Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Making History More Accessible, One Transcriber at a Time

Hey history lovers -- if you don't think this is the coolest thing since the invention of history, then maybe you aren't a bonafide history nerd. A new project by the Library of Virginia just launched -- it's called Making History: Transcribe, and it's the simplest idea ever - one that I'm sure Kat Potente of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore would be proud of/have already implemented.

Transcribing historical documents is HUGELY TIME CONSUMING. So what makes it go faster? Lots of people working on it together, and sharing the workload. That's what Making History: Transcribe does. The Library of Virginia has digitized documents with high quality scanners and posted them on their website, which allows users (anybody!) to transcribe them, without even needing to make an account. After you submit your work, it gets reviewed by staff members.

To make it easy on transcribers, it gives a few simple directions. The documents can be zoomed in, out, and turned around to make it easy to read. There are instructions about how to transcribe illegible or guessed-at words, and if you've got a lot of questions about reading old documents, then you can get information on writing styles, abbreviations, and transcription tips!

If you find yourself liking this, you can make an account (and of course, I did). This way, if you find yourself doing this a lot, you can come back to the same documents over and over again easily.

After you've clicked on the document that you want to work on, here's what it looks like:


Sure, I can definitely see some potential issues - you'll get people who are terrible transcribers, you might get people who want to be funny by writing up false reports, etc. But transcriptions are checked by staff members who will review the work and make sure it's accurate, and if things start becoming an issue, then I'm sure making an account will become mandatory.

Explore the site here: http://www.virginiamemory.com/transcribe/

Here's Library of Virginia's blog post about it!   http://www.virginiamemory.com/blogs/out_of_the_box/2014/08/19/come-on-make-some-history/ 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Check it out: What Do I Read Next?

One of the things I love about being a Librarian is recommending books to people who need something new to read. If you want something new to read, just let me know a couple of things about what you've liked in the past and what you want to read now by clicking on the tab "What Do I Read Next?"

Monday, March 31, 2014

2013: My Year in Books

 Here are my books from 2013 with my brief commentary-- now that it's pretty much APRIL, I have finally gotten to posting this. I have tried to mark where they were graphic novels, audiobooks, etc., and also what age they might best suit.  I'd say 66 books ain't bad.

  1. Across the Universe  - Beth Revis (half audiobook)
    • Great YA space travel dystopian novel with lots of twists and turns. Also got my husband hooked on this, muahaha.
  2. Delirium - Lauren Oliver
    • YA dystopian novel where love is illegal -- maybe not fleshed out as well as it could have been, but was fun along the way.  See #54 for my thoughts on the sequel.
  3. A Million Suns - Beth Revis (sequel to Across the Universe)
    • I don't normally read sequels, but I couldn't help myself with this one! 
  4. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart
    • My teens were obsessed with this, and it got a lot of hype, so I read it. So glad I did - funky characters, great dialogue, and totally fun to read. Great for upper elementary and middle grade readers.
  5. The Case of the Deadly Desperados - Caroline Lawrence
    • Western for the elementary set? Yes, please! Main character Pinky is hilarious and deadpan, and expect a lot of adventure, with a pinch of gruesome. Better for middle grade.