ProQuest E-Book Survey: Tell a Vendor What You Need!

ebookOne of our e-book vendors, ProQuest, is administering a Global Student & Researcher E-book Survey. They want to better understand e-book usage and needs among college and university students, faculty, and staff.

Follow the link below - it should only take approximately 15 -20 minutes to complete.

As a thanks for your time, ProQuest will enter you into a drawing for one of three Apple Watches. The prize winners will be notified in June using the email addresses entered in the survey.

Please note this survey is voluntary, and all responses received will be treated in the strictest confidence. So, feel free to tell them what you think about e-books!

Collecting GIS Data via Your Mobile Phone

Historically, when Geographic Information Systems (GIS) users collected field data outdoors, they often used paper forms or dragged along a laptop computer and GPS unit to record observations and measurements.  Once back on campus, the data were uploaded BlogCollectorinto a GIS project for further analysis.  In situations where an entire class went out field collecting, an additional workflow required compiling and editing all the individual  submissions.

This past year, the Sheridan Libraries GIS and Data Service began promoting Collector for ArcGIS, a mobile phone based application that offers field data collection that automatically updates GIS maps housed in a library-provided geocloud via ArcGIS Online for Johns Hopkins.

The process is simple.  GIS users working on their own, or with a GIS and Data staff member, identify the geographic area where students and faculty will be collecting data and assign a default basemap.  The library offers a wide assortment of imagery or terrain basemaps to choose from.  The second step involves attaching the basemap to a blank GIS table that will be used to collect variables in the field.   The table can include drop down boxes and predefined options to simplify the field data collection process and eliminate errors while thumb typing on a mobile phone.  The last step is uploading the GIS basemap, and associated table, to the geocloud area assigned to the class as part of an ArcGIS Online Group.

As students head out to the field they download the free Collector app from the Google Play Store or the Apple AppStore.   At the field site, students will see the predefined map and collection table on their phone.   While collecting data, GPS coordinates are captured from the mobile device and automatically added to the GIS table and map in the ArcGIS Online geocloud.  In cases when field sites are too remote for cellular connections the data are stored locally on the mobile device and uploaded when Internet service is available.

Collector for ArcGIS is one of the newest GIS options available to all Johns Hopkins users.  To learn more about Collector take a look at our GIS and Maps guide or send an e-mail to us in GIS and Data Services:

Got Term Papers?

Just a reminder to all you stressed students out there - the library can help! There is a reference librarian on duty on M Level of MSEL in the Research Consultation Office from 10am-8pm Monday through Wednesday, 10am-5pm Thursday and Friday, 1-5pm on Saturday and Sunday. Stop by or make an appointment - we are trained to help with ALL kinds of research questions and can get you started with resources, help you track down difficult sources, and find additional resources if you need them.

In addition, there are subject librarians available for individual consultation. Each has specific expertise in online and print resources in nearly every field of study.

Like to do-it-yourself? Try our lists of databases by subject. You will most likely find some very relevant sources there.

And last but not least, we have made research guides for many of the disciplines, departments, and programs. Find an appropriate guide in the box on the libray homepage under GUIDES by TOPIC. These can help you in beginning, and even advanced, research.

So take heart! And take advantage of your library's services.

Hopkins’ Spring Fair, A History

click any image to enlarge

As Spring Fair gets under way, here’s a look back at the origins of the annual event. The first Spring Fair took place April 21-23, 1972, an entirely student-run festival. From the earliest days, it has been organized and run by the undergraduate student body, with cooperation from campus offices providing electricity, water, and security. It still serves as a means for inviting the community to the campus for food, crafts, and children’s activities.

For the first few years, the formal title of the event was 3400 On Stage, signifying that the university was holding an open house for all to enjoy. The 1972 publicity poster includes this invitation: “The Student Council invites the Baltimore community to join us for a parade, concerts, plays, arts and crafts exhibitions and sales, sports events, science exhibitions, and a wealth of entertainment opportunities.”

In its early years, Spring Fair took its place beside the many community/ethnic festivals that were held around Baltimore every year. While most of those festivals have since disbanded or moved away (for a variety of reasons), Spring Fair has taken place each year without fail and, weather permitting, always draws a crowd. On some occasions, the weather has not cooperated – one year it snowed on the opening Friday, but in some years it seems as if the weather picked up on the theme and carried it forward; in 1985, the theme was “A Touch of the Tropics,” and the weather for all three days was sunny and very warm.

While the size of the fair has waxed and waned over the years, the purpose has remained the same. In the earliest years, the fair took place on the upper and lower quads, with children’s rides on the freshman quad. Beer vendors were distributed throughout the venue, rather than being confined to the “Beer Garden.” The need to ensure that only those of legal age could get to the beer led the organizers to create a single, gated area for beer sales.

When the brick sidewalks (and underground irrigation pipes) were laid in 2000, tents could no longer be pitched or vehicles driven on the quads due to the danger of hitting or crushing pipes, so the Fair moved to an area known as Garland Field. Garland Field was where the Decker Quad is now located (when that area contained a surface parking lot). In recent years, the food vendors have been placed on the Freshman Quad, with crafts on the upper quad.

So, enjoy the food, crafts, entertainment, and these retro photographs, taken at the first event in 1972.

#ASAPbio and bioRxiv

biorxivBack in 2013, the researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory decided to emulate the physicists using arXiv and create a pre-print repository for biological papers. They called it bioRxiv.

Use increased slowly, for several reasons. Biologists didn't want their work to be 'scooped' and some were afraid that papers in bioaRxiv wouldn't be accepted by journals for peer review and publication.

Last month the Howard Hughes Medical Institute hosted the ASAPbio meeting to give all the players in the biological scholarly communications space a chance to discuss how to include pre-prints in their current ways of work. The program and video are available to anyone interested.

This effort is gaining attention in the news. JHU's own Carol Greider was quoted in a New York Times piece. Nature ran a news story, too.

Get involved! Discuss the benefits of submitting to bioaRxiv with your lab mates, profs, even your librarian. Join the conversation on Twitter at #ASAPbio. Post a selfie of yourself submitting your paper.

French Film Festival, April 10-14

Marginality2Join your fellow Francophiles and film fanatics at this year's French Film Festival. The theme is "marginality" and will showcase films that address issues facing marginalized groups of people in contemporary French society, most notably addressing questions of gender, race, nationality, religion, and sexuality.

Sunday, April 10th
Reception 6:30 PM / Film 7:00 PM - Gilman 50
Samba (2014), presented by Linda DeLibero

Monday, April 11th
7:00 PM - Krieger 205
Laurence Anyways (2012), presented by Laura Mason

Tuesday, April 12th
7:00 PM - Krieger 205
Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes (2000)

Thursday, April 14th
7:00 PM - Krieger 205
Hadewijch (2009), presented by Derek Schilling and followed by a discussion

See you there! À bientôt!

How the N.A.G. Blue Jay Came to Be

Guest post from Neil A. Grauer (A&S '69)

Editor's note: Stop by the Special Collections Reading Room on M-level of the Brody Learning Commons for an exhibit dedicated to the Blue Jay as we welcome alumni back to campus for Reunion Weekend.

As a freshman in the fall of 1965, I was eager to draw political cartoons for the News-Letter.  I met with the editors, Caleb Deschanel and Jim Freedman. They seemed happy to have me join the staff, and within a few weeks, I had my first cartoon published.

Initially I drew cartoons about national and international events, but one day Caleb — later to be an acclaimed, Academy Award-nominated cinematographer (and father of actresses Zooey and Emily Deschanel) — told me that the News-Letter had no objection to these drawings, “but they really have nothing to do with what’s going on around the campus.”  Could I create a cartoon Blue Jay who would comment about campus issues?  Thus my cartoon version of the Blue Jay was born.

Originally, my Blue Jay starred in a comic strip named simply “Blue Jay.”


His first appearance was on March 26, 1966. He complained about the bookstore’s high prices.


He later made snide remarks about the physical appearance of alumni showing up for Homecoming, the terrible parking problem around the campus, and urban crime. The French have an expression for this – which even non-French speakers know: The more things change, the more they stay the same (plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose).


It was natural that I also began using the Blue Jay in sports cartoons. The sports editor had a regular column, “The Jay’s Nest,” for which I drew a heading that showed the Blue Jay pounding away on a typewriter, wearing a battered fedora, a’la every reporter in old movies; and I also began drawing cartoons of the Blue Jay doing severe bodily damage to the mascots of opposing lacrosse teams.

I found out some years later that legendary lacrosse coach Bob Scott would post these cartoons in the team’s locker room. After Scotty retired in 1974, his successor, Henry Ciccarone, called me and asked for a fresh set of game-day cartoons, since the ones Scotty had used were yellowed and full of thumbtack holes. Every year since, through the coaching tenures of Chic, Don Zimmerman, Tony Seaman, John Haus, and now Dave Pietramala, I have done a set of fresh game-day cartoons for them to use for amusing – and perhaps inspiring – the team. I also draw a personalized Blue Jay for each senior, with the player’s number on the Jay’s jersey.

Although primarily associated with Hopkins lacrosse, my Blue Jay has had a multi-sports career. I’ve drawn him playing basketball and football, swimming, wrestling, and running track.

Henry Ciccarone was the first Hopkins coach to put my Blue Jay on T-shirts, hats, bumper stickers, and the like. Every lacrosse coach since has given team members apparel featuring my Blue Jay – and quite a few players have had it tattooed on them.

Sometimes plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose isn’t so bad after all.

A Wealth of Health on April 5

74664159_48a3edb27d_qAn embarrassment of riches in the form of remarkable speakers is yours for the taking on Tuesday, April 5.

This year's keynote speaker at the 7th Annual Public Health Student Forum will be the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy.

Vice Admiral Murthy has been on the job for a little over a year. He is responsible for communicating to the public about health matters, as well as overseeing over 6,500 public health personnel in the Uniformed Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

As his biography details, Dr. Murthy has done an extraordinary range of jobs, including medical clinician, researcher, co-founder of a software tech company having to do with clinical trials, and president of the non-profit Doctors for America.

This event's many other speakers, from JHU and elsewhere, will introduce you to a wide range of public health problems and issues. It is always a remarkable experience.

The semester's final Conversations in Medicine will feature Dr. Emily Oster, associate professor of economics at Brown University. She has worked on an astonishingly wide array of topics – her research papers include topics from China (Hepatitis B Does Not Explain Male-Biased Sex Ratios in China), Africa (Routes of Infection: Exports and HIV Incidence in Sub-Saharan Africa), and India (Proximate Sources of Population Sex Imbalance in India). In addition, she has done research about the complicated issue of health insurance and those at risk for Huntington Disease, and discovered, to her surprise, a lack of knowledge among this population about a law that protects them.


Pokémon Does NOT Cause Cancer

johnconIt's a special year for both JohnCon and Pokémon -- they are both 20 years old! As one HopSFA leader commented, "Pokémon will be old enough to drink in Japan."

In 1996, while he was working for Nintendo, Satoshi Tajiri created Pokémon. When he was young he collected insects; inspired by this hobby, he created a land inhabited by almost 500 species of creatures (the basic translation of the name is a combination of "pocket" and "monster," and thank you, Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife).

Here's a book about the business side of Pokémon, too, and of course, the "official Pokémon channel"!

And no, Pokémon does not cause cancer, even though there's a family of oncogenes (genes that can contribute to the development of cancer) named "Pokemon" (*without* the accent). The company was quite unhappy about this, as you can imagine. Eventually, the researcher and his institution stopped using the name, but PubMed still lists almost 60 articles with the word in their titles, the most recent only two months ago.

This year, JohnCon will be celebrating its own 20th birthday as well as that of Pokémon. Please join us for movies, gaming, vendors, and more.

  • Levering Hall
  • Friday evening, April 1, continuously THROUGH Sunday evening, April 3 

She said/he said: great quotes from books

red-love-heart-typographyBeing a librarian, it might seem ironic that I have very little time for leisure reading. When I do find the time, I usually read on a kindle or from books checked out from my local public library. I either jot down quotes I like or highlight them on my Kindle. Here are some favorite recent quotes from books I’ve read that stood out to me.

“Creating pull is about mastering the skills required to drive our own learning; it’s about how to recognize and manage our resistance, how to engage in feedback conversations with confidence and curiosity, and even when the feedback seems wrong, how to find insight that might help us grow.”
-Douglas Stone, Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

“Those who feel lovable, who love, and who experience belonging simply believe they are worthy of love and belonging. I often say that Wholeheartedness is like the North Star: We never really arrive, but we certainly know if we're headed in the right direction.”
-Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.”
-Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

“Watching white moon face
The stars never feel anger
Blah, blah, blah, the end”
-Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

So, while I check out a lot of my personal reading from the public library near where I live, the JHU libraries have a lot of cool books, videos, and other media. Taking "Fight Club" as an example, we have the printed book you can check out, the online book you can read from on or off-campus, and also the film version.  One of the few books that I liked equally in both book and cinema formats.

But that's not all, the library also has streaming documentary videos that are extremely high quality, such as Chuck Palahniuk: fight club, choke and invisible monsters. These few examples don't include books and articles about the book, like this and this. I guess all this is to say that the library has many great resources both in print and online, whether you're reading for scholarly or personal reasons. What have you read recently that you absolutely loved?