Thursday, December 3, 2009

Vook out! Another digital fad!

Half Book-Half Video, All for naught

While I may be a book lover, that doesn't mean I'm reflexively hostile to any technological advance that is hailed as a replacement of the form. For example, while I resist traditional e-books because they involve either sitting at your uncomfortable desk chair or crushing your thighs with a laptop, the Apple Kindle seems promising because, by most accounts, it is light enough and easy-enough on the eyes to mimic a paperback. I may like the smell of wood pulp, but I have faith my senses could develop their own memory of any conduit or medium. If something replaces the book, let's recall the codex replaced the scroll, and certainly people were saying, at that time "I miss having to crawl across the floor to find a piece of text. It's not the same without that."

But the new Vook, produced by the company of the same name, seems destined to be soon forgotten. It's an e-book that integrates video into the text. Vooks can be viewed via an online application, no software (but you do have to pay), or can be downloaded to your Apple mobile device. So if you like reading but not for more than three minutes at a time, here you go. If you are too drowsy to picture the characters and the action, some of this has been done for you. Little snippets of video are, according to this review by's Laura Miller, "used to add atmosphere or to convey minor plot points." Miller points out the obvious, that you have to stop reading to watch the video. One wonders how these videos know exactly what you're missing from a traditional text and how they can supply it. It seems like an empty gimmick, and in the case of the snippet from Jude Deveraux's "romance novella" Promises, pictured above, with its invitation to "ride along," insulting to one's intelligence.

I recall an MTV promo in which the network poked fun of itself by having the wisecracking cab driver of a series of such promos remarking that videos take the image you have for a song and saying, no, that's wrong, it's supposed to look like this. It's hard to take serious umbrage at a medium for doing such a thing--your head-images will still be there, but it's also hard to imagine myself paying money for the inconvenience.'s lengthy review

Monday, November 30, 2009

BOM for Dec.

BOM: Book of the Month for Dec.

The Trouble With Boys. Peg Tyre. Crown, 2008. LC 1397.T97 2008.
From the dusk jacket:
"(boys) get expelled from preschool nearly five times more often than girls; in elementary school, they're diagnosed with learning disorders four times as oftn. By eighth grade huge numbers are reading below basic level."

Negative Review

Descriptive Review

Positive Review

Rick Bass to read this TH

Campus-wide news

Rick Bass will read at 7:30, TH, Dec. 3 at the Lyric Theater, 20 Main St. in Frostburg. He's hosted by FSU's Center for Creative Writing and is the environmental writer for the Fall semester.

Bass's short stories have been anthologized in The Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O Henry Awards.

His books include The Book of Yaak (non-fiction), The Watch:
Stories (fiction), and Why I Came West: A Memoir.

His environmental activism includes work to save the Montana wilderness.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Frost and Harrison Coordinate Sponsor-A-Family Food Drive

Amber Harrison (pictured, left), cataloging, and Nancy Frost, acquisitions, coordinated the collection of donations for the library's contribution to this year's Sponsor A Family program. Two baskets from the library join many others that will provide Thanksgiving meals to families throughout the county. The drive is sponsored by FSU's Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement.

New Reference and Instruction Librarian

Greetings to the Lewis J. Ort Library and Frostburg University! I’m Kim Detterbeck, a new reference and instruction librarian and Visual Arts liaison. I am thrilled to be beginning my professional career here at Frosburg University and look forward to contributing to the great services already provided by the Library’s staff.

Before coming to Frostburg University, I served as the Graduate Assistant to the Art and Architecture Libraries at the University of Maryland, College Park. While there I engaged in reference and instruction work both in-person and virtually, redesigned and launched the Art and Architecture Libraries new website, developed specialized research guides, served as Graduate Assistant Representative to the Libraries’ governing board, processed archival material and much, much more! Also during that time I served as Vertical Files and Microform Intern at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and was awarded a two-year scholarship from the Restoring Ancient Stabiae Foundation to compose a comprehensive bibliography of scholarship on the ancient Italian villa of Stabiae. I am eager to bring the knowledge, skills and experience I have amassed from these experiences to my work here at Frostburg and continue the tradition of excellent service to our patrons and the entire Frostburg community.

As my primary responsibility with the Library is as ORIE coordinator and instructor, I wanted to briefly share with you my teaching philosophy. My desired outcome is that students walk away from any information literacy interaction with more tools and techniques to search for information; know how to scrutinize information and empower them to feel in control; and be able to employ essential searching skills that they can take with them beyond the university years into their own careers. Through active learning and interactive library instruction session, I hope to help students and researchers to realize that the research and writing process is a creative act that will contribute to their success academically, professionally and personally.

I look forward to being a part of the Frostburg community and working with all you. Thanks and see you at the reference desk!

Monday, November 16, 2009

World Hunger Month Display at Ort Library

The World Hunger Month display at Ort Library contains information and statistics on world hunger as well as for the state of Maryland. It also highlights Heifer International and their work to donate to Western Maryland and worldwide. Heifer International focuses on the gift of animals for sustainability.

There is a box for donations of nonperishable food – canned or packaged – for the Frostburg Pantry. The Ort Library will again donate a Thanksgiving dinner to a local family.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

BOM for November

BOM--Book of the Month for November
How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'N' Roll
Elijah Wald Oxford University Press 2009 ML 3477 W35

Wald decided that putting the Beatles in the title was just about enough; outside the intro and the last chapter, Wald isn't writing to make any argument about the Beatles or their effects on rock 'n' roll.
He instead gives an interesting look at popular music in the early
20th century, the life of a professional musician before the rise of records and radio, and the interaction of genres of music such as Blues, Country, R&B. It's a very worthwhile history of American music, 1900-1960.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reference Librarian Jeff Maehre publishes in College Teaching

Ort Library Reference and Instruction Librarian Jeff Maehre is the author of "What It Means to Ban Wikipedia: An Exploration of the Pedagogical Principles At Stake."

The essay appears in the Fall Issue of College Teaching, an interdisciplinary journal devoted to communication between faculty.

Maehre argues against teaching faculty making a priori prohibitions of information from Wikipedia in student work. He argues that doing so promotes a product-based pedagogy and cuts against critical thinking and against a holistic approach to source evaluation.

This is Maehre's first academic essay. His fiction has appeared in Story, Cutbank, The Northwest Review, and Phoebe and is forthcoming in Backbone Mountain Review.

Here's a link to an electronic version of the essay through FSU's databases, which will require a log-in.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spanning the Centuries at the Ort Library

Be sure to check out the FSU history display located on the 3rd floor of the Ort Library. The exhibit was created for the "Spanning the Centuries" program held during Parents Weekend, as part of "Passport FSU." Highlighting the exhibit are such artifacts from the past as a FSU freshman beanie (remember those?), the first Nemacolin yearbook from 1935, and a photograph taken at the Groundbreaking ceremony of Old Main, in 1898. Other items of interest include a photograph of E.D. Murdaugh, first principal of State Normal School #2 (as FSU was known at the time), and a photograph of last principal and first president, John Dunkle. The exhibit also showcases items representative of present day FSU, such as the 2009 yearbook, and in person (or in cat, as the case may be) until October 14th, Bob E. Cat. Come in and say hello to Bob!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

If You Ban Them, We Will Read Them

Banned Books Reading, Sept. 29

On a third floor teeming with the energy of students working and generally being collegiate nearby, we co-hosted, with the English Department and Sigma Tau Delta, the English Department's honors society, a reading of books that have been challenged, banned, or removed from book stores, libraries, schools. This was part of the American Library Association's 18th annual Banned Books Week.

Students and faculty read selections from contentious texts such as Brave New World, Beloved, Han Nolan's Dancing On the Edge, Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, and Dr. Seuss's The Lorax, banned from the Laytonville, CA school district in 1989. Laytonville's chief industry: lumber.

The mood was jocular and effervescent. There were cookies.
To learn more about Banned Books Week, book challenges, and intellectual freedom, see:

Book Of the Month for October

B▫O▫M Book of the Month for October
PS 3563 A82I525 (currently "new titles" display)

Masters, noted essayist and fiction writer and son of Edgar Lee Masters, has crafted this volume of essays concerning his incomplete relationship with his father, the craft of writing, and travel.
From "My Father's Image:
So what I am left with is secondhand, abbreviated,
and possibly just a paste-up at that, while what
is missing is the sensual aura of the man: the
smell and feel of him, the handling and warmth
of him on a cold morning, the rub and texture
of his ordinary stubble.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review profiles Masters

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wikipedia Bibliography

Wikipedia Bibliography, Sept. 09 installment

There's no letup in the storm of attention on Wikipedia and other forms of user-created content. And in addition to the mainstream media, scholarly journals are
publishing on the issue with increasing frequency.
The philosophical issues surrounding social knowledge are as important as any issue to students and faculty: let's all be as informed as possible.

Here's a selective bibliography of recent articles focusing specifically
on Wikipedia. Within a particular category they are in descending chronological order. Each comes with a permalink to its citation within its FSU database (log-in required). Some will allow you full-text access and some will not.

In Academia

Polkinghorne, S., & Hoffman, C. (2009, June). Crown Jewel or Pure Evil? Wikipedia Through an Information Literacy Lens. Feliciter, 55(3), 101-103.

Badke, W. (2009, March). Stepping Beyond WIKIPEDIA. Educational Leadership, 66(6), 54-58.

Camihort, K. (2009, March). Students as Creators of Knowledge: When Wikipedia Is the Assignment. Athletic Therapy Today, 14(2), 30-34.

Leaver, T. (2009, March). WIKIPEDIA: WHAT'S IN IT FOR TEACHERS?. Screen Education
Crovitz, D., & Smoot, W. (2009, January). Wikipedia: Friend, Not Foe. English Journal, 98(3), 91-97.

Characteristics of Contributors 

Ha, J., & Kim, Y. (2009, Spring2009). An Exploration on On-line Mass Collaboration: focusing on its motivation structure. International Journal of Social Sciences, 4(2), 138-143.
Amichai-Hamburger, Y., Lamdan, N., Madiel, R., & Hayat, T. (2008, December). Personality Characteristics of Wikipedia Members. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11(6), 679-681.
Nov, O., & Kuk, G. (2008, September 17). Open source content contributors’ response to free-riding: The effect of personality and context. Computers in Human Behavior, 24(6), 2848-2861. Retrieved September 16, 2009, doi:10.1016/j.chb.2008.04.009

Information Theory

Anthony, D., Smith, S., & Williamson, T. (2009, August). THE CASE OF THE ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIA WIKIPEDIA. Rationality & Society, 21(3), 283-306. Retrieved September 16, 2009, doi:10.1177/1043463109336804
Hansen, S., Berente, N., & Lyytinen, K. (2009, January). Wikipedia, Critical Social Theory, and the Possibility of Rational Discourse. Information Society, 25(1), 38-59. Retrieved September 16, 2009, doi:10.1080/01972240802587562
Garfinkel, S. (2008, November). Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth. Technology Review, 111(6), 84-86.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Banned Books Reading, Sept. 29

The American Library Association's Banned Books week is Monday Sept. 28-Sat. Oct. 3. To commerate it, the Library is collaborating, for the second straight year, with the English Department's honor society Sigma Tau Delta to host a reading of banned
and challenged books.

Tues. Sept. 29 7:30 p.m.
3rd floor, Ort Library
free and open to the public
refreshments served

Readers will include Sigma Tau Delta members and other members of the university community.

In past years, featured titles have included Vonnegut's Slaughter-house Five, Ginsberg's Howl and America, and several Young Adult titles.

For more info, contact Jeff Maehre at

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Constitution Day Display

Celebrate Constitution Day, September 17 by viewing the Constitution Day Display, Ort Library, floor 4. Learn about 3 of the signers from Maryland and read the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. See which colony signed the Constitution and the date the representatives signed. The first flag of the United States represents the thirteen original colonies and signers of the Constitution.

Learn More About Constitution Day

Constitution Day Is Sept. 17th

Learn more about the United States Constitution with the following links:

virtual field trips, interactive games, etc.
The Constitutional Convention
From, includes an interactive map and a four-part drama by Gordon Lloyd.
Library of Congress: a Century of Lawmaking
Not highly interactive, but searchable, with a wealth of information.

Maryland's Role in Constitution

Bio, Daniel Carroll
Bio, James McHenry
Letter, Daniel Carroll to George Washington: navigate to others by Carroll.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Accessing ILLiad (Interlibrary Loan)

FSU, along with several other libraries in the USM consortium of libraries recently completed a conversion to a new format of ILLiad, our Interlibrary loan system. We have experienced a few problems, and are working with our technical support group to resolve them as soon as possible. To access your existing ILLiad account when prompted to log in, type the barcode number on your FSU Id card as the Username, and your last name for your password with only the first letter capitalized (example Doe). Use this format whether you are accessing an existing account or creating an account for the first time. If you have used ILLiad previously, please do not set up a second account. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book of the Month for Sept.

B▫O▫M Book of the Month, Sept. 09
A Failure of Capitalism
Richard A. Posner
HB3722.P67 2009

U.S. Court of Appeals judge and author of How Judges Think,
Posner analyzes our current economic travails, which he terms a depression.

Posner identifies, as causes of the collapse, many actions and events that can be placed under the umbrella of greed: deregulation, executive compensation , risky lending. He also proposes solutions.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fall Hours

Regular Fall Hours:

Monday- Thursday..................7:30 AM- 12:00 Midnight
Friday..................................7:30 AM- 6:00 PM
Saturday............................. 11:00 am- 6:00 PM
Sunday................................1:00 PM- 12:00 Midnight

Exceptions to Regular Hours:

Labor Day Weekend

Saturday- Sunday...........Sept. 5-6.....Closed
Monday..........................Sept. 7........3:00 PM- Midnight

Thanksgiving Recess:

Tuesday........................Nov. 24.......... 7:30 AM- 5:00 PM
Wednesday-Saturday.....Nov. 25-28......Closed
Sunday.........................Nov. 29...........1:00 PM- Midnight

Extended Hours for End of Classes and Exams:

Sunday........................Dec. 6...........1:00 PM- 2:00 AM
Monday-Thursday..........Dec..7-10......7:30 AM-2:00 AM
Friday......................... Dec. 11.........7:30 AM- Midnight
Saturday......................Dec. 12.........9:00 AM- Midnight
Sunday........................Dec. 13........ 10:00 AM- 2:00 AM
Monday- Thursday........Dec. 14-17.....7:30 AM- 2:00 AM
Friday..........................Dec. 18.........7:30 AM- 5:00 PM

Commencement Weekend:

Saturday......................Dec. 19......... 9:00 AM- 2:00 PM
Sunday........................Dec. 20......... Closed

Monday.......................Dec. 21..........8:00 AM- 5:00 PM

Winter Recess:

Tuesday- Sunday..........Dec. 22- Jan. 3. Closed

Intersession Begins:

Monday........................Jan. 4, 2010.. 7:30 AM- 6:00 PM

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

NEW DVD's for Fall '09

We've acquired more than a hundred new DVD's, mostly feature films, with an emphasis on acclaimed foreign films. Check out the video below to learn more!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Toward Transparency:

As President Obama promised in camaign speeches, the federal government is posting its expenditures on a new website,
The site abounds with pie charts and graphs showing expenditures on contracts, grants and loans, and includes the federal IT dashboard, pictured right, which delves into detail concerning expenditures on Information Technology.

For more notable government websites, see Government Computer News's list of 10 "great dot-gov" websites --the list appears in the brown box in the article.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Book of the Month, August

Between Barack and A Hard Place

Tim Wise City Lights. 2009

E184.A1W57 2009

Washburn University professor Tim Wise decries the myth that Obama's election has ameliorated all racial tension in this nation. His chief arguments are that

  • there will always be exceptional people within any group, those with access to "good" education, etc. The presence of these people and their accomplishments says nothing about all members of this particular segment of society

  • the fact that people admit to favoring or accepting Obama because he has "transcended" race or is a "different" sort of Black man demonstrates the persistence of prejudice and stigmas

  • empirical evidence in areas of housing, health care, education and others points to continued discrimination against African-Americans

While much of the book advances an argument that most would accept out of hand, that institutional racism still exists, Wise, when discussing the effects of and dynamics concerning Obama's presidency specifically, advances a welcome critique of much conventional wisdom. He writes, "white folks still hold the power. White folks still get to call the tune...The fact that there are some folks of color who can play the tune...hardly alters the dynamic between those who call it and those who are forced to do the dance."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Magazine Sampler, Jul. 20

On our display of new magazines:

TIME July 20 AP 2 T37
  • "The Renegade" by David Von Drehle and Jay Newton-Small examines Sarah Palin's exit from office.

Newsweek July 20 AP 2 N6772

  • Daniel Klaidman discusses the possibility of Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. prosecuting members of the Bush administration for their role in torture.

The New Yorker July 20 AP 2 N6763

  • fiction by William Styron
  • John Colapinto profiles Al Franken's entree into the Senate.

New Scientist July 4-10 Q1N52

  • "Emotion Detectors" by Hazel Muir reveals upcoming artificial intelligence technologies that can sense human emotion.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Celebrating 100 Years of Library Service

Karen Ritchie, Florence Young, MaryJo Price and Dr. David Gillespie (Library Director) are celebrating their 25th year at the Lewis J. Ort Library in 2009. They gathered with library staff on July 7th to celebrate their anniversary of service to Frostburg State University and the campus community.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Neologism of the Month for July

N▫O▫M▫ Neologism of the Month for July

Grassoline--biofuel made from cellulosic material, such as sawdust, wheat straw, and cornhusks

Friday, June 19, 2009

Book of the Week, June 22

B▫O▫W▫ book of the week, June 22 2009
Contemporary Youth Culture: An International Encyclopedia
Ref HQ 796.C8154 2006
ed. Shirley Steinberg, Priya Parmar, Birgit Richard
One media and two education professors edit this two-volume encyclopedia. Its entries handle topics in the fields of politics, education, sexuality, media and identities as they apply to youth. Privileging inclusiveness, the essays written for these volumes by professors, teachers, and other professionals, range as far as critical geography, world citizenship, Otaku, jammer girls, crip queers, and sluthood.

Monday, June 15, 2009


from June issues of our magazines:

Maclean's AP 5 M2

  • an interview with Harvard psychologist Gene Heyman, who argues that drug or alcohol addiction is "a matter of personal choice, not a sickness (p. 19).

  • Nicholas Kohler illuminates the trend of Canadians buying foreclosed properties in the U.S.'s Southwest (p. 36).

ARTnews N1 A6

  • a report on interactive performance art, "You Had to Be There," (p. 70).

  • a report on new strategies museum directors are implementing to "help people feel welcome, engaged, and emotionally fulfilled" (p. 76).

The New Republic June 17 AP 2 N624

  • The cover story is actually a book review: Isaac Chotiner roughs up Ariana Huffington's Right Is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, And Made us All Less Safe (And What You Need to Know to End the Madness (p. 29).

  • "Spent: America After Consumerism"--Amitai Etzioni discusses the role of conspicuous consumption in our current economic malaise (p. 20).

Science June 5 P1 S35

  • features on the origin of sexual reproduction (p. 1254), hydrogen cars (p. 1257), and farm-bred tuna (p. 1260).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Book of the Week for June 8

B▫O▫W▫ book of the week
for June 8, 2009
Fire to Fire: new and selected poems, Mark Doty
PS 3554.0798 F57 2008/ 5th floor stacks

Some intricate craftsmanship from "A Green Crab's Shell":
this little traveling case
comes with such lavish lining!
Imagine breathing

surrounded by
the brilliant rinse
of summer's firmament
To me, Doty's poems are pasta shells: curved, delicate, the outside the careful and lavish description (of the natural world, of urban scenes) and the filling Doty's musings and insights.

From "Fog Suite":
how this fog-fired
green's intensified
by sunlight filtered

through the atmosphere's
wet linens--a green
you could almost drink!

later in the same poem:
What I love about language
is what I love about fog:
what comes between us and things
grants them their shine...

Winner of the 2008 National Book Award for Poetry, Fire To Fire collects poems from seven of Doty's books and includes more than a dozen new works. listing: included Publisher's Weekly review's audio page: interviews and readings, and including a video homage from poetfan.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

On Display this Summer

Here's what you'll see in our display cases this Summer:
3rd floor: in time for rafting season, we highlight our book, journal, magazine, DVD and map collections dealing with our nation's rivers, particularly the Potomac.

3rd floor, upright display: realia--objects representing events or groups--on FSU; selected artifacts from Special Collections including silver bowls given to Presidents Compton and Gira as part of their induction into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame; porcelain plates commemorating Frostburg's Sesquicentennial, and various photos

4th floor: display honors Woodward Pealer, who received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at this Spring's commencement; material from Special collections and the Beall archives, including Pealer's Distinguished Flying Cross Award, a Purple Heart and other medals; various photos

displays created by Mary-Jo Price (river display by Mary-Jo Price and Jeff Maehre)

Gov Docs News Flash

NPR reports on Census 2010

Today's "Morning Edition," NPR's daily news and culture show, included a story on the federal census for 2010 as it applies to New York.

Additionally, here's an interactive map from npr--click on various options and categories for info on each state.

Additional links

NPR story from Apr 19: 2010 Census Stirs Debate in Washington

Census Bureau's video page

Monday, June 1, 2009


Highlights from June issues of our magazines:

  • Inc-- This month's "How I Did It" features Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, "the Facebook of professionals." (p. 82)

HD 2346.U5 I35

  • The New Yorker (June 1)-- In the column "Talk of the Town," Jeffrey Toobin comments on recent speeches by Barack Obama and Dick Cheney (p. 27)

"Slim's Time"--a profile of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who may be interested in buying the New York Times

AP 2.N6763

  • The Nation (June 8) -- In the column "The Liberal Media," Eric Alterman criticizes recent coverage in many major newspapers.

William Deresiewicz reviews six books on literary Darwinism.

AP 2.N2

  • Psychology Today-- "A Fateful First Act" by Emily Laber-Warren argues that research shows "the action-packed days a baby spends in utero influence her emotional and physical makeup for years to come."

BF 1.P84

Learn the holdings of our periodicals using the "Journals" tab in Catalog USMAI.

Find electronic holdings under the "Journals" tab in Research Port.

Friday, May 29, 2009

N*O*W for June 1

N▫O▫W▫ Neologism of the Week
for June 1

xiprefix indicating a noun is metaphorical, as in "throwing the xi-baby out with the xi-bathwater"

from William Gillespie, Internalational Dictionary of Neologisms

Book of the Week for June 1

B▫O▫W▫ book of the week
for June 1, 2009

Lark and Termite Jayne Ann Phillips. Knopf. 2009
PS3566.H479 L37 2009

Veteran wordsmith Phillips weaves together two stories, one in West Virginia in 1959 and one in wartime North Korea, the same days, nine years earlier. In the former, a meek and perceptive teen, Lark, tends to her brother, Termite, who lacks speech, who can't walk and is pulled everywhere in a wagon. Corporal Robert Leavitt, whose connection to Lark and Termite emerges during the narrative, is wounded and dying during the Korean War.

It is a story of ontology and of origins, of characters acutely aware of the present, the right-now present, while many elements of their past, they cannot access.

Phillips's prose is urgent, her characters intricately drawn and sympathetic.

The book earned a starred review from Publisher's Weekly; in a back-cover blurb, Alice Munro says, "This novel is cut like a diamond, with such sharp authenticity and bursts of light."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Periodicals/Single Record Project

Randy Lowe and Virginia Williams (seated in the photo to the left) are leading a project that will involve an inventory of the library's periodical collection in all formats. They called a meeting of library supervisors and periodical staff that included Pam Williams, Charlene Vassallo, Lea Messman-Mandicott, Florence Young, Liz Keller, and "Dodie" Coburn on May 13 to outline their strategy for the project and to plan for training sessions that will begin in June.

When "The Periodicals/Single Record Project" is finished, library users will be able to find all periodical formats (print, microform and/or electronic) merged onto a single bibliographic catalog record, and the library will have an accurate count of the library's periodical holdings in all formats.

Friday, May 22, 2009

B/O/W for May 25

B▫O▫W▫ book of the week
for May 25, 2009

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology Ray Kurzweil. Viking. 2005

The singularity is a state in which humans have ceased to be biological beings: Kurzweil writes, "there will be no distinction, post-Singularity, between human and machine or between physical and virtual reality."

He predicts it will happen by approximately 2030.

The post-Singularity world Kurzweil describes is one in which Genetics, Nanotechnology, and Robotics (GNR) will allow humans to transcend our biological limitations, controlling the length of our lives and everything else about our bodies and our environment.

"Protein-based mechanisms are lacking in strength and speed," notes Kurzweil. "We will be able to reengineer all of the organs and systems in our biological bodies and brains to be vastly more capable."

Further details of the Singularity:

"The rate of technological change will not be limited to human mental speeds. Machine intelligence will improve its own abilities in a feedback cycle that unaided human intelligence will not be able to follow."
"Nanobots will interact with biological neurons to vastly extend human experience by creating virtual reality from within the nervous system."
"Billions of nanobots in the capillaries of the brain will also vastly extend human intelligence."
And somewhere in there, spell-checkers will begin recognizing the word "nanobots."
This is one of the most important books of this decade, to be read by all. One may wish to also read Joel Garreau's Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies, and What It Means to Be Human.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

NOW for the week of May 18

This week's NOW (neologism of the week):

cosmetic neurology
n. the use of pharmaceuticals to enhance cognitive function in a healthy brain

This week's new word brought to you by Paul McFedries'

Monday, May 18, 2009

GOV DOCS news flash for May 18

Budget of the United States Government 2010 Now Available

Entitled A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America's Promise, this year's federal budget is
via, the government printing office's portal of free information. Download various sections separately or download the entire document.

Friday, May 15, 2009

BOW for May 18

BOW Book of the Week
For the week of 5/18/09

The Age of American Unreason
Susan Jacoby. 2008. Pantheon Books
3rd floor new books display E169.Z83 J33 2008

The author of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism develops a history of the decline of American thought from its promise in Darwin's mid-nineteenth century to a present in which one of four high-school biology teachers believe humans and dinosaurs once shared the Earth. It's a coherent and rather illuminating look at the role of social Darwinism in adulterating evolutionary theory's search for truth and thus opening the door for junk science and a general cheapening and co-opting of intellectual thought. Jacoby also points to 20th century red scare as a cause of an enduring mistrust of intellectuals, and traces this through to today's celebration of vapid celebrities.

The book excels as a history more than as an extended argument; coupled with a reader's skepticism and will to challenge and balance some of its claims, it provides useful material for further thought. One may read it comparatively along with Richard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism and American Life (1963) and its contemporary, 2008's Why We Hate Us: American Discontent in the New Millennium by Dick Meyer.

--Jeff Maehre

Friday, May 8, 2009

Library Staff Sharpens Public Service Skills

Did you know that as many as 1500 people a day visit the Ort Library? With so many FSU students, staff, and faculty requiring library services, it is important for staff at the circulation and reference desks to communicate with tact and skill, especially during stressful times, like the final weeks of the school year!

To serve the FSU user community even better, many library staff members attended an all-day workshop called Dealing with Difficult People on May 5 to sharpen their public service skills. Topics treated included conflict management, positive interaction with different personality types, and effective use of body language.

John C. Polheber facilitated this workshop, part of the Fred Pryor Seminars & CareerTrack Series. Avalon Ledong from FSU Human Resources, and Corporal Mike Ruppenkamp from the University Police also participated in the workshop. Everyone received a certificate of attendance!

National Library Week Contest Winner Announced

Congratulations to April McDavid, the winner of the National Library Week marble contest at the Circulation desk. April’s winning guess was 206 marbles. There were 207 in the jar. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Friday, April 10, 2009

2009 National Library Week, April 12 through 18

WORLDS CONNECT @ YOUR LIBRARY is the theme for the 2009 National Library Week, April 12 through 18. National Library Week is an annual celebration of the contributions of our nation's libraries and library staff. All types of libraries -- school, public, academic, and special -- participate.

Please come to the Ort Library to help us celebrate! Come see the display highlighting WORLDS CONNECT @ YOUR LIBRARY located on floor 4. The display highlights world cultures and the education partners of Frostburg State University throughout the world.

The display includes a short history of marbles and how they are used worldwide. You are invited to guess the number of marbles in the jar at the Circulation/Main Desk of the Ort Library on floor 3. The student who guesses the number closest to the number of marbles will receive a 4 gigabyte thumb drive. Any student who checks out a book during National Library Week will receive a small gift.

April is National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month! The display on the main floor, of the Lewis J. Ort Library features a selection of poets and poems, ranging from the contemporary to the traditional. Poetry by Barbara Hurd and Gerry LaFemina, Frostburg State University professors, are included in the display.

Come view the display and start on the road to poetry reading!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

FSU Ort Library Launches News & Events Blog

The Lewis J. Ort Library at Frostburg State University reintroduces the old News & Events feature from the library website in a new blog format.

We hope that the blog showcases Ort Library happenings in a colorful and interactive way for the FSU community!

Pre-2009 library news is archived here.