News from the Field

David Free


Ragtime festival jazzes up MSU library

Turn-of-the-century melodies were brought into modern focus at the fourth Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival, held March 26 and 27, 2010, at the Mississippi State University (MSU) Mitchell Memorial Library. The festival, sponsored by the MSU Libraries and the Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Music Museum, drew more than 250 guests from more than ten states across the country to the Starkville, Mississippi, campus for concerts, intimate talks-at-the-piano, and tours of the Templeton Museum. Daytime festival events were featured in the museum, and evening concerts were held in MSU’s Lee Hall’s Bettersworth Auditorium.


Ragtime pianist Adam Swanson entertains during Mississippi State University (MSU) Libraries’ 4th Annual Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival. Photograph by MSU Libraries-Jim Tomlinson.

Nationally known and highly regarded ragtime musicians Frederick Hodges, Carl Sonny Leyond, Adam Swanson, and Terry Waldo entertained and enlightened the festival attendees with music and insight into the world of ragtime. New York-based musicologist and collector David A. Jasen, in addition to co-coordinating the event, served as master of ceremonies and led in-depth tours and discussions of the Templeton Collection. The festival was sponsored by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Other sponsors included the Starkville Area Arts Council, Starkville Rotary, and the Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more information on MSU Libraries and on the Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival, please visit library.msstate.edu/. To explore the vast Charles Templeton Sheet Music, Instrument, and Recordings Collections, visit library.msstate.edu/templeton/.

LOC, Chicago History Museum preserve Terkel

The Library of Congress and the Chicago History Museum are collaborating on a project to digitally preserve and catalog thousands of unique and endangered sound recordings in the museum’s Studs Terkel Collection of book interviews and WFMT radio programs. Louis “Studs” Terkel, revered as one of the nation’s leading and most prolific oral historians, amassed a wealth of stories in his more than 50 years as a radio host, scholar and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. He compiled a vast collection of recorded oral histories and interviews that reflect his broad expertise and eclectic interests in music, literature, art, history, and politics.

The collaboration will result in the creation of digital preservation copies of the approximately 7,000 tape recordings of Terkel’s interviews and broadcasts on WFMT radio in Chicago. His recordings, which he and the radio station donated to the museum in 1998, offer a remarkably rich history of the ideas and perspectives of both common and influential people living in the second half of the 20th century.

The digital preservation work will be undertaken at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia, where engineers will transfer the audio to high-quality preservation files and store them on the facility’s digital archive system. Upon completion of the multi-year effort, both Library of Congress and the museum will hold complete sets of the digital audio, which will be individually cataloged and accessible for public listening at both institutions. While the work is taking place, there will be limited access to the recordings at the museum’s Research Center.

Library of Congress is online at www.loc.gov and the Chicago History Museum at www.chicagohistory.org.

Rutgers releases open source ETD software

In early May, the Rutgers University Libraries released OpenETD, a Web-based software application for managing the submission, approval, and distribution of the electronic versions of theses and dissertations (ETDs). OpenETD is the open source release of the Rutgers University Libraries’ RUetd application. Since its introduction in 2007, the Rutgers ETD service has accepted nearly 1,400 theses or dissertations.

The OpenETD software is available for free to other universities and may be adapted for use on their campuses. OpenETD is released through GNU GPL License 3.0 (www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.html). Basic support for the community includes complete installation and user documentation, as well as communication tools for reporting bug fixes and suggesting enhancements. OpenETD can be downloaded from the RUcore Open Source Projects page at rucore.libraries.rutgers.edu/open/projects/openetd/.

New Project Muse titles

Project MUSE is adding 14 additional titles to the MUSE journal collections in 2010. The titles include new journals from Penn State University Press, University of Nebraska Press, University of Illinois Press, and University of Toronto Press, among others. Three new publishers are joining MUSE, and one title, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, is returning to MUSE following a change in publisher a few years ago. Back volumes will be added to close gaps in coverage with previous issues of the journal in MUSE. All titles will be available to MUSE Premium Collection subscribers. Southwestern Historical Quarterly will also be available in the Standard Collection, and New Labor Forum will be included in the Social Sciences Collection. The new titles are provided at no additional cost, and subscribers may expect to see the new journal content appearing soon online.

John Carter Brown Library research fellowships

The John Carter Brown Library at Brown University will award approximately 30 short- and long-term graduate research fellowships for the period June 1, 2011–June 30, 2012. Short-term fellowships are available for two-to-four months, with a monthly stipend of $2,100. Long-term fellowships—underwritten by the National Endowment for the Humanities, InterAmericas, Donald R. Saunders, and R. David Parsons— last five-to-ten months with a monthly stipend of $4,200. Applicants for short-term fellowships must pass their preliminary or general examinations and be at the dissertation writing stage, and long-term fellowship applicants must complete their Ph.D. before January 2011.

Research proposals must be suited to the holdings of the library, focusing on the history of the Western hemisphere during the colonial period. All fellows must relocate and be in continuous residence at the library for the entire fellowship term. The application deadline is January 3, 2011. For additional information and application forms, visit www.jcbl.org.

Harvard, MIT unite for undergrads

Harvard College Library (HCL) and MIT Libraries recently launched a pilot program, effective to extend reciprocal borrowing privileges to undergraduate students. Students from both institutions can request authorization to borrow materials from select libraries on the Cambridge campuses.

“This program offers students the best of both libraries’ collections, with MIT’s rich in science and engineering and HCL’s in humanities and social sciences. It gives Harvard undergraduates access to an expanded range of materials and supports cross-enrollment programs. Reciprocal privileges also provide an opportunity for students to work collaboratively with their peers at MIT,” said Marilyn Wood, associate librarian of Harvard College for collection management.

Undergraduates aren’t the first to benefit from a reciprocal borrowing program between HCL and MIT—faculty, researchers, and graduate students have had reciprocal borrowing privileges since 1995. The pilot for undergraduates will be assessed after 14 months. Both Harvard and MIT will collect data, including circulation and head counts, and will conduct informal surveys to determine the value of the program.

ACRL seeks APSA liaison

The ACRL Council of Liaisons has announced a public call for individual liaison applications. An outstanding, influential, and energetic individual is needed to fulfill the role of a liaison to the American Political Science Association (APSA). Applications that indicate the supporting documentation requirements and additional information are available on the Council of Liaisons Web site at www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/councilofliaisons/criteria.cfm.

Today’s challenges are opportunities for creativity and collaboration. Send completed applications by the July 15, 2010, deadline to Council of Liaisons Chair, W. Bede Mitchell at E-mail: and to ACRL Program Officer, Katie Coombes at E-mail: .

2010 RBMS Leab Exhibition Award winners

The ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) has selected five winners and one honorable mention for the 2010 Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab “American Book Prices Current” Exhibition Awards. The awards, funded by an endowment established by Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab, editors of “American Book Prices Current,” recognize outstanding exhibition catalogs issued by American or Canadian institutions in conjunction with library exhibitions as well as electronic exhibition catalogs of outstanding merit issued within the digital/Web environment. Certificates were presented to each winner at the RBMS Annual Membership Meeting and Information Exchange during the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington.

The Division One (expensive) winner is “Liberty and the American Revolution: Selections from the Collection of Sid Lapidus, Class of 1959,” submitted by the Rare Books and Special Collections department at the Princeton University Firestone Library.

“The purpose of this catalog,” stated Richard Noble, chair of the RBMS Exhibition Awards committee and rare books cataloger at Brown University, “is succinctly put in Stephen Ferguson’s preface: ‘How does one gain … a sense of the past? Not only by experiencing books as physical objects, seeing them as readers of that day saw, felt, and handled them, but—through the extensive quotations from the books themselves found in this catalogue—by making them speak as well.’”

The Division One honorable mention winner is awarded to the Poetry Collection at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York for “Discovering James Joyce: The University at Buffalo Collection.”

“This catalog is an indispensable guide to and demonstration of the scholarly possibilities of this particular collection,” noted Noble. “It’s also a visual feast, the complexity of its design properly representing the variousness of the many items on view, but with the clarity necessary to the understanding of all that variety.”

The Division Two (moderately expensive) winner is the Princeton University Library’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections for “Beauty & Bravado in Japanese Woodblock Prints: Highlights from the Gilbert G. Griffin Collection.”

“The text is set with a quiet sense of style: it’s meant to be read with the greatest ease possible, but still be suitable company for the excellently reproduced prints to which it points,” said Noble. “The essay itself is just enough and not too much: it cannot make the reader an instant expert, but does induce the feeling that having such expertise about such things would be a source of great pleasure—and it includes, in its historical treatment, reference to Western collectors of Japanese prints who found that out for themselves, as did Gillett G. Griffin, the collector of these prints.”

The Division Three (inexpensive) winner is “The Lion and the Fox: Art and Literary Works by Wyndham Lewis from the C.J. Fox Collection,” submitted by the Special Collections department at the University of Victoria Libraries.

“This is a remarkably handsome catalog that one judge assumed had to be Division Two (moderately expensive), but somehow they brought it off more inexpensively,” remarked Noble.

The Division Four (brochures) winner is the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas-Austin for their brochure entitled “The Mystique of the Archive.”

“The criteria for Division 4 of the Leab Awards note that a brochure is a publication designed to ‘orient the viewer to an exhibition,’” noted Noble. “This one is particularly successful in shaping a frame of mind, preparing a viewer to feel the temptation, the desire to be more than a viewer, the implicit challenge to get beneath the surface.”

The Division Five (electronic exhibition) winner is the University of Maryland Libraries’ Special Collections department for “Nancy Drew and Friends: Girls’ Series Books Rediscovered,” available online at www.lib.umd.edu/RARE/SpecialCollection/nancy/index.html.

“The exhibition,” stated Noble, “is an editorial triumph, accessible and informative at many levels, with a consistency of voice that remains always somehow breezy without ever betraying the seriousness of the collecting and curatorial discipline that went into it.”

New ACRL publications

Two new titles, Advocacy, Outreach and the Nation’s Academic Libraries: A Call for Action and Comprehensive Guide to Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery, are now available from ACRL.

In the current fiscal environment, college and university librarians must clearly articulate their value to the teaching, learning, and research missions of their institutions. Edited by William Welburn, Janice Welburn, and Beth McNeil, Advocacy, Outreach and the Nation’s Academic Libraries provides a framework for opening dialogue and incorporating advocacy by exploring opportunities for advocacy and focusing on the world of civic engagement as well as the role of librarians as advocates on campus.

In 12 insightful chapters, Advocacy, Outreach and the Nation’s Academic Libraries highlights the collaborative nature of advocacy and the importance of seeing opportunities for effective advocacy in a variety of areas.

Comprehensive Guide to Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery is an essential toolkit for libraries of all types and sizes. Authors Frances Wilkinson, Linda Lewis, and Nancy Dennis provide practical and experience-based approaches on preparing for a disaster by creating a plan, responding to an emergency, and the intricacies of recovering from a disaster.

The guide features seven compelling, reality-based case studies from six university libraries that recovered from earthquake, fire, flood, or hurricane damage. The work provides advice on every aspect of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery in libraries.

Both titles available for purchase through the ALA Online Store (www.alastore.ala.org), by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the United States or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

Harford Community College Library assists Haiti libraries

As part of its annual National Library Week celebration, Harford Community College (HCC) donated $500 to ALA’s Haiti Relief Fund. ALA established the fund to collect monetary donations to help rebuild libraries and archives that were destroyed or damaged during the devastating earthquake on January. 12, 2010. The funds donated by HCC were raised through its annual used book sale. Mary Somers (left), HCC public services librarian, presented the check to Kay Bowman (right), the Maryland chapter representative to ALA Council, at the annual meeting of the Maryland Library Association.


Copyright © American Library Association, 2010

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