Saturday, 31 October 2009

LIS 558

I am currently taking LIS 558- Internet Resources and Applications for my Master's degree in Library and Information Science. For our latest project, we have been asked to create blogs or wikis on the topic of our class and program, as well as Social Networking Site profiles. Since I already had this blog from my LIS 580/587 class, I decided to use it for creating a blog entry for this class.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Reflections 8-7-08

I am so glad that I decided to take the opportunity to go to the UK. Although the dorms in London were very small, and the shared bathrooms in Dulkeith were not ideal, and the way that the program directors did some things last minute, the program itself gave me the opportunity to see some things that I will probably not have the opportunity to see again and will never forget. Things like seeing a play at Shakespeare’s Globe, seeing one of Shakespeare’s first folios, going to the church where Shakespeare is buried and seeing the house he was born in, seeing John Donne’s grave at St. Paul’s, the Book of Kells at Trinity, Tolkien’s personal copy of Beowulf, Lewis Carroll’s diary, Dickens’s copy of David Copperfield, Swift’s copy of Gulliver’s Travels, visiting the pubs where Dickens, Twain, Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis drank , and simply having the opportunity to visit the Shakespeare Library and Bodleian Library are the reasons I wanted to go to Great Britain, and all of my dreams have been fulfilled. Hopefully some day I can return and enjoy all of it again, but I know that may not be a possibility. So, for now, I will keep all of the memories stored away in my mind and cherish each one of them.

Tower of London, 8-2-08

My last day in London was spent walking on the North bank of the Thames with a Children’s Lit
student to the Tower of London. It was really crowded since it was a Saturday, but we got the opportunity to see some historic sites, a sword fight, some weapons from that time period being fired, some of the Crown Jewels, The Bloody Tower, Traitor’s Gate, the famous ravens of the tower, and both members of the Queen’s Guard and the Beefeaters. The exhibits in the Tower on the famous prisoners that had been held there, as well as the display of torture methods used in that time period, were very informative and interactive. The only bad thing about my last day was that both the Circle and District lines were down, so there was no Underground service between the Tower and Waterloo, meaning that the buses were packed. We ended up walking back to the dorms from the Tower, so I got plenty of walking in on my last day in London.

The official website for the Tower of London is:

That night there was a program get-together at Stamford Arms, so everyone met up and talked a bit more on our last night, exchanged contact information, and said our goodbyes, since we would be parting early the next morning. It was sad, since our class had become so close and felt like an odd sort of family.

Canary Wharf, Museum in Docklands, for Jack the Ripper exhibit, and another visit to Portobello Road 8-1-08

We started the morning by having a traditional English breakfast at a nice inexpensive restaurant in the Docklands a couple of doors down from the Museum. I went to the exhibit with another Library student and two Children’s Lit students. The Jack the Ripper exhibit was excellent, and not at all what I expected. Much of the exhibit was actually about the Whitechapel area, culture and society in the late 1800’s, although the exhibit also had a section dedicated to each one of the murdered victims, which included original police notes, including descriptions and witness testimonies. I went to the exhibit expecting only to learn more detail about the Jack the Ripper murders, but was pleasantly surprised by the amount of history included in the exhibit (Just a little extra information: there are also some conspiracy theories on the web about the possibility that Lewis Carroll was Jack the Ripper). Also included in the exhibit were the original letters supposedly from Jack the Ripper to the police, where he first names himself ‘Jack the Ripper,’ as well as other numerous letters to the police at the time of the murders. Finally, an extra special little bit I did not expect was the display case of Jack the Ripper memorabilia in pop culture, which included production notes from the movie “From Hell” which was signed by members of the cast, including Johnny Depp.

For more information on the exhibit, please go to:

We then returned to Portobello Road Market to experience it during Market hours. I bought lunch there, and saw plenty of things I would have bought, had I the money and the method of getting it home.

That evening after the research symposium most of our class went to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, and then Black Friar pub for some last chance celebration and conversation. It was a good night, and it was great to see the class getting together outside of class time and sharing and just having fun together.

The Globe Theatre for “Timon of Athens,” Hard Rock London, and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese 7-31-08

I went to see an afternoon production of “Timon of Athens” at the Globe with a Children’s Lit student. I am glad that I went, and I am definitely glad that I paid a bit extra to sit, instead of standing in the pit, particularly since there was a light rain on and off during the play. I can now say that I have been to see a play in Shakespeare’s Globe. I can now also say that I can see why “Timon of Athens” is not one of Shakespeare’s more well-known plays, due to the fact that it does not have a finite end. I also bought a few goodies in the gift shop.

The website for the Globe is:

We also took the underground to the Green Park station, where we then walked to Hard Rock Café. I normally would not be so inclined to visit such a touristy spot, but since this Hard Rock Café was the original, it seemed like it would be worth getting a t-shirt from. We then finished the evening by going to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub, where Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Theodore Roosevelt all visited. The pub does not look very big on the outside because it is hidden in a small alley off of Fleet Street, but after walking in and going down several sets of stairs I realized that the pub is basically several floors up and several floors below ground as well. I ate dinner and had a couple of pints of an excellent cider they had on tap.

Here is a website with more information on Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub:

Getting a reader’s card at the British Library 7-30-08

This morning I got up and went with another library student back to the British Library to do some research. I had to go through the process of getting a reader’s card, which I think is an excellent souvenir because it is free! I then looked up several items of interest in the catalog, then requested them and waited for about 30 minutes until they arrived. I took some notes, wrote down some references, and got some ideas for further research. We then ate lunch at the café in the library and were on our way.

This afternoon I went with another library student to Camden Town to the market. I went because I had heard that the market in Camden was full of unique and interesting stuff, but I did not see much that I needed, or more importantly, much that I wanted and could fit in an already stuffed suitcase. I did find a black leather bracelet with a Celtic design on it, however, so I purchased that. It was also pretty busy and crowded. We grabbed some food from one of the booths set up and headed back to the dorms.

Hayward Gallery, “Psycho Buildings” and Portobello Road 7-29-08

I went to Portobello Road and did some shopping this morning with another library student. It was very nice, since it was a Tuesday and the tourists weren’t crawling all over the place. The only bad part was that the markets and stalls were not open, since they only open on Friday and Saturday. I found some unique souvenirs while shopping there.

They have an official website:

This afternoon we walked up to the Hayward Gallery, which is very close to the dorms. I had wanted to see the “Psycho Buildings” exhibit since I heard about it before the trip while doing research online. It was definitely worth the cover charge, in particular because while I am not a huge fan of modern art, for some reason the installations by participating artists were amazing to me. These art pieces are made on such a large scale that each has its own room, or in some cases part of the rooftop. There was a room lit only by the lights inside hundreds of dollhouses arranged to look like a village, a room set up like the inside of apartment in the middle of being bombed, and several others. The one that was my favorite, though, was the one we had to stand in line for 30 minutes for, which was the opportunity to get in a row boat and paddle around in a pond made out of a sculpture garden on the rooftop of the Hayward Gallery.

Here is the website for "Psycho Buildings":