Fare Thee Well RefWorks, Hello Zotero

A U-Haul Truck Ready for a Move

Let’s say you are over at Summit getting some coffee, and, as you are about to order, the barista announces a special offer: all light roast coffee is free, for the rest of the year, and for a matter of the fact, forever. Now, you happen to be a strictly dark roast enthusiast, and switching to a light-roast blend seems like it would be a bit of a transition. On the other hand, the potential of free coffee is appealing. Would you take the deal? In a sense, we at the library have found … [Read more...]

“Explicit” Searching

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Every once in awhile I like to get down in the weeds of library geekdom, this is one of those days. I recently was pondering how index-searching functionality in many commercial information databases is flawed, and how this impacts user experience. There are often broad disparities in how vendors implement Boolean logic in advanced searching, which can make it quite difficult for users to effectively use their products.    Wouldn’t it be great if all vendors used the same basic search … [Read more...]

Associated Colleges of the South – Directors Meeting

The library directors (or designees) of the 16 institutions in the Associated Colleges of the South gathered last week in Atlanta. It was the first such birds-of-a-feather ACS meeting to include an attendee from each of the colleges, which made us librarians proud. ACS’s new president, R. Owen Williams, joined us for the entire meeting. I was impressed that he didn’t just pop in, deliver a greeting, and go on to more important activities. Instead, he spent a significant amount of his time, … [Read more...]

Stored and Storied: An Ode to JSTOR

There was a time when shelves their limits neared, packed tight, and many tomes in dust to me appeared unused, neglected, contents spurned; why must each store what's seldom needed, just in case? It is not now a student seeks out print and copier; online- only option their only desire, PDF reprint. JSTOR, JSTOR, how do students love thee? We can surely count the ways, but librarians' love for JSTOR is perhaps stronger and not as easily quantified. Certainly, everyone, students … [Read more...]

Frozen Streets and Broken Links: Musing on a Snow Day

Last Monday night a swirl of ice and snow swept through Davidson, threatening to shut streets down, take down power-lines, and perhaps cancel classes. Luckily, through all of it, the doors to the library remained open, thanks much to our essential staff and our student workers. And of course, had the library been closed, one could always access much of our resources online. Despite the weather ravaging our daily routines, the world of information has remained preserved. Or has it? With our … [Read more...]