Librarians

Melvil Dewey, the Weirdo Father of Librarianship

From Bitch Magazine:
It's no secret that most librarians are women (according to 2002 US Statistical Abstract figures, 82% of librarians in the US are women). But not everyone knows the story behind female librarianship in the states. Today we'll take a look at Melvil Dewey, who is accredited with having made library science such a popular career for women.

Melvil Dewey, creator of the Dewey Decimal System (as well as co-founder of the American Library Journal and the American Library Association), is often praised for having created a field of jobs for women in the US. In 1883, Dewey was hired as the head librarian at Columbia College (which later turned into Columbia University), and he soon convinced the trustees to let him open a library school. At the time, Columbia College only allowed women into a special women's college, so Dewey's plans to invite women to join the library school were controversial. His first class was comprised of 20 people, 17 of whom were women. While many have focused on Dewey's success in educating and opening up jobs for women, attention is rarely paid to why he felt women would make great librarians. Spoiler alert: he held some pretty sexist beliefs.

In The Feminization of Libraranship, Tawny Sverdlin asks whether Dewey's opening up the library school for women was actually the achievement that it seems:

The opportunity for women to enter library school at Columbia College...proved to be a double-edged sword in terms of women's opportunity for advancement. Melvil Dewey championed women as librarians and library school educators but placed caps on their achievement in terms of gender straight away. According to Dewey's blatant double standard, women had to demonstrate truly remarkable ability or be relegated to perpetual underling status. -- Read More

A New Library for Bethlehem NH

From New Hampshire Public Radio. A sweet story of a sister, a brother and a mystery donation.

A Librarian Who Dog-Ears (but Her Mom Disapproved)

By humorist & librarian Roz Warren.

Some people handle books so tenderly that even after they’ve read one cover to cover, it looks untouched. They turn each page carefully, and always use bookmarks. They refrain from cracking the spine. They never eat as they read, so the pages aren’t dotted with red sauce or spotted with chocolate. And they wouldn’t dream of leaving a book lying around where their Yorkie-poo (or toddler) might nibble the corners.

I am not like that.

When I read a book, I move right in and make myself at home. I dog-ear pages, underline, highlight and make marginal notes. I’ll use the blank pages to make shopping lists or jot down phone numbers. At the ballpark, I’ve been known to use that space to list the opening line-ups of both teams. By the time I’m through reading a book, you can definitely tell that I’ve been there.

Librarian: 8th Least Stressful Job of 2014!

http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2014/01/07/10-most-and-least-stressful-jobs-2014/
Least stressful jobs:

1. Audiologist
Stress Score: 3.35

2. Hair Stylist
Stress Score: 5.41

3. Jeweler
Stress Score: 7.26
...

Peter Scott, Creator of Hytel-net and Publishers Catalogs, Dead at 66

According to a posting by family members on Peter's facebook page, Peter died calmly in his sleep at St. Paul's Hospital, Palliative Care Unit in Saskatoon on December 30.

He was an important figure in information and library science, beloved by many.

Here are some biographical bits:

Peter Scott was born February 14, 1947, in Walthamstow UK and moved to Canada in 1976. He was the Internet Projects Manager in the University of Saskatchewan Library in Saskatoon. Along with another Saskatoon librarian, Darlene Fichter he served as the editor and content developer for many online directories.

He was the creator of HYTELNET (1991), the first electronic browser for Internet resources, developed from 1990. In his 1991 video, Peter demonstrates a later version of HyTelnet, while an archive lists the resources available through the service. Peter wrote a blog, Peter Scott's Library Blog for Credo Reference. Other web creations are: Twitter Compendium, RSS Compendium, Weblogs Compendium, allrecordlabels.com, Blogging The Blues, Peter Scott's Library Blog, Libdex - (Sold in 2005) and Publishers' Catalogues . This reporter (birdie) first met Peter (via internet) when I asked him to add my company to the listing thirteen years ago. In the interim, we remained good virtual friends.

He was also also a blues singer and harmonica player, and had the distinction of winning a Juno Award for having his song "TV Preacher" on the album "Saturday Night Blues" which won "Best Roots and Traditional Music Album" in 1992.

A School Librarian Found The First Ransom Note in American History

The Story Behind the First Ransom Note in American History

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/2013/12/the-story-behind-the-first-ransom-note-in-am...

One day last March, Bridget Flynn, a school librarian who lives in Philadelphia, was searching for an old family drawing to print on the invitations to her daughter Rebecca’s bridal shower. As she and Rebecca rummaged through the several generations of family artifacts—letters, photographs, an envelope of hair cuttings—she keeps in plastic bins in her basement, they found a stack of small envelopes tied together with a black shoelace.

“Oh, honey, these are love letters,” Flynn said...

Dead-End Job: Librarian - Alternative Career: Nutritionist

Five dead-end jobs, and how to escape them

Why Avoid It: Nolin says that this is a dying occupation simply because information now is so readily devoured using technology. Plus, she says that federal funding for new libraries is basically non-existent, and job growth is expected to follow suit.

Why Nutritionist A Better Choice: "With our aging and waist-expanding population, the number of people who visit a nutritionist to help address health issues is exploding," says Nolin.

Via KGS

Huge Thefts from Girolamini Library with a Librarian in the Plot

Big story from Naples Italy via The New York Times. Here's the perp, Marino Massimo De Caro, now on trial.

It was one of the most dramatic thefts ever to hit the rare-book world, the disappearance of thousands of volumes — including centuries-old editions of Aristotle, Descartes, Galileo and Machiavelli — from the Baroque-era Girolamini Library in Naples. Now, prosecutors at a trial here are trying to show how such a wholesale violation of Western cultural patrimony could have taken place.

The very man charged with protecting these treasures, Marino Massimo De Caro, a politically connected former director of the library, is accused of being at the center of a network of middlemen, book dealers and possibly crooked conservators — all part of what prosecutors say is a sometimes corrupt market for rare books in which much is spent and few questions are asked. Apart from Mr. De Caro, 13 others are charged, including a priest.

Some interesting backstory on the theft here and and here from the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

A Mild-Mannered Librarian on the Today Show

Writer and Philadelphia area librarian Roz Warren writes about her experience as a guest on the Today Show in the Huffington Post. She was invited to appear after writing an essay about being self-accepting wearing a bathing suit. Warren is 58.

Here's the original post: At Ease With a Body Fighting Gravity from the NY Times Booming.

Turning A Page Inside A Rural One-Room Library

Rachel Reynolds Luster took over this branch four months ago with the goal of creating a learning hub. She calls herself a curator, not just a librarian.

Her first task? Filtering out some of the favorites of the previous librarian.

"It's been interesting working this transition with her," Luster says. "She was quite upset that the cooking magazines were gone. But we recycled them all, and we kept some holiday cookie editions."

Full piece

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