Saturday, December 15, 2001

Photo by Ted Soqui

A Walk in Predawn L.A.

Off-topic, but worth a look:

The sleepers vanish at Hollywood High School at Highland Avenue, where Sunset noticeably changes atmosphere -- the shadowy lighting seems borrowed from a Jacques Tourneur film, and a large black cat guards a walkway to the school. Now the air becomes heavy with moisture, and that nutmeggy, peculiarly Southern California fragrance hits the senses, a smell of imported vegetation and watered lawns. Suddenly we remember why we fell in love with Los Angeles: That scent, that perfume of parties and botanical gardens, of campus grounds and well-tended palisades parks, is what hooked us so many years ago. And now we smell it again and once more feel ennobled, encouraged, patted on the back, made aware of possibilities that have been hidden from us . . .

[L.A. Weekly via Arts & Letters Daily]

Friday, December 14, 2001

Another staggeringly comprehensive issue of the Free Online Scholarship Newsletter is available.
Don't miss gmtPlus9, Andrew Abb's collection of links to, and commentary about, some fascinating art-related sites.

Thanks to Ecologues for the tip.
A new issue of Learned Publishing is available:

  • Archiving of electronic publications - some thoughts on cost
    Peter Fox
  • The rapid evolution of scholarly communication
    Andrew Odlyzko
  • Instant linking - delayed use: setting provider expectations
    David Pullinger
  • New practices for electronic publishing 2: New forms of the scientific paper
    Joost G. Kircz
  • Getting it! The added value of helping users find information
    Richard T. Kaser
  • A year without print at Princeton, and what we plan next
    David Goodman
  • African Journals Online: improving awareness and access
    Diana Rosenberg
  • Journal of Zhejiang University (SCIENCE): a new journal for the 21st century
    Zhang Yuehong
  • Authors and e-delivery
    Jane Dorner

    And more.

  • Thursday, December 13, 2001

    Ladies and gentleman, a new low (courtesy of The Progressive.)

    Wednesday, December 12, 2001

    Kansas State Insane Asylum Band, 1898

    Disability History Museum Library

    Disability, like race and gender, is a central part of the human experience. Our goal is to create a theme-based, searchable collection of primary source materials that will help expand knowledge and understanding about the historical experience of people with disabilities in the United States . . .

    Materials in the Library date back to the 18th century and represent all disability categories across the life span. These records illuminate daily life, work, charity, popular culture, local and national political milestones, shifts in visual representation and medical knowledge, and the rise and fall of a variety of social movements. We will soon be adding to our collections at a rate of about 100 artifacts monthly.

    Accounting for outcomes -- demonstrating the impact of public libraries:

    The roles of the researcher and marketer are different but both benefit from the qualitative assessment of the outcomes of public library services. The paper describes how qualitative research data provide images that can be used to demonstrate the value and impact of providing library services. Research at the University of Sheffield suggests that libraries have an import role to play in terms of personal development; social cohesion; community empowerment; local culture and identity; imagination and creativity; health and well being. These are important messages to be communicated to policy makers and other stakeholders.

    From the proceedings of this year's conference of the Australian Library and Information Association. Thanks again to Library Juice.

    Monday, December 10, 2001

    Kenyan women were trained to use Betamax video cameras
<br />

    Women's Voices - A Video Initiative

    [BBC News]

    Poor women living in slums of Nairobi have been able to tell the world about their appalling living conditions by filming their lives on borrowed video cameras . . .

    "We wanted to give tools to the poor to help them communicate their concerns to policy makers," said Catherine Njuguna of ITDG, a non-governmental organisation which helps poor communities use appropriate technology. It came up with an unexpected use of technology. Rather than looking to the latest gadgets or the internet, they found the solution in outdated technology - Betamax video cameras . . .

    The women are now looking to build on what they have achieved, presenting a proposal for funding to the UK Government to develop an information resource centre with a computer with e-mail and internet access.

    More information on the project can be found at its homepage.

    Today is International Human Rights Day 2001

    As the world marks Human Rights Day, amidst global turmoil, world leaders beating the drum of war, and human rights abuses, Amnesty International is calling on the global human rights movement to stand up for justice and human dignity.

    "The world does not need a war against 'terrorism', it needs a culture of peace based on human rights and justice for all," said the organization's Secretary General, Irene Khan . . .

    Thanks to wood s lot.

    Sunday, December 09, 2001

    The December issue of First Monday is available.
    [Seattle Times]

    Another fine article on Kenya's Camel Mobile Library Service:

    The load is heavy and, beneath it, the bookmobile groans. Then it sighs. Then it twitches in a manner that startles the librarian. "Look out," he says. "It might kick back. That sometimes happens with the back leg."

    This time, however, the Garissa Mobile Library remains a docile dromedary, neither kicking nor spitting as it climbs laboriously to its great padded feet and starts across the wastes of northeast Kenya . . .

    projet MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE project:

    We are pleased to announce the arrival of the projet MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE project 2001. Making its debut on July 21st 2001, the projet MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE projectis a traveling exhibition of artist' book works, zines, and independent publications. Traveling by way of a vintage Airstream, the BOOKMOBILE aims to make its way to community centers, schools, festivals, artist run centers, libraries, prisons, and remote regions where independent publications are hard to come by. A group of coordinators, traveling with the exhibition, facilitate a series of workshops, artist talks, and educational forums. Thus far, the BOOKMOBILE has visited several venues in Eastern Canada and North Eastern and Midwestern United States. The project has exposed over 1000 visitors to a unique collection of independently produced book works. We are excited to continue our efforts and are looking forward to the 2002 tour!

    Via Bookmouth, which features an interview with MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE driver Ginger Brooks Takahashi.