Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Welcome to the AUR Library for the 2009 Fall Semester!

The AUR Library wants to welcome everyone for the 2009 Fall Semester. To the returning students and faculty, this message will summarize the changes in the Library tools from the Spring. Much of this has been mentioned in previous blog posts but are repeated here. To everyone who is new, please read about these changes and at the bottom of this post are a number of links that should answer at least some of your questions.

The first change is designed to make the library catalog easier to navigate. Many people (including me!) found the main page rather confusing with too many links, so while we have not reduced the number of links, we have changed over to a drop-down menu. This menu has initial selections of "News & Contacts, General Information, Browsing, Research Help, Reserve Readings, Other sites." Moving the mouse over these selections provides links into different parts of the library's tools, e.g. the blog, the wiki, instant messaging, browsing the collection, latest news from around the world, and so on. Please feel free to explore all of these areas. Please note that the Reserve Readings by Professor and Course Number are still under construction.

We have also changed the page for the General News Feeds so that they are more inclusive and easier to use. For this purpose, we have added many newspapers from around the world, plus a number of the most important general news aggregators and blog sites. Read the opening page for more information.

Working in a similar fashion are the Academic Blogs, which now are complete, based on the academic blogs selected by the Academic Blog Portal. The AUR page gives quick access to the newest entries in each field (the previous seven days). You can switch to each academic field by using the selection at the bottom Other Academic Blogs. See the opening page for more information. Please be aware that the keyword search currently does not search as many blogs as the general Academic Blog page, but this will be updated.

To see the latest websites selected by U.K. and U.S. librarians, you have always been able to click on Latest Websites under "Browsing" in the drop-down menu This is still available, but has been updated to work with the new Intute, and now works more like the News Feeds and Academic Blog Portal mentioned above.

A final change using this same method is the page for the Latest news in Business. This is more in the area of an experiment. See: I have done this based on the usefulness of my own Library Page, which allows me to keep up with the latest developments in the field very easily and that I have found very useful See the opening page for more information. If you would like to do something similar with any other field, please let us know.

The Extend Search function now includes a Videos option, which allows people to search for videos on selected sites There are a huge number of videos available over the web, but of course not everything. Still, it is definitely s worth a try to find them. Especially, look at SurfTheChannel. For more information on the Extend Search function, see the related 2-Minute Tutorial at:

The University of Pittsburgh Press has made approximately 500 of their books available for free on the web. The AUR Library has cataloged them all and they are available through the search found on the blog entry at

Several 2-Minute Tutorials have been updated and/or created. The latest one created is a library orientation tour and can be viewed at For a list of all of the 2-Minute Tutorials with the new and updated ones marked, see If you have any ideas for a new one, please let us know.

The current Featured Resource available on the main page of the catalog is the book, The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson (professor at Harvard University), a link to a public lecture he delivered further extending the argument he makes in his book, plus a link into a related 4-part PBS documentary. Except for the book (available in the library), all are available for free over the web. For those who missed it, the previous Featured Resource was about the famous journalist, I.F. Stone, a video tribute to him, plus links into some of his journalism, much of it freely available. You can see this resource and all previous Featured Resources in the Archives at:

Of course, we welcome all comments and suggestions. If you have link or sites you would like to see added somewhere, please let us know!

James Weinheimer
Director of Library and Information Services
The American University of Rome

Additional Links:
The AUR Library Catalog
The AUR Library Blog

The AUR Library Information Wiki

See the new:


Electronic Resources

These can all be clicked through the Library Blog, or through the Browsing --> Latest Additions option in the Library Catalog)

See our AUR Library Virtual Exhibitions of Scholarly Resources on the Web.

The current one is on Illustration.

The Featured Resources on the main page of the catalog

Archive of Featured Resources


The Information Literacy Workshop

The Citations/Plagiarism/Copyright Workshop:

The Facebook Page

There’s lots more, too! Everything can be accessed through the main page of the catalog.

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