Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Library hours during winter break

The Library will be closed from Thursday, December 20, through Tuesday, January 8.

From Wednesday, January 9, through Friday, January 11, we will be open 1 to 4 p.m.

Closed Saturday, January 12.

Regular hours resume on Monday, January 14. Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Monday, December 17, 2007

This Week in CQ Researcher

Future of Recycling by Jennifer Weeks, December 14, 2007

Is a zero-waste society achievable?

Three-quarters of all Americans recycle at home, making recycling one of the nation’s most popular environmental activities. Skeptics argue that recycling does little to help the environment and often costs more than burying waste in landfills, but rising energy prices and concerns about climate change are strengthening the supporters’ case. Meanwhile, a growing stream of junked computers, televisions and other electronic trash – much of it containing toxic materials – is forcing manufacturers to take responsibility for disposing of their products.

  • Is there a waste disposal crisis in the United States?
  • Do product bans reduce waste?
  • Should producers be responsible for disposing of used products?

To read this article and others visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on CQ Researcher. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

New Hours for Otay Mesa Library

Beginning January 14, 2008, the hours of operation for the library at the Higher Education Center, Otay Mesa, will be:
Monday and Tuesday 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (two extra hours each day)
Wednesday and Thursday 12 noon to 7:30 p.m. (one extra hour each day)
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday closed

Friday, December 14, 2007

American Song - Listen to Music Online

American Song is an online music listening service that documents the history of American music. A fully searchable music resource, the American Song database includes over 12,000 tracks of licensed recordings that users can listen to over the Internet. Included in the database are the songs of Civil Rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, anti-war protests and more.

American Song and three other online music listening resources; the Classical Music Library, Smithsonian Global Sound, and African American Song are available on our Articles and Databases website

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Extended Library Hours for Finals Week

The Library is open extended hours during Finals Week.

Thursday, December 13: 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday, December 14: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday, December 15: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Closed Sunday December 16

Monday, December 17: 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
Tuesday, December 18: 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, December 19: 7:00 am - 8:00 pm

For a complete schedule of library hours , see the Library Hours page.

If you need some assistance during hours when the Library is closed, try our Ask Us Now Library Reference service. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Book of the Week

How to Do Everything with Second Life
by Richard Mansfield
McGraw Hill, 2008

Filled with hundreds of practical tips, techniques and hands-on tutorials, this book should make the experience of any Second Life resident easier, more exciting, and more fulfilling. With the help of this book, you’ll master the camera, learn to travel efficiently, find privacy and get help—and that is just in the first chapter. Later in the book, you’ll experience virtual love in its many splendid forms and learn to make money in everything from real estate to selling personal services. Whether you are a newbie or an old hand, this book will help you get the most out of Second Life.

Check out How to Do Everything with Second Life on the New Book Shelf in the Library.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Interactive Online Learning

The LearningExpress Library offers you unlimited, 24/7 access to skill–building interactive courses in math, reading, grammar and writing skills, as well as hundreds of online interactive practice tests that help prepare you for civil service positions, entrance into nursing school, preparation for the GED, and U.S. Citizenship exams.

The LearningExpress Library can be accessed from any web–enabled computer on campus, in the library, or from home. In order to take full advantage of the LearningExpress Library services, set up your own account on campus.

All practice tests include instant score reports which provide immediate feedback on how well you performed in each practice exam and complete answer explanations accompany each response so that you understand why a particular answer is correct or incorrect.

To use the LearningExpress Library and other online library resources visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on the Learning Express Library link. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

This Week in CQ Researcher

Protestants Today, by Marcia Clemmitt, December 7, 2007

Can U.S. Protestants survive today’s challenges?

The overwhelming majority of Americans once were Protestants, but church membership has been dropping for decades. Today, religious diversity reigns, with Protestantism only one among an array of American faiths.

But declining numbers haven’t dimmed church leaders’ efforts to influence public issues, just as early Protestant churches drove social movements from abolition and Prohibition to the civil rights struggle.

  • Have mainline Protestant groups lost their influence permanently?
  • Would declaring the United States a Christian nation fulfill the intentions of the nation’s founders?
  • Must Protestants take a specific political stance?

To read this article and others visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on CQ Researcher. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Crunch time? Get some help.

Try our Online Reference Service

24 hours a day 7 days a week

Real Librarians - Real Help - Real Fast

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New Book of the Week

A Christmas Beginning
by Anne Perry
Ballantine Books, 2007
Book Review by Kate Dunn, SWC Librarian

Superintendent Runcorn of Scotland Yard is spending Christmas on the wild and beautiful island of Anglesey off the north coast of Wales. On one of his solitary strolls, the lonely bachelor stumbles upon a lifeless body which will soon be identified as the local vicar’s lively younger sister.

As he unlocks the secrets of Olivia’s life and death Detective Runcorn finds that, miraculously, his investigation may open the door to a new future for himself.

You can check out A Christmas Beginning (call number 3077) and our other new book titles on the New Book Shelf in the Library.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Top Shelf

By Patty Gianulis, John Tibbals, and John Stanton
Useful and interesting resources -- for homework or for your off-school hours.

Book Selection
Waller, Don. Ornamental Trees of San Diego. San Diego: San Diego Horticultural Society, 2003. Ref SB 437.65 S36 076 2003

Ornamental Trees of San Diego brings together 230 of the most glorious trees of this area, including photographs, detailed descriptions and cultivation tips. The text provides valuable, often first-hand information including where the plant originated, how long it should be expected to live, how big it will get and how to best care for it. Locations of all the trees shown are included so you can drive by and see how well they work in a garden. Other features include “How to Select a Tree for the Garden”, a color chart of flowering trees, guides to tree locations in Balboa Park and Quail Gardens, a select bibliography, indexes of common and botanical names and a list of local sources to purchase trees. This is an excellent local resource.
-Patty G.

Website Selection
Barahona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents (at CSU San Marcos)

The most useful parts of the website are "Recommended Books in Spanish" and "Recommended Books in English About Latinos". In each area the user can enter a title or a subject, then select the desired grade level up through grade 12 (or search all levels at once by using the default "any"). A list of appropriate books will appear...then the user clicks on a title to get full bibliographic information as well as a summary and review sources. For example searching for the subject "migrant labor", any age, in English generates 23 hits.

The Barahona Center has been at CSUSM for many years and is a widely respected source of information in this field.
-John T.

Website Selection
Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), 2006-07 Edition

From the website's description:
"The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook—updated every 2 years—is a career reference that describes the job duties, working conditions, education and training requirements, earnings levels, and employment levels and projected employment change, and employment prospects for hundreds of occupations. It presents the analysis of the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment projections, along with related information, to help students and job seekers identify and learn about careers."

The OOH is an excellent resource for college students wanting to investigate potential careers, This website is the online version of the classic reference work and it is available for free in the comfort of your own home. It is just as easy to navigate the online version as the print version.
-John S.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Extended Library Hours

The library will open at 7 am beginning Friday December 7. Here is our extended hours schedule until the end of the fall semester.

  • Friday December 7 - 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Saturday December 8 - 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Closed Sunday December 9
  • Monday December 10 - 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tuesday December 11 - 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday December 12 - 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thursday December 13 - 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Friday December 14 - 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Saturday December 15 - 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Closed Sunday December 16
  • Monday December 17 - 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tuesday December 18 - 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday December 19 - 7:00 am - 8:00 pm

For a complete schedule of library hours , see the Library Hours page.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

This Week in CQ Researcher

Disappearing Species by Tom Arrandale, November 30, 2007

Does Earth face a mass extinction of plants and animals?

The polar bear may vanish as global warming melts Arctic ice. India 's tigers and Africa 's gorillas are also at severe risk, and thousands of other valuable animals, plants and insects are disappearing as tropical rain forests around the world are cut down. Now honeybees have mysteriously gone missing from American farms, while coral reefs are dwindling and deep-sea fisheries are depleted.

Many scientists fear that Earth faces an irreversible biological catastrophe even more severe than climate change, and that conservation efforts could be too late to preserve much of the planet's irreplaceable biodiversity.

  • Is the mass extinction of wild species imminent?
  • Will global warming increase species losses?
  • Will losing species impair human well-being?

To read this article and others visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on CQ Researcher. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

    Saturday, December 01, 2007


    For up-to-date news and information on your favorite countries of the world visit the CountryWatch online database located on our Articles & Databases website

    CountryWatch is a continuously updated online resource also provides geopolitical, economic, social, business and environmental information for countries around the world.

    Online access is provide through the Southwestern College Library's website. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to use this resource from off campus locations.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    New Book of the Week

    The Humble Little Condom: a History
    by Aine Collier.
    Prometheus Books, 2007

    Everything you ever wanted to know about the condom, and many things you never thought of. You probably never knew that condoms have been found among the artifacts in ancient Egyptian tombs, that London suffered through condom wars, or when condom vending machines reached the United States.

    Here is one review that sums it up well:

    “This book has it all—sex, money, infidelity, war, poetry, the famous and the infamous, politics, hypocrisy. What a read!...Although there are plenty of laughs, this is a serious history and one that was hard to put down. I had no idea the condom had such a long and complex story.”

    --Frederick Gottlieb, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor in International Public Health, University of Utah

    You can check out The Humble Little Condom: a History (Call Number RC888 C65 2007) and our other new book titles on the New Book Shelf in the library.

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    Top Shelf

    by Ron Vess and Patty Gianulis, SWC Librarians

    Top Shelf is a weekly column of some of our favorite (and sometimes unusual) resources.

    Book Selection
    San Diego County Bird Atlas, by Philip Unitt
    Call Number: Ref QL684.C2 U57 2004

    “The San Diego County Bird Atlas addresses all the county's birds--wintering birds, migrants, and exotics as well as breeding birds. Each species account covers breeding distribution, nesting habits and schedule, migration, winter distribution, conservation outlook, and taxonomy, if relevant. The accounts include a chart showing the seasonal distribution of the nesting activity of each nesting species; they have at least one map for every regular breeding and wintering species.” –Amazon … I selected this one because I was viewing an episode of Planet Earth about birds from the jungles migrating into the Andes on the Discovery Channel this past weekend. Thought it was a grand program and then this book popped-up on the cataloging cart. So…enjoy.

    Website Selection
    Science is fun in the lab of Dr. Shakhashiri

    The master of chemical demonstrations, University of Wisconsin-Madison Chemistry Professor Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, shares the fun of science through home science activities, demonstration shows, videos, and books Science is Fun is one part of a larger “Initiative for Science Literacy” that has two goals: to promote literacy in science, mathematics, and technology among the general public and to attract future generations to careers as the researchers, entrepreneurs, and teachers on whom the nation's continuing economic health and national security will depend. Check out the interesting articles on the “Chemistry of Autumn Colors” or the “Colors of Gemstones” in the section on Chemical of the Week. The site also includes a Periodic Table of the Elements (with an article on each element), recommended websites, and experiments you can do at home.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    Got a Question? Need an Answer?

    Try our Online Reference Service

    24 hours a day 7 days a week

    Real People - Real Help - Real Fast

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007 Issues and Controversies

    The online database provides a balanced look at the newsworthy topic, Children's Health Insurance .

    This week also includes an updated article on Wildfire Prevention and the Southern California wildfire evacuations that occurred in October.

    Online access is provide through the Southwestern College Library's website. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to use this resource from off campus locations.

    Monday, November 19, 2007

    This week in CQ Researcher

    U.S. Policy on Iran by Peter Katel, November 16, 2007

    Would a nuclear-armed Iran endanger the United States?

    In October President Bush said Iran’s nuclear program raised the specter of World War III. Then Vice President Cheney warned of “serious consequences” if Iran stayed on course as a “terror-supporting state.” The heated rhetoric is widely seen as calculated to raise the specter of military action against Iran.

    Other Iran-watchers say military action could further endanger U.S. forces fighting next door in Iraq. They urge the administration to aid dissidents rather than counter Iran by military force.

    * Would a nuclear-armed Iran endanger the United States?
    * Does U.S. support help pro-democracy dissidents influence Iran’s policies?
    * Is Iran fomenting instability in Iraq?

    To read this article and others visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on CQ Researcher. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

    New Book of the Week

    Sick Girl by Amy Silverstein
    Grove/Atlantic Press, 2007
    Call Number 3072

    Review by Katie Dunn, SWC Librarian

    This is a true account written by Amy Silverstein, the longest-surviving heart transplant patient ever. At 23, she was a bright young woman with a bright future: in law school, with a boyfriend and a jam-packed schedule. She really didn’t have time to be sick so she ignored her violently pounding heart, occasional blackouts and even temporary blindness. How could she guess her heart was about to give out? Only a few months later she received a heart transplant.

    Nineteen years have passed since then. What has Amy’s life been like? While we might expect Amy to be filled daily with meek gratitude for her life-saving transplant, the reality of her life has been much more mixed. She gives a very outspoken insight into the pain and depression that accompany her struggle to stay alive. Her book is not without love and humor, though. This is one courageous and gritty woman.

    You can check out Sick Girl and our other new book titles on the New Book Shelf in the library.

    Friday, November 16, 2007

    Working Late - So Are We

    Southwestern College Library
    Online Reference Service
    24 hours a day 7 days a week.

    We now provide reference help over the Internet, in addition to our more traditional modes of phone, email, and in-person reference requests.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    ARTstor Digital Library Addition

    ARTstor has added over 300 images from the Mark Rothko Family Collection into the ARTstor Digital Library. This release includes 43 paintings scanned from eight-by-ten color transparencies that are not in public collections.

    The collection is currently in production, and the images to be released in ARTstor will span Rothko’s entire career. An initial release of Rothko’s paintings on canvas is already available in ARTstor, including examples of his early figurative style, as well as mature works from the late 1940s through the 1960s.

    These images can be found from the Welcome Page by clicking on The Image Gallery (under “Browse”) and selecting Mark Rothko from the list.

    For information on how you can access the Mark Rothko collection view other ARTstor images and register for an ARTstor account visit our ARTstor information website at

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    Top Shelf

    by Karen Smith and Ron Vess, SWC Librarians

    Top Shelf is a weekly column where SWC Librarians share some of the top resources they've discovered.

    Book Selection

    Encyclopedia of folk medicine : old world and new world traditions.
    by Gabrielle Hatfield.
    Available via NetLibrary (R733 .H376 2004eb)

    This electronic book, available to all of the SWC community 24/7 in our Netlibrary collection, is a well-researched look into healing treatments used throughout history. Each article is extensively footnoted and has a list of references.

    Website Selection
    Urban Dictionary

    The Urban Dictionary is a slang dictionary with definitions written by its visitors -- it's a living catalog of popular culture that's growing every day. You may say a way for “old Fogies” to stay Hip… or at least to catch-up. But be forewarned, like all sites that can be edited by the user, some of this is inappropriate for many folks, probably me included. Definitions run from “G” to “R++” or better/worse.

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    New Book - Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang

    New in the Southwestern College library collection is Endless Universe, call number QB991.C92 S83 2007. This new addition to our library collection was written by Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok, both authors are distinguished theoretical physicists.

    The two authors “contend that what we think of as the moment of creation was simply part of an infinite cycle of titanic collisions between our universe and a parallel world” (Discover). They recount the remarkable developments in astronomy, particle physics, and superstring theory that form the basis for their groundbreaking “Cyclic Universe” theory.

    Check out Endless Universe and our other new book titles on the New Book Shelf in the library.

    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    This week in CQ Researcher

    Prosecutors and the Law by Kenneth Jost, November 9, 2007

    Is prosecutorial misconduct a serious problem?

    Three former Duke University lacrosse players are putting their lives back together after being wrongfully accused of rape in a sensational case that dominated headlines nationwide for more than a year. The case collapsed after Durham, N.C., District Attorney Michael B. Nifong was shown to have withheld evidence that law and ethical rules require be turned over to defense lawyers. Nifong’s actions resulted in his resignation and disbarment and helped generate widespread debate about prosecutorial misconduct.

    Prosecutors say misconduct occurs only infrequently. But many critics say infractions are more common than prosecutors acknowledge and rarely are punished.

  • Should courts make it easier to reverse convictions resulting from prosecutors’ legal mistakes?
  • Should state bars increase penalties and sanctions for mistakes by prosecutors?
  • Should prosecutors be subject to civil lawsuits for misconduct?
  • To read this article and others visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on CQ Researcher. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

    Friday, November 09, 2007

    MLA & APA citations as EBSCOhost output

    Our EBSCOhost periodicals databases allow you an option of having citations printed, e-mailed, or saved as MLA or APA format. Here’s an MLA example of one of these computer-generated citations:

    Patrick O'Driscoll, and Elizabeth Weise. "Green living takes root // But habits die hard." USA Today (n.d.). Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 9 November 2007.

    You will need to change the red part (it arrived in black from EBSCOhost; red is for demonstration only) to say Southwestern College Library, Chula Vista, CA.

    Also, the URL should be shortened to to match the form most frequently used at SWC.

    Even with needing to make these changes, you will find that EBSCOhost has saved you quite a bit of work in formatting your citations.

    New Book - Sport in Ancient Times

    One of the many new book titles available on the New Book Shelf is Sport in Ancient Times by Nigel Crowther. Call Number GV571 .C76 2007 .

    This new title provides a historical overview of sport as a cultural practice around the world from about 3000 BCE to the Middle Ages. The book looks at the role of sport as practiced in several important civilizations in the ancient world.

    It explores how athletics had an importance that extended beyond physical prowess to include military associations, religious ritual, status, politics, and other concerns. It also examines the Romans' love of spectator sports such as gladiatorial contests and chariot racing, looks at the status and significance of ancient athletes, the presence (or absence) of women in sports, and team sports and ball games.

    You can check out Sport in Ancient Times call number GV571 .C76 2007 and our other new book titles on the New Book Shelf in the library.

    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    Yahoo! - Time Saving Search Tips

    Papers are due and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. These easy Yahoo! searches can help you with both.

    Search Tips for Papers and Projects

    • What does that word mean?
      Type "definition" after the word you want to define:
      'quixotic definition'
    • What's another way to say...?
      Type "synonym" after the word:
      'quixotic synonym'
    • I wish I could get rid of...
      Type a minus sign in front of the word you don't want.
      For example, 'Simpsons -movie' will retrieve results about The Simpsons t.v. show and other merchandise, but no results about The Simpsons movie.

    Holiday Travel Shortcuts

    • Traffic
      Type 'traffic' in front of a city name to go to a map of traffic alerts:
      'traffic San Diego'
    • Flight Tracker
      Type the airline and flight number for a shortcut to the flight's status:
      'American 83' or 'Lufthansa 421'
    • Map
      Type 'map' in front of a city name to go directly to the map:
      'map San Diego'
      You can also search a zip code to get a map of that area:

    Tuesday, November 06, 2007

    A Visual Internet Search Engine

    Tired of sifting through text to get what you want from search engines? Well PageBull is offering visual searches. This means when you search for something the results are displayed with images.

    The sites they find will appear in thumbnails across the screen.

    You simply click on the image that looks best.

    So, if you hate looking at results in list format, maybe you should give PageBull a try. It is an innovative approach to improving the search engine user experience on the Web

    Monday, November 05, 2007

    Top Shelf

    by Patty Torres and Karen Smith, SWC Librarians

    Book Selection
    Encyclopedia of Death and Dying
    Edited by Glennys Howarth and Oliver Leaman
    Call# Reference HQ 1073 E543 2002

    In keeping with the spirit of Halloween and “All Saints’ Day” I picked this title. This is a single volume encyclopedia with entries on all aspects of death and dying. It is arranged alphabetically by subject with both short and lengthy entries. There are some biographical entries as well. Tables and figures accompany some entries.

    One can read up on such topics as the “black plague”, “bodysnatchers”, and of course on “Halloween” and “All Saints’ Day”. It also provides some peculiar entries, like “Death by Chocolate”. What is that? It’s “the name of a dessert…generally very high in cholesterol and contains generous amounts of chocolate”.

    Entries provide sources for further reading and cross-referencing.

    Website Selection
    U.S. Green Building Council

    Everyone is claiming to be going green these days. Developers of new construction talk about green building, green roofs, LEED certification. What does green building really mean? Take a look at the U.S. Green Building Council’s site and find out the standards of green-ness for homes, for schools, for retail establishments, and so on.

    Friday, November 02, 2007

    This Week in CQ Researcher

    Mortgage Crisis by Marcia Clemmitt, November 2, 2007.

    Should the government bail out borrowers in trouble?

    More than 2 million borrowers will lose their homes to foreclosure because of subprime mortgage lending in recent years. With the housing market booming, lenders enticed many lower-income people into buying homes they couldn't afford by offering adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) with temptingly low initial teaser interest rates. Many loans didn't require down payments or documented proof of income.

    Congress and the Bush administration are debating how to help borrowers keep their homes and whether tough, new lending standards are warranted.

    • Should certain kinds of risky home loans be banned?
    • Should the government “bail out” borrowers caught in the mortgage meltdown?
    • Will the mortgage crisis trigger a larger financial crisis in the United States and elsewhere?

    To read this article and others visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on CQ Researcher. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

    Thursday, November 01, 2007

    New 24/7 Online Reference Service

    Have a question? Ask your librarian online.

    Students can now receive assistance from reference librarians at Southwestern College library even if they cannot visit the library in person. And the librarians are available anytime of the day or night.

    Anyone who needs help finding information may submit questions through the library’s web site . Questions are answered by librarians at Southwestern College library or by another academic librarian from another college or university participating in our worldwide network.

    We now provide reference over the Web in addition to the more traditional modes of phone, email, or in-person requests for information. Our reference service spans all hours of the day or night, whether or not the physical library is open. In fact, our library is never closed to people who need information – they just enter through a different door.

    Wednesday, October 31, 2007

    Top Shelf

    by Naomi Trapp Davis and Patty Torres, SWC Librarians

    Top Shelf is our weekly column where we highlight interesting reference books and websites. This week's website selection contains valuable information about last week's fires - be sure and take a look!

    Book Selection
    Photographic Atlas of the Body (Firefly Books, 2004)
    Reference QM 25 P46 2004

    Most of us don’t necessarily spend our free time pondering our hair follicles, or how food looks going through our small intestine. This book will fix that.

    After browsing through the full color pictures of cells, tissues, body systems, and the brain, you will never look at your eyelashes or fingernails the same way again. The pictures were taken using a variety of special imaging technologies including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), tomography, thermograms, X-rays, microscopes, angiograms, and ultrasound. The results are educational, but mainly they are beautiful, enlightening, or just unusual. Each picture on its own is a miniature work of art.

    Website Selection
    California Wildfires

    The California Wildfires web page includes information on the health effects from fires and exposure to smoke; links to air quality resources, environmental clean-up following fires, and animals in disasters.

    This web page is designed to help emergency responders, health care providers, public health workers, and the general public find authoritative and timely information about key health concerns from wildfires. Links to other federal government web sites, including, FEMA, and the Department of Health and Human Services are included.

    In addition, resources for emergency responders and information in Spanish are also included. Searches of NLM databases, such as MedlinePlus, PubMed, TOXLINE, Tox Town, and Haz-Map (occupational health) are provided for additional health information. It also provides the locations of facilities reporting to the EPA Toxics Release Inventory and Superfund sites in and around San Diego (TOXMAP).

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007

    Air Quality Forecast - San Diego County

    Concerned about air quality after the fires? The San Diego Pollution Control District has a current forecast for all regions of San Diego County.

    This site gives daily reports about particulate matter in the air, including the level of health concern.

    The San Diego Pollution Control District warns:
    "Due to the numerous wild fires burning throughout San Diego County, localized areas of smoke and ash have occurred in many areas. As a result elevated particulate matter concentrations, including fine particulates, or PM2.5 concentrations, may reach unhealthful to hazardous levels in some heavily smoke impacted areas."

    The California Environmental Protection Agency has an excellent website with quick facts about the 2007 fires, information on state and federal assistance, and how to clean up ash safely:

    Additional useful San Diego air quality information can be found at:

    Monday, October 29, 2007

    Orientation to Blackboard - Tues at 5:30 PM

    for new online students:
    one-hour optional orientation to Blackboard
    Tuesday, October 30, 5:30 -6:30 PM
    Room L-244 (Library building, main floor)
    No signup necessary. Please be on time.

    Top Shelf

    by Laura Galván-Estrada and Mark Hammond

    This week's top reference resources were selected by SWC Librarians Laura and Mark.

    Book Selection
    Latinas in the United States: a Historical Encyclopedia
    Eds. Vicki L. Ruiz & Virginia Sanchez Korrol
    3 vols.
    Reference E184.S75 L35 2006 and as e-book via NetLibrary.

    These recent encyclopedia (2006) contains a wealth of information and it is one of a kind. In three volumes, about 600 hundred women are covered. The set starts with a five historical overviews of Latinas in the different regions of the United States. Each biographical entry is supported by a list of sources, and, most of the time, a photograph. There is a List of Biographical Entries, where you can find out entries by subject area. Besides entries on individuals, the encyclopedia also contains entries on important topics as they relate to Latinas in the U.S., such as "Health: current issues and trends" and "Telenovelas". Though the set contains entries on some contemporary women (you'll find entries for Cristina Saralegui and Gloria Estefan), the entries are mostly historical, as the title implies.

    Website Selection
    My picks for websites this week are not selected for their usefulness to most people, but rather to illustrate how the web makes it economically feasible to make relatively obscure information available to researchers around the world. These are both sources that I have used recently in my own research.

    The first is Fordham University's Internet Medieval Sourcebook:
    This site collects and makes available a large collection of medieval documents ranging from the renowned to the truly obscure. When I needed to see examples of medieval promissory notes and other commercial documents, this site was just the ticket.

    The second is a more limited site that I used just the other day. I needed to read the Assizes of Ariano, the laws issued by King Roger of Sicily in the 12th century. There are only two surviving copies of the Assizes, both in Latin and both in libraries in Europe. I was able to find a recent translation into English on the Medieval Texts in Translation page of the School of History at the University of Leeds:

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007


    Due to the fire emergencies in the San Diego County, and with due consideration to the health and well being of our students and staff, all of our college locations will remain closed Wednesday, October 24 through Saturday October 27, 2007. (Note: This includes all extension site and online/hybrid courses).

    Students and college employees are advised to remain off campus, with the exception of emergency and authorized personnel.

    The college will reopen and classes will resume on Monday, October, 29, 2007.  The Library will be open Monday at 7:30 a.m.

    For further information, please check our web site at or local media.

    Monday, October 22, 2007


    The Library is closed as of noon Monday, October 22, 2007. It will be closed all day Tuesday, October 23, 2007.

    Due to the fire emergency, and with due consideration to the health and well being of our students and staff, classes have been cancelled at all of our campuses effective Monday, October 22, 2007, at 12:00 p.m. The College will remain closed tomorrow, Tuesday, October 23, 2007.

    For further information, please check our web site at or local media.

    Fire update!

    The Library is closed as of noon Monday, October 22, 2007. It will be closed all day Tuesday, October 23, 2007.

    The SWC homepage is being updated with all of the current information on the fires and how the situation is affecting Southwestern College. Go to

    Saturday, October 20, 2007

    This Week in CQ Researcher

    Aging Baby Boomers by Alan Greenblatt, October 19, 2007

    Will the ‘youth generation' redefine old age?

    In January, the oldest baby boomers will turn 62 – and become eligible to collect Social Security benefits. For the next 18 years, a member of the baby boom generation – the 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 – will reach that age every eight seconds.

    Boomers have long been famous for their desire to stay or at least act young. What will they be like as seniors? Many predict they will reshape the nation's view of old age, as healthier boomers continue to work and stay active longer than their parents. Others worry that the vast expansion of the nation's senior population will put unaffordable strains on government entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

    • Can boomers afford to retire?
    • Will boomers bankrupt America ?
    • Will boomers change the nature of aging?
    To read this article and others visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on CQ Researcher. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

    Thursday, October 18, 2007

    Top Shelf

    by Sidney Laramie and Laura Galván-Estrada, SWC Librarians

    Thanks to Sidney and Laura for this week's Top Shelf picks - the "best of the best" resources, brought to you by SWC Librarians.

    Book Selection
    Encyclopedia of Exploration
    Call No. Ref G 80 W33 2004

    I picked this reference set largely because of the subtitle of the second volume. The subtitle of the first volume is “Explorers”, and that of the second is “Places, Technologies, and Cultural Trends”.

    The first volume contains almost 1,000 biographic entries in alphabetical order. The authors’ definition of “explorer” is broader than most – they include astronauts, scholars, artists, underwater explorers, and more. In addition, the book lists the explorers by “most relevant occupation”, “region of activity”, “sponsoring country or…nationality”, and year of birth. Most entries are between a half a page to two pages in length; some have illustrations. They usually end with a brief description of the future influence of the explorer’s finds.

    The second volume is also a series of a-z entries, some of which are over ten pages long. Many of these are overviews of explorations of particular areas or geographic features; explorations by particular organizations, countries, etc., and explanations of geographic terms and of items used in exploring and cartography. These range from mappa mundis to keelboats and gnomons. There is an appendix of 65 maps of trade and exploration routes and a 101 page “Chronology of Exploration”. Both volumes are indexed and contain cross-references.

    I had wondered how the authors were going to deal with the “cultural trends” in exploration and concluded they did a pretty good job. They accomplished this through articles such as “European Age of Exploration”, “Native Peoples and Exploration”, “Writing and Exploration”, “Renaissance”, and “Religion and Exploration”.

    Website Selection
    Human Rights Organization

    Human rights involves such a wide range of issues and this site has so much information. Topics include but are not limited to Children's Rights, Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, Health & Human Rights, HIV/AIDS, Migrants, Refugees. You can also see the state of human’s rights in a specific country, by looking at its yearly report. Some of those reports date back as far as the late eighties. So, sit back and learn about the world around you in this multilingual, heart-wrenching site!

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    College Book 2008 is Blink

    The College Book for 2008 is:

    Blink: the power of thinking without thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
    Blink is about the first two seconds of looking--the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell, the best-selling author of The Tipping Point, campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, choking on the golf course, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of "thin slices" of behavior. The key is to rely on our "adaptive unconscious"--a 24/7 mental valet--that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or react to a new idea. Gladwell includes caveats about leaping to conclusions: marketers can manipulate our first impressions, high arousal moments make us "mind blind," focusing on the wrong cue leaves us vulnerable to "the Warren Harding Effect" (i.e., voting for a handsome but hapless president). In a provocative chapter that exposes the "dark side of blink," he illuminates the failure of rapid cognition in the tragic stakeout and murder of Amadou Diallo in the Bronx. He underlines studies about autism, facial reading and cardio uptick to urge training that enhances high-stakes decision-making. In this brilliant, cage-rattling book, one can only wish for a thicker slice of Gladwell's ideas about what Blink Camp might look like. (from

    The results of the vote were:
    Blink 53
    Water for Elephants 36
    Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress 29
    Last Days of Dogtown 18

    Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote and especially to Patty Ramert of the Web Team, who designed the electronic ballot.

    The prize copies will go to the following, who were selected at random (they will be contacted when we have the books)
    Jasmin Garcia, student
    Jen Walther, student
    Carole Ziegler, faculty
    Joan Stroh, faculty

    Sunday, October 14, 2007

    This Week in CQ Researcher

    Consumer Safety by Peter Katel, October 12, 2007

    Do government regulators need more power?

    Americans have been alarmed by recent product recalls, including toothpaste containing an ingredient found in antifreeze, tainted pet food and millions of Mattel toys containing toxic lead paint. The recalls – all involving Chinese-made products – prompted government hearings that spotlighted problems at the underfunded and, critics say, overwhelmed Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    Meanwhile, inspectors found contamination in imported seafood as well as millions of pounds of U.S.-produced ground beef, triggering concerns that the two agencies responsible for food safety – the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture – were also understaffed and underpowered.

    • Does the current regulatory system protect consumers?
    • Do government agencies need stronger regulatory powers?
    • Is more funding the answer?
    To read this article and others visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on CQ Researcher. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

    Thursday, October 11, 2007

    Orientations for new online students

    Online class? Enrolled or thinking about it?

    Attend a one-hour intro session and learn about
    SWC’s Blackboard Online Learning System.

    Free, no signup necessary. Please be on time.
    Location: Room L-244
    Learning Resources/Library building

    Start times listed below:

    Wednesday October 17, 5:30 PM
    Thursday October 18, 5:30 PM
    Friday October 19, 2:30 PM
    Saturday October 20, 10:00 AM
    Monday October 22, 7:30 AM
    Tuesday October 23, 11:00 AM
    Tuesday October 23, 5:30 PM
    Wednesday October 24, 9:00 AM
    Friday October 26, 2:30 PM

    New Reference Collection Resource

    New to the Southwestern College library's reference collection is the two volume set "Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers" edited by Yolanda Williams Page.

    The encyclopedia has entries on 168 African American (and some Caribbean) female authors who published works from 1746 to 2006. The writers featured range from the established and popular to the overlooked or newly emerging and include Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Michelle Cliff, Edwidge Danticat, and Jamaica Kincaid.

    Each A-to-Z entry, profiles the writer, discusses major works and includes a bibliography consisting of a list of the authors works and a list of studies of those works.

    The Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers call number (PS153.N5 E49 2007) can be found in the Reference Collection located behind the Reference Desk.

    Sunday, October 07, 2007 World News Digest Database

    The World News Digest provides original coverage of top news stories, plus primary documents, editorial cartoons, and a selection of newspaper editorials back to October 1940.

    This month the World News Digest focuses on the U.S. housing market which has experienced a dramatic spike in the number of mortgage foreclosures, and mortgage lenders filing for bankruptcy.

    To learn more about the subprime mortgage crisis visit our Articles and Databases webpage" and select World News Digest .

    Online access is provide through the Southwestern College Library's website. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to use this resource from off campus locations.

    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    October e-book of the Month

    Our October e-book of the month is Capitalism as if the World Matters by Jonathon Porritt.

    In this substantially revised and updated edition with a new foreword by Amory B. Lovins, Jonathon Porritt—Prime Minister Tony Blair’s chief environmental advisor—tackles the most pressing problems of our time.

    New material includes in-depth coverage of the United States and the politics of climate change, and the state of environmental debate. Fresh case studies include the role of huge US corporations such as Walmart and General Electric in our sustainable capitalist future. Porritt also looks in-depth at China and the global impact of this economic giant.

    If you have already established a NetLibrary account through Southwestern College Library, visit and log in to read Capitalism as if the World Matters or any of our 15,000 e-book titles.

    If you do not have a NetLibrary account, you can create your own account from any computer on the Southwestern College campuses. Visit" for more information.

    Wednesday, October 03, 2007

    Vote for College Book 2008

    Faculty, staff, and students can vote for the College Book to be used on campus in Spring semester. There will be campus-wide activities and an essay contest based on the book selected, and faculty will be given suggestions for classroom activities and extra credit opportunities for students.

    Click here for a ballot and to learn about the books that are finalists.

    The deadline to vote is Monday, October 15, at 8 p.m.

    Four entrants will be chosen at random to receive copies of the winning book (it doesn't matter how they voted).


    Call Diane Gustafson at 619-482-6433.

    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    Peony in Love - New Book of the Month

    Like her Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, one of the most popular book club selections of recent years, Lisa See’s Peony in Love is set in long ago China. The narrator is sixteen-year old Peony, daughter of a wealthy family in the time of the Manchus and, unusual for that time, well-educated. She collects editions of her favorite opera and, as the novel opens, is allowed to view the opera from behind a screen on three consecutive nights. She wanders away from the performance and meets a young man, something totally forbidden but exhilarating.

    The descriptions are vivid (“My eyes were shaped like bamboo leaves, my brows were like gentle brushstrokes limned by a calligrapher”) and the conflict between the loving, indulgent father and harsh, tyrannical mother masterfully drawn. The novel sheds light on another culture and is beautifully written. For example:

    “For daughters, marrying out is a little like dying. We say goodbye to our parents, our aunts and uncles, our cousins, and the servants who cared for us, and go into an entirely new life, where we live with our true families, where our names will be listed in our in-laws’ ancestral hall . . .”

    Travel to Peony’s world via call number 3043 in the Leisure Reading collection.

    Sunday, September 30, 2007

    Top Shelf

    by Ann Willard and Sidney Laramie, SWC Librarians

    In our weekly Top Shelf column, SWC Librarians highlight some of the best books, e-books, and websites out there.  Thanks to Ann and Sidney for this week's selections.

    Book Selection
    Last week I discovered a Reference book about 'losers'
    Presidential Also-Rans and Running Mates, 1788 through 1996, Second Edition, by Leslie H. Southwick (Ref E 175.1 S695 1998)

    There are biographies on all the major candidates who have run for the office of president or vice president, since 1788 (up through 1996), and who have lost the election. Even third party candidates are included if they received 10 percent of the vote. Read about party candidates in the Free-Soil, Prohibition, and Greenback parties! An essay at the back of the book discusses criteria for judging whether a candidate would have been an effective President if they had won, based on an analysis of presidents who have won. Very intereresting stuff. There are also rankings of presidents from polls and journals; photos, and a general index. 

    Website Selection
    San Diego Magazine

    When you chose a doctor don’t you want to have the best in town? How about an attorney? San Diego Magazine can help you find those professionals rated top by their peers. If you go to its website you don’t have to worry about obtaining a particular magazine issue, and you can also look at older lists and other lists.

    I like this site, despite it’s not being very user-friendly, because of its “best of” lists. For example, it told me of a trustworthy, affordable mechanic who hosts free barbeque lunches every Friday and gives free car washes to his customers. I also now know where the computer repair technicians have the motto: “We’re not satisfied until you are”. One of the technicians even sends a customer e-mails notifying him of important updates! And best of all, I know which of Karen Krasne’s “Extraordinary Desserts” is considered the most sensational. Do you?

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    Library at Home - Encyclopedia of American Folk Art

    Is it raining? Is the library closed? Are your kids off from school?

    There is always a good reason to use the Library at home, including NetLibrary's collection of over 14,000 e-books available to you online. These full-text books were originally published as print books, they simply have been converted into digital form to make them easier for you to access.

    You'll find books like the Encyclopedia of American Folk Art, a book full of beautiful illustrations of artwork in grave decoration, doorstops, walking sticks, and other interesting items. You may also read about folk art movements and American folk artists.

    The e-books are only available to SWC students, faculty, and staff. For more information about accessing NetLibrary e-books, visit our NetLibrary Remote Access page.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Once Upon a Quinceañera

    Every year, more than 400,000 American Latinas turn the magic age of 15 - a birthday that is traditionally celebrated with a coming-of-age party, the Quinceañera. Julia Alvarez spent a year attending Quinceañeras, interviewing families and party planners, researching rituals, and learning about what this rite of passage means to the girls themselves. The result is a fascinating study of the cultural and personal significance of this event in the lives of girls, families, and their communities. Once Upon a Quinceañera : Coming of Age in the USA (GT2490 .A45 2007) is available for you to check out for 4 weeks.

    Monday, September 24, 2007

    Top Shelf

    by Mark Hammond and Ann Willard, SWC Librarians

    Welcome to Top Shelf - a guide to some of the best, most useful resources out there, selected by SWC Librarians. Thanks to Mark and Ann for their contributions this week!

    Book Selection
    Encyclopedia Judaica
    Reference BM50 .E5 2007

    This is one of those major reference works that sits there on the shelf until it becomes part of the furniture. But it is a treasure trove of entries on people and topics that are addressed in less depth or from a different viewpoint (or not addressed at all in more mainstream encyclopedias). Try looking up the same topic in this and in the Catholic Encyclopedia!

    Website Selection
    Trip Advisor

    Tripadvisor is a 'trusted network' of over 5 million travelers who write reviews and rate their experiences on places they have visited. This includes reviews of lodging, restaurants, and special events such as a sunset luau in Kauai or a bus ride in Denali Park in Alaska. I find Tripadvisor tremendously helpful in making my decisions on whether a particular park lodge or B&B or sailing trip, etc. fits my personality, budget, and profile for a particular trip I am planning. To contribute reviews you must sign up for the network, but anyone can read the reviews. All reviews are read by the Tripadvisor staff before they are posted to ensure the reviews meet their criteria. Reviewers can include photos of the trip they have taken and rate the lodging, or whatever they are reviewing, on a 1-5 scale, with 5 being a top notch place and experience. Recently Tripadvisor enabled its members to set up a mini network within Tripadvisor of friends and family. I also have an email alert set up to tell me whenever new reviews are posted on places I am going in the next couple years. And there is lots more on this site besides the reviews! Once you take a look at this site you will never plan a trip again without consulting Tripadvisor.

    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    Access Science - Online Science Information

    Take an online visit to Access Science and view their new redesign of their science information website. Access Science includes the 10th Edition of the McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and other online science reference resources like: the McGraw-Hill Yearbooks of Science & Technology; the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms and the Hutchinson Dictionary of Scientific Biography.

    AccessScience also includes late-breaking science and technology news, RSS feeds, flash animations, image galleries, podcasts, videos and more. Let AccessScience help you keep up to date in all the major areas of science and technology.

    Online access is provide through the Southwestern College Library's website. To use this online resource visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on AccessScience . Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to use this resource from off campus locations.

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    50 Ways to Save the Ocean - New Book of the Month

    by David Helvarg (GC1020 .H448 2006)

    "Whether you play in the waves, work in its waters, are nourished by its bounty, or are refreshed by its beauty, the oceans need us -- now.”

    Helvarg says that we need to make fundamental changes in our everyday habits, and he gives us plenty of examples. Among them: wear waterproof sunscreen (to keep grease out of the water); pick up any litter you find on the beach; suggest that your church hold a worship service by the ocean; eat organic (fewer chemical fertilizers entering the sea); patronize stores and restaurants that support sustainable, healthy fisheries. He provides great advice for taking a child to a local tide pool (avoid stepping on clumps of seaweed which might harbor crabs and other creatures). You may not have thought that keeping your tires properly inflated (thus making your car more efficient) would help the ocean, but Helvarg points out that fossil-fuel-driven climate change is already increasing water levels and temperatures, killing corals, and causing beach erosion. The least surprising advice? “Vote for those who protect the coast.”

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    Top Shelf

    by Katie Dunn and Naomi Trapp Davis, SWC Librarians

    Welcome to Top Shelf -- a weekly column where SWC Librarians share some of their favorite resources. Thanks to Katie and Naomi for giving us this week's selections.

    Book Selection
    Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States by M. Wesley Shoemaker (Reference Collection DK 17 D6)

    Alright, ‘fess up now. Can you honestly say you know just where Kazakhstan is, or Azerbaijan, or Tajikistan? Me neither. How about their current foreign or domestic policy? Are their policies a worry to the United States? The entries in this paperback provide what, for me, would be just about the right amount of detail to give me a greatly improved and very current understanding of the economy, the culture, the history, and the politics of this region. The volume is part of a series (The World Today Series) that appears to be published annually. (So maybe every librarian but me knew about this title 5 years ago, but hey! I like it today.) -Katie.

    Website Selection
    Cooking with Google

    Have you ever tried to cook dinner, only to find that your fridge has very little in the way of inspiration? “What can I possibly do with chicken, 4 radishes, and some yogurt?” If so, this custom Google search will be your new best friend. Simply type in ingredient(s) and out pops a list of recipes from some of the best recipe websites out there – sites like Epicurious, Eating Well, Cooking Light, and, to name just a few. You can even edit your results further with categories like “Diabetic” or “Low Fat.”

    The URL is a little too long to remember, so make it easy on yourself and bookmark it. Now, the next time you have to cook dinner, it’ll be fun to think up ways to use up that tofu and spinach. -Naomi.

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    New Online Music Encyclopedia

    A new addition to our Articles and Databases website is the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online .

    This comprehensive online resource is devoted to music research of all the world’s peoples and includes the entire set of the ten volume Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. The online resource is searchable and provides an overview of a geographic region; a survey of the region’s musical heritage, traditions and themes; and a description of its musical genres, practices, and performances.

    Visit our Articles and Databases website to access the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online and other online resources that Southwestern College Library provides.

    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    This Week in CQ Researcher

    Racial Diversity in Public Schools by Kenneth Jost, September 14, 2007
    Has the Supreme Court dealt a blow to integration?

    Fifty years after the Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in public schools, a new ruling has raised doubts about how far local school boards can go to integrate classrooms. The court's 5-4 ruling in cases from Seattle and Louisville bars school districts from using race as a factor in individual pupil assignments.

    Meanwhile, some experts argue that socioeconomic integration – bringing low-income and middle-class students together – is a more effective way to pursue educational equity.

    • Should school systems promote racial diversity in individual schools?
    • Should school systems seek to promote socioeconomic integration in individual schools?
    • Is the focus on diversity interfering with efforts to improve education in all schools?

    To read this article and others visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on CQ Researcher. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Alert! A new issue of your favorite periodical just arrived!

    Would you like EBSCOhost to notify you or someone else each time a new issue of a favorite periodical enters the databases? It takes only a minute to set up a Journal Alert which will send you e-mails with links to each article in the new issue. Click here to find out what to do.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007

    Botanical Riches - New Book of the Month

    Botanical Riches: Stories of Botanical Exploration by Richard Aitken (QK5 .A38 2007) catches the eye because of a huge red poinsettia on the cover. Inside, the bright-colored and sepia plates and sketches show plants from ancient times through the twentieth century.

    Besides being delightful to look at, this book tells how plants have been used throughout history. We learn that the free-fruiting date palm had sacred significance in what later became Mesopotamia and that it has “perhaps the longest tradition of cultivation of any fruit tree in the Old World.” Throughout the area which gave rise to Islam, fig trees were used for food, shade, and beauty. The Olmecs, forerunners to the Aztecs, were vegetarians who ate maize (which had been domesticated from a wild grass perhaps 8000 years ago), beans, and squash. There are surprising facts in the book: the avocado was cultivated in southern Mexico and Guatemala as long ago as the time of the Olmecs, the sweet potato can be dated to 4000 years ago in coastal Peru, and tomatoes were once regarded as unsafe because of their poisonous cousin, the deadly nightshade.

    This beautiful book can grace your coffee table for four weeks when you check it out from the Library.

    Monday, September 10, 2007

    ARTstor Image Addition

    The Artstor Digital Library has added additional images in the second, and final, release of the Library of Congress "Eyes of the Nation" collection. This brings the total number of images in this collection to over 5,000 images.

    "Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States," published 1997, provides a pictorial overview of American history including images of prints, posters, maps, manuscript pages, photographs, design, movie stills, and cartoons. The images found in the book were selected from the Library of Congress to "show how Americans have viewed themselves, and have been viewed by others.

    To locate these images in the ARTstor Digital Library, simply perform a basic search with the following phrase, "eyes of the nation." You can also browse to view all the images included in this collection. From the ARTstor welcome page, click on "Image Gallery" then choose "Eyes of the Nation: A visual history of the United States (Library of Congress)" from the resulting list.

    The ARTstor digital collection contains approximately 500,000 images from many time periods and cultures, and documents the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design, as well as many other forms of visual culture.

    For information on how you can access and register for an ARTstor account visit our ARTstor information website at .

    Top Shelf

    by Tony McGee and Katie Dunn, SWC librarians

    Welcome to Top Shelf -- a weekly column where SWC Librarians share some of their favorite resources. Thanks to Tony and Katie for giving us this week's selections.

    Book Selection:
    Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes by Alexander Gates. Reference Collection QE521 .R58 2007

    This encyclopedia provides an easy to navigate alphabetical listings for the terms, regions, people, and episodes in the fields of seismology and volcanology. It includes excellent in-depth discussions on topics like plate tectonics, seismic wave types, avalanches, landslides, and tsunamis. -Tony

    Website Selection:
    Critical Compendium: a Daily Dose of Book Reviews from Around the World

    Links to book reviews drawn from over 100 newspapers, magazines, broadcast media, and online sources.

    How it works: Each day 3-5 titles appear with a “teaser” of several lines. A link takes you to the actual review. The books reviewed are a mix of fiction and non-fiction. There is a long list of links to the book review sections of perhaps 100 newspapers, journals, magazines, and web zines. There is also a link to the archives.

    What I like: Lots and lots of reviews in one place. Oh, how my To Read list is growing. Critical Compendium itself is not searchable but the short “teasers” can get your attention and link you to an exciting review. When you follow the links on the left side (to the newspaper and magazine reviews) you can search in whatever way that website is set up.

    What I learned: Robin Pilcher is a male! I always thought he was a she. An August 29 review of a new book by this author caught my eye, and as I read though it, I thought perhaps the reviewer made a pronoun mistake, so I was off on a quick Google search. Well, I stand corrected.

    Who maintains this site: Shawn A. Miller of Fairfield, CA. A Google search found that he writes a weekly column for the online version of the Fairfield Daily Republic. -Katie

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    This Week in CQ Researcher

    “Domestic Poverty,” by Thomas J. Billitteri, September 7, 2007
    Is a new approach needed to help the poorest Americans?

    Despite sweeping welfare reforms in the 1990s and generally healthy economic growth in recent years, domestic poverty remains intractable. Moreover, signs are emerging that so-called deep poverty is growing sharply – most significantly among children. U.S. poverty is fueled by a long list of problems, including Katrina’s devastation, immigration, the growing income gap between rich and poor, the subprime mortgage fallout and education disparities.

    * Is extreme poverty growing?
    * Has welfare reform reduced entrenched poverty?
    * Would more government spending on poverty help?

    To read this article and others visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on CQ Researcher. Select the Access Off-Campus link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

    Saturday, September 08, 2007

    Top 10 Computer Energy Savers

    Here is an article from the Lifehacker blog that lists 10 ways to reduce the energy your computer uses plus saving you money on your electricity bill and reducing your carbon footprint.

    Wednesday, September 05, 2007

    September e-book of the Month

    Our September e-book of the month is The Economist Pocket World in Figures Profile Books, 2007 .

    Where is economic growth fastest or inflation highest? Who consumes the most energy? What country has the most asylum seekers? Who are the heaviest drinkers and smokers?

    If you want to know the answers to these, and thousands of other questions, you’ll find them in the September eBook of the Month.Completely updated, revised, refreshed and expanded for 2008, The Economist Pocket World in Figures contains rankings on more than 200 topics in subject areas as wide-ranging as geography, population, business, the economy, trade, transport, finance, industry, demographics, the environment, society, culture and crime.

    If you have already established a NetLibrary account through Southwestern College Library, visit and log in to read The Economist Pocket World in Figures or any of our 15,000 e-book titles.

    If you do not have a NetLibrary account, you can create your own account from any computer on the Southwestern College campuses. Visit for more information.

    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    Top Shelf

    SWC librarians share some of their favorite resources.

    Come back and take a look each week -- whether it's for a class assignment or for your own curiosity -- we're sharing some of the best, unique, most interesting (and occasionally odd!) books, e-books, and websites out there.

    This week's Top Shelf selections come from librarians Tanya Carr and Tony McGee.

    Book Selection
    The Firefly Spanish/English Visual Dictionary, Call No. Ref PC 4629 F362 2004
    If you're a bilingual Spanish/English learner, this source will be enlightening. It not only provides names of things in Spanish and English, it gives in-depth illustrations and a thorough breakdown of the item it's presenting. I can't put into words how helpful this reference tool is! It's organized by a series of indexed sections to include both scholarly subjects (astronomy) and every day useful subjects (food and kitchen). As for our avid golf librarian, Ron, it even breaks down golf terms for you. Did you know that the cover of a golf ball is a "revestimiento" and a tee is a "tee." Enjoy! -Tanya

    Website Selection
    (pronounced as "delicious") is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks. A place to share your favorite Web links and see what other people are bookmarking. Its collective nature makes it possible to view bookmarks added by similar-minded users.Use of is free and you can search the site by keyword, create your own list of favorites to share with everybody else, add to an existing collection or view by popularity using a tag cloud -Tony

    Bonus Website Selection
    This medical and heath information site provides easy-to-understand information on hundreds of diseases, conditions and related issues. A new tool called Symptom Checker, lets you, "pinpoint potential conditions"—in seconds by clicking on body parts and selecting from a list of specific complaints (just be sure to check with your doctor for a real diagnosis). The new Revolution Health portal, which launched last April, has many of these same tools and features, including its own symptom checker. -Tony