Archive for the ‘General’ Category

LES and Related Meeting Schedule for Annual 2012 (Anaheim)

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Are you planning to come to Anaheim for ALA this June? Whether you are a member of LES or simply interested in what we’re doing, you are invited to come to LES meetings, discussion groups, and conference program. Below is a schedule along with a brief explanation of each event’s purpose. We hope to see you in June!

Friday, June 22

9:00 a.m.–4:00.pm. – Anaheim Convention Center-208B

Pre-Conference Workshop: Digital Humanities in Theory and Practice: Tools and Methods for Librarians

This requires separate registration and fees. It’s selling out very quickly!

Learn how humanities librarians can participate in, create, and lead digital humanities initiatives. In addition to introducing theories and practices that characterize the digital humanities, explore several examples of how librarians currently lead library digitization initiatives, collaborate on faculty projects, and participate in national grant-funded efforts. Investigate project management complexities, digital humanities’ impact on research collections, humanities librarians’ work with faculty to manage their digital humanities research, and digital humanities’ role in scholarly communications.

Saturday, June 23

8:00-10:00 a.m. – Disneyland Hotel-North Exhibit Hall Room IJ

Executive Meeting I

Meeting of the officers and committee chairs of the Literatures in English Section of ACRL. Open, but it’s a business meeting and probably not of interest to the general public.

10:30-12:00 p.m. – Disneyland Hotel-North Exhibit Hall Room DE

MLA IB in Academic Libraries Discussion Group

Not an LES meeting, but of interest to many members. Get updates on the state of the MLA International Bibliography from vendors and MLA representatives.

1:30-3:30 p.m. – Hilton Anaheim-Palos Verdes Room

Fair Use, Intellectual Property, and New Media

As libraries continue to acquire digital content (books, films, websites, and other media), they face an increasing demand both to adhere to relevant intellectual property laws, and to open up materials for teaching and research purposes. This session will feature a panel of professors, lawyers, and librarians to discuss how librarians can assert fair use rights and understand the complex range of issues concerning intellectual property rights over new media materials.

4:00-5:30 p.m. – Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel-Pacific Ballroom B

New Members Discussion Group & General Membership Forum

Discussions pertaining to the role of the literature librarian, and an opportunity to connect new literature librarians with each other and seniors in the field.

5:30-7:00 p.m.– (Location TBA. Watch LES-L for more details.)

LES Social Hour

Sunday, June 24

10:30-12:00 p.m. – Disneyland Hotel-Disneyland Grand Ballroom North

Collections and Reference Discussion Groups Combined Meeting

LES Collections Discussion Group and Reference Discussion Group meet to discuss current topics of interest to practicing literature librarians.

4:00-5:30 pm – Disneyland Hotel- North Exhibit Hall Room BC

Digital Humanities Discussion Group

A new ACRL discussion group that may interest LES members.

Monday, June 25

8:00-10:00 a.m. – Disneyland Hotel-Castle A&B

All Committees Meeting

Simultaneous meetings of LES committees: Virtual Participation, Strategic Planning, Conference Planning, Membership, and Publications. These are business meetings,but might be of interest to those thinking of joining a committee.

10:30-12:00 p.m. – Disneyland Hotel-Monorail B&C

Executive Meeting II

See description of Executive Meeting I.

 

National Poetry Month (still)

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

About Aaron McCollough

English Literature Librarian, University of Michigan

We’re already half way through April, which is (as we all know) National Poetry Month. Here at the University of Michigan, we have a very well regarded graduate program in creative writing, and I’m happy that the library has been enthusiastic about partnering with the English Department to highlight the poetry talents of the faculty. This year, we put on three poetry events in our library gallery space. Two of the events were poetry readings (featuring Keith Taylor, Tung-Hui Hu, Raymond McDaniel, Ken Mikolowski, Linda Gregerson, Laura Kasischke, A. Van Jordan, Benjamin Paloff, and Cody Walker). The other event was a panel discussion on the subject of “poetry and difficulty,” featuring professors Benjamin Paloff, Douglas Trevor, and John Whittier-Ferguson. All of the events were well attended, and they seemed to produce real excitement in the audience. I was pleased to get many people from the university community into the library for this and to cast focused attention on poetry for a few days.

April isn’t over, but our semester is, which means we probably won’t be doing much more for poetry month here this year. My wheels are turning for next year, however. I wonder what others are up to. Do you do special things to observe National Poetry Month at your library? If so, I’m sure many of us would love to hear about it (and maybe steal some of your ideas…).

If you’re still working on Poetry-month-related programming, here are some other interesting idea sources:

* The Academy of American Poets Official National Poetry Month pages
— including this nice list of “30 Ways to Celebrate”
— & including this nice calendar of events
* We’re six days off form “POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY,” and easy guerilla-style way to celebrate
*The Poetry Foundation also has lots to offer on the subject
* This may not be a very good poem, but it does talk about moustaches:

 

NB: Video of all of three of this years’ MLibrary National Poetry Month events was captured, and it will be posted on the library’s website as soon as I have all of the consent forms back from the participants.

Fall Newsletter Now Available!

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

About Timothy Hackman

Librarian for English & Linguistics, University of Maryland Libraries. Member of LES since 2006.

The Fall edition of Biblionotes is now available at:

http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/about/sections/les/biblionotes51/biblionotes56.pdf

In this info-packed issue:

  • Get an update from the LES Chair on section activities and good things to come at ALA Midwinter in sunny San Diego;
  • Learn about book discussion groups on college campuses;
  • Find out more about the library-focused session, Literary Research In/And Digital Humanities, at the upcoming MLA Annual Conference;
  • Read about the experiences of two of our colleagues in ALA’s Emerging Leaders program.

Please contact the Editor, Carrie Netzer Wajda with questions or comments about the newsletter, or to suggest a topic or volunteer a piece for the next issue!

BiblioNotes: Fall 2009 Issue

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

About Timothy Hackman

Librarian for English & Linguistics, University of Maryland Libraries. Member of LES since 2006.

The fall issue of BiblioNotes is now available! In this riveting issue:

  • A message from the Chair
  • Meet new member Tracy Nectoux, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Read about the LES field trip to the University of Chicago
  • Enjoy some MERLOT
  • And more!

Tough Times for the Humanities

Friday, March 6th, 2009

About Timothy Hackman

Librarian for English & Linguistics, University of Maryland Libraries. Member of LES since 2006.

Thought LES members would be interested in this recent piece from the New York Times, “In Tough Times, the Humanities Must Justify Their Worth” (Feb. 24, 2009). This is hardly anything new, though perhaps the level of anxiety that humanities folks are feeling is a bit higher than usual these days.

Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

This is a tale to contradict the notion that students will not use a resource that isn’t available “on the computer.”

My institution can’t afford EEBO, but a year or so ago, when another university in the state was able to acquire it, they put their microfilm set of Early English Books up for grabs. It took 15 seconds after the e-mail offer came through for me to stake my claim. It then took me months to convince my administration to let me have this 3,434-reel resource for the cost of a one-day U-Haul rental. I surveyed my liaison faculty — twice. I found free cabinets. I negotiated for space to put those cabinets. I put in a formal proposal explaining the value of the collection, even though I would have thought it self-evident. I had to check every detail about access, labeling, and cataloging with the donating institution, and I even had to submit the number, dimensions, and weight of the book boxes in which the film would be transported. Hoop after hoop after flaming hoop.

I’m happy to report that the set is being used. Some users have no particular research need for EEB but are fascinated by the content. Others are finding it crucial to their work, such as the philosophy professor whose publisher required him to cite from a particular edition of a work of Locke’s, or the MA student who is doing a thesis around a Centlivre play that has never been republished. But to raise interest even more, I decided to make EEB February’s “Resource of the Month.”

This was the first time in my roughly 30 months at Wichita State that the RotM was not an electronic resource. Attendance was surprisingly good and included undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. Since there is no microfilm reader in the library’s classroom, I had participants gather in a reading room near the film cabinets. There I told them all about Messrs. Pollard and Redgrave and Mr. Wing and gave a brief history of the UMI filming project. I showed them the indexes to provide a sense of the scope of the collection and the diverse nature of the libraries that house the originals, even though not everything indexed was filmed.

Since the documents are all in our OPAC, I happily did not have to show my audience how to use the indexes. But I did draw their attention to the broad scope of available content by passing around pages I’d printed on the subjects of religion, politics, travel, literature, cryogenics (!), and medicine. (That last one was a prescription to cure coughing in children that involved washing worms in wine before drying and crushing them into an ingestible powder.) Then we did a few catalog searches, selected a document, located the proper reel, and threaded up the ol’ microfilm reader.

And everyone agreed that the process was not so hard, and certainly worth the trouble. And that the serendipitous discovery of great stuff on the way to the destination document was pretty cool.

For anyone interested, here’s a link to the handout I prepared for the class and beyond: http://library.wichita.edu/reference/images/PDF/EarlyEnglishBooks.pdf

Goldbarth collection opens at Wichita State University

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

This is Albert Goldbarth’s year. The only two-time winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry, this year the Poetry Foundation bestowed upon him the Mark Twain Poetry Award; his latest collection, The Kitchen Sink (Graywolf, 2007), was named a Kansas Notable Book; and the Goldbarth Papers, after over two years of processing, were made available to researchers.

Albert Goldbarth’s latest bookThe Albert Goldbarth Papers consist of 28 linear feet of manuscripts, cover art samples, publicity material, notebooks, research packets, ephemeral material, and correspondence and writings by others. The finding aid can be accessed at http://specialcollections.wichita.edu/collections/ms/2007-02/2007-2-a.html.

Goldbarth has been teaching writing at Wichita State for over 20 years. I’m not going to try to describe his style, but I do love this opening sentence from James Sallis’s review of Goldbarth’s 2003 novel, Pieces of Payne: “Reading Albert Goldbarth is like watching the valedictory address at a university created by a merger between Clown College and MIT.” (Review of Contemporary Fiction (2003) 23:3, 132.)

Interested researchers should contact Special Collections and University Archives, Wichita State University, 316.978.3590 or specialcollections@wichita.edu.

Hot Off the Presses

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

About Timothy Hackman

Librarian for English & Linguistics, University of Maryland Libraries. Member of LES since 2006.

The Fall 2008 edition of BiblioNotes is now available online, and hard copies are in the mail. In this issue:

  • Read an update from the chair on activities of various LES committees;
  • Learn what it means to be a bibliographer of modern poetry;
  • Get an update on Midwinter in Denver; and
  • Take a virtual trip to a virtual conference on “Bringing New Life to Books through Virtual Worlds.”

A 501(c)(3) Status-Safe Musing on Citizenship

Friday, September 5th, 2008

This post isn’t directly related to the business of being an English literature liaison, though perhaps it is a condition found more often among that breed than in other varieties of academic librarian.

I have a complaint, in the sense of the word defined in the Concise OED 11th Edition, revised, online:  “an illness or medical condition, especially a minor one.”  It is this:  even though I am a tenure-track member of the faculty of my university, I just don’t feel like One of Them. One of the departmental professors, I mean. And a good deal of this second-class citizen complex has to do with the very nature of my job.  We librarians are in the service profession, whether we work in a corporate, law, public, or any other kind of library. And in a university, one of the groups of people we serve are our faculty colleagues. They research, we research. They teach, we teach. They serve on university-wide committees, and so do we. But we’re also standing at the ready to help these colleagues with citation searches, fill their materials requests, anticipate their needs, go to bat to protect their ever-shrinking share of the acquisitions budget.  Does Assistant Professor of American Literature X do that for Assistant Professor of British Literature Y?  I don’t think so.

Another factor contributing to my professional insecurity is the fact that the folks who dole out money in my institution use credit-hour production as their primary means to assess value.  The library doesn’t produce credit hours.  Therefore, we have no measurable value.  I’ve heard it said that the library doesn’t have students, but no student graduates without the library.  Even if that sentiment exists at the purse-string level, how does that translate into money?  Right now the reference staff in my library is down by half, and with budget cuts, we have no expectation of being able to fill the vacancies in the next year or possibly two.  Faculty lines are in danger of disappearing forever.  When teaching departments can’t hire the faculty they need, courses don’t get taught.  Or, they get taught by adjuncts and graduate assistants, which is often unfair to students and instructors alike.  When the library has open faculty vacancies, the desk remains staffed, the BIs are still given, the collecting still gets done.  The publishing expectations don’t go away and neither do the service obligations.  We just cope.

I’m not complaining (in the sense of the word meaning to “express dissatisfaction or annoyance”).  I love my job.  I think I was meant to be an academic librarian — either that, or the decades I spent pursuing various university degrees made me unfit for any other life.  I feel appreciated and, from time to time, respected by the teaching faculty.  I like that my days are all different from one another.  It makes me feel warm and fuzzy when, as one of my Philosophy faculty members recently told my Dean, I “saved his butt.”  I adore the students, for the most part.  I even get a fair chunk of travel money to attend ALA, ACRL, and other conferences (partly because there are so few of us to claim the funds).

Why should English literature librarians be more susceptible to this malaise than other subject specialists?  According to Thea Lindquist and LES’s own Todd Gilman, academic librarians with PhDs in English Language and Literature rank second only to those with PhDs in History.  (“Academic/Research Librarians with Subject Doctorates:  Data and Trends 1965—2006.”  portal: Libraries and the Academy, 8:1 (2008), pp. 31—52.)  As Lindquist and Gilman also discovered, most of us, myself included, earned our MLS after earning our advanced subject degree.  When I started down that oh-so-long road to becoming Dr. Golomb, I intended to spend my days enlightening students and making a name for myself as an expert in contemporary British drama, not supporting others in those pursuits.

I’m glad my career shook out as it did.  Librarians are cool people, downright fun, and we keep our teeth out of each other’s backs.  I just wish I felt a little more entitled when I address my departmental faculty as “colleagues.”

Digital, Virtual, Irish

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Kindle

Last week I was flying to a state consortial meeting–a puddle-jumper kind of flight–no more than an hour or so. Perfect time to break out the new Kindle and do some reading. One of the books I bought for the Kindle was Ulysses. I got it for next to nothing. How is it I managed to get two degrees in English, studying primarily the authors of high modernism, without having read Ulysses? A puzzle indeed. But the Kindle to the rescue. (more…)