Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How Geographically-Literate Are You Anyway?

With summer break looming large (yeah!), it's a good time to check out your knowledge of the world and famous travel sites you might be visiting. The Traveler IQ Challenge is lots of fun--and you might learn something!

What's Your Carbon Footprint?

...or more correctly, your nation's carbon footprint? Check out Breathing Earth--a site that lets you view a graphic illustration of carbon emissions--in relation to population. If you want to calculate how your lifestyle choices impact the environment answer a short Earth Day Footprint quiz.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Books Say the Darndest Things...

My Beautiful Mommy is all about teaching tots about plastic surgery. Seriously...

And if that's not enough for you, here is It's Just a Plant to help children understand why Mommy and Daddy are giggling uncontrollably. (Love the 70's vibe in the illustrations.)

Let's try these instead: Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts or something from the Pulitzers... or something suggested by Book Lamp or even blogs and websites turned into books.

And by the way, Mad Libs just turned 50. Now there's a good time and you can play it online. (Weed and fake breasts optional.)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Trees Here... Get Your Trees Here

Today is Arbor Day, a day that celebrates tree planting and tree care. Celebrate by planting a tree, admiring a tree, or even hugging a tree. If you join the Arbor Day Foundation, you get 10 free trees, so join today and plant away!

World Malaria Day

April 25 is World Malaria Day. Sponsored by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, a global consortium of partners ranging from the World Health Organization to Unicef, this day is set aside to commemorate "the global effort to provide effective control of malaria around the world." Control of malaria is critical to our future. This deadly disease kills about 1 million children a year--one every 30 seconds. Stopping this killer is a multi-fronted endeavor involving research, education, advocacy, and funds. One effective preventative measure is the use of treated mosquito nets that protect children and adults from the bites of malaria carriers. Malaria is also treatable; medications, though, are often not available to those afflicted. You can donate a net or medications through a number of organizations including Malaria No More, and World Vision. More information is available from all the web sites linked above.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Getting Greener at the Library... Bins are Filling Up

These recycling bins represent the amount of paper left behind at the library printers... from Monday, 4/21- Thursday, 4/24. The red wrappers you see are from fresh reams of paper fed into the printers during that same time period. I wish I had thought to count those, but I can tell you that the library spends over $10,000 a year on recycled paper for the printers.

Our little "art" project will come down tomorrow. Our goal was to increase awareness of the waste that occurs when items are printed and not collected, etc. Please read our other tips to improve your printing habits.

Going Greener at the Library.... Take Our Poll

The library already recycles and uses recycled paper for all of our printers. Obviously, we want to support student printing needs for research and coursework. However, our costs and the amount of paper wasted continues to soar. We would like to hear from you... please respond to our poll and/or offer comments below.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Going Greener at the Library... PowerPoint Poisoning, Part 2 or Why Are You Killing the Printers?

Guess what makes the reference printers die? or at least queasy? When you print one slide per page with a big old black background, the massive amounts of toner clog everything up. Please quit it.

And while we are on the subject, quit hitting the Print button six times. Print jobs queue, wait your turn. It's not always about you.

Going Greener at the Library... Green Printing

One of the excellent new features of the new reference printers is the ability to duplex or print on both sides of your paper. It's easy to do, go to Preferences in the print dialog box and select it. Here's a movie to show you how...

Some other suggestions for green printing and computing come from Lifehacker... Green Print and Aardvark. Both applications eliminate unnecessary printing.

Amazing Tree Facts from Library Technician Kevin McClatchy:
  • It takes approximately 17 mature trees to make a ton of paper fiber.
  • One 60-ft pine tree equals approximately 161 reams of paper.
  • Learn more at

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Going Greener at the Library.... Green Search

15 of the Best Green Search Engines... more details and descriptions from AltSearchEngines

Going Greener at the Library.... The Big Blue Bin Display

What’s going on with the stack of recycling bins in the lobby?

It is troubling to many of us in the library... student workers, library staff, librarians, administrators.... that so much paper is wasted at the printers… and this is how we are dramatizing our concern. This display represents the paper wasted during a typical week in the reference room.

Nobody is upset by the printing that students need to do for research and classes, but the multiple copies printed and abandoned, huge slide presentations printed one slide per page with dark backgrounds, and the entire reams of paper left behind daily are a disturbing waste of resources… one we can do something about by raising awareness.

The library does recycle this paper and does purchase recycled paper for the printers but the waste is still pretty sad. Pictures to follow:

Monday, April 21, 2008

Going Greener at the Library.... Earth Week 2008

It's Earth Week and a good time to think globally and highlight some local issues as well. We will be talking about our printing practices for the most part, but here is some general information:

Science Reference Guide: Earth Day
EPA: Celebrate Earth Day

and here's how using paper to print books actually benefits the environment....

Going Greener at the Library.... PowerPoint Poisoning, Pt. 1

Here's a tip for printing PowerPoint slides... choose Handouts instead of Slides and go six per page. See the movie!

This message was brought to you by the nearest tree.

Thanks for making the library greener!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cha Cha, Cho Cho...

AltSearchEngines is sponsoring a Search Engine race and highlighting some general and specialized engines...

In the lead, Cha Cha, a mobile search that lets you call or text questions that will be answered by real people (I think). Read more...

And (SEGUE ALERT!) just in time for Earth Week, Cho Cho, the search engine that plants trees.

Friday, April 18, 2008


As National Library Week winds down, I don't know about you but I am exhausted from all of the fun. Here are some party remnants....

Dancing in the stacks with Marian the Librarian, a classic now preserved on youtube... get Dr. David Valentine from Computer Science to sing this for you sometime, awesome.

Entertainment Weekly offers 18 Sexy Trips to the Stacks... a slide show (sorry to disappoint but only the first one was a little steamy...)

Library Director Phil Tramdack sends the following from the Chronicle of Higher Education: Snacks in the Stacks...

Speaking of stacks, I think I need a job in one of these libraries, where Guitar Hero is part of the program.... or better yet, this one, where life is slow and sweet. They still have a wooden card catalog and ask your opinion of the books you checked out... charming indeed. I bet they don't have any of the 200,000 books "written" by this guy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Than A Book: An Exhibition of Artists' Books...

This exhibit of book art, on display in Bailey Library from April 16th through May 9th, contains a wide range of work by local, national and international artists, and represents the current state of the art. MaryAnn Miller, from the Experimental Printmaking Institute at Lafayette College, curated the traveling show and will conduct a workshop on creating a non-traditional book at 1:00 PM April 16th in the Special Collections room of the library. She will attend the opening of the exhibit that evening from 6:00 to 8:00 PM to present more information about the processes and artists, and to answer questions.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Celebrating Books and Libraries...

In their many splendored variety...

Library War, a new anime series described by the Librarian in Black as a battle to save libraries and the free expression of information from an oppressive government that premiered on Japanese television on April 10th (the series, not the government, sorry)... practice your Japanese and view the trailer here.

We are the machine... a new automated library machine debuts in China, a sort of RedBox for books. I saw the book vending machines in the Paris subway, but this is not a for-profit venture...

I'm surprised I don't already own a pair... but here's how to make your very own book earrings.

National Library Week....

Get your party on! It's National Library Week and a good time to reflect on this unique institution, celebrate its contributions to society, appreciate the vital importance of free and open access to information in a democracy, and be grateful for the expertise and public service of library workers everywhere. And we have presents!
The Library of Congress experience... enjoy the virtual companion to this exhibit about the nation's library and its many treasures, including the $5.00 confederate bill from Lincoln's pocket on the night he was assasinated and a chance to page through the Gutenberg Bible. (I wish I could watch this on campus without all of the buffering and downloading.)

Greenwood Publishing offers the following gifts for National Library Week: Latino American Experience, African American Experience, Praeger Security International Online, Daily Life through History, Daily Life America, World Folklore and Folklife, The Reader's Advisor Online, Greenwood Digital Collection and a daily raffle for $500 worth of free books!

Gale is providing free access to these databases for National Library Week: Academic OneFile, Biography Resource Center, British Library Newspapers, Gale Directory Library, Gale Virtual Reference Library, General OneFile, Health & Wellness Resource Center, History Resource Center: U.S., History Resource Center: World, Literature Criticism Online, LitFinder, Literature Resource Center, Nursing Resource Center, Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center: Critical Thinking, Popular Magazines, PowerSearch, Science Resource Center, Small Business Resource Center, Sources in U.S. History Online: The American Revolution, Sources in U.S. History Online: The Civil War, and Sources in U.S. History Online: Slavery in America. (We already subscribe to a lot of these.) Also... they are opening up a new database called Books & Authors and you can compose a song or something and win $5000.

Ain't no party like a library party. Party Girl, pictured above, is an awesome Parker Posey movie about a young woman finding her true vocation. Check out a video preview below...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Newer... Database Changes

Librarian Lynn Hoffmann shares the following database changes:

Biography Resource Center adds the Lives & Perspectives Collection. This optional new module supplements the Biography Resource Center with nearly 160,000 biographies drawn from a range of highly respected academic reference titles such as American Men & Women of Science, Governments of the World, Encyclopedia of African-American Culture & History and the Dartmouth Medal-winning Encyclopaedia Judaica.

Environment Complete will replace Environment Index, providing more full-text coverage.

Environment Complete contains all of the content available in Environment Index, as well as full text for 470 journals, including many of the most used journals in the discipline, such as Environment (back to 1975), Ecologist, Conservation Biology, and more. Environment Complete also provides full text for 80 monographs, such as Encyclopedia of World Environmental History (three volumes), Advances in Water Treatment & Environmental Management. Further, the database offers full text for the conference papers of the North American Association of Environmental Education.

New... Keeping Current

Librarian Lynn Hoffmann passes along this announcement about RefAware, a service now offered by RefWorks, to customize research alerts: For a preview of RefAware, click here, and for additional information about setting up research alerts from the library, click here.

RefWorks is pleased to announce the public debut of RefAware, an online personal research assistant and monitoring service that enables members of the academic community and other researchers to stay abreast of the latest publications and research in their field instantly. This simple-to-use service allows researchers to be alerted when new articles are available – most within hours of publication and many even pre-publication. With the ability to create separate search queries, researchers can now use RefAware to keep them informed of “up-to-the-minute” information based on their unique research interests. Providing one source, for a variety of research data, RefAware constantly scours the internet for the latest information and automatically delivers newly found data through an alerting service. Harnessing the speed and accessibility of the Internet, RefAware provides a comprehensive, real-time picture of today’s global research.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Check is in the Mail...

Since the government is sending you a fat check and wants you to go out and fatten up the economy, it seemed like an appropriate time to talk about being an informed consumer and promoting a tried and true publication, Consumer Reports.... easily found in our library, of course. It's on the web, but the good stuff isn't free.

Consumer Reports, if you are unfamiliar, tests products rigorously and objectively, accepts no advertising, and is full of good info and rankings on everything from the best cars (April 2008) to the best laptops (November 2007) to the best sunscreens (May 2008) to the best cell phone plans (January 2008) to the best cereals (September 2006).

These are the people who jump on beds 350 times to see if they hold up. We still get the magazine in paper and you can read it online in the Academic OneFile, Academic Search Complete, Business Source Premier, and Academic Universe databases (see Databases A-Z). The Annual Buying Guide is also awesome. They have been doing this since the 1930's.

This has nothing to do with the wonderfully weird photos just released from their testing archive honest, but enjoy... (from Gawker)

From the early days: a hair dryer test from the 1960's, a toy dog test (do you really need a lab coat for that?) a record player for your car, and a sunglasses test gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Friday, April 04, 2008

All the News from Lake Libraryland...

World Book and Copyright Day... on April 23, the day that Shakespeare, Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died in 1616. And speaking of Shakespeare, here is a fun site from Renee Tkacik that allows you to construct your own Shakespearean insults, you saucy, paper-faced hedge pig, you.

Funny fashion commentary on ALA's READ posters from a blog I want to start reading, Your Neighborhood Librarian via

All at once... 80 Online Resources for Book Lovers from Kevin Bondelli's YD Blog, with more resources in the comments.

More National Library Week videos... Super Sized, Vending Machine, Go Fish.

Quit with the bookshelves already.

Text me that call number... from I have seen students doing this in our library, by positioning one friend on the catalog and one in the stacks.

And that brings us to the end of another jolly week at Bailey Library.... where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking and all of the children are above average. Tip o' the hat to Garrison Keillor... listen to his Writer's Almanac podcast for some soothing entertainment and painless elucidation.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Science of Search...

Browse + Search + Ask = Find... some serious talk about the process of searching and web analytics from Louis Rosenfeld, user experience expert.

And some frivolous examples...

Picollator... find faces that match. Read more... So far, I have tried Abigail Adams and George Clooney with no luck. Sorry to disappoint.

Find the nearest golf course.

Search obsolete military manuals.

Watch TV, Read...

Have you watched the HBO version of David McCullough's John Adams?

The Library of Congress offers original documents, images and more in their research guide.

You could check out the book... in our collection at E322 .M38 2001, but someone else already has it signed out.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

New, Free "Green" Resources...

Recently, EBSCO Publishing announced the release of GreenFILE, a bibliographic database of information about environmental concerns. This database is being made freely available and will be listed with the library's databases. GreenFILE indexes scholarly and general interest titles, as well as government documents and reports. This resource offers a unique perspective on the positive and negative ways humans affect the environment. Drawing on the connection between the environment and disciplines such as agriculture, education, law, health and technology, GreenFILE serves as an informative resource for anyone concerned about the issues facing our planet. The database contains nearly 300,000 records, full text for selected titles and searchable cited references for more than 200 titles as well.

A Day Without Google...

is like a day without sunshine, but in western Pennsylvania we are used to that. The owners at AltSearchEngines encourage searchers to go without Google for a day on April 1. In their words, "it will be okay... really." Instead, try one of the many alternative search engines listed here. I've heard good things about Exalead. Not hating on Google, but you should go ahead and try something new once in a while!