Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Here's a selection of questions from the Moffitt and Environmental Design reference desks...
  • I'm looking for a volume of Architectural History from 2006.
  • I'm looking for statistics on graduate and undergraduate students by sex. Basically, I'm interested in research showing that more undergraduates are female, and more grad students are male. I.e., more female students don't continue on to grad school. Where could I find this? (Digest of Education Statistics, United States Statistical Abstract)
  • I'm looking for oral histories from people who were held in Japanese-American internment camps during WWII. (Bancroft, ROHO, Melvyl)
  • I need to know the name of the plaza in front of St. Peter's in Rome.
  • I need to find information about immigrant Iranian television and media in general in Los Angeles. I'm interested in finding out how the immigrant-created media here affect the situation in Iran, and I'm also interested in finding out more about the media in Iran itself. (Index Islamicus, Melvyl, Ethnic Newswatch, Lexis-Nexis Academic)
  • I need reviews of my professor's books, for his tenure case. I haven't been able to find them anywhere. (Google did a better job as a discovery tool than any database; it led back into JSTOR etc. despite problems in finding the reviews themselves in the native databases. Also some substantial online reviews that weren't indexed in databases.)
  • I'm looking for information about green design in K-12 schools.
  • I'm trying to figure out how to get call numbers into my Refworks bibliography. (Easiest way is to log in, use UC e-links to cut and paste or write call numbers down on a printed bib. I also mentioned Zotero, as an alternative tool.)
  • I need information about bicycling in the United States and in China, respectively.
  • I'm researching ancient monumental buildings and modern high-rises. Specifically, I'd like to argue that high-rise dwelling is now associated with poverty, whereas ancient monuments were associated with wealth.
  • I'm looking for an overview of what various Planning and Development offices (city, regional, etc.) do--how they're organized, what activities they take on, etc.
  • I'm looking for articles about the water gardens at Hadrian's Villa, and at the Alhambra.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The latest from the Moffitt and Environmental Design reference desks...
  • I'm looking for information about the sociological aspects, history, and trends in renting vs. owning homes in the United States. (Avery, Soc Abs)
  • I'm looking for maps of Los Cabos in Mexico. I need relatively detailed maps of the city as it is now, as well as maps of how it looked in the 19th century. (Referred to Earth Sciences library.)
  • I'm looking for California newspapers from the 1950s to the 1970s--not just the L.A. Times, but the smaller papers, such as the Sacramento Bee and the San Francisco Chronicle. (Ah, the perennial issue of indexing of smaller newspapers. Microform indexes exist for some. Pay-to-play online databases do some of this far better than we do, in terms of saving the user's time.)
  • I'm looking for statistics on what percentage of the industry in Karnataka, an Indian province, is in agriculture, IT, and other sectors. (Wikipedia on Karnataka's economy leads to Indian government websites.)
  • I'm looking for issues of the Cal yearbook, The Blue and Gold, from the 1960s and 1970s. (Reference user manual has shortcut to the call number, thanks to Anne-Marie Basso and Corinne Robinson Slouber.)
  • I'm looking for information about the White Building in Oakland. The architect was Clay Burrell. Were any articles published about it in the 1920s, when it was built?
  • I'm looking for two books on football/futbol in Spanish and English. (Melvyl)
  • I'm looking for primary sources on El Salvadorean refugees to the United States during the war in El Salvador. (Melvyl)
  • I need to find plans of Wurster Hall, particularly of the cafe on the first floor.
  • I'm looking for the 1948 Hong Kong city preliminary planning report.
  • What is your thermal comfort? (From a student polling for a homework assignment.)
And I note with interest the advent of Askville, a new service from Part social networking site, part reference service, it continues the trend of deprofessionalizing reference work in favor of the wisdom (?) of crowds and free Internet resources. Not that I'm against it--I think that businesses do a better job of surfacing many kinds of resources than libraries do, and Google definitely beats most library catalogs. It's just one more "huh" moment for librarians. A reminder to swim or die, I guess.