Friday, August 28, 2009

A Little Library Humor

I'm currently in the process of writing some lesson plans to teach a class at Rivendell College next semester on research strategies and information literacy. No yawning, its important stuff. But because a topic like that can make people get a little soporific, I wanted to find some amusing YouTube videos in connection with libraries and research that might entertain the students and lighten the mood. I ran across this gem from 1946:

"I don't know who wrote it, or what the title was, but I know it was a blue book."

"Well, you are in luck, young man. We have all of the blue books over here!" (What I wish the librarian had said.)

I also love the microfilm machine. Looks like it was the first one invented. I'm sure Edison wanted it back.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

School starts again

School is off to a busy start. Rivendell College started classes on Monday morning and the library has been used right away. It makes me happy to have a place where all the books can be in one room! With chairs, desks, a copy machine and even a sofa.

I'm excited that I've been able to help the students get to know some of our free online library resources. Two of our classes have assignments having them come in the library and speak with me about good websites for different subjects (thanks Bill!). The students are always amazed at the amount of quality material that is out there on the web. You just have to filter through a lot of junk sometimes to get to it. That's way I put it all in one place.

I am so looking forward to this school year and all the learning that will be going on.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Queen and Commonwealth

During our time in London, we did LOTS of stuff. In addition to the wonderful exhibitions at the British Library, we had the great pleasure of going to through the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace. The Palace is open for just a few weeks each year in the summer when the Queen goes on holiday. We were there the second day it was open! Truthfully, I planned our trip so that we would be able to go to the Palace. It was amazing. I was overwhelmed at its beauty, the stuff on the walls, the history and importance of it all.

One of the neat things we got to see was a special exhibition of some of the Queen's dresses she wore on her Commonwealth trips throughout her reign. It is called "Queen and Commonwealth Exhibition." My daughter LOVED this exhibition, as did I. We marveled at the stunning dresses and saw how small in stature the Queen is when looking at her dresses close up. There are also many gifts given to Her Majesty on her different trips on display. Those were cool to see, too.

Of course photography is strictly forbidden in the Palace, so I don't have any pictures of the exhibit. I did find a short YouTube video from The Royal Channel that shows the Queen going through the exhibition before it opened. You can see the dresses behind her. Check it out.

If you live in London, or are going to be there before September 30, go through the Palace. It is worth it.

I really should work for the London Tourist Board.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The British Library Rocks!

Hello again!

Sorry it's been awhile since I've posted. It has been a busy summer.

We have just returned from our trip to London and it was brilliant. We did so many things! We are still recovering.

People have asked me what were some of my favorite things we did on our trip. There are many, but the one that works best for this blog was our visit to the British Library. I know, I'm such a dork. The actual library was cool, but there were two collections we looked at that were outstanding. The first collection was in the Sir John Ritblat Gallery. It houses so many treasures, it is truly amazing. I has a special room for the Magna Carta. But in true British fashion, it is simply under glass in a small room along with some other associated documents. I saw a Gutenberg Bible, hand written lyrics of the Beatles, the Codex Sinaiticus, Jane Austen's writing desk, Da Vinci drawings, hand written scores by Mozart, Handel and Mendelson and so many other treasures. My poor husband and daughter left the gallery long before I did. All of this was free of charge! Check out the treasures online here.

The other exhibition we saw was Henry VIII: Man and Monarch. It has many, many original documents connected with the life of Henry VIII. It has not only books, but letters, decrees, diaries, paintings, illuminated manuscripts and all kinds of materials which walk you through his extraordinary life and the people who intersected his life (Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More, Cramner, Cromwell, his six wives to name a few). Many of these materials in the exhibit are only on loan to the British Library for this special exhibit, so it was a great honor to see these things all in one place. There was so much to see in this exhibit that we had to go back the next day so we could finish looking at it all. This exhibit is wonderful and if you get a chance to get to London before September 6 (the last day of the exhibit) you should make an effort to see it. It really is phenomenal. Click here to look at the online exhibit.