Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Death of Dr. Marvin Narz

We at the library are extremely saddened to learn that Marvin Narz, associate professor in the Michael E. Stephens College of Business and a member of the UM faculty since 1978, died Friday, July 24, of apparent complications from open-heart surgery performed earlier that week.

Services will be held Wednesday, July 29th, at 1:00 p.m. at the Church of Brook Highland. The address is 7160 Cahaba Valley Road in Birmingham.

Dr. Narz taught in the Stephens College of Business for more than 30 years. We wish his friends, family and colleagues our deepest sympathies.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Recycled catalog cards = C-art-alog


Ever wonder what to do with old movie ticket stubs or stock cards of any type? Look to the University of Iowa's digital cARTalog. There you will find wonderful examples of art made from old catalog cards and an inspiration for repurposing in this increasing paperless society.

Once on the site look for the gallery where you can see all the examples of this unusual art. Maybe you'll become a cartalogist!

Patsy Sears

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Online Resources: Cabell's Directories of Publishing Opportunities

The library has acquired online access to all four of Cabell's Directories of Publishing Opportunities in the fields of business. The four areas covered by the directories are Accounting, Economics & Finance, Management, and Marketing. In addition to the business directories, we still have access to the Educational Psychology & Administration directory.

The online directories are continuously updated and will replace the print versions in our Reference Collection. These resources are accessible via our catalog or databases by name web page. As with all of our subscribed content, access is restricted to the UM community.

SOAR: Student Orientation And Registration

Carmichael Library is pleased to welcome Transfer Students, Freshmen, and Parents to campus this week for the 2009 Student Orientation and Registration (SOAR). The purpose of orientation is to help transition you into the intellectual, cultural and social climate of Montevallo. Please feel free to stop by the library to see what we can do to assist you throughout your college career, or to rest a bit and check your Email and update your Facebook. While you're at it, become a fan of Carmichael Library!

The Library will also be represented at the Orientation Expo July 20th-22nd. Please consider stopping by the Carmichael Library table in the Anna Irving Dining Hall on these days to see a selection of the types of resources the library has.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Introducing: American History in Video

We're excited to announce our newest database, American History in Video. This collection of streaming video includes commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and documentaries. The collection now includes over 1470 titles, including new documentaries from PBS, equaling approximately 460 hours.

American History in Video is produced by Alexander Street Press, which is also the publisher behind one of my favorite Carmichael databases, Classical Music Library. The Flash player is needed to watch the video in this collection and access is restricted to members of the Montevallo community. Should you have questions about how to use this online collection for research or in the classroom, please contact us.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Catalog Working Again

Thanks to our partners in the Technology Services offices the catalog is again working and ready for your research needs. Remember to track this blog for updates on any catalog or database outages. As always, we appreciate your patience!

Library Catalog Down

The library catalog is currently unavailable. We're having a problem connecting to the server, and we've notified Technology Services. We'll post here again when the catalog is back online. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Library Closed July 3rd - 5th

Carmichael Library will be closed tomorrow, Friday, July 3rd through Sunday, July 5th in observance of the Independence Day holiday. We'll resume our normal business hours on Monday, July 6th at 8:00 AM. Have a safe and happy Fourth!

Photo Credit: Creative Commons license

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Introduction to Public History

During May Term 2009, Dr. Ruth Truss taught Introduction to Public History. Dr. Truss designed this course to give students a glimpse of Public History graduate programs and the job market in this new and growing field. Among many activities, the class toured the Alabama Department of Archives and History, American Village, and Carmichael Library's University Archive (May 26th).

While visiting the library, yours truly provided the class with information ranging from what our University Archive contains and how we preserve it to what it's like working as an Academic Librarian. In addition, the class visited the Archive room and viewed some of Montevallo's treasures.

Click here for more photos.

For more information on UM's Introduction to Public History course, please contact Dr. Ruth Truss or Carey Heatherly.

For more information on Public History, click here to visit the National Council on Public History website.

Ben Franklin and William Strunk

It was on this day in 1731 that Ben Franklin founded the first circulating library, a forerunner to the now ubiquitous free public library. He started it as a way to help settle intellectual arguments among his group of Philadelphia friends, the Junto, a group of civic-minded individuals gathered together to discuss the important issues of their day.

Each of the 50 charter members bought an initial share into the company (40 shillings), which helped fund the buying of books, and then paid a smaller yearly fee (10 shillings) that went to buying more books and maintaining the library. In exchange, the members could borrow any of the books. Donations of books were gladly accepted.

They called their charter the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the next year, Franklin hired America's first librarian, Louis Timothee. At first, the books were stored at the librarian's house, but by the end of the decade, they were moved to the Pennsylvania State House, which is now known as Independence Hall.

It's the birthday of grammarian William Strunk Jr., born in Cincinnati, Ohio (1869). He was a professor at Cornell University for 46 years, and during that time, he created the "little book" known as The Elements of Style (1918) in order to make it easier to grade his students' composition papers.

Strunk's book included seven "rules of usage" and 11 "principles of composition." He advised, for example, "USE THE ACTIVE VOICE" and "PUT STATEMENTS IN POSITIVE FORM" and "OMIT NEEDLESS WORDS." He elaborated: "Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts."

Under this, he proceeded to give a table of bad examples and counterpart good examples. He lists an expression that is a violator of the conciseness principle: "There is no doubt but that." In its place, he recommends the word "doubtless." In that same section, he says, "In especial the expression the fact that should be revised out of every sentence in which it occurs." In his table of bad usage and good usage, "owing to the fact that" is replaced with "because" and "in spite of the fact that" is replaced with "although."

He self-published the book, and for years, it was mostly only known around Cornell University in Ithaca. One of his students at Cornell in 1919 was E.B. White, who became an editor at The New Yorker magazine. White wrote an essay about Strunk's book for The New Yorker in 1957; it began, "A small book arrived in my mail not long ago, a gift from a friend in Ithaca."

In 1959, E.B. White, re-edited and resurrected his professor's book. Though White claimed that he was reluctant to pose as an authoritarian on rhetoric, he insisted, "Unless someone is willing to entertain notions of superiority, the English language disintegrates, just as a home disintegrates unless someone in the family sets standards of good taste, good conduct, and simple justice."

White revised the book further in 1972 and 1979. White said that while he was working on revisions of the book, he could visualize Strunk's "puckish face, short hair with middle part and bangs, blinking eyes, steel-rimmed glasses, nervously nibbled lips, and repeated adjurations to his students to be concise." The Elements of Style, in its various editions, has now sold more than 10 million copies. It's now often referred to simply as "Strunk & White." While many American college freshman and some aspiring writers have considered the book indispensable, others find it a source of great angst, and many esteemed writers have openly defied the conventions set forth, including Strunk's fellow Cornell literature professor Vladimir Nabokov. A new 50th anniversary edition of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style was published this year, and has brought a new wave of attention to the book. An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education a few months ago lambastes the book; Professor Geoffrey K. Pullman said that English syntax is "much too important to be reduced to a bunch of trivial don't-do-this prescriptions by a pair of idiosyncratic bumblers who can't even tell when they've broken their own misbegotten rules."

American author Dorothy Parker once wrote, "If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second-greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first-greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they're happy."

Patsy Sears by way of:
Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac