Welcome to ReMix: News from the Stanford Libraries.
|March 21, 2008|
|Libraries grapple with evolving needs, expectations
The Libraries' directors met several times this month to debate what we can "do differently in order to better serve Stanford." At one of these extended sessions, Mike Keller expounded some of the strange vicissitudes of our "both/and" mission. While the Libraries strain to satisfy both traditional and digital/online information needs, some faculty evidently feel the Libraries are moving far too slowly with new technology, while others fear we have abandoned their needs for physical collections. While neither criticism is accurate, the latter galls, as it reflects little about our actions or motivations and a lot about the very real shelving crunch on campus. Indeed, we still buy books - over 100,000 physical volumes a year - concurrent with aggressive digital acquisitions, while our various special collections are actively adding holdings (some measured in single leaves, some in linear feet, some in tractor-trailer loads). Keller induced that the breadth and depth of our activities, particularly with collection development, are unevenly comprehended.
Keller challenged the group to "make our offerings more transparent and easier to get to" and to explain better to the Stanford community what we do and how the collections grow. Even from the inside, it is difficult to keep up with what is happening around the libraries, and we have a long way to go in connecting readers and researchers with the full range of materials and services available to them. Expectations keep getting higher; the tools keep getting more powerful (if not necessarily easier to coordinate); the sense of possibility tantalizes; this is a great time to take part in the Stanford Libraries' adventure.
Arabic and Hebrew Original Script Fields Now in Socrates
Stanford’s integrated library system now supports a character encoding standard, developed by the Unicode Consortium, which uses more than one byte to represent each character, allowing almost all of the world’s written languages to be represented by using a single character set. For the Libraries, this means that Socrates can start displaying all of the scripts and characters of the languages in which the Library catalogs regularly.
As of February 11, catalog records in Socrates display the original script for most materials printed in Hebrew or Arabic. In addition, you can search for authors and titles in Arabic or Hebrew script, via the normal Socrates search box (using an appropriate input keyboard). Until now the only way to conduct searches in Socrates for Hebrew and Arabic materials was in transliteration into Latin script - and that option remains available. This is the first publicly visible phase of a project that has been ongoing for a number of years and will continue to add other scripts. The next phase will work on adding Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
Currently on Exhibit
Through April 16 in Green Library's Munger Rotunda and Peterson galleries, Zuancho in Kyoto: Textile Design Books for the Kimono Trade. Click here for details.
Upcoming Events & Exhibitions
March 26-29 - 42nd Annual Assn. for Recorded Sound Collections Conference hosted by Stanford in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound (conf. fee). Click here for details.
April 2 - Parker on the Web event (by invitation).
April 14 - Presidential Lecture: Marina Warner, 7 pm at Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center. Click here for details.
May 29 - Exhibition reception for Experiments in Navigation: The Art of Charles Hobson (joint exhibition with the Cantor Arts Center) 4-8 pm, Green Library, Munger Rotunda. The exhibition will be on view from April 30 to August 17. Click here for details.
SULAIR in the News
Stanford acquires late professor's renowned collection of 'association copies'
The Way We Read Now in Stanford Magazine
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