Archive for August, 2009
From the Library of Congress Blog
National Book Festival: For Your Listening Pleasure
The first batch of podcast interviews with 2009 National Book Festival authors are now online at http://www.loc.gov/podcasts/bookfest09/index.html.
Interviews include Junot Diaz, Rickey Minor, James Patterson, George Pelecanos, Nicholas Sparks and David Wroblewski. Visit the blog for links to these interviews.
Tuesday’s Library fair, the World of LibraryCraft, was designed to give incoming students a look at many of the services and opportunities available in the library. Read the writeup in today’s Shorthorn:
On Tuesday morning readers of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram learned of the death of novelist Elmer Kelton.
|Elmer and Ann Kelton attended the ”Spirit of Place” symposium on October 15, 1999.|
Elmer Kelton, 83, the award-winning popular western novelist, died on August 22, 2009, at a nursing home in San Angelo, Texas. Author of more than 60 books, Kelton was a frequent visitor to UT Arlington. Over the years he did research in Special Collections and on several occasions spoke to groups, including the Friends of the UT Arlington Library. Here is the Fort Worth Star-Telegram obituary by Bill Miller.
UT Arlington’s Center for Greater Southwestern Studies and the History of Cartography sponsored a symposium called “The Spirit of Place: Appreciating the Comanche Relationship to the Landscape of the Southern Plains” in October, 1999. In addition to many American Indian writers and scholars, several non-Indian western writers participated in the day of panels. Kelton and his wife Ann attended only to listen. The keynote speaker was Dan Flores, Ph.D., University of Montana Professor of History and author of several books, including Horizontal Yellow: Nature and History in the Near Southwest, a study of the southwestern landscape that includes New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma. (More about the symposium here.)
I was fortunate to have a seat at the lunch table with Elmer and Ann Kelton, Dan Flores, and a couple of UT Arlington Professors. Throughout the meal the conversation was lively and it was clear Flores was pleased to meet Kelton, a personal hero. The exchanges were genial and enthusiastic, and no one looking at the group around the table would have known by demeanor that a famous and important Texas writer was there.
The symposium took place in my pre-digital camera days, so I have only one small scanned image handy. I’ll scan and post one or two more as they come to light.
More obituary remarks: http://tinyurl.com/m8naby
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Lawrence Lessig, a professor of law at Harvard, previously at Stanford, was on the UTA campus as the keynote speaker at the Technology Fair a couple of years ago. In that talk he addressed the problem with sampling music and fair use. In a July 31, 2009, talk called The Google Book Search Settlement: Static Good, Dynamic Bad? at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, he discussed the difficulty of crafting reasonable laws regarding copyright in our “obsessive permission culture” in the context of books and such things as the process that Google Books is implementing to scan a proposed 18 million books. The way to sort out the problem of permissions on various, including “orphan” books, is to craft new laws to address the copyright issue, he says.
Lessig has been making noise to call federal legislators to account in a number of ways on a number of issues. He is active with the Change Congress group that is working one representative at a time to hold their feet to the fire regarding their acceptance of special interest contributions before they vote down the legislation adverse to those same donors. http://change-congress.org/ But his talk in July didn’t promote a particular platform for addressing politicians, instead, he lucidly outlined the problems caused by politicians, of something he called the Ecology of Access, and the problem of oligopolies (an oligopoly is a market or industry that is dominated by a small number of sellers) with untoward influence on congressional politicians.
I transcribed a little of his recorded talk. Here is Lessig’s take on The Democracy Crisis:
The frustration that I have when I listen to this rally is that we’ve got to figure out all of these answers . . . that each area of public policy is filled with people oblivious to the fact that the reason why they are failing is the same reason why everyone else who’s trying to change public policy is failing.
We live in this kind of Post Obama hangover, I suggest, where I think 9 months ago we thought the world was going to be remade. As we look at health care which is totally stalled, cap and trade which is totally gutted, financial reform that hasn’t begun to be implemented, all of this which has failed so far, we need to recognize that there is a core reason for these failures. It’s a reason that we have to confront, this bankrupt or I’d say corrupt institution (Congress), not in an old sense that people are taking bribes, but an institution that can’t help but respond to interests who because of their financial might will always be more powerful than the right answer to the problem. Until we solve that problem I don’t know what the solution would look like. Until we change this, we won’t begin to solve the problems we talk about here or any number of other fundamental problems that are sinking this democracy.
Find the entire talk here: http://blip.tv/file/2471815
Free. It’s something we all like, but it is something we are often leery of.
“What’s the catch?” In this case, free really is free, but the “catch” is that you need to do a little research, and if you borrow the books using the suggestions in the link below, you need to keep track of your borrowing and renewal dates to avoid overdue fines.
Library employees regularly email links to interesting articles to the rest of the staff. Sometimes they’re in proprietary journals that would require a fee or logon, but here is one that is just Out There for anyone to discover. Thank you, Eric Frierson!
Here it is: Chris Lesinski’s article “Get Your Textbooks For Free (or Cheap) http://lifehacker.com/5334002/get-your-textbooks-for-free-or-cheap
I confess to using elements of the strategies in graduate school. This was probably easier for me as an English major; the latest science books are more difficult to snag using these tips.
Here is an example: Norton Anthologies of literature new can run from $50 and up, but these doorstops sell for a dollar-a-pop down at Half-Price Books. (Start by looking at the carts out front). If you have the course syllabus and can compare notes you may pick up a couple of cheap volumes to cover the list (and don’t forget–many classic items are free for anyone to read through places like Bartleby or Google Books. Put your annual library printing allowance to use and print a few of these from library computers.) If you’re reading classics by DWM authors, you’ll often find numerous volumes on the fifth floor, and many others are available in online versions through netLibrary. I did a recent sample check on an American Indian scholar and novelist included in my thesis: respected in his field but somewhat obscure in larger literary circles, Louis Owens has many titles both on the shelves and as online versions.
Check them out!