Come On In – We’re OPEN!

After a couple of weeks closing early, we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Here are a few things you missed on the break:

We have lots of new items coming soon…

In June, we perform one of our biannual major collection expansions. While we order new material on a regular basis, twice yearly we get serious about fortifying our collection. We’ll spend the next couple of weeks looking for the highest quality media to add to our shelves. Have a suggestion? Let us know in the comments! We welcome assistance in ensuring our students have access to the best resources possible.

… and we’re eliminating some items.

Of course, expanding the collection means we have to make room for all that is shiny and new. Sure, it makes us a little sad, but the good news is that it means you can purchase great books and movies for next to nothing!

One section we’ve cleared out this round is “Travel.” Check out all the travel books available on our sale cart (just in time for summer holidays!):

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Did you hear about our sale cart?

While sometimes we have to weed out materials because they’re obsolete or falling apart, anything that we can’t bear to put in recycling goes on the sale cart. Year round, you can find novels, magazines, and creative non-fiction available for less than a dollar.

We accept donations for our collection at any time.

Sometimes we weed items because we had a higher-quality copy donated. We accept donations at any time and will take almost anything as long as it’s not badly damaged or out-of-date. Don’t worry about whether or not the books fit in with our collection; we donate books we can’t use to Better World Books, which is a program that serves disadvantaged readers and scholars world-wide.

And if it’s something Better World Books won’t take, we may put it on our sale cart. All profits from the cart go back into our library budget.

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Did we mention the sale cart, yet?

We’re back to our regular hours.

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We will maintain our regular hours through July 18th (excluding July 4th), at which point the summer session ends. Then, we’re back to closing at 4:30 p.m. daily.

Stop in and see us over the summer!

Brace Yourself: Summer is Coming

 

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With the term ending, today is the last day we’re open until 8:30 for the next two weeks. From May 17th until May 26th, our hours will look like this: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

We’ll be closed on Memorial Day (May 29th), and then summer sessions begin! If you’ve signed up for summer classes, don’t wait until 7 a.m. on Tuesday, May 30th to start thinking about school. Come in while we’re quiet and get prepped. Even if you only have time for a quick tour, here’s what you can get done now so you’ll know what you’re doing by the time you receive your first assignment:

1. Find out what resources are available for each of your courses.

Whether you’ve used our library before or have never set foot in a library in your life, there are always more items and materials to discover. We know, because we the staff come across pleasant surprises ourselves, such as a new way to use an electronic resource or a recent release by a renowned scholar. We might even have items your instructor has set aside specifically for your class to use.

Explore our catalog, check out our posts on resources for specific programs and departments, or stop by the circulation desk and ask about our collection.

2. Stake out some territory.

We often talk about practicing good study habits. In this case, “habit” is the operative word. That is, many of us enjoy finding quiet corners to study that we return to again and again. Some of us like to cozy up in an armchair while others prefer to use the distraction-reducing study corrals along the back wall. Maybe you’d like to park yourself in our quiet study room – which often doubles as an art gallery – or spread out at one of our many large, sturdy tables.

Come see the study spaces we have available and start planning your learning strategy.

3. Get the 411 on your instructor and his/her/their expectations.

Do kids still say that? “411”? Whatever – the point is, we, your library staff, spend a lot of time on campus. Do you know who else spends a lot of time on campus? Your instructors. We don’t necessarily know your professor’s favorite pizza topping, but it is likely that we can tell you something about what to expect from your upcoming class.

For example, some instructors are impressed when students take initiative by reading ahead or submitting extra work. On the other hand, some instructors absolutely hate it when students work ahead; they figure that if you learn something incorrectly, it’ll be twice as hard to teach you the correct method because you’ll have to “unlearn” the faulty technique.

Again, we also have many items put on reserve by instructors for their students to use. You may come in before your classes begin, take a look at these materials, and ask questions about them.

Once summer term begins, our hours will be back to 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

We’ll be taking a break from the blog between now and then to ready our summer projects. We’ll be back shortly with more on summer reading, resources by program, study tips, and more. See you soon!

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Graduating? Good! Now: How to Find a Job

Whether you’re graduating this spring, this summer, or further in the future, finding a job is going to be a concern sooner or later. What’s surprising to some new job seekers is just how difficult and disheartening a job search can be.

Most people try using a job search engine like Monster or CareerBuilder. These can be a great way to find what kind of jobs are available and where, but they’re not much good for actually getting you a job. For one thing, this is a common sight:

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This job requires access to a reliable time machine.

For another thing, even if you apply to 50 jobs for which you’re a perfect candidate, it’s entirely possible that no one will ever even look at your résumé.

There are many reasons why this may happen. Sometimes a recruiter receives too many applications to view them all in a timely fashion. At other times, the posting of a job opening is a mere formality; managers post a job because they feel like they should. It’s just what’s done. Just like companies still send representatives to job fairs even though they almost never hire people that way; it’s something they do because they’ve done it for years and everyone else does it and it hasn’t occurred to anyone that it’s all a waste of time.

Sound bleak? Fear not! There are literally hundreds of thousands (millions?) of unfilled jobs out there – you will find the one for you! In the meantime, here are some tips:

1. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

In addition to asking friends and family to keep their ears to the ground, take initiative and contact people yourself. This can be scary and awkward, but it’s much more effective than just sending out pieces of paper with your qualifications and education history. Show the potential employer or point of contact (POC) your personality by contacting them personally. It’s best to do this through a mutual friend (“Jane Doe gave me your name…”)

2. Doing your homework doesn’t just refer to the job itself.

If you don’t have any personal connection to your target POC, there are other ways to start a conversation. For example, you can view the person’s LinkedIn page for information about recent projects or committees they’ve been a part of or even just find out where they went to school. If you share an alma mater, that may be enough to pique their interest and keep their attention long enough for you to make your job pitch.

You can also google your POC’s name. If a recent article about/by that person pops up, ask about it in your introductory email. It’s likely something the recipient is proud of and will be eager to discuss.

If you feel it’s too awkward to come straight out and ask for a job, request an “informational interview” or ask if the person is willing to answer some questions about their industry. Yes, pretty much everyone will figure out that this is code for “I’m hoping you can give me a job,” but it shows that you’re eager to learn and diplomatic enough to give them an out if they’re not in the position to help you (some might not want to admit that they don’t have that kind of power and that’s okay).

3. Remember to use your resources.

Stop into the library and check out some books about how to look for a job. Thousands of books have been published in just the last five years about how to make the most effective usage of the tools available to you (like those job posting sites we mentioned earlier). There are even books that focus just on the field in which you’re trying to find work. Sure, the last thing you want to do after the stress of that final semester is read another book, but a few days of reading can save you hundreds of hours in hunting.

While you still have access to EICConnect, be sure to visit Learning Express Library. Their Career Center features its own job search. You can also learn more about different careers and in-demand job skills, as well as practice for occupational exams.

4. Seek out programs just for new grads.

There are places that really, truly want to hire new graduates. The federal government, for example, totally wants you to have a job. The more people who are employed, the better it is for our national economy, and the less strain there is on social programs such as welfare and food stamps. Check out USAjobs.gov’s Pathways program to learn more about the jobs available to current students and new graduates nationwide.

If you’ve read this far, congratulations! You’re ready to take the next steps. Do your research and take advantage of every opportunity to improve your skills. At this time of year, there are many events open to the public designed to help job seekers. Our friends over at the Davenport Public Library, for example, recently offered a seminar on writing a good résumé and cover letter, the rules about which change along with shifts in the job market.

Keep your eyes and ears open, and remember: if Joe Biden could recover from his embarrassing 1988 presidential bid to become a political darling at the age of 65, you can find a job that will make you happy.

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New Items! Spring 2017

How many books do you think are published in a year? How many movies and albums are made? We have no idea, but we do know that there are more titles on our wish list than we could possibly ever get. Still, we try.

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Gotta catch’em all!

To see what new items we’ve stocked this semester, download the list as a PDF or Excel spreadsheet. The list has a lot of new health and nursing books, as well as some fiction titles just in time for summer. Stephen Jay Gould’s Dinosaur in a Haystack: Reflections in Natural History and Brenda Fowler’s Iceman: Uncovering the Life and Times of a Prehistoric Man Found in an Alpine Glacier both sound like fascinating non-fiction reading, perfect for when you want to relax in a hammock but still exercise your brain [Editor’s Note: This is a great way to experience the satisfaction of accomplishment while not actually having to do anything].

As always, we get new periodicals multiple days per week. We won’t list every single issue here, but here are the titles for which we routinely receive new issues:

PeriodicalsListSpring2017

Fresh issues are available in-library only, but back issues (found in the rolling stacks) can be checked out. All you need is a library card from any Rivershare library and you’re set.

Come check out what’s new at the Belmont campus library!

Resources for Pre-Engineering Students

See the electronic device right in front of you? Thank an engineer. That’s who designed it. If you’re not using an electronic device, how the heck are you reading this?!

Engineers also designed your car, your refrigerator, and your classroom. The point is, there are many, many different fields where your training as an engineer is needed. Our goal at the Scott Community College Library is to provide you with the tools to not only successfully complete that training, but also to find your career path.

Since our pre-engineering students tend to go on to further education, we strongly suggest that you learn and use effective research and study habits now. Know what is available to you as a student so you can focus on learning and make the most of your time in school. Besides, your tuition pays for this stuff whether you use it or not.

Traditional Media

You can find all of our traditional media listed in our catalog, which we share with area libraries in Iowa (such as Davenport Public, Bettendorf Public, etc.). Below, we’ve listed some in-house materials. That is, media owned by our library. Don’t see what you’re looking for here or in the catalog? Ask about our Inter-Library Loan (ILL) service, which allows us to ship and share material with libraries all across the state.

You can check out our materials using any RiverShare library card. Don’t have a library card? No problem! We can make you one in less than ten minutes.

Print Books

We’ve stocked our shelves with a variety of engineering books, from road-building to rocketry.

A partial list of our in-house books is available for download as a PDF or Excel spreadsheet. This list does not include our many math and physics books. For those, check out this post on those specific subjects. You may also want to explore our titles on design, manufacturing, engines, etc.

Periodicals

While we don’t subscribe to any periodicals about engineering in general, we have materials that would be of interest to certain specific fields.

For example, MOTOR and Motor Trend are both magazines that we’d recommend to anyone going into mechanical engineering.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) publishes its Technology Review monthly. It’s awesome, so everyone should read it, but electrical engineers especially should check it out.

More periodicals are available in digital format. See the section under Electronic Resources (below) about digital magazines.

DVDs

As with our periodicals, our DVD collection is useful for certain fields under the umbrella of engineering. Chemical, mechanical, and civil engineers will get the most out of our in-house collection. You can download a partial list of available titles as a PDF or Excel spreadsheet. See the catalog to search all available DVDs.

Want more A/V options? See the section under Electronic Resources (below) about Films On Demand. You can also suggest titles to be added to our collection. Stop in and let us know what you’d like to see made available!

Electronic Resources

Most of these resources are subscription only, meaning they are only accessible to current students. A few are available to members of RiverShare libraries (a consortium that includes the Scott Community College Library), meaning you may continue to use them as long as you have a public library card. To access electronic resources, first log in to EICConnect. Then, under the left-hand side Menu, click on Library and select Electronic Resources.

Coursework Help and Practice

You probably already know that engineers use a lot of math. What you might not realize is that, as an engineer, you will also need good communication skills. Why? Because you’re going to spend most of your career explaining complex concepts in layman terms.

For example, do you understand the relationship between buoyancy and a floating foundation? Most people do not [Editor’s Note: we had to look up “buoyancy” to make sure we were even using the right term], so you’re going to have to explain it to the 40-year-old kid who inherited his mom’s construction company and wants to build his next condo complex on top of a swamp.

Below are the online tools we recommend to help you dominate ALL your classes.

Learning Express Library learning_express_library

Practice your written communication skills with this great digital learning assistant. Composed of multiple “centers,” The College Center is your best bet, with subsections that focus on reading, writing, science, and math skills. These sections feature video and/or walk-through tutorials, practice sets, test prep, and eBooks. Keep track of your progress by creating an account (which takes about 30 seconds).

While you’re there, take a look at some of the additional centers designed to help you navigate different stages on your life’s path. These include the Career Center, Adult Learning Center, Computer Skills Center, etc.. Check out our post about Learning Express Library to learn more.

ProQuest Research Companion proquest

This is a digital course that breaks down the paper-writing process into easy-to-follow steps. It’s a left-brained person’s dream. This blog has already covered how to use ProQuest. Remember! Always ask your instructor what their citation requirements are. Your instructor’s directions take precedence over ProQuest’s — meaning that if ProQuest tells you to do one thing but your instructor has given you another direction, do what your instructor told you to do.

eBooks and Digital Magazines

Science scienceonline

A peer-reviewed magazine from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, this digital magazine is one of six that the society publishes. These publications focus on recent innovations and advances in technology, robotics, and more. You can access them all through this particular magazine’s landing page.

EBSCO Mobile ebscoebooksma_logo

EBSCO is one of our favorite electronic resources, and its mobile app includes almost 200 books devoted to Engineering and Technology. eBooks are great because you can browse the catalog AND check out your selections without ever leaving your couch! You can search for books under “Subject” or use the search bar to find specific titles or authors. Learn more about EBSCO in the section about its databases (below) or go ahead and check out our post about how to use the databases.

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Click “Search Options” to search by different categories.

Research Databases

Engineers should always operate using the most accurate, up-to-date information available. An ill-informed engineer risks losing more than a job. Depending on what field you go into, negligence on the job risks lives and could result in legal charges. The NASA engineers responsible for the Space Shuttle Colombia are likely still serving time.

How will you avoid the same fate? By becoming a research BOSS. Learn the difference between an academic resource and a popular resource. Know how to spot false or questionable information. Using our databases will help you practice these skills. Many of these databases are stocked with information you can’t find on Google, and some of them allow you to search exclusively for academic or peer-reviewed articles.

EBSCO ebsco-logo2

We’ve already mentioned EBSCO Mobile, where you can find eBooks nearly 200 eBooks under Engineering and Technology. The EBSCO research databases are chock full of peer-reviewed journals that you won’t find anywhere else. We’ve adjusted the settings so your search automatically returns full-text articles. If you can’t find the material you need, uncheck the box for Full Text. Some of the partial articles you find may be available through ILL (as the library staff about this if you are unfamiliar).

To learn more about how to use EBSCO, view our previous post on the topic.

Academic OneFile academiconefile

Engineering is not listed under the “Browse by Discipline” section, so you’re going to have to use the search bar. Luckily, you can search by subject or publication using the Basic Search. You can also use the Advanced Search to search by multiple keywords, publication dates, article types, etc.

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When using the Basic Search, click the “>” arrow to look at articles with titles that use the word “Engineering,” OR click “Subject Guide Search,” which will take you to this screen:

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Type a term into the top search bar and it will give you two things. First, it will suggest related search terms in a drop-down menu:

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The other thing it will do is, after you’ve clicked “search,” it will return a number of recommended keywords and subject terms as well as publication names for you to browse.

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Click through to find what you need, or use the search terms to inform an Advanced Search. Like with the EBSCO databases, searches in Academic OneFile default to results with full-text articles available. If you can’t find information on your topic, try unchecking the “Full Text” option. Articles that aren’t available in full text may be available through ILL.

To learn more about how to use Academic OneFile, check out this post.

Films On Demand filmsondemand

Throughout your education, you’ve performed experiments in math and science classes – experiments that anyone who has attended an American school in the past 75 years has had to walk through – designed to illustrate complex concepts. Ideas that seem endlessly complicated on paper are easily explained in about 15 seconds using a visual aid. That’s why the Scott Community College Library subscribes to Films On Demand – so you can see the concepts you’re currently learning in real-world scenarios.

Or maybe you’re just sick of reading and want to watch a video. That’s okay, too. With over 500 titles under the subject of engineering alone (you’ll find even more on physics, applied mathematics, etc.), prepare to become an expert on topics such as hydrokinetic turbines and photovoltaics. Perhaps once you’ve mastered these subjects, you can come visit us at the Belmont campus and explain to us what they are.

Videos range from feature-length to 2-minute clicks. View our post about this database to learn more.

Other Materials

Calculators

Yes, we have calculators for check out – standard and graphing – but beware:

We have six graphing calculators. Six. Each of these calculators can be checked out for one 24-hour period, with no renewal, and there is a $1-per-day late fee. That means you can’t rely on us to supply you with a calculator all semester long. Also, we absolutely will not allow these calculators to leave the library without checking them out to you on an active RiverShare library card.

Why all the rules? Graphing calculators are expensive. That’s why we have these on hand in the first place. If you leave yours at home on the day you have a test, we’ve got you covered. You can’t take the calculator out of the library, however, unless you have a RiverShare card. Therefore, we strongly recommend checking that your library card is active and accurate if you take any class that requires a graphing calculator.

Have any questions? See anything we missed? Let us know in the comments, or like us and comment on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!

Get Pro-Tips from ProQuest Research Companion

We’ve mentioned before that, as a student, you’re like an explorer on a quest – a quest for knowledge. Without a map or some other form of guidance, you’ll be lost. You must follow a clear path to discovery, or you’ll wander a sea of fog.

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Much like this poor fellow, who went in search of Chicago crime statistics and was lost to history.

proquestFortunately, Scott Community College is full of resources to help you, from your instructors to your friendly library staff to great electronic resources such as ProQuest Research Companion.

If you have little experience writing a college-level academic paper, ProQuest Research Companion is like a course on how to write research papers.

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There are several modules organized in a step-by-step process that explains exactly how to write a paper – from finding a topic to evaluating information to revising your final drafts.

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The modules even give you an idea of how long it will take you to get through each one. Some modules come with special tools, such as the Topic Aid. Similar to Academic OneFile’s Topic Finder, the Topic Aid is helpful for both finding your topic and narrowing your thesis.

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When we type in “politics”, it comes up with 100 examples of related topics.

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The Coffee Party has a refreshingly specific platform.

Perhaps we decide to narrow our focus to Political Action Committees or PACs. We click on the link among the listed topics and the first thing we see is a warning: “Articles available via the Topic Aid come from ProQuest’s eLibrary. They are not scholarly and, in general, should not be cited in a formal research paper.”

That means we can’t cite what we find in ProQuest. We can, however, mine their eLibrary for data that will lead us to resources we can cite.

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Rachel Louise Ensign wrote this article about PACs. She’s likely written others on the same subject. This article also gives us the names of people interviewed and the institutes for which they work. We can look up those names in other electronic resources, such as EBSCO, Opposing Viewpoints, or the aforementioned Academic OneFile. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, try using ProQuest Researcher’s Search Aid – it gives you alternative terms to search that will bring you related results.

One thing many students struggle with is determining whether or not a source is acceptable to use in a research paper. Most of our electronic databases have the option to limit searches to only academic or peer-reviewed material. If you’re using Google or a database that includes popular publications, however, you’ll have to carefully evaluate these sources to decide if you can cite them.

We recommend using the 5 W’s – Why, Who, What, Where, and When – to evaluate resources for suitability. Why did the author write this? Who is the author? What is their motive? Where did they get their information? When did they write it/is it current?

After you’ve evaluated a resource on your own, double check your findings with ProQuest’s Source Evaluation Aid.

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This tool is not foolproof – all it can do it collect the same information that is readily available in the source you’re evaluating. It’s really only good for double checking to make sure you didn’t miss anything obvious.

For example, we used the Evaluation Aid to check this article about California’s floundering Velcro crop, and this was the return:

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Ph.D. from where? Liar University? Google this – “Where did Kenneth Umbach get his Ph.D.?”

The final section of modules, titled “Use Information,” will help you make sure every element of a good research paper is present in your final draft.

ProQuestUsingInformation

While ProQuest’s citation builder is pretty reliable, we always recommend cross-checking with your text book and/or Purdue University’s very well-curated Online Writing Lab (OWL).

One of the best aspects of ProQuest’s Research Companion is that it left a special place for reflection following the completion of your paper: How Can I Do Better Next Time? It reminds us of a favorite Samuel Beckett quote: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Aside from being a golden example of parallel sentence structure, Beckett’s notion is one that all students – in fact, all people – should recall when questing. Whether you’re on a quest for knowledge, for glory, or just for some mad money, always be on the lookout for a better way to accomplish your goals. Just as the experienced explorer outperforms the novice, so does the writer only improve through practice.

Get your practice in. Check out ProQuest Research Companion. Or stop into the library! In addition to our friendly staff, we also offer a writing tutor four days a week and now, citation workshops!

 

Resources for English Students: Reading, Writing, and Speaking Skills

In the comments of a local online newspaper, it’s common to find some out-of-touch fellow lamenting that “people don’t communicate anymore,” or “people don’t sit down and read like they used to.”

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Maybe people don’t read like they used to, but they certainly don’t read any less. If anything, people may read and write even more now than they did 50 years ago. The major difference is the length and depth of that reading and writing.

Over the past few years, cognitive scientists, such as Maryanne Wolf from Tufts University, have reported that our brains absorb information from a screen differently than we absorb information from paper, and spending so much time on screens may be hurting our ability to practice deep and immersive reading. It is during immersive reading that our reading comprehension is at its peak. In other words, screen time won’t make you stupid, but too much of it may be bad for your command of language and communication. If you’re a student, this is a major concern, since communication is the crux of education.

At Scott Community College, we know how challenging it can be for students to find time to practice the skills needed to succeed in college classes, so the Belmont campus library makes it a priority to assist students with reading and writing skills and practice. See below for a list of some of our available resources, or stop on in and visit us. We even offer workshops and tutoring.

Traditional Media

To check out any of our available media, all you need is a library card from ANY RiverShare library (such as Davenport Public, Bettendorf Public, etc.). Don’t have a library card? No problem. We can make you one in less than ten minutes.

Print Books

Our in-house selection of books that cover reading, writing, and rhetoric alone is way too large to list here, and our shared catalog is even larger. We’ve composted a partial list, however, which you can download as a PDF or Excel spreadsheet.

Periodicals

The best way to learn to write is to read good writing, and when it comes to good writing, there is no wrong way to consume it. We subscribe to several publications that publish the very best writing in a variety of topics and genres.

Writers dream of being published in The New Yorker like comedians dream of hosting SNL. It’s one of the best sources to find new, up-and-coming voices as well as works by veteran writers. They also feature book reviews and recommended reading lists.

Rolling Stone always features in-depth cover stories and news articles. Plus, everyone likes music (except people who suffer from melophobia), so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find something you like in any given issue.

The Atlantic is another publication known for great writing, and it covers a number of topics from business and politics to art and culture.

Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, ArtNEWS, Consumer Reports, Motor Trend, Technology Review… whatever you’re interested in, see what’s new and what other people want to read about that topic. You may just find your next research paper topic.

BONUS! Scott Community College has its very own literary publication: Inkwell. Check out past issues and then prepare your own material for submission! Contact Dr. Amy Foley in the English department to ask questions or submit works – afoley [at] eicc [dot] edu.

DVDs

Our in-house DVD collection contains over 400 titles and is always growing. Classics like The Maltese FalconFargo, and The Thing offer examples of exceptional screenwriting and storytelling. A list of non-fiction and documentary films is available as a PDF or Excel spreadsheet.

Electronic Resources

Most of these resources are subscription only, meaning they are only accessible to current students. A few are available to members of RiverShare libraries (a consortium that includes the Scott Community College Library), meaning you may continue to use them as long as you have a public library card. To access electronic resources, first log in to EICConnect. Then, under the left-hand side Menu, click on Library and select Electronic Resources.

Coursework Help and Practice

Learning Express Library learning_express_library

This digital learning assistant is composed of multiple “centers.” The College Center is your best bet, with its subsections on reading and writing. Spend just 20 minutes each day using their eBooks and practice sets, and over time you’ll notice a marked improvement.

It takes less than a minute to register. In addition to the College Center, registration also gives you access to The Career Center, Adult Learning Center, Computer Skills Center, and more. Each center features video and/or walk-through tutorials, practice sets, test prep, and eBooks. View our post about Learning Express Library to find out more.

ProQuest Research Companion proquest

Maybe it’s been a while since you did research. ProQuest’s Research Companion offers helpful tips and tricks on how to get started, how to identify useful resources, and how to make use of the information you find in a paper or speech. Create an account to use their video-based learning modules. They’re great practice and supplement what you learn in class from your instructors.

eBooks and Digital Magazines

EBSCO Mobile ebscoebooksma_logo

EBSCO is one of our favorite electronic resources, and its mobile app includes hundreds of eBooks devoted to the sciences. Search by author, title, or subject or just browse the 500+ titles listed under “Literature and Criticism.”

EBSCOMobileForEnglishStudentsUpdate

Click “Search Options” to search by different categories.

eBooks are great because you can browse the catalog AND check out your selections without ever leaving your couch! Plus, you can read them on any mobile device. Stuck in line at the pharmacy? Pull out your phone and read a couple of chapters about literary criticism on the short works of Anton Chekhov. Learn more about EBSCO and its databases later in this post, or go ahead and check out our overview of how to use the databases.

Flipster flipster_logo

Through EBSCO, you also have access to Flipster and its mobile app. While this isn’t a good source for academic journals (we’ll go over those below), it does offer such quality publications as Vanity Fair and Elephant, as well as trade and craft magazines such as Poets and Writers and Writer. Need a break? Check out mental_floss or Urbis. There’s something for everyone on Flipster.

RiverShare eBooks, eBooks and Audio eicc-college-libraries

These eBooks and audio books are available to anyone holding a RiverShare library card. We love audio books because it’s the best way to “read” on your commute. With over 1,000 related titles to choose from, you won’t mind being trapped in a seat between a whiny kid and a guy playing his favorite Mariah Carey album at full blast.

Research Databases

If you take English classes at Scott, you’re definitely going to have to know how to research. There’s no getting around it. The good news is that knowing how to find information is a skill that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life. People base entire careers on their ability to quickly locate accurate data, and knowing how to spot false information can literally save your life.

BleachAmmoniaFake

WARNING: DO NOT DO THIS YOU WILL SERIOUSLY DIE

Learn to use our electronic databases and gain access to thousands upon thousands of reliable and peer-reviewed resources.

Credo credo-reference-cors-2014-purple-hor

This database is a great starting point when you’re writing a paper or speech, especially when it comes to narrowing your topic or thesis. Similar to an encyclopedia or a more reliable version of Wikipedia, it’s also a good starting point for people who aren’t yet comfortable using electronic databases. Our post on how to use Credo goes into further detail about its features, such as its lists of related books and its exclusive Mind Map.

EBSCO ebsco-logo2

We’ve already mentioned EBSCO Mobile, where you can find hundreds of eBooks, fiction and non-fiction. The EBSCO research databases are chock full of peer-reviewed journals that you won’t find on Google. We’ve adjusted the settings so your search automatically returns full-text articles. If you can’t find the material you need, uncheck the box for Full Text. Some of the partial articles you find may be available through interlibrary loan (ask the library staff for more information if you are unfamiliar with ILL).

To learn more about how to use EBSCO, view our previous post on the topic.

Academic OneFile academiconefile

This is another easy-to-use databases with plenty of features for exploring related topics or narrowing your thesis. Our previous post about this database goes into extensive detail about its Topic Finder – but it just barely touches on the 80 million available articles from popular as well as peer reviewed publications.

Opposing Viewpoints opposingviewpointscontext

Need to write a persuasive essay or research paper? Opposing Viewpoints – and its sibling database, CQ Researcher, which we’ll discuss more in a minute – is your digital Mecca. This aggregator collects arguments, pro and con, on every topic imaginable. Every controversial issue is here, and the more controversial it is, the more material Opposing Viewpoints has to collect. Read our post on how to use Opposing Viewpoints.

CQ Researcher cq-research-logo

CQ Researcher is like a jacked version of Opposing Viewpoints. Each topic section includes in-depth articles, further academic reading, and exclusive pro-con argument, and more. If you really want to do some serious research about your topic, this database is not only a great resource itself, it’s also a resource for finding still more awesome resources! Its interface is exactly like Opposing Viewpoints’ so if you’re familiar with that one, you already know how to use CQ Researcher. Click here to learn more.

Films on Demand filmsondemand

No one knows better than students how tiresome reading can become – even if you love it! Your eyes get tired and you lose the ability to focus on the text, your brain turns to mush, and all you can think about is the series finale of Golden Girls and how unlikely it was for Dorothy to marry Blanche’s uncle. Luckily for you, there are over 1,000 titles related to English studies, including American Literature, Speech & Communication, World Literature, and Elements of Language. Read more about this database and then check it out for yourself!

Other

Campus computers offer special software designed to help you write your papers. Read&Write Gold offers features and tips to help you write and edit your papers. There’s even a read-aloud option, where the computer will read your paper to you to help you isolate any grammatical or style issues. A pair of your own ear buds should plug into our computers, but we also have headphones available for in-house use.

In addition to specialty software, we have a writing tutor available four days per week, and our staff is always happy to help you with your research and citations. Don’t forget to stop by one of our citation workshops for more help!

CitationWorkshopPosterSpring2017

 

Just in Time for Finals: Citation Workshops Are Here!

Even if you’re a decent writer, sitting down to complete a paper is tough. For one thing, distractions are everywhere.

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Many students – and even professionals – find reasons to procrastinate. One step youLibraryTutorHours can take is to make an appointment with our writing tutor, who is available in the library four days a week. Walk-ins are welcome.

In addition to help with style and grammar, a tutor will help you with
accountability; that is, if someone else knows you’re supposed to be working on your paper, you’ll be less likely to slack off.

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Ha! It’s funny ’cause it’s relatable!

Still, good writing isn’t enough to ace a research paper. You can write the most convincing argument of all time, but it won’t mean anything if you haven’t backed it up with well-documented support.

That’s where citations come in.

CryingItIsntFair

Nooooo! Not the c-word!

No one likes citations. Luckily, we’re here to help! We’ve already had success with one citation workshop, so we’re adding two more!

On Wednesday, April 26th from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and on Tuesday, May 2nd from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., faculty and staff members will be available in Scott Community College library’s quiet study room to help you with your citations.

Whether you’re using the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) citation method or the American Psychological Association’s (APA), someone will be able to assist you and answer questions. Just bring your laptop or flash drive (computers will be available) with your works cited page, reference page, or just a list of your resources.

Haven’t even found your resources yet? Come on in anyway! In addition to our in-house collection, our extensive shared catalog is available to all current SCC students with a library card, and our electronic resources are available on any device, on- or off-campus. Check out our many posts about how to use these electronic resources.

Don’t let finals get you down. Let us help you finish this semester strong, so you’ll be all like:

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Instead of all like:

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Resources for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences

Most programs at Scott Community College include some sort of science requirement – generally in earth or life sciences. That’s why we’ve stocked our collection with materials related to these subjects. Whether you’re a science junkie or haven’t thought about the periodic table in 20 years, we’ve got what you covered. Just remember to breathe and repeat your mantra: “The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.”

Traditional Media

To check out any of our available media, all you need is a library card from ANY RiverShare library (such as Davenport Public, Bettendorf Public, etc.). Don’t have a library card? No problem. We can make you one in less than ten minutes.

Print Books

Our selection of science books is far too massive to list here, even if we just stuck to the materials available in-house. That is, if we only counted what we have on our shelves at Belmont and not everything available in our catalog, which we share with other libraries in our consortium, which is called RiverShare.

We did make up a partial list of our science books, however. This list is available for download as a PDF or Excel spreadsheet and includes such titles as Peter Daempfle’s Good Science, Bad Science, Pseudoscience, and Just Plain Bunk: How to Tell the Difference and Nathan Spielberg’s Seven Ideas that Shook the Universe.

Periodicals

Generally, the scientific periodicals we keep in the Belmont library are geared more toward health sciences, though you will find National Geographic and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Review. For more general science magazines, scroll down to the section of this post that covers Electronic Resources.

DVDs

A significant percentage of our DVD collection is devoted to science, particularly environmental and life sciences. You can download a partial list of our available DVDs as a PDF or an Excel spreadsheet. Don’t see what you’re looking for? You may find the title in our catalog.

Electronic Resources

Most of these resources are subscription only, meaning they are only accessible to current students. A few are available to members of RiverShare libraries (a consortium that includes the Scott Community College Library), meaning you may continue to use them as long as you have a public library card. To access electronic resources, first log in to EICConnect. Then, under the left-hand side Menu, click on Library and select Electronic Resources.

Coursework Help and Practice

Learning Express Library learning_express_library

This digital learning assistant is composed of multiple “centers.” The College Center is your best bet, with its subsection titled “Science Skills Review.” Spend just 20 minutes each day using their eBooks and practice sets in chemistry and biology.

It takes less than a minute to register. In addition to the College Center, registration also gives you access to The Career Center, Adult Learning Center, Computer Skills Center, and more. Each center features video and/or walk-through tutorials, practice sets, test prep, and eBooks. View our post about Learning Express Library to find out more.

eBooks and Digital Magazines

Science scienceonline

A peer-reviewed magazine from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, this digital magazine is one of six that the society publishes. These publications focus on recent innovations and advances, medicine, technology, robotics, and more. Read about exciting new studies and opportunities in all scientific fields.

EBSCO Mobile ebscoebooksma_logo

EBSCO is one of our favorite electronic resources, and its mobile app includes hundreds of eBooks devoted to the sciences. eBooks are great because you can browse the catalog AND check out your selections without ever leaving your couch! Learn more about EBSCO in the section about its databases (below) or go ahead and check out our post about how to use the databases.

RiverShare eBooks, eBooks and Audio eicc-college-libraries

These eBooks and audiobooks are available to anyone holding a RiverShare library card. We love audiobooks because it’s the best way to “read” on your commute. With over 100 science books to choose from, you won’t mind being trapped in a seat between a whiney kid and a guy playing his favorite Mariah Carey album at full blast.

Research Databases

Scientists have to do research. Like, A LOT of research. How will you know if you’re the first person to perform an experiment if you don’t look into it first? The great thing about our databases is that you can opt to search only for academic and peer-reviewed resources, so you know you’re getting the best information available without having to wade through a bunch of material you can’t use.

EBSCO ebsco-logo2

We’ve already mentioned EBSCO Mobile, where you can find hundreds of eBooks on chemistry, biology, and related sciences. The EBSCO research databases are chock full of peer-reviewed journals that you won’t find on Google. We’ve adjusted the settings so your search automatically returns full-text articles. If you can’t find the material you need, uncheck the box for Full Text. Some of the partial articles you find may be available through interlibrary loan (ask the library staff for more information if you are unfamiliar with ILL).

To learn more about how to use EBSCO, view our previous post on the topic.

Academic OneFile academiconefile

It’s easy to browse articles within the umbrella topics of biology and chemistry, etc. They’re the very first subjects listed under “Browse by Discipline”. Like with the EBSCO databases, searches in Academic OneFile default to results with full-text articles available. If you can’t find information on your topic, try unchecking the “Full Text” option. Articles that aren’t available in full text may be available through ILL.

To learn how to use Academic OneFile, check out this post.

CQResearcher cq-research-logo

This database is full of original, in-depth articles, typically on controversial topics. Topic sections will often include a pro-con face-off. For example, scientists argue quite a bit over the range of damage caused by climate change, using studies conducted on various living organisms as evidence to support their conclusions. These pro-con arguments are a good opportunity to practice critical thinking and evidence-based argument. Fact lists and extended bibliography may also be part of a topic section. Start your exploration of CQResearcher here.

Films On Demand filmsondemand

“When I was in ninth grade, I asked my science teacher how an atom bomb worked,” says Melanie, our evening library staff person. “He couldn’t explain it to me to my satisfaction. I remained confused until I was in college, when I finally saw the old Disney documentary titled, ‘Our Friend the Atom.’ Their demonstration of the mouse trap experiment answered all of my questions. Imagine that: I’d wondered about this for years, only to discover there was a visual aid that could explain it to me in 15 seconds.”

Science is full of demonstrations similar to the mouse trap experiment – illustrations of concepts that seem endlessly complicated on paper, but when viewed in a real-world scenario, aren’t that difficult to grasp. For cases like this, Films On Demand is a great database, with videos ranging from feature-length to 2-minute clips. Click here to learn more.

Libraries Transform… You into an Icon

Beginning in the 1980s, the American Library Association began working with celebrities to advocate for reading. Thus, the world famous READ poster was born.

The posters are iconic not only for their prevalence in American libraries over the past 30-odd years, but also for their wide-ranging appeal. Everyone from sports stars…

ALABoJackson

“Bo Knows” ’cause Bo reads! ©American Library Association

to Hollywood actors…

ALAAlexBaldwin

©American Library Association

… to fictional characters got in on the game.

ALAYoda

Read in weird backwards talk, do I? ©American Library Association

The posters have even passed the truest tests of cultural relevance – parody and homage:

ALABowiwAndVolpertSideBySide

©American Library Association

Now, in celebration of National Library Week, you can make your own READ poster. Like so:

Bailey READ

Here’s a sample version courtesy of Assistant Dean to the Library Michelle Bailey.

Just stop into the Scott Community College Library here at the Belmont campus. We’ll take a picture of you holding your favorite book. The posters will be on display in the library for two weeks before we send them home with you – for about $18 less than the official ALA READ posters go for:

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That’s zero. Our posters cost $0.

Now you can join the ranks of Captain Malcolm Reynolds (a.k.a. Nathan Fillion) in supporting knowledge, literacy, and public libraries with your very own READ poster!

You can even make a group poster, like the SCC Dental Assisting Club did:

ReadDentalAssistingClub

Just like the READ posters you grew up with, making your own offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate National Library Week 2017 and its theme: Libraries Transform! Consider how libraries have transformed you throughout the years, from your elementary school library with its sun-faded Johnathan Taylor Thomas READ poster to your community college library where you’re the star.

Any time is a good time to support your local library, but the best time is right now. Stop in for a visit!