Friday, December 21, 2007

Ten Videos to Change How You View the World

These are 20-minute videos that destroy a lot of our common misconceptions, especially those "we're all going to hell in a handbasket" ones. A good way to start the new year--with hope.
Ten Videos

And this YouTube video is perhaps the most humorous personal epitaph ever 'written.' It is not maudlin. It is not meant to be emo. It's fascinating and maybe even inspirational.

Dying Professor's Last Lecture

Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch expects to die from cancer in a couple of weeks, so he delivered a hopeful last lecture on his life's lessons.

Have a great holiday. js

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Forget Presents--Transuming is the New Trend

Don't have a gift for your adult children. Not to worry. They don't want things; they want "experiences" --or of course the cash to buy the experiences.

"After all, in our Experience Economy, the temporary, the transient, is increasingly being valued if not worshipped on a daily basis."

Read this Trendwatchers article: Transumers

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Without Snow

One of the listservs I read regularly is from the Poynter Institute's Peter Roy Clark, author of Writing Tools. He just sent this link from his blog--a YouTube video of his performance of a Christmas song from the heart of Florida. Might be something you want to forward to your Northern friends and relatives.
Christmas Without Snow.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

M-W #1 Word of the Year

Word of the Year and 9 others.

I am shocked! How can the word of the year be one I have never heard or seen! Shocked!
The rest of the top ten are depressing as ever with a couple of good ones thrown in: quixotic, conundrum, blamestorming(love this one). js

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Spendthrift or Tightwad: It's Genetic! and PNC

I thought this article to be most appropriate at this time of year if only to rationalize your holiday shopping habits.

Design of Desire


Christmas Price Index--How much have the 12 gifts of Christmas increased since last year.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

"Is Pizza still Safe to eat if it sits out over night?"

Paula Webb, The Government Documents Librarian has posted a new HotDocs on Food Safety with the answer to this crucial question.


Science Animations
Checkout these science animations if want a visual way to understand science for a final: biology, chemistry, physics, ecology, anatomy, geology, astronomy and all the those inbetween.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Build Your Vocabulary and Feed the Hungry

International Aid ― A Solution

"Almost all of the deaths from hunger and disease that you see on this site can be stopped. The cost to do this is about $195 billion a year, according to the United Nations. Twenty-two developed countries below have pledged to work towards each giving 0.7% (a little less than 1%) of their national income in international aid, which would raise the $195 billion. Some countries are slow to meet their pledge."

"The website FreeRice ( has two purposes. First, they want to help people improve their English vocabulary. The site gives you a word and four possible synonyms. Get it right, and you advance to a higher level with tougher words. At the same time, advertisers who appear at the bottom of the screen donate 10 grains of rice per correct word to the World Food Programme, which in turn sends it to countries in need around the world. As of now, FreeRice has paid for just under 4 billion grains of rice, hovering at around 200 million grains per day. Not bad considering it launched on October 7 with 830 grains!" LIS News 28 Nov.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Books Make the Best Holiday Presents

To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence
National Endowment for the Arts, Research Report #47, November 2007

Nearly half of all Americans ages 18 to 24 read no books for pleasure.
The percentage of 18- to 44-year-olds who read a book fell 7 points from 1992 to 2002.

By the time they become college seniors, one in three students read nothing at all for pleasure in a given week.

Teens and young adults spend less time reading than people of other age groups.

15- to 24-year-olds spend only 7–10 minutes per day on voluntary reading—about 60% less time than the average American.

By contrast, 15- to 24-year-olds spend 2 to 2½ hours per day watching TV.

58% of middle and high school students use other media while reading. Students report using media during 35% of their weekly reading time. 20% of their reading time is shared by TV-watching, video/computer gameplaying, instant messaging, e-mailing orWeb surfing.

The number of books in a home is a significant predictor of academic success.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Need Something to Be Thankful For

"DailyGood is a free, daily email service that delivers a little bit of inspiring goodness to 65,374 people without any costs, advertising or agendas. Simply to spread the good."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Finding Articles-Writing Outreach Today at 3:30

Writing Outreach today at 3:30 (till about 4:20) in the Library Auditorium will demonstrate some of the best databases and some research strategies you may need to write a good research paper. Bring your topic so we can explore specific databases relevant to your topic.

If you missed your EH 102 library session, this is really important for you.
See you there. Jan Sauer

Monday, November 05, 2007

Watch Wikipedia Being Edited

This slightly strange website shows Wikipedia edits from around the world. These are anonymous editors with IP addresses so the location can be noted. I got it from a list called ResearchBuzz. This is what RB says: "I like tools like this because they put a nice element of randomness in my brain -- pages and topics presented with no context or introduction. It's like a mint for my skull."

Try it for a couple of minutes and offer your brain a mint.
Wikipedia Vison

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Class assignment: Write an original Wikipedia article

Students might learn an awful lot about writing for a real audience, good researching, objectivity, and the value and limitations of Wikipedia if their instructors would make the assignment this one did.

Wikipedia actually has an exhaustive list of "stubs"--those topics that need more info.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Oblique Strategies

You know how sometimes when you are trying to write you hit a wall--the famous "writer's block." I don't know how I actually got to this website, but I found these cards which are supposed to get you to think differently, change direction, break through the block by offering truly oblique, and often enigmatic, directions or allusions. Even if they don't seem relevant, the writer is supposed to try them. It is kind of like opening the Bible, or one's own sacred text, and reading a random passage when having to make a decision. It breaks the old, stale train of thought and offers new insight [and verifies that one can read almost anything into a particular text.] However it works, it may be useful to all those trying to write termpapers or articles or books and get stuck in the clichéd.

Download the new editionfrom this webpage. Print them. Cut them into cards. Choose one. Viola, brilliance will emerge from your pen or brush!

"The deck itself had its origins in the discovery by Brian Eno that both he and his friend Peter Schmidt (a British painter whose works grace the cover of "Evening Star" and whose watercolours decorated the back LP cover of Eno's "Before and After Science" and also appeared as full-size prints in a small number of the original reeases) tended to keep a set of basic working principles which guided them through the kinds of moments of pressure - either working through a heavy painting session or watching the clock tick while you're running up a big buck studio bill. Both Schmidt and Eno realized that the pressures of time tended to steer them away from the ways of thinking they found most productive when the pressure was off. The Strategies were, then, a way to remind themselves of those habits of thinking - to jog the mind." from this webpage

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

HotDocs on Fire Prevention and Safety

Paula Webb has put together a collection of Government Documents on Fire Prevention and Safety.

Come to the Second Floor, South side, to see a display of print documents on the same topic including the original Smokey Bear memorabilia.

“I give my pledge as an American to save and faithfully to defend from waste the natural resources of my country – its soil and minerals, its forests, waters and wildlife”

Friday, October 26, 2007

ZipSkinny--Who are Your Neighbors? & Tech Fair

Try this app and get demographic info from the Census on your neighborhood. Compare your area with other zips.

Come see us between 10 & 4 in the Ballroom. Ellen Wilson is doing LibX, a cool browser add-on; Kathy Wheeler is talking about tagging with and LibraryThing, your own personal library catalog; I'm postering on the various cool tools available through Google.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Technology Fair Tomorrow

Come to the Student Center Ballroom tomorrow between 10 and 4 for the (1st Annual?) Technology Fair. Kathy Wheeler, Ellen Wilson and I will be demonstrating some Web 2.0 kinds of technology--all of it free. Kathy is going to do and LibraryThing. Ellen was going to entitle hers "Pimping my Firefox," but settled for "Supercharge your Browser." I'm going to reprise my role as The Google Lady, briefing whoever dares to stop, or I can grab, about the uses of several of the Google Search and Productivity Tools like Docs & Spreadsheets, Calendar, Presentations, Finance and anything else I can fit on my posterboard this afternoon. Come visit us!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Starting Your Christmas Shopping?

I know I'm really digging here. I haven't found much that intrigues me lately--probably more me than the outside world in that endless middle of the semester with none of the excitement of the new and none of the anticipation of the finish.

Marylaine Block
came up with this site today. For those of you with kids or little brothers and sisters, this is a good site for recommendations for presents for ages 0 to 12.

Dr. Toy's 100 Best Products of 2007

"Stevanne Auerbach, an author and expert on educational and skill building
toys offers parents a useful guide to some of the year's best products.
For each item, she gives a brief evaluation, the intended age level,
image, price, and the manufacturer's website."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Word of Warning to Students--and Faculty

Plagiarism, Education, and Information Security

Julie J.C.H. Ryan
George Washington University
Sept./Oct. 2007

"From 1997 to 2002, I caught an average of 18 percent of the students in my graduate-level information security classes plagiarizing large portions of papers (some copied in full) and turning them in as class assignments. This doesn’t include students who plagiarized small portions of papers or who were guilty of plagiarism by paraphrasing. Since 2002, the percentage has declined and the style of plagiarism has changed. At first blush, it appears to be an encouraging trend, but students’ attitudes and opinions haven’t changed much at all. On the contrary, very few students actually appreciate the need for academic integrity, specifically in writing, whereas the pervasive attitude appears to be that the checks performed on papers is simply a game—indeed, it’s one that many feel they can play successfully."

Full Text of the article

See also:
For Faculty
For Students

Thursday, October 04, 2007

HotDocs from Paula Webb

This is the debut HotDocs posting for our new Gov. Docs librarian. Check it out. I really like Paula's use of to create a linkable bibliography. is probably the web application that I use the most to keep track of my favorite websites.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Ghosting the Research--A Warning

It is truly hard to be a librarian these days. Skepticism about information can so easily turn into cynicism. I've read about this problem before--pharmaceutical company shills writing articles and getting researchers to front them. But here is another article proving that this is not just an aberration, but a common practice. Can I really tell students to use our medical databases, because they carry more reliable information than the public web? Not sure anymore.

These abbreviations will help you understand the article:
CHC, Complete Healthcare Communications;
CMD, Current Medical Directions;
CRO, contract research organization;
MECC, medical education and communication company

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Writing OutReach--Finding Books

Tomorrow, Thurs. Sept27th
Writing Outreach
Library Auditorium
Finding Books for Your Research

This is the first session of two on Finding Information Sources. This one concentrates on finding books. I know, everyone want to get full text online and books seem to mean that you have to actually come into the library (what a hassle!), find the call number(a mystery code), find the actual book in the stacks(confusing as heck) and then, heaven forbid, check it out at the Circ desk(student id needed).

Let me assure you that using books is worth all the effort you have to put into acquiring them. AAAANNNNNNDDDDD, there are some excellent books online. You just have to know where to look. Most books fall under copyright restrictions so most of the books online are at least 75 years old. Though not all. The library subscribes to some online books and there are some great websites that offer copyleft books.

Come to the session and let me show you a few tricks of the trade (Yes, librarians are full of tricks. What a wonderful profession.). JS

PS. If you need a tickie to prove to your instructor that you actually attended, come up after the session and I will give you one.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Localizing Google Scholar

I'm encountering more students and faculty who have discovered Google Scholar. Google Scholar is Google's attempt at creating a database of relevant information about scholarly books and articles. Those books and articles that have free full-text on the web can be linked to directly. The problem arises when the article is from a publisher who holds the copyright and only wants to allow subscribers ($$$ paid)to have access to these articles. If you are a faculty, staff or student at South Alabama you MAY have access to these articles IF the library subscribes to the journal. But you have to make your association clear to Google.
On the homepage of Google Scholar to the right of the search box click on the words "Scholar Preferences." In about the middle of the page that comes up enter "University of South Alabama" next to the words Library Links.

Click on the words "Find Library." A line with our schools name will show up below this box. Check the box in front of our name. Now Google Scholar will let you know which of the journals we subscribe to by indicating "USA eText" next to the citations returned. Click on "USA eText." On the next screen pick a USA Library subscription database through which you can access the article.

Google has not, or will not, let us know which publishers are included in this "database." Your best bet for a thorough search on your topic is to use the library databases. Sure, supplement with Google Scholar, but be aware that much more may be available through the library's subscriptions to databases and online journals. Limiting yourself to only one tool is never a good idea. Talk to your librarians about where you might go to find the best info on your chosen topic.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Games for the Brain

Toys for the weekend--or before. Games for the Brain

If you are at all like me and spend hard time conquering a new technology or wrapping your head around a foreign concept or worrying about your finances, you probably find that taking a vacation or even just a break doing something totally devoid of that specific kind of thinking gives you the distance and perspective to tackle the problem afresh. That's what hobbies and travel and sleep AND computer games are for--aerobics for different parts of the brain.

Try some of these if you just have a ten minute break. They are fun. Each one calls for a different way of coming to an answer. Some require memory, some making odd connections. I haven't tried them all, but I will--though I may skip the memory ones so as not to become too depressed. js

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Old Magazine Articles .com

Old Magazine Articles .com
This site is one of the reasons I can never discourage a student from using the Web. Matt Jacobson, affiliation and credentials unknown, has taken it upon himself to scan old out-of-copyright articles and mount them as pdfs. Old articles are hard to find in library databases with the exception of JSTOR. The articles on this website are of a more popular genre and provide those kinds of primary documents that are so interesting to read because they contain clues to the culture of the time they were written. They are all pdfs.

Here's the "About Us:" is a private undertaking and the effort of one old magazine enthusiast in particular who believes deeply that today's readers of history can learn a good deal from the old periodicals. It is a primary source website and is designed to serve as a reference for students, educators, authors, researchers, dabblers, dilettantes, hacks and the merely curious. The old articles, essays, poetry, cartoons and photographs that can be found on the site have all been collected from a number of different libraries, bookshops and yard sales throughout the United States and Europe. The topics selected reflect the whims of the editor as well as the growing interests of the internet community. To the best of our understanding, all the content is in the public domain . . .

I picked up this website from an email from Research Buzz. Check it out.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Wikiscanner--Whitewashers Are Not Quite Anonymous Anymore

Virgil Griffith, a graduate of Mobile's own Math and Science High School has made big news this week by developing a piece of software that points to who is doing anonymous editing of Wikipedia articles on government or corporate entities. Sorry FBI, FEMA, EXXON and other biggies--you are going to have to work harder to hide your positive spins.

"How does WikiScanner work?
When you make an edit to Wikipedia, you have two choices. First, you can register and leave your username, or you can edit anonymously. But, when you edit anonymously, it uses your IP address, a number which identifies what computer network are you from, in lieu of a username. Wikipedia does this for convenience to distinguish your anonymous edits from someone else's anonymous edits. In essence, WikiScanner combines two databases: (1) The list of all IP adresses that have made edits to Wikipedia, and (2) What IP addresses belong to which companies. So with WikiScanner you can type a company name, and it shows you what edits have come from IP addresses owned by that company."

Virgil Griffith says,

". . . I've found three common kinds of vandalism.
Wholesale removal of entire paragraphs of critical information. (common for both political figures and corporations)

White-washing -- replacing negative/neutral adjectives with positive adjectives that mean something similar. (common for political figures)

Adding negative information to a competitor's page. (common for corporations)"

Try it this weekend. Great fun being a detective.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wikimindmap and Wikirage

Research Buzz is one of the blogs I track to keep up with the new, weird, or even possibly useful, sites on the web. Two items appeared this week one of which is under the "possibly useful" category; the other is more on the weird part of the continuum.

One of the hardest things for any student researcher to do is to find a focus when doing a library paper. Faculty sometimes fail to realize that students have not yet found their interests, their passion. Nothing is more fun for an academic than to hunt and find overlooked or new info on a subject with which they are intimately familiar. They already have a built in skeleton on which to place the new bit.

What happens when a student is assigned a paper in a course about which they only have some rudimentary conceptual framework, if that. They flounder; they doubt; they despair; sometimes they plagiarize. (At least that's the part the librarians see.) I think that anything that will help students find a focus and think about ways to narrow an idea into a workable, researchable, and maybe even interesting, subject is worth mention. Sometime ago I mentioned EBSCO's visual search as one way for a student to find focus. Now someone has found a way to mine Wikipedia for broader, narrower and related concepts. It's called Wikimindmap ( Here's the "About." Try some general topic like "advertising" and play with the ways one can use it to brainstorm a concept.

The other app is Wikirage--a website that compiles a list of the most edited Wikipedia entries. Like those sites that rate the most frequently accessed or emailed websites, it tracks the Zeitgeist of the hour, the day, the month.

While exploring these sites I also ran across this webpage: Ten Things You Should Know About Wikipedia. Number 6 should probably be on every syllabus.

"#6 We do not expect you to trust us.

It is in the nature of an ever-changing work like Wikipedia that, while some articles are of the highest quality of scholarship, others are admittedly complete rubbish. We are fully aware of this. We work hard to keep the ratio of the greatest to the worst as high as possible, of course, and to find helpful ways to tell you in what state an article currently is. Even at its best, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, with all the limitations that entails. It is not a primary source. We ask you not to criticize Wikipedia indiscriminately for its content model but to use it with an informed understanding of what it is and what it isn't. Also, as some articles may contain errors, please do not use Wikipedia to make critical decisions."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Academic Kvetch Site

Kvetch is not quite the right word, but it is lovely! This website listed by Marylaine Block this week is every reference librarian's dream/nightmare. Submissions by libs and academics of books and authors NOT TO USE. Wonder: can one write a book containing all the bad information you need to forget? And what about libel and revenge, not unknown in the academic universe.

Bad Sources - Making Light
Attention reference librarians: Teresa Neilsen-Hayden invites submissions for reference works scholarly or reference works "so bad that you must never, ever cite them, lest you be cruelly mocked by your fellows." It's a question worth thinking about, and there are many responses here, though librarians will probably discount those that offer no explanations for the selection.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Plagiarism is Easy; Being Original Not So

Hoke Robinson argued on The Humanist Forum:

A single fraudulent grade could in practice make the difference; a series of them certainly could. In this case some other, presumably honest student who would otherwise have gotten the scholarship, admission or job has been wronged. And the higher the level, the greater the wrong, from the plagiarized intro-course essay to the term paper to a masters and doctoral dissertation. The misrepresentation gets you on the bench, and somewhere in the end, in the dark, somebody falls off.

Taken from an excellent webpage called "ACADEMIC PLAGIARISM DEFINED" by Professor Irving Hexham. U. of Calgary.

Now, at the beginning of the semester, is a good time for faculty and students to talk about plagiarism. This website also gives lots of examples of original, plagiarized and properly cited information.

I've also got a site "Plagiarism--A Guide for Instructors" that might be useful for deciding why, when and how plagiarism affects both students and faculty. The University licenses a utility called Turnitin to help detect plagiarism. It's an instrument, sometimes a useful tool, for detection, but does it teach students to think or does it just challenge them to defeat the instrument. The best strategy for both students and instructors is to head it off; design assignments that can't be plagiarized. Takes time, takes thought, takes attention. Being original is hard--on both sides of the desk.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Library Exploration

OK. OK. I know that taking a library tour seems pretty lame. Don't think of it as a tour. Think of it as an opportunity to see where the best conversations in the world take place. There are people in those books yelling at each other about what is true and what isn't--across time and across geography. Love letters too. Sometimes the oldest arguments and love letters are the most interesting. This is really the biggest cocktail party in the world going on this building. To appreciate it you just have to find the intimate conversations and arguments that interest you. Often there is a knock-down drag-out fight going on in current periodicals. If you think that learning is boring, you just haven't found the fight you should be in. Take a tour. See what we have. Browse the stacks. Cruise the hundreds of encyclopedias in Reference. Check out a dvd. Here's the schedule. Surely you are free during one of these.
Tour Schedule

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wikis and RSS in Plain English

The perfect tutorials--short, great examples, fun.

YouTube - Wikis in Plain English 3 min. 52 seconds

YouTube - RSS in Plain English 3.5 minutes

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

InfoMania - Information Overload

Ironically I am contemplating the results of this research article on the effects of information overload on "knowledge workers" as I sit at my desk waiting for the beep that indicates I have a new email in my inbox. Though the article couches its results in terms of loss of productivity--the way everything seems to be measured in the media these days--it makes some great points that I realize apply to most academics. We are the ultimate "knowledge workers." We think that those of us who eschew email are old-fashioned. We watch our students text messaging, instant messaging, using Facebook and MySpace and who knows what other communication methods invented yesterday. Maybe it is time to step back and look at our own brains on constant, instant and often irrelevant communication.

Try this research article in First Monday.

Infomania: Why We Wan’t Afford to Ignore It Any Longer
by Nathan Zeldes, David Sward, and Sigal Louchheim

The creative thinking process requires long stretches of uninterrupted time, to study books, articles and online resources, and to process information, sorting it mentally and generating insight. These activities take time as well as mental concentration, which builds up slowly and can easily be lost.

Field research demonstrates that restoring daily segments of contiguous “Quiet Time” can have a major effect of increasing productivity in development teams [21], [22]. Additional research shows a correlation between a fragmented work mode and reduced creativity [23].

In the past, such thinking time was core to the work paradigm. Newton got hit by that apple because he was sitting under a tree. Sitting and contemplating the world (what we now call “doing nothing”) was an expected part of a scientist’s routine. More recently, say ten years ago, employees could still expect to do some thinking – if no other way, after 5 PM, during the weekend, or by hiding in a conference room.

Today, the only time we can think is when the flight attendant orders us to close our notebooks prior to landing. At any other time – 24x7 – we’re accessible to beeping, alerting, attention–grabbing devices and software tools. We are expected to respond to them instantly. One perspective is that technology channels our thinking to multiple, mostly trivial problems instead of focusing on a few important ones where we can create real value.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Couple of Sites for Weekend Browsing

From Marylaine Block's weekly post:

"What Book Got You Hooked?
FirstBook, which gives away books to children, asked people to tell them
what book got them hooked on reading. "Over 100,000 people responded.
These are the Top 50 books that got YOU hooked!" No doubt everybody's
answers would be different, which makes this a great topic for
discussions and exhibits in your library."

"Smithsonian: Art and Design
A good place to sample or immerse yourself in the Smithsonian's
outstanding research and collections on design. Browse by type of design
(architecture, graphic arts, industrial design, stamps, letters and
coins, etc.), or by regions and cultures. Irresistible sample displays
from each category (lighthouse postcards, American lunchboxes, Asian
games, etc.) are available from the main page. Click on Ask Joan of Art
to have information specialists at the American Art Museum answer your

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Top 100 Tools for Learning

Here's a UK list, gathered from other lists, enumerating the most valued tools useful for educating students. It's interesting that the "written word" meaning words on paper only made it to 49. Guess students don't need "real" books much anymore, much less tools like library catalogs and databases--not mentioned at all.

What were the Brits thinking???

Top 100 Tools for Learning

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Newsmap--a news junkie's dream

I stashed this url in an email and just resurrected it while cleaning my desktop. Newsmap is a visual representation of the most recent stories from Google news aggregator by country and color-coded to 7 main topics and recency.

"Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator. . . . Its objective is to simply demonstrate visually the relationships between data and the unseen patterns in news media. It is not thought to display an unbiased view of the news; on the contrary, it is thought to ironically accentuate the bias of it."

How refreshing--to admit bias!


Friday, August 03, 2007

Non-Profit Research Reports and YouTube

I got this from today's Gary Price's Resource Shelf.
"IssueLab, which has been around for just about two years, is a project of the Chicago-based New Media for Nonprofits, which basically assists third sector organizations in creating and managing an online presence. Gabriela Fitz, IssueLab co-director, describes the site as
"an online publishing forum focused solely on research being produced by the third sector. Its mission is to bring nonprofit research into focus by giving a broad audience easy and open access to this extensive body of work." We would describe it, more simply, as a searchable archive of full-text nonprofit organization research and policy papers."

The second website, and a rather fun educational project, is a digital ethnography class from Kansas State University explaining YouTube by using YouTube.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


If you are like me there are hundreds of classic books you have never read. Ones that everyone assumes an educated person has read--and what respectable librarian wants to admit to such outrageous gaps in ones reading history. To the rescue--DailyLit--a website recommended by my well-read daughter. Have small chunks of classic, copyright-free books sent to you daily--a 5-10 minute read--either by email or rss feed. I have just browsed the list, but have not yet signed up for one. Maybe I can finally get through Joyce's Ulysses if it is fed to me in 332 parts! Maybe not. Free registration. js


Friday, July 27, 2007

Library Now Has Project Muse

If you haven't yet noticed the Muse icon on the bottom of our library homepage, please take notice! Project Muse might be considered the "front-end" of JSTOR, both non-profits starting about the same time with Mellon Grants. JSTOR covers full text back issues of many humanities/social science type academic journals. Project Muse carries the full text, current issues of many of the same journals.

This is a great boon to the humanities faculty who have, till now, not had the convenience of lots of full text humanities journals available to them online. Great for students doing papers too. JS

Here's what Project Muse says about itself:

Project MUSE is a unique collaboration between libraries and publishers providing 100% full-text, affordable and user-friendly online access to over 300 high quality humanities, arts, and social sciences journals from 60 scholarly publishers.

MUSE began in 1993 as a pioneering joint project of the Johns Hopkins University Press and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at JHU. Grants from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities allowed MUSE to go live with JHU Press journals in 1995. Journals from other publishers were first incorporated in 2000, with additional university press and scholarly society publishers joining in each subsequent year.

Today, MUSE is still a not-for-profit collaboration between the participating publishers and MSEL, with the goal of disseminating quality scholarship via a sustainable model that meets the needs of both libraries and publishers. At this time, Project MUSE subscriptions are available only to institutions.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How Google is Making Us Stupid

Worth a thoughtful read.
"It is hard to conceive of a more succinct description of what might be called the Google Society, convinced it is on the verge of a bright, shiny, networked utopia linked by huge virtual libraries to all civilised wisdom even as it reduces its culture to machine-generated lists of what everyone else is looking at, so stupid that it does not realise how stupid it is." Gideon Haigh

Monday, July 23, 2007

Copyright Guidelines Chart

Instructors, if you are planning for your fall classes, this chart might be useful. It is slightly old, 2001, but most of the components are the same. I will have to do some research to see if there have been any updates, but I don't think there are.

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the U. S.
If you wish to print or publish on the Internet the works of others, this chart will help you decide whether the copyright police can throw you in the clink.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Confused by Science Info?

Welcome to the club! The Libraries have a large number of science databases. The Web is full of others. How do you know where to go first? So much depends on what you are looking for. Amy and I did some workshops for the undergrad research students this summer and have developed several webpages to help them. Maybe they can help you too:
But here's a list I just ran across in Gary Price's Resource Shelf Newsletter that enumerates and annotates the "free" sources of science information on the web. No one place has it all. If you must be comprehensive, then you need to utilize all of the possible places where information is stored. Spending time doing this background research can save you lab time and maybe even lives.
A Quick Look of a Few Free Science Search Tools (Scirus, Live Search Academic, Google Scholar, Scitopia, Global Science Gateway, and More)


Friday, July 13, 2007

Identity by Design and NYPL Digital Gallery

I've been thinking a lot lately about design. A new beach house. No money to furnish it. Lots of catalogs, magazines, HGTV and websites have me imagining possibilities. The title of this site grabbed by attention. Identity by Design. How we define ourselves by our clothing and furnishings has always intrigued me. The pictures and text of this Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian exhibit are incredible inspirations. Be sure to click the arrows on the right side of the screen to get the full exhibit--I missed them the first time around. js

Also try the incredible images from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery. You can even purchase framed or unframed digital copies of these images.

[From the Scout Report]

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Death by PowerPoint

I'm back from a week off -- and totally exhausted. Here's a link that Sue Medina of Network of Alabama Academic Libraries sent last week. It illustrates everything I believe about most PowerPoint presentations:

On the serious side of this issue, Edward Tufte, the guru of visual information, in this excerpt from his book (The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint) talks about the implications of the use of PowerPoint in technical communication:

Friday, June 29, 2007


It's summer; so hard to blog in the summer. Off next week with no Internet access--haven't done that in a while. So here's some stuff to consider. Back in a week-or so.

Items from the Resource Shelf

MIT's Reference page
Simple, uncluttered, useful.

Great skywatching tools at Sky & Telescope magazine:

Items from Marylaine Block

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer Solstice 1:06 P.M. Today

Have a little druidic dance right after lunch today--longest day of the year.

Thoughts on Facebook from Cornell Univ.

"Thoughts on Facebook"
Please read the full text of this article if you use Facebook.

Here is the conclusion:

"Facebook, along with much of the Internet, is a great innovation that allows users to express their humanity and an opportunity to create new communities. As such it represents a forum in which one can make choices about their identity, at least insofar as one chooses to represent themselves publicly. That freedom does not suggest that one can do so with impunity, however. Because we live in a society in which expression is judged in legal, policy and even personal ways, it is important to remember the consequences of that expression no matter how ephemeral or fun in the moment it might seem to be.
This essay offers some things to contemplate when using Facebook, all of which can be summed up easily in a "Golden Rule." Don't say anything about someone else that you would not want said about yourself. And be gentle with yourself too! What might seem fun or spontaneous at 18, given caching technologies, might prove to be a liability to an on-going sense of your identity over the longer course of history. Have fun and make productive use of these new, exciting technologies, but remember that technology does not absolve one of responsibility. Behind every device, behind every new program, behind every technology is a law, a social norm, a business practice that warrants thoughtful consideration."

by Tracy Mitrano, Director of IT Policy and Computer Policy & Law Program, Cornell University, April, 2006

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Beloit College Mindset List for class of 2010

1. The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.
2. They have known only two presidents.
3. For most of their lives, major U.S. airlines have been bankrupt.
4. Manuel Noriega has always been in jail in the U.S.
5. They have grown up getting lost in "big boxes."
6. There has always been only one Germany.
7. They have never heard anyone actually "ring it up" on a cash register.
8. They are wireless, yet always connected.
9. A stained blue dress is as famous to their generation as a third-rate burglary was to their parents'.
10. Thanks to pervasive headphones in the back seat, parents have always been able to speak freely in the front.
11. A coffee has always taken longer to make than a milkshake.
12. Smoking has never been permitted on U.S. airlines.
13. Faux fur has always been a necessary element of style.
14. The Moral Majority has never needed an organization.
15. They have never had to distinguish between the St. Louis Cardinals baseball and football teams.
16. DNA fingerprinting has always been admissible evidence in court.
17. They grew up pushing their own miniature shopping carts in the supermarket.
18. They grew up with and have outgrown faxing as a means of communication.
19. "Google" has always been a verb.
20. Text messaging is their email.
21. Milli Vanilli has never had anything to say.
22. Mr. Rogers, not Walter Cronkite, has always been the most trusted man in America.
23. Bar codes have always been on everything, from library cards and snail mail to retail items.
24. Madden has always been a game, not a Superbowl-winning coach.
25. Phantom of the Opera has always been on Broadway.
26. "Boogers" candy has always been a favorite for grossing out parents.
27. There has never been a "skyhook" in the NBA.
28. Carbon copies are oddities found in their grandparents' attics.
29. Computerized player pianos have always been tinkling in the lobby.
30. Non-denominational mega-churches have always been the fastest growing religious organizations in the U.S.
31. They grew up in mini-vans.
32. Reality shows have always been on television.
33. They have no idea why we needed to ask "...can we all get along?"
34. They have always known that "In the criminal justice system the people have been represented by two separate yet equally important groups."
35. Young women's fashions have never been concerned with where the waist is.
36. They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.
37. Brides have always worn white for a first, second, or third wedding.
38. Being techno-savvy has always been inversely proportional to age.
39. "So" as in "Sooooo New York," has always been a drawn-out adjective modifying a proper noun, which in turn modifies something else
40. Affluent troubled teens in Southern California have always been the subjects of television series.
41. They have always been able to watch wars and revolutions live on television.
42. Ken Burns has always been producing very long documentaries on PBS.
43. They are not aware that "flock of seagulls hair" has nothing to do with birds flying into it.
44. Retin-A has always made America look less wrinkled.
45. Green tea has always been marketed for health purposes.
46. Public school officials have always had the right to censor school newspapers.
47. Small white holiday lights have always been in style.
48. Most of them never had the chance to eat bad airline food.
49. They have always been searching for "Waldo."
50. The really rich have regularly expressed exuberance with outlandish birthday parties.
51. Michael Moore has always been showing up uninvited.
52. They never played the game of state license plates in the car.
53. They have always preferred going out in groups as opposed to dating.
54. There have always been live organ donors.
55. They have always had access to their own credit cards.
56. They have never put their money in a "Savings & Loan."
57. Sara Lee has always made underwear.
58. Bad behavior has always been getting captured on amateur videos.
59. Disneyland has always been in Europe and Asia.
60. They never saw Bernard Shaw on CNN.
61. Beach volleyball has always been a recognized sport.
62. Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti have always been luxury cars of choice.
63. Television stations have never concluded the broadcast day with the national anthem.
64. LoJack transmitters have always been finding lost cars.
65. Diane Sawyer has always been live in Prime Time.
66. Dolphin-free canned tuna has always been on sale.
67. Disposable contact lenses have always been available.
68. "Outing" has always been a threat.
69. Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss has always been the perfect graduation gift.
70. They have always "dissed" what they don't like.
71. The U.S. has always been studying global warming to confirm its existence.
72. Richard M. Daley has always been the Mayor of Chicago.
73. They grew up with virtual pets to feed, water, and play games with, lest they die.
74. Ringo Starr has always been clean and sober.
75. Professional athletes have always competed in the Olympics.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Today at 3:30 in the Library Auditorium

See the post below. "History in Peril: A National Geographic Society Expedition to Endangered Fossil Sites in China."

Monday, June 04, 2007

June Hot Docs

Vickey Baggott, Documents Librarian, has put together a Hot Docs list of new documents covering a broad range of college courses/programs proving that there's probably something for every student/researcher in the Government Documents Department located on 2nd Floor, South of the University Library.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Artist Reception 5 to 7 in Library Art Gallery

From the Dean:
"The public is invited to attend the opening art reception for B. J. Ray in
the University Library, Third Floor Gallery, June 1 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

B J Ray, Photographer & Surrealistic Digital Painter, is exhibiting her
surrealistic landscapes, photographic composites and representational
waterfalls in the Third Floor Gallery, University Library. Ms. Ray is the
recipient of many awards including National Shrimp Festival; Arts in the
Park, Pensacola, FL; Fairhope Arts & Crafts Show; Meridian Arts in the Park;
Lexington Art Fest; Branson Art Festival and Minolta Photographers Award.
Her photographs have been published in "International Photographers Guild,"
"Alabama Alive" Magazine, and Ford Motor Company "Highways and Byways."
Studies include the Special Studies Summer Program Painting and Special
Studies Graphic Design Program at the University of Alabama. She also
studied three years with renowned photographer Michael Kaspareck of Brewer
State. The exhibit will be on display through July 31 and may be viewed
during library hours:"

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Web 2.0

The reference department is starting on an excursion to explore Web 2.0 sites today. I thought maybe some readers might want to try them too. I will adapt the instructions a bit for this open forum. You are welcome to make comments on this blog about your experiences. Here's the first place we are exploring:

First Stop: LibraryThing

Let’s start our adventure in a library catalog–your own library catalog–the one you are going to create in LibraryThing.

1. Go to Create an account with any user name and password you like. [Think about using the same log in and password for all of these expeditions so you won’t have to worry about remembering different ones for different applications.]

1a. If you must, you may read the short introduction to LibraryThing at:

2. Once you have an account your first entry box will pop up. Enter the title or author of your favorite book or just grab a book from your desk and type in the title or author.

<>3. Add 2 or 3 tags that describe it – fairly generic words that might fit other favorites of yours, e.g. mystery, female detective, Chicago.

4. You can change the search to Library of Congress below the entry box if you think your book may be out of print. Amazon’s good because it will retrieve cover images too. Click on the link below the Library of Congress to see the other 78 catalogs possibly containing the book. [Mary can even search the National Library of Norway if she has a favorite Norwegian author!]

5. Click the retrieved book that you wish to save to your library, then go to “Your Library” to see the beginning of your personal collection.

6. Hover over some of the icons and numbers to see what clicking through will take you to. Try some like the “Zeitgeist” tab at the top. Check out the tag "cloud."

7. Add a few more books. You can have access to your catalog from any computer on the web [if you can remember your log in and password of course.]

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Smithsonian Photo Contest Winners

The Smithsonian Magazine 4th Annual Photo Contest winners have been published on the web. And they are glorious!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rainiest and Ideas

Guess who ranks as the rainiest city in the United States?

and from marylaine block:

TED - Ideas Worth Spreading
"Inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers." Among them:
Peter Gabriel on fighting injustice with a videocamera, Jane Goodall on
what separates us from the apes, Nicholas Negroponte on the vision behind
One Laptop per Child, Michael Shermer on why people believe strange
things, Jimmy Wales on the creation of Wikipedia, and many more.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Boating Info

Perfect weekend to be on a boat. It's best if you don't actually own one, but have friends who do. Then they have to pay to keep it up, store it, fuel it, and learn all the rules as well as run the thing. Here's a link to the Librarians' Internet Index listing for boating safety. Maybe you should brush up on some safety tips in case your hosts get tired of your mooching ways!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Watching the Government

Things are popping in Washington D.C. these days. Here's a website that will keep you up to date if you can't watch CSPAN all day everyday. It's a project of SourceWatch which describes itself this way:

Welcome to SourceWatch, a collaborative project of the Center for Media and Democracy to produce a directory of the people, organizations and issues shaping the public agenda. A primary purpose of SourceWatch is documenting the PR and propaganda activities of public relations firms and public relations professionals engaged in managing and manipulating public perception, opinion and policy. SourceWatch also includes profiles on think tanks, industry-funded organizations and industry-friendly experts that work to influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of corporations, governments and special interests. Over time, SourceWatch has broadened to include others involved in public debates including media outlets, journalists and government agencies. Unlike some other wikis, SourceWatch has a policy of strict referencing, and is overseen by a paid editor.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Haunted Love [in Closed Reserve]

Dennis Guion, our Circulation/Reserve librarian just sent me this YouTube video. I might just ask the Freshman Seminar instructors to have their new students watch it in the Fall to "scare them straight" about library etiquette.
Haunted Love.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Is Nothing Sacred?

Academics are taking teaching to YouTube.
Just got this video from the Chronicle of Higher Education about a professor who is using YouTube to teach cultural anthropology from the inside out.

This video references his [Michael Wesch, ass. prof at Kansas State] brilliant YouTube video. In it he raises questions that we will all need to address soon, if we are to make any sense of the phenomenon called Web 2.0--those applications that allow us to collaborate, personalize and create ourselves and our world in cyberspace.

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

I've just activated the "comments" feature of Blogger. Use it!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Kathy Jones just sent me this website: StateMaster

"Welcome to StateMaster, a unique statistical database which allows you to
research and compare a multitude of different data on US states. We have
compiled information from various primary sources such as the US Census
Bureau, the FBI, and the National Center for Educational Statistics."

Try this one under lifestyles and this one under crime---vvverrry iiinnnteresting.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

HotDocs and Hollywood Librarians

Vickey Baggott, government documents librarian, has a new Hot Docs guaranteed to induce FUTURE SHOCK. These new hearings cover topics being discussed in Congress these days.


Check out the trailer for a new documentary on YouTube called the Hollywood Librarian, coming soon.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

For Language Lovers and Others

One of the big problems information seekers have is trying to figure out what words to use to describe a concept, topic, subject. English is messy; unlike some other languages which are more precise, we have many words to express a single idea.

I have been a great fan of the visual search in the EBSCO databases. If you haven't tried it, do so. Click on visual search; search a topic; see the articles categorized graphically by subject heading. Marylaine Block offered this site today which will be useful for novice searchers--it gives definitions and establishes connections between words and their use in the real world. It could be a great first step for students (and the rest of us) to learn both the denotation and connotations of topics/words they want to explore. Here's how Visuwords describes itself:

"Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary — Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.<>

<>Enter words into the search box to look them up or double-click a node to expand the tree. Click and drag the background to pan around and use the mouse wheel to zoom. Hover over nodes to see the definition and click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Price of Textbooks

Textbook publishers are two of the dirtiest words ever spoken by college students. Costs have tripled in 20 years.* Sometimes the bookstores get blamed. Sometimes instructors get blamed. Sometimes the authors get blamed. There is certainly enough blame to spread around. Sue Medina, the guru and leading light of the Network of Alabama Academic Libraries (NAAL), sent out a link to this article today. Washington State is trying to make the costs more transparent with a new law. Check out this editorial* in the NYTs today.<>

The article mentions a program Rice University is using to provide students with custom written textbooks online for no cost. Called Connexions, it describes itself this way:
". . . an environment for collaboratively developing, freely sharing, and rapidly publishing scholarly content on the Web. Our Content Commons contains educational materials for everyone — from children to college students to professionals — organized in small modules that are easily connected into larger courses. All content is free to use and reuse under the Creative Commons "attribution" license."

Hmmmm. Free texts. What an idea. js

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Changing Roles of Academic and Research Libraries

A new [Feb. 2007] report on Academic Libraries has been published by the ACRL [Association of College and Research Libraries). Since the librarians are having an all day workshop on Monday, I thought I would link to this report online. Wouldn't be a bad idea if students and teaching faculty read it too!

And to celebrate Spring, here's a link that a faculty member sent me with these instructions:

Click here:

Click on the link. You will get a black page.
Click your mouse anywhere on the page & see what happens!
Better yet, click & drag your mouse over the black page...

Have a great weekend. js

Friday, April 20, 2007

Learning Technology--Medieval Style

Actually the codex was invented in the late first century by the Romans according to the Wikipedia [I'm so ashamed--Middlebury College would flunk me, I'm sure]. Check out this YouTube video illustrating the training issues that accompanied this incredible "new" technology.
Hope you read and enjoyed at least one book during National Library Week. If not, now's the time to make your summer reading list.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

InfoTubey Library Awards

In honor of Natl. Library Week check out some of the best library videos on YouTube. Esp. check out the William's College history of 'short pencils.' There exists, albeit not easy to find, some great library humor. Hope there will be a second annual award and wish we could enter the contest. Anybody got an idea? I have the camera and iMovie, just need someone's fertile imagination--mine's suffering from year-end drought. js

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hot Docs for Natl Library Week

Vickey Baggott, goverment documents librarian, has a new Hot Docs at USA featuring a little light reading newly arrived from the Government Printing Office for National Library Week.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Excellence in Librarianship Award to Vicki Tate

Yesterday, at the start of National Library Week, Vicki Tate received the Excellence in Librarianship from the Dean, Richard Wood.

Vicki is the Head of Government Documents and Serials and will, this year, be the Chair of the University's Faculty Senate. She is active in a number of organizations, moderates a document listserv, is serving on several search committees, adeptly handled recent flood damage in her department. Vicki is also known as the queen of the spreadsheet organizational method, an indoor gardener extraordinaire, and the person to see if you need a kitty cat in your life.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Urban Legend Fells Another Librarian!

On Wednesday of last week I posted a "fact" I got from a weird-facts webpage. It seems that I have been misled, hoodwinked and bamboozled. Always check your facts! A person, who-must-be-obeyed, but who shall remain nameless, found the truth on the VERY useful Urban Legend website. "The number of the horse's feet taken up from the ground has nothing to do with any attribute of the person depicted and everything to do with the skill of the sculptor and his ability to overcome nearly insurmountable problems in solid geometry, stress of materials, and other aspects of civil engineering..." From an unnamed webposting.

National Library Week-April 15-21

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hum That Tune

Got a song in your head? Can't figure out what it's called? Know some of the words, but need the rest for your next shower performance? Try this website--Midomi. Sing, hum or whistle a few bars into your computer microphone and, if you can carry just a bit of the tune, you should get back the info on the song, it's words, and the ability to download it for 99¢. Obviously this is not easy for technology and won't always work, but what the heck, maybe your roommate will even spring for the buck to get you past your made-up lyrics. I got this from MaryLaine Block's weekly email.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Weird Stuff

Can you read this page?

And Weird Trivia found on the web.

Did you know:
If a statue of a person in the park on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle.

If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle.

If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
I got this from a webpage I can't find anymore or I would cite it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Writing Outreach--On Finding Literary Criticism: Articles

On Thursday,
Room 305,
in the Library,
I will be offering a workshop on how to find literary criticism for your literature termpapers. If you are in EH 101 or 102 you can come and ask questions about your papers too. Here's the webpage I am working on to be ready by Thursday at 3:30. js

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Global Warming--What You Can Do

Did you know that our ethanol might have been some starving individual's possible meal. If our corn goes to our fuel, what's going to happen to the corn that we ship to countries who can't feed their population? Sorry--I never thought of that before. Maybe ethanol is not the answer. Marylaine Block's email today links to a Time magazine article about things we can do and maybe should think about a little more.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Easy Reading in the Library

Vicki Tate just sent this announcement over from the periodical collection on 2 South. Yeah! Now I can drool on the Library's Gourmet magazine instead of waiting for my twice annual dentist visits. And since I have never ever been able to throw away my Wired magazine, maybe I can just give up my subscription and save my storage area for more important stuff.

by Vicki Tate
"One area that the library has been previously unable to meet the demand from our patrons is for general, pleasure-reading magazines. This has now changed due to recent gifts from two local businesses. We are now able to provide such materials to our patrons. Through a gift subscription service from EBSCO, a periodical vendor, 17 popular magazines on a variety of subjects will be available. EBSCO provided us with an initial list of 100 possible magazine titles. The final selection was based on trying to provide a variety of reading options we thought would be of interest to our students, faculty and staff. The magazines are sponsored and paid for by Farmers Insurance and by Domino’s Pizza, two local businesses located near the University on Old Shell Road. We will keep the 6 latest issues from each title, with the most current issue displayed on magazine racks next to the service desk in the current periodicals area on 2nd Floor South. These new magazines are: Christianity Today, Cycle World, ESPN Magazine, Four Wheeler, Glamour, Golf Digest, Gourmet, GQ, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Latina, Modern Bride, Road & Track, Self, Spin, Vibe and Wired.

In addition to these gift subscriptions, the library has received other gift titles, including American Legacy: The Magazine of African-American History & Culture, and the newspapers Muslim Journal and People’s Daily.
If you are interested in providing a gift subscription, please contact Vicki Tate (460-7024). Acceptance of any title is based on selection criteria and other factors.

So when you want to take a break from your academic pursuits, stop by the current periodicals area on second floor, and check out our new magazines."

Thursday, March 29, 2007

First Person and Historical Photos

There are lots of places to share photos on the web. Flikr is probably the most famous. But this one is kind of intriquing. MSNBC puts out a call for photos of certain things and stories that are of interest. The station might use your photo and story on the air. Got a great Spring Break picture? That seems to be on the call list, as are motorcycle pictures, Will Smith look-alike photos and quirky American landmarks and people. I haven't tried sending a picture yet, so I don't know what is involved.

Here's another photo site. This one has pictures from 100 or so years ago. Ran across one taken in Mobile about the turn of the century. Also links to other sites that have photos and ads from previous eras.

Both of thse are from the latest Marylaine Block's Neat New Stuff.

And here's one for you to post that photo of you taken on the day when your hair is perfect, your clothes are clean and you look like a Gap, Target or iTunes ad. It's called Looking Real Good and is for regular people (which seems to mean the under 35, fairly techy crowd). Where else can you do this and be one of the cool people.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Facebook and AIM Experiment

OK, I don't know if anyone cares but I'm sending out an invitation to you to try reaching me for Chat. See the graphic for my AIM name. And you can also get to me at Facebook as J Sauer or the I Love the USA Library group[which has a total of 2 members right now]. This experiment may not last long, either because of apathetic response or overwork, but I thought I'd try it near the end of the semester just to see what happens. I'll try to be online when I'm in the Library and not teaching or at the Ref desk. Got a question about your research? Try it here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Our Veterans and a Watchdog

No matter what you think about the war, you know that those women and men who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan with physical and psychological injuries deserve the best we can give them. Here's a watchdog website that is trying to ensure they get the best.

Sundays New York Times Magazine section has a cover story on the women in the war that is well worth reading too. Go to LexisNexis>General News>Major Papers and do a search using women's war as your search term.

And I just donated a documentary DVD I saw in NY last summer called "The War Tapes" to the Instructional Media Center. Three soldiers in their own words and with their own videos. A primary document, a case study and a fascinating view directly from Iraq. X-Rated language. Check it out. js

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm back from a Spring Break filled with difficult decisions based on cost/aesthetic analyses with mostly "cost" winning. If you are interested see: js

With no cost to you, check out both the Art/Literature student's and the fine arts faculty's aesthetic decisions on the 3rd floor of the Library. I got this announcement from the Dean this morning:

"The Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition features artwork in a wide range of materials and disciplines including painting, printmaking, graphic design, ceramics, sculpture, drawing and photography on the third floor. This show extends through the end of the semester to May 10th.

"Poets & Artists" display. The students in Claire Evangelista's drawing class respond through art and photography to the poems written by students in Dr. Sue Walker's poetry class. Over thirty poems will be paired with as many framed photographs, sketches or drawings in eight display cases and walls on the third floor of the University Library. This student show marks the first, interdisciplinary project at USA between the two departments. The show runs concurrently with the visual art faculty exhibition and extends through the end of the semester to May 10th.

Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama. This show on the first floor of the University Library displays prize winning entries of visually impaired students of all ages in Alabama public, private, home and residential schools. It is the 24th annual statewide contest supported by the Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation, the Alabama Federation of the Council for Exceptional Children, and University of Alabama at Birmingham's Vision Research Center, and schools of Optometry and Education. It will be on display through April 15th."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

So you don't forget about the Library over Spring Break

The best Library videos:

Spring Break Hours:

March 10 (Saturday) Open 9:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
March 11 (Sunday) Spring Break CLOSED
March 12 - 16 (Monday - Friday) Spring Break 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
March 17 (Saturday) Spring Break CLOSED
March 18 (Sunday) Open 1:00 P.M. - 11:00 P.M.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Through the Eye of Katrina

The History Dept. is sponsoring a conference this week entitled: Through the Eye of Katrina. Vickey Baggott, government documents librarian, has created a list of documents relevant to the topic. Here's a link to her webpage. Thanks Vickey.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Outreach-Books 3:30 today in the Auditorium & Art Show

3:30 today in the Library's Auditorium you might want to find out about multiple ways of finding books for your research projects: the SOUTHcat catalog, of course, but also; Google Books; Online Books Page and many others. Hey, I know that journal and magazine are sooo easy to get to through our databases (and I'll talk about those in April) but books are still one of the most useful and efficient ways of deriving information and knowledge in this handy, compact, beautiful little package.

I also just got this email from the Dean's Office so after the Outreach, head to the third floor gallery and check out your faculty member's art works:
"2007 Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition

The Visual Arts Faculty of the University of South Alabama will present the 2007 Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition. The exhibit features artwork in a wide range of materials and disciplines including painting, printmaking, graphic design, ceramics, sculpture, drawing and photography. Also, Poets & Artists, a collaboration of emerging artists and poets from the Creative Writing and the Visual Arts Departments will be presented. The exhibit will be on display in the University Library Third Floor Gallery from March 1 - May 11. The public is invited to attend the opening reception Friday, March 23, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM.

The 2007 Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition artists include: Jeremy Colbert, Claire Evangelista, Diane Gibbs, Matthew Johnson, Marvin Kendrick, David McCann, Catherine McLeod, Phillipe Oszuscik, Walter Simon, Larry B. Simpson, Benjamin J. Shamback, Margarita Skiadas, Rachel Wright, Tony Wright and Kyeong-Won Youn.

For more information, contact Ben Shamback at (251) 261-1448 or email at"

Friday, February 23, 2007

Oscar Weekend and TV Online from Around the World and Movie in the Library

For Oscar weekend: this is the most important database for anyone who has any interest in movies, actors, directors, gaffers, best boys, caterers and all those others listed in the never ending credits. The International Movie DataBase or The answers to most movie trivia can be found here.
This site provides links to a selection of "free online TV channels from around the world." Organized by language. Listings link directly to the programming, and indicate which media player is necessary to view the content. Provided by a software company.
(from Librarian's Internet Index's weekly update)

This came from Mary Ann Graham in Library Circulation Dept:
Join Us in Celebrating Black History Month at the University of South Alabama Library

Date: Sunday, February 25, 2007
Time: 7:00pm
Place: University of South Alabama Library Auditorium
Movie: The Bingo Long Travaling All-Stars & Motor Kings
Directed by: John Badham

Tired of being treated like a slave by team owner Sallison Potter (Ted Ross), charismatic star pitcher Bingo Long (Billy Dee Williams) steals a bunch of Negro League players away from their teams, including catcher/slugger Leon Carter (James Earl Jones) and Charlies Snow( aka "Carlos Nevada" and "Chief Takahoma", played by Richard Pryor, as a player forever trying to break into the segregated Major League baseball of the 1930's by masquerading as first a Cuban, than a Native American). They take to the road, barnstorming through small Midwestern towns, playing the local teams to make ends meet. One of the opposing players, 'Esquire' Joe Callaway (Stan Shaw), is so good that the recruit him.

Bingo's team becomes so outlandishly entertaining and successful, it begins to cut into the attendance of the established Negro League teams. Finally, Bingo's nemesis Potter is forced to propose a winner-take-all game: if Bingo's team can beat a bunch of all-stars, it can join the league, but if it loses, the players will return to their old teams.

Ironically, there is a Major League scout in the audience. After the game, he offers Esquire Joe (a thinly-veiled Jackie Robinson) the chance to break the color barrier; with Bingo's permission he accepts.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Laissez le Bon Temps Roulez

For writers who want to be humbled [yeah, right] this web app is the one to do it. It's from this week's Research Buzz. Enter a URL to a piece of writing or cut and paste a piece of text into its box and it will analyze it in weird ways. What are your favorite 3 word clichés? What is the reading level of your writing? Other bizarre info. "Word, sentence and paragraph count, collocations, syllable structure, lexical density, keywords, readability and a short abstract on what the given text is about." It can be humbling; take my word.

Glory, the movie, is going to be shown on Sunday night at 7:00 P.M. in the Library Auditorium in a series sponsored by the folks at the Circulation Desk for Black History Month. Free and open to anyone. This came from Mary Ann Graham of the wonderful Circulation staff.

I'll be back after the good times have rolled by--next week. Have a great Mardi Gras.

P.S. If you have an advanced reader copies or review copies of books appropriate for kids and juveniles [alleged delinquent-type] read this article. I have been going to New Orleans fairly frequently and will be glad to deliver any new books you might wish to donate. js