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Sep 06, 2011

Welcome from the library

Welcome to another exciting year at NYIT!  Throughout the summer the libraries have been busy negotiating access to amazing new databases and ebooks.  Yes, you guessed correctly, all of this information is now free to you as members of the NYIT community.

To stay plugged-in throughout the semester and learn about these new resources and others, follow us on Twitter, friend us on Facebook, or simply read our blog.

Over the course of the coming weeks and months, you will learn how to use the digital library from anywhere in the world, how to log-in to the NYIT wireless network, and how to access the 1000s of resources now available to you as community members.

Already have a question you would like to ask?  Simply email us at, or bookmark and visit

Let’s work hard and have a wonderful and successful year together!

Author: sebastien_marion

Apr 27, 2011

New Ask a Librarian Launches

The new and improved Ask a Librarian service is now available 24/7 for all NYIT community members. This service builds a keyword-searchable knowledge base made up of questions and answers. Search engine users can plug in their questions to get immediate answers. Questions can be submitted through multiple channels.

To submit a question, do one of the following:

We also look great on mobile!

Author: sebastien_marion

Mar 01, 2011

Who, What and Where: Step Aside Google, WorldCat has Something to Say!

As a researching student, budding scholar and lifelong learner, your interests can be driven by a number of factors.  Here are three:

Scenario 1: Preparing to write a thesis, or work on a major term project, you would like to know whether a topic has been addressed in the form of a book.

Scenario 2: You would like to know what writings exist about a person, or by a person, be they an architect, poet, or professor of [fill in the blank]. 

Scenario 3: You are aware of a published book and would like to know, very specifically, where it is available (city, state, nationally, and even internationally).

Enter WorldCat. Let's go ahead and say it, "WorldCat is better than Google at indexing library holdings!"  A database of databases, at last count WorldCat indexes close to 179 million records housed in libraries throughout the world.  It is useful to think of WorldCat as a vertical search engine, whose primary concern is libraries.  There are two varieties of WorldCat.  An advanced version, which you can freely access as an NYIT community member, and a free version available at  The latter includes a mobile URL (, which makes for a great @phone bookmark; an iPhone App and Android App are also available.

As for searching, there are a variety of ways to approach the interface.  Keeping in mind that every interface offers a unique scenario and learning curve, my own preference is to advanced search, limiting results by checking the appropriate materials type box (only books, for example).  Finally, rank your results by relevance using the dropdown menu located on the lower section of the screen, et voila.

Remember, as with most catalogs you can be very specific (locate a journal title by ISSN and learn which libraries include holdings), or very general (develop a search using keywords).  Finally, when gathering citations, clicking marked records followed by export will deposit your items in RefWorks where they can be easily stored, managed and exported in a variety of formats (MLA, APA, etc.).  In either case, WorldCat is an excellent tool.

Author: sebastien_marion

Nov 17, 2010

Surfing the Web in Advanced Mode

Firefox and ChromeMany people are surprised to learn that you can customize your Web browser.  Whether you are performing advanced research, or casually browsing the Internet, there are a number of Firefox add-ons and Google Chrome extensions that will take your surfing to a whole new level. It's always a good idea to develop a personal knowledge management (PKM) system, and set of learning tools. Below I have outlined a few that I am currently using to get things done in both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

Mozilla Firefox (Tools > Add-ons)

  • Morning Coffee – One click on the Morning Coffee icon loads multiple Websites that I feel require my attention on a daily basis.  From e-mail accounts, to Twitter, to Facebook, to Google Reader, my morning commute just got a whole lot easier.
  • Update Scanner – Update Scanner notifies me when a change occurs to a page that I need to track. From a conference registration page, to a Wiki, if the page matters to me, I will find out both when it changes and what changes.
  • Google Shortcuts – By adding Google App shortcut icons, Docs, Gmail, Calendar, Reader, and a number of other utilities are now a single click away.
  • Delicious Bookmarks – Social bookmarking makes saving, tagging and re-locating Websites a quick, no-nonsense business. That Website about drones that I added 3 years ago while on a trip to Canada, here it is.
  • Tab Mix Plus or Tree Style Tab – For opening and managing multiple links, and re-opening mistakenly closed windows a tab manager qualifies as a must-have.
Here are a few more Firefox Add-ons that deserve mention: Zotero, Book Burro, Linky, TinEye and Optimize Google. A lot to digest, I know, so consider incorporating these slowly and review your additions periodically, as whatever qualifies as **noise** should be pruned from your environment immediately.

Google Chrome (Customize > Tools > Extensions)

The new kid on the block, Google Chrome is earning an increasing usage share, and already includes a number of valuable extensions.  Here are a few:
  • Sync – Built into the Web browser itself the sync function, located in Google Chrome options, mirrors your browser configuration at multiple locations. This means that whether you are @home, @your laptop, or @work, you are provided with an identical environment.
  • Send from Gmail – Arguments withstanding, e-mail remains the Internet's killer app. This extension makes Gmail your default e-mail application, and provides a button to compose a Gmail message to quickly share a link via e-mail.
  • Readability – More signal and less noise, Readability cleans a Webpage of its advertising and extraneous information for concentrated, easy viewing.
  • Linky – Linky opens all selected links that are currently highlighted in new tabs, making it easier to scan through many pages very quickly.
  • Turn off the lights – Finally, more fun than function, Turn off the lights fades your page to dark, allowing you to watch videos as though you are in the cinema.
Google Chrome notable mentions, include: AdBlock, TinEye and Window Resizer. One final tip, select what you care about wisely, as the last time I checked your time and attention are limited.

Author: sebastien_marion

Nov 05, 2010

Search Triangle

Search TriangleEvery search interface that you encounter on the WWW offers a scenario.  Each has a learning curve that must be climbed, but would it surprise you to know that almost every system operates on a standard set of principles and infrastructure?  Most often we are defaulted into a basic search mode (think of Google's search box), but believe it or not whether you are in basic Google mode, or in the advanced mode of a powerful vertical search engine all interfaces are similar.

The search triangle is a 5 minute interactive learning module.  After completing it you will better understand how to:

  • Identify key concepts and terms related to a research question,
  • Construct an appropriate search strategy,
  • Adapt search strategy across various interfaces and search engines, refining search strategy when necessary, and
  • Select controlled vocabulary specific to a discipline or information source.

Go to Material

Author: sebastien_marion

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Zehra Ahmed Zehra Ahmed (B.S. '04)
Assistant Professor
Department: Physician Assistant Studies
Campus: Old Westbury
Bryan Diaz Bryan Diaz
Campus: Manhattan
Major: Life Sciences/Biology, B.S.
Class Of: 2017
David O. Reid (B.S. ’84) David O. Reid
Class of 1984
Profession: Director of Healthy Lifestyles, Boys and Girls Club of America