Thursday, December 18, 2008

Grant-Supported Projects Build Digital Resources for Learning, Teaching, and Research

The Ball State University Libraries have received several Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) digitization grants over the past five years to develop digital resources to support the academic pursuits of Ball State students and faculty. These grants have made it possible for the Libraries to provide 24/7 access to rich research materials for the citizens of Muncie, the state of Indiana, and scholars around the world.

As a result of the current LSTA digitization grant, the University Libraries have acquired a BookDrive DIY scanner that is being used to digitize deteriorating minute books of women’s organizations and diaries of local women as part of the Middletown Women’s History Digital Collection project.

This high performance book scanning platform allows personnel to scan the fragile pages of the volumes in a safe manner that protects the historical documents and provides a high quality digital image.

The scanner is like a double copy stand with two digital cameras set at 90 degree angles so that books can be photographed in a cradle rather than laid flat like they would be with a traditional flatbed scanner. This “cradling” protects the spines of fragile books by putting less stress on them.

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At 4:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

[b]Adjustable Beds For Ultimate Sleeping Comfort [/b]

The main difference between adjustable beds and normal beds is that the angle of inclination for the head and/or foot of the head can be adjusted such that a person can sleep in other than a horizontal position on the mattress. These can be electric beds where small motors are used to drive gears to move portions of the bed higher or lower, according to the comfort of the sleeping person. Some come with remote controls to allow bed adjustments without the need to climb out of bed, which is very useful for recuperating patients at home or in hospitals (almost all beds there are adjustable). There are also cheaper adjustable models where there is only a manual crank handle to turn and change the angle of the bed. Together with adjustable mattresses, it is a long term solution for people with a variety of chronic health problems especially poor circulation, muscular problems, mobility difficulties and arthritis. These patients have problems getting restorative sleep on normal flat mattresses because they cannot target support specific pressure points on the body.

Today, many patients choose to recuperate at home and thus adjustable beds are no longer only an apparatus of the healthcare field. In fact, remote controllable beds with adjustable sleeping positions are considered very high end luxury items in the bedding industry and the flagship beds often come with very sophisticated multi-chamber air mattresses to support and relieve the body from various stress and pain. Besides controlling the angle of bed, they can also control the support firmness and air pressure at different portions of the bed for a very finely customizable "sleeping on air" solution. Some luxury adjustable beds are even built with massaging and heater units that can be controlled remotely.

Do not think that adjustable beds are only meant for single patients. They also come in double, queen or king size beds. A split queen size bed and mattress have separate movable parts to allow a couple to select different sleeping angles while lying on the same bed.

Adjustable mattresses and beds are useful for people that require a more comfortable sleep that cannot be offered adequately by normal mattresses. The simple change in sleeping angle can help a lot with circulatory problems and other bone and joint ailments that affects the quality of living. Furthermore, they often face the need to readjust the sleeping angle several times in the night in order to ease the discomfort and stress on parts of the body. A remote controlled bed comes in handy here whereby they can do the adjustment right in bed and there is no need to ask for help from other family members.

These high tech beds can be used with most memory foam and latex mattresses as these can be bent without causing internal damage. Normal spring coil mattresses are not so suitable because they are designed to be laid completely flat or the individual pocket springs may start meshing against each other. If you need to use a spring mattress, there are some specially designed pocket springs that can be laid onto of adjustable beds.

If you intend to buy an adjustable bed for yourself or for your aging parents, spend more time looking at the different models available and decide what kind of features are necessary and most important for your needs. These are not cheap bed appliances and if you do not need a bed with all features combined, you can save quite a lot and spend the money on an extended on-site warranty especially if you are buying an electric adjustable bed or one that comes with remote control.

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