hi – 06jan

Hi. I gave a new version of an old talk today to about 40 people at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. It’s gotten to to the point that many of the librarians and library students that I speak to in big cities have now heard of blogs, wikis, wireless and RSS. So, instead of just giving a “ten tech tips” talk, I changed it to something a little different Tech Trends in Libraries, the Good News and the Bad News. I’ve been to visit seven libraries in the past two days, apologies for being a little lax on updates here. I’ll be back early next week.

ranganathan, transcribed

David Weinberger has taken the time to transcribe the tape that William Denton posted where Ranganathan discusses Melvil Dewey, from 1964. Thank you, David.

when Dewey came to the Columbia University, he was insisting that he should have lady assistants. But the Columbia university in those days did not allow ladies into the university building. So the authorities would not allow it. But he would not have any other assistants. Then they found a compromise. The lady said that they agreed that the lady assistants of Melvil Dewey would be allowed to come into the building not through the main door but by the spiral service staircase in the back of the building. Well, that compromise was accepted. After some time, Melvil Dewey reported to the authorities that that spiral staircase was missing and that his students were unable to come into the building. Then they were in a great fix. Are they to put up another spiral and wait for a week or ten days without work in the library or what were they to do? Melvil Dewey I suppose did not even smile on that occasion for he was very very serious looking, and they said “Alright, I shall allow your lady assistants to come through the main door.” That’s a very remarkable experience I heard from that old student of Melvil Dewey.