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, May 07, 2008

This Art Speaks to Me...

or I wish someone would speak to me about this art. Where did it come from? Who are the artists? What does it mean? I just noticed this at the corner of the library on the patio a couple of days ago.

Some theories are as follows...
Bill Huber: It's a tribute to the internet and how information travels through the "tubes"...
Me and Rita talking: Maybe it's a tribute to interlibrary loan and how books are sent from one place to another...
Me thinking to myself: Maybe since it is furnace ductwork, it's some sort of Fahrenheit 451 censorship statement!

What's your theory? It's very interesting and has created discussion here. Artists, come forward!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Summer Reading....

Time to catch up with some current and classic... Enjoy!

NY Times Bestseller Lists
Summer Reading Online
You Must Read This
Barnes and Noble Book Clubs

New York Times Notable Books 2007, available in our Reading Room... Check the corner bookcase, check for a NYT Notable label on the spine, and check it out!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Seen on the Second Floor....

pj guy.... and pj guy's friend. They have on cute flannel pj pants and are carrying sleeping bags and pillows. No books that I could see... but hey, it's important to be well rested for Finals Week also.

It has actually been quiet, just productive noise so far, but I thought this might be a good time to share the "noise alarm" that some libraries are using. How much fun would that be? I would want to see if I could get the lights to flash, wouldn't you?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Free Comic Book Day!

This always sneaks up on me. Here's a handy participating store locator.
<-- Look, there's a new version of the old Classics Illustrated in the list.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Bits and Pieces....

The Boolify search engine... illustrates exactly what we are talking about when we discuss all that and, or, not stuff.

Still trying to promote Exalead... It has previews, you can make your own little gallery of frequently consulted pages, also fancy advanced searching, and sparkling video and image search that let you specify length, size, etc.

Some fun t-shirts from Unshelved...

Turn Bytes Into Books... I've actually used the Blurb software for this. Seems like there is a business model here for scrapbooking, make-your-own cookbooks, portfolios, etc. I want to save my timeless blog prose for posterity.

World's largest audio-visual archive from the Library of Congress... want to hear the oldest song ever recorded? Au Clair de la Lune, 1860... not much of a beat but I think I can dance to it.

Are you a fan of crazy Australian people promoting libraries? Enjoy...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Recently Read and Heard...

Mississippi Sissy by Kevin Sessums. A frank (very graphic! Don't go rolling up to Giant Eagle with your windows down and frighten the citizens!) memoir about a young boy who does not follow in his athletic father's footsteps in terms of overt "masculinity." His father is killed in an accident, his mother dies soon after of cancer and he and his siblings are raised by grandparents. I was touched by his struggles, amused by his desire to be addressed as Arlene Francis, fascinated by his friendship with Eudora Welty and horrified by some of his experiences. He was molested by a predatory minister and the first to discover the body of a dear friend who had been brutally murdered. An "outsider biography" that helps to open a window on what life was like for a young gay man growing up in the South...

School Days by Robert B. Parker. Spencer gets hired, Spencer investigates, Spencer interviews a lot of people, Spencer roughs a few of them up and shoots a bad guy. All that and he still has time to take care of the dog Pearl while his lady love, Susan Silverman, is out of town. He also temporarily rescues a broken teenager, a noble effort that ends tragically. In this audio version, Spencer is investigating a school shooting and uncovers a whole nest of nastiness. I like this series and like Joe Montegna as the narrator, but I don't understand why he says "said" so much. "I said, he said, she said..." I don't think that works so well with books so full of dialogue.

Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris. This is one of the "hot" new books, detailing the decline of an advertising agency and the lives of the soon-to-be-furloughed employees. There are comparisons to The Office television show certainly.... whenever someone leaves, quits, gets fired, dies, other workers switch and take their office chair, presumed to be a better, more comfortable seat. This amuses me because I am currently sitting in a chair that has been handed down among three employees at the library. And yes, it is very comfortable. There is inter-office romance and general insanity. There is a heavy air of self-obsession, you know how we all analyze and discuss work-related events and characters. So, this is a funny book... but situated in the middle of this humorous account is a very sad short story about breast cancer and fear, very moving really. And while I was congratulating myself on my critical perceptions, it turned out that the author was aware of this story set in the center of the book too (imagine!) and that one of the characters uses that story and gets a novel published five years later. An enjoyable read, short listed for the National Book Award. What happened to Joe though?

Out by Natsuo Kirino. A plot summary sounds very grisly for this mystery/crime novel but I enjoyed this book immensely and am looking forward to another by the same author, perhaps aptly titled Grotesque. Four women work the night shift in a boxed lunch factory in Tokyo. Their lives are grim by varying degrees. One, abused by her husband, murders him... and the other three dispose of the body by cutting it up and leaving it in parks and rubbish bins around the city. (I told you it was grisly.) One of the women is foolish and needy, deeply in debt... that's right, she can't keep her mouth shut and things unravel in strange and unexpected ways. The characters were excellent, the descriptions just vibrated with gritty realism, I was intrigued. Winner of the Grand Prix, Japan's top mystery award.

Up All Night....

The library will be open 24 hours during Finals Week, beginning Sunday, May 4 at 1:00 p.m. and closing on Friday, May 9 at 5:00 p.m.

This is a good time to remind everyone that the third floor is the QUIET zone... groups that need to converse and collaborate should find study space on the second and first floors. Put your cell phones on vibrate and be considerate of others, please.