Library & OIT Improve Wireless Access in Library

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Over the past several months, PSU Library and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) collaborated to improve the wireless network in the Library. The goal of the project was to maximize wireless coverage and capacity on the library’s busiest floors (the first, second, and third floors), while also replacing the oldest wireless hardware still in use. 

We added 23 new wireless access points to the first, second, and third floors, and moved 36 others. As a result, coverage and wireless capacity are significantly improved, now supporting up to 440 more devices simultaneously (a 32% increase in maximum capacity!) on these floors alone.

Throughout the library, wireless coverage should now be more uniform, with blanket coverage on the first, second, and third floors.

Thanks to the Library and OIT staff who worked on this project!

Branford’s Bean Open for Fall Term

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The coffee shop in the Library, Branford’s Bean, has re-opened just in time for fall term, after a mini-renovation this summer.

""Here is the posted schedule for Branford’s Bean for fall term:

  • Monday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: Noon – 11 p.m.

Branford’s Bean offers Stumptown Coffee, tea, soda, on-the-go sandwiches, fruit, pastries, and more.

Please see the PSU Eats website for the latest schedule.

Welcome Back, Students!

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Getting Started at the Library

Ask a Librarian

The Library has many resources to make your fall term a success. Ask a Librarian if you have any questions!

Find building hours on our website.

Equipment Checkout

Borrow equipment and technology including mobile device chargers, headphones, graphing calculators, laptops, and iPads from the 1st floor Circulation Desk.

More Information:
iPad, Laptop & Equipment Checkout
Library Services for Students

Quiet Floors and Study Rooms

Do you need a quiet place to study? The basement, 4th, and 5th floors are designated quiet floors.

Study rooms are available throughout the Library for a space to study, practice a presentation, or work on a group project. A special family study room is available for students with children. Reserve a study room online, and check out keys from the 1st floor Circulation Desk.

More Information:
Study Spaces & Computers

Textbooks and Course Reserves

The Library has many textbooks available for checkout. Search the Library Catalog to see if we have your textbook in Reserves, located behind the 1st floor Circulation Desk, or on the shelves.

More Information:
Course Reserves
Library Catalog

Computer Labs

The Library has computer labs on the 1st and 2nd floors. Both labs have PC and Mac computers, wheelchair accessible stations, scanners, and color printers. Research kiosks are located throughout the Library building. Use kiosks to quickly print your paper with web print, search the Library catalog, and access and search Library databases.

More Information:
Computer Labs

Research Help

ask a librarian imageReference Desk

Get help with your research at the Library Research Center on the 2nd floor. Reference Librarians will assist you with all stages of your research including brainstorming topics, finding articles, citing your sources, and more. You can get research help in person or 24/7 online.

More Information:
Ask a Librarian

Writing Center Outpost and Learning Center

The 2nd floor is also home to the Writing Center Outpost and Learning Center. The Writing Center Outpost will help you with your paper at any stage of the writing process from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays, and the Learning Center will help you with tutoring, study skills, and many other services.

More Information:
Writing Center Outpost
Learning Center

Upcoming Library Workshops

Manage Citations with Zotero and Mendeley

Citation management software allows you to download citations and articles from various websites and databases, electronically store and organize the citations, annotate and highlight articles, and format the citations for your paper and bibliography. This workshop covers the advantages and disadvantages of Zotero and Mendeley, helping you decide which one is right for you.

Dates Offered
10/24/2017 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
11/1/2017 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

More Information:

Professor Kris Kern Retires

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Professor Kern teaching research skills to students, spring 2017

Professor Kris Kern, Fine and Performing Arts Librarian at Portland State University Library, is retiring after over 40 years of service.

Kris Kern began her library career before she even knew she wanted to be a librarian. The library at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor was hiring for a cataloger to work with Middle Eastern materials. As a student majoring in Arabic, Kris was the perfect candidate for the position. Working at the library as a student worker would also help her in her studies, and pave the way for a new career. She graduated with a degree in Arabic in 1972 and continued to blend her background in Arabic with libraries.

She moved back home and attended Portland State University. At PSU, she worked as a lecturer teaching English as a Second Language, and also as a cataloger at the library working with Middle Eastern materials. While juggling two jobs on campus, Kris continued on in her education at Portland State. Professor Kern received a certificate for Teaching English as a Second Language in 1975. In 1982 she received a Master’s degree in Speech Communication in 1982.

Professor Kern’s role at PSU Library continued to evolve as time passed. She received her Master’s degree in Library Science in 1997, shortly before becoming the Preservation and Cataloging Librarian. Kris served as Head of the Preservation Unit while she continued to work with Middle Eastern materials and cataloging. She also worked in preservation, a vital side of maintaining all of the information inside a library. Kris developed workflows to ensure the continued preservation and safety of the millions of items within PSU Library.

In 2009, she began working as the Fine and Performing Arts Librarian, where she taught research instruction and provided support for people studying the arts. In addition to teaching and research support, she continued to support Middle Eastern studies researchers as well as preservation at the library throughout the rest of her career. Throughout her career, Professor Kern took on multiple responsibilities in growing and preserving the library’s collection and teaching.

Professor Kern is looking forward to traveling with her husband and enjoying time with her family in Portland.

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.