Pictures are worth a thousand herbs

herbsI wanted to share with you two beautiful and fun resources I’ve been using.

Anyone who likes to blog, develop wiki’s, and create presentations might enjoy these two sites as well.  After a little research and testing there are two that make me smile because of their variety and ease.

Okay, so the winter has me thinking about homesteadhomesteading.  Natural and homemade of course.  However, what this really means is that I try to grow a few herbs on my windowsill…  Of course, growing PolaStout a digital collection of herbs might be fun too.  It’s a “natural” instinct and “homemade” on the home computer!

The first is which I’ve mentioned in a previous post.  Not only is the conceptvintageherbs intriguing, but the collection of images and apps are fun!  I would like to give a shout out in particular to the app called “Culture Collage” which displays a flowing river of images based on your keywords.  Type in “herbs” and you can download these beautiful images because links you to other institutions.

Want beautiful free photographs under creative commons?  Check out  You can have emails sent to you with new photos or just go directly to their site.  prepcookThere you can search by keyword.  Keep an open and artistic mind and you can find some inspired photos to heat up any website or visualize your brilliant story.

Good luck growing your windowsill or digital herbs and have fun stocking up on your pics.

Seems that journal bills are beloved like cable bills

As I sit down and think about ASIS&T’s strategic plan and what it means to me, I thought about the usual …career, jobs, how to find the unlisted ones (hint hint strategic plan)….Then my thoughts went to the future a little bit more. What happens when I leave school and don’t have access to all the databases that I currently wander around in? There are public libraries, but what if I wanted more specific journals?

  • There is value in membership to associations (like ASIS&T) who offer journal subscriptions built into their membership.
  • As an alum, you can have access to your schools library, but you usually need to come in person. Maybe university libraries could partner with off-campus alumni and share some cost?
  • Along those same lines, maybe small business could partner with public libraries to purchase some of the larger databases of journals.

Has this happened already? If you are a librarian can you envision this working? Tell us your story

If someone wants to consult or work independently – How much would it cost me to buy my own suite of journals? What if I want to build a library for my organization and incorporate industry specific online journals? It is impressive how libraries are managing the cost and this article from highlights some of the costs:

  The Winds of Change | Periodicals Price Survey 2013

Some summary highlights:

  • The authors noted that “All elements of the information marketplace-libraries, publishers, and vendors- will continue to be impacted by the changing market conditions.”
  • Changes in how a e-journal packaging is defined
  • Cost rising easily over 6% in one year
    • High Schools and Public Libraries: 5-6%
    • University and College libraries: 5-7%
  • Open-Access
    • A business model to pay attention to
    • Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR)
      • Open access to well-funded federal agencies research articles
    • SCOAP3 and CERN working with publishers towards open access  (oh, don’t go too crazy DaVinci conspirators…)
    • Open Access to science journals-great! They have funding…but wait, say it isn’t so…the humanities are not big fans of open source? Oh the humanity of it all.

So could LIS associations be one part of the solution? Can partnerships between entrepreneurs, small business, and libraries off-set journal costs? Could there be a NETFLIX model for these professional groups and public libraries and strategically move away from the costly grip of publishing cable companies offering 100 journal channels?

Check out our facebook page and let us know your two cents…

Spring into Summer

Why not take advantage of some free time and get a head start on some upcoming classes.

Free being the important word here….LIS Grad students love these sites.

Only after your morning bike ride and reading some chapters from your summer novel…there are free opportunities to learn some LIS skills.  First, Simmons offers a free account to to their students using their own Simmons user name and password.  You can review html, Google analytics, or Excel to name a few general ones plus more advanced tutorials.  Second, check out which my local library ( offers as a free subscription.  Your local library might too!  They have individual courses or tracks to complete that focus on starting your own business, android development, or CSS.  Personally, I like healthcare and medical subjects so if you are interested as well take some free courses offered by the National Library of Medicine.  They have online courses specifically geared towards librarians using PubMed.  Finally, if you came to our ASIS&T Year End Event you would have heard about Kanopy.  This database is full of video based learning, documentaries, and independent films.  Just log into your Simmons Library account, [Research&Resources], [Databases], and [K] for Kanopy.

After your hard work learning on the couch don’t forget to relax.  Keep your local library card handy because they might have free subscriptions for you to use Hoopla or Freegal.  Also, take in some art, chase the ice cream truck, and head to the beach!


Good Times at our End of the Year Event



This past Friday, Simmons ASIS&T Student Chapter, with the help from SLIS Alumni Board and Faculty Advisor, successfully hosted our annual end of the year event.

There was fun, friends, and food which always makes for a good party.  This year we had 2 presentations, 2 past ASIS&T presidents (Candy Schwartz & Michael Leach), and 2 Simmons Beatley College Librarians joining our party ​to end another successful year.



Jennifer Ferguson (Liaison Librarian) and Annie Erdmann (Digital Asset & Electronic Resource Librarian), both from Simmons College, discussed their current project about analyzing usage, metadata, and vendor contracts related to digital media resources.



They highlighted the concept of paying per use versus the traditional up-front flat rate and how this has created a positive turn of events for Simmons Library.  Librarians are taking charge of their budgets in new innovative ways, evaluating patron usage using sophisticated technology, collaborating with other libraries, and initiating conversations with their vendors about terms of service.

Also, one of our own past ASIS&T Presidents spoke that night as well!   Michael Leach, Head of Collection Development at Harvard Cabot Library, cleverly addressed the many professional avenues for curious LIS students.  Knowledge Management, Information Architecture, and UX were just some examples that require a mix of information science and a dash of tech savvy. All of these skills are enhanced with a network of supportive folks in professional associations, like ASIS&T.  One of the key points Michael mentioned is ASIS&T is the perfect place to hone your public speaking abilities, event planning savvy, communication techniques, and other countless skills.





On behalf of Simmons ASIST&T, New England Chapter (NEASIS&T), and our Alumni Board…We Thank You for coming to the dinner and we look forward to what the future holds for us.  Happy End of the Semester and Looking forward to a fun Summer!

Year End ASIST Event and Dinner


April 24 5pm – SOM 5th floor

Join us for a light dinner, speakers,

networking, and dessert — Free

Learn more and Register:


Co-sponsored by SLIS Alumni Board

Speakers: Ann Erdmann and Jennifer Ferguson of Simmons College Beatley Library and Michael Leach of Harvard Cabot Library.

Thinking about what to do on Friday the 24th???…

thinkingApril 24 5pm – SOM 5th floor

Join Simmons ASIS&T for a Free dinner, speakers, networking, and dessert!

Learn more and Register:



Simmons ASIS&T invites you to Brave New Library: Year End ASIS&T Dinner, co-sponsored by the SLIS Alumni Board.  We will be providing a buffet style light dinner and dessert with guest speakers giving presentations on changes in collection development as we move to streaming and electronic media for video and reference collections.  We will also talk about opportunities for SLIS students to get involved and learn more about Library Information Science & Technology careers.

Speakers: Ann Erdmann and Jennifer Ferguson of Simmons College Beatley Library and Michael Leach of Harvard Cabot Library.


National Digital Stewardship Residency Program

The National Digital Stewardship Residency Programs in Boston and New York, with generous funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, are working to develop the next generation of digital stewardship professionals by funding:

  • 9 month hands-on residencies
  • For recent master’s degree recipients to complete digital stewardship projects
  • At host institutions in the Boston and New York City area

Applications for residencies running from September 2015 through May 2016 are now being accepted. Applications are due Friday, May 8, 2015.

Participation in NDSR Boston or New York will offer:

  • A nine-month paid residency at a Boston or New York City institution working on a specific digital stewardship project with a mentor and with full host institution support.
  • Advanced training, lectures, and events on digital stewardship conducted by digital preservation professionals and program staff.
  • Mentoring and career development services through the program and through the involvement in NDSR of notable digital preservation professionals.
  • Professional development funding, the opportunity to present at national conferences, and the chance to help contribute to and shape a national model for post-master’s residency programs.
For more information please visit:


Digital Stewardship Panel

Interested in digital libraries and archives? Wondering how to break into the field? Our panel of digital stewardship speakers has you covered!

Join us on October 29th in SOM 104 from 5:00pm-6:00pm to get professional advice and expert knowledge from Amy Benson, Peter Botticelli, and Pablo Morales Henry. Hear what it’s like to work for a digital library, what technological skills you’ll need, and how to get those skills while you’re at GSLIS. Ask your own questions during a panel Q&A. All interest and experience levels welcome! Light refreshments will be served.


Greg Crane at MIT: February 20

Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Time: 5:15 pm

Location: MIT E14-633 (New Media Lab)

Gregory Crane of Tufts University will present a talk at MIT titled “Automated Methods, Human understanding and digital libraries of Babel” on February 20, 5:15 pm, E14-633 (New Media Lab). The talk is organized by Stephanie Frampton, Classical Literature at MIT and co-sponsored by the MIT Literature Department, Comparative Media Studies, Ancient and Medieval Studies, and HyperStudio.

“Millions of documents produced around the world over more than four thousand years are now available in digital form — Google Books alone had scanned, by March 2012, more than 20 million books in more than 400 languages. Images of manuscripts, papyri, inscriptions and other non-print sources are also appearing in increasing numbers. But if we have addressed physical access to images of textual sources, we are a long way from providing the intellectual access necessary to understand the written sources that we see. This talk explores the challenges and opportunities as we refashion our study of the past from ethnocentric monolingual conversations into a hyperlingual dialogue among civilizations, where humans work with machines and with each other to communicate and where books do, as Marvin Minksy opined decades ago, talk to each other.”

Greg Crane has long been at the forefront of digital humanities, as the founder of (an especially important resource in Classics, but one the bridges many different temporal and linguistic specializations), and his current work is at the intersections of humanities, digital textuality, and developing tools to excavate the new sorts of materials now at our disposal. He’ll be on a Humbolt Fellowship in computer science next year.