Monday, December 11, 2006

Extended Hours for Final Exam Week

The library's extended hours began yesterday and continue through Thursday for your research and study needs. The library will be closed this coming weekend and we will be here on a shortened schedule for the first half of next week. Here is our complete schedule through the end of the Fall 2006 semester:
  • Monday, December 11th 8:00 AM - 2:00 AM
  • Tuesday, December 12th 8:00 AM - 2:00 AM
  • Wednesday, December 13th 8:00 AM - 2:00 AM
  • Thursday, December 14th 8:00 AM - 2:00 AM
  • Friday, December 15th 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Saturday, December 16th Closed
  • Sunday, December 16th Closed
  • Monday, December 18th 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday, December 19th 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday, December 20th 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Assistance Available to Students During Elevator Outage

The elevator in Carmichael Library will be unavailable while repairs are underway. To serve our patrons with physical disabilities, we have a temporary workstation loaded with all of the software available in the computer lab on our main floor. Students with mobility issues may also use one of the computers in the Student Support Services offices.

Please remember that use of the temporary library workstation is restricted to use by persons with disabilities. Other patrons may continue to reach the Library Computer Lab by using the stairs located in the southeast and southwest corners of the building.

As always, be sure to check with staff at the Ask Here or Circulation desk should you require assistance. For help regarding campus Computer Services you may contact the Help Desk by phone at 665-6520 or via e-mail at Stay tuned to this blog as we will post a message after the elevator has been repaired.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Congrats to UM's New CASE Professor; President's Lecture Announced

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has announced this year's honorees for U.S. Professor of the Year. In 2006, a Professor of the Year was recognized in 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam. Among that distinguished group is Montevallo's own Scott Stephens, Professor of Art. Stephens is now UM's fifth CASE Professor.

CASE is the professional organization for advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, and development. The Professors of the Year program acknowledges the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country—those who excel as teachers and influence the lives and careers of their students. It is recognized as one of the most prestigious awards honoring professors.

For more information on Stephens' recognition:
In other campus news, President Williams will give a talk on his recent trip to China. Williams will speak about “Strategic Management of Healthcare Services in the People’s Republic of China,” and will include slides and music recorded during the trip. The talk will take place in Merchants and Planters Bank Auditorium in Comer Hall on Monday, December 4th, at 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Vacca Lecture Series Continues; Falcon Men End Record Season

I had the good fortune last week of attending a lecture given by this year's Vacca Professor, Dr. Dmitry Goncharov. The topic, "Gender and Politics in America," was a timely one given recent events in American politics.

The UM Bulletin offers this short introduction to the Vacca Lectures:
An eminent teacher-scholar in the liberal arts is invited periodically to Montevallo to teach a special undergraduate course and deliver public lectures as the Paschal P. Vacca Professor of Liberal Arts. The guest scholar also assists the faculty by reviewing the University’s curriculum and library holdings. Coming from a variety of backgrounds, Vacca professors contribute new perspectives to the learning experience at Montevallo.
Dr. Goncharov will give the second Vacca lecture on Monday, Nov. 20, at 3:30 p.m., in Palmer Commons (Comer 202). The topic will be “Social Prerequisites of Politics in the Post-Communist Societies.”

For those who will not have the opportunity to study with Dr. Goncharov this year, the Vacca lectures offer the chance to learn from an accomplished scholar who offers a unique perspective on politics on the world stage. A reception will follow the lecture.

In sports news, I'd like to congratulate the men's soccer team, who have just completed competition for the year. The team owns a new single season team record for victories, finishing the 2006 season with a record of 14-5-1 overall.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Gale Databases

Expanded Academic ASAP, Infotrac OneFile, and all other Gale Databases should be up and running now. If you have any problems with any of the databases, please contact us.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Temporary Issue with Gale Databases

We've been having problems getting into the Gale databases since mid-afternoon. We're currently working with the vendor to get these issues resolved. In the meantime, please contact us at the library if you're experiencing problems from off-campus. We have a couple of workarounds for the problem and we can still get the article you need from these databases. Some of the databases affected are:
  • Expanded Academic ASAP
  • Infotrac OneFile
Please call us at (205) 665-6100 and we can assist you in getting the content you're searching for. Stay tuned to this blog for more details.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Montevallo Ghost Stories

It's time for the final installment of Montevallo Ghost Stories...

From "Ghost Legends Continue," By James K.W. Tan.
Alabamian Oct. 25, 1984

"...Hanson Hall too [is] said to be haunted. The ghost in that hall, eyewitnesses say, will make things disappear. Tony Davis, whose cousin lived in Hanson, said that the ghost made his cousin's coffee cup disappear and reappear two weeks later. 'When she turned, her cup was not there any more. She had searched everywhere for the missing cup but could not find it.' However, two weeks later, the cup mysteriously reappeared on the exact spot where she had left it. He also added that his cousin complained of noises that came from the wall.

"In another incident, a few girls were watching television. Suddenly, they saw a light floating into the T.V. room. Needless to say, they ran out of the room as fast as their legs could carry them. They told the hall director about it, but when they went up to the room again, they found nothing."

Halloween Horrors

Pictures from the Halloween Horrors Marathon Reading. A roving band of faculty and students read spooky stories from Poe, Atwood, Dante, Coleridge, Twain, and others. Donations from the reading will help to fund the Montevallo Literary Festival.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Montevallo Ghost Stories

"Ghost Legends Continue" By James K.W. Tan,
from the Alabamian Oct. 25, 1984

"A ghost has also supposedly been seen at the King House. Formerly known as the Mansion House, it was built by Edmund King in 1823. In the book, Jeffrey's Latest 13 More Alabama Ghosts, the spirit of King was said to be wandering around the area with a lantern and a shovel. Legends have it as the spirit was guarding the buried treasure. The treasure was hidden as King was afraid that the Yankees might rob it from him.

Noises were said to have been heard by a few students who were walking back from the library towards Comer Hall, cutting across the Quad. They said it sounded as if there were somebody walking in one of the upstairs rooms. And a strange dim light could be seen. It was like a ... lantern's light. Several people who declined to be named, also confirmed that they saw the curtains opened and then closed, and there was a figure smiling at them."

Tune in next week for the final installment of Montevallo Ghost Stories.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Election 2006 Update

Today's Birmingham News reports that citizens have until tomorrow to register to vote in the upcoming November elections. Check out this article for more information on what to do if you live in Jefferson or Shelby County. Of course, you can always pick up your registration form here at Carmichael Library.

You may also be interested in next week's Governor's Debate between incumbent Bob Riley and challenger Lacy Baxley. Alabama Public Television will cover the event live next Monday at 7:00 p.m., with replays of the debate to follow. In addition, APT will also cover debates between candidates for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dia de los Muertos--Day of the Dead

Carmichael Library will be celebrating Day of the Dead Oct.23-Nov.2. Please come by and take a look at the ofrendas (altars) created by UM students.

See pictures below!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dia de los Muertos Ofrendas--Luther Vandross

Día de los Muertos Ofrendas--Charles Schulz

Día de los Muertos Ofrendas--Pat Morita

Día de los Muertos Ofrendas--Johnny Cash

Día de los Muertos Ofredas--Steve Irwin

Día de los Muertos Ofrendas--Don Knotts

Día de los Muertos Ofrendas--John Lennon

Día de los Muertos Ofrendas--Fred Rogers

Día de los Muertos Ofrendas--Mitch Hedberg

Día de los Muertos Ofrendas--Claude Monet

Friday, October 20, 2006

Montevallo Ghost Stories

Montevallo's most famous ghost haunts Main Hall. On an evening way back in 1908, Condie Cunningham and her friends were cooking fudge using a Bunsen burner. When the call for lights-out came, one of the young women, in a rush, accidentally upset a bottle of alcohol near the burner. Condie's nightgown caught fire and, in a panic, she ran through the halls and down a stairwell near her room. Her screams could be heard throughout the halls. Due to serious injuries, Cunningham died at a nearby hospital.

Before the stairwell was removed in a renovation, residents often reported seeing the ghost of a young girl covered in flames. The door to Cunningham's former room is said to have had an image of a face surrounded by flames. After repeated attempts at removing the image, the door was taken from its frame. The door is said to be kept in a fourth floor room of Main hall. Apparently, this room is opened on occasion for viewing by curiosity seekers and admirers of the supernatural.

Tune in later this week for another installment of Montevallo Ghost Stories.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Montevallo Ghost Stories

A new weekly blog, In Anticipation of Halloween

(Written by Audrey Powers, a former librarian here at Montevallo)

The buildings of our quiet campus sit stately marking the years of progress, but inside the halls of academia, spirits lurk casting an ever-present eye on the day-to-day activities. Many students pay no attention to the ghouls in UM buildings, but beware, for they do exist.

One of the oldest of UM's supernatural tales involves Reynolds Hall, that ghostly white building next to Main Hall. For it is in that building that Captain Reynolds, a Confederate Civil War officer, still maintains his tireless watch. Reynolds Hall, formerly a Civil War hospital, housed sick and wounded Confederate troops during the war between the states. Captain Henry Clay Reynolds, for whom the building is now named, was allegedly in charge of guarding the building from Union soldiers. Hearing of a planned attack on the nearby Brier Field Iron Works, Captain Reynolds left his post to fight the invaders in Brier Field. In his absence, according to tales, Sherman's soldiers massacred the men in the unguarded hospital. When Captain Reynolds returned, his guilt led him to pledge never to leave the building again, not even after his death.

In recent years, the Captain's ghost has appeared on more than one occasion as a blue figure of a man. He followed a student late one night, and moved a painting of himself in the building's lobby.

Tune in next week, for another episode of Montevallo Ghost Stories.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Inaugural Dispay

Items from the our University Archives and the Records Office are on display in Carmichael. Stop by and take a look at relics of the University’s 110-year history!

See pictures below.

And to hear more about notable characters and events from Montevallo’s past, come hear “Crowned with Truth and Honor”, the readers’ theatre production on the history of Montevallo, on Tuesday, October 10, at 7 p.m. in Merchants and Planters Bank Auditorium, Comer Hall. This event is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Montevallo Chapter of the American Association of University Women, and Carmichael Library.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Leaving Salt Lake City; Life Raft Lineup Announced

Hello everyone,

I'm completing a couple of days in lovely Salt Lake City, Utah, where the focus has been planning for a major library systems upgrade. I had the good fortune of speaking on a panel today about a technology review that we completed in June. The work we did this summer will go a long way in helping us experience a smooth transition to our new system. These changes are quite a way off, and we will be sharing more information with you about them as the upgrade date approaches.

In local news, Michael Patton has announced the roster for next week's Life Raft Debate. This event seems to get better with each passing year and this year's slate of contestants are certain to draw a large crowd at the McChesney Student Activities Center. Here's a list of this year's participants and their disciplines:
  • Jac Cole, representing Mathematics
  • Hollie Cost, stressing the need for Teacher Education
  • Michelle Duran-McLure, defending Art History
  • Vladimir Rovinsky, championing Theater
  • Incoming President Philip Williams insisting on the importance of the University President
  • Defending champion Zack Foster, arguing for Culinary Arts
The debate will take place Thursday, October 12th. The fun starts at 7:00 pm at the McChesney Student Activity Center with light refreshments available starting at 6:30 pm in the Concourse.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Recommended Sites

Check out our new "Recommended Sites by Subject" page here.
Or go to "Reseach Advice"--"Recommended Sites by Subject."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Recognizing RAINN Day

Thanks to a couple of our talented students for helping us to recognize RAINN Day.

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline and carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

Two UM students created the display and you can take a look at it when you stop by the library. It's full of useful information about preventing rape and other forms of sexual abuse.

Local resources for victims of sexual abuse include:
  • UM Counseling Center - offers free and confidential mental health counseling services to all currently enrolled degree-seeking students
  • SafeHouse of Shelby County - offers sexual assault and domestic violence advocates on call 24 hours, 7 days a week. Also has an advocacy program to accompany women to court appearances and educate victims in court about the cycle of violence

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Celebrate Banned Books Week

Google has developed a terrific resource for Banned Books Week, which officially started yesterday: check out their Banned Books resource page. Also, don't miss the American Library Association's Banned Books Week page, which is up and running all year long.

Both pages have lists of banned and challenged books, along with the reasons that these books were challenged or taken off of the shelves. You can find a lot of these books right here at Carmichael Library, so check one out this week and celebrate your freedom to read!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

eAudiobook Access Restored

This is just a note to let our readers (and listeners) know that our collection of downloadable audio books are again up and running at You can find all of these, nearly 1,300 in all, in the Library Catalog.

For more information on this service, check out my July post about the collection.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Music Resource: The Lied and Art Song Texts Page

I just had a reference question about how to find a quality translation of an aria from the original Italian into English. The Aria Database has been listed on our Music Research Guide for a couple of years and I just found another good place to find some of these.

The Lied and Art Song Texts Page has thousands of quality translations and, with its focus on lieder and other art music, it serves as a nice compliment to the Aria Database. The site gives the user the ability to browse through thousands of texts by composer, poet, first line, title and language.

As always, if you need help tracking down a translation, check with us at the Ask Here desk.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Google to Offer Print-Archives Searches

Google will soon offer a service that will let users search the achives of newspapers and other publications going back more than 200 years. Read more from the New York Times here.

Friday, September 01, 2006

UM Grads Leaving with Little Debt

Former UM student Justin Averette filed a piece this week with the Shelby County Reporter that may provide some encouragement to upperclassmen:

University of Montevallo graduates finish school with as little debt as students anywhere else in the country.

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Montevallo third in the South and among the top-5 in the nation for master’s-level schools whose graduates carry the least amount of debt.

“This is significant,” said Wayne Seelbach, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It’s a compliment to how we provide resources for our students and to the resourcefulness of our students.”
Get the full story at the library or on the Reporter web site.

Friday, August 25, 2006

New Library Web Site

To better serve you, we've redesigned our web site. Sorry for the inconvenience, but we hope that eventually the new site will be easier for students and faculty to navigate.

We are aware that there are a few problems and we hope to have those fixed very soon...

Also, be sure to check out the previous entry. The library has a new downloadable toolbar!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Download our new toolbar

With our new toolbar, you can quickly search the catalog and other great resources without having to enter an address or look for our homepage. You can also use the blog option to see what's new in the library. (Note: the toolbar works best in Internet Explorer; if you use Firefox, some functionality is lost.)

Monday, August 14, 2006

More Student Book Art Photos

Last Friday, I had the good fortune of spending the morning with Patrick Mayton and the talented students in his Book Arts class. Seeing these interesting works is one thing but nothing beats actually getting to talk to the artist about their work face to face.

These books will be on display in the library's entrance for the beginning of the fall semester and you don't want to miss the chance to see them. Also, at the request of the artists, Carmichael Library is offering individual showings of these pieces so that visitors can really touch and experience them to the fullest. If you're interested in getting a better look at this student art, please contact me to schedule an appointment.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Local News Sites to Keep You in the Know

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled on a podcast which is now being offered by the Shelby County Reporter. The cast is well done with good audio quality and it's not a bad way to keep up with your local news when you're on the go. The latest issue of the cast has a short snippet on UM's new president, Dr. Philip Williams. You can read the print story on the site as well.

Get more details on the webcast, as well as some other multimedia goodies here:

As an added bonus, here are a couple of my favorite Birmingham Metro blogs:
  • Wade on Birmingham - Local journalist and writer Wade Kwon tracks Birmingham news and culture. Check this blog for local headlines and commentary
  • Dre's Ramblings - Bronx, NY native Andre Natta works for an area non-profit and offers his own take on life in the Magic City
  • - A comprehensive listing of arts and cultural events in the Birmingham area

Friday, July 21, 2006

Student Book Art Projects

For the second year, Carmichael Library brings you an exhibit of student projects from Patrick Mayton's summer class in the book arts.

Students in Mr. Mayton's Art 326, Special Studio in Book Art, pursue several projects incorporating various paper folding and stitching techniques as well as book alterations. For the alteration pieces, the class uses discarded volumes donated by the Library.

Be sure to stop by the Library and see this work by Montevallo's talented art students. The Library will have more of these pieces on the display in the coming weeks. Also, check our web site for some of last year's projects.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Let there be lights!

The library's power came back on at about 1:30 today, and we will reopen at 3 p.m. Many, many thanks to the Physical Plant crew who worked long hours in the oppressive heat to get our power restored!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What to do while the power's out

If you need help with a library question, I am available in the Malone Curriculum Center in Wills. I don't have access to a phone, but you can reach me by email at . All of the library's online services seem to be working and can be accessed from on- or off-campus. The Physical Plant is working hard to get the repairs made that will allow us to reopen as soon as possible.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Power Outage; Library Closed Until Further Notice

Carmichael Library will be closing today at 2:30 so that repairs to the power systems can continue. The Library will be without power into Wednesday as well, and we will remain closed until power is restored. Stay tuned to this page as we will update here when we are able to reopen.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New Audio Books for July

We've just added some new downloadable audio books to the library catalog. All members of the UM community have access to this collection, which now has some 1200 titles. July's new books include:
  • "God Wills It!": Understanding the Crusades, by Thomas F. McFadden
  • Fundamental Cases: The Twentieth-Century Courtroom Battles that Changed Our Nation, by Alan M. Dershowitz
  • All About Love, by Stephanie Laurens
  • Unforgotten, by Kristen Heitzmann
  • Finding Mr. Right, by Emily Carmichael
  • Realistic Visionary: A Portrait of George Washington, by Peter R. Henriques
Our downloadable audio book collection contains hundreds of works of fiction and non-fiction and also includes the Pimsleur language programs if you're looking to hone your Korean speaking skills. For more information on how to access these titles, check out our How Do I page on the topic.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Bound Periodicals Shift

Our Technical Services staff has begun the much needed work of shifting the bound periodicals on the ground floor. This project will likely extend into the fall semester. The work won't result in any interruption in access to these materials. If you don't find a journal in its alphabetical place on the shelf, you should find it on a cart nearby. As always, should you have a problem finding a bound volume, check with us at the Ask Here desk.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Going Home

It's time to pack up all my stuff, including all the paper attending a conference seems to generate, and head back to Montevallo. It's been a good conference, and I'm bringing back a lot of new information that I hope we'll be able to use at Carmichael Library.

Now that ALA is leaving New Orleans, I wonder what the city will be like in our wake. We know, for one thing, that several of the area libraries are in much better shape because of the volunteer efforts and donations of ALA members and library vendors. Library Journal, for example, worked to raise funds and procured the services of a leading library architect to make over one of the branches of New Orleans Public that was severely damaged by Katrina. But there are also people such as the workers at the Convention Center who will soon be without a job unless other large conventions come to town.

One of the interesting ways in which a major event enters the popular culture is through t-shirts, and the French Quarter shops are filled with hurricane-related ones. Many of the slogans on these cannot be repeated in a public blog, an indication of the anger and bitterness many in the city still feel toward FEMA and their government officials. The t-shirt I bought celebrates ALA's arrival in the city. It reads: Librarians Do It By the Book: American Library Association: Supporting the Big Easy.

Several people have told me how much it meant to them for ALA to be here, and they've thanked me for coming. Each time, I have told them that it has genuinely been my pleasure.

See you back home.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

ALA in full swing

It's been another rich, full day in the Crescent City, and I'm at the point I get to in all conventions when I don't really know what day it is anymore. I haven't paid much attention to news from the rest of the world, and I feel like I wrapped inside a very hot and humid bubble.

I spent the better part of this afternoon wandering through the exhibit hall. I haven't seen a count, but it seemed to me that there were more exhibitors this year than at the last ALA I attended. I happened upon an Alabama author, Watt Key, and picked up a signed copy of his book, Alabama Moon. He has a brother in Montevallo, so it was like finding a member of the family in the midst of the exhibits. And speaking of family, I ran into Kathy Lowe at the Lexis Nexis booth. She's catching a lot of the information literacy programs, and she and Bill seem to be having a great time here, too.

The mood in New Orleans seems to be very up-beat. Some of that is the unquenchable spirit of this great city, but I hope some of it also is the influence of having several thousand librarians wandering around and spending money. While the evidence of what New Orleans has suffered still abounds, there are also many signs of a city that is rebuilding and determined to be stronger than ever, without giving up its unique flare.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Walking in New Orleans

I'm walking down a street on the edge of the French Quarter, and who do I meet but Montevallo's own Dennis Toney? He was also in town for a conference, but one that was overshadowed by ALA. I haven't seen any registration figures for this conference yet, but average attendance at the summer ALA conferene is usually well over 20,000. I know a lot of people decided to skip ALA this year because of what happened in New Orleans after Katrina, but I certainly saw a lot of activity down at the Convention Center today when I was there.

One thing that I"m happy to report is that the food in New Orleans is still wonderful. I don't think I've ever had a bad meal in New Orleans, and this trip is no exception. From crawfish etouffe at the Gumbo Shop to flan at La Mer, it's all been great. I'm going to have to do double-time in the SAC to work off this trip!

Tonight I met a number of other COPLAC librarians. We met together with the COPLAC administrators several years ago at the College of Charleston, and we've been trying to get together when we can ever since. We're talking about trying some cooperative intiatives, and also hoping to plan something together for ACRL in Baltimore next spring.

Tomorrow ALA begins in earnest, and I have a full schedule of meetings and programs. The highlight of the day should be getting to hear Madeleine Albright speak at the opening session. I'm also hoping to get to spend some time in the exhibits checking out some of the new, exciting products from our library vendors. And continuing to sample the great New Orleans food!

I met a young man tonight who came down here to voluteer after Katrina and who has now decided to make New Orleans his home. He's working as a bartender at the Bourbon House and thinking about going back to graduate school. For folks like him, New Orleans seems to be a place of opportunity. There are plenty of service-sector jobs available for those who want to be a part of rebuilding this most cosmopolitan, most American city.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Blogging in New Orleans

I had lunch today with someone who said he thought the weather was wonderful. He's from the Pacific northwest, and he said he actually missed heat and humidity. He's getting plenty of both here in New Orleans!

Today is the first day of the American Library Association's conference, and the city has certainly taken notice of us. The concierge at my hotel is greeting all guests with Mardi Gras beads and complementary beverages. The local public radio station has run reports during both the morning and the afternoon news broadcasts about what ALA means to New Orleans. This morning, ALA President Michael Gorman said he'd never been prouder to be a member of ALA. Hearing him talk about the volunteer efforts underway today to rebuild the city's libraries and hearing people talk about what the local libraries have meant in the city's efforts to rebuild, I agree with him.

This morning, I was one of 5 presenters at a program on electronic resource management systems. We use a system developed by Serials Solutions, the same group that brings us Central Search and the catalog records that link users to journals in full text in our databases. It was a bit daunting to be on a panel with librarians from places like Yale, Princeton, and Ohio State Universities and Swathmore College, but I was pleased to see that we are in many ways much further along in our implementation of ERMS (one of the most unfortunate acronyms yet) than these much larger libraries. Electronic resource management systems are relative newcomers on the library landscape, and the standards that drive these systems are still being developed. The goal is to make it easier for us to do the behind-the-scenes work of tracking licensing details, collecting usage statistics, and linking resources together so that our patrons can in turn move from system to system much more seamlessly.

And that harkens back to the ideals that make Michael Gorman, me, and others proud in this day and time to be a librarian. We enjoy learning new technologies and figuring out how to make our own work more efficient, but our goal is to provide our patrons with the best access to the information they need, whether it's a mystery novel to read on vacation or information on navigating the bureaucratic maze of disaster recovery.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Driving to New Orleans

The American Library Association is holding its annual conference in New Orleans, and I drove down here today from Montevallo. ALA is the first major conference to come to New Orleans since Katrina, and the city is rolling out the red carpet for us.

Driving on I-10 through Mississippi reminded me of driving through the Francis Marion Forest in South Carolina the spring after Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston. All along the highway, I saw trees that had been broken by wind. There were pine trees that were at least 18 inches in diameter that were snapped in two like tooth picks. There were also areas where all the trees seemed to be dead. I suspect these were areas where the flooding was heavy and perhaps the trees stood in salt water for too long.

Those of you who've driven on I-10 into New Orleans know that it crosses the lake. I'm not a big fan of long bridges as a general rule, and it was disconcerting to cross this bridge in the rain with the guard rail missing in several places. I-10 enters New Orleans through the suburb of Slidell, which looked like a ghost town. From the interstate, I saw several apartment complexes that were completely abandoned. There were very few cars on the surface streets, and many of the businesses I saw looked closed. Here and in Mississippi there were a number of billboards advertising various construction companies and, of course, attorneys.

I'm staying in a hotel right on Canal Street, and my room looks out over the French Quarter. I can see a number of tarped roofs, and the foot traffic on Bourbon Street looks lighter than what I remember from my last visit here. But the Gumbo Shop on St. Peter Street is still open, and it's about time to go in search of dinner.

Stay tuned for additional reports from ALA and New Orleans!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

News and Photos: City Stages

Local blogger Wade Kwon has been covering Birmingham's annual music festival City Stages, which took place this past weekend. This year's lineup included a wide variety of artists, from newly-minted American Idol Taylor Hicks to Snoop Dog. One of Kwon's recent posts mentions Flickr's City Stages photo pool. As I write, there are other 650 pictures there from the festival. Check out these shots on your own desktop!

New Databases

Click here to check out the new databases brought to us by the Alabama Virtual Library,

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Wikipedia and the Hive Mentality

My blog entry on April 26, 2006, Wikipedia vs. Encyclopedia Britannica discussed the contentious debate between Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia. Well, things are heating up again.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports in the June 12, 2006 issue that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales wants to get the message out that "college students shouldn't use it for class projects or serious research."

I found this article interesting: Digital Maosim: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism by Jaron Lanier. He asks us to consider the appeal of online collectivism...wikis and meta sites ...and ask is the collective all-wise or is it just a hive mentality? Lanier also grieves for a real author, a connection between writer and content often absent in wikis and Meta. Commenting on web design and authorship, Lanier says " in the last year or two the trend has been to remove the scent of people." I love that image ...scent of people. It's what authors do for readers, add the scent of people. ..the perfume of the page if you will.

Another article, The Real Bias in Wikipedia: a response to David Shariatmadari by Robert McHenry refuels the Encyclopedia Britannica debate. Mr. McHenry accuses the Wikipedia of bias and imbalance. He also employs the hive analogy to describe the collectivism of Wikipedia but instead of bees he sees young children playing soccer "a game involving the youngest children will consist of a swarm of twenty or so players buzzing ineffectively about the ball."

If all of this discussion is bringing you down, check out a little bit of humor. Here's a link to the world's funniest joke.

Article: Tips on How to Pay for College

The rising cost of a college education seems to be a perennial topic in magazines and newspapers. A piece from USA Today yesterday highlights the problem: while the average college senior graduated this year with $19,000 in debt, some students are leaving college with debt that is much higher. What's the college student to do?

Enter this piece from U.S. News & World Report (free, via Yahoo! Finance), which offers a few tips on loan consolidation programs and other strategies to ease the burden of your loans. For example, some companies will offer a rate discount for consecutive payments made on time. It's definitely worth a look for those students who are trying to manage their debt as they consider their entrance into the workforce.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

UM Baseball's Magnificent Run; Alabama Votes

Here are a couple of updates to our recent posts:

Falcon Baseball

A few of us were watching live stats at our desks last Thursday evening when the Falcon baseballers lost to California State University-Chico in the NCAA Division II national championship series in Montgomery.

While UM didn't go all the way the 2006 squad became the first in school history to place in the top five at season's end. The Falcons are ranked third in the nation behind University of Tampa and CSU Chico after a remarkable 43-18 (.705) tally on the year.

Winners of the NCAA Division II South Central Region and the Gulf South Conference East Division, UM also has the honor of being the first Alabama team to reach the national semis since former Gulf South Conference member Jacksonville State University in 1991. The last Alabama team to reach the national championship series was North Alabama, in 1999.

Our baseball club's success comes on the heels of an Elite Eight appearance by the Men's Basketball team in March. Winners of the NCAA Division II South Regional, the Falcons posted a record 29 wins and went 12-2 in GSC conference play.

For more details on this year's winning baseball campaign, check out Sports Information Director Alfred Kojima's writeups on the UM Athletics page. Thanks for a great season, guys.

Primary Elections

The primaries were held yesterday and nearly 925,000 Alabamians cast their votes in the gubernatorial race. Also on the ballot were other state and county races and one constitutional amendment.

Registration for November's general election will be open until 10 days prior to the election date. As always, you can pick up your voter registration form here at the library or visit the Alabama Secretary of State website for more information.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Google Earth

Click here to download one of the free versions of this incredible resource. Use Google Earth to fly into New York City, the Grand Canyon, Saint Peter's Basillica, or more exotic locations. You can also use Google Earth to find restaurants and schools in your local area.

Decision 2006 Resources

Our thoughts are turning to the future of Alabama as we host Boys' State here at UM and the library this week. The primary voting is only days away and will take place on Tuesday, June 6th. The general elections will follow in the fall on November 7th.

You can follow these links to learn more about the upcoming elections:
  • Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform - Read the advocacy group's questions of the candidates
  • Elections - News stories, analysis of issues, candidate bios and more at this page from
  • For the Record - Watch Alabama Public Television's Tim Lennox put the questions to candidates for statewide office. Interviews are streamed free to your desktop
  • Lexis-Nexis - Dig deeper: read pieces from the Birmingham News to learn more about the issues. Access restricted to members of the UM community
  • Office of the Secretary of State - Official site with voter registration forms, deadlines, etc.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cahaba Lilies

Some of the library staff visited the Cahaba River today to see the Cahaba Lilies that are now in bloom. Below are three pictures taken by Joel Bullock. The first two are of the lilies, the third is of a caterpillar/butterfly (or maybe it's a caterpillar/moth?) out of its cocoon, which we saw on our hike back to the car.

Here's a link to the pdf announcement for the Cahaba Lily Festival.

Here's a link to more info. on the Cahaba Lily and the Cahaba River

Monday, May 22, 2006

Off-Campus Database Access Restored

As of a few minutes ago today, we have resolved the issue that lead to some of the databases not working from off of campus. Thank you for your patience as we have worked on the problem.

As always, whether you are on or off the Montevallo campus, please call the Library at 665-6100 should you have problems getting into a database. You may also e-mail us using the links on our website at

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Photos: Tower Disassembled; Working on Access to Gale

We got an interesting delivery at the library today. Billy Hughes of the UM Physical Plant snapped these photos of a crew taking down the old water tower behind Main Hall. The university will be supplying Main with water from a newer tower on campus and this one, which dates back some years, had to be taken apart piece by piece due to its proximity to Main.

Carmichael Library will keep these photos in University Archives; another piece of school history recorded here at your campus library.

In other news, we're working on getting the access to some of our Gale databases from off-campus re-established. Stay tuned to this blog for news on when things are up and running once again. As I write, all other databases are working both on and away from campus.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Carmichael Library Congratulates the Falcon Baseball Team!

The University of Montevallo baseball team has been selected to compete at the 2006 NCAA Division II South Central Regional Baseball Tournament, to be played May 18-21, in Abilene, Texas.

In March, Carmichael Library marked the start of the season with a special display of books and baseball memorabilia, as well as a Baseball Bibliography on the library wesbite

UM is the No. 3 seed in the six-team, double-elimination tournament. UM (37-16) will meet No. 4 seed University of West Alabama, in a first-round game Thursday night at 8 p.m.

All UM games will be broadcast on the internet on UM Internet Radio. You will need to have the QuickTime Player, in order to listen to the broadcast. Tournament information (dates and times of games) is available on the UM athletic department website,

Join us in cheering the Falcon batsmen to victory and don't forget to stop by the Library for a book on the boys of summer!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Losing Louisiana

Losing Louisiana--A very interesting and well designed site that focuses on conditions in coastal Louisiana. Uses Macromedia Flash Player.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Harbert Writing Center May Term Hours

The Harbert Writing Center is open for May Term:

Tuesday-Friday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

HWC offers one-on-one assistance to writers at all stages of the writing process. The Center also offers computers for composing and revising papers, as well as grammar handbooks and MLA, APA and Chicago style books.

The Center is located in Room 311, Comer Hall

For more information visit HWC online:

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

National Register Information System

Montevallo is fortunate to have a rich history that is nationally recognized. The city is home to four of Shelby County's six National Historic places or districts, including the University of Montevallo Historic District (renamed in 1990) and the McKibbon House on Boundary Street (added in 2001).

The National Register of Historic Places is maintained by the National Parks Service. The Register has nearly 79,000 listings, including "properties across the country that have been nominated by governments, organizations, and individuals because they are significant to the nation, to a state, or to a community."

This historic list can be searched at the National Register Information System homepage, which is freely available at the following address: The database can be searched broadly at a state level, or at a county or city level.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Monday, May 01, 2006

Two Neat Resources

Having trouble identifying a particular plant? Check out the USDA's Plants Database.

Wondering how Americans feel about a particular issue in today's news? Check out

Friday, April 28, 2006

Library Subscribe's to New Database: Play Index

Play Index makes finding information about plays much easier. You can use this database to find citations to over 30,000 well known plays written or translated into English, including one-act plays, pageants, plays in verse, radio and television plays, and classic drama. In addition, Play Index allows users to:

* Limit searches to their appropriate number of male and/or female roles or size of total cast
* Find plays to match their productions resources
* Read descriptive annotations that summarize the plot and indicates any musical, set, or scenery requirements
* Search plays by title, author, subject, style, genre and more
* Access full text plays available on the web

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Find Out Your Favorite Radio Station's Playlist

Want to know the title of a song you heard recently on the radio? Check out Enter your zip code or favorite radio station’s call numbers, and get their current play lists, down to the hour and minute.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wikipedia vs. Encyclopaedia Britannica

Librarians have a keen interest in the authority of sources. We teach students to evaluate sources all the time; even government sources. Library faculty teach students to consider the source, focus on quality, look for evidence, check for currency and examine a source for bias. A topic of hot debate in our profession is the accuracy of Wikipedia versus the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Nature: International weekly journal of science published a study comparing the two sources. The study initiated great debates among librarians about the reliability of Wikipedia. Encyclopaedia Britannica refuted the findings on encyclopedic accuracy reported by in Nature.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Extended Hours During Finals

Just a reminder that Carmichael Library will be open longer for your research and study needs as we approach finals week:
  • Sunday, 4/23 2:00 PM - 12:00 AM
  • Monday, 4/24 - Thursday, 4/27 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Friday, 4/28 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Saturday, 4/29 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sunday, 4/30 2:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Finals Week schedule:
  • Monday, 5/1 - Wednesday, 5/3 8:00 AM - 2:00 AM
  • Thursday, 5/4 8:00 AM - 12:00 AM
  • Friday, 5/5 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The library will be closed on Saturday, May 6th and Sunday, May 7th.

Good luck students!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Looking for Software?

If you're looking for the latest browser release, feed reader or video player check out Run by the computing and technology supersite CNET, has release notes and reviews from CNET editors and users. You can also search the downloads by operating system or type of license (free, free-to-try, or pay.)

You can also find older versions of software downloads at There you'll find hundreds of versions of about 80 popular programs like iTunes, Yahoo! Messenger and Winamp. This site is particularly helpful if you're running an older operating system or working with an older computer that doesn't have a lot of memory resources.

Nifty Modifiers! Google Tips

Take a quick look at the poster Better Searches. Better Results from the Google Librarian Center. Brush up on your Google search techniques.

April Is Alcohol Awareness Month

See PREVLINE's Alcohol & Drug Information here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

National Garlic Day

April 19th is Garlic Day. The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture promotes agriculture by focusing attention on various foods and celebrating their special day. Something to look forward to as we head into exams might be April 26, National Pretzel Day.

Around the world, for over 4,000 years, garlic has held many important roles in daily human life. It has been taken therapeutically and nutritionally. Folklore attributes garlic with good luck and protection against evil. The smell was said to ward off sorcerers, werewolves, warlocks, and-of course-vampires.

F W Murnau's Nosferatu (1921), which has been called by Roger Ebert “the best of all vampire movies.” is truly a masterpiece. Personally, I can't even watch a vampire movie I get so scared.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

American History--See Digitized Documents

Raid on Deerfield. "At least five cultural groups were present at the attack of 1704..."

Making of America--Books and Journals from the 19th Century.

Radical America--A Product of Campus Based New Left of the 1960s-1990s.

Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers--'Nuff Said!

Monday, April 17, 2006

In the Lobby: Side Show

UM Theatre presents the musical Side Show in Reynolds Theatre this week only.

WHEN: Thursday-Saturday, April 20-22, 7:30 p.m., as well as a matinee on Saturday, 4/22 at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Reynolds Studio Theatre.

TICKET INFORMATION: $12 with a UM ID and $15 for the general public. Reservations are not required but suggested, and can be made at (205) 665-6200. Please note: Side Show contains adult themes (no profanity) and is not suitable for children, although teenagers are welcome at the production.

UM Theatre and the Music Department are proud to present this exciting musical event that is now recognized as one of the most daring and unique Broadway musicals of recent years.

The Hilton Sisters will be played by theatre and voice major Megan Stein and Vocal Performance major Natalie Dixon. Their managers and love interests, Terry and Buddy, will be portrayed by theatre major Carl Maguire and theatre and voice major Stephen Elkins. Other major roles include theatre majors Jason Styres as The Boss and Jairus Bean as Jake. The cast includes many veterans of past plays as well as 13 students appearing in either their first production or musical at UM.

David Callaghan (director) and Charles Wood (Musical Director/Conductor) team up again after their recent musical collaboration on A Class Act. Jason Styres returns as choreographer after last year's Godspell, and John Franklin is responsible for the numerous period and side show influenced costumes. Kel Laeger will provide set and lighting design to round out the design team, with freshman theatre major EJ Wilson working as production stage manager with assistants Kelsey Sherrer and Madison Colquette.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Mr. Cranky

Mr. Cranky is a really cool sight for movie reviews!

Library Book Sale

BOOK SALE: Monday morning, April 17th, Carmichael Library. All proceeds go to the Library. Come by and buy some books!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month!

Come see our poetry-related displays in the Library. Check out our poetry links at Library Home.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Our New Blog!

Good Afternoon! Welcome to Carmichael Library's blog. Use this blog to keep up with the latest news at our library.