1999 Spring - Personal & Institutional News
Column Editor: Richard Hacken
Vol. 22, no. 2
In similitude to recent (i.e., post-1400) editions of the Koran that are arranged by decreasing length of surahs, generally progressing from longest to shortest, this issue's P&IN column is arranged in like manner, all in an ongoing effort to keep you well-versed on the pursuits of WESS-Persons and on the Venues At Which They Are Institutionalized.
One of the few WESSies to keep, maintain, care for an entire colony of bees in her backyard (but not in her bonnet) is Heidi Hutchinson, known also at times as German cataloger and German and Russian selector at the University of California at Riverside. As for the bees, they seem to have it made, since there are ample blossoming citrus trees in the immediate vicinity and they'd have to be blooming idiots not to take advantage of the plentiful pollen. Heidi reports that she's rarely stung and that the work has its sweet compensations. Proud of Riverside's citrus heritage, she also volunteers her time at the California Citrus State Historic Park and offers to show us the difference between pummelo and oroblanco grapefruit, betwixt Ponderosa lemon and fingered citron, and amongst kumquat, limequat and mandarinquat. In more Germanic pursuits, Heidi is a translator for Ariadne Press, the Austrian literature specialists. Her latest play translation is of Fritz Hochwälder's Holy Experiment, in which the gentle Jesuits of Paraguay run up against some not-so-gentle Spanish businessmen with unholy results. Her buddy and contemporary Austrian writer Gerald Szyszkowitz (not pronounced shish-kebob, but rather shish-kovitz) insists that she be the one to translate his work. Oh yes, one more translating note: she and Roger Brisson of Penn State will be orchestrating the English-to-German translation project of AACR2 (presumably to be entitled AAKR-Zwo). The Austrian Symposium is held each spring in Riverside, at which Heidi also plays a supporting role. A year ago on the occasion of said symposium, she guided your editor on an illegal but fascinating architectural tour of the landmark Mission Inn, including a walk down historic Poets' Walk that chased away the prosaic if only for a few moments. Even if she keeps as busy as a worker bee, Heidi does have to deal with drones, but the drone you'll usually hear is the one coming out of her billowing bagpipes (though she doesn't drone while singing with her husband Robert for the Riverside Master Chorale). Still, the mascots for UCR are the "Highlanders," you see, and Hutchinson is a sept of the clan Donald; so at graduation, at opening ceremonies of new libraries, and at other solemn Scottish times Heidi can be seen with a doodlesack slung over her colorful tartan, pipes a'juttin' off at rakish angles and a'peepin' and a'pipin' out the musical clishmaclaver that once struck terror into the hearts of the English foe but that now merely bellows into the ear of the nearby chancellor. The only other bellowing she ever does is at the assembled team of her casaba-flinging favorites, the L.A. Lakers, when they blow a golden opportunity to take the lead despite the heroics of Shaquille O'Neal (another Celtic name?).
Michael Seadle is editor of the peer-reviewed academic journal Library Hi Tech and a librarian at Michigan State University, where he deals with digital publishing. He also heads up the newly-formed Digital Libraries Working Group of the ARL German Resources Project. At the MSU library, as I understand it, he digitized the Radicalism Collection, and his next project is to radicalize the Digital Collection. He has written widely on a range of subjects including German history, computing management, and text digitization. His two main monographs, Automating Mainframe Management and Quakers in Nazi Germany, appear to share a common theme: seeking peace within the bounds of an arbitrary, autocratic, power-abusive environment. He has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago, a library degree from the University of Michigan, and he worked for over a decade as a computer professional. On the European front (not to be confused with the Western Front), he recently interviewed librarians in eastern Germany about their library automation projects ("Rebooting the East: Automation in University Libraries of the former German Democratic Republic," Library Hi Tech, v.14, no. 4, 1996). His grandfather was an actor at the Schillertheater; and his cousin, who once taught Ottoman literature (construed by your editor to mean any literature that's read while seated upon an ottoman) at the University of Munich, gave up her academic career a few years ago to become a flamenco dancer... and is having the time of her life (wasn't it Nietzsche who said: "I can only believe in a God Who Dances?"). The real (i.e. original) spelling of Michael's family name is "Siedel" - his father, when he came to the US, changed it to Seadle in the vain hope that he could get Americans to pronounce it correctly. During the recent ARL meetings in Germany, Michael was forced to mispronounce his own name, lest people look suspiciously at his passport.
In the last newsletter I announced that Barbara Walden (bwalden @ macc. wisc. edu, in which e- mail address "macc" is not an abbreviation for "maccherone") had adopted a larger mammal for her university mascot, having moved from a Minnesota Gopher to a Wisconsin Badger. Now Barbara has provided a fuller description of her duties on the bustling shores of Lake Mendota: as European History Librarian, the full view of her purview extends across Europe from its prehistoric beginnings through 1945. This means, I suppose, that she would collect data on that poor sap who got trapped in the ice at the Italian-Austrian border aeons and aeons ago before it was any kind of border, but she will leave recent Kurdish demonstrations at the Greek embassy in The Hague to later generations. Such, it seems, is the nature of history. I mean, such was the nature of history. Items historically classical and ancient will also meet the scrutiny of her bibliographic eye. Not to mention that for the first time in her career -- and ironically enough since she spent years at the University of Minnesota -- Barbara is now responsible for collecting Scandinavian history. That is something that could lead to rune.
Leena Siegelbaum, newly of Cambridge, Mass. and who refers to herself at times as "L.M.S." and at yet others times as "moi," has once again changed jobs (as of January 4), even while retaining the same employer (or is it the other way around?). Her new title is: Bibliographer for Eastern European Law. But hold on, sports fans: this doesn't mean that she's become a total turncoat; at the Harvard Law Library most bibliographers do both selecting and cataloging. Thus, apart from selecting, she will be cataloging some Eastern European law materials in her new position while also continuing to catalog EU materials and comparative European law, puhumattakaan (Finnish: "not to mention") the Scandinavian puhumattakaan the Nordic publications. So, Leena will (again and/or still) have one foot in Western Europe and one in the East, a neat trick requiring dexterity and valid visas.
Editor: Marje Schuetze-Coburn
Association of College & Research Libraries
©American Library Association