Library Adds 1,200 New Journals

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Portland State University Library is pleased to announce the addition of more than 1,200 journals to the Library’s collections. The new journals, published by Elsevier, are available now to PSU students, faculty, and staff through ScienceDirect (Elsevier’s database platform) as well as through searching the Library catalog.

The new package includes journals in science, technology, engineering, medicine, and other disciplines. The complete title list is available from ScienceDirect.

Elsevier journals are some of the most heavily used at Portland State. In 2014, PSU students, faculty, and staff accessed and downloaded more than 190,000 articles from Elsevier journals alone.

PSU Library’s expanded access to these journals was negotiated in collaboration with the libraries of Oregon State University and University of Oregon. PSU students, faculty, and staff will have immediate access to articles that, previously, we were only able to access through interlibrary loan.

If you have questions about these journals, please check with the PSU Library Reference Desk.

Library Lunch for Grad Students This Friday!

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Note: We are no longer taking RSVPs for this event. Stay tuned for our next student listening session in March.

Grad students: join Portland State librarians for a pizza lunch on Friday, February 5!

tree in front of libraryWe want to find out what you think about PSU Library. What’s your favorite place to study? What’s your biggest frustration in the building? Are library hours working for you? How can we make your life easier as a grad student?

We’ll have fresh pizza from Sizzle Pie, soda and water, and a chance to talk about your interactions with PSU Library.

Questions? Contact librarian Joan Petit at 503-725-2397 or

Color Our Collections, February 1-5

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Adult coloring books are all the rage right now, and libraries and museums are joining the fun! Inspired and organized by The New York Academy of Medicine Library and the Biodiversity Heritage Library, libraries around the country are sharing images from our collections this week for our users to color by hand.

Color Our Collections social media graphicEach day this week, we will add a new coloring page to social media and this news post. You are invited to download these images, color them, and then share them on social media to @PSULibArchives with the hashtag #ColorOurCollections.

Click on the links below for coloring pages.

February 1: Dodo engraving from Sir Thomas Herbert’s Some Years Travel into Divers Parts of Africa and Asia.

ColorOurCollectionsLibraryFebruary 2: Architect’s drawing of the west side of the Library building from 1967, a year before construction was completed, from the University Archives Digital Gallery.

February 3: From the University Archives, cover art from the 1948 Viking yearbook.

February 4: An engraving on the title page of the 1632 Dialogo di Galileo Galilei, signed by Stefan Della Bella F.

February 5: A leaf from The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer published by Kelmscott Press in 1896.

PDXScholar Reaches 1 Million Downloads

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PDXScholar, Portland State University’s online, digital repository, has achieved a remarkable milestone: 1 million downloads.

This means that users throughout Oregon, the United States, and around the world have, collectively, downloaded a million articles, dissertations, masters theses, conference papers, books, data sets, oral histories, projects, and more from PDXScholar. This readership map provides an overview of all downloads from PDXScholar from our launch in summer of 2013 through January, 2016.

PDXScholar readership map

The one millionth download happened on the evening of Thursday, January 21, 2016. Several works were downloaded that day–master’s theses and dissertations, an undergraduate honors thesis, photographs from University Archives and Special Collections, publications from PSU research centers and institutes, and faculty articles and papers–and they represent well the breadth of material in PDXScholar.

One of the articles downloaded on January 21 includes a 2005 conference paper co-authored by Portland State professor Dr. Timothy. R. Anderson from the Department of Engineering and Technology Management.

Dr. Anderson was an early contributor to PDXScholar, now with more than three dozen articles and chapters in the repository. Dr. Anderson said, “It has been almost two and a half years since my first papers were posted to PDXScholar. Back in 2013 I was pleased to hear about the service from the library to help make publications more accessible… I like that I don’t have to worry about the license or maintaining the links for the paper in the archive. I simply point my students to the archive or have them find it near the top of a google search. As a researcher, we want our papers to be read and making them available is key ‘to let knowledge the serve the city.'”

PDXScholar is the university’s centralized platform for PSU journals, conference proceedings, exemplary student research, faculty scholarship, and more. Managed by PSU Library, PDXScholar includes more than 11,000 items. Because items in PDXScholar are discoverable through Google and other search engines, the repository has international reach. This readership activity map, a real-time visualization of full-text downloads, demonstrates the continuous impact of Portland State scholarship around the globe.

Library Dean Marilyn Moody said, “We’re thrilled that PDXScholar has reached this milestone. PDXScholar serves the PSU community of researchers in two important ways: it provides a secure and central repository for storing the important academic work taking place at our institution, and it gives us a platform to share that work with scholars around the world.”

A local resident told us, “I’m a Portland community member and happen to be PSU alumni. Papers are often available for those who are in school or in research, but as an average citizen it is harder to see them. Having access to grad papers is fantastic.” And a student in Vietnam said, “Thanks Portland State University for letting me get free access to such a useful resource like this.”

In 2016, PDXScholar will continue to expand. Staff in PSU Library’s Digital Initiatives will continue digitizing older theses and dissertations, expand student collections, publish more open access textbooks, and promote services like journal hosting and data set storage and management.

You can browse PDXScholar online. 

February Workshops Cover Zotero and Mendeley, Research Data, and Information Organization

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Librarian Michael Bowman is offering his popular workshops again this winter term. Here’s what’s coming up:

workshop infoManaging Resources with Zotero and Mendeley

Zotero and Mendeley are web-based and desktop citation and PDF management tools that make it easy to collect, organize and cite research materials. Both are terrific tools for anyone working on a research project, as they can help you manage your research materials from multiple sources and insert them into your publications with ease.

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 4–5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 16, 4–5:30 p.m.
Library Room 160


workshop infoOrganizing Your Information

Learn how to efficiently review and manage information of all types. This covers software such as Twitter, RSS readers, read later programs, note taking and storing applications and citation management software.

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 4–5:30 p.m.
Library Room 284


workshop infoHow to Make Your Research Data Sing

Want to learn skills that will boost your research and your career? What do you need to consider when you’re working with research data? What file formats and organization should you use? What documentation should accompany your data so that you (and others) can re-use it at a later date (or incorporate it with data collected by others) — possibly years from now? What are the current standards in your field for adding metadata to describe your data and prepare it for deposit in a disciplinary repository or in PDXScholar?

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 4–5:30 p.m.
Library Room 160


You can always find our upcoming workshops on the workshop page.

Winter 2016 Exhibit Highlights 40th Anniversary of Women’s Studies at PSU

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Image from 1976 Women's Studies Course Catalog
Image from cover of PSU Women’s Studies Course Catalog, 1976

PSU Library Special Collections and University Archives is honored to present its Winter 2016 exhibit, Ever Forward: Forty Years of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Portland State University. The history of WGSS at PSU is a story of the energy and passion of generations of students and faculty dedicated to the foundation, survival, and growth of feminist and queer scholarship at Portland State. The exhibit celebrates that history through selections from University Archives’ Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Collection.

Women’s Studies at Portland State originated with the work of students, faculty, and community volunteers. The first feminist-oriented group at PSU, “University Women,” organized in late 1969 to work toward women-centered goals such as free childcare on campus, and by the following year, University Women had formed the Women’s Union (today’s Women’s Resource Center) and were addressing wider issues concerning the status of women. As the Women’s Union evolved to become a community-wide advocacy and resource center, women working with the center and students and faculty that had formed an ad hoc committee known as the Women’s Studies Institute collaborated to create the Women’s Studies Union (WSU) to examine, envision, and enact equitable and inclusive instruction and hiring and to bring feminist academics to Portland State. The WSU founded the office that became the Women’s Studies Department.

Students meeting in the Women's Union in Smith Center, 1972.During the 1971-72 academic year, over four hundred students enrolled in courses offered through the WSU, which were taught by faculty across academic departments. In April 1973, the Women’s Union hosted a public Hearing on Sexism to call attention to inequity and discrimination in hiring and in the curriculum, and to build a case for an academic program in Women’s Studies. As examples of testimony demonstrate, women from all areas of the campus community put their personal experiences on the record, while academics and students worked together on a program proposal that showed how a university education and administration which perpetuated gender inequality failed to meet the needs of both the institution and society. Women’s Studies at PSU was approved by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education as a certificate program in 1976.

Book sale group shotThe program and its allies stood up to the slow process of accreditation and to profound funding challenges during its first two decades. In the early 1980s, when the certificate program was threatened by proposed budget cuts, Women’s Studies students mobilized demonstrations and a letter-writing campaign that enlisted support from legislators and community organizations around the state. Their efforts provoked budget revisions that protected the program, but significantly reduced its allotment. To counter these losses, throughout the 1980s students, faculty and community partners held bake sales and fundraising drives to sustain the department until it was slowly refunded by the University as the program continued to expand into the 1990s. Women’s Studies was finally approved as an undergraduate minor in 1987 and a major in 1998, nearly thirty years after the formation of the PSU Women’s Union.

8th_annual_poster_croppedAs the program has grown, its students have worked with faculty to ensure that course offerings and curriculum reflect their priorities and are adaptable to evolving academic and political discourses of power and identity. In 2008, after several years of research, curriculum development, proposal drafting, and fundraising conducted by volunteer students and faculty, PSU Women’s Studies offered a minor in Sexuality, Gender and Queer Studies, the first program of its kind in Oregon.

In the spirit of the history of the program, Women’s Studies hosted a series of public conversations with students, faculty, staff, and community members to consider a change in nomenclature which would better reflect the purview and philosophy of the program. In 2010, Women’s Studies at PSU became Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and was also approved to become an academic department. Current and upcoming developments in WGSS demonstrate the vibrancy and future of feminist and queer activism and scholarship at PSU.

Grads 2015
Ever Forward
was curated by Rhiannon Cates, PSU Library Special Collections staff and WGSS alumna. The exhibit will be on display through Winter 2016 in the first floor elevator lobby of the PSU Library.

“Does the Library have my textbook?”

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We know students want to save money on their textbooks. The Library does have some textbooks, but not all of them. We might have your textbook on reserve or in our regular collection.

graphic about textbooks

Here’s how to find out if we have your textbook:

PSU Library Course Reserves

Instructors sometimes place textbooks and other course readings on reserve in the Library. We have both paper reserves (physical textbooks, for example) and electronic reserves (online articles and ebooks). Did your instructor place your textbook and course readings on reserve?

PSU Library Stacks & Summit Libraries

PSU Library may own a copy of a textbook but your instructor has not placed it on reserve. You may borrow this book from the Library.

If PSU Library doesn’t have the book, it may be available at a Summit library. You can request books from Summit and, if available, they usually arrive at the PSU Library Circulation Desk within a few days. You may borrow Summit books for six weeks.

Not at the Library?

Still have questions? Please Ask a Librarian for help.

Note: we are unable to request textbooks through Interlibrary Loan.

Library Closed Dec 19 – Jan 2

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Portland State University Library will be closed from Saturday, December 19, 2015 through Saturday, January 2, 2016. We will re-open on Sunday, January 3 at Noon.

PSU Library in the snow in 1982.
PSU Library in January, 1982. Photo from the University Archives Digital Gallery.

During the closure, we will not process Summit and Interlibrary Loan borrowing requests. You may submit these requests during the closure, and we will begin processing accumulated requests on Monday, January 4.

During the closure, the Library website and databases will be available, and we will collect books returned to the book drops located outside the building.

Chat reference help will be available through our partner libraries except for December 24-25 and December 31-January 1, when the service is closed.

Have a wonderful break, and we’ll see you in the New Year!

Study Break Snack & Chat

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Join Portland State librarians for a study break with snacks and a chance to chat with some librarians about PSU Library.

event informationWe want to find out what you think about PSU Library — your favorite places to study and what we could improve — and we also want to learn more about how we could better communicate with PSU students.

We ask you to commit to joining us for at least 45 minutes. Questions? Want to RSVP? Check out the event on Facebook or contact Librarian Joan Petit.

See you Monday!