Thursday, June 28, 2007

Photos: Palmer Auditorium Roof Work

Tonight brings the third installment of our efforts to document the work going on next door on Palmer Auditorium. Workers were busy loading excess scaffolding onto a flatbed truck and they were nice enough to let us get a few shots of their work. The men told me that they would be removing a large portion of the stacked materials from the parking lot before pulling out for Birmingham.

Alan added some terrific shots of Palmer last week, so be sure to head over to our Flickr profile to see all of them.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cultivate the Reading Habit

One of the blogs I follow is Lifehack. The daily posts are filled with tips on managing life, work, projects, and time. Today's post is especially appealing: 14 ways to cultivate a lifetime reading habit. Of course, my favorite tip is "Have a Library Day." Whether it's a classic you've been meaning to read or a book from the best seller lists, it's likely to be available in a library near you. To read the entire list of reading tips, go to:

Another great tip from this list: "Read to your kid." Remember that Carmichael Library has a collection of children's books, including most of the Newberry, Caldecott, and Coretta Scott King award-winning books. Reading together is a great way to spend time with a child, and you'll be helping the child get into the reading habit.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Break out the popcorn!

What do Citizen Kane, A Night at the Opera, and The Lord of the Rings have in common? Two things -- they are all among the American Film Institute's latest list of the top 100 films. And they are all among the DVDs in our collection. In fact, the library has 72 of the top 100 films (the remaining 28 will be ordered as funds permit). So if you're looking for a way to beat the summer heat, check out a classic film!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Any Suggestions?

It's been nearly a year since we made significant changes to our website, and I would like to get feedback concerning the design. Do you see any problems with the site? Do you have any suggestions? If so, click on my name (under contributors, Alan May, in the upper right of your screen) to let me know what you think.

We appreciate feedback, and we look forward to what you have to say.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Spring Awakening/Teens Take Tonys

Catch up on Broadway theatre doings with Campbell Robertson. Cam is the son of UM Professor Emeritus, Ed Robertson, (Music) and has become a regular critic for the esteemed New York Times. His review of Broadway’s Tony Award ceremony which was broadcast on CBS (June 10, 2007) appeared in the NY Times the next day. You can read his review via Google or go to Carmichael Library’s database Proquest Newspapers where you can find it and the full text of Campbell’s other columns.

Campbell Robertson grew up in Montevallo and graduated in 1998 from Georgetown University where he drew his senior thesis…a comic book! After college he worked on the Metro section of the New York Times and became the first artist to contribute a comic strip within the news section of the paper. The strip was published on November 18, 2003 and follows the day of an imagined paparazzo, Lawrence Schwartzwald, as he photo-hounds Madonna. (Madonna had been in the city that week, creating the photo frenzy that always accompanies her public outings.)

The big winner at the Tony ceremonies was Spring Awakening, as Campbell reports. Among the eight statues awarded to the production was one for Best Musical. Scored by Duncan Sheik (MTV heartthrob) with lyrics by Steven Sater and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, the current production is based on German author Frank Wedekind’s play, The Awakening of Spring. The 1891 play was immediately banned. Although is was finally staged uncut in English in 1974, the play continued to meet with censorship in Europe and the U.S.

What makes Wedekind’s original play and the current musical the source of so much controversy? The play is set in late nineteenth century Germany and deals with the angst of adolescence. Abortion, suicide, and abuse are among the issues which torment the teenage characters. Teenage desires clash with adult-enforced shame and punishment. The musical, which has a rock and roll score, took the creators six years to develop and stage. Unlike the original, the musical received immediate critical acclaim and has been touted as groundbreaking.

Few libraries purchased the Wedekind play. However, if you peruse Carmichael Library’s catalog, you will find a record for the 1910 edition. Acquisition records indicate that a copy was purchased in 1931, probably at the height of its controversy when the Hitlerjugend or Hitler Youth and its fanatical ideals flourished.

For those of you who would like to check out this early and scarce edition of the play, the call number is PT 2647.E26.F8 1910.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Live from Mississippi Library 2.0 Summit

I'm blogging these words during a morning session at the Library 2.0 Summit at Mississippi State University. Rosemary, Alan, and I drove from Montevallo this morning to join other librarians who are using Web technologies to reach their users in new ways.

This morning's keynote address was given by Michael Stephens, who writes a popular blog called Tame the Web. Library- and Web 2.0 technologies are his passion. I've had the good fortune of seeing him speak for the second time and once again I find that I want to test drive every Library 2.0 tool that we can get into!

If you've been following our blog in the recent months you know that your campus library has a virtual branch in SecondLife. We're also starting to share our photos in Flickr. We've created an RSS calendar so that you can track our hours and events in your favorite feed reader. My favorite project of all of these has been creating our own RSS feed for the library's popular Browsing Books collection.

The three of us will be presenting this afternoon on what we've done with the blog, as well as some of the Library 2.0 tools I mentioned above. Our session will be podcasted and I'm looking forward to sharing the link here. In the meantime, check out the Summit web site to see some of the terrific sessions we're attending today.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Photos: Palmer Auditorium Roof Work

Originally uploaded by carmichaellibrary

The work on Palmer Auditorium roof is now underway! We've been watching the materials pile up since late last week and this morning the crew began assembling the scaffolding that will allow them to reach the Auditorium's high ceiling. See all four shots we took of the work this morning at our Flickr.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Video: It's a Thick Book

We were thrilled to find that Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform (ACCR) have made their 45-minute documentary, "It's a Thick Book," available online. The film was directed by Lewis Lehe, who got his first taste of Alabama politics when he went to the polls to vote in 2004.

Lehe approached ACCR and got a grant to work on the film. Using his computer and fairly rudimentary equipment, it took him the better part of a year to put it together.

A couple of weeks ago, Lehe was interviewed by the state politics blog Doc's Political Parlor. The young filmmaker talked about his efforts to keep the film nonpartisan:

"The thing I was most concerned about, I wanted the movie to be value neutral. About 40% of it is econ stuff, so you can’t really argue with that so much. Part of if it is history, and you can’t really argue that.

"It really is value neutral. There is no proposal in the film. It just highlights the problems.

It's a good piece of work no matter where one stands on the issue of constitutional reform. You can view the entire documentary at the ACCR website via Google Video.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Flickr Account

The Library has a new Flickr account (thanks to Jason Cooper). We've uploaded a few pictures, and we'll add more soon. To click into our Flickr photos, click on the link to the right (you might have to scroll down a bit).

Internet Archive and The Wayback Machine

The Internet Archive was founded in 1996 with the intent of establishing an internet library. It's filled with video, sound, text, software, and archived web pages. One of the coolest features, in my opinion, is that it archives web content after web sites go down or after webmasters remove stuff. If your favorite site has disappeared (or if you would like to see content that has been removed), you might be able to find what you're looking for using The Wayback Machine, which is hosted at the Internet Archive.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Library's Calendar

Jason recently added our new calendar (to the right of the screen--you might have to scroll down a bit). You can use this calendar to keep up with upcoming library events.

Friday, June 01, 2007