Sharon's last day with the Mark Twain Project is tomorrow, Friday, July 1st. She's moving on to more challenging work and--I hope and trust--better-paid and more reliably-funded work. Of course we wish her the very best. But I won't even pretend to have mixed feelings about losing her. So far as I'm concerned, it's an absolute one-way loss for the Project, for the library, and for the university as a whole.
She is an extraordinary person and an unparalleled colleague. Sharon came to MTP eleven years ago, when we were still rusticated down on Hearst avenue. At that point she hadn't quite finished her PhD in medieval literature with the Berkeley English department, but she soon did finish (2006). She worked for us as a graduate student helping process the electronic files destined to be mounted on the still-to-be-created website, marktwainproject.org (MTPO). In 2005 we twisted the tail of the bureaucracy to get her hired as the Digital Publications Manager for the Project. Two years later, after enormous labor and great patience, she and Leslie Myrick were able to launch MTPO.
That pair of geniuses has managed and improved and enlarged the site ever since. In short order, as a world-class expert in TEI (don't ask) Sharon and Leslie (our world-class database expert) made it possible to read all of Huck Finn, more than 2500 letters, and all three volumes of the Autobiography--free of charge on the website, with more in the pipeline.
Sharon has always done much much more than her "job." She served on the library's Educational Initiatives Council, on the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research committee, and on the User Experience Expertise Group of the library. And whatever the need at MTP (especially when people left and left us hanging) she was always always there to fill in and help out, often so quietly you wouldn't know it. We imposed on her for all kinds of electronic expertise, so much so that the IT guys now don't really know where MTP is. She used her expertise in medieval transcription to train students in the more modest challenge of transcribing Mark Twain and those who wrote to him. And she was always the voice of calm and reason and unflappable patience for every aspect of our work. But I think it is safe to say that her crowning achievement has been ensuring the publication of our books on the website virtually simultaneously with their appearance in print. That and managing the website and other related matters so that her successor, whoever that may be, can step into an already functioning and organized and rational system to keep us going.
I've seen a lot of folks come and go at MTP, and I miss some of them still. But I'm going to miss Sharon more than all of them put together. Please join me in wishing her good fortune in her next challenge.
I'm delighted to announce that Ian Knabe will join us as the Electronic Resources Librarian on August 16. Ian's experience includes license negotiation and management, e-resources troubleshooting, and publisher/vendor relations from positions at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, and Stern, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, a law firm in Washington DC.
I am very grateful to Lee Adams from the Public Health Library who has been the acting licensing librarian since May 2015. Lee has performed most professionally and collegially in this role and deserves our greatest thanks.
Thanks also to the Search Committee for their excellent work: Jeffery Loo (Chair), Mark Hemhauser, Nga Ong, and Hilary Schiraldi.
Acting Associate University Librarian, Collections
Please join me in congratulating Jutta Wiemhoff in taking on the new and permanent role of NRLF Operations Manager. Jutta was the successful candidate in a national search and I am very happy to have her taking on this role at the NRLF.
Many thanks to the search committee, Mark Marrow, Tim Converse and Cathy Martyniak (Director of the SRLF) and to everyone who participated in the interviews for this position.
Associate University Librarian
Director of Digital Initiatives and Collaborative Services
Julio Guilleremo passed away yesterday. He was a friend and fellow UC Berkeley library retiree.
I came to know Julio when I first began working in the copy cataloging unit of technical services in 1999. At that time Julio was cataloging books for the Art History branch along with Main. His friend Alan Silverman would come by to chat and joke, and I enjoyed the daily levity as I was sitting right across from Julio. He also was a big time fan of Survivor from the first season, and as a result I also became a fan, so that became a topic for conversation, along with his interest in Alfred Hitchcock films.
Julio was also a very skilled photographer and a master in chess and similar board games. By training he was a mathematician.
- Steve Denney
Randal Brandt has written the introduction to a new edition of Carambola by David Dodge published in February 2016 by Bruin Books. David Dodge was a mystery and thriller writer born in Berkeley in 1910. He is best known as the author of To Catch a Thief, which Alfred Hitchcock adapted into the classic film starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Carambola, originally published in 1961, is a "chase novel" set in the Pyrenees about an American mining engineer named Andy Holland who, having only recently learned that he has a teenage daughter, is persuaded by his ex-wife to make a daring attempt to rescue her husband Harry Magill. Magill, the only father Andy's daughter has ever known, is hiding out in Barcelona facing a murder charge. Written when his own daughter was a teenager, this novel, with its theme of fathers and daughters, is Dodge's most personal story and is now back in print for the first time since the 1970s.
Randal Brandt is the Principal Cataloger for The Bancroft Library