The ABCs of Harry MacElhone

Much of late last week around here was focused on getting materials together for an open house-style donor event last Friday. For your usual archivist & blogger Kira, that meant preparing a two-drink historic cocktail tasting and talk (borrowing from an early 20th century euphemism, it was titled “Measuring Sidewalks Upside Down: Cocktail History in …

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IFLA 2017 Serials and Other Continuing Resources (SOCRS) Section Report

(Photograph above) Presenters at the SOCRS program are (left to right): Ming-Yueh Tsay (Graduate Institute of Library, Information and Archival Studies, National Chengchi University, Taiwan, Republic of China), Robin Kear (University of Pittsburgh, United States), Stacy Konkiel (Altmetric LLP, United States), Shima Moradi (National Research Institute for Science Policy, Iran, Islamic Republic of), Afsaneh Teymourikhani (National Library and Archives of Islamic Republic of Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of), and Ifeanyi J Ezema (University of Nigeria and University of South Africa, South Africa).

Encompassing Scholarly Communication, SOCRS Redefines its Reach in Wrocław

Encompassing Scholarly Communication, SOCRS Redefines its Reach in Wrocław: The IFLA Section on Serials and Other Continuing Resources  (SOCRS) has always concerned itself “with all issues which make serial publications unique in both the print and electronic environments.” Experience during the last few years creating IFLA WLIC programming, however, has shown us that our mission and scope is actually broader, more accurately “at the intersection of scholarly communication (SC) and continuing resources.”  SC topics reflect an emerging redefinition of our areas of expertise, and our main publications—even our jobs—are reshaping themselves to include them. Our Standing Committee took action, requesting from IFLA’s Professional Committee a name change to “Scholarly Communication and Continuing Resources.” (Details in our 2017 minutes.)

SOCRS Open Session Program and Satellite Meeting: The 83rd IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC), held in Wrocław (/ˈvrɒtswɑːf/), Poland, was themed “Libraries. Solidarity. Society.” Accordingly, we created our programs to explore solidarity with emerging, alternative forms of evaluating contributions to scholarly knowledge, and to the Open Access (OA) movement. Here is a list of our Open Session Program’s titles of guest speakers’ presentations, with links to their papers:

Session 080, Altmetrics: It’s Time to Take Action – Serials and Other Continuing Resources

  1. An Introduction to Altmetrics, Stacy Konkiel (Altmetric LLP, United States)
  2. Measuring Research Impact of Library and Information Science Journals: Citation verses Altmetrics, Ifeanyi J Ezema (University of Nigeria and University of South Africa, South Africa), Cyprian Ugwu (University of Nigeria and University of South Africa, South Africa). Paper in English
  3. Exploring Values-based (Alt)Metrics to Enhance Library Services, Stacy Konkiel (Altmetric LLP, United States), Rebecca Kennison (K|N Consultants, United States), Nicky Agate (Modern Language Association, United States), Christopher Long (Michigan State University, United States), Jason Rhody (Social Science Research Council, United States), Simone Sacchi (LIBER, Netherlands). Paper in English
  4. Web-based Citation: A New Metric for Evaluating Scientific Journals, Afsaneh Teymourikhani (National Library and Archives of Islamic Republic of Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of). Paper in English
  5. Altmetrics and Library Publishing, Lauren Collister (University Library System, University of Pittsburgh, United States), Jessica Kirschner (University of Pittsburgh, United States), Michelle Bradbury (University of Pittsburgh, United States), Timothy S. Deliyannides (University of Pittsburgh, United States), Robin Kear (University of Pittsburgh, United States). Paper in English
  6. Developing an Academic Hub with Data Synchronization: Altmetrics Display and Added Value Information for Promoting Scholarly Communication Performance, Ming-Yueh Tsay (Graduate Institute of Library, Information and Archival Studies, National Chengchi University, Taiwan, Republic of China), Chih-Ming Chen (Graduate Institute of Library, Information and Archival Studies, National Chengchi University, Taiwan, Republic of China). Paper in English
  7. The Altmetrics of Retracted Articles in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Shima Moradi (National Research Institute for Science Policy, Iran, Islamic Republic of). Paper in English

Satellite Meeting: “Open Access: Action Required:” The Acquisition and Collection Development Section teamed up with SOCRS to co-sponsor a satellite meeting at the European Solidarity Center in Gdańsk, Poland. Huge thanks are due to Zuza Wiorogorska and Matylda Filas for their work on the Satellite, the content of which was excellent with a good mix of papers.  (Details here.)

Attendees of the second meeting of the of the Standing Committee are (from left to right, top):  Meg Mering, (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA), Secretary and incoming Chair;  Gaëlle Bequet (ISSN International Centre, France), incoming Secretary; Andrea Wirth (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA); Ted Westervelt (Library of Congress, USA), blogger and incoming Information Coordinator; Beata Katrincova (University Library in Bratislava, Slovakia); Smita Joshipura (Arizona State University, USA), Facebook; Sharon Dyas-Correia (University of Toronto), outgoing Chair; Ezra Shiloba Gbaje (Federal University Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria); Fatmeh Charafeddine (American University of Beirut); and Zuzanna “Zuza” Wiorogorska (University of Warsaw, Poland). (From left to right, bottom): Karolina Minch (University of Warsaw, Poland); and Paul Hover (Virginia Tech, USA), Blogger.

SOCRS Committee Meetings: We had two section meetings during the congress. After electing our new officers (meet them in the photograph above), we discussed our current program, the mission and scope of the SOCRS Section, and the Satellite meeting. During the second meeting we talked about IFLA’s Global Vision, the importance of membership commitment, the SOCRS action plan, and our continuing welcome to new members. The fun part was helping to design a new logo for our shiny new (hopefully forthcoming soon) section name!

Planning for IFLA 2018 in Kuala Lumpur: We also discussed possible topics for the SOCRS open program at the 2018 conference, and tried out a few titles incorporating Scholarly Communications and Kuala Lumpur’s key theme of “transforming society.” Libraries-as-publishers is currently a topic of general interest, partly due to the fact that we had already organized a 2016 satellite meeting around it entitled “Libraries as Publishers: Building a Global Community” in collaboration with the  Acquisition and Collection Development Section. We are also planning to collaborate with the Science and Technology Section to co-sponsor a program on bringing Open Access to a new level.

Wrocław: Where History Becomes Art

The Polish Art encountered around this beautiful city, nestled on islands in the Oder River, affected me on several levels. On my first jet-lagged sortie, 100 meters from my hotel, I came across perfectly lifelike statues of ordinary people descending into the sidewalk at a crossing of two busy avenues. From their demeanor one knows immediately that they are taking a tragic detour in their lives, some never to reemerge on the other side of the street. Known in English as “The Anonymous Pedestrians,” Przejście (literally “passage, transition”), by Polish artist Jerry Kalina, leaves no doubt in the observer’s mind that something sinister drove those people underground. Looking it up later, I found it refers to a deadly period of martial law that occured only a couple of decades ago.

Gripping Portrayal of the “1997 Flood of the River Oder” a Foreshadowing of Tragedy in Texas? I was still in Poland six days later when my heart sank on hearing that Hurricane Harvey had made landfall on August 26 at Rockport, Texas. A small town of shrimp boats and tourist shops, nobody has ever heard of Rockport, but I have—it’s where my Postmaster Dad’s “two-horse” U.S. Post Office is (was) located. Had the Opening Ceremony dazzled us only days earlier with a combination of theater, light, and dance, all performed before a giant screen playing historical clips of heart-wrenching scenes of watery misery? Entitled “Short Story of Wrocław: A theatrical show which presents the history of Wrocław,” I remember how the stage was engulfed in shades of deepest blue as our eyes took in the immensity of the disaster, so vast it was also known as the 1997 Central European Flood.

Thanks to the wonderful people of Wrocław for a memorable, artful, and friendly conference, and for heaps upon heaps of delicious pickles!

Submitted to the ALA ALCTS by Paul Hover

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Quick Announcement Re: November 17, 2017

Just a quick announcement from our staff: Newman Library will be closing early at 4pm on Friday, November 17, 2017, for a donor appreciation event. This includes Special Collections. We will open at 8am, as usual, but we be closing an hour early. We will re-open at our usual time on the following Monday morning … Continue reading Quick Announcement Re: November 17, 2017
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National Sandwich Day Round-Up

Today is National Sandwich Day, which means I can’t let the day go by without saying something on the topic. To be honest, sandwiches are quite the subject on our blog, though. From the savory-frosted to the sweet-filled, there’s some surprising and not-so-surprising history among our posts. Frosted Sandwich series: Frosted Sandwiches? Frosted Sandwiches, Part 2: Return …

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Have a Happy Halloween with Edward Gorey in Special Collections

Happy Halloween, Ghouls and Ghosts! Last week, I was listening to the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast’s recent episode on Edward Gorey, and I wondered if Virginia Tech University Libraries had any of his work. Fortune looked brightly on me – not only does the Libraries have numerous texts, but Special Collections actually … Continue reading Have a Happy Halloween with Edward Gorey in Special Collections
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The Sweet Truth About Sweets: Candy-Making at Home

With Halloween around the corner (by which I mean on the other side of the weekend), it seemed like a good time to revisit a sweet topic on the blog: CANDY!!! In the days before brightly colored bags of candy in store aisles, candy-making was a home activity. It took a set of tools, a …

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Building the Builders: Egalitarian Pedagogy and Sustainable Design

When taking part in Frank Lloyd Wright’s preeminent architectural school known as the Taliesin Fellowship, Lois Gottlieb came to understand architecture as a kind of Lebensphilosophie, in that she came to consider it a mode of living that touched on and derived inspiration from all aspects of life. Hence the title of her account of … Continue reading Building the Builders: Egalitarian Pedagogy and Sustainable Design
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Processing the Educational Cookery Collection, Part 3

As promised, this week we’re at the end of processing the Educational Cookery Collection (yay)! And, I remembered to take pictures while I was working on the collection this week, so there are plenty of visuals below! After all that alphabetical sorting last week, I ended up with a stack of 16 folders that look, …

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