Archive for November, 2021

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

TinyCat’s November Library of the Month: The Gnomon Library & Learning Resource Center

To read more about TinyCat’s Library of the Month feature, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

TinyCat’s November Library of the Month is one that I have admired for years from afar, and I’m so glad that Library Director Lucy Bellamy was able to take my questions this month. I hope you enjoy reading about the Library & Learning Resources at Gnomon’s School of Games, Visual Effects & Animation in Hollywood, California as much as I did:

Who are you, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”?

The Gnomon Library boasts an attractive space for study and digital creation.

My name is Lucy Bellamy. I am the Director, Library & Learning Resources at Gnomon’s School of Games, Visual Effects & Animation in Hollywood, California. I came to Gnomon to help build their library from the ground up when the college was accredited to offer their first Bachelor of Art program. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that not many librarians experience. Gnomon is an accredited technical college that offers bachelors programs, a two-year certificate program, Foundation in Art & Design courses, as well as individual courses for career professionals wanting to enhance their industry skills.

Tell us some interesting things about how your library supports the community.

The Gnomon Library is part academic and part special library. The collections support Gnomon’s programs and courses first, as well as inspire the creativity of our community of digital artists. While our collections include traditional books, ebooks, print and digital magazines, resources commonly found in most other libraries, there is also a diverse collection of art objects which our students use as reference for course work. These include vintage cameras, light fixtures, skulls(!), and more.

Our collection was started with donations from instructors, working digital artists, and industry publishers. The resources being donated were those that the donors found helpful, even inspirational to their professional development. In many ways, I viewed their donations as a demonstration of their support of our students looking to join their industry in the future.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

Real-life skulls, used as artistic references, peek out of the shelves at the Gnomon Library.

That’s a tough question. With so many unique objects in the collection, I think my favorite thing is the 19th century volume set of Encyclopedia Britannica published in 1877. It was originally added for its visual value because the texture of the covers is so unique. Students reference textures to re-create various surfaces in the digital space, thus this part of the collection is used not only for what is in the encyclopedia — as an information resource — but for the actual cover. When any audience appreciates a text, it is exciting, but when an audience values a text, it’s structure, and studies in the same way, it is exhilarating. I have consulted and referenced one or more of the volumes during library instruction sessions specifically for our art history and cultural studies courses, and it is wonderful to share this asset.

What’s a particular challenge your library experiences?

One challenge has been maintaining a print collection of current resources for the different software programs students are learning. Because of publishing lead times, often once a (software) book is published it may be outdated because the software has been updated which then can compromise the value of the information. Simply, our specific technology is dynamic to the point of any given new resource which may be obsolete within months post-publishing.

What we’ve done to address that concern is create catalog records that are discoverable in our online catalog (TinyCat) embedded with a link to the learning resource pages of the different software companies. This access point offers students a connection to the most up-to-date information including reference documentation and tutorials for the programs they are learning and will be using when they work in the industry.

What is your favorite thing about TinyCat, and what’s something you’d love to see implemented/developed?

Prior to using TinyCat, I had NO experience with cataloging nor an understanding of the “back end” of a library management system. That quickly changed when the new library needed one. Of the different vendors considered, only LibraryThing and TinyCat seemed promising for what our library needed, and my learning curve. The platform is easy to use, understand, and navigate. More importantly, our students and faculty use TinyCat’s online catalog to connect with the resources they need when they need it.

What I’d like to see as a future tool? Perhaps a WYSIWYG “call out message box” that will display on the online catalog home page. Maybe it could be an option included under the “Content to show underneath the search box” category on the general TinyCat Admin “Settings” page. Something that would allow users to post quick messages like “Good luck with finals!” or “Return your books before the end of the term!”

Great feedback! You may be able to add something like this via the Custom JavaScript feature in your Content Settings, though this would show up on every page in your TinyCat rather than just the Homepage. Check it out here, just in case!

Want to learn more about the Gnomon Library? Visit their website here and find their full TinyCat collection here.


To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Want to be considered for TinyCat’s Library of the Month? Send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Monday, November 8th, 2021

SantaThing 2021: Bookish Secret Santa!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the Fifteenth Annual SantaThing is here at last!

We’re focusing on indie bookstores again this year. The pandemic has been a disaster for independent bookstores, even as it sent Amazon sales to new heights. So we picked a few of our favorites indies from around the United States. You can still order Kindle ebooks, we have Book Depository for international orders, and also stores local to Australia and New Zealand this year!

» SIGN UP FOR SANTATHING NOW!

What is SantaThing?

SantaThing is “Secret Santa” for LibraryThing members.

How it Works

You pay $15–$50 and pick your favorite bookseller. We match you with a participant, and you play Santa by selecting books for them. Another Santa does the same for you, in secret. LibraryThing does the ordering, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving books!

Sign up once or thrice, for yourself or someone else.

Even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others. Click on an existing SantaThing profile to leave a suggestion.

Every year, LibraryThing members give generously to each other through SantaThing. If you’d like to donate an entry, or want to participate, but it’s just not in the budget this year, be sure to check out our Donations Thread (to come), run once again by our fantastic volunteer member, mellymel1713278.

Important Dates

Sign-ups close MONDAY, November 29th at 12pm EST. By the next day, we’ll notify you via profile comment who your Santee is, and you can start picking books.

You’ll then have until FRIDAY, December 3rd at 12pm EST to make your picks. As soon as the picking ends, the ordering begins, and we’ll get all the books out to you as soon as we can.

» Go sign up to become a Secret Santa now!

Supporting Indie Bookstores

We’re teaming up with independent bookstores from around the country to deliver your SantaThing picks, including BookPeople in Austin, TX, Longfellow Books in Portland, ME, and Powell’s Books in Portland, OR.

Once again this year, we’re also offering international deliveries through Book Depository. New to this year are retail partners Readings for our Australian participants and Time Out Bookstore for the Kiwi participants. Kindle is available to all members, regardless of location. To receive Kindle ebooks, your Kindle must be registered on Amazon.com (not .co.uk, .ca, etc.). See more information about all the stores.

Shipping

Some of our booksellers are able to offer free shipping, and some are not. Depending on your bookseller of choice, you may receive $5 less in books, to cover shipping costs. You can find details about shipping costs and holiday ordering deadlines for each of our booksellers here on the SantaThing Help page.

» Go sign up now!

Questions? Comments?

This is our FIFTEENTH year of SantaThing. See the SantaThing Help page further details and FAQ.

Feel free to ask your questions over on this Talk topic, or you can contact Kate directly at kate@librarything.com.

Happy SantaThinging!

Labels: events, fun, holiday, santathing

Monday, November 1st, 2021

November 2021 Early Reviewers Batch is Live!

Win free books from the November 2021 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 74 books this month, and a grand total of 2,727 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, November 29th at 6PM Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, Germany, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Candlewick Press Akashic Books Unsolicited Press
Black Rose Writing City Owl Press Beaufort Books
Flyaway Books BHC Press Ooligan Press
writesideleft Tierra Simbolica TouchPoint Press
West Margin Press Artemesia Publishing Jumble Books and Publishers
Heritage Books Aquarius Press Anaphora Literary Press
Meerkat Press Revell Thinklings Books
World Weaver Press Nysa Media TouchPoint Romance
Greenleaf Book Group Vibrant Publishers BookViewCafe
Fathom Publishing Company NewCon Press Coach House Books

Labels: early reviewers, LTER