Library Blog

Kendriya Vidyalaya Port Trust, Kochi

Famous librarians

Have you ever wondered the past life or secret dreams of your local librarian as they helped you find research paper resources and swiped the bar code on your books? As it turns out, a lot of world leaders, famous authors and legendary philosophers and scholars had careers as librarians. Read below to find out who.

1. Ben Franklin: Ben Franklin didn’t sit behind a circulation desk and help college kids find research materials, but he is still a legitimate librarian. In 1731, Franklin and his philosophy group Junto organized the “Articles of Agreement,” which set up the nation’s first library. Their library, called The Library Company, was first meant to benefit only the members of Junto, so that they could share books on the issues they discussed during meetings. It was organized as a subscription library, and members of Junto payed a small fee to retrieve books.

Franklin was actually the second librarian, and the Company grew to include more books than most university libraries at the time, plus artifacts like coins and fossils. Over time, The Library Company granted access to members of the Second Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention and others.

2. Melvil Dewey: Founder of the Dewey Decimal System, Melvil Dewey was born in New York in 1851. While a student at Amherst College, he worked in the school library to support his living expenses and stayed on as a librarian after graduation. After experimenting with different cataloging and organization methods for library collections, Amherst College published his work A Classification and Subject Index for Cataloguing and Arranging the Books and Pamphlets of a Library. Dewey has been named the “Father of Modern Librarianship” and even helped created the American Library Association in 1876.

3. Eratosthenes: The Greek scholar Eratosthenes discovered the system of latitude and longitude and made significant contributions to astronomy. Eratosthenes was also the chief librarian of the Great Library of Alexandria.

4. Saint Lawrence: As one of the patron saints of librarians, Saint Lawrence, or Lawrence of Rome, was a Catholic deacon who was killed by the Romans in 258 for refusing to turn over the collection of Christian treasures and documents he was entrusted to protect.

5. Mao Zedong: Mao Zedong, the man responsible for uniting China during the 1940s and 50s when he organized the People’s Republic of China, was a librarian. In 1918, Mao lived in Peking China as a young man, he was as assistant librarian at Peking University. The chief librarian at Peking University was a Marxist, and succeeded in converting Mao to communism.

6. Seyd Mohammad Khatami: Seyd Mohammad Khatami was the fifth president of Iran and a former Iran Minister of Culture. He is also a former head of the National Library and Archives Organisation of Iran. He is considered to be a reformist in Iranian culture and politics, supporting freedom of expression and foreign diplomacy.

7. Golda Meir: Golda Meir was the fourth prime minister of Israel, from 1969-1974. She was also one of the twenty-four who signed the Israeli declaration of independence in 1948; am ambassador to the Soviet Union; Minister of Labour from 1949-1956, and the inspiration for the Broadway play Golda, which starred Anne Bancroft. Before her distinguished political career, however, Golda Meir worked as a librarian.

8. J. Edgar Hoover: As the legendary director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover led domestic investigations from 1924-1972, as head of the Bureau of Investigation and when he founded the FBI in 1935. In his early life, however, Hoover went to night school at George Washington University and supported himself by working at the Library of Congress. There, he was a messenger, cataloguer and clerk. In 1919, Hoover left the Library of Congress and worked as a special assistant to the Attorney General.

9. John J. Beckley: John J. Beckley is recognized as being the first political campaign manager in the U.S. He was also the first Librarian of the United States Congress, serving from 1802-1807. In 1789, he was sponsored by James Madison to be the Clerk of the House and supported the new Republic party in 1792, backed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

10. Giacomo Casanova: The infamous spy, writer, diplomat and lover Casanova was born in Venice during the first half of the 18th century. Although he studied to become a priest at the University of Padua and the seminary of St. Cypria, Casanova is well-known for being a drinker and for having scandalous love affairs with numerous women. Later in life, he worked as a librarian for the Count of Waldstein in Dux, Bohemia.

11. Pope Pius XI, or Achille Ratti: Pope Pius XI served from 1929 -1939, during which time he established the feast of Christ the King and spoke out against social justice crimes and unethical financial corruption practices. Before he became pope, Ratti was a librarian and scholar, and at the Vatican, Pope Pius XI famously reorganized the archives.

12. David Hume: Scotsman David Hume contributed greatly to 18th century philosophy and economics, writing important works like Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion and A Treatise on Human Nature. He was an anti-Mercantilist, and according to The New School, Hume “was also one of the better articulators of the Quantity Theory and the neutrality of money.” In 1752, Hume became a librarian at the Advocate’s Library in Edinburgh, where he wrote his famous History of England.

13. Marcel Duchamp: Marcel Duchamp is considered to be one of the most significant and influential modern artists of the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Duchamp was born in the Haute-Normandie region in France, where he took drawing and painting classes as a child. In the early 1900s, Duchamp experimented with Cubism, nude works, and was active in the intellectual and artistic groups influencing the newest culture and trends in Paris at the time. Around 1912, Duchamp became tired of painting and worked as a librarian at the Bibliotheque Sainte-Genvieve, during which he devoted his time to math and physics experiments.

15. Lewis Carroll: The author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll’s real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Dodgson grew up in Cheshire and Yorkshire, England, and after graduating from Oxford with a B.A. in mathematics, he became a sub-librarian at Christ Church there. He left that position in 1857 to become a Mathematical Lecturer. Dodgson first told the story of Alice Adventures in Wonderland to the three daughters of the Dean of Christ Church, in 1862. The book was published three years later and continues to be a popular and significant work of fiction today.

16. Beverly Cleary: Popular children’s book author Beverly Cleary wrote the Ramona Quimby books and Henry Higgins books and has received three Newbery Medals. But before she became a celebrated author, Beverly grew up in a tiny town in Oregon, where her mother asked the State Library to send books to their farm. During the Depression, Beverly went to junior college in California and later attended the University of California at Berkeley. She then attended the School of Librarianship at the University of Washington, Seattle, and became a children’s librarian.

17. Laura Bush: Former First Lady Laura Bush earned her Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Texas at Austin after working as an elementary school teacher. As the First Lady of Texas, she supported George W. Bush’s campaigns and started her own public projects regarding education and literacy. When George W. Bush became President of the United States, Laura supported librarian recruitment initiatives and toured many libraries around the world.

18. Madeleine L’Engle: American author Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is still a popular book among junior high students and almost like a rite of passage for young fiction readers. She has won multiple Newbery Medals and other awards, but later in life, she served as the librarian and writer-in-residence at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

19. Marcel Proust: At once one of the most celebrated and obscure novelists and critics of all time, Marcel Proust once decided to go to school to become a librarian. The French writer was born in 1871, and his most famous work, In Search of Lost Time is still studied today.

20. Jorge Luis Borges: Jorge Luis Borges is an Argentine writer who made significant contributions to fantasy literature in the 20th century. He shared the International Publishers’ Formentor Prize with Samuel Beckett and was a municipal librarian from 1939-1946 in Argentina, before getting fired by the Peron regime. One of his most famous short stories, “The Library of Babel,” depicts the universe as a huge library.

21. Joanna Cole: Joanna Cole’s The Magic School Bus series has served to educate and entertain elementary-aged children about the human body, space, and more. She has also worked as a librarian, a schoolteacher, book editor and writer/producer of the BBC children’s TV show Bod.

22. Jacob Grimm: Grimms’ Fairy Tales was first published in 1812, but the stories, including “Hansel and Gretel,” “Cinderella,” and “Snow White,” are still classic children’s stories constantly reinvented as plays, Disney movies and more. Jacob Grimm worked as a librarian in Kasel, after graduating with a law degree. During this time, Jacob and his brother Wilhelm collected German folk tales from ordinary citizens in hopes of uniting area kingdoms on the basis of sharing a similar culture.

23. Philip Larkin: English poet Philip Larkin was born in 1922 in Coventry. He began publishing poems in 1940 and was even offered the Poet Laureateship of England after the death of Sir John Betjeman, but he declined. Besides writing poetry and novels, Larkin worked as an assistant librarian at the University College of Leicester, a librarian at the University of Hull and was elected to the Board of the British Library in 1984, the same year he received an honorary D.Litt. from Oxford.

24. Stanley Kunitz: Stanley Kunitz is a celebrated American poet who was named the United States Poet Laureate in 2000. He has also been awarded a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, the Levinson Prize, the National Medal of the Arts, and more. Before being named the U.S. Poet Laureate, Kunitz was Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress from 1974-1976.

[From http://www.onlinebestcolleges.com/%5D

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IPL2 (Internet Public Library): Indexing the invisible web

What is the invisible web?
The “visible web” is what you can find using general web search engines. It’s also what you see in almost all subject directories. The “invisible web” is what you cannot find using these types of tools. It is also known as the “deep web”.

These types of pages used to be invisible but can now be found in most search engine results:

– Pages in non-HTML formats (pdf, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), now converted into HTML.
– Script-based pages, whose URLs contain a ? or other script coding.
– Pages generated dynamically by other types of database software (e.g., Active Server Pages, Cold Fusion). These can be indexed if there is a stable URL somewhere that search engine crawlers can find.

There are still some hurdles search engine crawlers cannot leap. When you search in a library catalog, article database, statistical database, etc., the results are generated “on the fly” in answer to your search. Because the crawler programs cannot type or think, they cannot enter passwords on a login screen or keywords in a search box. Thus, these databases must be searched separately. Google Scholar is part of the public or visible web. It contains citations to journal articles and other publications, with links to publishers or other sources where one can try to access the full text of the items. This is convenient, but results in Google Scholar are only a small fraction of all the scholarly publications that exist online. Much more – including most of the full text – is available through article databases that are part of the invisible web. The UC Berkeley Library subscribes to over 200 of these, accessible to our students, faculty, staff, and on-campus visitors through our Find Articles page. Search engine companies exclude some types of pages by policy, to avoid cluttering their databases with unwanted content. Think of the billions of possible web pages generated by searches for books in library catalogs, public-record databases, etc. Each of these is created in response to a specific need. Search engines do not want all these pages in their web databases, since they generally are not of broad interest. A web page creator who does not want his/her page showing up in search engines can insert special “meta tags” that will not display on the screen, but will cause most search engines’ crawlers to avoid the page.

IPL2 is a tool which can aid you in searching the “invisible web”.

IPL2 (IPL stands for Internet Public Library) was formed in January 2010 by merging the collections of IPL and LII (Librarian’s Internet Index) websites. The site is hosted by Drexel University’s College of Information Science & Technology, and a consortium of colleges and universities with programs in information science are involved in developing and maintaining the IPL2.

IPL2 is a public service organization and a learning/teaching environment. To date, thousands of students and volunteer library and information science professionals have been involved in answering reference questions for our Ask an IPL2 Librarian service and in designing, building, creating and maintaining the IPL2’s collections. It is through the efforts of these students and volunteers that the IPL2 continues to thrive to this day.

IPL2 has the following sections:

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Choosing Website Colour

The colour scheme of a website is of utmost importance for making it attractive and making a good first impression. Since a lot of surfing is done in a hurry, the first instant decides whether a surfer wants to stay or move away from a website. The colour scheme you choose can prove to be decisive here. Besides each colour seem to have hidden qualities to it.

With HTML color codes you can set the color of web site background, color of text, cells in tables and much more.
Using HTML color codes for web site background color:

<body style="background:#ffffff">

The above code will set your webpage background colour to white.

A lot of colour codes are listed in this url: http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_colornames.asp

So you are wondering “Does this weird combination of letters and numbers have any meaning?” Well the answer is “Yes” and this is how it goes:)

HTML Codes format:

Each HTML code contains symbol “#” and 6 letters or numbers. These numbers are in hexadecimal numeral system. For example “FF” in hexadecimal represents number 255 in Decimal.

Meaning of symbols:
The first two symbols in HTML color code represents the intensity of red color. 00 is the least and FF is the most intense. The third and fourth represents intensity of green and fifth and sixth represents the intensity of blue. So with combining the intensity of red, green and blue we can mix almost any color that our heart desire.

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Expert Google Search Tips

Google is one of the tools which make Internet what it is today. Here are some of the unknown but very effective search tips you can use with this search engine.

Explicit Phrase:
Lets say you are looking for content about internet marketing. Instead of just typing internet marketing into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase. To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes.

Example: “internet marketing”

Exclude Words:
Lets say you want to search for content about internet marketing, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term advertising. To do this, simply use the “-” sign in front of the word you want to exclude.

Example Search: internet marketing -advertising

Site Specific Search:
Often, you want to search a specific website for content that matches a certain phrase. Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the “site:somesite.com” modifier.

Example: “internet marketing” site:www.smallbusinesshub.com

Similar Words and Synonyms:
Let’s say you want to include a word in your search, but want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms. To do this, use the “~” in front of the word.

Example: “internet marketing” ~professional

Specific Document Types:
If you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier “filetype:”. For example, you might want to find only PowerPoint presentations related to internet marketing.

Example: “internet marketing” filetype:ppt

This OR That:
By default, when you do a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search. If you are looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator. (Note: The OR has to be capitalized).

Example: internet marketing OR advertising

Phone Listing:
Let’s say someone calls you on your mobile number and you don’t know who it is. If all you have is a phone number, you can look it up on Google using the phonebook feature.

Example: phonebook:617-555-1212 (note: the provided number does not work – you’ll have to use a real number to get any results).

Area Code Lookup:
If all you need to do is to look-up the area code for a phone number, just enter the 3-digit area code and Google will tell you where it’s from.

Example: 617

Numeric Ranges:
This is a rarely used, but highly useful tip. Let’s say you want to find results that contain any of a range of numbers. You can do this by using the X..Y modifier (in case this is hard to read, what’s between the X and Y are two periods.) This type of search is useful for years (as shown below), prices, or anywhere where you want to provide a series of numbers.

Example: president 1940..1950

Stock (Ticker Symbol):
Just enter a valid ticker symbol as your search term and Google will give you the current financials and a quick thumb-nail chart for the stock.

Example: GOOG

Calculator:
The next time you need to do a quick calculation, instead of bringing up the Calculator applet, you can just type your expression in to Google.

Example: 48512 * 1.02

Word Definitions:
If you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the “define:” command.

Example: define:plethora

Hope these tips help you harness the power of the Web better.

[From http://blog.hubspot.com/%5D

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Introducing Kids To Libraries

In an effort to develop an early love of reading and encourage usage, libraries these days are increasingly child friendly. But when is the best time to introduce your child to this exciting new world?


Each Kid is Different

The first thing to remember is that each child is different. That may sound obvious, but it’s easy to overlook how different in temperament children of the same age can be, even when they’ve grown up in the same environment. Ask any parent! For this reason, it’s impossible to offer guidelines on the basis of age. One should consider the child’s temperament. One child may enjoy the peaceful environment of the library and be content to spend long periods looking through the books on offer, whilst another of the same age may be bored and thus disruptive to other library users.


Stand in their Shoes

Try and think like a small child when considering your first trip to the library. Put yourselves in their little shoes, if you will. Remember that a child has a very short attention span compared to an adult, and will require stimulation to retain concentration for more than a very short period. It is perfectly normal for some young children to be bored by hand-off type entertainment, so bearing this in mind it may be sensible to limit your first visits to the library to short trips whilst just choosing a book.


Entice Kids into the Library

Although a child will find the different environment of the library interesting, it’s best to keep the first visit short in order to maintain their interest. The new people, interesting things to look at and different activities to explore will all appeal to a young child, and you can make each visit a little longer to enable them to explore this new environment at their own pace. The aim is to make the library a relaxed, interesting and friendly place to visit and to develop a lifelong passion for visiting. By not overwhelming your child on their first visit, you should be able to ensure that your child will look forward to their subsequent trips.

One idea for a first outing to the library would be order a book in advance, either by phone or online, and then take your child into the library with you when you visit the front desk to collect it. It will provide a brief introduction without allowing the child to become bored.


Libraries Like Kids, Too!

Do investigate what activities your local library offers for young children. Many recognise that the library can become a part of a child’s life long before they can read and offer activities from a child’s first year. These may include readings from popular children’s books, or perhaps puppet shows or re-enactments of favourite stories. For older children there may additionally be reading challenges, competitions or other interesting events scheduled.

Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of visiting the library in teaching your child valuable social skills which will be invaluable for the future. Learning to replace books and take care of them teaches respect for things which do not belong to them, whilst behaving quietly and showing consideration for other library users teaches personal responsibility.

Introducing your child to the wonderful world of libraries whilst they are young will ensure that they grow up appreciating and making the most of this most marvelous resource.

[From http://ezinearticles.com/?Introducing-Kids-to-Libraries—A-World-of-Reading-Awaits&id=2457833%5D

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Book Highlight



Told in diary form by an irresistible heroine, this playful and perceptive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the May Bird trilogy sparkles with science, myth, magic, and the strange beauty of the everyday marvels we sometimes forget to notice.

Spirited, restless Gracie Lockwood has lived in Cliffden, Maine, her whole life. She’s a typical girl in an atypical world: one where sasquatches helped to win the Civil War, where dragons glide over Route 1 on their way south for the winter (sometimes burning down a T.J. Maxx or an Applebee’s along the way), where giants hide in caves near LA and mermaids hunt along the beaches, and where Dark Clouds come for people when they die.

To Gracie it’s all pretty ho-hum…until a Cloud comes looking for her little brother Sam, turning her small-town life upside down. Determined to protect Sam against all odds, her parents pack the family into a used Winnebago and set out on an epic search for a safe place that most people say doesn’t exist: The Extraordinary World. It’s rumored to lie at the ends of the earth, and no one has ever made it there and lived to tell the tale. To reach it, the Lockwoods will have to learn to believe in each other—and to trust that the world holds more possibilities than they’ve ever imagined.

Book info & cover courtesy: goodreads.com