Posted by: Claudia Willett
In the wake of the events that occurred on April 15, 2013 at the 117th Boston Marathon and on April 19, 2013 in Watertown, Northeastern University English Professor Elizabeth Maddock Dillon and Assistant Professor Ryan Cordell recognized the obvious need for a space where people could tell and share their stories with each other. They believed that sharing stories from survivors, families, witnesses, visitors to the city, and everyone around the world touched by the event will speed the healing process, and wanted to create that space as a gift to the community.
Together, they established the Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive, a crowd-sourced, digital archive of pictures, videos, stories, and social media related to the Boston Marathon bombing. Thus far, they have acquired an archive of almost 10,000 items, 3 interactive exhibits, and 3 major collections.
[April 21, 2013, from the Public Submissions collection]
This summer, I contributed to this remarkable endeavor as a Simmons School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) graduate summer intern sponsored by the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Department and supported by the Project Co-Director James McGrath. In addition to exhibit building and social media, the main task of my internship was to create lesson plans for schoolroom use.
Because children were affected by this crisis as well, the team at Our Marathon thought it would help the healing process for children to use the Our Marathon archives—to remember and share stories in the safety of their own classrooms. Additionally, it can be difficult for teachers to navigate the complex questions young students ask and a resource like the digital archive can work as a great tool to facilitate age appropriate discussion.
To that end, I helped create a Teaching Resources page for Our Marathon. This page showcases five lesson plans for Kindergarten through Grade 12 that utilize Letters to the City of Boston and The Copley Square Memorial collections, and the WBUR Oral History Project as the basis for a teaching unit. These lesson plans are designed to demonstrate mastery of grade and subject appropriate Common Core Standards.
Hopefully, these assignments will generate more student submissions to the archive as well as create a platform for an important dialogue amongst students and teachers. I look forward to reading about their experiences in the Our Marathon archives.
Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, History, Information and Society, Library News and Events, Read, Listen, Watch, Research Online
Posted by: Diann Smothers
My first response to Statista was “oooh, pictures!” but when I started doing some searching, I was really impressed by the breadth of the statistics available, not just the presentation of them. For quick statistics to make your papers and presentations pop, it’s a great resource.
You can find lots of different topics in Statista: apples and iPhones, club venues and libraries. Searching it is simple, and once you’ve found what you need, Statista is totally okay with your downloading the chart and putting it in your presentations and papers – they even have tools to make it easy.
But what if you need just a little more information? Take a look at the source and release information that tell where the statistics come from.
Statista also publishes infographics that are fun to browse, timely, and easy to tweet or embed in blog posts (with proper attribution, of course).
Next time you need a few statistics, give Statista a try!
Posted in: Research Online
Posted by: Rebecca Bailey
To support Northeastern University’s emphasis on sustainability and green design, the library subscribes to BuildingGreen Suite, a collection of authoritative media and information resources relating to these topics.
The three main features of its collection are:
- Articles from Environmental Building News
- A searchable directory of green products
- Case studies on individual buildings from their High Performance Buildings database.
The Environmental Building News articles include longer feature articles that deal with topics in depth, product reviews, and shorter topic overviews called “BackPage Primers.” These can be very helpful if you’re not that familiar with subject matter required for your project or assignment. For example, you could brush up on induction lighting, OLEDs, and other lighting technologies, or on acoustics and managing sound and noise within a building.
The green products directory allows you to search by the name of a specific product, or by categories of products such as Plumbing, Concrete, or Wood and Plastics. You can find out details about what a product is made of or contains, when it might be used, and why it might not be right to use in certain situations.
The case studies allow you to search for a specific building, or by location of the project or the type of building. For example, you can search for K-12 schools, or retail stores. Or you can look for projects in Massachusetts. The buildings featured in this section “may be certified green projects, or simply projects that have one or more notable environmental features.”
Be sure to check out BuildingGreen Suite if you are working on any project with a focus on green design or sustainable building practices!
Posted in: Architecture, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Research Online, Sustainability
Posted by: Amy Lewontin
This summer, a number of Northeastern undergraduate and graduate students volunteered their time to work with Snell Library and ProQuest as beta testers, to enhance the ebrary Reader and the user experience. We are hoping you will try out the new reader and enjoy the improved user experience!
• The interface is more simple and intuitive.
• Taking notes, printing sections of a book, sharing, zooming, searching within a book, and creating a citation have all been improved.
• Text quality is improved for better readability.
• Page numbers correspond with printed book.
• The side panel is easily removed for full screen reading.
If you already have an ebrary account, your reader will be updated automatically!
A few more things:
Ebrary will be retiring their dedicated mobile app on August 4th. The new Reader was designed with mobile devices in mind. When you want to download a book, (to your laptop or tablet) you will be prompted to complete an easy three-step process. The last step is to install the free Adobe Digital Editions software for downloading whole e-books.
The Bluefire app will be used for maximizing the experience of offline reading on iOS (iPad and iPhone), Android, and Windows 8 devices. To download the Bluefire app use the App Store or Google Play.
Also, ebrary is promising “enhanced support for accessibility needs” toward the end of 2014.
Webinars are being offered on the new ebrary Reader, if you would like to learn more. We suggest the webinars on the new Reader, and on downloading if you need assistance.
If you need further assistance with ebrary and the Reader, please contact Julie Jersyk, Research and Instruction Librarian at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-373- 2458. You may also use our Ask A Librarian service.
Posted in: Library News and Events, Research Online
Posted by: Rebecca Bailey
Exciting news! New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art announced recently that “more than 400,000 high-resolution digital images of public domain works in the Museum’s world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use—including in scholarly publications in any media—without permission from the Museum and without a fee. The number of available images will increase as new digital files are added on a regular basis.”
The Met calls this initiative Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC). When searching their online image collection, look for the OASC icon, which designates images that are part of this initiative. These images may be used for non-commercial purposes, including school assignments, presentations, scholarly publishing, or personal projects. (Read more about the OASC policy in the FAQ.)
This decision by the Met follows a very welcome recent movement among galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (the so-called GLAM organizations) to make more of their digital image content freely available when possible. This benefits the organizations by increasing public awareness of and generating publicity for their collections. And of course it benefits all of us to have greater access to cultural content worldwide!
Here are some links to more such programs:
The initiative known as OpenGLAM, which is helping many museums to open up more of their content, has a longer list of these types of efforts on their website. You can learn more about OpenGLAM from their FAQ. And be sure to check out the amazing image collections listed above. Happy exploring!
Posted in: Architecture, Art, Information and Society, Read, Listen, Watch, Research Online