Oxford English Dictionary

Last week we learned that the OED is a favorite resource of Helmke Librarian Ann Marshall. Here’s a little more about this fascinating resource!


 

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Why use a dictionary when you can just ask Google, Siri, or Alexa to define something for you? Dictionaries can codify current language use or bring fun and enlightenment to current events (see Merriam-Webster’s Twitter feed). The Oxford English Dictionary – the OED – goes even farther. Here are some reasons to check it out:

The OED includes definitions, etymology, and frequency statistics for each word, so you can trace the word’s use over time and geography.

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For every definition, the OED includes excerpts from historical texts that used the word in question. This shows you the earliest known use of each word. The Professor and the Madman : a Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary recounts the amazing story of how the first edition was developed in the 1800s. (It was done by hand, via snail mail, and involved some colorful characters!)

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3. Not only can you trace the history of a word over time, but the online OED includes interactive tools so you can create timelines, charts, and link to other words with similar meaning, etymology, or geographical use. Analyzing word usage over time is a newer way of analyzing historical texts, and it was one of the first types of analysis in the new research field called “digital humanities.”

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Check out the Oxford English Dictonary at Helmke Library or online with your IPFW credentials!

 

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Compendex

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!


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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 ipfw.edu 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.

 

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

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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.

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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.

Welcome to the New Helmke Highlights!

January 2017 marks the reopening of the library after a year-long renovation which has brought refreshed lighting, increased electrical capacity, wireless and sprinklers, energy-efficient heating and cooling, a fortified foundation and new finishings throughout the building.

What’s next? Our staff is hard at work on additional building improvements, such as a high-tech classroom for exploring information and technology. We’re also working on a slate of new events, featured collections, and growing partnerships with our Learning Commons collaborators.

You’ll be able to follow all of our updates right here at the new Helmke Highlights! Simply subscribe via email or RSS on this page, or bookmark our blog to check back for the latest news. Of course, we’re also available on social media, and you can chat with us any time from the Helmke Library homepage!