A few years ago I lamented about my students’ disinclination to look for any resources online; more recently, I’ve had to cajole students to bestir themselves to find research material in the physical library. I don’t deprecate the value of research material just because it’s found online, but I wish for my students the opportunity to learn not only from people so forward-thinking as to publish their work online, but also from some of the scholarship that has not yet appeared in digital form.
So I spent a fair amount of time this past weekend with the wonderful application Comic Life* writing/illustrating a guide for finding the relevant reference sources in Seabury’s United Library. I tried to include establishing shots so that people could orient themselves, images of specific books and periodicals (along with catalogue numbers) so that people could recognize them when they saw them on the shelf, and some miscellaneous observations about where to find pointers to pertinent books and articles. (The guide should also help fend off the tendency to rely on some sources that I don’t illustrate.)
I printed a couple of copies for the class and the librarian, and posted the pages to the Disseminary Flickr site in a set (and linked to it from the course website). But if you didn’’t see me this weekend, that’s what I was doing — and now you can find the New Testament reference material in the United Library, too.
* Comic Life could be improved in a variety of ways, but on most fronts it’s an exemplary program; it demonstrates the power of computers to make complicated special tasks into simple drag-and-drop errands. They advertise “zero learning curve,” and although that’s a marketing overstatement, it’amazingly close to being true. I recommend it strongly. Still, they should include or permit one to import some vector objects (such as arrows and explosion shapes), and manipulating styles of “POW!” text involves some frustrating idiosyncrasies.