Curl up with a good book on our new chairs!

Check these new seating options for our students and patrons located near the magazine and newspaper racks.


The new chairs offer a moveable table for students to use as they read or to work upon with their laptops, and we hope that everyone will enjoy using them. Check back soon, because we can’t wait to show you the other additions to the library that are also in the works!



Exciting Changes in the USC Union Library

 If you have not been in the USC Union Library in a while, come by and check out some of our new renovations.

We are very excited to be able to provide a more comfortable and welcoming space for all of our students.  We now have new coat of paint in the library to go along with our new carpeting, which creates a much more relaxing atmosphere.  While we are still waiting for some of of new furniture, our computer carrels have arrived and are currently in the library.  These new computer carrels provide students with a larger work surface and more privacy as the work, and best of all we now have a total of 8 computers for student to use!  We also have a new table next to the computers that seats six and is avalible for studying and collaboration.  We hope by the end of summer, that all our new furniture will be in and installed.  Check back for updates about our new furniture, we will be adding more pictures as it arrives!




Boolean Operators

Looking for a way to enhance your Web searches?  Want results that are more sophisticated, effective, and streamlined?  Then try using Boolean operators during your next search.

What is Boolean?

Boolean logic is the use of AND, OR, and NOT to filter information.  It was conceived of by mathematician George Boole in the 1800s.  By using the basic definitions of AND, OR, and NOT, you can sort through lots of irrelevant data in minutes to find the specific information you need.  By using AND in a search you are telling the database that ALL search terms must be present in the resulting records.  The use of OR tells the database that ANY of your search terms can be present in the resulting records.  While NOT tells the database that the database to ignore concepts that may be implied by your search terms. 

Boolean Search Guides and Tutorials

Check out these tutorials for using Boolean operators on the Web, and in databases:

Also worth checking out is  This is a simple online tool that helps users formulate a Boolean search using puzzle pieces, and it is a great resource for anyone who is not familiar with the ins and outs of Boolean searching. is designed for use in school by children, and uses the Google Safe Search engine so keep in mind that results are filtered if you are unable to find some information using  


Doing Research? Need access to a literary work? Can’t get to the library? Check out Bartleby! is an excellent resource that provides free online access to a comprehensive collection of reference, verse, fiction, and nonfiction works. has complete electronic texts of classic books that are out of copyright as well as such current reference sources as the Columbia Encyclopedia, sixth edition; The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, third edition; Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus, third edition; Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations; The American Heritage Book of English Usage; the 1914 Oxford edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare and E. Cobham Brewer’s 1898 Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. The site is easy to navigate and can be searched by keyword, individual selections, major categories, or by browsing the table of contents.

National Poetry Month

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?

In recognition of National Poetry Month, Gale Cengage Learning has created a landing page with links to Biography in Context portal pages for a selection of popular poets of biography searches for the month of April.  Check it Out! 

Click to follow link to portal:  Gale Biography in Context National Poetry Month Portal


Purdue OWL

If you are writing a research paper and need help with formatting and creating citations, the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a great resource.  The Purdue OWL offers over 200 free resources including:

For a list of all resources available for non-Purdue students at the OWL click here.


Since Easter is coming up this Sunday I thought I would list some Fun Facts about Easter.

According to  Easter is the second most important candy-consuming Holiday of the year for Americans, who consumed 7 billion pounds of candy in 2011.   Here are some more fun facts:

  • About ninety million chocolate Easter bunnies are produced each year.
  • 76% of Americans eat their Chocolate bunnies first, according to.
  • Adults prefer milk chocolate (65%), to dark chocolate (27%).
  • During Easter Americans buy more than 700 million Marshmallow Peeps, making them the most popular non-chocolate Easter candy.
  • As many as 4.2 million Marshmallow Peeps, bunnies, and other shapes can be made each day.
  • In 1953, it took 27 hours to create a Marshmallow Peep. Today it takes six minutes.
  • Americans consume 16 billion jellybeans at Easter, many of them hidden in baskets. If all the Easter jellybeans were lined end to end, they would circle the globe nearly three times.
  • Jellybeans did not become an Easter tradition until the 1930s. They were probably first made in America by Boston candy maker William Schrafft, who ran advertisements urging people to send jellybeans to soldiers fighting in the Civil War.
  • Hot cross buns were among the earliest Easter treats, made by European monks and given to the poor during Lent.
  • Pretzels were originally associated with Easter. The twists of a pretzel were thought to resemble arms crossed in prayer.




Need help creating citations for a book?  Check out OttoBibOttoBib is a free bibliography generator that is easy to use.  Just type the ISBN of a book into the text box to generate a bibliography entry that can be copied and pasted into a paper.  OttoBib is capable of generating citations in MLA format, APA, and Chicago-Turabian.  OttoBib is powered by WorldCat and it only works for books.  OttoBib can be found at

Note: This blog is only reviewing this resource, and cannot guarantee the accuracy of citations generated by OttoBib, so use at your own risk.

Spring Break

The Library Staff hoped that everyone has a safe and refreshing Spring Break.  See you on Monday!!

March is National Women’s History Month


Each year National Women’s History Month employs a unifying theme and recognizes national honorees whose work and lives testify to that theme.  The theme for National Women’s History Month 2012 is Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment.

Although women now outnumber men in American colleges nationwide, this reversal of the gender gap is a very recent phenomenon. The fight to learn was a valiant struggle waged by many tenacious women — across years and across cultures.   This equal opportunity to learn, owes much to Title IX of the Education Codes of the Higher Education Act Amendments.  Passed in 1972 and enacted in 1977, this legislation prohibited gender discrimination by federally funded institutions.  Its enactment has served as the primary tool for women’s fuller participation in all aspects of education from scholarships, to facilities, to classes formerly closed to women.  It has also transformed the educational landscape of the United States within the span of a generation.  

For more information and resources to commemorate multicultural women’s history and to celebrate Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment, visit, WWW.NWHP.ORG.

 (taken from the National Women’s History Project  2012 press release)