Spring Cleaning & Summer Changes

Students who frequent the music library noticed some shelves being emptied over the past spring semester, and coincidentally became quite interested in vinyl… Beginning in February, cart after cart of LPs were pulled by the music library student assistants and brought into my office where they underwent close inspection, careful sorting, and thorough stamping. As some were sad to learn, those LPs that made it to the stamping stage were going away for good. The music library had a collection of … [Read more...]

Alternative Spring “Break”: Subscriptions Review

In the spring, a librarian's fancy turns to ... serials? Well, yes, especially this spring! In the library, we lock in next year's subscriptions many months in advance in order to take advantage of discounts and get a head start on paperwork (and the electronic equivalent). This means that the library and the faculty are now carefully evaluating a large percentage of our journal, magazine, newspaper, and database subscriptions and planning for 2016. We undertake comprehensive subscription … [Read more...]

Stored and Storied: An Ode to JSTOR

There was a time when shelves their limits neared, packed tight, and many tomes in dust to me appeared unused, neglected, contents spurned; why must each store what's seldom needed, just in case? It is not now a student seeks out print and copier; online- only option their only desire, PDF reprint. JSTOR, JSTOR, how do students love thee? We can surely count the ways, but librarians' love for JSTOR is perhaps stronger and not as easily quantified. Certainly, everyone, students … [Read more...]

In Common

In academia, we often focus on the unique or particular: a faculty member's area of research, a student's record of achievement, a program's national ranking, a journal's impact factor. Distinctions and differences drive intellectual debate and foster critical inquiry. This can sometimes seem like a sophisticated version of "one of these things is not like the other." At every institution, academic departments, admissions, and development offices celebrate differences, comparing and often … [Read more...]

Pickles and Preservation

Have you wandered by the microfilm cabinets lately and thought that you smelled pickles? We aren't opening a deli in the basement. The odor is indeed vinegar-like, and it is a sign of a serious problem: the deterioration of our acetate-based microfilm, a condition known as "vinegar syndrome." Earlier this year, I wrote about mice and mold in the library. For certain kinds of microfilm and microfiche, vinegar syndrome is just as much of a threat and just as destructive as mold. Unlike mold, … [Read more...]