Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To SLED, Or Not To SLED?

Question: Can SLED help me find a copy of Richard III by Shakespeare? I also could use some commentary on the play.

Answer: Yes, SLED can help you with Richard III or any other Shakespeare play. The fastest way would be to use the SLED search box in the upper left hand corner of the SLED home page. Type in [richard III shakespeare] for your search and you'll find:

Add the word "criticism" and you'll get:

If you're needing information on more than just one play or perhaps a different writer, it would be helpful to click on SLED's category of Arts, Literature & History. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and check out some of the following sites:

Coming back to the title of this post, I hope you'll choose to SLED when thinking about literature in or out of Alaska.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Let SLED Help Your Garden Grow

Question: What is SLED and can it help me with my gardening?

Answer: SLED is a public service providing easy and equitable access to electronic information. SLED was developed by the Alaska State Library and the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. It stands for Statewide Library Electronic Doorway, but everyone who knows about SLED calls it SLED. The sites on SLED are picked by an advisory committee that includes librarians from around the state and a member of the general public.

SLED can help you with many things, including your gardening. If you go to SLED at http://sled.alaska.edu and click on Daily Living, Recreation & Sports, you'll find an entries for the Alaska Master Gardener Association and for Cooperative Extension Service Publications from the University of Alaska. Both of these sites have a wealth of Alaska-related gardening information.

If you use the search box that appears in the upper left hand corner of SLED, you can ask it gardening questions. Try searches using these terms:

best time plant anchorage
growing tomatoes
growing fruit fairbanks

Good luck and good growing!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

State Library Twitter Account Explained

Question: Is your Twitter account at twitter.com/akstatelibrary real? What kinds of things do you post? How do you decide whom to follow?

Answer: The akstatelibrary account is ours.


Most of our tweets are automatically posted from our RSS feeds. You can tell these tweets apart from any spontaneous comments we make because they have a prefix. Here are the types of automated tweets you will see on our account:

Bookmark: - The Alaska State Library Information Services Section has a delicious account where we put our reference bookmarks. Tweets with this preface denote items we've bookmarked. Bookmarking does not mean we endorse the site, only that we have found it useful in answering reference questions.

For Alaskans Only: - Thanks to the Digital Pipeline, we have been able to set up an alert in a database with thousands of journals for articles whose main topic is Alaska. Tweets with this prefix link to an Alaska-themed journal article. With our vendor license, these articles may be viewed by any Alaskan, but not by people from outside the state.

Have you seen?: The Alaska State Library Historical Collections maintains a blog of Mystery Photos that they have requested help in identifying. The link in these tweets will take you to the photo. - UPDATE 5/25/2011. This blog has ceased.

New@ASL: - This indicates a new item added to our catalog. The link will take to you the catalog record for the title. If you don't live in Juneau, most of these items will be available to you through Interlibrary Loan. Just ask at your local library.

We Answered: - This is posted from the blog you are reading - Since You Asked. The hyperlink in the tweet takes you to the full answered question.

We Liked: - These Tweets come from our Staff Picks list on WorldCat.org. These are books that at least one of the library staff members found interesting.

In addition to these automated ways of feeding our Twitter account, we will occasionally post bits of news about the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums like upcoming trainings. We may also post informational items about hot topics, like Mt. Redoubt or the recent H1N1 influenza outbreak.

We monitor direct messages (DM's) daily and look for @akstatelibrary a few times a week.


We follow people and institutions we become aware of who meet one of these criteria:

  • An Alaska State Agency (for example: Public Health Nursing)

  • An Alaskan elected official (for example: Governor Parnell, Senator Murkowski)

  • Alaskan libraries, archives & museums (for example: Egan Library)

  • Traditional media outlets (i.e. radio, TV, newspaper outlets)

  • Other state libraries and cultural institutions of national interest
If you've got questions our comments about our twitter feed, please either leave a comment here, or e-mail asl@alaska.gov.