An Evening with Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress

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Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress and Donneer Missouri, Scholarly Communication Librarian at Touro College.

Last evening, I had the great pleasure and privilege of attending an engagement entitled, “In Conversation: Dr. Carla Hayden + Tracy K. Smith”, held at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The talk which was moderated by Kevin Young, the current director of the Schomburg Center, featured Dr. Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress, and Tracy K. Smith, the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States, who was appointed by Dr. Hayden in 2017. This was a great way to wind down National Poetry Month while tying it into the work that we do as librarians. Continue reading

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What did the President say?

Presidents
Presidents Bush, Obama, GW Bush, Clinton, and Carter

With today’s Presidential Inauguration, I have been giving some thought to the speech every president gives on the historic day. Today, with the ability to live broadcast on TV and now also the internet, one is able to hear firsthand what a president says in real time. That is true. But what if you cannot catch the speech live? I strongly encourage you to go to the primary source and read a full transcript of the speech, rather than relying only on commentary online and in the news. Continue reading

What’s In a Name?

Steve Harvey knows it matters!

At the risk of being redundant, I do love Wikipedia. Without it, I would never have had exposure to the word disambiguation.  (It’s been a long time since I sat for the SAT, and consequently, a long time since I’ve learned any highfaluting vocabulary words.)  Wikipedia resolves ambiguity by clarifying a word, phrase, or person with additional identifying information.  This is a great benefit for the inexperienced.  For example, imagine you are invited by friends to the U of M for winter break.  I know you can have fun anywhere, you party animal, but knowing whether you are traveling to the University of Miami or the University of Minnesota will inform your decision about bringing your Canada Goose.

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Librarian Reacts to Change, part II

Melvil Dewey Can’t Land Punch.  Librarian of Congress Poised for Victory. (source)
Melvil Dewey Can’t Land Punch. Librarian of Congress Poised for Victory. (source)

[Continued from Librarians React to Change, part I] Academic and research libraries are not fans of the Dewey decimal system, and they employ other organizational schemes.  The Library of Congress (LC) classification system arranges books using an alphanumeric call number system.  It spans the alphabet from A to Z, although it ignores the W’s and a range of Q’s.  While subject headings are constantly updated and expanded, they are fit within the existing call numbers.  The National Library of Medicine (NLM) utilizes the letters unused in LC to classify medical books with a high degree of specificity.  If you would like to see a guide to the classification systems, click here. Which classification system should a large library use? I can picture a melee of librarians duking it out for classification supremacy. Continue reading

Librarian Reacts to Change, part I

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Oh no! The horror! (“The Scream,” Edvard Munch)

A periodical typically indicates its purpose and intended audience, and Lucky Magazine is no exception.  Emblazoned on its cover is the phrase “Lucky—The Magazine about Shopping.”  Now that’s something I can get behind.  I like to keep up with trends I am not going to follow.  No hottest coat for chilly days or “ridiculously good riding boots” for me.  Clearly, the intended audience for this magazine skews younger than I; nevertheless, it’s a fun read.  As a librarian, how can I resist flipping through the pages? The content within may hold the answer to my next reference question. Continue reading