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Showing posts from March, 2010

Goodbye Mr. Clare

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Like most libraries, we check out a lot of books. Every year. It's one of the important things we do. Well at this library, nobody has checked out more books than Ken Clare. You may be one of the thousands of students who have had their books checked out by Ken over the years. Some time tomorrow, one of you will be the last.

That's because Ken is retiring. And we don't know who will miss him more - the people who work in the library or the people who use it.

Maybe you don't know Ken by name but you've probably seen him around - usually at the Circulation desk - that big guy with the big mustache. He's been lending journals, receiving books, collecting fines, forgiving fines and trading jokes with students (and supervising an entire department) for a very long time. Since 1982. Before most of you were born. So to say that he deserves his retirement is an understatement.

Have you ever seen a group of women wearing Boston Red Sox shirts and tiaras on the…

Our Databases Reorganized

There were some changes made this week to the way we organize the many different databases we now have. We think it's an improvement and we hope you do too. Let me explain:

You know that Databases A-Z list in the Find articles section in the middle of our web site? Well it originated many years ago when our electronic offerings were a small fraction of their current number. It was intended to bring them all of them together in one master list, with an inclusive interpretation of the term “database”. Over time, this list has grown to include not just journal indexes but electronic statistical sources and e-books as well. These sources were all electronic but they were also significantly different.

As the list grew (and the pace is accelerating rather than slowing down), it was becoming quite unwieldy. For someone looking for journal articles on a subject, especially first or second year students, that long list was pretty intimidating (and probably confusing).

We have now separated th…

New source for Irish biographies

Are you an Irish Studies major? Are you of Irish descent (the whole year, not just on March 17)? A lover of Irish music, literature, coffee or pubs? Wolfhounds?

If you've said yes to any of these, you'll be interested in a new online resource the library has just acquired (the fact that Saint Patrick's Day is next week is mere coincidence).

The Dictionary of Irish Biography is "the most comprehensive and authoritative biographical dictionary yet published for Ireland". This web-based edition includes more than 9,000 signed biographies of historical figures from politics, religion, science and the arts. It is the result of a collaborative effort by the Royal Irish Academy and Cambridge University Press.

Irish poet Seamus Heaney calls the publication of the DIB "an epoch-making event in the history of Irish scholarship" while another Irish man of letters, Colm Toibin (who visited Saint Mary's not long ago), feels that it "will be greeted with…

Grad student help

Most of you are familiar with the libguides which we've created for various academic subjects (see the Getting started in links on our main page). And some of you will have used the one we developed specifically for international students. These guides bring together various kinds of information, from how to use the Library's resources to campus services and support.

Well now there's a guide designed to meet the unique needs of Graduate students. It includes important info on borrowing privileges, research help, journal and statistical databases, citation management and everything you need to know about theses and dissertations (there are even links to e-books on thesis writing).

To find the graduate student libguide you can go here or follow the Library guides link in the left hand column of our web site. Always trying to help...