Friday, January 27, 2012

Chain of Gratitude

Paper Chain 2
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
During the community service portion of our Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, juniors and seniors made links for the chain, writing messages of gratitude to family, friends, teachers, staff . . . Ms Struck brought it to the library so we could all read about the acts of kindness in our community.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Smithsonian’s Online Treasures Revealed

The Collections Search Center is an easy search interface to the holdings of the various museums that make up the Smithsonian Institution. It links to over 7.4 million records with 568,100 images, video and sound files, electronic journals, and other resources from the Smithsonian's museums, archives, library and research holdings and collections.

Many primary sources have been digitized, and are available in full through this interface. This should make it an attractive destination for juniors working on their U.S. history thesis!

There is a helpful tutorial to get you started.

The Smithsonian Collections Search Center is also mobile-aware. Users visiting the site with their iPhone or Android devices should automatically be redirected to a mobile friendly version of the site; iPad users receive the fully formatted pages. The Smithsonian Collections Blog features interesting items, current works in progress, or “whatever catches their eye”.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Objects of the Week 9 and 10

Each student in Ms. Struck's art class will be transforming one object a week. Each week the objects will be displayed somewhere in the library until the next objects arrive.

Here are two batches of objects. One is based on a scouring pad, the other on jute twine and candy cups. The inventiveness and imagination of our students is a pleasure to see.

 We are looking forward to seeing what Ms. Struck's student will come up with next!

Friday, January 20, 2012

History Mystery of the Week

Our new archivist, Ms. Slater, has started a weekly history mystery. This week’s question was ‘In what year did the academy welcome its first student of African descent?’ And the follow up bonus question: ‘What was the student’s name?’ She had four correct answers from students " who knew that Wentworth Cheswell was in Samuel Moody’s first class at the academy in 1763.  Mr. Cheswell apparently thought highly enough of his time here to have it mentioned on his gravestone located in Newmarket, NH.  For those of you who thought that Booker T. Washington Jr., son of the famous African-American leader, was the first, you were not alone.”

Mr. Bidstrup followed up her e-mail response with a link to more information on Cheswell at America’sFounding Fathers. Master Moody's early students were indeed a remarkable group!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA Blackout Display

SOPA Blackout Display
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Wide-spread protesting in the form of blackened web pages were all over the Internet - and headlines - today. Both large, powerful web companies and smaller, private parties joined in this protest. Among the former, there are ubiquitous presences like Google, Wikipedia and Firefox; among the latter, the web comic XKCD and others.

At the crux of the matter are two bills: the Stop On-line Piracy Act (in the House) the and Protect Intellectual Property Act (in the Senate). Known by the adorable acronyms SOPA and PIPA, they are backed by major media companies and are directed against the illegal downloading and streaming of copyright-protected TV shows and movies online. However, according to criticism, the vague language in the bills would enable them to be used to stifle not only user-driven sites, like YouTube or Reddit, for example, but also big operators like search engines and small ones like self-employed media professionals.

Want to know more? The text of both bills is available through the Library of Congress (SOPA and PIPA, respectively), and contacting your elected officials is possible through the website.

P.S. If you need to access an online encyclopedia today, try our website instead of Wikipedia. We have access to the Encyclopedia Britannica and other databases.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Databases: Sharpe and eLibrary Science

The Pescosolido library provides access to online encyclopedias and scholarly articles through several databases. We evaluate our databases periodically. This academic year, we have already added two valuable resources.

The Sharpe Online Reference database contains encyclopedia articles, an image gallery, primary documents, and foreign perspectives on United States. There are also web links and teacher’s resources on early America, economic history, and Ancient and Modern worlds. Other topics covered are conflicts, global history, terrorism, and world trade. 

The eLibrary Science, as the name implies, collects scientific full-text articles from thousands of magazines and newspapers. There are also multimedia resources like images, websites, e-books, and videos. Other interesting features include biographies of famous scientists, an RSS feed to latest scientific news, and, in the Today in Science History section, snippets of significant events from the point of view of science. The database’s Interactive tab is especially well suited to casual browsing: dozens of links direct you to online games that illustrate various scientific principles.

We have added links to both these databases on our Catalogs and Databases page. Feel free to visit, and let us know how you found our current selection. We always appreciate feedback.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Highlighting Massachusetts Author Salvatore

This mini display on our first floor highlights R.A. Salvatore, a lifelong Massachusetts resident and prolific author.

Salvatore has been writing for over 20 years. According to the recent Boston Globe article, his books sell at the rate of one million a year, and they've been translated into more than dozen languages.

His most famous character has become an icon in the genre - he's featured in books and graphic novels as well as computer, video, and board games. There's been talk of a movie, even. And yet, Salvatore still lives within a quarter of a mile from his high school, near his and his family's old stomping grounds.

Clearly, Salvatore has hit on a recipe for success. His own take on his success is twofold: it's about people - the characters in the story - and realism that comes from his commitment to history and sports.

Read an interview on Salvatore at The Old Board Gamers' Blog (Part 1 and Part 2), or check out his website.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Latest Reviews: January 2012

Damned by Palahniuk
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Welcome back! We hope your holidays were enjoyable and relaxing.

Some of the latest reviews linked to our "virtual collection" include Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins, Damned by Chuck Palahniuk, Sex on the Moon by Ben Mezrich, and Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card.

You can always find even more reviews through our LibraryThing profile.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

MOO Cards for the New Year

MOO Cards Collage
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Welcome back from the Holiday Break! We at the library had a hitch with our heating system early this week, but things are running well again and we are back to our normal hours.

In the photo you can see a selection of our latest MOO cards. (MOO cards are small, custom business cards.) These cards contain the library contact information and various photos from the premises. Please help yourself to one in the lobby.

We look forward to seeing all of you again!