Soldier Elvis!

Army_Elvis (1)On 24 March 1958, Elvis Presley was admitted into the U.S. Army. He signed up at the induction station in Memphis, TN, and eventually arrived at Fort Hood, TX for training. Presley left Fort Hood September 19, 1958 to join the 3rd Armored Division in Germany, where he completed his required two years of active duty.

Discover a Database: Gallup Analytics

G for Gallup

 

 

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The USMA Library recently added a new database to its arsenal of electronic resources, Gallup Analytics. Featuring Gallup polling data from the United States and around the world, our new database incorporates the Gallup Brain (previously offered by the library) as one major component, however it is a much expanded resource. Gallup Analytics provides essential public opinion data that is invaluable to research in a wide range of departments including Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences & Leadership, Geography & Environmental Engineering, History, and Military Instruction – anywhere, in fact, that requires knowledge about how a given topic is viewed by the public.

Features:

Gallup Analytics users can:

  • Perform detailed searches on hundreds of U.S. and global metrics
  • Cut data by numerous demographic and socio-economic groups
  • Create and export custom data tables, trends, charts and scatter plots
  • Export data to spreadsheets

Students and faculty have access to:

  • S. Data
    • Economic, well-being and political data collected daily since 2008
    • By State and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
    • MSA and state-specific dashboards
    • Historical Gallup trends dating back to the 1930s
  • World Poll Data
    • Economic, social and well-being data collected since 2005 in over 160 countries
    • More than 80 metrics that are part of the Gallup Macroeconomic Path – a behavioral-based leadership model for successful societies
    • Country-specific dashboards

Searching:

  • Searches may be by Topic, Geography or Keyword. A Topic search is often a good starting point:Gallup keyword search
  • Note that your data source is either the World Poll or U.S. Daily.
  • I first searched for “Confidence in National Government” in Southeast Asian countries from 2014-15, ranking the results from most to least confident in the following table (exportable to an Excel spreadsheet):Gallup table
  • Next, I compared “Confidence in National Government” among selected Southeast Asian countries for the time range 2012-15, creating the chart below:Gallup chart
  • Finally, I mapped the same metric for Asian-Pacific nations in 2014, which returned the map below:Gallup map
  • The map view of the rankings is in varying shades of green. The Communist government in China, which allows restrictively limited Gallup polling, did not authorize this particular question, hence it is grayed out, as are North Korea and Papua New Guinea, given that Gallup doesn’t operate in those countries.
  • For incisive U.S. polling data and topical articles of interest, try searching the Gallup Brain. In addition to historical polling results from 1935 to the present day, current articles cover a wide spectrum of topics ranging from the public’s perception of foreign trade, affordability of housing, health and healthcare, crime, governance, perceptions of Presidential candidates, how Americans view Israel and France (favorably overall), and how we are viewed by the rest of the world (positively overall).Gallup Analytics cookie statement

HINT: If this box appears at the bottom of your screen, click close to see the link to Gallup Brain.Gallup Brain

Summary:

For novices, navigation can be a bit tricky when setting up metrics for the desired search results. For example, you will need to tweak your metrics when shifting from tables to charts and maps. That said, it becomes less a problem the more one uses the database. As always, ask a Librarian for assistance if you have any questions when using our research products.

Overall, this is a superlative resource to use for both domestic and public opinion data and is a very helpful addition to the library’s offerings.

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Michael G. Arden, Audio-Visual Librarian and Liaison Librarian to the Department of Social Sciences, and Manja Yirka, Continuing Resources Librarian and Liaison Librarian to the Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences.

DNA Discovery

DNA February 1 marked the 72nd  the anniversary of the publication of the manuscript describing the experiments and conclusions leading to the discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid, now commonly called DNA.

Three molecular biologists demonstrated that the genetic transformation of bacteria is caused by DNA, providing direct evidence about the chemical nature of hereditary information. Their discovery, doubted at first, eventually led geneticists to understand that DNA carried life’s genetic blueprints.

Until the Avery-MacLeod-McCarty experiment demonstrated that DNA is the hereditary chemical of life, most biologists believed that the substance responsible for heredity was protein because of its extensive diversity and variability. The Avery-MacLeod-McCarty discovery revolutionized the study of the biological sciences by focusing the study of living systems on molecular mechanisms and by changing the focus of the chemical nature of heredity from proteins to DNA. (http://0-search.ebscohost.com.usmalibrary.usma.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers&AN=89116362&site=eds-live)

In 1941, geneticist Maclyn McCarty extended MacLeod’s experiments by using an enzyme to digest the type III polysaccharide to remove it from the preparation. By early 1942, upon addition of alcohol to the preparation, a stringy, fibrous material precipitated. McCarty showed that all enzymes that degraded DNA destroyed the transforming principle, but inactivating these enzymes by heat eliminated their ability to destroy the transforming principle. By this time, the laboratory was convinced that the transforming and hereditary chemical was DNA

Cadets in CPT Hummel's Intro to Biology class write their definition of the role of DNA.

Cadets in CPT Hummel’s Intro to Biology class write their definition of the role of DNA.

According to CPT Hummel, Dept. of Chemistry & Life Sciences, “The experiment by Avery, MacLeod, and McCarthy was pivotal in that it confirmed Frederick Griffith’s observation of transformation from the 1920s which had been scrutinized as potentially being contaminated. Cadets in the Introduction to Biology course look at both experiments to see how over 80 years ago scientists were just discovering the role of DNA as our genetic material. This experiment demonstrated that DNA was responsible for transforming the benign R type cells into the virulent S type.” Coincidentally, this week he was actually going over this experiment with the cadets, as they begin their genetics block.

Cadets in CPT Hummel's Intro to Biology class discuss the role of DNA.

Cadets in CPT Hummel’s Intro to Biology class discuss the role of DNA.

LTC Goodin commented that in CH375, Intro to Biology, “We cover many different experiments that led to our current understanding of DNA as the genetic material. An entire block (11 lessons) of instruction is dedicated to the central dogma of molecular biology (DNA-RNA-Protein) and the relationship between genetics, heredity, and evolution.” He believes, “that one of the most interesting ways to learn about DNA and molecular biology is to follow the experiments that led to our current understanding. This is a big part of the biology course.”

The original article: Avery, Oswald T., Colin M. MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty. “Studies on the Chemical Nature of the Substance Inducing Transformation of Pneumococcal Types: Induction of Transformation by a Desoxyribonucleic Acid Fraction Isolated from Pneumococcus Type III.” Journal of Experimental Medicine 79, no. 2 (February, 1944): 137-158.

Contents contributed by Manja Yirka,  Continuing Resources Librarian and Liaison Librarian to Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences.

Staff Profile – Mark Danley

MarkDanleyThe USMA Library Staff would like to belatedly welcome Mark Danley, who joined us in August 2015. He serves in the capacity of Cataloging Librarian and has begun additional duties as Library Liaison to the Military History Division of the History Department. He will also become a member of the teaching staff in the Department of History, beginning in fall semester 2016.

Mark grew up in Virginia, and stayed there for his education through his MA degree in History at Virginia Tech. After enlisting in the Army in July 1991, he served as an airborne parachute rigger from March 1992-December 1993. He got his Ph.D. in History at Kansas State, then his MLIS at Louisiana State. He has taught military history in Norwich University’s online graduate program.

Mark is a self-proclaimed “soldier scholar,” incorporating his love for the Army with the study of history, and brings the “Airborne Spirit” into everything he does. His enlistment in the Army–almost 25 years ago–makes West Point’s mission all the more meaningful to him.

When asked what his most challenging experience has ever been, he quickly replied that it was getting through Airborne School. According to Mark, he was not very coordinated back then, so it look him longer than most to learn the necessary skills. However, he was super motivated and had great instructors who took the time to train him.

On the other hand, maybe finishing his Ph.D. was more difficult? He states that every single scholarly work he has ever produced or published has been HARD (note the caps). Mark is a tedious and labor-intensive researcher, a trait which he says is the nature of his specialty. Self-deprecatingly, he states that he is a bad writer, revising numerous times to get his work into an academically publishable form. I seriously doubt that is true, but his refuse-to-give-up attitude has served him well. He has 4 scholarly articles to his credit. He is also a strong contributor to Name Authority Cooperative of Program for Cooperative Cataloging (NACO) and recently gave a presentation on Problems and Solutions in Name Authority Work for Military-Related Materials at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference in January, 2016.

In his spare time, Mark likes to work out at a CrossFit gym and practices hot yoga. His following of NCAA football–especially Army and all his Alma Maters–has diminished this past fall due to his move here, but he intends to pick up on that later this year.

Mark’s enthusiasm for librarianship and zeal for the Army will greatly enrich his interactions with our staff and cadets. Welcome, Mark!

Contents contributed by Manja Yirka,  Continuing Resources Librarian, and Lauren Hall, Access Services Librarian

The Library Reads – “When the Snow Comes, They Will Take You Away” by Eric Newby

When_the_Snow_Comes_COVER“When the Snow Comes, They Will Take You Away” by Eric Newby is a vivid first-person account of adventure during WWII. The author Eric Newby, as a very young British officer, was a prisoner of war in Italy. He escaped in the chaos following the Italian surrender in the late summer of 1943, and spent the winter on the run from the Germans. The humanity and compassion of the Italian peasants is unforgettable, scratching for a living while stashing away food for a lone Englishman at grave risk of Nazi retaliation, yet revealing an uncanny intelligence beyond fiction at several turns. This book depicts an unusual currency in human affairs, where the dollar holds no sway to common decency and suffering in the most barren regions. The book is a thriller, a love story, and a tribute to the brave generosity of the many local partisans who helped Newby survive.

When the Snow Comes, They Will Take You Away by Eric Newby (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971)

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Susan Lintelmann, Manuscripts Curator

USMA Library Holiday Hours – 2015

USMA Library 2015 Holiday Hours
USMA Library will operate the following hours during the holiday break:

Monday 14– Friday 18 December 0700-2315
Saturday 19 December 0700-1900
Sunday 20 December CLOSED
Monday 21 – Wednesday 23 December 0700-1630
Thursday 24 December 0700-1200
Friday 25 – Sunday 27 December CLOSED
Monday 28 – Thursday 31 December 0700-1630
Friday 1 – Saturday 2 January CLOSED
Sunday 3 January 1100-2315
Beginning Monday 4 January – Regular Academic Term Hours Begin
Full hours are available on our website.

Discover a Database – Cambridge Histories Online

CHOheaderThe USMA Library recently added a new resource to its offerings called Cambridge Histories Online. While this may sound like it’s just for those taking history classes, it is actually interdisciplinary; covering the history of a wide range of topics from foreign relations to music, literary studies to philosophy. This resource also includes several volumes on the history of warfare.

Features

  • Over 300 volumes published since 1960
  • Covers 15 different academic subjects
  • Each chapter is a separate, searchable PDF
  • Search or browse the titles
  • Complete index and bibliography for every volume

Who should use this resource?

Cadets in any humanities class will find this to be an invaluable resource. Cadets in science classes may also find utility in the 6 volume Cambridge History of Science.

Here’s a sampling from the series on Warfare, which Military History instructors and students will certainly find of value.

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Tips for searching Cambridge Histories Online

  • Use the search box at the top of the page for a quick list of results based on keyword
  • Use advanced search to combine keywords or authors, or choose specific subject areas

As always, ask a Librarian for help if you have any questions about any of our research products!

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by G.J. Corey Harmon, Circulation & Reference Librarian

Library Service Announcements – Fall 2015

CHECK OUT A FEW OF THE NEW RESOURCES AVAILABLE THIS FALL

Full-text indexing and citations for the contents of the HathiTrust Digital Library were integrated into Scout, our discovery service. The enormous size of the HathiTrust collection means that Scout is now a de facto index to a very large proportion of the world’s books and serials. It also provides direct access to the complete texts of over five million volumes.

We added Books at JSTOR to our collection – scholarly ebooks on the familiar JSTOR platform, easy to read online with no limit on the number of readers, and easy to download as unlimited-rights PDF to the device of the reader’s choice.

We also added AccessEngineering, an online collection of engineering reference material providing access to technical books, manuals, handbooks and more, enriched with instructional videos, interactive tables and charts and personalization tools.

Cambridge Histories Online, collecting nearly 350 of the various Cambridge Histories in a single platform allowing concurrent access for unlimited numbers of users.

All of these materials are available via the Library website (http://www.usma.edu/library).

SERVICE FLOOR AND PRINTING CHANGES

You may have noticed our new staffed service location at the top of the stairs on the second floor. From that location, we can offer assistance regarding any services available in Jefferson Hall from research and reference assistance to printing questions and everything in-between. The West Point Writing Center has also relocated to the far northeast corner of the second floor for their operations. We are continuing to plan additional upgrades to collaborative work areas on the second floor.

The library printers are now on an upgraded print server and should appear as an available printer on your computer. Look for \\usmasvdzpaper\USMAPRLIBREF to send jobs to the release station located on the 2nd floor of the library.

2014-2016 USMA LIBRARY PROGRAM REVIEW AVAILABLE

This summer the Library published our annual program review which includes information about our activities during the 2014-15 academic year as well as a look ahead at our goals and objectives for the coming academic year. The review is available for download on the USMA Library website at: http://www.usma.edu/library/Site%20Documents/USMALibraryProgram1416.pdf

POLICY UPDATES AND REMINDERS

Elevator – Cadets are now authorized to use the elevators after the academic duty day is complete on weekdays and on weekends. This harmonizes use policies with other academic facilities.

Access – Visitors to Jefferson Hall must be in uniform or displaying their CAC/DoD ID on a lanyard for access. Anyone else must be accompanied by authorized individuals. CACs on lanyards are also required when wearing cadet casual. Force protection while in Jefferson Hall is a top priority. Please help us maintain a secure and safe environment.

ACCESS TO NYTIMES.COM AVAILABLE THROUGH USMA LIBRARY

Can’t live without the latest when it comes to critical defense-related news like cadet pillow fights? We now have a site license to NYTimes.com available for cadets, faculty, and staff with USMA email addresses. Below is information on how to set up access. You may also view a brief video tutorial on setting up an academic pass (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NROcngiF_uY)

What is included:

  • Unlimited access to current content posted to NYTimes.com.
  • Unlimited access to archived content published prior to 1923 and after 1980.
  • Five free articles per day published between 1923-1980 (Please note that USMA Library has complete, unlimited archival full-text access to the New York Times separate from the NYTimes.com website).
  • Access to the New York Times via Smartphone app (iPhone, Blackberry 10, Windows Phone 7, Android-powered phones).
  • Access to these services for the life of the contract (until the end of September 2016). Access beyond September 2016 is subject to funding and contract renewal.

What is NOT included:

  • Tablet apps (iPad, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 Desktop and Tablet, Android-powered tablets – You may view all NYTimes.com website content while logged in through the browsers on these devices).
  • E-Reader editions.
  • Premium Crosswords or The New York Times Crosswords apps.
  • Any other premium/subscription-based New York Times apps.
  • Times Premier.
  • The ability to share your Academic Pass digital access with others.

Program eligibility:

  • Anyone with an active usma.edu email address can enroll in the program licensed through USMA Library.
  • Employees, contractors, graduates, and other affiliates without usma.edu email addresses are not eligible.
  • Family members and other dependents are not eligible.

How to enroll:

How to use the pass:

  • After activating a pass, you need to be logged in to your NYTimes.com account on the device you are using to read New York Times content. While logged in, you can access unlimited content from any network or location for the duration of your pass (late September 2016).

STAY CONNECTED TO THE LIBRARY

We’d love to keep you up-to-date throughout the year on library news and programs. You can follow our blog: http://blog.usmalibrary.org/, like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/USMALibrary, or follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/USMALibrary.

RS 100 Class Completes Poker Run in the Library

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Library Technician, Latisha Taylor, answers cadet questions at the Info Desk on the 2nd floor of Jefferson Hall.

On 25 and 26 August, cadets enrolled in the Center for Enhanced Performance’s RS 100 course got a chance to spend some very active time in the Library, finding their way from one service point to another and learning about Library resources, services, and staff along the way. The Library Poker Runs are designed to get cadets familiar with the people here at the Library who can help them in their studies, and with the resources they can use to complete the assignments they’ll have throughout their time at West Point.

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Bob Sorce, Interlibrary Loan Technician, explains how to obtain a copy of the a book not available in the USMA Library’s collection.

Cadets are given a checklist of locations in the Library (Welcome/Circulation Desk, Info Desk/Reference Librarian/Print Stations, and the Heritage Room) and are directed to complete a task at each checkpoint. The tasks help the plebes learn a multitude of research-related skills, such as how to search within our collections using Scout! – the Library’s discovery tool; how to renew books online; what to do when the Library doesn’t have an article or book they need (hint: Inter-Library Loan!); and the difference between primary and secondary sources. A highlight of the Poker Run is a visit to the Heritage Room, where this semester they got to see Custer’s demerits (all six pages of them!), hand-drawn plans (dating back to the 1870s) for the construction of the railroad tunnel underneath the Plain, and Howitzers feature the current Dean and Commandant.

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Cadets look at a page of the “Demerit Book” while Rare Book Curator, Elaine McConnell, shares some insights on what cadet life might have been like in the mid-1800s.

After completing each task, the cadets draw a card, and the cadet team with the best poker hand at the end of class wins a prize from their instructor. Almost 100 cadets participated in this round of Poker Runs, and judging from discussions with them at the end of class, a fun – and educational! – time was had by all.

Content contributed by Laura Mosher, Reference Librarian; photos by Barbara Maroney, Facilities Support Assistant.

The Library Reads – “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

book_thiefI have to admit that I was reluctant to read The Book Thief due to its subject matter. After all, the book is narrated by death and takes place in Germany during Hitler’s rise to power. But after holding the best seller list for over four years and being made into a movie, it seemed to warrant a read. The Book Thief is categorized as a young adult book for ages fourteen and up but is by no means childish. Told from the perspective of a nine year old German girl named Liesel Meminger, the book provides a sympathetic glimpse into what life might have been like for the German populace as the Nazi regime took hold. One of things I found most intriguing about this book was the humanization of the German citizenry. Many of the characters are lovable and you witnesses how their world is torn apart by the impending war and how they themselves are victims of the Nazi regime. I recommend The Book Thief because books provide both nourishment for mind and soul – in this story and in real life.

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007)

The USMA Library has the audiobook and the DVD of The Book Thief

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Karen Shea Reference & Liaison Librarian