Library Voices

a Ringling College blog

Archive for the ‘Library Insider’ Category

Rising Seniors Can Check out 5 Books for the Summer

Posted by Carter on April 9, 2012

Want to get a leg up on Thesis?  Students who will be returning as seniors in the fall may check out up to five books for the summer. Remember that you must specifically request a book for the summer when you are checking it out–otherwise the normal three-week checkout period will apply. DVDs, magazines and other library materials are not available for summer checkout.

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Meet Our New Research Librarian

Posted by Carter on February 28, 2012

Kimbrough Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer Friedman as Instruction and Research Services Librarian.

In her position, Jennifer will partner with academic departments and collaborate with other faculty librarians in the development and delivery of instruction in research methods and library resources use.  She will initiate and assist with implementing technologically innovative services, web-based content and other digital resources.  She comes highly recommended for her work with faculty, staff, and students and for her tech savvy.

Jennifer comes to Ringling College from Harvard University Graduate School of Design where she was Librarian for Collection Resources and Access at the Frances Loeb Library.  Her responsibilities there included instruction and reference, collection building and document delivery, targeted communications to communities within the graduate school, and copyright education, to name a few.  She also served as the expert for the Art, Design and the Public Domain program.  Prior to Harvard, Jennifer was Collections Manager and Public Services Librarian at MIT’s Rotch Library of Architecture and Planning.  At MIT she served as the libraries’ expert on the research and learning culture and practices of the Architectural Design and Visual Arts communities and collaborated with the Program for Art, Culture, and Technology (ACT) to manage the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) Archive.  Jennifer also held positions at Clemson University and Ohio Wesleyan University.

Jennifer holds the Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Kent State University and the B.A. in Art History from Trinity College.  She is active in the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA), currently serving on the Development Committee and the Document Advisory Committee.

When not on the job fulfilling your information needs, Jennifer enjoys anime, researching stage magic and entertainment architecture, and continues to pursue the techniques to make the perfect béchamel sauce.  An enthusiastic gamer, she relishes Rock Band, the return of couch co-op games, discovering new board & card games and debating the fine points of old-school RPGs.

Posted in Library Insider, Research | Leave a Comment »

Book Review: Distracted

Posted by annfinn on February 21, 2011

Book Review

T14.5 .J32 2009 

Distracted :  the erosion of attention and the coming Dark Age by Maggie Jackson.   Prometheus Books, c2009.  327 p. 

Reviewed by Ann Finn

 So, you’re watching TV while you’re texting, when you notice you’ve got mail—email, that is.  Right then your roommate begins the daily harangue…  Feeling a little distracted?  Having trouble coping?  Wonder what all this back & forth is doing to your brain?


Do you revel in the extremes: latest gadgets, newest video & audio, multi-tasking to the furthest extent allowed by law?  Do you pride yourself on how much you can absorb & manage simultaneously?

Either way, your future is already here, and the impact of current technologies on humanity is a hot topic.  Among the philosophers parsing the research statistics and offering warnings is Maggie Jackson, with her dystopian tome, Distracted.

Jackson anticipates a society in which deep thinking is utterly replaced by a kind of surface skimming for information—when no one has the time, interest, or ability to direct his/her attention to thorough mastery of any philosophy or discipline.  Humanity’s past would be seen as irrelevant, and it would be as unknown as it was during the Dark Age.  In fact, Ms. Jackson’s book posits the coming of a new dark age: a time of forgetting.

According to Ms. Jackson, knowledge workers lose 2.1 hours every day due to distractions—many of them self-caused.  Almost everyone multi-tasks—and almost all of those workers think they handle it well & are good at it.  However, science has recently proven that only one thing can be done well at a time.  The human brain (like the computer) works serially—doing one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is not only the enemy of deep, concentrated thought, it actually derails the accumulation of long-term memory stores.  And, of course, memory is an important factor in creating human individuality.

We’re losing our collective memory, too.  We’re always on the go & never at rest.  Our pause button doesn’t work.  There’s no time for reflection on the past or considered planning for our collective future.  Global thinking & access to a whole world of information has minimized the local in importance.  We’re so distracted by the world-wide text & information glut pouring over us, that we don’t notice the humanity that’s nearby.  And, we are becoming seriously detached from that very humanity:  Many people move so often, due to global travel for work, that they don’t even try to meet new neighbors.  They feel rootless & think of this as the new norm.

One of Jackson’s main themes is the rise of the virtual as a substitute for the real.  Now, cremation urns commonly represent the recently deceased.  Millions of people have “friends” they have never met and likely never will meet.  Avatars substitute for portraits on Facebook.  And, lots of man/woman hours are spent playing games about virtual worlds.

The over-reliance on machines is also worrisome to Ms. Jackson.    Conversations have devolved to texting & Twitter—even with participants sitting in proximity.  Similarly, a burgeoning field is the development of robots to care for and comfort the sick and dying.  More disconcerting still is that the use of intra-body machinery and implants has blurred the boundary between humans and their tools.  Already, some children see no need for visits to the zoo, preferring instead their plush, electronically-animated animal friends.

So, does Ms. Jackson see any hope for the future in an age overwhelmed by momentary utility, fads, superficiality, information skimming, constant distraction, & a general lack of interest in the depths of humanity found in our fellows?  Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly?) yes!  In the last chapter, she details the latest advances in the study of attention.  Attention science is a young science, but, it is already obvious that it is possible for a person to train his/her brain/mind to increase extraordinarily the amount of focus needed for tasks.  This training can allow the participant, like an athlete, to lose him/herself “in the zone”. 

Do I think a dark age is coming?  Most likely.  Do I think Ms. Jackson proves her thesis?  Not especially.  But, read Distracted and, then, you can decide for yourself.

Posted in Book Review, Library Insider, Technology | Leave a Comment »

American Film Scripts Online

Posted by Carter on February 15, 2011

From Accidents Will Happen to Ziegfeld Girl, American Film Scripts Online database is a treasure trove of material.  You’ll find full electronic copies of over 1,000 films, all available for download in PDF format.

While the majority of them are the shooting scripts, you’ll also find continuity scripts and draft scripts, which can be extremely revealing of industry practices.

The database is full of incredibly rich information.  For example, many of the actor and character names are hyperlinked.  So, with one click you can find that American Film Scripts Online has 15 films with Spencer Tracy.  The database also has links to IMDB for further info.

This is an ideal database for doing research on a variety of social issues as documented in film.  For example, you might use it to research depictions of the Third Reich, the discrimination against women in the 20th century, or the rist of automobiles in American consumer culture.

Posted in Digital Film, Digital Resources Revealed, Library Insider | Leave a Comment »

Verman Kimbrough Recycles

Posted by annfinn on October 11, 2010



Malcolm's Rocket Ship


How I Spent My Summer…

Every fall, at least one returning Ringling student asks me how I spent my summer break.  Well… I work at Verman Kimbrough Memorial Library on a full-time, year-round basis.  Many in the Ringling College community may not realize that, although it is closed evenings, weekends and holidays, the Library is open nearly every summer weekday.  Despite staff vacations, every department is ready for the needs of local students, faculty, and Pre-college participants.  In addition, librarians and staff inventory the collection, order texts, work on projects, make plans for the coming semester, and, in my case, catalog and process the materials (books, DVDs, CDs, etc.) that will be needed in the next school term.

So, what was the short answer to this fall’s question?  Why, I built a spacecraft, of course!  [See attached photo]  My rocket ship was constructed from 2 large cardboard boxes originally used for shipping a book truck and a desk to the Library.  Because I’m not an artist, nor a designer, nor an engineer, and, because I owned no appropriate tools or supplies to start with, it consumed most all my summer weekend hours.  It may be crude, but, it’s sturdy and it’s just perfect for my 3-year-old grandson, Malcolm!

Now, for next summer…

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Need to Dig Deeper?

Posted by Carter on October 6, 2010

The Library is excited to unveil the first of three new posters promoting our digital resources.  Do you know about the plethora of quality information available to you online through our database subscriptions?  Want to search through and read 44,000 ebooks any time of day or night?  What about credible magazine and newspaper articles when you need them?  Visit to explore.

To celebrate, we are offering a limited number giveaways for students!  To get your giveaway, show the Circulation desk that you’ve checked in at Kimbrough Library on Foursquare, Facebook Places, Brightkite, or Gowalla.  Don’t have one of these accounts?  Come to the Circulation desk to ask for your  give away.

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John R. Fischetti Editorial Cartoons and Sketches

Posted by Carter on October 1, 2010

The ARTstor database is always growing!  They now have complete digital scans of 30 of John R. Fischetti’s notebooks, which are in the archives at Columbia College.

Who was John Fischetti?

John Fischetti (1916 – 1980) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist whose work appeared in the New York Herald Tribune, the Chicago Daily News, Chicago Sun-Times, The New York Times, and Stars and Stripes. Fischetti studied at Pratt Institute and worked as an animator for Disney Studios before embarking on his career as a cartoonist in New York and then in Chicago. Fischetti’s political cartoons satirized local politics, social issues, and current events, including the Watergate scandal, the energy crisis, the economy, and terrorism.

Log in to ARTstor here with your Ringling user ID and password – this allows you to view and download high resolution scans.

Posted in Illustration, Images, Library Insider, News, Research | Leave a Comment »

On Order Status

Posted by Carter on October 15, 2009

You know that all students and faculty can request that the library buy particular books, DVDs and magazines, right? Its as simple as filling out this form.Now you can check back to find out whether something you’ve requested has been ordered by the library. This video explains it all:

more about “On Order Status“, posted with vodpod

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Library Insider: Light boxes? Indeed!

Posted by christinefra on October 2, 2009

Did you know that the Library has a few light-boxes for our use and enjoyment? Well now you do!


                  There are two portable light-boxes that students may take out for a week at a time. However, these go fast, so I’d recommend you place a hold if you’d like to work in the comfort of your room.

holy baby llightbox

Not too big, not too small… just the right size!



                  For those you who just can’t wait or want to work on a bigger scale,  there is also a larger stationary light-box for in-library use. If you’ve never been acquainted with a light-box, I strongly suggest you go by the library and check this one out. Behind it stands a collaborative stained glass piece from 1979 donated to the school. It’s definitely worth a glance. 


holy lightbox

It almost looks holy when it’s lit up.


So by all means, check them out, experiment and create!



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Curious About the Kindle?

Posted by Carter on May 20, 2009

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle by B.K. Dewey on Flickr

Ringling Library has an Amazon Kindle for those curious about portable ebook readers.  The Kindle is not available for checkout, but rather for preview for those interested in the wave of new technologies influencing libraries and learning in the 21st century. For more information on e-paper, one of the technologies that makes the Kindle work, search the ProQuest database.

Although Amazon has released the Kindle 2, the Library’s original Kindle is still fun to use.  The latest format development is Amazon’s development of the Kindle DX which has a 9.7-inch display.

Want to check out the Library’s Kindle?  Ask us about it at the circulation desk.

Posted in Library Insider, Technology | Leave a Comment »


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