What's Happening in the Richland College Library
The Latest News and Views from the Richland College Library

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Monday, November 01, 2010
Truth Be Told

Project Information Literacy studied over 8,000 students from 25 colleges and universities. Students were asked how they evaluate information and use it once they have found it, and what difficulties they encounter with research. The findings are reported in Truth Be Told: How College Students Evaluate and Use Information in the Digital Age.

  • 84% reported having trouble just getting started with research assignments,
  • 66% had problems defining a topic,
  • Half of the students said they used the same research techniques whatever the topic,
  • Only 11% reported asking the librarian for guidance
Librarian, Barbara Fister, comments on the report in Library Journal: "We need to think hard about what role inquiry plays in the undergraduate curriculum and how the library supports meaningful undergraduate research. Will values embedded in the process of discovering meaning while doing assignments transfer to life after college?"

Here's the preview video.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008
What's Happening Revived
The library is about to have a new web site. We thought it might be a good time to revive our old "What's Happening" page started by our illustrious former librarian, John Ferguson (now retired).

Look here to find out new resources, new services -- anything that we think you might be interested in. There'll also be links in the sidebar to other new ideas we've got percolating. Watch for a Library Wiki...some RSS feeds and other cool additions to our site. Stay tuned. :)

Monday, August 22, 2005
New Library Web Site
The library has a new web site, as if you hadn't noticed. Having problems finding something that you could find previously - at the old site? Try this. Go to the Index and click on the link called Library Front Page (old).

Monday, April 04, 2005
Book Displays.
You may have noticed the library has been preparing a special table of high interest books in recent months. The current one celebrates National Poetry Month. In past months there have been collections devoted mostly to books that reflect our diversity as a campus. Hence there have been displays for Black History Month, as well as displays of books that celebrate Native Americans, Irish Americans, and Hispanic Americans. The month of May will see a new display of "Summer Reading."

Thursday, September 30, 2004
Furl:Your Personal Web

The fastest way to make a "bookmark" we've found. Only you're not making the bookmark on a particular machine. Instead you're posting it on the web where you and all your friends (unless you choose otherwise) can easily find it. Register, drag the Furl button to your browser bar and you're all set to have your own personal archive. And it is truly a personal archive as you can post not only websites but Word documents, etc. Full of features so read all about it if you really want to take advantage of this unique, valuable,and free service. After you've gotten set up and given the webcrawler a little while to find your material, you can type "The [First Name Last Name] Archive" in Google and you'll be there in a flash.

Friday, April 02, 2004
The Excellence in Academic Libraries Award Ceremony and Reception was held Tuesday, March 30, 2004 at 1:00 p.m. in the Lago Vista Gallery of the Richland College Library. JEAN CONWAY, Vice President for Student Learning, delivered the welcoming remarks followed by the presentation of the award by TYRONE H. CANNON, President, Association of College & Research Libraries, and JIM BERRY, Sales Manager, Blackwell's Book Services. CAROLE JOHNSON, Director of the Richland College Library, accepted the award and a check for $3,000 on behalf of the library. DR. STEVEN K. MITTELSTET, President of Richland College spoke about the significance of the library to the college. Dr. Barbara Bramum performed on the harp.

The library staff wishes to express our appreciation to all who participated in and to all who attended this memorable celebration.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004
ALA | Excellence in Academic Libraries Award

The staff of the Richland Library are the recipients of a prestigious award from the Association of College and Research Libraries, the 2003-2004 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award. The ACRL is the premier professional organization of college and university librarians in the United States. Past winners include Cornell University, City College of San Francisco and Austin Community College. The award carries with it a $3,000 gift. Receptions are planned for later this Spring.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Ready made Definitions
Here's another feature I've found quite valuable from the good folks at Google Inc. To find glossary definitions from a variety of online sources, just type the word " define" followed by a space and the word you're looking for. Alternatively, you can type define followed by a colon and no space and the word.

Friday, October 24, 2003

New Amazon Feature! Search Inside the Book

Amazon does it again! It is now possible to do a full text search within the contents of 120,000 books in the Amazon inventory. It's built right into their standard search box. Just look for a new link in the results: "See more references to X."

Friday, July 25, 2003
Microdoc Google Manual

Check out this website for all you need to know about using all of Google's search features.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Texas Information

There are seven essential websites for those who are travelling in Texas. They are:

Official Website of Texas Tourism
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Texas Historical Commission
Texas Commission on the Arts
Texas Highways
Texas Department of Public Safety
Texas Department of Transportation

Sunday, June 15, 2003
The Web, According to Google

As this article points out, if you only use Google in searching the Web, you
are only getting Google's version. Not that Google's version is bad; it's just
incomplete. You have to use a cluster of Internet search tools if you wish
to get anything close to exhaustive or comprehensive searching.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003
BLOGGER - Blogger Google F.A.Q.

What is probably the most popular blogging tool in the world has been purchased by our favorite company, Google, Inc. Though the full implications are not yet known, we think this bodes well for the future of Blogger. If you don't know what blogging is, it's time you found out. It's the easiest and cheapest (free) way to have your very own presence on the web.

Sunday, March 09, 2003
World of Ends

Doc Searls and David Weinberger have collaborated to produce a perspective-shifting article on what the Internet is and isn't. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to avoid the Repetitive Mistake Syndrome.

Pay-for-Print Service Now Available

For 10 cents per page, you can now print from the library's public workstations. Print jobs can be paid for and picked up in L-123, the library's microform room.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003
New Look for AlltheWeb

The primary rival to Google in the United States has been AlltheWeb. The recent acquisition of Fast Search & Transfer--the producer of AlltheWeb--by Overture has already produced a new look for this important search engine. Check out the new look by clicking on the link above.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Overture Acquires FAST Search & Transfer

Yet another Web search engine has been absorbed into another. This time it is Fast Search & Transfer--known to Web searchers in the U. S. as AllTheWeb--that has been acquired by Overture. Once again, economic hard times plus the dominance of Google has weeded the search engine field.

Sunday, February 23, 2003
Overture To Buy AltaVista

Consolidation in the search engine industry continues. Recently, Yahoo! acquired Inktomi, Ask Jeeves acquired Teoma, and LookSmart acquired WiseNut. Now Overture has acquired AltaVista, one of the earliest (and once most popular) search engines. These consolidations reflect two facts: first, search engines have found it increasingly difficult to find sufficient revenue to stay in business; and second, search engines have found it increasingly difficult to compete with Google, the eight-hundred-pound gorilla of the search engine industry.

Sunday, February 16, 2003
Internet Hot Pick of the Week Begins Its Fifth Year

Way back in February, 1999, the Richland College Library began to highlight a website each week "that has been judged to be very useful to a wide range of Internet users." Remarkably, given the "here today-gone tomorrow" nature of the Web, almost all of the websites featured by Internet Hot Pick of the Week are still around.

To see the latest Hot Pick, go here.

Google Buys Blogger

With its acquisition of Blogger, Google has added multiple exclamation points to the fact that web logs (or "blogs") have become big-time players on the Internet and the World Wide Web.

One of the earliest library blogs on the Internet, "What's Happening in the Richland College Library," has been using the Blogger service since April, 2001.

Sunday, February 09, 2003
Black History Month

The Richland College Library joins libraries across the United States in celebrating Black History Month. Online resources for this celebration have been identified and linked by the Librarians' Index to the Internet. Click on the link above to start accessing these resources.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003
My Way

There's a new player in the portal game. It's called MyWay, and it shows promise. There's a categorical directory and a search box powered by Google. Being a portal, you can access email, stock quotes, weather, news, etc. Best of all, there are no banner ads and no pop up (or pop under) ads on this site.

Sunday, January 26, 2003
Wireless Internet Access in the Richland College Library

Beginning in the fall of 2002, users of the Richland College Library have been able to access the Internet wirelessly. And the first semester of wireless access was a resounding success. Thirteen laptop computers were available for checkout at the library's Circulation Desk, and hundreds and hundreds of successful checkouts were recorded. And a new trend was detected: library users who brought their own laptop computers, equipped with inexpensive wireless cards, to the library. They, too, were able to access the Internet.

The spring semester of 2003 will, no doubt, see an even greater number of library users who will take advantage of wireless Internet access.

Saturday, January 25, 2003
Arm Yourself Against Internet Misinformation, Disinformation, Hoaxes, Scams, and Frauds

More than a few times in recent memory, members of the Richland College community have ended up with egg on their faces, have stepped in deep doo-doo, have been suckered, and have had to eat a big fat crow sandwich. Why? Because they became unwitting victims of various Internet-based deceptions. If you have been such a victim, or if, better yet, you would like to avoid being such a victim and suffer the embarrassment which follows, then you should attend Web of Deception, a class offered by the Richland College library on February 6, 2003.

This class will be conducted in the Richland College library classroom (L-126) from 11:00-12:30. To sign up for this class, call 6082 or send an email message to richlandlibrary@dcccd.edu. Don't tarry: there are only 24 seats available in the classroom.

If you believe you are invulnerable and bulletproof when it comes to Internet deception, consider yourself very lucky and ignore this invitation.

Saturday, January 18, 2003
Richland College Library Instruction Classes Begin on January 22, 2003

On Wednesday, January 22, Library Instruction Classes for the spring 2003 semester will begin at Richland College. For schedules of these classes, click here and here.

Sunday, January 12, 2003
Pandia Search Engine Awards 2002

Pandia, an excellent factotum of all things related to Internet search, has just announced its awards for 2002. Not surprisingly, Google has received the award for "Best All Round Search Site." Click on the link above to see all of the awards (including Gary Price's award for "Best Search Engine Weblog").

Saturday, January 11, 2003
Life Without Google

Marydee Ojala, editor of Online magazine and an independent information professional, reminds us that Internet search engines have been optimized for e-commerce, not for academic research. This fact has profound implications for both academic librarians and the users they serve.

Sunday, December 22, 2002
Demographic Trends in the 20th Century

The U. S. Census Bureau has just released an in-depth analysis of demographic trends in the United States from 1900-2000. As this lengthy report shows, not only did the population of the U. S. triple in the past 100 years, but its makeup changed dramatically.

Saturday, December 14, 2002
Index of Congressional Research Service Reports

The Congressional Research Service, the research arm of the Library of Congress, produces invaluable reports on domestic and international issues. Thanks to Congressman Mark Green (Republican-Wisconsin), these CRS Reports are accessible on the web. Access to these reports is also provided by Congressman Christopher Shays (Republican-Connecticut) on his website.

Sunday, December 08, 2002
Sharing the Wealth of the Internet Librarian 2002 Conference

What happened when Gary Duke and John Ferguson, Richland College librarians, returned from the Internet Librarian 2002 Conference in Pasadena, California? Well, they immediately began to share the wealth they gained as on-site participants. If you would like to share in this wealth of new information, click on the link above.

Inside the Internet Archive

Founded in 1995 by Brewster Kahle, the Internet Archive is arguably the fastest growing collection of human expression ever created. The Library of Congress, and other analog equivalents, keep copies of the thousands of books published every year, helping to preserve our paper history, but the amount of content on the Internet has grown to dwarf that repository. This article, from Mindjack.com, profiles this audacious project to preserve our digital history.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

How would you like to be able to search for (and find) authoritative government documents dealing with science-related issues? How would you like to be able to search for (and find) authoritative government documents produced by the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation? If you would like to, now you can. Just click on the link above.

Sunday, December 01, 2002
The ResourceShelf

No one does a better job than Gary Price in keeping Internet users apprised of the newest top-notch World Wide Web resources. Created in March 2001, Gary's current awareness service was entitled, "Virtual Acquisition Shelf and News Desk." But this title was too wordy, even for the voluble Mr. Price. So it now is simply called "The ResourceShelf."

Saturday, November 16, 2002
The Online Books Page

For almost ten years now, John Mark Ockerbloom, digital library planner and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, has been maintaining this website, which gives you access to over 17,000 full-text books in digital format. So, if you are seeking a classic text you have been meaning to read, click on the link above.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Search Engine Freshness Showdown

Greg Notess, Reference Librarian at Montana State University, long-time member of the Internet Librarian Hall of Fame, and creator of Search Engine Showdown, has just produced an analysis of the "freshness" of the results you get from the major Internet search engines. Although "freshness" is not the only measure of the usefulness of results you get from a search engine, it is certainly one of the most important.

Monday, October 21, 2002
Meet Krishna Bharat (aka Al Gorithm), Creator of Google News

Google News has recently emerged as a major challenger to purveyors of Web newsites that rely on human editors for updating. Why? Because Google News is automatically updated 24/7 by software designed by Krishna Bharat. Click on the link above to read all about this revolutionary development.

Sunday, October 20, 2002
Specialized Search Engine FAQs: More Questions, Answers and Issues

Gary Price, recognized world-wide as an authority on Internet search tools and a long-time member of the Internet Librarian Hall of Fame, has just published an article for Searcher Magazine that will bring you up to date on the latest developments in the Internet search tool arena. He published a similar article a year ago, but much has changed over the past twelve months. So, to get up to speed, click on the link above.

Sunday, October 06, 2002
Google Catalog Search

If you would like to search over 5,000 mail-order catalogs online, you can, courtesy of Google Catalog Search. When we say search, we mean: you can search every word of these catalogs. Furthermore, you can view every page of these catalogs, just as if you were holding them in your hands. And not only this: Google Catalog Search allows you to click on a link that will take you directly to the website for each of the companies that produce these catalogs. The only thing that Google Catalog Search doesn't provide is the money you might spend ordering goodies from these websites.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002
How to Deal with Plagiarism

Sharon Stoerger, on behalf of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has published this impressive Web page dealing with the problem of plagiarism on college campuses.

Sunday, September 29, 2002
Google Turns Four Years Old

Gary Price provides multiple links to the web pages that explain the rationale and history for celebrating Google's fourth birthday. Yes, it's true: just four years ago (in 1998), Google appeared on the scene as a new Internet search engine. Who would have predicted, back then, that two graduate students at Stanford University--Sergey Brin and Larry Page--had created something that would shortly become the premier Internet search tool?

Monday, September 23, 2002

Wireless Internet Access in the Richland College Library

If you own a laptop computer equipped with a wireless card, bring it to the library, because you will be able to access the Internet from virtually anywhere in the library. If you need access to AC power, there are outlets scattered throughout the library. Just ask a librarian for assistance.

If you own a laptop that isn't wireless, but has a PCMCIA slot, you can purchase a wireless card from a local discounter (like Frye's) for $50 or less.

Saturday, September 21, 2002
Search Engine Showdown: The Users' Guide to Web Searching

Greg Notess, reference librarian at Montana State University-Bozeman and member of the Internet Librarian Hall of Fame, is in the process of giving his website, Search Engine Showdown, a radical facelift. Click on the link above to check on his progress.

Greg, who is regarded worldwide as a leading authority on Internet search tools, will be presenting workshops on November 21, 2002, for the librarians in the Dallas County Community College District.

Wireless Laptop Computers Available for Checkout
for Use in the Richland College Library

Beginning Monday, September 23, 2002, students will be able to check out wireless laptop computers for use in the Richland College Library. These laptops will give students access to the Internet, including the library's 100+ full-text databases, as well as the full complement of Microsoft Office 2000 applications. Checkout requests can be made at the Circulation Desk.

Richland College Library Observes Banned Books Week

From September 21-28, 2002, the Richland College Library will be observing Banned Books Week. Click on the link above to learn more about the ongoing struggle between book banners and librarians.

Sunday, August 25, 2002
Library Patrons Research at Home

Read this article. Then realize that everyone who is affiliated with the DCCCD--students, faculty, staff, and administrators--can do their research at home as well. All that you need to do is go to


Thanks to TexShare and the DCCCD Libraries, you have remote access to more than 100 online databases.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Shortage of Academic Librarians

The current shortage of academic librarians has a dark side and a bright side. First, the dark side: for the foreseeable future, academic libraries in the U. S. are going to be losing many of its best and brightest librarians (due to death and retirement) and, at the same time, library schools won't be able to produce enough candidates to fill these vacancies because of reduced enrollments over the past decade. Second, the bright side: future students who decide to become academic librarians will enjoy an unprecedented sellers' market, wherein they will be able to command salaries their predecessors could only dream about.

Unfortunately, there will be a hiatus between the dark and bright sides--how long, no one knows--when students in colleges and universities will not have access to enough professional librarians who can meet their needs.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Are you a fan of public radio? Did you say, "Yes?" If so, this website is a directory of public radio stations around the world. But it's more than a directory; it also gives you instant access to those public radio stations that broadcast on the World Wide Web. Is this a cool service? Did you say, "Yes?" If so, click on the link above.

Monday, August 05, 2002
Searching for Perfection

Google is great, but are there other players in the search engine game you should know about? Yes, according to this article from Time. Click on the link above and learn more about AlltheWeb, Kartoo, and Teoma.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002
Blogging Software Roundup

What you are reading right now is called a "blog" (short for web log). The Richland College Library, in April, 2001, was one of the first libraries in the United States to take advantage of this new way of providing up-to-date information.

If you are interested in creating your own blog, as well as all the current providers of "blogware" (short for blogging software), click on the link above.

Friday, July 19, 2002
Self-Service Scanner Now Available in the Library

Library users who need to scan printed images can now do it in the library. Now attached to one of the library's public workstations is a high-end Epson scanner. All that a user needs to bring to the library is a floppy disk (for small images) or a 100-meg Zip disk (for large images). Full instructions on how to use the scanner are located adjacent to the workstation. If you need further assistance, just ask a reference library for help.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002
Librarians at the Gate

This article highlights the titanic struggle now going on between corporate publishers--who dream of a Pay-Per-Use world--and libraries, public and academic--who are trying to maintain the old world of free public access to published materials.

Thursday, July 11, 2002
Do Libraries Really Need Books?

If you think this question sounds as odd as asking "Does the human body need blood?", read this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Ask a Librarian: Live Chat Reference Service from the Library of Congress

OK, so you have a question that you need an answer to NOW. Why not put your question to a librarian at the Library of Congress? All you have to do is click on the link above.

Sunday, June 09, 2002
Librarians' Index to the Internet Reaches 10,000th Record

Created by Internet Librarian Hall of Famer Carole Leita and currently maintained by another Internet Librarian Hall of Famer, Karen Schneider, the Librarians' Index to the Internet has just added its 10,000th website to this highly-regarded categorical directory of the very best on the Internet.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002
FirstGov -- Your First Click to the US Government

We've been waiting, but it looks like it has been worth the wait. Finally, FirstGov has been remodeled--the first incarnation left much to be desired--and its reincarnation (using FastSearch technology) looks like it will deliver on the original promise: namely, to give easy and complete access to the vast resources of the U. S. government.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Trying to find an out-of-print book that you read long ago, don't own but would like to own? If so, this website is a great point de depart to help you find and acquire it.

Sunday, May 19, 2002
For Research, the Web is a Pipeline, Not an Authority

"You can find the answer to any question on the Web --- as long as you don't care whether the answer is right. " Bill Husted, a writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, wrote these words. Thank God he did. But even if he hadn't, it would still be true: if you think you can get an accurate answer to ANY question by using an Internet search tool, you not only deserve to get the wrong answer, but you should also be spat out of the universe like a watermelon seed.

Saturday, May 18, 2002
Kidon Media-Link

When was the last time you checked out the latest news in Ozona, Texas? Well, neighbor, that's too long.

Would you like to access a comprehensive directory of links to newspapers, magazines, television stations, radio stations, and news agencies around the world (including Ozona, Texas)? Did you say, "Yes?" Well, if you did, click on the link above.

The Database Universe

This long article from Library Journal effectively (and exhaustively) limns the current universe of subscription (or fee-based) online databases. As expected, the world of online databases continues to be volatile, primarily because of the instability in the online database industry and the lingering effects of the Supreme Court's Tasini decision.

Sunday, May 12, 2002
AllTheWeb's Makeover
AllTheWeb, one of Google's primary competitors, has undergone a facelift. Here is how Gary Price describes it: "A new color scheme and layout makes for a much 'cleaner' design. Tabs provide rapid access to 6 databases (Web Pages, News, Pictures, Videos, MP3 Files, and FTP Files). You can also use the tabs to move between 'advanced interfaces'. A web search results page includes, 'Fast Topics' (results organized into folders), and 'Narrow Your Search' (suggested terms/phrases to help focus a broad search)."

The toe-to-toe competition between the principal Internet search engines is producing results that are very useful to end users.

Sunday, April 28, 2002
Search Engine Freshness Showdown

Thanks to research recently conducted by Greg Notess (Internet Librarian Hall of Famer and creator of Search Engine Showdown), we now know which search engine databases contain the "freshest" data. ("Freshness" refers to how recently a search engine has crawled the Web and created a new database.) To the end user, freshness means: when I do a search, I am retrieving the latest, newest information.

The top three search engines, according to Greg's analysis, are Google, MSN, and HotBot. (Note: MSN and HotBot both use the Inktomi search engine).

Sunday, April 07, 2002
Judges Blast Library Filtering

No doubt about it: Internet users in the Richland College Library sometimes look at naughty things. But it's not because the library tried to filter and failed; it's because the library doesn't filter. Filtering (AKA censorship) is not only contrary to the Library Bill of Rights, but it is also contrary to the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Tuesday, April 02, 2002
Teoma Takes Aim at Google

Remember the story of David and Goliath? Well, Teoma (AKA David) has taken on Google (AKA Goliath). Whether Teoma can find the "smooth, round riverrock" to load in its trusty sling and whether Teoma's aim is accurate enough to slay the search engine giant remains to be seen. To judge for yourself, go to Teoma and do a search. Then compare notes with Search Day's Chris Sherman.

Sunday, March 24, 2002
The September 11 Digital Archive

Lest we become forgetful and lose forever priceless records, multiple national institutions have collaborated to create this new digital archive of materials relating to the events of September 11, 2001.

Sunday, March 17, 2002
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911 Edition

Published over 90 years ago, the 1911 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica is regarded as a milestone in the history of general encyclopedias. Filling 29 volumes and containing over 44 million words, this version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica is still relevant today.