Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Paranormal Group Seeks King's Spirit

UM alum Justin Averette has written an interesting piece about a group that's been active here on campus looking for evidence of the haunts of King House.

Writes Averette, "The Gulf States Paranormal Society is made up of mostly Shelby and Jefferson County residents. They get together about twice a month and investigate 'haunted' places like King House."

I spoke to a member of this group earlier in the week, who claimed that they heard footsteps and voices on the second floor of the historic structure when they were here most recently.

Averette's story was published in the Shelby County Reporter on October 31, 2007.

Access to FirstSearch and BooksInPrint Restored

As of a few minutes ago, access to FirstSearch and BooksInPrint has been restored. Sorry for the inconvenience. Please let us know if you have any problems.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Access to FirstSearch and BooksInPrint

We have temporarily lost access to FirstSearch and BooksInPrint. Sorry for the inconvenience. Hopefully, we can get this fixed by some time tomorrow. Stay "tuned" to the blog for more info.

IL Day 2

I have arrived at the epicenter of Library geekdom. Everywhere I look, there are librarians on laptops, using Palms and Blackberries, and talking on cell phones. These are my people.

This morning, however, I decided to skip the day's keynote address so I could catch up on sleep (Sunday was a LONG day of travel) and get my daily workout by walking along the seafront. The chorus of seals was amazing! They are everywhere in the harbor. The noise they make, especially when they're barking while under the wharf, is amazing.

Back to the conference. Yesterday, I attended a couple of interesting sessions on web design and web tools. I have a long list of new tools (toys?) to check out, and I'll be posting here about them as I experiment with them. Two speakers talked about the process their institution used to redesign the library web site, and I hope to use a lot of that information as we take a closer look at Carmichael's web site this spring.

Today, I'm in a day-long session on libraries in Second Life, and I'm speaking as part of a panel this afternoon. It's interesting to get to meet many of my SL colleagues face to face and to hear more about what they're doing in world.

I'll let you know how the presentation goes later today.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Internet Librarian

I'm on the road again, attending the Internet Librarian conference in Monterey, CA. I'm speaking tomorrow with a panel of other librarians working in Second Life, but today I get to be part tourist, part conference attendee.

After a long, long day of traveling yesterday (it's not a good sign when you arrive at the airport in a tow truck!), I took a quick walk down to Fisherman's Wharf this morning to watch a group of seals cavorting in the bay. At that time, it was sunny and quite pleasant, but by the time the sessions let out for lunch, it had become cloudy and cool.

The most interesting session so far was the keynote address from Lee Raine, Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. This project has been studying how Americans of all ages use and interact with the Internet. One of their most recent projects, and one that Raine discussed, is the Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users. Types range from the Omnivores, who have all the latest gadgets and are highly engaged with creating content to the Off the Network people who neither have nor want information technologies. You can take a brief online quiz to find out your own type.

I've taken the quiz a couple of times, and my results seem to vary with my mood. For example, today, when I'm away from home and dealing with car problems by long distance, I appreciate the connectivity my laptop and cell phone give me. When I took the quiz just now, I showed up as an Omnivore.

The type I identify with, however, when I read the descriptions is the Lackluster Veteran. These folks use information technologies a great deal, but they aren't thrilled with the idea of being connected to everyone all the time. Even though I have high-speed internet at home, there are days when I deliberately don't bring the laptop home so I can just ignore the rest of the world, read a good book, and spend some quality time with the cats and the dog. Given the cost of the car repair I'll have to pay for when I get home, I may be doing a lot more of that in the future!

I'm sending some photos to Jason Cooper to post on the Flickr site, so watch there for sightings of marine animals, crazy librarians, or interesting scenery.

Day of the Dead

Don't miss the chance to see the annual presentation of Day of the Dead altars here in the library. Student groups were here on Friday to construct the altars and they'll be up all week. Also, check our Flickr account for new Day of the Dead photos, which will posted in the coming days.

The library would like to invite the entire UM community to join us for presentations of the altars, as well as a discussion of Day of the Dead traditions. On Thursday, art professor Michelle Duran-McClure will be here with her class from 2:00 to 3:15. On Friday, we'll host professor of Spanish Eric Vaccarella and his students from 12:15 to 1:30. Dr. Duran-McClure's class is honoring children while Dr. Vaccarella's class will honor adults. Refreshments will be served during both presentations this week.

Day of the Dead Ofrenda to Ronald Reagan uploaded by Carmichael Library.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bibliography of Ghost Stories

Call it a just-for-fun, just-in-time bibliography: here is but a small sample of the ghost stories that can be found in our catalog. YP indicates a book in our Young People Collection; all other items can be found in the Circulating Book Collection.

Almond, David. Kit's Wilderness. (2000) YP PZ7.A448 K5 1999

Brown, Alan. Shadows and Cypress: Southern Ghost Stories. (2000) BF1472.U6 B745 2000

Greenberg, Martin Harry. A Newbery Halloween: Thirteen Scary Stories by Newbery Award-winning Authors. (1993) YP PZ5 .N395 1993

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The House of the Seven Gables. (1967 ed.) PS1861 .A1 1967

Haskins, James. The Headless Haunt and Other African-American Ghost Stories. (1994) YP PZ8.1.H267 H4 1994

Leodhas, Sorche Nic. Ghosts Go Haunting. (1965) PZ8.1 .L4237 G 1965

McKissack, Pat. The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural. (1992) YP PZ7.M478693 D3 1992

McSherry, Frank D, ed. Great American Ghost Stories. (1992) PS648.G48 G7

Scarborough, Dorothy. Humorous Ghost Stories. (1921) PZ1.S285 H8

Wagenknecht, Edward. The Fireside Book of Ghost Stories. (1947) PZ1.W12 F5

Windham, Kathryn Tucker. 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey. (1969) GR580.W55 (Also available as an electronic book.)

--. Jeffrey's Favorite 13 Ghost Stories. (2004) YP BF1472.U6 W563 2004

Also, if you're looking for some spooky audio downloads, here are a couple of titles that may be of interest:

Estleman, Loren D. Journey of the Dead. (2005)

Massey, Brandon. Dark Corner. (2006)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Montevallo Ghost Stories

As warm as it's been it hardly feels like October, but this is the time of year when interest in Montevallo's ghost stories reaches its peak. Alan May contributed a series of posts last year on UM's famous haunts, which include sightings in Main, King, Hanson, and Reynolds Halls. For a more complete list of these spooky tales, check the circulation desk for our collection, which is on a one-hour reserve. Also, stay tuned for a bibliography of ghost stories to be posted here in the coming days.

Photo of Jack-o-lanterns by Peter Dutton. Creative Commons license

Friday, October 12, 2007

Now in Carmichael Lobby: Student Book Art

For the third time since 2005, Carmichael Library presents an exhibit of student book art. The projects currently on display in the library foyer are the result of two projects in Professor Patrick Mayton's popular Book Arts class: an origami book project, and a book alteration using books donated by the library.

Our two previous showings were during summer terms and this year's display marks the first time that visitors to the library can see these works in the heart of the academic year. If you've already seen these unique pieces be sure to check back often as the display will be updated throughout the coming weeks.

Joel Bullock took the terrific photos posted in this blog and you can see even more by heading over to our library Flickr page.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Playing Soon at UM Theatre: The Seagull

If you've been anywhere on campus over the past week you won't have missed these signs advertising the opening act of this year's theatre season. Anton Chekhov's The Seagull will open on Friday and play through the weekend.

The Mass Communication department produced a video with cast members Carl Maguire, Megan Stein, B. J. Underwood, Kelsey Sherrer, and Stephen Elkins. In it, a student interviewer asks the actors to talk about their characters in the play. Also appearing in the video is director Vladimir Rovinsky, who makes comments on the cast and his last Montevallo show. You can watch the video at the Mass Comm website. More information on this weekend's production can be seen here.

Finally, you can find a copy of The Seagull here in the library on the second floor at PG3456.A19. Check availability of our copies here.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Common Errors in English

Paul Brians, a professor of English at Washington State University, has produced an excellent resource for students and others with his Common Errors in English. Here is a sample entry from Dr. Brian's website:

There are five distinct words here. When “affect” is accented on the final syllable (a-FECT), it is usually a verb meaning “have an influence on”: “The million-dollar donation from the industrialist did not affect my vote against the Clean Air Act.”

Occasionally a pretentious person is said to affect an artificial air of sophistication. Speaking with a borrowed French accent or ostentatiously wearing a large diamond ear stud might be an affectation. In this sort of context, “affect” means “to make a display of or deliberately cultivate.”

Another unusual meaning is indicated when the word is accented on the first syllable (AFF-ect), meaning “emotion.” In this case the word is used mostly by psychiatrists and social scientists— people who normally know how to spell it.

The real problem arises when people confuse the first spelling with the second: “effect.” This too can be two different words. The more common one is a noun: “When I left the stove on, the effect was that the house filled with smoke.” When you affect a situation, you have an effect on it.

The less common is a verb meaning “to create”: “I’m trying to effect a change in the way we purchase widgets.” No wonder people are confused. Note especially that the proper expression is not “take affect” but “take effect”—become effective. Hey, nobody ever said English was logical: just memorize it and get on with your life.

The stuff in your purse? Your personal effects.
I'll admit it: I still have to look that one up. Anyway, this is a terrific website.

Founders Week at UM

This week marks the 111th observance of Founders Day at the University of Montevallo. In addition to Thursday's official ceremony at 11:00 a.m. in the McChesney Student Activity Center there are a number of events on campus this week, including:
  • Spruce-Up Day this afternoon, coordinated by the Environmental Club
  • The inaugural Heritage Concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, in LeBaron Recital Hall featuring the Miami String Quartet
  • “Battle of the Bands,” which will tentatively include at least five bands competing Wednesday evening, Oct. 10, at the Alabama Coach Company restaurant (time: TBA)
  • The hiding of the Crook, a UM tradition since 1926
  • The 10th annual Life Raft Debate on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. in the McChesney Student Activity Center
You can always celebrate the founding of UM at your campus library. Perennial favorites in our collection include Years Rich and Fruitful: University of Montevallo 1896-1996, by former library director and UM alum Mary Frances Tipton, and White Columns & Red Brick: the University of Montevallo Buildings, by Lucille Griffith.

Friday, October 05, 2007

UC Berkely Offers Full Courses on YouTube--But Not for Credit

UC Berkeley now formally offers videos of full course lectures via YouTube. According to an article in today's San Francisco Chronicle, the University plans to record 50 classes each semester and make them freely available. As it turns out, Berkely began offering courses over the Internet in 1995, and the University sees the YouTube classes as an extension of the courses offered at

Read the Chronicle article here.