The University Library at UC Berkeley would like to thank everyone who found humor in our April Fools' Day blog post. Please know that the Library is not going to close and turn into a coffee bar, our experienced library professionals will not be making and serving coffee, and there is no bLib tool (though that one does sound potentially awesome!).
We hope you enjoyed a little bit of laughter at the start of the second half of a very busy Spring semester.
Joyce Carol Oates will be reading from her work and answering questions at the Morrison Library on April 9 from 5-6pm for the Library's monthly prose reading series, Story Hour.
Joyce Carol Oates has written some of the most enduring fiction, including We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde. Most recently, she published Carthage and The Sacrifice, as well as the story collections High-Crime Area and Lovely, Dark, Deep.
Oates' many honors include the National Book Award, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, the Prix Femina Etranger, and the President's Medal in the Humanities. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. Oates has taught recently at Berkeley and Stanford, and is on the faculty at Princeton University.
Following the successful digitization of millions of print holdings in the Gardner (MAIN) Stacks, the Doe Library will be closing permanently at the end of the Spring semester. "The ambitious plan will allow us to better serve the biblioclast community," University Librarian Tom Leonard said.
Most of the Library's print collection is now available for free on Google, while certain titles with copyright restrictions will soon be accessible to UC Berkeley students in the Fall via bLib, the newest addition to the bConnected suite of Google-powered collaboration tools that includes bMail and bCal.
After all of the books are removed from the Gardner (MAIN) Stacks over the Summer, the former Library space will reopen in the Fall as the FSM Cafe and Google Study Center. Associate University Librarian Elizabeth Dupuis notes that over the Summer all librarians will attend barista training seminars at Blue Bottle Coffee and the Doe Reference Desk on the second floor will reopen as an espresso bar, while cold-brew and artisanal pour-over coffee will be available at the former Circulation Desk. "We're committed to meeting the student body's growing needs for high quality roasts on campus." Exotic fair-trade teas will also be available.
Some faculty are concerned that Google is not always an effective tool for finding scholarly materials. Geoff Nunberg of the I School finds Google's Book Search to be a disaster for scholars, for example, noting that "books aren't simply vehicles for communicating information, and managing a vast library collection requires different skills, approaches, and data than those that enabled Google to dominate Web searching."
Sophomore Roberto Busa, however, is unconcerned: "I'm pretty sure what I need is online and if it's not, how am I supposed to find it anyway?"
Library staff are thrilled by the upcoming changes and hope to continue meeting growing needs for humor on the UC Berkeley campus.
Newly appointed Head of the Library Arts & Humanities Division, Holly Hatheway, brings a wonderful blend of experience in library administration, collection development, public services, and art librarianship to the UC Berkeley Library community. In her previous work she has focused on supporting special collections, digital humanities, and international perspectives, and she previously served as the Assistant Director for Collections, Research, and Access Services for the Haas Family Arts Library at Yale University. Holly has a BA in Art History with a Spanish minor from Indiana State University, and Master's degrees in Art History and Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute.
Please join us in welcoming Holly to the campus community!
Have you ever needed to find health statistics or wanted to try your hand in collecting data? The Finding Health Statistics D-Lab workshop, lead by Public Health Librarian Michael Sholinbeck, will cover issues surrounding the collection of health statistics, and will point out reliable sources for health statistics and data. Sholinbeck will also be introducing tools for creating custom tables of vital (birth, death, etc.), disease, and health behavior statistics. The focus will be on US statistics, but sources for international statistics will be covered as well. Students will have a chance to explore some of these valuable tools in class, so be sure to bring a laptop.