Monday, January 24, 2011

Geeky Fun--Online Collaborative Writing Tools

I was trawling around on the “Geeky Fun” section of the MakeUseOf website the other day and found a list of “7 Collaborative Storytelling Websites to Weave Your Own Digital Stories” that I just have to share with you.  Collaborative writing is a modern, online prose version of group poetry, renga, and an updated version of the "exquisite corpse" method of group writing. 
Whether you are an experienced writer, just getting started, or simply like to read cool stuff that you’ve never seen in print before, these sites are for you:
1.       Folding Story—“writing game where each writer is constrained to write one line of a story (120 wrods or less) and pass it on…in just three minutes” 
2.       Ficly—“micro-fiction in a collaborative way”  
3.       Fabulate—“collaborative book project” with submissions maximum 500 words and each entry must pick up where the last left off and continue to build a cohesive end product 
4.       WikiStory—collaborative storytelling in all genres; check out the “three-word story” challenge 
5.       One Million Monkeys Typing—“each story has three possible paths” to which you may add your own snippet 
6.       StoryMash—“might appeal to amateur writers who want some of the spoils of their writing…site shares half of the advertizing revenue stories get with their writers;” chapter-length submissions and peer-review 
7.       Novlet—multiple languages; each story “is divided into passages” that you may continue or branch off in a new direction 

Internet Public Library logo (
The Internet Public Library’s site offers a pathfinder page for more creative writing resources.

“There’s an app for that” at the Library of Congress

Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress
The Library of Congress (LOC) in Washington, DC, is the world’s largest library.  It is composed of the Thomas Jefferson Building (c. 1897), the John Adams Building (c. 1935), and the James Madison Memorial Building (c. 1974). You could spend days, weeks or months exploring the various buildings, to say nothing of the library’s collections. 
Now, skip the trip to DC and design your own virtual tour experience at the Library of Congress’s myLOC site.  Start with virtual tours of the various exhibit spaces and all three buildings. Move on to online activities, a Knowledge Quest, and more.  Teachers will find lesson plans for using the Library of Congress’s vast resources in all subject areas. 
Or, go to the iTunes store to get the free LOC app to take the virtual tour on your iPhone or iPad. 
You can register at the site to access its many special features. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

From the Director's Chair--New Trial Databases in EBSCOhost

The library is evaluating 14 databases from EBSCO through June 2011 for possible purchase.  Logon and choose the link for "EBSCOhost Research Databases (Trial Databases)" as shown in the image above to try out some of them.
The databases being considered for purchase are:     Academic Search Complete
     Computers and Applied Sciences Complete
     Criminal Justice Abstracts
     Education Research Complete
     Environment Complete
     History Reference Center
     Humanities International Complete
     Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text
     Literary Reference Plus
     Newspaper Source Plus
     Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
     Science Reference Center
     SocINDEX with Full text

    "The library is looking at a proposal from EBSCO that would involve adding these databases while eliminating some others from ProQuest and Wilson.  There’s a good chance that we’ll be reconfiguring our overall menu of databases for next year, so your feedback about these trial databases is important and welcomed," said Brent Short, Director of Library Services.

Leave a comment here telling us which ones you like, which ones you don't like, and why.  Your input will help shape the decision about these possible new resources.   

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Subject Research Guides--What's What and Where To Find It

We know you often use the library late at night, long after the reference desk has closed for the evening.  So, faculty librarians created a series of Subject Research Guides to help you find your way to the best resources to begin your research. 

There's a 3-minute video tutorial explaining how to use the subject research guides.

We now have 29 subject research guides.  Topics include Accounting, Business, Computer Information Systems, Counseling, Criminal Justice, Environmental Science, Exceptional Student Education, Fine Arts, Health Care Management, Human Resources Administration, International Hospitality & Tourism Management, Psychology, Religion & Theology, Social Work, and Sport Business Management. 

Use the "comments" area of the blog to suggest other subjects for new research guides or email us.