Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

a library newsletter, a compendium of interesting tidbits, a communication tool....from Bailey Library @ Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. (Site Feed)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Notes from Biloxi, Pt. V...

From Librarian Del Hamilton:
"On CNN last night, Anderson Cooper and John Grisham were being given a tour of the Biloxi library. My favorite line was that when John walked in the door he looked down and there was his book The Street Lawyer in the mud and he said "Guess I am bottom shelf". Anyway John Grisham has started his own disaster relief fund with $5 million of his own money and has almost doubled it. You can read about it here...

John Grisham is a Mississippi author and Anderson Cooper's father Wyatt was from Mississippi. They also toured Mary Mahoney's restaurant (circa 1737) which is featured in a couple of Grisham's books. The damage there was significant but the building stood firm."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Notes from Biloxi, Part IV...

Dramatic video of the interior of the Biloxi Library from Librarian Del Hamilton...

Something Fresh on the Search Front...

Rollyo, a new service, allows you to customize your own search engine, building it from trusted and/or favorite sites... Roll Your Own, get it? Also interesting, you can look at rollyos put together by others, like an i-tunes celebrity playlist... Debra Messing's style shops... Brian Greene's String Theory...

In other news, AskJeeves is firing the butler and rebranding...

More on Libraries and Katrina...

From library director Phil Tramdack:

The American Library Association, along with librarians in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, will be featured today in a National Public Radio segment on the show "Day to Day" regarding the impact of Hurricane Katrina on libraries and how libraries are helping. The show airs on more than 170 stations nationwide, and can be heard online after 3 p.m. ET here...

ALSO: A library company, Absolute Backorder Service, is providing its inventory free of charge to libraries affected by the hurricanes. They are also coordinating donations from other libraries. So nice to see a company with such a big heart... Contact

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Original Alice...

From library director Phil Tramdack:

The original manuscript of what became Alice in Wonderland has been put online by the British Library using software to virtually turn the pages. Very cool.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Shout Out to Kutztown Library Blog...

Check out the new library blog at Rohrbach Library at Kutztown University, one of our sister schools... it's called The More You Know... you can subscribe to their RSS feed syndication, as you can for ours. Welcome to the biblioblogosphere, Kutztown!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

RefWorks Workshop on Monday....

Bailey Library has purchased a subscription to RefWorks for all SRU faculty, staff, and students. Access is available from the Journal Articles Databases page, either on campus or remotely. RefWorks allows you to create your own database by importing references from online databases and to use these references to format bibliographies.

Workshop and demonstration, Monday, September 26, at 1:30 in Room 213 of Bailey Library... Contact Lynn Hoffmann for details.

Pennsylvania Library Association Presentation...

Originally uploaded by Tomes.
Librarians Martina Nicholas and Melba Tomeo are presenting a poster session on Sunday at the Pennsylvania Library Association in Hershey, PA. The session is based on the research they conducted on distance education library services and web design. You can read their article, "Can You Hear Me Now? Communicating Library Services to Distance Education Students and Faculty," published in the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration here...

A Little Something Weird...

You know I hate to let the weekend slip by without providing some irrelevant internet information. Here are are a few remnants from the blogger closet...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Notes from Biloxi, Pt. III...

This week's Rocket, Slippery Rock student newspaper, carries an interview with Librarian Del Hamilton on her recent experiences with the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and the impact on her family.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Looking for a new book?

Have you ever wondered how you can find out which new books the library has purchased recently? The library's catalog has a new books tab that lets you do a quick search of all new titles. You can limit your search to a particular location in the library or search by keyword. If, for example, you want to find all the titles added in the Reading Room in the last month, you can do so my choosing Reading Room in the location menu and last month in the period menu.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Desperate Librarians and Pymatuning...

Did you see Calendar Girls? These Wisconsin librarian have... and are modeling for their own "arty" fundraising calendar. (Insider joke for librarians: At last! A good use for the folios.)

Check it out... a New York Times review of a new book... The Mad Cook of Pymatuning: Sleepaway Camp.

Monday, September 19, 2005

For Book Club Members...

From Anna Quindlen's How Reading Changed My Life, a list of "10 Good Book Club Selections:"

Fraud by Anita Brookner
Charming Billy by Alice McDermott
The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
Paris Trout by Pete Dexter
Eden Close by Anita Shreve

And here is a cool idea from the Book Club Cook Book:

Invite an author to speak to your group via conference call...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Someone Doesn't Want You to Read This Book...

Just recovering from the excitement of Constitution Day when Banned Books Week starts on September 24! From ALA, the most "challenged" books of 2004:
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  • Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture by Michael Bellesiles
  • The Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
  • In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  • King & King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Find out why here... and celebrate your right to read by checking these out today!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Strangely Hypnotic...

Slow Wave is a site that features 4-panel cartoons of dreams submitted by readers. Jesse Reklaw is the artist. A librarian expresses her subconscious desires in this one... but they are all fascinating.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Notes from Biloxi, Pt. II...

Del Hamilton writes:
"I just wanted to thank everyone for your kind thoughts and much needed hugs and support. My family is taking it one day at a time at this point and we are sincerely hoping that there are brighter times coming. Thought I would share this little bright moment. I think things like this are helping give the coast people much needed hope.

One of the places that was a treat for us to get to go to when I was growing up was Marine Life in Gulfport to watch the trained dolphins and sea lions. Before the storm they evacuated 6 of the 14 dolphins to hotel swimming pools and left the remaining 8 and most of the sea lions in protected areas. The dolphins were in a tank that had survived Camille so once again people believed they would be OK. Well Marine Life was completely destroyed and all of these marine animals that had no ability to survive in the wild were cast out to sea. One of the dolphins was 40 years old. People all over Gulfport were finding the sea lions and helping to rescue them but little hope was held for the 8 dolphins. Surprisingly they were discovered a couple days ago after being on their own for 10 days. They came back home and were found swimming all together at the mouth of the Port of Gulfport. They were very hungry and had lost weight and apparantly started flipping and performing when their trainers got there to feed them. They are now in the process of rescuing them. You can read about them at this site"

Notes from Biloxi....

Librarian Del Hamilton, a Biloxi, Mississippi native, has just returned from an emergency visit to her family still living there. Her parents are "as well as could be expected" but have lost their home. She shares the following:

"The video was shot from the balcony of Biloxi's City Hall during the storm but after the actual surge. The White building across the street with the odd shaped roof that the video pans over is the Biloxi Public Library. You can see the waterline on the wall. The little house you will see that sits in the front of the library is a historical home showing life in early Biloxi. I could not even bring myself to go see it while we were there."

To support the libraries in the stricken areas:

  • The Texas Library Association is accepting book donations (can be from anywhere) to help the Gulf libraries prepare to re-open for business. The Association is accepting book collections to help libraries fill their shelves. TLA will ship the donated materials to Gulf Coast states as soon as libraries are ready to receive the materials. To make a book donation, you can ship materials to Braker Self Storage, ATTN: Katrina Book Drive, 2607 West Braker Lane, Austin, Texas 78758.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

From the All Things Google Dept.

Google launches its blog search... the first of the big search engines to acknowledge this new information stream. I still kind of like Technorati, which has that "popular" thing going on...

Google offers a special portal for college students here...

BOOK SALE (and more)....

Bailey Library's book sale will be held Wednesday, Sept. 14 to Friday, Sept. 16. This year, you will find books, art prints, and educational materials like children's puzzles and games... but wait! there's more! Puppets, phonograph records, tape recordings, flash cards, funky old posters for decorating your apartment or dorm room. Collectors, home schoolers, and those with weird taste will find many items of interest in this sale.

All proceeds go to the Friends of Bailey Library group, funding the Reading Room and other library initiatives. The price is right... stock up... and help your library!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Spare Change?

Interesting note from Lifehacker... you can dump your change into that Coinstar machine at Giant Eagle and get an gift certificate... and they don't even take a percentage!

Late Nights at the Library...

just got later. Starting Sunday, September 25, the library will be open until 2:00 am Sundays-Thursdays.

LiveBLOGGING from TLTR....

Presenting today at the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable meeting on blogs and RSS feeds -- see the presentation online here.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Break Out the Party Hats...

Constitution Day is coming up! Slippery Rock will be celebrating the Constitution signing anniversary on Friday, September 16. The following links provide additional information:

Sunday, September 11, 2005

RefWorks Demo Scheduled...

If you are a serious researcher, you need to know about this service from the library. Come to a RefWorks demonstration on Monday, Sept 26. Chris Horn from CSA will demo this citation formatting package to which we subscribe. The demo will take place in room 213 from 1:30-3:30.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Last Books of Summer...

I have opined here previously about a lack of time for reading once the regular semester begins... Here are the last few books I squeezed into summer recess. Several of these books resonate with the recent hurricane tragedy, as do the themes of this year's freshman selection, Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed.

The Thread That Runs So True by Jesse Stuart

This autobiographical classic of teaching in one-room schools in rural Kentucky was published in 1949 and should be required reading for all Education majors. At times inspiring and at times surprisingly rough and violent, Jesse Stuart relates a story of dedication and a desire for education so great that his barefoot students left bloody footprints in the snow on their way to school. Stuart emphasizes the injustice of poverty and the challenges he faced as a teacher and school administrator. Fascinating...

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

A truly original tale of a librarian who suffers from chrono-displacement disorder... he is a time traveler who comes in and out of his future wife's life, always turning up naked and hungry. The story is science fiction, but really a very moving love story, and it is difficult to express the emotions of longing and being left behind that are evoked. The time travel here does not involve different centuries, but different scenes from the life of the main character, his parents, and his wife. A very poignant and engrossing read... sometimes very funny, sometimes very frightening, and sometimes very sad.

White Noise by Don DeLillo

Another academic novel... (see earlier post about Straight Man)... Professor Jack Gladney is a professor of Hitler Studies at a small university. He has multiple ex-wives, children, and odd colleagues. He is accidentally exposed to a noxious chemical cloud, which excaberates his fear of death. The story line is sometimes irritating, but I don't think that is really the point. DeLillo perfectly captures our modern lives and the white noise (televisions, computers, telephone towers, laugh tracks, sirens, the droning of our friends and neighbors and loved ones) that surrounds us. I would be interested in reading other books by this acclaimed author...the language was genius. The scenes of disaster and evacuation were very reminiscent of the recent news from Lousiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen

This short book is full of wonderful quotes about books and reading, defending all of us whose childhood was full of "Get your nose out of that book and... "
The book lists at the back (10 Mystery Novels I'd Most Like to Find in a Summer Rental, The 10 Books I Would Save in a Fire, etc.) are a rich resource of reading suggestions. Only 82 pages in length, this memoir is a love letter to books and reading within which most devoted readers will see their reflection.

Friday, September 09, 2005

What Blogs Do Best...

This link, from the Blogger homepage, will take you to a post from a Katrina survivor that provides the kind of personal, in-depth reporting you might not read elsewhere. This Xavier University professor relates how he escaped from New Orleans after some horrific time in the Superdome--surreal scenes reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic novel.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ramen Research...

Sometimes I discover internet resources that boggle the mind (and upset the stomach)... behold the wonder that is ramen noodles, that time-honored staple of the impoverished college student:

It's Your Birthday, It's Your Birthday...

Happy Birthday dear Google, happy birthday to you. Google is seven today.

President Smith Recommends...

In Academic Assembly yesterday, President Bob Smith recommended The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century by Thomas Friedman. The implications for our campus of Friedman's observations will be discussed at a campus-wide conversation about the future, September 27, at 3:15 p.m. at Spotts World Culture Auditorium. If you would prefer to view his presentation at MIT rather than read the book, you can find it here...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Lost Art of Letters...

Originally uploaded by Quelle night....

This interesting New York Times article discusses the loss of literary (and other) correspondence in the digital age.

And this index, In the First Person, demonstrates some of the types of materials we may be missing in the future... diaries, letters, primary source material. The site points to oral history collections, which begs the question of preserving digital resources... For example, some powerful writing comes from first person blog-reporting and although blogs generate archives, who is archiving the blogs?

The Internet Archive features the Wayback Machine, which preserves web content, but it all seems somehow very "slippery."

Katrina MetaSearch Missing Persons

Lycos has assembled a metasearch for the many sites that are posting missing person information from the Katrina tragedy.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Bloggy Book Bits...

Book Furniture from This into That

Presidential Library for the President Who Served a One Day Term from the Belleville Democrat

How Much Is My Old Book Worth? from Enoch Pratt Free Library

Borrow People, Not Books, At This Library from ABC Radio

Book Vending Machines in Paris, from MSNBC

Because We All Need Some Good News

I just discovered, when I was getting a quick online update on the situation in the southeast, that hundreds of people from across the country have posted announcements in the last few days on Craigslist offering free or nearly free housing to victims of Katrina. Helps to restore your faith in humanity after all the horror stories in the media this week.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Workers of the World, Unite!

On September 1, 1882, the Carpenters and Joiners Union of New York City held the first Labor Day celebration. On September 1, 1894, Congress declared Labor Day a national holiday. (Facts from a nifty site call, that publishes This Day in History via email or RSS.)

More about Labor Day... The History of Labor Day from the Department of Labor

And because it is that time of year, Back to School facts from the Census Bureau...

Going Up...Gas Prices

Although posted before, the following links may provide some useful information (or small consolation):
Gas Prices Around the World

Library Damage

From library director Phil Tramdack:
American Libraries has posted a summary of what little news has emerged about libraries in the states affected by Hurricane Katrina. See our top news story at