Friday, July 17, 2009

Databases, part 4: What's next

I may as well go ahead and make a habit of it. Here goes:

What did Jim the Librarian read this week?
I read The Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England by Brock Clarke. I've been hoping for a chance to really read through it since it arrived but it wasn't available for checkout until recently. Even librarians can get beaten to the punch by enthusiastic readers. Anyway, it's about this guy who accidentally burns Emily Dickinson's house to the ground -- with two people in it. He gets sent to prison for ten years, where he befriends a very strange group of bond analysts, and when he gets out, he goes off to college, where he meets a woman and marries her and has a couple of children with her ... all without telling her about his sordid past. It's when the truth comes out at last that everything goes all fruity and our bumbling, possibly slightly-sociopathic protagonist stumbles across secret after secret and ends up back in a place he thought he'd never see again. All along the way is this hilarious trip through literature: he meets a man whose brother has a flaming hatred for a writer who wrote only one book, a professor who thinks Mark Twain is a -- ahem -- feminine apparatus, a hideously masculine New England Writer and the real New England Men who hate him, and the general absurdity of the memoir craze of recent years. It's literary satire, and extremely well-done at that.

Once again, it's on the display table by the entrance facing the JSAC if anyone would like to check it out. I highly, highly recommend it.

Okay. Enough of my gushing. On with the show.

For the past few weeks, we've been discussing various aspects of life with databases: how to get in from off-campus, why you'll see such a wide variation in database access through our Library, and the reasons for limiting access and the costs thereof. Today, we're going to get away from all that and take a look at the wishlist we librarians have in mind for our next few electronic acquisitions.

We'll cover databases first, and then move on to individual journals -- many of which have ended up on the list by faculty or staff request. We always welcome feedback and more requests, incidentally; feel free to comment on this post or get in touch with one of us if you want to suggest possible new acquisitions.

Gale Literature Resource Center (LRC)
This is our number-one priority at the moment -- as soon as funds are available, we'll be snapping this up. It's also the one I'm most excited about at the moment. It's basically a huge repository of literary analysis and criticism on nearly everything from Stephen King to Ernest Hemingway. Super-useful for those required English classes and full of good reading if you're a literature nerd like me. This will also enable us to get rid of some print subscriptions, freeing up shelf space and budgetary room for other things.

Counseling and Therapy in Video
Currently containing close to 300 videos about social work, psychotherapy, and psychiatric counseling, this is a pretty unusual resource for us. And yes, before you ask: each video is accompanied with a synchronized transcript that will follow along with the video, highlighting what's being spoken and allowing you to skip to various points in the video by clicking on the section of the transcript you want to watch.

A database of country-specific data and other types of information that strives to remain as up to date on the country of your choice as possible. Good for courses in the following programs: Business, Communication Studies, Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Government, History, and Sociology.

Philosopher's Index
Indexes philosophical books, articles, contributions to anthologies, and anthologies themselves. Good for courses in the following programs: Business, Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Government, and History.

Global Issues in Context
Essentially, a database of issues and linked resources that help explain the background of those issues, such as child slavery -- in which countries is this practice prevalent? What's the history behind it? What global organizations are working to stop it? Good for courses in pretty much every program.

JSTOR Africa Collection
An expansion of our JSTOR access, this will let us into their extensive coverage of the African countries and historical academic coverage. Good for courses in: Business, History, Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Government, Sociology.

Career development for exceptional individuals
Communication disorders quarterly
Focus on autism and other developmental disorders
Human factors
International social work
Intervention in school and clinic
Journal of disability policy studies
Journal of early intervention
Journal of emotional and behavioral disorders
Journal of English linguistics
Journal of learning disabilities
Journal of positive behavior interventions
Journal of social work (JSW)
Journal of social work in disability and rehabilitation
Journal of special education
Language and speech
Qualitative social work
Rehabilitation counseling bulletin
Remedial and special education
Topics in early childhood special education
Translation and Interpreting Studies

Other than the LRC, none of the items listed here have been prioritized in any way; although we do have some preferences for which items to get first, this is just our basic shopping list for the next few months after we've sacrificed a few virgins to appease our budget.

Okay. This completely and totally wraps up our database series. Next week will be our last librarian profile for a while, and then we'll move on to the back-to-school collections of super-important posts for new and returning students.

Enjoy your weekend!

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