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For one week only starting today the SimplyMap GIS platform that we always have carried will add trial access to two of its demographics data packages by special request.

Check out the oddly named but useful Claritas PRIZM lifestyle groupings and the incredibly granular Experian Simmons Local file from Neilsen. Peruse the same research that drives advertising buys, consumer product development and media programming decisions across the United States. It is the only syndicated research providing in-depth insight into the consumer population of every U.S. market with sample sizes large enough to correctly identify valuable consumer segments.

Let me know how you like it and for which classes you would find it useful.  Just do it soon!  - Best, Tim

Library statistics from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) for your number crunching pleasure:
ARL Salary Survey: what academic librarians are earning.
ARL Statistics: what academic libraries are spending (among other things).

Other fascinating library statistics also available at the Library Science research guide.

Questions? Recommendations?  Please email  siftar  at


Until the end of this month we have a trial to the Leadership Development streaming video collection from the vendor “SkillSoft” as enjoyed by the majority of the Fortune 1000 companies and many leading universities. Over 2,700 streaming videos, ranging from 2 to 90 minutes in length, featuring speakers such as Tom Peters, Stephen Covey, etc. from sources such as DeLoitte Consulting, CEO Exchange and Cornell’s Johnson School of Management.

Skillsoft delivers content via the Books 24x7 platform on which we have enjoyed e-books for over a decade. Log into their platform directly and see the navigation on the right hand side for links to videos. [Browse Topics/ View by / Leadership Development Topic]

Below I will include the browse menus of categories to give you an idea of the coverage.  As with all trials, YOUR FEEDBACK will determine if we purchase this! So please send me any comments, including the course numbers for which you would see this being useful.
Change Management
Adapting to Change
Leading Change
Managing Change
Delivering Presentations
Effective Personal Communication
Email Messaging
Globalization & Emerging Markets
Human Resources
Attracting Talent
Learning & Development
Preventing Sexual Harassment
Reducing Stress
Retaining Talent
Safety and Wellness
Valuing Diversity
Behaving with Values
Building Teams
Coaching & Mentoring
Empowering Others
Leading Others
Managing Performance
Managing Virtually
Faculty Announcement Newsletter
Motivating Others
Personal Effectiveness
Behaving Ethically
Emotional & Business Intelligence
Managing Projects
Managing Time & Priorities
Navigating Corporate Culture
Self Motivation
Producer Picks
Programs with Subtitles
Recommended Meeting Starters
Advance Management Skills
Generate Customer/Client Insights
Improve Sales Performance
Improve Team Performance
Increase Revenue
Inspire and Energize
Overcome Adversity
Spark New Ways of Thinking
Work Smarter
Sales & Marketing
Managing Customers
Strategy & Innovation
Creativity & Problem Solving
Leading Growth
Operational Management & Process
Strategy & Execution
Sustainability and Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility
Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance

WoK’s Conference Proceedings Citation Index along with the just released “Book Citation Index” will be available as part of a trial from December 1st through the 31st. Find them activated under the regular link for our Web of Science subscription on the front page of the Library website.

A few questions for faculty reviewers.

  • Drexel users can already use Summon to search for much of the content covered by the WoK proceedings index. How important is the citation information for proceedings?
  • The WoK books index covers titles since 2005, about 30,000 in all that they plan to grow by 10,000 per year. It’s roughly 40% sciences, and 60% social science and humanities. Would citations of this literature make a difference to you? (Partial list of participating publishers available by request.)
  • We did *not* request a trial of the Chinese Science Citation Database. Should we have? Why?
  • Please send feedback to

For those who don't know, the Gartner Group is the gold standard IT industry analyst firm used by Fortune 500 companies and others to keep track of current opinions on information technology vendors, products and developments.  They have great high level reports such as "hype cycles" and "magic quadrants" that summarize lots of information.

Unfortunately, our usage did not warrant its continuation. By chance, the Library became aware of the more hands-on IT analyst service called "Burton Group" used by our campus computing department. Students had access to individual Burton reports through the iSchool Librarian who acted as a gatekeeper.

Then Gartner purchased Burton and integrated all the content under the portal. So once again, Drexel gained access to the combined version of their content.  Imagine my surprise when our campus computing department recently decided to drop their Burton subscription. So all Drexel access will cease at some point in November 2011. Until then, enjoy the content you find at Feel free to email me if you are unable to retrieve full text.

Alternatives to Gartner include the following:

Faulkner Advisory for IT Studies - great short, basic background on technology and vendors
IGI InfoSci - wide array of academic books, journals, encyclopedias and case studies
Summon - our multi-disciplinary discovery layer that searches ALL Drexel's online databases

See the  Information Systems & Technology research guide for all our IT resources.

Please get in touch if you would like an introduction to any of these additional great resources!

Tim Siftar



Trial extended through June 15th!

Hugely improved with intuitive “wizards” to guide queries, SimplyMap 2 makes business and demographic information accessible to non-experts through a mapping visualization interface.  Included in this trial is temporary access to the amazingly deep Simmons LOCAL and Claritas PRIZM (Nielson) data sets with consumer and opinion data points such as religious and political views that you cannot otherwise find in Census data.  This data is excellent for market research, justifying new product development, business location decisions as well as political and electoral strategy planning, with zip code, census tract and often times block group level data.

Aside from the updated interface, many new features have been enabled on the new version, such as full-text Boolean searching of metadata descriptions for all variables.  Also included for GIS geeks is the new ability to export data as shape files.

The same new interface will go live on our main subscription in July. But this temporary access to the fancy datasets is not likely to return without strong advocates – so try it while you can!

(Want to preview the PRIZM psycho-graphic profiles by zipcode? Try them  on the open web here.)

Thoughts & comments always welcome:

Nice to get a moment for a blog post here, especially when more than a few students ask about the same assignment.

As I understand this, you're seeking aspects of the information environment a particular foreign country, including who is publishing, setting policy, technology infrastructure, and cultural aspects about information user.  Because we don't have any research guide with a strictly international focus (yet) I offer you the following list of resources to help you get started:

Encyclopedia of library and information science - e-copy might mention aspects of your country. The older hard copy edition in the circulating collection has an entry for most countries, only it's out of date by 20 years or so.

CountryWatch has a short sketch of a few dozen aspects for each country's infrastructure and economic indicators, etc.

Global Road Warrior - for the business traveler has some cultural indicators.

IGI Info Sci - has case studies and random aspects of ICT in various countries.

CQ Researcher Global - has short pieces on  selection of controversial issues worldwide.

United Nations World Development Indicators among other publications, along with the World Bank and international NGO publications.

Summon - that cuts across so many of our databases - be sure to use the left hand side "Subjects --> more options" links on the page listing your retrieved articles to quickly narrow your results.

The top recommended literature databases in the Culture & Communication area may have a mention of cultural patterns particular to your country as well.

The same goes for the Library Science databases.

Last but not least you might want to try searching in the English language newspapers found in most foreign countries and hosted by Factiva - just browse through the "region" menus to select the country you want. Then keyword search as desired.

And as always, don't overlook and and for whatever those resources have to offer.

Please let me know if you have questions or find any of this helpful!





UPDATE as of 9/1/2010 Drexel no longer carries Gartner Research -

Instead we recommend:

Faulkners for basic definitions and market awareness

Burton Group for in-depth tactical decision support on technology management issues, or

IGI Global for extensive handbooks and encyclopedias on specialty information use domains

Feel free to get in touch if you have questions about any of these.

Tim Siftar  -

When LIS graduate students ask me about job-hunting, they are all guaranteed to hear one piece of advice in common, regardless of their professional goals.  "Are you a member of the X association?" (where X=the professional association that best matches their desired field of employment).  This advice is based on more than conjecture.  Time and time again, I have heard stories where a key factor in a graduate's successful job hunt was related to their association involvement, such as:

  • a contact made at an association event,
  • a reference supplied by a mentor or senior colleague with whom candidate had done association committee work,
  • the fact that a candidate's resume showed a history of professional association involvement opened doors.

Today on the way to work I heard yet another anecdote from a recent graduate who's job hunt I have followed over the past year.  The back-story is that she had an art history masters degree before starting at Drexel's iSchool. She had also volunteered for a nonprofit art-related vendor for the duration of her time in graduate school. Unhappily, her volunteer work did not translate into a full-time offer after graduation. So graduation was followed by a period of fielding resumes while holding down a full-time tech-support position at a university library in the area.

To make a year-long story short, she finally connected with a university library that was seeking a visual arts subject specialist librarian. In addition to her stellar self-presentation and highly relevant second masters, what she said turned out to be the clincher was her longstanding participation in the arts librarian association ARLIS.  The person who had the position before her was also active in ARLIS. From the sound of it, her hiring committee saw her continued participation in ARLIS - even when she was not directly employed in that specialty - as a distinguishing mark of professionalism, and a good indicator of her potential for success in the position.

What? You want *more* specific details about how association involvement helped? OK, here is the lowdown.  By going to local chapter meetings, attending the national conference, and even just reading the listserv, she gained a lot of knowledge about the highly specific field of art librarianship.  So when she was asked to give an interview presentation on the role of the arts librarian in a research intensive university, she was already well versed in the major issues and had lots of specific stories to draw on as examples.  This helped  tremendously, not only with landing the job, but also with setting her up for success once she starts her position.

So there you have it. Another warm-fuzzy story about why every LIS graduate student should keep active in their preferred association. Please recall - most offer student memberships at a steeply discounted rate!  Check out this starter list of associations for more ideas if you're not already involved!

The latest online edition of this core reference work "The Encyclopedia of L&IS" has just been released.

Of special note are several contributions by Drexel iSchool faculty.  Enjoy!

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