Thursday, March 29, 2012

How does the library decide what books to order?

On March 16th I asked if anyone had any questions about the archives or library that they would like answered.  Anna asked: How does the library decide what books to order?

There are multiple ways the library chooses materials to order.  One is through Choice Cards.  Choice Cards are stacks of material suggestions recommended for academic libraries.  These cards are divided by discipline and go out to the heads of academic departments.  Faculty review the suggestions for their discipline and initial the materials they think the library should purchase.  Most of the time every initialed item gets ordered, but if the book is particularly expensive the director may contact the faculty member, who initialed the card, to determine if the book is a “must have” or a “want”.

Have you seen the librarians at the reference desk flipping through magazines?  These magazines contain material reviews and news about what is going on in the library and publishing world.  The librarian will read through the reviews in these publications for items that match the campus’s interests.  For example if a professor teaches a class on eastern theater, the librarians will choose materials that match this interest.  What the librarians are less likely to choose are general interest materials.  For example you will find few cooking books (200 crock pot meals), how to books (how to maintain your car), or travel books (a travel guide to Greece) in the collection.  You will find “Chop suey: a cultural history of Chinease food in the United States”, “The physics of NASCAR: how to make steel + gas + rubber = speed”, and the “Journal of modern Greek studies”.

Students also help decide what materials are purchased.  When a student interlibrary loans a book it is checked against 4 criteria: was published within the last 3 years, is non-fiction, is applicable to the current curriculum, and costs less than $50.  If the ILL book passes all four of these criteria it is automatically ordered for the library.  Students may also make suggestions as to what the library should purchase.  Many of the DVDs added to the audiovisual collection are added due to student suggestions.

You may have noticed that I used the word materials instead of books in my explanation.  That is because the library doesn’t just order books.  It purchases database subscriptions, journals, DVDs, e-books, and other informational materials as the campus shows need for them.

Anna, I hope this answered your question.  You, and everyone else, are welcome to ask another anytime.

Have a good day

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

EBSCO, Trials, and Facebook Scams

A few notes from the library's reference department:

1) As several folks noticed yesterday, Coe's EBSCO databases were down most of the afternoon due to some maintenance by EBSCO.  Apparently they were doing work on the administrative module for EBSCO and inadvertently knocked out all EBSCO services.  Everything is back up and running, so here's hoping that everyone's research schedules were not too greatly effected. This does serve as a great lesson, though, as to why it's in your best interest to explore a variety of the college's databases offered by several different providers.  For EBSCO database that Coe has, we probably have 2 that are not, so take the time to explore some of those databases that you use less often.

2) Speaking of new database offerings, the library will be part of a few new database trials in the coming weeks.  We'll be emailing the faculty members that we think would get the most use out of the specific trials, but we will also try to post information on various trials as the information becomes available to us on the library blog as well.  Please feel free to offer any feedback that you have on these databases in the comments here, as it will help the staff get a feel for the college's impressions of the offerings.

3) Finally, with over 600,000,000 folks on Facebook, you are almost bound to see offers on it from time to time to good to be true.  Usually, if seems to good to be true (like a free IPad or a $100 gift card to Red Lobster, for example,) it is.  But, if you're interested in checking into whether something might be a scam,  Facecrooks is a great scam watch website.  It not only will give you the scoop on mysterious free offers, but it also investigates things like messages sent to you trying to get you to watch some crazy video you were supposedly in.  Remember, you should always be careful about what you click on or to whom you give personal information online.

-Katelyn, Head of Reference


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Sale

As we prepared for the Library Book sale we noticed several excellent titles in philosopy such as the  complete works of Hegel and Bacon.  We will have tables of books on American and European history.  Of course, as usual there are many fiction titles from Picoult, Baldacci and Sanders.  Check it out tomorrow and Thurs.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Library Book Sale

Library Book Sale

Wed and Thurs March 28 and 29

Many titles to choose from especially in history, sociology and philosophy.  There will also be some media and picture frames all priced to sell!  All proceeds will go to the Brian Schappert Endowment. ~~ Sandy

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Flunk Day (looking back, 1911)

from the archives...

The first flunk day was announced by a notice posted at chapel (which students were required to attend) and plastered across campus in classrooms and outside walls.  It encouraged everyone to  "give his intellectual organ a short respite" by cutting classes", and kindly requested the faculty to lend "their cooperation by taking their wives and going on a picnic."

The students followed suit and headed to the Cedar River for a day of picnicking and boating.  The day was enough of a success that the tradition has lasted a hundred and one years past the first one held on May 3, 1911.

For more Flunk Day history you can visit Coe's digital exhibit of Flunk Day posters.

Till next Thursday

P.S. Thank you Anna for your questions.  I will make sure to answer them next week.  I am still open to questions: what do you want to see a blog post on?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Library Technology Conference 2012

If you noticed that the library seemed a bit empty last week, and the blog a bit barren, it was.  The reason why?  Several members of the staff had the chance to attend the Library Technology Conference at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.  The conference was great, and the library will be speaking on some of our experiences there at the next library-hosted Common Hour on April 13th.  In the meanwhile, a great deal of the material presented there was really informative, and conveniently enough, available online!  If you want to check out some of the presentation materials, head to the Digital Commons at Macalester. The general conference website can be found at this link, or just click on the banner above. We hope to see you in a few weeks when we talk about what we learned!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Celebrate Women's History Month!

Celebrate Women's History Month!

March is Women's History Month, and the Audiovisual Department has plenty of films on display to help you celebrate! Here are a few favorites:

A Walk to Beautiful is a documentary that features the journey of five Ethiopian women that are seeking treatment for their obstetric fistulas, which have left them ostracized by their husbands and communities. Their journey to the hospital in the capital, Addis Ababa, is filled with many trials and hope at the end of the day.

Iron Jawed Angels is a feature film that details the US women’s suffrage efforts of Alice Paul and others, which ultimately ends in the imprisonment of these protestors. Their hunger strike while in prison gains the attention of then President Woodrow Wilson, and ultimately their efforts help to gain women the right to vote by the passing of the 19th Amendment.

Voices Unveiled is a documentary that follows the lives of three Turkish women: an activist, an artist, and a dancer as they maneuver struggles with gender equality within a society highlighted by Islamic values. The film highlights how their daily lives challenge the traditional roles of Turkish women.

Stop in to the AV and check these films out today!

Head of Audiovisual

Friday, March 16, 2012

Audience participation

From the archives...

Good afternoon everyone

It has been a busy week in the library, and my Thursday blog post fell through the cracks.  Which wasn't helped by the campus' "Twilight Zone" power outage (we were teased in the library the lights flickered on then off, and for a moment it looked like it was on for good before the darkness fell) , which I hope everyone took advantage of to enjoy the beautiful March weather, it was very accommodating for once!   So, its Friday and I was sitting at my desk wondering what to blog about when I had a thought...
What do you, the chosen few who have found this blog, want to know about the archives, Coe's history, the library, or anything really?

There is a lovely little gold link at the bottom of this post titled 'post a comment'.  Ask a question and I'll try to answer it in my next blog post.

Till Thursday

P.S. I suspect my request will go unanswered, but would love to be proven wrong, so please ask away.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Thoughts on a New Science Hall" (looking back, 1964)

From the Archives...

[caption id="attachment_649" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Construction Site for Peterson hall 1968."][/caption]

Peterson Hall is being emptied out this Spring Break week in preparation for its renovation.  On looking in the archives files, I came across a document from 1964 titled "Thoughts on a New Science Hall" penned by Dean Howard Greenlee to the building committee of the time.  I would like to share a few of his thoughts at the time of Peterson's planning.
"We must have it in mind that we are about to construct facilities for the most rapidly developing area of human knowledge.  It is said that about half of the scientists who ever lived are living today and the change within the sciences is very great indeed.  We must try to build a structure and equip it in such a way that rapid changes that are sure to come may be reflected in our program without being hampered by the decisions we make in this planning stage of our work...."

" follows that those who major in the sciences must have the opportunity to receive an education that is representative of the best thinking in their particular discipline.  This involves the opportunity for independent projects ..., familiarity with equipment and techniques that are currently being used in the discipline, and laboratory experiences in representative sections of the discipline."

For those science professors on campus, do your offices in Peterson have air conditioning?  If they don't it is not for want of recommendation from Mr. Greenlee who notes in his memo:
"Air-conditioning of at least some of this building [Peterson Hall] should be considered essential.  The air-conditioned space we should include: faculty offices; instrument rooms and other spaces where valuable equipment is maintained...."

Until next Thursday

Monday, March 5, 2012

Library Book Sale Coming Soon!

March 28 and 29 in the Winifred Cone Gallery (front lobby of the library).  Look for more details in the next few weeks.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Suggested Reads for Spring Break

These are in no particular order, except for alphabetical, so expect the first to be as good as the last!

“The Bonadventure: a Random Journal of an Atlantic Holiday” By Edmund Blunden

"This little book is not intended for anything beyond the statement on the title page.  I am sorry myself that there are no adventures of blood-curdling sort in it; but I could not go out of my way, nor do tramps find time, it seems, for propitiating cannibals."

~Edmund Blunden in his authors note

 “For Lust of Knowing: Memoirs of an intelligence Officer” By Archie Roosevelt

This is a charming, anecdotal report of a life spent in intelligence work in the Middle East and Africa. Grandson of one president and nephew of another, Roosevelt says little about his specific activities in World War II military intelligence and post-war CIA work, but portrays the history and atmosphere of the region in lively sketches.

~American Library Association

 “I fly for news” By Larry Rue

When Larry Rue, star newspaper correspondent, became the first newspaperman to fly his own plane, he piled up more experiences in a short time than many correspondents accumulate in a lifetime.  Rue's recital of cheating death from the dangers of the air and the implements of war on the ground, combined with a succinct survey of the political situation in a score of countries, abounds in humor and puts I fly for News in a rank of its own.

~The Pittsburgh Press

 “Living With Cannibals and Other Women’s Adventures” By Michelle Slung

The spirit of adventure sweeps through the chapters of this exciting volume as we encounter the inspiring, sometimes tragic, often humorous tales of adventurous women -- from the 18th century to the 21st century.  Selected from National Geographic's rich archives, this colorful group portrait pairs female adventurers of the past with their contemporary counterparts -- in a "then and now" approach.

~from library catalog

 “My Old Man and the Sea: a father and son sail around Cape Horn” by David Hays

A story of adventure on a small boat, for fathers, for sons, and for those who love them. On this voyage the father relinquishes control, the son becomes the captain, and before long they are utterly alone, with only the huge waves of Cape Horn, a compass, a sextant, a pet cat, and the tiny boat they've built together.

~from library catalog

 “National Geographic expeditions atlas”

The National Geographic Expeditions Atlas is an intimate and lively retrospective of the Society's extended family, both past and present. Here are the adventurers, scientists, and others who for more than a century have epitomized the Society's enduring mission to explore our world and everything in it.

~from library catalog

 “Other Routs: 1500 years if African and Asian Travel Writing” edited by Tabish Khair

Hoping to mitigate the "almost total erasure of non-European travel accounts" that results in a Eurocentric view of the globe, Khair (Univ. of Aarhus, Denmark) and his fellow editors showcase travel writing by international travelers of Asian and African origin. The editors offer 33 carefully excerpted travel accounts that range chronologically from the 5th century CE to the late 19th century.

~American Library Association

“Prose” by Elizabeth Bishop, edited by Lloyd Schwartz

Among the pieces in Prose, never before published, is Bishop's original text for the Life World Library book on Brazil, which was heavily edited.  "They rewrote wholesale things [Bishop] had written and she hated the book."  Schwartz put together the bulk of what Bishop intended. "This is the closest we can get to what she wanted, and it is really quite remarkable," he said.

~PBS Newshour

“The Royal Road to Romance” by Richard Halliburton.

When Richard Halliburton graduated from college, he chose adventure over a career, traveling the world with almost no money.  The Royal Road to Romance chronicles what happened as a result, from a breakthrough Matterhorn ascent to being jailed for taking forbidden pictures on Gibraltar. "One of the most fascinating books of its kind ever written."

~Detroit News

 “A Tramp Abroad; Fallowing the Equator; Other Travels” by Mark Twain

It was as a humorous travel writer, in The Innocents Abroad and Roughing It, that Mark Twain first became widely known, and at the height of his career he returned to the genre in the works collected here. Like those earlier books, the frequently hilarious A Tramp Abroad (1880), based on his family's 16-month sojourn in Europe from April 1878 to August 1879, blends autobiography and fiction, facts and tall tales.

~from library catalog