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Points of Reference

A Booklist Blog
This is the archive of the blog Points of Reference. From 2009-2012 a team of library reference experts talked about resources (books, databases, Web sites, e-books, and more) and publishing trends.

Archive for the 'At the Reference Desk' Category

Sun, April 15th, 2012
Web Site of the Week: Bostonmarathonmediaguide.com
Posted by: Christine Bulson

The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon founded by the Boston Athletic Association in 1897.  This year will be the 116th marathon.  It was originally held on April 19 or 20 to celebrate Patriot's Day.  Now the Marathon is on the 3rd Monday in April which is also a state holiday in Massachusetts.  In […]

Sat, April 14th, 2012
Titanic Fever
Posted by: Carolyn Mulac

Have you caught Titanic fever?  There may be a cure! The Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library at Southeastern Oklahoma State University created this comprehensive website: http://libguides.se.edu/titanic . Still thirsty for more?  Then try this topic page from The New York Times,  which includes historical news stories, or this Titanic roundup from Smithsonian Magazine.  

Mon, April 9th, 2012
App of the Month: Seafood Watch
Posted by: Christine Bulson

Sustainable living is an "in" idea. The public is now aware of over-fishing and endangered fish. With the free Seafood Watch app from the Monterey Bay Aquarium you may search by the popular name of a fish on a menu or in a grocery store.  A best choice is listed in addition to good alternatives […]

Thu, March 29th, 2012
Web Site of the Week: Autismspeaks.org
Posted by: Christine Bulson

Next Monday, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day.  Autism now affects 1 in every 88 children in the US, according to a report released this week by the Center for Disease Control.   An additional startling figure is that the cost of autism in the US is greater than that of the entire GDP […]

Fri, March 23rd, 2012
Web Site of the Week: gardening.cornell.edu
Posted by: Christine Bulson

With record highs in New York this week and a very mild winter, home gardeners are ready to enjoy spring in the backyard.  There are many gardening web sites but one sponsored by the Department of Horticulture and Cooperative Extension at Cornell University, gardening.cornell.edu, is well done.  It provides resources for not only the home […]

Thu, March 22nd, 2012
The Statistical Abstract lives on - ProQuest will publish starting in 2013
Posted by: Sue Polanka

Wonderful news today from ProQuest. They will continue the tradition of publishing the Statistical Abstract of the United States, beginning with the 2013 edition (in print and digital formats).  They will partner with Bernan Press who will continue the tradition of publishing the print edition.   No word on pricing at this time.  Here is […]

Sat, March 17th, 2012
Web Site of the Week: ClimateCentral.org
Posted by: Christine Bulson

Although there continues to be discussion on whether there is climate change,  since 2008 ClimateCentral.org analyzes and reports on climate science.  The organization believes the "climate crisis" is a real danger.  Their goal is to inform and inspire Americans to "support the actions needed to keep the crises from getting worse." In conjunction with news […]

Thu, March 15th, 2012
Library jargon
Posted by: Lindsay Harmon

According to this article on library website usability, the terms that library patrons misunderstand most include "database," "library catalog," and "reference." What library terms trip up your patrons? What words do you use instead?

Wed, March 14th, 2012
Stop the presses!
Posted by: Carolyn Mulac

In a move that is sure to rock the world of reference, Encyclopaedia Britannica has just announced that it will no longer publish a print edition. Read more about it at http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/after-244-years-encyclopaedia-britannica-stops-the-presses/

Tue, March 13th, 2012
Web Site of the Week: Littlefreelibrary.org
Posted by: Christine Bulson

Even in the digital age librarians are still for books and libraries of any kind.  Now libraries are appearing on lawns thanks to Todd Bol who wanted to honor his mother's love of books.  He began Littlefreelibrary by building a model of library, putting it on his lawn in Wisconsin and filling it with books.  […]

Mon, March 5th, 2012
Language Lovers, Rejoice!
Posted by: Carolyn Mulac

The Dictionary of American Regional English, aka DARE, is now complete.  Volume V, covering Sl-Z, has just been published by Harvard University Press.  This monumental reference work "documents words, phrases, and pronunciations that vary from one place to another across the United States."  Its entries "include regional pronunciations, variant forms, some etymologies, and regional and […]

Sun, March 4th, 2012
App of the Month: Aroundme
Posted by: Christine Bulson

Aroundme is the best of a  number of apps that is a travel necessity if in an unfamiliar city. When relocating it is good for a quick view of an area. Aroundme provides lists of the nearest gas stations, restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, hospitals, etc.  In addition to area movie theatres, there is a link […]

Sun, February 19th, 2012
Web Site of the Week: jfklibrary.org
Posted by: Christine Bulson

Since tomorrow is President's Day,  it is appropriate this week to feature the web site of a presidential library.  The John F. Kennedy Library is a beautiful building designed by I. M. Pei, located on Columbia Point in Boston.  For those that cannot visit the library in person, jfklibrary.org will give students, scholars and anyone […]

Wed, February 15th, 2012
"Throne of Shame" or Point of Entry? Thinking about the Desk
Posted by: Lindsay Harmon

The reference desk is often used as a metaphor for a library's delivery of reference services. But for librarians at Norwich University's Kreitzbert Library, rethinking the reference desk meant  focusing on the furniture itself. Their article "The Approachable Reference Desk" in February's C&RL News describes how they downsized from a "monstrous" and "imposing" traditional reference […]

Tue, February 14th, 2012
Browning, Barrett Letters are digitized.
Posted by: Christine Bulson

For all romantics, you may now read the letters of these two famous lovers online (http://web.wellesley.edu/web/Dept/LT/Collections/SpecColl/Browning).  In collaboration with Baylor University, Wellesley College has made 573 love letters of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning available today, Valentine's Day.  Their  story is both happy and sad.  They were married in secret because Elizabeth's father wanted her […]

Sun, February 12th, 2012
Web Site of the Week: FordsTheatre.org
Posted by: Christine Bulson

Today is the 203rd anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth.  To celebrate this occasion Ford's Theatre is opening the Center for Education and Leadership in a building across from the theatre and adjacent to house where Lincoln died.  The Center depicts the history of Lincoln's life and his influence on that time.  FordsTheatre.org. provides information on […]

Tue, January 24th, 2012
Web Site of the Week: MapQuest Vibe
Posted by: Christine Bulson

Now that most librarians are home from ALA Midwinter, it is time to plan for the trip to Anaheim in June.  Los Angeles may be daunting to those unfamiliar with the area but mqVibe.com may help librarians choose an area of Anaheim for hotels, restaurants, etc.  Searching is first by city and then locations within […]

Tue, January 17th, 2012
Digitized Books from the Guggenheim
Posted by: Lindsay Harmon

New York's renowned Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has digitized a bunch of its out-of-print publications and made them available on its website--for free! Many of the books are exhibition catalogs from the '50s and '60s, but there are several fairly recent publications as well. The books can be accessed in multiple formats via the Internet […]

Mon, January 16th, 2012
Get a clue!
Posted by: Carolyn Mulac

Crossword puzzle dictionaries are a staple in most reference collections.  Two of the most popular are the Random House Webster's Crossword Puzzle Dictionary (Random House Reference, 2006) and The American Heritage Crossword Puzzle Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin, 2003).  As helpful as they are, they don't always have the answer to every cruciverbalist's query.  OneAcross.com is the […]

Sun, January 15th, 2012
Posted by: Christine Bulson

Karl Pillemer, a professor of human development at Cornell University began the Legacy Project  eight  years ago.  He and his researchers have interviewed more than  1,500  people over seventy.  They were asked about life experiences, both positive and negative, and how these experiences have enriched their life.   The answers, some with video, are divided by broad topics - love and marriage, […]

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Quoted material should be attributed to:
Mary Ellen Quinn, Points of Reference (Booklist Online).

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