Author Archives: Meneka Thiru

Holds & ILLs – What’s the Difference?

Have you ever wanted to get access to a book or article that isn’t available at the UAA/APU Consortium Library? You may have used a hold or inter-library loan (ILL) to have it sent to you! The two processes are a little different and dependent on circumstance – so what’s the difference and how do you know which to use?

What’s a hold?

A hold is a process of requesting an item that you can find in the catalog but that isn’t available at the Consortium. Many libraries in Alaska, both public and academic, are part of the Alaska Library Consortium (ALC). Libraries in the ALC agree to share many of their books, DVDs, and other resources with each other. When you search for an item in the catalog, you might notice that some of them are available at other libraries in the state – they might be at UAF, or in Kodiak, or Juneau! Most of these items are available to be put on hold. You can do this right in the catalog by clicking the “Place Hold” button on the right side of the screen.

If you aren’t logged in already, you’ll be asked to enter your UAA or APU username and password.

You’ll then be able to choose which library you’d like to pick up your item at. The default is the Consortium Library, but if it’s more convenient, you could pick up at your local public library branch.

When the item has arrived at your library of choice, you’ll get an email notification. You will have one week to pick up the item. When you’re finished, you can return the item to your public library branch or Consortium and it will make its way back to its home library.

Holds can also be used to get on the waitlist for items that are checked out. If you put a hold on an item that is checked out, you will be added to the waitlist and notified when the item is ready for you to pick up.

Have questions about placing holds? Contact us or stop by the Information and Research Help Desk and we’d be happy to help!

What’s an ILL?

An inter-library loan (ILL) is a way to request a book or article (or dvd or cd) that cannot be found in the catalog – i.e. something that none of the libraries in the ALC owns. If you don’t find the book in the catalog or there isn’t access to the full text of an article that you find in a database, you can use an ILL to request that the item be sent to Consortium from another library out of state.

Start by navigating to the ILL page from the UAA/APU Consortium Library website (the link is under “Services”) and log in to the ILL portal with your UAA/APU login.

Click on the link for a New Request on the right side of the screen and choose which type of item you’d like to request (article, book, etc.). You’ll be directed to a form where you should fill out as much information about the item as you can. You’ll be asked to put in a date after which you wouldn’t like the item – this could be the date the relevant assignment is due or the last date of the course.

After submitting your request, you’ll get updates about the status of your ILL sent to your UAA/APU email. ILLs for articles can be relatively quick because you may be sent a scan of the article rather than a physical copy. However, ILLs for physical items generally take longer than a hold to get to you – it can be anywhere from a couple of weeks to more than a month – so be sure to plan ahead!

Have more questions about ILLs? You can check out this guide to ILLs here.

Pick up professional skills with LinkedIn Learning

Your Wolf Card can get you a lot of places but it can sometimes be helpful to have an Anchorage Public Library card as well. One of our favorite resources available through APL is LinkedIn Learning. LinkedIn Learning gives you access to online courses on a wide variety of professional skills – everything from learning Excel, Adobe Suite, or web design to project management and leadership. No matter what career field you are hoping to enter, you’re sure to find a course that will help you build skills and be a competitive candidate.

Courses on LinkedIn Learning are divided into three broad themes: business, technology, and creative. In all three themes, there are courses that appeal to beginning, intermediate, and advanced learners. In addition to individual courses, there are also Learning Paths available, which are sequences of courses to help you gain mastery in a particular subject. LinkedIn Learning also offers some professional certificates that include assessments and give you credentials that you can share with employers.

One feature that makes LinkedIn Learning courses particularly helpful is that many of the more technical courses include files that help you put into practice the concepts from each unit. For example, Excel courses come with Excel files pre-filled with data so that you can practice using different functions.

APL has access to a number of databases and services that are available to all Anchorage residents – and getting an APL card is free and easy. Find more information about how to sign up for a library card here and browse the available databases and online resources (including LinkedIn Learning) here.

Happy Pi Day!

It’s Pi Day! Pi Day is celebrated every year on March 14 on the days that correspond with the first three digits of Pi (3-14). In some places, the day is celebrated with Pi recitation contests and in others by eating all manner of pie. In 2019, UNESCO named Pi Day the International Day of Mathematics. We’ve highlighted some of the math resources we have available through the Library as well as a couple of bonus books to help you bake a pie in honor of this very special day.

Available through the UAA/APU Consortium Library:

  • arXiv (from Cornell University)
    E-print archive of mathematics, statistics, computer science, and other related topics.
  • Wolfram MathWorld
    Free access to the web’s most extensive mathematics resource from Wolfram Research, makers of Mathematica.
  • Compendex
    A comprehensive database covering all fields of engineering and related subjects such as math, statistics, and computer science back to 1884.
  • Find more resources here!

Available for anyone to use for free:

  • Khan Academy
    What started as a tutoring website for mathematics (from Pre-K to Calculus) has now expanded to include resources on a variety of topics ranging from science to history to economics. It also includes test prep resources for the LSAT, Praxis Core, and MCAT.

*BONUS* Books about pie:

Learn more about Black History with these resources

This month (and every month) you can dive deeper into Black History using these resources.

HistoryMakers is a collection of oral interviews with Black Americans from around the country. It features the stories of over 2,000 individuals! You can search through the collection by topic, the state they lived in, or browse the History Makers by name. This database is available through the Statewide Library Electronic Doorway (SLED).

We love looking through the Library of Congress collection of photographs. There are some really incredible images there! There are also primary documents that you can explore. While items can be searched, they’re also often grouped in thematic categories. You can explore the African American History section here.

If you want to explore contemporary stories of Black Alaskans, Black in Alaska is a wonderful photo and interview project featuring individuals from around the state.

Also locally focused, the book Black Lives in Alaska by UAA Professor Dr. Ian Hartman explores the historical legacy of Black Alaskans which spans before statehood. This is the second of Dr. Hartman’s book. You can find it here at the Consortium Library or at your local public library branch.

A couple of other highlights in our collection include Black Art: A Cultural History, which explores the artistic achievements of the African diaspora throughout history and it has been updated to include the first two decades of the twenty-first century; and America on Fire: the untold history of police violence and Black rebellion since the 1960s, which examines the history of policing and protest from the civil rights era to today.

These resources just scratch the surface! We hope you continue to explore Black history all year round and reach out to us if you need any help finding particular resources!

Check out these databases before they expire!

From time to time, the Statewide Library Electronic Doorway (SLED) does trials of new databases, giving you access to fantastic resources and information. Some of these trials are expiring on June 30th – be sure to check them out before they’re gone!

Access all databases through the SLED website, here:

Here’s a list of the trials expiring at the end of June:

  • Access Video on Demand
  • African-American History
  • American History
  • American Indian History
  • Ancient & Medieval History
  • Bloom’s Literature
  • Issues & Controversies
  • Mailbox School & District Edition
  • Mid/High School eBook Subscription Collection
  • Modern World History
  • Polling the Nations
  • Science Online
  • Source Reference
  • Today’s Science
  • World Almanac
  • World Almanac for Kids
  • World Almanac for Kids Elementary
  • World News Digest
  • Writer’s Reference Center

These trials will expire at the end of August:

  • Audio Book Cloud
  • Romance Book Cloud
  • Teen Book Cloud
  • Tumble Math