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If Einstein did bibliographic instruction

As soon as I saw the Dynamic Einstein Picture Generator (c/o Rana), I knew I had to make this. Click to enlarge: (For the non-librarians reading this: He’s showing a class how to use science article databases. And yes, I also considered having him demonstrate Boolean operators: "search for (wave OR particle) AND quantum.") And […]

Why research is hard, part 3

First of all, hello to everyone who’s read parts 1 and 2 of this set of posts, and I’m awfully pleased to have been in the latest Carnival of the Infosciences. (Thanks for the nomination, Tangognat!) If you’re just tuning in, I’ve been thinking out loud about why it’s so tricky to decide what parts […]

Why research is hard, part 2

(This is the second part in a series of posts. Part 1 is below. And, just to disclaim clearly in advance: I’m talking specifically about humanities research here, where most of the evidence a researcher works with consists of documents of some kind or other. The sciences are a whole other ballgame.) During the CLIR fellows’ seminar two […]

Why research is hard: the start of a series

I hadn’t been to Jeannette’s blog, Moot Thoughts & Musings, for a while, so I didn’t catch this post on the research process when it first appeared, but it rang quite a few bells of recognition. Jeannette, who was writing a paper at the time, comments: I can’t figure how to assess a database. I […]

On teaching and finding one’s niche

This was the last week before the spring semester gets underway, and I spent most of it wrapping up a big web-design project I’ve been working on intermittently for the last year. It’s for an undergraduate class that’s been in the works for some time. I’m doing some librarian outreach work with the students in […]

If only…

Now if only I had specialized in the Romantic period rather than the early modern, and if only I had major work experience in special collections, I would be all over this job in a heartbeat. I’m not a match for it, but still: curating a Shelley collection! At the New York Public Library! How […]

Further LibraryThing musings

I’ve nearly finished entering the data about my books into LibraryThing. Some additional thoughts I’ve had while cataloging: The social data aspect of this is fascinating. I’m sure I’m not the only user who’s had the experience of entering a title, seeing that nobody else has it, and then noticing weeks later that someone else […]

Cataloging frenzy

I’ve been on a news-and-blogging break for the past few days. Too much bad news, too many sources of futile teeth-gnashing. But today was a surprisingly good day, and I’m joining in the chorus of voices currently singing the praises of LibraryThing, which lets you catalog your own book collection. I signed up today, and […]

ALA swag report

Things brought back from Chicago, a partial list: Beaded good-luck charm from vendor of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean books Posters from Casalini Libri and NYRB Classics Two NYRB Classics books: Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam and a book on the bog people in Denmark Two back issues of Poetry, plus a Poetry Foundation magnet and […]

Conference report 2

So of the sessions I attended at ACRL, the two standouts were the pair of papers on "Curiosity and Motivation-to- Learn" and "Socratic Pedagogy at the Reference Desk" by Kate Borowske and Jessica George, respectively, and the session on Google Print and Google Scholar, with Adam Smith from Google and John Price Wilkin from the […]