Library Juice 5:1, January 3, 2002


  1. Donations now accepted through PayPal
  2. Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists (PAML)
  3. The Information Professionals Guide to Career Development Online
  4. Academic Exchange Quarterly - upcoming issue on Information Literacy
  5. The Making of a Movement
  6. The Convenience Catastrophe
  7. A passion unleashed
  8. What Homeland?
  9. Letter to Holt Uncensored Re: Michael Moore's book
  10. Rebuilding of Baghdad Library Campaign
  11. FYI France EXTRA: Jason Epstein, on the text-e econference
  12. David Litwin remembers the Donnell branch of NYPL

Quote for the week:

"A central lesson of science is that to understand
complex issues (or even simple ones), we must try to
free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom
to publish, to contradict, and to experiment.
Arguments from authority are unacceptable."

Carl Sagan
Source: Sagan, Carl. "The Public Enemy" in Billions and
Billions. Thoughts of Life and Death at the Brink of the
Millenium. New York: Ballantine Books, 1998, p. 189.

Homepage of the week: Oscar Gandy


1. Donations now accepted through PayPal

If you want to donate money to Library Juice, you can now use
PayPal to do it. PayPal is sort of a web-based money exchange system.
It has become popular as an alternative to Western Union for people in
far-away places who sell stuff on e-Bay. (Western Union can take a very
big cut.) It's a convenient way to exchange money on the web without using
a credit card (although you can use a credit card to put money into your

If you want to donate using PayPal, go to:

If you start up a PayPal account and name me as your referral, I get 5
bucks, so count that against your donation.

2. Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists (PAML)

Entries in this directory of e-mail discussion lists give
purpose of list, contact information, how to subscribe,
links to list's Web site (if available), and the dates
PAML entry was created and updated. Browsable by
list name or subject, and keyword searchable.
Subjects: Electronic discussion groups

From Librarians' Index to the Internet:

3. The Information Professionals Guide to Career Development Online

Rachel Singer Gordon and Sarah Nesbeitt are pleased to announce the
publication of The Information Professional's Guide to Career Development
Online, a new Information Today guide for Internet-connected professionals.

Learn how to interact and develop your career online through:

... and more!

Visit for more on the title, as well as
live links to every web address mentioned in the book.


Rachel Singer Gordon / rachel[at]
Find a Library Job! /

4. Academic Exchange Quarterly - upcoming issue on Information Literacy

Call for manuscripts and more
Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 08:19:55 -0700
From: Martin Raish <martin_raish[at]>
To: BI-L[at]

From: steve bytom <bytom[at]>

Three items.

The Winter 2002 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Academic Exchange
Quarterly will be devoted to education in the fields of Bibliographic
Instruction, and Information Literacy. Please consider submitting a
manuscript, and please forward this message, including the links to the
Web pages for manuscript submission instructions and journal information,
to your library colleagues. See call for papers and instruction for
submitting manuscripts

We also need, Winter issue editor, see how to apply

This journal offers free library subscription, see details

The print journal of AEQ has over 23,000 readers, and the electronic
version, available free world-wide, has hundreds of thousands of potential
readers as it is available from the world's leading knowledge source
Gale's InfoTrac Expanded Academic Index.

Happy Holidays,
Steve Bytomski
AEQ Associate

5. The Making of a Movement

by Robert W. McChesney & John Nichols
The Nation, January 7, 2001

No one should be surprised by the polls showing that close to 90 percent
of Americans are satisfied with the performance of their selected
President, or that close to 80 percent of the citizenry applaud his
Administration's seat-of-the-pants management of an undeclared war. After
all, most Americans get their information from media that have pledged to
give the American people only the President's side of the story. CNN chief
Walter Isaacson distributed a memo effectively instructing the network's
domestic newscasts to be sugarcoated in order to maintain popular support
for the President and his war. Fox News anchors got into a surreal
competition to see who could wear the largest American flag lapel pin. Dan
Rather, the man who occupies the seat Walter Cronkite once used to tell
Lyndon Johnson the Vietnam War was unwinnable, now says, "George Bush is
the President.... he wants me to line up, just tell me where."

No, we should not be surprised that a "just tell me where" press has
managed to undermine debate at precisely the time America needs it
most--but we should be angry. The role that US newsmedia have played in
narrowing and warping the public discourse since September 11 provides
dramatic evidence of the severe limitations of contemporary American
journalism, and this nation's media system, when it comes to nurturing a
viable democratic and humane society. It is now time to act upon that anger
to forge a broader, bolder and more politically engaged movement to reform
American media.

The base from which such a movement could spring has already been built.
Indeed, the current crisis comes at a critical moment for media reform
politics. Since the middle 1980s, when inept and disingenuous reporting on
US interventions in Central America provoked tens of thousands of Americans
to question the role media were playing in manufacturing consent, media
activism has had a small but respectable place on the progressive agenda.
The critique has gone well beyond complaints about shoddy journalism to
broad expressions of concern about hypercommercial, corporate-directed
culture and the corruption of communications policy-making by
special-interest lobbies and pliable legislators.

Crucial organizations such as Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), the
Institute for Public Accuracy, the MediaChannel, Media Alliance and the
Media Education Foundation have emerged over the past two decades. Acting
as mainstream media watchdogs while pointing engaged Americans toward
valuable alternative fare, these groups have raised awareness that any
democratic reform in the United States must include media reform. Although
it is hardly universal even among progressives, there is increasing
recognition that media reform can no longer be dismissed as a "dependent
variable" that will fall into place once the more important struggles have
been won. People are beginning to understand that unless we make headway
with the media, the more important struggles will never be won.

....Read the rest of this article at:

6. The Convenience Catastrophe

Source: Library Journal

Here are two passages from Roy Tennant's insightful, must read, column.
Roy writes, "Anyone who has worked a reference desk has seen users pleased
with a quick and mediocre answer when, with a bit more time and effort,
they could get a better one. It's called 'satisficing.' It's human nature
to seek that which is 'good enough' rather than the best. For many, it's a
simple equation of effort vs. payback. At a 'good enough' point that can
only be determined by a specific individual, it becomes too much trouble to
reach the optimum for the perceived gain." He continues, "So how do we
fight this tendency?" "We must provide more information online about what
our print collections hold, so that potential users of our holdings can
more easily discover the treasures they contain. Converting our card
catalogs into digital form was merely the beginning. A title, an author,
and a few subject headings are often inadequate to determine if a
particular book will be useful or not. We need to work cooperatively to
provide more...

Annotation from From Gary Price's
Virtual Acquisition Shelf and Reference Desk:

7. A passion unleashed

By Reggie Rivers
Special to the Denver Post

Thursday, December 27, 2001 - For the first time in my life, I have true

That may seem odd to people who followed my career with the Denver Broncos
and who saw the enthusiasm with which I played the game. I enjoyed
football, but it never defined me. It wasn't my passion in life. . . .

In the same way that young men and women rushed to military recruiters'
offices after Sept. 11, I've felt compelled to use my column, radio show
and speaking engagements to defend the U.S. Constitution.

My passion has been sparked by furious, nationalistic flag-waving; the
detention of Arab nationals; the passing of the misnamed USA Patriot Act;
the government's decision to listen in on attorney-client conversations;
the president's executive orders to create military tribunals; and his
later order to ensure that presidential documents could be sealed from
public view forever. . . .

More at:,1002,155%257E298471,00.html

8. What Homeland?

Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 09:16:36 -0700
From: Carl Jensen <jensen[at]SONOMA.EDU>
To: "jensen[at]" <jensen[at]SONOMA.EDU>
Reply to: jensen[at]SONOMA.EDU

Dear Colleague:

Have you wondered where the term "homeland" came from? Or why we
are now referring to the U.S. as the "homeland?" I've been curious about
the sudden widespread use of the term since 9/11. The following was sent
out as a letter to the editor. Carl.


Since the tragic disasters of September 11, there has been an increased
use of the word "homeland" to refer to the United States.

We even have a White House Office of Homeland Security with a new
Cabinet-level Secretary of Homeland Security.

The term, "homeland," is a bizarre choice that evokes the strident
militaristic rhetoric of Nazi Germany during the 1930s and 1940s.

Not surprisingly the use of the term here originates with the military.

The ANSER Institute for Homeland Security, a non-profit conservative
think tank linked to military and intelligence agencies, says while the
concept of "defending the homeland" is a historic one, the first
American use of the term homeland defense was in a report by the
National Defense Panel in 1997.

Since then, ANSER says, the idea of the homeland is almost universally
accepted by policy makers.

And, we might add, by the media. CNN even has an official Homeland
Security Correspondent and MSNBC has a special "Homeland Security"

Before the media institutionalize the term "homeland' as an acceptable
synonym for the United States, we hope they would consider the source.

At a time when we're seeking international support to rid the world of
terrorism, it would seem incongruous to identify ourselves with a term
that portrays a disturbing chauvinism.

We are not the homeland. We are a democracy. We are a republic. We are
the United States of America.

Carl Jensen


Editor's note: I too have felt disturbed by this new name for the US. For
one thing, the word "homeland" denotes the geographical origin of an
ethnic group. As a nation of immigrants, we have numerous homelands. The
use of the term to describe the US therefore lends a political priority to
people whose families have been here long enough to forget their original
homelands and think of themselves as "just American." For another thing,
it does have a fascist overtone to it, reminiscent of Nazi emphasis on the
land in support of their radical nationalism. This term is symbolic of the
sea-change in American political culture, its turn toward
Ashcroftian fascism.

9. Letter to Holt Uncensored Re: Michael Moore's book

Dear Holt Uncensored:

Although HarperCollins recently announced that it will publish Michael
Moore's book, "Stupid White Men," after all (in February), the
withholding of the book from publication in September because of its
criticism of George Bush is  a disturbing, and, I suspect, much more
widespread practice than we realize.

Not to split hairs, I think we ought not to refer to HarperCollins'
suppression of the book as "censorship." It would be censorship if the
government gave orders not to publish it, or if there were some evidence
that pressure had been brought to bear by some agency of the government.
I suggest this only for the sake of clarity, so that we look carefully
at the publisher's motives. What is operating here? As you point out,
it's a climate of opinion, a basically commercial motive, with
publishers thinking--readers won't like this now--won't BUY.

Along those lines,  the December 3 PW carried a review of a book called
COVER-UP OF CONVENIENCE  by Ashton and Ferguson. According to the PW
review this book seems to be a well-argued assertion that Libyan
terrorists did not plant the bomb on Pan Am flight 103 that went down at
Lockerbie, and that the CIA found it convenient to deflect attention
from the more likely suspects because of some deals they were running.
Interestingly, the Forecast note at the bottom says "in this time of
patriotic fervor . . . charges the US government with serious crimes . .
.this will be a very hard sell to the media and book buyers."

In this case and in the Michael Moore case, and how many others, the
effort seems to be to sell the public what they want, not to withhold
information they want. We're dealing with denial here, which may be, in
a fairly open society like ours, as hard (harder?) to deal with than
government censorship.

Dorothy Bryant

From Holt Uncensored #290
Friday, December 21, 2001

10. Rebuilding of Baghdad Library Campaign

Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 15:44:48 -0600 (CST)
From: "Book Campain" <iraqbook[at]>
Organization: ?
Article: 132878
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Dear Sir/Madame

Join The Rebuilding of Baghdad Library Campaign

The National Mobilization Committee for the Defense of Iraq (NMCDI) in
Jordan has initiated an academic book collection Campaign for Iraq. The
goal of this campaign, which has been dubbed the rebuilding of the Baghdad
Library, is to provide Iraqi students, academics and intellectuals with
scientific and academic books and references that have been prohibited
entry to Iraq for the past ten years. The excuse used is that these items
are considered to be double usage items. Thus Iraqis have been denied the
right to learn which is and internationally recognized and protected right.

NMCDI, which has initiated this campaign, is a Jordanian popular committee
that includes political parties, many civil society institutions, unions,
organizations and independent personalities. This committee was
established for the sole aim of raising local, regional and international
public opinion regarding the need to lift the comprehensive economic
sanctions that have been imposed on Iraq for since 1990. The NMCDI
believes that the sanctions, which according to the UN have directly
resulted in the death of at least 1.5 million Iraqi civilians and have
caused a near total breakdown in the economic, social, educational and
health sectors are a crimes against humanity.

The book campaign is an attempt among many serious attempts carried out by
the NMCDI to challenge the sanctions that have crippled a nation of 22
million. We believe that we can succeed in bringing people from all over
the world together in unison to stop this atrocity which has denied
ordinary Iraqis from the right to live learn and develop.

Politics aside, we simply believe that it is immoral to deny 22 million
Iraqis the gift of knowledge. Iraqs historical legacy is that it is the
cradle of civilization and it gave humanity the first form of script and
the first legal doctrines. In our time, Iraq was able was able to offer
free education from kindergarten through university. However, after the
destruction of the Iraqi economy as a result of the sanctions and the
severe UN restrictions imposed on Iraq , its legacy and achievements have
been reduced to day to day survival.

The NMCDI has already announced this campaign in Jordan and work has begun
in the book collection plan. However, to achieve our set goals, and to
make this ambitious campaign a global effort, the NMCDI will be working
with the Mariam Appeal organization based in London and led by British MP
George Galloway. Information about the campaign can also be found on the
Mariam Appeal Web Site:

Our major goal is to collect and forward to Iraq the 8000 academic and
scientific references needed by Iraqi universities and academic
institutions, in an effort to replenish the their empty libraries.

Therefore, our committee is contacting as many institutions, organizations
and individuals as possible to participate in our campaign.

With this letter we would like to officially invite you, your
organization, your company to participate in this humanitarian campaign and
help give back to Iraqis the gift of knowledge.

If you choose to contribute to our campaign, please send us a return email
choosing one or more of the following options for participation:

Once we receive a return email from you stating your selected
contribution, we will contact you immediately with the necessary details.

If you wish to be taken off our list, please send us an email requesting
that your name be omitted

Please feel free to contact us at any time to answer any questions or
respond to any comments you may have. Our aim to succeed in our goals and
we know that together we can make a difference in making our world a better

Contact person: Mr. Fawaz Zuriekat
National Mobilization Committee for the Defense of Iraq
International laison/ Rebuilding Baghdad Library Campaign
Tel: 962-6-5533166
Fax: 962-6-5533177

Email: iraqbook[at]
Email: iraqbook[at]

Best regards

Fawaz Zuriekat

11. FYI France EXTRA: Jason Epstein, on the text-e econference

Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2002 17:34:37 -0800 (PST)
From: Jack Kessler <kessler[at]>
To: Jack Kessler <kessler[at]>

FYI France EXTRA: Jason Epstein, on the text-e econference

A reminder that Jason Epstein is the featured guest this month --
until Jan 15 -- on the text-e econference. It's free, and online.

Epstein is the publishing industry editor / guru extraordinaire
who is credited with creations as varied as "Anchor Books", "The
New York Review of Books", "The Library of America", "The
Reader's Catalog". He has worked / is working with Norman Mailer,
Vladimir Nabokov, E.L. Doctorow, Gore Vidal, Philip Roth, Jane
Jacobs, Elaine Pagels, Helen Prejean, Richard Holbrooke...

He also "received the first National Book Award for Distinguished
Service to American Letters and the Curtis Benjamin Award from
the Association of American Publishers for 'inventing new kinds
of publishing and editing'". Epstein has contributed much, in his
own writing, to the "transition in media" debate which so many of
us are fussing about. See his _Book Business: Publishing, Past,
Present and Future_ (Norton, 2001), and NYRB articles.

More about Epstein at,

So, this is _your_ chance to participate personally, or just
lurk, in an online intellectual give - and - take between one of
US publishing's most notable and creative editors, and a very
interesting collection of primarily European thinkers, on,

        "Reading: The Digital Future" (title of the free ebook
        contributed by Epstein to start off the discussion)

        "Various book supports will continue to coexist, while
        the range of expertise needed for the publishing of texts
        and the management of rights is already undergoing a
        radical transformation."

And Happy New Year!

Jack Kessler, kessler[at]

            *           FYI France (sm)(tm) Online Service
            |           Internet Training and Consulting
            |           email:  kessler[at]
            |           fax:    415 - 282 - 0464
           / \          phone:  415 - 282 - 4850 (messages)
          -----         postal: PO Box 460668
         //   \\                San Francisco, California
        ---------               USA  94146
       //       \\      W3:


from --
3.00 FYI France: Ejournal and archive
by Jack Kessler, kessler[at]
October 31, 2001 EXTRA issue. This file presents an archive copy
of the EXTRA issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916,
which was distributed via email on October 31, 2001.

FYI France EXTRA: the "text-e" e-conference

An extraordinary online event -- of interest to anyone involved
in books, writing, libraries, digital text, ebooks, online video,
"information", econferencing, or the Internet or the Minitel or a
lot of other things -- is taking place right now and over the
next few months at,

Roger Chartier, Stephen Harnad, Theodore Zeldin, and many other
luminaries, discussing "texts" and various favorite subjects...
even Jason Epstein, talking about and discussing (with you!)
"Reading: The Digital Future"... and Umberto Eco, opining on
"Authors and Authority", and wondering, "Do intellectuals play
the role of a Web - filter?"...

And everything is free - of - charge. Participants / viewers /
you can download free ebooks, watch free videos, and take part in
open online discussions with other viewers and with the
"speakers": just think, Roger Chartier and Jason Epstein and
Umberto Eco, answering your questions and arguing with you about
"the decline of the book" and "etexts"...

The event is presented by the BPI / Bibliothe`que publique
d´information, the Institut Jean Nicod (CNRS), the EURO-EDU /
Association Europe'enne pour le De'veloppement de l´Enseignement
Supe'rieur et de la Recherche sur Internet, and Giantchair, an
Ebook Distribution Company: the extraordinary program --

        "Every two weeks a new topic is explored. The author's
        text on the topic can be downloaded for free on this
        site. To take part in the discussions, you will need to
        sign up. Past discussions are open for viewing only."

How does one read on-screen? Does the change in the support of
texts mean that the contents of texts will change as well? What
are the texts that will still be called 'books' once they are
made available through the unified medium of screens? Speaker -
Roger Chartier

The philosopher may wonder: what is a book? This is an
ontological problem: the book is at once a physical and a mental
entity. Speaker - Roberto Casati

In the Post-Gutenberg Galaxy, a profound dividing line will
emerge between so-called "non-give-away work" and so-called
"give-away work" such as scientific and scholarly research
papers. Speaker - Stevan Harnad

What is the difference between a newspaper and an Internet
portal? Does an electronic newspaper have to guarantee the same
services as a portal? Speaker - Bruno Patino

It is often suggested that conversations over the Internet tend
to be informal. But an e-mail etiquette is already beginning to
emerge. Is informal communication really possible? Speaker -
Theodore Zeldin

Various book supports will continue to coexist, while the range
of expertise needed for the publishing of texts and the
management of rights is already undergoing a radical
transformation. Speaker - Jason Epstein

What is a library in the numerical age? In an institution which,
traditionally, is devoted to the written word and to its memory,
the advent of unstable and potentially infinite information could
put in question the very nature of the library. Speaker - Equipe BPI

This contribution to the symposium will reflect on the future of
texts which will continue to be read but will no longer be
written. Speaker - Dan Sperber

After having observed in our usability labs hundreds of users
interacting with websites and other electronic media one fact is
clear: users do not read more than four lines of text on the
screen. We will try to explain why. Speakers - Stephana
Broadbent, Francesco Cara

What is the role of the expert and of the intellectual at a time
when information is accessible to virtually everyone? Do
intellectuals play the role of a "Web-filter"? Speaker - Umberto Eco

Apologies for duplication to those with whom I already have been
discussing this "text-e" event, on a couple of econferences --
bears repeating, I figure, plus broadest possible dissemination.

And many thanks once again to Peter Graham, who first announced
this event to me and to many others on Exlibris.

A thought, as well, that anyone interested in econferencing and
"video conferencing" generally -- as who among us is not,
nowadays, as "face - to - face giant conferences held in big city
hotels and convention centers" now are "so September 10..." -- we
all might take a hard and systematic look at the structure which
these "text-e" people have assembled and mounted.

It is impressive. The "text-e" site offers:

As long as so many of us are spending the week beneath the bed --
"waiting for the bomb to drop", or worse -- we might as well
econference. There is still a world out there, after all, one
involving more than just cluster bombs and anthrax... even though
the US and Asian and Western European media for the last few
weeks might have led you to believe that there isn't. To the bed
- ensconced, then, how better to refresh the brain without
exposing the body than to get back in harness intellectually but
only virtually, online.

On the other hand, for the more daring and / or more foolish,
international air travel and hotel costs never have been lower:
supply and demand -- no one else is doing it -- $378 return, SFO
to Paris, and my son says student fares are a whole lot less.

But I never have liked standing in lines at all, myself, much
less standing in longer lines now supervised by a weekender
National Guardsman carrying a loaded gun. So, on to "text-e", and
our brave new video econferencing "virtual" world.

Besides, it probably would have been raining in Paris, anyway...

Jack Kessler, kessler[at]

FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal                   ISSN 1071 - 5916

      |           FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic
      |           journal published since 1992 as a small-scale,
      |           personal experiment, in the creation of large-
      |           scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler.
     / \          Any material written by me which appears in
    -----         FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for
   //   \\        any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me
  ---------       credit and show my email address, and, b) it
 //       \\      isn't going to make them money: if it is going
                  to make them money, they must get my permission
in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me.
Use of material written by others requires their permission.
FYI France archives may be found at
(search fyifrance), or[at]
(BIBLIO-FR archive), or
(PACS-L archive) or . Suggestions,
reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all will be
gratefully received at kessler[at] .

        Copyright © 1992- by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved.
        W3 site maintained at
        Document maintained by: Jack Kessler, kessler[at]
        Last update: October 31, 2001



12. David Litwin remembers the Donnell branch of NYPL

[David Litwin is Rory's Dad. -Ed.]

Public libraries, like public schools, tend to be unsung heroes in
America. Both contribute selflessly to our growth as individuals and as a
culture, and both are largely taken for granted, or worse, ignored or even
vilified, by their beneficiaries. To say the least, thanks aren't paid to
them often enough. Lately I've been thinking about the debt I owe to one
particular library, so I delight in this opportunity, at my son Rory's
invitation, to express it for Library Juice.

I grew up in midtown Manhattan at a time when no one disputed the claim
that New York City was the center of the universe. In a way I was the
perfect New Yorker, since I considered the easy availability (walking
distance!) of world renowned museums, the New York Public Library, the NY
Philharmonic, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building (beloved of all
New York kids), Broadway, Fifth Avenue shopping, and world class everything
else, to be my right, my patrimony. My home was next to Lee Strasbourg's
Actors' Studio. I would see Marilyn Monroe walk by on her way to classes as
I played with my friends on the street. For awhile Walter Matthau had his
apartment across the hall from us, and my dad played poker with him on
Monday evenings. I took all of this for granted. It was just life in New

A big part of my early years was classical piano study. I played the
usual suspects, from Clementi through Brahms. (NB for piano students: I was
shown nothing past Brahms except Rachmaninoff, who was born a century too
late anyway). My teacher had grandiose plans for me, which discouraged me
from further study when I finally learned their terrifying extent. So at
the age of 11 I exiled myself from music, only to have it beckon me back
during high school when I heard the, to me, siren song of contemporary
concert music, offered up in tiny tantalizing tidbits in our required music
appreciation class. Suddenly I just had to learn about this stuff.

At about that time a new branch of the New York Public Library was opening.
The Donnell Branch was directly across 53rd Street from the Museum of
Modern Art and four blocks south of Carnegie Hall, home to the NY
Philharmonic in those pre-Lincoln Center days. The Donnell was the only
library branch near me that had a circulating collection of LPs. And what a
collection! I was able to just walk in there and slake my thirst for
contemporary concert music with what turns out, looking back, to have been
unfailingly definitive recordings of some of the best compositions of the
first half of the 20th century. Someone at the Philharmonic (or Juilliard,
or the Manhattan School of Music, or the Mannes School - after all, this
was New York) must have been a guiding musical hand at the Donnell, and I
was guided right along, with a musical resource that - arrogance! - I
didn't at all think was exceptional at the time. For the first time I
experienced Stravinsky - practically his whole neoclassic output, in
addition to the titanic early ballets. The American symphonists - Ives,
Harris, Schuman, Piston, Riegger, Sessions, to name a few - were there for
the taking. Practically all of Bartok, including an explosive Miraculous
Mandarin (with Antal Dorati & the Chicago Symphony), and a performance of
the Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta (Rafael Kubelik, Chicago) that
some will argue has yet to be equalled. A generous helping of the Second
Viennese School including a spectacular reading of Schoenberg's Five Pieces
for Orchestra, Op.16 (Kubelik, Chicago again) and Robert Craft's Columbia
set of the complete Anton Webern. There were Elliot Carter's quartets, and
Martin, Martinu, Bloch, lots of Debussy and Ravel, Poulenc, Milhaud,
Honegger, Lili Boulanger, Varse, Boulez (I liked the French a lot),
Stockhausen, Berio, Krenek, Cage, and Chvez, just to name some who come
right to mind. And then there was the quirky wing - Henry Cowell playing
his own prepared piano pieces, Harry Partch, the Jolivet Ondes Martinot
concerto, Orff's Catulli Carmina and Triumph of Aphrodite - not just your
everyday Carmina Burana but the rest of that trilogy as well, Henry Brant's
wacked-out Signs and Alarms, George Antheil's Ballet Mechanique.

I took home and got to know more great and exciting music than I thought possible,
and it brought me into line with what was going on in concert music in my
own time, and to a frame of mind where I thought about composing a little
myself. In time, I switched to Music from English at college, and embarked
on a career composing and producing music commercially. It's only now from
a distance of 3000 miles and several decades that I see how pivotal the
Donnell was in the direction my life took.

There isn't room here to go on about the Donnell's jazz collection,
which also circulated. Suffice it to say that thanks to my exposure to it
back in the day, Ken Burns has provided few surprises. I don't know if any
of the Donnell Library's original guiding lights are still around to thank,
but I hope those who toil there now appreciate its heritage and the deep
impact it has had on local people. Actually, I'm sure they do.

David Litwin


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