Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kentucky Archives Month Poster

Sharon McGee, Blazer Library’s Archives Records Manager/Librarian, was the Creative Designer for the 2011 Archives Month poster created each year by a member of the Kentucky Archives Month Coordinating Committee. The poster is created in celebration of Archives Month and is distributed to over 300 repositories in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and to every state in the nation, including the U. S. Territories. Archives Month is an annual celebration of the importance of archives and historical records and of the work institutions do to preserve these unique resources. Members of the Kentucky Archives Month Coordinating Committee submit images from their institution that relate to the theme for the year to be used in the poster. The theme for this year is Military, in honor of Kentucky’s rich military heritage. The facilities and their collections at our Kentucky institutions are quite varied, but together, they hold a rich documentary legacy which shapes our understanding of the state’s past and our assessment of its future. Kentucky’s Archives Month gives all participants a wonderful opportunity to meet new users, build institutional support, showcase holdings, and to explain why preserving history is important. Kentucky Archives Month is sponsored by the Kentucky State Historical Records Advisory Board, the Kentucky Council on Archives, and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. For more information on Kentucky Archives Month, visit

Friday, September 16, 2011

LearningExpress Library Trial

Check out the trial of the resource LearninExpress Library available until October 31, 2011. LearningExpress Library is an innovative, Web-based learning solution that provides patrons, from elementary students to adult learners, with instant access to the most comprehensive collection of test preparation tools, skill-building materials, and career resources available. Over 1,000 online practice tests and interactive skill-building tutorials are available. There are also tutorials and tools for popular software such as Photoshop and Excel, and Admissions and Placement Preparation.

Check out this resource on the library's database page and let us know what you think. You can view a demo of LearningExpress Library by clicking on this link.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blazer Library iPhone App

Got an iPhone or iPod Touch? If you do then you can download Blazer Library's new iPhone app, Blazer, from iTunes.

Paul G. Blazer Library's iPhone app includes access to library resources such as the catalog and other mobile resources that include various databases. In addition, check to see when the library is open, how to contact us with any questions, view library maps, renews items, and connect to us through different social networking sites. The application also has a built in barcode scanner that interprets ISBN barcodes and QR codes.

Click on this link or search "Blazer" in iTunes to download the app.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Blazer Library Android App

Got an Anroid device? If you do then you can download Blazer Library's new Android App, PGB Library, from the Android Market.

Paul G. Blazer Library's Android app includes access to library resources such as the catalog and other mobile resources that include various databases. In addition, check to see when the library is open, contact us with any questions, view library maps, renew items, and connect to us through different social networking sites. The applicaiton also has a built in feature that allows you to enter an ISBN barcode and search to see if it is available at Blazer Library.

Click on this link or search "PGB" in the Android Market to download the app. Also, be on the look out for an upcoming iPhone application and redesigned mobile website that are to be released soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Do You Know Tabeleau?

My goal upon returning from the ALA (American Library Association) National Conference in New Orleans last month was to dedicate several blog entries to outlining my favorite sessions. Having taken a few weeks to digest all that I took in, however, I have come to the realization that perhaps not everyone would find such musings interesting or relevant. So, instead of waxing poetic on my favorite new trends in libraries and information sharing, I thought it might be useful to instead share some actual tools I encountered while there.

Tableau was one such tool and it captivated me instantly. The Tableau website promises to "make data a first class citizen on the web". With its easy to use structure - relying wholly on "drag and drop" - Tableau makes it incredibly easy to visualize data via any of your organization's web presences. Below you will find a simple example I created in 15 minutes, demonstrating the increase in use of one of Blazer's subscription databases, Literature Resource Center. With increasing demands for accountability in service (not just within libraries, but within all institutions, really), it is easy to envision the applications for pushing evidence of achievement back to demanding constituents.

After you check out my example, make your own. Visit Tabelau at:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Take a look...

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well”  - Voltaire

This last year has presented me with the opportunity to visit many breathtaking libraries, both public and academic. Working as I do in a library that is in need of some serious cosmetic changes, it is sometimes difficult to focus on what is right about my home away from home. Sure, our rugs are stained and unravelling, our roof is leaking, and much of our furniture is worse for wear, but there is a lot of beauty still left to be enjoyed at Blazer. While staking out locations for the library's upcoming virtual tour (still in progress), I took a few photos that made me feel especially fortunate to be here.

Location: Second floor study area, overlooking the sunny atrium referenced later in this post.

A peaceful island on the second floor. With a lovely view and soft natural light, this is a popular study spot.

Location: Second Floor Stacks, looking towards the end of the "P" range.

The beauty in the symmetry of the stacks never ceases to amaze me.

Location: 1st floor stacks between the end of the General Collection and the beginning of Government Documents.

This strangely tropical area is as lovely as it is quiet, making it a welcome refuge during the noisiest parts of the semester. Beware, however, that sitting on the soft sofa and basking in the sunlight that streams through this window is likely to make you drowsy. I have more than once fallen asleep here on my lunch breaks.

Location: Study tables immediately in front of the Reference Desk.
This just looks scholarly. What else can I say?

Location: 1st floor stacks between the end of the General Collection and the beginning of Government Documents.
This is as cheerful a sculpture as can be found anywhere on our campus. It  makes me think of the stick figure drawings of children.

Location - 1st floor study room near Reference
I saw this in one of our study rooms and was romanced by it in a way that can only be explained by my ignorance of the subject matter. To me, so much of science reads like a dead language - beautiful, archaic and firmly beyond my grasp. To the student who wrote this, this is probably very dull indeed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Saucy Summer Reads

Summer is here again and if you are anything like me, beating the heat is as much a mental game as a physical process.Whether you are lounging poolside with a cold drink perspiring next to you or escaping into the cool comfort of air-conditioning, you won't truly find solace from the overwhelming weather until you distract yourself with a good book. Listed below are some saucy titles so rich in drama that you won't remember what day it is, let alone how hot it is, once you lose yourself within their pages.

*** book descriptions provided by ***


How Stella got her groove back       by Terry McMillan
African/African-American Collection
PS3563 .C3868 H68 1996

Stella Payne is a Superwoman who has everything--except a man to rock her world, something she's convinced she can well do without. On a spur-of-the-moment Jamaican vacation she meets Winston, a man half her age, and finds, to her dismay, that her world is indeed well and truly rocked. Stella soon realizes that she's come to a cataclysmic juncture in her life, one that forces new and difficult questions about her passions and expectations.

Her little black book             by Brenda Jackson.
African/African-American Collection      
PS3560 .A21165 H47 2008

It's less than a week before Sonya Morrison's wedding when she decides to pass her legendary little black book on to her cousin Courtney Andrews along with all of her best wishes. Courtney, who's fast approaching thirty, thinks every woman she knows has somehow met a man who is husband material except for her. So Sonya’s little black book seems to be just what she needs. That's until Courtney discovers she and her cousin have completely different tastes when it comes to men. But just when she is about to give up and toss the infamous little black book into the garbage, she meets Lake Masters. Nearly ten years her senior, he’s a lot older than the men she’s normally attracted to, but he’s handsome, intelligent, wealthy, and a man who is determined to sweep her off her feet. But the road to love is never easy and Courtney may find that her little black book is more a curse than a blessing.

Up to no good            by Carl Weber

African/African-American Collection
PS3573 .E2164 U7b 2009

There's always a man around the corner, and church trustee James Black should know--he's usually that very man. The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Something on the Side" introduces a deliciously dysfunctional family in this new page-turning novel filled with intrigue, sex, and surprises. Annotation: The Black family has a few issues to work out. The father, James, is finally ready to put his player days behind him and settle down, but his lover is the same age as his daughter, Jamie, who has problems of her own, as she tries to discover the mystery woman who has been stalking her man. Meanwhile, James's son Darnel catches his fiance in bed with his best friend, Omar, and he finds himself in jail after exacting a brutal vengeance. This is only the beginning of the soap opera, as the family fights to stick together through a series of unbelievable twists and turns, both in the streets and between the sheets.

Thug lovin'          by Wahida Clark
African/African-American Collection
PS3603 .L3695 T47 2009

Tasha and Trae, the hood's favorite couple, are still together following the events of Thug Matrimony. Even with their relocation to sunny Los Angeles, the drama of New York cannot be escaped. From running a nightclub to dealing with models, shady lawyers, big money, new kinds of temptations, seductions, and drugs-not to mention new love interests-can this infamous couple weather all the storms and keep it together?

More drama in the church : a novel         by Dynah Zale
African/African-American Collection
PS3626 .A627 M67 2008

Tressie faithfully prayed every night that God would send her a thug. It wasn't long before her prayers were answered and she met a handsome ex-convict named Payce Boyd. Payce is a fine ruffneck and everything Tressie ever imagined and more. That is until Tressie experiences first hand the reality of being a thug's girl. Seeking solace and comfort in the sanctuary, Tressie soon learns valuable lessons and shocking truths about herself and others. Share in Tressie's journey through love, lust, self-doubt, and Drama in the Church.