Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

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

Monday, February 27, 2006

New Trial Database...

A trial of CAB Abstracts is currently being offered by Bailey Library. CAB is a comprehensive bibliographic, abstracting and indexing database covering the applied life sciences, including agriculture, forestry, human nutrition, leisure and tourism, veterinary medicine and the environment. For a complete list of topics covered, go to content coverage.

Go to the Library's trial databases page, and follow the login instructions.
The trial ends Friday March 31, 2006.

To comment on this database, contact

Sunday, February 26, 2006

From the All Things Google Dept.

Google releases web page builder, Google Page Creator...
Google teams with National Archives to offer historical video...
Google Analytics provides free (mostly) web statistics...
Google Accelerator speeds up your web experience...

I don't know about you, but I am beginning to be a little creeped out. Is there nothing they can't do?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Inside Jokes for Library Bloggers...

Create a word cloud t-shirt at Snap Shirts, based on the most commonly occurring words in your blog or web page, from Blog Without A Library...
Lloyd the Library Llama sings about library bloggers, from the Laughing Librarian...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I'm Just Using You....

I'm doing a workshop on RSS feeds today and just wanted a test message to display.

Here's some bonus information:

  • Jeeves has retired, from SearchEngine Watch
  • Wolfgang's Vault rocks! This new site is based on the famous concert promoter Bill Graham's personal archive and is a virtual wonderland of 60's and 70's music artifacts.
  • On the topic of cool artifacts, Jack Kerouac's original scrolled manuscript is on display in San Francisco....

Monday, February 20, 2006

Check It Out....

What are you doing for Professional Development Day tomorrow? The Library is running a full day of fun and you are welcome to drop by for any or all...

The Cavalcade of Databases runs from 8:30 to noon:
Arts and Humanities, 8:30-9:15 -- Lynn Hoffmann, Jessica Marshall, Judy Silva
Business, 9:15-10:00 -- Cathy Rudowsky
Computer Science, 10:30-11:15 -- Del Hamilton
Government, Health, and Environment, 11:15-noon -- Martina Nicholas, Jane Smith

After lunch, join us to learn How to Tame the Wild Information Beasties:
RefWorks, 1:00-1:45 -- Jessica Marshall, Aiping Chen-Gaffey
RSS, Alerts, and Aggregators, 1:45-2:30 -- Melba Tomeo

So stop by and learn something! Students, faculty, staff, administrators, and any interested others are all welcome.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Recently Read...

The Dewey Decimal System of Love by Josephine Carr. This was my lunch time read for the last couple of weeks, a gift from a friend. I admit I was embarrassed to be caught with it, but it was fun and a tiny bit smutty. You have your locked down librarian burning with secret desires, and then you know what? She lets down her hair, gets lasik, a low cut dress, and look out! There is a tiny pretense of a mystery but the author decides to give the heroine a revelation to resolve it in the last few pages and that is definitely a cheat. Thanks to all of you who didn't laugh and point when you saw me reading this.

The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman. Another tale of a librarian, also repressed, but what a difference in content and style! This librarian (a nameless narrator) wishes to be struck by lightning... her wish is granted, she survives, and her life changes in mysterious and magical ways as she forms relationships with other lightning survivors. Her relationship with her brother is very moving, as is her guilt over a childhood incident. I think Hoffman is wonderful; another of her books I loved was the young adult novel, Green Angel. A definite recommend and a terrific book club choice, in my opinion.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. This title is another favorite of books clubs, and for good reason. There is something so quirky and charming about Christopher, the autistic narrator. I loved his perceptions that cut to the heart of the matter. His voice just seemed so authentic and I thought the portraits of his separated and distraught parents seemed so very human. The autism of the central character is reflected in habits reminiscent of The Rain Man, but he is a much more textured hero who exhibits great bravery. Very good book, although I skipped some of the "maths," as I do not possess similar skills (or interests.)

Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug. This book on web usability was touted on one of my listservs as the best web guide ever. I believe I would agree, based on the ultimately solid, common sense philosophies underlying the advice and the very accessible writing style. Krug not only supplies excellent guidelines for testing web usability but has some really perceptive things to say about web design in general. Since this is a very timely topic for me, I thoroughly enjoyed it and plan to discuss it with colleagues. The author is a web design and usability consultant; you can view a cybercast of his analysis of the Library of Congress home page here... Seriously, this book should be required reading for web designers and web committees everywhere.

It Speaks for Itself...

I Can't Help Myself...

Hunting and Shooting Sports Safety Tips for Children
from the Librarian's Internet Index

Learn more about the last vice president involved in a shooting incident, Aaron Burr
from the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Katrina Report Available

The House of Representatives has posted their report on the government's preparation for and response to Hurricane Katrina online. The site also includes hearing transcripts and press releases.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It's Tax Time!

Yes it's time to start gathering all your receipts and income statements. April 15 will be here before you know it. The library has a limited supply of paper tax forms available on the first floor near the reference room. You can also find any form you need online from the IRS. Pennsylvania forms are also available online.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Love in Lancaster County, PA... A very nice online exhibit of love letters

My Precious Loulie.... love letters from the Civil War, University Libraries, Virginia Tech

The Age of Emotion... fascinating records from the Cumbria County Council Archives

How to Write the Perfect Love Letter... from WriteExpress

Some library love... from Lifehacker

UPDATE: Fast Facts about Love, from the U.S. Census

Valentine sent to "Nancy Ann" from Rusty Garcia, the Tomeo collection

Friday, February 10, 2006

Of Interest to Genealogists...

Have you been watching African American Lives on PBS? Fascinating stuff... not only the research angle but the use of DNA to determine ancestry... pretty cool.

Image from

For Your Information Pleasure... (Eisenhower Clearinghouse)
A resource for K-12 math and science education, this site includes lesson ideas, articles about teaching practices, curriculum resources, and professional development tools. Available On-Campus Only.

The American Humanities Index (AHI) is no longer available through the Bailey Library web site. The good news is that the replacement, Humanities International Index, is bigger and includes all the content of AHI.

Hoover's Online provides comprehensive company profiles which contain company overviews and histories, including some coverage of private companies. This database is currently offered on a trial basis; follow the login instructions on the Trial Databases page.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I'm Ready for My Close-Up....

Some new search possibilities for online film and video:

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Bailey Library Presents Demos and Desserts Brown Bag Lunch Sessions....

You are invited to Demos and Dessert, a series of half hour demonstrations hosted by Bailey Library highlighting some of the Library's electronic resources. The demonstrations will take place on Fridays this semester at 12:30 in the Special Collections Room of the Library.
February 10
- Did you know that ArtStor contains more than fine arts digital images? Anthropology and Women's Studies are just some of the collections with images you can incorporate into your presentations or "efolders."

March 3
- Safari is a collection of technology related ebooks - a great quick reference source for your computer application questions.

March 24
- There are some great sources for Tests and Measures available online. If surveys are your thing, this is the session for you.

April 21
- Hidden secrets in EbscoHost? Discover the top 10 best, little used applications from this popular vendor.

So, mark your calendars and bring your lunch to these informal sessions and learn about the many features of these electronic resources. The Library promises a wonderful dessert to top off each session!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Recently Read...

The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell by Lilian Jackson Braun
I believe I have read every single entrant in this very popular mystery series and enjoyed them all. The plot is relatively irrelevant as it is all about the cats, the kindly Mr. Qwilleran, his librarian friend Polly, and a number of the other residents of Moose County and Pickax. In this volume, Pickax is celebrating its sesquicentennial and the usual deceptions, deaths, and feline predictions abound. Always a pleasant diversion...

The Manufactured Crisis by David C. Berliner and Bruce J. Biddle
On a far more serious note, this book, recommended by our Dean of Education, addresses and debunks many of the popular "myths" of modern education. For instance, the commonly held idea that American students lag far behind their European and Asian counterparts is explained by an examination of curriculum, a difference in educational values, and biased samplings. The same sort of careful analysis is given to questions of a lack of moral values in textbooks, educational funding, and public vs. private schools, among other timely topics. This defense of American education is cogently argued and very accessible reading... it would be interesting to have this type of argument as a research assignment.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
A charming, quick read that is witty, sad, and romantic. Luo and the narrator are two young sons of privilege who have been sent to the country for re-education during Mao's Cultural Revolution. Among the many interesting characters and adventures encountered during their exile, the discovery of a suitcase filled with forbidden Western novels and the effect they have on the tailor's beautiful daughter compose the central plot. The ending is thought-provoking and somewhat mysterious. What emerges clearly, however, is a human yearning for stories, books, noble dreams.... A definite recommend!

The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson
This is another bit of old-fashioned children's writing that is quite enjoyable. This story involves an abandoned child who grows up to be sweet and good and is loved by all who know her. When her mother shows up to claim her, it seems that her dreams have come true... but all is not what it seems. Set in Vienna, the Lippizzaner stallions play a part, as do a beautiful emerald, a gypsy boy, an enormous harp, and a daring rescue enacted by some unlikely heroes. The story is a treat and the descriptions of daily life in Austria are deftly incorporated.

Friday, February 03, 2006


A show of support for the Super Steelers from Bailey Library residents today.... and we are off to the Souper Bowl luncheon party in Technical Services. GO STEELERS!!!!

Photo by Joe Drobney

Thursday, February 02, 2006

And the winner is... Winter!

Looks like we are in for 6 more weeks of winter. Of course, with temperatures in the 50s, I think I can handle it.

Reported by the Washington Post: Punxsutawney Groundhog [Phil] Sees His Shadow...

Visit this fun site from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to discover a little groundhog folklore:

Apply for a Marjorie Stephenson Scholarship....

Applications for the Marjorie Stephenson Scholarship are now available. Marjorie Stephenson, a professor and librarian at Slippery Rock University from 1971 to 1978, made provision in her will for undergraduate scholarships. First awarded in 1987, priority is given to support Black American students and those studying in the arts, humanities, social sciences or education. Awards are usually for $500 to $1,000.

Applications for the 2006-2007 awards are now available in the Instructional Materials Center, Bailey Library, or may be downloaded here. Deadline for submission is March 15, 2006. Students with questions may contact the chair of the Scholarship Committee, Melba Tomeo, 738-2665,

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Alert Oprah!

This just in... fake writers for kids! (via Gawker)

From the All Things Google Dept.