Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Random book things

The top 20 book club bestsellers for 2010 from based on readers' choices are:

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

And for fun, 10 visual artists who use (recycled) books as their medium here at Flavorwire:

Once again, my thanks to Shelf Awareness "daily enlightenment for the book trade" email.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Getting things done, making things work

I've been very influenced by the two books Getting Things Done and Making Things Work, both available here at the Butler libraries. Perhaps the thinking in the following letter from the author, David Allen, will express why:

Hi Everyone,

As we near the end of 2010, it's a good time to let go of what no longer works for you—physically, mentally and emotionally. You'll be amazed at the creative energy that will often come forward when you do this. I bet you each have at least one, if not several, new projects, that will delight and amaze you, just waiting to come forward. And probably at least a few projects already in motion that could use some fresh, unencumbered attention put on them, with lots of new and creative ideas that could be captured and incorporated. Letting go of the old makes room for the new, if you allow it.

If you're still trying to get your arms around the whole "projects piece" of GTD, our new Managing Projects set seems to be connecting some important dots for folks out there from what we're hearing.

All the best,

Good Riddance
It's time to purge.

The end of a year and start of the new is a great metaphorical event you can use to enhance a critical aspect of your constructive creativity—get rid of everything that you can.

Your psyche has a certain quota of open loops and incompletions that it can tolerate, and it will unconsciously block the engagement with new material if it has reached its limit. Release some memory.

Want more business? Get rid of all the old energy in the business you've done. Are there any open loops left with any of your clients? Any agreements or disagreements that have not been completed or resolved? Any agendas and communications that need to be expressed? Clean the slate.

Want more clothes? Go through your closets and storage areas and cart to your local donation center everything that you haven't worn in the last 24 months. And anything that doesn't feel or look just right when you wear it.

Want to be freer to go where you want to, when you want to, with new transportation? Clean out your glove compartments and trunks of your cars. And for heaven's sake, get those little things fixed on your car or bicycle or motorbike that have been bugging you.

Do you want more wealth? Unhook from the investments and resources that have been nagging at you to change. (And give more than usual to someone or something that inspires you to do so.)

Do you want to feel more useful? Hand off anything that you are under-utilizing to someone who can employ it better.

Want some new visions for your life and work? Clean up and organize your boxes of old photographs. Want to know what to do with your life when you grow up? Start by cleaning the center drawer of your desk.

You will have to do all this anyway, sometime. Right now don't worry about the new. It's coming toward you at lightning speed, no matter what. Just get the decks clear so you're really ready to rock 'n' roll.

"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone."

-Henry David Thoreau
"Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity."

-Albert Einstein

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Memory Palace

From the review published today in Shelf Awareness:

...Bartók says our brains are built not to fix memories in stone but rather to transform them; our recollections change in the retelling of them. How often do we think about this when reading memoirs? How often do we realize this in ourselves? With memoirs, we hope to get a larger, universal truth, the kind we often encounter in fiction, because facts are mutable. And part of that truth will hold mystery...
(Marilyn Dahl)

The Memory Palace: A Memoir by Mira Bartók (Free Press, $25, 9781439183311/143918331, January 11, 2011)

Look for it here in the library next month.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Snack, Study, Song at your library!

What do cookies and books have to do with each other? If you said 'cookbooks,' you'd be half right. If you said 'Holiday Open House in the Library,' you'd nail it!

You're invited to the L.W.Nixon Library, BOE 600 Building, and the AND 5000 Libraryette to enjoy homemade Christmas cookies and music on Wednesday, Dec. 1st.

Start your studies for finals with the able assistance of your librarians.

Fuel your studies with a snack - either our cookies, available all day, or a treat from the coffee bar.

Cheer your spirits with the music of the Butler Choir at noon in El Dorado, or holiday music the rest of the day.

Happy Holidays to all from the Butler Libraries staff!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snapshot Day!

Snapshot Day took place at Butler Community College's L.W. Nixon Library on Tuesday, November 16, 2010. In addition to a holiday luncheon for student workers and staff, we enjoyed visiting with our patrons about how and why they use library services.

An offer of chocolate candy was motivation enough to fill out the surveys and let us snap their picture. It was a busy day at the library (just how we like it!) with several classes doing research, lots of computer use and people stopping in for coffee and smoothies or simply to check out a book.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Pull out your cell phone

Butler Libraries' newest service starts next week...

We don't know what to call it: Text-a-Librarian? Text Librarian? Text Us? but whatever we call it, we're going to offer text for our students to ask questions in a format they are most comfortable with.

The number is 316-322-5278. Our reference librarian is charging up the phone today. She'll start answering it on Monday, Nov. 29th, after the Thanksgiving holidays.

We see it as one more way to provide the best customer service we can. Quite a few other libraries are doing it, as this news article from Tampa Bay Online discusses today (ours is cheaper than going through the service mentioned, but you have to have that whole 10-digit number to text us). If you have a question for our librarian, just pull out your cell phone.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thinking about winter?

The hard frost last night killed off the summer. I'd collected a few ripening tomatoes, and taken inside the last, hardy ferns and gerbera daisies. But I forgot to cover the planter of rosemary, sage, and mums on my staircase.

Good news, though, as the window boxes did fine because of all the heat escaping from the windows. By Thanksgiving, they will be gone, too.

So when I saw this article on prepping the house and car for winter, I was interested. I share it here with you. And since I'm the one who does all this stuff around the house, I guess I'm the 'manly' one...

Even better, there's a couple of articles on the website on stuff to carry in the car and ways to prepare the car for winter. I think of all the commuters and Butler and worry about you. Have a safe driving winter this year!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Information Literacy

New (Nov. 1) report "Truth Be Told" by Alison J. Head, Ph.D. and Michael B. Eisenberg, Ph.D. from The Information School, U of Washington.

According to this report, "84 percent of students say that when it comes to course-based research, getting started is their biggest challenge; however, only 30 percent asked a librarian for research help."

--I'd sure like to turn that around.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November Rememberings

American women were able to vote in the recent federal election because the 19th Amendment gives them that right. The story of how the amendment was first proposed - and what suffragists had to endure, at the hands of government officials who opposed them - is a little-known story about a group of heroes who never gave up.

November is also the anniversary month for other events, such as "The Gunpowder Plot" (when Guy Fawkes plotted to blow-up the Houses of Parliament), Kristallnacht (when Jewish synagogues throughout Germany were destroyed), "Remembrance Day" (when people wear poppies in Canada), President Nixon's famous press conference (during which he declared "I'm not a crook"), President Kennedy's assassination (in Dallas) and Charles Darwin's world-changing publication ("Origin of Species"). It is also the 100th anniversary of Leo Tolstoy's death.

Videos, images and lesson plans for these topics, plus many other November commemorations - such as Native-American Heritage Month, the "Mayflower Compact" and the fall of the Berlin Wall - are provided together with primary sources.

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 using the same URL.

The site's privacy policy is strictly enforced.

Carole Bos
Dean's Advisory Board
Grand Valley State University

Thank you for this information, Carole!

Monday, November 08, 2010

My Grandmother, the early adopter

My grandmother Bonnie is 103 this year (as of June). Here she is at one of her early computers. She was one of the first female ham radio operators in the state.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

NPR Survey

NPR has a survey for book readers out there: what do you want to hear in book articles? How much do you want to share your own opinions? Take the survey here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Learning Express Library Easy On!

(Thanks to Earl Givens for this)

Greetings All,

Accessing Learning Express Library just got easier in Kansas. Now with 10 easy
steps you too can have access to Learning Express Library. With access
to this awesome service, patrons can improve job search skills,
prepare for career certification, raise college entrance test scores,
and improve 21st century basic skills all possible with just the click
of a mouse.

1. Logon to

2. Click the "Register" button under the "New Users" section at the
bottom of the page.

3. Enter your 5-digit zip code in the Username field plus your 7-digit
phone number, excluding the area code, spaces, or dashes (for example:
660101234567). Your username must be a total of 12 numeric characters.

4. Create a password (passwords must be at least 6 characters long,
they can be alphanumeric, and they cannot contain spaces)

5. Verify your password

6. Enter your email address (this is optional but recommended for
password retrieval in the event that you forget your username or

7. Click the "Register" button

8. Choose “Kansas State Library” as your subscribing institution

9. Click the "Continue" button

10. Print/save your registration confirmation page


"For future logins, you will enter the LearningExpress Library site as
a "Returning User" using the username & password you have just

To find out more about how to access Learning Express Library, call
(Earl Givens, Jr. , 785-296-3296 or at ).



Earl Givens Jr., MLS
Library Technology Consultant
State Library of Kansas
300 SW 10th Avenue, Room 169 W
Topeka, KS 66612
785-296-8152, (Desk)

--Thanks, Earl!


Secrets of the Dead

As reviewed in The Scout Report:

Produced by member station WNET, PBS's "Secrets of the Dead" is a fascinating look into the "most iconic moments in history to debunk myths and shed new light on past events." The team of experts on the show uses a wide range of techniques, including historical examination and forensic science to challenge established wisdom and also turn a spotlight on forgotten mysteries. Visitors to the site can watch many of the previous programs, and they feature a visit to the royal tomb of Pharaoh Psusennes I, a look into Winston Churchill's decision to bomb the French Navy, and the Battle of Stalingrad. The site also includes a number of extras, including background essays and production notes for each episode. Visitors can also view a list of the "Most Popular" episodes, check out viewer comments, and add tags to episodes of note. [KMG]

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

American Song Trial

I just got this word:

"Your Alexander Street music collection trial is now live. Your IPs have been activated. Your access is activated effective today and will expire on November 7, 2010.

American Song


Please let me know what you think of this database!

Your Librarian,


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Top Ten Tips...

And then there's this set of tips about writing scholarly non-fiction...

I was well aware that I could not write well when I got to college and took, therefore, at least two writing courses. I'm not sure if the Grammar 101 course counts as a writing course, but I also took that with writing in mind.

And I still don't consider myself a writer, the way my daughter Rachel does.

I have to say, though, this article is a bit inspiring...


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Enjoying Mental Health Takes Certain Resources

Hello all....

Mental Health Awareness Week this year is October 3-9. With this in
mind the State Library has set up some links to resources on mental
health in Kansas on the Kansas Government Information blog at:

Have a good one!

Bill Sowers
State Library of Kansas

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Shake Girl" Graphic Novel -- see this review, then read it here!

Gene Ambaum, who works on the Unshelved comic, reviewed Shake Girl: The Graphic Novel (Inspired by a true story), saying:

Why I finished it: The book was written, illustrated, and designed by fifteen people in just six weeks. It has a clear, somewhat politicized agenda to make readers aware of the choices faced by some young Cambodian women. Sounds like something I’d never enjoy, but it was truly excellent.

I wanted to buy it buy can't get it from my regular supplier. It was a Stanford University project. Then Gene pointed out that you can read it online here, for free. Enjoy!

Monday, September 13, 2010

September - Try to Remember

And from Grand Valley State University, Michigan, where two of my brother-in-laws work:

The 7th of September marked the 70th anniversary of the London Blitz. London, and other British cities, were bombed for 57 consecutive nights. Not only were people traumatized, thousands died or were injured.

September is also the anniversary month for other significant events: America's greatest natural disaster (the Galveston hurricane of 1900); America's deadliest day (the Battle of Antietam); the events of September 11, 2001; Beatrix Potter's first story letter; the first televised debate between Presidential nominees (Kennedy-Nixon) and a rare television interview with J.R.R. Tolkien (author of "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings").

Videos, images and lesson plans for these topics, plus many other September commemorations, are provided together with primary sources.

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 using the same URL.

The site's privacy policy is strictly enforced.

Carole Bos
Dean's Advisory Board
Grand Valley State University

GVSU celebrates 50 years of shaping lives

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

I'm pretty excited about Rick Riordan's new series, which focuses on the Egyptians and starts with his recently released The Red Pyramid

The Red Pyramid

This is aimed at mid-grade readers, and is about as consistent as the Percy Jackson stories. (Starts out very exciting, gets a little slow in the middle, finishes with a bang.) I definitely recommend it if you enjoyed the previous series. This one is nice because the narrative goes back and forth between the two siblings, so you get some of Sadie's perspective and some of Carter's.

If there are other stories that are adaptations of Egyptians mythology and tales, I'm not familiar with them, although according to The Red Pyramid, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is based on an Egyptian story. Does anyone know any other modernizations or adaptations of Egyptian stories?


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Gale Databases

You might want to take a look at the Gale Guided tutorials. These on-demand videos offer a wealth of reference resources on a wide variety of subject areas. They are available at:


Shannon Roy
Continuing Education Coordinator
State Library of Kansas

Monday, August 23, 2010

Trent's college advice

I read a financial blog called The Simple Dollar. And since finances are part of everyday life, this writer often expands his advice to ways to get the most out of any experience. Here's what he says today about the value of college:

Five Thoughts about Making College Great

Posted: 22 Aug 2010 07:00 AM PDT

Tomorrow, several people that matter a lot to me are starting their college experience. Here are fifteen things I’d like to suggest to them that they’re probably not hearing from anyone else who has been giving them advice on college over the past three months.

You don’t have to know what you want to do right now. You’ve probably heard countless people asking what you’re majoring in and so on and you’ve likely built the decision up into something monumental in your head. It isn’t. For starters, most of the time when a person asks a college student what their major is, they’re mostly just looking for some sort of information about who you are. They’re not trying to judge you, they’re trying to understand you.

As for the vitality of that major, I majored in life sciences and computer science in college and today I’m a writer on personal finance topics.

In short, you end up finding your own path in life and it’s not a path dictated by your college major. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a major that actually lines up with what you’re passionate about. If you’re not lucky, your college degree will mostly wind up being proof that you went to college for some number of years and were able to complete a degree.

Instead, the biggest value you’ll earn in college is the relationships with other people. The friendships I built over the course of my college career form many of my friendships now. I have friends sprinkled throughout tons of businesses and organizations and walks of life now. A relationship I built with my academic advisor got me my first real college job. A relationship I built with an awesome staff member got me a research job related to my area of study. A relationship built with a professor helped me to get my first post-college job – and, indirectly, my second one. I fell in love with my wife-to-be in college. At my wedding, my best man and one of my groomspeople were my two closest college friends.

The people made the impact.
Focus on building friendships with good people – students, staff members, professors, deans, everyone. Look for people who are focused at what they’re doing, have some interest overlap with you, and are also seeming like they’re having fun doing it, because those are the people that are going to be great to spend time with and are also going to be doing something great with their life. They’re the kind of people that will make your path better.

The biggest value you can get from your classes is transferable skills.
Knowing the ins and outs of organic chemistry might help you if you happen to wind up in one of those rare jobs that utilizes it. The skills you’ve built in the process of actually getting through organic chemistry – those are ones you’ll utilize time and time again.

The value isn’t so much in the actual subject you learn in your classes. The value comes from the ability to absorb lots of information, to process that information, and to think about that information. The value of college is in the ability to manage your time effectively enough so you can do all of that, get strong grades, hold down a job, build relationships, and grow as a person. The value of college is learning how to communicate with people from vastly different backgrounds than you – in other words, try making a friend that lived on another continent.

Time management skills. Information management skills. Communication skills (speaking, writing, presenting). Critical thinking. Those are the things that college gives you a great opportunity to really, really learn, and those are the things that will help you no matter what your path is.

Almost everyone will get as much or more value out of learning how to learn a particular challenging topic or class than they will get out of that specific topic.

Try things you would have never tried before.
The social constructs of a typical high school make it very hard for people to dive into and discover what they’re passionate about. Those constructs are largely gone in college. This is the time in your life to try stuff you would have never tried before.

As Robert Heinlein put it, “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

College is the best opportunity in your life for trying all of these things, learning how to do them, and stumbling upon that thing or two that really, really lights up your passion.

The only way to fail at college is to sit around your dorm room a lot of evenings watching reruns of Bones or taunting someone on Xbox Live. Do something new, preferably something you would have never done before (and preferably not anything that has a likelihood of killing or seriously harming you).

Keep your eyes wide open for free stuff.
The average college campus is teeming with free things to do and food to eat. Look at your school’s event calendar and start hitting as much of that stuff as possible – anything and everything that looks vaguely interesting. It usually is interesting (or at least exposure to something new), it’s almost always free, and there’s almost always free food there.

If the people around you won’t engage in the tons of things going on every evening, it’s a great time to expand your horizons a bit more. Look for the faces you see repeating at these events. It’s a great way to meet interesting people who are actively involved in the world around them.

Plus, most of this stuff is free, which enables you to keep your cash right in your pocket, take out fewer student loans, and get out of college with a smaller debt burden than you otherwise would have.

These are the elements of a life-changing college experience. It’s not about chasing a perfect 4.0 or partying hard all the time. It’s about finding who you are, building the actual skills you’ll need over and over again in life, and finding the people and things that actually matter to you. Good luck.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Nancy Pickard to be honored with Don Coldsmith Award at 2010 Sunflower State Book Festival

Internationally-acclaimed mystery writer Nancy Pickard will receive the 2010 Don Coldsmith Literary Award at the annual Sunflower State Book Festival. The Festival will be held on October 9, 2010, in the Osborne High School Gymnasium at 215 West Washington Street in Osborne, Kansas.

A public reception for Nancy will be held the previous evening, on Friday, October 8th, from 4 to 7PM at the Osborne Public Library, located at 325 West Main Street in Osborne.

The Don Coldsmith Award pays tribute to a distinguished Kansas author whose lifetime contributions have utilized the written word to enhance the proud literary legacy of the Sunflower State. The annual award is sponsored by the Osborne, Kansas-based company Ad Astra Publishing.

Nancy Pickard was chosen as this year's recipient of the Don Coldsmith Award for her 30-year writing career in which she has pushed the presumed limits of the popular genre of crime fiction (the "mystery/thriller") to previously unimagined heights while at the same time receiving critical acclaim worldwide.

Nancy was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She received a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri and began writing fiction at age 35. For the past 35 years she has lived in Merriam, Kansas.

Pickard's first published short story, A Man Around the House, appeared in 1981, and her first novel, Generous Death, came in 1984. She is a four-time Edgar Award finalist and the winner of the Anthony, Agatha, Macavity, and Shamus Awards - the only author to ever win all four - for her fiction, as well as the Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence. Nancy's 19 novels to date include the popular Eugenia Potter, Jenny Cain, Marie Lightfoot, and Kansas series. In addition she has published over 30 short stories and her writings have appeared in over 55 anthologies, collections, and edited works.

Nancy's 2006 novel The Virgin of Small Plains was set in the Flint Hills of Kansas. It was named a 2007 Kansas Notable Book and was honored as the Kansas Reads Book of the Year in 2009. The Scent of Rain and Lightning, her most recent book, debuted in bookstores on May 4, 2010. It has a setting inspired by the Monument Rocks in West Central Kansas. The book has already received critical acclaim from reviewers worldwide, was named a Notable Book by the National Association of Independent Booksellers, and is a Barnes & Noble "Recommended" Main Selection.

"If you read for pleasure, there's probably more pleasure per inch in Pickard's work than almost any other current crime novelist." - Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Pickard's is also the co-author of a non-fiction book, Seven Steps On The Writer's Path. She is a founding member and former president of Sisters In Crime, the international organization devoted to women mystery writers, and is a past member of the board of directors of The Mystery Writers of America.

Nancy founded a new local chapter, "Border Crimes," for which she served as the first president and where she runs a "book dissection" group once a month. The chapter and the dissection group both meet at I Love a Mystery Bookstore in Mission, Kansas. She is currently at work writing her next "Kansas" novel, to be set in the far southeast corner of the state.

The Don Coldsmith Award is named after the prolific and internationally-popular Emporia , Kansas doctor who passed away on June 25, 2009. A primarily Western fiction author and past president of the Western Writers of America, Coldsmith wrote over 40 books, 150 articles and 1600 newspaper columns. He was named in a recent survey one of the Best 24 Western Authors of the Twentieth Century. Coldsmith's "Spanish Bit Saga," a series of related novels, helped to redefine the Western novel by adopting the point of view of the Native Americans, rather than the European immigrants. There are more than six million copies of the "Saga" series in print, as well as editions in German, French and Swedish.

Ad Astra Publishing LLC was founded as a royalty press in 2007 by David Readio and Von Rothenberger. The company's primary mission is promotion of the writing of literature by Kansas authors and about Kansas.

Von Rothenberger

Chair, Sunflower State Book Festival Committee

Osborne KS


...and yes, we have several of the titles mentioned in the press release above.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Generic Drug Price Lists From 4 Major Pharmacies

To help with the decision making process of which insurance plan to go with, here are the printable price lists for the four major pharmacies in our area. There may be price variations by state so take the list to your pharmacy to be sure. If your pharmacy isn't listed, ask me and I will try to find a list.

Walmart Generic Price List
30-day supply - $4.
90-day supply - $10
Membership required? NO

30-day supply - $4.
90-day supply - $10
Membership required? NO

30-day supply - $4.
90-day supply - $10
Membership required? NO

30-day supply - $9.99.
90-day supply - $12.99
Membership required? YES ($20/year individual, $35/year family)

The original list is from the blog Wise Bread.

Judy Bastin
Reference Librarian

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


This in from Rebecca Brown:

As of July 14th, MedlinePlus has a new look! The entire site has been redesigned with a new layout and color scheme. Some highlights of the new design are:

A Videos & Cool Tools page that makes multimedia content easier to find and searchable.
A Share button on all health topic pages and interactive tutorials that allows you to share links to MedlinePlus through your favorite social networks. See the Diabetic Diet topic page as an example.
A medical dictionary search box on the English homepage for quick look-up of medical terms.
A search cloud widget on the homepage, and a widgets page where you can find options for embedding MedlinePlus content in your own blogs, personalized homepages, and other sites.
The National Library of Medicine invites you to visit MedlinePlus to see the changes and new features for yourself. Let them know what you think of the new design by clicking the Contact Us link that appears on every page.

As always, you can stay up-to-date with the latest changes to MedlinePlus by following it on Twitter @medlineplus4you, visiting the What’s New page, and signing up for email updates. Also, don’t forget about the mobile version of MedlinePlus for reliable health information when you’re on-the-go.

Rebecca is the Kansas Outreach & Technology Liaison for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region. You may contact her:

Rebecca Brown, MLS
University of Kansas Medical Center
A.R. Dykes Library of Health Sciences
2100 W. 39th Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66160

Monday, July 19, 2010

Who You Gonna Call?

These guys improv anywhere!


For our latest mission, we brought the movie Ghostbusters to life in the reading room of The New York Public Library at 42 Street. The 1984 movie begins with a scene in the very same room, so we figured it was time for the Ghostbusters to make an encore appearance. Enjoy the video first and then go behind-the-scenes with the photos and report below.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Library Jobs Considered

Regina Beard, Kansas State Business Librarian, writes:

"Is this job what I expected? Yes and no. My work with students is gratifying, especially when they recognize that my role is more that of a guide or teacher than a personal researcher. No, because I never expected to have to work so hard to convince faculty and students that my responsibilities extend far beyond shelving and shushing. Too bad library schools do not require sales and marketing classes. Who knew I would make cold calls and sell library services; try to convince users that library resources trump Internet findings; and insist that library instruction cannot be limited to thirty-minute sessions and remain an effective learning experience? Our charge as librarians is to demonstrate that as students and faculty change the way they pursue information, so have libraries and librarians changed the ways in which they deliver resources and information."

The article is Mid-Life Career Change-On Choosing Librarianship, July 2010 issue of ALA-APA's Library Worklife.

I enjoyed her perspectives on career assessment, librarian competition (it's a great job, so openings continue to be tight), and the above on the nature of an academic library job. I met Regina last week at the KLA-CULS executive board meeting, as she's our newly elected ACRL representative.

Micaela Ayers
Past President, CULS

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Research Assignments - how useful?

And the point on plagiarism that gets made below is an interesting component of the NY Times article on same today..."Cutting and Pasting: A Senior Thesis by (Insert Name)"
Published: July 12, 2010

Date: Monday, July 12, 2010 10:12 am
Subject: Preview: PIL's upcoming research report

> Hello, hope you are well. We write with some research news.
> We have attached a link to a short video preview (2:22) about Project Information Literacy's upcoming research report: A content analysis of 191 course-related research assignment handouts professors distributed to undergraduates on 28 U.S. campuses. The report, "Assigning Inquiry: How Handouts for Research Assignments Guide Today's College Students," will be released in the next few days. We will send you a link to the full-text report once it is released.
> Thanks for your your support of our research and stay tuned...
> - Alison and Mike
> --
> Alison J. Head, Ph.D. and Michael B. Eisenberg, Ph.D.
> ______________________________
> Co-Directors and Co-Principal Investigators
> Project Information Literacy
> The Information School | University of Washington
> Seattle, Washington
> (707) 939-6941

See also another NY Times article from earlier this month:

To Stop Cheats, Colleges Learn Their Trickery

Published: July 5, 2010

Shower in the Library

My daughter is getting married July 30. I am of course, very excited for her and her fiance, Chris.

Thing is, when her good friend Heather called from Kansas City to arrange the shower and asked where a great place to hold it might be, someplace warm and inviting, with a bookstore or coffeehouse vibe, the library here at the El Dorado campus popped into mind immediately. It's not an open, cavernous hall with no decor, hard metal seats, awkward layout. The full bookshelves, comfortable chairs, and lovely view, as well as the coffee bar within it gives a wonderful atmosphere for a shower or event.

So if you need a place for a baby or bridal shower, a wedding anniversary, or a small party (no alcohol), consider calling the library at 322-7606 for private party rates (very reasonable!). Or remember us for a small campus meeting or farewell to an employee moving away. You'll enjoy the location as much as we did last Sunday!



Thursday, July 08, 2010


This week's Kansas Government Information (KGI) blog provides links to information on Kansas wheat.

Kansas Government Information is provided as a service from the State Library of Kansas.

Bill Sowers

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Big Thinking

"There is no harm in society periodically asking itself which services should be publicly funded, and how they should be run, but it is a foolhardy notion that a modern economy would wantonly abandon resources that support learning and help build our potential as human beings," he said. "We are at a critical time. A time for big thinking, not big mistakes that would set the country back and harm the most disadvantaged who need the best possible libraries and free access to books."

--Andrew Motion, quoted in The Guardian, June 11, 2010

Our Kansas State Librarian, Jo Budler, found this link to an article about the British poet's vigorous support of libraries.

"All librarians should read this article. Now here is a man who really understands the potential and value of libraries! --Jo"

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

New Book coming...

On The Simple Dollar, Trent reviewed the book
48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal

He compares it to "What Color is Your Parachute," which has doubled in size since I used it to pinpoint my direction back in the early 1990's. And says he thinks it's better. So I'm ordering it in the hopes it's more readable. I'll give it the "Rachel" test... if she thinks it's great, I'll promote it. If lame, I'll let you know here. But I suspect it will pass the test. Look for it later this summer in this library.

Friday, May 28, 2010

State Library update on KBOR

This week's Kansas Government Information blog gives an overview of the Kansas Board of Regents:

Kansas Government Information (KGI) is a service of the State Library of Kansas.


Bill Sowers

Bill Sowers
Kansas Publications & Cataloging
State Library of Kansas
300 SW 10th, Room 169-W
Topeka, KS 66612

Monday, May 17, 2010

Space and Time

First, a great photo connection to space:

Then, take some time to look through these resources:

Please take a look at the latest State Library of Kansas' KGI blog:

KSPACe, Online State Government Publications Digital Archive

Have a good one!

Bill Sowers
Five sunflowers gazed above the ground
Toward the sixth, heaven bound
Visit Rachelville in Second Life

Friday, May 14, 2010

From the Friday In-Box May 14, 2010

CNN picked up the story of the rave at the K-State Library this morning. See KCTV link below.

LeAnn Weller


Please take a look at the latest State Library of Kansas' KGI blog:

KSPACe, Online State Government Publications Digital Archive

Have a good one!

Bill Sowers
Five sunflowers gazed above the ground
Toward the sixth, heaven bound
Visit Rachelville in Second Life

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Job Hunting

The kid (my daughter) needs a job:

> Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 12:56 pm
> Subject: speaking of writing contests....
> To: Micaela C Ayers
> Check out my entry for the Radiant Prose contest and you can vote for it there :)

> >


May something like this enter her world. Meantime, I'm ordering the book "48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal".

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Don't Smoke in Kansas!

This week the Kansas Government Information blog helps to get the word out on the State's new smoking ban law website. This bill and website will help your communities in the transition to a smoke-free state. Learn more at the KGI blog:
Thank you,

Kim Harp
Legislative Reference Librarian
State Library of Kansas
300 SW 10th, 169-W
Topeka KS 66612

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

More Database News

The State Library of Kansas is announcing some changes to our statewide database package beginning August 1, 2010. The new focus of products available to everyone in the state, from preschool to seniors, allows us to expand our offerings in some needed areas.

Products to be added include:

From Gale Cengage Learning

Student Resource Center Gold
DISCovering Collection
Junior Reference Collection
Student Edition
Junior Edition
Kids InfoBits
History Resource Center – U.S.
History Resource Center – World
Books & Authors

From Learning Express Library

Job & Career Accelerator
Learning Centers – 4th grade through College
Microsoft, Adobe, Corel and Windows/ Mac online classes
Occupation practice tests – air traffic controller to teacher

No changes are planned to the current ProQuest products (Heritage Quest and Nursing / Allied Health Journals). The current Gale package which includes Chilton’s Auto Repair, Literature Resource Center, and OneFiles will remain. WorldBook Encyclopedia will continue as part of the statewide package.

As of July 31, our contracts with OCLC for WorldCat and the Ebsco products will end. These include Searchasaurus, Kid Search, TopicSearch, Student Research Center, ERIC, Professional Development Collection, Newspaper Source, and Novelist.

Patti Butcher, Director
Statewide Resource Sharing
State Library of Kansas - Topeka
Toll free: 800-432-3919
Check out our new website:

LearningExpress Library now available

LearningExpress Library Signs on with State Library
May 3rd, 2010

(from on 4May 2010)
For Kansas job seekers, new help has arrived. The State Library of Kansas just inked a three-month trial deal with LearningExpress Library to offer extensive online resources including occupational and scholastic practice tests, skill-building courses and a segment of the service titled, “Job and Career Accelerator.”

“This is a fabulous addition to the research databases that we already offer to all Kansans,” explained State Librarian Jo Budler. “It’s an amazing collection of individual exercises, full-blown courses, and practice tests ranging from third grade math problems, to middle school grammar questions, to preparing for the ACT, GED, and even the test for US Citizenship.”

During the trial period (May – July), Kansas library users will access the LearningExpress Library by clicking on the link found on the State Library homepage – .
Alternately, users can also click on the LearningExpress Library graphic on the Blue Skyways homepage, . All users will need to create a unique account within LearningExpress to view course offerings, practice tests, or career and training information and to save any created files, such as a new resume.

Regardless of an individual’s goal, LearningExpress Library’s resources promote success. Twelve different Learning Centers from elementary through college levels plus computer skills, GED and new workplace skills training offers the exercises, the courses, the practice tests, and the information needed to be successful at school, at work, or in life. Looking to land a job? The Job and Career Accelerator will identify strengths and weaknesses, help with resume writing, and even monitor postings on job boards.

Users should check out:

1) Practice Tests for Careers such as electrician, plumber, air traffic controller, and military aviation;
2) eBooks that assist in preparation for careers in Civil Service such as EMT, or police, or healthcare occupations such as paramedic or nurse’s aide;
3) Extensive list of flash-based computer skill tutorials to learn Microsoft programs such as Power Point, Excel, Word or Outlook Express, and Adobe.
4) US Citizenship Test Practice, With 100 civics, history, and government questions, this practice test offers all the preparation you need to pass the newly redesigned naturalization test… more info including hundreds of questions, all taken from the official naturalization test and geared toward achievement of the best possible scores.
5) GED materials with study strategies, pretests and lessons, and exam practice questions.

Founded in 1995, LearningExpress currently holds statewide library contracts with 16 states, making the database available through more than 4,000 libraries and 5,000 academic sites. Last year, approximately 1.5 million users accessed LearningExpress’ online resources.

“There are hundreds of amazing testimonials from people who have used this database,” said Budler. “one from Michigan—a young man who passed the EMT test, scoring the highest of all people who took the class with him. He used the practices tests in LearningExpress to prepare. We hope to duplicate those kind of success stories in Kansas,” Budler added.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gearing up for Finals, and Final Papers

College Libraries are Humming in Vermont: "I come to the library a lot,” said Caroline Connelly, a UVM sophomore, who was sitting at a computer terminal in Bailey/Howe working on an article for a natural-resources course. Early in the semester she was looking for information on Camus for a French class and discovered the stacks. “I didn’t know there were so many awesome books,” she said.

Savannah McInvale, a UVM junior majoring in animal studies, was sitting at a table with Josh Benes, a junior majoring in environmental studies. Both had several papers due during the next couple of weeks.

“I talked to the reference desk about finding scientific articles online,” McInvale said.

“The library’s a really good place to get work done, especially when the weather’s nice,” Benes said."

-The Burlington Free Press, April 19

And you are welcome here in the Butler libraries too! We've got everything mentioned in this article... chat with us about your needs online through our meebo chat "Ask a Librarian" on our website

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth day 2010

Forty years have passed since I celebrated the first earth day by collecting a pile of trash from a creek bed in Endicott, NY with my fellow high school Environmental Club members. I may be able to remember what we were called - or I may have to get out the yearbook to check the name and the photo out. Meantime, this info from an email by Julie Tomlianovich, of SCKLS:

April 22, 1970 was the first Earth Day and now 40 years later we still celebrate what we can do for our environment. Whether it is recycling, planting a garden, driving less or simply turning off the lights when not in a room, there is something that people of all ages can do. Help celebrate Earth Day 2010 with your students/patrons. There are hundreds of websites with the history and fun and easy activities. Discover what communities in the United States and others around the world are doing to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day. We can celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day all year and especially this summer, with the reading program’s water theme and slogans: Make a Splash-READ!; Make Waves at Your Library; Water Your Mind-Read

Environmental Protection Agency: History of Earth Day; Official EPA website

Earth Day Network

Register your school or community to achieve the goal of one billion activities that will help the Earth’s environment.


ABC Teach

Picadome Elementary School, Lexington, KY

Teacher Vision: Earth Day activities for students K-12.

Enchanted Learning website

Contact Julie:

Julie Tomlianovich
South Central KS Library System
Youth Services Consultant
321A N Main ST
South Hutchinson, KS 67505
1-800-234-0529 ext. 144
1-620-663-3211 ext. 144
FAX 1-620-663-9797

"I don't want children to read just to perfect their reading. I want them to love books for the joy of it." Coleen Salley (1929-2008), storyteller extraordinaire, professor emeritus and scholar.

Thank you, Julie!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

After libraries, I like gardens best...

... and so this link to the KGI blog...

As temperatures outside rise and thunderstorms move through watering the earth below our thoughts turn to home-grown vegetables, well manicured lawns and flowerbeds bursting with color.

This week's KGI blog digs into the rich online resources on gardening offering up a harvest of links to some helpful sites, most of which are specific to Kansas.

Kansas Gardening and Lawns


Bill Sowers

Bill Sowers
Kansas Publications & Cataloging
State Library of Kansas
300 SW 10th, Room 169-W
Topeka, KS 66612

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Freeze and READ on Saturday...4 pm

OK, this is one of those funky things that may be fun, too. Show your appreciation for libraries by publicly demonstrating your willingness to read. By that time on Saturday, I'm usually ready to drop anyway...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jane Watkins Announced as first DEWEY Award Winner at Butler

Congratulations to Jane Watkins, our first ‘DEWEY’ Award winner, first announced by Dr. Leann Ellis on April 1, 2010. ‘DEWEY’ means “Developing Education with an Excellent Library – Yours.” This award is designed to recognize the award winner’s outstanding use of the library in areas such as:

1. innovative, consistent, effective use of the library in teaching;

2. program activities that bring students and/or the community into the library;

3. promotion, encouragement or support of the library and its resources and services

4. thoughtful, timely, and in-depth resource development.

Here’s what those who nominated her said:

When I first thought of this idea, I was instructing Jane Watkin’s Children’s Literature class. For seven years, Jane has brought in her English Composition I, Fundamentals of English, and Children’s Literature classes in for instruction. What makes Jane unique from other instructors and their classes is that her classes don’t require using the library. Jane believes so strongly in information and how to do research that she worked with me each semester to incorporate research assignments into each of those classes. The assignments were very direct and purposeful. For the Children’s Literature assignments of finding author biographies and book reviews, Jane wanted to simulate what the students would need to know to complete these tasks in the real world of teaching. Consequently, students from her classes leave the library with knowledge of the library, confidence in how to research, and lifelong skills that will enrich their professional and personal lives.

Jane is a wonderful recruiter for the written word. I have heard testimony from many students that hated English and reading until they took her class. She creates more readers!

She is a dream of every librarian. She loves to discover new authors and talk about books. Her love of reading and research inspires others, and she will be missed by the library staff. I will especially miss working with her. She is my dream instructor! (J. Bastin)


Jane Watkins has used the library repeatedly over the years, not only as a Butler Instructor but also as an avid library patron. Jane has brought her Children’s Literature class into the library for instruction and research. For years, she has made use of the library web page as a resource for subject guides using a variety of print sources, Internet sites, and online databases. When Jane comes into the library, she always brings a smile along with her superb sense of humor. We will miss her as she retires again for the second time. Jane will leave a void here in the library that will be hard to replace.

Thank you Jane for all your years of support to the L. W. Nixon Library! (R. Holt)

Thanks to all who placed a nomination.

Your librarian,


Micaela Ayers
Director, Library Services
Butler Community College
901 S. Haverhill Road, El Dorado, KS 67042 (316)322-3235
CULS President 2009-2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March EBook of the Month

J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye: Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations
Edited by Harold Bloom
Chelsea House Publishers, 2009
Product ID: 274103

J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye: Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations will be provided with free, unlimited access March 1-31, 2010. Click below to learn more.

The Catcher in the Rye is one of the most popular and influential coming-of-age novels ever written, and its 17-year-old protagonist, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon of teen angst. The full-length essays in the March eBook of the Month provide a critical look at this classic by J.D. Salinger.

Edited by master scholar and Yale University Professor Harold Bloom, this comprehensive study guide presents a selection of the best current criticism and includes:

Critical essays reflecting a variety of schools of criticism
Notes on the contributing critics, a chronology of the author's life, and a bibliography
Introductory essay by Harold Bloom.


And on another note: EBSCO has bought NetLibrary. Someday these ebooks will be searchable via the EBSCO database:

Dear EBSCOhost Customers:

If you currently purchase eBooks or have considered adding eBooks to your collection, we hope this email comes as exciting news to you. Effective Wednesday, March 17th, EBSCO Publishing and OCLC finalized an agreement whereby EBSCO has acquired NetLibrary, a leading eBook platform and service. It has been a pleasure working with OCLC, who saw EBSCO as the ideal candidate to continue to serve NetLibrary customers, and take the service to new heights.

EBSCO’s goal is to better serve research by offering the strongest possible collection of materials and the greatest accessibility and usability. As eBooks become more prominently used and relied upon by libraries, they are an ideal addition to the EBSCO suite of resources. As EBSCOhost is the single most-used premium research platform in libraries worldwide, and overall usage continues to steadily increase, it follows logically that searching databases and eBooks on a single platform would create a more complete, fruitful one-stop research experience for end users. Many librarians have requested we move in this direction, and we are pleased to be doing so.

At present, EBSCO will continue to support and enhance the NetLibrary platform, with the goal of enabling EBSCOhost to appropriately incorporate eBook availability in the near future. In the coming months, we will be conducting focus groups, advisory sessions and usability testing to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of eBook platforms, and investigate the various models for accessibility and purchase. We will provide updates on our progress as we move forward. Additionally, we plan to maintain the dark archive of eBooks to ensure accessibility for customers who have purchased and will continue to purchase NetLibrary eBooks. MARC records for these eBooks will also continue to be provided (at no cost).

Thank you for your patronage and support of EBSCO resources. We are excited about what the future holds for EBSCOhost users. If you have any questions regarding your current NetLibrary account, or would like to explore eBooks in subject sets or on a title by title level, please contact your EBSCO representative.

Kind regards,


Scott Bernier
Vice President of Marketing
EBSCO Publishing

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chris Biggs will sell us the legal KS documents from now on...

Hello all...

With the naming of Chris Biggs as the 30th Kansas Secretary of State we thought it was a good time to review some of the duties and powers of that state office. Below is a link to the most recent Kansas Government Information (KGI) blog:

Have a good one

Bill Sowers

Bill Sowers
Kansas Publications & Cataloging
State Library of Kansas
300 SW 10th, Room 169-W
Topeka, KS 66612

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

American History in Video - Rated by Library Journal a Ten!

“Based on content, design, and price, this product is a solid ten. It tops any other similarly themed resource in its field and, at this price, is an amazing deal. . . . This is a product I wish every library in the United States could make accessible to its researchers, from elementary-school children to history scholars, and everybody in between. Resoundingly recommended.”—Library Journal

Since launching last April, American History in Video has grown to include more than 4,000 titles and 1,000 hours. It will continue to grow to include more than 5,000 complete titles and 2,000 hours of rare newsreels and important documentaries from leading producers such as PBS, The History Channel®, Bullfrog Films, Media Rich Learning, and California Newsreel.

And we've got it here at Butler! Log on through your pipeline tab "Library". For questions: Judy Bastin or Martha Gregg, via the "Ask your librarian".

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

National Library Week coming

It's time to announce the Butler Community College Library award to one of our faculty members who demonstrates the best use of the library in teaching and learning. I’m calling it called the DEWEY award: “Developing Education with an Excellent Library – Yours” ... also known as “Dream Educator Wisely Enthralls You in the Library.”

You’ll be able to nominate your fellow faculty who demonstrate:

• innovative, consistent, effective use of the library in teaching
• program activities that bring students and/or the community into the library
• promotion, encouragement or support of the library and its resources and services
• contributions towards thoughtful, timely, and in-depth resource development

I’ll have everything posted on the website for you. The award will be made during National Library Week in April, and announced at the spring Institutional Development Day. The winner will receive:

• a $500 grant to select books for the library out of the library budget
• a $50 Barnes and Noble gift certificate to purchase books for self-inspiration presented in a lovely basket of goodies
• an appearance on library READ posters around the institution and bookmarks
• a permanent position in the library on the Award plaque listing all winners
• and a certain amount of publicity or notoriety

I can’t wait to see who wins!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oxford Announces new e-reference

January 2010 Update

New Content

Welcome to 2010! In this first update of the new decade, we enhance and expand Oxford Reference Online's language and religion content, and offer brand new OUP content dedicated to Sports Studies. With three new titles – The Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins, The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang, and A Dictionary of Sports Studies – and three new editions – A Dictionary of the Bible, A Dictionary of Popes, and The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms – plus thousands of other updated entries throughout the site, this update is packed full of interesting, useful, and trustworthy information.

Remember, you can get to online reference books through your Pipeline tab "Library"!

Exciting times...

Now Is the 'Most Exciting Period to Be a Reader'

"Amidst all the doom and gloom (Books are dying! Print is dead! The Kindle will destroy us all! Big Publishers want to kill your pets! ARMAGEDDON IS NIGH!!!), I just want to take a moment to proclaim that this is quite possibly the most exciting period to be a reader in my lifetime. Think about it: when was the last time books and publishing were as much a part of the daily conversation as they are now?... [I]n my thirty years on this planet, I cannot remember a time when so many people were discussing books themselves, the future of books, and what it all means for everyone involved. All in all books have a 'buzz' about them that I can't recall ever feeling. The future of publishing feels like an important discussion well outside the cul-de-sac of the industry itself, and there are more books and book-related discussions than I can remember in a long, long time."--Jason Pinter in the Huffington Post.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wind Times

Hello all.....

Sometimes friend, sometimes foe, the wind has played an integral part in Kansas history and continues to be an important influence on our economy, culture, literature and persona.

Kansas 150 SLK takes a look at the wind this week as it has shaped our state... literally and figuratively... though the years.

You can view the Kansas 150 SLK blog at:

Bill Sowers

Bill Sowers
Kansas Publications & Cataloging
State Library of Kansas
300 SW 10th, Room 169-W
Topeka, KS 66612

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


President Obama discussed his goals for transportation and high-speed passenger rail in his State of the Union speech. Learn more about how your government is working towards this goal at the Kansas Government Information blog at .

Thank you,

Kim Harp
Legislative Reference Librarian
State Library of Kansas
300 SW 10th, 169-W
Topeka KS 66612

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Storm in the Barn

Matt Phelan is one of my favorite illustrators, so when he announced the publication of his first graphic novel, The Storm in the Barn, I was, to say the least, very excited to see it. The Storm in the Barn Set in the Kansas Dust Bowl years, this story weaves together history and mythology, borrowing from tall tales as well as straightforward historical accounts of the time and place. 11-year-old Jack has grown up in a world without rain, and is struggling with his family and classmates as much as the weather. His sister Dorothy is ill, but finds moments to comfort him with tales of "the other Dorothy," as the children read through the Oz books. In the end, Jack must find a way to save his family and their land before they lose hope entirely. You can get a good idea of the set up of the story, the mood, and the artwork of the book from this book trailer (book trailer yay!):


Monday, January 25, 2010

NovelTea thought for Today

"The worst thing about reading new books is that it keeps us from reading old ones..." --anon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kansas Reads

Join Kansans across the state as Kansas Reads...Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama. The Kansas Center for the Book at the State Library of Kansas and the Kansas Humanities Council encourage you to be part of this exciting statewide reading program that brings communities together through reading.

To learn more, visit the YouTube program trailers created especially for 2010 Kansas Reads...Dreams from My Father on the State Library YouTubeChannel. You can also link directly to them from the Kansas Center for the Book website, and clicking on the Resources button.

The YouTube videos were created by Lily Morgan and Kelly Fann especially for 2010 Kansas Reads...Dreams from My Father. Lily Morgan will graduate from Emporia State's SLIM program in May 2010. She is looking forward to an exciting career in librarianship in which she can use her creative abilities to assist patrons in an increasingly global and digital environment. Kelly Fann is a 2009 graduate from Emporia State's SLIM program. She currently serves as Leavenworth Public Library's Technology Coordinator/Systems Administrator.

Read Your Way to Kansas 150 in 2010 with Kansas Reads...Dreams from My Father!

Roy Bird, Director
Kansas Center for the Book
State Library of Kansas
300 SW 10th Room 169W
Topeka KS 66612 1593

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Grove Music Database additions

Grove Music Online Adds 100 New Articles

(Picture: Silhouette of Fryderyk Chopin at the piano; F. Phillip, Lebrecht Music & Arts)

Grove is pleased to introduce 100 new articles from the forthcoming second edition of the Grove Dictionary of American Music, edited by Charles Hiroshi Garrett. The first edition (1986) is widely considered the definitive reference work on the subject, and while some of the topics in this update appeared in the first edition, all are completely new to Grove Music Online and have been updated for the second edition.

Articles in this update include entries on conductors, composers, educators, librarians and subjects related to band music (instrument makers, bandmasters and organizations). There are a few entries on social dance forms, including the boogaloo, walk-around and eagle rock, as well as an extended article on the history of circus music in America.

The following list highlights some notable organizations and biographies included in this update:


American Bandmasters Association
American School Band Directors Association
Association of Concert Bands
College Band Directors National Association
Manuscript Society of New York
National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors
National Band Association


Monroe A. Althouse
Herman Bellstedt
Blind Boone
Patrick Conway
Giuseppe Creatore
Virginia Cunningham
Robert Browne Hall
Frank Holton
Alessandro Liberati
Joseph Noll
Albert Pieczonka
Louis Victor Saar
Vincent Frank Safranek
Ernest S. Williams
Carl Wolfsohn
Max Zach

Updated Early Music Bibliographies

This update also includes more than 70 updated early music bibliographies, including:

Jacques Arcadelt
William Byrd
Robert Carvor
Champion (family)
Johannes Cornago
Thomas Crecquillon
John Dowland
Costanzo Festa
Guido of Arezzo
Henricus Isaac
Pierre de La Rue
Francesco Landini
Orlande de Lassus
Guillaume de Machaut
Luca Marenzio
Milán Luys
Thomas Morley
Jacob Obrecht
Jean de Ockeghem
Johannes Regis
Jean Richafort
Ludwig Senfl
Claudin de Sermisy
Thomas Tallis
John Taverner

Newbery and Caldecott and Printz Award Titles

Rebecca Stead Wins Newbery; Jerry Pinkney Wins Caldecott

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb/Random House) has won the 2010 Newbery Medal. This second novel by Stead (First Light) takes place in the Upper West Side Manhattan neighborhood of her childhood, where the corner homeless man becomes 12-year-old heroine Miranda's "laughing man." In our review, we said, "Stead opens up the profound possibilities in a city where a neighborhood can contain an entire world."

The 2010 Caldecott Medal went to Jerry Pinkney for his wordless piéce de resistance set on the East African Serengeti, The Lion and the Mouse (Little, Brown). At the ALA Annual conference in Chicago last summer, Pinkney said that this has always been his favorite of Aesop's fables. Our review called it "bookmaking at its best."

Four Newbery Honors were awarded: Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose (Melanie Kroupa/FSG), which won the National Book Award (Hoose first learned of Claudette Colvin while researching his book We Were There, Too! Young People in U.S. History, which was an NBA finalist); a debut novel, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (Holt/Macmillan); Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (Little, Brown), lushly illustrated with occasional full-color pictures by the author; and The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick (Blue Sky/Scholastic), in which funny moments balance the sorrows of the Civil War, from the author of Freak the Mighty.

Both Caldecott honors went to artists who illustrated someone else's text: Marla Frazee for All the World, written by Liz Garton Scanlon (Beach Lane/S&S); and Pamela Zagarenski for Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors, written by Joyce Sidman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

Libba Bray won the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award for Going Bovine (Delacorte/Random House), about a 16-year-old diagnosed with Mad Cow disease who takes off on a road trip in search of a cure with a Sancho Panza-style sidekick he meets in the hospital.

Report From Shelf AwarenessTuesday, Jan. 19, 2010.

The library is ordering many of these titles, but the Newbery award winner is present and ready to check out as of this writing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Tournament of Books

The Tournament of Booksgets underway on Tuesday, March 9, 2010.

Have you read any of these? **books at Butler Community College library as of this date, Jan. 14

The 2010 Tournament of Books Shortlist
All books 30% off at

**The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood
The Anthologist, by Nicholson Baker
Fever Chart, by Bill Cotter
Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth, by Apostolos Doxiadis
The Book of Night Women, by Marlon James
**The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver
Big Machine, by Victor Lavalle
Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
**Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
**A Gate at the Stairs, by Lorrie Moore
Miles from Nowhere, by Nami Mun
That Old Cape Magic, by Richard Russo
Burnt Shadows, by Kamila Shamsie
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, by Wells Tower
Lowboy, by John Wray

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Teaching Writing Like the Harvard Profs Do

A colleague of mine, Marcel LaFlamme, librarian at Independence Community College, took writing instructors to his alma mater as reported in this Chronicle of Higher Education article:

January 10, 2010
A Community-College Professor Finds Inspiration at Harvard

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Valuable College Courses

From The Simple Dollar Mailbag, Jan. 12, 2009:

What classes did you take in college actually give you value in your life today? Most of my classes seem either to be strongly tied to my field of study or a complete waste of time.
- Jim

My public speaking class had the potential to be valuable if I had taken it more seriously. Instead of really utilizing it to work on my public speaking – a skill I’ve used countless times since college, even though I didn’t expect to – I goofed off and treated it as an easy grade.

My technical writing class has popped up time and time again in various avenues of life. This, of course, could also be connected to the fact that I chose to become a writer.

I also found one class on information management to be really useful. I’m not sure this is a widely offered class, but it mostly focused on how to organize one’s personal information – making a good schedule, filing personal papers so they’re easy to find, organizing data, and so on.

In short, the classes that were useful were the ones that taught transferable skills. When I took them seriously, they were golden.


The Cost of Books (as Opposed to the Price)

From Shelf Awareness today:

Vivien Jennings, co-owner of Rainy Day Books, Fairway, Kan., told University News that after 35 years in the business, the lesson she "wants to share with readers is even cheap books can come at a high cost."

"The question of what do people perceive the future of the book is comes up fairly frequently at our author presentations," Jennings said. "People enjoy the convenience [of e-book technology] when they travel.... But what we are hearing from the readers is that they still prefer the reading experience with the book."

She predicted that the indie booksellers "who will still be in the book business in 2010 can't be just book people. They have to be really good business people. And they will have to be very, very connected to the community.... Business has been shifting for some time. Now, it is very much about relationships. There is a very high cost of cheap. And I think people are finally seeing it."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dear Faculty

Literature comes in many forms: right now the book club I’m in is reading “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It’s in that hard-to-know-when-to-put-it-down form of letters...

January 11, 2010

Dear Faculty,

So glad you are back! Soon the students will return and we’ll get to working together again.

While you were away, I managed to get a Video database bought and it’s running now: American History in Video. The 2000 hours of newsreels and History Channel and A&E and such could keep you busy for a year. I have discovered you can embed sections into your online courses; so look for it on your pipeline home page, under the library tab at the top.

Ronda Holt, my lovely Information Technology Librarian, has the Oxford Reference, as well as the Grove Art and Music databases up and running. By the way, at 400,000+ searches, my online database use was up 32% this year. That was only exceeded by my book checkouts, up 35%. Twenty electronic books a day were checked out if you average the use over 365 days – which is why their use is approaching that of the monograph.

Please let me know what you think about my new library catalog. The presentation of material makes 'me' look beautiful. Which reminds me; look for Journal Finder this spring. It will allow you to click through directly to any article you find in any place on any database we own... a finding aid, if you will. Now that’s speed for you.

Oh, I’m very excited to announce the addition of library space in the 5000 building, very near the bookstore. Some of you Andover Faculty have peeked in...the “5000 Library Services” is a reading/reference room, staffed from 9 am to 7 pm Monday through Thursday, and 9 am to Noon on Friday, with all the services and resources I can possibly offer.

And finally, what brings me to write to you today is to announce a Library award to one of your faculty members who demonstrates the best use of the library in teaching and learning. I’m calling it called the The DEWEY Award: “Developing Education with an Excellent Library – Yours”

... also known as “Dream Educator Wisely Enthralls You in the library.”

You’ll be able to nominate your fellow faculty who demonstrate:

• innovative, consistent, effective use of the library in teaching
• program activities that bring students and/or the community into the library
• promotion, encouragement or support of the library and its resources and services
• contributions towards thoughtful, timely, and in-depth resource development

I’ll have everything posted on the website for you. The award will be made during National Library Week in April, and announced at the spring Institutional Development Day. The winner will receive:

• a $500 grant to select books for the library out of the library budget
• a $50 Barnes and Noble gift certificate to purchase books for self-inspiration presented in a lovely basket of goodies
• an appearance on library READ posters and bookmarks
• a permanent position in the library on the Award plaque listing all winners
• and a certain amount of publicity or notoriety

I can’t wait to see who wins!

Thanks again, dear faculty. Have a wonderful semester – I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Your Library