In this issue:
The Thrill of Victory: The Barcoding of the Olin Library Collection
LTS has completed the last official phase of retrospective barcoding in Olin Library, namely, the Olin print serials. This means that all print material in Olin has now been barcoded but for a small number of exceptions that will be addressed as they appear.
The three-year project to address this final phase of Olin barcoding began in June 2005 and included some 58,000 serial titles and more than 400,000 individual volumes. The completion of the initiative means not only that these materials will be easier to circulate and track, but that we will be able to send backfiles of long-running serials to the Library Annex. Pat Schafer, the co-chair of the Olin Library Renovation Committee, notes that unbarcoded serial volumes have always presented a problem for transfers of Olin material to the Library Annex and that the completion of this work is “absolutely thrilling.”
The primary orchestrator of the project and of most of Cornell’s retrospective barcoding initiatives over the past few years has been Sally Lockwood (LTS), who probably knows more about how to command a small army of student barcoding staff than anyone else on the planet. Other important contributors to the Olin serial barcoding effort were John Marmora (OKU Collection Maintenance), Lydia Pettis (DLIT), Barb Tarbox (LTS), Ken Tiddick (LTS), and Wei Tseng (LTS).
No rest for the weary, though. Retrospective barcoding of Kroch Asia serials, the last remaining major pocket of unbarcoded print material in CUL, is already under way.
CUL’s world-class collection of books on Iceland has inaugurated an electronic version of Islandica, its scholarly series in Icelandic and Old Norse studies, which began publication in 1908. It is now available online to the international scholarly community in a searchable, open-access format as well as in print. The series is an extension of the Fiske Icelandic Collection, the largest collection of materials on Iceland in North America and among the three most comprehensive in the world. Daniel Willard Fiske, Cornell’s first university librarian, bequeathed his personal Icelandic collection to the Library on his death in 1904; now the collection includes more than 40,000 volumes on all aspects of medieval and modern Iceland and the Norse world.
The Library publishes Islandica, and Cornell University Press is the distributor. For the first three decades of Islandica, a new volume appeared nearly every year. Halldór Hermannsson, the first curator of the Fiske Icelandic Collection, wrote or edited most of them. As Old Norse-Icelandic literary criticism evolved, the series adapted, producing deep scholarly studies, exhaustive literary bibliographies, and authoritative translations.
Patrick Stevens, the managing editor of the series, views the new model as a natural extension of Halldór Hermannsson’s work during his tenure as curator and series editor in the early part of the twentieth century, noting that electronic open access now offers scholars an effective and attractive medium for dissemination of the research. Volume 53 of Islandica, Speak Useful Words or Say Nothing: Old Norse Studies by Joseph Harris, is now available. It was edited by Susan E. Deskis and Thomas D. Hill. Forthcoming as volume 54 is Romance and Love in Late Medieval and Early Modern Iceland: Essays in Honor of Marianne Kalinke, edited by Kirsten Wolf and Johanna Denzin.
For more information, visit the series Web site.
Book collections about guinea pigs, atheism, the legal culture of medieval Europe, and the Buckley language of politics were just a few of the collections submitted in Cornell’s seventh annual Book Collection Contest, sponsored by CUL and the Library Advisory Council.
In a ceremony on April 17, in Uris Library’s Kinkeldey Room, first prize in the undergraduate division went to Tamar Weinstock for her collection on interpretations of the Hebrew Bible, from traditional to literary to feminist. The collection includes a book of commentary from 1709 that was brought to the United States by a relative who left Germany in the early twentieth century. Will Smiley’s collection of everything ever written by the American poet and essayist Mark Strand, as well as on Strand’s influences, garnered first prize in the graduate-student category.
Contestants entered personally owned collections of fewer than fifty items. Up to twenty of the items could be in such non-book formats as photographs or DVDs, and collections were judged on their substance and scope—not size, rarity, or financial value. Contestants submitted a descriptive essay about their collections as well as a ten-item wish list of books they would like to possess, and judges considered how well the collections reflected students’ stated goals and how well their essays articulated them. Three judges presided over the competition: Martha Coultrap, of the Library Advisory Council; Brenda Marston, the curator of the Human Sexuality Collection; and Janet McCue, the AUL for teaching, research, outreach, and learning services. The judges chose ten finalists—five undergraduate students and five graduate students. All contestants went home with book plates, and each contestant will have one bookplate placed in a library book donated in his or her honor.
For a complete list of all our prize winners and this year’s participants, please visit the contest Web site.
Jim Alberts’ (LTS) report on the February MLA MARC Formats Subcommittee meeting appears in the most recent issue of the Music Cataloging Bulletin, 40:4 (April 2009), pp. 14-15.
Articles by current Cornell librarians Adam Chandler, Jon Corson-Rikert, Peter Hirtle, Bill Kara, Marty Kurth, and Joy Paulson appear in the monograph Metadata and Digital Collections: A Festschrift in Honor of Tom Turner, edited by Elaine Westbrooks and Keith Jenkins. Their work was inspired by the late Tom Turner, the Library’s first metadata librarian. Essays by former CUL staff Karen Calhoun, Diane Hillmann, and Nathan Rupp also appear in the collection.
Suzanne Cohen, the collection development librarian at Catherwood, has won the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship. The award recognizes exemplary skill in librarianship, outstanding service to the university community and to the profession, and significant scholarship and professional growth. Dean Katz will make the presentation at the ILR School Employee Recognition Celebration on Monday, May 18, in 105 Ives Hall. The program begins at 1:30 p.m.
Darla Critchfield, the Olin/Uris Access Services student supervisor and Bob Kibbee, the maps and geospatial librarian and head of the Maps and Media Department in Olin/Uris, each won a 2008-2009 Employer Recognition Award. The awards were presented by the Cornell Tradition Office, the Office of Minority Educational Affairs, and the Office of Financial Aid & Student Employment. They are given to employers based on nominations from student employees in recognition of their supervisors who have made invaluable contributions to the quality of undergraduate life and education in providing and supervising student employees at Cornell. Darla, who supervises 31 students at Uris Library, has been employed in the Library since 1999 and has been supervising students since 2003. Bob has worked at the Library for 30 years—in fact this is his last year with us. What a wonderful way to top a remarkable career!
In April, Lance Heidig, in Resources and Learning Services, presented a paper at the Media in Transition 6 conference at MIT with Jami Carlacio, a lecturer in the English department, entitled, “Teaching Digital Literacy Digitally.” Lance and Jami co-taught a section of Writing 142, Writing and Research in the University in spring 2008. Their paper profiles this collaborative teaching project and their use of technology (Confluence wiki and Springshare LibGuides software) to teach writing and research skills while expanding the standard definition of literacy to include information, visual, media, and digital literacy. The international conference explored the storage and transmission of information in the digital age with an emphasis on implications for education and society.
In March, Ali Houissa, the Middle East and Islamic studies librarian, selector, and cataloger in LTS, completed a study of the Middle East collection at the Syracuse University Library. His report is entitled “Evaluation of the Syracuse University Library’s Middle East Collection: Survey and Recommendations.” Ali was commissioned by SU to assist in planning for the revamping and expansion of its collection in the context of a newly established Middle Eastern Studies Program at SU’s Maxwell School.
Janet McCue, the AUL for teaching, research, outreach, and learning services, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service for 2008/2009. The award acknowledges her leadership, extensive service to the campus, and professional achievements, as well as the respect and esteem of colleagues and students who nominated her.
Leah Solla, the coordinator at the Physical Sciences Library, and LTS’s Dianne Dietrich co-wrote the presentation “Data Awareness: Should Chemistry Information Professionals Care?” delivered by Leah at this year’s meeting of the American Chemical Society. The abstract is available online.
Jacalyn Spoon, Library of Ornithology, was appointed the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Solo Division Chair of Professional Development and will be the moderator for The New Face of the Special Librarian: Embedded Librarians session at the annual SLA meeting in Washington, DC, on June 15. She is also the local area coordinator for the Upstate NY SLA and will be announcing a local meeting soon.
Matthew Stukus, an Access Services student assistant at Uris Library since 2005, was one of five recipients of the 2009 William F. Fuerst Outstanding Library Student Employee Awards. Matthew also received of one of the 2008-2009 Student Employee Recognition Awardspresented by the Cornell Tradition Office, the Office of Minority Educational Affairs, and the Office of Financial Aid & Student Employment. Awards were based on exceptional performance, initiative, and service.
Pat Viele, Physical Sciences Library, attended the 2009 meeting of the Physics Teachers Education Coalition (PTEC) on March 13 and 14 in Pittsburgh. PTEC is a network of institutions more than 100 in number committed to improving the education of future physics and physical sciences teachers. It is part of the PhysTEC project, which is led by the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Institute of Physics. Pat gave a poster session, “Social Networking for New and Cross-over Physics Teachers,” which was well received. She has started a virtual meeting room for physics teachers using Tapped In, an international community of education professionals, K-12 teachers, librarians, administrators, and professional development staff, as well as university faculty, students, and researchers gathered to learn, collaborate, share, and support one another. It is a small group, but growing.
In addition, Pat gave her poster session at the meeting of the NY State Section of the American Physical Society at the University of Rochester, where she also spoke about comPADRE and distributed information about the system for those who were not familiar with it.
Inland Waters: A Century of Limnology at Cornell. Through May, Mann lobby and 1st-floor exhibit cases. In 1908 James G. Needham offered the world’s first course in limnology, or the study of inland water systems, at Cornell. The exhibit celebrates the birth of this field of study and the man who fathered it. Original photographs and letters, as well as artifacts from Cornell’s limnology labs, offer a glimpse of the vibrant energy of the scientific community here in the early twentieth century. The display also highlights recent work, such as Dr. Gene Liken’s pivotal studies on acid rain, and new data made available by the Cayuga Lake Remote Underwater Sampling System.
CUL Professional Development Week, May 18-22. You can learn more about the week’s programs by visiting the wiki. Here you will find a full schedule of events and programs whether you’re interested in data, instruction, or work-life balance.
Collaborate@Cornell: Global Partnerships, Knowledge, and Technology. Thursday, May 21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Mann Library. CUL, the vice provost for international relations, and the Committee on Professional Development are co-sponsoring this campus-wide “un-conference” that brings together individuals from a variety of disciplines who are engaged in sharing knowledge and research with international partners. Un-conferences, also known as bar-camps, are an emergent form of direct communication that is driven by user-generated content. These gatherings are increasingly popular in technology-rich circles as a way to share communication models and technology applications.
Cornell faculty, staff, and graduate students will participate in small-group discussions on topics such as mobile phone and mapping technology, translational software, local knowledge integration, knowledge-sharing tools and platforms, and much more. Following a keynote address by the vice provost for international relations, Alice Pell, twelve faculty, staff, and students will present their research in five-minute lightning presentations. This one-day event is expected to draw seventy-five people. It is a free event, and registration is required. If you’re interested, please register. Also feel free to forward information about this event to other departments and units you think might be interested. Registrations may be submitted online.
Reunion Weekend, June 4-7. As in past years, the Library will have a booth in Barton Hall. If you are willing to join the staff of Library Alumni Affairs and Development for a shift at the booth between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, June 5, or Saturday, June 6 (or both days), contact firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, May 18. Each shift lasts one hour, and someone from Library Alumni Affairs and Development will be present at each shift. The booths offer an opportunity for Reunion alumni to stop by and ask questions about the Library, the collections, the initiatives and services, the renovation, etc. Lunch tickets will be provided for those who volunteer.
For the Rock Record: Geologists on Intelligent Design. June 5, 10-11 a.m., 102 Mann Library. A book talk by the author, Warren Allmon (director of the Paleontological Research Institute and Cornell professor of earth sciences). In conjunction with a CUL celebration of Darwin’s impact on the life sciences, Professor Allmon will speak about his newest publication and show that a compelling record of life’s evolving complexity—and a strong argument for Darwinian evolutionary theory—can be found in the earth’s rock formations.
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