Thursday, August 28, 2003

The work place of my dreams is certainly the MIT Science Fiction library which is by its own account "the world's largest open-shelf collection of science fiction". The website is here, the catalogue here.
There is also an interesting library in Germany, the "Phantastische Bibliothek" (phantastic library) in Wetzlar which collects science fiction, fantasy, horror, utopian literature, myths, fairy tales... Here's the website.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Yesterday in the mailinglist INETBIB, Karl Dietz pointed out bibliographies about science fiction published in the German Democratic Republic. You'll find a pdf document with bibliographic references here and more information about German science fiction here.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Something interesting for SF-loving librarians (there are loads of...) I found browsing through the LibraryPlanet Weblog: "Star Trek fiction" is an authorized Library of Congress genre heading. Here's the proof.
By the way: I remember some occurences of librarians in Star Trek:
- First, there was Mr. Atoz in the Classics episode "All Our Yesterdays" - what a wonderful name for a librarian: "a to z" (picture).
- Second, there was the USS Enterprise librarian - planned in "Star Trek: Insurrection", but cut out. The role of a librarian would have been impersonated by Lee Amone-Briggs.
- Third, I just read that Lt. Mira Romaine, a friend of Scotty in the Classics episode "The Lights of Zetar", apparently also was a librarian: "Lt. Mira Romaine, a librarian whose assignment at the Memory Alpha library is disrupted when the staff is found dead after an energy phenomenon moved through the station" (source)
- Fourth, a monkey librarian :-) occurs in the text "Star Trek vs Star Wars", fan fiction written 1997 by David Hopper, which is published here.
If you can think of more Star Trek stuff featuring librarians, please tell me.
The Republic of Austria runs about fifty so-called "Austria libraries", in which literature from and about Austria is collected. Most of these information centres are situated in Eastern European countries, from Albania to Russia. On a new website, information about the Austria libraries is provided. This includes addresses, contact persons, a virtual library with bibliographies...
If you suddenly feel itchy feet, have a look @ the "Bureau for International Library Staff Exchange", LIBEX, which can be found here. I personally would like to work some time in Romania, but I'm afraid I'd have to learn a lot more Romanian. Romanian is a beautiful language, but at the moment, my ability is very limited: I can count from one to twenty, and I can master very important sentences like "the shower doesn't work" or "quick, call the ambulance". By the way, a lot of information about Romania can be found with "Karpatenwilli" at this website.
A nice dialogue I once overheard in a university library:
Benutzerin gibt zahlreiche Bücher zurück.
Bibliothekar: "Ein Buch fehlt noch".
Benutzerin: "Oje, das hab ich vergessen. Wie heißt es denn?"
Bibliothekar: "Gedächtnistraining"

I'll try to translate:
Female library user brings back numerous books.
Librarian: "There is still one book missing".
User: "Alas, I forgot this one. Which book is it?"
Librarian: "mnemonic training"

The list futurelib, a forum for librarians in spe, was recently set inactive by the founder. There are a few other lists for future librarians:
- librarian_wannabes: "Discussion group designed to help up and coming librarians through the trials of graduate school and new jobs" (hosted by Yahoo). The founder says: "If you are studying to become a librarian, have an desire to become one or already one and feel that you can help others through, come join in"
- nextgenlib: an discussion list that was created for “the next generation of librarians,” primarily those under 30, though its members range in age from the early-20s into the 30s (hosted by Topica)
- fhib-bid: This is a list for all students and alumnae/i of the university I work at who are interested in library and information science (hosted by Yahoo)

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Science Fiction - it's hard to explain why this genre fascinates me that much. I think it started when I saw the Star Trek Classics as a child. The series created an own universe in which my thoughts could easily settle in... Apart from Star Trek, I like to read German science fiction which was written in the first half of the 20th century or earlier. It's quite thrilling to see what writers of that time thought how the world would be in our time. Some predictions came true, others seem ridiculous and unimaginable still today.
Short time ago there was opened a new chapter in SF for me: Last term, I attended a seminar about lesbian literature at the University of Vienna. Together with two colleagues, I wrote a paper about lesbian and feminist science fiction & fantasy. Here is a shortlist of literature we discussed, maybe you "acquire a taste for it":

Claudia Rath: Die Midlandprophezeiung (German)
Katherine V. Forrest: Daughters of a coral dawn; Daughters of an amber noon
Mary Gentle: The Book of Ash
Star Trek episodes "The Host", "Rejoined", "The emperor's new cloak"
TV series "Buffy, the vampire slayer"
Stephanie Kuhnen: Dita (German short story)
Francoise dEaubonne: La satellite d'amande (French) = Das Geheimnis des Mandelplaneten (German)
Marion Zimmer Bradley: Darkover (three books from the series: City of Sorcery, Thendara House, Shattered chain)
Magliane Samasow (recte Martina Schaefer): Die Tafeln der Maeve (German)
Diana Lee: Die Geliebte der Woelfin (German) = Bodice Ripper (English)
Gerd Brantenberg: Die Toechter Egalias (originally Norwegian)
Elisabeth Vonarburg: Chroniques du Pays des Meres (French)
Nicola Griffith: Ammonite
Nicola Griffith / Stephen Pagel (ed): Bending the landscape (collection)
Marge Pierce: Women at the edge of time

I also maintain a list at the German amazon website.
I know I'm a bit early (or late, that's in the eye of the beholder) - but if you want to send some e-cards on librarian day (which takes place, as you certainly know, on the 15th of April) here is a nice website to do so. You might find the texts on the cards a bit exaggerated, but hey, librarians ARE definitely cool, aren't they?

Austrian monastic libraries

I'd like to draw your attention to a website about Austrian monastic libraries. It was compiled by Andreas Hepperger, who wrote his master thesis in library & information science about this topic. The website includes a bibliography, a list of currently 95 libraries (with adress, contact details, website,...), news, the complete master thesis... Here's the link.