Work on the First Floor of Snell Library

Posted by: Emily Sabo


Work has begun on the first floor with an eye to removing the old reference desk to make way for a new area with seating that focuses on leisure reading, with bestsellers, literary fiction, graphic novels, DVDs, and prize-winning non-fiction all in the same place. (Research assistance is still available, but is now accessible on the second floor of the Library.)

We hope that work will be finished by the time spring semester classes start.

Posted in: Serendipity


What to Read and Logicomix

Posted by: Emily Sabo


Laura Miller is a great book reviewer for Salon.com, so I was excited to read her thoughts on the changing (and disappearing) landscape of book reviews, and the creation of a new feature: What to Read. It’s aim is to showcase a recently published book that the writer can genuinely gush over and recommend each week.  I am particularly looking forward to her promise to publicise different genres.

So I was doubly excited that her first profiled book was LogicomixAuthor Christos Papadimitriou spoke at the Library in October. It’s a beautiful book (and one that’s available at Snell).

You can also watch his talk here:

Posted in: Read, Listen, Watch


Happy Birthday Beethoven!

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian


Today’s Beethoven’s birthday, and a great opportunity to forget about the daily grind and be mindful of incredible and beautiful and passionate music that’s resonated for generations–and the person who created it.

NAXOS has some nice recordings, if you want to listen to Beethoven online.  I’ve been foisting the famous Furtwangler/Berlin Philharmonic wartime recording of the 9th Symphony on my colleagues today (yes, I’m in a cubicle), plus some Kreisler recordings of the Violin Sonatas, Brendel playing the Piano Concertos, and the soundtrack to Immortal Beloved, (available to borrow from our collection in VHS if you still have one of those), the film about his life starring Gary Oldman.

Other videos in our collection include Clockwork Orange which makes famous use of the 9th Symphony, and the DVD of Daniel Barenboim leading the 5th Symphony at the Ramallah Concert in the West Bank–a very moving event.  For pure listening, on the second floor you can find a lot of CDs too.

I guess I know all the things everyone knows about Beethoven: his brilliant pianism, his moods and passions, the fact that he became deaf, which we always learn about as children and then kind of take for granted, but on serious reflection is almost incomprehensible considering he was a musician and composer.

Anyway, aside from those cliché things, I don’t know that much about him.  Fortunately, there’s a biography and analysis in Oxford Music Online (formerly Grove).  I’m thinking about borrowing Maynard Solomon’s biography from the library, although at 500 pages, it’s kind of a big commitment–luckily there’s a long winter break coming up!

Posted in: Music, Read, Listen, Watch, Serendipity


Holiday Suggestions

Posted by: damong


I’m going to cut down on the length for this one, as I realize I have this tendency to write Finnegan’s Wake in blog format. This is simply a list of good Christmas books and Movies that I think every one should check out. I have purposefully made it more obscure than most Christmas lists, which have all the usual books and movies listed on them that you’ve already seen a million times.

In terms of books and stories:

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens: Enough has already been said about this one. I included it because, although not very unknown, I feel not many people read the original.

A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas: Great short story from a guy who was known primarily as a poet; autobiographical sketch is a more accurate word.

The Ledge, Lawrence Sargent Hall: This is a very unheardof story that can be found in the massive collection The Best American Short Stories of The Century, edited by John Updike. This is a tragic piece of work, so don’t expect holiday cheer, exactly.

The Nutcracker, E.T.A. Hoffman: The original story is fairly interesting. You can see the temptation to make it in to some kind of spectacle like a ballet, for example.

Lastly, for the books, is one that I wrote a post about earlier this semester:

Sir Gawain and The Green Knight: Only debatably a Christmas story, I suppose. But I consider it one. It’s story is framed by the holiday season, and it’s intense Christianity (okay, Paganism) is the focal reason I would call it ‘christmas-y’

In terms of Movies:

Fanny and Alexander, dir: Ingmar Bergman: You may not have heard of this film, and if you have, it’s probably been in a context other than “Christmas Story.” But I do see this as, broadly, a holiday movie, albeit a very unusual one. It’s also very long.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: I am something of a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I’ll admit it here, but nowhere else. That show’s outrageous send-up of this obscure, horrible movie from the red-scare days of the 50’s is the most lighthearted fun I can think of.

Okay everybody, happy holidays.


Posted in: Read, Listen, Watch


Librarian assumes new role in scholarly communication

Posted by: Kristin Richardson


Congratulations to Hillary Corbett on her movement to the new position of Scholarly Communication Librarian this past October!  She has chaired the Library’s Scholarly Communication Committee, which worked on outreach to faculty about issues affecting them as researchers and authors, since its inception.

Corbett’s new full-time position is devoted to scholarly communication to advance the Library’s focus on supporting research and publishing on campus; to promote the value of IRis as a research repository and publishing tool; and to keep the university community informed about relevant issues such as open access.

In addition to her responsibilities as committee chair, she was formerly the Assistant Head for Receipt and Resource Control. There she supervised the group responsible for receiving and cataloging print materials for the Library, managing print journal subscriptions, and the physical processing (labeling, binding, etc.) of all library materials.

Hillary says she plans to use Snell Snippets, in addition to the feed already in place, to share information on scholarly communication.  Stay tuned!

Posted in: Library News and Events, Scholarly Communications