Friday, September 30, 2011

Plan Ahead: Library Closed October 12

There are no classes on Tuesday, October 11 and Wednesday, October 12.

The Library will be open regular hours on Tuesday, October 11.

The Library will be closed on Wednesday, October 12.

Have a question? Ask a Librarian!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Website of the Week

Cartes de Visite Album of John Hay (Diplomat, Politician, and Personal Secretary to President Abraham Lincoln)
Review by Diane Gustafson, SWC Library Faculty

We are observing the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. I have been reading even more than usual on the subject and came across this great website.

Cartes de visite, or visiting cards, originated in France. When you went to visit, you presented your card to the butler before being ushered into the drawing room. If the person weren’t home, you could write a short note (“Sorry I missed you”) on the back.

The practice spread to the U.S., and the great photographer Mathew Brady took many of the photographs for the cartes de visite in this collection. I think it is amusing that people began to collect these cards, much as we as children collected baseball cards, and would send the cards they had bought to the famous person asking for an autograph. This is true of the visiting card of my all-time favorite Civil War general, James Longstreet; see the message on the back of his card.

I knew what many of these people looked like, but there were a few surprises. John Charles Fremont isn’t nearly as handsome as the actors who have portrayed him. I also would not have recognized Charles Sumner or Alfred Terry.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Banned Books Week

"Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States." (American Library Association)

Find more resources at -- including a censorship map. How many challenges in your hometown?

Statistics about challenged books, from the American Library Association.

The 11 Most Surprising Banned Books -- this list includes Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl, John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, and... the dictionary.

"Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them." (American Library Association)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Access to the Digital Library of Images

The ARTstor Digital Library now makes available over 1.3 million images in the United States. ARTstor also reached agreements for 26 new collections, including: Guggenheim Museum; the Courtauld Institute; Museum of the City of New York; Pre-Columbian Artifacts from the Kerr Archives; Columbia University: Architecture of Japan; ART on FILE: United Arab Emirates; Via Lucis: Medieval Christian churches in France and Spain; Julius Shulman (Getty Research Institute); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: University Library, and more.

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

Thursday, September 22, 2011

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Website of the Week

USDA’s MyPlate -
Review by Tanya Carr, SWC Library Faculty

This site, formerly known as, is supported by the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (an organization of the United States Department of Agriculture), which was established in 1994 to help improve Americans' dietary habits. The primary focus of this organization is to teach and promote healthy dietary awareness to Americans, and "conduct applied research and analyses in nutrition and consumer economics."

The traditional food pyramid icon has been replaced by a user-friendly image of a plate of food, with recommended daily portions highlighted in various colors. Yes folks, veggies get the leading role!

The site includes a handy tool that allows you to look up foods and find out the calories per serving as well as the food group an item belongs to.

Interactive tools include daily food plans that can be personalized for the general population, pregnant and breastfeeding women, preschoolers and children, and weight loss goals. Other fun interactive tools include MyFoodapedia (which gives access to food groups, calories and comparisons), and Food Tracker (which gives feedback on your food and physical activity).

Bon appetite!

Have a question? Ask a Librarian!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Featured Database of the Month

The Scientific & Medical ART (SMART) Imagebase is a collection of 20,000+ high quality illustrations and animations depicting anatomy, physiology, surgery, diseases, conditions, trauma, embryology, histology, and other health science topics.

Currently-enrolled students may access the library databases from off campus with the current semester's passwords. To obtain passwords, fill out the password request form.

Have a question? Ask a Librarian!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Online Library is Always Open

Visit the SWC Online Library for free access to e-books and full-text articles from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. Have a question? Ask a Librarian! All resources are available 24/7.

Use the Password Request Form to receive passwords for off-campus access.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Constitution Day September 16

On Friday September 16, we celebrate Constitution Day, commemorating the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787 and recognizing all who, born in the U.S. or through naturalization, have become United States citizens. The library has prepared a display on the third floor to highlight books in our collection dealing the subject of the United States constitution. Come and check it out!

How Democratic Is the American Constitution?
Robert A. Dahl
KF 4550 D34 2001
Main Stacks

Creating the Constitution: The Convention of 1787 and the First Congress
Thornton Anderson
KF 4541 A88 1993
Main Stacks

A More Perfect Constitution: 23 Proposals to Revitalize our Constitution and Make America a Fairer Country
Larry J. Sabato
KF 4550 S23 2007
Main Stacks

The U.S. Constitution A to Z
Robert L. Maddex
KF 4548 M33 2002
Main Stacks

The Rehnquist Court and the Constitution
Tinsley E. Yarbrough
KF 8742 Y37 2000
Main Stacks

A People’s History of the Supreme Court: The Men and Women Whose Cases and Decisions Have Shaped Our Constitution
Peter Irons
KF 8742 I763 2006
Main Stacks

The Bill of Rights and Beyond, 1791-1991
KF 4557 B548 1991

Amending America: If We Love the Constitution So Much, Why Do We Keep Trying to Change It?Richard B. Bernstein
KF 4555 B47 1993
Main Stacks

The Court and the Constitution
Archibald Cox
KF 4550 C69
Main Stacks

The Creation of the Constitution: Opposing Viewpoints
JK 113 C74 1995
Main Stacks

A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution
Carol Berkin
E 303 B47 2002
Main Stacks

The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation
Jonathan Hennessey
3157 Leisure Reading (Main)

Here are some websites about the United States Constitution

  • Facts about the Constitution
    From the National Archives and Records Administration. Includes high resolution images of the constitution, along with transcripts and articles of explanation

  • Constitution of the United States
    From the United States Senate. Includes the original text and an explanation of what each section means.

  • The Interactive Constitution
    A nonprofit organization established to increase awareness and understanding of the U.S. Constitution. This Interactive Constitution is based on The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution by Linda R. Monk
  • Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Website of the Week

    SOS Math -
    Review by Rachael Smithey, SWC Library Faculty

    I LOVE math! However, my last formal math class (Calculus at Southwestern College) was over 30 years ago, so I find myself reviewing math topics to see what I remember...and what I don't remember.

    What I do remember is how invaluable it is to consult different sources and explanations when I don't understand a concept. In speaking with math students who visit Southwestern College Library (especially the ones I have worked with at HEC SY and HEC NC), we discuss how essential it is to read different explanations of concepts that are difficult to grasp. Sooner or later, one explanation or example will suddenly make sense.

    I find S.O.S. Math to be a helpful supplement in reviewing math concepts of various levels. S.O.S. Math, founded in the early days of the Internet by three mathematics professors, provides review materials for Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus, Differential Equations, Complex Variables and Matrix Algebra. The Mathematical Tables section provides an extensive list of formulas and tables, ranging from multiplication tables (which I thankfully remember) to definite integrals with rational and irrational expressions (of which my knowledge has faded). My favorite table is "Math for the Toolbox: SAE to Metric Conversion" as I was happy to learn that the 3/4in wrench in my motorcycle tool kit is "close enough" to a 19mm.

    After you've reviewed one of the math topics listed above, including the sample problems with explanations, you can try out the problem sets. Click on Answer to check your results.

    The CyberExam section offers interactive quizzes to practice what you're learned. If you solve the problem correctly, you can move on to the next problem. If you solve the problem incorrectly, you can try again.

    The CyberBoard section provides an active discussion forum to post your math questions and receive helpful solution hints. I find it quite fascinating to read some of the math questions and *attempt* to solve them!

    Have a question? Ask a Librarian!

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    This Week in CQ Researcher

    Extreme Weather by Chanan Tigay, Sept. 9, 2011

    Is global warming causing severe storms?

    The United States has suffered record-breaking floods along the Mississippi River this year, plus giant snowstorms from the Midwest to the Northeast, massive wildfires in the West and South, deadly tornadoes in the South and Midwest and an extended drought in a quarter of the contiguous United States. A similar pattern of extreme weather occurred in 2010. And the U.S. is far from alone. Worldwide, weather- and climate-related disasters last year left nearly 70,000 people dead and inflicted nearly $100 billion in damages.

    The reasons behind the surge in extreme weather are open to debate, but a scientific consensus is emerging that global warming is the culprit. In some locales scientists are fighting back. In bone-dry Abu Dhabi, for example, they are trying to create summer rainstorms through a new version of cloud seeding. But experts say that as the planet warms, extreme weather – with its immense human and financial toll – is likely to continue.

    • Is climate change causing extreme weather?
    • Will the increase in extreme weather events continue?
    • Will climate change affect tornadoes?

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

    The Library Catalog is another good source for locating information on this issue.

    Tuesday, September 06, 2011

    E-books: Check It Out

    The 9/11 Encyclopedia. Stephen E. Atkins (ed.). Praeger Security International, 2008. E-book.

    SWC students, staff, and faculty may access this Credo Reference e-book from off-campus with the current passwords.

    "Atkins edits this unique source, which provides an expansive overview of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Examining many different aspects of the attacks, the topics range from key players for the US and al-Qaeda, to government policies before and after 9/11, individual governmental agency response, and engineering considerations of the Twin Towers.

    The set profiles the aftermath of 9/11, including rescue and recovery efforts, American reprisals, and economic impacts, as well as offering political commentaries on the events. The first volume features alphabetical entries on topics including Osama bin Laden (more than six pages), the movie Fahrenheit 9/11, and pilot training for September 11. Entry sidebars offer additional information, usually a primary source quotation on the topic. The second volume provides over 40 primary source documents concerning the event. Documents include translations of Osama bin Laden's statements, survivor and rescue personnel testimony, and official government statements and positions. Bibliographies, indexes, and a comprehensive time line strengthen this source.

    As post-analysis of 9/11 increases, solid reference sources are vital. Overall, this encyclopedia is very well organized and thorough; it deserves a place in any reference collection. Highly recommended." Review from Choice

    Sunday, September 04, 2011

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    Saturday, September 03, 2011

    ARTstor: French Museum Collections

    Through a collaboration with the Réunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN) and Art Resource, ARTstor has launched the first installment of nearly 4,000 of a projected total 12,000 images of works from the premier national and regional museums of France in the Digital Library. The collection in the ARTstor Digital Library presents high-resolution images of important works of art from antiquity to the 20th century.

    The images have been selected from the archives of the Agence photographique de la RMN, which include the collections of 28 museums, including the Musée du Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Georges Pompidou.

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

    Friday, September 02, 2011

    Website of the Week


    Reviewed by Ann Willard, SWC Library Faculty

    The focus of this review is on, my first stop on the Internet when seeking information about health, disease prevention, and medical treatment options. WebMD’s staff includes business and health professionals and is continually reviewed by the doctors at for accuracy and timeliness. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    Where to begin? The site is rich in content and in ways to access its information, including videos, slide shows, and a mobile edition for your cell phone. I often check it when I want to learn about a new prescription drug or about a medical condition. After giving information on drugs similar to what you would find in the Physician’s Desk Reference, there are patient reviews of the drug, relating their experiences while on it. Sometimes these reviews by people on the drug are extremely revealing, highlighting possible side effects you too may have experienced. The articles about diseases and medical conditions are written in a uniform way, starting with an overview and concluding with treatment options and further resources for help. WebMD also includes a drawing of a human figure on which you can point to the part of your body which hurts and pick a list of symptoms in order to begin diagnosing your own ailment! The symptom checker provides information useful for beginning that dialog with your physician on your medical concerns. And you can sign up for newsletters to be kept up-to-date on the latest health information on particular medical conditions.

    New (to me) on WebMD is a section on pet health. You can now check on what may be ailing your cat or dog, and how to keep your pets healthy. There is a special section on parenting which includes information on topics like vaccinating your children. You can also check your current BMI (Body Mass Index) and find lots of information on dieting, nutrition and exercise. Teen health has a special section.

    All-in-all, it would be difficult to find a more informative, entertaining, yet authoritative site for medical information than I highly recommend it!

    Have a question? Ask a librarian!