Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia–Great for the Basics

For background information and general biology of animals, try Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia, one of our many ebook reference sources.  Arranged in taxonomic order in 17 volumes, the encyclopedia provides information about distribution, reproduction, habitat, behavior, and much more.  And best of all, it’s online!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia–Great for the Basics

Hey, Mr. DJ, Put A Record On….

If you’ve ever wanted to delve into a particular piece of music, there’s nothing like a good guide to give you context and show you what to look for. We have any number of titles on individual works, such as Avatar of Modernity: The Rite of Spring Reconsidered (M1520.S9 A82 2013) and Who Should Sing Ol’ Man River? (ML410.K385 D44 2015), but it often helps to have a series dedicated to explaining music in a standard format.  One of the best is the Cambridge Music Handbook series; we have 44 of them covering such diverse works as Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons (ML410.V82 E84 1996), Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (ML410.G288 S27 1997), and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5; search in the catalog for Cambridge Music Handbooks and they should all come up. There’s even one for The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (ML421.B4 M66 1997), although that’s an exception to the generally classical works covered by the series.

Another good series is Unlocking the Masters by David Hurwitz; this listener-friendly series focuses on works by the same composer rather than being book-length treatments of individual pieces. Each book comes with a CD featuring works used as examples in the text. We have two of them: The Mahler Symphonies: An Owner’s Manual (ML410.M23 H86 2004) and Sibelius: The Orchestral Music: An Owner’s Manual (MT92.S63 H87 2007). There are another twelve or so titles in the series—including Shostakovich, Dvorak, Handel, and others—and I expect to get more of them in the future.

Finally, there’s an excellent book called Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa. Haruki Murakami, a well-known Japanese author (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and others), had lengthy and very insightful conversations with the famous conductor. While we don’t have a copy in the Consortium Library, Anchorage Public Libraries does. It’s very enjoyable and well worth reading.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hey, Mr. DJ, Put A Record On….

SLED for all Alaskans

SLED, Alaska’s Information Dividend, is a free resource available to all Alaska residents. Paid for by the University of Alaska and the Alaska State Library, SLED (Statewide Library Electronic Doorway) offers access to a plethora of databases and other sources covering many different topics.

Here’s just a sample:
Live Homework Help (tutors available to help students with a variety of subjects)
Learning Express (practice tests, career prep, and info for more than 4,000 schools)
Heritage Quest Online (genealogy resources)
Alaska’s Digital Archives (historical photos and more from AK museums and libraries)
Auto Repair, Hobbies & Crafts, Home Improvement, Small Engine Repair (DIY resources)

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Terra Non Firma

It was easier to believe in solid ground before it became common knowledge that the Earth is a sphere with tectonic plates rafting over molten rock; unlike the popular myth, not even turtles go all the way down.  It’s been nearly 4 months since the November 30th earthquake, yes, but also 55 years since the 1964 quake.  There are those who have become hypersensitive to every slight jolt and quiver, whose home pages have changed — perhaps permanently — from the innocuous Kitten War to the Alaska aftershocks website, now measuring the anxieties of their lives not in Prufrock’s coffee spoons, but in logarithmic fractions they never paid much attention to before.

And why not?  To my mind, this particular local zeitgeist was best captured by Louise Juhnke 54 years ago. The Anchorage Times was the recorder of daily Anchorage history from 1916 to the day its doors closed in 1992 (joined in the late 1940s by the Anchorage Daily News), and one editorial page feature was called Poet’s Corner (or, depending on the day’s typesetter, Poets’ Corner or just plain Poets Corner).  On March 27th, 1965, on the exact anniversary, her poem March Jitters was published; it applies just as much to the aftermath of 2018 as to that of 1964.  For decades, the only way to find that poem would have been by looking at frame after frame of microfilm, or by choosing the right Times clippings notebook from among thousands.  But as of last October — just in time for the November 30th earthquake, if anyone had known to look for it — March Jitters and the rest of the Anchorage Times became fully available online back to 1916 — amazing.  Those thousands of clippings notebooks were replaced by searchable full-page scans of the Times: a local historian’s dream for many decades.

It’s easy to repurpose popular songs as unintended earthquake anthems:  All Shook Up, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On, I Feel The Earth Move.  You can also find in the Times that John Hartford, composer of Gentle On My Mind, performed in Midtown at Grand Central Station on May 5th, 1984.  It was a little over 20 years after the ’64 quake when he sang California Earthquake: “Mother Nature’s got gas, her diet’s gone stale / …acid indigestion on the Richter Scale…”  To say the least.  (http://tinyurl.com/y26kqcsj)

Most people between 3 and 4 feet tall in pre-Star Trek 1964 were watching a science fiction puppet show called Fireball XL5 on that Good Friday (the Exxon Valdez spill also occurred on Good Friday and November 30th was also a Friday — what is it with Fridays and major disasters in Alaska?)  Here, we need to switch to the Anchorage Daily News database (which began in 1985) to find that Robert Gottstein hosted a Fireball XL5 party at the 4th Avenue Theater on the 40th anniversary of the ’64 quake in 2004: everyone concerned remembered Colonel Steve Zodiac and his crew.  You can find episodes (and the remarkably romantic theme song for its target age group) on Youtube.  (http://tinyurl.com/qfhjcqe offers a short sample.)

You’ll find plenty of Alaska earthquake books in the QE 535 call number area, but it was only in 2017 that the best popular book about the 1964 quake and how it changed the understanding of all earthquakes was published, The Great Quake by Henry Fountain. (ALASKA QE535.2.U6 F65 2017)  For photographs, a good place to look is Alaska’s Digital Archives (https://vilda.alaska.edu); I don’t see any for the November 30th earthquake yet, but it’s just a matter of time.

Yet for all of our own seismological woes, I still think from time to time of those poor people in Chile in 1960. (https://santiagotimes.cl/?p=69068)  Our 2018 earthquake lasted up to a couple of minutes, depending on where you were; think the first two verses of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven.  (http://tinyurl.com/o9x4u5x)  The 1964 earthquake lasted about four and a half minutes; think a little over half of Stairway To Heaven, up to the words about the May Queen.  But Chile?  Think Stairway To Heaven, and then play the first two verses over again. Ten minutes is a lot of rock and roll.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Need biographical sources?

The Consortium Library has a plethora of information on biographies of people, both living and dead. Some are famous, others not so famous, and quite a few are names no one even knows.

Many sources are available online in QuickSearch, such as the Encyclopedia of World Biography, an entire encyclopedia devoted to nothing but biographies.

A sample of more specialized sources online includes the Dictionary of Literary Biography; Dictionary of Political Biography; and American Men & Women of Science : A Biographical Directory of Today’s Leaders in Physical, Biological, and Related Sciences.

Don’t forget there are also lots of print sources on biographies in the Reference section featuring artists, writers, women, presidents, musicians, Ancient Greeks and Romans, mathematicians, and on and on.  Ask us to learn more!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What is a review of the literature?

Do you have an assignment where you need to conduct a literature review on a topic but are not sure what literature reviews are, or how to find them?

A literature review examines the significant works (books, scholarly articles, dissertations, and other works) on a particular issue, area of research, or theory and provides a critical evaluation or analysis of each work in relation to the problem or topic being investigated.

To learn more, see the Literature Review guide.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Get help with research!

If you want to know how to find sources in Quick Search, cite a source in APA style, or find an annotated bibliography, along with many other common questions, you can go to Get Help with Research on the Consortium Library homepage. Here you will find many quick and clear guides that can help you with your research, any time you need it and any place you happen to be. In addition, Ask-a-Librarian for help at the Research Desk in the Library, next to the pendulum. Or connect with us online via Chat, Text, Email, or Phone. Have a great semester!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment