Lately, so many people have inquired about the status of the Welch Library. I happened to be with a few Informationists the other day at the School of Public Health. We were asked about our status so many times, over and over, I thought I should give you the real story. So here goes.

Not too long ago, an asteroid hit the earth and destroyed the Welch Library.

Strengely, the rest of the world remained unharmed. 


But sadly, many of our staff were kidnapped by aliens.

It's not a pretty story. But there it is. Building gone. Staff gone. Yet, our patrons wanted answers. How would they get remote access? What about electronic journal and database access----"How could the Welch Library do this?! "We pay too much money to come to Hopkins JUST TO FIND OUT the building is gone and the staff's been abducted by aliens?! It's not fair?!"

Ahhhhhh. But there is a happier version to our tale of woe. IT NEVER HAPPENED! We're still right here. Still delivering the goods! Folks seem to miss us, but we haven't even been nowhere. How great is that. We've got the glow of Love. Want proof?

Here we are at the School of Public Health Student Activities Fair, July 5th.

Donna Hesson (left), Peggy Gross, newbie Rob Wright and a table ful of give-away swag. We've even got a bowl fulla little sweeties! (No matter what we put out PENCILS are always the star). Notice those SNAZZY Welch Blue Bags.


Here's Donna explaining that "yes they're free" --- But, Mr. Student says "they look too pretty to be free".


"Ohhhhh yeahhhhh, they're free alright"


And just like that everyone wanted one. But they didn't just want a bag or some candy or a T-shirt. They wanted to ask questions, chat about where they could find stuff, who could they talk to, what's the right database, how to negotiate campus. And as the saying goes, "if you've got questions? We've got answers"

And pretty soon everyone was stopping by. People seemed so pleased to see us. We told them we'd been there all along.

And now they're just showing off. Was it hard to get a picture from anyone? No. Everyone was gung-ho. We didn't have to ask anyone twice, that's for sure.

And pretty soon everyone was walking around with our bags. Like it was nuthin.


And of course, as is always the case---in a room full of medical students with serious questions----Alonzo finds the avid bicyclist to talk riding. I may seem like I'm making intelligent conversation, but we're just comparing riding (war) stories from her hometown (Houston) and mine (B'More).

Now if you missed us at the SPH, don't worry. We show up at different places around campus. And if you want to see us and don't think we know about your event, give us a ring.

We may not always have a T-shirt, or a spankin new Welch bag to throw your way, but we always bring service (and pencils).




Alonzo LaMont

Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:

I would call this a disturbing trend, but that implies it's something that flies up and down the recognition meter. No, this is something else entirely. A day or so ago I posted this story (not this link) to Facebook. But it seems that not a day goes by when another story that mirrors my initial story comes our way. I may have discovered the true genesis that links one to another.

Simply put, it's belief. Our own belief system creates these stories. We want to believe that whatever a drug says, is whatever a drug does. Some might think this medical reciprocity is a proverbial "contract" between consumers and their pharmaceutical company of choice. But these days it doesn't matter where you are in the world the odds of being told the exact---make that specific language in that "contract" are----well, the odds are not in your favor. Aspirin seems to be doing ok, but once you venture out past that---it's no man's land, it's no woman's land and if you have children, keep the doors locked. 

Can you put ethics back into business and management? Here's a small British take on that very question. But here's my warning on the label: theory always sounds great. In the meantime, find a pharmaceutical belief system and hope for the best.


Alonzo LaMont 


Posted in: Director's Corner  Tags:

By a sheer chance meeting, I stumbled onto Rebecca Simon, Communications Manager for Knowledge for Health (K4 Health) who was only too happy to share the recent work done for the Journal of Health Communications Special Supplement by members of the K4 Health team. Here's the Journal, and special thanks to Rebecca for bringing this to our attention. Such good work is done around campus, off-campus and all places in-between, however sometimes it's just a little hard to discover. BUT when we do----we want some light to shine as much light as possible.

Aside from Tara Sullivan, Knowledge Director of K4 Health and one of the Supplement's guest editors, let's send out some much deserved kudos to a few other JHU-CCP staff contributors: Sarah Harlan, Piers Bocock, Saori Ohkubo, Basil Safi, Nandita Kapadia-Kunda, Geetali and Sanjanthi Velu.

Congrats to everyone involved.


Alonzo Lamont



Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:
CommComm posted on June 27, 2012 06:52

          Research Associate Sonia Cortassa enjoys her new Welch-T, while Professor Miguel Aon deserves kudos for letting me barge into their busy workday. Sonia has just reminded me that her WelchWeb Feedback wasn't all.........positive----"NONSENSE!" says Alonzo----we giveaway Welch-T's regardless of which side of feedback commentary you fall on.   


Thanks Sonia and Miguel for making me feel right at home. Being in a lab environment made me feel like releasing my inner Mad Scientist. What's that? You say people already think I've got a little Jekyl and Hyde?


Here's Sonia preparing to stroll down the science lab catwalk.


Hey Science Fashionistas, you too could be sportin around this baby-blue Welch Library T-Shirt. All you have to do is click that FEEDBACK link on WelchWeb and your name could be randomly drawn.

Alonzo LaMont

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Victoria and Alonzo are back for the June Podcast . We reflect on the Hopkins Library Assembly we attended earlier this month. Some of the meatier issues that were discussed, and which we mention here, were Data Management/Data Curation (and the potential for discovery of "Hidden Collections," along with the rise of e-books. Later this month we'll speak with David Fearon, a JHU Data Management Consultant, and he'll chime in on some specifics about how Hopkins is addressing Data Management. For now, here's the timeline. 

1) 0-51: Introductions

2) 52 - 6:30 Data Management/Data Curation and "Hidden Collections"

3) 8:02 - 12:40 E-books

Here's a blurb from our Latest News about Data Management.


Alonzo LaMont  

Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:
CommComm posted on June 21, 2012 18:10

How'd he get it? All he did was send us some FEEDBACK (it's the link on the far right on WelchWeb). Here he is taking in the moment.....but look further down.......

And VOILA---!!!---here he is after I told him that I bicycled up from East Baltimore to the Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, on a sizzling summer day just to give him a fresh, hot-out-the-box new Welch T-shirt.   

Bliss! Rapture! Joy in the Morning! It's practically BEFORE and AFTER. And all he did was send along his two-cents about WelchWeb. No gimmicks. No scheme. Did he have good things to say about the website? Bad things to say about the website---we don't care. We're all about the game, people.  

We pull 2 winners at random every month (we're only doing it till we run outta T-Shirts). C'mon, look at that pretty baby blue color---and who wouldn't want to accessorize this lovely addition to your wardrobe? Beachwear? Tuxedo and a pair of Cons? Let your imagination run away with your bad self.

Alonzo LaMont  


Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:
CommComm posted on June 18, 2012 02:37

There seems to be a revolution underway. Perhaps it came a bit unnounced, because it certainly has slipped in without much fanfare. Maybe the fanfare didn't do the revolution justice. However it does have a Manifesto and if that doesn't reel you in (it's rather long), then try these kernels from ars technica. Now mind yourself, this is "Sunday reading" (specifically the manifesto), so don't pull into the drive-through window expecting to just grab and go. The issue of digital humanities takes us into a vast labyrinth of newly-paved roads with names like "curation", "open source" and "creative commons". But these "names" just skim the surface. It's all actually the mind-set behind the "what is" and the "what will be" definition of scholarship and research.  

Alonzo LaMont

Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:

Last week I was able to chat with Rob Wright, our new Basic Science Informationist. Rob hails from Houston, and outside of Welch he has an appreciation for Abstract Art. Whenever I interview someone new to the Library, I’m always impressed by the “renaissance person” backgrounds they bring along. Librarianship does seem to attract those with diverse interests. The last interview I did was with Carrie Price, and Carrie has played the Cello professionally, and brings a certain classical music "joie de vivre" to her everyday encounters (She's also a great outdoors-hiker/biker and you've seen her pics from our "Tour Dem Parks Ride"---but I digress---on to Rob) 

Rob, what prompted you to get into library service?

I’d have to say that my interest started in a very odd way. As a kid I would play a game with the encyclopedia. I’d randomly grab a volume with one hand and flip through the pages. With my other hand, I’d just plop down my finger and see where it landed. Wherever it landed----I’d read about what was there. I’d do this all afternoon. Reading things at random, about Kafka, genetics, or the Dada Movement in Art. And in a way, well, in a way this game was making me into a sort of geek, (Rob laughs) which prepared me for librarianship (Rob laughs again as I mention the librarian stereotype). But really, in a sense as a librarian you have an appreciation for knowledge of all kinds, which I definitely think that experience gave me. And more importantly, randomly looking at entries also gave me an appreciation for how information is organized. So the fact that I had this 20 volume set of information about every part of the world fascinated me. I think the seeds of my interest in librarianship really started at this point.

 What are your interests outside the library?

I do like to write, and I’ve figured out that poetry is the form I’m comfortable with. Actually, when I took this job I realized I’d have a bit of a commute, so I thought “why don’t I see if I can at least compose some poems during my commute?” And I have to say it’s been a success so far.  I have composed a few things. I can have the radio off, and it’s just me and the road with some thoughtful time. I’ve also done some collage and assemblage, and I have to say that I’m so pleased when I go through the Bloomberg building and see works by Robert Rauschenberg in so many places. He’s a real inspiration. My interest in the kind of work he does started when I discovered Dada----I think partly because Dada has this “found object quality” that appealed to me because I don’t have formal training. So this style of work looked like something I could apply myself to. The juxtaposition of textures and images, and the use of objects that were already-made, made me feel as though this was the type of artistic style I could be involved in. I found that Rauschenberg’s art echoed much of what I had seen in the Dadaists’ works. (He laughs) Don’t get me started----I could talk about art for a long time.

What attracted you to our humble little abode here at Welch?

I really like the fact that the Welch Collection is so readily accessible, accessible 24/7, and online---but then---what’s built into the service model is this one-on-one, individualized, highly specialized information service. So on the one hand, you have this state of the art e-collection that’s married to this very face-to-face, organic personalized service that can help you navigate the “maze of stuff” that’s online. The technology is married to a personal model of informationist  resources.

For me, working at Welch is really a kind of step up. A step up in terms of complexity, degree of difficulty---and for me it’s also about exploring and developing a certain sophisticated informationist skill set. It’s the excitement and challenge of the situation.

Another big part about working at Welch is the team. What I feel, and what I felt from my first interview was that---I’ll be working with some very bright people whom I can draw from. I’m hoping that they can push me and I’ll be able to make my own contribution in terms of all of us providing a certain quality of service. Everyone’s been super-supportive and I know I’ll be able to partner with whomever I’m working with.

In talking with Rob, what caught me by surprise was his equal passion for both the worlds of Art and Welch. Hmmmmm. In the words of someone not famous: “who’d a thunk it”. Maybe a “cloaking device” has shielded us from their unification. Next time you pass a Rauschenberg painting, maybe you’ll envision the collage we’ve assembled here at Welch.

Rob Wright





Alonzo LaMont

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This past Sunday Carrie Price (new Welch Informationist) and Yours Truly Alonzo (not new at all) went out into the stinkin, stankin heat to Tour 5 or 6 parks in Baltimore City. The ride raised money for the Department of Parks and Recreation (some know this as the Dept. of Recreation and Parks) to improve our city parks.


Here we are in Dickeyville, a very quaint community in Northwest Baltimore. It's off the beaten path, but a true gem filled with great old houses, a waterfall and lots and lots of local atmosphere. I also crossed paths with Stephanie Shapiro from Inside Hopkins along the way.


We stop to rest in Druid Hill Park. The sun is baking, but shade is everywhere. A little bit after this I talk Carrie into----I mean Carrie agrees to turn our 25 miler, into a 33 miler. What a trooper. She deserves major macho points. We saw even more of the city, and no matter how well you know Baltimore----there's always a surprise somewhere.




Here's my friend Dwight Pinkney, who with the help of his wife Anne, have helped organize this ride for the last 10 years. It doesn't look like it here, but there were over 1,000 participants and we had live jazz and food once we crossed the finish line. PLUS, we get bragging rights over everybody who thinks they know what it's like to travel in Baltimore City. Kudos again to my riding buddy Carrie, she negotiated city traffic like a pro. who beat the heat? We did.


Alonzo Lamont  

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