Dr. Drew's Infrequent Blog

18 February 2006

Meeting Manoa's elected officials

I frequently post about different happenings in town that I'd like to attend. Often though, like tonight's Kronos Quartet concert and most of this weekend's Jewish Film Festival, I simply don't have time attend.

This morning, though, I was determined to participate in the Town Meeting at Noelani Elementary School with State Senator Brian Taniguchi, Honolulu Councilmember Ann Koboyashi and State Representative Kirk Caldwell. U.S. Congressman Neil Abercrombie also came as a welcome surprise guest.

I went to thank the legislators for their support of the expansion plans for Manoa Public Library. Representative Caldwell read my comment / question card. At least one other attendee voiced support of the renovation plans.

The Lyon Arboretum was the main issue on the agenda. Manoa Vice Chancellor Ostrander seemed to please the crowd - which included many LA volunteers - with his plans. Property tax was another key point. Senator Taniguchi did a nice job of explaining budget issues. Council member Koboyashi pleased the crowd with a proposal to redo the way property tax is determined.

In terms of my own thoughts... I enjoy participating in "democracy in action," but wish a few audience members had been more economical with their comment time. Thankfully, Rep. Caldwell did a great job of moderating; trying to make sure that everyone could hear; and saw to it that we ended almost exactly on time. Caldwell also impressed me by his strong support for public financing of campaigns, tied with campaign spending limits. Abercrombie also had some visionary comments about affordable housing, light rail, communities, and an impassioned explanation of the problems facing No Child Left Behind -- including the importance of school librarians!!

I wish my students had attended, as this is the kind of democratic process librarians need to be engaged in. I am truly impressed with the vision, intelligence, and courage of these elected leaders. Perhaps I am still a naive malihini (newcomer), but after having lived in several different locales, and meeting many politicians, I was very impressed.

I talked with them afterwards, and personally thanked Taniguchi and Caldwell on behalf of the Friends of Manoa Library. I also enjoyed meeting Abercrombie, and praised his efforts on behalf of human rights. He wrote one of the strongest letters in response to our Amnesty International Student Chapter campaign to pass the anti-Torture Bill.

17 February 2006

Daven Hee @ Bibelot

One of my favorite ceramic artists will do a show at a cute gallery in Kaimuki. The exhibit is of Daven Hee's work, and is called "My Own Little Planet: Sovenirs from My World." I wonder if this is more of his Kikaida-like sculptures, which are fun, or the more bizen-like usable things I love. Either is a treat. It will be from 3-31 March at Bibelot Gallery (1130 Koko Head Ave., Suite 2, TEL 738.03.68). This is in Kaimuki, above the post office -- roughly between the Kaimuki Library and Coffee Talk. Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat: 11 am - 5 pm (closed SUN, MON, TUE).

I have an interview for another position...

I should pass on the news that I've applied for a teaching position at another university, much closer to Noriko. One of my reasons for coming to the University of Hawaii was that I hoped we could also recruit my wife to the faculty. Her research on Japanese language and Japanese American history would be an ideal contribution here. UH Press even published her book, which partly deals with how the Territory of Hawaii suppressed Japanese language schools around World War I. Alas, UH does not have a spousal hire program, and there has not been an appropriate opening in the last three years. ICS Department Chair Crosby, LIS Program Chair Knuth and Vice Chancellor Smatresk have all made a renewed effort to place her, but there has been no news on that front.

Since coming to Hawaii, I've been encouraged to apply for several positions, but did not (except for this position -- and one other position at a Japanese university that Noriko also applied for) because I really love teaching here (students, colleagues, staff, alumni) as well as living in Manoa.

I was just invited for a campus visit early next month at this other research university. Their teaching position is ideal for me in terms of research and teaching areas. I also already know and respect many of the professors there, so it would be a natural position for me. This school has great colleagues on campus, amazing used bookstores, libraries, cafes, and even a small music scene in town. I've heard great things about the students as well. And yes, it is a manageable trip to see Noriko some weekends.

Nothing is a done deal. I assume they will have several candidates, and, if offered, we would have several points to negotiate. I thought that I should mention this to my students since a few of you might want to make extra efforts to finish incompletes and other projects in case I do leave.

In other news, I was pleased to hear that my panel (with Noriko and Shinshu University Professor Wada) was accepted at the SHARP 2006 conference, which will take place this summer at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands) in The Hague. It will be Noriko’s first trip to Europe, and my first time in over a decade. I’m excited about the trip and interdisciplinary conference (including keynote speakers Robert Darnton and Peter Kornicki).

16 February 2006


This is the 100th anniversary of the birth of my favorite composer, Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH. BBC Radio 3 will be playing a good deal of his works. You can catch them using the BBC Radio Player as well as some wonderful links. The 13 February Performance on 3 program had an excellent concert of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 12, The Year 1917, and Symphony No. 13, Babi Yar (featuring Yevtushenko's poem) by the BBC Philharmonic (Vassily Sinaisky, cond.).

13 February 2006

Calls for Papers: Library Technology NOW!

Calling LIS tech - folks (and LIS blogger friends), I just received this Call for Papers from Library Technology NOW :

Library Technology NOW is currently seeking queries for its Spring 2006 Theme of “New Web Technologies”. This theme will cover the following topics: Blogs, RSS, Podcasting, and Content Management Systems. Library Technology NOW features peer-reviewed product reviews written by library people for library people. Interested parties should send a short 500 word query including the planned products to review and the criteria used in reviewing the products. The query should also include a brief biographical sketch including any previous writing experience. For examples of previous articles, please refer to the Library Technology NOW website. All queries are due to Library Technology NOW by March 1 for the April release. Please send submissions to Deborah Duke at dduke@fortworthlibrary.org or fill out the online query form.

About LTN
Library Technology NOW! was founded in early 2004 by the North Texas Regional Library System’s Technology Committee and the Automation and Technology Round Table of the Texas Library Association. Other partners include Texas Woman’s Univ., Univ. of North Texas, Texas A&M Kingsville and Univ. of Texas at Arlington. Diane Neal, Web Producer, Library Technology NOW

12 February 2006

Manoa Legislative Town Meeting

I received a postcard that Senator Brian Taniguchi, Councilmember Ann Koboyashi and Representative Kirk Caldwell will have a Legislative Town Meeting at Noelani School Library on SAT. 18 Feb. from 10 am to noon. This would be a great chance to thank Sen. Taniguchi and Rep. Caldwell for their work to help the expansion of the Manoa Public Library.