Friday, July 31, 2009

What You Need to Know: Part 1 (Fall 2009)

I looked at my travel coffee mug this morning and noticed the surface rippling slightly, like in the movies when something big is coming towards the main character. The first thing they notice is a conveniently-placed container of liquid that suddenly begins to quiver, and by then it's too late.

I think it's a few thousand feet marching toward Gallaudet. It's Fall, and it's coming.

In that spirit, here's the first post of What You Need to Know. For the first couple of weeks, I'll be collecting all the previous posts and categorizing them according to what's in them -- librarian profiles, research tips, available resources. You'll see some of the same posts under different headings; that's partly because I do try to pack a lot of information into a single week. The Questions of the Week are also to blame, because they usually cover different topics from the main posts; these will be organized separately next week.

Once that's done, I'll move on to more focused posts for the new Gallaudet students, as well as clarifying what exactly has changed over the summer in preparation for the Fall semester.

First things first: The first post, which clarifies exactly what this blog's purpose is and why you should be reading it. This also serves as a good introduction to me in particular. Another good way to get an idea of what goes on in my life as a Gallaudet librarian is to read this sort-of-FAQ post.

The Librarians
Jane Rutherford
Management of Information Systems, Computer Science, Education, Educational Foundations and Research, Administration and Supervision, Family and Child Studies

Diana Gates
The entire Deaf collection

Patrick Oberholtzer
Government & History, PE & Recreation, Business, Economics and Finance, Accounting, Biology, Foreign Languages, Literatures & Cultures, Chemistry & Physics

Laura Jacobi
Reference, Social Work, Psychology, Sociology, Communication Studies, Counseling

Our Collection
March Movies
Albeit a tad outdated -- we've gotten many more movies since March -- this should give you some idea of what kind of films we have to offer. We also welcome donations, by the way!

Book Recommendations
Stuff our librarians like. We're an exceptionally well-read bunch, so when we recommend something, you know it's good!

Graphic Novels
A discussion of graphic novels in general; some of ours are highlighted. We've also gotten quite a few more, which I will be updating you on soon. I promise. Just as soon as the Library quits having so much stuff to write about.

Summer Reading
MORE librarian recommendations. I told you we read a lot. These books were pushed as good for summer reading, but honestly, they're also good in the fall. Also the winter. And, I believe, the spring. In fact, let's just call them all-around good reading all year long.

New Book Cart Day
This will probably become a regular feature -- we get cartloads of new books in, you get to find out what's on them and assume your positions so you can snap them up once they're on the shelf. This represents the last cartload of popular fiction that arrived for this year, but we do have a healthy stream of donations coming in, so keep your eyes peeled until we start the new year and begin buying books again.

Deaf Memories
This post details how the most popular parts of the Deaf Collection work, including Deaf School Yearbooks and Periodicals. It's all located on the first floor of the Library.

Equipment/Important Resources
A Comprehensive Overview

I'm not kidding when I say "comprehensive." This post covers all the equipment we have, from TVs to microform readers to magnifiers for people with visual impairments. If you need some kind of doohickey and you think the Library might have it for you to use, check this post.

Behind the Scenes
Go inside the belly of the beast. What are we hiding behind that big old desk? Read this post and find out!

Our New Web Site
A quick overview of our Web site, which was redesigned in May.

That should be enough for this week. Next week will be a collection of posts discussing research at the Gallaudet Library and the Questions of the Week, organized by category. If there's room (which I doubt), we'll also compare this coming-previews post from May to how things are looking here, at the other side of the summer.

Question of the Week
What's going on with all the construction around the Library? My friends and I noticed it the other week and were trying to figure it out.
It's actually less construction and more maintenance. You may have noticed that the Library has a few skylights at ground level. While they definitely add a nice aesthetic touch to campus and add a lot of natural light to the Library, there are also some practical considerations involved. As with any other architectural element made of glass, the panes need to be cleaned and re-sealed every few years. Also, the skylights have brick abutments to protect the glass from the elements, which means the bricks themselves are vulnerable to cracking or chipping. Because of this, we also replace any damaged bricks while working on the skylights, killing two birds with one stone and incidentally keeping things nice and fresh-looking in the process!

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