Help Yourself! Library Research Guides Are Available Whenever & Wherever You Need Help

library research guides

Although the reference librarians encourage you to ask us for help with your research, we realize that there are times when this isn’t an option (late night, for example).   So, we have created a great collection of library research guides that you can consult if a librarian is not available.

These guides are designed to help you locate the best resources for your research.  Library research guides are available for a number of popular research topics and common questions, such as “how do a get information about a company?”, “what is a NAICS code and how do I find them?”, and “which databases should I use to get articles for my History paper?”.  In each guide we recommend specific books, journals, library databases and web sites.  The entire collection of library research guides is available at

This is an evolving collection – guides will continue to be added and updated.  If you’d like to suggest a topic for a library research guide please comment on this post.

Have You Heard the Latest Buzz?

Book Buzz, that is!  The Book Buzz @ Bentley blog features book reviews written by members of the Bentley Library staff.  Highlighting fiction and nonfiction titles from our “Popular Reading” collection, BookBuzz can point you to a great new book (or perhaps even steer you away from something not-so-great).  Recently, we’ve added reviews of the bestselling novels Juliet, Naked, The Magicians, and That Old Cape Magic.  Next time you’re here take a few moments to browse the popular reading shelves (located near the cafe entrance) – we bet you find something interesting to to take home!

We’d love to know what you think about our popular reading collection…just click the “Comment” link to send us your thoughts and/or make recommendations for purchase.

Halloween Facts & Figures

How much money will we spend on Halloween candy this year?  Which state produces the most pumpkins? How many trick-or-treaters are there in the United States?

We can answer these questions using a few key industry research sources, including library databases IBISWorld and Mintel, as well as the U.S. Census.  Check these facts out:

According to industry research firm IBISWorld:1

  • Halloween sales are expected to reach a record-breaking $6 billion in 2009, up 4.2 percent from the $5.77 billion generated last year.
  • The average person is estimated to spend about $22.50 on Halloween treats in 2009.
  • 32 percent of people celebrating the holiday will either host or attend a party. For this reason, IBISWorld expects decorations to reach its highest level yet at $1.64 billion.

Furthermore, market research firm Mintel tells us that:

  • 65% of Americans celebrate Halloween.2
  • the Halloween holiday actually ranks 4th in sales of chocolate, behind Easter (1st), Christmas (2nd), and Valentine’s Day (3rd). 3

Lastly, the U.S. Census provides us with their annual list of Halloween fun facts.  How else would we know that:

  • 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins were produced by major pumpkin-producing states in 2008. (Illinois led the country by producing 496 million pounds).
  • the per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2008 was 23.8 pounds.
  • the estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2008 – children 5 to 13 – across the United States was 36 million. 4

The staff of the Bentley Library wishes everyone a Happy Halloween!

1 “Holiday Sales Un-Spooked By Recession According To IBISWorld Data”. IBISWorld Press Release. 13 October 2009.
2 Holiday Shopping – US – June 2009. Mintel Oxygen database.
3 Chocolate Confectionery – US – July 2008Mintel Oxygen database.
4 Facts for Features – Halloween: October 31, 2009.  U.S. Census Press Release. 31 August 2009.

Alumni Weekend 2009: Welcome to all Bentley Alumni, Families & Friends

What did the Bentley Library look like when you were a student?  Do you remember the bright red carpet, the card catalog and the brick archways?  Those days are long gone…  In March of 2006, following a $17 million renovation project, a brand new Bentley Library was unveiled.   Now we feature a cafe, high-tech group study rooms and electronic moving shelves.

Please join us for a tour of the Bentley Library on Saturday, October 24, at 11:00am and see for yourselves what a 21st century academic library looks like.

Unable to attend the tour?  Please feel free to stop by and take a walk through the library; we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.  We look forward to seeing you!

Workshop: How to Find the Full-text, and Other Library Mysteries Explained

A library workshop for students, faculty and staff:

Have you ever become frustrated trying to find something at the Bentley Library – perhaps an online article, newspaper, book or DVD?  Or, have you ever walked away empty-handed, disappointed that the library didn’t have the materials that you wanted? Then this workshop is for you!  Open to all Bentley students, faculty, and staff, this workshop will focus on library essentials, including finding materials here at the Bentley Library and utilizing Interlibrary Loan to retrieve items from other libraries.

This workshop is being offered on Thursday, October 22 @ 10:00am and Wednesday, October 28 @ 1:00pm in the library’s Research Instruction Center (lower level, room 11).  Please RSVP by sending an email to

Note to attendees: If you have specific examples of items you’d like to find (articles, journals, etc.), please bring them with you to the workshop.

‘Tis the Season for Blood, Guts & Ghouls

Is that a chill in the air? Or is it a chill running down your spine from thoughts of Blood, Guts, and Ghouls?!?  The Bentley Library staff has put together a display of books and DVDs that are sure to thrill and spook you this Halloween season.

You can revisit classic gothic works Dracula and Frankenstein. Discover new bloodsucking tomes such as Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series or the Charlaine Harris books that inspired the HBO TV series True Blood. Delve deep into the gothic/horror genre with various literary criticisms and histories on our fascination with what goes bump in the dark.

In the mood for a scary movie? Pick your poison! Our DVD selection ranges from Hitchcock flicks to Halloween. Frights abound with foreign films The Host, The Orphanage and many more.  We also have family favorites including Bedknobs and Broomsticks and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

We hope you’re bewitched by our picks! On display now in the lobby of the library.

October is National Information Literacy Awareness Month

President Obama has declared October 2009 to be National Information Literacy Awareness Month. His official proclamation states:

“An informed and educated citizenry is essential to the functioning of our modern democratic society, and I encourage educational and community institutions across the country to help Americans find and evaluate the information they seek, in all its forms.”

Want to talk to an expert on finding and evaluating information? Contact a reference librarian! We can help you, as the president puts it, “separate truth from fiction and signal from noise.” Faculty, use this form if you’d like to request a research instruction session for your class.

For more information, check out our online research guide on Information Literacy and Instruction, or  the website of the National Forum on Information Literacy.