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Kanopy Streaming Video Service Free Trial for June

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UB Libraries are participating in a free trial of the Kanopy Streaming Video Service for the month of June. Here’s the link:

Kanopy is a distributor of online educational videos, offering colleges, schools, hospitals, corporates and other educational institutions a comprehensive, one-stop shop for streaming video needs. They have over 20,000 videos in their catalog covering a wide range of subjects. These are documentaries and clinical films, and for the most part do not include feature films.

Try it out and send feedback by June 30th to your library liaison or to our Multimedia Collections and Services Department at


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Good Viewing and Good Reading for June

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The University Libraries and Undergraduate Academies are pleased to announce our “Book & Film of the Month” selections for June:

FILM: The Motorcycle Diaries


In 1952, 23-year-old medical student Ernesto de la Serna (Gael García Bernal), later better known as Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, decides to postpone his last semester to accompany friend Alberto (Rodrigo de la Serna) on an 8,000-km motorcycle trip through South America, starting from their home in Buenos Aires. Their quest is to see things they’ve only read about in books, finishing in Venezuela on the other side of the continent. But the travelers wrestle with an unreliable motorbike, a continual lack of money, their raging libidos, and Alberto’s asthma. A chance encounter with a pair of Communists in the Chilean desert and an extended stay at the San Pablo Leper Colony in Peru profoundly affects what each will want to do with his life and the bond each has with the other.

Silverman Library Multimedia Collection:


BOOK: The Complete Essays by Michel de Montaigne


In 1572 Montaigne retired from public life and began the reading and writing which were to develop into “assays” of his thoughts and opinions. Nobody in Western civilization had ever tried to do what Montaigne set out to do. In a vivid, contemporary style he surprises us with entertaining quotations; he moves swiftly from thought to thought, often digressing from an idea only to return to it triumphantly, having caught up with it elsewhere, and in so doing leads the reader along the criss-cross paths of a journey of discovery. Montaigne set out to discover himself. What he discovered instead was the human race.

Copies are available in the Lockwood Library Book Collection: and on all circulating Kindle e-readers.

Both selections are part of our 48 Good Books and 48 Good Films initiatives; titles on these lists were chosen by UB faculty and staff members of the Undergraduate Academies Council to reflect the themes of the five Academies: Civic Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Global Perspectives, Research Exploration and Sustainability. Think of them as “unrequired” reading and viewing suggestions. All 48 Good Books and 48 Good Films are available in the UB Libraries.


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May 2014 Book and Film of the Month

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The University Libraries and Undergraduate Academies are pleased to announce our “Book & Film of the Month” selections for May:


FILM: Based on a true story, The Times of Harvey Milk, documents the political career and assassination of San Francisco’s first openly gay supervisor. This American documentary film has been the recipient of numerous awards, including, but not limited to, the Academy Award for Best Documentary Film Feature in 1984. Directed by Rob Epstein, The Times of Harvey Milk is available in the Silverman Library Multimedia Collection:



BOOK: Published in 2001, The Corrections delves into the troubled lives of an elderly Midwestern couple and their three adult children. Described as both a tragedy and a comedy, author Jonathan Franzen takes us on a journey with each character as they go through a life of hardships and personal growth. The book has won numerous awards including the 2001 National Book Award for Fiction. Copies of The Corrections are available in the Lockwood Library Book Collection (PS3556 .R352 C67) and on circulating Kindle e-readers. Both selections are part of our 48 Good Books and 48 Good Films initiatives; titles on these lists were chosen by UB faculty and staff members of the Undergraduate Academies Council to reflect the themes of the five Academies: Civic Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Global Perspectives, Research Exploration and Sustainability. Think of them as “unrequired” reading and viewing suggestions. All 48 Good Books and 48 Good Films are available in the UB Libraries.

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App Trippin’

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I’m going to go on ahead and say that the semester is over.  It isn’t, and there is still so much to do, but for the duration of my writing this blog post my semester is officially over.  Turning now toward the wide expanse of summer that is stretched before me, I begin to think about travel.  I then become overwhelmed.  I’ve been too busy this semester to make plans, I’m not sure where to go or what to do when I get there.  I don’t know what to pack.  What if I travel to a location where I don’t speak the language?  What if I don’t have the right kind of money and don’t know the exchange rate.  In short, I have no idea what I am doing.  All that I know is that I’m going somewhere to do something.

It is likely that I will choose a location and make travel and hotel arrangements on the Internet.  But time waits for no woman and the day of the trip comes before I know it and I’ve made no plans.  I haven’t even packed.

My best friends are now an arsenal of travel apps.

First, I need to get packed.  Packing Pro ($2.99) is an app for iOS.  It will help me to create a list of items to pack using a template or a list of my own devising.  There are also helpful reminders of things I don’t want to forget to do before leaving, such as turning down the heat or air conditioning and throwing out the old takeout in my fridge.

Next, I need to get my trip information organized.  TripIt (free!) is an app that is available for Android, Blackberry, Windows or iOS.  It will organize information pertaining to my trip that it finds in my email account.  All confirmation numbers for my flight and hotel, as well as any restaurant reservations that I have made will be pulled into this app and organized by day.

Before I leave my home wifi bubble, I will use City Guides, Offline Maps from (free!), for Android and iOS, to create a basic itinerary of things I want to do and where I want to eat when I get to my destination.  The maps that I download will be accessible without needing a wifi connection, so it won’t eat up my data plan.

If I travel to a different country, I will use Converted Ideon ($2.99), available for iOS, for all of my conversion needs: currency, metric, Fahrenheit-Celsius are all included.

When deciding on specific things I want to do on my trip I will use Gogobot (free!).  It offers information on many cities and gives suggestions for different types of travelers including families, nature lovers, site-seers, shoppers and, of course, people who want to eat.  This app will also allow me to search for things that are near my current location.  It is available for Android or iOS.

Viator (free!) will allow me to find any deals and discounts that are available nearby.  Also offering discounts, the Entertainer app (free!), available for iOS, Android and Blackberry, covers a small number of cities, and provides coupons to a wide range of different types of businesses including spas and restaurants.

Once I am where I want to be, Wikitude (free!) is an augmented reality browser that uses the camera on my phone to scan my surroundings and label locations of interest as I pan in different directions.  It syncs to restaurant reviews from TripAdvisor and Yelp.  It is available for iOS, Android, Blackberry and the Windows phone.

With my phone fully loaded with apps I will be sure to have a great trip!

Now my blog entry is completed, and I am forced to return to the reality of the end of the semester with the hope that my vacation plans go more smoothly than my finals.

By Jackie Coffey Scott

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Featured Good Film and Good Book: Month of April

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Each month, beginning with November 2013, The Academies and the University Libraries will be promoting one book and one film per month from our two lists, 48 Good Books and 48 Good Films. Below are the featured film and book for the month of April:

Wall-E is a 2008 American computer animated science fiction film produced by Pixar Amination Studios. The story follows a robot named Wall-E, who is designed to clean up a waste-covered Earth far in the future. He falls in love with another robot named Eve, who also has a programmed task, and follows her into outer space on an adventure that changes the destiny of both his kind and humanity.

Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston is a seminal utopian novel by Ernest Callenbach, published in 1975. The society described in the book is one of the first ecological utopias and was influential on the counterculture and the green movement in the 1970s and thereafter.

Ecotopia embodies in concrete, practical form the new biology-conscious philosophy that has been evolving in recent years, especially on the West Coast. The setting is the early 21st century. Ecotopia, made up of what was once Northern California, Oregon, and Washington, has been independent for several decades. At last, an official visitor from New York is admitted: Will Weston, top investigative reporter. Like a modern Gulliver, Weston is sometimes horrified sometimes impressed despite himself, and sometimes touched by the strange practices he encounters–which include ritual war games, collective ownership and operation of farms and factories, and an attention to trees and reforestation which borders on tree-worship.

All 48 Good Books and 48 Good Films are available in the UB Libraries.

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PBS Streaming Video Trial Available

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Through May 17, 2014, all students, faculty, and staff may access The PBS Streaming Video Collection from Alexander St. Press. Think the Libraries should subcribe?  We’re interested in your feedback. Please send comments on this trial database to .

The PBS Video Collection assembles hundreds of the greatest documentary films and series from the history of PBS into one convenient online interface.The diverse subject matter of the included films makes this an important collection for the study of history, science, business, technology, performing arts, anthropology, psychology, politics, health, and literature.

  • For more information about the content included in this collection, click HERE.
  • For general help, including navigation instructions and search tips, click HERE.


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Crash Course

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Are you looking for ways to stay sharp while you are on spring break?  There are several educational video series on the Internet including Khan Academy and HippoCampus.  But since it is spring break, I figured you might want to watch something a little fun.

Enter Crash Course.

Many people know John Green as the author of the critically acclaimed book The Fault in Our Stars.  But did you also know that he and his brother Hank are active YouTube video bloggers and the creators of an educational video series called Crash Course?  More likely (I’m not judging) you know them from occasional appearances on Mental Floss but since this blog is about education and not debunking life hacks (as much as I think you should use unscented dental floss to slice goat cheese) we are going to focus on Crash Course and its plethora of little gems that cover content ranging from literature to science to history to psychology.  The classes last from about ten to twelve minutes and offer succinct, if humorously over-caffeinated, crash courses in their subjects.

Some example eye-openers:

Who knew, other than English lit majors, that Shakespeare’s Hamlet is actually based on an earlier Danish work?

Do you know what Homunculus is?  Now I do…

The Renaissance happened.  Or did it?

Buffers…the Acid Rain Slayer.  Need I say more?

The breakdown in numbers:

40 videos on biology

47 videos on chemistry

43 videos on world history

49 videos on US history

12 videos on ecology

11 videos on literature

7 videos on psychology


Do I think you are going to be able to watch Crash Course and pass your classes instead of doing the reading and going to class?  No.

Do I think that you are going to watch Crash Course and learn something new and/or have fresh life blown into the dusty corners of a bachelor’s degree you may already have and all the while be thoroughly entertained?  Absolutely.


–Jackie Coffey Scott

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And the Winner Is…

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Ben Shaw

UB student, Ben Shaw, a senior mechanical engineering major, is the winner of the UB Libraries’ 2014 Oscar Contest! We received 218 entries in this year’s contest, and ten students guessed all eight categories correctly.  The ten names were entered in a random drawing, with Shaw’s name selected as the first-place winner.

“I’m very happy that the UB Libraries sponsored this contest,” Shaw said when notified of his prize, a Canon PowerShot A1400 Camera, “because if there are two things I know I love in the world, it’s movies and prizes!”

Shaw, along with second-place winner, UB graduate student,Paul Zwirecki (history), and third-place winner, grad studentBrad Hamm (social work), also received a $25 gift card to AMC theatres.

Planning a movie night? The UB Libraries Multimedia Collection offers a wide selection of past Oscar-winning DVDs – check one out soon and pass the popcorn!

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Medical Images through UB Databases

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The UB Libraries website gives affiliated students and faculty access to multiple health-related point-of-care databases that feature multimedia resources.

Nursing Reference Center recently added a new Skills with Images section that has 102 topics with images available in pdf format.  Some topics include: performing phlebotomy, interpreting an EKG rhythm strip, central venous catheter care and performing hand hygiene for scrubbing into surgery.

Up-To-Date allows you to search for images by typing in your search and selecting graphics.  ClinicalKey boasts over two million images and 17,000 videos.  Both of these databases are available through the HUBNET (Hospitals and University at Buffalo Resource Network) network. Access Medicine provides a searchable image gallery, videos organized by category or system, and videos of grand rounds.

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New Viewing/Instruction Room – Capen 128

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The Libraries are pleased to make available to faculty a new Viewing and Instruction Room located in the Silverman Multimedia Center.  Seating is for 20, plus an instructor’s podium.  The projection equipment will accommodate most media formats including streaming video, DVDs from all regions, Blu-ray, and VHS.  In addition, there are open cable connections for most other types of external AV devices such as camcorders.  Although set up like a classroom for viewing, the tables and seating can easily be arranged for small group discussions.  For questions or to reserve the room, please contact your library liaison, or Michael Kankiewicz (645-1329) or Lori Widzinski (829-5744).

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