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Archive for July, 2009

Book trucks

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Apropos of nothing, it’s getting close to that time of year when the library will be decked out for the celebration of a new academic year and the highly anticipated arrival of all of the new students. We hope they will quickly beat a path to our door and learn their way around the library and all of its services and meet our helpful staff and librarians. So of course, one’s mind turns to book trucks.

Last year the library book trucks were decorated by various departments as they competed for a pizza lunch. In late August the trucks were ready, and parked around the Central Library sixth floor atrium. This was the last stop for students, who, upon successful completion of a simple form (filled in at stations around the library) were entitled to a free lunch. They were encouraged to view the book trucks and cast a vote (and they were subject to heavy lobbying and bribery by interested library staff. Candy is usually a good vote-getter.) The covered wagon won (it was cleverly rendered, but they did also have a faux steaming cauldron of bite-sized chocolate bars right out front).

A photo of our winning entry was sent in to a competition sponsored by the online Library web site Unshelved. The prizes were provided by a commercial book truck company. We didn’t win, but we enjoyed being able to get more bang for a book cart decorating buck. Take a look at some of the “Pimp My Bookcart” winning entries from around the world. And in case you might dismiss this, thinking the book-truck phenom is a flash in the pan, the American Library Association (ALA)  recently included book truck drills at their national convention. The story is here.

Click on photos for a larger images.

Written by dwyer

July 27th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Don’t try this on a library computer

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from Cracked.comDavid Pogue, the New York Times technology critic, sent a great link this morning via Twitter. “5 Things Hollywood Thinks Computers Can Do” is posted at Several movies are reviewed, and in it’s discussion of Live Free, Die Hard it pretty well sums up the use of computers in many movies:

Hacking is to this movie what magic is in the Harry Potter stories: plot-hole spackle. All the gaping cracks in logic between scene A to scene C can be neatly smoothed over with the mystical power of hack.

While you’re leaning back in the Planetarium for the $2 movies this summer, or viewing  Thursday ExCEL movies on the lawn at the MAC, relax. You plugged in the computer to recharge while you were away, and that’s all it’s going to do.   

Written by dwyer

July 24th, 2009 at 10:04 am

IE6 – R.I.P. (finally)

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From Mashable - IE6 RIPAs one who has done basic web design for many years now, I am glad to see the initiative (IE6 Must Die for the Web to Move On) discussed by Ben Parr at Mashable to retire Internet Explorer 6. Have I kept up with all of the HTML renovations, all of the high-end functionality of web design? No. I keep it simple, I like tables, links, varying text, images, etc. But even my minimalist approach is affected by how old your browser is. I like to use PNG images, they’re stable (not “lossy” like jpg images), I like CSS, but as Parr notes:

- CSS v2 (Cascading Style Sheets): This is the code that enables almost all design on the web. In other words, designers have to hack up websites just to make them load in IE6.

- PNG Transparency: A great deal of .png images don’t display correctly in IE6. It basically kills using them in design work.

- General Security: Just like not updating your virus software can get you riddled with spyware, not updating your browser can be a gateway to attacks. There are even code snippets that will shut down IE6. I won’t tell you what they are, but you can find them on Wikipedia. It’s unstable.

For years I viewed my pages in different aged browsers; this gives a designer an idea of what their readers might be seeing. I frankly don’t bother any more, I simply design for the few current browsers I have on my computers, and keep it low tech enough that it’ll probably work in most of the old ones (you can still find them: lists a bunch, read how to do it at TechRepublic). I’m glad to see that perhaps I won’t have to keep it so simple, if I take the time to learn how HTML 5 works.  :)

Written by dwyer

July 16th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Apollo 11 mission 40th anniversary display

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The UT Arlington Central Library is commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 space mission with an exhibit. It was on July 20, 1969, that the Apollo 11 spacecraft landed on the moon. U.S. Astronaut Neil Armstrong descended from the lunar module and became the first person to ever walk on the moon. After stepping down onto the surface, he delivered this now famous line, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

The Library’s Information Services staff have created a display to commemorate this event. They invite you to visit the second floor of the Central Library to view their first multimedia display, incorporating books, NASA documents, and facts about the mission, along with a digital photo frame which has over 100 photos of the Apollo 11 mission scrolling the screen at all times. Take a break from the heat and/or your studying and come take a peek into history as we celebrate this historic event. The display will be in place through the end of July.

This exhibit is free and open to all. For more information, call 817-272-3394 or

Written by dwyer

July 14th, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Friends of the UT Arlington Library announce fall program schedule.

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Ebby Halliday and Michael Poss, book Ebby Halliday: The First Lady of Real EstateThe fall 2009 meeting schedule has been announced by the Friends of the UT Arlington Library. Regional authors with new books most frequently make up the pool of speakers that the group draws from each semester, and this fall continues that tradition.

On September 11, Ebby Halliday, the Dallas Realtor, and Michael Poss, author of Ebby Halliday: The First Lady of Real Estate will speak about Poss’ book. The October 23 meeting brings back Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Jeff Guinn to discuss his upcoming book Go Down Together: The True Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde, and on November 13 Mike Cochran will discuss his book The Godfather of Poker: The Doyle Brunson Story. Each author will sell and sign their books at a reception following the meeting. On December 4 the Friends’ traditional musical holiday meeting will feature the Upscale Quartet, a local Barbershop Quartet. The meetings all begin at 7:30pm and are held in the Central Library’s sixth floor parlor. The concert will be held at 7:30pm in the sixth floor atrium.

The group was chartered in 1987 and committed to supporting and enhancing the resources of  the UTA Library. For a PDF of this schedule, visit For more information about these programs, or about the Friends of the UT Arlington Library, contact Betty Wood at or 817-272-7421.