“Nexter” Webinar with Canadian information professionals, August 13th

I’ll be talking with Canada’s Rebecca Jones as part of the “Nexter” webinar series next month.

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We’ll be discussing questions of leadership for information professionals in these times of strategic uncertainty. How do we rethink community access to information, knowledge, and culture through the COVID era and beyond?
 

A Romance on Three Legs: The Ivory Archives / @IAMLaustralia

Is a library just a machine for making knowledge?

In such a place, can a piano be a research tool?

Why did a Kindertransport refugee from the Nazis acquire Glenn Gould’s favourite instrument for the National Library of Canada?

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Photo by National Arts Centre Archives, Canada

In advance of Australia’s 2017 IAML conference of music librarians, you can read the story of Gould’s beloved Steinway CD 318 over at Library as Incubator.

Check out “A Romance on Three Legs: The Ivory Archives” now.

Sing Me A Library

My latest column for Library as Incubator explores the links between libraries and musicians, from Glenn Gould’s radio documentaries to English community choirs and digital experiments in today’s Australia.

Read “Sing Me A Library” at Library as Incubator.

Castralien

“Castralien” – a fantasy of the 1940s, a German refugee’s vision of a world-encompassing internment camp where displaced persons are shuffled between Britain and its colonies.

Hutchinson Square, Douglas, Isle of Man
Hutchinson Square, former internment camp in Douglas, Isle of Man – Image by Wikipedia user jamesfranklingresham under a CC-BY-S.A 3.0 licence

This week’s Marvellous, Electrical brings together Queensland ghost towns, Sixties television, European wars, plus histories and fantasies of offshore detention.

Read “Castralien” here.

Alice Munro, Nobel-winning YA Author? On “Lives of Girls and Women”

Boys’ hate was dangerous, it was keen and bright, a miraculous birthright, like Arthur’s sword snatched out of the stone, in the Grade Seven Reader. Girls’ hate, in comparison, seemed muddled and tearful, sourly defensive. Boys would bear down on you on their bicycles and cleave the air where you had been, magnificently, with no remorse, as if they wished there were knives on the wheels. And they would say anything.

[…]

The things they said stripped away freedom to be what you wanted, reduced you to what it was they saw, and that, plainly, was enough to make them gag. My friend Naomi and I told each other, “Don’t let on you heard,” since we were too proud to cross streets to avoid them. Sometimes we would yell back, “Go and wash out your mouth in the cow trough, clean water’s too good for you!”

– “Changes and Ceremonies”, in Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women

Alice Munro is the most important writer in my life and that makes her hard to talk about. I’ve been trying to find the words since just before she won the Nobel Prize last year. They’ve been piling up in my hard drive, my inbox, in blog drafts and the Notes app on my phone.

Things came to a head when the recent debate about adults reading Young Adult (YA) fiction flared on the Internet. I had no sympathy for people who think YA unworthy of adult readers. But it was almost too easy to take up cudgels against literary snobs without acknowledging the strangeness of a world in which it’s all the rage for adults to read books explicitly not aimed at them.

In the ensuing squabble, I felt that other questions were barely touched.

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