Pickles and Preservation

Have you wandered by the microfilm cabinets lately and thought that you smelled pickles? We aren't opening a deli in the basement. The odor is indeed vinegar-like, and it is a sign of a serious problem: the deterioration of our acetate-based microfilm, a condition known as "vinegar syndrome." Earlier this year, I wrote about mice and mold in the library. For certain kinds of microfilm and microfiche, vinegar syndrome is just as much of a threat and just as destructive as mold. Unlike mold, … [Read more...]

Minding our Qs and Ts

In a few days' time, we will formally complete the transfer of the Chemistry Library to the main library. It's been an eighteen-month project, and a memorable one. The books are all here; everything is done, except for one final task. Like turning off the light and locking the door that last time after you've sold your house, we will bid farewell and formally close the Chemistry Library by removing the "Chemistry Library" location from the library catalog. The Martin Chemistry Library will then … [Read more...]

The meaning of more

In this Information Age, information is both plentiful and scarce. Google can direct you to Web pages and documents on just about any topic, but sometimes the specific article that you want to read or the primary source that you find cited is inaccessible to you or hidden behind a paywall. We are constantly finding references to and traces of more material than we can immediately access. Librarians struggle to answer the need and demand for more: more titles, formats, source types, coverage of … [Read more...]

Home (again): locally-owned & home grown

It's July in the South. The humidity is high, cicadas are buzzing, crepe myrtles are slowly dropping their blooms, and gardens are producing plentiful supplies of tomatoes and squash. It's the perfect time to grab a glass of iced tea, sit out on your porch, and read. What to read? There are lots of lists of recommended titles, but I want to highlight two new collections for summer-time browsing. Both are local and home-grown. Fire up the wifi and check out: BrowZine BrowZine is a library app … [Read more...]

Of mice and mold

Libraries contain records that describe many "things wise and wonderful"; occasionally, however, we unwittingly house "creatures great and small" (mostly small). Over the years, our library has welcomed many visitors: prospective students and their parents, alumni returning for reunion, local researchers, notable authors and lecturers, and scholars visiting from overseas. We try to offer all a warm welcome, information about our services and resources, possibly a quick tour, and, on these hot … [Read more...]