Archive for March, 2016

walk, walk, walkman on heaven’s door

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , on March 30, 2016 by phanteana

if you’ve ever wondered what to do with that old Walkman, the first thought that probably comes to mind would be to toss it or donate it. but archivists at the National Film & Sound Archive, located in Canberra, Australia, have different plans for outdated technology: preserving it.

the NFSA’s shelves contain an endless array of devices ranging from phonographs to the I-Pod Nano. the majority of the items in this collection were at one point owned by various consumers, who eventually retired them in favor of more modern pieces. as those of us who are familiar with preservation and conservation concepts know, temperature storage is key when it comes to maintaining any kind of physical record. room temperature at NSFA is kept at 18 degrees C (around 64 degrees F), which is relatively comfortable.

obviously, one reason the staff are archiving these relics is because they, like many other records, tell a story. in addition, just because the Walkman hasn’t been popular since the 1990’s, it doesn’t mean it still can’t play those cassettes we forgot we owned.





master of registries

Posted in Music, Popular Culture with tags , , , on March 27, 2016 by phanteana

the Library of Congress is considered to be the Holy Grail for librarians and archivists. each year, 25 lucky winners are selected to be inducted into the LOC’s National Recording Registry to showcase the diversity of American music from a variety of genres. in order to be included, the recordings must be at least 10 years old and highlight a cultural or historical significance. this year, the LOC chose an album that is not only celebrating its 30th anniversary (does anyone feel old yet?), but has the unbelievable honor of being the first Metal album ever to join this widely-praised institution: Metallica’s Master Of Puppets. now that’s heavy!

the album is a watershed among critics and fans, and even those who aren’t necessarily part of the Metal community praised its quality. its significance is not only found in the shift of musical direction (veering away from the Thrash sound of their early 80’s outputs and focusing more on songwriting abilities), but also for the poignancy of being the last album to feature bassist Cliff Burton, whose death (he was killed when the band’s bus flipped over while driving through Sweden in September 1986) is widely regarded as one of popular music’s most tragic losses. 30 years later, his memory lives on through his fans, the surviving members of Metallica both past and present, and his devoted father Ray who, at 89 years old, remembers him fondly as both musician and son. even the most die-hard Metal fan gets a little misty-eyed listening to this soft-spoken gentleman recount how much he adored Cliff. if he were alive today, he would certainly be pleased.


indeed, it is a good Friday!

Posted in Popular Culture with tags , , , on March 25, 2016 by phanteana

you’re on candid camera!

Posted in Art & Photography, Popular Culture with tags , , on March 22, 2016 by phanteana

back in ancient times before the camera phone became ubiquitous (ok, not THAT long ago), we all took pictures the old-fashioned way with actual cameras, and had to wait days or even weeks for the rolls to develop. granted, there are still folks who would rather capture moments in the traditional manner. but the days of Fotomat are long behind us, so standard film processing options have become fewer due in part to the fast capabilities of the camera phone.

just about everyone has found undeveloped film rolls laying around their apartment/house at some point, wondering what was on them and fearing if they get it developed that it might contain awkward or risque pictures. do they toss the rolls, or do they fork over the money to see what’s on them? that’s where Levi Bettwieser steps in. Bettwieser is a photographer from Boise, ID who was inspired by all these lost film rolls to create a website called The Rescued Film Project. the majority of the shots are of vacations, birthday parties, pets, and other typical photo ops. sometimes, Bettwieser finds more unique pieces like kids taking pictures of each other underwater and even images from WWII. many of the images have been shared online, though Bettwieser does take into account the privacy of the photo owners…so if you recognize yourself in a series of photos from the 90’s featuring Backstreet Boys (are they called Backstreet Men these days?) posters plastered on the walls of your bedroom, you might want to law low for awhile.

moogin’ to the music

Posted in Library Science stuff, Music with tags , on March 21, 2016 by phanteana

sheet music is a common site in public libraries. patrons can check out notes related to everyone from Stravinsky to The Smiths, and learn to play the classics in their leisure time. but some libraries are taking it a step further by incorporating actual instruments into their collections. the Ann Arbor District Library in Michigan offers the usual library fare (books, CD’s, etc.), but you can also borrow synthesizers and even a theremin. looking for a Moog? bust out that library card!


England’s dreaming, 40 years later

Posted in Library Science stuff, Music, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on March 14, 2016 by phanteana

for years, people have been saying that Punk is dead. while some of its famous (and not-so famous) players may have passed onto the Great Pogo Pit in the Sky, many are still actively recording (John Lydon is a millionaire thanks to the return of Public Image Limited) as others have moved out of the spotlight to pursue less high-profile careers and start families. but they’re all together again, thanks to a new exhibition at the British Library coming in May. the world-renowned institution will mark the 40th anniversary of one of England’s finest exports with an archive chronicling those raucous years (1976-1978) that have been forever embedded into music history. the library’s popular music curator, Andy Linehan, was a teen when the Punk movement broke out in the UK, so the archive holds both cultural and personal significance. Linehan is excited about sharing the collection with those who remember it well, as well as those who were too young (or not even born yet) at the time. among the assets featured include periodicals, clothing, videos, and other assorted goodies. if you live in London, or happen to be visiting it this spring, be sure to check out the exhibit!


John Lydon endorses libraries in his own unique way



honing your Kraft

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , on March 10, 2016 by phanteana

as we all know, libraries have expanded their collections far beyond books and magazines over the past few decades. the role of the librarian has also shifted, and more responsibilities are added to job listings on a daily basis. in addition, a growing number of agencies and organizations are adding librarians to their staff. recently, the CIA announced its need for a librarian. there are over 1,400 information professionals employed by the federal government, but the CIA itself is typically more recognized for its James Bond-like nature. in other words, you probably won’t be able to talk about work much at the dinner table.

another newly-advertised position comes from a highly unlikely source: the American Cheese Society in Denver. the actual title is Content Manager, but candidates with MLIS degrees are preferred. basically, a Cheese Librarian. in addition, applicants must love Pepperjack and Gouda. wearing a Cheese-Head hat isn’t necessary, but you need to know the Dairy Decimal System.


Homer is dreaming of all the benefits that come with the Cheese Librarian job