Tag Archives: ACRL/NY

At the UN

(2015-05-22 001)On Friday, I took a tour with other ACRL/NY members to the United Nations for a tour of the library. We were met at the visitor’s gate by two UN employees, one of them being a librarian who was originally from Germany. (The other one was originally from Portugal.) We were led into where the metal detectors were and, like in the airports, we had to take off our belts and empty our pockets of everything. Then we were led back out into the courtyard, across the compound and into the building where the delegates cafeteria is located, past that and down a long hall, turning right and coming to the entrance to the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, named for the second UN secretary-general who was killed in a plane crash on a peace-keeping mission to Africa. In March 2015, the current secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, named a three panel commission to investigate new evidence about the plane crash; the report is expected at the end of June. The Guardian has an article on it.

(2015-05-22 014)We were shown the library, which is on three floors, all disconnected. The stacks we could not even get to because someone had locked the door to that level, so we had to take the elevator. Since there were so many of us, we made several trips. We were shown items from the collection, including the 1945 San Francisco treaty that established the United Nations. This was published in a book. And where is the original? Why in the National Archives, of course. The library has almost a complete set of the League of Nations documents; the complete set is at the former League headquarters in Geneva.

(2015-05-22 010)In a meeting room where it looked like the card catalog was kept (all materials 1979 and back are still on cards and are not in the computer), the chief librarian welcomed us and gave us an overview of how the library’s staff has shrunk with the cuts in funding. He also presented how he would like the library to begin doing outreach to other libraries in the Greater New York area, and becoming more connected. There were two other CUNY librarians there and I commented that the library looked like one from CUNY, and the two quickly agreed with me, since they had come to the same conclusion. It is sad. This is the leading institution in the world trying to resolve conflicts between nations peacefully, and its library is woefully underfunded.

(2015-05-22 016)There was a question-and-answer with the librarians while we noshed on some snacks. Then it was time to leave. I’d like to help the library find funding to finish the retrospective conversion–meaning that what the library has in the card catalog would be completely computerized. Materials are also being digitized, so digitizing the rare materials like the League documents would be available online. Unfortunately, since the terrorist attacks in 2001, security has been tightened so much that it is almost impossible for scholars who need to do research over the long term to get access for more than one day.



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Filed under Libraries, New York City

Busy, Busy

I’ve been busy these last few weeks.

ACRLNY-Logo-Rectangle2Today, I talked to the Academic Librarians’ Writing/Research Group about how to find ideas to write about. The notes I used were from a 2010 talk a colleague of mine from New York University gave to the ACRL/NY New Librarians Discussion Group (NLDG) when I was the chair. I was his “poster child” in his five steps of getting a work published. My colleague has said that he ought to write-up his points in an article, and I could not agree more.

It seems to have gone very well; there was a lot of questions and answers from all over the room. I met some very interesting people who need a little help in getting their publications out. This group, originally under the aegis of the NLDG and the Mentoring Program, was established as an ad hoc committee in the afternoon by the president of ACRL/NY, on its way to becoming a regular group in the organization.

Jacob Odell House (Historical Society of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown) (2013-03-15 001)Last night, I went to a Board of Trustees meeting of the Historical Society Inc., Serving Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown. It was held in the Washington Irving Memorial Chapter, which is in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. After the new trustees were elected, a news writer spoke on the new Tappan Zee Bridge. I was against the new bridge, but I had misinformation. There’s was less dredging of the Hudson River than I thought, the bridge will have express bus lanes, it has sensors around the work site to protect the endangered sturgeon, and the bridge is built to carry two sets of train tracks that can be added in the future. Even the design doesn’t disgust me as much. The bridge is guaranteed to last 100 years.

And I continue to work on the Charles Rockwell papers at the historical society. I only do this a few hours a week, so progress is slow, but the papers are getting organized.

On April 24th, I was on a panel at the NLDG event, “Demystifying the Hiring Process.” Three other colleagues from other institutions were on the panel and we were asked questions by the moderator. Questions were also taken from the audience. This was another good talk that was well-attended, and I think people took away some ideas about how academic libraries do their hiring.

PSC-CUNY logoIn mid-April, I was awarded a PSC-CUNY grant to buy a Mac Air computer. I will need this to do research on Greco-Roman libraries built in the early 20th century and compare the structures to their ancient predecessors. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to get the equipment until after July 1 as this is when the grant begins. Still, I am eager to begin working on my web site. Because I need to know Omeka and geographical software for my job, I will probably use Omeka for the content, and I will be looking at different software for geographical locations.

Like I said, busy, busy, busy.


Filed under Libraries, Writing