Faculty Members: We Need Your Help

The library’s Web Steering committee is looking for faculty members from all disciplines to help us improve our website. Over the next month or so we would ask you to come to the library, or we could come to your office, and have you perform a series of tasks via our website, so we can see how easy or difficult they are to perform. This is a test of the site’s ease-of-use, and in no way a test of your abilities! If you’ve always wished you could show us how you interact with our site, this is a great opportunity. We would need 20-30 minutes of your time, and we are offering a $20 gift card to your choice of the NU Bookstore (Barnes and Noble) or Starbucks as compensation. We appreciate those of you who have helped us with similar testing in the past! We are currently seeking new volunteers who have not done this before with the library. If the month of April is not a good time for you, we anticipate that there will be more opportunities for testing later in the year. Please contact Karen Merguerian at or x2747 if you are interested in participating in this project now or in the future. And please forward this appeal to others you think may want to help. Thank you so much for your consideration!

A Holiday Raffle for the Library Website

Test the library website for a chance to win! We are redesigning our website to make it as navigable and user-friendly as possible. In order to ensure this, we would like to hear from you. We are hosting an online survey and usability test of our current website, which should take about 10-15 minutes to complete. We invite you to tell all! There are no wrong answers and all responses are confidential. For your participation, you will be entered to win either our first prize of a $50 gift card to the NU Bookstore, or our second prize of a $15 gift card to iTunes. If you are interested in participating and entering the raffle, please take the survey and usability test before January 5th, 2011. Thanks for your participation!

New Look for Library Website

Here at Snell Library we’re about to launch a redesigned home page! A library committee did surveys and testing with NU faculty, students, and staff, with the goal of making the site more user-friendly. On the new version you’ll find:
  • Front-and-center research tools
  • Streamlined, easier-to-use visual design
  • Quick access to course reserves, interlibrary loan, and other frequently-used services
  • A Multi-Search box, right on the front page, that lets you search multiple databases at once
We tried to make our research tools the central focus of the site — you should be able to locate ejournals and databases easily, as well as popular services. You’ll also find easy access to research guides, developed by our subject librarians, to help you find the most important resources in your academic discipline. You’ll still find up-to-date library news and info on our events, and we’ve added links to this blog and our Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube sites. We thank everyone who has provided feedback so far, and we’d love to hear from more of you. Go to our page at to see a sneak preview, try out the new site, and offer your comments!

In the Woods and other fun stuff

I just recently finished the fairly new book, In the Woods by Tana French.  I had seen this book displayed in a Barnes and Noble, read the synopses, and immediately felt the need to read it.  It had a very promising plot line: In 1984, three 12-year-old friends go missing in the woods of Knocknaree, Ireland.  One boy is found clinging to a tree with blood in his shoes and no memory of what happened to himself and his friends.  His two friends were never found.  The book takes place over 20 years later where this boy is now a 30-something detective who gets assigned to a murder case in Knocknaree.  There are pieces of evidence found that connect back to his 1984 case.  The detective struggles throughout the book with trying to remember the events that happened in the woods, as well as struggling with his current difficult case. This book had suspense, an intricate plot, poetic language, and… the worst ending I have ever read.  Without giving away too much detail, the worst thing you can do to a character as a writer-worst than killing them off- is set them up to be a very real, human, compassionate character that is very identifiable to the reader.  Then, make their life completely miserable and end the book without any hope or resolution for the reader to hold onto, “Sorry, but that’s the way life goes sometimes.  You can’t always get what you want!”  This is exactly what French did with this book and I was left feeling extremely empty at the end. If you (for some reason) feel a desire to read this book, we unfortunately do not have this book at Snell Library.  I didn’t want to pay the $14 at Barnes and Noble, so I ordered it through the Virtual Catalog. As I promised in a previous post on library school, I will post my websites for all to see with the same warning: I am not a very good website-maker! Tricia’s Writing And as a bonus, my final site for the same Web Design class!: All About Fred!