Posts tagged "special"

New from Old: Using Online Self Publishing Services… in Special Collections Libraries

Digitization and online presentation is a popular way to disseminate unique materials found in Special Collection Libraries. However, it is equally important for these unique and often decaying materials to find their way into hardcopy books to provide a much more permanent (or at least long-lasting) record and to provide the researcher or enthusiast a reference copy which can be made available to them both inside or outside of the Special Collections Reading Room. Online book publishing services (such as Blurb) offer opportunities for Special Collection libraries to easily create reference materials that can be used both in the secure reading room, or circulated to the general public. Additionally, the creation of these reference books aid in the promotion, discovery and ultimate use of a collection by way of the bibliographic record found in the library’s online public catalog. This presentation demonstrates a few examples of how this can be achieved.

Duration : 0:11:27

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Posted by mark - March 14, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Categories: Online Publishing   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Students’ Writing and the Web: Motivator or OMG?

This is the VOA Special English Education Report, from

Web browsers first appeared on computers in the early nineteen nineties. Since then, the Internet has greatly changed the way people communicate. But some teachers think the changes are not all for the better.

Eleanor Johnson is an English professor at Columbia University in New York City.

Professor Johnson says she thinks text messaging has made students believe that it is acceptable to make bad spelling and grammatical errors.

She says her students have increasingly used less formal English in their writing. She says words and phrases like “guy” and “you know” now appear in research papers.

And now she has to talk about another problem in class — incorrect word use. For example, a student uses “preclude” instead of “precede” when talking about one event coming before another. Preclude sounds like precede but it means prevent.

Professor Johnson suspects a strong link between the rise of instant and casual communication online and an increase in writing mistakes.

But she admits there may not be much scientific evidence, at least not yet.

David Crystal is a British linguist who has written more than one hundred books, including the book “Language and the Internet.” He says the actively changing nature of the Internet makes it difficult to stay current in studying its effects. But he believes its influence on language is small.

He says the main effect of the Internet on language has been to increase the expressive richness of language.

Erin Jansen is founder of Netlingo, an online dictionary of Internet and text messaging terms. She says the new technology has not changed existing language but has greatly added to the vocabulary. “Basically it’s a freedom of expression,” she says.

And what about teachers who find these new kinds of mistakes in spelling and grammar in their students’ work. What is her message to them?

Ms. Jansen says she tells them not to get angry or upset, but to get creative. Teachers and educators want to get children to communicate.

But Erin Jansen and David Crystal agree with Eleanor Johnson on at least one thing. Teachers need to make sure students understand the rules of language.

And that’s the VOA Special English Education Report. We want to know what you have to say about the effects of the Internet on language and writing. Post your comments at

(Adapted from a radio program broadcast 28Jan2010)

Duration : 0:3:58

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Posted by mark - February 22, 2017 at 10:46 pm

Categories: Online Writing   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Need Help With Your Writing? Try This Web Site

This is the VOA Special English Education Report, from

Many colleges and universities in the United States have writing centers to help students improve their skills. Some materials are available free at Web sites like the Purdue Online Writing Lab, or OWL. The site is connected to the Writing Lab at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. It includes resources that can help non-native English speakers.

VOA’s Art Chimes recently spoke with the director, Linda Bergmann. She said the Purdue Online Writing Lab is a collection of workshops, worksheets and instructional materials.

For example, even native speakers are often not sure when to use “lie” and when to use “lay.” The site gives these example sentences: “After laying down his weapon, the soldier lay down to sleep.” “Will you lay out my clothes while I lie down to rest?”

The problem is that “lie” also means to not tell the truth, as in “I lied to my mother.” So you would say in the past tense “I lay on the bed because I was tired.”

The Purdue Online Writing Lab also explains how to use an apostrophe correctly in possessives and other cases. People often add an apostrophe to “its” in a sentence like “The group made its decision.” There should be no apostrophe because what you mean is that the decision belongs to the group. “It’s” with an apostrophe is short for “it is,” as in “It’s raining.”

The Purdue Online Writing Lab also explains how to organize papers and avoid plagiarizing other peoples’ work. And it provides a guide to higher education in the United States, including explanations of commonly used terms.

Director Linda Bergmann says the goal is to provide as many tools as possible. They include basic language skills of agreement of subject and verb, use of commas and other punctuation and complete and incomplete sentences. The Web site was started in nineteen ninety-four and has plenty of fans.

Linda Bergmann says: “We get a lot of thank you notes from people around the world. And also some schools in other countries use it as a writing handbook, as do some schools in the United States.”

In all, the Purdue Online Writing Lab offers over two hundred free resources for writing and research. The address is

For a link, and to learn more about higher education in America, go to our Web site,

And that’s the VOA Special English Education Report.

(Adapted from a radio program broadcast 11Feb2010)

Duration : 0:4:2

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Posted by mark - July 29, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Categories: Online Writing   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,