Library Newsletter


March/April 2000


Set aside some time on Wednesday, March 29 for the Annual Readfest. If the weather is fine, you can hear people reading from their favorite works outside the front of the library from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and in the evening from 7:15 pm to 8:15 p.m. If it gets blowy or rainy, we will move inside to the 3rd floor Gallery. This popular event draws students, staff, and faculty and is great fun. You can still volunteer for a time slot to read – just call Judy or Adele in the Library, x4105 or x3485.

How busy is our library?

Here are some stats to give you an idea of what’s going on!

We gave 47 workshops and orientations during the months of January and February, serving a total of some 994 students.

In the month of February alone –

23,272 people passed through the gates on the 2nd floor

2,425 reference questions were answered

2,397 items were checked out, including 1208 books, 314 videos, 176 music cd’s, 158 journals

11,920 documents were accessed from our online database ProQuest

SIRS was accessed 1,927 times

Biography Resource Center retrieved 140 entries

Literature Resource Center retrieved 111 entries.

The McNaughton Collection

This is a collection of best selling fiction and non-fiction titles located on the third floor. If you are looking for the latest Patricia Cornwell novel or a guide to Mexico, you will find it here! This collection of books is leased and consists of a rotating selection of some 200 titles at any given time.

To find out what’s new, go to the Library Catalog and select the McNaughton Books button.

On WebCat, the button looks like this


Notice anything different?
about the Internet workstations on the 2nd floor?

To alleviate some confusion about the ProQuest archives icon and the current ProQuest database – and to standardize and streamline the desktop, we have installed a menu system on the Internet computers. It’s a little clunky, but it basically does what it is supposed to do

Similar to the example shown above, it provides choice of buttons to launch you into the library catalog, the Internet, online databases, CD-ROM network (yes, we still have one!) and various other programs.

Let us know how you like it.

Try it – you’ll like it
Google, that is

There is a new search engine we have been using that has been getting rave reviews in the journals. It’s called “Google” -- or just type “google” in the Netsite or Address box in your browser. It is certainly the fastest search engine around, but more importantly, the results are usually better and more focused with less irrelevant hits. There is a mathematical reason for this! If you want to read about how it’s done, have a look at the explanation at:

A Web directory has recently been added so that you can browse for subjects rather than putting in your own search terms.

Have you used ReferenceUSA yet?

This database, only available on-campus, has business directory information as well as consumer (resident) directories for the United States.

Are you:
Planning a wedding and need to locate all the florists within the Whittier and adjoining zip codes?
Sending out your resume to all computer consulting firms in Los Angeles and Orange Counties?
Targeting companies of less than 50 employees to survey their health benefits packages?
Moving to El Monte (or wherever) and need to find all the day care centers and their locations?
Looking for the parent company of KFC or Taco Bell?
Trying to find those “lost souls” for your high school reunion?

ReferenceUSA can help with these and similar queries. You can download up to 50 records and export the results to an Excel spreadsheet or paste them into a document.

Try a few searches and see how useful it can be.  You can access ReferenceUSA through our Online Databases page on the library Web site:


A short list of “Research Strategies” guides on the Web

It’s a truism that most of us don’t bother to consult “the manual” until we are really stuck! In the matter of writing a research paper, it is no different. Frequently students muddle along doing the best they can – conducting searches that may retrieve nonsensical hits as well as useful information. When you reach the point that you ARE prepared to learn how to search more effectively, there are some great tutorials and Web sites that can help.

One of my favorites (but not for it’s rather unfetching graphical layout!) is:

*   Recommended Search Strategy: Search With Peripheral Vision from the librarians at UC Berkeley’s Teaching Library:

Read the entire document! The “Search Strategies we do NOT recommend” is every bit as helpful as their Five Step Research Strategy.This guide will give you tips on how to search the major search engines and give sample searches that employ real examples.

Another favorite is:

*   The 7 Steps of Doing Research in Academic Libraries from the librarians at Kirtland Community College in Roscommon, Michigan.

This site describes basic sources of information (books, journals, Internet, etc) and gives direction on how to choose and use these tools.

A third guide:

*   Help with Your Research, comes from the Libraries of the Claremont Colleges

Keep in mind that while we may not have all the resources that are mentioned in these guides, the basic steps of how to do research are the same whether you are at Stanford, Rio Hondo, or Oxford University!

Another great way to improve your research skills is to attend our [free] Internet Workshops. If you already have some experience with Internet searching, then start with “Evaluating Web Sites” to learn more about how to judge whether the information provided at a site is likely to be useful and accurate.

Subject Guides for Research Papers” will give you an introduction and hands-on practice with THE way to cut your searching time in half. Finding Articles in ProQuest” is virtually a necessity if you wish to learn the advanced techniques that will help you with your papers.

Some of our staff
in the library

Laurie Yount, Circulation

Rudy Martinez, Circulation

Chris Seropian, Periodicals

Tes Safavi, Circulation

Lorraine Castellanos,
Library Secretary