Cool Sites


A mystery at the Laurentian Library

Via Metafilter:

Within the Laurentian Library, the enigmatic masterwork of Michelangelo, there exists a complex geometric pavement that is hidden from view, little known about and shrouded with mystery. The Library is situated within the Medici family church complex of San Lorenzo in Florence, and like many Renaissance libraries, it is located on the upper level of a cloistered courtyard. Once the upper level is reached, there is little fanfare announcing the Library entrance and it would be easy to walk by it unless you knew where it was located. But on passing through the door, quite a different world opens up; the visitor stands in the corner of a gigantic room that ominously stares downwards, leaning on the senses with its architectonic weight ...

The pavement appears to have been intentionally concealed for centures - this site tries to determine why. More information about the library's history is here. Just for good measure, there are some cool 3D models of the library available here.


Wiki WorldCat (WikiD) Pilot From OCLC

Anonymous Patron writes "The Wiki WorldCat (WikiD) Pilot: Beginning in September, Open WorldCat users will be able to add content to WorldCat records using wikis. The pilot will give users the ability to add comments, see comments by others and add or edit other information they know about the record."


Cool Site: the new Michigan eLibrary (MeL)

Debra writes "The Library of Michigan recently unveiled the newest version of the Michigan eLibrary (MeL). Available free to Michigan residents, the revamped MeL features an easy-to-use gateway and the ability to search for information across a variety of quality information resources, many of which are not available via a typical Internet search.

MeL features an array of powerful services that cut across a mix of information resources, including:

MeLCat – a valuable resource-sharing service that removes geographic barriers, effectively allowing users to search for books and other materials from an ever-growing collection of participating libraries' holdings and have those materials delivered to participating local libraries."


Good Collection Of Censorship Quotations

Danielle Hollister, BellaOnline's Quotations Editor, has assembled a fine collection of Censorship Quotations.

"If librarianship is the connecting of people to ideas – and I believe that is the truest definition of what we do – it is crucial to remember that we must keep and make available, not just good ideas and noble ideas, but bad ideas, silly ideas, and yes, even dangerous or wicked ideas."

--Graceanne A. Decandido


Seattle Library Adds Making the Invisible Visible Display

Christina writes "Pointed out on the MAKE blog. Seattle public library has an eletronic display of what books are returned (Making Visible the Invisible)
'The circulation of checked out books and media transforms the library into a data exchange center. This flow of information can be calculated mathematically, analyzed statistically and represented visually. From a cultural perspective, the result may be a good indicator of what the community of patrons considers interesting information at any specific time. Visualizing the statistical information of the titles and their categories therefore provides a real-time living picture of what the community is thinking.'"


SSA Cares weblog

The Society of Southwest Archivists continues to add sections to the SSA Cares weblog, which has a new url: New to the site are the following sections:

"Photos," where images of institutions and collections can be posted.

"Jobs," where temporary, short-term, and contract work can be announced.

"Recovery Vendors," where vendors can register their services for repositories in need.

"Supply and Space Donations," where donations of supplies and space for repositories in need.
These are in addition to the following section: colleague check-in, share zone, expressions, repository information, and needs.


Thisintothat - book furniture and art pieces

JET writes "This Into That offers functional art furniture, primarily book shelves on any theme. Each is made by Jim Rosenau at his studio in Berkeley, California. No books that could change the course of world events are harmed in the production."


Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog update

The bi-monthly update of the always useful Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog is up, with links to 17 recent articles on all aspects of academic publishing.


Students gain access to Florida's electronic library has a short article on what looks like a neat new site, the Florida Electronic Library. It cost the state $750,000 to expand the resources to the schools, said Mark Flynn, director of the Florida Electronic Library.
"It's wonderful for Leon County because we can expand the online offerings we already enjoy," Superintendent Bill Montford said. "Where we duplicate efforts, we can save money."
Although students will be able to log on to the library at school, anyone with a library card can access at home, work or a library.

"Kids will walk out the (school) door at three and go to the public library to do homework and will have access to the same resources," Flynn said.

Update: 08/06 21:44 EST by B:As Michael points out, the site isn't new, it's just been expanded.


Website Offers Random CSS Style Generator

CSS or Cascading Style Sheets are an interesting way of making your web pages more colorful and eye-catching.
CSS can also be tricky to design, which is why this website was an interesting find. Torben Kjær of Copenhagen, Denmark created which offers a random CSS generator. Users can load and reload pages until they find a layout that suits them. While not for the novice web designer, this site might prove interesting to someone looking to spruce up a blog or journal template.


Now streaming live: Walruses of the Bering Sea

Daniel writes "Watch walruses in their native habitat in the Bering Sea, thanks to cameras installed by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game."


Reading the Encyclopedia Britannica

Reading the Encyclopedia Britannica: The life and adventures of a UC Berkeley student reading the Encyclopedia Britannica. Featuring the wisdom of the greatest encyclopedia ever.


NYPL Digital Gallery Among Time Magazine's 50 Coolest Sites

Anonymous Patron writes "NYPL Digital Gallery was recently listed in Time's (June 27, 2005) "annual survey of the Web's most useful and interesting sites." The Gallery was profiled in the Arts & Entertainment category as one of the "50 Coolest Websites" of 2005. Other awardees include McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and The New York Public Library's Digital Gallery was the only library site to be featured this year.

View the 50 Coolest Websites 2005 Survey here."


Secretary of State announces initiative providing equal access to electronic information for Florida

The Sun Herald has some information on The New Florida Electronic Library. The provision of this core set of databases contributes significantly to the Equity in Education component of Governor Bush's One Florida initiative by offering equal information access to all public schools regardless of their location or socioeconomic factors.

"The Florida Electronic Library represents the next generation of educational resources," Hood said. "It is exciting to know that all students attending Florida public schools will have access to this wealth of information whether they live in the state's smallest community or a large metropolitan area."


Instant Messaging Fight!

lislemck writes "Who has the most whuffie? The Washington Post reports here (registration or bugmenot) that AIM users can now perform an "online self esteem check" by visiting

Libraries providing IM reference services may want to check how they score against others. Of course, some of us will want to check ourselves against well-known libraryland figures or pit them against each other--who will win--cybrarygal or nylibrarian?"


Bookmarks anyone? The Old Fashioned Kind

Throw out those crumpled receipts, old card catalog cards, and ripped up parking tickets and get yourself some REAL BOOKMARKS.

Here's an interesting way to correspond with bookmark collectors around the world, and exchange bookmarks with them...via Mirage Bookmark's wonderful website (they are a Swiss bookmark manufacturer).

And here's their listing of bookmark publishers on the web...including yours truly, birdie's little product line In My Book ® inexpensive fundraiser for your library.


I bet he knows how to refold a road map!

Cortez writes "Dean of map collectors David Rumsey took his hobby and created the unique: ward_landsat.asp
"Rumsey spent years combing the world for 18th- and 19th-century maps of North and South America. At the time, the maps were not in great demand and therefore cheap; he would often buy 30 or 40 in a day.""


Songs of Social Consciousness- "Homeless in America"

Available for individual sale for $10 (and for sale in quantity as a fundraising tool), here is "HOMELESS IN AMERICA: Twenty-One Songs of Social Conscience for the 21st Century". Populist progressive viewpoint addressing current issues including war, poverty, health, social security privatization, taxation, gun control, globalization, individual rights, Native American issues and more."

Check it out (listen to all the songs, lo- or hi-fi) and buy it at CD Baby Nashville Session Players site.


Site for the Library History Buff...(and who isn't?)

Check out Larry T. Nix's site , containing pages on library history, collecting of library memorabilia and artifacts, and information about collecting postal artifacts related to libraries.


Old & Busted: Wikipedia - New Hotness:

Are you without a nice project and just dying to cut your teeth on a
Wiki? Then this post might be just for you...
They just launched today, so there's not much there yet. You're welcome to have fun playing around.



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