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Shelf Life - September 2018

The newsletter of Joseph R. Skeen Library at New Mexico Tech


Welcome to Shelf Life, the Skeen Library newsletter. Shelf Life will inform you about new library resources and keep you up to date with events and other activities as well as provide information that is of interest to the NMT community.

Upcoming Library Events

What is Open Access?

Want a quick and dirty rundown of Open Access (OA) in less than 10 minutes? Then watch this video where Nick Shockey (Director of Programs & Engagement for SPARC and founding Director of the Right to Research Coalition) and Jonathan Eisen (Professor at the University of California, Davis with appointmens in the Genome Center, the Dept. of Evolution and Ecology, and the Dept. of Medical Microbiology and Immunology) take us through the world of open access and explain what it's all about.

Jorge Cham of "PHD Comics" (Piled Higher and Deeper) animated the video.

Video is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution License.


Tech Talks and Library Lab at Skeen Library

Do your students need help with research or a quick refresher? Tell them about Thursday Tech Talks and Library Lab!

Presented by one of Skeen's three librarians, Thursday Tech Talks and Library Lab are cultivated with the student body in mind. 

Thursday Tech Talks are low-pressure informational sessions where students can learn about a specific topic. Past Tech Talks topics have included EndNote, how to manage stress, how to prepare for a class presentation, how to read an academic paper, and more. 

This semester, Thursday Tech Talks will cover topics such as academic honesty and plagiarism, different style guides (MLA, APA, and Chicago), and an as-yet-to-be-determined final presentation on Thursday, December 6th (suggestions are always welcome!). Thursday Tech Talks take place in Room 208 (Computer Lab), on the top floor of Skeen Library.

As of the Fall 2018 semester, Library Lab is a new service at Skeen Library. Offered many Thursdays from 2pm-4pm, this is an opportunity for students to "drop in" and get help with their research-related questions and quandaries. Students can find librarians and staff in Room 108, ready to help them find the information they need.

Check out the library's Event Calendar for up-to-date information on these and other events.

We hope to see you and your students at Skeen!

Resource Highlight: Open Access

Photo Credit:

Ashley Farley writes in the LITA (Library and Information Technology Association) Blog that "one of the pillars of libraries is facilitating access to the large corpus of existing knowledge." For many of us here at Tech, accessing those vast amounts of information means making sure we are doing research on campus, or taking the extra step by logging in via a proxy server.

Open Access (OA) has been a buzzword among those who teach, research, and study at colleges and universities for several years. Long before the term was coined, however, computer scientists and physicists had been self-archiving their research on anonymous FTP servers and at (pronounced “archive”).

Skeen Library is constantly on the lookout for additional ways for NMT students, faculty, and staff to access information--and this includes seeking out OA resources. If you haven’t had a chance yet, take a look at our A-to-Z database list, which boasts several OA websites and databases. Just a few months ago, we had about 140 databases listed. Now, that number has almost doubled--thanks in large part to OA.

If you’re interested in learning more about OA, check out a few of these websites:

Why Our Future Depends on Libraries

On Thursday, September 6, 2018, The Guardian published a pictorial essay by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell entitled "Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming." In it, they remind us that "reading for pleasure is one of the most important things one can do." It builds empathy and helps create literate world citizens. In other words, "people who cannot understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate."  

Gaiman and Riddell continue:

Image Credit:

Click here to view the entire essay.

New Items

Here are some highlights of what Skeen has recently added to its collection. Please note that some titles may already be checked out.

NMT Skeen Library


801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801


(575) 835-5614