Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Finals and Food

It's that time again.  Students are stressed, loud, apparently hungry, and borderline crazy.  We had to put up very explicit "No food in the library" signs, because of a couple of incidents when students got belligerent after being asked to take their snacks to the lobby.  (Public Safety got involved.) Just so you know, we're trying to consistently enforce the "no food/covered beverage only" rule. If you have an unpleasant encounter, I'd advise getting another staff person there as a witness and then "call for back up."
 Finals Schedule can be found at http://registrar.gpc.edu/final_exam_fall2013.html  (There are a couple of print copies at the desk.) So far as I know there is only one exam in our classroom & that's on the afternoon of Monday, the 9th from 1-3.

Thanks for all you do to help the students finish their projects and abide by the library rules!

Respondus Lockdown Browsers

If anyone is trying to take a test that requires the Respondus Lockdown Browser program, the computers in the Jag Spot (computer lab) have it. Go Jag Spot!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Night or Weekend Tech Troubles

We arrived this morning to a line of students and no way to print because Pharos had a problem with JCard authentication.  We found out by talking with  Clarkston that the problem began over the weekend.  So sorry you had to cope with that.  Clarkston uses a tech trouble log to communicate all the computer/printer/copier trouble, but we'd rather opt for direct communication. When such trouble arises on the weekend or in the evening, please send email to Tamika, Carmel and Pat so that one of us can deal with it ASAP the next morning.  Please also remember that in an emergency, you can allow students to use the classroom as long as a librarian is in there at the podium to supervise.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Printing A-OK and Superstitious Behavior

My superstitious post from yesterday worked.  All is well for Dunwoody student printing, thanks (in reality) to Aviva's persistence and Neil's computer skills!

Beth Welch and I got curious about the origins of superstitious behavior like knocking on wood, crossing fingers, etc.  Turns out there are many theories about knocking on wood.  One is that in the children's game of tag, a tree is often designated "home" or a "safe" place.  Another possible origin has Biblical roots, equating wood with the cross.  A third idea is that in even more ancient times folks knocked on trees to ask the help of the spirits they believed dwelled within. (Hendrickson, Robert. Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, Fourth Edition, New York: Fact on File. 2008, 480-81)

The origin of "keep your fingers crossed" is also not definitive, but probably related to the "sign of the cross" as protection from evil or hope for success.  Some sources (Wikipedia) attribute it to a secret code of Christian identification during persecution.  Others suggest it began among African Americans in the 17th century. Tradition indicates that little fibbers also think that crossed fingers make a lie "not count." (Hendrickson, 471).

Isn't being a reference librarian fun? 

Monday, November 11, 2013


No doubt you're aware of our printing woes.  Both printers on the main floor are dysfunctional. One has been out for over 3 weeks.  Because this is a prime time of semester for printing, the students are understandably confused and anxious when they can't print in their customary way.

They don't know there is a printer downstairs that networks to all the computers on campus.  Many don't know there even is a downstairs in this building.  (No kidding.) They definitely do not know where room 1540 is. Thank you for being patient with them, reassuring them their work will be on the system downstairs, and showing them the revised maps of where to find the room.

This has been routine for those of you who have been on the desk in the last week.  I'm hoping that writing this post will (magically) make the repair parts arrive, and that I'll need to write an update later today.  :-) Seriously, we have no estimated date on the repair. Let's all keep our fingers crossed (though it's hard to type that way-LOL)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Printing with a Dunwoody Biz Card

Just FYI, I have had two students ask about printing with a Dunwoody Biz Card. These cards are issued temporarily while students are waiting for their Jcard. The students add money to the biz card, but the only place they can use the card for printing is in the ID office.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Too good to not pass along

There was a wonderful post on ProfHacker yesterday about how to improve your day with 4 easy tips.


 I especially like the last one, though I think you can do it by any form of "making yourself big," ie. straighten up, lift your head, expand your chest.  (BTW, in my book we are all SUPER!)

(Picture Approved for Free Cultural Works from the Flickr stream of James Vaughn.)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

GPC Forums

After working here for almost three years, I discovered something new--and potentially helpful to you and to our students.  The college hosts informal communication forums, some open to the public and some for GPC affiliates only. Check them out here: http://eapps.gpc.edu/elounge/

As would be expected the open forums are the most active.  (You must log in with your GPC credentials to see the restricted ones or to post to any of them.)  The most active seems to be a Book Exchange, where students can ask for and offer textbooks for sale.  Great idea, and one I'm happy to promote to you and to our students.  There is a small poster with tear-off tabs on the student information bulletin board for when students ask you if there's anyplace they can look for a price break on textbooks!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Trouble with GPC Databases

Hi Friends,

Because of a switch in IP range by OIT over the weekend, we have lost access to some of the databases provided by GPC.  Tech folk are trying to fix this, but it requires contacting vendors with new IP range info.  One of the affected databases is Ancient and Medieval History Online--just when we need it for the World History assignment.  Please remember that the students can use the Fordham University site to find Primary Documents and the print version of Milestone Documents in World History  in the Reference Collection as well as looking through other resources mentioned on this guide: http://guides.gpc.edu/content.php?pid=503657&sid=4144836

Sorry for the inconvenience.  Hopefully all will be well soon.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

World History Assignment

Remember to look in the folder marked with golden paper for folders containing complicated and fun assignments.

Here's one that currently involves about 150 students:

Dr. Simson’s Hist 1111 Survey of World History to 1500

The task:
1.       Select a primary source from before 1500.
2.       Research at least 3 secondary sources (one of which is the textbook) to make clear the historical significance of the text you have chosen.

3. Final result is a paper documented using Chicago/Turabian Humanities style.

Primary sources MUST NOT be fictional literature (fables, plays, satires, etc.) but based on real historical persons or events.
Primary sources MUST NOT be on the excluded list on the syllabus.  (this includes over-used topics such as the works of Plato, the code of Hammurabi , or the Magna Carta PLUS no sacred scripture from the Judeo, Christian, Islamic traditions.  Other documents related to religion such as the works of the early church fathers, sayings of Confucius, etc. are OK.  Sorry that I do not have the entire list.)
He will accept primary sources written slightly after the actual historical event as long as the source was written before 1500. (Examples are accounts of the Crusades written by early historians who might not have been eyewitnesses and similar histories of the Roman era by Josphesus.)
See the LibGuide at guides.gpc.edu/hist1111simson for books, websites, and databases containing many primary and secondary sources.  Dr. Simson especially likes the Fordham University Ancient and Medieval History Sourcebooks.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ask Me About The Great Speckled Bird

The Great Speckled Bird has landed at the Dunwoody library.  What is it all about? 

 “The Great Speckled Bird was one of several underground newspapers that appeared in the United States in the 1960s.  Published in Atlanta from 1968 to 1976, The Bird, as it was commonly known, stood out among the alternative press for the quality of its writing, its cover art and its fearless opinions and reporting on a range of topics—national and local politics, the counterculture, women’s issues, gay liberation, reproductive choice, music, art….The Bird was a new, radical voice from the South.

The four panels displayed on the wall are part of a traveling exhibit from the Georgia State University Library and the Georgia Humanities Council to raise awareness of the digital collection.  Visit http://library.gsu.edu/gsb/ to read and search the PDF or text versions of The Great Speckled Bird.

Browsing through the issues can be a real treat for anyone interested in Atlanta history from the 1960s and 1970s.  I found a music review of Leonard Skinner playing in Atlanta at Funochio’s from July 31, 1972:
"LEONARD SKINNER from Jacksonville was the featured band last week, and a lot of people liked their solid, earthy style. They look and sound like a hard-core Southern band that fully enjoys performing. That characteristic was best displayed in those late-night jams that happen at Funochio's.

The Great Speckled Bird  v. 5 no. 30 (July 31, 1972) Page 19

With a little digging in GALILEO, I found a Rolling Stone interview with record producer Al Kooper that helps explain the significance of that performance :
 “In 1972, I heard Lynyrd Skynyrd making their Atlanta debut at a very dangerous club on Peachtree Street called Funocchio's. They were playing a weeklong engagement, and each night I'd hear another great original song from them and knew I'd found the band I was searching for.

The next year the band would be known as Lynyrd Skynyrd, and released their first album, Pronounced  Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd.  A cool bit of history for any fan of Southern rock.

Have fun browsing or searching The Great Speckled Bird!

Monday, August 19, 2013

PIN Number for GPC Service Desk

When you call the Office of Information Technology Service Desk (678-891-3460), a prompt will send you to one queue for student concerns and another for faculty.  Faculty, particularly those who need help with the new Desire to Learn course management system, require a PIN (74123) to receive priority placement in the queue.

Because the wait on the student queue might be long, I'd recommend giving any student who needs help the full number for the Service Desk to use with a cell phone rather than tying up the Ref Desk phone.  Please reserve use of the faculty queue for whole-library technology problems.

Lib Analytics - Reference Statistics

We have a fresh start on Lib Analytics. We're now using the system to track both reference and instruction. When you first log on on the former login page, you need to choose one or the other dataset to activate the dashboard.  (Choose Reference Statistics)  You'll see some differences:  the collection development categories are now based on our teaching disciplines rather than LC call numbers; the level of difficulty scale is simplified; there are a few more "types of questions;"the computer will automatically capture the time, so you do not need to enter a time unless you are entering data long after the interaction.  

The LibAnalytics team suggests that you bookmark the following URL which will take you directly to the new dashboard.  http://gpc.libanalytics.com/home.php?d=1339 I've changed the link on this blog, but need to request OIT to update it on everyone's desktop/homepage.

Please try to record all the patron interactions so we get credit for all the great work you do!  Thanks. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to School News

Welcome back to fall semester! Things are going to get busy fast. As always, there are changes you need to be aware of:

1. The testing center asks us to use the phrase "Placement or Exit Exam" rather than COMPASS Test when talking with students. Mind you that students will still say COMPASS, and the review books will still say COMPASS, but we are shifting the terminology as noted above.

2. There is a copy of the new Student Guidebook at the Ref Desk. Each student received an accompanying flash drive with extra information including the Guidebook in pdf, instructions for registration, and Degree Works (software to help students and advisors monitor their progress toward graduation). There is still lots of memory available for syllabi, assignments, etc. Nice for the students to get that as a freebie, but now when students describe their lost flash drives to us, most will be silver and black with the GPC EDGE logo on it. Please advise students to add their initials with marker or paint!

I was very sorry to miss the meeting on August 3rd. Tamika sent this update via email about the meeting.

Collections –
Documents of American History will be moved from downstairs back to the reference collection. Opposing Viewpoints and DLB are going to be investigated further to determine if the use warrants the move back upstairs. Guidelines will be developed by Eugenia for those that are willing to assist with weeding. Juanita would like to be included in the circulation of Booklist and LJ.

Staff Concerns -
A request for additional flashlights have been put in with plant operations. Placement of the flashlights will be determined once they are received because we currently do not know the number that will be approved. (Since this time, locations have been assigned. A plug-in flashlight will be in the downstairs break room; one will be in a drawer at Reference; one will be in the Circ area.)
Reminder – there is a copy of the Emergency Procedures at each of the service desks (1 at circ and 2 at ref). Please take a moment to review it.
Carmel will work on providing extra shifts equally across the staff. In the past it has been first come first served which gave an unfair advantage to those that work at a computer regularly.

Technology/Systems updates –
ADP – you should now be able to change your password on the computer that is used for you to clock in and out. We will no longer have the paper calendars. If you forget to login or out, please let Aviva know immediately so that the correction can be made.
Desire2Learn – Carmel provided a refresher on this system that has been recently implemented. Please see Carmel if you are having problems assisting students and/or finding information.
Libanalytics – Make sure that you selection "yes" by collection development if you have an interaction that would be of use when determining what items to purchase for the collection.

Please let me know if I have left out any important information or if you have questions.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jcards and Printing

During intersession many students stop by the library with a need to print forms for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately most of the time their Jcards are not activated to pay for the copies. Thanks to Ann from Clarkston, we have instructions that might help us help the students.  She writes:

I just spoke with the JCard Admin office. I was told that between semesters, JCards are in a dormant state, i.e. deactivated and without access to Print Management Funds (Paw Prints).
If you have students who need to print or photocopy, they/we can call the JCard office at x3330 (678.891.3330) and JCard staff will activate the card right then. Students will still not have access to Print Management funds, but they will be able to add money (JBucks) to their cards either at V-machines or online, https://eapps.gpc.edu/managemycard/.
JCards for fall students will be reactivated around August 12 (Convocation) when financial aid funds are released.

Today we had an immediate need to test this system, which demonstrates that the Jcards are very complicated.  Deactivation between semesters is one reason the cards won't work, but there are many others:  funds in negative balance; students not really registered, though they think they are; Jcard policy hasn't been approved, etc.  The process Ann outlined above will only work if deactivation is the only reason the card isn't working.  What's more, the reactivation is very temporary--for printing with Jbucks money on that day only.  The system load overnight will deactivate the card again until the new semester starts when all student cards are activated with new PawPrints money.

Jcard "fun" facts:
  • PawPrints is the $7.50 technology money put on the student card each semester to be used only with the Pharos system. Money accumulates on the card through fall, spring, and summer semesters, but is purged after summer semester. So a student registered for all three semesters would lose $22.50 if they don't accept the Jcard policy and use that card!
  • JBucks is added money from the v-machine or online site which can be used for print/copy plus vending machines, cafe, and bookstore. This money does not get purged, but the account will be closed after 12 months of non-activity.
  • Financial aid funds (up to $1000, after tuition and fees) can be linked to the Jcard, but that is only available the first two weeks of a semester, mostly for book and supply purchases.
The bottom line is that Jcards are the ideal option for printing and copying during the semester when a student is registered. At other times, purchasing a Vcard and adding value is a viable alternative.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

OPAC/Kiosk Computer

The computer that is just inside the entry is supposed to have access to GILFind, GIL Classic, and "Get My Login," however the only functional link is for GILFind. A ticket was submitted to get it fixed last week, but OIT needs to completely reimage the computer--if not completely replace it. Therefore, for a few days you'll need to help new students find their login info on the Ref Desk computers.  Sorry about the inconvenience.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Common Course Outlines

It's almost registration time!  Thank you for your cheerful help to the students printing many forms to finalize their admissions and financial aid.

You may be called upon for another kind of help, as I was today on chat.  A former student is trying to get credit for a GPC class at another school, which can be a complex process. The registrar at the new institution needs to examine the course contents for equivalency. Having a syllabus to review is one way of doing that, but this student no longer had the syllabus and took the class a few years ago from a professor no longer here at GPC. 

There are two web pages from the GPC Registrar where each academic department has filed outlines of the essential content in each course (called common course outlines).  This first page is for current classes, and the second page is for classes before Fall, 2011.The former student I helped was very happy to find a resource that might save many hundreds of tuition dollars!

The first page could also help students trying to decide which classes to take based on content.  As most of you know, the schedule of classes can be found in the Student Information System (SIS)  under Class Schedule. (Find the SIS under Quick Links from the college home page.)

Isn't education exciting?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Have a safe and fun 4th of July! 
Good luck to Gayle and Margaret on the Peachtree 10K.

                                                                  CC license from Bob Jagendorf's flickr photostream

Monday, July 1, 2013

Emergency Phone Numbers

Last week we received a communication from Lt. JP, commander of Public Safety at Dunwoody, clarifying, among other things, the appropriate number to call when we need assistance.

All requests are processed through a central dispatch in Clarkston.  Emergency call boxes, the 5500 and 5511 numbers, and even the local administrative office number we had listed previously for non-emergencies all go to this central dispatch number. That all important number is 678-891-3940 or ext. 3940.  However, you may continue to use the 5500 (non-emergency) and 5511 (emergency) numbers you are accustomed to, because they all get routed to the same place.

It's very important when you call to give your name and location (including campus), phone number, and reason for calling.  If there is any reason you cannot openly describe the need for an officer, simply use the codeword:  NORA.  It stands for Need Officer Right Away.  For example, if a very upset student is there to overhear your call, and you determine that the situation is unsafe, then dial the Public Safety number (perhaps under the guise of calling your supervisor), and say, "Hi, this is Pat at Dunwoody library. Could Nora come out to help a student with a concern?"  You get the idea. 

During the evening shift, contacting Public Safety is appropriate for any concerns regarding plant operations as well for requesting an officer.  Also during the evening, an officer is often downstairs in the library keeping an eye on things. All in all, our wonderful support services personnel are available to help both staff and patrons whenever the library is open.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Assignment Folders

We're hitting the jackpot with 3 (Three)  THREE posts today!!!

Based on a high level conference with our excellent Tuesday evening librarians, we've made a spot for tricky research assignments.  We will only have these when the instructor has been good enough to send them or the librarian doing an instruction session decides it's worth sharing with everyone.  The spot is one of the trays on the "hot seat" side of the desk.  The tray is now marked with an orange label, so it's easy to spot. Each assignment will have its own manilla folder marked with the course number and instructor's name.  Right now there is just one assignment for HIST 2111. Each folder has a blank white paper to add notes of where you found the most helpful materials--kind of a crib sheet for colleagues.

I hope this helps you feel better prepared for those tricky questions.

Diebold Error

A very common printing error is triggered when students need to authorize the J-Card policy in the SIS system.  We have placed signs (see below) near printers upstairs and downstairs to help students trouble-shoot this problem.  Most likely we will still need to assist the student with his or her immediate needs, since the policy takes 24 hours to apply.

Practice Material for COMPASS Test

This is the season for pre-admission testing.  Many of our new students are required to take the COMPASS test to determine their placement in Communications, English and Math classes and  what learning support might be needed.  To learn more about that process, and the new admissions criteria that went into effect in 2012, see the Testing Center website at: http://testing.gpc.edu/placement.htm#.Ucn0cdhsG70

We have a print review guide in ready reference and stacks: http://gilfind.gpc.edu/vufind/Record/237061, but many of those needing review do not have borrowing privileges yet.  The testing center has assembled some helpful prep materials on this page: http://testing.gpc.edu/materials.htm.  The math materials are especially good because they have answers for students to check their reasoning and computations. (Math also tend to be a high anxiety area for some students.)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A New Face at the Reference Desk

Hello, Dunwoody librarians!  I am Margaret Nugent, the new part-time reference librarian.  After a few years off to spend time with my two young daughters, I am happy to be back behind the reference desk.

I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with my Master of Science in Information Studies in 2005. I have worked in several types of libraries-academic, legal, public-and always enjoyed helping people find the information they were searching for.  I am looking forward to working with a diverse student body at GPC.  When I was in high school, my mother returned to a local junior college to resume her college degree after a 15 year hiatus.  I hope that I can help all students, traditional and non-traditional, achieve their academic goals during their college careers.

I am originally from Texas, but have lived in Atlanta for almost 5 years.  I moved here when my husband, a native Atlantan, started work as an associate at a law firm.  We had previously lived in Houston, Austin, and Corpus Christi, Texas. 

While most of my time is spent playing, cooking, and cleaning for my daughters, Leona (4.5 years old) and Joni (turning 3 in July), I also enjoy running, watching a little TV with my husband, Adam, when the girls are asleep, and playing the piano when they are not.  I am excited to be running my first Peachtree Road Race this July 4.

It is only my first week, but I can already tell GPC is going to be a wonderful place to work.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Printing in the New iCollege

 No doubt we will discover many things about Desire2Learn, the new platform for iCollege, in the weeks and months ahead.  One thing discovered by a few of the staff is that printing is a bit different now.

When a pdf displayed in a content frame of the old iCollege, we instructed students to use the print icon/tool at the top of the frame rather than using a File>Print command.  Remember how, if they didn't follow those directions, they would often print a blank (or almost blank) page? Well, those directions are SO last season. (Wink)

 Here's the new way--and it's different for each type of content:
  1. A .docx opens in MS Word in a new window which is that obviously outside of iCollege. For this content, simply use the file>print function to send the document to Pharos.
  2. A .pdf opens within the content frame in iCollege, but it's actually being opened by an Adobe Reader; therefore to print, we need to look for the tools within that application.  Usually there is a floating toolbar, the kind that appears when we want to print a .pdf from one of the databases. To see it, just wiggle (very technical term) the mouse in the lower section of the document. Another option is to put the cursor within the document, right click, and give the print command from there. Either way works to send the document to Pharos.
  3. If the instructor typed content directly into iCollege using the WYSIWYG .html editor, then use the print icon on the top of the content frame to print that page in Pharos.
Hope this helps avoid some frustration for you and the students.   Please let me know of other quandaries about the new iCollege so we can investigate and help each other.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer Services for Students Page

Many thanks to Gayle and Emmy for updating  the blue and white services for student sheet found at each side of the ref desk.  It's amazing how much investigation went into finding hours and other info that we are often asked about.  Our collective wisdom allows for clarification and enhancements. For example, there was some confusion about all the "spots"--Jag Spot, Media Spot, etc. so the sheet now has a brief explanation of those services.  (Though we missed doing the "Business Spot," which is essentially the JCard Office and the one place students can now do color printing. We'll include that in the fall update.)

Services for Students – Summer 2013
Location /Phone/URL
Student Contact Center

Advising and Counseling
M-Fri 8 AM- 4:30 PM
Self-service 24 hours

See website for hours
678-891-3535 (call center)
http://tinyurl.com/mrbechp (student services)

Jag Spot (Computer Lab)
M-Th 8 AM- 9 PM
F  9 AM- 2 PM

Dunwoody E160

Media Spot (in JagSpot)
M-Th 9 AM- 9 PM
F  9 AM- 2 PM
Dunwoody E180

Business Spot
M - TH 8 AM - 4 PM
F 9 AM – 1 PM
Dunwoody B1500

Tech Help for Students

M – Th  7 AM – 7 PM
F  7 AM – 5 PM
Learning & Tutoring Center
M- Th   10 AM - 8 PM
F     12 PM - 4 PM

Dunwoody LRC-3200

Testing Center
M, W-F
9:30 AM – 2:30 PM
T   9:30 AM – 5 PM
Dunwoody C-1261

M- Th 8:30 AM – 5 PM
F   8:30 AM – 2 PM
Dunwoody B1360
Campus Cafe
M- Th 7 AM – 7 PM
F    7 AM – 2 PM
Dunwoody B1400
C/D Atrium
Fitness Center
Weight Room
Check Schedule or
Call Brandi Meriwether
Dunwoody F1300
Student Health Center
Mobile Unit-
Check  Schedule

Other Important Numbers
Public Safety                                     770-274-5315 (Dunwoody) (or 5500 for non-emergency)
                                                                678-891-3940 (Emergency Dispatcher) (or 5511 / Nora)
FAFSA Code                                       001562