Sunday, March 30, 2008

Links & Reviews

- The Legacy Libraries got some cool blog-mentions this week: Deeplinking points out some of the interesting holdings from a few of the libraries, and Craig Burrell at All Manner of Thing notes the completion of the Walker Percy library.

- Lee Hadden at LIS News recommends an article in the 22 March New Scientist (not available online), "When the Internet Was Made of Paper." It discusses the pre-computer, index card-based information systems that were all the rage a few decades ago. [Update: I should have known, this article's by Paul Collins, who comments on it here].

- On 20 March, Rachel at Liminal Librarian wrote about a library-world phenomenon that's always bothered me: the self-righteous and defensive attitudes which (some!) MLS-holding librarians seem to take toward their colleagues who haven't taken the degree. Rachel's post attracted a huge number of comments and prompted much discussion (see her follow-up post for a synopsis). I think her take on this issue is entirely spot-on, and can't agree more with her concluding comments: "When MLS vs. non-MLS condescension drives people away from wanting to earn the degree, we have a problem. When we fail to credit valuable input because of its source, we have a problem. Librarianship is inherently an interdisciplinary profession — we overlap with so many other fields, and our strength lies in our ability to assimilate the best of each. Let’s extend that ability to the people that work in our libraries, as well." Well said (I might even go a step further, since I think we're all got a great deal to learn from people who don't necessarily work in libraries as well).

- From BibliOdyssey, images from the first volume of Martin Frobenius Ledermüller's Amusement Microscopique tant pour l'Esprit, que pour les Yeux; Contenant Cinquante Estampes [..] Dessinées d'après Nature et Enluminées, avec leurs Explications (1766-1768, with engravings by Winterschmidt).

Reviews

- Mary Roach's new book Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex is reviewed by Pamela Paul for the NYTimes. Paul writes that Roach "takes an entertaining topic and showcases its creepier side. And then she makes the creepy funny" (as in her previous two books, Stiffs and Spook).

- James Morrow's latest, The Philosopher's Apprentice, is reviewed in The Telegraph by Ed Lake. He did not enjoy the book.

- Richard Cox discusses Gordon Wood's The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History (just out from Penguin Press). The book is a collection of Wood's review essays from the last quarter-century or so.

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