Research News

Shut Down but not Shut Out

The federal government may be shut down for a while, but the materials and staff of the federal documents depository at DPL are at your service!  Here are a few rundowns about what's going on during the shutdown.

 

The New York Times looks at the fates of different employees of government agencies.

Declawing: Cat-astrophic For Our Feline Friends

Earlier this summer, my veterinarian invited me to a screening of The Paw Project, a documentary about the practice of declawing cats.

Although it's considered inhumane and is illegal in most countries, it's a procedure that's still commonly performed in the United States.  This heartening new documentary chronicles veterinarian (and now filmmaker) Jennifer Conrad as she leads a courageous grassroots movement to enact legislation in California to ban the procedure, city by city.  She started out big, doing corrective surgery and rehabilitation on Hollywood lions and tigers who were maimed after being de-clawed so that they would be less dangerous while making films.

Talk Like a Pirate Today...Speak Polish or Portuguese or Punjabi Tomorrow

Talk Like a Pirate Day

 

 

Library staff have been blogging in anticipation of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is celebrated every September 19th. Did you know the Library's language acquisition database, Mango Languages, features Pirate as one of the 60 language courses available to customers?

How Did It Get to Be 5774 Already?

Rosh Hashanah plate

When the sun sets on Wednesday, September 4, Jews around the world will celebrate the new year 5774. Rosh Hashanah begins earlier than usual this year. Actually, it hasn't fallen this early on the secular calendar since 1899. To understand the Jewish calendar, there's no better place to go than Steve Morse's remarkable One-Step web sites. 

Many genealogists are familiar with Morse's portals for searching large databases like the Ellis Island Foundation. If you're looking for passenger lists, naturalization papers, census returns, or vital records, Steve Morse's powerful tools help in countless ways. Making sense of calendars can be a challenge for historians and genealogists. The Jewish calendar has fascinated Steve all his life, as he explains here. You'll find out exactly how it got to be 5774 already.

Images in the Public Domain

Owen Jones initial

Do you need an image that's already got copyright clearance? Consider the venerable Pictorial Archive series from Dover Publications, a rich source of public domain illustrations, graphics, typefaces, and design of all kinds. Here are the covers of just a few representative Pictorial Archive titles.

Hayward Cirker (1927-2000), the founder of one of the quirkiest publishing houses around, was a connoisseur of graphic design who had deep pockets and a singular vision. (I know. I worked for him in the early 1980s on the production of the Pictorial Archive series. I've included a bit of the firm's history below.) Cirker used to buy rare illustrated books at auction and turn them over to an artist who would select the best imagery and arrange it for faithful reproduction in an inexpensive paperback Pictorial Archive edition.

In Short: Big Ideas Made Pocket-Sized

Relativity: A Very Short Introduction

As a reference librarian, I'm often asked to recommend the quintessential book on a topic I don't know much about, a book that gives the general reader the broad outlines of a field in a compact, accessible format. Somewhere between a Wikipedia article and a shelf full of specialized tomes is the elusive "just right" kind of book.

Oxford University Press identified this need and launched a wonderful series called Very Short Introductions (VSI). Andrea Keegan, the series editor, told The Bookseller: "The books are not primers or surveys, but sophisticated 'takes' on a topic, and we allow the authors to express a point of view, while giving readers a really good way into a subject they may never have encountered before." Noted authorities in each field are commissioned to write an overview of no more than 200 pages.

Attend our Research Skills Class for Adult Students

Bob Lawrence wins graduate award by NTU- Brackenhurst, Creative Commons licensed

The number of older students returning to school has been steadily increasing over the past decade. Students over the age of 25 now comprise 38 percent of the total college population, with that number expected to rise by 25 percent by 2019.

Our Reference Services department has certainly seen an increase in visits from non-traditional students. Library research has migrated to an online environment, and looks quite different than even ten years ago. Fear not! Students can rely on the library to help them navigate this new learning landscape. We have created a course on library research to provide adult learners with the skills they need to study more productively and research more confidently.

Craft Beer: Good for What Ales You

A year ago, the Research Blog reported that, according to the Colorado Brewers Guild, our state had 139 licensed breweries and ranked third in number of breweries per capita.  The industry is still hopping;  we now boast 188 breweries and a ranking of number 2 in number per capita.

Jonathan Shikes, Westword's "Beer Man," explains, "As for why Colorado is so beery, my theory (which has absolutely no grounding in research) is the presence of the Coors plant in Golden, the single largest brewing facility in the world. Boulder and Longmont became high-tech centers because of IBM being there and attracting many tech-minded people to the state. Coors may have done the same for beer, attracting people who are focused on beer or focused on making beer better."

Sasquash: When Gourds Attack

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"               

     --George Santayana, squash grower and part-time philosopher

         

I knew there would be consequences, but I went ahead and planted seven squash seeds in my backyard. Then, a perfect storm of hot weather and monsoon rains resulted in plants as fast-growing and unruly as a teenage boy. So read on, friends, family and colleagues, since there may be a squash or two in your future.

Looking for Money to Finance your Project? Check Out Foundation Grants to Individuals Online

Do you want to attend the ukulele festival, but lack funds?  Although foundations don't generally offer grant money to individuals, the Foundation Center can help you find those that do. 

Funding opportunities for students, professionals, researchers and artistic types are available through the FC's Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, a database of nearly 10,000 foundation and public charity programs including:

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