Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street Library Regrows in Manhattan | American Libraries Magazine

The Occupy Wall Street Library Regrows in Manhattan | American Libraries Magazine
Christina Zabriske
American Libraries, Wed, 11/16/2011 - 12:05

"The People’s Library at Occupy Wall Street was destroyed in the early morning hours of November 15. Without warning or provocation hundreds of militarized New York police officers cleared the park starting at 1 a.m. The library was torn down in the dark of night and its books, laptops, archives, and support materials were thrown into dumpsters by armed police and city sanitation workers. Numerous library staff were arrested, and, in one case, a librarian strapped the notebooks of original poetry from the library’s poetry readings to her body before lending aid to comrades who had been pepper-sprayed."

"Prior to its destruction, the library had reached new levels of growth with laptops, a Wi-Fi hub, and a tent donated by author and rock legend Patti Smith and dubbed “Fort Patti.” The library also had thousands of circulating volumes. Library staff rightfully prided themselves on their collection, the entirety of which was donated by private citizens and corporations for the general public good. The collection included the holy books of every faith, books reflecting the entire political spectrum, and works for all ages on a huge range of topics. These were thrown into dumpsters amidst tents, tables, blankets, and anything else on the Zuccotti Park site."

"Amidst it all, there was also a functioning library, a small one under fire, but a library just the same. While the future of the Wall Street occupation is unclear, these protesters still believe in what libraries offer everyone. For these activists “The library is open” has become a battle cry."

CHRISTIAN ZABRISKIE is the founder of Urban Librarians Unite and coauthor of Grassroots Library Advocacy: A Special Report (ALA Editions, 2012).

Ed. note: Late Wednesday morning, the Occupy movement launched Occupy Educated, explaining the action as “an emergency response to the destruction of the library at Occupy Wall Street, a clear attempt to destroy the education of passionate people who are tired of living in a deeply flawed system. Razing libraries and burning books has historically failed every time; this will be the most colossal failure to repress education in history, because the education will not be centralized.”

American Libraries, Wed, 11/16/2011 - 12:05

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science

The New Einsteins Will Be Scientists Who Share

From cancer to cosmology, researchers could race ahead by working together—online and in the open

In January 2009, a mathematician at Cambridge University named Tim Gowers decided to use his blog to run an unusual social experiment. He picked out a difficult mathematical problem and tried to solve it completely in the open, using his blog to post ideas and partial progress. He issued an open invitation for others to contribute their own ideas, hoping that many minds would be more powerful than one. He dubbed the experiment the Polymath Project.

The Rowland papers: UC Irvine Special Collections

The Rowland papers

UCI Libraries Special Collections & Archives unveil Nobel laureate's research archives
Deep in the dusty basement at Rowland Hall, more than 300 cartons filled with papers, photos, videos, transparencies, slides, cartoons, audio tapes, books and more lay in disarray that belied the meticulous scientific precision of their owner – F. Sherwood Rowland.

When the Nobel laureate in chemistry donated it all to UC Irvine Libraries’ Department of Special Collections & Archives in 2009, archivists began a kind of archaeological dig. They sorted, labeled, and cataloged scientific research and personal correspondence, and what has emerged is a portrait of a man internationally recognized not only for his work in the laboratory, but also for his efforts to inform other scientists, the public, and policymakers about threats posed by chemical pollutants to Earth’s atmosphere.

 Mitchell Brown, exhibit curator and research librarian for Chemistry, Earth System Science and Russian Studies, says the collection is available to researchers who want to peruse the hand-written notes, lab cards and more. The only thing missing, he says, is the actual notebook in which the CFC discovery is noted. That notebook belongs to Molina.
Calling Rowland the "Galileo story of his time," Brown says much of the correspondence shows the atmospheric chemist as "calm, reasonable and thoughtful in the face of critics who weren't." Rowland saved editorial cartoons critical of his findings, and many of the originals hang in his home. He saved celebratory messages as well, including an answering machine message from "Al" (that would be Al Gore) congratulating him on his Nobel Prize.


The Partners of the UCI Libraries Present
The Opening of our Fall Exhibit
Discovery of a Lifetime: F. Sherwood Rowland and the Ozone Layer

Featuring a talk by

Ralph J. Cicerone
President of the National Academy of Sciences and
Chancellor Emeritus, UC Irvine

A special evening with F. Sherwood Rowland
With remarks by UC Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake, M.D.

Friday, November 18, 2011
6:00 pm
Langson Library, UC Irvine