Friday, November 21, 2008

Impress Your Professor: Europeana

Now you can go around the world (and through history) in one mouse click. A story on the BBC news website announced earlier this week that Europeana was online and available.

Europeana is an online digital library. Over 1,000 cultural institutions have made their material available online. According to the article, "Internet users will be able to access more than two million books, maps, recordings, photographs, archive documents, paintings and films." In a word: Awesome!

The idea that we can now access material from across the globe without leaving our PJs is nothing new. I think this idea (and the fact that it is becoming reality) is thrilling and I can't wait to see how this website grows. I do want to know, however, what does this mean for physical libraries and the services they offer? What do libraries do when scholars stop visiting the hallowed reading rooms? What happens when our CLS and ILL services are no longer needed because our users can go directly to the online resource? What happens to the physical stuff once we digitize it?

It seems safe to say that libraries and their materials will survive, but I wonder how we will evolve. What say you?

(Note: As of writing this entry, the website was so busy access was spotty.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SLIS Christmas Party

The Catholic University of America SLIS, the SLIS Alumni Association and the SLIS Association of Graduate Library and Information Science Students (AGLISS) Cordially Invites You to Our Annual Christmas Party!

SLIS alumni, students, faculty, and guests are invited. Join in the fun by entering our second annual cookie bakeoff--first, second and third prizes will be presented!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Information Commons, Marist Hall, Catholic University

RSVPs by 11/24 (encouraged but not required), for more information:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

YouTube Tuesday: Puppet Show

Technology and the Information Society
Cause and effect?

Library Orientation

As presented by Grover of Sesame Street

Friday, November 14, 2008

Impress Your Professor: It's all about who has the information (organized the best, that is)

Regardless of your political persuasion, I have a feeling that most of you will agree with me that it felt pretty thrilling to participate in the democratic process this November 4. I for one got a bit choked up standing in line outside my polling station, watching my fellow citizens also in line, all of us peaceful, patient, polite...I couldn't help but think all the way back to ancient Athens, where the idea for this form of government first formed, and marvel at the thousands of years of thought, and war, that had to take place in order for me to be able to stand quietly in line on a beautiful Fall morning, waiting to cast my vote, fully confident that I was free to vote the way I pleased, without harassment from anyone at the polls, that my vote would be secret, and that out of politeness most of my friends and co-workers would not even ask me which way I voted. It is a beautiful thing, a testament to what is best about our civilization.

Later I started thinking about just how politics works on a nitty-gritty level. How exactly does a politician "get out the vote?" I've been reading some very interesting things about Obama's astoundingly well-organized campaign, and have come to one conclusion: it's all about databases. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, it's all about social networking tools and the powerful databases behind them.

There has been a lot of talk about how Obama is using and has used the web to reach out to young people. The truly innovative thing he did, or rather Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes did for him, was convince people to input lots of personal information into his website,, much in the same way that Facebook does. And, just as Facebook is a treasure trove of information about the likes, dislikes, politics, and passions of its members, so too is And this is one treasure trove of data that just might make Obama "a Democratic Party power broker for years to come," whether or not he is in office.

So, is this transformational politics, or just politics as usual, born digital? Only time will tell, but as a database nerd I cannot wait to see how this newfound tool changes the way the parties "get out the vote."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

YouTube Tuesday: Veteran's Day

Recording History
A brief tutorial on how to record an oral history

Books: For the Imagination
Where history comes alive

More stuff!
Today is Veteran's Day in the United States (and Armistice Day in other countries). The CUA chapter of ASIST would like to honor those who have served in the armed forces in this country and around the world by celebrating their stories

Please visit the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project. The project hopes to preserve the stories of veterans from all wars - an effort that is becoming more difficult as veterans from WWI and the Korean War pass away.

If you know a veteran, please thank them today and encourage them to tell their story.

Friday, November 7, 2008

In a perfect world...

my library would have lots of money for high-tech equipment!! I was over at George Washington University's Gelman Library yesterday and had the chance to play with one of their Smart whiteboards. They are just the greatest thing!

It got me thinking about all the possibilities for improved library instruction and I practically went green with envy. What technology is on your library wish list?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

YouTube Tuesday: Election Day

Social Studies
A Common Craft video breaking down the electoral college.

Elect a Book
An election of character.