The George Washington University

Subscribe to The George Washington University feed
GW Libraries: News and Updates
Updated: 2 hours 24 min ago

Student Town Hall on the Future of the GW Libraries

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 16:21
January 21, 2015

Tuesday, February 3
Noon -or- 5:30pm
Gelman, Room 219

What will the GW Libraries look like in 2020?  How are we preparing now for the students of the future?

Join us for a student town hall on the future of the GW Libraries.  This meeting will unveil the libraries' new Strategic Plan, our road map for the future.  Bring us your feedback into how the libraries can be better for you and for the students to come.

RSVP by January 31st for a free lunch or dinner from Chipotle at the meeting.  Only those who rsvp are guaranteed a burrito.

RSVP for the Noon-1pm meeting:
RSVP for the 5:30-6:30pm meeting:

Interested in 3D Printing? Take Our Survey!

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 14:28
January 21, 2015

Are you interested in access to a 3D printer on campus? We are asking students, faculty and staff at GW to tell us if and how they might use a 3D printer for academic purposes. Should the libraries purchase a 3D printer for student/faculty use? Take our survey and help decide!

The Realities of Reality TV: A Talk with the Writers Guild of America, East

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 11:24
January 16, 2015

Thursday, January 29 from 4-6pm
Gelman Library, Room 702
In reality television, hundreds of hours of footage are shot for a single episode. The resulting story is similar in its narrative structure to an episode of scripted television. Reality TV programs have a beginning, middle, and end, complete with character arcs, plots, conflict, and resolution. The difference between shows like Modern Family and Survivor is how the source material is generated. Reality writers don’t script each line for a professional actor to speak. Instead, these writers must use existing footage to work backwards from the ending in the most interesting way possible.

While reality television shows have quickly become popular with viewers and profitable for the networks, the writers who make these programs possible have not shared in the success. Unlike other television writers, most reality television programs are written without a union contract. As a result, these writers sometimes work long hours without health and pension benefits or minimum salary protections or residuals.

Non-Fiction Television Writers and Producers United, a project of the Writers Guild of America, East, is currently organizing those performing storytelling duties on non-fiction/reality TV shows in New York.  Justin Molito, Director of Organizing for the WGA-East and non-fiction television writer and producer Joe Danisi, will discuss the realities of the non-fiction television industry in a panel moderated by GW Labor Archivist, Tom Connors. 

Vintage Audio on Home Rule

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 16:52

Easy-to-Use System for Scheduling Librarian Appointments

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 17:01
January 12, 2015

Making a research appointment is now easier than ever with our new scheduling system.  You choose the librarian and you choose the time—whether today or in 2 weeks.  Schedule your appointment in real time—no more emails or waiting for confirmation.  This system also makes is easy to cancel or rescehdule an appointment you've made.  Make an appointment today at  

How to schedule an appointment:

1) Set up an account (1st time only) and log in.   

2) Choose a librarian.  If you don't know who you should see, most librarians can help you get started in any topic. More information about each librarian and their expertise is available in the appointment pop-up and on the Reference Directory

3) Look beside the librarian's name.  You'll notice some names are followed by a specialty or a location other than Gelman Library. Make sure you choose wisely.

4) Choose a time by clicking once on a white block of time.  Appointments must be scheduled in 60 minute blocks.

If you need an appointment on Saturday or Sunday, please send us an e-mail at and we will do our best to accommodate your request.


GIS Software & Assistance Available at Gelman

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 12:07
January 12, 2015

Would your data make more sense shown on a map?  Do you need to statistically analyze data over space?  

ArcGIS is a geographic information system system (GIS) that allows people to collect, organize, manage, analyze, communicate, and distribute geographic information.  Now you can learn and use this powerful software at Gelman Library! ArcGIS is available on all Gelman PCs (not Macs) and GIS specialist Kean McDermott is here to help you use it.  

Kean McDermott, GIS Specialist
make an appointment: 
Ask for Kean during daytime hours at the Ask Us Desk

SCRC Hours this Week

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 15:08

The Special Collections Research Center will be open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm weekdays through January 12. Due to continued Winter Break hours at Gelman, we will not offer our Wednesday evening or Saturday morning hours this week. 

GW Digital Humanities Showcase

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:04
January 5, 2015

February 20, 2015 (Participant deadline: January 20, 2015)
Hosted by GW Digital Humanities Institute & GW Libraries

Are you launching a Digital Humanities (DH) project and figuring out the next steps? Do you want to meet other people in GW who are interested in how the arts and humanities interact with digital media?

We invite members of the GW community to join a DH Showcase at Gelman Library. Each person (or team) will present a DH project or endeavor (in any stage of its production). This event will provide a venue to introduce your project to other people and receive feedback or advice while also making connections with people across GW community who might share similar interests. We hope that new conversations will open up about methods, tools, challenges, questions, and possibilities arising across projects.

Our definition of DH is broad and can entail anything from a database or tool to a blog or creative work, and we welcome presentations integrating online media or digital cultures into teaching in (or beyond) the space of the classroom.

If you are interested in taking part in this event, please contact Prof. Jonathan Hsy (Co-Director of the Digital Humanities Institute) at jhsy at gwu dot edu with your name, email, affiliation/title, and title of project(s) by January 20, 2015. 

Lit Review How To: Holiday Boot Camps for Grad Students

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 14:02
December 17, 2014

Are you a graduate student working on a literature review for a thesis or dissertation?  Get serious about your scholarship by attending these 30-minute workshops to learn tips that will save you time and sanity.  Our "Boot Camps" on Martin Luther King's Birthday and President's Day offer several popular workshops together - attend one or all.

All sessions will take place in Gelman Library, Room 219.  Please bring your own computer.  Kids off school? Quiet and happily occupied offspring are welcome.

Monday, January 19 (MLK's Birthday) & Monday, February 16 (President's Day):
9:30-10:00: Citation Chasing
10:00-10:30:  Citation Management
10:45-11:15:  Staying Current in One's Field
11:15-11:45: Searching Beyond Gelman

Citation Chasing
How do you build on someone else's research?  How do you find the research they used?  Chase down those citations like a pro with tips from librarian Tolonda Henderson.

Citation Management
Once you've done all that research how do you keep track of it?  Step away from the notecards and learn about online citation tools like Refworks, Zotero and Mendeley. Librarian David Hills will help you find the tool that is right for you and get you started using it.

Staying Current in One's Field
Librarian Ann Brown will help you find out how to stay current in your field. You'll learn how to set up journal table of contents alerts, search alerts, and identify key journals in your field.

Searching Beyond Gelman
How do you know what research is out there?  How can you know what you don't know?  Librarian David Killian will help you be sure with a comprehensive search of all published book literature using Worldcat.  This workshop is best for disciplines that write books, especially the humanities and social sciences.

An Exquisite Future

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 09:29
December 10, 2014

Monday, January 12
Gelman Library, Room 219

The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design and the Art and the Book program cordially invite you to the launch of An Exquisite Future, the fifth annual collaborative artist’s book by Art and the Book graduate students. Please join us!

An Exquisite Future explores the implications of a future with a reduced population of honeybees. A vital pollinator of many types of food plants for humans and animals, honeybees are in danger of disappearing because of colony collapse disorder. The artists used this phenomenon as a starting point for contemplating the future. Each artist responded to the preceding vision, building on what came before and using humor while considering potential difficulties.

Winter Break Hours for Gelman Library

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 08:57
December 8, 2014

Thursday, December 18:
Gelman will close at 11pm and 24-hour access will end.
The Check Out Desk will close at 7pm.  Other service desks will close at 5pm.

Friday, December 19:
Gelman and the Check Out Desk will be open from 7am - 7pm 
Other service desks will close at 5pm.

Saturday, December 20, & Sunday December 21: CLOSED

Monday, December 22 & Tuesday, December 23:  8am - 6pm
Wednesday, December 24 & Thursday, December 25:  CLOSED
Friday, December 26: 8am - 6pm
Saturday, December 27 & Sunday, December 28:  CLOSED

Monday, December 29: 8am -6pm
Tuesday, December 30: 8am - 6pm
Wednesday, December 31 & Thursday, January 1:  CLOSED
Friday, January 2: 8am - 6pm
Saturday, January 3 & Sunday, January 4:  CLOSED

Monday January 5 - Friday January 9: 8am -7pm
Saturday January 10 & Sunday January 11: noon - 6pm

Monday, January 12:  
Open at 7am and 24-hour access resumes. 

Please note: The National Security Archives will be closed from December 24th through January 4th.  The University Writing Center will be closed December 13th through  January 24th.

Three New Series in the NEA Collection: The Film, Audio and Video Collection

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 16:04

There are three new series in the NEA Collection. All three series contain moving image and audio recordings produced or held by the National Education Association between 1938 and 2011. Appropriately, the series belong to the NEA Film, Audio and Video Collection.

Study Modernism in Paris this Summer

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 15:01
December 1, 2014

Summer Study Abroad: TRDA 4595w
Professor Mary Buckley & Librarian Bill Gillis
June 3-16, 2015

Paris-City of Lights, City of Love, Cultural Capital, Moveable Feast: Earnest Hemingway wrote to a friend, "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then where ever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."  Study abroad in Paris this summer and enjoy the feast.  This course, now in its 10th year, will explore the journey of Picasso, Diaghilev, Kertesz, Stravinsky, and others who forged artistic collaborations and established Paris as the center of Modernist thought in the early 20th century.  Visiting museums, touring iconic architectural sites and viewing contemporary performance spaces, today's art will be measured against the past.

Learn more at or and contact Mary Buckley ( or Bill Gillis (

No language requirements: 3 credits, WID, Elliot School and Cultural Studies Course Humanities GCR

Price: $5250.76 (tuition, lodging, demi-bord, cultural events and museum entrances included.  Airfare is not included.)


Gelman Relaxation Station

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 13:37
December 1, 2014

Finals can be a stressful time, but taking a break to relax can help improve focus and productivity. Take a time-out for YOU at the Gelman Relaxation Station on Tuesday, December 9

7pm, 7:15pm, 7:30pm & 7:45pm
Free, 15–minute sessions of breathing meditations & gentle seated stretches to soothe the neck and spine.   
Taught by yoga instructor Kristin Hoeberlein. 
Gelman Room 301

Grab a healthy snack and enjoy some stress-busting activities.
Gelman Room 302

Alternative Models for Funding Research

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 13:42
November 20, 2014

Need NIH funding but haven't won the Nobel Prize? 
Think NIH and NSF are passing on the most cutting edge research by early-career scientists?

Find out at this panel discussion what you can do to get your innovative and creative projects funded.

Tuesday, Dec. 9
Gelman, Room 702

Noon– Dr. Benjamin McNeil
1pm – Panel Discussion

Join us as we explore alternative models for funding promising research. Oceanographer Ben McNeal will address:

his new platform,;
the power of crowdfunding; and 
direct engagement with the public.  

Afterwards, he and a panel of fellow experts will discuss other funding models, including changes to peer-review systems and foundation funding. 

Panelists will include:
Benjamin McNeil, Professor of Oceanography, University of New South Wales and founder of 
Jennifer Wisdom, GW Associate Vice President for Research
Johan Bollen, Associate Professor, Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing
Tracy Sullivan, Senior Associate Director of Development, GW Libraries

Moderated by Ryan Watkins, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, GW GSEHD and founder of

This program is co-sponsored by GW Libraries and the Collaborative Science Network.  It is open and requires no registration. 

Thanksgiving Hours at Special Collections

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:01

Please note that the Special Collections Research Center will close at 5pm on Wednesday, November 26 and will not reopen until Monday, Decembe

Writing & Publishing on HIV/AIDS Panel & Workshops

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 13:58
November 13, 2014

Writing & Publishing on HIV/AIDS Panel Discussion
Featuring Dr. Jose Merino, US Clinical Research Editor for the BMJ, as well as researchers from GW's Milken Institute School of Public Health and the District of Columbia Developmental Center for AIDS Research (DC D-CFAR)

Monday, December 8 from 10am-Noon
Gelman Library, Room 702
Registration requested, but not required.

Preparing for Publication on HIV/AIDS Workshops

Monday, December 8 from Noon-2pm
Gelman Library, Room 302
RSVP required by Sunday, November 30.

Tuesday, December 16 from 5:30-7:30pm
Gelman Library, Room 302
RSVP required by Sunday, November 30.

Do you wonder how you can publish papers as you juggle research implementation, teaching or clinical practice, proposal writing, administrative duties, and a personal life all at once?
Have you been awarded pilot funds but not yet begun planning for papers?
Do you have data that are analyzed but not yet in manuscript form?
Are you relatively unfamiliar with the publication process?

Publishing in the peer-reviewed literature is critical: not only to disseminate findings from your research but to facilitate successful grant reviews as well as academic advance in the future. Yet it is not always easy: navigating the publishing process can be challenging especially for those new to the process or those with multiple demands on their time. In this Writing and Publishing on HIV/AIDs panel you will hear from experts on publishing in HIV/AIDS related literature and learn publication strategies from the field for successful publication of your research findings. Graduate students, junior, and senior faculty from all area institutions are invited to attend.  This panel is open to all.  Registration requested, but not required.

For hands-on help with your specific paper questions you can attend one of the mentor-led, discipline-specific workshops.   Discuss your own challenges and roadblocks with specialized mentors in publishing in the HIV/AIDS field.  Two sessions are available and each session will address the unique needs to attendees.  RSVP required by Sunday, November 30.

This panel and workshops are brought to you by the District of Columbia Developmental Center for AIDS Research (DC D-CFAR), an NIH-funded program (P30AI087714), and the GW Libraries, as part of the ongoing series Strategies for Interdisciplinary Publishing Success (SIPS). SIPS brings together authors, editors, researchers, and students to share practical wisdom about the publishing process, with a focus on the challenges of publishing interdisciplinary work.

For more information, please contact:
DC Developmental Center for AIDS Research

Thanksgiving Hours at the GW Libraries

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 12:30
November 10, 2014

Gelman Library will close for the holiday at 7pm on Wednesday, November 26 and will not reopen until noon on Saturday, November 29.  24-hour access is NOT available during this time.

Tuesday, November 25

Gelman Library open regular hours
Eckles Library closes at 11pm
VS&TCL open regular hours

Wednesday, November 26

Gelman Library and Check Out Desk closes at 7pm (other service desks close at 5pm)
Eckles Library closes at 5pm
VS&TCL closes at 5pm

Thursday, November 27 & Friday, November 28

Gelman, Eckles and VS&TCL CLOSED

Saturday, November 29

Gelman Library reopens at noon to resume 24-hour access
Eckles & VS&TCL - CLOSED

Sunday, November 30

Gelman Library open regular hours
Eckles Library reopens at 3pm.  Closes at 3am.

Tracking Web Traffic Across GW Libraries

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 13:55
November 10, 2014Christian Aldridge, Web Developer for Libraries

GW Libraries has nearly 20 web properties, all of which need to be tracked. We're using Google Analytics, and we've configured it with an "aggregate" account to help us track user traffic across our sites as well as within them. We've recently moved to Google's new "Universal Analytics" (analytics.js), which required some changes to our setup (which I wrote about in a post last year).

Aggregate Tracking

In addition to switching out our javascript with the new analytics.js tracking code, we created a separate "aggregate" account to collect traffic from all of our accounts. We then modified our older custom javascript snippet, using the new options available in the analytics.js code (shown in purple):

ga('create', 'UA-12345678-1', 'auto');
ga('create', 'UA-01234567-1', 'auto', {'name': 'aggregate'});  // This sets the "aggregate" Analytics account.
ga('send', 'pageview');
ga('aggregate.send', 'pageview'); // This sends the pageview to the "aggregate" Analytics account.

The second line sets a second account (which we named "aggregate"), and the fourth line sends a set of the site's tracking data to the second account.

Cross-Domain Tracking

One of the goals is to see how our visitors move between our web properties. Since all of our sites are subdomains of the same second level domain, Analytics doesn't require anything more than setting the second account in order to track traffic between properties:

If your sites have different domains, Google has excellent documentation to implement cross-domain tracking manually:

Event Tracking and "Non-Interaction" Events

In addition to tracking page traffic we inserted "event tracking" code to tell us when visitors used certain tools or links. 

One of the behaviors we're tracking is our primary navigation menu: we set events to fire when someone hovers over the category menu items (which expand when hovering). To prevent this from being treated as a page interaction, we set these as non-events: {'nonInteraction': 1}. Otherwise Analytics would confuse the mouse hover as an event in which the user interacted by clicking or following a link to another page or resource, and our Bounce Rate (as well as a few other metrics) for the page would be incorrectly impacted.

The "event tracking" code is a short piece of javascript:

ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘primary-navigation’, ‘/primary-nav/gelman-library/news-events-hover’, {'nonInteraction': 1});

Which added to the anchor tag looks like this:

<a onMouseOver="ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘primary-navigation’, ‘/primary-nav/gelman-library/news-events-hover’, {'nonInteraction': 1});">Research</a>

The 'hover' behavior is triggered by the onMouseOver event (vs. onClick). The last parameter {'nonInteraction': 1} sets it as a 'non-interaction' event.

Using the Drupal Analytics Module

Our Drupal sites use the analytics module (, which has fields for custom javascript as well as a lot of helpful features. To set up aggregate tracking we dropped our two javascript lines into two of the fields in the Custom section:

The Drupal module also makes it easy to honor "do not track" thanks to a simple checkbox in the Privacy section, as well as an option for anonymization of visitor IP addresses. For our non-Drupal sites we wrap the Analytics code in a conditional statement that checks the value of navigator.doNotTrack (for more on coding for Do Not Track: ).

A Better Understanding of Our Visitors

With this in place we can look in one location for our combined traffic data and see how visitors move between our sites. This has been especially useful in understanding usage of our main GW Libraries website, which is a launchpoint for many of our other tools: we can now watch as visitors move within and across our web properties.

All of this helps us build better tools for our community and implement user centered designs that provide a better and more consistent user experience.