More on eBooks: Collecting & Finding

I wrote recently about the Library’s new Patron-Drive Acquisition (PDA) program for acquiring eBooks for our library collections.  Lest you think that’s the only way we acquire eBooks, read on!

My bibliographer colleagues and I have intentionally been buying relevant eBooks for years to add to our collections.  Some of these include such titles as…

  • Latinos in a changing society
  • Indians of Iowa
  • Drug war zone: Frontline dispatches from the streets of El Paso and Juárez
  • Chicano students and the courts: The Mexican American legal struggle for education
  • African American folktales
  • Dream not of other worlds: Teaching in a segregated elementary school
  • Companion to African American philosophy
  • Critical cultural studies of childhood
  • My Germany: A Jewish writer returns to the world his parents escaped
  • Beyond the Latino World War II hero
  • Ioway in Missouri
  • Islamic education in the Soviet Union and its successor states
  • Making of a Black scholar
  • Multicultural American history: Through children’s literature
  • New York Ricans from the hip hop zone
  • El monstruo: Dread and redemption in Mexico City
  • Frontier forts of Ioa: Indians, traders, and soldiers, 1682-1862
  • King’s dream: The legacy of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech
  • Stories from the American mosaic: Native American folktales
  • Companion to US Latino literatures
  • Cristal experiment: A Chicano struggle for community control
  • Forgetful nation: On immigration and cultural identity in the United States
  • Latino American folktales
  • Latino/a canon and the emergence of post-sixties literature
  • Law touched our hearts: A generation remembers Brown v. Boar of Education
  • Migrant imaginaries: Latino cultural politics in the US-Mexico borderlands
  • None of the above: Puerto Ricans in the global era
  • Writing Indian nations: Native intellectuals and the politics of historiography
  • Artists from Latin American cultures
  • Brown and Black communication
  • Dominican Americans
  • From out of the shadows: Mexican women in twentieth-century America
  • Gender and the changing face of higher education: A feminized future?
  • Hispanic American religious cultures
  • Importing poverty? Immigration and the changing face of rural america
  • In the shadow of race: Growing up as a multiethnic, multicultural, multiracial
  • Mesoamerican worlds: Maya worldviews at conquest
  • Muslims in America: A short history
  • Native Americans today: Resources and activities for educators, grades 4-8
  • New Americans: Puerto Ricans in the United States
  • Notable Caribbeans and Caribbean Americans
  • Rethinking the slave narrative
  • Working the boundaries: Race, space, and “illegality” in Mexican Chicago
  • American Indian chronology: Chronologies of the American mosaic
  • Becoming Black: Creating identity in the African diaspora
  • Buxton: A Black utopia in the heartland
  • Cesar Chavez: A biography
  • Contemporary Caribbean cultures and societies in a global context
  • Continental crossroads: Remapping US-Mexico borderlands history
  • Conversations with Mexican American writers
  • Dead subjects: Toward a politics of loss in Latino studies
  • From slavery to poverty: The racial origins of welfare in New York, 1840-1918
  • Irish in US:  Irishness, performativity, and popular culture
  • Issues in the Spanish-speaking world
  • Looking for lost lore: Studies in folklore, ethnology and iconography
  • Mexican mafia
  • On the Viking trail: Travels in Scandinavian America
  • Race and classification: The case of Mexican America
  • African, Native, and Jewish American literature and the reshaping of modernism
  • American Muslim women: Negotiating race, class and gender…
  • Racial attitudes in the 1990s: Continuity and change
  • Soviet Jewish Americans
  • World folklore: Corn woman: Stories and legends of the Hispanic Southwest
  • World we used to live in: Remembering the powers of the Medicine men
  • Black, Brown and Beige: Surrealist writings from Africa and the diaspora
  • Displacing whiteness: Essays in social and cultural criticism
  • Native American communities in Wisconsin, 1600-1960
  • Philosophers on race: Critical essays
  • West Indian Americans

You want it, you buy it: eBooks & Patron-driven acquisition

If you haven’t already heard, the Library has been piloting a new Patron-driven acquisitions (PDA) program for eBooks to add to our online collections.

Here are some eBook titles that Library patrons like you have selected, in areas of potential interest to readers of Biblionotes:

  • Arguing with Tradition: The Language of Law in Hopi Tribal Court, Univ. of Chicago, 2008.  (We also own the print edition:  GEN COLL KF8228 H67 R53 2008)
  • China & India in the Age of Globalization; Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Gender, Household & State in Post-Revolutionary Vietnam, Taylor & Francis, 2008.
  • Questionnaires in Second Language Research; Routledge, 2009. (We also own the 2010 and 2003 print editions of this title:  GEN P118.2 D67 2010, GEN COLL P188.2 D67 2003)
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Spanish Grammar Advanced; McGraw-Hill Professional, 2007
  • Radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity after World War II; MIT Press, 2009.  (We also own the print edition:  GEN COLL TK9071 H43 1998)
  • Schaum’s Outline of Spanish Vocabulary, 5th ed.; McGraw-Hill, 2008.  (We also own the 1997 print edition: GEN COLL PC4121 S345 1997)
  • Selected Poems of Garcilaso de la Vega: A Bilingual Edition; Univ. of Chicago Press, 2009.  (We also own the print edition:  GEN COLL PQ6391 A5 D45 2009)
  • Synthesis of Research on Second Language Writing in English: 1980-2005; Taylor & Francis, 2008.  (We also own the print edition:  GEN COLL PE1128 A2 L383 2008)
  • Ten Hills Farm: The Forgotten History of Slavery in the North; Princeton University Press, 2010.  (We also own the print edition: GEN COLL E445 M4 M36 2010)
  • When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008.  (We also own the print edition:  GEN COLL JC328.7 B38 2008)

As you can see, we do already own a number of these in the traditional print format.  It may be that potential readers of these titles are now much more interested in portability and such things as potential for copy and paste.  Whatever the reason, it’s good to know that interested readers are connecting with titles of interest in their format of choice.

Collectors we love: Arturo Schomburg (1874-1938)

Arturo Schomburg is one of my heroes.  He is widely known as “Arthur” Schomburg, the “Black Bibliophile” who amassed a large personal collection of African and African diaspora materials to counter the supposed claim that African-descent peoples had no history.  Whether this story is true or apocryphal, Schomburg dedicated his life to making a positive difference by collecting, preserving, and promoting African diaspora books, research materials, and cultural objects.

Arturo Schomburg

Arturo Schomburg

Schomburg was Puerto Rican, and like many Puerto Ricans, he was of mixed descent.  His African-descent mother was from St Croix, and his father was German-Puerto Rican.  As a young man, Schomburg came in 1891 to New York where he spent the rest of his life writing, collecting, working various jobs, and dedicating himself to many Black and Latin American causes.  Schomburg was part of the earliest wave of Puerto Ricans emigrating from the island to New York, and thus is an important figure in Puerto Rican diaspora studies.  He also was an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance.  Near the end of his life, Schomburg became a Black Studies curator for the New York Public Library system in the 1930s, perhaps achieving his ultimate dream.  His huge collections were eventually acquired by the New York Public Library system, and formed the foundation of NYPL’s amazing Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the world-renowned research center named in his honor.

ISU subscribes to the versatile Black Studies Center, an online database that includes authoritative essays commissioned by the Schomburg Center on selected African and African American research topics.  These highly readable essays function as encyclopedia entries, helping students get the big picture on important topics.  The Black Studies Center also includes the indispensable International Index to Black Periodicals, your best choice for finding journal and magazine articles on African and African American topics.  Simply choose Find Journals from within BSC to use the index.  BSC also includes full-text facsimile articles from the important newspapers Chicago Defender and the Daily Defender, and the Black Literature Index, which helps locate original poetry and short stories published in early African American publications.

Do let me know if you need any help or have questions when using the Black Studies Center for your classes or research!  If you’d like to know more about Arturo Schomburg, the Schomburg Center has some brief details and Wikipedia has a decent enough entry for starters.


Reflections of a bibliographer

Research libraries and the world of information have changed rapidly in the past decade, and we can expect ever accelerating changes to continue.  One of the core facets of the job responsibilities of a bibliographer is to collect, for use of others, relevant – interesting – important – books and materials.

I arrived at ISU the summer of 1995, recruited to serve as the library’s first-ever bibliographer in the newly created subject areas of race and ethnic studies.  I discovered barely-there collections in African American studies; an American Indian studies collection focused primarily on anthropological non-native perspectives, and close to total absence of US Latino and Asian American materials.  I insisted on the creation of separate fund lines to support acquisitions in each of these areas, along with an area I called “general diversity” – which I used to support acquisitions of materials related to other US ethnic and cultural groups (e.g., Arab American; European-descent ethnic groups; Jewish American cultural studies) and materials related to broad multicultural issues.

Sometimes, first acquisitions stick with you.  I remember my first orders for ISU were the video Black Athena and the Centro Journal from the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños.  (My first order at my previous institution was also the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños journal.  I was a Latin American bibliographer at that institution – but curious how some gaps remain the same!)  Since that time, I’ve acquired thousands of books, media (videos; dvds; cds; online indexes & databases, ebooks), journals, encyclopedias, atlases, microfilm, newspapers, and much more to support ISU’s research and learning & teaching needs in race & ethnic studies areas.

My job responsibilities have changed quite a bit as my career trajectory moved into the areas of learning and teaching.  I am the library’s head of instruction now, but remain a bibliographer as well – still collecting in all the race & ethnic studies areas except Asian American studies, which is now handled by a colleague.  In these days, much of the personal art of collecting has become a highly automated process.  Books of pre-defined interest arrive automatically and no longer require individual yay-nay decisions from me.  (I defined the parameters of the types of books desired, so in theory that one macro-decision should suffice in this new age of automated collection building, right?)  The weekly ritual of personally handling and inspecting (browsing – reading – sniffing – admiring – getting to know) each new title is long gone.  Collection development is largely done online now, browsing online slips of book titles, prices, and abbreviated subject lines.  A click of my mouse initiates the chain of acquisition and signifies my digital affirmation.  Impersonal.  Non-tactile.  Far removed from the actual object.  I love the immediacy but do miss the days of the personal art of collecting.

The collections I build are for use.  This blog is meant to help acquaint you with new titles, trends, issues.