Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

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

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Son of Citation Machine....

I know many students rely heavily on Citation Machine... a new version, Son of Citation Machine, is now available with new features like mutliple authors and an apparent lighter load for its overworked server. Read more on the Citation Machine blog....

Citation Machine nicely reminds you that the library has the complete MLA and APA manuals available for your use, should you require more detailed information. Ask at the Reference Desk.... Those of you engaged in ongoing or extensive research should check out RefWorks, listed on the Journal Articles/Databases page, for a more sophisticated bibliographic management tool.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Friday Fun...

Interesting stuff I stumbled upon while surfing.... and stumbling would be the perfect word to describe my surfing ability.

Bald Eagle Cam, from the National Conservation Training Institute,
Critical Mass, the blog of the National Book Critics Circle,
Newspaper Archive has released new collections on the Kennedy Assassination and Pearl Harbor and also has a cool Birthday Headlines feature,
National Treasures from Australia's Great Libraries,
and it's Turn Off Your TV Week... you know what to do.... read!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Library Scholars....

Every year... for the past eight! ...Librarian Lynn Hoffmann has initiated a web page to honor our library student assistants who have earned academic honors. Through the efforts of library web student assistant Jason Neel, this year's crop... 33 of them... are presented here. We are very proud of these outstanding students and their accomplishments. Well done!

Sherry Wilson Retiring....

Library Technician Sherry Wilson will be honored with a reception on Friday, April 28, at 2:00 pm in the Reading Room of Bailey Library, to which the university community is invited. Sherry is retiring after over 20 years in the Instructional Materials Center and is well known to many for her friendly disposition, her encyclopedic knowledge of IMC resources, and her kindness to all. She has mentored a countless number of students during her years here and will be very much missed. Sherry and her adorable twins, Erick and Sheray, are moving to Dallas, Texas in July, joining her husband Eric who has been transferred there.

Please join the Library in extending their warmest wishes to Sherry and her family!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Making This Blog (and others) Come to You....

Here's a nice tutorial from Laurie Prange of Yukon College on how to use Google Reader. Google Reader, like other RSS readers or aggregators, collects the information you specify into one nice package, a custom newspaper, if you will. I use Bloglines currently, but any RSS reader is a great way to stay informed and something we should consider teaching our students in terms of information literacy and current awareness in a discipline.

Like many other Google services, this requires a Gmail address. If you need a Gmail invitation, please get in touch.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

This and That...

Sorry I wasn't around on Friday to give you your usual dose of librariana for the weekend... Enjoy!

A Little Culture... because we crave enlightenment

For the Serious Librarian... because big thoughts are afoot

For the Kiddies.... because children's literature rocks

Miscellanea... because it looked interesting

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Our Last Demo and Dessert...

Librarian Lynn Hoffmann will be presenting on the Top Ten Secrets of EBSCO databases, Friday, April 21st, at 12:30 in the Special Collections room of the Library. Lynn will reveal some little known search features and provide a tasty dessert. Please join us for the last of this popular series.

Any feedback? Shall we continue the series next year? We would love to hear from you; post a comment below.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Talking in the Library About....

Ugh, yuck. Man arrested for book bound in human skin, from BBC News.
Ooops. Librarian causes controversy over campus-wide reading choices, from ACRL Log.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Library Hours This Weekend...

The Library will be closed on Saturday and will reopen on Sunday at 6:00 pm.

Biting the Ears Off Chocolate Bunnies...

A true culinary delight. But anyway, here are some information links on chocolate, rabbits, and such like....

Going Beyond Milk Chocolate, from the Chocolate Lovers' Cookbook for Dummies
Chocology from Lindt
Red-Dyed Easter Eggs, from Greek Cooking At Its American Best
Peter Rabbit e-cards , from the Kid Lit blog
The Marshmallow Peep project: A Study of Small Fluffy Creatures and Library Usage, back by popular demand... by the way, I hear it is great fun to heat up a marshmallow peep in the microwave... they inflate.

If you feel, as I do, that chickens are not given the proper credit for their holiday contribution, you might be interested in the display of chicken-themed children's literature in the Instructional Materials Center.

From the All Things Google Dept.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Recently Read, Heard....

Winter in the Blood by James Welch
I believe this is noted native American author James Welch's first book. It tells the story of a young man/the nameless narrator who seems distant and disengaged from everything around him. He wanders from his family home to the town and around the countryside, existentially observing and thinking about the deaths of his father, brother, and grandmother. The metaphor of the man who is not really at home anywhere is potent and to me, the main character seemed without hope until he made a connection with the man he discovers to be his grandfather. The writing is very simple but strong and according to various reviews, based on trickster tales and Blackfeet legends. Winter is the setting for his father and brother's deaths and for the stark survival story of his grandmother. This book is a selection for one of the spring reading groups and I look forward to its discussion to learn more about it.

Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
I mentioned that I was listening to this audiobook several weeks ago, but wanted to add that after finishing it, I felt that it was a little bitter. Of course, 30 years teaching in New York public schools (or anywhere else for that matter) would probably turn us all a little sour in spots. I did enjoy McCourt's reminiscences about classrooms out of his control, some unorthodox lessons like the reading aloud of recipes or the composition of excuse notes, and field trips gone awry. Some parts were very humorous, some sad. I want to compile a list of novels and biographies about teaching--I think books like Teacher Man or The Thread That Runs So True should be required reading for education majors. McCourt's commentary on his lifelong aversion to administrators alone presents some important lessons for teachers-to-be.

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Not what you might expect... these potential princesses are mountain girls from an isolated "linder" mining community who share an ability to "quarry speak" or communicate telepathically. The academy involves learning to read and write as well as to converse and dance the minuet, which leads the little heroine to discover Commerce and the laws of supply and demand, which leads to some real improvements for her village. There is a budding romance, some inter-princess rivalry before teamwork and sisterhood take hold, and a dramatic escape from marauding bandits for suspense. Personally, I found it a little predictable (one of those Newbery picks that is a little puzzling) and as sacharine as a Shirley Temple film but I am not a twelve year-old girl, nor a candidate for princess, more's the pity...

Lies, Sissies, and Fiascoes: This American Life from NPR
Features several of my favorites... Sarah Vowell, David Sedaris, Ira Glass... and some new favorites like Dishwasher Pete who recounts his non-appearance on the Letterman Show. Delightful short pieces from the NPR series make the perfect companion for driving (I sometimes lose the thread of longer narratives when I need to make turns, count stoplights, etc.) Stories cover a wide segment of American life (pun intended) and include getting over a girlfriend, shooting a cannon off with dad, a production of Peter Pan that could not possibly get any worse, and a naked Chinese man who is memorialized by a punk band. Have fun!

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Sad, sad, Printz award winner about teens at a boarding school and that girl that all of the disaffected young boys fall in love with... Alaska is eccentric, moody, sexy, gifted, and doomed. The latter part of the novel deals with her friends attempting to reconstruct the circumstances of her untimely death. The characters were quite appealing in what seemed like a pretty accurate portrayal of bright, rebellious young people. I thought their relationships were very realistic, falling in and out of love, lust, and like in rapid succession. The narrator has a penchant for memorizing the last words of famous people and smoking and drinking play a large part in the social life of the group.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Currently listening to this bestseller (only up to lesson #3) so can't really comment on the big lesson, although I can feel it lurking out there on CD #5. Eddy, a maintenance worker at the Ruby Pier amusement park, dies while trying to save a little girl at the park. In "heaven," he meets the blue man who died of a heart attack after nearly hitting Eddy the child in the street, the Captain who shot Eddy to save his life during World War II, and the old woman for whom the pier was named. Loyalty and forgiveness are emphasized so far... good advice for the living and dead, I suppose. UPDATE: I must add that the pompous musical background and the portentious tone of the narrator really began to get on my nerves around CD #4 and I began to wish that dead Eddy would move along through heaven a little more quickly.

That Distant Land by Wendell Berry
This anthology contains Berry's stories based on the fictional community of Port William, Kentucky and includes many of the families and individuals covered in other entries in the chronicle (see former Recently Read posts on Hannah Coulter and The Memory of Old Jack.) The anthology is arranged chonologically, moving from 1888 to the modern day. The themes of land and family and friendship provide the warp to the weft of some standout stories... "Watch With Me," "The Wild Birds," and "Pray Without Ceasing," among many others. These stories are full of integrity, nobility, true and complex human qualities that really resonate off the page and present a richly textured portrait of a way of life that is fairly gone. I had not read any of the Ptolemy Proudfoot stories before; they were humorous in an old-timey farmer sort of way.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

New Trial Database...

Lynn Hoffmann announces the availability of the Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management Index on a trial basis (ending May 6.) Check it out here and send Lynn your comments.

Monday, April 10, 2006


to Kellen Cassidy, the winner of the National Library Week Gift Basket Give-Away. He'll be keeping busy with several best sellers while wearing his READ t-shirt, munching on candy, and drinking from his READ mug and sports bottle. The SGA Bookstore also donated a generous $20.oo gift card!

Be sure to congratulate Kellen if you see him around campus and keep your eyes out for more library basket give-aways during the fall semester. We have lots to celebrate!

Play Ball!

The Reading Room e-letter announces the following new additions:

· Bat Boy: My True Life Adventures Coming of Age / Matthew McGough (2005-cd)
At 16 years of age, McGaugh desired to be the Yankee’s batboy. His dream came true when he got the position in 1992. McGaugh “focused on the positives and tells his story with immediacy, humor, and heart.”

·Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans / Stewart O’Nan and Stephen King (2004 book and cd)
“These two Red sox fans, decided to chronicle the upcoming season, one of the most hotly anticipated in baseball history.”

·The Greatest Yankees Teams / Mark Vancil and Mark Mandrake (2004)
A wonderful recap of the Yankees last one hundred years in a “ stunning collection of stories, facts and images of the most celebrated team in the history of professional sports.”

·Boston’s Ballparks & Arenas / Alan Foulds (2005)
“A history of sports in Boston told through its parks and arenas.”

·A Place On the Team: The Triumph and Tragedy of Title IX / Welch Suggs (2005)
This is the “inside story of how Title IX revolutionized American Sports.” The book offers a description of how the courts and colleges have read (and misread) the law, along with a compelling portrayal of the people who made women’s sports a vibrant element in America.

·Driven From Within / Michael Jordan (2005)
Michael Jordan, makes it apparent that his extraordinary achievement came from the “inside out”. This is a book about the “power of collaboration and teamwork, the energy generated when people combine their creativity and passion, and a fearless desire to lead.”

·Bode: Go Fast, Be Good, Have Fun / Bode Miller and Jack McEnany (2005)
This is a biography of Bode Miller who tells his story as a “downhill skiing Olympic medallist and X-Games trailblazer.”

·Just for Fun: The Story of AAU Women’s Basketball / Robert W. Ikard (2005)
The women of the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) teams helped to lay the groundwork for women athletes. This is the “history of these gifted women, their coaches, and their teams--their records, motivations, and personal stories.”

·Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars / Rick Hill (2004)
This is a story about Pete Rose’s life and the mistakes he has made.

·More Than Just A Game: Sports in American Life Since 1945 / Kathryn Jay (2004)
Jay details the “development of sports in America from the almost complete decimation of professional baseball during World War II to the evolution of leisure sports such as golf.”

Donations of current popular fiction and non-fiction books in both print and audio formats are welcomed. Please leave books/tapes at the circulation desk of the Library. For further information, contact Lynn Hoffmann, x2666.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Color Me Curious....

Library Technician Kevin McLatchy, Archives and Government Documents, points to an interesting list of online government documents coloring books
compiled by Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. My favorite is the Noxious Weed coloring book... or the Mining and Reclamation coloring book... some good government fun!

READ posters, pt. 4

Dr. Nola Nolen, Dance Department, recommends the History of Dance.

READ posters, pt. 3

Dr. Robert Smith, University President, recommends Leadership on the Line by Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky.

READ posters, pt. 2

Dr. David Dailey, Computer Science, recommends the 1911 edition of Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language.

READ Posters, pt. 1

Dr. Michelle McCollin-Odeleye, Special Education, recommends the Collected Poems of Langston Hughes.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

READ all about it....

Librarians Martina Nicholas and Cathy Rudowsky have spearheaded an effort to create READ posters of Slippery Rock professors, administrators, staff, students, and librarians. Some of their handiwork is currently displayed in the library's main exhibit cases for National Library Week. What a cool project! It is also fascinating to see what all of the local celebrities chose as their favorite book... I hope to be able to display the posters in the blog, but need to reduce the size before posting. Stay tuned... and big props to Martina, Cathy, their student helpers, and other members of the publicity committee for pulling this together. I see there is also a flickr group for these posters....

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Dance of the Library Workers...

Today, April 4th, is National Library Workers Day - a day to celebrate the fact that "Libraries Work Because We Do!"

Our library works because the following people do:
Chris Agostino, Joe Drobney, Kathy Frampton, Kathy Manning, Rita McClelland, Barb McGinnis, Kevin McLatchy, Dorothyann Negley, Ellen Pontius, Mary Purdy, Greg Steighner, Dorothy Thompson, and Sherry Wilson. THANKS EVERYONE!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Who's Reading Who...

April 12 is beloved children's author Beverly Cleary's 90th birthday... and has also been declared Drop Everything and Read Day. I would love to, thanks!

Beverly Cleary is the creator of the Ramona Quimby books, the Mouse and the Motorcycle, Dear Mr. Henshaw, and has been recognized by the Newbery many times over. Her children's books surprisingly stand the test of time. Cleary's autobiography, A Girl from Yamhill, was quite good. She is also a former children's librarian.

In a former incarnation as a middle school librarian, I was working with a gifted student and we created a project (perhaps not too inspired) where she contacted well-known people from all over the country and asked them "What are you reading?" We researched the addresses, enclosed a postcard for their reply, and received responses from presidents, business leaders, celebrities, astronauts, etc. Many wrote a letter to talk about a book that influenced them as children. (The student told me in later life that she had not really appreciated the scope of the project or the autographs she received until she was older.) We even appeared on a local radio show to talk about it. From Beverly Cleary, we received a two-word response... "my mail"... which I thought was terribly snarky at the time. Like my student, I have come to a later appreciation of the bulk of mail Ms. Cleary has to deal with daily and have decided to forgive her, now that she is 90. (insert smiley face here)

For a look at what the rich and famous are currently reading, take a look at this Washington Post article about librarian Glenna Nowell's annual "Who's Reading What?" survey results. Here at Slippery Rock, you will soon be seeing a home-grown version of the famous READ posters, featuring our own president, professors, deans, directors, and staff... a great project to mark National Library Week!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Death by Scrapbook...

From State Library Director Caryn Carr, via SRU Library Director Phil Tramdack:

Train Accidents, Murders, Apoplexy, Bright's Disease, Dynamite Accidents, Brain Paralysis, Falling Through Ice While Skating, Suicide by Laudanum, Throat-slitting, Hanging (by the same man all at once), Suicide by Inhaling Illuminating Gas, and the Vicissitudes of Old Age.....

These are just some of the causes of death mentioned – or, more likely, described in great detail – in the “Pennsylvania Scrap Book Necrology,” the second collection of digital resources that is freely available from the State Library of Pennsylvania. This collection comes on the heels of the 93 Benjamin Franklin texts that were released on the Internet in observance of Franklin’s 300th birthday..

The Pennsylvania Scrap Book Necrology began as scrapbooks that were created between 16 October 1891 and 3 March 1904. Newspapers from all parts of Pennsylvania are represented in this genealogical treasure trove.

Searchable by surname and very cool!