In this issue:
Standing on Africa’s Roof
I spent two weeks in Africa last month preparing for, and hiking, Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest freestanding mountain and one of the so-called Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each of the seven continents). With a thirty-by-fifty-mile girth and a height just shy of four miles, Kilimanjaro dominates the local Tanzanian landscape. One passes through five climate zones on the way to the top, from rainforest to alpine desert. In preparation for the trip I reread Ernest Hemingway’s Snows of Kilimanjaro, although there is less snow cover each year. Compare the stock photo with the shot I took out the bus window on our way to the start of the hike.
Our group—eleven hikers from New York State and Vermont, including my partner, David Guaspari—was led by Rick French, the president of a Rochester outfitter called Pack, Paddle & Ski. Rick has been leading climbs of Kilimanjaro and other mountains around the world for over twenty years. Because of his enthusiasm, encouragement, and support we bonded as a group almost immediately.
Our first several days in Tanzania were given over to adjusting to jet lag, the time change, and a minisafari. Two days at Lake Manyara and Nogrongoro Crater gave us close-up sightings of a variety of exotic animals: monkeys, baboons, cape buffalo, elands, elephants, gazelles, giraffes, hippos, hyenas, impalas, jackals, lions, mongoose, black rhinos, warthogs, wildebeests, and zebras. The birdlife was equally spectacular, including bustards, cranes, eagles, flamingoes, hawks, herons, ibis, kites, ostriches, owls, plovers, banded swallows, and storks.
On February 14 we began our hike at Machame Gate, at an altitude of 5,000+ feet, climbing through rainforest to our first camp, Machame Hut, at 10,000 feet. A mid-afternoon thunderstorm “allowed” us to test out raingear and christen our boots with African red mud. We arrived at camp a bit bedraggled around 5:30, picked a tent (already put up by our porters), threw in our sleeping bags, and headed to the food tent for popcorn and tea—a wonderful combination after seven hours of hiking! Throughout the trip, Raziki, a porter-turned-chef, treated us to excellent local fare and some American treats as well (such as French fries and peanut butter).
Day 2 began with a cup of tea delivered to our tent at 6:30 along with a bowl of hot water for cleaning up (this became the morning drill). While roughing it in many ways, we all appreciated these indulgences. Ranking at the top of everyone’s list was the camping version of a portable john. The second day’s hike took us steadily upward out of the rainforest and onto the moorlands with its profusion of heathers and giant groundsels. By midafternoon we reached our destination, Shira Hut, at 12,500 feet. From now on, the Kili summit would be looming overhead. We were all pushing liquids (4 to 6 liters of water per day)—which, in combination with the Diamox (which helps speed acclimatization, but is also a diuretic), had us answering frequent calls of nature around the clock.
As we moved further into the remote, contacts with the outside world became very important. After dinner Rick French hooked up a satellite phone and his PDA, and we were able to send photos, text, and even audio reports each day to the trip’s Web site. Readings of e-mail from family and friends became the highlight of every evening.
Day 3 was the second-longest day of hiking. We broke camp at 8:30 and climbed steadily to a lunch spot at around 14,000 feet. Liz, the youngest of our group, had been troubled by the altitude change for the past day and a half, and after lunch the group split into two parts, some heading to camp and the rest of us taking a side trip up to the lava tower known as “Shark’s Tooth,” at about 15,000 feet. Rain, which had begun around lunchtime, turned to sleet, so we didn’t tarry at the top. Our descent took us to 13,000 feet.
Halfway down I started to feel the effects of exertion at high altitude—a pounding headache and nausea. Arriving at camp around 6:00, I climbed into my sleeping bag, downed three ibuprofen and several Pepto Bismol tablets, and slept for thirteen hours. By morning I was relieved to rejoin the living— headache free. Our campsite, Barranco Hut, offered a breathtaking vista of the Kili summit and Barranco Wall. Unfortunately, Liz continued to fare poorly, and she and Rick turned back that morning.
Day 4’s hike, over the steep Baranco Wall, was the shortest but technically the most challenging. Thank goodness for the guides, who knew where the best toeholds and hand grips were. By early afternoon we descended into Karangua Valley to our campsite at 13,400 feet. From this vantage point, Kili started to look climbable.
Day 5’s hike took us up past the formal base camp at Barafu Hut to a desolate but higher base camp site at 15,800 feet, between the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. During lunch we heard an avalanche, which fortunately was not on the trail we’d be taking to the summit. Our group rested for several hours, ate an early dinner, and tried to get some sleep, but with little success.
At 11:30 p.m. the porters woke us for the summit hike, which is traditionally done at night. We started out a little after midnight, bundled up against the cold, a nearly full moon lighting the snow on the summit. The first several hours’ hiking were wonderful—stars popped out at us, and we could see the city of Moshi in the distant valley below, which reminded me of the view of Ithaca driving back from Newfield at night. At 17,000 feet, Deb (Liz’s mother) became disoriented, and regrettably she, too, had to turn around with one of the porters to guide her back to base camp. By then, the cold had penetrated three layers of gloves and mittens, and I gave up using my poles in favor of curling my fingers around the hand warmer. That made hiking even more difficult, as the air continued to thin out the higher the trail rose.
“Polé, polé” (“slowly, slowly”) was our mantra, and we all adopted a rest step, which involves locking the knee with each step, shifting much of the weight from muscles to the skeleton. At 4:00 a.m. the moon set behind Kili, and we traveled in darkness save for the light provided by the many headlamps visible along the steep trail upward. We stumbled a lot on the scree, popped ibuprofen and Pepto Bismol, and took more-frequent rest stops for cups of hot water (carried up by our wonderful porters).
Terry, a triathlon veteran who had developed a cold the previous day, began to spit up blood, and the second Deb, a nurse and runner, heard a crackling in her chest, both early signs of pulmonary edema. Just when things seemed bleakest, the porters started singing Swahili songs to each other, which helped restore our spirits. That and plain stubbornness kept us going.
By 6:00 the sun came up over Meru, Kili’s twin volcanic peak, and by 6:30 we reached the crater’s rim at Stella Point. But the remaining forty minutes’ walk along the rim to its highest point seemed to take an eternity. It was very, very cold, especially when the wind picked up.
I barely looked at the seventy-foot-thick blue-ice glacier on my left as we trudged on. Finally, around 7:10, we reached the highest point—Uhuru Peak, at 19,300 feet. Five minutes for picture taking and I was on my way back down to base camp. What took nearly seven hours to ascend we covered on the way down in two and a half, and I gratefully stumbled back into my sleeping bag around 9:40 a.m. My head hurt, my knees ached from the rapid descent, there were blisters on blisters on my feet, but I was happy.
After a two-hour rest and lunch, we descended to our final camp—Rau Campsite, at 12,000 feet, arriving around 5:30 p.m. An early dinner and a long night’s sleep did wonders for me, and I felt surprisingly fit for the final day’s descent of 7,000 feet. We reached Mweka Park Gate in the early afternoon, took the bus back to our hotel in Moshi, and enjoyed our first showers in a week. What bliss!
Even the eighty-seven-hour return trip (don’t ask!) failed to completely dampen our spirits, and I’m already dreaming of future hikes. Next up? Patagonia in 2009 seems a likely contender.
Way Out Outreach
At the same time that researchers are verifying that personal contact with librarians is very important (Sadler), patrons are coming into the library less often. To make contact with my patrons, I engage in outreach using the Internet, which is an excellent tool for that purpose and plays an important role in many of my activities.
Because I have very limited contact with undergraduates, I use the Society of Physics Students listserv (SPS-L) to interact with them. Once a week I send a note called “Pat’s Picks” to the listserv. Most of the time, I send the URL for an interesting Web site or online article. Sometimes I mention a new book that might be of interest (The Physics of Superheroes) or an upcoming event (the unveiling of the library’s seven-foot-long “postcard from Mars”). One of the sites that resulted in a personal thank-you note from an undergraduate was a link to a Web site with streaming videos of Richard Feynman’s lectures at the University of Auckland. But wait, there is more…. Many members of the physics faculty also subscribe to SPS-L, and several have thanked me for the service of Pat’s Picks. In fact, one faculty member asked me if there would ever be an archive of them. Just recently I received an e-mail from a Cornell alum who was teaching in Scotland. I was quite surprised and asked how he knew about Pat’s Picks. Did he sign up for it? No, he said the physics department just sends it to him!
There are several listservs for physics faculty. I routinely monitor them to get a feel for faculty information needs. Quite often, a thread from one of the listservs will lead to an interesting discussion with Cornell physics faculty and graduate students at the department’s Monday lunches. For example, the difficulty that students have solving physics word problems was the subject of a lively discussion at a recent Monday lunch.
We have a mandate from Cornell’s associate provost for outreach to do more for K-12 education. To promote the services a librarian can offer the classroom teacher, I have presented at Cornell professional development workshops for teachers for several years. Examples include the Cornell Institute for Physics Teachers, the Research Experience for Teachers, and Educator Professional Development Day.
The TST BOCES librarian invited me to do a workshop for local science teachers, which was quite successful, and I have just joined her advisory board. At the recent Science Teachers Association of New York State meeting, I presented “Critical Thinking and the Internet.” One of the science teachers who attended my session is in the MLIS program at Syracuse University. SU is my alma mater, so it is a small world!
Many faculty have expressed concern about students’ ability to evaluate information, especially information found on the Internet. When I joined the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) in 2001, I started presenting at their meetings immediately. I have given talks, poster sessions, and tutorials. My tutorial “Mining the Internet” has been popular and helped me make many great connections within the physics education community and beyond. An editor for the Web reviews section of Physics Education attended my tutorial, asked me to write it up, and published it. About two years later, a journalist/author from France contacted me to say that he liked my method of searching the Internet so well that he mentioned it in his book Journalism in the Electronic Age.
Serving on the Committee on Graduate Education in Physics for AAPT had a happy and unexpected result. I was in an excellent position to contribute to the joint task force appointed by AAPT and the American Physical Society (APS) to study graduate education in physics. Due, at least in part, to my input, the task force recommends that information fluency be integrated into the training of graduate students in physics. As a direct result of my involvement with AAPT, I now serve on the Subcommittee on Classification and Information Retrieval for the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and the advisory committee for AAPT publishing.
In an effort to encourage collaboration between faculty and librarians, I started a blog called “Physics Information Fluency.” It functions as a journal in which I make note of relevant articles on the topic. Much to my surprise, I found that my blog is listed in IFLA’s Information Literacy Resources Directory (InfoLit Global). My outreach efforts have benefited from the ripple effect.
I conducted a quick-and-dirty search of the library literature for job descriptions of outreach librarians and found references to the public relations librarian; the liaison librarian; the embedded librarian; the ubiquitous librarian; the marketing, communications, and outreach librarian; and the outreach, programs, and public relations librarian. Whatever one chooses to call it, the job is to reach out to all our constituencies.
What, you ask, is the benefit of all this activity to Cornell? The more I learn about the difficulties in teaching physics, the better prepared I am to interact with my own faculty. I believe the fact that I am interacting with faculty outside Cornell has increased my visibility and credibility with the departments that I serve here at Cornell.
InfoLit Global: http://www.infolitglobal.info/
Report of the Joint APS-AAPT Task Force on Graduate Education in Physics, 2005:
Richard Feynman’s lectures: http://vega.org.uk/video/subseries/8
Sadler, Elizabeth (Bess), and Lisa M. Given. 2007. “Affordance theory: A framework for graduate students’ information behavior.” Journal of Documentation 63(1): 115-141.
Viele, Pat. “Leaving a Trail of Bread Crumbs.” A poster presented at Special Libraries Association ’07: http://ecommons.library.cornell.edu/bitstream/
Viele, Pat. Web Watch: “Mining the Internet.” Physics Education: 40(1): 96-98, January 2005.
Partners in Animal Health: The Veterinary Library and Clinical Faculty Collaborate to Create New Animal Health Web Site
Terry Kristensen, Associate Director of the Veterinary Library and Partners in Animal Health, and Jodi Korich, DVM, Director of Partners in Animal Health
Are you a pet owner wondering how to care for your animal companion? Or a veterinarian looking for convenient professional training? If so, Cornell’s Partners in Animal Health has a new Web site that can help.
The mission of Partners in Animal Health (Partners), an educational outreach program co-sponsored by the Veterinary Library and the Department of Clinical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), is to develop and distribute medically accurate state-of-the-art educational resources for veterinary students, veterinarians, and animal owners.
Cornell is a recognized leader in veterinary education, research, and service. The Partners development team works closely with faculty to combine veterinary expertise with artistry and advanced educational technologies, producing innovative educational resources. And, because Partners resources are delivered over the Web, the College can now extend its mission far beyond the traditional boundaries of the campus. With over five million Web site “hits” from more than fifty countries in 2007, Partners is helping to raise the level of animal health care worldwide.
The name, Partners in Animal Health, embodies the very spirit of the program, where educational outreach serves as a platform for building strategic partnerships between Cornell, veterinarians, and animal owners. One example of this partnership is a set of teaching videos created for pet owners to help them learn about common conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and kidney disease in pets. These videos are not only popular with pet owners, but also with veterinarians who use them in their practices to help improve client compliance. The response from veterinarians to the videos has been overwhelmingly positive, and thanks to a recent gift of $90,000 from Nestle Purina, 8,000 veterinary hospitals have been given free copies of the DVDs for use in their hospitals.
This image demonstrating a bovine lumbosacral spinal tap shows the combination of animation and real subjects used to portray various procedures.
Partners also partners directly with veterinary students and veterinarians, providing opportunities for convenient Web-based professional training. These state-of-the art materials combine 3D animations, videos, and interactive diagnostic media databases. This new approach to veterinary training offers exciting new possibilities, especially in disciplines such as surgery, in which it is challenging to teach in more-traditional instructional formats.
Established in 2006, the rapid success of the Partners program is also due in large part to a number of successful partnerships forged around campus, beginning with the strategic alliance between the Department of Clinical Sciences (DCS) and the Veterinary Library. Partners combines the strength of the DCS in clinical education and advanced patient care with the Library’s strengths in information services and outreach. The Veterinary Library’s commitment to Partners in Animal Health may be seen as a departure from standard library services. However, the role of the library is to provide animal health information to all its constituents, and being involved in Partners provides an exciting new way to fulfill our mission and makes us an integral part of the College.
Partners is supported in large part by external funding through charitable gifts, corporate sponsors, grants, and contracts. The program has just been awarded a $500,000 contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create a comprehensive series of multimedia materials that will help improve poultry disease surveillance and diagnostic capabilities by veterinarians around the world. A significant part of this project will be devoted to developing clinical materials that will help train veterinarians about highly pathogenic avian influenza, an animal disease that has significant public health ramifications. A key part of this project involves the creation of a CVM Media Archive to catalog and preserve thousands of digital images and video clips. Partners is working with Adam Smith, of DLIT, and the FEDORA team to create a media archive that will serve as a prototype for other university groups looking for digital asset management solutions.
We hope that you will take a few minutes to explore our new Web site http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu and join the many people who think of us as their partner.
Shelf Life, an original podcast series produced by Library Communications, adds an online component to a weekly column of the same name that appears in the Cornell Chronicle. The series, which is produced monthly, explores different aspects of life inside CUL. Hosted by former library staff writer Chris Philipp and edited by Web communications manager Jenn Colt-Demaree, it follows a question-and-answer format and is designed to raise the visibility of the Library’s collections, programs, services, events, and exhibitions.
In a world where Cornell’s students, faculty, and staff are increasingly media savvy and expect media to be delivered electronically, Shelf Life: The Podcast shares news and information about the Library in an entertaining and portable way. Launched in January 2008, so far the series has featured interviews with Fred Muratori about Olin Library’s New & Noteworthy Book Section and with private collector and author Johan Kugelberg about the hip hop and rap archive he recently donated to the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections.
Upcoming podcasts will highlight LibX, an open-source tool configured by the Web Vision team that makes online research easier, and interviews with A.D. White Professor and Latin American novelist Laura Restrepo, as well as with the creator and executive producer of the hit TV show Battlestar Galactica, Ron Moore ’86. Moore won an honorable mention in the student book collection contest when he attended Cornell.
Shelf Life: The Podcast can be downloaded from LibeCast. If you have an idea for the Chronicle column or a podcast, Library Communications would love to hear from you. Contact Ellen Marsh at ebm7 or 4-4680.
The LSDI Team
Digitized books. In 2007 we sent approximately 43,000 volumes to Kirtas, of which 21,000 have already been digitized. Nearly 7,000 of the digitized books are available on Live Search Books. You can also try a keyword search under “Cornell University Library” (which will also return books with any reference to CUL). This is a beta site and does not yet have a “download entire book” option for CUL books. LTS will create catalog records for the digitized titles so that users can easily locate them.
Material Preparation, Selection, and QC & QA. We now have an excellent work flow operating with Kirtas, and volumes are returned to Cornell on a regular five-week schedule. We expect to begin shipping 10,000 titles monthly, half of which will come from the Annex. The in-house operation is now under way as well, having digitized approximately 300 rare volumes by the end of the year. We are working with Microsoft to establish quality-control metrics across all the partner libraries. The manual quality-assurance process, which was established at Mann, has moved to the Digital Media Group at Olin. We expect to visually inspect between 1 and 3% of all digitized content.
Storage and backup. A service agreement with CIT for LSDI storage has been prepared, according to which CIT will issue a purchase order for the storage array, the storage vendor will deliver and install the array, and CIT will configure it to CUL specifications. We also made secondary backup arrangements with the Open Content Alliance, and the books digitized through our collaboration with Microsoft will also be available from the Internet Archive.
Repository and archiving. The archive system, temporarily called CUL-OAIS, is finished. We decided to switch from JPEG to JP2 for archival storage and are investigating how to convert the already digitized books in a cost-effective and timely manner. Microsoft is interested in installing a tracking system at its portal to make the process highly efficient.
Microsoft Partners Group. Representatives of libraries collaborating with Microsoft had their third partners’ meeting during ALA midwinter. These meetings have been very useful in getting Microsoft to accept our recom- mendations. There are three working groups to address different aspects of our work with Microsoft: QC, Selection, and Preservation. The libraries partnering with Microsoft include Yale, the University of Toronto, New York Public Library, the University of California, the British Library, and Cornell.
Bonna Boettcher has reviewed The Quarter Note Tales, three mystery novellas by Arthur Wenk. Her review appears in Notes 64.2 (2007) 259-260, available through Muse.
Tony Cosgrave, the instruction coordinator in CRIO, recently had a teaching idea accepted for inclusion in the S.O.S. for Information Literacy database. The database is an IMLS-funded project run by the School of Information Studies and the Center for Digital Literacy at Syracuse University. S.O.S. for Information Literacy is a dynamic Web-based multimedia resource for educators that promises to make a significant contribution to enhancing the teaching of information literacy skills to students in grades K-12. The project also publishes an online magazine, Educator’s Spotlight Digest. Tony’s teaching tip, “Using Clickers to Enhance Student Engagement,” will be featured as part of the magazine’s motivational strategies article in an upcoming issue.
Tony also had his presentation “CU Library-2-Bb” accepted for presentation at the April 2008 Conference On Computing In the Disciplines (COCID), Library2LMS: Integrating Library Services into a Learning Management System, at SUNY Brockport. Jesse Koennecke, the access services librarian at Mann Library, and Todd Maniscalco, the manager of Course Technologies at CIT, will join him on the panel.
CRIO librarians Michael Engle and Kaila Bussert have just created Research Minutes, a vodcast series for undergraduate students covering library research concepts. The series transforms the library’s Web-based research tutorials and skill guides into short, ninety-second vodcasts with music and images. Simulating the reference desk interview, each segment shows a librarian and a student discussing a common research issue. Two segments have been completed thus far—how to identify scholarly journal articles and how to identify substantive news articles. They are available as either an MP4 download or an RSS subscription. Future installments will cover critically analyzing information sources and other research topics.
Research Minutes is possible thanks to the talents of Carla DeMello (dancing tower design), Jenn Colt-Demaree (animation), Fred Muratori (voice of the narrator), Susette Newberry (voice of the friendly librarian), student reference assistants Yalda Haery and Christina Chung (voices of students), and Studio M (music).
Pat Viele traveled to Ellenville, N.Y., in early November to the annual meeting of the Science Teachers Association of New York State, where she presented her tutorial, “Critical Thinking and the Internet,” to a group of twenty science teachers. Her handout is in eCommons. Pat also took the opportunity to introduce herself to Will Jaacks, of the Science Curriculum section of the New York State Education Department.
At the January 2008 winter meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) in Baltimore, Pat devoted much of her time to training and meetings. Since she is now the chair of the Committee on Professional Concerns, she will be responsible for the activities of the committee for the summer 2008 meeting (Edmonton, Alberta) and the winter 2009 meeting (Chicago, Ill.), which will be a joint meeting with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAS).
Pat also attended “Graduate Education in Physics: Which Way Forward?” (January 31-February 2)—a follow-up conference to the Joint APS-AAPT Task Force Report on Graduate Education in Physics. She gave a poster session, “Information Fluency and Physics Graduate Students.” The directors of graduate physics programs from about 100 of the 186 institutions in the U.S. that offer a doctorate in physics attended, as well as representatives from the American Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, and the American Association of Physics Teachers. A Tour of the Neils Bohr Library & Archives in the Center for History of Physics was included.
On March 4 Pat attended Library Camp@Syracuse, sponsored by the Central New York Library Resources Council, the South Central Regional Library Council, and the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. At the Future of Libraries session, she chose the breakout sessions for the leadership track. Attendees included public, special, and school librarians. Pat likes the idea of regional meetings, as they help build a sense of community. As travel costs continue to rise, she is hopeful that more “unconferences” like this will appear. The notes make interesting reading and are available on the wiki.
What’s on your bookshelf? Entries are now being accepted for the 2008 Cornell University Library and Library Advisory Council Book Collection Contest. Please encourage any students who have personal book collections to enter by noon, Monday, March 31. The Book Collection Contest is an essay contest, in which Cornell students write about their interest in collecting books and objects. Prizes (1st = $1,000; 2nd = $500; 3rd = $250) are awarded in both undergraduate and graduate student competitions. Students can register to enter online. First prize winners at Cornell go on to compete in the national Collegiate Book-Collecting Championship. Last year one of our students won 2nd prize in this competition and another received an honorable mention. Two years ago two Cornell graduate students won 1st and 3rd prizes in the championship.
Art of Horticulture. Through March 31, Mann Gallery, 2nd floor. The exhibit features the final student projects for Horticulture 201, a course that looked at plants used in art as well as plants as a subject of art, led by Marcia Eames-Sheavley. The student works run the gamut from living sculpture methods and floral design to drawing, botanical illustration, and watercolor/pastel painting. A reception will be held on March 25 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the gallery. The exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public. For further information, call 5-5406.
Woodchucks in Watercolor: The “Wild Bill” Hamilton Groundhog Card Series, by Jack Lambert. Through March, Mann Library, 1st-floor display cases. To the cold northeastern regions of North America, the month of February can bring thick blizzards, dangerous ice storms, sudden thaws, driving rain, and bone-chilling plunges back into deep winter. No wonder, then, that this particular month also opens with Groundhog Day, that eccentric yearly attempt to create some measure of predictability out of February’s weather mess. For professor emeritus Jack Lambert and the late Cornell mammalogist William J. Hamilton, this absurd American tradition offered the perfect opportunity to play up the legendary sense of humor for which Hamilton is still remembered by his old students and colleagues. This late-winter exhibit displays a selection of groundhog cards, dating back to the 1960s, that Professor Lambert created for his friend and former teacher. Light, humorous, and informal, these Cornell gems recall a little of the life and times of a much-admired and fondly remembered life sciences scholar.
Never Mind the Pussycat: The Ornithological Art of Edward Lear. March 15-May 15, Mann Library lobby. Most of us know Edward Lear as the author of The Owl and the Pussycat and the well-loved Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany, and Alphabets. He made his living, however, as a landscape painter and, as young man, was an accomplished natural history illustrator. As this year’s National Poetry Month exhibit at Mann Library, this display focuses on the ornithological lithographs Lear produced in the early 1830s, some when he was still in his teens. The images are extraordinary— meticulously accurate and brimming with personality.
CUL Wellness Month. Register online.
3/24/2008. Massage Clinic. 102 Mann Library, 12:30-3:30. Space still available.
3/27/2008. Chair Yoga. 102 Mann Library, 2:00-3:30. Space still available.
3/28/2008. Relaxation Strategies for De-Stressing at Work. 2B48 Kroch Library, noon-3:00. Space still available.
3/31/2008. Walk with Anne Kenney. Meet in front of Olin at 2:00. Join Anne Kenney for a walk around campus! We will walk across the suspension bridge and around Beebe Lake. The first twenty participants to arrive will receive a Library water bottle. No experience climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro necessary. Space still available.
Student Expo Series: Mapping, Metaphor and Materiality. April-May 15, Mann Gallery, 2nd floor. An exhibit of work by students of Art 372, led by professor Kelly Dobson.
In celebration of National Poetry Month: Poetry Reading by Franklin Robinson. April 10, 4 p.m., Mann Library, room 102. Frank Robinson, the director of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, will read a selection of his haiku and poems.
Saving Forests, Protecting People? Environmental Conservation in Central America. April 22, 4 p.m., Mann Library, room 102. Book talk by Max Pfeffer, Department of Development Sociology.
The Research Paper: Reception and Poster Session. April 25, 3-5 p.m., Mann Library, lobby. In celebration of The Research Paper, Cornell’s only journal reporting on undergraduate research. Reception, poster session, entertainment, and door prizes.
The Lafayette Exhibition in RMC ends April 28. The next major exhibition, beginning in June, will celebrate the tenth anniversary of RMC’s Eastern Wine and Grape Archive.
Chats in the Stacks. Mann Library. Have you missed either of these talks? No worries—just catch them via pod- or Webcast at http://mannlib.cornell.edu/podcast/. Expected availability: March 31.
Exit, Stage Left
Judith Holliday, CUL’s retired fine arts librarian and a local actress, age 69, died peacefully at her home on February 8. Starting her Cornell career in 1959, she served for many years as the fine arts librarian in Sibley Hall before retiring in 1996. A woman of many passions, she took delight in opera, musical theater, the New York Yankees, and traveling abroad, in addition to lively dinners of fine food and wine with her friends. A talented actress, Judith played numerous characters in a variety of plays at the Hangar Theatre, the Kitchen Theatre, and Cornell’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts. Her larger-than-life spirit will be missed by her downtown Ithaca neighbors, library colleagues, and a wide circle of devoted friends.
Faculty Archive Endowment
The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections worked with Rose Bethe to secure a Faculty Archive Endowment to support the processing of faculty papers. The endowment presents an opportunity to raise funds from current and emeriti faculty and alumni for enhancing access to archival records.
Cornell Welcomes Hip Hop Archive
Slip on your shirt and designer jeans
The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections has acquired a major archive on the history of hip hop and rap music that documents its emergence in the Bronx in the 1970s and early 1980s. Materials in the collection, including sound recordings, photographs, and party flyers, record the early spread of hip hop culture, preserving rare documentation of the performances of Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, the Cold Crush Brothers, and many others. A gift from the private collector and author Johan Kugelberg, the collection will help students and scholars better understand the origins of hip hop and its influence on the history of music, art, performance, and activism in America during the final third of the twentiety century. The collection, which will be available on completion of cataloging, is the basis for Kugelberg’s book Born in the Bronx: A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop. You can listen to an interview with Kugelberg online.
Some Assembly Required
On Friday, February 22, we reached another milestone in the Mann Library renovation project as the book movers finished shelving and shifting all the books in the library’s stacks. The last book shelved was Some Assembly Required: Building a Digital Government for the 21st Century, which seems like a very fitting title for the end of a long shelving and shifting project.
When asked how she felt about the completion of the project, Mann stacks coordinator Meg Ackerblade replied, “With three teams totaling sixteen people in over eight months touching 400,000+ items at least twice (and some as many as six times), plus thousands of item records updated, I’m very grateful to the many staff who helped make the collection so beautifully organized and patron accessible.”
And there’s a nice little ironic twist to this story that CUL staffers should appreciate. The week after the shelving was completed and Some Assembly Required was carefully placed on the shelf, a new crew of book movers—led by John Marmora—started pulling books from the Mann stacks for the Microsoft digitizing project.
Union Banner for ILR’s Collection
The New York Journeymen Tailors Protective and Benevolent Union was organized in 1862 and served its members for almost thirty years before it was absorbed into the Journeymen Tailors National Union, a very early predecessor of UNITE HERE. A significant record of those proud workers has recently been preserved in Catherwood Library’s Kheel Center. During an October trip to the UNITE HERE New York Joint Board office to collect banners the union no longer had space to display, Richard Strassberg, the now-retired director of the Kheel Center, and Barb Morley, the Kheel Center media curator, found a fragile and tattered Journeymen Tailors banner hanging on display. The five-by-seven-foot silk and linen hanging was in such frail condition that they decided to leave it in place until the resources could be assembled to remove it safely. In December, Randall Miles, the Kheel Center technical processes archivist, and Barb Morley returned to New York and worked with museum installation experts to retrieve the cherished piece. A surprise came when it was lifted from the display case and the maker’s name was revealed, as well as the back face, which is decorated and embroidered with the inscription “Presented by the Ladies of the New York Journeymen Tailors Protective and Benevolent Union August 7, 1887.” The 120-year-old emblem is the oldest in the Kheel Center’s collection of eighty-five union banners and one of the earliest still-existing banners of an American labor union.
Nestlé Library’s Renovated Web Site
In the beginning we had several goals in mind:
The project was a great collaboration between library content providers, Statler IT Web and application programmers, and the project leadership team.
Special thanks go to Melissa Kuo, who did a great job of bringing other CUL Web site experience to the project and was instrumental in bringing many good ideas to the site, and to the Nestlé Web team, including Derrick Brown, Staci Rogers, Jeff Shampnois, Ken Bolton, and Somaly Kim-Wu, for all the heavy lifting in moving all our content. Other thanks go to the Statler IT Web Team, led by Dave DeHaan and including Steve Halasz and John Cowan for moving, adding, and upgrading the applications and handling all the behind-the-scenes programming. Finally, a special thank you to Michael Fraker, Statler IT, who managed the project, kept us on track, contributed to the design, oversaw the Web content management, and supported the contributors. We would still be working on the site without Michael’s project management.
New Media Art and Archival Ambitions
CUL and the Rose Goldsen Lecture Series, College of Arts and Sciences, led a workshop, “New Media Art and Archival Ambitions” to celebrate the public launch and Web site of the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art. The full-day workshop, held on February 8, was followed by a public reception.
Under the sponsorship of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC), the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art serves as a research repository of new media art and resources. The curatorial vision emphasizes digital interfaces and artistic experimentation by international, independent artists. Designed as an experimental center of research and creativity, the Goldsen Archive includes materials by individual artists and collaborates on conceptual experimentation and archival strategies with international curatorial and fellowship projects.
Named after the pioneering critic of the commercialization of mass media, Cornell’s late Professor Rose Goldsen, the archive was founded by Timothy Murray, a professor of comparative literature and English and the incoming director of the Society for the Humanities, to house and preserve international artwork produced on CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, video, digital interfaces, and the Internet. Its collection of supporting materials includes unpublished manuscripts and designs, catalogs, monographs, and resource guides to new media art.
Emphasizing multimedia artworks that reflect digital extensions of twentieth-century developments in cinema, video, installation, photography, and sound, the archive’s holdings include extensive special collections in American and Chinese new media arts and significant online and offline holdings of art made for the Internet. A novel research archive of international significance, the collection complements the holdings in RMC of illuminated manuscripts and the early-modern printed book and adds to the breadth of its important collections in human sexuality, Asian Studies, and media, film, and music. Murray said that “the workshop will celebrate the Goldsen Archive’s important stature as an international leader in the collection and documentation of electronic and digital art.”
The workshop featured artists John Conomos, of the University of Sydney, Australia; Annette Barbier, of Columbia College, Chicago; and Kevin McCoy, of New York University. They were joined by H. Thomas Hickerson, vice-provost and university librarian, University of Calgary; Sherry Miller Hocking, assistant director, Experimental TV Center, Owego, and Lucila Moctezuma, media arts fellowship director, Renew Media, New York City. Timothy Murray, the Goldsen Archive curator, and Mickey Casad, the assistant curator, presented an overview of the archive’s holdings.
The archive has profited from the financial support of the Rose Goldsen Fund, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the CUL Faculty Grants for Digitization.
More than a hundred staff members attended the open sessions last Thursday in which Dean Charles Lowry from University of Maryland Libraries talked about what ClimateQUAL is all about, when the survey is coming to CUL staff, and more. Those of you who couldn’t attend the open staff sessions will be able to see Dean Lowry’s PowerPoint presentation and hear the voice recording of the staff sessions on the ClimateQual wiki.
ClimateQUAL @ CUL Fact Sheet
The survey is open to CUL from April 7 through April 28, 2008.
WHAT IS ClimateQUAL?
WHY IS CUL PARTICIPATING IN THIS SURVEY?
IS SENIOR MANAGEMENT REALLY BEHIND THIS PROJECT?
WHEN IS THE ClimateQUAL SURVEY?
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN TAKING THE SURVEY?
Time taken to complete the survey is considered time worked.
HOW IS MY CONFIDENTIALITY PROTECTED?
HOW WILL PARTICIPATING BENEFIT ME?
WHEN WILL THE RESULTS BE REPORTED?
HOW DO I LEARN MORE?
Bookmark the ClimateQUAL wiki, which has additional, CUL-specific information. https://confluence.cornell.edu/x/BoCyAg
WHOM DO I CONTACT WITH QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS?
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