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Sacred Heart University Library Newsletter for Faculty No. 27 (May, 2022)

Library Newsletter for Faculty No. 27 (May, 2022)

A Service Change You Should Know About: Library Resource Builder Will Be Discontinued

Library Resource Builder is a product of Ebsco, one of the Library's main vendors.  Ebsco will discontinue it in the summer of 2023.  If you use it, you will need to adopt an alternative method of linking online readings and videos to your Blackboard course shell.  If you start to make this change in the summer of 2022, you will make your life easier later on.

You can use Persistent Links (a.k.a. Permalinks) to create stable links to digital resources.  This Library Guide will help you provide links for every major database vendor (Ebsco, ProQuest, Ovid, JSTOR, Sage, etc.) and several smaller ones.  Each vendor uses a slightly different process. Librarians are always available to help you build such links.  When you provide a persistent link, it will remain useful for a very long time —hence the name persistent or permanent. 

Over the next academic year Sacred Heart University will undertake trials of two Learning Management Systems (LMS): Canvas and Brightspace. Faculty input and response to these potential systems will be considered very carefully.  The current (to be retired) Library Resource Builder works only with Blackboard, not with Canvas or Brightspace.

There is an additional consequence to changing to persistent links: If the University decides to make a change, your Blackboard course shell with persistent links will migrate successfully with the rest of your course content to the chosen new LMS.

Please contact the Library Reference and Resource service if you have questions (phone 203-371-7726 or email: reference@sacredheart.edu )
 

The Lede: In Praise of Good Bookstores

In Praise of Good Bookstores. By Jeff Deutsch.  Princeton University Press, 2022. ISBN 9780691229669, list $19.95.  E-Book (unlimited simultaneous user access)

Jeff Deutsch was for many years director of Seminary Co-op Bookstores in Chicago, so he knows from bookstores.  He also knows the problems of a good bookstore. Scott McLemee contributed a fine review essay in InsideHigherEd (April 29) that sets Deutsch's book in context.

Why should anyone bother with a good bookstore these days? Deutsch offers a compelling account of the ecology of reading, and how profoundly it differs from the torrent of online shopping.  As McLemee writes, 

Do a search for “oyster” on Amazon—taking care to limit the search to the books department—and you will be offered not just biological studies, collections of recipes and the occasional reference work on aphrodisiacs, but also a clam and oyster knife shucker set with stainless steel seafood opener tool, wood handle and gloves (at a surprisingly low price), as well as cans of oyster-hued paint and diaries with cover graphics inspired by the band Blue Öyster Cult. To be fair, most of the results are in fact books of some sort, although their relevance to the search term is often tenuous at best.

Try that for yourself and see. Online shopping involves sifting and active ignoring. In contrast with that riot of tenuous links, a good bookstore enables and encourages browsing.  Browsing is not just careless wasting time, but a mental and physical space to explore possibilities and opportunities.  Deutsch writes, "While an algorithm might suggest a book that we are likely to enjoy based upon who we've been, or what an advertiser might want us to think we want, nothing can replace the work of browsing to help us discover who we are or who we might become."  Selling a book is less consequential than providing "the experience of being among books—an experience afforded to anyone who enters the space with curiosity and time."

An economic problem is that the sale of a book enables the bookstore to continue, but is a result of its service, not its cause, and not a bookstore's only reason to exist. A good bookstore offers a creative space for coming across a book for which a reader is not necessarily looking. The bookstore filters, selects, assembles, and advocates so that a potential reader can experience serendipity, a creative moment of insight both unexpected and carefully prepared.

The practice of active browsing will mean nothing to those with no curiosity, or an exclusive focus on transactional economics or efficiencies, or who choose algorithms over life experience.  A purely instrumental view of higher education –fee for service—is willfully blind to the unexpected.  In a good bookstore or a good library, the book professional allows browsers (potential readers) to explore and consider in an appropriately conversational environment that manages distraction and commercial abrasiveness.

This has everything to do with a library, which might employs algorithms but transcends them. The physical presence of books differs from a list of search results in profound ways.  Can a university library offer the experience of time among books and conversation with "readers of reading" —librarians? In an organization increasingly driven by algorithmic sorting of likes, dislikes, preferences, and prejudices, can a library offer a fundamentally different approach to teaching and learning?  Is a view of higher education as more than instrumental even possible?

What are you reading?
 

A Resource You Should Know About: TRC Natural Medicines

The term "Natural medicine" can embrace an unruly mixture of folklore, commercialism, and ideological controversies. TRC Natural Medicines by contrast uses an evidence-based approach, and systematically reviews critically appraised, peer-reviewed literature.  It avoids any bias for or against "natural products," and accepts no advertising or sponsorship in any manner, ever.

Contributors are health professionals licensed to practice their specialities, whose primary mission is to objectively evaluate data for relevancy and validity.  This database is a trustworthy and authoritative resource on supplements, natural medicine, and complementary alternative and integrative therapies.  Its  particular strengths are in its Interaction and Effectiveness Checkers, guides to adverse effects, and systematic reviews of current developments including cannabis and cannaboid treatments, interactions, effectiveness, and toxicology.  This database also offers substantial guides to clinical issues arising from pregnancy and lactation.  

A free personal login and short profile is required to gain access to all its features, including interactive forums and access from mobile devices.

Summer Reminder: SelectedWorks

Summer is a great time to edit and update your SelectedWorks page, or to start one.  

Your SelectedWorks page will always belong to you. Its design template will provide you with Sacred Heart University "brand" during your professional presence here.  The design is reasonably flexible and can be edited in many subtle ways to highlight both your official academic activities and your presentations to community groups, media, or other venues.  

If you haven't edited your page, or want to start one, summer is the ideal time.  You can get help from librarians Bev Lysobey and Deana Santoro-Dillon, who will be happy to advise you with best practices and "nuts and bolts."  You can contact them at DigitalCommons@sacredheart.edu or individually.

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