Archive for January, 2009

I have a confession…

I was really excited about the presidential inauguration. It was pretty amazing to see such a historic moment, even if it was just on TV. There were so many people watching here at the Learning Commons, and, as exciting as it was to watch, it was even more exciting to see how excited everyone else was. The spontaneous applause after the inaugural speech was pretty awesome.

That’s not my confession.

This is my confession. As excited as I was about the inauguration on Tuesday, I was even more excited about the season premiere of Lost on Wednesday. I won’t pass judgment on which was better; I will, however, point out that inauguration did not have a smoke monster. Just saying.

In addition to a smoke monster, Lost features something else much more library-related: a strong literary bent. Characters share names with famous authors and philosophers, or are shown reading books that relate to the (generally eerie and sometimes slightly terrifying) things that happen on the show. Beth and I are super-stoked that Lost is starting up again.* We also work in a library, so we have chosen to express our super-stokedness by creating a book display of the literature featured on Lost. It’s not all creepy sci-fi, either– there’s classics (The Odyssey), philosophy (Behold the Antichrist: [Jeremy] Bentham on Religion), modern American fiction (Of Mice and Men), and anthropomorphic bunnies (Watership Down), among other things. The display is on the New Book shelf in the Learning Commons; check it out when you get a chance!

* But probably not as super-stoked as these guys. That’s commitment!

** We can’t really take all the credit, though; click here to read/listen to the NPR story that inspired the idea.

Blackboard Maintenance

Some of you may have noticed blackboard was not available for a short time this afternoon. Because of some Database errors we were forced to perform an emergency restart of the service which took about five minutes.

I apologize profusely for any inconvenience, but I believe that database errors should stop now. If you happen to see any in the future, please let me know as soon as possible.


Jonathan Gallaway

Join Us for…

The Presidential Inauguration on January 20th in the Monroe Library

Watch TV coverage of the Presidential Inauguration with co-workers, friends, and family at the Monroe Library.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 20, TV coverage of the Inauguration will be on the television in the Common Grounds Café at the front of the first floor, on the big screen in multimedia room #2, and also in the seminar room #1, and in the library group study rooms.

The library will also provide viewers an opportunity to express their thoughts and hopes for the new presidency on a public bulletin board and blog. If you would like to express your opinion, comment to this thread. A range of comments will be profiled in a future blog post.

A small book display on presidential inaugurations and President Obama is on display on the new bookcase in the Learning Commons. You can also search for library materials on presidential inaugurations here, or you may search for books on President Obama here.

Please keep in mind that some of these titles may be on display on the new book shelf.

See you on the 20th of January for this historic occasion!

Invalid File Errors

I have been hearing from a lot of students as well as faculty that they have been encountering this problem when trying to submit a file to a Blackboard assignment: The system allows you to browse for the file and attach it but when you click submit a pop-up warning tells you that your file is “Invalid”.

This is almost always caused by a browser incompatibility. Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 8 (beta)  are not supported by our Blackboard environment at this time and will almost always throw this error up when trying to attach a file in Blackboard. If you encounter this, please try a different browser; Firefox 2 or IE 7 are both supported browsers and should work much better.

We are currently looking into a possible system upgrade to our Blackboard system that would support these browsers, but the downtime associated with such a change demands that it be done over the summer break.

Hello again and Happy New Year

So I know that it has been a while since my last post, and as soon as I get my random excuse generator up and running, I will let you know why.

Anyway, the Spring semester is warming up, and I just wanted to remind everyone that any questions about Blackboard can be directed to me at or to any one of the smiling faces behind the Learning Commons desk at the Monroe Library.

But until next time (and posts will be much more frequent, I swear),

Happy Blackboarding