Saturday, January 18, 2014

The African American Electorate: A Statistical History

Hofstra Law students have full access to this unique and rich database of materials covering every era in the history of African-American voters, from the Colonial period through 2008, with charts and graphs to enhance the story.  Chapters on each historical period include supporting statistical data from both the North and South on registration, voter turnout, and electoral impact in addition to suffrage, enfranchisement and disenfranchisement, poll taxes, voting rights activism and the Voting Rights Act.  A wonderful resource for legal, political, and cultural history, the African American Electorate: A Statistical History is part of the CQ Press Electronic Library created by Congressional Quarterly, Inc.  It is available to all Hofstra students through the University portal.

To access this Axinn Library database from the Hofstra University website, start here.  Click on the "Research Databases" tab, then on "click here to browse the full A-Z list."  At the Hofstra portal login page, use your network login to proceed.  Then select "CQ The African American Electorate: A Statistical History" from the alphabetical list under "C".       

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, January 17, 2014


For those of you still insisting on living in a physical world, the bricks and mortar Library will be open on Monday, January 20 for Martin Luther King Day from 10am - 6pm.

I, of course, will be prowling the Web 24/7 (breaking for an occasional nap).

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Net Neutrality & Recent Court Decision: A FAQ

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down rules that the Federal Communications Commission adopted to protect the openness of the Internet.

What does this ruling, as well as the principles of Net neutrality that it affects, portend for the Internet user? Read more here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Digital Collections: National Library of Medicine's Free Onine Archive

"Digital Collections is the National Library of Medicine's free online archive of biomedical books and videos. All of the content in Digital Collections is freely available worldwide and, unless otherwise indicated, in the public domain. Digital Collections provides unique access to NLM's rich, historical resources.

About the Collections
The majority of the texts within Digital Collections were digitized at NLM using a Kirtas KABIS III scanning system, which produces several files per page and per book.  After cropping, deskewing and reviewing the source images, additional image derivatives and metadata are then created using NLM-defined scripts.   A smaller number of texts were digitized from original or microfilm by a vendor offsite.
The texts comprising the Medicine in the Americas collection were digitized for a multi-institutional digital library project, the Medical Heritage Library, which uses Internet Archive to host its collection.  Therefore NLM routinely deposits copies of its digitized books to Internet Archive.  More information on the Medical Heritage Library can be found here.

The films available in Digital Collections come from NLM's reel and videotape holdings of government and military-created productions.  The source material was digitized to MPEG2 format, which served as the digital master for the range of video derivatives offered by the repository. Each film was manually transcribed, with time-coded captions then created using WGBH's Magpie application."
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Technological Singularity

Movies like "Her", "The Terminator" and "The Matrix" have a concept known as the Technological Singularity (or just the Singularity) as part of their basic plot.  So what is the Singularity? 

"Popularized by science fiction author Vernor Vinge as well as inventor and now Google director of engineering Ray Kurzweil, the Singularity is a theoretical point in future history when artificial intelligences exceeds the power of the human mind, become self-aware and dramatically change the balance of power on the planet while simultaneously transforming the very nature of humanity itself." Excerpt taken from

Read more about the Singularity, AI in movies and the recent Golden Globe winning movie "Her" here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, January 13, 2014

Random Acts of Academic Kindness

Hat Tip to TaxProf blog for the post of Random Acts of Academic Kindness.  It links to the "Academic Kindness" Tumblr a place for students and professors to post acts of kindness experienced or witnessed in higher education.

It is sometimes too easy to be negative.  It is always worth remembering that people can and do help one another.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Enhancements to HeinOnline Welcome Page

HeinOnline has recently added some new enhancements to the welcome page.  The page has been designed to be more user-friendly with new options to search.  The new page now shows tabs with different options available for searching including Full Text Search, Catalog Search, Citation Navigator, Fastcase, and MyHein.  To learn more about the new enhancements click here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat