Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter in Cosmic Perspective

Well, exams are finally over, and the snow is here. In other words, it's time to appreciate winter's beauty as only the web, NASA and the astronomers can bring it to us. It's no coincidence that today's Astronomy Picture of the Day, from the space agency's web site image gallery, captures the northern winter solstice at the Newgrange megalith in Ireland. The 2008 winter solstice at Newgrange happens tomorrow morning (actually 3:30 am Eastern Time in the U.S.), and anyone who would like to follow along can be there via the live streaming webcast at this site. At the very least, take a few minutes to browse the Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive for more astounding photos of our planet and the cosmos, one for every day you were focused on exams. This is a great site for an uplifting look at the universe whenever you need one.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, December 19, 2008


CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!! You made it through exams! First years - it gets easier after this.

Now that you have finished, I can take a much needed break. My reduced prowling hours (and the hours of the Library, coincidentally) will be as follows:

Friday, December 19 – Tuesday, December 23
Friday 8:00 A.M.- 5:00 P.M.
Saturday 10:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.
Sunday Noon - 8:00 P.M.
Monday - Tuesday 8:00 A.M - 5:00 P.M.

After next Tuesday, I am indeed OUTTA HERE. The Library will be closed and I will be napping from Wednesday, December 24 - Thursday, January 1, 2009.

I'll be back on January 2nd, 9-5pm and will be around Saturday and Sunday as well. For hours, check the hours page on the Library's web site.

Meanwhile, have the happiest of holidays, and happy and healthy New Year. It is a time for lots of naps and purrs.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is Technology Rewiring Our Brains?

Some scientists are beginning to suspect that the “wired world” may be changing the way that people read, learn, and interact with one another. Click here to read why.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Almost Time To Curl Up With A Good Book

Our holiday break is just around the corner and I’m sure you can’t wait to curl up with a good book. To help you, I'd like to share a few readers’ advisory tolls.

First, check your local library for NoveList Plus. It is a wonderful tool that is accessed through many public libraries. NoveList is a searchable database that provides full-text reviews and annotations for over 20,0000 titles. It allows searching by author, title, series, a variety of traditional index terms, natural language terms or phrases, and Boolean combinations.

Another great resource is This free web site is a compendium of news about books, publishing, authors, and awards. It isn’t as user friendly as NoveList, but it is packed with information. BookSpot provides numerous reviews and a great deal of genre-specific information including links to the book review pages of major newspapers and to book excerpts.
Well, I hope these help. Have a wonderful holiday break.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2008 Comparison of Legislative Resources

A comparison of legislative resources available on GPO Access and other Government and non-Government Web sites was recently completed. Eight Web sites were selected for in-depth analysis including GPO Access, THOMAS,,,, HeinOnline, Lexis-Nexis Congressional, and Westlaw. The report specifically evaluates the availability of legislative resources on all of the databases examined, the scope of the resources on each database, the source of those resources (i.e., whether they house their own content or link to other Web sites for it), and additional legislative resources or features exclusive to comparable Web sites.

The 2008 comparison report and previous reports are available at . This analysis was last conducted in 2003.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gifts for bookworms

Need a holiday gift for the legal history buff in your family? Shopping for a friend that can't get enough American law in society? You might one to check out this list-- the winners of the Littleton-Griswold prize for the best book on the history of American law in society.

The prize is administered by a joint committee of the American Historical Association and the American Society for Legal History and has been awarded every year since 1985 (and once in 1966).

For more gift ideas, take a look at the New York Times list of the 10 Best Books of 2008 and Notable Children's books of 2008.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat