Archive for October, 2012

Ever wonder why elections are held on a Tuesday? Elections for President, Congress and the Senate have been held on Tuesdays since 1845, when lawmakers concluded it was the easiest day for farmers in a nation’s agrarian society to get to their polling places.

Remember to vote Tuesday November 6.

Confused about all the issues and where the candidates stand? Check out the U.S. Politics site on About.com, which is where the little factoid above came from. The site nicely organizes all the current news surrounding the presidential election (like what happens if the presidential race is tied), and has tabs for “Issues” and “Elections and Leaders”.  It’s pretty non-partisan, focusing on issues, not  editorial interpretations.


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This is the time in the semester when students are most likely struggling with choosing a topic and getting started with their research. The Library has a number of links that can help you! We have a webpage titled “E-Research Help” that links to 4 tutorials that can be found under the Getting Started page, Concept Mapping Tools.  A concept map is simply a visual representation of your topic, with all the different aspects of the topic. It helps you think about related concepts, and gives you an opportunity to generate key search terms.

The first two sites walk you through examples of how to develop your own concept map, and questions that help you focus on narrowing or expanding your topic to fit the assignment requirements set by your professor. The remaining two sites are both interactive – that means you type in your topic, and a concept map is generated for you!

Give these resources a try. You’ll be glad you did.

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Our premier online reference database CREDO recently introduced Topic Pages.  When you search a subject in CREDO, the first result will almost always be a Topic Page.  Or you can click the Topic Page tab at the top of the screen and search just for topic pages.  A Topic Page gives you a brief overview, subject entries from reference sources (like encyclopedias, dictionaries, and atlases), related photos, a list of related Topic Pages, links to journal articles in other library databases, titles of books, and web links.

Now is the time to get started gathering material for your research assignments. Some of you may be a little lost and don’t know where to start your library search, so a CREDO Topic Page can help you pull things together. Check out this great page on Tobacco as an example.

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The 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week is being held September 30–October 6, 2012. As  the American Library Association gears up for this exciting week, celebrated with local read-out events and online videos from people around the world that proclaim their freedom to read, they are excited to feature the first video that is part of the 50-State Salute to Banned Books Week. Click on the map for the state of your choice – Massachusetts has two short videos posted. Take a minute to honor your freedom to read.

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