10 Best University Libraries


This article is sub-titled Prettiest University Libraries.

The 10th is a school where the library doubles as a dorm, this design library is pretty and apparently huge.

The 9th is at the University of Chicago, with its stone walls this imposing structure is reminicent of an old castle.

8 is the library named after Dr. Seuss, no surprise.

7 Art library in Boston looks like a cathedral.

6 is an amazing library designed to fit in with Navajo traditions and featuring lights in the shapes of constellations.  Very neat.

Library at Cornell University looks like a whimsical literary wonderland.

4 library at Columbia, looks like the white house or another stately old (imposing) building.

3, University at Washington, another cathedral.

2 Yale- neat, very imposing looking with the big glass structure in the middle.

1 Johns Hopkins, this is what you think of when you picture a university library.  Cathedral Ceilings, sure, but each with a floor packed with books.  Yum!


4 Witchy Books To Look Out For This Fall by S. Zainab Williams


 Halloween is just around the corner, I cannot wait to read myself into the spirit.

Akata witch series, now I have to find a new series to get addicted to.  The first book is about a Teen New Yorker transplanted in Nigeria where she is bullied by her classmates.  She finds friends and her power in the first installment, the author of this article is looking forward to the second installment.

Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, this looks like a really good book.  Apparently it is the prequel to Practical Magic by the same author.  This sets up the information about the curse, and how certain circumstances can shape your future.  Since I’ve never read Practical magic, I might have to start with Rules of Magic.

A Secret History of Magic by Louisa Morgan looks to be an interesting historical fiction novel.  A family of witches keeps up their traditions after the matriarch dies but the magic seems to have left them until one particular member of the family enters the circle.  This might be interesting in the way that the Discovery of Witches was interesting, but not to my taste.

Basic Witches is a non-fiction book about witchcraft that is coming out this fall.  If you’re into this as a religion, or just as a quick way to get something you desire, then this might be a good read for you.  I’ll keep my witchcraft to the realm of Fiction, thanks.

How Audiobooks Made Me Appreciate Non-Fiction by Yaika Sabat


This is a good article to introduce you to a new format, or rather an old format that you might not have considered before.  This author has trouble reading non-fiction books.  Not that she lacks the desire, interest, or intellectual capacity, they just tend to be a bit dry and hard to get through.  I find myself with the same problem.  Like this author, I tend to look more toward the fiction books, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, etc.

This author emphasized that the reader (voice actor/actress) can make a difference in your reading experience, just because you dislike one voice actor doesn’t mean that the entire genre is bad.  I know that the voice actress that helped create the early Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich was not to my taste. Eventually then switched voice actors and now I really love listening to the new installment in this series.

If you are having trouble getting through non-fiction, detective novels, epic fantasy, science fiction, or another genre then try listening to Audio books.  (maybe not romance unless you can take hearing graphic sex explored…found that out the hard way, fortunately there was  ‘skip ahead 30 seconds’ button….hit that 4-10 times and you’re usually past the graphic bits. )

In recent months I have found that Audible has access to the Great Courses.  I love the idea of listening for 20+ hours at the same price of a 7+ hour book.  (I’m a bargain hunter at the root of it which is why I like libraries *free* best of all).  Now that the author of this article informed me that The Devil in the White City is about H.H Holmes and the Chicago World Fair I have that waiting for me….just as soon as I figure out where Overdrive downloaded it to on my iPad.

Happy Reading!

6th Century Writing Discovered Inside Medieval Bookbinding by Shaunacy Ferro


It is a well documented fact that in the past parchment from other texts had been recycled to be used in binding a new book.  Though it was known that the text was present it was not often able to be viewed without destroying the current book.  However one text had degraded to the point that the original writing was visible.  At this point the text was sent to be x-Rayed in an attempt to create a legible view of the text.

Since sending texts out to be analyzed all the time can be cost prohibitive, these researchers attempted two different methods of analysis.  Neither of these attempts were very successful on their own, however when they were integrated using a computer algorithm the researchers were able to create a very clear view of the hidden text, presumably at a lower cost then sending texts out all the time.

Very interesting, it just proves that we are learning all the time.

Moving Beyond E-Books By Laura Dawson


I love this article.  It accurately describes one of the new ways that technology is heading.  Pretty soon, like with Pokemon Go, augmented reality is going to be a big part of our lives.  The last paragraph is both fascinating and terrifying.

*To clarify, I have been watching a lot of old Night Court re-runs.  If you know this show at all you will know that one of the minor reoccurring characters, Buddy, is known for having been in a mental institution.  Therefor a lot of these plot lines revolve around mental health awareness.  At least 2 episodes that I can think of have pointed out, in a very real way, that some people have a weak grasp on reality.  Sometimes it is easy to confuse television with reality; what is real and what is not tend to get a bit mixed up.

If we are able to get confused just sitting in front of a box, imagine how confused some people will be when their bedroom is a dorm in Hogwarts?  Okay, you can only see that when you are looking at your phone, or using your AR Glasses, but maybe that is allowing you to see the real world and what you see when the glasses are off is the fake world.  (Unfortunately, some people have trouble with these distinctions.) *

Sometimes before we celebrate a new technology we need to ask, “Should we go there?”

The Academic Library and the Promise of NGDLE By Oakleaf, Walter, and Brown


Recent years have led to a need to quantify how academic libraries lead to academic success in students.  In past times it was assumed, rightly so, that academic library utilization leads to better success in the academic field.  However with the new trend toward quantification some surprising obstacles have appeared.

For the purposes of this paper the acronym is: ” next generation digital learning environment (NGDLE) ”

Academic libraries and librarians are finding it difficult to assess the student learning outcomes (SLOs) in relation to the inclusion of the library due to a lack of information, communication, and other pieces of information.  For example you can see what percentage of the students obtained a certain GPA.  The librarians can go to the databases and see how many times a particular database was utilized and in some cases how much time was spent on that database.  The librarians can also, if they have been keeping track, obtain a vague idea of how many students are utilizing the library on any given day.   These two aspects can be related back to the percentage of students with a high GPA, however the correlation is fuzzy at best.

This article is exploring the option of libraries attempting to integrate themselves further in learning initiatives, at one institution Student Success Class; or Clare 101/Freshman Orientation at my other institution.  By embedding librarianship into these activities it emphasizes their importance as well as allowing the students more exposure to these concepts.

The University of DePaul decided to make Student Learning Success the entire focus of the university as a whole.  (It says something about academic politics that this is a ‘new’ concept.)  Some additional reading was recommended at the end of this article.

Essentially, I believe, that this article is encouraging libraries and librarians to become more integrated and involved with the college as a whole rather than setting itself as a separate entity.  Partially, this is based on the concept “The more times you see it the more likely you are to remember it when you need it.”  Not only should this be done on a physical, but digital level as well.  Remind professors that the library isn’t just for students.

Fascinating, I hope to read some of the follow up articles and obtain a more well-rounded view of this topic.

Millennials are the Ones Keeping Libraries Alive

Millennials are the ones keeping libraries alive

This is a great article acknowledging not only the fact that librarians have been moving toward attracting the Millennial Generation for years, but the positive response that this generation has developed as well.

One of the main points is that the Library is not a Static Environment.  The Library has always been developing, remember to move with the times.

The Dewey Decimal System is based on what is commonly thought of as ‘Bookstore’ organization method; though often librarians do not think of it that way.  We can easily add signs, 200-300 is religion, why not label it that way?  910-920’s (approximately) cover the Travel section, we can label that as well.