Gale Access Program

Image result for gale cengageWhile Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) has long been the standard database used for introductory research, Academic One File (Gale) is now just about as robust.  This is thanks to a negotiation with Gale to provide access to all of CUNY to all the databases they offer.  Access has been set-up to seamlessly search across most of the databases in Academic One File, but subject specific database access is also on the database A-Z list.  The list of databases, which are largely new to City Tech are listed below:

Biography And Genealogy Master Index
Book Review Index Online (Full Text)
Business Collection
Gale Biography In Context
Gale Business Insights: Global
Gale Science In Context
Gale US History In Context
Gale World History In Context
Gender Studies Collection
Global Issues In Context
GREENR (Global Reference On The Environment/Energy/And Natural Resources)
Health & Wellness Resource Center
InfoTrac Agriculture Collection
InfoTrac Business Economics & Theory Collection
InfoTrac Communications & Mass Media Collection
InfoTrac Criminal Justice Collection
InfoTrac Culinary Arts Collection
InfoTrac Diversity Studies Collection
InfoTrac Environmental Issues & Policy Collection
InfoTrac Fine Arts & Music Collection
InfoTrac Gardening/Landscape & Horticulture Collection
InfoTrac Information Science & Library Issues Collection
InfoTrac Nursing & Allied Health Collection
InfoTrac Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Collection
InfoTrac Pop Culture Collection
InfoTrac Psychology Collection
InfoTrac Religion & Philosophy Collection
InfoTrac Small Business Collection
InfoTrac Tourism/Hospitality & Leisure Collection
InfoTrac US History Collection
InfoTrac Vocations/Careers & Technical Education Collection
InfoTrac War & Terrorism Collection
InfoTrac World History Collection
Military And Intelligence Database
RDS Contemporary Womens Issues
RDS Tablebase
World Scholar: Latin America And The Caribbean Regional Portal Subscription


Boolean? — Update from instructional design intern

Today I had the opportunity to sit at the reference desk and field some questions from students. As with last week, it was great to interact with the students, and I’ll be having more opportunities in the future to do so.
The timeline for the search tutorial is progressing. Here is a sneak peek of one of the graphics I made. This is an infographic for boolean operators
Of course, this raised the question of terminology. When I’m learning a new skill, words like boolean would probably float past me without making an impact. So for now, we’re going to refer to them as search terms or search operators.
I’m sure this issue will come up repeatedly as we create more instructional materials. What are some other terms like this that can be rephrased for use in instructional materials?
Have a great weekend!

The Wall Street Journal Digital

The Office of Library Services has negotiated with Dow Jones to allow all members of the CUNY community to access the Wall Street Journal!  Everybody with a (or email domain should now be able to activate a digital subscription. Go to  to activate your “membership” and then go to  the Journal at
Faculty/Staff Membership Expiration
All faculty & staff retain WSJ membership for one year after activating. After that, they will have to re-activate their membership.
Student Membership Expiration
When a student activates their membership, they are required to input their graduation date & year. This is their membership expiration date. If they graduate later than expected and lose access, they can re-activate their membership.
Current subscribers can call 1-800-JOURNAL (1-800-568-7625) to switch from their paid subscription to the membership through their campus and they will be refunded the remaining balance of their subscription.
Please contact me with any questions!
Kimberly Abrams, MLS, MTS

Local Highlight: Museums of Brooklyn

Even if you live, work, or go to school in Brooklyn, it’s possible to miss one of the many museums that surround us in the borough. Let’s take a closer look at some local gems!
1.) Within just a few blocks of CityTech, you can immerse yourself in the city’s fascinating and subterranean history – at the New York Transit Museum!

The museum itself is housed in a decommissioned subway station, with an entrance at the corner of Schermerhorn Street and Boerum Place.
Currently on exhibition now is a show called “Underground Heroes: New York Transit in Comics” – just one of their many rotating exhibits throughout the year.
2.) Also within a 15 minute walk from CityTech is the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS).

This museum, event space, and exhibition hall is 155 years old – ! – making it an impressive storehouse of information about Brooklyn, its residents, and potentially its future.
3.) If we hop on the train and just travel a few stops into Clinton Hill, we’ll be at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA).  Founded in 1999, the museum is proud to celebrate its 20th year, with a mission to “incite dialogue on pressing social and political issues facing the African Diaspora.”
The exhibitions are currently set with plans to expand in 2019, and to cover ” topics relevant to the African diaspora and the greater community of people of color, from revolution to identity, gender, immigration, to expanding conversations around Afrofuturism, and more.”
Each of these museums is just a few minutes away from CityTech, and definitely worth a visit! There are other museums you can enter for free with your CityTech ID card – check out our guide to those, here.

Banned Books Week September 23-29

Image of Banned Books Week Banner
The City Tech Library is celebrating Banned Books Week, from September 23-29. This  annual event examines how books have been censored throughout history. Books have been removed from schools and libraries due to their controversial or unpopular ideas. In response, the American Libraries Association has celebrated Banned Books Week since the 1980s, highlighting the damage of censoring books. Books are still being challenged and censored to this day.
On display in the City Tech Library are several books that have been challenged or banned. We encourage the City Tech community to borrow these books. Here is a list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books, many which may surprise you of why they were banned in the first place.
For more information about Banned Books Week, visit the official Banned Books Week website.
This is an image entitled, Where do Challenges Come from. It depicts a pyramid of public challenges, reported challenges, and silent challenges.
An image depicting the statistics of the number of challenged books and reasons why.
An image that shows The Top Ten Challenged Books oo 2017.

Spotlight on an OER

This week, we’ll take a look at an OER created by CityTech Professor Jeremy Seto, which he developed as part of the Faculty Fellows Program.
Most participants in the program convert their course to OER (Open Educational Resources) through a process of finding equivalent, openly-licensed materials, and building a site on the OpenLab. Seto instead chose to create original course content, and actually write a lab manual himself! This is an impressive departure from the typical model, but also a great way to show the potential of OER.

Part of the appeal of using OER is the ability to customize the content. With a traditional textbook, you would not be able to re-write the text – it’s under copyright by a publisher. However, when you teach with OER, it may be possible (depending on the license), to actually replicate the entire item, and change it to fit the needs of your classroom.
For example, it’s noted on the Biology OER homepage that – “in the spirit of remixing and redistribution, the entire WordPress site can be downloaded.”
The course site provides detailed instructions on how to use software, and replicate a series of results, via a series of colorful images –

This is an excellent use of images as an illustrative tool, and in the context of OER, demonstrates how to integrate openly-licensed materials. Some of the images were created by Prof. Seto, whereas others were freely available for use on the open web.
Feel free to explore the Biology OER – it may serve as inspiration for your future work with open resources!

Remembering the Great War

Panel 1 as seen after being taken out of the box upon delivery before installation.

Please drop by the Ursula C. Schwerin Library, right here on campus, to view the new exhibit of World War 1 panels on loan from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. There are six panels in all, chronicling the events of 1914 to 1918. The display is on view now through October 11 and all are welcome, including members of the general public. The exhibit coincides with the centennial of the Great War.
The 100th anniversary is an opportune time to tell this important story in American and World History. The panels capture the experience of the era and engage the viewer with an array of facts on one of the major wars of the twentieth century.
The panels are supplemented by resources available in the library. These items recount the story of World War 1 from many perspectives and include graphic novels, poetry, non-fiction and compelling videos available in our Multimedia room for viewing. Shelf locations for additional items may be accessed by clicking  Find Books. Please ask one of our librarians to help you or feel free to contact us for  more information online using our twenty-four hour chat service at Ask A Librarian.

How to search effectively — Update from the Instructional Design Intern

This week I mostly spent time designing and crafting our search strategy tutorial, which is going to go on our library orientation page. I decided to use Twine, which is the platform used for our citation tutorial. This will allow me to break up the different concepts about developing a search strategy into small, easily digestible chunks. Yesterday I worked on the broad outline of the tutorial, and today I spent most of my time adding visual elements to the tutorial. One great thing about Twine is that you can use javascript, HTML, and CSS, so it’s a very flexible format and really fun to play with.
One thing you realize when making tutorials is that it’s really easy to get lost in the weeds. It’s difficult to strike a balance between not-too-complicated and substantial-enough-to-be-useful.
We also discussed a seemingly perennial difficulty: how do we get more feedback on what we’re doing? For example, while we are trying to better integrate our research guides with Blackboard or other course delivery platforms, will the integration benefit students and faculty? If it’s not used, then the answer is no. So how can we work together with faculty so that students are more aware of the resources the library can offer? One thing we are going to try to do this semester is to create ways to collect feedback more effectively.
Have a good weekend!

A Closer Look: The New York Public Library

One of the exciting parts about living in New York City is that we’re in a high-density area, full of museums, concerts, cultural institutions . . . and libraries!
The New York Public Library (NYPL) is the largest public library system in the United States, serving three out of the five NYC boroughs – Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. They have 88 local branches, so you’re never too far from a quiet study space, free access to Wi-fi, restrooms, computers, and more.
Once you add in the Brooklyn and Queens Public Library systems (58 and 62 branches, respectively), we get a whopping 208 public libraries across the city. That’s a lot of libraries!
Free Events & Workshops
You might think of books when you think of a library – and of course, they are a great place to access and check out books for free, with your public library card.
NYPL also offers free workshops on Job Training, programs for Parents & Caregivers, and support for English Language Learners. The library hosts thousands of events per year – including film screenings, live dance performances, and even theatrical productions.
8 (Totally Free!) Things You Can Do With Your NYPL Card
Finally, try the quick “8 (Totally Free!) Things You Can Do With Your Library Card” guide – it’ll show you how to check out an Ebook, stream movies & audio, access online newspapers, and find test-prep resources. And remember; a New York Public Library card is free to anyone who lives, works, or studies in New York State (not just New York City).

Banned Books and the “Neutral” Library

Next week is Banned Books Week, an annual awareness campaign that celebrates the “freedom to read.” Banned Books Week was founded in 1982 by Judith Krug, a librarian and former director of the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom. Krug was a staunch censorship critic, privacy rights advocate, and free speech activist–all issues that Banned Books Week seeks to highlight and promote.
For me, Banned Books Week also always raises some important questions about the relationship between censorship and neutrality in libraries and educational institutions. Librarians have long worked to challenge censorship, foster spaces that are inclusive to all, and “provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues”–these are three tenets of the Library Bill of Rights.
Some librarians use these principles to argue that libraries and librarians should be neutral. The issue of neutrality in libraries is (to put it mildly) a polemic topic. Neutrality proponents believe that libraries and librarians must strive for a neutral ideal in order to maintain the central ideological tenets of the profession and to ensure the “freedom to read.” Other librarians argue that neutrality is impossible since we all already exist within social and political systems that are inequitable and fraught. These librarians believe that to embrace neutrality is to ignore the oppressive conditions that social and political systems implicitly create and which institutions (including libraries and colleges) replicate. Librarians who reject the idea of neutrality also seek to uphold the central values of their profession.
On Friday morning the Washington Post ran an article that might be read as a microcosm of the library neutrality debate. The article describes the case of a Library in West Virginia that refuses to carry “Fear,” the recently published book by the journalist Bob Woodward that is critical of the Trump administration. When questioned about this omission from the collection, the Library Director only commented that, “we have other Trump books.” The article, which includes comments from the current director of the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom, concludes that the library is effectively censoring this book (and the political ideas it advances) by not making it available.
The subtext of the Washington Post article is the implied political stance of the Library Director.  As much as I disagree with the actions the Library Director has taken, I resent this subtext. I also resent that this subtext has more to do with my own political beliefs (and the way that they are subtly provoked by the article) than it does with the tone of the Post article itself.
This story, updated hours later to reflect a decision by the library board to acquire “Fear,” interestingly illustrates (both in the reaction it provokes and the content it contains) both the impossibility of neutrality and the importance of the continuing fight against censorship.
I wonder….
how might a more open discussion of the relationship between ideology and work practices happen in an environment that doesn’t pretend to be neutral but is nevertheless committed to library values that protect our “freedom to read”?
Want to celebrate your own freedom to read?
Check out the banned and challenged books on display near the entrance to the City Tech Library and learn more about the fight against censorship in libraries and beyond.