Wednesday, May 09, 2007

To Be Continued as a Wiki

In order to encourage more interaction and contributions from librarians, library staff/unofficial librarians, faculty and students, I have decided to continue this blog as a wiki.

The new wiki is at

All of the material provided here has been moved over there. Hope you feel like editing my work. In order to write new pages, edit my pages, or add to what is already there, just register on the site and start writing. (Registration is only so that there isn't any automatic spam sent.)

Thanks! And hope to hear from you!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics

A great encyclopedia! Tell me if you like it!

Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics

Look what we have access to online!

My gosh, this is an amazing encyclopedia and one that should be useful to almost everyone in all of your departments. The topics of the articles are amazing and fascinating. Just browsing through it is a thrill. You can search it from the top of the page as well.

Science Direct's publicity states that
the online version will include updates as subjects develop ELL2 includes: * c. 7,500,000 words * c. 11,000 pages * c. 3,000 articles * c. 1,500 figures: 130 halftones and 150 colour * Supplementary audio, video and text files online * c. 3,500 glossary definitions * c. 39,000 references * Extensive list of commonly used abbreviations * List of languages of the world (including information on no. of speakers, language family, etc.) * Approximately 700 biographical entries (now includes contemporary linguists) * 200 language maps in print and online. Also available online via ScienceDirect – featuring extensive browsing, searching, and internal cross-referencing between articles in the work, plus dynamic linking to journal articles and abstract databases, making navigation flexible and easy.

It's hard to even list the topics -- there are articles on everything. And references to articles and books.

For example, say you are interested in how Latinos/as perceive their medical treatment in the US. You might want to know how they see their interaction with their physicians and other health care professionals.

Doctors and Patients in Multilingual Settings, Pages 741-748, C. Roberts
Full Text + Links

Cross references to other articles in the Encyclopedia are
Conversation Analysis
Conversational Analytic Approaches to Culture
Medical Discourse: Illness Narratives
Medical Discourse: Non-Western Cultures
...Along with 23 references to articles and books outside the encyclopedia (including some linked to full-text).

On the other hand, there are great numbers of articles on technical areas of linguistics. This is really a encyclopedia to return to again and again.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech

What happened at Virginia Tech? What do we know about such murders? murderers? recovery?

Last Monday I was working on Ask a Librarian when a student IM'ed me asking, "Have you heard about what happened at Virginia Tech?"

Being in librarian mode, I said, "Yes. Did you want more information about it?"

"No," the student said. "I just wanted to make sure you all did." Then we continued to talk about the events at Virginia Tech and what we'd heard. Apparently he was on his computer when he heard and needed to talk to someone about it, so he IM'ed us at Ask a Librarian.

You might want to find out what we've learned about school shootings, those who shoot their fellow students, and how communities can try to recover from these traumatic events. We have several resources:

Encyclopedia of Murder & Violent Crime

School Shooting
Mass Murder

Ramsland, Katherine. (2005) Inside the Minds of Mass Murderers: Why They Kill. p cover. Westport: Greenwood eBooks.

Staub, Ervin. (2003). The psychology of good and evil : why children, adults, and groups help and harm others Cambridge, U.K. : Cambridge University Press.
short excerpt
LIBRARY WEST -- -- BF789.E94 S83 2003

Staub also discusses how we can work on making us more giving and altruistic towards others and how to make it through these horrible experiences.

Douglas, Johns and Olshaker, Mark. (1999) The anatomy of motive : the FBI's legendary mindhunter explores the key to understanding and catching violent criminals. New York: Scribner.
LIBRARY WEST -- HV7911.D68 A33 1999 [Regular Loan]

Kelleher, Michael D. (1997).Flash point: the American mass murderer. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.
LIBRARY WEST -- -- HV6529 .K45 1997 [Regular Loan]

Lavergne, Gary M. (1997). A sniper in the Tower: the Charles Whitman murders.
Denton, Tex.: University of North Texas Press.

Webber, Julie A. (2003). Failure to hold : the politics of school violence. Lanham : Rowan & Littlefield.
EDUCATION LIBRARY -- -- LB3013.3 .W43 2003

There are several different databases that would be helpful:

for psychological information on the shooter, the families left behind, the students who are friends and those who are hurting, grieving, frightened and angry just by living on campus. And the rest of us, feeling the same things because we live in the same world and are affected by knowing that such things can happen.

mass murderers

Another article in the Journal of Primary Prevention discusses (and this is a simplification of the argument) the limited ethical development in the family, restricted social interaction with his peers which doesn't allow further development, and then a school that is competitive, frustrating to a not completely competent person. It is quite interesting.
Thompson, Stephen and Kyle, Ken. (2005).Understanding Mass School Shootings: Links between Personhood and Power in the Competitive School EnvironmentJournal of Primary Prevention. 26,(5). 419-438.
Education Full Text
for information on schools and education, including higher education.

Criminal Justice Abstracts
as it sounds, for information on criminology and criminal justice. This includes both forensic psychology, legal research, and sociological research.

Sociological Abstracts
for information about our society, violence, schools, alienation, community, globalization, etc.

If you'd like to know about what other material we have that can help us understand or help you try to help other people, let me know and we can look for information together. Remember to take care.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I loved you Kurt Vonnegut!

Thank you Kurt Vonnegut for all you've done for us.
All you've brought to us. All you've given us.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

SDSU Test Finder

Another Hearty Librarian, Mark Stover, Catalogs Publically Available Tests and Measures

In an earlier, and well-read blog, I wrote about the database that Helen Hough developed. It indexes books that compile large numbers of tests, measures, inventories, and assessment tools for psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, and other social scientists.

Mark Stover, head of Reference Services at San Diego State University (SDSU), has done us the service of indexing books and journals that might contain only 1 or 2 of these types of tests. His database is called SDSU Test Finder. After you find the title of a test, you'll need to use our Library Catalog to see if we have the book or if we subscribe to the journal in print or online. It we don't have it, we can always borrow important (to you) material through InterLibrary Loan.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Encyclopedia of the Human Brain

I just fell upon it -- It's from ScienceDirect -- Quite Expensive -- Please Use It!

You know, UF Libraries have so many resources, none of us know what all we have! Especially since we share resources with the Health Science Center Library and the Legal Information Center (the Law School Library), I'm sometimes amazed at what we have.

Very soon, in a couple of weeks, we'll be getting the online version of the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics through ScienceDirect. This is the revised edition of the 10-volume 1990 set. Anyway, I was just looking around ScienceDirect, hoping to find a bit of info about the Encyclopedia and maybe a sample article or two that I'd missed before. Or one they'd added.

And to my delighted eyes, what appeared was another encyclopedia: The Encyclopedia of the Human Brain Editor-in-Chief: V. S. Ramachandran (from my alma mater)! The Health Science Center Library (HSCL) must have decided to buy it. Thank you HSCL! Little did they know how much they have aided folks who research and study in all of the departments dear to my heart and yours! Here are some interesting articles:
Adolescent Brain Maturation
Aging Brain
Alcohol Damage to the Brain
Endorphins and their Receptors
Humor and Laughter
Language Acquisition
Language and Lexical Processing
Logic and Reasoning
Neural Networks
Recovered Memories
Sexual Behavior
Violence and the Brain
Visual System Development and Neural Activity

Each article includes a glossary and great set of references. You never have to stop studying your topic of choice! (I know! It's just like every other addiction in the world. It's always there for you. But it's almost free if you're aligned with UF. There are articles on addiction, too!)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Communication Problems and School

Finding a Social Space for Folks with Asperger's Syndrome

"Merrie, I'd like to do my paper on kids with Asperger's Syndrome/dyslexia/stuttering and school. Is there anything on that?"

Every time I talk to Communication Science and Disorder classes, at least 3 or 4 students want to study interaction between children and adolescents with asperger's and their classmates. Honestly, it's been relatively easy to find remediation studies to increase kids' social skills or to look at social interactions in a reductionist way. But larger studies that look at how kids interact in school have been hard for me to find.

Then the other night, Nightline showed a program on Asperger's Syndrome, Bullying, and a school in New Jersey. The school teaches students what Asperger's is, gets them involved with each other and teaches them how to be friends with each other. It's "heaven" one of the kids with Asperger's says.

I tried to find articles about bullying, teasing and harrassing of kids with Asperger's. Though several make mention of it, as if it's well known and first-person narratives include it, I couldn't find studies of bullying per se. It's the terms "bullying" (in British writing) or "victimization" (in American writing) that help find these articles for us. Yay! And especially in PsycInfo! So, here is one search from PsycInfo:

(autism OR asperger*) AND (bullying OR victimization)

Try other searchers in ERIC, Lingustics and Language Behavior Abstracts, PubMed, and Education Full Text. They'll all show you something a bit different.

Books we have on Asperger's -- just search in the catalog using the second box. Change the dropdown menu to "Subject." Type in Asperger Look at all the possible subject heads there are. (You won't be able to link to the library catalog from here, though :(
Asperger's syndrome - [LC Authority Record]
Asperger's syndrome -- Case studies
Asperger's syndrome -- Congresses
Asperger's syndrome -- Education -- Great Britain
Asperger's syndrome -- Fiction
Asperger's syndrome -- Handbooks, manuals, etc
Asperger's syndrome -- Juvenile fiction
Asperger's syndrome -- Patients -- Care
Asperger's syndrome -- Patients -- Education
Asperger's syndrome -- Patients -- Education (Higher)
Asperger's syndrome -- Patients -- Education (Higher) -- United States
Asperger's syndrome -- Patients -- Family relationships
Asperger's syndrome -- Patients -- Life skills guides
Asperger's syndrome -- Patients -- Vocational guidance
Asperger's syndrome -- Popular works
Asperger's syndrome -- Social aspects
Asperger's syndrome -- Treatment

Thursday, April 05, 2007

PsycArticles and the Proxy Server

I can't download APA Journals from home!

This has happened a couple of times this semester. APA reported massive downloads from our proxy server several times. To protect itself, APA blocked our proxy's IP-address from access to PsycArticles and PsycBooks. APA believes the download occurs via a robotic method. You might have noticed that last weekend until yesterday (March 31 - April 4, 2007) access was again down. (Then again, you might have been too busy watching the Gators win a 2nd National Championship in Basketball!)

If this happens again, please access PsycArticles and PsycBooks through the VPN. I know that a few of you have had problems with the VPN and at least one of you have a complicated local network which the VPN interferes with. However, for most of the off campus UF community, the VPN should mimic your computer life on campus.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Methodology Handbooks

New Handbooks in Methodology from Sage Publications

As I've mentioned before, the library is trying to develop a strong methodology collection and get it used! Peter Malanchuk, our Librarian for Political Science, and Colleen Seale and Michael Dietz, both from the Reference Department, are collaborating with me to determine what reference materials and circulating books would enlighten students and faculty most during those dark moments of HUH?? or just the grayish ones.

Sage Publications has a well-earned reputation for producing some of the very best methodology handbooks. They are where I turn when I want to develop our collection. We also chose these texts because the articles include case studies from all over the social sciences: from political science to communication, psychology to television. Check out the Table of Contents. Pretty impressive.

Recently, Peter and I requested feedback on sets that reprinted "benchmark" articles about issues on particular methodologies. We already have a few of the sets:

LinkEthnography / edited by Alan Bryman. Table of Contents
LinkThe American tradition in qualitative research / edited by Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln. Table of Contents
LinkConversation analysis / edited by Paul Drew & John Heritage. Table of Contents

They are all going into reference, so you'll be able to get at them when you need them. Faculty members can assign readings from them. They have wonderful reference lists after each article which should lead you to other readings.

From consulting the suggestions from faculty and the requests we get from students, we've decided to buy the following sets:

LinkMeasurement / edited by David Bartholomew Table of Contents
LinkResearch Design / edited by David de Vaus Table of Contents
LinkEvaluation Research Methods / edited by Elliot Stern Table of Contents

Several faculty members asked for the Measurement texts and students are often confused about how and why they should use certain tests and inventories. Research Design was also requested and is broad, addressing very general issues confronted by most researchers.

Thank you for you assistance and let me know what other books we can gather together for you!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Crazy Librarians

Well, it's getting close to Easter. Librarians all over the country are looking again to Millikin Library and shaking their heads, considering doing similar studies in their own libraries. Or wondering why they haven't. Make sure you scroll down through the entire website. You certainly don't want to miss a thing. Let me know if any of you would like to become involved in some studies in our library. I have some work in mind...

It is really time for people outside of the librarian world to see the nutty world of librarians. What we do with our free time. What our professional senses of humor looks like.

Medieval Helpdesk (with English subtitles)

Reading on a Dream: A Library Musical

Librarian Workout Tape

"Ray of Light" St Joseph County Public Library (This is rather long. If you can't watch the whole video, skip to the end.)

Gorilla Librarian (Monty Python)

Have a good time chuckling!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Life Among the Romanies

Come and join the exhibit opening with music and dancing exhibitions tomorrow (Friday) from 2:00-5:00 p.m. in Smathers Library room 100 and the second floor exhibition gallery!

We will be celebrating Alena Aissing’s exhibit opening of

Life Among the Romanies: The Heroic Past and Present


Amie Kreppel, Founding Director, Center for European Studies at UF and Jean Monnet, Chair

John Ingram, Interim Director of the George A. Smathers Libraries


American Tribal Gypsy - Suzanne Bell

Indian Bollywood Dance Chaya Chaya - The Farhana Dancers, Nicoma and Kate

Gypsy Flamenco - Fiorina Boggiano

Irish GypsiKelts and Drumming - Bhrigha

Romanian Gypsy Dances - Margaret Ross Tolbert and Stefan Craciun


Gypsy Jazz - Hot Club De Ville

Through Deaf Eyes

Watch the History of Deaf People on PBS March 29th at 9:00pm

Last night people all over the country watched a great film, Through Deaf Eyes, on the history of Deaf people in America. Unfortunately, in Gainesville it was pre-empted by Suze Orman's financial advice during pledge week. WUFL will broadcast it here next week, Friday, March 30 at 9pm. But you can browse through their website now and even read the transcript if you'd like.

The larger documentary includes clips of films by Deaf filmmakers, available on the website. But I wish the transcript had some videos of the interviews in sign, instead of all of them in translation.

I wish they spoke more about life outside of school and the educational institutions. Almost all of the pictures on the PBS website is of students practicing speech, getting audiograms, and hitting drums to listen to sounds. I love just seeing Deaf people together playing canasta or enjoying their bowling. A 1/2 second on the Black schools and segregation in the South.

On the other hand, there were Deaf people living everyday lives, just being. Having friends, brothers, wives, husbands, and co-workers. Lots of the stories spoke to the heart. It was so exciting just to know that Deaf kids can't imagine a Gallaudet University with a hearing president. What a change in less than 20 years. (And it's been that long since the Deaf President Now protest!)

The love of American Sign Language and the community afforded Deaf people is palpable in the film. It's clear what Veditz (the NAD President in 1910) was talking about when he told Deaf people that "Sign Language is the greatest gift that God has given to the Deaf."

(We have ordered the DVD. PBS says it will be shipping in May.)

Monday, March 19, 2007

NPR Transcripts in LexisNexis

Searching Sources in LexisNexis -- Organic Peaches in California Depends on Immigration Reform

Last week, during spring break, I was driving home to my family in South Carolina. It was Saturday evening. I was listening to NPR and something interesting came on the radio. "Hmm," I thought. That would make a nice topic to build a blog around."

A week later, I can't remember a thing about the story. Was it about children? Something about demographics? Shoot.

When I got back to the library, I realized I could look in LexisNexis to find the transcript from NPR and figure out what I was listening to. (I could have done this from my parents' home using the VPN, but I was busy crocheting and finding furniture in junk stores.)

LexisNexis includes news sources from all over the world, including articles from newspapers, transcripts from television and radio, book and film reviews, and reports from the newswires. But on Monday morning I wanted to know what I'd been listening to on NPR, so I went to the library's home page and clicked on databases in the first column. In the second box on the databases page, I typed in LexisNexis. There are several different parts to LexisNexis -- the one that contains the news is LexisNexis Academic. (There are no scholarly works in here. I think it's called "Academic," because it's marketed to academic libraries. Yeah.)

LexisNexis will open to this screen:Click on the "Guided News Screen" tab at the top. (If you want to search all news sources, you can use this screen.)

On the next screen, choose, News Transcripts from the first dropdown menu, and National Public Radio Transcriptions from the second dropdown menu:

Notice that you can also get transcripts from the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, the Official Kremlin Intnl News Broadcast, and CNBC/Dow Jones Business Video among others. If you look at all of the drop down menus from the first box and their secondary dropdown menus (i.e., the second dropdown menu changes depending on the first menu) you'll find an amazing variety of sources. Enjoy!

Then, to find the report I was listening to, I remembered that I drove from about noon til 7pm on Saturday. The earlier time I listened to audio books. So I must have been listening to All Things Considered. My search looked like this (Note "all things" in the "show" field):And the results:
There it is! A peach farmer in California talking about the need for large numbers of workers to support organic farming. He sees legalizing immigration from Mexico as the only way to make delicious tasting peaches.

However, as I look at the list of transcripts, I realize that I must have started listening after the reports on the large numbers of child abuse cases reported by juveniles in institutions in Texas and across the United States. Hmm...many interesting articles...

(If you use LexisNexis to search newspapers, you can search just the Miami Herald by choosing U.S. News in the first box, Florida New Sources in the second, and Miami Herald in the very bottom box: StepFive: search this publication title.)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

An impression of UF libraries by a non-librarian type person

First of all, thanks to Merrie for allowing me to guest-blog on her very excellent, very informative forum, and for giving me the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite subjects, Library West and the UF libraries.
To be honest, I really didn’t start to appreciate the university libraries until I started working as a student assistant at the beginning of last summer. Working with the reference librarians has been a great opportunity to see how knowledgeable they are and willing to go the extra mile for their patrons. If you’ve ever hesitated to go up to the desk and ask for help with a project, please reconsider; no matter how arcane your question, you will no doubt find someone at the desk who can help you. And if, for some reason, they are unable to get the information you need they will invariably refer you to someone who can.
My advice:
Make the reference desk at Library West your second home and the librarians your best study buddies. They will not do you wrong.

Some more tips:

  • The Circulation desk on the second floor is a great place to start in your search because they can direct you to the places you need to go. They can also provide you with a laptop if computers in the library are scarce, and a set of headphones if you foolishly left yours at home. Be nice to your circulation desk people and be sure to say “hi” to Missy!
  • Using your own laptop in the library? You can now print to the third floor orange printer.
  • The fourth floor, if you are an undergrad who needs extreme quiet to study, is the place to go. You can even sometimes find a study carrel in which to hunker down.
  • Second choice for X-treme quietude: The first floor, which at times resembles a basement so how can you go wrong?
  • Design and film students take notice: The third floor has high-end computers for graphics and two editing suites! Sweet!
Besides the UF Libraries’ home page, Merrie’s blog is probably the best resource for new and interesting information, not just for her areas of expertise but for Library West as a whole. Her most recent post about Book Crossing is a great example of the potential of a library as community space, and I encourage every reader to explore its possibilities. She talks about the library’s potential as community arena in another post about other university and college libraries who have jumped on the library-as-community-space bandwagon (a coffee shop also doesn't hurt).
Okay, I’ve babbled long enough, back to our fearless leader of the library blogs at UF. Thank you once again.
Michele is a student, mom, and mate who enjoys helping others. When she is not working for the greater good at Library West she works on her own, somewhat neglected blogspot blog, The Accidental Environmentalist.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Undergrads and Narcissism

Are undergrads more narcissistic now than 20 years ago?

A new book out, Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled--and More Miserable Than Ever Before, laments the author (Jean M. Twenge, Phd.)'s findings that undergraduates today are more narcissistic than the previous generation. At least based on her results on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Jean Twenge attributes this to the "self-esteem" movement that encouraged parents to praise their children for being themselves and for doing everything they do.

Interesting. But it's also been suggested that adolescence (emerging adulthood) lasts longer than before, through college and until about age 21 - 23 in developed countries. The symptoms of narcissism are similar to characteristics of young folks figuring out who they are and what they want to do with their lives.

Or are there problems with personality inventories?

Or is it just what always happens. Older folks saying "These kids today...too self-involved. They don't care about anyone but themselves!" That's what older folks said about my generation when I was in college. That's what some older people said about the Vietnam War protestors. "I wish they really were pacifists. But it's not war they're against -- they just don't want to die."

Or is this new generation of undergrads different? What do you think?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Set Your Books Free! Then Watch Them Travel the World through
Read and Release at

You've read a book you loved, liked, hated. Whatever. You'd love to share it with another. If you're like me, your books are piled up on the floor. Each time a loved one comes to visit, she mutters about your need for more bookshelves, academics who have no space for guests to sit, and fire hazards from the floor to the ceilings. provides Internet space for you to register your books online, journal them (describe them, talk about your interest in them, and critique or evaluate them) and then release them to other people.

Wild Releases mean you release them into the wild: you journal your book, label it as "free not lost", announce where you're leaving it, and ask the finder to register your book, so you can watch it travel around the world.

There are book rings and book rays as well, allowing groups of people all around the world to share their books. And wish lists that tell you who dreams of the books you no longer want or just want to give away.

It's a lovely way to trade books with folks all over the place. Lots of people have done it here in Gainesville already. I'd love to see our libraries get in on the act. Lets make our libraries a Crossing Zone! And maybe later an Official BookCrossing Zone!

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Gator Homeless Coalition

Good evening,

My name is David Reznik and I am one of the founding members of the Gator Homeless Coalition, a group of student volunteers seeking to change the nature of the University of Florida’s relationship with its surrounding community, particularly Gainesville's most victimized citizens: the homeless. UF has proven to be not only the largest, but also most influential institution in the city of Gainesville, and yet it has gentrified the city to suit the needs of privileged UF administration, faculty, and students.

Though the city may benefit from UF’s affluence, Gainesville’s permanent residents, specifically its homeless, suffer as well. There is now an affordable housing crisis and a shortage of shelter beds for the city with the highest poverty rate of any with a public university. The disproportionate number of students in Gainesville has also caused the scarcity of employment opportunities for local residents. It was these factors and more that sparked our mission to create the first student-run homeless shelter in Gainesville during the fall of 2006. We hope to bridge the campus-community divide in a more socially responsible fashion by having UF positively affect the city within which it exists.

While fostering leadership among students through hands-on experience in various disciplines, we seek to not just redefine the inhumane realities of Gainesville’s homeless. Our goal is to ultimately spark political action and social consciousness in making this university town a truly interdependent community.


If you would like more information about us, please check out our website at or email us at

Friday, February 16, 2007

Selecting a Database

So, Which Database Should I Use Already?

One major problem researchers often encounter is deciding which database to use. UF Librarians develop Subject Guides listing databases for each domain, but the lists may include 20 databases! How is a confused student to decide among them? Mostly, folks just use the databases they always use. Often it's not a good one for what they're looking for. And then they say...

"I can't find anything about sleep disorders! Someone must have written about it! I see it on TV commercials all the time."

Well, Sociological Abstracts is probably not the best database to find articles on sleep disorders. (Though I was surprised to find some interesting things on it there. But they might not be what a psychology students expected or needed.)

What are the differences between databases?
  • Which journals does the database index?
    • Which subject area are the journals in?
    • Are the journals all in one subject area or are the journals in all subject areas?
    • Are the journals almost all scholarly or almost all popular or is there a mix?
    • How many journals are covered?
  • What does the database index besides journals?
    • Does it include books, chapters in books, websites, encyclopedias, dissertations?
  • Does the database include abstracts or summaries of the articles or just citations?
  • Does the database have an interface that's easy to use?
    • Do you have a choice of interfaces?
    • Is the interface not easy, but powerful (You can find everything, if you spend a lot of time learning how to use it. Some well-designed interfaces are both.)
Here is a chart that compares the features of databases useful in our departments. I will writing more about making these decisions later. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Criminalization of Mental Illness

The Imprisoning of Deinstitutionalized Mentally Ill People

Last Sunday night, CBS's 60 Minutes reported on the death of Timothy Souders, a young man with Bipolar Disorder, who was in prison for shoplifting. The major contention of the producers is that since the deinstitutionalization of people with chronic, severe mental illnesses many are being shunted into the prison system. They are not able or willing to deal with them, not sensitive to their needs. Not aware of their illnesses.

For instance, people who are diagnosed as suicidal and may cut themselves (e.g. cut out pieces of their organs), the prison staff may call "manipulative with extreme behaviors."

Here is a search from PsycINFO about the prison system and deinstitutionalization.
(Remember you'll have to be logged into the library either by its proxy system or the VPN to access these articles.)

Frontline has a program (you can watch online) called The New Asylums, along with a website with more indepth interviews and research material.

I understand this response and the feeling that we might want to reopen or find havens for chronically ill people, but I also worked at a state mental hospital during graduate school. Horrible events occurred there.

If we do decide to find homes for people who are severely ill, we need to think hard about how to make them good places for the patients/residents living there and the staff working there. The working conditions at the state mental hospital took control and dignity away from the staff. Of course the residents suffered. There was a reason the State Hospitals were closed in the first place. It wasn't only because the drugs seemed to be miraculous. It was also because the hospitals appeared to be hellish.

Some books to look at:

Deinstitutionalization : promise and problems
San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, c2001.
EDUCATION LIBRARY -- -- RA790.A1 N43 no.90

The role of the state hospital in the twenty-first century /
San Francisco : Jossey Bass, 1999.
EDUCATION LIBRARY -- -- RA790.A1 N43 no.84

Baum, Alice S.
A nation in denial : the truth about homelessness /
Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, 1993.
LIBRARY WEST -- -- HV 4505 .B378 1993

Friday, February 09, 2007

Thesauri and Search Terms

What Words to Search With? Keywords, Subject Terms, Thesauri

Many of my consultations start with this question. "I've looked and looked for stuff. But I just don't know the right words to use. How do I find them?" (Even before the student tells me what they're looking for...)

A lot of times, students are really just looking in the wrong database. A very general database, a database they're comfortable with because they used it before. Or perhaps in Google and their topic isn't too Googleable. Check on our Subject Guides. Or talk with a Librarian about the various databases.

UF Librarians have put together an excellent tutorial on how to analyze your question and develop search terms and a search strategy using your own mind.

But a big part of the problem with searching is that you're really trying to get out of your own mind and trying to figure out how other people are describing things. How authors and other researchers are describing what you are looking for. And how librarians and database designers are indexing and organizing articles.

So here are some ideas about using other people's minds to help you.
  • Read subject specific encyclopedia and handbook articles on the topics you're interested in. Scour them for words that you hadn't thought of.
  • Talk with anyone you can corral -- especially other students and faculty members (ply them with coffee or chocolates). Make note of how they talk about your topic.
  • Use the thesaurus for the database you're searching:
There are a couple of ways to do this. And databases and interfaces vary in how good they are at this. But the idea is that you type in the words you're thinking of, and they give you words that they use to describe the same things. (Duh.) They'll usually give you the definition they use and other words that describe a broader concept; those that describe narrower; and others that are related. Check out the tutorial on PsycINFO's thesaurus.

If you are in Ebsco, using PsycINFO, GBLT Full Text, or Academic Search Premier, you can use the Visual Search or the regular search to see what the most common subject terms are in the articles you find. In the regular search, the most common subject terms will come up on the left hand side of the results screen:Click on image to enlarge

In CSA databases, like LLBA or Sociological Abstracts, the subject terms appear next to the results of individual articles.
If there isn't enough room to show all of the terms, you can look at the whole article. The nice thing about the CSA database, is that when you find an article that looks good, you can select a couple of the terms that describe it, and the database will search using them together for you. (Don't choose all of them. Usually the whole set only describes that one article.)

So with this article, since I wanted to look at "how people listen to verbs in a sentence" and used the keywords "sentence processing" and verbs, I might choose complements and syntactic processing. And later verbs and syntactic processing.Click to enlarge image
The more you read and chat, more terms you'll come upon. Visit me and we can talk and read together! Collaboration helps more than you can imagine. Take care!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sage e-Reference and Methodology Encyclopedias

Online Now! Statistics and Measurements! Methodology Encyclopedias!

It's 2 a.m. You're reading an interesting paper on sentence processing: Reading sentences with a late closure ambiguity: Does semantic information help? Lipka, Sigrid; Language and Cognitive Processes, Vol 17(3), Jun 2002. pp. 271-298. And you get to a paragraph in the methodology section that states they set up a 2X2 Latin Square.

"What?" you think. "A Latin Square? I don't remember that. They started dancing in the middle of their analysis? It does help break the tension..." Well, I usually don't do that myself. But luckily, I remembered that the library has a trial subscription (soon a regular subscription) to several online encyclopedias from Sage Publications. So I searched for the term "Latin Square" and found an article explaining what a Latin Square is and why they are used.

As the Psych, Soc, Ling, and CSD Librarian, I am especially happy about this, because it includes something I've dreamt about for several years: 3 methods related encyclopedias -- 1 in Statistics & Measurements, 1 in Research Methods in the Social Sciences and 1 in Psychological Assessments.

Yep. In the middle of the night, you can have questions answered! Plus the interface is excellent. The Home Page for each encyclopedia has a list of broad topics that branch off to more specific articles. Or you can look through all of the articles in an alphabetical list. Or you can search for terms in a basic search or a more specific search. Or look through the index.

Each signed article has links to other, related articles. Each article also includes several articles and books for further reading. This is wonderful for another use of the encyclopedia. Doing your own research.

Say you decide to develop a questionaire. You read the several articles in the Methods Encyclopedia on Questionaires/Survey Design, (even an article on Internet Surveys) but are hungry for more! Here are suggestions for further reading from one of the articles:

Blumer, H. Sociological analysis and the “variable.” American Sociological Review vol. 21 pp. 683–690 (1956).

de Vaus, D. (Ed.). (2002). Social surveys (4 vols.). London: Sage.

Groves, R. M. (1989). Survey errors and survey costs. New York: Wiley.

Marsh, C. (1982). The survey method: The contribution of surveys to sociological explanation. London: Allen & Unwin.

Rosenberg, M. (1968). The logic of survey analysis. New York: Basic Books.

Not bad!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Deaf People and Eugenics

International History of Deaf People during World War II

Last April I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC where they had an exhibit on Eugenics before and during the Holocaust called Deadly Medicine . Here they described the contribution of doctors to Hitler's vision of the perfect race of people, including the sterilization of disabled people and development of methods of killing mentally ill and developmentally delayed people in mass numbers.

My awareness of Deaf people during the Holocaust developed when I met a Deaf woman from Germany. Her parents and sister were also Deaf. Her mother and sister had been sterilized as part of the cleansing of the German people. She, however, was only 9 or 10 years old at the time -- too young for the operation. When she grew up, she married a German Deaf man, emmigrated to America, gave birth to a Deaf daughter who also gave birth to a Deaf child. I've always thought that was a great story of how another person defeated Hitler.

But this is not an unusual story. Many Deaf children and adults were sterilized, some underwent forced abortions. Apparently, there was a myth that schools for the Deaf in Germany sheltered many children from these forced sterilizations, but relatively recent research has found that schools, rather than protect their children, often colluded with government officials. Biesold, Horst (1999) Crying hands : eugenics and deaf people in Nazi Germany Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press. (And of course, Alexander Graham Bell was a strong force in eugenics here in the US, while he worked with deaf children.)

A recent book by Carol Padden and Tom Humphries, Inside Deaf Culture (HV2545 .P35 2005 at both Library West and the Education Library), discusses genetic testing and research with Deaf people. What does it mean when we can decide which disorders and diseases can be eliminated? What does it mean when groups of people should be eliminated, especially when they view themselves as a cultural group? What are weaknesses? What are differences?

But the website on Deaf people during WWII at the Rochester Institute of the Deaf not only includes videotapes of Deaf people from the US, Israel, and Germany describing their experiences during the Holocaust. Nope. It also includes rememberances of Deaf Japanese-Americans in Internment Camps in the US, and Japanese Deaf people in Nagasaki during the bombings. And artwork by Deaf artist and Holocaust survivor David Bloch. It is excellent!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Databases, Indexes, Print and Online

Recently 2 graduate students asked me if online databases would find print journals articles as well as electronic ones. And, they wanted to know, would they find articles that weren't in their own database. "Would Sociological Abstracts find journals that weren't full-text in Sociological Abstracts?" That was pretty ironic, since Sociological Abstracts actually contains no full-text journals.

"Huh?" you say. "I found an article that was online from SA just yesterday." Yeah. Sort of.

This explanation might bore you to tears (which is why we rarely tell anyone). On the other hand, it might clear up everything in the world for you.

Here's my beautiful diagram:
The first two boxes under the main database box show that some databases only index journals and articles, but don't have full text themselves. In our fields, these are the databases used most often, like LLBA, Sociological Abstracts, and PsycINFO.

You look through these databases for articles of interest. If you find one, our software, called SFX uses DOIs (digital object indicators -- links directly to articles) to find the ARTICLES we have access to through other databases. Sometimes articles don't have DOIs or our SFX database isn't up to date. Then you can follow the link to our catalog where wel list whether we have print copies of the journal or whether we subscribe to the e-journal for any period. (It doesn't tell you if we have the particular ARTICLE there.) If we have subscribe to some period of time (through any database), it will link to our database of e-journals and then to the database where the journal is. You need to look for the article there.

Other databases only contain full text journals -- most of these are publisher's databases or Open Access databases. In the Social Sciences you generally don't use these to look for articles. They are basically archives of journal articles. Generally, you use SFX or serial solutions to provide links between the indexing databases and the archiving databases.

But there are other databases. Like Academic Search Premier or Gale's OneFile. These have journals from lots of different publishers. The database indexes all kinds of articles, scholarly and popular, from all different fields -- science, social science and humanities. Some is full text, some are just citations.

So you can look up citations to full text or print in almost any index and find full text and print articles there. Link to them. Link to the library catalog. Pretty much just play around for as long as you'd like. I hope this made some sense and was a bit interesting to you...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

African American Newspapers

The Historical Context of African American Newspapers: The 19th Century and The Chicago Defender

When Woodrow Wilson was mentioned in the Chicago Defender, it stated "President Woodrow Wilson (white) yesterday announced..." because that was how the African Americans of the time were cited in white-owned papers.

Last weekend I was watching TV (okay, so I watch a lot of TV while knitting and spinning) and I saw a fantastic program on PBS called The Black Press: Soldiers without Swords (Video #4678). Like much of what passes for entertainment on television today, it was fascinating. It delved into the blossoming of Black-owned newspapers all over the country after the Civil War when African Americans, especially in the South, were first allowed to read and write and used their literacy to keep abreast of what was happening in their world and also to actively change it.

When certain cities, again especially in the South, outlawed the distribution of the newspapers, Pullman Porters distributed them between towns by tossing bundles of them off trains. They said each purchased paper of the Chicago Defender was read by 4-5 people, since they were passed among friends.

More information, the entire transcript of the program, additional transcripts and videos of journalists, historians, and everyday folks talking about the importance of Black-owned newspapers are available free on PBS's website: The Black Press.

The UF libraries have electronic access to a database of African American Newspapers from the 19th century. We also have access to the Chicago Defender through the Black Studies Center.

In addition, if you search in our catalog under the subject "african american newspapers," you'll find 6 newspapers. However, if you look at that result list, you'll see that in many entries "african american newspapers" is followed by the name of a state in the U.S. Thus, we have a newspaper or newspapers from that state in microfilm. We probably have newspapers from at least 20-25 states. Often more than one from each state. (The following is just one page of the results list.)

Browse List: Subject Previous Page Next Page
No. of Recs Brief Recs Entry
African American newspapers -- Georgia
African American newspapers -- History
African American newspapers -- History -- 19th century
African American newspapers -- History -- 20th century
African American newspapers -- Indexes
African American newspapers -- Indiana
African American newspapers -- Michigan
African American newspapers -- Mississippi -- Bibliography -- Union lists
African American newspapers -- Mississippi -- Directories
African American newspapers -- Mississippi -- History

So we have maybe a hundred newspapers to wander through. And books on the history of those newspapers as well.

Go ahead and start with the online papers, but look at the papers from your own neighborhood. See if you can find your family and friends in there! You never know when you'll find a cousin, your grandmother, or the man you most admired in your life in a newspaper article!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Videos on the Internet

Which inspiring sociologist, psychologist, or linguist have you met in your backyard?

Max Weber Visits North Carolina -- Undergraduate Classes' Passion and Investigations

Today I was wandering around the Internet, looking for videos about these fields I love. I stumbled upon one made by the North Carolina Sociological Society about Professor Larry Keeter at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. (Before my stint here, I worked at a college near App State and lived a few miles down the road, so I do love Appalachia.)

Apparently early in Keeter's teaching career, students asked whether Max Weber had ever visited the United States and where. Quite a bit of research by him and the student led to the exciting information that Max Weber and his wife Marianne had visited relatives in North Carolina Appalachia. The students interviewed folks who were still alive and the rest became history.

This is a marvelous video of how inspiring study and history can become. Of course, it helps that some kind of miracle happens. Like that someone amazing, the figure from your field happened to land next door. Especially when you live in a neighborhood that is dismissed and denigrated by most of the other neighborhoods.

The video also discusses interesting historical info about how the folks viewed Weber right before WWI. Unfortunately, we don't have Keeter's article about the students investigation and oral history. Order it through InterLibrary Loan or let me know and I'll do it for you.

Keeter, Larry (spring-summer, 1981) Max Weber's Visit to North Carolina. The Journal of the History of Sociology, 3(2). 108-114.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Stanley Milgram's Experiments

Milgram's Experiment "Replicated" on ABC's Primetime

Each semester students find out about the Milgram Experiments, sometimes from a psychology class, sometimes from their English/composition classes. As most everyone is, they are shocked, dismayed, horrified, to find out about the "banality of evil." To learn that under the guidance of an authority figure, everyday, normal people will administer electric shocks to innocents.

Primetime has a short video on its website that you can watch. However, in the video, they fail to state that the main difference they found between the participants who finished the experiment, giving the entire set of shocks, and those who refused, was...those who refused took personal responsiblity for their actions. The others were "doing their job" or "just following orders." (However, I'd like to see a real write up.)

But what really interested me was that at the time the Milgram Experiments were done in the 1960's, Milgram and the psychology world in general were aghast at the psychological pain that the experimental subjects endured. The APA held Milgram's application to the APA because of ethical concerns from his work. Human subjects restrictions were developed and tightened because of this work. Milgram and his colleagues were very careful to sit with subjects after the experiment and calm them after they found out the could act in such ways.

However, in the Primetime story, the reporter sat with the subjects and pointedly asked them how they could administer the shocks without considering the feelings or health of the "learner." As one of the other librarians said to me, he was torturing the torturer. Do we think that people have become so inured to torture, that we have to remind them when they engage in it? There wasn't an increase in the number of people finishing the experiment.

(Actually, in the study for Primetime, they shortened the experiment, so they didn't actually administer as "dangerous" a shock level. And 20% of Milgram's subjects stopped between the end of the Primetime experiment and his. So even though Primetime said that the results were similar, if another 20% stopped, then we'd get about 50.4% finishing, rather than 63%.)

The library has several resources about these experiments -- and also about the Zimbardo Prison Experiment. The program interviewed Philip Zimbardo and several of the "inmates" and "guards" who took part in the experiment, which Zimbardo calls one of the most unethical experiments ever run. (I assume he means in the United States. Not quite as bad as some in Nazi Germany, which were what these experiments were intended to study.)

Our resources include videos and DVDs, among them Quiet Rage: a DVD of the Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo has an excellent website about the experiment as well. The Discovering Psychology series of videotapes includes a !9th tape which describes and excerpts the Milgram Experiment and the Prison Experiment.

The man who shocked the world : the life and legacy of Stanley Milgram by Thomas Blass was published in 2004. Thomas Blass is a psychologist who clearly greatly admires Milgram. (HM1031.M55 B57 2004)

American dreams and Nazi nightmares : early Holocaust consciousness and liberal America, 1957-1965, a book by Kirsten Fermaglich, describes how Jewish Americans, among them Stanley Milgram, took lessons from the Holocaust and applied them to the political situation in America after World War II. (LIBRARY WEST, Judaica Library 1st Floor - Northwest Corner D804.7.M67 F47 2006)

Understanding genocide: the social psychology of the Holocaust
edited by Leonard S. Newman and Ralph Erber is accessible online through netLibrary (logon remotely through VPN), We also have the book in print in the Judaica Library (the Northwest Corner of the 1st Floor in Library West). (D804.3 .S597 2002)

Classic experiments in psychology by Douglas Mook discusses the Milgram and the Unresponsive Bystander Experiments. (BF198.7 .M66 2004)

Experiments with people : revelations from social psychology edited by Robert P. Abelson, Kurt P. Frey, Aiden P. Gregg. includes Milgram's own discussion of his studies. (BF198.7 .M66 2004)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Invitation to Blog

What have you found to help you in the library? What is annoying?What is perplexing?

Would you write a short article in my blog about it? I wish to invite anyone from the University of Florida -- faculty, staff, graduate or undergraduate student -- to discuss the exciting, the perplexing and the annoying about the library here. Call (352-273-2649) or email and I'll set you up so that you can write in the blog.

A great book? A fantastic encyclopedia? Got squashed in the compact shelving? Wish you could put on a musical in the library? ( You might also wish to write something for a class you intend to teach later in the semester. Great idea!

Of course, you can always comment using the "comment" feature in the blog, but this way you'll be center stage.

Let me know. I'll be waiting. With my fingers crossed....