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UBC Library Bulletin Mar 31, 1986

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ubc (ibrary buffetin
No.  191 March 1986
Perry Mason comes to UBC's Main Library
by Donna M. Hedges
UBC's Main Library is a focal point in the upcoming Perry Mason TV-movie, The
Case of the Notorious Nun, being aired by NBC in May. The Library forms part of the
Archbishop's Diocese, with University Librarian Doug Mclnnes's office transformed
into the Archbishop's.
Perry Mason Returns stars the original cast members Raymond Burr and Barbara
Hale. Her son in real life, William Catt, plays the new private investigator Paul
Drake Jr. Other cast members in this episode include Timothy Bottoms (The Last
Picture Show), who plays the priest who is murdered; David Ogden Stiers of MASH fame
plays the prosecutor; and Michele Greene (Bay City Blues) plays the nun accused of
I interviewed Raymond Burr at the Palisades Hotel Saturday, March 1. He had
just completed his part in a grueling production schedule, that averaged 16-18 hours
per day and ended the night before. Seven years ago I interviewed Raymond Burr's
father, Bill Burr, on his 90th birthday. Bill Burr was delightful, feisty, and an
ardent Royalist. On Saturday we began by talking of his father, who passed away last
year. Raymond Burr laughs at my description of his father, and recalls that he
didn't care much for the changing of the the flag and that he could be provinicial
in his ways. "He was certainly a strait-laced Canadian in the Anglo-Saxon
tradition," said Mr. Burr. He lived out his last years in Boundary Bay. Raymond
shares a special fondness for the spot, as many summers were spent there as a
youngster. "I learned to swim there when I was three years old. I also have the
scars on my knees to this day from the barnacles of Boundary Bay," he said.
The Burr ancestry can be traced to General Burr, one of King William's military
leaders in the 1690 Battle of Boyne. Following that battle, the Burr clan received
lands and a castle. The Burr genealogy is a little more difficult to trace in B.C.
"It is pretty mixed up," said Mr. Burr, who hasn't yet traced all its connections.
But he is proud of his Canadian heritage, and has a dual citizenship in Canada and
the U.S.
Born in New Westminster in May 21, 1917, he lived in a house on Queen's Avenue
until six years of age. His grandparents lived on Royal Avenue, and he recalls the
snowy winters. "I'd slide down the hills, but it was a long trek up again. The
family would often take a horse-drawn sleigh from New Westminster to Ladner," said
Mr. Burr. Then, he moved to the North California Bay area, went to grammar school in
Vallejo, a military school in San Raphael, and junior high in Berkeley. He started
acting in school and church in Vallejo. The new minister's wife had a degree in
theatre so he learned much from her, and in junior high he performed in Victor
Herbert's operettas. "I started very young, but growing up in the depression I also
did a lot of other things. But I wanted to be an actor, always. Second, maybe, I
wanted to be in the field of communications and acting was the easiest of all those
- now, in looking back." The role of Perry Mason started with a pilot in '56, went on the air in '57 and
ended in 1966. Ironside began with the film in '66, and continued as a series for
eight years. Why is he opting for only an occasional episode now rather than doing a
weekly? "I won't do a weekly," he said. "Twenty years of T.V. series work was
enough. I missed so many other things - the theatre, motion pictures and my farm. I
like being outdoors and I like growing things."
A 40-acre farm in Northern California (Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley) is
home. Prior to owning this property, there was a plantation in Fiji. He no longer
owns the island plantation, but does own orchid gardens on the main island and has
part interest in a Fijian newspaper. "The reason you go to Fiji is for the people.
There are wonderful beaches everywhere, but the people in Fiji are magnificent," he
Mr. Burr still retains an active interest in Canadian affairs. He has a
satellite dish which brings in the CBC, a Quebec station and others. We talked about
the environment in Fiji, in the U.S. and closer to home, about the as of yet
unresolved conflict between B.C.'s Lyell Island- Haida Indians and the forest
industry. He said he didn't know enough about this situation, but his philosophy was
clear. " I have found when business moves into an area that should either be kept
for conservation or for the preservation of a heritage, that the area becomes
business and none of the other. I would tend to be against that," he said.
Those Depression years- how have they affected his work? From all reports his
schedule is now busier than ever. He spent only 26 days at home last year. Is
working a compulsion? He thinks not. "What the depression gave me was some wonderful
times. I had a great mother and we lived on next to no money at all. I learned a lot
of things because of the depression that I would never have learned at all. I worked
on a cattle and sheep ranch in New Mexico for a year. I grew my own vegetables,
raised chickens and traded them with a neigbouring Italian family. We had a great
time because in return for fresh vegetables, chicken and rabbits, we got bread,
cheese and wine."
Asked about being back in Vancouver: "I love it," he said. He even loves the
rain, being a farmer (and spoken like a true native). We talked about Canadian film
productions and Canadian settings. "The Perry Mason film is set in the Pacific
Northwest," he said. "We thought about writing Vancouver into the script, but the
plot became rather convoluted, especially with Perry Mason being an American lawyer
practicing American law. But there is no city like Vancouver, so it will be
recognizable. Plus the publicity end, the dollars coming into Canadian production
companies, to UBC, to the YMCA, to the University Hospital, and the Food Bank,
Canadians do benefit."
My concluding Question: Do you think you'll win this case? And with that clear
penetrating gaze, that Perry Mason smile and that deep resonant voice, he answered:
"Yes, I think so."
Perry Mason Revenues
You might ask, wnat does the University receive in remuneration for this fame,
and that lovely (or perhaps not so lovely) disruption and excitement in the Main
Library Thursday and Friday, February 27 and 28. A third day was added, an early
a.m. session the following week. The University itself receives a flat location rate
of $1500 per day ($4,500 for three days). The Main Library receives $250 of that
money per day ($750 total). In addition, the Library is reimbursed for overtime
staff costs, and any other expenses incurred, said Lorie Chortyk, Community ■'
Relations. But the flat rate for locations may soon be increased. Negotiations are
underway to raise rates to between $2,000 to $2,500 per day, said Ms. Chortyk.
Other pictures filmed on campus in the last year include Love Mary with Kristy
McNichol; The Marie Baiter Story , starring Mario Thomas; Love is Never Silent ,.
starring Cloris Leachman; A Letter to Three Wives (aerial shots of wooded campus
areas); Picking up the Pieces , starring Margot Kidder and James Farentino, and the
list continues.
Center for the Book
Library of Congress: the Background
Prosperous times for the Library of Congress may be coming to an end. Budget
cuts, in an attempt to balance the U.S. budget, have already exacted a $17M slash
across the board for the Library, and will affect all programs, said John Cole,
Head, Center for the Book, in a recent SLAIS colloqium, February 25.
"Historically the Library has done well in government appropriations. But the
Library has grown so large, that in many ways it is a 'prisoner of its history,"'
said Mr. Cole. In addition to its functions as a parliamentary library, it is the
library of the blind and handicapped, a public library, and it serves a copyright
function. There are three large buildings, public tours hourly, and LC has overseas
acquisitions offices. What do the cuts mean to the Library of Congress? The dangers
alarm Daniel J. Boorstin, the Librarian of Congress, who addressed the subcommittee
on Legislative Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives on this matter February
20. "This is not just another year, and the situation of 'your Library' is serious,
even dangerous, and could become tragic for the nation, the Congress, and the whole
world of learning," said Dr. Boorstin. "... the Library of Congress, our
collections, our staff — are dedicated to the proposition that free government is
based on free, copious, and current access to knowledge. It would be a historic
irony— the only analogy I can think of is the burning of the ancient Library of
Alexandria in Egypt — if the Congress should choose this anniversary (Bicentenary
of U.S. constitution 1987) to direct and promote the disintegration of this great
There have been 300 jobs affected by current cuts, with 100 jobs lost. The
Library has relied solely on government appropriations to date. LC has no Friends of
the Library organizations or private funding (although some gifts)- but this may
change, said Mr. Cole. A development officer may be a new position created to raise
funds in the private sector in the future.
The Center for the Book
The Center for the Book was created in 1977 and relies entirely on private
funds for its work. It was created for the "love of books" by Dr. Daniel Boorstin,
as a result of a task force, said Mr. Cole. It serves two interests. One is to
stimulate public interest in books and reading. A second is to encourage the
scholarly study of books and the printed word in an interdisciplinary way, as a
social history of the printed word. The Center serves as a catalyst for these two
interests, and brings readers closer to the authors. It operates in a number of
areas including seminars, lectures, projects, exhibits and publications. The $100,000 yr. budget is raised from publishers and generous individual
donations. The electronic media is used to encourage reading, with "Read more about
it" segments following major TV productions, and 30 second reading lists after
various award ceremonies. There is the subsequent tie-in with T.V., with bookmarks,
exhibits, etc, said Mr. Cole. And a mascot has even been created. His name is O.G.
(Captain O.G. Readmore), a smart cat that reads a lot. He uses books for everything
, and even has his own half-hour special Saturday afternoons on ABC. This special
comes from the network, but is monitored by the Library, noted Mr. Cole. Another
project, entitled "Books make the difference", involves the taping of oral histories
(interviewing people across America) to discover the important books in their lives.
Two proarams are also being undertaken bv the Center. "New technologies in book
technology" is looking at ways to help book distribution in the U.S. made possible
by a UNESCO grant. Another program, inspired by the book U.S. Books Abroad:
Neglected Ambassadors, is looking into the need to promote U.S. books abroad. The
project has been given impetus by author Curtis Benjamin, who graphically notes that
the Russians are doing more in translation work than the U.S. The Security Council
sat up and took notice, put the book on its agenda, and in turn this has focussed
interest in the study, said Mr. Cole.
A new development has been the growth of state centers for independent projects
to encourage reading and study. The Center for the Book established guidelines to
encourage these centers, but gives no financial support. Many of these centers have
created foundations (Flordia) or are connected with State Libraries (Illinois,
Oklahoma and Oregon). Guidelines are similar in scope and spirit to LC's Center, but
there is a limit of one center to a state (California wanted two centers). Also,
after two years, LC's Center for the Book or the state center can by mutual consent
end the relationship, noted Mr. Cole.
The next SLAIS colloquium is "Online Catalogues in University Libraries," with
Alan MacDonald, University Librarian, University of Calgary, March 25. Room 835,
Reading Rooms Microcatalogue
The Reading Rooms microcatalogue is now out. It lists monographs catalogued for
the reading rooms from January 1978-March 31, 1983. There are approximately 25,000
records; of these, nearly 12,000 are titles unique to reading rooms. There are about
50 fiche, consisting of author/title, subject, medical subject, and call number
fiche. Copies are available at the "UBC Library" microfiche stand, beside the Main
Information Desk, in other branch libraries, and in each reading room. When
referring individuals to this list, warn them that some holdings may not be
accurate, and some reading rooms have changed their name or closed. Many restrict
access and borrowing. See binders at the Main Info Desk. Please Note: Reading room
monographs are now dropped from the UBC Library Microcatalogue.
During the first week of March, Systems Division implemented full security
control for online update access. We had many files, such as DRS, where any user
with a valid ID could update and delete records. Now only ID's that the system
recognizes are permitted to change or delete records. With so many users and so many
ways to access the UBC Library systems we could no longer rely on our old method —
"salus per inscientiam."
The cut-off date for the next Microcatalogue was March 14, 1986; it should be
out before the end of April.
^ ~*
Locations on Storage Fiche
The latest storage fiche, dated March 3, 1986, now divides LPC storage into
three parts. Previously all material in LPC was listed as LP1, making it difficult
to direct patrons to the correct branch or division to place their request.
Storage Fiche Code
Send borrower to request item at
MacMillan Library
Science Division
Schubert's Unfinished Symphony
The book, Schubert's Unfinished Symphony , was due back March 6, 1942. It was
returned March 6, 1986 -44 years late. So there is always hope for those overdue
Thien Plain, LAI Circulation
Anne Bennie, LA2 Woodward to LA3 Crane
Trevor Tunnacliffe, LAI Fine Arts to LA2 Wilson
Kathleen White, LAI, from Periodicals to Curric. Lab
Laura Halliday, LA2, from Gov't Pubns to Woodward
John Burgess, LA2, from Wilson to Law
Eloisa Anton, LAI, from Circ. to Periodicals
Kris Hans, LA2, from Collections to St. Paul's
Susan Mathieson, Clerk2, Acquisitions
Patti-Reay Stahl, LA2, St. Paul's
Jerry Andersen, LA4, Gov't Pubns
Aviva Gempel, Seel, Transfer to UBC (non-Library)
Elizabeth Catsburg, LAI, Circ.
Laurie Vranka, LAI, Curric. Lab.
Margaret Power, LAI, Law
UBC Triathlon
Two Library staff members participated in the UBC Triathlon held March 8. There
were about 235 entrants, with 229 completing the course. Anders Ourom (ILL) finished
second in the Mens Faculty and Staff category (12th overall), in a time of 1:31:05.
Erik de Bruijn (Administration) came in eighth in the same category with an overall
finishing time of 1:58:40. It was a cool, but dry Saturday for the participants who
swam 800 metres, cycled 15 miles and ran five miles. Our congratulations to the two!
Have we missed anyone? Pop art?  ^r
Wondering about that colourful sculpture or piece of pop art outside the north
entrance to Fine Arts. Stefan Brunhoff, a student in UBC's School of Architecture,
created the rising or sinking building as a marker to the recent display in the Fine
Arts Gallery. Andrew Gruft, who curated the exhibition, said there were about 50
entries in the design competition at the school to create a marker. The exhibition,
"A Measure of Consensus: Canadian Architecture in Transition", just finished a month
run March 1 at the Gallery.
Yes, There is a UBC
Last week I attended a conference in New York that was sponsored by the New
York Academy of Sciences. While I was registering, one of the women at the
registration desk asked me, "Is there really a University of British Columbia?"It
seems she had recently read a story in which one of the characters was supposed to
be a UBC graduate, however, she said, " I have heard of Simon Fraser University but
I have never heard of a University of British Columbia." - Leslie Ballentine,
Physics Department, SFU in "Simon Fraser Week", January 30, 1986.
News notes on life in the real world
The U.S. Library of Congress has had its budget for books for the blind cut by
8.4%. Accordingly, the library has cancelled its subscription to the braille edition
of Playboy. - "Report on Business Magazine," March 1986.
Party! Party!
Josie Lazar, Librarian's Office (2655), wants your money, $5, in unmarked bills
A.S.A.P. for the Library's Spring party, Thursday April 10, 5 p.m.- 11 p.m. at Cecil
Green Park. Don't forget - prizes for FRISKY BUSINESS to Pat Dunn, ILL (2274).


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