Win Tickets to Punch Brothers, Loudon Wainwright III

The latest contest from the Libraries and Texas Performing Arts to promote TPA’s 2010-2011 season offers the chance of a night of American acoustic music in a rare double-bill, featuring Punch Brothers and Loudon Wainwright III.

Punch Brothers – featuring mandolin prodigy Chris Thile – have been likened to “what might be called American country-classical chamber music,” by the New York Times. Thile’s rise from virtuoso to Grammy-winning member of Nickel Creek has made him a sought-after commodity; Punch Brothers is the latest waypoint in what will likely prove to be a storied career.

Loudon Wainwright (father of Martha, Lucy and Rufus) has been a mainstay in the folk community for forty years with over 20 albums to date, including two Grammy nominations. And when he’s not playing music, he’s playing roles in films like The Aviator, Big Fish, and The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

The show takes place at Bass Concert Hall, September 10, 2010, at 8pm.

To enter, visit the Libraries Research and Win Contest #4 page and fill out a brief questionnaire.

Entries must be received by 11:59pm on Wednesday, May 12. One winner will be chosen randomly from the correct responses and announced on Twitter and Facebook on Thursday, May 13.

Nobel Laureate and UT Alum J.M. Coetzee Speaks

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On May 5, Nobel Prize winning author J.M. Coetzee, who earned a Ph.D. degree in 1969 from The University of Texas at Austin, will be speaking at the LBJ Auditorium as part of the Centennial Celebration of the Office of Graduate Studies.

An acclaimed novelist, academic, and literary critic, Coetzee is one of the university’s most distinguished alumni.  Said to be influenced by his own personal history of growing up in South Africa, Coetzee writes with strong anti-imperialist feelings. He has published 13 books, including The Life and Times of Michael K in 1983 and Disgrace in 1999. Both books were awarded the Booker Prize, making him the first author to be given the award twice. His novel Waiting for the Barbarians was adapted into an opera composed by Philip Glass.

The event runs from 6-7:30 pm.  Click here for more information about this free event and to RSVP.

Check out J.M. Coetzee’s work at the Libraries.

Meghan Sitar is Instruction & Outreach Librarian for the University of Texas Libraries.

(Cross-posted at News for Undergraduates)

FAL Exhibit Explores an Explorer

The Fine Arts Library is hosting an exhibition tracking the life and work of Colonel Leo Bond Roberts, an Army civil engineer who traveled extensively in his capacity for the military, taking photographs and collecting ephemera and artifacts from his travels throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

An opening reception takes place from 5-7 p.m., Friday, May 7, in the Roberts Reading Room of the Fine Arts Library. The exhibit will be on view through July.

The exhibit includes materials from all phases of Roberts’ life: childhood, college years, officer during World War I, topographer and explorer during the 1920s and 30s, civil engineer, military engineer and planner during World War II and chief engineer of the Jones Beach Marine Theater on Long Island, NY.

Photographs, publications, military awards, African masks, and lantern slides of travels in the Gobi Desert and in Ethiopia will be on display with many other items from Roberts’s travels.

Items in the exhibition were generously donated to the Fine Arts Library by Roberts’s daughter-in-law, Jan J. Roberts.

If you would like to attend the opening reception, please RSVP to Eve McQuade at emcquade@austin.utexas.edu or call 512-495-4363.

Ornette Coleman Tickets Up for Grabs

Ornette_ColemanWorking to help promote the 2010-11 season for Texas Performing Arts, the Libraries are holding their second contest for tickets to see Fort Worth native and jazz legend Ornette Coleman at 8pm on November 18, 2010, at Bass Concert Hall.

To enter, visit the Libraries Survey Monkey questionnaire page and answer a few questions for your chance to win.

Entries must be received by 11:59pm on Wednesday, April 28. One winner will be chosen randomly from the correct responses and announced on Twitter and Facebook on Thursday, April 29. The winner will be contacted by email as well.

One entry per person, please.

A Quick One, For Tickets to Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan. Photo by Ken Light.
Author/food activist Michael Pollan. Photo by Ken Light.

Texas Performing Arts is partnering with the Libraries to publicize its 2010-11 season, and as part of that campaign, we will occasionally announce contests through our Facebook and Twitter feeds (so become a fan or follow us to get a head start).

Today marks the announcement of the first contest, a “Research and Win” opportunity for two tickets to “An Evening with Michael Pollan” on December 10, 2010, at Bass Concert Hall.

To enter, head over to the contest page and fill out the brief questionnaire for your chance to win. Contest ends at 11:59pm tonight (Wednesday, April 21).

“Memories” on a rebound

BrainAfter a brief postponement due to illness, this “memorable” Science Study Break (SSB) is back on the schedule!

Tuesday, April 27, SSB welcomes Dr. Alison Preston from the Center for Learning and Memory to discuss how our brains form and recall memories working from film references in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Memento, and from television’s “Dollhouse.”

The event begins at 6pm in Painter Hall, 4.42, and, as always, features lively discussion and light snacks.

Science Study Break is a regular gathering hosted by the Life Science Library that uses entertainment education to examine the reality and fantasy portrayed as fact in science-themed television and movies. Programs feature expert university faculty presenting brief lectures and engaging in informal discussions with attendees.

Book Clubs with Real Books

booksI love books.  I mean real books, the ones that I can open with my hands.  One of the joys of working in a library is being surrounded by millions of books.  Just for the record I like audio books also.  However, e-books are not as appealing to me.  I know they are “the future,” but I believe we still have a good hundred years or so with the real thing.  It is hard to imagine The Library of Congress being obsolete!

What made me think about books, the real thing, recently (not that I don’t think about books everyday when I walk pass several hundred thousand…lucky me) was an article about the World’s Largest Book Club.  Wow!  Who joins real book clubs anymore?  Well apparently there are thousands of folks who do.  So I began to think, do I know anyone who is in a real book club?  I can’t think of any one.  Everyone I think of belongs to some online, social media driven, book site.

Well it is exciting to see folks gathering, real gathering, just to discuss books.  Kathy Patrick in Jefferson County, Texas, started the Pulpwood Queens Book Club (featured recently in the Texas Observer).  Kathy’s husband, Jay, UT alum – class of 1986 – has created an equivalent group for men called Timber Guys.  I’d like to know what the next book on the Timber Guys list is?

I wonder if in 10 or 15 years will book club members bring their iPads, nooks, Kindles, iPhones or whatever these devices become to their book club meetings.  Do you belong to a book club?  Let me know.

UT Libraries and data storage needs for the future

storage_imageAs more and more information goes digital, the questions around the storage of all this data grow ever more important. UT Libraries is working on that question through its participation in a key university-wide initiative: the ITS Central Data Storage project committee. As the Associate Director for Digital Initiatives, I represent UT Libraries on this committee, which is working to cost-effectively expand centralized data storage services for the whole campus.

First, a little background on digital storage: In 1991 the cost of a megabyte was about $13.00 and the largest drive you could buy held about 270 megabytes. Since then we have seen the cost of a megabyte decline steadily up till today when the average consumer can now purchase 1,058,576 megabytes (aka 1 terabyte) for $99.00, reducing the cost of 1 megabyte of storage to less than a penny.

So, how many megabytes does UT buy every year? Continue reading

A Memorable Study Break—POSTPONED

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This Science Study Break has been postponed. Check back in the coming days for new details. Apologies for any inconvenience.

The Life Science Library has upped the pace of its notable Science Study Break (SSB) series in order to add to a “memorable” Research Week.

Tomorrow night (4/13), SSB welcomes Dr. Alison Preston from the Center for Learning and Memory to discuss how our brains form and recall memories working from film references in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Memento, and from television’s “Dollhouse.”

The fun takes place at 6pm in Painter Hall, 4.42, and, as always, features lively discussion and light snacks.

Science Study Break uses entertainment education to examine the reality and fantasy portrayed as fact in science-themed television and movies. Programs feature expert university faculty presenting brief lectures and engaging in informal discussions with attendees.

Libraries’ Fair returns

research-week-POSTER-2010_smAfter a successful turn last year, the Libraries are bringing back the Libraries’ Fair on the plaza at the Perry-Castañeda Library as its contribution to Research Week 2010.

The ten campus branches of the University of Texas Libraries will converge at the PCL to provide a one-stop shop for students to drop by and learn about resources and services available to them across the campus. Staff from the libraries will be on hand to answer questions, and booths will feature games for prizes and food provided by Cornucopia Popcorn Creations and Prufrock’s Java City.

The Fair saw great success in its first installment last year, attracting roughly one thousand attendees and generating increased awareness for services and study space around campus. Again this year, the Fair has been scheduled to coincide with the Longhorn Research Bazaar across the street at Gregory Gym, providing students the chance to get information about undergraduate research opportunities at the university, as well as the resources behind that research, all within the distance of a stone’s throw.

Research Week is a campus-wide celebration of undergraduate research and creative activity. It unites existing programs, events and activities that showcase undergraduate research and creative activity and highlights the many research opportunities available to students.