Triple "ack!"  I didn't make it.  Happy New Year.



Haven't heard of this before.  Reminds me of the Digital Public Library of America.  I tried looking up my birthplace and found nothing.  I tried both of my parents' places of birth and found the same results.  Seems like they could use more content, which means they need to attract more participants if it's going to have much value.  I tried looking up Bruges, Belgium as a potential place I'd want to visit and was disappointed by the minimal content there, as well.  One photo was a personal shot someone posted of themselves as a 4 year old.  It was taken in 1945, which is interesting, but they misspelled "Kodak" and it lacks context.  I'm sure HistoryPin/Google is trying to avoid the extra work and academic feel of DPLA, but there's definitely something to be said for curated content.  Another picture appears to be a poorly cropped picture of someone holding a photo rather than a scan.  It appears to be a shot of soldiers marching in WWI but lacks any description and is very difficult to make out.  So far HistoryPin is pretty disappointing.


Has their service grown immensely or have I just not looked at it this much before?  I thought LearningExpress primarily consisted of practice tests (GED, SAT, etc.), but there's clearly a lot more educational content.  I watched the short recommended videos and glanced at the featured resources list.  I would absolutely recommend this to patrons, although it suffers from that common catch-22 that some of the people who could benefit most from using it will probably have difficulty due to their low computing skills.


We are about to step backward in time.  Brace yourselves.

Simultaneous access!  What a concept!  Hint, hint, e-book publishers.  We do not own the new Bob Odenkirk book, nor "The World of Ice & Fire" (which would probably make for an awful audiobook anyway), so I checked out Sarah Thyre's wonderful memoir "Dark at the Roots."  The iOS app was very quick to download, setting up an account was simple enough (except for the part where the correct spelling of our library system is "St Paul Public Library" which makes it difficult to find using their unusual three-character auto fill-in function-- I had the same problem trying to help a patron, once), and the interface is slick and easy to use.  Didn't care for the part where it overrode the volume setting on my phone, however.  I almost never listen to audiobooks so I don't plan to use the service, and therefore returned the book right away in hopes that someone else will enjoy it.



I didn't know that ProQuest had taken this over from the Census Bureau, and I don't think I've really looked at the online version.  The ProQuest interface is very nice.  I am a fan of the print version, but having the keyword searching available here will be useful.  It isn't necessarily full of content that I'm personally interested in, but has great value as a resource for patrons.

Sorry, that's all I've got.  Here is a picture of a strange breed of cat that's weirdly popular:


Ack!  Can I get through these activities when I only have five workdays left to complete ten sections?  Wait, make that twelve sections, since I've already skipped over two.  Double ack.

Okay, here we go.  History Day!  It's about, like, history and stuff?  The terms "primary and secondary sources" get tossed about a lot, sometimes by students who don't know what those terms mean.  The theme for 2015 is "Leadership & Legacy in History."  Yes, in bold type.  The NHD website is a bit of a useless mishmash of blocks which made the location of this information somewhat less than obvious.  The MHS site requires a number of clickthroughs to get to a Word document (?) with a list of topic suggestions, some solid, some a little unusual (or, seemingly unusual to me, clearly not a history expert).

This is definitely good stuff for me to be looking over, as I didn't really know that much about History Day, having not participated in it when I went to school nor having raised any children of my own.  I am more than a little entertained to see that students can choose "performance" among other project types.  The list of History Day Help resources is incredibly helpful and does indeed make me feel better prepared to help patrons, although I will still heavily steer them toward the History Day Hullabaloo (to promote the program, not just because I want to use the word "hullabaloo" in everyday conversation as much as possible).