Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 Census Population & Apportionment Counts

Friday, December 17, 2010


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


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


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."


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"

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.

The Jane Austen Society of North America

Thursday, December 9, 2010


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


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


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


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


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.”

(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.