The Schwerdtfeger Library News - August 2006

By Jean Phillips, Librarian

Libraries Launch New Web Site

As you may have already noticed, the campus libraries released a redesigned web site during the first week of August. A committee that included campus librarians and DoIT design staff met over the last year to create the new presentation. Some of the secondary pages have been redone; many have not.

If you have trouble finding what you used to be able to find, please let us know. We’re also interested in your general impression of the site so that we can forward comments to the redesign committee.

Please contact Dan Bull, Linda Hedges or Jean Phillips with any questions.


New Grad Orientation Scheduled for August 29, 2006

Each August, Library staff participate in the orientation for new graduate students sponsored by the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Our goal is to familiarize new students with the range of information resources available to them. Early in September, we meet with all sections of AOS 907, a seminar for the presentation of research findings, for a more in-depth discussion of atmospheric science resources.

If you are teaching a class this fall that requires library research, let us know and we’ll design a workshop tailored to the needs of your class. If you are expecting visiting faculty or scientists, please bring them by the Schwerdtfeger Library for a brief introduction.


Scientific Data Gone Missing

Sometime in the 1970s, the National Archives and Records Administration, gave back to NASA the original recording of Neil Armstrong’s first moon walk which contained those famous words, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” It, and hundreds of other tapes detailing NASA’s lunar history, have gone missing. NASA has been searching for them, in vain, for over a year. While NASA does have copies of some of the transmissions, they are of a much lower quality than the originals. However, the million dollar question is this: even if NASA finds the tapes, will they be able to play them?

The problem of scientific data collection and maintenance has long been an issue. With the advent of digital technologies, scientific data is now accumulated and lost at a staggering rate each year. Librarians have historically been involved in defining, cataloging and archiving data and print material generated from research and experiments, but there exist many barriers to accomplishing the mission of data preservation. A recent article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Lost in a Sea of Science Data,” describes the current state of data preservation and some initiatives under way to address the problem.


On Wings of Art

If you’ve walked through the Dane County Regional Airport recently, perhaps you noticed, On Wings of Art, an exhibition created by the Department of Special Collections. The exhibition consists of seven individual shows that highlight many aspects of aviation, mapping and flight through historical photographs, maps, globes, sculptures, films, posters, rare books and contemporary prints. On Wings of Art continues through 30 October 2006.