Blog topic: Education

Amazing Library Race

Amazing "Library Titles" Race for library instruction

April 9, 2015
by Felicia Smith

“The Ass is Dead! Long Live the Ass!”

Do I have your attention?

Good. That is the point of a library instruction workshop game that requires students to unscramble a book title, search the catalog to find its location, and retrieve it from the shelves. “The Rebellion of The Beasts: Or, the Ass is Dead! Long Live the Ass!” is a sample title.

Stanford University Libraries (SUL) supports the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) by offering library instruction workshops that include a walking tour of the library as well as an introduction to library resources. These library workshops are designed to support PWR’s objective to guide students in developing analytical and research-based argument skills. The library workshops are usually just a one-shot class that lasts 1 hour and 50 minutes; this is the duration of most classes.

Cover image of The new kid on the block

National Poetry Month at Cubberley Library

April 6, 2015
by Kelly L Roll

April is National Poetry Month and this year poets.org is encouraging young people in grades five through twelve to write letters in response to poems written and read by award winning poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors. You can find more information at their site.

San Francisco Fountain detail by Joe Thompson

Asawa Photos of San Francisco on Historypin

April 2, 2015
by Franz Kunst

As previously announced, the Ruth Asawa papers are now available. In thinking of fun and innovative ways to present certain aspects of her work, we decided to scan a small series of San Francisco architecture snapshots from her collection and upload them to the social mapping website Historypin, and also include them in their Year of the Bay local history project.  These photographs were probably used as research in creating the San Francisco Fountain in Union Square, which features many cast dough relief images of the city. Unfortunately there is no information on or about the prints in the collection. They are likely all from the 1960s, and were probably taken by Asawa (she has referred to taking pictures of the city in preparation). Architectural historian Sally Woodbridge may have also contributed. The varying qualities of the prints implies that several cameras or developers were used, and that they were probably taken over a period of time. At any rate, they collectively serve as a remarkable portrait of the city in that decade.

Cover image of César : sí, se puede! yes, we can!

César Chávez Day, March 31

March 31, 2015
by Kathryn M Kerns

Today is César Chávez Day.  To celebrate you might want to check out some of the books for children in Cubberley Library's Curriculum Collection:

Digging Deeper Logo

Digging Deeper - an online course about medieval manuscripts

In January, Stanford launched Digging Deeper: Making Manuscripts, an online learning experience devoted to the technologies involved in creating and interpreting medieval manuscripts. We're off to a roaring start with thousands of enrolled participants across more than 90 countries (and it's not too late to sign up!).  The creation of the course has been a truly collaborative experience: Stanford University faculty and library staff have worked closely with counterparts at Cambridge University, Stanford Academic Technology Specialists, graduate students, and a team from Stanford's Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning to produce a suite of learning materials that have become much richer than any of us envisaged at the beginning of the process in 2013!

Bridget Whearty and Astrid Smith in the digitization lab

Making a digital medieval manuscript

As the CLIR postdoctoral fellow in Data Curation for Medieval Studies at Stanford I work primarily with data about large collections of digitized manuscripts and fragments. For example, I have helped to make our teaching collections more easily discoverable in Searchworks. I've also been bringing together partner institutions' descriptive metadata to feed a specialized manuscript search environment. 

In practice, I write code to transform batches of 70, 300, 500, or 1000+ manuscripts at a time: I've gotten very comfortable thinking of medieval manuscripts in the tens, hundreds, and even thousands. But the truth is that these large batches of digital-medieval manuscripts I curate are built of unique, single objects. Single objects that, just like the physical objects they grow from, are made by individual people, in particular environments, under specific institutional, financial, and social pressures. 

In order to better understand the process that leads to the creation of a digital-medieval book, I recently followed the digitization of a fifteenth-century book of hours, Stanford University Libraries, M0379, from the request for digitization, through the slow hard work of taking the images and hours of post-production labor, to its arrival in Stanford Digital Repository (SDR). 

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