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Site of the Day: “A Different View”

Wow. Take a look at this photograph  of the Houston Cole Library taken by Jay Williams and posted on his Website titled “A Different View.” This is a “different view” of the Houston Cole Library, indeed!  Mr. Williams refers to himself as an amateur photographer, but I browsed through his gallery and think his work is amazing. I REALLY love “Overlook” which also shows off the Houston Cole Library.

Of course, if one does a Google image search for “Houston Cole Library,” there are many great photos of our building. It’s interesting to see photos of the library because so many photos are taken from the 12th floor balcony of Houston Cole. For us librarians, one of the most meaningful photos was the one that made the cover of Choice magazine in 2005, thanks to Ms. Latham, who submitted the photograph to this well-known book review source.

My own view of the Houston Cole Library

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Featured Website of the Day: Xtranormal.com

Education Student Meets Education Librarian
Education Student Meets Education Librarian

The Video

I discovered the Xtranormal/ Text-to-Movies Website from Ms. Yingqi Tang’s Library Access off -Campus Blog.  Ms. Tang is the Houston Cole Library’s Distance Education Librarian. I couldn’t resist trying out the Website because it looked kind of fun. The site allows users to select  different characters, scenes, languages, and backgrounds. The users, then, simply type in whatever they want their characters to say, choose different animations, noises, and expressions and publish their work as videos.  Here is my attempt, for what it’s worth. Yeah, I know it’s rather lame but it was my first try. This version of WordPress doesn’t allow me to embed the video directly into the post, so you will have to click on this video link to view.

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Featured Web Site of the Day: Meet Me at the Corner (Podcasts for and by Children)

Meet Me at the Corner is a cool kind of “YouTube for Children.” Designed by Donna Guthrie, a children’s author, the site appears to be well-moderated in order to create a safe, “kid friendly” space. The authors of the Web site encourage children, aged 7-12, to submit their own podcasts on various topics of interest. Originally created as a venue for children to produce their own podcasts about the people, places, and history of New York City, the Web site’s authors now seek podcasts from children from all corners of the world in order to construct a series of virtual community field trips. 

I decided to feature this site for three reasons. First, I think a site for videos, produced and submitted by children, is a creative idea and one which teachers, students, and parents could utilize. 

I was also personally interested in the site because I have recently been encouraged by my administrators to create podcast library instruction tutorials.  Mark Camp, from JSU’s Office of Distance Education, was extremely helpful in instructing the reference librarians on how to make podcast tutorials and showed us what tools are at our disposal. We were encouraged to submit these library tutorials to JSU’s ITunes U. However, I have sort of been procrastinating, as my video experiences have not been so hot. In fact, my few attempts at creating short little videos have been downright embarrassing. I certainly won’t win a Sundance Award for my feeble contributions to the YouTube Universe, thus far. I thought I might take a look at the podcasts created by the children on this site to motivate me and help build my confidence before attempting an actual professional podcast. There is even a video on MeetMeAtTheCorner.org about how to create podcasts which I watched to give me pointers.

Finally, the most recent podcast featured on the site is an interview with the band, Trout Fishing in America. I absolutely loved hearing this band play years ago at Be Here Now  which is “no longer there” in Asheville, North Carolina. This has nothing to do with the price of peanuts. I just thought it was cool.

My ramblings aside, here is Ms. Guthrie’s own description of the site:
Geared to children ages 7-12, MeetMeAtTheCorner.org is a dynamic, interactive site, which encourages individual expression and participation through video submissions from children worldwide. Through these video podcasts, the site creates a community of children who learn the art of self-expression and storytelling through video. The site is free of charge.

MeetMeAtTheCorner.org currently offers more than 50 three-to four-minute episodes. Recent additions include interviews with famous artists and writers, trips to  New York City, San Diego, and Colorado, and introductions to unusual hobbies.  New trips are added every three weeks

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Featured Website of the Day: the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue

Among many of the faculty in our College of Education, the Online Writing Lab (OWL), created and maintained by the English Department at Purdue University, is considered to be one of the most reliable and accurate guides for citing sources in APA and MLA style.  During library instruction sessions, I usually recommend this online source to students.

Many citation style guides on the Internet are not accurate. I have found that many of our students have stumbled upon citation style generators which they absolutely love. These generators seem so convenient because they allow you to type in your citation information and they will automatically generate a citation in whatever style you request.  So what’s the trouble? They are not completely accurate. Furthermore, why not just take the time to LEARN how to cite a source properly?

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue covers most citation scenarios our students will encounter when writing their papers. The site is well-maintained and is very reputable. In addition, this site also contains excellent information on writing papers geared specifically towards ESL students, high school students, and professional writers.  This is definitely the cream of the crop when it comes to citation guide Websites.