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Author Topic: "Build Us a Temple"  (Read 8880 times)

Jenett

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Re: "Build Us a Temple"
« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2012, 07:26:25 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;53008
Though as an aside discussion I wonder what books would be considered as prime resources for such a library?  Though depending upon the age of said books I can only imagine the degree one would have to go to in order to keep it a clean room and temperature / oxygen controlled.  I've been to places where the white gloves literly come out to touch certain books to keep the body oil off of them.  It's a pain at times but in the end its worth it I think.

Actually, there's a move away from white cotton gloves these days for many materials. (Different archives make different decisions, of course) - there's a nice summary from one of my favourite librarian bloggers (Jessamyn West) with links to a paper on that (also available in blog form over here) and a decent news story. The article notes, for example, that white gloves have never been used at the British Library, which as about as venerable a source of delicate works as you can get.

(Short version of the issues: cotton transmits lots of stuff well, and also picks up dust/ink/whatever very easily. Which is a problem. And second, it makes it harder to turn delicate pages carefully, which results in real immediate damage, rather than "well, sometime far down the road, there might be some damage from the oils on your fingers." End result: you're less likely to have damage with clean recently washed hands without any added lotions/etc.)

Likewise, as Sailor says, there are unlikely to be a large number of items where this would be an issue for the average Pagan library. There are some cases where some additional care for storage is appropriate. (I have a stack of older Pagan magazines - Green Egg, etc. - that are going yellow and somewhat brittle) but there are some relatively simple solutions for that, and preservation technology for mass market materials has gotten a *lot* better.

And to add to the comment about what you buy that I just saw in preview... - honestly, most Pagan books *aren't* available in hard cover. You can't buy a format no one is producing. There are ways to reinforce paperbacks relatively easily and inexpensively. (Been there, done that: it takes a $20 device and a lot of roles of book tape.) So a Pagan library is going to be limited by format options, and the fact that a lot of Pagan books come in some odd binding sizes. But there's ways to handle the paper preservation, for the purposes of a circulating library, that are pretty trivial.

(A former boss of mine works for a company that does large-scale preservation projects using a non-water-based solution that you can dip the entire book into, that halts acidification and other chemical processes, adds protection against oils, etc. and can be done by dipping the entire book without damaging the binding, glue, etc. I'm pretty sure they now either make a consumer variant, or are close to doing so.)

On the larger question of librarians and collections - I'm pretty sure the person in charge of the Open Hearth library is MLIS degreed librarian [1], and I think the person who's heading up the New Alexandria project from the Sacred Wheel folks is too.

(There are a bunch of Pagan librarians and library staff people out there. Unsurprisingly.)

Anyway, the idea of a small religion-centered collection is not that unusual: lots of churches have them, for example. They're often run by retired librarians or library staff. There are some problems with getting someone who's an active member in the field doing it for a couple of reasons - one of them is time, the other is number of hours even the most passionate librarian is going to be up for doing this stuff at work, and then volunteering with it at other times.

(There are very good reasons I tend to focus my volunteer time on things that use my organizational and geeky skills, but not my librarian ones in other words. Burnout is not good.And in particular, library work tends to be a pretty persistent volunteer task - it's not like you plan a thing, and do it, and then you get to take some time off until the next year rolls around. Any decent subscription library is going to continue having new materials coming in.)

More fundamentally, though, there are a fair number of resources for people wanting to manage a small to medium size collection (Open Hearth has about 2,000 non-fiction books at the moment, which is very much on the small size for most regular library collections. In comparison, the 9-12 campus I worked in for 10 years, with about 500 students, had about 11,000 books and about 4,000 other items, and the academic library I work in now is about 75,000 volumes: there's huge gaps in scale in managing "stuff that fits in one room" vs. "stuff of widely varying sizes.")

Anyway: people can usually manage smaller libraries without lots of training. (Open Hearth is using Koha as a catalog, which would take some additional training for cataloging, but is well within the capability of anyone who's got the mindset for it. It's a bit more complicated than using something like Library Thing for Libraries, but mostly on the data entry side, and that's just because of needing to standardise terms. Though they appear not to be implementing authority control. Nor do they seem to be using the most recent variants of Library of Congress subject headings, because they're using Witchcraft for things where Wicca would in fact be the preferred term)

The places professional experience would be particularly handy are:
- Cataloging (how people find items in your system)

- Determining selection policies, and how to build a well-rounded collection over time. (And some idea of when you get rid of materials, or decide you need to replace them, etc.)

- Experience dealing with common issues that can come up in many different libraries (policies around damage, abuse of items, people who check out lots of things and don't bring them back, etc.)

The cataloging is the trickiest one for non-trained-library-folks to learn (just because there's a bunch of possible options, but none of them are really simple, and the existing cataloging methods familiar to the Engish-speaking world are truly lousy with religions that are not Christianity.) But they're all known solveable problems with resources.

[I digress, but there's a whole discussion about the fact that Wicca does now exist as a subject heading, how it got that way, and why authority control might or might not matter that I won't go into here.]

It's about as complicated as, oh, deciding how to handle accessibility issues. People can do it very very badly. But lots of people who are not professionally trained experts can learn how to do it well (and in many cases, a lot better for particular communities/needs/specific situations.)

[1] In the US, the entry level professional degree - and the terminal degree for anyone in the field who doesn't want to teach other people to be librarians, generally - is the Master's in Library Science or the Master's in Library and Information Science. I have the latter, fwiw.) Other people who work in libraries are more technically paraprofessional staff, library assistants, library clerks, etc.

Still very awesome people without whom the library could not run, but generally with a much narrower training in the field (i.e. they know their area well, but not necessarily all the other major areas), and generally with a *lot* less training in larger policy issues around freedom of information/information access,

If you think this bears a resemblance to the discussion of whether someone should identify as Wiccan if they don't have an initiatory lineage, you'd be right. Though in this case, since the defining feature comes associated with job requirements, it's a little clearer.

There are places that offer a BA in Library Science: they're mostly not very useful, because they won't qualify you for the professional jobs requiring the MLIS. However, they're more widely useful in places with a lot of small rural libraries where you have library directors of a small town library who are part time/at very low salaries that wouldn't attract an MLIS candidate. (Maine has a bunch of these. Minnesota has many fewer, because of the way the states developed and developed library standards differently.)
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 07:29:06 pm by Jenett »
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monsnoleedra

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Re: "Build Us a Temple"
« Reply #61 on: May 03, 2012, 07:43:15 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;53035
Actually, there's a move away from white cotton gloves these days for many materials. (Different archives make different decisions, of course) - there's a nice summary from one of my favourite librarian bloggers (Jessamyn West) with links to a paper on that (also available in blog form over here) and a decent news story. The article notes, for example, that white gloves have never been used at the British Library, which as about as venerable a source of delicate works as you can get.

(Short version of the issues: cotton transmits lots of stuff well, and also picks up dust/ink/whatever very easily. Which is a problem. And second, it makes it harder to turn delicate pages carefully, which results in real immediate damage, rather than "well, sometime far down the road, there might be some damage from the oils on your fingers." End result: you're less likely to have damage with clean recently washed hands without any added lotions/etc.)


That part I didn't know but it makes a lot of sense to me.  I wish some of the governmental offices would take that on and do some preserving of thier records and books.

Quote
And to add to the comment about what you buy that I just saw in preview... - honestly, most Pagan books *aren't* available in hard cover. You can't buy a format no one is producing. There are ways to reinforce paperbacks relatively easily and inexpensively. (Been there, done that: it takes a $20 device and a lot of roles of book tape.) So a Pagan library is going to be limited by format options, and the fact that a lot of Pagan books come in some odd binding sizes. But there's ways to handle the paper preservation, for the purposes of a circulating library, that are pretty trivial.


Perhaps presumptious on my part but i'd think a professional pagan library would have many academic and historical works as well as published pagan authors.  Even many professional journals and similar type publications.  Admittly, I might be biased in assuming that it would cater to historical accuracy vice psuedo pagan historical accuracy in historical records.

Granted I wouldn't expect them to have many archaic books or books that require specialized handling unless through donations or such.

But I think to it would also touch upon the idea of what books to include.  Many older works have poor scholary research for thier times and have been proven wrong by newer information.  Yet, would you omit them considering their influence upon pagan practices as they evolved?  I don't know, personaly I would not as they are contributing sources.

Wickerman

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Re: "Build Us a Temple"
« Reply #62 on: May 03, 2012, 07:56:51 pm »
Quote from: Maps;52983
Ever the entrepreneurial Cap, I've considered opening a bookstore that caters less to the Wiccish/Nuage crowd and more to the polytheist/recon crowd... basically a mythology and anthropology store/coffee shop, maybe with a garden patio out back or something.

But a library stocked with all manner of out-of-print books would have me frothing at the mouth too. Though both are probably totally unfeasible... sigh.

 A library is part of her plan, as I understand it, and there will be sections of the temple devoted to different pantheons. Asatru for instance, with a large common space and halls off of that for various religions.
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Jenett

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Re: "Build Us a Temple"
« Reply #63 on: May 03, 2012, 08:56:49 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;53036

Perhaps presumptious on my part but i'd think a professional pagan library would have many academic and historical works as well as published pagan authors.  Even many professional journals and similar type publications.  Admittly, I might be biased in assuming that it would cater to historical accuracy vice psuedo pagan historical accuracy in historical records.


This is a question of budget. Those academic press books? Not cheap. Database access to journals (and more or more journals are electronic only these days)? Even less so. And that's particularly true for a library that isn't associated with a known stable population.

(Getting price quotes for "We are a school of 500 9th-12 graders": easy. Getting quotes for access for "We are a public library serving a town of 20,000 with an average circulation of Y" slightly less easy, but still really common. "We are a small subscription library with X members, but that membership also includes a bunch of other things besides the library." a lot trickier.)

And when I say pricy? I mean that even for that school with 500 students, individual database subscriptions for some of our databases were $2000+ a year. Plus the initial set up fee. (I'm pretty sure JSTOR, which is the large database most likely to be of use to Pagan scholars, is still up there.)

That $2000 would buy a bunch of print items. That you would then get to use the next year, without paying for them again. (And, to complicate things: a relatively small number of people are likely to really *want* to use those academic databases, and a fair number of the ones who do might well have access through other means: a lot of public university libraries allow access from computers within their library, and some larger library systems (metro areas, for example) may also subscribe.

Paying for access for people not within your library's physical building or campus IP range or via standardised barcode/password system (additional costs to set up, and that part can get a bit technical) is also more expensive, so an additional cost for a subscription library.

Membership or subscription libraries (i.e. libraries where members pay a fee for access, rather than those provided by a school or town or whatever) vary, too.

To give you a comparison (I'm picking two subscription libraries with long histories, that employ at least some professional staff: my mother's a member of one of them, my brother's a member of the other.)

The Boston Athaeneum has electronic resources including JSTOR (and a bunch of Boston-specific archives: makes sense given their mission). Collection of roughly 200,000 items, including extensive rare and special collections materials.

Their membership fee is $290 a year for an individual, and they have a staff about three times the size of the library I work at (we're at 11.5 FTE, they list 33 library-focused staff, plus building and event support). They've been open for 200+ years, and they have a lot of famous people (with the related donations/bequests) involved - many of whom were also involved with the founding of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. In other words, they have resources many libraries dream of.

The New Haven Institute Library is a much closer parallel to anything we're likely to see for a Pagan community library any time soon. doesn't do electronic resources - just a circulating collection of 30,000 items. Their membership fee (because they believe in keeping it affordable for New Haven residents) is $25 a year. But they've also only recently (in 2011) increased their hours (from 15 a week to 45 a week) and hired a new librarian. And you can probably do the math on how many members you need to pay that librarian's salary and buy new books (and heat the building, and do needed upkeep, and so on.)

Many of the existing databases also are just not a great use of funds for a specialised library - the general databases (Academic Search Premier which is one of the most common ones for general use, has a lot of stuff that just isn't relevant. And again, most public libraries would have access.) I'll admit here I'm not as familiar with the religion-specific databases, but I do know a lot of them are, well, not Pagan focused.

Quote

But I think to it would also touch upon the idea of what books to include.  Many older works have poor scholary research for thier times and have been proven wrong by newer information.  Yet, would you omit them considering their influence upon pagan practices as they evolved?  I don't know, personaly I would not as they are contributing sources.

 
This is one of the things librarians do go to school to learn. (And in fact, I've written papers and done presentations to other people's classes about collection development for minority religious groups. It's *hard*.)

The main question is what the goal of the library is, because the main goal of a collection librarian is to create a collection that serves the needs of that library's users. (And that will be different from other similar libraries, and it will also change over time, to some degree.)

If it's a resource for "People in our local Pagan community", people are going to come into the library with different needs. Just as a public library provides biographies, children's books, romances, Christian inspirational titles, and audio books, a Pagan library that's claiming to serve a widely ranging geographic spread should be offering a wide range of titles - and that should include those where, say, the history is lousy, but the rituals are useful, or titles that are widely requested, recognised, or discussed.

I think it's hard to make an argument that a library of this kind *shouldn't* have a wide-ranging selection. (And in fact, there's a really good argument from the public library world as to why "libraries should only have Good Improving Works" fails miserably. It's an argument that's been going on since the late 1800s, though.)

If the library is, instead, more tightly focused on documenting and exploring Pagan history (which would, I note, substantially limit their likely subscriber base), then they might make different choices. However, they'd likely still include many of the classic but dated works, precisely *because* they had a substantial effect on the topic. That's good collection development practice.

But here's the thing: library books do not come (at least in terms of the catalog/physical items) with explanatory notes about why they're in the collection. There's a long list of reasons for this, but basically labelling of that kind is contrary to the ALA Library Code of Ethics, and a commitement to *not* labelling for content has been a part of the profession since the McCarthy era for some very solid reasons.

Thoughtful librarians can create finding resources and annotated lists that help direct people to recent, accurate, and the most useful titles - but those also take time to prepare and to write well. And for that kind of commentary, you'd pretty much have to read or at least skim (or read unusually detailed reviews) for every title, which is even more time consuming.

That said, there's a lot of tricks, especially in a smaller library, to direct attention toward the titles you think more people should pay attention to, and attention away from the stuff that's useful to a portion of your population, but dated or biased in less useful ways.

(Wow. That was a tour through at least three of my grad school classes, in the very short summary version.)
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Elani Temperance

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Re: "Build Us a Temple"
« Reply #64 on: May 04, 2012, 02:55:35 am »
Quote from: SeaShine;53014
I don't have much to contribute to this, other than to say that I really admire your passion & resolve.  

I wish you much success with this project - no doubt, your effort alone will greatly please the gods.

 
Thank you, SeaShine, and thank you for reading :)
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Re: "Build Us a Temple"
« Reply #65 on: May 04, 2012, 03:15:07 am »
Quote from: Katefox;52958
But a place where I could go just to meet, and hang out with other Pagans, that's something I'd be interested in.  The Cauldron's great, but somewhere I could go to have real-life Pagan discussions would be pretty sweet, too.  Bonus points if it had a Pagan library I could borrow things from. :D

 
I'm hanging this reply off of your post, KateFox, but it encompasses the rest of the library discussion as well.

I know we've spun off into 'general territory' with this discussion but it's all very helpful so please carry on :) As said in my first post, I am planning a library and while the whole complex will, of course, be a meeting ground for Pagans, the dining hall will have a seating area for coffee and such as well.

You all raise really good points about cataloging, findability of books and access to electronic literary archives, many of which I had not considered yet. It's helping me greatly in indexing how many people I should find to volunteer/hire in regards to the day-to-day running of the Temple. It's also making me consider how I should handle security for the property, not just the library.

Thank you for helping the thought process along. I'll be writing it all down when my mind has started wrapping around some issues.
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Aubrey_Rose

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Re: "Build Us a Temple"
« Reply #66 on: May 04, 2012, 08:39:26 am »
Quote from: LittleWitchMagazine;52390
Dear fellow Caudronites,

I realize we don't know each other long or well, and that is why this has taken so long to write. I need your help. Last week, I was Called to perform ritual for Hekate / Hecate. I've been Called to do this before, usually in Her capacity as a messenger of the Gods. It always means something life changing is about to happen. This time She delivered to me, in no unclear terms, one short message; "build Us a Temple".

I've been walking around with this idea for at least a month. Subtle hints had been dropped but I had not expected this. Still, these are my Gods and I will obey Their command. With honor. Still, I am terrified. I'm 26 years old and this is a major undertaking. I have a network here, in the Netherlands, I will slowly inform and I will set this in motion but I need a little... courage. And advice or help.

I come to you because I respect your judgment and, honestly, because hard polytheism isn't a very common stance on Deity in the Pagan community. Yet, I do not doubt this piece of UPG. I am not far enough into the process to give you much details but I will share what I can.

I'd like to have one large hall dedicated to the Wiccan God and Goddess because they are most popular here and a large, semi-neutral, indoor space is handy for larger festivals (especially in winter). There should be separate halls dedicated to the Celtic, Hermetic, Greek/Roman, Norse and perhaps some other pantheons at people's request (within reason). I want a large, open, library and a separate study hall as well as one or two lecture rooms which can also double as workshop rooms. There must be a kitchen, toilets and bathrooms as well as a dorm. I also want a meditation room.

I hope to build/buy in the woods so we can make one or two circles there for the Druid and Shaman folk as well as an open field for the festivals. A large vegetable and herb garden is a must. If I can in any way incorporate it, I would really like to build a labyrinth and space for all four of the elements for meditative purposes.

I have felt for years that the Pagan community needs a Temple. To get closer, to reunite. A home base for worship, knowledge, and social and religious activism (activism in the best sense of the word). It this a very positive outlook? Yes, sure, but why can't a Temple be a bridge?

At any rate, overwhelmed by my experience, I told Wickerman what happened, on Sunday and he took my experience to his wife. They have offered advice, support and very, very kindly even volunteered to donate mosaics for the floors of the halls. I have seen the work Wickerman's wife does with mosaics and it is fit for Gods, for sure.

Now, I expect nothing from you. I would appreciate advice from anyone who has ever tried an undertaking like this. Advice on how to get started, pitfalls to avoid. What should I take into account for halls of the pantheon you revere? How would your Gods best be honored? Anything is welcome. If you have any questions for me then feel free to ask. I am an open book and heck, it would be good training for the sponsors and events I will have to start organizing to get this off of the ground.

I want to build this Temple, be it a case of UPG or not. I promised it to the Gods I believe in and I will keep that promise. It will take a good few years, but it will happen. I would like your help getting there, in any way you can.

So in advance, I thank you for your words.

 
I plan to do something similar, though much less grand.
In the next 5 years we are buying property (12 acres minimum) so I can start a farm :)

In the back of the property though, somewhere in the woods I want to make a space where people can come to gather, and pray, and simply meditate if they would like.
Here in New Hampshire, we really don't have anything like it. Atleast not close to my area. Mine will probably be mostly outdoors, with a small covering for the rain.
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monsnoleedra

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Re: "Build Us a Temple"
« Reply #67 on: May 04, 2012, 09:45:14 am »
Quote from: Jenett;53039
This is a question of budget. Those academic press books? Not cheap. Database access to journals (and more or more journals are electronic only these days)? Even less so. And that's particularly true for a library that isn't associated with a known stable population.


That's one facet I do know about.  Budgets and the ever unforseen items that always come up.

I know the JSTOR database is expensive.  There are quite a few items that i'd love to get a copy of but the cost per item adds up pretty quickly.  That doesn't even touch the cost of accounts through various means or annual costs for subscriptions that also add up quickly.

It's like I know JSTOR is not one large problem but is almost comparmentilized because i've had access to some items at one place but not at another due to the way subscriptions are set up.  Then other's seem even more specific.  There's one Egyptian based JSTOR article i've been trying to get that a number of the places i've gone to do not have access to.  To get it through another place will cost me around 25 dollars last time I checked.

Then as you also mention many of the journals and articles are now only coming out in electronic format.  Which means that while more info is being released to the public the scholary write ups and research on them are getting locked behind closed doors.  BUt that is another issue.

Quote
That $2000 would buy a bunch of print items. That you would then get to use the next year, without paying for them again. (And, to complicate things: a relatively small number of people are likely to really *want* to use those academic databases, and a fair number of the ones who do might well have access through other means: a lot of public university libraries allow access from computers within their library, and some larger library systems (metro areas, for example) may also subscribe.


I wonder at times if the smaller numbers who would use it is also porportional to the users who are actually aware of it?  I know for the longest time I heard of JSTOR but didn't really know what it was or how it worked.  Then factor in the smaller programs that are more specific to a given field of study so are less well known.

For instance I found one article that dealt with some relgious and historical facets but was so narrow in scope it was only found in one smaller program.  I actually stumbled across it by accident though it pertained to an area of study dealing with ancient coins.

Quote
Many of the existing databases also are just not a great use of funds for a specialised library - the general databases (Academic Search Premier which is one of the most common ones for general use, has a lot of stuff that just isn't relevant. And again, most public libraries would have access.) I'll admit here I'm not as familiar with the religion-specific databases, but I do know a lot of them are, well, not Pagan focused.


I can see that point.  But that also raises the question, in my mind anyway, of what is Pagan focused?  Coins are not usually pagan focused for instance but give a lot of collaterial support to cult locations, time frames, imagery, etc.  Sometimes helping to prove the existence of a cult temple / sanctuary in a given area or disprove it.
 
Quote
This is one of the things librarians do go to school to learn. (And in fact, I've written papers and done presentations to other people's classes about collection development for minority religious groups. It's *hard*.)


May sound crazy but i'd think that beneficial to even ones own home library.

Quote
If it's a resource for "People in our local Pagan community", people are going to come into the library with different needs. Just as a public library provides biographies, children's books, romances, Christian inspirational titles, and audio books, a Pagan library that's claiming to serve a widely ranging geographic spread should be offering a wide range of titles - and that should include those where, say, the history is lousy, but the rituals are useful, or titles that are widely requested, recognised, or discussed.


I agree there.  I'd say that is where classification really becomes critical along with placement.

Quote
But here's the thing: library books do not come (at least in terms of the catalog/physical items) with explanatory notes about why they're in the collection. There's a long list of reasons for this, but basically labelling of that kind is contrary to the ALA Library Code of Ethics, and a commitement to *not* labelling for content has been a part of the profession since the McCarthy era for some very solid reasons.


Ah, Old Senator Joseph McCarthy it's amazing the things he acutally caused in his hunt for communist hiding everywhere.

Quote
Thoughtful librarians can create finding resources and annotated lists that help direct people to recent, accurate, and the most useful titles - but those also take time to prepare and to write well. And for that kind of commentary, you'd pretty much have to read or at least skim (or read unusually detailed reviews) for every title, which is even more time consuming.


I'd think that would be a full time job of its own.  Especially if the library is actively purchasing new items or receving items via donations.  That doesn't even touch upon the process of checking out those donations to see if they are useful to the library, then cateloging and recording those items that are.

I've seen some public libraries that have boxes of books just sitting waiting to be processed.  Saw one that had rooms full of them, some processed, some processed and waiting to be sold off and some waiting to be intergrated into the library's collection.

Quote
That said, there's a lot of tricks, especially in a smaller library, to direct attention toward the titles you think more people should pay attention to, and attention away from the stuff that's useful to a portion of your population, but dated or biased in less useful ways.


Even that process i'd think requires a lot of man-hours to create, catalog and develope.  Something that would be an ongoing process, requiring updates at a minimum of monthly in large libraries to semi-annualy in slow libraries.

Quote
(Wow. That was a tour through at least three of my grad school classes, in the very short summary version.)


A tour I thank you for as it brough to light some things I had not really considered.

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Re: "Build Us a Temple"
« Reply #68 on: May 04, 2012, 10:16:27 am »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;53078

I know the JSTOR database is expensive.  There are quite a few items that i'd love to get a copy of but the cost per item adds up pretty quickly.  That doesn't even touch the cost of accounts through various means or annual costs for subscriptions that also add up quickly.


Yep. (And I should probably explain, here, for people going "How does this work?"

JSTOR is a particular database that includes a wide variety of academic journals in the humanities and social sciences (and some other areas). One of the things that's awesome about it is that it generally includes the entire run of the journal back to the first volume, which is an amazing resource if you're doing research on something that happened or was discovered or whatever during the time the journal was published.

There are a variety of different modules for it: if a library has a subscription and they're a public library or a smaller academic library (especially at an undergrad only institution), they're likely to only have the basic ones. Larger research libraries may have others - but which ones will depend on what their specific programmes are.

The other trick is that most of the time, there's a delay between when an article comes out, and when it's available in the databases - this can be between 6 months and about 5 years, depending on the journal and their licensing agreements. (This is true for lots of databases; it's not unique to JSTOR).

So, it's possible to do a search (and JSTOR articles show up in web searches too), and then have to figure out how to find the article. The good way to do this is to go have a chat with your friendly local library and ask them about interlibrary loan.

(How this works depends on your library: some public libraries charge a small fee for it - it's usually about $2-5 if they do). Some college and university libraries - especially if they're state schools or the only college or research institution for a fair distance - will have community member cards for somewhere between free and $100 a year that sometimes include at least some ILL access, as well as other benefits like being able to check out books.

The school I work at now, it's free. At the University of Minnesota, it's a $75 friends of the library membership which doesn't include ILL - but most people would have access to a public library who could pretty easily because of the way the MN library networks work.)

One thing I used to do in Minnesota was to go into the UofM every few months, browse through their collection, and then go play with their databases and see what new things turned up. (And again, lots of schools will provide some community access on site - access from home is a lot more complicated and expensive licensing-wise.)

Quote

Then as you also mention many of the journals and articles are now only coming out in electronic format.  Which means that while more info is being released to the public the scholary write ups and research on them are getting locked behind closed doors.  BUt that is another issue.


There's also a growing movement toward open access journals, too - it's going to be interesting to see how that shakes out in the next couple of years. (And that's something where it's very field dependent: the tech and some science and library fields are all talking about open access issues fairly frequently, but other fields not so much.)

Quote

I wonder at times if the smaller numbers who would use it is also porportional to the users who are actually aware of it?  I know for the longest time I heard of JSTOR but didn't really know what it was or how it worked.  Then factor in the smaller programs that are more specific to a given field of study so are less well known.


This is part of why I really need to go back and work on the Better Pagan Research book - you're right that a lot of people don't know about the resources available to them. But at the same time, there's no really good way to share bunches of that information: we get a go at students in college (or sometimes, parents who have a child in college, who go "Hey, tell me more about this cool thing!")

But public libraries have limited staffing and a lot of other things they're trying to do (and proportionately, a fairly small number of people interested in complex research, compared to the number who want story hours for children or pleasure reading or where to find the cookbooks or how to use a computer to apply for a job/do their taxes/whatever.)

And academic libraries - even like the one I work in, which has an extremely strong community commitment - we can't go out and search out people and say "Hey, let us tell you this stuff!" We're glad to help people who come in and ask, but we also have limits on how we can promote our services to people who don't start the process themselves (both because we've got bunches of other things to do serving our primary audience - the students and faculty and staff - and because we have limits on how we could spend money for advertising, or how much time we could reasonably take from other duties.)

But anyway, there is a dearth of resources out there for people who'd like to do better research, or deeper research, but where it's not in the handful of topics where more help exists. (There are tons of genealogy research instruction resources. There's a bunch of consumer health and medical tools. There's a bunch of business/investment/etc. tools. But beyond that? Much much less.)

For instance I found one article that dealt with some relgious and historical facets but was so narrow in scope it was only found in one smaller program.  I actually stumbled across it by accident though it pertained to an area of study dealing with ancient coins.

Quote

I can see that point.  But that also raises the question, in my mind anyway, of what is Pagan focused?  Coins are not usually pagan focused for instance but give a lot of collaterial support to cult locations, time frames, imagery, etc.  Sometimes helping to prove the existence of a cult temple / sanctuary in a given area or disprove it.


True - but that gets into entirely specialised resources, and it's something that not all Pagans would be interested in, either. (At that point, I think it's probably more useful to start going off to serious hobbyist groups with good documentation, personally.)
 

Quote

I'd think that would be a full time job of its own.  Especially if the library is actively purchasing new items or receving items via donations.  That doesn't even touch upon the process of checking out those donations to see if they are useful to the library, then cateloging and recording those items that are.


Yes. (And a lot of donations are really entirely unuseful to the library other than as contributions to their book sales. Whole other topic there...)

But yes, keeping materials updated is complicated. Most places are on a once a year or twice a year rotation with them, generally, just because trying to keep up with tons of new materials just doesn't work well. (And it can be sort of mind-boggling for the librarian)

Honestly, though, most places, this is something people do tucked in among other duties - my previous job, I did it in 10-15 minute segments between helping with student questions (everything from "The copier isn't working" to research needs). My current job's a little easier, but we split it up by departments, so I'm only responsible for a handful of resources.

I've seen some public libraries that have boxes of books just sitting waiting to be processed.  Saw one that had rooms full of them, some processed, some processed and waiting to be sold off and some waiting to be intergrated into the library's collection.

 

Even that process i'd think requires a lot of man-hours to create, catalog and develope.  Something that would be an ongoing process, requiring updates at a minimum of monthly in large libraries to semi-annualy in slow libraries.



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Mac Gobhann

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Re: "Build Us a Temple"
« Reply #69 on: May 06, 2012, 12:44:58 am »
Quote from: LittleWitchMagazine;52390

 
You have full support here! Pagans should get a massive temple full of the Gods and Goddesses with ancient scriptures, somewhere in the wild near springs...oh if only..

Elani Temperance

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Re: "Build Us a Temple"
« Reply #70 on: May 07, 2012, 06:09:44 am »
Quote from: Aubrey_Rose;53075
I plan to do something similar, though much less grand.
In the next 5 years we are buying property (12 acres minimum) so I can start a farm :)

In the back of the property though, somewhere in the woods I want to make a space where people can come to gather, and pray, and simply meditate if they would like.
Here in New Hampshire, we really don't have anything like it. Atleast not close to my area. Mine will probably be mostly outdoors, with a small covering for the rain.

 
This sounds like a wonderful idea :) I wish you much luck with your endeavor and I'm sure groups in your vicinity will find great use for a ritual space!
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Elani Temperance

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Re: "Build Us a Temple"
« Reply #71 on: May 07, 2012, 06:10:31 am »
Quote from: Mac Gobhann;53198
You have full support here! Pagans should get a massive temple full of the Gods and Goddesses with ancient scriptures, somewhere in the wild near springs...oh if only..

 

Working on it ;) Come visit when it's up, alright?
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Utusitusi

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Re: "Build Us a Temple"
« Reply #72 on: July 06, 2012, 08:22:15 am »
Quote from: Elani Temperance;53376


I wonder if it would help to talk to some leaders of actual convents/churches.

While I am aware they're supported by public funding and the Catholic Church (Kerfabriek in Belgium), wouldn't they have some kind of survival plan or business model?
At least, how to handle things like insurance (for the open convents that provide retreat space), general cost of living (heating, water, space rental)  could be discussed.

I don't know.
Still, once the Temple exists and if space is provided for Kemetic Deities, I'll be happy to visit.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 05:49:39 pm by SunflowerP »

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