New York Times Staff Undertakes Task of Selecting From Collection of Unpublished African American Photos

February 4th, 2016

New York Heritage is built on the cumulative effect of collectors across the state and their love of retaining bodies of work or connecting smaller bodies to tell a historical story.  Our history is pieced together more vividly by letters and documents and ephemera but most edifying are the photographs.  Taken as collections, photographs can often paint history in a more visceral way than the written word.  Many of us have tackled what to include in collections digitized for New York Heritage but imagine the daunting task of culling over 5 million photos in the New York Times archives.  These are never published images and the stories they tell, the back stories, fill us in on what was actually going on in the frozen time of a photo.  To piece together some of this history, the New York Times has a team going through endless negatives and files to come up with some stunning images from those integral to African American History over the decades and the collection that is starting to emerge includes many famous African Americans as well as average citizens but, taken as a whole, the history comes to live.  Read what a few of the photos have revealed.  Take a moment to listen what it takes to select from this vast trove.

WNYLRC Board Officers Announced

February 1st, 2016

WNYLRC is pleased to announce its 2016 Board of Trustees Officers:

President–Dr. Heidi Julien–University at Buffalo, SUNY (DLIS)
Vice President/President Elect–John Hood–Ecology & Environment, Inc.
Treasurer–Tim Binga–Center for Inquiry Libraries
Secretary–Mary Jean Jakubowksi–Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

We all look forward to an energetic and action-packed agenda in this our 50th anniversary year.

Many thanks to Kerrie Fergen Wilkes, Immediate Past President, for dedicated guidance in the last year and for another successful overseeing of the many areas of WNYLRC’s endeavors.


School Libraries Still Necessary? Goes Without Saying

January 26th, 2016

Whenever the public argues that we no longer have need of librarians because everything is Google-worthy, they are, presumably, speaking of public librarians because, quite frankly, the “public” believes they are the only variety of librarian.  However, a trip down memory lane will most surely bring a remembrance of a fond school librarian and yet they are not immune from the argument, in their districts, if they are still a necessity.  If they need “ammo” then this graphic says it all.  They’re can be no doubt, using any measure, that schools with librarians produce improved reading scores and hence greater student achievement.

This is one group that should not have to defend itself and, yet, they are not exempt.  Read some of the arguments which would be considered “common sense”.  Then, use these facts during your next rebuttal with a non-believer.

The Only Group Who Doesn’t Want To Know More About You

January 21st, 2016

Though many “curiosities” are attributed to librarians such as a devotion to order and categorization, none is more glamorous or pure-of-heart than their devotion to the freedom to read whatever you may wish without the most cursed of all the sins, censorshipEdward Snowden has nothing on the entire group which has fought for this freedom since the dawn of their existence and never harder than during the tenure of Attorney General John Ashcroft and his wielding of the Patriot Act.  Now that Section 215 and the part known as the Library Provision has expired, the righteous can well celebrate and in this excerpt on WNYC’s On The Media with the American Library Association and the battle that ensued after 9/11 it is made crystal clear that the fight was not an easy one. It is worth a listen just for the exuberance and feeling of pride in principles it exudes.  Librarians as trailblazers.  Librarians don’t care who you are.  The less known, the better.

WSJ Gives a Librarian Room For An Opinion

January 15th, 2016

Does everyone in every profession have to justify their existence non-stop?  Certainly times change needs and needs change with time but, most often, the professions morph into their roles or like a good shoe repair person, scarcity turns many a craft into an “art”.  Will that be the way of librarianship?  To many in the world there is no thought given about the need for librarians–until the need is knocking on their door.  Serious research?  Good statistical data?  Family history?  Can’t do everything little thing on Google.  Travel to your public library and, yes, there are the people you haven’t thought about in years toiling away.  They may get you your answers via a different route but they’re there to get you there.  It’s to be expected that the “general public” would dismiss an entire profession but sometimes those inside could be considered doubters too.  A librarian in a recent Wall Street Journal article might have some elaborating to do with his colleagues during lunch.  Though access to the Wall Street Journal involves a login, you can get the gist by the “responses” from those who have read the entire opinion at American Libraries and a law blog among others.