Orientation--Intro. to Libraries

Welcome | Accessing | Communicating
Grades | Student Responsibilities

Welcome to the online class of LBRA 1371.001, Intro. to Libraries.

Being an online course, an iron will and self discipline will be required of you to keep up with the schedule (see Syllabus for the schedule).

In addition, all the traits of a good student will have to be employed. Read the following:

Becoming a Student Follow the links and read the sites until you arrive at the last link "How To Take an Exam." These pages are critical for you maximizing your college experience.

Also, read these two sites recommended by our department chair:

How to be a Successful Online Student

Distance Learning 101

Additionally, there may be technical problems. Call Support Central at 210-486-3777 for help. My (the Professor) home number is 210-561-7905. My email is cglass@alamo.edu. The district does not allow me to communicate with you through my private email listed at the bottom of this page.

There are two accepted ways to recall information useful to you. One is memory. Aristotle tells the story of Simonides, a man who could remember all the guests murdered at his banquet by the places where they sat in the destroyed building. Your place memory, for some reason, is much better than other types of memory. (For instance, although you may have been gone a long time, you can still remember all the details of the house in which you grew up.) This placement mnemonic method was expanded in the early Middle Ages to the so-called "Cathedral of memory." The technique was to construct in your mind a vivid picture of a cathedral (like your home), every room, every piece of furniture, every picture on the wall, everything. Then, when you wanted to remember something, you would relate (mentally attach) the items to the items in your mental cathedral. The vividness of the place memory would facilitate your retaining the list of items or whatever you needed to retain.

The other method, used since antiquity, is note-taking. Not only does the act of note-taking facilitate the retention of material, but you also have the notes to take with you and review while you are traveling, waiting, or otherwise wasting time.

On a more general note, "... it has been abundantly proved that there is no more effective means of strengthening the mind than by the earnest pursuit of [the Latin language] (D'ooge, p. 4).

Accessing the course

You will enter our class via ACES.

This is the URL for ACES: http://aces.alamo.edu. To get your User Name click on the link below the sign-in box "How do I get a user name and password?" and follow the instructions. Your User Name will be in red. Be sure to include the numbers. Write it down so you don't forget it.

Your default password is the first two letters of your last name in upper case followed by (change to lower case) the last six digits of your social security number. There are no spaces between the letters and numbers. Once you are in, you will be prompted to create a new password which you can remember.

You should now be in ACES with your name at the top. If this does not work, call Support Central at 210-486-3777.

Click on the second tab, "My Courses."

At the top center, beside Course Schedule For: is a drop-down menu. Change it to read "Fall 2014."

Click on the link "INTRODUCTION TO LIBRARIES". This should open Canvas.

If you have a pop-up blocker on your browser, Canvas won't open. Blackboard opens even if pop-ups are blocked (because it's an internal server) but Canvas doesn't (because it's an external website). You might need this link, it's a quick guide for students new to Canvas: https://alamo.instructure.com/courses/293886.

On the menu to the left, the first item at the top should be "Home". Click on that.

A new addition this year is the BioSig verification of identity. For an explanation of how this works, go to BioSig. There is an introduction and video about Bio-Sig before the first week. If there are questions or technical problems, call the District Help Desk at 210-485-0555 or the PAC Help Desk at 210-486-3777.

A note on passwords. If you want to be secure, do not use an easy numerical password like 1234, or the word "password", or anything which can be easily found about you like birthday, sister's name, etc. Also, don't use any words which can be found in a dictionary.

Be sure to write down your passwords and store them somewhere secure.

BioSig's recommended browser settings are:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 through 10
Mozilla Firefox 12 or above
Google Chrome 9 or above
Apple Safari 5.1 or above
Flash Player 9 or above or a browser with HTML5 support
JavaScript enabled in your browser

Q. Does BioSig work on mobile devices?

A. Yes. A mouse, stylus, touchpad, or touchscreen can be used. Therefore, students can use any PC, tablet or smartphone with the supported browsers and settings.

External Resources:

BioSig-IDô support site


Back to your class.

Your Orientation, Syllabus, and weekly assignments should be listed under Week 1.

Click on Week 1 and you will see what is in every week: A reading, and a quiz and Discussions. The reading may be text, links, or both. Read them and then try taking the quiz. If you do poorly, just review and then take the quiz again. You are allowed to take the quizzes as many times as you like. The system will record the highest grade you achieve. The quizzes are a learning tool.

Some quizzes have one or more essay questions. If so, then you will have to wait for me to grade them before assuming you have to take the quiz over.

NOTE: Canvas has been changed. Frequently when you click on something, like "Orientation," a page opens with nothing in it except the title "Orientation" at the top. Just to the right of the title there will be a little black arrow symbol. If you click on this, it will take you to a Web page. Most Canvas pages which link to an outside Web page behave in this manner.

Alternatively, the readings, orientation, and syllabus--but not the Discussions or Quizzes or Grades--are available online at http://www.criticalthink.info/$$IntroLTA/index.htm. The weekly quizzes and final, however, must be taken in Canvas. The Discussions are also available only in Canvas.


On the left menu in Canvas, there is an item called "Discussions." Go there after reading week 1 and taking the quiz and answer the first question (Week 1 Topic). Each week there will be discussion topics. (If the menu on the left has disappeared, you can reopen it by clicking on the two vertical lines to the left.) Since you are required to post at least 3 times in Discussions each week, there will also be additional topics.

If you have a question, please post it in Discussions instead of emailing me. Other people in the class will probably have the same question and this format will allow everyone to see the questions and answers.

I will also place any announcements or answers in Canvas. Private mail I will answer in Mail.

You will also be graded on your communications skills. For more details and grading standards, see Student Communications Skills.

Your Grades

Any grade below a C for the semester is unacceptable for the program certificate. The course will have to be repeated.

Semester grade includes:

50% = Adequate communication and involvement with the class (Discussions)
40% = Average of weekly quizzes
6% = Final
4% = Communications Skills (see Student Communications Skills).

Late assignments--which includes class readings, class participation (Discussions) and weekly quizzes--will have one point deducted for every day they are late. This can be avoided by merely contacting me and telling me that your are ill or having a problem. I will respond.

Student Responsibilities

Students are expected to read the weekly materials, take the weekly quizzes, participate in the class discussions and other communications, all in a timely manner--namely, in the week specified (or before, if you are working ahead). Students should immediately inform the instructor if they are ill or otherwise incapacitated. Adjustments can be made if I know what's happening.

In addition, students are to look up any words they do not understand in the dictionary and begin developing a professional vocabulary. They should also use the tools and links provided, taking careful notes in preparation for the weekly quizzes.


D'ooge, Benjamin L. Latin For Beginners. Boston, Ginn & Co., 1909.

Prof. Colby Glass, MLIS