But do we need desktop computers in libraries?

10922274335_b0a52da417_mThis article got me thinking about the future of desktop computer work stations in libraries, particularly the title, “Today’s Computer Commons is Tomorrow’s Card Catalog.” I see a lot of students come into the library having already searched the catalog on their phones with the bibliographic record (fancy library talk for the item’s entry in the catalog) and call number at the ready. I also see a lot of students bringing their own laptops for work in our study area with no need for the available workstations in the library.

In this age of Google Glasses and instant info everywhere, one does wonder about the need for these tools, particularly in an academic environment where most, if not all, students have their own personal computers. I do remember the days before laptops when we were tied to big black boxes that took up way too much space. A dear friend of mine was always saying how he was going to move his music printing business, or rather “bidness” as he pronounced it, to the beach some day, accepting orders while sipping a mai tai. I rolled my eyes at his early 1990s prediction, thinking there was no way all the power of a computer could be harnessed into something portable. Clearly, I was wrong.

However, I do see the block of 4 public workstations in front of my desk in the library full or nearly all being used on a daily basis. Obviously, there is need. Despite the proliferation of cell phones, have you ever tried to type a paper on a hand-held? Or longed for the eye-pleasing luxury of a larger screen? Or needed the ease of a keyboard rather than hunting and pecking your letters on the phone? For now, there IS a need for desktops in the library and we’re happy to provide this service here at the RML.

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New Computers in the Library!

Armando and Charlotte give a thumbs up!

Armando and Charlotte give a thumbs up!

At long last and not a minute too soon, your RML received a raft of new pcs sporting Windows 7. The monitors are larger and the keyboards are quieter. Despite a few bugs in the beginning, most units appear to be functioning smoothly and are eagerly awaiting student searchers. Come on down and check them out!

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Comps Crazy

DSCF2550It’s that time of the year when the library gets packed with crazed graduate students attempting to cram for their comprehensive exams. In order to receive a master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, all graduate students need to pass a theory and a history examination based on a personal recital program. The exams are offered twice a year at the end of the semester and the majority of students put them off until their final month here at CIM. Basically, the students spend two hours analyzing and providing historical commentary on chosen works from their submitted programs. Professors choose the exact works and students won’t know which ones until they get there, so they need to be prepared to write extemporaneously on all of them.

Lots of preparation goes into this exam. An annotated bibliography is required in advance of the exams which helps the students learn more about their recital programs. Two required courses are provided over the student’s time here which focus on the theory portion and navigating the library and the web to find the resources needed.

DSCF2551“As long as you know how to research, I think comps are completely manageable,” says Ryan Finefrock, MM 2014 Bassoon Performance.

So think good thoughts for our masters students this Friday afternoon, April 4.

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Google Books Win

The Congress shall have Power …To promote the Progress of Science
and useful Arts, by securing for limited Tımes to Authors and Inventors
the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8

Two and a half years later, the Google Books case has bubbled to the top of the court docket. In 2004, Google began its controversial book scanning project with its partners, the NYPL and the Library of Congress. The Authors Guild immediately sued saying Google was distributing copyright-protected content freely on the web. Well, in 2011, Judge Chin ruled in favor of Google citing the benefits of the collection of digital excerpts and calling the digital images a transformative use of the written word as they were being used as a search mechanism, not in their sit-down-and-read-a-book sense. Fast forward to November 2013 and Judge Chin elaborates even further on his earlier ruling, citing the public benefits this new platform delivers.

In my view, Google Books provides significant public
benefits. It advances the progress of the arts and sciences,
while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of
authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely
impacting the rights of copyright holders. It has become an
invaluable research tool that permits students, teachers,
librarians, and others to more efficiently identify and locate
books. It has given scholars the ability, for the first time, to
conduct full-text searches of tens of millions of books. It
preserves books, in particular out-of-print and old books that
have been forgotten in the bowels of libraries, and it gives them
new life. It facilitates access to books for print-disabled and
remote or underserved populations. It generates new audiences
and creates new sources of income for authors and publishers.
Indeed, all society benefits.

excerpt from Judge Denny Chin’s ruling

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Britten turns 100!

English composer, conductor and pianist, Benjamin Britten would have turned 100 on November 22, 2013. A dominant figure in 20thcentury British art music, Britten’s success of Peter Grimes in 1945 brought a revival to English opera. Britten’s distinctive tonal language remains accessible today.

You can access Britten’s music at Naxos Music Library  or Classical Music Library on the Case network in the Library, or from anywhere using VPN Client .

Happy Birthday, Benjamin Britten!

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