Monthly Archives: August 2012

Education Librarian Elizabeth Barron Interviewed by WMNF

UT librarian Elizabeth Barron, who oversees the education collection, attended the recent screening of Won’t Back Down at the Straz Center during the week of the Republican National Convention. Won’t Back Down was presented by former Governor Jeb Bush and educator Michelle Rhee garner support for “parent trigger” legislation.

WMNF reporter Janelle Irwin approached Ms. Barron after the screening to get her opinion.

“Because you’re taking money away from the public education system and you’re putting it into other people’s hands and I want to know who’s accountable for that. I believe there is a place for private education, but it is not with public funds. “

Read the rest of the article here.

If you want to find out more about current education policy look for books in our online catalog, check our databases (be sure you’re logged into Esearch when searching databases), or stop by and talk with a librarian.

The Labor Day holiday — born out of a struggle many know little about or recognize

When I was an undergraduate I had a history professor take our class for a tour of the Pullman neighborhood located on the south side of Chicago. It was a great little trip back in history that I recall fondly.

Railroad magnet George Pullman, owner of the Pullman Palace Car Company, built the town of Pullman for his workers in the 1880s. The houses he built for his employees were luxurious for the time as they had gas, indoor plumbing, and connections to sewers.

An economic depression followed the Panic of 1893, orders for Pullman cars dropped off and ultimately resulted in the lay-off and subsequent wage reduction for  many of the Pullman workers. Even though Mr. Pullman knew his employees were living on less he did not reduce the rents of his houses.  Angered over this fact and the general loss of wages, on May 11, 1894 four thousand of the Pullman workers went on strike in protest.

In support of the Pullman workers, labor activist Eugene Debs established a boycott of the movement of Pullman cars throughout the railway systems in the United States and by June 26th 125,000 railroad workers across the US quit their jobs rather than move Pullman cars. You can read more about the Pullman strike in Samuel Yellen’s book American Labor Struggles: 1877 – 1934 (to find this book here you can use the online catalog – don’t know how? This is perfect time to ask a librarian).

After the strike ended in late Summer 1894, President Grover Cleveland and the United States Congress worked together to recognize the efforts of organized labor. This cooperation resulted in the establishment of the federal Labor Day holiday. You can read more about Labor Day and how it has changed over time by viewing the following article using the library database Academic Search Complete:

“The Transformation Of Labor Day.” Wilson Quarterly 16.3 (1992): 13. Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 Aug. 2012.

Here is a list of the databases the library provides. Consider taking some time to browse it. Also, don’t forget to always log-on to Esearch BEFORE attempting your database search.

With one week of the fall semester under you belt it is nice to have a three-day weekend to recover from all that is new. Also, you may want to use the extra day to get ahead on your course work. Whatever you do this Labor Day you can now consider yourself some what knowledgeable about how Labor Day came about.

UT Librarian Art Bagley on FOX News

Librarian Art Bagley appears on FOX News to explain how Kennedy Blvd got its name.

Art also oversees our archival collection and knows pretty much everything there is to know about the history of UT.

Reference Question of the Week

One of the regular features of this blog is the Reference Question of the Week (RQotW). Throughout the semester reference questions come in clusters as classes work on their assignments. Since we know that not everyone asks at the reference desk we post the most frequent reference questions here at the blog. If it’s a slow week we might post the most intriguing reference question of the week.

This semester the Reference Question of the Week will usually be posted on Wednesdays. Don’t forget to use the search box in the right-hand column to see if your question was answered in a previous semester.

Here are some previous reference questions of the week —

Why Won’t My Password Work?

How do I evaluate companies and industries for investment purposes?

How do I find information about different countries?

How do I find tax cases and revenue rulings in IntelliConnect?

Where can I find the FASB accounting standards codification and information on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)?

Where can I find scientific articles on how spices affect foodborne pathogens?

How can I find demographic data?

How can I find a SWOT analysis?

Where can I locate the laws of specific states?

Where can I find Key Business Ratios?

Where can I find information on genetically engineering humans?

How do I find information on food cultures?

If you have a question about research stop by the Reference Desk to ask a librarian, or ask a question in comments, or ask at our Facebook page.

New Arrivals: Cleopatra: A Life

Cleopatra may well be the most famous woman in history. She has been mythologized and immortalized in popular culture. However, the image conjured by the name Cleopatra may tell us more about conceptions of women and power than history. But, as Pulitzer Prize winning biographer Stacy Schiff demonstrates in her critically acclaimed book, Cleopatra: A Life, there was so much more to Cleopatra than famous Roman men, seduction by carpet, and a poisonous snake.

Be sure to consider the “Questions and Topics for Discussion” found at the end of the book.

From the publishers description: “Her palace shimmered with onyx, garnets, and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator.

Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first when both were teenagers. She poisoned the second. Ultimately she dispensed with an ambitious sister as well; incest and assassination were family specialties. Cleopatra appears to have had sex with only two men. They happen, however, to have been Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, among the most prominent Romans of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a child with Caesar and–after his murder–three more with his protégé. Already she was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of the age. The two would together attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled their ends. Cleopatra has lodged herself in our imaginations ever since.

Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Shakespeare and Shaw put words in her mouth. Michelangelo, Tiepolo, and Elizabeth Taylor put a face to her name. Along the way, Cleopatra’s supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff here boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order. Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff ‘s is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life.”

How to Get the Most Out of Studying

[I posted this at the beginning of last Spring semester, but it’s worth repeating.]

This 5-part video series from Professor Stephen Chew at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama provides some good advice on effective studying. In 2011 Dr. Chew was named the U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Our New Study Space

Last spring these shelves were full of periodicals.

Over the summer we removed all the shelving and got a reminder of what the original carpet looked like.

We tore out all the old carpet.

Put in some new carpet.

And put in some new tables and chairs. The tables have plugs for laptops. The chairs against the windows also have plugs in the side. The chairs in the middle are on wheels to make it easier to create group study spaces. There are also some white boards. Markers are available at the circulation desk.

We also created some new space between the Reference Desk and the Florida Military Collection, but we aren’t expecting those chairs and tables until approximately September 10th.

Classic Reads: The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is considered one of the great works of modern literature and an American classic. Many of us first read The Great Gatsby in high school but it is worth revisiting again and again.

Author: Fitzgerald, F. Scott
Title: The Great Gatsby
Publisher: Scribner
Location: Main
Call Number:  PS3511 G74 1953

You may also be interested in seeing the 1974 film version starring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, and Sam Waterston which is available in the library’s DVD collection.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most well-known work offers brilliant insight into the psychology of a generation but remains an enduring study into human nature which transcends time and place. The timeless tale has been re-imagined in another film version set to be released in 2012 by director Baz Luhrmann and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire.

Hurricane Preparation

It’s still a little early to tell how Tropical Storm Isaac will affect us here in Tampa, but this is as good a time as any to discuss hurricane preparation.

First, when is hurricane season? The best chance for hurricane formation occurs between June and November. The height of the season is August through October, with the peak generally around the first few weeks of September.

“The Atlantic hurricane season is officially from 1 June to 30 November. There is nothing magical in these dates, and hurricanes have occurred outside of these six months, but these dates were selected to encompass over 97% of tropical activity. June 1st has been the traditional start of the Atlantic hurricane season for decades. However, the end date has been slowly shifted outward, from October 31st to November 15th until its current date of November 30th.” [source]

Second, how do I keep track of storm systems? You can keep track of storm at the National Weather Service National Hurricane Center.

The National Weather Service’s projection of the path of Tropical Storm Isaac. This image was created Wednesday morning, August 22.

As of this morning, Wednesday August 22, it’s still too early to tell how Isaac will affect us here at the University of Tampa. It’s possible the storm may dissipate before it ever reaches us. Or, it may only bring a few showers our way. We’ll learn more over the next few days. If Isaac becomes a hurricane and starts moving our way here are a few important links:

If it is evident that a hurricane is headed our way and likely to strike (which is not the case right now) consider relocating before it arrives. If a hurricane does arrive then University members will be evacuated to a Red Cross shelter. However, both the Red Cross and the University of Tampa recommend finding alternatives to staying in an evacuation shelter if at all possible.

“Make arrangements to stay with family or a friend who lives on higher ground, or find out where your nearest shelter is located. Shelters should be used as a last resort and remember, most do not accept pets.

If there is cause for alarm UT will use multiple methods to inform students, faculty, and staff. The following is from UT’s page on tropical weather.


The Emergency Operations Team will announce closings and other weather-related communications via global e-mails,, text messaging and voicemail messages.

The University offers a free emergency text messaging service to students, faculty and staff. This optional service will only be used in campus emergency situations. Students, faculty and staff can sign up for SMART-Spartan Mobile AleRT by visiting SpartanWeb. Details and frequently asked questions can be found at

In case of an evacuation, the UT phone message system and Web site will be maintained at remote locations. Information can be obtained by calling UT’s toll-free number 1-888-646-2738 or by visiting Please remember to use these important resources for updated information.


If, in the absolute worst-case scenario, you must be evacuated, here is a checklist to make sure things move as orderly as possible.

Finally, did you know that UT is the home of a live weather station? You can find information generated by UT’s weather station here.


Welcome! It’s great to see the campus bustling with students moving in. While you’re getting organized this week be sure to stop by the library. We’ve added some new chairs, whiteboards, and study space (after you enter go to your right and to the side of the library nearest the river). We’ll have even more tables and chairs arriving Sept. 10th for the space between the reference desk and the Florida Military Room.

Use our online catalog to look for a book or DVD to check out. And be sure to bookmark this blog or become our Facebook friend to get updates about what’s going on in the library.

To check out a book use your student ID as your library card.

To find a DVD, search in the online catalog (use the pull down menu on the right-hand side of the page to limit your search to DVDs). When you find something you want you can ask one of our staff at the circulation desk to retrieve it from our DVD room. If you’re not sure what to watch search for Criterion Collection. This is a collection of the twentieth century’s most notable films.

Welcome to the University of Tampa! We’re looking forward to a great semester.