Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Week 11: Wrap up

My biggest discovery from this experience is the depth of MARVEL! I'd become complacent with using, and showing others how to use, a few of the resources. I realized that I need to keep at it, digging in and discovering. It was too easy to think I knew what was available after using some of them for a long time.
In order to continue bringing these gems to our students, we will be highlighting them periodically on our website, during our classroom trainings, and especially in our one-to-one interactions.
Thanks to all of you, especially Stephanie, Marnie & Valerie, for making this a great class!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Week 10: Ebsco

This is one of our 'go-to' databases for information at the high school. I often use it to search library information. Recently, due to extreme budget cuts, I lost my subscription to Booklist. I searched today to see if it would be available. Although there is a fourteen day delay, I am relieved I will still be able to use it.
In searching for zinc in foods, the results were plentiful. Narrowed by the date limiter was helpful. The information was very academic and perhaps not a good fit for consumer information.

Ebsco Ebooks:
I looked at the highlighted books. Sea Glass Crafts caught my eye. I looked at the table of contents to find what types of projects were there. Holiday ornament...hmmmmm. I can click through the table at the left or use the scroll bar to slide through the pages quickly.
Not much impressed with the fiction collection. Seems that there isn't anything offered that was published since 2000. Good nonfiction collection, though. Plenty to browse through.
I searched "school library" and only found two books. One, by Stripling, is a classic which was published in 1999. The other was "Legal Research Using the Internet." Not a great hit. :(
I broadened my search to "libraries" and got 475 results. But, on further exploration, I discovered they were for anything with library in the series title. I would then suggest to my patron to use an advanced search.
For Constitution Day, I did not find any great hits. But, if  had to pick something, I might recommend the following:

Currie, David P. Constitution in Congress: The Federalist Period 1789-1801. Chicago:  University of
  Chicago Press, 1999.
Hahn, Carole. Becoming Political: Comparative Perspectives on Citizenship Education. New York :
 State University of New York Press, 1998.  
Smith, Steven D. Constitution and the Pride of Reason. Oxford University Press, 1998.

For Western History, I got 81 hits. Many of these were great resources, although quite specific. Plenty to keep the amateur history buff busy for awhile. I'd forgotten that trick of trying to  search by publisher for a regional search.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Week 9: Learning Express Library

I chose the Synonym and Antonym Practice Exercise 1 for a practice test. I liked that there were only a few questions, and noticed that they increased in difficulty. This is a positive for students who need to increase their stamina in test-taking. There were only a few rounds and the possibility to see your score right away, important things for high school students. It showed me the number of correct answers as well as a percentage score. The program then offered me further resources to practice based on my performance level. Very customized.
I chose the Job Search and Networking course to review. Step-by-step processes are offered for locating and working with information leading to finding jobs. Basic terminology, including the acronyms many of us take for granted, is explained at an entry level.
My search for Mac courses offered up two programs. The first was the Mac OS X Leopard Desktop course which teaches how to use the operating system. I downloaded this to use in the near future. The other was for Corel Word Perfect, which I am unfamiliar with. There were no ebooks for this search, so I went back and search "graphic." I found an ebook  titled Visual Communication which describes the theory behind, as well as specific ways we explain information in a graphic, or visual, context.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 8: Ancestry

This week I watched all four videos for Ancestry and got my excitement level up to dig in to the family roots. However, I was unable to access the database because I was not in a public library. I will put it on the agenda for my next visit. Our high school is an MLTI school, but we have no public library nearby. It is actually very rare for me to step into a public library. Just don't have the time. (Sad, I know.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week 7: Consumer Health Resources

At first, I was taken aback when I saw "Acid/LSD Fast Facts." Thought to self: Are you kidding me? There is a journal about Acid? No. There is a pamphlet about LSD/Acid. Good to know. There are journals and pamphlets, phew!
Searched 'psoriasis.' Quite familiar with symptoms and treatments. Interesting article about a treatment given orally every other week. Stockpiling so the initial dosage which is double the regular dosage is recommended because insurance companies won't cover it. A little technical, but it does come from Clinical Dermatology. A more readable article came from Harvard Health notes which suggests that a vitamin D deficiency is to blame for psoriasis. And, yet another article suggests that those with the condition are at a greater risk for Type 2 diabetes. 

Extra fruit may not curb hunger, steroid injections for lower back pain decrease bone mass, to get more fit, find a stronger workout partner. These are a few of the health news headlines. Top searches are for asthma, aspirin, diabetes, gout and shingles. Searched for Lovastatin, a cholesterol drug. The result was pretty much the same information that comes from the pharmacy with each bottle. It was a bit easier to read though. 
In Health News, I searched Psoriasis again and found the same information about Type 2 diabetes, yet it had been printed two months earlier through Reuters. I liked the list format of links which were organized by subject. It offered a list of screenings that a patient with this condition should have, including a glucose test, cholesterol, bmi index and a few others. This is good consumer information. Especially, for advocating for oneself with one's doctor. The Videos & Cool Tools offers simple diagrams and information for patients and their families. This would be useful, not in diagnosing yourself, but learning about a condition and what to expect. 

Week 6 Business Resources

Let me apologize for being behind. Family emergency has kept me out of the loop for a few weeks. I am determined to get caught up and see what you all have been up to.

Week 6:
Business Source Complete:
      The first thing I noticed about the resources for FM radio was that there was a range of hits from popular (Billboard) to international (International Journal of Business & Social Science).  There were also hits for everything from the science of radio frequencies to broadcasting talk radio shows. The 2,441 hits are narrowed quickly and easily by sliding the date limiter from 1946 to 2009 . Now we're down to 369 hits. A bit more manageable.
     Using the visual search was much easier for me (and my limited knowledge of the business world).
It sorted my hits by subject area (radio stations, radio frequency broadcasting, etc) and then allowed me to continue my search by keyword groupings until I found my way to just 7 hits.  We call the groups "breadcrumbs" at school so that students can find their way back using the trail of key words much like Hansel and Gretal.

Resources for small business 7 hits
resources AND small business 19 hits
None of the hits looked like resources for small businesses to use. It gave me results on the resources of small businesses. Not the same thing. Hmmm.
Small businesses AND EPA = no hits.
Small business AND EPA =2 hits.
Small businesses AND tax policy = 19 hits
Small businesses AND tax policy = 31 hits.
Goes to show that revising keywords constantly gleans the best results.

Regional Business News:
General Dynamics (owner of BIW)=1,650 hits since 1985.
General Dynamics AND Maine = 28 Hits
Toms of Maine = 35 hits (last article was March 2012).

Value Line Investments:
General Dynamics $64.65
The results were a chart of statistical information that looks very stock-brokerish.
Tom's of Maine = no hits (probably a private company)
L.L. Bean = no hits
Description: a widely used tool in the investment industry, including projections, performance, statistics and model portfolios.
The rest looks like calligraphy to me.  However, there are tools to create custom reports with the industries/companies the patron would like to choose, not just lists of premade reports.
This was way over my head, although I could lead a patron to it.

Wall Street Journal:
Small business AND health care retrieved 19800 hits.
Between 2010 and 2012 , 5429 hits.
Searching within the search / using the suggested keywords health care and small business reduced it to 11 hits.
Creating an alert: Review search details, define alert email & content, schedule its timing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Week 5 Novelist

Week 5:  Novelist
 I've never read the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield. I am, however, intrigued by the book covers and the premise of surgically transforming one's looks and place in society. (What a foreign concept!)
 By using the sort by tool, I could put them in order by volume. How wonderful! As a new high school librarian, who is not used to the collection yet, sometimes when a student asks which one comes next I find myself scouring online to find the answer. (Why they do not reflect it in our catalog is another story.) The author description is something I did not know existed. What a great way to learn about authors and their writing styles.
I love that it is connected to Good Reads, a tool that many of us use to find real reviews by our peers.
Thank you for yet another great tool!