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Screen shot of the Bram Stoker video

Screen shot of the Bram Stoker video

If you find that you’ve got time on your hands now that finals are over, check out the library’s new acquisition: 512 streaming educational videos by Ambrose Video. Science, literature, history, religion…it’s all there. Videos of BBC Shakespeare plays, the complete history of U.S. Wars, great authors of the British Isles, and the quantum nature of the atom, to name only a few. I watched the videos about Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, and Cabrillo National Monument. I had no idea that the last undisturbed piece of Southern California’s native chaparral plant community exists at Cabrillo National Monument. I bet you didn’t, either.

Some of the series have downloadable PDFs providing more information about the subject, such as the PDF titled “Directions to National Monuments – The Geologic West” accompanying the Cabrillo video.

To access the videos from the library’s home page, click on “Databases A-Z” under Find, then select “Ambrose Digital” or click on the link (Ambrose Video) I’ve provided below (on-campus computers only). Enjoy!

Ambrose Video


Daily Aztec

When the planes hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, U.S. newspapers had already printed and distributed their morning copies. Some newspapers included the headlines in their evening edition, but those with a single daily printing, like The Daily Aztec, carried the tragic news in the following day’s paper.

It’s interesting to take a look back and see how The Daily Aztec covered momentous events, such as 9/11 and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.newspaper2 In years past, copies of The Daily Aztec were bound in large, heavy volumes, which made it cumbersome to search for your item of interest. Now, the library has The Daily Aztec online…in all its incarnations (it was previously called The Aztec, Normal News Weekly, and The Paper Lantern). The issues date from now back to November 26, 1913, when it was called Normal News Weekly.

SDSU Student Newspapers” are one of the many digital collections featured on Special Collections and University Archives’ Website. The online newspapers are in PDF format, which means you won’t have ink rub off on your fingers!

We all know what Comic-Con International is today: a mega pop culture event that serves as a dizzying gathering and show place for TV series producers, cosplayers, gamers, anime fans, graphic novelists, artists, movie industry wannabes, and, oh, yes…comic book dealers and readers. For it was a love for comic books that inspired the original Comic-Con, created and held together with hope and enthusiasm by a group of San Diego teenagers in 1970.

Comic-Con Kids WebsiteLest the modest origins of this four-day extravaganza become lost beneath the layers of glitz and time, the SDSU Library began an oral history project several years ago to collect the stories of Comic-Con’s remaining founders and early participants. The “Comic-Con Kids” project was funded through the Community Stories Grant Program from the California council for the Humanities. Funds from the grant made possible the new interactive Website that features the videos of the founders’ oral histories. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and block off a couple hours of time…you’ll want to explore and enjoy this site fully. In addition to the fascinating tales of early Comic-Cons told by Mike Towry, Greg Bear, and Scott Shaw!, additional resources are featured, including a page on “Comic Convention Memories.” Check it out!

To learn more about our “Comic-Con Kids” project, I’ve included links to recent news videos and articles at the end of this post. To get a quick taste of the interviews features on the Website, watch the video embedded below.

Fox 5 San Diego Report on the Comic-Con Kids Project

Daily Aztec

San Diego State NewsCenter

Librarian Pamela Jackson and Interim Associate Dean Anne Turhollow have been busy over the summer creating some excellent tutorials to help students and library patrons better use the library. Check them out!

Understanding LC Call Numbers

Finding Full Text

LughnasaIn the time of the ancient Celts, Thanksgiving was called Lughnasa, and it was celebrated on August 1 (Lunasa is the Irish Gaelic name for August). Lughnasa marked the beginning of the harvest season and the ripening of the first crops. Traditionally, it was a time for community gatherings, market festivals, and reunions with family and friends. In areas throughout Europe, and especially in Ireland, people still celebrate Lughnasa with bonfires, dancing, and feasts. In the United States, where many Irish immigrants settled during the 1800s, August became the time chosen for family reunions and parties. In a nod to modern U.S. work schedules, later generations have moved Lughnasa get-togethers to the Fourth of July.

How do I know so much about an obscure Celtic holiday? To begin with, I researched it via our Articles and Research Guides.

On our main Web page, click on “Find” and then “Research Guides.” You can search by subject matter, type of source (newspaper, dissertation, book, etc.), or type in some keywords in the “Search” bar. For Lughnasa, I searched under “Religious Studies” and also typed in keywords such as “Celtic,” “festivals,” and “harvest.” You can do the same for just about any subject. My search for “harvest festivals” returned 56 hits. Searching “Lughnasa harvest” returned three. If you find an article that interests you and the library doesn’t own it, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Online articles aren’t the only sources we have available. Some older publications are in microfilm/microform and can be found in our Current Periodicals and Microforms Center. We also have books on most subjects. I’ve listed a few of the sources I found on Lughnasa at the end of this post.

You may be familiar with the word “Lughnasa” from the excellent play titled Dancing at Lughnasa by Ireland’s leading playwright, Brian Friel. If you haven’t seen the movie adaptation, we have it in the Media Center. Check it out.

Dancing at Lughnasa (video recording)
The Druid Chronicles (microform)
Celtic Mysteries: The Ancient Religion (book)
The Religion of the Ancient Celts (book)

Urban HipsterWere you one of the many who didn’t get badges to Comic-Con? No worries. If you want to see some excellent comics, science fiction, graphic novels, drawn books, and zines by A-list authors and artists, we have them in our Special Collections and University Archives Department.

In the quiet of Special Collections, you can enjoy works by Alan Grant, Roberta Gregory, Bob Layton, and many more without waiting in long lines, jostled by stormtroopers and zombies. We have 1st edition books by science fiction writer extraordinaire Greg Bear and boxes of fantastic original works by drawn book writer/artist Donna Barr.

And if you do have Comic-Con tickets, great! Get your photo taken with Vampire Bill. Check out the latest steampunk fashions. Then take the trolley to SDSU. Special Collections is located on the 4th floor of the Library Addition. If you want a glance of what’s in store for you here, visit the Comics Collection Finding Aid. To use our collections, you don’t need a badge. Dressing as your favorite anime character is optional.

Say you’re a U.S. cancer researcher working on a new targeted therapy. You want to begin clinical trials, but you need to refine your participant criteria. No one you work with knows enough about your area to give you accurate advice. You’ve heard that “the Europeans” are involved in similar studies. How do you go about finding these scientists across the world and assessing whether or not their work is a match to yours?

In short: ResearchGATE

ResearchGATE allows researchers to find groups, papers, and fellow researchers who share similar interests and expertise. It uses concepts similar to social networking’s Facebook and LinkedIn, where scientists join an online community and connect with others around the globe to collaborate on projects.

To learn more about ResearchGATE, check out the links I’ve provided below.

Bloomberg Businessweek

Alexander Street Press's Online MusicMusic lovers, do we have a treat for you! The SDSU Library now has access to Alexander Street Press’s Music Online Listening. This streaming audio collection is a fully cross-searchable suite of hundreds of thousands of classical, jazz, American, and world music recordings; scores; and pages of full-text reference content.

Currently, there are more than 250,000 pieces of music in these databases, and Alexander Street has promised that these collections will triple in size over the next nine months. Below are the five databases in the collection:

    American Song
    Classical Music Library
    Contemporary World Music
    Jazz Music Library
    Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries

Alexander Street Press’s Online Music Plus can be accessed by clicking the “Articles & research guides” link under “Library Quick Links” on the library’s Web page. On the “Research Guides” page, select “Music“; on the “Music” page, click “Streaming.” At this point, you can elect to visit the main Music Online site and browse by composer, title, genre, etc., or select one of the five databases you wish to explore. Tracks can be listened to online and, if you create a free account, saved to your own playlist, which can be kept private, shared with everyone at SDSU, or shared with a group of individuals you define. And, you don’t have to come to the library to use Music Online Listening; you can sign in from home using your library PIN and Red ID.

We like to think that our patrons come to the SDSU Library to study, to explore intellectual avenues, to view and discuss the artwork or attend one of our many cultural or literary events. And many do. But we don’t kid ourselves, at least those of us who periodically plug “sdsu library” into Twitter seach. Here’s a sampling from the week of September 20-24:

    @SDSU making love in the love library 🙂

    The SDSU library security enforcer is always dressed nicely in uniform.

    I just checked in at SDSU Love Library on #Yelp and earned the Rookie badge!

    spending so much time in the SDSU library is making me miss the awesomeness of ISU’s…there is no place to nap here

    The only barrier between the SDSU library and the Open Air Theatre is window. Cannot wait to hear @wearephoenix perform tonight!

    doing hw in the chamber of secrets (aka the sdsu library)

And thank you, I’ll let the security guard know that he’s a spiffy dresser!

    I’m at SDSU Library (555 Campanile Drive, San Diego) w/ 4 others.
    1:41 PM Sep 9th via foursquare

    Getting better acquainted with this lovely auditing textbook (@ SDSU Library w/ 2 others)
    11:06 AM Sep 9th via foursquare

    Study time… (@ SDSU Library)
    10:59 AM Sep 7th via foursquare from SDSU Malcom A. Love Library, San Diego

    I just ousted Timothy P. as the mayor of SDSU Library on @foursquare!
    12:41 PM Sep 7th via foursquare

What do these four Twitter tweets about the SDSU Library have in common? The posters all announced they were at the library via Foursquare.

Foursquare is a growing location-based social network that helps people connect with friends using GPS via their mobile device. Say you arrive at your favorite coffee shop and want some company. You “check in” on your cellphone, and your friends can see where you are on a Foursquare map. And by the way, you earn points for checking in from various locales, so being mobile and adventurous are pluses.

One of the cool things about Foursquare is you can integrate it with Twitter. When you check in on Foursquare, you have the option to tweet it out on Twitter (say that fast five times!).

And no, as far as I know, we have no elected officials in the library, mayors or otherwise. What Timothy P.’s vanquisher is referring to is, when you check in at the same location often, you become the “mayor” of that spot, and you have to defend your title as part of the game.

Foursquare isn’t the only location-based app; Loopt, Brightkite, Whrrl, and now even Facebook offer similar services. If you’d like to learn more, I’ve included a couple of links to articles on Mashable that can explain location-based social networking far better than I can. So the next time you tell someone you’re “going to the library” instead of helping them move or do the laundry, you can prove it!

More information on located-based social networking:

Beyond Foursquare
Foursquare: Why It May Be the Next Twitter

Flickr Photos

SDSU Library on Twitter

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