Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Summer!

Colors in the Library
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Our students are packing up their belongings and emptying their dorm rooms as they transition into summer mode.

We are transitioning here at the library as well (although some are staying for the whole summer). We need to take down our displays, shelve the books, and clean up the building. Summer will also see some significant construction in the library. Exciting times ahead!

We wish everyone a fantastic, relaxing, and refreshing summer! If you are staying in the area, pop in to say hello. If not, we will see you next fall!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Latest Reviews: June 2012

Last Good Man
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Looking for relaxing reads for the summer break? Why not select a book reviewed by our staff!

The latest reviews linked to our "virtual collection" include The Last Good Man by A.J. Kazinski, Scapegoat: A History of Blaming Other People by Charlie Campbell, and Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin.

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

Happy summer!

Friday, May 25, 2012

May 25th Geek Pride Day

May 25th Geek Pride Day
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Geeks, technology and space: what do they have in common? Today in the library, we’re celebrating Geek Pride Day. Today is also the anniversary of the debut of Star Wars. Of course, if you’re a geek, you already knew that. Geek Pride Day also coincides with the remarkable feat we’re watching today: the unmanned SpaceX Dragon approaching the International Space Station.

In the library we’re always interested in the latest and greatest in technology. As we have been thinking about the prevalence of iPad use in schools, we’ve started brainstorming ways to integrate using the iPad in the library. Recently, we downloaded the Hubble Top 100 app to view the breathtaking images of space the Hubble telescope has captured over the years. Maybe sometime in the near future, we’ll be tracking commercial space flights on the iPad.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Librarians' Tasks Are Changing

(Source: Unknown.)

The sign above may be polarized on purpose, but it does prove a point. Quite a few, in fact.

When talking about information searches or the Internet, Google is ubiquitous. What is often forgotten, however, is that a fast search online, even a very good fast search, is not match to the analytical capabilities of the human brain. Nor is everything valuable digitized and available on the Internet; that will take decades and millions of dollars to achieve.

Google allows anyone with an Internet access to look up facts or other information. This is great: improved access and wider availability of information can only be a good thing. Complex searches, however, require a different strategy than just typing a few key terms into a search box. Librarians have provided that help for decades. Also, librarians assist people to evaluate or apply information, how to create documents or other media, how to describe and cite sources. Many libraries provide technology help as an integral part of their activities. The nature of librarianship is, therefore, moving away from simple fact-checking towards more detailed, more analytical, more time-consuming tasks like teaching, analysis, and preservation. Furthermore, many libraries - whether they be public, school or special libraries - collect and preserve unique local knowledge and resources. All of this happens with comparatively small investments.

When did you last thank your librarians for all of their hard work?

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Fiction for May

Fiction - May 17
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Although the semester is winding to an end, we still have a few book orders coming in. Here is a selection of our latest fiction purchases. Browse them in person at our new books nook, or the new books display in the lobby!

Remember, you can also visit our LibraryThing profile for a list of latest additions. LibraryThing also has reviews of books in our collection, not only by our staff and students but by other users as well.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Many have stopped but few have taken.....

As you come into the library, take a look at what we have gathered from around the building and from the bin in the copier room. Maybe you'll be delighted to find the jacket you forgot you owned!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Outgoing Inter-Library Loans

Outgoing ILL
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
We are a member of the Massachusetts Library System that provides access to interlibrary loan, among other things. Patrons of other libraries who want to use books from our collection can request them through their home library, and vice versa. While the amounts of books coming and going vary throughout the year, early fall and late spring are always the busiest times.

Here is a stack of our books being prepared for their trip into the big world. Our technical services associate takes good care of both incoming and outgoing materials.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Preparing for the End of Semester

Preparing for Summer
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
We cannot believe it is just about two weeks until the semester ends! There are so many things to wrap up for the academic year.

We need to make sure that students get all the help they need for finishing their papers and projects. Also, we need to follow up on all loans and see that they are returned before the summer. There are the year 2012 graduates to congratulate! The budget and our final book and DVD orders need to be followed up on, too. Next year's text books need to be ordered and processed. Supplies need to be replenished. Our physical materials have to be in good shape for next fall, which means that the book repair supplies are getting a lot of use.

In addition to the next academic year, our sights are on summer as well. We prepared a display about beach reading. The summer programs notice board is chock full of ideas and information - check it out by the copier room.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Choose Privacy Week Display

Choose Privacy Week 1
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Did you see our Privacy Week display?

We are so used to free online services that we may not think everything that is involved. Signing up for even a discount card at your supermarket requires giving your name, address, and phone number, if not your age, gender, and hobbies. After that, your purchases are tracked and saved in the company databases for an indeterminate time.

With online services it gets more complex very quickly. Keeping your account numbers and identifying information secret can help prevent financial fraud. But even if you do everything right, a hacker can destroy all your efforts.

There are several things you can do right now. Protect your online reputation as you would protect your real-life reputation. Be aware of your choices and their safety implications. It is as important as being aware of cars when crossing a road. And lastly, practice constant vigilance.

Please feel free to visit the library for more information. If you would like to check out one or more books from the display, we will be happy to help you.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Search Google Like a Pro

Who doesn't google? It's much rarer to find a power-googler than a googler, though. If your current use of Google is limited to typing a few words in and changing them around until you find what you’re looking for, you might use a helpful hint or two.

Surround your phrase with double quotes. This is the simplest and fastest thing you can do to improve your results.
     Example: "colonial history"
Search a specific website or specific kinds of websites. This trick is extremely useful for locating government data, for instance.
      Example: "colonial history"
Search for specific file types, for example PowerPoints or .pdfs.
      Example: "colonial history" filetype:ppt
Searching for phone numbers goes by the same logic as site or file specific searching.
      Example: phonebook:000-123-4567

Read more in Dharmesh Shah's post at Hubspot.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Latest Reviews: May 2012

Your Playlist
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Summer – and summer reading! – is almost here. The library staff keeps reviewing books from our collection. Why not take advantage of both!

Some of the latest reviews linked to our "virtual collection" include Bossypants by Tina Fey, Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey by Margaret Powell, and Your Playlist Can Change Your Life by Galina Mindlin, Don DuRousseau, and Joseph Cardillo.

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