Libraries & Archives

Libraries & Archives

Thursday, June 30, 2005

July Book of the Month

July eBook of the Month

National Pastime: How Americans Play Baseball and the Rest of the World Plays Soccer

When British soldiers in Afghanistan and Southern Iraq wanted to befriend the locals, they played a soccer match. On Christmas Day, 1914, British and German soldiers in the First World War did the same thing. For nearly 100 years soccer has united a divided world with only one notable exception—the United States.
Baseball is America's game, a national obsession that remains largely North American. Soccer is the world's game, a sport over which no nation can claim ownership. In July's eBook of the Month, authors Stefan Szymanski and Andrew Zimbalist offer the first in-depth, cross-cultural comparison of these two great sporting passions and show how much the traditions of each game reveal about the societies and economies that spawned them. By tracing the evolution of both sports, Szymanski and Zimbalist identify some of the problems each faces, and how each sport can look to the other for solutions.

Designed to increase awareness of online resources and highlight the value of your eBook collection, July's eBook of the Month is provided through the generous support of Brookings Institution Press. Don't miss this engaging and entertaining look at the world of sports business.

Check it out through the L.W.Nixon Library e-book collection!

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Shifted Librarian at conference

This gal is grand. She writes enough content to keep all libraries on their toes. And since she's at the "Gaming, Learning and Culture" Conference in Madison, WI this week, she's blogging her session notes. This was fascinating.

(from the Shifted librarian blog:)

GLS02: James Paul Gee on New Paradigms for Learning

two crises that are relevant to our schools and our society

1. “the 4th grade slump” - there are certain ways you can teach young children to read, but by 4th grade they can’t read to learn so they struggle after that
2. “the college slump” – we’ve outsourced a tremendous amount of our work, every commoditized job (everything that can be standardized) because other countries are producing very smart people; so we’re left with those jobs that can’t be standardized and we hope they’ll keep doing the rest for us, but that’s not happening anymore; instead, they’re producing people for the non-commoditized work — everyone EXCEPT THE U.S.; this will be very destructive to us within 20 years; we have to be able to innovate and create, not just get a degree; that’s not enough anymore

the solution to these crises is in our face: it’s popular culture and games; this is where it’s getting solved, not in our schools

the 4th grade slump is caused by the fact that what is so hard about school is how hard the language gets; textbooks are NOT recreational reading; unless kids, starting at home, get ready for this language early, they will be lost; it’s like changing the language to Greek in mid-stream; it’s not the english you speak at home - it’s a technical language

interestingly, this language is being reflected in popular culture; eg, Yu-Gi-Oh cards (
gives kids incredibly complex culture by age 7; eg, showed a YGO card that had 3 straigtht conditional clause statements as explanations of powers
as an adult, Gee would rather take physics than figure out the YuGiOh rules! :-)
no failure rates, either – no research has found a failure for a minority group to understand this
where is the one place these cards are banned? SCHOOL

cutting edge assessment: the college slump problem

have to teach students to innovate and create; popular culture already represents a space that is solving this problem and we can learn from it

assessment is important - am I making progress, and why did I just fail? a multiple choice test is not fun and it’s useless it doesn’t tell you anything or help you figure out what you did wrong; this is a different view of assessment

“Rise of Nations” as an example - showed screenshots, especially of online competitions against others
14 pages of statistical graphs of what you did, and kids read it for pleasure!
creates a lot of multimodal skills with graphs and numeracy
informative assessment - tells you what happened; helps you form strategies by telling you where you failed; assessing to create new strategies is part of the game; gives you ideas for how to do it better; you couldn’t get a better score – but shows where you could do better, which is an ideal assessment; the biggest assessment isn’t those graphs, it’s what you did with them – did you learn from them?

what if a kid got these kinds of assessments in school for science?

afffinity groups:
1. common endeavor, not race, class, gender, or disability, is primary
2. newbies and masters share common space
3. players produce content, not just consume it
4. content organization is transformed by interactional organization
5. encourages intensive and extensive knowledge
6. encourages individual and distributed knowledge
7. encourages dispersed knowledge – everyone (the help) is there somewhere
8. uses and honors tacit knowledge
9. many different forms and routes to participation
10. different routes to status
11. leadership is porous and leaders are resources


... and there's more. Find her and her session notes at her blog this week.



A clear voice, interesting books. Thanks for the link!

Ok, now I'm wondering how many others at Butler are posting Blogs. If you are, leave a comment here!


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

So what's happening?

Ok, I've been away for a bit.

It's very quiet here at the library. We have one student using the wireless laptop, two in the computer lab, and one at the copier. And who knows how many working from our databases...

Our hours drop to 40 per week in the summer -- 8 am to 5 pm. And yet we have our full range of services, and most of our staff around to help. So it's a good time to visit.

Juli's busy cataloguing new books. I ordered quite a few before the end of the fiscal year.

Lonnie's putting the latest round of South Central Kansas collection - mostly recent fiction - up on the front shelves. It's cool to see new titles come in.

Hazel's writing Purchase Orders and doing final check on the new books. Then year-end processes with the files will consume some of her time. I'm hoping she placed the order for the new shelves that will go on the East window wall last week while I was away.

Rani, of course, is busy processing new books for the shelves. And she's worked at developing her plan for displays in the library for next year. We both realized that she has to plan for two or three places since we moved the big glass case last month and have an open set of shelves at the end of the front bookcase.

Judy is off for much of the summer; I count on her being here on Fridays. She runs the summer reading program at the public library in Rose Hill, and needs the time during the week for that. I wish you happy kids, Judy!

Ronda is off to Mexico this week! She and her hubby flew to Puebla last Saturday. I hope you're healthy and seeing lots, Ronda.

I was at Kan-ed Conference and heard Tom Peters speak (yell?) last week. The guy is passionate, if behind the times about libraries. Then the State Resource Sharing Summit, which amounted to a good brainstorming session. On Monday and Tuesday I was at a campus retreat for the Systems Councils. So I'm really just back for the first time today, and catching up on stuff. Yay!

Come on up to the library and see me sometime.

Still singing,


Sunday, June 05, 2005

�Mockingbird� author makes rare appearance - BOOKS -

�Mockingbird� author makes rare appearance - BOOKS -

"Harper Lee, who has been dodging publicity for decades since she published her only book, "To Kill a Mockingbird," made a rare step into the limelight to be honored by the Los Angeles Public Library..."

When we did our program "One Book, One Community" this spring, we read To Kill a Mockingbird. We were thrilled to have "Scout" visit El Dorado, and see her and "Jem" in Arkansas City. I know I had to check at one point to see if the author was still alive, and find out what else she had published (nothing else).

I've thought about the novel several times in the past week as I am reading The Secret Life of Bees. The protagonist is older by 5 years, and the action links more strongly to what is taking place in the United States during President Johnson's administration. Yet there is a quality to it, not just the setting, that reminds me of Lee's work.