Highlight: Journal of Visualized Experiments

Dear fellow navigators of the library’s vast resources,

By navigators I mean students, undergraduate and graduate, pursuing a major in the field of sciences. You may have been directed to this delightful site by your well-meaning professor. You might be here out of curiosity. Either way, you have arrived just in time to learn about a fascinating database that NDNU has subscribed to. This database, called the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), is full of videos informing viewers on how to use laboratory equipment such as a centrifuge, analytical balance, or spectrophotometer. Furthermore, JoVE also contains numerous videos about the skills every scientist and future scientist needs to have to perform experiments in the laboratory. One example is a video that explains the process of preparing and diluting solutions. Each video of a basic skill also links to additional videos that explain the applications these skills are used in.

For students, this site can help prepare you (and calm your nerves) for Chemistry Lab finals in which you may need to perform an experiment without step-by-step instructions. This site can also help you refresh your memory of how to use the lab equipment in tomorrow’s experiment. If you want to understand how to use a fundamental skill and understand the various possible experiments that require this skill, JoVE can help you. Say, for example, it’s been a long while since you last used the centrifuge but you know, according to your instructor’s handout, that tomorrow you will be using the centrifuge in an experiment. JoVE has a video titled “An Introduction to the Centrifuge.” If you don’t have a pair of earphones on you and you’re afraid of disturbing your peers, JoVE breaks down the video in a transcript marked by the times each segment begins at. Scrolling further down the page to “Applications,” you will see additional videos of experiments that require use of a centrifuge. One such video is “Purification of Mitochondria from Yeast Cells.” Another is called “Purification of Pathogen Vacuoles from Legionella-infected Phagocytes.”

JoVE can be easily navigated either by typing search terms into the search bar or by clicking on one of the ten circles to the right of the search bar. These circles bring the student to an area of science such as bioengineering or the environment. Most videos have their content outlined similarly to a scientific research paper with an abstract, introduction, results, discussion, protocol, and materials list underneath the video clip. The steps the scientists take in each clip are outlined under “Protocol.”As for writing a research paper, these videos can be easily cited and used in a paper as the citation can be found underneath each video. This site also allows the student to leave a comment at the bottom after viewing a video if he or she has a question.

Professors may recommend JoVE to students who want to review previously learned skills. JoVE is a great companion to any science lab class and can save students time and frustration by allowing him or her to view a video of the experiment for preparation.

I wish you Godspeed as you navigate your way through the labyrinth of information and technology, losing yourself in both cyberspace and in the maze of book shelves and staircases. If you are extremely bored (and a procrastinator), JoVE also has a blog that can be accessed above the search bar. Here you will find articles that only barely relate to your homework.

Best of luck!

Click here for a tour of the JoVE interface: Julie’s JoVE Directions (4)

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Summer at the library!

Happy summer from the library!

We’ve had a lot of changes that have kept us busy in the last few months (hence the absence of blog posts).  We’re excited about all of our summer projects including some new upholstery, and a fresh website!

One person who has been integral to making these changes happen is our newest team member, Pia Selkirk.  Pia joined the library mid April.  She is originally from Mumbai, India, speaks 7 (seven!) different languages, and is excited about working with the amazing NDNU students (especially our of international students).  Pia previously worked at OCLC (a major library organization), Google, and Highwire Press at Stanford. She worked relentlessly with Claire Karoly in Communications for the last couple of months to redesign and launch our brand new library website.  Pia has a lot more in store for the Gellert Library this fall.   



Stay tuned – we have one more librarian, Quincy McCrary, starting on July 1st.  He’ll be joining us from UCSF.  We are thrilled to be building a strong team!  In the meantime, watch for more information on the new website and a few new databases.

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South Bay Women’s Conference: Women in STEM careers

Last Saturday, I had the honor of attending the 3rd Annual South Bay Women’s Conference held at San Jose State University.  Rachel Shellabarger from the Natural Sciences Department, Tricia Robateau, a senior Philosophy and English major, and I (Anna from the library), spent the day learning from some great female leaders of the Bay Area.  The conference started out with a discussion panel which consisted of three amazing role models: Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, Dr. Jessie Dotson (Science Director at the NASA Ames Research Center), and Dr. Karen Singmaster (SJSU chemistry professor).  The three speakers stressed the importance of strength, perseverance, and the ability to recognize, own, and celebrate each of our accomplishments and successes. In addition to the 8 workshops held by women who are successful and confident in their careers, we were fortunate to have Lilly Ledbetter as the keynote speaker.  In her talk, she reflected on her journey before and after President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009.

Even though the conference was aimed at women in STEM, Philosophy and English student Tricia Robateau found that much of the information at the conference still applied to her.  Please read her excellent reflection on the day’s events:

“Women have, for the longest time, been denied the right of progress; but as we enter into a new age, women continue to break new boundaries and venture into new realms. Women continue to usurp the status quo through higher education and entering the work force- defying all thoughts and challenges that they may face. Attending this year’s women conference on STEM, allowed me to not only get a better perspective on women and the workforce, but to inspire me to continue with my own career goals. Women, especially in the STEM fields, are often facing the leaky pipeline and struggling for recognition. Not only do we want to make our mark in history, but we also want the opportunity to pursue the career we love. Education is the foundation of a nation and allowing women to not only attend school, but to enter into STEM fields allows for the diversity that each nation needs. As policy-makers, engineers, scientists and etcetera women bring their own perspective to their field, they work hard (often harder than most because of discrimination), and they bring understanding from a holistic point of view. Since women in the STEM workforce is still relatively new, it is up to this generation to pave the way for the future, so that in a few years there will no longer be discrimination or inequality amongst men and women. While it’s true that we are working for pay, we are also working for the benefit and progress of our nation and for a better tomorrow. We are constantly reminded that diversity is the key to progress, and we must accept this if this as we enter into a new era. The guest speaker, Lilly Ledbetter is a crusader for equal pay and women’s right and she reminded us that there will be challenges that we face but that we must continue to persevere.  She is a reminder to women to continue to pursue our goals, because whatever adversity we as women may face, we stand in solidarity with each other.  Through the different workshops, we were given glimpse of different women leaders and inspiration and hope for a better tomorrow. We had the opportunity to see and hear the challenges other women in the STEM field face and we were given a better awareness so that we may venture back into the workforce and education system with renew vigor and strength.” 


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FREE science resources!

Sometimes we all need to be reminded (librarians included) that there are hundreds of amazing and free science resources out on the web that don’t show up on the first page of Google results and that aren’t part of our library databases.  Annais Acosta, one of our amazing STEM students at the library chose three of her favorites to share on the blog.

  1. Profiles in Science, from the National Library of Medicine

    • This website provides information on different biomedical scientists. These scientists are grouped into three categories: Biomedical Research, Health and Medicine, and Fostering Science and Health. The online collection exhibits each scientist showing biographies and such. This collection would be good use for science majors so they get an idea of what the life of a person dedicated to science contains whether that’s a scientist, doctor, or anything in that field.

    • http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov

  2. USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

    • This website has information on various agriculture topics in the US. This involves farm finances, prices on commodities, chemical usage on farms, and producer demographics. This website seems like a good resource not only for science students but for any major because it focuses on agriculture and living in California, a state well known for it.  We should have some knowledge on what it’s about and how it can affect the career we choose.

    • http://www.nass.usda.gov/
  3. ChemView, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    • This website increases the transparency of the Toxic Substances Control Act, created in 1976, to regulate new and existing hazardous chemicals. This database currently provides information on approximately 1500 chemicals, but EPA plans to expand the chemicals covered in the future. This website would be a good resource because it gives valuable information on different chemicals that science majors will most likely be using.
    • http://java.epa.gov/chemview
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Library Events!

In the upcoming weeks, the librarians have two big events planned – all of which are free and come with cookies!

First up, this next Wednesday (2/26) at 3:00 pm, we’ll have the very first event of our Author Speaker series.  By partnering with the Departments of Religious Studies and Philosophy, the library is able to host author Carlos Alberto Sanchez as he talks about his book The Suspension of Seriousness: On the Phenomenology of Jorge Portilla.  Carlos is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at San Jose State University, where he teaches courses on Phenomenology, Existentialism, Social and Political Philosophy, and Latin American Philosophy.  All are welcome regardless of major.  The library will provide light refreshments. Email Mary Wegmann (mwegmann at ndnu.edu) for more details! 




Our second big event is a field trip to the South Bay Women’s Conference in San Jose on Saturday, March 8th.  This is the perfect opportunity to network with professionals from the Bay Area and meet some incredible women.  The library will provide transportation and will sponsor students who would like to attend.  Visit the conference website for more details: http://www.southbaywc.org/.  The keynote speaker is Lilly Ledbetter of the Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act.  Email Anna Fulton (afulton at ndnu.edu) for more details.  




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Where did January go?

How are we already to the end of the first month of the semester?  Time really flies by when you’re busy!  Since the start of the semester, the librarians have met with 21 different classes and in the last 10 days alone, students and faculty have walked in our door 5000 times.  If that’s not busy, I don’t know what is!

We have a lot in store for the spring semester.  We will continue holding tech workshops, host an author series and April’s Open Book project with Belle Air Elementary; work with Inside Track mentors and students; and continue to add to our resources.   As of yesterday, we have a special exhibit on display for Founder’s Week put together by the Sr Dorothy Stang Center.  A few other things that are coming up:

1. Come learn about Citation Management Software on Tuesday 2/4 at 2:00 – 3:00.  Email Anna if you want to know more!  (afulton at ndnu.edu)

2. Wednesday 2/12 at 4:00 – learn how to use Excel’s advanced features at our student hosted Excel workshop

3. We also have so many new databases!  Check back for more information on Science Direct, American Economic Association, Journal of Visualized Experiments, and Films on Demand   

Keep on keeping on, and as always, stop in and see what’s happening at the library!

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Happy Holidays!

Congratulations for surviving the fall semester!  For those of you who aren’t quite finished yet, study on…

The library will close today, Friday December 13th, at our usual 4:00 pm time and will be open tomorrow (Sat) from 9:00 – 4:00.  We will be closed for the holidays from Sunday, 12/15 through Monday, 1/6.  Enjoy your winter break and we’ll see you for spring semester!


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