Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Guide to Databases Now Included in "GALILEO Discover Tool @GPC"

Which databases will currently be searched when using the "Discover GALILEO" search box?  If you are like me and need a reminder, there is a  chart which I have printed and placed at the "back" Reference Desk to replace the out-of-date one. 
This chart is also posted as a library guide at:
The chart lists the databases which are fully searchable,  as well as the "Limited" search databases and the "NOT INCLUDED" databases.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Batting Practice Report

Back in February I invited any of our team to share your metaphoric home runs, triples, doubles, base hits, foul balls, or strike outs as a way for all of us to gain insight.  Here's one that happened yesterday.

As I was leaving for the day (bags over shoulder) and stopped at the ref desk to say goodbye to everyone during the shift change, a non-traditional student (about 30 years old) came up and asked where the copier was.  One of the four librarians (sorry I don't remember who) directed her to the right place. (Yay!) But there was something about the student's voice, some anxiety or masked confusion, that compelled me to follow her to the print room.  Sure enough, she didn't have a clue what to do.  Did she have her Jcard?  No, she was planning to pay cash. Did she have time to go to the B building and get her Jcard so she could use her technology fee money? No. Luckily she had the $2 necessary to get a Vcard and add value, but, as you know, the machine is less than intuitive, plus it was being temperamental and needed to be coaxed to take one of the bills. Finally with Vcard in hand, the student needed to learn that her card must be swiped before the copier screen would make sense and that her original needed to be oriented up and down to the top left corner of the glass. At last she had what she needed. A simple directional question had turned into a multi-step indoctrination to GPC print/copy.

Could she have figured all that out?  Maybe, but not quickly or without frustration.  She may have needed to go back to the desk and ask directly for help. As it turned out, she was very glad that I'd come back to shepherd her through the process. I was too, because I felt it was solid service "hit."

No doubt most of you have done the same thing many times. Important insights:

  • The challenge of "listening" to unspoken needs of our users, often emotional
  • The chance to be proactive with service, especially when the desk is slow
  • The joy of seeing someone gain skills and confidence
  • The anticipation of a good relationship with a student who knows we care

Documenting Need for Printing Help

Just a reminder to use the log at the desk to record incidents when you wished we had a courtesy card to help students print. (This can be times you actually did help OR--in a Boolean sense--times you had to tell students you couldn't help. It's a "wish list" not a "confession." ) The printed categories are the common ones I could think of, but feel free to add other situations in the "Other" column.

Getting some hard data will be revealing and allow decision-making based on our actual experience. It might also be helpful information about actual user experiences we can share with our colleagues at ancillary services about needed improvements to our entire printing system. Thanks for helping with this.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hot Topic!!  Pluto the dwarf planet and the new “Mega Earth”


The planet Pluto was discovered by a United States astronomer in 1930.  Pluto was known as the smallest planet in the solar system and the ninth planet from the sun (Dunbar, 2012). Fast forward seventy three years to 2003 an astronomer saw a new object beyond Pluto much larger names Eris (EER-is). Thus, from this discovery Pluto is considered by astronomers as a dwarf planet. A dwarf planet orbits the sun just like other planets, but it is smaller. A dwarf planet is so small it cannot clear other objects out of its path (Dunbar, 2012). Scientists are exploring and learning more about the universe and Earth’s place.  

Based on new data by the Kepler space telescope back in 2011 it was determined that Kepler 10c is actually a new type of plane discovered in the star system.  The planets name “mega- Earth” is huge and rocky.  It has been noted that this planet is actually a rocky world weighing 17 times more than Earth; yet this planet has no life existence (Mack, 2014). The new data indicates that the planet has a dense composition of rocks and other solids. Scientists are still discussing the data about “mega-Earth” and further research is yet to unfold about the star system.

Dunbar, B. (2012, August 29). What Is Pluto? . NASA. Retrieved June 3, 2014, from
Mack, E. (2014, June 2). New 'Mega-Earth' Means Habitable Worlds Could Be Even Closer. Forbes. Retrieved June 3, 2014, from