1996 Fall - Personal & Institutional News
Column Editor: Richard Hacken
Vol. 20, no. 1
Welcome to the "Library Reorganization" issue of your WESS Newsletter's "Personal and Institutional News Column." Apparently some library administrators are chanting of late: "We gotta get reorganized; we gotta get reorganized." The pain of some of the WESS reoganizees is still too fresh as to be probed and poked at here. Yet the following tales of woe and gladness, of human birth and rebirth, are offered by some among us, volunteering their own examples as beacons of strength, serenity, and survival to the rest of us.
Starting with birth, which has little to do with library reorganization except in a metaphorical sense, WESS member Julie Still of Trenton State announces an important accession with an invoice date of July 22, 1996 that increased her physical "holdings:" Hunter Munro Campbell was born at 1:33 p.m. EDT, with a volume that encompassed 8.125 pounds, not yet quarto-sized at 20 1/2 inches. After 29 hours of labor, she completed the check-out procedure of the aforementioned volume, laid him gently on his spine, and "Home was the Hunter."
Proceeding to rebirths as a result of library reorganizations, Barbara Walden has now become the Western European Social Sciences Bibliographer at the University of Minnesota Libraries. Mariann Tiblin, Scandinavian Studies Bibliographer, has added German Literature and Linguistics to her assignment. Neither of these terrible swift leaps of assignment between the humanities and the social sciences is as incongruous as one might think: humans are social animals, and societies can be humane.
In a similar vein from the Big Apple, Kurt De Belder of New York University now heads the Bobst Library's Electronic Text Center. You have official permission to refer to him as the "Electronic Text Coordinator." Those surfing into the Electronic Text Center homepage will be rewarded not only with a three-dimensional logo on a two-dimensional computer screen, but also -- among other things -- by a well-annotated list of major online text and digital collections. [Ed. note from 2010: this page is now defunct.) Somebody go tell Jimmy Dean that the phrase "hot-links" doesn't refer to fried sausages any more, but to electronic texts bottled in New York City.
Heleni Pedersoli tells of changes near the 'seat of democracy.' [Ed. note: I always thought the 'seat of democracy' was a wooden stool near a certain vintage typewriter in H.L. Mencken's archive.] Charles B. Lowry has been named Dean of Libraries at the University of Maryland at College Park, effective October 1. [Ed. note: Does this mean the libraries became effective on October 1, or was that when the dean became effective?] Lowry came to Maryland from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he was university librarian since 1992. Lowry replaces H. Joanne Harrar, who served as Director of Libraries for 20 years.
Roger Brisson of Pennsylvania State University would like us to know why many of his German selections possess the plate 'Gift of the Paterno Library Fund' on the inside cover. Joe Paterno, the football coach, has been directly or indirectly responsible for millions of dollars donated to support collections or their development. The 'Paterno Wing' of the Pattee Library, a $25 million renovation project, will soon be underway. Consider the following: Joe Paterno is a familiar face in Pattee Library, attending library-sponsored lectures and the like. A high number of his scholar-athletes graduate. Joe invited Roger -- and the rest of the library staff (more than 400) -- to see the first Big 10 game that Penn State ever played a couple of years ago, flashing a salute and their names on the stadium scoreboard during the game! Who says librarians get no respect? Contrary to rumors now circulating, former Penn State Dean of Libraries Nancy Cline, now Roy Larson Librarian at Harvard, is not secretly working with Paterno to make the Widener a branch library of Penn State. Nancy is excited about getting started in her new position. Whether she will have as much success complementing the library with sports depends on whether Harvard actually has a football team. She might do better asking her charges to run in the Boston Marathon...
Apologies to Jim Spohrer of U.C. Berkeley for not placing the following on page one in 24 point type as he requested, but it does set an ACRL record for number of "quotation marks" in one paragraph: In June Jim read a paper entitled "Quels Services de Documentation pour les Étudiants du Premier Cycle dans les Bibliothèques Universitaires Américaines" -- a subject on which he is an acknowledged expert, having once been just such an étudiant soi-self and even having observed said services, if not actually used them. The astonished and grateful recipients of this timeless wisdom were librarians attending a conference on library services for undergraduates at the "Institut pour la Formation des Bibliothécaires" in Villeurbanne. [Ed. note: this is located very near to "Villesuburbanne."]. In April Jim gave a lecture entitled "La Modernisation des bibliothèques aux États-Unis" at the "Académie de Lyon," after which he just barely made it to the station in time to catch the "Last TGV to Paris" (good title for a movie, right?). For the past year he has been working as a consultant to the rector of the "Académie de Lyon" for its project to build a joint new university library for the "Université Lumière" and the "Université Jean Moulin" in Lyon; the universities of Lyon and Berkeley have entered into a program of cooperation including the sharing of staff expertise. In July Jim was in Rauma, on the southwest coast of Finland, for an intensive four-week course in Finnish language and culture sponsored by the Finnish Ministry of Education. He now knows how to say "Puhutko englantia?" ("Do you speak English?") and many other similarly useful phrases. After the course he traveled to various cities in southern Finland to visit exchange partners, sweat in saunas, and purchase materials for the Berkeley Finnish collections. "Finis."
Editor: Marje Schuetze-Coburn
Association of College & Research Libraries
©American Library Association