Friday, April 24, 2015

Edible books!

Theclever folks who run "LibraryThing," a free shared catalog your own personal library site, have run a contest for "edible books," featuring cakes etc. made like books! The image here is from an edible book contest in Seattle, maybe we should run one ourselves at Drake!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Changes to main floor

Here's a random photo from thirty years or so ago. The display cases are still more or less where they are in the image, but the card catalog (in the left background,) has been gone since about 1990, the reference desk long ago moved from the right hand side of the central stairs, and, well, a lot has sure changed!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Cult books anyone?

The British newspaper The Telegraph had a fun article on the 50 best cult books back in February. How many have you read? Maybe some new reading for this summer! You can check if we have them via the search box in the middle of our web page.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Scolere, scoliere

This being Scholars Day it prompted the thought, what exactly is the definition of the word "scholar" anyway, and where does it come from? Turning to the definitive "OED," (Oxford English Dictionary," it turns out that the word is from the Old English "scolere," or "scoliere," the word having much the present day meaning, to be one who is taught, a student...

On Scholars Day many enjoy the opportunity to be "scholarly," that is to perform or act in a way befitting a scholar. Or to use an early expression from 1638, today many of our students will be able to engage in "...ingenious and schollerly discourse!"

Friday, April 03, 2015

"In A Library"

For something a little different, here is a poem by Emily Dickinson, "In A Library." The image is of the original manuscript, from the Emily Dickinson Archive.

A precious, mouldering pleasure 't is
To meet an antique book,
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,
His venerable hand to take,
And warming in our own,
A passage back, or two, to make
To times when he was young.
His quaint opinions to inspect,
His knowledge to unfold
On what concerns our mutual mind,
The literature of old;
What interested scholars most,
What competitions ran
When Plato was a certainty.
And Sophocles a man;
When Sappho was a living girl,
And Beatrice wore
The gown that Dante deified.
Facts, centuries before,
He traverses familiar,
As one should come to town
And tell you all your dreams were true;
He lived where dreams were sown.
His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;
Old volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize, just so.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Ask us!

We often encourage people to ask us for help if they need it. We try to assure them, you're not bothering us, that's why we're here! Let us share some recent questions we have received, as an idea of the things you can ask.

  • Do I need to bring books back to renew them? No, you can do it online.
  • I need books on something from before the 1500s. Some suggestions made, an area of the book collection given to look in.
  • Is the book I ordered through interlibrary loan in? Turned out they'd only requested it an hour before, explained that while speedy, the service is not quite that fast!
  • How do I sign up for the computer skills exam? Showed them how via their Angel account.
  • Where are books on fall prevention in the elderly? Showed them how to search for books, where they are...
  • I need help with MLA citations. Showed the MLA help page, made some suggestions.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Our article databases and books are a rich source of information, but sometimes what a person needs is the relevant ".gov" site, that is, the appropriate government website. The U.S. government is a wonderful collection of statistics, reports and other sources of information. Think of the Census Bureau for population numbers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics for employment, the National Center for Education Statistics for educational figures... We do have a guide to these resources.