Hot fun in the summertime (at the Library)

Now that summer is officially here, it’s time to kick back and relax with some downright fun research tools. This week we have some very exciting newspaper research tools that you might even find addictive, so watch out! We also have an array of fascinating search engines and repositories that keep you up to date in the fields of science and technology. A veritable cavalcade of research amusement awaits!

Library News

More trial databases
We have two new trial databases for you this week. (For both, please get in touch with us for the passwords.) If you are a news junkie, you will fall head over heels for NewspaperDirect Library PressDisplay. We sure did here in the Library. This database gives you access to thousands of newspapers from around the world. As soon as you log in, you’ll see “the world in pictures” – photos from newspapers from around the world with their accompanying stories. Access the full scan of the paper and manoeuvre around the paper with arrow keys, zooming in whenever you need to. Some scans also include links that link you to other parts of the paper! Wishing you could figure out what a newspaper from Russia is all about? No problem – use the translation tool to translate it into English. Be warned though – this database is highly addictive!

The other new trial for this week is Current Issues. Great for assignments where students need to explore or debate social issues, this database includes articles organized by issue (for example, drugs, elder care, climate change, etc.) Click on an issue to get a subdirectory of related issues as well as a list of web sites. Choose a subcategory and receive a manageable list of articles from such publications as Scientific American, U.S. News and World Report, Atlantic Monthly and more. (This database has a U.S. focus).

Give these guys a whirl and let us know what you think! They will be available to try out until the end of July.

More e-books!
New electronic books are continually added to the Library @ Mohawk’s Safari Books Online collection. New this week:

Googlepedia: The Ultimate Google Resource: learn all the tips and tricks for using Google and Google products such as Blogger and Picasa.

The Apple TV Pocket Guide: discover the secrets to using Apple’s latest popular invention.

iPodpedia: The Ultimate iPod and iTunes Resource: find out what iPods and iTunes have to offer you for your music listening enjoyment.

YouTube 4 You: get all the tips and tricks for becoming the ultimate Youtuber!

Globe and Mail: Twenty year backfile!
Did you know that you can access The Globe and Mail online for free from the Library @ Mohawk? And not only that, but you can get at today’s issue plus issues back to 1985! All from TheBRAIN! Here are the steps:

1. Choose “E-Journal Portal” from the top blue bar. (This is the resource that lists all the full-text magazines, journals and newspapers available in the library).
2. Choose Onsite or Remote Access, depending on where you are. (Remember that if you are accessing from home, you’ll need to enter your staff/student number and PIN).
3. Enter “globe and mail”.
4. In the results, click the red link: CPI.Q. (Thomson Gale)

On the next screen, you’ll see a date dropdown box and a list of issues. Choose a year and an issue and you are all set!

New sites added to BRAINlinks plus RSS feed!
Lately, we’ve been adding all kinds of new, top quality web resources to BRAINlinks, the Library’s collection of recommended web resources. To keep up with all of this great, new content we now provide an RSS feed. Subscribe by going to BRAINlinks and clicking the feed link on the homepage. A web page will appear with all kinds of code on it… don’t be alarmed by the code – just copy and paste the URL in the address bar into your favourite RSS feed reader (Bloglines, Google Reader, etc.) That way you can keep up with the new web links we are adding and you won’t miss a beat!

Not sure what all this RSS mumbo jumbo is about? Check out this video tutorial: RSS in Plain English from the Common Craft web site or download a Bloglines cheat sheet from the Library’s Learning 2.0 web site.

Wikis explained
Speaking of mumbo jumbo, you might be also wondering just what a wiki is anyway. Well, Common Craft has also created a tutorial on wikis: Wikis in Plain English. At just under four minutes, these videos are a fun way to learn about new technologies!

Online tools for when you’re on the go!
Need access to the files on your work computer while you’re at the cottage? There are lots of free storage options available. These are services that allow you to save files (photos, music, Word documents, whatever) in an online location so that you can access them from any computer with an Internet connection. You could also use these services for backup purposes. One example is XDrive . XDrive offers 5 GB of free storage plus free software tools you can use to set up backups or automatic file saving. Need more? Pay a monthly fee to access even more storage. There are other services that offer free storage: eSnips (5 GB), Box.net (1 GB) and Mediamax (25 GB total/1 GB per month) are just a few.

Research tools for the scientist in you: A plethora of new tools with prefix “Sci”
Scintilla is a social research community brought to you by the esteemed publisher Nature. This site offers space for group collaboration, discussion of hot topics in the science world, a tag cloud with links to the more popular articles of the day, and recommended readings. Log in to personalize your recommendations and join groups. When I logged in, the hot story was the discovery of giant, man-sized penguin bones in Peru. This is a great way to keep up with debates/hot issues among the scientist set!

Scitalks is an online repository of video lectures by scientists and academics on scientific topics. So far there are over a thousand lectures available with more being added on a daily basis from around the world. Check out the “New” section for the latest additions. P.S. There are also HumTalks, BusiTalks and Govtalks that also have thousands of video lectures available, if science is not your bag.

Scitopia is a search tool (in beta) for research and information from 15 scholarly organizations such as the American Institute of Physics, American Society of Civil Engineers, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and more. Results include conference proceedings, journal articles, patents, reports, government documents and news items. A great resource for targeting the latest research in a scientific field! And did I mention it’s loads of fun?

BRAIN_blog break
BRAIN_blog will be taking a short break in July and August to refresh and refuel for the fall semester. We’ll be back with lots of news and excitement from the Library @ Mohawk in September so be sure to check back then. In the meantime, have a relaxing summer!

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