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Letters to the editor

  Letters  
Relevant points Humbled by history Kouba dynasty
Lowe dynasty Carlson dynasty  

Relevant points
As a librarian at Brandeis University, I was thrilled to see your cover story "Are Libraries Relevant in the Internet Age?" (winter 2001 Cornell Report) and its conclusion that libraries and librarians are more relevant than ever. I would like to add two more points not covered in the article that demonstrate our continued relevancy in the Internet Age.
In your article, professor Craig Allin notes the ease and speed of accessing current government information through the Web. But this ease of access has also increased the volatility of this information, since government documents can easily be pulled off the Web without warning. Now that the U.S. government has made Web publishing a priority, our citizenry must be vigilant in making sure that the information we have paid for and own continues to be made available. As public advocates, librarians are at the forefront of such vigilance.
Another common fallacy not mentioned in the article is that everything on the Internet is free. The article notes that money spent for online resources and journals now accounts for roughly two-thirds of Cornell's library resource budget, with books comprising the other third-a near reversal since 1991. With such limited budgets and skyrocketing prices for library resources, librarians must make judicious decisions about what to purchase for their collections. Their careful selection of library materials ensures that students and professors can find relevant resources for their research, despite budget limitations.
Anthony Vaver '88
Humanities Librarian
Brandeis University Libraries
Waltham, Mass.

Humbled by history
Your opening article ("View from the Hill," winter 2001) was so well-written and it touched me in many ways. I often thought along those lines back when I would go to King Chapel, knowing there was so much history in the building and wondering who had been there before me. Did they have the same concerns and joys that I was experiencing? What would they think of a jazz band or a koto ensemble? Did they have the opportunity to enjoy hearing, on the stage of the chapel, performers as great as Marilyn Horne, Ravi Shankar, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Joe Pass, or Kazue Sawai? Did they have the wonderful opportunity to work with talented students, as I did? It always humbled me to think that, yes, they too saw and heard great performers, worked with talented students, and appreciated those who came before them.
Jesse Evans
Cornell music professor
1965-1983
Rock Island, Ill.

Kouba dynasty
I was shocked to see the picture of my dad (Emil Kouba '04) on the 1901 football team (winter 2001 Cornell Report). He's the one in the second row, third from the right, with a striped shirt and bushy hair parted in the middle. I never saw his hair like that, except in pictures because I was born when he was 51 years old. He dropped out of school to come home to go into business with his brother, William, in a general store their folks bought for them. The Kouba Brothers were in business for 45 years in Luzerne, Iowa.
He related to me with pride a story about that 1901 football team going on the train to Ames to play Iowa State. It was probably supposed to be an easy win for Iowa State, but they lost, and because of that, Cornell's coach strongly urged them to stick close together on their way to the railroad depot. Dad was the first member of our multigenerational dynasty at Cornell. After him came my cousin, Carl Kouba '30 (he held the 440-yard dash record for a number of years), then my sister, Marcella Kouba Mcquigg '41. I graduated in 1951, then a nephew, Craig Kouba '75, was the last.
Emil Kouba Jr. '51
Florissant, Mo.

Lowe dynasty
The "Dynasties" issue (summer 2001) brought back many memories and I felt compelled to add to the roster. The ripples on the pond spread slowly: Elizabeth "Jennie" Jane Buttolph Wright (Academy 1874) was my grandmother, who lived with us in the old Fairbanks House in Mount Vernon for several years prior to her death (at that time there was still in our house a cardboard stack of Women's Christian Temperance Union rallying songs she had written). She had four children, among them my mother, Winifred Faith Wright Lowe. Winifred married my father, Richard Henry Lowe, a hardware merchant. They moved to Mount Vernon so their 11 children could attend Cornell and still live at home (Richard had to quit school in sixth grade to assist his father, his mother having died in childbirth).
Of the Lowe children, Mason Richard Lowe '24 was the first to graduate from Cornell. Next in line were Joyce Lowe Wylie '29 and Millicent Lowe Culver '29 (husband Hillis C. Culver '31) and Winifred Lowe Lupton '33 (part of the Lupton dynasty detailed in the Report). Also attending at various times were myself, Harriet Lowe Windsor, and even my mother, who took a writing class under the tutelage of professor "Toppy" Tull.
We knew the Wilcoxes and visited the family farm (where for additional excitement we were taken into an underground bat cave). If my sometimes unfaithful memory now serves me well, I believe that Lucile Balster's first year at Cornell was interrupted by a broken leg, caused by sledding down that long, icy, treacherous hill starting at the Presbyterian Church.
This pond is now still, until another pebble is dropped and the ripples return (I tried unsuccessfully to be the one to drop that pebble). My thanks to Lucile Balster Downer '42 for stirring the waters and to you for that issue.
Elinore Lowe Cunningham '35
Torrance, Calif.

Carlson dynasty
My grandmother was Daisy Marston Tague '20. She was to graduate in 1919 but had to sit out a year because of the deadly flu epidemic. I believe her sisters and brothers also attended and graduated from Cornell.
My mom, Marilyn Tague Carlson, graduated in 1948. My dad, Dr. Arne E. Carlson, started at Cornell in 1943 but World War II interrupted his college days. My aunt and uncle are Elaine Tague Strock '47 and Faraday Strock '47. Next in line were my twin brother, Lance Carlson '71, and I. Then my younger brother, Mark Carlson '73, graduated from Cornell with our cousin, John Strock '73.
I never thought about a "dynasty," but there it is!
Dr. Eric Carlson '71
Villanova, Pa.

 
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