Monday, May 22, 2006

Graduation and Other Activities

The last two weeks have been filled with iSchool, campus, and campus activities.

The iSchool Commencement took place on Saturday, 20 May, with Gary Hoover, founder of BookStop, publisher of reference works, and owner of a 40,000 volume personal library. He spoke about the personal atributes needed in being successful in an enterprise: curiosity, a sense of history, a sense of geography, clear vision, and passion. I honored two graduating students--Greg Argo and Amy Zeigler--for their contributions to Honoring Generations and my ALA Presidential campaign with gifts of Pendleton blankets. A few days before graduation we hosted a party for a few graduates and Larry Gainor, my TA 15 years ago, drove in from Houston to attend.

Four iSchool students and I traveled to the Dallas area to provide a workshop to librarians from five of the state's historically black colleges and universities. Students provided information on how to market TexShare databases to faculty and students. Their presentations covered marketing health and wellness, business, and genealogy and family history databases. Their presentations were so well received that they were asked to repeat a session for the nurses from the colleges/universities.

I've attended other recent campus events including a reception for the Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) hosted by University President Powers, the annual reception for graduating undergraduates associated with the Multicultural Information Center, and an end-of-semester Center for Women's & Gender Studies.

My favorite 15 year old also had a spring guitar class performance,
We hosted a pre-birthday party where the teen boys spent their time playing games such as Halo II, Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6, and Timesplitters Future Perfect. Owen received a sophomore Trustees Award for high-GPA standing at his school's annual awards ceremony and performed a duet at a high school baccalaureate program. We spent a nice evening at a live music event, listening to the California Guitar Trio over at the Glenn at the Backyard in Bee Cave, Texas. One of Owen's friends was an invited soloist with the trio.

Meanwhile, the preparation tempo for ALA/New Orleans is increasing.

Reading Circle

Sitting in audiences has afforded me some time to catch up with some fiction reading. I read A. Manette Ansay's "Vinegar Hill" and Joyce Carol Oates' "Rape: A Love Story." Amy Tan described "Vinegar Hill" as "A modern-day Little House on the Prairie gone mad." Native librarians will know that Little House has its own dark side to begin with. Would we all have a dark angel if faced with the injustice; Teena Maguire's avenging angel teaches us how love and protection can find us even in our bleakest moments.