Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Poetry Reading by Jane Satterfield

Jane Satterfield read selections from her three published collections of poetry in the east wing of the Lewis J. Ort Library on April 30. The Frostburg State University Center for Creative Writing hosted the event as part of its 2015 spring reading series. Satterfield teaches writing at Loyola University in Baltimore.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Featured Online Resource - The Writer's Guide to Government Information

There are many resources available for locating government information, but for a different point of view, you might be interested in checking out The Writer's Guide to Government Information.

This guide was written by Daniel Cornwall, a librarian with the Alaska State Library and the University of Alaska in response to fiction writers' need for information to supplement their stories. 

While this resource can be very useful to writers wanting to expand on a particular topic, it is also simply a great resource to learn about subjects that may be of interest to you!

Some categories of information on the guide include:
  • Military history
  • "What if your story isn't set on Earth?" (astronomy, space habitats, etc.)
  • World of espionage - background and tools
  • Faking one's own death
  • "Kids have problems too - kidnapping"
 So, whether you're striving for quality information in your novel, or would simply like to browse some interesting online resources from the government, you might want to take a look!

Every week, the Ort Library brings you a new and outstanding resource from the Web or from one of the library's databases. To get an archive of all FOR entries, click here. Also, you can suggest a website that provides well-organized access to useful info.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Group Study Rooms and Individual Study Rooms Available in the Ort Library

As we get closer to final exams, the Ort Library would just like to remind you that we offer five (5) group study rooms for groups of 3 or more people. Each study room is equipped with a computer and large screen monitor. Three (3) group study rooms are available on the 5th floor and two (2) group study rooms are available on the 2nd floor. 

To access a group study room, please stop by the Circulation Desk on the 3rd floor of the library to check out a key. Your group can utilize the group study room for two (2) hours. At least three (3) members of your group must come to the Circulation Desk to check out the key.

In addition, three (3) group study carrels are available on the 5th floor of the library. These are open computers/tables for use and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  

Finally, just an additional reminder that four (4) individual study rooms are available for student use on the 5th floor of the library. These rooms are always unlocked and you do not need a key to access them.  The individual study rooms can be found at the end of the floor closest to the Chesapeake Dining Hall. If you take the elevator to the 5th floor, you would go to the left and they would be at the end of the stacks. The rooms that are available for use are 514(A), 515, 519(G), and 522(C).

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What-I'm-Reading-Wednesday: Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips

 Quiet Dell is the spell-binding, fictional account of a murder that shook the nation. Jayne Anne Phillips found the newspaper account of the grisly murder of a widow and her three small children. A con man lured Asta Eicher, a wealthy widow, to her fate through a series of love letters in the early thirties in the small town Quiet Dell close to Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Most of the novel is narrated by Emily Thornhill, a Chicago journalist, who travels to West Virginia to cover the story for her newspaper. During the investigation and trial, the reader learns that Harry Powers seduced and murdered other women.

Briefly mentioned in her first novel, Machine Dreams, the crime and its effect on the Clarksburg community is recounted with detail in Quiet Dell, currently displayed with new books on Floor 3.  

Details of the trial were included in a New York Times article on December 11, 1931. Access is available at the Ort Library on Proquest Historical New York Times database at the link below:

 POWERS CONVICTED; HE FACES HANGING. (1931, Dec 11). New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from http://proxy-fs.researchport.umd.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/99103822?accountid=27669

The Ort Library has nine earlier works by Jayne Anne Phillips available on Floor 5 in the PS3566.H479 area. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Need to Practice a Presentation? Try the Multimedia Presentation Room

Multimedia Presentation Room Available on the 2nd Floor of the Ort Library

Need to practice an upcoming group presentation? The Ort Library offers the Multimedia Presentation Room on the 2nd Floor of the library to assist you with practicing for your presentation. 

The Multimedia Presentation Room allows students to practice a presentation utilizing the same equipment you would see in the classrooms on campus. 

The Multimedia Presentation Room is also available for students to watch DVDs or VHS tapes that the library has available. The room is equipped with a large LCD monitor for watching DVDs or VHS tapes.

If you have any questions about using the Multimedia Presentation Room, please see a librarian at the Reference Desk.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What-I’m-Reading-Wednesday: Why Evolution is True by Jerry A. Coyne

Jerry A. Coyne is uniquely qualified to discuss the topic of evolution. He is a professor of biology with concentrations in speciation and ecological & evolutionary genetics at the University of Chicago in the Department of Ecology and Evolution. In the book, Why Evolution is True, Jerry Coyne notes that those who disagree with Darwin about evolution will not be convinced by anything in this book. However, he notes: “for the many who find themselves uncertain, or who accept evolution but are not sure how to argue their case, this volume gives a succinct summary of why modern science recognizes evolution as true” (p. xiv). 

Coyne spends the first chapter discussing evolution and Darwin. Darwin came up with the theory of evolution through natural selection well before science was able to determine genetic lineage through DNA. Coyne also notes that many of the claims about Evolution not being true are because it is just a theory. However, he notes that in scientific terms a theory is “a well-thought-out group of propositions meant to explain facts about the real world” (p. 15). He points out that no one balks at the Theory of Gravity or the Theory of Relativity. 

The second chapter discusses the fossil record, from the time the earth formed until the present. Coyne uses several different animals to show how they have gradually changed over time. He discusses the evolution of whales from a land animal to the sea creature that we now know. The rest of the book, based on the Contents page, looks to discuss how life spread across the globe and how we as humans evolved. 

So far it has been a fascinating read learning about:  
Why Evolution is True

This volume is available to request from the Ort Library catalog here: http://catalog.umd.edu/docno=004437398  Click on “Availability,” the click on the yellow “Request” button.  Log in using your first name and 14 digit library barcode from your ID.  If you need assistance, please contact the Circulation Desk at 301 687-4395.

Pictures taken by: T. Mastrodonato

Friday, April 17, 2015

Featured Online Resource - Federal Mobile Apps Directory

Is there an app for that?  In the federal government, there just might be an app to suit your interests!

The Federal Mobile Apps Directory at USA.gov maintains a list of all apps provided by agencies. Some of the apps are actually created by private companies or organizations, but use government data to do so.

Some interesting apps that are available include:

  • Tornado by American Red Cross - Helps you prepare for disaster as well as know what to do in the aftermath.
  • Dried Botanicals Key by Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service - Interested in arranging dried flowers or making potpourri? This can help you learn more about dried plants!
  • Eyenote by Bureau of Engraving and Printing - Accessibility app for the blind or visually impaired. Scans US paper currency and identifies the denomination.
  • Solve the Outbreak by Centers for Disease Control - Learn more about contagious disease as you attempt to solve an outbreak!
  • NORAD Tracks Santa by Dept of Defense - Have fun tracking Santa's progress across the globe!
  • ReUnited by National Library of Medicine - Reconnect with family and friends after a disaster.
  • MyTSA by Dept of Homeland Security - Be prepared to navigate through airport security by using this Frequently Asked Questions app.
  • PTSD Coach by Dept. of Veterans Affairs - learn more about, and find assistance for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • SunWise UV Index by Environmental Protection Agency - See when the sun is at its strongest to help decide when it is wise to seek some shade!
  • FBI Child ID by Federal Bureau of Investigation - Store photos and information about your child in case of emergency.
  • FEMA by Federal Emergency Management Agency - Tools and advice for use before, during and after a variety of disasters.
  • Aesop for Children by Library of Congress - Interactive book containing over 140 classic fables.
  • Be a Martian by Jet Propulsion Laboratory - Experience Mars as if you were there!
  • QuitPal by National Cancer Institute - help and support as you quit smoking
  • USPS Mobile by US Postal Service - helpful tools such as postage calculators and ZIP code lookups.
These are just apps with information from the US Government.  Consider searching for apps for your city, county, or state.  For example, Maryland offers:

Every week, the Ort Library brings you a new and outstanding resource from the Web or from one of the library's databases. To get an archive of all FOR entries, click here. Also, you can suggest a website that provides well-organized access to useful info.