Thursday, June 25, 2009

Did you know that there are books in the Garden?

One of Coker and Hartsville's best kept secrets is Kalmia Gardens. Located on West Carolina Avenue about five minutes from campus, Kalmia Gardens is a 35 acre botanical garden that is the gateway to the larger 796-acre Segars-McKinnon Heritage Preserve.

Admission to Kalmia is my favorite price -- free -- and is open from dawn until dusk. It is a perfect place to relax and enjoy nature.

But did you know that Kalmia houses Coker Library's botanical, horticultural and nature collection? This recently re-organized collection contains several hundred books covering everything from field guides and regional planting to ornithology (birdwatching!) and much more!

The Kalmia Collection can be searched specifically using the LITC's online catalog, selecting "Advanced," and then selecting "Kalmia Collection" from the drop down limiters list.

Stop by today!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

From the Library Archives...Or You Thought You Had it Tough!

Nancy Matthews has been busy this summer reorganizing the Coker College archives. She has found some really interesting items, including an article about Ralph Nader's sister, who attended Coker back in the late 1940s.

Her latest find is a list of offenses from the 1920s that could have resulted in suspension or expulsion from the college. Take a look:

  • Taking two or three steps in the parlor with a young man
  • Wearing colored shoes downtown
  • Making humming noises during meditation
  • Washing face after light bell
  • Wearing blue skirt and white middy* to dinner
  • Impertinence to a council member and general ill attitude toward student government rules
  • Threw tin cans and glass bottles over the railing on 3rd floor to the 2nd floor
  • Bathing during study period
  • Visit the drugstore two times in one week
  • Talking to a young man on campus without permission
  • Brushing teeth in hall after light bell
  • Talking to a young man in drugstore
  • Riding with boys morning and night without permission
  • Singing and attracting attention on Richardson Porch at night
  • Called before the executive board for smoking cigarettes in the college
  • Restricted to the campus for 6 weeks for meeting and talking to young men at friend’s home on Sunday night
  • Cutting breakfast, dinner, church…
Keep in mind that Coker was a women's college until the 1960s, although men were allowed to take classes on campus in the 1940s.

*The painting above is titled Young Girl in a Middy Blouse by Martha Simkins (1910). Thanks to for the picture. I wasn't sure what a middy was either. I wonder if a blue middy would have been acceptable at dinner?

Monday, June 8, 2009

PaperCut - Expect BIG changes to Periodicals

Every summer we weed through our Periodical section, pulling and cutting titles that no longer support Coker’s curriculum. This year, with the nation in recession and academic libraries across the country facing major budget cuts, trimming the periodicals seems more important than ever. Currently, it looks as though we’ll be saying goodbye to a dozen titles, some moving exclusively to the Kindle while others will be available through our online databases. Link resolvers like Journal Finder should play an even greater role in the way we research, allowing LITC patrons access to over 27,000 different journals, magazine and newspapers.

The titles we chose to cut were picked for a variety of reasons - some rarely circulate and don’t get browsed, while others were far too expensive for us to justify keeping in print. In a few instances we had three or more titles all dealing with a similar topic. In all cases we seek the opinion of Coker faculty familiar with the subject of the periodical being considered for the cut.

It is also important to note, the current issues of the periodicals recieving the axe will not be discarded. They will find a new home on the shelves of our Back Periodicals Collection, located on the first floor of the library. Newspapers, magazines and journals can be searched in our catalog just like books, so there’s no need to waste time browsing if you have a specific title in mind.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Book Shift

One of our major projects this summer is to shift both the art and juvenile collections. But what does "shifting" mean? And why does it need to be done?

Shifting a collection of books makes better use of available space, particularly with rapidly growing collections. Our art and juvenile sections are probably the fastest growing areas of our collection, and space needs to be created for new holdings.

We have plenty of space for new books, but some shelves or stacks are more full than others. Shifting distributes the books evenly across the entire area of the collection, opening up space for future books or materials.

First, we calculate in linear inches the total amount of space for a particular collection. From that we estimate an approximate fill rate percentage for each shelf and convert that to a shelf measurement. For instance, our Juvenile collection will have 18 inches of books for each shelf for a fill rate percentage of 50%. Can you guess how long the shelves are? Put your answer in the comments below.