Category Archives: Instruction

Information about library instruction programs.

RS 100 Class Completes Poker Run in the Library

Information services librarian Celeste Evans and Information resources technician Latisha Taylor explain to cadets the help they can obtain at the information desk.

Celeste Evans, information services librarian, and Latisha Taylor, information resources technician, explain to cadets the assistance they can obtain at the information desk.

On 23 and 24 August, cadets enrolled in the Center for Enhanced Performance’s RS 100 course spent some very active time in the Jefferson Hall, 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.

Information services technician Sharon Gillespie speaks with cadets about how they can be helped at the welcome/circulation desk.

Sharon Gillespie, information services technician, speaks with cadets about how they can be helped at the welcome/circulation desk.

Cadets are given a checklist of locations (the Welcome/Circulation Desk, Info Desk/Reference Librarian/Print Stations, and the home of ourUnique Resources collection and staff – newly relocated to the West Point Room in Bartlett Hall North) and are directed to complete a task at each checkpoint.

PokerRunScout1

Karen Shea, plebe experience librarian, shows cadets how to utilize Scout!

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 Unique Collections and USMA Archives in the West Point Room, where this semester they saw Custer’s demerits (all six pages of them!), the West Point Post Order book that included an account of Edgar Allan Poe’s court-martial, and Civil War-era maps by Jeremy Gilmer (USMA 1939).

Rare book curator, Elaine McConnell, share with cadets one of Jeremy Gilmer's Civil War era maps.

Elaine McConnell, rare book curator, shares with cadets one of Jeremy Gilmer’s Civil War era maps.

PokerRunPrinter

Rik Miller, systems technician, explains using the print stations located in the Library.

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. Over 100 cadets participated in these Poker Runs, and judging from discussions with them at the end of class, everyone learned something new that they felt would help them throughout their academic career at West Point.

Narrative by Laura Mosher, Cadet Engagement Librarian; photos by Barbara Maroney, Facilities Support Technician.

Discover a Database – OECD iLibrary

OECD logo_globe

oecd_ilibrary text logo

 

 

 

The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.  It works with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change. It measures productivity and global flows of trade and investment and analyzes and compares data to predict future trends. See more about OECD. See member countries.

OECD iLibrary, their global knowledge base, is the online library of the OECD featuring its books, papers (including journals) and statistics and is the gateway to OECD’s analysis and data, replacing SourceOECD.*

Features:

  • Read: using your computer, tablet or smartphone
  • Browse: by theme, country or both, and statistics
  • Search:

■ Simple search or advanced search through the search box, then refine results by content type or theme/country
■ Theme, then select Books, Papers or Statistics

  • Navigate: by Book, Papers, Statistics, Factbook, Glossaries (grouped together to filter by many parameters)
  • Access DATA: through interactive statistical databases
  • Cite: consistent referencing of any full-text item on the site.
  • Formats: PDF, WEB, XLS, ActiveChart, DATA, ePUB, READ

Sample search: follow the Theme search on Agriculture and Food, selecting OECD Agriculture Statistics.

SnipImage

OECD Agriculture and Food

OECD Agriculture Statistics

This example shows the various formats in which your output is available.

OECD Agriculture Statistics data set

DATA sets are fully interactive and customizable. Note also, that a simple click on “cite this database” will provide a citation for insertion into your paper’s bibliography.

crop production

An Indicators data set can be presented in a chart, map or table.

Watch this navigating OECD iLibary video for additional assistance on other searching options.

 Who should use this collection?

It is a useful resource for students of development, growth, and comparative and international economics. Also, those studying geography and environmental engineering, energy, water and natural resources, as well as statisticians/researchers in research and development, healthcare and world trade would benefit.

Summary

OECD iLibrary is an excellent resource for primary research information and data, particularly relevant for economics, political science, international relations, and other social science papers and assignments. Using the OECD iLibrary is much more efficient than scouring the open Internet for similar information.

Coverage from the 1990s into the 2010s

  • Numerous entry points to information
  • Information is available in your choice of formats
  • Data sets are interactive with customizable output
  • Ease of citation

* OECD iLibrary also contains content published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) [our subscription to IEA data offers full access to all publications of the IEA including the statistical annuals providing you with the same data as in the data sets, but in PDF format], the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the OECD Development Centre, PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), and the International Transport Forum (ITF).

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 Manja Yirka, Continuing Resources Librarian and Liaison Librarian to the Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences.

Discover a Database – IEEE Xplore

Image 1 IEEE Logo

USMA Library offers its engineering students IEEE Xplore, a most important engineering resource.

 

Content Coverage

Besides being a product of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the leading authority on electrical engineering and computer science, the IEEE Xplore digital library provides online access to almost four million full-text technical publications dating back to 1893, including standards and professional development courses. IEEE Xplore is not, however, limited to electrical engineering as its topic coverage has grown to include materials from overlapping research areas, for example, biotechnology, information assurance, and transportation. In addition to offering IEEE publications, IEEE Xplore hosts publications from several other technical information publishers, for example, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IBM. Publications from three new technical publishers were also recently added: Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), Beijing Institute of Aerospace Information (BIAI), and Tsinghua University Press (TUP). Table 1 lists IEEE Xplore content coverage in more detail.Table 1

Table. 1 Xplore Content Coverage

Basic Functionality

IEEE Xplore can be searched using keywords, phrases, article titles, authors, index terms, and other criteria. After an initial search, users have the option to view, download, print, refine and search within results lists, view tables of contents, evaluate bibliographic records, and interact with multimedia files, including embedded formulas.

To begin a Basic Search, navigate to IEEE Xplore. The default setting is on Basic Search. The global search box is where users input keyword(s) to be searched within document metadata (not full-text). As an example, the term “Security” has been entered. After the term is entered, click the Search button to the right of the global search box and documents with the metadata term “Security” will be retrieved.

Image 2 Figure 1

Figure 1. Global Search

The resulting list contains 146,702 documents listed down the lower center of the screen in intervals of 25 (see Figure 2). Users can further investigate a result by clicking on its title. Users can also investigate any one of the other several bibliographic elements included in the citation by clicking on the respective hyperlinked element. A result’s full-text can, in most cases, be viewed directly on the browser in HTML. Alternatively, users can also download the full-text in PDF format.

Image 3 Figure 2

Figure 2. Results list

Users should keep several things in mind when performing a Basic Search. The default Basic Search is set to only search keywords in metadata, not the full-text of documents. This is fine if you prefer to have more refined initial results. However, if you are not getting enough results you may want to expand the search to allow for IEEE Xplore to search for keywords throughout the full-text. This can be accomplished by first clicking the Advanced Search option (see Figure 3).Image 4 Figure 3

Figure 3. Click Advanced Search option

On the next screen (see Figure 4), switch the Search radio button selection from Metadata Only to Full-Text & Metadata.

Image 5 Figure 4Figure 4. Select Full-Text & Metadata Search option radio button

There are several less known, but very useful literature analytic capabilities offered by IEEE Xplore. To name a few, IEEE Xplore allows users to count citations from patents to research papers. This is a handy tool to trace the intellectual lineage of a technical invention and measure research impact. Similarly, IEEE Xplore can produce a visual display showing citations to and from a given article, allowing users to better grasp the articles sematic context. Users can also quickly identify cutting-edge research articles that are generating social media buzz through the use of altmetric functionality provided by IEEE Xplore.

Who might be interested in using IEEE Xplore?

Uncovering the USMA departments and research centers that contribute publications to the IEEE Xplore collection provides insight into the most common users. Using IEEE Xplore, I executed an Author Affiliation search looking for articles published by USMA affiliated authors. There were a total of 311 publications affiliated with USMA ranging from 1945-2016 (see Figure 5). Out of those publications, 260 were conference proceedings and 51 were journal and magazine articles.

Image 6 Figure 5Figure 5. List of USMA results

The following USMA departments and research centers were represented among the results:

  • Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering
  • Department of Physics
  • Department of Systems Engineering
  • Operations Research Center
  • Photonics Research Center

Cadets and faculty from the aforementioned departments will find IEEE Xplore an essential information resource.

IEEE Xplore provides several short tutorials that new users may find helpful. The following hyperlinked list presents a few:

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 Nicholas V. Olijnyk, Digital Initiatives Librarian

Discover a Database: Gallup Analytics

G for Gallup

 

 

Gallup Analytics logo green

 

 

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:

  • U.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.

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.

PokerRun150826_5

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.

PokerRun150826_4

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.

Books at JSTOR

479149414_640We’ve recently increased our book collection by adding over 20,000 electronic book titles to the USMA Library collection. How, you may ask? Through our excellent new resource, Books at JSTOR.

Many of you are already familiar with JSTOR Journals, and Books at JSTOR works just like its other database. Books at JSTOR offers eBooks that are easily accessible through our SCOUT search on the library website.

This collection of academic books is drawn largely (but not exclusively) from university presses and covers 14 subject areas, including Science & Technology, Political Science, Sustainability, Sociology and History, among others. Do a keyword or title search in SCOUT, then retrieve the book by clicking on the URL at the bottom of the result you select.

JSTOR SCOUT search

Benefits of Books at JSTOR

  • High-quality scholarly content: Important titles from leading academic publishers, including Princeton University Press, Yale University Press, Harvard University Press, and many more
  • Easy to use: For example, journal articles, book chapters can be read online or downloaded as PDF files that never expire

Other nice features:

  • No logging in and no special software required
  • Unlimited downloads; unlimited copy and paste
  • Access is 24 x 7
  • New titles added monthly

Users will be able to:

  • View eBook chapters online
  • View books even if another user is “using” the book, as JSTOR offers unlimited simultaneous access– AND they never expire
  • Download and print (please remember the environment) a PDF of a chapter
  • Cross-search eBooks and journals for related content JSTOR cross-searchiing

 

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 Manja Yirka,  Continuing Resources Librarian

 

RS 100 Classes Complete Poker Runs in the USMA Library

Librarian Darrell Hankins helps Plebes learn to search the Library’s resources with our Scout! Search tool.

Librarian Darrell Hankins helps Plebes learn to search
the Library’s resources with our Scout! Search tool.

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.

Rare Book Curator Elaine McConnell tells cadets about some of the unique resources in the Library’s Special Collections and Archives Division.

Rare Book Curator Elaine McConnell tells cadets about some of the unique resources in the Library’s Special Collections and Archives Division.

Cadets are given a checklist of locations in the Library (Circulation Desk, Reference Desk, Reserve Room, and Special Collections & Archives Reading 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 Special Collections and Archives Reading Room, where this semester they got to see Custer’s demerits (all six pages of them!) and hand-drawn plans (dating back to the 1870s) for the construction of the railroad tunnel underneath the Plain.

Librarian Michael Arden advices cadets as they search for books and  journal articles using the Library website.

Librarian Michael Arden advices cadets as they search for books and journal articles using the Library website.

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.

Narrative by Laura Mosher; photos by Barbara Maroney

Liaison Librarians Partner with Faculty for Cadet Success

The Librarians in the USMA Library are investing new energy in a traditional role: that of the “Liaison Librarian.”  Liaison Librarians create partnerships with faculty to build strong connections between the USMA Library and the various Academic Departments here at West Point.  This is not a new idea; all the librarians at the USMA Library have traditionally had liaison assignments. However, our current efforts to build the liaison librarian program are more formal and focused than ever before.  The liaison program matches a subject specialist with each academic department in an effort to better meet our cadets’ information needs relative to their academic assignments.  How do we do this?  By meeting with faculty to understand the research required for specific assignments, and then designing Research Guides, recommended reading lists, and instruction sessions targeted at subject-specific research skills.   We work with faculty throughout the Academic year to offer assistance wherever (library or classroom) and whenever (lab periods, paper prep sessions) it best fits into the course. We also conduct evening clinics and daytime library information sessions to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all our patrons, on topics ranging from the general (using Scout for searching for Library resources) to the specific (the best resources for SS 307 papers).

Faculty members are encouraged to contact their Dept. Liaison Librarian to explore ways to incorporate library instruction in their classes. Cadets seeking help with a research paper should stop by the Reference desk and ask to see their department’s library liaison for help targeted specifically at the subject and assignment on which they are working. Patrons can also look up our liaison librarians on the Library website, and make an appointment via phone or email for research assistance at a mutually convenient time.  Having a liaison librarian in your academic corner means having a personal information specialist who will be a force multiplier on your road to academic success!

 

 

Library Poker Runs: Active (and fun!) Learning in the Library

By Laura Mosher, Reference & Liaison Librarian

Earlier this semester, patrons may have noticed groups of plebes moving quickly through the Library, stopping at various places and engaging in conversations with Library staff members, before zooming off to another location within the building. If you were one of those patrons, you encountered plebes taking either RS 100 or RS 101, the Reading and Study Skills course offered by the Center for Enhanced Performance. As that name implies, these classes help plebes adapt to the fast-paced, highly demanding academic world of West Point with instruction in time management, note-taking, reading comprehension exercises, and tips on coping with stress. One very important aspect of these courses is a Library-oriented lesson, which introduces many of the services and resources the Library offers, and gives the plebes a chance to meet our staff members who are eager and able to help with their research needs throughout their cadet career.

Modeled on motorcycle Poker Runs that are a popular fund-raising activity, the Library Poker Runs call for cadets to team up and visit five checkpoints within the Library, and perform a task at each one. The checkpoints are places where important Library activities take place, such as the Circulation and Reference Desks, or places that highlight collections or functions that all cadets should know about, such as our Special Collections and Archives Reading Room and the Reserve Room. Additionally, one checkpoint provides each cadet team with a Librarian focused on introducing them to the Library’s web page and new single search tool Scout.  After completing their assigned task, each team draws a playing card, and moves on to the next checkpoint, assembling (they hope!) a winning poker hand, and walking away with a prize, courtesy of their Instructor.

Over approximately two weeks’ time this August, September, and October, nineteen sections of RS 100 & 101 were taught in the Library, to a total of 312 cadets! With the dedicated help of almost two dozen staff members from four Library Divisions”, the five checkpoints became places where plebes learned: how to use the self-check machines to borrow books; what to do if they need an item that’s not in our collection; how to use search limiters and subject terms to find materials on their chosen topics; what kinds of primary source materials our Special Collections and Archives Division has to make their history papers more engaging; and how to find the materials that specific Instructors place on Reserve in the Library for the use of all the cadets in their classes.

Instructors and cadets alike have told us that the Poker Runs provide a competitive and highly interactive method of introducing plebes to essential library resources and services, and they enjoy both the learning and the competition –and the prizes!  So the next time you stop in the Library early in the semester, and notice groups of plebes busily moving from place to place with playing cards in their hands you can rest assured that they are not gambling, but learning how the Library can help them with their studies.