COD Library Blog

Climate Change and Trees

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In interesting news, scientists studying climate change have discovered that it appears that trees and other land-based plants slowed the growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide by absorbing 60 percent (rather than almost 50) of carbon dioxide produced between 2002-2014. In the article "Recent pause in the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 due to enhanced terrestrial carbon uptake," lead article scientist Trevor Keenan discusses some of the reasons this may be happening, from more plant growth in thawing Arctic regions, to changes in nutrient deposition in the soil, light quality, and ozone concentrations.

Curious? Check it out for yourself: you can read the full article, from Nature Communications. You can also read a summary of the research in a Washington Post article.

You can also check carbon dioxide emissions data at the Global Carbon project.


Know Library Research

Working hard to complete your first research paper, presentation, or poster? You're not alone!

Not only does research itself involve learning (Just how unhealthy is my desire to eat bacon each morning?), but doing good research requires learning a lot about the research process (How do I know that the website I looked at has good data? If I need current statistics, where should I look first?)

Here are three COD students talking about what they learned about research in their first year.

Seth talks about how the databases make his research easier.
McKenzie says learning about scholarly articles and how to find them helped her to do well.
Adrian tells us he uses a variety of sources to make sure they have answered his questions.

Not sure what to do about some aspect of your research project, whether its getting started, finding data, or figuring out what counts as a scholarly source? Don't worry! Book a Research Appointment here or by using the button on the right side of the library home page and feel some of those nerves start to slip away.


Know Your Library Reference Desk

Nervous about coming into the library to ask a question? You're not alone-- but you should also know that students who do use the reference desk are often pretty happy with the experience.

Want to hear for yourself? We asked three current COD students to talk about their experiences at the library reference desk and this is what they said:

Struggling to find information for your current paper/presentation/poster and want to make sure that you have a dedicated time to come in and talk? Book a Research Appointment here or by using the button on the right side of the library home page and feel some of those nerves start to slip away.


The Purpose of Citizen Science

I know that I've talked about citizen science before, but Jason Lloyd has published an article in Slate I find thought-provoking. Titled "Citizen Science Isn’t Just About Collecting Data," Lloyd discusses how grounded participation in research projects can increase scientific literacy. As Lloyd says:

But citizens can do more for science than just collect data (as important as data collection is). By educating themselves in the research and infusing urgency into the process, citizen scientists can get involved in decisions about what gets researched, how research is conducted, and how results should be used. This pushes the bounds of citizen science in new and contentious ways.

Citizen participation in science-related decision-making can mean advocating for testing, as residents in Flint, Michigan, did when they realized that, despite their state Department of Environmental Quality’s claims, their water was contaminated with lead. It can mean loudly encouraging new research priorities, like AIDS activists did in the 1980s and some cancer patient advocates do today. Or it can mean funding the development of better air-quality samplers for use by communities near petrochemical facilities.

As we all have a role to play in public policy decisions, from what to do about vaccination rates among children to whether or not to support alternative energy projects, it's helpful for students to have experience with collecting and analyzing data in a meaningful way.

The article also includes some interesting citizen science projects for students, from earth science through biology to astronomy. Interested in finding more options? Zooniverse is still providing examples of projects that could use volunteers, or contact me to find more potential projects.


Are Books Always Credible?


Are you using books (or assigning books to your students) as part of research projects because you believe that they are more error-proof than other sources?

You might want to rethink that-- read Shannon Palus's article "Why Doesn't Anyone* Fact-Check Science Books?" in Slate about how book editing is not an entirely expert endeavor. Some of her arguments are backed up by different incidents in the publishing world, such as the fact that Little, Brown, and Co published a book by a woman who told her readers not to eat food comprised of chemicals.

What should you do instead? Check out our guide to evaluating sources and remember that this is a process you should use with ALL sources.

Image Credit: Origin of Species

Find Your Favorite Library Space

Want to know what library spaces our students liked the most? We asked, and heard surprisingly different responses from our students. Listen to our students as they explain what space they like best and why.

Seth's favorite spot:
Rachel's favorite library space:
McKenzie's space:
Adrian's favorite spot:

(P.S. Want to book the group study rooms that Rachel and Adrian talk about? You can use any computer or mobile device to reserve group study rooms via the button on the right side of the library home page. You can also reserve a media lab station in the same way.)


See a tree. Name a tree.

thumb_Transparent_Fall_Leaves_Clipart_0.png Are you curious?

It’s the time of year when we notice the trees – the leaves changing color and the piles that need raking. Do you ever wonder “What kind of tree IS that?”

There are books, websites, databases, and even apps, which can assist in tree identification. By using observations and following a step-by-step process, most trees can be quickly identified. Check out a book from the COD Library. Here’s a list of items on display on the Lower Level of the Library.

Next time you are outside, look around and enjoy the changes of Autumn. Identify the trees in your yard so when you have to rake the leaves, you can call them by name.


Media Lab & Lynda Open House, Thursday, Oct. 6

Media Lab Open HouseCome by the Media Lab this Thursday between 9:30 and 4 to learn about our free digital media production tools. You can use the Media Lab to create video, design graphics, record music, learn to code, and much more. If you stop by, we'll also help you create a account that will give you free access to 1,000's of high-quality online technology tutorials. Rumor has it there will also be free candy (while supplies last)!

Homecoming @ COD

Courier_article_17_Oct_1968-p1-sized.jpgHere at College of DuPage, our first homecoming weekend was October 25 - 26, 1968 – just one year after the inception of the school. Since there was no official campus at that point, the festivities were rather spread out: a pep-rally mixer at the DuPage County Fairgrounds where the homecoming queen and her court were crowned, the football game at the West Chicago High School field, and a dinner dance at the Arlington Carousel in Arlington Heights.

By the mid-1970s, a number of factors coalesced to cause interest in homecoming to decline. College of DuPage was, and continues to be, a commuter college. Also, at this time the physical campus was still very much in the “interim” state, home games were played in Naperville since there was no football field. Enrollment was over 12,000 and the average age of the students was 25 – an age when many were married with children. In 1974, a discussion about the relevancy of homecoming can be seen in editorials in the Courier. The last homecoming took place in fall 1975.

For those first eight years, homecoming consisted of pep-rallies, homecoming courts, parades, bonfires, dinner dances, marching bands, cheerleaders, and of course the big game. Fast forward nearly 40 years to 2014, and the tradition of homecoming has been recreated for the College as it is today. Traditional elements have been updated and new opportunities added to provide students, alumni, faculty, and staff a chance to connect and celebrate our College.


Homecoming Queen and the Court - 1969


Bonfire – 1968


Football team - 1968


Courier article - October 17, 1968


Marching band - 1971

College of DuPage President Dr. Rodney Berg and Mrs. Berg - 1971


Pre-game festivities – 1971


Homecoming parade – 1971


Hopeful football fans – 1971


Football action – 1971


Homecoming dance – 1969

It's not just simple - it's Library Simple

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“Well, that was easy!”

Sometimes, if you don’t know the trick, the easiest things can seem frustratingly impossible. In the Library, we not only make it look easy, we make it easy – by teaching you the techniques that save you time and trouble.

In our never-ending quest to simplify the work you do every day, we’ve created Library Simple – a series of short videos (2 minutes or less) that teach you tips and tricks to help you manage the information your use at work, school and home.

Wondering how to request a journal article from another library? Here’s how in 5 Library Simple steps. Did you know that you can use Google Scholar to identify materials available through the COD Library databases? This, too, only takes 5 Library Simple steps. There are two easy methods for creating a hanging indent in Microsoft Word – one method involves just 3 Library Simple steps!

Curious? Watch and learn from our growing collection of Library Simple videos on our YouTube channel - Library Simple videos can be embedded easily into Blackboard or shared via Facebook, Twitter and more – share the skills. It’s Library Simple.