Secret Google Tips

Google imageYou probably use Google all day, every day.  Google’s default search is powerful enough to easily get you good results most of the time.  But did you know there are ways to use Google to get precisely what you want?

Google Scholar searches as broadly as possible for academic research.  It’s a good choice for very specific or obscure topics. You can even use Google Scholar to access CSUN subscription content

Another option for authoritative websites is searching by a specific domain, like .com, .edu, or .gov. Just add site:.edu to your search terms to look only at results from educational institutions, or site:.gov to your terms to search only US government websites.

For example, if you search for crime statistics, you’ll get a mix of police departments, newspaper reports, Wikipedia, and real estate websites, which might not be reliable, precise, or current. But if you search for crime statistics site:.gov, your very first result will be the official FBI Uniform Crime Statistics – the most detailed, comprehensive reliable source for crime statistics in the US.

Did you know Google has a reverse image search?  Maybe you’ve found the perfect image for a presentation, but you don’t know the photographer to cite. Start at Google Image Search, then click on the camera icon to the right of the search bar.  You can upload a picture or paste in an image URL, and Google will display pages that include matching images.

If you’re taking a course in Education or Child & Adolescent Development, you might want to find webpages by reading level – basic, intermediate, or advanced.

Google reading level

More options are available at google.com/advanced_search.  You can limit your results by language, country, date last updated, and more.

For more help using Google, ask a librarian!

- Laura Wimberley

Meet the Librarians of the Oviatt

Music & Media Librarian, Lindsay Hansen

Music & Media Librarian, Lindsay Hansen

Meet Lindsay Hansen, the Music & Media Librarian here at the Oviatt.  She’s been at CSUN for almost seven years. Not only is she passionate about helping students, but she also has been known to breakout in freestyle dance.

Where are you originally from?
Bloomington, MN, home of the Mall of America

What do you admire most about CSUN students?
 They juggle a lot more challenges than I did in college—they are working full-time jobs, commuting long distances, and might be the first in their family to go to college.

What’s your favorite book?
 Pink Slip by Rita Ciresi

What songs would you include on the soundtrack of your life?
Take Me Home Tonight  by Eddie Money

 Why did you become a librarian?
After trying other fields, I thought it would be a good way to help music students and faculty find what they need and conduct better research.  Librarianship is the perfect way to match my love for music (without performing) with my love for research.

What do you wish every student knew about the library or librarians?
That we will stop at nothing to find an answer or help. If I don’t know the answer to something, I’ll find it.

What’s your favorite quote?
Seid bereit, immer bereit!  It is an East German expression that means “be prepared, always prepared.”

Is there a specific class that you really enjoy doing library instruction for?
Any of the music classes, especially music history and the research seminar for grad students.

If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be?
Probably Frédéric Chopin, my favorite composer.

What are your research interests?
East German popular music, German primary resources available in the United States, and the information-seeking behavior of Germanists.

  -Laurie Borchard

Come Visit the Newly Renovated TCC!

TCCHave you ever heard the story of the Ugly Duckling who turns into a beautiful swan?* The Teacher Curriculum Center (TCC) has recently undergone a similar transformation.  It has traded in its older furniture for a more modern look and function. The TCC now has moveable tables, chairs, and white boards which create a dynamic work space. Students can rearrange the study area to suit their needs and create an environment that truly belongs to them; it also allows for both individual and group study. And that’s not all! The TCC also added a “study bar” suitable for use with laptops and easy access to the electrical outlets.  In our reading area, we have new lounge chairs with back screens for privacy and small tables for your coffee, laptops, and (of course) books. When you exit the elevator to access the TCC, you will encounter the TCC New Item Display. Our display area went from a repurposed desk to bookcases that serve to highlight our collection. The TCC study area has also been repainted; the new lively yellow “Baby Chick” wall color will brighten up your day. All improvements have been made possible by the Students’ Campus Quality Fee.

So what do the students think? They love it! They say that the new paint color wakes them up in the morning and keeps them energized. One student said “It is brighter and that makes the environment seem more welcoming.” “I really like the new furniture. It is moveable for study groups! I also like the study bar! Thank you” says another. Other feedback we received: “The area looks clean and organized. I can imagine coming down here to study and work with a group.”

Matadors are discovering and talking about the new TCC. Hopefully library patrons continue to discover the TCC. We’re glad to be serving and satisfying the needs of our students.

*If you haven’t read the story come to the TCC, we have it here!

- Gabriel Castaneda

gabriel.castaneda@csun.edu

Discover Hugo Award Winners at the Oviatt

Hugo AwardEscape to other worlds by diving into some of the best contemporary writing – this year’s Hugo Award nominees.  

The nominees available at the Oviatt are:

For more geeky reads, check out Oviatt’s collection of graphic novels, science fiction, and fantasy.

And scifi fans won’t want to miss our exhibit Fantastic and Strange: Reflections of Self in Science Fiction Literature, on view on the second floor in the Tseng Gallery until July 26.

- Laura Wimberley

Research Therapy: Finding Fiction Books at the Library Is Easy

Need a break from academic reading and looking for some fun books?

Well you don’t have to go very far to check out the Oviatt Library’s fiction collection. We have a variety of fiction books to fulfill your reading needs. Watch the new Research Therapy video session to learn where you can find them!

fiction books video

In addition, here is a quick guide of the different locations you can find our fiction books:

Image of Books on the Garden Floor of the Oviatt Library
For Young Adult and Children’s fiction visit the Teacher’s Curricular Center (TCC).
Image of Books on the Main Floor of the Oviatt Library
Try looking in the Bestsellers Collection for popular fiction – just next to the reference desk.
Image of Books on the Second Floor of the Oviatt Library
The Bob and Maureen Gohstand Leisure Reading Room located off the Tseng Gallery in the West Wing houses a variety of fiction literature.
Image of Books on the Third Floor of the Oviatt Library
Try browsing the Language and Literature section. These fiction books will be shelved with other literature such as essays, drama, poetry and literary criticism. Generally speaking, English-language fiction can be found in the PR and PS sections on shelves. PR for English fiction and PS for American fiction.

 Please tell us what you think about our Research Therapy videos at our survey.

Thank you.

- Anna Fidgeon

  - Jamie Johnson

Research Therapy: Need help coming up with a topic for your research paper or project?

Our new session of Research Therapy gives you ideas on where to look for topic ideas, how to narrow your topic, as well as a couple of online library resources that are a great place to begin your research. 

Topic Exploration image for video

Concept Mapping

Concept mapping is a great way to expand on a general topic; it also helps you to think about the different aspects of your topic. Here’s a template for a basic concept map. Here’s another concept map when you’re trying to identify the who, what, when, where, why or how of a topic.

As mentioned in the video keep in mind the different angles you could take on a topic:

  • Geographical → where
  • Sociological → who
  • Psychological → why
  • Historical → when

Library Databases

After you pick a general topic it’s a good idea to do some general background resources. Oviatt Library has several different online reference resources such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographical resources and more. The databases mentioned in the video are Opposing Viewpoints in Context and Credo Reference.  We also have a list of online reference resources listed under the Find Articles by Subject page, as well as an organized list of our databases by subject.  We also have a general Research Strategies guide to help you along with the research process.

 -Laurie Borchard        laurie.borchard@csun.edu

Please tell us what you think about our Research Therapy videos at our survey. Thank you.

NIH/NLM Grant Awarded to the Oviatt Library

The Oviatt Library has been awarded a grant by the National Institutes of Health(NIH)/National Library of Medicine (NLM). This grant helped us purchase a new database, Anatomy.TV (also known as Primal Pictures Interactive Anatomy(OVID)), a new video collection, Health and Society in Video (Alexander Press) as well as purchasing recommended electronic and print books relating to issues in women’s health, and gender differences research. The title of the grant is Women’s Health Resources and Gender Research Differences: Outreach at California State University Northridge. We are adding records in our library catalog for all items the grant purchases. In addition, the very first catalog record we provide is for the website our grant is promoting Women’s Health Resources.

women's health resources catalog record

You may also connect with the site through Women’s Health Resources in WorldCat. We will share more about our new resources provided by the grant’s funding in future blog posts.

- Marcia Henry

Research Therapy: Women’s Health Resources

The Oviatt Library has partnered with the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health for this special session of Research Therapy. For more information see ‘Cited at the Oviatt’ blog post 3/6/2013.

Surely you’ve been faced with a women’s health question that needs answering—either in your own life or for a project. Of course, you should ask your doctor if you have a particular ailment that needs attention, but sometimes you want to get some preliminary information online that is free of ads and written by trustworthy health care experts. Or maybe you want to write your final paper on the emotional impact of high school bullying on lesbians, but you know Googling “lesbian teenagers” is probably not going to get you the results you need for a school paper.

So where to start? Take a look at Women’s Health Resources—an online portal to women’s health and wellness information and research funded by the National Institutes of Health. This video will give you a tour:

Research Therapy

The information and research found on Women’s Health Resources comes from a number of valuable NIH and NLM collections. Learn more below about three in particular: ClinicalTrials.gov, MedlinePlus, and PubMed.

medicine bottle

At ClinicalTrials.gov, you can see the status of clinical trials as well as data from finished studies.

What is a clinical study?  A clinical study involves research using human volunteers (also called participants) that is intended to add to medical knowledge.  There are two main types of clinical studies: clinical trials and observational studies.  ClinicalTrials.gov includes both interventional and observational studies
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/about-studies/learn#WhatIs

Image courtesy CDC Public Health Image Library / Amanda Mills

Medline Plus image - Woman

MedlinePlus offers objective up-to-date health information in easy-to-understand language.  Get background information on diseases, conditions, wellness, drugs, treatments, and more.

 Image courtesy CDC Public Health Image Library / Amanda Mills

Graham Stain

Pubmed is a collection of citations from biomedical research in journals, books and more.  Connect to CSUN resources (so you can read the full articles) by accessing Pubmed from the Oviatt Library website.

http://library.csun.edu/xerxes/databases/database/CAL03160
Image courtesy CDC Public Health Image Library / Dr. Libero Ajello

The Oviatt Library also has plenty of women’s health material for your research needs. We offer subject databases and resource guides in both Health Sciences and Gender and Women’s Studies.

If you are using Google or another search engine to find online resources on women’s health, make sure you check out our session of Research Therapy all about website evaluation. You wouldn’t ask just anyone on the street for health information, so don’t accept it from just anywhere on the internet!

Whether it’s for yourself, a research project, or “a friend”, if you need help finding health information or Women’s Health Resources, contact the following librarians:

Lynn Lampert: lynn.lampert@csun.edu

Marcia Henry: marcia.henry@csun.edu

Anna Fidgeon: annaliese.fidgeon@csun.edu

- Anna Fidgeon

Please tell us what you think about our Research Therapy videos at our survey. Thank you.

The Science of Sex & Gender: Free Online Courses from the NIH & FDA

If you are a researcher in medical or health sciences, you probably already know that illness and treatment can have different consequences depending on a person’s gender. But maybe you want to learn more about how to incorporate gender differences into your research. Watch this video to learn more about the free online courses you can take at The Science of Sex and Gender in Human Health website, developed by the NIH and FDA.

Science of Sex and Gender

This video was funded by The National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine as part of the Women’s Health Resources and Gender Differences: Outreach at California State University, Northridge project. If you have questions about the grant or The Science of Sex and Gender Online Course, please contact the following librarians:

Lynn Lampert- http://library.csun.edu/llampert

Marcia Henry- http://library.csun.edu/mhenry

Anna Fidgeon- http://library.csun.edu/afidgeon

- Anna Fidgeon

Meet the Librarians at the Oviatt

Meet one of our Reference Librarians, Laura Wimberley. She’s been with the Oviatt team since 2011 and really enjoys working with students. Read more about her personal interests and why she became a librarian . . .

Laura Wimberley

Where are you originally from?

I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware (just outside of Philadelphia), but I’ve lived all over the country since then, in Ohio, Oregon, Colorado, and California.

What do you like/admire most about CSUN students?

I really appreciate how CSUN students are willing to admit when they don’t know something and ask questions.  That’s the only way to learn!

What’s your favorite book or your top 5?

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman is an epic love song to America. Whitman was an abolitionist, a proto-feminist, and arguably the first out gay public figure in American life.  Leaves of Grass is his masterwork; its spirituality and landscape imagery are just beautiful.

What songs would you include on the soundtrack of your life?

My absolute lifetime top five albums:

Paul Simon, Graceland

Indigo Girls, Indigo Girls

The Strokes, Is This It

The Postal Service, Give Up

The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema

Why did you become a librarian?

As I was wrapping up my doctorate in political science, I realized that even though I loved uncovering new information, I didn’t love the long, isolated process of social science research.  Being a librarian gets me all of the fun of discovery with more opportunities to share that process and try out different directions.

What do you wish every student knew about the library or librarians?

We really like answering your questions – the more obscure, the better!  Never be afraid that your question is a hassle.

What is your favorite quote?

“The perfect is the enemy of the good.” – Voltaire

It’s a call to act and to accept that your flawed best is still better than nothing: it’s encouraging.

If you could learn any skill what would it be?

I’m hoping to learn American Sign Language soon.  The similarities yet differences between ASL and spoken English fascinate me, and I would love to be able to offer better help to CSUN’s Deaf community.

If you could be any fictional character who would it be?

This is a tough question!  The most fascinating characters often have the unhappiest lives, so I don’t want to be everyone I love reading about.  If I got to be fictional, I’d definitely want to be able to work magic, so I’ll go with Hermione Granger (not a real stretch for me as a personality, either).

What are some of your current projects that you are working on?

I’m part of the usability team for Oviatt’s website. Please let us know about your experience with our new website design.  We want to hear your feedback!

- Laurie Borchard