deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
Two links today which were both partially inspired by the 20 year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

First, the depressing one: Via Jennison Mark Asuncion, Dennis Lembree identifies several accessibility gaps on the home page of the new section508.gov web site. The site was launched partially in celebration of the 20 year anniversary of the ADA, and some of the accessibility gaps Lembree finds are whoppers: overly styled text instead of heading tags, for example. As Jennison said, what does it say when the chief US gov agency promoting IT
accessibility is not where it needs to be with their own site?


But let's follow with a much more inspiring post: [personal profile] jesse_the_k: "20 Years and a Day for the Americans with Disabilities Act". This essay inspires me to see all the good we've done in two decades. From [personal profile] jesse_the_k:

So, thanks for my life, ADA: many mundane things, and a few great big ones.

The law is not enough; as Cal Montgomery taught me:
Discrimination is always illegal; only activism makes it unwise.


And something I don't say very often, because I'm still pissed off about certain comments about atheism, But thanks, George H. W. Bush, for signing the ADA into law. Because of that law, I have a job.
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
In "Descartes Letter Found, Therefore It Is", I learned that a long-lost stolen letter of Descartes' has turned up in my alma mater's archives:

If old-fashioned larceny was responsible for the document’s loss, advanced digital technology can be credited for its rediscovery. Erik-Jan Bos, a philosophy scholar at Utrecht University in the Netherlands who is helping to edit a new edition of Descartes’s correspondence, said that during a late-night session browsing the Internet he noticed a reference to Descartes in a description of the manuscript collection at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. He contacted John Anderies, the head of special collections at Haverford, who sent him a scan of the letter.
...
Scholars have known of the letter’s existence for more than 300 years, but not its contents. Apparently the only person who had really studied it was a Haverford undergraduate who spent a semester writing a paper about the letter in 1979. (Mr. Bos called the paper “a truly fine piece of work.”)


Guys, this is awesome. This is why I do what I do! Putting collection guides online is a royal pain (ASK ME HOW I FEEL ABOUT THE EAD STANDARD), but this is the kind of story that makes it all worthwhile. Archival collections are full of hidden treasures the archivists themselves don't know about. It takes a dedicated scholar to find these lost and hidden (and rarely digitized) gems, and digital collection guides, followed up by e-reference, followed up by spot digitization, solved the puzzle.

Viva la Ford!

On a more somber note, from "Why diversity matters (the meritocracy business)":

Now, whenever I screen resumes, I ask the recruiter to black out any demographic information from the resume itself: name, age, gender, country of origin. The first time I did this experiment, I felt a strange feeling of vertigo while reading the resume. “Who is this guy?” I had a hard time forming a visual image, which made it harder to try and compare each candidate to the successful people I’d worked with in the past. It was an uncomfortable feeling, which instantly revealed just how much I’d been relying on surface qualities when screening resumes before – even when I thought I was being 100% meritocratic. And, much to my surprise (and embarrassment), the kinds of people I started phone-screening changed immediately.
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
Laura's post in the DCA blog today makes me feel old: Kathleen Hanna's personal papers are being added to the Riot Grrrl collection at NYU. Laura asks what will be your archival moment; what will be the moment that makes you realize your youth is now being preserved for scholarship and historians?

How about those Youth Media Awards, eh? as usual, I've read almost none of the winners or honor books in advance of the award. I did read Punkzilla, and I quite enjoyed it, although I was initially confused by its selection as a Printz Honor. When I think about it, though, in some ways it resembles the 2002 Honor book Freewill, and I admit that one of the things I love about the Printzes is how eclectic they are. (Also, I'm quite pleased that Wintergirls didn't win anything. I thought it was beautiful, lyrical, and a lovely book aside from its rushed conclusion -- but I also thought it was a clever and detailed how-to guide about how to hide an eating disorder from your caregivers, and it was so effectively in the voice of the eating disordered protagonist that I came out of that book finding my body disgusting and food vile. As much as it was well-written, I really don't want to give it any awards which will increase the number of readers it has.)

Closing another tab, the Useful Chemistry blog has a fantastic post about learning what data sources to trust (and concludes, "none of them, at least not without caveats").

Hmm. I have a lot more I want to blog about but my department is downstairs having wine and cheese, and it seems illogical for me to be sitting upstairs while there is cheese downstairs.
Page generated Mar. 29th, 2017 03:15 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios