Thursday, March 19, 2015

South Dakota Library Challenge:  Electronic Resource Edition

Lesson 8  |  WorldCat, CAMIO, and OAIster  |  March 16, 2015

*The South Dakota Library Challenge: Electronic Resources Edition was developed by the South Dakota State Library staff to introduce you to the statewide subscription electronic resources. The Electronic Resources Challenge encourages library staff to learn more about the resources that provide expanded access to information and research tools to all schools, libraries and citizens of South Dakota.

For Lesson 8 of this Challenge, we were asked to learn more about electronic resources that can help you find materials internationally, find full-text material on a variety of subjects, and do art and image searching.  The Challenge was broken into three parts, one section for WorldCat, one for OAIster, and one for CAMIO.  

WorldCat is an international catalog of member library materials.  It contains over 179,000,000 records found in 72,000+ libraries, including the SDSL and 25+ SD libraries.  Records in WorldCat include a variety of formats from before 1000 BC to the present, and libraries add a new record every 10 seconds.  This lets users know what materials are where and helps other librarians find call numbers for books they are adding to their collections.

OAIster is a mostly full-text database within WorldCat.  It was originally built by the University of Michigan, and it contains collections of digital libraries made available to the general public.  It is composed of older archives made available electronically and of digitally-born items.  Over 1000 institutions participate in the OAIster database, and it is useful for general reference, for looking up archival and historical content, and for finding images and other media.
CAMIO stands for "Catalog of Art Museum Images Online."  It is a growing online collection containing works of art from museum collections around the world, including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and the Albert and Victoria Museum.  It does not, however, contain images by prominent SD artists because the owning institutes are not participating.  CAMIO covers cultures around the world from 3000 BC to today.  It includes art in the broadest sense from photos to sculpture to textile to wood and silver and more.  Researches can start with a general search and then refine it by using CAMIOs specialized tools.

WorldCat Exercise Part 1

To explore WorldCat, I first did an advanced book search for "Life of Pi."  This resulted in 354 records.  The top result was the Harcourt 2001 edition of the book, which is owned by 2909 libraries worldwide.  When I clicked on the "Libraries Worldwide" link, the first library listed was the Alexander Mitchell Library.  Looking at the full record for the book, I was able to see that the Class Descriptors for the book are as follows:  LC: PR9199.3.M3855; Dewey: 813/.54; and NLC: PS8576.  I could also click on the author's name and see that he has written a couple other books, including "Self."  The record listed many subjects for the book, and when I clicked on the first one--"shipwreck survival"--I was given another list of 1947 results; 1423 of those being books.  Other available information includes publication information, availability, physical description, ISBN numbers, an abstract, genre information, geographic information, and more.  I am fairly familiar with WorldCat as I used it often as the assistant director at the public library in Sturgis.    

WorldCat Exercise Part 2

The OAIster (pronounced "oyster") database is one of the few mostly full-text databases in WorldCat.  I did a keyword search in OAIster for South Dakota and came up with over 13,000 results.  After scrolling through a few pages of results, I opened the link to the article, "The history of the Homesake Opera House, 1912-1937."  When I then clicked on "Access," I was taken to the full-text thesis from the University of Arizona.  Maybe it's just the day or the week, but I definitely wasn't really into this resource today.  I know that it will be a resource that will be good for my high school students, but I may need to come back to visit it on a day that I can get into it so that it doesn't seem over my head!

CAMIO Exercise

I had never used CAMIO before this Challenge, so I was excited to give it a try.  To start exploring,  I typed the word "Sioux" into the search box.  This resulted in a "list" of many images and their descriptions.  I clicked on an image of a Scalp Shirt and was brought to a page that had the image, title, description, creator information, and much, much more.  On the image, I could zoom in and out, and I was also given the option to download it or print it.  

This would be a very cool visual resource for my students at both the middle school and high school levels.  These days, projects incorporate many more visuals in mediums such as PowerPoint, Prezi, iMovie, and more.  This in in contrast to the research papers of old with no graphics.  I really liked how it was like a virtual museum. 

Next, in CAMIO, I did a search for "Denmark" since I will be traveling there this summer.  I got several results, and I saved four of those images to Favorites.  When I then opened up my Favorites folder, those four images were there, and I could open them in a PowerPoint or a Zip Archive File.  I opened them in a PowerPoint.  This was so cool!  And easy!  I would love to share this with the art classes at my schools!

Overall, this was a long Challenge for me this week.  I learned about some good new resources, but I definitely feel like I will need to revisit OAIster. 




  1. I hear ya Scottie! It didn't take me long to lose interest in OIAster. Could just be the awesome spring weather, but I struggled a bit with this Lesson. But CAMIO helped pull me out of my boredom of OIAster. =)

  2. Thanks for your work here, Mrs. Bruch! We are pointing out OAIster as a place to find full-text or full-image material for serious researchers.Please don't be discouraged with it. Glad you had CAMIO to perk you up. I admit that once I start searching in there, it's hard to quit. It's a good place to find rights-cleared images. Happy Spring!