Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Get your shoes ready... Belsnickel is coming to town!

Growing up, one of my most favorite days of the year was Belsnickel Day (sometimes called St. Nicholas Day), which is December 6. Belsnickel is actually Pelznichol, which translates to St. Nikolaus in a fur coat. On the eve of his feast day (December 6) and in preparation for Christmas, St. Nicholas comes around to all of the homes with children to check if they have been naughty or nice. Before going to bed, children leave a shoe or boot out for St. Nicholas, and he either fills it with candy and coins (if they have been nice) or with a switch and coal (if they have been naughty). In fact, the tradition of hanging stockings evolved from the tradition of leaving out shoes. Belsnickel/St. Nicholas Day is a fun tradition that has several variations. It is heavily practiced in Germany as well as German towns here in the U.S., for example St. Marys, PA, my hometown.

St. Nicholas was a great man, who was kind and loving. No wonder he became known as jolly old St. Nick (a.k.a. Santa Clause). To learn more about St. Nicholas the man and his feast day, December 6, click on any of the links below.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Recently Read...

2005 National Book Award winner, The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall, is a delightful throwback that will charm most readers. Remember when you first read Little Women? And how you came to know and love the individual sisters? And read late into the night to see what adventure happened to them next? Or how they got out of the last one? This book is innocent and sweet and completely enjoyable. Also to commend it: an absolute absence of heavy-handed moral lessons, magic, or serious social relevance.

Holiday Helpers, pt. I

Holiday Books: 100 Notable Books of the Year
Give books, education, and hope... an appeal
Personalized picture books...

Taking Better Holiday Pictures
How to Take Great Photos of Holiday Lights

Saturday, November 26, 2005

For the Good of the Order...


Thanksgiving Fast Facts from U.S. Census
Set the Perfect Table from Lifehacker

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

This Just In...

Amaze your friends and family with your scintillating holiday conversation! A few more Thanksgiving items from the Librarian's Index to the Internet:

Thanksgiving Hours....

The library will close Wednesday at 5:00 pm and remain closed until Sunday evening. We will reopen Sunday from 6:00 pm to 2:00 am and resume normal hours on Monday, November 28.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Finding Tests & Measures...

Graduate students and other researchers are often seeking assessment instruments... questionnaires, surveys, etc. Librarians Aiping Chen-Gaffey and yours truly, Tomeo, have put together a pathfinder for finding information about assessments and obtaining copies here....

Monday, November 21, 2005

At the Movies...

Recent additions to Bailey Library's video collection include some classic international films, thanks to a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant for the inclusion of European Studies in the curriculum. Dr. Alison McNeal was responsible for selecting such gems as Amelie, Das Boot, Bread and Chocolate, Les Carabiniers, Europa Europa, Juliet of the Spirits, The Shop on Main Street, Todo Sobre Mi Madre,Young Torless, and many more. The Library also houses a large Asian film collection due to the grantwriting skills of Dr. George Brown.

The Instructional Materials Center houses this vast video collection (nearly 5,000 VHS and DVD titles.) These films range from the scholarly to the silly, including many children's titles, foreign films, silent movies, musicals, and contemporary classics. To get an idea of the depth and scope of this collection, you can browse our entertainment titles here... You can also search our online catalog for videos by subject. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Not Your Normal Turkey Tips...

From the Librarian's Index to the Internet and others:

Beyond the Thanksgiving Myth
Best-Ever Thanksgiving

All About the Leftovers....
Thanksgiving Leftovers for Breakfast!
Sinkie International
(Sinkie Day is the day after Thanksgiving)

for the turkeys...
Vegetarian and Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

for the shoppers:
How to Shop on Black Friday
Black Friday blog

UPDATE: Scary Turkey Fryer videos and safety tips

Good Night Moon (cough, cough, wheeze...)

This one is all over the blogosphere. Harper Collins has digitally altered the photograph of Clement Hurd, the illustrator of children's classic Goodnight Moon, to remove the cigarette from his hand. Read the New York Times article here... and vote for your preference here.... What next? Removing the whiskey bottle from Peter Rabbit's paw?

The photo doesn't appear in the board book version.

National Book Awards Announced...

2005 National Book Award Winners here ...

"Rising from Ruin"...

Historic Documents lost to Katrina... from LISNews
Blogging Library cleanup in Mississippi... from MSNBC
Guidelines for Donating Books, Computers, and Money to Louisiana Libraries... from

Friday, November 18, 2005

Feel the Love...

It's lovely to read a tribute to librarians from Inside Higher Education...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

New Trial Database...

From Librarian Lynn Hoffmann:

For one month the library is offering a trial of North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories from Alexander Street Press. This is a full text resource for letters, diaries, pamphlets, autobiographies, and oral histories, many of which were previously unpublished. This resource also includes Ellis Island Oral History interviews, searchable for the first time, and over 2,000 political cartoons. The periods covered are 1840 to the present with an emphasis on the period 1920 to 1980.

From the library website,, select Journal Articles/Databases and choose Databases by Trial Subscription. This trial is available until December 17, 2005.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Veterans Day...

A handy resource from Library Director Phil Tramdack:

Military Rank and Insignia

Now you will know when to salute!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Fall Fun For Everyone...

The Early Childhood Education Club sponsored a Fall Party in the Library on Saturday and a good time was had by all! The children were entertained with stories, crafts, and refreshments. Pint-sized superheroes Batman and Superman showed up! With the help of the student hosts, the children made leaves that named what they were thankful for and decorated a tree in the IMC. Check out more pictures here... Thanks to Dr. Vetere and all of the students who made this pleasant morning possible.

While You Are Waiting for the Steeler Game...

Recently Read...

Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell is This? by Marion Meade. This revealing biography of writer and wit Dorothy Parker focused on the ups and downs of her private life, a terrain of despair, poor romantic choices, suicide attempts, and alcoholism. I have long admired Parker, a legend of the Algonquin Round Table, for her short stories and the sometimes biting brilliance of her remarks. What Fresh Hell is This? (allegedly what Parker said whenever someone knocked on her door) seemed thorough and well researched, but the life revealed was so sad and so at odds with my delusions of this witty sophisticate that I was initially disappointed in the book. In the end, a very engrossing look behind the scenes of twentieth century American literati (Benchley, Hellman, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, etc. all receive coverage) and the life of a talented woman who found happiness very elusive....

Running with Scissors: A Memoir, by Augusten Burroughs, is an autobiographical account of the author's bizzare and disturbing childhood. Burroughs is abandoned at the home of his mentally ill mother's psychiatrist and the story revolves around the members of this "adopted" family. The dust jacket promises a "wickedly funny" tale and the writing is sharp and witty. However, I am too middle class, too motherly, or too much of a citizen to have found more than isolated amusements in this horrible account of child abuse and neglect. This book graphically describes the young boy's sexual entanglement with an older man, the unprofessional, immoral, and absolutely illegal actions of the psychiatrist/father, and several unpleasant scatological incidents. I understand a movie is being made of the book, starring Gwyneth Paltrow... curiouser and curiouser.

For the next read... perhaps some children's books or a light mystery to cleanse the palate?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Save Energy and Money this Winter

Despite the fact that the sun is shining today, we all know that winter is on the way. Given the news lately that home heating costs are expected to rise dramatically this year, you might want to check out The Home Energy Saver , a web-based do-it yourself energy audit tool from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Designed to help consumers identify the best ways to save energy in their homes, it also helps you find the resources to make the savings happen.

Fall Party on Saturday...

The Early Childhood Club is sponsoring a free Fall Party for community children on Saturday, November 12, in the Instructional Materials Center from 10:00-12:00. Stories, games, activities, and treats will make for a fun morning for all! The Instructional Materials Center is located on the second floor of Bailey Library.
If you know some little people that would enjoy this, please bring them!

Booknotes from the Reading Room...

Here's a list of books that have been predicted to be popular with book clubs in the coming year. Have you read any? Some have been purchased for the Reading Room (those in bold print below are available now):
  • Boys Will Put You on a Pedestal (So They Can Look Up Your Skirt): A Dad's Advice for Daughters, by Philip van Munching.
  • The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory
  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, by Steven D. Levitt (available on CD)
  • My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Piccoult
  • Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life, by Queen Noor
  • Running With Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs
  • Breakfast With Tiffany: A Memoir, by Edwin John Wintle
  • The Birdman and the Lap Dancer: Close Encounters With Strangers, by Eric Hansen
  • The Master Butcher's Singing Club, by Louise Erdrich
  • The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, by David I. Kertzer
  • The Thing about Jane Spring, by Sharon Krum
New titles can be located on the New Arrivals bookcase in the Reading Room until they circulate one time. When returned, they are shelved by author name. Newly arrived audio books go right to the shelves designated for these.

Traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday? Consider listening to an audio book on your trip. Recent audio books (as well as some classics) are available in both CD and tape formats. If you haven't listened to the CD version of Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip, check it out. You will be thankful travel is easier today than it was in 1903.

Donations... The Reading Room selection has increased thanks in part to donations from readers. Donations of current popular fiction and non-fiction books in both print and audio formats are welcomed. Please leave your donations at the circulation desk of the library. For further information, contact Lynn Hoffmann.

Demo and Dessert, Part III

Librarian Jessica Marshall will be demonstrating and discussing new music resources this Friday, November 11, at 12:30 in the Special Collections room of the library. You will want to tune in for this one... Jessica will be showing two new databases, Naxos and the Classical Music Library, both of which allow users to download music files (legally! what a concept!)

Bring your lunch; Jessica is providing the dessert.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Friends of Bailey Library....

The Friends of Bailey Library recently announced an incentive for honoring friends and family with a book donation for the holidays. The first ten people to do so will receive a "Life is Simple: Eat, Sleep, Read" T-shirt. Your book donation will be marked with an appropriate bookplate. It's the gift that keeps on giving...

Contact Mary Purdy (724-738-2339) or Dorothy Thompson (724-738-2869) for more information.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Everybody's a Librarian!

or a wannabe... In addition to Google Print and Amazon's plan to sell you one page at a time, Microsoft is now entering the game...

Friday, November 04, 2005

And the Winner Is...

...Sung-ah Kim! SRU student Sung-ah Kim has won a basket full of movies, snacks, and a few surprises. The gift basket raffle was held during this past week to help celebrate the new hours of Bailey's@theRock cafe.

The new hours of operation are:

Monday - Thursday 8am-10pm
Friday 8am-1pm

The hours have been in effect since Monday, October 31 and business is booming. Stop by for a caffeine boost, a sweet treat, or a quick lunch.

And if you see Sung-ah, be sure to congratulate her!

For Your Weekend Enjoyment...

A new game craze... SuDoku sweeping the world... Your Daily SuDoku

Library mysteries...
  • Bibliomysteries... mystery books that feature librarians, libraries, books, archives...
  • From LISNews: "Within the Laurentian Library, the enigmatic masterwork of Michelangelo, there exists a complex geometric pavement that is hidden from view, little known about and shrouded with mystery." Read more...

And finally, from the Now I've Seen Everything Dept.... a Hamburger Search Engine!

From the All About Google Dept.

from Research Buzz:
Google in 116 languages
Google adds interviews to its TV Archive
Google Blogs Everywhere!
Google Search Tips

From Lifehacker:
Google checks airfare

From Director Philip Tramdack:
Google Releases Index of Public Domain Books, Google Print Project

Thursday, November 03, 2005

One Person Can Make a Difference...

The library has a variety of materials on Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, including videos, posters, and children's books. Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks (KIT AVA 1914) is a free audiovisual kit from An audiobook on Rosa Parks in available in the first floor reading room.

Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks Dies, from NPR
Rosa Parks Library and Museum
My Story: Rosa Parks, from
The Montgomery Bus Boycott

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

You Speak, We Listen...

and sometimes we shush you, but not in the case of last semester's LibQUAL survey. Although the survey results reflect that you really, really like us... it is always possible to improve. Two taskforces have been categorizing comments and some remedial and corrective actions have already taken place.
  • The third floor has been declared a quiet zone, in response to requests for quiet study areas.
  • The entire collection is being examined and evaluated, in response to comments about the age and scope of the collection.
  • Various means of improving communication are under consideration, in response to comments that revealed a lack of awareness of existing resources.
We always welcome your feedback... one easy way to provide feedback is by posting comments to this blog.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

New Orleans Public Library Reopening....

From LISNews:

Beginning Monday, October 31, NOPL's Main Library, as well as the Hubbell (Algiers Point) and Nix Branches, will be open for limited services. Patrons and visitors will be able to access the Internet and software from designated computers. Copiers and fax machines will also be available for public use, and basic, ready-reference by phone will also be provided. NOPL patrons may also return library books checked out before Katrina; all fines will be waived.

SciFinder Scholar Demo Tomorrow...

From Lynn Hoffmann:

A demo of SciFinder Scholar will take place in Bailey Library 213 tomorrow, Wednesday, November 2 at 2:30 pm. SciFinder Scholar is a product of Chemical Abstract Service. A trial of this database has been requested by Librarian Jessica Marshall and will begin after the demo. The SciFinder Scholar database is of particular interest to chemistry and physics students and faculty.