Academic Libraries

On Facebook, Librarian Brings Two Students from the Early 1900s To Life

Facebook user “joe1915” writes wall posts that would be familiar to any college student these days: He stresses about tests, roots for his university’s football team, and shows off photos from campus dances.

But Joe McDonald isn’t an average smartphone-toting student. He died in 1971 — 33 years before Facebook arrived on the Web.

Donnelyn Curtis, the director of research collections and services at the University of Nevada at Reno, created Facebook profiles for Mr. McDonald and his wife, Leola Lewis, to give students a glimpse of university life during the couple’s college days. Ms. Lewis graduated in 1913, and Mr. McDonald earned his degree in mechanical engineering two years later.

With approval from Mr. McDonald’s granddaughter, Peggy McDonald, Ms. Curtis said she’s using archival material for a history project designed to appeal to a wider audience than the typical patrons of special collections.

“We’re just trying to help history come alive a little bit for students,” she said. At first, only extended family members bothered to “friend” with the pair’s profiles, but as the audience grew, Ms. Curtis said she had to find a humorous voice that would appeal to contemporary students who use Facebook every day.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education.

How Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Got His Name

Curious to know more about how Rudolph really went down in history? It's all in the pages of a long-overlooked scrapbook compiled by the story's author, Robert L. May, and housed at his alma mater, Dartmouth College.

May donated his handwritten first draft and illustrated mock-up to Dartmouth before his death at age 71 in 1976, and his family later added to what has become a large collection of Rudolph-related documents and merchandise, including a life-sized papier-mache reindeer that now stands among the stacks at the Rauner Special Collections Library. But May's scrapbook about the book's launch and success went unnoticed until last year, when Dartmouth archivist Peter Carini came across it while looking for something else.

"No one on staff currently knew we had it. I pulled it out and all the pieces started falling out. It was just a mess," Carini said.

The scrapbook, which has since been restored and catalogued, includes May's list of possible names for his story's title character – from Rodney and Rollo to Reginald and Romeo. There's a map showing how many books went to each state and letters of praise from adults and children alike.

The scrapbook also chronicles the massive marketing campaign Montgomery Ward launched to drum up newspaper coverage of the book giveaway and its efforts to promote it within the company. -- Read More

Howard facing lawsuit after librarian found guilty of sexual misconduct charges

Howard facing lawsuit after librarian found guilty of sexual misconduct charges
Five Howard University students have filed suit in federal court alleging that school officials did not do enough to protect them from an employee later convicted of sexual harassment and assault.

The students, all women, say that a librarian, their work-study supervisor at Howard University’s Founders Library, verbally and physically assaulted them from September 2010 to April 2011. The suit alleges that even though students complained about his conduct, nothing was done until D.C. police were notified.

Israeli pulp fiction collection distinguishes ASU Libraries

Israeli pulp fiction collection distinguishes ASU Libraries
Bright, lively illustrations splash across the covers of small, aged booklets that comprise the IsraPulp collection at Arizona State University. The collection is the sole compilation of Israeli pulp fiction in the United States and contains a wide variety of works. Many of these booklets, known as chapbooks and about the size of a DVD case, are several decades old and representative of popular magazine style publications printed on rough, delicate chip paper.

Playboy collection arouses interest at UWO

Playboy collection arouses interest at UWO
Despite any embarrassment I might feel, the fact is that Playboy -- the monthly men's periodical started in 1953 by Hugh Hefner -- can offer some fascinating insight into our changing times and culture.

"You have to remember it's not just centrefolds and pictures," says Marnie Harrington, a librarian with UWO's Faculty of Information and Media Studies who worked with the collection after it was donated to the Weldon Library by a private donor about three years ago.

The collection is stored in a "research consultation room" on Weldon's second floor.

Academic Libraries in Flux

Academic Libraries in Flux

Some campus libraries might be under pressure to cut costs, but as of 2010 academic libraries were spending more money than they were before the financial downturn that started in 2008, according to new data released Tuesday by the Education Department.

In the latest in a series of occasional surveys, the National Center for Education Statistics collected data from nearly 3,700 academic libraries, accounting for 86 percent of all libraries at two- and four-year institutions.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/12/14/education-department-releases-new-data-academi...

Emory student arrested in library

Emory student arrested in library

An Emory University was arrested last week after defending a homeless woman in the school’s library. Cellphone footage of his arrest has gone viral on the Internet.

What You Can Do To Support School Libraries In Crisis

Carl Harvey II writes in In today's Huffington Post:

As the leader of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and an educator, I am struck by the lack of support for school libraries from federal and local governments. Do decision makers fully realize how their lack of support will hinder the education of America's next generation? Due to the lack of funding for school libraries, students are at risk of not having some of the most critical 21st century skills needed to compete in the global marketplace.

There is a common misconception that technology replaces school libraries and school librarians. Rather, in reality the explosion of technology and information access makes having full-time access to a state certified school librarian and school library program even more critical for today's learners. There is an entire new skill set today's students will need as they enter the workplace, and school librarians are the leaders in helping teach these skills to students.

The Aesthetics of Libraries

There is a lot of talk of the threat that digital services like Amazon bring to the library industry in general (as this site's sub-title so slyly indicates). But one thing Amazon and online libraries in general cannot do is replicate the feel and aesthetics of a library (especially some of the big ones ).

I’m curious if there has been any push or attempt to market these aspects of libraries say in the tourist industry, in the same way that hard core baseball fans will visit all the great ballparks and general tourists love to visit cathedrals for the architecture.

Evaluating Research By the Numbers

Evaluating Research By the Numbers
"Last week I taught an information literacy class to a group of senior Chemistry students. We didn’t talk about databases or indexes, we talked about numbers. We talked about impact factors and h-indexes and alternative metrics, and the students loved it. Librarians have used these metrics for years in collection development, and have looked them up to help faculty with tenure and promotion packets. But many librarians don’t know where the numbers come from, or what some of the criticisms are."

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