Curious about Open Textbooks?

Open textbooks, also referred to as open educational resources (OERs), are inexpensive or free textbooks that are published in an effort to reduce costs for students and to improve access to higher education. Many organizations across the U.S. are supporting and backing OERs, one of which is Rice University.  The Rice initiative named OpenStax is made possible through the support of philanthropic foundations.  

The Wayne College Library Information Desk has 4 OpenStax textbooks on reserve that can be checked out for 7 days. This is a great opportunity for faculty who would like to review and evaluate a print edition of an open textbook.  Others who are interested, or, simply curious to see what an open textbook looks like, are welcome to stop by the library and check one out as well. Below are the books the library has on reserve. 

Additional information about OER appeared in our March 1st 2018 blogpost below. 

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OhioLINK introduces Encore

OhioLINK is now offering a second, more modern search interface option for the OhioLINK Central Catalog. The new search interface called Encore is considered intuitive and user-friendly. It was specifically designed with patrons in mind. The images below are sample screenshots showing what UA library patrons will see when expanding their searches to OhioLINK.

This example shows a keyword search that has been expanded to the OhioLINK catalog. The option to select Encore appears in the upper right.

 

This example shows the Encore interface. Search terms must be re-entered into the search box. The option to return to the classic catalog is available at the top right.

 

 

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Crafts, Hobbies, Home Improvement & Car Repair – There’s a database for that!

Research databases aren’t strictly for assignment-based inquiry. They can also be used to explore personal interests and to learn the latest information on leisure activities and pastimes. Below are 3 databases that fall into this category. Take some time to check them out over winter break when free time is more abundant.

• Chilton is the long-time leading authority on car-care. The database includes step-by-step service and repair procedures, wiring diagrams, maintenance and specification tables, troubleshooting guides, and diagnostic trouble codes.

• EBSCO Hobbies & Crafts offers detailed how-to instructions and creative ideas to meet the interests of virtually every hobby enthusiast. Full text is provided from leading hobby and craft magazines such as Cake Craft and Decoration, Sew News, Just Cards, Woodworker’s Journal, Quilting Arts Magazine just to name a few! This database contains videos as well!

Home Improvement Reference Center provides the latest in home improvement and repair projects of all types. Indexed publications of note are: This Old House, Log Home  Living, House Beautiful, Greenbuilder Magazine and Fabulous Floors.

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Digital Resource Helps Elementary Education Majors Find Age-appropriate Materials

  Education majors frequently have assignments requiring age-appropriate resources. Now, elementary education majors can access the kid-friendly digital resource, Kids InfoBits, offered by the University of Akron Libraries and OhioLINK. Kids InfoBits provides authoritative, age-appropriate and curriculum-related content. A broad range of subjects are covered (animals, arts, geography, health, literature, people, social studies and technology) in a variety of formats (books, magazines, videos and images.)  Education majors aren’t the only ones who are going to love this resource; kids will love it too!

 

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The Safari Books Database Gets a New Look

Enthusiasts of technology have long known the value of the database Safari Books Online.  When looking for e-books in computer science, engineering, IT, and related fields, this is the place to go.  Recently, an improved platform called the Safari Learning Platform by O’Reilly was introduced. Below are some of the new features:

  • unlimited simultaneous users;
  • more content including 5,000 videos;
  • mobile app.

End users will be asked to provide their institutional (.edu) email address upon accessing the new Safari platform.  The platform will then allow the viewing of content, with the option to set up an account.  Creating an account is not required, but permits the use of certain features such as the app.

Follow this link to the UA Libraries’ database listing for the new and improved Safari Books Online OReilly platform.

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JFK Assassination Collection

 Patrons of The University of Akron Libraries can now access The JFK Assassination Collection via the database HeinOnline.  The collection was mandated by the United States Congress in 1992. The law directed the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to curate the collection of books, hearings, other related works, and scholarly articles on this topic.  Furthermore, the Act required that each assassination record be made public no later than 25 years after the date of enactment, unless the President of the United States has reason to withhold the documents.

In October of 2017, President Donald Trump directed the National Archives to release materials that were previously withheld. These consisted of nearly 50,000 documents, including more than 19,000 additional documents with the latest release in April 2018. The newly available information contained FBI, CIA, and other agency documents. Some documents will remain classified until 2021.

 

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More Online Resources Available to Ohio Library Users including UA Library Patrons

More online resources, funded in part by an LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant, are now available to Ohio library users including UA library patrons. These resources are:

Oxford Research Encyclopedias (from Oxford)
This product is a new offering from Oxford University Press and is written for today’s researcher. It is designed to be an authoritative resource of reference content in a wide array of academic fields, including the humanities, social sciences, and science.

Very Short Introductions (from Oxford)
Very Short Introductions offer concise introductions to a diverse range of subject areas. It offers a bridge between reference content and higher academic work. All titles provide intelligent and serious introductions to a huge range of subjects, written by experts in the field who combine facts, analysis, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make challenging topics highly readable.

Transparent Language Online (from Recorded Books)
This is a web-based language-learning database. There are over 100 languages currently offered including French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. There’s also an ESL component that provides English language learning to speakers of over 25 different languages.

Chilton Library (from Gale)
Quick online access to repair, maintenance and service information on popular cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. This product contains more than 50 years of information provided in step-by-step procedures. Work on the engine, chassis, electrical, drive train, suspension, and more is made easier for mechanics of any experience.

Kids InfoBits (from Gale)
This is an easy-to-use digital resource featuring age-appropriate, reliable, curriculum-related content covering a broad range of educational topics.

Follow the hyperlinked titles to access these resources in the UA Libraries Catalog.

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E-books for Summer Reading

Not on campus this summer to visit the library? No problem. E-books are a great option for UA library patrons because they are conveniently accessible from any location and very easy to use.  To locate e-books in the UA Libraries Catalog, follow the simple, step-by-step instructions in our Digital Resources Guide.

 

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Two New Legal Research Databases from HEINONLINE

Gun Regulation and Legislation in America is a new database accessible via HEINONLINE. The collection brings together more than 500 titles dealing with this hot topic. Included are periodicals, federal legislative histories, relevant congressional hearings, Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports, Supreme Court briefs, and more.

Prestatehood Legal Materials has also been added to HEINONLINE and is included in the The U.S. State Package which streamlines legal research at the state level. Content includes more than 30 million pages related to all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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New Research Database-The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection

The University of Akron Libraries and OhioLINK now offer access to the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection (series 1-5) – the premier library documenting the life of America’s people from the Colonial Era through the Civil War and Reconstruction. This important and exciting news for UA researchers means that there is yet another resource covering historic, primary sources from 1691 thru 1877. Some of the many searchable subjects include health, advertising, women’s issues, science, the history of slavery, industry, religious issues, culture, and much more. The digitized collection is made available by the EBSCO company.

A trial search in the database on “school libraries” yielded a fascinating article from 1832 stating that $100.00 had been appropriated to support a common school library organized and stocked by students in Lynn, Mass. The article in Family Lyceum also mentioned that efforts were underway to organize additional school libraries and that the suggested minimum number of books was 25.

Whatever your interest, enter your topic in the search box and be prepared to take an eye-opening step back in time!

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