Thursday, May 31, 2007

Google is Cool

Sometimes Google does something really nifty. I got the most recent Google Librarian Newsletter in my email at some point in the not-too-distant past and after reading the very first article, I'm already playing around with a Google tool: Custom Search Engine. I've created a psychology search engine using the high quality psychology websites listed on our Psychology Subject Guide. What a neat tool! We could make a separate customized search engine for each Subject Guide. AND sites could be added to it over time - Google makes that very easy. It's even collaboration friendly! Too bad we are in a content management system that makes adding something like this tricky!

Still, pretty sweet! Try my wonderful psychology search engine below!

Google Custom Search

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Book Cake

The writer of one of my favorite blogs, Kimbooktu, recently got married. She's posted pictures and you really must check out the awesome wedding cake (just scroll down to see it). :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Reference books really ARE useful!

So it's summer break and essentially that means I've got lots of extra time to weed the reference collection. Right now it's dictionaries of all sorts. I'd like to share a few random, and clearly very useful, facts with you.

1. According to the book, Narcotics Lingo & Lore (1959), "Muggles" are "Marijuana cigarettes." I kid you not. Shame on you, J.K. Rowling.

2. Some terms for smoking marijuana cigarettes, according to the same book, are: "Bounce the goof balls", "Drink Texas Tea", "Lie in state with the girls", and "Twist a giraffe's neck". Honestly, what were they smoking when they came up with those phrases?! Oh wait, I know.....

Lame, sorry.

3. I found a book that answers a question I've had since grad school. Just how do you pronounce Djibouti? Well, folks, look no further than the International Book of Names (1938): je boo te' - all vowels have long marks over them. so Gee-boo-tea, with accent on the last syllable is my best guess.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Library of the Future

This YouTube video, Transformation Lab - Prototyping the Future, is a very interesting look at some possibilities for the library of the future. Some of it seems a bit extreme and maybe more public library-ish, but it really gets at the idea of Library as Place, which seems to be discussed more and more these days.

I gave an informal survey to students where one of the questions asked what we can do to make their library experience better. I received suggestions that included: background music, more comfy couches, quieter work areas, allow food, wireless, best-sellers and pleasure reading, more computers, art throughout building, better computer chairs, "more help", and more signs.

Overall, it seems to be a lot about the library environment and less about library services. I'm looking into best-sellers, more comfy furniture is in our future, wireless is a campus-wide goal (I believe), and snack food will hopefully be allowed soon.

For further reading on this topic, there's a good article called "How to Evaluate Your Library's Physical Environment."

Not that desperate for a new library...

I would absolutely adore a new library building. However, I don't think this would be it.

Innovative Library Marketing

While reading the latest issue of American Libraries Direct, I came across this interesting story. Until the end of May, you can call the City Library of Vienna, Austria and listen to 19th and 20th century erotic readings. Disappointingly, they've got an actress doing the readings, not a librarian.

Of course, the phone number isn't provided in the article, so if you'd like to call, you may have to do some digging.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pew Survey

Take this survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Where do you fit on their Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users?

I'm "Connected but Hassled" which means I have a lot of technology and communication devices and I use them, but I feel hassled by them. They are intrusive. Supposedly the average age of the people in this group is 49.

I feel old.

What are you?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Plant Obsession

Totally unrelated post, but I think this is so cool. A French botanist creates plant walls that never need pruning, although it's unclear what is needed in regards to watering and feeding.

I love plants. Currently, I have about 12-14 potted plants in my apartment, and 2 vases of bamboo, and I am always looking for more fun pots. I do think the concept of a plant wall is a bit much, especially since it mentions that the botanist/artist has mold growing on his ceiling (now there's an experience I have no interest in repeating - mold in one's home), but I love the idea of bringing nature indoors.