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Archive for Friday, March 4, 2011

Heard on the Hill: That odd book collection could earn students some cash; KU to host Global Service Jam event next week; NCAA gets high marks for diversity in college sports

March 4, 2011

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Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• Here’s an interesting way to make a quick $600.

The KU Libraries host a book collecting contest every year. It’s named after (and funded by) Elizabeth Morrison Snyder, who started the contest back in the 1950s.

She got a letter from Robert Vosper, who was then director of KU Libraries, telling her about his idea to have a contest celebrating really good book collections.

“Your idea for developing a student’s interest in books and book collecting is basically so sound and full of fruitful thought that I couldn't help but be interested,” she wrote back, and agreed to fund the contest.

Fifty-five years later, it’s still going strong. This year, for the first time, students will be allowed to submit movies, DVDs and other sound recordings along with books.

Sarah Kanning, who works in the KU Libraries’ communications office, told me you don’t exactly have to own a first-edition copy of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” to qualify for the awards: $600 for first place, $400 for second and $100 for an honorable mention.

It’s more about showcasing a unique collection around a particular theme.

It’s open to all KU students, and there’s an undergraduate and a graduate division.

Previous collections that have won have titles like “Return With Us Now: The Rise of the Old Time Radio Hobby” and “Gender, Class & Sexuality in Turn-of-the-Century Political and Punk Zines.”

You do have to submit an annotated bibliography and an essay, which should be turned in no later than March 30. Here are the complete rules.

• Taking a page from musicians, who frequently get together and “jam,” a few KU students are hoping to expand that idea out to service design.

A Global Service Jam event will be held at the KU Art and Design building from March 11-13. It will be going on at the same time as several other events around the world.

The idea is to get a bunch of interesting folks together all around the world and come up with some good ideas about how to improve services of all kinds. And you don’t need to be a “service designer” to participate. The theme will be unveiled just before 6 p.m., and teams will have 48 hours to come up with their ideas.

If it sounds interesting, you can register on Facebook. Or shoot them an e-mail using an online form. Happy hours, by the way, are included on the schedule.

• The University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport released its annual racial and gender report card for college sports.

The report gave the NCAA a B overall for its hiring practices related to gender and race.

Head football coaching positions have improved, the report noted, but in general it gave the NCAA a positive overall impression.

Still, all the major conference directors are white men, and only 8.3 percent of athletic directors around the country are women. Those were the only F’s given on the report card.

Diversity among men’s college basketball coaches is also slipping. Now, 21 percent of men’s basketball Division I coaches are black, down from a high of 25 percent.

One interesting fact I noticed (and I think I’ve mentioned this before) — KU is one of only a few Football Bowl Subdivision schools to have a black university leader.

Bernadette Gray-Little is one of only five black chancellors or presidents at those schools. She is the only black woman to lead an FBS school, though France A. Cordova at Purdue is a Latina, and Renu Khator at the University of Houston is an Asian woman.

• I don’t have $600 to give away, but I might hold a contest sometime to see who can give me the best tip for Heard on the Hill at ahyland@ljworld.com. Maybe I’ll award an official Lawrence Journal-World pen or something…

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