Libraries & Archives

Libraries & Archives

Friday, December 01, 2006

State Library Update

The State Library of Kansas is a big supporter of library efforts in Kansas, including this one at Butler Community College.

The State Librarian speaks to all that's happened at the State Library this year:

And for a further look at libraries in Kansas, check out the Kansas Libraries newsletter for December here:

I'm serving on the Kansas Library Network Board/State Library Advisory Commission and enjoy quarterly meetings with my peers and the State Librarians. Any interested parties are invited... we need to get the minutes and agenda into a public forum or blog so people CAN attend. I'll be working on it!


Friday, November 03, 2006

A note from a fellow librarian

Hi Micaela,

I just wanted to take a second and send you and your staff a note of praise! I was working with a transfer student from Butler and was extremely impressed. He knew his stuff! I do one-on-one consultations with our Chemistry students in which we evaluate their information seeking behavior and in his search path there was not one mention of google, wikipedia, etc. He had carefully thought about his keyword selections and used advanced techniques when formulating his query. He spoke very highly of your team and was genuinely appreciative of all the help the librarians at Butler gave him during his time at your college.

Keep up the fantasic work!

K-State at Salina Library
2310 Centennial Road
Salina, KS 67401
(785) 826-2616

That's what we live for... thank you!


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Back from vacation... to an upgrade

Hey all,

Just back from a trip to Albany, NY to attend the wedding of my mother-in-law. It was a great time.

This arrived while I was gone:


Kim Harp, Legislative Reference
State Library of Kansas
300 SW 10th Ave Rm 343-N
Topeka, KS 66612

Free Software Streamlines Download Audiobook Use

Topeka, KS 10/17/06

Have you tried downloading a book from the State Library’s Audiobooks, Music and More yet? Now Overdrive gives you one more reason why you should go to to download your next audiobook.

Overdrive, Inc., a leading digital media distributor, announced today the release of Version 2.1 of OverDrive Media Console, free PC desktop software that enables download, management, and playback of digital audiobooks, music, and video. This free upgrade includes “Transfer Wizard,” a feature that with two mouse clicks transfers a downloaded audiobook from a PC to supported portable MP3 players. It is even easier than before!

The new software, available at, also provides audiobook listeners with book marking, speed adjustment, chapter navigation, resume from furthest point played, and hot key navigation features.

Audiobooks, Music and More! provides access to thousands of award-winning audiobook titles from the leading publishers, authors, and narrators including new best sellers by John Grisham, Richard Patterson, Tom Clancy, Amy Tan, Janet Evanovich, Mitch Albom, David Sedaris, Dave Barry, Meg Cabot, Dean Koontz and hundreds more.
Users of earlier versions of OverDrive Media Console 2.0 will be prompted to update to the newer version. All new patrons of Kansas libraries will automatically be offered this new release.
For more information on Audiobooks, Music and More! contact the State Library at 785-296-3296 or


Monday, October 02, 2006

And they don't call it a Laptop because?...

CPSC Releases Tips on Notebook Computer Use

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207

September 28, 2006
Release #06-271 CPSC Consumer Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

CPSC Releases Tips on Notebook Computer Use
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Notebook computers are now a part of modern life. They can be found in offices, schools and homes across the country. There are tens of millions of portable computers in use. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of at least 47 incidents involving smoke or fire associated with notebook computers, from January 2001 through August 2006. To promote safe use of notebook computers, batteries and chargers, CPSC offers the following tips:

Do not use incompatible computer batteries and chargers. If unsure about whether a replacement battery or charger is compatible, contact the product manufacturer.

Computer batteries can get hot during normal use. Do not use your computer on your lap.

Do not use your computer on soft surfaces, such as a sofa, bed or carpet, because it can restrict airflow and cause overheating.

Do not permit a loose battery to come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys or jewelry.

Do not crush, puncture or put a high degree of pressure on the battery as this can cause an internal short-circuit, resulting in overheating.

Avoid dropping or bumping the computer. Dropping it, especially on a hard surface, can potentially cause damage to the computer and battery. If you suspect damage contact the manufacturer.

Do not place the computer in areas that may get very hot.

Do not get your computer or battery wet. Even though they will dry and appear to operate normally, the circuitry could slowly corrode and pose a safety hazard.

Follow battery usage, storage and charging guidelines found in the user’s guide.


Send the link for this page to a friend! The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $700 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC's Web site at

Monday, September 25, 2006

ALA announces challenged books....

Harry Potter tops list of most challenged books of 21st Century

(CHICAGO) In anticipation of the 25th anniversary of Banned Books Week (September 23-30), the American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top 10 most challenged books from 2000-2005, with the Harry Potter series of books leading the pack. The 10 most challenged books of the 21st Century (2000-2005) are:

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

2. "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier

3. Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

4. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

5. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou

6. "Fallen Angels" by Walter Dean Myers

7. "It's Perfectly Normal" by Robie Harris

8. Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz

9. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey

10. "Forever" by Judy Blume


Now readers can vote online for THEIR favorite challenged book by logging on at The ALA will announce the "winners" Monday, October 2.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Sherry says:

With the Kansas Book Festival about to take place in Wichita, I wanted everyone to know that you (and your users!) can learn more about favorite authors and books in the Literature Resource Center database.

The State Library's Kansas Library Card is the key to opening literary criticism and biographical information for authors, illustrators, etc.

And it is FREE!! If you look up Rosemary Wells and her book Bunny Cakes or Gordon Parks and his book The Learning Tree, you will find articles, criticism, and author information. There is a Fort Scott connection in there too! Try the Kansas Library Card today.

Thanks to:
Sherry Hawkins Backhus, MLS
Information Professional
"Who dares to teach must
never cease to learn."
John Cotton Dana

for this post.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The First Ever Kansas Book Festival


September 29-30, 2006 Lawrence-Dumont Stadium

The first ever Kansas Book Festival, a signature event in the Countdown to Statehood, features two days of continuous performances, readings,and workshops. The free Festival,celebrating books, art and Kansas heritage, runs

9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Friday, September 29, and
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday, September 30,

at the Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita.

Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Kansas Poet Laureate Jonathan Holden are among the many authors, performers, and presenters featured at the Festival.

“The Kansas Book Festival will enhance cultural appreciation and awareness within our state," said Governor Kathleen Sebelius. "I encourage Kansans to mark their calendars and join us for this unique event.”

Featured Kansas authors include Don Coldsmith, Robert Day, Michael J.Everhart, Jim Hoy, Craig Miner, and William M. Tsutsui.

Performers and presentations include the Friends University Soulstice, Native American Exhibition Dancers, Lemuel Sheppard, Tropical Shores Steel Drum Band, and Wichita Children’s Theatre.

The Tribute to Gordon Parks on Saturday afternoon features jazz artist Queen Bey and filmmaker Kevin Wilmott.

The Festival culminates with a film screening of the new motion picture on Truman Capote, Infamous. Director Douglas McGrath will be in attendance at this special showing at the Warren Theaters. For more information visit

As part of the Festival, the Black, White and READ All Over Ball will be 8 - 11 p.m. Friday, September 29, at Exploration Place in Wichita. Jazz vocalist Donna Tucker will provide the entertainment for the evening along with a five-piece jazz instrumental group. The Ball will honor fifteen authors with 2006 Kansas Notable Books medals. Tickets are $50 per person. For more information contact Vikki Jo Stewart, Kansas State Library, 620-331-8218,

The 2006 Kansas Book Festival is produced by the Governor’s Cultural Affairs Council and the Kansas Center for the Book in cooperation with state and local organizations. For more information about the 2006 Kansas Book Festival, visit

Corporate sponsors to date include Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita Eagle, Kansas State Historical Society, and Kansas State Library.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The 2006 Kansas Book Festival

The 2006 Kansas Book Festival, September 29-30, 2006 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, Wichita is a wonderful opportunity for Kansas libraries in so many ways! The Kansas Center for the Book is a major contributor to the programming along with the Kansas State Historical Society, the Governor’s Office and other members of the Governor’s Cultural Affairs Council. Check out for updates!

An important part of the Festival for libraries is the Black, White and READ All Over Ball, Friday, September 29, 2006, 8-11 PM at Exploration Place, Wichita! Exploration Place exhibits will be open for folks attending the Ball, too!

The Kansas Center for the Book will honor the 2006 Kansas Notable Books and authors at the beginning of the Ball. Emcee for the evening is Hon. G. Joseph Pierron, Kansas Appellate Court. You’ll remember that Judge Pierron emceed the past three years of Give KLA a Leg Up Bee’s at Triconference. Following the ceremony honoring the Notable Books, Donna Tucker, and Friends will fill the Grand Hall with jazz! We’ll have two chocolate fountains, Kansas wines from the Wyldewood Cellars, authors, the Governor (invited), and a photographer to capture your exciting evening! Semi-formal attire means everything from dressy-office to ball gowns and a tux.

For more information, call Vikki Jo Stewart

Special Projects Director

State Library of Kansas

200 Arco Place, Building Box 132

Independence, KS 67301

O-620-331-8218 FAX-620-331-9087 Cell-620-331-9619

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sweaty Guy notes

Barbara Fister writes:

...How many ways can the New York Times sell itself to the same student? At my library we get the paper, the microfilm, the LexisNexis version, the Proquest version AND the Student Senate sponsors a newspaper program for a once-a-year student fee … and still students will say, glumly, at the reference desk “I found a great story in the New York Times but they wanted money for it, so . . . can you help me find something else?”...

I say:

Thanks for the reminder. I've been reading the NYTimes headlines for years. The "Times Select" has been an irritation rather than an inspiration to pull out my wallet and buy a subscription. So I've ignored some of those editorials and great headlines, knowing if they were truly valuable, I'd see them again somewhere in discussion.

But I read this blog and then found an article I had to read: Thomas Frank's "The Culture Crusade of Kansas" from August 9, 2006.

So I checked LexisNexis Academic with a simple title search and in less than 30 seconds I had it. Without paying for it again.

This point will be a great training point for my faculty this fall. And staff. And the student population.

Thanks. I hope others will be as grateful as I am.

The end of the Story:

The only good news about this pitch is that most students are too savvy to imagine they could use one newspaper as their only source for papers in history, science, or politics.

And we can rest assured the Sweaty Guy finished his paper, graduated, and got a good job with the Newspaper of Record.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

July eBook of the Month

Climate Change: Turning up the Heat

It's been on NPR's "Fresh Air" this past Monday, and Parade Magazine the day before with 25 tips to combat global warming...

Is climate change really happening and does it matter? The answer from the scientific community is a resounding yes, yet debates about the reality of climate change and what measures to take are slowing our response. In NetLibrary's July eBook of the Month, leading climate researcher Barrie Pittock argues that we need to act urgently to avoid increasingly severe climate change.

Climate Change: Turning up the Heat looks at the controversy around global warming and other predicted changes, examining the scientific basis of the changes observed to date, how they relate to natural variations and why the evidence points to larger changes later this century. The effect of these changes on our natural systems and our lifestyles will be considerable and could include wild weather, shifts in global ocean circulation, decreases in crop yields and sea-level rises.

Access to this e-book is available on Butler's campus. Contact us for more information: 316-322-3234

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Book Festival for Kansas announced

Isn't this cool?

September 29-30, Lawrence-Dumont Stadium

Created to showcase our state's rich literary talent is the first-ever Kansas Book Festival, Celebrating Books, Art & Kansas Heritage. This festive, family-friendly event will be held 9 am. - 3 pm Friday, September 29, 2006 and 9 am - 5 pm. Saturday, September 30, 2006 in Wichita and is free and open to the public.

"The Kansas Book Festival will provide an excellent opportunity to enhance cultural appreciation and awareness within our state," said Governor Kathleen Sebelius. "Literature, art and music are an important part of our history, and the Book Festival will allow Kansans to reflect on our heritage and appreciate our past."

The festival will celebrate Kansas by exploring the books, arts, films, and history of this great state! The three stages will showcase continuous performances, readings, and workshops. A special activities area will provide hands-on learning opportunities for students and families.

Visitors will have the opportunity to speak with noted Kansas authors; listen to traditional music; enjoy cowboy poetry and western literature; hear stories of haunted Kansas; experience American Indian storytelling; meet characters from Kansas' literary and historic past; attend tributes to Gordon Parks, Langston Hughes, and other great Kansans; play games; and participate in hands-on activities.

The State Library of Kansas and the Kansas Center for the Book at the State Library will host a large pavilion under canvas with informational booths, bookseller vendor booths, and author appearances. Visitors will have the opportunity to chat with authors and have books autographed.

Friday events will emphasize education and entertainment activities, especially for school. The "Black, White, and READ All Over Ball" will honor notable Kansas authors on Friday evening at Exploration Place. Saturday events include the announcement of 2005 Notable Book Awards.

The 2006 Kansas Book Festival is the signature event of the Countdown to Kansas Statehood and is produced by the Governor's Cultural Affairs Council and the Kansas Center for the Book in cooperation with state and local organizations.

For more information about the 2006 Kansas Book Festival, visit or the Kansas Center for the Book at or 1-800-432-3919.

Kim Harp, Legislative Reference

State Library of Kansas

300 SW 10th Ave Rm 343-N

Topeka, KS 66612


Legislative Hotline: 800-432-3924

I am really looking forward to this... Kansas has some wonderful authors. Kudos to the Center for the Book, KS, for getting this underway.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Academic Library design

"The library has moved from a place to get information to a place to gain knowledge. The library must compete for students' time; it does this by providing superior of hard-to-find technology, group and individual spaceconducive to study and research, and librarians to guide and vacilitate access to knowledge."

David C. Martin, design principal at A.C. Martin Parners, about the $91-million renovation and expansion at Cal Stat U at Fresno, quoted from pg 21 of American Libraries, April 2006.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A trip down south

As I prepare for a trip to Baton Rouge at the end of the month, I sometimes wonder if I'm giving up vacation time that could be better spent on the garden or on my dining room remodeling.

But my lesson for the year seems to about generosity... so look at this for the encouragement I received today to keep on giving, and so receive.


Hi, all:
Received this from a Louisiana friend of mine and thought it was a powerful reason for us to go Down South and help out. I think the TP stands for Times Picayune, the biggest paper in New Orleans.
Noted TP columnist Chris Rose delivered the commencement address this
weekend at Ursuline Academy. If you didn't see it in the paper, it is
well worth the read:

"I have faced many personal challenges in the days since last August, but an inspirational speech to a couple hundred restless Catholic schoolgirls -- and their parents -- strikes me as the most daunting yet.
For what it's worth, this is what I came up with:
Good evening. As you look at me, I know what you're thinking. Just what you need: Another old man who doesn't understand you, giving you advice, rendering forth the wisdom of the ages like some geezer sage from the Paleozoic Era here to utter inspirational platitudes from Dear Abby and that fine self-help manual, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."
Or worse: "Oh, the Places You'll Go."
Those are all great books; don't get me wrong. But in kindergarten, they didn't teach you how to siphon gas during a natural disaster, how to send a distress signal with a flashlight and how to decontaminate a refrigerator -- to say nothing of how to properly open, season and heat a National Guard-issued MRE without burning your hands.
We in New Orleans were always different from folks elsewhere. Now we're real different. I wager that you learned more about life, death and everything in between this past year than in the rest of your life combined.
You are survivors. The Katrina Kids. The Children of the Storm.
And yes, I am middle-aged. Eisenhower was in office when I was born.
Eisenhower was a president. Of this country. Anyway . . .
Yes, I am from the past. I do not own an iPod. I do not text message. I don't have a tattoo on my lower back. I think skateboarding is dangerous. I think ketchup should be red and only red. Energy drinks give me the shakes. I don't know who the lead singer of Maroon 5 is. I think Bruce Springsteen is cool.
For those of you still awake . . . .
I have an advantage that commencement speakers didn't have when I was your age: the Internet. Yes, there was a time before the Internet. It was a long time ago. It sucked.
My kids marvel when I tell them that television was once just in black and white. And that no matter how many channels you tuned into, you couldn't find Hilary Duff on any of them.
They don't believe me.
So I checked out some Web sites for tips about making a graduation speech, but I came up wanting. Most said to lean heavily on inspirational quotes from famous people, but if Ursuline Academy wanted Einstein or Mark Twain to give you a speech, I suppose they would have arranged for Einstein or Twain to be here today.
With the digital technology available today, I suppose that's almost possible.
And I found out that I could even purchase an audience-tested motivational commencement speech online for only $25 -- a much higher fee than the going rate for college term papers; I suppose they are mindful of the budgetary constraints of students as opposed to, say . . . someone who gives a graduation speech.
One Web site pointed out that nobody listens to the graduation speaker anyway because everyone is distracted and preoccupied, but if you make a winking reference to alcohol, you'll catch everyone's attention.
But I'm not going to do that. That would be a cheap gimmick.
And now that I have your attention, let me lay some heavy on you.
There are commencement exercises all over this country today but you and your fellow graduates from the Gulf Coast are different, very different. Particularly here in New Orleans.
The water, it came to your school. The gasoline, chemicals, sewage and blood came to your doorstep. It settled into the ground of this courtyard where we now gather.
Not a pleasant notion to consider on this joyous occasion but, there you are: The elephant is out of its cage again.
You must never forget what happened here. You must take that experience with you into the world.
You must, as they say, represent New Orleans.
I can tell you from my years of work and travel that to be from New Orleans has always been an interesting proposition. Historically, if you were, say, in Europe, and you told someone you were from the United States, generally they would shrug. But if you told them you were from New Orleans, they would want you to pull up a chair at their table, they would want to know more about you and your city.
On our domestic shores, historically, when New Orleanians check into college dormitories their freshman years of college, they are an immediate attraction, and not just because everyone assumes their partying credentials are higher than everyone else's.
You are interesting because where you come from is interesting, unique, colorful, diverse and tolerant. People have always wanted to know about it, to see it for themselves, to touch the magic here if by no other means than by the picture painted by your words, your stories.
Tell them what happened here.
I'm not going to offer you the language to describe it or the politics to color it; use your own words and thoughts.
But I'll give you an example:
My daughter was asked to write about her experiences over the past year when she came back to school in New Orleans in January and this is what she wrote: "There was a Hurricane. Some people died. Some of them were kids."
My daughter was 6 when she wrote that. It just doesn't strike me as what you would wish for your child to write in her first-grade journal, but there it is.
You -- all of us -- are marked for life by what happened here and if you go out into the world and you shrug it off -- if you are soooo over the Katrina thing -- then you are doing a disservice to yourself and to the community that gave you your spirit and identity.
Like it or not, this storm, these circumstances, have marked you. My belief is that your generation and those who come after you in this town will be extraordinarily resilient. That is a good quality to carry with you. You have seen and have suffered loss.
For those of you who fall into that huge swath of our community known as "lost everything," people try to tell you it was just stuff, get over it, at least you're alive and what you lost was just stuff.
Yeah, well. It was your stuff. It took 17 years to get that stuff. And if it all disappeared in one day then, hell yeah, it's all right to be mad about that.
But move on. Make the anger work for you.
Perhaps the most valuable lesson we have learned as a community is humility. The great equalizer. We have been targeted by our circumstances as the recipients of the greatest outpouring of donations, charity and volunteer help in American history.
People from elsewhere, people we don't know, saved us. They gave us their money and their time and they cleared our streets and protected our homes and, funny thing, most of us don't even know who they were. Or are.
They expected -- and in most cases received -- nothing in return.
Are you ready to do the same for someone else when the time comes?
Think about it. Discuss amongst yourselves. And get ready. Because that time will come, many times over, in your lifetime.
Life is short. Now you know that. What happened here shows how it can all be gone tomorrow. So just do it. Seize the day. Carpe Diem. I am Tiger Woods. Rise up. Make Levees, Not War. Vote for Pedro. Whatever.
Just do something important with your young life. Don't sit around and wait until you're 50 to suddenly understand how precious all of this is.
There's always the story of the bitter, angry old man who picks on little children and never says thank you to the waiter or waitress and doesn't say hello to the mailman.
And then one day the old guy gets cancer and a wake-up call, reality check, and he realizes how little time is left and suddenly he's volunteering at the oncology ward at Children's Hospital and he asks after the bank teller's mama and he stops and pets the neighbor's dog and he tells everyone that he can: I never knew how beautiful it all was.
Don't be that guy. Nobody likes that guy.
New Orleans got cancer this past year. We got our wake-up call and if you're living an existence here that is without purpose and mission, then you are asleep.
Twice in my column in recent months I have invoked the words of a Magazine Street barber named Aidan Gill, whose call to arms is the most powerful I have heard since the storm.
He said: "A time will come when someone asks you: 'What were you doing about it?' You can't tell them: 'I was just watching it. I was just an innocent bystander.' Let me tell you something: There are no innocent bystanders in this."
No truer words have been spoken.
I can't tell you what, exactly, to do; how to engage in your community. I wouldn't be so presumptuous; the philosophy here is think for yourself and find your own way.
But if finding your own way involves putting on work boots and heavy gloves this summer and going into neighborhoods you've never seen in this city before, then all the better.
There are tens of thousands of people and institutions that need help in this community and not all of them are going to make it -- but by God, it's not going to be because we didn't try. It's not going to be because we didn't give everything we had -- our hearts, our souls and our bodies -- into saving this place and making it better than it ever was.
Your home.
There are no innocent bystanders. Not in this courtyard. Not in this neighborhood. Not in this city. Not now. Not ever.
One more thing, and this is important:
Be kind to your parents.
I will tell you something that they cannot or will not tell you and it is this: They are consumed right now with a world of worry and doubt that is crushing in its weight.
Maybe you can see this at home or maybe they are good at hiding it from you because that's what parents do -- spend most of our lives trying to shield our children from pain.
They won't tell you this so I will: They're scared. They're terrified. We're all terrified.
Everything we know and love is at risk. So be kind to them.
It's like we're all in a big boat right now, paddling for our lives and we've got to be together of one mind to get through this.
So get in the boat and grab a paddle and get ready for the ride of your lives.
Nothing is more rewarding than a purpose-driven life. And it is here, outside your door, every morning -- or afternoon -- when you wake up.
Don't miss the boat."

Thanks, Jo for sharing; thanks, Mr. Rose, for your encouragement.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Idea Store


Just back from a quick trip to Denver, where I spent the day with a fine group of public librarians.

Why don't you use your library? When the question was studied in London, one group came up with suggested improvements to what is perceived as an important or very important service:

"However, most users and non-users felt that the service was run-down and old-fashioned. Most interesting were the
responses of non-users - particularly since over 70% of the population are not regular library users. People either didn’t
have the time, felt the opening hours were inconvenient, found little of interest, a poor selection of books or didn’t like the atmosphere. When asked what would make a difference, non-users wanted:

• Longer opening hours
• Access to shopping
• Council information services
• Sunday opening
• Art and exhibitions
• Video lending
• Better book stock"

Check out the rest at the Idea Store:


Friday, April 28, 2006

The Myth about Student Competency

Extraordinary nutshell analysis here: the technical competency assumption and information literacy.

EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 41, no. 2 (March/April 2006): 12–13.

The Myth about Student Competency
“Our Students Are Technologically Competent.”
Diana G. Oblinger and Brian L. Hawkins

"College and university students today seem so technologically competent. When they wake up in the morning, they don’t turn on the TV to find out about the weather; instead they go to the Web site For news, they use, not channel 21. Of course, this is after they check to see what instant messages (IMs) they missed while sleeping. To learn about friends, they turn to Going online for entertainment is normal for them. Computer games, massively multiplayer games, and music downloads are an assumed part of their environment (for example, 85% of 18- and 19-year-olds download music).1 And when they want to communicate, sending IMs or text messages is as natural as picking up the phone. There is no question that students go online before they go to the library; Google has become this generation’s reference desk.


...Whereas colleges and universities often focus on technology skills, it is actually information literacy that should be the concern. Information literacy is much more than knowing how to open a Web browser and type a search term into Google. Information literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate, and use that information effectively...."

Time to mention here, I think, Judy Bastian's new course. Judy is the Butler Community College librarian on the El Dorado campus, although she is part-time at Andover as well. The course is titled:
Research Techniques and is located in the College Orientation division, as it applies to everything a college student might research, from auto tech to literature, from anatomy and physiology to criminal justice, from soup to nuts.

The course is offered online for the first time this fall, after having a full independant study load of 5 this spring. Judy's course is the only online course offered by a librarian at any of the Kansas community colleges, except Johnson County, which offers one face-to-face or two online for one credit each, like Judy's; Scotty Zollars has a well-attended face-to-face one over at Labette CC in Parsons.

Consider signing up.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

American Book Review

American Book Review

The best first lines in fiction: 100 bests from English novels. I hope you enjoy this, and are inspired to read more than just the first line.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

ALA | Info Lit for Faculty

ALA | Info Lit for Faculty: "In its narrowest sense information literacy includes the practical skills involved in effective use of information technology and information resources, either print or electronic.

Information literacy is a new liberal art "...

For awhile, I thought that Information Fluency was a term that would catch on. It expresses something beyond mere information literacy. But you have to start somewhere, and literacy comes before fluency.

This link came from the Wichita State University Professional Development Seminar, which I missed Monday, since I was home sick. The librarians at University of Louisville have provided a great overview of information literacy.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Off to Tri-Conference, tra-la!

The library staff and I head off to Wichita over the next couple of days for our Kansas Library Association's annual conference, "Tri-Conference."

The sessions and meetings are always rewarding, and provide us with a boost in terms of innovative ideas, an opportunity to consult with fellow librarians, and, occasionally, the chance to present some of what we have learned for the benefit of our peers.

I'll be looking forward most to the 2-year Academic Librarian's gathering, and to the fashion show...



Monday, April 03, 2006

Time Trivia

Ronda sent me this:

>...thought that you might want to know this piece if information: :o)
>On Wednesday of this week, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00
in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.
>That will never happen again.

Thanks Ronda. Not sure I will be up to appreciate it then, but I do now.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

April eBook of the Month

Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine 16th Edition

The Harrison's name is synonymous with internal medicine, and Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine continues to be the most authoritative and #1 selling medical textbook throughout the world. Now in full color, the new 16th Edition Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine continues to define the practice of medicine and includes timely, thoughtful and supremely useful coverage of every major internal medicine related update and current controversy of note.

From its unique section on signs and symptoms through to the most comprehensive coverage of most all conditions seen by physicians, Harrison's 16th Edition features new, expanded, revised and updated material on the key topics in medical practice today. From the latest research findings to up-to-the-minute advances in diagnostic and treatment methodologies, the facts clinicians and students need are only a mouseclick away.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Homestay in Mexico

Rachel's saga continues:

Homestay, not to be confused with stay home. I´m at the home of the pastor of the church here in Guaymas, and I´m spending the night in what´s known as a homestay. Deana, his wife, has kindly shown me to the internet connection, and therefore I´ve plugged in for a few minutes of your time.

The past few days have been interesting, to say the least. Liz and I have reflected on the meaning of ¨Mexico Days,¨ which are both very very long, and very very short. It´s amazing how much a person can get done in a Mexico Day, how each day seems to hold a week of ativities, and looking back on events of the morning feels like looking back on things that happened a week ago. And yet the time flies by... tomorrow is our last full day here, and I can hardly believe it. Back in the U.S., ask me what time it is and I´ll be off by half an hour at most. Here, on the other hand, I am constantly surprised to learn what time it is, as I simply let go of the concept and just do whatever I am doing.

We´ve finished building all the picnic tables, and four of them are painted. I´m hoping to get to finish them tomorrow, but I don´t know if I´ll end up at that worksite. The catch-word of the trip is ¨flexibilidad!¨ And so it goes, every day, as we make plans and throw them away as suits the moment.

It´s been a different trip from my other Mexico trips... but as they say, every trip is different. I´ll have to reflect on that later, as I am not even sure what I think about it. Guaymas itself is everything I´ve come to expect from a Mexico city; crowded and colorful and full of life. (All kinds of life, some more welcome than others, as Liz pointed out when she told about spotting a mouse in the middle of the night.)

As I am struggling with coherency, I will wrap this up for tonight.

Rachel and her Dad left for Kansas yesterday, so I expect to see them Sunday. I find that kind of driving insanity-making. But there's always a good book to read...


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Spring Break!

I'm working all week in the library, but that's a rarity even for me. So instead of no interesting Spring Break news (you don't really want to hear about trips to the YMCA, although a hike at the state park last Friday night was an interesting challenge), I'm posting my daughter's report, mid-trip, on her travel to Mexico with a church mission trip. I'd love for you to add a report of your trip this week, wherever you go, in the comments following.

Let me travel vicariously with you!

Here's Rachel:


Ohhh, Mexico
I'm writing this from Guaymas, Mexico, at a little internet cafe a couple blocks from the church I am staying at. It is a lovely day, with a cool breeze and a warm sun, and it is darn nice to be here. I have a bit of a cold but you can get medicine very cheaply down here, so I paid a dollar for the equivalent of an entire pack of tylenol cold medicine.

We traveled for three days to get here, which is pretty grueling with a sore throat. Everyone is very nice and we've already gotten to be pretty comfortable with each other. There's Elizabeth, our fearless leader, Dad and I, Pastor Jim from the church in Iola, Whit, Georgene, Sandy, and Aaron, as well as Sue, the border coordinator.

This morning Dad and I went to the paint store to buy paint for our project. Actually we started out going to look for the hardward store to buy a replacement jigsaw blade and some STAIN for the project, but the first store we went to didn't have either. However, the proprietor told us where we could get the other things, so we went to the paint store first since it was closest. We were looking at the stains and I saw some colors and I asked Dad if we could use colors, since we're making picnic tables for kids. So instead of stain we got 4 different paint colors and I think they'll be muy fabuloso.

We spent last night at the church here, but the night before we spent at a place in Nogales, Mexico, which is a mission to feed children and migrant workers. This trip has been pretty cushy, with bunk beds or futons for everyone wherever we go. So I am enjoying not sleeping on a concrete floor in spite of not packing along an air mattress.

I'm not sure if I'll get another chance to update... being away from the computer really isn't the hardship I might think under regular circumstances. So here's the basic outline: We'll be back in Nogales sometime Friday, then in Amarillo, TX by Saturday evening, where Dad and I will pick up a car from the airport and head to Cold Water, KS, for him to preach Sunday morning. Then we'll keep pushing to Wichita and on to Pittsburg so that I can get back for rehearsal Sunday night....

But that all seems pretty far away right now.

Peace to the world.


Can't wait to see her Sunday. Have a good break, all.



Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Little Men Who Love Little House - Why boys like girls books. By Emily�Bazelon

The Little Men Who Love Little House - Why boys like girls books. By Emily�Bazelon

I loved to read to my two daughters... we read the Little House books twice. And I loved the technical descriptions as much as the next boy. I appreciate this understanding of gender differences, but don't think it applies to everyone.

I'll have to ask the girls why they liked Little House.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Monday, March 06, 2006

Wicked good....

One of the most intriguing library blogs I know is Library Dust, "A small gift to the library world from Michael McGrorty."

A couple of posts ago, he made me aware of an ad campaign by OCLC. I like the ads; good visuals as well as reminding me of why I like libraries, even on days when the warm air and sunshine make me wish that at least part of my job was outside cultivating dirt.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Wikipedia and Britannica: The Kid's All Right (And So's the Old Man)

Wikipedia and Britannica: The Kid's All Right (And So's the Old Man)

..."The primary question for info pros is, of course, reliability. Can "the public" concoct and maintain a free, authoritative encyclopedia that’s unbiased, complete, and reliable? ..."

I think wikis, like the internet, are going to be around for awhile. And they will have their use, as does google for quick reference (I use google for quick spelling checks, even. And I prefer their maps to mapquest). Nice to see a delineation of the differing purpose and scope between wikis and a print encyclopedia.

Again, I'm reminded of Roy Tennant's tenet that 'Librarians like to search.... the rest of us like to find." I can't help think that if finding is so much easier on a wiki, it will be the medium of choice.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


THE OIL HILL READING SERIES Presents Butler Faculty Poet JOHN JENKINSON at Butler Community College, in a deput reading from his first full-length collection, REBEKAH ORDERS LASAGNA.

El Dorado, Kansas - Poet John Jenkinson will read from his new book, Rebekah Orders Lasagna, published by the Woodley Press at Washburn University, at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, February 28, in the L.W. Nixon Library on the Butler Community College, El Dorado, Campus. This free event is open to the general public, and sponsored by the Division of Fine Arts and Humanities, Butler College English Department, The Quill and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. A reception and book signing will follow.

A teacher of writing and literature at Butler, Dr. Jenkinson has
published widely in the academic and small press world, including
several chapbooks. A former Milton Center Fellow in Poetry, John
ponders deeply at the debris-strewn intersection of Art and Faith.

Jenkinson's work is intelligible, although not simplistic, and does not settle for the easy or the sentimental gesture; these poems have drawn praise from such varied quarters as Albert Goldbarth, who invokes John's "constant desire to get the words right, to lodge them in our memory . . ." to Scott Cairns, who declares that "Jenkinson mediates the matter of our pathetic circumstance with humor, a compelling cadence, keen intelligence, and reliably generous spirit."

Jeanine Hathaway adds, "In spiced and layered language, he blesses our place at the table and - attention! - in the food chain."

For the past 4 ½ years, Dr. Jenkinson has directed the Oil Hill Reading Series, bringing in writers of eminent stature, and others whose careers are in mid-stream. Developed to offer distinguished literary events to the El Dorado and Butler County community, The Oil Hill Reading Series is made possible through support and funding from the Center for Teaching Excellence, The Division of Fine Arts and Humanities, the English Department, the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the L.W. Nixon Library, and community advocates.

For the best choice of seats, plan to arrive around 7:15.

Friday, February 24, 2006

March eBook of the Month

Bad: Infamy, Darkness, Evil, and Slime on Screen

Violence and corruption sell big, especially since the birth of action cinema. But even from cinema's earliest days, the public has been delighted to be stunned by screen representations of negativity in all its forms: evil, monstrosity, corruption, ugliness, villainy, and darkness.

Bad: Infamy, Darkness, Evil, and Slime on Screen examines the long line of thieves, rapists, varmints, codgers, dodgers, manipulators, conmen, killers, liars, demons, and cold-blooded megalomaniacs that populate cinematic narrative. From Nosferatu to Tom Ripley, from evil villains to empires of evil, from psychotic slashers to blood thirsty aliens, the contributors consider a wide range of genres and use a variety of critical approaches to examine evil, villainy, and immorality in twentieth-century film.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

How the Library Has Changed Your Life...

The Butler Libraries and Woman’s Day magazine Want to Know:

How the Library Has Changed Your Life

Libraries can change lives. They are places of lifelong learning and opportunity that can help people discover the world. This spring, the library at Butler, the American Library Association and Woman’s Day magazine want to know how the library has changed the lives of the people in our community.

From now until May 10, anyone who has a story to tell about how the library has changed his or her life can send it to Four of the stories will be featured in an upcoming issue of Woman’s Day. The story must be 700 words or less.

The initiative is part of a program sponsored by the American Library Association and Woman’s Day magazine called “Put it in Writing @ your library,” a part of The Campaign for America’s Libraries. The Campaign is a multi-year public awareness and advocacy campaign designed to promote the value of public, school, academic and special libraries and librarians in the 21st century.

I suspect there are a lot of stories out there from the thousands of graduates and students here at Butler, whether in El Dorado, Andover, Rose Hill, or any other site where Butler and the library join forces to bring books, resources, and information to our people.

Send them your thoughts, and let me know your story here, too. Thanks,


Monday, February 20, 2006

Poetry Aloud

Here's a great idea for a celebration: the Saskatoon Public Library is having a centennial, and posting 100 poems in 100 days, chosen from submissions to the library.

I am a better judge of poetry when it is read aloud, but I am impressed with the quality of this. And I believe Library Squirrel when she says some of them make her cry.

I'd also like to announce that our own "Oil Hill Poetry Reading Series" continues on Tuesday, Feb. 28, a week from tomorrow. The poet this time is Dr. John Jenkinson, from Butler and instrumental in continuing the series, celebrating the publication of "Rebekah Orders Lasagna" at 7:30 pm. It's free, open to the public, with a book-signing and receptionto follow.

And it all take place in the L.W. Nixon library here at Butler Community College, in the 600 building (behind the flagpole), 2nd floor. It's one of the most lovely events we host all year, and would make a great date for those inclined to go out with your dearly beloved.

My favorite part is hearing the poetry read aloud.



Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A lovely idea...

From today's email:

"Singles who like to read are descending upon libraries across
Belgium as part of an experiment in what two librarians have dubbed

"Libraries are turning into cultural hubs. They have a social role
and are the only meeting place in some communities," she said.

Chris Rippel
Central Kansas Library System
1409 Wiliams
Great Bend, Kansas 67530
620-792-4865 (voice)
620-792-5495 (fax)
crippel at ckls dot org

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Morning News: The Tournament of Books

The Morning News

We have only got a couple of these, but can inter-library loan any others. Call Juli at 322-3351 if you want assistance.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Books on the Internet

I've run across a couple of web sites that link to books - free - on the internet. Digitized, they are hard to read on the computer screen, in my opinion. But the access is there, which thrills me no end.

We've linked to one source on our database page: The Online Books Page. The other one is The Open Library.

And as I always say when talking about books: Check it out!


Monday, February 06, 2006

The Straight Dope on Dewey

This was sent around by one of my fellow Ghost Ranch participants:

good summary of the history and utility of the Dewey Decimal System.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Happy Groundog's Day!

From Rhonda Machlan, Resource Sharing Specialist at the State Library of Kansas:

Did you know that it had its origins in the Christian holiday
Candlemas? Which in turn was based on a pagan midwinter celebration?

Did you know that Punxsutawney Phil lives in a library when he isn't

Those answers and more at

Enjoy six more weeks of winter!

--You know, Rhonda, it hasn't felt like winter for a month here - our average temps. were 14 degrees higher than normal for the month of January, placing us in November or March. So yeah, 6 more weeks of this kind of winter would be pretty manageable. Here's hoping.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Library of Kansas?

Hi, well it's been awhile. I've been working on the library budget, and it's demanded most of my time. Just about done, except for some narrative requesting a full-time position for our Reference Librarian.

The other major work I'm doing involves a task force set up by the State Librarian of Kansas, Christi Brandau. She asked us to work on an interface for the State Library of Kansas and the citizens of the state. We had about 12 members come up with elements and functions desired. It won't replace "Blue Skyways," but will instead serve as that memorable, one-stop shopping site where you can get to everything the state offers for its public. The mall door, if you will.

By contrast, "Blue Skyways" is the specialty shop downtown...kinda like the "Purple Sage" or "Jacob's Well"... an approach that works well for librarians, who like to search, and less well for the public, who like to find.

And while the name may conjure up the book title "Blue Highways" by William Least Heat Moon, it may be harder to see the connection to the airline economy of Kansas via Boeing, which has given the site corporate support for many years.

So I'm thinking of recommending a name as part of the interface. The task force had quite a bit of discussion... some of the obvious names have been taken for other purposes: KanAnswer, KanFind, the Kansas Virtual Library. Even the Kansas State Library is gone.

But how about "The Library of Kansas"? No direct google results show. Kinda clean and crisp. Think the Library of Congress people can object?



Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The new semester begins...

Spring ’06 semester is underway with the faculty’s return to campus today. I was asked by Dr. Leann Ellis, Vice President for Academic Affairs on Thursday to speak this morning during the announcements. The following captures what I said.

Welcome, library lovers and fellow users.

I’d like to introduce my collaborator: beside me, handling the technology is Judy Bastin, our reference librarian here in El Dorado, also working evenings in Andover and as adjunct faculty this semester again, also.

When I attended the Mountain Plains Library Association’s Institute this fall, I enjoyed a week of classes in Ghost Ranch, NM. The Cottonwoods were golden, the stars brilliant, the hiking strenuous; and the workshop was pretty fair, too.

One of the best moments came as we were instructed to find a learning partner in the room. There were some awkward “chosen last on the playground’ feelings, but in the end, we all had a partner. Then, as we shared our reactions to what we’d been learning with each other, the light dawned. Everyone shared, everyone had a story – and therefore, everyone was able to process the content and learn something during these moments which happened 2-3 times a day.

So I’d like you to take a moment, and turn to a learning partner. I want to share the thrill of this collaborative learning with you with a tiny exercise. In the next one minute, please take thirty seconds each to reflect on what you are reading at home or work, and why it’s important to you….

Wasn’t that cool? Active and collaborative learning… it’ll be hard to stop sharing…

Reading is fundamental to what we do, and I’m pleased to report that our circulation of library materials is up. We have it all – books, magazines, e-books, video in DVD or VHS, music – for you to check out. Our One Book One community Book this year is “Touching Spirit Bear.”

Our database use, so important for research, is up over 25% this year. Google’s not the only thing our college students use… after adding “Opposing Viewpoints” to our database lineup, we’ve recorded over 200,000 searches this year! Which leads me to an offer – let us be your learning partners in the work of database research. We’ll each learn what’s available and find the joys of successful academic preparation. How? Call us for a classroom session, attend our workshops, or visit with us anytime.

Meanwhile, you’ll notice some laptops in the lobby today. I hope you enjoy our “Library in the Lobby.” Check your email, talk to a librarian, come and visit. We’ll be here this morning, tomorrow and also in Andover on Thursday. And you know where we are the rest of the time…

Looking forward to seeing you in the library,


Friday, January 06, 2006

What are you reading?

What are you reading now?

Just saw that the Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library has a new blog named Papercuts. It’s going to be a good one… I liked the book reviews on it. So this morning when we had a staff meeting I started it off by asking what the library staff is reading. A couple of people are traveling, so couldn’t respond, but I know they’re reading something too…

Here’s what the rest of us are reading.

Ronda: she’s reading through the series The Chronicles of Narnia after having seen the movie version of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” over the holidays. She’s on the fourth volume. Since January 1, she finished the romance “Snow Days” and started Rita Mae Brown’s “Catch as Cat Can.”

A lot of her future reading will be tied up with her library school requirements as she begins her M.L.S. at Emporia State U this semester: “Foundations of Library and Information Science” is her first text. Juli, also beginning her M.L.S., is starting with the “Foundations…” book as well. They’ve both peeked at “The Principles of Information Ethics” – good for them! Classes haven’t even begun yet.

Juli continues her reading for our disaster planning at work with two volumes: “Disaster Planning : an Ounce of Prevention” and “Disaster response and Planning for Libraries.” For fun she’s finished “The Dewey Decimal System of Love.”

Lonnie reads the bible in the NIV version, and is reading our One Book, One Community book “Touching Spirit Bear.” Hazel’s a bible reader daily, and has ambitions to read the Newbery Award winners and the William Allen White Award winners of the last 10 years.

I’m reading Shippey’s “The Road to Middle Earth” here during my lunch hour, “The Lovely Bones,” “Eldest,” and a Tad Williamson at home in various spots around my house. Oh, and Orson Scott Card’s excellent “How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy,” (which I have no actual desire to do) enjoying very much his understanding of what’s going on in “Literature” and genre fiction these days. Finally, I picked up the illustrated version of “The Elements of Style” at Watermark Books last week, and bought it for the library. It was very hard to put down this morning as I was logging them in!

I just finished "A Dress to Die For" which is my YMCA book - the one I read on the treadmill. Good ending, and it made my workout seem faster than usual last night.

Happy reading this New Year, all.



Thursday, January 05, 2006

I'm reading this...

What are you reading now?

Just saw that the Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library has a new blog named Papercuts. It’s going to be a good one… I liked the book reviews on it. So this morning when we had a staff meeting I started it off by asking what the library staff is reading. A couple of people are traveling, so couldn’t respond, but I know they’re reading something too…

Here’s what the rest of us are reading.

Ronda: she’s reading through the series The Chronicles of Narnia after having seen the movie version of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” over the holidays. She’s on the fourth volume. Since January 1, she finished the romance “Snow Days” and started Rita Mae Brown’s “Catch as Cat Can.”

A lot of her future reading will be tied up with her library school requirements as she begins her M.L.S. at Emporia State U this semester: “Foundations of Library and Information Science” is her first text. Juli, also beginning her M.L.S., is starting with the “Foundations…” book as well. They’ve both peeked at “The Principles of Information Ethics” – good for them! Classes haven’t even begun yet.

Juli continues her reading for our disaster planning at work with two volumes: “Disaster Planning : an Ounce of Prevention” and “Disaster response and Planning for Libraries.” For fun she’s finished “The Dewey Decimal System of Love.”

Lonnie reads the bible in the NIV version, and is reading our One Book, One Community book “Touching Spirit Bear.” Hazel’s a bible reader daily, and has ambitions to read the Newbery Award winners and the William Allen White Award winners of the last 10 years.

I’m reading Shippey’s “The Road to Middle Earth” here during my lunch hour, “The Lovely Bones,” “Eldest,” and a Tad Williamson at home in various spots around my house. Oh, and Orson Scott Card’s excellent “How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy,” (which I have no actual desire to do) enjoying very much his understanding of what’s going on in “Literature” and genre fiction these days. Finally, I picked up the illustrated version of “The Elements of Style” at Watermark Books last week, and bought it for the library. It was very hard to put down this morning as I was logging them in!

Happy reading this New Year, all.



Wednesday, January 04, 2006

NetLibrary eBook of the Month

January eBook of the Month

Absolute Beginner's Guide to a Lite and Healthy Lifestyle

Written by registered dietician Nicole Haywood and endorsed by the National Institute for Fitness and Sport, Absolute Beginner's Guide to a Lite and Healthy Lifestyle ignores the distraction of fad diets and focuses on helping readers make the lifestyle changes necessary for successful weight management.

While the goal of every diet is weight loss, Haywood argues that most diets are designed to fail because they do not adequately address all the factors related to food choices. Instead of focusing on body weight as the sole or most important measure of success, Haywood advises readers to start by letting go of the notion of perfection when it comes to health and start thinking about the process. The author won't suggest radical changes or unobtainable goals, but instead, concentrates on showing readers how to make daily modifications to their diet and activities that build the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

Link to the book through our website or at