JHU Alumni — Mythbusters Just for You!

You've graduated: congratulations!

How does your new status affect how you can use the library? Here is information that will help you.

You can enter the library IF

  • you show the guard some form of photo ID (e.g., driver's license, passport, ID from another institution of higher ed,...)

You can borrow our books IF

You can access our online resources IF

  • you come to campus and use a Hopkins computer

You can remotely access selected electronic resources IF

For information about your RefWorks account,

  • Look at the box called "Leaving Hopkins?" (on the left of this page of the Refworks Guide)

For more information about all of this, please read our guide entitled "Information for Alumni."

Have a wonderful future!

Looking Back: The Class of 1915

By Rachel Shavel, A&S '18, Hopkins Retrospective Student Assistant

Class of 1915 poses on the steps of McCoy Hall on the old Hopkins campus in downtown Baltimore.
University Archives Photograph Collection.

We here at Hopkins Retrospective love throwbacks—it’s what we do best! With graduation on the horizon, we thought we’d provide you with the ultimate 100-year throwback post. Welcome to Hopkins in 1915: a Hopkins with no Internet, no cell phones, and no undergraduate women. A world in which students describe Psychology I as “much ado about nothing” and a Baltimore tailor advertises made-to-order suits for $20 in the yearbook. Needless to say, hundred-year ago Hopkins was certainly a very different place.

With a graduating class of about 35 students, the Class of 1915 was accustomed to a much more intimate Hopkins than we know today. Each graduating senior was granted the privilege of having a yearbook page published about him by the yearbook editors, describing him and his time at Hopkins. Here are some of the things the editors felt it was most important for you, the future of Johns Hopkins University, to know about members of the Class of 1915:

“You always see and smell the pipe first, then you hear Mose.”

“For some unaccountable reason every chair he [Wilmer Brinton Jr.] sits in begins to squeak.”

“During the Reign of Terror (i.e., when we studied Physics) he [Frank Ebaugh] used to dart around like a wild antelope.”

Aside from the Class of 1915’s cheeky humor (which is undoubtedly shared by our very own Class of 2015), other notable facts are that they were the first class to have Hopkins-issued engineering degrees and the first to have a class photo taken on the brand-new Homewood campus. Their yearbook included architect’s drawings of the buildings in progress and still to be built at Homewood. Engineering students had already made the move from the downtown campus, but Arts & Sciences students and university administration would not move until the following year.

In order to be admitted to Hopkins, students had to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in math, English, history, Latin, Greek (or two modern languages) as well as physical botany or a similar science and freehand drawing in order to gain admission. Certainly a little different from the SAT testing we all know and love now! Perhaps even less familiar to the modern Hopkins student was the Class of 1915’s exiting tuition charge– a whopping $150 per year.

We see how much things have changed, and yet we can only imagine what the Class of 2115 will find fascinating about you in 100 years. Congratulations to our Class of 2015 graduates!

Interested in learning more about campus history or graduating classes? We recommend the following resources:

Thesis and Dissertation Update

As Commencement 2015 gets closer, we thought it was time for an update on the JHU electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) program. We originally announced the program in June 2013, and we have been operational since September 1 of that year. Based on feedback from many graduate students, it has proven to be a popular program. If you will be submitting a thesis or dissertation in the next few months, please see our ETD guide for all the formatting requirements and submission procedure.

In case you have not been aware of the requirements, all doctoral dissertations and most masters theses are now submitted as PDF/a files to the library rather than as bound paper documents. We then make the research available to the public via JScholarship, the JHU institutional repository. Students have the option to withhold publication for up to four years via an embargo function. You can now view unembargoed dissertations and theses for all semesters between fall 2013 and fall 2014. We will be adding spring 2015 documents sometime in June. You can still find older theses and dissertations in the library catalog and in the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database.

If you are interested in early, hand-written JHU dissertations, take a look at our collection at the Internet Archive. Hopkins students produce a lot of research that is disseminated via theses and dissertations. In the nearly two years we have been receiving ETDs, we have approved over 850 dissertations and 325 theses! The numbers vary greatly by school, but Public Health is the clear winner (at least in size):

  • 25% come from Public Health
  • 20% each come from Arts & Sciences and Medicine
  • 17% come from Engineering
  • The remainder are split among the other schools and programs

Stay tuned to see if these numbers spark some healthy competition among the schools!

Research Remix: They Came From Ocular Space!


Artwork by Monica Amneus

What if artists and researchers got together to talk, and then the artists created art based on the science and engineering and medicine that they heard about from the researchers?

Welcome to Research Remix, another amazing project from your friends at the Digital Media Center.

  • Where: Ground floor of the Mattin Center Offit Building
  • When: Open through Friday, May 15

This combination of visual art and academic research is a stunning array of beautiful and imaginative works. One of my favorites was the scene that was inspired by Stephen Hamilton's research on fluid dynamics.

Sometime stop by the DMC to use the 3D printer and the audio studio and the video games. (This was their entry into the Kinetic Sculpture Race.)

The exhibit is open through the rest of this week; treat yourself and go take a look.

What’s New on C Level?

Your favorite bricks-and-mortar location for science, engineering, and medicine -- that's C Level, of course -- has made some changes. Let's discuss.

I went to the shelf where I always find the books that I use, but they weren’t there. What happened?

  • The books on C Level have been shifted -- we spread them out so that there aren't any more tight spots.

Then how do I find the things that I want?

  • When you look up the book in the library catalog, you'll see a little map that shows you where a book is located.
  • Also, on C Level, on top of the first short shelf, there's a map that shows the call number ranges.

 The Science Reference section looks great! What did you do?

  • Thanks for noticing! Your science and engineering librarians pulled out the stuff that was old or wasn’t heavily used, and then shifted everything that was left so that it’s all easier to find.

There are some shelves of  books in the back of the room that weren’t there before.

By the way, why is there a big empty place on the floor behind the elevators?

After the big shift, there were lots of empty shelves, and they're going away. Then the floor there will be cleaned and waxed, and new wooden individual carrels will be put in. The project will start in June and be done by mid-July.

End of Semester Survival Guide

Don't let finals get you down - the library can help. What you probably need most is a place to study - we've got you covered with study areas galore: quiet spaces for you to hunker down and get to work, and collaborative study areas for you to work on projects, or meet with your study group. You can reserve group study rooms in MSE and BLC online for up to four hours.

We have people and equipment to get you through the next few days too. Your librarians are right here with you - don't forget there are many ways you can get help from them, in person, online, or even from your phone. Tech Help is available in person and over the phone, and the printers, copiers and scanners are hot and running 24/7. Just don't wait until right before your paper is due to print it out - you never know when there will be a paper jam, ink runs out, or you forgot to put money on your J-card.

Don't forget to take some breaks, relax, get some sleep, and stay active. Taking care of your body and mind is especially important when you're working so hard. It's worth it to get some sun (but not too much!) take a walk to clear your head, and eat proper meals. Living on energy drinks and power bars even if only for a week isn't a great idea. Taking care of yourself this week will set you up for success.

We have put together a full survival guide to help you get through the next few days. Good luck!

End of Semester Survival Guide

Click here for a text-only version of the survival guide.

Updated library hours

mselangleThe library (MSE and BLC) will be open from 7:30 AM until 9:00 PM until further notice. Please remember that the citywide 10 PM curfew remains in effect, and please continue to check the university's emergency alert page for updates.

JHU Faculty & Staff: Join a Timely, Relevant Discussion with TILE – Tuesday, 4pm

What we do in the classroom impacts what happens in the real world. Join the Toolkit for Inclusive Learning Environments, TILE, for a thoughtful discussion on classroom practices that can make lasting changes on how students perceive and communicate with the world.

Funded by a Diversity Innovation Grant (DIG) of the Diversity Leadership Council (DLC), TILE is a growing resource for instructional faculty and staff that works to provide and support inclusive practices in the classroom. Sharing diverse perspectives and validating students’ and minorities’ varied experiences is a challenge for many faculty. Even those with the best intentions may unwittingly create classroom environments where students from minority communities feel uncomfortable or excluded. However, when executed effectively, an inclusive classroom becomes a layered and rich learning environment that not only engages students, but creates more culturally competent citizens.

TILE held its first session in March, providing examples and sparking discussion. The second session will be held Tuesday, May 5th from 4-5:30pm in the Macksey Room of the Brody Learning Commons, and you are invited! Registration is encouraged at the website, where you can also submit an example if you would like to share. You can use and read all about the examples shared at the first session on the Center for Educational Resources' website, where the final repository will eventually be held. Refreshments will be served. See you there!

To explore the topic before the session, The Center for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), of which Johns Hopkins is a member, has some excellent diversity resources on its website, including a literature review, case studies, and a resource book for new instructors.

Questions and ideas can be routed to anyone on the TILE team. Project collaborators are Demere Woolway, Director of LGBTQ Life; Shannon Simpson, Student Engagement and Information Fluency Librarian, and Macie Hall, Senior Instructional Designer for the Center for Educational Resources, with support from the Sheridan Libraries and Museums Diversity Committee. Most important will be the various lecturers and faculty from across the disciplines who will work with us on developing the toolkit.

Baltimore-Centric: A Learning List

Baltimore Dance Party, by Erica Hellerstein/ThinkProgress

We're stunned, or maybe not surprised. We're sad, angry, frightened. We're protesting, or helping to clean up, or scouring the news and social media... or maybe we're feeling helpless, or not sure how to react. Whatever it is each of us at Hopkins is doing, thinking, and feeling in response to the tragic death of Freddie Gray while in police custody--and the events of the past week--one thing we have in common, one thing we all know, is how to learn.

Here is the beginning of a list of resources you might find helpful as we continue on this journey of learning, discussion, reflection, and action. With a few exceptions, these resources are focused on Baltimore: about Baltimore, by Baltimore writers, or published in Baltimore.

History and Sociology

Autobiography and Biography

Fiction and Poetry

Music, Art, TV, and Film

Please send us comments with your suggestions for additional resources: books, articles, blog-posts, films... Your suggestions may go beyond Baltimore, which is great. But by starting here, with this city, we give a shout-out to this place that is for all of us, in some way, home. Let's show it our love by learning.

Study Suggests That Online Searching Only Makes You Feel Smarter

While driving home recently I heard on NPR that online searching may make you think you’re smarter than you really are. Matthew Fisher, doctoral student in cognitive psychology at Yale, found that people tend to think that “information is leaking into our head, but really the information is stored somewhere else entirely.”

Fisher surveyed hundreds of people and published his study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, you can read the article for free in PsycArticles (licensed library database). Fisher suggests that internet searching results in increased self-assessed knowledge, which suggests that “the illusion is driven by the act of searching itself."

The more we rely on the Internet, Fisher poses, the harder it is to draw a line between where our knowledge ends and the web begins. Unlike poring over manuscripts or books, or debating peers, asking the Internet is effortless. The ease of looking up information leads people to consider knowledge that is stored online as their own.

Whoa, wait – what? I know tons of brilliant people courtesy of working here at Hopkins. You don’t have to look far to see undergraduates winning research awards, a food blogger and aspiring nutritionist sharing simple recipes for intersession, students winning competitions…I could go on and on and on…and that doesn’t even include the impressive accolades and honors faculty at JHU receive each year.

I confess, even though I’m a librarian, I google things all the time. It’s just as Fisher says, a very modern-day convenience and one that bugs me if my internet ever goes down or my data connection on my phone slows to a crawl. So while I can give my kids a better answer to the age-old question, “why is the sky blue?” I don’t ever feel bad about looking up information online. When searching, we make decisions on what to look at all the time, whether it is the NASA website or this one.

Because when it comes down to it, I still have to know how to evaluate that information and incorporate it into what I do know. That sounds an awful lot like learning to me. Bottom line – if searching online makes people feel smarter, think about what searching for articles, reading books, browsing manuscripts, or consulting with a librarian or your faculty advisor could do.