Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Library Visit

The Chinese don't take as much time to plan things as we do. We're going to be in Jinan in a couple of weeks, a trip which was planned several months ago. But not until yesterday did a friend from Shandong Normal University invite me to give a lecture on second language acquisition.

Of course, I wanted to say yes. Even though it's a subject I know, but I couldn't prepare an academic talk off the top of my head. I need sources, references. This campus has a library, but for obvious reasons, most of the holdings are in Chinese. Sherrod Library on the ETSU campus was approximately 12,000 miles away. What's an academic to do?

Visit the library virtually, of course. The site was not blocked, thank God. I located dozens of full text articles I could use. Didn't even need to enter my password.

Such availability of information continues to astound me. When I was in college, card catalogues had cards; notes were taken in pen and ink; and the copy machine was an innovation.

Above: Books in a Chinese library
Below: Sherrod Library at ETSU

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