Category Archives: Recommendations

It’s Constitution Week. Help Us Celebrate!

 

We are celebrating Constitution Week 2017 here at the NSU-BA Library. Stop by the Library and view our displays.

Our whiteboard table is set up in the 2nd-floor hallway with questions about the Bill of Rights and the Constitution for students to answer; then step into the Library and view our Constitution Week Book display.

You can even pick up a book or two to read. I decided to read Alexander Hamilton since I have been listening to the soundtrack from the Broadway Musical. And let me tell you the book is as intriguing as the Musical. I think you will like both the book and the music. If Hamilton is not at the top of your reading list, there are more books from which to choose. How about Common Sense by Thomas Paine or 1776 by David McCullough? We also have several books on the Constitution.

Looking forward to seeing you here at the NSU-BA Library. It’s also a great time to visit the Genealogical Materials on the 1st-floor. Need help? Ask any one of our awesome librarians.

 

100 Websites Your Should Know and Use!

Back in 2007, Julie Wiedemann (the editor in charge at Taschen GmbH) gave a TED talk on the “100 websites you should know and use” (one of the most viewed TED blog posts ever).  Here is the updated version for 2013.  Enjoy!

http://blog.ted.com/2007/08/03/100_websites_yo/

The ones that are no longer functional have been “crossed out.”  But, because there are so many amazing resources available these days, please feel free to add your own ideas and/or compile your own list. Happy surfing!

Posted by Tom R.

April is National Poetry Month!

And today marks the birthday of Maya Angelou, so let’s celebrate by reading some of her poems!

Or check out some of the poems of one of my favorite poets: Pablo Neruda.

Posted by Tom R.

Have You Googled It?

Happy Friday!  Many people use Google to find information on the internet, but are they finding what they need?  How many people are actually maximizing their search capabilities by really searching (and searching smart) using advanced tips, tricks, and techniques?  I would hazard to guess, not many.  Here is an amazing infographic (courtesy of HackCollege.com) that introduces and demonstrates some efficient and effective ways to search Google.  Enjoy and happy searching!  And, now that you know how to be smarter in your searching of Google, don’t forget that you have access to many more resources at your local library as well (public, school, university, corporate, etc.).  Note: click on the graphic and then click again on the “shrunken version” of the graphic to get a cleaner, more readable representation.

Tuesday’s Technology Tip – “All-In-One PCs”

Power, good looks, and cool touch screens — we’re talking the next step in PC management here with more versatile kiosks!  And it’s not just for the lab environment anymore.

Many colleges and universities use all-in-one PC units in their lab, others are experimenting with them as kiosk replacements.  The technology in all-in-one PCs began with Apple’s iMac — but PCs have matured to the point where they offer the same types of features as standard PCs in a smaller form.  All-in-one PCs eliminate all the wires hanging everywhere, and have fewer parts.  Fewer parts mean there is less that can go wrong and they’re easier to troubleshoot.    Most units feature touch displays, built-in wireless connectivity,  integrated webcams, and built-in microphones.

All-in-one PCs lend themselves to a student union where people can access information, find out what’s happening around campus, and get information related to college (admissions, enrollment, etc…)  in an open area kiosk set-up.  However, unlike traditional kiosk solutions that cost thousands of dollars, you can get all-in-one PCs for under $1,000.

Another potential use for All-in-one PCs is the library.  Here, students can find books, access pay-per-use Internet research sources, use units as a job-search tool, online testing during proctored exams, and access campus-related links to events and resources.

All-in-one PCs are more efficient, easier-to-manage devices.  They’re more compact and have fewer moving parts — making for easier maintenance and troubleshooting.  Although most have standard features, there are some differences among products.  Over time, standardization (components and features) is expected to drive prices down even further.

There are limitations, though.  All-in-one PCs place more of an emphasis on looks and lifestyle than they do on raw processor power which doesn’t lend itself to record-breaking score on the latest 3D games–they’re just not powerful enough.  (see Pionneau, 2011 at http://www.digitalversus.com/computer/reviews-all-in-one-computers-a475.html)

For more reviews on all-in-one PCs, see some of the following links:

Pamela Louderback

Tuesday’s Technology Tip – Short-throw Projectors, or, “Large Images in Tight Spaces”

Today’s technology tip focuses on short-throw projectors.   You may be asking yourself what exactly short-throw projection is?  Well, projectors with ‘short throw’ lenses are designed to produce larger projected images at a shorter throw distance.  In other words, it combines close-up projection with a compact size allowing for edge-of-table projection; freeing up table space, and minimizing ambient noise.  They’re lightweight, compact, and powerful!

Short throw projectors are also referred to as wall mount projectors.  They are typically used in applications where the projector is wall mounted within a few inches of the projection screen. Fixed installation projectors come in both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios.  As well, these projectors may include support for networking.  You may be thinking, so what?  What does all this mean to me as an educator?  Well, what this means is that unlike the standard (or ‘long throw’ projectors), you can project the big picture even when you only have access to a tight space environment with much less space required between the projector and the screen.   This takes care of the problems brought about when using a standard long throw projection system such as landing a tiny projected image or blocking out the projections with your shadows when you find yourself in a small,  constrained room with little space.

No more worrying about shadow puppet shows by bored students!  And you can actually see your audience.  These projection systems are great for small and medium-sized classrooms, and eliminate many of the issues of having a traditional projector at the rear of the room.  By using a wall-mount kit and front/rear view projection, you can apply your projectors in virtually any presentation environment.  Not to mention that short throw projection also gets rid of that annoying fan noise and heat exhaust, helps keep the room clutter-free from long running cables, and frees you from squinting your eyes against the bright glare of the projector lamp.

Now that you know some of the benefits of short-throw projectors, the next question is, ‘which one should I purchase for my classroom?’  There are many models available — so the key is to find one that suits your needs best. Below are just a few models you may want to consider:

1.  ViewSonic PJD7383i Interactive 3D-ready Short-throw Projector – has a resolution of XGA (1,024 X 768), a brightness of 3,000 lumens, and is priced at around $1,050

2.  InFocus IN3914 Interactive 3D-ready Short-throw Projector – has a resolution of XGA (1,024 X 768), a brightness of 2,700 lumens, and is priced at around $1,225

3.  ViewSonic PJD7583wi Interactive 3D-ready Short-throw Projector – has a resolution of WXGA (1,280 X 800), a brightness of 3,000 lumens, and is priced at around $1,250

Several places to research short-throw projectors and learn about projection distance and how short throw projectors can make presenting easier, go to:

Happy Shopping!

Pamela Louderback

They’re Here . . .

. . . the Winter Olympics that is.  And for all of you Olympic junkies out there (mea culpa!) did you know that there is a searchable online database of all of the athletes (complete with photographs)?   You are able to search up to three criteria (sport, country and keyword) and are able to retrieve the athlete’s name, sport, nationality, height, weight, date of birth and age.  Clicking on their name will open up a new window with expanded information on the athlete (their coach, their hobbies, the event they are participating in and much more [if provided]).

Check it out

In addition to the directory of athletes, you can also access the schedule of events (and results), the medal counts, any news, photos, videos, ticket information, the Olympic Store, a spectator guide, and information on the Paralympic Games.  

To mark the start of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver,  here is a wonderful humorous reminder from www.despair.com that  everyone, even a world-class athlete, stumbles from time to time.  This year’s Olympics will have more than its share of “stumbles” and disappointing performances (I’m sure); but all of these athletes are to be commended for their effort and achievement regardless of the outcome.  Kudos and congratulations to all of our Olympics Athletes and good luck as you go for the gold!

Posted by Tom R.

NPR Library Blog!

For those of you who may be interested, the NPR library has a new blog called “As A Matter of Fact.” 
 
 
Enjoy!
Posted by Tom R.

Gov Docs Via Google!

http://fdsys.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/home.action
GPO Launches ‘Google’ for Federal Docs
The Government Printing Office today launches Federal Digital System (FDsys),
the new online home for original federal documents.

Users will eventually be able to search for information from the government’s
50 different collections. The site currently hosts the eight most-popular
collections, including the Federal Register, the Congressional Record and
archive of Congressional hearings. The other collections will be added to the
site by this summer, according to GPO’s chief information officer Mike Wash.

The new site also marks the launch of the Federal Register’s new Daily
Compilation of Presidential Documents, an archive of executive orders,
speeches and other information released by the White House Press Office.
The daily online compilation replaces the printed Weekly Compilation of
Presidential Documents.

“In today’s world, where things are widely expected to be available
immediately and online, we need to have a really good repository of
information to maintain federal publications to get easy access to that
information,” Wash said.

Web users could just as easily use Google or other search engines to find
government information, but FDsys assures access to the original, authentic
versions of government documents.

Work on the site began in 2004 and GPO has spent roughly $20 million so far
on the project.

“What we use is a lot of standard software. We haven’t been doing much custom
software,” Wash said. “A lot of our research was focused on doing search and
content management. Lots of our time was spent on configuring standard tools
to meet our needs.”

Wash’s team consulted congressional staffers, librarians and the federal
agencies as the development process began. More recently, GPO has consulted
with members of the tech-savvy Obama transition and administration.

“I think we’ll be talking with them more, because what we’ve been doing here
is a good example of good open government,” Wash said.

Courtesy of Carol Koenig at NGIC.

Posted by Tom R.

Competencies Finally Approved!

This just in from Library Journal

After More Than a Decade of Debate, ALA Approves Core Competencies

John Berry — Library Journal, 1/28/2009

  • More than a decade of debate
  • Core competencies emerge from task force
  • Committee on Accreditation to weigh in

After more than a decade of debating what LIS students should have learned after earning a master’s degree at an ALA-Accredited program, the American Library Assocation (ALA) Council, after minor editing, Tuesday approved the Core Competencies (CCs) developed over the past two years by the ALA Presidential Task Force on Library Education. Among them are Foundations of the Profession, Information Resources, Technological Knowledge and Skills, and Reference and User Services.

The task force was appointed by former ALA President Leslie Burger during her term and chaired by former ALA President Michael Gorman, who had made library education reform a theme of his presidency. The Council also sent the CCs on to ALA’s Committee on Accreditation, asking that powerful committee to incorporate them into ALA’s Standards for Accreditation of LIS programs.

Flexibility recommended
Completed at the 2008 Annual Conference, the CCs were sent to the ALA Executive Board which approved them and sent them on to the Council during the Midwinter Meeting in Denver. At a Library Education Forum moderated by Gorman. about 60 ALA members, a third of whom were library educators, discussed the CCs after hearing positive comments about them from Accreditation Committee Chair Richard Rubin (LIS program Kent State University, OH), who urged continuous revision and flexibility for the CCs as the field changes.
 
Linda Williams, Coordinator of Library Media Services for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, MD applauded the CCs for “embracing all aspects of the work of professional librarians” and hoped that would lead to more consistency between LIS programs and professional library practice. Janet Swan Hill of the University of Colorado, Boulder, spoke on cataloguing as a core competence of librarianship and discussed the CCs in that light. She, like others, stressed the difficulty of articulating the relationships between professional education and library practice.   

Posted by Tom R.