This week we learned that Compendex is a favorite resource of Helmke Librarian Sarah Wagner. We asked her to tell us more about it. Here’s what she had to say!


A glimpse of the search options in Compendex

I’m going to try not to get too nerdy in describing Compendex, which is basically a database which indexes science and engineering publications. It recently received a refresh of its interface, so it’s well-worth checking out even if you’ve used it before. Here are four reasons you might want to take a closer look at Compendex:

    1. IEEE & ACM Content: IEEE and ACM are two of the largest publishers in the engineering and technology fields. Compendex includes content from both, allowing you to do one search in Compendex, rather than going to each publisher’s individual platform.
    2. Citation Counts: Compendex integrates citation count data from Scopus, so you can view how many times an article has been cited, a feature not available in many other platforms. You can also link directly into Scopus to view more information about the citations.
    3. Searching Facets: Compendex provides several facets for refining a search, which can allow for very precise searches. For example, if you need journal articles on the topic of self-driving cars published in Czech since 1980, Compendex is the database for you.
    4. Alerts: If you go through the steps of creating an account in Compendex (you’ll want it linked to your email address so it knows who you’re affiliated with), you can also set up email alerts. An alert allows you to do a search once, and then will notify you when new material related to that search is published. If you are working on a long-term project, this feature can save you a lot of time.



Meet Sarah Wagner

This is the first part in a new series that will help you get to know your Helmke librarians. Do you have a question for us? Visit our Ask-A-Librarian page and be in touch! 

Sarah Wagner is Helmke Library’s Engineering librarian.

What departments do you work with on campus?

Civil & Mechanical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer, Electrical, & Information Technology, Manufacturing & Construction Engineering Technology, and Computer Science

What are your other major duties?

Scholarly Communications & Library Social Media Manager

What are your favorite things about Fort Wayne?

DeBrand’s Chocolates! And the River Greenway (to balance out the chocolates).

What do you love about being a librarian?

I love working one-on-one with students.  In my senior year of college, I realized I was having the most fun helping a friend who was struggling with a research project.  Over many late nights and lots of caffeinated beverages, I grew to love research and helping others better define and find what’s they’re looking for – which is one of many things a librarian does. It’s still my favorite part of my job!

What are some of your research interests?

I’m really interested in understanding how students do research for their assignments and how they experience using library resources such as databases and the website. I’m very interested in finding ways to make the library’s instruction program and resources better suited to student needs and more user friendly. I’m also fascinated by a number of scholarly communications issues, such as open access publishing and predatory journals.

What are some of your favorite books?

So many! Two of my all-time favorites are The Shadow of the Wind and The Night Circus. And, of course, Harry Potter.

Is there any resource that you particularly love? Why?

My all-time favorite database is definitely Opposing Viewpoints – I love how it highlights the different perspectives on controversial issues.  I wish I had had access to this database when I was in high school and college, it would have saved me a lot of time!  Any time a student comes to me and explains that they need sources arguing from different sides of an issue, this is my go-to database.  In addition, when I’m working with engineering and technology students, I like to use Compendex, which offers one of the broadest searches on science and engineering literature available.

Do you have any hobbies or fun travel stories you’d like to share?

In addition to reading too much, I enjoy cooking, drinking tea, and hiking.

Almost eight years ago now, I traveled with my family to Shanghai, China for my oldest brother’s wedding.  My brother and sister-in-law had a traditional Chinese wedding, which included my brother riding a pony!  (I’ve got pictures to prove this!)  Overall, the trip was really fascinating on many levels and I’d love to go back.

Learn more about Sarah and her favorite resources on our Facebook  page this week!

Staff News

It’s been a busy summer so far at Helmke Library! Here are a few items we’d like to share about our outstanding faculty and staff:

Deb Haley Reaches 38 Years of Service

Deb Haley, Service Desk Assistant Manager, celebrated 38 years at Helmke Library this June. Thousands of IPFW students, faculty members, and staff have benefited from her capable, knowledgeable assistance. Congratulations, Deb!

Helmke Library Welcomes Nathan Rupp

Nathan Rupp is the new Director of Technical Services and Information Technology at Helmke Library. Most recently the Head of Collection Development and Management at Yale’s Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Nathan brings more than twenty years of technical services experience to this position. In addition to providing administrative leadership to our technical services and IT staff, Nathan will also play a significant role in managing the transition of Helmke Library’s databases from IU to Purdue. Nathan began his appointment on July 17.

Head of Public Services to Retire

Susan Anderson, Helmke Library’s Head of Public Services, will retire from IPFW on August 4th. In her leadership of Helmke’s Information Services and Instruction team, Susan has overseen significant expansion of open access, outreach, web services, and curriculum development efforts. She has been a tireless champion of the library’s role in fostering student success, and a driving force behind the growth of IPFW’s annual Student Research and Creative Endeavor Poster Symposium. We appreciate Susan’s excellent service to the IPFW community, and we wish her all the best.

Librarians Present at LOEX

Librarians Sarah Wagner and Ann Marshall collaborated with IPFW Writing Center coordinator Kristine Frye to present at the 45th Annual LOEX (Library Orientation Exchange) 2017 National Conference in Lexington Kentucky in May. Their interactive session was called “Listening and Learning from Students: Interviewing Students about the Intersections of Research, Writing and Technology.” Congratulations!

Sarah Wagner Presents at ASEE Annual Conference

The 2017 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference featured Sarah Wagner as a Lightning Round speaker on June 26. Sarah shared recommendations and lessons learned based on her work with undergraduate engineering students. Congratulations!

Purdue Transition Information

As many of you are already aware, due to the pending realignment, the Helmke Library will be transitioning from the Indiana University library system to the Purdue University library system. I wanted to take this time to share updated information and assure you that we are making every effort to maintain access to both Purdue and Indiana library resources.

At some point in the near future, our borrowed materials from Indiana University will move from intercampus to interlibrary loans as we will no longer be on the IUCAT system; however, we will still have access to IU resources, as they will have access to ours, via Interlibrary Loans.

The new online catalog will be ready to go by late spring 2018. We strongly encourage faculty to start familiarizing themselves with Purdue’s library catalog and also suggest faculty learn to use WorldCat as a comprehensive catalog. There are titles that Purdue West Lafayette won’t have that we will need to purchase and WorldCat can help us find those titles. We will host tutorials and workshops during the coming fall semester to assist in educating people on both the new catalog system and WorldCat.

For the future, e-resources – including journal databases – are currently being negotiated. We are working to ensure there is very little, if any, disruption to access and at the conclusion of these negotiations, we will have the same access as the main campus in West Lafayette. When the catalog goes live in January 2018, our faculty will be able to borrow any Purdue University book with the same rights and privileges as the faculty members on the main campus, allowing you to order directly and have the materials shipped to our campus library.

Key points to remember during the transition:

  • There will be no loss of access to resources.  Both Purdue and Indiana have been working with our campus to help find the best ways to accommodate our needs.
  • We are pro-actively buying books and ordering the titles our faculty currently have on loan from Indiana University for the Purdue Fort Wayne library. When they arrive, our faculty will be notified and we can exchange the Indiana University books for the Purdue Fort Wayne books.
  • Books that are being requested via interlibrary loan will be considered a high priority for purchase.

I thank you all for your patience during this time and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the library staff. We are here to serve as a resource to you and are more than willing to answer any questions you may have.

Alexis Macklin
Dean, Ph.D., Helmke Library

Heard on Campus!

Helmke Library’s Digital Initiatives Team is proud to announce our newest mDon collection: Heard on Campus.

Heard on Campus features newsletters and publications from Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne departments and programs over the years, including the very early days of IPFW.

As we look ahead to our 2017 Commencement ceremony, enjoy these Heard on Campus documents that celebrate IPFW graduates from years past!

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Browse the collection to view all of the historical titles available in this collection. Each digitized item is from the IPFW University Archives, but the collection may not contain every issue of each publication.

Many thanks to Jill Dunkel and everyone on our Digital Initiatives team for making this physical collection a digital reality!

Additional content may be added to Heard on Campus in the future. What documents would you like to see?

Highlighting Research and Creativity at IPFW: 2016 Opus Report


Opus, IPFW’s institutional repository, provides students and scholars to share their work with the world in an open access environment. In 2016, Opus continued to grow in both content and global reach. Here are a few highlights from our 2016 Statistical Report:

Opus can also help faculty track the impact of their scholarly and creative work – please contact Scholarly Communications at the IPFW Helmke Library ( for more details.

Sex-Ed Ain’t What It Used to Be

IPFW’s Center for Healthy Living is having a Health Fair this Wednesday, so the library is taking some time to share excellent resources about health – specifically, Sex Ed.

On our Facebook page, we’ll be featuring websites, research institutes, local services, and more all week long. Interested? Here’s a sneak preview of two resources that might make you think twice about what Sex-Ed looked like in the past – and what new education is needed in our always-online, never-private world.

From Newsweek’s A Brief History of Sex Ed in America:

“To prevent the immense evils of self-pollution, therefore, in our boys and students … They should always subsist on a plain, simple, unstimulating, vegetable, and water diet; and care should be taken that they do not eat too fast, and are not excessive, in quantity. They should never be kept too long a time in a sitting, confined, or inactive posture. They should never sleep on feathers.”
—Sylvester Graham, Lectures on Chastity (1834)

America’s recent experience with abstinence-only sex education is merely the latest chapter in our long, sometimes ridiculous (to modern eyes, anyway) history of efforts to control humankind’s most basic drive.

From Amy Adele Hasinoff’s TED talk, “How to Practice Safe Sexting.”

Sexting is certainly risky, like anything that’s fun, but as long as you’re not sending an image to someone who doesn’t want to receive it, there’s no harm. What I do think is a serious problem is when people share private images of others without their permission. And instead of worrying about sexting, what I think we need to do is think a lot more about digital privacy.

Follow us on Facebook this week for more!


The Vinyl Collection: Rachmaninoff to Rock ‘n Roll


Listening to recorded music these days is as easy as powering up your mobile device, popping in some earbuds, and choosing your favorite audio stream. Before that, shiny compact discs were employed to hear one’s favorite music. The sounds delivered by these digital recording mediums are crisp and clear, but nothing matches the sound of analog.

If you want to have a new listening experience, try something old: vinyl records. You know; phonograph discs, LPs, plastic platters, those 12” analog storage devices of old. Visit Helmke Library’s Vinyl Collection on the fourth floor and experience sound recordings in a totally new way. With around 6,000 Long Play (LP) records, and 950 box sets, our collection has something for everyone.


Although the collection is not in IUCAT, our online catalog, they are grouped in broad categories for browsing. Mostly classical; also jazz, rock, musicals, Christmas, and unusual items like Mickey Mouse does Disco! You can even borrow our LPs – just bring the ones you want down to the first floor desk . Check out our vinyl records and experience your favorite music in a new way.

March Feature: Women’s History Month

womenshistoryMarch is Women’s History Month, and to celebrate the library has put together a small collection of works related to women’s history, feminism, and women’s studies.  The display is located on the first floor of the library and includes a variety of subjects from literature to medical sciences. Take a look and check some out!

Women’s History Month can trace its beginnings all the way back to the first International Women’s Day in 1911 and since has grown into an a celebration of the often overlooked history of women and girls in the United States and the World.  In addition to our library display, we recommend this photo collection from the Library of Congress:

Digital Initiatives Welcomes New Team Members

Helmke Library’s Digital Initiatives staff are pleased to have two great students as part of the DI team!

Hannah Bentz is a freshman Accounting major from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Hannah has been with Digital Initiatives since the fall of 2016.

David Rhoades is a freshman Biology major from Columbia City, Indiana.  David has also been with Digital Initiatives since the fall of 2016.

David and Hannah worked with Digital Initiatives in the Dolnick Center during the library renovation, and they have been a big help in our unit’s transition back to the library.  They assist with digitizing and preserving materials for the library’s mDON collections and digital university archive.