Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tech Tuesday: Free Scanning

Did You Say Free?  Scanners are available at the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus and the 
T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences-Dallas Center Library for use, free of charge, by current TWU 
students and faculty and staff members.  Photograph by Sean Spear.  August 31, 2014.  
The Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus and the T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences-Dallas Center Library are the places to be for a wide variety of resources and services for current TWU students and faculty and staff members, including free scanning.

Scanning is an economical alternative to copying.  Simply scan your material; email it to yourself or save it to a flash drive; and print what you like using one of our other computers.  For the convenience of our patrons, staff members at the Denton library Information Desk monitor which scanners--housed on floors 1 through 3--are available, so just ask.  The largest scanner is on the library's second floor.

To begin, log in with your Pioneer Portal username and password.  Easy-to-follow instructions will appear on the screen.  The scanner computers are not connected to printers, so please log out after scanning as a courtesy to other library patrons who wish to use this service.  You are welcome, of course, to print what you like using any of the computers not connected to a scanner (our printing service is also free of charge to current TWU students and faculty and staff members.) 

Questions?  Staff members at the Information Desk are always happy to help.

~Sandy Cochran

Monday, March 2, 2015

Writing Project? Help Is Here

Writing is Work  For any Pioneer (student or faculty or staff mem-
ber) who needs assistance with some (or all) of the writing process, 
help is at hand.  Image courtesy of the Montclair State University 
Center for Writing Excellence blog.   
It's not easy, this writing business, as Rachel Toor describes in Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Writers.  Making matters worse? Flowing, eloquent, beautifully-written works in all their heavily-revised glory.  Rewritten and proofread and spellchecked to within an inch of their perfectly-worded lives, these final versions appear to have sprung, fully-formed and fabulous, from the minds of writers so much more talented than you.  

Not.  Even.  Close.  

Writing takes work, and practice, and a tenacious spirit.  And work. George Orwell once said, "Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness."  Goodreads.com  Anyone who has struggled with a paper, or a paragraph, knows the feeling.

Never fear.  For Pioneers who need assistance with some (or all) of the writing process, help is here.

 Bookmark the TWU Libraries' Writing & Citing Subject Guide, a one-stop writing shop featuring information about the writing process; writing mechanics; citation styles; copyright and fair use; librarians offering subject-specific research help; writing help from trained writing consultants; and more.
● The Write Site is available to any TWU student or faculty or staff member for two hours of help per week with any stage of the writing process.  Schedule a face-to-face appointment; receive writing feedback via email; or use OWLive, an online tutoring service using audio, video and chat space for a synchronous tutoring experience.  All Write Site services are free and by appointment only. 

● Through Write Site @ Night, the Write Site offers evening face-to-face appointments with a writing consultant in Room 221 of the Pioneer Center for Student Excellence (PCSE), located on the second floor of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus. This service is free and by appointment only.   
● New to the research process, or want a refresher?  The TWU Libraries' online research tutorials can help you get up to speed with four modules of video instruction lasting 20 or 40 minutes each.   
● RefWorks is an online citation manager; with it you can import references and format bibliographies.  Get started by creating an account here.  Learn more about RefWorks on the Writing & Citing Subject Guide here, and access RefWorks tutorials here
● Lynda.com offers convenient online video training on a wide array of topics, including writing.  Simply log in (register here) and search for writing to get a list of available training.  

~Sandy Cochran

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Other Dress

The Other Dress  A fantastic paper dress, designed by two TWU students as part of a senior collection, is 
constructed almost entirely out of book pages.  A marvel of creative engineering and design, the dress is on 
display in the first-floor living room area of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU.  Image 
courtesy of Brandi Thompson Photography.
You could call it hyper-viral.  A flash fire of a story about a dress has taken the internet by storm, dividing those who see the garment into two teams--White and Gold, and Black and Blue.  It's a fascinating tale of perception that calls to mind an intriguing creation much closer to home--the Other Dress, if you will.

The Other Dress, created by two TWU students, is a fashion feat constructed almost entirely out of book pages.  While its color has not been the subject of a viral debate (it "reads" a combination of neutral hues), the Other Dress is a marvel of creative engineering and design--and cute to boot. 

See the Other Dress on display in the first-floor living room area of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU--but please, no flash fires.  #TeamPaperDress

~Sandy Cochran   

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fair Use: An Important Right for Everyone, Everywhere

An Important Right for Everyone, Everywhere  February 23-27, 2015 is Fair Use Week, an annual cele-
bration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing.  Coordinated by the Association of Research 
Libraries, Fair Use Week celebrates the most flexible, powerful and universal user's right articulated in copy-
right law.  FairUseWeek.Org.
Fair Use Week (February 23-27, 2015) is an annual celebration, coordinated by the Association of Research Libraries, of the doctrines of fair use and fair dealing.  It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing; celebrate successful stories; and explain these doctrines.  FairUseWeek.org

What is fair use, and how does it apply to you?  Far from obscure legalese, fair use is an important right for everyone, everywhere.  Click here for an engaging, colorful infographic, in plain English, depicting fundamental aspects of fair use.

All's Fair in Folsom v. Marsh  Judge Joseph Story, 
Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1811 
to 1845, wrote the opinion in Folsom v. Marsh, a U.S. 
copyright case widely regarded as this country's first 
fair use case.  In that opinion, Story set forth four factors 
(listed above) to be considered in fair use disputes; they 
are still in use today.  Image courtesy of Celebrate Fair 
Use Week 2015 by Greg R. Fishbone.
●  Fair use is a right.  

●  Fair use is vitally important

●  Fair use is for everyone

●  Fair uses are everywhere.   

To learn more about the doctrine of fair use, consider the following.

Fair Use Week

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lost and Found: A Sherlock Holmes Whodunit

Lost and Found  A historian has discovered a lost Sherlock Holmes 
story in the attic of his Selkirk, Scotland home.  Image courtesy of 
Ricky Leaver/Loop images/Corbis via Smithsonian.com.
Sherlock Holmes, the world's most famous detective, is at the center of a new double whodunit.

A historian from the Scottish burgh of Selkirk ("best known for bannock, a dried fruitcake" in case you were wondering) has uncovered a lost Sherlock Holmes story in his attic.  After the town's bridge was swept away in a flood, Arthur Conan Doyle (purportedly) penned the tale to raise money for a new one.  Slate.com

The story, lavishly titled Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, By Deduction, the Brig Bazaar, is a brief imaginary interview with Sherlock Holmes and his trusty Watson, who has the audacity to turn down a trip to Scotland with Holmes.  Smithsonian.com

The mystery-within-a-mystery:  did Doyle really write it?  Although doubts regarding the story's authorship were quick to surface, the Sherlock lovers among us may still find the prospect of a "new" Holmes-Watson interaction, however brief, intriguing.  The discovery also begs the question--what's afoot in your attic?

Read Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, By Deduction, the Brig Bazaar in its entirety here.  Discover electronic and print versions of some of Doyle's other work--as well as materials about the author--in the collections of the TWU Libraries.  Simply search for Arthur Conan Doyle using the TWUniversal Search box on the libraries' homepage.

~Sandy Cochran

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow Day Fun

Today is the second day in a row that TWU has been closed for Winter Storm 2015 (sounds better in capital letters, right?). While everybody loves a snow day, by day two you're sitting at home in your sweats, wondering if pizza delivery guys take snow days (please, NO!) and . . . now what?  Well, the TWU Libraries can help.  We're not in the pizza business (sorry), but we do deliver (insert groan here).  Whether you're looking for amusement or ways to stay productive despite the ice, we have a few suggestions you can use . . . all from the comfort of your own igloo abode.

To get started, navigate to the TWU Libraries homepage (go ahead . . . I'll wait.) 


In the upper righthand corner of the homepage find links to the libraries' Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blog, Pinterest and Flickr pages.  It's not easy keeping up with everything the libraries are up to, but connecting with us on social media is a great way to start.  


. . . and not the pizza kind.  Stretch your creative muscles by entering The Pioneer Woman Goes Red, a fashion design contest open to all TWU students and faculty and staff members.  Everything you need to know, including how much you could win, is here.  Don't have an entry form?  No problem. Plan your design now, then pick up a form when Winter Storm 2015 releases its grip on the Denton campus.  The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. on Thursday, 2/26/15 . . . so no dawdling.


Use the TWUniversal Search box at the top of the homepage; choose Advanced Search.  In one or more of the search boxes enter any terms you like; the first dropdown box lets you limit your results by title, author, subject and more.  Then here's the key:  See the dropdown box labeled Resource Type?  Choose Electronic Books, then click Search.  Tip: Entering the term Encyclopedias gives you a list of all the electronic encyclopedias we offer.  Learn about 9/11, antiques, philosophy and more, right there in your pjs.


No matter your research topic or field of interest, there is likely some video to augment your work.  Again from the homepage, find the TWUniversal Search box at the top of the page; use the process above for ebooks, with one difference.  In the dropdown box labeled Resource Type, choose Media/Streaming.  

Our databases are also a good place to look for video content (some are strictly devoted to videos, while some contain videos as well as other types of content.)  Navigate to them from the homepage, under Research.  Click on Databases A-Z List to find any of the following (descriptions and help guides are available using the links at the top of the page.)

Academic Video Online (aka VAST: Academic Video Online)
American History in Video
Area Studies Video Online
Art and Architecture in Video Online
Business and Economics Video Online
Counseling and Therapy in Video
Criminal Justice and Law in Video
Dance in Video
Education in Video
Ethnic Studies Video Online
Ethnographic Video Online
Films On Demand
Health and Society in Video
Humanities Video Online 
Issues & Controversies
Kanopy Videostreaming
Nursing Digital Library
Nursing Education in Video
Opera in Video
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
Philosophy and Religious Studies in Video
Politics and Current Affairs Video Online
Psychology Video Online
Science Video Online
Theatre in Video 
VAST: Academic Video Online
World History in Video


Our Subject Guides are convenient collections of resources and information (databases, ebooks, websites and more) on specific topics.  Navigate to a list of Subject Guide topics available from the homepage, under Research.  Click on Subject Guides.  Tip: Even if you don't have a research project at the moment, take a few minutes to explore the Subject Guide for your major or a field of interest.  You may be surprised what you find.  


We can all be better writers.  On the homepage, under Research, click on Writing & Citing/RefWorks.  Writing resources abound--including ways to get help when you need it.

While not a library resource, Lynda.com is a valuable learning tool available to all current TWU students and faculty and staff members.  Offering beginner to advanced courses in a wide variety of subject areas, Lynda.com offers free training 24/7. Create an account and get started here

Stay warm.  Stay safe.  Have fun--and save me a slice.

~Sandy Cochran 

Tech Tuesday: Let's Chat

There are many ways to connect with the TWU Libraries; the choice is yours.  Whether you prefer to text, phone, chat, email, talk to someone in person, or connect via social media--we're here to help.  Find the details you need to get started here.

The libraries' chat service combines the best of technology and personal service.  With it, users can reach out to library staff members online. Available Mondays thru Thursdays from 1 to 9 p.m. when the libraries are open, this service allows you to interact at your convenience with a helpful staff member, one-on-one.  Get research help, pose questions, get information--all at the press of a button.

Start from the libraries' homepage and click on the chat button (left) in the righthand column.  Answer a few simple questions and you'll be connected to someone who can help you--just like that.

Let's chat.

~Sandy Cochran     

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tick Tock: "The Pioneer Woman Goes Red" Ends 2/26/15

The supply of entry forms is dwindling, entries are coming in, and the deadline is less than one week away.  If you haven't entered The Pioneer Woman Goes Red, a fashion design contest open to all TWU students and faculty and staff members, there are hundreds of reasons to get your entry in by 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 26, 2015.

Generous cash prizes, donated by Gail Cope, will be awarded to 1st ($300), 2nd ($200) and 3rd ($100) place winners.  Awards will go to the most creative entries.

The contest deadline is 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 26, 2015--giving you a little more time to prepare that winning entry. Full contest details are available here.

Good luck.  Go Red!

~Sandy Cochran

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Denton Campus Library Closing Early on Sunday, 2/22

Due to inclement weather in the area, the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU will close at 8 p.m. on Sunday, February 22, 2015.

For information on bad weather as it affects TWU--including campus closings--see the university's bad weather information page here.

To receive emergency notifications via the TWU Department of Public Safety's Pioneer Alert system--including information on campus closings due to inclement weather--TWU students and faculty and staff members can register here.

Stay warm.  Stay dry.  Stay safe.

~Sandy Cochran

Friday, February 20, 2015

Loud and Clear: The ELUNA Primo Summit

At The Summit  Attendees of the ELUNA (Ex Libris Users of North America) Primo Summit in St. Louis, 
Missouri.  Attendees from across the U.S. and Canada were invited to convene to discuss issues and solutions 
related to Primo, the TWU Libraries' discovery and delivery tool for local and remote resources such as 
books, journal articles and digital objects.  Representing TWU was David Schuster, Director of Library 
Information Technology and Technical Support (third row, third from the left).  December 19, 2014.
Editor's Note:  It takes a village.  To the casual observer, the TWU Libraries in Denton and Dallas, and the ARC in Houston, are smoothly running operations in peaceful, organized surroundings. Behind the scenes, though, lies much more--a group of dedicated professionals who, day after day, handle the myriad details involved in serving the information needs of the TWU communities in Denton, Dallas and Houston.

One of those hardworking professionals is David Schuster, Director of Library Information Technology and Technical Support, who recently attended a summit in St. Louis for users of Primo, the libraries' discovery and delivery tool for local and remote resources (such as books, journal articles and digital objects). Primo is a product of Ex Libris, a provider of library automation solutions.   

David describes his experience for us.

What was the summit you attended, and its purpose?
I attended the ELUNA (Ex Libris Users of North America) Primo Summit.  All the attendees invited participated in small and large group discussions, outlining issues and proposing solutions which the Product Working Group (PWG) would gather to produce a final report.  The Primo PWG was charged with developing a brief report/position paper based on the issues and solutions discussed at the summit.  This report was to consist of a clear description of the issue(s), the current impact on the community, and suggested changes or solutions.

The overall goals of the summit were to focus on key problem areas, not every issue, and to draft proposals that the Steering Committee could take to Ex Libris and the International Group of Ex Libris Users (IGeLU) for discussion and integration into the development cycle.  
Who attended?
There were about 30 individuals from across the United States and Canada.  I'm David Schuster from TWU; there were also individuals from Harvard University, the University of Notre Dame, Emory University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Montana, Brigham Young University, and the Université du Québec à Montréal--to name a few.

I understand that it was an honor to be invited.  What can you tell us about that? 
Texas Woman’s University was one of 30 organizations represented.  We have a small library technology staff, yet we were able to discuss issues with individuals whose sole jobs are to manage Primo.  This was quite an honor.  In that setting our voice was as loud as those of larger universities, allowing our users' concerns to be heard.  It was an honor to be selected out of 1,900+ Primo customers worldwide based on our size, expertise and use of the system.

What were some of the highlights of the summit for you?
Seeing concerns of the many being voiced, and having the opportunity to work as a collective group and prioritize those concerns.  Those issues and discussions will go to the Ex Libris corporation, and we hope they will be addressed.  Ex Libris as a company was intentionally not represented at the summit, as we wanted our discussions to be wide open as we addressed the various libraries' concerns.  This encouraged us to be creative as we sought possible solutions.

What were some the biggest takeaways of the summit for you?
I have a better understanding of the complexity of a system in which universities can host themselves, or have the company host. Also of how different organizations are actually using the system, which may not be at all related to standard library resources such as books.  An example is the LDS Church History Library.  They have many electronic documents and print items that are cataloged, but not in a standard library way.  Then there are institutions using Primo to aggregate content from different systems, allowing users to search and gather information in one spot.  An example is the Mountain West Digital Library, where data is harvested from different systems--allowing users to do one search and retrieve the resulting images and items from different organizations.  It’s not about exposing some data, but as much as you have--then letting users evaluate and decide what has value to them.

What else about the summit and your experience there do you think would be of interest to our readers?
The TWU Libraries are progressive.  We are being recognized for our innovation and the way we approach access.  We listen to our users, and because of that we are being recognized in the library community as a change leader and influencer.  As a result, the vendors we work with are listening to us--which ultimately means our users' voice is heard, loud and clear.

~David Schuster with Sandy Cochran