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, December 31, 2006

Best, Worst.... Happy New Year!

History of the New Year from Infoplease. In case you are staying home and surfing from boredom, you might find the following links mildly entertaining and informative. Also, guaranteed not to produce a hangover...

Lists, Lists, Lists:

Ten Library Stories That Shaped 2006: LIS ranks major events in the library world.
Merriam Webster's Words of the Year: Put them all together and what's that spell? Trouble... right here in Baghdad City.
Amazon Best of 2006: Best Books, Top Sellers, other interesting details. For example, most expensive amazon purchase? The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, $11,000. Most wished for amazon purchase? Freakonomics.
Top US Movies and Box Office Reports: Resource Shelf brings lists and rankings to the cinemaplex. Ar (in several countries.)

Books, Books, Books:

After careful scientific comparison of the following lists, I have determined that the books we should have all read in 2006 are....

Read the above and be prepared to report on Monday. Are there any common themes? Why are there no women authors included in this elite group of books that appeared on 4-5 Best Books lists? Discuss.

Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year
New York Times Ten Best Books of 2006

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

In With the New....

A new source for international statistics... Nationmaster, from SearchEngineWatch;
Library Web is a news ticker feed, from Resource Shelf;
50 Coolest Web Sites, from Time and CNN;
A blog about library videos, from the "M" Word;

Out with the Old....

Cleaning up bits of blogginess for the New Year:
A Layered Look Reveals Ancient Greek Texts, from the New York Times;
The 10 Best Books of 2006, from the New York Times (plus 100 Notable)
2006 Year in Review, from Infoplease;
119 authoritative sites from the invisible web, from OEDB;
Best selling author doesn't dress like "boring librarians" from Gawker;
Bust Magazine highlights fashions for bookish types!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gift Suggestions...

Books make the best gifts! They always fit, they are always the right color, they are easy to wrap, and they have lasting value. One trip to the bookstore could finish off your entire list! Here are some recent suggestions... and I will add more as I discover them.

100 Notable Books of the Year, from the New York Times
Great Holiday Gifts for Parents and Teachers Gift Ideas covers many topics, including this one for the holidays.

UPDATE: Not necessarily gift suggestions, but listings of the "best" for children:
Horn Book announces FanFare, their picks for best books of the year;
Kirkus Reviews announces Best Children's Books of 2006;
Nominees are up for the CYBILS, the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards;
It might be interesting (okay, only mildly and only to me) to compare the titles, find the similarities, and see if they turn up on the short list for Newbery and Caldecott recognition.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: It's getting late for gift suggestions, but here are a few more last minute tips:
Best Science Books Ever and many more, from Chicken Spaghetti;
NPR lists best gift books for children.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

Kwanzaa! Hanukkah! Christmas! Saturnalia!

The St. Nicholas Center: Discovering the Truth About Santa Claus
Epicurious Holidays: Hanukkah
How We Celebrate Hanukkah
The Official Kwanzaa Web Site

Solstice, Sacaea-Saturnalia, Yule
La Virgen de Guadelupe
The Christmas Story from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Season's Greetings from Werner Drews from the Smithsonian Institution

From the Better to Give Dept.
Holiday Giving Guide (Jane already posted this in Comments, but it is worth mentioning twice)
Marine Toys for Tots
The Best Gifts Don't Always Cost the Most from NPR

UPDATE: Want to avoid a certain holiday party? Visit this handy Holiday Party Excuse Generator for inspiration! The Department of Education and First Book make a 200,000 book donation to Gulf Coast libraries and schools. Track Santa with NORAD and Google Earth, from Search Engine Land.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ho Ho Ho...

Want a laugh after finals? I had to share this hilarious collection of photos from the Chicago Tribune... Scared of Santa!

And a few more holiday gift giving links (in case you are scared of Santa too...)
Holiday Ideas from HGTV
Present Tense: The Changing Ethics of Holiday Gift Giving from Religion Newswriters
Shop by Personality at from Lifehacker

Friday, December 15, 2006

Give Us a Break...

The University is on winter break until January 16 and the library will be closed on the following days: December 16-17, December 23 -January 1, 2007, January 6-January 7, and January 13-January 14. During the break, no IM or email reference services will be available. The blog will still be posting now and then.

The library will be open from 8:00 am-4:30 pm on the following days over break: Dec. 18-Dec. 22 and Jan. 2-Jan. 15.

Congratulations to all of the winter graduates and best wishes to all for a happy and healthy winter break.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Up All Night : Part III

So, tonight is my night. I have had a very strange feeling of dread all week, especially in the evenings as I start thinking about going to bed around 10:00. Tonight, I will be driving to the library at 10:00. Then, this morning, a feeling of euphoria came over me. I am kind of excited about tonight's "adventure," and I am fueled by the fact that Jane got so many thank yous. Or, the euphoria could be from the coming semester break, which begins for me tomorrow at 7:00 am! More later...

12:04 am (Thursday, Dec. 14). Sorry I didn't report sooner. I fell into that deep hole of checking e-mails. It is hard to get out of it once in. I just did a round, and I can report that all is well. There are way too many people to count. Each floor is busting. The third floor is remaining very quite. The second floor has some groups working, so there is minor buzz. I also find it interesting that people are studying in hallways that I have never seen people study in before. Surprisingly, I feel wide awake. I don't hold out hope that I will be able to report that at 3:00am, but we'll see. I'm off to do an exciting Serials Solutions bulk import. The files just arrived this evening; perfect timing.

It is now exactly 2:00 am. I just did a round to make sure that the changing of the guards went OK. It did. The library has some awesome student workers! From what I count, there are only about 14 students on the 3rd floor, 20 or so on the 2nd floor and 50-60 on the 1st floor. So, that gives us a grand total of 84-94. (If I am able to do math at 2:00 am.) I have to say that I am impressed with Melba's counts. I get bored after I count the 10th head and start day-dreaming. That is why I am approximating my numbers. I am happy to report that I am still wide-awake. I feel like there is sleepiness in the back of my head trying to decide if it is time to rear its ugly head or not, but so far, I have kept it at bay. Wish me luck in my battle. Oh, I have also discovered that doing bulk imports at 1:00 am is a good thing. My files are transferring at record rates. I have over 11,000 changed records this month, which usually sends me crying. This time, they are a breeze. Maybe I can start working this shift once a month around bulk import time.

I was just sitting here thinking about how I haven't had any reference questions, no one has thanked me, and no one has asked me about snack food. In fact, I don't think anyone has asked me anything, except for one SPSS question, which I obviously couldn't answer. So, I have decided that it is because I have on track pants, a long-sleeve t-shirt, and tennis shoes, plus my hair is in a pony-tail. I either look homeless or like one of the students. I like to believe that I look like one of the students! I don't think that anyone thinks to ask me a "real" question because of that. I have to say, it being 3:00 am, I am OK with that. By the way, the sleepiness is starting to hit. It has first attacked my eyes. I REALLY should have brought my glasses. I need to get these contacts out. I'm going to do a round within the next 1/2 hour, so I'll provide updated (and approximated) head counts soon.

3:44 am. Just did a round. There are 34 students hanging tough. I can't be responsible for having counted someone twice or for having missed someone that was strategically hiding in a cubby-hole. Two of the students are sleeping and all others are working. The entire library is quiet. Maybe we should make people complete the LibQUAL survey at 3:00 am while sitting in the library. Then we would get those "too much noise" comments nipped in the butt.

So, I thought I was being so clever 20 minutes ago when I went to the vending machine to get by Dr. P. Then, as I was doing rounds, I heard a can top pop open, looked over, and saw a wide-awake student downing an energy drink. D'oh. I forgot about those. I am so old-school. I still say dude and awesome, I still like Sonic the Hedgehog over impressive graphics, and I still drink soda to stay awake.

5:35 am - Couple of important things to report:

1. There are 38 students in the library. Only 2 are sleeping. Many of them are exactly as I have seen them each round, working diligently on papers and/or presentations.
2. My Dr. P rules. The energy drink kid is one of the two sleepers.
3. I just ran into Gina and was so excited to see a "day" person. I feel like it is a turning point. Morning is dawning. On the other hand, Gina might think I'm crazy. I gave her the most enthusiastic "hey, how are you?" I have ever given anyone.
4. I am actually still awake. I mean for real awake, not forced awake. I thought my head would be bobbing and my eyes closing, but I'm good. I just hope I stay that way until I am safely tucked into bed.
5. I get to leave in 1 hour and 20 minutes!!!!!!

Final Post - 6:35 am - I have to admit that I quit doing work around 6:00. I finished everything on my agenda and couldn't think enough to start something new. So, I played Mon Jong (am I spelling that right) for a little. At 6:30 am, I had my first head bob. Yuck. I was hoping those would hold off until I got home. Melba, I think you hit the wall around 6:30 as well. I think I am seeing double on occassion. I have never wanted to see Kathy Manning so badly in my life. Anyway, final thoughts:

Yes, I would do it again. It wasn't as bad as I had been imaging and the night/morning went rather fast.

Melba, you are awesome, as we all know. This blog and tracking the evening were fun and helped to make the night go by quickly.

I will try (if I have the energy) to blog one last time when I get home so that you all know I am climbing safely into bed.

It is 7:48 am, and I am safely home. Goodnight, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Night 2 at the Library...

Midnight: I decided to follow in Melba's illustrious footsteps and let everyone know how this experiment continues. When I pulled onto campus, every spot behind the building was full, so I expected a full house. I was right! This place is bursting at the seams. I'm not even going to try to count; that would require higher math. I haven't seen anyone asleep yet--and I think I'll probably be okay myself since I arrived on the heels of a six hour power nap. I feel like I do when I'm traveling overseas; my body has no idea what time it is.

I've actually had one reference question; who would have expected that?

The coffee arrived as scheduled, but there's no cream or sugar. Bless Karen--she's going to get some before she heads home.

The student workers are all in place for the 11-2 shift; we'll see how things go when we cut over into overnight mode. I've had two students ask me if I "drew the short straw" since I'm here!

1:30 a.m.--It would still require too many math skills for the middle of the night to count the number of people here; suffice it to say, there are a lot! We now have a girl sleeping in the middle of the IMC, and I just saw one guy settling into a chair and asking a friend to wake him up in an hour and a half. We had complaints about noise on the 2nd floor, so I asked two groups to keep it down. I've had two students looking for "treats." I guess they heard about the study break last night and thought they could find something similar tonight (at 1:15 though?).

I'm going to lock the front doors at 2 and see how things look at 5 before I make a decision to reopen the doors then.

Overheard in the hallway on the 1st floor: "Who would be crazy enough to work all night in the library?" I guess that would be me.

3:00 a.m.--96 people still here--inexplicably evenly divided among the floors. The third floor is about quiet as it can be. Still a noticeble hum of chatter on the other two floors. I saw a few more sleepers when I passed through, but most people are working. I realized awhile ago that I feel like I used to when my kids had slumber parties. I spent the first part of the evening in "crisis management" mode--making sure that no one got out of control because they'd had too much caffeine or chocolate--and now things have settled down so that only the diehards who will probably make it through the night are still going.

One question--who do you call on your cell phone at 3 in the morning? I've seen three different people making calls in the last 15 minutes or so and wondered. I could call my son in China--but that's because it's now 4:00 in the afternoon for him. I won't though--if he saw an international number ringing in at this time of the day/night, he'd be sure that something horrible had happened stateside!

By the way--we're completely out of sugar, we still have some cream, the coffee is almost gone--and I've had a second reference question.

4:10 a.m.--70ish people. I can't get them all to stand still while I count! My third reference question (who'd have thought I could get my wits wrapped around these things in the middle of the night?) Intriguing side note: I haven't seen anyone in the group study rooms since about 11:30.

I just learned a nifty little trick--we had a student with a CD in a drive that wouldn't open. I tried, but decided we'd need to put in a work order to get it out. A student nearby showed me how to use a paper clip to open the drive (I know this trick with a floppy drive, but didn't realize I could carry it over to a CD drive).

5:00 a.m.--40 people left--they're either studying, working on papers, or napping (although I only saw 3 napping). I decided to leave the doors locked; no one is standing outside haranguing us to get in. We'll play it by ear. Fifteen more minutes and it'll be the time my alarm usually goes off in the morning.

6:00 a.m.--We're down to about 28 students--everyone left looks like I feel. I spent a little bit of time cleaning up (picking up empty soda bottles, paper on the floor etc.). Moving around about 5:30 was good for me--and helped make the place a bit more presentable. I did decide to open the doors about 6; I figured that anyone who showed up then would be here to study.

I've had a few students thank me for being willing to be here--which is really nice.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Stay Tuned for Updates....

I thought it might be fun to live blog the UP ALL NIGHT event tonight, tracking the activity in the library, the degree of sleepiness, the degree of bloodshot-edness in my eyes, the amount of caffeine required, etc. So....

10:34 am, Monday: Going home at noon today to try and sleep before the late night shift. The last time I was up all night involved some friends and a few bottles of wine. I seem to recall a moment when I tried to recreate the Napoleon Dynamite dance. I don't think that will be the formula for this evening...

10:45 pm, Monday: There are 284 students in the building right now and reports are that it has been really, really busy tonight and that the study break food was a big success. All quiet on the third floor, as it should be, with one poor soul sitting on the back steps trying to study. I plan to stroll through the reference area trolling for questions now and then and to circulate through the building now and then to stay awake. I feel fine now, if a little confused... is it time for breakfast? I slept a little here and there today, but nothing solid.

12:25 am, Tuesday: The free coffee was a big hit, except we ran out of creamer and sugar really fast. There were also some inquiries about cookies and other free food... and some students seem to have packed a lunch. A good question raised by one student: If we wake up early and want to come down and study, why can't we come in? Why are the doors locked at 2:00 am? I know it is for security purposes, but the request seems reasonable. Paris Hilton says, "Nothing good ever happens after 2:00 am," but when does late night end and early morning, get the worm begin? That was after her DUI arrest, by the way. Smart girl, that Paris.

12:45 am, Tuesday: 245 students in the library. Stair guy is gone from the third floor. Chair guy has replaced him, sound asleep. I saw two students who brought blankets, so any hopes of closing early are pretty much dashed.

2:45 am, Tuesday: 91 students in the library. A lot of people headed out around 2:00 am. I had some more discussions about the "you can't come back in" business and am having trouble rationalizing this junior high dance rule. I have decided to open the library back up at 5:00 am, let the circulation students use their discretion about letting people in after 2:00 am (one guy forgot something at his apartment and rushed out to get it,) and let people charge things out if they need to. Anarchy rules! Chair guy is gone, only to be replaced by a different sleeping chair guy. One of the IMC students, Steve Leathers, told me that his old school used to keep the dining hall open all night during finals. You could reserve a table for a class study group and you paid $5.00 to eat all night. This sounds cool to me; too bad we don't have reservable study rooms. Advice to other librarians Up All Night... don't forget to bring change for the vending machine. Also, free coffee with no cream or sugar only wired everyone up and it got really loud for a while. I have been telling people to be quiet (with moderate success) out of consideration for others who are studying and the third floor remains a haven of silence... a veritable fortress of solitude.

4:15 am, Tuesday: 31 students left in the building. I've developed the far-away, zoned out stare of someone who needs some sleep and the bags under my eyes might better be classified as portmanteaus at this point. Sleeping chair guy is still sleeping... way to study, dude. Now I am wondering what happens when the custodians come in. I know they usually vacuum early in the morning before we open... but what will that do to the students still trying to study? Maybe at that point, we will be down to a very few. I can't wait to go home and go to bed.

5:00 am, Tuesday: 20 students. Now I am starving and thinking of rummaging through my colleagues' offices to look for hidden caches of chocolate. Sleeping guy awakes! Here are some Up All Night quotes to compensate for citing Paris Hilton earlier:
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Eudora Welty
George Bernard Shaw
Lord Byron

This is like one of those on-air drunken impairment experiments... or at least a definite case of sleep-deprived blog babble.

6:00 am, Tuesday: 19 students, 5 sound asleep. I now have a second wind and am eating popcorn for breakfast!

FINAL UPDATE: I hit the wall about 6:30 am and almost fell asleep over the book I was reading. I was pretty incoherent by the time the regular staff arrived. I also forgot to take a dinner break, where I might have caught a quick nap and I should have gone outside for some fresh air to wake myself up a bit. The sunrise over campus was glorious as I left! I fortunately did not have far to go to get home and slept like the dead all morning.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Just how much does a partridge in a pear tree cost these days?

Ever think about giving someone the "Twelve Days of Christmas" for Christmas. You better start saving. It will cost $18,920.59 this year. The most expensive items you ask... 9 Ladies Dancing, 10 Lords-a-Leaping, and 7 Swans-a-Swimming, each costing over $4,000. The least expensive... 2 Turtle Doves, costing only $40.00. By the way, the partridge and the pear tree will set you back $144.99.

Thanks to PNC for sharing this fun and informative study every Christmas!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Party in the IMC...

Some goofy hats and holiday cheer to say goodbye to student assistant Ali Jaffry, who has been so helpful to many students and faculty using Instructional Materials Center technology resources.

Library workers, send us your holiday photos and we will be happy to blog them!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Read the Baker-Hamilton Report here

Want to read for yourself what the Iraq Study Group recommends in the Iraq Study Group Report? Download all 160 pages from the U.S. Institute of Peace web site.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Do a Good Deed and a Good Search...

Powered by Yahoo!, 50% of the ad revenue from this search engine goes to various charities. I believe you can add a charity or school. In any case, here's a chance to do some good with your web surfing... Yahoo!, by the way, is an excellent alternative to Google. I think you might be surprised if you compare results.

Monday, December 04, 2006


The library will be open all night during Finals Week, Monday to Thursday night. Watch for additional announcements about study break refreshments... more details to come.

The rules: You have to be here by 2:00 am. You can leave but you can't come back in. No library services will be available after 2:00 am, including laptop or book circulation.

UPDATE: Study break refreshments will be served on Monday and Wednesday of next week, at 8:00 and 9:00 pm. You will be feasting on pizza, chips, and a beverage, compliments of the Library and the Publicity Committee.

UPDATE to the UPDATE: Free coffee will be provided beginning at 11:30 pm... Courtesy of AVI, your friendly Food Services people!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Librarian Returns!

Librarian Lynn Hoffmann advises that The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines premieres on TNT tonight, Sunday at 8:00 pm. He also points to this web site, which allows you to tour the library. Very cool!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Do It Yourself...

In England, Penguin Classics launched a series of reprints with plain white covers... You are invited to create your own cover and submit your original designs to the gallery on the Penguin web site.

I'm pretty sure we did this in grade school.