Get research and writing help at the Crunch Time Clinic from Nov 7 to 11

Do you want help with your research or writing projects?


Crunch Clinic consultation

You can work with a Temple librarian and Writing Center tutor for help identifying sources, searching databases, creating citations, refining thesis statements, clarifying prose, drafting, revising and more!

Monday to Friday, November 7th-11th from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. in the Think Tank of the Paley Library (1st floor).

Register online for a guaranteed appointment at

The Crunch Time Clinic is sponsored by Temple University Libraries and the Writing Center.

Answer of the Week: the LOVE sculpture

I need help finding sources for a paper on Robert Indiana’s Love Statue.

Photo credit: "LOVE" by Jean-François Schmitz, via Flickr

Photo credit: “LOVE” by Jean-François Schmitz, via Flickr. Creative Commons license.

Okay. Robert Indiana (b.1928) was the creator of several such artworks, including the sculpture at Philadelphia’s eponymous LOVE Park.

If you’re looking for articles about it, both news articles and scholarly ones, you’ll probably want to begin with database searches. Which databases? We have quite a few research guides which would narrow down our resources for you. Art, Art History and Researching Art Objects are all good possibilities for approaching the topic from the artistic side.

A couple other possibilites approach from a different standpoint: Philadelphia, for example, is a research guide that has a tab just about Philadelphia art, and Philadelphia Arts & Culture not only suggests resources but also offers advice on writing about the topic.

Photo credit: "Robert INDIANA" by Chris Huffman, via Flickr. Creative Commons license.

Photo credit: “Robert INDIANA” by Chris Huffman, via Flickr. Creative Commons license.

Then, too, you could look for books on the sculpture. But because “love” is so common a word, it turns out that a better search is to look in our books catalog Diamond for books on “Robert Indiana”. The latter link will take you directly to the search. Just be aware of the quotation marks we put around the artist’s name; they force the system to search for that phrase, which is a very powerful search tool that not everyone knows about.

News items about the artwork can also be useful.  A good database for finding some would be Proquest Newsstand; try this search out as an example.

Somewhat unusually, because Robert Indiana is still alive you can also get one of the most authoritative kinds of information there is, by visiting the page about the LOVE artworks on Robert Indiana’s own website.

Finally,  if you have some particular search that is not going well or need general advice on this topic, you could also contact our specialist librarian for the subject of art, Jill Luedke. An appointment with her can be made here, if you wish.

Success Stories: Librarian Promotes Research on Women, Gender, and Sexualities

Womens studies research conference GPWSC April 10 2016Temple’s Women’s Studies Program sponsored the fourth annual Greater Philadelphia Women’s Studies Consortium (GPWSC).  The Student Research Conference was held on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at Temple University.  The conference was open to graduate and undergraduate students at GPWSC member institutions to attend or present their research on women, gender and sexualities.

Caitlin Shanley, the librarian for American Studies, Asian Studies, and Women’s Studies, attended the Conference, promoted TU research and connected students with resources in person and through her Women’s Studies guide online.

Women’s Studies at Temple University offers a cohesive framework of inquiry for the examination of women, gender, and sexuality in the U.S and around the world.  It is an interdisciplinary program housed in the College of Liberal Arts that supports undergraduate and graduate programs that extend to students throughout the entire University.

The Program also plays a key role in the Greater Philadelphia Women’s Studies Consortium (GPWSC).  Through the Consortium they provide a forum for the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Programs of thirteen of the area’s universities and colleges to facilitate discussions across the educational community, create programming (such as, the GPWSC conference), and sponsor a Scholar in Residence each year.

The fourteen institutions of the Consortium include: Bryn Mawr College, The College of New Jersey, Drexel University, Haverford College, LaSalle University, Rosemont College, Saint Josephs University, Swarthmore College, Temple University, University of Delaware, University of Pennsylvania, Ursinus College, Villanova University, and West Chester University.

The Scholar in Residence this year is Chandra Talpade Mohanty, an internationally renowned feminist scholar and activist. Dr. Mohanty is Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Sociology, and the Cultural Foundations of Education and Dean’s Professor of the Humanities at Syracuse University.

Her scholarship focuses on many issues, including: the politics of difference and solidarity; the relationship of feminist knowledge and scholarship to social movements; mobilizing a transnational feminist anti-capitalist critique; decolonizing knowledge; theorizing agency; and analysis of identity and resistance in the context of feminist transborder solidarity.

Image: Student Research on Women, Gender and Sexualities Conference, some rights reserved by Temple University, Women’s Studies Program.

Answer of the Week: Queen Elizabeth I

Hi, I need to find a primary sources about Queen Elizabeth I and what her motivation was for sponsoring the colonization of America, and also for seventeenth century sources.  Can you help?

Queen Elizabeth I

Photo credit: “Engraving of Queen Elizabeth I, with chronogram recording the year of her death (1603)” by POP, via Flickr. Creative Commons License.

Sure!   As you probably know, Queen Elizabeth I ruled England from 1558 to her death in 1603.  Primary source documents are those created at the time by non-scholars, reflecting what was happening and how they were reacting to it.

We might begin by looking at some of our research guides, which narrow down our resources to particular topics or courses. 

Our research guide titled Medieval European History, would probably be of even more use, since primary sources are one of its focuses.  Although the 16th century (1501-1600) and 17th century (1601-1700) were really more Renaissance than Medieval in character, many of the same resources will most likely be useful for your inquiry.  In the Selected Internet Resources tab of that guide, for example, you’ll find “Medieval and Renaissance Europe: Primary Historical Documents (Brigham Young University)”, part of the EuroDocs site. There, you can find this trove of links to primary documents, mainly of the 16th and 17th centuries. Our History research guide (“Primary Sources – Europe” section) is also a good place to look for databases with primary sources, such as British Newspapers 1600-1950.


Photo credit: “Raleigh’s Apology” by Eugene Kim, via Flickr. Creative Commons License.

We have access to considerable numbers of scanned e-books from the era, as this search demonstrates, and some physical books as well, such as:

McCollum, John I.
The Age of Elizabeth; selected source materials in Elizabethan social and literary history.

Elizabethan Ireland : a selection of writings by Elizabethan writers on Ireland, edited by James P. Myers, Jr.

Finally, the internet has some good sites for primary sources on this topic.  Fordham University’s Modern History Sourcebook page about Queen Elizabeth is quite good.  So is The Elizabeth Files, which, although a private website, offers a considerable collection of links to primary sources about Queen Elizabeth from reputable sources, such as and British History Online.

Answer of the Week: Monks and Kung Fu

I am looking for information on Shaolin Monks, and need help getting started. Could you guide me in the right direction?


Photo credit: Lip Jin Lee, “Shaolin”, via Flickr. Creative Commons license.

Sure.  As you probably know, the monks of the Shaolin Monastery in China were some of the earliest originators of the martial art that English speakers call kung fu.  This monastery is a Buddhist one.  There are several places you can look.

Our Research Guides, for example, include one for Chinese Religions: Traditions and another for the course Asian Behavior & Thought. They provide links to many encyclopedias and dictionaries about China and its philosophy and religions, and databases as well.  The Encyclopedia of Buddhism in Chinese Religions: Traditions, for example, offers a long article about Martial Arts in the Buddhist context, which provides valuable information relevant both directly and as background to the Shaolin monastery and its martial art.  There, for example, we learn that “The heavy cudgel [see photo at right], while capable of great devastation, was neither metal nor sharp, and thereby was rhetorically legitimated as a nonweapon appropriate to Buddhist monks.”  “Martial arts” could be a potential search term for you in these Chinese resources.

The ATLA Religion Database and the Bibliography of Asian Studies are databases that would also be good avenues to pursue; these links take you straight to searches on each for “Shaolin”.


The Shaolin Monastery. Photo credit: Robin Hickmott, “Shaolin”, via Flickr. Creative Commons license.

Our book catalog, Diamond, is another excellent research venue for you; this search for Shaolin takes you to a couple dozen useful results, including videos. One of the results of that search is not only very relevant and specific to your inquiry, but recent as well:

The Shaolin monastery : history, religion, and the Chinese martial arts / Meir Shahar.
Honolulu : University of Hawai’i Press, c2008.

Answer of the Week: American Women Spies of World War II

I need resources about American women spies during World War Two.  Can you help?


Photo credit: “OSS Simple Sabotage Field Manual” by Joe Loong, at Flickr. Creative Commons license.

Sure.  There are several different avenues of research you might try.

For example, our Research Guides are a good possibility.  For example, we created Research Guides for Temple courses about American Military Culture and about World War II, titled Battle Front and Home Front: The United States in World War II.  They provide links to many possibilities for searching.  The Declassified Documents Reference System, for example, full of formerly classified U.S. government documents beginning with the Second World War, appears on The Primary Documents – Library Databases tab of the second example.

Diamond, our book catalog is another possibility.  The tab in that guide entitled Primary Documents — The Diamond Catalog gives instructions on how to search it for what you’re looking for.

When we do search Diamond, some of the results suggest other approaches still.  For example, Our mothers’ war : American women at home and at the Front during World War II includes information about spies, but also leads us to this useful subject heading:

World War, 1939-1945 — Women — United States

The book Operatives, spies, and saboteurs : the unknown story of the men and women of World War II’s OSS helps us in a different way.  The Office of Strategic Services was the predecessor of today’s Central Intelligence Agency.  You can now add “OSS” or the agency’s full title to your list of search terms.


Photo credit: “Women of WWII” by Sarah A., at Flickr. Creative Commons license.

Some books are about American spies in general, and you may simply have to find them and consult the index of each to determine if there is anything useful.  For example:

Stealing Secrets, Telling Lies: How Spies and Codebreakers Helped Shape the Twentieth Century, by James Gannon
JF1525.I6G36 2001

Soldiers, Airmen, Spies and Whisperers: the Gold Coast in World War II, by Nancy Ellen Lawler
D810.S7L325 2002


FYI: Still More Library Terms You Need To Know

This is the third in a series of posts, each offering quick explanations of ten different library terms which it will help you to know.  The first in the series can be found here, and the second, here.  Clicking on the name of most entries will bring you to a map of its floor in the library, or the Temple campus.

Tour Media Services Desk

Paley Media Services desk. Photo credit: Paley Library

1. Think Tank — if you make an appointment with one of our specialist librarians, they may suggest that you meet in the Think Tank.  It’s a small office intended for discussions and consultations on the west side of the main floor of Paley, just to the right as you enter the corridor leading to Tuttleman.

2. Media Services Desk — all of Paley’s non-streaming videos are at the Media Services Desk (at right), which is down in the ground floor (or basement) of Paley.  It also offers rooms you can reserve with equipment for watching those videos.

3. News Lounge — This is not actually a room at all, despite appearances.  It’s the area directly under the televisions on the west side of the main floor of Paley, where we keep the most popular magazines, newspapers and our collection of board games.

4. Lecture Hall — This is where we hold many events and sometimes host speakers, as the name suggests.  It’s on the ground floor, or basement, of Paley, directly ahead of you as you reach the bottom of the stairwell.

5. Leisure Reading — Paley offers new and popular fiction and nonfiction in the Leisure Reading section.  It’s the area of low bookcases just to your left just after you enter Paley from the Polett Walk entrance.

6. Self-checkout — We have two places with electronic kiosks where you can check books out yourself.  One is on the main floor of Paley to the right of the stairwell entrance, opposite the Reference Desk.  The other is on the quiet side of the third floor.

7. Tuttleman Computer Center — This is a general student computer lab in a large glass-walled room in Tuttleman, the building that Paley is connected to by that long corridor.  Go down the long corridor to the Circulation Desk and turn left.  It offers breakout rooms.

8. Mezzanine — This is the sort of balcony-like area that overlooks the main floor of Paley.  This is where you can find Room 130, which is where many of our library instruction sessions, such as those for English 802, 812 and 902 occur.  Our administrative offices, where you could get information about applying for a student job at Paley, are also located here.


The Blockson Collection. Photo credit: Paley Library

9. Blockson Collection (pdf map) — The Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection (at left) is the chief repository at Temple of Americana related to African-Americans, with over half a million items.  It’s on the first floor of Sullivan Hall, a block away from Paley at 1330 Polett Walk. Its usual hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays only.

10. Digital Scholarship Center — The Digital Scholarship Center is located in the basement floor of Paley Library.  It’s a place with a lot of technical equipment and software, intended for you to work on “research and technology; digital humanities, digital arts, gaming, making, big data and others”, and staffed by people with experience in these areas.  More detailed information can be found in the posts on its blog.

News: Get Research and Writing Help – April 4-14 – in the Crunch Time Clinic

Crunch Time Clinic

Temple University Librarians and Writing Center tutors will work together to assist students with their research questions during the Crunch Time Clinic from April 4th to April 14th (Monday through Thursday, 12 noon to 5:00 p.m.) in the Think Tank of the Paley Library.

Students will be matched with a Temple Reference Librarian who has expertise in the subject area of the research assignment/project.  Each librarian is an information specialist for specific subjects related to Temple’s academic programs.  They also provide research support for undergraduate coursework in the arts and humanities, social sciences, business, science and technology, general education courses and professional programs!  

Because writing and research are intertwined, there are Writing Center tutors available to work with the librarian and student during sessions (when requested).  Make an appointment online at for a guaranteed slot.  If you are busy during those times, set up an appointment with a librarian to get in-depth help via chat, email, video, telephone or in-person in the library.

Sponsored by Temple University Libraries and The Writing Center

Images: Temple University Libraries

Success Stories: Librarian Connects Social Work Student With Care Planning Resources

I Heart Social WorkHow can I find scholarly social work articles for managing chronic pain in a nursing home? This question came to Temple librarian David Dillard.  It reflects the interdisciplinary nature of social services, healthcare and care management work.  As the population ages, managing chronic pain has become a concern for those in social work, nursing, psychology, physical therapyoccupational therapy, and other related fields.

Dillard thought of the National Association of Social Workers’ as a resource and their webpage on Social Work Services in Nursing Homes: Toward Quality Psychosocial Care.  It includes information on providing skilled social and mental health services in nursing facilities. He recommended that the student become familiar with the NASW Standards for Social Work Practice in Health Care Settings and then start their research with his Social Work Research Guide.  The guide includes resources listed by topic on the tabs of the top menu bar.  It includes Social Work Databases, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Handbooks and Guides, Directories and Organizations, Webliographies and Bibliographies and many related resources.

Click on the Databases tab and select Social Services Abstracts (a ProQuest database) from the list.  If you click on the Advanced Search link you will see a couple of search boxes.  Click on “add a row” and a third set of boxes will appear.  David suggested the following search: “social work” AND pain AND management.  Type in the first search box  “social work” and in the second pain and the third management.   Quotation marks are for searching a phrase in that specific word order.  Now limit by “Scholarly Journals.”  This leaves us with thirty-five articles.  Of those, these two would begin to meet the needs of this student.  Click on the “Find Full Text” link and then the PDF to get the article.  Success!

Another route to searching is through the Libraries database finder, select Social Work and you will find a list of 37 relevant databases. Social Services Abstracts is listed as a “best bet” resource and provides bibliographic coverage of current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas.

Coincidentally, David Dillard, recently published “Pain Management and Interventions: A Brief Bibliography of Books” in the March 2016 issue of the American Association of Nurse Life Care PlannersJournal of Nurse Life Care Planning.

David Dillard is the librarian for Health Education, Leisure Studies, Physical Education, Social Work, Sports Management, Tourism & Hospitality Management. He has created many research guides for the subjects listed above and more.

Image: “I Heart Social Work” 2011. LicenseCopyright All rights reserved by PhotosNASW

Success Stories: Librarian Finds Punk Media for Student Project

The Punk Singer“How can I get my hands on video footage of the band Bikini Kill playing live? I want to include clips in a video project on the Riot grrrl movement for a class assignment. I am focusing on the impact of Kathleen Hanna, who fronted the band Bikini Kill. I’m not sure if this is possible, but I thought I would ask anyway.” Recently, this question came to Brian Boling, the media services librarian of Temple University Libraries.

This is the kind of question that does come up on a regular basis. Many students come to the Media Services Department seeking digital video clips to incorporate into academic projects.

Boling replied, “I know our collection quite well and happen to know of two DVDs that contain live footage of Bikini Kill performing. The first film is a documentary specifically about Kathleen Hanna, called “The Punk Singer.” The call number is  ML420.H36 P86 2014.

The second film with footage is “Don’t Need You: The herstory of riot grrrl.” The call number is ML82 .D668x 2006.  Both films are located at the Media Services Desk on the ground floor of Paley Library.  You can check them out for 7 days.  FYI: Here is a Guide on how to search for Videos/DVDs.

You can find additional information about the Riot Grrrl movement by searching in Summon at You will find information about punk music, zines, feminism, social and political activism, and more. If you need any assistance with your project, such as pulling clips from the DVDs, please let me know.

I would recommend using a program called Handbrake to convert the DVD from it’s format into an MP4 format file.  It’s a free, open source transcoder program that you can download from their official site here:

If the content is encrypted, you can address it by using the trial version of DVDFab to be able to modify the file.  There is a link: One important disclaimer about copyright.  It falls under Fair Use for you to use these programs to make short clips for an educational presentation.  However, I am not condoning their use for purposes that don’t count as Fair Use.

Next you want to use a media player that can handle a wide range of file formats, such as QuickTime Player.  You can download it at:  Once you have an MP4 copy of the film, you can open it in QuickTime Player.  Then you can use the “Trim” tool in the Edit menu to create short clips that you can incorporate into your academic project!

The student tried it and reported that it worked out grrreat!  Their response, “Thanks again for all of your help!

Image: “The Punk Singer.” All rights reserved by Sini Anderson, 2013.