Before There Was Snell

In the spirit of celebrating our beloved Snell Library and its 20 years on campus, I thought it might be interesting to see just what our college did without this iconic study center. Believe it or not, all of the books and print resources Northeastern had prior to Snell’s creation (think late 1980’s) were stored in the basement of Dodge Hall! (and you thought things got crowded during finals week here…) Given the less than workable conditions in Dodge and the growing student body, the University contracted a design for a new library to be built through The Architect’s Collaborative. The building was opened in 1990, and cost $35 million dollars to create. The library was named after George and Lorraine Snell, for their philanthropic leadership and contributions to the Northeastern learning community. George Snell graduated from Northeastern in 1941 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and became a supporter of the University in 1970. He passed away in December of 1997, and his wife Lorraine continues to stay involved with the Northeastern University Libraries. On Monday we will gather to celebrate the birthday of Snell Library, and honor the two decades of its service to the students of Northeastern. I encourage you all to join us in celebration with birthday cake and refreshments!

Honoring Janet Morrow

Last Friday, April 8th the New England Technical Services Librarians group held its Spring Conference in Worcester, MA. Snell Library’s own Janet Morrow was honored with the NETSL Award for Excellence in Technical Services, and for her 28 years of service, accomplishments, and important contributions to the profession. Congratulations Janet for a well deserved honor!

Librarians: Masters of the Info Universe

In honor of National Library Week we’d like to share some fun facts Famous Librarians J. Edgar Hoover, Casanova, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, former first lady Laura Bush, and Mao Zedong have all at one point worked as a librarian or in a library. Librarians influence our culture and society While clearing out old archives at the Palmer Theological Seminary in 2005, librarian Heather Carbo found a working manuscript of one of Beethoven’s final compositions Librarians are heroic Alia Muhammad Baker, the chief librarian of Basra, Iraq, removed 30,000 books from the city’s main library before it was destroyed during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Their numbers are many In 2009, there were 206,000 librarians, 50,000 library technicians and 96,000 other education, training and library workers Warning to readers about librarians A character in “The Callahan Touch”, one of science fiction writer Spider Robinson’s books, said, “Librarians are the secret masters of the universe. They control information. Never piss one off.” Happy National Library Week! (information for this blogpost was referenced from

LibX Plug-in Updated for Firefox 4

Everybody’s favorite browser plug-in, LibX @ NU, (version 1.5.6) has been updated to be compatible with Firefox 4! If you’re already using LibX, you may be prompted to update the plug-in sometime in the next few hours. This version also works in Internet Explorer. If you use Chrome, there’s now a Chrome version too! LibX for the NU Libraries offers: • An optional search bar at the top of the browser window for NuCat, Nexpress, and WorldCat Local • The ability to highlight any text in a web page and drag it to the search bar (see video) • Right-click highlighted browser text and search in NuCat, Nexpress, WorldCat or Google Scholar (see video) • Click the embedded N in Amazon, WorldCat, Google, and more, and search in NuCat or Tour (see video) • Right-click a web page or URL, including Google Scholar, and log in from home with Library/myNeu login (see video) • Click any isbn, issn, doi, or PMID on the web, and link to NuCat or full text (see video). • Get links to COINs, a standard for creating citations (see a video of how it works in Wikipedia) The plug-in helps you avoid frustration and save time, and brings you access to the library’s content where you are on the web. Try it out! Download LibX for NU Libraries here

5 Ways to Maximize Your Creativity

Last week, creativity and brain expert Dr. Shelley Carson visited Snell Library. She shared these five tips for maximizing your creativity. 1. Continue to actively learn and gather information throughout your life. 2. Turn off the automatic ‘censor’ in your brain (e.g. “that won’t work because…”). 3. Carry around a notepad or recorder– breakthroughs often happen in the strangest of places, when your censors are turned down. 4. Read about and hang out with other creative people 5. Don’t be afraid of failure. Creative people fail. Dr. Carson’s book, Your Creative Brain, is available for checkout at Snell Library. Thank you, Dr. Carson, for encouraging us all to be engaged explorers of the Universe.