5.24.2010

Marian the Cybrarian

The Chronicle!  Coming through for us again.  :)

Whenever I read an article like this, I am reminded of the front cover of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' which says "DON'T PANIC." 

Because, seriously, we don't need too.

If all a library was, was a warehouse of books that, in a digital age, needed to be tossed out, we would have gone the way of the dodo hundreds of years ago. 

But...

We're still here.  Because we are important. 

Libraries are information centers and librarians are information brokers.

And Knowledge is Power.

5.13.2010

Take on Me

Personally,  I think it needs more cowbell.

5.11.2010

New Foster Update

Here's a picture from Wilson Hutton of the new Foster Auditorium construction!

What's yellow and sticky?

A sticker!










As books come back from the Google book project, they are getting this little sticker affixed to the spine.  This will alert the patron that some or all of the content maybe available electronically.

While it's a nice touch for people who are doing their browsing in the serendipitous style (i.e. they wander the stacks until they miraculously find what they need and I do mean miraculously), it's not really all that necessary since these books will be marked in the electronic catalog as having electronic content.  The patron will be able to view the e-content right that very minute.  And really, once someone is in the stacks and pulls the book from the shelf, they aren't going to go back into the system to re-look up a book.

That sounds suspiciously like work.

Well, at least for those going the serendipitous route, their will be something to amuse them.

More likely it will cause complaints:

"Why is this book digitized and this one isn't?  They're both in the public domain."

"What was the point of pointing the sticker on it if I have to look it back up in the CAT?"

"I didn't get the book off the shelf because the sticker said 'e-copy' but all you have online is a table of contents and someone else checked out the book!"

I can go on, but I won't.  Suffice it to say that when you make something idiot proof, the Universe will make a better idiot.  If it says 'e-copy' on the sticker, it doesn't matter what else the sticker says.  Patrons will only see the words 'e-copy' and assume the book is available full text. 

The worst part of the stickers is that they aren't even for the patrons.  They are to remind staff NOT to withdraw the book because the barcode is the e-copy's persistent link.  How backwards is that?  But I see what the admins who came up with the sticker are getting at.

Our system is filled with notes on what NOT to do with a book or record.  Yet we run into important books being withdrawn, records altered poorly or erased all together, and important information lost.  The sticker, we hope, will tell people to keep their hands off the record.  Of course, it won't work that way, but live and don't learn, right?

The Penn State Landscape

Here's a student video about the campus and what it looks like.  It concentrates on west campus centering on the IST Building (Lovingly known as the 'aircraft carrier.'  You'll see why.) and the Alumni Center.

Enjoy!