June 23, 2008
Q&A: Seldom Deemer
Ride along with ‘Lone Librarian’ at staff exhibit
By Kim urquhart
Emory librarian Selden Deemer marked his 60th birthday by riding his Honda Pacific Coast bike on a solo, round-trip journey to Alaska. It was the summer of 2006, and with a Mac iBook and Nikon Coolpix S1 in his saddlebag he documented the 11,000-mile journey via hundreds of photos and a travel blog. Images from his trip, “The Lone Librarian Rides Again,” are on display at Emory Law’s MacMillan Law Library until Aug. 15.
Emory Report: Why did you decide to document your journey?
Deemer: It’s really primarily for my benefit, so that I could have something that I could remember this by down the road.
I was able to write and upload content from the road as I went, there were very few places that didn’t have Internet access. There is a fiber-optic line that runs the entire length of the Alaska Highway. Alaska is actually the most connected state in the United States, it has the highest Internet access.
One of the things I found from using a digital camera was that it creates a time stamp, and using Google Earth I was able to pinpoint most of these pictures within a mile, sometimes within a couple of feet.
ER: What was the most memorable moment of your trip?
Deemer: [Laughs]. Coming back. Seeing my wife [law librarian Pam Deemer] for the first time in six weeks.
ER: Are there future plans for this exhibition?
Deemer: There are 40 pictures in the law library now, and there will be 40 more pictures in the Schatten Gallery in Woodruff Library in November. They will probably also set up a Mac monitor for a photo slideshow.
Since I’m retiring from full-time employment at Emory [as library systems administrator] at the end of this year, I’m hoping we’ll have a reception at the exhibit over at Woodruff, and I’m planning to get the word out to some motorcyclists, especially long-distance riders.
Read Selden Deemer’s First Person report from the road in the July 24, 2006, issue of Emory Report, and his blog at http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~libssd/Alaska2006/.