Friday, September 28, 2007

Juniors: Step Two

Last week we shared with you in the Pesky Blog how the Junior American History classes were coming to the library for a preliminary introduction to their thesis research. The library has now begun individual reference interviews with each Junior. The interview allows students to further explore their topic to see what resources are available to them by searching OPACs and journal databases, conducting effective internet searching and taking note of citing sources. All of these resources have been pulled together and are part of the US History Thesis course in Moodle. Students can access the Moodle course from on or off campus. Ms. Chase has worked with a number of students this week and all of the librarians are looking forward to assisting Juniors over the coming months.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Favorite author

Do you have a favorite author? Someone who, when you finish his or her book, you feel sad that the characters are no longer in your life? Someone who, when a new book by the author is announced, you get excited at the prospect of a new story that you know you will love? Richard Russo is one of those authors for me. I feel that I know his characters like I know my relatives. His characters are just as quirkey and flawed and lovable as people we know in real life. While reading his stories I feel close to them and feel their joys and sorrows. He wrote Empire Falls, Straight Man and a short story collection titled The Whore's Child. I loved them all. His new book is titled Bridge of Sighs and has been well reviewed. I can't wait to get my hand on it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Job Well Done

Attempting to get the workroom organized (finally,) the librarians hauled shelving home from Sam's Club and spent a morning putting it together. It was a truly cooperative effort! Ms. Pinkham and Mrs. Brown are pleased and proud with the results!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

To Our Great Surprise

Over the past two years the Pesky Library has plunged into the great wide world of Web 2.0, building on the Pesky Blog by creating a Flickr site for photo sharing, a account for sharing professional library links, and utilizing Library Thing to post new books. We have learned a great deal and continue to learn from those who are also out there posting with these tools, and we are connecting with libraries across the country and overseas. While browsing through the most recent edition of Library Journal, we were amazed to find the Carl A. Pescosolido (Pesky) Library mentioned in the article, “Tags Help make Libraries” by Melissa L. Rethlefsen. The library was referred to for its use of tagging in Library Thing by adding call numbers to the book tags. With the many libraries out there plugging away and making the effort to connect users with these new tools, we were taken by surprise and felt honored to be mentioned among those who are using tags successfully. To read the complete article click here, you will need to scroll down through the table of contents to view the article. Who knows where the Pesky Library will turn up next!

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Junior Thesis at the Beginning

Students in U.S. History classes started exploring topics for their thesis papers with us today. Mrs. Brown introduced them to the Moodle class designed for this paper. She also refreshed their memories on working within our OPAC and with the Infotrac databases. She then brought them out to Reference, pointing out generalized resources to explore ideas and our resource stacks on specific topics. Ms. Chase and their teacher Mr. Delay helped enlarge upon the possibilities of some of their thoughts and ideas. Some students were raring to go and made appointments with the librarians for one-on-one instruction specific to their topics.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Library Thing

After entering new book titles into Library Thing this evening I was thinking about how our library borrowers might also use this service. Library Thing is an on-line tool that lets people catalog their own book collections, while at the same time learning who owns the same or similar titles, and even lets you "talk" to the books' authors. It is often described as the "mySpace for books" or "Facebook for Books". Check out Library Thing and experience a whole new world of book sharing from the comfort of your own computer. You can even buy a Library Thing T-Shirt.

Art in the Ol’ Barn

Students and teachers alike are taking advantage of each beautiful day we are given here in Byfield before the temperatures begin to dip down. Ms. Struck’s class found a lovely location for their sketching assignment today; a bit of sun, a bit of shade, the birds chirping, the chipmunks scurrying about the stone wall, it is a quiet, peaceful location. The stone you see behind the students has been there for hundreds of years: it is the foundation of the cattle barn from the original farm before the school was established. Ms. Chase mentioned the cattle barn to our new students during orientation, along with many other interesting facts and “things to see” around campus that are of historical significance. The area where the students are seen sketching is located just behind the library, it was nice to see people enjoying the space on such a fine day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

All's well at the Library

The year always starts with a rush at the library - processing the new books, putting displays together, preparing for orientation, greeting returning students, working with new faculty, resetting expired passwords, revisiting all those ideas which sounded great at the end of last year (are they still good?) And then, preparing for the U.S. History thesis process takes over. So, it was a clickable moment for me when I came around the corner and saw these toes with a laptop. I stopped and took a deep cleansing breath. Students are back in our lives and it's swell!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

On the Road at 50

Jack Kerouac's seminal novel of the Beat Generation turned 50 0n September 5. The library celebrates with a display featuring a book taken from the original scroll, a couple of contemporary posters, some classic cars, and quotes from Kerouac. You can be "Present at the Creation", an NPR presentation which includes many multi-media links to Kerouac reading from his book or watch curators unroll the scroll.
Although I read the book and encountered the Beat Generation in high school, my loveliest encounter with On the Road came when I myself was on the road in England. A friend and I had traveled to a village in Norfolk to visit a neighbor whose husband had been transferred there. Leaving her, we started a Jane Austen pilgrimage, boarding a train at King Lynn’s station to make our way to Winchester. The tracks went along a canal populated by swans and behind community garden plots complete with dilapidated and tipsy sheds made with scavenged materials. When a young woman sat next to me, I was feeling the effects of being truly in a different place. She was on her way to take a job lettering signs for a traveling circus. She was excited to chat with an American and pulled her favorite book from a rucksack. Had I ever read On the Road, simply the best book ever written? So there I was, on an English road discussing a journey by an author who had lived not 30 minutes from my home. When I tried to tell her about my Austen road trip, she was uncertain who Austen was (but was very polite about my enthusiasm.) Message to me: there’s a literary road for each of us.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ole! Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the library has a diverse collection of Hispanic authors on display originating from some of the twenty-one Spanish speaking countries in the world. Hispanic Heritage Month began in September 1968 and became a month long celebration from September 15 – October 15 in 1988. September 15 has been designated as the start of Hispanic Heritage Month as it is the day of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The United States celebrates the culture and traditions of those whose roots come from Spanish speaking countries during this month. Our display covers a wide range of authors originating from countries such as Chile, Peru, Spain, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Bolivia and more. For a complete list of the books included in this display, visit the Pesky Library’s Flickr page. In addition, there are many resources online to provide more information on Hispanic Heritage Month, of interest is the Smithsonian’s Hispanic Heritage Resource Library which provides a Latino Center with storytelling and a virtual photo gallery.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Ways

Beginning this school year students are using the library in some new ways. For example we have installed the textbook, now called a kinetic book, for Ms. Kali Wilson's Honors Physics class on several of our computers. Students use this program in place of a traditional textbook. The students taking this class are comfortable with this new format and we are pleased to have these hard-working students in our library. The Pesky librarians will keep you posted on the many ways our students use the library in a feature on the Governor's Academy web page titled "In the Library today". It can be found under ACADEMICS-LIBRARY.

2007 Commencement Speaker's Moment of Courage Display

In his speech to students Executive Director of the Anti-Defamation League New England Region Andrew Tarsy said "Hold yourself accountable. If you want to see racism disappear from the world, are you willing to interrupt small acts of prejudice and joke-telling when you see them? Even when it is uncomfortable and may cause you to lose a new friend? Your commitment will be challenged in a few short months." Little did he know on that May Sunday that he would hold himself to that same advice and be roiled in a controversy which would cause him to lose his job for a time and ultimately lead to change on the ADL policy on the Armenian genocide. The display uses chronological articles from the Boston Globe starting with Watertown's questioning their participation in the ADL's No Place for Hate program while the ADL fails to acknowledge the Armenian genocide. Articles on this controversy from many different newspapers are available in a Google news search (try using ADL and either Armenia, Tarsy, or genocide for search terms.) A list of books used in the display are on In the Library Today .

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lost and Not Yet Found

Stuff accumulates in the library. The day starts chilly but turns warm and the morning's jacket is left on the back of a chair. Textbooks and notebooks are left behind on a table when their owners migrate to a workstation. When the lights flash to signal the library's closing, hats and mittens and umbrellas are overlooked as students quickly pack their bags and return to their dorms. As librarians clear the building, they scoop up these student belongings and place them in the Lost and Found bucket by the copier. As a last ditch effort to reunite these items with their owners, we have piled them on a table in the entry where they wait forlornly. So, if you are looking for something from last year, try the table. Things accumulating this year will go into the copy room.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Welcome Class of 2011

We were able to meet many new students last week during orientation as they toured the library and set up their e-mail accounts. We are looking forward to extending a welcome to the freshmen once again as we pass out bags with a few school supplies inside as they begin their studies. The bags displayed include first edition "Pesky Library" pens and pencils, a highlighter, note cards, post-it notes, a glue stick and are sealed with a Moo card and clip. The Pesky Library Moo cards provide students with the library’s e-mail and Moodle page address. We look forward to working with this new group of students and wish them much success during their time here at The Governor’s Academy.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The 2007-2008 Academic Year Has Begun!

Today marks the first day of classes at The Governor's Academy. The library worked with students last week for new student orientation. As part of this orientation, Ms. Chase provided a brief history of the Academy, highlighting those who made an impact on the formation of the school and then influenced changes in early America. On display was the recently conserved Document of Incorporation dated 1782.

For more pictures of the New Student Orientation, take a look at the Pesky Flickr page.