“The groundhogs acted with considerable sagacity.”

The title for this post was taken from an article published in The Vincennes Weekly Western Sun newspaper on February 10, 1866. It seems that the groundhogs saw their shadow on February 2nd, 1866, and in the days that followed the weather turned “exceedingly cold”, proving the underground rodent to be a reliable prophet.

This year’s Groundhog Day has come and gone, and it looks like we will have six more weeks of winter on our hands before we can shed our coats and boots. But before we go shopping for more sweaters and thermal underwear, just how accurate is that ol’ groundhog?

According to the National Climate Data Center (NCDC), not very. The NCDC report breaks down the average temperature from 1988-2013 and whether Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow or not. This is a direct quote from the report: “The table shows no predictive skill for the groundhog during the most recent years of this analysis.” Well, so much for buying snow tires.

For the full report on Groundhog Day predictions, click here.

For the history of Groundhog Day, click here.

And for more historical newspaper articles on a range of topics, click here.




So, about this new home page.

If you have visited Fintel Library’s home page lately, and if you are reading this post, there’s a good chance you have, you will have noticed some changes.  In addition to the new chat function which allows you instant access to real live librarians no matter where you are, we have enhanced the Fintel Answers knowledge base interface to give you better access to a searchable repository of knowledge about Fintel Library’s resources, services, and policies. You may also have noticed that the search box has changed too. By streamlining the interface, you can get the information you need more quickly and with less hassle.

We made these changes while leaving popular links like our complete list of resources and the Reference Appointment form in their familiar places on the page. We figure that these links are working just fine where they are and saw no reason to move them.

But that’s not the best part; behind the scenes Fintel Library has implemented a new content management system powered by LibGuides, yes, the same LibGuides you are familiar with from the myriad class and subject guide pages compiled by library staff. This content management system allows us to have more seamless transitions between all of our online functions, searching, knowledge base, chat, this blog, and the rest of Fintel Library’s services. We hope you like the new look and find the page useful.

Welcome back- now get to work!

Are you refreshed and ready to get back to work? Good.

Do you have an EndNote account? No? Well, you need to get one. Now, before the semester gets away from you and citations slip your mind. EndNote can keep track of your citations from the Library’s databases, and you can use the EndNote Word Plug-in to plug your citations into your paper as you’re writing it.

What is EndNote? It is a reference management software package, used to manage bibliographies and references when writing essays and articles. EndNote requires a subscription to use it. Guess what? We have a subscription to EndNote.

How do you use it? First, you have to find it on the Library website by clicking the link for Complete List of Resources and then clicking the D-E category. Or click here.

Next, you will need to create your EndNote account. It’s very easy. Just use your Roanoke College email account.

Once you have your account, there are a few things you can do with EndNote. There are links to how to get started, and how to create a reference manually. You can also use EndNote through the Library’s homepage search box, also known as EDS. Here are the instructions on using EndNote with EDS:

Steps for using EndNote with EBSCO Discovery Service

  1. Create your own account at http://my.endnote.com
  2. Log-in to your EndNote account
  3. In another tab in the same browser, perform your search in the database of your choice (EBSCO)
  4. Add the desired citations to your folder
  5. Once you have your citations, go to the folder
  6. Select all
  7. Export, use the Direct Export to EndNote Web setting.
  8. Screen returns to EndNote
  9. On format tab in EndNote
    1. References = all
    2. Bibliographic Style = (there are a lot of choices)
    3. File = RTF is the most or .txt will be the easiest to incorporate into a Word document
    4. Save = downloads a file to your hard drive
    5. E-mail = sends file to mailbox
    6. Preview and Print = gives a pop-up

If you need assistance with EndNote, or any other Library resource, please find a Librarian and ask for help.

Warm up at CUPS

Don’t let the Polar Vortex get you down! Come by the Library and get something warm and delicious to lift your spirits. CUPS on Campus is open and ready to serve you. CUPS will be open from 8 am to 4 pm this week, and resume regular hours (8-10 pm) when classes begin next week.

See you at CUPS!

Library will be open for 24 hours beginning Monday, December 2

Fintel Library will begin our two week, 24-hour study-palooza on Monday, December 2. Do you need a quiet, cozy place to study? Check out our independent study rooms on the third floor, or the second floor (our quiet floor) study carrells. Group project coming up? We have a collaboration room on the main floor that can hold four people and allow three laptops to be plugged in to the HD monitor, helping you share pointers on how to polish that Powerpoint. Be sure to check with the Reference Desk to see if the collaboration room is available (you can reserve it). And there are group study rooms on the ground and third floors- no reservation needed. 

And don’t forget our computer lab on the third floor. 

Fintel Library is also happy to continue our Cafe Fintel tradition during finals week, but that will be another blog post.

We will see you at the Library!

November 22, 1963

On November 22, 1963, America’s 35th President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was fatally shot as he and his wife traveled by presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas. JFK’s assassination has been investigated, conspiracy theorized, and written about in countless books. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that fateful day in Dallas, and recently news agencies have been all a buzz with new information, digitized transcripts, and never-before-seen images we can devour on this tragic moment in American history.

For the last few weeks, there have been stories shared with us about that fateful day, and what people were doing when they heard the news. Where were you when you heard about JFK’s assassination? Share your story with us and others as we remember this horrible day in American history.

Fintel Library has a few items on display in the front lobby to pay tribute to our fallen President. Come by and see some photos and take a moment to pay your respect to one of our fallen leaders.

Today’s Etymology Lesson

Consider the word “procrastinate” which the Oxford English Dictionary tells us derives from classical Latin, the prefix pro meaning roughly “for” and the possessive verb form of the noun crastin or tomorrow.  Crāstinus, then, translates to “belonging to tomorrow.” So to procrastinate is to be for belonging to tomorrow. In a more modern parlance: procrastinate and tomorrow OWNS you.
Now, get busy.