Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 Census Population & Apportionment Counts

Friday, December 17, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS, AND HOLIDAY HOURS

Final exams ended yesterday, and the campus has become a more quiet place. We trust that our students are enjoying some well-deserved downtime. The library is open for limited hours, which can be viewed here. We wish all our patrons and members of the community a very merry and peaceful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NEW E-BOOKS

Systems Librarian Ed Cherry has updated our list of recent ebook acquisitons. Here is the link. Remember that you will be promoted for user name and password when working off campus. Happy reading!

Monday, December 13, 2010

STAR OF BETHLEHEM PROGRAM, CHRISTENBERRY PLANETARIUM

With thanks to George Atchley, Director of Samford's Christenberry Planetarium:

"Tonight and Thursday night at 7:00 pm the Christenberry Planetarium will feature the Star of Bethlehem, an annual presentation about a possible natural explanation for the star seen by the Magi in the Gospel of Matthew.

Admission is free and no reservations are required. The show is suitable for family viewing, but some younger children may get a little restless.

Also, tonight enjoy the best meteor shower of the year, the Geminids. Already in progress as the sun sets, a first quarter moon will outshine some of the meteors early, but these are the brightest of meteors, so clear skies promise some real eye candy.

With wind chills in the teens, bundle up and go to the darkest area you can find. Shield yourself from moonlight and give yourself 20 minutes to dark adapt by avoiding all white light (windows, cars and flashlights).

If you wait until the moon sets at midnight, experts predict 100-140 meteors per hour. For seeing that frequency, however, you’ll need truly dark skies."

IN THE WORLD OF SOCIAL MEDIA, JANE AUSTEN HAS A NEW GROUP OF DEVOTEES

I am old enough to remember the early days of Masterpiece Theatre, with Alistair Cooke's social history wraparound commentary, which I loved and still miss (click here to view the entire program history).

Masterpiece Theatre continues to broadast with new productions, but I've often thought that it's too bad those older programs are not rebroadcast, although many are available on DVD and via Netflix.

But the younger generations who were born well after the broadcast of those wonderful productions should not be underestimated. It seems that Jane Austen, at least, has gained a new audience of fans. (Now if only we could do the same for the Bront√ęs.)

A recent post from the Internet Scout Report had this to say:

"Jane Austen has always been quite popular in the online (and offline) world, and there is a new clutch of young people who are taking up the mantle of her work via hundreds of websites...the Wall Street Journal reported on these 'Janeites' and their celebration of all things Austen. What is the appeal of an author who wrote about the mores of British gentry two centuries ago? Nili Olay, the regional coordinator for the New York Metro chapter of the Jane Austen Society believes, 'Ms. Austen's tales of courtship and manners resonate with dating-obsessed and social-media-savvy-21st-century youths.' At a recent meeting of Austen devotees, Jennifer Potter noted 'Marrying for money, crazy parents, dating-these are all basic themes.' ... Now of course, fans can interact via Twitter feeds, blogs, and chat rooms. One of the most fun expressions of this type of "fandom" is the faux trailer for the movie 'Jane Austen's Fight Club,' which is worth several viewings."

Here are some additional links from the Internet Scout Report post:

I especially enjoy this site, titled "The Republic of Pemberly"
http://www.pemberley.com/

Was Jane Austen Edited? Does it Matter?http://www.npr.org/2010/11/15/131335890/was-jane-austen-edited-does-it-matter

Jane Austen Fiction Manuscripts:
Homepage of the Jane Austen Fiction Manuscripts collection. Created by the University of Oxford and King's College London, the collection includes 1100 pages of writing in Austen's own hand.
http://www.janeausten.ac.uk/index.html

The Jane Austen Society of North America
http://www.jasna.org/

Thursday, December 9, 2010

GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS SURVEY

You can help us to serve you better by completing a short survey (16 questions) that addresses the areas of depository access, services and collections. We need to know if you value access to primary sources that include statistics, congressional documents and historical records.

Take the survey online or pick up a card at the circulation, reference or government documents desks.

Thank you!

Carla Waddell
Government Documents Librarian

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

ALABAMA SACRED HARP SINGING

These streaming historical recordings of Alabama Sacred Harp singing from the 1940's and 50's are treasures and not to be missed: http://oldweirdamerica.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/44-45-rocky-road-and-present-joys-by-alabama-sacred-harp-singers/

Monday, December 6, 2010

2 A.M. CLOSING TIMES

Please note that as of this evening, December 6, the University Library is open until 2 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evening.

The library is open until 2 a.m. December 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14 and 15.

Please see http://library.samford.edu/about/hours.html# and click on the link for "December 2010" for complete details.

Friday, December 3, 2010

NEW CHAIR OF REFERENCE, HAROLD GOSS

We are delighted to announce that Mr. Harold Goss has accepted the position as Chair of Reference for the University Library. This appointment will be effective when we return from the holiday break on January 3, 2011.

Harold joined the University Library as a Reference Librarian in 2006, and accepted the position of Reference & Instruction Librarian in 2007. He has provided outstanding service in that capacity for the past four years and has been instrumental in our information literacy initiatives of the past two years. In his new role, Harold will be responsible for managing reference collection development, interlibrary loan functions and services, library instruction, departmental outreach and online resource maintenance, and government documents repository activities. The library and institution are fortunate to have in this position a professional of his caliber with a proven commitment to the Samford mission and community.

Harold received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Georgia and a Master of Library Science degree from Clark Atlanta University. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Alabama Library Association where he is moderator-elect for the Alabama Library Instruction Round Table. Harold replaces Lori Northrup who became the Associate Director and Chair of Collection Management/Acquisitions of the University Library on October 1, 2010.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"INFORMATION OVERLOAD IS NOT UNIQUE TO THE DIGITAL AGE"

A recent segment of NPR's "Talk of the Nation" focused on information overload--the ceaseless deluge of content that has been produced by the growth of the world wide web, 24-hour news broadcasts, and more recent "innovations" such as Twitter. But Ann Blair, professor of history at Harvard, asserts that this sense of overload is not a new phenomenon.

I know of two examples that support Blair's argument. In an 1894 address to the Chemical Society of London, organic chemist H.E. Armstrong observed: “…chemical literature is fast becoming unmanageable and uncontrollable from its very vastness. Not only is the number of papers increasing from year to year, but new journals are constantly being established. Something must be done in order to assist chemists to remain in touch with their subject and to retain their hold on the literature generally.” (1) Such anxious observations were not new even in the late 19th century. Many years earlier, in 1807, scientist Thomas Young declared: “When we contemplate the astonishing magnitude [of the literature] in any department of science…there is the greatest reason to apprehend that, from the continual multiplication of new essays which are merely repetitions of others that have been forgotten, the sciences will shortly be overwhelmed by their own unwieldy bulk.”
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(1) A.J. Meadows. Communication in Science (London: Butterworths, 1974). In Brian Vickery, “A Century of Scientific and Technical Information,” Journal of Documentation 55 (December 1999): 476-527, 476. H.E. Armstrong was an English organic chemist who challenged Arrhenius's ionic theory. He proposed an alternate theory in which water is a complex saturated with the gas "hydrone."

(2) T. Young. Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy and the Mechanical Arts (London: J. Johnson, 1807), in Vickery, 476.

Thomas Young (1773-1829) was appointed professor professor of physics at the Royal Institution in 1801. In two years, he delivered 91 lectures. These lectures, printed in 1807 under the title Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy, are noteworthy on account of their anticipations of subsequent theories.

Monday, November 29, 2010

"THE MAN WHO REMEMBERED BIRMINGHAM"

This lovely article comes from the website "Second Front: News & Politics from Birmingham, Alabama." It profiles the life of Methodist preacher and Birmingham historian Marvin Youmans Whiting, about whom the writer says: " He was, in every sense of the word, a gentleman."

The writer relates: "The archives of the Birmingham Public Library stand as the most enduring monument to Marvin’s life and work. He spent roughly a quarter-century researching, assessing, compiling, cataloguing, building a collection that makes the history of Birmingham and Jefferson County readily accessible in a way that it almost certainly would not be had he not come along."

This short posting does not do justice to the full text of the article, which everyone is encouraged to read in full for themselves.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY HOURS

Hello everyone. If you're wondering about our Thanksgiving holiday hours, you may visit this link to get the full rundown. Best wishes for a happy and healthy holdiay.

Monday, November 22, 2010

TOP TEN BOOKS IN RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY

The publication Booklist Online has published a list of top 10 books in religion and spirituality. It describes the list in this way: "The subtitle of one of the titles on this year’s religion top 10 captures the tone and theme of much of the list: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. It is a contentious era, especially in matters of the spirit, and these books attempt to make sense of that strife."

New START Treaty

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NAXOS MUSIC LIBRARY - DATABASE TRIAL

The Naxos Music Library is the streaming audio service of the world's largest producer of classical records. It also provides access to thousands of titles on a variety of independent labels. Included with classical selections are a wide variety of jazz, blues, and world music. Click here to read about what professional musicians have written about the Naxos Music Library.

Thanks goes to music librarian Jaro Szurek for arranging a trial to this this outstanding resource.

Monday, November 15, 2010

"IN A DIGITAL AGE, STUDENTS STILL CLING TO PAPER TEXTBOOKS"

"They text their friends all day long. At night, they do research for their term papers on laptops and commune with their parents on Skype. But as they walk the paths of Hamilton College, a poster-perfect liberal arts school in this upstate village, students are still hauling around bulky, old-fashioned textbooks — and loving it." Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/nyregion/20textbooks.html?_r=2&emc=eta1

Students certainly want their textbooks to cost less; the current and long-standing pricing scheme for textbooks seems like nothing less than price-gouging. But this doesn't mean that they want them in electronic form, and for a number of good reasons, as this article discusses.

Friday, November 12, 2010

LIVE @ THE LIBRARY VIDEO

If you missed last week's Live @ the Library event, or would like to revisit the wonderful performance by Bobby Horton, please enjoy this video clip:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

LEONID METEOR SHOWER

With much thanks to Dr. George Atchley of Samford's Christenberry Planetarium:

"The Leonid meteor shower begins tonight and will continue until around Nov. 23. The peak of the shower is next Wednesday morning, Nov. 17. The best viewing will occur after midnight the morning of the peak in the eastern sky. However, the moon will interfere until it sets around 3 a.m. Rising early to see the meteors on Nov. 18 should provide optimal spotting, up to 20 meteors per hour."

"Try around 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 18 at the darkest sight you can find. I’ve found some good sites in Chelsea away from Highway 280. If you travel 15 or so miles away from downtown Birmingham and locate an area with no white lights (street lamps, window lights, etc.), and then wait about 15-20 minutes for your eyes to dark adapt, and clouds don’t block your view, then you should be rewarded with the sighting of incinerating comet remains."

"If you’ve seen some brighter meteors recently, the Taurids bombard our atmosphere throughout November with fireballs, a larger variety of meteorites which are observable in less darkness. So just like texting, keep looking up – only not when driving!"

"Want to get a picture? Set up your digital camera on a tripod, focus on infinity and leave the shutter open for several seconds for the most dramatic effect."

LIVE @ THE LIBRARY: "SINGIN' AND PLAYIN' WITH BOBBY HORTON"

To view a full photo album of this wonderful event, please visit our Facebook Page.


Monday, November 8, 2010

MORGAN MUSEUMA AND LIBRARY REOPENING AFTER RENOVATION


New York's Morgan Library and Museum was founded in 1906 by art collector John Pierpont Morgan Sr. It has one of the largest art collections in the United States. On October 30, the institution will reopen after extensive restoration to the McKim building, the once private library and study of Pierpont Morgan.

Friday, November 5, 2010

LIVE @ THE LIBRARY

Samford University Library to present “Talkin’ and Playin’ With Bobby Horton”

The Samford University Library will present multi-instrumentalist, composer and Samford graduate Bobby Horton as part of its “Live @ the Library” series during Homecoming activities on Saturday, Nov 6. The performance will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the main reading room of the library.

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Bobby Horton has performed with the musical-comedy trio “Three on a String” throughout the United States and Canada for 35-plus years. He has also produced and performed music scores for 13 PBS films by Ken Burns including The Civil War and Baseball, two films for the A&E network, and 16 films for the National Park Service.

Please contact Eric Allen, epallen@samford.edu or 726-2846, for more information.

Live @ the Library is a free and open to the public event. Convo credit will be available for students.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

HISTORIC PHOTOS OF BIRMINGHAM FROM THE 1950s, 1960s & 1970s.

On Nov. 5th, Samford's very own Jessica Barton will be speaking about her book Historic Photos of Birmingham in the 50s, 60s, and 70s at a Little Professor book launch in Homewood. She will also be conducting a Q & A and signing books.

The Little Professor
2717 18th St. South
Homewood, AL 35209

DATE: Friday, Nov. 5th
TIME: 5-7pm

About the author:
Jessica L. Barton was born in northwest, rural Tennessee and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. An alumna of both Samford University and the University of Alabama, she holds a bachelor of arts degree in history and a masters in library and information studies. She enjoys all things history related, genealogy research, good books, and writing. Currently, Barton is the assistant archivist at Birmingham Public Library Department of Archives and Manuscripts.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

BARE HANDS GALLERY DIA DE LOS MUERTOS FESTIVAL

This post is a bit of a diversion, having nothing to do with libraries and everything to do with multicultural Birmingham.

Just in time for the Halloween season comes the Bare Hands Gallery Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) festival, Tuesday November 2, 5-10 p.m. This street fair/art and culture festival is a one-day celebration honoring the Hispanic, and primarily Mexican celebration known as Dia de los Muertos. The event site states: "The annual commemoration at Bare Hands combines community art installation and procession with remembrance, creativity, performance, music and food to highlight rich cultural tradition yielding an exquisite downtown arts and cultural event."

While you're downtown, stop at the Makarios Kabob house at 940 20th Street South (http://www.makarioskabob.com/) for some delicious Middle Eastern fare. (Burgers and fries are also served, but why limit yourself?)

Monday, October 25, 2010

ENTRE NOUS DIGITIZATION PROJECT


2009-2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Entre Nous. With the help of the Friends of the Library, the University Library would like to celebrate this centennial by making this tradition available online. Alumni and friends are encouraged to sponsor years that are special to them. Sponsors who make a $30 or larger donation will be recognized for their contribution with their names attached to the yearbook online.

If you or someone you know is interested in sponsoring the digitization of a special year and wants to make a contribution toward this initiative, go to https://secure.samford.edu/php-bin/alumni, check the Harwell G. Davis Library box, and in the “comments” box indicate “This gift is in support of digitizing the (indicate the year you wish to sponsor) Entre Nous.” If you are contributing to honor or memorialize someone, please enter their name in the appropriate field.

SAMFORD UNIVERSITY LIBRARY PRESENTS "LIVE @ THE LIBRARY"



“Talkin’ and Playin’ with Bobby Horton”

Saturday, November 6, 2010
9:30 a.m.


Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Samford alumnus Bobby Horton has performed with the musical-comedy trio Three on a String throughout the United States and Canada for 35-plus years. He has also produced and performed music scores for 13 PBS films by Ken Burns including The Civil War and Baseball, two films for the A&E network, and 16 films for the National Park Service.

Signing and refreshments to follow.

Live @ the Library is open to the public and convo credit will be available for attending.

Photograph of Bobby Horton taken by Jeff Roberts.

Friday, October 22, 2010

HEALTH INFO NET OF ALABAMA

Health InfoNet of Alabama is a free consumer health information service designed by Alabama public and medical libraries. It began in 1999 as a local service to Jefferson County residents, expanding to Shelby County in 2002 and the whole state in 2004.

Through Health InfoNet of Alabama, state public and medical libraries work together to provide quality sources of information.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

DIGITAL BOOKMOBILE NATIONAL TOUR

The Digital Bookmobile National Tour will demonstrate free audiobook and eBook download services at three locations in Jefferson County October 20-23. Demonstrations will be held at:

Birmingham Public Library on Wednesday, October 20th
10:00 a.m.-4 p.m.
Central Library downtown, Park Place

Hoover Public Library on Thursday, October 21
11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Homewood Public Library Saturday, October 23
11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

A gadget gallery featuring iPod®, Zune®, Barnes & Noble NookTM, and Sony® ReaderTM will help visitors discover portable devices that are compatible with the library's download service. Library cardholders can download digital titles any time, anywhere by visiting www.jclc.org.

The Digital Bookmobile is housed inside an 18-wheel tractor-trailer. This 74-foot community outreach vehicle is a high-tech update of the traditional bookmobile that has served communities for decades. The vehicle is equipped with broadband Internet-connected PCs, high definition monitors, premium sound systems, and a variety of portable media players, all of which help visitors navigate JCLC'S download services. Interactive learning stations give visitors an opportunity to search the library's digital media collection, use supported mobile devices, and sample eBooks and audiobooks.

The Digital Bookmobile is a service of the Birmingham Public Library, the Homewood Public Library, and the Hoover Public Library in conjunction with the Jefferson County Library Cooperative and is operated by OverDrive, Inc.

Monday, October 18, 2010

BOB EDWARDS SERIES ON THE STATE OF AMERICAN LIBRARIES

Bob Edwards, longtime NPR host and currently the host of his own series on Sirius radio, has inititaed a series of broadcasts on the state of American libraries.

The first installment of this series was broadcast on October 10, 2010, and can be found here:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

CREDO REFERENCE FOR OFF-CAMPUS USERS

A trial for this award-winning online reference library, which provides access to 511full-text reference titles (and growing), is now available for both off- and on-campus users. Click here to access this resource from off-campus.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CREDO REFERENCE TRIAL

Please note: This trial is available from on-campus only.

A trial for this award-winning online reference library, which provides access to 511 full-text reference titles (and growing), is now available for on-campus users.

To access this trial resource, please visit click here, and feel free to provide your thoughts and comments.

HOW DO I FIND eBOOKS?

Our ebook collection is constantly growing. Most of the newest titles available to the Samford community exist in ebook format. One of the benefits of the ebook is users' ability to use them from any location in which they have Internet access. That means Starbucks, a dorm room, or during a weekend visit home.

Recently, a student asked how she could perform a search for ebooks specifically. We have an app for that. Well, not exactly. We have a procedure, and it's really easy.

Go to http://library.samford.edu/.

Scroll over the "find books" link, which is the first link on that page.

Notice the items that pop up from the flyout menu. The fourth item from the bottom is titled "NetLibrary."

Choose "NetLibrary."

You will always be prompted for your user name and password, whether you are on or off campus. That name and password are the same as those you use for email.

Once you have accessed NetLibrary, you can perform searches by keyword, title, author and subject, just as you do in the library catalog.

NetLibrary allows users to print limited numbers of pages over the span of an hour. It does not allow you to print out an entire book at one time. You will need to do at least some of your reading on your computer screen. This process can take some time for adjustment of your reading process, something I'm coming to grips with myself. It's very much worth our time to do this, since NetLibrary contains many current titles on a very wide variety of subjects. To get an idea of just how many, click here to view the most recent list of new titles.

Friday, October 8, 2010

NEW E-BOOKS LIST

The library has acquired access to many new electronic books for a variety of majors and disciplines. Click here to view the full list.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

UCCA SUBJECT PAGE

Attention first-year students! Did you know that UCCA has its very own subject page on the library's website? Oh yes--it does. You can eliminate a lot of anxiety about those first writing assignments by visiting your UCCA subject page.

Monday, October 4, 2010

JEFFERSON COUNTY LIBRARY COOPERATIVE

I want to encourage any and all students who have not yet discovered this area's really excellent public library system to visit a local public library and see for themselves all it has to offer.

The Jefferson County Library Cooperative consists of 21 libraries, at least two of which--Vestavia and Homewood--are quite close to Samford. The Hoover Public Library, on Highway 31, is also very drive-able. You can see a full list of libraries, along with hours and links to each library's home page, here.

You'll be interested to know that the Vestavia Library is in the process of moving to a brand-new location in a newly-built library building. You can see architect's renderings of the building here, and a video about the planning of this "library in the forest" here. One of the most noteworthy elements in the building of this library has been the commitment to environmental best practices. The grounds are also laced with hiking trails, and includes a tree-house reading room (!), arboretum, stream exploration station, and outdoor program space for botanical clubs, scout troops, and other educational activities. It is really beautiful and I can't wait to visit it in person.

In the meantime, I encourage you to visit the Hoover Public Library or the Homewood Public Library. Take a copy of photo ID and a utility bill or some form of mail that contains your Birmingham/Homewood address, and sign up for a library card!

Friday, October 1, 2010

IT'S NOT ALWAYS THAT SIMPLE: BOOKS ONE MAY *WANT* TO BAN

Up to this point, we've looked at challenges to and banning of books that are of undisputed value to many readers.

The absence of value, or negative value of other books seems clearer. Or is it? We're not talking tolerance here, but questioning whether our ability to allow for freedom of expression extends to writers whose ideas and actions are unambiguously loathsome.

In this Christian Science Monitor article, the writer asks whether our ability to tolerate offensive ideas and individuals extends to Hitler's Mein Kampf or Osama bin Laden's Messages to the World. They're available on Amazon. Should they be?

Less glaring but nonetheless troubling (for many) is The Global Bell Curve by psychologist Richard Lynn, in which the author argues that intelligence is racially inherited, and places East Asians at the top and sub-Saharan Africans at the bottom of a global IQ spectrum.

Many librarians argue that banning anything, or even placing filters on the Internet in public library, where many children are present, constitutes a "slippery slope" from which freedom of expression can never recover. Others (many fewer) regard that kind of all-or-nothing approach as a willfully naive failure to exercise critical thinking, especially in light of just the nature of much of the material streaming across the Internet, and the burgeoning popularity of books like Mein Kampf among white-supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in this country.

There are no easy answers.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MAYA ANGELOU, JUDY BLUME, STEPHEN KING

I was surprised to read in this USA Today article that Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic was banned at Fruitland Park Elementary School library in Lake County, Florida because for "...inappropriate content" that "promotes disrespect, horror and violence."

And according to the article, as many of us know, "...virtually everything by Judy Blume" has been challenged and/or banned at one time or another. But the article states, and it's true, that "...many women (and men!)...swear Judy Blume saved their lives by being the only adult who didn't lie to them."

Madeleine L'Engle's classic A Wrinkle in Time was challenged in Anniston, Alabama schools in 1990 for, among other things, promoting witchcraft. This same challenge has been leveled at the Harry Potter books.

It seems that whether a book is too realisitic, as in the case of Judy Blume's writing, or too fantastical—in the wrong way—as the in the case of Madeleine L'Engle's, there will be someone(s) who will dispute what is perceived as either an objectionable portrayal of reality or an objectionable portrayal of a fantasy world. Either way, readers lose.

Monday, September 27, 2010

FIGHTING FOR LITERACY

This video, about an initiative established by two Notre Dame undergradutates, was played during this past weekend's Notre Dame/Stanford football game.

FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES: "TEN WAYS TO CELEBRATE BANNED BOOKS WEEK"

This article from the New York Times offers something for everyone: a list of the most frequently challenged books in schools (To Kill a Mockingbird makes the list); a link to a list of the top 100 banned or challenged books; ideas for creating book clubs and reading groups focused on the theme of banned books; an account of how the Brooklyn Public Library handles challenges to reading materials; and links to books and websites banned in other countries. For example, we would expect to see Amnesty International banned in China. But according to the Times, sites such as the Learning Channel and PBS are also banned. The end of the article contains an interesting list of related articles from the Times Learning Network.

Friday, September 24, 2010

BANNED BOOKS WEEK-ECCLESIASTICAL CENSORSHP OF BOOKS 1400–1800, EXHIBIT AT BRIDWELL LIBRARY

In honor of Banned Books Week, which takes place September 25-October 2, I will be offering a series of postings on the astonishing variety of books that have been banned for various reasons over the centuries. And I do mean "centuries."

John Wycliff's English translation of the bible was banned in 1408. William Tyndale's translations of the Bible, which was thought to include views heretical to both the Roman Catholic Church and, later, to the Church of England as established by Henry VIII, was banned, and so was he—in a very final sort of way. He was burned at the stake in 1536, at the instigation of agents of Henry VIII and the newly-formed English Church.

A wonderfully fascinating online exhibit from Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology is titled Heresy and Error: The Ecclesiastical Censorship of Books, 1400–1800." It focuses on books that the Christian Church sought to suppress from the very beginnings of church history—books and other writings that were thought to contain "heretical" or erroneous teachings.

The most fascinating elements of this online exhibit are the many primary source facsimiles available for viewing. Here, for example, is a facsimile of one page from Wycliffe's Bible. Clicking on the large thumbnail image at the left will enlarge it for you. The exhibit includes an entire section on censorship in England

The writings of one 16th-century bishop residing in the Netherlands comments that "...the invention of printing by Johannes Gutenberg had resulted in a world infected by “pernicious lies.” The bishop singles out the writings of Martin Luther and Jean Calvin, the Talmud, and the Qu’ran, but expresses particular disdain for Erasmus, "...whose writings...had corrupted the Christian religion from within by subtle trickery."

Also included are materials related to censorship at the University of Paris, and, of course efforts to expunge the writings of the Dominican preacher Girolamo Savonarola (1452–1498), who wrote "numerous works calling for ecclesiastical reform and spiritual renewal," and who was himself expunged through torture and eventual execution by burning at the stake in Florence's Piazza della Signoria. Holding and expressing wrong ideas was dangerous business.

This online exhibit is a digitized version of the physical exhibit on display at SMU's Bridwell Library, September 20–December 17, 2010.
_________________________________________

When you hear the term “banned books,” you probably think of contemporary books containing inappropriate content. But books have been banned in societies all over the world for many centuries and for many reasons. Books that have been banned include English translations of the Bible, The Diary of Anne Frank, Huckleberry Finn, and To Kill a Mockingbird. The banning of books is a complex political, religious and moral issue. This week, I will be posting materials about the enormous variety of books that have been banned over the centuries, and that are still targets of censorship.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ALABAMA

On Monday evening during my reference shift a student asked me to help him find a simple and clear definition of the term "black belt." He was referrring to the geographic region of Alabama that goes by this name.

I was happy to be able to point him directly to the excellent online resource Encyclopedia of Alabama.

The Encyclopedia of Alabama is a free, online reference resource that covers Alabama history, culture, geography, and the natural environment. The site is hosted by Auburn University. It was developed in partnership with University Outreach, the University Libraries, the Office of Information Technology, and the Alabama Humanities Foundation.

You can read in more detail about the EOA here. It is a high-quality source with a great variety of well-written and carefully evaluated information. It is, therefore, an online encyclopedia you can trust, and a wonderful source of information about the state of Alabama.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Alabama Energy Rebate Funds Still Available

BEYOND WIKIPEDIA

We all use Wikipedia. Yes, librarians too—or some of us anyway—use it for our own casual reading. I emphasize casual. We love the way terms, names, and concepts are hyperlinked. We love finding articles on everything from the Velvet Underground to Christopher Isherwood. And we appreciate the fact that many Wikipedia articles are now including end notes—reference notes—that we can use to followup on our reading. I once found the source for an obscure quote by Saul Bellow this way.

But in spite of Wikipedia's ubiquity—it's often the first item to appear in a Google search—there are other options, and we need those too, especially since Wikipedia is the wild west of sources.

The online source IPL2, the product of a merger between the Internet Public Library and Librarians' Internet Index, is the place to start. IPL2 is hosted by the College of Information Science and Technology a Drexel University, with major support from the College of Information at Florida State University. There are many ways to make use of this excellent resource, but for now, let's click on "resources by subject," and then "reference." The resulting page contains many items; note the menu on the left, which contgains a link for "encyclopedias."

One of the items on the "encyclopedias" page is titled "encyclopedia.com." We can feel good about using it for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the editors of IPL2 have included it as a source.

We invite you to explore these alternative online resouces. You don't need to banish Wikipeida from your life, but only to realize that there are, when you need them, other online sources that have been evaluated by information professionals and that can be useful to users of all age ranges and for a great variety of needs and subjects.

Friday, September 17, 2010

STEREOMOOD

Today's post offers a link that is not related specifically to libraries, but rather, to general quality of life (in my opinion). Many, or perhaps most of you are familiar with the online streaming radio service called "Pandora" (http://www.pandora.com). With Pandora, you can enter a term, such as "ambient" (my favorite), or the names of particular artists, such as Ravi Shankar or Brian Eno (other favorites), and listen to a stream of music related to your chosen theme or artists.

My latest favorite online listening service is called "StereoMood." It allows you to listen to music based on--as the name indicates--your state of mind or current activity. Your choices are very wide-ranging, and include "beach party," "asleep on my feet," "cleaning," "relax" and "groovy." (I am a big fan of "trippy.")

One of the things I enjoy most about this online streaming service is the variety of new music it has introduced to me--titles and artists I probably would have never discovered.

Many people enjoy working or studying to some kind of background music, and I won't venture into the debate about that, although I do some of my best work in coffee shops and really love ambient music--lyric free for work purposes. If you're looking for a new source of interesting music organized in a really unique and creative way, check out StereoMood.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WHERE DO I START?

Have you ever found yourself asking this question when starting a class research project? So many resources--where to begin?

Research is never (or seldom) simple, but there is a good answer to the question about where to start. Two of our most often-used databases, Academic OneFile and Academic Search Premier, are multi-subject resources that can yield productive searches for a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences.

Note that these databases allow you to limit searches to scholarly/peer-reviewed materials, and to full-text materials.

Both resources are available on this page, as well as on many subject pages. It's in your best interests to use both of them, because there will be a certain amount of overlap in the materials you will find, but there will also be some differences.

Monday, September 13, 2010

RATING E-READERS

This article from "Justin the Librarian" provides candid observations about the strengths and weaknesses of four e-readers: the Sony Reader Touch Edition; the Apple iPad; the Amazon Kindle; and the Barnes and Noble Nook.

Anyone considering purchase of a device for reading electronic books will find this clearly-writte, unbiased and often humorous piece very helpful.

Friday, September 10, 2010

SUPPORT THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

You can support the University Library every time to make online purchases through some of your favorite online stores such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, AbeBooks, Alibris, and Family Christian Stores. Click here to learn how easy it is to support the library!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

COSMIC EVENT

With thanks to George Atchley for his ongoing reporting on astronomical events to the Samford community.

Dr. Atchley wrote:

"This past Sunday, NASA scientists at the Tuscon-based Catalina Sky Survey discovered two asteroids that will pass close to Earth. Neither will hit Earth. The first, estimated at approximately 32 to 65 feet in size, will miss Earth by approximately 154,000 miles on Wednesday at 4:51 a.m. CST. The second, about half the size of the first, will pass within approximately 49,000 miles of Earth about 12 hours later at 4:12 p.m. Again, neither will hit Earth. Even if they did, because of their small sizes, only small pieces would reach the surface after producing a spectacular meteor (fireball) while passing through our atmosphere.

I’m certain the internet will buzz with misinformation. A moderate-sized amateur telescope should be able to view the asteroids, but it will be challenging...Here’s a great website if you’re really interested in this event: http://faulkes-telescope.com/node/2310."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

WHERE CAN I DONATE BOOKS?

If you've ever had books that you wanted to donate and wondered where you might find information about organizations that accept and make good use of used books, this LibGuide from the Passaic County Community College Library is for you: Book Donation Programs from the Passaic County Community College Library.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Documents of the Month: Hurricane Katrina, 5 Years Later

SEPTEMBER IS LIBRARY CARD SIGN-UP MONTH

Attention new students, old students, faculty, staff, and any other readers living in Jefferson County. The public library system in this area is exceptionally well-developed and makes available a very impressive variety of books, music, and DVDs. I'm continually impressed with the wide range of materials and the evident thoughtfulness given to collection-building in Jefferson County libraries.

The libraries of Jefferson County include the Birmingham Public Library system, and cardholders from Birmingham Public or any one of the Jefferson County libraries have access to the entire Jefferson County Library Cooperative.

What does this mean for you? It means that a large, diverse and resource-rich system is available to you.

The library closest to Samford (and my own favorite branch) is in Vestavia. I've always found the staff there to be exceptionally friendly and helpful, so if you need help obtaining a card or have other questions, I suggest you pay them a visit.

One particular item I want to tell you about is the excellent collection of books in the area of studio art and art history in the central branch of the Birmingham Public system. A number of Samford students have been able to find books they have needed in that collection.

We encourage you to explore, use, and support our wonderful public library system. Now go get that card!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

OXFORD DICTIONARY.COM

This story has been widely reported. I've chosen two venues as the bases for this post:

"The head of Oxford University Press, Nigel Portwood, recently caused a stir by openly considering the possibility that the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary might be published in electronic form only. What prompted those thoughts was the success of the online version of the O.E.D., as it is usually called, and the limited sales of the printed 20-volume edition."
(Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/opinion/01wed4.html?scp=1&sq=oxford%20print&st=cse)

We can intuit the reason without much effort, and a spokesperson for Oxford University Press confirmed that users prefer to look up words using its online product. Although I'm not a user of ebooks and remain a little skeptical about the notion that ebooks will eventually come to replace physical books altogether, I must admit that I haven't used a paper-based dictionary for English-language needs in quite a while. (Other languages are a different matter.) Read the story in more detail here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN

In time for the start of the semester comes a reminder that “Digitial Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime.” In case you need justification for taking an occasional break from your screen, this article suggests one reason why many of us feel overstimulated and overhwelmed by the amount of data we encounter every day.

"When people keep their brains busy with digital input," the article states, "they are forfeiting downtime that could allow them to better learn and remember information, or come up with new ideas." One scientist puts it more bluntly: When the brain is constantly stimulated, he says, “you prevent this learning process.”

Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

NEW RESOURCE: ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION IN AMERICA

The Department of Religious Studies' Abrams Fund has made possible the acquisition of The Encyclopedia of Religion in America, an online version of this authoritative, multidisciplinary four-part reference resource.

The Encyclopedia of Religion in America provides broad subject coverage of "...the origins, development, influence, and interrelations of the many faiths practiced in North America, including major world religions and emerging sects, cults, and movements." The range of topics extend to many areas of the humanities, making this a valuable resource for a variety of departments, courses, and subjects:

Religion and politics
African American religion
Arts and architecture
Church-state issues
Environment and ecology
Ethnicity
Gay and lesbian issues
Historical overviews
Immigration
Media
Megachurches
New religious movements
Popular religion and culture
Terrorism and war

To learn more about this resource, click here.

For Samford access, click here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

RefWorks Trial

Thanks to Lori Northrup for providing this information.

On September 2, the library will host a WebEx demonstration of RefWorks software. While we have no current funding for purchasing this product, we thought that in the interest of keeping you abreast of developments in bibliographic management software and planning for the future, we would go ahead with a demo and trial this fall.

We know that some of you are already using Zotero, bibliographic management software from Mozilla, which is freely available on the web. We are particularly interested in hearing your opinions about RefWorks’ features in light of your Zotero experiences.

This is the kind of product that could benefit the entire campus, and while we would very much like to be able to acquire it, we know that there may other types of resources that are also of interest to you. Plagiarism detection software comes to mind. We invite you to share your opinions in the interest of helping to establish funding priorities in the future.

RefWorks Demonstration:
10:00am
Thursday, September 2, 2010
University Library Classroom, lower level

We look forward to seeing you there (or hearing about your experiences with these products by email if you can’t make it).

Monday, August 23, 2010

FREE AND LEGAL DOWNLOADABLE AUDIO

The Internet Archive is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. It is located in San Francisco.

The Internet Archive's audio offerings include an MP3 library containing over two hundred thousand free digital recordings ranging from alternative news programming, to Grateful Dead concerts, old time radio shows, and book and poetry readings.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

PITTS THEOLOGY LIBRARY DIGITAL IMAGE ARCHIVE

The Pitts Theology Library of Emory University's Candler School of Theology is home to a digital image archive presenting 28,000+ images of biblical illustrations, portraits of religious leaders, printers' devices, engravings of church buildings, and other theologically-relevant images.

Many of the images in the archive are taken from the library's Kessler Reformation Collection.

These images are available for teaching, research, and other non-commercial purposes. Click here to learn more about this beautiful collection.

LIBRARY CLOSED FRIDAY AUGUST 20

This is a reminder that the University Library will be closed this Friday, August 20, for library staff and faculty in-service programming.

The library will reopen on Monday August 23. For a full schedule of library hours, please click here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

SPECIAL COLLECTION DATABASE NOW ONLINE

The database for the Special Collection manuscript collection is online and available for viewing.

Please visit http://library.samford.edu/about/special.html and scroll down to the last item, "Special Collection Subject Card File Database."

Thanks to Jennifer Taylor for this news item.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

BUTTERFLIES OF ALABAMA

Alabama's ecology is exceptionally rich and diverse. A book by co-authors W. Mike Howell (a Samford biology professor) and Vitaly Charny provides detailed descriptions and photographs of Alabama butterflies, collected over a nine-year period. The book contains valuable introductory material on butterfly anatomy, life cycle, and taxonomy.

This book is a wonderfully readable and visually compelling account of a particularly beautiful aspect of Alabama's natural environment.

See http://www.amazon.com/Butterflies-Alabama-W-Mike-Howell/dp/0558556310

or

find this book in the Samford library.

Many of Vitaly Charny's gorgeous photos are available for viewing here:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=18192&id=603704124&l=1c14f6946d

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Flooding in Pakistan

A BLENDED LIBRARIAN TALKS INFORMATION LITERACY

The term "blended librarian" may sound like a menu item at a martini bar.

In reality, however, blended librarianship is a model for academic library work that invovles combining traditional reference work and instructional design, with the goal of better integrating librarians into the teaching and learning process. Read about it here: http://chronicle.com/blogPost/A-Blended-Librarian-Talks/25938/

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

LIBRARY CLOSED FRIDAY AUGUST 20

This is a reminder that the library will be closed Friday August 20 for library faculty and staff in-service.

Friday, July 30, 2010

CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: SURVEY FIND RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT HANDOUTS GIVE STUDENTS LITTLE GUIDANCE

Librarians involved with providing instruction for undergraduate courses know better than anyone that it can be a mistake to take students' skill-sets for granted.

A recent article from The Chronicle of Higher Education emphasizes this point in its discussion of how professors often do not explain fully enough the tasks demanded by the research process, leading to papers that "...do little more than meet formulaic standards."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

HUFFINGTON POST: TEN REASONS WHY HARDBACKS ARE BETTER THAN eBOOKS

An editor for the website cnet.com, a site devoted to technical product reviews and software downloads, has composed a list of 10 reasons why physical books are superior to ebooks.

The Huffington Post has picked up the story

Monday, July 26, 2010

GOSPEL MUSIC HISTORY ARCHIVE

The Gospel Music History Archive at the University of Southern California works to "...preserve the legacy of gospel music in a state-of-the-art digital archive."

This website is one important part of the project's work. Visitors can view videos of gospel performers; view photo galleries; read material about the religious makeup of California; browse a calendar of events; and read the project's in-house publication, "The Wire."

The initiative supporting this project is part of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC, which was created in 1996.

Friday, July 23, 2010

TURNING YOUR OWN PRINT BOOKS INTO E-BOOKS?

Turning your own print books into e-books – copyright infringement?

For more on the new invention that makes digitizing your own books possible, check out the latest updates to "In the News" on the library's Copyright subject page.

News stories, from an e-mail list created by Amy Mata at the Center for Intellectual Property (University of Maryland University College), are updated regularly.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

LIBRARIES NEXT BIG POP CULTURE WAVE?

If you aren't aware that cupcakes are have been a hot trend in the confection market, I can only say that I'm sorry you've been missing out.

What is the relationship between cupcakes and libraries? We have NPR to thank for making that connection, and for its article of July 20 that describes with a mix of humor and earnestness the non-negotiable and steadfast value of libraries and librarians:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2010/07/20/128651136/why-the-next-big-pop-culture-wave-after-cupcakes-might-be-libraries

And if you're in Birmingham, check out Dreamcakes Cupcakes in Homewood--on your way home from one of the many excellent libraries in the Birmingham area (hint: http://www.jclc.org).

Monday, July 19, 2010

"SOUTHERN SPACES" - - ONLINE JOURNAL

Southern Spaces is a peer-reviewed Internet publication and forum that "provides open access to essays, interviews and performances, events and conferences, gateways, timescapes, and annotated links about real and imagined spaces and places of the U.S. South." The journal is supported by the Robert W. Woodruff Library of Emory University.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

MedlinePlus: High-Quality Medical/Health Information

Many Internet users utilize the Internet to search for medical and health information. If you're one of those people, you know that the resources you find in an Internet search can range from outright quackery to credible, well-documented information provided by reliable experts. And you've probably wished that there were a way to limit your search to just the reliable information. Well, there is, and it’s been around for years.

Next time you’re searching for medical information on the web, try MedlinePlus at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus . Medline gathers medical information from only the most reputable sources. The director of the National Libraries of Medicine states:

“MedlinePlus has extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources on over 800 diseases and conditions. There are directories, a medical encyclopedia and a medical dictionary, easy-to-understand tutorials on common conditions, tests, and treatments, health information in Spanish, extensive information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, health information from the media, and links to thousands of clinical trials. MedlinePlus is updated daily and can be bookmarked at the URL: medlineplus.gov. There is no advertising on this site, nor does MedlinePlus endorse any company or product.”

– Dr. Donald A. B. Lindberg
Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/aboutmedlineplus.html

As always, if you have any questions about this resource, which is also linked from the University Library’s Medical and Health Sciences Page http://samford.libguides.com/health) we’ll be happy to assist.


Thanks to Lori Northrup for providing the material for this posting

Monday, July 12, 2010

E-BOOKS IN THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

‎"What's in the daily news?
I'll tell you what's in the daily news."

(You get a gold star if you can name the musical in which those lyrics appear. Hint: Marlon Brando had a singing role in the movie version.)

What was in the New York Daily News on July 11 was an article about e-books: "Check it out or Click It Out from the New York Public Library."

And here's a relevant YouTube link for your listening pleasure, because musical theatre makes every day better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSYwhn3CULY&feature=related

Upside Down Mortgage?

Friday, July 9, 2010

HYMN SOCIETY CONCERTS (!)

With thanks to Paul Richardson, Professor of Music.

As you may know, Samford is hosting the annual conference of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada from Sunday, July 11, through Thursday, July 15.

More than 200 visitors from across the continent will be on campus for workshops, addresses, reading sessions, and worship. While these sessions are limited to those registered, there will be five hymn festivals that are free and open both to you and to the public.

As you can see, the festivals for this year’s conference are unusually varied:

Sunday, July 11, 7:30 pm, Reid Chapel
“Free at Last: Spiritual Songs of Liberation”
Mary Louise Bringle, Andrew Donaldson, Deborah Carlton Loftis

Monday, July 12, 7:30 pm., Homewood High School
Sacred Harp Singing
David Ivey

Tuesday, July 13, 7:30 pm, Sixth Avenue Baptist Church
“Unsung Hymns by Black and Unknown Bards”
James Abbington

Wednesday, July 14, 7:30 pm, Reid Chapel
“Crazy in Alabama: Longing for Justice in Story and Song”
Kate Campbell

Thursday, July 15, 10:30 am, Reid Chapel
“What Does the Lord Require?”
Jacque Browning Jones, Adam M. L. Tice

You may recogznie some of the names among the festival leaders. Deb Loftis is a former Samford librarian who also taught adjunctively. Her husband John was director of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission. Deb is the new Executive Director of The Hymn Society and visiting professor of church music at Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond.

Kate Campbell is a Samford graduate who frequently collaborates with Wayne Flynt.

You may also be interested in attending a pre-conference event. Faythe Freese, associate professor of music at the University of Alabama, will present an organ recital in Hodges Chapel on Sunday, July 11, at 4:00 pm. This recital is being sponsored as a memorial to Gretchen Hartung Anderson, who graduated from the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing in 1995, by the Hartung and Anderson families.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

HYMN SOCIETY CONFERENCE AND HISTORIC HYMNALS DISPLAY

The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada is holding its annual conference here at Samford July 11-15. The conference theme is "Sing of Justice ~ Sing of Peace."

We invite you to stop by the library and view our display of rare and historic hymnals from the library's Special Collection.

To learn more about the Hymn Society and this year's conference, visit http://www.thehymnsociety.org/conference.html.

Friday, July 2, 2010

FREE E-BOOKS

After the recent series of posts focused on the difficulties surrounding e-books, I thought that our readers deserved some good news. Something exciting. Something that works. And something that is--free. To users at least.

Free audio books. It's true. LibriVox--http://www.librivox.org/--provides free audio books of materials that are in the public domian. Readings are provided by volunteer readers. Jane Austen, Jack London, Mark Twain, Saki, and many many other writers are available. Readings can be downloaded to your computer and burned to audio CD.

Click here to browse the entire catalog.
Click here to search by author or title.
To learn about how the creators of LibriVox make it all work, click here.

This is the Internet at its best. Happy 4th everyone!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

THE TROUBLE WITH E-BOOKS, PART THREE

Part three of the complications surrounding e-books, this time focusing specifically on the accessibility--or lack thereof--of e-readers. This is a particularly interesting angle that I hadn't considered: http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Inaccessible-E-Readers-May-Run/25191/

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reminder: Kagan Resources

Just a reminder, the Law Library of Congress has an excellent bibliography of Kagan resources, both selected and web.

Two other sites that offer resources:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Medieval Portraiture Book Gets Top Prize for Best Book in Intellectual History

I'm so eager to get hold of a copy of this book; I am very drawn to accounts of intellectual history that incorporate the arts:

"Associate Professor of Art History Stephen Perkinson's book The Likeness of the King: A Prehistory of Portraiture in Late Medieval France (University of Chicago Press, 2009) has just won the Morris D. Forkosch Prize For The Best First Book in Intellectual History from the Journal of History of Ideas. The book upends several well-established theories on the evolution of portraiture, and takes readers through a fascinating tour of late Medieval history, literature, science, philosophy—ultimately using the face to enter the subtle, very human underpinnings of court life."

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE INTERNET

The title may sound a bit frivolous, but the article is certainly not. From the UK's Guardian: Everything you need to know about the Internet. An article that provides perspective both on where we've been and where we're going:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/jun/20/internet-everything-need-to-know

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

THE TROUBLE WITH E-BOOKS

Expressing a typically (for the ALA) utopian perspective, a writer for ALA TechSource attempts to draw an analogy between the growth of ebooks and the history of shaving in a posting titled "A Close Shave." Under ordinary circumstances I would summarize the article's contents, but it has significant humor value and is worth partially reproducing:

"When personal computers first hit the mainstream, they presented an interesting opportunity for libraries. All of [a] sudden, it was possible to easily separate the content from the content-bearing device. Unlike printed books, microfilm, LP records, and other content-bearing devices, with computers it is easy to move content onto and off of the device...Portable computing devices, such as the PDA and MP3 player, ran with this concept of separating the content from the content-bearing device. The apotheosis to date may be the portable eReading device, which allows you to purchase and download a book in less than a minute from most places.

Let's consider an analogy. In the good old days, when men wanted a shave, they often went to a barber shop. As far as I can tell, it was a bundled, one-price service. The barber charged one price for the complete process of shaving the customer. With that one price, the barber had to cover all his costs: straightedge razor, strop, cream, hot water, towel, rent, chair, lights, heat, his time, etc.

Then along came the safety razor and the social shift to shaving at home...This probably was a considerable convenience to most men, and it may have been more economical, but notice that it also unbundled the components of shaving. Now men had to purchase the shaving handle, the disposable razor blades, and shaving cream...usually separately. The towels, hot water, light, and heat were separate purchases too. Over time, electric razors...added to the growing list of unbundled face-shaving options."

(Source: "A Close Shave,"
http://www.alatechsource.org/blog/2010/06/a-close-shave.html)
______________________________________________________________

By contrast, the Librarian in Black avoids the history of depilatory practices and launches right in to her own detailed experiement with e-book use, relating her prolonged frustrated efforts to make use of her library's ebook collection. In the time it took her to discover the multiple mutual incompatibilities between her various devices and e-book supplier digital resource management systems, she could have read the first half of War and Peace.

I was especially interested to read her post not only because it provides a rare, critical perspective on e-books, but also because I've had similar frustrations attempting to use e-books at various libraries. It's worth your time to read her account, because it expresses in clear detail the problems that make library e-book collections so frustrating to use. Librarians, take note. As usual, we need to demand more from vendors and content-providers. In the words of the great Tim Gunn, "Just make it work!"

And if you don't read any of this, do yourself a favor and look at this cartoon depiction of the ninth circle of ebook download hell... because a picture really does paint a thousand words and it applies to so many types of program-download experiences. Everyone can relate.

I won't create a spoiler by revealing the ultimate source of download salvation for the cartoon's hero, but let's just say that it doesn't, unfortunately, involve a library. (And no, BitTorrent is not a library.)

The truth can be painful, but Librarian in Black does it well for this topic.

PUBLISHERS SUE GEORGIA STATE—THE SAGA CONTINUES, OR "SHOW ME THE MONEY"

The academic publishing industry, like the music industry (and we know that battle is already lost) is determined to preserve the kind of control over its product that allows for often usurious pricing schemes.

Unfortunately, the growth of open access publishing and institutional repositories has the potential to make publishers superfluous. But you can't blame the industry for trying to hold on to a system that has been so profitable. The latest salvo has been taking place at Georgia State, and involves e-reserves: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/43500-a-failure-to-communicate.html#comments.

And no, I am not expressing my inner Marxist by rejecting the reality of copyright and private property.

But we all know that publishers take material produced by employees of universities (professors), repackage it, and then sell it back to universities for often rapacious sums. There is value added by the publishers, but not at levels commensurate with most publisher pricing schemes.

And since self-publishing, institutional publishing, and open access publishing are so accessible, it may be that we're seeing the publishing industry white-knuckling it at this point, clinging to a system that is on its way out. It was nice (for them) while it lasted.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

PREVENTING PLAGIARISM

No one wants to think about heavy subjects in the summer--certainly not in all this heat. But we must persevere in preparation for the semester(s) to come.

Here is an excellent article from the Chronicle, complete with a number of concrete suggestions, about the all-important subject of plagiarism: http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Preventing-Plagiarism/24695/?sid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

Friday, June 11, 2010

COSMIC EVENT

With thanks for George Atchley of Samford's Christenberry Planetarium:

"A new moon on June 12 will help observing the first visit of comet McNaught (C/2009 R1) to the inner solar system, complete with a 100-million-mile “close encounter” with Earth. Search the northeastern sky before sunrise (use binoculars if possible) for a diffuse circular patch of light gliding through the constellation Perseus. A small telescope will reveal a comet with a green head and a long, wispy tail pointing north. Although currently at the threshold of naked eye visibility, by the end of the month McNaught could brighten to about the same magnitude as the stars of the Big Dipper, but this weekend offers great viewing because of its darkness. "

INSTITUTE OF GENEALOGY AND HISTORICAL RESEARCH

The Genealogists are Coming! The Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), June 13-18, provides an educational forum for the discovery, critical evaluation, and use of genealogical sources and methodology through a week of intensive study led by nationally prominent genealogical educators. The faculty is composed of outstanding nationally known genealogy educators.

Initiated in 1962, the institute regularly enrolls over 200 students from around the country. Samford librarians and library staff are integral to the organization and management of IGHR, so if you visit the Samford campus or library next week, you will see us doing everything from setting up and serving breaktime fare to driving golf carts. Join us in welcoming our genealogists to the Samford campus!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

ACCESS WORLD NEWS RESEARCH COLLECTION TRIAL

This collection provides over 5,000 news sources from local, in-state, national and international newspapers, broadcast transcripts, newswires, news blogs, web-only and video content. The library's trial runs through July and is available on and off campus: http://library.samford.edu/purl/trial/access.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

WolframAlpha Computational Knowledge Project

The WolframAlpha Computational Knowledge Project is truly amazing. Click here to watch a demonstration.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

200 YEARS OF THE TIMES OF LONDON ONLINE

Search the full text of the entire paper!

A recent donation from the Blanche Abrams Fund has allowed the University Library to purchase the Times Digital Archive, 1785 – 1985. This online treasure trove provides PDF-formatted scans of complete pages from this venerated news source.

You can:

• Search advertisements, articles, and illustrations/photos using keyword, date, or category searches, among others.

• View full facsimile images of both individual items and entire pages are available.

• Read more about the project at Gale’s web site.

This resource has been added to pertinent subject pages on the library’s web site. It will require you to sign in if you happen to be off-campus.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD TURNS 50, AND "PARTIES ARE PLANNED" (New York Times)

To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, a variety of communities all over the country--including and especially in Monroeville, Alabama--are planning re-enactments, parties, movie screenings, readings and scholarly discussions. Read all about it here.

Urgent Nationwide Alfalfa Sprout Recall

Monday, May 24, 2010

STUDS TERKEL ARCHIVES COMING ONLINE

"If someone was an important figure in American culture in the 20th century, chances are he or she was interviewed by Studs Terkel.

Conversations with Rosa Parks, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King Jr. and Louis Armstrong are among the nearly 6,000 hours of interviews conducted by Mr. Terkel, the colorful Chicago author and oral historian, for WFMT radio from 1952 to 1997.

Under a deal signed Monday between the Chicago History Museum and the Library of Congress, tapes of those interviews will be digitally preserved and given new life online.

Remembered by Chicagoans for his political activism and distinctive red checkered shirts, Mr. Terkel, who died in 2008 at 96, donated the tapes to the museum in 1997.

The Library of Congress will digitize the Studs Terkel Oral History Archive, according to the agreement, while the museum will retain ownership of the roughly 5,500 interviews in the archive and the copyrights to the content."

Click here to read the full article from the New York Times.


(Source: New York Times May 13, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/us/14cncpulse.html?emc=eta1)

Friday, May 21, 2010

ACADEMIC LIBRARIANS NEEDED MORE THAN EVER

"For all the concern expressed about the imminent demise of the college library, librarians are needed more than ever:" http://chronicle.com/article/Marian-the-Cybrarian/65570/

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

BIRMINGHAM PUBLIC LIBRARY/JCLC FINE FREE FRIDAY!

Attention Birmingham Public Library/JCLC Users: Fine Free Friday! On Friday, May 21, 2010, the Birmingham Public Library and the public libraries of Adamsville, Bessemer, Botanical Gardens, Gardendale, Homewood, Hueytown, Irondale, Leeds, Pleasant Grove, Trussville, Vestavia Hills, & Warrior will forgive fines. Some conditions apply. To learn more, visit http://bplolinenews.blogspot.com/2010/04/fine-free-friday-may-21-2010.html.

Friday, May 14, 2010

COPYRIGHT NEWS

Get all the latest news on copyright in the digital age on SU Library’s Copyright guide: http://samford.libguides.com/copyright .

Click on “In the News” to see news updated weekly.

Subscribe to the “RSS Updates” to see updates as they happen.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

ARTS & LETTERS DAILY

I can't say enough good things about "Arts & Letters Daily," a service of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

It's a compendium of articles, book reviews, and essays from a wide variety of print and online sources. If you've ever wished for a one-stop go-to place for finding the best writing in the areas of literature, philosophy, music, art, language, literature, and criticism, this is the place for you.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE ANNE FRANK HOUSE

Fifty years after the opening of the Anne Frank House museum, which has more than a million visitors every year, the museum is launching an online virtual tour of the space where Anne and her family hid from the Nazis for two years. The online tour displays the space in detail, including photographs on the wall, the print on bedspreads, the tiny kitchen, and the cramped space where the eight-member family lived in daily fear of discovery.

Anne, her sister, her parents, and others hiding in the space were arrested in August of 1944 after their location was betrayed by an unknown informant. Otto Frank, Anne's father, was the only family member to survive. He posthumously published his daughter's diary.

You may also be interested in this YouTube video, which displays images and narrative from the online virtual tour:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um3umnwgK3k

Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan Resource List

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

HAS FACEBOOK GONE "ROGUE?"

This provides some food for thought. Anyone who has used Facebook has had the experience of setting and resetting and struggling with a complex and ever-changing range of privacy seettings. Here's what one writer at Wired magazine has to say about all this:

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/facebook-rogue/#ixzz0nU0e19sw

Friday, May 7, 2010

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS!!!

Okay, the semester is winding down, and we hope that our students and other patrons (but students especially!) are beginning to breathe easier and feel the relief of that summer break on the horizon.

And we thought it would be a good time to ask:
_________________________________________________

What did you like about the library this year?

What worked for you?

And what didn't?

If you had the power to change something(s) about the library, what changes would you make?
____________________________________________

Please share your thoughts and ideas with us! Thanks!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

CATASTROPHIC OIL SPILL IN THE GULF OF MEXICO--AND BEYOND

On April 22, 2010, a mobile offshore drilling rig located in the Gulf of Mexico, the Deepwater Horizon, experienced an explosion and fire. The impact of that explosion and the resulting catastrophic oil spill will be felt for years to come. Thanks to government documents librarian Carla Waddell for creating this guide: http://samford.libguides.com/deepwater_horizon.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

MAY IS JEWISH-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH

"The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Jewish Americans who have helped form the fabric of American history, culture and society." Please visit http://jewishheritagemonth.gov/.

EARTH DAY ART EXHIBIT WINNERS

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 Earth Day Art Exhibit in the University Library.

1st Place: Danny Smith for his photograph "Village Creek."

2nd Place: Jordan Jarvis Hughes for her photograph "Almost Forgotten."

3rd Place: Lindsay Calhoun for her painting "Into Your Calling."

Many thanks to everyone who submitted their work, and congratulations to our winners.

Monday, May 3, 2010

LIBRARY SUMMER HOURS

We know you're already wondering about our summer hours. If you'll visit http://library.samford.edu/about/hours.html# and click on the month of your choice in the menu on the left, you can learn all you need to know.

GULF OIL SPILL RESOURCES AND IMAGES FROM SU GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS

Stay up to date about this developing crisis with our government documents blog. Thanks to Carla Waddell, our Government Documents librarian.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALABAMA COAST CLEANUP

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, Mobile BayKeeper and the Alabama Coastal Foundation are collecting contact information from individuals who are interested in assisting with cleanup efforts along the Alabama coast should oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill reach the state's shores. Both the below sites have links to organizations recruiting volunteers:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/04/30/impact.oil.spill/

http://blog.al.com/live/2010/04/alabama_groups_seeking_oil_spi.html

Thursday, April 29, 2010

MAY IS OLDER AMERICANS MONTH

Each year, the Administration on Aging (AoA) issues a theme for Older Americans Month to assist our National Aging Services Network of state, tribal, area agencies on aging, and community services providers plan for activities that might take place in May or throughout the year.

This year's theme "Age Strong! Live Long!" recognizes the diversity and vitality of today's older Americans who span three generations.

For further information check out their website at: http://www.aoa.gov/aoaroot/press_room/observances/oam/oam.aspx

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

IMAGES & MORE: OIL LEAK FROM DAMAGED WELL

Check out the post on the Government Documents blog for images and more information about the oil leak and the ensuing oil slick.

Monday, April 26, 2010

HAITI LIBRARY RELIEF PROJECT FROM UA'S SCHOOL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATIONS STUDIES

Students at the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies are raising funds for the recovery and reconstruction of libraries in Haiti destroyed by the recent earthquake. Book arts and library science students and faculty worked together to create a Haiti Broadside, which features “Night and Day”... by Haitian poet Paul Laraque and an original design by UA artist Sarah Marshall printed on handmade paper. Please visit http://www.slis.ua.edu/Haiti.html to view this beautiful broadside.

Friday, April 23, 2010

NEIL GAIMAN AND THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

You probably know Neil Gaiman as a science fiction and fantasy writer. But did you know that he was also the honorary chair of National Library Week?

See what he has to say about libraries and librarians: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH-sR1uCQ6g

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS LIBRARY WEEK DRAW WINNERS!


Congratulations to the winners of last week's Library Week prize drawings. Prizes included certificates for free meals in the food court, jump drives, a hooded Samford sweatshirt, and our grand prize, a $40.00 Amazon gift card.

Our winners are:
Stephen C. Johnson
Charlie Everett
Callie Gibson
Claire Heard
Daniel Williams
Shantel Waters
Robert Paul
Jonathan Bailes










Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SAMFORD SECRET PROJECT

Remember the "Samford Secret" project? Well there is now a website. Flash must be working in order to view the site.

It's really excellent. Kudos to Jonathan Haas and the Samford Secret team: http://www.samfordsecret.com/

SUPPORT THE LIBRARY WITH AMAZON

Did you know that you can support the University Library every time you shop at online retailers such as Amazon?

You can! And we know you want to! Please visit http://library.samford.edu/about/support.html.

ROMEO AND JULIET ON TWITTER

Here's a novel use for Twitter. The Royal Shakespeare Company is using it to perform scenes from Romeo and Juliet. Check it out here: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23823525-rsc-uses-twitter-to-perform-romeo-and-juliet-scenes.do You can also view it here: http://www.suchtweetsorrow.com/

Thanks to Jennifer Taylor for submitting this post.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Relevancy ranking . . . like Google does

When you search your favorite search engine, you are accustomed to having the search results sorted by relevancy. In relevancy ranking, the results are sorted so that those near the top of the list will likely be more relevant to your search.
EBSCO has recently improved its relevancy ranking, and has offered the library the option to make this type of ranking the default in all EBSCO databases. We thought we would give it a try. Once you've performed a search, you'll have the option of sorting the results in date descending order, the former default, if you wish.
Here's a short video of how this process might work. You'll notice on the right side of your results list in these databases a box that you can use to ask us librarians any questions you might have, or to lodge a complaint if you don't like this new ranking. You can also let us know what you think by contacting the reference desk at reference@samford.edu

Alabama Energy Efficient Appliance Program

Learn more about the Alabama Energy Efficient Appliance Program from the Government Documents blog.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Library of Congress & Twitter Archive

From the Government Documents blog, the Library of Congress will digitally archive tweets from Twitter.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

2nd ANNUAL OPEN MIC POETRY READING

Today's open mic poetry reading on the steps of the Samford University Library was an enthusiastic success. We had 28 readers/reciters, including some who read poems written by themselves or friends, dramatic reciations of Paul Laurence Dunbar's "Accountability" and T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Man," and a Shel Silverstein poem set to a rap beat / beat box. Thanks to everyone who joined us, and particularly to those who read and recited for us! Please visit Samford University Library Facebook page to view more photos, and don't forget to become a fan (!) http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Birmingham-AL/Samford-University-University-Library/40083044488