CookeryI like to cook and eat.  To me, it’s one of life’s basic pleasures.  I gain a certain amount of satisfaction when I see my family and friends eating and enjoying something I’ve made.  There are health benefits to cooking as well.  CNN recently wrote about learning to cook and it’s health benefits.  I also enjoy the creative process of cooking and looking for new recipes to inspire me.  When I get stuck in a culinary rut, I like to browse the Gale Culinary Arts Collection: The Culinary Arts Collection includes 250 major cooking and nutrition magazines, including thousands of searchable recipes.  I can find creative and challenging recipes from cooking magazines like Saveur, Bon Appetit, and Gourmet. Or sometimes I just need a quick and easy recipe from a magazine like Good Housekeeping , O. The Oprah Magazine , or Real Simple.  Whatever your level of cookery skill, I hope you find something that inspires you to cook and that you’ll enjoy eating.

The Library Has What You Need for Finals!

Final Exams Keep Calm

We know you’re getting geared up for the toughest time of the term- FINALS! Don’t panic. We have you covered.

The McNichols Campus Library will be open extended hours during dead week and finals week. Remember to have your Student ID with you.

April 25 – 30

Monday, April 25 – Thursday, April 28   8:00am – Midnight

Friday, April 29  8:00am – 8:00pm

Saturday, April 30 9:00am – 4:00pm


ScantronThe Library Also Offers:

Red and Green Scantrons – 50 cents

Blue Books – $1.00

Color Printing – 25 cents per page

Spiral Binding – (cost varies)

Ear buds – $1.00

Photocopying – 10 cents per page

Scanning (free)

Assistance from a librarian – priceless




don’t forget to grab a cup of Joe at






Sandra Wilson & Julia Eisenstein, Librarians

Systematic Reviews: not just for the health sciences

1024px-Generic_forest_plotWhat is a systematic review? Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (Oxford University) defines it as “the application of strategies that limit bias in the assembly, critical appraisal, and synthesis of all relevant studies on a specific topic. Systematic reviews focus on peer-reviewed publications about a specific health problem and use rigorous, standardized methods for selecting and assessing articles.”  But that’s just it… systematic reviews need not only be health related.


There are basically 5 steps in the process:

  • identify all relevant published and unpublished materials
  • select studies for potential inclusion
  • assess the quality of each study or report; exclude the poor quality studies
  • synthesize the findings from individual studies or reports
  • interpret the findings, present an unbiased summary of the findings, report any flaws in the evidence

How does a systematic review differ from a literature review? To start, a systematic review is conducted by a team; it helps to distribute the tremendous amount of work that goes into a systematic review, and it also helps to reduce selection bias. Secondly, a systematic review requires a thorough search in multiple sources looking for as much evidence on a topic that can be retrieved both published and unpublished; it helps to reduce publication bias. Typically a literature search does not include unpublished materials or an all-out resource search. Finally, the goal of a systematic review is to present the best available evidence on the topic/question of interest. A literature review aims to summarize a topic.

So what’s so great about a systematic review? The power of a systematic review lies in the synthesized evidence of a topic. For example, at one time it was common practice to place post-menopausal women on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). As a result of a systematic review on the harm and benefits of HRT, researchers found that although HRT had its benefits, it also increased the incidence of stroke and the risk of venous clots and breast cancer. HRT is no longer administered routinely.

Systematic reviews do not need to be medicine, nursing, or dentistry based. A systemic review can be conducted with non-medical studies as well. The following are resources that can be used to search for systematic review examples:

Cochrane Library and PubMedHealth – for medicine, dentistry, nursing, addictions, psychology

CINAHL – nursing, allied health

Campbell Collaboration – crime and justice, education, international development, and social welfare

The following library resources, although healthcare related, are available for assisting in conducting a systematic review:

Boland, A., Cherry, M. G., & Dickson, R. (2014). Doing a systematic review : A student’s guide. London: SAGE. (Print Book)

Eden, J., & Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Standards for Systematic Reviews of Comparative Effectiveness Research. (2011). Finding what works in health care : Standards for systematic reviews. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press. (EBook)

Holly, C., Salmond, S. W., & Saimbert, M. (2012). Comprehensive systematic review for advanced nursing practice. New York: Springer Pub. (EBook)


Forest plot image by James Grellier (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

April is National Poetry Month

poetry month

Take a few moments this month to relax with some of your favorite poems, or to discover some new ones.  Stop by the UDM McNichols campus library to pick up volumes of recent Pulitzer prize winners including Gregory Pardlo’s Digest, Vijay Seshadri’s 3 Sections, and Tracy K. Smith’s Life on Mars.  For something closer to home, check out Roses and Revolutions, by Dudley Randall, who served as a poet-in-residence in 1969 at what was then the University of Detroit.

The library also offers online poetry, such as The New Anthology of American Poetry, or, if you are pressed for time, how about some online haiku?  You could also subscribe to the digital poem-a-day poetry series, or take a look at A Work Day in Hard Times, a blog by UDM’s own Fr. Staudenmaier, which includes daily poems and mic

Finally, if you would like to listen to local poets or work on or share your own poetry, make sure to visit the Grounds coffeehouse on campus on Sunday, April 17th from 3:00pm to 6:00pm for the Broadside Lotus Press Poets’ Theatre.  The afternoon will start with a poetry workshop, followed by an open mic session from 4:30-6:00.


Jill Spreitzer, Librarian




Library of Congress Classification OR How Many Catalogers Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb?

LCStuff happens, and then accumulates. Of course it’s important stuff that you’ll want to use again, else you wouldn’t keep it, right? As long as it’s just a little stuff you can let it lie around randomly and just remember where everything is. Of course, your mother or significant other or even a helpful friend may foul everything up by putting your stuff where it belongs, but otherwise the system works well enough.

But eventually there is just too much stuff to remember. Since you still can‘t buy a few extra gigabytes of gray matter, your brain eventually runs out of memory.  Then you have to listen to what everybody says and put your stuff where it belongs.

And how do you know where your stuff belongs? That’s classification.

fuzzimo-vinylrecordspictures-01There are many ways of classifying stuff. Say you have a music collection that’s getting out of hand. You may want to arrange it by artist, and keep Dusty Springfield next to Bruce Springsteen. Or you may want to arrange it by type of music, putting jazz in one corner of the room, country in another, garage bands in the garage, and classical music up in the attic. Either system is fine, as long as it serves the purpose of enabling you to find stuff effectively.

The University of Detroit Mercy Libraries use a classification system devised by the Library of Congress (LC).  It arranges stuff by subject, and uses a combination of letters and numbers to bring materials together in a logical sequence.

Each piece of stuff is given a Call Number, which is basically like a street address where the material lives on the shelf. All the stuff on a given subject lives on the same street, or else on the next block over. (In real life, this would be like having all movie Tarzans living at Hollywood & Vine.)

Here is a call number, based on the LC Classification System, for William James’ book, The Varieties of Religious Experience:

BR 110 .J3 1929

The first thing to remember is that the letters “BR” have no intrinsic or mnemonic meaning, but simply indicate an area within the system. Here’s a quick summary of what comes under the letter “B” in the LC system:

B-BD= Philosophy     BF= Psychology                     BH= Aesthetics          BJ= Ethics

BL-BP Religions (general, non-Christian)      BR-BX Christianity

Within each area, the subjects generally move from general to specific. BR indicates material relating to general aspects of Christianity. The second element, 110, has been assigned for the more specific subject, “Psychology of religious experience, conversion, etc.” Again, the number “110” has no special significance; it only serves to arrange material in the desired order.

The .J3, as you probably guessed, relates to the author’s last name “James”, and serves as sub-arrangement.  “1929” is the year of publication, important when there is more than one edition of the work.

To find material on the shelf using a call number go one element at a time. First find the “BR” section, then follow the numbers as they increase from 1 to 110, then look for the J’s. As you do this, you’ll discover the wonderful world of browsing.

Nobody wants to spend all day toiling over a hot electronic device searching for stuff in a catalog. A subject-based classification system allows you the opportunity to find related material on the shelf without having to search for it. For example, on the same block as the James book, you’ll find:

Psychology and mystical experience   BR 110 .H6

The logic of the spirit: human development in theological perspective           BR 110 .L615 1998

Religious pathology and Christian faith          BR 110 .L62

The complete LC Classification System is very complex and detailed, running into the tens of thousands of pages. You don’t need to understand the complexities to use it effectively, but there are a few questions that may pop up in future blogs. For instance, why put a book on psychology and religion in the religion section (BR) rather than the psychology section (BF)? Sort of like deciding in which room to put eclectic music.

But I will let you in on a dirty little secret: most catalogers don’t do a lot of classification from scratch.  It‘s simply too complicated and time-consuming to do everything. Instead, they use information supplied by the Library of Congress and other major cataloging agencies, adapting them to local conditions as necessary. If you’ve ever used the WorldCat database, that’s where most of our cataloging information comes from.

724px-Light_bulb_icon_tips_svgSo now you know how many catalogers it takes to change a light bulb. Only one. But they have to wait and see how LC did it.


David Moody, Associate Librarian

Grass-Roots Social Justice Organizations in Metropolitan Detroit: Part 2

grassroots-sliderIn my continued efforts to locate individuals and groups doing good work for Detroit and surrounding environs, I came upon these.  Please spread the word about them; and even consider joining one of them if you are so inclined.


People’s Potluck Detroit

A spinoff of Occupy Detroit, this group holds an educational potluck on the fourth Monday of most months (meaning the next one will likely be on March 28).  The February potluck was focused on the resistance to tar sands destruction; the January potluck, on the Homrich 9 and the Detroit Water Shutoffs.  If you want the chance to learn about current issues and maybe participate in activism, this is a great opportunity!

Michigan Urban Farming Initiative

urban farming

The “About” section of this organization’s Facebook page describes itself thus: “Using agriculture as a platform to promote education, sustainability, and community—while simultaneously reducing socioeconomic disparity—we hope to empower urban communities.”  Here are links to MUFI’s Facebook and main pages:

Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ)

dwejThe “About” section of this group’s page states ” DWEJ is a Detroit-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the environmental and economic health of our community.  Here are links to DWEJ’s Facebook and main pages:

Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition

This organization, located in Michigan, is involved in environmental causes both in-state and beyond.  (While the Flint water crisis is looming large these days, indigenous peoples in other parts of the world have been going through similar conditions, and worse., for much longer.)

Food & Water Watch – Michigan

fwwAnother organization that is currently highlighting the Flint water crisis; but also keeps up-to-date on underwater oil pipelines in Michigan; the water rates in Detroit; and GMO labeling (among other things).


I’d love to hear about other local organizations and individuals who are doing creative and positive things for our community!  Please email me ( if you know of any; and you may see your contributions in a future blog!

Kris McLonis, Associate Librarian

Income Tax Forms

It’s that time again. Time to file your income tax with the federal government, state, and city.


To find the federal tax forms, go to:

Michigan taxes

To find the State of Michigan tax forms, go to:

Detroit logo

To find city of Detroit tax forms, go to: Click City Tax.


To find other Michigan cities tax forms, go to the State of Michigan tax forms webpage: Click “Tax Forms and Instructions”, click “City Income Tax Forms.”


For student IRS information, other Michigan city income tax forms, or forms for other states or countries, see the Virtual Reference Desk General Resources LibGuide, select the Tax Forms tab.


Here’s hoping you get a hefty return!

Provided by Sue Homant, Librarian

The Ides of March


It’s the one of the most notorious dates in history; the day Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C.

It’s been immortalized by Shakespeare:

Soothsayer: “Beware the Ides of March.” Act 1 Scene 2

Caesar: (To the Soothsayer) “The Ides of March are come.
Soothsayer: “Ay Caesar, but not gone.
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 1
Almost everyone has heard the phrase “Beware the Ides of March” and they know it means certain doom, but where does all of this come from?  What are Ides anyway?

Ides refer to the days in the ancient Roman calendar that mark the middle of the month. Since it was a lunar calendar, this marked the full moon.  For most months this was the 13th, but the 15th for the longest months.  March would also have been the beginning of  the Roman  New Year.  In addition to the usual sacrifices, other celebrations were observed during this time–such as the feast of Anna Perenna: the goddess of the circle, or ring, of the year.

But what about the rest of it? How do we know about Julius Caesar’s assassination?

One source comes down to us from Plutarch.  In his Parallel Lives, beginning at chapter 63, all the signs point to a bad end:*.html

Another is Suetonius’ The Twelve Caesars, written about A.D. 121*.html

For articles on the Ides of March see JStor:


It turns out other unfortunate things have happened on March 15th

Research & Information Services


Have you ever noticed those people sitting at the desk with the sign over it that reads “Research & Information Services”? Have you ever noticed that sign? Have you ever wondered why those people are sitting there? At the reference deskWell, the people sitting at the Research & Information Services desk are faculty librarians and they can help with a lot more than just selling you a scantron, of course we’re happy to do that too!

Librarians are research specialists that can assist you with many things including:

  • Finding print and electronic resources using the library catalog
  • Locating print resources in the library using the Library of Congress Call number
  • Accessing and locating articles using the library’s research databases (on or off campus!)
  • Developing a search strategy to quickly get you to the best results
  • Scheduling a one-on-one research instruction meeting in a specific subject area
  • Coordinating with faculty to develop class specific instruction session

Maybe most importantly, know that you can always Ask a Librarian, whether in person, by chat, email, or phone. We’ll do our best to find the answer to your question.

Finding Statistical Information

StatisticsMaybe you are looking for the number of live births in the United States in the year 2000. Or maybe it’s the percentage of children in Michigan who received the chicken pox vaccine in 2014. Or maybe it’s the crime rate in Detroit. You may have a need to know airline on-time performance or maybe you need the box scores from the 2005 Major League Baseball All Star Game (bonus points if you know where it was played.) The library portal page has all sorts of statistical resources to find any stat you may need.  Here is a selection of sites you may find useful.

Fed Stats

FedStats provides a range of official statistical information produced by the Federal Government on such topics as economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, aviation safety, energy use, farm production and more.

Health Statistics and Reports

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services develops statistics to provide basic information about health events in Michigan. Data is available at the state, county and community level.




The U.S. Census Bureau website provides access to census data from 1790 to 2010. It is the leading source for data about the nation’s people and economy.


DemographicsNow: Business & People

This Gale database provides highly-detailed demographic data on income, housing race, age, education, retail spending, consumer expenditures, businesses and more by state, county, zip code, congressional district and more. Customizable and printable maps show road and aerial views to review demographics on people and businesses. Users can easily and quickly produce a variety of reports, both standard and custom. Off-campus access will require authorization.

TradeStats Express

This site, managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides trade statistics by market and industry at the state, national and international levels. Data can be displayed in maps, graphs, tables.

Statistical Abstract of the U.S.

The Statistical Abstract is a comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. It contains over 1,400 indexed tables that are searchable and browsable. The Statistical Abstract is a favorite “go to” resource for librarians. Off-campus access will require authorization.

General Resources LibGuide – Statistics Tab





The statistics page of the UDM General Resources LibGuide has multiple links to statistical websites. From crime stats to health stats to economic indicators and sports stats, there’s a better than even chance you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

Need more help? Stop by the library and ask a librarian.







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