Friday, February 28, 2014

Cornerstone Library Instruction

We've been busy bees here at Lewis Library!

     Last semester, our librarians gave our Cornerstone students a library instruction session to help our freshman with library and research skills, which will come in handy for their studies over the next four years. The topics we covered included:

  • Library geography (Wait, so the 1st floor is really the 2nd floor?)
  • Database navigation (How do I search for articles on "global engagement"?)
  • How to identify a scholarly source (Is The Economist a scholarly source?)
  • LibGuides (You mean there is a webpage for help with research?)
  • How do I navigate around the GALILEO Discovery Service? (Is there a manual for this?)
  • How to perform a good search (What do I type in to get the results I am looking for?)
Fast Forward to Spring!    

This semester, as our freshman finish up Cornerstone, professors assigned a library learning worksheet for the students to complete. The worksheet was designed by our librarians, and it quizzes the students on the information they learned in the fall semester library instruction session. 

We chose 5 key points and created 6 questions to assess what skills they have learned. So far, our Cornerstone students seem to have really hit the ground running with this assignment.

Dr. Arthur Robinson helping a Cornerstone student with our library skills worksheet

Learning library and research skills is not just for freshman!

      No matter if you are a freshman, a senior, or a Graduate student, finding what you need in the library and in the library's databases can sometimes feel like rocket science (I mean, there are graduate degrees dedicated to mastering the art of information retrieval!).  However, just a solid foundation of knowledge of what Lewis Library has to offer and how best to use our resources will help you out tremendously with any projects you may be assigned at any level. No Master's Degree in Library Science needed!

(For those complicated research questions (or even just a refresher on something), ask a librarian. After all, we went to school for this! Finding stuff is our forte!)

Charlene Baxter and a Cornerstone student working diligently on the library skills worksheet

Perhaps one of the most complicated concepts we covered in our fall semester library instruction was how to identify a scholarly source.

It can get very tricky, but here are a few things to keep in mind when determining if the item you are looking at is or is not a scholarly source:

Non-Scholarly Sources (or popular sources):

  1. Include magazines and newspapers
  2. Covers are typically glossy and eye-catching
  3. Typically contain advertisements and pictures
  4. Geared toward a general audience
  5. Written by journalists and revised by editors
  6. Examples:  National Geographic, New York Times, Rolling Stone, Time
Scholarly Sources:

  1. Are published in academic journals or books from university presses
  2. Examples of research which prove new theories about academic disciplines(such as Science, Literature, Medicine and History)
  3. Includes graphs, charts and diagrams; very few illustrations or photos
  4. Geared towards scholars and experts in a particular subject
  5. Written by people with advanced degrees in that field
  6. Research is reviewed by scholars in that field, a.k.a. "Peer-reviewed"
  7. Includes a list of references or notes at the end

Check out the Cornerstone LibGuide Evaluating Sources page to find out more on how to differentiate between a popular source and a scholarly source as well as for citation help and information on copyright and plagiarism.

Another tricky topic that we covered in our library instruction was how to navigate to a specific database in GALILEO. 

Here is how it's done!

After navigating to the Library's homepage ( click on the GALILEO Discovery Service and you will see the screen below.

Then click on the "Databases A-Z" link (we highlighted it for you with the big arrow) that you see above and search for the database of your choice.

We have asked our Cornerstone students to navigate to a database called Academic Search Complete, which is a very comprehensive database that contains articles on a wide range of topics. In order to navigate to Academic Search Complete, simply click on "Databases A-Z" as we have shown above, and then either search for Academic Search Complete in the search box or click on the letter "A" which displays all databases that begin with that letter.

Here we clicked on the letter "A" to show us all of the databases that begin with that letter.

And that's all you have to do! Once you have successfully navigated to Academic Search Complete, remember to put quotation marks around phrases in order to search for the whole phrase. Also, make sure to put the word AND (all capitals) in between two different search terms. (i.e. "global engagement" AND sustainability)

Thanks for joining us! And as always, ask a librarian for any help with these or other research skills!

Here is the video we showed to our freshman during their first few weeks in Cornerstone! It has a lot of good information about what the library has to offer and how to access all of it, including our databases, our GALILEO Discovery Service, and LibGuides (especially the Cornerstone LibGuide). Check it out if you need a refresher on how to navigate through all of the resources we have to offer!

*This post was written by Lindsey Lowry

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Library Lecture Series: Dr. Charles Evans presents "The Civil War in LaGrange's Backyard"

On Tuesday, February 18th, LaGrange College professor emeritus of psychology, Dr. Charles Evans, gave a lecture on the Civil War entitled "The Civil War in LaGrange's Backyard."

Dr. Evans came prepared with hundreds of pictures and documents that he has gathered while studying the Civil War in Georgia. He showed a number of them on the projector as told how the Battle at Brown's Mill, (which took place near Newnan, GA) unfolded.

Between two sessions, we had almost 100 attendees, included Faculty, Staff, Community Members, and students! The Corn Auditorium was packed at both 11:15 and 7:30.

Dr. Evans (left) with Library Director, Loren Pinkerman

The sight of the Battle at Brown's mill is just about a 20 minute drive from LaGrange, and Dr. Evans spoke about the July 2013 Grand Opening of the historic civil war site on Millard Farmer Road in Newnan, GA.

According to the Brown's Mill Battlefield Association's web page, the newly renovated Battlefield site opened "almost 149 Years to the day that Union Soldiers under General Edward M. McCook, marching from Atlanta toward Macon, were defeated by General Joseph Wheeler's Confederate cavalry that had ridden south from Decatur."

You can now step back in time and visit the newly restored historic Civil War site. 
Read more about the Battlefield site at

*This post was written by Lindsey Lowry

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lee Walburn: Just My Type: 50 Years Preserved in Ink

On Friday, February 7th, LaGrange College alumnus and accomplished writer, Lee Walburn (class of '59), returned to our campus in order to promote his new book, Just My Type: 50 Years Preserved in Ink.

Lewis Library held a reception and book signing for faculty, staff, students, and the community to attend.

The line for the book-signing with Lee Walburn

Lee Walburn is not only a LaGrange College alumnus, but also the former editor-in-chief of Atlanta Magazine, a publication that won over 200 awards for excellence during Walburn's 15 year leadership. Currently, Walburn is a columnist for the daily newspaper in Rome, GA.

Terry Kay, LaGrange College alumnus, writer, and close friend of Lee Walburn, was in attendance on Friday, and he delighted the attendees by reading from the student publications he and Walburn composed as students more than 50 years ago. One poem he read was by Blanche Flanders ('59): "In Nova Fert." Flanders was also a collaborator on "Tears and Thunderstorms" the student publication, written by Walburn, Kay, and Flanders, that is still housed in LaGrange College's special collections!

Terry Kay reads his and Lee Walburn's writings from their college days!

Scanned images of Lee Walburn, Terry Kay, and Blanche Flander's student publication!

What's more, as a cancer survivor, Walburn decided that all proceeds from the sale of his new book would go directly to Cancer Navigators, a non-profit organization out of Rome, GA that helps cancer patients and their loved ones navigate the road to recovery.

Check out the LaGrange Daily News Article for more information on the event!

*This post was written by Lindsey Lowry with help from Charlene Baxter and Jacque Hornsby

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Celebration

   In 1964, a charter was given to the LaGrange chapter (Theta Nu Lambda) of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. As part of this fiftieth anniversary, Rev. Dr. Quincy Brown contacted the Lewis Library to house an exhibit celebrating this event as well as the life of Frank R. Lewis, one of the charter members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity founded at Cornell University in 1906 by seven African-American men known as the Seven Jewels.  Not only was Mr. Lewis the first African-American Director of Banks Library, he was the first African-American faculty member at LaGrange College as well.  The new Lewis Library named in memory of Frank and Laura Lewis, two outstanding librarians, was opened in 2009.
    The exhibit debuted on January 17th on the main floor of Lewis Library, and a reception was held for faculty, staff, students, and community members to view the completed exhibit for the first time. The assembling of the exhibit was assisted by Mr. Oliver Greene, one of two surviving charter members of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. His wealth of knowledge, as well as his willingness to share the organization’s memorabilia, was a valued contribution. His spouse, Annie Greene, herself an accomplished artist, compiled several scrapbooks beginning in 1964 documenting the history of Alpha Phi Alpha thus preserving the record of this outstanding organization which has contributed so many positive things to the LaGrange Community.  Mr. Alton West, Vice-President of Alpha Phi Alpha was also of great assistance and his hospitality was most gracious.

   From the fraternity’s origins to the founding of the Theta Nu Lambda chapter at LaGrange College, a number of remarkable and dedicated people have contributed their extraordinary talents and fulfilled the fraternity’s motto, “50 Years of Service Through Advocacy to the Community that We Served.” The activities of Alpha Phi Alpha have not only positively impacted the LaGrange Community but their members have continued to serve as role models. This joyous celebration is not only historic but a testament to the resilience of the African-American community. rt:  Mr. Oliver Greene, one of the charter members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; Loren Pinkerman, Director of Lewis Library; Alton West, Vice-President, Alpha Phi Alpha; Lisa Farrow, Circulation Manager, Lewis  Library; Pat Barrett, Suber Archivesl; Charlene Baxter, Librarian, Lewis Library.

Stop by the main floor of Lewis Library to see the the Alpha Phi Alpha exhibit on display until May!

*This post was authored by Pat Barrett, Suber Archives and Special Collections