Temple Times Online Edition
    FEBRUARY 24, 2005
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Library tools lead the way to research
— and $1,000 prize

The Diamond Catalog. Journal Finder. PALCI.

Without research tools like these, you might not know where to find good information for projects and papers at Temple — a little like searching an island for treasure without the help of a map.

That’s because, more often than not, finding quality information requires more than just an Internet connection and a search engine. Search tools in the Temple Libraries lead the way to troves of information, both print and electronic: The Diamond Catalog delves into Temple’s print book collections; Journal Finder locates electronic newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals; and PALCI allows the Temple community to borrow materials from more than 40 other libraries across Pennsylvania.

And now, search resources like these can lead to another treasure: up to three $1,000 prizes.
Temple’s new Library Prize for Undergraduate Research recognizes students who have used Temple or non-Temple library resources to complete their research papers or projects during the 2004-05 academic year. Sponsored by Temple Libraries and the Office of the Provost, and supported by alumnus John H. Livingstone Jr., former state librarian for New Jersey, the prize was created to promote undergraduate students’ use of library collections in any format.

And there are plenty of formats to choose from, from CDs and DVDs to sheet music, e-books and manuscripts. Temple Libraries even has an online collection of thousands of digital images, many depicting Philadelphia people and architecture in the 20th century, available through the Digital Diamond catalog (http://diamond.temple.edu:81/search).

Though written papers are most common, the submitted project can be in any medium, from a Web site to a dance recital, as long as the work was for a credit course during the fall 2004 or spring 2005 semester and research was involved.

“We want to encourage creativity,” said Carol Lang, assistant to the university librarian.
Submissions will be judged by a seven-member selection committee, composed of four librarians and three faculty members from different disciplines. The judges will look for:

• originality, depth, breadth or sophistication in the use of library collections;

• exceptional ability to select, evaluate and synthesize library resources and to successfully use them in the creation of a project in any media;

• evidence of personal growth through the acquisition of newfound knowledge.

The idea for the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research came from a library symposium last April, where Gretchen Sneff, head of engineering and science libraries at Temple, heard University of California–Berkeley’s associate university librarian speak about initiatives supporting undergraduate attainment of information literacy skills there.

“She referred to Berkeley’s Library Prize for Undergraduate Research in her talk, and it struck me as ideal for Temple,” Sneff said.

“This prize fosters collaboration and partnership between faculty members and librarians in training students to understand and learn to use the literature of the disciplines,” said Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian Larry P. Alford, whose first official day at Temple was Feb. 15. “I was glad to see this initiative under way — it’s a great example of the innovation of library staff here.”

In addition to the projects themselves, applications require a brief essay describing research strategies and tools used for the project, a bibliography and an instructor’s letter of support. All required materials are due in a single packet by April 8 at 5 p.m. Instructions and application materials are available at http://library.temple.edu/prize.

- By Betsy Winter

Information sessions
Faculty members may encourage students or entire classes to apply for the library prize. Instructors who would like to encourage class participation in the competition can arrange for a research workshop with a subject-expert librarian. Visit http://library.temple.edu/services/
to schedule a session.

Library Prize General Information Session: Wednesday, March 2, at 12:30 p.m.; Paley Library, room 130 (balcony level).