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June 23, 2003

We're Back

:: Greetings, everyone. Geoff and I have returned from SLA and post-SLA activities in NYC. Thank you for your patience.

:: Somewhat old news, but at the conference, SLA members voted to retain the name, "Special Libraries Association". SLA also appointed Janice Lachance as its new Executive Director.

:: Science has created a site dealing with SARS. Research papers are available as free content, not requiring a subscription to the online version of the journal.

:: The new NASA Technical Report Server has been available to the general public since April 2003. More information is available here.

:: The Internet Resource Catalogue of EEVL recently added its 10,000th record. EEVL is now available through Engineering Village 2.

:: Please see the Federal Communications Commission Release of Data on High-Speed Internet Access, which covers "summary statistics of its latest data on the deployment of high-speed connections to the Internet in the United States", during the period from July-December 2002.

:: Refereed papers from The Twelfth International World Wide Web Conference, 20-24 May 2003, Budapest, are now available.

:: For those of you working in libraries supporting civil engineering, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Civil Engineering Department has created a web site "devoted to providing resources that are intended to advance the use of the strut-and-tie method (STM) in education and design of structural concrete." This is a site that might be worth adding to your resource guide.

:: The Computer History Museum has created a timeline which explores the history of computing from 1945-1990. There is also a fascinating section on People and Pop Culture.

May 16, 2003

Online Exhibitions

:: Recent exhibitions from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries:

Wonder Bound: Rare Books on Early Museums:

"Why are centuries-old natural history books vital to scientific research? Our scientists consult early printed materials to compare historical descriptions with modern specimens. These researchers use the rare book collection of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries' new Joseph F. Cullman, 3rd, Library of Natural History."

Continue reading "Online Exhibitions" »

May 15, 2003

Stuff of Interest

:: The Internet Resources column in the latest issue of C&RL News covers horticulture.

:: This past January, LITA identified the Top Technology Trends of the moment. Of interest are PDAs and wireless.

:: "The Engines of Our Ingenuity is a radio program that tells the story of how our culture is formed by human creativity. Written and hosted by John Lienhard, it is heard nationally on Public Radio and produced by KUHF-FM Houston. Among other features, this web site houses the transcripts for every episode heard since the show's inception in 1988. Streaming audio is available on each of the posted episodes."

:: By now, you must have heard about David Stevenson's proposed journey to the centre of the earth. Here is the longer version of the paper that appears in the 15 May 2003 issue of Nature.

May 14, 2003

Interesting Sites and Stats

:: From the ASEE web site: "ASEE Directory of Engineering and Engineering Technology Colleges has been updated to include the results of the 2002 survey. This directory provides a detailed profile of 358 U.S. and Canadian schools offering undergraduate and graduate engineering, as well as engineering technology. This is the most comprehensive online resource available for researchers and prospective students preparing for their education in engineering."

:: Beyond Brilliance, Beyond Stupidity, is a site that examines "Positive developments in transportation, urban planning, design, the environment, the internet and many other vaguely related areas", and the negative as well. Coverage includes architecture, aviation, cars, cycling, design, environment, geography/maps, internet, society, transit, urban planning, and wildcard.

Continue reading "Interesting Sites and Stats" »

May 9, 2003

New Subject Web Sites, Spam in Depth

Subject web sites of interest:

  • HortiPlex Plant Database:"...contains plant images and data as well as links to information sources, images and vendors at other sites." Features: "101,133 records; 78,477 links; 50,744 taxa; 50,389 cultivars; 14,409 images/image links; 1,651 vendor links"
  • EngNet - Engineering and Internet: "EngNetŪ is a powerful Directory/Search Engine/Buyers Guide Service aimed specifically at the Engineering Industry to enable Engineers, Technicians, Tradesmen, etc. to find information and communicate effectively with suppliers in the Engineering Industry."
  • Centibots: The 100 Robots Project [.pdf, .zip, .mov, .avi]: "The Centibots are a team of 100 autonomous robots (80 ActivMedia Amigobot and 20 ActivMedia Pioneer 2 AT). The goal of the project is to demonstrate by December 2004, 100 robots mapping, tracking, guarding in a coherent fashion during a period of 24 hours"
  • TRN: Technology Research News: "TRN stories cover developments at university, government and corporate research centers on topics like robotics, nanotechnology, quantum computing, virtual reality, wireless communications, and the Internet."
The current issue of the NDSL Scout Report for Math, Engineering & Technology offers spam as its Topic in Depth. Eight websites are highlighted.

May 2, 2003

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology - the liaison librarians' challenge

The latest buzz-word in scientific, medical and engineering research, or should I say buzz-prefix, is "nano". Nanostructures, nanotubes, nanoparticles, nanocrystals, nano-optoelectronics, nanoscale, nanofabrication, nanotribology - as Aaron Brown might say, "and the list...goes on." In recent nanotechnology news, research on carbon nanotubes has resulted in a way to make the nanotubes emit light. Nanotechnology is emerging on our campus as a major area of research and study. NINT, The National Institute for Nanotechnology was established in 2001, and anticipates housing over 400 staff, faculty, researchers and students in the near future.

Providing information and research services to users and faculty working in nanoscience and technology is a challenge for librarians, as the subject field crosses so many traditional boundaries. At the U of Alberta, researchers in the following areas are working on various nano projects: Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Chemical and Materials Engineering, Genetics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics, Oncology, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Rehabilitation Medicine, Law, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Pharmacy, Business, Biochemistry, Medical Genetics, Computing Science, and Physiology. Traditionally, liaison librarians work with one or two departments, sometimes three. Nanoscience and technology is a rapidly emerging cross-disciplinary subject, and one or two librarians may find it overwhelming to liaise with professors and researchers across many faculties, keeping them abreast of the latest developments in library services to this area. One solution is to produce a subject guide based on the discipline itself. Traditionally, most of our guides are created to serve the subject needs of a department.

What has the experience been in your libraries when dealing with cross-disciplinary subjects such as nanotechnology?