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Latin American Soap Operas and Bitcoin

Welcome to This Week in Reference!

This week we’ve had students ask for our help researching the history of different games, a familiar assignment for many of us.  So far, we’ve delved into the past of Rummy, Sorry, Dominoes, and Craps (among others), and there will be many more before the quarter is done!  Since the students need to research the game as well as find primary source material, librarians often recommend searching a combination of the following sources: Credo Reference, JSTOR, newspapers, books at DePaul (including the Oxford History of Board Games, Ancient Board Games in Perspective, The Games We Played : The Golden Age of Board & Table Games, Dice: Deception, Fate, and Rotten Luck), books ordered through I-Share, and books available online through HathiTrust.

Other topics to cross the Reference Desks have included:
  • Perceptions of death and dying
  • Francis Cecil Sumner
  • Racism in Cuba
  • Depiction of Religion in Latin American Soap Operas
  • State of the Union Address
  • Title IX
And, some interesting online conversations from IM:
A student asked for assistance with a speech about the misconceptions of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.  The librarian suggested starting with our Psychology Research Guide, and looking for articles in the database: PsycINFO.  Or, if the student needed less clinical information, a search for articles in Academic Search Complete might be more than sufficient.  Suggested keywords included bipolar (or schizophrenia) AND myths OR misconceptions OR misunderstood OR stigma.
A researcher was coming up empty looking for film reviews of the first Godfather movie.  The librarian sent her to the Film Studies Research Guide and suggested starting with the database: Film & Television Literature Index, since it begins coverage in 1971.  She suggested searching for “The Godfather” and review*.  That particular search also pulled up a bunch of reviews of television shows, so they focused their search with the exact heading for the movie: "GODFATHER, The (Film)", and were very successful.

A student was researching Bitcoin, its background, pros and cons.  The librarian clarified if the student was interested in Bitcoin’s affiliation with the drug trade and money laundering, as that also seemed to be a useful search strategy.  They started with a search in both Academic Search Complete and Business Source Complete together for “bitcoin” and several keywords describing pros and cons, like: advantage or disadvantage or benefit or drawback or problem or challenge, etc.  They were then able to sort the list of results to the most recent first, and used the facets to limit to only ‘scholarly’ articles.
This Week in Reference, Jan 26-Feb 1, 2014  
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