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Thursday, February 28, 2013

My New Nickname: Bibliobimbo

My lovely friend Harley May shared this photo with me (via The Mysterious Bookshop, which is a lovely bookstore to visit for cool noir & pulp novels and the like): 

I  suppose I could/should write a rant about how this is sexist and anti-feminist and plays upon tired librarian stereotypes but honestly, I'm too tired from last night's Book Riot Start Here (a lovely book you should buy) party last night at WORD Brooklyn (another lovely bookstore you should visit) to offer anything of value, so just interpret this piece of art any way you'd like. 



Monday, February 25, 2013

Weary of Deary

In case you missed it, I wrote something about Terry Deary's anti-librarian rant over at the great Book Riot. What I'd like everyone to take away from the piece is that there are ways to support your local library RIGHT NOW. Here's an excerpt from Book Riot:

"In truth, the problem is much larger than Terry Deary himself – the media has been getting libraries wrong for a long time and it doesn’t look like the issue will resolve itself anytime soon. Instead of angrily blogging about it, however, as I’m wont to do, I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf and try to offer positive solutions – or at least get a dialogue started regarding possible solutions. (Don’t worry, though: if others angrily blog about him, I will read the posts and shake my fist at the sky in solidarity.)

There are things we can do that don’t include angry letter writing, angry blogging, or Deary book bonfires. I’ve listed below five ways to support libraries RIGHT NOW. These are simple, very obvious (hey, sometimes we need reminding) tips that librarians talk about all the time, but they can have a big impact if they are done by enough people in enough communities.

1) Dust off your library card and actually use it – check out books, ebooks, DVDs, anything.

Attend library programs. And once you’ve done these things, be vocal about it! Tell your friends and neighbors how the cool things that are provided by the library (you know, in case they forgot). Word of mouth is essential when it comes to library promotion.

2) Write to your local politicians about how the library benefits you.

Politicians tend to support what communities want them to support, so don’t be shy about letting them know how swell you think libraries are. And if your town has a library budget vote, get on out there and vote in favor of it, why dontcha? Money talks, after all.

3) Speaking of money: you can always donate some to the library!

It will always benefit you, the patron, whether directly or indirectly. (Also, if you have outstanding late fees, don’t be ashamed. But do step up and pay them if you are able to. You’ll feel better and the library will thank you.)

4) If you have kids, teach them to see the library as a place that holds opportunities for both education and entertainment.

Take them to programs like storytime and Arts & Crafts and gaming. Get them a library card at an early age. Make going to the library a fun family experience. (By pure coincidence, my best friend from childhood emailed earlier today and told me that she took her one-year-old to the library for the first time over the weekend and he seemed to love it. It warms the heart, I tell you.)

5) If you happen to be a member of the media or a journalist (or anyone, really), PLEASE do some research.

Make sure you’re not spreading around blatantly false information NOR presenting opinions as cold hard facts – like in this reaction to/defense of Deary: 'People who borrow books for free wouldn’t go out and buy them' and 'No one visits a library for the reference department any more.' What? No.
So, now it’s your turn: how do you use your library? If you don’t, what can potentially be done to change that? And do you have any other suggestions for concrete ways to support libraries? Let’s stick it to the man and show him just how relevant we are! (With the 'man' being people like Terry Deary, “we” being libraries, and “relevant” being AWESOME.)"

I'd love to see some of your comments/reactions either here or on Book Riot. Thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting libraries!


Friday, February 22, 2013

In a Library Far, Far Away...

This was found by a part-timer today in one of the fiction books on the children's floor.

May the force be with you, everyone. *Read long and prosper.

*I know, I know. But I couldn't think of a literacy-related pun for "Star Wars." Anyone?  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My library branch has been closed for about a month, so I understand that it's natural for people to want to catch up with those they haven't seen in a while. Today, though, the catching up took an unwelcome turn for me.

Older Man I Barely Know (looking at my left hand): "So you didn't get married? Still alone?"

Me: "Not alone. Just not married."

Man: "There is a documentary about staying single in America. It's on the internet."

Me: "Okay. But I'm not single."

Man: "You should look it up."


Stop asking, stop assuming, stop commenting.


I know there are worse things that can be said, but still: it's tired, it's frustrating, and it's insulting.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Read Down Memory Lane

Weeding the non-fiction section is an opportunity to refresh the collection, see what subjects are the most sought-after in the reading community, and to good-naturedly mock some of the more outdated books that somehow remain hidden on the shelves.

I recently found two books (published in the year 2000) that provide a look at life in the 1980s and 1990s. Although shabby and nearing obsolete, the books themselves aren't bad, and they give us an amusing glance at what used to be considered modern. (Also, FUNNY PHOTOS - see below).

Although some parts made me cringe (fashion in the 90s, anyone?), this "read down memory lane" made me think. When we consider the eighties and the nineties (and preceding decades as well, but I wasn't alive then, so they don't matter to me, HAHAHA), there is a certain feeling to each that identifies them as their own encapsualted entity. Do we have that same feeling about the years 2000 to 2010? Will the kids who were born in this decade look back with nostalgia and say "Remember the Aughts? Those were good days!"

Obviously, I'm not saying nothing important happened in that decade (I think we can all agree that it was world-changing), but to me, its "identity" seems to be blending in with this current one in a way that doesn't seem to have happened before. Is it the influence of the Internet? Are we simply processing information differently now than we have in the past? Or am I just too old (and therefore too removed) to appreciate the nuances? I guess time will tell.

For now, I'm just going to make fun of how we were in the days of yore. Here are few of my favorite photos from the two aforementioned books.

From the 80s:

That poor, lonely, cast-aside electric typewriter would feel better if it knew it would come back into fashion again thanks to hipsters and writers who like to remain "old school."

The caption in the book was "Running suits became very popular for children and adults."
This guy actually had to tuck in the jacket of his running suit because he ran THAT HARD.

And from the 90s:

Excuse me, miss, Zack Morris would like his cell phone back.
(What's that, teenager? You don't know who Zack Morris is? Sigh.)

These rollerbladers are crazed! CRAZED, I tell you! 

Whatever happens, I look forward to what future "A Look at Life In..." books will show us. (One note to non-fiction writers: can we just pretend that skinny jeans never happened? Thanks.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Due Date

Found this in a library book. Whatever keeps those late fines at bay, my friends.