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, February 28, 2008

I Should Have the Weekend Off Starting Now...

Here's the usual Friday collection and it is only Thursday!

Bookshelves are for expressing the "person you want to be," and not a reflection of what you have already read, according to Gawker. Libraries, ahead of the curve once again!

There's an entire person camouflaged in the bookshelf in the image. Read more....

Children's book art, which is gorgeous, is now being taken more seriously....

Take the beatnik quiz that accompanies an On the Road with the Beats exhibit at the University of Texas at Austin. Ironically, I was talking to a freshman composition class about beatniks just the other day. They were excited. Hey, daddio, the youngsters love it when I reminisce about the old days.

Damn the sub-prime mortgage market. Edith Wharton's home, The Mount, is in danger of foreclosure.

Free Music Downloads...

...Rock my world. Every week I get an email from the Classical Music library, one of our music databases, about that week's free download. I thought you might be interested, too.

This week’s free download from Classical Music Library is Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Christopher Seaman, conductor. More information about this piece is available on their music blog.

I wish I could tell you how to sign up for these alerts, but I can't remember. Maybe you register? Maybe you ask Jessica Marshall, the music librarian, to set up an alert for you? I will report back.

Got it...when you go to the download site, there is a box to click to be notified of future downloads.

New Trial Database...

From librarian Lynn Hoffmann:

The Credo Online Reference library is now available on a trial basis. Get the secret password and access it on the Trial Databases page. Want to see what's in it? A nice array of resources in art, language, biography, business, food, geography, history, law, literature, medicine, music, philosophy, psychology, religion, social science, science and technology.... Not to mention the dictionary, encyclopedias, and quotation resources. As with all of our trial databases, we would appreciate your feedback to inform our purchasing decisions.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Congratulations to Kathy....

Kathy Frampton, library technician in the Instructional Materials Center, recently completed the necessary training for the supervisory development certificate program. The certificate program consists of eight training workshops, open to all interested employees. Kathy Manning, library technician in Circulation Services, completed the program last year.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Search, Research, Read...

Rinse and repeat. I think I see a theme here.

From my new favorite obsession, AltSearchEngines: The Anti-Google Search Engine List. A long list of alternative search engines to explore.

Speaking of unique search engines, you won't believe this one! You hum or sing the song you are thinking of and Midomi finds it for you! Does this work for the tone deaf? Actually, they say yes.

Locally, we have been working on "fine tuning" (get the segue from the music search engine above?) our Discovery Search or federated search service. You can find the common interface under Find Articles at the top of the page. Some subject pages like Psychology, Modern Languages, Art, Dance, Theatre, Computer Science, and all of the education pages have their own special search box now, with more to come. What does that mean to you? You can search from one box across all of the major journal article databases in your discipline! Ease and convenience at your fingertips.

Librarian Jane Smith shares a new Government Information program... Ask a Librarian for government information assistance. Read more...

Speaking of reading more (segue alert!) ... Cool Social Reading site (that I am definitely going to sign up for) GoodReads. Look for books, share your reviews, create "shelves" of what you have read and what you want to read in the future.

Today's Interesting Book Storage Idea: Bookshelves in a staircase.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Flickr used to publicize SRU Archives photos

The Slippery Rock University Archives is using Flickr to reach out to the larger community. A collection of World War II photographs has been posted to the public. The Archives has some information about these images but welcomes comments and additional information about the people, places and activities depicted. Post your comments online at Flickr
SRU Archives or email

We look forward to hearing from you!

Business is Good...

Everyday around 11:00 a.m., our reference room begins to fill to overflowing. Students circle about looking for an empty computer like hawks in a parking lot. Being of a curious nature, I just took a (very) informal survey to see what everyone is working on...

About 30 students were observably engaged in school work, using Word, PowerPoint, Blackboard, etc. and about 3 groups were obviously collaborating on a project.
About 12 students were in their email which for all I know could have involved school work.
Only 2 students were in facebook.
Only 4 students were in a library database.
3-4 students were shopping.
1 female student was looking at images of shirtless male athletes. hmmm...

Obviously, this is unscientific because I was getting a little stank eye for peering over people's shoulders and making marks on a notecard and I didn't linger around too long. Several tables are filled with groups of students working on laptops. Some students are actually reading from books but they are hiding their shame away from the main crowds around the computer terminals and sitting off to the sides of the room, alone. Only one group of students is obviously socializing (laughing a little too loudly, etc.) I'm going to practice my stank eye on them now....

(Example of stank eye in image from a dog lover's personal blog...)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Recently Read...

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews.
For some reason, this book took me a long time to read and although it was very funny in spots, it left a very sad taste in my mouth. This young adult novel (but don't let that discourage you adults, the lines are very blurry) tells the tale of Nomi, a young Mennonite girl constantly rebelling against her repressive community. Her sister and mother leave the community but Nomi vows to stay with her gentle and devoutly religious father. The language is very rich, with a gem worth remembering on every page if not every paragraph. Even when betrayed at the most devastating levels, Nomi has a hilarious, sarcastic comment. Characters resonate with eccentricity and complexity. Nomi drinks, smokes weed, shaves her head a la Britney... not your typical "Menno" girl, certainly... and is eventually excommunicated and shunned by her community. Does she escape in the end? The author leaves that to us... and I think I have to make up my own happy ending. Definitely strikes a chord with those of us who would like to leave hometowns behind. Apparently a favorite of book groups, this edition included discussion questions at the back of the book. Thanks, Steve, for the recommendation. Very deep, funny and sad.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.
Speaking of funny and sad, this first young adult novel by Alexie is sweeping the children's literature blogs and is a National Book Award winner. Native identity is explored in this story of a self-described dork born with water on the brain who chooses to go to a high school off his reservation. The results of his decision include losing his best (and only) friend, a basketball show-down, facing down bullies, an ill-fated romance with the prettiest girl in the school and learning new ways of getting along in the world outside the "rez." Cartoon drawings interspersed throughout the book add to its humor, but plenty of sadness creeps in. I was touched by descriptions of the hopelessness of reservation life and the state of their school. Lots of great characters in this book also, but more appealing to younger readers, I would guess. You know how it is when something is unanimously praised... expectations are too high, but all in all, this was a good and original story shaded by both humor and tragedy.

Friday, February 15, 2008

After Digitization... Revenge of the Trees

I kid, I kid....

Hail to the Chiefs...

Election information streams past my desktop daily. Here are some noteworthy sites:
  • Election 2008 at, providing a perspective from alternative U.S. and Canadian news weeklies...
  • The Docuticker archive of Election 2008 articles...
  • Whoa! Here's a tricky quiz for you... compare your beliefs with candidates' stands on national issues at Vote By Issue.
  • Draw your own hasty conclusions at this Census Bureau page on state characteristics and voting patterns. You too can be a political pundit!
and just in time for Presidents' Day, an icky archive of presidential hair...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Be My Vinegar Valentine...

Librarian Lynn Hoffmann forwards the following interesting information:

Alexander Graham Bell would be surprised to learn that his Valentine's Day invention, the telephone, is now used to send valentines. (He applied for a patent for the phone on Feb. 14, 1876.) Cell phones, downloads, text messages and even videos handle valentines today. But not all of these talk of love or friendship. Since the 1840s, insulting or comic valentines have been popular. These rude cards were called "vinegar valentines." A 19th-century card was often a single sheet of paper with a satiric engraving. During the last part of the 1800s, romantic lacy valentines were more fashionable. In the 1930s, the "penny dreadful" appeared, a sheet of paper decorated with a colored woodblock print. Favorite jokes were about old maids, the obese, vain, homely, lazy or the talkative woman. Some were so risque they were judged indecent and were refused by the post office. The comic valentine went out of favor in the 1950s, and today they not only cost more than a penny but also offer much milder criticism. Unless you just broke up with your significant other or plan to quit your job, avoid the comic and stick with pleasantries and romance.

Go to to send a very nice vintage Valentine's Day card.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Moteurs des Recherche..

New search engines: InSuggest (if you liked this, you will like these), RedZee (a picture, 1000 words, etc.)

Old dogs, new tricks: Alternate Search Views from Google (those googly people never sleep). Library director Phil Tramdack recommends the timeline search.

Election search: Left vs. Right and not really a search engine, but you can uncover some interesting info at

I Heart the Library...

A library-themed wedding invitation and a sweet library wedding via

Love letters from famous artists, via the Smithsonian Archives of American Art

Just cool... vintage children's valentines from James D. Kimberlin's flickr account


OK, so I'm running out of clever headlines... but I just had to share the following fascinating flotsam:

Hear authors speak their own names (so you know how to pronounce them). Next week, authors point to their toes and noses and dress themselves.

Selling the Magna Carta... and how that relates to the print vs. electronic discussion. Try getting $21 million for the online text.

Ebook Week is coming... and here are 30 reasons why you should read them. We have over 30,000 reasons why you should read them in our online catalog.

I love this one... the Libraries of Literary Ladies from Library Thing. Sylvia Plath, Isabella Stewart Gardner, Marie Antoinette and Susan B. Anthony are spotlighted.

For the socially aware child... the Amelia Bloomer list and the Rainbow list are now available

Thursday, February 07, 2008

New in Library Land...

Librarian Jessica Marshall tells us that the library has now identified a LGBT collection within our online catalog. "To find these items go to the Bailey Library's website. Click on 'Search our Catalog.' In the search box type in LGBT and in the box to the right click on 'Keyword Boolean Search.' To narrow your search you could type in the search box LGBT and lesbian," for example.

Thanks to Jessica and the acquisitions and cataloging staff for creating this "virtual" collection.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Fun-Filled February...

February is a month of many celebrations... find out more in the links below:

February 5: Mardi Gras
"Big Chiefs" Continue Mardi Gras tradition from NPR
Mardi Gras in New Orleans from the Librarians Internet Index

February 7: Chinese New Year
Get your rat on and celebrate Chinese New Year!

February 14: Valentines Day
Be Larry King's valentine! Valentines Day from CNN
A Resource Guide to Chocolate from the Library of Congress

Book 'em, Danno...

Nine bookstores worth a tourist stop, from CNN...

How well do you know the mystery classics? Take a quiz, from Hey, There's a Dead Guy in the Living Room...

Back when a book was a book... beautiful typography, from Boing Boing

Not in WorldCat: rare, interesting, unusual books and book-like things from really cool.

Books That Make You Dumb... a (faulty but fun) research project that correlates SAT scores and books favorited in facebook... Apparently Lolita readers have an average SAT score of 1317. Hmmm.

An update from the Enoch Pratt Free Library... a change of address for "How Much is My Old Book Worth?" and a link to a presentation on determining book condition. Good stuff!

Friday, February 01, 2008


The Gallup site tracks the coming presidential election...
Reading this blog from sunny Spain? Find out how to vote from abroad...

"You are young, and I am older;
You are hopeful, I am not—
Enjoy life, ere it grow colder—
Pluck the roses ere they rot." ...Poetry from Presidents!

Books the Candidates Should Take to the White House