Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Online Resource: The Astronomical Almanac

If you are an astronomy scholar or even a serious fan, you may wish to explore the Astronomical Almanac Online.  The Almanac is a joint publication of the United States and United Kindom through the United States Naval Observatory, Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office, and the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office.

The glossary can be a helpful resource to those lest familiar with Astronomical terms. The almanac compiles data on phenomena such as eclipses.  It also has sections covering the sun, moon, planets,  and more.

The site also allows you to download iCalendar files of a diary of astronomical phenomena.  This can be downloaded and imported into calendars in iCalendar 2.0 format such as Outlook, Google, and iCal,

You might notice that some types of information are not available online.  This data can be found in the print version of the Astronomical Almanac.  Newer copies can be found in the Library's Reference section, at call number: QB 9 .U55.  Older copies are in the government documents section at D 213.8.  (Just ask for help if you need assistance finding them!)

A list of additional links to helpful information in all three agencies is also available here.

The almanac assumes that viewers have some background in understanding of the data.  If you are less familiar, and would just like to learn a bit more about astronomy, you might want to monitor NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day web site.  With each photo, a professional astronomer provides a brief explanation of what you are seeing!

Happy stargazing!

The Ort Library regularly 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, December 5, 2014

Extended Library Hours for Last Week of Classes & Final Exams

As in past semesters, the Lewis J. Ort Library will extend its hours during the last week of classes and the week of final exams. Extended hours begin today, Friday, December 5th, and will continue through Friday, December 19th. Library hours through Commencement are listed below:

Friday, December 5
7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 6
11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 7
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Monday, December 8 – Thursday, December 11
7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Friday, December 12
7:00 a.m. to Midnight
Saturday, December 13
9:00 a.m. to Midnight
Sunday, December 14
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Monday, December 15 – Thursday, December 18
7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Friday, December 19
7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 20 – COMMENCEMENT
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Library hours are also posted online:

If you have any questions, please contact the Circulation Desk at 301-687-4395.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Celebrate Letter Writing Day by Writing a Letter to a US Service Member

December 7, 2014 is Letter Writing Day. The Ort Library has created a display to highlight the history of letter writing and showcase some of the handwritten letters available in Special Collections. 

To celebrate Letter Writing Day we are asking everyone to write a letter to a person in the US Armed Forces. We will gather all the letters written and send them off to be sent to the troops. We will send the letters to Operation Gratitude who will then forward the letters onto our US Service Members.

The display has paper and envelopes available for letter writing. You can also drop off letters you have written. There is also a box that has been set aside to collect the letters written. 

When you write a letter, please do not seal the envelope that you put the letter in.

We will gather letters until December 19, 2014.

If you have any questions, please contact Theresa Mastrodonato (ext. 4425) – or MaryJo Price (ext. 4889) –

Sunday, November 30, 2014

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 that the library has available. The room is equipped with a large LCD monitor for watching DVDs.

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


Monday, November 24, 2014

Library Hours for Thanksgiving Break

The Ort Library will close on Tuesday (11/25) at 5:00 pm and will remain closed through Saturday (11/29) in observance of Thanksgiving Break. The Library will resume regular hours on Sunday (11/30), opening at 1:00 pm as regularly scheduled.

Regular Fall Library Hours

Monday - Thursday // 7:30 a.m. - Midnight
Friday // 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday // 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday // 1:00 p.m. - Midnight

Closings, holidays, and extended hours for exams will be posted as the semester progresses, but you can always check our website for the full schedule at

For questions or additional information, please contact the Circulation Desk at 301-687-4395.

We wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Featured Online Resources: Ebola Information Available Online

As the Ebola outbreak in Africa continues to make the news, we've gathered some helpful resources to help you become better informed about the disease. 

Web Sites

Reference Resources

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

Monday, November 10, 2014

New Library Displays for November

The Ort Library is pleased to present new displays for November.

The first display, located on the 3rd floor near the front door, highlights the 45th anniversary of Sesame Street. This show began on November 10, 1969. Sesame Street has aired in over 120 countries and has taught generations of children how to read and count by using short, funny sketches with interesting and colorful muppets. Everyone can sing the theme song: “Can you tell me how to get/How to get to Sesame Street”.

The second display, located on the 3rd floor near room 318, highlights the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve. The display provides information about the Federal Reserve and its importance to the US.

The third display, located on the 4th floor near the stairs, highlights the 35th anniversary of the Iran Hostage Crisis. This was a time of historic change both in the US and Iran. The display highlights the history of the crisis and provides information on some of the resources the library offers on this topic.

The final display, located on the 5th floor, highlights Native American Heritage Month that is held every November. The theme for this year’s Native American Heritage Month is “Native Pride and Spirit: Yesterday, Today and Forever”. The display highlights some of the resources the library offers on Native American Heritage.

If you have any questions about the displays, please contact Theresa Mastrodonato at ext. 4425 or or MaryJo Price at ext. 4889 or

Sunday, November 2, 2014

New Library Service: Research Consultation Requests!

It’s now the season for concentrated research as the semester starts to wind down, and the Ort Library is happy to offer a new service to help!

When you are doing research, a quick stop by the library reference desk always helps, but sometimes that’s not enough! Now you can benefit from a one-on-one meeting with a reference librarian to help guide you in more depth with information sources to use in research projects such as term papers, oral presentations and literature reviews.

Using our new ResearchConsultation Request Form (also linked on the library’s homepage as ResearchRequests), you can schedule approximately 30 minutes of undivided attention from a reference librarian, who will focus on your information need or research topic.

This is open to students, faculty, or staff. Research consultations address the following typical needs:
  • Getting started on a research project (i.e., identifying a topic, developing a search strategy, discovering the appropriate databases and other research tools)
  • Identifying research materials inside and outside of the library
  • Evaluating the relevance and usefulness of selected research materials
  • Using library services and collections such as Special Collections and  Government Documents
  • Working with equipment such as the microform readers
When you schedule an appointment using the form, describe your research need and suggest a date and time (plus a couple of alternates) when we can schedule a meeting with you. We will match you with the subject specialist librarian who can help you the most.
Actually, this is not really a new service – we’ve always been happy to make appointments for consultations with you. The new part is that you can now schedule online!

We in the Ort Library are here to help you succeed!