Personal & Institutional News

Column Editor: Richard Hacken

WESS Newsletter
Fall 2003

Vol. 27, no. 1

Editor: Sarah G. Wenzel

Association of College & Research Libraries
©American Library Association




We, the WESS membership, are saddened by the death of Lara Moore, history librarian at Princeton University. Recent WESS-List postings have helped us to appreciate and celebrate her life. An outline of her training and her Princeton plans in the Fall 2002 Personal and Institutional News column held out the unspoken assumption of a long collegial career, but her work and her life ended far too soon.

At the Ohio State University Libraries, David Lincove is Collection Manager for History, Political Science and Philosophy. His is a relatively miniscule assignment, of course, limited as it is merely to the United States, Canada, Western and Central Europe, oh, and global history for most periods of time. And did we mention… he also purchases materials in ancient history and collaborates with other librarians to purchase materials in overlapping subject areas, such as African-American history. In all fairness, it should be pointed out that there are entire stretches of the southern hemisphere, mostly covered with salt water, for which he has no collection responsibilities. David is a glad and willing WESS worker, at present chair of the WESS Social Sciences and History Discussion Group for 2003-2004. He maintains a web site for history and politics worth checking out and clicking in. While others in the humanities – other humanitarians – are into deconstruction, David has published a book-length bibliography on Reconstruction (check your local catalog). He has also published articles on 20th century American library and publishing history, biographical articles, and book reviews. In 1985 he came to OSU as the coordinator of online database searching (remember Dialog, BRS, and other antediluvian programs, routines and symbolic languages?) but assumed his current position in 1992. Prior to OSU he worked at the University of South Carolina Libraries for 6 years as a reference librarian. Born in Port Shreve – sometimes erroneously referred to by lysdexics [sic] as Shreveport – David grew up in New Orleans, earned a BA in history and an MLS from Louisiana State University and an MA in history from the University of New Orleans. Now far from Lake Ponchartrain and the bayou alligators, he still like to swim laps and play basketball (usually not simultaneously). Two of the most interesting things he has done are climbing Mt. St. Catherine, the highest mountain on the Sinai Peninsula, and working as a surgical technician handing instruments to surgeons during operations way back in his premed days. One such instrument is called the “retractor,” an item that would come in handy for the hasty words we use from time to time.

Now we move from personal to institutional news: anyone who makes the error of searching for ACRL online by inputting “www.arcl.org” instead of “www.acrl.org” will chance upon a website sponsored by the American Recreation Cricket League. There one learns about the game that was passed along by John Bull in order that Uncle Sam should corrupt it, a game that records “overs,” “runs” and “wickets” rather than “runs,” “hits” and “errors.”

The presentations of the Toronto WESS program this summer were so hot – and the discussion afterwards so heated – that the hotel fire alarms went off and WESSies were escorted from the Rosetti room of the Delta Chelsea Hotel to the street as fire engines came screaming up to the accompaniment of their elevated metric decibels. Evidently our heated discourse had sparked a grease fire in the kitchen. That was the most dangerous thing that the thinned crowds of Toronto conference-goers had to face, however, as the much ballyhooed status of "SARS Lake City" proved overwrought: there were no "Toronto SARS wrecks" roaming the streets, and it was only ever the media that had been SARScastic. Masks were not worn, since (a) they were not needed and (b) it was not yet Halloween.

Jeff Garrett and son Nathan (who was born in Munich and has subsequently been around the sun 15 times aboard spaceship Earth) traveled together to Munich recently, ostensibly to attend the German Resources Project Meeting/IFLA Preconference. In fact, they had an entirely different agenda. The day after the conference, they put on their backpacks, rode the U-Bahn to Sendlingertor Platz, took the escalator up and then walked 100 miles south, coming down to the Inn Valley near Innsbruck, eleven days later. The route they took led them past a number of monasteries: Schäftlarn, Bernried, Rottenbuch, and Ettal. "Highpoint" of the trip was crossing over from Bavaria to Austria at a Hütte one vertical mile above Garmisch. Lowpoint was Dad falling on some scree and suffering a minor fracture of his left arm – while still a day away from medical care in Innsbruck. Asked about the trip afterwards, Nathan said he doesn’t think he'll actually become a librarian, but the travel sure was great. Not a drop of rain during the trek. Temperature leaving Munich was 95 degrees (Fahrenheit, not Celsius).

Dick Hacken has been working with the Tuvan shaman, Galsan Tschinag, to translate the latter’s poetry into English. Tschinag, who splits his time between (a) Ulan Bator, (b) the Northwest tip of Asia known sometimes as “Europe,” and (c) the nomadic camps of his people in the High Altai range of Central Asia, writes in German. The translator has been trying hard not to produce culturally inappropriate phrases such as “yurt alert” and “baby steppes, baby steppes.”

Jim Niessen tells us of a successful internship program that involved Rutgers and Potsdam. Sabine Rauchmann, a recent library science graduate of the Applied University in Potsdam, was an intern in the Rutgers University Libraries for six months. She came with a stipend from CDS International, an affiliate of the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft. Sabine visited many departments and locations in the Rutgers libraries and also NYU, Columbia, and Princeton. At Rutgers her primary interest was in library instruction and cataloging. She's interested in applying her experiences with American practices in these areas to professional employment back in Germany. We wish her luck and success!

This October Mike Olson of Harvard spent three weeks in Germany – with the assistance of one airline company, two research grants, and three municipalities – in order to speak with librarians in Berlin, Frankfurt and Leipzig. He is collecting background information for a book he is writing on: “Two Peoples, Two Libraries: Die Deutsche Bibliothek and Die Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Since German Reunification.”

Heather Ward, subject specialist in history and medieval studies (plus anthropology for now), has had a busy year at the University of Oregon. She had an article published in the May 2003 issue of C&RL News: “Getting to Know Your Subject Specialty: Add a Little Romance (Literature) to Your Life.” You will find said article printed on pages 318, 319 and 320, completely filling those pages with good advice. She passed her sixth year review in June and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor (though she’s been our associate all along). She is about to finish her year as President of ACRL-Oregon and is planning a credit course with the University Archivist for next spring on primary source research. Let’s correct two misperceptions about the University of Oregon: (a) it has nothing to do with Ciudad Obregon, which is in Sonora, Mexico; and (b) it is in the city of Eugene, but there is no professor named Eugene there who advocates Eugenics.

Veronica Reyes lived in NYC and worked for The New York Public Library system before starting at the University of Arizona Library in September of 2000 as one of the American & English Literature Librarians (of which there be two). In the fall of 2002 she was given, in addition, full response and ability as the French & Italian Librarian. The basis for choosing her name to achieve fame in this game was her command of basic language skills in both French and Italian (plus she is fluent in Spanish - which helps with cognates). Something of note (so noteworthy that it is noted here) is that the 29th Annual Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium either will (or did, depending on when you read this) take place at the University of Arizona from October 23 - 25, 2003. For this, a Special Collections colleague and Veronica organized an exhibit of primary materials from a variety of areas in 19th century French culture. (Speaking of 19th century French culture, did you know that at least one genealogist, using DNA, has traced the ancestor of the sourness inside a slice of French sourdough served in the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa Valley last May to a culture bubbling in a Loire Valley vat since at least Napoleon's return from Elba? Well, it could be true.)

The Camden campus of Rutgers is biblio-home to WESSie Julie Still, who recently published a book entitled “The Accidental Webmaster.” Due to the title’s similarity with “The Accidental Tourist,” Julie is often confused for Anne Tyler. In reality, the book is a guide for those who find themselves running a web site for community organizations, small businesses or cricket teams.

Keep your eyes open for an emerging member of the European Union. (Literally emerging.) Ferdinandea, (or Graham Island to the British), a volcanic island that has remained submerged off the coast of Sicily for the last 172 years, could reappear in the next while if furious seismic rumblings continue – according to Italy's chief seismologist. A diplomatic brouhaha could resurface along with the island: the last time the rock pile climbed above sea level (in 1831), Tunisia, Great Britain, Spain and the Bourbon court of Sicily all laid claim to it. James Fenimore Cooper took the event as inspiration for "The Crater," a story set in the Pacific. Now 26 feet below sea level and rising, this massive hunk of extrusive lava could pop up and potentially apply for neutral and independent status as the newest member of the EU. No current citizens of Ferdinandea were available for comment. Be the first library in your hemisphere to build a comprehensive Ferdinandean Studies collection!



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