Back to School

Welcome home and welcome back!  The Library is open and ready for new and returning students & faculty.  Over the summer, we’ve really bulked up with new services, new hours, and new databases designed to help everyone keep calm and carry on through the academic life of Tech.  Here’s the top five things you should know about Tech’s most popular destination for studying, printing, and researching.

We’re Open Late…Really Late

The Library is the best and ONLY place on campus open for studying, printing, and meeting after midnight at Tech.  From Sunday through Thursday, we remain open until 1:00 AM and continue to offer excellent and slightly over-caffeinated service long after other offices and buildings close.

In addition, the Library will now offer extended hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Beginning Friday, August 25th, the library will remain open until 8:00 P.M. on Fridays and Saturdays during the regular fall semester.  Additionally, we will open early on Sunday’s at 1:00 PM beginning Sunday, August 27th.

hours for the library in a chart.

Check our website for full schedules, special hours during holidays, and our upcoming 24-hour schedule at finals.  Feel free to bring in a coffee (with a lid) and burn the midnight oil with us.

We Got the Prints

We know many students at Tech only come to the library for the printers.  And that’s ok!  But if you are new, the act of printing can be a little confusing.  Here’s a step-by-step introduction on how to print:

  1. Login to a computer in the General Lab.
  2. Press Ctrl + P or find a Printer Icon to print your academic paper, course schedule, or cute cat pics.
  3. Choose “Dell Universal Print Queue” as your printer and select “Print”
  4. Get up and look for the printer stations. These are separate computers next to a large laser printer.
  5. Login with your Tech Username/Password or simply swipe your ID at the station.  You should see your document ready to print.  You’ll also see the balance on your account and the cost of the job.
  6. If everything looks right, press print.

Prints costs $0.10 a page in black and white, but we also have a color printer that eats up $0.30 a page.  Every student starts with $20 on their account each semester.  But if you run out of money on your account, you can always top it off with cash at the PHIL station, next to Circulation Desk.

If something goes wrong or you can’t find the right printer, friendly staff are standing by on all floors to help with this very thing.

You Can Get a Room

image of bookit chart with red squares indicating booked rooms and green squares indicating free rooms

The Library offers study rooms, multimedia-use rooms, and even an audio lab to record songs, mix music, or narrate video.  Reserve space using our online reservation system, Book It.   The Library has 5 study rooms that can be reserved by any Tech faculty, staff, or student on a first come, first serve basis.

If you need to make a Tegrity recording, reserve one of our Multimedia rooms.  These all-purpose rooms allow you to record yourself taking an exam for instructors, create video or audio presentations, or use interactive software such as Read & Write Gold or Pronunciator.

screenshot of how to book a tegrity room from the Book It dropdown.

If you need to make a podcast or lay down some sick beats, you might want to book some time in our new Audio Lab.  Open to all students, faculty, and staff, the audio lab contains sophisticated software and hardware designed to create professional recordings.   Professional staff are standing by to help you learn the software and make something amazing.

a picture of a woman's hands manipulating a Mini mixing board

We’re All About That (Data)base

Need research?  We have all that in one easy-to-use search:

Screenshot of our find it search engine. There's a blank to search articles, books, and moreSearch and find scholarly articles, books, DVDs, streaming video, or calculators using our search engine for all things Tech Library.  Not sure how to find something in Find It?  See this handy guide for getting the most out of your searches: http://libguides.atu.edu/FindIt

If you need something more specialized, see our list of A-to-Z databases, containing over 200 topical databases for every subject or format need.

We’re Better Than Google

google search result indicating that librarians are the secret masters of the universe.

A search engine will never replace the listening, knowledgeable, and compassionate humans at the Library (at least…not yet).  We have dedicated, friendly staff poised to drop anything to help you succeed.  We thrive on questions, and chase after answers like the professional information hunters that we are.  When you are in need of an answer and don’t know who to call, call us: (855) 761-0006.  We may not always know the answer, but we know the right place to find it.  You can also ask us a question via Ask-A-Librarian or text us at (479) 802-4876.

So come by this semester, either online or in-person, and let us help you find the answers, book a study room, or print your cat pictures.  In the meantime, welcome (back) to Tech and good luck!

 

Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

As the year wraps up, many of you might be planning exotic trips to Brussels, Paris, Stockholm, Lisbon, Paraguay, Beijing, or any major city in the United States where languages are as abundant as Uber and art museums.  To prepare you for your journey, don’t waste money on Rosetta Stone.  Use the Library’s online language learning tool, Pronunciator.

Pronunciator is available to all Arkansas Tech students, faculty, and staff.  You will need to create your own account at first using your ATU email address.

Login screen for Pronunciator database.

Once logged in, you have your choice between 80 non-English languages.  If you are a non-native English speaker, the service also provides ESL courses for speakers of 51 non-English languages including Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, Swedish and many more.

Learn at your own pace, or, for targeted objectives, through guided courses.  The guided courses range from early learners (3-6 years old), young learners (7-12 years old), 8-week travel prep, beginner courses, and even a healthcare course.  Choose the main guide to independently roam and explore the language through “postcards” where you can learn common expressions, cultural information, and more.

A boat in the Stockholm harbor, under a leaden sky.  The Swedish word for Please, "Snalla" perched on the mast.

Get the most out of Pronunciator using a microphone and headphones, which allow you the ability to practice speaking the language.  Pronunciator will play your recorded phrases back to you in comparison with the native speaker, provide drills to score how well you pronounce certain words and phrases, and offer assistance when you just can’t get the hang of it.

As you progress in each language, Pronunciator will let you review your overall progress and stats.  You can also take practice quizzes, review flashcards, and nail your rolling R’s with drills.

Not only can you learn a language structured in a learning course, Pronunciator doubles as handy phrasebook, giving you instant access to probably the most important phrase you’ll ever need to know:

The multitude of ways you can ask about Toilets in Swedish

Remember, there is also a Pronunciator App for mobile devices, capable of syncing to your existing account.  No matter where you are in the lesson, your phone or tablet can take your progress with you on the flight, train, ocean liner, or rickshaw.

Mobile app page with overly excited people stock photo.

Have a question about Pronunciator, the library, or where to find the best brunch in Stockholm?  Let us know at Ask-A-Librarian.  We’ll be open throughout the break, too, so stop in and grab a travel guide on the way to your next destination.  Hint: Search Find It for “Eyewitness Travel Guide.”

Have a great summer!

Non-Stop Library

Welcome to Finals!  The week when everyone tries to cram in days of work in a few feverish hours.  Once again, the Library’s got your back with extended hours this week:

Monday: 7:00 A.M. – 1:00 A.M.

Tuesday: 7:00 A.M. –1:00 A.M.

Wednesday: 7:00 A.M. – Friday  9:00 P.M.

We will keep our normal hours this weekend before dropping down to Summer Interim Hours Tuesday, May 9th.  See our full hours for the rest of spring and summer here: http://library.atu.edu/about/hours/

To help save time, here’s a list of top 8 recommended tools for that last minute, mad dash to the semester’s finish line:

  1. Find It – Search for those last minute peer-reviewed articles here.
  2. Book It –Reserve the Tegrity Room or a study room ahead of time. These are filling FAST.
  3. Owl at Purdue—The best in free citation help in MLA, APA, and Chicago. Not sure how to cite a resource? Use this.
  4. Refworks—Dump all your citations into this, let it generate your bibliography.
  5. Finals Schedule—We also have paper copies at all service desks.
  6. Text-A-Librarian—479-802-4876. Let us know when loudness strikes.
  7. Scantrons—Buy them for $0.20 at the Circulation Desk
  8. Cat videos—It’s not procrastination; you’re just taking a quick break.

Good luck—you got this!

Spring Break Hours

Happy Spring Break!  While much of the campus will resemble a ghost town during spring break, we know that not everyone leaves for a beach-front view.  If you find yourself in need of a quiet place to relax, use the computer, study, check out videos, or print out Yelp reviews for next year’s vacation, the Ross Pendergraft Library will be open Monday, March 20th-Friday March 24th.

However–please be aware of our reduced hours:

  • Saturday-Sunday, March 18th-19th: CLOSED
  • Monday-Friday, March 20th-24th: 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
  • Saturday, March 25th: CLOSED
  • Sunday, March 26th: 5:00 P.M.-1:00 A.M. the following day.
  • Regular hours resume on March 27th.

To everyone else, if you are taking a road trip, take also an audiobook to get you through the long hours on an interstate. We have a growing collection of over 300 titles ranging from non-fiction to best-sellers.  Browse the shelves near the Reference Desk to pick out that perfect story, or search Find It for the word “Audiobooks”.

Then limit by Location: Audiobooks to browse the physical collection located in the Ozark and Ross Pendergraft Libraries

You can also limit your search to items in the Ross Pendergraft Library by click on Collection: Ross Pendergraft Library:

Sort results by Date-newest to see latest titles.

Audiobooks circulate like regular books, so students can check them out for 28 days–just enough time to get through Game of Thrones.

Warning: while most of our audiobooks are in CD-Audio format, some are MP-3 disks, and may not play in older car stereos.  Read the stickers carefully.

If you have any questions about library hours or audiobooks, contact your unbreakable librarians at askalibrarian@atu.edu.

Have a safe and relaxing spring break!

End of Year Listicle

As the year winds down, it’s time to take a closer look at what everyone is reading, watching, or checking out over and over just to mess with our circulation numbers.  The following includes the top circulating items over the past year, providing a useful glimpse into the minds of your fellow students and perhaps suggestions for how to spend all that free time you’ll have over the break.

Top 10 DVDs

Game of thrones season five cover

These represent the top ten circulated DVDs of the year.

  1. Game of Thrones (all seasons)
  2. Finding Nemo
  3. My Neighbor Totoro
  4. Up
  5. Frozen
  6. Identity Thief
  7. Nausicaä of the valley of the wind
  8. Jurassic World
  9. Maleficent
  10. Monsters, Inc.

Top 10 Fiction

Cover of Red Queen

These were the top circulated novels.

  1. Red Queen / Victoria Aveyard
  2. Breaking Dawn / Stephenie Meyer
  3. Fifty Shades Darker / E. L. James
  4. The First Time She Drowned / Kerry Kletter
  5. The Girl on the Train / Paula Hawkins
  6. Fifty Shades of Grey / E. L. James
  7. Positive / David Wellington
  8. The Goldfinch / Donna Tartt
  9. The Good Girl / Mary Kubica
  10. Winter / Marissa Meyer

Top 10 Non-Fiction

Cover of book: What If?

Here’s the top non-fiction that were checked-out this year (excluding material assigned by professors).

  1. What if? : Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions / Randall Munroe
  2. Yes Please / Amy Poehler
  3. #Girlboss / Sophia Amoruso
  4. Elon Musk : Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future / Ashlee Vance
  5. How to Be a Person : The Stranger’s Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life Itself
  6. Out of the Cage : Women’s Experiences in Two World Wars / Gail Braybon
  7. Problems in the History of Modern Africa / Robert O. Collins
  8. The Drunkard’s Walk : How Randomness Rules Our Lives / Leonard Mlodinow
  9. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace : a Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League / Jeff Hobbs
  10. The Witches : Salem, 1692

And finally….the number one circulated item of the year—with a whopping 271 check-outs—is:

Circulation Headphones #14.

We’re certainly excited it edged out Dry Erase Markers Set 5 and the calculators.  But the year is not over—come by the circulation desk and give the calculators another chance to catch up.  Reduced interim hours begin soon so check our schedule first.

Feel like we left something off the list?  Wondering why everyone is watching cartoons?  We do, too.  Let’s chat about it at askalibrarian@atu.edu.  Have a fun and animated holiday and a happy new year!

Thanksgiving Hours

The Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center will be closing early Tuesday, November 22nd, at 9:00 PM and Wednesday, November 23rd at 5:00 PM (or whenever the University closes).  It will not reopen until Monday, November 28th, at 7:00 AM.  See our website for regular hours and upcoming finals schedule.

Despite the holiday closing, you can be especially thankful that many of our services and resources are available online, at any time, whether the campus is closed or open.  Below, we have listed just a few of the resources you can access from wherever your holidays take you:

two handsome plymouth rocks (chickens)

  • Statista – Be prepared for any family gathering with this handy resource for quick facts, statistics, and eye-catching infographics.  This specialized database, available on our A-to-Z database page, contains business, marketing, and population statistics from around the world.  Each chart or graph can be directly exported into Powerpoint, PDF, or Excel for an extra visual boost to your reports and presentations.  Data sources include Nielsen, Euromonitor, Experian Simmons, GfK, Ipsos Affluent Survey, Gallup, US government agencies, private companies, non-profits, and many more.statistic_id208104_average-cost-of-a-thanksgiving-dinner-in-the-us-1990-2016
  • PBS Video Collection—Veg out in your tryptophan stupor by selecting a film from this collection of award-winning documentaries and series.  Watch full-length content from any device on subjects such history, current events, psychology, art, music, and more.  Browse by topic or field of interest, or search for series or videos directly.
  • Research Guides—Get to the meat of library resources using our collection of subject and resource guides.  Find resources of all types in most of the major’s offered at ATU.  Each guide includes tutorials, top databases and resources, as well as citation help to get you through each stage of a research project.  Browse new books in the library our Popular Reading guide:

popular

Need face-to-face help?  Catch us before we close by stopping by at our Reference Desk, calling us toll-free at (855) 761-0006, or sending us a text at (479) 802-4876.  We are also available via email at askalibrarian@atu.edu for all your pre and post-Thanksgiving research needs.  Safe travels and enjoy the break!

Not-So-Silent Nights

As finals wind down and thoughts return to the upcoming holidays, nothing sets the mood better than music.  Arkansas Tech students, faculty, and staff can stream holiday music, commercial free, through the Library’s online streaming music collection, Naxos Music Library.

This streaming music database contains over 1.7 million full-length musical recordings and more than 100,000 albums.  The bulk of the collection is made up of classical music, but you can find many blues, jazz, folk, and international music recordings as well.

Search by title, author, composer, or other keyword for specific selections, or browse by various genres, including Blues, Jazz, Pop, Gospel, World, and Instrumental.  Naxos has even gone to the trouble to create playlists centered around themes, films & television, instrument style, and yes Virginia, even holidays.  Navigate to the Naxos Music Library Playlists–>Holidays and Special Occasions to select from one of four Christmas music playlists.

naxos1

If those playlists don’t get the job done, create your own playlists by signing up for a student account within the Naxos Music Library database.  Once logged in, you can add songs and entire albums into your playlist.

naxos2

Worried about being tied down to the desktop?  Download the mobile app for Naxos and stream music from anywhere—even on your way to grandma’s house.

naxos3

Additionally, check out the Naxos Spoken Word Library–our collection of 6,700 hours of streaming spoken word content.  Get a fire going and listen to the unabridged, full-cast radio production of Charles Dickens’s, A Christmas Carol.  There’s also an anthology of Christmas stories, music, recipes, sermons and carols called The Christmas Collection.

But if you just want to hear Benedict Cumberbatch perform in the Tempest, you can do that, too.

Cumberbatch smiling, dreamily

We hope you enjoy the well-deserved break over the holidays.  The Library will begin reduced winter interim hours on Wednesday, Dec. 16 through Dec. 23rd.  We will be closed from Thursday, Dec. 24th through Sunday, January 3rd.  The reduced hours continue until classes resume on January 11th.  See our full schedule of hours at the library website.

For questions about the Naxos Music Library, Naxos Spoken Word Library, or suggestions for great holiday music, contact your festive librarians at askalibrarian@atu.edu.   Have a great winter break, and may your days be merry and bright.

We’re Open!

Since the inauguration has moved to Tucker Coliseum on Friday, April 17th, the library will remain open during our regular hours, from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. After you finish attending the inauguration, come by the library and check out our new arrivals…literally!

kar88

Here’s a brief snapshot of the titles most recently inaugurated into our collection:

FICTION BOOKS

 NON-FICTION BOOKS

FILMS

Want to stay on top of new items?  Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.  You can also check out our growing list of new items by clicking the “Open Your Mind” logo in the top right corner of the library homepage.  We also have a breakdown of new titles by department & month on our Libguide for new books (including e-books).  If you happen to be in the library, proceed immediately to the first floor, south entrance where you’ll find the latest & greatest new books:

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Keep checking back for more new stuff, new “news”, as well as old, awful puns.

Remembering MLK

mlk

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Ross Pendergraft Library & Technology Center will be closed Saturday through Monday, January 17th-January 19th.  While we’re closed, take a look at a selection of resources relating to Dr. King and the dream of equality to which he devoted his life.

  • The King Center

    The definitive resource for digital resources pertaining to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the King Center hosts nearly one million documents relating to his life and his work.  Find speeches, telegrams, scribbled notes, and photographs of the civil rights leader throughout his life.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

    In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort.  The MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.”   It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.  This website include toolkits and project registration to organize other volunteers to join in a national day of civic service.

  • Civil Rights History Project (Library of Congress)

    Includes video interviews from a number of people sharing their experiences and impressions of Dr. King, including their reflections on his assassination, and the civil rights movement in general. Some of the participants include other civil rights activists of the time, friends, and colleagues who worked closely with Dr. King.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. [FBI file].

    Collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, this free, government resource contains pages of government information relating to FBI surveillance of King during the 1960’s, as well as documents relating to his assassination investigation.

When the library re-opens on Tuesday, January 20th, check-out these additional resources:

  • Citizen KingB0006Z2L5G.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_

    Produced by PBS, this documentary pushes past the myths that have obscured King’s story to reclaim the history of a people’s leader.  Using the personal recollections, diaries, letters, and eyewitness accounts of friends, family, journalists, law enforcement officers and historians, this film brings fresh insights to King’s difficult journey, his charismatic — if at times flawed — leadership, and his truly remarkable impact.  Available for check-out in the Music Lab, 2nd floor.

  • contentA testament of hope : the essential writings and speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Includes the speeches, writings, interviews, and excerpts from five of Martin Luther King’s books.  Presented in chronological order within topical groupings.  Available in the Stacks, 2nd floor.

  • 1600248500.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_Martin Luther King, Jr. : the essential box set, the landmark speeches and sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    This audiobook box set includes readings of all the landmark speeches of the great orator and American leader Martin Luther King, Jr. from his inspirational “I have a dream” to his fiery “Give us the ballot.”  Available in Audiobooks, 1st floor.

  • 0446524123.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_The autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    First-person account of the extraordinary life of America’s greatest civil rights leader. With thousands of King’s essays, notes, letters, speeches, and sermons at his disposal, the author has organized King’s writings into a posthumous autobiography.  Available in the Stacks, 2nd floor.

Dispatches from 4 AM

wp_20141212_04_31_49_proAt 4 AM, the library is nearly silent except for the whirrr of vacuums and the suppressed giggles of tired, delirious students.  Tables are crammed with notes, laptops, and, occasionally, a sleeper.  This is 4 AM during the library’s inaugural 24 hour opening for finals. In a place normally closed from 1:00 AM through 7:00 AM, the lights here have not been turned off since its closing on the previous Saturday.  They will continue to stay on until 6:00 PM on Friday, December 12th.

Stoney Burks, junior in History & Education.

What kind of students are here at 4 AM?  As it turns out, all kinds.  Stoney Burks, a history and education major, was just here trying to find a quiet place to read while his roommate plays video games.

While many reported the usual suspect—procrastination—as the primary reason for the early hours, others, like Bethany Skaggs, a junior double majoring in Economics & Finance and Marketing & Management, replied that she prefers studying at night, especially since her days are so busy with other activities.

Another student replied, “I’m just waiting here until my final at 7:00 AM.  I’m too scared I will sleep through my alarm if I fall asleep now!”

Marques Ennett, junior in Economics & Finance.

For many of the students here at this time, it was the quiet that drew them.  Marques Ennett, a junior majoring in Economics and Finance, was working alone in a back corner, studying for his finals the next day.  “The environment is much quieter at the library,” he replied when asked why he chose to come here.  Like other students, he works during the day when he’s not classes.   So if he needs to study, he must do it during the late hours.

For students without computers, the library also represented the only place open late to access the research, software, and printers they need to finish assignments.  In addition to examinations, projects and papers are also due during finals.  “My computer at home is kind of buggy, but this one is not,” said one student, working on a research paper.

Most of the students not at computer desks were found clumped together at tables and within study rooms to help keep each other awake.  “I would be asleep if I was in my dorm,” said one night owl.  “It helps to be around a group.”

Caitlin Hicks, a freshman majoring in Middle-Level Education sleepily waited across a table for her friend, Kaily Sibrian to finish up an essay.

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Caitlin Hicks & Kaily Sibrian trying to stay awake and on task

When they were asked why they didn’t prefer some place like Denny’s to study, Kaily said, “At a food place, I would be more tempted to buy something.”

“It’s too easy to get distracted,” added Caitlin.

wp_20141203_01_42_05_proOne does not often make it to 4 AM on good company alone, however.  It sometimes takes caffeine or sugar to keep burning the midnight oil.  As a special treat, the campus administration sponsored coffee and snacks during the late hours to help students go that extra mile through the night.  Many listed the coffee as the top perk of the evening, both in terms of happiness and in actual metabolic rates.

To the 46 or so students here at 4 AM–and to all other ATU students–we in the Ross Pendergraft Library & Technology Center salute you for all of your hard work this semester.  If you’ve got a picture or a story to tell us about studying all night in the library, send it to us at askalibrarian@atu.edu or post on our Facebook or Twitter pages.  We’d love to know your opinions about the 24-hour service, and what we can do to make your final exams a little easier to get through in the future.  Best of luck on the rest of the exams, and most importantly, get some sleep!!!