Rumors from the ATG NewsChannel 5/19/14

by | May 19, 2014 | 0 comments

KatinaBy Katina Strauch

John Riley will leave Busca, Inc. as of June 1, 2014. But he is still voraciously buying books throughout New England and New York for his bookshop and online business Gabriel Books in Northampton, Mass.

John is also working at his local television station producing documentary and music videos. He will be attending ALA as a reporter and videographer . He will also be at the Charleston Conference as a roving reporter!! John says that his next goal is to travel to New England libraries and film their histories and special collections for a series on public television. Some people have all the energy and creativity! Hooray, John!

Did you see the article in Slate “Save our Stacks,” by Rebecca Schuman. “It’s not about the books, it’s about the books representing the last place on campus where intellectual contemplation thrives.”  The alert Glenda Alvin pointed it out to us. I know the phenomenon of the disappearing stacks is not new. Seems like libraries (ours in Charleston included) are either storing, discarding, or resorting to compact shelving to make more room for student study space, computers, etc. I realize that that’s the current trend, but I have to ask – by doing this, is the library destroying our brand? Yes, I know we have to satisfy our administrations and end users, but shouldn’t we be defending the library brand more vociferously? Quiet, contemplation, serious, studious, scholarly. There are plenty of places where students can get coffee and food but there are a scant few quiet contemplative places these days. The reaction of the librarians that I work with has been phenomenal! Librarians want to write articles and editorials, debating this issue. We are planning an online issue and a print issue on this important topic!  

Another article which is making quite a stir is “The Library of Congress Wants to Destroy Your Old CDs (For Science)” by Adrienne LaFrance.  “All of the modern formats weren’t really made to last a long period of time,” said Fenella France, chief of preservation research and testing at the Library of Congress. “They were really more developed for mass production.”  Interesting that discs produced by the same company or distributor can have different lifespans.  I posted this link to our library staff and was barraged by comments from those who have already encountered this phenomenon and are frustrated. The Library of Congress has researchers studying this problem.

 “The Center for the Library’s Analytical Science Samples (CLASS) is a laboratory for destruction, a place where researchers can practice “destructive testing” on non-library materials as a way to learn how best to care for actual library collections.” Hopefully we will have a session in Charleston in November about this.

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