Wednesday 13 June 2018

President Trump announces intent to nominate new GPO Director

The White House has announced that President Trump intends to nominate Robert C. Tapella of Virginia to be Director of the Government Publishing Office. "Mr. Tapella serves as professional oversight staff of the Committee on House Administration of the United States Congress with expertise in the areas of printing, publishing, and security credentialing. Mr. Tapella led a review of Title 44 of the U.S. Code, which outlines the role of public printing and publishing of documents in the Federal government, as well as the Federal Depository Library Program. Mr. Tapella served as the 25th Public Printer of the United States under President Bush and continued his service under President Obama. He began his career as calligrapher, illuminator, and bookbinder, and later ventured into print brokerage and direct mail businesses. Mr. Tapella, a 1991 graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in graphic communication, was designated as an honored alumni in 2008 and presently serves as chairman of the Dean’s Council on the library, and is also a member of the graphic communication department advisory board."

Sunday 10 June 2018

Federal Judiciary Workplace Conduct Working Group report

The Federal Judiciary Workplace Conduct Working Group consisting of federal judges and senior Judiciary officials was set up last December at the request of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. after an Appeals court judge was accused of sexual harassment. The group examined the procedures to protect the judiciary's 30,000 employees from inappropriate workplace conduct and has now issued its Final Report, with an Executive Summary. The group found that "Inappropriate conduct is not pervasive in the federal judiciary, but it also not limited to “a few isolated incidents... There is room for improvement in terms of both accessibility and transparency, but the most significant challenge to accountability lies in the understandable reluctance of victims, especially law clerks and other temporary employees, to report misconduct.”
The report's recommendations include clarifying workplace standards and communications about how employees can raise formal complaints, removing barriers to reporting complaints, providing additional and less formal avenues for employees to seek expert advice and assistance on workplace conduct issues, and utilizing enhanced training on these subjects for judges and employees.

Saturday 9 June 2018

Full Watergate coverage available online

The Library of Congress and Boston public broadcast station WGBH announced that gavel-to-gavel television coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings of 1973, donated to the Library by WETA Washington, D.C., has been digitally preserved and made available online. Produced by the National Public Affairs Center for Television, the hearings were taped during the day and rebroadcast every evening on public television for 51 days in 1973, from May 17 to Nov. 15. These broadcasts became one of the most popular series in public broadcasting history. For the first time in 44 years, those  historic moments  are available to the American public through an online presentation-"Gavel-to-Gavel: The Watergate Scandal and Public Television"-on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting is a collaboration between the Library and WGBH to preserve and make accessible significant at-risk public media.

Friday 8 June 2018

Free online films from the LOC

The Library of Congress has films from the National Film Registry available for free online. The collection is available on the LOC website and is also available for streaming on YouTube. All of the films have been preserved because of their cultural, historical and aesthetic significance and are in the public domain. The collection includes:
“Memphis Belle” (1944)—William Wyler’s remarkable World War II documentary about the crew of a B-17 “Flying Fortress” bomber
“The Hitch-Hiker” (1953)—a gritty film noir directed by Ida Lupino
“The House I Live In” (1945) starring Frank Sinatra in a plea for religious tolerance that won an honorary Academy Award
"St. Louis Blues" (1929) Legendary blues singer Bessie Smith finds her gambler lover Jimmy messin' with a pretty, younger woman; he leaves and she sings the blues, with chorus and dancers.
"A Corner in Wheat" (1909) D.W. Griffith's short silent film about a greedy tycoon who tries to coerner the world market on wheat.
You can read more about the marvelous LOC collections featuring the performing arts- including theater and music - in the May/June issue of the Library of Congress magazine.

Thursday 7 June 2018

University of Virginia library renovation plans include stacks reduction; faculty concerned

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article  describing how faculty members are circulating a letter asking the University's Board of Visitors to withhold approval of plans for a $152.5 million renovation because the plan calls for a  40 percent to 70 percent reduction in the library’s shelf capacity. The letter says that the proposed reduction "would directly undermine our core mission as a nationally recognized research university." Where will the books go? They will "most likely be stored at the Clemons Library next door, and at the university’s Ivy Stacks storage facility. That’s an unsatisfying solution for the open-letter authors, who say being able to browse the stacks is a crucial part of their scholarship."