Archive for May, 2009

Driving Directions for Summer Vacations

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

When I am planning a trip, especially a summer vacation, I always check three web sites for driving directions and other information: Google Maps,  Yahoo Maps, and MapQuest.I check all three because there are variations in the mileage and times, and sometimes even the routes. You also have a lot of additional options with each of the three.

Google Maps is my favorite because it has a back highways option, and it offers an interesting route.  Click on get directions, and then you can get directions or you can click on options and select “avoid highways” if you want to avoid the freeways.

Yahoo Local has the driving directions option. What I like about it is that you can select the round trip option and print a nice direction sheet showing both your to and from trips, with directions written both ways.

Finally, MapQuest was the first driving directions web site I ever used, so I routinely go back to it when I’m looking for directions. I noticed that Map Quest now has reverse directions and avoid highways options. They also have a quick link to gas price information.

Basic Library Research Workshop

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Improve your research skills by coming to the Library for basic instruction on how to find books, articles, statistics, and much more.

When: Wednesday, May 27th @ 3 pm
AND Thursday, May 28th @ 2 pm
Where: Oboler Library Room 212 (2nd Floor across from the restrooms)

Can’t make it, but want to get some help? Set up an individual consultation with Spencer Jardine. Email him at jardspen (at)

You may also ask for help at the Reference Desk on the main floor of the Oboler Library. During the summer, the Reference Desk is staffed from 9 am until 4 pm Monday thru Friday.
Phone: 282-3152
Email us.

What the Best College Teachers Do: a Book Review

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

As the summer approaches, some teachers find more time on their hands. If this is the case for you, then you might be interested in picking up a book on teaching and learning. This might help you to get re-charged about teaching and introduce you to some different ideas that could liven up your classroom and produce lasting results for your students.

Ken Bain’s book What the Best College Teachers Do is a great place to start learning about teaching and learning issues, because it explores his findings from a longitudinal study on a large sample of the best college teachers.

First, he explains that a good college teacher must be knowledgeable in his/her discipline; however, expert knowledge of one’s field does not automatically qualify a person to become a great teacher. He writes: “The people in our study, unlike so many others, have used their knowledge to develop techniques for grasping fundamental principles and organizing concepts that others can use to begin building their own understanding and abilities” (16). Certainly, in-depth understandings of a topic can give anyone a great deal of confidence, but the best teachers actively seek for ways in which they can lead others to deeper understandings of the material.

Great teachers do not want to create a pandemonium of parrots. No, they honestly want to influence students to become lifelong learners who passionately explore the big questions of life. Bain says: “While others, for example, talk about transmitting knowledge and building a storehouse of information in the students’ brains, our subjects talk about helping learners grapple with ideas and information to construct their understanding” (16). Teaching is not an easy thing to do, but Bain asserts that people can learn how to become better teachers. In fact, that is the main purpose of his book: “Most of all, I hope readers will take away from this book the conviction that good teaching can be learned” (21).

Therefore, this book challenges the idea that someone is either born a good teacher or they are not. For inexperienced and experienced teachers alike, it can be temptingly easy to fault the students when a class does not go well. Student attitudes and preparations can make a huge difference, but Bain claims that the best college teachers “didn’t blame their students for any of the difficulties they faced” (19). Instead they tended to examine what had happened and then modify their approach to achieve better results.

The seven chapters and epilogue focus on key teaching issues:
1. Definitions of the best teachers
2. What they know about learners and students
3. How they prepare to teach
4. Their expectations of students
5. How they conduct class
6. How they treat students
7. How they evaluate students and themselves
Epilogue: What we can learn from them

I highly recommend that teachers of all walks of life pick up this book and consider how they can use its principles. Bain writes in a very accessible manner and constantly pulls quotes and anecdotes from interviews while making observations and conclusions throughout the book. In other words, it’s a good summer book.

Teachers in all fields of study can begin to do what the best teachers do. Bain concludes: “Excellent teachers develop their abilities through constant self-evaluation, reflection, and the willingness to change” (172).

This book review was submitted by Spencer Jardine, Coordinator of Instruction at Oboler Library. The book is available at Oboler Library– LB2331 .B34 2004.

Summer Hours at the Library

Monday, May 18th, 2009

The library will be open these hours during summer semester (May 11-July 31, 2009):

Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m.- 9:00p.m.

Friday 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The holiday exceptions will be:

Memorial Day Holiday–CLOSED May 23, 24, 25, Saturday- Monday

Independence Day Holiday–CLOSED July 3, 4, 5,Friday – Sunday

summer library

You can find a number of nice outdoor tables near the eves of the library to eat or study at during Summer Session.

Interim Session (Aug. 1-21) hours will be reported here in late July.

Amelita Galli-Curci Has a New Home–Collection related to famed soprano donated to ISU Library

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

An extensive collection of opera memorabilia related to famed opera star Amelita Galli-Curci has been donated to the ISU Library’s Special Collections Department by the Community Library in Ketchum.

The collection was originally donated to the Community Library in 1983 by Georgiana and Ben Fletcher of Ketchum and Santa Fe, NM. The Fletchers were personal friends of the opera star. Although the Community Library carefully preserved the donated materials, they decided to seek a more suitable home where the materials would be more readily available to researchers. The gift consists of 24 large scrapbooks, a photo album, and recordings of Madame Galli-Curci’s performances.

Galli-CurciAmelita Galli-Curci was born in Milan, Italy in 1882. She attended the Milan Conservatory, but was primarily self-taught. In 1906 she made her debut as Gilda in Rigoletto, a role that remained a favorite throughout her career. She arrived in the United States in 1916 where she performed with the Chicago Opera Company and the Metropolitan Opera until her retirement in 1930. An ill-advised and short-lived return following vocal surgery in 1936 led to her final retirement from opera. Galli-Curci died in La Jolla, California in 1963.

The Galli-Curci collection is available to interested researchers and the public by contacting the ISU Library Special Collection’s Department at (208) 282-3249 or

New Displays at the Library

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Wellbreity Journey of Forgiveness: Native American Boarding Schools, Nursing, Military Appreciation, Recycling, The Kentucky Derby, Historical Fiction and Here Comes the Sun are the new or continuing subjects of displays up in the library now. Tim Goodworth is the Artist continuing his art exhibit in the Current Display Art Area.


First Floor:

WellbrietyDisplay case 1: Wellbriety Journey for Forgiveness: “On May 16th 2009, White Bison will begin a 40-day, 6,800 mile cross-country journey to present and former Indian School sites. It’s goal is to promote awareness, dialogue and forgiveness among Native peoples for the historical trauma of the Native American Boarding. Indian Boarding School Era which began in 1879.” You can read more on their web site and view the display in the library.

Nursing display 2Nursing The College of Technology Associate Degree, Registered Nurse, and Practical Nurse programs are the topic of display case 2. See the different tools of the trade: a nurse’s cap, plastic glove, alcohol prep, skeletal arm, reference books, IV, blood pressure cuff, and more.

Display case 3 has moved from the 2nd floor, down to the first floor. It has a display on Military Appreciation, and includes a flag case, uniform, medals and insignia, a framed POW-MIA stamp sheet, and a list of “A Dozen Ways to Support Our Military.:

two picsThe nearby Current Display Art Area has work by Tim Goodworth. He is an ISU graduate student. His work includes a lot of Rocky Mountain animals and nature scenes. The oil paintings are colorful with seasonal details. They will be up through the end of the month.


Second Floor:

recycleDisplay Case 4 has new information on Recycling in Pocatello. Did you know that paper comprises 32.7 % or our trash and plastics 12.1%? And they can be recycled instead, and re-used. It takes less energy to make a new can or bottle from a recycled product. Stop by and learn other interesting facts about recycling, and ways to better utilize the new City of Pocatello Recycling Program.

Kentucky DerbyThe Kentucky Derby is the subject of display case 5. It contains information about the derby, past winners, successful Kentucky Derby jockeys, equestrian sports, and more. Did you know that the current winner, Mine That Bird, had 50 to 1 odds, and won!

Third Floor:

May is Get Caught Reading Month and historical fiction is the area covered in display case 6. It shows some books in that reading genre, including Gone With the Wind by Martha Mitchell, Last Standing Woman by Winona La Duke, and The Deerslayer and The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper.

sunHealth Science display caseHere Comes the Sun. This summer the IHSL will be doing a display on summer safety each month. This month their display will cover protecting yourself from sun damage and skin cancer with sunscreen and eye protection. You can find many articles about this important subject by checking with the Idaho Health Science Library, located on the 3rd floor of the library. Their web site also has information about the N1N1 flu: US Information, Things You Can Do, Plan & Prepare, and International Information. You may want to check it regularly for updates.