Library Catalog Authentication Issue

There is an issue with authenticating to the traditional Library Catalog. The vendor, Library Technology, and ITS are working on it. There may be service disruptions to the patron functions such as logging in and renewing books. This interruption may also impact the Find It! library account. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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Visit the English Countryside

Season 5 of Downton Abbey premiered Sunday, January 4th – a welcome return for the many devotees of this elegant historical PBS drama series.  Join Binghamton University Libraries’ Special Collections in a delightfully unexpected glimpse into the past, and future, of the filming site, Highclere Castle, while learning more about our campus ties with its former mistress, Tilly Losch, the Countess of Carnarvon.

tilly xmas card2

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Ask a Scientist/Subject Librarian: THIS IS HOW WE ROLL

How do roller coasters make loops and corkscrews? How does the chain work on a roller coaster? 

The following article appeared in the December 28, 2014 edition of the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin:

Ask a Scientist

Asked by:  Nicholas Catarella

School: Glenwood Elementary School, Vestal
Grade: 1
Teacher: Miss Brigham
Hobbies/Interests: Riding roller coasters and water slides, playing hockey
Career Interest: Engineer that designs roller coasters

New faculty and staff headshots taken at the Anderson Center for

 Answered by:  Lee A. Cummings

Subject Librarian for Engineering, Binghamton University
Research area: Information literacy, library collections and Reference Services 
Hobbies/Interests: Reading, Pop Culture, Martial Arts 

If you’ve been to Disneyland, Busch Gardens or a Six Flags theme park (or even if you’ve just seen their commercials on TV), then you know how impressive roller coasters can be. They can be hundreds of feet tall, taller even than the tallest building in downtown Binghamton. And they can reach speeds well over 100 miles per hour. They may seem scary, but they are very safe and can be lots of fun.

Roller coasters make a lot of different motions. They drop, and turn, and lift, and loop. The motions of most roller coasters is dependent almost entirely on gravity, the force that gives us weight and allows things to stay firmly planted on the ground and not float off into space. In order to take advantage of gravitational forces, a train of roller coaster cars must first reach an appropriate height to build up the right amount of potential energy, or “stored-up” energy. This is accomplished by using a chain mechanism to lift the train to the top of the first hill. A motor drives a rolling chain called a “chain lift”, which looks like a lot like a giant bicycle chain, with many links and connections. The chain runs beneath the first hill in a roller coaster, and under each car in the train is a piece of metal called a “chain dog.” The chain dog catches onto the chain lift, and the mechanical motion pulls the train up to the top of the hill, where the chain dogs finally let go, allowing the train to rush down the first hill.

Once the train makes it down the first hill, its momentum – the energy built up from speeding down the first hill – keeps it moving forward. The train is able to make loops and corkscrews thanks to this momentum. Loops and corkscrews on a roller coaster are designed by engineers as part of the entire construction of the track. Roller coaster tracks are built in sections (straight and curved), and then welded and bolted into one long track at the amusement park. Safety wheels attached to each of the cars keep them on the track as they make loops. The train’s momentum carries it through the entire loop, or series of loops and corkscrews. And centripetal force, the force that keeps objects moving in a circular path, keeps the riders pressed safely into their seats during the loop. Of course, safety restraints, like belts and over-shoulder bars, are there to provide extra support for every rider.

After all of the drops and loops in a roller coaster are made, a section of track much lower than the first drop helps the train of cars to slow down. The roller coaster operators then use brakes to bring the ride to a stop.


Ask a Scientist runs on Sundays. Questions are answered by faculty at Binghamton University. Teachers in the Greater Binghamton area who wish to participate in the program are asked to write to Ask a Scientist, c/o Binghamton University, Office of Communications and Marketing, PO Box 6000, Binghamton, N.Y. 13902-6000, or e-mail To submit a question, download the submission form (.pdf, 442kb).


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Library Catalog Downtime

Starting the morning of Sunday, December 21, the Libraries’ Catalog will be unavailable due to a systems upgrade and migration until Saturday, December 27. Continue reading

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AR Magic Book Museum Debut!


AR Magic Book in exhibit at the University Art Museum

Our AR Magic Book makes its first public display at the Binghamton University Art Museum! As part of the museum exhibition, “Living Objects: Makers, Markets, Museum“, the AR Magic Book is used to showcase three journals from Dr. Michael Horowitz, whose collection of African art is on loan for this exhibition.

For the exhibit installation, we made the book specifically to the size of the original journals, with the glyph codes directly printed on the paper. The book was placed on a lectern attached to the wall. The projector was mounted high above on the wall, with the little camera right by the book to read the codes. We used a laptop to run the program and that was nicely hidden away at the counter desk. Considering the equipment needed, the whole setup was quite unobtrusive for the viewer.


Juan previewing the AR Magic Book installation


Projection of Dr. Michael Horowitz’s journals on the AR Magic Book

Special thanks to Dr. Pamela Smart, professor of Anthropology and Art History, and Diane Butler, University Art Museum director, for the opportunity to have the AR Magic Book served its purpose. Dr. Smart led her “Museums and the Art of Exhibitions” class in curating this African art exhibit. We were thrilled that she immediately saw the potential of where the AR Magic Book can be used for museums and exhibitions, particularly for displaying rare books and special collections materials that are not typically accessible to the general public.


Projection of Dr. Michael Horowitz’s journals on the AR Magic Book


Projection of Dr. Michael Horowitz’s journals on the AR Magic Book

The exhibit is located in the lower level galleries of the Binghamton University Museum. It is on display from December 11, 2014 to March 14, 2015.

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De-Stress December in the Libraries


Student with booksIn support of De-Stress December, the Libraries offer hardworking students some well-deserved respite from, ironically…books!  Stop by and reenergize.

Monday, December 15th  

  • Chair Massages (3-4pm), Bartle Library, 2nd Floor Mezzanine
  • Snacks & Coffee (8-10pm), Tombs Area outside of Bartle Library

Tuesday, December 16th

  • Chair Massages (6-7pm), Bartle Library, 2nd Floor Mazzanine
  • Snacks & Coffee (8-10pm), Tombs area outside of Bartle Library

Wednesday, December 17th

  • 10-minute Yoga (3-5pm), Tombs Area, LN 1404
  • Therapy Dogs (7-9pm), Vending Area, under Tombs area outside of Bartle Library
  • Snacks & Coffee, (8-10-pm), Tombs area outside of Bartle Library

Event Contact:  Lisa Havtur at

 Be sure to visit the Dean-of-Students site for a full schedule of fun and rejuvenating activities:

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The Tilly Losch Collection: Downton Abbey as Seen Through the Archives

Annex - Losch, Tilly_01

Tilly Losch

Another installment of “An Occasional Series in Special Collections” will take place on Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 12:00 noon in the Huppe Room in Special Collections located in the Glenn Bartle Library.

In anticipation of the premier of Season 5 of the hit international series, Downton Abbey on January 4, 2015, Beth Kilmarx, Curator of Rare Books, will speak about the Tilly Losch Collection located in Special Collections. The title of her talk will be “The Tilly Losch Collection: Downton Abbey as See Through the Archives.”

This event is free and open to the public. Special Collections is located on the second floor of the Bartle Library. For more information, call (607) 777-4841.

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Phishing scam

There have been multiple reports about people receiving an e-mail similar to the one below that informs library users that their Illiad (Interlibrary Loan) account is expiring soon. This is not a legitimate e-mail from the Libraries or anyone else from the University. It is what is known as a Phishing scam. If you receive a similar message, please do not click on the link. If you already did, please change all of your Binghamton University passwords immediately. For more information about Phishing scams, see the web page ITS created that explains “What is Phishing?

From: []
On Behalf Of Jean Davis
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2014 2:00 PM
Subject: ILLiad Access

Dear User,

Your access to the ILLiad is expiring soon and it won’t be accessible
for you. You must reactivate your account in order to continue to have
access to this service. For this purpose, click the web address below
or copy and paste it into your web browser. After logging in, your
access is reactivated and you will be redirected to your ILLiad

If you are not able to login, please contact Jean Davis at for immediate assistance.


Jean Davis
Access Services Manager
Access & Delivery Services
Binghamton University Libraries

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The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair is Special Collections’ Featured Book for December 2014

s fair 3Binghamton University Special Collections has selected The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, as its featured book for December 2014.  Written by Bill Cotter and Bill Young, longtime members of the World’s Fair Collectors Society, the book captures the history of this event through vintage photographs.  The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair, called “the Billion-dollar Fair” lived up to its reputation.  It was the largest international exhibition ever built in the United States with more than one hundred fifty pavilions and exhibits spread over six hundred forty acres.

With the cold war in full swing, the fair offered visitors a refreshingly positive view of the future, mirroring the official theme: Peace through Understanding. Guests could travel back in time through a display of full-sized dinosaurs, or look into the future where underwater hotels and flying cars were commonplace. They could enjoy Walt Disney’s popular shows, or study actual spacecraft flow in orbit. More than fifty-one million guests visited the fair before it closed forever in 1965.

The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair is part of the Local History Collection.  To see the book visit Special Collections, located on the second floor of the Glenn G. Bartle Library off of the North Reading Room.  Special Collections is open to the public 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday.

Call number:  T786 1964.B1 C68 2004. The Local History Collection.

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Michael Kosowski ’16 speaks about his exhibit “Some of These People”: Marking the Other in Soviet Russia”


Michael Kosowski speaks about his exhibit “Some of These People” in the University Art Museum.

On Friday, November 21, 2014, Michael Kosowski welcomed BU Libraries staff members to his exhibit “Some of These People”: Marking the Other in Soviet Russia” on display in the University Art Museum.  The exhibit featured Soviet posters on loan from the Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections.

Michael spoke about creating and researching for the exhibit and the imagery and messages of propaganda  in Soviet posters.


Michael speaks about his exhibit with BU Library staff members (l-r) Kathryn Kowalczik, Jean Green, Anthony Tersmette, and Laura Evans.

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