Spring 2006: Volume 10, Issue 2

New Quiet Campaign in Birnbaum Library

Eileen Gatti, Reference Librarian

If we didn't know it already, the results of a recent library survey have confirmed it! There is a noise problem in the Birnbaum Library. As of mid-March we received 272 completed surveys from students. Here's what we found out:

When asked about your ideal library environment, 66.5% of you talked about wanting a quiet place with few distractions. Comfortable furniture and separate group study areas were also mentioned frequently. When asked what you would change in the library, technology upgrades came first (34.6%), followed by noise-related responses such as "more quiet study rooms," or simply "quiet" (28.7%). Several people suggested banning cell phone use. An additional 9.2% specified building more group study rooms to create better separation of space. One part of the survey asked respondents to rank the importance of items that may be found in a Learning Commons. "Designated quiet study space" came in at #2 among people's top priorities.

We are hoping that a renovation will provide an architectural solution to the problem in the near future, but we want to do something to address your concerns right now. And we can't do it without your help!

You'll soon be seeing new signage designating quiet and group study areas. Please respect the quiet areas and avoid conversation. If you're in a group study area, please keep your voices down and be mindful of your general noise level, since voices may carry into quiet study areas. PLEASE turn off your cell phone ringers. If you must take a call, move into the library lobby area and keep your voice down in consideration of others. We hope this small step will help promote an ethos of courtesy and consideration and make the Birnbaum Library a great place to be!

Thank you for your cooperation and thanks to all of you who completed a survey!

Results of Learning Commons Surveys

Karen DeSantis, Instructional Services Librarian

The Mortola Library in Pleasantville made surveys available to students, faculty, and staff in the fall semester of 2005. Many library instruction classes were given the survey as well to increase the number of responses. Students want the Mortola Library to be open 24 hours and to have a small café in the library so they don't have to leave to get coffee. They also want comfortable furniture and color printing/copying available. Pace Faculty and Staff are more interested in designated quiet study areas including areas for office hours, photocopiers, and research help.

Both groups agreed that at this time there is little need for support for mobile digital devices. Students were least interested in an available fax machine or Macintosh computers while Faculty and staff responded that popular DVD's and the café favored by students were least important.

The Pace University Library hopes to be able to use the results of both surveys to improve our services and, depending on funding, improve our facilities over the next few years. However, don't start looking for a sauna in either library anytime soon!

What Do You Expect? Tell Us with LibQUAL+

Noreen McGuire, Assistant University Librarian for Staff Development

You've probably noticed a few emails from the University Librarian over the last few weeks inviting you to participate in LibQUAL+ , a library service quality survey. The LibQUAL+ survey gives you a chance to tell us where our services need improvement so we can respond to your expectations. Only with your feedback can we develop services that better meet your needs.

The LibQUAL+ premise can be summarized by a quote from Zeithaml, Parasuraman, and Berry's Delivering Quality Service: "Only customers judge quality; all other judgments are essentially irrelevant." If you haven't filled in LibQUAL+ yet, you have until April 21st to go to http://survey.libqual.org/index.cfm?ID=733161 or follow the survey link from the library homepage and let us know what you think.


Is it a Real Email or a Hoax Chain Letter?

Karen DeSantis, Instructional Services Librarian

Did you ever get an email that sounded too good to be true? How about one that said that a company wasn't patriotic so you should boycott that store, such as Starbuck won't give free coffee to soldiers or the owner of a Dunkin Donuts store burned an American Flag? (Both of these emails give false information.) How can you tell if the information in the email is real or if it is another hoax chain email?

The easiest way to tell if an email is a hoax is to highlight and copy a line from the email and search for it in Google. So using the example of Dunkin Donuts, I would search Google for the phrase "Boycott Dunkin Donuts" and get results from http://www.breakthechain.org and www.snopes.com. These two sites as well as www.truthorfiction.com and urbanlegends.about.com list a number of chain emails that have been circulating for the past several years on the internet and will tell you if the information is true, false, or unknown. You can check these sites to see the latest hoaxes, no only in your email box but popular urban legends as well.

Is there lead in your lipstick? Are there termites in the mulch from Louisiana? Have women died from sniffing perfume samples? Was Mr. Rogers a Navy Seal or Marine? Is someone putting kittens in glass blocks to create Bonsai Kittens?

The answer to all the above questions is NO but you may find something true and interesting by visiting any of the sites above. Unfortunately, there is no way to track email messages so AOL and Bill Gates are not giving away their money and nothing funny happens when you forward that email to seven friends.

"One-Stop-Shopping" for Conflict, Controversy, and General Hullabaloo.

Helen Lane, Instructional Services Librarian

Okay. Here's the situation:

  • You have to give a 10 minute speech on a controversial topic next week, and you still don't know what issue to choose.

  • Or perhaps you're preparing for a debate and you want to be ready for all your opponent's arguments.

  • Or maybe you have a current issues paper to write, and you have to find statistics and primary documents, as well as information from books and magazines to back up your thesis statement.

    Well, whatever the case, you're in luck.

    Pace University Library now subscribes to a database called Opposing Viewpoints. As the name implies, this database attempts to present materials from both sides of an issue. Based on a series of books by the same name, the Opposing Viewpoints database provides access to excerpts from the Opposing Viewpoints books in the form of pro & con essays, as well as statistics, graphs, maps and other illustrations. Unlike the book series, however, the database also provides access to current magazine and newspaper articles, web sites of advocacy groups from both sides, and primary documents such as speeches, congressional debates, and legal documents.

    To use this new database simply go the library's web site (http://www.pace.edu/library), select the Articles via Databases link, and choose Opposing Viewpoints from the Complete Database Listing menu. Once you're in, you may either search for your topic, or simply browse the directory of "hot" issues (this is great if you're still undecided).

    If you'd like to learn more about all features of the Opposing Viewpoints database, just drop by your library's Information Desk. Any of our reference librarians will be glad to help you.

  • Bedford Bibliographer: A Free Online Service

    Karen DeSantis, Instructional Services Librarian

    If you click on the link from the library homepage for citing resources, you will find many tools and pages that will help you to create a bibliography for your latest research paper. One of the links near the top of the page is for the Bedford Bibliographer.


    Databases Available Freely via the Web

    Brian Jennings, Instructional Services Librarian

    The Pace University Library has recently added several databases to our listings that are freely available to the public. These resources provide unique information which could be valuable to members of the Pace community.

  • American Memory / http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html

  • This database from the Library of Congress can be a great resource for locating a photograph for a PowerPoint presentation or an oral history interview related to a wide variety of events in American history. It also contains broadsides, the papers of selected Presidents, WPA materials from the Great Depression, and much more.

  • Brooklyn Eagle / http://www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/eagle/

  • This resource has the full text of articles from Brooklyn's afternoon newspaper. It was once said that if "a Brooklyn man stumbled while walking on Fulton Street in the morning, so the old saying went, he could read about it that evening in The Eagle." The online version of the Brooklyn Eagle has articles from 1841-1902. It is a nice complement to our New York Times Archive database, especially for students of Nineteenth Century American history. (Read the New York Times article about the online Eagle)


    Get Connected with Connect NY

    Noreen McGuire, Assistant University Librarian for Staff Development

    Pace University Library recently joined Connect NY, a group of twelve libraries within New York State whose members have created a combined catalog of their collections, giving their users access to materials in all of the other libraries. Pace students, staff and faculty can borrow books from other Connect NY libraries, including Colgate, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Vassar, if the books are not owned by the Pace Library or if our copies are already checked-out. That means you have access to almost 2 million titles that are not owned by Pace and access to millions of additional books when our copies are checked out.


    The Joy of Reading

    In this project staff and faculty were asked to list the title of their favorite book and write a brief synopsis of why they liked the book. This issue will feature President David A. Caputo's response.

    Leatherstocking Tales (especially Last of the Mohicans) - James Fenimore Cooper

    Reading has always been a source of enrichment for me. I began to read early and try to find time each day to read. Reading has always opened doors for me and delivered ideas. Cooper's work brought to life a period in history which I wanted to understand and appreciate. By reading, other doors were opened. In this case, I gained insight into the history and culture of the times. Cooper's writings brought the culture and mores of the outdoors to me with added meaning! I still look for early editions and full sets of Leatherstocking Tales.

    President David A. Caputo

    Book Review: The World is Flat

    Rey P. Racelis, Associate University Librarian for Systems Integration

    The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
    By Thomas L. Friedman
    Farrar, Straus & Girouxm

    To read the anti-Friedman commentaries on many Internet sites as well as in printed sources is to think that Thomas L. Friedman, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, is nothing but a wanton glorifier of "globalization" with a penchant for catchy phrases to make his points. He appears to be quite enamored by the exultant litanies of benefits resulting from a globalized environment recited by his friends---people in high places such as CEOs, presidents, investment bankers or venture capitalists of note.

    True to form, his style may sometimes appear to be bookishly didactic that can sometimes annoy a more demanding reader who perhaps may be better served and stimulated by the more complex, but brilliantly crafted, economic treatises of the caliber of Lester Thurow (Fortune Favors the Bold…, Harper Business, 2005 paperback), or the highly intelligent and cogent work of Jagdish Bhagwati (In Defense of Globalization, Oxford University Press, 2004 paperback). Those grounded in the science of economics or business will indeed find Friedman rather simplistic in his discourse, and prone to coin arbitrary albeit entertaining nomenclatures: flat world, flatburgers, plain vanilla, glocalization, chocolate sauce, compassionate flatism, to name a few.


    Library Systems Updates

    Rey P. Racelis, Associate University Librarian for Systems Integration

    Electronic Books

    The library's collection of electronic books numbers about 10,500 titles.

    The collection comes from such varied services as Books 24 x 7, ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies), Virtual Reference and Books, and Daily Life Through History).

    User authentication is required if accessed outside of the university campus.
    Individual titles are also reflected in the Online Catalog (Innopac).

    Media Patch (Media Solution)

    MediaPatch, an internal streaming system, is the solution for the viewing of media programs remotely on and between campuses, in particular, the Mortola and Birnbaum Libraries, the Library and your classroom, the Library and your lab, thus enhancing your courses and enriching learning.

    No longer are you required to physically travel to the location where the media is housed, and distance education students are now able to view assigned videos remotely providing they have access to high speed Internet access.

    MediaPatch, a closed circuit system, does not infringe on copyright because first, the media is not converted from its original format, and second, the information is not streamed to the public. All streaming is within the Intranet and remains secure within the Pace University network.

    Where rights and distribution licenses are permissible and have been obtained from the authorized distributors, the digitized link can be embedded within your Blackboard course shell.

    To submit a viewing request to the MediaPatch team, fill out the MediaPatch Request Form.

    To know more about the Media Patch Service you may contact Medaline Philbert.

    Podcasting with You in Mind!

    Medaline Philbert, Assistant University Librarian for Distributive Learning

    Whether you're a distance education student or an on-campus student, you all have one thing in common, to access information at any time and anywhere.

    With you in mind, the Library is strongly considering podcasting and may be implementing this service in various stages. Besides services for specific distance education programs, other Library divisions might begin to roll out podcasts that address research, instruction, technology, and other issues.

    The Distributive Learning division is addressing and completing podcasts for the e.MBA program before implementing similar initiatives for other online programs. The podcasts are geared to the modules for this program. The podcasting service will address research issues specific to courses and programs, common research queries at the Reference Desk (via chat or online) and frequent technological issues.

    Even if you've had in-class library instruction sessions, one-on-one sessions at the Reference Desk or via an appointment, we know how valuable it is to you to quickly access information as a refresher for effective and efficient use of the Library services and resources. Podcasting will enable us to provide such a service.

    Moreover, because we operate with you in mind, we welcome any suggestions that you may have of how we can extend our services to you through podcasting.

    If you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact Medaline Philbert.

    Centennial Celebration: The Mortola Years

    John Lee, Evening/Weekend Services Librarian

    Centennial Celebration: The Mortola Years was presented to the Pace University Community at 4:00 pm on March 8 in the Gottesman Room, Kessel Campus Center, Pleasantville Campus. The program was co-sponsored by the Pace University Libraries and the Office of President Office. The program was a result of a series of the Planning Committee meetings consisting of the Library Administration, the Presidents Office, and faculty and staff members who worked with and witnessed the era of the awesome expansion program under the leadership of Dr. Mortola since 1947 to 1987.


    Everybody Wins! Power Lunch

    Michelle Fanelli, Head of Information Services & Resources

    Thursdays find me heading up to PS 1 armed with some books to read to my reading buddy, Peggy Lin. We have both chosen to take part in the "Everybody Wins Power Lunch Program." Reading mentors from all across the country are paired with a local elementary student. We then meet once a week during the student's lunch hour to read and discuss books together. Our purpose is not necessarily to teach reading but to encourage an enjoyment of reading and books.

    Power Lunch has been around since the early 1990's. I got into it in the Fall of 2001, when the Power Lunch people came to Pace to recruit some new readers to replace the readers who had been lost due to the Trade Center attack. Peggy is my third reading buddy. Two other library staff members are involved in the program. They are Alicia Joseph and Ellen Sowchek, and we can all attest to the fun and rewarding feelings that we have experienced due to our involvement.

    If you are interested in joining, Contact Program Coordinator: Terri L. Canady (212) 965-2295 or e-mail her at tcanday@everybodywins.org. Pace students are also welcome to join. You do not have to bring the books yourself if you do not wish to. The program will make books available to you.

    Pace Community Involvement

    Pace University librarians celebrated the 140th year of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) on April 12, 2006. Library staff displayed their devotion to animals by wearing orange. Wanda Castaner, Paraprofessional Cataloger, set up a display table in the Birnbaum Library filled with free information and giveaways from the ASCPA.

    Pace University students devoted their Spring break to performing community service by assisting with the cleanup of the aftermath from Hurricane Katrina.


    Images from the Archives: Student Activities

    View photographs from the University Archives that take a look at student activities from the late 1940's to the present day.

    MS Word .DOC format - [ DOWNLOAD THE PICTURES ]


    Lisa Chow is a volunteer at the Birnbaum Library. She is a graduating senior majoring in biology with a minor in psychology. Her plan is to go to graduate school for a master's in library and information science. (Yes, she is going to be a librarian!) She was the founder and president of Help 2 Overcome, a student wellness organization on the New York City campus. She has volunteered at the Park Slope Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library for five years where she was a book buddy, a computer coach, a newsletter editor, and a special events coordinator. At the Birnbaum Library, Lisa works with the co-editors of the Information Edge newsletter to transform it into a more student-focused publication. She has also promoted the Pace Libraries Learning Commons project by working at the survey table, helping to create a learning commons poster, and creating promotional materials using computer graphics. Her interests include reading, collecting quotes, and volunteering. She also loves dolphins.

    Andrea Craig is the new Acquisitions/Accounts Payable Assistant in the Birnbaum Library in New York City. She brings to the Birnbaum Library over 20 years of experience working in various job functions and departments, including Interlibrary Loan, Circulation and Serials. She is a voracious reader, enjoys cruising and is an avid HGTV fan, which she credits with giving her the courage to become a "Weekend Warrior" that wields a mean miter saw!

    Lucy Kounakis joined the Birnbaum Library staff in April 2005. She is currently working on her first degree in Applied Psychology and Human Relations, minoring in Philosophy and Religious Studies. While she plans to get a terminal degree in counseling psychology, her other interests include art, poetry, and cooking. She is never one to turn down a philosophical debate or a cup of Chai from Starbucks; if you can pick a position and defend your argument, stop by the circulation desk to engage in some intellectual banter! To the victor goes the coffee, of course. :)