Like the rest of the fall semester, our Geek the Library campaign is winding down. During these final weeks of 2013, we invite the Bryant community to share feedback with us regarding library services, staff, support systems, and student/staff/faculty needs. How is the library doing? Are we meeting your informational wants and needs? Is there a service or product we don’t currently offer that you would like to see? What are we doing that is helpful, and what can we do down the road that would continue to provide you with the best service possible? This is your chance to let us know!
How, you ask? Come to the Krupp Library and grab a “Geek the Library” postcard to submit your questions, comments, suggestions, and even complaints via our GEEK suggestion box! Or, if you’re particularly impressed with any aspect of our library services, grab one of the postcards and send it by campus mail to Chuck LoCurto, VP/CIO of Information Services! We all want to know how we’re doing, and more importantly, what we can do in the future. Help us to help you!
And thanks for geeking along with us this fall, Bryant. It’s been fun!
Lou Reed was a very… particular person, let’s say, and he didn’t suffer the people and institutions he considered to be fools gladly by ANY stretch of the imagination, but he was also (and for very good reasons) one of the most highly respected musicians and speakers of the 20th century, a supporter of the arts and libraries, and one of the more recognizable faces of the Geek the Library campaign, so we cannot let his passing this weekend go without notice. Thank you for your support Lou. Thank you for keeping things interesting. And most especially thank you for the music.
And if you’re reading this and you aren’t familiar with Lou’s output either as a solo artist or as a member of the Velvet Underground, go and get yourself educated! Either “Loaded” or one of the many greatest hits compilations are the best place to start with the Velvets, and everyone will tell you that “Transformer” is the best place to go for his solo work and in this case, everyone is right.
As you’re probably aware, we have 7 laptops available for check-out that are dedicated to the use of the Rosetta Stone language software – one language per laptop, available in Spanish, French, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Russian. Japanese, and Gaelic. But if you haven’t had any luck getting ahold of one these laptops – or maybe would like to learn a language beyond the 7 we currently offer – we have another solution for you that you won’t have to wait around for and is available to you via your web browser even as you read this: Mango Languages.
Mango is a web-based language-learning tool that is available to you cheap-as-free thanks to the fine folks at AskRI.org and accessible through the Articles & Databases page on the Krupp Library website (just scroll down to the M’s). Create an account and in just a minute or two you’ll be ready to go. Once you’re logged in, explore your account dashboard a little – you’ll see places to keep track of the languages you’re studying and the lessons completed, as well as tabs for support and a translation tool – and then click the Languages tab to see what’s available to you.
As you can see, there are over 60 languages available. Sure, you can learn Spanish, French, or Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), but you can also go for Greek (modern and ancient), Icelandic, Swedish, Hebrew (traditional or Biblical), Swahili, Tagalog, or even Pirate (what, no Klingon or Old High Gallifreyan?).
Basically, you have options, and you don’t have to wait around for someone to return that Rosetta laptop or worry about your place on the waiting list. Give it a shot… you sure as heck can’t beat the price.
So far we’ve geeked American history, autism, jazz, soul music divas, little plastic bricks (you know the ones), and foam sports balls (to be clear, at least one of us so far has been a dog). And there’s more to come… be sure to check back with this blog, our Facebook page, and our Twitter feed to see more!
And remember, everyone geeks something, and the library can help connect you with information and resources about it all, and just about anything else for that matter. Academic help, books, DVDs, iPads, Kindles, laptops, computer accessories, printing, scanning, quiet study space… we’ve got you covered.
Bryant students, we have lots of “I geek…” photos of faculty and staff members (which you may have seen on Facebook and Twitter and will see in this space soon), but as Uncle Sam here might say, we want YOU to tell us what you geek! If you (and your friends or your campus organization) are interested in volunteering to join the faces of the Geek the Library campaign, email us at library (at) bryant (dot) edu to schedule a time to have your photo taken.
Tell the world what you geek and show ’em that you support the library!
Okay, Bryant… you’ve seen what other people geek, and you’ve seen a little about what we geek (and there’s more to come), but now we want to hear from YOU. Stop by the Geek Board across from the circulation desk and fill out a card (or cards) proclaiming the things you geek, and then tack it up to the board. As you can see from the examples, it can be just about anything. Get your geek on, Bryant, and remember that the library is here to help you with whatever it is you geek!
Today kicks off Banned Books Week, the annual effort sponsored by the American Library Association to call attention to book challenges, bannings, and other attempts to curtail our rights as Americans to read whatever we choose. More than 11,300 books have come under fire just since the event began in 1982, with 464 challenges being brought to ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2012 alone, while even more go unreported. Such challenges occur in school, public, and private libraries, classrooms, book and comic book retailers, and pretty much any place else where people can come into contact with books.
Throughout the week we’ll bring you news and information relating to the event, but how can you support the cause in the meantime? Stay informed, stay vigilant, be open to new ideas and discussion, and above all… read! Read what you like and don’t let anyone belittle it or try to take that ability away from you in any way. The freedom to read is freedom to think, speak, and act, and is among the most basic rights that our nation’s founders – and, indeed, supporters of human rights everywhere – fought to achieve.