The View (from Downstairs)

Here is the latest message from Ryan Ingersoll, Head of Library Technology at the SPU Library:

As the Tech Desk continues to evolve, we want to keep you up-to-date on all the new services and products we’ve added.

Last year, the Tech Desk added multiple items for check out including iPod touches, audio recorders, Flip cameras, and MacBook Pros for use within the library. This year, we’ve extended the list to include a Canon Rebel T5i DSLR camera that is available for check out for three days at a time.

In addition, every study room on the Third Level is now equipped with a 46-inch LCD screen that connects to your mobile device (tablet, computer). They are perfect for collaborating on projects where everyone needs to see the screen. If you need HDMI or VGA adapters, they are available for check out at the Tech Desk. Each study room also has mobile furniture – feel free to configure tables and chairs to meet your specific needs.

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Our staff is trained to provide assistance with many of the technology tools we provide, and our knowledge base provides helpful tutorials and tips on these tools also. We are also here if you need help using the new printers (including scanning JPEG images or PDFs), or setting up wireless printing on your Mac or PC.

Visit our website for more information or schedule a one-on-one consultation by emailing librarytechdesk@spu.edu

Interview with a Librarian: Liz Gruchala-Gilbert on USEM and Information Literacy

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What is the Library’s role in the USEM classes?

In the USEM classes, we aim to address the concept of information literacy. Graduates need to be information literate, have critical thinking skills, and be lifelong learners – and the Library works with faculty to make that happen.

USEM is our opportunity to meet all the new students – we probably have interaction with 90% of the first year students through USEM. When they come here we have the opportunity to take them on a tour – it’s a good time for us to introduce the Library to students in a fun way. I like to find out more about their experience with libraries – how they used libraries in high school, or how they use the public library – and then kind of bridge that to how they’re going to use this Library.

That also makes our interaction with new students an introduction to academic culture. They’re spending their first few weeks getting used to being at SPU…but there’s also an academic culture that they’re entering into. When they come here we show them how they’re going to be using more scholarly resources then they ever did before, and some of the nuts and bolts of using the catalog, getting things that are on reserve, and we talk about study habits. We try not to overload them because they’re learning so much in their first few weeks.

What is Information Literacy?

That’s a good question – I don’t know that there’s an agreed upon definition by everybody. First of all, there are different facets to Information Literacy. There’s the technology part where they have to know how to use technology, there’s the tool part where they have to know how to use the catalog, the data bases, and the books. There’s the evaluative part in which students have to know what makes a good source, and why they would be using it. They learn how to make judgments as to when to use the catalog, the databases, google, etc.

Then there’s applying that…how do you take all this data, all this information that you found and actually synthesize it into your paper and then how do you share that. It’s a big process.

Why would you say that Information Literacy is important?

Well on the most fundamental basic level it helps students do their projects and papers better. There are certain requirements that they’re going to have for papers. For example, a student might need five academic journals – so our job is to help the student find those academic journals. Our hope then is that those skills are transferable so that the next assignment the student gets, the student knows where to go and how to get help.

Do you help students figure out which sources are credible and which are not?

Yes. Credibility is incredibly important – sources need to be as credible as possible. Sometimes what I do is I’ll do a google search for a topic and take the first ten results. I divide my class into groups, each group will take one result, look at it, and then report back as to whether they would use it as a source for their paper. Who wrote something, what was their motive for writing it, who published it, is it on the web published by an individual or is it in a book published by a university press, how old is it, does it matter how old it is, who are they citing, are they citing reliable sources, are they citing anyone at all – these questions are all part of the discerning process.

What is your biggest piece of advice from a librarian’s standpoint to freshmen starting classes at college?

It’s so hard, but don’t procrastinate. We all procrastinate, but even little steps of starting early really help. The earlier students start gathering those the better, because it gives them more time to read and understand sources. If someone’s having trouble finding things then, it also gives them time to ask for help.

Campus Closure on Monday

On Monday, all campus offices are closed and classes are canceled in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, 2013. However, the Library will be open from 3 – 11 p.m.

If Memorial Day has sparked your research interests and you are looking for something to read during the extra day, take a look at some of the related resources that our Library currently owns.

The SPU Library hopes all its patrons enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend.

The View (from downstairs)

Here is the latest message from Ryan Ingersoll, Head of Library Technology at the SPU Library:

Did you know the Tech Desk is more than just a place to print your documents? Not only is our goal to provide collaborative space, but also relevant technology tools for students to use in the creation of digital projects. All library computers are loaded with an extensive suite of software. Whether you need to create a brochure or flyer in Adobe InDesign, create floor plans in AutoCAD, or analyze data in IBM SPSS the software you need is here. Additionally, the Tech Desk provides a range of tools for check out including iPod touches and Flip cameras for movie creationMacBook Pros for use within the library (perfect for a study room!), headphones, and audio recorders.

What if you don’t know how to make a movie or use Evernote, for example? Ask the Tech Desk! Our staff is trained to provide assistance with many of the technology tools we provide. If we don’t know the answer we will research it for you. As you finish up your projects for the year we encourage you to stop by to see how we can help you. If you need one-on-one assistance send us an email and we will schedule a time with you. Visit our website to learn more about what we have to offer. Our knowledge base provides helpful tutorials and showcases the different tools we check out.

Library Study Tips

As finals approach and stress levels build, consider these tips from the Library to help make your study and research time more productive:

1) Check out required course reserve materials as far in advance as possible. As due dates approach, these resources can become highly sought after by your peers, which may make it more difficult to access the items in the days before a project is due.

2) Visit our blog tutorials for checking out eBooks, ordering Summit items, viewing ERIC documents, and even searching for videos using our library catalog.

3) Use the Reserve a Room calendar to make reservations for your group to use a study room. See this post for the how-to on reserving a room in the Library.

4) Need a white-board marker for your study group? Check out markers at the Circulation Desk with your SEA PAC card. Remember to return them to the front desk after use.

5) All reference librarians can show you how to find information for your assignments. You can call, email, chat, and even text a reference librarian, or you can email the liaison librarian of your department to make an appointment for specialized help.

6) Need help with a computer issue? Email the Tech Desk to set up an appointment with a specialist who can help you navigate through the complexities of certain software.

7) The Library is open for extended hours beginning May 28 through June 6. The hours are Monday – Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to Midnight, Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from Noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 3 p.m. to Midnight. Take advantage of these extra hours!

Remember, we are here to help with your study needs, so feel free to drop by with a question. Happy studying during these last few weeks of the quarter.