Tuesday, February 22, 2011

From Dictatorship to Democracy, by Gene Sharp

Interesting reading: 4th ed. in pdf.
Related story: Gene Sharp: Author of the nonviolent revolution rulebook
  • Albert Einstein wrote the foreword to his first book - Gandhi Wields the Weapon of Moral Power: Three Case Histories - published in 1960
  • His 1968 Oxford University D Phil, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, formed the basis of a book with the same title, published in 1973
  • Founded the Albert Einstein Institution in 1983, a non-profit organisation advancing the use of non-violent action in conflict around the world
Ruaridh Arrow's film, Gene Sharp: How to Start a Revolution, will be released in spring 2011 - keep an eye out for it!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tourism in Philadelphia

Yesterday I turned the wrong direction when exiting the Reading Terminal Market after lunch (12th Street Cantina - a cold salad of spicy chicken chunks with plaintain & red bell peppers) & ended up at the Quaker Books/FGC/Friends Journal building at Arch St. & 13th. I had been asked to get a copy of Faith & Practice from the Philly Meeting, so I went in--took advantage of the 10% off sale, which covered sales tax, & got it for under $10. Outwardly, I was calm & friendly. Inwardly I felt awed & giggly--look--real Quakers who do Friendly work for a living!

From there, I hiked to the Free Quaker Meeting House Museum ("them are fighting words" - they were Quakers who were "read out of" meeting (dismembershipped) for fighting in the Revolution; also Betsy Ross joined them after being "read out" for "marrying out"). Passed by the Christ Church Burial Ground, wherein lies Benjamin Franklin, & went into the Arch Street Friends Meeting House. I was surprised by how large it is. I sat in silence for a few minutes before viewing the exhibits, which are miniature-diorama like. Visited the Betsy Ross house, Elfreth's Alley, and viewed the Liberty Bell (ordered by the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1751 to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of William Penn's 1701 Charter of Privileges, Pennsylvania's original Constitution) from outside its building. There is Security. I had my backpack.

More on eating at Reading Market--my favorite bakery is Beiler's, from which I've eaten cherry & blueberry pies & a cinnamon roll for breakfast, & took away an apple pie for tomorrow's brekkie. Next door to them is the Dutch Eating Place, where I consumed a large & utterly delicious hot apple dumping this morning. Around the corner is Miller's Twist, which features hot, soft, buttery pretzels--okay, I ate these for lunch every day except yesterday's Mexican. The Pennsylvania General Store includes Hope's cookies & Hank's rootbeer. There are lots of other stalls but these are the ones I patronized.

I enjoyed seeing & hearing Peter Richard Conte at the Wanamaker Organ in the Grand Court at Macy's last night. I went with an organist, who patiently answered my questions about the 6 keyboards, hundreds of color-coded stops, bizillions of pipes, etc.

This morning I visited the National Constitution Center to satisfy my former gov-docs-librarian self. Yes, I studied the Constitution & Bill of Rights, etc., in high school, but the exhibits also delineated the many struggles for rights of those who, oddly enough, were not included in "We the People," in The Centuries of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline. The full-size bronze statues of the signers of the Constitution are also impressive.

Tonight is the MLA Big Band concert at the reception prior to the banquet. Tomorrow I'll attend meeting for worship at Arch Street, then fly home. Homesickness has been a constant pressure here.

Music Library Association conference 2

In Plenary II on Licensing, we heard from a couple of copyright lawyers, Corynne McSherry & Kevin L. Smith, who believe that more often we will be licensees, not owners, of informational materials, & thus, that first-sale doctrine doesn't apply. Corynne advocated for librarians to follow the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) blog. Kevin explained that there are 3 relevant issues:
  1. digital-only release (e.g., Dudamel + LA Philharmonic's recordings) prevents (re)sale, (archival) back-up, ownership, etc.
  2. physical release with license restrictions on first-sale
  3. digital bundles (e.g., Naxos) prevents us from exercising professional quality control on collection development.
We need a music digital archiving system like LOCKSS or electronic archiving service like Portico. Because contract law (which governs licenses) is state law, & copyright is federal law, we also need to ask for special library contracts & advocate for federal copyright law to trump non-negotiable end-user licenses. The Uniform Commercial Code governs the sale of goods & should apply to music.

What we librarians can do: work with our music faculty who are composers and performers to emphasize that if music is released only in digital format, it cannot be collected by libraries for use by their students or be used in their own teaching.

"Music Librarians & Emerging Technologies"
Jing allows you to show someone how to do a task online, record it with voice, & email the screencast. Although apparently you have to create an account at screencast.com too to edit & share the videocast or embed it in a website. It uses Flash as the output type. There is a limit of 5 minutes per screencast. You can add arrows, text, & save as a .png. Yahoo Pipes is another interesting mash-up creation tool but complicated. To ask Matthew: Is there an app like foursquare to use for mapping the exact shelf location of items by using their rfid tag?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Music Library Association conference

While this is a small conference, with about 500 attendees plus about 100 vendors, I am still at somewhat of a loss because I don't know anyone at anything more than an acquaintance level. However, that said, I am meeting a lot of people & learning quite a bit, so the conference comes at a "just in time" place of need. Here are some tidbits:
  • InstantEncore is a repository for live classical music & recordings of concerts & recitals. Note: added to Music LibGuide.
  • In the session "Born & Reincarnated Digital: One Course Management System-based Solution to Providing Copyright Compliant Streaming Audio Reserves," I learned that they use a CMS like Blackboard by creating a "Media.Reserves" instructor (who may add content but not access grades), & the librarian/CR staff use this to add listening modules to courses. They use mp3 files which are uploaded. They also use 2 different software programs to edit the metadata (PA Software ID3) and make it searchable (GEMM). Seems unnecessarily complicated, if ARES is working well enough for GVSU.
  • In "Educating Music Librarians in the Digital Age," I realized that what I most need right now is:
  1. instruction & exercises in using Grove via Oxford Music online to find music in our collected works,
  2. help with acquisitions of non-book materials--when to use which vendor and why
  3. what is a uniform title: tutorial from Indiana University
  4. Why doesn't Naxos index the titles on their CD covers (I have to go downstairs & ask them)
  5. to download Jing to use for screenshots
  6. get a mentor to guide me in the above quests.
I also learned about:
I toured the Free Library of Philadelphia's reading room in the Music Department, the Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music (the world's largest lending library of orchestral performance material), and the Rare Book department (saw treasures like 5000-year-old cuneiform and cuneiform seal, the first hymnals printed in this country, Beatrix Potter original paintings, illuminated medieval manuscripts). I've been all over Reading (pronounced "redding") Market (oh those soft, buttery, hot pretzels!), and saw City Hall (with the statue of William Penn atop it) and many sculptures & murals on the way to the Free Library. And I've successfully ridden the SEPTA train. It is sunny & very windy, but warmer than Michigan.