Posts Tagged 'duke university'

Reading list on neoliberalism, higher education and libraries

A partial list (in no particular order) of sources I used for the talk I’m giving tomorrow at Duke on neoliberalism and research libraries (I’ll post the talk soon). Enjoy.
Anyone have other relevant readings to suggest?

Library jobs for 1st Generation college kids

I’ve been able to do lots of cool things in my career with the Stanford Libraries, but we started something today that may well end up being the thing I will always be most proud of. We created a program to give paid summer internships to local aspiring first generation college kids. We partnered with Eastside College Preparatory School to identify graduating seniors (and one rising junior) who were interesting in working for the Stanford Libraries this summer.

Our goal for the program is to provide paid job opportunities for local students from groups and communities who are historically underrepresented in higher education, especially low-income and/or aspiring first generation college students. Our vision is that by doing so we will contribute to their future success as students, and we will inspire in them a love of libraries. I think the key elements of our program are that the jobs pay a decent wage, and that we are not specifically focused on aspiring librarians. We think that spending the summer working in a university library will give them an advantage when they start college in the fall, and we hope it will inspire in them a lifelong love of libraries; but we don’t expect to create future librarians (not that there’s anything wrong with that). For me, it was also important that we target the summer between high school graduation and college. That transition summer is a difficult one for many kids, but it is an especially important and potentially vulnerable time for first generation college kids.

Stanford Libraries 1st Gen Interns

Our first cohort of interns. The one with mad hops? Going to Duke, of course.

Our first cohort of interns includes 6 recent Eastside graduates, all of whom will be the first in their families to attend college in the fall, and 1 rising junior. The recent graduates will be heading off to great schools in the fall: Stanford, Duke University (Go Blue Devils!), Emory University, St. Mary’s University (Indiana), and UC Riverside. In addition to providing these students with paid summer jobs in the libraries, our program will include enrichment activities designed to increase the interns’ awareness about key sources of support available at their future college. Activities will include tours of campus, multi-media workshops, guest speakers, and an introduction to using a college library.

All the credit for pulling this off and doing all the real work goes to the incredible Felicia Smith. Inspiration for the program comes from my amazing wife, whose work with at-risk youth in San Jose got me thinking about how I might be able to leverage the resources of Stanford Libraries to make a difference for a few local kids.

I’m funding this with salary saving this year, but will hope to get real funding for it moving forward. Wish us luck!

This year, let’s go #Mad4Equality

This year, instead of my usual Mad Librarians bracket challenge, I’m teaming up with ButchWonders and Bess Sadler to co-host a bracket challenge for charity. For a $10 suggested donation per bracket , anyone can enter the Mad4Equality challenge (we even have a Mad4Equality Men’s group). To enter, just sign up for a free ESPN account, fill out your bracket, and join the Mad4Equality or Mad4Equality Mens group. The Womens’ brackets will be open on Monday night (3/18) and need to be completed before the first game on March 23.  The Mens’ brackets are open now, and need to be completed before Thursday’s first game tips off.

PayPay links are set up at ButchWonders for both tournaments. Local folks can just give their entry fee/donation directly to me or Bess.  Feel free to chip in more if you feel so compelled. If none of those options work for you, just email me and we’ll work something out. And also, please spread the word — the more entries we get, the bigger the pot and the more money goes to these awesome charities.

Chris, age 9, hoops

Check out that form on the jump-shot!

At the end of the tournament, the winner gets 1/3 of the money collected, and the remainder of the pot gets split between the  Trevor Project and the Campaign for Southern Equality.

The Trevor Project is “the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.”

The Campaign for Southern Equality “is a national effort to assert the full humanity and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in American life and to increase public support for LGBT rights.” Their work is focused on communities across the south, “taking a new approach, building upon a rich legacy of civil rights organizing in the South and working in close partnership with other LGBT and civil rights groups.”

I am thrilled that these are the charities we are supporting this year. I have been a basketball-loving dyke forever — I mean just look at these pictures. But while I have never felt compelled to deny my love of hoops, I spent a lot of energy over many years trying to deny my own sexuality. Being gay or lesbian as a teenager in the 1980s was a scary, scary thing. Unfortunately, it is still pretty scary for many kids today. The Trevor Project does some awesome work trying to make life easier for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning kids.

Chris age 8 hoops

I was a big NC State fan at just the right time. David Thompson & Monte Towe were my favorites.

I also grew up in the south (Virginia), and spent many summers and four years of college in North Carolina. I love the south. I’ve been out here in California for over 15 years now, but I still know that tea is cold and sweet, barbecue is picked from pigs, and cornbread is better when fried. But the sad truth is that the south is not always a very comfortable place for folks like me. And except for Maryland and DC, there is no place in the south, especially not in my beloved North Carolina, where my marriage would be recognized. But I’m not willing to give up on the south, and I’m glad that  The Center for Southern Equality isn’t either.

So please, pitch in your $10 (or more) and join our #Mad4Equality bracket challenge.

We even created a group for the Men’s tournament, cuz we’re all about equality and stuff.

We will also be giving various prizes for creativity, best trash-talking, etc.; so don’t be shy about entering your best theme-based bracket. I’ll probably enter at least one based on counting up the number of exes and other people I don’t care for who went to each school, and picking the school with the lower number to win (yes, sometimes I can be a very small and very petty person).

Trash-talking is highly encouraged, here in the comments, over at ButchWonders, or on Twitter with hashtag #Mad4Equality. Side-bets are likewise encouraged. In fact, I’ll put up $25 extra to the charity of choice for anyone (especially any UConn fans) who wants to wager that their team will advance farther than my Cardinal. And I’m calling out Bess Sadler right now to put up another $25 against my bet that my Blue Devils will dance longer than her Tarheels. Go Cardinal, Go Blue Devils!

The Carolinas on my mind

Tift Merritt

Tift Merritt, downloaded from

There is some great music coming out of the Carolinas lately. Here is some of my favorite new stuff coming out of the Tarheel and the Palmetto states:

  1. Delta Rae: I dare you to listen to Dance in the Graveyards just once — it’s like trying to eat just one M&M. In addition to making great music, Delta Rae member Ian Holljes spent a year caring for Reynolds Price (probably my favorite novelist) and was inspired to write “Country House” about the experience. And 2 of the band members are Duke graduates. Check out NPR for more Delta Rae.
  2. Tift Merritt: What’s not to like about a North Carolina native who “aspires to write like Lucinda and sing like Emmylou” according to the Paste magazine’s review of her album Traveling Alone?
  3. The Avett Brothers: I know they aren’t new, but their new album The Carpenter is pretty awesome. And they hail from Concord, North Carolina.
  4. Band of Horses: Again, not a new band, but this South Carolina group’s new album Mirage Rock is getting some decent reviews. Knock Knock is a pretty cool song; and there is no doubt that Detlef Schremp is the best song ever named after a German NBA player.

I’m a Z-eliever

screen shot of Facebook status, Oct 10

I was just 9 days early in my prediction.

Sully of Sully Baseball claims that anyone who thought Barry Zito would pitch like that last night is a liar. Wrong. I never stopped Z-elieving. I just predicted last night’s game a bit early.

I am one of those fans who always believes my team is going to win. It is a choice about how I want to approach my obsession with 3 sports teams: the San Francisco Giants, the Duke men’s basketball team, and the Stanford basketball team (see what I did there?). Every year, I predict that each of my teams will win it all. 2010 was ever so close to the trifecta for me.

Let me be clear — I am no band-wagon fan. I didn’t pick these teams because they are frequent contenders.  I picked them because they are (or were) my home team. I arrived at Duke in 1983, when most of the community was ready to fire Coach K.  Then in 1986, it all came together for a magical year … until the end. I still remember what it felt like when the buzzer sounded and our magic year ended (Hint: It SUCKED!).

I came to Stanford in 1998, the year that Stanford became the first and still only #1 seed to lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament. I finally forgave Harvard after they hired my classmate Tommy Amaker to coach their men’s team.

I became a Giants fan when I moved out here in 1998, and we’ve made the postseason just 5 times since then. But I promise you that every year I believe we will win the World Series, and I believe that Duke and Stanford will win the National Championship. I know that means I’m disappointed often, but it is the promise of winning that makes watching so wonderful. And the thrill of victory is so much sweeter when you believed in it all along … at least for me.

me, Barry Zito, Diane

Z-elievers since 2008

So I promise you, Sully, I am not lying when I said that I believed that Barry Zito would pitch the game of his life last night –I’m a Z-eliever!

I think I’ve become a Feral Humanist

This morning, I had the pleasure of giving the opening talk at the ABLD/EBSLG/APBSLG Joint Meeting being hosted here at Stanford. I don’t often get the chance to give a “think piece” sort of talk, so it was actually both challenging and loads of fun to prepare for. The theme of the conference was Business Library ROI: Measuring Usage and Identifying Value, so I decided to talk about my concerns with the ROI framework, calling my talk How ROI Killed the Academic Library: A Cautionary Tale.

My final slide. Pretty hokey, huh?

A funny thing happened as I wrote the talk … I realized that I very well may have become a Feral Humanist. I ended up talking about books, and archives, and even serendipity. I blame my humanities colleagues, at Stanford and on-line. You know who you are. Feel free to read the full talk and judge for yourself. Or, just take a look at my concluding remarks:

Perhaps I have presented an overly romantic, even mystical portrait of academic libraries – and at a time when libraries and higher education are under the gun to get practical. But what I am suggesting is that if we don’t defend the hard to define and even harder to measure qualitative importance of libraries, who will?

And, I suspect that many of you probably agree with me, at least in principle, that universities ought to have great libraries, with expert staff and awesome collections and a range of services in support of teaching and research. But of course, we all face constraints in the forms of budgets, space, and competing priorities.

So, yes, by all means find good ways to measure our contributions to the aims of higher education. But also, please, take opportunities to evangelize on behalf of the immeasurable impact of libraries – make sure your administration knows that there is value in books that aren’t read, in data that hasn’t been used yet, in archives yet to be discovered, and in the mere fact of great libraries.

The Maddest Librarians

We have our winners for the March Madness tournament and for the Men’s March Madness tournament!

Although the men’s tournament officially died for me when my beloved Blue Devils lost in the 1st round to the UPS Intramural Team, apparently many of you continued to care. By the end of Round 2, I think 1/2 of us had lost at least 1 of our Final Four picks. Only 3 entries picked Kentucky to win it all, but Sagehen510 won handily. I have it on good authority that Sagehen510 is not an actual librarian, but is married to one — proving that s/he has not only mad hoops-picking skillz, but also excellent taste. Congrats Sagehen — let me know how to get you your T-shirt (my email address is on my About Page).

The HathiTrust bracket came in at the bottom half of the pack, but did beat out the OCLC RLP bracket, which came in last.

The regular tournament was much closer, and for some of us, much more heartbreaking. Seeing my beloved Cardinal walk away from their 5 straight Final Four without a trophy was/is painful. Hard not to love a team that gives us the Nerd City Kids.

Our group had 3 entrants who picked Baylor to win it all, and we actually have a tie for the winners between ESPNTokyo08021990 and Other_Chris, who much too modestly labeled his/her bracket “Largely Random”. ESPN Tokyo and Other_Chris–Congratulations, and let me know how/where to send your T-shirt.

The ARL bracket came in dead last, although I refuse to draw any conclusions about what that means.

Congrats to all, thanks for playing, and big thanks to Gone Reading for the T-shirts!

And now, Go Giants!

Play Ball! Playlist

Giants' home opener, 2006

Giants home opener, 2006

My Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview issue arrived this week, so even though there is still plenty of Madness left to enjoy (Go Cardinal! Go Blue Devils!), some of my thoughts are turning to baseball.

I imagine that most of us can (and do) sing along to “Centerfield” by John Fogarty, and I suspect nearly all of us know the utterly depressing saga of the The Boss’ former high school pitcher friend whose “Glory Days” are behind him. But if you’re looking for some new tunes to get pumped up for Opening Day 2012*, below are some of my favorite lesser-know songs about baseball. Additional suggestions welcome in the comments. And of course, Go Giants!

  • Catchers Drummers Anchormen (Amazon sample, or buy it for $0.89) by Eddie from Ohio: I didn’t actually see Carlton Fisk’s famous 1975 World Series Game 6 homer, but this song makes me feel like I did. “In ’75, oh, what a beautiful sight; the flight of a Spalding on an October night. The iron man Fisk hit a prayer in the air; and with a wave of his arms, he kept it fair. And with a wave of his arms, he kept it fair.”
  • Empty baseball park by Whiskeytown: Not really about baseball, but it does have the lyrics “Stumble into empty baseball park. Strike one and strike two… I guess we’re both out.” And I dig Ryan Adams, especially his stuff with Whiskeytown.
  • Catfish by Bob Dylan: This song, about Hall of Famer Jim “Catfish” Hunter, was originally supposed to be on Desire, but ended up on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991. I couldn’t find an online version of Dylan singing it, so the link above is a Townes Van Zandt cover version.
  • Joe Dimaggio done it again by Billy Bragg and Wilco (lyrics by Woody Guthrie): Straight up celebration of the great Joe Dimaggio–“Clackin’ that bat, Gone with the wind! Joe Dimaggio’s done it again.”
  • Cheap Seats by Alabama: A lovely ode to the joys of minor league baseball. Since my sister and her husband are co-owners of the Haymarket Senators of the Valley Baseball League, I have to agree that “there’s nothin’ like the view from the cheap seats.”
  • Bill Lee by Warren Zevon: A delightfully trippy little song about Boston Red Sox pitcher Bill “Spaceman” Lee.
  • All the way by Eddie Vedder: The Pearl Jam vocalist, a lifelong Cubbies fan, recorded this song in 2008; putting to music Cubs fans’ hopes that “Someday we’ll go all the way, Yeah, someday we’ll go all the way”.

*Opening Day 2012 includes both Opening Night on April 4, 2012 (St. Louis Cardinals v. Miami Marlins), and Opening Day games on April 5, 2012.

March Madness, Librarian Style

Jiffy picks Duke

For his Men's bracket, Jiffy picks Duke

Ok folks, March Madness is here, so it is time to revive the Mad Librarians bracket groups. This year’s Mad Librarians bracket challenges will be super awesome, because the good folks at Gone Reading have agreed to donate one of their cool T-Shirts for the overall winners of each challenge.

So, here’s how it works:

  • Despite the names of the groups, you need not be a librarian (mad or otherwise) to join. All are welcome. In fact, please invite your friends, your co-workers, and your friendly co-workers.
  • There are 2 groups, one for the regular tournament, and one for the Men’s tournament (see what I did there?).
  • To enter a bracket in the regular tournament, join Mad Librarians. You will have to sign up for a free ESPN account if you don’t already have one.
  • To enter a bracket in the Men’s tournament, join Mad Librarians (Men’s).
  • You can join the groups immediately, then go back and fill in your brackets once the fields have been announced. ESPN will have live coverage of the selection show Monday at 5pm PST on ESPN. CBS will air the Men’s selection show at 3pm PST on Sunday.
  • In addition to the admiration of the entire Feral Librarian blog community and bragging rights for the year, the winners of each challenge will receive a T-shirt courtesy of the good folks at Gone Reading.
  • Trash-talking in the comments is highly encouraged, as is posting your Final Four and Championship picks in the comments once your brackets are completed.

You should all know that this is the year my Stanford Women and my Duke men will win it all. Of course, I predict that every year … but I have been half right several times.

More on the economic benefits of universities « Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

While I have no idea of the economic impact of either of my alma maters on their surrounding towns, I can attest to the fact that neither Durham nor Palo Alto qualify as anything like an actual “college town”.

More on the economic benefits of universities « Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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