Did You Know?

Library facts, library policies & answers to frequently asked questions.

Emily Couvillon joins the Doherty Library staff

The newest member of the Doherty Library staff is Emily Couvillon, Public Services Librarian. Her responsibilities include helping students with their research and library questions and teaching library instruction classes.

Emily was born and raised in Marksville, Louisiana, and she received her BA in English from Tulane University in New Orleans. She recently moved to Houston after obtaining her MSIS from the University of Texas at Austin. She is passionate about connecting people with information, and she is excited to have the opportunity to assist the students and faculty of UST with their academic pursuits.

In her spare time, Emily enjoys distance running and is eager to try some of the trails in Houston’s parks. After living in cities with an abundance of live music like New Orleans and Austin, Emily is happy to be in yet another city with a thriving music scene. She is highly anticipating the upcoming season of the Houston Grand Opera.

Emily is looking forward being a part of the UST community. Please feel free to stop by the reference desk with any questions you may have!

Getting Organized and Creative in The Cloud

by Joe Goetz

As a librarian, and more generally as an overwhelmed, forgetful person, I have a fascination with personal organization systems. It just seems like what I want or need to remember has practically nothing to do with what I actually do remember, with all kinds of chaotic results. I also like being able to compartmentalize, and not think about grocery lists or other such daily matters until I need to. Finally, I like to work by building up from small pieces, which requires keeping track of lots of information over time.

Fortunately, I’m not alone. Smart people out there have created some terrific tools for outsourcing normal brain functions, especially in the area of remembering things and keeping track of bits of info. I’ll discuss three I’m especially fond of: Evernote, Zotero and Wunderlist.

Evernote is a cloud-based application for storing and organizing all kinds of notes– textual, visual and audio. It’s especially powerful if you have a smartphone. You can take a picture of a poster, say, and Evernote will store the image and recognize any text in the image for you. You can sort this image-with-text into a folder, and tag it with keywords to help you find it later. In addition to the phone app, there are desktop and web versions that all sync automatically. Even without a camera, Evernote is a great way to organize notes, store internet bookmarks, and generally keep track of your readings and thoughts. It’s versatile and fast, and I use it for many aspects of work, housekeeping and casual reading. Plus, it’s free in its basic version, which is all most casual users will need.

Zotero is similar to Evernote in some important ways, in that you can also make notes, sort them into folders and tag them with keywords. But Zotero has the added ability to extract citation information from online resources like library catalogs, databases, and websites such as Amazon.com. For me, this makes it my tool of choice for serious research. Zotero also automatically saves images of webpages when you cite them, and allows you to highlight and annotate them later. Zotero is a browser add-on, and opens at the bottom of your Safari, Chrome or Firefox browser window. This allows you to read what’s in your browser, such as a pdf, as you make notes and build your bibliographies– it’s very convenient and handy. The main downsides of Zotero, for me, are that it lacks an iPhone app and that it syncs across computers rather slowly. But even though it shares some functionality with Evernote, I wouldn’t do without it. If you do all your research on one laptop (or have an Android phone), it’s outstanding.
Finally, I’ve just come across a new tool this week that, at last, seems to answer my deep and abiding need for a really user-friendly to-do list. It’s called Wunderlist. Like the other two apps I’m discussing, it syncs across your devices and has a downloadable version. But having tried many different list-making tools over the past several years, this is the only one that really lets you visualize your tasks as a whole, or divided by topic or due date, quickly and easily. Nothing gets buried; there are no complications; everything you need is right in front of you. It’s only been a few days and I’m already totally dependent on it for getting things done.
Like most people, I suspect, some of my best thoughts come at random times throughout the day, and most of my large projects are built up from lots of small pieces (like those random thoughts) that can easily get buried and forgotten. If I’m doing a serious research project, the problem is multiplied. That’s why I encourage students and researchers to find and follow a simple, well-organized system for keeping track of information. These applications could give you the structure you need to remember, take stock, de-scatter and discover the information you come across every day.

RefWorks has New Look

RefWorks, our online system for storing citation information, creating bibliographies, and writing papers with intext citations, has a new look.  More colorful and more intuitive, RefWorks 2.0 is easier on the eyes and easier to use.  Check it out here:


If you don’t have an account yet, you can also sign up for one. 

If you prefer the interface of RefWorks Classic, you can switch your account back by clicking at the top right hand corner of your page.

Popular Fiction & Non-fiction Books at Doherty


Popular Fiction & Non-fiction Books

More books have been added to the Doherty Library popular fiction & non-fiction book collection located in our main lobby.  See the attached files for a list of all titles that are available at Popular Fiction and Non-Fiction at Doherty Library March 2011, Popular Fiction and Non Fiction at Doherty Library February 2011, Popular Fiction and non-fiction December 2010, and Popular fiction and non-fiction at Doherty Library November 2010 titles only.  You can check out these books for four weeks.    
As you enter the library, the books are located to your left in the main lobby on display shelves.  These books will be available through this summer.

Reading?? In a library??!?


Doherty Library loves technology.  We have research computers and a computer lab.  We have over 130 online databases, over 40,000 online journals, and over 30,000 online books.  But . . . .

We still love to read.  Books.  That we can hold.  And we know that our patrons do too.  But, let’s face it, we’re all so busy.  Who has time to go to the public library after spending hours (and hours) of study time at Doherty?  Or if  you teach, who has the energy, after being in class, grading papers, going to meetings, and researching for the next journal article, to stop off at the public library before heading home to homework help, dinner, housework and laundry?  Or staff, you’ve been at work for at least nine hours helping students and faculty, you face a lengthy commute home, you’re tired, you’re hungry.  Do you really want to try to get to the public library – if you can find one open?

Well Doherty Library has the solution!  We have instituted a new, small, popular fiction and non-fiction collection.  As you enter the library, the books are located to your left in the main lobby on display shelves.

Sponsored by the Friends of Doherty Library, these titles are available for circulation to students, faculty, staff, the Friends of Doherty Library and UST alumni.   You can check out these books for four weeks with renewals possible.  Every month, new titles will be added until we have 100 books in this circulating collection.  Doherty librarians and staff  have made a pledge of honor we will not check out the books until the community has had a chance to read them (but we can only contain ourselves for so long so stop by soon).

And there’s more!

There’s a quiet, little corner for reading the new books (or newspapers, magazines, or anything else you want).  We have created a “reading nook” in the silent reading room where you can relax, drink coffee (or tea),  and read to your heart’s content.  We hope you’ll take some time out of your busy schedules to stop in, sit a spell and rejuvenate yourself with a fun book.

Faculty Publications Recognition Event at Doherty Sept. 22

The Doherty Library will host the first UST Faculty Publications Recognition Event to be held on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM., at the main lobby of Doherty Library. Faculty, staff and students are invited to an informal reception to celebrate the past year’s publications and creative works produced by the University of St. Thomas faculty.

Publications from the School of Arts and Sciences, the Cameron School of Business and the School of Education will be featured. Dr. Dominic Aquila, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dr. Michele Simms, the Director of the Center for Faculty Excellence, will speak briefly on our publication successes this year. Refreshments will be served. The event is sponsored by the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Center for Faculty Excellence and the Friends of the Doherty Library. For more information, contact James Piccininni at jpicci@stthom.edu

Doherty Expands E-book Collection

47,000 books in one blow? That’s what Doherty gained when we purchased a subscription to Ebrary – 47,000 new books. In all subject areas: Business, Education, Fine Arts, History, Language and Literature, Psychology, Sciences (Life and Physical), Sociology, Religion, Philosophy and Classics. Most of the books in Ebrary have been published after 2004. These books are all full-text and cannot be found on Google Books or other such sites because of copyright issues!!

Ebrary books can be accessed online, 24/7/365. Just go to the library homepage and click “Choose a Library Database and then select “Ebrary.” Off-campus users will need their CeltID.

You can search Ebrary by Author or Title or browse among the various subject areas. Ebrary searches within texts by general keyword and uses the Library of Congress subject headings. You can read the entire book page by page or link to what you want from the table of contents or index. Printing is allowed up to 60 pages per session. Create an account within Ebrary and highlight passages within the books and write notes to go along side the text. Save your books on your bookshelf and go directly to them when you return. The highlights and notes will be there. You can also import the citation of the work directly into RefWorks (see previous blog entry). Ebrary is a very efficient way to manage your research.

Ebrary joins NetLibrary and Credo Reference to expand Doherty’s online book collection.

Doherty Library Goes Mobile

No, Doherty Library is not moving anywhere. However, some of our resources are now available through cell phones and other mobile devices.

Our first resource to go mobile was the Reference Desk. Students and faculty are able to send questions to the reference librarians via text. All you have to do is send a message beginning with askust to 66746. After sending the initial message, you do not have to include the askust on any subsequent messages. Librarians will answer text questions as soon as possible. We are on duty at the desk M-Th 8am-9pm, Fri 8am-5pm, Sat 10am-6pm and Sun 1pm-9pm. Text questions left after these hours will be answered as soon as possible the next morning.

Another resource available via mobile devices is our collection of EBSCO databases. This collection includes such important databases as Academic Search Premier, Business Source Complete, Catholic Literature and Periodical Index, MLA International Bibliography, Philosopher’s Index, and PsychInfo and PsychArticles. Most of the major search capabilities are still available on the trimmed down mobile version. Pdf full-text articles are accessible through mobile devices when available in the database. The EBSCO mobile site can be accessed from the library’s main page.

Our research guides, found on the main library page, are available in a mobile format as well. First you must select the specific research guide you want and then click on the print/mobile guide icon found at the top of the page.

Finally, RefWorks, also has a mobile version which can be found on the library homepage. In order to log into RefWorks mobile, you will need the UST group code. New RefWorks users received the group code in an email when they created their accounts. Contact the Reference Desk (by phone or by text) if you don’t know the school’s group code.

October is Information Literacy Month

information literacy logoOn October 1st President Barack Obama declared October as National Information Literacy Awareness Month.

Our ability to find information on any give topic these days is immeasurable. The ability to avoid exposure to information is non-existent. We live in a world of TMI, TMC and TLT (too much information, too many choices and too little time). The White House itself makes use of many web 2.0 methods for communication including Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, iTunes, and the White House blog. And that’s just one aspect of one branch of one level of our government.
The only way to manage this avalanche cum tsunami of information is through understanding how and why information is produced, accessing it efficiently and habitually culling, evaluating, and using effectively the information we find. This is Information Literacy.

The American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the American Association of School Librarians (as well as many other educational associations) have established definitions of an information literate person and best practices for educating students in IL from pre-kindergarten through graduate school. Since Information Literacy is one of our most important life-long skills in all facets of our lives, both public and private, these endeavors emphasize teaching students to think critically about the issues and to renew continuously their skills. The staff of Doherty Library, particularly the Information Literacy Librarian, the Public Services Librarian and the Electronic Resources Librarian, work very hard to develop in the UST student body the proficiencies they need.

October is also National Cyber Security Awareness Month. One definite aspect of Information Literacy is knowing how to navigate the web and use its tools safely.

Exciting New Resource at Doherty!

Doherty Library has acquired a new exciting resource beginning July 1, 2009 and available for the second summer session. This resource is Credo Reference.

Credo Reference is the dream of those who want to break the Wikipedia habit. Credo has all that Wikipedia has and more. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s available 24/7 at any computer. Unlike Wikipedia, however, Credo Reference is made up of 401 different resources and all of them are authoritative. When you type a term into Credo, the database searches all 401 resources, so you find a variety of points of view on the same subject. These points of view are all by respected scholars in their fields. Moreover, Credo reference contains specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographies, and quotation books. Many of these specialized resources can be cited as reliable information in your papers. Credo also has cool features like a measurement converter and a crossword puzzle solver. Credo can be found on the library website under Databases by Title and Databases by Subject. You can also click here and give it a try.

Loan Nguyen joins Doherty staff; Receives grant to help establish Vietnamese library in Houston


Loan Nguyen, originally from Vietnam, joined the Doherty Library staff in November 2008 as a Periodicals/Reference Librarian in which she is responsible for managing the periodical collection in paper, electronic and microform formats. Loan also provides reference services and library instructional to faculty, staffs and students at UST. Loan loves to volunteer her services to maximize her God-given abilities. Ever since she decided to become a librarian, she has always dreamed of creating a Vietnamese Library in the United States, which would promote the heritage and culture of Vietnam. Her dream came true when she was asked by the Vietnamese Civic Center Board members to start up a Vietnamese library in their newly developed facility at 11360 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, Texas 77072. In March 2009, Loan was awarded a grant from the National Library of Medicine to purchase computers for the recently opened Vietnamese library.

Loan said she feels so at home at Doherty library. Her passions are volunteering her services and meeting people. Please do not hesitate to say “Hi” or ask question to Loan whenever you see her at the reference’s desk.

Chat with a Librarian

Doherty reference librarians have long been available for questions by phone and by email. And of course we are always happy to help researchers in person. But this Fall, the Doherty Reference Department has instituted a new communication venue — Chat. So whether you are at home, at play or even somewhere in the library and don’t want to leave your stuff unattended, send us a question. To participate in Chat, you can find us (and add us to your buddy list) on AIM (DohReference), MSN LiveMessenger (doherty_reference), and Yahoo! Messenger (doherty_reference). You can also connect directly with us through our Meebo account from the Doherty Chat page even if you don’t have a chat account yourself.

Happy Birthday Library of Congress

April 22-24, 1800: The Library of Congress Established

On April 22, 1800, the Library of Congress began with an appropriation of $5,000. by Congress for the purchase of books and furnishings for a reading room. The bill became law on April 24, 1800 when John Adams signed the act designating the funds “for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress and for putting up a suitable apartment for containing them therein….” (2 Stat. 56). Booksellers Cadell & Davies of London sent the first order of 152 books to the U.S. in December of that year. Ironically, it was the British who later burned the entire collection of around 3,000 volumes in August, 1814 when they invaded Washington, DC during the War of 1812.
Former president Thomas Jefferson provided for the replacement of the Library by selling his own personal collection of over 6,000 books to the government for $23,950.00. Ten wagons were needed to transport all of his books to Washington for the new library building, which was not completed until 1817. Though the Library still serves Congress, its scope of responsibility has widened to make it the national library of the United States. Happy birthday Library of Congress.
Sources: 1. Famous First Facts, 6th ed., 2. The United States Government Manual, 2007-08., 3. Library of Congress History, http://www.loc.gov/about/history/


Everybody wants Facebook fans…and we do too!

Doherty library has a new Facebook page. So go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Houston-TX/Doherty-Library-University-of-St-Thomas/7287576594 and become a fan! You can also link to the library’s research guides and catalog through Facebook.Doherty. The library also hosts two book groups on Facebook. One is for discussion of Catholic Fiction and the other is a general-interest book club called Parnassus. Parnassus was the home of Apollo and the Muses and is traditionally thought of as a place where people gather for literature, music, art, and ideas. All UST Facebook members are welcome to visit and join in the discussions. One of the first discussions is what classic book do you loathe that you are “supposed” to think is GREAT LITERATURE? Join us at Parnassus and let your thoughts be known.