Friday, January 19, 2007

Presidential Library?

The proposed George W. Bush Presidential Library, if built at SMU, is controversial. First, the land will be acquired by eminent domain, displacing homeowners in the University Gardens condo complex. Second, building costs are estimated at $2-300 million.....a lot of moolah for a library that wouldn't be housing any real books......

According to the New York Times, at a meeting on Jan 16, "close to 150 faculty members raised concerns about the project and formulated what became 35 questions for the university president, R. Gerald Turner, on the relationship between the university and the Bush library and policy center. The questions included, "How would the institute affect the intellectual integrity of SMU?"

The Library is actually proposed as a complex of three parts. First is the library itself which would hold all the presidential papers. The second is the museum, which would present Bush and his administration in its best light. The third part would be the Bush Institute, a "think tank" where scholars would write articles supportive of the Bush administration. Help!

There are a number of presidential libraries dedicated to men whose politics and practices disturb me and some to men who I admire, but most disturbing is this latest vision of "library" as temple to historic revisionism, even as we are in the middle of it.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Fall and Winter 2006

Fall semester was busy with lots of instruction. Good to re-acquaint myself with the Biology dept again...old friends and (the mark of a true librarian) a wonderful database, Biological Abstracts. I remember when it was in paper, that rotated index in the back that no one wanted to use. As a matter of fact, I remember using it as an undergrad....rather, trying to use it and leaving the SF State Library in frustration. Never dreamed in 1968 that I would work in libraries! My occupational goal was to hike in the son Emil has realized my dream, see his friend Leslie's blog about a day in the life of a forester
My OT class was great this year. Students inOT are wonderful folks, working to bring occupational equity to all kinds of people. I required a telephone consultation this time...spent at least one hour on the phone with each student and really got to know them better. Online courses are convenient for a lot of reasons but I miss the one-to-one time.
I will be on sabbatical during Spring semester and will keep up with SJSU Library through this blogging thingie.