2008 Spring - Personal & Institutional News

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Column Editor: Richard Hacken

Vol. 31, no. 2
At the end of March I was in Vienna for a conference, “Bibliotheken in der NS-Zeit: Provenienzforschung und Bibliotheksgeschichte,” put on by die Universitätsbibliothek Wien & die Wienbibliothek im Rathaus (http://www.ub.univie.ac.at/provenienzforschung/tagung_2008.html) where I read a paper on “H. A. Krüss and Gustav Abb as Library Administrators in Occupied Territories.”

I am not sure this is news, but since last September, and until the hiring of a Head of the Knowledge Commmons (we are re-organizing the Library) sometime next year, I will continue to serve as Interim Head of Reference. After that, I will be back to my usual duties, happily. So, it's a temporary position and accepted as such. Ceres

My university, the University of San Diego (USD), often gets mistaken for UCSD (University of California San Diego), who we refer to as the “Other” university in town. We are a private, Catholic institution with about 7,000 students. One of the most exciting events here was the opening last year of our newest school, the School for Peace Studies, which includes the Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice, and the Trans-border Institute. The School’s and Institute’s emphasis is on being actively involved in peace-building and peace-making processes around the world through mediation and dialogue. I am especially fortunate to have been the bibliographer/library liaison to the Institute for Peace and Justice since its inception 6 years ago, and serve now in the same capacity for the School of Peace Studies. Since my second master’s degree is in International Relations I could not ask for a better assignment. (I also do collection development for French and Italian.) On a personal note, as some of you may have heard my presentation at ALA meetings, I am deeply immersed in the study of medieval girdle books. To date I have seen, surveyed and documented all of them, have found one that had not been listed yet, and have collected enough material to start writing in earnest. To this end the University has granted me another 6-month sabbatical leave this fall during which I can devote my time fully to putting this together into at least a draft for a book. I’m very excited about that. The only interruption will be my trip to the Anna Amalia Bibliothek in Weimar in September to attend the annual meeting of the Arbeitskreis für die Erfassung, Erschliessung und Erhaltung mittelalterlicher Bucheinbände. I am in the process of writing an article about the girdle books that were owned by women, for their publication EinbandForschung. In all – a very satisfying year, with plenty of interesting work to keep me busy, and I look forward to the Annual in Anaheim – just up the street!

I am beginning my 4th semester of teaching at the Institut für Bibliotheks- und Informationswissenschaft in Berlin (and my 4th semester as director). We have a new professor starting: Stefan Gradmann from Hamburg, who brings a wealth of European projects and contacts to the Institute. We also have had discussions about collaboration with ENSSIB (Ecole nationale supérieure des sciences de l'information et des bibliothèques) and have an active collaboration with the University of Michigan. Our students are doing well too. Elke Greifeneder won the VFI-Förderungspreises for the best masters thesis is Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. For details, see: http://www.hu-berlin.de/pr/nachrichten/nr0801/nr_080117_01/view?searchterm=universit%C3%A4ts* Elke is now a wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin (Lecturer) at the Institute. I had imagined that I would have more free time to travel -- after all, Germans get 6 weeks of vacation -- but other than a few quick trips to the US to visit aging relatives and travel to various meetings, I spend my time in Berlin. ... Not such a bad fate, actually!

Louis Reith participated in a panel discussion on the topic "Why Choose Germany?" at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Friday, March 14, 2008. The symposium was sponsored by the DAAD German Academic Exchange Service, or, auf deutsch, Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst. The topic for discussion was "(Re)Discovering Germany: The Ideal Study, Work, and Research Destination." Other panel members included: Kai Schachtebeck, Deputy Head of the Cultural Affairs Dept. of the German Embassy; Adam Hunter, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Dept. of Homeland Security; Bradley Shingleton, General Counsel of Deutsche Telekom, Inc.; and Erika Hamalainen, American University, DAAD Young Ambassador 2007/08 - the latter spoke movingly of her year as a high senior in a German Gymnasium. Louis also received notice from ABC-CLIO that he is mentioned in the company's newsletter for ABC-CLIO abstracters, "In the Abstract," as one of five abstracters who have served for 30 years in that capacity. Louis' current abstracting duties involve the "Zeitschrift fuer deutsche Landeskunde" and St. Bonaventure University's house organ "Cythara." When not otherwise occupied with the above mentioned activities, Louis sings I Bass with The Washington Chorus (cf. www.thewashingtonchorus.org), writes program notes for the Embassy Series (cf. www.embassyseries.org) - most recently at the Israeli and Russian embassies - and serves as regular organist on Sunday mornings for a West African immigrant Lutheran Church and on Sunday afternoons as pianist for "Iglesia Luterana Santa Maria" near Dupont Circle, the latter congregation consisting mostly of El Salvadorean and Mexican immigrants. Louis' most outrageous political activity in this most political town was meeting and conversing with Prof. Samantha Power of Harvard University at a book-signing talk in Politics & Prose Bookstore - barely two weeks before she resigned as Sen. Barak Obama's foreign policy advisor for an inadvertant highly charged political comment. If any of our WESSIE readers would be interested in some "historical" photos of Prof. Powers which, sadly, are by now no longer so historical, please contact him quietly and behind the scenes.

WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Spring 2008 > Personal & Institutional News

WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Spring 2008 > Personal & Institutional News

Editor: Paul Vermouth (vermouth@fas.harvard.edu)

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