Thursday, July 31, 2008

new reviews in cyberculture studies (august 2008)

the resource center for cyberculture studies (RCCS) publishes monthly book reviews and author responses. books of the month for august 2008 are:

Everyday eBay: Culture, Collecting, and Desire
Editors: Ken Hillis, Michael Petit, and Nathan Scott Epley
Publisher: Routledge, 2006
Review 1: Leslie Madsen-Brooks
Author Response: Ken Hillis

The Exploit: A Theory of Networks
Authors: Alexander R. Galloway and Eugene Thacker
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press, 2007
Review 1: Daniel Gilfillan
Review 2: Nathaniel Tkacz
Author Response: Alexander R. Galloway and Eugene Thacker

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

UC 539 shuts down

for the last two years, my office was UC 539. UC 539 is a tiny room, entirely windowless, and, with a nod to the professor of pop, located directly next to the departmental office.

today i went to campus and packed all the books and journals and papers and magazines and CDs and dvds and videotapes and comic books and posters and paper clips and rubber bands and everything else i completely forgot was stored in my office. i fit it all into fifteen boxes and stacked them WALL·E-style.

starting august 8, USF humanities and social sciences professors and staff move from UC to kalmanovitz hall. wish us luck.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

the september project 2008

warning: this blog post contains homework. read at your own risk.

the september project is a grassroots effort to encourage events about freedom and democracy in all libraries in all countries during the month of september.

we began the september project in 2004 to break the silence following september 11, and to invite all people into libraries to consider topics of patriotism, democracy, and citizenship. initially, events focused on september 11 and largely took place on september 11. as the project evolved, events spread throughout the month of september and focused on issues of freedom and democracy.

libraries and librarians are the heart and soul of the september project. for the last five years, public, academic, school, and government libraries from around the world have organized september project book displays, one book one community programs, children's art projects, murals, film screenings, theatrical performances, civic deliberations, community-campus gardens, voter registrations, panel discussions, and so much more. september project events are free, open to the public, and organized locally.

starting last week, the september project listserv lit up with librarians sharing their september project events. as always, this year's september project events are creative, diverse, and engaging. here's a sample.

View Larger Map

Bell Library at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is organizing a semester-long display on "Electing a President." In conjunction with Constitution Day (September 17), the display will highlight the relevant portions of the Constitution and will encourage voter registration.

Sacramento Public Library (CA) has organized a One Book, One Community program featuring the book Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson, who will be in attendance for the community conversations.

Gottesman Library at Columbia University in New York City will host a Socratic conversation about patriotism on September 11. Ronald Gross, aka Socrates, will lead a community conversation around two questions: What does patriotism mean to you, today? and How does patriotism need to be re-interpreted for the challenges we confront now?

Biblioteca Berio, in Genova, Italy, has created two events that increase our understanding of different cultures around us and that strive for peace. The first is a week-long photograph exhibition of the postwar period in Bosnia featuring the work of photographer Laura Rossi. On September 11, the library will host a public meeting and reading about the Srebrenica genocide in 1995.

The Sugar Grove Public Library (IL) will be joining with other libraries
across the US in a day of remembrance and celebration called Libraries Remember. The library will open their doors at 12:01 am on Thursday, September 11, 2008 and remain open for 24 hours. During this time, the library will host flag ceremonies, encourage people to register to vote, and provide library business as usual. Also, the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry will hold their monthly meeting on the lawn of the library which will be followed by a community picnic.

Seattle Public Library is hosting an exciting and provocative suite of events taking place in Central Library, Capitol Hill Branch Library, and Green Lake Branch Library. Events include a three-part, three-neighborhood discussion with Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer and their book The True Patriot; a film screening and discussion of The Corporal's Diary; a public talk by veteran British war correspondent Robert Fisk; and, in collaboration with Intiman Theatre, a dramatic reading from Robert Penn Warren's "All the King's Men."

Ingram Library at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton will host the exhibit "Anne Frank: A History for Today" from September 7-30, with support from the library’s Penelope Melson Society and the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. In conjunction with the exhibit opening, the "Jewish Literature-Identity and Imagination" book discussion group, sponsored by the Neva Lomason Library, part of the West Georgia Regional Library System, will open its 2008 program. (Public and academic libraries working together = awesome.) Ingram Library will also host a talk on the US Constitution by Bob Schaeffer University of West Georgia's Department of Political Science and Planning.

want to hear more? visit the september project blog and subscribe to our listserv.

here at september project headquarters, our publicity budget, as well as our general budget, is $0. so, instead of advertisements and commercials, our outreach strategy is word of mouth, peer-to-peer, person-to-person. our outreach mode is essentially anyone to everyone as long as the message eventually reaches a librarian.

which brings us to you and your homework.

1. read this blog post. read any comments, too!

2. ask yourself, "who are my two or three favorite librarians?"

(2a. if you do not have two or three favorite librarians, shame on you. instead, find the web site for the very first library you remember using and locate the name and email address of the library director and/or community services librarian.)

3. send this blog post or this "What is it?" page or this "Where is it?" map to your two or three favorite librarians. share with them, in a few sentences, what you find interesting about the september project. if your favorite librarians speak Spanish, consider sending this page translated by Proyecto CIBA.

4. once you have completed steps 1-3, describe what you did in a comment below.

homework due date: nowish and soonish.

Monday, July 14, 2008

a family reunion in colorado

when it comes to states, my heart and history belong to california. but colorado sure is purty.

last week, sarah and i travelled to colorado for a mcgrew family reunion (sarah's mom's side). but before the reunion, we headed to leadville, to see sarah's sister jewlee, her partner sam, and their five dogs.

i like elevation and leadville, which reaches 10,152 feet (3094 m), is the highest town or city in the US. it's also one of the most breath-taking, surrounded by mount massive, mount elbert, and other fourteeners.

after a few days in leadville, we headed south, to wetmore, to visit with nan davenport, director of the wetmore community library, part of the mighty davenport family, and one of those humans who upon meeting you stop and say to yourself, "wow, what a unique person!" wetmore community library is a one-room treasure chest of knowledge and serves as the heart of wetmore. it also organizes the community square dances, which occur about twice a year and bring out the whole community, from teens to old-timers. meeting nan and her family and square dancing with the folks of wetmore (and nearby florence) were trip highlights.

then we jumped back in the car and drove north of denver and west of fort collins and landed in estes park to reunion with the mcgrew crew. we were nineteen, ranging from a newly minted one-year old to a few who got senior discounts to the nearby rocky mountain national park. three generations of mcgrews shuttled to bear lake and ate delicious sammies, played miniature golf under a big hot sun, told stories and shared histories on the deck late into the night, and gathered for a photograph or two.

thanks mcgrews. thanks colorado. i look forward to seeing both of you again real soon.