An Open Letter to TUBDFTL Patrons # 6

How to sum up the six months since your Librarian's last "Open Letter?" Chaotic is the only word that jumps to mind.

The Library's Patronage has passed the 2200 mark and the demand for Library Dubbing Services has been staggering at times. Some 1500 requests, totaling 2152 tapes, were serviced during the period.

As a result of a series of lapses (one of which resulted in the total destruction of the Library web site) on the part of Cyberg8t, the Library's Internet provider of some three years, the Library has acquired a new provider, Tierranet. The Library also registered its own domain name, "freelib.org." Though the original site (http://key.cyberg8t.com/simon/dylan/freelib.html) will continue to be maintained as "mirror site" for a few months, it is likely that the Cyberg8t account will be dropped after the turn of the year. The URL for the primary site is now http://freelib.org/dylan/freelib.html. Additional E-mail accounts have also been added to facilitate automation of requests for a Patron ID and for Library Dubbing Services. List Server facilities are also available, should we decide to take advantage of them. Through the kindness of George Deffner at New-Tek, an East Coast "mirror" site is also now in place. The URL is http://newtekinc.com/dylan/freelib.html.

In the same month (July), the Library also suffered the loss of the Video Librarian, Glynn D. Lee. Glynn, or Glenn, as most of us knew him, serviced literally hundreds of requests for video recordings during his tenure. I am informed that Glynn passed on July 12 in Atlanta, but I have no other details.
Glynn had informed his family that it was his wish that his Dylan material be sent to me and, through the kindness of his brothers, Arthur and Ralph, all were packed up and shipped. The last of the boxes was delivered only yesterday, so an inventory has yet to be prepared. I can, however, roughly suggest the magnitude of Glynn's holdings. There are approximately 200 video tapes, 175 audio tapes, and perhaps 75 CDs. I'll post a detailed report, once I've had the opportunity to scrutinize the material.
It is also my intention to name the Video Branch of the Library "The Glynn D. Lee Memorial Video Branch." An "In Memorium" is in the works and will here be published shortly after the expected arrival of a photograph suitable for inclusion.

The second raffle was closed on schedule and the winners awarded their prizes. This time around the participation was quite encouraging. So encouraging, in fact, that a third has been launched. Your support has, and continues to be our inspiration. Thank you!

In part due to the chaos following the destruction of the Library web site, the "Uncatalogued Material and New Arrivals" page continues to grow and the backlog of uncatalogued material has, once again, reached intimidating proportions. The integration of Glynn's material is also a priority. Accordingly, the Library must temporarily limit the time and resources normally reserved for engaging in swaps. Until the backlog is cleared, please, only propose a swap if you are the taper or are in a position to provide a dub directly from the Master recording.

As always, the expeditious servicing of Patron requests comes first. As a consequence, other aspects of the operation occasionally suffer. E-mail that requires a personal response is particularly vulnerable. If an immediate response is sought, please consider using the telephone. Otherwise, I beg your patience. I should have matters firmly in hand within a few weeks. In the meanwhile, be assured, I'm pedaling just as fast as I'm able.

To end on a positive note, a couple of interesting projects have finally peeked over the horizon.
George Deffner's gift of a reel to reel (an Akai GX4000D) tape recorder now makes copying reel to reel recordings to audio cassette feasible. Those that had inquired about such possibilities are invited to telephone.
B. Jack Cassedy's loan of a CDR-RW has convinced me that archiving the Library's audio tapes on CD is both practical and desirable. With just a bit of luck, in a years time, Library Patrons will have the option of borrowing CDs in lieu of sending blank audio tapes.

I would be remiss if I failed to express our gratitude to those that so generously donated dubbing decks and other gear. Though they will eventually be more appropriately acknowledged when next I update the Acknowledgements and Credits page, I would like to commend them to you here. They, in no particular order, are: Barbara and Wayne Rhodes, Stephen Hu, Keith Underwood, Bruce Tremont, Jerry Hardiman, Daphne Levy, Bob Meyer, Bill Huff, Tuk and George Deffner, David Boulais, and B. Jack Cassedy. We are in their debt.

If you find yourself in the neighborhood consider stopping in for a visit. If you give us a day or two's notice, I'll even set up a couple of decks in the Listening Room so you can spin yourself a few tapes whilst visiting.

As always, your comments, criticisms, or suggestions are always welcome.
Until the next time, Take Care!
Simon
06/16/98

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