Thursday, December 11, 2008


Ever wonder if it’s okay to use a photograph, article, etc. in your class, presentation, project, or web site? When copyright has you scared or puzzled, look to Creative Commons to find new works that are free for certain uses. The site is easy to search, and will often provide the materials you need or want without the associated fear of copyright violations. As is stated on the web site, Creative Commons uses “private rights to create public goods: creative works set free for certain uses. Like the free software and open-source movements, our ends are cooperative and community-minded, but our means are voluntary and libertarian. We work to offer creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their works while encouraging certain uses of them — to declare ‘some rights reserved’.” To explore the works that are waiting to be used freely, search Creative Commons licensed works at .

I found this photo of Lenin in mittens:

By: Johann C. Rocholl

This author used a CC license that asks users to attribute the work to him.

Thanks to Lori Northrup for this posting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Please visit the University Library to view the exhibit "Photographic Witness to Darfur," December 1-20, 2008. The exhibit was compiled by The Darfur Association and is sponsored by Project Africa Now atSamford University:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


"You can now support the Samford University Library when you shop online. The library receives a referral fee when you shop at selected online booksellers. To see the participating merchants, visit this page:

The library will benefit only if you click a store’s link on the webpage above.

Some sites are specialty booksellers. Others are household names that sell much more than books, including toys, games, electronics, movies, music, etc. The library benefits from every item purchased at the participating businesses.

Thank you in advance for supporting the library."

Thanks to Ed Cherry for providing this information.

Monday, November 17, 2008


EBSCOhost has acquired the resources "America: History & Life" and "Historical Abstracts."

"America: History & Life" and "Historical Abstracts" allow users to browse chronologies and brief summaries of significant events and themes in American history. On the main screen, users will find a list of major time periods and events. Each of these is further divided into subtopics that display informative essays and suggestions for further research. Linked subject terms are also provided, which allow users to search the entire "America: History and Life" database for articles, book and media reviews, and dissertations.

Historical Abstracts similarly guides users through subjects in World History since 1450 (excluding the United States and Canada) by allowing them to browse through chronologies and brief summaries of significant events and themes. On the main screen, users will find a list of major time periods and events, also further divided into subtopics that display informative essays and suggestions for further research. Linked subject terms are provided, allowing users to search the entire Historical Abstracts database for articles, book citations and dissertations.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


We are now subscribing to the Encyclopedia of Popular Music (accessible through the Oxford Music Online portal). “EPM gives you online access to the largest and most authoritative popular music reference work, comprised of the full text of The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 4th Edition.”

Oxford Music Online includes the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, the Oxford Dictionary of Music, the Oxford Companion to Music, and Grove Music Online. You can access this resource 24/7 with your SU email id and your password.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


We are delighted to welcome Emily Allee, who has joined the University Library as Circulation Assistant Night Supervisor.

Emily is originally from Attalla, Alabama. She holds a B.S. from The University of Alabama with a major in Applied Mathematics and minor in Physics. She is now working on the Master of Library and Information Studies degree at the University of Alabama. Welcome Emily!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Ellen Griffin Shade has joined the University Library night/weekend rotation as a part-time Reference Librarian. Ellen is currently head of the circulation department at the Birmingham Public Library's Avondale Regional Branch Library. Ellen has also staffed the reference desk at the Homewood Public Library. She has worked at UAB’s Lister Hill Library as Historical Collections Cataloger, where she also served on the UAB Faculty Senate and as an instructor for University 101, a university-wide course in interdisciplinary critical thinking. Ellen studied for special collections librarianship at Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. She earned the MLIS degree from the University of Alabama, and her B.A. and M.A. in history from UAB, focusing on British and Southern American history.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

LIVE @ the LIBRARY to feature Kate Campbell and Wayne Flynt

As part of this year’s Homecoming festivities, Samford University Library is proud to present singer/songwriter Kate Campbell and historian Wayne Flynt – both Samford University alumni – for “Live at the Library” on Saturday, October 25th at 9:30 a.m. in the main reading room of the library. Their collaborative performance combines literature and music with a decidedly Southern focus and is open to all ages.

Ms. Campbell is an acclaimed folk artist whose music has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Car Talk, and Mountain Stage. Copies of her latest album, Save the Day, will be available for purchase at the event.

Dr. Flynt is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated historian and author of eleven books. His most recent, Alabama in the Twentieth Century, was awarded the 2004 Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit Ms. Campbell’s web site at or contact Cheryl Cecil by email or phone:, (205) 726-2699.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Have you ever wished that you could simultaneously search all of the databases relevant to your topic? You can! Use Research Pro from the library's web site to search several resources at once. We don't recommend that you depend on this interface for in-depth research, but it's a useful place for experienced searchers to gain an overview of available resources.

From the library's homepage, click "Articles and More." A link to Research Pro is available at the top of the page: Using this tool may put you in touch with databases for your subject area that you haven't used before. Give it a try!

Thanks to Lori Northrup for the posting.


Having trouble connecting to the University's wireless network? You may need to change some settings on your laptop. Click here to access instructions from Technology Services.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Listen to today's NPR story titled "Grapes of Wrath and the Politics of Book Burning." It's available here:

Monday, September 29, 2008


The University Library Government Documents blog is available at It will be used to announce our "Documents of the Week," along with other important documents in the news.

Thanks to Carla Waddell, our Government Documents Librarian, for this posting.


Be sure to visit our latest lobby display, which highlights Banned Books Week, September 27-October 4, 2008.

When you hear the term "banned books," you probably think of contemporary books containing materials thought to be inappropriate by some members of the public. But books have been banned all over the world for many centuries and for many reasons. Books that have been banned include English translations of the Bible, The Diary of Anne Frank, Huckleberry Finn, and To Kill A Mockingbird. You might be surprised by some of the titles we have on display.

You can learn more about Banned Books Week by visiting these websites:

Amnesty International:
Forbidden Library:
The American Library Association:

Monday, August 25, 2008


Would you like a quick and easy way to learn about books our library has recently acquired?

Have a look at "Recent Acquisitions" available on the "Find Books" flyout on the homepage. The link is also accessible from the "Find Books" tab on subsequent pages. Or you can visit

Thanks to Ed Cherry for providing this wonderful service!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Encore is a new search tool that allows users to simultaneously search the Samford Libraries' catalog and other online resources available through the libraries. It functions like a search engine, allowing users to locate books, music, videos and DVDs, electronic books, and government documents with a single search.Encore provides users with the following helpful features:
  • relevancy ranking
  • easy to use facets to refine your search
  • recently added books on your topic
  • a tag cloud around your topic
Click here to access Encore and try it for yourself.

Encore is a new product, and is still in development. We will soon be adding database searching capability to the Encore search tool. When implementation is completed, a single Encore seach will cover the following resources:

  • The Samford Libraries' Catalog
  • Academic Search Premier*
  • Academic OneFile*
  • ABI/Inform Global (a subset of ABI/Inform Complete)*
  • JSTOR*
  • Google
  • Google Images
  • PubMed


Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a growing number of challenges to books in schools, libraries, and bookstores. Banned Books week is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores. It is also endorsed by the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress.

Since 1982, more than a thousand books have been challenged. These challenges have occurred in hundreds of communities in every state. The most frequently-cited reasons for challening a book are usually related to sexuality and violence. There are, however, a broad array of reasons for protesting the presence or use of a book, ranging from negative portrayals of certain groups to positive portrayals of others. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, for example, have been challenged for perceived offensive portrayals of African Americans, and for their use of slang. More recently, by contrast, a number of children's and young adult books have been challenged for their positive portrayal of homosexuality.

Challenged books range from items we now regard as "classics," such as James Joyce's Ulysses Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, to Alice Walker's The Color Purple and Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Click here to view detailed lists of frequently-challenged books.

Friday, August 1, 2008


We're inundated by new websites every day, and it can be difficult just to keep up much less take the time to evaluate them. Here is a site that provides a list organized into categories: teacher, librarian and student resources, consumer websites, and news/popular culture, among others:

Some of these sites may fit into assignments so well that you will want to add them to the library’s web site. We are happy to add resources to our subject pages, so feel free to let us know. You may view our current subject pages by visiting .


Thursday, July 31, 2008


Occasionally this blog will bring you a resource that we find useful and interesting. Here’s a resource for government documents and public interest materials that Lori Northrup, Coordinator of the Reference Department, found this week.

It's called DocuTicker ( DocuTicker offers a selection of resources, reports and publications from government agencies, NGOs, think tanks and other public interest organizations. The site includes an RSS feed, a newsletter, and a search feature.

The variety and number of government document websites make a particularly valuable resource for government document and current event research.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


The current theology journals, which used to reside on the second floor of the University Library, are now shelved on the first floor just behind the popular magazines and journals. You'll find them near the windows.

We hope that users will find this location, which is in the area of the bound journals, convenient for their journal-related research.


Chances are that if you have used a library database recently, you have used an EBSCO database. EBSCO provides many of our online resources. You may have noticed the EBSCO and EBSCOhost logos on the resources you use from the library’s web site. ATLA, CINAHL, ERIC, PsycINFO, America: History and Life – these and many more databases come from EBSCO.
In just a few days, EBSCO will implement its new EBSCOhost 2.0 interface. You will notice several new features:

· A basic search screen that is very simple
· An advanced search screen with easy limiting options
· Results lists that include citation and abstract previews and easy limiting features
· Easy ways to sort by subject, source type, author, or journal
· Image quick views – article images visible from the results list
· Visual Search – search for results graphically
· Find more like this – searches for resources similar to the record you are viewing

Preview new designs:
A Flash demonstration of the new interface is here. (
You can learn more about key features here. (

Monday, June 9, 2008


Kimmetha (Kim) Herndon has been named director of the university library and librarian at Samford University effective July 1. The announcement was made June 4 by Samford Provost J. Bradley Creed following a year-long national search.

Herndon comes from Shorter College, Rome, Ga., where she has been on the staff of Livingston Library since 1989. Most recently, she had been dean of libraries since 2001. At Samford, Herndon will oversee a collection that now exceeds 1 million volumes. "Samford is fortunate to have found someone who brings outstanding administrative and academic credentials to our ever-expanding library system," Creed said. "With our increased emphasis on undergraduate research and expanding academic programs, Kim Herndon is the ideal person to help lead our libraries."

Herndon received a bachelor of science in agricultural economics from the University of Georgia and a master of library science degree from the University of Alabama. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Library Association and the Southeastern Library Association.

Herndon replaces Jean Thomason, who retired in June 2007 after 11 years as Samford's library director. Suzanne Peterson has served as interim director and will return to her full-time role as associate librarian and collection management coordinator. "Samford's library staff, under the very capable leadership of Sue Peterson, has ensured that we have continued to progress," Creed added. "The university is very grateful for their dedicated service at all times, but especially during this year of transition."


Wednesday, May 14, 2008


EBSCO has acquired the databases "America: History and Life" and "Historical Abstracts" from ABC-CLIO. Users will find, therefore, that "America: History and Life" and "Historical Abstracts" are operating through the EBSCO interface. "America: History and Life" is the definitive index of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present, with indexing for 1,700 journals from 1964 to present. "Historical Abstracts" covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present and provides indexing of more than 1,700 academic historical journals in over 40 languages back to 1955. These databases are found on the library's web site at the History subject page: . You can search both databases simultaneously at .

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Homework Alabama is a statewide homework service that uses the Internet to connect students with expert tutors for live, one-on-one help with school assignments.

Homework Alabama's target audience is students in junior high through first-year college and university. For information about hours and access, please visit

Also, please remember the excellent variety of resources available for both students and non-students through the Alabama Virtual Library: Note that users will need to acquire an access card from their public library. Details about access to AVL is available here:

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Interested in census data? Visit the Government Documents department on the second floor of the University Library! We have recently acquired the Census Atlas of the United States: Census 2000 Special Reports, which enhances the data with colorful visual images. If you do not have time to come by the library, you can still view the book online:


This is an important item for everyone involved in using electronic versions of copyrighted materials for their courses. Articles in The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education discuss a lawsuit brought by publishers against Georgia State University. The lawsuit is directed at the university's creation and distribution of coursepacks.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Dr. Jared Diamond, author of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Guns, Germs, and Steel, will be the keynote speaker at the Alabama Environmental Education Consortium (ALEEC) Earth Day conference at Samford University Saturday, April 19.

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) professor will speak on lessons from the environmental collapse of societies. He wrote about this in his 2005 book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.

A prolific writer who speaks 12 languages, Diamond is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards for his books and scholarship. He has written on fields as diverse as molecular biology, linguistics, physiology, genetics, archeology and history.

The ALEEC conference-hosted by the Vulcan Materials Center for Environmental Stewardship and Education-is free and open to the public, beginning at 9 a.m. in Samford's Wright Center. Diamond will sign copies of his books at the close of the conference, as will two other authors also on the program.

Of special note: The library owns the DVD Guns Germs and Steel, a National Geographic production based on the book. It is on reserve at the University Library circulation desk.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


The Jefferson County Library Cooperative has launched a county-wide reading initiative called "Big Read" focusing on To Kill A Mockingbird. Project Mockingbird is encouraging the Jefferson County community to read, review, and discuss this classic book, whose themes continue to resonate almost 50 years after its publication.

There is a great variety of activities, including several Samford-based events, associated with Project Mockingbird. For a complete listing of programs, please stop by the reference department and pick up a copy of The Reader (the Public Librariese of Jefferson County magazine), or visit

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


The new library system is a reality. Please join us on Thursday March 13 at 2:00 p.m. in the University Library for an interactive open house to learn about the Millennium library system at Samford. This is a great opportunity for members of the university community to ask questions and enjoy some mid-afternoon treats.

If you have any questions, please call Naomi Gold at ext. 2770, or email

Friday, February 1, 2008


Many of you may have heard about the much-discussed and long-awaited launch of a new integrated library system. We anticipate that the system will be up and running on or about February 28, when we will finally say goodbye to our current, somewhat antiquated system. What will this mean for library users?

The first change you will notice is appearance. Some of the libraries’ web pages, in particular the pages for the catalog, will have an entirely different look. Those members of the Samford community who are users of Birmingham Public Library/Jefferson County Library Cooperative system will notice similarities between that system and our new system. Many libraries, in fact, utilize the software platform that we are acquiring, which is produced by Innovative Interfaces ( For a list of libraries using Innovative Interfaces, see,_Inc.html.

It may interest you to know that Virginia Tech., which developed our current and soon-to-be replaced system (VTLS, or Virginia Tech. Library System), migrated its libraries to the Innovative Interfaces system in 2005.

The other changes will center on a greatly enhanced and enriched search process. The new system has many capabilities that the current system does not. We are very excited about these enhancements to the searching process and the much-improved visual experience for users. We think you will be pleased.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


The third Monday in February has been named Presidents’ Day to honor the birthdays of all United States presidents. This year it falls on Feb. 18th. To mark this day, the Government Documents staff has assembled a display of documents related to various presidents of the United States. Included are Thomas Jefferson and the Education of a Citizen; Public Papers of the Presidents; the Impeachment Proceedings of former President Andrew Johnson, and the impeachment proceedings of former President William Clinton. We will also provide a list of links from American Memory pertaining to American presidents. While these items are on display, we ask that you do not remove them from the library.

When: February 18-February 22, 2008
Where: Government Documents, 2nd floor