Monday, November 22, 2010

Follow Up on Native American Research Post

In my searching for Shoshone/Bannock tribal treaties, I discovered another resource worth mentioning. Handbook of North American Indians published by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. is a bit dated, but still contains lots of information worth looking at with regards to the North American Indians.

This twelve-volume title dedicates a volume to each major region. Volume 11 highlights the Great Basin Indians, which includes the Shoshone/Bannock tribes. Chapters focus on the prehistory, history, ethnology, and special topics of individual areas within the region. Black and white photographs show art, tools, and contemporary individuals. For example, photos include bows, arrows, cradleboards, salmon-skin bags, woven carrying bags, and historical figures, as well as winter and summer dwellings.

The chapter titled "Northern Shoshone and Bannock" provides 29 pages of details about their language, environment, external relations, territory, population, culture, and history. A short history talks about their prehistory, but another chapter goes into greater detail where that is concerned. Multiple authors collaborated to write each chapter, and they include descriptions of their sources with author and date details. The full bibliography appears at the end of each volume, as well as a detailed index and a list of illustrations.

Shoshone Indians (1871). Photo by William H. Jackson. Courtesy of National Park Service.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finding Native American/Indian Treaties

Last week I presented to my colleagues some updates to the Resources by Subject: Political Science page. In that presentation I pointed out one of our resources Public Documents Masterfile, which can aid researchers in finding government documents. Essentially, it serves as an index of other indexes. Therefore, this database does not provide full-text access, but it refers you to other sources, when can then refer you to the actual items with the full-text documents. Welcome to the world of government and legal research.

As an example, I showed how to find treaties between the U.S. government and the Shoshone/Bannock Tribes. A search for Shoshone Treaty brings back these results:

Selecting the first option with four records bring up this

Copying and pasting these titles into our catalog will help you find where they are located in our Library.  Actually, the following title Descriptive Catalog of the Government Publications of the United States will return a negative search, because the physical volume in question spell catalog like this: catalogue.  Whenever a title search does not work for me, my next step is to conduct an author search, which happens to be Poore, Benjamin Perley: .

The author search worked, and I found a call number but could not locate it on the shelf, so our government documents librarian helped me find it.  The numbers after the colon "963" and "991" seemed to refer to page numbers.  Nothing on page 963 seemed to refer to the Shoshone Indians, but there was something on page 991:
Report on the Shoshone and Bannock Indians.  See Columbus Delano.  Jan.22, 1874.  House Ex.Docs., No.61, 43d Cong.,1st sess., Vol.IX  2pp.  Transmitting information in regard to articles of convention concluded with the chiefs and headmen of the Shoshone and Bannock Indians for relinquishment of a portion of their reservation in Wyoming Territory.
Then my government documents colleague directed me to the CIS US Serial Set Index: 35th-45th Congresses 1857-1879 (Part II). Part II are "Finding Lists," so if you know what you want, that's the volume you need. If you are looking for documents according to their subject take a look at the two subject indexes on those sessions of congress.

Now we looked up the 43rd Congress, 1st session, which we found on page 1540. (Incidentally, this volume started on page 1293.) We found the title of House Executive Document 61: "Articles of convention with Shoshone and Bannock Indians for relinquishment of portion of their reservation in Wyoming Territory. Yes, we already had that information, so the most important thing at this point was the Volume and Serial numbers for the Serial Set. These were Vol. 9 Serial 1607.

We hiked up to the third floor, and, of course, the government documents librarian knows where the Serial Set is located, so I just followed. It turns out that we lack Serial number 1607. 1606 and 1608 sat on the shelf, but no 1607; however, someone had photocopied House Executive document 102, inserted it between a hard cover, and placed it on the shelf. This one did not relate directly to the Shoshone Bannock Tribes, but it did relate to Idaho: "Reservation for Indians of Colville agency, and for Coeur d'Alene Indians, of Territory of Idaho.

Since we could not locate it on the shelves, we went to the microfiche cabinets and found the microfiche that had Serial 1607, which included H.Ex.Doc.61. Today I went and refreshed my memory on using the microfiche and microfilm readers, scanned a copy of the two-page document. On one of my Google Sites pages it is the pdf document titled Shoshone Treaty.

Faster Way to Locate Native American/Indian Treaties

Yes, it does not have to take you this long to locate these treaties. Oklahoma State University has digitized many, if not all, of the treaties between the U.S. federal government and the sovereign tribes. Make sure to search Kappler's Indian Affairs:

Our Library does have a print copy of Kappler's Indian Affairs. Volume II on Laws and Treaties is where you would look to find the treaties. The index at the back points to the pages necessary for the appropriate tribal treaty in question. See pages 694, 848-51,859, and 1020 for treaties that mention the Shoshoni or Shoshone/Bannock Tribes. A look at our copy will show that these pages have been frequently looked at, since these are the nearest tribes to Pocatello, where Idaho State University resides.

Chief Pokatello helped negotiate the 1863 treaty; hence the name of the city here. The Shoshone/Bannock tribes live on the Fort Hall reservation.

Thank you, Oklahoma State University. Digital access takes much less time than hunting down the print copy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reading the Newspaper

Sometimes the newspaper can reveal some good websites worth using. Over the years I have discovered a number of good sites this way. Typically, I bookmark them within my Delicious account:

Today I discovered SkillsUSA at A local Pocatello automotive teacher, Roy Angle, in the public school system recently earned the designation of first runner up for his work as SkillsUSA advisor for Region 5 (an area that includes much of the western U.S.). The Idaho State Journal's Jimmy Hancock describes the organization: "SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled work force." Idaho's School District 25 chose Angle as their Teacher of the Year.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities in the Information Literacy Classroom

Ted Chodock and Elizabeth Dolinger's article "Applying Universal Design to Information Literacy: Teaching Students Who Learn Differently at Landmark College" discusses some ideas for helping students with AD/HD, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities. The define their terms upfront and explain how Universal Design (UD) can apply both to architecture and the classroom. To them active-learning strategies facilitate UD in the classroom: "Instead of simply engaging students and breaking up lectures, active learning methods become a way to reach the variety of learners in the classroom" (30). This makes sense.

Of worthy mention, they explain and provide examples of nine Universal Design principles in their article. Let me highlight just a few. First, "equitable use" in the classroom could mean that a course guide be provided in an online format as well as in print. "The Web-based version allows students with dyslexia and others who learn better aurally to use a test-to-speech screen reader to access the content." It also allows visually impaired students to increase the font size (28).

"Principle 2: Flexibility in Use" encourages active-learning methods, which can help those with attention difficulties. Mix things up with group, demonstration, lecture, and independent activities. To get their attention, also try previewing and viewing an agenda periodically throughout the class, noting when certain objectives have been accomplished. Goals that correlate directly to an assignment give students more reason to engage (28-29).

Spelling search terms can also even things up for those with dyslexia, not to mention a large number of students who have always had a spell-checking function available to correct their mistakes. Along these lines, the authors suggest that handouts, printed or otherwise, be written in a sans serif font, such as Arial or Trebuchet, and that any writing on a blackboard or whiteboard be done with print letters. Cursive or fancy writing may be particularly difficult for those with dyslexia. Besides, the large majority of students will be able to interpret print letters more readily (28).

Finally, "Principle 4: Perceptible Information" deals with clear communication. They make some good points:
Two other applications of principle 4 are using few words in giving directions and presenting information in multiple formats. Just as including too many databases and search strategies can be counterproductive to memory, so can giving detailed instructions that assume a shared knowledge base. Instead, succinct instructions using fewer words provided in sequential order are more effective. Finally, examples of presenting material in multiple formats include using online video clips to illustrate concepts, emphasizing the increasing availability of audio and video content in databases and other electronic resources, and linking multimedia screencasts to Web-based course guides. (29)

It seems that academic librarians spend a lot of time adopting or looking into new technology. Understanding the why's and wherefore's can be useful, and this article begins to address some of these reasons. They also talk about why half to a third of an instruction session should be given for students to practice searching the resources just demonstrated. Students benefit from this opportunity to search, make mistakes, and ask for help from an expert (29).

Consider reading this article and coming back to discuss it here:

Chodock, Ted, and Elizabeth Dolinger. "Applying Universal Design to Information Literacy: Teaching Students Who Learn Differently at Landmark College." Reference & User Services Quarterly 49.1 (Fall 2009): 24-32. Print.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Books in the Library

Most academic libraries buy books. Yes, they often buy lots and lots of books in order to support ongoing research. Depending on the discipline, some fields of study publish more books than others. For example, hundreds of titles get published in English, history, art, philosophy, political science, and so on. Generally speaking, the hard sciences, such as biology, medicine, engineering, mathematics, do not publish quite as many books. These disciplines tend to publish their research findings predominantly in scholarly and peer-reviewed journals.

In many cases, patrons of academic libraries can browse some of the new books in a reading room. (Admittedly, not all new books go onto the "New Books" shelf. Typically, the most attractive or eye-catching titles go on the "New Books" shelf.) Some professors like to view the recent acquisitions in the Library, especially if they have helped with the selection of the titles.

New books can also be browsed online in many library catalogs. Below is a link to a tutorial that shows how to browse new books with the Eli M. Oboler Library's catalog:
New Books in ISU's Oboler Library. Another link to this tutorial can be found on the Eli M. Oboler Library Tutorials site.

The tutorial suggests that students can browse new book titles to discover potential research projects. It seems that deciding on a topic remains one of the biggest problems students face in the research process. If they wait too long, then they will not have enough time to research the topic, they will not become as interested, and they final result may not be quite as polished.

On the other hand, browsing the new books might introduce them to a subject that piques their interest. If they go and check out a new book, then they may only need to go and find a few more sources, thus saving them time. This strategy could save them time, especially if they utilized the list of references (the bibliography) within the book. A simple title search could save time, where a keyword search might take a bit longer. Additionally, like I often express in teaching situations, if they find a "new" book they like, they can go to the shelf where that book will be located after it is no longer "new" and look around to see other books on that same topic, thus expediting the search process even further.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Finding Full-Text Access

Students often come to ask for assistance with their research at the reference desk. One student yesterday wanted to find access to articles within particular journal titles, so I showed him how to use the A-Z Journal List, which can sometimes be a bit cumbersome. As a result I thought it might be helpful for the student if I created a quick Jing tutorial. As it turned out, I ended up creating two tutorials, so I thought I would share.

The first one demonstrates how to use the A-Z Journal list. It also shows how to search within a publication inside the ProQuest Central database.

The second tutorial shows how to use the Resources by Subject pages. These pages point students to databases which will help them with their discipline-specific research.