Monday, January 3, 2011

Really good article

Stephen Burn has an excellent article in the NYT's recent article series "Why Criticism Matters" entitled "Beyond the Critic as a Cultural Arbiter". The article strikes a good balance between the role of the masses as readers and the individual trying to steer public taste. I very much agree with his closing thoughts as I think they apply well to the role of the library especially for academic libraries where the goal is no longer gatekeeper or even perhaps sifter of information but to make sure that certain resources are easily available and in keeping with Mr. Burn's ending point to attempt to make more visible "... major works that are not always visible in mainstream networks." That is, highlighting those works that fall below the student's radar, in a variety of ways.

Library Juice Press, for whom I do occasional volunteer copy-editing/indexing work for has a new book coming out that I worked on and am particularly excited about. The book is entitled Archival Anxiety and the Vocational Calling by Richard Cox. Dr. Cox teaches at UPitt's iSchool where I received my MLIS and I had the distinct privilege of taking several classes with him. He is an interesting and dynamic lecturer and that aspect extends to this book. Granted the title may indicate that if one is not interested in archives or libraries that one may want to steer clear but that would be a mistake. This book is composed of a series of essays by Dr. Cox and truthfully convey his passion and enthusiasm for archival work and the importance of correct and rigorous archival thinking especially in an age where most individuals creates many hundreds of thousands of records a year. In this book Dr. Cox not only details the history and development of his vocational calling but also examines the seeming lack of an calling across the archival discipline by examining some of the conflicts and interactions between the major bodies of the archival community. Again this may seem less than scintillating reading but please be assured that Dr. Cox manages to convey these stories with a sense of urgency and stage-like drama so as to make for fascinating reading.
I recently got an iPhone 3. It's pretty sweet but won't let me easily post to Blogger. So I've been throwing up images to Tumblr which can be viewed here:

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