Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

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

Friday, September 28, 2007

Birthdays, Beta Searches, and Beer...

  • Samuel Johnson of dictionary fame turned 300 on the 18th. Happy belated, Samuel. Visit his birthplace and his house.
  • Google turned 9 (or 10... the facts surrounding its birth are a bit murky.) But let's use Ask instead... it lets you customize with cool skins and its search is solid.
  • First click free: Access articles from sites requiring registration or subscription via Google news. Uh, how about all clicks free by using library databases? Not that I'm picking on Google...
  • Here's something interesting... a new people video search based on face recognition, still in beta.
  • Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi! Oktoberfest!

Are You Watching...

the gripping Ken Burns' documentary on World War II? See below for extended information, podcasts with Burns, suggested readings and more.

The War: A Ken Burns film
The War: Then and Now
The War Toolbox

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Civil Discourse...

Read Library Director Phil Tramdack's response to last week's cell phone letter in the Rocket here...

The results of our super-scientific poll on cell phone use (once you subtract the 8 times I voted for seized by librarians and pulverized) reveal that the vast majority (19) believe cell phones should be put on vibrate in the library.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Gaze and Be Amazed....

Photos of library patrons reading at Bookspace

Librarians model smocks from the 60's


Recently Heard...

Books on CD are always in hot demand in our Reading Room. Here are three I've scored lately... and enjoyed on road trips to Erie.

Fear of the Dark, Walter Mosley. I've been a loyal fan of the Easy Rawlins series and usually not too interested in exploring Mosley's other books. Changed my mind. Paris Minton, intellectual bookstore owner and self-confessed coward, and his eponymous friend Fearless Jones follow a trail of trouble that begins and ends with Minton's cousin, "Useless" S. Grant. Mosley is a master at portraying African-American life in 1950's Los Angeles and at drawing memorable characters, such as Useless' mother, Auntie Three Hearts... rumored to possess the evil eye. Fun. Paris ruminates on heroic archetypes and Fearless, like Easy, is the brave knight with a strong sense of justice and the physical ability to enforce it.

The Lost Painting, Jonathan Harr. About halfway through the first CD, I wondered "wow, could this be true?" Duh, read the cover. Read a current event now and then. Anyway, this was an absolutely mesmerizing account of Caravaggio's life and work interwoven with the modern true story of the discovery of one of his lost masterpieces, The Taking of Christ. The unembroidered narrative has all of the suspense and tension of a mystery novel, much like the DaVinci Code. No, wait, the DaVinci Code wasn't true, it was a mystery novel. Ignore my inner dialog and inability to distinguish between reality and fiction... if you are looking for a good listen, try The Lost Painting.

Lady Susan, Jane Austen. An epistolary novel! Love that term. One of Austen's lesser known early works, this brief book is quite entertaining as the manipulations and machinations of Lady Susan are revealed in a series of letters to family, friends, enemies, etc. Obsessed by making a good marriage for her daughter, Lady Susan shamelessly schemes and plots to achieve her marital ends. She's actually very wicked, but somehow charming. It seemed to conclude rather abruptly... did I lose a CD between the seats? Miss Austen?

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Number You Are Dialing Has Been Disconnected...

A letter complaining about cell phone use in the library came out today in the online Rocket. Our official policy asks that cell phone use be confined to the library lobbies. Tell us what you think by taking our poll or responding in the comments below.

Tales to Tell...

Dorothyann Negley points us to a story about Ethiopia Reads in this month's Good Housekeeping. An excellent and inspiring article... very touching. Yohannes Gebregeorgis returned to his native Ethiopia after many years working as a children's librarian in the United States. Through his efforts, children's libraries are now available for the first time, including a mule-drawn bookmobile. He has also been proactive in encouraging the writing of children's literature in native Ethiopian languages.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Mud Flap Flap...

Wyoming libraries have caused a flap with their latest marketing campaign....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Still Smiley After All These Years...

From today's Chronicle of Higher Education via Library Director Phil Tramdack:

"If you'’ve ever ended an e-mail message or an instant message with an emoticon, now might be a good time to pause and reflect on the work of Scott E. Fahlman. After all, it will be 25 years ago tomorrow that Mr. Fahlman, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, invented the digital smiley face.

After a colleague joked about a contaminated elevator on an electronic bulletin board, Mr. Fahlman had his eureka moment: He recommended that future quipsters mark their jokes with “:-)” to make sure no one misconstrued their comments.

Since the Net is now overrun with winking emoticons, crying emoticons, and even an Abraham Lincoln emoticon — “==):-)=” — it’s hard to believe that Mr. Falhman felt the need to explain his creation. But he did issue a simple directive to folks confused by the icon: “Read it sideways.”"

Whatever emoticon from Blue Front Door...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

All The News That's Fit To Be Free...

Good news from the New York Times....

Director Phil Tramdack forwards this article, as the New York Times announces that as of midnight on Tuesday (how dramatic!) the following New York Times resources will be free:

All content from 1987-present
Public domain content from 1851-1922
Some content from 1923-1986

This effectively ends the Times Select program which charged $49.95 per year for access to certain portions of the Times, but was free to students and educators.

New Trial Databases...

Librarian Lynn Hoffmann announces that the following databases are currently available on a trial basis:

For more information on the trials and how to access the databases, please visit the Trial Databases page. Your feedback on these databases helps to inform our purchasing decisions; please send feedback to Lynn Hoffmann.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Steeler Women Rock and Other Bits of Information You Need to Know Right Now...

NPR reports that our beloved Pittsburgh Steelers have the largest female fan base.. 1/3 of Pittsburgh area women consider themselves part of the Steeler Nation.

A new librarian song! Also rocks. Learn the lyrics and you can be in the video!
The top 100 songs of your senior year... search by year.

DailyLit will send you a portion of classic books in your email or via RSS feed.

Mark your calendars: September 16 is Mexican Independence Day and September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day.

We keep talking about a new library around here... here's a fresh design from Prague. Story here...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Read General Petraeus's Report

The Defense Department has provided links to both the report that General Petraeus delivered to Congress on the war in Iraq and the slides to which he refers.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Another Sad Anniversary....

World Trade Center Health Resources
World Trade Center Health Studies and Information on Health Services
Remembering 9/11: AccessWorldNews special report

Our library now holds 110 items under the heading September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001

The Ivy Family Tree....

I'm not sure there is any ivy left on campus, being viewed as a hazard to brick buildings, but here is an interesting story I randomly read years ago in the Rocket.

President Eisenberg brought ivy to Slippery Rock State Teachers College that he obtained from
Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Horace Mann brought the ivy to Antioch when he was president there. Mann obtained the ivy plants from Washington Irving's home, Sunnyside, in New York. And Irving? Irving brought the ivy from Sir Walter Scott's castle home in Scotland, Abbotsford. Cool connections, right? I was able to find this story again by using the new KLN Digital Collections, and you can read more here.... a story titled "Ivy Oration Senior Class Day" from May 18, 1938.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Plum Crazy and Other Bits of Bookery....

Okay, okay, I will get back to work now. For the last two weeks I have been deeply immersed in the Stephanie Plum series from Janet Evanovich. I know everyone else has been reading them for years but I only recently got on board. Great fun, read all thirteen, and am feeling kind of lonely now that I don't have any more adventures with Morelli and Lula and Grandma and the rest to look forward to. Console yourself with the following:

Author podcasts from the 2007 National Book Festival...
Barnes and Noble's KidLit online book club...
Rejection letters from Alfred Knopf publishers to some of the most illustrious...
Books as Art: Brian Dettmer, Book Carver...

and some sad news, Madeleine L'Engle passes...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"I Want to Give Bill Gates a Big Hug..."

There's something you don't hear everyday, but that's what one of our IMC students said yesterday after a Microsoft Office 2007 workshop with Brian Danielson. Here's what inspired that expression of affection:

In the new Word 2007, you can insert citations into your documents smoothly and painlessly under the References tab. And then.... you click on Bibliography and Word creates it for you in the style of your choice! Microsoft must be paying attention to all of those little applications and hacks and competitors and has made life easier for students everywhere. Office 2007 has been installed on student workstations all over the library. Feel the love!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Slippery Rock Goes Digital....

Bailey Library introduces KLN Digital Collections. Slippery Rock University, West Chester, Millersville and Kutztown have pooled their digital resources. Check out SRU photographs, postcards, The Slippery Rocket (1918-1930) and The Rocket (1934-2005).
Click any of the images to see more detail...

Postcard depicting campus view of South Hall, Chapel, North Hall, and Old Main

Browse the collections or try an advanced search for friends and family!

The Slippery Rocket, September 1, 1919

The Rocket, March 18, 2005

And this is just the beginning. Watch for future additions including audio and video, oral histories, more photos and other resources. Questions? Contact

Slippery Rock Normal School Women's Field Hockey Team