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From the University Librarian: Take One

This page covers issues of Take One published beginning in August 2009, for issues published prior to August 2009, please visit the TAKE ONE ARCHIVE.

Traditionally Thanksgiving is a time to think upon and celebrate the very good things in our lives. And because Thanksgiving is coming late this year, it also overlaps with the first day of Hanukkah. The occurrence of these two events has helped me think anew about giving thanks. First, from the Jewish faith comes the term Dayenu, which means “it would have been enough” or “it...

As we have noted in earlier Take Ones, the Authors Guild has sued Google, HathiTrust, and a number of major research libraries, including Cornell. In its 2005 suit against Google, the Guild claimed that Google had committed copyright infringement by scanning copyrighted books without the permission of the rights holders and then made them available for search in its Google Books product.

I love it when colleagues send me interesting articles to read and by coincidence I’ve recently received two recommendations on the fate of the book. First, Laurent Ferri sent me this intriguing piece from 2011, “How books will become machines,” by Fredéríc Kaplan, who holds the Digital Humanities Chair at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and directs its Digital Humanities Lab (...

This weekend we hosted the Library Advisory Council fall meeting here in Ithaca. The meeting’s focus was on library facilities in the 21st century. Lance Heidig’s presentation on the Lincoln materials and Ben Ortiz’s tour of the Hip Hop Exhibit primed the pump on the incredible draw of primary source materials that are only available here at Cornell. Mary Ochs provided a tour on Saturday...

I had planned something else for this week’s Take One, but having just come back from the CUL Talent Show I am just in awe of the incredible array of artistic talent possessed by library staff, from singing and dancing, to playing a wonderful array of instruments, to poetry, photography, cooking, woodcarving, birdmaking, textile and bead art, printmaking…and more. I’ve taken piano lessons for...

Returning late Friday night from a week of traveling on Cornell business, I breathed a sigh of relief to be back home in Upstate New York. I love the natural beauty of gorges and waterfalls and glacier-carved Finger Lakes. But I also love that Ithaca is such a caring community. Its citizens are generous, engaged, and supported to an extent I’ve not witnessed in other places I’ve lived. I’m not...

Diversity, teamwork, transparency, innovation, fairness, empowerment, recognition... these are just a few components of a healthy organizational climate. In Ithaca, we hear over and over again that Wegmans is a great place to shop because it’s a great place to work.

Can we say the same about CUL?

Abraham Lincoln thought no one would really care about the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. He told us so in the Address itself: The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

Every year, the American Library Association sponsors banned books week to draw attention to book censoring. The week of Sept 22-28 will be the 31st time the ALA has brought attention to the one of our most prized rights: the freedom to read. A highlight of each year is the listing of books that have been censored or banned in schools, libraries, and other places. ALA's Office for Intellectual...

In preparation for my first trip to Cuba in 2000, I sent an email out to the library system two days before I left, asking folks if they had any old jeans, medicines and toiletries (aspirin, vitamins, toothpaste, etc.) that I could share with the Cuban people. The next day my office was jammed with clothing and medicines and some unexpected other goodies, including a wedding dress (!) and a...