News

New Latin American Comics at PSU Library

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The Portland State Library is expanding our comics and graphic novels collection! We have added 82 new comics by Latin American and Spanish authors, now available for anyone to borrow and enjoy.

Learn about Comics and Graphic Novels from Latin America

Most readers are familiar with American comics and Japanese manga. Many superhero characters are so familiar they are household names, and the stories are so epic that they span multiple decades. Yet the rich cultural and literary traditions of comics and graphic novels from other regions around the world remains relatively neglected by scholars.

Cover of Gabo : memorias de una vida mágica
Gabo: memorias de una vida mágica

Latin America has a rich comics publishing tradition. Each region and country brings a unique perspective on comics and graphic novels, and comics are particularly popular in Mexico. Readers and scholars alike can examine regional cultures and influences through storytelling in Latin American comics and graphic novels. 

These contemporary works give insight into visual rhetoric, philosophy, and comics publishing in another part of the globe. Examine the unique artwork in Turista Accidental, where the intentionally messy style expresses the discomfort of traveling. See a biography of Gabriel García Márquez unfold using colors in Gabo: memorias de una vida mágica. Finally, explore the Falklands War through nine different stories in Malvinas: El sur, el mar, el frío.

Comics Studies at Portland State

Portland is particularly well-known as a “Comics City,” and the home of famous comics artists, authors, scholars, and publishers. The Comics Studies program at PSU draws from this vibrant community in its mission to teach students about comics history, theory, and practice through engagement with top-notch scholars, the best professionals in the business, and cutting-edge publishers.

Cover of Malvinas, er sur, el mar, el frío
Malvinas: el sur, el mar, el frío

Associate Professor and Comics Studies Director Susan Kirtley says, “Although it is still very new, the Comics Studies program at PSU has been very successful thus far. Graduates of the program are getting jobs in the industry and pursuing additional graduate studies. The PSU Library has been a wonderful partner in supporting our students in their studies, providing amazing resources unavailable anywhere else.”

These new additions further enhance the library’s commitment to supporting the study of comics at PSU. Researchers can now compare comics unique to Spanish-speaking regions to other comics around the world. The PSU Library’s expanded comics collection is another milestone as we continue to support our students.

More information:
Comics Studies Program
Dark Horse Comics at PSU Library

Introducing the New PSU Library Catalog

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PSU Library is updating the Library catalog! This new design improves the one-stop search box for all physical and selected online resources at PSU Library, as well as resources from Summit Libraries, and Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery.

Remember to sign in for more resources and request options, including your Saved Records. Your current eShelf will migrate to the new catalog as Saved Records.

Most importantly, the new interface is responsive and accessible. It works well on tablets and mobile devices, so you can search the PSU Library anytime, anywhere.

Design changes include:

  • Pinning resources to Saved Records Pin icon from PSU Library catalog
  • Fewer tabs and clicks to search the catalog and retrieve records
  • A new Search History feature that saves your 24-hour search history
  • A responsive interface, which is easier to use on tablets and mobile devices

Over this summer, students tested the new catalog and liked the new intuitive design.

If have any comments or questions, please let us know. Try the new PSU Library catalog today!

Featuring Biography Reference Center

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Find Biographies

Learn about people from different walks of life throughout time, and from around the world with our latest featured database. Biography Reference Center contains over 430,000 full-text biographies, pulled together information from classic and modern books, encyclopedias, newspapers, and full-text biographical articles. The biographies are concise, with easy-to-read background information.

There are several ways to use this database. First, the advanced search is useful if you already know background information like name, date of birth or death, profession, or country of origin. Additionally, the basic interface lets researchers browse by portrait or by genre. This ability to browse allows researchers to discover historical figures involved in important historical eras, major wars, and historic leaders. Finally, researchers can browse for biographies by searching for cultural impact through other categories like Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Musicians, Inventors, and other important roles.

Biography Reference Center is useful whether you are looking for the biography of a specific person, fact-checking information, or learning more about important people in history.

Try Biography Reference Center now (PSU login required off-campus)

Reference Sources at PSU Library

entrance to PSU LibraryPSU Library has scholarly reference resources above and beyond biographies. The library subscribes to reference databases, as well as print and online encyclopedias, eBooks, and databases.  Reference sources are important because they provide scholarly background information and context. They are especially useful when you are starting out your research, or when you need more information about a topic.

Finally, if you have questions about biographical research or any other kind of research, please feel free to Ask a Librarian.

More information:
Search PSU Library
Oxford Reference Online

Featuring Berg Fashion Library

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Research Fashion and Culture with Berg Fashion Library

Research fashion, arts, and culture with Berg Fashion Library. Berg Fashion Library is a database with authoritative information about world dress across cultures and throughout history. The database has multiple collections with many different types of content, including an image library with 13,000 images. Additionally, the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion covers the complexity of global dress through history. Other collections in the database include eBooks, lesson plans, reference works, an interactive timeline, as well as an exhibition archive.

Berg Fashion Library will be especially useful to students and researchers across several disciplines. Researchers in art history, anthropology, history, sociology, geography, arts and theater, cultural studies, as well as fashion and textiles will find Berg Fashion Library especially useful.

Try Berg Fashion Library now (PSU login required off-campus)

Research Art & Design at PSU

multicolored spooled thread lot
Thread lot used in sewing

Berg Fashion Library is one of many resources about fashion, art, and culture available at Portland State. The Art & Design research guide was designed by librarians at PSU to connect researchers with the best research resources available through the PSU library collections and beyond. The research guide will connect you with scholarly articles and eBooks available in print and online, along with reference works. In addition, the guide will connect you with other scholarly image libraries and primary sources, as well as information to help you cite your sources.

You can also search the PSU Library catalog, or search in subject databases which focus on arts and culture. If you have any questions about researching fashion, art and design, or any other research topic, please do not hesitate Ask a Librarian!

More information:
Art & Design Research Guide
Ask a Librarian

Assistant University Librarian Claudia Irla Retires

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Claudia Irla, Assistant University Librarian (AUL) for Public Services and Government Information Librarian, is retiring after 16 years of service at Portland State University Library.

Before she started at PSU Library, Professor Irla studied Russian language at University of Maryland. She used her language background to catalog Russian materials at the National Agricultural Library beginning in 1978. As she moved up in her career at the National Agricultural Library, Professor Irla pursued her Master’s degree in Library Sciences.

At the National Agricultural Library, she held various positions including Slavic Cataloger, Assistant to the Associate Director for Technical Services, and the Head of the Information and Management Branch. This led to memorable experiences, such as training librarians in Latvia and participating in the development of the Egyptian National Agricultural Library. After several decades working for the National Agriculture Library, Professor Irla decided it was time to move on in her career and be closer to her family in Oregon in 2001.

Professor Irla embraced the energy and excitement of working in an urban campus. During her tenure at PSU, she served as the Library’s AUL for Technical Services, Government Information Coordinator, Reference Coordinator, and the AUL for Public Services. While on sabbatical in 2011, she toured libraries in Uzbekistan and presented on various library-related topics. Professor Irla has seen many changes over time and led the Library’s efforts in a number of them.

Professor Irla is looking forward to helping family at their organic ranch and orchard in Sweet Home, and traveling to spend more time with her children, grandchildren, and her mother.

Environmental Science Research

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About Agricultural & Environmental Science

Hydroponic lettuce grown without soil in raised beds
Learn about hydroponic farming and other developments in agricultural and environmental science

Agricultural & Environmental Science is our latest featured resource. PSU students and researchers studying Environmental Science will find this database particularly useful.

Agricultural & Environmental Science is a database covering peer-reviewed journals, trade publications, magazines and newspapers. It also includes grey literature, conference papers and proceedings, and other sources like EPA reports.

Agricultural & Environmental Science has in-depth information about science relating to the environment, agriculture, and technology. Find research about environmental science resources covering engineering, biotechnology, and bacteriology, as well as atmospheric science, ecology, and biology. In addition, use the database to learn about veterinary science, aquaculture and fisheries, farming and farming systems, nutrition and food, forestry, and plant science.

Researchers can easily use both simple keyword searches or use more advanced searches. Additionally, the database has other useful features like suggested related searches and search limiters. Researchers can then sort results to find full-text articles, scholarly ebooks, and other types of information.

Why would I use this database?

Agricultural & Environmental Science, and other cross-disciplinary databases, help researchers widen the scope of information and to have even more impact. This is important because scientific research about the environment and agriculture is complex and often crosses into different fields of study. Fortunately, cross-disciplinary databases like Agricultural & Environmental Science make it easier for researchers to find relevant information in other scientific discipline. This gives researchers more background information and context, and ultimately makes their research have a larger impact for everyone.

Try Agricultural & Environmental Science now (PSU login required off-campus)

Other resources for studying Environmental Science

PSU Library has many other resources for students and researchers studying environmental science in addition to Agricultural & Environmental Science. The Environmental Science and Management research guide suggests books, encyclopedias and helpful databases to use for research, as well as data and map resources. Finally, the guide has tools to help researchers cite their sources. Ask a Librarian at any time if you have questions about environmental science or any other type of research.

More information:
Ask a Librarian

Thank You for Your Feedback!

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The winner is…

PSU undergraduate student with the grand prize iPad from the LibQUAL+ library survey
PSU undergraduate student Casey Mitchell won the grand prize for the 2017 LibQUAL+ library survey

Congratulations to Casey Mitchell, a Portland State student who took the library survey in April and won the grand prize drawing for an iPad. Casey is a junior at Portland State and is majoring in both history and pre-education. After she graduates from PSU, her goal is to be a middle school social studies teacher.

Thank you to all 1172 members of the Portland State community who took the time to complete the survey in April. You provided feedback about library services and made your voice heard. Most importantly, your feedback will continue to help shape the future of the PSU Library’s planning!

About the Library Survey

The LibQUAL+ survey has been used at PSU Library since 2006 to improve library services. Past feedback has helped us to improve PSU Library services, including:

  • Creating new study spaces, such as the family study room and the 3rd floor study area
  • Making the library facilities more welcoming and better for study
  • Improving technology in the computer labs and study rooms
  • Incorporating feedback into long-term planning, as well as policies and procedures

Head of Acquisitions Mary Ellen Kenreich Retires

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Mary Ellen Kenreich, Head of Acquisitions at Portland State University Library, is retiring after 25 years of service.

Professor Kenreich worked at several libraries across country. One of her first jobs was at Tennessee Technological University, where she began working with purchasing and processing periodicals. Her career began during a time of fundamental change in libraries. Libraries were moving from card catalogs to online catalogs, and computers were automating repetitive tasks that had previously been done by hand. Kenreich’s early career was built around continually improving library purchasing and processing, something she was ready to continue doing when she began at PSU.

After she joined PSU Library in 1992, Professor Kenreich led efforts to streamline behind-the-scenes work done by library staff. She also made practical improvements such as consolidating vendors, as well as moving the barcodes so that the books are easier for library staff to check out to patrons. Additionally, she helped guide PSU Library during the transition to make more electronic resources available for patrons. With her improvements, the library moved from purchasing books, journals and electronic resources when they were needed, rather than ‘just in case.’ In addition to spending money more wisely, these changes ultimately make it easier for students, faculty and staff at PSU to find the items they need.

Professor Kenreich’s goal has always been to make sure PSU Library patrons have easy access to print and electronic resources at the Library. According to Kenreich, “the best thing that could happen is someone comes in and immediately finds what they need on the computer and shelves.”

Professor Kenreich is looking forward to enjoying her retirement. Her plans include traveling, birding, gardening, cooking, volunteering, and of course, reading.

Birds of North America

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Featuring Birds of North America

Entry for Greater Roadrunner, with introduction, map, and navigation menu shown.
Greater Roadrunner, image by Brian Sullivan/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The latest featured resource at PSU Library is the database Birds of North America. Birds of North America has information about over 760 bird species that breed in the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada. In this database, ornithologists and other bird experts write detailed accounts about different bird species. Accounts include summary information, as well as in-depth, authoritative research. Sounds, images, video, and maps give even more information for researchers’ varied needs.

Birds of North America is for everyone. Users can browse the database easily for a basic overview. On the other hand, researchers who need more in-depth research about specific species information will be able to delve into more details. Information includes a brief introduction about the bird, as well as detailed information including migration, diet, behavior, and conservation.

Try Birds of North America now (PSU login required off-campus)

Learn more with Subject Guides at PSU Library

PSU Library’s subject guides are designed to help PSU researchers learn more about topics and classes at Portland State. The Biology subject guide includes other useful resources beyond Birds of North America, as well as information about finding books and articles, citing sources, and other research help. Other subject guides include topics like Environmental Science and Management and Sustainability.

Use the Library catalog to find print publications around the library, as well as links to full-text documents available 24/7 online.

More information:
Environmental Science and Management
PSU Library catalog
Ask a Librarian

PSU Library Summer Hours

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PSU Library’s summer hours last from June through September. Library summer hours vary slightly during summer intersession and regular summer session.  For additional information, check Library Hours on our website.

Summer Session at PSU Library

Photo of Library windows & tree

During summer session, the Reference desk on the 2nd floor will be open from 9:00am to 6:00pm. Additionally, the 2nd floor computer lab will have tech support to assist patrons during peak hours.

Please note that the library will close on Tuesday, July 4th for Independence Day and Monday, September 4th for Labor Day.

Summer Session Hours

From June 26th through August 18th, we will be open 8:00am-9:00pm, Monday through Thursday. On Fridays we will be open 8:00am-6:00pm. On Saturdays we will be open 10:00am-6:00pm and on Sundays we will be open from 12:00pm-6:00pm.

Beginning August 19th, we will begin our summer intersession hours. PSU Library will be open 8:00am-6:00pm Monday through Friday until Fall term hours resume on Sunday, September 24th.

More information:
Library Hours