Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 11, 2014 - 5:55pm
In more than 30 years with Chicago's Newberry Library, James W. Wells gained a wide reputation as an authority on the history of printing, typography and calligraphy.
"He was one of the most important rare book specialists in the U.S. from the late 1950s through the 1970s," said Paul Gehl, the George Amos Poole III Curator of Rare Books with the Newberry. Gehl said Mr. Wells was known as a real bookman — the term for such a specialist used by those in the field.
"He was in so many ways the epitome of the old-fashioned bookman," said Alice Schreyer, interim director of the University of Chicago Library. "He had an inexhaustible knowledge and a remarkable memory for every book that ever passed through his hands."
A bookman looks at the physical characteristics of books, which Schreyer said can include "former ownership, bindings, typefaces — things that distinguish them as physical artifacts as well as conveyors of information. He was just a fount of knowledge."
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 4, 2014 - 10:55pm
Submitted by Blake on September 1, 2014 - 11:46am
Librarianship: A Philosophical Investigation
"One of the first things you learn as a professional librarian is that very few people have any idea what you do. In fact, enough people who actually want to become librarians are sufficiently in the dark about the nature of the profession that many Information and Library Science graduate programs explicitly require their prospective applicants to state in their applications what interests them about the field other than loving books."
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 1, 2014 - 10:27am
Headline of a piece on NPR - Librarians Are A Luxury Chicago Public Schools Can't Afford
Excerpt: Two years ago, the Chicago Public Schools budgeted for 454 librarians. Last year, the budget called for 313 librarians, and now that number is down to 254.
With educators facing tough financial choices, having a full-time librarian is becoming something of a luxury in Chicago's more than 600 public schools.
It's not that there's a shortage of librarians in Chicago, and it's not mass layoffs — it's that the librarians are being reassigned.
"The people are there, they're just not staffing the library, they're staffing another classroom," says Megan Cusick, a librarian at Nancy B. Jefferson Alternative School. She says all across the district, certified librarians are being reassigned to English classrooms, world languages or to particular grade levels in elementary schools.
Submitted by birdie on August 21, 2014 - 1:30pm
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on August 19, 2014 - 10:05pm
I just had an online piece published by Ethos: A Digital Review of Arts, Humanities, and Public Ethics (run out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill. I thought, perhaps, that it might be of interest to a larger librarian readership. Here is the link if you are interested:
Submitted by birdie on August 19, 2014 - 10:20am
From Nooga.com, a chat with chief teen librarian Justin Hoenke about changes made at the library to benefit teens and tweens. Earlier this week, Hoenke announced that he had accepted a promotion as coordinator of teen services at the library.
We spoke to him about the new position, living in Chattanooga and his plans for the future of teen services at the library and beyond.
Coordinator of teen services, eh? Using video game jargon, explain what this means in terms of "leveling up."
If my old title as teen librarian was level one, this would be level two, and I'd have increased abilities! Think of level one as me just being able to use basic magical abilities in a video game, like the ability to jump super-high. Now that I'm at level two, I can do awesome things with my magical abilities in this video game, like use magic to heal myself and maybe even use magic to cast fire and ice spells. You know, librarians are actually magicians.
What changes with the new position in terms of daily responsibility for you?
Now I'm more focused on teen services throughout the entire Chattanooga Public Library system at all of our locations (downtown, Northgate, Eastgate, South Chattanooga). In my old role, I was just working on all things on The 2nd Floor of the downtown library. This new position allows me to stretch out and help the other branches in our library system achieve greater things for teens in the community. Is it more work? Of course! But it's awesome work, and I'm so happy to be the person selected to do it.
Submitted by birdie on August 6, 2014 - 12:51pm
Via Huff Post:
In his 60 years Michael Weah, like most Liberians, has had to contend with realities most of us in the United States can not even comprehend. Thirty-four years ago, when he was 26, came the bloody military coup staged by Samuel Doe, that upended what had been the social and political order in Liberia since its colonization by American freemen and former slaves in 1820. Then in 1989 Charles Taylor overthrew Doe, and Liberia slid into a period of on-again-off-again civil wars.
During the period of the civil wars, when life in Monrovia was restricted by a curfew that began in the late afternoon, Michael Weah established a small lending library, supplying anyone who asked with reading material - books, magazines, newspapers, donated from overseas. All he asked was that when a person was through with the reading material they pass it on to someone else who would use it to sustain them through the interminable periods of daily isolation.
During the decade-plus of civil wars, the initial operation grew into the We-Care Library, the only real library in Monrovia, Liberia's capital city. Every day the library is literally jammed with school children of all ages, who come to study, do their home work, and expand their horizons.
The library recently had to close due to the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa. As Mike wrote the other day to friends in the U.S. and Canada, "family wise, I have lost three persons: my doctor, the man who clears our books from the port, and a young nephew. Everybody fled from the house when the young boy started to show the symptoms. He died alone and his body is still lying on the porch where he passed. The health workers were called about six hours ago. They may come or may not."
Submitted by birdie on July 30, 2014 - 2:41pm
Special to USA Today: Librarian of the year, man of RWA, aspiring cover model … these were just some of the names Sean Gilmartin was called while attending this year's Romance Writers of America conference in San Antonio.
"I (Gilmartin) was very close to adding car thief" to the list but luckily I can leave that out. Apparently, when a driver is holding a sign that clearly states Barbara Samuel, who just happens to be a seven-time RITA winner and RWA Hall of Famer, that vehicle is not for you. Needless to say, I didn't steal her ride from the airport but ironically was only a few hotel rooms down from her. Barbara, if you're reading this, I promise I wasn't stalking you at the conference; we really just kept running into each other. By coincidence. A lot.
That was the start of my RWA and the launch into my hashtag on Twitter: #SeanDoesRWA. I intended for it to be a way for family and friends to easily follow my escapades, but it actually turned into my best communication tool. People all over the conference were saying hello and despite not having met in person, we were chatting daily. I would then run into someone, standing in line for a book signing or whatnot, and we would actually meet. It was a surreal and incredible experience that lessened the fear deep inside of me that fueled my preconceived notion that as a librarian I would not fit in. It didn't matter that RWA has a special award for librarians — no, I was certain that I would feel isolated in the midst of 2,000 romance authors. I could not have been more wrong, and people could not have been more friendly, kind, and gracious to me every single day of RWA.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on July 18, 2014 - 1:10am
It is very common for librarians to serve as liaisons to academic departments. They teach classes, purchase materials, answer reference questions, assist with research endeavors, and generally get involved with the odds-and-ends of those units. Some librarians also liaise with defined user communities such as first-year students, international students, or students associated with particular residence halls.
This classic approach enables librarians to connect their expertise with different user segments that likely share similar needs, interests, or perspectives. In short, these librarians serve as the human interface of the library.
Submitted by birdie on July 17, 2014 - 3:45pm
Chances are the Doctor won’t be showing up at your local library anytime soon—unless, of course, you have an infestation of Vashta Nerada (in which case, don’t forget to count the shadows!). But whether in fantasy or science fiction, there are any number of amazing fictional libraries we’d love to visit, especially to meet up with the guardians of the stacks. So we turned to Twitter to find out where your SFF librarian loyalties lie. Here are your favorites, as well as a few of our own!
Top fictional librarians are from Buffy, Discworld, Star Wars-The Clone Wars, Sandman and others. Check 'em out!
Submitted by birdie on July 14, 2014 - 10:53am
From The New York Times:
The two-day event, called the MTA Zine Residency, had been organized by a librarian and an archivist at the Barnard College library, which they said has the largest circulating collection of zines in an academic library. After producing zines on the F train, the group was planning to reconvene Monday on the Staten Island Ferry to put the finishing touches on their creations. The organizers of the residency said they hoped that the participants would sell or donate copies of their completed zines to the Barnard collection.
Jenna Freedman, the zine librarian at Barnard, said that the relative quiet and lack of phone and Internet connections made the subway a natural place to compose zines.
“There really is a pleasure to writing while you’re in motion,” she said. “I’ve always felt that time is most my own.”
Submitted by birdie on June 24, 2014 - 10:34am
Here's the story from the Lehigh Valley Times.
NHS Human Services' Bushkill Township office provides regular mental health sensitivity training at Recovery Partnership but last week was the first time the group ever worked with librarians, said Andrew Grossman, a program director. Most of the people who receive the group's training work directly in the mental health field, he said. Grossman said he thought it was a good idea for librarians to receive the training, as many local mental health group homes send their residents to libraries on a regular basis for socialization.
"I think it's great they'll get a better understanding of the folks who are coming into their facility," he said. "I think a lot of times they don't fully understand the people in the library." The training Grossman provided the librarians is the same NHS provides for mental health workers. Grossman talked about the stigma of mental health and explained many different diagnoses.
Did you receive any training regarding this issue as a LIS student?
Submitted by birdie on June 23, 2014 - 10:39pm
If you like your summer reading to take you beyond the beaten path, librarian Nancy Pearl is here to help. NPR's go-to books guru joins us once again to share "under the radar" reads — books she thinks deserve more attention than they've been getting. Pearl talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about some of the titles she picked out for the summer reading season — several of which will make you reconsider the way you think about maps.
Listen on NPR.
Submitted by birdie on June 20, 2014 - 1:31pm
Ricardo Thornton to Join President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Yesterday, President Obama announced his intent to appoint DC Public Library employee Ricardo Thornton Sr. to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, PCPID.
Thornton has worked at the DC Public Library since 1978. He is a Member of Project ACTION!, a coalition of adults with disabilities. He is also a Member of the D.C. Developmental Disabilities Council, an actor with the theatre group Players Unlimited, and an international ambassador with the Special Olympics. Thornton and his wife Donna were the subjects of Profoundly Normal, a made-for-TV movie. In 1997, The Washingtonian magazine named Thornton a “Washingtonian of the Year.”
The PCPID is comprised of 34 members, including 19 citizen members and thirteen ex officio (Federal Government) members. Citizen members of the PCPID are appointed to serve for a maximum of two years.
To learn more about Ricardo, click here.
Submitted by birdie on June 17, 2014 - 9:09pm
From USA Today, an interview with Romance Writers of America's Librarian of 2014, Sean Gilmartin.
Interviewer: From your bio on RWA's website: Growing up, (Sean) would read his mother's romance novels, partially for the juicy parts, and knew that one day he would write a romance himself.
Why romance novels? What about them appeals to you personally?
Sean: Love is a complicated and strange thing. I have always been drawn to the bond that love creates between people, whether that is romantic or not. I am fascinated by love that blossoms unexpectedly. To have a rough and tough character who vows to never open his or her heart, only to have it stolen by the last person they expected … ah, it gets me every time!
As a teen librarian I keep up-to-date with YA novels and many of them have some form of romance in them. If you think about popular songs or movies, there is usually some aspect of a loving relationship between two characters. It's almost inescapable. When I read romance I get hopeful and happy because two people are finding a love that completes them. I find it so satisfying when I finish a novel and everybody lives happily ever after.
Submitted by birdie on June 12, 2014 - 4:05pm
From Marketplace.org: I was at a dinner table about a year ago, right after the first Edward Snowden leaks, when I heard for the first time an argument I've heard many times since.
"Why should I care? I'm not doing anything wrong." This appears to be the opinion of the majority when it comes to the idea of the government using surveillance to fight terrorism. By Pew Research's estimates, 56 percent of Americans support the government listening in while it fights the "bad guys." And it has been this way for something like 12 years -- right after the September 11th attacks and the beginning of the war on terror.
All of this thinking about surveillance, government, and legislation has also reminded me of a chapter in my own history that I haven't thought of in a while. During my junior year of college in 2003, I worked in the D.C. office of a moderate Republican Congressman. My main job was to answer constituent correspondence with letters that represented the Congressman's policy positions, which he would then sign. One day near the end of my spring semester, I had an assignment I couldn't complete: I was supposed to answer a constituent letter about a proposed expansion of the Patriot Act. The letter had been sent, and signed, by librarians throughout the Congressman's home state who were opposed to the Patriot Act's allowance of officials to access library records. They were asking the Congressman to oppose any extension or expansion of the legislation, and really to roll it back entirely. As I was preparing to tell the librarians that the congressman fully supported the legislation, I made a discovery. One of the librarian signatures on the constituent letter was familiar to me. It belonged to my mother.
Submitted by birdie on June 11, 2014 - 2:43pm
Laurence Copel, youth outreach librarian and founder of the Lower Ninth Ward Street Library in New Orleans, is the inaugural recipient of the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity. On June 29, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) will present her with a $3,000 check, $1,000 travel expenses, a certificate and "an odd object from Handler's private collection" during the American Library Association's Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas.
"Copel is recognized for her extraordinary efforts to provide books to young readers of the Ninth Ward," said ALA president Barbara Stripling, adding that she "is a brilliant example of how librarians can serve as change agents. Her leadership and commitment show the vital role that librarians and libraries play in energizing and engaging the communities that they serve."
Known to the children in the Lower Ninth Ward as the Book Lady, Copel moved to New Orleans from New York City in 2010 and opened a library in her home through self-funding and small donations while living on $350 a week. She also converted her bicycle to a mobile book carrier allowing her to reach children and families that could not travel to her home. Story via Shelf-Awareness.com.
Submitted by Pete on May 22, 2014 - 8:27am
Nancy K. Humphries gets to the heart of the matter in this Huffington Post piece.
"Google often fails to serve people who search it or the people trying to get their sites noticed. All too often Google's results completely miss the mark....
Google will never equal the library in precision and accuracy because this company is too arrogant to even listen to a librarian. Google employees are young, so young they still believe that only they know how to do things.
I personally witnessed a speaker from Google tell members of The American Society of Indexers at a San Francisco conference that Google had gotten rid of the one librarian on staff in Palo Alto. She was a former cataloger; she was too "nitpicky.""
Submitted by Blake on May 15, 2014 - 9:42pm
An engineer who once studied artificial intelligence and co-founded web ranker Alexa, Kahle, 53, is armed with an obsession to collect everything. You’ll find part of the physical embodiment of his Alexandria-like collection in a former Christian Science church in San Francisco, where near-life-sized paper mâché dolls of the Archive's friends and benefactors occupy the pews. There's also a repository in Richmond, California, which is filled with a million books, and, to serve up the Wayback Machine—a historical backup of the web's pages that launched in 2001 and recently passed the 400 billion mark—there's a datacenter stored inside a shipping container that holds three petabytes (that's one thousand terabytes) and can process 500 requests per second.