ACRL Conference

Last week I attended the conference of the major professional society for academic librarians, the Association of College and Research Libraries.  I’ve been to every one of their conferences, which are usually held every other year, since 1986.  While there, I ran into a Davidson alum, Tammy Ivins, who was thoroughly enjoying the conference and finding much of relevance to her work. As someone who’s been in the profession much longer, though, I’m sorry to say I was rather disappointed.  I went … [Read more...]

The Digital Public Library of America Revisited

On May 1, I wrote about the new Digital Public Library of America (, a new portal bringing together digitized treasures from libraries, archives, and museums in the United States. At that time, though, searching for gems from or about Davidson College yielded pretty disappointing results. No longer! Now a search for “Davidson College” returns 481 results, including college catalogs, lots of pictures, and even two videos! What happened? The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center became a … [Read more...]

Digitization Equipment in the Library

This semester the library has a variety of new digitization equipment available for use by our patrons.    The most recent acquisition is an end-user overhead book scanner, available across from the vending machines.  This new scanner, a KIC Click, will allow users to scan books, periodicals, photos and other materials face up, two pages at a time, and save the scans directly as digital files on flash drives, Google Docs accounts, the Internet and even smart phones and tablets.    Supported file … [Read more...]

Seeing Red

If you walk in the main entrance of the E.H. Little Library or up to the second floor you may see even more “red” than previously, as there are some large bright red kiosks now positioned in both locations.   Yes, those are kiosks, not robots or unusual book drops, as I’ve overheard students speculate.    The kiosks house touch screen monitors and computers designed to allow interested visitors to gain access to some information about Davidson. The library and archives have long maintained … [Read more...]

What are the oldest items in the library collection? Cuneiforms!

A couple of months ago, I had the privilege of working with the oldest items in the library’s collection – Babylonian cuneiforms. A cuneiform is a small, clay tablet, etched with Sumerian text that chronicles the business of daily life thousands of years ago. For example, some of the cuneiforms in our collection are receipts for temple animals or are lists of provisions supplied to messengers on temple business. Why was I working with these ancient relics? This excerpt from a recent news … [Read more...]