Slow Burning Fires

This week’s Chronicle of Higher Education is amazing. Copyright is a critical issue for libraries and I am so glad to learn more about what’s at stake in various court cases, practical implications for preservation planning and imagining what the future of the cultural record and higher education will look like with sustainable and sane copyright law in the United States.

“Many will look at collections they want to preserve—tapes crumbling into goo, papers fading—and “put them back into the box and hope someone decides what to do with them next year…”

Jessica Litman, in a fascinating article from the Chronicle describing the challenges created by “orphan works” for libraries and archives. via arl policy notes

Motivational Speech

“The librarian isn’t a clerk who happens to work at a library. A librarian is a data hound, a guide, a sherpa and a teacher. The librarian is the interface between reams of data and the untrained but motivated user.” –Seth Godin

via book shelves of doom


For the record, I have never, ever shushed a patron.

Undergraduate Feelings

“And I was happy in those first days as really I’d never been before, roaming like a sleepwalker, stunned and drunk with beauty.”

Richard Papen from The Secret History written by Donna Tartt, describing his first days at Hampden College (fictional Bennington College)

I love this book as well as the sentiment. I felt the same the way my first weeks at Smith. Let’s make higher education sustainable enough for future generations to experience the same wash of emotional and community.

libarchivists unite

“As long as librarians, archivists, and museologists (not to mention other information professionals) continue to be educated in isolation from one another—for example, with few standards that cross disciplinary boundaries in terms of organizations, preservations, and user access—real boundaries to collection, management, and access of materials will remain.”

Lisa M. Given & Lianne McTavish “What’s Old Is New Again: The Reconvergence of Libraries, Archives, and Museums in the Digital Age.” Library Quarterly 80(1), January 2010, p. 23

Sustainability, You’re Doing It Wrong.

“For-profit colleges have a lot of allies in Congress. It’s another parallel in a way to the subprime [mortgage crisis] in a sense that they’re a little bit like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac where the for-profit colleges, because they’re Wall Street companies, … have a lot of sympathizers among Republican supporters of free enterprise and big business and because they serve low-income families, they have quite a few allies among Democrats who know that a lot of their constituents go there.”

via Fresh Air