Conscientious stewardship, speedy confirmation, tributes to Charles Robinson, and more letters to editor from the May 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
Dana Bostrom appointed Executive Director of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, Corvallis, OR; Micah Kleit named Director of Rutgers University Press; Gabriel Morley named permanent Director of Atlanta–Fulton County Library System; and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the April 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
The Association of American University Presses received a $50,200 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Backstage Library Works has developed a Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) deconstruction service, the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine’s Association of Medical Illustrators is moving its archive, and more News in Brief from the April 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
Charlie Robinson and I both earned our MLS degrees at the School of Library Science (SLS) at Simmons College in Boston. I first met Charlie (who died last month) in the office of Ken Shaffer, the SLS dean. When alumni would come back to visit, Shaffer would gather a few of his favorites in his office for conversation. If they were influential dignitaries, or he thought they would become such, he liked it all the better.
From annual appeals, planned giving, and partnerships to events, libraries’ fundraising efforts do much more than make up gaps. Libraries of every size, in communities of all kinds, can develop fundraising strategies to meet a wide range of programming, collection development, and building needs and provide a chance to try things that public money might not cover such as new services, training, or temporary staff. But this adaptability requires ongoing maintenance of approaches, databases, and—most of all—relationships.
On Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr., a PBS program that’s a must for those interested in family history, viewers watch as Harvard professor Gates reveals to famous people information about their ancestors, some of them recent forebears and others from many generations ago. TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA), based on a BBC series of the same name, is now in its eighth season and offers a similar chronicling of the search for a famous person’s roots.
Few individuals have contributed more to the popularization of genealogy in the United States than Dr. Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr. In addition to serving as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, he is perhaps best known as the creator of PBS’s hit show Finding Your Roots. With the help of librarians and genealogists across the country, the series traces the family trees of well-known Americans from Branford Marsalis to Gloria Steinem to Stephen King. Guests discover unexpected chapters in their family histories that include immigrations, adoptions, marriages, murders, and tales of hardship and courage—on a recent episode, Dustin Hoffman wept to learn of his great-grandmother’s years in a Soviet concentration camp after the execution of both her husband and son. LJ caught up with Gates to see what librarians and patrons can learn from his approach to genealogy as narrative.