Minnesota has a new digital repository, all about water research. The Minnesota Water Research Library has digital materials in PDF format and “provides one-stop access to all types of water research, enabling water managers, researchers, engaged citizens and others to easily find, share, and coordinate research to support their efforts to protect, conserve, manage and restore water in Minnesota.”
PALS (Project for Automated Library Systems) and the MN Water Research Library are looking forward to working together and providing an example to other state agencies looking for a way to manage their digital materials.
The Huntington Library in San Marino, CA is working on a project of huge historical significance. They are working on decoding and digitizing 15,971 telegrams from the Civil War that were found hidden in a wooden foot locker for more than a century. This article from the LA Times details the contents of some of the telegrams, which are a window into the war experiences of the Civil War and include disease, fear, humor, and praise of President Lincoln. The telegrams were found to have come from the Union side, but the correspondence was coded for safety. According to the article, this led the Huntington Library to start “a Decoding the Civil War crowdsourcing campaign that relies on volunteers using cipher charts to unravel secret texts.” These volunteers, named “citizen archivists” continue to work through the ongoing task of deciphering the coded messages.
In addition to decoding the messages, the Huntington is working to digitize the documents to make them available online. The library is working with Zooniverse to put the documents online at the Decoding the Civil War website. Using digitization to preserve these formerly hidden documents is important to ensure they continue to provide a glimpse into this country’s history.
Check out the official site of the project for a glimpse into the decoding process, suggested reading, and links to more resources on the Civil War.
Were you scrambling for primary sources for history day projects or other curriculum needs this year? Scramble no more…next year could be different!
Minitex has announced a new resource for Minnesota Reflections users (MN Reflections is a digital collection of more than 257,000 images, maps, and documents). These primary source sets will be an online resource for students and teachers. Each focus on a historical topic and highlight the related resources available in MN Reflections. Some of the topics include American Indian boarding schools in MN, iron mining, and Fort Snelling.
These sets are intended to help develop critical thinking skills and allow students to be introduced to using and learning from primary source materials. Read the whole article here.
Distance learning is often marketed as a way to meet diverse educational needs by offering course flexibility, accessibility, and program diversity. In an infographic, Career Graphics illustrates the evolution of distance learning starting as early as 1728; emphasizing key factors which influenced its transformation to what we know it as today. Some of these elements include the first correspondence courses and the introduction of new technologies such as the radio, television and internet.
In an article by Edudemic, author Nina Hassing eludes to the number of times employees change career paths as an important variable in the growing need to apply broader, analytical thinking skills. She stated, “Memorizing facts will have a much lower value, while utilizing information for analysis and decision making will be a critical skill for educational and professional advancement.“ This is used as the backdrop to discuss why the concept of distance learning needs to evolve. Hassing lists 9 ways in which this type of learning will continue to grow, why change is needed and her predictions for the future of distance education. Click here to read the full article, Why (And How) Distance Learning Needs to Change(August 2013.)
Please join American Libraries Live for this month’s broadcast on Thursday, May 9th at 1 pm (CST). The exciting new episode will discuss the shift in online learning and what that could potentially mean for libraries. Guest speakers will examine how traditional library instruction may be enhanced with online tools and identify possible library standards in the face of changing technology. Click here for additional information about the guest speakers and to register for this free broadcast.