Friday, September 2, 2011

Libraries and Gaming

Last night, I dreamed that I combined two of my favorite things:  Learning and Zuma Blitz.
I love the speed of this matching game and the incredibly high possible scores.  But this evening, I dreamed that instead of colored balls, it was a stream of sentences.  For every connection made, I learned something new.  And if I got a fruit,
than it was literally the fruit of knowledge and I would learn everything currently on the screen.

But there was an additional icon that popped up like fruit.  (And this is NOT in the game).

If I managed to get the toilet paper roll, it cleared up all the BS out there pretending to be real information.

So when I woke up this morning, I knew that I still had my trip to the Troy Library on my mind from yesterday.  We went in for a 'how to use the library' presentation for my Art History class.  I could tell that of my classmates and I, either I'm the most talkative or the one that actually uses the library, because when he asked questions, 90% of the time, I answered, and correctly.

The University has a WebCat that is, as far as I can tell, where the card catalog of my youth has gone.

You know, when we did it REALLY old school... back in the age of rotary dial phones that only made phone calls.
You search it for any of the books,periodicals, etc. that the entire University has, whether it's on this campus or not.  And thankfully, more and more books are beginning to crop up electronically!

But then I learned of two wonderful, new to me things!

 WorldCat and InterLibrary Loan.

With World Cat, you can search for a book, periodical, etc. -from anywhere in the world-!!!  If it's available electronically, viola! Instant gratification!  But if it's not, the library (and I mean ANY library) can use the InterLibrary Loan and using the old school tech of snail mail, you can borrow a book from anywhere in the world!

(Can you hear the holy choir and divine bells, or am I the only one?)
Yes, yes, this information will improve my English and Art History papers, but more importantly, it opens up an entire world of SCAdian research!  The possibilities set my little nerd heart aflutter.  I can learn from and see books on embroidery, heraldry, illumination, cooking--whatever!  If the book exists and I can get the title/ISBN or any other distinguishing bits of information that makes it possible to track down-- I can have access to the knowledge contained within!

As a child I used to dream of this.  To be honest, as a child, this access to knowledge and information was my idea of heaven itself.  I would sometimes dream that should I die and go to heaven, God would grant me access to his library for eternity.  And it contained every book there every was, or ever would be.

And then we go back to last night's dream.  This is where the toilet paper roll comes in.

Because although the internet is a great place to start, there's still an awful lot of bogus information floating around out there.  The relative ease of accessing primary sources really will help flush the crap away.

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