Processing Digital Library Materials

Routine processing of library books frequently means using shelves and other spaces as staging areas for incoming and in-process items. As gifts and purchased books are acquired, cataloged and labeled, librarians typically work on them in batches, sorting on to separate shelves those which have not yet been searched in the catalog or which represent additional copies for the collection or which require a certain level of cataloging, etc. As they move through the processing of getting them to the library and ultimately, the reader they are moved from place to place in the back-rooms of library work areas.

Website Redesign: Update One

As we've mentioned before, the Smithsonian Libraries is redoing its website to move to Drupal 7 and away from our legacy ColdFusion site. The new site aims to be more friendly easier to our visitors, with a "flatter" hierarchy of information and simpler navigation to find information. It's been two months since we started and we have an update on where we are in the development and some of the fun things we've encountered along the way. Graphic Design The same content appearsdifferently in various browsers. Shown: Internet Explorer, Opera and Chrome (N.B. When I refer to "styles", I really mean CSS. For the uninitiated, this is generally what controls how a web page looks, separating it from what a website does or what information the site contains.) We're happy to say that the graphic design is nearly complete! Our initial design started with a Photoshop file. The first round of development of was simply to convert the Photoshop file into an HTML 5 Prototype that looked as close as more »

Some last minute resolutions

This time of year is full of lists — to-dos and "best of"s and, of course, resolutions. If you've found yourself a little lacking in the resolution-making department this year, we offer a few suggestions:   Dust off that old sewing machine in Granny's basement and learn more about it in our collection of Sewing Machine Trade Literature.   Do good and help preserve a literary treasure by adopting a book. Find gorgeous graphic inspiration for all sorts of creative projects in our digitized copy of the Japanese design book, Shin bijutsukai   Save money while fueling your new eReader with our handy list of free resources. Finally identify that mysterious berry in your backyard by using LeafSnap and then searching for more about the species in the Biodiversity Heritage Library   Benefit from SI's mission to increase and diffuse knowledge by browsing over 10,000 museum and staff publications freely available in the Smithsonian Digital Repository. What are your resolutions for the new year? Any that are book or library more »

Celebrating the Life and Contributions of Charles Davies Sherborn

On October 28, 2011, NHM, London, in collaboration with the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, the Society for the History of Natural History and others, hosted a symposium, "Anchoring Biodiversity Information: From Sherborn to the 21st century and beyond,” honoring the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Davies Sherborn. Sherborn, 1861-1942, played a critical role in the biodiversity world by being the first to successfully index every living or extinct animal discovered and documented between 1758 and 1850. His greatest work, Index Animalium, took over 43 years to complete but is still referred to by taxonomist around the world. The one-day event, held at the Flett Theatre at the Natural History Museum, London, celebrated the incredible achievements of Sherborn and the ramifications for taxonomic research yesterday, today, and tomorrow.       The Smithsonian Libraries presented at the symposium with Suzanne Pilsk, metadata librarian, giving a talk and Grace Costantino (Digital Collections Librarian for BHL) and Leslie Overstreet (Curator of the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library at SIL) presenting more »

Spring Internship Opportunities!

Do you know an undergrad or graduate student studying library science, art or history? We are looking for a few good candidates to fill intern positions this spring! Both of these internships are unpaid but may be performed full or part time. Although the Smithsonian itself can not award credit for internships, but we are happy to work with academic institutions to do so. For more information about the benefits of interning at the Smithsonian, click here!     Here are the two positions currently available: Review of reference materials in History and Culture branch libraries This project is to assist reference librarians in the History and Culture branches in reviewing their reference collections. The process involves reviewing all library reference or ready-reference titles, with the aim of withdrawing any titles that are either redundant, available online for free or low cost, or under-used by museum staff. The intern would complete the paperwork, pack the boxes, and arrange for shipment. This topic may not often be discussed in library school.  more »

Happy Holidays!

May you have a happy and peaceful holiday season and a joyous new year!

Smithsonian Libraries Website Redesign – Coming soon!

The Smithsonian Libraries’ website is getting a makeover! The stars have aligned to bring together the elements necessary to initiate a top-to-bottom redesign and reorganization of the Libraries’ presence on the internet. If you’ve explored our site at all, you have found that there is a wealth of information there and we are happy to announce that are planning to keep all of the rich, interesting and informative content that makes our site unique on the Internet. The “stars” that have aligned include the availability of Drupal 7, on which we will develop the website. Drupal is an open-source content management platform for websites and web applications. It is installed on millions of websites around the world and has a strong user community that contributes to the 12,000+ modules that make Drupal versatile and powerful. Another “star” that has aligned is the availability of a developer, that’s me, to develop the site and organize the migration of thousands of pages of content. The final “star” contributing is the encouragement and more »

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