Monday, August 8, 2011

Metro-licious!

Named after a dynamic and accomplished librarian to commemorate her impressive career here, the Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and Archives is a comprehensive transit operator-owned library featuring resources related to transportation issues and history. It serves the employees of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, governments, research institutions, and the general public.


Ta-da! I'm definitely in the right place.

A bright and airy lobby welcomes each visitor with a selection of relevant Web 2.0 resources, encouraging them to directly interact with the library and it's collections. My personal favorite is their Flickr photostream featuring a collection of thousands of historical images that is searchable by keyword, while each image is accompanied by a map pinpointing it's location. Another favorite is their Scribd shelves which can be searched for pages of government documents related to transportation. Documents can then be downloaded, printed, or shared via social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter.


Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook - oh my!

Through the lobby is the main reference room. Past the large interactive Metro Map are two decorative bookshelves (no readable books here!): one bookshelf links to the library's catalog of 45,000 books & reports and 150 periodical titles, and the other bookshelf links to TLCat, the union catalog of transportation libraries.


...dreaming of taking a trip on the Metro...

To the rear of the building is the Historical Photo Archive, a small glass room decorated with framed photos of horse drawn streetcars and cable cars from the late 1800s, buses from all eras, and other fascinating images. Not on display are other media items in their RL collection including films, tapes, and videotapes, a few of which can be seen on their YouTube channel.


...somewhere off camera I'm standing transfixed by the Metro's rich history...

Public accessibility and an eagerness to serve the "worldwide community" is emphasized on the library's website and this mission is clearly articulated through the many access points throughout it's Second Life counterpart. For a closer look at this amazing library, visit inworld: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Eduisland%203/31/84/23

~'til our next adventure,
Zoe

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