Disney author and historian Jim Korkis collects old Disney guide books. In a recent blog post, he begins his explanation:
I have many friends who are professional writers. One of them earned his living for many years translating German books into English and writing some historical novels.
One day, he called me up very excited because he had been able to purchase a complete set of volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica from the 1920s. I pointed out that he could have spent much less purchasing a recent set, which had more up-to-date entries.
He then revealed to me that he had at least 10 complete sets of Encyclopedia Britannica, but from different time periods and was hoping to purchase more. In 1933, the Britannica became the first encyclopedia (and I only know how to spell that word correctly thanks to Jiminy Cricket singing the word on the original Mickey Mouse Club television series) to continually update entries on a regular schedule.
As my friend patiently explained to me, an early edition of Britannica might have two or three pages devoted to buggy whips with detailed descriptions, history, illustrations and more, because it was a vital tool at the time. However, even a decade later, because of space restrictions and new entries, that entry on buggy whips might be severely edited to a half page or eliminated entirely.He was buying sets from different eras to help him with accurate details for his historical novels.
You can read the full post here: http://www.mouseplanet.com/10755/The_History_of_Disney_Travel_Guides
First, let me begin by saying that the 2015 AISL conference occurs only 90 minutes west of the Walt Disney World resort area, making it an ideal weekend to visit the parks if that’s something you’re considering. One of the many benefits of sunny Florida…
That sort of plug, however, is not my main reason in writing today. It’s more about the mission of school libraries today. I am frequently asked if I have “technologies” to loan or donate to classrooms. Most recently, it was a CD player. CDs are not yet extinct, but they are far from the most up-to-date musical device. Other items in my back office: a transparency reader, a VHS player, a LaserDisc player, and a handheld video camera.* What works for me is to keep, so to speak, one circulating copy in the collection. In cases where teachers are using what appear to be outdated technologies, I am given the chance to ask what they’re using the items for. Then I’m able to see if I’m able to find something else that might better suit their students’ educational needs.
I inherited my library from the most organized, immaculate, and detailed librarian ever. There were four filing cabinets organized with every collaborative project, vendor contact, and library display from the past six years, and timelines for contacting classes and vendors. As a first-year librarian working by herself in a library, this was monumentally helpful in organizing my first year! While I am also organized, most of my files are electronic Word 97-2003 documents. They are in folders on my computer, backed up to the school network. I plan to stay in this job for awhile, but when I leave, I don’t know what I’m supposed to share with my successor. There is the potential for information overload for sure.
Separately, some of my college files are already inaccessibly locked in their floppy discs, and with moving more towards the iPads in our school culture, I wonder how much longer we’ll be using jump drives. Ironically, my handwritten grade school papers are open and available for viewing if you ever find yourself in my parents’ attic… 🙂 Over the past two years, I’ve largely switched to GoogleDocs (lovelovelove!), but then there is a lapse in overall library files, with some in paper, some in Word, and some in the Google’s cloud. We are a relatively young school and a relatively small school so we have some time on this issue.
How important are records, formats, and materials storage? There’s is continuum between libraries as archival facilities and libraries as collaborative learning centers. I fall more towards the person side than the materials one. Where do you fall on that continuum?
*By far, the item back there that is most frequently requested is the slide projector. Families are inheriting older collections of slides and have no way to view them. They are thrilled when I can provide the slide projector, and from there they can decide what to print or digitize. Even without the obvious curricular connection, this is win-win because it gives me time with teachers while their endorphins are kicking in and they feel good about life. Translation – questions about how I can help them in the classroom have a positive response rate.