So today in class, we were supposed to go to Science and Engineering Library room 308 to mess around on the UofA library's internet sources. My plans got sort of foiled, and I got stressed, when the librarian that was supposed to meet me at the room and open the locked door did not show. Which is awesome. Add to that the fact that the secretary-lady at the front desk of that library didn't have access to that room. "You're going to have to wait." Just open the door! Why can't you do that? My students were just lounging around.
Anyway, I made some phone calls. There was this awesome moment where I called a phone number, was given a phone number to call, then called it, and talked to a person 20 feet away from me without me realizing it. "You're talking to me right here," she said (a large woman who'd just walked in with a ration of McDonald's. Need I mention her diversity status? I know, it's a form of racism, but it's "late-phase" racism in the Frederic Jameson wording).
Digression! We eventually got into the room, got situated with computers in front of us, I showed students the resources the library has paid "millions of dollars" so that they may use, they checked their e-mail and what-have-you, and a good time was had by all. The best resource for them might be CQ Researcher. Who knows if they'll use it.
I looked around at stuff a lot; I doubt students were looking much at what I was pointing out. Turns out that our library has all kinds of esoteric resources available. "Air University Library Index to Military Periodicals," anyone? "Corrosion Abstracts"? "Die Deutsche Lyrik im WWW"? This looks cool: Vanderbilt Television News Archive. Be sure to know your Chinese pictographs: Zasshi Kiji Sakuin.
There's a surprising amount of material available to literary scholars. I don't even know a grad student who studies non-Shakespearean drama in our department, but we've got drama resources. I got two legs up on my undergrad counterparts by reading Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism Online. This looks good: Literature Online. Also resources for film scholars; this sure beats imdb.com.
Anyway, I've ambitioned to go beyond simply using Project Muse and start using the library's resources to read random folderol pertaining to literature as well as random folderol on the general web.
My students? Students? I've just got to get their papers graded. They're already late! Good Lord those fat stacks of papers are mean. --ams