Libraries & Archives

Libraries & Archives

Friday, May 30, 2008

E-Book of the Month at Butler Community College

What now?

by Ann Patchett
HarperCollins, 2008

Based on her lauded commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College, this stirring essay by bestselling author Ann Patchett offers hope and inspiration for anyone at a crossroads, whether graduating, changing careers, or transitioning from one life stage to another. With wit and candor, Patchett tells her own story of attending college, graduating, and struggling with the inevitable question, what now?

From student to line cook to teacher to waitress and eventually to award-winning author, Patchett's own life has taken many twists and turns that make her exploration genuine and resonant. As Patchett writes, "What now? represents our excitement and our future, the very vitality of life." Praised as "The best graduation present on the market..." by Publisher's Weekly, What now? highlights the possibilities the unknown offers and reminds us that there is as much joy in the journey as there is in reaching the destination.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

I just received this from my niece Jennifer:

Good day to all, I hope everyone is doing well.
I just wanted to share a few thoughts with you.
As a child I never really understood what Memorial Day was all about. To me it was day out of school, Or it marked the begining of summer, but that was about it.

Then I grew up and married a soldier. Though for many years he was just a "weekend warrior" and I still never took the time to understand memorial day and what it truly meant.

Then one day Greg was sent to Germany, all of sudden my life was in a whirlwind. I had to take care of the kids, the bills, the house and everything else that entailed single parenting, while my husband was sent to defend our country halfway around the world.

For 7 months I struggled to survive each day, not used to this "new life" I was undertaking. It was very hard and I often times felt so alone, but I thank God for getting me through those months and making me a stronger person.
Finally the day came when he returned home to us.

Then almost 3 years to the day of his return from Germany, he was sent overseas again, this time to Iraq.
I knew this deployment would prove to be much harder to get through. It wasn't just about single parenting again, it was much more then that. He was going to be gone for over a year and he was being sent to a war zone. A place that so many dear soldiers were not returning home alive from.
The love for my country, for our freedom and for my soldier sank deep into my heart. During this time I taught my children what true patriotism meant. I couldn't guarantee them that their daddy would make it home alive, but I could promise them that God had a plan for him and that he was soldier of God and that he was called to help defend our country.

They swelled with pride knowing that their daddy was a soldier. That he was "piting da bad guys" as Sean who had just turned 3 years old would say. God brought our soldier home safely 14 months later.

While he was in Iraq I watched the news intently. My heart broke each time another soldier died.
As this war continues on, I continue praying for the families of the soldiers who pay the ultimate price for our freedom.
Let us not forget those that lay down their lives in a foreign country, to ensure your freedom here in America.

Now here we are on this Memorial Day 2008. Away from our dear soldier as he finishes up training in Montana. He has been gone all month but will be home with us again on Friday. Shortly the kids and I will be going over to the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery and pay our respects to the many soldiers buried here who have fought for our freedom in the past and laid down their lives for this country.
Today let us not only remember those soldiers across the nation and over seas who work so hard each day to train and fight to defend our freedom, but let us also honor the memory of the countless soldiers over the many years and past wars who have fought and died for this Great Nation.

Because of them and through the blood, sweat and tears they shed; we can proudly stand and call ourselves 'An American'.

God Bless You,

Love, Jennifer

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bookstores and Authors

We have a treasure of a bookstore in Wichita, Watermark Books, over in the Lincoln Heights plaza at the corner of Oliver and Douglas. And another new treat in El Dorado, the used bookstore "The Book Grinder" at Central and Haverhill.

My email today contained these thoughts from Shelf Awareness:

In a Twin Cities Daily Planet piece headlined, "So, you wrote a book--now what?" veteran bookseller and publisher David Unowsky offered writers "a short primer on placing your book for sale in an independent bookstore and, after that, possibly scheduling an author event to spread the word to readers."

According to Unowsky, "The first thing to understand is this: bookstores are not public service organizations. They're in business to make a profit and, these days, they are having great trouble achieving that goal. . . . Now more than ever, bookstores are making decisions about what books they carry based on what they think readers will buy."

His advice, detailed and straightforward, included often overlooked subtleties like, "pick a different spot in the store to chat than where event took place so the bookstore staff can reassemble for the rest of the day's business. Don't forget to thank the audience. And thank the bookstore and staffpeople who set up the chairs and sold your books."


We have some authors on campus, and my husband's first book, Finding the Story, was published by a small press this year, so I've sent him this article. It seems like a lot of work, but so is raising a child, and if your book is your baby, I can see it would be helpful to have this advice.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday work

The Willa Cather Archive [pdf]

Born in Virginia in 1873, Willa Cather's family moved to Nebraska at age 10. She would later attend the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and would of course share her vision of the Great Plains in novels like "O Pioneers!" and "My Antonia". In 1997, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln began a very ambitious project to digitize hundreds of Cather-authored texts and Cather scholarship for this excellent website. Currently, this collection includes digital transcriptions of five Cather books, all of her short fiction from before 1912, the complete run of "Cather Studies", multiple biographies, and several virtual tours of Cather-related locales. These materials can be located by using the search engine offered here or by clicking around sections that include "Writings", "Letters", "Life", "Gallery", and "Multimedia". Overall, it's a tremendous site, and one that merits a number of return visits.

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008.


Willa Cather is one of my favorite authors, especially for what she wrote about creativity and talent in "Song of the Lark." Red Cloud, her hometown, could be any of a number of small Kansas towns - it felt like Leon or Kingman, KS.

So I submit this for your consideration. And to those to whom it applies, have a great graduation tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wow, love the Periodicals

Seriously, this is not just cute, it's for good quick information on the elements on the Periodical Table. I received this email this morning:

Hi Micaela,
I’m in the Academic & Periodicals Dept. at American Elements. One of my colleagues showed me your list of useful science/chemistry links at (Thanks Mike!) Would you be interested in adding as a resource ? In it, we describe the research and uses of each of the elements, including properties, safety data and applications, e.g. see

We are a commercial enterprise (we produce advanced materials for governments, universities and national labs), but the scientific information is unbiased and solely intended to be useful. Let me know if this is of interest—no charge of course!

Best Regards,

Laura Lovekin
Academics & Periodicals Dept. (U.S.)

American Elements
T. 310-208-0551


I thank you, too, Mike. And thanks, Laura. I often get good sites from "The Scout Report", and we are hoping to go to more of a Wiki-style, live links page for all of our internet starting points. But this helps.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Book Autopsies

The art of book carving:

"Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose a book’s hidden, fragmented memory."

Monday, May 05, 2008

Libraries far from dead....

"...Well, here's the deal about the Internet: You get what you pay for. Much of the Internet is really more of a conversation than a database. Imagine yourself at a worldwide cocktail party. As you wander around and listen in on conversations, you hear mostly chitchat, gossip and opinions, the equivalents of chat rooms, celebrity gossip sites and MySpace pages...If you want good, solid information that is compiled by knowledgeable people and packaged in a user-friendly form, you will likely have to pay for it...

But we can all pool our money together and have the public library buy resources which have gone through several processes to verify their accuracy and authenticity."

So guess what? Library use is up. And as gas prices rise, as the economy slows, as we look for ways to pinch nickels, if not pennies, library use will continue to rise. See the rest of the article by Ellen Schroeder Mackey, published during library week in April 2008, here.

May e-book of the month

The New Paradigm for Financial Markets:
The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means

by George Soros
PublicAffairs, 2008

George Soros, the legendary financier, philanthropist and bestselling author, has written a new book on the current financial crisis that will be available as the NetLibrary eBook of the Month selection for May. Print editions of this thought-provoking new work will not be released until May 19.

In The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means, Soros explores the origins of the current financial crisis and its implications for the future. Soros, whose breadth of experience in financial markets is unrivaled, places the current crisis in the context of decades of study of how individuals and institutions handle the boom and bust cycles that now dominate global economic activity. "This is the worst financial crisis since the 1930s," writes Soros in characterizing the scale of financial distress spreading across Wall Street and other financial centers around the world.

The New Paradigm for Financial Markets will be available with free, unlimited access May 1-31, 2008. Visit the Butler L.W. Nixon Library at today.

Friday, May 02, 2008

May Higlights

From an email by Carole Bos:

During May we remember the Kent State shootings, Cinco de Mayo and the
sinking of Lusitania. In addition, we recall other world events: The
explosion of Hindenburg (as it landed in New Jersey), Victory in Europe
(commemorated on V-E Day) and the capture of an Enigma machine from
U-110 (which helped to break the famous German code). Learn the
details of those, and other events, in this summary of May Highlights.

Also provided are an index of videos (200 are summarized and linked in
context), "Voices from Virginia Tech" (a class-created story by high
school sophomores) and information about the Electoral College (as
background for the upcoming HBO film "Recount").

Group access to the site is free for all schools, libraries and
educators. Request group access with this form. It is also
free for students 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

Thanks, Carole!