Can’t Find It? There’s a Guide for That.

If you ask a JHU student why they are in the library, they might tell you that they are there to study, to do homework, work on a group project, or use a computer. Taking a look around M level, that seems to be what most students are doing right now. But the library isn't just a place where you can work - any other study space on campus can offer something similar. So what makes the library so special? Well, here, you can discover new things! You are completely surrounded by a wealth of information that you can't find anywhere else. But the trouble with with all this cool information right here just waiting for you? You can't always find it.

Find TOCWe've tried to make that easier for you with a brand new guide to help you find the information you need. Books? You know we have those, but even just figuring out what floor to start on can be tricky! Articles? Tons are online, but are sometimes more trouble to get to than you thought. Media and images? We have that too! Keep hitting a roadblock when you need something we don't have? This guide walks you through the process.

You probably don't use the library resources all day every day like us librarians do, so we don't expect you to figure it out on your own. Check out the new guide to Find Books, Articles, and More, to give yourself an idea of how to start navigating the big wide world of information. But if you get stuck, don't forget, we're here to help you too.

Image Is Everything: ARTstor Can Help Illustrate Your Point!

ImageGroup3Need a specific image for your term paper? Want to explore a topic in a visual way? Try ARTstor, a research database containing over one million images of art and cultural objects.

The collection, which the Libraries subscribe to, documents artistic traditions across all times and cultures and covers architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design as well as many other forms of visual and material culture. Educators, scholars, and students use ARTstor in a wide variety of disciplines -- not only art, but in fields as diverse as anthropology, history, literature, religion, sociology, Classical antiquity, music, and Medieval and Renaissance studies.

ARTstor comprises several collections, including: Hartill Archive of Architecture & Allied Arts, the MoMA Design Collection, Native American Art & Culture, and the Schlesinger History of Women. In addition, there is a general Image Gallery that includes a wide assortment of illustrations across many disciplines.

artstorlogo.gifImages from ARTstor may not be used for any commercial purpose, but may be used liberally to support your studies -- for papers, presentations, or just as a means to research a topic. Also, if you're publishing an academic book or article, ARTstor has many useful images included in its Images for Academic Publishing (IAP) program; these may be used freely in publications.

Aphorisms Add Spice









So much writing advice focuses on negative rules -- "never brashly split infinitives," "idiomatic expressions won't hammer home your point," "avoid cliché like the plague" -- but how's this for a positive?:

  • Employ the occasional aphorism when it will clarify or otherwise bolster your argument.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines "aphorism" as:

"2. Any principle or precept expressed in few words; a short pithy sentence containing a truth of general import; a maxim."

Such rhetorical devices can be particularly effective when some aspect of moral psychology or Human Nature is the object. In this vein, here are a few of my personal favorites:

"It's not enough to succeed. Others must fail." 
Gore Vidal (1925-2012)

"Whoever makes himself a worm cannot complain when he is then trampled underfoot."
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), The Metaphysics of Morals, The Doctrine of Virtue

"If you wish to be appreciated in high society, you have to let yourself be taught many things you already know by people who don't."
Sébastien-Roch-Nicolas Chamfort (1740-1794)

"Silence is the best resolve for him who distrusts himself."
François, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680)Maxim 79

"The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel."
Horace Walpole (1717-1797), Letter to Sir Horace Mann, 31 December 1769

"A pessimist thinks everybody is as nasty as himself, and hates them for it."
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Good, comprehensive anthologies of aphorisms include:

(And speaking of cynical, if you've never leafed through Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary, you're missing out on one of the great and hilarious works of American literature.)

The Library of Congress Subject Heading for this topic is "Aphorisms and Apothegms." This is what you'd use as your search term in Catalyst. Other relevant terms include: Maxims, Proverbs, Quotations.

But be careful: just as over-salting ruins the pot, use such rhetorical spice sparingly. Like the name-dropping boor, too many aphorisms easily annoy. Know your audience and make sure the aphorism is -- like pearls at a wedding reception, like cutoffs at the Dylan show, like boxed wine at the Reading -- perfectly appropriate.

After all, one man's profundity is another's inane truism.

Please be sure to visit our Writing Guide for other tips.

Women Make Movies!

To commemorate Women’s History Month, we thought we’d share some of the fantastic contributions women make to the art of filmmaking!

Let’s start with the title of this blog post – I stole it completely from a great media arts organization that distributes cutting-edge films by and about women from around the world. You guessed it! It's called Women Make Movies. Check out their complete catalog of films to see the breadth and diversity of the films they distribute. And, if you want to view some right away, look at our library holdings. It’s great stuff!

So, you know Alice Guy-Blaché and Lois Weber, right? Sure you do – they’re among the pioneers of early film (of either gender) that broke ground for all filmmakers. If you want to refresh your memory, watch this film about their remarkable careers (it’s in VHS format, so feel free to view it at the Library AV Center where we have VHS equipment at the ready). We also have books about Guy-Blaché and Weber, and much more information generally about women in the film industry. It’s a rich and often-overlooked history.

Who are some other female filmmakers of note? These are just some of my favorites, from the obscure to the very mainstream. Have fun!

Want to explore more about women in the film industry? In addition to all the material linked to above, take a look at this book (yes, BOOK): Women Directors and their Films. That will surely give you lots of great ideas.

Find even more information via the tools on the Film & Media Studies Research Guide!

Are You Ready to Read It and Eat It?

EdibleCakeThe Sheridan Libraries are hosting Read It and Eat It, our second annual Edible Book Festival, and we would like to invite all of our Hopkins friends to submit your very own literary-inspired cake to our food-for-all! The culinary event of the decade is happening in the Glass Pavilion on April 1st from 12:30pm-2:30pm. Eat free cake! Bake a book-based-cake! Be in the running for gift cards to local restaurants and shops, like Atomic Books, The Brewer's Art, Carma's Cafe, Cazbar, Chocolatea, Donna's, Eddie's Market, HomeSlyce, Miss Shirley's, A People United, and tickets to concerts of your choice at the Peabody! Did I mention eating cake? Because you get to eat cake!

The Edible Book Festival was originally created by two book artists back in 2000 and is meant to be a whimsical, literary way to celebrate both April Fool’s Day and the birthday of Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, an incredibly snarky French gourmand of yore. It has since been celebrated at various libraries and museums throughout the world, including locally at Goucher and University of Maryland, College Park. Obviously, our Edible Book Festival is the best ever. A feathered giant has awoke, baking pan in wing. Fear the Blue Jay!

So, if you want to pay homage to the celebrated oeuvre, say, of Jacqueline Susann via cake (I mean, who doesn’t) embrace this opportunity! Love literary puns? See if you can top creations from other festivals, such as All Quiet on the Western Bundt and Mansfield Pork. Love Special Collections material? Why not try to make this in cake form. Have a great idea, but zero baking skills? You’ll be a winner with our award for Best Cake Wreck.

To register a cake in the contest or to find out about rules for submission, please check out our official blog for the event! Please note, though, if you wish to participate, you must register by March 29. Enough of these formalities! Let them eat cake! Delicious, book-inspired cake! Cake!

And the Winner is…

envelope1The Grammys and Oscars have me thinking about awards (and stunning evening wear). It's been a few years since we looked at the most downloaded online journals, so let's take a peek into the envelope.

In the category of most downloaded journal at JHU between January and October of 2014...

The winner is...

The New England Journal of Medicine with 172,176 downloads!

Runners up include:

Composting on the go!

Last year Homewood Recycling distributed a survey about composting and recycling needs on campus. From the 400 responses, they determined that additional composting bins were desired and that the library was a prime location. Though we’ve offered composting in the BLC for several years, it turns out that these weren’t adequate for students on the go. The Sheridan Libraries Green Team, an 8-person committee that spearheads sustainability initiatives, was eager to meet this need.

compostingWe’re pleased to announce that MSE Library, in partnership with Homewood Recycling, has just installed additional composting inside and added collection outside the Library:

  • 15 bins – M, A, B, C, and D levels (bins were already located on Q level)
  • 2 bins - Tyler Terrace outside BLC Café
  • 1 bin - MSEL M-level entrance
  • 1 bin - the Beach by Charles St.

But what exactly is compostable?

  • All food scraps
  • Soiled paper products including napkins, bags, plates and pizza boxes
  • All JHU to-go containers, cups and utensils (plastic and paper based) #CornToCup
  • Coffee cups, stirrers and paper packets
  • And anything else that was made from something that was once alive

In the last fiscal year, Homewood diverted 396,700 lbs of organic waste from incineration! With the installation of these new composting locations, Hopkins is reaffirming its commitment to the environment. You can learn more about composting and all the other campus waste streams on campus during the national Recyclemania competition now through March 28. Happy composting!

“I swear I’m not texting!” Put your phone to good use in class.

RefWorksAre your fingers just itching to use your phone in class? Citations making you crazy? Dreading your bibliography? We can help.

Attend one of our online workshops this semester to help you calm your fears, and even have an excuse for using your phone while your professor is lecturing. Learn how to use RefWorks, a citation management tool that can also create bibliographies, and learn about different iOS and Android apps that can boost your productivity, help you with research, and keep your lecture notes organized.

Since the workshops this semester are online, you can participate from anywhere, whether you're in your pajamas, still sweaty from the gym, or covered in paint after decorating a mural board. Register online, and make sure the speakers on your computer are working and ready to go.

What are we commemorating on Commemoration Day?

On February 22, 1876, Daniel Coit Gilman was formally inaugurated as the first President of The Johns Hopkins University. It was a matter of solemn ceremony, with addresses from Harvard President Charles Eliot, as well as from Gilman himself. Gilman’s Inaugural Address has been published and re-published over the years, and remains a monument to the man who established Hopkins and set us on a unique path. Johns Hopkins was the first research university, where students learn by doing research and having it evaluated by their peers and instructors, rather than simply listening to lectures and repeating them on an exam.

That first ceremony was held at a nearby auditorium, the Academy of Music, because there was no facility on campus large enough to house everyone. Until 1916, the Arts and Sciences campus was located downtown, in the area of Howard, Monument, Eutaw and Centre streets. Even after moving to Homewood, there was no auditorium on campus until Shriver Hall was completed in 1954, so off-campus facilities were used for all such events until that time.

A year after President Gilman’s inaugural, the Trustees announced that, henceforth, February 22 would be considered the anniversary of the founding of this University, and would be celebrated with pomp and ceremony. For many decades, and especially on major anniversaries, this practice was followed faithfully. In terms of formality, it resembled Commencement, with a principal speaker, honorary degrees conferred, and the faculty and administration in full academic regalia.

The formal ceremony continued through the 1980s, often with a visiting head-of-state as the speaker. By the 1990s, however, the old tradition was showing its age. It was more expensive to put on such a ceremony, and required more work given the larger crowds and the number of dignitaries to be accommodated. In the 1990s, facing financial crises, Hopkins decided that such formal occasions would be celebrated only every five years. Soon after, however, the ceremony disappeared entirely, and no anniversary celebration of any kind was held for a number of years.

In the early 2000s, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Paula Burger began reviving Commemoration Day, coinciding with an emphasis on resurrecting old traditions and creating new ones to foster a sense of community among our students. Instead of a formal academic convocation, Dean Burger set up activities that would be of more interest to students. Beginning with a Hopkins History trivia contest, the celebration evolved into free cake in the Glass Pavilion and a display of photographs depicting people, places, events and activities in our history.

We hope you will take some time to view and participate in this year’s celebration, which continues and enlarges our anniversary celebration. Please join us in the Glass Pavilion on today from 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m. for cake and a display of historical photographs. Hopkins Retrospective Program Manager Jenny Kinniff and I will be there and we look forward to seeing you. This year, by the way, marks our 139th birthday.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today is the first day of the new year according to the Chinese calendar, which is often called the lunar calendar. Actually, it is more accurate to call it a lunisolar calendar, indicating both the moon phase and the solar year. Besides the Chinese calendar, other lunisolar calendars include those from Hebrew, Hindu, Tibetan, Vietnamese, Mongolian, and Korean cultures. Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival because it used to refer to lichun, (February 4 or 5), the first of the 24 solar terms in a Chinese calendar year, marking the end of winter.

The traditional celebration begins on the eve of the Chinese New Year, characterized by family gatherings, good food, and hopes for a better new year. Millions of people travel back home to be with family for this holiday, much like Thanksgiving in the U.S. Celebrations include gala events, fireworks, lion dances, and a variety of magic and comedy shows. CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala is the most watched program on the eve of the Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year is also characterized by the exchange of gifts among relatives and friends, much like Christmas. Kids receive red envelopes with "lucky money" on the morning of the new year. On the second day of the new year, people continue to visit relatives and friends bearing gifts. Overall, it is a time of family, food, and fun!

If you would like to be a part of Chinese New Year, here are a few local celebrations:

Sunday, 2/22/2015, 7:00 pm, Shriver Hall, Homewood campus
Chinese New Year Celebration, hosted by JHU Chinese Students and Scholars Association

Sunday, 2/22/2015, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm, The Walters Art Museum
Celebrate the Lunar Year of the Sheep with art activities and traditional Chinese performances

Here's wishing you happiness, longevity, and  prosperity!!!