Affordable Care Act – Hear the Practitioners

aca_flagThe major topic in health care policy for the last several years has been the Affordable Care Act.

This month's Conversations in Medicine Symposium is entitled Can We Afford the Affordable Care Act? Come and talk with the distinguished panel of practitioners who will discuss this question and what this law really means for future physicians and patients:

  • Dr. Scott Berkowitz, Medical Director of Accountable Care
  • Dr. Margaret Flanagan, Case Management Coordinator for Health Care for the Homeless
  • Dr. Roy Ziegelstein, Executive Vice Chairman of Hopkins Bayview Department of Medicine

DATE: Tuesday, Feb. 17th
TIME: 8:00 PM
PLACE: Charles Commons Ballroom A/B
MORE: Hors d'oeuvres will be served at 7:30 PM

Want to read up on the ACA ahead of time?

  • Your library’s catalog offers you Affordable Care Act for Dummies -- the authors are the AARP’s experts on the ACA who work to educate the public about it. (It's an e-book - you can read it right now!)
  • Review Articles: Get some quick background by going to PubMed (remember to go through the library’s site so that you can get to full-text articles), and entering the phrase “affordable care act” in the TITLE. On the left, choose REVIEW and LATEST 5 YEARS, and you’ll have a list of recent articles with overviews about the ACA.
  • Read the Law: The full text of the law itself can be found in several places, such as here on the Department of Health and Human Services website and here on the Congress’s site.

I'll see you at this exciting event, where there will be plenty of time to talk with the panelists.

Catalyst Lifehacks

Now that you're back and shaking the dust off of your research brain, let's look at some handy Catalyst features that might get overlooked when you're otherwise laser-focused on cranking out a paper.

The first thing to know is that Catalyst and citation management are besties. When you look at the full display of an item in Catalyst, take note of that box in the upper right. If citation management tools are your thing (and they should be), you can export directly to RefWorks or EndNote from right here. If you're just looking for a quick and dirty citation, hit 'Cite This' to see this item in MLA, APA, and Chicago citation formats ripe for cutting and pasting.

If you've hit on some really great search results, you can do a really quick bulk export to your citation tool of choice. Just check the little 'Bookmark' box on the right hand side of the search results. After you're done with your checkbox binge, click on the 'Bookmarks' link all the way at the top of the screen. Everything in your selected items can now be moved to either RefWorks or EndNote, or e-mailed to yourself in one fell swoop.

For many items in Catalyst, you can search the text of the book directly without even getting up to thumb through it. Be on the look out for the 'Search inside this book' box on the full item display page. If it's possible, it'll be there to make your life a little easier.

After doing a search or two and finding something that looks interesting, the next question is inevitably, "Where do I get it?" If the item you are after is within Eisenhower Library, we have a handy feature within Catalyst that will show you exactly how to get there:

Just click on availability box on the search results page (the bit with the call number):

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 10.59.22 AM

And then click on the 'Floor Map' button:

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 11.00.34 AM

Just above the map diagram, you may notice a bit of text that says: "Shelf/Service Location". If you're in a hurry, this can be a massive timesaver. If it's on the shelf, as it is here, the letter tells you which floor it is located on (D in this case), and which shelf (the third from the end, here). If it's in Special Collections or on reserve, you will see the location where you can pick it up.

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 3.49.40 PMThe other button next to the map button is another handy feature: text this item to yourself. This is particularly useful if you're looking at Catalyst outside of Eisenhower Library and you need to remind yourself to pick up an item when you're in the building. What you receive is a text with the item's title, location, and call number as well as a link to the item within Catalyst. Something like this:

We hope these quick little features make your life a little bit easier. If you have ideas for other Catalyst features, let us know by clicking on the red 'Feedback' link at the bottom of Catalyst.

Dirty Books and Longing Looks: A Rare Books Open House!

"Wait. What? Dirty books? Didn't you guys just clean the Peabody Library already?"

dirtybooksNo, not those kinds of dirty books, silly! We're talking books that could make you blush, sigh, or long for what could have been if you'd only written down that blasted number properly. That's right, for one night only we're bringing to the lovelorn and beloved alike a rare books extravaganza curated by Cupid himself!

Laugh at hilarious erotica from the 18th century, get a sugar rush from the sweetness of Victorian declarations of love, and for those of you who are like "Valentine's Day, BLARGH," you can take glee, sinister glee, in depictions of cherubs being eaten by crocodiles! Plus, you can make your own vintage Valentine or anti-Valentine!

Where shall such merriment occur? Why, in Special Collections of the Brody Learning Commons, of course! Stop by Wednesday, February 11 from 6-8:30pm to view favorite books straight from Venus' library and craft your own declarations of love!

Can I Share My Article?

If you've published a journal article, you want as many people as possible to see it, read it, and (hopefully) cite it in their own work.

Now websites like ResearchGate and urge you to share the full text of your published articles on their platforms. There are sites like arXiv and PubMed Central that will accept different versions of your article. Many researchers (especially young researchers on the tenure track) use these sites because they want to promote their articles widely.

This kind of electronic sharing is so very easy! Sending out that final PDF from the journal is incredibly simple. But should you post that final version of the article everywhere?

As an author, you signed a copyright transfer agreement provided by the publisher. That document will tell you if you can post the pre-print, post-print, or publisher's version of the article on these sites. If you can't find that document, or the legalese is hard to decipher, you can use SHERPA/RoMEO to see a summary of the journal's current agreements. More author tools, related to copyright, are available on the Author Rights page of the Scholarly Communications guide.

Your librarian can also help with these kinds of questions!

Of Ephemeral Cats, Popish Plots, and the Baltimore Occult

Think Special Collections is only composed of fancy materials like Shakespeare folios or exquisite medieval books of hours? Well, think again! Students enrolled in the Intersession course “Cheap and (Not Too) Tawdry: An Exploration of Ephemera” had hands-on access to materials people do not always associate with the Special Collections, such as cheaply produced collections of bawdy jokes and other materials that luminaries like Samuel Pepys referred to as mere "bum-fodder" (aka, toilet paper).

In addition to exploring examples of, um, "bum-fodder" in our collection, students learned quite a lot about the history of street literature, souvenirs, and personal mementos. For their final project, they each had to come up with a display based on a theme of their choosing, and there truly is something for everyone! Love cats? Then “Ephemeral Cats” will have you meowing for hours! Enjoy conversing with the spirit world? Then our display on the occult will have you seeking auras throughout the Brody Learning Commons! Dig advertising, popish conspiracies, silly “erotic” cards, or cranky babies? Then what are you waiting for? Head to the Special Collections Reading Room posthaste! The display will be on view through February 6, 2015.

New year, new look for Research Guides

If you're a frequent user of our Research Guides, you probably noticed that this week we changed over to a whole new look. If you've never used our guides before, now is the time to check them out! As before, you can still access guides from the library homepage by scrolling through the box in the lower right corner. You can access our guides directly at to quickly scan all guides, or browse the guides by subject.

Browsing guides by subject is a great way to explore if you're not sure what guide you need, or you want to make sure you're finding all the best resources in a particular area. You can look in the Writing, Citing, and Publishing category to see all our guides related to writing, citing, and publishing. Some of our top guides in this category are Writing, eBooks, and RefWorks - explore them now to learn about library resources that can get you started off on the right foot this semester.

One of the biggest changes in the new system is the new menu feature - no more tabs at the top! Underneath the menus the expert librarian is featured so you know who to contact if you have a question about the information in the guide, or need help conducting research in that topic. All guides also have a chat box underneath the librarian's profile, so you can ask a question to an available librarian and get an immediate response. Try it out now!

The new layout features a left side menu, and a quick way to email an expert librarian.

The new layout features a left side menu, and a quick way to email an expert librarian.

As you get your syllabi for your classes this semester, look through the guides and find one or two that may be helpful later. Bookmark the page so you can get back to the information quickly. Before you get started, watch the video below for a quick tour of our new platform. Happy researching!


Can't see the video? Watch it here.

We’ve missed you!

Welcome back! We hope you had a restful, fun-filled, wonderful break! Or, if you took an intersession class, we hope you got an A!

Ready or not, the Spring 2015 semester begins this week. Remember, you're not in this alone - MSEL is here for you. Here's some stuff you should know as you venture forth:

Come on in! The BLC is open 24/7 for Hopkins folks and people from other academic institutions (academic ID required); MSEL is open almost 24/7 - 7:30am to 3am. Need more detail? Here ya go.

Don't forget to seek help when you need it! Check out the general library website, our subject research guides, and our Ask-a-Librarian page to see when a research librarian is available in-person or online.

You'll need to check out lots of books, of course. Here's information about what's available to you as faculty, grad students, undergrads, alumni, and guests.

But, wait, there are other things you can check out of the library, too! All sorts of gadgets (including laptop locks, chargers, and cables) for loan at the Circulation Desk; lockers available to store your treasures, and DVDs for your film class (or for a study break...we won't tell!), to name a few.

Hmmm... does that about cover it? If not, just ask us! And, there will be a constant stream of breaking news from us via Twitter and Facebook.

Cheers to a great semester!

Print on Demand Springer Books

The JHU Libraries purchase new books from Springer, a large STEM publisher, as ebooks. We've been doing this for about 4 years now, so there are thousands of them in Catalyst. If you'd like to purchase hard copy of one of these titles for your personal collection, that is now an option.

springerbooksThe Details

  • Costs $24.99, includes shipping.
  • Must be a Springer ebook listed in Catalyst.
  • English language book.
  • Less than 1200 pages.
  • Single volumes only (can't be part of a series).
  • Cover is color; all else is black & white.
  • If extra material was added online, that will not be part of your book.11-20-2014 3-34-43 PM

The books are good quality; I bought one last year because it was the textbook for one of my daughter's classes. When you're at the Springer site, look for the 'mycopy' image below the book cover; that will let you order the book.

If you don't want a print book, don't worry! Springer is great about their ebooks! You can download the entire book with one click. They also let you download a chapter at a time.

Virtual Reality, Virtual Worlds

What's going on in the world of virtual worlds?

Snow Crash (1992) -- Okay, follow this: Facebook recently bought Occulus VR -- the Federal Trade Commission said OK -- because of course we all want to live in the Occulus Rift. OVR's CEO even mentioned the Metaverse, which is where things get done in Neal Stephenson's amazing book, Snow Crash.  

Snow Crash is credited by some to be the model for Second Life, introduced in 2003, where users' avatars can create their own islands or buildings or whatever else, and interact with everything and everybody. (There are plenty of other virtual worlds, too, and yes, there's a journal about them).

Reamde (2011) -- Neal Stephenson again. I'm only about 200 pages in (it's 900+), but the world of T'Rain seems to have an infrastructure that's far more solid and detailed than most others. I can't wait to get back to it. Yes, we have it, so dive in.

Disclosure (1994) -- Written by Michael Crichton of Jurassic Park fame, this story of corporate back-stabbing describes a pretty cool virtual world for its time. And the movie (Michael Douglas, Demi Moore) is incredibly fun.  Get the book through our new Borrow Direct service.

Ready Player One (2011) -- Our world is a broken-down, overpopulated mess, but if you have a computer, you can go to OASIS, a fantastic virtual existence. Now the genius billionaire who created OASIS is dead, and if you can solve the puzzles that he left, it can all be yours. Warning!! This is going to become a movie so read it as soon as you can! Get the book through our new Borrow Direct service.)

If you put the phrase “virtual worlds” into the catalog as a TITLE, you get more than 200 results. But you can explore the topic more precisely by choosing any of the interesting related subject headings:

Which virtual world (in any medium) would you choose to move into and become a citizen?

Mythbusters II: Librarians & Holiday Breaks

readingonbeachWe’ve already dispelled the myth about Gilman’s will dictating the height of campus buildings and the one about the library sinking under the weight of all our books. Time to dash another popular belief: that librarians get the same breaks as our students…not so! Sure, we receive the standard holidays, but otherwise some might argue that winter is even busier than the academic year as we scramble to tie up loose ends and prepare for the spring semester.

Here is just a smattering of the projects your librarians are working on this January:

  • Teaching classes – Our librarians lead instructional workshops throughout the spring and fall semesters, and Intersession is no different. Jennifer Darragh, is currently teaching “Baltimore by the Numbers,” Yunshan Ye is heading "Library Research and Research/Grant Proposal Writing" and Heidi Herr is leading a class on Special Collections materials called "Cheap and Not too Tawdry." We're already thinking ahead to spring semester as well, reaching out to faculty to plan library instruction sessions and tailored research help at point-of-need.
  • Updating online information – Our popular LibGuides platform, which delivers subject-specific resources and guidance on everything from Africana Studies to the Zotero citation management tool, is due for a system upgrade. Liaisons are busy working behind-the-scenes to update content and deliver the information you need when we launch version 2.0 later this month. Same great service, shiny new interface!
  • Making decisions on books – Librarians purchase books on behalf of their students and faculty all year ‘round. We also spend a great deal of time curating the collections housed in the building to ensure you have the resources you need in the places you expect. Sometimes we have to shift things around to make room for new acquisitions. For example, our Reference Wall on M-level is a collection of our most popular general reference books, and we’re currently bursting at the seams. We’ll spend this break flagging some of the older or underutilized materials and move those to make room for those volumes you need at your fingertips.
  • Planning spring semester services – Say that three times fast! The Information Desk on M-level of the Eisenhower Library is staffed by graduate students 70 hours per week. Librarians too are at your beck and call, both at the Reference Office and through our virtual Ask a Librarian portal. As you can imagine, keeping all of these services running smoothly requires advanced planning and coordination!
  • And yes, even spring cleaning – Let me dispel one other myth: our jobs aren’t all glitz and glamour! Every January, library staff volunteer to spend a day deep-cleaning the illustrious Peabody Library so that you can enjoy the space dust-free. If you’ve never been, listen to the JHU Class of 2013 and add it to your bucket list! It’s easy to catch the JHMI shuttle to the historic Mt. Vernon neighborhood.

We’re happy to entertain other myths, rumors and word-on-the-streets, so send them our way. And if you’re on break, enjoy the time off. We have one heck of a spring semester planned for you! Happy 2015!