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April 2008 HAVERFORD COLLEGE No. 7

Table of Contents


From the Director

by Bob Kieft

The World Wide Web's effects on the information economy since the mid-1990s are almost beyond calculation. New kinds of publications (blogs, wikis, etc), new forms of communication (Facebook, YouTube), new ways of locating information, and new models for distributing text (open access publishing of journals, databases like Margaret Schaus's Feminae, Comment Press) have, it seems, sprung up almost overnight and quickly come to dominate the way people think about information.

At Haverford, the most-used library materials are electronic reference works and journals. Students and faculty have voted with their keyboards, and well over half our subscriptions for journals, journal indexes, and such reference works as the Oxford English Dictionary are online. That number is growing annually as online versions of these traditionally-printed sources become the norm and as new online publications develop. For some, especially students, works that are in print do not, for all practical purposes, exist; granted in most cases even these resolutely e-based students print out the sources and read them the traditional way on paper, but they assume that online discovery and access are the way the world works.

The most newsworthy aspect of a generalized move to digital text for library collections has been the various large-scale digitization initiatives (LSDIs) for monographs--Million Books Project, Google Book Search Library, Microsoft Live Search, and Open Content Alliance--which are bringing to the Web what will in the next ten years become a universally searchable, if not readable, library. Less massive but no less important for libraries are the experiments by university presses and commercial publishers to market new monographs in electronic form. Faculty and students at Haverford, like their counterparts elsewhere, have shown less enthusiasm for electronic monographs, aka "books," than for journal articles and reference works. In the case of monographs, which depend on continuous reading of large amounts of text, the difficulties of reading hundreds of pages on screen and the inability to work readily with the text (highlight, underline, comment, etc.) as well as the ease of reading on paper are often-cited impediments to general acceptance.

Even though readers prefer print monographs, they like the online versions for discovery and evaluation purposes. We know from the searchable tables-of- contents and sample chapters that we add to Tripod catalog records and from other experiences with electronic monographs that readers use digitized text to decide what they are going to retrieve from the stacks or request from another library. We also know anecdotally that people go to Amazon to perform research queries in sample text and that readers look to Google texts and search engine queries for the same purpose.

Although readers' willingness to read monographs electronically will take some years to develop, and publishers are still experimenting with business models for selling them, Haverford, along with Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore, is offering electronic monographs in the collection. In 2001, we joined an experiment undertaken by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and Oxford and Cambridge University Presses to test faculty and student use and acceptance of digitized front-list history monographs (search Tripod for author "Oxford University Press Digital Library Collection University Of Pennsylvania" for catalog records that link to the texts).

In the fall of 2007, the TriColleges agreed to participate in an experiment with Duke University Press to purchases their entire catalog of new publications in electronic form (the TriColleges will also be buying print copies), and Tripod will soon link to those titles. Tripod records are also linking to small groups of digitized monographs from University of Pittsburgh Press (author search "University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions") and MIT Press (author search "John D and Catherine T Macarthur Foundation Initiative on Digital Media and Learning").

We at Haverford are watching eagerly as Swarthmore experiments with a large body of academic monographs that are licensed from publishers through an aggregator called “ebrary,” which offers a publishing platform for locally-produced as well for commercially-published texts. Over the next couple of years, the TriColleges will be contributing texts from our collection to the Open Content Alliance's mass digitization effort under a grant from the Sloan Foundation to the Mid-Atlantic library network, PALINET. After the grant runs its course in 2010, the equipment will remain in the area for consortial use. Meanwhile, Google's legions of scanners continue to digitize large segments of libraries' collections in spite of concerns raised in many quarters about the quality of the digitized text and the legality of the digitization itself, and we have started linking to books in the Google project though Tripod’s "find it" service.

The day is not far away when the sheer massiveness of the digitized monographic content available and the development of an inexpensive portable reading technology will persuade most readers to prefer the digitized copy of a text for most purposes most of the time. In the TriColleges we are preparing for that day by offering many e-monographs now. We are certainly interested in hearing from students and faculty about how these texts work for them and what needs to be done to improve their usefulness.

-Bob Kieft is Director of College Information Resources
& Librarian of the College


Surveying the Unknown

by Diana Franzusoff Peterson

Haverford’s Special Collections is participating in a project to survey its unprocessed or under-processed manuscript collections, and is one of 22 institutions in the 33-member group of libraries comprising PACSCL (Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries) to take part. In the case of Haverford, the survey encompasses 60 collections, but across the participating institutions, numbers range from 13 to 185 collections. The project is supported by funding from the Mellon Foundation, along with cost-sharing by participating institutions.

screenshot of PACSCL Inventory database  interface
The PACSCL Survey Database

Preliminary information about the collections was provided by Special Collections staff to the project team who rated each collection for research value, intellectual access, physical condition and quality of housing, as well as to provide biographical and general scope of collection information. We were able to help the team think about research value based on what our researchers tell us about their areas of scholarly interest.

The surveyed collections at Haverford relate primarily to Quaker families, individuals and organizations spanning the 18th to the 21st centuries, including correspondence, diaries, photographs, minutes and financial reports, and focused primarily on the Northeast corridor of the U.S. The surveyors’ notes reveal the creators’ emphases on improvement of society as well as their personal lives and interests.

Haverford agreed to expose the survey results on a searchable website <http://www.pacsclsurvey.org> released in August 2007 because we believe there is valuable research material within these collections. The survey has resulted in a very fine outline of the collections and their creators; details of the surveyed collections will follow.


-Diana Franzusoff Peterson is Manuscripts Librarian & College Archivist


Cadbury Papers

by Cassie Boland and Dina Mazina

When you're majoring in subjects like English and History, finding a paying summer job in your field becomes difficult. Usually, the ability to do lots of dense reading and form thesis statements isn't a marketable job skill, at least not for undergraduates. The two of us were lucky enough to find ourselves in Special Collections, working on an ongoing project organizing the William W. Cadbury and Catherine J. Cadbury papers. Thanks to the donors, who employ students through the College, the two of us, undergraduates at Earlham and Bryn Mawr Colleges, were able to spend the summer reading, organizing, and archiving this standout collection, which traces the lives of two Quaker missionaries in China between 1909 and 1949.

We spent the first two weeks reading every document that came from the Cadburys, acquainting ourselves with William's hurried handwriting and Catherine's upbeat personality. Our main focus was continuing work on the already existent inventory, summarizing individual letters in terms that might prove useful to future researchers.

William Warder Cadbury (1877-1959) began his career in 1909 as both a medical missionary and a professor at Lingnan University in Canton, China.
Although at times world affairs made it difficult for William to continue in his work, he did not retire and leave China permanently until 1949, when he and his wife were forced out by the Communist party. William’s firm devotion to improving a community’s health through medicine and
enriching its psyche through religion, as well as his complete faith in this work as his life’s purpose, is clearly seen in his letters. Through these letters we get a glimpse of the daily business and responsibilities of an American doctor, professor, and Quaker missionary in China. Catherine Jones Cadbury (1884-1970) spent her first years in Asia as
a teacher in Japan, arriving in 1917. Her letters, spanning over 50 years, trace her career as a teacher, wife, and mother of three girls. Her letters give us a view of the dedicated Christian missionary community in Canton, China and the everyday life of an American woman living in a culture much different from her own.

Reading these letters not only illuminate the lives of two American Quaker missionaries in China, but offers a distinct perspective on the world and the way in which an individual might experience it. Hopefully, with a few more summers of student assistance, this collection will be fully available for researchers.

-Cassie Boland is a senior at Earlham College
-Dina Mazina is a senior at Bryn Mawr College


Hamadryad III

by John Anderies

Fountain sculpture

Artist Hilarie Johnston’s bronze sculpture Hamadryad III (2001), on loan from the artist since 2006, was made a permanent presence in the Magill Library lobby when it was purchased as a graduation gift by the Class of 2007 and the Office of the President. Using a title from the Greek “with tree,” the sculpture depicts a mythological wood nymph whose life is lived in trees. Cast in bronze and incorporating water elements from the lobby’s fountain, the work stems from Johnston’s belief that trees are sacred in their beauty and spiritual in their connection with humans.

-John Anderies is Coordinator for Collections
& Head, Special Collections


Laptops, Liquid Spills, and the People Who Can Help

by Sarah Gray

In keeping with today's fast-paced and mobile lives, laptops are immensely attractive for both faculty and students. That fact, combined with the increasing popularity of Macs (over 90% of students have a laptop and, of these, over 40% are Mac), keeps Networking and Systems’ hardware shop busy with laptop repairs. Rafael Hinojosa and I annually certify as repair technicians so that we can assist the College in maintaining and repairing College-owned Macs, as well as Haverford community members' own Apple computers. Though each day in the shop is varied, we can always count on seeing one particular problem – an expensive new Mac with liquid seeping out the bottom.

From a coffee-addled professor to a re-hydrating athlete, it seems that no one is spared from accidental spills on their laptop. Many sensitive and expensive components lie just below the keyboard, so repairing a laptop after a spill is quite costly. Moreover, Apple computers provide no warranty coverage for accidental damage. There is good news though – a little quick thinking and common sense might save you money and heartache.

If you should spill liquid on a laptop, do the following:

1. Unplug your computer from the wall and from any other devices connected to it.

2. Turn off your computer and keep it off. Avoid the temptation to check on your computer. You could cause further damage.

3. Take out the battery.

4. Carefully wipe off any liquid on the outside of the computer with a soft, dry cloth.

5. Allow your computer to dry for at least 48
hours before attempting to turn your computer on. If you turn the computer on before it is completely dry, you could cause additional damage to your system.

6. If you are a member of the Haverford community and your computer does not boot or you notice a problem, bring your computer to Helpdesk in Stokes 204 during Help Desk hours. If you are away and cannot get to the Help Desk in person, call us at x1480 for advice on your best option.

For more information about what to do after a liquid spill, see http://www.haverford.edu/ acc/docs/general/ laptopspills.html.

And for us klutzes, there are always travel mugs.

-Sarah Gray is Technical Support Liaison


Computer Kiosks Arrive in the Campus Center

by Craig Ross

Kiosk in Campus Center

In January 2008 Academic Computing Services installed two computer kiosks in the Campus Center. Located outside the bookstore, these kiosks can be used to check email and browse the Web. They have been well received and used heavily by students and campus center visitors since their installation early this year.

- Craig Ross is Windows Support Specialist


Staff News and Notes

Compiled by Mike Persick

John Anderies, Coordinator for Collections & Head, Special Collections, presented a poster entitled “Creating the Digital Dictionary of Quaker Biography: the Wikification of a Hallowed Reference Source” at WikiSym: the International Symposium on Wikis, in Montreal in October, 2007. He gave a presentation of the same title with Bob Kieft, Director of College Information Resources & Librarian of the College, at the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE) conference on Scholarly Collaboration and Small Colleges in the Digital Age in Claremont, California, in January, 2008.

David Conners, Digital Collections Librarian, was accepted into the American Library Association’s 2008 Emerging Leaders Program. He will work with a team of four other librarians from around the country as well as team mentor Christian Dupont of the University of Virginia. Their project will be to improve communication within the Joint Committee on Libraries, Archives, and Museums, a group comprised of ALA, SAA (Society of American Archivists), and AAM (American Association of Museums) members.

Norm Medeiros, Associate Librarian of the College, and his wife Trisha celebrated the birth of their second child, Mack Norman Medeiros. Mack was born October 25, 2007, weighing in at 8 pounds, 15 ounces. Big sister Ava adores her new brother. Norm and colleagues from Cornell University, UCLA, and the Library of Congress recently released “White Paper on Interoperability between Acquisitions Modules of Integrated Library Systems and Electronic Resource Management Systems.” The work, which investigates the feasibility of transmitting data across vendor systems, was commissioned by the Electronic Resource Management Initiative and sponsored by the Digital Library Federation. It is available for download at <http://www.diglib.org>.

CIR welcomes the following new staff members:

Rachel Bennov has joined CIR as our Information Resources Assistant. Rachel is based in the Science Library and works with both the Library and the Computing Center staff. She is a recent graduate of Muhlenberg College and comes to us most recently from Temple University’s Computer Services Help Desk.

Johanna Riordan is the new Bibliographic & Digital Services Assistant in the Library, working chiefly in Acquisitions and Serials. Johanna is currently finishing up her Masters in Library Science at Drexel University.


-Mike Persick is Acquisitions Librarian & Assistant Catalog Librarian


Library Hosts McNeil Center Seminar

by Bob Kieft

On Friday afternoon, November 2, 2007, the Library hosted the Seminar of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies of the University of Pennsylvania in conjunction with faculty Laura McGrane (English), who welcomed seminar participants on behalf of the College, and Bethel Saler (History). The Seminar draws a cross-disciplinary group of participants from throughout the region and meets at the Center on the Penn campus and at other colleges in the Philadelphia region as occasion suggests. On this occasion, the speaker was Kristen Block (Rutgers University), whose topic was "Caribbean Crucible: A Seventeenth-Century Quaker's Encounters with Profit, Slavery and American Success."

It was appropriate that Haverford host because, in addition to trips to Spain and Colombia, Block's research included a stint in the Quaker Collection. The librarians, and especially the staff of Special Collections, were happy to attend Block's talk and organize a reception following in order to hear how she was using the materials and to speak with Haverford’s other participants in the Seminar about research opportunities in Haverford's collections.

Block's seminar paper derives from her dissertation project, "Faith and Fortune: Religious Identity and the Politics of Profit in the Seventeenth-Century West Indies.” Block is one of the hundreds of researchers every year whom Special Collections staff work with in person and by mail, and her dissertation will join the impressive roster of books, articles, and conference papers that signal Haverford's contribution to scholarship. Through faculty and library contacts with McNeil, we are looking forward to partnering with the Center and with Swarthmore's Friends Historical Library in 2010 to host a three-day conference on the Quakers and abolition.


-Bob Kieft is Director of College Information Resources
& Librarian of the College

 

 

 

PUBLISHED BY COLLEGE INFORMATION RESOURCES
HAVERFORD COLLEGE
Haverford, PA 19041
610-896-1175
http://www.haverford.edu/

 
 
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