Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What problems do you see?

I'm in the process of outlining some tutorials for the library website. (See "Creating a Library PIN" and "Using the Find Article @ SCSU links" for examples of video tutorials; we may use other methods as well, including plain text.) What else needs explaining? What has puzzled you, specifically about Buley, but also in general about library resources and research?

Either comment on this post, or contact me privately.

Monday, May 22, 2006

World EBook Fair

The World EBook Fair (http://www.worldebookfair.com/) is an annual event when a large aggregate collection of ebooks is available for free. (Normal cost is $8.95 a year for the same unlimited downloads.) The Fair will last from July 4 - August 4, during which you can download as many of the 330,000 ebooks (mostly PDF, but also including an audio collection of MP3's) as you like and share with family and friends.

I'll post a reminder in July, but even if you miss it, don't despair. As you can see from the eBook Collections there are many collections that are already free (such as the several classics collections, and the NASA and other government documents collections). I especially recommend the Online Books Page at University of Pennsylvania for a very comprehensive (though of course, not perfect) listing of online books.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Virtual Librarian

It's been a while since I've had a chance to post, and I do apologize. The end-of-semester rush really seemed fierce this semester for some reason.

I have also joined a new project that has been taking up a fair amount of thought, if not direct time so far. The Second Life Library 2.0 is a virtual library, in a more literal sense than usual. Second Life is a virtual world, more than a game, where avatars (virtual representives of the "residents") interact in ways that are both startlingly realistic and eeriely unrealistic. There is a complex economy and a vivid cultural life. The SLL2.0 is an attempt to bring librarians' love of organizing and disseminating information into this virtual space.

The folks involved in SLL2.0 maintain, on the RL (Real Life) web, a blog, a discussion board, and a separate blog for those interested in working with teens. In-World, the Library has several buildings, a beautiful garden, a reference desk, "book"-shelves, and an instruction/meeting area complete with presentation screen on the roof. Check out the blog and the Flickr pool for pictures of In-World librarians, library visitors, buildings, and events. (I'll post some myself soon, I promise.)

My participation so far has been limited, by time and by computer hardware. It looks like I'll need to upgrade my video card (which basically means a new computer at this point) or borrow my husband's Mac to go In-World very often. I'm getting involved in collection development, which can be done in Real Life, but not the reference desk right now. After all, I just learned how to sit down on Tuesday! (Right-click on a seat, so it helps to plug a two-button mouse into a Mac, and select Sit from the options.) We plan on collecting In-World cultural artifacts, like stories, poetry, and comics (there are separate art museums in SL, so we probably won't do too much art), as well as outside information of interest to SL residents. There is a medical library being set up, with pointers to reliable medical information. I'd like to have a collection of articles about how people are using SL. So right now I'm hunting for scholarly articles and conference papers written about SL, mostly educational or sociological, not technical.

Anyway, if you want to give it a try, the basic membership is free. Look up Spiral Mandelbrot, or search for Library and come visit.