Archives for May 2017

On Trial

The Ross Pendergraft Library is now offering two new database trials until June 24th, 2017.  This is your opportunity to sample collections under consideration for purchase by the library.  Send your feedback to Ask A Librarian or if you are faculty, contact your subject liaison to voice your praise, concern, or indifference to the products listed below.

American Periodical Series

This ProQuest database contains periodicals published between 1740 and 1940, including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children’s and women’s magazines and many other historically-significant periodicals.   Over 1,800 titles are indexed including Harper’s Bazaar, Benjamin Franklin’s General Magazine, America’s first scientific journal, Medical Repository.  It also includes historic issues of popular magazines like Vanity Fair as well as The Dial, Puck, and McClure’s.

The cover of the first magazine published in North America

The collection includes 89 journals from 1740 to 1800, covering America’s colonial past and establishment as an independent country.  Notable pieces include the serialization of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the writings of Edgar Allan Poe as contributed to the Southern Literary Messenger, and Nathanial Hawthorne’s first stories in the New England Magazine.

The cover of The Dial with the first published edition of T.S. Eliot's the Wasteland

The database goes further than most by including the digitized images of periodical pages.  Researchers can study the illustrations, typography, and advertisements.

The invention of the emoticon, 1881

In addition to full text searching, issues can be browsed visually, enabling the viewer to scan pages quickly to get a snapshot in time from first page to last.  Search within individual publications, issues, and across the entire collection.

A screenshot of browsing Puck magazine, a popular political cartoon serial from the 1800s.

Students and faculty hunting for primary source material relating to American history will hit pay dirt with the American Periodical Series.

New York Times with Index

The New York Times has published “all the news that’s fit to print” since 1851.  This historical newspaper provides genealogists, researchers and scholars with online, easily-searchable first-hand accounts and unparalleled coverage of the politics, society and events of the time.  Search and find full-text articles up until 2013 without pouring over the library’s paper indexes and microfilm.

Read articles, editorials, advertisements and cartoons from the last 160 years in digital format.  Each page can be clearly read as though you were holding it up to your very own monocle.

Sinking of the Titanic announced

Browse an issue by specific date or use advanced searching to find articles by specific authors, keywords, or location and subject.  Travel back to a time when big fonts meant big news.

Nixon resigns -- headline from New York Times, 1974

If you enjoy the modern conveniences of hunting down primary resources from the comfort of your own sitting room, then please send a telegram or carrier pigeon to Ask A Librarian posthaste.  We rely on your recommendations to help us make tough decisions over which databases to keep, cancel, or purchase.  Remember, you have until June 24th until the trial expires, so send us your feedback soon.

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:

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!