A Giant Spot and Open Data

A Giant Spot

On July 10, 2017, Juno completed its 7th and final close flyby of the gas giant, Jupiter. (In cosmic terms, “close flyby” meant 6,130 miles.) In this final flyby, the Juno spacecraft snapped a close-up shot of the Giant Red Spot, a hurricane-like storm that is as big as Earth and that has been raging for at least 160 years.

juno1NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt

Launched in August 2011, Juno’s job is to closely collect and gather data on Jupiter. NASA states Juno’s explicit goals are to:

  • Determine how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which helps determine which planet formation theory is correct (or if new theories are needed)
  • Look deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties
  • Map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet’s deep structure
  • Explore and study Jupiter’s magnetosphere near the planet’s poles, especially the auroras – Jupiter’s northern and southern lights – providing new insights about how the planet’s enormous magnetic force field affects its atmosphere.

Overall, this mission will give us a better understanding of how Jupiter begin and how it evolved into the planet it is today.

Open Data

US Copyright law states a work “prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties” is not subject to domestic copyright law. Meaning, most of the work created and published by the US government are no copyrighted, and therefore, can be used for any educational and informational purposes.

Take, for example, the picture of Jupiter’s Giant Red Spot seen above. This image was manipulated and composed by a citizen scientist using raw data gathered by NASA, a government agency. It was the right of this citizen scientist to us this information for their own and the community’s informational needs. We, as citizens, have as equal of ownership of the data as the government because we paid for the acquisition and distribution through our tax dollars.

This extends beyond just the data and information collected by NASA. All government departments and agencies are fantastic resources for gathering research sources. These agencies provide raw and analyzed data that can be used for research and educational purposes.

Here are some excellent government resources for your college projects:

The open  access to United States Government data is a right not shared by many other countries. It allows for open discussion and analysis of publicly funded practices and scientific inquiries. Unfortunately, I could not include access to the EPA’s data on climate change as the current administration has removed that information.

 

Study (break) in the library

Coffee

This finals week, the library is serving double duty: as your go-to place to study and your place to take a break! We’ll have coffee, tea, and bottled water until 6PM Monday-Thursday on the table near the chalkboard. You can’t miss the beverage table when walking in the library!

We also have coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, and puzzles set out if you really need a mental break from the books. This stress-relief station is located on the study table nearest the reference desk, across from the graphic novel collection.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself this week! The library has you covered.

 

Audiobooks!

headphones

Photo by erik forsberg; shared under the Creative Commons license

The PSC Library now offers several books in audio format. Using the Cloud Library app (the same app used to read ebooks), you can download audiobooks using your computer or mobile device so that you can listen to your book anytime/anywhere – such as on a long drive, while doing laundry, cooking dinner, etc. You’ll have 21 days to listen to the book and you don’t have to worry about returning it – the app will take care of that for you!

The only information you need to start checking out audiobooks is your 14-digit barcode number located on your ID card, which begins with “22783.” But, please note that you must have a library account set up in order for the app to work. So if you’ve never checked out a book before, please stop by the Circulation Desk to set up your library account.

By the way, signing up for a library account and checking out an audiobook are two challenges you can easily complete in order to enter our Library Challenge contest! Suggest an audiobook that you think the library should have and you’ll complete another challenge.

Below are just a few of the titles we offer in audio format. If you have any questions about using the Cloud Library app or accessing audiobooks, please ask us. Happy listening!

Transform into a library expert–win prizes!

Libraries Transform.

Celebrate National Library Week with your Prairie State Librarians.

Libraries are more than just a place for books. At the Prairie State College Library, we are about the ability for the library to transform and empower our students. We do not seek to be a safeguard to knowledge but a guide on your academic and personal journey. Your PSC Librarians want you to become the experts, curators, and protectors of their own cultural, academic, and social knowledge. Whether you want to get involved in your community, find a job, start a business, or build your digital literacy skills, the PSC library is the key to your transformation.

From now until April 17, the library is running a contest in celebration of National Library Week. In this contest, we invite students to actively engage with the multitude of services our library provides.

When you complete an activity listed on the Library Expert Card (see below), you will get the box checked off by a library staff. Once you complete a row/column, you will receive an entry ticket that will put you into a drawing to win one of six prizes: 2 students will receive a $25 gift cards to the PSC Bookstore. 4 students will receive a study room for a day during finals week.

Some of the activities require using our online resources. Click some squares on the Library Expert Card to get direct access to these resources.

SWAN Recommendations Suggest Appointment Facebook Blog

Looking for something to read?

I know. The semester just started. The assignments are starting to pile up, and Thanksgiving looks so far away. What better way to give your brain a break than by reading something for fun?

You may have noticed a new addition at the reference desk.

ra

Whoever is sitting at the desk will share some of the books they really like, and think you might like, too. Ask us questions about them, ask for similar titles, or just grab them and check them out!

Missed a title? Want to see what we’ve recommended in the past? We have just the page for you!

Back to School: Fall 2016 Edition

Back to School BlogThe Prairie State College Library welcomes back students and faculty to another exciting school year! With classes starting up, it is important to know about the new as well as continuing services that the library offers to help them succeed and enjoy their experience at PSC.

Don’t forget to check out the books at the bottom of this page and those on display near our Library Classroom, as they can help you succeed in the new school year and in your academic career.

What is New?

The Library’s Facebook PageThe Library has a Facebook Page. Like it to get Library news, updates, books recommendations and more!

Ask-a-Librarian You can now easily get a hold of a librarian even while you are off campus using our chat box. You are now also able to Text your questions. For times when the Library is closed, try out our FAQs page that provides answers to commonly asked questions as well as a easy to use email form. For more information read our instruction guide.

Try an Ebook Collection for Fun: Entertain yourself with the cloudLibrary™ App which features our popular fiction and non-fiction titles. You can read up on using cloudLibrary™ App using our instruction guide.

Try an Ebook Collection for Research: You can also use the Library’s academic ebook collection, from EBSCO, to help with your research and education. In this collection you can read, notate and download any of our 100,000+ books on academic topics.  You can read up on using the EBSCO Academic Ebook Collection by using our instruction guide.

The Library Chalkboard — Come check out the Library’s Blackboard discussion board located near the entrance of the library. Each week, the library posts one thought provoking question that you can respond to.

Check out the New Books SectionThe library now has a New Books Section that is located in front of the “Study Rooms.” This section includes the latest books that the library has received.

The Library has a New Catalog: The Prairie State College Library, along with over 70 local libraries, use what is called the SWAN Catalog, which has recently gotten a new look and interface. Continue reading to find out more on using this new catalog to see what we have or to order books and movies from our partner libraries.

Things to Remember…

Scanning, Faxing, and Printing is Available — Scanning documents is 5 cents per page. Faxing is $1 per page. Printing is 10 cents. In addition, printing in Color is available with the new Color Printer at the cost of 50 cents per page.

Study Rooms are Available — The library offers three study rooms that can be used for studying and preparing presentations.

Services for Faculty Members are Available — Be sure to visit our Instruction Services webpage to learn how to schedule a library instruction session for your classes, learn tips about how you can help us help your students, as well as other services you can take advantage of.

We Are Always Here to Help — Check out our Ask A Librarian Page for more information on how the library can help you out!

Books that can help you succeed this school year and in your academic career…

Ask A Librarian: Call, Text, and Chat Your Question

The Library has added Chat Reference to make it easier for you to get a hold of us and have your questions answered.

You can find our chat reference options at the bottom of every page on the Library’s website as well as the Library’s Ask A Librarian page and OneSearch. Here are some of the new options that are available to you.

 

 

 

Chat: Use the Chat Box to easily ask a question from anywhere in the world. Just simply click on the box and start typing your questions and a PSC Librarian will answer you during business hours.

Library FAQs: Search through all of our commonly asked questions or use the built in email form to ask us a question when the Library is closed.

Mobile Friendly: On your mobile you can now easily call, text and email a Librarian any question you have about the Library.

IMG_1982

Back to School: Fall 2015 Edition

Back to School Blog

The Prairie State College Library welcomes back students and faculty to another exciting school year! With classes starting up, it is important to know about the new as well as continuing services that the library offers to help them succeed and enjoy their experience at PSC.

Don’t forget to check out the books at the bottom of this page and those on display near our Library Classroom, as they can help you succeed in the new school year and in your academic career.

What is New?

The new One Book is “The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver” — You can check out both the book and the ebook for the “One Book/One Community” reading program.  Read more about the program here.

The Library Chalkboard — Come check out the Library’s Blackboard discussion board located near the entrance of the library. Each week, the library posts one thought provoking question that you can respond to.

Check out the New Books Section — The library now has a New Books Section that is located in front of the “Quiet Reading Room.” This section includes the latest books that the library has received.

The Library has a New Catalog: The Prairie State College Library, along with over 70 local libraries, use what is called the SWAN Catalog, which has recently gotten a new look and interface. Continue reading to find out more on using this new catalog to see what we have or to order books and movies from our partner libraries.

Things to Remember…

Scanning, Faxing, and Printing is Available — Scanning documents is 5 cents per page. Faxing is $1 per page. Printing is 10 cents. In addition, printing in Color is available with the new Color Printer at the cost of 50 cents per page.

Study Rooms are Available — The library offers three study rooms that can be used for studying and preparing presentations.

Services for Faculty Members are Available — Be sure to visit our Instruction Services webpage to learn how to schedule a library instruction session for your classes, learn tips about how you can help us help your students, as well as other services you can take advantage of.

We Are Always Here to Help — Check out our Ask A Librarian Page for more information on how the library can help you out!

Books that can help you succeed this school year and in your academic career…

The SWAN Catalog

slide-3-readyA library catalog is the place you go to see what books and movies a particular library has that you can check out or place a hold on. The Prairie State College Library, along with over 70 local libraries, use what is called the SWAN Catalog, which has recently gotten a new look and interface. Continue reading to find out more on using this new catalog to see what we have or to order books and movies from our partner libraries.

Your Account

SIGN INTO YOUR SWAN ACCOUNT

Before you can sign up for a SWAN account you must make sure that you already have a library account with the Prairie State College Library. To set up your account, you will just need to bring your Student ID to the Circulation Desk.

After you set up your Library Account you can log in to SWAN by going to the Catalog (https://catalog.swanlibraries.net/client/en_US/pcs-in/?dt=list) and clicking on Log In in the top right hand corner.

log inTo log in just type in your PSC Student ID number (located at the bottom of the card) into the Library Card Number box. You PIN number will be the last 4 digits of the phone number that you signed up for your Library Account with.

After you are logged in you can check the status of your account by clicking on My Account in the top right hand corner. This area will tell you what items you have checked out, on hold (ordered from another library) and if you have any fines.

checked outSearching SWAN

To search SWAN, just begin by typing the name of the item you are looking for in the search box. The default search is ALL FIELDS. If you want a narrower search, click on the ALL FIELDS drop down menu. From there you can limit your search to author, title, subject, etc … .

searchWhen you have found the item you are looking for on the Results page, just click on the Title to see its status. If the item is not checked out, write down the Call Number and bring it to a Librarian at the Reference Desk who will be happy to show you where the item is located.

On this screen you can also place a hold on checked out items, add the item to a wish list, and check out summaries, reviews and excerpts of the item. In addition, the SWAN Catalog will produce further Suggestions that are similar to the book.

item recordPlacing a Hold

In addition to the books we have at Prairie State College, you can also search what items our partner libraries have and, if you want, have them sent to Prairie State College, by placing a hold. You can find the Search Box for all of the libraries by going here or by clicking on the Prairie State College drop down menu and selecting Everything.

everythingThen you just search the catalog for your item and when you find it, click on the Place Hold button. A librarian will then call or email you when the item is in. It will usually take 2-4 business days to arrive.


If you have any more questions about using the SWAN Catalog, stop by the Reference Desk and a Librarian will be happy to help out.