Database Trial: CQ Voting & Elections

March 25, 2008

Briggs Library currently has a database trial to CQ Voting & Elections until April 4, 2008. To access the trial please go to: http://library.cqpress.com/elections/ (The dataset that allows download and export of data on VEC, is not turned on during trials.) Please share this information with students, faculty, and staff who may be interested in researching elections. The site is also linked from the Government Documents Web Page http://lib.sdstate.edu/find/govdocs/ under “Site of the Month”. Feel free to send me your comments.

More information from the CQ web site: CQ Voting and Elections Collection integrates a wealth of data, authoritative analyses, concise explanations, and historical material to provide a powerful research and reference tool on the American voter, major and minor political parties, campaigns and elections, and historical and modern races for Congress, the presidency, and governorships. This research and reference website is organized into six categories.

Presidential Elections includes explanations of the presidential electoral process, analyses and data for historical and modern presidential elections, modern voting behavior, key events and issues, and biographies.Congressional Elections provides explanations of the congressional electoral process, including reapportionment and redistricting; data for historical and modern congressional elections; analyses of modern congressional elections; modern voting behavior; modern district profiles; key events and issues; and biographies. Gubernatorial Elections presents explanations of the gubernatorial electoral process and data for historical and modern gubernatorial elections.Campaigns and Elections explores the American system of voting and elections, electoral process and reform, media, interest groups, and the impact of money.

Political Parties covers the party system in America, including party strength and control, and profiles Democratic, Republican, and third parties. Voters and Demographics covers expansion of voting rights, voter turnout, voting behavior, modern county census data, and modern district profiles. Vickie Mix, Documents Librarian

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Special Recognition for First Library Director

March 13, 2008

During the Women of Distinction Awards Tea on March 11, special recognition was given to Nancy Van Doren, the first director of the SDSU Library.  Her commitment to education and service was instrumental in creating the library.  The SDSU Women’s Studies and Quest for Equity Committees sponsored the awards tea in conjunction with the celebration of Women’s History Month.  Mary Caspers-Graper read following statement to recognize the contributions of this outstanding woman: 

Ms. Nancy Van Doren — 124 years ago you arrived in Brookings to teach English at a tiny college with only one building called the Dakota Agricultural College.  You were our first preceptress, a position we know today as Dean of Women, and our first library director.  You are the only woman ever to hold that position. This is what historians have written about you:

·         You were born in 1842 in India, the daughter of Baptist missionaries.

·         At age 26 you graduated from the Owego Normal School in New York, now known as SUNY Oswego. 

·         After teaching in New York, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri, you joined the Dakota Agricultural College as the first salaried faculty member to be hired after George Lilley, the first president.  You were 42 years old.

·         You taught English grammar, composition and rhetoric for the amazing annual salary of $500. 

·         And in 1886 President Lilley asked you take charge of a small reading room on the second floor of Old Central.  In the room was a collection of about 1,000 volumes and 26 journals.  That was the beginnings of the Hilton M. Briggs Library.

·         Unfortunately your tenure at the tiny college was brief.   In 1891 you headed west to repeat your career as preceptress and librarian.  This time it was at Washington State College, which we know today as Washington State University in Pullman. Ms. Van Doren — historians have described you as a “sweet, intelligent, conscientious lady, whose life was a benediction to all the young women in whom she came in contact.”  Washington State University honored you with a building called Van Doren Hall, which is still standing.   At SDSU you had no honors, until today.    Ms. Van Doren — as we celebrate Women’s History Month and the 30th Anniversary of Briggs Library, we are proud to honor you as a “Woman of Distinction” and add your portrait to those of the seven former library directors at SDSU.   

Research notes courtesy of Ms. Lisa Lindell, Librarian and Professor, Hilton M. Briggs Library, SDSU

 women of distinction tea

Women of Distinction Teawomen of distinction tea


Interlibrary Loan Turnaround Time

March 12, 2008

Comment from an SDSU graduate student received March 12, 2008:

It seems that it takes a very long time to get an ILL photocopy of a journal article any more. I can remember getting 1-2 day turnaround on requests, but ever since ILLiad, it takes 10-14 days. Will this return time improve?

Our Response:

I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been dissatisfied with our interlibrary loan service recently.  Most of our patrons (those who have commented on ILLiad) have been very pleased with the speed of the desktop delivery of articles and the fact that they can track the progress of their own interlibrary loans through ILLiad.  However, I was concerned that we may have gotten lax with some of your requests, so I looked at the 5 requests that you have submitted through ILLiad.  One request in September was filled within a few hours.  Two articles requested in January (on Friday before a 3-day weekend) took 3 working days to complete. A request submitted on March 6 was delivered today (4 working days).  I think you would agree that 3-4 working days is reasonable time for other libraries to fill our requests, and I’m betting that the weekends just made your wait seem unusually long. Unfortunately, with our library budget we can’t process requests over weekends and holidays. 

Thank you for your comment.  We really do strive to improve our services in any way that we can, and comments like yours help us do that.  Perhaps in the future we’ll find a way to process requests on weekends. – Mary Kraljic, Access Services Librarian   


Your Library Rocks (And we care about people, too!)

March 12, 2008

Okay, okay, I work here, so yes, my opinion is a little biased.  However, I think I can safely speak for all the employees at Briggs Library when I say that we truly enjoy interacting with our campus community and providing the most efficient and effective service possible.   Throughout the academic year, the staff and faculty of HM Briggs Library participate in a variety of outreach activities to promote the library’s services and materials.    Last week, we had a booth at the annual campus Financial Planning and Investment Day.  This was an opportunity for us to promote the myriad of resources we have available on everything from budgeting and investing all the way to retirement.  Below is a photo of our very own Barbara Pagel, Government Documents Library Technician, staffing the Briggs Library booth at that event.  Just a reminder that we’re here for you, in many ways, and we’re proud of our excellent service! 


Looks like you could use….

March 3, 2008

A really good topic and supportive background information for your next research assignment.  The library has just the thing……a Topic Finder.  That’s right, a web page with the singular purpose of providing you with a list of print and electronic resources where you can find hot topics.   There are so many listed there, one is sure to catch your eye.  In fact, these resources are so cool many of them will provide supportive background information and even lead you to additional resources related to the topic you choose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Now that’s exciting! 

And, remember, if you ever need research assistance, stop by/call/e-mail/or chat with the reference librarians at the information desk.  We’re here to provide you with the skills to be effective and efficient researchers (and we love doing it!).

Laura M Wight, Reference Librarian