Thursday, December 22, 2005

Have a safe and happy winter break!

Nature abhors a vacuum-and so a plan is hatched!

Seeing the feng shui space opened up by moving the microform cabinets, Lisa and I launched into a re-decorating frenzy. We found two underutilized oak tables from the last move, measured to see if they fit in the ERC, and drew a floor plan. When we get back from Winter Campus Closing, on January 2nd, we will move the tables down, add two computers to the three already there and set the tables perpendicular to the windows looking into the Reading Room. The plan looks like this: may be hard to read but you can see the tables coming perpendicular to the windows. I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wishing Well but Feeling Like, uh... Hades

We said goodbye today to two of our beloved co-workers. Diana and Glenna. Diana has served as the Gov Docs librarian or four and a half years and has taught LIB 307 for the last two years. She recently tried to bring us all up to speed in finding cases in the Law Library. She is absolutely a fine professional to watch in motion! Her attitude toward patrons is always focused and matter how tired she is. She remains one of the most interesting people I know....What a thinker. She will be sorely missed. UNLV has got a live one on their hands now! Darn them!

Glenna has worked on the Sage Library Grant and is seeing the end of that grant tomorrow. Her outreach efforts have been enjoyed in the region. We have all benefited from her travel information and all the English phrases she has introduced to us. I am so appreciative that she brought me the shoulder bag I was dying for all the way from London. That is a friend! So far, she is staying in the area so she will be amongst--at least close by.

I know we are supposed to be glad for them and their future endeavours (Thanks, Glenna!) but I am sad to not have their offices to pop into and kibbitz! Vaya con Dios, mi amigas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Benzene spill 10 miles from Khaborovsk, Russia

News from Khaborovsk, Russia. . .this is hard to believe-- the centralized heating system will be compromised by the closing of the water intake valves to avoid the benzene from entering the water supply. I have so much empathy for our friends there. They struggle so and maintain great dignity through most difficulties. This---is unimaginable. I just could not get into buying presents this year when so many suffer.


Anyone who is out walking around today for anything other than necessity is NUTZ! I drove today--rare--since I walk to the library because this morning my gym partner and I practically crawled to the gym. I thought I would stand a better chance with a car with new snow tires-wrong! I was floating the whole way, three blocks over the slickered ice. Yikers! Then, donning the Yak-Trax (ask Santa--they could save your head from meeting unyieldable surfaces) , I made my way into the wind to get to the library. It's another La Grande hair day!

Best and Worst of Technology 2005

Want to know if the best, hottest tech thing that you enjoyed last year was the pick of Dan Tynan of PC World Magazine? How can Google get the best and the worst in the same category? I agree with Dan. Google's avaricious project, Google Print, makes me a bit nervous, too. Having copyright owners have to opt out of the project is a bit backwards to me. Google should contact the writers first-not depend on them to opt out. Some of my best friends are lawyers. I hope they get a piece of the action!

I loved the coin of the phrase "Apple-achia." As a girl from the hills myself, I like the positive spin on it. Of course, I am one of the delusional, yet hopeful, Macintosh fans!

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Friend in Need----Indeed!

A friend of mine just trekked in Nepal this summer and came back with over 200 slides of the most glorious scenery and glimpse of exotic life there. She wanted to make a slide show of them to show on people's televisions. "Oh, I can do that on my Mac" I told her, "That's what they are made for." So, for an hour before she arrived with camera in hand, I discovered that I had not ordered the SuperDrive model of the Mac Mini--so no DVD burning capacity. Rats!

I had to punt. I found a $30 shareware program on the internet called DVD PixPlay. It seemed in the description to do all I wanted so, I downloaded it on my PC that has a DVD burner. After the free trial run, I paid for it. Wow! Lots of bang for my buck! In no time, we had her slides arranged in order, worked on a title slide, tried to talk her into adding Nepalese music (no, she wanted to narrate) and then burned the show onto a CD-R disk as a VCD formatted-disk. I had never heard of VCD until then-pretty cool! I only had Mac DVD disks (why???) laying around at home-no disks for PC. Having a program that burns CDs that can be used as DVDs was the ticket. It is supposed to play on 97% of DVD players and it worked beautifully on my old garage sale DVD off-brand player.

Now, to ask Santa to buy a Super-Drive for my Mac Mini! Ho, ho, ha!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

EBooks - Eeeee-xactly what I needed!

So, I was looking for a book with a very recent copyright date in school law. Our print collection had many volumes but I needed something very current. Lo, and behold-the eBook! I found it in the webpac along with the other holdings and it had an icon that reflected that it was electronic. I clicked on the link and after verifying that I had a barcode and username associated with Pierce here at EOU, I was in! I checked it out for 6 days and I was set. The table of contents that runs along the left side, helped me dip in and out of the content I needed. The navigation of the pages was easy. This sure is a great way to access current material. I didn't want to read the whole thing which reflects stats on the usage of eBooks...the average use is 5 to 15 minutes. Try will like it!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Progress is our most important product

I have been observing the progress made in the the BIG microfiche cabinet move. Cart after cart of Oregon documents have passed by my desk in their seemingly endless march to the mezzanine level on the second floor. The trek is arduous-all the way around the first floor to the elevator and back the same distance to the other side of the library on the second floor to the mezzanine. By Thursday, the Oregon Room will be empty, awaiting the final move of the microfiche cabinets to their final destination. We can't wait for our feng shui experience!!!!!! Light! Sight! Space!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Slippery Slope!

Yikers, it's slick out there! Any incline --the merest angle--is treacherous. This is a chiropractor's dream! It is a precarious day, too, for students. Grades came out and it has been a mixed bag here. We've seen pretty much all ranges of emotion from "I can't believe I hosed that final!" to "Whoa, Dude! I passed!"

So, you can access your grades here every day until 5 PM! Come on down!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Take a break! Learn AND laugh!

Preparing browsing sleeves for the new DVDs that Pierce has acquired, reminds me of how much time I have spent in front of the tube! Yikers! It must have been during the summer -BEFORE I went back to grad school!

One of the films I prepared a sleeve for today is called "Good bye Lenin!" Winning six prestigious European Film awards, this coming-of-age adventure blends the fall of communism with the salient emotions of a family's love. To protect their mother (an ardent supporter of the Socialist East German state) from having another heart-attack, her son launches a plot to keep her from learning that the Berlin Wall has fallen. It is at once hilarious, yet tender as he rescues his plot from near-disaster, several times. It has English subtitles and is spoken in German. Well-worth the 121 minutes I spent watching it!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Does anybody REALLY know what time it is?

Yes, we care! (To answer the lyrics of this "Chicago" song) It's time for exams to be over. Best wishes to all of you on success in your classes!

Our schedule is changing and looks like this:
December 10-11 closed (sleep late!)
December 12-16 Open 8 to 5
December 17-18 closed (sleep late!)
December 19-22 Open 8 to 5
Dec. 23 - January 2 Campus closed
January 3-6 Open 8 to 5
January 7-8 Closed (sleep late!)
January 9 Regular Hours begin again!

P.S. The bird resting above is the state bird of my homeland. Isn't he handsome!!!!?

The Barcode 's the BOMB!

Turn over your student ID! There is the barcode that unlocks all the online resources of Pierce Library when you are traveling to Tibet or just to Troutdale. Just access our webpage from any browser, anywhere you have an internet connection, using this URL
and when prompted, enter your barcode and PIN number.

Don't have a PIN?.....Leave the original PIN field blank, press "Submit" (even though you are really submitting nothing at this point) and a new page will pop up. Make up a PIN and submit it. You are in business!

If you already have a PIN and forgot it....stuff happens!....just call us at 541.962.3780. We will cheerfully remove your old PIN and you can make up a new one. No problema!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Renovate! Renovate! Dance to the Muuusic!

If you know the tune to sing this "Three Dog Night" song alluded to in the title of this post, you are older than Moses! But we have reason to celebrate! We are shifting the Oregon documents to the second floor to the same section as the U.S. documents (mezzanine area) and the vacant Oregon document room is going to hold....(fanfare! roll of snare drums!)....the microform cabinets! In the ERC, we have peered around those to see the daylight for years! Nothing like being greeted to gray steel when you enter the library! Yuck! That will open up the entrance on the first floor to allow in more light, look better aesthetically, and situate the microforms closer to their kin-the periodicals. When you come back from Winter Break, we will be transformed into a lovely swan!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Oh, Baby! Browser Bibliography!

Researchers at George Mason University are developing a plug-in for the Firefox browser that will help academics organize sources and properly cite them. The tool is designed to harvest bibliographic information from online sources and organize it for someone doing research on the Web. Assuming the bibliographic elements are formatted in a way the software can recognize, the application will parse title, author, and other information and correlate it with the source. Daniel J. Cohen, assistant professor of history and one of the developers, said it can be thought of as "incredibly smart bookmarking.... You're not just bookmarking the page, but you're automatically [capturing]...all that info that scholars want to save." Unlike commercial products that organize sources, the new application will tie directly into the browser, eliminating the step of manually collecting citation details. The open source application is expected to be completed next year and will be available for no charge from George Mason's Web site. Cohen said he believes the application will make unintentional plagiarism less likely than if a researcher were keeping sources organized manually. Chronicle of Higher Education, 6 December 2005

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My EBSCOHost---way cool!!!

Did you know that you can customize the EBSCO Host databases to hold your favorite searches, to alert you to journals that match subjects you want to know about as soon as articles are published, and a host of other services....all for free!!!!! Well, neither did I!

View the tutorial found at:
and get started tonight!!!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Kindness in the smallest things!

I just overheard one of our student assistants, Ashley Lawson, ask a patron, before heading to the 2nd floor stacks, if he preferred the stairs or the elevator. He was a guest of our library from another town. I was stuck by the simple request that spoke so loudly. We often tear around here thinking of the next thing we have to do. Flying up the stairs is just my mode of getting there quickly but some patrons don't want to move that fast or can't. Ashley was thinking of the patron first. Well done! Flying Fish time!!!!!

The sun came up!

Despite the fear that the world had ended with my disastrous final exam on Saturday, the sun has come up every day since. There is a reason for living! That is SOOOO Saturday and much fun has occurred since. We had a lively "afterglow" following the Holiday Music Festival's last performance on Sunday. The gift exchange was fun and we almost had enough chairs for everyone. The EOU students and community members worked very hard to make these concerts a memorable kick-off to the holidays! Great job, everyone! I feel like breaking out my kazoo!!!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Final Exam-Bombs Away!

Oh-My-Goodness! That was hard! I just finished my final exam in ILS 501. It is the first comprehensive final exam I have taken in about 20 years. All my other Masters' work was project-oriented. Wow! It was shocking. My prof found every chink in my armor! I did not bring my textbook with me as I figured my note-taking skills were excellent. Wrong! Lesson learned--bring everything with you! A whole set of encyclopedias if you have to!

So, I sit here lamenting my low-A that just sank lower than whale poop.

Friday, December 02, 2005

BYOP.....Bring Your Own Paper, that is!

In the ERC, you have paid for the ink and maintenance on the printers through your technology fee monies. You have to supply your own paper (sorry!) It can get kind of ruffly in your backpack so we do sell packets of paper for one thin dime at the Information Desk in the ERC. We can't break folding dough, though, so shake your little sister's piggy bank for change!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

News from Khaborovsk, Russia (Benzene spill)

Irina, our dear friend in this lovely town, tells us that they are advised to take carbon tablets and the scientists have said that the Amur River will be off-limits for three years for all activity-swimming, fishing, bathing, drinking, all household uses. The benzene spill is 80 kilometers long and should arrive there soon. Her husband, Slava, is in the hospital with diabetes complications. Life is very hard. Oy!

The news:
Chemical Spill

If Blu Ray fought HD DVD, who would win?????

There was an article on c/net today about who will dominate the DVD technology race. Fox Entertainment gives Blu-Ray the edge over HD DVD. This is a big deal in who wins as it was when VHS (a some-say inferior medium) won over the Beta format. Do you care? Do you know who is backing which medium? It is interesting to see who is lining up in each camp.

Here is the story:
Blu-Ray Gaining Edge

Trying to print more than one copy?

Did you ask the printer to print out more than one copy of your document? Did you get a funky-doodle page full of HP squiggles? Well, that is because the printer driver (the little piece of software that tells the printer what to do) isn't sophisticated enough to handle your command. It prints one copy...that is all you get unless.... you send the job over several times. At that point, unless time is no object for you, you might as well print additional copies on the Toshiba copier.

Location! Location! Location!

That's the buzzword when buying property-and looking for a book here at Pierce. When you have found a title in the Webpac (new word for the card catalog online) make note of the Location box in the item's record. We have several special collections: Government Documents, Native American Collection, Law Library, Oregon Collection, Safe/Archives, Curriculum Library, Video/DVD, and Children's Collection. The call numbers can be identical across many different collections as they all use the Library of Congress classification to organize them within that collection.

So, make a note of where you are heading in the library BEFORE you leave the Webpac screen. It will save you time and frustration to be in the right part of the library to find your item. If you need a map of Pierce Library, or directions, just stop and ask the friendly staff members around on the floors.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pernicious pdf files!

Our patrons are having a terrible time printing from pdf files. It seems our printer driver does not want to recognize the data when sent using the File---Print menu. You have to use the printer icon in the pdf's own environment to print it properly. Woe. I have put out signs to guide us along. Hope it smooths the way!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Benzene spill headed for Khaborovsk

We got word today that our friends in Khaborovsk are expecting the benzene spill in China's Harbin city to reach them at the beginning of next week. Everyone there on the Amur River is nervous about the efectiveness of the amends offered from China in protecting their drinking water. Here is a small story about the progress thus far from Forbes Magazine online.

First snowfall today!

Broke out the YakTrax and headed to work today in lots more snow than was on the ground when Susan and I went to the gym at 5:20 am! It was beautiful on the mountains but by the time I got to the library, my heels were wet and frozen. That will teach me to wear boots! The library director directed us to decorate (she doesn't like it either!) and so we ho-ho-ho-ed our way to a semi-happy state of organization and got it finished. It does look more festive. I really wanted to curl up by the radiator and the big windows and read a book but, alas! Our patrons needed to find stuff and that IS my job so......students are scrambling to finish projects and papers so we had a steady stream but everyone seemed under control. No crying, anyway. Not that there is anything wrong with that.