Tuesday, February 16, 2010

University of Houston's Digital Library: Visual Houston History

The University of Houston's Digital Library is open for browsing and viewing at http://digital.lib.uh.edu/index.php .

The UH Digital Library contains thousands of photos in collections such as "Galveston 1915 Hurricane Photographs", "Historic Houston Photographs", and "Texas City Disaster Photographs, 1947" among many others.

The stated goal of the Library is "to showcase digital collections of materials documenting the history of the University of Houston, City of Houston, and State of Texas, as well as other historically and culturally significant materials related to the University’s teaching and research mission."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Web 2.0 Study & Research Tools That Can Help You!

Many new tools are available on the internet that can help you as a student, scholar, and researcher. Of particular value to distance learning students, these services can keep you organized and on schedule when the weight of multiple assignments and projects seems like it will bring you down!

  • Adaptable

  • Powerful

  • Portable

  • Free

Social Bookmarking (URL aggregators -- save, store, and organize your web links)

Social bookmarking website services allow you to store, organize and share your browser bookmarks -- webpage addresses, or Universal Resource Locators (URLs). Social bookmarking services provide permanent storage on the web for your links to these resources, rather than storing them on your home computer. You can organize your links, create notes about them, and even share them with other subscribers to these services. The link-sharing/social function of these services allows you to see what other people engaged in your area of research across the globe are currently studying.
Some social bookmarking sites:

Delicious (owned by Yahoo)

Connotea (designed for scholars and researchers)


Online applications and storage (Document processing, email, and on-line storage)

Email services have been available on the internet for some time, and most students have email accounts through their schools. The storage space that comes with these accounts is sometimes overlooked. By emailing files and documents to your on-line email account and storing them in your account, you avoid losing data when portable storage devices (thumb drives, floppy discs, etc.) are misplaced, forgotten or damaged. Since your files are stored on-line, you can retrieve them from any location where you can access the internet, which is not possible when you store your files on your home computer. Notable free on-line email services are Gmail (Google) and Yahoo Mail.

Do you use the following types of computer programs?

  • Word processing? (Word, Wordperfect, Microsoft Works)

  • Spreadsheets? (Excel)

  • Presentations? (Powerpoint, Keynote)

  • Appointment Calendars? (Outlook, Lotus Notes)

Several on-line services (the ubiquitous web giant Google being the most notable) have developed on-line versions of these programs available to use for free. These tools are conferrable to the Microsoft Office Suite, with certain limitations, but their advantage is that they are free and they are available for use from anywhere you can access the internet. Another feature of these documents is that they can generally be shared with other users over the web for instant collaboration.

Google and Yahoo both have calendar applications which can be accessed on-line on which you can set appointments and schedules. These calendars can email you notifications and warnings about upcoming events such as test dates and due dates for class assignments. For the distance learning student in particular these on-line calendars can be a great help in keeping yourself on schedule and organized.

Some on-line application, email, and storage services:


Yahoo mail, calendar, notes, etc.

Feng Office


Textbook rentals

The expense of textbook costs in addition to high tuition fees can be a game-ender for some students. A new alternative to buying textbooks has emerged: textbook rentals. The following services allow students to rent their textbooks for a set period of time (a semester or a year) at a cost much lower than their original retail price. Safari Books, listed below, also offers the rental of electronic texts - to be read and studied on-line, specializing in technical and computing studies.

NOTE: The Lone Star College Libraries have 45,000 FREE electronic books immediately available through the NetLibrary service. NetLibrary access is also available through all the LSC-University Center partner university libraries at Sam Houston State University (http://library.shsu.edu/research/booksonline.php#NGL), Texas A&M University (TAMU has an extensive collection of electronic books at http://library.tamu.edu/help/resource-format-guides/e-books), Texas Southern University, University of Houston, and University of Houston Downtown.

An excellent article on textbook rentals

Some textbook rental services:




Safari (mostly technical and computing books)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Library Events and Programs for February 2010

Featured Program:

Start a Small Business In Texas
MCMLS - Tullis Branch
Monday, February 8
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Kerry Woodson, Senior Consultant with the Small Business Development Center at Lone Star College-Kingwood hosts our overview class on starting a small business in Texas. Learn the critical steps necessary to advance your business idea.
21569 US Hwy. 59
New Caney TX 77357

Tax Help:

AARP Tax Assistance
Lone Star College-Tomball Public Library
Saturday, February 06, 2010 - 11:00 AM
Monday, February 08, 2010 - 12:00 PM
30555 Tomball Parkway
Tomball, TX 77375

AARP Tax Assistance
MCMLS - South Regional Library
February 2 - April 15
Tuesdays and Thursdays
9am - 1pm
2101 Lake Robbins Drive
The Woodlands, Texas 77380
(281) 298-9110

AARP Tax Assistance
Mitchell Library
February 3 - April 14
Wednesdays and Saturdays
Except April 3
9am - 1pm
8125 Ashlane Way
The Woodlands, Texas 77382

AARP Tax Assistance
Malcolm Purvis Library
February 2 - April 13
9am - 12pm
510 Melton Drive
Magnolia, Texas 77354

VITA Tax Assistance
R.F. Meador Library
February 1 - April 8
Mondays 9am - 12pm
Thursdays 2pm - 7pm
709 West Montgomery
Willis, Texas 77354
(936) 442-7740

AARP Tax Assistance
Baldwin Boettcher Library
Friday, February 05, 2010 - 1:00 PM
Saturday, February 06, 2010 - 12:00 PM
22248 Aldine Westfield Rd
Humble, TX 77338-1080
(281) 821-1320

AARP Tax Assistance
Northwest Branch Library
Friday, February 05, 2010 - 1:00 PM
Saturday, February 06, 2010 - 10:00 AM
11355 Regency Green Drive
Cypress, TX 77429

AARP Tax Assistance
HPL - Scenic Woods Regional Library
February 1 - 15
Mondays: 10-2 PM
Tuesdays: 10-2 PM
Thursdays: 10-2 PM
Fridays: 10-2 PM
10677 Homestead, 77016

Book Clubs:

3rd Thursday Readers Group
MCMLS - Stewart Branch
Thursday, Feb. 18, 1 to 2pm
3rd Thursday Readers Group Meets the 3rd Thursday of each month from 1:00 to 2:00 in the community room at the Stewart West Branch Library. FEBRUARY’S SELECTION: Any of the books from the "Hannah Swensen Mystery" series by Joanne Fluke
202 Bessie Price Owen Drive
Montgomery, TX 77356
(936) 788-8314

MBBC: Meador Branch Book Club
MCMLS - Meador Branch
Thursday, Feb. 25, 2:00 PM
MBBC is moving to a new day in 2010! Join us on Thursday, February 25 at 2:00 to discuss Leo Tolstoy’s classic, Anna Karenina.
709 West Montgomery
Willis, TX 77318
(936) 442-7740

Afternoon Book Discussion
Barbara Bush @ Cypress Creek Branch Library
Friday, February 26, 2:30pm – 4:30pm
Adults who like to read and talk about what they have read gather for informal discussion. This month's selection: "True Women" by Janice Woods Windle. An optional tour of the Texas art collection at the Pearl Fincher Museum will follow.
6817 Cypresswood Drive
Spring, TX 77379

Computer Classes:

Computer Workshop
Meador Branch
Thursday, Feb. 18, 6:00 PM
Basic Computers, Part 1 of 2
709 West Montgomery
Willis, TX 77318
(936) 442-7740

Computer Class
Barbara Bush @ Cypress Creek Branch Library
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2pm – 4 pm
Web page addresses, conducting searches on the Internet,Security, etc.
6817 Cypresswood Drive
Spring, TX 77379

Special Programs:

HEB Cooking Demo
South Branch
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Hands on Demo for healthy cooking and weight loss led by local HEB chef.
2101 Lake Robbins Dr
The Woodlands, TX 77380-1152
(281) 298-9110

Stewart Branch
Thursday, Feb. 18, 6:00pm
Observe the Night Sky through High-Power Telescopes.
Presented by Mike Kramer and other volunteers
from the North Houston Astronomy Club.
Begins at 6:00pm.
Be prepared to stand outside in cold night air. Dress Warmly!
Montgomery, TX 77356
(936) 788-8314

History of the West Lecture Series
Tullis Branch
Thursday, Feb. 25, 9:30 AM
Join popular Lonestar College-Kingwood history instructor, Link Hullar, as he makes the American West come alive. Program #2, Badmen, Gunfighters and Angels, will explore some of the notorious men and women who lived outside the law in the wild west.
21569 US Hwy. 59
New Caney TX 77357

Once Upon a Time: Telling Stories Through Clay
Tomball College & Community Library
Monday, February 1, 2010 - Monday, April 12, 2010
Many artists create one-of-a-kind works of art that tell stories through clay—such as the plates, cups, teapots, and sculptures in the nearby cases. Some are playful, others serious, some dreamy, others mysterious. Like a good story, all will draw you into their spell.
30555 Tomball Parkway
Tomball, TX 77375

Adults - Conversational Spanish
HPL - Acres Homes Public Library
Monday - February 15 2010
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Whether you are learning Spanish or just want to brush-up, join us to practice your conversational skills in a relaxed setting.
8501 West Montgomery
Houston, Texas 77088