A tip of the hat to Campus IT-Microsoft Outlook Training Opportunities

by James E. Manasco, Engineering and Physical Sciences Librarian

In the libraries, we are big users of technology, including being heavily involved in the use of Microsoft Outlook for our e-mail communication purposes. While the libraries do not typically provide training sessions on software platforms such as Outlook (though we do provide orientations to many of the databases/information resources we provide to our faculty, staff and students), our colleagues in Information Technology DO provide many training sessions to help make you a more confident user of the various technologies we must utilize every day.

For Microsoft Outlook, IT provides the course: Outlook 2010 Overview. Now they may not provide this as a regular, formal class, but employees can e-mail IT to inquire about this training. This course provides many helpful tips and tricks in using Outlook more effectively and efficiently. You can find out more information about the classes IT provides, as well as a link to their schedule, here: http://louisville.edu/it/departments/consulting/training/course-descriptions.

Another, online, resource for orientation to Microsoft platforms, including Outlook is also available via Campus IT at: http://louisville.edu/it/departments/consulting/training/microsoft-e-learning-for-employees.

This employees-only resource requires logging in with your ULink ID and then creating a Microsoft account to access the training. Or you can access the Microsoft IT Academy Courses, via http://louisville.edu/it/departments/consulting/training/it-academy-courses. You will have to register with Microsoft, but this is another support resource that may help you in your use of Outlook in the workplace.

If you still have questions, simply contact the helpful folks in IT and they will be glad to help you!

As the year draws to a close, best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season from all of us here at the University of Louisville Libraries. Be excellent to each other, everyone!

Searching Hashtags across Multiple Social Media Websites

by Samantha McClellan

Most hashtags fizzle out, but some can spread like wildfire. Hashtags to share experiences such as #tbt (throwback Thursday) or hashtags trending because of news events such as #Sochi or #BlackLivesMatter are used across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and more. Whether you’re following friends’ vacations (#BillandTedsExcellentRoadTrip2014), an avid news reader, or researching something like the evolution of communication in social media outlets, you may want to quickly look across multiple social media platforms for the same hashtag, word, or phrase.

Fortunately, there are actual search engines out there designed to allow you to search across multiple social media websites. But before we get to those search engines, I want to use an example to discuss some of these useful search engines with help from Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake:

As you probably noticed, they’ve introduced us to a lot of hashtags. Perhaps some have gone by the wayside (this clip is from September 2013, after all), but maybe some have stuck. In the spirit of “It’s almost winter break,” Jimmy Fallon uses the hashtag #IsItFridayYet. I’ll explore this hashtag throughout this blog post to explore a couple of these social media search engines.

Exhibit 1: Topsy

While Topsy is known for social analytics, it also serves as a social search engine. It features limiters that allow you to look at tweets, links, photos, and videos from certain time ranges. As well, you can limit to the aforementioned links, photos, et cetera. You can also view the Top 100, 1000, 5000, or 20,000 links that are being promoted on the web through social media.

Going back to the social analytics part, you can look at the tweets per day for the past month of your hashtag (circled in red in the image below). This could be particularly interesting for a before-and-after perspective of a news event, especially if you’re analyzing conversations surrounding events such as the Sochi Winter Olympics or the Michael Brown or Eric Garner grand jury decisions and protests.


Exhibit 2: SocialMention

                SocialMention is another social analytics tool that also acts as a social media search engine. Unlike Topsy, it provides analytics right on the same page as your search results. Sticking with #IsItFridayYet, I searched all media platforms (over 100 platforms including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google, and more).


Though a small screenshot, you can see that the social analytics are on the left and the results are on the right, allowing you to organize the results and sort by date. SocialMention features an advanced search option that allows you to focus on keywords you want in your result, exact phrasing, unwanted keywords, as well as pulling results from only specific sources such as blogs or news as well as results from a specific location, which gives you, the searcher, a lot of capability in limiting down your results.

Though #IsItFridayYet was an example provided by the dynamic duo of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake, just imagine how powerful these search engines can be for you, whether personally or academically. Imagine searching #McDonalds if you’re in a business class and paying attention to the social analytics of the hashtag for a marketing class; imagine searching #ElectionDay or #RocktheVote during Election Day. You can follow absolutely anything with these tools with the ability to search across multiple platforms.

Of course, these aren’t your only options. Others include WhosTalkin? and Social Searcher. With any of these tools, you can set up an RSS feed or an e-mail alert for certain hashtags, keywords, or phrases popping up across social media to stay up to date on anything that interests you.

For more information on social media search engines, check out a recent Forbes publication entitled 4 Social Search Engines to Track User Data, which emphasizes the information marketers can gather on potential consumers. If you’re curious what hashtags are trending, take a look at Tagdef or Hashtags.org.

New temporary service desk

by Margo Smith, Head of User and Access Services, Ekstrom Library

A goal of the Ekstrom 1E Renovation Project is to “Offer integrated services for research, writing, media, and technology.” A next step in that process is to create a new service desk in the center of the east lobby – the former location of the Browsing Collection.   The new temporary service desk will be open on January 5, 2015 and remain there through the spring semester. The desk will provide assistance to users for basic library information, printing, copying, Cardinal Card questions, directional questions, finding books and articles, and referrals for research support.

Presently, users may obtain most of these services at one, two, and/or all three desks: Circulation, Media, and/or Reference. The new service desk is a pilot project to gather data on how best to integrate library services so that users’ needs are more effectively met.  Experience with staffing, training, and scheduling at the new desk will provide data that will inform decisions for the permanent desk to be constructed as part of the entire Ekstrom 1E Renovation Project.

Besides the new service desk in the center of the lobby, another visible change as of January 5, 2015, is that the external Reference desk currently staffed by students will be closed. The directional and referral questions that were handled there will be routed to the new service desk using signage.   Seven student assistants from Reference have been transferred to Media for training and scheduling for the new desk.

The Media desk will remain in its current location through the spring 2015 semester.   The Reference Consult desk, located just inside the Reference Department office, will remain in its current location throughout the renovation process.

The East/West desk workgroup led by Margo Smith has reviewed data, discussed challenges, and explored options that will provide a starting point for what will ultimately be the permanent new desk.

“Front-line” expertise is provided by Trish Blair, Kelly Buckman, Matt Goldberg, Anna Marie Johnson, and Michelle Rodriguez.

If you have questions or observations, please contact Margo Smith, Access & User Services Librarian at (502) 853-8724.

Find Resources Faster with New Research Guides

by Terri Holtze, Head of Library Web Services

When you need articles or primary sources for your research our Research Guides site is a great place to start. On December 16th the site will have some new features to make this process even easier for you.

What’s new?

  1. Find all guides in your area of interest from the homepage. The list of topics on the homepage will automatically give you a list of all our research guides on that topic – rather than just listing the general topic guide for that area. For example, rather than just going directly to the Business Research Guide, when you click on Business it will show you all the business-related guides like the one for Business Plan Research or the guide for the MKT 350 class.
  2. New subject areas. In the past we’ve tied our subject areas closely to areas of teaching and research at the University of Louisville. We continue to do that in the newest version, but we’ve added a couple of new subject areas that people frequently need help researching, including guides on Library Science and Louisville, Ky.
  3. Chat with a librarian. The homepage will now include a chat box that you can use to talk to a librarian about your research questions. They can help you choose a database, formulate a search strategy, or set up an appointment for more in-depth guidance.

new Research Guides homepage

  1. Find databases by subject. The new A-Z Databases list has some great new features. You can limit the list to just databases in a particular subject. Doing a subject limit will show you the most recommended databases in that subject first, followed by a list of all the databases that cover it. The results page will also show you who the subject librarian is and what research guides are available for the topic.
  1. Find databases by type. You can also limit the databases list to show only certain types of databases. This is a great way to find music (audio/video), images, primary sources, and more.
  2. Databases search. The databases list will also include a search box that will search through the database titles and descriptions.

databases limited to a subject

Want to get a sneak peak before it goes live? You can see it at http://louisville.beta.libguides.com/. When it goes live it will have the same address as the current version which is http://louisville.libguides.com/.

The Accidental Archivist

By Katherine Burger Johnson

How in the world did I end up in the field of archives and historical collections? It was an interesting journey and like many others in this profession I did not grow up with the dream of being an archivist. In fact, I had only a vague idea of what an archivist was or that there were people trained and working in this area.

I grew up as kind of a nerdy kid, always reading and basically liking school. I spend many Saturdays at the Minnesota Historical Society and a nearby museum, but I never imagined that I could work in a place like that. In my family, college was one thing but graduate school was not even a consideration. The cultural message of the 1960s was that women could be teachers, secretaries, nurses or librarians. I knew that nursing and secretarial work were out, and the librarians I saw were usually rather severe and unfriendly. (I have found to be untrue of librarians today!)

I started college as a music education major (I did and still do love music.) I soon found out that I had no talent for working with large groups of children, so there went the teaching profession. My other favorite subject was history, but this was the 1960s and females were told by advisors and professors that women could not get jobs in the field. Thus I remained unfocused, taking classes that I liked but with no clear career path. I was lucky enough to attend a university at which one could create her own degree program and I did just that, graduating with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies.

My next stop was law school. By this time it was the early 1980s, I had a more liberated mind and was challenged by some of my instructors to use it in the legal profession. I took one year of classes and knew this was not going to be the place for me to land. I decided then and there to pursue what I was passionate about and see where it led me. Frustrated, I spoke with several graduate school advisors, but I felt most comfortable with the one in the History Department and thus I began my time in graduate school. Learning that I could use some financial support, one professor recommended that I apply for an assistantship in the University Archives. After just a few days my future was set. My supervisor (who is now a friend) taught me, guided me and advised me, and I fell in love with the work. Handling primary source documents, learning how to care for them, writing up the finding aid to a collection, helping researchers find what they need, were all things I thoroughly enjoyed. Even so, I worried about finding a position in the local area, for with a spouse and 3 kids I could not just pick up and move.

One of my advisors directed me toward some free-lance opportunities which in turn brought me others. Then within a year after I finished my M.A. my mentor took another job and lo and behold, I was offered a position at the University Archives, at first part-time and temporary, then permanent part-time, and eventually full-time with faculty status. So here I am 25 years after I first set foot in the archives and 20 years after I began working there, a tenured associate professor working as the Archivist and Curator of the History Collections of the Kornhauser Health Sciences Library at the University of Louisville. I am an “accidental” archivist, not because I do not have the necessary education and training, but because the whole concept of archives, records management, and preserving the materials needed by scholars was not even in my brain until I was an adult working toward a graduate degree. Today, more and more young people go to college with the goal of pursuing this line of work, but I do believe there are still many “accidental” archivists whose stories parallel mine and are so happy that someone pointed them to an archival facility at some point where they fell in love!

I need to send a big thank you to Lee Shai Weissbach, Nancy Theriot, Carl Ryant (deceased), all of the University of Louisville History Department and Sherrill Redmon, Bill Morison, Diane Nichols, Gary Freiburger, and Neal Nixon of the UofL Libraries for your roles in my educational and professional journey. I am eternally in your debt.

Happy Thanksgiving

By Sarah-Jane Poindexter

This Thanksgiving, don’t get gobbled up by a giant turkey!  Have a restful and joyous holiday.

Best wishes from the Archives and Special Collections


Information Literacy Online

Numerous studies, including large-scale studies conducted by Project Information Literacy, The Citation Project, and ERIAL, have shown that students often struggle with research assignments–whether it’s deciding on a suitable topic, assessing the credibility of a source, or understanding the content of a scholarly article. Surveys of our own UofL faculty conducted by Ekstrom Library’s Information Literacy and Research Instruction Program likewise indicate that students need more assistance with research. In particular, faculty tell us they would like to see their students thinking more critically throughout the various stages of the research process and evaluating the quality of their sources more effectively .

While the Ekstrom instruction program teaches thousands of students each year during face-to-face sessions at the library, we are dedicated to expanding the scope of the program to reach even more students and faculty. To this end, we have turned to online instruction as a viable option for reaching new audiences. One of the most common reasons faculty give us for not bringing their students in for library instruction is that they simply can’t allocate the time on syllabi overcrowded with content. Additionally, some faculty teach very large classes, making it difficult to find adequate space for hands-on research instruction with computers. Online instruction can help solve these problems of time and scale, offering more flexible options.

What does information literacy and research instruction look like in the online realm? Although we have been creating course-specific online guides for many years (often as a supplement to face-to-face instruction), we are now working to develop interactive learning modules that can be embedded into Blackboard course shells. Due to the efforts of librarians Sue Finley, Samantha McClellan, and Toccara Porter, we have already reached more than 1,000 students this past year through information literacy content in Blackboard. Our modules are designed to help students learn to use library resources and evaluate information from a critical perspective. We often incorporate multimedia content, such as film clips and interactive diagrams, to illustrate key concepts. And we can also include short activities that reinforce the material, linking them to the Blackboard Score Center for grading by the instructor (or automatic grading).


In order to take these initiatives to the next level, we have formed an Online Learning Team within the instruction program. Under the leadership of Toccara Porter in her new role as Online Teaching and Outreach Librarian, this team is working to improve instructional offerings for distance students and other online learners. Along with Toccara, members of the team include Kelly Buckman, Sue Finley, Samantha McClellan, and Barbara Whitener. The long-term goal of the Online Learning Team is to build the instruction program’s capacity to collaborate with faculty across disciplines to embed customized online information literacy content into their courses.

If you’re interested in learning more about integrating online information literacy instruction into a class at UofL, please contact us! We will work with you to tailor the content to specific learning objectives and class assignments. And stay tuned for our new website in early 2015!


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