Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Searching Centuries in Seconds...

Librarian Lynn Hoffmann alerts us to a new trial... 19th Century British Library Newspapers. Thanks to the miracles of the 21st century, you can search through two million newspaper pages from 1800-1900. Quite interesting, I found a brief article on Winston Churchill's first day of work...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Scare Me....

Looking for some cheap Halloween thrills? Check out some of the IMC's classic horror films, including some great old Vincent Price movies, masterpieces of cheese. Rock it old school, find a VCR, some trick or treat candy, and enjoy!

  • The House on Haunted Hill, VC 3334
  • Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, VC 2959
  • Diary of a Madman, VC 3430
  • Fall of the House of Usher, VC 3993
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers, VC 3749
  • Bride of Frankenstein, VC 4084
  • Exorcist III, VC 3317
  • Nosferatu, VC 0748
  • Silence of the Lambs, VC 3041
  • Night of the Living Dead, VC 3396
  • Day of the Dead, VC 2822
  • This is Horror, VC 3533
  • Werewolf, VC 3322
  • Wasp Woman, VC 3312
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents, VC 3428
  • Scream, VC 2790, and Scream 2, VC 3130
  • The Fly, VC 3486
  • Stephen King's It, VC 4532
  • American Werewolf in Paris, VC 2831, and London, VC 2705
  • Frankenstein, DVD 489
  • Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, VC 4523
  • The Shining, VC 4816
  • The Birds, VC 3205
  • Basketcase 2, VC 2687
  • Phantom of the Opera, VC 4085
  • The Omen, VC 3810
And one of my all-time favorite sinister movies, The Bad Seed, VC 3294.

Sierpinski Arrowhead...

Take a moment to visit the Sierpinski Arrowhead in the third floor lobby. This fascinating fractal was built by students in Dr. David Marchand's Elementary Geometry class and was recently featured in a Rockpride article. Read more about Sierpinski and his triangle...

Photo from RockPride

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cleaning Out the Blog Drawer....

Harvard University Open Collections Program: Women Working and Immigration currently available; Contagion and Islamic Heritage Project coming in 2008.

Spell It! from Merriam-Webster.... prep for the next spelling bee. See also Voice of America Name Pronunciation Guide.

All About Doris Lessing, Nobel Prize Winner for Literature... and a book-by-book profile.

Top Ten Google Products You Forgot About
It's National Magic Week! Celebrate now before it disappears.
Street Lit... Urban Lit... players and player-haters.
New Librarians series debuts in Australia...

Worst Cookbook Title Ever:

Library Zombies...

There are those stories about a library ghost, but zombies are en vogue right now and many of us can relate. Actually, it seems many of us can relate an odd little story about an unexpected noise, a woman who wasn't really there... but let's save those tales for another time. Here's what's happening in the world of the web for Halloween:
Make your own Halloween mask, from Microsoft
Halloween costumes based on children's books, from
How Halloween works, from How Stuff Works

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Recently Read and Heard....

I was going to post these last week but then Jane posted her book about caring for the children of Africa and I felt shallow and embarrassed. Anyway, here are my latest, including some young adult literature recommended by Kathy Frampton and Myra Balok:

The Old Wine Shades by Martha Grimes. Stop the presses! I read one of my mystery series books out of order. This Richard Jury novel didn't really hold my interest the first time around but I recently finished it off. Not one of my favorites in the series... a woman, her autistic son, and their dog disappear. The dog comes back. The man who relates the story to Jury goes on and on about quantum physics (not my strong point) and a lot of other blather that might be more interesting if I was actually sitting in the pub with Richard Jury myself, knocking back a pint or five. Unsatisfactory.

Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block. Have you ever known any of those lovely, fey eccentrics who like to paint flowers on their knees and make clothes out of children's bed sheets, wear tutus to breakfast, and are totally unaffected by the stares of the public? They are pretty rare, but I think every community should have one. Weetzie is one such, meets her soul mate Dirk who turns out to be gay, gets three magical wishes, discovers her true love, has a baby, and finds her dream house. This is a classic in young adult literature, often censored but loved by many, set in the La-La land of Los Angeles.

Clockwork by Philip Pullman.
Step it up a notch... this is a finely written fairy tale flirting with reality, fantasy, and a little bit of Faust. The imagery is amazing... like the tall mysterious stranger who blows into the inn in a cloud of snow, the description of the sled careening through the night with its dead driver, and the relentless approach of the mechanized murdering knight. The humans and machines are flawed in this tale but love conquers all in the end... this short read is a treat.

Bluford High: Blood is Thicker by Paul Langan and D. M. Blackwell. This is a new teen series (at least to me) that is proving very popular. This particular entry deals with a family that has to move in with relatives due to the father's poor health. Tension immediately erupts between cousins Hakeem and Savon, with some suspicious robberies to fuel the fire. I wonder if this is a "packaged" series, like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? Not that I object... if teens are reading, that's a bonus.

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn. A story of love and abuse from the abuser's point of view, this book was sad, interesting, and might be enlightening to teens experiencing similar problems. Although I wouldn't call the "hero," Nick, sympathetic, his story did provide some understanding of a controlling, violent relationship and should provoke some good discussion and/or writing. Do they still do Afterschool Specials?

Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue by Mark Kurlansky. Mark Kurlansky wrote the widely-admired Salt and Cod... and then he wrote this. There is a large, large cast of characters in this book about New York's Lower East Side in the 1980's... every ethnicity and eccentricity... and quite a few narrative threads to follow (and in my case, drop, on a very short commute with an 11-Cd audiobook.) Murder, music, erotic interludes with a German pastry chef whose skin smells like butter, exotic foods, Caribbean drug dealers, and much, much more make for a tumultuous scene... just like the cover of the CD. I was surprised when I ended up liking it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What I Learned on the Reference Desk Today...

Huh. I didn't know we could duplex on the new printers until student assistant, Steph, told me. When you click to Print, choose Properties and there you go... duplexing, printing on both sides, saving the forest and the trees. It's a wonderful thing! Apparently Printer #1 and Printer #3 can both do this magical trick.

Stephenson Scholarship Winners Honored...

Winners of the 2007-2008 Marjorie Stephenson Scholarship awards were honored Friday, October 19, with a tea in the Special Collections room. Marjorie Stephenson was a humanities librarian at Bailey Library from 1971-1978. Her estate established this scholarship to reflect her interest in and support of students. This year's recipients include Kalia Mason, Amanda White, Kara Obruszewski, Alyssa Papay, Matthew Kwiatkowski, Annamae Meyer, Jazmine Loman, and Stacy Alabran. Amanda, Alyssa, Annamae, and Stacy are all library student employees. Get more information about this scholarship here... priority is given to black female students in the humanities.

The tea is an occasion for the library to become better acquainted with the scholarship recipients, who share information about their aspirations, and to remember Miss Stephenson, whose generosity supports those goals.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Get the Facts...

Use your critical thinking skills please...

Fast Facts--Compare Candidate Health Plans: Health08.0rg
Election 2008: Wall Street Journal
U.S. Elections 2008: The Guardian (London)
Campaign '08: Los Angeles Times
Presidential Election of 2008: New York Times
Vote 2008: PBS
Vote USA 2008: BBC
Election 2008: NPR

Friday, October 19, 2007

Blogs Arrive in the Big Time...

Librarian Lynn Hoffmann tells us that you can now search blogs in the Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe database. I know they have been quoting them on broadcast news programs, but I thought they were just desperate to fill that 24-hour news cycle. Cool.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

But What About the Children?

I just finished reading Melissa Fay Greene's book There is No Me Without You, which you can find in the library's reading room (call number GRE). I'd highly recommend it. We've all heard about the victims of AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, but this book puts faces and names on some of the real people behind the statistics and political rhetoric. Hearing that 13 million children are orphaned somehow means more when you read about a five-year old girl reduced to living alone in an alley behind the restaurant where her mother used to work. After mom died of AIDS, the orphaned child subsisted on scraps given her by the restaurant workers--but no one took her in. The scope of the problem is really hard for us to grasp; but we need to try. This book helps--and provides a useful (if select) list of organizations through which we can reach out.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Step Away From the Google...

I was (and still am, to some extent) an avid devotee of all things Google, but lately I have been straying... into the arms of Since they retired Jeeves, Ask is a smarter search engine, does a really nice focus sidebar, and has some great features like image search, blog search, and Ask City, which is a business search. I've mentioned before that Ask lets you choose an attractive skin (I'm superficial, live with it) and is the only search engine that gives you walking directions (now, that's cool!) Ask now offers those Entertainment coupon deals for printing out when you search a business, along with web reviews... it's pretty awesome. It's a free 14-day trial, but still...

Google is still all powerful (and therein lies the problem as I perceive it... Google should quit reading my email like a CIA agent... it's spooky!) but it's practically an American obligation to throw rocks at giants.

All I am saying is try something new and different... give Ask a chance (with apologies to John and Yoko.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Trials Without Tribulations...

Two new trial databases for your viewing and commenting pleasure:

Opinion Archives promises a collection of "edgy insight that you won't find in any textbooks" and covers the spectrum of political opinion. The Archives include NACLA, Commentary, Commonweal, American Spectator, Harper's, New York Review of Books, National Review, New Republic, and Scientific American. A federated search is expected soon to permit searching across the various archives (not a minute too soon, I would say... just my opinion, don't archive it.) On campus only.

Oxford Language Dictionaries Online is "a complete toolkit for language users, from learners to
professionals, providing unparalleled language coverage and learning support via instant access to Oxford's top-of-the-range, unabridged bilingual dictionaries." French, German, Spanish and Italian are currently available, with many others such as Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Polish to come.

Please see the Databases by Trial Subscription page for password information and send feedback on all trial databases to Librarian Lynn Hoffmann. Trial subscriptions provide a valuable opportunity to "drive before buying" and your feedback is important.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Season's Greetings...

Hey, I thought it had to be orange.
Scarecrow instructions here and here....
The Fall Foliage report...

Friday, October 12, 2007

North Hall Fire - October 16, 1937

Seventy years ago on October 16, 1937, the original North Hall at Slippery Rock State Teachers College burned to the ground. Many years later Slippery Rock University historian Bob Watson added a voiceover to this original film footage* of the event.

Visit the Library's North Hall Fire Web exhibit for the whole story, including photographs and articles from the October 27, 1937 issue of The Rocket.

*Original 16mm film transferred to laser videodisk by Dr. Mark Chase in 1991. Converted to MPEG (54 MB) in 2007. The laser videodisk is in the Slippery Rock University Archives.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Something For the Bookies...

It's National Book Month... make some soulless art
Women reading represented in real art....
Free audiobooks to download...
10 reasons why e-books suck...

National Book Award finalists named...
UPDATE: Doris Lessing wins the Nobel Prize for Literature... 16 books by Lessing in our collection

Portrait of Julia Courbet, Gustave Courbet

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Genealogists in the Hizzle...

News You Can Use, Pt. II....

PLEASE NOTE: The online catalog will be down tomorrow, Thursday, October 11, while an upgrade is installed. If you need assistance to locate items, please see a reference librarian. (Here's my secret for searching when the catalog is down... use WorldCat. It gives you a call number and tells you if Slippery Rock owns the title in question.)

News You Can Use...

There have been some changes to the circulation policy, fines, due dates, etc. You can find more detail here, but let me break it down for you:
  • Loan periods are longer... now 4 weeks for most items
  • Overdue fines are higher... .15 cents/day for most items, except for audiovisuals (.25 cents/day,) video cameras, reserves, etc. ($3.00/day)
  • Lost item processing fees are now $25.00
Prior to this change, the fines, fees, and loan periods had not been revised in over twenty years.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Big 0-3!

On Sunday, October 7, this blog turns three. According to the National Network for Child Care, the average three year old:
  • speaks intelligibly 75-80% of the time
  • listens attentively to short stories and books
  • asks who, what, and why questions
  • can solve problems if they are simple, concrete, real, and immediate, and if he or she wants to
  • can say his or her age
  • enjoys making others laugh and being silly
  • feeds self (with some spilling)
That sounds about right! Send gifts and good wishes to the Comment box below--

Lists On Which We Do Not Appear....

and a bonus, Ten Great Wines Under $10...

Fall Break Hours...

Please note: The Library will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, October 5-6, open Monday, October 7, from 8:00-4:30 and back to regular hours on Tuesday, October 8.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The People Have Spoken...

Based on the responses to the cell phone poll, a majority of the respondents believe you should...
a) set your cell phone to vibrate in the library (56%) and
b) limit your library cell phone conversations to the lobbies (20%)
c) grow up and quit being so self-absorbed.

OK, that last was just me, but still.... We also received some passionate comments about the unacceptable level of noise in the library, which you can read at the original post.

The library is responding with some polite reminders for offenders, but we are not the library police. How about this? Police yourselves! Be civil and courteous and considerate of your fellow citizens/students. We need to respect each other's space in public places.

Don't make me shush you...

Image from Artnet Picture Postcard Archive

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Only a Year Away...

Fast Facts: The 2008 Presidential Election

Of Cottages and Castles: Homes of Our Presidents
C-Span's Presidential Libraries: History Uncovered

Monday, October 01, 2007


Banned Books Week, September 29-October 6, 2007
Banned Books Week, Amnesty International
Explore Banned Books, Google Book Search

Top Ten Banned Books video, YouTube/ALA

Title Fights, Chicago Tribune