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, January 30, 2006

Happy New Year! I mean Ruff-Ruff...

The Chinese New Year officially began yesterday, January 29, and 2006 is the year of the dog. If you were born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, or 2006, you were born under the sign of the dog. You are known for being loyal, faithful and honest.

Check out more at the following links:

A Rich New Resource for You...

From Lynn Hoffmann:

The new collection of online references, Oxford Reference Online: Premium Collection, is now available through the alpha list of databases. Here is the link:

To look for titles in your area, click on the link Subjects & Books on the homepage. All titles are linked to descriptions.

Oxford Reference Online is a huge and comprehensive resource that contains over 130 dictionaries and reference titles covering the complete subject spectrum: from General Reference and Language to Science and Medicine, and from Humanities and Social Sciences to Business and Professional.

Currently this is only available on campus.

Friday, January 27, 2006

From Seattle, with love...

Library Director Phil Tramdack points out this NPR podcast of famous librarian Nancy Pearl's* reading suggestions for a rainy day.... and Seattle has been seeing even more rain than usual...

(which will be as nothing to the storm the Steelers are going to rain down on their heads in the Super Bowl!)

*Nancy Pearl is the model for the librarian action figure.

Oh, I Ain't Gonna Paint No More, No More...

Children from Slippery Rock University Day Care bundled up and made the long walk across campus today to listen to some stories in the Instructional Materials Center.

Fun Reads:
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More, by Karen Beaumont
A Frog in the Bog, by Karma Wilson


Take the Mozart quiz...

Happy Birthday dear Wolfgang!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756... we suggest you get your party on in any of the following ways:
Amadeus, VC 2773
Baby Mozart, VC 4222
Marriage of Figaro, VC 1449
Piano concerto no. 9 in E flat major, CD 1194
Mozart portraits, CD 589
Classical Music Library
Naxos Music Library
The Cambridge companion to Mozart, ML 410 .M9 C255 2003
Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, ebook
Mozart, a cultural biography, ML 410 .M9 G96 1999
The Mozart family: four lives in a social context, ML 410 .M91 H35 1998
The Mozart effect for children: awakening your child's mind, health, and creativity with music, ML 3920 .C172 2000x

These selections are representative of the many Mozart materials available at Bailey Library, including scores, recordings, and librettos. The University is celebrating this 250th anniversary with a concert, open to the public. You may also be interested in Austria's official site or more on the Mozart Effect from Indiana University.

Best wishes to the birthday boy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Recently Read... (a Mixed Bag)

The Memory of Old Jack by Wendell Berry. More in the series set in a small rural area in Kentucky and a very good memoir. Old Jack was a young boy during the Civil War and this tale is told from the vantage point of his old age--staring off into the distance, Old Jack is back in his past. Again, Berry makes strong points about communities, the beauty and struggle of agricultural life, and paints an insightful portrait of a brittle marriage. It's nice to see how the pieces of the series overlap, with scenes from Hannah Coulter reflected in Old Jack's eyes. Very enjoyable, made me think of the old farmers I grew up around...

The Amber Cat by Hilary McKay. I picked up on this author from a children's literature listserv I monitor. I am always on the watch for good children's fantasy or science fiction, as it is not my favorite genre. However, this book was delightful, full of adventure and a little suspense, but the characters were really the prize. Two, later three, boys at home with chicken pox are entertained by a quirky but realistic mother who relates a mysterious tale from her own childhood. I understand there are more in this series also...

Double Yoi by Myron Cope. Come on, the Steelers are going to the Super Bowl! What's not to like here? Fortunately not an audiobook, Cope's memoir relates stories of his early days as a sports reporter and writer, accounts of famous characters he has known, and important Copiana like how the Terrible Towel was invented. Did you know the profits from Terrible Towel sales go to the Allegheny Valley Schools? Some of which are located in Slippery Rock? An interesting life of an accidental broadcaster and natural storyteller, who seems to have a heart for charity as well as a passion for Pittsburgh sports. And... GO STEELERS!!!!

Skeleton man by Joseph Bruchac is a little unsettling, but all is well that ends well. This is a story about a young native American girl whose parents don't come home one night. She is sent to live with a ghoulish old man who claims to be her uncle. The most memorable feature of the book is the narrative interweaving of a Mohawk legend and the young girl's dreams... dreams that help her escape evil and solve the mystery of her parents' disappearance. The legend is pretty scary all by itself, but I was also frightened by the ease with which the "uncle" was able to claim the girl from the authorities.

Jaime Adoff...

Some of you may remember that Jaime and Arnold Adoff visited Slippery Rock last year. Just wanted to note that Jaime Adoff received the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award at the American Library Association award ceremonies in San Antonio.

Congratulations, Jaime!

Read more about Jaime and his work here....

Monday, January 23, 2006

Caldecott, Newbery, and more...

Announced today at the American Library Association:

John Newbery Medal (distinguished writing for children) :
Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2005
Newbery Honor Books: Whittington by Alan Armstrong. Illustrated by S.D. Schindler. Random House, 2005
Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. Scholastic, Inc., 2005
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. Bloomsbury, 2005
Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson. Illustrated by Hudson Talbott. Putnam, 2005

Randolph Caldecott Award (distinguished illustration for children) :
The Hello, Goodbye Window illustrated by Chris Raschka. Written by Norton Juster. Michael di Capua Books / Hyperion, 2005
Caldecott Honor Books: Rosa illustrated by Bryan Collier. Written by Nikki Giovanni. Henry Holt, 2005
Zen Shorts illustrated and written by Jon J Muth. Scholastic Press, 2005
Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride illustrated and written and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman. An Anne Schwartz Book / Atheneum, 2005
Song of the Water Boatman & Other Pond Poems illustrated by Beckie Prange. Written by Joyce Sidman. Houghton Mifflin, 2005

Also announced today: Coretta Scott King awards, Pura Belpre awards, Michael Printz, Mildred Batchelder awards, and many more....

Friday, January 20, 2006

Showing Some Steeler Love Today....

Photo by Rachelle Harvey, IMC student worker

Bits of Information You Could Probably Live Without Knowing...

How to Build a Bar out of old books, from Lifehacker
Books bound in Human Skin, from Library Link of the Day

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Refworks Training...

From the Reference Desk:

You are invited to a training session for end users of Refworks. If you are interested in a tool to create and maintain your own bibliographies you will find this useful. Bailey Library subscribes to this service, and the link to Refworks can be found on library web site.

WHERE: Bailey Library, Room 213
WHEN: Thursday, January 26
TIME: 2:30 - 4pm

RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic management service that allows you to create your own personal database of references. You can automatically import references from a search performed in an online database (an EBSCO database for example) or enter references manually.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

From Petrolhead to Pfeffernuss...

From the Reference Desk:

We are pleased to announce that the latest quarterly update to OED Online (Oxford English Dictionary) is now available for Bailey Library users here or through the library web site.

The latest alphabetical range to be revised is PERFECT-PHILANDERING. Find out the latest definitions and quotations for everything from PETROLHEAD (an Australian car enthusiast) to PFEFFERNUSS (a cookie typically eaten at Christmas).

You can now sign up to receive the highly popular Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Day by email! For today's word, and to sign up, please go to

Dazzle your friends with erudition.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Little Bits of Library Blogginess...


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Honoring Dr. King...

*Martin Luther King, Jr. Newspaper Archive (a new, free database of 50,000 newspaper articles from

*Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

*Last year's pathfinder to Slippery Rock Library and Internet resources
*How Slippery Rock University celebrates with A Day of Service

Image from Library of Congress American Memory project, via Wikipedia

Are You a Librarian?

Take the test...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Literary Hoaxes...

Recent news stories have revealed certain "difficulties" with authors James Frey and JT Leroy. The tireless searchers at Librarians' Internet Index offer the following on the subject:

Top Ten Literary Hoaxes
Forging a Collection: The Frank W. Tober Collection of Literary Hoaxes

Ever read The Education of Little Tree? A charming, but false biography by an author who was a notorious racist and a George Wallace speechwriter.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Original Big Ben...

Cheer for one* and read about the other... Pennsylvania Director of Library Development Barbara Cole communicated the following about the new Ben Franklin Web Portal:

It is Benjamin Franklin's 300th birthday on January 17, 2006. To celebrate his tercentenary, Vivisimo, Inc., has created a Ben Franklin Portal as a public service educational resource. For the first time, the public can search and view all of Benjamin Franklin's writings that are available on the web--his autobiography, essays, correspondence, and proverbs--at a one-stop web portal that includes a hand-curated collection of the many thousands of websites and pages related solely to Franklin. The Ben Franklin Portal was launched January 9, 2006 and can be found at <>. The site includes a tab with links to a wealth of teacher resources. A link to the State Library of Pennsylvania's web site about Benjamin Franklin is provided near the bottom of the opening page of the Portal. For additional information from the National Science Foundation....

* Go Steelers!

Back Up and Running...

A recent email from Systems Librarian Del Hamilton gives the "go" signal for using the online catalog, the upgrade now being completed. Search on!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Recently Read...

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry. This is a deeply moving book, very profound, although dealing with the seemingly uneventful life of a farm woman from Port William, Kentucky. Berry has written a series of books based in this small rural town and I plan to seek them out. Hannah Coulter is twice widowed, raises three children, cares very deeply for her home and community, and is "remembering" her life from the vantage point of old age. There were many vignettes and reflections that touched my heart, particularly those dealing with her children, her husband, and farm life. ...Possibly the beauty of the book is what it summons from its readers. Highly recommended.

Steeplechase by Jane Langton. This is the latest in a mystery/detective series featuring Homer Kelly, a likeable academic whose bumbling and shambling are endearing. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Kelly adventures that have featured New England and Italian settings, finding them to be a little bit classroom lecture, a little bit travelogue, a little bit mystery, with a lot of charming characters and author illustrations. This particular volume was a disappointment, as Homer and his wife were almost entirely peripheral to a historical recounting of a religious rift in Nashoba, Massachusetts. The "back story" was very interesting, but I missed my friends, the Kellys. I see that this is a sequel to Langton's The Deserter: Murder at Gettysburg, which may account for my feeling of coming in late.

Rituals of the Season by Margaret Maron. Another favorite mystery series (can you tell I am catching up on my Mystery Guild selections over break?) features Judge Deborah Knott and her extended family in North Carolina. In this entry, Deborah Knott is about to be married, a colleague is shot and killed while driving down the highway, two young law students are trying to stop an execution, and a fire breaks out in the country club where the wedding is scheduled. Not as interesting as some of the older entries in this series that focused more on the region, its culture, and its characters. ...Perhaps a sign that this series has "jumped the shark" for me.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Catalog Upgrade...

By the way, the online catalog is "in the shop" for an upgrade and will not be available until January 6. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Today in Literary Birthdays....

Jacob Grimm of Brothers Grimm fame was born on this date in 1758. Which one was Matt Damon?

In any case, the following sites can provide some fodder for exhibits, library calendars, newsletters, or tired library blogs:

Writer's Almanac, from Public Radio, American Public Media
Literary Births, from Waterboro Public Library, Maine
Children's and Young Adult Authors by Date, Kathy Schrock, Discovery School (Brush with Fame: I once saw Kathy Schrock, the education/internet pioneer, in the Seattle Space Needle--I knew it was her because she was still wearing her conference nametag--and I did not bother her or make a pest of myself.)
This Day in History, History Channel

A number of other sites, like ScopeSystems, let you discover historical events for the date of your choice... a fun exercise for birthdays. Sharing my birthday: The Prophet Mohammed, Robert E. Lee, Edgar Allan Poe, Dolly Parton, and Janis Joplin. Imagine the dinner party that would be!

Monday, January 02, 2006


Resist stupidity and mediocrity... Form a book group with a social conscience (from Mother Jones) .... includes a list of recommended titles and suggestions for creating change.