Thursday, February 12, 2009

Want to subscribe to a magazine or journal?

In the last week I have recommended to two different individuals. The first called while I was at the Reference Desk. He wanted to know how he could set up his own personal subscriptions to some education journals. The second wanted to know if we had access to Art Journal and how he might start up a subscription. takes you to Ulrich's Periodicals Directory. You may browse magazines and journals, or search for a specific title. You can do a keyword search, exact title search, or keyword within the title search. For most individuals the exact title search might prove to be the most useful.

Once you find the expanded record of a particular periodical, you will be able to discover if it is peer reviewed (they use the term "refereed"), its price, number of subscriptions (circulation), its publisher, contact information, its web address, its frequency (weekly, bimonthly, quarterly, annually, etc.), its language, its editor, and so forth. It also provides the different names it has had through the years.

Some students and professors want to know for sure if a periodical is peer reviewed, so this resource provides just that. I also noticed in the EBSCOhost interface on pages that provide links to the issues of a particular magazine or journal it also say if the periodical is peer reviewed or refereed.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Finding Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Loans

Do you need some scholarship money to help pay for your schooling? Where can you go for help? If you want to search for yourself, you might try conducting some internet searches to find databases with scholarship information, such as and Adventures in Education's Scholarship site.

Another option would be to find a reference book at your library that has already compiled contact information of organizations that offer scholarships. At the Idaho State University Library there are at least two books, which might prove useful:
1. The Scholarship Book. 12th Edition. The Complete Guide to Private-Sector Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Loans for the Undergraduate. It contains 4,000 scholarship sources, 400,000 awards worth over $2 billion, and awards up to $40,000 per year. Editors have organized this book by the major fields of study: art, business, education, engineering, humanities, mathematics, science, social sciences, vocational education, and general studies. Subcategories within these broad fields also appear.

Beneath the English Language and Literature section there appear various foundations with the details for eligibility, contact information, website, how to apply, deadlines, number of awards, and the amount of each award. Therefore students may write essays about any of three of Ayn Rand's books for scholarships, which would need to be submitted to the Ayn Rand Foundation for the judging process. This book is over 650 pages, so that provides some indication as to the number of scholarships available for the motivated student. Call Number: REF LB2337.2.S28 2006.

2. The College Blue Book. 36th Edition. Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Loans. This title also organizes its information into disciplines of study. Like the previous title it also give contact information, sponsor of the award, title of the award, fields of study eligible to apply, level of education required, awards given, funds available, eligibility requirements, deadlines, websites, and sources of additional information.

This source would be useful not only for undergraduate and graduate students, but it would also be good for professionals in the field looking for grants and fellowships. Call Number: REF LA226.C685 2009.

Need assistance? At most colleges and universities you can find help from professionals at the Financial Aid Office. They can give advice, recommendations, point you to useful resources, and sometimes they can look over applications for you to verify you have all the required materials and that you completed it accurately. At Idaho State University, the Financial Aid Office provides the following mission statement:

"The Scholarship Office administers the University scholarship program (around $10 million in scholarship disbursements each year) and coordinates timely scholarship-related activity including scholarship announcements and advertising, application screening, selection processes, award notification, and tracking of scholarship recipients. We exist to help students find scholarship opportunities and to help donors find qualified students for their scholarships. We hope you'll find the information linked from our website useful. If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to contact us."

Some universities assign specific individuals to help students with scholarship searches. The ISU Scholarship Office can be contacted here:

ISU Scholarship Office
921 S 8th Ave, Stop 8391
Museum Building, Room 327
Pocatello, ID 83209-8391
Phone: (208) 282-3315
Fax: (208) 282-5717

Reference librarians can also be helpful in finding scholarship information, though they are not trained to review applications or provide advice. See contact information below:

Idaho State University
Eli M. Oboler Library
Reference Department
921 S. 8th Ave, Stop 8089
Pocatello, ID 83209-8089

* Phone: (208) 282-3152
* Email:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Reference Books About Marine Mammals

In many of the instruction sessions I teach, I like to emphasize the importance of consulting reference materials. Reading an article from an encyclopedia can help you know the basics on a given topic. Reference materials generally do not need to be cited, as they often include information that the experts in that field consider common knowledge on that topic. In several places the index finger symbol is used in close association with reference books, and rightly so, because reference books point or refer you to other sources. Near the end of an encyclopedia article a bibliography or list of sources appears, directing you to sources that contain more in-depth research/information.

Here are some more reference books worth looking at:

1. Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships: contains animal rights information, articles on anthropomorphism, and entries about humans and animals in art, biology, economics, film, etc. Useful features include cross references, side bars, list of and references.

Some may find it annoying that major topics may be split among different volumes, so a section on animals in film might start in one volume and conclude in another. Since there is no list of subheadings, consult the index to find specific items of interest. The art section appeared to be rather short.

Call Number: QL85 .E53 2007.
Volumes: 4

Note: The editor of this encyclopedia is Marc Bekoff, a founder of an animal-rights group, so the encyclopedia will be a bit slanted in that direction.

2. Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals provides information on all types of ocean mammals and includes 16 color images toward the beginning of the volume. It has over 1400 pages and includes a useful index.
Call Number: QL713.2 .E63 2002

Entries give specific information on various species, such as their taxonomy, anatomical and physiological feature, population size, ecology, eating or foraging habits, life cycles, behavior, demographic parameters, and relations with humans. Maps portray their habitat ranges, black-and-white photographs give an idea of what they look like, and a list of references point to further information.

General articles talk about marine-mammal fossils, coloration of marine mammals, sociobiology, swimming, and many other related subjects.

3. Marine Mammals of the World: A Comprehensive Guide to their Identification is a newer volume (2008) and includes beautiful color photographs of animals in their aquatic settings. It contains a glossary of terms, an index, references, skull morphology, and a dichotomous identification key.

As the title suggests, this book seeks to aid individuals so they may "more easily identify marine mammals that they may come across during trips to sea, while walking on the beach, or when visiting a museum or other research collection" (xi). By marine mammals they mean "cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), pinnipeds (seals sea lions, and walruses), sirenians (manatees, dugongs, and sea cows), marine and sea otters, and the polar bear. [...] The term marine mammal, therefore, implies no systematic or taxonomic relationship. In fact, the cetaceans are more closely related to camels and hippos than they are to other marine mamals, the pinnipeds have more in common with bears and weasels, and the sirenians are more closely allied to elephants and hyraxes. These differences no withstanding, however, all marine mammals have one thing in common--they derive all (or most) of their food from marine (or sometimes fresh) water" (1). Not surprisingly, this book is organized by these group distinctions.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Reference Books

Periodically, the librarians who work at the Idaho State University Reference Desk meet together to talk about reference books. It gives us an opportunity to understand what we have in our collection that may be of interest to students and faculty. This post seeks to highlight some of these resources and their strengths. Look in our catalog to verify call numbers and locations.

1. The Worldwide History of Dress includes many color images and descriptions of mostly traditional and non-western clothing. Each of the ten sections focuses on major geographical areas in the world. Images portray brightly-colored costumes with ornate dragons, flowers, animals, etc. Dimensions of the articles of clothing appear next to the images.

Reproductions of historical documents also appear that emphasize the clothing theme of various cultures. Entries also detail basic histories of the peoples who have created the articles of clothing, the materials used to make the clothing, and a little bit about the process required for creating them.

It includes a full glossary of terms, an extensive bibliography, and a lengthy index. You may wish to have a magnifying glass on hand when you consult these appendices.

Students and faculty in the fields of anthropology, theater, dance, and history may be the most interested in this book. Call Number: GT511 .A63 2007.

2. For those who are more interested in contemporary clothing The Complete Fashion Sourcebook may be just what you are looking for. This reference resource shows how styles of clothing changed from year to year in the twentieth century. Unfortunately, it does not cover all of the decades of the 20th century, nor does it show all of the styles, since it focuses mainly on upper-class fashions. For the everyday styles you might have better luck searching through old Montgomery Ward or Sears Roebuck catalogs.

Again, this book shows images, includes an index, and may be most useful to students of anthropology, theater, dance, and history. Call Number: GT596 .P393 2005.

3. The Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion was another interesting resource. Call Number: GT507 .E53 2005. It has three volumes and likely fills in a lot of the gaps left by the previous two resources discussed, while it may repeat some of the same things.

While I had hoped to discuss the other books in this post, it appears I am out of time tonight. Most reference materials turn out to be interesting to me as evidence by my experience tonight. Once I open them up I end up looking at them longer than I originally intended.