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Events
  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • Otis Graduate Writing students will read from their works-in-progress.

  • Exquisite Beauty is the first retrospective and publication to document the eye-dazzling ceramics created by Ralph Bacerra (1938–2008), a Los Angeles–based artist known for his innovative approach to surface embellishment. Curated by Jo Lauria, the exhibition features more than ninety of the artist’s finest pieces—dramatic, highly decorated vessels and sculptures that have never before been the focus of a major exhibition or publication.

  • Opening Reception for Ralph Bacerra: Exquisite Beauty

  • David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and currently teaches at USC. He is the author of the novels Little, The Hiawatha, The Translation of Dr. Apelles, named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, as well as a critical work, Native American Fiction: A User's Manual. In 2012, he published another nonfiction work, Rez Life.

  • Angela Flournoy’s first novel The Turner House was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New Republic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.

O-Tube

History of Product Design

Step 1: Review How to Do Research

You may want to refresh your information literacy skills. Tutorials are available.

Step 2: Finding Information in Online Databases

Oxford Art is an encyclopedia with very good background information. Movements like Bauhaus and Postmodernism will be defined, sometimes in great detail. But don't expect every designer to be listed there. Sometimes a design-specific encyclopedia or biographical dictionary, such as Contemporary Designers located in the Reference section of the Library will include more.

The library does not subscribe to any databases that specifically covers design periodicals.

Art Source (aka Art Index) is an excellent database which broadly covers art and design periodicals. It's available through the link to Databases on all Library web pages. Other good databases to try are ProQuest and E-Library.

Once you get a list of hits, look at them carefully. You can determine a lot simply by reading the titles. Sometimes you will see an indication about the content of the article, such as that it is an exhibition review. Obituaries are generally not critical, but they are often good summations of an artist's career. Ignore the book reviews and reproductions. Those won't help. Notice that the page numbers are listed. Longer articles will probably be more in-depth. Also, notice if there is an author listed. Reviews by known writers are preferable.

Many databases include "full-text" articles. Although originally published in print, it means that the actual article is reproduced there in plain text or a PDF version. Lucky you. You can read the articles on screen, email them to yourself, or print them.

One problematic aspect about databased articles is that you don't see them in the context of the full magazine. Unless you look at the actual original print version, you may have difficulty evaluating the publication. As design students, it's a good idea to become familiar with as many of these periodicals as you can, so do have a look at some of these magazines on the shelves.

Step 3: Locating Older Journal Articles

You should know by now that you won't always find everything online in full-text.  Some databases have no full-text at all. When you need to locate the print version of a periodical, you can use the Otis collection of back issues, which includes hundreds of bound volumes. Some are in the Stacks and some in the Annex, which requires paging. Some databases have a link to the Otis holdings or OPAC. Or you can look in Library's Magazine Holdings List.

Step 4: Finding Books and Exhibition Catalogs

Use the OPAC to find exhibition catalogs and books about your artist or designer. Sometimes the Table of Contents will be included in the OPAC and there may be a chapter about your designer or movement. Search broadly at first by using the "keyword" search box.

An catalog, by definition, includes lists and images of works from a particular museum or gallery exhibition of the artist's work. They often include essays written by the curator or critics. It's probably an exhibition catalog if it is published by a gallery/museum and if the word "exhibitions" appears in the subject field. Sometimes the date of the exhibition appears in the title field.

Designers don't participate in exhibitions as much as artists do. The types of books you will find with information on designers will include yearbooks and annuals from professional organizations and chapters in books about design.

For a list of possible areas to browse, see also the pathfinder for the Product Design Program.

Step 5: Citing Sources

Once you've found everything and read it, you're ready to type up your bibliography. Use the categories described in Types of Information for your annotations. See Sample Annotations. Remember to use MLA style for the citation portion. More about Citing Sources here.

Step 6: Assistance Is Readily Available

The librarians and the library staff are your friends. Ask for reference or computer troubleshooting any time. The SRC also has tutors available to assist you with the writing of papers. Start early so that you will have time to avail yourself of these services. We all want to support your learning experience.