Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Do College Librarians Have Academic Freedom? Amid Push, California’s ‘Will Not Be Silent’

Academic Freedom | Academic Librarians | Higher Education

August 27, 2018 


 Elaine Franco didn’t think the title of her presentation at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting six years ago was all that controversial: "Copy cataloging gets some respect from administrators."

But an administrative colleague of Franco’s at the University of California at Davis raised concerns about the title, an allusion to Rodney Dangerfield’s "I don’t get no respect" catchphrase. When she saw the 2012 slide deck, which Franco had emailed her, she wondered if the title inappropriately implied that copy catalogers had been disrespected by administrators previously, Franco recalled.

The disagreement caught the attention of a union negotiator. And now the episode has helped set off a crusade for academic freedom for employees of the 100-library UC System, amid negotiations to replace a contract that is set to expire at the end of September. Read more...
Courtesy of Holly Craig Wehrle
Librarians from across the U. of California system gathered at UCLA last month during contract talks. Their union is seeking explicit recognition of their academic freedom in a new contract. Administrators disagree.



  

Thursday, August 16, 2018

How an Artist Is Rebuilding a Baghdad Library Destroyed During the Iraq War

Iraq | Foreign libraries | Gulf War |Libraries

“168:01,” an installation now on view at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, encourages visitors to donate books to the University of Baghdad 

 

smithsonian.com
Aly Manji
n 2003, at the start of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, looters set fire to the College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad. The college’s vast collection of 70,000 books was destroyed, and 15 years later, students still have few titles at their disposal. So, as Hadani Ditmars reports for the Art Newspaper, an installation
 
168:01,” as the project by Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal is titled, is a stark white display featuring bookshelves filled with 1,000 blank books. Visitors are encouraged to replenish the volumes with titles from an Amazon wish list compiled by the college’s students and faculty; donations can be made by sending the books on the wish list to the museum, or by gifting funds to the project through Bilal’s website.

In exchange for their donations, visitors are able to take home one of the exhibition’s white volumes that represent a rich cultural heritage stripped bare by years of conflict. In turn, the colorful books they contributed to the project will ultimately be sent to the College of Fine Arts.

“I wanted a simple visual representation of what’s been lost,” Bilal told Murray Whyte of the Toronto Star last month. “But what’s important is that, over time, this place comes back to life.” Read more...