Department Blog

H/SS & Gov Info Services

Let Us Know: Library Survey for Senate Faculty and Academic Federation Personnel

October 2nd, 2014 by David Michalski

The Library is conducting an online survey of Senate faculty and Academic Federation personnel this fall.

· The survey will run from October 13 – November 15. On October 13, you will get an individualized email jointly from the Provost and chairs of the Academic Senate and Academic Federation, which will include a link to the survey. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey when you get the email.

· The Library needs your input in order to provide the resources and services that you, your students, postdocs, and research associates need.

· Please see below and the: Library Faculty & Researcher Survey FAQ page for additional information. (

Questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns about the survey can be directed to:
William Garrity, Deputy University Librarian,


What Is the UC Davis Senate and Federation Library Survey?

The Library is conducting a UCD-wide survey of all Senate faculty and Academic Federation personnel to guide the Library’s provision of information resources and services. The tool we are using is Ithaka S+R’s Local Faculty Survey. Ithaka S+R is the consultancy arm of Ithaka, a not-for-profit that is also home of JSTOR and Portico. The Local Faculty Survey is the local version of Ithaka S+R’s well regarded national Faculty Survey Series.

When Is the Survey & How Will It Work?
The survey will launch on October 13 and close on November 15.
On October 13, you will get an email, with a link to the survey.
Reminder emails with a link to the survey will be sent to those who have not yet responded, at reasonable intervals, until the survey closes on November 15.

Survey Incentives:

To encourage participation, and recognize your time and effort, all participants who complete the survey will be entered in a random drawing to win one of five $75 gift certificates to the UC Davis Stores.

Ebook Sales Growth Slowing Greatly

June 26th, 2014 by Michael Winter

From a recent article: “Say goodbye to the go-go years of fast-paced ebook growth — at least for now. Ebook growth, once in the triple and double digits, with no signs of abating, has slowed to a crawl in 2013,” writes Jeremy Greenfield in the trade publication dbw/Digital Book World. Nonetheless,  Greenfield added, ebooks, while not currently hot commodities, are still warm; and according to the same article–based on numbers from the Association of American Publishers–“now account for a larger percentage of overall publisher revenues than they ever have.” Ebooks now account for about 27% of adult trade sales.  The same phenomenon has also recently been noted by industry standard, PW/Publishers Weekly.

Cttation Generators I

April 21st, 2014 by Michael Winter

Virtually every student has experienced the panic that sets in as the term draws to a close, and numerous written assignments–each requiring the paper’s bibliographic references to be formatted according to a specified standard– must be submitted. While there is, alas, no perfect fix for this problem, it has gotten alot easier recently with the availability of open access “citation generators”–web-based tools that allow the user to select the format needed (MLA, APA, Chicago), then input the descriptive data they have, and with a click or two or three produce a nicely formatted citation that can be copied and pasted into a list of references. Three of the better known  are “KnightCite,” “Son of Citation Machine,” and “Noodle Tools Express.” For links providing convenient access, see the column labelled “Citation Generators” at the bottom center an ingenious page crafted by Shields Library’s instruction librarian Melissa Browne.

Improved VPN (connecting to Library from off-campus)

September 19th, 2013 by Alison Lanius

The University Library has improved the VPN tools that allow current UC Davis students, faculty, and staff access to our licensed resources from off campus!

The three Connection options are:

* VPN Client allows our patrons to download the VPN client to their computer. It allows for a consistent connection to Library resources. We expect this tool will be very popular with our super-users who tend to have multiple browser tabs open at once.

* WebVPN is the lightweight tool we’ve offered for years. WebVPN does not require the installation of any client software. This makes it ideal for use on public computers or for users who cannot install software on the computer at hand. Known issues: we have found some sites do not work with WebVPN. See the Known Issues FAQ for the list of those sites and workarounds.

* Proxy Server is our oldest option. This option should be used if the VPN does not work for you. Our goal is that the VPN Client will remove the need for the Proxy Server. We will explore that possibility over the academic year.

Link to VPN:

Link to VPN Help:

Changes to Library Account logins

September 12th, 2013 by Alison Lanius

As part of the Library’s response to the campus initiative to remove barcodes from the new AggieCards, students, staff and faculty can now also use their Kerberos ID and passphrase to log into their library account via the My Account links on the left bar of the Library home page . For older cards, both the 14 digit barcode numbers and 9 digit account numbers will work from the Other Accounts and Proxies login page.

Please consult the Account FAQ for additional information.

Fall Research Workshops: Social and Cultural Studies

September 6th, 2012 by David Michalski

Social and Cultural Studies Library Research Workshop

w/ David Michalski, MLS, PhD. (

1st Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Place: Library Instruction Lab, 1st Floor Peter J. Shields Library (near Reserves Desk)

2nd Date: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Place: Library Instruction Lab, 1st Floor Peter J. Shields Library (near Reserves Desk)

This workshop invites graduate students, faculty and other researchers to see and practice with the latest research tools available. Learn effectively ways to construct literature reviews, frame new research questions, and navigate and evaluate the wide variety of information sources available at the University of California and beyond.

Topics covered include:

The latest in database searching (including the Proquest transisiton databases),
Citation analysis and cited reference searches,
Locating primary source material,
and the use of interdisciplinary and specialized reference works.

Participants are encouraged to bring along research projects as well as any questions they have about the University Library.
Let us learn how we can serve you better.

David Michalski is a UC Davis Librarian subject specialist in the Humanities and Social Sciences Department responsible to these departments and programs: Sociology, Psychology, Human, Community and Regional Development, Geography, Women and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, African and African American Studies, Asian American Studies and Cultural Studies.

For more info see:

Professor Robert Darnton to present Eugene Lunn Memorial Lecture

April 4th, 2012 by David Michalski

Michael Saler
History Department

The 2012 Eugene Lunn Memorial Lecture will be given by Professor Robert Darnton on Wednesday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the Alpha Gamma Rho Hall, Buehler Alumni Center. (Reception to follow.) He will speak on “Books, Digits, and Dollars: A Design for the Future.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

Robert Darnton is the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library. A winner of the MacArthur Prize and numerous other awards, he has written notable works, including: The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future ; The Great Cat-Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History ; The Literary Underground of the Old Regime ; Poetry and Police: Communications Networks in Eighteenth Century Paris ; The Business of Enlightenment .

Eugene Lunn was, prior to his untimely death in 1990, a member of the Davis Department of History. In his twenty years here, he distinguished himself as a scholar in the field of modern European intellectual history. He was a passionate and productive scholar, but no less an engaged and inspired teacher. In his memory, a fund was assembled to support an annual memorial lecture. Its purpose is to honor the profession of teaching and to present to a broad and varied campus audience an exemplary discussion of issues of high significance in contemporary intellectual life.

This is the twentieth Lunn lecture, following upon those of such well-known scholars as Carl Schorske, Hayden White, Martin Jay, Saul Friedlander, Laura Engelstein, Lawrence Levine, Lynn Hunt, Thomas Bender, Bonnie Smith, Wendy Doniger, Cemal Kafadar, William Cronon, Fred Wakeman, Jan Goldstein, Suzanne Marchand, Louis Menand, Thomas Laqueur, and Mark Mazower.

The lecture, thanks to the generosity of many people, has become an important annual event at Davis. We want to take this opportunity once again to thank all of you who have previously supported this undertaking. We are currently facing a severe funding shortage, however, so if you find it possible to make a new (or renewed) contribution to the lecture fund, however small, we will be very grateful indeed. You may write a check to the “UC Regents (Lunn Memorial Fund)” and send it to Monica Fischer in the Department of History.

On Display: Reimaging the Peter J. Shields Library

February 14th, 2012 by David Michalski

Step into Peter J. Shields Library and you may see the future. On display in the lobby are architectural renderings of a potential library-to-come, visions conceived and illustrated by UC Davis architecture students.
Professor Mark Kessler (teaching Design 180A) has created a course that focuses attention on the real world challenges of designing the research library of tomorrow. One of the assignments in his course encourages his students to make better use of the front of the library: the entrance, the lobby, stair case and first and second floor spaces. The students studied existing plans, researched the library design and architecture literature, observed the social use of our spaces, and interviewed librarians and library users to come up with designs that might accommodate the multiple, and sometimes, competing demands of an academic library.

The results of this assignment are on display. Come see how this talented group of students imagined a redesigned Peter J. Shields and let us know what you think as we plan the research library of tomorrow.

Send comments to:

Daniel Goldstein
Arts and Humanities Librarian
University Library, UC Davis

Digital Public Library of America Podcast via Radio Berkman

December 23rd, 2011 by Michael Winter

The Digital Public Library of American (DPLA), to be released to the public in two years, held a meeting in October of 2011. The link included here enables us to listen to a podcast of a session on digital libraries generally, and focuses particularly on the question of centralized vs distributed collection building strategies.  Here is what Brewster Kahle had to say: “…the answer of having one library for everybody is not a good approach,” for reasons he and other speakers further discussed.  I was struck by one speaker’s observation that the best example of a centralized digital library can be found in South Korea–which in fact combines geographically-sited facilities with digital ones.

Faculty Study Carrels

May 19th, 2011 by Alison Lanius

Did you know that Shields Library has faculty and graduate study carrels available for a yearly assignment?

If you are interested now is the time to request one for the July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012 year.   Please see our library services page for more information.