Ornette Coleman Tickets Up for Grabs

Ornette_ColemanWorking to help promote the 2010-11 season for Texas Performing Arts, the Libraries are holding their second contest for tickets to see Fort Worth native and jazz legend Ornette Coleman at 8pm on November 18, 2010, at Bass Concert Hall.

To enter, visit the Libraries Survey Monkey questionnaire page and answer a few questions for your chance to win.

Entries must be received by 11:59pm on Wednesday, April 28. One winner will be chosen randomly from the correct responses and announced on Twitter and Facebook on Thursday, April 29. The winner will be contacted by email as well.

One entry per person, please.

A Quick One, For Tickets to Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan. Photo by Ken Light.
Author/food activist Michael Pollan. Photo by Ken Light.

Texas Performing Arts is partnering with the Libraries to publicize its 2010-11 season, and as part of that campaign, we will occasionally announce contests through our Facebook and Twitter feeds (so become a fan or follow us to get a head start).

Today marks the announcement of the first contest, a “Research and Win” opportunity for two tickets to “An Evening with Michael Pollan” on December 10, 2010, at Bass Concert Hall.

To enter, head over to the contest page and fill out the brief questionnaire for your chance to win. Contest ends at 11:59pm tonight (Wednesday, April 21).

“Memories” on a rebound

BrainAfter a brief postponement due to illness, this “memorable” Science Study Break (SSB) is back on the schedule!

Tuesday, April 27, SSB welcomes Dr. Alison Preston from the Center for Learning and Memory to discuss how our brains form and recall memories working from film references in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Memento, and from television’s “Dollhouse.”

The event begins at 6pm in Painter Hall, 4.42, and, as always, features lively discussion and light snacks.

Science Study Break is a regular gathering hosted by the Life Science Library that uses entertainment education to examine the reality and fantasy portrayed as fact in science-themed television and movies. Programs feature expert university faculty presenting brief lectures and engaging in informal discussions with attendees.

Book Clubs with Real Books

booksI love books.  I mean real books, the ones that I can open with my hands.  One of the joys of working in a library is being surrounded by millions of books.  Just for the record I like audio books also.  However, e-books are not as appealing to me.  I know they are “the future,” but I believe we still have a good hundred years or so with the real thing.  It is hard to imagine The Library of Congress being obsolete!

What made me think about books, the real thing, recently (not that I don’t think about books everyday when I walk pass several hundred thousand…lucky me) was an article about the World’s Largest Book Club.  Wow!  Who joins real book clubs anymore?  Well apparently there are thousands of folks who do.  So I began to think, do I know anyone who is in a real book club?  I can’t think of any one.  Everyone I think of belongs to some online, social media driven, book site.

Well it is exciting to see folks gathering, real gathering, just to discuss books.  Kathy Patrick in Jefferson County, Texas, started the Pulpwood Queens Book Club (featured recently in the Texas Observer).  Kathy’s husband, Jay, UT alum – class of 1986 – has created an equivalent group for men called Timber Guys.  I’d like to know what the next book on the Timber Guys list is?

I wonder if in 10 or 15 years will book club members bring their iPads, nooks, Kindles, iPhones or whatever these devices become to their book club meetings.  Do you belong to a book club?  Let me know.

UT Libraries and data storage needs for the future

storage_imageAs more and more information goes digital, the questions around the storage of all this data grow ever more important. UT Libraries is working on that question through its participation in a key university-wide initiative: the ITS Central Data Storage project committee. As the Associate Director for Digital Initiatives, I represent UT Libraries on this committee, which is working to cost-effectively expand centralized data storage services for the whole campus.

First, a little background on digital storage: In 1991 the cost of a megabyte was about $13.00 and the largest drive you could buy held about 270 megabytes. Since then we have seen the cost of a megabyte decline steadily up till today when the average consumer can now purchase 1,058,576 megabytes (aka 1 terabyte) for $99.00, reducing the cost of 1 megabyte of storage to less than a penny.

So, how many megabytes does UT buy every year? Continue reading

A Memorable Study Break—POSTPONED

Brain

This Science Study Break has been postponed. Check back in the coming days for new details. Apologies for any inconvenience.

The Life Science Library has upped the pace of its notable Science Study Break (SSB) series in order to add to a “memorable” Research Week.

Tomorrow night (4/13), SSB welcomes Dr. Alison Preston from the Center for Learning and Memory to discuss how our brains form and recall memories working from film references in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Memento, and from television’s “Dollhouse.”

The fun takes place at 6pm in Painter Hall, 4.42, and, as always, features lively discussion and light snacks.

Science Study Break uses entertainment education to examine the reality and fantasy portrayed as fact in science-themed television and movies. Programs feature expert university faculty presenting brief lectures and engaging in informal discussions with attendees.

Libraries’ Fair returns

research-week-POSTER-2010_smAfter a successful turn last year, the Libraries are bringing back the Libraries’ Fair on the plaza at the Perry-Castañeda Library as its contribution to Research Week 2010.

The ten campus branches of the University of Texas Libraries will converge at the PCL to provide a one-stop shop for students to drop by and learn about resources and services available to them across the campus. Staff from the libraries will be on hand to answer questions, and booths will feature games for prizes and food provided by Cornucopia Popcorn Creations and Prufrock’s Java City.

The Fair saw great success in its first installment last year, attracting roughly one thousand attendees and generating increased awareness for services and study space around campus. Again this year, the Fair has been scheduled to coincide with the Longhorn Research Bazaar across the street at Gregory Gym, providing students the chance to get information about undergraduate research opportunities at the university, as well as the resources behind that research, all within the distance of a stone’s throw.

Research Week is a campus-wide celebration of undergraduate research and creative activity. It unites existing programs, events and activities that showcase undergraduate research and creative activity and highlights the many research opportunities available to students.

Become a Disease Detective

disease_square_smThe two-day Disease Detective Conference on Global Disease Eradication kicks off today in the Texas Union.  The conference features public health experts and researchers along with representative from schools of public health speaking about issues in the field and opportunities for careers in public health.

Tuesday and early Wednesday events are limited to faculty and advisors, but Wednesday at noon, the conference opens up to students starting with a free kick-off luncheon. Dr. Dean A. Henderson, author of Smallpox: the Death of a Disease, talks about his career in global health for the keynote speech at 5:00 p.m.   Continue reading

¡A Viva Voz! gets funky with Ocote Soul Sounds

Ocote Soul Sounds members Adrian Quesada (white shirt) and Marti
Ocote Soul Sounds members Adrian Quesada and Martin Perna. Photo courtesy Ocote Soul Sounds.

¡Baile!

The Benson Latin American Collection is going to be “coconut rock” central next Thursday (4/8) when Austin-born psychedelic Afro-Latin funk band Ocote Soul Sounds throw down the beats as part of the eighth annual ¡A Viva Voz!

Featuring the bandleaders of Grupo Fantasma and Antibalas – Adrian Quesada and Martin Perna, respectively – Ocote Soul Sounds has been described as “sounding like a sun kissed Brazilian soundtrack from the ’70s.”

¡A Viva Voz! kicks off  at 7pm with a lite reception and presentation by dj t-kay of KOOP 91.7 fm before the band starts to jam and those so inclined shake it up on the dance floor.

Continue reading

Survey says…

LQlogoWithText copyThe Libraries have fired up another round of the LibQUAL+ survey hoping to get some solid feedback on the quality of service around the branches.

This will be the eighth time we’ve randomly queried students and faculty about their perceptions of resources, collections, service, facilities and the like, and the program has been ramped up this year in order to generate higher response rates. We’ve scaled to the LibQUAL Lite version of the online survey to keep it short and simple; the current version takes about 5 minutes to complete, hitting on a smaller sample of the core questions.

We’re also trying to get in front of people with signage in conspicuous locations, and offering some carrots to the student participants in the way of automatic entry – upon completion of the survey – into drawings for one of two 16GB Apple iPads or an Amazon Kindle. How’s that for motivation?

Invitations to 4,800 current students and 1,200 faculty went out last week and the survey ends April 16, so if you’re here at the University of Texas and think you might have overlooked the initial solicitation, it might be worth taking a moment to check. This minute imposition is one of the primary ways we get real, quantifiable data directly from our users regarding the ways we can improve the Libraries for everyone, so let your voice be heard.