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Today in History: Library of Congress Is Established 

If you happen to stroll along First Street in our nation's capitol, you will stop dead in your tracks to admire the Thomas Jefferson Building, a grand example of the Beaux Arts; marble, granite, gold, bronze, and mahogany are among the fine materials used in a lead design by 19th century Washington architects, John L. Smithmeyer …

Posted a month ago by

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#Colorourcollections, Mo Willems, & Book Chains 

#Colorourcollections February 6th - 10th is #colorourcollections week! Libraries and Special Collections around the world have digitized parts of their collections for you to color and enjoy. There are 95 different organizations participating this year, including Digital Public Library of America and Biodiversity Heritage Library. A full list of participating organizations can be found here<span style="font-weight: …

Posted 3 months ago by

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Be a Detective: Art, Artifacts, and Artful Historical Research 

Practice-Teaching: Detail Of GL00-BB04-FF05-DR03-0053 (n/a, 1904-1922), by Unknown. Students of Arthur Wesley Dow Collection. Courtesy of Teachers College, Columbia University. If you are curious about the history of art education, anatomy of artifacts, and nature of historical research, then this guide will serve to illuminate. Think of yourself as a detective, with an insatiable desire …

Posted 7 months ago by

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Visiting the Cooper Hewitt, Part II 

Even before we set out on our family field trip, I am asked about "The Chair", whose lucky sitter can rock from side to side, or spin around in a complete circle – reminiscent of a top twirling off its axis to slow down. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick and distributed by Herman Miller, the Spun Chair (also …

Posted 11 months ago by

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Values and Learning Modalities 

“Pass It On” TV commercials from Values.com were the experimental learning modality used at the monthly meeting of the Socratic Conversations on Thursday, September 18th.  In Lights! Camera!! Values!!? the group explored their basic values by responding to one-minute dramatic pieces on significant themes, like believing in yourself (courage and perseverance), making a difference (generosity …

Posted 32 months ago by

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Summer of Firsts 

Home to work, this is a summer of firsts; lovely lemonade stand to foldable four-point crab trap, experiment we go: there's dog walking (for a puggle named Jennifer); horseback riding with Magic, Dock, and Bequita; an oyster harvest at Peconic Bay; walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on surely the hottest day; and tour of Four …

Posted 32 months ago by

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See the ABC of It! 

Through March 23, the NYPL's Schwarzman Building is host to an illuminating exhibition on children's books: The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter. Although it's safe to say that most people in the TC community are already convinced that children's books matter, a peek at this show reveals the hidden historical context of many …

Posted 40 months ago by

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Have Libraries Lessened the Importance of Structured Education? 

There was a time when libraries kept their books under lock and key, stored away behind gates, too precious for anyone to touch. Books were only accessible to university professors or, in the case of the Library Company of Philadelphia, benefactors. Books were still so rare that, in order to preserve them, only a limited …

Posted 44 months ago by

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Libraries that play “hard to find.” 

The Gottesman Library at TC is pretty easy to find, with its prominent location at the end of campus and its five floors of open study space and book shelves. But some libraries are more elusive, almost intentionally hard to find. Today, the New York Times noted that the City Hall Library, located inside New …

Posted 46 months ago by

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‘Tis the Season: Professional Development Opportunity 

Christmas trees made out of books, elevator speeches, and soundbites? These are just a few ideas shared by Kathy Dempsey, Consultant and Owner of Libraries Are Essential, in a workshop, What Accidental Library Marketers Need to Know”, held on December 8th at the New York Metropolitan Reference and Research Library Agency. Ms. Dempsey enthusiastically outlined …

Posted 54 months ago by

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Everything is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger 

If you want to know what we're learning in core classes at library science school these days, just take a look at this video. I won't say that it covers everything I learned in class is in the video, but I will say that everything in the video is something I learned in class. While …

Posted 61 months ago by

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The e-book war in public libraries 

A recently published article in on Mind/Shift clearly articulates the e-book lending war between libraries and publishers--namely, that publishers feel threatened by the ease with which patrons can check out e-books, and are trying to encumber public libraries with book lending restrictions, making it expensive, more difficult, or in some cases simply impossible to lend …

Posted 61 months ago by

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Awful Library Books (somewhere else) 

Weeding... A necessary and often painful reality of collecting books for any library is the fact that librarians must also weed. No one who loves books enjoys the thought of getting rid of books, and yet, there are many tremendously positive reasons for deaccessioning titles the library no longer has use for: an outdated concept …

Posted 65 months ago by

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Manifestos on Digital Humanities 

While researching for one of my library science classes, I recently came across two different manifestos  for the Digital Humanities.  Digital Humanities has been an increasingly hot topic over the last five years or so, thanks to an increasing amount of humanities scholars blogging on scholarly topics (some examples are Planned Obsolescence

Posted 67 months ago by

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Meet Eric 

Eric has been working at the Gottesman Libraries since January! Eric is our library tech support worker. You can see him fixing the computers and setting up the laptops and projectors in the library classrooms. His sense of humor keeps all of us workers laughing. Are you a Teachers College student, and, if so, what …

Posted 67 months ago by

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The Bookless Library 

Phones have gone cordless, the Internet has gone wireless.  Offices have gone paperless. Why shouldn't libraries go bookless? Over the last two decades, libraries have kept up with the digital shift, among other reasons, partly to remain up-to-date in their mission of organizing and providing access to information (OPACs should make relevant books easier to …

Posted 67 months ago by

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Library Ghosts 

Libraries can be scary places.  Perhaps the theoretical underpinnings of the library as an institution is to blame for this (see an earlier post on this subject), or simply the experience of searching for a book all alone in a tall, narrow aisle in the deserted stacks, where any slight noise makes you jump.  Whatever …

Posted 67 months ago by

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On books, and the death of print 

For years I’ve proudly declared myself a print enthusiast, the kind of person who cringes when hearing the phrase “print is dead,” and yet I have a perhaps morbid (ahem) fascination with the e-book reader debate.  In particular, I find it curious how many New York Times writers publish nervous pieces about their worry over …

Posted 68 months ago by

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Room for Debate: Are School Librarians Expendable? 

The New York Times "Room for Debate" series often features smart commentary on genuinely interesting issues. This recent edition is no exception: Room for Debate: Are School Librarians Expendable? The authors raise a number of important points: How can we prevent libraries from being undervalued when their true value is so difficult to measure? Can …

Posted 71 months ago by

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Plattsburgh via Angel Wings: Sharing SUNY LA 

I learn that the theme for SUNY LA 2011, Shared Borders: Collaborating for Success, is inspired partly by its physical locale. Plattsburgh is bordered by a sixth great lake and close to the Canadian border. It’s way up there, the “north country,” as they like to call it. For me, a SUNY LA “first timer,” …

Posted 72 months ago by

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