Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Christmas

Christmas greetings to you all from the staff of the library and student information desk. 
Wishing you happy and healthy 2013!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

This might be useful for digital media students....

Have you seen or tried Popcorn Maker yet? Its a really cool web app made by Mozilla which allows users to create and edit audio & video content from within a web browser.

According to its creator's...

'Popcorn Maker makes it easy to enhance, remix and share web video. Use your web browser to combine video and audio with content from the rest of the web — from text, links and maps to pictures and live feeds. Use Popcorn Maker to create your own interactive newscasts, pop-up videos, multimedia reports, fan videos, guided web tours and more. Remix your favorite videos on YouTube or sounds on SoundCloud, add your own comments and links, or drag and drop in content from across the web.
The result is a whole new way to tell stories on the web, with videos that are dynamic,full of links, and unique each time you watch them. It's video beyond the box.'

Best of all, because it's an open-source application ....ITS FREE!

Why not take the tutorial and check it out for yourself...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Amazons Best books of 2012

We recently posted a list of the top 20 books of 2012, according to the online blog, 'The Bookcase'.

Amazon has also published its own list of the Best Books of 2012

And, for those of you who are interested, it also lists the best books according to well known personalities, such as Cameron Diaz and Stephen King

For those of you still wondering what to buy people for christmas, you can't go wrong with a good book!!

Why not take a look a the list to inspire your ideas...

Have you seen Visuwords?

When it comes to the english language, one the most fundamental books about it is a dictionary.

Dictionaries have come a long way from the big dusty book that used to sit on the shelf, rarely used. Now much of our word searches are done using one of the freely available online dictionaries, or by simple Googling the word.

However, they can sometimes be a bit bland, a bit dull to the eye. They are, perhaps, less tailored to the needs of those with different learning styles; those who require something a bit more visual...

With that in mind, a very unique approach has been taken to the traditional dictionary by 'Visuwords'.

Visuwords is essentially a 'graphical dictionary', where the user can look up words to find their meanings and their associations with other words and concepts. You just type the word you are looking for and the results are displayed in a graphical diagram which lays out its meaning and how it relates to other similar words... We did a search for 'Music'. See the image below for the results...

At a glance, all the words associated with the original search term are displayed in a spider-web type diagram. There is a key to how they are linked in the left hand column. If you hover the mouse over any word on the page, the meaning will pop up. So essentially, it acts as both a dictionary and a thesaurus all in one go.

It's pretty cool.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Library opening hours

Don't forget the library and SID are open as usual until Friday!

In January, we are open as follows:
  • Wed 2nd: 10.00am - 5.00pm
  • Thurs 3rd: 10.00am - 5.00pm
  • Fri 4th: 10.00am - 5.00pm
From Monday 7th January, our normal opening hours will resume.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Lifespan of Storage Media

When we save a piece of data to a hard drive or record something to a CD or DVD, often there is an assumption that it is then safe and it wont ever be lost. Many people feel that so long as they dont delete or erase the file, or the storage medium isn't damaged, it will remain on there intact forever.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Over time stored data loses its 'integrity' and can eventually become unusable unless care is taken to preserve it. Take for example an audio tape or a video cassette. If it is not adequately stored, the tape will become oxidised and will deteriorate, losing the data stored on it. The same goes for digital media. Items stored on hard drives are not immune to being lost. A power surge, for example, could damage a hard drive permanently.

To give you a good overview of this, a chart which details the lifespan of storage media has been designed by Mike Wirth at Crashplan. It compares the expected lifespans of popular media types used over the last 100 years to save different kinds of information: computer data, photos, videos and audio. Ultimately, it advocates for saving data onto the 'cloud' rather than on physical media.

Check it out!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Accessing the online library

Will you be doing college assignments over the Christmas break?  Do you know how to log in to our online library?

The library subscribes to online databases in the same way as we buy text books. The databases contain journal articles on subjects that ITB students study. They are a great place to find information for your assignments and projects!

This semester we have a brand new way of searching the databases. Instead of searching each database separately, you can do "one search" across all of them!

"One search" is located on the main library catalogue page:

Some hints for searching!
Sample assignment: discuss the impact of gender roles on identity
  • search for keywords or topics. e.g. gender roles, identity. The search engine matches your search terms with the words in journal articles so including terms such as discuss or impact is unlikely to make your results more relevant
  • use inverted commas around phrases, e.g. "gender roles" so that you find articles that include the phrase "gender roles" rather than articles containing the words gender and roles
  • use limitors to refine your search results e.g. limit to "full-text articles" or "peer-reviewed articles", limit by subject, publication year, format etc.

And finally, you may need your library PIN number to log in to the databases. Contact us at if you do not know what your PIN number is!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Did you know that E-Readers get heavier with each book...

Heres an unusual one for all our scientists to think about...

The Daily Telegraph has reported on the research of Professor John Kubiatowicz of Berkeley University. His research has found that devices such as the Amazon Kindle and other E-Reader's get heavier as books are added to them...

By his calculations, if one fills a 4GB Kindle to its storage capacity, its overall weight would increase by a billionth of a billionth of a gram or 0.000000000000000001g

Heavy stuff indeed!

 You can read the full story here

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Need to change your password?

It's nearly time for the Christmas break - do you need to change your password? If you need to access Moodle, your email or any other ITB computer service over the break, you may need to change your password.

There are four ways to change your password:

(1) You can change your password at any ITB PC: press CTRL-ALT-DELETE and select the option to change your password.

(2) You can come to the SID or Library desk with your student card. 

(3) You can sign up for password recovery. Those who register for password recovery can change their passwords from off-campus. You can register here and recover your password here.

(4) You can call 1518415090 and leave your name, student number and mobile phone number.  You will receive a text with your new password by the next working day.  Please note that there is a €3 charge for this service.  Please ensure that the mobile number you provide is the same as the one we have registered for you on our system.  We can only reset your password if the mobile number is a match.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Now showing at ITB Library...

Many movies end up being made because they were successful as a book...

But does the book beat the movie? Can hollywood stars, block-buster budgets and special effects beat the power of the imagination?

Surely this is a debate that could go on for years...

Why not decide for yourself....

ITB Library has lots of books which were later made into movies...!

Titles include:

This book of short stories by Stephen King produced no less than three Hollywood movies.

We also have John Boynes brilliant novel which looks at Nazi brutalitythrough the eyes of a child...

We have Dan Browns hugely successful Da Vinci Code, which helped to bring conspiracy theory into the mainstream...

Thomas Harris' Silence of the Lambs went on to become an epic pschological thriller starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster...

ITB library has the entire Hannibal Lectar trilogy to sink your teeth into!

We have all of these and much more in the fiction section, located right beside the circulation desk in the Library...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Inspiring ideas on a Friday morning

Have a look at this wonderful video to learn something new about how words are learned in infancy.

MIT researcher Deb Roy wanted to understand how his infant son learned language -- so he wired up his house with videocameras to catch every moment (with exceptions) of his son's life, then parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch "gaaaa" slowly turn into "water." Astonishing, data-rich research with deep implications for how we learn.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Looking for information for a specific topic?

Try Study @ Library on the ITB intranet (only available on campus).

This study hub contain information for a range of topics in the School of Business and Humanities and the School of Informatics and Engineering.  You can link to:
  • print journals
  • online journals
  • other library materials
  • recommended websites and gateways
  • library databases
Remember the intranet is only available on campus!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Magazines and journals

Did you know that the library subscribes to a whole range of print journals and magazines?  They are full of current information about some of the topics you study. 

If you have ten minutes to kill come and have a browse! 

The print journals are located on level 1 of the library (no. 7, on the right, below).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ever have trouble understanding difficult texts?

When you are a student you are absorbing lots of new information, ideas, opinions and facts.  You are studying new topics every semester and creating ideas and projects of your own.
Some information takes a little longer to understand, and fully take in, than other information.  Here are some hints on how to handle reading text that is difficult to understand.  Unless you understand a text properly, it will very hard to remember and re-use the information effectively.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The top 20 books of 2012

Are you are drawing up your christmas lists...?

Everyone knows that no Christmas list is complete without a good book...

But what to choose?

The online book blog 'The Book Case', has published a list of what it considers to be the best 20 books of 2012.  Why not take a includes a synopsis of each title

The list is as follows: