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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Soft stillness and the night become the touches of sweet harmony*

An 80.4/100.  Could have been better, could have been a LOT worse--but at least my Cataloging midterm is over.  Beaucoups of Management classwork and reading await.  I can stop sweating LS502 for the time being. 

I had two perfect out of the ten.  Except for one of the remaining eight, where I took the totally wrong approach, I was making mostly MARC coding errors or had minor corrections on Cutter or call numbers.  Not too shabby overall.  Can't say I didn't earn every point. Now there WAS the issue of the timeclock, which shorted me 40 minutes.  It happened to others, too.  In situations like that, you take the test as best you can, contact the prof and hope for the best.  The only thing is I'll have to be just about perfect from here on out to the final to get an A--but in the back of my mind is "any shade of improvement will be a better B". UPDATE:  my final grade on the midterm was a sterling 87.2%.  Never mind that the class average was 91%. There is much rejoicing in the De Kok household.

Let me tell you about the MLA workshop I attended on Friday.

The MLA to which I refer is Music Library Association, Atlantic Chapter, which had its annual meeting at Princeton University in New Jersey.  The morning meeting was devoted to a pre-conference presentation on a relatively new cataloging system called RDA.  A librarian from the University of Maryland (who admitted that she didn't use it at her library) showed us how subject access worked, how MARC codes were significantly different, even how punctuation changes from LCSH to RDA, using audio recordings as a starting point.  I don't imagine that we'll be dealing with audio recordings in LS502 class, but it at least gave me an excellent point of reference going into the last half of this class. 

After lunch at the student center, I attended a session on what the University of Pennsylvania Library was doing to modernize their online catalog; a session on Kaltura (an online video platform) given by the head of Princeton U. Productions; an "RDA-Lite" session; and a presentation from Princeton U Musical Society using photos and documents from their archives focusing on the early (Woodrow Wilson era) years of the Society.

The highlight of the day was an organ recital at the University Chapel by the University's organist, Eric Plutz.  I don't really have superlatives for what I heard.  Magnificent just doesn't seem enough.
From his transcription of "Procession of the Nobles" to the great JS Bach Passacaglia in c and works by Vierne and DuPre, His command of the music and that enormous "piece of furniture" (his words) reminded us all what a great art we serve.

Onward and upward.


*--from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Act V, Scene 1.  It's also the closing text to one of the 20th century's crowning achievements in choral music, Ralph Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music.
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