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
Anthony Vaver '88
Brandeis University Libraries
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
Cornell music professor
Rock Island, Ill.
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
Emil Kouba Jr. '51
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
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"
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
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
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
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