Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fayetteville Free Library Fab Lab and Makerspaces

This week I'd like to talk about a concept popping up in public libraries around the country, makerspaces. I've heard buzz about this concept for a while, and then saw the cover of the October issue of Library Journal, with several articles about makerspaces and decided to talk about the topic this week.

What is a makerspace? These are spaces that provide equipment and resources for people to collaborate on projects and make things. That's it in a sentence, but they are really much more. For more detail, read the three part series from the October issue of Library Journal.
1. The Makings of Maker Spaces
2. Express Yourself
3. Fabricating a Fabulous Home for CoCreation

There are several notable library blogs that have great information about makerspaces, such as The Unquiet Librarian and See also this article on Sharable which includes an interview with Lauren Britton, who developed the Fayetteville Free Library Fab Lab and co-authored the three part series in Library Journal.

To learn more about makerspaces in public libraries, check out this webinar series from the American Library Association.. There is one recording available from the October 15th session, and three upcoming, November 19, December 3, and January 7. Also read up on Tekventure, an Indiana effort to provide makerspace to the public. For images of what these spaces can look like, check out these articles from Makerbot.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

San Diego Zoo Library

Zoos have libraries. Go figure. I discovered this bit of information recently when I saw a job posting for an Associate Director of Library Services at the San Diego Zoo Global Library. The position closed to applications on October 11th, however here is the link to the job posting for anyone interested, and this is a link to a .pdf I've uploaded to Google Docs for posterity. The existence of libraries in zoos had never occurred to me. Then I realized, of course zoos have libraries. Zoos need access to veterinary collections for animal care, biological research, zoo history, current practice in animal care, to name a few needs.

I spent some time on the San Diego Zoo's library website and was impressed with the resources available. Check out these Fact Sheets. They are HTML pages that cover a breadth of topics. I dig the hippopotamus photo.

The zoo library has over 11,000 books and 400+ journal titles. There are archives and rare books, as well as general reference services and information. It looks like a great library resource. I borrowed some photos from the website to give you a look. Click the photos to visit the library home page.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Foundation Center

Today's post is about the Foundation Center library in Washington, DC. The Foundation Center is a non-profit organization founded in 1956 and is one of the largest resources on philanthropic organizations in the world. According to the website "Thousands of people visit the Center's web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of 450 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and beyond."

Headquartered in New York, the center maintains four field offices as well as an extensive network of Cooperating Collections. I have not personally visited the library, but filled my information gaps with the helpful video embedded below. Check it out, and definitely visit one of their many locations if you are ever in need of philanthropy resources.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

A few weeks ago I spent a weekend in Philadelphia with my husband. It was my first time in the city and we did the usual visit to the birthplace of democracy; Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross's house, Ben Franklin's print shop and post office, and Elfreth's Alley. We barely scratched the surface of things to do, but only had one day in the city. We decided to spend the afternoon visiting the Mütter Museum.
Mutter Museum and Medical Library Sign
The museum is amazing. It definitely has disturbing elements. For me, the wall of fetal deformities was a little difficult to take in. There were exhibits linking Grimm's Fairy tales to medical conditions, and I learned more than I ever intended about skin conditions and the assassinations of Lincoln and Garfield. Check out this article from the British Society for the History of Science Travel Guide for more information about the museum. There was a wonderful quote on a display description that sums up the importance of the collection well.

"A great museum collection is as important to medical education as a great library because specimens are nature's books"

picture of the stacks from the library website While at the Mütter I learned about the Historical Medical Library also housed in the building. Established in 1788, it's one of the world's premier research collections into the history of medicine. Over 400 incunables, manuscripts, archives, and 19th and 20th century medical journals. Sadly, I did not have an appointment, so I could not visit the stacks. The library is open by appointment only Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 10:00am to 4:00pm.

If you want to see specifics, you can search the catalog online. The Catalog search help is fairly comprehensive if you would like a tutorial in how to use their catalog system.

Also available for distance visitors are the digital resources, Digital Books and two digitized 18th Century Manuscripts.

See the library website for history of the collection, or read this very informative article from the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, which is part of the Literary and Cultural Heritage Map. Photos are not allowed within the museum so these shots of the door and the one taken from the library website above will have to satisfy your visual cravings.
Mutter Museum and Medical Library Entrance
Mutter Museum and Medical Library Entrance
Mutter Museum and Medical Library Entrance