In the beginning was the note card. Three inches by five inches, white with fine blue lines, the note card was ideal for writing down information from print indexes and card catalogs. People even wrote, well notes, on note cards. These were things such as short quotes, references, pages numbers, subject headings, and so forth.
Then came the photocopier and students copied articles and annotated the aforementioned copies. Then came the online catalog and databases. People printed out references. Then came e-mail and students e-mailed the articles to themselves. The online catalog could e-mail citations too, but students rarely e-mail citations. Why not? Because desktop computers and laptops are not note cards. Computers–even laptops are bulky compared to note cards. E-mailing citations means printing citations.
Now there is something as small as a note card that will collect citations for you. The Ethel K. Smith Library’s online catalog will now send SMS messages to your cell phone. Just look up a book and click on the title for details. On the right you will see a box that says Actions. Near the bottom of the box you will see the link that says “Text Me this Book Location.” When you click on it you will go to a new page. Select your mobile provider and supply your phone number. You can even add a brief message. This can be useful because even though most books are in the Main Stacks, a few are not, and you may wish to note as much. Click submit, a confirmation page will come up and a few seconds later, so will your text message, complete with call number and title.
While we are on the subject of enhancements for mobile devices, you may have noticed that the online catalog, the library blog, and LibGuides all have mobile interfaces, and yet to get to any of them, you had to go through a homepage designed for the desktop. So you spend a lot a time waiting for the homepage to load and then have to do a lot of zooming and scrolling around to find anything. Well, the library’s homepage has finally caught up with the other library services. If you point your mobile device, whether it is a cell phone, smart phone, or pad, you will come to the library’s mobile-enhanced site. You can even search our local periodical holdings or submit an InterLibrary Loan from your mobile device.
This is just the beginning, however. In the coming months expect the library to continue to find new ways for you to use technology to expand the possibilities for research and discovery.
For many years the Library has published a listing of its most recently acquired books, DVD’s and videos. At one time this was exclusively through the library’s web-site, then from the Recent Acquisitions tab in the online catalog. Of late we have also published a list of recent titles on EKS Libris.
Now a list of the most recent additions to the collection of the Ethel K. Smith Library can be delivered to you every day. Simply plug the following URL into your favorite RSS reader: http://eksplorer.wingate.edu/vwebv/new_books_feed.cgi. This URL will allow your RSS feed reader to bring up a list of the latest titles. To see details, simply click the hyperlink and you are instantly connected to the record in the online catalog. Don’t want a daily list but would be happy with a weekly digest? The Recent Acquisitions feed from EKS Libris (http://library.wingate.edu/wordpress/?cat=137&feed=rss2) can be used instead.
You don’t have an RSS feed reader? There are lots of them around. Outlook and Thunderbird both have the ability to read RSS feeds. Perhaps the most useful reader, is the Google Reader. Just plug the Google Reader gadget into your myStart or iGoogle portal page and you can take your list of new books (and any other feed you wish to add) anywhere you go. For more on the Google Reader, go to Google’s Gadget page.
Now you can search for the books, DVD’s and other materials from the online catalog of the Ethel K. Smith Library using either your myStart portal (http://mystart.wingate.edu) or iGoogle page (http://www.google.com/ig?hl=en) with the new EKSplorer Google widget.
Installing the widget onto your myStart or iGoogle page is easy. Just click on the “Add stuff” link in myStart or iGoogle and type in “Ethel K. Smith Online Catalog,” in the search box. From there just click on the “Add it now” button, click “Back to iGoogle Home,” and there is it.
Searching is also easy. Just type in your terms. As an option, you can select to search by keyword, author, title, or subject. The default is keyword. Then click the search button and a new window will pop up with the full online catalog and a list of your results.
One more thing, if you have not created a myStart page, now would be a great time. In addition to the Online Catalog widget, you can also add widgets for your other myGateApps, such as e-mail, calendar, and documents.
While the Holidays bring a welcome break from the hectic schedule of classes, it is a busy time in the EKS Library as we prepare for the return of students and faculty. Over the 2009 Holiday break the staff has been working on a vendor upgrade of the online catalog.
The layout of the search platform is different, but we believe it will facilitate faster, more effective search strategies for all users. Take some time to “check out” all the options available on the Basic search screen. There you will find specific tabs for quick searching of materials by author or title and a tab just for new books. Changes have also been made to the view of the results screen that provide more data manipulation options such as exporting your results list to your e-mail account. In my own searches of the catalog, I have found the enhancements intuitive and user-friendly. I hope that your search experience is the same.
Should you have any questions about the upgraded system, do not hesitate to contact the Reference Desk at extension 8097 or Ask Ethel for assistance with your research. We look forward to working with you in your research endeavors in the 2010 Spring semester . Happy New Year and happy searching!
While doing the last minute preparation of the server for the upgrade for the Online Catalog, the engineers at Ex Libris discovered a number of errors related the server’s disk drives or their controllers. The engineers recommend that we not proceed with the upgrade at this time. Ex Libris is contacting Sun Microsystems to have an engineer resolve the issue. The Library will announce the next upgrade date after this issue is resolved and a new upgrade window is made available.
The Library’s online catalog is scheduled for a major upgrade in July. The new online catalog promises not only a new and more navigable look but will provide new features to make searching the library even easier. This upgrade will, however involve an upgrade to the Library’s entire Voyager integrated library system and the supporting Oracle database. The window for this scheduled update is July 8th-10th. During this time all Voyager functions will be off-line. This would, of course, include the online catalog, but also the Media Module, which the Library uses to reserve rooms and equipment. While the online catalog is down it is still possible to find what is in the library using OCLC’s WorldCat, and circulation will still be running on a limited basis. Access to the library’s various databases (such as Academic Search Premier, ERIC, or Lexis-Nexis) will not be affected. Please be patient while the staff the Ethel K. Smith Library continue to strive to improve service to all its patrons.
It’s true that—all things being equal—we would all like to see the library doors open whenever someone needed what the Ethel K. has to offer. All things are not equal. Even so, over the past few years the library has been able to offer a number of services to the Wingate University community at or near a 24/7 basis.
So, for everyone whose academic life revolves around the library, here are a few of things you can do when all is still within the library walls.
- Look up and read articles and books from NC-LIVE. NC-LIVE@Home provides full text journal articles and books online. That’s right; books are also available from NCLIVE. Check out the link to net Library on the Library’s NCLIVE page (http://library.wingate.edu/nclive/nclive.html). That comes to over 20,000 full-text book titles. If those are not enough books, you can also go to World Cat in NC-LIVE to select from tens of millions of books. See http://library.wingate.edu/news/EKS_Libris/EKSLibris0305.pdf and http://library.wingate.edu/news/EKS_Libris/EKSLibris0401.pdf for more details.
- Submit inter-library loan requests. Found a book or article you need that is not full text? Check out http://library.wingate.edu/reference/illform.html and submit a request online.
- Look up and read e-reserves. As long as you remember to append ACAD\to your username (e.g.,ACAD\stu), you are able to read reserve material that has been placed online. There’s more on this at http://library.wingate.edu/news/EKS_Libris/EKSLibris0502.pdf.
- Look up books for the next day. One can use the online catalog directly from the library homepage (http://library.wingate.edu) and it is available all day save for the hours of 4:00 to 6:00 a.m. (when the database is backed up).
- While you are in the online catalog, you can also see whether any books are about due and renew them. Click on the button on the online catalog. Hints: the barcode is your student ID and the PIN is 00000 (you can change the PIN later). Read the books you checked out and the articles you already copied when the library was open.
This is not an exhaustive list and there is more that the library staff hopes to offer, but even so, the above could fill many an evening or early morning.
by Jimm Wetherbee
Ever wondered just what you have checked out of the library? Perhaps you want to renew an item but were unable to bring it to the Circulation Desk. These are just a couple of the things you and your students can do from your home or office.
From the Online Catalog menu on the library homepage (http://library.wingate.edu) there is an option called “Patron Information.” From there you will be asked to log in. There are three fields. The first is for your campus ID number, the second your PIN and the third your last name. The PIN is initially set to 11111 and you can change it once you are logged on.
Patron information includes personal information (your name, address, etc), any holds that are either pending or have arrived, fines that you may have accrued, circumstances that may have blocked your card, and what items have been checked out to you (called Charged Items). You can even renew charged items once (sorry, to do so more often does require that you bring the item to the Circulation Desk). Take a look at your Patron Information, you might be surprised at what you find.
You may have noticed the link to the list of recent acquisitions has moved from Reference to the Online Catalog. This is because the list has undergone yet another metamorphosis and is now tightly integrated into the EKSplorer Online Catalog.
This change has greatly enhanced the functionally of the list and addresses a number of the concerns the faculty have expressed. First, this list is updated automatically and on a daily basis. This list is also more comprehensive, including items (such as the North Carolina Documents and the Baker and Taylor Lease Books) not found on the old list.
The list is also more flexible. One may choose between items added in the most recent week, two week, three weeks or four weeks. There is an option to sort the list by author, title, or call number. It is also possible to select specific types of material. Those interested in finding the latest video or DVD, do not have to plow through all the books first and those interested in reference materials do not have to pick them out from the books in the main stacks. Finally, one can search under a specific key word, such as a part of the title or author.
Because the acquisitions list is integrated into the EKSplorer Catalog, it is also easy to tell whether a new book has already been checked out or whether it has moved from the New Book Shelf or to the main collection. It is also easy to select and print out the references to those titles that one is interested in, instead of the entire list.