Library Newsletter
New Coordinator

New online database

Northern Light 

Good assignments Journal Spotlight


August 1999


Welcome back!

Returning students, staff, and faculty were no doubt surprised to see that the 2nd floor of the Library was closed upon their return. We are thrilled to be in the midst of a major re-vamping of the Reference floor.

 When unveiled next week (fingers crossed), you will see attractive new carpeting, fresh paint, brand new computer furniture, and a whole new configuration to the room.

Remember how sultry it got in the Internet area? We hope to move the computers to the open center of the room in clusters of  workstations and printer stations.

New study carrels will then line the walls of the former Internet area, and the whole floor will have a more open feel. We librarians will be back (feeling especially appreciative after our cramped temporary stay on the 3rd floor.

It's going to be fantastic!


New Library Coordinator

Adele Enright has assumed the mantle of Coordinator for the next year, following upon the great work of Stephanie Wells. Stephanie will return as a Reference Librarian with responsibilities for Collection Development, among other duties. Adele will take over the day-to-day operations of the Library while keeping her involvement with the Library's Web site. She is also teaching Library 101 online this semester.


New online database available from campus computers

Recently the fledgling Library of California made available to eligible libraries a year's free subscription to California RAND. This database, available on campus computers by going to, is a treasure trove of social science, health, crime, education, and regional  statistics and reports.

The Online Library has links leading to other sources of publications, including GREAT, FREE, TOPICAL reports from the Public Policy Institute of California:


No email!  No chat!

A timely reminder that the Internet workstations in the Library are to be used for research only. When we have the luxury of banks of computers on every floor, our policy may change; until then, if you are seen using email or chat, you will be asked to desist!


New Periodicals List

The new periodicals list is available. Faculty and staff who wish to have their own copy can contact Jan in the Library by email or by telephone, ext. 4101. 

Library Orientations

We are continuing to schedule orientations, but at a reduced level until the 2nd Floor changes are completed. Students do not have access to the Internet while an orientation is being held in the Gallery. For this reason, we hope that faculty will bear with us until we have the full use of our facilities again! [top]


Northern Light trial

We have access to the Northern Light Special Collection until October 15. This is premier collection of over 8 million full-text articles.

To access, go to:

Web documents and Special Collection articles are integrated in your results list. If you want to see the full-text of an article from the Special Collection, click on "Purchase Document". You then log in with the username and password "rhcl" (no quotes).

We would like to get your feedback on this resource - we are considering a subscription for the library when the trial has finished, so let us know what you think! Call us or send an email to


Assignments: the good, the bad, and the downright impossible!

Every semester brings a crop of new students and new instructors, along with new and challenging assignments. (We also get the re-treads, to put it colloquially, but that is another subject). We have summarized some of the key points for both groups, distilled from years of combined experience:

To instructors:
1) Please provide students with a written assignment. If you assign a topic orally, we will typically hear 30 different versions of it! It helps us tremendously if the student has the assignment or topic in writing.

2) Please check that the library has the resources that your students will need in order to complete their assignments. This is particularly important if you are new to our campus - we may not have the same resources that you used at your last campus!

3) It helps if there is a range of topics or choices for assignments. Single topic assignments put a strain on only one or two sources and leaves many students standing around with nothing to do while they wait for "the book."

4) If you will do the assignment yourself, you will have a better idea how long it will take for the students to complete the assignment. However, what may seem a straightforward research paper to you COULD take a student who is unfamiliar with basic search strategies ALOT longer to complete.

To students:

1) Don't wait until the last minute to start your research! This has got to be the Golden Rule #1 of all time. It is typically going to take you much longer than you anticipate to look for information. This is especially true of Internet-based research. Remember how often you have to sit there while the page loads, only to find the site did not have the information you needed.

2) Clarify any questions you have about the assignment BEFORE you leave the class! We can only second guess what the instructor wanted unless you have a written assignment -- and even then, there can be ambiguities.

3) Make sure you get your bibliographic citations (where you got the info!) AT THE TIME YOU HAVE THE BOOK IN HAND, because it is much more difficult later on. Someone else may be using the resource or (this has really happened too) you may even have used it at another library and only THINK you got it at Rio.

Please never hesitate to ask a Reference Librarian for help. We are willing and eager to assist you in any way possible.



In the Spotlight

Each issue of this newsletter will feature periodical or journal titles from our collection. This month we examine:

CQ Researcher 
Congressional Digest

Both of these journals take a single topical issue and examine it critically, showing both pro and con positions.

The CQ Researcher comes out weekly. Each issue has a list of previous issue topics so that it is a simple matter to scan for the issue of your choice. The topic is broken down into:

·      The Issue

·        Background

·        Current Situation

·        Outlook

·        Sidebar and Graphics

·        For Further Research

Previous issues have dealt with School Vouchers, the Y2K Dilemma, Death Penalty, and Drug Testing, to name just a few.

The suggestions for further research are extremely valuable as the content is available from our very own online database, ProQuest. The level of the writing is aimed at community colleges and above.

Congressional Digest is “an independent monthly featuring controversies in Congress..” It deals with popular topics such as Physician Assisted Suicide, Human Cloning, and the Independent Counsel Law.

Each issue features background material, a chronology of the topic, and excerpts from articles, statements,  and other sources of information drawn from politicians and think tank personnel.

It is useful in pulling together direct source information, but provides no avenues for further research on the topic.


Information about borrowing from the Library

Students must be enrolled and have a current library card in order to take material from the Library. Your library card needs to be updated EACH SEMESTER. It is a simple matter of going to the 3rd floor Circulation Desk and takes about a half-minute!  

Books and most items have a 3 week borrowing period. You may have a maximum of 10 items on your card. Fines are 25c PER ITEM per day – so you don’t want to let things go too long before you return them. It gets expensive AND it inconveniences your fellow students.

For more information on the Library’s services, see our Web site at


New Video List

Coming soon! If you want to be automatically notified each time there is an update to the list, contact Jan by email or phone, ext.4101. [top]