Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Quad Cities Criterium 2014

The 49th annual Quad Cities Criterium, sponsored by the Quad Cities Bicycle Club (QCBC), took place on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014. After many years in Moline and Rock Island, this year's event was staged for the first time in the Village of East Davenport, Iowa.

The all-day event featured men's and women's races in various age classes, as well as a children's race. The men's pro class was won by Daniel Holloway of Morgan Hill, California, and the women's pro class was won by Gwen Inglis of Lakewood, Colorado.

Founded fifty years ago in 1964, the Quad Cities Bicycle Club is one of the oldest and largest in the United States, with over 1,200 members. The QCBC organizes many events, including the upcoming two-day Tour of the Mississippi Valley (TOMRV), which began in 1978 and currently draws 1,500 riders a year. In addition, a large contingent of club members rides on the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). More information about the club's activities and membership is available on the QCBC website.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kiva 101

Since Kiva was founded in 2005, it has networked with 250 Field Partners in 75 different countries to provide $566,835,175 in microloans to 1,317,699 borrowers. To date, the Common Curator has made 101 loans through Kiva to small entrepreneurs in 64 countries. Kiva loans are interest-free and the overall repayment rate is currently 98.86%. As loans are repaid, most Kiva lenders choose to reloan their funds to new borrowers of their choosing.

Visit the Kiva website to learn more about microfinance and how the lending process works, as well as the many milestones in Kiva's history as an organization dedicated to alleviating poverty around the world.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Book Collecting Contest for College Bibliophiles

Entries are now being accepted for the 2014 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest. Begun in 2005 by the Fine Books & Collections magazine for young bibliophiles, the competition is now jointly sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies, as well as the Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress.

A number of contests are currently held at colleges and universities around the U.S., with Swarthmore College's competition being the first in the 1920s. College-level students from all educational institutions, however, are encouraged to participate. Entries for this year's competition are due by May 30, 2014. Contest rules and further information are available at the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America website. Winners of the last several years can be viewed here: 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010. Update: Winners for 2014 have also now been announced.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

MayDay 2014: Saving Our History

Since 2006, the Society of American Archivists (SAA) has designated May 1st as MayDay, or a day of action for both individuals and organizations such as archives, libraries, museums, and historical societies to improve their capacities to deal with emergencies that can threaten or destroy historical collections. The ravages of natural disasters such as the tornadoes and hurricanes of recent years are just some of the physical risks facing cultural heritage institutions.

Although the landmark study, A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America's Collections (2005), systematically documented that most institutions lack an adequate disaster preparedness plan, the SAA has worked to mitigate these deficiencies. The SAA web site provides recommendations for MayDay activities, as well as a compilation of resources, including technical literature and tools, disaster plan templates and examples, tutorials and courses, bibliographies, and other resources.

May 1st, of course, is also International Workers' Day, which serves to commemorate the anniversary of the Haymarket Affair in Chicago. The eight-hour workday was a central demand of the Chicago labor movement in the 1860s, and a week-long, city-wide strike began on May 1, 1867. The strike collapsed, but the issue remained, with the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions in 1884 calling for workers to take direct action and begin observing the eight-hour day on May 1, 1886. More on IWD can be found in the Common Curator post, the 125th Anniversary of the Haymarket Affair.