Odum Library Blog

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Learn, Study, Discover

Term paper blues?

by Ginger Williams on March 29, 2011 in Odum Library

April is right around the corner, and with it comes the term paper blues. It’s a busy month in the library as our students are scrambling to find enough resources to cite in their research papers.

If you’re feeling frustrated and can’t find what you need, we’re here to help.

Why not stop by the reference desk on the second floor of the library? Reference Librarians and Peer Reference Counselors are here until 10PM most days to help you with your research questions. We’ll gladly show you how to find books in our catalog, how to find peer-reviewed journal articles, how to request things that Odum Library doesn’t have, and how to cite your sources.

You can get help online, too. Maybe you’re shy, maybe you don’t want your friends to see you talking to a Librarian, or maybe you just want to stay in your dorm room and work on your paper in your pajamas. You can chat with us or send us an email at http://www.valdosta.edu/library/ask.php.

The choice is yours. You can try to figure it all out on your own, or you can save yourself some time and talk to a Librarian. We want to help you find the information you need, and we definitely don’t want you to have the term paper blues!

[Image from doctortext-info.blogspot.com]

Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan: Stay Informed

by Emily Rogers on March 20, 2011 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Following an event of the magnitude of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, U.S. government agencies, as well as nongovernmental organizations, work to provide accurate, up-to-date information. 

The latest information on the crisis in Japan is available through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Travel.state.gov site.

The website of the Embassy of the United States in Tokyo serves as a clearinghouse of links to information from various organizations.

Scientific details about the March 11 earthquake are available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Emergency Preparedness and Response website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides recent information on responses to earthquakes, tsunamis, and radiation monitoring. 

If you wish to help, a list of links to organizations including the American Red Cross and religious and other charitable relief agencies is available from InterAction, an alliance of U.S.-based nongovernmental organizations.

E-Book dilemma

by Ginger Williams on March 15, 2011 in Odum Library

Believe it or not, librarians love e-books. We like being able to tell students on campus or off that a book is immediately available to them. They don’t have to be reshelved or repaired. They don’t go missing.

Many of you have probably “borrowed” an e-book from your public library. Services such as Overdrive let users from many public libraries check out an e-book to read on their own mobile device (such as a Nook or iPad) for a set period of time. After the time is up the e-book expires- no need to physically return anything to the library.

E-book publishers have noticed that we love e-books, and they are trying to figure out ways they can increase their revenue. Harper Collins in particular recently decided to limit the circulation of its e-books to 26 lends. That means that after an e-book reaches the 26-loan limit it isn’t accessible to readers anymore and the library has to buy it again.

Why is this such a big problem for libraries? Many libraries rely on taxpayer money, tuition, and other public funding sources so they can purchase materials. These libraries have policies in place that require them to make fiscally sound decisions about what to buy. As an example, a hardback copy of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline costs about $8. You buy it once and that hardback will last a long, long time. What if you had to keep buying the book every year? That wouldn’t seem like nearly as good an investment, would it?

Libraries already struggle to make the most of budgets that are getting smaller or, at best, staying stagnant. Meanwhile, the prices of our materials (especially electronic resources) continue to rise. What are we to do? There is no easy answer.

The New York Times ran an article about the e-book debacle you can read here. You might also want to watch the video the Pioneer Library System made about the 26-lends rule. Librarian-bloggers like Kate Sheehan and Andy Woodworth have had a lot to say about it. Finally, you can read the American Library Association’s statement on e-book lending restrictions here.

What do you think about limiting the number of times libraries can lend an e-book?

Enjoy Georgia this spring break!

by Emily Rogers on March 8, 2011 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Enjoy Georgia this spring break!

Even if you haven’t booked a cruise or tour, you can still enjoy some recreation this spring break, right here in Georgia! The 2011 Georgia Travel Guide is available online, and you can check out the print version of this year’s and earlier issues in Odum Library’s Georgia Documents Collection, on the library’s second floor at GA DOCS call number I500.T6 S1 G3.

The 2011 guide features suggestions for cheap dates, history of the state’s entry into the Civil War, and an interview with celebrity cook Paula Deen!


Paula Deen and sons at Wormsloe Historic Site, photo by Chia Chong

You can find a state park, book a room, or otherwise plan your trip at ExploreGeorgia.org. Don’t have time or money to travel at all?  Then take a quick look at Georgia’s beaches, mountains, restaurants, theme parks, and culture through this video tour of Georgia, courtesy of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Preparing for a Stress Free Spring Break

by Ginger Williams on March 4, 2011 in Odum Library

Odum Library keeps getting busier and busier these days, and I think I know why. Midterms are approaching and papers are due soon. You’re working on group projects, annotated bibliographies, argumentative essays, and much more. This may be hard for you to believe, but your librarians were students once, too. (I think the ink on my Master’s diploma is finally dry now!) We want you to have a relaxing Spring Break, and we don’t want you to have to think about homework at all that week.

Here is a bit of advice that will go against everything in your last-minute, all-nighter nature: start writing your papers early.

No, I’m not joking. I know it’s hard to do, but getting ahead on your papers will not only free you up when you’re heading to Atlanta or Miami for Spring Break, but it might even help you get better grades, too. You’ll have more time to think about things like how you want to structure your ideas andwhat kind of resources you will need. When you’re digging through articles in Academic Search Complete, you won’t have to limit yourself to full text articles because you will have time to request the ones that are just perfect for your topic through Interlibrary Loan.

We’ve created dozens of guides that will help you with your research. If you’re stumped, our librarians are always happy to help. Come see us at the Reference Desk if you can (it’s the one by the printers on the 2nd floor) or ask us a question online. Remember, research takes time. Be patient with yourself, and ask for help when you need it.

Have a fun, restful break!

How Do You Like Your Books? Rare? Very Rare?

by Maureen Puffer-Rothenberg on March 3, 2011 in Odum Library

We’ve totally tagged our rare books in GIL-Find. Search for the tag rare (or just click here) to see a list of all the rare books in VSU’s Archives and Special Collections (on Odum Library’s 4th floor).

You can find all kinds of amazing things in the Archives . . .

Clay Tablet (ca. 2350 B.C.)

Clay Tablet (ca. 2350 B.C.)

Joyce Joyce Collection

Joyce Joyce Collection

Math and Science Club, 1931

Math and Science Club, 1931