Archive for August, 2008

Blackboard for Evacuation Open Workshop

Okay, So I know that is last minute and all, but in light of the University suspending classes on Friday, I am going to be going over this topic this afternoon, Thurs the 28th, at 2:30 – 3:30 pm in the LI Classroom. Hope to see you there.

With Gustav spinning toward the gulf, are you suddenly regreting not attending any of the Library’s Blackboard workshops over the last few weeks? Well, in the spirit of everyone deserving a second chance, we have set up an additional training session in the Library’s LI classroom on Friday afternoon from 1:30 until 5:00 pm. So please feel free to drop by any time in that window, and we can get you up to speed on the basics of the system, and how to make the best of a hiatus for you and your students.

Using blogs and/or wikis this semester?

Dear Faculty:

This year, we’ll be piloting the new blog / wiki tool in Blackboard. If you plan on utilizing either of these tools in your course(s), please contact me for information regarding our evaluation plan. Next spring, we’ll use your input and suggestions to decide whether to keep this program or seek out alternatives.

Best wishes for the new semester!

Many thanks,

-Brad Petitfils, Instructional Technologist (x. 7132 /

Monroe Library Movie Club

I don’t know about you, but I’m a poor student worker without any extra cash, so I have to manage my money. Watching and renting movies is my favorite thing to do, though!  So how do I do it on a budget?

Netflix and Blockbuster Online seem too-cool-for-school, and I would love to use them! But in reality, it’s yet another monthly expense that I just can’t handle or keep track of. Also, if you’re an on-campus student (like I was the past 3 years), I know that one’s mailbox and residence can change several times per semester…and having yet another piece of mail to change the address on can be an unwanted hassle. (Just keeping your mom updated on your mail box number is stressful enough!)

So I say this to you:  what could be better than a wide range of movie titles of numerous genres, all part of a catalog that is continuously expanding, and free to all Loyola students and members of the community?

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen…I have discovered that The J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library Learning Commons has all of the above (and more!)  When I have a specific movie in mind, I look it up in the Online Catalog (located on the library’s home page.) If all I know is that I’ve got popcorn to pop and a hankering to escape from studying, I go in to the Learning Commons and browse the “Library DVD List” binder at the front desk or go straight to the DVD shelves (to the left of the computer cluster on the 1st floor) and peruse titles. Students (that includes you, Law, Nursing, and Grad students!) have a 3-night checkout for all the green-dotted DVDs and VHS tapes…and I don’t know about you, but three nights is plenty of time to find an hour for procrastination.

Also, don’t fret! The DVDs are not all “boring” educational films. The Learning Commons has indie films (“Amelie”), classic movies (“Some Like It Hot”), chick-flicks (“Pride & Predjudice”), action films (“V for Vendetta”), foreign films (“Volver”), documentaries (“Sicko”), musicals (“Chicago”), and the list goes on and on. They even have random fun DVD collections to watch, such as the complete seasons of “Six Feet Under,” “30 Rock,” or “Bridezillas.”

The moral of this story is: “Don’t pay when you don’t have to.” Discover the entertainment goodness the Monroe Library Learning Commons has to offer! Imagine…you can start checking out movies, and only have to pay for the popcorn and drinks! Check one out today. I’m most likely sitting at the desk, waiting to help you. :)


International Cooperation

I don’t know about you, but the Olympics always bring out my international cooperation side. Which is a fancified way of saying that for 30 minutes every night until the closing ceremonies I’ll have the inexplicable urge to ditch work, learn all 6 official languages of the UN, and go take a job as a diplomat. Never mind that the closest I’ve ever come to international diplomacy is having both Taco Bell and Domino’s be part of the same dinner.

So, it’s that time again, and this time, I decided I’m going to make a legitimate attempt to learn a language- by reading magazines. Turns out, the Monroe Library has a super-sweet collection of foreign language magazines, newspapers, and journals. Interested in learning Spanish? Check out El Pais. German? Well, I think Stern Magazine is for you. And if French is more your thing, have a look at Paris Match, a French tabloid that I am pretty certain has had either Nicolas or Carla Sarkozy on the cover every issue for the last 6 months. There’s plenty more, too. Here’s how you look up foreign language periodicals in the catalog.

Of course, I act like I know this stuff off the top of my head, but in the ‘There’s no such thing as a stupid question’ department, I actually asked Beth how to do this. Beth, being a super-awesome reference librarian, happily complied, and now I’m taking credit for it. Anyway….

1) Go to the Library’s full catalog.

2) Under the search box, click ‘Advanced Search.’

3) In the drop down box marked ‘Language,’ pick the language you want to search for. In the drop down box marked ‘Material type,’ select ‘Periodical.’

4) Hit search, and presto! A list of periodicals in a given language!

Neat. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I hear some Thai food calling my name.


LC 4 Life?

This is the “jumping off point” for the Learning Commons blog at Loyola University, New Orleans.

1)  What is a “Learning Commons?”

We are the best, and newest thing, to come your way amongst the recent miriad of library advancements.  At the Monroe Library, we strive to provide “traditonal” library services and at the same time, we are committed to providing new models of what it means to be a library.  The Learning Commons encourages engagement with information in its various forms, reinforces the value of collaborative inquiry, creates new opportunities for community interaction, and supports student success at Loyola.

2)  Where Should You Ask Questions?

The LC (Learning Commons) is where you should feel free to ask ANY question.  We will direct you to where you can find research about anything:  freeway displacement, women in the 1960′s, the Christmas Tsunami:  you can find it all here!  At the Learning Commons desk, you can get assistance with standard circulation, reference, and technology questions. Users wanting or needing more in-depth knowledge are connected to appropriate experts, materials, programs, or workshops.

The Learning Commons is a work in process, so please join us as we discover ourselves and expand your world!

Do you have a topic you'd like us to cover?

If there is a topic you’d like us to write about, leave a comment here. We will write about any research or technology related questions you have.

Scholar has Arrived!

So, what exactly is Scholar?

…I am so glad you asked. Scholar is the new social bookmarking service from Blackboard that allows all users of Blackboard systems across the globe connect and share research resources, favorite sites and Ideas. For an idea on what Social bookmarking actually is, take a look a Wikipedia’s entry here.

The first time that you click on the Scholar tab, you will be prompted to create an account; a few pieces of information and you are in. Blackboard will save your account information and automatically log you in to scholar each time you log into Blackboard. Here is the great thing about Scholar, your account is completely transferable. If you continue your studies at another institution, you can simply associate your scholar account with that institution’s blackboard server, or even if they don’t use blackboard, you can simply sign into your account directly at

If you want more information about Scholar, you can visti their website at

So get tagging, and let me know how it goes.

Fall Faculty Workshops

Learn how to use Wikis and Blogs in your classes, best practices for grading and online assessment, and how to create a course that bridges the gap between online and oncampus education. Not quite sure what this ‘Blackboard’ thing is? we have that covered too. For a full list of this fall’s Blackboard workshops, go here.