April Events in the Library

Everyone, get out your calendars and sharpened pencils or your iPhones and styli (that's plural for stylus, really)! The Library building in the month of April is going to be positively humming with activity, and you are invited:
  • Undergraduate Research Conference -- April 5

We are happy to host the third annual Undergraduate Research Conference on the second floor of the library on Friday, April 5. Organized by the Bryan Center for Undergraduate Research, this conference is a wonderful way to showcase research conducted by our Bryan students. Everyone is welcome. A detailed schedule is located here.  

  • Student Art Show -- April 5 - 15

Students of Ms. Elaine Davis, Instructor and Art Fellow, will display their work in the Academic Support Center (first floor of the library) for the early part of April. The show will be available for public viewing during regular library hours. Look for photos from the exhibit in our May newsletter!

  • National Library Week -- April 14 - 20

Everyone's favorite campus library is kicking off  National Library Week by hosting our final Listen to This! of the year on Monday, April 15, 7:00 p.m. in the Spoede Lounge (first floor of the Library). The theme is Children's Literature, and this is a chance for any audience member to read his or her favorite childhood book (don't worry, we'll put extra books out for anyone who didn't bring their dog-eared copy of Goodnight Moon to college). Invite your friends or your young community pals! Children of faculty/ staff/ students are also welcome! Refreshments provided.

The rest of the week, we'll celebrate by thanking YOU, our loyal customers, for your support. Please stop by the library any time during the week and grab a treat. 
  • Money Smart Week -- April 20 - 27

The library is celebrating Money Smart Week by hosting two seminars:

  • Monday, April 22: Debbie McCuiston in "Redeeming the Dime" -- Join us as Mrs. McCuiston, a local columnist for the Herald news, speaks about saving big by couponing. 
  • Thursday, April 25: Drew and Chelsea Zimmerman in "Attack of the Loans" -- The Zimmermans (recent alums) talk about their aggressive strategies for paying off their student loans.
Both of these events are 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. in the Spoede Lounge (first floor of the library) and are free and open to the public. Refreshments provided. 

Money Smart Week (R)  is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. Learn more here.


display of projects by children's literature classBook Floats 

Mrs. Katy Saynes' Children's Literature Class recently designed and constructed book floats (see photo, right) representing various children's books. Stop by the library and take a look at this miniature parade! 



From the Director

With all of the hype about mobile technology, libraries have been caught up in it. One article abstract I read recently ended with “Mobile is coming—what's your strategy?” We haven’t seen a big demand for library resources to be available through mobile technology yet here at Bryan, but I am sure it is coming, simply because Madison Avenue is telling everyone that mobile is what they want, and our society tends to listen to what it is fed so relentlessly. Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating a boycott of mobile technology or refusing to accommodate it in any way. But the whole conversation is leaving out a very important point about a major effect of mobile technology, which is focus.
 
The smaller the screen that you work on, the more important it is to have focus in what you are looking for on that screen. Therefore, much of the accommodation that is being done for these smaller screens is simply breaking up the data into smaller chunks that fit easily on the screen. So far, so good. But what if you want to see the big picture? What if what you want from Google Earth is not a street scene of a store front or some information on a national monument? What if what you want is to see the satellite image of your state or a map of your entire eight hour trip showing moderate sized cities along the way all at once? I could come up with other examples, but you get the point.
 
I have always thought of libraries as not only places where you could use resources to drill down to specific information on a narrow topic, but also places where you could find huge atlases, history timelines, genealogical family trees, and other resources that let you see a vast, sweeping “big picture” view of things that you could not get elsewhere. Where is the conversation about libraries buying big screen TVs to accommodate these kinds of resources?
 
In short, my concern with all of the mobile hype is that it is training us to forget to look for the big picture, as it increasingly divides our view of the world into smaller and smaller bits of information. When bigger-than-life events happen such as natural disasters or history-making decisions are made, are we losing (or have we already lost) the ability to see the ramifications of what is happening until it is too late to do anything about it? Maybe we should come to the library to search out the big picture for ourselves more often and stop depending on people who spend much of their day looking up factoids on tiny screens to distill a big picture for us.

--Dr. Gary Fitsimmons
 
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