December 17, 2009

Holiday closures and downtime

Alloway Library will be closed for the Christmas break. Our last day of service is Wednesday December 23 and operations will resume on Monday January 4, 2010. View our hours online for more details.

On December 29th the University Data Center will experience downtime due to required scheduled maintenance of the Fire Suppression system. The date was selected in order to minimize impact to the users of the various systems provided by the University.

Among the services affected will be all websites hosted on campus including Alloway Library's web-based services such as the catalogue, databases and InterLibrary Loan services.

The maintenance is scheduled to last only a couple of hours and we expect to have all systems functional and back online by early afternoon on the same day.

December 16, 2009

Napoleon returns to library after 60 years

I love theses long-overdue stories because they always have a happy ending for the library and the tardy patron.
From the Toledo Blade December 9, 2009. By Janet Romaker:
It was sometime in 1949. The patron perhaps was a teenager, in a hurry to get home with research materials for a homework assignment on Napoleon Bonaparte. In his haste - or hers, - he failed to check out a famous biography of Napoleon, written by Emil Ludwig.
For 60 some years the patron cradled Napoleon with care. He protected it when he moved from his home in Toledo, Ohio. But as decades passed, the 707-page book weighed heavier and heavier.

Ah yes, the burden of guilt. "Carrying guilt for 60 years is a terrible thing," the patron wrote in a letter addressed to "Dear Librarian, I removed this book from your stacks in 1949 and did not check it out. I apologize. It's an excellent book and in good condition," the patron wrote, signing off with "Sorry, An ex-Toledoan."

Meanwhile, library staff continue to weave whodunit theories. They know that the book was mailed with a Beverly Hills, Calif., ZIP code on its cancellation mark. They wonder, what triggered the return 60 years later? Maybe he's gravely ill, and the letter is a "death-bed confession." Or perhaps he figured it's as good a time as any. Well, actually, if that's the case, he's a smidge early. National Return the Borrowed Books Week won't be held again until March.

Currently, fines at Toledo Public Library are a modest .20/day but after 60 years that totals to over $4300. This item however was stolen and could have landed the patron in court and expelled from the library. Toledo however is not pursuing the matter. Rhonda Sewell, spokesman for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, looks on it as a sign of the spirit of the holiday - someone doing a good thing, someone righting a wrong. No matter how long it takes.
It's never too late to return lost or stolen books to Alloway Library.

December 15, 2009

Santa says "Read"

A special visitor stopped by Alloway Library last week. After delivering candy canes to all the good boys and girls studying hard for finals, he picked out some books from the library's Christmas Collection display on the main level. Santa told us he expects to have some quiet time during the Christmas break to read and listen to some great music.

Don't be shy- ask!

Don't be embarrassed to ask Alloway Librarians for help, that's what we are here for.

According to a Survey of American College Students by Primary Research Group about 20% of students miss out on getting valuable help in using library resources for one bad reason or another.

Just under 10% of the students in the sample said that asking the reference librarian a question was a little embarrassing and that consequently they tried to figure things out for themselves.

Another 10% said that the reference librarians seem busy and that they would be pestering them by asking them for assistance.

Alloway Librarians are are never too busy to help with your library-related questions! To chat or email, just contact us! Or visit in-person. You can be sure that your inquiries are always treated with professional discretion.Alloway Librarians Sylvia Stopforth, Duncan Dixon, Ron Braid and Bill Badke.

December 14, 2009

A widget to search all of Nature

Nature Publishing Group (NPG) now offers a new way to search the platform via OpenSearch. One handy way to interface with OpenSearch is via a simple but powerful desktop widget designed for searching research articles and news items on The easy-to-use tool uses keyword searches or other searches and covers material published from 1869 to the present day for the entire database.

Available for both Mac and PC, the widgets allow users to search without visiting the website. Searches are put together and sent by the widget, and results can be browsed with links back to the relevant article on The widgets are available for download at Apple Downloads and Yahoo! Widgets Gallery.

This 4-minute clip provides a useful overview of the new tool. OpenSearch is the latest example of NPG's drive to improve availability and maximize usability for the research and information communities.

December 12, 2009

Another pair of Companions

The TWU Graduate Students Association has generously provide funding for another two Cambridge Companions to Philosophy, Religion and Culture e-books series:
are now available for access via Alloway Library's catalogue.

The library has nearly 130 titles in this series, in online and print formats.

December 09, 2009

Tiger Woods: Bookseller?

U.K. physics professor John Gribbin has seen sales of his book, Get a Grip on Physics, spike after a photo showed the book on the floor of golfer Tiger Woods' wrecked car.

December 08, 2009

Tiny Library Never Closes

They lost their bookmobile, and then their phone booth, but the folks of a Somerset village found a way to gain a library by converting the phone booth into a 24-hour citizen-supported book exchange.
Read more here.

December 05, 2009

What will you put in yours?

Alloway Library book bags make great gifts and great gift bags.
Strong, stylish and just $3 (taxes included) at Alloway Library.

What will you put in yours?

December 03, 2009

Publishers pursue profits online

Two recent news stories tell us that we can expect a digital shakeup and a monetary shakedown in the way we access popular magazines and newspapers as publishers find ways to increase revenues and adapt to a digital age.

According to a New York Times story, major magazine publishers including Hearst, Time Inc. and Conde Nast plan to launch an iTunes style newsstand to sell digital versions of their magazines. The new venture would, in theory, make it easy to buy print and electronic copies of publications like The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, Esquire and Good Housekeeping from a single Web site.

“It’s increasingly clear that finding the right digital business model is crucial for the future of our business,” said Ann Moore, the Time Inc. chairwoman. The alliance of competing publishers would develop software standards for magazine viewing on iPhones, BlackBerrys, e-book readers and other platforms.

The magazine industry has been generally slow in experimenting with digital products, but they have shown more interest this year in extending the print experience and audience. This month Condé Nast became one of the first publishers to repurpose an entire magazine issue for the iPhone, selling a copy of GQ as an application for $2.99.

And the TimesOnline reports that Google will allow publishers to set a limit on the number of free news articles people can read through search queries and Google News. The move follows claims from some media figures that the Google is profiting from online news provided by newspaper groups.

The Google First Click Free program has, until now, allowed users to read any story on newspaper websites, including content that is subscription only, provided they search through Google. Now users who click on more than five articles in a day may be routed to payment or registration pages of publishers using the program.

Google will also begin crawling, indexing and treating as free any preview pages — such as the headline and first few paragraphs of a news story — from those websites that charge to access their content. Based on Google’s ranking algorithms, the result could be that “free” content may rank higher in search results than fee-based content. "That is not a decision we make based on whether or not it's free. It's simply based on the popularity of the content with users and other sites that link to it.” Josh Cohen, Google's senior business product manager, said.

Google’s concessions come in the wake of continued discussions and moves within media companies and publishers on how to charge for content on their websites.

At Alloway Library, we continue to subscribe to a selection of popular magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals you can read in the library, or online – for free.

December 01, 2009

The library of the future to be built in Denmark

So, if everything goes according to Google's plan and every book ever written will soon be digitized, what's the point of a physical library?

In Aarhaus, Denmark, Mediaspace – the library of the future – may provide the answer. Since year 2000, all library systems in Denmark are required to collect and communicate a wide range of other media than the book – CDs, DVDs and even software for computers.

Mediaspace is set to be the physical embodiment of a goal to give Danish citizens a place to connect with every conceivable form of media – and more importantly, with each other. It will host rock concerts, lectures and multimedia exhibits. There will be flexible learning spaces. It will be the city's online information exchange, with librarians functioning more like new world navigators and people connectors.

Responding recently to the concept of Mediaspace, Rolf Hapel, director of Aarhus's public libraries, said, "The library has never been just about books."

The 30,000 square metre MediaSpace will be the largest public library in Scandanavia.

With files from The Star)