We’re expanding the ways that we’re available to students and have made instant messaging available on selected subject guides. Please check out these pages in the Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences.  IM is available through Meebo, so the only thing that you need to do is type your question in the box! If the librarian isn’t online, please leave a message with your contact information.

39 thoughts on “Chat with a Librarian

  1. Greetings,
    I am a student in Bosphorus University Turkey, I am wondering how am I able to utilize your facilites as a guest user? Thanks for your time and consideration. Best regards.

    Ellen replies. . .
    Dear Izmir,
    If you are visiting Baltimore, you may come to the Eisenhower Library on the Homewood Campus and gain entrance by showing a photo ID. Once in the library, you may use our physical and online resources. However, if you’re asking about using our resources remotely from Turkey, I’m afraid you won’t be able to do that. Off-campus access to library resources is for current Johns Hopkins University affiliates only.

  2. I am looking for research on large philanthropic organizationas at the international level. Specifically, the names of top non-profit organizations listed by country would be the most useful. Could you tell me where I might find this information? I’ve tried the Chronicle of Philanthropy, but they offer little information on international statistics.

    Thank you,

    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Jennifer,
    The Encyclopedia of Associations’ International Associations will cover nonprofit organizations (among other associations). It’s in 3 volumes in our General Reference collection on M-Level, call number HD2425.E611. It’s organized alphabetically by name of the association but the third volume has a geographic index. We also have the International Foundation Directory at the Libraries Service Center (requestable online) with the latest edition that we have as 2004.

  3. Greetings,

    I am active duty U.S. Army enrolled with UMUC.

    How might I utilize a “Guest” account from a PC for college research?

    Thank you for your time.

    Kind Regards,

    Ron Mock

    Ellen replies . . .
    Dear Ron,
    Thanks for your question. If you’re wondering about an account that would offer you access from off-campus to our resources, I’m afraid we can’t offer anything like that. The vendors from whom we license our databases are strict about off-campus access for JHU affiliates only. You are welcome to come to the Eisenhower Library in person, show an ID at the guard’s desk and use our online resources within the building. You may also wish to contact a librarian at UMUC. I’m sure they offer remote access to their resources. Good luck!

  4. hi i am looking for articles on sociology(culture, socialization, social stratification)

    Ellen replies. . .
    Dear Rai,
    These will be fairly easy to find from any sociology database. Our two primary databases for Sociology are Sociological Abstracts and Soc Index. As these are fairly broad topics you’d want to narrow down your search as far as you can to make it manageable using the limiting options, e.g., limiting by another word as in “socialization AND adolescents” or limiting by date or language. Good luck!

  5. Hi, I have a polite complaint that I would like to share with you. I like to read recent literature and it is utterly impossible to find the books I want available in Eisenhower. For example, after searching the list of Best Sellers on Amazon, I could not find any of the books available in the library. Now I don’t mean to be harsh or anything, but I don’t understand why some of the most popular literature in America is not available in our library. Why does our library not purchase more than 1 copy of these books so that students will always have them available. And why does the library not shorten due dates on popular texts so that they can be available to everyone. I simply feel that as a top tier school, Johns Hopkins should not be behind other schools’ libraries when it comes to important literature such as this and I am quite annoyed by the lack of choices. Thank you.

    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear David,
    I certainly understand your desire to have the books you want to read in our library. Academic libraries like the Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins and similar libraries at Yale and Columbia do have specific collecting guidelines, though. We collect for the teaching and research needs of the institution so that means more scholarly books from university presses and literary fiction and fewer bestsellers that you’d find on Amazon. We do provide a popular reading collection with the McNaughton books that are on the shelves in the lobby of M-Level, and the loan period for those titles is two weeks. Additionally, any patron is free to suggest a purchase using this form. As resource-rich as we are, like any other institution, we have finite funds and so our collection funds do need to support the mission of the institution.

  6. Can I gain access to Infotrac in the library and at home? Thanks.
    Robin replies
    We don’t subscribe to Infotrac. We do have other databases that provide similar coverage. Academic Search Premier covers magazines, newspapers, and journals in a wide range of disciplines. Try searching that. Good luck!

  7. I’m trying to access an ACLS Humanities Ebook from home, but I’m not allowed as I’m not logged in. Can I do this from home or are these books only available from the library’s computers?

    Ellen replies. . .
    Dear Carolyn,

    If you’re doing this from home, you need to authenticate either via the library’s proxy or VPN. The proxy is the easiest as when you click on a link that’s “proxified” you’ll be prompted for your JHED ID and password. It sounds as perhaps you’re going to the e-book from a catalog record and those links aren’t proxified and you’d need to use VPN instead. However, you can also get to the proxied link from our list of databases. Here’s the proxied link for ACLS Humanities Ebooks. Good luck!

  8. What is the best way to search for a photograph taken during a specific period of time? For example, how could I search for photographs taken of Chicago from 1860 – 1900? Thanks.

    Ellen replies. . .

    Besides Google Images, it’s difficult to do a free image search on the web. Libraries subscribe to various image databases, but if you’re not affiliated with that library, you wouldn’t be able to access them remotely. Chicago Public Library has a digital image collection that actually is freely available so you can browse that to find 19th century photos of Chicago. You can also search WorldCat.org for books of Chicago photographs and locate a library near you. I recommend the Advanced Search with the subject terms chicago pictorial 19th century. Good luck!

  9. Hi,

    I am an undergrad student at the Homewood campus. I was wondering if I would be able to use the individual study rooms in the MSE?

    Thank you.

    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Rachel,
    Thanks for your question. I see that one of my colleagues replied to you via e-mail but I wanted to follow up in the blog. My colleague correctly replied that individual study rooms are already held by faculty, but we have a number of group study rooms if that would help. Although preference is for 2 or more, when it’s quiet, like it is now over Intersession, a single person can usually use one.

  10. Hi. I am having trouble accessing a journal, the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Using the e-journal page it seems we have access to it, but when I get to the journal page it asks me to log in. Thanks.

    Ellen replies. . .
    Dear Tiffany,

    Thank you for your question. I’m working off-campus today and just tried to access this using the proxy (I can tell from your message that you’re using VPN) and got in successfully and was able to pull up a PDF of an article. I suggest that you disconnect from VPN, go back to the E-Journals page and pull up the title again. When you click on the Wiley link from your Find It page, you’ll be prompted for your JHED ID and password. Let me know if this works.

  11. hi.
    im doing this project in school and ive look every where and can not find a proper anser, i was wondering if maybe u could help me.

    how do u say PIMP in french??

    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Victoria,

    The Concise Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary gives the French word for “pimp” as “proxénète.” I hope this helps.

  12. Is it possible to search for a past Master’s Thesis from the school of education online? How can i conduct that search?

    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Will,

    You can conduct that search in Digital Dissertations. Use the Advanced Search to search for education as the subject and Johns Hopkins University as the school. Dissertations from 1997 onward will be available full-text online. If you’re not a JHU affiliate, then you won’t be able to do this from off-campus, but you’re welcome to come into the library and perform this search (visitors just need to present a photo ID at the guard’s desk).

  13. Dear Ellen;

    Thank you very much for your reply,

    and Thank you alot for your guidelines.

    My Best Regards;
    Eman A.Amer

  14. Helli, I am a student from another college and was interested in using the library but was unsure if I was able to access the internet through my laptop or if there were computers available to me there. Is the internet only available to Johns Hopkins students?
    thank you

    Ellen replies. . .

    Dear Rebecca,
    You may use your laptop and access the Guest Network, which will give you internet access but not access to any of our library resources. If you want to access our library resources, you can use the public computers in the library. Visitors need to present a photo ID to the security guard at the entrance.

  15. Hi
    what are the timings of the audio video section at the milton eisenhower lib tomorrow 23rd Friday November?


    Ellen replies

    Dear Navin,
    Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, I did not see this comment until today (Monday, November 26). If there’s something time sensitive that you need to know, a phone call to Circulation (410-516-8370) or the Information Desk (410-516-8335) is best.

  16. Hi;

    I am graduate student and I search papers about Evaluating web serach engines, and I did a lot of searches but I did not find the right one till now, So how can I find these papers on your website?

    My Best Regards

    Ellen replies. . .

    Dear Eman,
    Did you find our website about this topic? My apologies if you already have. Otherwise, articles on this topic are often written for journals in library science. If you’re a JHU graduate student, you can search the database LISTA amd use the subject headings “information resources–evaluation” combined with “web sites” or “internet.” Good luck!

  17. HI,

    I am a business student and looking for was to access case studies. Upon browsing the library resourcs online, I find that HBR is a good source among others. However, it is required that I pay for the articles obtained, such as, case studies in marketing and so on.

    Do I need to pay for these articles?


    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Monir,
    We have access to the Harvard Business Review via Business Source Premier. If you’re off-campus, please review the Connecting From Off-Campus page so you can authenticate and won’t be asked to pay for articles. If you’re thinking of the Harvard Business School Cases (as opposed to the Review), please read this Case Studies page from our librarian for Business. It explains why we can’t get those cases and how to search Business Source Premier for case studies. Good luck!

  18. Hi, I have of name of a book. And I would like to know which papers cited this book. I was told I could use ” citation index”, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.Could you please help me with this? Thanks for your help.
    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Ting,
    The very non-intuitively named database that does this is called Web of Science. When you get into Web of Science, select the Cited Ref Search to search for papers that cite your book. Good luck!

  19. The class is international law. I tried the link that you posted but it is not working.

    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Amy,
    Our course reserves are organized by instructor’s name so I’m still not able to identify your class. The link worked last night but you’re correct, it’s not working today. Instead, go to the page of UN Resolutions for 1970 and the resolution you want, 276, is the first one. In future, it’s also easiest to send these questions to Ask a Librarian because I’ll have your e-mail back to respond to so you don’t have to continually check if your comment has been posted.

  20. hi, I am looking for a document called, Legal consequence for states of the continued presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) Notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276. It is an International Court of Justice opinion and it is supposed to be on reserve but I cannot find it. I would appreciate your help.


    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Amy,
    Without knowing the class you’re in, I can’t verify if it’s on reserve (print or electronic). However, this was a resolution adopted by the United Nations, and I was able to find it as a PDF (with a very long URL!). I hope this helps.

  21. How can I access the digitalized thesis?

    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Mohammad,
    You can use Digital Dissertations to search for dissertations. Those from 1997 onward are available full-text online as PDFs. If you’re doing this from off-campus, please use our proxy service or VPN for remote access.

  22. Hello, My name is Cherie South. I have been working on a term paper for school and I’m having a hell of a time trying to find actual facts about the subject matter. I find things that are not facts, but opinion. My paper is on United States Health Care VS. Canadian Health Care. I have like no information and could use some help id it’s available. Please email me back!
    Ellen replies. . .

    Dear Cherie,
    This sounds like a big topic! If you’re a JHU student, I’ll recommend you come into the reference office and meet with the librarian on duty. Otherwise, the best advice I can give you is to go talk to your school librarian or librarian at your local library. You’ll definitely want to narrow down what you want about both countries’ health care, and often this is best achieved by meeting face-to-face with a librarian. Whoever you talk to will do what we do with our students: ask you what aspect of health care interests you, the point you’re trying to make with your paper, the type of resources you need. Good luck!

  23. I need to check out a rare book via the library’s online catalog, but I can’t seem to login with my J-card. Who should I contact in the library to help me login in using the number located below the barcode on my J-card?

    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Sebastian,
    If you haven’t used your JCard before to check out books or request a book online, then you need to contact the Circulation Desk at 410-516-8370 and ask them to activate your JCard. I also recommend that before you place your online request, you click the link above to “Register to receive library notices via e-mail.” That ensures that we’ll e-mail you when your book is ready to be picked up and send you advance notice of books whose due dates are coming, so you can avoid fines! You do mention that it’s a rare book, so be prepared if it’s not requestable!

  24. 1) I’m researching articles via PsycInfo, and I’ve tried PubMed. When I get to articles from Haworth Press,which are identified as full text, I get proxy error message: The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server.
    The proxy server could not handle the request GET /store/E-Text/View_EText.asp.

    Reason: Error reading from remote server
    This has been going on for at least 1 month.

    2) I’ve been working on research papers since August– I’m in the Counseling graduate program-it seems that since August, there are a lot fewer full text articles available-is this just my imagination?

    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Patti,
    Thanks for reporting this. I’ll address your questions in order.
    1) I was going to reply that it’s best to send an e-mail via the Find It link as that reports the specific citation with which you are having a problem but you just did that! I’ve forwarded that problem on to our Serials department. It looks as though it is specific to Haworth titles even on campus, as I cannot get to that article here in the library. Also, in the future, please don’t feel that you have to wait a month for a problem to be resolved—please report it when it first occurs. Often, we don’t know about problems until a patron reports them to us.
    2) I hope it’s not a case of fewer full text articles available (we are adding more and more electronic subscriptions all the time) but depending on the search you do, the citations you retrieve may not have full-text. Some journals are still only available in print. As a graduate student, if you find a journal that we only have in print and not online, you can request a PDF of the article you need using Eisenhower Express. This is a great service–a grad student’s best friend (after their librarian, of course!).

  25. Can you tell me the best resource for finding competitive information about publically traded companies such as starbucks? thank you!
    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Karen,
    I’d start with the database Business Source Premier. When you’re in, go to the link Company Profiles in the green banner and search for your company (Starbucks is in there). You’ll get a link to a PDF from Datamonitor Reports which provides analysis, competitors, and a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) report. You can find additional Business resources on this list and a guide for Business research here.

  26. Hi,

    Can you please refer a website that gives me information on Corporate Hierarchy. For Eg in a corp tree.. head bt Chairman followed by board memebers then CEo then VP then EVP. and so on…

    Ellen replies

    Dear Mohammed,
    It sounds as though you want to see organizational charts that show reporting structure. Forbes has an Org Chart Wiki in beta that allows you to look at specific companies’ organizational charts. I hope this helps!

  27. Hi,

    My sister who was a graduate student at Hopkins accidentally left a book at my home in Chicago while she was visiting. We would like to send it back to you. Could you please send me a mailing address?

    Thanks so much.

    Ellen replies

    Dear Ena,
    You can send this book to the attention of the Circulation Department, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Thanks very much!

  28. Hi, I am looking for a psychological scale called the “Services Assessment for Children and Adolescents” (Horwitz, et al. 2001). I have found journal articles which evaluate the scale, but I can’t seem to find the scale itself. Can you direct me to an appropriate source? Thank you.
    Robin replies…

    Amy, it is very difficult to find psychological tests and measures. Many of them must be purchased, and many can be purchased only by certified counselors and psychologists. We do have a page that helps you navigate some of the sources of tests.
    I’ve skimmed the Horwitz article you mention. Since the authors created this measure recently, it isn’t showing up in the text indexes. In this case I believe you will have to contact the authors and ask if they will let you see and/or use the test.
    Sorry I couldn’t give you better news.

  29. Do we have an online subscription to The Economist? Specifically, I would like to know if we have subscription to the audio edition of the magazine. thank you.
    Ellen replies . . .

    Vincent, we get The Economist online through a number of our database vendors, but currently, we do not have a subscription via the economist.com or to the audio edition. If you wish to see how we do get it online, search for it via our E-Journals page. Hope this helps!

  30. Hi,

    I am trying to access an article off of EBSCO host and when I try to open it as a full text PDF file it says to “contact my administrator to check exproxy.msg for a MaxVirtualHost error…could you help me with this? thanks!

    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Lindsay,
    I need to ask you to describe the problem (the database in EBSCO you were using, the specific article you need) by using the Ask a Librarian e-mail form. Thanks!

  31. My son needs help to writing a summary of a critical essay on a novel “To Kill A Mockingbird.” How can I help him?

    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Veronica,
    It sounds as though your son may be in junior high or high school (I remember reading To Kill a Mockingbird myself during those years). I recommend that he go to his public library or his school library and ask the librarian about literature resources that are appropriate for his age group. Gale is a publisher that puts out wonderful literature resources. Online, they call their product Literature Resource Center, but if your libraries don’t have the online version, they will probably have the print series, which are published as Contemporary Literary Criticism, Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, and Dictionary of Literary Biography. Your son’s local librarian will be only too happy to help him with these resources!

  32. I am trying to write an argumentative paper and needed help to locate journals, documents, databases ANYTHING to find information for my topic. Please help!

    Ellen replies . . .

    Dear Robin,
    The library subscribes to a number of databases that index journal articles, magazine articles, and newspapers, and you can find them listed by subject. We have lists of databases for every academic discipline and, if you’re not sure where to start, see the list for Multidisciplinary and General Reference. Two good starting places are Academic Search Premier, which covers a variety of disciplines and includes journal articles, magazine articles, and newspapers, and Lexis Nexis Academic, which is all newspapers and great for searching for editorials, which will definitely provide a point of view. Full-text is available from both of these resources. If you’re doing this from home, please see these instructions for accessing our databases remotely. If you’ve got further questions, please call the Information Desk at 410-516-8335 and ask to speak to the librarian on duty. Good luck!

  33. Good morning,

    How do I access databases from outside the JHU library? I am a part-time grad student at JHU and need to access articles for my courses. In particular, I need this article and it is online, I just don’t have the right login.

    Thanks for your help!


    Impact of historic land-use change on sediment delivery to a Chesapeake Bay subestuarine delta
    Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
    Volume 26, Issue 4, Date: April 2001, Pages: 409-427
    Gregory B. Pasternack, Grace S. Brush, William B. Hilgartner

    Ellen replies . . .

    Please see the page Connecting from Off-Campus for instructions on how to access our resources remotely. We offer two options, a proxy service and the Virtual Private Network. I recommend that you start with the proxy service as it’s the easiest to use. All you need to do is select one of our resources and you’ll be prompted for your JHED ID and password, which authenticates you as a JHU student. I use this all the time from home and appreciate how easy it is!

  34. Hi,
    I know that on C Level (on the message boards) there is a sheet that talks about how to find free MCAT practice tests that the school provides access to. Can you tell me what those steps are? I thought I had it down but I can no longer find the paper I wrote the steps on…


    Ellen replies . . .

    You’re thinking of Testing and Education Reference Center, an excellent resource full of online study guides and practice tests. You can find it on our alphabetical list of databases here. Go into the site and select the Test Preparation link. You’ll find the link for the MCAT at the bottom of the right-hand column.

  35. Can you please let me know what does E & O E stand for which is written on invoices or statements

    Ellen replies . . .

    E&OE stands for “errors and omissions excepted.” I confirmed this in two separate sources–a Wikipedia entry and the Acronyms Dictionary.

  36. i am doing a report on John Hopkins i need help on finding a bio.

    Ellen responds . . .
    Our Special Collections Department has a page on Johns Hopkins and University History that I find helpful. Hope this is useful!

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