Monday, August 29, 2011

ILL Has Moved

The Interlibrary Loan office has moved from Room 226 (2nd floor) to Room 410 (4th floor). Because ILL is a very active department, the larger space will certainly be put to good use. To visit the new office, you may use the stairs or the left-most elevator. Please see the Circulation Desk for assistance.

Friday, August 26, 2011

WorldCat Turns Forty

Here is a letter from Jay Jordan, the President and CEO of OCLC:

"Today marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of WorldCat, the world's most comprehensive online library database. Few of those involved in the creation of WorldCat would have guessed that 40 years later, thousands of librarians and catalogers around the world would have cataloged more than 1.7 billion items.

"Contributions to WorldCat from individual libraries and other partners in the community allow many libraries to get most of the records in their local catalogs from this shared resource. While records come in to WorldCat from a variety of sources, it is the ongoing partnership between dedicated catalogers and the WorldCat team at OCLC that keeps collection data accurate and useful to information seekers.

"WorldCat is a singular achievement. It represents the cooperative spirit at the heart of what makes libraries unique among cultural, educational and civic services. It is a shared resource that is built and maintained by thousands of members for the good of all. We who work at OCLC are proud to have been a part of this remarkable story, and I want to thank our member institutions and employees for the years of dedicated effort that helped build this unique resource. Fred Kilgour's vision—improving access to information through library cooperation—is every bit as vital today as it was in 1971. This anniversary is an important milestone in a shared journey that, I believe, will continue for many decades to come.

"At one point in our history, OCLC used Irascope LTE terminals to send message traffic at 2400 baud over dedicated, leased telephone lines. Our network people tell me that information moves in and out of WorldCat via the Web at approximately 416,000 times that speed today. People now access WorldCat from desktop computers and laptops that are far more powerful than the dedicated servers of the 1970s and '80s. And with tablets and smartphones, our users are staying connected to member libraries at any time, from almost anywhere on the globe.

"The technology has obviously changed, but the vision has not: furthering access to the information in the world's libraries. WorldCat may be one of the world’s oldest databases, but our libraries' commitment to its health and improvement keeps it truly young at heart. And that heart, still beating strongly, is at the center of a unique, global bibliographic system.

"Happy 40th birthday, WorldCat. And congratulations to everyone who had a hand in building this marvelous resource, one record at a time. You're truly part of something extraordinary."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Database Trials

The University Library has recently gained access to three new database trials. These resources cover a wide variety of topics and are offered for a limited time. You can view all our current trials here.

With thanks to Lori Northrup, Associate Director and Chair, Collection Management/Acquisitions.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Spotlight on Microfilm

Microfilm continues to be the desired means of preservation for many archivists. If maintained correctly, film can preserve records for up to 500 years. Currently the Samford University Library is the only institution in Alabama with a mission that includes preservation microfilming for manuscripts, records, and newspapers. Recently, the staff of the Special Collection Department received a microfilm camera on loan from the Alabama Department of Archives and History to aid in the library’s mission. Each year, Samford's microfilm lab preserves a high volume of materials on film for approximately 95% less than it would cost in time or money if it were to be digitized. On average, it costs the department $0.07 to $0.15 per page filmed. Recent studies at other institutions have found a low budget manuscript digitization project costs approximately $1.50 per image to be scanned and uploaded to a website. In 2010 Samford's microfilm laboratory preserved approximately 200,000 pages of records, manuscripts, and newspapers on microfilm. The film produced by the library is sent to various newspaper companies and libraries across the Southeast. The film is also made available to any researcher with access to a library across the United States.

For more information on the Samford University Library's Microfilm Laboratory, please visit

With thanks to Jennifer Taylor, Special Collection Department.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Butterworth Collection Featured in SC Treasure Chest

Every two months, the Special Collection department shares a new "treasure" from their Treasure Chest. This is one way you can enjoy the wide variety of materials housed in Special Collection. The newest treasure is the William E. Butterworth Collection. Butterworth is a prolific author, and you may recognize him by his most famous pen name, W. E. B. Griffin. Click here to read more.

With thanks to Jennifer Taylor, Special Collection Department.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Southern Baptist Convention Annuals

The Southern Baptist Convention annuals (1845-2010) are now available for viewing and downloading on the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives website. Most all, but not all, have been indexed through Google Search. Thanks to the Executive Committee, SBC, and many folks at the Baylor University Library for making this cooperative project a success. The annuals are also accessible through the Baylor University Digital Library.

With thanks to Jennifer Taylor,  Special Collection Department

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Perseids Meteor Shower

"The Perseids Meteor Shower peaks on August 13 and 14, but they're visible now through August 22. Even though they peak at 60 meteors per hour, the full Moon on the peak nights will somewhat frustrate your meteor watching pleasure. Find the darkest area you can and look to the northeast after midnight. But don't wait until mid-August -- enjoy the shooting stars now while the Moon isn't so bright and the evenings are still warm!"

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

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Free Music Download from Alexander Street Press

The latest free music download from Alexander Street Press is "Cowboy Jim" from the album "Pioneering Women of Bluegrass," performed by Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Four Ways that iPads are Changing the Lives of People with Disabilities

This caught my eye.  I know that technological devices can have adaptive features that create real utility for users with various disabilities.  The iPad seems to excel at this.