposes and biographies show a good side to sharing it.  It is good to note that most of the time in these instances where personal information is shared in published works, either the person has passed away and the estate allows the dissemination of this information, or the person gives legal consent to publish the information, often within a contract where they are compensated.  The exceptions would be the newer instant-journalism sites that employ paparazzi or tabloids that fabricate information.

I’m sure you know by now that there’s no easy solution to this emerging problem, but for a start, you can control much of what is publicly displayed about you throughout the Internet.  Be sure to check the account settings for each social networking tool you use; most will allow you to make your information private or only available to those you are connected with.  If you are concerned about what is out there, use multiple search engines to scan the open Web for your name and your most used usernames.  Also, if you register with a new social networking site, be sure to check the privacy section of their Terms of Service; this section will illustrate what a site will do with your information.  You don’t typically need to pay a security agency like the Reputation Defender mentioned in the New York Times article; you just need a little bit of time, a little bit of know-how, and that initial awareness that the Internet does not forget.

Also, while VSU librarians are typically helping people with scholarly research, we also are here to help you with other types of information, including technology help.  If you have a technology question, feel free to ask a librarian!