----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
> "Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:    ***To me, a library
SHOULD serve two functions. The first is to provide its patrons with a selection
of reading and/or reference materials which should enable those parties to: (1)
have "something to read" should that urge strike them, and (2) find answers to
any questions they may have. There is also a third implied function (since,
presumably, no one else is doing so) of collecting and preserving details of
local/ area history for future reference.
>   Here in Austin, we have a local History Center. Given their budget, they do
a remarkably fine job at preserving local history. However there is certainly
room for the public library to devote more of its efforts to the acquisition and
preservation of local intellectual history.
> ***It is entirely possible that by 2050 someone (from whom I have great
pity...!) will have compiled and published (whatever that may mean in 2050...)
"The Complete Discography Of '101 Strings'" including personnels and other
>   Steven, obviously you have forgotten that I collect 101 Strings Albums and
believe they deserve an entire book devoted to them!
Yes, I recalled that there was a fan either on ARSCLIST or 78-L...but
had forgotten it was you! So, your next task will/should be the assembly
of the "Ultimate 101 Strings History/Discography" (IIRC, Lennick said
they appear on 78's as well...?!). Now, what worries me is that there
may well be Mantovani fans...and even fans of "Doggie In the Window"...
out there in "Radio-Land!"

> *** some local-interest neo-punk band, doomed to issue a
> single CD of which about nine copies are sold before giving
> up and abandoning music as a career, worth documenting in
> detail? What if one of the members elects to stay with music
> and later becomes part of a "superstar" aggregation?
> For me, it really doesn't matter if one of the musicians becomes a superstar
or not. Should not a local library collect locally made recordings. You can get
the "standards" online for very little money. Should not the library look to
collecting unique (or relatively unique) materials.
Well, I agree that local libraries should indeed archive local "intellectual
material"...for two reasons. First, they have the best access thereto...and,
second, non-local institutions are most likely to be unaware (in fact, in
many cases, even LOCAL institutions may be unaware!) of material never
sold outside its own "bailiwick!"

I was given, a while back, a couple of records which were issued by a
local (Oshawa, Ont'o., Canada) record label/music store which catered
to one or more ethnic groups here in town (many European immigrants
arrived here after the chaos of WWI to seek jobs in the local auto
factories...!). These are the sorts of things which would most likely
be discarded by those record collectors who encountered them!

However, too many libraries consider their obligation to be that of
supplying their "public" with the best-sellers, a number of popular
magazines, and the standard reference works. As a member of both our
local Historical Society and the municipal "Heritage Oshawa" committee
charged with the preservation of local architectural heritage, I take
an active part in trying to preserve what I can of our local heritage
(including the c.1869 house where I live...); sadly, Oshawa has evolved
into a "bedroom community" for the Greater Toronto Area, meaning that
any interest in local heritage is a rare commodity...!

Fortunately, we have a local museum, which operates an "archive"...and
one now-deceased individual collected over 4,000 local photographs. As
far as the latter is concerned, it is people like him (and to some
extent myself...) who are considered at best "eccentric" (there are
other less innocent descriptions, of course...) who eventually wind
up collecting and preserving our heritage!

Of course, in considerations of "what ought to be preserved," I tend
to be on one extreme...meaning that were I in charge of archival
decisions my position would be "Save it all...SOMEDAY someone might
need it!"

Steven C. Barr