Richard K. Nelson

Richard K. Nelson, a remarkable Alaskan, passed away on Monday, November 4th, 2019.  I never met the man, but I’ve been touched by his work for over forty years, ever since I read Hunters of the Northern Ice and Hunters of the Northern Forest in 1975.  He was an anthropologist originally from Wisconsin, and what he learned and experienced in researching his Alaskan ethnographies changed his life forever.  He eventually settled in Sitka, wrote books (including the meditative The Island Within), participated in a five-part video series accompanying Make Prayers to the Raven, and literally found his voice in creating the radio program Encounters, “A program of observations, experiences, and reflections on the world around us.”  His deep knowledge, optimism, and enthusiasm come through so clearly, as does the sound of whatever subject his parabolic microphone was capturing while he recorded his episodes in the field, be it polar bears, sandhill cranes, whales, or even — during visits to Australia — wombats.

Here are a few of Nelson’s works in the Consortium Library:

ALASKA E99.E7 N43 1969
Hunters of the Northern Ice

ALASKA E99.K84 N44 1973
Hunters of the Northern Forest: Designs for Survival Among the Alaskan Kutchin

ALASKA GN21.N45 A3 1989
The Island Within

ALASKA E99.K79 N44 1983
Make Prayers to the Raven: A Koyukon View of the Northern Forest

ALASKA QL765.N45 2005
Encounters: Radio Experiences in the North (6 CDs)

The video series Make Prayers to the Raven can be borrowed on 2 DVDs from other Alaska libraries in our system.  But you can also listen to 108 Encounters episodes simply by going here:

https://www.encountersnorth.org/listen-index

We’re lucky to have such an audio archive available: a few minutes with Richard Nelson can inform and brighten your life, and help you better appreciate the Alaska that is all around us.

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Consortium Library Award

The Consortium Library Award for Undergraduate Research recognizes and honors an undergraduate research paper or project that demonstrates significant use of the Library’s collections or services. You can apply for this award for a project that you completed within the current or prior three semesters (spring, summer, and fall). The committee accepts applications from the Monday after Thanksgiving to the Monday after spring break.
This academic year, those dates are December 2, 2019 to March 16, 2020.
For more information, please see the Consortium Library Award guide: https://libguides.consortiumlibrary.org/award.

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Citing Sources in APA, MLA and CMS

Some of the most frequently used citation styles at UAA happen to be APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Assocation) and CMS (Chicago Manual of Style). If you are asked to cite your sources in any of these formats, you can refer to the abbreviated online style guides found in the Citing Sources Guide on the Consortium Library Website. The style guides are on the second tab called Citation Styles. Remember, when you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you need to cite the source, using either parenthetical documentation or a footnote. If you are stumped you can always get help from a librarian.

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Writing Tutoring in the Library

Are you looking for some help with a writing assignment.  Good news, the Library has a partnership with the Learning Commons Writing Center to provide tutors during evenings and weekends.

Hours in the Library:

Writing Tutors available in Rm 210:  Mon – Thurs,  6-9pm and Sat – Sun 12-5pm

Additional tutoring services are available in the Learning Commons and online via Live Homework Help

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Are you looking for an overview and analysis of issues in the news?

Could you use unbiased reports that have been footnoted and fact checked, and include pro and con viewpoints? Try CQ Researcher for in-depth reports and “Hot Topics” that cover health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. As an example, this week’s featured report is on College costs: Does a four-year degree still deliver value?

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Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia–Great for the Basics

For background information and general biology of animals, try Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia, one of our many ebook reference sources.  Arranged in taxonomic order in 17 volumes, the encyclopedia provides information about distribution, reproduction, habitat, behavior, and much more.  And best of all, it’s online!

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Hey, Mr. DJ, Put A Record On….

If you’ve ever wanted to delve into a particular piece of music, there’s nothing like a good guide to give you context and show you what to look for. We have any number of titles on individual works, such as Avatar of Modernity: The Rite of Spring Reconsidered (M1520.S9 A82 2013) and Who Should Sing Ol’ Man River? (ML410.K385 D44 2015), but it often helps to have a series dedicated to explaining music in a standard format.  One of the best is the Cambridge Music Handbook series; we have 44 of them covering such diverse works as Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons (ML410.V82 E84 1996), Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (ML410.G288 S27 1997), and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5; search in the catalog for Cambridge Music Handbooks and they should all come up. There’s even one for The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (ML421.B4 M66 1997), although that’s an exception to the generally classical works covered by the series.

Another good series is Unlocking the Masters by David Hurwitz; this listener-friendly series focuses on works by the same composer rather than being book-length treatments of individual pieces. Each book comes with a CD featuring works used as examples in the text. We have two of them: The Mahler Symphonies: An Owner’s Manual (ML410.M23 H86 2004) and Sibelius: The Orchestral Music: An Owner’s Manual (MT92.S63 H87 2007). There are another twelve or so titles in the series—including Shostakovich, Dvorak, Handel, and others—and I expect to get more of them in the future.

Finally, there’s an excellent book called Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa. Haruki Murakami, a well-known Japanese author (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and others), had lengthy and very insightful conversations with the famous conductor. While we don’t have a copy in the Consortium Library, Anchorage Public Libraries does. It’s very enjoyable and well worth reading.

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SLED for all Alaskans

SLED, Alaska’s Information Dividend, is a free resource available to all Alaska residents. Paid for by the University of Alaska and the Alaska State Library, SLED (Statewide Library Electronic Doorway) offers access to a plethora of databases and other sources covering many different topics.

Here’s just a sample:
Live Homework Help (tutors available to help students with a variety of subjects)
Learning Express (practice tests, career prep, and info for more than 4,000 schools)
Heritage Quest Online (genealogy resources)
Alaska’s Digital Archives (historical photos and more from AK museums and libraries)
Auto Repair, Hobbies & Crafts, Home Improvement, Small Engine Repair (DIY resources)

 

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Terra Non Firma

It was easier to believe in solid ground before it became common knowledge that the Earth is a sphere with tectonic plates rafting over molten rock; unlike the popular myth, not even turtles go all the way down.  It’s been nearly 4 months since the November 30th earthquake, yes, but also 55 years since the 1964 quake.  There are those who have become hypersensitive to every slight jolt and quiver, whose home pages have changed — perhaps permanently — from the innocuous Kitten War to the Alaska aftershocks website, now measuring the anxieties of their lives not in Prufrock’s coffee spoons, but in logarithmic fractions they never paid much attention to before.

And why not?  To my mind, this particular local zeitgeist was best captured by Louise Juhnke 54 years ago. The Anchorage Times was the recorder of daily Anchorage history from 1916 to the day its doors closed in 1992 (joined in the late 1940s by the Anchorage Daily News), and one editorial page feature was called Poet’s Corner (or, depending on the day’s typesetter, Poets’ Corner or just plain Poets Corner).  On March 27th, 1965, on the exact anniversary, her poem March Jitters was published; it applies just as much to the aftermath of 2018 as to that of 1964.  For decades, the only way to find that poem would have been by looking at frame after frame of microfilm, or by choosing the right Times clippings notebook from among thousands.  But as of last October — just in time for the November 30th earthquake, if anyone had known to look for it — March Jitters and the rest of the Anchorage Times became fully available online back to 1916 — amazing.  Those thousands of clippings notebooks were replaced by searchable full-page scans of the Times: a local historian’s dream for many decades.

It’s easy to repurpose popular songs as unintended earthquake anthems:  All Shook Up, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On, I Feel The Earth Move.  You can also find in the Times that John Hartford, composer of Gentle On My Mind, performed in Midtown at Grand Central Station on May 5th, 1984.  It was a little over 20 years after the ’64 quake when he sang California Earthquake: “Mother Nature’s got gas, her diet’s gone stale / …acid indigestion on the Richter Scale…”  To say the least.  (http://tinyurl.com/y26kqcsj)

Most people between 3 and 4 feet tall in pre-Star Trek 1964 were watching a science fiction puppet show called Fireball XL5 on that Good Friday (the Exxon Valdez spill also occurred on Good Friday and November 30th was also a Friday — what is it with Fridays and major disasters in Alaska?)  Here, we need to switch to the Anchorage Daily News database (which began in 1985) to find that Robert Gottstein hosted a Fireball XL5 party at the 4th Avenue Theater on the 40th anniversary of the ’64 quake in 2004: everyone concerned remembered Colonel Steve Zodiac and his crew.  You can find episodes (and the remarkably romantic theme song for its target age group) on Youtube.  (http://tinyurl.com/qfhjcqe offers a short sample.)

You’ll find plenty of Alaska earthquake books in the QE 535 call number area, but it was only in 2017 that the best popular book about the 1964 quake and how it changed the understanding of all earthquakes was published, The Great Quake by Henry Fountain. (ALASKA QE535.2.U6 F65 2017)  For photographs, a good place to look is Alaska’s Digital Archives (https://vilda.alaska.edu); I don’t see any for the November 30th earthquake yet, but it’s just a matter of time.

Yet for all of our own seismological woes, I still think from time to time of those poor people in Chile in 1960. (https://santiagotimes.cl/?p=69068)  Our 2018 earthquake lasted up to a couple of minutes, depending on where you were; think the first two verses of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven.  (http://tinyurl.com/o9x4u5x)  The 1964 earthquake lasted about four and a half minutes; think a little over half of Stairway To Heaven, up to the words about the May Queen.  But Chile?  Think Stairway To Heaven, and then play the first two verses over again. Ten minutes is a lot of rock and roll.

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