New(s) @ Axe

News and Events of the Leonard H. Axe Library, and of the
Kansas Technology Center Library - Pittsburg (KS) State University

Monday, April 09, 2007

WorldCat Identities Beta

WorldCat Identities Beta is one of the many projects being rattled around in OCLC Research Works, basically an "OCLC Labs" type project.

WorldCat Identities is a way to find out which books by or about an author, artist, composer, etc., are the most popularly held in libraries. The opening page lists the top 100 'names' in libraries. Each link goes to a page on Shakespeare, Beethoven, Mozart, L'Amour, Azimov (composers dominate) and the like. You may also search for an individual using a simple search form.

Take the link to Steinbeck, for instance. The main section of the page lists the full name and dates (is this linked to the OCLC Name Authority file?). Other sections are:

Overview: The "Works" subsection states: "2,520 works in 6,077 publications in 61 languages and 320,869 library holdings".

Publication Timeline: This section shows the years 1910-2010. Under "1934-1935", there are 21 publications by the author. "1936-1937" shows 68 publications by John Steinbeck, but now there are 10 items about the author.

Works About: A list of the top 20 titles in libraries about the author.

Works By: The most widely held books written by John Steinbeck. The first entry of course is "The Grapes of Wrath". Then the line: "397 editions published between 1939 and 2006 in 27 languages and held by 17,463 libraries worldwide". Finally a synopsis of the book itself, and a bit of historical background of the book. Twenty titles are also listed in this category.

Audience Level: on a scale from 0 to 1 the author's 'appeal' is listed. 0 for kids, .5 for general audience, and 1 for special interest. Steinbeck garnishes "Audience level: 0.46 (from 0.39 for The red po... to 0.54 for Steinbeck ...)".

Related Names: What other names are associated with the "Person of Interest"? Well, Ernest Hemingway, John Ford, Eli Kazan, and Henry Fonda are four of ten listed.

And finally, Useful Links: Entries to the LC Authority File entry and Wikipedia entry are given.The sidebar lists thirteen alternate name variations (several in other languages). Popular titles are grouped by language, with the number of entries given for each. Finally, book covers are shown for the most popular works.

Clicking on page links takes you to the Open WorldCat entries for the titles in that category.

We certainly hope OCLC will develop this site further and keep this information available. This is an excellent source of concise... reliable Internet information on individuals. Anyone doing collection development, reference, or setting web links on their sites should utilize this service!

Further information is available from the OCLC ResearchWorks page (see also: OCLC ProductWorks and OCLC Research Projects pages for other ideas under production). And in a pinch, you could do a Google search on +"worldcat identities" to get pages of leads. Of note is Thom Hicky's blog entry on his blog "Outgoing".

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Display Cases, April and May

Partly to commemorate the European discovery of Brazil by Pedro Alvares Cabral on April 22, 2007 and partly because Brazil was a key (and problematic) stop on George W. Bush’s March visit to our restive neighbors in South America, our first floor lobby display is entitled Brazil, Economic Powerhouse. Brazil, one of the more prosperous countries in South America, enjoys a trade surplus due to the demand for its commodities, a strong currency and also hopes to profit from the production of ethanol from its sugar cane. (Cheaper than the U.S. corn based ethanol.) To give a profile of the economic outlook in Brazil, we have placed articles from some of our online newspapers on the wall around the display case and have also placed many books and government documents on Brazil’s history, economy, relations with the United States and with its neighbors, internal politics, lingering poverty and efforts at social reform.

At the end of April (April 23rd to 27th) the Early Childhood Organization of PSU has asked us to put up a display on the Week of the Young Child. Here, we will put books, documents and periodical articles on such subjects as Education of young children, emotional and behavioral problems, reading, learning, play, guidance, gifted education and many other pertinent subjects..

Finally, on or about May 1st in honor of Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday which commemorates the battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. (French forces fighting for Napoleon III, under General Charles de Lorencez were unexpectedly beaten by Mexican forces fighting for Benito Juarez under General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin near the Mexican town of Puebla.) we will place books and articles in the display case pertinent to the history, culture, archaeology and politics of Mexico.

In the second floor display case we are commemorating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. (In 2007 it falls on March 31st for Sunnis and on April 5th for Shi’a) Several books are on display which are very informative about Islam, describing its global spread, its cross cultural appeal and the many different forms of worship in the many countries where it is practiced.

On May 1st, these materials will be replaced by biographies of the persons who most affected events in Mexico during the battle of Puebla. (Benito Juarez, the Emperor Maximilian, his wife Carlota and Napoleon III). So, come and see them and if you would like to ask us to check out a book from the cases, just ask. We’ll be glad to get it for you.

Benito Juarez, Mexico’s most brilliant and revered leader. He served as President from 1858 to 1872, successfully resisted the French occupation of Mexico and is lovingly remembered as being a progressive reformer dedicated to democracy, equal rights for the nation's indigenous Indian population, lessening the great power that the Roman Catholic Church then held over Mexican politics, and defense of national sovereignty. He died of a heart attack in 1872 while working at his desk in the National Palace in Mexico City. [Wikipedia]

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And...For those Folks Planning a Trip this Summer

The Reference Department has been busy this Spring (with the diligent assistance of the Government Documents Department, whose assistants have eagerly helped us every step of the way) writing to tourist boards, chambers of commerce and other organizations who assist travelers. We have asked them to send us maps, brochures, guidebooks or other publications. They have obliged us by providing abundant material which is bursting out of the filing cabinets of our Description and Travel collection (Located to the left of our first floor photocopy machine). We have brochures and maps from the individual states, such as Ohio, Maine, North and South Carolina and from individual cities, such as New York City, Tucson, Phoenix, Dallas and many others. We also received material from every province in Canada (want to go to Nunavut this summer?) and many other countries, large (China) and small (Malaysia) as well as from island nations in the Caribbean and the South Pacific. And the materials haven’t stopped coming in.

If you are traveling this summer and need some material, just drop by the Library or give reference a call at 235-4894. All of the maps, brochures and guidebooks can be checked out and taken on your trip. Also, since we have a lot of duplicates, ask us to let you look at them before you leave. We’ll give them to you free of charge.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

What’s Friends of Axe Been Up to Lately? (Or...More News Is Good News)

Well, as you all know by now, we are all very busy working to improve the collection and services of Axe Library. Here is just a brief list.

1. Children’s Book Festival, March 31st, 2007 – The Friends earned quite a lot of funds at our book festival last month. We hope to invest it in our 10th annual DeGruson Memorial Lecture (see below) as well as our new edition of A Closer Look.

2. Outstanding Friends Group Award – Awarded to us by Friends of Kansas Libraries on March 5th, 2007 for outstanding achievement in 2006. On April 11, a representative will be picking up a certificate and a $100.00 check at the Kansas Library Association Tri-Conference in Topeka.

3. A Closer Look, 2nd ed. – A much improved version of our campus history. New pictures, new text, new maps, new entries and much, much more. Due out in May, the books will sell in the Library for $5.00.

4. Community Bazaar – Friends of Axe has reserved a table at the Fall Community Bazaar. From September 28th to September 30th we will be selling donated paperbacks and leftovers from the Children’s Book Festival at cut rate prices.

5. DeGruson Memorial Lecture, October 9, 2007 – 7PM in the Special Collections Dept. Refreshments to follow. Dr. Sharon Neet, scholar in SEK History will deliver a lecture on the fascinating Girard publisher Emanuel Haldeman-Julius and his contributions to the culture of Southeast Kansas. Never heard of him? Well, come and find out. You won’t regret it. It’s our tenth anniversary lecture, so, it’s going to be great!

Need more detail? Check out our Summer 2007 online newsletter!

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