Digital Maryland AV Conference

Digital Maryland is a collaborative, statewide digitization program located at the Baltimore Enoch Pratt Free Library/State Library Resource Center with the mission "to facilitate the digitization and digital exhibition of the historical and cultural documents, images, audio and video held by Maryland institutions."

The Langsdale Library and Digital Maryland recently joined forces to put on a one-day conference about preserving audiovisual materials in archives, museums, and libraries across the state. The conference was called, "Digital Maryland AV: Making the Overwhelming Possible", and included speakers from the Smithsonian, the University of Virginia, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and Salisbury University. The program was made possible with funding by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, through the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Library and Development Services and partnership with Digital Maryland, Maryland Library Consortium and The University of Baltimore. The conference was held in the Learning Commons' Town Hall, and was a great success with a bevy of interaction and discussion from the 70 attendees. 

Please check out tweets from the day under #DigiMDAV. If you would like copies of the presentation PowerPoint slides, please contact shagan@ubalt.edu.


Who’s Your Literary Hero?

There are times when each of us feels overwhelmed or discouraged in our lives. In times of worry and uncertainty, I take refuge in the words of writers I admire. 

One of my literary heroes is James Baldwin, whose work can be explored through the library’s catalog, or through several hundred videos uploaded to YouTube, or many other resources available online. 

I’ve included here a Pacifica Radio Archives audio stream from “The Artist's Struggle for Integrity,” which was originally broadcast by WBAI Radio in New York City on November 29, 1962. It’s well worth a listen in its entirety. 


Information Literate Citizens

On Tuesday, the University of Baltimore hosted a city council panel. It was a great way for the UB and Baltimore city community engage with our city council members.  One question brought up the lack of civic engagement - citizens need to show up, vote, participate, and communicate with the communities they live in.

Councilman Brandon Scott added that it's more than just complaining to your representative. If a person lets him know about an unkempt lawn, he always asks then if they reported it to 311. If a person tells him about a crime they've seen - did they call the police?  He made the point that "there won't always be a Brandon Scott," and that citizens need to know about the tools that exist, so they can take charge and inform the right agencies.

He's talking about information literacy: Do we know where to find and report information?  Do we know what to do with the information we have? Or how to use the services and agencies to improve our communities?

Take a moment - know your representatives, but also know actions you can take in addition to talking to them.

Some useful resources:
Find your elected officials
Baltimore City - How Do I? (Services for residents)
Baltimore City - Operation Crime Watch
Baltimore County - File a Report 


A New Face at Langsdale

Getting to Know Carolyn Cox


Carolyn Cox is the new Senior Integrated Digital Services Librarian at Langsdale Library.  We're excited to have her with us and wanted to give her an opportunity to share a little bit about herself here on the blog.

What do you consider to be your hometown?
Cox: I grew up in Valley City, ND. The summers were short and the winters long. I walked uphill both ways to school in snow that was 6 feet deep. ☺

What was your first job?
Cox: My first job was a paper route. We only had papers Monday thru Friday though. Small town, not a lot of news.

Carolyn (second from right), with her children and husband, Guy (center).
What are your hobbies?
Cox: Many… Seeing Shakespeare plays, ballroom dancing, reading, dating my husband, traveling, gaming, running, photography, just to name a few.

What are some of your favorite books?
Cox: The Republic, by Plato, As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner, and anything by Bill Bryson.

Movies? TV shows?
Cox: Movies: American Sniper, Guardians of the Galaxy, and anything Shakespeare. TV shows: Doctor Who, IT Crowd, Parks & Rec, and Jeopardy. There are so many more, but I had to choose.

Do you have a collection of any sort?
Cox: Not really. Maybe I should start one. Any suggestions?

What are some of your favorite foods?
Cox: Anything my husband cooks. He’s an amazing cook. He’s Cajun and adds just the right amount of spice! Aside from his cooking some of my favorite foods are shrimp étouffée (which we make together), sushi and chocolate.

What do you like best about UB so far?
Cox: That everyone has been so welcoming, friendly, and complimentary of their colleagues.

What do you like best about Baltimore?
Cox: That there is so much to do.

For your a.m. fix, do you prefer tea or coffee?
Cox: Tea. Typically a cup of English Breakfast, but any black tea with caffeine will do.

If I didn’t work in a library, I’d probably…
Cox: Still be a programmer. Or maybe a photographer.


New Materials at Langsdale

Did you know that Langsdale Library offers a list of all of our newest materials? We do! Each month we'll post an update letting you know about a few select titles, but there are far too many to mention here so be sure to check out our comprehensive online list. There is an RSS feed to the list, so you can subscribe and be updated when new materials get listed each month.

 New materials at Langsdale: 

A Most Glorious Ride presents the complete diaries of Theodore Roosevelt from 1877 to 1886. Covering the formative years of his life, Roosevelt's entries show the transformation of a sickly and solitary Harvard freshman into a confident and increasingly robust young adult. He writes about his grief over the premature death of his father, his courtship and marriage to his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee, and later the death of Alice and his mother on the same day. The diaries chronicle his burgeoning political career in New York City and his election to the New York State Assembly. With his descriptions of balls, dinner parties, and nights at the opera, they offer a glimpse into life among the Gilded Age elite in Boston and New York. They also recount Roosevelt's first birding and hunting trips to the Adirondacks, the Maine woods, and the American West. Ending with Roosevelt's secret engagement to his second wife, Edith Kermit Carow, A Most Glorious Ride provides an intimate look into the life of the man who would become America's twenty-sixth president. Brought together for the first time in a single volume, the diaries have been meticulously transcribed, annotated, and introduced by Edward P. Kohn. Twenty-four black-and-white photographs are also included.   

Overview: In the 1970s, while their contemporaries were protesting the computer as a tool of dehumanization and oppression, a motley collection of college dropouts, hippies, and electronics fanatics were engaged in something much more subversive. Obsessed with the idea of getting computer power into their own hands, they launched from their garages a hobbyist movement that grew into an industry, and ultimately a social and technological revolution. What they did was invent the personal computer: not just a new device, but a watershed in the relationship between man and machine. This is their story. Fire in the Valley is the definitive history of the personal computer, drawn from interviews with the people who made it happen, written by two veteran computer writers who were there from the start. Working at InfoWorld in the early 1980s, Swaine and Freiberger daily rubbed elbows with people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates when they were creating the personal computer revolution. A rich story of colorful individuals, Fire in the Valley profiles these unlikely revolutionaries and entrepreneurs, such as Ed Roberts of MITS, Lee Felsenstein at Processor Technology, and Jack Tramiel of Commodore, as well as Jobs and Gates in all the innocence of their formative years. This completely revised and expanded third edition brings the story to its completion, chronicling the end of the personal computer revolution and the beginning of the post-PC era. It covers the departure from the stage of major players with the deaths of Steve Jobs and Douglas Engelbart and the retirements of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer; the shift away from the PC to the cloud and portable devices; and what the end of the PC era means for issues such as personal freedom and power, and open source vs. proprietary software.
Uncover the deep mysteries of our planet with top geologists. Using state-of-the-art computer animation and stunning photography, four in-depth, compelling programs explore how these forces shape the Earth and how the Earth has shaped human evolution.
Part 1 explores how people react - or choose not to act or react - to situations that drive us all crazy ; like people talking on their cell phones too long, out of control kids, out of control grown-ups, situations that cry out for action, and the question becomes : "What would you do?" In Part 2, a socialite, a businessman, a boxer from the inner city and a Broadway dancer - four people with completely different lives connected by nothing - accept Primetime's six degrees of separation challenge. The program explores whether these total strangers can be linked to one another through a human chain of friends and acquaintances across social, racial and geographic barriers. In Part 3, game theory was tested in two experiments. In one experiment six teams are challenged to find each other in Washington, D.C. In the other experiment, people had to lose 15 pounds in two months or risk public humiliation. In Part 4, again the question is asked, What would you do? How will people react to bullies ganging up on an innocent kid or a couple fighting in the park? Will dressing the bullies tougher or changing the race of the fighting couple affect how people respond? What will people do when they see a stranger who has had too much to drink attempt to get in a car? Will it make a difference when it's a mom with her children? When customers at a deli get back too much money from a cashier, will they say anything? Then, how will passengers handle a taxi driver who goes on an extensive racist rant filled with hateful ethnic slurs? Finally, in Part 5 Primetime re-created a famous experiment, The Milgram Experiment, to understand how ordinary people can perform unthinkable acts. Would ordinary people today still follow orders even if they believed their actions were causing someone else pain?


These are just a few of the many new books, movies, and games at your Langsdale Library. To see the complete listing of new materials check out our list right here! If you want to receive updates when new materials get listed each month, you can subscribe to the list through the RSS feed.


Summer Internship Report in Special Collections

The following post was written by Luke Moses, who worked this past summer full-time in the Langsdale Library Special Collections Department. Luke is currently a graduate student in NYU's Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program.

This summer at Langsdale was my first time working in a university setting, and by far my most extensive hands-on experience with film inspection/repair and videotape digitization. Siobhan Hagan [Audiovisual Archivist for Langsdale] is an incredibly smart, talented, and resourceful archivist and I cannot thank her enough for her tutelage. Working with the collections of local television stations WMAR and WJZ was a fantastic experience, giving me a chance to dive in to Baltimore’s history. One of the last U-Matic tapes I digitized of WJZ’s Evening Magazine program is a perfect example of this, and can be seen in full here. Most episodes of Evening Magazine are fantastic (I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I refer to it as both a local and national treasure), but this episode from 1977 is particularly interesting. Highlights include a best-in-show cat competition and an explanation of punk music

A fundamental goal of archiving is to preserve markers of specific times and places as historical evidence, and the modus operandi of Evening Magazine, which explored Baltimore with an impressive breadth, makes it a veritable goldmine of an archival collection. The utilization of the Internet Archive as both a preservation platform and access portal is a smart move for the University of Baltimore; in some cases I was able to digitize a tape and have it viewable online the next day. As just one small example of the remarkable range of the audiovisual collection, consider the juxtaposition of the intensely specific local stories of WJZ’s Evening Magazine with the raw news footage of WMAR (many hours of which are also accessible via the Internet Archive), and you can see how important an audiovisual collection can be in illuminating local history and culture on a truly sublime level. 

Working with this collection over the summer was such a wonderfully immersive way to experience Baltimore, and I am really looking forward to seeing more of the collection as it continues to expand on the Internet Archive.


Welcome! And welcome back!

Welcome to UB and the Langsdale Library, located on the third floor of the Learning Commons!

Welcome back to those of you who are returning for another semester!

The library is now open until 10 PM / Monday through Thursday.
(Open until 6 on Fridays and 7 on Saturday and Sundays!)

Student computers are available:
Monday though Thursday, 8 AM to 10 PM
Friday 8 AM to 6 PM
Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 7 PM
All the hours the library is open!

Visit the reference desk until 8:30 PM Mon - Thurs 
10 to 6 on Fri.
10 to 7 on Sat. and Sun.

Remember the library's popular Cupcake Social on August 27 from 3 to 4 PM!