Beginning this week, TU faculty and students will have access to the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. This database includes lengthy abstracts from dissertations dating back into the last century and full text dissertations from roughly 1997 to the present day. While many researchers will use this tool for the goldmine that the bibliographies of most of these documents can supply, the more adventurist user can get a glimpse of research on topics that are very finite and narrow, allowing a greater specificity of subjects within a particular field. The beauty of this database is that now, right at your desk, you can access many dissertations and theses from around the world as PDF documents for easy downloading and saving. If you are looking for a model paper to share with students or looking for current research on a particularly obscure performer or topic, the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database is worth a try. On my subject gateways, I have placed this resource in a special group at the bottom of the listings – look for a box now called ‘Special Research Tools’ and click on the ProQuest database link. I will be adding other tools to this box in the near future; right now, this particular resource did not match any of the other types on my gateways, so it got its own little box. We have unlimited simultaneous usage both on and off campus. You can also access the database from the A to Z listings on the Cook Library web site. Here is a direct link to that listing; just scroll down to the database and click on its title: http://cooklibrary.towson.edu/gateways/databases.cfm?alph=P. Remember that off campus access will require a log in with your TU Net ID.
New this week for those interested in streaming video is the addition of the Kanopy database to Cook Library’s streaming video choices. Kanopy’s title list includes a wide array of films including the Criterion Collection, BBC, Kino, PBS, and many more. Included are a variety of interesting feature films ranging from A Hard Day’s Night and Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast to performance videos of dance productions and plays. Many films include transcripts and closed captioning, and with the creation of a free account, you are able to create clips and save to a playlist for quick access when needed. New films are added each month, and the search box is easy to use and result screens easy to navigate. The database has unlimited simultaneous users and can be accessed on or off campus. Flash player is required for viewing and can be downloaded for free on your computer. Kanopy has been added to the performing arts Subject Gateways and can be found in the Streaming Video section of each gateway. You can also visit the library’s web site and access it from the A to Z listing of Research Databases. Off site use requires Net ID authentification.
It was a sad day this week when we learned that the world famous Diana Hacker’s Research and Documentation Online website has been taken down from the internet. The publisher of the latest version of what we refer to as “the Hacker Guide” has issued a new print version of the title, removing Diana’s name and showcasing the updates that make it relevant for current digital scholarship. All of this is wonderful, but to access the information, you will have to pony up to purchase either the e-book-to-go [their words] or the print version. The companion site that was used by many of us for years is no longer available on the open web. The e-book-to-go option is less than desirable because it is a static, PDF of the book. Unlike the web site or the online version of the Chicago Manual of Style, the new e-book does not have updates, but will be available for download to your favorite device. Until another comparable free service is found, we are referring users to the OWL Purdue site, which is a viable alternative to the Hacker Guide, but not as comprehensive. PDFs of the original annotated sample paper, outlines, and annotated bibliography can still be found on the Internet Archive, but live links to the site don’t seem to work anymore. Cook Library is working to gain electronic access to the style manuals for APA and MLA to compliment our CMS online edition, but so far, nothing has been finalized. We are not certain that we can gain institutional access to the e-book version of the latest Research and Documentation, but we are trying. It would have been nice to have some warning about this on the site, but I guess we should be grateful that it remained in place through the end of the semester.
Local journalist, Joan Jacobson, has donated to Cook Library her collection of dance books in a collection now named in her honor, The Joan Jacobson Dance Collection. A former Baltimore Sun writer, Joan has spent a lifetime collecting biographies, historical overviews, and photographic essay books about a wide variety of dance topics. From
classic ballet to modern dance, the collection showcases the lives and achievements of dance personalities ranging from Margo Fonteyn to Martha Graham. The collection is housed in the stacks, Special Collections, and Reference. More information about Joan and the collection can be found at: http://cooklibrary.towson.edu/collection/joan-jacobson-dance-collection.
Cook Library is pleased to announce that adjunct instructor and music industry insider, David A. Sherbow, has donated his collection of
materials on popular music to Cook Library. This is a virtual named collection: the books are shelved in a variety of locations (stacks,
Special Collections, reference), but all have a nameplate identifying these books as part of this donation and donor information is also
placed within our catalog records for these items. The scope of the collection is vast covering biographical information on musical
groups like the Beatles, Kiss, and Aerosmith to books that advise bands how to negotiate business contracts. Special Collection
items include slipcased biographies of music notables Prince and Kurt Cobain that come complete with either sound recordings
or pull out paper replicas of concert tickets and drawings. Read more about the collection and the donor on the Cook Library
web site: http://cooklibrary.towson.edu/collection/david-sherbow-popular-music-collection.
The library has just published a new schedule of fines and fees that will go into effect on July 1. Notable changes are increases in daily fines for overdue items, and an increase in the replacement fees for lost items. Getting folks to return overdue library materials (as well as replacing materials that are returned damaged to us) is always a challenge, and nothing is more frustrating than to see that we own a particular item, but that it is overdue and unavailable for immediate use. Hopefully, these fines will serve as an incentive to bring materials back on time. Read more about the new schedule and avoid unpleasant “surprises” related to returning materials: http://cooklibrary.towson.edu/fines-and-fees
The total M stacks area is getting some well needed expansion. With the addition of titles in the ML section from the David Sherbow gift donation, the shelves were looking a little tight. Under the diligent eye of new M stacks person, Andrew Yager, the M stacks are being expanded a bit, so browsing in this area should be a little easier. In the mix, the Quartos were moved back to the beginning of the M section. Now you will find the collected edition sets of composer scores all in one aisle. Thanks to Andrew for working so hard to make this happen.
Andrew will continue to shift and expand collections through the early to mid part of the summer, so please excuse the dust and clutter as he works to improve the section.
If you visit the MRS Lab on the second floor of Cook Library, you will notice some major changes in the listening / viewing area. The service desk in the Media room has been closed, and all patrons are now being directed to the Circulation Desk on the third floor for services. The CD and DVD/VHS collection is now a paged collection: you request your items at the Circulation Desk on the third floor of the library, and a library staffer will bring your items to you for checkout at the main desk. The listening/viewing stations have all also been moved to the third floor and are located by the large windows overlooking the power plant (just to the right of the Circulation Desk).
If you need items for a class you are teaching, you can still request them via the normal channel of using the online form on the library’s web page. If students need to view a particular video for a class assignment, instructors should notify the Circulation staff so that we do not loan that same video out for viewing for another class.
The media computer lab in the MRS area is still open for student use. The CD reserves had already moved to the main Circulation Desk two semesters ago, so that procedure remains in place.
In a move which brings more space for the print music collection at Cook Library, the M materials have been shifted just a few shelves so that they are now at the very end of the call number range on the fifth floor. This means that the exact spot where you were used to finding the score for Debussy’s Images has now been moved by an aisle or two. Yes, you will have to re-orient yourself to where your favorite sections are shelved, but the good news is that the collection can spread out a little bit to encourage browsing. You may have also noticed that the library is now retaining those colorful, attractive book jackets to entice readers to peruse books which may have formerly gone unnoticed. This translates to many exciting books in the ML area which can be displayed within the stacks. There are comfy sofas right by the M section, so as you are finding your way around the section, grab a biography or music history book and sit a spell. Remember the Quarto M’s still reside at the very beginning of the section. Folio M’s are still by the window, but will be spread out over the two wooden bookcases.
Just this week while listening to WBJC on the radio, I was reminded that the station’s website hosts blogs by many of their commentators. In addition to the very nifty links and feature stories, the blogs allow radio personalities and listeners to share stories and gain insights to upcoming musical events, performing artists, and more. A recent scan of Dyana Neal’s blog reveals a link to listen to her interview with TU’s own Carl Schmidt, Poulenc scholar and featured speaker at the recent all-Poulenc concert at Center for the Arts on March 12th. Judith Krummeck’s recent blog post described her encounter with the late Van Cliburn as well as her reminiscences of another of my favorite pianists, South African Steven DeGroot. I loved reading the comments made by listeners as they shared their own experiences. Copies of the current as well as past newletters are also available online for viewing on the web page, and you can sign up to receive other news items by email. If you have not taken a look at the station’s website recently, you are missing out on some interesting exchanges about music, both on the local scene as well as on the international stage. The general website can be found at this link: www.wbjc.com – be sure to check out the “Blogs” dropdown menu on the upper right corner of the page.