LISNews Features

Penetrating And Exploring The Heart Of The Restored Memories Of Slavery

Arthur Edgar E Smith writes: This year marks the two hundredth anniversary of the abolition of slavery which came after the end of the American civil war. This war which was fought between the slave holding states of the south and the Northern confederate states then under the presidency of Abraham Lincoln was in essence over the rights to hold slaves as property. The Southern states were known for their extensive exploitation of slave labour to work their plantations. Kentucky was of course one of such states. Last year whilst part of the Summer institute of the study of contemporary American Literature we were led on a conducted tour of the restored remains of one of such plantations and its slave house and other appendages. This plantation along with its slave house, Farmington, are preserved to reflect much of how it was then in the early 19th century.

Help Wanted @ LISNews

I'm looking for a few good bloggers to join the authoring team here at LISNews. There's no pay, but it's a good way to get your name out there, and gain the respect and admiration of librarians from across the globe. If that's not enough, you'll have the enormous sense of well being that comes with helping your fellow librarians stay informed.

The "job" requires only a minimal time commitment, and just some basic knowledge of HTML & Blogging. You post whenever you have time, and with some restrictions, you post what you want. Some current authors post just a couple times a month, others find the time every day, and most of the rest of our crew fall somewhere in between. If you're interested, read below for all the details. Feel free to pass this one along to others who might be interested.

Sandy Berman 2007 - still unretired

Steve Fesenmaier writes "Sanford Berman 2007 revised

Sandy Berman was forced to retired in March 1999. He resigned from the ALA Council the next June after just getting elected to it by a large number of votes. Lots of people kept the great injustice of his forced retirement in the library press for a year or two afterwards, but few know that Sandy has been as active retired as he ever was working full-time at Hennepin County.

Just in the last month he gave presentations at the UCLA Dept. of Information Studies and the College of St. Catherine's Progressive Librarian Guild student chapter in St. Paul, Minnesota. On a weekly basis he sends out at least 100 pieces of mail to friends, politicians, and interested groups, making him the most active librarian in the world.

The Heart Of The American Theatre Beats In Louisville

Another one by By Arthur E. E. Smith Senior Lecturer, English, Fourah Bay College. Not exactly library related, but it's a good story:
My interest in the theatre could be traced back to my secondary school days at the Prince of Wales when its simulation of life in its diversity on stage at annual prize-giving ceremonies which were in themselves very colourful occasions greatly fascinated and intrigued me. Then whilst awaiting my results I got myself into acting alongside a number of T.V personalities as well as theatre veterans managing to hold the role of Mark Antony which I played creditably to rousing appreciation from the audiences at the British Council. At Fourah Bay College, I followed that through by acting in LEEDS Drama Workshop productions of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW and GODS ARE NOT TO BLAME. Back at the Prince of Wales school as a teacher I led and directed a number of ground breaking productions and improvisations. Now as a lecturer of American literature I have been concerned amongst other aspects in the development of American theatre which had a later start than the other genres because of the greater intolerance directed at it by the Puritans

My Journey Through American Literature

Arthur Edgar E Smith writes about his journey through American Literature: "My interest in America started over thirty years ago when I was very young. The U.S.I.S.
library in Freetown which became a transit point in my long journey back home in the
east from the Prince of Wales School in the west was always at the centre of it all. It
afforded me rest. But it also provided me a welcome and pleasing introduction to the
highly readable, markedly illustrated and boldly printed American texts and magazines
on varying subjects like literature, culture, economics, mass communications, and
science and technology with America already conquering space with its exploration of
the moon and other planets."

Everything You Never Wanted To Know About LISNews

I was recently reminded of just how little most people know about how things work here @ LISNews. The reminder came in the form of an attack (followed by an apology), but rather than let it get me down, I thought I'd post some of the many things I've written about LISNews in the past few years. I've been running LISNews since 1999 and I've written enough to bore anyone to death. I've written about how the code works, how the server works, the people, the writing, and just about everything else you can imagine. I've written waaay more than I thought I'd ever write about a stupid little web site and on lunch today I did some digging.

Since you probably don't know much about LISNews, here's links to further reading where you can read till your eyes bleed. Some day I'll pull this together in a more readable format, but for now, the best place to learn about all things LISNews was my series I posted for CIL:
LISNews: A Brief History
LISNews: Strengths and Weaknesses
LISNews: Many Facets for Many People
LISNews: Past, Present, and Mostly Future
LISNews: Technical Details
LISNews: The people (Including me)
LISNews: The Story Behind The Stories

If that's not enough for you, try these three: The dysfunctional LISNews family, The Anonymous Patron Account, and The great moderator conspiracy all cover stuff that'll interest you as a participant. It's about people mostly.

Still not enough? Well I've written plenty more! If you want to know more about my crazy theories, try
Random LISNews Bits Again, and Jobs @LISNews? where we discussed a division of labor, and a follow up, More On The Jobs @LISNews. A few more like that, On ombudsmen, feedback and reporting, more theory on how to make LISNews better. Comments some thoughts on comments and commenting. A related post could be Ten Thousand Comments and So, how can off-topic be so popular?. I like when I try and think about how to make LISNews better, like in Here's To The Ineluctable Future and So, To Blog Or Not To Blog, not 100% LISNews, but might be interesting. What's our next step? on how to improve LISNews, thoughts on making it 2.0. The LISEchoChamber, one I took quite a few hits for.

If you're curious about how I find stories, Bringing You The LISNews, is mostly on how I find stories to post. We're On A Mission trying to write a mission. Writing 4 LISNews was a call for more original
writing. Some Thoughts On Popularity
A Longer Look At The LISNews Numbers When I had more time I used to look at stats alot more, here's a good explanation. Why didn't you post my story covers why a story may not have been posted. Anonymous Patron Account: Help or Hindrance?, you can guess what that's about.
You are stuck with what we find interesting on any given day, how we choose stories.
Keeping Up With The LISNewsterz, more on comments and moderation.
Friday Rambling Thoughts is mostly LISNews related, more thinking from me.
Friends and Foes and Such tells you how to filter your own comments and people. Messages You Can Get From LISNews is another code-related story.

Last but not least, the ver simple LISNews privacy policy, which probably needs to be updated.

Freedom Calls: A Trip To Cincinnati

Arthur Edgar E Smith writes "One of the important highlights of our Study of the U.S. Fullbright program was a day's trip to Cincinnati to see an important exhibition revolving around Blacks and their slave heritage. Our visit to this exhibition was the culmination of a four hour drive out of Louisville traversing long trailers conveying goods of varying sorts to the port-less city across the bridge over spanning the famous Ohio river unto Cincinnati. Actually I was expecting this exhibition to be underground beside or even across an old railroad. But then it was an imposing four storey concrete structure with brown tiled finishing standing tall amidst others overlooking the historic Ohio River. The Freedom Center seems like more than just a museum and cultural center where you watch relics of the past depicting slavery and you move out. It is a meeting point for engaging the issues that succeed slavery in unshackling man's freedom as well. Here guests become engaged in a life-long dialogue about the meaning and importance of freedom in their own lives and in the world around them.

Follow-up On Harvard's 'Sexy Librarian'

Are there a few of you wondering...whatever happened to Desiree Goodwin?

Well, here's an update from Harvard's so-called 'sexy librarian', in her own words:

"Right after my case ended in 2005 I actively pursued positions at the University and out of state without success. After assessing my situation I decided to pursue certification in the applied sciences. This year I am taking computer science classes at the Harvard Extension in computer sciences, to expand my web development and database design skills to expand my career possibilities."

Desiree told me that she is enjoying her classes...a multi-media class, here's her final project, as well as database management (UNIX, SQL and ColdFusion) and GIS Mapping.

"I am also continuing to work as an activist with a group called Reform HUCTW Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers. I continue to be active in letter writing campaigns on behalf of aggrieved workers and speaking out on issues of importance to clerical workers at the university."

"One of the tasks of the new president, Drew Gilpin-Faust is reviewing the results of the staff engagement survey. The library staff was briefed on the results a couple of weeks ago. We had a 75% participation rate, and an overall rating of 64% for staff engagement, about 3% below the "Best Employer" range. Engagement in the report is defined as a state of emotional and intellectual commitment to an organization or group, in which the factors "say (speak positively about the organization), stay (have an intense desire to be part of the organization), and strive (exert extra effort to contribute to organizational success)" are measured. The Graduate School of Design measured high in these areas (staff enjoy work, benefits, flex time, perception of teamwork). Our staff rated low in these areas: leadership, unclear communication of priorities and goals, pay, career opportunities, communication with leadership. University wide there is a wide disparity in engagement scores between Administrative and Professional staff 84%, and clerical, support staff (both HUCTW and non-union) 45%."

Rediscovering A New World: From Sierra Leone To The U.S.

Here's another nice essay by Arthur Edgar E Smith
I had the good fortune of representing my country, Sierra Leone, in WEST AFRICA, on the U.S.Department of State sponsored 2006 Study of the U.S. Institute on Contemporary U.S. literature from 25th June to August10 2006 at the University of Louisville with Dr Tom Byers as program director.
Amongst the program objectives were:
- To offer American Literature scholars from abroad the opportunity to deepen their understanding of U.S. society, culture, and values through examining contemporary American Literature.
- to examine how major writers, schools and movements both continue the traditions of the American literary canon, and at the same time establish new directions for American Literature.

Advancing Quest For Knowledge & Information: The University Of Louisville Libraries

Arthur E.E. Smith, Senior Lecturer of English, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone writes about his travels: "I was in Louisvlle from June 26th to August 13th attending a seminar on contemporary American literature and touring various sites of cultural interest in Louisville and other cities in the U.S. The University Library was one of those sites visited that had a never-fading impression on my mind not only for its unique architectural plan but for other inexpressible qualities that make it an ideal place for quiet and serene study. My first visit to that library was when the Director of our programme, Dr. Tom Byers,led us there for an induction into the use of computers and the internet in literature research. The room we were led into for the class was fully equipped with computers in all the over fifty desks for students and a master screen monitor for the instructor .Many other rooms including the state of art auditorium were equally well equipped.

The next significant visit was when on my way from the University post office the thought occured to me of recording the beautiful vistas of the campus in pictures and one such was the Ekstrom Library which represented to me the focal point of all the other libraries scattered at various ends of the expansive campus. "
Much More Below....


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