Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Bite-Sized Online Tutorials

Library Services is creating a series of interactive tutorials designed to help students make sense of the research process. Of course, we already offer many resources to help students develop information literacy skills--from Library Guides to face-to-face classroom instruction. What’s new here?

In the new series, we’re focusing on bite-sized lessons. We’re breaking down the research process and the wealth of resources we offer into short, hands-on tutorials designed to teach a single concept so students and faculty can zero in on a particular skill that needs attention right now. 

By selecting from the series a la carte, faculty can assign students to tackle any combination of skills in whichever order makes the most sense pedagogically. Since we’re adding them to our Online Tutorials page, anyone can drop by 24/7 to find a few helpful starting places.

If as a faculty member, you’ve noticed that your students have difficulty selecting a topic for an upcoming research paper, you might assign your students to complete our new Choosing a Topic module. This engaging and interactive tutorial will help them get a handle on broadening and narrowing their topic ideas. In addition, we introduce basic strategies, with engaging examples and illustrations, and let them practice what they’re learning on the spot. Our tutorials come packed with fun activities like drag-and-drop activities that immediately allow students to apply a concept they’ve just explored to a relevant, real-world scenario.

Finally, each tutorial includes a brief multiple-choice quiz that provides immediate feedback. Need a way to see how they’re doing so far with a new concept? Students can print off their quiz results and turn them in.

These tutorials offer flexibility to faculty to choose how to incorporate these engaging new tutorials into your classes and assignments. They can be discussion-starters, first steps before hands-on classroom time with a librarian, assignment supplements that can be threaded through any research-related writing assignment, or used to introduced a flipped classroom-session. Consult with a librarian at your campus to explore the possibilities!

For now, we hope you’ll explore our first three modules, and let us know what you think:

We’ll keep adding new modules as we complete them, so please watch for updates. Look for the entire suite in Fall 2014.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Library Group Study Rooms

ACC Faculty often assign group projects to their classes but sometimes, students then have difficulties finding a location to work together in a ‘clean, well lighted place’, with technology available to support your learning.

These ACC libraries have group study rooms available for currently enrolled ACC students studying together:
(At this time, the PIN library is the exception.) 

Opening in January 2014, the new Hays Campus (HYS) Library will also have one group study room.

To sign up to use a room, come to a library’s Reference Desk in person and show the librarian your ACC ID card. Slots are available from 30 minutes to 2 hours, and depending on availability, at the end of your reservation you may be able to extend the time. 

Reservations are accepted up to 7 days in advance, but be sure to arrive punctually -- if you’re more than 10 minutes late, your group forfeits the reservation! 

Use the white board or check out laptops at a Library’s Circulation Desk so group members can collaborate via Google docs, view media, review Blackboard materials, print documents, etc.  In a few study rooms you can connect your laptop to a projector or flat screen for group viewing!

The study rooms may not be used for tutoring, meetings of organizations, or for faculty to meet with students. ‘Group study’ means just that – 2 or more currently enrolled ACC students – these are not ‘individual study rooms’. Please see complete rules   about the study rooms. 

Sign-up, meet your group, and be successful with that project or ace that test! Would you like more info? Need other locations to study on your campus? Are you stuck getting started researching your topic?  Ask a librarian! We’re here to help you.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Business Resources in Unexpected Places

Sometimes resources useful for businesses are not in the traditional places or may not have the word "business" in their title.  Here are some other places to consider when you're looking for solutions and ideas:

Considering a hobby or craft-related business?
Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center provides practical articles, books, and videos on how to succeed in a wide range of hobbies and crafts businesses.  There are even some tips on being more environmentally friendly in your home business.

Working from home or in a real estate-related business?
Home Improvement Reference Center helps with articles and books on creating your home office, home staging that works for selling homes, property maintenance and repair, energy and sustainable environment upgrading, renovating, becoming a qualified remodeler, and more--complete with detailed instructions. 

Have a business that uses outdoor power equipment, water crafts or boats, tractors, motorcycles, generators, other small engines?
Small Engine Repair Reference Center has an impressive collection of service manuals to meet your needs.

Want to explore business in Texas?
Texas Reference Center can easily be searched by business or business topics to locate articles from magazines and newspapers (including small local ones) and chapters from books like the Texas Almanac.
You or your staff need to upgrade your Excel skills, especially in financial analysis, advanced data analysis, using text functions, advanced pivot table features?
LearningExpress has self-paced tutorials for several versions of Excel.  The 2010 version goes beyond Advanced to Expert level.  (See more in the Learning Express Spotlight from July 15, 2013 and the Subject Guides mentioned at the end of this Spotlight.)

Want to work effectively in our diverse workplace?
Guide to Culturally Competent Health Care [electronic resource], 2d ed. has a WORKFORCE ISSUES section for each of several dozen ethnic groups.

See more business resources on our Management Subject Guide  (or the Subject Guides for International Business, Financial Management, and Real Estate).  Or Ask a Librarian!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Christopher Columbus

In the United States, Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October.  This year it will fall on October 14, just two days away from October 12, the day on which Columbus went ashore on the island of San Salvador in 1492 ("Columbus Day" 118-119).  Saying that Christopher Columbus's discovery of the Americas (or rediscovery, considering the earlier Viking settlement in Newfoundland ("The Vikings")) brought many changes to the world is, if anything, an understatement.  Historians even have a term for the Americas before Columbus, "Pre-Columbian."

Historian Alfred Crosby noted many of the changes as a result of Columbus's voyage to the new world in his book The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492, from which we get the term "Columbian exchange."  Once revered, Columbus is now seen more critically by some for the many evils that Europeans brought to Native Americans after his discovery.  Whether or not Columbus himself should be blamed for these evils is up for debate ("Who Owns History").

At any rate, the Columbian exchange did bring many benefits, such as new foods.  Indeed, where would fast food be today without the potato and tomato from the Americas--the basic ingredients for French fries and ketchup (Crosby 170)?  But in all seriousness, crops such as the potato have had enormous consequences for both European and United States history.

Food, in fact, played an important role in Columbus's voyage.  Europe relished spices from the East.  However, with the collapse of the Mongol empire and the Ottoman capture of Constantinople in 1453, trade over land between Europe and the East became much more tenuous (Phillips, Jr. and Phillips 47, 49-51).  This helped motivate Europeans to find sea routes to India and the Orient--to Marco Polo's islands of spices and gold (Hale 59).  The Portuguese sailed around Africa to get to India.  Columbus proposed sailing westward to reach the East ("Discovery of a New World").

Why would anyone back Columbus's venture?  Wouldn't they worry that he would fall off the edge of the world?  Actually, contrary to popular legend, contemporaries of Columbus were quite confident that the world was "round," not flat.  Indeed, in his book Inventing the Flat Earth, historian Jeffrey Burton Russell refers to this recent myth, which once inhabited many textbooks, as "The Flat Error" (Russell 1-4).

Nevertheless, long ocean voyages could be quite perilous.  Despite Columbus's underestimate of the earth's size, his expedition still promised to be lengthy.  At that time, mariners did not have a reliable way of determining their longitude, and even latitude could be difficult to discern.  Thus Columbus's sailors were justified in their fear that they might become lost at sea, that their ship might be destroyed in a storm, or even that they would run out of fresh water before reaching land (Morison 184, 191).  So, although falling off the edge of the earth was not a concern, Columbus's voyage could still be considered a quite courageous undertaking.

As we can see, a study of Christopher Columbus is multifaceted, which illustrates one of the many values of ACC's libraries:  they provide resources for studying many aspects of a particular subject, not just one--in this case, historiography, astronomy and navigation, and geography, just to name a few.  Here, then, are some of the many resources that ACC's libraries have about Christopher Columbus and related topics:

Circulating Materials (May Check Out)

Admiral of the Ocean Sea
Age of Exploration
Celestial Navigation
Christopher Columbus: Explorer of the New World (DVD)
The Columbian Exchange
Inventing the Flat Earth
People and the Sky: Our Ancestors and the Cosmos
The Worlds of Christopher Columbus
When Worlds Collide: The Untold Story of the Americas After Columbus (DVD)

Online Sources  (You may need to log in if off campus) 

Astronomy Subject Guide from the ACC Libraries
"Columbus Day" -- Article in Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary
"Columbus Day" -- Article in Holiday Symbols and Customs
Geography Subject Guide from the ACC Libraries
"Marine Navigation" --Article in AccessScience
"Terrestrial Coordinate System" --Article in AccessScience
World History Subject Guide from the ACC Libraries

Streaming Videos from Films on Demand

1421: The Year China Discovered America? 
Discovery of a New World
Latitude and Longitude: A Global Address 
The Vikings
Who Owns History?

Works Cited

"Columbus Day." Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary

          Ed. Helene Henderson. 3rd ed. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2005. 118-119.

          Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.

Crosby, Jr., Alfred.  The Columbian Exchange.  Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 2003.


"Discovery of a New World." Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 2004.

          Web. 8 Oct. 2013.

Hale, John R.  Age of Exploration.  New York: Time, 1966. Print.

Morison, Samuel Eliot.  Admiral of the Ocean Sea.  Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1942.

Phillips, Jr., William D. and Carla R. Phillips.  The Worlds of Christopher Columbus.

          New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992. Print.

Russell, Jeffrey B.  Inventing the Flat Earth.  Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 1997. Print.

"The Vikings." Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 2000. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. 

"Who Owns History?" Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 1994. Web. 9 Oct. 2013.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Small Business Reference Center

What does Small Business Reference Center have for you?  A lot!  Already have a small business?  Thinking about starting a small business?  Austin is one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the U.S. and you want to know more about entrepreneurship?

From this main screen

you can access, by clicking in boxes or on icons:

1) Start-Up Information by State

2) Start-Up Kit & Business Plans (in Browse by Category)

3) Business Books (in Browse Popular Sources) from publishers like 
  • Nolo, 
  • Atlantic Publishing, 
  • American Management Association International,
  • and dozens more.

4) Industry Information by Small Business Type (more than six dozen categories)

5) Business Areas (each with numerous subcategories):
  • Accounting
  • Business & the Internet
  • Buying a Business
  • Closing a Business
  • Employees
  • Expanding a Business
  • Financing a Business
  • Going Green
  • Legal Issues
  • Management & Leadership Topics
  • Marketing & Public Relations
  • Operations
  • Planning & Starting a Business
  • Sales
  • Starting & Managing a Nonprofit
  • Selling a Business
6) Business Basics (each with numerous subcategories):
  • Coaching an Employee
  • Conducting Successful Meetings
  • Doing Business on eBay
  • Hiring the First Employees
  • Interviewing a Candidate
  • Marketing Your Business
  • Presenting to Customers
  • Reacting to a Changing Market
  • Selling a Business
  • Starting & Running a Nonprofit
  • Starting a Business
  • Starting a Business From Home
  • Starting a Business With Less Than $1,000 - For Retirees
  • Starting a Business With Less Than $1,000 - For Stay-at Home Moms & Dads
  • Starting a Business With Less Than $1,000 - For Students
  • Tax Deductions
  • Working with Difficult People
  • Work Place Problems

7) Small Business Videos

You can find information by using the search box (8) which allows detailed and tailored searching on topics of your choosing.

For example, a search to find 

recent information on apps used in retail orders or ordering 
like the one below

apps and order* and retail* [limiting publication date to 2010-2013]

produces these results:
Most are in  and will look like the originals when clicked on.  They’re printable and emailable.

click on the at the upper right hand corner of the screen.

Range of resources:
  • Business Magazines and Academic Journals (over 170)       
  • Trade Publications (over 230)
  • Books (over 470)
  • Videos (over 70)
  • Case Studies
  • Industry Reports (over 450)
  • State/Provincial Fact Sheets (over 50)
  • And more…
There’s more, so explore!  Try it on your own.  Try tutorials from the vendor like the ones in the box Folders, Alerts, RSS Feeds: Better Ways to Work in EBSCO Databases on our Management Subject Guide  (or the Subject Guides for International Business, Financial Management, and Real Estate).  Or Ask a Librarian!

Current ACC students, faculty, and staff, remember to access SBRC from the webpage—its subscription is already paid for you to use. 

To start,

use the link at the beginning of this Spotlight   or

find it on the list A-Z List of E-Resources   or

type in small business reference center in the Catalog Only search box. 

You will be prompted for your ACC eID if you’re off campus.

Not currently or not yet an ACC student or employee?  Small Business Reference Center (SBRC) is also available through many area libraries.  As an example, click here for Austin Public Library Adult Library Cards, required by APL to access their subscription to SBRC, and here to access their list of business databases which includes SBRC.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Did you know that the Library has a tab in Blackboard?

You can access the library’s resources quickly and easily. You can:
  • Search for books or videos
  • Connect to the article databases
  • Find help for your assignments
All in one place!

Just click the “Library Services” tab near the top of your Blackboard page.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

ARTstor - 1.6 million digital images for your free use

What is ARTstor?
     Over 1.6 million images in arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences.  

     Images cover prehistory to the present.

     Students - Create image folders for presentations/papers.

     Faculty - create folders for class use or assign for viewing outside class.

     ACC Staff - use images in your work and presentations


Why use ARTstor?

     Use images to challenge, inform, kindle the imagination and stir discussion. 

     It can be used remotely.

Best of all:  You do not need to secure rights to use these images; ACC’s Library subscription takes care of that!
(Exception:  personal use outside of ACC not covered.)

Subject areas:  
  • art, 
  • architecture, 
  • photography,
  • music, 
  • religion, 
  • anthropology, 
  • literature, 
  • world history, 
  • American Studies, 
  • Asian Studies, 
  • Classical Studies, 
  • Medieval Studies, 
  • Renaissance Studies, 
  • and much more.

Where do the images come from?
outstanding national and international museums,
photo archives, and
artists and artists' estates.

Who can use it?
Currently enrolled ACC students -After you enter ARTstor, look in upper right to register.

ACC faculty  - Very important for faculty and staff
Email the Library E-Resources Librarian, Adrian Whatley( in order to set up instructor privileges.

What are these privileges?   
  • Access to free sophisticated software for use in your classroom presentation.
  • Share your work or lecture materials through password-protected folders, student folder, or public folders.
  • Add your personal images you've collected over the years to your ARTstor folders.
  • Sign up permanently - rather than more than once.

Mobile app available.  See online info.  

How does one learn to use ARTstor and become proficient in it?

It's very easy to get started and find images and save them to folders.

When you want to know more:  

ARTstor offers extensive online training aids:  
videos, live individual sessions as well as group sessions.  
            Follow these easy HELP videos and online resources:  
            ARTstor HELP pages