The buzz in the tech world this week is all about Chrome, Google’s new browser. The browser industry has long been dominated by Internet Explorer (with bits of the market being taken up by Firefox, Safari, and Opera), but rumor has it that Google’s new product might take over.
You can learn about Chrome’s features in a new Google graphic “novel,” and there are also plenty of reviews being published (here’s one from Wired).
I’m downloading Chrome as I type – I’m anxious to see if it can win my heart from Firefox. It will also be interesting to see if, when, and how Chrome might start to infiltrate The University of Scranton — where the preferred browser is currently Internet Explorer. If you spot any Chrome users on campus, let us know!
The Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award encourages library users to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians. The awards program will demonstrate how librarians are improving the lives of the people in their communities.
Up to ten winners will be selected annually and will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and $500 travel stipend to attend an awards reception in New York hosted by The New York Times at TheTimesCenter on December 9, 2008. In addition, a plaque will be given to each award winner’s library.
The award is administered by the American Library Association with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York and The New York Times.
Who Can Nominate a Librarian
Nominators of public librarians must be public library users.
Nominators of librarians in college, community college or university libraries must be users of those libraries, e.g. students, faculty, or staff members.
Who Can Be Nominated
Each nominee must be a librarian with a master’s degree from a program accredited by the ALA in library and information studies or a master’s degree with a specialty in school library media from an educational unit accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Nominees must be currently working in the United States in a public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university or at an accredited K-12 school.
Timeline for Nominations
Nominations for public libraries are open and must be completed by October 1, 2008. Nominations for college, community college, or university librarian and school library media specialists open September 2 and must be completed by October 15, 2008.
I’m somewhat of a traditionalist when it comes to reading, that is to say, I prefer paper and ink over plastic and electrons. However, I’m always open-minded and willing to try new things; so, a couple years back, I decided to read Aristophanes’s The Clouds entirely on my desktop computer. Sadly, I couldn’t make it all the way through and eventually ended up taking the book out of the library.
However, I did learn something from my experience, namely that it is possible to read large amounts of text entirely online. Personally, I read online all the time, but usually in the form of newspaper/journal articles and other short passages, though occasionally I have pulled-up a couple chapters from a book, in order to get by for the time being.
So if you left your book on the bus, or the library doesn’t have it (highly unlikely), or your shipment hasn’t come in from Amazon yet and you need to have a chapter read by tomorrow, then I suggest giving some of the following resources a try. Keep in mind, you don’t need an iPhone or iTablet to read most eBooks, usually you can open them up right from your desktop/laptop, or even on most SmartPhones and PDAs.
Here are the top 5 FREE eBook sites, in my humble opinion:
1.) The Online Books Page – An Index of eTexts brought to us free of charge by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.
2.) Project Gutenberg – There are over 25,000 free books in the Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalog. A grand total of over 100,000 titles are available at Project Gutenberg Partners, Affiliates and Resources.
3.) Bookyards.com – Bookyards has a total of 16,045 books, 41,384 external web links, 4,197 news & blogs links, 384 videos, 32,787 Ebook links and access to hundreds of online libraries (800,000 Ebooks) for your reading pleasure.
4.) JustFreeBooks – This website is actually a specialized search engine (similar to Google, except only searches eBook sites). Use the search box to find exactly what you are looking for.
5.) MemoWare.com – Contains over 18,000 “premium” titles. I can’t vouch for exactly what they mean by premium titles, but there are some excellent Literature selections and even some Reference texts.
This afternoon I received an IM while signed into our IM Reference Service. (BTW our screen name is uofsrefdesk, so add us to your buddy list!) A student wanted to know the Java City Hours of Operation. When I realized these aren’t posted anywhere prominent on our website, I decided this needed to be rectified. And so, here they are:
It seems to me Java City has zeroed in on all of the important parts of the week when that delicious java is essential to the hard-working (possibly sleep-deprived) student. So next time you’re in the Library ready to get started on your latest assignment, grab your beverage of choice* from Java City and make yourself at home. Java City is located in the Pro Deo Room, aka the 24-hour room, which is to your right when you walk into the library from the Monroe side of the building.
*Java City also has an array of smoothie options — and I know from personal experience that they really hit the spot!
One of the unique programs that the Weinberg Memorial Library offers is the Schemel Forum, a series of lectures and courses that are open to members of the Scranton community. The idea is that people from all different generations can continue their educations by discussing new ideas together.
There are several different courses being offered this Fall (see the full offerings on the Schemel Forum website) – the one I’m participating in is The American Presidency, taught by Morey Myers. We just had the first of five sessions this evening on the third floor of the Library, and the room was PACKED – Morey’s reputation preceded him!
Our focus tonight was on the role of the President of the United States, as defined in the Constitution in Article II and Amendments XII and XXV. A lot of good questions came up — what exactly is executive power and how far does it extend? Can a legal case be made that John McCain, who was born in the Canal Zone, is not eligible to be President? Could (and should) the Electoral College system be eliminated in favor of direct election by the people? I also learned a few new tidbits of American history: I never knew that Benjamin Franklin was actually the President of Pennsylvania, or that George Washington has been called the father of the modern expense account. I had never even heard of Peyton Randolph before tonight!
The best part of the evening, though, was just being in a room with so many interesting people from the community. The participants included 11 doctors, 6 lawyers, and the CFO of the new Scranton medical school – and I also spotted interim CAS Dean Paul Fahey. I’m looking forward to meeting more of my fellow students in the next sessions.
An Update from Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian:
Letters to Sala: A Young Woman’s Life in Nazi Labor Camps is a striking exhibition reproducing the letters, postcards, photographs, and personal documents that Sala Garncarz managed to save during five brutal years in Nazi work camps during World War II. Curated by Jill Vexler and co-sponsored by the Weinberg Memorial Library and the Holocaust Education Resource Center, this unique exhibition will be on view in the Heritage Room at The University of Scranton from September 1 through October 28, 2008. Charles Kratz, Dean of the Library & Information Fluency noted, “This traveling exhibition continues our commitment to commemorating the Holocaust through special programming in conjunction with the Holocaust Education Resource Center.”
A reception, featuring a talk by Sala’s daughter, Ann Kirschner, will be held on Sunday, September 14 from 1-4 p.m. Kirschner is the author of Sala’s Gift: My Mother’s Holocaust Story, which tells the story of her mother’s World War II experience.
This traveling exhibition was inspired by Letters to Sala: A Young Woman’s Life in Nazi Labor Camps, presented at The New York Public Library from March 7 to June 17, 2006. Support for this exhibition has been provided by the Righteous Persons Foundation, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the Berg Foundation, Trudy and Robert Gottesman, the French Children of the Holocaust Foundation and Nancy Schwartz Sternoff, Dobkin Family Foundation. Unless otherwise indicated, the letters, photographs, and documents in the exhibition are drawn from the Sala Garncarz Kirschner Collection, donated by the Kirschner family in April 2005, to the Dorot Jewish Division of The New York Public Library.
For those that don’t know it yet, the Library will be open tomorrow, Labor Day, from 12 noon until 11:30pm.
Since this holiday weekend fell at the end of your first week of classes, we figured most of you would be staying in the area rather than taking trips home — and who wouldn’t with an amazing Italian food festival* occurring right in your backyard?
But after a long weekend of feasting Italian-style, the Library will be open and at your service, if you feel inclined to start tackling that first big research assignment your professors inevitably assigned or alluded to last week in class… You know you wanna. *wink*
And a happy and safe holiday weekend, from the Library to you!
*I am of course referring to La Festa Italiana, the ever-popular and famous annual celebration of Italian food and culture, occurring all weekend in Courthouse Square (the block made up of Linden St., Adams Ave., Spruce St. and N. Washington Ave.) here in Scranton. Visit La Festa Italiana for details.
Show your love for The University of Scranton Weinberg Memorial Library by becoming a Fan of our page. Feel free to post your favorite photos of the Library, and use our Wall to give us comments and suggestions.
So far, we have 18 Fans. How quickly can we make it to 100?
Currently, there are some really excellent free Windows applications which are great for making your lives, as students, easier. Most of these applications are available for download from www.download.com. Here are a few applications that I find excellent…
WordWeb is an application that is practically invisible on your desktop, only a small icon is found in your toolbar, and it only pops up when you really need it. However, this application makes looking up definitions quicker and easier than ever before. Once you have downloaded the application, simply highlight the troublesome word in a browser, in a word document, and even PDF files – simultaneously press “CTRL + ALT + W” and a pop-up window gives you the definition you need.
This application is published by Princeton University and pulls its definitions from their WordNet database, so its content is librarian approved.
Do you use Post-It notes to keep track of your assignments? Worse yet do you not keep track of your assignments?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you should seriously consider using Stickies. This application takes the Post-It note and makes it digital, so no more sticky pieces of paper all over your walls and on your monitor.
The sticky note could be moved around your desktop or in case of last minute assignments could be set to be “always on top” meaning no browser windows will cover it up, so it’s always reminding you to finish your work. Though the default style is super plain, you can customize the Background color, the Font, and the Font color so that it becomes a little more friendly on the eyes.
As a librarian, I have an affinity for order, this includes desktop icons. Organizing your life is a good way of reducing stress and since many college student’s lives are lived on their computers, your desktop is a good place to start.
Now, with ObjectDock you can organize all of your Desktop Icons into a beautiful “MAC style” Icon Bar anywhere on your screen. Icons are animated and “Pop-up” when you scroll over them. So, now you can have the stylistic features of a MAC Operating System on your Windows PC.
Here’s a screen shot of my desktop and some of my open source items in action:
NOTE: There are many free applications out there, try not to download them all just because they are free. Many of the OpenSource applications found on the web are untested and could contain spyware. The items I have listed are tested as Spyware free and have made my life a little bit better.
The first week of classes is upon us! I have to say that seeing all of the students back on campus this afternoon was a welcome treat… And in honor of your return (and arrival, for all of you freshmen out there), the Library is open more often and later than we have been over the summer.