Congratulations to Michael Bowman, Emily Ford, and Art Hendricks!

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PSU Librarians Promoted

Congratulations to recently promoted librarians at Portland State University Library! Michael Bowman and Art Hendricks were promoted to full professor, while Emily Ford received tenure and a promotion to associate professor.

Michael Bowman

Michael Bowman, promoted to Professor, joined the PSU Library faculty in 1992 as the Engineering Librarian. Over 25 years, he has taken on many additional responsibilities, including as liaison to the physical sciences and Comic Studies. Michael is now serving as Assistant University Librarian.

Art Hendricks

Reference Services Manager Art Hendricks joined the PSU Library faculty in 1996 as Assistant Systems Librarian. He currently supervises two full-time staff and several part-time librarians. Art is the library liaison to Conflict Resolution, Philosophy, Speech & Hearing, Music, and Theatre/Dance. Art also volunteers with Answerland, the state-wide virtual reference service. Art was promoted to Professor.

Emily Ford

Urban and Public Affairs Librarian Emily Ford was promoted to Associate Professor with Indefinite Tenure. Emily worked at PSU Library in part-time and interim capacities before moving into her current position in 2012. Emily serves Political Science, Public Administration, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Urban Studies & Planning, and the OHSU-PSU Joint School of Public Health. She particularly enjoys working with students.

Congratulations to Michael, Art, and Emily!

Michael Bowman
Michael Bowman
Art Hendricks
Art Hendricks
Emily Ford
Emily Ford

Library Publishes Four New Open Textbooks

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Portland State University Library is pleased to announce the publication of four new open textbooks authored by PSU faculty for PSU courses. Open access textbooks are digital and freely available on the web for students at PSU and beyond. The newly-published textbooks were written by faculty in the Department of World Languages & Literatures, the School of Business, the Department of Chemistry, and the Intensive English Language Program.

""Histoires d’Avenirs: Science-fiction pour le cours de français niveaux intermédiaire et avancé
By Annabelle Dolidon and Stéphanie Roulon, World Languages & Literatures

Histoires d’Avenirs is a textbook based on nine French science fiction short stories. It is designed for intermediate and advanced learners of French as well as native speakers interested in deepening their knowledge of French science fiction.

This textbook will be used in third-year and fourth-year French literature classes.

""Beginning Japanese for Professionals: Book 2
By Emiko Konomi, School of Business

This is the second book in a three book series. Book 2 is designed for beginning learners who want to learn basic Japanese for the purpose of living and working in Japan. Unlike textbooks written primarily for students whose content largely centers on student life, this book focuses more on social and professional life beyond school.

This textbook will be used in the Master of International Management program.

""How to Be a Successful Organic Chemist
By Alexander H. Sandtorv, Chemistry

This text is a clear and practical introduction to safety, chemical handling, organic chemistry techniques, and lab reports, an introductory text for undergraduates taking organic chemistry teaching labs.

This textbook will be used in Organic Chemistry labs.

""Communication Beginnings: An Introductory Listening and Speaking Text for English Language Learners
By Della Abrahams, Intensive English Language Programm

This textbook is designed for beginning-intermediate English language learners. It  includes an audio component that consists of recorded conversations of native and non-native English speakers, as well as links to additional listening resources on the web.

This textbook will be used in IELP Listening and Speaking classes.

These newly-published textbooks are part of a group of 18 open textbooks authored by faculty at Portland State University and published by Portland State University Library. PSU Library funds faculty authorship of open textbooks with the help of generous donor support, as part of our goal to reduce the cost of higher education for Portland State students.

As of spring 2017, PSU students saved more than $120,000 through open textbooks authored by PSU faculty. Portland State University open textbooks have been downloaded more than 28,000 times all over the world.

Browse the complete collection of open textbooks at Portland State University Library

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!

The images below show the wireless heat map of the third floor before and after the project. The green means limited wireless coverage; orange means strong coverage. 

Heat map of wireless coverage on the third floor before installation of additional access points
Heat map of wireless coverage on the third floor after this upgrade 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