• Harvard University
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  • Library Notes
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  • July 2010
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  • No. 1354
Staff Activities Print

Brenda Bernier, Paul M. and Harriet L. Weissman Senior Photograph Conservator in Harvard University Library's Weissman Preservation Center, was invited to speak at Revolutionary Ideas in BioCommunications, a joint conference of biocommunications officers and scientific and medical photographers, on June 3 in Boston. In her talk, entitled "The Use and Preservation of Harvard's Historic Scientific Photographs," Bernier highlighted historic scientific photographs at Harvard, the changing uses of these collections over the years, and the steps taken to preserve them. She also emphasized preservation techniques that could be adapted by audience members for the collections in their care.

Bernier also gave a presentation, "Preserving Your Family Photographs," to the general public at the Arlington Public Library on June 16.

Four Harvard College Library employees are recipients of the 2010 Dean’s Distinction Award: Fred Burchsted, research librarian for Widener Library; Michelle Durocher, associate director of Harvard College Library Technical Services; Jeanne Gaunt, payroll specialist; and Sebastian Hierl, librarian for Western Europe. In its inaugural year, the award honors the highest-achieving employees, whose hard work and skillful collaboration have delivered outstanding results for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Fifty recipients were chosen from more than 100 nominations in over 20 different FAS divisions and units.

On June 22, Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library, was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. St. Andrews Professor Andrew Pettegree provided Darnton's laureation address. Noting that Darnton had begun his career as reporter for The New York Times, Pettegree said that this experience "taught him how the modern media worked, and how much the darker side of society reveals its real character. From journalism he progressed to Harvard, to Princeton and then back to Harvard and the Widener Library. Here he has to grapple with some of the most potent questions of the information age. Is Google a benign leviathan, or a potentially dangerous monopoly? How are we to continue to capture knowledge when so much is disseminated through transient media, such as e-mail, Twitter and Facebook? And if so much information can be exchanged electronically, what is the point of gathering together scholars and students in one place—which, as I hardly need to remind a gathering of newly impoverished parents—is very expensive. . . . Merely to pose such a question is to remind ourselves that no one really knows where technology will take us."

Tim Gray
, assistant director of security for Harvard College Library Operations, recently graduated from the FBI Boston Office Citizens Academy, a six-week program that provides business and community leaders the opportunity to learn about the FBI’s mission, roles, and responsibilities within the community and how they relate to challenges ranging from domestic terrorism to cyber crimes. As a graduate of the program, Gray was eligible for, and joined, the FBI Citizen’s Academy Alumni Association, which promotes a safer community through service and education programs.

For the eighth time in the last nine years, material from Harvard Review has been chosen for inclusion in the highly selective Best American series. The piece selected was Phillip Lopate’s essay “Brooklyn the Unknowable,” about the relationship between Brooklyn and Manhattan and Lopate’s own sense of place, from HR 37.

In April, University Archivist Megan Sniffin-Marinoff delivered a presentation entitled "Embedding Special Collections in the Life of the University"  to a group of librarians, archivists, faculty, and students at the University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland. 2010.

Laura Wood
, librarian of the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, was appointed president of the Board of Directors for the American Theological Library Association (ATLA), a position she will hold for a year.

Also, Russell Pollard, collections management librarian at Andover-Harvard, served as a speaker in a panel discussion of “Managing Serial Subscriptions” in light of difficult budgetary realities at the annual ATLA conference, held from June 16–19 in Louisville, Kentucky.