Welcome to This Week in Reference!
Several students came to the Reference desks this week in search of the
“Diverse Images of Human Holiness” for a class assignment. The “Diverse
Images of Human Holiness” is an art installation at the top of the
stairs on the 4th floor of the Jonh T. Richardson Library. If you
haven’t stopped by recently, you may want to look again. You’ll find
icon portraits of a variety of figures, including St. Ignatius of Loyola
and Mother Theresa of Calcutta, but also Harvey Milk of San Francisco,
and Steven Biko of South Africa, among others.
Other topics to cross the Reference Desks have included:
- The Hyde Park-Kenwood Urban Renewal project, 1956.
- Jeremiah the Prophet
- Sandra Bem
- Ethics and accuracy in American journalism
- Syria and humanitarian relief
- SWOT analysis for Campbell’s Soup
And, some other conversations we’ve had:
A student looking for historical rankings of television shows was directed to the American Decades series, in the reference collection, which provides the top 10 ranked shows for each decade.
A researcher logged into IM looking for information about how the use of
the Spanish subjunctive has changed with different generations of
Spanish speakers. The librarian was able to find some dissertations,
including: The subjunctive in Miami Cuban Spanish: Bilingualism,
contact, and language variability, and some articles, including: Past
and present perspectives on language change in US Spanish by searching
with the terms: subjunctive and Spanish.
A student was researching the costs of college textbooks, specifically
how the recent economic recession has affected students. The librarian
suggested starting with Academic Search Complete and Education Research
Complete, with the search terms: higher education OR college OR
university AND cost OR expense AND economic conditions, expanding the
search to all costs, not just textbook costs. They found a relevant
research paper that was produced by NBER (National Bureau of Economic
Research) and tracked down the original report. They then searched for
more material about rising tuition, and found an article specifically
about Illinois, which was very helpful for the student.
Someone asked about finding articles from the 1950s about television, hoping to find information specifically about I Love Lucy, Dragnet, and the Colgate Comedy Hour.
The librarian suggested newspapers as a great source, and they found
many articles from our Historical Newspapers databases about all three
This Week in Reference: Feb 2-8, 2014