January 6

Plagiarism? What is this thing of which you speak?

Greetings all!

Hope that your holiday was swell.

Today I wanted to draw your attention to two new pages that have been added to the library website. Under the Research Connection menu heading.

The first link is to a page on selecting resources for selecting and analyzing resources. Of course, there is a multitude of resources provided by the library, but sometimes you have to go beyond to find research materials. This page gives you guidelines and assistance on how to determine if an online source is acceptable for a school research project. There are also links to informative videos.

Most recently, the Plagiarism 101 page was added to help provide students with a better understanding of what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Most people seem to understand that plagiarism is turning in someone else’s work as their own, but there is more to it than simply copying, and this page is intended to make that clear. There are also links to other websites that provide a whole lot more information as well as informational videos, including this blast from Mr. Guinn’s past.

Happy New Year, and remember, it’s better to cite than be sorry.

November 16

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Wikipedia?

Wikipedia……

For some, it’s a dirty word, and to be honest, at one time I was one of those teachers who threatened to wash out the mouths of students who uttered the dreaded “W” word, but over time, I have adjusted my perspective.  You and your mouth are now safe as I can now admit  Wikipedia has a place.  But (and it’s a big but), it is important for students to understand what that place is.

A wiki came about as a part of what is historically known as Web 2.0–when the internet moved beyond just an online provider of text and became an interactive tool.  For your information, a wiki is a website that allows multiple users to write and edit it (sound familiar?), and Wikipedia is not the only one.  

At its inception, there were issues with bad information added to articles in Wikipedia.  However, over time, the editing processes have been tightened, and Wikipedia has worked to be more reliable. This isn’t to say that information isn’t incorrect or can’t be maliciously altered on Wikipedia, it’s just that it happens with much less frequency, and alas, it can still be an issue.  

But that doesn’t mean Wikipedia can’t be a helpful tool.  Wikipedia, like any encyclopedia, is a place to begin a search for information, particularly if you aren’t familiar with the topic or can’t find the information that is required from any of the other resources that the library supplies (unlikely yet possible) and you need some direction.  However, Wikipedia, again just like any encyclopedia, shouldn’t be a cited resource for a project.   

So how exactly is this resource of any use?  Most Wikipedia articles are filled with footnotes at the bottom of the page; these are the resources from which the article gets its information.  These are also resources that you, the researcher, can use and cite in your research project as long as they meet the requirements of a good reliable source.  By providing these footnotes, Wikipedia actually is showing itself to be more reliable than the other encyclopedias that we have online, World Book and Funk and Wagnalls (best name ever for an encyclopedia) of which neither provides you with a list of references in its articles.

So, is there a place for Wikipedia?  Sure there is. As a matter of fact, many professional fact-checkers utilize Wikipedia as a starting point in their research.  But you need to use it very carefully and only after you’ve used all of the resources on the library website!

October 21

Earbuds make me sad.

I will make a confession. This may surprise some and anger others, but even though I am a librarian and love to read, my favorite thing in the world (family and friends excluded) is music. Nothing moves me like music, not even a good book. So I totally understand the desire to listen to good music with earbuds or headphones since you can hear things that may escape your senses otherwise.

That said, earbuds make me sad. One of my daily joys is greeting students in the morning as they pass through the library. After all, I’m a pretty happy person, so I like to pass it along. Yet, many students walk past me after I say “Good morning!” without so much as a “Hi.” They move as if the rest of humanity is invisible, or worse, nonexistent. And what do these isolated souls have in common? They’re wearing earbuds.

I will make a suggestion; take out the earbuds. Greet the people around you (especially the old man in the library). Be aware and in the moment. You’ll have time to listen to that song later.

September 26

To Ban or Not to Ban?

Well, that’s an easy question to answer. Of course, we don’t want books banned! Banned Books Week ended on Sept. 23, but here in the LVA library we’ll keep the books on display for a few weeks more.

The importance of Banned Books Week is to bring attention to books that some people have deemed inappropriate, and looking at the image below, you can see the different ways that books have been tagged as such.

The bottom line is that there is some aspect of a book that Person D doesn’t like, and that dislike is so strong that they want the book unavailable to everybody. Before you start pointing a finger, there are those at both ends of the political spectrum who have challenged books and wanted them pulled from the public square. Regardless of how open-minded one believes himself or herself to be, there is an idea out there that will cause offense. The challenge here is how we deal with the offense.

To decide that no one should have access to an idea is where book banning takes flight. This is misguided as prohibiting a thought doesn’t stop the thought from flourishing. If I tell you under no circumstance should you think of an elephant, I have not stopped you from thinking of an elephant. As a matter of fact, you will now be thinking of an elephant when you otherwise would not have. Nor will banning an idea stop others from coming to a similar conclusion. After all, if there are “no new ideas under the sun,” banning an idea is a fool’s errand.

There is certainly an argument to be made, that there are some books that are not appropriate for a school library, but that isn’t the same as saying a book that might be inappropriate for some freshmen shouldn’t be made available for any senior. These are the kinds of decisions that should come from within a family and not from strangers in the community.

I know of no one, let me italicize and bold it, no one who is so wise to be the arbiter of knowledge and wisdom for the rest of humanity. I’m certainly not. But I do take seriously, the responsibility of building a wide and vast collection of resources for our students with a variety of points of view. The library is a place for all, so it is frightening when some person wants to decide who is worthy of representation and who isn’t or what perspectives are worthy of spreading and what ideas must be squashed. There are many instances in history where tragedy began with the burning of books.

So, come to the library, check out a dangerous book, and be challenged. If the book offends you, don’t burn it; bring it back and check out something else. Oh, I should add that none of the books that are a part of our display are banned here at LVA and are available for check out all year long.

For more information about Book Banning go to the Gale In Context databases High School or Opposing Viewpoints on the General Reference page of the Online Stacks.

September 9

Welcome to the Guinnasium

Greetings LVA,

Welcome to the Guinnasium, this will is the new LVA library blog, where I’ll be communicating to you all things library.  You’ll find out different ways how the library can provide resources for you, how resources work, and what’s new in the library.  All sorts of things.  I can see you’re already quivering with………………………………………………………..anticipation.  

This year, I have set my goal to increase the number of books dealing with all of the fine arts that are practiced here at LVA.  Let me know if you have any suggestions, preferably in the suggestion link at the Online Library.  I have several books coming in the next few weeks. 

Hey, music department! Check these out, in no particular order…

48 FAMOUS STUDIES 1ST OBOE/ ALTO SAX

RUBANK ADVANCED METHOD #1 FRENCH HORN

40 PROGRESSIVE STUDIES TROMBONE / BARITONE BC

70 STUDIES FOR TUBA VOLUME 1

MODERN SCHOOL FOR XYLOPHONE MARIMBA AND VIBRAPHONE

PORTRAITS IN RHYTHM SNARE DRUM

SYMPHONIC REPERTOIRE FOR CYMBALS

SCALE SYSTEM VIOLIN BOOK

SCALE SYSTEM DOUBLE BASS

PRACTICAL METHOD FOR BASSOON

NEW METHOD FOR STRING BASS #1

SUZUKI CELLO SCHOOL #7 CELLO PART

SUZUKI CELLO SCHOOL #6 CELLO PARTS

Suzuki Cello School #3 Revised Cello Book

SUZUKI CELLO SCHOOL #4 CELLO PARTS

MELODIOUS AND PROG STUDIES #1-CLAR

SUZUKI CELLO SCHOOL #5 International CELLO

SUZUKI VIOLIN SCHOOL #4 REVISED VIOLIN

Suzuki Violin School #6 Revised Violin Part

SUZUKI VIOLIN SCHOOL #5 REVISED

SUZUKI VIOLA SCHOOL #5 REVISED VIOLA PART

SUZUKI VIOLA SCHOOL #3 VIOLA

SUZUKI VIOLA SCHOOL #7 VIOLA

SUZUKI VIOLA SCHOOL #6 Revised VIOLA

SUZUKI VIOLA SCHOOL #4 VIOLA

MELODIOUS AND PROG STUDIES #2-CLAR

Suzuki Violin School #7 Revised Violin Book

Oscar Peterson Omnibook Piano Transcriptions

Charlie Parker Omnibook B-Flat Instruments

ARBANS COMPLETE CONSERVATORY METHOD TRUMPET

21 FOUNDATION STUDIES ALTO/BASS CLAR

335 SELECTED MELODIOUS PROG #1-HORN

335 SELECTED MELODIOUS PROG #2-HORN

SCALE SYSTEM VIOLA

SCALE SYSTEM FOR VIOLONCELLO

Mariachi Ensemble Vocalization Exercises P.O.D.

Very Easy Mariachi Warmups P.O.D.

Charlie Parker Omnibook E-Flat Instruments

DAILY DRILLS AND TECHNICAL STUDIES TRUMPET

Thelonious Monk Omnibook for Piano Book

ORCHESTRAL REPERTOIRE BASS DRM/CYMB

John Coltrane Omnibook E-Flat Instrument

50 Mariachi Etudes for Violin: Book 1

Mariachi Trumpet Method, Book 3: Advanced

Jimi Hendrix Omnibook C Instruments and Guitar Tab

SUZUKI VIOLIN SCHOOL #3 REVISED 2007 VIOLIN BK

Joy of Music – Piano

Jazz Guitar Omnibook C Instruments

The Faber Music Piano Anthology

So be sure to visit the library frequently to see what trickles in.

Oh, during the month of August, we more than doubled the number of books checked out in the same month last year.  Keep it up LVA!

August 13

Summer’s Over and the LVA Library is Ready!

Greetings LVA! Like the headline says, the library is ready for you to come and visit. Be sure to see all of the new books on The New Book Shelves. There’s something for everyone (unfortunately there aren’t enough new books for everyone): monologue books for Theater, instrument books, dance books, and science books to just get started. Hey, there are new fiction titles too. Let me know with a comment below if there are any books, new or old that you want to see in the library.

August 13

What did you read this summer?

I know everyone doesn’t like to read, but I think that’s because you haven’t found the right book for you. Currently, I’m reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. It’s about the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and the serial killer H. M. Holmes who was active in Chicago at the same time. It’s just no one knew it. It’s a very interesting book. He makes all of the characters come alive in a surprising way, surprising because it’s nonfiction. Here’s a video of the author discussing the book.

Let me know in the comment section what you read this summer.