From libraries to digitization

Including selections about another magical library, articles about libraries, archives, and digitization

Hello everyone! I hope you enjoy the above video, about exploring an archival record, a mathematical book published in 1598. While the temperatures here in Maryland have subsided, my writings have caught on fire, in a sense. What I mean is that my most recent fiction story, published yesterday, has been viewed over 180 times! I mention this because I updated it this morning to include a bit about a magical private library, which I’d like to share that excerpt with you all:

On the last part of their tour, Angella showed them her private library, with books and materials of all sizes and shapes. Glimmer had never seen them herself because she didn't care much for such intellectual pursuits…Steven and Connie, thinking back to the Buddy Buddwick Library in Beach City they had visited…loved this most of all…Angella explained the importance of her library, which she had curated herself. "These books mean so much to me personally. Some are diaries written by the first settlers on this planet, others are books of spells used by sorcerers, histories of Etheria I commissioned during my reign as Queen, and other assorted materials I like to read for fun." Turning to Steven and Connie, she handed them one thick diary, titled The tale of Rainbow Quartz and Pink Diamond. "I've tried to understand what this book means, but from all the Etherian history I know, I've never heard of these names ever before. Perhaps you can figure out what it means…" She paused and continued. "Just remember to bring it back within the next week"…Connie responded radiantly and politely. "Can do, ma'am!"

  1. Jessica Murray writes in The Guardian about a growing backlash against unstaffed libraries across the UK, where unstaffed hours are introduced meaning you can “access buildings, even if there are no library staff present, with your library card and a pin number and use self-service scanners to return and check out books.” The article goes onto say that while some benefits come from this policy, “some argue that a library without a librarian isn’t a library at all” and I’d say they aren’t wrong!

  2. Kelli Yakabu, a MLIS student at the University of Washington focusing on archives, continues the Navigating Workplace Culture series on Hack Library School with a post about the importance of an interview in finding out the culture of a place you might be working.

  3. The National, a UAE publication, has an article about an organization in Afghanistan, Charmagz, founded by a 27-year-old woman, transforming buses into mobile libraries, driving them around Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, so that young Afghans can “develop and foster a love for critical thought and reading.” They stop at each location for a few hours and work to make people understand libraries even more. A great program! I’m glad someone shared this article with me, so I could include it in this newsletter!

  4. Rona Sala writes an essay which describes how a photographic archive was looted at various times, with looted objects either becoming symbols of a triumph or a way to dehumanize an enemy. As Marc Lenot described it on a PhotoHistory listserv, reposted on the SAA’s Visual Materials Section by James Eason, “the essay focuses also on the phenomenon of pillage by individuals who transfer the looted cultural assets to colonial official archives where they are ruled by the colonial administration. It thus reflects not only the responsibility of states in the process of "knowledge production" and on their role in distorting the past and rewriting history.”

  5. Emily Rastovich, a graduate of the University of Alabama’s Bama by Distance MLIS program, writes about the importance of internships in the library profession. This article which fits with the others which are part of the Navigating Workplace Culture series on Hack Library School.

  6. Daniel Anderson, in a master’s paper, writes about the role of retention schedules in businesses that have knowledge management programs. While this is a bit technical for some, I think it is still worth sharing. I’m glad Mr. Anderson shared this on the mailing list for the SAA’s Business Archives Section.

  7. A bit of an older article (from 2015), but still interesting: Margo Anderson writes about public management of big data in the 1940s and the historical lessons that can come from that. Another good piece to read in the coming days.

  8. I’d also like to mention the summer newsletter of the Society of California Archivists, with articles about the Bob Wade Papers in the special collections of USC Libraries, about the tens of thousands of photos of San Francisco now accessible to the public, the architectural drawings of Claud Beelman, and much much more! A great publication to follow.

  9. The Hindustan Times notes how soon (in about 2 months) you will be about to download and print the history of Delhi, dating back to the 19th century, as an initiative of the Delhi Archives.

  10. A 1775 manuscript, detailing the Headford lands of the St George family, will soon travel to “Philadelphia next month on loan from Galway County Council’s archive collection.” It will join artifacts from “Ireland, Europe, Australia and the US for a major historic exhibition, opening in September, entitled Cost of a Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier” at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.

-Burkely