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, November 30, 2007


Sitting down with a good book at Bowling Green Public Library

The College of Cook Book Knowledge
Rare Books: The Cookery Exhibit

The Big Read from the National Endowment for the Arts

Warning: Sick-making! Auction for book bound in human skin

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tra-La-La-La La....

Many of us have barely finished washing the Thanksgiving dishes, but here come all of the winter holidays.... Consider the links below our gift to you!
The Festival of (Renewable) Light from the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
Have a Happy Green Holiday! from Family Fun
Eco-Friendly Kwanzaa from Green Living
The Story of Christmas Seals from the American Lung Association
The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
All About the Nutcracker Ballet
The History of the Nutcracker Ballet
Holiday Retail from MSNBC
The Online Menorah
Season's Greetings from the White House

More to come...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

But What About the Weather?

The United Nations recently released its annual Human Development Report, which includes a ranking of the best places in the world to live. Leading the list are Iceland and Norway. The United States dropped from 8th place last year to 12th place this year--very sobering when you realize that indicators considered in the ranking include life expectancy and adult literacy rates--among other factors. The index ranks 175 U.N. member countries, as well as Hong Kong and the Palestinian territories. Seventeen countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia, are not included because of inadequate available data.

Monday, November 26, 2007

What to Do With Books You Don't Want...

This was too good... this information drifted into my inbox today, some very practical advice on what to do with unwanted books, including some charitable donations and some interesting transformations.

Best of the Best...

Collecting those "Best of...." lists:
100 Notable Books of 2007, New York Times Book Review
Ten Best Books of 2007, New York Times Book Review
Best Books of 2007, Amazon
Best Books of 2007, School Library Journal
Best Books for Young Adults 2007, Young Adult Library Services Association
Best of 2007 for children and young adults, Horn Book
E.B. White Read Aloud Awards, 2007
Times Best Books for Children 2007

Read and Succeed!

Missed posting this one: a recent National Endowment for the Arts survey cites a decline in young people's reading and a subsequent decline in test scores.... read the New York Times article here. The heck with their test scores... think of all of the wonderful experiences, the artful language, the unforgettable characters, the spellbinding narratives, and the opportunities for reflection and identification and exploration they are missing!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happiness is a Warm Book....

Where to store the unwanted books without discarding the knowledge they contain? Or until someone scans them and makes them subject to network outages? The tomb of tomes.... Actually, Slippery Rock and its sister institutions are looking at the same issues. My suggestion: use the upper floors of one of those old dorms we tear down (with no imploding, bummer) and also turn its first floor into a secure, 24-hour study area... already set up for that, right?

The most unusual books in the world, wiki-style, include a pillow book, book lamps, book art, book clocks, and a book gun.

A listing of mystery books available for the Kindle....

From the New York Times Book Review, The 100 Notable Books of 2007...

The Westland Public Library of Michigan lists the 100 Books Your Kid Should Hear Before Starting School...

Best Books of the Year Lists keep on coming....

The Shine Gallery has cool vintage tattoo books for kids...

Looking for Braille, DAISY, audiobooks, e-books, large print versions of your favorites? Locate books in any format at

Monday, November 19, 2007


The big buzz today... amazon's e-book reader, the Kindle. Reviewed here and here and here, costs $400, seems to get plus points for user-friendly interface, has an always-on internet connection (which costs extra for some content.) Would love to get my fingers on one to check it out... but am actually more than happy with old-fashioned paper.

Think about this for textbooks, though... tempting, yes? Read more here....

Foreign Films...

We have a terrific collection of foreign films in the IMC and have recently added several titles that have won the Oscar in that category. Many professors teaching film appreciation or classes with a cultural emphasis have ordered classics for the collection. Occasionally, however, we run into some difficulties with format and region compatibility....

The IMC now has a multisystem VHS and DVD player that will play PAL format or region 2 films and for those of you who wish to know, a brief explanation follows:

DVDs are usually coded by region... the United States and Canada are Region 1, Region 2 covers most of Europe, the United Kingdom, Japan, Turkey, Egypt, Arabia, and South Africa. See this cogent explanation for a table showing all regions.... Encoding by region is all about distribution, release dates, censored or alternate versions, etc. The region is often indicated on the DVD case and some DVDs are coded to play in all regions.

DVDs are also formatted as PAL or NTSC format and for those of you who wish to know, another brief explanation follows:

PAL format (usually region 2) "refreshes" at 25 frames per second and has a resolution of 720 x 576 pixels. NTSC, the region 1 format, refreshes at 30 frames per second and has a resolution of 720 x 480 pixels. This means that PAL has a better resolution but NTSC renders motion better.

This is all usually not a concern for domestic DVD viewers and unless you get an error message about regions and encoding when you try to play a DVD, you won't need to avail yourself of our multisystem player. If you do, we're here for you....

Currently identified as region 2 or PAL formatted DVDs in the IMC: Colmena (DVD 304,) Pelota Vasca (DVD 368,) Abbasso la miseria! (DVD 322,) and Living with Lions (DVD 769.)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Turkey Talk...

As part of our continuing public service... surfing the 'net so you don't have to...
The Ultimate Guide to Cooking a Thanksgiving Turkey
Your Best Feast Ever
Food Bank Thanksgiving
A Cook Book of One's Own from the Internet
I Can't Believe It's Vegan
Turkey Cannon... Not as Fun as it Sounds

Hold the Cranberries
Thanksgiving Cheat Sheat
Thanksgiving History and Timeline
Thanksgiving Fast Facts
Spam Turkey

Bits of Book-Related Goodness...

Best Book Covers of 2007... and 2006 and 2005 from the Book Design Review
Another year of Pimp My Bookcart winners from Unshelved
New York Times names the 10 Best Illustrated Books from Read Roger
Plant a tree for every book you read from Book Buds Kit Lit Review
A card catalog quilt from
A science fiction and fantasy research database from Librarian in Black
Too late for this Halloween... haunted books from Boing Boing. Also from Boing Boing... the bookcase chair on wheels pictured here. (thanks to Sean and Melanie for reminding me of Boing Boing, a great source of inspiration and fun!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sitting Home Alone This Saturday Night?

Well, just in case you are and just in case you felt the urge to do some research, the online catalog and the SRU digital collection will be down for a brief adjustment from approximately 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Friends of Bailey Library Book Sale...

The Friends of Bailey Library will be holding a used book and video sale from Wednesday, November 14 to Friday, November 16 off the main lobby. This is always a good place to browse, buy, and support the library. Funds from the book sale are used to buy new materials for the library's Reading Room. The price is right; stop by and check it out!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Day 2007...

Some stories I have heard about World War II and Slippery Rock include German prisoners of war held briefly in West Hall and a basketball team consisting of the only five guys still in school. An art professor of the time put together a special newsletter, The Victory Bell, that he sent to SR students who were in the service. The following two headlines come from the Slippery Rock Rocket online and provide a fascinating look at a different era:

Air Force cadets land at Slippery Rock
Ex-GI's return to Slippery Rock

More recent information and remembrances:
Honor America's Veterans at National Parks and Battlefields
Veterans' Pride Initiative
Veterans and Their Families, National Archives
Veterans Day Facts, U.S. Census Bureau

Image credit: Petaholmes
via Wikipedia

A Cute Dog Tale...

Somebody slipped this under my door (!) the other day: A story from the Clarion News about a reading program where children read aloud to dogs. It looks like the girl is reading Tar Beach and the dog looks rather alarmed, but what a great idea!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Your Friday Dose...

News you probably can't use, unless you go to some really weird cocktail parties...
Tractor square dancing...
Stuff found in jail library books...
Generate your own catalog cards...
The ugly Mickey Mouse contest...
Librarians: The Party People (speaking of weird cocktail parties)... also singing librarians, singing about library stuff

On a more relevant note:
Still hung up on the DaVinci Code? True colors of the Mona Lisa, 25 Secrets of the Mona Lisa
Looking for a different point of view? Iraqi bloggers
Analyze your reading interests and get recommendations with What Should I Read Next?
Lovely children's classics have been digitized by the Library of Congress
Find free and legal music online...
Library books with (annoying) advertisement inserts...
Family Search to begin massive digitization project with the National Archives...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Tea, Schools, and Peace?

I just finished reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (thanks to Aiping Chen-Gaffey for the recommendation).

Not only was it fascinating--it was frightening, uplifting, and inspiring. Mortenson was a mountaineer who sought refuge in a remote Pakistani village after a failed attempt at K2. His time there brought the needs of the village into sharp focus--especially glaring to him was the lack of educational opportunities for the children. He vowed to build them a school. What follows is a tale of compassion in action...and an inside look into a country that is making world-changing headlines even as I write.

Jamming at the Library: A Cell Phone Solution

Various hackers, mad scientists and evil geniuses have come up with a cell phone jamming device... a black box about the size of a pack of cigarettes, which can silence cell phone transmissions within a 30-ft. radius. Hmmm.... are you thinking what I'm thinking? Here's the full article, sent out this morning by Library Director Phil Tramdack.

IMC K-12 Textbook Sale....

Withdrawn and duplicate K-12 textbooks are on sale in the IMC this week for $1 for hardbacks and .50 for paperbacks. This is a good opportunity for education majors, homeschoolers, and other interested parties to build up your own professional library. Pay at the IMC desk, located at the rear of the second floor of the library.

The IMC maintains a current K-12 textbook collection for all subjects, spanning the past ten years... primarily for use by education majors. Older materials are withdrawn. Funds from the sale are deposited with the Friends of Bailey Library, who will be sponsoring a bigger book and media sale next week. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Voted Most Popular...

Another interesting feature from OCLC... the 1000 most popular tag cloud. Click subjects to view specific titles and find in a library.

One Reads...

One cannot understand what all the fuss is about.
I just finished reading An Uncommon Reader, a very slender tome... one easy evening of reading... about Queen Elizabeth II wandering into a bookmobile and getting the reading habit and the subsequent changes in her life. Very funny in a reserved sort of way, totally charming, and sharply observant of our modern world. The Queen is at turns perplexed and puzzled, but perseveres to find her voice in spite of every opposition.

The Queen's isolation and anachronistic existence make her a popular subject lately, sort of a tabula rasa upon whom any speculation can be projected. Find this quick read and all sorts of other delights in the library's Reading Room.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

So Nice to Share...

Social networking, as I'm sure you are aware, is all about sharing. Sites like Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and MySpace are most popular, but some relative newcomers like Shelfari (recently pointed out by Library Director Phil Tramdack) are also making an impact. Library Thing has been described as Facebook for books, as it not only allows users to catalog/tag their own books but also connects those with similar reading interests. OCLC recently reported that 57% of social network site users have shared photos or video, 39% have shared books and reviews, and 14% have self-published. Online book clubs are growing by leaps and bounds... and we are not just talking Oprah, but Barnes and Noble, numerous blogs, public libraries, and reader's circles. I think this quote succintly captures this interesting era in internet use... "The internet's readers are becoming its authors. "

In terms of recommending and sharing books, our social networks (on- and off- line) have always been our first resort. My point, and I do have one here, is the introduction of reading/sharing in library catalogs. OCLC's WorldCat recently opened up its WorldCat Lists feature... and more than 10,000 lists were created in the first 8 weeks. Check out "Sarah's List of Janet Evanovich Read-Alikes" or one I threw together as an experiment, "Genealogy Online." Imagine the possibilities... like amazon's Listmania, which I find very useful, the library catalog could contain a myriad of recommendations. Professor Wagstaff's List of Resources, 10 Essential Works of Post-Modern Criticism, Tiffany's Best Bets for Persuasive Speeches, My Favorite Spring Break Reading, etc. For those interested in the more technical side, Disruptive Library Jester has done a great job of categorizing Schemes to Add Functionality to the OPAC. (Noted library commentator Roy Tennant might call this "lipstick on the pig," but think what a little gloss might do for the pig's self-esteem.)