A Little Library History: 1912 Library Director’s Report

I came across this wonderful posting from Mr Library Dude, aka Joe Hardenbrook. Love the way Joe has linked it to present day librarianship.

Some things don’t change. Libraries are a victim of their own branding – hard to get past the perception of a library as purely a repository of books and librarians doing nothing but shelving them, with a bit of cataloging.

Thank you Joe for posting this. Hope you enjoy it too.

Mr. Library Dude

Last week was National Library Week. Our library director shared with us her predecessor’s library report from 1912. I was struck by how many of the report’s themes are still integral to today’s libraries.

Library Director's Report from 1912 - photo courtesy Carroll University Archives Library Director’s Report from 1912 – courtesy Carroll University Archives

Authored by Amanda Flattery, who worked as college librarian from 1905-1915 and who was described as possessing “outstanding scholarship, high ideals, and ready humor” (see her obituary – page 2), starts her report by describing the the juggling of multiple duties. Sound familiar, librarians? It then moves on to the year’s major activities and issues. Here’s where I see parallels to today’s library work:

  • Creating bibliographies: Aren’t those today’s LibGuides?
  • Students unable to find desired information: Yep, even in today’s info-rich environment, this is still a hallmark of what we do.
  • A course in reference work and bibliography: That has morphed into information literacy.

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The other side of life

In September 2014, bravely or foolishly I enrolled for the Library Management Course, a course I should have undertaken years ago…but life happens… and here I am, a student again! Constantly time managing, or juggling with time: evaluating what I need to do versus what I’d like to do; weighing up what’s important to me and what I can ‘put on the long finger’,  ‘rud a chur ar an mhéar fhada’… an Irish expression equivalent to prevarication.

Throughout my time in libraries, I’ve considered myself quite good at keeping up with innovations in Library Science, but this course has introduced me to unknown  elements within the plethora of academic papers relating to Library Science. That’s the beauty of actually ‘doing’ a course, you are forced to read and evaluate things you might skim through or ignore. It’s easy to be a student of things that just take your fancy.

This week we’re concentrating on ‘Teaching and training skills’. Librarians are teachers, every day we teach our users how to use the catalogue, find a book, interrogate a database, use the computers, etc. Last night the article I read was: ‘Transliteracy: crossing divides’ by Sue Thomas et al*, my initial reaction, to the title and being from the North of Ireland, was that it was sounded as if was about our so-called divided society. It was actually very interesting. Looking forward to seeing if any of the other students have read it and wondering what their take on it is.

What is it? Thomas’ definition is:

“Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks”.

What has that got to do with libraries? Libraries are already meet the challenges of transliteracy by crossing the divide between printed, digital and virtual worlds to address the constantly changing needs of their users. Technological advances demand that to be able to take part in a society where we bank, book holidays and pay bills online,,  we have to be able  to transliterate across different platforms.

Loved Sue Thomas’ comparison of blogging with telling stories around a campfire.

*http://firstmonday.org/article/view/2060/1908.

Neil Gaiman Salutes Douglas Adams: Why Books Are Sharks

Since the advent of eBooks, the debate regarding the life of the printed book goes on and on. I love this straightforward approach from the prolific writer, Neil Garman.

Library Shorts: a new series of bite-sized lunch time talks

It would be interesting to find out how successful these talks prove to be. Sounds like a great idea, for library staff as well as library users. Just prior to the start of term we spend a day or two attending an ‘Update’, which is always well presented by different members of staff, including IT. No matter which area of expertise you belong to, there will be useful, new information. Having said that, developments take place throughout the year and we sometimes end up playing catch up. The logistics of attending the session you’re most interested in might be difficult, but I wonder is it worth considering.

We have tried walk-in sessions for specified time periods, but the uptake was negligible. Wondering if these sessions would be more so?

University of Glasgow Library

The Preview: Take some time out at lunch time to keep yourself up to date with topics ranging from open access, through our map collections, to tips on accessing exam papers.
image for blog
The Details:

All talks start at 12.15, and will last for no more than 30 minutes

Thursday 15th January: The Glasgow Syphilis Project or, how to create a research legacy in only six months

Thursday 22nd January: Introduction to Article Search

Thursday 29th January: Open Access

Thursday 5th February: Search tips: thesauri and subject headings

Thursday 12th February: The Library’s Map Collections

Thursday 19th February: Special Collections

Thursday 26th February: Box of Broadcasts

Thursday 5th March: Finding exam papers

Thursday 12th March: Research data management

Thursday 19th March: Maps and Official Publications

Thursday 26th March: Researching a company before an interview

Find out what’s on each week via the Library’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Showing Times

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You Have Made Me A Liar (An Alzheimer’s Awareness Post)

Amy includes some useful links to Alzheimer/dementia resources. It is so true, unfortunately, that few of us aren’t touched by someone with some form of dementia. Each of us has a story, some sad, some funny, but all inevitably tragic as the person we care for disappears. Thank you, Amy

Amy's Scrap Bag: A Blog About Libraries, Archives, and History

The title of this post sounds ominous, doesn’t it?  Allow me to explain why I used it.

I’ve made several mentions over the last year plus of my grandfather’s ill-health.  Part of what is affecting him is dementia that worsened steadily since he fell two summers ago and broke his arm.  In today’s world, who doesn’t know someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s?  I’ve personally known too many.  My great uncles, my grandfather’s brothers had/have it.  My beloved uncle-like neighbor had Alzheimer’s.  And I think my grandmother may be coming down with some form of one or the other.  With these thoughts in mind, I stray this week from the usual library, archive, and history theme of this blog.  It is important to discuss these issues from time to time.

"Alzheimer's Walk 2013 at Atlantic Station, Atlanta GA" by  Susumu Komatsu.  Courtsy of Flckr Creative Commons “Alzheimer’s Walk 2013 at Atlantic Station, Atlanta GA” by Susumu Komatsu. Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

We all know dementia and…

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The Long Room, Trinity College Library Dublin – New Exhibition Launched 23rd October 2014

This looks like an amazing exhibition – primarily for adults. What an opportunity to wander through the books you’ve read, the ones perhaps you should have read, and the ones you might still read. The great thing is that you can actually explore this online too.

The Talented Dr. Knox

A lazy way, perhaps of letting you know that “Medical Library Matters” has not gone away!

Samuel Beckett is perhaps, not quite Medical, but is such an exciting purchase by Trinity College Dublin.

This article on the anatomist who employed Burke and Hare, is closer to home and definitely of interest.

Books, Health and History

Lisa Rosner, PhD, author of today’s guest blog, will present “The True and Horrid Story of the Burke and Hare Anatomy Murders” at our October 18th festival, Art, Anatomy, and the Body: Vesalius 500.

Engraving of Dr. Robert Knox. From our online collection The Resurrectionists. Engraving of Dr. Robert Knox. From our online collection The Resurrectionists.

Dr. Robert Knox, the anatomist whose cadaver purchases kept William Burke and William Hare in the murder business, has always been an enigma. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, he served in the army and studied in Paris before returning home to set up a private anatomical school. He taught hundreds of students, lecturing twice a day in addition to holding separate dissection classes. He was curator of the surgical museum, wrote articles on human and comparative anatomy for scientific societies, and was in the process of seeing several books on anatomy through publication. His supporters claimed he knew nothing about the murders; his detractors…

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Samuel Beckett’s description of his ailing mother is poignant, beautiful and original

Irish Writing Blog

Beckett … characteristically original

Death and love are the twin towers of all literature, so when someone comes up with an original way of describing one or the other, you have to sit up and take note.

A new collection of letters and postcards written by Beckett between 1947 and ’58, and sent to his friends, the artists Henri and Josette Hayden, have been placed on exhibition by Trinity College Dublin, which purchased them at auction for €180,000 earlier this year.

Included in the lot is a postcard written while his mother was dying in 1950:

My mother is still declining. It’s like one of those decrescendos made by the trains at Ussy which I used to listen to at night, interminable, suddenly resuming just when everything seemed finished and the silence final.

I think she will die in hospital in a week or so.

Read the full story at The…

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The Art of Midwifery Improv’d

This blog from the New York Academy of Medicine fits in with Medical Library Matters. Midwives are an important group within the Medical Library users, both midwifery students and qualified midwives.

I’m sure they’d be amused to think that ‘the pelvic bones separate during childbirth, or that the fetus is born through it’s own strenuous efforts!!

Books, Health and History

During the fall 2013 semester, Hunter College students in Professor Daniel Margocsy’s undergraduate seminar, Health and Society in Early Modern Europe, 15001800, visited NYAM several times to talk about rare anatomical books. Each student then studied one text in depth, learned about its bibliographical and historiographical context, and wrote a blog post about that item. We are pleased to feature two of the blog posts from the class, one this week and one next, both on books from our collections relating to midwifery.

By Sarah Hatoum

The Discovery

Title page to The Art of Midwifery, Improv'd. Title page to The Art of Midwifery, Improv’d. Click to enlarge.

In the eighteenth century, the field of obstetrics enjoyed an influx of novel scientific observations about birth and innovations aiding the process of birth. Dutch physician Hendrik van Deventer, author of The Art of Midwifery Improv’dwas the first to give a thorough description of the pelvis…

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Limerick Anatomy

Here’s a reblog which I couldn’t resist sharing. The limericks are medical related as you’ll see:

 

Books, Health and History

To celebrate National Poetry Month, we are sharing poems from our collection throughout April.

By Andrew Gordon, Systems Librarian

The cover of The Limeratomy. The cover.

Anthony Euwer, an American poet and painter, published The Limeratomy in 1917. Subtitled A Compendium of universal knowledge for the more perfect understanding of the human machine, The Limeratomy features poems “done in the Limerick Toungue” and is illustrated by Euwer himself. Its contents comprise the more conventional components of human anatomy (the eyes, the nose, the brain, the ears) alongside more intangible or abstract qualities (the soul, the conscience) and some that are more poetic than scientific (the cockles, the funny bone).

On giving anatomy the limerick treatment, Euwer writes in the preface:

In this clinic-limerique the author has endeavored to put within the common grasp, certain livid and burning truths that have been dragged from heaped-up piles of scientific expression and kultur. It is…

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