Monthly Archives: April 2012

Expanded Hours During Finals

The library hours have been expanded for finals.

April 26 (Thursday): 8am-midnight

April 27 (Friday): 8am-9pm

April 28 (Saturday): 10am-midnight

April 29 (Sunday): 10am-2am

April 30-May 2 (Monday – Wednesday): 8am-2am

May 3 (Thursday): 8am-midnight

May 4 (Friday): 8am-8pm

May 5 & 6 (Saturday & Sunday): CLOSED

For May term hours and summer hours see our calendar:


When is a riddle a ridley? Searching for Kemp’s olive ridley sea turtle

Image by Bernard Gagnon

One of the most important skills you can develop as a researcher is the ability to approach your research problem from many different angles. One issue I see often with young researchers is the unwillingness to stop using certain key phrases or terms.

Often the language you and I might use to discuss a topic is not the same language an expert will use to discuss the same topic. You and I might talk about the death penalty, but scholars write about capital punishment. There are many excellent scholarly works discussing the death penalty that never use that phrase.

Sometimes the words we’re using are simply incorrect. We mis-hear, misspell, or mis-understand. Or, in the case of a recent question at the reference desk, we are relying on a typographical error.

A recent assignment asked students to find information on Kemp’s olive riddle sea turtle rather than the Kemp’s olive ridley sea turtle. Our reference librarian eventually uncovered the correct spelling, but not after much frustrated searching by the student.

When it comes to the initial stages of research you can safely assume that almost everything you know is wrong. Cultivate the habit of approaching your research problem from as many different angles as possible. And, if that fails, stop by and talk to one of our reference librarians.

New Arrivals: Beyond Barbie and Mortal Combat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming

From the publisher’s book description: “Ten years after the groundbreaking From Barbie to Mortal Kombat highlighted the ways gender stereotyping and related social and economic issues permeate digital game play, the number of women and girl gamers has risen considerably. Despite this, gender disparities remain in gaming. Women may be warriors in World of Warcraft, but they are also scantily clad “booth babes” whose sex appeal is used to promote games at trade shows.

“Player-generated content has revolutionized gaming, but few games marketed to girls allow “modding” (game modifications made by players). Gender equity, the contributors to Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat argue, requires more than increasing the overall numbers of female players. Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat brings together new media theorists, game designers, educators, psychologists, and industry professionals, including some of the contributors to the earlier volume, to look at how gender intersects with the broader contexts of digital games today: gaming, game industry and design, and serious games.

“The contributors discuss the rise of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) and the experience of girl and women players in gaming communities; the still male-dominated gaming industry and the need for different perspectives in game design; and gender concerns related to emerging serious games (games meant not only to entertain but also to educate, persuade, or change behavior). In today’s game-packed digital landscape, there is an even greater need for games that offer motivating, challenging, and enriching contexts for play to a more diverse population of players.”

Librarians – The Original Search Engines

I love this assignment by Professor Downey at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his media fluency class he asks students to find a research article that is NOT available online and then make it available. The student comments are terrific.

“Once I got to the library, I realized I had absolutely no idea how to use our library system — which was very embarrassing. I found a reference desk in the library and explained the assignment to a librarian, hoping she could help me. She assisted me in finding a book that was not available online, and then taught me how to use the stacks to locate the book. This aspect of the assignment was quite rewarding because it helped me acquire skills I will use for the remainder of my college experience.”

“The next thing I knew, I was wandering deep into the stacks of Memorial Library alone in the dark. At first it was scary, but then I realized how many fascinating books our school has that I never knew about. Before I even began looking for the book I was searching for, I started picking up random books. Some dated as far back as 1865. I was amazed with what our libraries offer.”

Reference Question of the Week: Do you have SPSS, Crystal Ball, Rosetta Stone, etc. software loaded on the library computers?

It’s a little hard to distinguish, but there are two types of computers in the library. The models are basically the same, but the computers in the glass-walled room on the first floor are one of the computer labs overseen by UT’s Information Technology (IT) department. The rest of the computers in the library are overseen by library staff. The computers in the Computer Lab contain some slightly different software than the rest of the library computers.

Computer labs are found in Plant Hall, in the Jaeb Computer Center, Sykes, and Vaughn. A language lab can be found in RIVC. You can find more information about campus computer labs here (including hours of operation).

All computers overseen by IT should have the Microsoft Office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) as well as SPSS and assorted browsers.

The following software can be found only in a few labs:

Argus (JS 135 & Library)
Crystal Ball (JS 135 & Library)
MAC OS (Vaughn Lab)
Microsoft Office for Macs (Vaughn Lab)
Stratsim Marketing Simulation (JS143)

If you need help with any computer or software in a computer lab contact Information Technology by email (, phone (813) 253-6293, or by visiting Jaeb Computer Center during office hours (check to see if they’re open before visiting).


Rosetta Stone, a language-learning software, can be found on the computers in the Language Learning Center in RIVC. The library also has a computer with Rosetta Stone software. Ask at the Circulation Desk for access to the library’s computer with Rosetta Stone software.

New Arrivals: Children’s Book Award Winners

We recently received the following children’s book award winners —

Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider won the 2012 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for chapter books.

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka won the 2012 Caldecott Medal for children’s book illustration.

Blackout by John Rocco won the 2012 Caldecott Honor for children’s book illustration.

Underground by Shane W. Evans won the 2012 Coretta Scott King Award for children’s book illustration.

We acquire children’s books to support the Education program (and for staff and students to read for fun, for themselves or their children). Some are found in the general collection on the second floor, and some are kept in the Curriculum Room.

Make Your Earth Day 2012 Plans Now

Sunday, April 22nd is the 42nd annual Earth Day celebration and there are several events in the area marking the occasion. Here are just a few to consider:

USF Botanical Gardens will host nearly 100 vendors promoting green and sustainable products and services on Saturday, April 21 from 10 am – 5 pm. Be sure the check out the special “recycled art” displayed. The gardens are located at 4202 W. Fowler Avenue.

Did you know that it is estimated that homes in Florida use six percent of the energy consumed in the United States?   On Saturday, April 21 at 10 am at Weedon Island Nature Preserve experts from the University of Florida will present ways to save energy and money while saving the planet. Weedon Island also a great place to walk and explore the natural landscape of Tampa Bay. So pack a lunch, discover the board walk, the nature center, and more.

Maybe you didn’t know it but there are lots of little farms just a short drive or bike ride from the UT campus. One such farm is Urban Oasis Hydroponic Farm and they are hosting an Earth Day celebration on Sunday. April 22. They will have food demos (with food samples!!!), farm tours, raffles, and more. Urban Oasis is located at: 5416 W. Linebaugh Avenue.

Are you not quite ready to take your bike out for a spin this spring? Don’t fret and get to the Seminole Heights Bicycle Swap Meet on Sunday, April 22. At the meet you can get a bike or bike parts to fix the one you already own. Also, food trucks will be on site at this outdoor bazaar with vendors buying and selling bicycles, bike parts, clothing, and related equipment. The swap meet is located at 5207 N. Florida Avenue and lasts from 11 am until 3 pm.

So, plan now to take a break next weekend while you can and enjoy one of the many Earth Day events available in our area and here’s to best wishes and happy grades on all those papers, projects and exams!

Reference Question of the Week: How do I find information on food cultures?

How can I find information on different food cultures?

Every culture has different ways of cultivating, preparing, consuming, and sharing food. What you eat is determined by your cultural surroundings, as is when you eat, how you eat, and with whom you eat. Learning about the cultural expectations surrounding food helps shine a light on different ways of living.

To learn more about food cultures first check the online catalog to see if we have a book on the food of the culture that interests you. Using ‘food’ and ‘culture’ as my search terms I immediately hit on a series of e-books (you must be logged into Esearch to access the content of these titles):

Food culture in the Mediterranean [electronic resource] by Carol Helstosky.
Food culture in France [electronic resource] by Julia Abramson.
Food culture in Great Britain [electronic resource] by Laura Mason.
Food culture in China [electronic resource] by Jacqueline M. Newman.
Food culture in Italy [electronic resource] by Fabio Parasecoli.
Food culture in India [electronic resource] by Colleen Taylor Sen.
Food culture in sub-Saharan Africa [electronic resource] by Fran Osseo-Asare.
Food culture in Russia and Central Asia [electronic resource] by Glenn R. Mack and Asele Surina.
Food culture in South America [electronic resource] by José Rafael Lovera ; translated by Ainoa Larrauri.
Food culture in Mexico [electronic resource] by Janet Long-Solís and Luis Alberto Vargas.
Food culture in the Near East, Middle East, and North Africa [electronic resource] by Peter Heine.
Food culture in Japan [electronic resource] by Michael Ashkenazi and Jeanne Jacob.
Food culture in Spain [electronic resource] by F. Xavier Medina.
Food culture in the Caribbean by Lynn Marie Houston.
Food culture in Scandinavia by Henry Notaker.

You might also want to look through an encyclopedia like —

Encyclopedia of food and culture [electronic resource] by Solomon H. Katz, editor in chief & William Woys Weaver, associate editor.

Or, some of these reference books located in the Global Issues Carrel (the table full of books immediately to your right upon entering the library):

The Ethnic Food Lover Companion: understanding the cuisines of the world.
The Oxford companion to Food, 2nd ed.
The Cambridge World History of Food, V. 1 & V. 2
What The World Eats
Food & Culture

Searching for food cultures is one of the times when generating synonyms really pays off. In addition to food, be sure to search for cuisine, and culinary. In addition to food culture, be sure to search for food habits, and/or cooking. You might also consider browsing our shelves. Most food culture books will be found under the TX call number. (Call numbers are the alpha-numeric code we place on the spine of every book. Our collection is alphabetized by the letters on the spines of the books.)

If you want to start with different types of food you can also start with books. We have a variety of books covering foods like sugar, coffee, pizza, vanilla, cod, salt, garlic, and pie.

Some of the databases to start with are World Folklife and Folklore, Academic Search Complete, ProQuest, Sage, JSTOR, SocIndex, Social Sciences, Daily Life Online, and ScienceDirect. Be sure you are logged into Esearch to access these databases.

Free Stuff Friday: Free Stuff

Sometimes you have stuff you want to get rid of, but you don’t want to throw it out. And, taking it to a Salvation Army, Goodwill, or St. Vincent de Paul’s may not be convenient or practical.

Or, sometimes you may want to simply browse through great deals without leaving your computer.

You may already be familiar with the ‘Free‘ category at Craigslist, but my favorite freebie site is Freecycle.

The Freecycle Mission Statement: “Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.”

The Tampa group can be found here. Note that to participate you typically have to give some stuff away before acquiring some of the freely available items.

TED Talks: Ideas Worth Spreading

TEDTalks operate on the simple premise of asking smart, creative people to talk about something that excites them. In under 20 minutes. The result is a treasure trove of brilliant ideas. Here are a few of my favorites, but you might want to spend some time browsing through their site. There is no shortage of great talks.

Here’s the Wikipedia entry on the TED (Technology, Education, & Design) Conference. Here’s TED’s About page.

The first talk is by Ethan Zuckerman, now at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, warning that the Internet can close minds as much as open them. The second is by statistician Hans Rosling explaining why the future looks bright. And the third is by Jane McGonigal explaining the power of gaming.

There is also a local version at TEDxTampaBay.