Wednesday, November 28, 2012

High Activity in Computer Commons

The Library Computer Commons is seeing extremely high usage these days as Toros commit to completing final projects and papers, and gear up for final exams.  In the midst of all this activity, class instruction sessions are scheduled, printers crash, and the lost and found continues to collect items.

Even this late in the semester professors continue to request instruction sessions in research strategies and library services for their classes.  Upcoming sessions, held in the computer labs, will close one lab on Thursday, Nov. 29th from 8:00 am until 11:30 am and then again from 3:45 pm until 5:30 pm.  You can keep abreast of any additional closures on our Twitter feed, @CSUDHLib, or Facebook and Google+ pages at CSU Dominguez Hills Library. 

When the labs are closed, check for available desktop computers on the 3rd floor of Library South, the 1st floor of Library North in the Instructional Media Center and, of course, on the ground floor of Welch Hall, room 160.  You may also borrow laptops or iPads from the Laptop Loan Office.  The Laptop Loan Office, located on the 3rd floor of Library South behind the elevators, serves current students in good standing and requires registration to participate in the loan program. 

With the increase in printing, printers occasionally jam or experience coin confusion.  Librarians and Library Services Specialists, located at the Information/Reference Desk, can handle most print issues and call upon Information Technology Specialists to assist when needed.  See the staff in the Laptop Loan Office to rectify issues with the 3rd floor printer. 

Our lost and found collection is bulging with flash drives, glasses, clothing, keys, and more.  Stop by the Information/Reference Desk with your campus ID to check for and retrieve lost items.  And, make sure to grab all your belongings before leaving the Library.  Found items are turned over to campus police on a monthly basis.

Remember to keep calm, carry on, and give yourself extra time for study and library activities as we move towards finals week.  Go Toros!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

EBooks Expand Our Collection by 150,000+

You may have noticed a large number of ebooks appearing on the results screen when you search the Library catalog for books.  The Library is building its online collection through ebrary, Safari Books Online, and EBSCO e-books and currently has more than 150,000 titles available!  Students and faculty like the convenience and immediate access to these books which are accessible 24/7 from your computer, laptop, and mobile devices.  Recently, one book had 1,112 hits with 45, 818 pages viewed!  Students are not only taking advantage of this new resource as a research tool, but also are finding that the features inherent with online resources are very helpful for completing assignments. 

Ebooks are quite easy to use.  When you search the Library catalog on a topic, the results screen will show ebooks along with print books that we hold in our collection.  Click on the title of the ‘electronic resource’ to see detailed catalog information about the book and to find the link to open the ebook.  If you click on the ‘This title has an electronic version’ hyperlink the ebrary book will open while the EBSCO record will open for an EBSCO ebook, and the table of contents will display for Safari Books Online. 

All ebrary books can be read on any device that can access an internet browser including smart phones and tablets.  You also have the choice of using a mobile app for iOS or Android based systems.  Once you open the online book you can turn pages with the forward/back arrows, jump to particular sections by clicking on a link on the table of contents, search the text for specific terms, copy, and print.  If you create an ebrary account (using the sign-in link at the right top on the menu bar) you have the ability to highlight text, take notes and “check-out” the book by downloading specific chapters or the whole book.  You also have the ability to save the link to the book, complete with your highlights and notes, on your personal bookshelf. 

EBSCO ebooks
When the EBSCO ebook detailed record screen opens you have the option to read the book online through the eBook Full Text option or download the book to read it offline on your computer or other electronic device.  Reading it offline will require you to create an EBSCO user account (see the Sign In tab on the top right menu bar) and download and use Adobe Digital Editions.  Once you have downloaded the book you can keep notes and get direct access to the Oxford American College Dictionary.  EBSCO ebooks also can be accessed on smart phones and tablets.

Safari Online Books
Safari books are primarily related to technology subject areas.  When you open the link to a Safari Online Book, the table of contents will appear as hyperlinks to the text.  You can also choose to read an overview of the book or search within the book.  Clicking on the ‘Start Reading’ icon will open the ebook and you will have the option to read it in HTML format or as it was printed.   

In the event that an ebook does not open, it is most likely in use by another party.  Just as we check out print books for a single user, ebooks that are downloaded are also checked out for a period of time thus making them unavailable to others until they are “returned.”  Don’t get frustrated, but continue to check the title as, often, the book is available within a few hours or a few days.

Don't be afraid to try these great online resources for your assignments, or encourage your professors to use them instead of costly textbooks, and let us know what you think!