Ten Resources to Tweet About


  1. There are 800+ titles of textbooks on Reserves for two-hour loans for use in the Library. Many titles are textbooks for introductory courses.
  2. Graphing Calculators(TI-84) are now available for 15-week loans (i.e. the whole semester) and can now be checked out from the Technology Support Center.
  3. The new Technology Support Center, located on the first floor of the library in room 109A, provides access to laptops, graphing calculators, and scanners.Mike
  4. Breaking news! All printers on the first floor have all been consolidated to one location in the reference room, and are strategically located six feet away from the Tech Support Center.   The same has been done with the copy machines—all four of them are less than six feet away from the Tech Support Center.
  5. Check out the K-12 Text Collection located on the 2nd floor, in west wing of the building.  These K-12 Texts include over 600 titles in print (and hundreds more online in the eBrary e-book database).
  6. A selection of the DVD Collectionis available to circulate for three-day loans.  Over 100 titles are available, including The Blind Side, Argo, The Wolf on Wall Street, Habla con Ella, The Help, Hurt LockerShawshank Redemption, Anna Karenina, To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone with the Wind, Hannah and her SistersBiutiful, Monsieur Lazhar, Los Abrazos Rotos, No, Kon-Tiki, and more.
  7. Check out our live-streaming video databases, Films on Demand and Kanopy (Media Educational Foundation) at  http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/streaming-video/.  They include over 19,000 educational and documentary videos and video-clips.
  8. Graduate students can now enjoy two of 10 group study rooms that have been specifically designed for seminar and collaborative group sessions.  They include flexible furniture, seating for up to 12, a large white board, and a 42” LCD monitor screen.
  9. The third floor, which is zoned as the silent floor, is the best kept secret at College of Staten Island Library.  Enjoy the quiet space at individual carrels or large study tables.
  10. Scrapbooks made out of abandoned papers at printers have been neatly stapled into 6-paged booklets for anyone’s use.

–Wilma Jones

What’s New? Academic Works. CUNY’s Institutional Repository Goes Live at CSI

imgresThis fall the CUNY’s Office of Library Services introduced its new Institutional Repository, Academic Works.

An Institutional Repository (IR) is an online archive that anyone affiliated with the institution can use to preserve and make accessible a wide range of scholarly material. Everything from academic articles/papers to artistic works (basically any item that can be digitized) can be placed in the institutional repository and made accessible to a global audience of scholars and researchers.

What makes Academic Works so exciting is that it is CUNY’s very own IR. The College of Staten Island has a collection that is a part of Academic Works. This site can serve as a portal to the world showing all of the varied scholarly projects being undertaken by CSI students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, the existence of such a portal means that we can join the worldwide open access movement. This is a movement of scholars and librarians who are committed to making scholarship easily accessible to as wide an audience as is possible. All too often research and scholarship (particularly research that is funded by federal grants) is locked behind pay walls and inaccessible to the general public. The open access movement attempts to make more of this research universally accessible and IRs like CUNY’s Academic Works play a large role in creating the infrastructure that makes open access possible.

So go to http://academicworks.cuny.edu to create an account and see the scholarship that is being produced here at CSI and throughout CUNY!

-Jonathan Cope

Library /Blackboard Integration Pilot Project

What goes together better than pretzels and chocolate? You guessed it: the library and blackboard! Blackboard is CSI’s Learning Management System (LMS) and software that all instructors at CSI have access to. If you are new to Blackboard, it allows instructors to build teaching content online, including uploading files (like readings and the syllabus), creating instructional wikis and blogs, hosting discussion boards for students to comment between classes, and more. If this sounds like a one-stop portal for the digital classroom, you are correct!

The fact that we have access to Blackboard at CSI may be old news, but what’s new, and especially exciting, is that Blackboard has recently upgraded to allow librarians to embed modules into your existing Blackboard classes.

Instructors can collaborate with the library in a few simple ways:

  • By adding library content into your course through the “content collection.”
  • By linking to our online guides through your Blackboard course (in the same location where you add Discussions, Blogs, or Wikis).
  • By instructing your users to visit the Library Tab at the top of the home screen, which will lead you to library research materials that we’ve set up for you.

These features will be available in the Spring of 2016. Please ask us how to use the various tools mentioned above, and we will happily describe what’s possible in more detail.

-Anne Hays

OneSearch Search Techniques: Using Boolean Operators in Basic Search Mode

We hope by now that many of our users, both students and faculty, have used CUNY’s new search tool, OneSearch. Just as you might guess from its title, OneSearch is one location to search all CUNY resources; books, journal articles, streaming video and other digital content.

Here, I’m going to focus on highlighting a search tip that might be helpful; NOT! No, seriously, I mean using the Boolean operator NOT to exclude items from your search. For instance, let’s say you are writing a paper on media bias in politics, but you’re not necessarily focusing on the current, though seemingly everlasting, US presidential election. You want to look at media bias in politics more generally, or historically perhaps. You could start with a keyword search for: “media bias” politics.


This search will pull every record that contains the phrase media bias as well as the word politics. (By the way, the quotes keep the words together as a phrase. Otherwise, it would pull every record with the words media and bias in the record including those instances where the words are not beside each other.)

This results list will very likely have a lot of results about US presidential elections, which you are not really looking for at the moment. So, try searching for: “media bias” AND politics NOT “US presidential election.”


This search will give you all records with the phrase media bias, as well as the word politics, but eliminate all with the phrase US presidential election. It should narrow down your results list substantially. One more thing you could try, if you want to be a super searcher, is to add the wildcard character *. A search for “media bias” AND politic* NOT “US presidential election” will return results with the words politics, political, politically, politico, etc.— in other words, all possible endings for the word politic. From this point you can still do many other things. For instance, limit your search on the left hand side to peer-reviewed articles only, and alter the order from relevance to date-newest.

I hope this tip helps you develop better searches with more relevant results!

-Maureen Garvey

Films on Demand: Netflix for Education!


“Educational Video” tends to be a term that everyone reacts to. You might think of happy high school days when you could get out of “real work” to watch a video. Or you might think of old, boring videos that put you to sleep. Or maybe you have fond memories of campy videos that you might look up on YouTube (check out School House Rock’s Conjunction Junction with 2.4 million views)! But the library’s Films on Demand database provides a new experience that we hope will change how you think about videos and education.

Films on Demand is a subscription database bought for you by the CSI Library. You can use it anywhere on campus, in class, or at home, at any time, simply by logging in with your SLAS/FLAS. It has 21,387 shows, documentaries, and archival films that are broken into 245,704 segments. “Segments” are handy clips that cover one small topic in a larger film. Each segment can be searched for and browsed individually, so you don’t need to watch a whole video to get information on one topic. Want to get some ideas for audition monologues? Search “monologues” and be inspired by a one minute performance of Juliet’s “Come gentle night… speech preformed at the Globe Theater. It is a segment in one of the 400 Videos in the English > Drama and Theater collection. Confused about a science topic you have never heard of, like chemical spectroscopy? Take a look at how the BBC explained it to a general audience by showing a model of the world’s first spectroscope in a 5 minute clip (“Revealing Unique Color Signatures of Elements”). Writing about the home front in World War II? Check out a contemporary patriotic newsreel. The database covers all sorts of academic and cultural topics including business, health, social science, engineering, career counseling, education, and world languages, so a quick search can produce unexpected results!

Films on Demand is easy to use. Not only can you search from a convenient interface, you can browse 25 collections each with many topics and sub topics. Videos stream right in your browser (although they sometimes don’t work well in Chrome). All students, faculty, and staff members can use it and can create their own account if they want to create playlists to share with others. Users can email the URL for any video, segment, or playlist to anyone in the CSI community. Every video has a direct, permanent link that can be used in class websites or in Blackboard. If you need to find an exact spot in a video, you can search an interactive transcript of it! Most films have scrolling transcripts that move with the streaming film and highlight each word as it is spoken. By clicking on any word in the transcript, you can jump to that exact section of video, making close, repeated viewings easy. Just let us know if you have any questions about using Films on Demand.

Finally, remember that many of the films in the database were developed not just to educate students, but to inform and entertain the general public, to broadcast current events, to document theater and dance performances, or to improve scientific and cultural literacy. You can watch episodes of the American Experience, Frontline, Nova, and other PBS shows. Documentaries by Ken Burns, TED talks, and Bill Moyers discussions are all available for research, class assignments, or in-class viewing. From international politics (Wide Angle) to the Pythagorean Theorem, Films on Demand has something for everyone.

-Christine McEvilly