May 2009

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Whether you are  Twitterphilic, Twitterphobic or are merely mildly curious about what all the hub-bub is about,  there is an interesting Twitter visual — (accessible in full-flickr-view by clicking on the picture above) entitled Preview: The Twitterverse v1.0 by @BrianSolis & @Jess3” — which provides a glimse of how Twitter interconnects with existing search functions, social networks, trends analysis, communications systems, etc.  Whether you are uninitiated or a die-hard fan, this picture is worth a 100o words in explaining why Twitter seems to be so influential in current communications and business cirlces.  

If you are still mildly interested, check out Twitter in Plain English and EduCause’s 7 Things You Should Know About Twitter.  For more on blogs and microblogs, check out our LibGuide.

Thanks to Michael Stephens’ entry on tametheweb for pointing out this link.

7a2c79b2eab94b2488c49fe0521907f5Marilyn Narson,  Circulation Supervisor on the Queens Campus, offers the follow-up numbers from our Food for Fines Spring 2009 Drive

Queens and Staten Island Libraries: Grand Total of 1,620 food items were collected and donated to St. Raphael’s Food Pantry  (Long Island City), Our Saviour Lutheran Church Food Pantry (Jamaica) and Project Hospitality (Staten Island).

Thank You to all our participants.

The Memorial Day Weekend always hails the beginning of summer activities, but this year we are also seeing more prominent  “green transportation” intiaitives.  

Last Sunday saw the effective re-zoning of Broadway in Herald Square and Times Square into pedestrian greenways — both to ease traffic and to minimize dangerous accidents.   “The city says that the new plan should actually improve traffic because the diagonal path of Broadway creates three-way intersections in both areas that frequently pile up with cars. With just two roads remaining open, the intersections should be faster [pdf] and safer, [pdf] city officials said.” 

Also this week, the results  of  Thursday’s  8th Annual Great NYC Commuter Race also suggests that  the”Bike bests subway, taxi in NYC rush-hour race.”  In addition to promoting biking as a green and inexpensive way to get around, and  combat obesity and stress, sponsor Transportation Alternatives also encourages cyclists  be sure to follow safety road and biking rules  “to create safer, saner streets”.   If you do head out, on foot or on bicycle, be sure to consult TransAlt’s local maps of  bike paths and greenways

(Congrats to librarian Rachael Myers, this year’s commuter race winner –Pictured center; photo courtesy Transporation Alternatives.  Full disclosure, Ms. Myers is a former work-colleague, and present transit-inspiration, of the author.)

Congratulations to our graduating MLS Graduate Assistants!

St. John’s hosted graduation on our Queens campus, yesterday, Sunday 17.

The library extends hearty congratulations to all of St. John’s newest alumni!

Graduates, if you are missing the library already, please know that the library offers Courtesy Cards, which allow alumni access to facilities and resources in the SI and Queens Library buildings and offers alumni some borrowing privileges.

Please note that off-campus access to licensed electronic resources is not available with the Courtesy Card.

To request the Courtesy Card, you will need to visit the library Circulation Desk. Although there is no fee, you will need to bring a picture ID with you for identification verification (both at the security and circulation desks). You might also check the campus library hours and call the circulation department prior to your visit to ensure that security and circulation knows you are coming to visit. The numbers are listed below for your convenience:

Queens Circ: (718) 990-6850 SI Circ: (718) 390-4457

Finally, we offer deepest gratitude and best wishes to our all of our graduating library staff, student workers and GAs who helped us transform the library over the last two years — offering everything from great ideas to hard labor!  Pictured above (l-r) are Jennie, April, Rally (kneeling), Mariya and Laura. Congratulations on gaining your hard-earned MLS degrees!

(photo credit: Kirill Berezovski, 5/17/2009)

Congratulations to all our students who are finishing up the semester!   The Libraries — both virtual and physical buildings — remain open if you are taking advantage of summer courses, want a cool, quiet place to catch up on reading or need to work on that paper/resume.   The hours for each campus library building differs, so be sure to check for your campus’ summer hours here

Goodwill_boxThe Vincentian Mission of Service  doesn’t end with classes!  When packing up to head home, take advantage of the Goodwill drop center behind St. Albert’s Hall  (Queens Campus) to deposit your gently used clothing.  And if you have any  library books,  please don’t forget to bring  them back!!!  If you bring along a dry/canned food item for each overdue book,  by May 17th , we’ll waive the fine as part of our Food for Fines program.  (Queens and Staten Island — see Suggested Food Items ).   One food item will erase one overdue fine regardless of the fine amount, if you have multiple fines,  we will waive lowest to highest amount.   Pre-existing overdue fines are also eligible.  

NOTE: Fines and fees resulting from lost or damaged library materials are NOT eligible for the Food for Fines program.

unlockMarshall Kirkpatrick’s May 5th article in RedWriteWeb gives a glimpse into why XML matters

Today is an important day in the history of politics and technology – the US Senate voting record is finally available in machine-readable XML (extensible markup language) format.

When this data is available in XML it means others can create mash-ups — re-sorting, re-combining, and re-displaying data — to create interesting and relevant comparisons, and a step towards greater transparency in government.

n2437948035_8275As part of a larger, improved communications initiative by the Department of Public Information, the United Nations launched an updated version of the UN site, co-inciding with the start of the 31st Session of the Committee on Information, and the celebration of World Press Freedom Day. While DPI recognized the importance of “traditional media” channels — such as television and radio — to disseminate information in developing countries, the Department has undertaken other Social Web initatives, including a UN YouTube Channel channel for videos, Flickr for sharing UN photos, and exploring Facebook, Orkut and Twitter, and others.

(NOTE: The mobile version of the new UN site ( is still “in process”)