Libraries & Archives

Libraries & Archives

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Future through the Past

Three weeks ago my husband and I wended our way to the oldest free lending library in Innerpeffray, Scotland where I was able to touch the past.

We saw books and materials from Roman times through the Kings of Scotland, all hands on: I skimmed the gardening advice in books for the cottager; noted the laws banning football and golf as distractions; and turned the pages of the King James Bible from the print run that went to all the churches of Scotland, inspiring the Covenanter’s rebellion. We were celebrating 40 years of marriage with this trip to Scotland. It was an unforgettable experience, and took place in a tranquil setting in view of the River Earn, with mists and soft drips of rain making this Outlander wonder exactly where I was in time.

Butler celebrates a grand anniversary – 90 years – in just two years’ time; and its hundredth in twelve years. I’m on sabbatical this fall, exploring what it would take to create a Butler Community College archive. Do we have the wherewithal to create a store of documents, photographs, memorabilia and items that hold the memories and history of this institution going forward? Should you care to assist in any way with advice or materials or experience, I ask that you let me know and I’ll visit with you this fall.
I’ll be back at the end of the semester with the results of my research. I’ve no qualms about leaving the library in the capable hands of my staff.

Teresa Mayginnes, Public and Technical Services Librarian, and Sheryle Dunbar, Library Administrative Assistant, will take over most of my duties. Contact them or any of the librarians at Butler Libraries if you have needs we can help you with. Have a great semester.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Vacation Reading

Re-posted from Dear Reader, July 9 edition:

Today's guest author, Ellen Sussman, has published four national bestselling novels: "A Wedding in Provence," "The Paradise Guest House," "French Lessons" and "On a Night Like This." All four books have been translated into numerous languages and "French Lessons" has been optioned by Unique Features to be made into a movie. Ellen now teaches through Stanford Continuing Studies and in private classes out of her home. She has two daughters and lives with her husband in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Ellen has worked a variety of jobs including tennis instructor, restaurant manager, and college teacher, but through all the transmutations of her life she has been writing since the age of six, stubbornly, persistently, with great cockiness and wild insecurity, through praise and piles of rejection letters. She has given up her writing career many times, but only for a day or two, and her family has now learned to ignore her new career choices. She is a writer, an almost daily writer, a writer who actually loves to write.

Welcome Ellen Sussman to the book club...

The Joys of Travel
By Ellen Sussman

When I travel, I lose myself a little. I'm no longer tied to my routines ("New York Times" crossword puzzle, dog walk, write for three hours), the comforts of home (my bed!), the people who know me. I'm listening to a new language (Greek last month!), eating strange foods (taramasalata!), absorbing an unfamiliar culture. My eyes seem to open wider as I take in stunning vistas--ancient cities, hillside villages, deserted islands. After a few days in a foreign land I begin to surprise myself. I'm bolder, I'm more adventurous. I set out on a hike and then summit a mountain. I try on a snorkeling mask and become an underworld explorer. I speak to strangers and discover there's so much out there for me to learn.

And when I come home I'm transformed by my journey. Some of the small discoveries fail to stick--no, I really don't like ouzo after all. But this experience of traveling outside of the familiar and deeply inside the unfamiliar profoundly affects me. Sometimes it's just that I understand the world better. But often times, I understand me better. I learn by pushing my own boundaries and trying on a foreign skin.

Reading literature works the same way for me. When I read a novel I dive deeply into a foreign land. I lose myself and begin to feel what it's like to be someone else in the world. When I finish the novel and put it aside, I return to my own skin, but something has shifted inside me. I've been changed by the journey. I've learned something new or found a part of me that was tucked away. By sharing the emotional experience of the characters in the novel, I've opened my heart, expanded my soul.

Maybe it's no surprise that reading and travel are two of my favorite pastimes. They seem so different--one thrusts you into the great big world and the other keeps you comfortably on the couch in your living room. But in the end, both are voyages, transformative voyages. And I'm a traveler in search of brave new worlds.

--Ellen Sussman

Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.

Suzanne Beecher
My blog:

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

College Grads: Skills Gap in Information Competency

Librarians are increasingly focused on instruction and teaching skill sets for using information in their work with college students. Can we go further? Here's a few pertinent quotes from an article reviewing the preparation of college students through interviews with hiring officers at several major companies.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education, available online to students, staff and faculty of Butler Community College:

At Sea in a Deluge of Data
By Alison J. Head and John Wihbey

...Another Project Information Literacy study, involving more than 8,300 undergraduates at 25 American colleges, found that most make do with a very small compass. They rely on tried and true resources such as course readings, library databases, Google, and Wikipedia.

Only 20 percent of the students said they ever sought help from librarians, the mavens of searching and finding in the digital age, especially when it comes to learning how to "ping pong" effectively and strategically among offline sources, experts, and online information, blending the full range of knowledge sources in all their forms.

...While students will always need to think critically and ask the right questions, emerging in this new world is the need for a skill set we call "knowledge in action," a kind of athletics of the mind aided by Internet-enabled devices, search engines, and pools of data from a wide variety of outlets.

...Engaging knowledge at the speed of the web takes three additional things, which tend to be separate in our curricula rather than integrated: a basic understanding of statistics and inference; a sense of the major research institutions—a basic understanding of what it means when you see results attached to URL’s such as "," "" or "" and how those institutions produce knowledge; and a sense of how the scientific method works and what it means to test a hypothesis with data.

Monday, June 30, 2014

References and Resources for Just-in-Time Teaching

The scholars at the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College have created this set of Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) resources designed for the busy educator. Visitors can learn how to use these resources in a range of different disciplines, including biology, chemistry, economics, and the history of photography.

Additionally, there is a list of general resources, such as newsletters and articles, that discuss how to implement these practices into the classroom. In the Complementary Pedagogies area visitors can look over helpful "how-tos" in peer instruction, reading question development, and more. Finally, visitors can also sign up to learn when new resources are added to the site.

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2014.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Digital Collections of Newspapers for Kansans

From the Kansas Historical Society comes this news about KSHS digital partner websites.

Kansas residents with a valid driver's license or state ID may freely access KSHS content on the following sites by logging in below. includes millions of Kansas records from the State Archives and Research Collections, among them Kansas State Census Records from 1865-1925, Civil War Enlistment Papers of Kansas Volunteer Regiments (1862, 1863, 1868), and selected World War I manuscripts. is digitizing historic Kansas newspapers from the Society's near-comprehensive collections.

Please use the form below...
(on their website)

Other digital newspaper projects we have access to are found on their Kansas Digital Newspapers page, including Chronicling America and the Ft. Hays State Forsyth Library Digital Collections.

I hate to hear of so many people paying for access to when it's already been paid for by our taxes. The other major genealogical database is also subscribed to by the State Library of Kansas: Heritage Quest. This and other resources are on the State Library Website, Online Databases page.

Friday, June 13, 2014

State Library of Kansas Highlights New Website

Reposted from the State Library:

We are pleased to announce the completion of our website redesign—thank you for your patience during our transition period. All glitches seem to be resolved, so if you are still experiencing problems, please let me ( know. In most cases, a clearing of your browser’s cache does the trick.

Please take the time to navigate through the new site and check out the links we’ve highlighted below.

Online Databases

Student Research

Research for Kids

Digital Book eLending

Kansas Library eCard

Talking Books

Job & Career Tools

Kansas Kids & Parents

Links for Librarians and Educators

Continuing Education

Librarian & Educator Resources

Youth Services


We hope you find the new useful and we welcome any feedback you may have in helping us to continually improve our online presence.

Many Thanks,

Candace LeDuc
Communications Coordinator
State Library of Kansas
300 SW 10th Street
Room 312N
Topeka, Kansas 66612
(785) 291-3230

Monday, June 02, 2014

The Comic Book Librarian Strikes!

Mike Hall says,

Hello, everyone! My graphic novel review blog has a new home: just visit and update your bookmarks accordingly! Everything I've posted to the old blog is mirrored at the new one. I've added a few more goodies, too!

If you've never visited the blog, what the heck are you waiting for? Spoiler-free graphic novel reviews for readers and librarians, plus collection development notes and readers' advisory tips...all for the low, low price of NOTHING! What a deal!

Mike Hall
Staff Supervisor, Independence Public Library
(620) 331-3030

Friday, May 30, 2014

Nicole Hennig, from her newsletter Mobile Apps News, May 29, 2014, says:
If you haven’t had a chance to read
this new book yet, I recommend it.

It’s Complicated: the Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd.

It’s an interesting read, especially if you care about the ability of teenagers to become thoughtful, engaged citizens of cyberspace.

To make it easier to spread the word, she has posted a free PDF version of the book, which you can download here:

All the buying options are listed on this page:

Chapters in the book, published by Yale University, include:
why do teens seem strange online?
why do youth share so publicly?
what makes teens obsessed with social media?
are sexual predators lurking everywhere?
is social media amplifying meanness and cruelty?
can social media resolve social divisions?
are today’s youth digital natives?
searching for a public of their own

Nicole's new book is Best Apps for Academics - the ebook she co-authored with Pam Nicholas of MIT. She also says, "Please share this newsletter with your friends who might be interested. They can sign up here:

Follow @nic221 I tweet about libraries, mobile web, apps, ebooks, and emerging technologies."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Celebrate L. Frank Baum's Birthday May 15

The Map of Kansas Literature, put together by Washburn University in Topeka summarizes the authors and locations in Kansas of their work. Baum visited Kansas once, briefly... Baum's page links to his thoughts of Kansas as described in "The Wizard of Oz," his bio and bibliography, and some unique Oz locales. Odd that it looks like a rather softened, rounded-edge Kansas:

Happy Birthday, Frank.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Brittish Report Quantifies Art, Library and Sport Value to Living

Department for Culture, Media & Sport
Quantifying and Valuing the Wellbeing Impacts of Culture and Sport

From Chapter 2:
Summary of findings
Key Findings

Arts engagement
Arts engagement was found to be associated with higher wellbeing. This is valued at £1,084 per person per year, or £90 per person per month.

Library engagement
A significant association was also found between frequent library use and reported wellbeing. Using libraries frequently was valued at £1,359 per person per year for library users, or £113 per person per month.

Sport participation
Sport participation was also found to be associated with higher wellbeing. This increase is valued at £1,127 per person per year, or £94 per person per month.

These three were the only statistically significant 'wellbeing impacts' discovered in the research.

(My thanks to Worldcat email linking to article, April 29, 2014))

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2,000,000,000 Records of Library Resources

From Worldcat, the organization to which librarians contribute book and media, etc. bibliographic records.

holdings and growing...

On May 4, the University of Alberta Libraries created the 2,000,000,000th holding record in WorldCat, marking a major milestone for this unique library resource. For the past 40 years, libraries like yours have worked together to build, sustain and improve WorldCat. These cooperative efforts get information seekers to the answers they need, and help other libraries be more efficient.
Sigh. So many books (2 billion), so little time, now more clear than ever.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Reading Electronically, Too

New Harris Poll on reading out recently:
Power(ed) Readers: Americans Who Read More Electronically Read More, Period

Majority of Americans, and two-thirds of Millennials, read at least some books electronically

April 17, 2014

As with just about every other aspect of our lives,the ways in which we can read books have undergone radical shifts over the past few years. Not long ago hardcover and paperback were the main options available to readers, but then e-readers hit the scene, followed by tablet computers. With the
additional options of reading on your computer or your phone, these days it seems as though just about the only thing standing between Americans and a good read is setting aside the time. Americans seem to be embracing their broader options, as the majority (54%)currently read e-books,
including two-thirds of Millennials (66%).

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,234 adults surveyed online between March 12 and 17,2014.

...a strong majority of Americans (84%) say they read at least one book in an average year, with over a third (36%)saying they read more than ten. On average, Americans report reading roughly 17 books per year...

(To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

National Library Week: Announcing the DEWEY Award Nominees at Butler

Congratulations to the following faculty members who were nominated by students, staff or faculty to receive the 2014 Butler Libraries DEWEY Award:

Janice Akao, Katherine Barrier, Nicole Coba, Janece English, Shellie Gutierrez, Sheryl J. LeSage, Kay Metzinger, Jeff Roper, Samuel Sparks, and Susan Wrampe

Please join us in applauding their efforts and awarding the final winner during the Spring 2014 Institutional Development Day, Thursday, April 17, 2014.

Micaela Ayers
Director, Library Services
Butler Community College
901 S. Haverhill Road, El Dorado, KS 67042 316 322-3235
“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books are best weapons in the world. This room's the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself!”- Doctor Who

Monday, March 31, 2014

Do you teach online? Do you take online courses?

6 Ways to Be a Better Online Teacher

With more and more faculty being asked to teach blended or online courses, the need for faculty training has never been higher. Campus Technology looks at tried-and-tested strategies for molding better online instructors...
by Paul Beaudoin, 03/26/14

1) Maximize Your Digital Savvy

The online learning environment relies on technology to deliver education to the learner. Let the available technological tools help, not hinder, what you would like to achieve in your course. As you develop and deploy your course online, take time to discover the digital tools in your arsenal. Taking advantage of technology can help you save time, increase your efficiency and engage your learners at ever deeper levels.

If your institution uses a learning management system, learn how you can harness the tools it comes with. LMS platforms can do everything from managing documents and administering tests and surveys to supporting blogs, wikis and multimedia.

Librarians can help you with this! Call to set up an appointment to visit our Instruction staff head, Judy Bastin.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

DEWEY Award - Nominations open!

The Libraries at Butler annually recognize the outstanding work of a faculty member who is an extraordinary developer of library users of a new generation. We applaud their valuable contributions to the information literacy competency of our students.

Jane Watkins was our winner in 2010; Gina Austin-Fresh won in 2011; Michelle McClendon was honored in 2012. Jeff Tymony, Professor, Criminal Justice/Behavioral Science is our 2013 Dewey Award recipient.

From March 12 to April 2, 2014, faculty, students or staff can nominate any instructor at Butler to receive the fifth annual Butler Libraries DEWEY Award in 2014.

Perhaps you learned how to navigate the library this year, or an assignment so you used library online resources instead of just googling. Or you, an instructor yourself, were inspired by the use of the library in teaching by a peer. This is your chance to recognize that instructor for any of:
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) Contributions towards thoughtful, timely, and in-depth resource development
5) Awareness of information literacy, and enabling the library to improve the competency of students

Entries will be judged on the five points above.

Please fill out the form at

Nominations open March 12, 2014 and close April 4.

Representatives from the library and Dr. Karla Fisher, Vice President of Academics, will select the winner to be announced on Institutional Development Day April 17. Then, we will celebrate the DEWEY Award winner as part of the Order of the Purple on May 16. Prizes include appearing on a Read poster, a gift certificate and gift basket, and a $500 grant for library materials in the instructor's area of expertise.

Questions? Contact me, please. And thank you for your help in selecting our winner in 2014.


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

Libraries: bigger on the inside.

Friday, March 21, 2014

World Poetry Day, March 21, 2014

From Shelf Awarness today, advice to 'get poeting' and:

In his aptly titled poem "World Poetry Day," Polish author Tadeusz Rozewicz writes:

around noon the phone rang
"today is poetry day"
said Maria
"I can't hear you!"
"today is World Poetry Day, o poet!"
it's been established by Unesco"
Even Ionesco couldn't have thought up
something like this! this is something (something)!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Giver - get the book here first...

The first trailer has been released for The Giver, based on Lois Lowry's classic and "one of the first modern dystopic tales written explicitly for a younger audience," Entertainment Weekly reported. The film, which stars Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes, Meryl Streep, Odeya Rush and Taylor Swift, is scheduled for an August release. (thanks for the link, Shelf Awareness!)

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Windows XP bites the dust...

In February we saw the usual small movements in the browser market. More significantly, however, we didn't see any significant movements in the operating system market. For the second month in a row, Windows 8.x's share is basically unaltered... and so is Windows XP's.
Microsoft plainly hasn't been able to reach a vast number of Windows XP users to explain to them both what is going to happen, and why it's important. And while Firefox and Chrome will both be supported on Windows XP beyond the end-of-life, the substantial number of people using Internet Explorer 6-8 is strongly suggestive that many of these Windows XP users are going to be using not just an unsupported operating system, but an unsupported browser, too.


If you aren’t sure whether your computer is running Windows XP, you can go to this website to check:

You don’t necessarily need to buy a new computer with a new version of Microsoft Windows… you could buy a Macintosh, or you could put a version of LINUX on your computer. Whatever your choice, when Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP in April, bad guys are going to start attacking Windows XP like crazy and the odds of you falling victim to malware or other bad things increase a lot.


Brig C. McCoy
Network Systems Manager
Kansas City, Kansas Public Library
625 Minnesota Ave
Kansas City, KS 66101

913-279-2349, phone
913-279-2271, fax
816-885-2700, cell

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Internet turns 25 this year

Happy Birthday to the web!

This report from the Pew Research Internet Project may inspire a paper topic idea you can use.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee...wrote a paper on March 12, 1989 proposing an “information management” system that became the conceptual and architectural structure for the Web. He eventually released the code for his system—for free—to the world on Christmas Day in 1990. It became a milestone in easing the way for ordinary people to access documents and interact over a network of computers called the internet—a system that linked computers and that had been around for years. The Web became especially appealing after Web browsers were perfected in the early 1990s...

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

It won't be long...

It won't be long till Spring, and graduation follows so quickly!

For those searching for jobs, starting early is always worthwhile - resume writing, searching the industry and local jobs, improving job search skills. Butler, through the state library, has an online tool to help. LearningExpress tells me-

A powerful career guidance tool is now available to help your patrons face the daunting task of searching for jobs or advancing their careers. Job & Career Accelerator from LearningExpress- the industry’s most comprehensive online career and job search system- put job seekers in the driver’s seat.

Job & Career Accelerator integrates everything patrons need to conduct a successful job search. Interactive wizards guide patrons through each step of the process, from exploring occupations and finding jobs to preparing resumes, completing job applications, and improving job search skills. The personalized job search portfolio allows job seekers to plan, tailor, and track multiple job searches while providing easy access to all of their saved information.

The end result is the most efficient and effective job search possible.

Stop in to the library or visit our webpage (the databases) to connect with Job & Career Accelerator from LearningExpress.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

There's a connection between unplanned pregnancy and completion of your college education. is a user-friendly portal that provides links to reliable sources of information about sex and relationships.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Ed and technology

Key Trends Accelerating Higher Education Technology Adoption
This year’s NMC Horizon Report identifies the Integration of Online, Hybrid, and Collaborative Learning and the Growing Ubiquity of Social Media as fast trends driving changes in higher education over the next one to two years. The Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators and the Rise of Data-Driven Learning and Assessment are mid-range trends expected to accelerate technology use in the next three to five years; and Agile Approaches to Change and the Evolution of Online Learning are long-range trends, positioned at more than five years away.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Black History Month Resources from The Scout Report

The Scout Report
February 7, 2014 -- Volume 20, Number 5

Black History Month provides an opportunity to investigate the tremendous contributions that African Americans have made to the history and cultural development of the United States. For this special edition of the Scout Report we have found some of the best online resources for telling the many and varied stories of African Americans today and in the past. Through this collection of resources on music, history, science, and education we hope to inspire readers to continue celebrating African American history and culture this month and throughout the year.

Our Facebook page (; Tweeting @IntScout

Black History Month
Carnegie Hall: Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy

Take a tour of African American music through the ages. As part of Carnegie Hall’s Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy exhibit, Portia K. Maultsby’s timeline of African American music illustrates the dynamic flow of genres from the sacred and secular traditions of the 17th century to the hip-hop, techno, and new jazz swing movements of today. Click on any of the genres to hear a sample of the music, read more information, or view the archives. The About section provides a detailed definition, underlying context and history, music features, performance style, lyrics, and even several notable performers. From the Archives also has a selection of iconic images of performers and events from each genre. The timeline also lists Notable Carnegie Hall Performances with dates, images, and performers. This resource is an excellent way to explore the roots of the music we listen to today, and see how it has changed over the years. [CW]

The Underground Railroad: The Struggle Against Slavery

While Detroit is commonly known for its contributions to the automobile industry, the city is perhaps lesser known for its central roles in the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad. Yet, more than 5,000 enslaved people passed through Detroit's Second Baptist Church alone on their way to freedom. Covering a broad range of topics, this exciting digital history project presents the Underground Railroad as a living entity composed of communities, organizations, events, and places, focusing primarily on Detroit and the Midwest. Based out of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the project is designed "to help students and the general public learn more about this important aspect of U.S. history." A great place to start is the Online Course which provides 12 modules featuring video lectures of various lengths and documenting the Underground Railroad and the history of slavery in America. The lectures can be viewed all at once or viewed in installments if so desired. The site also features a great collection of interviews with historians and descendants, searchable Encyclopedias of people and places, and links to numerous external websites discussing the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and the long struggle for civil rights. Lesson plans can be found within Education Resources. Truly, this is a great find for educators, students, and the general public hoping to learn more about these incredible collaborative and covert activities. [CD]

Science Update: African American Scientists

Produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Science Update devotes itself to reporting a variety of scientific, technological, and medical topics via free online podcasts and radio broadcasting. Listeners can call in to the station or submit an online form to ask relevant science questions, which are then answered and investigated in 60-second podcasts or radio features. In this particular feature, Science Update honors the careers of several African American members in the scientific community. In short but informative podcasts, Science Update answers relevant public questions about the individuals’ work, and provides a rich image of the prolific careers of today’s black scientists. [AA]

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards

The Coretta Scott King Book Award was founded in 1969 in honor of the late Mrs. Coretta Scott King, wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for her passion and dedication to working for peace. The awards are given to “outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.” Created by the American Library Association, this page provides a variety of resources, including a section on the history of the award and a list of all past award winners. Another great facet of this page is the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Donation Grant. The goal of this program is to increase children’s access to books by building the libraries of nontraditional institutions that provide services to children. Within Resources and Bibliographies, a series of educational materials related to multicultural and diversity resources and collections are also available. [CW]

Black Americans in Congress

History, Art & Archives is a collaborative project between the Office of the Historian and the Clerk of the House’s Office of Art and Archives to serve as the institutional memory for the House of Representatives. Currently featured on its website and based on the book, Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007, are the biographical profiles of the 140 African Americans that have served as U.S. Representatives or Senators. The profiles provide detailed information on the office served, state and party affiliations, committee assignments, as well as a detailed biography for each member. This resource contains a series of historical data sets on a variety of topics, including Black Members’ Committee Assignments from 1870-present, Congressional Black Caucus Chairmen and Chairwomen, and Black-American Familial Connections in Congress. This data is also presented in a series of Historical Essays covering four different eras from 1870-2007. A supplementary series of seven lesson plans for grades 7-12 are also available for interested visitors. The lessons cover several topics and include resources to compliment the material, including essays, photographs, and famous quotations. [CW]

Du Bois Central

The Department of Special Collections and the University Archives at UMass Amherst have paired up to create this wonderful collection of resources relating to the life and legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois. A pioneering sociologist, novelist, historian, playwright, and culture critic, Du Bois advocated for racial and social justice throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries. For those unfamiliar with Du Bois and his work, the About Du Bois section is a great place to start, featuring a concise biography, a chronology, and an interactive timeline sorted by decade. The Digital Projects section is another great portion of the collection. Along with selected essays on education, war, and voting rights, visitors will find links to various editions of The Crisis, the official publication of the NAACP which Du Bois edited for many years, as well as the creatively titled DuBoisopedia. Created via wiki technology and accessible from this site, the DuBoisopedia offers a forum for any student or researcher engaged with Du Bois's writings or ideas to share their knowledge with others. It is a great forum to fuel future research and study. The site is also rounded out by wonderful photographs of the esteemed intellectual throughout his life. [CD]

American Promise: POV

Dramatic, poignant, and provocative, PBS’s Point of View documentaries provide access to often overlooked facets of American society. African-American filmmakers and parents Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson chronicle twelve years of educational ups and downs of their son, Idris, and his classmate Seun in American Promise. The documentary follows the two boys’ journey through Manhattan’s prestigious Dalton School as recruited students of color, shedding light on the black male achievement gap in the context of early education. Through their experiences, the viewer is offered intimate access to modern civil rights, gender and racial gaps, and generational conflict in the black community. The website offers a full length trailer, background, character descriptions, and a photo slideshow, as well as online streaming from February 4th – March 5th, 2014. [AA]

Oxford African American Studies Center: Focus on Women and Literature

The Oxford African American Studies Center has created this website to house its comprehensive collection of scholarship documenting the many and varied experiences that make up African and African American history and culture. Along with over 10,000 articles, 2,500 images, and 200 maps, the site features an excellent "Focus On" series each month, in which the editors compile various short articles, picture essays, and links on a designated topic. The Focus on Women and Literature is particularly noteworthy. Here, visitors can explore the life and works of influential women in American literature, from Phillis Wheatley to Toni Morrison. The site can be easily navigated by subject or by specific biography, with suggestions for related sources and content provided in each section. Additionally, curious visitors will find links to all of the previously featured subjects within the series, ranging from African Americans in Science and Technology to Black Homesteading in the American Western Frontier. [CD]

African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship

The Library of Congress’s “African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship” exhibition celebrates African American history over nine time periods, ranging from 18th century slavery to the Civil Rights era. This thorough collection includes over 240 books, government documents, maps, musical scores, films, and plays, supplemented with relevant historical explanations and contexts. Viewers can peruse through more than two hundred years of historical documents to better understand the African American quest for equality in the face of adversity. All available for review online, the collection features a key-word search for more efficient learning and researching. Through easy browsing of original documents, such as letters Frederick Douglass wrote during the Civil War, users are able to get a better historical perspective on the unique development of African American culture. [AA]

In Motion: the African-American Migration Experience

Presented by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience documents a new interpretation of African-American history that focuses on the self-motivated activities of peoples of African descent through thirteen defining periods of voluntary or involuntary migration. Ranging from The Transatlantic Slave Trade to The Great Migration to Haitian Immigration: 20th Century, the exhibit explains the extraordinary diversity of African Americans living in the United States today. While the site can be browsed by Migrations, Geography, Timeline, Source Materials, Educational Materials, or through a general search, a great way to start is by clicking on a migration of interest. From here, a variety of Educational Materials, Images, Texts, and Maps can be viewed, along with a short, descriptive narrative highlighting specific elements of the journey. For those interested, the website is also accompanied by a National Geographic-published companion book of the same name. [CD]

Amistad Digital Resource for Teaching African American History

Based out of Columbia University, the Amistad Digital Resource for Teaching African American History was created with a goal of helping teachers present a more inclusive representation of American history within K-12 social studies curriculum. Housing rare and iconic photographs, audio recordings, news clips, and excerpts of oral history interviews, the site consists of three Modules: Plantation to Ghetto, Civil Rights Era, and The Future in the Present. Section one of Plantation to Ghetto documents the end of Reconstruction in the South and Jim Crow laws. From here, visitors can read a descriptive narrative, review related documents, and even view a short film clip from NBC on Jim Crow Laws in the South. Visitors may peruse each module for a desired era or event, or search the archive by Key Figure, Organization and Institution, Images, Videos, or Documents. [CD]

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change

In celebration of one of the most foundational African American figures in history, The King Center Imaging Project has undergone an intense process of digitization to allow universal access to the life’s work of Martin Luther King Jr. Users can sift through a dynamic collection of one million archived documents, images, letters, notes, and speeches, presented via a convenient mosaic interface. Along with the archive, the site provides background information and a glossary for Dr. King’s message of nonviolence. Apart from the historical value of the site, users are prompted to follow in Dr. King’s work, submitting their own “dreams” for careers, human rights, and world peace. This input is collected into a growing base of nearly five-thousand “dreams” that can be searched via theme or geographic location, true evidence of Dr. King’s influential humanitarian message. [AA]

Witness: Black History

The BBC World Service's Witness program offers a unique insight into the American civil rights era, focusing on important events in Black History. This special feature provides thirty-three free and downloadable podcast interviews of individuals that were present during hallmark events in history, such as Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream" speech and The Freedom Riders protests. Listeners have the ability to hear a first-hand account of what it was like to attend the first desegregated elementary school, as told by Ruby Bridges, along with several other noteworthy witnesses to history. The podcasts are available indefinitely, and can be accessed via the online website or downloaded for remote listening. [AA]

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Monday, February 03, 2014

3-D Printing gets Practical

I was excited about this story of a Kansas teen printing a 3-D hand for a boy born without fingers on one hand.

Using a 3-D printer at the Johnson County Library, Wilde made a prosthetic hand that opens and closes and can even hold a pencil. Photo by John Sleezer, The Kansas City Star

Read more here:

Jo Budler, our state librarian, is using it in the legislative budget hearings she's presenting at today, Feb. 3, because it's a great use of a library makerspace. Imagine!