I finished reading The Map Thief by Michael Blanding this morning, the account primarily of the actions of map dealer E. Forbes Smiley III and thefts to which he admitted and others attributed to him, mostly in the 2000s. The book reveals a bit about how more support is needed to adequately catalog and care for rare books, manuscripts, and maps to preserve them for the future while making them available now. It’s both a book that is a bit alarming and helpful by teaching how some people steal materials. If I were still the guardian of a collection, I would definitely review practices to figure out how to better protect materials. The book also summarizes the history of map making and certain key maps and takes a look at some institutions Smiley visited.
WordCamp Boston 2014 is being held at the MIT Media Lab on August 23, 2014 while the Contributor Day is being held at the Workbar in Cambridge on August 24, 2014. The cost is $20.00 to attend both days.
Wordcamp, which is held across the country and the world, deals with all aspects of the WordPress blogging program.
For more info:
Posted by Rich
Yepper. Save the date. Awesome sessions. Nifty networking. Informal. Like usual. And yet unique, like every year is a new experience.
BarCamp Boston 9
October 11 & 12, 2014
Microsoft NERD on Memorial Drive, not too far from the Kendall T station
(BarCamp Boston, by the way, played a major role in me having the job I have today.)
After hearing through the family grapevine that the new version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is worth seeing, I caught it last night at LSC at MIT for free. What my family didn’t tell me that I’ll tell you is that the “real life” parts of the movie are completely different from the 1947 version’s storyline. Instead, they deal with Life magazine shutting down and the transition the publication and its staff go through to begin entering the digital age. Sound familiar? Walter is a “negative asset manager,” aka photo negative librarian/archivist—one of us news and photo librarians. Like many of us, he must figure out what to do next with his career and, well, life because of changes to the media industry and its downsizing.
Several scenes happen in the physical photo archive. I guess I gasped audibly when the characters entered that area the first time because I saw my companion glance at me. Levels of classic metal shelves in a common library architecture. Hollinger boxes. Memories.
I’m not a big Ben Stiller fan by any means, but I did enjoy the film, especially because I can relate to the plot line involving Walter’s job. Going through another job transition, I’ve been pondering my own career path, where I’ve been, and what various changes might mean for my professional future. Someone recently asked me where I see myself in five years. Five years ago, I wouldn’t have predicted I am where I am now. (But, amusingly, I may have just done a loop and ended up in a position that makes great sense based on where I was five years ago.) Where should I be in five years? Where do I want to be in five years? Sitting on a Himalayan mountainside photographing and observing snow leopards seems terrific to me, but quite orthogonal from where I am now.
Anyway … LSC shows The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) again tonight at 8 pm in 26-100 at MIT.
Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is free today thanks to a special Free Fun Fridays program from the Highland Street Foundation. One of the four original copies of the Magna Carta is there this summer. I saw it Wednesday night. When in your lifetime are you going to have the chance to admire such a fine document from almost 800 years ago (799, really)? It’s amazing to think about how someone had the presence of mind that long ago to try to preserve that thin parchment and those elegantly penned lines that became critically important to many governments.
The exhibit does not allow photography, so alas, I personally have no proof. (Yeah, no selfie with 800-year-old parchment.) It made me wonder how, in this age of sharing, it would change things if the museum or the document’s owner, Lincoln Cathedral, or someone would provide an image or something we could all share, send to friends, and view to get closer looks at this amazing piece of history.
Like the gorgeous quilts on display now, it makes me ponder why some people keep some things and not others, why go to the lengths to preserve some of the things we do. Not that I’m saying these things are not worth preserving, just how is it that some of these things that are hundreds of years old have survived, been handed down, found their way into hands that would cherish them, etc. And items like the quilts end up telling us so much about how people lived and what they had in the 1800s or so. What cultures influenced others; what colors, patterns, and fabrics were available; what was likely to end up in a blanket. But talking about the quilts, even though some tell terrific stories and, of course, they’re fibre arts–hobbies closely associated with librarians–is not nearly as germane as talking about a major historical document. It would be way too off topic, perhaps, for me to say that the collectors focused on the same pattern as my Mom’s quilt, the one she and some women made when our church experimented with a quilting group a while back. The ones on display were amazing variants on that pattern, one of which in particular caused more people than just me to gasp and admire it in wonder. Oh, the patience and creativity that went into some of those threads!
Besides, what else are you going to do tonight? It’s not like there’s a football game.
Through an American Library Association group on LinkedIn, I found a list of free programs offered over the Internet for librarians in June. Sure, the month is almost over (*gasp!*), but materials related to past ones may be available online still and a few of the upcoming ones could be quite useful, including a Thursday (6/19) discussion about solo librarianship. (OK, maybe that’s a bad example because registration is closed, but it’s still possible to register to receive the presentation materials.) They also offer leads on people and organizations who offer training, like Florida Library Webinars. (See that, Lincoln?)
For National Preservation Week, the MIT Libraries are sponsoring a free showing of The Monuments Men via LSC at MIT, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at 8:00 pm, 26-100 (that’s Building 26, room 100, a big
movie theatre lecture hall not too far from the landmark Stata Center). Did I mention the showing is free? Come out to show support for the MIT Libraries!
*yells “LSC … !”
I can’t help sharing this tale with you. Besides, Liz would love that I blogged it!
While doing a search in Google tonight for something somewhat random, a link to Infomaniac: Behind the News popped up in the first page of search results. I gasped.
Liz Donovan’s blog is still out there. Her words are still floating around on Blogspot. Terrific! It’s good to know her words live on. She was such an amazing woman, one very respected by her news librarian colleagues. She definitely influenced me and my career. You’re reading one outcome of her persuasiveness. I can recall several conversations years ago where she asked me if I had heard of this thing called a “weblog” and how she thought I should start one. She was often an early adopter and evangelist. And she was absolutely right (even if I don’t get around to writing here much these days). So in April 2003, I started a new hobby.
The match to my search terms was not even a good one. Seven words grouped with parentheses in a pattern of 5 and 2. Only two words of the first set of five were in the particular post Google pointed me to. Why is it that Liz’ blog is popping up now? It makes me laugh. Hello, Liz!
Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Let’s hope 2014 is a great one!
Posted by Rich
The New England Chapter of the Special Libraries Association is presenting a panel discussion called Special Libraries Career Profiles: The Role of Information Professionals in Business Development and Marketing on Wednesday, October 29, 2013 at the Boston Public Library, Concourse Level, Room CO6 at 6 p.m. The event is free, but you have register by Monday October 28, 2013 so they will know how many are coming:
“This discussion will feature research professionals working with the Boston-based economic consulting firm Analysis Group, Inc.
This 3-person team of full-time researchers work within the company’s Marketing Department, providing business development, legal, marketing, and business research support.”
“They will be joined in the discussion by another Marketing colleague who supports the company’s direct marketing efforts through research and list building, and by a part-time legal research specialist.”
“The moderated conversation will focus on team members’ career paths, how they use their library skills outside the traditional library
setting, and how they strive to remain relevant in an evolving market and a growing company. Ample time will be provided for a question and
Speakers: Victoria Hopcroft, John Aubrey, Rosemary Zankiw, Catherine Boothby, and Mary Liz Brenninkmeyer
Moderator: Devon McArdle, President, SLA New England
Attendees are advised to enter at 700 Boylston Street and take the stairs or elevator down one floor to the Concourse level. The conference rooms will be on the right.
For more info:
Posted by Rich