Friday, November 17, 2006

Scout Report

Friday is the day the Scout Report arrives and I look forward to it every week as one of the best compendiums of great websites. So instead of having me pick my favorite, why don't you go directly to the Scout Project yourself and check it out. The animated periodic table is certainly worth trying. If I had time, I'd love to watch the "Against All Odds" statistic videocasts. Moving Images: Pinewood Dialogues is another one I would love to spend a few hours with. Scout Project even offers a Macintosh program, Ebbinghaus, for making flash cards in the Network Tools section this week--excellent.

For fun try this Greeting Card Generator.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

URL Utility

How many times have you tried to send a webpage link--a URL--to a friend only to find that it won't fit on one line and therefore just clicking it won't open the desired page. Jim Blansett of the UA Education library sent links to these three utilities for shortening these unwieldy addresses. Just click on one of these and paste the long link into the box. It will generate a nice tidy little URL that anyone can click on and might even remember.

*Make-A-Shorter-Link:* http://makeashorterlink.com/index.php

*TinyURL:* http://tinyurl.com/

*NotLong* http://notlong.com

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

ESTC [English Short-Title Catalog] Free Online

History people--take note! Librarians, remember Pollard and Redgrave and Wing and the Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue? It is all here, online, for free, from the British Library, sponsored by a number of grants and foundations.

For "regular" people it is: "bibliographic records for all surviving letter press material in the British Isles and North America before 1801, held by the British Library and over 2000 other institutions worldwide. . . . The project documents all types of printed material including letterpress books, pamphlets, newspapers, serials, advertisements, election handbills and a variety of other printed material. The coverage extends to items printed in all languages in the British Isles and beyond, to Colonial America, United States of America (1776-1800), Canada, or territories governed by Britain before 1801.

This is a catalog; not full-text. But as a catalog it does tell you the locations (library/ies) that hold each of these items. Some may well be full-text online in other places on the Internet, but this is incredibly valuable as a place to verify the exact title, author, edition with full description, and the actual existence of an item in a particular collection.

Search for Franklin Benjamin as an exact phrase to pull up every item that he printed, as well as his writings, of course.

I love Open Access on the Internet! js

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Library flooding and London this summer

These have nothing to do with each other:

Saturday night a hot water pipe burst on the 4th floor of the south side (old side) of the library drenching our storage room, my classroom on 3rd floor, Government Documents/Serials offices, and even down into the utility room on the first floor. Lost some computers, some documents and extra carpeting and all of our Christmas decorations. But as we all go around saying: "It could have been worse."



This is the "Summer Classes in London" table in the Student Center today. Look for it tomorrow between 11 and 2, and stop. We will give you info on how you can take one or two courses in London this summer or in the future. Actually there are several destinations and lots of possible courses that will count as USA courses. And if you plan ahead you may even be able to apply financial aid.

International exposure was always a requirement for a truly educated person. Want to know what the rest of the world is like--you won't get it from the Mobile Press Register or from any textbook. You have to experience it yourself. These programs are one of the easiest and cheapest ways for you to go abroad. Ask me about it if you can't make it to the SC tomorrow. js

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

American Routes

Combine New Orleans and music. Easy. Then add Internet radio and Katrina. js

Friday, November 03, 2006

Library Workout Tape

Vickey Baggott, Docs. Librarian, has sent a link to some very timely documents:
Your right, your Privilege, your DUTY -- GO VOTE!!!
In honor of that time of year, I've selected some government publications, new & old, that look at what our voting system has been like in the past and what it might be in the future. You can find these pubs in the Government Documents Department located on the 2nd floor-South of the University Library. Also, check out our new "Vote" display table near our maps area and our wall display case located on the 3rd floor-South by the west stairwell. And, remember to VOTE on November 7th. VB

And for your weekend edification:
This is YouTube video is particularly for library staff, but I'm sure many of our students and other faculty would enjoy this self-help video. A little dated as it was made in the 80s, but still relevant for us. http://youtube.com/watch?v=_k8BKX2eQ0Q js

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quality Info on the Web

Yes, it is possible to find really excellent scholarly information on the public Internet. The public Internet is what you find when you search using a regular search engine like Google. The private Internet is that part which has to be paid for--the databases and electronic journals that you get through the library homepage because the Library pays for it. I used to say that the public Internet info was unreliable, biased and generally a waste of time. But I don't say that anymore, because the Web is definitely changing. More scholars, new publishers and libraries are going Open Access. Since scholars seldom get paid for their published research, the only reason they might care to keep their articles in subscription sources would be if it affected their promotion and tenure decisions and their professional prestige. As universities and other scholars come to understand that quality is not a function of cost, this is gradually changing. Here's an article worth reading which also lists and links to some of the best sources for free information on the Internet. I will try to compile a shorter list of these sources for the Electronic Books link on our homepage, but for now, try this article. js

"The Changing Face of the Scholarly Web: Finding Free, Quality, Full-Text Articles, Books, and More! [Available Full-Text, Free]"
By Robert J. Lackie - in the online journal MultiMedia $ Internet@Schools
Posted Jul 1, 2006 http://www.mmischools.com/Articles/ReadArticle.aspx?ArticleID=11534

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Government Documents for Halloween and More

Vickey Baggott over in Government Documents sent me this website on scary documents for Halloween.

And because I won't be in to work tomorrow I'll give you your "learning activity" website for your weekend pleasure. art.comArtPad. Try your hand at painting with no cost, no mess, no talent. You can even email it to some one you think might actually appreciate your effort. js

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Our Very Own Rembrandt!

Dr. Richard Wood, Dean of the Libraries, made this announcement today:
The university community is invited to see an etching of Rembrandt from 1634 entitled "The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds" at the University Library. This framed work is located in front of the circulation desk in the elevator area of the library's atrium. A gift of the 1968 graduating class, this original print by Rembrandt represents the finest etching of his earliest period. Only 28 years of age at the time, Rembrandt worked his copper plate over and over again to achieve a remarkable detail and powerful light/dark contrasts. Following closely the Gospel of St. Luke 2: 8-19, Rembrandt made the etching a night piece (for the shepherds were "keeping watch over their
flocks by nights"). Rembrandt shows the panic of the shepherds and their animals when confronted by the Angel of the annunciation who appeared in a blinding flash of light high in the clouds.

Monday, October 23, 2006

World Data Analyst

We finished all the EH 102 INTRO TO LIBRARY RESEARCH on Saturday of last week so I hope to get back to blogging "normally" this week. I just discovered this database/electronic reference book--World Data Analyst. It's the last link on the left under Electronic Reference Books on the library homepage and comes via the Alabama Virtual Library and Encyclopaedia Britannica. What's cool about it is that you can create tables and charts comparing data between two or more different countries. And there are several variables available. From simple population to calories consumed, cell phone subscription, miles of railway lines, military imports and exports, and many more. Choose your countries; add them to a list; choose the variables; and create a table or chart.
js