Odum Library Blog

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Learn, Study, Discover

Is your Works Cited page puny?

by Ginger Williams on November 30, 2010 in Odum Library

I’m going to go over the ten tips you’ll need to know in order to find some reliable articles for your term paper.  We’re getting close to the finish line for Fall 2010, and I don’t want to waste any of your time.

Photo by Caro's Lines: http://www.flickr.com/photos/caroslines/3199807082/

  1. The library’s databases (Academic Search Complete, JSTOR, etc.) are designed for doing scholarly research. Google isn’t.  If you use the databases properly they will actually save you time.
  2. If you need to find articles for your paper, start at the articles tab.
  3. General databases are a good place to start because they have a little bit of everything (like the Palms!).  Give Academic Search Complete a try first.
  4. If the general database doesn’t have what you need, try a subject database.  These databases are focused on just one discipline (like a barbeque restaurant!).  Select a subject from the drop-down menu labeled “Articles by Subject”.  You’ll see the databases our librarians recommend under “Try these first!”.
  5. Whichever database you choose, don’t waste your time with a basic search.  Do an advanced search and break your topic into key concepts.  If you’re writing about childhood obesity, try searching for the terms children and obesity.
  6. Most databases don’t recognize natural language.  What does that mean?  Instead of searching for influence of high fructose corn syrup on childhood obesity rates in Mid-Atlantic states, you will need to break your idea down into keywords.  There is no right answer to which keywords will find everything you want, so be patient and keep trying.
  7. Most databases will let you limit your search in a variety of ways.  If you need to search for peer reviewed journals only, or if you can only use a certain date range (maybe nothing older than ten years), look for these limiters.
  8. If you want more information about the best way to search, try our guide: http://www.valdosta.edu/library/learn/booleans.shtml
  9. It isn’t too late to do a great job on your papers, but your deadlines are getting closer every minute.  You need to start writing as soon as possible to make sure we can help you get the information you need.
  10. Finally, research can be a messy and confusing process.  If you get stuck, ask a reference librarian for help.  That’s what we’re here for!

If you’re off campus, don’t forget to login to Anywhere Access with your BlazeVIEW username and password before you try to access our databases.

Don't be a turkey, write your term papers!

by Ginger Williams on November 22, 2010 in Odum Library

Just because you’re heading home to spend some quality time with your family doesn’t mean you can’t work on all of your term papers.  You know the ones: they’ve been nagging you all semester, their deadlines approaching, but you’ve put them off until now.  Well, there’s no time like holiday time for getting them done.  Here’s why:

1. You can only watch so much football.  Whenever your viewing quota is finally met, hit the library homepage.

2. Those day-after-Thanksgiving sales only cause temporary bliss.  Remember that you’re only saving money if you would have bought the same stuff at full price.  Put a time limit on your shopping extravaganza (can you fit it all into 2 hours?) and get to work on your papers!

3.  If you take a post-turkey nap, you will be full of energy on Thanksgiving evening.  Channel that into something useful.  Just imagine: if you write your papers now you’ll actually be able to study for finals.  What a concept!

You can still get access to our databases when you’re at home with your family over Thanksgiving break.  Just start from our homepage and click on Anywhere Access.  Once you’ve logged in with your BlazeVIEW username and password you’ll be free to find journal articles and read ebooks to your heart’s content.  Click on GALILEO@VSU to go directly into GALILEO, or if you prefer using our subject guides, click on Odum Library to search from our homepage.  You’ll then be able to use our Articles Tab to get into the general databases or find a more specific database under articles by subject.

If you just don’t know where to begin, there’s lots to learn on our Library Help page.

Sometimes it’s hard to focus without a little bit of background noise.  Why not listen to some classical music while you work?  We created a station just for you that you can listen to for free online at Pandora.com.  If you’re studying in the library, please remember to be considerate and use headphones.

Finally, keep in mind that the Library will be closing at midnight on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 and will reopen Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 9:00 AM for the Thanksgiving Holidays.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Brains . . . *gasp* . . . BRAINS . . .

by Maureen Puffer-Rothenberg on November 17, 2010 in Odum Library

For you zombie-philes we have the first four collected volumes of Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel series The Walking Dead.

Here you can watch a 2008 video of Kirkman talking about creating and reading comic books, and the state of the industry.

“I’m still reading comics, comics are better than television and movies, and the more people that knew that, the better off they’d be.” –Robert Kirkman

New Franzen, Sedaris, and Many More

by Maureen Puffer-Rothenberg on November 9, 2010 in Collection, Odum Library

We’ve added new titles to our POPULAR shelves, including

Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom,

Nancy Grace’s Death on the D-List,

Terry McMillan’s Getting to Happy, and

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris.

Popular books are located on the 2nd floor next to Copier Room #2621.

Daylight Saving Time

by Ginger Williams on November 6, 2010 in Odum Library

It’s time to fall back again!  Daylight saving time ends Sunday morning at 2AM.  Remember to turn your clocks back an hour before you go to sleep tonight.

Why should you care?  Well, you get to sleep an extra hour!  Also, you probably don’t want to show up an hour early for any obligations you have Sunday, or for that first class of the day Monday morning.

Is your clock right?  Check the Official U.S. Time to be sure.

Would you like to learn more about the history of daylight saving time and the controvery that surrounds it?  Check out Spring Forward: the annual madness of daylight saving.  We have a copy available on the 3rd floor: HN49.D3 D69 2005

If you just want general information about daylight saving time, why not check the encyclopedia?  You can access many encyclopedias, including Encyclopædia Britannica, online through GALILEO.  Simply click on GALILEO > Resources by Type > Encyclopedias.

“Salvador Dalí: The Persistence of Memory, oil on canvas, 243×333 mm, 1931 (New York, Museum of Modern Art); © 2007 Salvador Dalí, Gala–Salvador Dalí Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, photo © Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. 6 Nov. 2010 <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/img/grove/art/F017252>.

"The World Will Little Note, Nor Long Remember . . . "

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

Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery on November 19, 1863. Here you can see an amazing animation of the Gettysburg Address.

Odum Library of course has books about Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address including November: Lincoln’s Elegy at Gettysburg (an ebook) and Lincoln at Gettysburg: the Words that Remade America.

We also have facsimiles of handwritten drafts of the Gettysburg Address.

Vtext: VSU's Open Access Repository

by Michael Holt on November 4, 2010 in Odum Library


Take a look at Vtext, Valdosta State University’s open access institutional repository.

A previous blog post covered what Vtext is, how it works, why you should use it, and who to contact for more information.

A lot of material has been added to Vtext.  To view our repository and look around at some of the items we have added, go here: http://vtext.valdosta.edu.

You can browse or search the contents.

Here are a few sample collections that show what we have available on Vtext.

Electronic Theses and Dissertations – This collection houses theses and dissertations that VSU Graduate Students have written.

MLIS Faculty Research and Teaching Materials – This collection houses the  research and teaching materials that have been created by our institution’s Library and Information Science faculty.

The Pine Branch: A Student Publication – This collection contains issues of a literary magazine that was published in the early days of Valdosta State University

Happy Election Day

by Sherrida Crawford on November 2, 2010 in Odum Library

So the race has started and we would just like to wish everyone a happy Election Day. If you haven’t voted yet, it is encouraged that you go out there and cast your ballot. Remember, every vote counts! For some useful information about voting, be sure to check out this GALILEO Election Day link for everything from your local polling location, to the history of elections.