Announcing All Floor 24/7

Students who have experienced frustration over a lack of time or places to study need fear no more. We are pleased to announce that beginning the evening of July 5th, Snell Library will be open twenty-four hours a day while classes are in session for current students, faculty and staff. For over a year, as a direct result of student demand, the first floor of the Library has been open 24×7. This access has proved a huge success with students. Based on this success, by expanding 24×7 access to all floors, the Library will better serve students who need to stay up late studying and who can also access a wider variety of resources than those available on the first floor. Associate Dean for User Services, Lesley Milner said, “The Library has worked closely with student government, student employees at Snell Library, and frequent library users, to get their input to create optimal library hours and study space, for which there is always demand. For students, the resounding response was anytime, day and night, and as much space as possible.  Dean of Libraries, Will Wakeling shared, “We want to give students what they need to succeed in their academic careers— and of course we are delighted that students want 24 hour access to the Snell library building, which complements our suite of online library research tools and resources.” For security purposes students, faculty, and staff are required to present and carry with them a valid Northeastern ID at all times. The public and alumni are welcome to use the Library during previously regularly scheduled hours. Funding for All Floor 24×7 has been provided by the Office of the Provost. See for more information about hours and usage of Snell Library. For questions about this change please contact Lesley Milner at A new era has dawned.

Making The Library Work For You

(This may Develop into a series depending on how daring I am.)

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’m just your friendly neighborhood Journalism major who works in one of the Library’s many offices. So, I find myself sitting here, clicking through the Library looking for something to write about; like many students I have the typical Generation-Y aversion to libraries. But, then I stumbled on something that made me realize I was wrong.

While there is a wealth of information available to us on the internet (I mean it’s even destroying my job prospects as I write this) there is some stuff you just can’t get. My first thought goes to older newspaper articles or back issues of magazines. And, while it is necessary to learn by doing, it is also pertinent to see what some of the greats have done to earn their stripes. Sadly, that is becoming more difficult.

The Library can actually be of tremendous help in that regard. The Library here at Northeastern maintains subscriptions to various databases that have newspapers dating back to 1690 and they have all the Papers of Record dating back until at least 1991(NYTimes, Boston Globe).  Added Bonus: It’s free for students!

So, not only can I meld my love of a good newspaper article with my love of the versatility of the internet, but I can also rid myself of a previously held, and somewhat misguided, notion that libraries are outdated.

As an added bonus, I’m going to read Distinguished Professor Walter V. Robinson’s article which brought the Catholic Church scandal into the limelight in 2002….See if you can find THAT on

Advances in barcode technology

Our collegues across the river at the MIT Camera Culture lab have created a new barcode technology called Bokodes. Bokode You can see a description at this link: Also the BBC has picked up on this story The interesting thing about this is that this new technology could change the way libraries track assets such as books and media. However, the conversion cost may not be practical since the standard 3 of 9 barcode system has been in use for decades and converting millions of physical items to a new system is a daunting task. I would compare this conversion as similar to converting from Dewey Decimal to Library of Congress.

Desk Set

If you like movies and libraries, I’ve got a recommendation for you. Desk Set (1957) is a comedy, starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, set in the reference library at a television network. Hepburn is the head librarian and Tracy is a man hired by the company to install the “electronic brain” aka very large computer in the reference department. The librarians fear that with the installation of this new bit of technology, they will all soon be out of a job. Faced with this possibility, Hepburn sets out to prove that no computer can ever match the abilities of the human mind. You can find this film and many others here in Snell Library.

Feds Order Public Libraries to destroy law books!

The attorney general for the US Federal Government has issued this order… “The Department of Justice has called for these five public documents, two of which are texts of federal statutes, to be removed from depository libraries and destroyed, making their content available only to those with access to a law office or law library. The topics addressed in the named documents include information on how citizens can retrieve items that may have been confiscated by the government during an investigation. The documents to be removed and destroyed include: Civil and Criminal Forfeiture Procedure; Select Criminal Forfeiture Forms; Select Federal Asset Forfeiture Statutes; Asset forfeiture and money laundering resource directory; and Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA).” See this Link for more details. They have rescinded the order but the fact that the issued such an order in the first place is truly chilling.