Thursday, November 26, 2009

The real Alice in Wonderland's book up for auction

Mon Nov 23, 11:34 pm ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A copy of the book "Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There" that belonged to the British girl who inspired author Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" will be sold at an auction next month, the company behind the sale said on Monday.
At its December 16 auction, Profiles in History also will sell a copy of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" that belonged to its author, Beatrix Potter. The items come from the collection of former U.S. professional football player Pat McInally, the auctioneer said.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Design for the New Bush Presidential Library

Architecture Review
A presidential library with modest virtues
Low profile distinguishes Robert A.M. Stern's design for Bush Center in Dallas

By Philip Kennicott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Love him or hate him, George W. Bush presided over one of the noisiest presidencies in history. There were debates over wars of necessity and wars of choice, alarm and rancor over ballooning budgets and new social entitlements, a bold mix of political and religious rhetoric, and the projection of American power into places where it was largely unwanted. The Bush years, on a decibel meter, are up there with a NASCAR rally.

Which makes the cool, quiet and dignified design of his presidential library -- unveiled in Dallas on Wednesday -- a rather odd architectural postscript to eight dramatic years of governance. Architect Robert A.M. Stern's plans for the George W. Bush Presidential Center call for a low-slung building of brick and limestone, following traditional lines and hugging the Texas landscape with a calm reserve. It's almost as if Bush has chosen to retreat into the patrician reticence of his blue-blooded, Connecticut forebears.Read On

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Faced with Too Little Bandwidth, Some Libraries Limit Streaming Media, Porn

Aim is to ensure access to ILS, databases
Norman Oder -- Library Journal, 11/24/2009

Most libraries have inadequate connection speeds
Sites like MySpace can hog network
Need for more capacity planning
Nearly 60 percent of public libraries report inadequate Internet connection speeds to meet patron demand, according to the American Library Association's (ALA) Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study, and a few, at least, are cutting back on the amount of bandwidth for streaming media to assure that the integrated library system (ILS) and other functions remain robust.

Slowing pornography
The Greensboro Public Library, NC, has been relegating streaming media identified as pornography to less than dial-up speeds—1KB a second—as part of a way to ensure that the bandwidth is not occupied by material that would violate the library's Internet policy, which states that users won't access anything "inappropriate for public viewing."

The tactic, director Sandy Neerman told LJ, is a way to avoid the problematic use of filters, while discouraging those seeking to access pornography, which has been the source of 89 complaints in a half-year—a relatively small number compared to loitering complaints, but way too many for some concerned parents, as the News-Record reported. (The newspaper editorialized in favor of the policy.)

Slowing MySpace
While Greensboro has chosen not to slow the bandwidth of sites like MySpace and YouTube, some other libraries are doing so, using the same product, made by Cymphonix. The Weber County Library, Ogden, UT, found that its four T-1 lines were becoming overburdened on school day afternoons because students were spending so much time on sites like MySpace.

"You could go through a session, hit a couple of dozen pages, and you've generated several thousand DNS (domain name system) requests, so the traffic was horrendous," Scott Jones, IT director and ....

Continue the article at the Library Journal.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

jacket master

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Win for the Stacks

by Jennifer Epstein
The Syracuse University Library system is facing the classic book-lover’s dilemma: too many volumes, not enough shelves. The stacks in the flagship Ernest S. Bird Library are at 98 percent capacity, the on-campus archives are totally full and dozens -- if not hundreds -- of new volumes flood in each day.

Suzanne E. Thorin, dean of libraries, thought she had a solution. Her plan was to ship rarely used or redundant texts 250 miles southeast of campus, to a storage facility in Patterson, N.Y. Readers and researchers would’ve been able to request books before 2 p.m. one business day and receive them the next. Space in Bird would be freed up for new acquisitions, study halls and classrooms.

But that plan went awry Wednesday night when more than 200 faculty and students flocked to first public airing of the issue, a University Senate meeting. Some held signs protesting the proposal (one read "FREE BIRD"). Some spoke against the move on the grounds that library space had been misallocated while others questioned the need to ship the books so far away from campus. Faculty members delivered a petition against the plan signed by more than 100 humanities scholars, whose fields would be hurt more than others by the book relocation.

Now, Thorin and the library staff are reconsidering the options for the university’s 1.1 million books, as well as other library materials. “We have reached our capacity and need to figure out some way to get the space we need,” she said in an interview Thursday. “We haven't signed a contract yet and we're open to more discussion before we make a final decision.”
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

A jones for Lewis and Clark

By Jeff Baker, The Oregonian
November 12, 2009, 5:02AM

Roger Wendlick will do anything for Lewis and Clark.

"Do you want me to dress up?" Wendlick said after making an appointment to discuss his new book, "Shotgun on My Chest: Memoirs of a Lewis and Clark Book Collector."

Among his many activities related to the Corps of Discovery, Wendlick is a re-enactor. He portrays George Drouillard, considered the third-most important member of the expedition, a skilled hunter and "a man of much merit," according to Meriwether Lewis. Wendlick plays Drouillard with enthusiasm, and jokes that as a kid playing cowboys and Indians, he never imagined being 64 and dressing in buckskins.

There's much about Wendlick's life that he never imagined. He grew up in North Portland and spent most of his life working as a construction foreman, digging sewer lines, and assembled what was considered the world's finest private collection of Lewis and Clark materials. He did it through determination, luck and a willingness to take risks, going more than $140,000 in debt and re-financing his home three times to buy more rare books.

"Passion. Compulsion. Addiction. It was as close to any chemical addiction I've ever heard of," Wendlick said. "I don't know why I did it. I'm not even a book guy."

The story has a happy ending. Wendlick's books ended up at Lewis & Clark College in 1998 through a sale/donation agreement. They are the centerpiece of an outstanding collection of materials related to the expedition at the college's Watzek Library. Wendlick has spent much of the past decade studying the books he bought and becoming an in-demand speaker and authority on all things Lewis and Clark.

"Free at last," Wendlick said, laughing with relief about no longer living with the pressure of building a collection he couldn't really afford. Writing the story of his passion/addiction/compulsion was a different kind of pressure, one that took years to overcome.

"I started in 2002, and I figured it would take me about eight months," Wendlick said. "Was I wrong. I'm a workingman, not a writer. I really struggled through it."

Wendlick didn't keep a journal or any written record of his collecting spree, which began in 1980 with memorabilia related to the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland and kicked into high gear in 1986 when he began to seriously acquire books. He did keep 90 percent of the receipts from everything he bought, and that paper trail allowed him to retrace his steps through antique shows and antiquarian bookstores and rare book auctions across the U.S. Along the way, he made friends who were surprised to see a man who worked with his hands in the rarified air of serious collecting.

"The Internet has changed the antiquarian book trade, and not necessarily for the better," Wendlick said. "You can't go to stores and talk to people and see what might be tucked away on a shelf. Now everything's on the computer. I think I'm one of the last to do it the old-fashioned way."

"Shotgun on My Chest" is published by 12-Gauge Press ($28 paperback, 299 pages) and is available at Powell's. Wendlick reads from "Shotgun on My Chest" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, at the Press Club, 2621 S.E. Clinton St., as part of the Mountain Writers Series.

Oregonian Article

-- Jeff Baker, The Oregonian

Books Returned to High School Library after 50 years with overdue fines included.