I currently work at a small liberal arts college in the Midwestern USA where librarians are "embedded" in introductory courses and oversee the information literacy curriculum. Last week one of my colleagues informed me about a response from one of her students that I just have to pass along. The student's comment was that she couldn't find anything at the library about the Industrial Revolution , her other topic was .... wait for it .... Martin Luther and the Reformation. As Joe Friday is often quoted as uttering "Just the facts, ma'am"....
Catalog keyword search hits
Ok, I know that out-of-the-box library catalogs aren't as "innovative", user friendly (or forgiving) as Amazon, Google, and the like, but the difference between what the student claimed and what the "facts" illustrate is too wide a chasm to cross.
Comments like this make me think that we should have a library lock-in, perhaps overnight, and not let the student out until they find something. Heck, it might even become a succesful reality show. It wouldn't be as goofy as Silent Library but it might still be a goodie. Afterall, there could be worse fates.
Contrary to yesterday's story, it has been discovered that the damaged LGBT Books in Lamont Were Not a Result of Hate Crime, Dean Says
Upon an investigation by HUPD, it was revealed Monday morning that "our own library personnel" had accidentally spilled a bottle, containing what was reported to be urine, that had been found on the shelf, according to Hammonds. Harvard College Library plans to replace all 36 damaged books as soon as possible, she added.
The Harvard Crimson reports on a possible hate crime at Lamont Library.
The library staff members found an empty bottle next to the vandalized books that may have contained the urine, according to Harvard College Library spokeswoman Beth S. Brainard. The staff initially responded to the incident as a health hazard, quickly removing the bottle and relocating the damaged books to the Collections Conservation Lab on Level D of Widener Library.
Brainard said that the library staff assessed the value of the vandalized books before reporting the incident, accounting for the space of two weeks between the incident and the report to HUPD. The books—which Brainard estimated to be worth a few thousand dollars—will be discarded due to the severity of the damage.
Details on the Harvard U. Police Blotter.
New Haven, CT (AP) Christine O'Donnell's TV ad declaration "I'm not a witch" during her U.S. Senate campaign topped this year's best quotes, according to a Yale University librarian.
O'Donnell's quote is cited by Fred Shapiro, associate librarian at Yale Law School, who released his fifth annual list of the most notable quotations of the year. In the ad, O'Donnell was responding to reports of her revelations that she had dabbled in witchcraft years ago.
"It was such a remarkable unconventional quote to be a part of the political discourse," Shapiro said.
The quote by O'Donnell, a tea party favorite running in Delaware, tied for first place with "I'd like my life back," the lament made in May by BP's CEO Tony Hayward after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
"People resented the fact that he was wanting to get back to his yacht races and other aspects of his normal life when those little problems were dwarfed by the magnitude of what people on the Gulf Coast were dealing with," Shapiro said.
Shapiro noted that the top quotes stemmed from two of the biggest news stories of the year, the oil spill and the emergence of the tea party.
The original Yale Book of Quotations was published in 2006. Since then, Shapiro has released an annual list of the top 10 quotes. He said they will be incorporated into the next edition of the book.
More on re-organization at Harvard. Story by Lynn Blumenstein in Library Journal.
Counterpunch has a column by Linda Ueki Absher, 'the lipstick librarian'. Here's a portion:
It's finally happened: everyone wants to be me.
Well, they don't want to be me, me. After all, who wants student loans, an undervalued house and a sweater that looks like I've just mugged a red heffalump? But everyone under thirty with skinny black jeans and artistic facial hair, or Bettie Page bangs and winsome skirts with felted bird appliqués (with an influential minority wearing all of the above) want to be what I am: a librarian. This is a surprise, to put it mildly.
A surprise because when I announced to friends and loved ones that I wanted to become a librarian, reaction was less than enthusiastic, running somewhere along the lines of what I would expect if I'd just announced I was really Joan of Arc but with less restrictive clothing and a high tolerance to heat: pity, bewilderment and resignation. It was as if I declared my intent of becoming a secular nun. I went to library school--a graduate program, no less, learned unspeakable things ("a festschrift is WHAT?") and graduated two years later. I was a librarian, with all its perks (steady income and access to books) and downsides (embarrassingly low steady income and non-existent social life)
But since library school, something odd happened: librarians became hip.
Article by Travis Kaya. A major administrative restructuring at the Harvard University Library announced this week could mean greater coordination of technology services across the university’s vast and somewhat fragmented collection.
The article provides some context for the Three Jeremiads article by Harvard University Librarian Robert Darnton in New York Review of Books.
Robert Darnton, Harvard University professor and director of the Harvard University Library, outlines three problems facing the modern American research library and university: the decline of an economically viable market for most scholarly monographs published by university presses; the escalating prices of scientific journals and the role of open access journals; and the role of Google in a world of digital books and libraries. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/dec/23/library-three-jeremiads/
Yale Daily News: Former dean of the graduate school Jon Butler will assume the post of Acting University Librarian Dec. 1, stepping into the gap left by the sudden death of University Librarian Frank Turner GRD '71.
Butler, whose six-year term as dean ended this June, was on leave to write a book, but has agreed to assume leadership of Yale's libraries until a new librarian is found, University President Richard Levin said in an e-mail Monday. Turner, a history professor who had served as University provost, passed away Nov. 11 at age 66.
"We all feel, and will continue to feel for a long time, the deep sadness of Frank Turner’s passing," Levin said in the e-mail. "I write now, however, with the very good news that Frank’s long-time colleague and friend, Jon Butler...has agreed to serve as the Acting University Librarian until a permanent librarian is appointed."
Butler has been chair of both the American studies and history departments as well as director of the division of humanities. He has also served on several search and advisory committees related to Yale's libraries and he chaired the search for a University librarian in 1994.
Butler is currently working on a book called "God in Gotham," about religion in New York City.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A bomb threat targeting Ohio State University was e-mailed to the FBI Tuesday morning, prompting the school to evacuate four academic buildings, including the main library. An initial search turned up nothing out of the ordinary, officials said.
The threat was in a message received Tuesday at FBI headquarters in Washington, said Paul Bresson, an agency spokesman based there. Campus police said they were alerted at 8:19 a.m. Tuesday that the threats involved the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library and three laboratory buildings.
"This is still in our assessment a threat, and there have been no suspicious package or devices found at this time," university Police Chief Paul Denton said at a news conference.
Authorities did not identify the source of the bomb threats at Ohio State, one of the nation's largest universities, with more than 56,000 students at its main Columbus campus. The FBI's Bresson declined to provide information about where the e-mail appeared to come from or whether the bureau believed the threat was real.
More info & photos from the CBS local affiliate.