Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Break "The Library Cycle"

This cartoon appeared in our student newspaper.The Eastern Progress

The question, for me, is: How do we break "The Library Cycle?"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crabbe Library Stars in Award-Winning Film

The winner of the Best Short Film Award at the 2008 Cinefest Movie Expo and Festival in Louisville, Kentucky was written and produced by two Eastern Kentucky University faculty members and involved several students.

"The Library," as the title implies, takes place almost entirely in EKU's main library, where I work.

Although this is definitely not a film made by or for those concerned with re-vamping the librarian's image as a busybody matron, I give a big thumbs-up to this delightful little comedy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Kool Tool

Even if your school or library is blessed with excellent up-to-date technology, Murphy's Law says that sooner or later you will find yourself in front of the classroom without electronic access to the things you were going to share with your students. For me this happened when EBSCO's server was down in New England, cutting off access for me in Kentucky.

At the time I was lucky to quickly find a tutorial on-line that I could use, but in case of future trouble, I decided to make a back-up plan. First, I tried using Microsoft Paint to do some screen captures, but found that I had captured only one screen of my double monitors. I re-did them, only to notice that not only was I capturing all the other junk on my desktop, but that there were gaps on the screen not visible to me.

My tech-savvy hubby recommended WebKut to solve my problems, and it was a great solution. This free application allows you to capture the entire page, current view, or only a selection. I'm in the process of snipping some screen shots of databases, searches, and search results to save on a flash drive, so that the next time something is down, I'll have a plan in hand (literally).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

False Dichotomy

I've noticed a tendency among librarians to want to label things like Wikipedia and Google as simply bad and library catalogs and databases as simply good, which is particularly exacerbated when trying to teach inexperienced undergraduates what they need for their papers in 50 minutes or less. I loved this recent post by one of the authors of In the Library with a Lead Pipe, which talks about the importance of not oversimplifying this complicated situation.

There is some great stuff in this post about why it is important not to dismiss Internet sources out of hand, while at the same time teaching students what is and is not appropriate for citing in an academic paper, including some great examples from the author's own experience doing library research as a graduate student. I'm looking forward to reading more.