This semester I’m taking a Digital Libraries class, which so far has proven to be pretty awesome. Not only are we discussing the theoretical definition of a digital library or collection, but we’re going to be learning the practical aspect as well. We will be working with CONTENTdm for one of the major projects, building our own collection. Of course, we have to come up with the collection ourselves, a task that is made more difficult by the fact that we have to work in groups. While I have a great partner, consensus is difficult to come by. I’m using this post to brainstorm different ideas for our collection.
- As a larger category, things left in library books. Think Found Magazine.
- Vintage postcards, with some kind of theme.
- Artwork by someone. Who?
- Modern ephemera, some kind of commentary on the diminishing of ephemera as so much goes online.
- Containers for outdated media. I’m always fascinated by specially designed plastic cases for things that are no longer used. Think about containers for slides, floppy disks, records, Walkmans, even previous gen iPods, etc. I have a small collection of these items and I’m sure it would be easy to find more.
- Recipe cards, specifically ones passed down from relatives. Suggestion from co-worker.
- My grandmother’s hedgehog collection
What to do!
This warms my heart a bit. One of the commenters came off a bit strong, but he/she is probably right. The Twitter support is nice, but actually doing something is what matters. In the same way that posting your bra color is not going to cure breast cancer, taking the two clicks to retweet something isn’t going to save libraries. Memes are not going to change the world.
I say this coming from a library that has had major cuts in the past year. Half the staff has been let go, and we’re having to get rid of one-half to two-thirds of our collection because we’re being turned into an “Information Commons” with no space. Our online journal subscriptions have decreased because of a lack of money. Complaints from students and faculty have helped bring in a little more, but this library will never go back to what it once was. Let’s just hope the future doctors of America don’t suffer for it.
Patton Oswalt is criticizing/ranting about how easy it is to access all the trappings of geek-dom. The internet takes all the work out of working for your bootlegs. While he has interesting things to say, I don’t think everyone will agree. But I liked his “ETEWAF” term, especially in the context of archives. Do researchers/scholars feel the same way, watching the younger generation obtain primary sources easily through the internet? A lot of the commentary I’ve seen on this piece boils down to “you’re just jealous,” which I think is a legitimate point. I also wonder if the whole “information overload” plays a factor, well I’m sure it does, but to what extent in each culture?
No time for answers today unfortunately.
Not only have I never been to the NYPL, I have also never been to New York itself! But this was a really neat blog post of the rarely given tour of the stacks at NYPL which has seven levels and over 100 miles of shelving that reaches under Bryant Park. Having spent most of my time at small to medium-sized libraries, these kind of numbers are mind-boggling to me.
How am I supposed to read and learn everything I want to in a single day?
Look I just discovered this blog: http://spitalfieldslife.com/ and now I am compelled to read every single post!
I have correspondence to return, library books to read, feeds to catch up on, listservs to scroll through, backlog blog posts, scarves to knit, not to mention the work that I’m actually paid to do: cataloging.
It is especially difficult to manage when I collapse into bed at 8:30pm and find that my limbs are too heavy to move and sleep the only option.
And I start school in a week.
Despite generally feeling that my reading choices are better than everyone else’s, I love this kind of stuff. The NYT sent an author and an artist out to document what riders on the No. 6 train were reading. It’s a great snapshot into why people are reading, not just what. I take public transportation to work every day and I love speculating on passenger’s book choices. Anyone who is not reading Stieg Larsson is immediately more interesting.