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A few weeks ago I pulled a number of books for a Commedia dell'arte performance course. The subject range of books I pulled for the session covered a large gamut of topics: art, dance, costume, literature, theatre, swordplay, wagons, etc. Following my presentation to the class, a student mentioned that seeing too many books gave her a headache. She further qualified that and said that not many things gave her a headache. In response I provided her the imagery of looking at the bookshelves as looking at a web page and going off in a number of different but related directions. She gave a somewhat quizzical look, but a few seconds later an approving nod. I felt like maybe, just maybe, I provided a connection that she could relate to.
Though she’s seen thousands of bumper stickers, Whitney Baker isn’t all that interested in what they have to say. She’s more interested in keeping them around for a long, long time.
She’s a conservator for the KU Libraries and took a five-month sabbatical to go around the country to look at bumper stickers, and she’s learned a lot about how to preserve them for others.
During her research, she found that the history of bumper stickers points back to Kansas. Many credit Forest Gill, a screen printer from Kansas City, Kan., with developing the idea. He founded Gill Studios Inc., which today operates out of Lenexa. Gill’s son-in-law, Mark Gilman, today is chairman of the board for the company.
He said Gill developed an adhesive paper sticker to replace cardboard signs tied to bumpers that were beginning to gain popularity at the end of the 1930s and early 1940s.
Though many have said the concept can be traced back to Gill, that’s not something the company has definitively established, Gilman said.
Check out the thumbnail gallery and Baker's video about the collection now housed at the Spenser Research Library at Kansas University.
The Guardian has put together a composite of library scenes from a variety of movies here, including The Breakfast Club, Ghostbusters, The Squid and The Whale.
There are many reasons we need to save our libraries, not least because of their cinematic history. From thrillers to epic romances to teen comedies, the library is cinema's go-to location when it wants somewhere with history, gravitas and a glass door that can shatter when you scream. They're sacred places, spooky places – they're downright sexy places. Characters can find the meaning of life and death in them, clues to help solve cases in them, or just have a big old sing song in them. With such a rich history, one does wonder what would happen if writers and directors no longer felt the need to use them in films. What would they use instead? The internet can never compete visually – who wants to see their leading man/lady finding out facts on Wikipedia? Discovering the murderer on an app? Searching the shelves of … Amazon? It just won't do.
So sign every petition you can, borrow as many books as possible, keep libraries alive and open, on our high streets and in our cinemas. In other words, don't ssssh.
"Stealth librarianship is a way of being...the principles of stealth librarianship apply to all branches of the profession, each in particular ways...the core is the same: to thrive and survive in a challenging environment, we must subtly and not-so-subtly insinuate ourselves into the lives of our patrons. We must concentrate on becoming part of their world, part of their landscape..." *
*Included with permission from the author.
From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Academic libraries in the western part of the United States are one step closer to having a large-scale regional trust for print-journal archives. The University of California libraries announced last week that it has received a three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to implement plans for the Western Regional Storage Trust, or West. The grant is about $700,000, according to Brian E.C. Schottlaender, the university librarian at UC-San Diego and a key member of the planning team....Read more here
Podcast from the Chronicle's Tech Therapy series featuring Sue Stroyan, information-services librarian for Illinois Wesleyan University speaking about the trend to merge IT and Library services at academic institutions.
From Yale: If the roughly 12.5 million volumes in Yale's libraries weren't enough for Yale students, they will now have access to 17 million more thanks to the Harvard Library. The decision comes nearly 10 years after the rest of the Ivy League began participating in the interlibrary sharing system Borrow Direct.
Harvard is the last Ivy League college to take part in the program, which allows students and staff to request volumes from other schools' libraries. There are more than 45 million volumes currently in the system.
Some, like professor of German art and culture Jeffrey F. Hamburger '79 GRD '87, who chaired a Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences library advisory committee, told the Crimson that the university had concerns its library would be a net lender rather than a borrower.
"That said, there are areas in which other libraries have stronger collections than we do, and I think time will tell whether it’s the right decision," he added.
Amusing video about an imaginary interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it4WZ68MlkU
The new year is bringing a new librarian to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library according to the Yale Daily News.
Edwin C. Schroeder will serve a five-year term as Librarian of the Beinecke and Associate University Librarian, which began Jan. 1. Schroeder has filled a number of positions of increasing responsibility in Sterling Memorial Library and Beinecke library since arriving at Yale in 1989. He began as a catalogue librarian in Sterling, and most recently has been head of technical services for Beinecke library since 2004.
University President Richard Levin notified the Yale community of the appointment a Dec. 20 email, just five weeks after the death of University Librarian and former head of Beinecke library Frank Turner GRD '71.
“E.C. looks forward to building on Frank Turner’s accomplishments,” Levin said in the e-mail. “We look forward to sustaining the unique excellence of the Beinecke.”
Levin added that Schroeder, who was the chair of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, brings an “impressive breadth of rare book and managerial experience” to his new post.
Books aren't dead at university libraries
To understand why so much money is being poured into the modern university library (the U.'s library costs more than $18 million a year to run), you have to expand your concept of a library beyond print.
This isn't to say the modern university library doesn't have books. They do. But the way students use a library goes beyond books to include e-books, research databases, classes, studying and socializing.