Thursday, February 21, 2008

Why I love my job or some musings on the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center

Most days I write blog posts telling you about new sources of government information or reports. But today, I would like to beg your indulgence while I talk a little about what I love about being a documents librarian. Last week, I went to the National Air and Space Museums Steven Udvar-Hazy Museum. Now for those of you lucky enough to have been there this is the museum with the Space Shuttle Enterprise (which I still swear looks like it is made out of really big Legos), Enola Gay, and Blackbird.

Now what does all of this have to do with my love of being a documents librarian? Well, it was the exhibit on materials the pilots in World War II took with them on the flights. There, in glass cases, wrapped in mylar were many of the books we have sitting on the shelves in the Government Publications Library waiting for you to check them out. There was a guide to Italian phrases (check out the record here) and a short guide to Iraq (check out the record here).

This means that as a documents librarian not only do I get to play around with and use tons of web sites (and then tell you all about 'em), I also get to read and check out to you documents that the Smithsonian has locked up. Want to see some of this from the comfort of your chair? Northwestern's Government Documents Department has digitized their World War II poster collection.

Interested in more information on space? Check out the library's guide.

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