Monday, December 22, 2008

Library Hours - Happy Holidays

Southwestern College Library will reopen for the spring semester on Wednesday January 14, 2009 at 7:30 a.m..

The library staff wishes you happy holidays and best wishes for the new year. We look forward to seeing you in 2009.

Friday, December 19, 2008

ARTstor Collections 2008

In 2008, the ARTstor Digital Library released 22 new collections, added content to 21 existing collections, and reached agreements with 33 new museums, photoarchives, libraries, scholars, professional photographers, and artists and artists' estates. The ARTstor Digital Library collection now totals 890,000 images and will soon include nearly 1,000,000 images with the release of the Magnum Photos collection in early 2009.

To view ARTstor from off campus locations you need to create an ARTstor account at from any on-campus computer.

New collections launched (22)
Asian Art (Connecticut College)
Brian Davis: Architecture in Britain
Cave Temples at Ellora, India (Deepanjana Danda Klein and Arno Klein
Century Magazine Illustrations of the American Civil War (Minneapolis College of Art and Design)
Contemporary Art (Franklin Furnace)
Cornell Fine Arts Museum (Rollins College)
Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project (CIC HCAP)
David Wade: Pattern in Islamic Art
European Architecture and Sculpture (Sara N. James)
Ezra Stoller Archive (Esto)
Ferguson-Royce: Pre-Columbian Photography (University of Texas at Austin)
Gernsheim Photographic Corpus of Drawings
Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
Mellink Archive (Bryn Mawr College)
Mexican Retablos (Jorge Durand and Douglas Massey)
Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Moreen O'Brien Maser Memorial (Skidmore College)
The Phillips Collection
Ralph Lieberman: Architectural Photography
Terra Foundation for American Art
Wayne Andrews: Architecture (Esto)
World War I and II Posters and Postcards (University of Minnesota Libraries)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Extended Library Hours for Finals

On Thursday December 11 through the end of the fall semester the library will begin extended hours for students to access library services and resources to prepare for their final exams.

Extended Hours Schedule December 11 - December 18, 2008
Thursday December 11: 7:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Friday December 12: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday December 13: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Sunday December 14: Closed
Monday Dec. 15 - Thursday Dec. 18: 7:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Friday December 19: 7:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday December 20 & 21: Closed

Classical Music Library - Free Download

From the library's Articles and Databases webpage you have access to tens of thousands licensed classical recordings that you can listen to over the Internet. Currently enrolled students can also use this resource from off-campus.

Each month the Classical Music Library also provides a free downloadable MP3 classical music track. This week's free download is Mozart's Serenade No. 11 in E flat, K. 375, performed by the Ensemble á Vent Français Bordeaux Aquitaine, Michel Arrignon, conductor. Of the three substantial wind serenades composed in Mozart's early years in Vienna, Serenade No. 11 in E flat, K. 375 is probably the earliest, dating from October 1781.

Download this work now through December 22, 2008.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

This week in CQ Researcher

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint by Thomas J. Billitteri, December 5, 2008

Can individual actions reduce global warming?

As climate change rises closer to the top of the government’s policy agenda – and an economic crisis intensifies – more and more consumers are trying to change their behavior so they pollute and consume less. To reduce their individual “carbon footprints,” many are cutting gasoline and home-heating consumption, choosing locally grown food and recycling. While such actions are important in curbing global warming, the extent to which consumers can reduce or reverse broad-scale environmental damage is open to debate. Moreover, well-intentioned personal actions can have unintended consequences that cancel out positive effects. To have the greatest impact, corporate and government policy must lead the way, many environmental advocates say.

  • Are measures of individual carbon emissions valid?
  • Should government do more to encourage individuals to reduce their carbon footprints?
  • Can individual action significantly reduce global climate change?
To read this article and others visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on CQ Researcher. Select the Remote Access link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

GreenPrint - paper saving software

GreenPrint is a free Windows utility that helps eliminate wasted pages while printing and helps maximize your printer's output to save on paper and ink.

After installation, you can print from any application to GreenPrint, which will automatically remove pages from your printout based on rules like "completely blank pages," "pages with an image only," or "Pages 95 percent blank with less than five lines of text," and then pass along your document to your printer with the unnecessary pages removed.

There's a version for Windows (free) and a version for Macs (which costs $29 and has a 30 day free trial). GreenPrint, detects and highlights unwanted content, such as banner ads on a Web page, that tends to spill over onto extra pages. It also lets users delete images from the printed page and quickly create print-friendly PDF documents. The GreenPrint interface appears when users print from any program.

Not only does it helps you decide what to print and not to print, but it also keeps a tally of paper, trees, and money saved.

Monday, December 01, 2008

December eBook of the Month

Barack Obama: The New Face of American Politics by Martin Dupuis and Keith Boeckelman 2008.

At the beginning of 2004, Barack Obama was an almost unknown Illinois state legislator and a candidate for the U.S. Senate. Today, Obama's straightforward policy recommendations, message of hope and inclusion, and charismatic style have propelled him to the highest office in the nation.

Written by Martin Dupuis and Keith Boeckelman, this book examines Barack Obama's meteoric rise to fame and what it means for American politics. The roots of President-elect Obama's politics and presidential campaign strategy are traced in this detailed political biography, ascending from his successful run in 1996 to represent Chicago's South Side in the Illinois Senate, through his partial term as the junior U.S. senator from Illinois beginning in 2004, to his campaign for the presidency. Access to Barack Obama, the New Face of American Politics is available now through December 31.

If you have already established a NetLibrary account through Southwestern College Library, visit and log in to read "Barack Obama, the New Face of American Politics" or any of our other 19,000 electronic 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 our NetLibrary information page .

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Got a Question? Need an Answer?

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Library Hours

The library will be closing at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday November 26 for the Thanksgiving holidays. We will reopen on Monday December 1 at 7:30 a.m.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Top Shelf

by Tony McGee and Karen Smith, SWC Librarians

Top Shelf is a weekly column where librarians share some of their favorite resources with you.

Book Selection
Chronicle Four-Year College Databook: A Directory of Accredited Four-Year Colleges with Their Major Programs of Study
Call #: REF L 901 C462 2008-09.

This directory of accredited four year colleges is arranged by college major and also a section by college location. This educational resource provides undergraduate enrollment figures for each school, financial aid information, a chart with average tuition costs, admissions information and type of degrees offered.


Website Selection

Hey, Mr. Green! - Sierra Magazine’s Answer Guy Answers Your Green Living Questions

What changes can you make in your personal life to help the environment?

Should you drive to the farmers market 12 miles away or go to the supermarket closer to home?

Should you keep using your existing incandescent light bulbs until they burn out? Or put in compact fluorescents now?


Sunday, November 23, 2008

This Week in CQ Researcher

Declining Birthrates by Sarah Glazer, November 21, 2008
Will the trend worsen global economic woes?

Nations around the globe worry that low or falling birthrates will cause severe economic problems, including shortages of workers to pay into social security systems to support growing numbers of retirees. The United States is exceptional among major industrialized Western nations because its birthrate produces enough children to maintain the population as elderly people die. Most of Europe as well as Japan and China are well below population replacement levels.

The current global economic downturn could worsen the situation by forcing young couples to postpone having children until the economy improves. Meanwhile, governments are discussing possible solutions, such as cutting spending on the elderly, requiring workers to stay on the job longer before drawing benefits and offering cash bonuses to families to encourage them to have more children.

  • Will today’s low birthrates cause economic problems?
  • Are falling birthrates good for the environment?
  • Should government policies to increase birthrates be implemented?
To read this article and others visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on CQ Researcher. Select the Remote Access link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Library Access from Off Campus

Need access to the library during the Thanksgiving holidays?
You can search over 20 different electronic resources from home using our Articles and Databases website

Currently enrolled students may request the list of off campus passwords be emailed to them using our Password Request Form. Students who are currently enrolled will receive the list of passwords within minutes.

Before leaving for the holidays drop by the library and create a NetLibrary e-Book account.
With your own account you will be able to access over 19,000 electronic e-Books in our collection from off campus.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ARTstor Community Mural Collection

The Timothy Drescher community mural collection includes nearly 5,600 photographic images of contemporary community murals in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. . Since these outdoor wall paintings are situated within living communities and exposed to the elements, many of the murals that Drescher photographed have been subsequently altered or destroyed.

To view the (Timothy Drescher) Community Murals Collection: go to the ARTstor Digital Library, browse by collection, and click "Community Murals Collection (Timothy Drescher)" or enter the Keyword Search: "timothy drescher".

To view ARTstor from off campus locations you need to create an ARTstor account at from any on campus computer.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Top Shelf

by Karen Smith and Patty Gianulis, SWC Librarians

Top Shelf is a weekly column where librarians share some of their favorite resources with you.

E-Book Selection

90-Minute College Major Matcher : Choose Your Best Major for a Great Career.
by Laurence Shatkin
Indianapolis, IN Jist Publishing, 2007
Accessible via NetLibrary

Take a guided look at your interests, your skills, and your favorite high school courses. Print out some worksheets and fill them in. Create a Hot List of possible majors. Refer to the book’s list of 120 majors and related careers, which includes general outlines of career paths in those fields, expected salaries, and whether or not these are growing career fields.

Accessible from off-campus


Website Selection

I chose this website to coordinate with the Human Genome Sourcebook. It is a clear, well-organized site with information on gene therapy, genetic counseling and genetic diseases. It also includes ethical and social issues relating to genetic research and information for students and teachers. There is a detailed timeline of the human genome project and abstracts and full text of research papers.

From Librarians’ Index to the Internet (

Human Genome Project Information "Completed in 2003, the Human Genome Project (HGP) was a 13-year project coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health." This site provides background and updates on the project (data analysis is ongoing). Topics include medical and genetic implications, and ethical, legal, and social issues. Also includes material for teachers and students. From the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Human Genome Program.”

-Patty G.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Library Display: Children's Art Expressions

On display in the library is a collection of children's art work. These young artist are between the ages of 2 years to 10 years old working with acrylic paint.

Their painting will be on display in the library through the end of the fall semester December 19.

Library hours are:
Monday through Thursday: 7:30 am to 8:00 pm
Fridays: 7:30 am to 2:00 pm
Saturdays: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Got a Question? Need an Answer?

Try our Online Reference Chat Service

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24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Monday, November 10, 2008

And the College Book for 2009 is . . .

Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility by Patricia Santana has been selected as the College Book for 2009. It received 40% of the votes cast. Glass Castle received 33% of the votes and Water for Elephants 27%.

The winners, chosen at random from all who voted, of copies of the winning book are Thelma Llorens-Corrao of Arts & Communication; Jenny Freeman of Fiscal Services; Carol Wiley of Small Business Development and International Trade Center; and Yolanda Yslas of Math, Science & Engineering.

Classroom activities and suggestions for extra credit by discipline will be available before the spring semester begins.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

This Week in CQ Researcher

Juvenile Justice
by Peter Katel,
November 7, 2008

Are sentencing policies too harsh?

As many as 200,000 youths charged with crimes today are tried in adult courts, where judges tend to be tougher and punishments harsher – including sentencing to adult prisons. But with juvenile crime now on the decline, youth advocates are seizing the moment to push for major changes in iron-fisted juvenile justice systems nationwide. Above all, they want to roll back harsh state punishments – triggered by the crack cocaine-fueled crime wave of the late 1980s and early ‘90s – that sent thousands of adolescents to adult courts and prisons.

Many prosecutors say the get-tough approach offers society the best protection. But critics say young people often leave prison more bitter and dangerous than when they went in. Moreover, recent brain studies show weak impulse control in young people under age 18, prompting some states to reconsider their tough punishments. Prosecutors respond that even immature adolescents know right from wrong.
  • Should states roll back their tough juvenile crime laws?
  • Did tough laws lower crime rates?
  • Does the prospect of facing the adult court system deter juveniles from crime?
To read this article and others visit our Articles and Databases webpage and click on CQ Researcher. Select the Remote Access link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Check It Out - Which college is right for you?

The College Solution by Lynn O'Shaughnessy

New Books Shelf, SWC Main Library
Leisure Reading, SWC Otay Mesa Library

After skimming the pages of this book, I found it to be a great resource for students and parents who are beginning to research potential colleges. Parents and students should pick this book up before any other because it provides a realistic starting point in the college application process without being overwhelming.

Readers won't find the same extensive, detailed information about college programs and college rankings that can be found in The College Blue Book and other similar resources. But you will find an easy-to-follow roadmap to beginning the quest for the appropriate institution. Financial advisor Lynn O'Shaughnessy presents financial and academic information in a way that fits the student's profile to the appropriate college, rather than trying to fit a prestigious, "over-hyped" college to a student's personal needs. It's a great common-sense start to the college application process.

Book review by Tanya Carr, SWC Librarian

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

November eBook of the Month

Foreclosure Survival Guide: Keep Your House or Walk Away With Money In Your Pocket
by Attorney Stephen R. Elias NOLO, September 2008

The No. 1 topic of conversation in the news and around the office today and tomorrow? Foreclosures. They rose in the U.S. by over 79 percent last year—and over two million more are expected in the next two years.

Written by a practicing lawyer who has helped hundreds keep their homes or come out of foreclosure financially sound, Foreclosure Survival Guide provides practical solutions and information that can help readers make the best decisions possible, including what to expect from foreclosure, whether it's worth trying to keep the house and using Chapter 13 bankruptcy to save a home.

If you have already established a NetLibrary account through Southwestern College Library, visit and log in to read "Foreclosure Survival Guide" or any of our other 19,000 electronic 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 our NetLibrary information page .

College Book voting extended

The deadline for voting for College Book has been extended through Friday, November 7. For information about the three finalists and instructions on voting, go to the College website.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Top Shelf

by Patty Gianulis and Tanya Carr, SWC Librarians

Top Shelf is a weekly column where librarians share some of their favorite resources with you.

Book Selection
The Human Genome Sourcebook
by Tara Acarya and Neeraja Sankaran
Greenwood Press, 2005
Call #: REF QH 437 A245 2005

This guide to the human genome is designed for the general reader who does not have advanced knowledge of genetics but is interested in understanding the science behind the human genome and what the possibilities are for future research.

It is organized in five sections. The first section is an introduction to genetics, a brief history of genetic research from Mendel to today with a timeline of major discoveries and finally some social and ethical considerations for the future of genomics.

The second section is a glossary explaining terms from “allele” to “zygote” to provide an overview of the terminology in this fast developing and changing field.

Part three is an explanation of the chromosomes and a detailed table explaining the function of each chromosome and some of the associated diseases linked to each chromosome.

Parts four and five make up the major part of the book. First genes of normal function are discussed. This is not intended to be a complete catalog but rather representative examples of genes from a broad spectrum of activities. For example, blood types and taste sensation are two topics covered.

Part five discussed aberrations in genes that cause the gene product to be absent or faulty, or in some cases, confer new activities on the gene which result in disease. This section is arranged alphabetically and includes, for example, diseases such as alcoholism, diabetes and muscular dystrophies.

There is a list of books and websites for further reading and research and a detailed index.

- Patty G.

Website Selection
America in Caricature: 1765-1865

Although this website doesn't include current events, it provides an easy-to-use online exhibition of historical American political cartoons ranging in date from 1765-1865. Albums include "Colony & Early Republic 1765-1798," "War of 1812," and "Abraham Lincoln 1860-1865." The exhibition is provided by the Lilly Library at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Unlike some websites, I was able to copy and paste the cartoons into Word- no copyright issues!


Friday, October 31, 2008

Don't drown in an ocean of results

Try our Online Reference Chat Service

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vote for College Book 2009

Students, faculty, and staff can vote for the next College Book, which can be used across the curriculum in spring semester. The finalists are:
Glass Castle (nonfiction by Jeannette Walls)
Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility (fiction by Patricia Santana)
Water for Elephants (fiction by Sara Gruen)

To read about these books and to learn how to cast your vote, go to the College website. The deadline for voting is Friday, October 31 at 10 p.m. Four copies of the winning book will be awarded in a random drawing of those who voted (and it doesn't matter which book they voted for).

Current Periodicals on Display

The library provides a display of over 50 current magazines and periodical titles in our New Books and Current Periodicals display area near the entrance of the library.

You'll find the most recent issues of various magazines and journals in this section.

To view our complete list of periodicals, use our online Periodicals Holding List

Drop by when you have some time.

Library hours are Monday through Thursday 7:30 am to 8:00 pm, Fridays from 7:30 am to 2:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Monday, October 27, 2008

ARTstor New Collection: Islamic Art

Approximately 1,500 images of Islamic Art have been added to the ARTstor digital library. These images illustrate patterns and designs found throughout the Islamic world, from the Middle East and Europe to Central and South Asia.

David Wade photographed the works during his travels, as well as drawings and diagrams he produced for publication and the images are reflective of Wade's particular interest in symmetry and geometry.

To view the David Wade: Pattern in Islamic Art collection: go to the ARTstor Digital Library, browse by collection, and click "David Wade: Pattern in Islamic Art;" or enter the Keyword Search: patterninislamicart .

To view ARTstor from off campus locations you need to create an ARTstor account at from any on campus computer.

Friday, October 24, 2008

This Week in CQ Researcher

Financial Bailout by Thomas J. Billitteri, Oct. 24, 2008

Will U.S. and overseas action stem the global crisis?

Bowing to doomsday warnings that the U.S. and global financial systems could collapse, Congress passed a $700 billion rescue bill early this month. Part of a sweeping $1 trillion government plan to calm the stock market and unfreeze credit – the unprecedented rescue came amid mounting fears of a deep recession and the collapse of such major financial institutions as Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual.

The government’s efforts included the federal takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together hold or guarantee $5.4 trillion in mortgage loans – 45 percent of the national total. The quasi-governmental firms were dragged down by investments in subprime mortgages and other “toxic” financial instruments.

Meanwhile, even as the Bush administration and congressional leaders were calling the bailout plan vital, fundamental questions were being raised, including: Is the bailout big enough? And did risky lending by Fannie and Freddie and poor regulatory oversight fuel the crisis?

  • Will the bailout plan work?
  • Did Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cause the financial crisis?
  • Should Congress adopt tougher regulatory reforms?

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

Learning Express Library: Basic Skills Improvement Database

The “Learning Express Library is a comprehensive, interactive online learning platform of practice tests and tutorial course series designed to help patrons—students and adult learners—succeed on the academic or licensing tests they must pass. You'll get immediate scoring, complete answer explanations, and an individualized analysis of your results.”

If you need to brush up on your math, reading and writing skills, this database offers a wide choice of materials from 4th grade to college. A student can login, create their own account, and choose a product (course, tutorial, or practice test) that they want to work on. If you are not finished, you can logout and still have that product available to you when you log back in.

The courses and tests offered cover a wide range of topics. Click on the following categories and you will be able to access the titles and topics available:

E-BOOKS (Citizenship, Military, Reading, Writing, Career Tools, Science, etc.)
HEALTH CAREERS (Nursing School Practice Exams)
Job and Career Test Preparation (ASVAB, Border Patrol, California Highway Patrol, Corrections Officer, EMT, Firefighter, Nursing Assistant, Paramedic, Police Officer)
NURSING (Nursing Assistant, Nursing School)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Top Shelf - Bonus!

by Tanya Carr and Naomi Trapp Davis, SWC Librarians

Top Shelf is a weekly column where librarians share some of their favorite resources with you.

Book Selection
Cops, Crooks, and Criminologists: An International Biographical Dictionary of Law Enforcement
Call #: Reference HV 7911 A1 A94 2000

This one-volume encyclopedia includes personalities from both sides of the law, along with thumbnail sketches for each entry. The passages run the gamut- from criminals such as “godfathers,” corrupt mayors, and bank robbers to crime fighters such as social reformers and courtroom crusaders.

Over 600 entries are included with detailed information about the lives of people who in one way or another have shaped law enforcement and crime from 2100 B.C. to the present.

I found the entries to be succinct and brief- a great place to start researching issues that deal with the difference between morality and legality and the evolution of law enforcement throughout history.


Website Selection
Google: U.S. Voter Info

Have you registered to vote, but you’re not sure where your polling place is? Maybe you are wondering if there is still time left to request an absentee ballot.

Google has launched a new voter information site to help. Just type in your address and Google will provide personalized voter information, including your polling location, the number of days left for absentee ballot requests, links to state election materials, local election contacts, and any other relevant voter information for you.

Just in time for November 4th!


Top Shelf

by John Stanton and Laura Galvan-Estrada, SWC Librarians

Top Shelf is a weekly column where librarians share some of their favorite resources with you.

Book Selection
Oxford English Dictionary

Call#: Reference PE 1625 N53 1989

If you are looking for in depth information about a word including its etymology, this granddaddy of dictionaries is the right place to look.

The 20 volume 1989 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is available in print at the main library. But if you need information that is more recent or you are at one of the branch libraries, an online version of the OED is available. You will need a user name and password to access the reference book however. The password to the OED can be gotten by showing a current student ID at any SWC library and getting the list of passwords for databases. The online OED is accessed from the Articles and Databases page of the library web site ( To learn how you can use the online OED from off-campus, visit the Library's Remote Access page.

According to the description of the online Oxford English Dictionary, it is a work in progress and hundreds of new entries are added every year. The OED is currently being revised, with the aim of producing a completely updated third edition. Draft material from the revision program is published online, alongside unrevised entries from the 20-volume Second Edition, first published in 1989, and its 3-volume Additions Series, published in 1993 (volumes 1 and 2) and 1997 (volume 3).

-John S.

Website Selection
Living Libraries

I had been looking for some innovative site that would help me learn something and that I would find it possibly interesting for others. As I’m scanning news sites tonight, one grabs my attention. The first Living Library is the United States is opening this weekend in L.A. Santa Monica Public Library (

So, what is a Living Library, you may ask? A Living Library has a collection of live books (people) with a unique specialty/knowledge/life experience. The user gets to “check out” the living book for half an hour. If no one is waiting, you may renew your checkout. The purpose is that you learn about a certain topic from a live person, living that particular “subject.” For example, Santa Monica will start with a teenager, a Buddhist, a nudist and a vegan as part of their collection. These live books will share their life stories in a protected, safe environment.

I particularly like their checkout policy:
“The Reader must return the Book in the same mental and physical condition as borrowed. It is forbidden to cause damage to the book, tear out or bend pages, get food or drink spilled over the book or hurt her or his dignity in any other way. The Reader is responsible for preserving the condition of the Book.”

So, Santa Monica PL is the first one in the US but this concept has been around since 2000. It was started by group of youth in Denmark, Finland, in an organization to stop violence. The idea, broadly summarized, is that we will be less prejudiced if we learn more about others. This project has mostly taken place in Europe but also in Canada and Australia (Australia has even come the first library with a permanent Living Library collection!).
So, go check out this fascinating idea. And we’ll see how it is received in the United States.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Daily Life Online

Daily Life Online is a fascinating database on social history throughout time and throughout the world. Information is retrieved from books, articles, selected websites, primary documents, images, and maps.

Accessible via the library's databases page (, this database can be searched with keywords in both the basic and an advanced mode, the browse feature is useful when you want to narrow a topic, step-by-step. You can browse by subject, by region, and by time period.

For instance, I wanted to find out how people viewed food in the middle ages. I started browsing by subject and chose “Food & Drink”. From there I chose the region I wanted – “Europe”, then the time period Medieval (5th century – 14th century). 138 entries were listed. I found my particular question on balancing the ‘humors’ in the entry “Cooking in Europe – 1250-1650 – Influence of Health Concerns”. All of the entries were relatively short, so I looked through a couple likely ones and not only found my ‘answer’ but also found information on other interesting topics.

Daily Life Online includes many popular topics such as the role of women throughout history, and contains a wealth of information drawn from folklore and literature. You can also browse through the list of full text titles the database has used, and directly browse the contents of each particular electronic book. For teachers there are lesson plans under “Teacher Resources”. Take time to explore Daily Life Online: it is an entertaining database with unexpected treasures!

To access this database from off campus, follow the instructions for Remote Access.

Review by Ann Willard, SWC Librarian

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Voting America the History of Presidential Elections

With the 2008, presidential election racing towards election day on November the 4th, the Voting America project from the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab provide users the ability to visualize and analyze previous presidential election data back to 1840.

Also included on this site are animated maps illustrating election history over time, and short video commentaries from historians and political scientists

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Top Shelf

by Laura Galvan-Estrada and Sidney Laramie, SWC Librarians

Top Shelf is a weekly column where librarians share some of their favorite resources with you.

E-Book Selection
My selection for Top Shelf is the Handbook of Psychology (Wiley, 2003) available through our netlibrary subscription. It is a multivolume set, with a total of 12 volumes covering the field of psychological science and practice. Each volume is a separate entitity in netlibrary. For some reason, Volume 2 is not in the netlibrary collection – at least not in our subscription.

The volumes are as follows:
v. 1. History of psychology
v. 2. Research methods in psychology
v. 3. Biological psychology
v. 4. Experimental psychology
v. 5. Personality and social psychology
v. 6. Developmental psychology
v. 7. Educational psychology
v. 8. Clinical psychology
v. 9. Health psychology
v. 10. Assessment psychology
v. 11. Forensic psychology
v. 12. Industrial and organizational psychology

Each volume is truly a wealth of information. Each has its own experts in the field as editors, with experts writing the individual entries within the volumes. Each article is well cited and each volume has its own author and subject indices. The information within each volume is very well organized, easy to find and access.

The set doesn’t contain a cumulative index to all the volumes. For a beginner user who may not know where his specific subject might be found, this is a major drawback (especially when dealing the an e-book format). But then again, we (librarians) might be the only users looking for a cumulative index J

Aside from the usual nuisances of handling electronic books, netlibrary does not list the titles in numerical order, which would be nice. You doesn’t get a sense of how many volumes there are unless you scroll down the screen or read the preface in one of the books. And, of course, for some reason, volume 2 is missing.

Overall, as a reference tool, I think the contents of this set are absolutely outstanding. For me, it was a nice gem to find. And, as it turns out, we don’t own a paper copy of this expensive set, so it is a nice resource to know no matter which library we happen to be staffing! Enjoy.

E-books are available to all SWC students, faculty, and staff. Read our Remote Access webpage for information about accessing e-books from home.


Website Selection

British librarians have a fascinating idea for helping people find “which book to read” although it’s not real practical at this point. While the graphics version is more fun it is definitely much harder to use than the text-only version, and it has more problems. Checking out the “how to use” demo also facilitates use of the site, especially if you want to try the “graphic version”.

Either mode presents the user with a choice between selecting the mood or style of a book or picking plot type, attributes of the main character, and a setting. For the first option the user is given a choice of twelve continuums between two opposing descriptors. Examples include “beautiful” vs. “disgusting”; “easy” vs. “demanding”; “larger the life” vs. “down to earth”; “short” vs. “long”; and “conventional” vs. “unusual”. It is also possible to specify audio book or large print. The main character may be defined by race, sexuality, age and gender, and plot options include “success against the odds”, “quest”, “revelations”, and “generations”.

Search results which match the parameters chosen are presented differently depending on which type of search you use. Usually there is a comment at least about the best match, parallel works are given and sometimes extracts.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Online class? Enrolled or thinking about it? Spend 60 minutes with us first.

Attend a one-hour introductory session and learn about SWC's Blackboard Online Learning System. These sessions are free -- no sign-up necessary. Sessions are offered at Main Campus, National City, and Otay Mesa. Please be on time.

Main Campus: Room L244 (Library/LRC)
Thursday - October 16 - 5:30 PM
Friday - October 17 - 12:30 PM
Tuesday - October 21 - 11:00 AM

Higher Ed Center, National City: Room 7202B
Wednesday - October 15 - 4:30 PM

Higher Ed Center, Otay Mesa: Room 4423
Thursday - October 16 - 1:30 PM

For more information about online classes, visit the SWC Online Learning website.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Got a Question? Need an Answer?

Try our Online Reference Chat Service

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008 Issues and Controversies in American History

With Issues and Controversies in American History, history comes to life and help builds a deeper understanding of how historical events have shaped our nation by exploring the key players and the battles they fought.

Issues and Controversies in American History is updated biweekly with links to overviews and background articles, touching on crucial topics from Colonial America to the present. This online resource provides arguments for and against, giving a framework for understanding and analysis of each issue—as it was seen in its time and as it relates to our own.

This resource also includes presidential election coverage, timelines, photographs, statistical charts, explanatory diagrams, maps, and cartoons.

To use Issues and Controversies in American History on-campus visit our Articles and Databases webpage. Select the Remote Access link for information on how to access this resource from off campus locations.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Top Shelf

by Sidney Laramie and Ann Willard, SWC Librarians

Top Shelf is a weekly column where librarians share some of their favorite resources with you.

Book Selection
Historical Statistics of the United States : Earliest Times to the Present
Cambridge University Press, c2006 (5 vols.)
Call #: Ref HA202 H57 2006

I chose to highlight this source because I had never seen it before and because I envision more and more students being assigned to compare aspects of our current economy or government to those of an earlier period (e.g. The Great Depression). Such students should find the chapter on “Business Fluctuations and Cycles” in Vol. IV. to be helpful. There I learned that 3,460 banks were “suspended” in March 1933.

This work is actually a “… revised, updated, and [greatly] expanded Millennial Edition…” of the standard, two volume set last published in 1975. This new edition includes additional topics such as American Indians, slavery, the Confederate States, and poverty. It also gives broader coverage to existing topics and extends the old data by as much as an additional 30 years.

The five volumes which now comprise the set are subtitled as follows: I. “Population”; II. “Work and Welfare”; III. “Economic Structure and Performance”; IV. “Economic Sectors”; and V. “Governance and International Relations”. Each volume averages 850 pages, and contains from seven to nine chapters, all of which have at least one introductory essay. The introductions discuss the statistics in that chapter, the trends observed in them, and give references for further research.

The information available in this set is much broader than one would expect. For example, in glancing through the introduction to the “Population” volume I noticed the foundation of my alma mater listed in a chronology entitled “Important Events in the History of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender: 1619-2003. In the American Indians chapter of the same volume I discovered a list of the amount and price of timber cut on Indian land between 1910 and 1998. Vol. IV. even contains the attendance at NCAA basketball and football games.


Website Selection
Petfinder is a wonderful website which links almost 12,000 animal shelters, humane shelters and animal foster care groups from around the country. If you are thinking of adopting a pet or are trying to find a pet you have lost, the pet finder search engine allows you to specify the type of animal, sex of the animal, age, color, and even the breed, located within a few miles of your zip code. Are you missing a pig? No problem, pet pigs are included on the list of animals. The search remembers the last few animals you have viewed, so after looking at perhaps a half dozen potential pot-bellied pigs to adopt, their photos will be displayed at the bottom of your screen. Each entry includes a little description of the personality of each animal and lets you know which group to contact for more information. The pet entries are even coded so that you can quickly identify cats which are declawed, or cannot be in homes with children, etc.

Ok, so community college libraries may not get many people asking about how to find their lost pets. also has much more information on the site. There are cat breed and dog breed directories; pet training videos; volunteer and donation opportunities; articles on all kinds of pet-related subjects and FAQ’s, including how to ‘go green’ with your pet and how to deal with pet separation anxiety (for the pet’s anxiety, not yours); a newsletter and blog; and a shopping site. And go to the Fun section of Petfinder and find free e-cards to send your friends. is well worth a visit!


Monday, October 06, 2008

ARTstor Collection Release: Mexican Retablos

ARTstor, in collaboration with Douglas Massey, has recently added 170 images of Mexican retablos to the Digital Library. Retablos are small, colorful oil paintings made on tin and offered as votives of thanks for miracles granted and favors bestowed.

Douglas Massey photographed retablos dating from 1912 to 1996, which appeared in Miracles on the Border: Retablos of Mexican Migrants to the United States (University of Arizona Press, 1995), a book co-authored with Jorge Durand. These images represent modern expressions of the traditional Mexican folk art genre. The bright palette and vibrant style that characterizes this art form later influenced the work of Mexican artists such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

To view the Mexican Retablos Collection (Douglas Massey): go to the ARTstor Digital Library, browse by collection, and click "Mexican Retablos Collection (Douglas Massey);" or enter the Keyword Search: massey retablos.

To view ARTstor from off campus locations you need to create an ARTstor account at from any on campus computer.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

October eBook of the Month

The featured NetLibrary eBook of the month during October is "Great Events from History: The 20th Century, 1971-2000", edited by Robert F. Gorman.

This electronic version provides extended coverage of major events between 1971 and 2000. The late twentieth century was a time of significant advances in science and technology. Space probes explored comets and the outer planets. Personal computers were born and quickly grew to change the way people all over the world work, play, and communicate.

The events covered include geopolitical events of the era - from end of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War in 1973 to the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Essays also address important social and cultural developments in daily life: major literary movements, significant developments in the arts and motion pictures, trends in world population and immigration, and landmark social legislation.

If you have already established a NetLibrary account through Southwestern College Library, visit and log in to read "Great Events from History: The 20th Century, 1971-2000" or any of our other 19,000 electronic 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 our NetLibrary information page .

This Week in CQ Researcher

Gay Marriage Showdowns, by Kenneth Jost,
September 26, 2008

Will voters bar marriage for same-sex couples?

The California Supreme Court gave gay rights advocates a major victory in May, ruling the state’s constitution guarantees same-sex couples the same marriage rights as opposite-sex pairs.

Opponents, however, have placed on the state’s Nov. 4 ballot a constitutional amendment that would deny marriage rights to same-sex couples by defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Similar proposals are on the ballot in Arizona and Florida. The ballot-box showdowns come as nationwide polls indicate support for some legal protection for same-sex couples, but not necessarily marriage equality.

  • Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?
  • Should state constitutions prohibit marriage for same-sex couples?
  • Should states recognize same-sex marriages from other states?

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Top Shelf

by Ann Willard and John Stanton, SWC Librarians

Top Shelf is a weekly column where librarians share some of their favorite resources with you.

Book Selection

Ever thought about moving somewhere for a job or for retirement or just for a change of scene? Most of us have, and even if you are not currently considering a move, the electronic reference book Cities Ranked & Rated by Bert Sperling & Peter Sander, makes fascinating reading. Although SWC only holds the 2004, 1st edition (the 2007, 2nd edition is now out), you can go to the website to get a free membership and updated information. Sperling is the author who started Money Magazine’s original “Best Places to Live” list and he has been creating such lists for 20 years. The other author, Sanders, has his MBA and has worked for over 20 years as a marketing and logistics specialist for a high-tech firm.

Most of the data in this reference work are obtained from public sources such as the US Census, but additional data are obtained from industry associations and trade groups. Over 400 cities are compared in one volume, 276 in the US and 27 in Canada. Although the actual city profiles are only two or three pages in length per city, you can quickly glance at an entry to see what the authors consider to be the main pros and cons, as well as the city’s score and ranking. For fun I looked up San Diego where I live and compared it to Fort Worth (where my brother lives) and Minneapolis-St.Paul (where my sisters live). San Diego is rated highly for such things as its great year-round climate and future job growth; however it ranks only 74 and gets a score of 71.5 because of such things as the high cost of living and urban sprawl. Everyone knows about the harsh winters in Minneapolis, but because of other attributes like its education and diverse economy, its rating is 24 and has a score of 83.9. Fort Worth is also ranked higher than San Diego, earning a ranking of 36 and a score of 80.5, because of its great arts and culture, economy and cost of living, and proximity to Dallas. Still, I wouldn’t trade my house in San Diego for a life back in the Midwest!

While reviewing Cities Ranked & Rated, I stumbled across the book America’s Top-Rated Cities, published in 2007 by Grey House Publishing. You’ll find this reference book in hard copy at both the main campus and in the Otay Mesa, HEC Library; Reference HA 214.A43 2007. A four-volume set, SWC decided to collect vol. 2, the Western Region. Only 100 cities with populations of 100,000 or more are included in this work, but the profiles are much longer and the resources used to provide rankings and data are extensive. For San Diego I found 27 pages of material, seven of which were lists of rankings summarized from various other publications. For instance, did you know that in 2005 San Diego was ranked number two in the nation as one of “America’s Best Mannered Cities?” Unfortunately, the SWC Library does not own the volumes in which Fort Worth and Minneapolis are included so I could not read about those cities in depth. Appendix C of America’s Top-Rated Cities, vol. 2 does include over 130 pages of “Comparative Statistics”, which compares all 100 cities, including Fort Worth and Minneapolis.

So whether or not you have a move planned in the near future, take a look at these reference works for hours of interesting comparisons!

For more information on accessing e-books from off campus, read about Remote Access on our website.


Website Selection

Freakonomics --

With the financial crisis in the news so much these days a reading of the blog Freakonomics might be in order. This blog combines economics with pop culture in an interesting and entertaining way. The book Freakonomics was written by Dubner and Levitt. Their book Freakonomics has sold 3 million copies worldwide. The blog, begun in 2005, is meant to keep the conversation going.

Stephen J. Dubner is an author and journalist who lives in New York City. Steven D. Levitt is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago. Recurring guest bloggers include Ian Ayres, Jessica Hagy, Daniel Hamermesh, Sudhir Venkatesh, and Justin Wolfers.

A blog is contraction of the words "web log" and is a website that contains the personal musings of one or more authors. So, if you would like to read some interesting analysis of the current financial crisis, give this blog a look.

-John S.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Enciclopedia Universal en Español - take a look!

As part of the Encyclopaedia Britannica reference center, The Enciclopedia Universal en Español is a comprehensive Spanish language database that covers more than 47,000 articles with links to related articles, as well as accompanying images, maps and tables. It is easy to navigate by using a keyword search or the alphabetical navigation links. This product includes a Spanish language dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Spanish-English Dictionary. At the end of each article, APA and MLA citations are provided.

To access this resource from home, use the current passwords.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Got a question? Need an answer?

Try our Online Reference Chat Service

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Banned Books Week: Sept 27 - Oct 4

“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas ("The One Un-American Act." Nieman Reports, vol. 7, no. 1, Jan. 1953, p. 20).

Banned Books Week (BBW) is celebrated during the last week of September to remind us of the importance of "the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular." (ALA Banned Book Week Basics).

The Color Purple by Alice Walker was one of the top ten challenged books last year. Curious what some of the others were? The American Library Association provides lists of the top challenged books over the last couple of decades.

For more information about Banned Books Week, see the official BBW 2008 website.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Library card registration reaches historic high

"As Americans deal with a slumping economy, U.S. libraries are experiencing a dramatic increase in library card registration," according to a new Harris Poll. The American Library Association reports that in addition to increases in library card registration, 76% of card holders visited their local public library in the last year.

Remember, your SWC photo ID card is your library card here at SWC Library. Bring it with you any time you would like to check out materials from the library.

If you are a community member, you are welcome to apply for a Community Borrowers card. Community Borrowers must be 18 years of age, a San Diego County resident and can borrow a limited number of materials from the library. To apply for a Community Borrowers card you will need to provide proof of your current address and identification. may bring in a photo ID with current address to apply for a Community Borrowers Card.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2008 Presidential Election Guide

The World News database has added a new presidential election section with convention coverage, candidate profiles and the transcripts of convention speeches by John McCain, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin and Joseph Biden.

For background information on prior presidential elections, visit the webpage Presidential Elections from 1940 to 2004.

All the databases can be used from any Internet accessible computer both on and off campus, visit our Articles and Databases webpage for the complete list. Select the Remote Access link for information on how students can access our electronic resources from off campus locations.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Top Shelf

by Naomi Trapp Davis and Diane Gustafson, SWC Librarians.

Top Shelf is a weekly column where librarians share some of their favorite resources with you.

Book Selection
Historical Atlas of California : with original maps
by Derek Hayes
University of California, 2007
Call #: Reference G 1526 S1 H39 2007

This atlas reminds the reader that maps are not just about drawing lines. Through narrative, historical maps, and illustrations, the reader makes her own visual discoveries about the past 500 years of our state's complex history.

Browse through unique chapters such as "Russian California," "Water, Wine, and Oranges" or "California at War”. See what the Gold Rush miners saw – a map of the gold regions of California in 1849 (p. 92) and mining districts in 1850 (p. 95). Ever wonder about the origins of Los Angeles car culture? Take a look at where it all began – a map of roads in the region in 1915 (p. 206-7). Note the pueblo lands of San Diego in 1858 and how they changed (p. 73). Be prepared for surprises, like a San Francisco map outlining race, considered relevant planning material for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915 (p. 189).

The atlas illuminates the social, economic, and cultural issues that contributed to our region's fascinating history and development.


Website Selection Steps to a Healthier You

This is a United States Department of Agriculture site that I learned about in a seminar led by a dietitian.

You can start out by entering the foods and amounts you eat in a typical day, as well as the amount and intensity of exercise for a day. You will receive an evaluation of both.

You can plan your menus around the foods you like and within the suggested number of calories. For example, I selected flavored oatmeal with an “add on” of fat-free milk. Besides indicating the correct amount (1/2 cup) the food was added to my breakfast column for Day 1, and I could see from the brightly-colored chart that the oatmeal represented 25% of my grains for the day. And there was a running total of calories as I selected foods for other meals. I was surprised to learn that 4 oz. of broiled salmon was 100% of my meats and beans category for the day!

If you register on the site, you can keep your menus for a year.

The site is available in both English and Spanish.


Friday, September 19, 2008

This Week in CQ Researcher

America's Border Fence by Reed Karaim,
September 19, 2008

Will it stem the flow of illegal immigrants?

America is rushing to build 670 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexican border by the end of the year. The fence – or wall, as critics along the border call it – is to include 370 miles of fencing intended to stop illegal immigrants on foot and 300 miles of vehicle barriers. To speed construction, the Bush administration is using unprecedented authority granted by Congress to waive environmental-, historic- and cultural-protection laws.

No one claims that building physical barriers along roughly a third of America’s 2,000-mile Southern border will stem illegal immigration by itself, but supporters believe it is an essential first step in “securing the border,” providing a critical line of defense against illegal migration, drug smugglers and even terrorists.

Opponents see it as a multi-billion-dollar waste that will only shift illegal immigrants toward more dangerous and difficult routes into the country, while doing environmental, cultural and economic damage.

  • Can a border fence stem the flow of illegal immigrants?

  • Would blocking all illegal immigrants hurt or benefit the U.S. economy?

  • Does the fence harm U.S relations with Mexico and other countries?

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

Thursday, September 18, 2008

SWC Online Library - Open 24/7

The Online Library is always open! You'll find full-text articles, e-books, tutorials, and information on how to access these resources from home. There is also a link to our 24/7 chat reference service, staffed by librarians who are ready to help you with your research.

Go to the library's website: and click on "Online Library"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Resources for Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 - October 15 is Hispanic Heritage month! Started in 1968 (as Hispanic Heritage Week), celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

An outstanding resource on the historical and contemporary experiences in the United States of Latinos and Latinas from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Central America, South American and elsewhere is the Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. This resource is available in both print and electronic versions from the Southwestern College Library. The print version is located in our Reference collection E184.S75 O97 2005 and the electronic version is available both on and off campus on our Articles and Databases website.

Another online resource is the Ethnic News Watch database. This database provides access to several hundred magazines, newspapers and other periodicals covering a variety of ethnic groups, including the Hispanic and Latino communities in the United States. To access this outstanding resource from on or off campus locations visit our Articles and Databases website. For additional information about off campus access visit our Remote Access website.

The Library of Congress has created an outstanding website recognizing the patriotism and civic involvement of Hispanic Americans. The website is located at

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Top Shelf

by Diane Gustafson and Patty Torres, SWC Librarians

Top Shelf is a weekly column where librarians share some of their favorite resources with you.

Book Selection
Modern America 1914-1945 (series: Almanacs of American Life)
by Ross Gregory
Facts on File, 1995
Call Number: Reference E766 G74 1995

This volume is filled with statistics, photographs, and commentary about that era that were new to me. For example, one table shows that the percentage of the civilian labor force who were unemployed went from 3.2 in 1929 to 25.2 in 1933. There are poignant poems written by West Virginia’s poet laureate, and a description of the “great black blizzard”(dust storm) that darkened the sky from Texas to Canada on November 11, 1933.

In this volume that covers the years 1914 to 1945, there are twenty subject divisions. Some of them are: The American Economy, Vital Statistics, Cities of the United States, Profiles of Prominent Individuals, and Education. I found that we have other volumes in the Almanacs of American Life series that cover the periods for Colonial, Revolutionary, Civil War, Victorian, and Cold War America.


Website Selection

This is the official Spanish portal for the U.S government. It provides information on government programs and services at the federal, state and local level in spanish. It was formerly called “FirstGov en Espanol”.

Although most beneficial to native Spanish speakers it is a good source to know about. The main page allows searching under general public, recent immigrants, visitors, & businesses.

Information can be found on such topics as employment, health, education, benefits, and legal matters.

-Patty T.