Monthly Archives: March 2012

Free Stuff Fridays: Free Movies

The following is a list of places to watch popular mainstream movies.

CanIStream.It – This search engine will search Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Android, Amazon, Crackle, Blockbuster, Youtube Movies, EPIX, and iTunes. Works best if you already have an account with the service (like Netflix or Amazon), but brings up free versions as well.

Crackle – Includes full-length movies, TV shows, and original series.

Hulu – An early player in putting free, professional, mainstream, commercial streaming video content on the Web and still one of the best.

Internet Archive – A tremendous resource for materials that have fallen into the public domain.

SnagFilms – A great source for full-length documentaries.

YouTube – While sometimes people put pirated versions of movies up on YouTube in 10-minute chunks, YouTube also has an official movie page with legally-available films.

Of course this barely scratches the surface and doesn’t cover the dozens of sites that provide streaming content like TED, Fora.TV, Vimeo, Open Culture, scores of college humor sites, or proprietary sites that you have access to through the Macdonald Kelce database page like Films on Demand.

And, finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention your local library. While the Macdonald Kelce doesn’t emphasize buying movies for entertainment purposes, over the years we’ve built up quite a collection to support film studies. Many of the films available in the Criterion Collection (for example) are available for you to check out. Search in the Online Catalog and restrict your search to DVDs by using the ‘Quick Limit’ drop-down menu. Also, the John F. Germany Library across the river has many more mainstream movies available for you to check out.

10 Things You Should Know About the Curriculum Room: #6 – Materials Are Activity Based

6. Materials in this room are for use when preparing lesson plans, doing pre-interships, and internships in education. Materials are activity based.

Contact the Education Librarian, Elizabeth Barron for more details. The Curriculum Room is located in the back left corner of the second floor of the library.

Reference Question of the Week: Where can I find information on genetically engineering humans?

When it comes to looking for information on contentious or controversial issues there are two databases at the top of my list – CQ Researcher and Opposing Viewpoints in Context (formerly Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center). I also always check for books on the subject.

Be sure to login to Esearch before beginning your research. You can find both of these databases on the databases page.

At Opposing Viewpoints I always like to check the Issues tab to see if they’ve already made a page for my topic. The search engine will work as well, but finding a page already laid out makes my research easier.

In this case they have a page on genetic engineering. On this page I have access to OpEds (opinion editorials) both supporting and opposing genetic engineering. I will also find statistics, scholarly articles, news articles about my topic, magazine articles, and websites. Often there will also be video and audio news reports.

At CQ Researcher when I search for genetic engineering my top result is “Genes and Health,” but as I scan the top results I see an entry for “Designer Humans,” which seems more on topic. Even though the report on “Designer Humans” is from 2001 one of the nice things about CQ Researcher is that it provides a list of related reports. So, even if the report you find is a little dated the list of related reports will let you see if a more recent report is available. In this case the newer related reports cover the “Cloning Debate,” “Reproductive Ethics,” and “Genes and Health,” all of which might help provide more information. At the end of each report a short bibliography is included which will guide you to books, articles, and websites on the topic.

There are a few things I’m looking for when I start doing background research on a broad topic like this. First, I’m looking for unique words, short phrases, and people’s names I can use for search terms. I’m also constantly generating questions that I’ll want to answer. Some of the questions I will want to answer are straightforward factual questions (maybe about the history of genetic splicing, or the first mammal to be cloned). But, I’m also working on coming up with a viable research question, or a question I can turn into a thesis statement. “Is it possible to clone humans?” for example will prompt me to ask the factual question “What is cloning” and may lead to a thesis like “Cloning has many health care benefits,” or “Cloning creates a dangerous precedent.”

In addition to searching the above databases I will also look in the online catalog to see if the library holds a book on the topic that interests me.

At the online catalog I search first for genetic engineering. I see that I’m getting a lot of government documents, but what I really want is a book I can check out, so I restrict my search (by using the ‘Quick Limit’ drop down menu on the right-hand side of my search results) to Main collection. This will restrict my search to only those books books on the second floor that can be checked out.

When I scan the new results list I see (by looking at the dates on the right-hand side) that the top results are older than I’d like. I use the ‘Sort by’ drop-down menu to re-sort from newest to oldest. Now I see several books I want to take a look at: Mutation: The History of an Idea From Darwin to Genomics by Elof Axel Carlson, Gene Control by David S. Latchman, and Human Performance Enhancement in High-risk Environments: Insights, Developments, and Future Directions From Military Research edited by Paul E. O’Connor and Joseph V. Cohn. I’ll go look for these books on the second floor of the library. Sometimes the book may not be exactly what I’m looking for, but I’m always careful to look at the other books I find nearby. Often one of those books will hold some of the information I’m looking for.

And, as always, if you need more help finding information don’t hesitate to ask one of the librarians at the Reference Desk or send me an email — David Davisson.

10 Things You Should Know About the Curriculum Room: #5 – Preschool through Secondary Resources

5. There are materials to prepare preschool, elementary and secondary school lesson plans and activities.

Contact the Education Librarian, Elizabeth Barron for more details. The Curriculum Room is located in the back left corner of the second floor of the library.

Free Stuff Friday: Courses and Lectures

There are many great free resources on the web. For the next five weeks we’ll be taking a look at some of them in our new series – Free Stuff Friday

There are a growing number of high quality resources for the self-motivated learner.

Here are a five sites to help those interested in self-directed learning:

MIT OpenCourseWare;

Academic Earth;

ITunes U;

Open Culture;

and Khan Academy.

As I started digging more into this subject I discovered that there is far too much to cover in a short blog post. Before today I’d never heard of Open Education Resources or University of the People, for example.

One significant difference between the sites listed above and a traditional education is the document you receive confirming that you have actually sat through the classes and done the work. However, if you’re more interested in the education than the paper, then this is a great time to have access to the Internet.

These sites are also a great way to bolster the more traditional education you may be receiving (i.e. college, university, or high school).

10 Things You Should Know About the Curriculum Room: #4 – Work Area Available

4. A table with chairs is in the room so students can use the materials and work there.

Contact the Education Librarian, Elizabeth Barron for more details. The Curriculum Room is located in the back left corner of the second floor of the library.

Thanks to Dr. Sclafani and Everyone Who Helped with the UTWrites Presentation

On behalf of the Macdonald Kelce Library I want to thank Dr. Joseph Sclafani, who generously agreed to talk about his new book The Educated Parent 2 for our semi-regular Friends of the Library UTWrites presentation. Thank you, Dr. Sclafani!

Dr. Sclafani’s new book provides some fascinating insight to the challenges facing parents in the 21st century. I learned a lot from hearing him talk about his research.

I also want to thank the Friends of the Library for their help with the event. Thanks as well to John Meyer from the Campus Bookstore, library staff, and UT Catering for their prompt, cheerful, and excellent service.

If you’re a parent, a soon-to-be parent, know a parent, or know someone who is about to become a parent I can’t recommend this book highly enough. You can purchase a copy at the University of Tampa Bookstore, or at your favorite online bookseller.

Children’s Book Award Winners at the Library

Did you know our collection includes Newbery Medal honorees? Caldecott Medal honorees? Coretta Scott King Book Award winners? Winners of the Pura Belpre awards and Geisel Awards (named after Dr. Seuss)? We keep children’s books in our library to support the University’s education and teaching curricula (though we don’t mind if you check them out for yourself or to read to your own kids).

Most of the award winners can be found in the Macdonald Kelce Library’s Curriculum Room. Check our online catalog to search for specific titles.

“The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”

(From the Newbery Medal page) – The 2012 Newbery Medal winner is Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, published by Farrar Straus Giroux

The importance of history and reading (so you don’t do the same “stupid stuff” again) is at the heart of this achingly funny romp through a dying New Deal town. While mopping up epic nose bleeds, Jack narrates this screw-ball mystery in an endearing and believable voice.

“Who knew obituaries and old lady death could be this funny and this tender?” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Viki Ash.

Reference Question of the Week: Where can I find Key Business Ratios?

Mergent recently purchased Key Business Ratios (a database that provides… wait for it… key business ratios) from Dunn & Bradstreet.

We’ve had Key Business Ratios in our collection of databases for quite some time, but the switchover has made the page look a little odd.

First, make sure that you’re logging in through Esearch. When you select Key Business Ratios it looks like you need to log in again using the fields on the left-hand side of the page. You do not. There’s a lot of red text in the center of the page with some links. Read that text and follow the link provided. Then there will be another page where you have to press a ‘Continue’ button before finally reaching the Key Business Ratios page.

KBR is easiest to use if you know the SIC code (the Standard Industrial Classification code pre-dates the NAICS, and is obviously still used by some databases). You can also use the Line of Business drop-down menu, but sometimes the Line of Business is not readily obvious. Restaurants, for example, are categorized under Eating Places.

New Arrivals: The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science

The Killer of Little Shepherds was nominated for the Edgar Award in 2011 for Best Fact Crime Book. This true crime history by Douglas Starr traces the murders perpetrated by Joseph Vacher in the late 1800s in France along with the birth of forensic science in Europe.

Vacher, a former member of the French army, became a vagabond in the rural areas of France where he was able to kill undetected because of the lack of a trained local police force. The work of Alexandre Lacassange in autopsies and determining the time and cause of death, Alphonse Bertillon in developing a system of identification for criminals that preceded fingerprinting, and Cesare Lombrosso’s theory of the “born criminal” created a modern, scientific method for tracking down serial killers like Vacher. The work of these early forensic scientists led to Vacher’s eventual capture, trial and execution.

Author: Starr, Douglas P.
Title: The killer of little shepherds : a true crime story and the birth of forensic science
Publisher: A.A. Knopf, 2010.
Location: MAIN
Call Number: KJV131.V33 S73 2010

(Review by criminology librarian Elizabeth Barron)