Libraries & Archives

Libraries & Archives

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

h o w j s a y . c o m

This is a fantastic website for prolific readers!

h o w j s a y . c o m
An English Pronouncing Dictionary with Instant Sound (Just
mouse over the pink words to hear them spoken)

It has a easy lookup feature, with selected (pink) word appearing in a list so you can check similar words. I looked up hegemony, and decided the British pronunciation was going to be the one I use from now on...
well from now on when I run across it, which appears to be about once every 5 years.

Oh, and happy 2nd day of Hanukkah... which gets me to the next feature:
their spell-guesser. It functions sort of like looking up a word on Google: it takes my misspelling and gives me a "Our nearest entry..." response. At least I could pronounce Hanukkah right, even if I didn't originally spell it correctly!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Reviews of Kansas Notable Books

Reviews by Carolyn Weeks, 2006 Kansas Notable Books Committee

Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women's Rights
by Diane Eickhoff

Generations of women spent their lives fighting for suffrage and equal rights for American women. Some, like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, are icons of civil rights. Most, like Clarina Nichols, were part of that vast army of committed women whose labors took place on a more subdued and local level. A child of Vermont, Clarina Howard Carpenter Nichols, began her crusade for women’s rights in the East but soon pushed West to Kansas where she encountered the hardships of frontier life as well as the stacked-deck of a man’s world.

This well-written and well-researched biography of a remarkably gifted and resilient woman gives life to the struggle for gender equality. It has much to teach us about our past as Americans and as Kansans and as participants in that greatest experiment of all: democracy.

(This one is on order here in the library - I expect it by the start of January term)

Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains
by William Ashworth

And you thought the oil crisis was the last word in shortages! You’ll never take water for granted again after reading about the vast underground aquifer that supports more than $20 billion dollars worth of agriculture, more than one fifth of the country’s harvest. The Ogallala Aquifer lies under the Great Plains and stretches from South Dakota through Nebraska and Kansas to Oklahoma and Texas. It is deep enough to fill Lake Erie nine times and it is being pumped dry at the rate of five trillion gallons of water per year.

The story is all here: the life of the plains and the legal, recreational, industrial and agricultural infrastructure that supports it. Ashworth details the origins of the Ogallala and its probable future unless reasonable action is taken soon. Kansans, take note, the economic, environmental and humanitarian implications of this problem cannot be underestimated.

Thank you for your reviews, Carolyn.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

E-Book of the Month at Butler Community College

Younger You
Unlock the Hidden Power of Your Brain to Look and Feel 15 Years Younger
by Eric R. Braverman
McGraw-Hill, 2007

Finally, a pivotal piece of the aging puzzle is solved. In the December eBook of the Month, Dr. Eric Braverman reveals how controlling brain hormones through diet, lifestyle changes, key vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements can halt the aging process.

In the constant battle to stay young and feel fit, we will try any of the quick fixes that come on the market. But you don't need surgery, pricey cosmetics, or starvation to look and feel 15 years younger. With Dr. Braverman as your guide, you will unlock the secrets to living a longer, more vibrant life.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The conversation that resulted:

This was sent to me this afternoon. Dr. Vietti is the college president, Jim Pond is chair of our faculty union:

Dr. Vietti,

Thank you so much for sharing that video as it supports the issues we as educators face today. I didn't mention this specifically last evening but I have heard several people say this semester that the students are more challenging to teach and way less motivated than what we have seen in the past.

The real point that I was hoping to make with the board is that we are facing very different challenges with the students we are working with today. We all need to feel like our efforts are worth while and that we are contributing to the good of the whole. People who are not in the "mix" sometimes see teachers as having it pretty easy and being over paid. My comments were to express a concern and to let them know we are working to make adjustments for successful outcomes and not ignoring the cultural shift. I tried to try to end on a positive note in that we still serve numerous ambitious and capable young people here at Butler, but some things are recognizably different.

Thanks again,

J. Pond

Jacqueline A Vietti wrote:

>Thanks, Micaela, for sharing this excellent resource, so we can develop a better understanding the traditional age students who are coming to us today. I worry about what I perceive to be a dichotomy between our younger students and our older ones, particularly since we serve critical masses of both.
>Jim, given your report during last evening's board meeting, I thought you might appreciate this information. You, too, Jon.
>Thanks. -- Jackie Vietti
>Micaela C Ayers wrote:
>>Dr. Vietti, Dr. Ellis,
>>Prof. Wesch is doing some innovative things in student and information
>>ethnography. I thought you might want to be aware of this!
>>Your librarian,
>>Arla Jones wrote:
>>>Here's a short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime.
>>>Created by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas
>>>State University.
>>>Arla Jones
>>>Librarian & Proud Member of the American Library Association!
>>>Lawrence High School
>>>1901 Louisiana Street
>>>fax 785-832-5054
>>>Lawrence, KS 66046-2999
>>>Take a look at our cool web page!
>>>" It is as sad to have a library without books as it is to have a
>>>full of books that nobody reads."
>>>Jesus Ruiz Nestosa

Thanks, Arla, for sharing the video! I am happy to see this conversation going on at the highest levels of administration at the college. We try to supply what the students need here in the library, and are always sending out feelers so we stay ahead of big developments, as we can... thus we were first with wireless on campus.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"A Vision of Students Today"

--> Here's a short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime.

Created by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University.

"A Vision of Students Today"

Arla Jones
Librarian & Proud Member of the American Library Association!
Lawrence High School

Arla, thanks. There's quite a few others that Professor Wesch has done. I particularly enjoyed his look at information and libraries in "Information R/evolution" and I want to check out "The Machine is Using Us."


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Take a survey, if you like...

I submit to you the following email I recently received on the CJCLS listserve:


In August 2007 The Associated Press had IPSOS Public Affairs conduct a poll regarding reading habits. 27% of the people surveyed had not read a book in the previous year. A National Endowment of the Arts Survey published in 2004 found that less than half
of American adults read literature. Hearing about these surveys made me wonder if the reading habits of people who work in libraries are typical. So, here is yet another survey. It is short and will take only a few minutes of your time. Please take it. Your comments regarding reading are welcome so please include them.

This message is being posted to several lists, so please excuse duplication.

Thank you.


Shelley Wood Burgett
Director of Library Service
Somerset Community College
808 Monticello St.
Somerset, KY 42501
606 451-6711 M - R
606 878-4724 F


Thank you, Shelley, it was fun...


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

NetLibrary Ebook of the Month, November

Winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Reference

Only one of the world's mythologies has remained essentially unrecognized: the mythology of Judaism. As Howard Schwartz reveals in Tree of Souls, the first anthology of Jewish mythology in English, this mythical tradition is as rich and as fascinating as any in the world.

Drawing from the Bible, the Pseudepigrapha, the Talmud and Midrash, the kabbalistic literature, medieval folklore, Hasidic texts, and oral lore collected in the modern era, Schwartz has gathered together nearly 700 of the key Jewish myths. Equally important, Schwartz provides a wealth of additional information, revealing the source of the myth and explaining how it relates to other Jewish myths as well as to world literature.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kansas Memories

Kansas Memory is the Historical Society’s newest online offering, featuring the largest collection of photographs and manuscripts from Kansas history on the Internet, and can be accessed at

Kansas Memory offers unprecedented online access to Kansas history and includes thousands of items from the Kansas Historical Society’s collections of photographs, letters, diaries, and other historic items. Users can browse, search, or share images, and will eventually be able to purchase high-resolution versions online.

The “My Kansas Memory” feature allows users to customize a personal space, save searches, and create bookbags of items. Although it would be impossible to add every single item in the Kansas Historical Society’s collection to Kansas Memory, the Historical Society will actively continue to add images as part of its goal to make Kansas history more accessible to everyone. Visitors to the site can listen to dramatic readings in the Kansas Memory podcasts and subscribe to an RSS feed for the latest content.

Kansas Memory was developed in part with funding from the Information Network of Kansas.

Margaret B. Knecht
Head, Library Section
Kansas Historical Society
6425 SW 6th Avenue
Topeka KS 66615-1099

785-272-8681 x272
785-272-8682 fax

(from a press release email Thu, 11 Oct 2007 10:52:29
From: "Margaret Knecht"
Subject: [KANLIB-L:14894] Kansas Historical Society Launches Kansas Memory)

Real People. Real Stories. VISIT KSHS ON THE WEB:

Monday, October 01, 2007

Good books.

Have you ever wanted a better way to:

* see what your friends are reading?
* keep track of what you've read and what you'd like to read?
* get great book recommendations from people you know?

In a piece in the Stranger, Elliott Bay Book Company's Paul Constant calls Goodreads "Facebook for Book Nerds" and "the most Antisocial Social-Networking Site on the Internet."

"I first noticed four months ago when a coworker at my bookstore sent me an invitation," Constant wrote. "The website tore through the Seattle bookselling community like an STD. Soon, every bookseller under 40 was a member. 'Will you be my Goodreads friend?' we'd whisper to each other among the stacks. It was like MySpace, only better--it was all about books."
(from Shelf Awareness, Monday | October 1, 2007 | Volume 1 | Issue 527)

Friday, September 28, 2007

October e-Book of the month

Capitalism as if the World Matters
By Jonathon Porritt, with a new foreword by Amory B. Lovins
Earthscan, Revised Edition (September 2007)

When first published in 2005, Capitalism as if the World Matters shocked both a generation of environmentalists and a generation of business people by brushing aside their petty squabbles and artificial battle lines with a powerful argument that the only way to save the world from fuel shortages, climate change and environmental catastrophe is to embrace a new type of capitalism, and to do it quickly.

In this substantially revised and updated edition with a new foreword by Amory B. Lovins, Jonathon Porritt (Prime Minister Tony Blair's chief environmental advisor) tackles the most pressing problems of our time and extends his powerful and controversial argument by suggesting new actions in a tightly argued and highly accessible book. New material includes in-depth coverage of the United States and the politics of climate change, the state of environmental debate and the massive upsurge in religious engagement with climate and the environment.

See it here:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007



How many of these apply to you?

1. I have read fiction when I was depressed or to cheer myself up.

2. I have gone on reading binges of an entire book or more in a day.

3. I read rapidly, often "gulping" chapters.

4. I have sometimes read early in the morning or before work.

5. I have hidden books in different places to sneak a chapter without being seen.

6. Sometimes I avoid friends or family obligations in order to read novels.

7. Sometimes I rewrite film or television dialog as the characters speak.

8. I am unable to enjoy myself with others unless there is a book nearby.

9. At a party, I will often slip off unnoticed to read.

10. Reading has made me seek haunts and companions that I would otherwise avoid.

11. I have neglected personal hygiene or household chores until I have finished a novel.

12. I have spent money meant for necessities on books instead.

13. I have attempted to check out more library books than permitted.

14. Most of my friends are heavy fiction readers.

15. I have sometimes passed out from a night of heavy reading.

16. I have suffered blackouts or memory loss from a bout of reading.

17. I have wept or become angry or irrational because of something I read.

18. I have sometimes wished I did not read so much.

19. Sometimes I think my reading is out of control.

If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you may be aliterature abuser. An affirmative response to five or more indicates a serious problem. Once a relatively rare disorder, Literature Abuse, or LA, has risen to new levels due to the accessibility of higher education and increased college enrollment since the end of the Second World War. The number of literature abusers is currently at record levels.


Abusers become withdrawn, uninterested in society or normal relationships. They fantasize, creating alternative worlds to occupy, to the neglect of friends and family. In severe cases they develop bad posture from reading in awkward positions or carrying heavy book bags. In the worst instances, they become cranky reference librarians in small towns. Excessive reading during pregnancy is perhaps the number one cause of moral deformity among the children of English professors and teachers of English and creative writing. Known as Fetal Fiction Syndrome, this disease also leaves its victims prone to a lifetime of nearsightedness, daydreaming, and emotional instability.


Recent Harvard studies have established that heredity plays a considerable role in determining whether a person will become an abuser of literature. Most abusers have at least one parent who abused literature, often beginning at an early age and progressing into adulthood. Many spouses of an abuser become abusers themselves.


Fathers or mothers who are English teachers, professors, or heavy fiction readers; parents who do not encourage children to play games, participate in healthy sports, or watch television in the evening.


Premarital screening and counseling, referral to adoption agencies in order to break the chain of abuse. English teachers in particular should seek partners active in other fields. Children should be encouraged to seek physical activity and to avoid isolation and morbid introspection.


Within the sordid world of literature abuse, the lowest circle belongs to those sufferers who have thrown their lives and hopes away to study literature in our colleges. Parents should look for signs that their children are taking the wrong path. Don't expect your teenager to approach you and say, "I can't stop reading Spenser." By the time you visit her dorm room and find the secret stash of the Paris Review, it may already be too late.

What to do if you suspect your child is becoming an English major:

1. Talk to your child in a loving way. Show your concern. Let her know you won't abandon her but that you aren't spending a hundred grand to put her through Stanford so she can clerk at Waldenbooks either. But remember that she may not be able to make a decision without help; perhaps she has just finished Madame Bovary and is dying of arsenic poisoning.

2. Face the issue. Tell her what you know, and how: "I found this book in your purse. How long has this been going on?" Ask the hard question: Who is this Count Vronsky?

3. Show her another way. Move the television set into her room. Introduce her to frat boys.

4. Do what you have to do.-Tear up her library card.-Make her stop signing her letters as "Emma."-Force her to take a math class or minor in Spanish.-Transfer her to a Florida college.

You may be dealing with a life-threatening problem if one or more of the following applies: *

-She can tell you how and when Thomas Chatterton died. *

-She names one or more of her cats after a Romantic poet. *

-Next to her bed is a picture of Lord Byron, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, or any scene from the Lake District.

Most importantly, remember, you are not alone. To seek help for yourself or someone you love, contact the nearest chapter of the American Literature Abuse Society, or look under ALAS in your local phone directory.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Writing Magic

I'm reading a great book -- writers, pay attention! It's called Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly, by Gail Carson Levine, author of award winning Ella Enchanted. She developed this book after running a writing program for children in her area, and while it's clearly marketed to the very young writers among us, I'm finding that it's very inspirational, fun, and full of helpful tips. (Even at my advanced age, har har.)

Levine's Rules:

1. The best way to write better is to write more.

2. The best way to write better is to write more.

3. The best way to write better is to write more.

4. The best way to write more is to write whenever you have five minutes and wherever you find a chair and a pen and paper or your computer.

5. Read! Most likely you don't need this rule. If you enjoy writing, you probably enjoy reading. The payoff for this pleasure is that reading books shows you how to write them.

6. Reread! There's nothing wrong with reading a book you love over and over. When you do, the words get inside you, become part of you, in a way that words in a book you've read only once can't.

7. Save everything you write, even if you don't like it, even if you hate it. Save it for a minimum of fifteen years. I'm serious. At that time, if you want to, you can throw it out, but even then don't discard your writing lightly.

If that's not enough to convince you, there's more information here at her website,


Monday, August 27, 2007

Got Homework?

This School Year Get Free Online Tutoring Seven Days a Week

Everywhere, KS. It’s late summer and students all across the state
are getting ready to head back to school. That means reading, writing,
arithmetic, papers, tests and, yes, homework. What to do? Children and
teens can get a head start. Students from 4th to 12th grade, and
college introduction level, can visit HomeworkKansas at for free homework help from qualified tutors.
The State Library of Kansas, and Kansas public libraries, offer
HomeworkKansas, an online tutoring service that connects students to
expert tutors in math, science, social studies and English via the
Internet. Spanish-speaking tutors are available for assistance in math
and science. HomeworkKansas is available from 4:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.,
seven days a week, in English and from 4:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.,
Sunday-Thursday in Spanish.

Real Results for Students. During the 2006/2007 school year, students
from across the state completed thousands of HomeworkKansas sessions.
In post-session surveys, students reported, by overwhelming majorities,
that they were glad the library offered this service and that they would
recommend the service to their friends. Students also said they felt
the program helped them build confidence in their school work and helped
them complete homework assignments and improve their grades.

Free Help in Core Subjects. This free service allows students to
connect to an expert tutor either from the local public library or from
their home computer with a Kansas Library Card (,
and receive one-to-one homework help from a live tutor via the Internet.
HomeworkKansas is easy to use. Children and teens simply go to the
library’s Web site (, click on the
HomeworkKansas link, and then enter their grade level and the subject
they need help in. Students are then connected to a tutor in an Online
Classroom for help in math (elementary, algebra, geometry, trigonometry
and calculus), science (elementary, earth science, biology, chemistry,
physics), social studies (American history, world history, political
science and more), and English (spelling, grammar, essay writing, book

Learn from Expert Tutors in an Online Classroom. Students and tutors
can review specific homework questions, as well as subject-specific
concepts using features such as controlled chat, an interactive white
board and shared Web browsing in the Online Classroom. Tutors can type
math equations using a special math tool, share educational Web sites
and much more for a rewarding learning experience. All tutors are
certified teachers, college professors, professional tutors or graduate
school students from across the country. Every tutor has completed a
third party background check and a comprehensive training program.



Library Contact Name Eric
Library Name State Library of Kansas
Phone 1-800-432-3919

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Seeking Volunteers Soon

The 2nd Annual Kansas Book Festival will be held at Koch Arena (Wichita State University) on October 5 & 6, 2007. Several nationally prominent authors will be featured this year, and the event will continue to spotlight Kansas authors and books. Volunteers are needed for a variety of duties, including hospitality, volunteer and author check-in, parking lot attendants, performance assistants, among others. Volunteers will be scheduled to work two-hour shifts.

The Festival takes place on Friday, October 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday, October 7, 2007, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the Festival website at to sign up as a volunteer.If you have further questions, email the Volunteer Coordinators at

The Kansas Book Festival celebrates literature, the arts, and Kansas heritage, and is a joint presentation of the Governor's Cultural Affairs Council, the State Library of Kansas, the Kansas Center for the Book, the Kansas Historical Society, and the Wichita Public Library.

And I'm helping coordinate this effort, so you can leave me a comment if you'd like to hear more.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

New in our ARTstor Database at Butler

ARTstor is pleased to announce that 2,000 images from the Library of Congress Eyes of the Nation collection are now available through the ARTstor Digital Library. This collection provides a pictorial overview of American history and includes prints, posters, maps, manuscript pages, photographs, design, movie stills, and cartoons.

Additional images added to the Islamic Art and Architecture collection
We have released approximately additional 1,600 images to the Islamic Art and Architecture collection. This latest release focuses on Ottoman architecture in Turkey and brings the total number of images in this collection to over 10,000.

Additional images from the Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives
ARTstor has released approximately 1,400 additional images from the Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives. These high quality images, scanned from large format color transparencies, focus on key European artists and collections from major European museums outside Italy.

We have ARTstor available for the use of Butler Community College students, staff and faculty. Check it out at and click on Online Databases.

Apologies for not posting in nearly two months... that's another story...


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Database helps with citations

EBSCO says:

Based on valuable customer feedback, we provide consistent formatting guidelines in all instances where EBSCO uses citation formats. Specifically, we have updated our MLA and APA citation formats to conform to the latest guidelines available. Extensive help and citation format guides are now available to all EBSCOhost users, including information on how to cite, as well as extra instructions specific to EBSCOhost citations.

See their updates.

Great help on how their citation tools work seamlessly with the database.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Our newest database of images, art, etc.

What's New in ARTstor
Two Archives from the Negative Collection at the Frick Art Reference Library
The first archive consists of over 3,000 images produced by the Italian photographic firm of Sansoni and richly documents fresco cycles and other forms of architectural decoration throughout Italy. The second archive, from A.C. Cooper and related archives, documents paintings as they passed through art auction galleries in London in the 1920s and 1930s.
Tips & Tools

Recorded Online Tutorials Now Available
Are you interested in ARTstor training? ARTstor introduces online training tutorials available for all ARTstor users at any time of day.

Sharing ARTstor Images and Image Groups through URL Links
Did you know that you can share ARTstor images or image groups with students or colleagues from your course website? Each image in ARTstor and every image group you create have stable URLs associated with them. The URLs can be emailed, embedded in Word or PowerPoint documents, or added as a link to online syllabi or resource lists.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Vanguard to the front...

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing:
By John C. Bogle
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007

To learn how to make index investing work, there's no better mentor than legendary mutual fund industry veteran John C. Bogle. Over the course of his long career, Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group and creator of the world's first index mutual fund has relied primarily on index investing to help Vanguard's clients build substantial wealth. Now, with the May eBook of the Month, he can help your library users do the same.

Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing will demonstrate how to capitalize on this proven investment strategy. As revealed by Bogle, the real formula for investment success is to own the entire market, while significantly minimizing the costs of financial intermediation. That's what index investing is all about. And that's what this book is all about.

Check it out through the Kansas library card...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Giant Australian cuttlefish found

Thanks, Sherry, for leading me to this:

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder!

The cuttlefish ranges in size from about 3 inches (8 centimeters) to
about 5 feet (1.5 meters) long. Its oval body is commonly brown with
crossbands and purple spots. It is brilliantly metallic in the sunlight
and often changes color. The cuttlefish's body is surrounded with a
frilled fin.

Night is dangerous for giant Australian cuttlefish. They live in rock
reefs and are known to dive to the depths of the nearby sea grass to
avoid being eaten. For years scientists have studied the beautiful
colors that these animals (these cephalopods are kindred to the squid
and octopus) can turn. However, they have only studied them during

Technology has improved enough to allow these scientists to study them
at night using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) with a video camera
attached. What they are discovering is cuttlefish DO change color at
night too! The reason postulated is that their predators have good
night vision and can find them, and that the night vision and color
adaptation skills of the cuttlefish are good enough to keep themselves
hidden in plain sight.

Because visual predation in the world under the ocean at night has not
been studied, scientists are excited to be discovering information from
the other half of the daily cycle of life – at least in the Australian

The above definition along with a great picture is from the World book
Encyclopedia which you and your students can locate at the State Library
of Kansas site starting at . You can also find articles in SIRS,
Thomson-Gale (InfoTrac) which includes the article by Roger Hanlon, et
al Adaptable Night Camouflage by Cuttlefish from The American Naturalist
vol. 169:4 (April 2007) that inspired this message, and from ProQuest.

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

Register for a temporary Kansas Library Card at:

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Library Cat

From Shelf Awareness: Daily Enlightenment for the Book Trade
Wed, April 4, 2007

...Incidentally for $1.25 million, Grand Central just bought the story of Dewey the cat, who lived in the public library of Spencer, Iowa, for 19 years, becoming "a town mascot who lifted the spirits of residents hit hard by the 1980s farming crisis," as today's New York Times described it. "In the process he attracted the attention of tourists, cat-calendar makers and filmmakers."

The book, tentatively titled Dewey: a Small Town, a Library and the World's Most Beloved Cat, will be written by Vicki Myron, head librarian at the Spencer library, and Bret Witter, former editorial director of Health Communications.

The Times story purrs the phrase Marley & Me several times.


Juli brought her cat to the library last week, to spend the day while she worked, and save her a trip home when she left for Oklahoma City that evening. I guess the cat is used to a quiet environment... whatever... she hid herself for the entire day. The next morning, Lonnie reports that she followed him around the library as he opened it for the day. I fugure that she must have been hungry by then.

Anyway, the next time she was spotted, Ronda yelled "Catch her!" and did, then put her in the listening lab for a friend of Juli's to take to her home.

That and the two kittens I from Judy that I kept here for one day 2 years ago before taking them home to join the family are the sum total of the experience we have with cats in the library. But there were a lot of students who were eager to visit with and pet all three. I guess the fish in the aquarium aren't so cuddly.

So if this book about Dewey takes off, he will be great PR for the whole idea of a cat in the library. Maybe then I can go ahead and get one here in the college library. The students who like cats will be happy. And really, does anyone who loves libraries not like cats?


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Book of the Month -- e-book, that is.

Caesar in Gaul and Rome
War in Words

By Andrew M. Riggsby
University of Texas Press, 2006

Winner of the 2006 AAP/PSP Award for Excellence, Classics and Ancient History

Anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with Latin knows "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres" ("All Gaul is divided into three parts"), the opening line of De Bello Gallico, Julius Caesar's famous commentary on his campaigns against the Gauls. But what did Caesar intend to accomplish by writing and publishing his commentaries, how did he go about it, and what potentially unforeseen consequences did his writing have?

These are the questions that author Andrew Riggsby pursues in the award-winning Caesar in Gaul and Rome. Named by the Association of American Publishers as the 2006 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division (PSP) award winner for Excellence in Classics and Ancient History, Caesar in Gaul and Rome uses contemporary literary methods to examine the historical impact De Bello Gallico had on the Roman reading public and offers a fresh interpretation of Julius Caesar's Gallic War that focuses on Caesar's construction of national identity and self-presentation.

Get this book by going to our catalog and finding it there:

You'll have to use your pipeline account to get into the book...

There was lots of discussion at ACRL in Baltimore on new technologies. I'm beginning to think that we are getting ahead of our customers. I hope this book is not hard to get to... please let me know if you find that a challenge.


April Events

I'm just back from ACRL at Baltimore, and it was very good. I'll post a bit more on it, but am working through emails this afternoon. Just came across this one...

Several significant world events happened during the month of April:
The Titanic struck an iceberg, San Francisco sustained an earthquake
and resulting fire, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated a week
after the end of America's civil war and the modern Olympic games began
in 1896. Learn the details of those, and other events, in this summary
of April Highlights.

Group access to the site is free for all schools, libraries and
educators. Request group access with this form. It is also
free, through May, for individual students, library patrons and members
of the general public. Select an individual password with this form. The
site's privacy policy is strictly

Carole Bos
Dean's Advisory Board
Grand Valley State University

Monday, March 26, 2007


I enjoyed Freakonomics last year, and so picked up The Gospel of Food this week on my book order. I'm hoping for some interesting insights. So far, I've gotten:

1) Americans smoke less than 30 years ago, thus are fatter
2) It doesn't take more than a weight gain of a pound a year to push the average weight for Americans from overweight to obese
3) It doesn't seem to matter which food you eat: carbs, protein, or other... basically, it matters what genes you inherit

That's after about 5 minutes of skimming. I'll read it more carefully after the library gets a chance to catalog it and get it ready for check out.

Meanwhile, I'm off to Baltimore for the ACRL Conference. Crab cakes, here I come.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

National Digital Newspapers

WHAT: Release of "Chronicling America," the National Digital Newspaper
Program Web site of historical newspapers

WHEN: Wednesday, March 21, 6 p.m., during a reception of the National
Newspaper Association

WHERE: Library of Congress Madison Building, Montpelier Room, sixth
floor, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

WHO: Librarian of Congress James H. Billington
National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Bruce Cole Members of

The Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities
today announced that "Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers"
is being released, with more than 226,000 pages of public domain
newspapers from California, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Utah, Virginia
and the District of Columbia published between 1900 and 1910. The text
of the newspapers is fully searchable, and search terms can be limited
to a particular state, a specific newspaper, and year or years and even
months of publication. The new site is available at

"Chronicling America" is produced by the National Digital Newspaper
Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities
(NEH) and the Library of Congress. This long-term effort is intended to
develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with
select digitization of historic pages as well as information about
newspapers from 1690 to the present. Supported by the NEH's "We the
People" program and Digital Humanities Initiative, this rich digital
resource will continue to be developed and maintained at the Library of

Monday, March 19, 2007

Net Library Book of the Month

Ireland Adventure Guide
By Tina Neylon
Hunter Publishing, 2006

Ireland is steeped in history, tradition and culture, making it one of the most popular vacation destinations worldwide. Its story is told in centuries-old castles, stone circles strategically placed to shine in the winter solstice moon, and, of course, in its pubs, where local residents gladly share a pint and a tale.

Written by Irish native Tina Neylon, the March eBook of the Month will open your eyes to the astonishing treasures of this ancient Island, showing you how to experience Ireland directly and intensely: as a participant not just a spectator. You'll join in the pub life of Dublin, meet the people through theater and music groups, visit the lake where St. Patrick first landed in 442 AD and find some of the finest golf courses in the world. Packed with essential information for the adventure-minded traveler, this guide is a comprehensive introduction to the people, the places, and the culture of Ireland

Designed to increase awareness of online resources and highlight the value of your eBook collection, the March eBook of the Month is provided through the generous support of Hunter Publishing.

Visit the Butler website and link to e-books through our online Campus databases link or our At Home databases through pipeline.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

TimesSelect is now free

TimesSelect is now free for University Students and Faculty, offering a complimentary subscription to TimesSelect. You must be a student or faculty member with a valid college or university e-mail address to be eligible for this offer. You no longer need an access code to activate your TimesSelect University Subscription.

Course it's been free to Butler all along, but was clunky since you had to go to LexisNexis for the content. This is more direct with an email feed offered.

Visit them to get started.


Monday, March 12, 2007


I was in Chicago for three days last week. When we left the Navy Pier, we were almost run over by the croud of people leaving the IMAX that was showing "300" to sold out audiences.

So when this hit my email (and I only have 147 left to go to catch up today), I thought I'd share it with you. Enjoy,



Miss Potter and 300 - Film Stories and Sources

Two very different films are opening in wide release this weekend.
"Miss Potter" tells the story of Peter Rabbit's creator while "300"
graphically portrays the famous battle at Thermopylae.

This web site
links to primary sources and explanatory animations about Beatrix
Potter, her life in Victorian Britain, her sources of inspiration, her
editor Norman Warne and her life after she no longer wrote the "little
books." It also provides pictures of the "real Peter Rabbit," the
original "story letters" which later became books, a list of discussion
topics and a virtual field trip to Potter's beloved Lake District.

Another site provides the story behind the movie "300" and the battle
of Thermopylae. It
includes links to primary sources, explanatory animations, on-line
games from the British Museum (illustrating how Spartan children were
educated and how Greeks operated trireme ships), plus much more.

The site is free for all libraries, schools and educators. Request
group access with this form. It is also
free, through March, for library patrons, students and members of the
general public. Select an individual password with this form.

Carole Bos
Dean's Advisory Board
Grand Valley State University

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hubby does well

Finding the Story... my husband's first book. See excerpts and order here:


Friday, March 02, 2007

Happy Birthday, Cat in the Hat

[08:57] Librarian: To the Cat:

Happy birthday we say
To the cat we adore,
And his creator, too,
Who gave us him and more.

Pushing right to the edge,
Always funny and wild,
This cat still makes us smile
And feel new, like a child.

Here's to you, boomer dude.
This is going to be hard.
It's to AARP.
It's a membership card.

[08:58] RichLayers: hahaha
[08:58] Librarian: courtesy of the "Shelf Awareness" Bookseller's newsletter.

And also,

I heard the interview today on NPR with Martha Radditz, author of The Long Road Home: A story of War and Family about the firefight in Bahgdad that caught American soldiers unprepared. "From ABC White House correspondent Raddatz comes the story of a brutal 48-hour firefight that conveys in harrowing detail the effects of war not just on the soldiers, but also on the families waiting back at home."

Wow. Gripping story of an deadly surprise. I'm getting the book on order today.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Review: Inés of My Soul

Inés of My Soul by Isabel Allende, 2006; Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Sayers Penden. HarperCollins Publishers

Reading a book in translation is always tricky. How much of the author’s voice is hidden by the translator? How much of the character, in this case, Inés Suaréz, is lost behind broken thoughts and stuttering language?

In this case, the hesitation provides a distinctive voice to a character who is seeking to achieve a task quite beyond what she has been trained to do: write a comprehensive personal history of the conquering of Chile, that unbelievably long pencil of a country at the foot of South America. Writing and translation merge to create a strong sense of this effort:

“…this disorderly narrative will come to the moment when my path crosses that of Pedro de Valdiva and the epic I want to tell you about begins. Before that, I had been an insignificant seamstress in Plasencia… With Pedro de Valdiva I lived a life of legend, and with him I conquered a kingdom.”

And so through marriages and consorts; brutal battles and massacres; and creating towns and civilization where none existed, Inés dreams and succeeds. As leery as I am of bloody scenes and suspense, I found it moderated by domestic scenes, well drawn characters, and her assurance that her life was worthwhile in its contributions to Chile. She will stay with me, as will the evocative descriptions of the land and peoples she dealt with, both native and Spaniards.

Allende has become a best selling author, and I’m glad to discover her. I’d also recommend an older, last century author, a favorite of my grandmother, Nora Lofts. The Silver Nutmeg has similar style and subject. Moll Flanders, by Daniel Defoe, is a strong character much like Inés.

--Micaela Ayers, 2/14/2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Using the Kansas Library Card for Wildebeests!

This is the season for migrating (no, not to Florida or Mexico to getaway from the cold)! The Great Migration is now taking place on theAfrican Serengeti. That means that hundreds of thousands of Wildebeestalong with zebra, and other African wildlife are on the march lookingfor water. This migration is sometimes called the "circle of life"because the animals literally circle the plains of the Serengeti in their search.
During this long trek these African plains become the birthing groundfor almost half a million calves! But, even though these little guys stand up and walk in fewer minutes than your hand has fingers, only half of them survive the predators and diseases that are prevalent.

You and your students can find out more about wildebeests and their yearly migration through the Serengeti by using your State Library'sKansas Library Card ( )and trying the Keyword WILDEBEESTS in the ProQuest databases or the SIRS Discoverer database orthe term WILDEBEEST MIGRATION in the Thomson-Gale (InfoTrac) databases. There are plenty of articles (many in full-text) that will provideinformation and, if you have little researchers around, there is atleast one article in the SIRS database (Across the African Savannah)that has a Serengeti Board Game at the end!

~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~Sherry Hawkins Backhus, MLSInformation ~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~ "Who dares to teach must never cease to learn." John Cotton Dana
Register for a temporary Kansas Library Card at:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Book review: Cross off "Cross"

James Patterson's Alexander Cross series has always been titled after nursery rhymes such as "Along Came A Spider", "Kills the Girls", etc. Because his newest title is named "Cross", you would expect a major change in the series. That is not case.

Other than the title, the only change is that Alexander Cross, a forensic psychologist, has left the FBI and police work behind to open a private practice. He gets sucked back into crime fighting by looking for his wife's killer. The death of his wife has been in the background throughout the series, and we finally learn something about her and her murder ten years ago. He finds the answers he needs and realizes that he has to get over her to stop his hazardous work and build a permanent relationship with another woman.

Because I have read the entire series, I was disappointed in the plot of the book. I found it followed the same pattern as the other books without adding anything new to the series. Patterson is known for his original and shocking villians. This one seems very boring by comparison, and I ended up not caring if Cross caught him or not. The pace of the book is still very fast paced so if you want a quick, easy read this is a great book. If you have read the series, you may be disappointed.

Judy Bastin

Friday, January 12, 2007

Poetry not for the squeamish...

Review from my daughter:

Although I'm not a huge poetry fan -- I tend to like my prose, and stick with my prose, and be happy with my prose -- I do want to recommend this delightfully disgusting book:Now We Are Sick: An Anthology of Nasty Verse, edited by Neil Gaiman and Stephen Jones.

It's set up much like a Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky book of verses, but the reading material is definitely oriented toward the child inside of the adult. From the ghoulish to the gorey, there are giggles aplenty throughout. At 108 pages (of verse), it's a quick and enjoyable read.

Why am I posting about it here? While it's certainly not a fairy tale, the writers have drawn on that substance from which the best stories are made -- fear of things that go bump in the night, and the dark side of humanity that feeds those very bumpers. With nods to other authors, like Lewis Carrol ("You're Deceased, Father William," etc), this book is definitely one you want to get your hands on.

Happy reading!