Monday, March 30, 2009

Who is Really Who on those Social Websites?

I found a good website via the Charlotte Observer yesterday. This site, called Valebrity, verifies whether or not that celebrity's Twitter, Myspace, Facebook or Bebo page really belongs to who claims it. There are a few fake celebrity accounts out there so Valebrity offers a unique service. The only celebrities I follow on Twitter are a couple of writers and funny ladies, Paula Poundstone and Joan Rivers and funny man, John Cleese. I may drop Joan Rivers, mostly what she does is pimp her QVC appearances. If you just have to follow one celebrity on Twitter may I recommend Paula Poundstone? Her tweets are pretty clever.

I was pleased to see that all of the famous people I have followed on Twitter have turned up to be real. I was pretty confident of that anyway because I had verified these were real accounts by visiting the webpages of each person I followed. It seems that is pretty much what this website does.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A day trip to Asheville, NC

Getting up at 6 am and driving two hours may not be ideal but when you get to spend the day at a great workshop and your lunch hour and breaks taking panoramic shots of downtown Asheville then the day could be worse. It's impossible for me to say how much I love downtown Asheville.

I took this shot out behind the Pack Memorial Library in Asheville.
Another Asheville Panorama

This was taken by the Civic Center. I saw Bob Dylan and Tom Waits at the Civic Center. If you look closely in the right of the photo you can see someone being interviewed by local television.
Asheville Panorama

Sunday, March 22, 2009

An Open Letter to Local High School Students

I'd like to inform you that the Morrison Public Library is open on days other than Sunday. Please, come in on a Wednesday night, you'd be amazed by how much more help the reference librarians can give you when you are not one of three or four students standing in line at the reference desk. I know Kurt Vennegut said the secret to life is farting around but you should first finish your homework before you fart around. We are here to help and we can help you more if ya'll would stagger your library times. But, you know, if you all want to wait and come in on Sundays we can handle that too.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cool Contest

I didn't know this but this month is Love Your Indie Bookstore Month and the writer, Joe Hill, is sponsoring a contest that is designed to get people to purchase books from their local indie bookstore.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

36 Views of the Space Shuttle

This is cool. A whole bunch of views of the recent space shuttle launch.
Old Slides

I've been shopping on eBay recently looking for older slides to purchase. Since slides are originals and people tended to store them in firm boxes they seem to come out of garages and attics in pretty good condition. I bought my first box last week and the slides showed up over the weekend. There is no date but most of the shots are in the Tuscola County area of Michigan. They were advertised on eBay as being shot in 1970 but I don't see anyway to narrow it down that closely. I think early 70's is a safe bet. Here are a few.

This is the Deford Methodist Church. I can find little or no information on this church. The last reference to it from a Google search is 1967. Dig the outfit
Woman in Front of Deford Methodist Church

I think someone may be moving from the Tuscola area because there are several shots taken from a car and there is this shot of some folks standing next to a U-Haul truck. I would think if you are going to take a bunch of shots from a moving vehicle you are more likely to be leaving that place.

Here is a shot from a moving car. This is the picture that told me where these photos were taken. The Caro pharmacy and Oasis Tavern are located in
Caro, MI. I think the Oasis Tavern may still be there. Who knows about the pharmacy...
Downtown Caro, MI

I like this picture. Driving through a rainstorm with someone's foot reflected in the window.
Rainy Streets and a Feet

I like this shot of the John J. Barden Hardware Store. I still am not sure what city this is in. I'm think either Cass City, Kingston or Caro.
John J. Barden Hardware

The last picture I pulled out of the box was a nice surprise. This is a picture of Tiger Stadium, in Detroit, MI, taken from a moving car motoring down the highway right next to the stadium.
Tiger Stadium Shot from the Freeway

You can see a more contemporary view here. I think the overpass is blocking the angle that matches the picture from the slide.

View Larger Map

That was a fun little project. I think I'll do it again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Vital Speeches of the Day

I am of the opinion that the online resources that we have access to via the library's website are under utilized. Too often a Google search is the default search for homework today. Internet sources are good sources but there is so much information available in our databases that any project will only be strengthened if the student or researcher takes a look there.

The online resources are extensive and it's difficult to keep up with everything that is available. Today a coworker told me about a resource available via MasterFILE Premier called Vital Speeches of the Day. I was surprised to learn that it gives us access to full text speeches back to 1934. How's that for a treasure trove of primary sources (modern teachers love primary sources)? I did a quick search and found an interesting speech by Winston Churchill which he delivered in the House of Commons on November 29th, 1944. In this speech he is extolling the British people to not give up on the war just yet. Though they may be winning and assured of victory now is not the time to think that further sacrifice is not required.

He says, "As when climbing a hill, when there is always another peak beyond, it is at that very moment that we in this island have to give that extra sense of exertion and effort, that boundless and inexhaustible dynamic energy that we have shown, and which records made public emphasize in detail that we have shown during this struggle."

When I help people in the library many of them do not know that you can specify which journal or magazine you would like the database to search. You can see from the screen shot below that I specified a search for "Churchill" in the year 1944 that had been published in the journal "Vital speeches of the day." You may have to click on the picture below to see it clearly.

This is a very powerful tool and if you know what journal you would like to search and you don't know whether or not the library has access to this journal you can do a search here. This will tell you if a branch carries the magazine, if it's at the Main Library and how far back the archives go (main library's archives can be on microfiche, microfilm or hard copies and can go back quite a long ways) or if the magazine can be viewed on one of your online resources. Not only that, if it's available on an online resource it will provide a direct link to that resource. Be aware that if you are attempting to use an online resource from home that you will need to enter your library card number.

Remember, the best way to find out what is available on those online resources is to try and few and do a few searches of whatever interests you. That will help you later when you are doing a more serious search.

Monday, March 09, 2009

New Web Project

I find this new project to be very intriguing. A website that actually answers factual questions rather than doing a basic web search. As a librarian this could be really helpful with some questions. For example, we often get a teenagers that come to the desk and say something like "I need to do a report on Anthony III." And I'll have to do a reference interview to determine just who exactly Anthony III is before I can continue. Sometimes there may be more than one Anthony III. If I can type "Who is Anthony III" into this new tool and get a quick answer then I'll know where to begin my real research.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

An Evening With Mark Twain

On March 27th at 7 pm you can experience Mark Twain as seen through
the eyes of Dr. Elliot Engel. This event will also include refreshments and
a silent auction. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased only at the Morrison Regional Library. For more information you can call the reference desk at 704-416-5431.

The buzz on the street is that Dr. Engel is amazing as Mark Twain and this small intimate performance is not to be missed. Tickets are limited so get!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Sharon and Fairview

Sharon and Fairview
Originally uploaded by zzazazz
Took a walk and took this panorama at the corner of Sharon and Fairview. It's gotten real pretty out as the sky has cleared and the sun has come out.
The Great Blizzard of 2009

We are still hanging in there. The Mountain Dew and the coffee are holding out just fine. The sun has come up and it is releasing us slowly from the deep freeze we have endured. Local news has yet to report any fatalities. Us Carolinians are nothing if not a hardy folk. There is no precipitation anticipated for the next couple of days and for that we are thankful. The low tonight is supposed to be 13 and we are much afeared. We just got back from a walk and our noses are really cold. We endure.

Frozen Flowers. Can you feel their pain?

Walking Down the Street

A Tree

Melanie Gazes up with Wonder at the Snowman (now with cap)
The Great Blizzard of 2009

It snowed and snowed and snowed last night. The trees in our backyard that our landlord never has trimmed were dropping limbs like leaves in autumn. The power flickered a couple of times and we lost power for thirty seconds once. Wendell and I stood by the road and watched cars drive by too fast. After I went to bed, Wendell and Randy built a snowman in the side yard. Then it snowed and snowed and snowed some more. It was pretty treacherous but we got through the night and today we rise in a wonderland of wintry type stuff. We are shut in. We have coffee and Mountain Dew. We will survive.

The Morning Sun Kisses the Tree Tops

Wendell and Randy's Snowman

Reverse Angle of Snowman

See How Dark and Dreary it is?

Long Meadow Road

Wendell Had to go to Work

A Firetruck Full of American Heroes

The Snowman in Better Light

Chris by the Snowman for Scale

The Snowy Tree Across the Street
Library is Closed

According to official library Inclement Weather Hotline, all public libraries will be closed today. Now I am off to take a picture of the snowman my roommate and his buddy, Randy, made while I was sleeping last night.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Great Blizzard of 2009

It's been snowing for a few hours now. The school system has announced that they will be closed tomorrow. There's snow in the air and on the ground. So far everyone is safe but we get cold when we go outside. We will persevere.

Our Backyard

The Driveway

Ice Encrusted Trees

The Backyard Again

Let it Snow

Want to know if the library will be open tomorrow or not? Well so do I. Personally, I am banking on us closing for the day. If I was a betting man I would bet what's left of my 401K on a snow day tomorrow. Check here before you brave the elements tomorrow morning for an update. You will know as soon as I do. You don't need that scrolling thing at the bottom of your television, all you need is this blog.