Archive for January, 2009

By Jill Gordon

Space is a beautiful thing to explore, and there are many ways to take in its wonder. You can find excellent resources for photos, videos, and other multimedia collections for space and astronomy online. Here, we’ve compiled 100 of the best of these collections for you to enjoy.


Visit these collections to find space videos for observation and instruction.

  1. Night Sky Observer: Night Sky Observer has videocasts, video news, topical astronomy videos, and more.
  2. The HEASARC Video Archive: You’ll get access to digitized animations and clips from high energy astrophysics missions from this archive.
  3. How Stuff Works: Astronomy Videos: This collection from How Stuff Works is full of instructional space videos and more.
  4. NASA TV: NASA TV provides real-time coverage of activities, missions, and news resources.
  5. Video Collection: You’ll be able to learn about space, space history, and more on’s video collection.
  6. Videos of the Apollo Lunar Missions: This collection features videos made during the Apollo missions.
  7. Astronomy Video Collection: See dancing Aurora lights, a cosmic voyage, and more on this site.
  8. NASA Multimedia: Here you’ll get access to NASA multimedia including images and video.


From backyard astronomers to NASA, you’ll find excellent photos of the night sky and beyond in these collections.

  1. Astronomy Picture of the Day: View interesting astronomy photos every day on this resource from NASA.
  2. SkyChasers: SkyChasers is full of amateur space photos, as well as tips and resources for taking your own space photos.
  3. Astrophotography by Jim Ferreira: Jim Ferreira’s website features high resolution video capture astrophotography and deep sky CCD astrophotography.
  4. NSSDC Photo Gallery: The National Space Science Data Center’s photo gallery shares planetary photos, astronomical objects, and a lot more.
  5. Jack Schmidling Astronomy: Jack Schmidling highlights astrophotos every week, photo favorites, and more.
  6. Astronomy North Photo of the Week: Astronomy North’s website offers a weekly photo image gallery, as well as images including Aurora Borealis, stars, and planets.
  7. NASA’s Photojournal: On NASA’s Photojournal, you’ll get to take a look at a variety of images from NASA.
  8. Space Telescope Science Institute: This institute shares images captured by Hubble and more.
  9. Welcome to the Planets: On this website, you’ll find planet profiles and the best images from NASA’s planetary exploration program.
  10. The World at Night: Find space and astronomical photographs from around the world through The World at Night’s project.
  11. The Project Apollo Archive: View the history of the Apollo project through these images and multimedia.
  12. Enceladus Up Close: See these photos of Saturn’s tiny icy moon as taken by NASA’s Cassini orbiter.
  13. Astronomical & Nightscape Photography: Chris Cook’s site is full of deep sky images.
  14. Starmatt Astrophotography: Here you’ll find a gallery of celestial objects in deep space.
  15. MODIS Web: This collection from NASA shows images of a variety of locations taken by satellite.
  16. GRIN: Great Images in NASA is a library of excellent NASA images, organized for easy searching and browsing.
  17. Astrophotography by Anthony Ayiomamitis: Check out this website to go on a majestic tour of our universe.
  18. Views of the Solar System: See lots of solar views in this website’s photo library.
  19. The Sun-The Big Picture:’s sun image gallery will blow you away.
  20. High Energy Astrophysics Picture of the Week: Check out this site to find a new stunning photo every week.
  21. Russell Croman Astrophotography: This gallery features fine photographs of celestial wonders.
  22. Ruben’s Celestial Images: Reuben’s photo site features galaxies, star clusters, and more.
  23. Round Trip with Endeavor-The Big Picture: See the cycle of the Endeavor through this collection of photos.
  24. SEDS Messier Database: Here you’ll see great images of objects in the Messier Catalog.
  25. Images from Celestial High Energy Sources: In this site, you’ll find lots of images of celestial high energy sources.
  26. Astro Imager: The Astro Imager features a variety of galaxies, nebulae and more.
  27. Shore Galaxy: The Shore Galaxy gallery has telescope images of the planets, celestial bodies, and more.
  28. BackyardAstro: Jason’s Backyard Astro has photos of galaxies, star clusters, nebulas, and beyond.
  29. Astronomy for Africa Images: This page features incredible images of planets and more.
  30. Renato Tarabella Home Page: Renato Tarabella’s photography features a variety of nebulae, planets, and other celestial objects.
  31. See the Glory: Find galaxies, star clusters, nebulae, and more here.
  32. Image Gallery Collection:’s website is full of space photos, including zoom views, an image of the day, and wallpapers.
  33. Preparing to Rescue Hubble: This collection of photos details the preparation of the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.
  34. Randy Brewer’s Astronomy Web: Randy Brewer has photos of the solar system, star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae.
  35. Galaxy Photography: These images from Jason Ware are full of nebulae, galaxies, and beyond.
  36. Pictures from the Edge: In this gallery, you’ll find a variety of space objects far away and close to home.
  37. The Universe in Color: See the solar system, star clusters, and lots of other interesting astronomy images here.
  38. Catching the Light: In this website from Jerry Lodriguss, you’ll find deep-sky astronomical photographs, as well as tips for digital astrophotography.
  39. Martian Skies: This collection is full of the best images of Martian atmosphere.
  40. A Shot in the Dark: Kirk Rogers’ astrophotography website features solar system, milky way, extragalactic, wide field, and CCD images.
  41. Shallow Sky: On Shallow Sky, you’ll see a variety of moon imaging with a Color QuickCam VC.
  42. Total Solar Eclipse of 2008: See photos of August 1, 2008′s total solar eclipse, the only one of this year.
  43. The Night Sky Live: Get a look at the night sky on this website.
  44. Cassini Nears Four-Year Mark: This collection shares some of the best images sent back home by Cassini over the past four years.
  45. The Hubble Heritage Project: The Hubble Heritage Project’s website is full of gorgeous images from the Hubble.
  46. Spacecraft Hubble Gallery: In this collection, you’ll find anything and everything Hubble.
  47. Slivoski: This collection is full of constellation photos and other objects.
  48. Views of Jupiter: This collection takes a look at photographs of Jupiter from the past 30 years.
  49. Michigan Tech Astronomy Picture of the Day: Although this resource is no longer updated, you’ll find lots of images of space technology, the solar system, and more.
  50. WeatherScapes: This photo collection highlights atmospheric optics, astronomy, and a photo of the month.
  51. Sky Image Lab: You can find Hubble photos, NASA Space Missions, lunar photos, and more on this space image site.
  52. Mr. Eclipse: You’ll see lots of eclipse and astronomy photos on this website.
  53. Man on the Moon, Future and Past: In this collection, you’ll get a look at seven photographs of our possible future on the moon as well as 10 from the past.
  54. NightLight Celestial Images: Tom Diana’s website features astrophotography of galaxies, aurora, planets, and more.

Blogs & Videocasts

You’ll find regularly updated resources for space photos and videos in these blogs and videocasts.

  1. has weekly videocasts that show images of the sky.
  2. blog: Among astronomy news and more, you’ll find lots of updates on astroimaging on this astronomy blog.
  3. Bad Astronomy Video Blog: The Bad Astronomer shares a variety of interesting astronomy videos on this blog.
  4. NASA Image of the Day: Every day, NASA shares a new space and astronomy image.
  5. DISCOVER Magazine Science Videos: Discover’s Brightcove channel offers videos of space, astronomy, and more.

Top Photos & Videos

Check out these resources to find some of the best of the best space videos and images.

  1. Top Ten Astronomy Pictures of 2008: The Bad Astronomer highlights some of the most beautiful and interesting astronomy photos from 2008.
  2. Top 6 Videos About Early Space Race: These videos will help you learn more about the Space Race.
  3. Astronomy Now 2008 in Pictures: See an astronomy photo from every month in 2008 in this recap.
  4. Top 7 Astronomy Videos for Kids: Help kids learn more about astronomy from these videos.
  5. Best 50 Astronomy Pictures of Year 2008: Check out this post from Itv News, which highlights 50 beautiful photos from astronomy, including cosmic whirlpools and shadow play.
  6. Discovery’s Best Space and Astronomy Photos of 2008: This collection highlights ten truly astonishing space and astronomy photos from the past year.
  7. National Geographic Top Ten Space Photos: Most Viewed of 2008: In this collection, you’ll find the ten most popular astronomy photos of 2008 from National Geographic.

Academics & Observatories

Here you’ll find images and videos from observatories and academic institutions.

  1. Mauna Kea and Astronomy Photos: In this collection of photos, you’ll see photographs of the Mauna Kea Observatories, the Keck telescopes, the Hawaiian night sky, and more.
  2. Big Bear Solar Observatory: Here you’ll find some of the best images taken at the Big Bear Solar Observatory.
  3. Middlebury Astronomy Photos: Middlebury shares a variety of galaxies and nebulas in this collection.
  4. ICSTARS Astronomy: The ICSTARS facility shares a variety of photos here.
  5. Ohio State University Department of Astronomy Image Gallery: OSU shares this collection of images taken by OSU astronomers and their colleagues.
  6. Panther Observatory: Panther Observatory’s photos include the moon, planets, comets, and constellations.
  7. Anglo-Australian Observatory: Find the CCD and deep galaxy images of the Anglo-Australian Observatory here.
  8. Morden Observatory: On this website, you’ll get access to deep sky imaging, including sun and planetary images.
  9. Meadow View Observatory: Check out the Meadow View Observator to see images of galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, and the solar system.
  10. Video Clips Screening Room: shares educational videos on black holes, the space station, and more.
  11. Ask an Astronomer: Check out this video collection to find video answers to astronomy questions.
  12. Stull Observatory: Here you’ll find an image sampler gallery of images from the Stull Observatory.


Visit these communities to see the image and video collections that they share.

  1. Space for All Group: Space for All highlights any and all images of space.
  2. Astronomy Forum: This forum is full of astronomy photos from users.
  3. Blue Ridge Astronomy Club: In this club’s photo collection, you’ll see images including Hale-Bopp, the moon, and a variety of planets.
  4. Astronomy Group: Check out this group to see and share astronomy related pictures.
  5. The Local Group Astronomy Club: The Local Group offers an astronomy day video as well as a picture of the day on this website.
  6. Northern Virginia Astronomy Club: This club’s astrophotography features solar, lunar, and planetary photos, as well as images of the cosmos and galaxies.
  7. Williamson Country Astronomy Club Astrophoto Gallery: See the stars, nebula, and more from these photographs.
  8. Deep Space Astrophotography Group: This Flickr group features photos of deep space, including nebulas and galaxies.
  9. Syracuse Astronomical Society: Visit this astronomical society’s gallery to find regularly updated astrophotography.
  10. Utah Valley Astronomy Association: This gallery is full of the best photos from a Utah astronomy group.
  11. Rappahannock Astronomy Club: The RAC has photos of the sun, Hale-Bopp, lunar eclipses and more.
  12. Space and Weather Group: Space and Weather is all about photos of the sky and space.
  13. Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association: Here you’ll find a variety of astronomical photography taken by TAAA members.
  14. Space Exploration Group: In this group’s photos, you’ll find images related to the exploration of space.

Have you ever wondered the past life or secret dreams of your local librarian as they helped you find research paper resources and swiped the bar code on your books? As it turns out, a lot of world leaders, famous authors and legendary philosophers and scholars had careers as librarians. Read below to find out who.

Library History

These important figures influenced and developed the library systems we use today, from the Dewey Decimal System to the subscription library and public libraries.

  1. Ben Franklin: Ben Franklin didn’t sit behind a circulation desk and help college kids find research materials, but he is still a legitimate librarian. In 1731, Franklin and his philosophy group Junto organized the "Articles of Agreement," which set up the nation’s first library. Their library, called The Library Company, was first meant to benefit only the members of Junto, so that they could share books on the issues they discussed during meetings. It was organized as a subscription library, and members of Junto payed a small fee to retrieve books.

    Franklin was actually the second librarian, and the Company grew to include more books than most university libraries at the time, plus artifacts like coins and fossils. Over time, The Library Company granted access to members of the Second Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention and others.

  2. Melvil Dewey: Founder of the Dewey Decimal System, Melvil Dewey was born in New York in 1851. While a student at Amherst College, he worked in the school library to support his living expenses and stayed on as a librarian after graduation. After experimenting with different cataloging and organization methods for library collections, Amherst College published his work A Classification and Subject Index for Cataloguing and Arranging the Books and Pamphlets of a Library. Dewey has been named the "Father of Modern Librarianship" and even helped created the American Library Association in 1876.
  3. Eratosthenes: The Greek scholar Eratosthenes discovered the system of latitude and longitude and made significant contributions to astronomy. Eratosthenes was also the chief librarian of the Great Library of Alexandria.
  4. Saint Lawrence: As one of the patron saints of librarians, Saint Lawrence, or Lawrence of Rome, was a Catholic deacon who was killed by the Romans in 258 for refusing to turn over the collection of Christian treasures and documents he was entrusted to protect.

Political Figures and More

Did you know that Mao Zedong used to be a librarian? How about J. Edgar Hoover? Find out which other world leaders and big government players had experience in cataloging.

  1. Mao Zedong: Mao Zedong, the man responsible for uniting China during the 1940s and 50s when he organized the People’s Republic of China, was a librarian. In 1918, Mao lived in Peking China as a young man, he was as assistant librarian at Peking University. The chief librarian at Peking University was a Marxist, and succeeded in converting Mao to communism.
  2. Seyd Mohammad Khatami: Seyd Mohammad Khatami was the fifth president of Iran and a former Iran Minister of Culture. He is also a former head of the National Library and Archives Organisation of Iran. He is considered to be a reformist in Iranian culture and politics, supporting freedom of expression and foreign diplomacy.
  3. Golda Meir: Golda Meir was the fourth prime minister of Israel, from 1969-1974. She was also one of the twenty-four who signed the Israeli declaration of independence in 1948; am ambassador to the Soviet Union; Minister of Labour from 1949-1956, and the inspiration for the Broadway play Golda, which starred Anne Bancroft. Before her distinguished political career, however, Golda Meir worked as a librarian.
  4. J. Edgar Hoover: As the legendary director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover led domestic investigations from 1924-1972, as head of the Bureau of Investigation and when he founded the FBI in 1935. In his early life, however, Hoover went to night school at George Washington University and supported himself by working at the Library of Congress. There, he was a messenger, cataloguer and clerk. In 1919, Hoover left the Library of Congress and worked as a special assistant to the Attorney General.
  5. John J. Beckley: John J. Beckley is recognized as being the first political campaign manager in the U.S. He was also the first Librarian of the United States Congress, serving from 1802-1807. In 1789, he was sponsored by James Madison to be the Clerk of the House and supported the new Republic party in 1792, backed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
  6. Giacomo Casanova: The infamous spy, writer, diplomat and lover Casanova was born in Venice during the first half of the 18th century. Although he studied to become a priest at the University of Padua and the seminary of St. Cypria, Casanova is well-known for being a drinker and for having scandalous love affairs with numerous women. Later in life, he worked as a librarian for the Count of Waldstein in Dux, Bohemia.
  7. Pope Pius XI, or Achille Ratti: Pope Pius XI served from 1929 -1939, during which time he established the feast of Christ the King and spoke out against social justice crimes and unethical financial corruption practices. Before he became pope, Ratti was a librarian and scholar, and at the Vatican, Pope Pius XI famously reorganized the archives.

Scholars, Artists and Philosophers

These famous scholars and philosophers, like David Hume, influenced modern Western thought, but they also served as librarians.

  1. David Hume: Scotsman David Hume contributed greatly to 18th century philosophy and economics, writing important works like Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion and A Treatise on Human Nature. He was an anti-Mercantilist, and according to The New School, Hume "was also one of the better articulators of the Quantity Theory and the neutrality of money." In 1752, Hume became a librarian at the Advocate’s Library in Edinburgh, where he wrote his famous History of England.
  2. Marcel Duchamp: Marcel Duchamp is considered to be one of the most significant and influential modern artists of the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Duchamp was born in the Haute-Normandie region in France, where he took drawing and painting classes as a child. In the early 1900s, Duchamp experimented with Cubism, nude works, and was active in the intellectual and artistic groups influencing the newest culture and trends in Paris at the time. Around 1912, Duchamp became tired of painting and worked as a librarian at the Bibliotheque Sainte-Genvieve, during which he devoted his time to math and physics experiments.

Teachers and Writers

Teaching, writing and being a librarian are all related, so it should be no surprise that Lewis Carroll, Beverly Cleary and other famous librarians switched back and forth between fields.

  1. Lewis Carroll: The author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll’s real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Dodgson grew up in Cheshire and Yorkshire, England, and after graduating from Oxford with a B.A. in mathematics, he became a sub-librarian at Christ Church there. He left that position in 1857 to become a Mathematical Lecturer. Dodgson first told the story of Alice Adventures in Wonderland to the three daughters of the Dean of Christ Church, in 1862. The book was published three years later and continues to be a popular and significant work of fiction today.
  2. Beverly Cleary: Popular children’s book author Beverly Cleary wrote the Ramona Quimby books and Henry Higgins books and has received three Newbery Medals. But before she became a celebrated author, Beverly grew up in a tiny town in Oregon, where her mother asked the State Library to send books to their farm. During the Depression, Beverly went to junior college in California and later attended the University of California at Berkeley. She then attended the School of Librarianship at the University of Washington, Seattle, and became a children’s librarian.
  3. Laura Bush: Former First Lady Laura Bush earned her Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Texas at Austin after working as an elementary school teacher. As the First Lady of Texas, she supported George W. Bush’s campaigns and started her own public projects regarding education and literacy. When George W. Bush became President of the United States, Laura supported librarian recruitment initiatives and toured many libraries around the world.
  4. Madeleine L’Engle: American author Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is still a popular book among junior high students and almost like a rite of passage for young fiction readers. She has won multiple Newbery Medals and other awards, but later in life, she served as the librarian and writer-in-residence at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
  5. Marcel Proust: At once one of the most celebrated and obscure novelists and critics of all time, Marcel Proust once decided to go to school to become a librarian. The French writer was born in 1871, and his most famous work, In Search of Lost Time is still studied today.
  6. Jorge Luis Borges: Jorge Luis Borges is an Argentine writer who made significant contributions to fantasy literature in the 20th century. He shared the International Publishers’ Formentor Prize with Samuel Beckett and was a municipal librarian from 1939-1946 in Argentina, before getting fired by the Peron regime. One of his most famous short stories, "The Library of Babel," depicts the universe as a huge library.
  7. Joanna Cole: Joanna Cole’s The Magic School Bus series has served to educate and entertain elementary-aged children about the human body, space, and more. She has also worked as a librarian, a schoolteacher, book editor and writer/producer of the BBC children’s TV show Bod.
  8. Jacob Grimm: Grimms’ Fairy Tales was first published in 1812, but the stories, including "Hansel and Gretel," "Cinderella," and "Snow White," are still classic children’s stories constantly reinvented as plays, Disney movies and more. Jacob Grimm worked as a librarian in Kasel, after graduating with a law degree. During this time, Jacob and his brother Wilhelm collected German folk tales from ordinary citizens in hopes of uniting area kingdoms on the basis of sharing a similar culture.
  9. Philip Larkin: English poet Philip Larkin was born in 1922 in Coventry. He began publishing poems in 1940 and was even offered the Poet Laureateship of England after the death of Sir John Betjeman, but he declined. Besides writing poetry and novels, Larkin worked as an assistant librarian at the University College of Leicester, a librarian at the University of Hull and was elected to the Board of the British Library in 1984, the same year he received an honorary D.Litt. from Oxford.
  10. Stanley Kunitz: Stanley Kunitz is a celebrated American poet who was named the United States Poet Laureate in 2000. He has also been awarded a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, the Levinson Prize, the National Medal of the Arts, and more. Before being named the U.S. Poet Laureate, Kunitz was Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress from 1974-1976.

The Future of Librarians

These librarians are changing history by introducing the public to new trends in library organization and information sharing.

  1. Jessamyn West: Jessamyn West is taking information science into the future with her website, Besides creating the Library 2.0 and "cool librarian" site, West served on the American Library Association Council and strongly promotes the freedom of speech and expression.
  2. Nancy Pearl: Nancy Pearl is kind of like a celebrity librarian. She has an action figure and travels around the country giving lectures and spreading the good news of books. She started the trend of city-wide book clubs when she organized the "If All of Seattle Read the Same Book," program in 1998. She also has a Women’s National Book Association Award, served as Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book, and wrote an immensely popular, best-selling book called Book Lust.

By Jill Gordon

If you take a look at some of the courses offered in Open Course Ware, you may start to notice that there are some odd topics out there. We’ve gathered 100 of these extraordinary courses, and encourage you to check them out. Who knows-you just might find something incredibly useful and interesting.


From robots to futuristic cars, get a look at interesting technologies through these courses.

  1. Sociable Robots: Get a look into robots that can develop socially in this resource. [MIT]
  2. Human Beings and the Machines of Sunshine: You’ll see how new technologies can be used for evil by studying this course. [Rice]
  3. Technologies of Humanism: Learn about narratives as they have evolved from print to digital media. [MIT]
  4. Personal Robots: Cynthia Breazeal explores robots that can enhance daily life and help humans as partners. [MIT]
  5. Information and Entropy: Tale a look at the limits of communication and computation through this course. [MIT]
  6. Soft Car: Human-Friendly Car Design: Dr. Joachin offers some out-of-this-world thoughts on car design. [WGBH]
  7. The Human Intelligence Enterprise: This course will help you understand the process toward the scientific goal of understanding human intelligence. [MIT]
  8. The Brain of the Future: This course explains the way humans will communicate and learn in the future as technology and society become increasingly sophisticated. [Nottingham]
  9. Autonomous Robot Design Competition: In this course, you will design and build a competitive robot. [MIT]
  10. Machine Vision: Through Machine Vision, you’ll get an introduction to the process of generating a symbolic description of an environment from an image. [MIT]
  11. Machine Learning: This course covers all of the concepts, techniques, and algorithms of machine learning. [MIT]
  12. Human Computer Interaction: Get a look into the way humans and computers interact through the teachings of this course. [University of Washington]
  13. Extending the Human Being via Robotics: Take a look at some of the potential uses for robots in this course. [Rice University]
  14. Lego Robotics: This course explores the idea of using LEGOs as a tool for robotics. [MIT]
  15. Brightening Up Life: This course is all about harnessing the power of fluorescence. [MIT]
  16. GPS: Civilian Tool or Military Weapon?: This course explores some of the applications of GPS technology. [MIT]
  17. International Computer Driving License: This course will help you learn the essentials of "driving" a computer. [Open of Course]
  18. Sophisticated Survival Skills of Simple Microorganisms: This course takes a look at the microbial psychology and genetics of stress responses. [MIT]
  19. Time, Money, and Love in the Age of Technology: Find out how all of these things influence each other from this blog. [Berkeley]
  20. Zen and the Art of Information Security: Ira Winkler shares his simple philosophy for information protection. [Oxford]


You’ll learn more about the way business works from these courses.

  1. We Don’t Provide That Service: the Economic Irrationality of Copyright Rules on the Internet: Follow this course to get an understanding of irrational thoughts on copyright rules.
  2. The Future of Ideas: Lawrence Lessig and others lecture on the future of innovation in this course. [TechNet]
  3. Why Are Prices So Bizarre?: Preston McAfee explains how companies determine prices for goods. [Caltech]
  4. Entrepreneurial Behavior: This course will help you learn more about the concept of behaving like an entrepreneur. [The Open University]
  5. Democratizing Innovation: This resource examines the trend of user-centered innovation and what that means for the future. [MIT]
  6. Inventions and Patents: Inventions and Patents explores the history of private and public rights in discoveries. [MIT]

Creativity & Arts

These courses offer a unique look into arts and creativity.

  1. Nine Lessons Learned about Creativity at Google: Join Marissa Mayer as she shares lessons on fostering creative ideas and innovation. [Stanford]
  2. Photography and Truth: This course offers an exploration of photography as art, a research tool, and a means of communication. [MIT]
  3. Picturing the Family: This course discusses taking and properly dealing with family photographs, particularly historic ones. [The Open University]
  4. Visualizing Cultures: This course will help you find out how images have been used to shape the identity of peoples and cultures. [MIT]
  5. Composing Your Life: Explore yourself through visual arts and writing with the help of this course. [MIT]
  6. Sowing the Seeds for a More Creative Society: Find out how education can improve creativity through this course. [MIT]
  7. Daylighting: This course explores the architectural practice of daylighting. [MIT]
  8. Creativity: The Mind, Machines, and Mathematics: This course debates whether machines may someday achieve consciousness. [MIT]


If you’re intrigued by phenomena, be sure to check out these courses.

  1. Booming Sand Dunes: Get a look into the phenomenon of booming sand dunes through this course. [Caltech]
  2. Minds and Mental Phenomena: An Introduction: Follow this course to learn about a variety of mental phenomena and wonders of the mind. [The Open University]
  3. Magic, Witchcraft, and the Spirit World: You’ll learn all about the spiritual, magical, and "occult" aspects of human behavior in this course. [MIT]
  4. Nature’s Greatest Puzzles: This collection of lecture notes and videos will clue you into some of the largest and strangest phenomenons and puzzles. [Stanford]

Health & Fitness

These courses are all about being healthy in unusual ways.

  1. Whole Body Vibration: A New Exercise Approach: This course will teach you everything you need to know about using whole body vibration as exercise.
  2. Under the Radar Screen: How Bugs Trick Our Immune Defenses: In this course, you’ll learn how microbes defeat our immune system. [MIT]
  3. Critical Analysis of Popular Diets and Dietary Supplements: Turn a critical eye to diets and dietary supplements with the knowledge from this course. [Johns Hopkins]
  4. PE for ME: Get a look into physical intelligence with the help of this course. [MIT]

Math & Science

Here you’ll find some of the oddest courses on math and science.

  1. Street-Fighting Mathematics: This course will teach you the art of guessing and solving problems without doing proofs or exact calculations. [MIT]
  2. Inheritance of characters: Find out how genes contribute to a person’s behavior and health in this course. [The Open University]
  3. The City Car: These lecturers propose the idea of an environmentally friendly city car to ease environmental and traffic woes. [MIT]
  4. How Flies Fly: Get an increased understanding of the common fly from this course. [Caltech]
  5. Immune Evasion: How Sneaky Pathogens Avoid Host Surveillance: This course details the battle that goes on during an infection. [MIT]
  6. The Restless Universe: Get an overview of the big ideas that have shaped physics in this course. [The Open University]
  7. The Amazing World of Bubbles: Find out everything you never knew you needed to know about bubbles through this course. [Caltech]
  8. Earthquakes in Your Backyard: Learn scientific information about the hazards associated with earthquakes and tsunamis from this course. [Berkeley]
  9. Brain Plasticity during Learning and Memory: Check out this course to find out how synapses exhibit plasticity that contributes to our ability to learn and remember. [Caltech]
  10. Maths Everywhere: This course will show you just how much mathematics exists in our daily lives. [The Open University]
  11. Engineering Apollo: Engineering Apollo is a technical and historical exploration of the Apollo project. [MIT]


Find out about the oddities of the mind from these courses.

  1. The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil: This course examines the roots of depravity and cruelty. [MIT]
  2. Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness: Learn about the study of positive psychology in this course. [Harvard]
  3. Introducing Consciousness: Follow this course on consciousness for a study in the most important and baffling aspect of the mind. [The Open University]
  4. Scene Understanding Symposium: Learn how recognition of a visual scene at just one glance works in the mind. [MIT]
  5. Psycholinguistics: Learn all about language processing in this course. [MIT]
  6. The Quest for Consciousness: Get a look into the relationship between the conscious mind and the brain through this course. [Caltech]
  7. Investigating the Neural Substrates of Remote Memory Using fMRI: In this course, you’ll learn about memory retention and localization in the life of an individual. [MIT]
  8. Emotion: An Introductory Picture: In this course, you’ll study a variety of philosophical questions about the nature of emotions. [The Open University]


These courses highlight unusual activities and movements in politics.

  1. Food and Power in the Twentieth Century: Examine power, food, and politics in this course. [MIT]
  2. Collective Choice: This applied theory course is all about the political economy of democratic countries. [MIT]
  3. Drugs, Politics, and Culture: This class will take a look at the relationship between mind-altering substances, cultural processes, and politics. [MIT]

Language and Literature

In these courses, you’ll find some out of the ordinary learning about language and literature.

  1. Phantom Tollbooth Guide: This guide offers a look at the book, The Phantom Tollbooth. [Suite 101]
  2. Abnormal Language: This course offers a linguistic study of language pathology. [MIT]
  3. Popular Narrative: Masterminds: Learn about the idea of being all-mastering in this course. [MIT]
  4. The Linguistic Study of Bilingualism: Learn about the development of bilingualism in human history through this course. [MIT]


These courses take a different approach to education.

  1. How to Learn (Almost) Anything: This course explores the way the digital revolution has changed the way we learn. [MIT]
  2. Un/Homeschooling: Check out this course to learn all about the unschooling approach to homeschooling. [Suite 101]

Home Ec

These courses offer unusual learning you can use at home and beyond.

  1. Kitchen Chemistry: This course offers a look at unique and interesting cooking experiments in chemistry. [MIT]
  2. Advanced Kitchen Chemistry: Learn how to make cheese, and discuss the science of spice and biochemistry through this course. [MIT]
  3. Butterfly Gardening: In this course, you’ll learn all about cultivating a garden that attracts butterflies and other visitors. [Suite 101]
  4. The Contemporary American Family: This course offers a study of the contemporary American family, and all of the controversies and debates the topic entails. [MIT]
  5. Attracting Hummingbirds: This course celebrates hummingbirds, and offers lots of information on how you can attract these special birds. [Suite 101]

Sports & Activities

Have you ever wanted to study wrestling or NASCAR? You’ll get your chance with these courses.

  1. American Pro Wrestling: This course explores the cultural history and media industry surrounding professional wrestling. [MIT]
  2. Overcoming Fear of Flying: If you’re afraid to fly, be sure to check out this course that will help you overcome your fear. [Suite 101]
  3. Games and Civic Engagement: In this course, you’ll learn about the civic potential of video games. [MIT]
  4. Poker: Texas Hold’em: If you’ve always wondered how to play Texas Hold’em, be sure to check out this course. [Suite 101]
  5. Furniture Making: In this course, you’ll learn the fine art of making furniture. [MIT]
  6. NASCAR 101: Are you clueless when it comes to car racing? Follow this course to learn everything you need to know about NASCAR. [Suite 101]
  7. Physical Intelligence: This course will help you learn about all of the thought that goes into the movement of your body. [MIT]

Travel & Culture

Learn about oddities in travel and culture from these courses.

  1. Foundations of American Cyberculture: If you’ve ever wondered why things are the way they are online, find out in this course. [Berkeley]
  2. Walt Disney World: This course on Walt Disney World offers a look into all that the park has to offer. [Suite 101]
  3. Drugs-Brain, Mind and Culture: Professor Jamie Pineda gives this course that explores the way drugs influence the brain, mind, and culture. [UCSD]
  4. Media in Cultural Context: You’ll learn how foreign programs find places within domestic media. [MIT]
  5. The World is Flat 3.0: Tom Friedman examines the way the world is beginning to shrink and flatten in this course. [MIT]
  6. American Soap Operas: Learn the history and unique form of American soap operas. [MIT]
  7. Social Visualization: Social Visualization will help you understand people, their activities, and their interactions. [MIT]
  8. Rise of the Creative Class: Richard Florida shares his knowledge about a rising new social class of people whose work involves creativity. [WGBH]
  9. American Dream: Exploring Class in the US: Understand how social classes work in the United States from this course. [MIT]
  10. Out of Ground Zero: Explore catastrophe and memory relating to the attack on the World Trade Center through this course. [MIT]
  11. The Once and Future City: Check out this course to find a study of twentieth-century American cities, and the factors that will shape them in the future. [MIT]
  12. Marketing, Microchips, and McDonalds: Debating Globalization: Find out exactly what globalization is and what it means from this course. [MIT]
  13. The Meaning of Home: Find out how people identify and become attached to places, buildings and objects in this course. [The Open University]

Philosophy & History

Get a look at extraordinary history and philosophy from these courses.

  1. Introduction to Nonviolence: Learn the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and nonviolence through this course. [Berkeley]
  2. Moral Problems and the Good Life: This course focuses on issues concerning matters of social justice. [MIT]
  3. Life in the Palaeozoic: Get a glimpse into what life was like in the Palaeozoic Era from this course. [The Open University]
  4. Ancient Wisdom and Modern Love: This course examines love and life through the view of classic and historic works of art. [Notre Dame]
  5. How Silicon Valley Was Made: Christophe Lecuyer offers his expertise on the history of Silicon Valley. [Princeton]

After a much-needed winter break, the spring semester is an opportunity to make a fresh start in your educational efforts.  Whether you achieved all of your goals in the fall semester or didn’t do quite as well as you’d hoped, there are some habits you can adopt that will make you more successful in your college career.  Read on for some tips to help you make the grade this spring.

Rest Up

Your mind will not operate optimally if you don’t get enough rest, so make sure that a good night’s sleep is part of your daily routine.  Establishing healthy sleep patterns will give your body the time it needs to repair itself and help make sure that you make the most of your waking hours.  Additionally, good sleep is vital for healthy immune system performance, which will help make sure that you don’t miss any classes due to illness.

Stay on Top of Your Reading

College classes require a lot of reading, so make sure that you get your reading done in a timely fashion.  It is very hard to get caught up on reading once you fall behind, and your retention rate will suffer as well.  This is especially important in literature and history classes, where the details and intricacies are vital to your comprehension. 

Skim Only to Review

As important as reading is, if you are taking a heavy class load there may be some things that get lost along the way.  Save skimming for dedicated review time; if you have already read the material, skimming is a great way to help you recall what you have read in the past.  Skimming for any other reason should be avoided because details are lost and main points may be skipped entirely.  Skimming for review before lectures, discussions, and tests can be very valuable, but should not replace reading altogether.

Create Timelines for Projects and Papers

Don’t procrastinate when it comes to large projects or papers—the quality of your work is more likely to suffer if you do.  Take out your syllabus for each class and map out due dates on a calendar, then create milestones to have certain parts of the projects and papers ready on specific dates.  This will be most helpful when it comes to crunch time; often many projects seem to be due around the same time, so it’s best to have a game plan in place long in advance.

Join Study Groups

In each class you take, get the phone numbers and email from three other people.  This will be helpful if you ever end up missing a class or need some clarification when studying or writing a paper.  Additionally, you should form a study group or join one in each and every class so that you have others to work with before tests to ensure that you are ready for exams.  Study groups are great ways to make friends and help you with your overall performance in classes as well.


By now, you’ve hopefully realized that your iPhone is more than just a communication tool. This list of 100 free apps will prove to you that it’s also an outlet for learning other languages, playing games, discovering new music, being more productive at work, and a lot more.


Here you can find apps that help you learn piano, discover new artists, and more.

  1. Pandora: Learn more about music and listen to free radio with the Pandora iPhone app.
  2. Virtual Zippo Lighter: Hold up this realistic app on your iPhone when you’re at a concert for a lighter effect.
  3. Mini Piano: Practice piano during your down time with this iPhone app.
  4. Google Mobile: This Google tool makes it easy to search the Internet with your voice or via My Location.
  5. YouTube for your iPhone: Get access to the millions of videos on YouTube with this app.
  6. Shazam: Share music, test your knowledge of different tracks, and discover new artists with Shazam.
  7. Remote: Remote is a very practical tool that lets you control playback for your iTunes library and Apple TV.
  8. Picasa Web Albums: Manipulate and share photos via Picasa Web Albums on the iPhone.
  9. Stanza: With Stanza, you can download over 100,000 books and periodicals to your iPhone.
  10. Light Table (free): The free version of this collage-making tool doesn’t let you share or upload to Twitter, but it’s still fun.

Business, News and Finance

These apps help with business productivity and let you get updates on stock market trends and other office- and business-related information.

  1. Lie Detector Advanced: Find out if your colleagues and supervisors are lying to you with this fun recorder.
  2. Gmail: Gmail for the iPhone keeps you connected even when you’re away from your desk. Or when you just want to use your iPhone.
  3. Docs: Access Google Docs from your iPhone with this app.
  4. USA Today: Get all of your business and financial news, as well as sports and lifestyle news, from this app.
  5. Paper Football Lite: You may think paper football is just a game, but you would be wrong. It is the office game.
  6. Mint: Use’s app to keep track of your finance wherever you are.
  7. ABC News: Get the latest reports from ABC News here.
  8. iTalk: This recorder is great for remembering notes, recording meetings and more.
  9. Google Notebook: Jot down business notes, to-do lists and more with Google Notebook.
  10. Bloomberg: Keep up with the latest stock trends and financial news stories with Bloomberg for the iPhone.

Productivity and Search

For better, faster searches and a more productive work day, use these apps.

  1. Google Search: This iPhone app brings you local listings, suggests search terms and has all the capabilities of regular web, news, local and image searches.
  2. Google Calendar: This iPhone-friendly version of Google calendar displays nicely on your mobile and can be shared with friends and co-workers.
  3. Magic iBall (Free): Make decisions more quickly when you ask the Magic iBall for help.
  4. iTV: Make searching for TV shows and information about movies and actors easier when you use this listing resource.
  5. SnapTell: Take a picture of a product, and SnapTell looks up the item to give you reference and shopping resources about it.
  6. WiFi Icons: Change up your WiFi icons so that you’ve got a better idea of when you can and can’t connect.
  7. Vlingo: This voice-powered app searches the Internet and your contacts, and even lets you update Twitter and Facebook by talking into the phone.
  8. AccuWeather: Check the weather, radar and satellite maps and get severe weather updates with this tool.
  9. WritePad: The iPhone can recognize your handwriting style with this app. It automatically stores content written on the memo pad and lets you e-mail directly from WritePad.


From fishing to the movies to skiing, these iPhone apps will connect you to your favorite hobbies.

  1. iHandy Level: The level in the Handy toolkit is now free. Use for all your DIY projects.
  2. Check movie times, buy tickets and even view maps of theaters with
  3. Virtual Pool Lite: Pool sharks can play anytime they want with this app.
  4. Sudoku: Sudoku borders on an obsession for some people. Play it to sharpen your mind and basic arithmetic skills.
  5. Blogger: Google Blogger’s iPhone app lets you post from your phone or MMS posts to an offline account.
  6. Little Black Book: This fancy-looking app keeps all of your dates (or contact information) in one handy spot.
  7. SnoCountry Free: Track two of your favorite ski resorts for snowfall, snow quality and more.
  8. Dinner Spinner: This free app from helps you find recipes. Just choose what type of dish you want, the main ingredient you’d like to use, and the amount of time you have. Then, spin.
  9. Droogle: Find recipes for drinks and shots with this app.
  10. Amazon Mobile: Shop easier and more conveniently with Amazon Mobile.
  11. BigOven: BigOven is another app that shares recipes: 160,000 of them.


Who says games can’t be educational? Download brain teasers, puzzles and random games that are full of fun.

  1. reMovem: This addictive game works your response time, analytical skills and more. The free version features a 7×10 grid and up to six colors.
  2. PAC-MAN Lite: Play the free version of PAC-MAN on your iPhone here.
  3. iShoot Lite: iShoot Lite is the free version of iShoot, a popular app that lets you play an artillery game. Lite lets you use 6 different weapons. Play it for strategy and to calm your nerves.
  4. Beer Pong Challenge: Okay, so this game might not necessarily make you smarter, but it’s still awesome.
  5. iBowl: Improve your virtual and real-life bowling game when you play iBowl.
  6. Tic-Tac Touch: Play this game against a friend or the computer.
  7. Checkers: This free Checkers game improves concentration, focus, and strategy.
  8. Whoopee Cushion: With this game, you can learn, um, how to trick your friends and co-workers and match appropriate passing gas sounds to said friends and co-workers.
  9. Labyrinth Lite: This tricky mind game is available in a free version for the iPhone.
  10. Peanut Butter Jelly Time: This highly annoying but strangely popular animation is available on the iPhone for free.
  11. Linx Free: Improve your drawing skills and ability to solve problems quickly with this game.
  12. Shinro Lite: Practice your problem solving skills with this puzzle game.
  13. Sol Free Solitaire: Play Solitaire for free with this lite version.
  14. Trace: Trace is an easy game but is good for sharpening your problem-solving skills. Trace your way through a maze-like obstacle course to win.
  15. Turkey Hunt: Learn about turkey hunts with this game, which teaches you about different hunting grounds and more.
  16. i Fishing Lite: i Fishing Lite is an actual fishing simulator, not a traditional game, letting you really work on technique.
  17. Free Word Warp: Play this word game to increase your vocabulary.

Travel and Transportation

These travel-related apps include maps, driving directions and more resources to help you navigate your way around the U.S.

  1. Google Earth: This version of Google Earth is made for your iPhone, so you can view maps from your phone.
  2. GOOG-411: This free service lets you look up business information.
  3. Google Maps: Get driving directions, local business information, maps and more.
  4. Around Me: Get to know the city you’re visiting when Around Me shares recommendations for restaurants and more.
  5. Distance Meter: This GPS and distance tracker is especially great for runners, bikers and hikers.


These educational apps include foreign language resources, history lessons and more.

  1. Google Reader: Stay connected with your blogs and newsfeeds with this iPhone app.
  2. iTranslate: Translate text to start learning German, French, Spanish and more.
  3. Constitution for iPhone: Start memorizing the Constitution, including the Preamble and all the amendments, with this tool.
  4. Google News: Stay on top of the news with this customizable Google app.
  5. Declaration for iPhone: Read the Declaration of Independence on your iPhone.
  6. Aero Guitar Free: Practice playing guitar and learning songs with this free app.
  7. Sight Words Free: Help your kids learn to read, or learn to read English with this tool.
  8. Wikiamo: This reference tool lets you access Wikipedia from your iPhone.
  9. Free Spanish Tutor: Use your iPhone to learn Spanish with this app.
  10. Dictionaire: The Simple Dictionary: Access 140,000 definitions with this app.
  11. Shakespeare: Get all of Shakespeare’s texts from the PlayShakespeare game with this app.

Community and Local Resources

Get Facebook, MySpace, and recommendations for local hangouts on your iPhone with these tools.

  1. Facebook: Facebook’s iPhone-friendly layout will keep you connected to all your friends, status updates and messages.
  2. Talk: Use the Google Talk app for chats, status messages and business meetings.
  3. Tap Tap Revenge: Compete against one other player to prove your rhythm skills.
  4. ZIP Finder: Find zip codes, get traffic reports and look up zip code profiles here.
  5. Urbanspoon: Find places to eat in different neighborhoods by shaking this slot machine-like app.
  6. Google SMS: Look up local business listings, get stock quotes and more with this app.
  7. MySpace Mobile: Connect to MySpace via your iPhone.
  8. AIM: This free app lets you send text messages for free.
  9. Mobile by Citysearch: Get Citysearch’s local recommendations with this app.
  10. Loopt: This "social compass" connects you to your favorite hotspots and where your friends like to hang out.

Health and Wellness

These apps can help you stick to your fitness and nutrition regimen and help you beat stress.

  1. Tranquility: Ease into your meditation or nap with this app.
  2. iPhone Bubble Wrap: Relieve stress by virtually popping bubble wrap.
  3. Done Drinking: Figure out how to get home and stay safe when you play with this drunk avatar.
  4. Lose It!: Get smarter about your weight loss plan by setting up a calorie "budget" with Lose It!
  5. LIVESTRONG Calorie Tracker: This app can build you a health profile that recommends a certain caloric intake for each day.

Everyday Tools

These downloads are an absolute must for your everyday errands and responsibilities.

  1. Flashlight: Turn your iPhone into a flashlight with this app.
  2. The Weather Channel: Check the forecast and read weather-related news stories with this very useful app.
  3. Lightsaber Unleashed: If you’re a Star Wars junkie, you can use this lightsaber app as a source of light. Or power.
  4. Night Stand: Transform your iPhone into a digital clock that shows days, seconds or hours.
  5. WiFinder: Turn on this app to find a wireless connection in your area.


From iPhone mistletoe to eBay and Craigslist on the iPhone, here are even more convenient apps to try.

  1. Status Bar Icons: Pick a different color so that it’s easier to pay attention to your status bar.
  2. iGoogle: Design your own homepage for your iPhone with this tool.
  3. Mistletoe: Smooch or Smack?: Use this mistletoe image app to find an excuse to kiss friends. Or strangers.
  4. Audi A4 Driving Challenge: Practice your driving skills with this game.
  5. eBay on iPhone: Check up on your bids and search auctions via this tool.
  6. Craigsphone: Access Craigslist and features like history and click-to-call with this app.
  7. Shape Writer: Shape Writer makes it easier to enter text on a touch screen device.


Social media offers an excellent way for people to connect with the world around them, but there’s a lot to learn about using it. Whether you’re concerned with the way interaction works, or want to know about marketing, there are plenty of excellent resources that will help you learn what you need to know. Check out these Open CourseWare resources that can offer much in the way of a social media education.


These courses will help you learn the basics of social media.

  1. Introduction to Media Studies: Get an introductory understanding of media by following this course. [MIT]
  2. Virtual Communities/Social Media: This course explains how virtual communities are created and maintained. [Berkeley]

New Media

Find out how new media works with these courses.

  1. Journals as Portals of Electronic Publication: This learning resource explores journals as an electronic, living publication. [Rice University]
  2. Becoming Digital: Writing About Media Change: Check out this course for help in learning how to communicate about media change. [MIT]
  3. Media in Transition: Take a look at a variety of changes in the media through this course. [MIT]
  4. Web 2.0: Follow current developments in user behavior, new technologies, and more in this course. [Weber State University]
  5. Impact of New Information Sources: Multimedia and Networks: Check out this course to see how new information sources are impacting multimedia and networks. [NYU]
  6. New Media Literacies: Follow this course, and you’ll get an in-depth look at literacy theory in media contexts. [MIT]

Social Marketing

These courses discuss social media and marketing together.

  1. Principles of Internet Marketing: In this resource, you’ll learn all about e-marketing principles and social media integration. [Innovation]
  2. Measuring Rich Media: How to Build, Measure, and Profit using RIA on Your Site: See how using rich Internet applications and social media can pay off. [Omniture]
  3. Marketing Strategy: This course will help you devise a marketing strategy for social media and beyond. [MIT]
  4. Brand Identity and Strategy: In this course, you’ll learn about creating a strong brand identity through social media and more. [Columbia]
  5. Listening to the Customer: This important part of marketing is especially useful in social media interaction. [MIT]
  6. Social Marketing: Get an overview of what social marketing is through this course. [York University]
  7. Tips for Expanding Your Online Presence: This course explains how musicians can use Internet tools, including social media, to improve their presence. [Berklee Shares]
  8. Next Generation Social Marketing: In this course, you’ll learn how to use social media for marketing. [Social Marketing University]
  9. Viral Marketing Theory: Check out this course to learn about viral strategies and buzz marketing. [Emakina]


Here, you’ll see how social media can be put to work for education.

  1. Blogs, Wikis, New Media for Learning: This course discusses using social media as a learning tool. [Utah State University]
  2. Media Education and the Marketplace: Check out this course to see the rise of media technology in education and beyond. [MIT]
  3. New Media, Social Media, and Learning: In this course, you’ll see new media and social media tools used for learning. [OpenContent]
  4. Digital Learners: How Are They Expanding the Horizon of Learning?: Find out how young learners use social media and more to push the envelope of education. [Connexions]
  5. Improving Literacy Through Communication Experiences: Through this course, you’ll see how communication and interaction through social media and more can help with literacy. [Connexions]


See culture’s influence on social media, and social media’s influence on culture, with the help of these courses.

  1. Media in Cultural Context: In this course, you’ll learn how culture influences media. [MIT]
  2. The Celebrity in the Text: Check out this unit to learn about the consequence of consuming cultural media. [The Open University]
  3. Civil Society, Social Capital, and the State in Comparative Perspective: Learn about the concepts of social capital and civil society through this course. [MIT]
  4. Digital Anthropology: Check out this course to consider the artifacts of digital interaction and social media. [MIT]
  5. Foundations of American Cyberculture: This course will help you better understand how culture works online. [Berkeley]
  6. Brains and Culture: Check out this course to see the brain as a cultural object in contemporary media. [MIT]
  7. Language, Culture, and Communication: From this course, students will gain knowledge about the way language, culture, and communication interrelate. [University of Texas]


Through these courses, you’ll learn more about the interaction in social media.

  1. Social Psychology: This course explores human behavior in groups. [MIT]
  2. The Social in Social Science: Take a look at social scientific studies in this course. [The Open University]
  3. Communicating in Cyberspace: This course discusses the various forms of digital communication available online. [MIT]
  4. Communication Technology and Policy: In this course, you’ll see the roles played by communication technologies in society, as well as challenges created by social media. [University of Southern Queensland]
  5. Web 2.0: Risks for STI/HIV: In this lecture, you’ll learn about the risks and prevention of sexually transmitted illnesses as they relate to social networking and Internet dating sites. [Johns Hopkins]
  6. Techno-Identity: Check out this course to explore the concept of technological perception of self. [MIT]
  7. Social Networking: You’ll learn about the origins of social media and how to use social media for networking through this course. [xTrain]
  8. Managing Relationships: In this course, you’ll learn all about organizational relationships. [The Open University]
  9. Social Visualization: Learn how to visualize and understand the social crowds gathering online with the help of this course. [MIT]
  10. Dynamics of Social Systems: This collection offers ideas of science and engineering that can be applied to social systems. [Rice University]
  11. Social Psychology: Benjamin Karney’s course offers insight into the psychology of social interaction and groups. [UCLA]
  12. Planning, Communications, and Digital Media: Find out how social media, digital visualization, and more can be used for planning and communications. [MIT]
  13. Diversity and Difference in Communication: Through this course, you’ll learn all about interpersonal communication. [The Open University]
  14. Social Psychology: This course will help you better understand the way social psychology works. [Berkeley]
  15. Language and Mind: Check out this course to see how human language and interaction influences our minds. [MIT]
  16. Experiences in Interactive Art: Learn how to create art through interaction with the help of this course. [MIT]

Developing Social Media

Using these courses, you’ll be able to learn about creating social media.

  1. Designing Sociable Media: This course looks at creating social media, analyzing interaction and social cues. [MIT]
  2. The Future of the Internet: Check out this collection of lectures to find out what the future holds for the Internet. [Stanford]
  3. Human-Computer Interaction: Follow this course, and you’ll learn more about designing for interaction with users. [Central Queensland University]
  4. Software Engineering for Web Applications: With the help of this course, you can learn more about designing social media web applications. [Ars Digita University]
  5. Interactive Media Production: Through this course, you’ll see how to create a variety of interactive multimedia applications. [Utah State University]
  6. Common Sense Reasoning for Interactive Applications: This course will help you learn to use common sense knowledge when creating interactive applications. [MIT]
  7. Relational Machines: In this course, you can learn how to better design for interaction. [MIT]
  8. Interrogative Design Workshop: Learn about creating design that requires interaction from this course. [MIT]
  9. Signals, Systems, and Information for Media Technology: Check out this course to learn more about the cues often found in media technology. [MIT]

This year, National Library Week is April 12-18. It offers students, teachers, public, government and academic librarians, and anyone who loves to read a wonderful opportunity to learn about the new trends in information sharing, digital collections and reference tools that have changed the way we use libraries. This list of 100 websites will teach you about National Library Week, give you ideas of how and why to get your kids or students interested in reading and libraries, and remind you to say thanks to your local librarian.

Library Week News and Events

Find out what’s on tap for this year’s NLW from these sites.

  1. National Library Week: The ALA’s official National Library Week page has press releases, dates, and more.
  2. Celebrate Library Week: Education World has a list of lesson plans, projects and more to celebrate National Library Week in your classroom.
  3. Motivational Ideas for Children’s Book Week and National Library Week: James Madison University suggests field trips, authors projects, a favorite book project and bulletin board designs for NLW.
  4. National Library Week/School Library Month Fact Sheet: Find out the history of NLW here.
  5. Library Spot National Library Week: Discover how different libraries across the country celebrate NLW.
  6. ALA Store: Shop the American Library Association Store for author posters, posters with characters, CD products and more.
  7. ALA Calendar of Events: Track the ALA calendar for special events celebrating National Library Week.
  8. National Library Week: Discover slogans for each National Library Week campaign since 1958.
  9. National Library Workers Day: Remember to thank your librarians and library professionals on this special day.
  10. National Library Week–a Philatelic Tribute: The Library History Buff displays images of the library’s different slogans that appeared on meter stamps, dating back to 1958.

Librarian and Library Blogs

Get a more inside look into the lives of librarians and the goings-on of library professionals here.

  1. ALA Blogs: Check out the blogs on the ALA website for library news and special events.
  2. The Shifted Librarian: Jenny blogs about the shift in the ways libraries retrieve and share information. Learn about new library technologies and more.
  3. Science Library Pad: Find out what it’s like to research in and run a science library. You’ll learn about new technological systems and more.
  4. @ the Library: Rhonda Gonzales of the CSU – Pueblo Library keeps library and reading enthusiasts connected through local news stories, library 2.0 updates, search help and more.
  5. The Kept-Up Academic Librarian: College students, deans, college librarians, professors and those who use academic libraries will learn how to keep their research centers cutting-edge when they read this blog.
  6. DRT Library Weblog: The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo share documents from Texas history and give you a peek inside the goings-on at a history and preservation library.
  7. ACRLog: The Association of College and Research Libraries maintains this blog.
  8. hangingtogether: This blog connects staff at libraries, archives and museums to "talk about the intersections [they] see happening between these three different types of institutions."
  9. This isn’t a library blog, but it’s kind of like an open project for readers and library lovers. Discover new books and authors or share your favorites as a contributor.
  10. Smithsonian Libraries: The Smithsonian Institution Libraries maintain this blog as an avenue to share messages from the director, highlight special books and exhibitions, share a Book of the Week and more.
  11. Librarian In Black: Techie librarians get together on this blog.
  12. Rambling Librarian: This librarian from Singapore blogs about reading, library news and more.
  13. Hip Librarians Book Blog: Find out which books librarians are loving or loathing here.
  14. A Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette: This "polite librarian" knows just how to assign titles to posts.
  15. Annoyed Librarian: Annoyed Librarian now blogs for Read posts like "Telling off the Patrons" and "Children are Worth It" for news stories and library humor.

Find a Library

These sites will connect you to your nearest library.

  1. Search for Public Libraries: The National Center for Education Statistics helps you search for bookmobiles, central libraries, books-by-mail and more.
  2. Kids’ Zone: Kids can search for libraries in their neighborhood with this tool.
  3. WorldCat: This highly effective library tool lets you search 1.2 billion items for resources in your library.
  4. Search presidential libraries, college libraries, law libraries, state and public libraries and more.
  5. Find an OCLC Library: Search by institution name, state, zip code, country or symbol to locate a nearby OCLC library.

Library 2.0

Librarians are making huge progress in terms of adding new, cutting edge technologies to their libraries and revolutionizing the way we search for and obtain information. From social media networks that connect readers and librarians, to guides that explain the newest library tools and systems, check out this list for all things library 2.0.

  1. Access My Library: This search page connects the public to quality resources found in local libraries.
  2. LibGuides Librarian: This Facebook app lets librarians publish guides for their friends and followers.
  3. TeacherLibrarianNing: This is a community site for teacher-librarians to share events, join groups and more.
  4. BookJetty: Use this online platform to organize titles and book lists, find Amazon reviews and shopping information, check for books in over 300 libraries, and meet new friends.
  5. GuruLib: Here you can "organize your home library" by cataloging books and other media, sharing reviews and more.
  6. GoodReads: GoodReads is a social media site for book lovers and librarians to share their favorite books, meet friends, join groups and discover new material.
  7. Google for Librarians: Tips, Tools and Resources for Power Searching: Get more cutting edge search tips here.
  8. ConnectviaBooks: On this site, you can talk about your favorite books, share book lists, search for librarians and experts on a particular subject, and more.
  9. aNobii: aNobii is another social media site for book lovers who want to evangelize for their favorite books.
  10. Library 2.0 Ning: Check out this community for library 2.0 updates, news and more.
  11. Library 2.0: Wikipedia’s Library 2.0 page points out the arguments for and against more technologically advanced libraries.
  12. ALA Tech Source Online: The American Library Association’s TechSource page grants you access to Library Technology Reports.
  13. Library Thing: This network of 500,000 members lets you catalog books from The Library of Congress and other libraries.

Government Resources

These government resources provide research help, information on literacy and education, and more.

  1. U.S. Government Printing Office: On this website, you can locate federal depository libraries, shop the U.S. government online bookstore, learn about the federal government (from Ben Franklin), and more.
  2. National Center for Education Statistics: Get news reports and studies on literacy, graduation rates, and more. Plus, you can find college libraries, public libraries and other resources.
  3. Library of Congress: The Library of Congress is the ultimate resource for teachers, students, researchers and anyone wanting to learn about American art, history and culture.
  4. That All May Read…: This is the site for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
  5. Government and Public Libraries: lists all the national, federal agency and local libraries here, plus online library databases and other resources.

Public Libraries

From great public libraries online to links that celebrate public libraries, turn to these sites.

  1. New York Public Library: This amazing website features digital collections, a homework help page, a kids’ page, library shop and more.
  2. Internet Public Library: Search by subject, reference or special collections to access resources online.
  3. California Public Libraries: Get links to all the public libraries in the state of California here.
  4. USA Public Libraries: Search for public libraries in the U.S. by region.
  5. Public Libraries Association: Check this site for PLA news, advocacy and campaigns information, conferences, jobs and more.
  6. Boston Public Library: The BPL’s online collections feature sound archives, historic silent films, photographs and an image database, the John Adams Library collections, and more.

Academic Libraries

These distinguished academic libraries have public-friendly access.

  1. USA Academic Libraries: Find links to academic libraries around the country.
  2. Yale University Library Digital Collections: View images from the Classics Department, Rare Book and Manuscript Library and more online.
  3. Tarlton Law Library: The U.T. Tarlton Law Library is open to the public for online research.

Presidential Libraries

Learn more about U.S. history and the lives of presidents like JFK and LBJ here.

  1. National Archives Presidential Libraries: Learn about the function and purpose of presidential libraries here, as well as research projects and visiting information.
  2. LBJ Library and Museum: When you visit this library, you can access recordings of LBJ’s telephone conversations with Kissinger, Jackie Kennedy and more.
  3. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: Even online visitors can view the photograph archives, listen to audio recordings and news stories, and more.
  4. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum: View the JFK in History Archives, Hemingway Archive, White House Diary and more.
  5. George Bush Presidential Library and Museum: Search public papers, view the China Documents from Bush’s presidency, and download National Security Directives here.

Books by Mail and Lending Drives

Learn how you can help the disadvantaged get books here.

  1. Dewey Donation System: Donate books to libraries in need through this system.
  2. BookSwim: This online book rental service lets you check out textbooks and more.
  3. Book Drives Inc: Learn how to set up a book drive when you visit this site.
  4. Worldwide Book Drive: This organization is on a mission to improve literacy worldwide. Donate books through the book drives every year.

Library Tips and Guides

Ever wanted to learn more about using your library? Turn to these guides for help.

  1. 100 Free Library 2.0 Webinars and Tutorials: Check out this extensive list of free library guides and library techie tips.
  2. Library Technology Guides: Here you can access "key resources in the field of library automation."
  3. How to Use the Library: Introduce your kids to the Dewey Decimal System, catalog searches and more.
  4. Teaching Children to Use Their Public Library: This guide from Laura Bush is actually a good refresher for anyone who hasn’t been to the public library in a while.

Library Videos

These informative and funny tributes celebrates librarians and their work.

  1. National Library Week: Reference Desk: This video from 2008 is still a funny look at how people use librarians.
  2. Julie Andrews Public Library PSA: Watch Julie Andrew’s PSA celebrating last year’s NLW.
  3. A Librarian’s 2.0 Manifesto: In this slightly cheesy video, you’ll read the manifesto for librarians committed to taking their patrons into the future of information sharing.
  4. A YouTube Salute to Librarians: This silly video features a montage of YouTube videos devoted to librarians.
  5. The Librarians of Second Life: Get inspired to join the Second Life Library or start your own virtual library world.

Librarian Careers

After learning so much about libraries and librarians, you might want to become one. Here are resources describing the profession.

  1. How to become a librarian: The Library Journal’s guide explains the duties of a librarian and the different types of librarians.
  2. Become a Librarian!: Listen to stories from real life librarians, look up school programs and more.
  3. Librarians: The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook has all kinds of statistics, salary information and educational requirements for librarians.
  4. Online Degree Programs in Library Science: Get an overview of this profession and search for academic programs here.
  5. Library Journal Job Board: Find jobs as library directors, county librarians, school librarians and more.
  6. Why be a librarian in the 21st century?: Rutgers explains how librarians are still cutting edge, necessary professionals. Get stories about real-life librarians, discover famous librarians and more.


Subscribe to these podcasts to keep up with library trends and news.

  1. LibeCast: Cornell University Library’s LibeCast has audio recordings of special presentations and more.
  2. National Library of Medicine Director’s Comments: Listen to updates and information from NLM Director Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D. on alcohol screening, family health, liver transplants and more.
  3. Tisch Talks: Tufts’ Tisch Library has a podcast that features library news as well as interviews with visiting authors and more.
  4. LibVibe: Get library-related news from this podcast.

More Library Websites and Networks

From library history to Children’s Book Week, these websites and networks love libraries.

  1. I Love Libraries: This network supports libraries and encourages the public to support the Library Services and Technology Act.
  2. American Libraries Online: This ALA site has a forum, special videos, news reports and more.
  3. The Library History Buff: Larry T. Nix’s site is devoted to library history facts, collecting library memorabilia, and uncovering postal artifacts–like stamp images–that relate to libraries.
  4. Progressive Librarians Guild: Join this forum if you’re interested in taking libraries and literacy campaigns into the future in a "radical" way.
  5. The Children’s Book Council: Get information about Children’s Book Week, find reading lists for kids, and more.
  6. Books Well Read: Encourage your students or patrons to keep a book journal online.
  7. This cataloging and community site is a great way for librarians to meet other book lovers and share their favorites.
  8. Survivor: The History of the Library: Learn about ancient libraries and The Golden Age of libraries here.
  9. The Library Company: Get a history of Benjamin Franklin and the first American libraries from this website.
  10. Questia: Questia is a popular, useful online library resource that lets you search by topic, look up books, purchase collections for your classroom, and more.
  11. EPA National Library Network: Use this library to look up environmental issues and publications.
  12. Education and Library Networks Coalition: This network is devoted to bringing the "information revolution" to underprivileged schools and rural communities.
  13. Progressive Archivists: Learn more about archiving when you eavesdrop on the discussions here.
  14. Reader2: This social book list lets you share your favorite titles as well as titles you’re looking forward to reading. You can also find friends and track lists via RSS.
  15. Celebrate reading when you share your love of books with over 700,000 people from around the world.

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