Thursday, December 15, 2005

Closed for the holidays

The College Libraries (both Crumb and Crane) will be closing at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23 and reopening at 7:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2006.

Our web page and electronic resources will still be available during this time; but interlibrary loan requests that are submitted will not be processed until after the libraries reopen on Jan. 3.

We hope you have a happy and safe semester break.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Blues from the Libraries

Congratulations to our own Ed Komara, Crane Librarian! The campus press release explains,
"After seven years and countless hours of work by Edward Komara, Crane librarian at SUNY Potsdam, the Routledge “Encyclopedia of the Blues,” the first-ever comprehensive work chronicling blues music, is now available to the public.

“It is the first multivolume reference work devoted to the blues, on a scale not previously attempted, at over 600,000 words and 75 illustrations, with an index,” said Komara who edited the two-volume set.

According to Komara, the purpose of the “Encyclopedia of the Blues” is to lay a historical, musical and cultural foundation for the future studies of blues music. Coverage of the work encompasses the whole history of the blues, from its antecedents in African and American types of music, through its late 19th-century beginnings among African Americans, the classic pre-World War II era and the influential postwar era, to the contemporary styles performed today for audiences of all races and classes.

The encyclopedia is a multidisciplinary project, combining the work of approximately 140 scholars of music, bibliography, and American history and culture. Many of the contributors came from various backgrounds in music performance, cultural scholarship, the recording industry, and print journalism.

Great work, Ed! Anyone interested in taking a look at this unique and really interesting encyclopedia (there's a great collection of nicknames in the history of blues...) will be able to look at a copy in the Crane Library, at call number ML102.B6 E53 2006. (Right now, it's on display with other faculty publications, in the wall cases between The Greenery and Raymond Hall, but we'll be adding it to the Libraries soon.)

And I'm certain Ed would be happy to talk to anyone about either the encylopedia or the blues! You can find him in the Crane Library...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Crumb Library open until 1 AM

We're reaching the end of the semester, and all the work is coming to an end, too -- final exams, research papers, big projects. And we know you're working hard to get all of those papers and projects finished, and to study for your exams. To make it a little easier for you, Crumb Library's Extended Study Hours are about to begin. Starting on Sunday, December 4 (that's this weekend) through Thursday, December 15, we'll be open until 1 am, Sunday through Thursday nights.

You heard it -- 1 am. We'll only be closed for six hours a day during the next few weeks (from 1 to 7:45 am, when you should be sleeping!) Study until you can't see straight, if you need to -- we'll be open.

Be sure to buy your coffee early, though, because Minerva's is closed after 9 pm. And, don't forget, our reference librarians are at the desk on the first floor to help you out with your research until 10 pm (through December 8, when we go back to our normal hours).

For more information on open hours: College Libraries Hours
For more information on reference hours: Crumb Reference Hours
For more information on Minerva's hours: PACES Snack Bars

How do I cite this...?

For help with how to cite various types of sources - printed and online - we have compiled a page with links to a number of web pages that give guidance, and lots of examples. Whether you're using APA, MLA, Chicago, or whatever style, you should find some helpful advice. This link is on our Research Assistance page under "How to Cite Sources."

And for additional help - ask at the Reference Desks in Crumb or Crane Libraries.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

News feeds on your subject interests

All of the 36 subject-specific pages listed on our "Subject Directory" web page include news feeds. These provide continually updated headlines for news related to that field. The headlines link to more complete news stories - at sites ranging from the New York Times to professional organizations. Check these pages regularly to see the latest news on the subject areas of your interest.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Extended reference service

The end of the semester is getting close, and your big projects will be due soon...

We're here to help. From now until finals week (with the exception of the week of Thanksgiving), there will be someone at the Reference Desk to help you with your research from 9:30 am until 10:00 pm, Monday through Thursday. (We're only here until 4 on Fridays, but who wants to work on Friday, anyway?) Reference librarians are also available on Sundays, from 1-9.

Please stop by. We can help you when you get stuck on your research, if you don't know where to start, or if you just need some reassurance that you're doing it right.

For more information:
Complete schedule for both Crumb and Crane libraries
Reference hours at Crumb Library

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Finding videos in the Libraries

We get a lot of questions about how to find videos and DVDs in the Libraries. We do have a lot of them -- we have classic films, recordings of plays and operas, documentaries, and films for use by classroom teachers. Lots of people don't realize how many movies we have, because they're not kept in any special place, like in a video store. Instead, they're on the shelves with the books, so that if you're looking for criticism of Hamlet, you'll also find the videos of productions of Hamlet on the same shelf, too. Or, if you're looking at books on classroom management skills, you'll find the videos on managing classrooms right next to them.

So how do you find videos in the Libraries?

One way is to do a search in BearCat, and if we have videos on the topic you searched, they'll show up in your search results. But if you're looking for just videos, we have a special catalog -- the Video Collection database -- that you can search. You can find it by clicking here, or by using the drop-down "Change Collection..." menu right above the search box on the main BearCat screen. The top of the screen turns pink to tell you you've changed catalogs, and now you can search for anything -- "special education", "detective films", "American history" -- and find just the videos. Once you find what you need, you can check them out at the circulation desk, and enjoy!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Contact us!

The College Libraries have revamped our directories, and we think they're easier to use, and that they'll tell you more of what you want to know.

To find out who to ask about a particular library service, use the Services Directory, found at . (There's also a link under "Contact Us By Phone" on the homepage.) In the Services Directory, you can click on many of the services we offer to get to an explanatory web page about that service. Ever wondered what a "Consultation" is? Click on it, and see!

To find a person who works in the libraries, or to find out which person does which jobs in the libraries, check the Staff Directory, found at (Also available under "Contact Us By Phone".) If you want to know more about a staff member, click on their name to see more info. As an example of what you might find, here's my directory page.

Let us know what you think about these new directories -- do they help you find what you need?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Newspapers available online...

Many newspapers now have some content online. Often however, the backfile is not available for free, and the cost to download articles can be quite high. Through the library you can access many U.S. and foreign newspapers, including some archival content. For a group of northern New York newspapers the historical content is especially deep. To explore the newspapers available to you, go to our "Articles in Newspapers" page. Within each newspaper collection, there is a way to browse what newspapers are included. All-in-all, many hundreds of newspapers can ow be searched and articles displayed.

Monday, October 17, 2005

How to access CIAO and Earthscape from off-campus

Most of the Libraries' online databases can be accessed from a computer off campus by logging in to our proxy server with your Campus Computer Account. (The proxy server is a nifty piece of equipment that makes it look like you're working from a computer on campus.) However, no matter how hard we try to keep things easy, some databases work differently than others.

Some of our users have pointed out that accessing CIAO and Earthscape (two databases from Columbia University -- one on politics, and one on environmental topics) from off campus is more complicated. To log in to CIAO and Earthscape from the dorm, from home, or from somewhere else off-campus, you have to take one extra step: Create a user account. This can be done in CIAO by clicking on the "Remote Users" link on the left-hand side, and in Earthscape by clicking on the "Work from Home" link under the compass-like-graphic.

However, you must create the user account from on campus so that the database knows which authorized user (SUNY Potsdam) you are affiliated with.

We're working on finding an easier way for our off-campus users to access these (very useful!) Columbia databases, but until then, if you have any questions please contact the reference desk by calling 267-2485, or by sending an instant message to AIM user PotsdamLibrary.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Nobel Prize for Literature, 2005

It was announced today that Harold Pinter, playwright, has won the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature. Reuters newswire reports,
British playwright Harold Pinter, a master of sparse dialogue and menacing silences who has been an outspoken critic of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, was the surprise winner of the Nobel literature prize on Thursday.

The 75-year-old Londoner, son of a Jewish dressmaker, is one of Britain's best-known dramatists for plays like "The Birthday Party" and "The Caretaker", whose mundane dialogue with sinister undercurrents gave rise to the adjective "Pinteresque".

An intimidating presence with bushy eyebrows and a rich voice, he was described by Swedish Academy head Horace Engdahl, who announced the prize, as "the towering figure" in English drama in the second half of the 20th century.

[Full story available here.]

We have a collection of Pinter's works in the library; click here to see the list. Also, we have books about his life and work, here.

The Bregman Browsing Collection, in the lobby of Crumb Library, contains many award-winning literary and non-fiction works -- if you're interested in noteworthy new publications, be sure to check the browsing shelves by the couches.

Congratulations, Mr. Pinter!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Looking for a computer? Try a laptop!

It's a Sunday evening, and the library's filling up... and so are the computers. But don't lose hope! You can still do your work here, if this is where you want or need to be -- we have 8 laptop computers available for use in Crumb Library.

You can sign out a laptop at the Circulation Desk, using your SUNYCard. Since wireless access is available in many places in the library -- we'll give you a map of the best spots when you pick up the computer -- you can get online wherever you need to be, and you can save to Helios even if you're sitting on one of the couches on the second floor. For more information, check our Laptop Policies page.

And, if the Reference computers are full, and our laptops are checked out, don't forget that more computers are available in the Levitt Center in Merritt Hall.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

ARTstor Network problems

We have been experiencing intermittent access problems to the ARTstor image database. CTS is working with the technical staff at ARTstor to resolve the problems. We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope to have it resolved soon. Thanks for your patience.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Banned Books Week, 9/24-10/1

Banned Books Week 2005 is September 24–October 1.

What is Banned Books Week? The American Library Association writes,
Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met." []

Banned Books Week is about understanding censorship. The National Council of Teachers of English writes,
"We can safely make two statements about censorship: first, any work is potentially open to attack by someone, somewhere, sometime, for some reason; second, censorship is often arbitrary and irrational. " []
Did you know that people have tried to prevent the teaching of these books?
These books were all challenged -- school or library boards removed them (or were asked to remove them) from school curriculum and from libraries -- for different reasons. Books are challenged because they are perceived to be racist, violent, sexually explicit, and many other reasons. My favorite (found at The Forbidden Library) is that The Lorax was challenged for displaying hostility toward the logging industry!

Banned Books Week celebrates the fact that while the charges against the books may be true -- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer does depict harmful racial stereotypes and attitudes about slavery -- the books still have literary value. They can help us understand our past, and they can be valuable in teaching about issues that still face us today, like race, class, violence, the environment, and censorship.

So, this week, celebrate the freedom to read -- read a banned book!

For more information on Banned Books Week, try the following links:

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

CD sale a success!

The CD sale last week was a big success -- thanks to all of you who stopped by. If you missed the sale, check the Crane Library periodically -- we'll be selling the rest of the CDs in Crane during the fall semester.

Thanks for supporting the library, and we hope you enjoy your purchases!

Monday, September 05, 2005

College Libraries on LiveJournal

Are you a LiveJournal user? Now you can add the College Libraries News blog, and the Potsdam Reads blog, to your Friends list. We've syndicated our blogs in LJ for your convenience.

You can find the news here:

and book reviews here:

So, friend us, and enjoy! If there are any other ways we can make it easier for you to learn about what's going on at the Libraries, leave a comment, send us an email, or put a note in our suggestion box.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Updated resources on the hurricane disaster

The hurricane has passed, but the effects of the hurricane are just beginning. We are all shocked by the destruction we're seeing, and many of us want to stay informed and learn how to help.

There is a lot of information available, all over the internet and traditional news media. Earlier this week, I posted a few online sources to check for evolving information. Here are a few more.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper is still publishing, but only online. You can find their reports on daily life in New Orleans at The NOLA site also includes a web forum to talk with others about the disaster, and a "Missing Persons" board to help people find their loved ones. is hosting a guide for hurricane-related housing, where people can search for a temporary home or volunteer some space, at is providing the maps and images of New Orleans that you may be seeing on CNN tv reports.

There is also an extensive and growing list of resources being compiled by the Middletown Thrall Library, here in New York, available here:

And, as always, any of our reference librarians would be happy to help you find any information you need. Just stop by, send us an instant message (PotsdamLibrary), or an email. Finding information is what we do, and we're glad to help you.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Coming Soon - Bregman Book Discussion

Join us in the Crumb Lobby for our first Bregman Book Discussion of the Fall

Date: Tuesday September 6, 2005

Time: 4 PM

Book: Heading South, Looking North: A Bilingual Journey by Ariel Dorfman

Panelists: Liliana Trevizan – Modern Languages
Steve Marqusee – Arts & Sciences
Onnie Bock – Honors Student
Rebecca Nelson – Honors Student

Monday, August 29, 2005

Stay current on Katrina

If you've been watching the progress and destruction of Hurricane Katrina, whether out of curiousity, sympathy, or concern for friends and family, there are a few websites that might be very useful to you:


Courtesy Notices

Library courtesy notices are now being sent to your campus e-mail account. These notices are sent as reminders when loaned material are due. Check the link to "Loans and Renewals" for instructions on requesting a renewal.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Library office

The secretary's position in Crumb Library is now vacant. (Congratulations to Lori-ane Dillon on her new position in the School of Education and Professional Studies.) If you need assistance normally provided by the secretary in the Director's office in Crumb Library, please check in the interlibrary loan / reference office next door. Thanks for your patience during this period of transition.

Rebecca Thompson

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Looking for a good book to read?

The College Libraries has a new project in the works -- a blog called "Potsdam Reads". A few book-loving librarians (and we're trying to recruit some faculty and staff, as well) will be posting about books we liked, with a short statement of Why I Liked This Book. If you're tired of reading textbooks, need a paperback for an airplane read, or are just looking for something you might not think of yourself, check it out!

Potsdam Reads can be found on the left hand side of the College Libraries homepage, and a feed of current reviews can be found in the same place on the Finding Books page.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

POIESIS - a philosophy research tool

The most comprehensive online search service for philosophy journals, POIESIS is now available to the SUNY Potsdam community. Use it to look for articles in over 100 journals, with links to full-text of the articles, when available.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

New Summer Reference Service

During Summer Sessions, you will be able to connect to Crumb Library reference services in a variety of ways. Librarians will staff the reference desk, be available for IM chat, answer e-mail queries and offer appointments for research consultations. Click on our “Ask a Librarian” link on our web site and choose the option that best fits your needs.

Friday, August 12, 2005

About the bloggers

The College Libraries news blog is a library-wide venture -- we're all eager to tell our corner of the internet about what we do in the Libraries, what we're excited about, and what we think you might find most useful to know about. Check the name at the bottom of each post to see who wrote each piece, and if you're curious to know more about us, stop by and introduce yourself!

About the College Libraries News Blog

Over the years, the College Libraries have used lots of ways to keep students, faculty, staff, and the community up-to-date on what's going on in the Libraries. Our newest method of telling you about what you can find and do at Crumb and Crane libraries is this: The College Libraries News Blog.

We hope to use this blog to tell you about events in the library, about new books and databases, about research tips and tricks, about cool new stuff on the internet... and about whatever we think you might like to know. And our goal is to update several times each week, so check back.

Or, if you use a feed-reader like BlogLines, you can subscribe to this feed using the RSS feed link, permanently located in the sidebar on the left. You can also find the feed on the College Libraries web site, at the bottom of the front page.

However you choose to acquire our newsfeed, we hope you find what you were looking for!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

August 25 - Information Technology Fair

The College Libraries and Computing & Technology Services are hosting the 4th annual Information Technology Fair from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 25 in Crumb Library - LTEC (first floor). Drop in anytine.

Special demonstrations are scheduled for the following times: "Blogging & instant messenger"- 11:15-12:00 ; "The NEW MeetingMaker"- 12:15-1:00 ; "Coming Soon: D Space, GoogleEarth, SUNY Universal Borrowing"- 1:15-2:00 ; "E-mail Services"- 2:15-3:00 ; "Classroom podium demonstration"- 1:00 (Kellas 102) ; "Technology facilities tour"- 2:00 (meet in Kellas 102).

Schedule of events.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Understanding the Supreme Court

Has the resignation of Sandra Day O'Connor made you wish you knew more about the Supreme Court? The Association of American University Presses has assembled a detailed bibliography of books on the Constitution, Constitutional Law, and the Courts. Check BearCat to see if the title that catches your eye is in Crumb Library!

The Constitution and the Courts
As John Roberts' nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court proceeds through the Senate, readers may be looking for more information on Constitutional law and the American courts. Many relevant books are available through a sub-category of the Books for Understanding Civil Liberties list.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Too hot to study!

We know it's hot in Crumb Library.

It may be hot in here, but would you rather it were snowing? I can live with a stuffy office if I get to leave work and wander in the sun... without snow.

In the meantime, Crane Library is well air-conditioned, and the Physical Plant is working hard to get the chillers working right in Crumb.