Sunday, September 2, 2007

Welcome students back, Evan's book, Westcott House

A busy, gratifying week..........classes started Monday, Aug. 27th, and we hosted a Library welcome-back with lemonade and cookies Wednesday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The big hit this year is plastice ice cubes with a changing, colored light! Activated by two metal tabs on the bottom, it lasts up to 60 hours. I'd seen them at a conference, and Peggy was able to order them with "Denison Library" printed on top. Wayyyy cool.

Friday Louis and I drove to Springfield/Yellow Springs, Ohio for a celebratory dinner with our dear friend and mentor, Evan Ira Farber, College Librarian Emeritus at Earlham College and the modern father of library instruction. The book is a compilation of his writings over a 45 year career, including some important unpublished works. The project started in 2003 when I conducted an oral history with Evan about his life, ideas, and achievements. Pulling together the publication from so many excellent possibilities was a huge task, and fortunately, David Gansz, then Director of Wilmington College's library, took that on. The final piece of the puzzle was getting it published, which Earlham's current library director and premier Evan protoge, Tom Kirk, achieved through the Earlham Press. It's an important contribution to the professional literature, and we're all just thrilled with it. The celebration in Yellow Spring, OH (home of Antioch College and half-way between Granville and Richmond, Indiana where Earlham is) included Evan, Tom and Betsey Kirk, David and Regan Gansz, Louis and I. A highlight of the decade.

We took time in the afternoon to visit a newly restored Frank Lloyd Wright home in Springfield, OH. Ohio's only FLW prairie-style house, Westcott House was built on Springfield's millionaires' row, High St., in the first decade of the 20th century for an industrialist and early auto manufacturer and his wife. The street and the house eventually fell on hard times. Westcott house was broken up into apartments for decades and suffered terrible structural damage, until the FLW Conversancy bought it in 2000 and subsequently sold it to a local foundation. The foundation spent $5.8 million and 4 years to restore it. There was also LOTS of volunteer time, expertise, and in-kind donations, explaining the relatively low cost of such a massive project. The street is also coming back now, thanks to a wildly successful Cincinnati financier who remembered his home town in his substantial will.

With hesitation I say that "things will settle down a bit" this week, because with the second week of classes there's a semblance of routine. Probably won't be too calm, though, if life goes on with its usual pace......Fine by me.

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