Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

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

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Friday Factoids...

On Friday mornings, I like to gather all the random information I've encountered during the week and drop it like a pebble into the placid pool of your weekend anticipation.

Help Gulf Coast Libraries still recovering from Hurricane Katrina...
Where to find Web Archives... including the Smoking Gun archives, where you can ponder celebrity mug shots.
Love the music played on Entourage? or Gray's Anatomy? Find out the details at Heard on TV....
"Please kindly keep your communication equipment from beeping" and other rules from the Shanghai Public Library's front door...
Questia adds 5,000 public domain titles to the cybersphere...
Librarian Lynn Hoffmann shares the story of a 90 year old library worker still sharp as a tack...
NY poverty program pays parents $50 if children get a library card...
Check out the entries in this Gale library video contest...

A couple of Labor Day notes, to add to Jane's post:
Fast Facts about Labor Day, 2007
Labor Day Marks Appreciation of U.S. Workers

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sad Anniversary

The Rocket, September 2, 2005.

In Honor of Labor Day

According to the 10th Annual Labor Day Report from the National Association of Manufacturers, "job creation has slowed (1.9 million jobs created in the 12 months
ending July 2007 compared to 2.3 million jobs created during the previous 12 months), but economic growth has been strong enough to continue to push down the unemployment rate modestly from 4.8 percent in July 2006 to 4.6 percent in July 2007. As a consequence, the labor market has further tightened from the cyclical peak of 6.3 percent reached four years ago. This has been good news for the American worker. Tight labor markets force firms to compete for a scarce supply of available workers, which tends to put upward pressure on wages."

On a related note, yesterday the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their 2006 report, Productivity and Costs by Industry: Wholesale Trade, Retail Trade, and Food Services and Drinking Places, which indicates that labor productivity–defined as output per hour–increased in each of these industries.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Oh la la! Podcast Your Way to a New Language

Need to enhance your skills in Japanese, German, Spanish, French, Chinese or another foreign language? Countless language lessons are available--many for free-to download to your iPod or other MP3 player. Sound like a good way to improve your fluency or listening skills for class or your next trip abroad? You'll find a fairly comprehensive list on the Open Culture web site. You can also check out the offerings at the iTunes store by clicking on Podcasts and then Education--and simply choose the language you want.

Smells Like Teen Spirit...

This is too good not to pass along. Librarian Del Hamilton shares the following:

"Scratch-n-Sniff Old Book Smell for E-Books"

"We're fans of good old tactility, feedback and honest to goodness sensation -- all commodities in today's increasingly digital world. That why it's always been hard for us to jump on the e-book bandwagon. Digital versions of books stored on computer-like readers lack any pages to turn or binding to break in. They certainly lack that musty aroma you soak in when cracking open an older book, which may be more important to the overall reading experience than most of us realize. After all, smell is the sense most closely tied our memory sensors.

But now, e-textbook-peddler CafeScribe is working on a solution. Beginning in September, every e-textbook purchased through the newly-launched service will include a scratch-n-sniff sticker that smells like a musty old book. The gimmick is part of a slightly bizarre attempt to woo students and universities to its e-textbooks and away from traditional paper. In a survey of 600 college students, CafeScribe found that 43 percent identified smell as the thing they most love about books as physical objects, while 30 percent associated "mustiness" with the books they most loved.

Though certainly a marketing gimmick, this is an entertaining marriage of old and new technology, and one we'd love to see packaged with more of our digital goods. Imagine if a new song downloaded from iTunes smelled like the unwrapping a new cassette tape?"

What's Gnu....

What's up with the coffee shop?
Renovation of the coffee shop was delayed and should be underway in October. In the meantime, the coffee cart will be open and the booths and tables have been moved to the vending room.

The online catalog got a makeover.
Just a little nip tuck, mostly cosmetic, but now when it says a book is on the second floor, it means it.

Check out the new library displays.
See an authentic freshman beanie in the third floor Archives display. The IMC has a sampling of fresh fall titles on display. Take a moment and take it in.

You can download a library special toolbar.
This customized toolbar lets you search the library, Google, cite a reference, ask a librarian, and check the weather with a convenient click. Get it here.... sort of the library webpage in a toolbar.

Check out your books at any location.
You can now check out books at either circulation desk... hooray for making life easier.

Office 2007 is available just about everywhere on the library computers.

There are new research databases and more full text journal articles.
Access World News, Mergent Online, Contemporary Women's Issues, Education Index Retrospective, Environmental Index, Tests in Print, the Rittenhouse Collection, Computers and Applied Sciences Complete, just to name a few. Also... you can login to databases remotely with your network logon and password now.

We were busy over the summer! How was yours?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hello, Class of 2011...

Yesterday in a workshop, we had a student who was born in 1990... The annual mindset list from Beloit College.

Book Bitz....

Now, this irks me: A recent news release documented the appalling fact that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book last year. Sad, but not completely surprising. But the part that irks me is why not the headline: 3 of 4 Americans Enjoy Reading Books? Books Still Appeal in Electronic Age? But please enjoy the photo accompanying the news story of a woman smoking, drinking, and reading at a bar. Even the bartenders seem nonplussed.

Somebody out there is still reading books... NYT Paper Cuts: A Blog About Books
Try a smaller book, then.... Cabinet: A Minor History of Miniature Writing

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We Totally Rock...

Check it out, the following is a quote from a news release touting Slippery Rock as one of the Princeton Review's "Best Northeastern Colleges." Thanks, Martina, for the tip.... we do totally rock. The "great library" statement is really encouraging! We all work really hard and it's nice to know it's appreciated by students. Go us.

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The Princeton Review’s survey of students attending Slippery Rock University found them bragging about “small classes,” a “great library” and “great athletic facilities” among other factors − all of which helped the University earn a spot in the 2008 edition of The Review’s just-published book “Best Northeastern Colleges.”

Monday, August 20, 2007

Playing at Pirates...

The library was asked to come up with a fun, non-threatening introduction to some of our interesting features and services, a sort of "library lite" for incoming freshmen. So, we put our heads together and came up with what we perceived as fiendishly clever clues and a variation on the (ick!) library scavenger hunt... a library treasure hunt with a very loose pirate theme. Today Librarian Martina Nicholas and I tested the activity with the community advisers from the residence halls. The idea being that the advisers may want to conduct the activity with their residents...

Conclusions: Our fiendishly clever clues only took milliseconds for these students to decode and some were finished in about 15 minutes. Most enjoyed the hunt and had some good suggestions for refining it a bit. It's not a good idea to do such a large group (75 advisers) because they can see where the other groups went even when the start times are staggered. Everyone would rather have chocolate gold coin candy instead of bubble gum gold coin candy.

While I don't think these conclusions will form the basis of any forthcoming scholarly articles, I thought it was an interesting exercise. The treasure hunt took an incredible amount of prep work... elaborate Photoshopped treasure maps, testing of obscure clues, the acquisition of free Pirate baseball tickets by our Director for the top prize, etc. but it was, indeed, "fun." Our Pirates baseball ticket winner, by the way, was Kalia Mason. Congratulations, Kalia!

Incidentally, the image of pirate Jean Lafitte (above) came from the Jewish Journal, illustrating an interesting article on Jewish pirates. Who knew?

This type of serendipitous learning then reminds me to mention web site StumbleUpon , which connects you with random web sites matching your interests and provides some good time-wasting surfing.


Monday, August 13, 2007

From the It's All About You Department:
  • Stop Googling yourself for a minute and check out Spock, a new people search engine...
  • And if that doesn't scare you, search for your public records with Zabasearch...
  • In fact, you might want to stop Googling...
From the Wake the Kiddies Department:
From the BiblioNews Department:
From the Actually Having Something to Do with Academic Research Department:

Monday, August 06, 2007

A Bit of a Blog Break...

The blog will be taking a bit of a break in August, but don't go away... I have plenty of good reading to report on, along with library news and views, etc. but infrequent internet access. Actually, I'm seeing another library. Sorry. It's not you, it's me. We were on a break. They offered me a free library card and a half hour on the computer. They are the closest library to our summer cottage. It's probably just a summer thing....

What I've Been Reading: Gossamer by Lois Lowry (remarkable!); The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (very Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, autism must be the new narrative device); The Golden Apples by Eudora Welty (not my favorite Eudora Welty, although I liked the structure); Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules, selected by David Sedaris (loving the complete collection, thanks Steve!); and The Invisible Garden by Dorothy Sucher(really good, thanks for the recommendation, Kathy.)

Hope you are enjoying some summer reading also!