Friday, February 29, 2008

Impress Your Professor : The Library of Babel

What if the universe were a vast library of interlocking hexagon boxes containing, in no particular order, every book ever written, and every book it would ever be possible to write...

Check out Jorge Luis Borges's strange and intriguing tale on just this subject, and also an alternative way to store books, courtesy of The Other Librarian.

Just the kind of brain tease for a Friday before Spring Break.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

YouTube Tuesday

This is another great Common Craft tutorial. This time Google Documents is broken down into easy to understand steps. Google documents are a nice way to track, share, and co-edit documents with friends, family, and coworkers.

A Zoo of Books
A rather humorous Monty Python sketch.

2008 Summit Scholarships

To help ASIS&T student members who might not otherwise be able to participate in ASIS&T meetings, we provide an opportunity to attend the sessions and network with other members in exchange for assisting us in running the meeting. Students who have participated in our program have found the experience "terrific."

How the Program Works
In exchange for complimentary registration, we'll ask you to help us run the conference. You'll serve as a room monitor for about three sessions each day for three days. In addition, you'll help out either at our registration desk or conference headquarters for a 4-hour period on one day of the conference. We've listed below the activities that you are expected to perform as part of the program.

1. Monitoring Sessions
We'll solicit your choices of sessions, by time period, and try to schedule you into the sessions you prefer wherever possible. Monitoring involves assisting the speakers and moderators, checking for name tags at the door, ensuring that the necessary AV equipment is on hand, encouraging participants to complete evaluation forms, and generally helping makes the session go smoothly. (Additionally, you will be expected to SMILE AND BE FRIENDLY!)

2. Registration
Registration assistance involves facilitating the registration process, keeping a record of registrants, handing out materials, etc.

3. Headquarters
The Headquarters office is kept open throughout the meeting for the convenience of ASIS&T Committee members, members of the Board of Directors and members of the Conference Committees. Your function will be to ensure that everything runs smoothly and to assist where needed.

How to Participate
If you would like to be considered for this program for the 2008 Summit, to be held April 10 - 14 in Miami, FL Please forward your name, address, phone, fax and e-mail numbers to:

American Society for Information Science & Technology
ATTN.: ASIS&T 2008 Summit Scholarships
1320 Fenwick Lane, Suite 510
Silver Spring, MD 20910

FAX: (301) 495-0810

There are a limited number of positions available, and applications are considered on a first come/first served basis, so be sure to let us know of your interest by March 8, 2008.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Impress Your Professor: Closer to Home

Did you know there's a lounge just for SLIS students in Marist Hall? I didn't. It's on the second floor right outside room 208 where almost all of my classes have met. This week's "Impress your Professor" is inspired by an e-mail sent by our adviser, Prof. Lussky. I'm just going to point out a few things about SLIS and the CUA campus that you may not know.

Computer Labs
There are several computer labs located around campus. Outside of the main computer lab in Leahy Hall and the terminals available at Mullen library, there are labs in Marist and the basement of O'Boyle Hall. Check out the CPIT "Find a Lab" website for more locations and hours. And don't forget that most areas of campus (including Marist Hall, the Pryz, and the Library) have wireless access.

On the Web
The School of Library and Information Science has a webpage that has a ton of helpful information. You can find class schedules, information about the comprehensive exams, a faculty and staff directory, a lab guide and technology tutorials page, and more information about other SLIS student organizations. There is a lot more information on the website; click around and find out more.

A page about the SLIS accreditation process has recently been made. Check it out for details about how the school is progressing.

And let's not forget Dean Kelley's blog. She's posted some great entries about the program and current accreditation process.

There were e-mails?

Did you know that SLIS has three listservs? Fellow students, professors, and alums of the program have posted some great tidbits and job opportunities. The listserv is also a great place to set up comps study groups and general get togethers. To sign-up, visit this page for instructions. It's quick and easy way to keep up to date with the program.

If you're like me, you find it tough to make it through the day without at least one cup of coffee. There are a couple places on campuses to grab a cup o' joe to go. There is a Starbucks located on the third floor of the Pryz. A coffee kiosk is also located in the lobby of Leahy.

More ASIS&T Please
Outside of this blog, there is a CUA student organization webpage for ASIST. We're currently in the process of updating, so please check back (both here and the blogs) for changes.

I hope these campus tidbits make your time at CUA easier and more enjoyable. There is so much more to know about SLIS and CUA. We'll try to post more of these entires to keep you informed. Also, if you've got a hint or tidbit, please leave it in the comments.

Enjoy the rest of the snow day everyone!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

EVENT: Improving Patient Care through Health Informatics

Speakers and presentations:

"Improving Cardiovascular Patient Care through Health Informatics"
Nichole Kallas, IT Project Manager
Product Development for the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR)
Division of the American College of Cardiology Foundation

"Leveraging IT to Deliver Primary Care – the Case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Age-Old Problem, New Paradigm)"
Nkossi Dambita, MD, MPH, MS
Research Associate , Division of Health Sciences Informatics
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

When: Monday March 3, 2008
Dinner provided from 6:30-7:00, program 7:00-8:30

Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown (Red/ Green/Yellow) and Metro Center (Red/Blue/Orange) For parking and address, click HERE.

Cost: $15 ASIST and DCSLA Members, $20 Non-members, $5 students

Food: Tasty dinner with vegetarian options

THREE WAYS TO REGISTER: 1) Online, 2) Fax, 3) Mail registration form

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

YouTube Tuesday

LOCKSS Your Library
A brief video introduction to a digital preservation system developed by Stanford.

Literary Mash-Up
Pride and Prejudice as told by clips from the Harry Potter films.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Impress Your Professor: Future of alternative book formats

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah and I'm the new Vice Chair of ASIST. Have you heard the buzz this week about the future of alternative book formats (i.e. non print books)? Two big stories caught my ear...

1. Amazon announced its purchase of two weeks ago. is the largest provider of ‘audio entertainment’, a term that encompasses audio books as well as radio programs and audio editions of newspapers and magazines. The combination of this acquisition and the recent launch of Kindle (a handheld device for reading electronic books) indicates that Amazon is, if not anticipating a new direction for books, at least hedging its bets.

I’ve gotta say that, as a reader, I’m totally old school—give me paper any day. My dad uses and loves it, but I have a tendency to tune out and miss whole chapters. Check out ALA Techsource, as they muse a bit on our collective history as listeners. I’ve never used Kindle myself, but I have used Mobipocket (also owned by Amazon), a platform for ebooks that is compatible with almost any handheld device (or even just your computer). The books are cheap, which is nice, but oy! Eyestrain! Reading 500 pages on a computer screen is rough, despite upping the font size. Kindle’s ‘electronic paper’ display is supposed to eliminate that problem—has anyone tried it? Let me know!

2. Harper Collins, as part of some new marketing experiment, is offering free access to a few digital books. I’d love to see the results of this campaign. Does free online access increase sales? Decrease sales? I’d imagine it would depend on the type of book—fiction, non-fiction, reference, etc.

You don’t even have to register for this service, and the complete book is right there online! Downloading and printing are verboten, but you can search the full text and submit reader reviews. Each book is only available for one month. I can't wait for the Neil Gaiman book to be posted! Check it out!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Event: CUA Open House

The CUA School of Library and Information Science is holding an Open House for prospective students.

If you've been reading this blog and think a career in library science is for you (or for a friend, or a coworker, or a relative), please check out please visit THIS website for more information.

When: Saturday, March 1 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: the Information Commons, 132 Marist Hall

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

YouTube Tuesday

Bloggity Blog
Have you ever wondered how these posts get put together? Now you can.

Kids Read the Darndest Things
If only all kids were so into their studies.

Event: Improving Patient Care Through Health Informatics

Please join the Potomac Valley Chapter of ASIS&T for an exciting program!

"Improving Patient Care through Health Informatics"

Speakers: Nichole Kallas, American College of Cardiology
Second speaker to be announced shortly

When: Monday March 3, 2008
Dinner provided from 6:30 pm-7:00 pm, program 7:00 pm-8:30 pm

Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown (Red/Green/Yellow) and Metro Center (Red/Blue/Orange) For parking and address, click here.

Cost: $15 ASIST and DCSLA Members, $20 Non-members, $5 students

Food: Tasty dinner with vegetarian options

THREE WAYS TO REGISTER: 1) Online, 2) Fax, 3) Mail registration form

See you there!

Jeffrey R. Prater
Chair, Potomac Valley Chapter of ASIS&T

Friday, February 8, 2008

Impress Your Professor: What kind of information technology user are you?

Hey everyone! My name is Adam Day and I'm the new Treasurer of ASIS&T! I'm sure you want to know a little about me. Let's see... I'm an Omnivore when it comes to technology. Are you reading this wondering what exactly does that mean? Let me try to explain.

A few days ago I stumbled onto this website: The Pew Internet & American Life Project is hosting a “What kind of Information Technology User are you” quiz. After completing the quiz I found out that I'm an Omnivore. Pew states that “Members of this group use their extensive suite of technology tools to do an enormous range of things online, on the go, and with their cell phones. Omnivores are highly engaged with video online and digital content. Between blogging, maintaining their Web pages, remixing digital content, or posting their creations to their websites, they are creative participants in cyberspace.”

The questions are fairly generic but I find the whole idea really interesting. As future Librarians I feel we should all have some basic understanding of information technology so that we can assist users in meeting their information goals. While working reference I've had patrons that know a lot about technology and some that know almost nothing. Wouldn't it be a lot easier if we could just have each patron fill out this quick survey before each reference interview so we would know how best to deal with their questions.

That's all from me this week. Now that I've told you a little about myself, I encourage all of you to complete the quiz and tell me your results!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

YouTube Tuesday

Library 2.0
A powerpoint on how to use web 2.0 features for library outreach.

The Library: Is It In You?
A funny commercial for a library

Impress Your Professor : Tour the National Library of Medicine!

The Catholic University chapter of the Special Libraries Association (CUA/SLA) is offering a great opportunity to tour the National Library of Medicine followed by its Visible Proofs exhibit. You can attend without RSVPing. This is a great opportunity to network and to get an idea of the work in an important and growing field. Please consider attending! Details below...

When: Tuesday, February 12
4:00-5:30 pm

Where: National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD

Please arrive at 3:30 in order to go through security and make your way to Building 38A on the NIH campus. You will need to present a government-issued photo ID.