Thursday, October 21, 2010

I have a customer who needs to research a condition his dog has been diagnosed with. Are there books or online resources for pet health?

Most libraries will have a basic book or two about dog or pet health/diseases. These are examples of titles found in many Maryland libraries:
You know how there are books on how to communicate better with your doctor? Since veterinary care has become more sophisticated, there are now a couple of books discussing getting second opinions, specialty vet care, communicating with your family vet, money issues, questions to ask in specific situations, etc. These books don’t go into details about health conditions or diseases, but help you to get your pet the best care.
Of course, there are many online resources!

Free Animal Health Resources Web Sites
From the Veterinary Library at Cornell University’s Vet School (College of Veterinary Medicine), this list of Web sites (mostly for non-veterinarians) includes sites on alternative medicine, nutrition and poisoning in addition to sites on diseases and conditions.

Merck Veterinary Manual
The 9th edition (2006) of the Merck Veterinary Manual is available online. It contains information about animal anatomy and physiology, diseases, behavior, and emergency treatment. It includes over 1400 images, video and audio files you can use to identify plants poisonous to animals or see lesions characteristic of a specific disease. The language can be technical. I find it irritating to be forced to constantly be clicking to move on to the next page.

Pet Education
This site from retailer Foster & Smith includes advertising, but the information provided by is the site is so useful it makes me almost forget the advertising. This searchable site on contains information on diseases and treatments, lab procedures & tests, drug information sheets, a dictionary of veterinary terms, and articles related to alternative and holistic medicine. It also has excellent articles on symptoms in their “Symptom Checker” section.
The University of Tennessee’s Agriculture & Veterinary Library calls this Web site “the best place to start looking for information on the Web” for general care and health information on dogs. It provides information on health, medications, therapies, surgery, behavior, and safety. New articles are added weekly.

WebMD: Healthy Dogs
Did you know that WebMD included information on pet health? Healthy Dogs is part of their Pet Health Center. Healthy Dogs has major sections on conditions, symptoms and behavior.

Please keep in mind that Maryland's State Library Resource Center has some more specialized resources that can be useful. While these books are reference (noncirculating), we are would be happy to send you any appropriate pages:

Blackwell's five-minute veterinary consult: canine and feline edited by Larry Patrick Tilley. Blackwell, c2007 (4th ed.)

The new edition of this title is on order. This book does wonderful 2 page overviews of dog and cat diseases and conditions. While technical, it is fairly understandable—I’d say it is more like a nursing textbook than a physician’s textbook if it was medical textbook.

Blackwell's five-minute veterinary consult clinical companion: canine and feline behavior by Debra F. Horwitz. Blackwell, c2007 (1st ed.)

This only covers behavioral issues.

Textbook of veterinary internal medicine: diseases of the dog and cat edited by Stephen J. Ettinger. Elsevier Saunders, c2005 (2 volumes)

We have a newer veterinary internal medicine textbook on order; as in medicine, 2005 is old for veterinary medicine. This is definitely written in technical language.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Libraries seem to have so much specific vocabulary--as well as acronyms. Is there a guide to Maryland library language?

Merlin, Maryland's Essential Resource for Library Information Networks, has put together just the right document for you! If you want to know what ARLD*, BRAC**, or WRP*** mean, check out their Library Lingo page!

If you are interested in learning about the American Library Association's various acronyms, check out their ALA & LIS Acronyms page.

Hopefully, between these two pages, you'll feel as though you've found a secret decoder ring for library lingo!

* Academic Libraries Research Division of the Maryland Library Association
** Base Realignment and Closure
*** Winter Reading Program

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I went on the SLRC Tour this past fall and remember that SLRC can do a lot for the public library at which I work.

Can you tell me more about what the State Library Resource Center has to offer?

Maryland's State Library Resource Center does offer many services for Maryland public libraries. On the State Library Resource Center web site there is a great deal of information. You'll want to check out the section for Public Librarians.

The State Library Resource Center brochure also lists many services offered to local libraries.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Display Tips & Tricks

When creating displays, it is very important to make sure you have enough materials to replenish the display. But there are a few pitfalls!

Here are few rules to follow when creating displays:

1. Don’t overcrowd

When setting up a display, be careful not to overcrowd the display. It’s important to create a display that is easy for customers to browse. The titles in the above display are difficult to read and not very inviting.

2. Don’t skimp

The above display is easy to read and looks balanced; however, if a customer decides to check out one or two of the titles, the display will look empty. To avoid this pitfall, be sure to add a few more titles to fill out the display. If possible, use book easels available from library vendors.

3. Just Right!

The best solution to avoid the above pitfalls is to create a display that is balanced and eye catching. In the above example, the display is balanced and each title is clearly visible. In addition, materials are readily available to replenish the display, as needed. Always remember to display replacement books with the spine out.

By following these three simple rules, your displays will be eye catching, inviting, and balanced.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

SLRC Treasures: Humanities

The Humanities Department has a run of the Baltimore/Washington edition of the TV Guide from 1957 to the current issue, in paper. These are wonderful for the covers alone, remembering Father Knows Best, I Love Lucy, The Carol Burnett Show, The Man from UNCLE, and others. If you need to know the listing for a local program or just want to take a walk down memory lane, this collection is a great place to start.

Interested in an 1854 Italian English Dictionary? A pronouncing dictionary of Gaelic?A Hopi/English-English/Hopi dictionary?Or Yoruba/English? Want to look up a word in Middle English or see how Samuel Johnson defined “Lexicographer?” How about tracing the etymology of a Russian word or looking at a 1700 page Chinese dictionary from 1925? If you ask for bouji while in Haiti, what will happen? The Brothers Grimm compiled an historical dictionary of German, if you’d like to explore the history of that language. The Humanities Department has language dictionaries for most known languages and will be glad to share the information in them!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I keep repeating the same display themes. Where can I find some ideas for fun or timely displays?

Displays are a great way to share the library’s resources andPhoto by Christchurch City Libraries creativity with your customers.

Here are a couple of sources for new display ideas:
  • Chase’s Calendar of Events, upcoming holidays
  • Community Events, Neighborhood Activities
  • News, Scandals
  • Readers’ Advisory:
  • Databases: NoveList (RA & School Resources) and Books and Authors (Browse by Genre)
  • Read-alikes
  • Booklists
  • Authors: Visiting Authors, Author Tributes, and Award Winners
  • Web Search – Google, Flickr, Library Thing
  • Popular Display Topics: Gardening, Home Improvement, Sports, Back to School, etc.
Another possibility is to ask your staff for ideas. What are their interests? What are some popular subjects that they have noticed customers’ checking out? One of the most popular displays in bookstores is the Staff Picks display; why not try this at your library?
You might also do an informal survey of your patrons.What kinds of displays do they want to see? What are popular topics in school projects and papers? Maybe there is an upcoming school theater production that could generate a display topic. Staying in touch with the activities and themes popular with your customers is a sure way to create timely displays.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SLRC Treasures: Business, Science & Technology Department

Probably the greatest hidden treasure of the Business, Science, and Technology (BST) Department at Maryland's State Library Resource Center is the collection of old department store catalogs, including Sears (1897-1993), Wards (1922-1985), and Penney’s (1984-2002). These catalogs allow you to walk down memory lane and see the styles and prices of the old days. Sears used to sell just about everything from clothing and furniture to pure-bred dogs and houses.

BST also owns a fantastic collection of old car shop manuals that date from 1929-1988 and owner’s manuals that range from 1913-1984. These manuals are great for people trying to restore a classic car, and the cars they cover include the Model T, Studebaker, Edsel, Reo Speedwagon, as well as the more common makes and models.

If you’re interested in historical business information, BST has old business directories, such as the Thomas Register (1925-2005), Moody’s Manuals, which also give financial information, (1900-present), and Best’s Insurance Reports (1915-present). The department also carries Jane’s Fighting Ships (1898-present) and Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft (1915-present).

The most important treasure in BST, however, is its crack staff of librarians, who will find your answer!