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2003 News Highlights
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Library Selected for NOAA's 2003 Administrator's Award

The Library has been recognized "for innovative and aggressive application of information technology in bringing electronic information services and resources directly to the scientists in the Commerce Boulder Laboratories." The Administrator's Award is given annually in recognition of employees or groups who have made significant contributions to NOAA programs. The Administrator's Awards were presented during Federal Employee Recognition Week on May 6, 2003 in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Library Implements New Document Request System, ILLiad

On November 24, 2003, the Boulder Labs Library will be switching to a new document request system called ILLiad. The new ILLiad system will provide a number of benefits including:

First time users must complete the online registration form. During the registration process you will be asked for an ID Number. This is the same ID Number you use to access the "Your Info" area of our Catalog. If you do not know your ID Number, please call x3271.

Starting November 24th you will be able to access ILLiad from the Document Request page at http://library.bldrdoc.gov/docreq.html. Don't miss the ILLiad premier!

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Reference Services At A Glance

Take advantage of our reference services. It's convenient and you can rely on us to find the most authoritative answer.

Your Personal Trainer
We Can Help!

Why waste valuable time trying to figure out database interfaces? Library staff has thousands of hours of searching experience, as well as educational and professional training. We can help you find what you need in a short amount of time, while showing you shortcuts, tips and expedient search strategies.

Each database has its own searching protocols and its own coverage (time period and subject matter). Library staff is ready to give you tips and pointers that will make your searching more efficient and productive.

We can also help you use bibliographic management tools (i.e., EndNote, ProCite and Reference Manager) to organize and format your citations in the way most useful to you.

For more information, contact one of our Reference Staff.
Or, email us to setup individual or group training for any of our resources.

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Subject Guides - New Reference Tools

Find It All with One Resource!

Introducing Specialized Subject Guides.

Each tailored research guide provides listings of: Journal Article and Citation Databases, Electronic Full Text Journals and Books, and Reference Resources.

Technology Today is published three times per year and distributed free of charge. The publication discusses some of the more than 1,000 research and development projects at the Southwest Research Institute, a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization.

Added 3/27

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Weather Focus on Boulder/Denver & Colorado

Created and maintained by a Meteorologist-turned-Librarian, Weather Focus on Boulder/Denver & Colorado is a valuable and well organized resource for both seasoned and amateur weather enthusiasts.

With an emphasis on the Boulder area and Colorado, one can quickly f popular and practical links to: Current Conditions, Forecasts, Climate Data, Radar, Satellite Images, Severe Weather, Local & State Resources, and more.

Help in Plain English is also available to educate and aide in deciphering reports and data, including:

Added 8/28

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Colorado Snow, Water and Drought Information

See also: U.S. Precipitation Anomalies - from NOAA's Climate Diagnostic Center

Added 3/12/03, Updated 8/3/06

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Federal Government Budget Resources

Science & Research:

Help & Tools:

Updated 8/3/06

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Books In Print: Reviews & Details for In-Print & Out-of-Print Books

Books In Print contains over 4 million records (1979 - Present) of in-print, out-of-print, and forthcoming books, audios, and videos from North American publishers and U.S. distributors and wholesalers. It also includes thousands of full-text book reviews from sources including: Booklist, Choice, Horn Book Guide, Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, SciTech Book News and University Press Book News.

Use Books In Print to:

Books In Print is accessible via Databases.

Connect to Books In Print

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DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals

DOAJ, http://www.doaj.org/, contains free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals that covers all subjects and languages. The Directory includes approximately 350 journals. Journal suggestions are encouraged. Each journal follows strict selection criteria.

From DOAJ: "The aim of the Directory of Open Access Journals is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals thereby promoting their increased usage and impact. The Directory aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content. All subject areas and languages will be covered."

Sample journals include:

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10 Reasons Why the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library

By Mark Y. Herring

Dean of library services
Dacus Library
Winthrop University
Rock Hill, South Carolina

Reading, said the great English essayist Matthew Arnold, "is culture." Given the condition of reading test scores among school children nationwide, it isn't surprising to find both our nation and our culture in trouble. Further, the rush to Internetize all schools, particularly K-12, adds to our downward spiral. If it were not for the Harry Potter books one might lose all hope who languishes here. Then, suddenly, you realize libraries really are in trouble, grave danger, when important higher-education officials opine, "Don't you know the Internet has made libraries obsolete?" Gadzooks! as Harry himself might say.

In an effort to save our culture, strike a blow for reading, and, above all, correct the well-intentioned but horribly misguided notions about what is fast becoming Intertopia among many nonlibrarian bean counters, here are 10 reasons why the Internet is no substitute for a library.

  1. Not Everything Is on the Internet

    With over one billion Web pages you couldn't tell it by looking. Nevertheless, very few substantive materials are on the Internet for free. For example, only about 8% of all journals are on the Web, and an even smaller fraction of books are there. Both are costly! If you want the Journal of Biochemistry, Physics Today, Journal of American History, you'll pay, and to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  2. The Needle (Your Search) in the Haystack (the Web)

    The Internet is like a vast uncataloged library. Whether you're using Hotbot, Lycos, Dogpile, Infoseek, or any one of a dozen other search or metasearch engines, you're not searching the entire Web. Sites often promise to search everything but they can't deliver. Moreover, what they do search is not updated daily, weekly, or even monthly, regardless of what's advertised. If a librarian told you, "Here are 10 articles on Native Americans. We have 40 others but we're not going to let you see them, not now, not yet, not until you've tried another search in another library," you'd throw a fit. The Internet does this routinely and no one seems to mind.

  3. Quality Control Doesn't Exist

    Yes, we need the Internet, but in addition to all the scientific, medical, and historical information (when accurate), there is also a cesspool of waste. When young people aren't getting their sex education off XXX-rated sites, they're learning politics from the Freeman Web page, or race relations from Klan sites. There is no quality control on the Web, and there isn't likely to be any. Unlike libraries where vanity press publications are rarely, if ever, collected, vanity is often what drives the Internet. Any fool can put up anything on the Web, and, to my accounting, all have.

  4. What You Don't Know Really Does Hurt You

    The great boon to libraries has been the digitization of journals. But full-text sites, while grand, aren't always full. What you don't know can hurt you:

    • articles on these sites are often missing, among other things, footnotes;
    • tables, graphs, and formulae do not often show up in a readable fashion (especially when printed); and
    • journal titles in a digitized package change regularly, often without warning.

    A library may begin with X number of journals in September and end with Y number in May. Trouble is, those titles aren't the same from September to May. Although the library may have paid $100,000 for the access, it's rarely notified of any changes. I would not trade access to digitized journals for anything in the world, but their use must be a judicious, planned, and measured one, not full, total, and exclusive reliance.

  5. States Can Now Buy One Book and Distribute to Every Library on the Web-NOT!

    Yes, and we could have one national high school, a national university, and a small cadre of faculty teaching everybody over streaming video. Let's take this one step further and have only digitized sports teams for real savings! (Okay, I know, I've insulted the national religion.) Since 1970 about 50,000 academic titles have been published every year. Of these 1.5 million titles, fewer than a couple thousand are available. What is on the Net are about 20,000 titles published before 1925. Why? No copyright restrictions that cause prices to soar to two or three times their printed costs. Finally, vendors delivering e-books allow only one digitized copy per library. If you check out an e-book over the Web, I can't have it until you return it. Go figure, as they say. And if you're late getting the book back, there is no dog-ate-my-homework argument. It's charged to your credit card automatically.

  6. Hey, Bud, You Forgot about E-book Readers

    Most of us have forgotten what we said about microfilm ("It would shrink libraries to shoebox size"), or when educational television was invented ("We'll need fewer teachers in the future"). Try reading an e-book reader for more than a half-hour. Headaches and eyestrain are the best results. Besides, if what you're reading is more than two pages long, what do you do? Print it. Where's a tree hugger when you really need one? Moreover, the cost of readers runs from $200 to $2,000, the cheaper ones being harder on the eyes. Will this change? Doubtless, but right now there's no market forces making it change. Will it change in less than 75 years? Unlikely!

  7. Aren't There Library-less Universities Now?

    No. The newest state university in California at Monterey opened without a library building a few years ago. For the last two years, they've been buying books by the tens of thousands because-surprise, surprise-they couldn't find what they needed on the Internet. California Polytechnic State University, home of the world's highest concentration of engineers and computer geeks, explored the possibility of a virtual (fully electronic) library for two years. Their solution was a $42-million traditional library with, of course, a strong electronic component. In other words, a fully virtualized library just can't be done. Not yet, not now, not in our lifetimes.

  8. But a Virtual State Library Would Do It, Right?

    Do what, bankrupt the state? Yes, it would. The cost of having everything digitized is incredibly high, costing tens of millions of dollars just in copyright releases. And this buys only one virtual library at one university. Questia Media, the biggest such outfit, just spent $125 million digitizing 50,000 books released (but not to libraries!) in January. At this rate, to virtualize a medium-sized library of 400,000 volumes would cost a mere $1,000,000,000! Then you need to make sure students have equitable access everywhere they need it, when they need it. Finally, what do you do with rare and valuable primary sources once they are digitized? Take them to the dump? And you must hope the power never, ever goes out. Sure, students could still read by candlelight, but what would they be reading?

  9. The Internet: A Mile Wide, an Inch (or Less) Deep

    Looking into the abyss of the Internet is like vertigo over a void. But the void has to do not only with what's there, but also with what isn't. Not much on the Internet is more than 15 years old. Vendors offering magazine access routinely add a new year while dropping an earlier one. Access to older material is very expensive. It'll be useful, in coming years, for students to know (and have access to) more than just the scholarly materials written in the last 10 to15 years.

  10. The Internet Is Ubiquitous but Books Are Portable

    In a recent survey of those who buy electronic books, more than 80% said they like buying paper books over the Internet, not reading them on the Web. We have nearly 1,000 years of reading print in our bloodstream and that's not likely to change in the next 75. Granted, there will be changes in the delivery of electronic materials now, and those changes, most of them anyway, will be hugely beneficial. But humankind, being what it is, will always want to curl up with a good book-not a laptop-at least for the foreseeable future.

The Web is great; but it's a woefully poor substitute for a full-service library. It is mad idolatry to make it more than a tool. Libraries are icons of our cultural intellect, totems to the totality of knowledge. If we make them obsolete, we've signed the death warrant to our collective national conscience, not to mention sentencing what's left of our culture to the waste bin of history. No one knows better than librarians just how much it costs to run a library. We're always looking for ways to trim expenses while not contracting service. The Internet is marvelous, but to claim, as some now do, that it's making libraries obsolete is as silly as saying shoes have made feet unnecessary.

This article originally appeared in American Libraries, April 2001, p. 76-78.

© Copyright 2003 American Library Association. This document may be reprinted and distributed for non-commercial and educational purposes only, and not for resale. All other rights reserved.

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Featured Resources

HowStuffWorks

From Atomic Clocks to Climbing Rocks to Picking Locks, HowStuffWorks (www.howstuffworks.com) caters to millions of readers by providing clear and fun answers to how things work. The site has collected over 50 awards, including those from Time, PC Magazine, Scientific American, and it was also featured by the respected Scout Report for Science & Engineering. You can also participate in one their many forums or subscribe to their weekly or monthly newsletter.

"Recognized internationally as the leading provider of information on how things work, HowStuffWorks content explains the world from the inside out!" - from HowStuffWorks

Einstein Archives Online

Einstein Archives Online, www.alberteinstein.info, provides over 900 Albert Einstein's scientific, non-scientific, and biographical documents held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Included are: Einstein's papers on relativity, the quantum theory of light and matter, and education, international affairs and pacifism.

In addition to the full text documents, the site also provides access to the Archival Database, which contains approximately 43,000 records of Einstein and Einstein related documents. The records published in this online version pertain to Albert Einstein's scientific and non-scientific writings, his professional and personal correspondence, notebooks, travel diaries, personal documents, and third-party items contained in the original collection of Einstein's personal papers. The Archival Database also presents records for all items that have been published since 1986 in the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, including an additional 534 items that were not part of the original Einstein Archive.

Grants.gov - The Source for Federal Grants

"Grants.gov is one of the 24 Federal cross-agency E-Government initiatives focused on improving access to services via the Internet. The vision for Grants.gov is to produce a simple, unified source to electronically find, apply for, and manage grant opportunities.

It encompasses over 900 grant programs offered by the 26 Federal grant-making agencies. It streamlines the process of awarding over $350 billion annually to state and local governments, academia, not-for-profits and other organizations." (Source: grants.gov)

Use Grants.gov to:

Grants.gov is a collaborative effort involving the Department of Health and Human Services and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor and Transportation, as well as the National Science Foundation.

More information about the President's E-Gov Initiative is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/egov.

SciCentral - Gateway to Scientific Research News

SciCentral (www.scicentral.com) provides quick access to science news from reliable and timely sources. You can scan today's breaking research news, or browse news items from a range of science disciplines.

SciCentral has received over 30 Web awards and outstanding reviews from leading science publishers such as Science Magazine, The Lancet, and New Scientist for high-quality service. Originally produced by scientists and science enthusiasts, the site also contains hand-picked resources and tools, organized by specialty area. Instead of providing long lists of Internet links, SciCentral seeks to highlight the best resources currently available.

Science.gov Connects to Government Science

WASHINGTON, DC - The American public is now connected as never before to U.S. Government science and technology. Fourteen scientific and technical information organizations from 10 major science agencies have collaborated to create science.gov (www.science.gov), the "FirstGov for Science" web site. Science.gov is the gateway to reliable information about science and technology from across Federal government organizations.

Users can find over one thousand government information resources about science. These resources include:

The information is all free, and no registration is required.

The agencies participating in science.gov are the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, and Interior; the Environmental Protection Agency; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and the National Science Foundation.

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