2002 Fall - Personal & Institutional News
Column Editor: Richard Hacken
Vol. 26, no. 1
While not too many of us in WESS may subscribe to absolutist numerological notions of cyclical history (e.g., "cataclysmic events in Czech history always occur in a year ending in an -8"), there has been, nonetheless, a cyclical order to the tenor and substance of the Personal and Institutional News column over the past few yearsŠ even beyond the fact that the column appears twice ("2" times) ("two" times) a year, Spring and Fall as does, by no mere coincidence, the WESS Newsletter itself. At the very least, the column has evolved mildly changing focus with each passing season of WESS activity, with each relative shift in the constellation of WESSpersons and WESSinstitutions. While these columns over the past few years have been indebted to such topics or forms as "Research and Development," "Endnotes," "Parentheses," "Quranic Surahs," "Olympics," or even "Libraries," the present column imposes somewhat clumsily in non- to semi-sequitur succession a rambling underlying theme of "Museums."
Speaking of museums, Lara Moore, newly hired as History Librarian at Princeton's Firestone Library, is planning to teach a course on "the modern museum" in a new Freshman Writing Program next spring. This is a somewhat logical adjunct activity for Lara, who spent years (and years) as a graduate student -- first at UCLA, where she completed the now defunct joint master's degree program in library science and history, then at Stanford, where she did her PhD in Modern European History. Though she never met her predecessor at Princeton (and former WESS member), John Henneman, she's inherited from him extraordinary collections in history and the history of science, collections that she's still learning to navigate. As History Librarian, she's responsible for the selection of history materials in most Western European languages on topics from prehistory to the present. She also works a few hours at the humanities and social science reference desks, teaches BI sessions for history courses, and helps faculty and students (for whom a senior thesis is mandatory) with their research. Even in the wake of "A Beautiful Mind," her job description in the Princeton library has not yet devolved to wiping magic-markered mathematical graffiti off the windows nor to verifying the reality of library users' existence. In the evenings, she does her best to revise her dissertation (on archives and libraries in post-revolutionary France), but it's been rather slow going and she welcomes any advice on that front! If things don't pick up soon, she may turn the topic around: "Revolutions in Post-Archival France." Lara is slowly learning her way around the Eastern seaboard, which, despite the homogenizing forces of electronic communication, remains remarkably foreign for a native Californian.
A corollary of the Third Geraldic Consonant Shift Theory (referred to in passing at the most recent Nobel Prize ceremony as "Tredje Hjeraldisk Teorj och Komplex") regulates that Gerald (with a G) Heverly, the newly acquired and hired Librarian for Classics, Hellenic Studies and Philosophy at NYU, should call himself Jerry (with a J). It was the G/J ambiguity inherent in his own given name, perhaps, that predisposed him early on to a study of epistemological nuances: he received a BA in Philosophy from Penn State and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Toronto the following year. As a respite from his studies, he particularly enjoyed visiting the Cockney quarter of Toronto, where he was known as one of the ŒEverly Brothers. (Incidentally, extensive research has recently proven that the University of Toronto was not named after the Lone Ranger's faithful companion.) These academic steps were just a beginning, however, as Jerry moved on further, within striking range of the infamous "Third Degree" from (but not at) the University of Pittsburgh -- MLS, MA, ABD to date, the latter two in Classics. The last half-decade at Pitt he was also the subject specialist for Classics and Philosophy in the Pitt libraries. For over a decade he was the curator for the Archives of Scientific Philosophy with duties that included evaluating, acquiring and organizing collections of scholarly papers pertaining to the "Vienna Circle," administering grant money, and collaborating auf deutsch und in Deutschland with the University of Konstanz. (The "Vienna Circle" papers, it scarcely needs reminding, present a strong contrast to those of the "Klagenfurt Oblong"). Jerry also suggests a visit to the Andy Warhol Museum one of the four Carnegie Museums there the next time you're in Pittsburgh. There are a few museums on his presently inhabited island as well.
Utah, incorrectly labeled "Baja Idaho" in an early trappers' map of the Intermountain West found in a museum of the Boise Historical Society, is fortunate as is the University named after it to have Peter Kraus available to take over German language and literature collecting duties now that Dale Askey has moved on to the Newest of Havens in Connecticut. Peter, the son of native Germans, studied German as a minor (until he turned 21) while majoring in History during his B.A. years at Florida State. He then stayed sassy in Tallahassee long enough to earn his MLS degree there. For a short while he served as a research associate at the Center for Local Government at the University of North Florida and then headed north to the Research Libraries of the New York Public Library, where he acted as legislative research specialist for five years. Though it was a great job at NYPL, the constant stress of commuting and the high cost of living finally forced him to Peter out. Since 1999 he has been in Salt Lake City, serving both as Federal Documents librarian at the Marriott Library (a library named after a hotel chain) and as an adjunct instructor of librarianship at Salt Lake City Community College (SL-triple-C). Peter has turned into something of a serial presenter, having lectured recently on numerous topics ranging from government documents to outreach education to tenure for librarians. The most practical title in a library context, though, came two years ago when he talked on "The Economic Value of Money over Time." Most of us, I do believe, would recognize the economic value of money over just about anything else. Oh yes, and WESS librarian Kraus has been a grant reviewer for the Institute of Library and Museum Services in Washington, D.C. for the past two years.
Having just strongly alluded to the place of money in libraries, I would be remiss if it did not behoove me to point out something that is perhaps little known in WESS circles, namely, that we have at least one MBA amongst us. (The MBA, you will recall, is the business degree which qualified George Bush, along with a favorable Supreme Court ruling, to be President.) Within our own WESS ranks, Dennis Lambert of Villanova, sporting a triple-Masters background of MA-MBA-MLS, is ideally suited to write about managing to get by on budgets while managing information; he has co-edited a title in the Collection Management & Development Guide Series published by ALCTS Publishing and Scarecrow Press entitled Guide to Management of the Information Resources Budget. His most recent publication through the same conduit is Guide to Review of Library Collections: Preservation, Storage, and Withdrawal. When not writing a new book or otherwise carrying out his library duties, Dennis could enjoy a leisurely stroll, if he wanted to, through the exhibits of the American Swedish Historical Museum located in FDR Park (South Philly).
In 1898 Teddy Roosevelt frequented the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum in Rochester, recruiting Roughriders at the bar but leaving the museum patrons to their own devices. One hundred and three years later, a cadre of recruiters at the University of Rochester Libraries known collectively as a "search committee" selected Barbara Alvarez to serve as a reference librarian and bibliographer for Modern Languages and Cultures. This was quite an improvement over Teddy Roosevelt, who wasn't all that interested in languages and cultures. Since May of 2001, Barbara has provided reference service, bibliographic instruction and collection development in the areas of German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Latin American studies and comparative literature, all the while supporting other foreign language programs on campus. Barbara's studies started at the University of Warsaw, Poland, in the Department of Iberian Studies. In 1991 she came to Canada, and in the same year she started to teach Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages, University of Alberta, while working towards an M.A. degree in Hispanic literatures (which she earned in 1995). Continuing to teach Spanish language courses at the university and in various non-academic institutions, she also worked as a translator/interpreter. A twist of fate (ask her about this, and about how it differs from a twist of lemon) brought her to the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta, where she completed her MLIS program in 2000. During her studies at the SLIS, she worked as thesaurus developer for the Orlando Project (Women's Writing on the British Isles) in the Department of English and participated in the CHIRAPAQ, a cheery but opaque acronym referring to the "Peru/University of Alberta Information Project for Indigenous Women and Children." Rochester, where Barbara now lives and works, is still quite close to Canada. In addition to the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, it may be noted, Rochester is also home to Eastman Kodak, a company that uses molecular sieves at its International Museum of Photography and Film to preserve its 20,000-title film archives.
Tom Kilton of the University of Illinois presented an invited lecture at the Humboldt University Library in Berlin, Germany, on May 21, 2002. Entitled "Die Kongressbibliothek und die Anschaffung nationalsozialistischer Literatur für amerikanische Bibliotheken, 1945-1948" ("The Library of Congress and the Procurement of National Socialist Literature for American Libraries, 1945-1948"), the lecture described the "European Mission," an effort by LC to acquire and distribute to ARL libraries books procured with the assistance of the U.S. Army from occupied Germany during the years 1945-1948. Robert Downs, Director of the University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign from 1943-1971, was chosen leader of this "European Mission," also known as the "Cooperative Acquisitions Project for Wartime Publications." Using the LC Classification scheme, Downs enabled participating libraries to select categories of Nazi imprints across all disciplines which they wished to receive. As forerunner of the Farmington Plan (1948-1972), the European Mission represents the first nationwide attempt by American research libraries at collaborative collection development. Tom's lecture, with accompanying overhead illustrations of representative books, also addressed major Nazi authors and representative themes from their novels, short stories, plays, and poetry. Those fortunate enough to have attended the Germanists Discussion Group meeting in Atlanta witnessed an English-language reenactment/summary of the Berlin lecture. Tom and Gail Hueting are currently working on a catalog of the Illinois materials from the European Mission with an accompanying history of the project. (Whether Tom had time to visit the Pergamon, one of the great museums of the world just a stroll from the Humboldt University is something you'll have to ask him next time you see him.)
How often do we have an actual, factual WESS wedding (beyond the usual metaphorical meeting of the minds)? It is a pleasure to print here what the New York Times did not see fit to print: Marianna McKim and Reinhart Sonnenburg were married on May 26 in Lyme, New Hampshire. (Just this once, the name "Lyme" shall be left unpunned.) There were a few WESS colleagues at the wedding itself; in fact, amongst the 54 family members and friends in attendance, Marianna counted 17 librarians (over 31% of those present)!! For followers of the WESS social pages, this union will come as no surprise. The couple has been observed sneaking off to meatless meals and sightseeing excursions at ALA since they first met through WESS in 1997. Then the Librarian for Germanic Languages and Literatures at Yale, Ms. McKim has admitted to being struck by a premonition as early as 1998. Returning to her seat on a New Orleans trolley beside her colleague, then the Literature Bibliographer at UCSD, she recalled, "I suddenly knew that he really fit my profile." By early 1999, the vegetarian librarians were ringing up phone bills to rival their collection budgets and racking up frequent flyer miles that put their travel allowances to shame. Prospects for moving beyond inter-institutional cooperation, however, looked dim. Then, in an unusually fortuitous twist of academic library fate (there's that twist of fate again), the German bibliographer position opened at Dartmouth. Mr. Sonnenburg's move to New Hampshire (known for its colorful fall leaves and its Maple Syrup Museums) in the spring of 2000 handily knocked 2,821 miles off the commute. By December of that year, a home in Hanover counted among the couple's recent acquisitions. Just six months later, Ms. McKim accepted a position at Dartmouth, and the two librarians finally merged their collections. The bride, who is keeping her name (and her WESS affiliation), now works as an Assistant Director for Research in Foundation and Corporate Relations at Dartmouth. The groom, who is also keeping his name, has expanded his responsibilities and is now the Bibliographer for German Studies, Classics, and Linguistics. Following a "Wedding Tour" that included hiking in the Swiss Alps with colleagues -- and fearless mountaineers -- Helene Baumann (Duke) and Stephen Lehmann (Penn), the newlyweds enjoyed the summer back home in northern New England. It might be a bit hasty for the Baumann/Lehmann Honeymoon Chaperone Service (Durham, NC/Philadelphia, PA) to prepare for expanded business next season, but with the continued success of events like the WESS cruises, who knows?
- - Richard Hacken
Editors: Sarah G. Wenzel
Association of College & Research Libraries
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