Posts Tagged 'Library Services'

Library Tour at UVa — and a Free Gift!

This Thursday, August 29th , in coordination with the folks in the Office of Orientation and New Student Programs, we’re offering our annual Fall Library Tour. We’ll visit Clemons, Alderman and the Small Special Collections libraries and provide a glimpse of 21st-century teaching, learning, research and scholarship. All participants will receive a free Library flashdrive preloaded with a link to the Library Research Portal.

The tour will begin at 3 p.m. in the lobby of Clemons Library. No advance registration is necessary—you can just show up. The tour will last roughly half an hour.

The tour is open to anyone.


Todd Burks
 Reference – Instruction

  Outreach – Accessibility

Clemons Library

University of Virginia



Welcome Back!

Welcome back to Nuts and Bolts for the Fall 2013 semester!  Hopefully, everyone had a pleasant summer vacation and is now ready to get back to the school routine.  Nuts and Bolts is here to help — my goal is to share with you lots of interesting and useful information about happenings in and around the Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library here at the University of Virginia, as well as in the world of science and engineering across the country and around the globe.  Check back often and best wishes for a great semester ahead!

Reading Room

Libra – The New Digital Repository for UVa

The following article is reposted from the August 1, 2011 issue of UVa Today.

New Online Service Preserves, Promotes Digital Faculty Scholarship

July 29, 2011 — The University of Virginia Library has developed a new service to preserve faculty scholarly work and make it easily accessible online.

Libra, a new digital repository, is designed to archive U.Va. faculty articles and scholarship from any discipline in a searchable database, said Martha Sites, deputy university librarian. The service will also host student theses and dissertations, as well as research data sets.

“It provides a way for scholars to ensure the long-term durability of the scholarship they produce,” Sites said. “That’s the overarching goal.”

Digital technology makes it easier to disseminate scholarly work, but it has also created unforeseen preservation problems, she said. Even if a journal or publisher posts an important scholarly article online, there’s no guarantee it will stay there for the long run. And if an article was born in a digital format – meaning  no print version exists – it could potentially be lost forever if a server crashes or the publication folds, Sites said.

“It is a problem in the digital realm that doesn’t exist in the same way in the print realm, in that the best ways to manage digital content over time and through changes in technology are not yet well understood,” she said.

Libra will provide a stable, long-term home for U.Va. scholarship that isn’t tied to a commercial endeavor, said James Hilton, vice president and chief information officer. More and more institutions are heading down similar paths, he said.

“It’s completely appropriate for academic research libraries to be developing these tools and providing these solutions, because they are the only ones charged with the mission of preserving the scholarly record forever,” Hilton said.

When a library buys a physical book, it has the right to loan that book out and preserve it indefinitely, Hilton said. But when it obtains an electronic item, such as a digital copy of a scholarly article, the library only has a license, which – unless the contract says otherwise – doesn’t include the right to preserve it.

“What I think is beautiful about Libra is that it places control in the hands of scholars,” Hilton said.

University faculty members who use Libra are responsible for securing publishing rights to their work and uploading it. Instructions are available on the site.

School of Medicine neurology professor Ivan Login, the first faculty member to upload his work to Libra, said the service could become a powerful tool for scholars who need free access to published research.

“Part of the value of Libra is that it gives faculty members a place to put their papers where the world can get at them without having to pay,” Login said. “The repository allows these articles to be available, if you know where to look for them.”

Sites said Libra was developed in conjunction with Faculty Senate efforts to increase access to scholarly works. Last year, the senate approved a policy designed to encourage scholars to retain rights to publish their research findings online a year after the articles are published in academic journals.

Law professor Edmund Kitch, who served on the Faculty Senate’s Task Force on Scholarly Publication and Authors’ Rights, said many publishers have been cooperative with that process. In some cases, the authors already own publication rights for important pieces of scholarship, he said.

In addition, uploading articles to Libra assures worldwide distribution of work that could otherwise be hard to find, he said.

“It’s a reality that many important scholarly journals are very expensive and have very limited distribution,” Kitch said. “There are millions of people who have no way of getting at the scholarly literature at the present time. If you have a piece of scholarship on Libra, it can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection throughout the world.”

The library partnered with Information Technology Services to create the site’s infrastructure, and library staff is currently working to make Libra materials searchable through Virgo, the library’s primary search portal. Beta testing for the inclusion of data sets, dissertations and graduate theses should begin in coming months, Sites said.

In the future, online repositories such as Libra could be an important step toward larger digital scholarship repositories that span many institutions, Hilton said.

“In my view, digital preservation efforts are going to increasingly play a role in the life of premier research libraries,” he said.

— By Rob Seal


Rob Seal
U.Va. Media Relations

All-New Virgo Library Catalog

Now You Can Search for Books AND Journal Articles At the Same Time!

The University Library catalog, Virgo, has been greatly enhanced to include journal articles from many publishers. It features a simple and fast search engine that helps you discover relevant information on any topic from the University of Virginia Library collections. Virgo is the place to start your research in scholarly journal and newspaper articles, books, videos, maps, manuscript collections, music scores and more. From your search results page, one click will display the full text of an article or tell you whether or not a book is on the shelf.

Virgo’s new integrated article search is part of a suite of online services the Library offers to researchers through the new Research Portal which provides access to the specialist databases – the recommended approach for those who are working on in-depth literature reviews.

For more information about the new Virgo interface or the Research Portal stop by any UVa Library or contact your subject librarian.


Welcome Back!

Welcome Back, UVa Students and Faculty!

Best wishes from Nuts and Bolts for a successful and productive fall semester!  Be sure to keep an eye on this space for information you can use about the Library and its resources — guaranteed to help you work smarter and faster!

See you in the Library and on Nuts and Bolts!

New VIRGO Catalog Coming Soon!

We are very pleased to report that starting July 15th, 2010, the U.Va. Library will move to a new search interface, VIRGOnew, for our online catalog. With the new VIRGO you can:

  • Search items the Library has catalogued, including books, journal titles, DVDs, CDs, sheet music, websites, and microfilm, and also, in the same search for the first time, digital collections of images and texts;
  • Filter your results by format, dates, and keywords;
  • Sort your results by relevancy ranking, date received, author, title or call number;
  • Save and share your searches and results in Delicious, RefWorks, and Zotero;
  • Select, save, print, e-mail, and SMS multiple records;
  • Generate an RSS feed for your search, so you can be notified when the Library acquires materials in your subject area.

We thank you for your feedback and support as we continue to develop this exciting new research tool. Answers to some of the questions you may have about the new interface are available at: Or, please feel free to contact the Information Desk in the Brown Science and Engineering Library at 434-924-3628 for more information.  You may also contact your subject librarian listed here:

To learn even more about what the new VIRGO can do, take a sneak peak and try it out at:

Research 2.0 Symposium

Research 2.0 Symposium
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
In the Brown Science and Engineering Library

Be sure to add this date to your calendar, as you won’t want to miss the 2nd Annual “Research 2.0 Symposium” at the Brown Science and Engineering Library.  We will have numerous vendors from both the information resources and software package sides.  Expect to see a full list of workshops, presentations, and table sessions, along with prizes

You can find a complete outline of the day’s activities, seminar descriptions, locations and times, and other information at 

This event is provided by the Research Computing Lab and Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library

Info Tool of the Week: Ask a Librarian

When you have a question about the library or where to find the information you need for your research, there are lots of ways to get in touch with a librarian:

For more information and hours of availability for the above services, please check our “Questions? Ask a Science Librarian” web page.  We look forward to hearing from you!



Info Tool of the Week: Purchase Request Form

Even though the University of Virginia libraries own several million items, we can’t own or have access to everything.  In many cases when the library doesn’t own something you need, asking for the item via interlibrary loan will be your best strategy.  However, there may be some occasions when you may wish to ask the library to purchase a copy of an item.  To do this, please submit the information about the item using our online purchase request form.

The library is happy to consider purchase suggestions from its users.  However, be aware that items are added to the collections in support of the teaching and research needs of the University.  Items that do not fall within those areas may be rejected.

If you have concerns about any item not in the libraries’ collections, please consult with the Subject Librarian for your department or area of interest.

Info Tool of the Week: Science Search Engines

Everybody knows about Google — and everybody uses Google to search the web for needed information.  But wouldn’t it be nice if, sometimes, you could search the web with a search engine optimized for just science and engineering materials?

Well — you can!  Here are some science and engineering oriented search engines that can help you search the web more efficiently and effectively.

Scirus – for scientific information only.  According to their site, Scirus is the most comprehensive scientific research tool on the web. With over 350 million scientific items indexed at last count, it allows researchers to search for not only journal content but also scientists’ homepages, courseware, pre-print server material, patents and institutional repository and website information.  You can also get the latest scientific news from the New Scientist magazine.  Use the Advanced Search option to set your preferences for type(s) of materials to search for, date ranges, etc.  Scirus is sponsored by the Elsevier publishing group.

TechXtra is a UK-based service which can help you find articles, books, the best websites, the latest industry news, job announcements, technical reports, technical data, full text eprints, the latest research, thesis & dissertations, teaching and learning resources and more, in engineering, mathematics and computing.  Many of the things you’ll find through TechXtra come from the ‘Hidden Web’, and are not indexed by Google.

Intute is another UK-based search engine sponsored by a consortium of British universities and libraries.  In addition to providing subject-based web searching Intute offers a variety of online training sessions, customized user options and alerting services, podcasts, news feeds and related services. is a web search engine maintained by the United States federal government designed specifically to search for U.S. government-produced web pages. is a gateway to government science information and research results. Currently in its fifth generation, provides a search of over 40 scientific databases and 200 million pages of science information with just one query, and is a gateway to 1,950+ scientific Websites.  The content for is contributed by participating agencies committed to serving the information needs of the science-attentive citizen, including science professionals, students and teachers, and the business community.

The above science and engineering search engines are only a few of the tools you can use to optimize your web searching and save yourself time and frustration.  For more information about these and other web search options, come by the Brown Science and Engineering Library and let us show you how to find the information you need for your research!

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July 2020