Academic Libraries

University should act to protect student safety in library towers

The Daily Northwestern has a Guest Column by Sarah Bush, who says she was hypnotized in the library.
She says 1. There is a sexual assailant on the loose in the library. 2. The library stacks are quite isolated, and as a consequence not quite safe. 3. There isn't much being done to make the situation better.

"That's why I am writing this column. I tried on my own to spread my story and prevent more hypnotic "experiments." Clearly, it wasn't enough. So again, here's the description: He's medium-sized, with glasses, brown hair and severe acne. Be wary of people asking you to participate in studies without consent forms."

Archimedes Lost Book - sold for $ 2 million

Steve Fesenmaier writes "PBS' Nova series broadcast one of the most interesting investigations into a lost book I have ever seen. Archimedes wrote a book on his "Methods." For hundreds of years the book was lost, reused by medieval monks. Recently it was sold for millions to an unnamed billionaire. Researchers are discovering that Archimedes knew much more about infinity than anyone believed.
Visit the website at"

Hypnotism assaults at library raise safety questions, need for vigilance

JB writes "Police continue to investigate incidents involving several Northwestern students who allege they were hypnotized and, in at least one case, sexually assaulted in the University Library.

University Librarian David Bishop said no changes in security have been made at the library since the last reported incident two months ago, but University Police say they have increased patrols there.

"I'm not sure that I could say that anything is being done in response to this," Bishop said.

A female victim reported to police that on July 22 a man hypnotized her after asking her to help with a research project. He then "spoke to and touched the victim in an inappropriate manner," according to a UP community crime alert....

Full Story."

Preserving Ephemera of Recall Campaign

rteeter writes "The New York Times has this article on archivists rushing to preserve material from the California recall election. (Registration required)"

They say With just over a week before the election, their campaign bumper stickers, buttons, Web sites and in one case thong underwear are becoming treasured artifacts. Researchers, archivists and historians holed up in museum offices and library basements across the state — people who normally think in terms of years not days — are scurrying to preserve the stuff of this election.

Heinlein archive gets $300k boost from widow's estate

Mock Turtle writes "The UC Santa Cruz archive of renowned science fiction writer Robert Heinlein has received a gift of materials and cash, valued at $300,000, from the estate of Heinlein’s late widow, Virginia.

The donation was accompanied by a grant to establish the position of a Heinlein Scholar at the campus, who will work to organize, document, and promote the scholarly use of the archive, housed in the University Library’s Special Collections since 1968.

William H. Patterson Jr. has been selected by UCSC as the campus Heinlein Scholar for 2003-04. Patterson is also the person designated by Heinlein’s late wife to write the definitive, authorized biography of her husband.

UC Santa Cruz Currents has more about Heinlein, Patterson, and the archive.

(There are a couple of neat old photos at the site as well.)"

Civil rights archives to go online

Mock Turtle writes "The Hattiesburg American reports:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded $463,322 to the University of Southern Mississippi to develop and launch the Mississippi Digital Library, providing online access to USM's extensive collection of materials on the civil rights movement. Letters, diaries, photographs, state and organizational records, oral histories, and other primary sources that provide firsthand documentation of the history of race relations in Mississippi will be included in the digital collection. USM is collaborating on the project with Delta State University, Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the University of Mississippi."

New librarian pushes information literacy

Mock Turtle writes "The Daily Bruin has a story on Gary Strong, the new university librarian at UCLA. Strong, having previously served as State Librarian of California, and as director of the Queens Borough Public Library System in New York, is spearheading a university-wide information literacy education effort, and keeping privacy and intellectual freedom concerns at the forefront." Has A Similar Story on Nancy "Action Figure" Pearl a professional librarian who has been at Seattle Public Library for 10 years.

Who's better: Google or CU librarians? Search me

geckomlis spotted This One From Ithaca on a recent study done by Cornell University's Instruction, Research, and Information Services (IRIS) that pitted Cornell librarians against freelance researchers at Google Answers -- a fee-based system, where more than 800 freelancers answer questions for a minimum of $2.50. The company claims to be able to provide answers within 24 hours.

In the study, 24 questions --ranging from the population of Afghanistan (about 26 million) to where Geoffrey Chaucer died (London) -- were given to library research staff and to Google Answers. Responses were scored by university librarians on a blind basis. The librarians looked at the accuracy and clarity of the answers given, and the validity of sources cited in answers. Cornell's researchers scored just slightly better than Google's in the study.

Dershowitz to donate archives to Brooklyn College

Mock Turtle writes "Newsday reports that attorney Alan Dershowitz is donating an archive containing more than 1,000 boxes of memos, manuscripts, letters, legal documents, clippings, and other artifacts to his alma mater, Brooklyn College. Documents from the Simpson and von Bulow cases will be included."

NCCU students improvise as fuzzy invader makes its mark on books

News From NC says N.C. Central University is suffering mold, which has appeared in fuzzy patches on the spines of many of the books in the 567,000-volume collection. But administrators are still trying to decide whether the library mold is a big deal. In the meantime, they're erring on the side of caution.
"We have bent over backwards to be conservative," Provost Lucy Reuben said. Barricades were put up before the fall semester began Aug. 25 and have not been removed, she said. Still, she toured the blocked-off areas herself last week and said the mold didn't look that bad.


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