Thursday, September 04, 2008

Library Tip: Finding Books on a Certain Topic

Hi students and staff,

Categorize this Library Tip under additional Library Catalog Searching Tricks. As mentioned last time, our SMU library online catalog is a bit finicky, so you’ll want to be on top of your game when you’re searching for books or videos on a specific topic. Below are some effective tips for finding the best information for your needs.

A word search is usually the best place to start because it will look for your search terms in all parts of the catalog record, not just the title. This means if the contents of the book are included in the record, results will be pulled up if your keywords appear in the chapter titles or section headings. Check out the picture below (enlarge it by clicking on it) and read the comments next to each section of the search page.Once you find a book that interests you, open its record by clicking on the hyperlinked book title.You can locate additional items by clicking on one of the subject headings located toward the bottom of the catalog record. These subjects will link you to additional subjects and additional books on the same and similar subjects. If you’re wondering why searching by subject is better (or worse) than searching by keyword, or for that matter, if you’re wondering what the differences between subjects and keywords even are, please visit our Subject vs. Keyword searching web page.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Phone Update!

Phone Update, August 21st We have a working phone again! Please contact us with your questions or comments at 612.728.5108. We apologize for any inconvenience the lack of phone may have caused. Posted Aug. 19 The library temporarily does not have a working phone. If you need to contact us please email or use Lib Chat on our website.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Crossword Puzzle Answers

Students: below, find answers to the crossword puzzle included on the back page of your New Student Orientation handout.
Click on the image to enlarge it.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Library Tip: Library Catalog Searching Tricks

Listed below are a couple of hints that will make your search for the perfect book or video a breeze.
  • Ever find the perfect book, head towards the shelf, not find it, check back on the computer screen, and discover the book is actually on our Winona campus? Arg! That is because the catalog searches both the Twin Cities and Winona campus libraries as a default. See below.
  • Thus, to search ONLY the Twin Cities Campus physical library: Change the “library to search” box on the main page to “Twin Cities Campus Library – All.”
  • To search ONLY videos and dvds available on the Twin Cities Campus library: In the “library to search” box, look under Twin Cities Campus Library –All, and select“–Videos and DVDs”
  • To search almost 30 Minnesota higher education institutions’ library catalogs: Change the “library to search” box on the main page to “All MnPALS Libraries (MnSCU, Colleges, Gov’t).” You’ll need to order these books/videos through Interlibrary Loan.

Click here to read more about using our library catalog, and pick up more searching hints to make accessing the information you need a painless process.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

IMPORTANT *Library Renovation update*

The library will be going through some major changes over the next couple months. The end result will mean more space for you and for our collection. YAY! We ask that you are patient as work is done on the library. Following are important things for you to know as we work towards beautifying our library:
  • Monday, August 11th and Tuesday, August 12th, and Wednesday August 13th we will begin packing up the library collection. Because of this some items may be temporarily inaccessible. The library will be open from 9AM - 6PM on Mon-Weds.
  • Thursday, August 14th we will be CLOSED so we can move.
  • Friday, August 15th we will be CLOSED UNTIL 3:00PM so we have time to set up in our temporary home.
  • We are closed Saturday, August 16th.
  • Our temporary library home will be in LaSalle Room 158. Our offices will be located in the LaSalle Conference Room
  • Computers will be available in the computer labs (except during scheduled class times) in the bookstore, and in LaSalle Room 56
  • During renovations some library materials may have limited access or be unavailable. We will continue to do our best to get you the materials you need while we're in transition.

Thank you for your patience with all of our changes. Remember, we will still be available in person, by phone, by email, and on chat.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

EBSCO database guide

Signed into Academic Search Premier or Business Source Premier recently? EBSCOhost has updated its database search interface. It looks a lot different than it did earlier this week: Streamlined searching, cool graphics, and new features abound! An easy way to learn how to use these new features is to read over TC Library's EBSCOhost database guide, located here. New features include, but are not limited to:
  • SmartText Searching
  • Ready made reference citations in many citation styles, including APA and AMA
  • Graphics searching
  • RSS and email alerts for searches
  • Mouseover abstract/citation pop-ups
Again, please check out our new EBSCOhost database search guide for help navigating the new search interface and features from EBSCO.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New EBSCO Databases Interface

Be aware Saint Mary's students: one of our most popular database providers is changing its user search interface! Soon when you sign in to use an EBSCOhost database, you will see a very different, and very "Google-ized" page design. If you'd like to read about the changes and see screenshots of the new interface, please visit one of the following links
  1. EBSCOhost 2.0 Welcome and Information page
  2. Interface Enhancements Overview (PPT)
This change will affect the following databases:
Soon we will have an updated database guide for the new EBSCOhost database layout. We'll keep you posted here on the TCLibrary blog. If you have any questions about using the database once its interface changes, please don't hesitate to contact a SMU Librarian.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Library Tip: RSS, wikis & more!

Confused by 21st Century technology vocabulary, like wiki, blogs, or rss feed? There is an excellent free educational web site to bring you up to speed on new technology, called Common Craft. Common Craft offers short, informative and entertaining videos that, to quote from their web site, focus on “making complex ideas easy to understand. We use a whiteboard-and-paper format we call Paperworks that is designed to cut out the noise and stick to what matters.” Each video only lasts a few minutes, but you’ll walk (or click?) away with a greater understanding of the technology swirling around you.

For a sample of how excellent this resource is, follow this link to watch “Wikis in Plain English” on Common Craft’s web site:

To view the complete list of free educational videos, visit:

Monday, June 30, 2008

Library closed July 4th & 5th

Well good Fourth
of July to ya!!
TC Library will be closed on Friday, July 4th, and Saturday, July 5th, in honor of the Independence Day holiday.
We hope that you all have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

New Books & Videos on Flickr

The librarians have once again come across a chest full of doubloons; thus, with your best interests in mind we spent our newly found gold on resources for our students and staff. Visually check out our new books and videos on our Flickr page-- click on each book to find out its availability in the library. Ahoy, enjoy the new books Gar.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

TRIAL: Family & Society Studies Worldwide

MFT students and staff, we have a trial of Family & Society Studies Worldwide! Our trial goes until August 11, 2008. Please give this database a try and let us know what you think. If you have any comments regarding its usefulness or lack of usefulness please email Nykol Johnson at If the above link does not take you to the trial you can try the link below: You may need the following user ID and password to access the trial. User Id: s8996554 Password: password

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Library Tip: Boolean Operators

This is an extremely helpful tip if you find yourself overwhelmed by a high number of search results while searching for information in a database or online search engine. Boolean operators, otherwise known as AND, OR, and NOT, are useful tricks that allow you to search for longer phrases and multiple keywords. The result is fewer, but more relevant, search results.

To learn more about Boolean operators, visit our Search Strategies and Helpful Tips page. There you can print a handout of tips regarding searching with Boolean operators, subject headings, and more.

If visual learning is more your thing, check out this slightly corny but very informative video produced by the Schurz Library at IU South Bend.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Interlibrary Loan Available!!

Interlibrary Loan is now available! Make requests as usual. If you have any questions, please consult the Interlibrary Loan pages or contact a librarian (phone: 612-728-5108, email:

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Interlibrary Loan Temporarily Unavailable

Patrons will not be able to make Interlibrary Loan requests from May 30th-June 1st due to upgrades in our library catalog. However, if you have books/articles that you would like to order, please email a detailed list to and we'd be happy to order it for you on Monday when Interlibrary Loan will be available again. Feel free to call us at 612-728-5108 if you have any questions.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Library Tip: Definitions

Ever find yourself reading something online and you come across a word whose meaning escapes you? That happened to me today, with the word elegiac. Not that you care about my vocabulary shortcomings, but there is a practical point to my anecdote: a quick, useful remedy for finding the definitions of unfamiliar words, courtesy of Google. It is their "define:" search parameter. Observe...
  • Look near the top right-hand corner of the Internet browser screen. Chances are you see something similar to the image below.
  • That is a Google search engine search box, built into your Internet browser.
  • In that box, type in define: then the word that you would like defined. See below.
  • Hit enter.
  • A Google search results page pops up with multiple definitions to choose from.
  • In about 30 seconds you've gone from staring blankly at a strange word to finding a suitable definition to understanding your new word in context. Brilliant!
Keep in mind, this isn't a scholarly search you've just performed (so you can't use this to define terms for your research papers!!!) but this is a very handy shortcut to help you out as you wade through every day readings online.
And in case you are curious.... Elegiac: expressing sorrow often for something past; "an elegiac lament for youthful ideals" (taken from

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Online Resources Unavailable

Our Web OPAC, known affectionately to you as our Library Catalog, is getting an upgrade at the end of May. Your use of online library resources will be affected by this upgrade from the evening of Thursday, May 29th through Sunday, June 1st.
  1. Patrons will not be able to create ILL requests through the Library catalog. However, you will still be able to search for books. Please manually keep a record of anything you'd like ordered, and email a list of those items to
  1. Should you be working in a database looking for articles, the FindIt button will not function.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Holiday Hours

The Library will be CLOSED Saturday, May 24-Monday, May 26 in observance of Memorial Day. We will resume normal hours on Tuesday, May 27.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Library Tip: Assessment Test Reviews

Attention Psyc, MFT, and Ed.D students!! Do you ever borrow assessment tests from our collection and need to read reviews about them? Are you tired of thumbing through the thick print versions of Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY) and Tests in Print, searching in vain for a test review? Next time you find yourself apprehensively staring at an MMY tome, remember this: The assessment test reviews are available online. This is handy to know for several reasons:
  1. You'll save yourself time.
  2. You'll save yourself money, not having to make copies out of the book (if you print at home). (Or work.) (Sneaky.)
  3. You can access the reviews anytime, anywhere.
  4. Risk of paper cut lowers 86%.
To access Mental Measurements Yearbook and Tests in Print online, follow these steps.
  1. Go to our home page,
  2. Click the link "search for articles"
  3. Browse through the databases listed under "Health & Social Sciences". You should see both Mental Measurements Yearbook and Tests in Print.
  4. Click!
  5. Remember if you're off campus, you'll need to log in with your Saint Mary's University username and password to access the databases.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Semester Break hours

Yay! SMU students, enjoy your
two week break from clas
April 21st-May 2nd, the library will be open from 9am-6pm each day.
We are not open Saturday, April 26th or Saturday, May 3rd.
Normal semester hours will resume with the start of the Summer semester, May 5th.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Check us out on Flickr!

Check us out on Flickr! We'll be adding more photos in the coming weeks, and look for our cool, interactive New Books feature!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Library Tip: Job Searching

Looking for a job? Try our CareerWiki. (To view the wiki, click here or see the image below that shows you where the wiki is located on our library home page.)

The Twin Cities Campus Library has put together an online wiki, called the Saint Mary's University Career Guide, to help Saint Mary's students with job searching. Students and employees of Saint Mary's University can add links to jobs, career help, resume help, and anything else that will assist our students in finding and gaining employment.

Included in the wiki are resume tips and help, interviewing tips, multiple local job websites and postings, and cost of living/salary tools.

Because this is an open-access online tool, YOU can add your own tips, comments, interview or resume suggestions, and more. Meet other members of the site, invite your friends or classmates to join, and search for and view other wikis related to your field of study.

Take a look around the site—you may find some very helpful information, and perhaps the key to your next job!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Library Tip: Simultaneously search multiple databases!

Library Tip #2: Simultaneously search multiple databases!

Do you ever wish that you could search multiple databases all at once, thus eliminating the need to search one by one, through each database, to find the best information on your topic? Well, there is a way to do this through our EBSCO and ProQuest Databases.

EBSCO databases: When you go to a search screen in any EBSCO database, be sure to notice the line under the search boxes that says "in: Database Name". You can click the dropdown menu and choose multiple databases to simultaneously search! See the image below.

EBSCO databases include but are not limited to: Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier, MasterFILE Premier, EBSCO MegaFILE, Mental Measurements Yearbook, and Tests in Print.

ProQuest databases: When you go to a search screen in any ProQuest database, be sure to notice the hot link under the search boxes that says "Select Multiple Databases." Select that link and you're taken to a page with multiple ProQuest databases. You can check the boxes next to the databases you'd like to search. See images below.

ProQuest databases include, but are not limited to: Criminal Justice Periodicals, ProQuest Education Journals, ProQuest Newspapers, ProQuest Psychology Journals, and Wilson Education Abstracts.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New face in the library!

The ever-expanding TC Library welcomes its 5th library guru, Anna Drennen. Anna is our new Interlibrary Loan Assistant. Swing by the library in the mornings and say hi. Or, order 40 books through ILL, to keep Anna on her toes! (Rather, please don't.)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Library Tip: Printing in the Library

Library Tip #1: Printing in the Library
Wondering how to jazz up your printing in the library, and save
trees? Read on!

1. You can print on both sides of the paper by selecting File --> Print, and then selecting the Properties tab on the print screen. Click the box that says "Print on both sides."2. Wonder why your pdf won't print? Print pdfs is tricky; you have you use the buttons on the pdf screen. The buttons actually appear in the web browser window, so take a look around. The buttons also vary in appearance, but the "printer" icon is generally similar to the one picture below.
3. You instructor may occasionally place PowerPoint slides in Blackboard. These can be tricky to print, and even trickier to explain in a blog. Thus, if you have problems printing a PowerPoint presentation out of Blackboard, please ask the librarian at the reference desk for assistance. You can print multiple slides per page, as well, so be sure to request that printing feature as well.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Student Email Accounts

Students please take note: all online library correspondence is sent to your Saint Mary's University email account--not to your personal email account (hotmail, yahoo, earthlink, comcast etc.). This has been effective since early November 2007, in accordance with SMU's new policy of handling email accounts. Library correspondence includes (but is not limited to): 1. notification of when articles are available for your viewing online 2. notification of when books or print copies of articles ordered from other libraries arrive to our library 3. overdue notices 4. notification of when items on hold become available.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Database Access - Update

Access to databases from on campus has been restored. Until further notice, however, you will need your Saint Mary's username/password to log into databases.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Database access on campus

Access to databases from on campus is not working. From computers on campus, you are unable to access databases such as EBSCO and ProQuest. You should be able to access the databases from off campus. We will keep you posted about this issue.