Archive for April, 2009

What is it anyway?

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Anyone walking by the East exhibit case in the Research Library would wonder when the spring plantings will start to sprout.


But it is actually an exhibit in preparation. Objects from the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum in Palm Springs will be on view in the case beginning on May 12. To prepare for the exhibit, which will feature many items made from minimally processed plant materials, the environment in the case is being buffered to a higher-than-ambient relative humidity using a synthetic substance known as silica gel. This will produce an evironment similar to one found in many museum collections.

Exhibit items will include those treated by students from the UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation during Winter 2007 and 2009 as well as several additional items borrowed from the museum.

Author’s Series Opens at the Research Library

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

A new author’s series — Detective Fiction and the Central American Experience — held its first session yesterday opening to a standing room only crowd in the Research Library’s conference center. Conceieved by Gloria Chacon, one of the Library’s Post Doctoral Fellows, the series is intented to be a multi-layer provocation. First it is meant to point to the detective work one carries out when dealing with the Central American experience. Second, the series is intended to be a conversation with an entire body of texts that surfaced in the 1990s where American citizens travel to Central America to “solve” a particular crime, usually a disappearance or murder. Third, the series is an attempt to bring into the Academy the emergence of what Arturo Arias has termed “the invisibility of Central Americans in the United States.”

The Tattooed Soldier was discussed by its author Hector Tobar. He is also author of Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identify in the Spanish-Speaking United States. He has been a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times in Mexico and Central America and is currently contirbuting a weekly column to the Times. He also discussed his current project to be released soon.


Hector Tobar (with Gary Strong and Gloria Chacon) was the inaugural speaker in the series. He was introduced by Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Chicano Studies professor, poet, and novelist.

The next guest writer will be Marcos M. Villatoro, Professor and novelist at Mount Saint Mary’s. His books include Home Killings, Walking to La Milpa, and The Holy Spirit of my Uncle’s Cojones.

“A” Level Renovation Update (3)

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

The ventilation and heating ducts and monitoring systems are almost in place. Workers are adding the insulation to the ductwork which will help us achieve our LEED ratings.


Insulation is nearing completion on the ductwork. Then ceilings can be put into place.


Let’s hope that no one is left behind above the ceilings. Or is it a mystery in the making?


Work has begun on the installation of the false floor which will accomodate electrical and data providing maximum flexibility throughout the entire reading room as needs and uses change.


Each piece fits into place. There are 2 1/2 inches of space for cabling and conduit beneath the false floor.


It’s almost like a jigsaw puzzle as each piece is fitted into place. This process will take about a week and a half to complete. Things are moving along!

Festival of Books at UCLA

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

What fun it always is to attend the Festival. The whole campus is transformed with booths, authors, readers, and programs. My first stop was at the merchandise tent to get this year’s hat and mug. Then to the UCLA Library booth to say hello and see what is out. Those tatoos are such fun. Library staff were on hand to talk about consumer health and government information with those who stopped by.

My first panel was of mystery writers and I really enjoyed their interaction. Stephen J. Cannell and Jan Burke are two favorites of mine. Other panels took place over Saturday and Sunday.

In the afternoon Ray Bradbury visited Powell Library to see the commemorative plaque of the site of the creation of Farhenheit 451.


During Ray Bradbury’s appearance at the Powell Society Dinner in September 2008, this was unveiled, but he only was able to see it on Saturday for the first time.

What About Google Books?

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the pending settlement between GOOGLE and the publishers and what impact it might have for our relationship with the project. As many of you know, the University of California has committed to having many of its books scanned for inclusion in the Google Books database. Recently, the University Librarians agreed to participate in the Hathi Trust to preserve these digital copies. With the news of a pending settlement, there have been numerous discussions concerning these issues. The Committee on Libraries and Scholarly Communication of UCLA’s Academic Senate will be discussing this topic during its meeting this week.

In attempting to capture the context for this discourse, you might want to see a couple of articles recently published. They include: (Be sure to read the comments linked at the bottom of the article which provide additional perspective.) (Pamela is at UC Berkeley and provides us a lot to consider.)

I am sure there are many more articles, blogs, meetings, and comments about this significant change in our library landscape. I welcome your comments and thoughts.

Added note on May 4, 2009:

ALA and ARL have just posted statement on the proposed settlement for your interest. They may be found at

DLF Programs Move to CLIR

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

For a number of years our staff has been participating in the programs of the Digital Library Federation. In 2008, the UCLA Library became a full member of the Federation, and I began serving on the Board of Directors. The Board of the Federation undertook a full review of its operations and viability in the future, making a report to the Board for a special meeting that took place in Minneapolis last week. After consultation internally, I attended the meeting prepared to vote to support the change that is outlined in the attached link to the press release.

As the transition takes place, I am looking forwrd to the opportunities that will be available to staff to participate in this new forum within the Council on Library and Information Resources.

Annual Donors Reception Recognizes the Library’s Angels

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Over one hundred and twenty-five of the Library’s donors gathered in the lobby of the Research Library for our annual donors reception. Four years ago a small group gathered at the first such event, but this year drew the largest number of donors ever–and the number who support the UCLA Library continues to grow. Honored are those who make monetary contributions during the year, support endowments, and donate collections of significant value to the Library’s special collections. During the evening, highlights from across the various Library collections were available for examination by those attending. It is truly a highlight of the year.


Ann and Bill Edwards join Carolyn and me. The Edward’s gift enabled the purchase of the Huxley papers. They are members of the Library’s Board of Visitors.


Robin and Al Carnesale joined the reception and offered warm wishes to all. Our former Chancellor has been an avid supporter of the Library and building its collections.


Elliot Gould recently selected the Library to be the repository for his papers.


Endowments provide a lasting legacy and are significant in sustaining the development of the Library’s vast collections. Jacqueline Weber recently added to the Jacqueline and Eugen Weber Endowed Fund for European History.

For additional information on how to support the UCLA Library see

Budget Update (2)

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Chancellor Block distributed a campus update on the budget yesterday which indicates that deans and vice chancellors are to plan for a 5 percent across-the-board reduction in funding for the 2009-10 academic year. As I have mentioned in my previous postings, we have submitted scenario plans for a three, five, and eight percent reduction in our budget.

Last Friday I received a memorandum from Executive Vice-Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh detailing this request. I am meeting with campus administration today to further explore the implications for the UCLA Library. In the detail attached to EVC Waugh’s memorandum the library is slated for a $438,623 mid-year reduction for 2008-09 and the five percent reduction for 2009-10 of $1,830,201. I must remind you that this is in addition to the rebalancing amounts that we must return to the campus to cover the Library’s portion of energy costs and deferred building maintenance as well as fringe benefits. We are also planning for the reinstatement of the employer contribution to retirement in April 2010.

The Chancellor also commented that there are many unknowns that could still impact the budget for next year. I will keep you informed of the impact on the Library as the story unfolds.

“A” Level Renovation Update (2)

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Renovation of the “A” level is proceeding well. Walls are being taped for painting and the ventilation installed into the study area.


New canopy over the elevators at “A” level will help define the space.


Entry to the CRIS offices.


Alcoves which will house the map collection are framed and ready for finishing.


Ventilation is being installed in the ceiling over the study area. One can see how open this space will be when completed.

Library Acquires John Fante Papers

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

In conjunction with the centenary of John Fante’s birth on April 8, I’m delighted to announce that we have acquired the literary papers of this Los Angeles novelist, short-story writer, and screenwriter. The extensive collection includes all his manuscripts that are known to exist as well as personal letters, business records, and memorabilia. For more details, see the news release at: