Posts tagged ‘Library’

22/08/2011

A mystery for the indexers out there? The Taman Shud case

Have you ever heard of the mystery of the ‘Taman Shud case’?  I remember being told about it from an early age by my Dad.  A man found dead on the Adelaide beach, South Australia, in 1948, and one of the only pieces of evidence relating to the case was a torn piece of the Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam which said ‘Tamam Shud’ – roughly translated, ‘Tamam Shud’ means ‘It is ended.’

After over 60 years, the case remains a mystery – who was the man, how did he die, was he killed, and what is the significance of some of the more unusual clues relating to the case?  A recent article in the Smithsonian Magazine titled ‘The body on Somerton Beach’ by Mike Dash (12.08.2011) is a fine introduction for anyone interested in the case.  It led me to look up a few links about the case, including the NationalDryCleaners.com.au website article titled ‘Dry cleaning or laundry marks could be the key to solving decades old murder mystery’ (date unknown), from John Ruffles.  That article in turn led to an interesting Popular Science magazine article from June 1940 titled ‘Laundry-mark detective solves mysterious crimes’ by Edwin Teale  (pg 60-63), about Lt. Adam Yulch of the Nassau County Police, USA, who had indexed laundromat markings – the article said he had a card catalogue of up to 75,000 of them to help identify the marks left on the clothing (made when clothes were professionally laundered) of victims of crime (NB: an article from the New York Times indicates that Adam Yulch died in 1950, and had by then indexed up to 100,000 laundry marks – 03.07.1950, pg 10).

As a result of looking at the work of Adam Yulch, and his index of laundry marks, it made me wonder if an indexer could have a look at this case, and possibly bring new evidence to light.  South Australian newspapers are digitised at Trove, currently including The Adelaide Advertiser, The Adelaide Morning Chronicle (1948/49 not yet digitised), and The MailPage 3 of The Advertiser, 2nd December, 1948 mentions the finding of the body for the first time, while The Mail carried the first story on page 32 on 4th December, 1948.  Here is a saved search for the word ‘Rubaiyat’ in Australian digitised newspapers at Trove between January 1948 and December 1950, and it reveals a few stories about the case.  Helpfully, a number of newspaper articles in Trove have been tagged with ‘Taman Shud’.  Considering the man appears to have arrived in Adelaide on 30.11.1948 by train (although there is the mysterious discovery of clothes on Somerton beach on 28.11.1948), a search of all Australian newspapers using keywords like “Keane OR Kean”, or Somerton, might be useful because the man may have come from another state.  If the answer is in code, could the eagle eyes of an indexer find something waiting to be found in these newspapers, from just before the body of the man was discovered on 1st December, 1948, or just afterwards?

Fishing around in the newspapers myself for something interesting to relate, I found the word ‘Omar’ in answer to a disproportionately large number of crossword questions in the Argus during 1948 – it turns up no less than 11 times (NB: the Argus was a Melbourne based newspaper).  In comparison, the word ‘Omar’ doesn’t appear to figure in newspaper crosswords anywhere else in Australia that year.  In 1949, the word continues to crop up regularly in Argus crosswords.  The last time the word appears before the man died was in answer to a question for 14 ACROSS ‘Persian poet’ in

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20/08/2011

Four-legged library / David O’Shea reporting, SBS Dateline

A week ago I put up a link to Mary McGregor’s Extreme librarianship : Biblioburro! blog, about Luis Soriano and the PBS documentary about his work bringing books to kids in rural Columbia.  I’ve managed to find an SBS Australia Dateline episode on Luis and his donkey ‘Alfa.’  Titled ‘Four-legged library’, it was aired on 24.07.2011.

Four-legged library / Reported by David O’Shea, Dateline, SBS Australia, 24.07.2011, viewed 20.08.2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPfFZEPhLAE&feature=player_profilepage (also http://www.sbs.com.au/dateline/story/watch/id/601279/n/Four-Legged-Library)

Some quotes from the show:

LUIS:  (Translation): If we teach a citizen, a compatriot, to read, he or she will be a good citizen. The main purpose of the Donkey Library is to take books they can at least look at. So they see that the world isn’t just mountains, paths, donkeys and cows…  

D. O’SHEA: I tell Luis that gadgets for reading are replacing books in my own country but he doesn’t see that as a problem.

LUIS: (Translation):  We have to teach and prepare them. And it’s a good thing. It has to happen. We need development. We can’t be left behind…

When things are done with love and dedication, they transcend time and space. That’s why it’s had such impact and worldwide recognition. It’s a labour of love. Things are more valuable when they can’t be bought.

In the documentary, David O’Shea gets Luis in touch with the President of East Timor, Jose Ramos Horta.  In May 2011, Luis Soriano met Ramos Horta in Singapore (See Tarie’s blog – The Children’s Literature Lecture and Awards Ceremony / Asia in the heart, world in the mind [09.06.2011], and afcc.com.sg)

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16/08/2011

A library opens in Burma

The opening of a library doesn’t usually make the headlines, but when Aung San Suu Kyi is able to leave her home to even visit a library, it is worthy of mention.  Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for many years, but was released in November 2010, and on a trip outside of Rangoon, in August 2011, she visited Bago and opened two libraries.  The libraries were named in her honour, and, according to the Mizzima report, were established to help the poor access information which would otherwise be too expensive for them.

Aung San Suu Kyi secretly recorded the 2011 Reith Lectures for the BBC this year (also available from ABC Radio National’s ‘Big Ideas’).  Also this year, ABC journalist Zoe Daniel met with Aung San Suu Kyi, and the report below includes a rare interview with Suu Kyi.

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The Lady on the lake / Uploaded to Youtube.com by JourneymanPictures 15.08.2011, Reported by Zoe Daniel, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV Australia, originally aired 19.07.2011, viewed 16.08.2011,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtYY6GllMNA (also http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2011/s3273094.htm)

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In 1991 Aung San Suu Kyi received the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 1996 she was made a Companion of the Order of Australia.  Below are some sources, as well as some related links and searches.

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11/08/2011

Challenging Librarian Stereotypes

Two blog posts I have come across today linked to some great information about librarians, and will give you food for thought about what it means to deliver information to those who need it.

First, Mary McGregor‘s Brooklyn Biblio blog has a post entitled Extreme librarianship : Biblioburro! (20.07.2011), which links to information about a documentary shown on the American Public Broadcasting Service called Biblioburro : The Donkey Library (NB: the documentary isn’t available in Australia due to restricted rights [currently that is] but the trailer can be seen on Youtube from Simon and Schuster under the title Biblioburro).  The documentary aired on 19.07.2011 in the USA on PBS, and hopefully it will get an airing  in Australia.  For some other online information about this film, see this saved search, the Biblioburro Facebook page, and the works listed at Trove.

Secondly, Jessica Danielle writes, in an article entitled Libriotypes : putting the SUPER in superficial (03.08.2011), about challenging stereotypes by showing that many librarians just don’t fit the usual expectations society has of them.  Jessica says

if they took a few more minutes to know me, perhaps they could shake some of those ridiculous concepts out of their heads and appreciate that I am a person who likes to help people find information, gain knowledge, learn technology, and understand how to sift through the rubble to find reliable material. 

There is a link to the Warrior Librarian Weekly’s article, Rejecting the stereotypical librarian image, with a list of websites about librarians (the list is from 2008, and a few of the links are now dead).  Jessica Danielle’s blog is Librarians + Stereotypes :: A blog about the two.

UPDATED 20.08.2011

I have managed to find an Australian story about the Biblioburro.  SBS’ Dateline current affairs program made a story about Columbia’s Luis Soriano titled ‘Four-legged library’ – I decided to put it up in another post because it was worth a look.  Go to it here…

10/08/2011

Aussie Librarian Blogs worth following

http://www.flickr.com/photos/clearlyambiguous/83588599/in/photostream/

Some Australian Librarian and related blogs worth following.

ADHD Librarian by the ADHD Librarian (twitter/ADHD_librarian)

 

Better than cheesecake by Susanne Newton

 

Bronwyn’s Library Blog by Bronwyn Ritchie

 

Bright Ideas – School Libraries Association of Victoria

 

ConnectingLibrarian by Michelle MacLean

 

Derek’s ALIA Blog by Derek Whitehead

 

Explodedlibrarian by Morgan Wilson

 

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09/08/2011

Library Disaster Recovery: 2009 Victorian bushfires

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelroper/13786602/

Bushfire / Michael Roper, 22.01.2005 (CCAttributionShareAlike2.0Licence) http://www.flickr.com/photos/ michaelroper/13786602/

The Australian state of Victoria suffered devastating bushfires in January and February 2009.  On 7th February, ‘Black Saturday’, 173 people were killed.

Below are some links which hopefully bring together some resources for a study on this disaster, how it effected library services, and how the services have been rebuilt.

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LIBRARY ASSOCIATIONS

ALIA – Disaster Recovery page, includes links to documents and websites relevant to the 2009 bushfires http://www.alia.org.au/disasterrecovery/

Report : ALIA Disaster Recover Project / Jane Grace, ALIA & Yarra Plenty regional Library, July 2009,  http://www.alia.org.au/disasterrecovery/ALIADRPReport19July09.pdf

An early Christmas gift to help rebuild with books / Sue McKerracher, INCITE Letters, pg 6, ALIA, December 2009, http://archive.alia.org.au/incite/2009/v30.12.pdf

Bushfire response / ALIA Schools Newsletter, ALIAnet, March/April 2009,   http://alianet.alia.org.au/groups/aliaschools/newsletters/2009.03.html

Rebuilding with books / Sue McKerracher (ALIA), Blue Shield, (from INSITE magazine, Museums Australia),    http://www.blueshieldaustralia.org.au/documents/articles/Insite.page9.pdf

School Library Association of Victoria Blog – http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/tag/victorian-bushfires/

Library industry unites for disaster recovery / Bookseller and Publisher, Thorpe-Bowker’s Australian Library News, Issue 362, February 2009,  http://www.booksellerandpublisher.com.au/files/ALN260209.pdf

ICT industry unites to provide bushfire victims with new PCs, services / Andrew Hendry, Australian Computer Society, 13.02.2009,  https://www.acs.org.au/media/docs/mcli/ARN130209.pdf

Blue Shield Australiahttp://www.blueshieldaustralia.org.au/

Looking for Blue Shield Australia? / Collections Council Australia –   – http://www.collectionscouncil.com.au/blue+shield+australia.aspx

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08/08/2011

The future of librarianship / R. David Lankes, 2011

Speaking at the Delaware Library Town Hall, Dover, in January 2011, R. David Lankes spoke about ‘The future of librarianship’.   R. David Lankes challenges librarians, and library staff, not to be passive as change occurs in the profession.  Librarians need to be “proactive” when they encounter changes which some in the profession fear will push library professionals out of libraries in favour of dumbed down services.  Change will happen whether we like it or not, so can librarians see opportunities in the change to engage more fully with “members” of the library?

This is a really inspiring talk, worth listening to a few times if you think you understood it the first time.  It is just under 20 minutes on Vimeo.com, (audio from R. David Lankes website).  Lankes asks ‘Are you OK with that?’ when librarians see a future in which library services are delivered not by librarians but by computers.  He  wants librarians to see people, “YOU”, as the centre of activity for librarians, not buildings, statistic collection, technology, or the latest computer applications.  Using this idea, he changes the usual question ‘What is the future of libraries?’ into ‘What should be the future of libraries and librarians in a democracy?’  He suggests ‘The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.”

Some great quotes I took away from from the talk include:

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