The Fix: Behind the Scenes Help

Throughout the years, Smithsonian Libraries Preservation Department has been fortunate for the assistance of and grateful to our volunteers. Louise Crean is one such volunteer who has provided an extraordinary amount of help with General Collections Care since joining us two years ago.

Calling All Steampunk Fans!

Engineering Romance in Late 19th Century Literature, featuring Rosalind Williams Date: November 28, 2012, 5:00 pm Location: Smithsonian Institution Castle Jules Verne (1828-1905) and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) were well-known writers of romance in the late l9th century.  They were also fascinated by engineering, both as well-informed observers and as lay engineers. This talk will describe this convergence of engineering and romance in their lives and times and reflect upon its implications for our own lives and times. This event will take place on Wednesday, November 28 at 5:00 p.m. in the Smithsonian Institution Castle building.

Sharing Your Research in the Cloud

Have you ever been working on a research project with a group of people and wished for a better way to share your work online, or “in the cloud”? Well, a number of tools exist for just this purpose – including the two reference managers I told you about in my last couple of Library Hacks posts. In my final post on these tools, I’ll discuss how both Zotero and Mendeley offer ways to help you collaborate and communicate with colleagues to make sharing research easier. So far, these tools may have seemed pretty similar, but this is where you will see some distinct differences between the two.

Smithsonian Libraries Staff Assist with Growth of the Digital Public Library of America

This post was written by Martin Kalfatovic, Associate Director, Digital Services Division, Smithsonian Institution Libraries. On October 11-12, Nancy Gwinn, Director of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, and I participated in the Digital Public Library of America’s (DPLA) Midwest workstream and plenary meetings. The meetings were held in some wonderful meeting spaces at the Harold Washington Library Center of the Chicago Public Library (interesting side note: the building holds the record for largest public library space!).

Easy Citing While You’re Writing

Old typewriters are pretty cool, but did you ever try adding footnotes to a paper using one? Not so easily done. Thank goodness for modern innovations! In my last Library Hacks post, I introduced Zotero and Mendeley, two free “reference managers” that help you collect and store all kinds of materials – from  PDF files to book citations to webpages – in your own online library. Now we’ll look at how these same tools can help you add footnotes, citations and bibliographies to a paper as you’re writing it. And it’s a snap!

Free Tools to Help You Tame Unruly Information

Here’s the latest post in our series, Library Hacks, where we take a look at cool and interesting online resources from the Smithsonian Libraries and the cyberworld at large. We librarians are all about the organization of information. It’s what we live for! (Well, that might be overstating it a bit.) So when we find great tools for keeping track of info/data/stuff, we get pretty excited. While you may not have the same level of enthusiasm for this that we do, you still can find such tools useful for everything from doing research on a topic of interest, to writing a report for school or work, to collecting your favorite recipes from foodie websites.

Free eBooks for Your New eReader

This is the second post in our new series, Library Hacks, where we take a look at cool and interesting online resources from the Smithsonian Libraries and the cyberworld at large. Are you giving or getting an eReader this holiday season? Maybe you are one of the millions already using smartphones or tablets to access just about everything online. In my humble librarian opinion, one of the greatest uses for such devices is free downloadable books! Of course, you can and should check your local public library to find ebooks to borrow, but there are lots of websites offering access to ebooks, too. However, not all such sites give free access! Many, like Amazon.com, offer ebooks for sale only. So I thought I'd highlight some of the biggest and best sites for finding free ebooks — which won't put an extra squeeze on your holiday budget. Project Gutenberg Project Gutenberg was the first provider of free full-text ebooks. Its founder Michael S. Hart, who passed away earlier this year, invented more »

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