Monday, May 19, 2008

Books on Florida

Recently I produced a list of books to help a couple of people understand modern Florida and the state's history. The Olin Library has a superb Florida studies collection and this is just a short list. Sorry for the weird citations but they came from our catalog. I can't pretend to have read them all. I have briefly annotated those that I have. What titles would you add? Leave a comment.

Belleville, Bill, 1945- Losing it all to sprawl: how progress ate my Cracker landscape

Colburn, David R. From yellow dog Democrats to red state Republicans: Florida and its politics since 1940.

Cruickshank, Helen G. editor. William Bartram in Florida 1774: the adventures of the Great American naturalist, explorer, artist.

Davis, Jack E., 1956- Making waves: female activists in twentieth-century Florida

Douglas, Marjory Stoneman. The Everglades: river of grass.

An extensive and poetic history of the Everglades from Florida’s Rachel Carson.

Faherty, William Barnaby, 1914- Florida's space coast: the impact of NASA on the Sunshine State.

Foglesong, Richard E., 1948-. Married to the mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando

Gannon, Michael, 1927- Florida: a short history

Grunwald, Michael, 1970- The swamp

An environmental history of the Everglades that manages to tell the history of the state at the same time.

Hiaasen, Carl. Paradise screwed: selected columns of Carl Hiaasen edited by Diane Stevenson.

Hiaasen, Carl. Skinny dip: a novel

It may be fiction, but once you live in Florida it doesn’t seem like it.

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their eyes were watching God.

Hurston’s novel about the impact of the Hurricane of 1928 on the African Americans living south of Lake Okeechobee.

MacDonald, John D. (John Dann), 1916-1986. Condominium: a novel

Maurice O’Sullivan. The Florida reader: visions of paradise from 1530 to the present.

Mormino, Gary Ross, 1947- Land of sunshine, state of dreams: a social history of modern Florida.

Mormino has so much to tell that his book comes across as an abstract. It reads like a list, but what an amazing list.

Murphree, Daniel S. Constructing Floridians: Natives and Europeans in the colonial Floridas, 1513-1783

Ortiz, Paul, 1964- Emancipation betrayed: the hidden history of Black organizing and white violence in Florida from

Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan, 1896-1953. Cross Creek.

She wrote The Yearling. This is her memoir of her years on an orange grove in rural North Florida. Funny, but reflects the racial thinking of its time and place.

Ortiz, Paul, 1964- Reconstruction to the bloody election of 1920

Weaver, Brian. The citrus industry in the Sunshine State.

Whitney, Eleanor Noss. Priceless Florida: natural ecosystems and native species; illustrated by Eric Jadaszwesky.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

How are we doing: Part Deux

Time for more comments with my responses. Keep them coming.

Comment: Six people asked whether we can you keep café open until 12am.
Jonathan’s Response: Personally I would like the Café to be open all the hours the Library is open. While Dining Services have expanded hours in the last year, I understand the need for them to work efficiently and, based on how much revenue the Café generates. I have passed your suggestion on to Dining Services.

Comment: Stay open later. It would be great to stay open until 12am.
Jonathan’s Response: You must be referring to Friday and Saturday evenings, when we close at 7pm and 6pm respectively. We will be looking into this based on usage of the building. Remember, the Late Night Lab has been open to Rollins students until midnight on those nights during the Spring semester. That pilot will be evaluated to see if we can continue to maintain those hours in the next academic year.

As I write this of course the whole building is open 24/7. Enjoy!

Comment: Might be good to put a sign outside with the hours of Olin. If there is one I could not find it.
Jonathan’s Response: Good idea. We will get this fixed. We used to have the hours outside, but when the noticeboard was replaced by the plasma screen the hours notice went with it. Oops! The hours do appear on the plasma screen, but obviously that info changes.

Comment: “Please keep up the good work. Gets better all the time. Great improvement” and “All help desks are doing great”
Jonathan’s Response: Thanks for the kind words. We hope you see the improvement continue.

Comment: Kim did a fantastic job assisting me with computer difficulties. Although she didn’t have an immediate answer, she went above and beyond to help find the solution for me. Suggest a 24hr on tech for late night studying students.
Jonathan’s Response: I love it when individual staff members are mentioned, that way I can personally thank them for their contribution. It is good to see Kim going above and beyond. As for your suggestion about late night tech support, I will pass it on to IT.

Comment: I envision a site called "" where anyone w/an R-Card can post ideas on specific departments such as the library. Users could post ideas, constructive feedback, new idea, respond to ideas, vote on ideas, etc. Think (this) on steroids (electronically).

Jonathan’s response: Great idea. When the new website is launched later this year we are thinking of maintaining a blog that would function in exactly that way. We can take advantage of the “wisdom of the crowd” (see the book The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki) to improve services. Stay tuned!