ReMix: News from the Stanford University Libraries

October 16, 2009  –  Issue 21

The Bing Wing at 10

Last month, as every September, hundreds of incoming freshmen toured the Bing Wing before the start of classes. They represent the tenth consecutive class year that will read, research and study in the grandeur of that august building, a manifestation of their good luck in coming to Stanford. Perhaps they will assume that its services have continued unabated since the structure's completion in 1919. Those of us who were here – whether as students, researchers, staff or visitors – during the long years of the 1990s know better; we have perhaps some appreciation of what protracted, even heroic, effort went before the dedication of the Bing Wing in October 1999.

At the risk of offending colleagues and friends who toil in other library facilities on campus (or off), I think it fair to say that the Cecil H. Green Library, of which the Bing Wing is an inseparable part (a ventricle, perhaps, but better looking), is the heart of the university integral, both symbolically and functionally, to its mission and a distinctive part of the life of the Stanford Community.

To make amends for this parochialism-of-the-center, let me hasten to remind us that a vast amount of library use goes on elsewhere (or nowhere particular). We all inhabit what may be called a hybrid library, neither primarily bricks and mortar nor primarily bits and bytes. The following story, on the evolving nature of our Web presence, testifies to that. Also, for those of you who have experienced frustration within Green Library trying to find a particular range of call numbers, it offers some good news about stack navigation.

But bricks and mortar (with or without sandstone) remain vital. The Bing Wing is cherished by a great many people who recognize the value of a space dedicated to quietude, scholarship and the accumulated and accessible wisdom of the ages. To Peter and Helen Bing and to the many others who supported the resurrection of the Old Main Library, thank you all for making the past decade in this beautiful space possible.


Andrew Herkovic

New Web Pages and Applications

During the summer, several branch libraries released completely rebuilt Web pages on a technology platform with new resources and content. The Falconer Biology Library, for example, now provides weekly quicklinks.jpgfeatured acquisitions and featured e-books, "Quicklinks" to often-used online resources, an "Ask
ask.jpg Us" link, a blog, and fifteen research guides on topics ranging from biodiversity to sleep science to wetlands and aquatic environments. The Music Library offers free downloads, updates about online subscriptions and streaming audio databases, announcements of local and worldwide musical events, and descriptions of notable acquisitions of rare and antiquarian materials. A full list of Libraries and Collections Web sites is found here. Readers with interests in their respective subjects may wish to navigate the following new sites:

In addition, a new Green Library Web page was launched in September with a guarantee: "Never get lost in the stacks again!" The Green Stacks Location Guide, now accessible by mobile device, provides directions for finding materials by call number and stacks map, and even includes closing hours and Information Center Desk contact information for those browsing deep in the West or South stacks.

Just as library resources are always growing and changing, so too is our web presence changing to reflect (relative) mastery of new technologies, new expectations, and user feedback and experience. We expect many further improvements in months and years to come.

Special Collections Featured in New Dimensions Interview

NDlogo.jpgMichael Toms, bestselling author and co-founder of New Dimensions Radio, recently interviewed Roberto Trujillo, the Frances and Charles Field Curator and Head of Special Collections. Entitled "The Global Learning Curve," to reflect the "importance globally of investing in the wherewithal trujillo.jpgfor young people to learn," the interview addresses the questions raised in selecting modern primary materials for their future research value as cultural and historical records: "What is important? What is the public good in what is being produced, said and done today? What is worth keeping and collecting? Will the collection allow for multiple interpretations in the future?"

Bucky Cover.jpgReflecting upon three decades of experience, Roberto suggests applying personal and institutional responsibilities to collecting decisions, citing, for example, Stanford's responsibility to collect the history of Silicon Valley because of its tremendous impact on the world at large. An abbreviated version, lasting about twelve minutes, of the one-hour interview is available here. ReMix will provide a link to the full version, which will be aired later, in a subsequent issue. Earlier this year, Roberto co-edited a book for Stanford University Press – New Views on R. Buckminster Fuller – on one of the collections discussed in the interview.

Reception to Celebrate A Companion to Bede

brown.jpgPlease join us on the evening of Thursday, November 12 to celebrate the publication of A Companion to Bede (which was featured in our August newsletter) by Professor Emeritus George Hardin Brown. From 5:00-5:45 Bede.jpgpm in the Field Room of Green Library, some of Special Collections' source materials for the study of Bede – medieval manuscripts and early printed editions – will be displayed for guests to enjoy and discuss. Afterwards, the Department of English will host a reception from 6:00-7:00 pm, at which the Stanford Bookstore will provide copies of the book for purchase and signing. To help us plan for the event, please send an e-mail to David Jordan if you plan to attend.

Banned Books Read-Out on Campus

Sponsored by numerous organizations representing libraries, booksellers and authors, Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Readmiceandmen.jpg is observed annually in the last week of September. In the long huckfinn.jpgrun, proscription isn't always final or fatal: many formerly banned books, of course, are numbered among today's most widely read classics, but hundreds of books new and old continue to be challenged at schools and libraries in these United States each year. Among several Web sites devoted to banned books, an especially informative one which maintains a "10 Most Challenged Titles" list and a map of recent book challenges may be found here.

hpss.jpgA table of banned books – available for checkout, naturally – was displayed in the lobby of Green Library. This year, for the first time, a Banned Books Week Read-Out, organized by student group AHA!(Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics @ Stanford) in collaboration with the Stanford Libraries and other extracurricular organizations, was held in White Plaza on October 2.  Readers and titles follow:

Rev. Scotty McLennan, Dean for Religious Life
Of Mice and Men

Professor Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Director of American Studies
Huckleberry Finn

Rev. Joanne Sanders, Associate Dean for Religious Life
And Tango Makes Three

Professor Peter Stone, Political Science
Bertrand Russell on God and Religion

Jennifer Lynn Wolf, PhD, School of Education
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

We applaud student and faculty willingness to stand up for the First Amendment, and are pleased to be associated with all who celebrate and defend the right to read.

Stanford Board of Trustees Offers Public Discussion

Earlier this year, we welcomed members of the Stanford Historical Society to the ReMix readership, in recognition of shared interests, e.g., in the mission of University Archives, based in the Libraries' Special Collections department, to collect and record Stanford's history. Thus, we are delighted to invite all ReMix readers to a remarkable program planned and sponsored by the Society:

What Does the Board of Trustees Actually Do?
Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 5:15-6:45 pm
Annenberg Auditorium (map)


The Board of Trustees of Stanford University is the supreme authority of the University. Among its duties, it appoints the President, has final approval of all faculty appointments, decides about new buildings and modifications to old and makes final decisions about the University investments. It consists of 30 extremely prominent people with Stanford connections. Yet its history and how it operates are largely unknown by the community it rules. From SHS Program Spotlight.

This special and uncommon program will provide insider perspectives on the history and operations of the Board through presentations and discussion by Leslie Hume, the present Chair of the Board, as well as former Chair Burt McMurtry. Please RSVP at or 650-725-3332.

Saroyan Prize for 2010 Launched

saroyan2.jpgIn partnership with the William Saroyan Foundation, the Stanford Libraries announced the fourth William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Intended to encourage new or emerging writers and honor the Saroyan literary legacy of originality, vitality and stylistic innovation, the Saroyan Prize recognizes newly published works of both fiction and non-fiction by awarding prizes in each of these categories. Literary fiction, including novels, short story collections, and drama, will be eligible for consideration for the Saroyan Fiction Prize. Literary non-fiction of any length is eligible for consideration for the Saroyan Non-fiction Prize, most particularly writing in the Saroyan tradition: memoirs, portraits and excursions into the ideas of neighborhood and community. More information, including entry requirements and past winners, may be found here. The Libraries' Special Collections department is the repository of the author's extensive personal and literary archive and plays a key role in maintaining his legacy and continued publication.

As in past award cycles, the Libraries will rely upon a large body of volunteer readers – nearly 200 last time, many of them alumni participants in the Stanford Volunteer Clearinghouse and Stanford Book Salon – to critique entries in the process of building shortlists for rating by the judging panels. University Librarian Mike Keller commented on the involvement of Stanford alumni in evaluating entries: "It has proven exciting to bring together a cadre of alumni for the winnowing process. We know that Stanford's alumni appreciate the opportunity for active and continued engagement with contemporary literature, and we in turn are energized by their engagement and enthusiasm."

ReMix: News from the Stanford Libraries provides highlights, news clippings, and program announcements about Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources, which comprises Libraries, Academic Computing, Residential Computing, Stanford University Press, HighWire Press and Stanford Publishing Courses.ReMix is published monthly by the Library Development Office, only in electronic form.

Stanford University Libraries & Academic Information Resources
Michael A. Keller, University Librarian
Andrew Herkovic, Director of Communications & Development
David Jordan and Sonia Lee, ReMix editors

Subscriptions to this newsletter are available on request at no charge for SULAIR supporters. To request (or discontinue) a subscription, to submit questions or comments, to make a donation, or to suggest an article, please write or call David Jordan at or 650-723-3866.

Please visit us at:

The Bing Wing of Cecil H. Green Library

  In this issue

  2010 Saroyan Prize

Recent Arrivals:
Rare Books,
Manuscripts & Archives
through December 31
in Green Library’s Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda


On display near the south portal of Green Library

•  Clifford N. Schireson  Book Fund (in Political Theory and Political Philosophy)

•  The Harold A. Miller Library, Hopkins Marine Station, and its Endowed Funds

 On view at the
Art & Architecture Library


Upcoming  Events

Medieval Matters:
Pilgrimage to the
End of the World

Tuesday, October 27 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, History Corner (Bldg 200) room 2. Free and open to the public. Click here for more information.


Prof. Emeritus Herant Katchadourian will speak about his new book Guilt: The Bite of Conscience published by SU Press. Monday, December 7 from 4:30 to 6:30, Arrillaga Alumni Center (map). Free and open to the public.


 Stanford Historical Society
Upcoming Event

What Does the Board of Trustees Actually Do? Tuesday, October 27, 5:15 to 6:45 p.m., Annenberg Auditorium. Leslie Hume and Burt McMurtry. Free and open to the public. Click here for more information.

Recently Published by SU Press

The HP Phenomenon: Innovation and Business Transformation
by Charles H. House and Raymond L. Price


Stanford Book Salon

This month's book is
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi, hosted by Andrea Lunsford, the Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor of English and director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric.


SULAIR in the News

Featured Acquisition

Legenda Aurea
(Golden Legend)

Jacob of Voragine
Lyon: De Gaselle, scribe, September 1, 1468.


Did you know?
In the 2008-2009 academic year, Special Collections hosted 137 classes, comprising 1,802 students and examining 2,430 items.


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Stanford University Libraries
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