Archives for July 2013


Taking a roadtrip this summer?  Make the miles more interesting by bringing along an an audiobook for getting through those traffic jams and lonely highways.  Tech library has over 200 titles on CD or MP3-CD from which to choose.   Recently,  all audiobooks moved out of the Multimedia lab and onto the shelves to the east of the Reference desk for better browsing.  Swing by the Reference Desk for help choosing that perfect companion for long distance travel, working out at the gym, or sunbathing at the beach.

If you’re thinking about taking a long trip this summer, why not take along these books to pass the drive-time/flight-time:

And if you want to get fully caught up on all of the George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books, made more popular by the Game of Thrones series on HBO, you have just enough time to listen to all five books on a trip from here to Destin, Florida—if you walk the whole way (192 hours).

Safe travels!




This Just In…

Sources at Tech Library now confirm a story, originally leaked on Facebook, that Arkansas Tech students have access to a new digital newspaper service called Library PressDisplay.

Reported to contain access to over 2,200 newspapers from 97 countries, in 54 languages, Library PressDisplay hopes to fulfill the need for students, faculty, and staff to stay informed about current events from around the world and around the country.

“We’re positively ecstatic about the color photographs, full-text searching ability, and the depth of coverage from around the world,” quoted one librarian.  “I can now read the front page of today’s newspaper from Egypt!  It’s in Arabic, however, so I can’t actually read it until I learn the language.

But what does the new database offer for those interested in local news?

A spokesperson from the library reported that access to the digital version of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette is also available, as well as other newspapers across Arkansas like the Northwest Arkansas Times, Texarkana Gazette, The Sentinel-Record, and more.

“Unlike other newspaper databases, Library PressDisplay doesn’t serve up just the html version of the newspaper story—it’s the actual, digitized version of the paper.  It includes all of the photographs, ads, headlines, comics, and classifieds, exactly as they appear in the printed version,” observed one Tech librarian on the scene.

It was noted that, in addition to content, database users also have the ability to view picture galleries, RSS feed stories, listen to an audio recording of a newspaper, and share news stories via email or blog post.

Unfortunately, for those seeking newspaper articles from the past, it may not be a suitable resource.

As one librarian remarked, “If you’re looking for older news stories, Library PressDisplay covers only the last three months.  Try something like Lexis-Nexis Academic, or Newspaper Source for the last few decades of modern news.  You can also view the number of digital indexes for individual newspapers like the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the Pennsylvania Gazette for coverage going back a hundred years or more.”  All of these sources can be found on the List of Databases, “News” topical heading.

An extensive investigation also revealed the presence of “real” newspapers located in the Newspaper section of the library, as well as several other newspapers on microfilm accessible through the online catalog.

When asked how students could find assistance using this new database, a librarian at the Reference Desk enthusiastically whispered, “Ask us!” and promptly listed an email address, Reference Desk phone number, and the library hours during which the staff can be reached.  A video tutorial was also discovered on the Library PressDisplay webpage:


Mango Languages

If you’re looking for help in foreign languages, or if you just want to brush up on some common phrases before an overseas trip, look no further than our new foreign language resource, Mango Languages.

Mango is an interactive, online language-learning system that teaches conversation skills for English speakers wishing to learn a foreign language.  There are currently 61 languages to choose from, with more added every year.  It includes courses in common, modern languages like Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, and Korean.  There are also lessons for classical languages, like Greek or Latin, more obscure languages like Scottish Gaelic or Tamil, and even the most obscure language, Pirate.


Additionally, if you are a non-English speaker or would like to improve your English conversational skills, Mango also provides English courses in 16 different languages, including Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish.

Similar to Rosetta Stone or other interactive language software, each course guides you though a language using the most useful, practical phrases to communicate with other people.  Throughout each lesson, you’ll be learning vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and a little bit of the culture of the native speakers of that language.


The courses include audio recordings of professional, native speakers guiding you through each pronunciation.  If you have a microphone attached to your computer, you can also record your own pronunciation, and play it back over the instructor’s voice.  If you hover over a word on the screen, a phonetic spelling of the word will display, to help you sound it out. You can also make the narrator say it more slowly, by clicking each word.


Mango is now available through Tech Library’s website, under Research–>List of Databases.   Off-campus users may be prompted for their Tech ID and password.  Once you have reached the Mango site, you must register with an email address and password to take advantage of the language courses, but you are not restricted to your Tech email and password.

For more information about Mango languages, see the video tutorial below or contact yer swashbuckling librarian.



List of Databases?

Databases: they come in different shapes and sizes. Some provide full-text, and some have only abstracts.  Some are interdisciplinary and cover a little bit of everything; some are focused on one particular subject.

If you’ve ever used our main “Article” search box on the homepage, you have sampled one of our most interdisciplinary databases–Academic Search Complete.

Article search page

It covers a little bit of everything, includes peer-reviewed articles, and makes a great launching point for undergraduate research.  Maybe you’ve tried it, and found a few resources you could use.

But what if you need more?  What if you couldn’t find…anything?


If at first you don’t succeed, try another database.  We subscribe to over 150, in fact, and they can all be accessed from our homepage, under Research, in Tech Databases.

The list is organized in alphabetical order and includes a description of each database beside the name.  Under the Access column, you’ll find that most of the databases are Tech-only, meaning you must be a student, faculty, or staff to access the content.  If you live off-campus, you’ll be prompted to login using your Tech ID and password before using the database.  On-campus, however, you will have seamless access, though some databases can only be used on-campus.

How do you know what databases are right for you?  If your research is focused on a particular subject, like music or psychology, click the subject terms to the left of the list.  You will then see a much shorter list of databases you might want to use for a more subject-focused set of results.

Problems?  More questions?  Contact your friendly neighborhood librarian: 

You can also contact us via phone or in person, anytime the library is open.

Happy searching!

Holiday Schedule

Happy Fourth of July and happy end of the first summer session of 2013!  Please note the special hours for the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center for this week, July 4th-July 7th:

Thursday, July 4th:      CLOSED

Friday, July 5th:            7:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.

Saturday, July 6th:       CLOSED

Sunday, July 7th:          CLOSED

The Music Lab will be open Friday, July 5th, from 12:00 P.M.-5:00 P.M.  Any multimedia requests before the Lab opens can be made through first floor circulation staff.

We will resume our usual hours for Monday, July 8th.   Have a safe and spectacular holiday!