Sunday, September 23, 2007

Library Subject Guides

Librarians are primarily responsible for helping others navigate information resources. In a higher education setting, it can be challenging to match researchers up with appropriate academic databases and other helpful resources. As a result, subject guides are essential when you're not sure where to turn for more information.

Typically, subject guides--sometimes referred to as "pathfinders"--collect lists of reference sources by type, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, manuals, handbooks, guidebooks, etc. Depending on the library or librarian that compiles these lists, they may be annotated. At University Libraries, our subject guides are annotated with the call number of the resource, aiding in its location within the libraries.

Ball State University Libraries is planning to upgrade our subject guides using a Web 2.0 application called LibGuides, developed by Springshare. Keep an eye out for demos and other features on the current subject guide page (linked above), or check back here for an update closer to the Spring 2008 semester.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Welcome Back!

Greetings BSU distance learners and faculty! I'd like to kick off the 2007-08 academic year with an overview of the suite of services which are available to you from Ball State University Libraries.

Electronic Information Resources -
Find books, full-text articles, online reference materials, and more.

Reference services
Contact a librarian via instant message, e-mail, or phone. Set up a reference appointment to get help with individual reference questions. Use the chat window to the right to talk directly to the Distance Education librarian (yours truly), or click the link above if I'm not available.

Library instruction -
Schedule a library instruction session for your students. Instruction sessions can be done virtually via Blackboard or other means suited to a distance education environment, by request.

Interlibrary loan -
Request items from other libraries for your use.
Many public libraries offer this service, too. Check with yours to see if it's a more convenient option for you.

Electronic course reserves -
Put digital copies of course material on the web. (Copyright restrictions do apply.) Students may access electronic reserves via this link, as well.

Copyright compliance assistance -
Faculty, do you need help understanding how to stay within “Fair Use?”
Students, are you not sure how copyright issues affect work done for classes at BSU?
Contact the Copyright Center for help.

Please visit our Distance Learning Library Services portal.

Check out our MySpace page for video tutorials, fun trivia, and more!

And remember, you don't have to be in the library to use it!

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