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Showing posts from October, 2015

Cake with a clear conscience

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Everybody needs cake, but some in York are short of everyday food. Joanne Casey explains how Information Services have managed to balance these two facts.

On the last Friday of every month, staff from the Library, IT Services, and the Archives hold a Cake Day to raise money for charity. Any member of staff can nominate a cause to support, volunteers bake cakes, and equally selfless volunteers donate money to eat them. In the past, we've supported local, national, and international charities including Plan's Because I Am A Girl campaign, the Poppy Road Poppy Project, Macmillan, St Leonard's Hospice, and the Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

This time, we're supporting the York Foodbank, run by the Trussell Trust, and in a bit of a twist, we've encouraged people to bring along donations of food rather than (or as well as!) cash. The Foodbank provide lists of the items that they currently need to stock up on to fill food parcels for families and individuals in crisis; at this …

Treat yourself to a new dataset on World Statistics Day

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The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs has declared today, 20 October 2015, World Statistics Day, to advance their mission for “Better Statistics, Better Lives”.


You can explore their data by country or theme through the UNdata portal, and use their API to display your chosen data on a webpage or download to local storage for further processing. In addition to publishing National Accounts and Millennium Development Goals indicators, UN departments collect data on population, education, employment, environment, health, industry and trade.

Find links to UN data and other national and international collections of economic and social data on the Library’s E-Resources Guide.  For authoritative country profiles, you might like to try the Statesman’s Yearbook;  industry data and market reports are free-to-view and download with our institutional subscriptions to Mintel and Passport collections; and GIS data can be sourced from our Ordnance Survey, British Geological So…

A new book for Special Collections - the sad tale of Mary, the maid of the inn

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Sarah Griffin, Special Collections and York Minster Librarian, introduces the new addition to our unique collection of books printed in York.

One of the strengths of Special Collections is a wonderful selection of books printed in York. Many of these can be seen in the exhibition currently in the cases in the Harry Fairhurst corridor.
One of York’s best known printers was James Kendrew who had a shop on Colliergate at the beginning of the nineteenth century. He specialised in producing cheap books for children known as Chapbooks. Chapbooks were so called as they were distributed and sold by the Chapman, another name for a travelling salesman.
Kendrew was also responsible for printing books aimed more at the adult audience and last month one of these came up for sale in London. We were lucky enough to be able to buy it for our collection so here’s a first peek at our latest acquisition.


It’s a terribly sad story called Mary, the maid of the inn and is based on a poem written by Robert S…

Five reasons to consider buying a Chromebook as your next computer...

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Thinking about your next computer? Planning your Christmas list? David Barrett has some advice for you...

Almost everything I do at work makes use of Google tools - Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive
(containing docs, sheets, presentations), or is browser based (Jira, LucidChart, HipChat), so when my Windows laptop needed replacing I decided to give a Chromebook a go.

It's been nearly a year now and I don't regret that decision. In fact,
if you don't need to install and run specialist software as part of your job, I'd recommend doing the same.

Here are five reasons why:

Number 1: It does pretty much everything I need it to do
Pre-Chromebook, my use of Microsoft Office was dwindling. Using Excel to enter my working hours into a spreadsheet was the highlight. But now my timesheet is a Google sheet, so problem solved. Drive is a great way to collaborate on, share and store docs and sheets I'm working on. I've found it far more flexible than working off a shared drive…